If you work in financial services, you are well acquainted with the legendary Muriel (Mickey) Siebert. If you don’t, then let me introduce you to this great woman who died last month.
She left a lasting legacy in her industry and for women who followed in her footsteps.
Mickey was the first woman to own a seat on the New York Stock Exchange, first woman Superintendent of Banking in New York State, and a pioneer in discount brokerage. She mentored countless women. Mickey relished breaking down barriers, which she did routinely. Her New York Times obituary wrote that she once explained her strategy for dealing with obstacles: “I put my head down and charge.”
She was revered by women and men for her courage and her scrappy behavior throughout her life. I’m glad I had the pleasure of seeing her at many industry functions and listening to her words of wisdom on panel discussions. Always fighting the fight. Never backing down.
What Can We Learn From Her?
Her quote, “I put my head down and charge” really struck a note with me. That’s why I’m writing this post. It is certainly an homage to Mickey, but her attitude inspired me to think about my own life and business. I know I’ve learned from her. Maybe we all can learn from her.
Especially those of us who are engaged in e-commerce — writing blogs, working hard to sell our products and services, and trying to get our e-books published.
The web and social media is in its infancy. Even the experts haven’t figured it all out. We worry endlessly about our Google Analytics and if Google will penalize our site for some undisclosed indiscretion. New competitors pop up daily and we have to run just to stay in place. I know a lot of other entrepreneurs and they are working hard to be seen and heard as they build their businesses.
Many people become discouraged. Can I really make money online? Maybe that’s the wrong question. Instead, we should be asking, “How can I make money?” Too many people are looking at the web and social networks as the holy grail. Social media is just one weapon in our arsenal.
It’s the person who sends a personal hand-written thank-you note that stands out these days. It’s the business owner who picks up the phone to offer another colleague some help with a project without expecting anything in return. But wouldn’t you know it, that colleague just happens to be aware of someone who needs your services. Guess what? The personal touch is back.
Maybe I’m alone in observing that the web and social media can be barriers to our success if we put all our chips in that basket. Maybe we’ve narrowed our vision too much. Maybe we need to put our heads down and charge — just keep going and scrapping and trying and failing and trying again until we get it right. That’s what Mickey did.
Thanks, Mickey, for that lesson.