When Linda Zangrilli began volunteering almost three years ago with SCORE Bucks County, the local chapter of the nationwide mentoring organization for entrepreneurs, she instantly noticed something – her female mentees were facing drastically different challenges than their male counterparts.
Zangrilli found that women were more likely to undersell their product, not believing customers would be willing to pay what it’s actually worth. She also observed that many were crippled by the voice of their harsh inner critic, which had more negative things to say than good.
In order to bring female business owners together, promote a positive mindset and show them they’re not alone in their struggles, Zangrilli helped organize the inaugural SCORE Bucks County Women Building Businesses workshop in 2017, which took place at Parx Casino East and welcomed dozens of like-minded individuals for a morning of empowering discussion.
On Wednesday, June 19, Zangrilli and SCORE are doing it all again. The third annual workshop features 98.1 WOGL-FM personality Marilyn Russell as the keynote speaker, in addition to a slew of roundtable discussions hosted by successful area business owners.
The theme of this year’s event is “Calm Your Inner Critic and Build Your Dream,” an idea Russell will touch on during her address. The Philadelphia native has dominated the airwaves on radio stations for more than 25 years, and is currently the host of Frank & Marilyn in the Morning on 98.1 WOGL-FM and the station’s weekly “Remarkable Women” podcast, on which she interviews influential women from across the Delaware Valley.
“She started in radio sometime in the ‘90s, came up through a pretty male-dominated industry and achieved her mark,” Zangrilli said.
The Women Building Businesses workshop will commence with mingling and networking, followed by the presentation by Russell, who will then moderate a panel comprised of five prominent entrepreneurs.
“We think we have a power panel. We will ask them questions about how they achieved success,” Zangrilli said. “There’s going to be a lot of reality in it. They’re not going to sugarcoat their journey. The women who are in the audience will have an opportunity to not only listen to the questions and answers being moderated, they’ll have an opportunity to ask them questions.”
Panelists are Jen Crompton, creator and owner of FUEL Cycle Fitness; Maureen Borzacchiello, president and CEO of Creative Display Solutions; Karen Thompson, president and founder of LSL Brands; Susan Morris, founder of Susan Morris Coaching; and Sunny White, founder and CEO of Xavier Creative House.
After the panelists share their stories, which will spotlight the highs and lows experienced in their journeys to success, they’ll host six roundtable discussions, with attendees able to select two to participate in. Topics of the discussions include: confidence is the best outfit; building your personal brand; building your vision; getting good systems in place to manage your business; understanding the numbers of your business; and pricing – how to get what you’re worth, something Zangrilli said is a common concern among her mentees.
“They undersell themselves. They feel that, ‘Oh I can’t charge that much. Nobody will pay that,’” she said. “So we need to kind of give them a reality check and say, ‘If you are delivering the goods, if you are very accomplished, you’ve got degrees, you’ve got success behind you, you can charge what you’re worth.’”
In Zangrilli’s opinion, having women-focused events like this are critically important for both aspiring entrepreneurs and ones who have a few years under their belt, but are still trying to “make it big.”
“It gives you that networking, that interaction with other people in the same situation. And I think that is the best benefit. The connection you make with the person at your table that says something or connects you with somebody, sometimes it’s inadvertent, but you learn something from them that you can take on your journey,” she said. “If they approach this seminar with that open attitude, they’ll definitely walk away with something they can use in their journey. It’s going to be a really good event for anybody who’s not just in business, but trying to succeed wherever they are in life.”
If you go…
SCORE Bucks County’s third annual Women Building Businesses workshop takes place Wednesday, June 19, from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Parx Casino East, 2999 Street Road, Bensalem. Cost is $35 and includes continental breakfast and lunch. Visit buckscounty.score.org to learn more and to register.
Samantha Bambino can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org