Women Influencing And Inspiring Other Women – Erica Diamond

Posted Thursday, October 14th, 2010. Filed Under Voices of wisdom

I just read about this fascinating and accomplished woman in the National Post (Canada) and I was inspired by her story and wanted to share it with you.

It is usually through our own experiences that we can share our stories with other women – speaking on topics that they can relate to and make them feel that they are not alone; there is a community out there to support and listen.

Erica Diamond is a 35-year-old mother of two and shares her journey through her blog: WomenOnTheFence. She is also the author of a book called, The 99 Things Women Wish They Knew Before…Starting Their Own Business. Erica has always had the entrepreneurial spirit – she started her first company at 24 years old – selling gifts emblazoned with corporate logos. She sold it seven years later to Bentley, the national bag and luggage chain. SHE WAS BURNT OUT!

With time to reflect and care for her two young children, she managed to write 3 short children’s books for her children alone, then began sharing her thoughts on the complexities of women’s lives: WomenOnTheFence blog. Her blog caught the attention of Glam Media, which approached her about syndicating it. It’s now a link on seven major sites geared to women.

The book was the result of a ‘chance’ meeting in the emergency room of Jewish General Hospital last fall. As I do not believe in coincidences–Erica began talking with this woman who had brought her daughter in worried she had H1N1 virus symptoms and Erica was concerned that her husband had the same thing. As it turned out both cases were negative but the larger result was the meeting of two women: Erica and Helen Georgaklis. They began to talk and found synergies between their work. Helen Georgaklis, founder of the 99 Series of self-help books, checked out Erica’s blog and got back to her quickly with an offer. It turned out they were looking for someone to write a book about women in business for their 99 Things series and asked if she was interested. The rest is history!

In this book, Erica states that one of the common failings in small business is proper pricing. I agree, both from personal experience and from what I see amongst women in the business world – WE TEND TO UNDERVALUE OUR WORTH. The gap between men and women is closing in based on a recent article I read – but it still exists. Men will ask and the worst case scenario is that they hear NO. Women undercut and undervalue themselves from the start and therefore ask for less, getting less.

My empowerment work is about this – A person that is empowered and true to themselves is able to speak their truth, follow their heart and know their value – when to say NO and when to say YES – set boundaries.

I was also interested in Erica’s views on Corporate Culture. As a young woman entrepreneur I see that she truly understands this concept. In her company she walked her talk. She led by example and thus was rewarded by her employees. She states, “Corporate culture always is worth the investment..I took my employees bowling, for drinks. One lunch hour, I brought in a masseuse. I did everything I could to make them feel appreciated. They’ll be more productive than someone disgruntled.”

Another topic that comes up is AS WOMEN CAN WE HAVE IT ALL? She says NO -“You can’t give 80 hours a week at work and 100% to your children. You may be struggling financially. You may have money but a dysfunctional marriage or an ailing parent. No perfect thing exists in this world…. the achievable target is balance and a sense of fulfillment”.

She feels that every women should wake up and have a purpose, something to call her own, separate from her husband, boyfriend and children.

She ends the article with saying, “We all have ups and downs. We’re all a work in progress. Being content from within, that’s having it all”.

I can say that I agree with her on these comments. Many women struggle with this idea of balance, what does it mean? It means different things to different people. Each person needs to find their truth – what makes sense to them. Do not compare yourself or look to your sister, sister-in-law, mother, girl friends, etc. Each person will have their own definition of balance. As for purpose, men and women struggle. If you sit down and write the things that make you most happy you will be led closer to your purpose. Your purpose is what makes you smile, makes you feel good and you know that you are making a difference, even if it is just for you. The likelihood is that others are benefitting as well.

I truly believe that whatever course you choose, keep in mind that the truest and most empowered state is being in the moment. If you are at work – be 100% at work and if that is a problem because there is an external issue on your mind, try little exercises to bring you back – like breathing, meditating, journaling – otherwise consider a mental health day/half-day and deal with the issue. Women take on so many roles, often that second shift – being the primary care giver and taking care of the house. When you are home with your children, let the office stay there. Be in the moment with your children and once they go to bed you can sit down and do a little work if need be.

As women, we need to learn to put ourselves first sometimes and what that means is learning to say NO – to your boss, colleague, your family members, etc. You are no good to others if your are burnt out. I believe that Erica will agree with that. Take care of yourself first and then you can give to others.

Enjoy your weekend.

All my love,

Sandra

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3 Responses to “Women Influencing And Inspiring Other Women – Erica Diamond”

  1. Erica Diamond on October 23rd, 2010 6:39 am

    Just found this! Wow thank you for this beautiful article! Erica

  2. Helen Georgaklis on October 23rd, 2010 8:50 am

    Thank you Sandra for sharing Erica’s story.

  3. Sandra on October 24th, 2010 9:12 pm

    You are welcome. It is great to share other woman making a difference – being an inspiration, motivating and empowering.

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