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NICE Initiative for Female Entrepreneurship White Paper 1: Intro

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Join the Journey for Change! Isn't it time you added tools to your toolbox and connected the dots? …

Join the Journey for Change! Isn't it time you added tools to your toolbox and connected the dots?

The NICE Initiative, based on my book, is about empowering other women to become better versions of themselves at work, to pursue entrepreneurship, and orchestrate change. My book addresses two timely topics on the minds of women from all walks of life and all geographical locations:
1. The psychological and practical aspects of entrepreneurship
2. How female entrepreneurs can better balance the proverbial seesaw of Me vs. We i.e. the craving for balance between humanity and technology.

Economics after all, is all about behavior, and the societal and geopolitical trends contributing to a behavior’s increase or decline.

My aim is to provide a series of white papers about my book, which is a blueprint for bridging the gap between aspiration(s) and achievement in today's entrepreneurial arena.

The NICE Initiative is a call to arms for women thinking there is a "right time" to be an entrepreneur! That's a myth! One needs to devote time/effort to accrue experience, tech savvy, and hone skills in a chosen field of study. But today's global market, social media transparency and open source technology, thought leadership and virtual mentorship opportunities, and cultural trends driving commerce have all converged, to set the stage. It’s a GREAT time to become an entrepreneur, either right away when finished school, or by pursuing a second revenue stream! Women in particular are unknowingly or knowingly positioning themselves to be linchpins. We CAN deploy meaningful disruptive innovation, especially but not necessarily, in the educational and healthcare sectors. Our mindset, innate skill set, contributions to the changing social/economic/political climates, historic and biological tendency to gravitate to those arenas has given us the tools and experience to connect the dots.

The push/pull to be busy vs. being productive is what drives us human beings to become entrepreneurs and orchestrate change. How? By our attempts to use technology, to do work that matters, and to promote change; educational, social, economic, and environmental change.

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  • 1. The NICE Initiative for Female Entrepreneurship: White Paper 1 An Introduction to Balancing Humanity and Technology November 18, 2013 By Penina Pearl Rybak MA/CCC-SLP, TSHH Founder/CEO Socially Speaking LLC Penina Pearl Rybak MA/CCC-SLP, TSHH, is the founder/CEO of Socially Speaking LLC, a boutique consulting firm. She is an educational technology consultant, pediatric speech-language pathologist specializing in Autism, and an Apple™ Technology expert and iPad Evangelist. Penina is a national/international professional speaker on the topics of social communication development and strategies, technology best practices re: iOS App integration into workflows and educational curricula for busy professionals, and psychological and practical tips for female entrepreneurs. She is the author of a book about psychological and practical aspects for today's professional woman. The NICE Reboot: How to Become a Better Female Entrepreneur- How to Balance Your Craving for Humanity & Technology in Today's Startup Culture will be soon be published by Maven House Press. Penina can be contacted on LinkedIn and Twitter: @PopGoesPenina. To learn more, visit her website: http://niceinitiative.com and other social media sites: The NICE Initiative for Female Entrepreneurship. * This white paper contains information that is both copyrighted by and the intellectual property of Penina Pearl Rybak, CEO Socially Speaking LLC, All Rights Reserved.
  • 2. “Entrepreneurship at its heart is aligning your purpose for being on earth with a business idea so compelling that you simply must do it, despite the fears that hold you back.” - Pamela Slim, Author: Escape from Cubicle Nation "The entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity." - Peter Drucker, Author: Innovation and Entrepreneurship About My Book: "For what is done or learned by one class of women becomes, by virtue of their common womanhood, the property of all women." - Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell “The impact of your work is the result of the balance you place on reacting to, learning from, and transcending teachers, critics and supporters.” - Brian Solis My book is about empowering other women to become better versions of themselves at work, to pursue entrepreneurship, and orchestrate change. My book addresses two timely topics on the minds of women from all walks of life and all geographical locations: 1. The psychological and practical aspects of entrepreneurship 2. How female entrepreneurs can better balance the proverbial seesaw of Me vs. We i.e. the craving for balance between humanity and technology. Economics after all, is all about behavior, and the societal and geopolitical
  • 3. trends contributing to a behavior’s increase or decline. My books provides a blueprint for bridging the gap between aspiration(s) and achievement by suggesting female entrepreneurs ask themselves three difficult questions. The answers to these questions then become the basis of both one’s business plan and Mission Statement: 1. What's my goal/purpose and the amount of desired impact on others? 2. What kind of resulting lifestyle do I want; psychologically, financially, and spiritually?  3. What is my Entrepreneurial Modus Operandi (M.O.) to help me achieve? • What's my Emotional Quotient (EQ) for interpersonal skills? • What's my Tech IQ re: productivity, time management, and outcome? At the end of the day, your reactions and actions at specific moments in time are what shape you; as a thinking human being, as a potential hero/heroine for others. You already have within you many tools to fuel your dreams, and help you bridge that gap between aspiration and achievement. The whole world's a stage, and we are all players in the greatest show on earth. You have one of the best seats in the house....what with social media, the Internet, and cheaper travel costs! All of which are making it easier than ever, to search for, and learn from heroes and heroines all over the globe. I hope you will attend the show, and keep your ticket as proof of purchase. Living a life of higher purpose means that you have actively chosen to purchase moments that define you..... and immortalize you in the eyes of those whose lives you touch.  About The NICE Initiative: “You can’t be that kid standing at the top of the water slide, overthinking it. You have to go down the chute.” - Tina Fey “Anything that is worth teaching can be presented in many different
  • 4. ways. These multiple ways can make use of our multiple intelligences” - Dr. Howard Gardner, Theory of Multiple Intelligences, 1983 The NICE Initiative is based on my book, The NICE Reboot: A Guide to Becoming a Better Female Entrepreneur-How to Balance Your Craving for Humanity & Technology in Today's Startup Culture. It is the process by which female entrepreneurs successfully and profitably make use of disruptive innovation in technology (social media, iPad use),  to orchestrate a legacy for humanity; socially and economically. Read my blog here. The NICE Initiative is a call to arms for women thinking there is a "right time" to be an entrepreneur! That's a myth! One needs to devote time/effort to accrue experience, tech savvy,  and hone skills in a chosen field of study. But today's global market, social media transparency and open source technology, thought leadership and virtual mentorship opportunities, and cultural trends driving commerce have all converged, to set the stage. It’s a GREAT time to become an entrepreneur, either right away when finished school, or by pursuing a second revenue stream! Women in particular are unknowingly or knowingly positioning themselves to be linchpins. We CAN deploy meaningful disruptive innovation, especially but not necessarily,  in the educational and healthcare sectors.  Our mindset, innate skill set, contributions to the changing social/economic/political climates, historic and biological tendency to gravitate to those arenas has given us the tools and experience to connect the dots. Isolationist innovation is out and collaborative synergy is in; something women intuitively understand and hone. Entrepreneurship has always been redefined as tech/ cultural/economic trends shift, but the rapidly increasing shifts means that it will become a more individualistic yet collaborative, fluid process and venue for more people, especially women to partake of…... About the Entrepreneurial Pursuit of a Legacy for Humanity:
  • 5. "If we don't change we don't grow. If we don't grow, we aren't really living". -Gail Sheehy “It’s profound, however, when an entrepreneur changes the arc of history by improving the way we educate our children”. -Evan Burfield, Cofounder of 1776, May 2013 When an entrepreneur starts his/her journey, it is important to consider the impact that journey, that Story, will have on other people’s Story. It is crucial to think about the one service/product that in essence becomes the entrepreneur’s “lightening in a bottle” and dream product. One that will affect every other endeavor and service that entrepreneur embarks on and provides. It is important to think about what an MVP (minimally viable product) really is.  For me, the “lightening in a bottle”, the driving force behind economic expansion and disruptive innovation is timing. Cognitive i.e. behavioral/deliberate timing that can be harnessed to promote change. Timing involves not only committing oneself to seeing a project through, but to using one’s Theory of Mind (perspective, empathy)  to continuously, and methodically adapt to one’s milieu. To alter one’s own actions, due to environmental changes that may be organic or behavioral in nature, resulting from changes in the topography and behavior of those in that ecosystem.  At the end of the day, we’re all struggling to harness time, make it work for us, and restructure The causality loop, i.e., action/reaction of our own choices/deeds, and its impact on our Story. That’s why it’s so crucial for female entrepreneurs to seek mentorship that has reverse mentorship opportunities. That’s why we all need to collaborate on doing work that matters. As I wrote in my book, the driving force behind economic expansion and disruptive
  • 6. innovation is timing. That is both the weapon an entrepreneur uses to positively exploit patterns, and the real dream product an entrepreneur shares with the world to help others do the same.  Think of this in terms of character development, the unfolding good vs. evil struggle, and subsequent behaviors of said characters, over a season of meticulously planned story arcs, portrayed on a weekly TV show. Everyone loves a good story. Stories are important because they provide patterns of a life lived, and patterns to embrace or reject, depending on the outcome. Stories give us concrete examples of a sequence of events, a way of problem solving, and a blueprint of a script,  for others to follow or deviate from, when embarking on their own script. Whether on a quest for truth, justice, or The American Dream, chances are “there’s a story for that”, embedded in a book, movie, TV show, or video game App. I confess I’m not into sports or gaming, yet I love sports movies (Remember the Titans, The Rookie) and used to love Myst and The Sims. Why? Because the elemental archetypes of any story boil down to one theme: Causality. The seesaw upon which action/reaction and good/evil is hinged. A great story arc involves and depicts the hero’s struggle to orchestrate change, for himself/herself or for others, by finding new ways to work and invoke the Causality Loop that life is based on. How one uses what life has thrown him/her, to effect change, makes for a hero, and makes for riveting reading. Think of the worlds of Buffy and Angel, created by master storyteller Joss Whedon. Think of the TV show Heroes, created by master visual digitalization guru Tim Kring. The Causality Loop being reconfigured so that a linear trajectory is not always the outcome, let alone the desired path. That’s what the internal struggle between good vs. evil is all about. This is what stories are really made of. This is why certain books sell and others disappear into the void, never to see the light of day, not even in the Pixel of Ink Emailed newsletter about discounted items in Amazon’s Kindle Store! At the end of the day, human beings are all struggling to harness time, make it work for us, and restructure The Causality Loop of our own choices/actions, and its impact on our Story. A great book i.e. story resonates with this struggle, and allows
  • 7. us to collectively tap into our memory banks, to recall similar events/ feelings we may have experienced, and how the outcomes aligned or didn’t. Ironically, the best stories grab our attention and Theory of Mind (empathy, perspective) from the start, in essence freezing time and allowing us to really harness it (more on that in future posts) by truly living in the moment. Why are stories so important? Because they connect us to our past, future, and to each other. They tap into our collective moral compasses, our quest to solve a problem, and our passion for life and living it. When wielded wisely, they can promote humanity and Thought Leadership to orchestrate change, even on a grand scale. If they don’t yet, they should. You can even do something about it to make it happen. “Reverse engineer your Story and fit your facts to the architecture, so that it’s real, so that it fits your plan, so that it works”. - Dan Lyons, Hubspot’s Inbound 2013 About the Entrepreneurial Need to Create Disruptive Innovation and Implement Technology: “Sometimes leadership is planting trees under whose shade you’ll never sit.” - Jennifer Granholm "There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure." - Colin Powell I have a formula which has kept me a productive, thinking, creative, and enthusiastic human being over the years:
  • 8. TECH = CREATIVITY > CHANGE = ENTREPRENEURSHIP What’s the difference between being busy and being productive? Jason Womack wrote about it for Entrepreneur. How does technology foster creativity? I just wrote about it in a recent Tumblr post: Act Like an Architect, Think Like an Artist Part 2. How does entrepreneurship come about through change, and subsequently promote change? I wrote about it in The Huffington Post, Turning Over a New Leaf. The push/pull to be busy vs. being productive is what drives us human beings to orchestrate change. How? By our attempts to use technology, to do work that matters, and to promote change; educational, social, economic, and environmental change. According to Clayton Christensen, “An innovation that is disruptive, allows a whole new population of consumers at the bottom of a market, access to a product or service that was historically only accessible to consumers with a lot of money or a lot of skill”. Like the smartphone. Like the Kindle™. Like the iPad®. The result? The Technology Revolution has officially intersected with the Entrepreneurial Revolution and even spawned its sibling, the Social Technology Movement. It used to be that when we heard the word social, it brought to mind etiquette. Table manners and related stuff our grandparents tried to instill in us. Ways of doing things for, and interacting with, other people, which Anne Landers wrote about. Itemized actions we were graded on in preschool report cards, and maybe later on by a prospective date, especially a blind one! Then the word social became associated with communication, as in aspects re: appropriate conduct and behavior that we teach children in special education, particularly those with Autism. That's my background, which is why I named my boutique educational consulting company Socially Speaking LLC. Now the word social is being used in conjunction with technology i.e. social technology AKA social media. My Takeaways-Benefits of Social Technology Implementation: 1. Save time curating meaningful content and establishing yourself as a thought leader
  • 9. by using Mobile Apps to archive valuable data for later fodder/ access; Zite, Evernote, Pocket, Pearltrees, Dropbox, Sugarsync, Notability, Explain Everything, and Tree Notepad. 2. Save money on marketing by repurposing content from previous posts/ ad campaigns using popular distribution styles: open source videos and weekly blogs. 3. Save effort on branding by showing a consistent "face" or message/theme provided online by your "digital avatar". Social media etiquette may differ across venues, but manners for the Digital Age are still in style. Technology is actually about humanity triumphing over machine. It's about prioritizing potential for artistic expression and change (which can promote progress) over stagnant behaviors and static thinking (which can derail progress). It's about sequentially highlighting for others the process to increase productivity and creativity. Both are needed by people interested in leaving a tangible or intangible legacy behind for the next generation. I'm a visual learner, who sees patterns all around me. That's why I advocate for technology. That's why I advocate for entrepreneurship. That's why I advocate for iPad integration into our misc. workflows. All three, separately and together, can help us learn things better; about ourselves and others. Do things better; for ourselves and others. Do that proverbial work/life balance better, and therefore become better versions of ourselves. About Becoming a Better Female Entrepreneur in Today’s Startup Culture: When interviewed for her 2013 Glamour lifetime achievement award, Barbara Streisand gave 5 tips worth remembering, which I will interpret for female entrepreneurs using my NICE lens:
  • 10. 1. “Find your passion, what you love to do”. Advice for starting your business: Your startup venture will not succeed because of an infusion of venture capital. It will succeed over time, because of the regular infusions of passion that fuels you to try new things and try harder to make things work. 2. “Trust your instincts”. Advice for scaling your business: You will need to heed that inner voice, to know when to bootstrap and when to accept venture capital. When to get mentored and when to discard one who is holding you back. You will learn who your true friends and supporters are. You will learn which trend to follow or ignore; economical, technological, or social. 3. “Stay true to yourself”. Advice for branding your business: Get to know yourself first, before offering your service/product to others. What is your learning style? Your communication style? Your unique skill set? Your areas of weakness? Be genuine and transparent, and change behavior for the purpose of increased productivity, not authenticity. Your core values should be in your company’s  mission statement and carry through in all endeavors. Your marketing message and style should be consistent i.e. the same ”face” or theme provided by your “digital avatar” online, and reflected across all your social media channels.  4. “Don’t Fear Your Self-Doubt”. Advice for providing thought leadership through your business: Don’t be afraid to share what you know with others, to help others get where you are now. Don’t think of it as helping the competition. Thought leadership is about collectively influencing others to help you promote change. So step up to the plate and be heard. Voice your ideas and opinions, and join in the conversation. Provide meaningful content online via social technology, especially blogs and videos. Hone your public speaking skills and visibility. Speak at conferences and industry trade shows. This great blogpost by Jay Baer can help. My take on it from my Tumblr post last week can too. You can access it here.  5. “Take Risks and Don’t Stand on the Sidelines”. Advice for entrepreneurs
  • 11. looking to provide a legacy through your business: Embed philanthropy and social entrepreneurship into the DNA of your business plan as soon as possible. Do it wisely. Martin Zwilling’s blogposts can help, such as this one. Time is short, something I learned as a pediatric speech therapist/Autism Specialist with a limited amount of time to use for the “teachable moment”. Planning goals and execution of plans matter, which I learned from reading about that  Helen Keller defining moment where she signs w-a-te-r into her teacher Anne Sullivan’s waiting hand. Time waits for no one and nothing, something that really hit home, when I lost my best friend and mentor to breast cancer last year, and spoke at her unveiling at the cemetery, this past Sunday. I was reminded of a recent deeply moving blogpost by social technology thought leader Brian Solis. He wrote, “Change happens to you and because of you. It is what perpetually happens next that defines your character and ultimately your legacy.” You can read his profound article here.  Final Words: “Visual Digitalization is the driving force behind new trends in social media, but at the end of the day, it’s finding the absurd in the human condition, and “sharing a moment” by collectively laughing about it, that spurns collective change, promotes content marketing, and gives the competitive, solitary, sometimes grueling nature of entrepreneurship its wings to be free, and be more in touch with humanity.” - Penina Rybak, Author: The NICE Reboot: How to Become a Better Female Entrepreneur The digital age is upon us and that means changing the way we think about disruptive innovation, entrepreneurship, and our work/life balance. I adore commercials, and am the nerdy viewer who actually watches them, despite my Verizon FIOS DVR que of taped shows. They inspire me, they fuel my productivity and creativity, and they make me laugh; all traits of being human. I especially adore the “Where’s Jeremy” T-Mobile ad, especially Day 3 ad where mom yells, “close an App!”. I think Jeremy definitely needs to close a few Apps and apologize profusely to his poor parents for giving them pounding headaches, for the bills, and for not indicating his whereabouts. It’s post 9-11, Jeremy, and post the Great Recession, Jeremy! I would think that staying frugal and connected
  • 12. would be important to you! Ladies (and gentlemen), start your engines! Learn new things, check off that to-do list of your life, and stay human and curious! It’s time to open those Apps, and become more tech savvy! Who knows what you could discover about yourself, and help others discover too….. For more information on my book click here: For more information on The NICE Initiative click here. * This white paper contains information that is both copyrighted by and the intellectual property of Penina Pearl Rybak, CEO Socially Speaking LLC, All Rights Reserved.