Why the HP Folio 13 Ultrabook is Perfect for Mompreneurs {and a giveaway}

About three weeks ago as I was planning for the Mom Biz Retreat Denver, and I was struggling to choose which of my four computers to take with me to the Retreat. The choice was really between my 17 inch laptop, my netbook, and my iPad. I needed portability, great battery life, and a powerful processor that would allow me to do my usual multitasking, since we integrate using Social Media, browsing the web for brand and competitor research, and fun things like running videos and streaming music into the Retreat workshops.

The 17 inch laptop has a great processor and is pretty good at all the multitasking I do on a daily basis. But the thing weighs like, 100 pounds, and there was no way I wanted to drag it through airports, on shuttles and in and out of hotel rooms.

My iPad is fun, lightweight, great for streaming videos and music, but even with an added bluetooth keyboard, I find that I don’t go to my iPad when I need hardcore business functionality. It’s more of a fun tool for consuming entertainment and information than it is for producing content.

The netbook is certainly portable–same size as my iPad–but the processor is too weak to even do a decent job of running a Skype session with a client, much less Skyping while also tweeting or browsing the web at the same time. I’ll be passing that little computer onto one of my lucky children.

You guys hear me say all the time how much I rely on technology to give me the freedom and flexibility being a mom entrepreneur demands. I don’t dig technology just to be the coolest mom on the block. But when HP sent me the Folio 13 Ultrabook I’m typing on right now, I completely geeked out. mom biz coach mom entrepreneur laptop for mobility

Even in the box, the laptop only weighed about 5 pounds. I opened it up and found a very sleek, silver machine inside. It took me about 10 minutes to get it unwrapped, set up, and connected to my wireless router at home. Easy-peasy. And within about 20 minutes, I fell in love.

(Keep reading below so you fall in love, too, and learn how you could get one of these fantastic laptops in your deserving hands via my giveaway!)

 

Here’s why I love and highly recommend the Folio 13 for busy mompreneurs:

I sat it next to my iPad and a pair of kid’s scissors so you could get a feel for the size of it…pretty close to an iPad, but better.

  • It boots up faster than I can say to my kids: “No, you can’t play on Mom’s new computer. Go use one of the other laptops.” Seriously. With all my other computers, I have to fire them up and then go make myself a cup of coffee before they’re ready to do anything for me. Time isn’t something I have a lot of, so this is a big deal to me.
  • Call me schizophrenic. I don’t mind. I like to run Pandora in the background so I can listen to my favorite music while I’m blogging, and I’m always posting my Twitter and Facebook updates while I blog. My husband chides me for having “too many tabs in my browser open at once” since it slows down the processing speed so much that I may as well go make myself a snack to go along with that coffee I had earlier. Not so with this little laptop. I do it all, all at the same time, and my Folio 13 keeps on going. It’s been three weeks and it hasn’t crashed a single time. Ask me how many tabs I have open right now (and all the time): eleven. Normal, right?
  • It’s a full-size keyboard, unlike my iPad. I can type 70 wpm on a full-sized keyboard, but I only type about 25 wpm on my iPad. I can’t believe that something this size indeed feels full-sized.
  • Do you blog and tweet in the dark? Yeah, me too. I finally own a laptop that has a backlit keyboard! Cowabunga! I appreciate not having to hunt for the special keys in the dark when I need them.
  • I can stay unplugged for an entire day. At the Mom Biz Retreat in Denver last weekend, I left the power cord for the Folio 13 up in my suite and used my laptop to power my presentations during our all-day work sessions. I had plenty of battery life even when I plugged it back in late at night. Talk about flexibility.

In the interest of full disclosure, HP gave me this laptop to keep (thank you, HP!!!), since I meet the exact profile of the kind of person who could benefit from using it. If I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t have agreed to keep it and tell you about it. But they have me pegged, and I’m so fond of this little gem that I’m doing a giveaway to help one of you love it, too!

Here’s the deal:

You may have heard that Shelagh Cummins and I are returning to Caledon, Ontario in September to host the Mom Biz Retreat there. We are looking forward to returning to the city in which we first launched the Mom Biz Retreats one year ago! We know lots of you are talking about joining us there. So we’re going to give you an incentive: We will giveaway one HP Folio 13 Ultrabook just like this one to one of you who registers for the Retreat! We’re just that committed to helping you get what you need to be a successful mom and entrepreneur. Yeah!

Here’s how to grab one of only 50 seats offered at Mom Biz Retreat Ontario.

 

This giveaway is open to the mompreneurs who register for and attend the Mom Biz Retreat in Caledon, Ontario September 27-30. To qualify for the giveaway, register to attend the Retreat and then leave a comment below telling us you’ve registered and what your top business challenge is. We will cross-reference all comments with our registration list.

  • One entry per person.
  • Giveaway ends at 11pm ET on August 31st.
  • One winning registrant of the Mom Biz Retreat Ontario 2012 will be selected via Random.org.
  • The winner will have seven days to respond to my email (sent to the address you include when you leave your comment on the blog), after which an alternate winner will be chosen.

I’m grateful to HP for providing me the Folio 13! Now, how fast can you register so you can get a chance to win yours? GO!

 

 

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What Mom Biz Retreat is REALLY All About

I just returned from hosting Mom Biz Retreat in Denver last weekend, and as usual when I experience something wonderful, I always want to share it with everyone I know.

mombizretreat.com denver

 

But I’ve been stuck for days trying to figure out how to summarize all that happened in that powerful weekend. I initially thought I’d write a sort of journal entry that touched on everything we did over the three nights and three days together. But telling you all about the amazing food we ate, the fantastic spa treatments we received, the powerful work sessions we had and the deep conversations that kept us up too late each night won’t capture the essence of the Retreat experience.

So let me pull back the curtain and tell you what really happens at the Mom Biz Retreat.

We are small.

There are so many live events out there that aim to be the most popular. They need 300, 500, or 1,000 attendees to consider themselves successful. Our mission is to provide an intimate, close-knit group of women who really get to know each other and reach out to support each other. We listen to each woman share her goals, her plans, her fears. We ask probing questions. We offer honest feedback. With a tiny group of women, no one can get lost or left out. We are able to hold each and every participant in the Retreats responsible for the goals she sets for herself for the weekend. We get things done.

We make a few confessions.

When girls gather, work together all day, then play together all evening, we tend to open up and share more than we would in a big group. Trusting bonds are formed. We see ourselves in each other. We understand how each other feels. We realize how some of our limiting beliefs are keeping us from being successful, from playing a bigger game, or from getting what we really want.

It’s amazing how freeing it can be to admit the limiting beliefs we have about ourselves, beliefs like:

  • “I really should just be happy with my corporate job since I make plenty of money.”
  • “I’m embarrassed about how much money I make because it means I’m working too much and neglecting my kids.”
  • “In my heart I want to help everybody, not just rich people, so I have to keep my fees low.”
  • “How can I call myself an expert when I don’t have a fraction of the clients, followers, or fans that x——— does?”
  • “Money is tight, so I have to keep doing work I hate in order to make ends meet.”
  • “I’m drowning in work right now, but I can’t outsource anything because it’s too hard to explain what I do.”

We make big plans.

Once we admit those scary beliefs that are keeping us down, we have the golden opportunity to let go of them and replace them with awesome, huge, inspiring beliefs. We encourage each other to try something we didn’t think we could. We ask each other to ask for more. We practice declaring who we are, what we do, who we serve and why it matters. We raise our rates and charge what we’re really worth. We ask for help in creating the support structures and systems that allow us to accomplish our dreams.

We leave empowered and confident.

We girls like to lift each other up. We like to help each other. How can you not feel more confident when you’ve shared your big, hairy, scary fears with a group of women business owners who have also shared theirs, and who still think you’re amazing anyway?

Shelagh and I have created the kind of event we want to attend ourselves. It’s an honor to get to spend a weekend amidst women committed to running a business and a family according to their own definition of success.

Is it time for you to let go of those limiting beliefs that are keeping you from achieving your goals? What could you do with a strong, honest, powerful network of women entrepreneurs who you know have your back? Grab your seat now before they’re all gone: www.mombizretreat.com and click on Ontario for the next Retreat coming up in September.

 

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#MomBizMondays: Success and Reinvention – How to maximize your potential in 2012

TOPIC: Success and Reinvention – Maximize your potential for 2012!

The holidays are approaching at a rapid rate… before you know it, the clock will strike midnight, you’ll be wearing a funny hat and kissing someone while listening to Auld Lang Syne. It will be the New Year. Welcome 2012! We want to arm you with some great tips and tools to help prepare you for a new year of business.

Perhaps you need a fresh start? Perhaps you need some redirection? Maybe you just need a little kick in the pants to do something you have been avoiding? Join us as we share tips and tricks to help set yourself up for business success and to maximize your business potential in 2012.

We want you to be armed with as many systems and supports that we can share to bring you some sanity and success for your Mom Business in 2012. We get the struggles, we get the frustrations, we get the “pull your hair out” days. We have been there and done that – and still do some days! But there are steps you can take to set yourself up for a successful new year. We want to share some ideas and talk about your ideas for your business in 2012. Moms: Stop being martyrs and get help, ask for help, and share your advice!

The MomBizRetreat is a proud sponsor of December 12th’s #MomBizMondays Live Twitter Chat

WHEN:
Monday, December 12th, 2011

TIME:
EST 10:00pm to 11:00pm
CST 09:00pm to 10:00pm
MST 08:00pm to 09:00pm
PST 07:00pm to 08:00pm

SPONSORED BY:
Mom Biz Retreat Weekend Getaways for Mompreneurs
This party is sponsored by Lara Galloway, @MomBizCoach and Shelagh Cummins @BizTrainHer, co-hosts of the Mom Biz Retreat. The Mom Biz Retreats are mompreneur getaways that offer women the chance to unplug from their daily routines and responsibilities. They get business coaching and expert consulting to plan, develop, market and grow their business during 2.5 days of intensive workshops. And as a reward for all their hard work, the mom entrepreneur participants treat themselves to private Wake Up Yoga Classes, spa treatments, exquisite meals, delicious wines, and the chance to connect with other women who think talking business and family makes a really good time.

HOSTS:
Lara @MomBizCoach Website: Mom Biz Coach FaceBook: Mom Biz Coach
Shelagh @BizTrainHer Website: Practical Mum FaceBook: Practical Mum Fans
Melissa @TimeOutMom Website: TimeOutMom FaceBook: TimeOutMom

PANELISTS:
Michelle Mangen @mmangen
Lisa Moeller @Genevieve_Lucy
Melissa Stewart @melissaonline
Heather Travitz @Heather31Mom

TWEETS:
We look forward to you joining us Monday night. We would love your help in promoting this chat your communities. Feel free to copy and paste the following tweets to help promote the Twitter Party.

RT @MomBizRetreat – Success and Reinvention – How to Maximize Your Potential 2012 Join #MomBizMondays 12/12 10pm ET http://bit.ly/u3QpNr

RT @MomBizRetreat – Are you ready to take your business to the next level in 2012? Join #MomBizMondays 12/12 10pm ET http://bit.ly/u3QpNr

RT @MomBizRetreat – @MomBizCoach @BizTrainHer @TimeOutMom will be sharing great tips/advice for mom entrepreneurs Mon 12/12 10pm ET #mombizmondays http://bit.ly/u3QpNr

TWITTER PARTY TWEETGRID LINK:
[to be provided shortly before the start of the party]

TWITTER PARTY HASHTAG:
#MomBizMondays

LINKS:
MomBizRetreat – http://bit.ly/uzBN17
MomBizGiveaway – http://bit.ly/sBcgyv

AGENDA: THEME =  MOM BIZ SUCCESS IN 2012

RT @MomBizRetreat – QUESTION #1: WHAT WAS YOUR BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT IN 2011? #MomBizMondays

RT @MomBizRetreat – QUESTION #2: WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST CONCERN ABOUT BUSINESS IN 2012? #MomBizMondays

RT @MomBizRetreat – QUESTION #3: WHAT GOALS WILL YOU SET FOR NEXT YEAR? #MomBizMondays

RT @MomBizRetreat – QUESTION #4: WHAT IS ONE THING YOU BELIEVE IS CRITICAL TO YOUR SUCCESS IN 2012? #MomBizMondays

RT @MomBizRetreat – QUESTION #5: WHAT WILL YOU DO TO MAKE SURE YOU ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS? #MomBizMondays

PANELISTS + ATTENDEES:
Please be sure to you Twitter Party hashtag #MomBizMondays at the end of every tweet so everyone may follow along in the conversation even if you are not following that person specifically. Please retweet all questions. It would be great if you were able to share your answers to each question. Connect with others at the party and say hello, chat with others, & remember to HAVE FUN! Also be sure to share links to your websites, blogs, and FaceBook pages too! We love sharing! *If you meet some great like-minded people at tonight’s twitter party, be sure to follow them so you can connect afterwards!

MomBizRetreat Tweets

No laundry? No kids? No cooking? No cleaning? Weekend away with like-minded women? #MomBizMondays #MomBizRetreat http://bit.ly/uzBN17

Kids driving you crazy? Family not understanding you? Struggling in Business? We help. #MomBizRetreat #MomBizMondays http://bit.ly/uzBN17

The best gift this holiday season? A weekend away to work on and build your business. #MomBizMondays #MomBizRetreat http://bit.ly/uzBN17

#Mompreneurs – don’t hide behind your computer feeling lost and lonely.  We can help. #MomBizMondays #MomBizRetreat http://bit.ly/uzBN17

I bet your moneymaker doesn’t involve carpooling and dusting. Come and learn how to manage it all. #MomBizMondays #MomBizRetreat http://bit.ly/uzBN17

Stop struggling with your business.  We help you create a clear and definitive path for your business. #MomBizMondays #MomBizRetreat http://bit.ly/uzBN17

RELEVANT ARTICLES

Teleseminar: Success and Reinvention – How to maximize your business potential in 2012 #MomBizMondays http://bit.ly/rwgjqF

The Power and Possibility Of Questions To Build Your Business #MomBizMondays http://bit.ly/tX6qIB

Do connections really matter in your business? Are they important? #MomBizMondays http://bit.ly/w14cQO

 

SOURCES:
www.MomBizRetreat.com
www.MomBizCoach.com
www.BizTrainHer.com
www.TimeOutMom.com

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#MomBizMondays Twitter Chat: Dec 5th Mom Biz Struggles and How to Overcome Them

#MomBizMondays Mom Biz Struggles chat

Mom Biz Struggles and How to Overcome Them

We all bring a certain level of knowledge and a specific skill set to our businesses. We grow our businesses by relying on our strengths and trying to sidestep our challenges.  Inevitably, you reach that tipping point where you begin to struggle.  Things no longer are working smoothly, your business is no longer growing, and your frustration level increases.  Thing is, this is a universal phenomenon… But why is it that we struggle with our Mom Businesses?

#MomBizMondays Twitter Party

Monday, December 5th, 2011

TOPIC: MOM BIZ STRUGGLES AND HOW TO OVERCOME THEM
Join us tonight to chat about what struggles you are experiencing and how we can overcome them. Lean on your #mombizmondays network to help you overcome a hurdle or a challenge that is currently holding you in a standstill. Come and learn about ideas, systems and resources that can support you and your business, and know that you are not alone! Moms: Stop being martyrs and get help, ask for help, and share your advice!

WHEN:
Monday, December 5th, 2011

TIME:
EST 10:00pm to 11:00pm
CST 09:00pm to 10:00pm
MST 08:00pm to 09:00pm
PST 07:00pm to 08:00pm

SPONSORED BY:
Mom Biz Retreat Weekend Getaways for Mompreneurs
This party is sponsored by Lara Galloway, @MomBizCoach and Shelagh Cummins @BizTrainHer, co-hosts of the Mom Biz Retreat. The Mom Biz Retreats are mompreneur getaways that offer women the chance to unplug from their daily routines and responsibilities. They get business coaching and expert consulting to plan, develop, market and grow their business during 2.5 days of intensive workshops. And as a reward for all their hard work, the mom entrepreneur participants treat themselves to private Wake Up Yoga Classes, spa treatments, exquisite meals, delicious wines, and the chance to connect with other women who think talking business and family makes a really good time.

HOSTS:
Lara @MomBizCoach Website: Mom Biz Coach FaceBook: Mom Biz Coach
Shelagh @BizTrainHer Website: Practical Mum FaceBook: Practical Mum Fans
Melissa @TimeOutMom Website: TimeOutMom FaceBook: TimeOutMom

PANELISTS:

TWEETS:
We look forward to you joining us Monday night. We would love your help in promoting this chat your communities. Feel free to copy and paste the following tweets to help promote the Twitter Party.

RT @MomBizRetreat – Every mom biz owner struggles, but there’s no reason to do it alone. Join #MomBizMondays 12/5 10pm ET twitter party and get/give support! http://bit.ly/sp7Qta

RT @MomBizRetreat – Need somewhere to turn for answers to your mompreneur questions? Join #MomBizMondays 12/5 10pm ET http://bit.ly/sp7Qta

RT @MomBizRetreat – @mombizcoach @ biztrainher @timeoutmom will be sharing great tips/advice for mom entrepreneurs Mon 12/5 10pm ET #mombizmondays http://bit.ly/sp7Qta

TWITTER PARTY TWEETGRID LINK:
[to be provided shortly before the start of the party]

TWITTER PARTY HASHTAG:
#MomBizMondays

AGENDA: THEME = MOM BIZ STRUGGLES

 

SKILLS AND STRENGTHS

QUESTION #1: WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST STRENGTH THAT YOU BRING TO YOUR BUSINESS?

QUESTION #2: WHAT SKILL DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE WHICH WOULD HELP YOUR BUSINESS?

QUESTION #3: WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST STRUGGLE IN YOUR BUSINESS??

TIME

QUESTION #4: HOW DO YOU MANAGE YOUR WORK TIME? IS IT WORKING?

PLANNING

QUESTION #5: HOW OFTEN DO YOU REVIEW YOUR BUSINESS PLAN?

QUESTION #6: WHERE CAN YOU TURN TO FOR HELP WHEN YOU ARE STRUGGLING?

COMMITMENT

QUESTION #7: HOW DO YOU PRIORITIZE ALL YOUR COMMITMENTS (FAMILY< BUSINESS< PARTNER)?

PANELISTS + ATTENDEES:
Please be sure to you Twitter Party hashtag #MomBizMondays at the end of every tweet so everyone may follow along in the conversation even if you are not following that person specifically. Please retweet all questions. It would be great if you were able to share your answers to each question. Connect with others at the party and say hello, chat with others, & remember to HAVE FUN! Also be sure to share links to your websites, blogs, and FaceBook pages too! We love sharing! *If you meet some great like-minded people at tonight’s twitter party, be sure to follow them so you can connect afterwards!

SOURCES:

www.MomBizRetreat.com
www.MomBizCoach.com
www.BizTrainHer.com
www.TimeOutMom.com

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Highlights From the MomBizRetreat

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.

Mompreneur Getaway Mom Entrepreneurs RetreatI went there as a teacher/trainer/coach, but I came away having learned so much. When you put 18 powerful, smart, and ambitious women in a room, big things happen. (One of the MomBizRetreat participants shared her story here.) I have so much to share with you about this amazing experience.

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.MomBizRetreat Mompreneur Getaway Mom Entrepreneur Retreat Millcroft Inn Canada

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.
  • A women’s retreat is a great, safe space to practice being open to change.

I would love to say more here, but it’s easier for me to share it on Twitter (check out the #MomBizRetreat hashtag to follow the conversation there), on our MomBizRetreat Facebook Page, and of course, on my BlogTalkRadio Show.

Lara Galloway mombizcoach.com Shelagh Cummins biztrainher.com leaders of the mombizretreat.comIf you attended the MomBizRetreat and have created a video, blogpost or podcast about your experience there, please share a link here in the comments section.

What would you be looking for in a women’s business retreat or mompreneur getaway? I’d love to hear your thoughts below.

*photos courtesy Jennifer Gilbert, Naturally Beautiful Photography

 

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