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Women at Work: A positive attitude can drive you almost anywhere

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With numerous kids in myriad activities, sitting down and watching television is not a daily occurrence. However, I have found myself hooked on "Shark Tank." I can't seem to get enough of this show.

I am at a loss as to what exactly is so intriguing about it. Is it listening to the pitches made by wannabe entrepreneurs and business owners? Is it the comments and critiques made by the "sharks" and responses given? Or is it because I wish I would have come up with some of these ideas that seem so basic that now will lead to wealth?

The women, and men, that appear with their ideas for products and companies have me staring quizzically at the screen now and then. For instance, one woman was pitching shoes with interchangeable heels, another with interchangeable ribbons that hold the sole on your foot, and another had flip-flops with interchangeable straps across the top.

The shoe ideas leave me scratching my head, wondering why a consumer would pay $200 for a pair of shoes with different heels. But then I remember that I am not a "shoe person." So although I am happy with my $9.99 flip-flops that I can stretch out for two to three years, I know there are those who don't blink an eye at the cost or the concept.

The ideas and concepts pitched are all over the board. There have been life-saving devices, pet products, birthday party businesses, backpacks and everything in between.


The spiels given before the "sharks" begin to comment range from less than a minute to several minutes. Some are smooth and know the information requested of them, yet some are rough and full of hesitations, making them difficult to listen to. I find myself asking them, "why didn't you practice more and why don't you know your numbers"?

But the one thing that has stayed consistent with the women who receive offers from the "sharks" is their attitude. Some of the women have not been smooth and suave, but the smile never leaves their face, and when someone such as myself would be crying, they just politely say, "Thank you." Even better, a handful have turned down offers with smiles on their faces, strongly replying they will continue to go it on their own.

Having a fresh, positive outlook and attitude can drive you just about anywhere. Even if you financial brilliance and an idea that would make other inventors green with jealousy, without the right attitude, you won't get too far.

Yes, setbacks will happen. In fact, they should be expected. Setbacks, no matter how daunting, should be used an inspiration. Your success will not be determined by the number of setbacks you have, rather it will be determined by your attitude and how you overcome those setbacks.

Although this woman is not local, I would like to share a short about Sara Blakely, Spanx Founder. One of her first jobs was Goofy at Disney World, and she failed at it. When she decided the career of a lawyer was what she wanted, her first attempt at taking the LSATs was a failure, and so was her second. There goes law school.

One day, she put on a pair of leggings and cut the toe off so her feet would look better in an open toe shoe. Although she knew nothing about the fashion industry, she knew she was on to something good. With a positive attitude, knowing another failure or two would be on her plate, she just kept plugging away. Today, she is one of the world's youngest female billionaires.

So ladies, when all the cards seem to be falling down around you and you feel that it is nearly impossible to feel grateful and happy, keep the positive attitude and realize that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.

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