I suppose I could be more gracious, but the welcome by the chapter’s uber-perky president was extremely annoying, and I said so in my note-taking.

“Valerie looks and sounds like doing a – is that our benchmark now?”

It’s typical for a panel discussion to have one great speaker who outshines the other mediocre ones. The NAWBO Day panel was no exception. , CEO of the popular was simply brilliant. She spoke about the ten best practices for business success:

1. Work your passion
2. Support from family and friends
3. Treat failure as an opportunity
4. Run cash flow each week and watch it
5. Slow to hire fast to fire
6. Under-promise – over deliver (especially to investors)
7. Work on your business not in it
8. Create your own niche in the marketplace
9. Treat your employees at least as well as your customers
10. Develop next generation of leaders from your own organization

It’s not that I haven’t heard this wisdom before; it was just that I needed to hear it again. I’m a furious note-taker; I captured all ten points on the same sheet of paper where I wrote my snotty SNL crack. That’s when my table neighbor asked to see my notes… uh oh– busted!

Even if you’re not a business owner, every point is a lesson to be used in everyday life. Here’s my list of the ten best practices for meaningful living:

1. Live your life with enthusiasm
2. Draw on the strength of loved ones
3. Pick yourself up after disappointment
4. Create a budget and stick to it
5. Choose your friends wisely
6. Don’t just talk about it, do it
7. Pay attention to the bigger picture
8. Be yourself
9. Never raise your voice to someone you love
10. Set a good example


Raise the little girls.
Be the first to teach them beauty,
that they may honor
the light in themselves
over the faces in magazines.

Be the first to teach them affection,
that they may seek companionship
without settling for attention.
Be the first to teach them courage,
that they may speak boldly,
without need for aggression.

Be the first to teach them independence,
that they may know themselves
without the influence of others.

Be the first to teach them
Your perfect love,
that they may share their lives,
their talents, and their wisdom
without sacrificing themselves.
Raise inspiring women.



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