Yes, Your Business Can Stand Out and Win!

The line of people spilled past the front door and extended down the block. I reached the end and fell into easy conversations. The shared experience and anticipation sparked a fast connection. My toddler gleefully bounced between squares on the sidewalk, holding my hand, enjoying the people watching.

The crowd, one that any Rockstar would envy, was all about the chicken. Not just any chicken… but crispy-yet-tender and perfectly fried chicken. When paired with choice condiments and nestled into sesame brioche, it’s well worth the wait.

That was a few months ago, however, we go often. Cutty’s, and Super Cluckin’ Sunday, has developed a devout following. The café space, bustling with energy and food-lovers, is especially festive during the monthly homage to fried-chicken-joy.

I sat down to chat with my former colleague Rachel Kelsey a talented Chef, Entrepreneur and Supermom. She and her husband Charles have built a thriving business from a simple concept. They’ve elevated Continue reading “Yes, Your Business Can Stand Out and Win!”

Lessons Learned from Super Moms on The Entrepreneurs Journey

Staying Positive Through Failure, Sharing Work With Your Kids & Prioritizing Self-Care

While the leadership gender gap remains wide, about 10% of Executives at US companies are women, enterprising Moms increasingly skip the wait and promote themselves straight to the top by leading their own businesses.

Friday, I was delighted to join the Pepperlane Connect Conference, to moderate a breakout session. Pepperlane, a services platform and community for Mom-owned businesses, is based on a powerful concept…that Moms can help each other succeed.

The event opened to an exuberant crowd of over 100 Mom entrepreneurs, at all stages of their business journey – from exploring a new idea, to running an established operation and looking to scale. The energy was palpable. Pepperlane’s founder, Sharon Kan and host for the day’s festivities ended her passionate plea for Moms to live in possibility with an open dance session. My kind of event… Continue reading “Lessons Learned from Super Moms on The Entrepreneurs Journey”

Strong, Fit & Resilient. Get Motivated & Make It Happen!

I thought I was doing something wrong. When I pulled the rope…hard, it didn’t move. I leaned backwards, even with my full weight against it, the sandbag only shifted a little. Fortunately, two teammates stopped to help me. Together, we hoisted the bag into the air so I could finish.

That was 6 months ago. As a daily runner, I felt pretty invincible (ahem overconfident) prior to training for that race. I struggled with many of the serious strength activities.   Although I can run for miles, I learned, I’m not as strong as I thought I was. It also took over a week to recover from the assorted injuries. Which has prompted me to focus more on strength and flexibility, not just stamina, to become athletically well-rounded.

Cultivating Resilience

If life hasn’t followed ‘the plan’, you’ve likely earned the emotional resilience to handle most dilemmas. Making our bodies resilient…healthy and more resistant to injury or illness, is different. It’s not cumulative. To be physically fit, you’re just never done! In the mental load survey, Continue reading “Strong, Fit & Resilient. Get Motivated & Make It Happen!”

When Do You Keep Your Boundaries?

I reconnected with a friend and team-mate at the gym recently while running on neighboring treadmills. She had just returned from a work trip and shared she felt “happy to run” after a two-day absence.  Why the absence I asked?  She stayed with her in-laws and enjoyed the family visit, but missed the opportunity to workout.

That sparked a fascinating discussion about our bodies and our willingness to ‘cross’ boundaries we set for ourselves, mostly to adhere to other people’s expectations of us or comfort.

Moms often feel at the whim of everyone else’s claims to our bodies, time, attention, and energy. Why are we so willing to give up the precious little control we do have?

Where are your personal boundaries?

  • When do you stop pleasing and start protecting?
  • What are those times when to be ‘polite’ you have that piece of cake, cancel that workout, take that Friday meeting when you work Monday -Thursday …?
  • Why fill time with draining people or tasks when time is so limited?
  • When is it hard to make the best choices for ourselves? When is it easy?  What are your rules for this and why?

I would love your help putting context around how boundary setting (or lack thereof) is shaping our day to day lives.

Please take the survey, it will take less than 10 minutes of your time.

Thank you in advance for your help!

Ask for More! The Roadmap to Equal Partnership At Home

#MomsSelf-Care #ShareTheInvisibleWorkLoad #StrongCouplesBuildStrongFamilies

In most families, household and childcare logistics fall to Mom. The complexity of scheduling everything, from doctors appointments to play dates, is more laborious than you think. Stress, from juggling impossible schedules and the always-on mental to-do list, becomes oppressive. By the time we realize it’s unsustainable, we’re exhausted and desperate for relief.

Eventually, the epiphany that one person needn’t ‘own’ all of the kid and household planning in a two-adult family, brings hope. Until then, trying to renegotiate with our spouse, kicks off an unexpectedly draining and emotional chess match. Love for our kids is unconditional, but the spousal bond is different. We trust and commit with strings. We expect mutual support of our dreams and well-being.

“Even mothers who work for pay are still doing twice the amount of housework and child care as fathers,” Continue reading “Ask for More! The Roadmap to Equal Partnership At Home”

The ‘I-Have-No-Time-To-Make-Sauce’ Sauce. 3 Pasta Sauces You Can Make In Less Than 15 Minutes

My husband’s new dentist is in a mall with an Eataly. Yes… THAT Eataly. Last Monday he asked if I wanted him to bring fresh pasta home…I said, ‘sure,’ especially since I didn’t have a dinner plan yet. He brought home LOTS of pasta…more than one night’s worth of pasta so I found myself in need of some quickie-no-forward-planning sauces.

My husband loves food as much as I do and we spent a lot of time pre-kids making fresh pasta. We still do (occasionally) but it’s not a weeknight project.

If you’re a purist, Continue reading “The ‘I-Have-No-Time-To-Make-Sauce’ Sauce. 3 Pasta Sauces You Can Make In Less Than 15 Minutes”

Can A Family & Business Expand. Together? How One Entrepreneur Did It

#MomsStartingStuff #MomsGetEntrepeneurial #OperationalBrilliance

In the past 5 years, Elizabeth Staples married, opened a second location for her company, moved twice and had 3 children.

Making big changes at home, while running a growing business, is a beautiful thing! Scaling is an essential part of success and increased profitability. It involves finding the right things to keep or discard, outsource or insource, and then adjusting. Often. The default, for most Moms, is to ‘handle’ everything. Personally. It starts from an honorable place, however, it’s lack of scalability becomes limiting.

Whether it’s tiring of the (long) wait for the C-Suite or seeking greater control, 40% of new entrepreneurs in the US are now women. According to the 2016 Kauffman Index of Start-Up Activity, an all-time high.

Elizabeth demonstrates with the right mindset, team and plan — finding the winning model Continue reading “Can A Family & Business Expand. Together? How One Entrepreneur Did It”

Overwhelmed? How To Work, Love and Play When No One Has the Time!

Book Review and Conversation with Author Brigid Schulte

#MomsSelf-Care #WhysBehindMentalLoad #TriumphOverStress 

Choose Differently

We lined up for questions. ‘Why do I feel guilty about not baking the cupcakes’ and ‘How can I make time for myself when work expects email replies 24/7?’ There were over 200 women in that room, seeking ‘Life Hacks for Life Zen.’  Brigid Schulte, best-selling Author and Journalist, was a voice of reason onstage amidst growing panic that achieving ‘life Zen’ as a busy Mom was akin to catching a unicorn. By the tail. She eloquently shared her story of change, from stressed-out Mom, to enjoying greater balance.  She said we could “buy into what society wants for us or choose to live differently.” Noted. I was so impressed that I introduced myself to her.

Before we spoke again a few weeks ago, I devoured her book,  ‘Overwhelmed: How To Work, Love and Play When No One Has The Time’.  How can Moms ease the relentless pressure? With a steady rise in ‘girl power’ messaging everywhere from the arts to business, why are we (still) trapped by a punishing schedule of obligations?

Frenetic Families

“I was unaware of the pressures Continue reading “Overwhelmed? How To Work, Love and Play When No One Has the Time!”

Work Travel. Your Permission Slip For Self-Care

Serious fun away on business? Why it’s so great for you!

#MomsSelf-Care #MomsRecharge #MomsFindingSpace

Business trips are disruptive to fragile systems at home. Childcare logistics are upended and FaceTime stands in for kisses. It’s the professional requirement most Moms dread.

Shift Your Mindset

Moms tend to double-down on obligation. Although we drown in the to-do list at home, we keep up the stay-busy-with-other-people’s-priorities obsession on the road. Often well beyond the scope of a productive workday.

There’s a better way. Consider solo travel a rare opportunity for self-care. Once the pre-trip anxiety mellows into acceptance, ideally before you leave, get serious about enjoying this found-time.

Found time? On a work trip?

Not always. Last month, I returned from a successful, but intense meetings-ran-breakfast-through-bedtime kind of trip. At 3 am. On a Sunday. That happens occasionally…and no, that’s not the kind of trip I’m talking about.

Pre-kids, I disliked most business travel. Long days Continue reading “Work Travel. Your Permission Slip For Self-Care”

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