The Holiday Gift Guide is Coming!

Halloween is upon us. The stores are full of pumpkin flavored everything, and pretty soon our schedules will be packed with holiday festivities and we’ll be ringing in 2020.

What a year it has been.

As we ramp into the holiday season, one of the things I really feel called to do it to find unique gifts and things that will enhance the holidays and make them just a tad bit more special.

I am lucky to work with so many passionate brilliant women entrepreneurs creating amazing things in the world. I relish supporting small businesses, especially those that are women and minority-run. But I also have discerning tastes. I love a beautifully made artisan leather bag as long as it’s as on-trend and as detailed as a Michael Kors, Kate Spade or Chloe. I love buying clean, natural beauty products and skincare, but it has to be as effective as Caudalie, Shishedo, or anything I might pick up at Sephora. And when it comes to food, don’t even get me started. I’ve been a cook and a culinary fan girl my entire life. If Ryan Gosling and Ina Garden were both eating in a restaurant and I could sit at one of their tables, I’d probably choose Ina’s table.

I should also mention, I have recently developed a dairy and egg allergy. (Which is tragic because my favorite food is cheese and my favorite meal is brunch). And several members of my family have multiple allergies, from gluten to nuts, and everything else you can think of. So I’ll also be featuring some of my favorite items and noting what is special about them for those of us who are a bit more conscious of our food.

I usually write about start-ups, sales, venture capital, and the trials and tribulations of being an early stage entrepreneur a lot. But I find myself now seeking a fun writing project for the 2019 holiday season. So it’s my pleasure to announce, Genevieve’s Holiday Gift Guide! The products in my holiday gift guide are all from small, women-founded and women run businesses. These items are incredibly worthy and gift-able, I myself would be thrilled to receive it, and proud to gift it. I have personally tried all these products myself, use them on a regular basis, recommend them all the time, wear them regularly, and they meet my discerning taste (if I do say so myself!)

Subscribe for updates below, and I’ll keep you chock full of fantastic gift ideas for the coming holiday season. You don’t have to be at a loss for what to buy, what to bring, or for whom. And if you’re looking for a recommendation that you’re not quite finding here in the guide, you can submit an email to me and I might be able to point you in the right direction.

How Much Traction Do You Actually Need?

Founders are often confused about how much traction they really need in order to attract their first round of funding. This workshop is for those of you who are:

  • Struggling with how to getting traction.

  • Getting told by investors that you “need more traction.”

  • Are thinking of raising a round of funding in the future and want to plan accordingly.

  • Are advising a business that is ready for growth and funding or helping someone else with their fundraising.

  • You just want to dive in and learn the ropes, this workshop is for you!

This workshop will cover the topic of what early stage investors look for in traction, how to design traction to mitigate risks, and the best approach to get early initial traction. Through this process you’ll gain even more insight into

What exactly a seed stage VC or angel finds most desirable in the types of companies we like to engage with and fund. (Traction is huge!)

We’ll open to Q&A from various founders and types of businesses so you can see how traction differs across types of companies.

We’ll also share about our unique funding model at FoundersPad.

You’ll have an opportunity to learn more about how to start gaining the right type of traction for your business!

Hip Hop, Business, Sales and Lies.


I love me some hip hop. If you see me out and about town with a pair of giant Sennheisers on my head, I’m probably listening to some Jay-Z, 2Pac, Run the Jewels or Nas.

The magnitude of whatever I’m trying to accomplish at any given moment is directly proportionate to the height of my heels and the volume of my music.

I started this habit back when I was raising venture capital for the first time. I felt completely in over my head and so I listened to a lot of hip hop because to be honest, it made me feel the way I needed to. Despite whatever odds were against me I could show up and lay it all out in the meeting, just like the hip hop artists I was gleaning inspiration from did on stage.

They were rapping on street corners and in underground clubs. I was pitching in elevators and empty conference rooms. Hustling to get in front of customers and investors, wearing down the soles of my stilettos. I felt like if we ever met, as different as we were, we’d get each other. I wasn’t selling crack, I didn’t have mouths to feed (except my own), and the streets weren’t nearly as mean to me as they were to Jay-Z (thank God), but I felt a kindred spirit in the lyrics.

I’d take solace in turning up the volume and letting the beat and the lyrics create the armor I needed to face whatever.

Growing your business is hard, increasing your sales is hard, laying it all out there to a customer, an investor, or a partner never gets easier.

Nor should it.

Because in the spirit of hip hop, we’re always pushing forward.

Read the rest of this over on Medium.

Entrepreneurship is a journey to yourself


Mary Kingsley was a British explorer in West Africa during the British Imperialism era. A time when women were more apt to sit in parlors in England sipping tea with other mild mannered ladies than head out into the wilds of Africa! She was responsible for cataloging wildlife and plants, and helped to shape europe's knowledge of African culture. And to top it off, all her adventures were solo, without a man to help or guide her - a move totally unheard of in the Victorian era.

Mary Kingsley was an adventurer and explorer, and the hunter of a dream - She wasn't just hunting for fish, looking at plants, and trying to understand a foreign and dangerous place. She was seeking her place in the world, and through it she discovered who she really was.

The adventures she was on, just like the adventure you are on, is the outward peril to the inner journey. Because entrepreneurship is ultimately a journey of the self and of the spirit.

Part of the journey is how we prepare, and the help we seek along the way. Lewis and Clark may have realized they were in over their heads in uncharted territory on their journey to the Pacific Ocean, until they met Sacagawea who served as their guide and interpreter on the remainder of their journey. (Fun fact: Sacagawea was adopted as a symbol of women's worth and independence during the women's suffrage movement).

These brave explorers weren't afraid to ask for the help they needed on their journey, and you should not be afraid of this either. 

Someone who knows the road ahead and can help you steer clear of obstacles and chart your course is invaluable, because when it comes to the adventure of entrepreneurship it's not about whether you will get lost and stuck, it's a matter of when, and what you'll do when it happens. If you're feeling a bit stuck on your journey and would like to have a conversation that will help you figure out what's blocking you and how best to move past it, you can schedule a time with me here. (This convo is free, although they are incredibly valuable and powerful so sometimes people offer to pay for them!)

When all this is said and done, you'll either reach the destination you set out for, you'll end up somewhere different, or you won't make it at all. But in the grand scheme of things Alan Alda leaves this wisdom for the inner explorer within you; "What you'll discover will be wonderful, because what you'll discover will be yourself."


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3 Simple, Impactful Ways to Give Some Love To Your Sales Pipeline (So it Can Love You Back!)


It’s really no big secret that I am a passionate believer in being a bit...shall we say forward about revenue growth? I’m not embarrassed, everybody always wants to dance around the topic. But for the entrepreneurs I work with, getting into the black (or really, the green) is about so much more than money.

  • You need revenue for validation that your product or service is something that your market really wants.
  • You need revenue so that you can make bigger minimum orders, decrease your costs, and increase your profits - the case of it takes money to make money.
  • A girl has got to eat, and pay her bills, and take care of her family. And of course all those shoes at Nordy’s are not going to buy themselves, come on now.
  • And what about this whole achieving your dreams dreams thing? How are you supposed to build your business into what you know it can (and should) be without revenue?

So this Valentine’s Day, instead of “treating yourself” to all the 50% off chocolate that’s going to be literally everywhere tomorrow (be strong…) think about how you could actually give some love to something that will LOVE YOU BACK. Because let’s be real, Russell Stover will not.

Based on the multitudes of entrepreneurs I work with, advise, mentor, talk to, internet stalk...I’ve boiled down sales problems to these three main areas. Almost all issues I see (including my own!) can usually be attributed to these three main things.

3 Simple, Impactful Ways to Give Real Lasting Love To Your Sales Pipeline (So it Can Love You Back!)

Want to build a beautiful mutually beneficial relationship with your sales pipeline that's based on mutual respect, admiration and support?

Or perhaps you just want your sales pipeline to text you back every once in a while. Or maybe you want it to not be so erratic and needy. Why can't it be more self sustaining? You can't get a night or weekend off to save your life! We're all for dedication and commitment, but a girl has needs after all. I digress...

1. Understanding the WHAT, but not knowing the HOW.

You guys are smart, passionate, driven, curious and motivated entrepreneurs. You’ve done your homework and have the wherewithal to know what you need to do. The WHAT is not the issue with you. Sure, you could use a bit of clarity and tweaking to get that honed in a bit tighter, but for the most part, you’re in the ballpark of understanding what needs to be done to grow your sales pipeline. It’s the HOW where things start to get sticky.

How do you increase your sales volume in a smart strategic way when you don’t have endless budget to throw at advertising or marketing, you can’t hire someone to help you, or shell out big bucks for access to whatever thing it is you are being told will open the client floodgates?

What to do about it:

To get a better handle on the How - you need to be clear on the What. 

What is the ONE THING that will make the single most impact to move you forward? The How often gets complicated because we’re not trying to address one thing, we’re trying to address several things all wrapped into one.

Oftentimes I find entrepreneurs trying to solve multiple problems at once. Which create one big tangly messy hard to solve problem composed of issues that are outside their control, combined with issues related to operations, issues related to funding, and issues related to ramping sales - and they think it’s all one problem, when in reality they are trying to solve 4-5 problems rolled into 1!

I mean, really. Dang girl. Slow down.

It’s also normal to find that some of the problems that make up the tangly mess are totally outside of their control and pointless to address. Some of the problems will solve themselves when the One Thing is's enough to confuse anybody.

Want more help with this process? Check out my (free) focused growth strategy sessions. 

2. Lack of Consistency

Even if you’re not as clear as you could be on the How, consistency in your marketing and sales can save you while you figure it out. But 95% of entrepreneurs lack consistency in growth and marketing related activities.

There are many reasons that we lack consistency. And they are all good reasons:

  • It’s really hard to be consistent when we are pressed for time.
  • It’s hard to follow-through when we have so much on our plates.
  • It’s hard to remain consistent when we are doing too many things (throwing spaghetti at the wall repeatedly gets really tiring after a while)
  • It’s hard to be consistent when we are always reinventing the wheel with our efforts.
  • Consistent effort is hard to justify when we aren’t seeing any results from our effort.

The main theme here is, we are too busy to be consistent. Again, I’ve totally been guilty of this one too. Almost all of these actually, that’s why now I recognize it when I see it! It’s so easy to back burner things when you have competing priorities and you’re not seeing any results produced from your efforts.

By the way, we all know the back burner is the business equivalent of the friend zone. Otherwise known as: "The land of never gonna happen." I'm just saying.

What to do about it:

The best thing to do is review all the activities that you’ve done in the past and ask yourself these two questions:

  1. What did you actually like doing?

  2. What actually works (or seems to work) to get you results?

The intersection between things you actually like doing (or dislike doing the least), and things that actually work to generate you results is where you should start.

Let’s say you find that the things that work and you like doing include writing a weekly blog post, sending an email blast, and doing a Facebook live “Behind the scenes” video of you in action doing your thing.

Now, block in some time on your calendar to actually write and schedule your posts and emails, and then decide when you plan your week when exactly you’ll do that Facebook live video and on what topic.

Next, get clear on what the Call To Action should be for all these things. It’s all well and good to put your great stuff out into the world, but offer some specific takeaway value, and make sure you invite people to take some action. If you don't invite it, they'll do nothing.

It's like dancing around the question of the second date. They'll never know you're up for it (or not up for it) unless you make it clear.

3. Not focusing on sales at all

This one seems like a no brainer. But you’d be surprised how much of your time is being eaten up by non revenue generating activities. Again, you're busy. You have competing priorities, the day gets away from you. There are many things that will keep you from focusing on sales. Trust me, again. I’ve been right there. (I wouldn't be able to speak to all this if I hadn't been there).

Many entrepreneurs spend a lot of time responding to things and putting out fires all day. And they don’t get much time to actually focus on generating revenue.

If increasing sales in your business is a priority, you should aim to spend 50%-75% of your time on sales related activities. Yep, you heard me.

However, this will never be sustainable if you don’t have help, if you’re spread too thin trying to troubleshoot, mired in client management or customer service, and are not building scalable and repeatable systems as you go.

What to do about it:

  1. Start small and consistent today. Let’s say you can dedicate 25% of your time a non negotiable time where you are going to be consistent, focused and dedicated to ramping up sales.

  2. Next, get a commitment from those around you to support you in that and to not pull you away.

  3. Hold aside a portion of the profit (you’ve got to have good margins of course) and as soon as you start to see some traction, begin to backfill or outsource some of the work that is distracting you, or hire an assistant and then increase your time to 50%.

  4. Continue this process until you hit 75% of your time.

  5. Once you are at 75%, systems should be your priority - You may even want to consider getting help to make sure your systems are solid. 

A note on when to hire a sales person.

Once the systems are in place, you can start thinking and planning for a sales person. A sales person will likely not build your systems for you (even if they say they can). They will need a strong system to work within to be successful. The most common reason that sales people flame out is a lack of systems (misaligned expectations is second).

Hiring a sales person is like splurging on a matchmaking service when you are still obsessing about your ex and spending the weekends with your two best friends Doritos and Netflix. Girl, you're not ready, get yourself in order first. 

Do you have that "just drank from a firehose" feeling? What next?

If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed just now, this is normal. Resist the urge to down another martini and opt into the next internet marketer's scheme to overnight success. (And to think, he was just a pizza boy yesterday!?)

That being said, head on down to the comments and tell me what you think about this article - I know you have an opinion.

Want to take action? There’s a few more things you can do now:

  1. If you are selling to businesses/corporate clients, I highly recommend you check out my freebie PDF guide. It'll get you on the right track with a scaleable system that you can put on rinse and repeat. You can download it here. (My popular online course, Roadmap to Revenue may also be a good fit for you as well. And you can complete it at your own pace.)

  2. Are you really feeling the heat? If the confusion and overwhelm is ramping, (and your revenues are not) you are not crazy. The struggle is real. You might benefit from some clarity, insight and focused strategy to help you stop running in circles and get some forward momentum you can execute. A free strategy session with me will help you there - check it out and see if it’s for you.


Dig Your Well Before You're Thirsty

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By the time you are really feeling the need for something to happen, it's often too late. 

I encounter this a lot in my work with entrepreneurs. It usually goes like this:

Someone casually puts me in touch with an entrepeneur that they think might be interested in "learning more" about demand generation. We find time for a phone chat or a coffee.

At this phone call or coffee meeting, I find out that they aren't actually needing insight or advice, they need help. Serious help. They're in big trouble. Sales are low, not ramping, or non-existent. Money is gone or almost gone, they tell me they are looking for ideas and potential solutions and interested in exploring their options.

At this point, more often than not they are well past the "needing ideas" stage.

What they are really feeling is the onset pain of the early stages of a dying business.

I've been in their shoes enough times myself to be able to see this very clearly now. They are looking for something quick, or a quantum leap. And I often hear things like,

"We just need 1 or two really solid clients and we'll be through this blip." 

"We've got a major contract right on the verge of closing that will carry us through this and get us to the next level, but it's just taking longer than we anticipated for it to come through."

Sound familiar? Yep, they are excuses.

I totally get it. I made these mistakes. I was right there. Want to know what happened? Those 1 or two really solid clients never materialized or the major contract right on the verge of closing never came to fruition. I was left wishing I'd filled my schedule with the smaller clients instead, regardless of what others told me.

Now these issues are much more common in B2B start-ups when you are selling higher-ticket, higher-touch. It's naturally a more complex sale, it takes longer, there's more at stake and the decision making process is less straightforward.

This is exactly why building a pipeline of lots of clients, instead of just 1 or 2 is what you'll need to help you get through the setbacks that will inevitably happen. Having a strong sales pipeline in place before the storms come can help you face some of these situations in your business with more grace:

  • They don't sign (or worse, they ghost).
  • An unexpected expense arises.
  • You need to obtain financing and can't get a loan or an investor (your incoming client receivables can be used to back a loan).
  • You need to expand, but you can't afford it.

Do not wait until the setback comes, dig your well before you are thirsty. Once you put your sales pipeline in place, and make actively prospecting a habit and a task you do each day, (instead of a last minute hair on fire panic that leaves you kicking yourself and wishing you'd done months prior) is the best gift an entrepreneur can give themselves.



How I ditched online marketing and went from $0 to $229,543 in sales that year.

You'll be directed to a separate page to sign-up. The guide will be sent directly to your email.

Women entrepreneurs - Answers to your toughest questions about sales.

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For women entrepreneurs, Sales = Power. Continuing to play a passive role and take a back seat to sales in our business is what keeps us small. 

Let's put an end to that right now.

Women entrepreneurs with online businesses and offline businesses submitted their questions about sales, and here are my no holds barred, honest answers.

Questions include:

- Why is Online Marketing a one-legged stool?

- Do people even do direct sales anymore? I thought that was outdated.

- Does prospecting and direct sales mean cold calling? Do I have to do that?

- How can you actually scale up your revenue that fast? (to five, six, seven figures...) Seems like a lie...

Watch the video and hear my answers:

Get the free PDF download I refer to in this video here:


"I've run a game on everybody, and soon they'll all find out." - Facing your imposter syndrome.

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I've written 11 books, and each time I think, 'uh oh.' They're going to find out now. I've run a game on everybody, and they are going to find me out. " - Maya Angelou

There is a part of us that excuses every accomplishment as luck, someone else's work, or dismisses it. It's the same part of us that walks around in fear that someday people will find out the awful truth, "I am nowhere near as smart, skilled or accomplished as everybody thinks I am."

It stops us from executing, from happiness, and living a real life. For some it's paralyzing. 

Have you seen the movie, "Catch me if You Can?" Leonardo DiCaprio plays one of the most famous imposters in history, Frank Abagnale. For years, Frank Abagnale conned people into believing he was an airline pilot, a doctor, a lawyer...writing bad checks and committing fraud along the way. He was an imposter. 

You are not Frank Abagnale.

How do you quiet that relentless doubting voice?

The one that that says you'll never be good enough, you're not smart enough, not skilled enough, and pretty soon everyone else will find out too.

This voice is not You. It's your overactive, fear-based human brain. A brain that is trained to be on the lookout for danger. This feature of our brain used to protect us from dangers. Signs we grew to recognize, like a rustle in the bushes, could be a predator trying to kill us. Our brain would alert us to this fear, and save us from whatever may be there.

But now, your brain doesn't have to protect you from a predator. Yet it's still seeking out and trying to protect us from danger. Seeing and interpreting signs which are usually not real.

The best way to overcome your imposter syndrome is to shine a spotlight on the facts. Your grit, hustle, intelligence, creativity and achievements. 

Next time, instead of asking yourself, "Who am I to be so brilliant/talented/deserving...."

Try something like this:

  • Who am I? I'm the one who has spent almost a decade honing the mindset of an entrepreneur. I see opportunities and possibilities where others see nothing.
  • Who am I? I am the one with relentless determination to master the knowledge of the business world, so much so I was willing to work full time, and go to school full time.
  • Who am I? I have overcome the odds to be where I am today, I think big and see future possibilities and my vision inspires others. I am not going to live my entire life in a question based in fear.

So, who are you?

Sign up for exclusive access to the PDF Guide: 

"How I Ditched Online Marketing, and Went from Zero to $229,546 in Revenue." 

As simple as possible, but no simpler.

"Everything should be as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Albert Einstein

What he meant is the simpler the explanation is, usually the better. In other words, the more assumptions you have to make, the more unlikely it is to be.

When we have big visions for our business, so we add things to the pot to scale it fast (because adding more stuff is how you scale right?) Because we see the future potential and vision in our mind. But adding more elements, offerings, services, and features reduces the simplicity. Suddenly we have a big messy and unwieldy monster that doesn't do what it's supposed to and takes us further off course from the ultimate end goal. We've got a circus happening all around us and suddenly can't remember why we're doing it, what is actually supposed to be done, and how we were ever so crazy as to think this was all going to be a good idea.

  • Most of the time, we've forgotten the fact that this whole thing was supposed to be simple! We've decided to hook up and go steady with our problems. (So much so we let them multiply and breed new bouncing baby problems and even grand-baby problems).

  • We're placating a "team" that's pulling us in multiple directions, demanding even more money, and helping themselves readily to our last shreds of sanity.

  • You'd rather wake up each morning hoping that today a big juicy new ideal client or investor will swing in from out of the blue and rescue you.

Sound all too familiar? I'm right there with you. But let me tell you that simple, efficient and streamlined grows faster.

What was your ultimate simple, beautifully streamlined and elegant solution when you first started out? What other services and offerings have you added since then?

Maybe it's time to ditch what isn't working and get back to the simple, streamlined and PROFITABLE business model you originally set out to create.

If you're ready to focus on targeting your most ideal and profitable clients, and want to work out a custom strategy for how to make it work for you, we should definitely talk.

What if you don't have a business quite yet?

We'll apply this same framework to your business idea. Our strategy session will be a combination of creativity and strategic planning, with a focus on the quickest path to launch and getting into revenue.

Think sales is about you? You should be so lucky.

Think sales is about you? You should be so lucky.

Many entrepreneurs think that their customers decisions to buy or not buy from them is a direct reflection of them personally. This article is about the honest truth. You are not a Kardashian. Your name and likeness have little to do with your success. Are you are willing to solve an actual problem and bring real value, and do the work to find people who need it?