Learning and growing with NEW

NEW’s Crain’s Small Business Day was a blast, and full of nuggets of wisdom by our fabulous guest speakers. During our meet and greet ladies mingled and were introduced to NetworkHoncho.com with their pop-up of a new small business networking tool that is currently in beta launch.

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Members and visitors also perused my wares at my pop-up table.

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Then we gathered around for formal introductions and a business card exchange, with a variety of very interesting businesses represented.

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After learning more about each other we split into three groups for roundtable discussions.

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Peggy Goddeau discussed retirement planning, highlighting how inflation and taxation do not increase at the same rate, and we thus have to base our retirement planning on projected true buying power. She recommends a balance between cash flow and debt management based on three categories of assets: protection, savings and growth. As a financial advisor with The Heartland Group, Peggy offers consulting services for anyone at any age to ensure their retirement is on the right track.

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Dr. Crystal Foreseman Landers offered wellness tips which included an 80/20 rule for eating whole foods (80% of the time), and allowing for 20% of not-so-nutritious meal or snack decisions. This would allow for 2 ‘cheat’ meals a week, creating less pressure than a vigorous diet. She also recommended having lean protein with each meal to counteract food cravings, and paying attention to what we are eating instead of multitasking while we chew. She also recomended drinking 1/2 of your body weight in ounces to stay properly hydrated.  Dr. Crystal offers additional naturopathic health tips at Living Tree Natural Health, Inc.

WellnessRoundtable

Author and speaker Niquenya D. Fulbright discussed the 4 P’s of profit, which are not price, product place or promotion, but passion, purpose, partners and productivity. She recommends that to achieve a goal, we need to make a list of weekly steps to get there. This makes long-range planning far more effective, because we know we can do one thing a week in a specific category, and then feel more accomplished about doing another thing the next week. She also stated that sunk cost should never be considered when making a decision (and who isn’t guilty of hanging on to something just because we spent so much time and money on it already?). As President and CEO of Building Bridges Consulting, Niquenya transforms dreamers into successful entrepreneurs by giving them the tools to turn their passion into a viable business.

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After all this insightful learning it was time for a pint and we gathered around to dine on our host Shannon’s Irish Pub’s delicious food.

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NEW will gather tomorrow in Geneva for our November Meet & Munch. We will revisit the lovely Peaceful Parlour for some tea time and to gather ideas for eco-friendly holiday shopping.

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Peaceful Parlour is an eco-friendly shopper’s paradise located in Geneva, IL. The boutique offers products that are locally made, USA made, natural or organic, hand crafted and made from renewable or sustainable materials. Their focus is to find products with environmental and community benefits, supporting local artists, small businesses, fair trade and women co-op groups around the world.

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Due to Thanksgiving, this will also be our only event for November. No Wine, Women and Wellness on 11/27, since we’re all likely to be gathered around dinner tables.

Photos copyright NetworkHoncho.

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.

Masterminding Roundtables on Wednesday

Next week is Crain’s Small Business Week, and once again the Network of Entrepreneurial Women is participating in the event. On Wednesday, October 8 we will host three guest speakers at Shannon’s Irish Pub in Glen Ellyn. First, we’ll have a pop-up trunk show, at which I’ll have some pieces and other members will showcase their products and services. Then we will have Mastermind Roundtable sessions with our guest speakers, after which we will network and place delicious food orders.

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The 30-minute roundtable talks are designed specifically for women business owners. After each session, you’ll have the opportunity to rotate on to a new table with a different group of fellow participants to enjoy another lively, enlightening talk. Each session will include expert speakers and provide opportunities for brainstorming personal concerns/questions related to the topic discussed.

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Roundtable Talks will include:

A casual dinner will follow, where attendees will each have the opportunity to eat, network and connect with women business owners representing a variety of industries from throughout Chicagoland. Last year’s event was a blast and we look forward to toasting each other to missions accomplished since that gathering.

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NEW – The Network of Entrepreneurial Women is an exciting, fresh group of Chicagoland business women who are upgrading business networking in the Chicago suburbs and beyond. Focusing on no nonsense networking, the group holds 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 together.  NEW was founded in 2013 by by Karen McCormack, Independent Insurance Broker, Erica Thomas, one of the two lead programmers to create NetworkHoncho.com, and Wax and Wire Artist Maike van Wijk, Chief Marveler at Maike’s Marvels.

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The NEW art of networking involves events that remind us why we love being entrepreneurs, and introduces attendees to other radiant, inspirational women entrepreneurs as we form a community that is open-minded, focused and friendly. NEW: Inspiring, enlightening and encouraging women to reach their highest potential.

DrCrystalForesmanLanders

Naturopathic doctor and multi-disciplinary healer, Dr. Crystal Foresman-Landers, OTR/L, ND, received her doctoral degree in Naturopathic Medicine in 2012 from National University of Health Sciences in Lombard, Illinois and her Occupational Therapy bachelor’s degree in 2000 from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has vast experience in women’s health, chronic pain management, pediatrics, and chronic health conditions. Dr. Foresman-Landers is certified in Sensory Integration therapy, and is also a practitioner of Myofascial Release, Craniosacral Therapy and Kinesiotape. She is passionate about the ways to return to optimal health through a whole person approach which includes improving immune system and gastrointestinal health. She is devoted to restoring wellness by focusing on an integrative approach that includes strategies for chronic pain management, preventative medicine and detoxification strategies.

NiquenyaFulbright

Niquenya D. Fulbright is President and CEO of Building Bridges Consulting, a small business consulting and executive coaching firm specializing in transforming dreamers into successful entrepreneurs. Ms. Fulbright possesses over 15 years’ experience partnering with small business owners, aspiring entrepreneurs, and nonprofit leaders to bridge the gap between where they are now and where they need to be to build successful, sustainable, and profitable business models. Her love of mentoring, teaching, coaching, and networking with visionary dreamers has led her to assume positions such as the Co-Area Director of the Chicago chapter of Networking in High Heels – a national networking group for professional women in business, Strategic Director for the CTW International Ministry – a nonprofit whose mission is to raise awareness and restoration for victims of sex trafficking, and Volunteer Coach (Formerly Director of Training & Recruitment) for New Life Coach Inc. – a nonprofit organization that provides six weeks of free life coaching to underprivileged individuals. Ms. Fulbright also provides Workforce Development and Entrepreneurship training, coaching, and consulting for several Chicago Housing Authority programs administered through the Chicago Urban League on the south side of the city.

PeggyGoddeau

Peggy Goddeau is a Financial Advisor with The Heartland Group. She made a very thoughtful decision to transition out of medical practice and leverage all her training and experience into the financial services industry. Her passion is to work with small business owners, individuals and families, to develop protection-based, financial strategies that are holistic and flexible, which optimizes all of their resources to help achieve tangible wealth and financial security. She does this by guiding them through a five step process which will: Clarify, Organize, Evaluate, Educate, and Develop/Implement (CO-EED) those strategies. Registered Representative of and securities and Investment Advisory Services offered through Hornor, Townsend, & Kent, Inc. (HTK)  Registered Investment, Member FINRA/SIPC. The Heartland Group is independent of HTK. A4CM-0729-03E2

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The entire half day event is free. Each participant pays for her own dinner off of Shannon’s Irish Pub Special Event Menu. RSVP on Meetup or Facebook.

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.

Emergency Vehicle Night in Lemont

Last Wednesday The Network of Entrepreneurial Women met in Lemont to peruse Emergency Vehicle Night.

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Organized by Lemont Legends, Cruise Nights are held during the summer on Wednesday evenings in Downtown Historic Lemont.

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We gathered at Aurora Rose Boutique for some small talk and browsing.

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Megan K’s dress also had an EMS theme.

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We then decided to have a beer at a local pub, since the weather called for it.

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At Nick’s Tavern, we also opted for burgers, which we could have split.

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After dinner, we browsed all the vehicles Lemont had to offer.

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The main attraction were the fire trucks.

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Other cars also gleamed in the evening sun.

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Police vehicles, old and new, rounded out the event.

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It is a fun and informative outing for families, so mark your calendar for next year’s series of events.

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NEW’s next event will be the September annual retreat in White Pines, Oregon IL. Join us as we recharge in the woods with restorative walks, campfire chats and cozy cabin conversations about business, life and health.

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Biomechanics and the World’s Fair

Last week I took another field trip to the Field Museum. I was supposed to meet NEW in the afternoon so I made a day of it.

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A seagull decided to pose at his best angles as I admired the glorious day and Chicago’s skyline.

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The Field currently has a Biomechanics exhibit called The Machine Inside (until January 14) which intrigued me. I learned lots of factoids about human and animal bodies, and of course honed in on the butterfly facts.

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Human body heat was explained as well.

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I visited the hall of gems for a look at my favorite treasures.

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It was Sue’s 24th discovery anniversary that week too.

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The Ladies of NEW perused the Wonders of the World’s Fair exhibit (closing September 7).

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I still have a hard time visualizing this giant White City, but the Museum of Science and Industry and the Field buildings give a glimpse of the magnitude.

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Reading Devil in the White City had me hooked on this era. I am reading about the Fair Women right now, but that book is filled with intrigue so I am not as fond of it as I want to be.

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Giant animals were on display, like this 6-foot-high Seal.

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We sure did some damage to the environment with our fashion sense.

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Chicago has an interesting history.

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NEW will be keeping with the nostalgia theme today, when we visit Lemont for Emergency Vehicle Night from 6 to 8 p.m.

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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.

Busse Woods BBQ

July was full of fun summer adventures, including a wonderful barbecue with NEW.

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We claimed a pavilion at Busse Woods and brought salad, sweets and meat to grill.

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It was lovely to listen to nature right in the middle of a large suburb.

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Nature was quite close as we had a defensive pair of bird parents trying to keep us away from their chicks who were nesting in the roof of the pavilion. After a few dives we knew where not to stand and a truce was agreed upon.

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The grills were fired up and the cooking and munching began.

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We had a lovely time chatting about a variety of subjects.

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Photobombing ensued.

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There is something freeing about dining outdoors, surrounded by trees and the sounds of summer.

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S’mores capped off the evening nicely.

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I look forward to more gatherings like this. Join us next Wednesday from 2 to 4 pm for a tour of the White City at the Field Museum.

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Photos copyright NetworkHoncho and Maike’s Marvels.

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.

 

Stressbusting at Meet & Munch

Last Wednesday we had a lovely time de-stressing at Hub83 in South Barrington. Hub83 is a co-working space where start-ups, entrepreneurs, freelancers, telecommuters, and small or previously home-based businesses can work in a collaborative office space and get access to resources that can help grow their business.

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The company provides commercial shared office space which includes shared and private desks, meeting and conference rooms, and optional private offices that can hold 1-6 people. The clean and bright South Barrington office felt professional and inviting. Other locations in Chicagoland are under review.

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After introducing ourselves Ann Marie Berg, a worksite wellness consultant offered tips on how to de-stress.

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She mentioned that everyone who sits at a computer for an extended period of time should take stretch breaks every 20 minutes. She also reminded us to check our posture throughout the day and ensure we don’t slump, as that compresses our organs. Everyone sat up straight for the duration of the meeting.

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She noted that a stressor to one person could be nothing to another, such as timeliness. Not being punctual can put one person into stress mode, whereas another isn’t as concerned with minutes on the clock. She noted that in addition to stressors based on workload, loneliness and sadness can be stressful on the body, but we don’t not always realize those are underlying symptoms.

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Our coping mechanisms for stress tend to be addicting habits, such as smoking, drinking too much alcohol or emotional eating. Instead of resorting to those behaviors, Ann Marie recommends breathing exercises, stretches to unclench the muscles where we hold our stress, and monitoring your self-talk with a rubber band on your wrist.

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We did some very simple yet quite energizing stretches, and then engaged in a breathing exercise that further relaxed us. She also recommends 10% Happier by Dan Harris for further reading. Ann Marie recommended going for frequent walks, exercising, and finding a hobby.

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To go to sleep, she recommended tensing and relaxing groups of muscles, she takes an inventory of what is in her drawers in her bedroom–counting what she owns instead of sheep. Aroma therapy in the form of a few drops of lavender oil on a tissue under one’s pillow might also help.

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Member Belle Kohen of Creative Coaching provided the following tips for a healthy, less-stressed lifestyle:

  • Take a morning walk
  • Exercise to get endorphins going
  • Decrease your hyper state and avoid caffeine
  • Drink a lot of water
  • Stop ingesting anything an hour before bed
  • Turn all screens off 1 hour before bed
  • If you read, make sure the light source is behind you
  • Untense your muscles before sleeping
  • Make sure the room is dark and quiet

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We were treated to drinks and munchies from Melaleuca by member Marianne Guinee, and enjoyed the presentation and overview of products she provided for us. Melaleuca has 400 products for home and family wellness, including  a complete line of skin care and cosmetics, bath and body solutions, and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals.

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It was a lively and joyful afternoon, and we look forward to de-stressing more on July 24 during our family Barbecue in Busse Woods.

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Most photos courtesy www.NetworkHoncho.com.

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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.

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.

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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

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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.

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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“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.

NEW’s fantastic Birthday Party

Last week we had a fabulous NEW birthday party at Avalon Salon and Spa in Deer Park.

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Familiar faces and new members joined us in our celebration, which also honored Ruth McBride and Girls in the Game.

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It is lovely to connect with a charity that has a personal resonance with one of our members.

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We introduced ourselves and chatted about each others’ businesses.

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Wine was flowing freely thanks to our host Bonnie Conte — in LED-lit glasses, no less (I want some of those)!

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Deciding on red or white might have been the hardest part of the afternoon.

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A silent auction was held to benefit the Ruth McBride Scholarship for Girls in the Game.

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Our bidders went home pleased.

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A raffle also raised additional funds.

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The prizes (including an Avalon Massage) caused much cheer.

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The gift basket from Aurora Rose Boutique is going to one of our online bidders, who has yet to be determined…

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Bonnie provided an overview of the spa and salon and gave a tour to many of us. The nail polish wall is a rainbow of inspiration.

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Then we received hand and neck massages.

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Ruth McBride Scholarship Director Chris Pierucci gifted us cofounders with hearts.

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One is to keep, and one is to pass on to someone who has left an impression on our hearts.

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Chris also had handbags, suitcases and business card holders available for sale of which 100% of the proceeds benefit the Ruth McBride Scholarship as well.

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I couldn’t decide so I got both. While the tally isn’t in, our informal goal for the fundraiser may have been met!

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Nobody went home empty-handed, as Bonnie gave us lovely swag bags.

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This is the coolest pen I ever owned, and we received the relaxing lotion we were pampered with during our mini-treatments.

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Thank you Avalon for hosting us!

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Join us for our next event in Hyde Park, where we will learn how to promote ourselves better.

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Networking is far from boring when you do it in the right company.

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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.

Photos Courtesy NetworkHoncho.com, some by Maike’s Marvels.

NEW’s first Birthday

“In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out.
It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being.
We should all be thankful for those people
who rekindle the inner spirit.”

~ Albert Schweitzer

Last year, an inner fire went out on a group I was a part of. As a result, Karen McCormack and Erica Thomas and I set out to create a community of supportive entrepreneurial women seeking to balance business-building with some self-care and fun.

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This Wednesday we celebrate our one-year (+ one month) milestone with an anniversary celebration, and I look forward to recapping the events of the past year.

“A very inspirational group led by 3 terrific women
who have great enthusiasm and information to share.
Thanks for a great event.”
~ Jenifer B. October 2013

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Our members have been tremendously generous in providing silent auction donations, which will raise funds for the Ruth McBride Scholarship for Girls in the Game. We have gift certificates for photography, massages and guest speakers, as well as various gift baskets, a book, and a pendant by me.

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We are also raffling off at least two prizes, for which you don’t have to be present, so get your raffle tickets here before the drawing closes at 2 pm on June 11.

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Over the past year, this group has brought much joy and growth, which we celebrate Wednesday. As an introvert the passion for growing this group has made me much more outgoing, and every time I get past that initial hurdle of dressing in something other than pajamas and walking out the door I have made fantastic connections, learned something new, and been inspired.

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Every woman in our group has a special mission in life, and they serve their purpose with a passion and tenacity that spurs me on to live my best life. I’ve learned that I am not alone in my doubts and worries about solopreneurship, that we all feel overwhelmed at times and are winging it until we gain our footing. Women I look up to as ‘having arrived’ still rely heavily on their intuition for innovation and progress, when one would think that they have processes in place and ‘take it easy’.

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The honesty among this group is heartening. Yes, we’ve given elevator pitches, passed out business cards, promoted our upcoming events and products. We have cheered each other’s milestones and done business with each other (as well as our fabulous hosts).

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 “This was my first experience meeting up with NEW
and it definitely will not be my last!
Great group of women who truly care about
expanding each other’s businesses!
It was a pleasure meeting all of you!”
~ Casie F., August 2013

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“It was a great pleasure meeting you all!
The meeting was very productive. I even learned a new word ;).
I would love to participate in future meetings.”
~ Lina A., August 2013

We’ve also had heart-to-heart conversations about how to move forward, how to overcome internal and external obstacles, and how to remain motivated when winters are harsh and sales are slow.

“Great meeting! Very well-planned and organized (!).
I’m glad there was a small turn-out, because we learned a lot
about each other and our businesses, and
how to network to help each other.”

~ Karen Y., August 2013

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“Fantastic group of women! I am looking forward to next time!”
~ Lina B., September 2013

“It was great to meet women in business. Very Empowering!”
~ Tracy B. September 2013

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“I had a great time.
It was nice to meet some very motivated and
talented women entrepreneurs!
I look forward to the next event.”
~ Kristin S., September 2013

We’ve expanded our brains with learning about historical trailblazing women, museum visits and business roundtables.

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“The meeting was inspiring, informative, and fun-5 Star for sure :)”
~ Barbara Z., October 2013

We’ve been silly playing dress-up and dancing can-cans in group shoots.

“I totally enjoyed the experience…
I am glad I connected with this group.”
~ Robin G., October 2013

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“This is an awesome group of women.”
~ Kim B., October 2013

“Taking two hours this afternoon to meet dynamic and interesting entrepreneurs from whom I can learn was wonderful. The samples of “Tastefully Simple” and chocolates were delicious and the gathering was very warm and cordial. I discovered unique jewelry and greeting cards and enjoyed my purchase. Aurora Rose Boutique and its owners are professional, yet very friendly and accommodating. I’m very glad I stopped in to meet everyone this afternoon. Thank you.”
~ Donna S., November 2013

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We’ve pampered ourselves with mini-massages and delectable desserts. We’ve toasted each other on bubbly, cocktails, wine and beer. We’ve honored our health with teas, heart-healthy snacks and outdoor events.

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“What a great venue and awesome group of women!
Can’t wait to get to know you all more!!”
~ Marina C., December 2013

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“GREAT!!!
What a wonderful group of energetic, inspiring women!”
~ Barbara, May 2013

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“It was very inspiring to hear of all
of the new business adventures taking off.

I was also very impressed with all of the women
who braved the cold and showed up
ready to talk business and network. Very professional.”
~ Shari, January 2014

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“Had a great time and enjoyed meeting all the fantastic women.
Peaceful Parlour provided a nice comfy atmosphere
which made it all possible.
The tea and snacks were awesome.
I’m looking forward to networking with everyone.”
~ Teresa Triplett, January 2014

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“My first time at the Meet & Munch
and WOW what a great group of women
sharing their expertise with each other.”
~ Pam V., February 2014

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I love that it is such an eclectic group of women.
Had a great time!”
~ Cheryl S., March 2014

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“So fun! It was so interesting to hear about everyone’s businesses,
and I feel like I, or someone else I know, could benefit
from the knowledge and expertise of each
and every one of the women I met!”
~ Ayumi, March 2014

Interestingly, it is easier to write this retrospective about NEW than to do a post about Maike’s Marvels’ past year. I guess I need to take special notes during our next event, “How to Brag; Self Marketing for the Women’s Business Owner”. Join us at 57th Street Books on 1301 East 57th Street in Chicago on Thursday, June 26 from 6 to 8 p.m.

“What I’ve learned is that businesses grow through friendships.
Individual accomplishments are built through friendships.
Feeling trusted, understood, and valued is cultivated in friendships”
~ Megan Hunt, owner of Hello Holiday

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.

Celebrating Ruth McBride at NEW

Time flies when you’re having fun, and so it has been with NEW. We founded the Network of Entrepreneurial Women to incorporate some fun in networking while being truly supportive of our members, and add some geographic scope to our business endeavors. More than a year later, we have 159 Meetup members and 61 ‘likes’ on Facebook.

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Next week we will celebrate our first birthday and reflect on all we’ve accomplished in the past year. We will party at the host of our inaugural NEW event, Avalon Salon Day & Spa.

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We want to pay our joy and celebration forward, and have partnered with NEW member Chris Pierucci of Final Draft Business Support Services to support the Ruth McBride Memorial Scholarship for Girls in the Game with a silent auction and raffle. While we bid on member-donated pieces, we will munch on festive goodies, sip on teas, tour the fabulous themed massage areas and hair salon, and celebrate our milestone with relaxing mini hand and neck massages.

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Ruth, Chris’ mother, was a teacher’s aide tutoring special education children for almost 40 years and an enthusiastic sports fan. Being handicapped herself, Ruth had a special connection with the children she taught. Girls in the Game scholarships unites both of Ruth’s passions: education and sports.

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The Ruth McBride Girls in the Game Scholarship is a named four-year scholarship and will change the game for at least one Chicago high school girl. During her four years of high school, along with other teen girls from all over Chicago, the recipient of the Ruth McBride Scholarship will be trained in a variety of energizing sports and games, study yoga, learn to eat smart, and develop new strategies to help her resolve conflicts and reduce whatever violence is in her life.

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The Team Squad is coached by Girls in the Game’s award-winning staff to develop their skills as strong and confident leaders. As trained leaders, they will lead workshops and teach what they have learned about living a healthier lifestyle to younger girls. In exchange for making a difference in the lives of other young girls, the recipients of the Ruth McBride Scholarship will earn significant scholarship dollars for college tuition, textbooks, or the technical training of her choice. 100% of the girls who received scholarships in our 2013 Teen Squad high school program have gone on to college.

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Our fundraiser includes a silent auction with gift certificates for a photography session or massage therapy, jewelry by yours truly, and other items we will post on our Facebook page in the coming week. To donate an auction item by Monday, June 9, please review this document. The Ruth McBride Scholarship will sponsor at least one four-year scholarship in 2014. However, the more we raise, the more girls we can sponsor. It is a unique, exciting and inspiring force for change, just like Ruth herself.

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Aurora Rose Boutique is donating a gift basket for the raffle. You can purchase raffle prizes online via this link. You do not have to be present for the raffle, however, attendance is required for the silent auction.

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“When I moved here two years ago, I automatically drifted to the usual and customary networking events that I found to be effective in Colorado. I really didn’t think that driving 30 miles downtown was going to be that big of a deal. Boy, was I wrong! Living in the Northwest Suburbs and driving 30 miles in each direction was kind of fun at first, but after a while, not so much fun!

I did however meet some great people who, like me, thought that there might be some better options. And because we were all veterans of women’s networking, we knew what we wanted and didn’t want to do. Some of the best advice I’ve ever heard was…”if you don’t like the way something is being done, do it yourself, or be quiet.” And so we did.

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Erica Thomas, Maike van Wijk and I came up with a concept: suburban meetings, rotating locations, alternating afternoon and evenings, and–the best part– it should be free or very low cost. No membership or attendance requirements and women supporting other women in their efforts. Cool locations, fun and uplifting environments without stress involved!

Whether they are seasoned business owners, entrepreneurial spirits or just beginners, everyone who attends could learn from and teach others!

We divided the minimal tasks involved in running a small, volunteer organization and with hosts donating their space and often refreshments, advertising on Constant Contact, Facebook, and later Meetup, we were off and running.

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Fast forward one year and we have found that the model works! There are regular faces at meeting month after month, some that show up when we’re in their suburb, and new faces all the time. We support small suburban business owners by meeting and shopping in their stores. We share our stories and our resources.

So what does NEW mean to me? It is, as intended, a different way to approach networking and one that has allowed me to meet many absolutely wonderful women in a diverse variety of occupations. I’ve developed friendships, business relationships and travelled around the surrounding areas enough that I feel like I’m almost a native! And I’ve enjoyed the collaboration with my NEW Co-founders who still make it fun.”

~ Karen McCormack, McCormack Consulting

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The NEW Anniversary Party and Charity Raffle is Wednesday, June 11 from 2 to 4 p.m. at Avalon Salon & Day Spa, 20530 North Rand Road in Deer Park. Avalon Spa has been named in the top 200 salons in Salon Today for the last 9 years. As an Aveda Salon, the spa participated in the Guinness Book of Records challenge of providing the most charity haircuts in 24 hours.

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“There’s a real community of encouragement at NEW, and I think that’s especially vital for women entrepreneurs – sometimes we tend to disappear in front of our computers, smartphones and tablets, and it’s so great to have this opportunity, twice a month, to just be around other women business owners and get your mental energy recharged.

Every month, every event, we’re meeting new women entrepreneurs. But it’s also inspiring to see how much we all have in common – because there are new women at every event, it’s a somewhat different crowd at every event, and yet we fall into the same patterns of support and helpfulness. 

We’ve been all over Chicagoland in one year – all throughout the Suburbs, and a few Chicago neighborhoods as well, and it creates an opportunity for our members to spread their businesses’ reach just by going to a new town and meeting fellow businesswomen there. 



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The other greatest thing about NEW, of course, is the great team I get to work with in leadership. Maike & Karen are such amazing businesswomen individually, and bring so much creativity and wisdom to the table. It really is the best team in the world to work with – it’s the Dream Team of networking. 



It’s just restorative, to get your mental energy recharged around fellow women entrepreneurs, some you’ve never met, some you saw last month – and they’re all cheering for you. Each of us – we’re all cheering each other on to further greatness.”

~ Erica Thomas, NetworkHoncho.com

Our events have been a blast, and we’ve always walked away enriched, whether with a dozen new business cards to follow up on or through in-depth one-on-one conversations within smaller groups.

It’s been a wonderful way to connect with other entrepreneurial women, get to know the diversity of women-owned and women-managed business in the burbs, and explore the suburbs of Chicagoland. Come and join our celebration!

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