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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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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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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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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Just gimme three weeks

frustrated-mother-entrepreneur2I just read the latest post by Jennifer New (one of my favorite mom bloggers) who writes the Blog “Mothers of Invention.” She wrote about working on “kid time” and how it reorders our lives as mothers (read her post here: http://jennifernew.wordpress.com/2009/03/09/working-on-kid-time/).

It’s so funny how, after having three kids for almost seven years now, I still forget to factor in “kid time” as Jennifer calls it.

I told a friend last week that if my husband would just agree to take three weeks off of work to babysit the kids, and therefore relieve me of my mommy duties, I would write a book, publish it, create an entirely new teleseminar series and coaching program, write my next several blogposts and newsletter articles, get hired by 10 new clients, and drop 25 pounds (due to not getting up from the computer to eat since I would be so happy to finally be the productive person I want to be)!!!

Sometimes I get frustrated since I have all this creativity, energy and passion to do my work, but am constantly interrupted by someone who needs a snack, to be wiped, wants to snuggle in my lap and play with my hair or my zipper, needs help building their pillow fort, or to play referree in a sibling war. Sometimes I’m able to shift from my work to my natural mothering-love mode. Other times I shout and fiercely defend my space like a territorial pit bull. Tears fall. Guilt engulfs. But eventually, we all get over it.

I don’t beat myself up for any of it. This is just what it looks like to be a mother, where my kids are always my priority, but also a human who has her own interests that are extremely worthwhile.

Now, off to clean up the puddle of pee my daughter just made on the floor.

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The fog has lifted

mom-biz-coach-fog-lifting

Hello, Blogosphere. Nice to see you. Been a while.

Just wanted to drop a quick line and let you know I’m back. I’ve been MIA lately given some extreme focus I’ve had about my goals for this year.

I decided to add ecommerce capabilities to my website this year. So I did that a couple of weeks ago.

I decided to start offering a free teleseminar each month so I can help mom entrepreneurs stop wasting their time and learn how to get more of it. I did that a week ago.

I realized I needed to update my business plan to reflect my new focus on teleseminars, group coaching, and creating products and programs from my coaching and consulting. I’m doing that now, and having so much fun with it.

Then it dawned on my that I shoulda had a VA (remind you of a commercial from the 80s?). So I interviewed a ton of great mompreneurs and hired one today.

And I had a very sick little boy who just wanted to stay home with his mom and snuggle for about four days. So I’ve been snuggling a lot the past few days.

While I focused on those critical components of my business strategy (and on my family’s needs), I dropped more than a few balls I was juggling. Keeping up with my blog is one of them.

It’s nice to be back. Stay tuned for some posts on what to do when life gets messy, how to drop the balls gracefully, and how to love the life you live even more because of all that.

Come to think of it, it would be a good idea to subscribe to my blog (click that little orange button on the top right corner) so you don’t miss out those upcoming posts I mentioned.

Have you been in a fog lately? Why? Have you outgrown systems that used to support you? What are you planning to do about it? Please, do share.

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How to get it all done (?!@#)

I’m laughing as I write this post, since I am pushing through some crazy stuff to get it done. I’ve been a little absent lately thanks to some great things that have been occupying the space of my prioirities. One of these priorities is standing on the chair I’m sitting in, hanging onto my head, and jumping and dancing to Raffi’s “Shake My Sillies Out” as I grip the computer for dear life, continually hitting the backspace key to correct all the typos and try not to get knocked off the chair.

So I’m singing Raffi, entertaining (lamely) my two-year-old daughter, and writing. This is the life of a mom entrepreneur that I love!

Getting it all done, juggling the various roles and responsibilities I’ve signed up for, balancing between the worlds of mother and coach/business owner… These phrases are loaded with energy, often negative energy, since lots of times we tend to focus on what we aren’t doing versus what we are doing.

I’m giving myself a break. This blog post may not be the most riveting or life-changing one I’ll ever write, and my humming along with Raffi is not the prettiest, and there are lots of better ways to entertain my babes during family time, and there are lots of things I could be doing for my business right now, and the godforsaken laundry is still there, right outside my office door, looking at me…

But I don’t care. I’m doing what I can. I’m doing it right now. I’m laughing at the juxtaposition of my littlest now singing “Shake Your Booty” while I try to compose meaningful thoughts.

This, for me, is having it all. There will be more time for babes and more time for business as my children grow up and my business grows. Both will go through stages that require more or less of me, and I’ll adjust my schedule accordingly.

My other big priority is an interview tonight with Angela Jia Kim on www.savorthesuccess.com. I’ll be sharing more on how we mom business owners straddle the two worlds we live in, and some tips for making it all work for us. Please consider joining in! To register for the call, follow this link: http://www.savorthesuccess.com/event/details/58

What about you? What does a typical day of working at home look like for you? What have you decided to let go of that has made you happier with your life? Please share your comments below.

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What to do with your business during the economic meltdown?

Make good use of your down time by:

1) Create or update your business plan.

2) Take a look at your marketing strategy. Do you have one? When was the last time you updated it? Are you making the best use of free/nearly free social networking venues like LinkedIn, facebook and the various discussion boards of online communities? Everytime someone views your profile, your website or your blog, you have marketed yourself.

3) Now create a marketing plan. This is an actual agenda of events you’ll take part in, periodicals you’ll advertise in, press releases you’ll send out, workshops/conferences/etc. that you will use as a vehicle to get your name and your business out there.

4) Customer service. Have you followed up with your best clients lately? Who can you send a card to say thank you, happy birthday or I miss you to? Your past clients would love to hear from you and know that you’re thinking of them. While it’s quiet, take the time to thank them for their business and welcome them back. Follow up with your newest customers, too. How is the product or service they purchased from you working out? Also, consider going the extra mile and providing some advice, tips, encouragement for these new customers to make them glad they purchased from you rather than your competition.

5) Something new: Consider brushing up on some new area of your business. What can you learn? Can you find out more about a new product line, or learn some tricks with new technology that can support your clients? Is there a new product/service/strategy that would help free up your time for you to spend doing the thing that makes you successful?

6) Become an expert on what your competitors are doing. Don’t reinvent the wheel; research your competition and look for some new ideas that you could bring to your customers. If it worked for them, it will likely work for you.

No doubt the crazy economy has many entrepreneurs, business owners, well heck–nearly everybody–a bit nervous about what’s coming next and worried about how to survive while the pool of money to spend on our goods and services is shrinking. It is critical for businesses to focus on their top priorities and spend some of their down time doing actions that serve those priorities.

When business is booming, we seldom have time to create or update the foundational systems of our business that keep us growing and running smoothly. There’s no better time than the down time to check in on these systems and fill in any gaps. The suggestions above are a good place to start looking for what needs to be updated.

One note of caution: Before you start filling your down time with classes, research, writing thank you notes, networking, catching up on the latest technology, etc., remember to consider your top priority. If your #1 goal for the next month is to get new clients to generate income, do the actions that will lead to this result first. These are called “high pay-off actions” (HPAs). Do these actions first everyday or every week. Perhaps you spend two hours each morning attending a networking meeting or calling on some old clients. Once you’ve done your HPAs, then you can allow yourself to take on some of the other actions. Always do your HPAs first.

What are you doing with your business during your down time? Have a strategy or an idea you’d like to share with others? Want some feedback on whether or not an idea you have makes sense? I’d love to hear from you and will respond to all comments. Good luck!

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What can you delegate?

Many of us mompreneurs hold the title CEO: “Chief Everything Officer.” While this title certainly conveys a sense of independence and power, it also reflects one of the downsides of working for yourself: you do all the work all by yourself.

While it makes sense to start out this way, there comes a point where the biggest obstacle in the path to your business growth will be YOU. Talented multi-tasker that you are, you can’t perform all the business roles (president, sales director, marketing manager, book keeper, technician, clerk, etc.) and your various personal roles (wife, mother, chief domestic engineer, chauffer, cook, etc., etc.) the way they need to be performed. You’ll spread yourself too thin, and all the balls you have juggling in the air will begin to drop.

Take a moment and consider your various tasks and roles. Are you willing to ask for help? What difference would it make if you hired a housekeeper, or delegated dinner duty to your husband, or pawned off your contact management updates to a virtual assistant? What would you be able to accomplish?

You have significant money-making talents. Use them to their fullest in your business and get the success you desire. And those things that don’t make you money (or don’t make your day brighter)–find a way to get them off your plate.

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