Welcome to our week of Reinvention for Business—Day 2! The Ho‘ohana Online Community has graciously agreed to some hale-sitting in Talking Story this week for me, and they are sharing their thoughts with you on our March Ho‘ohana, a challenge for us all to reinvent ourselves in business.
Today’s Guest Author is Yvonne DiVita of Lip-Sticking. Yvonne is also author of Dick*less Marketing, Smart Marketing to Women Online, and she has the distinction of being my first ever interview here on Talking Story, brave woman that she is! If you have not yet visited Lip-Sticking, I would strongly recommend this next link to you: I’ve often referred to Yvonne as the Barbara Walters of the blogosphere, and you’ll see why! Lip-Sticking Interviews.
When it comes to reinvention Yvonne is an inspiring role model for us all: To see this for yourself, you must visit her new endeavor, A-ha! Authors Helping Authors. So it was no surprise to me that these three words were strung together in her article for us:
Reinvention is something I think about on a daily basis. I have literally reinvented myself a dozen times over, in this one short lifetime I’ve been living. Truth is, I believe we each reinvent ourselves periodically throughout our lives. We become different people as we age, when we change jobs, as our family members grow up and leave home, or marry and change the dynamics of the family circle.
Lest anyone think I’m being superfluous, I am truly talking about ‘reinvention’ not just change. Change happens kind of the way life happens. As John Lennon is known to have remarked, “Life is what happens when you’re planning to do something else.” Change happens while you’re doing something else, and it sometimes creeps up on you—forcing or encouraging—the reinvention I am speaking of. If you do not change, you may end up floundering in unfamiliar surroundings. The reality is that each day beckons us with change—and an opportunity to effect change. If we’re smart, we will reach out to the dawn with open arms and welcome whatever it throws our way. Whatever that is, it’s for sure it comes with the option of reinvention.
I turn to Albert Einstein for support. He said, “It’s important to never stop questioning.” To be willing to question everything in your life is a good start to reinventing yourself. The next step is to accept that not all questions have answers, and that some questions require a lifetime of study.
In business, questioning is a privilege that is often forsaken. Too many companies remove their employee’s ability to question by adopting strict, dogmatic principles of operation. Rather than give employees direction, these often stern procedures stifle creativity and prevent innovation (more on innovation at the end). A favorite phrase bandied about the business world is, “Let’s not reinvent the wheel.” I say, why not? Maybe the wheel needs reinvention.
In the last 20 years we have seen technology progress to levels only dreamed of in science fiction novels. (Boy, those sci-fi writers really knew their stuff, didn’t they?) We’ve seen the invention and re-invention (think of the new self-publishing craze and how it’s reinventing the production of books) of some amazing things, not the least of which is the power of the Internet to connect people from all over the world. Many of those people are women; women, who are reinventing themselves and the world around them at astounding rates.
In this new millennium, women are truly reinventing the way the world views them. We are gaining that long sought-for equal footing with men, because we have the power, the finances, and the resources (each other) to accomplish whatever we put our minds to. Yes, the average woman in the U.S. still only makes $.71 for every dollar a man earns, but that is changing. Today, women know their options are limitless—because other strong women (like our own Rosa Say) are out there working hard to reinvent the business playing field.
In this new world of business, the playing field is brimming with questions like, “What do women think? How do women think?” And, “How can we get in front of the women’s market?” Plus, that age-old question, “What do women want?”
Here are some answers: Women welcome the questions. Women want businesses to give them an opportunity to answer the questions. And, women want to ask some questions of their own. One of the prime things women want is for men to stop thinking pink is the only color in their closet. After that, women want men to understand that the ‘relationship’ still rules. It’s being reinvented, also, but”it commands all other things associated with women.
This is the foundation of the new world order in business: asking women to participate, to contribute finances, intelligence, influence, or just an opinion. For me, businesses need to go beyond innovation (I told you I’d get back to it). Innovation is a popular buzz phrase these days, and it gets a lot of press, but don’t stop there. Understand that reinvention is the child of innovation. As such, reinvention requires extra-special care and attention as any child does. Care and attention from both its father and its mother: this means men and women working together to reinvent the business landscape that our sons and daughters will live and work in, to make a better world altogether.
Mahalo nui Yvonne!
Do you have questions for Yvonne? Would you like to add your voice to hers? The comment lines are open, and ready for your thoughts.