Reprinted from Consumption Conversations, which shares insights, expertise and inspiration through entertaining Q&As with great business thinkers, social media ninjas, biz experts!
There is only one Million $ Party Girl…and it’s Lynn Bardowski! You can meet Lynn, if you do not know her already (shocking!) at her site, Milliondollarpartygirl.com. Lynn is an energized person who literally shines! One of Lynn’s sayings that she adores is, “A candle loses none of its light by lighting another candle” and, in Lynn’s case, she is certainly the embodiment of that expression. Lynn motivates. She inspires. Lynn leads by example – with no excuses or exceptions!
Who is Lynn Bardowski? Lynn is a mother. Lynn is a friend. Lynn is an award-winning entrepreneur – and a best-selling author! Lynn is a motivational and inspirational speakers at scores of business events and networking galas. Lynn is a mentor. Lynn is one of the South Jersey Biz Magazine Top Women To Watch! Lynn is also the force behind VISIONISTAS IN PINK – a cause that speaks dearly to Lynn.
Lynn will proudly host the 2013 Visionistas In Pink event to benefit Pink Roses Teal Magnolias will celebrate life and honor regional women on Tuesday, Oct. 8, at the historic Alice Paul Institute in Mount Laurel, NJ.
Created by Lynn, Visionistas In Pink supports the Pink Roses Teal Magnolias and its dedication to breast and gynecological cancer research and clinical programs at Cooper Cancer Institute (CCI). The organization supports women in their struggles against cancer, funds innovative research that results in better treatments and helps improve patient experiences and outcomes.
Visionistas In Pink will feature a keynote by world-renowned author Sylvia LaFair, workshop leader, executive coach, leadership educator and author of award-winning book “Don’t Bring It to Work and the companion “Pattern Aware Success Guide” ebook. LaFair’s newest book is “GUTSY: How Women Leaders Make Change“, which focuses on how women can partner with men to enhance workplace relationships and down play office politics. LaFair is a self-described “bold, audacious, woman who loves to wander onto roads less traveled” and enjoys great dialogues to find new solutions to old problems.
Susan Bass Levin, CEO of the Cooper Foundation, is also scheduled to speak at the event. SJ Biz Magazine is the 2013 media partner of Visionistas In Pink. The event will also feature a fun “Best In Shoe” contest for attendees to walk the “Pink Carpet” in support of the goals and mission of Pink Roses Teal Magnolias. The Shoe Society is scheduled to judge the parade of spectacular heels.
“Visionistas in Pink is about more than empowerment or women helping women – it is about connecting every woman to the power she already has and the “Visionista” in us all,” Lynn shares. “Visionistas In Pink is proud to join the fight against breast and gynecologic cancer and support the important goals and objectives of Cooper’s Pink Roses Teal Magnolias.”
The original Visionistas in Pink (held last October) was created to launch the paper version of my best-selling ebook, Success Secrets of a Million Dollar Party Girl. In the book I define a Visionista as, “A women who knows who she is, where she’s going and guides her tribe of leading ladies to the top.” My intention for the event was to bring that definition to life, teaching women how we influence each others success and the importance of embracing our strengths, rather than apologizing for them. Men have their “boys club” but women tend to think more singular. Many of us fought for limited opportunities in the corporate sector. As a result, I’ve found that women helping women in business is not in our DNA. I’m on a mission to change that. One of the key sponsors for the event, Lynda Hinkle, Law Offices of Lynda Hinkle, is a great example of a Visionista. She was one of the first to step up to support the event, and volunteers her efforts for many causes that impact women and children in the community.
Susan is a pillar of the SJ Community and I’m honored that she’s attending. Most people don’t know that she’s an ovarian cancer survivor so this cause is near and dear to her heart. As CEO of the Cooper Foundation, Susan is a fearless fighter for women’s health issues. She’s broken the glass ceiling, and so much more. Her courage, leadership, and strength is an inspiration for all women. I think I surprised her last year when we packed the room with 100+ women. As I introduced her she jokingly said, “When Lynn told me 100 women were coming, I thought sure, maybe we’ll have 50.” We ended up selling out 2 weeks prior with a wait list of 30+.
Turning to your thoughts for entrepreneurs, with a focus on branding, marketing and strategy, what mistakes do you feel most people make when it comes to telling the world about their superpowers?
Ego is our kryptonite. Men are very good at telling the world about their superpowers, but make big mistakes when they use their superpowers to feed their ego. Tiger Woods and Lance Armstrong come to mind. For women, our egos work in reverse, feeding our limiting beliefs. We tend to feel pushy and see sharing our superpowers as bragging, and feel guilty about tooting our own horn. The biggest mistake women make is not letting the world know what their superpowers are. I’m on a mission to change that.
Now what do you feel are the biggest mistakes most BUSINESS make when telling the world about their superpowers?
Not delivering on what is promised. If your superpower is leaping tall buildings in a single bound, you better be able to leap really high, and look good doing it. If you don’t, say you’re sorry and work hard to make it right. As a result of social media, consumers want brands to speak directly to them in “social-speak” vs. salesy marketing lingo. Domino’s Pizza is a great example of this. They built a brand on fast pizza delivery. It turns out their superpower tasted pretty bad. After listening to customer feedback Dominos basically said, “My bad. Our pizza stinks.” To fix it they created an ad campaign called Pizza Turnaround that was a huge success. Consumers love it when brands share their faults and keep it real.
What is your greatest achievement as an entrepreneur?
I’m thankful and grateful I had the courage to act on my passion, follow my dreams, and more importantly, help others build theirs. That feels really great.
What is the biggest mistake you ever made as an entrepreneur?
My biggest mistake was letting my ego get in the way. When I failed, I took it personally, and let failure define my value and self-worth. It was as if failing was something that happened to me. It took me a long time to learn failing doesn’t make you a failure. Now I embrace failing as part of the success process. You can’t have one without the other.
What are the marketing and branding tips you feel are most important for entrepreneurs today, in terms of defining who they are and what they do – and making sure potential clients realize all they have to offer?
I could write a book about this. Here’s a thumbnail version. It starts with creating and communicating your vision. Vision inspires you, and others, to act. Find your niche and start to build your tribe by launching with a live event. Not everyone will “get you” or want/need what you have to offer. That’s ok. You can’t be all things, to all people. Branding is not about getting potential customers to pick you over the competition, it’s about being perceived as the only one that can solve your clients problem. Avoid the logo-in-a-box trap (no free biz cards from vistaprint please) and hire experts that will help you get your message out. When I created the Million Dollar Party Girl brand I hired a branding expert to create my logo, a lawyer to trademark it, a web designer to create my website, a PR rep to send out a press release, an editor for my book and a professional photog for a branding photo shoot. Within a year of that process I became a #1 best-selling author, radio host, blogger, created LynnTV and Visionista U, won 3 entrepreneurship awards and I’m a sought-after speaker. If you’re the best kept secret in your field, you’re playing too small. If you need help, class is in session at Visionista U.
What is one of your favorite quotes by someone that inspired you in some way?
Amelia Earhart is one of my role models. Did you know that in addition to being an Aviator she was a professor, author and clothing designer? Amelia Earhart said, “The only way to do it, is to do it.”
What is one of your quotes that you hope inspires others?
I have to go with the title of the first chapter of my book: “You’re not who everyone thinks you are.” I hope that inspires women to connect to their passion and purpose, and step into their power.
Lynn Bardowski is an award-winning entrepreneur, radio host and best selling author of Success Secrets of a Million Dollar Party Girl. She speaks to global audiences about entrepreneurship, vision and branding and is a resource for press, media and bloggers. Like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter. You may republish this article in full, as long as you list this paragraph and provide a link.