New Mastermind Group for Mompreneurs: Mom Biz Mastery

Note: I had originally planned to launch Mom Biz Mastery in July, but realized I was completely nuts since I was on vacation nearly the entire month. This post was originally written on June 1st, but I am updating it on July 27th to reflect the new launch date of September 9, 2010.

Many of the mompreneurs I’ve met over the last year or so are the kind of businesswomen most of us want to be: they are financially successful, they have an established business, they are well-known in their industry, they have a steady stream of clients keeping their pipeline full, and their businesses are not only surviving but thriving.

But there’s a catch–these businesswomen are also moms. And while their business is successful, their family life is falling apart. They’re working longer hours than they ever did when they worked for someone else. They have demanding clients and tough deadlines that keep them from taking time off for family vacations (and frequently can’t even get time off for dinner). These women are high-achievers and are used to the success that they have created for themselves, but they are realizing that the reasons they decided to start their own business and be their own boss are a distant memory.

As mompreneurs, they wanted to be home with their kids while they worked, or at least have the freedom and flexibility to choose the hours they work (and when they don’t) so they could attend their kids’ soccer games, plays, or just be home for them after school ends. They wanted work that fulfilled them and made them happy since it challenged them and used the best parts of who they are and allowed them to make a contribution to the family (and often times to the world).

It’s such an easy trap to fall into for us mom entrepreneurs, especially if you’ve started a business around work you love to do. Little by little, you find yourself working more and more and harder and harder in order to grow. And your commitment to your family means that you didn’t slack off in that category either. So you’re sacrificing sleep in order to pack lunches, keep up with the laundry, and finish that client project that’s due tomorrow.

You’re sleep-deprived, stressed-out, frustrated, resentful that you have no time to yourself, feeling guilty for being away from the kids and serving them take-out or hot dogs more than you’d care to admit, and your spouse or partner is probably not terribly happy with you, either. And yet you feel like you just have to keep it up or risk losing everything you’ve worked so hard over the past several years to create.

This probably isn’t the vision you had when you set out to be a successful mompreneur. I totally get it. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

I’m putting together a new Mastermind Group called Mom Biz Mastery. It’s for mompreneurs who have been in business for a few years, have an established online presence, have a services-based business (consulting, design, coaching, virtual assistance, teaching, facilitating, speaking, leading, writing, etc.), and find that they’re working too hard to achieve what they want.

I’ll accept only eight mom entrepreneurs (by invitation or application only) to make sure we have a small, focused, active group. We’ll meet every Thursday at 12p ET for an hour. We will collaborate, brainstorm and support each other. I’ll provide coaching to give you the feedback you need to get through some of those sabotaging mindsets we tend to have.

Your tuition will include full and immediate access to every single module in the Mom Biz Makeover Program (that’s 24 information-packed training modules in which I share all my secrets, tips and advice about how to run a sustainable mompreneur business without compromising your commitment to family) that you can work through at your own pace. The monthly tuition is $347/mo.

I’m ready to share loads of good information about how to help you get back to the freedom, flexibility and fulfillment you were looking for when you decided to start this business!

Stay tuned for updates on the program, which launches September 9th. Or if you’re sure you’re interested, you’re welcome to email me for an application: lara@mombizcoach.com.

Want to tell me what you’re looking for in a Mastermind Program? Go right ahead in the comments 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.

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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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