Count Me In

Monday, August 08, 2011
By Sara Moore

According to Nell Merlino, CEO of the non-profit organization Count Me In, which helps mentor and grow female-owned businesses, women have to stop waiting for the world to change, and instead step out of line and make it happen. Here are Merlino’s top tips:

Start with the end in mind
Write down or cut out pictures of what you ultimately see for your business. The more specific you can be, the more likely you will be able to communicate your vision to others so they can help you get there.

Set specific, time-sensitive goals
First, write them down and post them where you can see them. Hone your unique definition of success by determining the actual numbers, dates, dollar amounts or other specific markers you want to achieve. This way, you’ll be able to mark incremental successes and celebrate when you’ve reached your ultimate goal. Vague goals produce vague results.

Expect and listen to resistance
Whenever you try to exchange and grow, you will undoubtedly experience resistance, fear and criticism from other people and from yourself. Anticipate this, listen to the concerns and have a strategy to incorporate the valid ones into your plans.

Get more opinions than your own
Having confidence is a huge asset, but you still need to test your ideas and plans with other people. There is great value in seeking advice from people with more experience, less experience, different backgrounds, and various dispositions. Trust your instincts and do some market research.

See your life as part of a bigger picture
You are rarely the only one in the world who wants the life you want or has the dreams you have. Access the wider world of people with your interests and goals and use this network for support, encouragement and an occasional kick in the pants.

Count Me In is behind the movement, Make Mine a Million $ Business. The ultimate goal is to get 1000 women business owners to the million dollar mark. Female entrepreneurs have a chance to take part in Philadelphia September 25-26, where they can win prizes including PR, professional coaching, access to financing, and more. Visit for more information.

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