Finding the right entrepreneurial community for you

Finding a women’s community that is just what you’re looking for can often take some time. To help you out, I’ve listed a few different online women’s communities that I think are fantastic.

Startup Princess—Startup Princess is a community where women can grow together while learning from one another. If you are looking for a fairy godmother (mentor), this is the place. The site is full of stories from women just like you. Features on the site include a blog, directory of women-owned businesses, videos and more. They recently featured me in a blog post. (Thanks, Kelly!)

Savor the Success—Here women come together and share trials and tribulations about business and life. You can connect with other members through blogs, message boards and events. For those living in the New York or California area, there are chapter events you can attend. Find a chapter near you! In addition to being a networking site, Savor the Success also features a PR Co-Op. Providing tools and references for you to use in expanding your business, this is a great resource.

Metromom—Their slogan is: Connecting Women. Creating Change. The site has a blog and hosts events for members. Events range from free calls to virtual and live events. They also have a marketplace where members can sell goods and post opportunities for other members. In addition to their free community, Metromom also has a paid membership club.

EMwomen—Based in Hot Springs, AR, this community focus is Empowering Tomorrow’s Leaders Today. You can upload your blog and join forums and special interest groups. The site also features recipes and cooking demonstrations. They also offer two levels for paying members.

Real You—(Of course I had to include our community.) The Real You community features success stories of women entrepreneurs, member brand boards, podcast interviews and updates, the Real You Chart Creator and more.Each Friday, I publish my tip of the week. Click here to get your weekly dose of inspiration!

Now go out and explore the wonderful world of women’s entrepreneurial communities!

Personal Branding - it's all in what it means to you

I'm president of a residential real estate franchise, Real Living. In the real estate industry, it has been common practice to use a photo as the centerpiece of an agent's personal brand. That's just the way it is. In most other businesses, the visualization of your personal brand is your name and title on the company's business card. The company's name and logo has been the visualization of both the corporate brand and yours.

Times are changing though. Today's employees come to the workplace expecting the ability to more thoroughly express their personal brands. That's because they've been doing it online since middle school through the social networking sites. It's truly part of who they are. To expect them to come into your workplace and inhabit a sterile cubicle is crazy. Allowing enough room for personal expression not only makes for a happier employer - but a more creative, productive work environment. Get some inspiration.

So embrace creativity in your office. Celebrate when an employee pins a special photo on her wall. Taking the time to know the personal side of the people you work with makes working together all the more worthwhile.