The 7 Greatest Truths about Successful Women

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The 7 Greatest Truths About Successful Women is about rewriting the rulebook -- in business and in life. It is about understanding and embracing the strengths, and the weaknesses, that every woman possesses and about using these natural gifts to redefine success

In 1984, battling both cervical and breast cancer, and facing $500,000 in medical bills and a disintegrating marriage, Marion Luna Brem was desperate to find a way to support herself and her two young sons. With more ...

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Overview

The 7 Greatest Truths About Successful Women is about rewriting the rulebook -- in business and in life. It is about understanding and embracing the strengths, and the weaknesses, that every woman possesses and about using these natural gifts to redefine success

In 1984, battling both cervical and breast cancer, and facing $500,000 in medical bills and a disintegrating marriage, Marion Luna Brem was desperate to find a way to support herself and her two young sons. With more than a few strikes against her, she started knocking on doors, looking for a job. Seventeen doors later, the blunt-speaking manager of a car dealership in central Texas declared, "I've been thinking of hiring a broad." And with that invitation, Marion took her own first step on the road to financial independence, professional freedom, and personal joy.

Today, this "broad" owns two automobile dealerships, an advertising agency, and a stake in a local bank. She sits on the boards of several businesses, is active in many local and national organizations, and has been lauded in the press and by business groups for her accomplishments.

During the course of her remarkable rags-to-riches journey, Marion discovered within herself, and within the women she met along the way, what she calls the seven greatest truths -- characteristics to which she feels women can claim particular if not exclusive ownership. These attributes -- resiliency, nurturing, intuition, creativity, passion, self-value, and sensitivity -- have for too long been discounted or misunderstood in the business world.

Much more than a recounting of Marion's personal success, The 7 Greatest Truths About Successful Women is not about making a business plan or finding financing or networking your way to the top. It is about taking charge of your own life and work, living by your own rules, and achieving success on your own terms.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
In 1984, Marion Luna Brem was a single mom with two small boys. And that was the good news: Brem was also battling cervical and breast cancer; and was drowning in mounting debt. When she turned to selling, she was confronted by brick walls and slamming doors. But she persisted. These are the financial secrets of the award-winning corporate president and CEO.
Publishers Weekly
In 1984, Brem diagnosed with two types of cancer kept knocking at the doors of car dealerships until someone hired her. Today, as president and CEO of Love Chrysler, she is one of the most successful Latinas in business in the U.S. She explains the principles that sustained her even at her lowest (e.g., know your self-worth; be creative; be passionate about your work), offering numerous anecdotes about women who succeeded against tremendous odds. Readers will empathize with Brem, who speaks frankly and sensitively. This eminently inspiring book, reminiscent of Deborah Rosado Shaw's Dream Big, will find a wide audience. (Sept.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Brem, president and CEO of two automobile dealerships in Texas, was named one of Avon's Women of Enterprise in 2001. As a young mother, she overcame cancer and a divorce to achieve success in a field dominated by men. Here she argues that women's attributes as well as their shortcomings all conspire to make them adept at entrepreneurship. Brem details the seven unique strengths and weaknesses (or "truths") that she feels are key to women's personal and professional fulfillment, illustrating them with stories of contemporary women in the business world. Unfortunately, these truths are little more than clich s, e.g., women are nurturing and want to help while men want to fix problems. It's too bad that Brem didn't focus more on the details of her own inspirational story and how she made it to the top. Recommended primarily for those public libraries that have a "women in business" collection. Stacey Marien, American Univ., Washington, DC Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399147432
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 9/10/2001
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.72 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Read an Excerpt

The 7 Greatest Truths About Women, Chapter One

one

Who Wants to Be
Her Own Boss?

I've been called a survivor. In truth, I'm not living life to survive. I'm living life to thrive. Every day I celebrate what has been called my "indomitable spirit." I have overcome tremendous obstacles to realize my dreams and I feel inspired to help you do the same.

My accomplishments have been described as "incredible." They have been measured in revenues, numbers of employees, and even awards. But what can't be measured in any of us is passion, that certain fire in the heart that ignites courage. If you have a passion to lift up your life and the life of your family, I'm glad this book has joined us together.

My own struggles and successes have given me a certain perspective on women's strengths and weaknesses. Becoming aware of what they are is the first step we'll be taking together. It's a given. Unless you recognize and understand your strengths, you cannot maximize them. Unless you embrace your perceived weaknesses, you cannot minimize them or turn them to your advantage.

In this postfeminist era, I think it is safe to assume that the world at large accepts the fact that there are basic differences between men and women that go well beyond biology. My contention is that a woman's attributes as well as her shortcomings all conspire to make us, in general, more attuned to and adept at entrepreneurship than men.

But rest assured. This is not just another use-your-feminine-wiles book. (Batting your eyelashes went out with corsets and high-button shoes.) Nor is it a do-it-like-the-guys playbook. Though I do not blame men for writing the rules (considering they were the only ones playing the game for a long time), I believe we've been too intent on trying to do it "by the book." What women are coming to realize is that they can be the authors of their own book!

From high-tech to high-rise, in the following chapters you'll read numerous anything-is-possible tales, all of them a salute to the female entrepreneurial spirit. The stories of the dynamic women you'll meet in these pages reveal that there are many doors into the business world and many opportunities to grow and change in your present situation. For some of these women, their motivation came from a little voice inside that said, "I feel a calling to fill a need." For others, it was a calling to meet their own needs-simply to pay the bills or to combat boredom or to overcome a lack of fulfillment in their present jobs. Some wanted to earn respect. Some wanted to earn money. Most wanted to earn both.

Linda Denny, the national director for the Women's Market for ING Aetna Financial Services, has been in the business of recruiting women both as customers and agents. She has traveled around the country for more than two decades-almost like a traveling road show-not only to sell women retirement plans but also to sell them on the idea of having independent careers. Her research has revealed a fundamental difference in men and women when it comes to their career goals.

In her recruitment efforts, Ms. Denny has conducted controlled focus groups asking both men and women to identify what they respectively value in a job or career. According to her research, men's number one priority is how much money they can make. Women also claim that money is their first priority but it's not a matter of how much but how secure their paycheck will be.

But in light of our current economic and business climate, it's clear that there is no security where there is no control.

In my experience, control is about having the courage to set your own priorities-to balance your professional ambitions with your personal life.

I chose sales in a male-dominated industry as my career path. My rapid ascent from becoming the first saleswoman ever hired by that particular car dealership to the CEO of four businesses, including two car dealerships (one of which is the largest of its kind in the state of Texas), is a unique but not unusual story. I did not inherit money. I did not have any access to any "special programs." What I did have was the determination to pull myself up by my bootstraps, as they say in Texas.

Today my business enterprise is ranked high on the list of The Top 500 Women-Owned Businesses in America. I'm proud of my success but mostly I'm proud that I have been able to define my success. For me, earning money is not just about economic power. It's about having more choices, pride in accomplishment, flexibility, and freedom. It's about taking control of my life.

Two years ago I was honored to win the Avon Women of Enterprise Award, which is given to four women each year by the Avon Corporation. Because of this, I've had the privilege of meeting many of Avon's best. These include Vondell McKenzie, whose own story is well worth hearing.

As a child, Vondell witnessed her father's business literally go up in smoke. His auto repair shop, a product of his own entrepreneurial dream, was intentionally burned to the ground because he refused to relinquish the prime property on which it sat. She learned about courage firsthand, as she saw her father start over and rebuild the business.

As an adult, she married a loving man and together they raised their three children. Though she was looking forward to her husband's retirement, she was not looking forward to "pinching pennies." And so she started an Avon business. She went door to door asking her neighbors if they were interested in buying Avon products but she didn't stop there. She also asked them if they were interested in selling Avon products! She thus helped pioneer a new business concept for Avon, which is now part of their Leadership Program.

Not only did Vondell's Avon business bring the family the income they wanted once her husband retired, but he even got involved. For five years, until he died of cancer, he proudly took on the role as her chauffeur.

Today, Vondell finds comfort knowing that her flexible schedule made it possible for her to nurture her husband in his last months of illness while operating her business out of her home office. She listens to her inner voice as she looks to the future, but right now she's content to manage her $5.5 million Avon empire in memory of her husband.

I'll share more of my own story with you in the coming chapters: how I was also faced with an unexpected life change, and how a peek at death helped me realize that courage is not a gift granted to a few. As I discovered, courage is a decision! You have to wake up each morning with a simple declaration; "Today I'm going to be courageous."

We're afraid of rejection. We're afraid of the unknown. We're afraid of making fools of ourselves. Some of us may even be afraid of success. It takes courage not to be afraid.

The truth is that your fears are real. Corporations downsize. New businesses fail at an alarming rate. Unexpected circumstances upset even the best-laid plans. But through the experiences of the women in this book you'll discover a cache of resources-those special feminine attributes that you have at your disposal.

As a resourceful woman, you no longer have to curb your ambitions. It's time to cast off your own sense of limits and understand that you don't have to know everything to take the plunge. You can learn while doing. (I did. I still am.)

As an entrepreneur, I promise you will have the love and support of others just like you. Women have always been good at sharing and now they're sharing a whole lot more than casserole recipes. You won't be alone. You'll be in a community of women currently 9.1 million strong who are contributing almost $4 trillion to our economy! That's almost double what it was just twelve years ago. (Most of that growth has taken place in the last three years.) Much of the pioneering has been done. Much of the road has been paved. But there are still many miles to travel.

This book is about sharing tried-and-true recipes for success. But best of all, with the inspiration and practical guidance within its pages, you'll be able to decide on which ingredients are right for you. My sincerest wish is that you will be inspired to tap into your own creativity to sell yourself a life of financial independence, professional freedom, and personal joy.

—From The 7 Greatest Truths About Women by Marion Luna Brem. Copyright (c) September 2001, Putnam Pub Group, All Rights Reserved.

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Table of Contents

Part 1
1. Who Wants to Be Her Own Boss? 3
2. Ladies, Start Your Engines 10
Part 2
3. Resiliency 23
4. Nurturing 35
5. Intuition 54
6. Creativity 75
7. Passion 88
Part 3
8. Self-Value 107
9. Sensitivity 133
Part 4155
10. Leadership 161
11. Balance 183
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