Find leverage in shared experience
By tiffany meyers

Published: October 30, 2006 (Ad Age)African-American women may be the overlooked minority within the overlooked majority.

"The African-American woman is not being fully embraced by corporate America for her huge purchasing power and influence," says Miriam Muley, founder and CEO of consultancy The 85% Niche. (She says the 85% refers to the level of purchasing decisions by women.)

The "myths" surrounding black women "need to be dispelled," says Ms. Muley, particularly with regard to educational attainment, affluence and "diversity within diversity."

The buying power of minority women is estimated at $722.8 billion, according to Packaged Facts, the publishing division of

However, few companies appeal to this segment "with budgets that reflect its dynamic power," says Ms. Muley, who earlier was executive director of diversity strategy at General Motors Corp.

And it's not enough to target this increasingly affluent demo en masse.

Ms. Muley advises marketers to "think globally" about women-leveraging shared experiences, including the commonly held role of family caregiver-but "act locally in understanding ethnic, cultural and socioeconomic differences to make quantum leaps in market share."

For example, she suggests working with faith-based and community organizations. Ms. Muley also advises leveraging the credibility of black programming and print venues, which offer cultural nuances general-market media often lack.

original post deleted after mucho thought because I feel I was putting out negative energy and I didn't really want to do that and have that be on permanent record.

Spreading Your Light
How You Affect Others Daily
As the pace and fullness of modern life serve to isolate us from one another, the contact we do share becomes vastly more significant. We unconsciously absorb each other's energy, adopting the temperament of those with whom we share close quarters, and find ourselves changed after the briefest encounters. Everything we do or say has the potential to affect not only the individuals we live, work, and play with but also those we've just met. Though we may never know the impact we have had or the scope of our influence, accepting and understanding that our attitudes and choices will affect others can help us remember to conduct ourselves with grace at all times. When we seek always to be friendly, helpful, and responsive, we effortlessly create an atmosphere around ourselves that is both uplifting and inspiring.

Most people rarely give thought to the effect they have had or will have on others. When we take a few moments to contemplate how our individual modes of being affect the people we spend time with each day, we come one step closer to seeing ourselves through the eyes of others. By asking ourselves whether those we encounter walk away feeling appreciated, respected, and liked, we can heighten our awareness of the effect we ultimately have. Something as simple as a smile given freely can temporarily brighten a person's entire world. Our value-driven conduct may inspire others to consider whether their own lives are reflective of their values. A word of advice can help others see life in an entirely new fashion. And small gestures of kindness can even prove to those embittered by the world that goodness still exists. By simply being ourselves, we influence other's lives in both subtle and life-altering ways.

To ensure that the effect we have is positive, we must strive to stay true to ourselves while realizing that it is the demeanor we project and not the quality of our wondrous inner landscapes that people see. Thus, as we interact with others, how we behave can be as important as who we are. If we project our passion for life, our warmth, and our tolerance in our facial features, voice, and choice of words, every person who enters our circle of influence will leave our presence feeling at peace with themselves and with us. You never know whose life you are affecting, big or small. Try to remember this as you go out into the world each day.


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