By Aimee Lee Ball
Women own over 10 million businesses and employ more than 13 million people in this country, says Susan Sobbott, president of OPEN from American Express. OPEN helps women entrepreneurs through a program called Make Mine a Million $ Business. (It provides money via loans and lines of credit, as well as mentoring, marketing, and technology tools.) "Having a million-dollar mind-set includes setting a goal and being serious about it," says Sobbott. "A woman who has it can describe what she's doing succinctly and compellingly, having honed her focus so she can sell it to anyone, whether customer, creditor, or investor. Clarity of thinking is what allows you to cultivate believers who buy into your success." Sobbott's best advice:
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1. Figure out what only you can do, then get other people to do the rest. "Women tend to be good at multitasking but have trouble delegating, probably because of their sense of accountability and desire to be involved."
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2. Balance passion and profit. "You must advance your cause but have an appreciation for the bottom line. When couples say they're going to live on love, they can get very skinny."
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3. Success is driven in part by the ability to manage stress. "Perspective and detachment are critical, which means stepping back from a challenge, looking at it objectively, and figuring out how to make it work for you. If you're stressed, you won't be at the top of your game. Get a massage, read a book, take a walk, but remove yourself mentally from the situation. Instead of being mired in the problem, your energy needs to go to solving it."
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