networking and mentoring

Networking for Women Entrepreneurs

This is a great interview with a successful businesswoman. Take note of the clues she leaves…

Lois Silverman, founder of CRA Managed Care, a $250 million firm dealing with lowering the cost of workmen’s compensation claims, incorporates a mixture of discipline, on-the-job experiences, networking and even mentoring to accomplish her goals.

Q: What’s so beneficial about mentoring?

Lois: “In terms of my personal opportunities for mentoring, I have mentored on a

one-to-one basis. I have mentored in a group setting. And I have mentored with two or

three individuals, mentoring one individual or one company. And by far, I believe that

the mentoring in a group setting is the strongest form available and I’ll tell you why. I

feel very strongly that entrepreneurs do not like being told what to do, that’s why they

became entrepreneurs. And that it’s much safer for them to listen to a group of their

peers that may be facilitated by an individual who is a mentor than by one individual.

And in the groups that I personally have run, I have seen wonderful things happen

because they learn from one another.”

Q: You also rely on networking?

Lois: “I think I’m perhaps an unusual case, but maybe there are others just like me,

and that is my background is nursing. And who would have suspected that I would have

the business skills to have grown a company to $250 million. I think, No. 1, I had great

organizational skills and I think that’s every bit as important as anything else when you

grow a business. I think also I used the skills that I had in order to grow, and that was I

took the medical knowledge and I applied it to something within the business world. And

I think the next thing was that I’m really like a sponge. I knew how to network, I read and

what I regret most is that I didn’t find many women out there who were like me that I

could really grow from.”

SOURCE: Women Entrepreneurs: Launching and Leading Successful Ventures, Copyright 1998, Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation