19 Oct 2018 – Nancy’s Notes & Anecdotes

Quote I’m pondering:

“Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go.”
Hermann Hesse

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A quote by Hermann Hesse

On my reading list:

Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts., by Brene Brown. This is one of those books that will become a standard in my coaching and consulting programs. I’ve read it through already and will re-read it because it is just that good. Pay particular attention to the chapter called Living into Our Values. If you haven’t yet done a core values exercise (where you select from a list of values), you’re in luck because this chapter will take you through that exercise and ask you to select 2 core values.

Core Values

I’ve done this exercise before and was asked to select 5. I thought that was hard because that list had 52 values. This time I was asked to select two. It takes a while, but wow, how powerful! What I love about the way Brene approaches this are the prompts and questions that help you understand where you really live those values and what to do if you see yourself in conflict with them. From page 190 in the book: “Ask yourself: Does this define me? Is this who I am at my best? Is this a filter that I use to make hard decisions?”

My values are connection and creativity. I see those everywhere I look and I am most productive and happiest when I can easily identify how a project, a conversation, or a quiet moment embodies those two values. And on the flip side I get really uncomfortable when I sense a lack of connection and creativity. Good news, though– Brene Brown provides some great insight on what to do to work through that discomfort.

I’d love to hear what your core values are! When you take the assessment, let me know here.

Meetings this week:

This week I had the pleasure of meeting with students from Rollins College through a special program called Immersion that is specifically designed to give students a real world experience with community organizations and leaders and business professionals. My staff and I told them about why and how women owned businesses get certified. We shared inspirational examples of successful and innovative businesses who we’ve helped and worked with in the past 15+ years.

Rollins College through a special program called Immersion

I shared a recent story told to me by a woman business owner who applied for a loan at her local bank. The loan was approved and the bank officer called her home to let her know. Her husband answered the phone and said he did not know that she had applied for a loan. The bank officer, a woman (!) then proceeded to tell her husband all about the loan and terms under the pretext that “he should know about his wife’s business.”

The business owner went to the bank the next day, relayed the story to the bank manager and expressed her disappointment and outrage to the loan officer and closed her accounts. The moral of the story– I told the students– is that things are still not equal between men and women business owners. That is why we have organizations like WBENC and ours, a Regional Partner Organization of Women’s Business Enterprise National Council to help level the playing field.

I was excited about the enthusiasm and participation from the group. One young man by the name of Sebastian impressed me very much – he asked very simply what men could do to address these disparities: way to to go Sebastian! I was so impressed at his willingness to not only step in, but to also recognize and volunteer to be a part of the solution!

Have you witnessed this kind of example? I’d love to celebrate these types of stories – please do share here.

Ideas I’m Noodling…

More from Brene Brown’s work– “the story I’m telling myself” — how many times do we assume/make up/really believe a story that is in our head? A story that we make up to understand something that happened? The truth is that most of the time the story is just wrong. Really wrong. The solution? Ask the person for an explanation. Brene Brown and her team have a phrase that I will be adopting:

“The story I’m making up is….”

Then they let the other person respond. Try this out — you’ll be as surprised as I was at how much BS we make up and let become true because once the story starts it takes on a life of its own.

I’m following…

Jake Merriman. Listen to his powerful interview about “abundant relationships, abundance in general, the future of humanity, and the role of love and trust in business” with Michelle Villalobos called Awaken Your Inner Superstar episode #55.

I’m Celebrating…

Good old fashioned conversations and vulnerability. Admitting I’m scared and I need help is not easy for me. Accepting help is teaching me grace and compassion. One very important person in my life asked me “how do you feel when I ask you for help?” I quickly responded – “Honored that you asked me. Grateful that you trust me. Happy that I can show you how much you mean to me.”

She smiled when I told her those things and then very softly and wisely said: “Exactly. Why would you deny me those same feelings?” Ahhh, grace and compassion. And as Brene Brown would say, my core value of connection is tucked right in there…


In case you missed them, you can catch up here. I hope you’ll find ideas that spur your imagination and creativity to help propel you forward on your adventure.
Nancy Allen


G. Nancy Allen is an international speaker, coach, consultant and expert on women’s business issues. Nancy has over 30 years of experience helping small business owners at all stages of growth. As President and CEO of WBDC Florida/Her Company Incorporated, Nancy manages and leads an incredible team of staff, sponsors, partners and women business leaders who are dedicated to certifying, connecting and championing women in business. Nancy has been recognized for her work on behalf of women in business through numerous prestigious awards: -Nancy was recently honored by the International Career and Business Alliance (ICABA) as one of South Florida’s 100 most accomplished Caribbean Americans. She is especially proud of this award because it highlights her heritage as well as her professional accomplishments. -Nancy is the recipient of the World Women Leadership Achievement Award from the World Women Leadership Congress -Nancy is also the proud recipient of the Association Marketing Award from Women in ECommerce. -Most recently Nancy was named Honorary Ambassador of Cascais, Portugal by the Ambassador’s Club of the Industry Sector of Cascais and the Estoril Coast. Nancy’s personal motto is Connections, Creativity and Courage in all endeavors. She holds a Master’s Degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS, 1982). She was born in Haiti and raised in South Florida. Nancy is bi-lingual in English and French and is fluent in Spanish and Creole.