I had the pleasure of joining 30 diverse, inspiring and talented “characters” who spoke at the Canadian debut of the #140 Characters Conference in Kitchener, Ontario on September 15th. What an amazing experience.
This conference, unlike most others, invites the speakers to share their stories–something honest and significant that helps everyone who hears the story to relate and connect. In doing so, the conference (which has certainly also become an entire movement, started by Jeff Pulver, its founder) makes possible in real life some of the magic that happens via Social Media.
If you’re looking for inspiration, information, and connection, you can watch all of the videos from the conference (each is about 10 minutes long) on the #140ConfOnt’s YouTube Channel. It will certainly beat out anything else you could find to watch on TV tonight.
My talk was all about how Twitter would have been a better alternative therapy to the anti-depressants I was prescribed during my bout with Post Partum Depression. I explain how surprised I was to find such a helpful, caring community on Twitter when I shared some of the tough stuff I was going through. I call it the “Me, too” community because I found that every time I tweeted something honest, whether it was good or bad, there were others out there who could relate and were happy to tell me they understood and supported me.
Are you participating in the “Me, too” community? Do you share your challenges, triumphs and mistakes on Social Media? Do you connect and relate with others who do? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Last week, Shelagh Cummins and I hosted the first-ever MomBizRetreat. The purpose of the Retreat was to give mom entrepreneurs a space and dedicated time to work on themselves and on their businesses, without all the distractions we usually have at home. It was amazing on so many levels.
It’s been six days since I drove to the Village of Alton, outside of Toronto, and spent nearly every waking minute for an entire weekend with other mompreneurs who are just as passionate about their families and businesses as I am.
The thing is, writing it down in an organized blog post really stifles me. I’m really not a blogger. I’m a micro-blogger. I speak and think in tweets. I can readily share my ideas in conversation, pictures, podcasts, and all over social media. But it’s been six days since the Retreat, and I’m still struggling to tell you about it on my blog.
So instead of continuing to struggle with organized thoughts that flow logically from one to the next, I’m going to share snippets of what I’m taking away from the MomBizRetreat.
Set your intentions, share them with others who understand your motivation and passion, and you’re gonna get them done!
Mompreneurs support each other. The women in the room worked together and found ways to help each other. Collaborate rather than compete.
Getting away from it all allows us the freedom to think, create and do at a lightning-fast pace.
It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out as a mom entrepreneur or whether you’ve run your company for 10 years already. Everyone has valuable knowledge, wisdom and expertise to share.
You have to love your work. If you don’t anymore, then it’s time to reflect, refine and re-invent.
If everyone else thinks you’re successful, but you don’t feel happy about what you’ve accomplished, it’s definitely time to rethink how you define success for yourself.
Every mompreneur needs a Time Map. Period.
Getting out of the “should” business is thoroughly liberating. The mom business owners at the Retreat had a ton of skills and strengths. Their businesses are going to thrive now that they are giving their strengths their focus!
Having a buddy you can share your thoughts, fears, wins, doubts, plans, challenges and successes with is critical. I’m so grateful for my partner!
When you have an “a-ha moment,” you have to do something about it. Updating your website or profile to reflect something you believe in, making a huge business decision when you realize something, asking for help when you see that you need it must all be done the minute you realize you need to do them!
Sometimes random strangers can tell us things about our businesses that we can’t see for ourselves.
Sometimes random strangers can see straight into our hearts, even when we’re trying hard to hide something.
Being passionate about people and things in your life makes you motivated to do things (amorous or otherwise), right?
But what role does passion play in your business?
I believe passion is a key factor in the success of a mompreneur business. There are so many ways we moms could make money. We have lots of talents, skills and gifts we could offer in return for compensation. But when we choose to start a business while running a family, we are often motivated by something we feel we need to do, something we’re longing to do, something we’re passionate about… There’s a direct correlation between how passionate a mompreneur is about her business and how successful she’ll be. Without passion, it’s just too easy to give up on our commitments when the going gets tough.
So passion = yearning/desire.
And yearning/desire brings about focus and commitment.
And focus + commitment drives us to achieve our goals.
And if we set good goals for our business and are committed to achieve them, we’ll no doubt be successful.
So, how passionate are you about your business? Are you getting the results you want from it? I’d love to hear your comments below.
In the mean time, let’s take a walk on the light side and watch my friend, Carley Knobloch of Digitwirl, tell us how to get what we really want for Valentine’s Day using some cool, savvy technology.
You’ve heard the saying “it’s the thought that counts,” but have you ever gotten one that leaves you wondering “What were they thinking?” When it comes to gift ideas for your Baby Shower, Wedding Registry, or most importantly, Valentine’s Day, forget subtle hints— try Wishpot.com (www.wishpot.com). Create an online wish list that, with the push of a button, automatically adds anything and everything you desperately want right to your personal wish list. Then share the items you’ve been lusting after, with your husband, friends, co-workers, and especially your mother-in-law who inexplicably believes you collect frog figurines. So now, in spite of what Mr. Jagger might profess, “you CAN always get what you want.”
Digitwirl is the weekly web show that offers simple solutions to modern day problems. In 3-minutes, Digitwirl brings busy women the very best time, money, and sanity-saving technology, and then teaches them how to use it, step-by-step. Digitwirl was created by technology lifestyle expert Carley Knobloch, who uses lots of technology to manage her busy life as mom of two and entrepreneur. Become a subscriber to get weekly show alerts and exclusive deals at Digitwirl.com, or follow Digitwirl on Twitter at @digitwirlr.
If you’re looking for a silver bullet, you won’t find that sorta thing on my blog. Ever.
That said, I do believe it’s both possible and necessary for mompreneurs to find ways to make more money while working less.
I’ve been answering a lot of questions in my coaching groups lately about the idea of creating a sustainable business model for mom entrepreneurs and work at home moms. The bottom line is this: if you’re running a business that is running you ragged, stressing you out, taking up all of your time and leaving very little of you for your family to enjoy, then you (and your business) won’t last for long.
One of the best ways to make your business sustainable is to learn how to automate some of the actions and processes you do over and over. We all have to develop strategies to find new clients and keep our sales pipelines full. This takes a lot of time, effort and energy for all of us mom entrepreneurs. Think about it–if you could get these tasks that you have to do repeatedly off your to-do list, you could spend your time doing something else, like go on a bike ride with the kids, or read a magazine while the kids run through the sprinkler, or you could spend some time creating a vision for the future of your business rather than just scrambling through all the work that has to get done.
Wanna learn some tricks that will help you get your business working while you’re working on your tan this summer?
Join me on Tuesday, June 23rd, at 12 pm ET when my special guest, Rhonda Hess, teaches us “How to Automate Your Business to Attract Thousands of Ideal Clients.” Rhonda is a Coaching Business Success Strategist and founder of Prosperous Coach. Best of all, she’s MY business coach! I’m delighted to share my fabulous coach and mentor with all of my listeners.
This free teleseminar is part of my WoMEN: What Mom Entrepreneurs Need Series. You can register to receive the freebies, Special Reports and other offers my guests make available to our listeners by going to www.whatmomentrepreneursneed.com and filling in the email form at the top of the page. You’ll also be notified when I add more speakers and more topics (which I occasionally do).
I know that I’m looking for ways to get out of the office and spend the lazy, unstructured time with my family that summer always brings. Having some systems that allow me to attract exactly the clients I want will give me the freedom to do just that!
You can listen live (or on demand once the call is over) via phone or over the internet. Just go to BlogTalkRadio to get details.
Do you have questions for me or Rhonda? Leave them here and we’ll do our best to address them on the call, or you can call in live to the show (go to BlogTalkRadio to get the dial-in instructions).
Ever wondered if you or your business were interesting enough to garner some media attention? Want to learn how publicity can seriously boost your small business, especially in the lucrative mom market? Think publicity for your mompreneur business is a good idea, but are you scared speechless at the thought of speaking to the press?
Well, you’re not alone.
Many of the mompreneurs I coach have not yet learned to leverage the media to help them grow their businesses. Their reasons are totally normal:
They think their company is too small for the media to take interest.
They don’t understand “public relations” and how it can work for them.
Or, they have already spent some time and money having some press releases written and pitched to the media, but haven’t received much interest.
They don’t know how interesting their personal story is.
They’re scared of talking to the press because they don’t know what to say or how to say it.
There are other reasons, too, but these are some of the most common.
There are some incredibly successful mompreneurs out there whose start-up businesses have blossomed into very lucrative, successful, satisfying ventures. You’ve seen them featured on Oprah, on the morning news shows, hear them on the radio and read about them in the local and national newspapers and magazines. How did they get there? And what’s keeping you and your business from being there, too?
Publicity is key for mom entrepreneurs. After all, quite often, our target market is other moms. And moms in particular like buying from other moms, and especially from moms they feel they can relate to.
Wondering how you can make your customers feel like they can relate to you? Then it’s time for you to learn how to “tell your story” so your customers can get to know a little about you and feel more compelled to buy your products and services.
We’re going to learn just how to do this in my next teleseminar on Tuesday, May 26th at Noon ET at www.blogtalkradio.com/mombizcoach with my special guest, Melissa Cassera of Cassera Communications.
“Spinning Your Story–Teaching Mom Entrepreneurs How to Use Publicity” is the fifth teleseminar in the “WoMEN: What Mom Entrepreneurs Need” series I host every two weeks.
On Tuesday, May 26th, I interview Melissa Cassera, of Cassera Communications, who is a speaker, author, model and publicity strategist. You won’t want to miss this information-packed hour in whichÂ I askÂ Melissa to give us the scoop on why mom entrepreneurs need to clearly define their own “story” and learn how to wield it powerfully to get the attention of the media.
Melissa will share her innovative way to create a story to help brand and market your business. Melissaâ€™s â€œStory Spnningâ€ has helped countless business owners find the story that best fits who they are and how to use this particular angle to weave their personal narrative into sales presentations, business meetings and marketing meetings, how to tell concise and engaging stories in media interviews and how to determine angles when pitching reporters.
The schedule for the WoMEN: What Mom Entrepreneurs Need teleseminar series continues every second and fourth Tuesday of each month at Noon ETÂ on www.blogtalkradio.com/mombizcoach.
Are you using PR for your business? Do you have a publicist or are you doing it all yourself? What has worked (and what hasn’t worked) for you? Please leave your comments below, and be sure to tell all your friends to tune into this free teleseminar!
Must say that my dear friend, Minna, just made my day. Check out the video below to hear the great news! (Hint: You can be Mom of the Year, too! Just wait for the end of the video to find out how you can acknowledge yourself and all the other moms you know out there with a pretty cool and free Mother’s Day gift…)
Have you been putting off writing your business plan?
Are you thinking that only “big businesses” looking for funding need to develop plans?
Or maybe you’re so stressed out, overwhlemed and busy that you can’t handle any sort of plan since you’re so busy putting out fires.
Well, any of these options makes you a very normal mom entrepreneur. But it’s hard to underestimate the value of having a plan for your business. Think focus. Think milestones. Think actions that actually lead to results. Think about finally getting what you want in life, rather than running as fast as you can from work to sporting events to client meetings to the dinner table.
Last Thursday I had a few minutes to spare at the end of my coaching office hours, so I decided to become a Blog Talk Radio show host.
Yep, you read that correctly. My decision-making process was pretty much like: “Hmmm…This does look interesting. Others I trust think it’s the bomb. I guess I’ll do it.”
I’ve never hosted a radio show before.
I know next-to-nothing about Blog Talk Radio’s platform and how to utilize it effeciently.
But I set up a profile, gave my show a name, clicked a few times, and voila! Within minutes I became an internet radio show host.
Just for fun, I scheduled my first live broadcast for the next day. A few minutes before going live on the show, I dialed in on the “host line,” finished making a few bullet points about the topic I was covering (“The Top Mistakes Work at Home Moms Make”), and shortly thereafter hosted my very first Audio Blog on The Mom Biz Coach Blog Talk Radio Show.
What a hoot! I had no idea what I was doing beforehand. I didn’t wait until I had studied all the online tutorials that were offered. I didn’t research, ponder and analyze my topic and whether it was the best I could’ve chosen. And I didn’t write out a script to make sure I said everything perfectly.
Nope. I learn best by doing. I get things done by just doing them. I have a lot of fun this way, even though I am at certain risk of making mistakes. Sometimes I make really big mistakes that make me feel embarrassed for a while. Other times I enjoy myself in the moment, not putting too much pressure on myself to be perfect, and in those moments I’m usually happiest with who I am. Flaws/mistakes included.
If you’d like to listen in as I practice doing things I’ve never done before, I’ll be doing just that on Tuesday, 3/31/09 at 11:30 am ET. You can tune in by clicking http://www.blogtalkradio.com/MomBizCoach . I’m adding lots of new shows, so perhaps bookmark or make my show a favorite if you’d like to keep updated.
If you are an entrepreneur, you’ve had the experience of being struck with a “bright idea” that you’re certain will make you money. Hopefully, lots of money.
Many of the mom entrepreneurs I work with have incredibly creative minds and come up with new ideas for their businesses all the time. That’s part of what makes being an entrepreneur so much fun. After all, it’s not often when you’re working for someone else that your ideas are valued as much as you’d like them to be. When you work for yourself, you have the opportunity to turn your great ideas into actual products and services you can sell.
But how do you know if your idea will make you money? Or to put it another way, what if nobody else thinks your idea is so great? How much time, money, and energy can you afford to put into a business or a new product or service that doesn’t sell?
Well, I’ll be honest with you. I don’t have a crystal ball and am not able to tell my coaching clients how to predict what the market will like or not like. I wish I could. But there are some easy, cheap (or free) steps you can take to be sure that you create a business, product or service the market will buy.
One of the first steps is to be clear on what your niche is and knowing what your niche market needs. If you just create a business idea and hope that someone buys it, you’re probably wasting your time and money. And these are two things mom entrepreneurs don’t have a lot of.
Secondly, it helps to utilize some of the free/cheap web tools that are out there to actually do a bit of market research before you spend money bringing your idea to reality. This research will save you time, energy, money and stress, so it is definitely worth doing beforehand!
I’ll be talking more about this in my upcoming teleseminar on Tuesday, March 24th at Noon. I’ve invited internet marketing guru Steve Weber (of www.weberinternetmarketing.com) to be my guest expert and to answer all of your questions about starting a business or creating a new product or service that will make you lots of money.
You can register for the teleseminar “Is Your Idea Viable?” by clicking here. The $19 fee will certainly pay for itself when you learn some of the marketing research techniques Steve and I use to be sure our own ideas will sell.
Steve and I will be taking questions from participants on the call (or via the webcast) and would love to help you with yours. When you register, you’ll get immediate access to the teleseminar information (including bridgeline and webcast access).
“Is Your Idea Viable?” is the first teleseminar in the WoMEN: What Mom Entrepreneurs Need teleseminar series I’m offering to mom entrepreneurs who want some short cuts and support in making their business incredibly successful this year. Visit my website to learn more about the series and see who’s up next on the agenda! The series debuts March 24 and continues every two weeks through December.
Are you toying around with a bright idea that you’d like to make a reality? What tools/strategies/methods do you use to test the market before you launch? Leave a comment below and share your questions or best practices.