Bragging about each other

“If we can’t self-market, we’re inhibiting ourselves.”
~ Erica Thomas

Last week the Network of Entrepreneurial Women gathered at 57th Street Books in Hyde Park to discuss How to Brag. NEW Co-Founder Erica Thomas led the discussion with research on how women are conditioned to not boast about their achievements, since if they do they can be perceived as too pushy, resulting in women self-editing.


Tips Erica provided included:

  • Make a bragalog: Tell a short story that weaves in your brag points. Inserting relevant facts into a story makes your speech more  memorable
  • Have someone brag for you: bring a wing-woman along who can introduce (and boast about) you, and then reverse roles.
  • Put your brags into a joke: rather than specifying how long you’ve been in business numerically, use a difference reference, like “I’ve been in business since the earth cooled.”
  • Pay attention to the person you are networking with: In listening to their needs, you can insert relevant ‘brag points’ during the conversation


We discussed our own personal pitfalls and brainstormed additional strategies, such as cataloguing 3 positive things about yourself/business and using those in your bragalog. We also discussed how many skills are perceived as “innate” to women, such as caregiving, nurturing and teaching, that economically and anthropologically they aren’t valued as a learned skill.


“When someone is boosting you up,
don’t get flushed. Stand up and be proud.”
~ Joan

We then went around in a celebration circle and each person told the group what they admire about another person in the circle. It was a lovely experience that made many of us blush, and helped us perceive ourselves as more brag worthy.


We have some courageous, optimistic, determined, get-it-done, supportive, generous, caring, listening, dedicated, driven, brilliant women in our group, who truly do “use their powers for good,” as Erica said.


I look forward to our next Meet & Munch, which features a discussion about stress. You can find us at Hub 83, 6 Executive Court, South Barrington, from 2-4 p.m. On Wednesday, July 9. Ann Marie Berg, a Wellness Consultant and Health Coach, will talk about stress management, share relaxation techniques and facilitate a discussion around de-stressing.


“There’s nothing wrong
with telling people the truth about your business.”

~ Erica Thomas

NEW – The Network of Entrepreneurial Women is a group of Chicagoland business women who are upgrading business networking with fun and creative events that inspire attendees to work together, refer each other and most of all cheer each other on as the membership succeeds. Events rotate around various suburbs on a semimonthly basis, usually the 2nd Wednesday and 4th Thursday of the month. RSVP for our upcoming events at Meetup, or like us on Facebook and check up on the calendar there.

Bookish fun

Remember those booklists from last week? Well, we had a lively discussion about those and other fabulous titles at the NEW Wine Women and Wellness in Hyde Park.


57th Street Bookstore is such a gem. Just looking at books is so much fun.


We had the honor of talking directly to the author of A Thesaurus of Women, Barbara Joan Zeitz.


An anthology of her online columns (CountHerhistory), the book celebrates women, most unknown, and their accomplishments, all well known. The women Barbara has researched invented/discovered or created the APGAR score, Brooklyn Bridge, brown paper bag, cell phone, District of Columbia’s Cherry Blossoms, Computer language, DNA, egg carton and refrigeration, environmental movement, NAACP, OSHA, relativity, social security, star distances, and more.


The day of our event happened to be Rosalind Franklin’s birthday, honored with a Google doodle, who is featured in Barbara’s book.


With snacks and delicious wine spritzers we discussed equality on all levels, ranging from current to historic events (it’s mostly economically motivated, as much of history is).


We talked about our inspirational books and inspirational women, and I learned more about my fellow business ladies as they mark their place in Herstory.


New books we added to our to-read list are: The World is Flat, Freakonomics, Gangleader for a Day and The Black Count.


Then we had fun posing with books (book quartet photos by NetworkHoncho).


Barbara learned that Roget’s Thesaurus is based on Dr. Peter Mark Roget’s love of words. So she decided that since she loved women so much, she would create a thesaurus of women.


I picked up my copy, and look forward to reading it soon. A Thesaurus of Women From Cherry Blossoms to Cell Phones is available here.


Our August NEW events will be in Evanston, with the Meet & Munch at Stella Boutique and our Wine Women and Wellness at Symphony’s Cafe.