Stalking the 2011 Forbes Top 100 Websites for Women List

Stalking the 2011 Forbes Top 100 Websites for Women List

Hmmm.  The Forbes Top 100 Websites For Women …

That innocent competition turned this past week into a veritable roller coaster for me.  One of ups and downs.  Soaring expectations.  Secret wishes.  And the recognition of what making that list would do to propel my fledgling, year-old website into the public eye.

Early in the week I had learned that Forbes was seeking nominations for their top sites for women.  Honestly?  I never thought, “Oh, I could never make it.”  Instead, I saw that so far there were only about 300 nominations, and some sites had been nominated dozens and dozens of times.  So that bumped up the odds for the rest of us.

Actually, my attitude was “Why NOT me?”

And I started my campaign, posting the nomination link on some Facebook groups I belong to and on Twitter.  Several blogger buddies nominated my site.  So did a few coaching clients.  And some people I didn’t even know were reading my posts.

So many nomination “surprises.”

The Forbes nomination site itself was pretty flaky.  Registration was easy, but posting was not.  Some nominations … despite being submitted two and three different times … never showed up.  But I realized it wasn’t a popularity contest, so it wasn’t the total number of nominations you received.  All that mattered was having enough of them so you’d be noticed, looked at, considered.  And I knew we had achieved that.

A couple of days later, at 500+ nominations, the site indicated that they were accepting no more.  Now the wait …

And then the unveiling.  On Friday, I got a follow-up email announcing that the list was live.

I clicked over to it, and started reading from the top.  The selected sites were listed alphabetically.  Then I noticed that, with rare exception (Rachel Ray, for one), there weren’t many sites bearing the person’s name.  And I use mine.  Gee, wonder if that’s a negative.  Scrolling through the A’s, B’s … to D’s.  Page after page.  Thinking I could just jump to the S’s, to

But before doing that, I thought again about what a feather that would be in my cap.  How the Forbes name would add credibility to my effort to get information out to women in their 50s who, through lack of knowledge … or plain old head trash … were nowhere on their path to financial security.  Such a critical niche, so devastating if behaviors aren’t changed.  Bag Lady fears.  (I know the Bag Lady creeps into their nightmares, both those they have when they’re sleeping and when they’re awake.)

O’s, P’s, R’s … and S’s.  Salon’s BroadsheetSavvy Auntie.  OK, and next?  Sharon …?  Sharp Skirts.


There was a flicker of letdown.  Of “What Could Have Been.”  And then the question of whether “women over 50” are well represented anywhere on the list.  Okay, I’ll have to look more carefully … later.

The momentary disappointment was followed by a long swig of strong Cuban coffee … and a quick snap back to my normal Pollyanna self:  I had done my best.  I truly believe I deserve to make the list.  I’m proud of the work I have done in this year, giving voice to a topic few people ever address.  Offering hope … and offering help.

I may not have made the Forbes Top 100 Websites For Women list.

But I’m right up there at the top of the Sharon O’Day List of Women Working Their Butts Off to Make a Difference.

What made everything okay?  All I had to do was read the touching things people had written when nominating my site.

I’m the big winner!

(Even if Forbes didn’t notice.)

Besides, in life as in your finances, you can’t win if you don’t try.

P.S.  My heartfelt thanks to everyone who took the time to nominate this labor of love.


Sharon O’Day lost everything at age 53:  her home, her business, everything.  But how could that be?  She’s an expert in global finance and marketing with an MBA from the Wharton School.  She has worked with governments, corporations, and individuals … yes, she was the secret ‘weapon,’ if you will, behind many individuals in high places.  But yet she did!  Since then, Sharon has interviewed countless women and done extensive research to understand how that could have happened, especially with her strong knowledge of numbers and finance.

The surprising answers will be shared in her upcoming book “Money After Menopause.”  Today her mission is to show as many women as possible how to become financially free for the long term, through her “Over Fifty and Financially Free” coaching programs.  She has developed a step-by-step plan to get past all the obstacles that keep women broke and scared … and from reaching the financial peace of mind they so deserve.

  • Denny

    Sharon, you maybe didn’t make it this time, but I have no doubt that it truly is just a matter of time…you have a much needed and powerful message. Great article!

    • Truth is, Denny, I thought it would add credibility.  But in the end, it was sort of an ego thing.  Much more important to have the endorsement of people I’ve helped.  So … I’ll do just fine without it!

  • Ginger_pugliese

    Sharon, You are definitely a winner!
    I for one would much rather have made your list ‘Women Working Their Butts Off to Make a Difference’.  Not making the Forbes list may actually be a blessing instead.  There are days I think that having ‘HGTV Designer’ or Ten million dollar producing agent might make the difference in what I do, but does it really say anything about who I really am?  This was a great article; thanks for sharing your thoughts. 

    • Actually, Ginger, once I came up with my WWTBOTMAD List, it sounded like a helluva lot more fun than theirs!  Besides, it has more soul.  Maybe we should print up some t-shirts? 😉

  • Patricia

    You’re the best Sharon!  At the least, you made the effort to get on that list – a heck of a lot more than most people!  congrats for the action steps!  (I wrote Oprah a letter) now that feels good in itself!!!  Love Patricia

    • You wrote Oprah?  Well, that’s something I haven’t thought to do yet!  Guess we’ll have to wait and see what she’s up to next … and then, why not?

  • You’re a true hero to me, Sharon! And I love your “I can” spirit that put you in the running for the Top 100! Keep going for it 🙂

    • You know, Susan, I realized years ago that half the gig was just saying “I can.”  Puts you way ahead of all those less inspired!  I know you feel the same …

  • Rachelle

    Sharon, Forbes totally missed a great opportunity to serve women by not including your valuable site. NEXT YEAR! Onward!  ps love your attitude, lady.

    • Thanks for your warm words, Rachelle!  It was nowhere on any marketing plan I’ve drawn up … just one of those fluke opportunities that could have gone either way.  The greatest joy was to know from the endorsements that I’m on the right track with those who matter:  my friends and clients!

  • Lily

    Shoot!  I’m so sorry I missed adding my nomination Sharon- we’ll get you there sometime soon.  In the meantime, it’s a beautiful new day…

    All the best,

    • Thanks, Lily!  It’s nothing I even had on my radar, but when the opportunity arose … shucks, why not! 😉

  • I guess if Forbes only knew how much they missed out! Look at all the responses you got here! Great attitude, great example to us Sharon.

    • Thanks, Olga.  When thinking about what to write about this week, I toyed with this topic.  Then I thought, “What message can there be in there?”  Guess one weaseled its way into my words!

  • Well Sharon, they don’t know what they are missing. Worse than that, their organization has lost a huge resource for their readership…shame on them. Well, for now we have you and working together we will become a force to be reckoned with in the marketplace, Forbes or no Forbes.

    • Everything in due time, Carla, everything in due time … 😉

  • Emily

    You are at the VERY TOP of my list Sharon!  Rock on!!!  Great follow up article – as always, you are so open and honest, humorous, and with that bit of insight that allows for real personal growth when things are seen from beyond your own perspective.  CONGRATS to a true winner!

    • So, Emmie, when are we going to have lunch and talk about what YOU’re doing?

  • Deb

    You’re on my TOP LIST of Amazing Woman….

  • Infantalorena

    Do you have a release date for your upcoming book, and where can we buy it?

    • Thanks for asking!  I am still finalizing a few legal issues, to be certain I am totally compliant in using some quotes, etc., so hope to have it out in late summer, early fall.  If you opt in for my weekly newsletter, you’ll be among the first to know!  😉

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