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This is your chance to share your thoughts on women in business, networking, etc. Start your own post or comment on a member's thoughts. This is a great forum for sharing and learning from one another.
  • 03/28/2018 9:36 AM | Deleted user
    By Donna Gould, Founder & Chief Storyteller, Open Heart Creative

    Networking is a powerful tool for building professional relationships and strategic partnerships. Like all successful business endeavors, getting the best result takes time, effort, and a clear understanding of the possible pitfalls. 

    Here are five common networking mistakes and tips for how to avoid them:

    1 – Thinking You Know Everyone

    Cultivating relationships with people you know is vital, but making new connections can result in gaining valuable business insights in addition to generating leads. Look for opportunities to stretch beyond your current circle of colleagues. At BCPWN’s Work the Room, you can simultaneously learn from the experiences of people you’ve just met and find out if you have common services, interests, or needs.

    2 – Taking Without Giving

    Thinking only about what’s in it for you is arguably one of the biggest networking faux pas. Instead of launching onto your sales pitch right off the bat, focus on getting to know your new contact. Ask questions to discover what services or support you can provide for them. When you go the extra mile for someone else, they are far more likely to reciprocate when you ask for a favor or referral down the road.


    3 – Not Being Specific

    In order to get the most out of networking, you need to make sure people understand what you do, what makes your product or service special, and why they should refer you. The more specific you are, the easier it will be for new contacts to ask questions and determine how they can help.

    4 – Limiting the Playing Field

    If you limit your networking to professional groups or industry events, you may be short changing yourself. Be open to the possibility of making a business connection any time you step out the door. Strike up a conversation with someone while waiting in line or in the elevator, and you may be surprised to find they know the perfect vendor or job candidate.

    5 – Forgetting to Say Thank You

    We all know follow-up is essential to effective networking. But it’s easy to overlook the importance of showing gratitude to new contacts for sharing their time and resources, regardless of whether or not you came away with a referral. Sending a simple thank you note lets others know you appreciate them and their ideas, and lays the groundwork for building meaningful business relationships that provide genuine value.




  • 03/28/2018 9:33 AM | Deleted user
    by Beth Donalds: The Business Doctor

    Despite repeated warnings from the IRS, taxpayers continue to fall victim to this scam: Criminals claiming to be IRS officials call and demand payment of a bogus tax bill, conning victims into providing personal information and sending cash.

    To date, taxpayers have collectively paid over $23 million to scammers. With tax season in full swing, here is what you need to know to avoid becoming a victim:

    Callers use scare tactics to intimidate and bully a victim into paying. They may threaten to arrest, deport or revoke the license of their victim.

    Scammers alter caller ID to make it look like the IRS or another agency is calling.

    Cons make it look official, often providing an actual IRS address where the victim is instructed to mail a payment receipt. Others use fake IRS documents or official IRS letterhead in emails or regular mail.

    The IRS will not call you to demand immediate payment. If you owe taxes, the IRS will first send you a bill in the mail. They will never demand that you pay your taxes a certain way or ask for your credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

    Don’t be fooled! To report a scam call, contact the U.S.Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) using the IRSImpersonation Scam Reporting webpage or call 800-366-4484.

  • 03/21/2018 9:06 AM | Deleted user

    As many of you know, one way we learn about what inspires our members and helps drive their career success is our monthly Member Spotlight email.This month we're adding the feature to our blog!

    We're excited to hear from Kirsten Bunch, Founder of The Changemaker Mentorship, who helps women start nonprofits, foundations, socially focused businesses and other "changemaking" initiatives. She's also writing a book!

    What is your networking philosophy or best tip to share with the group?

    Get out and meet new people, even when you don't feel like it. Don't ever cancel a networking opportunity or just not show up, unless you have a really good reason. Listen without judgement and ask questions. Be interested instead of interesting.

    What is some of the best career advice you've been given?

    If your job or career doesn't feel right, change it. If your heart is pulling you in another direction, don't let fear keep you from exploring it.

    What are the words you work by (or what is your motto when it comes to the way you approach your career)?

    I'm in the business of making our communities healthy, safer and more just. I know I am on the right career path when my clients want to create a better world as much, if not more, than I do.

    What are your hobbies and interests outside of your job?

    I play roller derby in order to give my brain a break from work. It takes a lot of focus and is completely exhausting!

    Where do you find the most inspiration?

    In my clients. They come to me with ideas to change their communities and I am floored every day by what they are able to accomplish.

    Do you have a favorite software system or app that helps you in your business that you would like to share with the group?

    I love Canva because I can create good looking marketing material without spending tons of money. Also, Calendly makes it easy for my clients to book time with me.

    Click here to learn more about Kirsten and The Changemaker Mentorship. Follow Kirsten's Facebook Group to find out how you can be part of her upcoming book launch; inspiring successful women to give back to their communities in a powerful way.

    Members in good standing who also wish to be profiled can take this short survey. 


    Mary E. Adams
    Executive Director, BCPWN

  • 03/14/2018 1:22 PM | Deleted user

    by Jill Eras, MS, MFT

    We all dream – whether or not we remember, this phenomenon is one we all share. Have you ever wondered why? Dreams have a profound and sacred purpose in our lives, indeed, they are gifts given to us night after night because they are our teachers and because we are loved. Each dream is designed by your own psyche (soul) to teach you about you in your own language. Our bodies connect to our souls through the feelings and experience of dreams – we learn how to decipher our own unique “road map” by thoroughly and consciously relating to our dreams. When we value the possibility to grow through engaging our dreams, the process begins almost immediately.

    Here are some tips to jumpstart your dream life:

    1. Keep a clean and orderly sleep space.
    2. Have a bedtime routine that includes a predictable bedtime, soothing sleep aides such as aromatherapy or music, and screen-free downtime.
    3. Limit caffeine and alcohol.
    4. Keep a journal or voice recorder handy so that you can quickly scribble the memory of dreams as you awake each day.
    5. Most importantly: set your intention to remember your dreams.

    Looking forward to the opportunity to hear about some of your dreams when we meet on April 6th! This is my invitation to step into the world of your dreams; what you will learn about you will enthrall. - Jill

  • 02/28/2018 3:55 PM | Deleted user

    The recent tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School took on special significance for the people in Bergen County. Alyssa Alhadeff, one of the 17 victims, and her family used to live in Woodcliff Lake. And many of us know other students and families from Parkland, Florida.  

    Over the weekend, my colleague’s niece, Ruby, was on a TV news segment, along with her classmate. Both girls attend MSD and retold their experiences. Both girls are also using their creativity and their connections to raise money and help the community rebuild. I am inspired by all the powerful voices of change, coming from the students and faculty at MSD.

    Ruby and her sister Peri, another Parkland student, are also performers at Broadway Bound, a woman owned business in Coral Springs. For those of us who happen to be in South Florida on March 9th, or wish to contribute, Broadway Bound is performing a tribute concert to the students and staff of MSD.

    And here in Bergen County, Alyssa’s family and friends will be celebrating her life and “all the children of our community” at Superdome Sports on March 18th, with an evening of sports, activities, music and dance.

    Through our connections, our creativity, our voices and our contributions, together we can all be #MSDSTRONG.

  • 02/28/2018 3:46 PM | Deleted user
    The idea of negotiating can be intimidating. As consumers, we have been trained to pay the price marked on goods or services without question. If we feel the price is too high, we abandon the sale and look for cheaper options. But we have the option of asking for a lower price…so why don’t we? Because it makes us uncomfortable ... Because we are embarrassed ... Because we don’t want anyone to think we can’t afford it!

    Get over it! Step outside your comfort zone...ask
    for a discount! Follow the “Rule of the 4 B’s”:

    Be Brave: Ask the question “Is that the best you can do? It’s a simple question to ask, and politely posing it to the right person is absolutely free. Put the ball in their court and see what they’ll do in the interest of winning your business.

    Be polite: It’s hard to resist a pleasant person with a positive disposition. Being kind and courteous  can net you discounts anywhere you wish to flash your pearly whites. Many times you can make someone’s day just by being nice to them – once you win them over, you’ll be surprised just how far they’ll go to help you out.

    Be Powerful: You have the money and they are selling a product. Before you interact with the sales person, settle on the maximum price you are willing to pay for your item and never exceed that price. Take control of the buying process.

    Be Green: Merchant credit card transaction fees can range from 2% to 5%. Offering to pay for your purchase in cash could easily save you money if  the vendor is able to slash these built-in fees from a cash-only sale. Hint: Ask to see the Manager.  The Manager knows the merchandise markup, and can discount instantly.

    The 1st time is the hardest...then you will never pay full price again!

  • 01/31/2018 3:53 PM | Mary Adams (Administrator)

    Do you ever feel like sometimes you have too much of yourself? I don't mean "me time", because goodness knows we don't have enough of that. I mean, all you hear is your own voice and the same ideas and methods for accomplishing your goals. 

    Even with a staff and others around me, it can be isolating and I remain in a rut. A close friend of mine who is a financial planner for a big firm approaches her business in a very entrepreneurial way. 

    Over the years she has said to me, why don't you get out from behind your desk? Go to lunch with someone in your network. Troll LinkedIn and reconnect with colleagues or create a new connection. Because I don't have time. Why don't you go to the gym at lunch time? I used to, but I am so overwhelmed right now. 

    I am more than a quarter through Arianna Huffington's book Thrive and she really gives it to me straight. You can't afford to ignore your body or to settle for status quo. She drills into being mindful - and not in a way that requires you to sit cross legged near a brook for 3 days. It becomes a part of everyday function. She likens these practices to recovery for athletes Huffington touches on the teachings of Carl Jung and archetypal dreamwork, which our BCPWN First Friday Luncheon speaker Jill Eras will delve into on March 2nd. Our connection to ourselves and to our network of colleagues, friends and family is essential. 

    For me, it is useful, critical even, to hear the advice and practices of others. What resonates with you? Share it with our community of women.

  • 12/21/2017 11:46 AM | Lisa Pisano (Administrator)

    With the New Year comes a clean slate and a time to contemplate.

    In the quiet of these early winter months, I like to carve out some time to reflect on how things went with my business for the year behind, and how I see things evolving, diverging or expanding in the year ahead.  I also try to take a good hard look at HOW I spent my time during the year – how much time was devoted to my business, my blog, my home, my volunteer commitments, my family and friends…and myself.

    Do things seem off balance? Or just right?

    Where is there room for improvement?

    What brings me most joy?

    Where and how can I do my best work for my clients and my community?

    These are questions I will let marinate internally over the next few weeks so that by late January, I can make better decisions about how to allocate my time for the year ahead.

    As a result, perhaps I’ll explore a new layer to my business. Reconnect with old friends and acquaintances I haven’t seen in years.  Reignite my blog with a fresh look and more regular, updated content.

    There was a time when the doldrums of winter would make me sullen but these days, I’ve learned to embrace the quiet and stillness of the season to further invigorate my plans for the rest of the year ahead.

    How do you feel about the early winter months? And how do you use them to plan for your year ahead?

    Wishing you an inspiring Winter!


    Lisa Pisano is the President of Groupe a la Mode, LLC, a boutique Public Relations and Social Marketing firm based in Bergen County. She blogs at http://momalamode.net Reach her at lisa@groupealamode.com

  • 11/19/2017 9:28 AM | Lisa Pisano (Administrator)

    Do you have a Passion Project?

    Some call it a “side hustle” if it tends to bring in income, but I think a hobby or pastime can qualify, too.

    Whether you play golf, knit, write novellas, garden or – in my case – bake, having a creative outlet away from your day-to-day work is a fantastic way to keep you vibrant, engaged and fulfilled in your work, and life. A passion project may also nurture relationships in your life, unlock a skill that you didn’t realize you have and enlighten you in unexpected ways.

    For me, baking chocolate biscotti has been a passion project this time of year since 2001.

    I was a young publicist working in Corporate Marketing at Liz Claiborne Inc. and it was the beginning of the holiday season.  I struggled with what to “gift” to my boss and coworkers, which was a tall order, as fashion executives tended to have very specific taste. I was also told that “gifting up” was frowned upon in corporate culture.

    What to do?

    I Baked.

    Who can say no to an elegantly packaged box of homemade double chocolate biscotti? And there was no concern with “gifting up” since it was a box of baked goods that could have been easily shared with the team.

    That holiday season, more than one coworker came up to me to say, “These are so good….I’d pay you to make these for my own holiday baking needs.”

    And a seed was planted. As well as a passion project.

    I never really thought about launching a baking business. But that next holiday season, I did. LMD Biscotti Company was formed and word-of-mouth referrals propelled it forward.

    Over the next few years, at the holidays, LMD Biscotti Company sold at house parties, continued to flourish via word of mouth, and even provided hundreds of packaged baked goods at an AIG corporate party in NYC (for 2 years in a row)!

    Of course, there were a few years that LMD Biscotti Company turned the ovens off – when my mom was ill and when I was pregnant with my son and daughter. But the nice thing about a passion project is that you can just pick back up again and carry on where you left off.

    My biscotti business is fulfilling for me and allows me to work outside of my everyday format (seated, at a desk, on a computer) in a commercial kitchen, alongside my dad and bring joy to others in the form of a decadently sweet chocolate confection.

    I love what I do, and wholeheartedly believe that it shows in the product.

    For now, my passion project is tied solely to the holiday season and Valentine’s Day. But as I continue to network and as word-of-mouth picks up, I’m coming across new opportunities to consider taking LMD Biscotti to the next level.

    If you’d like to share in my passion project, you can learn more about LMD Biscotti Company here: http://momalamode.net/lmd-biscotti-co/

    Happy Holidays!

    Lisa Pisano

    Lisa Pisano is the President of Groupe a la Mode, LLC, a boutique Public Relations and Social Marketing firm based in Bergen County. Reach her at lisa@groupealamode.com

  • 10/23/2017 7:14 PM | Elizabeth Barnhard

    Oscar Wilde said imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness, but as a business owner, the copying of your products and services by others can hurt your sales and may hurt your reputation.  How do you protect the knowledge, ideas, innovations and brands that give you and your companies a competitive advantage?  If they are protected intellectual property, you will have legal rights to stop the copiers of your products and services.  The main types of intellectual property include patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets and trade dress.  We previously focused on trademarks in the post Business Assets You Do Not Want to Ignore, and we focused on patents in the post Necessity is the Mother of Invention.  Now we will focus on copyrights.

    What is a copyright?  In its broadest sense, a copyright protects creative expressions with our U.S. Constitution giving authors the exclusive right to their works for a limited time in Article 1, Section 8.  More specifically, copyrights give their owners the right to prevent the copying by others of original works of authorship that are fixed in a tangible medium of expression, including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works. 

    What can be copyrighted?  The work must be original and must be fixed in a tangible medium of expression.  Only a “minimum level of creativity” is required.  Examples of works that can be copyrighted include poems, manuscripts, paintings, photographs, sculptures, musical scores, movies, dance, jewelry designs, architectural works, computer software, source codes, apps, video games, company websites, and product manuals 

    Copyright does not protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation, although the way these things are expressed may be protected.  For example, a manufacturing method cannot be protected by copyright, but an instruction manual describing how to perform the manufacturing method could be protected by copyright.  However, if there was a discovery that improved the manufacturing method in a new way, then the improved manufacturing method could be protected by a patent, which would provide an additional type of intellectual property protection.

    The owner of the copyright can be an individual author, co-authors if it is a joint work, an employer if the work is a work made for hire, or the assignee where the owner has assigned the rights in the copyright to the assignee.

    How long does a copyright last?  A very long time.  For a work authored by an individual, the term of the copyright is for the life of the individual plus 70 years.  For a work authored by joint authors, the term of the copyright is for the life of the last surviving author plus 70 years.  For a work for hire, the term of the copyright is 95 years from the date of publication or 120 years from the date of creation, whichever is shorter.  Contrast that with patents, which have a term of 20 years from the date of filing.  When the copyright expires, the work enters the public domain and is available for anyone to use.


    The long copyright term means that valuable copyrights can provide revenue to a copyright owner’s heirs.  Over the years copyright heirs have gone to court to sue infringers of their inherited copyrights.  For example, in 2014, Marvin Gaye’s heirs sued Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams, rapper T.I and their record company claiming that the song “Blurred Lines” infringed Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up”.  A jury found Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams liable for copyright infringement and awarded millions of dollars in damages and 50% of future royalties to Marvin Gaye’s heirs.  The trial court judgment has been appealed.

    Do I have to register for a copyright?  No, a copyright is secured automatically upon creation when it is fixed for the first time in a copy or recording, such as a phonorecord (vinyl is back!).  Publication of your work is not required to register for copyright.  For example, you have written a book, but your manuscript is not published.  You can apply for a copyright registration for your unpublished manuscript.  You do not have to re-register when the work is published, although you can register the published edition, if desired.

    Why bother registering your work for a copyright?  There are several good reasons for doing so in the United States in order to maximize the copyright protection for your work.


    A certificate of registration can prove ownership because it creates a public record of key facts relating to the authorship and ownership of the claimed work.  Registration, which can be made at any time within the life of the copyright, establishes prima facie evidence of the validity of the copyright and the facts stated in the certificate when it is made before or within five years of publication. 

    You must have a copyright registration for a work made in the U.S. before you can sue an infringer for copying your work in U.S. courts.  When you obtain a copyright registration prior to infringement or within three months after publication of your work, then you, the copyright owner, are eligible for the court to award statutory damages, attorneys’ fees and costs, which can potentially amount to a significant award.


    Your copyright registration also permits you to establish a record with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)3 for protection against the importation of infringing copies of your copyrighted work.

    Is a copyright notice required on my work?  You are no longer required in the U.S. to put a copyright notice on your work, but doing so informs the public of your copyright and can also defeat the innocent infringement defense.  A copyright notice consists of three elements:


    (1) Symbol ©, the word “Copyright,” or the abbreviation “Copr.”


    (2) The year of first publication of the work

    (3) The name of the owner of copyright in the work


    Example: Leason Ellis LLP © 2017


    Remember, placing a copyright notice on a work is not a substitute for copyright registration.


    Protecting the knowledge, ideas, innovations and brands that give you and your companies a competitive advantage will add value to your business.  By working with an intellectual property attorney to obtain and protect your valuable intellectual property, you will have the options to generate revenue by selling these rights, licensing them to others, or using them as collateral to obtain financing.  You are creating business assets that you do not want to ignore.


    Want to know more?  I am here to answer your questions and help you recognize and protect your company’s valuable intellectual property assets.

    Elizabeth Barnhard

    Leason Ellis LLP


    (914) 821-3074



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