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Workplace Speaker offers her inspiration to women in a book

As an employee of Bristol-Myers during the 1980s, Mary-Ellen Drummond was often critiqued on her job performance.

Ironically, as a sales trainer for the pharmaceutical company, Drummond was terrified of speaking in public or in front of large crowds.

“(One day) they videotaped me and showed me how bad I was,” said the now local author and motivational speaker, laughing.

After watching herself on tape, advisers recommended she enroll in public speaking courses.

Now nearly 20 years later, she is making a living doing what she had most feared ,public speaking.

In 1989, Drummond started Polished Presentations International and has since been traveling around the country, giving inspirational speeches and leadership training lectures to audiences around the country.

“It changed my life and by overcoming it, it helped me to become a better communicator and help others overcome their fears,” she said. “We teach what we need to learn.”


– Book Teaches About Balance

In her new book “A Woman’s Way to Incredible Success in Business: Inspirational Advice and Real-Life Lessons from 20 Prominent Businesswomen,” Drummond is teaching women how to balance their lives and not be apprehensive when it comes to accomplishing their goals.

The response has been overwhelming and “very positive,” she said. Drummond has received numerous e-mails from people endorsing the book since its May debut.

The book contains 21 chapters, each written by an individual author pertaining to issues that affect the daily lives of women, such as professional image, organization, finances, networking and passion for success.

Each chapter ends with action tips and steps to take to achieve that chapter’s topic, whether it is time management, business protocol or customer service.

“It brings it down to a very common level, that’s what I like about it,” said the author.

Delegation of responsibilities and being able to ask others for help has underlined emphasis throughout the book.


– Sharing Work At Home, Office

Drummond said the average woman works a lot between the home and her career.

While she may be used to asking and sometimes receiving help at home, women have a tendency to avoid asking for assistance in the work force , which is one of the biggest challenges women face when trying to start a business on their own, Drummond said.

Women, by nature, can be so multitask-oriented that they take on the bulk of responsibilities for running a business or career themselves, she said.

This can lead to burnout and unmotivated behavior that can ultimately turn into failure.

“Look for outsourcing, seek advice , you can’t do it on your own,” Drummond said.

“You’re bound to accelerate the process and be more successful when you increase your knowledge, increase your network, ask for help and learn to delegate.”

Which is one of her reasons for putting such a book together.

“Women, specifically, need a role model so that they see there may be a different approach,” she said.

She said women have made tremendous career advancements in the business world, but there are still some barriers to cross.

“I see progress, real progress, but it’s still tougher (out there),” Drummond said.


– Motivated By Guest Speakers

The motivation for the book came after attending a success program that featured 12 male speakers and one female.

“The woman never showed up , there was no female perspective,” she said. “I thought, where’s the woman’s point of view on how to be successful?”

So Drummond took it upon herself to make sure a woman’s point of view was given.

The book features 20 contributing women authors, 12 of which are San Diego businesswomen and entrepreneurs.

Each author wrote a chapter on her own area of expertise. Drummond wrote two chapters on presentation and networking.

Drummond selected these contributors because she was impressed with their high standards of excellence.

“I knew them or knew of them and they walked their talk,” she said.

Drummond had seen or heard the women speak and saw the affect they had on their audiences.

Each woman had a clear vision of what she wanted and stuck with it, despite having to overcome obstacles, she said.

“By reading their ideas you can incorporate them into your own , that’s a great impact there,” she said.

“The book gives hope to younger women starting their own business that we all went through some of the same challenges to get through the molasses in our lives,” said Peggy Eddy, president of Creative Capital Management, Inc. and a local contributing author.


– Authors Share Their Experiences

Writing from her own personal experiences, Eddy talked of starting her own business with her husband four months after they were married , with little money and a negative net worth.

“We had no choice but to succeed,” she said.

Her chapter, “The Seven Stepping Stones to Success,” reiterates this mantra and tells readers to take calculated risks and learn how to use one’s intuition well.

As a certified financial planner, Eddy suggests, women need to become more financially savvy or become easy prey for embezzlement and fraud.

“(Women) need to take responsibility so as not to be taken advantage of,” she said.

She advises women to take classes that discuss how to fill out your tax forms correctly and view financial statements.

“It was a compliment to be included in something like this,” Eddy said of working collaboratively on the book.

“I believed in the project to begin with.”

Drummond’s hope is that women will read her book and become encouraged to go after their goals.

“The most important thing I want women to take from this book is to be inspired to take action,” Drummond said.

“I didn’t know how hard it was to start a business and if I knew that from the very beginning, I wouldn’t have done so,” she said.

A portion of the sales will be donated to a youth scholarship or program for entrepreneurial development for girls or young women.

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