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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Four Common Places We Get Stuck

Where are you getting stuck? Chances are, it’s in one of these four common pitfalls: research gathering, procrastination, the “bright shiny objects” syndrome, and negative self-talk. If you can distinguish that you’re stuck in one of these areas, then you have the choice to do something different.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=we8HeAnB8XM[/youtube]

Where are you stuck? Do you identify with one of the pitfalls I described in this video, or are you doing something a little different? Please share your comments as well as tips for getting unstuck.

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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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Wow–I was voted Mom of the Year 2009!

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…)

Lara Galloway, Mom of The Year 2009

To all the moms out there, you are doing a great job!!! You deserve anything you want!!!

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The Toughest Question Working Moms Face

 

Guest post by Michele Dortch of IntegratedMother.com

What do you do?What do you do?

It’s a simple question that comes up frequently for business women. Yet motherhood makes the answer complex.

Before children, you probably responded to this question with your career profession, “I’m an HR Manager.” Once children enter the picture, your heart wants to lead with, “I’m a mother,” but your head advises you to lead with something perceived as more credible first, especially if you’re at a business function.

If you’re like most success-driven women, you want to make a contribution to something meaningful. You also closely attribute what you do to your significance and importance. Becoming a mother complicates what you perceive as important – my career or my children? As a result the simple question, “What do you do?” transforms into the more difficult question, “Who are you?”

The transition from working woman to working mother is a period of significant change, yet few women recognize the change or actively do anything to bridge the gap between the two phases of life. Somewhere in between meaning, significance and importance is lost making the new question, “Who are you?” harder to answer.

The key to understanding the importance of knowing who you are can be explained by considering a metaphor; your life is like a computer.

When you first bought your computer, it was installed with a specific operating system (OS) as well as a variety of software applications. Technology advances rapidly, so before you know it you have to upgrade to a new OS to run new software applications, otherwise the computer will crash. This is exactly how motherhood works.

Before children, you operated from a specific set of values and beliefs (your OS) and pursued certain life goals (your software applications). You found confidence, importance and significance because new goals were handled by your OS with ease. Then one day, you added a radically new software application (children) and this required a major upgrade to your OS. But, you got busy and forgot to upgrade, so today you’re running on a patched up OS that’s often buggy and experiences full-system crashes periodically.

Sound familiar? If so, it’s time to upgrade your OS. Here are some basic steps to get you started:

  • Clarify your values and beliefs. What are the 3-5 words or short phrases that describe who you are? If you’re having trouble determining your values, ask people around you for 3-5 words or short phrases that describe you.
  • Establish your mission. A personal mission is a statement of purpose that provides direction and clarifies your reason for being. It’s a must-have for all working moms.
  • Beta test and work out the bugs. Begin to actively use your mission statement. The ideal approach is to use it as a planning tool. As you plan your week, focus on activity that is aligned with your mission.

Once you complete these steps you’ll be well on your way toward upgrading your OS and before long, you’ll find greater ease and confidence answering the question, “What do you do?”

 

http://www.integratedmother.com/blog/the-toughest-question-working-moms-face/

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Effective Mompreneurs Have Effective Business Plans (and you can, too)

One of the simplest and most effective things I’ve done for my business is to finally sit down and write a business plan. I avoided doing this for three years. I had all sorts of reasons why I didn’t think it was necessary, and I had even more ideas about how hard it would be to do. Silly me.

I can’t wait to interview Melodie Lane, National Marketing Manager from the “One Page Business Plan” Company for my next teleseminar in the WoMEN: What Mom Entrepreneurs Need teleseminar series. This will be the third installment in the WoMEN series, and it will take place next Tuesday, April 28th, at Noon ET on my BlogTalkRadio show.

I had the good fortune of meeting Melodie on twitter (no surprise there!). Here’s a little background on her so you will know where she’s coming from and a picture of her with her four fabulous boys:

melodie-lane

Three and a half years ago, Melodie was launching her last business as an independent project manager and attended a local workshop on how to write a “One Page Business Plan.” There she met Jim Horan, founder and CEO of the “One Page Business Plan.” Jim became her first client and dear friend. Today, Melodie is an integral part of the company as the National Marketing Manager. She loves doing this job within the sisterhood of moms and enjoys the opportunities the company provides her to do what she is passionate about-helping people turn their ideas into thriving businesses. She has also built two successful businesses from the ground up and considers herself an entrepreneur at heart. Melodie is a busy, single mom living in Pleasant Hill, CA with her four boys.

The “One Page Business Plan” Company is an international consulting firm with over 450 consultants. They specialize in helping business owners “re-think” their businesses and then help them construct extraordinarily clear and concise strategic business plans-on a single page. The original “One Page Business Plan” book has been an Amazon.com best seller for over 11 years. Their next book, due out this summer, is the “One Page Business Plan for Women in Business.”

You won’t want to miss this information-packed hour in which Lara asks Melodie to give us the scoop on why working moms need a business plan, how to create one that reflects your definition of success, and understanding how an effective business plan equals results.
Having my WAHMs create business plans for themselves is a foundational step in my coaching practice. The One Page Business Plan is the template I have all my clients use because it is simple and effective. Learn why this isn’t just something “the big companies” should care about, and why not having one could be the very thing standing between you and the success you deserve.
The schedule for the WoMEN: What Mom Entrepreneurs Need teleseminar series continues every second and fourth Tuesday of each month at Noon ET. Visit www.whatmomentrepreneursneed.com for more information and to sign up for freebies that my speakers are sharing with our listeners!
Do you have a business plan? If not, what keeps you from creating one? If you do, what finally made you realize it was time to have one? I’d love to read your responses below.

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How often does “no” mean “the end” for you?

It is totally human to get discouraged when something doesn’t go the way you want it to. Say you come up with an idea for the perfect getaway for you and your husband, and though it makes you sigh and get that faraway, relaxed look in your eyes when you discuss it, your hubby just hears the pricetag and the hassle of getting the kids cared for in order for you to be gone. “No,” he says. “Nuh-uh. Not happ’nin’.”

What do you do?

Well, Alisa Bowman of www.projecthappilyeverafter.com wrote a smart post about this topic today. Whether you’re letting a “no” cause you to stop in your relationship, in your pursuit of your dreams, or in your business deals, you are certainly missing out on some possibilities that exist for you if you’re willing to see no as a “detour” rather than the end.

Here’s the link to her post: http://www.projecthappilyeverafter.com/2009/04/dont-take-no-for-an-answer/

What do you do when you hear “No!”? How do you keep from quitting, getting derailed, giving up or getting stuck?

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Up Next in the WoMEN teleseminar series: Alisa Bowman

This is gonna be so much fun.

As you know by now, I’ve put together a fabulous and FREE teleseminar series for working moms called: “WoMEN: What Mom Entrepreneurs Need.” Our next topic in the series is something every mompreneur I know needs–some advice, tips, and clever ways to get the support we need from our partner or spouse. Running a business and raising a family is not easy, and it’s near impossible if you’ve got a struggle with your partner going on.

I’ve found just the gal to help us figure out how to make this better.

On Tuesday, April 14th at Noon ET, I’m pleased to welcome Alisa Bowman from “Project Happily Ever After” as my guest expert for the teleseminar entitled: “How to Make Your Marriage Work With Your Business.” alisa_bowman

Her approach to marriage, parenthood, career and friendships has been described as “disarmingly honest.” Her fresh take on life includes mentioning what others deem unmentionable.  From bikini waxes to second honeymoons, the silent treatment to power struggles (both with 2 year olds and 42 year olds), she is able to masterfully blend the helpful with the hilarious. Alisa speaks at college events and conferences. She has appeared in Better Homes and Gardens, Women’s Health and American Baby. She has also been interviewed on large websites such as Glamour.com, various newspapers and a guest on regional radio and television news shows. Alisa has authored and co-authored or ghosted more than 20 books, including 5 New York Times Best sellers. Alisa currently lives happily ever after (most of the time) with her husband, daughter and dog in Emmaus, PA.

I hope you’ll join us for this fun, wise and honest look at how we mom entrepreneurs can get the support we need from our relationships. Here are the details:

What: “Make Your Marriage Work With Your Business” teleseminar, the second teleseminar in the “WoMEN: What Mom Entrepreneurs Need” series, hosted by Lara Galloway, The Mom Biz Coach with Guest Expert Alisa Bowman

When: Tuesday, April 14th, from Noon – 1pm ET

Where: On your computer or your phone via www.blogtalkradio.com/MomBizCoach (click on the link to listen via webcast) or call (347) 838-9199 to listen and ask questions during the live show!

Tell your girlfriends to join you! I promise you’ll find some great nuggets of wisdom, some funny things to laugh about, and a few actions you can take immediately to improve your relationship.

Do you have a question or topic you’d like to hear addressed during the teleseminar by Lara or Alisa? Just leave a comment below.

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Ten Ways a Life Coach Can Help Mompreneurs

On today’s Mom Biz Coach Audio Blog, I’m going to answer some questions that I’ve been asked several times by working moms or mothers who are thinking of starting a business. I know how overwhelming it can be to be a fulltime mom and a fulltime entrepreneur.

Most of the mom entrepreneurs I’ve coached spent a lot of time thinking about hiring me before actually doing so. They weren’t exactly sure what life coaching is all about, or what we actually do in a coaching relationship. Some of my clients admitted to feeling embarrassed about hiring a coach to support them, almost like it meant they were a failure at being able to do what they wanted to do in life.

On my radio show today I’m going to tell you exactly what hiring a life coach can do to support your business. If you want to be successful on your own terms, create a business that works even when you don’t, get the buy-in and support you need from your spouse and your family, figure out how to get more clients and make more money without working around the clock, and understand how to spend quality time with your kids (especially while they’re young!), tune in to today’s show. I’ll be addressing these issues and more.

Details for the show: Go to www.blogtalkradio.com/mombizcoach. The Mom Biz Coach Audio Blog airs at 11:30 am ET for 15 minutes. If you can’t make it live, you can listen to the show at your convenience since it will be immediately archived in the “On-Demand” episodes listed on my show page at the above link.

Do you have questions about how a life coach could support you? Are you wondering what a coach actually does? I’d be happy to answer your questions if you leave a comment below.

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The Mom Biz Coach Live on Blog Talk Radio

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.

microphone

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.

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