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Devin D. Thorpe
Devin Thorpe

Renowned Speaker Offers Tips To Women Entrepreneurs

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

As member of the Motivational Speakers Hall of Fame and a a Certified Speaking Professional, Pegine Echevarria is at the top of her game and the top of her industry. Her multi-million business, Team Pegine, contracts with both the world’s largest companies and governments. Pegine has provided me with some tips to help Latinas and other women succeed as entrepreneurs.

Last summer, I had the opportunity to have dinner with Pegine and later heard her speak. She isn’t ordinary. She isn’t average. She isn’t boring. She is, in her own words, “Feisty, Fearless, Focused, Fun.”

As the head of a multi-million dollar business and with such an track record as a speaker, I asked her for some insights for women who, like her, are running their own businesses or hoping to.

Here are the three tips she gave me:

  1. Exude confidence and credibility everywhere you go. You have 30 seconds to influence others. In business you must exude confidence and believe in yourself to buyers, investors, supporters and advisors. Act “as if.” Know that if you waver people will pick up on it immediately. Practice standing tall, speaking with a smile, asking questions. Always have five questions ready to ask anyone to engage them, assess them, and to be prepared to ask them for introductions, help or advice. Beware of relying on your woman owned status; to gain deals, you need more than that. Your confidence, credibility and competency to deliver is what closes deals.
  2. Be in control of you time and money. Have financial partners come to you. Know your banker, your accountant and your advisers. Know what different financial partners can offer you. Hold financial speed dating days. Invite 5 banks to pitch their services to you. Give them an idea of your business beforehand, inform them they will have 20 minutes and make sure they know that four other banks are coming that day. Have a panel of your advisers. Each should have questions that are important for you to know. Think Shark Tank for bankers/accountants/planners and you are the sharks. You might stay with your old bank or find a new one. Remember this is your business.
  3. Stay steady. Be focused on your company’s vision and mission. You direct your business and your career. The bottom line is that you are the driver and the determinator. You are the one who must take the big risks and be confident that you will thrive. It might take longer than you think, be harder than you think, however you have to think and believe that you can do it, you will do it and no one is going to stop you from doing it. Know people will advise you what to do. However, late at night when things go south (which happens), what happens will be 100 percent up to you. Just own that and be proud that you can do this.

Fortunately, there is more. On Thursday, February 18, 2016 at 2:00 Eastern, Echevarria will join me for a live discussion about these tips and more. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

More about Team Pegine:

Twitter: @PegineMotivateU

Team Pegine, Inc. is an award-winning leadership development, training and marketing firm that educates leaders in a diverse world through extraordinary interactive experiences. Team Pegine works with corporations and government as well as military and corporate leaders to engage, train, develop and market, both internally and externally, to women and multicultural leaders.

Pegine Echevarria, courtesy of Team Pegine

Pegine Echevarria, courtesy of Team Pegine

Echevarria’s bio:

Pegine is one of only 8 women and the only Latina inducted into the 58 member Motivational Speakers Hall of Fame (Tony Robbins and Jack Canfield are also inducted). Named 1 of the 100 Global Thought Leaders on Diversity and Inclusion by SHRM (The Society for Human Resource Management). www.Pegine.com is a leadership, inclusion success expert. Using interactive experiences both in her speeches and large scale live situational exercises, Pegine creates memorable lessons providing leaders techniques that they can use during high stress, high value moments, gaining influence and confidence in a diverse world. Her company, www.TeamPegine.com, was named North Florida’s #3 Fastest Growing Privately Owned Company. She is a Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Women in Business Champion of the Year. Hired by Fortune 500, government and the military, Pegine offers clients fresh ideas to leaders to engage diverse markets to help them achieve their goals, presenting her ideas vividly with unusual stories and metaphors, captivating listeners. Politicians, executive leaders, entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 executive hire her coaching service that include role players and live situational exercises to increase their effectiveness, charisma and confidence communicating in a diverse world. Companies use Team Pegine to engage and nurture diverse leaders. Pegine is one of fewer than 700 speakers worldwide to earn the designation of Certified Professional Speaker® less than 1% of professional speakers worldwide hold the designation. The DoD awarded her company the rarely given CPAR rating of excellence for contracts over one million dollars. Pegine thrives on big ideas and big productions. She designed, led and implemented a live simulation leadership cultural negotiation training exercise with 50 role players, 12 villages, with over 12,000 officers participating, from all branches of the military and 12 ally countries. Pegine holds an MSW in group and organizational behavior and has authored several books. Her book “Sometimes You Need to Kick Your Own Butt” was a SHRM Best Seller four years in a row. On the cover of Minority Business Entrepreneur as a “Women in Business Who Rocks” she is also quoted in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Hispanic Business Magazine.

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