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Workshop addresses ways for women to succeed in the business world

ALLISON MILES

By ALLISON MILES
June 20, 2012 at 1:20 a.m.
Updated June 21, 2012 at 1:21 a.m.

Liz Stuhrenberg writes out plans for a hypothetical princess and pirate party Wednesday inside the University of Houston-Victoria Multi-Purpose Room. The exercise was part of Women Leading & Succeeding, a  conference hosted by the university's Small Business Development Center and the Victoria Professional Express Network.

Change isn't easy, but sometimes it's necessary to move a business and its owner forward.

"If you keep doing what you've always done, you're going to keep getting what you've gotten," author and international speaker Monica Cornetti said. "The No. 1 reason we don't step out is fear of failure. No. 2 is fear of rejection."

Cornetti spoke Wednesday at Women Leading & Succeeding, a day-long conference hosted by the University of Houston-Victoria Small Business Development Center and the Victoria Professional Express Network.

Throughout her interactive presentation, which included everything from drawing exercises to pirate eye patches, Cornetti offered tips for success in the working world.

When it comes to making changes, Cornetti said everyone suffers from "FUD" - fear, uncertainty and doubt. It's addressing those feelings and learning how to move forward that makes the difference.

She encouraged attendees to avoid common pitfalls, such as solving today's problems with yesterday's solutions and viewing mistakes as failures.

After all, she said, each failure is an opportunity for feedback and growth.

Cornetti challenged those present to look at their current situations and the options available before jumping into a decision.

"Every choice has a risk and consequence," she advised. "Assess whether the good outweighs the bad."

Shanna Kurtz purchased Innovative Interiors, a business she previously managed, in November. She said she attended Wednesday's event to learn ways to lead the business in her own direction.

She said the message she took home was learning how to anticipate.

"It's knowing what the customers need and what I need for the business," she said. "That's what really stood out to me."

Kaye Shook said she attended for a bit of motivation for both her job at Victoria College and her consultant work with Mary Kay. She also, however, went away with a few life tips.

The "FUD" exercise, and one that addressed how to overcome those obstacles proved particularly helpful.

"I've really liked this," she said during a break from the presentation. "I'm glad I came."

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