Did you see Hillary Clinton’s Women’s History Playlist on Spotify last year? Beyoncé’s “Run the World (Girls)” comes first. Great to see some Missy Elliott (“Pep Rally”). And one of my favorites, the Ting Ting’s with “That’s Not My Name.”
Listening to Lady Gaga’s “The Edge of Glory” on Hillary’s list is a bitter pill today. But onward.
It’s now 2017, and March is still Women’s History Month. Spotify is again featuring #WomensHistoryMonth, with sections on Women in Music and Culture, Powerful Voices, and Icons. Love it!
This got me to thinking: how about a “Spotify Playlist For Female Entrepreneurs”? So, I’ve decided to give it a shot right here in this blog. But heads up: this is not a list of songs by female artists. It’s a list of songs that inspire me, and maybe you, as a female entrepreneur.
First, A Little History
It’s been seven months since I bought out my male business partner of 19 years, making my company, EnviroMedia, 100-percent woman owned as we hit our 20th anniversary.
Now, in our third decade of change-oriented communications work, we at EnviroMedia have new priorities, and one of them is doing more business with corporate America.
One way we’re doing that is through our new certification with the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WEBNC), which is holding its annual summit in New Orleans this week. WBENC has hundreds of great Corporate Members who don’t just believe in diversity, but also recognize the buying power of women.
As the co-founder of a communications agency that focuses solely on improving the environment and health, I was initially freaked out by Trump’s election. What’s to happen to all the progress related to environmental quality and health care?
But with each cabinet appointee over the past two months, I have felt more confident that our company will be more relevant than ever. Why? Because what’s not being done by the federal government, must (and I know will) be addressed on the non-federal level, by nonprofits and businesses that give a damn about employees, communities, health, and the environment.
And I know big business stands to make more money with bigger commitments to corporate social responsibility. Adweek reports that the “new generation of consumers” (today’s teens, aka “Gen Z”) believes that “equality is non negotiable” and that brands “should be real so we can be unique.” And here at this week’s WBENC Summit in New Orleans, Walmart said that by 2018 women will control $40 trillion in spending.
So, fellow female businesses-owners, present and future, let’s push diversity to the next level! My apologies in advance to anyone wishing I had more songs from this century. If you’ve got some ideas, send them on and I’ll add them to the list!
My Spotify Playlist For Female Entrepreneurs
10. “Money,” Pink Floyd
As much as I hate this harkening back to The Apprentice — it’s fundamental. We must make a profit in order to continue doing what we want to do with our businesses. And ladies, we must never apologize for a fair wage or a fair price.
9. “Big Yellow Taxi,” Joni Mitchell
“They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” Find a niche. Ours is environment and health. But don’t be so militant about it. Believe it or not, my agency has worked for a global cement company. But they wanted to be a better company, and if we can help them evolve just a tiny bit, we’ve done a lot for the world. Just do it with authenticity and transparency.
8. “My Change (Is Gonna Come),” Ruben Mancias feat. Michelle Weeks
“I’m not gonna give up. I’m gonna keep on believing. My change is gonna come, y’all!” I first encountered this club music beat in 2015, when I was walking close to Union Square in Manhattan. I thought, “Is there some gay fest in the park?” But it was just one guy with a very large speaker. Once I heard the lyrics, I hit Shazam on my iPhone and Spotify-starred this song, which has inspired me as our change-oriented agency has undergone so much of its own change over the past two years.
7. “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” The Rolling Stones
I’ve loved this song ever since The Big Chill. But you have to admit it’s a great lesson for life in general, and I have always focused on it, especially with my career in mind. As an entrepreneur, you want what you want and you want it now. But patience and compromise are key for any business.
6. “The Hard Way,” Mary Chapin Carpenter
This song speaks for itself. When I first heard it, I thought of my parents. And now, 20 years into the biz, it makes me think of my journey with my wife, Millie, who has been with me every step of the way since 1995. “Show a little inspiration. Show a little spark…Show a little passion, baby, show a little style. And show the knack for knowing when and the fit for knowing how. And have a little trust in us when fear obscures the path. You know we got this far, darling, not by luck, but by never turning back. Some will call on destiny, but I just call on faith. That the world won’t stop, and actions speak louder. Listen to your heart, to what your heart might say. Everything we got, we got the hard way.”
This song should mean more in today’s world than it did when it came out in 1992.
5. “We Are The Champions,” Queen
Compromise aside, there’s nothing like winning, right? Be bold. Be committed to quality, creativity, and new ideas. Stick to that. You won’t win them all, but you will win some, and the fit will be right on. And don’t compromise your values.
4. “9 to 5,” Dolly Parton
Don’t be a hard-ass. Today’s great companies don’t just expect you to clock in and out of bricks and mortar offices. Besides, look what happened to Dabney Colman, the chauvinistic boss in the movie, 9 to 5. Be flexible, inspire, and trust your employees to do all the great work that needs to be done.
3. “Tubthumping,” Chumbawamba
“I get knocked down. But I get up again. You’re never gonna keep me down.” Every business has its peaks and valleys — some of which are out of your control. Follow your gut, have checks and balances, and if you still feel like you’re onto something despite the pitfalls, keep going!
2. “Rip It Up,” Orange Juice
“Rip it up and start again.” Just like I’ve done 10 times with this Spotify playlist, and with many blogs. Pay attention to quality. Every time.
1. “Can’t Stop the Feeling”, Justin Timblerlake
“Got that sunshine in my pocket.” This song currently makes me happy, and I love JT. It’s from an animated DreamWorks film about Troll dolls. Troll dolls. So, what I’m saying is enjoy life. Work/life balance is the platform for health and happiness, which is essential to true business success. Plus, this is a great workout song, and endorphins make you happy, too!