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November 3, 2022 22 min

Betsy Cerulo, Shake It Off Leadership

Shake It Off Leadership-Achieving Success Through the Eyes of Our Labels

Who Defines You? You or Others?

Can You Choose Your Labels and Use Them to Empower Yourself and Your Business?


Are you ready to stop allowing others’ perceptions and labels of you limit what you can accomplish? Have you had enough of the outright or subtle undermining of your career or self-esteem by the ways people “categorize” you or the way you categorize yourself?

Betsy Cerulo had her fill, and so she stepped up to claim her labels and make them her fuel for greater success!

And in her new book Shake It Off Leadership—Achieving Success Through the Eyes of Our Labels, she will gift you with guidance on how she did it…and how it can transform your life and your business!

Betsy felt the sting of disempowering external perceptions early. Her mother made no effort to hide she favored the boys in the family over the girls, and that they could have nearly unlimited freedom, but the females had to live according to a specific standard. And then, in college, when she came out, after falling for one of her classmates, she began to experience the sting of unkind and discriminating labels. In business, as she tried to rise as a young executive search professional, she found her way blocked and her salary less simply because she was ”a woman.” 

But with skill and determination, she built a hugely successful boutique professional staffing and executive search firm. AdNet/AccountNet, Advocates for Workplace Excellence and Equity. But along the way, she decided to throw off the limitations of those labels, embrace those she was proud of, and choose the labels that she wanted to define her!

Betsy won’t put up with “the nonsense” she hears coming out of the mouth of those who attempt to diminish women, the LGBTQ+ community, and racially diverse people. She challenges them. 

Instead of suffering the insulting brand of dyke or lesbian with a sneer, she decided to make her sexuality a proud hallmark of her success, attaining the first government 8A certification based on Gender and LGBT discrimination. This allows a company to bid for government contracts with less competition. Then, she went on to co-found the Maryland LGBT Chamber of Commerce and the Maryland LGBT Foundation, building them into robust organizations that attracted many mainstream sponsors. As a woman-owned business, she fought the discrimination of banks that refused loans and found those that would treat her with respect.

In this episode, she shares other resources for entrepreneurs looking to become government contractors:

- The SBA and SBDC


Betsy learned how to shake off the slights, disappointments, and roadblocks in building a successful business—not just the issues related to discrimination, but with all of the gumption, wisdom, and courage it takes to create a thriving enterprise, with quality, happy, engaged staff and curation of clients that are an asset to the business. She’s discerned a style of SKAKE IT OFF LEADERSHIP, that will empower any leader with the skills, wisdom, and strength to successfully create or grow a business while insuring balance and personal fulfillment.

Each chapter in Shake It Off Leadership provides lessons, new perspectives, and an enriching Shake It Off tip at the end. Betsy’s personal story is woven throughout as an inspiration for those who have struggled with the labels that have disempowered them.

You will find astute insights on every page. Every business can benefit from a leader who stands in her, his or their strength -- and who can spot and act on strengthening the weaknesses within themselves and their company—just as Betsy Cerulo has done.

Betsy Cerulo

Betsy's Website...

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