Mary Cantando is a woman of many talents, who is a power-house to say the least. Below, is a brief interview on her vision of the Woman’s Advantage® and how she has integrated her talents to make it the successful organization it is today. Mary is a leader and an inspiration to those who are running towards their goals. By joining this wonderful organization, she can certainly help you get there.
1. Did the Woman’s Advantage® begin as a small idea or, did you one day suddenly have a vision to begin this organization?
– I have been the North Carolina Chair for the Women Presidents’ Organization for about 12 years. This is an organization of women who each own and run multi-million dollar businesses. One day a woman biz owner with a smaller business asked me if I would start an organization like WPO for women in Raleigh, NC, with businesses of under $1MM in revenue. I developed a format and ran a pilot group in Raleigh for a few months and then was asked to start a second group in Charlotte, NC, about three hours away. I was then asked by a woman in Charlotte, if she could launch additional Forums in the Charlotte market, so I developed a licensing program whereby women in other locations could lead The Woman’s Advantage® Forum. I think the breakthrough idea in creating this organization was my decision to base the Forum on one of my books and an accompanying workbook.
2. What did you do before this time?
– In the 1990’s I led a team that built and sold two multi-million dollar technology firms. Since the sale of our second business, I’ve focused exclusively on helping women start and grow businesses. I’ve written seven books on that subject, one of which, The Woman’s Advantage®, is the basis for our Forum.
3. Do you feel that all women who join the Woman’s Advantage® become successful?
– I feel that the Forum makes a difference in the lives and businesses of every woman who joins. The level of difference depends largely on the amount of effort and commitment that each individual makes. For some members, that is marginal, for others it is monumental.
4. How is this organization different from other business women networks? What makes it truly unique?
– You tell me! (Seriously, this is a very structured program based on pre-developed content that members work through with the goal of expanding their businesses and their lives.)
5. Where do you see the Woman’s Advantage® in ten years?
– When I started the Forum two years ago, I never dreamed we’d be in Vancouver, BC within the first year…but that happened. I see The Woman’s Advantage® as a truly international organization in ten years, with 100+ Forums around the world. But more important than where I see the organization is where I see the individual members. Ten years from now, I see our members having created multimillion-dollar businesses, which have created tens of thousands of new jobs, and new offerings that enhance the businesses and lives of their customers.
6. If you could pick, what would you say was your greatest business achievement to date?
– My greatest business achievement is that I have modeled how a woman can be wildly successful in business, while having a solid, loving marriage, and raising children who are happy and contributing members to society. No matter how successful my businesses have been, if I’d not had a successful personal life, I would have considered it all a failure.
About Mary Cantando
A recognised expert in helping women start and grow businesses, Mary has written seven books and hundreds of magazine articles on the topic. She’s been featured in the Wall Street Journal and The Oprah Magazine, as well as TV and radio shows worldwide.
Mary is the Founder of The Woman’s Advantage® Forum, a structured educational program which helps women with small businesses grow to the million-dollar level and beyond. www.WomansAdvantage.com
A mother, grandmother, and self-proclaimed “high-maintenance wife,” Mary lives in Raleigh with her husband who she refers to as “Saint John” for putting up with her for almost 45 years.