Crib Sheet #147: Green Cleaners’ Renato Forte

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What business did you start up?

I have a environmentally friendly cleaning business, Green Cleaners.

What motivated you to launch it?

I believe that green living is an important part of our lives if we want to preserve our well-being. Who better to launch it but a mother who looks at all prospects to having a better quality of air in her home and knows the importance of a fresh and healthy environment for her children to enjoy? Read more

Crib Sheet #146: Schaefer Inc 82’s Sarah Schaefer

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What business did you start up?

I have always been extremely creative and knew I wanted to do something in a creative field. I began making custom, fun, and unique wine and beer glasses for all kinds of events and retail settings.

What motivated you to do it?

Ever since my brother and I were little, we always dreamed of owning our own business and following in the footsteps of our Mom. Tragically, my brother passed away suddenly in 2011. I decided it was time to make our dream a reality. I started Schaefer Inc 82 in honor of my brother and our dreams! Read more

What’s In A Name? How To Claim The Best Name For Your Business

Tracking PixelSponsored post :: Heard about the "not com" movement yet?After 30 years of stagnancy, there is an amazing new world of choice in naming on the Internet. There are now hundreds of new “not-com” choices available today – everything from .COFFEE to .PIZZA to .LIFE, that allow you to create a memorable and meaningful domain name.

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Naming is an art + science. Much like cooking. So the biz called Name.Kitchen, an online hub that celebrates the art and science of naming, wants to help you make better choices about your future business name, and do it with great tips & tools & fun. Read more

Crib Sheet #145: Motherhood Later’s Robin Gorman Newman

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What business did you start up? 

MotherhoodLater.com -- an organization, blog and newsletter to connect, inform and empower moms parenting later in life.

What motivated you to do it?

I became a mom at age 42, via adoption, and as I ventured out more and more with my son, I often felt like the oldest mom in the playground or playgroup.   After one particular “ah-ha” moment in a program with my infant son, it became evident that parenting later in life is a different experience.  I had lived longer, therefore worked longer, experienced more, was juggling the sandwich generation life, etc.  I wanted to meet mom peers where age was an asset not an issue, and with whom I felt like we were at the same stage in life.  In Hollywood, it’s glamorous when women of almost any age become moms.  It makes headlines.  And, celebrity dads as well.  But in the trenches, so to speak, there is judgment.  I was once asked by a complete stranger, in the bathroom of my local diner during a potty training session with my young son, if I was the mom or the grandma.  I didn’t have a pithy response, though I wished I did.  But, I wondered the woman’s motivation for asking.  Becoming a mom is a personal choice, and it takes a village.  This is particularly true if you’re a later in life mother who may not have parental support.   My mom passed away before I became a mom. This is all the more reason why moms deserve support, and through Motherhood Later…Than Sooner,  my goal is to empower, inform and connect those who became a mom at age 35+, whether for the first time or again.   It’s essential to surround yourself with community that “gets” it. Read more

Crib Sheet #144: Lisa Edwards of Crazy Ambition

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What business did you start up? 

Crazy Ambition - a podcast/blog for mom entrepreneurs. It focuses on giving mom entrepreneurs more time with their kids through systems, outsourcing and controlling overwhelm. (My first business is a full-time photography business called Lisa Wareham Photography started 7 years ago.)

What motivated you to do it?

When my first child was born in 2011, I found myself overwhelmed, burnt-out and unfulfilled. I took off just 2 weeks of maternity leave and jumped back in full time to my photography business. Although, technically I could say I was still working the entire time, with emails and working on things frantically between new baby naps. I was working 9-12 hour days and still felt behind. Just two months after my son was born, I wrote this in my Evernote personal folder:

“The point of life is love. To be loved, to give love, to feel loved. Being pulled in a million directions for work and money and not being able to give or receive love is cheating everyone involved. Things must change...A baby is innocent and only wants to be loved and taken care of.”

— 8/4/11 - Personal Evernote Journal Entry

Reading this gets me emotional even today. I was miserable - feeling guilty that I wasn't a good mom, I wasn't a good business owner, I wasn't a good wife. That same summer, my mother was watching my son 2-4 days a week. I came to pick my son up one day, excited to see him after a long day of work. As I arrived he bumped his head and started crying. I picked him up to console him, but he continued to cry. He only wanted his Grandma. Read more

5 Tips To Redesign Your Home Office To Maximize Your Productivity

sadieGuest Post :: I used to think that I could never work from home because there would be too many distractions. I thought I would be too tempted to do anything other than work—sprucing up the house, paying bills, catching up on the DVR. So when I started my own business out of my own home, I needed a dedicated workspace that I loved to be in for me to be my most productive self. Having a home office that is designed to meet my needs ensures that I will get my work done as efficiently, and enjoyably, as possible!

Here are 5 Tips to Redesign Your Home Office to Maximize Your Productivity: Read more

Crib Sheet #143: Whitney Elkins of Making Your Shi(f)t Happen eCourse and Bootcamp

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What business did you start up?

I'm the founding of the Making Your Shi(f)t Happen eCourse and Bootcamp where I help I show professionals with families how to get 10-15 hours back every week they didn’t know they had.  Why?  So they can focus on their health, relationships, and personal life, without feeling stressed out or overwhelmed.

What motivated you to do it?

My initial drive was working with entrepreneurs to set up an effective and efficient business so they could spend more time doing the things the loved to do.

As my business evolved, more and more people were drawn to me to help them get their daily lives in order (some people call it balance) and create time and space to begin focusing on the other parts of their life they were sacrificing in order to get ahead.  The beautiful part, depending on the direction my client wants to go, I get to draw upon my  extensive background in psychology, naturopathy, personal training and business management at one time to get them there. Read more

First Time: Leaving B for Work

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Guest Post :: During my pregnancy, I remember thinking how will “it” all work out. In this scenario “it” doesn’t just refer to the baby-to-be, “it” refers to “life with work AND baby”.

Then Bella was born! “It” was forgotten for a few magnificent and sleep-deprived weeks. At 6 weeks the initial shock/bliss/ OMG! started to fade and “it” came back in a real in-your-face way. What was I going to do? (By the way, let me acknowledge that I am extremely fortunate to have had the privilege of asking that question.)

My uncle and father figure gave me advice that helped me figure out my next step. He said, “Robyn, if you’re truly unsure of what to do…go back to work. Right now Bella eats, sleeps and poops all day, every day. While that in itself is amazing, she sleeps so much of the day you won’t be missing that much – and this will give you the opportunity to know what will make you happiest and most fulfilled. As time passes, it gets harder to “try” this out (both to get a job and to leave your child). Remember, if it’s too heartbreaking or difficult you will know what to do without having any doubt.”

So, back to work it would be for me. Um, that left 6 weeks for us to figure out whom we would trust with the most important person in our lives. Read more

Job Interview Disasters and Solutions

Michelle JosephGuest Post :: Mistakes happen. No interview is ever going to run perfectly smooth. While it's not suggested to intentionally create a problem during the interview process, successfully navigating one’s way out of potential disasters is a great way to separate from the competition.

“The obvious goal of all interviewees is to come across in the best light by standing out and avoiding blunders, says Michelle Joseph, Talent Acquisition Expert and CEO of PeopleFoundry. “However, the ability to recover positively from and salvage any damage caused by a misstep can truly separate a candidate.”

Joseph emphasizes that strong preparation can mitigate most major issues. Here, she delves into the most common interview problems that may arise despite extensive planning and what can be done to right these wrongs. Read more

The Most Important Thing For You To Do: Decide What You’re NOT Going To Do

Screen shot 2013-09-22 at 10.10.31 PMGuest Post :: As an independent business owner there are so many things that you could be doing: Networking, staying in touch with clients, reaching out to potential clients, updating the website, building up your online social media communities, developing new products, creating strategic alliances, delivering on products and services, getting feedback from clients, planning for the future, handling administrative tasks, improving your processes… and on and on. I’m sure there are days you feel your to-do list is never ending. Actually never ever ending.

Because the tasks (or “opportunities,” we tell ourselves!) are limitless and there can be so many ideas that we really want to pursue sooner rather than later, we can find ourselves in a constant state of feeling “behind.” There are great, revenue-producing ideas that we’re not getting to! We can consistently feel inadequate because our service descriptions on the website aren’t as good as they could be, because we haven’t yet followed up on that phenomenal idea our business partner told us about, because we haven’t run a focus group to find out what our potential client really want, because we haven’t yet gotten back to that person, etc., etc., etc.

What’s the key to stopping the overwhelm and the feelings of inadequacy? Read more