Posts Tagged 'working moms'

The Toughest Question Working Moms Face

 

Guest post by Michele Dortch of IntegratedMother.com

What do you do?What do you do?

It’s a simple question that comes up frequently for business women. Yet motherhood makes the answer complex.

Before children, you probably responded to this question with your career profession, “I’m an HR Manager.” Once children enter the picture, your heart wants to lead with, “I’m a mother,” but your head advises you to lead with something perceived as more credible first, especially if you’re at a business function.

If you’re like most success-driven women, you want to make a contribution to something meaningful. You also closely attribute what you do to your significance and importance. Becoming a mother complicates what you perceive as important – my career or my children? As a result the simple question, “What do you do?” transforms into the more difficult question, “Who are you?”

The transition from working woman to working mother is a period of significant change, yet few women recognize the change or actively do anything to bridge the gap between the two phases of life. Somewhere in between meaning, significance and importance is lost making the new question, “Who are you?” harder to answer.

The key to understanding the importance of knowing who you are can be explained by considering a metaphor; your life is like a computer.

When you first bought your computer, it was installed with a specific operating system (OS) as well as a variety of software applications. Technology advances rapidly, so before you know it you have to upgrade to a new OS to run new software applications, otherwise the computer will crash. This is exactly how motherhood works.

Before children, you operated from a specific set of values and beliefs (your OS) and pursued certain life goals (your software applications). You found confidence, importance and significance because new goals were handled by your OS with ease. Then one day, you added a radically new software application (children) and this required a major upgrade to your OS. But, you got busy and forgot to upgrade, so today you’re running on a patched up OS that’s often buggy and experiences full-system crashes periodically.

Sound familiar? If so, it’s time to upgrade your OS. Here are some basic steps to get you started:

  • Clarify your values and beliefs. What are the 3-5 words or short phrases that describe who you are? If you’re having trouble determining your values, ask people around you for 3-5 words or short phrases that describe you.
  • Establish your mission. A personal mission is a statement of purpose that provides direction and clarifies your reason for being. It’s a must-have for all working moms.
  • Beta test and work out the bugs. Begin to actively use your mission statement. The ideal approach is to use it as a planning tool. As you plan your week, focus on activity that is aligned with your mission.

Once you complete these steps you’ll be well on your way toward upgrading your OS and before long, you’ll find greater ease and confidence answering the question, “What do you do?”

 

http://www.integratedmother.com/blog/the-toughest-question-working-moms-face/

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Wondering if your biz idea will sell?

If you are an entrepreneur, you’ve had the experience of being struck with a “bright idea” that you’re certain will make you money. Hopefully, lots of money.

mom-biz-coach-pile-o-money

Many of the mom entrepreneurs I work with have incredibly creative minds and come up with new ideas for their businesses all the time. That’s part of what makes being an entrepreneur so much fun. After all, it’s not often when you’re working for someone else that your ideas are valued as much as you’d like them to be. When you work for yourself, you have the opportunity to turn your great ideas into actual products and services you can sell.

But how do you know if your idea will make you money? Or to put it another way, what if nobody else thinks your idea is so great? How much time, money, and energy can you afford to put into a business or a new product or service that doesn’t sell?

Well, I’ll be honest with you. I don’t have a crystal ball and am not able to tell my coaching clients how to predict what the market will like or not like. I wish I could. But there are some easy, cheap (or free) steps you can take to be sure that you create a business, product or service the market will buy.

One of the first steps is to be clear on what your niche is and knowing what your niche market needs. If you just create a business idea and hope that someone buys it, you’re probably wasting your time and money. And these are two things mom entrepreneurs don’t have a lot of.

Secondly, it helps to utilize some of the free/cheap web tools that are out there to actually do a bit of market research before you spend money bringing your idea to reality. This research will save you time, energy, money and stress, so it is definitely worth doing beforehand!

I’ll be talking more about this in my upcoming teleseminar on Tuesday, March 24th at Noon. I’ve invited internet marketing guru Steve Weber (of www.weberinternetmarketing.com) to be my guest expert and to answer all of your questions about starting a business or creating a new product or service that will make you lots of money.

You can register for the teleseminar “Is Your Idea Viable?” by clicking here. The $19 fee will certainly pay for itself when you learn some of the marketing research techniques Steve and I use to be sure our own ideas will sell.

Steve and I will be taking questions from participants on the call (or via the webcast) and would love to help you with yours. When you register, you’ll get immediate access to the teleseminar information (including bridgeline and webcast access).

“Is Your Idea Viable?” is the first teleseminar in the WoMEN: What Mom Entrepreneurs Need teleseminar series I’m offering to mom entrepreneurs who want some short cuts and support in making their business incredibly successful this year. Visit my website to learn more about the series and see who’s up next on the agenda! The series debuts March 24 and continues every two weeks through December.

Are you toying around with a bright idea that you’d like to make a reality? What tools/strategies/methods do you use to test the market before you launch? Leave a comment below and share your questions or best practices.

I’m not a quiet person

shhhh-mom-biz-coach
I’m not a quiet person. So when I get quiet, it usually means there’s something going on. Well, I’m excited to say that there is a lot going on right now, and I’ve been quiet (or out of communication) lately because of it. It’s good to finally share some of what I’ve been up to with you again.
 
The start of every new year brings me renewed energy and a strong focus. Last month I created my Business Plan for 2009, and almost as soon as I wrote down my goals, I took off and got into action to start making them happen. Seeing my goals on paper just sets me on fire and off I go! That’s not to say that I do all this planning and accountability on my own–I can’t say enough about how important my Coach has been for keeping me focused and on track.
 
I am creating a lot of new offerings for mom entrepreneurs that I can’t wait to share with you. One of the biggies is a new teleseminar series that will give mom entrepreneurs all the advice, tools, resources, mentoring and coaching they need to love their life and business! The other is the formation of Biz/Life Coaching Groups that allow working moms the chance to learn from and share with a community of their peers. It’s a great way to take the edge off the loneliness of being an entrepreneur and to get the support and accountability of other women who really get you and may have already “been there, done that.”
 
I’ll share more here when I have some of the details finalized. If you just can’t wait to hear more about them, you can email me right now.

New here? You might want to subscribe to my blog so you can keep up to date.

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