"Women own half of the businesses in the United States, yet less than 3% have revenues greater than $1 Million," said U. S. Senator Hillary Clinton at last night's Make Mine a Million awards ceremony in New York. The Make Mine a Million awards are designed to change those numbers, and grow the percentage of women-owned businesses with over $1 Million in annual revenue. As Nell Merlino, the CEO of the Count Me In organization added in her remarks, "it takes a million dollar mindset to get to $1 Million in revenues." That -- to me -- is really what these awards are all about -- to help women business owners reinforce that million-dollar mindset. The winners get coaching and mentoring and financial grants. Those are all great things. But in my opinion, more than anything it is the general positive reinforcement to stay committed to grow your business that is the most valuable thing of all. And you don't need to be one of the small group of winners to feel motivated from the Make Mine a Million program. I attended yesterday's event, and as you can see from the photograph accompanying this post, even the attendees were excited. I sat in the balcony, along with John Joyce from GotVMail.com, and two women next to us asked, "Would you please take our picture?" We then learned that they just had met one another for the first time at the event, but were excited to be there and using it as an opportunity to network a new business relationship. They wanted a photograph to remember the event by, and put on their websites they are developing. Naturally, I took my own opportunity to snap a photo. On the right is Cathy Griffin, owner of The Griffin Network, and on the left is Loretta Cuoco, President of Hy-per-bo-le, Inc. (You can see the blue stage set in the background over Cathy's shoulder.) Meeting Cathy and Loretta and other business owners like them drives home what the Make Mine a Million program is all about: feeling enthused and motivated to go back to work the next day and resolve to grow your business -- and making the business connections that can help. I will be writing several articles over the next few days about this event. Many thanks to American Express OPEN, whose financial support of this site with advertising (and, I might add, no other strings attached) has made it possible for me to attend and write about it.