Arlene Dickinson: We’ve come a long way …. baby?


Last night I listened to business owner, entrepreneur and TV star Arlene Dickinson of the Dragon’s Den at the Forum for Women Entrepreneur’s Gala Event.  Her captivating journey to entrepreneurship is made more impressive by her humble beginnings.

Years ago, being a single mom with four kids to feed made getting cash through the door a necessity.  Going it solo has been her mantra after, in her words, three failed marriages and buying out three male partners.  Only ten years ago when she went to the bank for financing to buy out said partners the banker asked where her current male partner was.  She couldn’t possibly do this on her own as a woman.

vintage ad 18 hr wives

This vintage ad is from 1893

On what makes for business success, Arlene says “so much depends on who you are, your personal style, how you present  yourself, your tone”.  As someone to whom regular pitches are made for financing, she says “your brand is you”.

“You should be able to tell someone why they should passionately follow you”.

I love that – the clarity, the vision and the implied leadership.

Passion: def’n –> “barely controlled emotion”

Personal style?  Personal awareness?  Emotion?  Sounds like things women excel at.

Sounds like living on the interesting edge to me.  Sounds like Mr. Banker had it wrong 10 years ago.

We’ve come a long way… baby…. or have we?  What are your thoughts?


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