What Will You Say Yes To?

Book Review For The Year of Yes: How to Dance it Out, Stand in The Sun & be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes

I loved this book. It’s a survival guide for ambitious women. It’s also a masterclass on how to overcome limiting beliefs. Shonda makes sharp observations about everything from working motherhood and nurturing creativity, to career growth and feminism’s next act, intersectionality. She applies the Shonda-Rhimes-story-telling-magic to her own life. Even though she highlights (and challenges) many of the social norms that limit women’s progress, it’s a fast, engaging read.

Learning to Say Yes

“’You Never Say Yes to Anything.” The truth of her sister’s casual comment unsettled her. In response, Shonda decided to say ‘yes’ to what scared her… for an entire year! The book takes us, from her struggle to honor this commitment, to the resulting personal Continue reading “What Will You Say Yes To?”

Is There Room For Self-Care in The Sandwich?

“My migraines were getting worse and I went to see a doctor. He asked about my life…I told him I worked full-time, had 3 kids and helped care for my dad who had dementia and was living with me while my mother recovered from surgery. The doctor said disapprovingly, ‘that’s too much.’” Jody Gastfriend, my friend and former colleague admitted, “The doctor was right.” I nodded and sighed. We met for breakfast to discuss self-care and lessons learned from her years in social work, building Care.com’s Senior Care services, and tending to her aging parents. In her new book, My Parent’s Keeper The Guilt, Grief, Guesswork and Unexpected Gifts of Caregiving, Jody shares how she ultimately had to prioritize self-care and pay attention to what her body was telling her.

Watch For Signs

We lamented how Mom-martyrdom is universally accepted and reinforces patterns of self-neglect. Making changes feels even worse than the to-do list treadmill. Envisioning a better way requires energy and creativity…inaccessible to most when overloaded. Jody shared what was happening in her life before the migraines worsened. “There were other signs from the universe… before I realized how worn out I was.” Jody eventually hired a home health aide to help with her father’s care and temporarily reduced her work hours.

Caring for adults is unpredictable. Whereas healthy children follow similar developmental paths, seniors defy patterns as they age. At 90, some remain very active while others at age 70 can’t live alone. An estimated 75% of family caregivers are female. Absorb that for a moment. The likelihood that your parents will need your help as they age is high! Few think of themselves as ‘family caregivers’ and just doing what ‘is Continue reading “Is There Room For Self-Care in The Sandwich?”

How to Elevate Your Impact As a Leader!

10 Takeaways About Leadership, Winning Mindset, Work/Life, Strategy and Success, from the BlogHer Creator’s Summit

“Let’s all pledge in this room… here, put your hands up.” Amy Schumer said. I looked around and about a thousand hands, went up slowly and in unison, like balloons at a concert. “I, then say your name…” She said. We laughed and tentatively said our names. She continued, “I pledge that when I find an honest, powerful creator of content I will promote the ever-loving shit out of her!” Applause followed as she concluded her powerful, irreverent and wildly funny, presentation. Her message that women can take steps, big and small, to help each other succeed was echoed throughout event.

Two weeks ago, female content creators, platform builders and brand marketers, gathered to learn and connect at the BlogHer Creator’s Summit. The agenda balanced celebrity star-power, with spotlights on up-and-coming leaders. Practical guidance, accompanied ‘big picture’ inspiration.

Enjoy wise quotes about leadership, entrepreneurship, strategy, career growth, work/life integration and cultivating a winning mindset from powerhouse speakers!

Be Uniquely, Unapologetically, You.

 “Whether I soar or sink, I want to do it with my integrity, and not somebody else’s idea of who I should be.” Gabrielle Union, Actress, Entrepreneur & Author

“I can’t help but be real. I realized that’s what I could bring to the table.” Katie Sturino CEO of The 12ish Style,

“I only found success when I started doing things totally differently than everyone else.” Courtney Quinn Entrepreneur & Founder of Color Me Courtney,

“Point of view is what truly differentiates you. It gets you to the next step and it’s a little bit different than passion.” Kendra Bracken-Ferguson Entrepreneur, Strategist & Chief Digital Officer for CAA.

Solve Problems & Find The Right Partners To Support You

 “…Great ideas have plenty of suitors. (…) Allow people to invest Continue reading “How to Elevate Your Impact As a Leader!”

If You Want it Done Right The First Time, Hire a Mom!

One Entrepreneur’s Vision to Welcome the Mom-Economy

“You’re a tree Mommy!” My daughter sang happily, hanging onto my leg, while we waited for my son. A couple of Mom-friends asked if my nanny, who typically handles pick up, was on vacation. I explained she was caring for her husband after his surgery. Both kindly offered to help…with playdates or pick-up. I suddenly realized, after two weeks of managing an army of back up sitters and pick-ups between meetings, how much easier it could have been. It never occurred to me to just ASK for help!

One of the (many) remarkable things about Mom-life, if you are in need for anything childcare or household, there’s an excellent chance another Mom will offer help. Joyfully. In our communities, examples of mothers helping other mothers, with everything from casseroles to carpools abound.

What if we can harness that natural inclination, helping other Moms, to collectively elevate our financial security? How different would work-life Continue reading “If You Want it Done Right The First Time, Hire a Mom!”

Yes! You Can Work to Be Ambitious and Happy at The Same Time

Ambition is a bit restless. We can feel blessed with the life we have, yet still crave more…security, impact or flexibility. The quest to improve is part of our culture. And for some of us, our very souls. Managing this feeling, however, is tricky. It’s hard to be ambitious and satisfied at the same time. Making it all happen, with the beyond busy Mom-schedule, also requires thoughtful strategy.

Some of us are wired or groomed for ambition, whereas others, adopt it by necessity. Moms are increasingly responsible for co, primary or sole breadwinning at home. In parallel, women are embracing entrepreneurship, in record numbers, as a path to greater autonomy and financial freedom. Last month, I attended Pepperlane’s conference, a day of celebrating and supporting Mom business owners. One of the (many) highlights was Nataly Kogan’s keynote. She shared her powerful story of rising professionally, nearly crashing from stress and ultimately, learning to become happier and more present.

 Beware of “I’ll be Happy When…”

Nataly admitted to the crowded room, “When I spoke at TedX Boston, (what appeared to be) one of the happiest days on the outside, was one of the darkest days of my life.” Continue reading “Yes! You Can Work to Be Ambitious and Happy at The Same Time”

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 Entrepreneur’s 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 Entrepreneur’s Journey”

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”

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”

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