By The Grand Rapids Press
November 23, 2009, 6:09AM
GRAND RAPIDS – “Mommy Millionaire” author Kim Lavine said women business owners should capitalize on “perhaps the biggest entrepreneurial revolution this country has ever seen.”
Despite a struggling economy, now isn’t the time to cower in fear, said the Grand Haven Township woman who built a nearly $10 million business from her home.
“Forget all this talk about doom and gloom,” Lavine told dozens of area businesswomen at last week’s Women in Successful Enterprises expo at the Peninsular Club, 77 Monroe Center NW. “Everything is changing. Don’t confuse change with fear.”
Lavine is president of Mommy Millionaire Media and Grand Haven-based Green Daisy Inc., a company that began in 2001 with her Wuvit corn-filled therapy pillow and now licenses pajamas, pet accessories, stationery, lip balm and other products.
She is embarking on an international tour to promote her second book, “The Mommy Manifesto: How to Use Our Power to Think Big, Break Limitations and Achieve Success,” released in September and published by John Wiley & Sons Inc.
She said she is on a mission to kickstart a million new businesses in the U.S.
Lavine encourages women with solid business models to take advantage of $20 billion offered annually by affluent “angel investors,” many of whom are based in California’s Silicon Valley.
Write down an estimated start-up cost, multiply it by 10 and begin looking for cash, she advised.
“Those angels have a mandate to invest in women-owned businesses, and I want to see every one of you knocking on their doors and asking them for money,” Lavine said. “This is an historic time for women to connect with this capital.”
“Ninety percent of success is in your head. Tell yourself you are fabulous – and own it.”
According to Lavine, women are moving backward for the first time since the 1970s. While they are launching businesses at twice the rate of men, only 3 percent of the companies have revenues of $1 million or more, she said.
Women also are being downsized “disproportionately” in the recession, she said. Still, resentment isn’t a fruitful enterprise.
“Don’t get angry, get rich,” Lavine said.
Integral to Lavine’s game plan is using free, social media to promote products and services.
Resources such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter mustn’t be ignored, she said.
“You must Tweet today,” Lavine said. “The more you cast your net out, they’re more connections you’re going to make. It’s a numbers game.”
“You have to adapt your strategies.”