C-Suite Network™

Women In Business

‘No Plan B’ – The Making of an Unapologetically Ambitious CEO

Best Seller TV, the only show dedicated to covering today’s best-selling business books on C-Suite TV,  is announcing a new episode featuring Shellye Archambeau, author of Unapologetically Ambitious: Take Risks, Break Barriers, and Create Success On Your Own Terms.

Archambeau recalled how even as a high school student, her goal was to become a CEO. While she didn’t have a full understanding then about the implications of running a corporation, she set her goals and pursued them becoming one of the first African-American tech CEOs in Silicon Valley. Her book’s core message is to teach readers how to get what they want out of life – professionally and personally, by being intentional. The book shares strategies, approaches, tactics, and hacks on how to go about it, despite it being hard.

Archambeau relates that when people say someone is “ambitious,” they don’t necessarily mean it as a compliment. She knew she wanted the word “ambitious” in the title; however, the “unapologetic” part was inspired by her friends. They noted that women tend to apologize for everything. She adds, “Everyone deserves the right to be ambitious and nobody should have to apologize for it.”

She recognizes she used to be one of those “overapologizers” and had to work on that throughout her career, “because in business, it makes you look weak.” Women apologize, not because they did something wrong but because it just makes everything better. Archambeau adds, “We use it like salt, it just makes everything better.”

Achambeau has a definition for ambition. She says it’s about being intentional – something she learned along the way simply by listening. It’s about paying close attention and watching other successful people and follow their path, take in all that knowledge and build it into your own plan. She adds, “There’s a lot of good advice that comes down if you actually listen to it.”

Archambeau encourages people to find mentors because they don’t have to have a “formal role.” Mentors are people that can offer you advice, counsel, and perspective so you can make decisions and take risks. “It is not weakness to take help, it’s actually a strength.”

She also imparts great advice for readers: “You have to be strategic about what you’re doing” and “Ambition alone won’t get your where you need to be.”


All episodes of Best Seller TV air on C-Suite TV and are hosted by TV personality, Taryn Winter Brill.  

Best-selling author, speaker, and former Fortune 100 CMO Jeffrey Hayzlett created Best Seller TV to give top-tier business authors a forum for sharing thought-provoking insights, in-depth business analysis, and their compelling personal narratives.

“Shellye is a perfect example of what a great leader is. It’s all about listening, being strategic and working hard to achieve goals with as less distractions as possible,” Hayzlett said. “Her book serves as a reminder that, as a society, we need to de-stigmatize the word ‘ambition’ as a pejorative term, especially for women, but as something to strive for. I love having guests like Shellye who can challenge the norms of what great, unapologetic leadership looks like.”

For more information on TV episodes, visit www.csuiteold.c-suitenetwork.com/tv and for more information about the authors featured in Best Seller TV episodes, visit www.c-suitebookclub.com.

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Turning “Failure” Into a Learning Lesson

A few years ago, I had to deal with an opportunity that went awry in my business. It was disappointing, frustrating and complicated, to say the least. As I was going through it, I questioned my own ability to make clear decisions. I wondered how I missed some of the signs that perhaps others had seen. I spent too much time replaying every little detail. And I kept asking myself the question: Was I a failure?

Here’s the thing, I was working on a project that I so was extremely passionate and excited about that I allowed myself to be blinded by the questionable factors that were happening at the same time. I brushed it off, continued to do the work and, mind you, be successful in the process. I continued to forge on until I had to face the reality that the project was not going to find completion.

As a life coach, my job is to make sure my clients are reaching their goals in a positive and growth-filled way. I want to make sure any project I work on is going to be impactful to my audience. My message is clear — you can have the life of your dreams if you do the work and find optimism in your journey. Once I realized that for my now defunct project, I no longer felt like I had failed. I needed to find the learning lesson in my experience. I teach this to my clients every day; it was time I listened to my own advice.

Overcoming a “failure” (not a word I particularly like), isn’t easy. Here are a few steps to help you along in your process:

1. Acknowledge your “failure.” Allow yourself to say yes; give yourself the grace to recognize that your situation happened to you. This could be a difficult pill to swallow. You’re going to get questions from outsiders asking about details of your experience. It’s your choice about how much information to share. Always be honest with your responses, and be careful with oversharing.

2. Accept it. Moving through a failed situation is like moving through the grief process. There are a few stages: shock, anger, guilt and reflection followed by the upturn of rebuilding through it. You have to be able to step back and be okay with your experience in the end. Give yourself a few minutes a day to work through it, start with the bad thoughts, continue through the learning pieces and end with positive affirmations. I use this exercise with my clients and it helps tremendously.

3. Look for the positive lesson. What did you learn from your experience? What would you change or do differently? In my case, I had the opportunity to meet and network with some amazing new people with whom I will continue to cultivate relationships. I learned to be better at vetting business partners. I learned that regardless of this particular outcome, my passion for collaborating and creating will continue.

Often we see failure as a bad thing. But if we turn it around and find the learning experience in it, the situation can become a little easier to bear. I try to learn from all of my experiences, good or bad. That allows me to continue to grow and educate myself both personally and professionally.

Don’t beat yourself up too much. None of us are perfect, we all make mistakes. The most important thing is that we learn from them all.

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Building Credibility for the Win

Being an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart. It takes guts, a rock solid belief in yourself and patience. Success is not going to happen overnight, you’ve got to work. Hard. I started my coaching business three years ago. I floundered for a while with my message (too broad) because I wanted to help all the people. I switched gears a few times with regard to my niche (not specific enough) because I wanted to help all the people. You see the recurring theme here – I wanted to help all the people. The problem was, none of the people knew who I was (most of them still don’t!). So how was I supposed to get them to buy my coaching services and book me to speak at their events if I was an unknown?

I needed to get visible. I needed to build some credibility.

Over the last few years I’ve focused on every aspect of my business with one major thing in mind – building credibility by establishing myself as an expert in my field. You may be wondering how one does that – build credibility when they’re new in their business and have no idea where to start. Well, my friend, today is your lucky day because I’m gifting you with my top 5 tips for gaining credibility in your field. Hopefully this will help you accelerate your success and bring you clients!!

1. Network. Research and attend events in your area where your ideal client lives. Join associations. Get outside of your comfort zone and mingle with real people. Shake hands, pass business cards, talk yourself up like it’s nobody’s business. You are your greatest asset, use it.

2. Leverage Social Media. Get active in all of the social channels you hang out in. Create a Facebook Business Page and if it makes sense for your business, create a private Facebook Group for your followers. Join other groups that are relevant to your expertise and start building connections there. Over on Instagram and Twitter follow people/influencers you admire and build a relationship via likes, comments and direct messages. The lead time for client conversion is longer as opposed to in person networking, but the reach is greater.

3. Give it away for free. Seriously. Offer free coaching calls to anyone who will take one. Volunteer to speak for free at local events that are related to your business. Give away free advice, tips, and tools whenever you can. This shows your prospects you mean it when you tell them you’re there to help AND by providing useful information to them, you’re building the know, like, trust factor.

4. Contribute. If you write a blog (who doesn’t?) then you’re ahead of the curve. Reach out to publications and blogs that are in line with your message and offer to write articles and blog posts for them. Build a relationship with the editors so they promote your pieces. Become a go to authority for them. Then you can go write your book!

5. Be a Guest. This is one of my favorite things to do – being a guest on a podcast, video show or any kind of live media is so much fun! It allows you the opportunity to have a great conversation with a live person who is interested in your product or service. It showcases your expertise and gives the listener/viewer a flavor for your voice.

Credibility is so important when you’re building your personal and business brand. Everything I do when it comes to my brand includes my hashtag #WhyAmIYelling on it. In the last three years, I’ve partnered with some of the leading names in the media – Forbes, The TODAY Show, Thrive Global and HuffPost to name a few. I’ve been on a ton of podcasts, video and radio shows. I’m continually curating my network of experts, collaborators and mentors to help me continue to grow and expand my knowledge and business. And I wrote a book. Phew – that’s a lot!

And while some days it feels like I’m behind the curve on where I want to be with my level of success. The reality is that I’m exactly where I should be. So if you’re feeling like you’re not getting the results you want (yet), keep going. Stay focused on building your relationships and getting visible. You may think no one is noticing, but I can assure you, a lot of people are.

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Human Connection Wins Every Time

I started my entrepreneurial journey three years ago. After spending a few decades as a corporate worker bee, I realized that I wanted more for myself and my family. Clearly the obvious choice would be to quit my high paying, secure job to go back to school and start a business being a life coach. Several people thought I was crazy and others were supportive. I knew in my gut that I was making the right decision. But because I had no idea how to actually launch a business, my learning curve was – let’s just say – extended.

Starting a business is no joke. You need a lot of hutzpah to do it. You have to believe in yourself and your mission so completely, you’re basically willing to lay everything you have on the line to succeed. And if you’re like me, working out of your living room, well then, you have to figure out how to network the right way. In the beginning, I was spending a lot of time networking online, because everyone was talking about how easy it was to make money over the interwebs. I made “friends” from all over the world in networking groups and cultivated my own following on social media. It garnered me a few clients and semi-successful product launches. It wasn’t bringing in the big bucks that’s for sure.

In order to get my business moving and working in my favor, I had to get out of my lonely living room and start meeting people. So I attended conferences, set up coffee dates with other entrepreneurs, and created initiatives that encouraged human connection. It only took about a million mistakes to realized that I am more productive and much happier when I’m connecting and collaborating with real life people.

To say I’ve learned more in the last three years about myself and my abilities would be an understatement. You truly have no idea what you’re capable of until you have no choice but to confront your fears and failures in order to turn them into success. I also learned that my seemingly extroverted self is also a bit of an introvert. I don’t love walking into a room full of strangers and making small talk. But with the help of a daily mindset practice, I’ve been able to change that view. Now I veiw walking into a room as a clean slate so to speak. A chance to learn about people I may not have ever had the opportunity to meet if it wasn’t for my current situation. An opportunity to connect and collaborate with like minded individuals, a way to make my brand more visible and to help others do the same with theirs.

We’ve become a society dependent on technology, which is great in some cases. In others, not so much. For a while we let human connection fall by the wayside. We stayed glued to our phones, worried that we might miss something important. Meanwhile something more important was sitting right in front of us the whole time. Human Connection is the most important aspect in building a business. It allows you to maintain focus, get feedback and exchange ideas. So get out there! And if you’re feeling trepidation about promoting yourself and your business, give me a call. I’ll be your wing-woman, because Human Connection wins every time.

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Business and Marketing Secrets from the Founder of Indiegogo

Watch the full video, The Brains Behind It Ep 16, now!

About David Mandelbrot

David Mandelbrot became the CEO of Indiegogo in early 2016 after spending over two years as COO and SVP of Operations at the company.

Indiegogo is one of the world’s largest crowding funding sites, raising more than $950-million for projects in more than 223 countries and territories. Indiegogo assists in the crowdfunding campaigns through the whole product cycle — not just the fundraising, but also with the marketing, manufacture and retail, and that’s only possible through our strategic business partners.

“Indiegogo is a launchpad for entrepreneurial and creative ideas of every shape and size. There is no better place to validate, fund and launch your product. Hundreds of millions of dollars are raised each year on Indiegogo to enable entrepreneurs and creators to take their ideas from concept to launch.”

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Meet Lauretta Hayes

Lauretta is an entrepreneur with over 35 years of experience in the financial and management arena. She has demonstrated an incredible, innate talent in organizing and simplifying the complex mechanisms of business.

In our conversations, we discuss tactics to make more money, the importance of authenticity in leadership (rather than domination), as well as many other aspects of empowered and effective thinking for entrepreneurs.

Watch my interview with her here!

If you’d like to to learn more about your level of Peak Performance skills, go to http://masteryunderpressure.net or join ourFacebook community at Mastery Under Pressure Community.

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