Life’s too short to hate your job

Browsing around on Facebook this morning I came across a great post on the Harvard Business Review about the relationship between mentors and mentees. A favorite topic of mine, I read the entire post and took away some great ideas from it, which I’ll talk about in another post.

The author of the post, Whitney Johnson, mentioned a young woman she had recently advised on how to approach a mentor. There was a link to that woman’s post, and I read it. I’m so glad I did, since this is the link that led me to discover DreamChamps, a community that is committed to helping Gen Y job seekers connect with companies who possess exceptional cultures. Their motto is “Life is too short to do work you hate.”

Yeah! Landing on this site and reading their mission statement got me so fired up I decided to blog about it. At 7am. Before the kids were even up. And now that they’re awake, I’m typing as fast as I can before I have to logoff, feed them breakfast and get them off to school.

After I followed them on Twitter and said hello, I headed over to their Facebook Page to see what sorts of things they were talking about there.

This post on their wall caught my attention:

Wondering if company culture actually matters? Think about this.

Your co-workers are your second family. You spend more time with them, than practically anyone else in your life.

Wouldn’t you agree it’s important to like them?

Here’s my response:

“Love this question! Growing up, I got used to hearing the employed people in my life complaining about their jobs, their bosses, their coworkers. Not liking your job seemed to be “the norm,” and I didn’t realize it back then, but I accepted that idea like it was a simple truth: ‘A job is something you do in order to have the opportunity to do (and have) the things you want.’ There was no mention about the need to love the work you do. It was just a job, a way to make money and move up.

“Fortunately, and despite this belief, I had a many great experiences working for IBM and am grateful for my time spent there. But as an entrepreneur, and as a business coach who helps other entrepreneurs be successful on their own terms, I am very focused on aligning how I spend my time with the things that make me happy.

“I’m incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by people I love, respect, admire and rely on as my support in my business. I totally love my job, and my kids know this. I hope I leave behind a new ‘norm’ and belief system for my kids that echoes the DreamChamps motto: ‘Life’s too short to do work you hate.’ I’m teaching them Henry Ford’s philosophy: ‘Find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.'”

What sort of work culture are you creating? What’s your relationship to your employees/team members?  Are you considering this as you hire on team members to your company? Make sure you browse around the DreamChamps website so you can include a perspective from the other side of the employer/employee equation as you build your company.

How are you creating projects, work and a company your employees/support team love to be a part of? Or do you feel this is even something worthy of your time and energy to care about? Please share in the comments below.

* Photo courtesy Erno Hannick via Flickr Creative Commons
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Essay Contest Winner- From Fear to Faith: One mom’s journey to living out her dreams

This is a winning essay submission for the essay contest here at Mom Biz Coach.

Submitted by: Christine St.Vil

 

From Fear to Faith: One mom’s journey to living out her dreams

Today, I am living my dream! I make my own schedule on a daily basis….or should I say, my kids make my schedule on a daily basis!

It’s usually my two-month old that starts things off, followed by her (almost) two year old big sister and her (almost) four year old big brother! Some mornings they gradually break into the craziness and let me actually wake up first.  But most mornings, they wake up with a BANG and ready to conquer the world….or each other, whichever comes first!  Since my husband works at night, it’s usually a juggling (and bribing) act just to keep them quiet and entertained until he wakes up.  And the minute he wakes up and  comes down the stairs, their faces light up like Christmas lights, and their squeals are so high pitched you would think he had been gone for months.  I love every minute of it, and wouldn’t trade it for the world.
But you see……my days weren’t always filled with so much joy.

The day was March 21, 2011…a day I’ll never forget.  It was the day I walked into my corporate job (you know, the one with a steady paycheck every two weeks, and the one most people hate to go but go anyway…), and handed in my resignation letter—effective immediately.  I was six and a half months pregnant; with our third child.  For me, this was actually scarier than giving birth….and I don’t take to pain very well at all (I was the one asking for an epidural before I had barely begun dilating)!  But at the same time, an important decision needed to be made: continue to put my pregnancy in jeopardy due to the high stress levels I was under, or listen to what God had been telling me to do long ago and….LEAVE!  After being off of work for a week on medical leave, I realized just how much stress I had been under.  So it no longer became an option, but a necessity.  At the risk of sounding cliché, the biggest weight I had ever had to carry was finally lifted off of my shoulders! I turned in my letter, cleaned out the rest of my office, and skipped out of there forever!

Since March 21st, my success has been so sweet.  My success meant getting the physical and emotional rest I needed for the duration of my pregnancy so I could deliver a healthy baby.  My success has also been being able to take my son to his field trips, and spending quality time with my two year old before her little sister arrived.  My success means that I am finally able to focus on what my dreams are and that of my family so that we can start acting on them.  Success for me, has been realizing that sometimes, you really just have to face your fears and step out on faith.

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Featured Mobile Mompreneur: Dixie Lee

It’s my pleasure to announce the winner of the HP ProBook 4425s that I partnered with HP to give away last week.

Congratulations goes to Dixie Lee of BackroadsSolutions.com!

I asked Dixie to tell us a little bit about herself and the difference the HP ProBook will make for her and her family.

From Dixie:

My husband and I have been married almost 15 years. Together, we have a blended family with 4 children ranging in age from 13 to 30.  He is now disabled which requires a number of doctor appointments. Because of this, I decided to take my 25+ years of providing administrative support for middle and senior executives to launch Backroads Business Solutions in May of this year.

My office is set up in a room in the basement and I typically work there until my daughter gets home from school.  Since she nabbed my laptop for school, I have been spending more evening time down there away from my family. I’m so excited to win the HP ProBook because it means I can spend more time with my family and still work on client projects.

As a mom, business owner and grad student, I’m constantly faced with challenges; however, the biggest is time.  It can be a struggle finding enough hours in the day to meet the demands of family, business and school. The key to keeping things running smoothly is planning. Despite the challenges, I love what I do. I’m here for my family, my clients and my friends.

Thanks once again to HP for helping small business owners like Dixie  get the resources they need to be successful at work and at home!

Dixie Lee is the founder of Backroads Business Solutions, a full support virtual administration company. She can be reached at dixie@backroadssolutions.com or on twitter at www.twitter.com/backrdsbiz.

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How to Monetize Your Passion

I just love talking to mom entrepreneurs about passion, work and money all in the same sentence :).

So tomorrow, I’ll be doing just that. As part of the WoMEN: What Mom Entrepreneurs Need Teleseminar Series, I’m going to interview Rich German, author of “Monetize Your Passion: Follow Your Heart and Create Life’s Ultimate Win-Win-Win.” And Rich knows how to do just that.

We want to share with you how to do the same. Join us for the call tomorrow to learn:

  • Rich’s own story about how he turned his passion into a lucrative business
  • The top three hurdles that stop most people
  • The #1 key to turning your passion into a successful business
  • One baby step you can take to get started turning your own passion into a business

Make sure you hurry and click here to register for the call so I can get you the details before the teleseminar starts tomorrow at 12p ET. (Can’t make it live? Still register and I’ll email you the replay.)

Wondering if it’s really possible to make money with YOUR passion? Leave a question or comment below, and Rich and I will do our best to address it during tomorrow’s call.

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How to Work With Passion

I spent a fantastic hour today interviewing Nancy Anderson, a wife, mother, counselor and author of Work With Passion in Midlife and Beyond: Reach Your Full Potential and Make the Money You Need. What a breath of fresh air!

There were so many nuggets of wisdom that Nancy shared with me and my audience on the WoMEN: What Mom Entrepreneurs Need Teleseminar Series. I thought I’d share some of them here with you. In no particular order, here they are:

The difference between hobby and passion: a hobby is you doing for yourself. Passion converts you to an evangelist of something you love for others.

In this economy, following your passion IS practical! How logical is it to suffer thru doing work you hate?

Discovering your passion can unleash your fears–What if you’re not good enough? What if you fail? This happens because your passion is so important to you.

We often get in touch with our passions when we’re young, but then they get covered up by so many things as we get older: fear, inhibitions, others telling us we don’t deserve what we want, etc.

For most of us, it’s actually difficult to articulate what we most want to do. Nancy recommends writing an autobiography so you can learn for yourself where your motivations and interests came from, as well as how you learned to cover them up or let them go.

It was a fantastic hour. I am grateful to have had the chance to talk to a woman who really has her head on straight and is willing to help all of us love what we’re doing with our lives. Mompreneurs especially need to make sure they spend their time doing purposeful work if it’s going to take them away from their families. I spend the first month of the Mom Biz Makeover Program helping my mompreneurs figure out their strengths, skills, their style and what motivates them to do the work they do.

By the way, if you haven’t already registered for my f*ree teleseminar series, the WoMEN: What Mom Entrepreneurs Need calls can all be heard via phone or webcast every Tuesday at Noon ET. Just click here to see the list of upcoming topics and speakers and fill in your name and email address. You get access to all the upcoming live calls and a replay of the last week’s call!

We’ll continue our discussion of working with your passion and making money at it when I interview Rich German as my special guest on the series next week. Don’t miss it!

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WAHMs: Is it time to give up on balance?

I’ve been having some great conversations with mompreneurs and work at home moms on the topic of “balance” lately, and specifically how it relates to the goal of work/life balance.

Seems like we’ve spent the last decade or so trying to achieve this balance thing, but it may be a concept whose time has past. Many think it’s unachievable, or at the very least, that it can be achieved but not sustained. Is balance what we really want? Do we want to spend equal time with work and equal time with family?

I know that certain words are “trigger words” or hot buttons for some people, but I think the idea of balance is basically a good one. I think that the more we’ve been working towards it, though, the more we are learning that there are other ways to define how we want our lives as moms and business owners to look.

When I think of words that capture how I want my life as a mom entrepreneur coach to look, these are some of the words that come to mind:

INTEGRATION

FLEXIBILITY

FULFILLMENT

RHYTHMS

SEASONS

I make my work a fully-integrated part of my life. That doesn’t mean I don’t set boundaries around it, just that I include it as part of who I am and what I love to do. How much and when I work varies from time to time, based on priorities, energy levels, moods, seasons… But my commitment to my work and my family stays the same.

What about you? Is there a phrase or concept you’re striving for that is more descriptive than “work/life balance”? How do you see your roles as mom and business owner? Are they one in the same or separate somehow? Please leave a comment below.

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How Women Are Changing Business

While my business coaching is aimed at supporting mom entrepreneurs, I came across this very inspiring article in Time Magazine recently that illustrates a trend I’m happy to see in the corporate world.

business women group2Women are different than men, and it turns out we do business differently than men. Well, I’m certain that the subset of women known as mompreneurs and WAHMs (work-at-home-moms) have an even more pronounced difference in their approach to business.  (I know, I know, you’re laughing with me right now thinking about the last time you were on a business call while hoisting a naked toddler on your hip with one arm and cleaning up the accident she had on the kitchen floor with the other…. Yep, that’s a different way of doing business, alright!)

Read the article below and enjoy. It’s always interesting to me when large companies start emulating some of the results-oriented business strategies of entrepreneurs.

Reposted article from time Time Magazine, May 2009

The New Work Order

Women Will Rule Business

Work-life balance. In most corporate circles, it’s the sort of phrase that gives hard-charging managers the hives, bringing to mind yoga-infused, candlelit meditation sessions and — more frustratingly — rows of empty office cubicles.

So, what if we renamed work-life balance? Let’s call it something more masculine and appealing, something like … um … Make More Money. That might lift heads off desks. A few people might show up at a meeting to discuss that new phenomenon driving the bottom line: Women, and the way we want to work, are extremely good for business.

Let’s start with the female management style. It turns out it’s not soft; it’s lucrative. The workplace-research group Catalyst studied 353 Fortune 500 companies and found that those with the most women in senior management had a higher return on equities — by more than a third.

Are the women themselves making the difference? Or are these smart firms that make smart moves, like promoting women? There is growing evidence that in today’s marketplace the female management style is not only distinctly different but also essential. Studies from Cambridge University and the University of Pittsburgh suggest that women manage more cautiously than men do. They focus on the long term. Men thrive on risk, especially when surrounded by other men. Wouldn’t the economic crisis have unfolded a bit differently if Lehman Brothers had had a few more women on board?

Women are also less competitive, in a good way. They’re consensus builders, conciliators and collaborators, and they employ what is called a transformational leadership style — heavily engaged, motivational, extremely well suited for the emerging, less hierarchical workplace. Indeed, when the Chartered Management Institute in the U.K. looked ahead to 2018, it saw a work world that will be more fluid and more virtual, where the demand for female management skills will be stronger than ever. Women, CMI predicts, will move rapidly up the chain of command, and their emotional-intelligence skills may become ever more essential.

That trend will accelerate with the looming talent shortage. The Employment Policy Foundation estimated that within the next decade there would be a 6 million – person gap between the number of college graduates and the number of college-educated workers needed to cover job growth. And who receives the majority of college and advanced degrees? Women. They also control 83% of all consumer purchases, including consumer electronics, health care and cars. Forward-looking companies understand they need women to figure out how to market to women.

All that — the female management style, education levels, purchasing clout — is already being used, by pioneering women and insightful companies, to create a female-friendly working environment, in which the focus is on results, not on time spent in the office chair. On efficiency, not schmoozing. On getting the job done, however that happens best — in a three-day week, at night after the kids go to bed, from Starbucks.

And here’s the real kicker. When a company gives employees freedom, it doesn’t just feel good or get shiny, happy workers — productivity goes up. Ask firms like Capitol One, which runs a company without walls or mandatory office time. Or Best Buy, which implemented a system called ROWE — results-only work environment — and found that productivity, in some cases, shot up 40%. Flexibility is no longer a favor to be handed out like candy at a children’s birthday party; it’s a compelling business strategy.

So we need to get rid of the nutty-crunchy moral component of the work-life balance and make a business case for it. It’s easy to do. In fact, a decade from now, companies will understand that hiring lots of women, and letting them work the way they want, will help them Make More Money.

___________________________

What about you? In what ways are you doing business “differently” from the way you did it in Corporate America? Or how is your strategy getting things done in unconventional ways? What are the benefits of being a WAHM when it comes to creating success in your business? Please share your story by leaving a coment, and help inspire all of us mompreneurs who sometimes get stuck on the setbacks that juggling work and motherhood can bring.

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Does Your Website Speak to Your Readers?

Many of us mompreneurs try to protect or hide the fact that we’re also solopreneurs, a company of one.

Why?

For most, we’re concerned that we won’t be seen as credible, professional, established, or simply “big enough” as compared to our competitors who have whole departments working for them.

But is this necessarily true? What if the thing that’s most appealing to your potential clients is your uniqueness? Are you trying to conceal that uniqueness in your marketing efforts?

megaphone-mom-biz-coachIf you’re using the “royal we” on your website rather than speaking straight from your heart and gut, chances are you’re not attracting your ideal clients and you’re spending a lot of time and energy trying to be something you’re not. I’m going to talk more about this on my BlogTalkRadio show in a few minutes. You can click here to listen live or on-demand (whenever it fits into your schedule) to learn how being real speaks a lot louder and sends a better message than believing that what you are isn’t enough.

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Women Define Success Differently

I have had many conversations about the definition of success over the last four years since I became a life coach. trophy-picAt the risk of making a sexist generalization, I truly believe that women, especially moms, define success differently from men.

My definition of success completely changed once I became a mother. Prior to that, I defined success like this:

  • by working hard
  • making a lot of money
  • travelling constantly for business and pleasure
  • being able to make purchases simply because I wanted them, when I wanted them
  • having a nice car
  • owning a nice house
  • dating and then eventually marrying a super guy
  • the completion/delivery of a big project
  • being “needed” by my coworkers and clients
  • receiving rewards, promotions and acknowledgement from my coworkers, bosses and clients that I was doing a fantastic job

Now that I’m a mom, that list looks a lot different. It took me a long time to realize that my old definition of success simply didn’t work when I applied it to my new role of mother (and later to my role as mom entrepreneur). I was frustrated, sad, angry and resentful because I no longer received constant praise and acknowledgement for “my work” (mothering my three children). My Mondays looked just like my Sundays, and there wasn’t any way for me to judge my “progress” as a mother, other than how far I’d managed to get through the mountain of dirty laundry. And I certainly didn’t make any money at this new “job” as a mom–in fact, I felt a huge loss of power when I no longer earned an income myself, something I had done consistently since I was 12 years old.

With the help of my husband and my life coach, I learned that the definition I was using to measure my success (and to feel satisfied with the life I was creating) fit me about as well as a size five shoe (I wear a 10). I learned how to redefine success on my own terms by starting with a clear understanding of my core values and priorities.

Here’s how I now define success for myself:

  • I am healthy and take care of myself.
  • I am a mother of three well-adjusted, confident, friendly and compassionate children (well, almost–the two-year-old is working on the compassionate part when she’s not stealing her brothers’ favorite toys and beating them over the head with them).
  • I am a wife who is committed to her husband and a strong, satsifying marriage.
  • I am loved and supported by my extended family and many dear friends.
  • I do work that fuels my passion and totally satisfies my creativity, ambition, and natural talents.
  • My work makes a difference in the lives of others.
  • My clients inspire me.
  • I recognize that I have choices, and that it’s up to me to make life happen the way I want it to.

I just interviewed Nicola Ries Taggart, The Executive Moms Coach and founder of True Insights Coaching on Tuesday as part of my WoMEN: What Mom Entrepreneurs Need teleseminar series about the need for mom entrepreneurs to redefine success for themselves. We discussed this topic in detail. You can listen to the call by clicking here.

Looking for some inspiration? Check out this list by Michael Dunlop of incomediary.com.

Top 30 Female Internet Entrepreneurs

Posted on 12. May, 2009 by Michael in Entrepreneurship

Hello Everyone,

Women more so than men I find do not measure success by money alone but by a lot of things such as happiness, love, friendships, family and the list goes on.  So in recognition of the great numbers of female entrepreneurs out there and in particular those who are active online I have decided not to rank the 30 women listed below by wealth alone but simply  as my list of the “30 Top Female Internet Entrepreneurs”.

30 Female Entrepreneurs Making Money Online

Name Company Founded Why She Matters
Amanda Marcotte  Pandagon 26-Nov-01 Amanda runs one of the most talked about feminism and politics blogs. Marcotte shot to fame when John Edwards asked her to run the presedential blog.
Ariana Huffington  Huffington Post 09-May-05
Is perhaps one of the most successful female Internet entrepreneurs ever and is the founder of the top blog in the world according to Technorati!
Ashley Qualls  What Ever Life 2004 Attracting millions of monthly visitors earning the 18 year old 7 figures a year.
Barbara Feldman  Surfnetkids.com 29-Jun-05
Founder of Surfnetkids, the website attracts more than 600,000 visitors a month, her newsletter lists are over 80,000 strong, and her self-published e-books are sold on dozens of sites.
Carrie Wilkerson  The Bare foot Executive 2007
In 2 years Carrie has gone from in debt to 7 figure Internet entrepreneur with over 100,000 followers!
Caterina Fake  Flickr 26-Jun-05
Caterina co-founded Flickr with Stewart Butterfield which was later acquired by Yahoo! for a high 8 figure deal.
Catherine Cook  MyYearBook.com 27-Jun-05
Start 4 years ago when she was 15, MyYearBook has grown to 3 million members worldwide and rakes in annual sales in the seven figures!
Cyan Ta’eed  Eden Creative 2006 Ta’eed is the co-founder of Eden Creative Communities which attracts over 10 million visitors to their blog network every month earning her 7 figures a year.
Eileen Gittins  Blurb 26-Jun-05
Elieen is the co-founder and CEO of Blurb, a print on demand publishing service. The company’s revenue grew from $1 million to $30 million in two years.
Elaine Wherry  Meebo 01-Sep-05 Elaine co-founded Meebo, a instant messaging service you use in your browser. Meebo attracts 40,000,000 monthly users.
Erin Jansen  NetLingo.com 21-Jun-05
Founder of an Award-Winning Web Site since 1994, Erin is a Internet entrepreneur veteran.
Gina Bianchini  Ning 01-Oct-05
Gina is the Co-founder and CEO of Ning. There are 1,000,000 social networks on the Ning Platform, growing at a rate of almost 4,000 new social networks each day.
Gina Trapani  Lifehacker 01-Jan-05 Gina Trapani is a technology blogger, book author, and programmer. The founding editor of Lifehacker.com, a daily weblog on software and personal productivity, Gina authored a book based on the web site which is in its second edition: Upgrade Your Life: The Lifehacker Guide to Working Smarter, Faster, Better!
Heather Armstrong  Dooce 01-Feb-01
One of the biggest mommy blogger’s out there attracting millions of readers to her blog and has recently passed 500,000 Twitter followers.
Juliette Brindak  Miss O and Friends 22-Jun-05
Juliette came up with the idea for Miss O and Friends at just 10 years old, now 19 her business is worth over $15 Million and is visited by millions of girls every month.
Justine Ezarik  iJustine 27-Jun-05
It all started with a 300 page iPhone bill, now she is a social media rock star with millions of YouTube views and over 500,000 twitter followers!
Kim Polese  SpikeSource 25-Jun-05 Kim Karin Polese is CEO of SpikeSource, and was one of the most prominent Silicon Valley executives during the dot-com era. In 1997, she made Time Magazine’s list of “The 25 Most Influential Americans”.
Lisa Stone
Blog Her 01-Feb-05
Lisa is the founder of BlogHer which reaches more than 14 million women monthly through its conferences, Internet site and publishing networks.
Lisa Sugar  Pop Sugar April 2006 Lisa’s blog network is funded by Sequoia – the guys who funded Google and Youtube. Now one of the biggest celeb blogs on the net, Lisa sure is a top female blogger!
Louise Wannier  MyShape 26-Jun-05
Louise runs an online women’s apparel retailer that finds clothing for women based on their physical measurements and style and fit preferences
Maria Andros  Social Media Traffic Blueprint
Maria helps people create a buzz with social media. Recently she took 100 people into her mentoring program for $2500 each.
Meg Frost  Cute Overload 2005 Although she hasn’t got a pet herself, attracts 100,000s of visitors daily to her cute animal blog.
Meg Hourihan  Blogger.com 21-Jun-05
Meg Hourihan is the cofounder of Pyra Labs, the company that launched the Blogger personal blogging software that was acquired by Google for for a 8 figure deal.
Mena Trott  Six Apart 23-Jun-05
Mena is a co-founder of Six Apart, creator of Movable Type and TypePad.
Michelle Malkin  Michelle Malkin June 2004 Michelle blogs about news and politics which attracts nearly 200,000 visitors a day to her site.
Penelope Trunk  Brazen Careerist March 2006 With multiple start-ups and over 30,000 RSS readers on her personal blog, Penelope is one female to follow.
Nancy J Price  she knows 1999
Nancy co-founded SheKnows which attracts 7.5 Million Monthly Unique Visitors and 76 Million Monthly Page Views!
Natalie Massenet  Net-A-Porter 22-Jun-05
Eight years ago she’d never even been on the internet. This year Natalie Massenet turned over £37 million with Net-a-Porter, the fashion website that has become a global phenomenon.
Rachna Kingston  Entheos 30-May-08
Is a pregnant work at home mum who runs a web design resource website that attracts over a million visitors a month!
Xeni Jardin  Boing Boing 22-Jun-05 Xeni is the editor of one of the top 5 blogs in the world, Boing Boing.

So how do you define success for yourself? Have you outgrown your old definition? Did your definition change once you became a mom? If so, how? Please leave a comment below, and share this on twitter and facebook with your friends who might be trying to figure this out for themselves.

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Are you feeling guilty about being a mom entrepreneur?

I love my job. I love to work. I actually enjoy the thing I get paid to do.

And I’m in good company. Many mom entrepreneurs have found a way to make money doing work they love. Our work is a source for our creativity, passion, ambition, purpose, and various talents. Doing our work validates us, gives us a sense of accomplishment, and of course, provides rewards like acknowledgement and money.

But there can be a downside to all that great stuff. Someone once told me that in becoming a mother I had signed a lifelong agreement with Guilt.

Not so much. Read Lisa Druxman’s tips to ditch the guilt and celebrate your achievements in the attached article, “The Guilty Mom Entrepreneur” from Entrepreneur.com.

If you can turn your guilt into gratitude, as Lisa suggests in her article, what is one thing about being a mom entrepreneur you’re grateful for?

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