Posts tagged Relationships
How to Say No to Your Friends

When it comes to balancing work and family, figuring out how to spend more time with family usually takes top priority. And why wouldn’t it? As a mother, my chief concern is always my girls! But our friends are crucial, too, and can’t be overlooked. They are a huge part in how we’re able to release, relax, and stay sane. It’s no wonder we value them! So when we do find a couple of hours to ourselves for a girls night, we want to go with the flow and enjoy.

Sometimes that means...

We overlook the time spent on gossip.

We excuse the friend who has really been bringing us down lately.

We write off our own jealousy as healthy competition.

These are some of our most cherished relationships, so it’s understandable to want to avoid ruffling any feathers. Saying no to the people and behaviors that have started to take a toll on your happiness doesn’t have to make you feel like a jerk, though! Friends are the family we choose, and sometimes we simply need to choose to revise how we interact with those friends.


1. Gossip

It always starts so innocently– just a “Hey, have you heard…” that’s initiated out of a desire to share and egged on by curiosity. And then there’s a few pointed looks and a certain inflection of disapproval or scandal in the narration. By the end, what began as a simple transfer of information has turned ugly with opinions, judgments, and jokes at the subject’s expense.

No one feels good about airing other people’s dirty laundry, and yet we chime in to remain part of the group and the conversation, putting aside the regret and disgust we personally feel. But this isn’t junior high or the set of Mean Girls. You won’t get kicked out of your friend group for politely declining to gossip. All it takes to say no to gossiping is a simple, “I don’t want to talk about them. I’m focusing on myself right now and can’t worry about what other people are doing/wearing.”

2. Jealousy

You’ve known them for years, would give them the shirt off your back, and… wait a second, is she wearing a brand new Diane von Furstenberg dress? Yeah, scratch that last part– she doesn’t need my shirt.

Time and closeness do not make your friends immune to being the target of your jealousy– and how you’ll subconsciously treat them differently because of it. Yes, you care about them, but can’t a girl be a little frustrated over how amazing and effortless some of our friends’ lives seem to be at times? The answer is no! They don’t deserve that, and you shouldn’t waste your time and energy lamenting the things you want but don’t have. Say no to jealousy by making a list of all the things in life you’re thankful for. Sometimes we get so distracted by what our friends have, that we forget to see how #blessed we are, too.

3. Draining Relationships

Somewhere in the unwritten friendship code is the starred, highlighted role of supporting a friend who’s going through a tough time. It’s the long phone calls even when you’re tired or the nights you skip your plans to show up with takeout and wine, just to be there for them to vent, complain, whine, and cry to. But patiently helping a pal during a rough patch is not the same as endlessly putting up with someone who is just draining. Maybe they weren’t always that way, but now every interaction leaves you feeling emotionally and physically exhausted, irritated, and altogether spent. You’re torn between being a good friend and being protective of your positive energy, which is a tough place to be.

You can say no to draining relationships without severing a valued friendship. First off, know that it’s not your responsibility to ‘fix’ them. Instead, talk to them. Point out how down they have seemed to you, and how you hate to see them this way. Is there anything you can do to cheer them up? In the future, try to steer the conversation away from triggering topics. If the situation doesn’t improve, limit the length of time you spend one-on-one and mix things up with more group outings.

4. Extra Activities That Don’t Further Your Goals

Invitations should be compliments. They mean we’re thought of and included. But we all know how it can really feel to be asked to take part in something we just don’t see the value of. You don’t want to offend your friends by frequently turning down their offers to go out and spend time together, but at the same time, you also don’t want to find yourself rushing through a project you really, really want to succeed at. Here’s the thing: you can say no to the barrage of extra activities your friends invite you to– without feeling like a jerk. Instead of just saying you have to work, include your friends on what you’re putting so much effort into. Let them see how passionate you are about your goals, and they won’t secretly suspect you’re blowing them off for Netflix and your couch.

5. Constant Social Media

You can’t blame your friends for wanting you to be as constantly connected as they are. There are only so many people you can trust to always throw you a like on Instagram, after all. Your friends will forgive you for missing a post, however. The internet is a dangerous rabbit hole for procrastination, and it’s pretty unsettling to realize how often throughout the day you feel compelled to check your phone. So give it a break! Your fear of missing out is not greater than your drive to succeed in real, tangible parts of life that actually matter in the long run (and sure, you can repeat that as a mantra until it really sinks in.) Delete your apps to lessen the temptation. You won’t erase your profiles and accounts, you’ll just be making them less convenient and easy to access.


The Harsh Truth You Need to Hear in 2017
We accept the love we think we deserve.
— Stephen Chbosky

Above all, I hope you know that you are very much deserving of love. You work hard! And I value you deeply. But there’s something you need to hear, even if you’re not sure you deserve the harsh truth headed your way. This may not be the usual tone I take, but it comes from the same intention I always stand by: to help and support women business reach their goals and stay sane while doing so! I do it because I respect the hell out of the women who refused to settle for either work or parenting– one or the other. We want both, because our dreams are much more nuanced than some people gave us credit for.

But that’s a massive undertaking. You didn’t choose an easy path. Not only are there obstacles and unsure footing, but long stretches where there really are no road maps or signposts to let you know you’re still headed in the right direction.

There are days when you get so overwhelmed, discouraged, and frustrated– and as much as we’d like it to, the world doesn’t owe us a reprieve or consolation.

Creative entrepreneurism isn’t for the faint of heart, and motherhood even less so.

The one, absolute constant to depend on is your mindset. If you have the attitude that you will succeed and flourish, then you will.

If you spend time looking for something or someone to blame for not having the life you want, you’ll never get it.

I think this is something we all know, deep down. Whether we consciously acknowledge this truth is a wholly different matter. I don’t blame you for not wanting to hold yourself responsible when every day has a full set of responsibilities already assigned to you. Especially as mothers, when we wake up and go to sleep worried about the small, blossoming lives that we have the happy burden of nurturing, protecting, and shaping for their own successes.

Haven’t we always been told that we can achieve anything we set our minds to?

So why don’t we believe it?

If you want to meet someone to pitch your big idea or make a business connection, reach out to them. Don’t worry about what they might think or if they’ll turn you down. Deal with the actual events as they happen in the present, or you’ll anchor yourself in hypothetical disappointment.

If you want to start a website, log on to SquareSpace or Wordpress right now and just start. If you’re telling yourself that you need a concrete business plan, a web developer, and marketing team in place before you take the first step, you’re making excuses.

Happiness is a choice.

It’s comprised of the little ways we decide to view the world and all the situations we face. It’s seeing the value in negative experiences, but also wanting to improve them of our own accord. If your instinct is to wait for someone else to make you feel better, you’re depriving yourself of the pride and satisfaction that comes with being your own hero. The world doesn’t often take pity on those who actively choose not to help themselves– or others. So don’t wait for the world to offer you the opportunity of a lifetime, or for fate to decide it’s your turn to win. That outcome isn’t a matter of chance, but of working hard and insisting it will. Be a self-fulfilling prophecy in the best way.

Helplessness is a myth.

It’s a sickening emotion that we can fall victim to if we buy into its reality. There is always something you can do to make things better than they were before, even if there isn’t a precedent already set. How many success stories feature a person who, against all odds, shocked the world with a seemingly ridiculous idea? How many of the world’s greatest minds were told they’d amount to nothing– and had to believe in themselves when no one else would?

You can spend another year reading about these revolutionary underdogs in viral blog posts and 60 Minutes specials. Or you can tell yourself right now and everyday that follows, “I will see this through. I have big dreams and I will make all of them happen.”

It’s an intimidating prospect, no doubt, because it means that there’s no one else to blame if you fail. That’s why you have to remove that as a possibility. Change your inner dialogue until you’re your own biggest proponent and cheerleader and emotional benefactor. Ignore concepts like modesty and realistic-ness. You don’t have to tone down your goals or place boundaries on how far you can go and how successful you’ll be. You’re entitled to the world, and anyone who’s threatened by your ambition and confidence needs to be reevaluated.

Make 2017 the year you’ve never had before, and the one you’ll look back on as the start of a new era. Expect messiness and complications, but don’t fear them.

I agree that we accept the love we think we deserve.

I hope to always get the advice I need.

And I’ll always work for the life I want.

I wish the same for you.

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5 Mistakes You are Making as a Creative Entrepreneur

When you're a creative entrepreneur sometimes you forget that you should be using your creativity to generate multiple streams of income!

Multiple Streams of Income

Let’s call a spade a spade. It what it is. Being a creative entrepreneur isn’t easy.

So please oh please don't make it harder on yourself!

It’s easy to fall in love with, and easy to work hard at because your passion is there and the fulfillment is just so rewarding. But it’s not cut and dry. There is no set trajectory or linear path of steps to follow – and that can be frightening. Being classified as “creative” means your business is inherently unique. I’d rather be unique when going into a business venture because it could mean striking gold where no one else has even thought of looking, but the flip side of that is never really having a handbook to fall back on when you hit a fork in the road.

But here’s how I can help you– all of you going after creative, non-traditional dreams– in very specific terms. Let me tell you what not to do. Take a minute to go through a few of the common mistakes I have seen creative entrepreneurs make over the years. If any of these already sound like you, it’s not too late! If you’re just starting out, here’s what to look out for:

1. You’re not treating yourself like a multi-faceted business

If you secretly worry that your business idea will only ever end up as a failed hobby, that insecurity will hold you back. What else holds you back is not thinking big enough. Not recognizing how much people need and want from you. You are in demand, right? You are loved and beloved. The possibilities are infinite. So why are you still producing 1-2 products a year?

It's time to fully commit.

You have the ability to do that comes from seeing yourself as a full-fledged professional entrepreneur… and not just a woman who’s cruising along. Dive in again!

You are running a business that may become the next Apple or Snuggie or Martha Stewart. You’re not selling lemonade in your driveway for $1 a cup. Consider that when you divide up the time in your day. You have to treat yourself like an established business with many moving parts that all need attention. This is important, because achieving success is important to you. There’s no need to feel guilty about devoting time to getting your company up and running, or running smoothly. You’re not being selfish; you’re being an entrepreneur.

I repeat. You're not being selfish; you're being an entrepreneur.

2. You don’t see yourself as the expert you are

You wouldn’t start a company that you have no interest in or knowledge of. This is your thing. Your interest has led you to spend a lot of time exploring the subject because

A. You love your product/field and personally enjoy using it/immersing yourself in it


B. You had a personal problem that you’re trying to solve for yourself and others with your business idea

You are the expert, and people want to hear more from you!

They want to learn from your experiences, hear the story behind your business, and find out all about the product or service you offer. People love a good origin story, especially if you’ve come up with something truly out of the ordinary. They’ll want to know, “How did you think of that?” and you, as the captain of the whole operation, will instantly have a rapt audience. No one knows the company as well as you, which makes you the ultimate expert. Know that, and step confidently into the role.

3. You have the wrong attitude about self-promotion

Everyone around you is a potential customer, and every interaction can be a marketing opportunity. It doesn’t make you the pompous, self-centered woman that everyone else starts to avoid at parties and in the grocery store. It makes you a smart businesswoman who knows what she’s doing.

You have to be your own publicist– even if you can afford to hire a PR firm and especially if you can’t. Your genuine passion and depth of knowledge will always translate more powerfully than someone who reads off a script. You’re a marketing asset, so never be shy about what you do. You need to get your name and your company’s name out there.

To start, you want all of your established contacts to know what you’re up to: that you’ve started a business and what it does. That means updating your social media to include news clips, behind-the-scenes type videos, and a permanent link to your website– and updating often. Every post will not reach every follower, so you’re not bombarding people like you might think. People are focused on their own lives, so you have to fight a little bit to grab the spotlight for a few seconds.

But don’t stop there. Reach out to form new relationships, in real life and online. Social media grants you FREE access to millions of people, and you can take advantage even while waiting on line for a coffee. Not everyone will rush to buy your product right away, but you will be the person they think of when they are in the market later on.

4. You’re not using the data that you have right in front of you

Part of treating yourself like a multi-faceted business is investing time and money into data-tracking efforts. OR simply listening to what the others keep telling you! You need a book! You need to be on stage! Sure you may not know how to enter those fields just yet but come on! You have a wealth of people around you would love to help you out!

And if you don't know, girl, there are 1001 ways to see what "your people" are missing from you! For example maybe you’re getting a lot of likes, but how many people are actually persuaded to click on your website? What do they do once they’re on your page, and how long until they lose interest and leave? You don’t want to blindly spend money on promoted tweets or sidebar ads– you want hard numbers that indicate which type of paid advertising is being clicked on the most and focus there.

Data is the most reliable advice you’ll come across. It is proof of what has worked for other similar businesses, and pinpoints consumer needs and trends in every demographic. Stop guessing and wasting time. You know your field, industry and your company. If not - then really - take 30 minutes and start digging! The most successful and most profitable companies got that way from utilizing data.

5. You’re trying to be a one man show

Entrepreneurs make it because they have the skills and personality for business without needing to rely on a corporation, but no one makes it big completely on their own. You need someone who can help you grow your business and support you in the process. You’re an expert, but an expert in your field. You have enough on your plate without trying to take care of all aspects of your company on your own.

I know that you don’t want to pay for full time staff salaries, so hire only the most essential positions that your business requires daily to stay afloat. Leave other positions on an as-needed basis. For example, you probably don’t need a full-time IT team, even if your business is entirely online. Pay for the help you need, and don’t be afraid to acknowledge that yes, you do need it. Of the Essentials to hire are: advisors and managers to help with strategy and planning, assistants to do the time busting work, and of course the technical experts.

It is beyond fun to work with creatives who are masters of their craft. It is beyond fun for everyone involved to expand horizons, expand brand and yes, revenue streams too!

"There was so much work that needed to be done it was overwhelming. We had a hard time getting things done.  Now, we have 2 courses that are selling, signed partnership agreements, will be doing a speaking tour and have a book coming out next year.  It's unbelievably exciting!" - Beloved Reality Star

"We wanted to tap in to a new market and needed to know how the others were so successful.  I don't understand how Ashleigh knows so much.  Now we have hired designers and manufacturers, have 2 stores opening and have our website up and running. I carry Ashleigh's recommendations with me everyday." -International London-based Guru

Click here to sign up for my Make Room for Revenue 8 Step Checklist.  You don't have to be 1 thing.  Not at this stage.  Not anymore.

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5 Ways You Can Take Care Of Yourself - Interview with Josephina Santiago

Do you love listening to Podcasts?  Or do you not really know what one is quite yet?? Let me make it easy for you.  It’s perfect for you - the super-busy-always-running-around woman that you are.  Pull up the podcast on your phone, plug-in your headphones and listen as you workout, do your errands or even the dishes late night!  

CLICK on the LINK Below & Go!

OR another easy way you can pull up the Mompreneur on Fire podcast via the Podcast App that is already. on. your. iPhone.

Time for me. I take that very seriously.
— Josephina Santiago
Mompreneur on Fire - Josephina Santiago 2

This post contains affiliate links.

I was in a particular space where I said I could drift or I could design.
— Josephina Santiago

Ever wonder how people get it right? How do they do all this work and live with peace?? Live a settled life? A happy, peaceful life? There are people out there, real people, who live the same experiences we do, but they are doing it better. I dream of the other side. I actually, actively, work to get to the other side. The side of life where I move forward with confident decisions and peace. Peace. I dream of peace. 

Today’s conversation is with my personal mentor and coach, Master Coach Josephina Santiago. When I met her almost ten years ago, I was at the lowest point in my life. Most people hugged me and told I was too young to be so heartbroken. Josephina skipped past that and worked to empower me.  

She worked to empower me. 

I was stuck in the muddiness of my life and she helped pull me out. That's my truth. At the end of last year, she announced she would be accepting new coachees and I recommended her to everyone I knew. This is an amazing woman with an amazing opportunity! You would be crazy not to take her up on it. Then weeks passed, and I thought, "hmmm...I am going through a few things myself, I will call her, too."

And my life changed. Lifelong learning as she says.

This woman has power and grace and works to help you find yours. Words would never do justice for how wonderful, knowledgeable and wise this woman is. Not only do you need to meet her, you want to learn from her, my dear Josephina.

I loved our conversation. Below are a few great takeaways you can start immediately.

5 Ways Master Coach Josephina Takes Care of Herself (& You Can Too!)

  1. Self-care is a priority

    • She intentionally slows herself down. One example of how she does this is by writing as she journals. 
    • She commits to listening to her soul. She makes that commitment.
  2. Community is important

    • Community -- we don't do this alone. She encourages us to open up and expand our community.
    • She surrounds herself with a network of support, and learned to let go of people "with lots of opinions."
  3. She's a commited life-long learner

    • "Learning didn't stop once I graduated."
    • Vacations from her "9-5" have always been opportunities to continue learning.
    • She is always learning, every moment of every day.
  4. She's a decision maker 

    • At one point she realized she could be a "drifter or a designer" and had to make a decision.
    • "I was living from the stories of my past... 'I can't do that,' but we can change our narratives."
    • From a space of awareness, she notices what's going on! But then KEEPS GOING. From this space of awareness you can make a choice to stay in the way you have been if it serves you (or even if it doesn't), or to begin to put your attention onto the practices for being what you choose.
    • How going back to a "9-5" gave her what he needed at that moment -- grounding -- but it didn't stop her from dreaming. 
    • "When people said you can't open a public school, we said 'watch us.'"
  5. She Practices. 

    • Create a space of awareness, notice what's going on, then make a choice
    • Ontological Body Learning
    • Body movement through music
    • Go to your edge -- step into your vulnerability in the presence of others
    • Understand what your inner critics are telling you and to help you move past it
    • Meditation
    • Commitments
Mompreneur on Fire - Josephina Santiago
In terms of busy... I am creating a space where I take care of myself.
— Josephina Santiago

We talked about many things including: 

  • Being busy in a space with ease and grace
  • Committing to listening to her soul
  • Community & how we don't do this alone 
  • How she learned to let go of people with lots of opinions
  • How we don't see us as others see us
  • Drifting vs Design
  • Learning to listen within
  • Closing the door and allowing the next space to open
  • Trust 
  • Inviting others to the edge
  • How being in a 9-5 didn't stop her from dreaming 
  • Ontological Body Learning and how to use music to continue your growth
  • Understand what your inner critics are telling you and how to move past it
  • Go to your edge; step into your vulnerability in the presence of others
  • How one can create a space of awareness, notice what's going on, then make a choice
  • New learning takes place with commitment
  • It's not enough to say, "I am going to do this." Then you haven't done it. You need practices.
  • Learning didn't stop once I graduated
  • I was living from the stories, of my past "I can't do that"
  • I was able to be a better mother. It was learning for a lifetime. 
  • We can change our narratives
  • When people said you can't open a public school, we said "watch us"
  • Yes, you have insecurities, you acknowlege them, and then find the way
  • Finding mentors and recurrent learning
  • Tapping into the other creative possibilities
  • Being called to other ways of learning. "My experiences matter." 
Beyond the degrees I had gotten, I was still learning. I could declare myself a beginner in one area and be confident and a master in other areas.
— Josephina Santiago

If you want to connect further with Josephina, you can find her on Facebook, email her at or call her at 917-202-2975. 

Josephina can also be found as the Director of Somatic Learning Designs & Senior Faculty at The Institute for Generative Leadership

Books By Josephina Santiago


More from Josephina

What did you want to be when you grew up??

  • In middle school (I wanted) to be a flight attendant. In high school, I switched to want to be a mid-wife. 

What was your first job?

  • My first job was when I was 16 -- Cashier at a local department store. 
  • At the age of 18 -- Summer job at a NYC municipal hospital as a Licensed Practical Nurse in the department of Gynecology.  

What are your go-to books and apps?

  • Spiritual inspiration book, Apps: Calm, Shazam ( Always looking to expand my musical library)

What are your favorite gifts to give?

  • Books, incenses, unscented candles, and words of inspirations

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Too Busy/Tired/Anxious/Annoyed for Quality Time with the Kiddos? 5 Things to Do Right Now

I can see it coming.  I can see my patience thinning out before my eyes.  My girls want my attention and I just want help.  Or I just want to be left alone.  Or I just want them to play on their own. If you're going to keep your sanity, you need to learn how to balance work and family. Your needs are important.

I see it coming. I lose my patience far more quickly than I wish for.  I yell or raise my voice.  I see my mom in me.  She was tired.  She far more tired than I ever knew.  She would get upset and frustrated.  But I also see, she didn't take care of herself, in the ways we now know we need to.  Times are different now.  

I see my frustration grow as I get more and more tired.  In my heart, I want to soak up the precious time with my girls.  Yet there in the day as we run from one activity to the next, the quality time becomes survival time.  When this happens, when I see that part of my mom in me, that tired part. I know it's happening.  I know I need to make a change.  

Below are a few thoughts on what changes help me.  Maybe they will help you. 


1. Don't Worry About Them. Worry About You. 

I know that's harder said than done but now is the absolute most important time to start thinking about you again.  

Take a deep breath.  

Give yourself a break.  

Give yourself a moment.

Put the cartoons on and leave the room.  

Tell your kids you will be back and to focus on... anything else.

I know I am no good to be around when I am over tired.  This is when I am my most cranky and most frustrated.  This is when I yell.  This is the most important time to take care of myself.  To treat myself.  If I don't take care of myself, I can't do a good job of taking care of the family.  If I don't take care of myself, how are my kids going to learn that they need to take care of themselves too?  If I don't take care of myself, what example am I setting? 

I not only need to survive the day but I really want to thrive in it.  

And that starts at home.

2. Get Rest.

For me, I know I need rest.  I need more and more rest.  Rest is what refreshes my body and soul.  It's amazing how good you can feel with a good night's sleep.  It's that thing that you must fight for.  This is where you make good choices for yourself.  I know I have to go to bed by a certain time to get my ideal amount of sleep in.  There are periods of time when I go to sleep late because we have friends over or I want to spend that extra time with my husband or I have work deadlines coming.  We all have busy seasons and slow seasons.  The point is that with rest, you can manage through the easier.  With rest, you a making a conscious decision to take care of yourself.

As a matter of fact, Arianna Huffington, you know as in THE HUFFINGTON POST,  wrote The Sleep Revolution countering the age old thought that sleep was a time waster.  Where studies show it (lack of proper sleep) hinders our health, growth and even sex lives.  

Here's the other thing, if you are actually going to try any of these recommendations out then let me also add in that you (at least) fall asleep to this evening guided meditation.  It is such a wonderful way to end the day.

The guide, Dr. Joe Dispenza, helps you settle down on the day, reflect on the day, get excited about tomorrow and forgive yourself for the errors in your day.   I started with this twice a day guided meditation at the beginning of the year based on a recommendation by my beloved coach and haven't looked back since.  LOVE LOVE LOVE it.    


3. Move. 

When you move, your body releases energy.  When you move, your body creates endorphins.  Endorphins talk with your brain and tells it to reduce the pain.   When you move you shake off the things that are stuck within your body.  When you move you change your present self.  Take a walk.  Do some jumping jacks.  Or do what I do and throw on some good music!!

When you dance you change your energy!  Allow yourself that!

It should come as no surprise to you that one of my go-to songs is Girl on Fire by Alicia Keys!  


4. Do One Fun Thing.

Set the timer for 5 minutes.  And then go!  

Race down the hall with your kid!  Blare the music!  And do some funny dance moves!  Jump out of your comfort zone.  Let yourself have fun.  You're exhausted, I know, let it. go.  Let them play with you how they want.  (You can set the timer here too.)  Make up funny words and meanings with them.  

Say YES! and let yourself enjoy it!   Whatever is fun or funny or easy.  Have dessert before dinner.  Connect.  5 minutes will be good for your soul. 


5. Try Again Tomorrow

Give up.  Tell the day - you. are. done.  

My husband has certainly come home from his work to a dark, disastrous house.  My mother liked to put lipstick on for her husband before he came home from work.  I sometimes think it's a miracle I survived the day, especially when the girls were little.  There certainly have been times when my husband has come home and I am sitting on the sofa with no lights on, trash tv in the background and I was just done. 

That's okay too.  Get your rest, take care of yourself.  Do what you've got to do. No one said balancing work and family was going to be easy.  Give yourself that permission and try again tomorrow!

Good luck!  

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Mompreneur on Fire - 5 Things To Do When You Need QT Time
5x Bad Parenting Turns Out To Be A Good Thing

I don't think Bad Parenting is the end of the world.  I don't even think it's that bad.  I'll admit it.  Bad parenting can actually turn out to be a good thing. Mom life can be overwhelming, it's okay. You don't need to be perfect all. the. time.

Mompreneur on Fire - Bad Parenting

But before I get into why I think bad parenting could even offer some benefits, yes, benefits, I have to put out a few disclaimers.  

First and foremost, what I am about to say in relation to the normal, average parent.  We try to parent well but we also make big, huge mistakes.  We have failures too.  This justification is for those who intend to do what is right, what is best, what is most appropriate but just as we are humans, we slip and we make mistakes too.  

If you are abusive, mean-spirited or just plain, deeply and emotionally troubled, I am sorry about that.  You should do what's best for you and your family and seek out professional assistance.  There is light at the end of every tunnel.  This is not for you.

But if you are the normal, everyday mom or the normal everyday parent then I am here to say: Bad parenting is okay.  

In fact, bad parenting is more than okay, it's likely to be a good thing!  And yes, that's okay. 

My kids are young, they are 4 and 5 1/2.  I try my best.  I try to teach them proper manners and fun play.  I try to teach them lessons and consequences.  I try to teach them about love, unconditional love and putting your energy to good things.  Helpful things.  I try.  I can honestly say I try.  I do good things I know.  I do regular good things for my kids.  

Yet, I know, I have epic failures too.  Goodness, I point my finger at them when I am really angry.  I count in a voice so firm that when I get to whatever number it is, there will be consequences if need be.  And my kids know it.  

I fly off the handle.  I hate to admit that.  I am embarrassed it happens.  But it happens.  

There are some tense moments in the house when my husband is around.  

There is crying on other occasions.  Geez, there was real, heart-breaking sadness, that I just couldn't hide from them when my Dad passed.  

And just the other day, I am ashamed to admit, my daughter had been "mom mom momming" me and then stopped in her tracks and said in her beautifully strong voice "Mom taking care of your kids is more important than work."  Ouch, that one hit a nerve.  Wonder where she learned that adult statement from...

Did I drop my non-work email and hug her immediately?  No, maybe another bad parenting moment came after that. Because I then proceeded to tell her how I had taken care of her all day long, in excoriating detail, and to not ever talk to me like that again.  

"Did you like that camp you went to today?  Which I found.  Which I convinced Daddy was the right camp to attend and pay for.  Which I coordinated friends to go along with you.  Did you like the lunch you ate with the hearts, fruit and your favorite snack, which I purchased, made and packaged for you..."

I went through the entire day from start to present moment with her about how I had taken care of her bit by bit.  You can imagine how long that digest was if we were having the conversation in the early evening.  I was not happy, she hit a nerve and had to listen to my firm, stable voice about the day's activities. 

Almost immediately I felt bad I got so upset.  (Can we say she hit a nerve?)  We hugged it out and my sweet darling responded as she does.  "It's okay Mom."

But here's the thing.  Bad parenting has its' moments.  These moments bring forth emotions, moods, and lessons. 

Because we, as moms love lists, here are few ways bad parenting is not so bad. 

1. The Kids Experience Mistakes 

It's important that kids experience mistakes.  I would also argue it's important them seeing you make mistakes too.  Now you don't have to go overboard.  I want my daughters to look up to me but I also want to them to see that when I make a mistake, I take action to correct it. When I make a mistake, I work to improve from it.  When I make a mistake, sure it hurts, but I will survive.  They will survive too.  When kids experience mistakes, they learn that mistakes are part of the natural learning journey.  When kids experience mistakes, they learn that a mistake is just that, a mistake.  Nothing more, nothing less.  It's something that happens and it's something they can move on from.

2. The Kids Experience That The World Is Not Always Rosy

Omgoodness.  Do you know where I live?  I live in one of the most beautiful towns by one of the most beautiful beaches in the country.  The homes are literally the most expensive homes in the country.  The shoes these women walk around in are jaw-dropping gorgeous and expensive.  The clothes are seemingly perfect.  Their health is seemingly perfect.  That's where I live.  It's 70 degrees and sunny everyday.  

All that said for what purpose?  Even if your surroundings are rosy, your kids need to experience life that is not rosy.  Life is not rosy.  I did not grow up where it's 70 degrees and sunny everyday.  I grew up in Upstate New York, in New Hampshire and Virginia and Washington, DC.  

Just like you would take your kids to the carnival, to the park, to the beach, to Disney World, to Europe and Mexico you want to have your kids experience the days that are not rosy.  Dare I say dark? 

Here's my reasoning.  Life is not going to be rosy for them always.  Don't you want them to experience the dark days when they have the comfort, support and encouragement at home?  Don't you want them to learn that when the dark days come, they are still loved and capable?  Let them experience the dark days while they are still at home, that way they can get used to the experience and can come out of it thriving with a strong support system around.  When they are older and on their own, the dark days won't be so hard, right?  Because they know they can not only survive it but thrive from it. 

3. The Kids Bond Together By Their Experiences

I was talking with another family recently about their own parenting mistakes.  My friend was telling me how she felt regret that her kids had seen some fighting between herself and her husband.  She wished she could have handled certain situations better.  She was talking about how she had this specific conversation with her 20 year old daughter.  Sure, mistakes were made, sure we wish could have done better.  Her daughter is very close to her brother and said the parents fighting was a bonding experience for the two brother and sister.  A bonding experience for the brother and sister that are the closest of friends.   While my friend did not intend to do some bad parenting, a positive did come out of it.  

4. The Kids Learn From An Early Age How To Deal With Mistakes

Imagine down the road your kiddo gets caught with their hand in the cookie jar.  Their first big mistake.  They took an action that was not worthy of them, they made a big mistake.  What will happen? How will they deal with it?  How will they move forward?  Will they even learn from it? Grow from it?  It's best to lay that foundation when they are young, right?  Ensure they learn about actions (positive and negative), about consequences now, right?

5. The Kids Learn From An Early Age That Nobody Is Perfect

Needing to be perfect is a growing problem in our society.  I do think we are more aware of our imperfections but with social media so prevalent there's some hypocrisy happening too.  We present on social media the good, the pretty and the planned out.  Only.  That's okay, I accept that. I don't want my Facebook feed filled with woes.  I enjoy cheering on the good things in my friends and families' lives.  Offline, if they discuss with the hard stuff.  But I am a confident adult with emotional development and stability.  

When perfection is always presented to them, when only the good is presented to them how are they going to learn that they themselves do not have to be perfect?  That they should and can embrace those imperfections within themselves.  

We are not perfect and that is okay.  Wouldn't it be wonderful if children learned at an early age that everybody has individual flaws. Nobody is perfect.  When they see that nobody perfect but we are still wonderful, lovable beings. Wouldn't that be wonderful?

Yes, I am actively trying to build a well-rounded child and I believe that means my kids fall, they see the good but also some of the bad.  I try to protect them, absolutely, but I don't lie to them either.  I respect them, even from an early age, and firmly believe (pray) that together we create a great meaningful life. 

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Gain Momentum with Your Side Business: Listen to 1 Mom's story of making it happen after her 9-5
Mompreneur on Fire - Wendy

Do you love listening to Podcasts?  Or do you not really know what one is quite yet?? Let me make it easy for you.  It’s perfect for you - the super-busy-always-running-around woman that you are.  Pull up the podcast on your phone, plug-in your headphones and listen as you workout, do your errands or even the dishes late night! 

CLICK on the LINK Below & Go

OR another easy way you can pull up the Mompreneur on Fire podcast via the Podcast App that is already. on. your. iPhone.

If I could find the information, I can figure it out.
— Wendy Hively

Today’s conversation is no different than the others.  Well, a little different.  Wendy has a full-time job AND she runs her side business AND she has daughters that she is raising.  Charliemadison Originals, a beautiful jewelry line named after her daughters is growing, growing growing.  They have a substantial following on social media, wonderful supportive partners and a mission behind them.  

I love how authentic and real Wendy is.  She is a great example of how to start, how to proceed forward, how to maintain her current responsibilities (ummm keep her JOB as a scientist) and also work on something she, personally, cares about.


We talked about many things including:

  • The evolution of her jewelry business
  • From Etsy to her own shop - website
  • Military Spouse Entrepreneurs
  • Several Online Business Classes
  • How her family helps her
  • If I could find the information, I can figure it out
  • Figuring out what works and doesn't
  • The piece that she loves about business, the pieces she'd love to outsource
  • Mentors
  • How her family is involved
  • How her work is the example for her daughters
  • The mess that's in the background
  • What she lets go of
  • What lists she holds on to
  • Doing what you like
  • What she admitted she just binge watched!
  • What they consistently do with the girls and as a family
  • Her 1 List that helps her out most


More From Wendy

  • What did you want to be when you grew up? 
    • I think I changed my mind so many times when I was a kid, but I remember wanting to be a teacher or a veterinarian.

  • What was your first job?
    • My first job after I graduated from college was working a laboratory for the Department of Defense.  As you know, I work full-time job in addition to my jewelry business and have worked for different agencies of the federal government since I graduated from college.  That was almost 25 years ago!
  • What are your go-to books and apps?
    • I actually love to read, but I don't often have extra time to read non-business books.  There are a few books that have captured my heart of over the years - The Alchemist, The Red Tent, and Wherever You Go, There You Are.  The last one really helped me to love meditation and it's such a great book for beginners and those who think meditation is too difficult.

    • My favorite apps are Instagram, Word Swag, Afterlight, and Rainbow Love - all of them help me with marketing and graphics for my business.

  • What are your favorite gifts to give??
    • My favorite gifts to give are those that have a special meaning, which is why I love to give my jewelry.  I am at the point in my life where I've just got too much stuff, so I look for gifts that help the receiver to feel special, to remember something special in her life, or to help her know how strong, beautiful, and loved she is.  My bracelets and necklaces are reminders each time they put them on, so they are my favorite things to gift.

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In full disclosure, this blog post contains affiliate links which means if you make a purchase from any of these links, I may make a little money. So thank you in advance for using these links as it adds a cushion in my accounts too! 

How Following Through Is the Single Thing You Need to do to Find Success

As an entrepreneur mentor, I've coached thousands of busy mom's. I've discovered the #1 thing you need to be successful and why it's not too late to start now.

Mompreneur on Fire - Follow Thru To Success

I can give you a six-word formula for success: "Think things through - then follow through.”  Sir Walter Scott

We all have a lot of great business ideas, needs and wants.  Some of us seem to have all the luck and get all of their wishes fulfilled, while some seem to be satisfied with status quo and never achieve their dreams.  The difference between the haves and have-nots is the follow through. 

Last summer my girlfriend fulfilled a lifelong dream of living in Paris.  Without even really knowing it, this was one of my life-long dreams.  The difference is that she planned for her month in the City of Lights and she had the gumption to make it happen.  

“Follow through” is what makes the difference in making dreams (or even just cool stuff) happen.  We have great ideas, all of us; but what are you following through on?  What are you consistently working towards?  It may not be a month in Paris exploring the city; rather, it may be something simple.  Where you spend your time and energy is where you will find success.  Period.

Mompreneur on Fire - Following Through

Following through does not mean making one single attempt and then giving up.  If you are trying to land your dream client will you reach out one time and then think “well, I tried”.  No!  That wouldn't get your client for you! 

Jane Wurwand and her husband of Dermologica, the world’s number one skin care line, worked with 78 different technicians before finding the right product. 

Ariana Huffington, you know the Founder of The Hufffington Post, contacted 48 different publishers before getting her first book deal.  Following through is being passionate enough about your dream and goal to be consistent with the effort required to make it happen. 

Following through on your dreams and goals also means following up.  Here are 3 ways I follow up: 

1. The Friendly Follow Up

When I send a reminder email, text or call I actually state "This is your friendly reminder to xx".  I want the person that I am talking with to feel confident talking with me and not to feel guilty about not following through themselves.  I know that we all have lots and lots of things happening, we have many reasons we get sidetracked and I am okay with that.  I am simply reminding them to focus on me and my needs for the moment.  When the timing is correct, they will come back through.   Your friendly reminders will help keep your needs at the forefront. 

2. Putting a Process Behind My Relationship Management

Oh goodness, don't run away from the technical necessary evil stuff.  Just hear me out.

When I was younger, like 20, I would call my brother and sister-in-law on a regular basis "just to say hi".  I told them it was friendly message to let them know I was thinking of them, they didn't even have to call me back.  I would call them every couple of weeks or even months and on occasion, I would get a call back.  I do the same with my friends.  I am that loyal kind.  And I honestly don't get upset if you don't call me back.  I just don't take it personal and I keep it up.    I apply the same principles with my work relationships.  I develop meaningful relationships as I work next to someone and I want to continue that even when our work doesn't proceed forward.  

This past year as an entrepreneur mentor, my business started to get busier and busier, I am not going to lie, developing and maintaining relationships started coming at a faster pace than I have ever worked with.  I am pleased, of course.  I started using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool called Insightly.  The number of emails I am sending was getting out of control.  Even with loads of categories and folders, you / one can't organize the workload in an email system.  Then with the birth of the podcast, I am putting many interview invitations out there.  I needed a manner to help me remember who exactly I have invited, a reminder to follow up and a note to follow up after the interview has occurred.  Everyone I talk to, I want them to be connected with me and I them.  How do I manage it?  I keep track (not perfect track but good enough) of the people I am working within Insightly.  It's actually quite amazing.  What was that movie line? "Set it and forget it."  All the emails I send out to a particular person are saved under their contact information.  I can then categorize them which I sometimes do.  Ideally, I would do create this designation to say it's a Mompreneur on Fire contact or a Consulting Contact.  I don't - I just use my notes to remember.  Then, my favorite part, is to set up Tasks for when I need to follow up with them.  Then I can "set it and forget it".  I get a reminder in my email, as I choose, to let me know today is the day to send a quick note!  

I love it.  It makes my life that much easier.  I need the friendly reminders too!

Mompreneur on Fire - Working Hard

3. Be Thoughtful (And Here's How)

You know there are studies that show how that pharmaceutical sales methods of bringing lunches and hosting dinners is directly related to the increase of a prescription drug sales.  It's not surprising.  The doctors learn more when the sales reps are around and are politely, kindly following up all. the. time.  

  • Are you close enough to bring coffee?  
  • Can you pop on over to just say Hi?  
  • Can you shoot them a text or an idea?  
  • Can you find them the drycleaner they were searching for?
  • Can you recommend them to someone else?

Follow through on what you say you're going to do.  Follow through on the relationship.  Be that friend even when you are busy.  It's appreciated and will help you full circle. 

When you get right down to the root of the meaning of the word "succeed," you find that it simply means to follow through.” – F.W. Nichol

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No Time for a Book Club? Start a Cooking Club in 5 Steps!

As much as I love to read, I admit that don't always make it a priority. Or when I do, I want to read what I want to read.  Now imagine getting 5-8 other moms together to discuss the same book.  If we all have young children, it is so hard to do!  Mom life just consumes all of our time so why not start a cooking club?!

Mompreneur on Fire - Cooking Club

When I lived back East, I was in a book club aka wine club.  Six of my girlfriends and I were in our 20s and it was BK, (Before Kids) where we had all the time in the world to be together.  

We started off reading a selected book each month and as our friendships grew we would still read the book but then would barely discuss it because we were so excited to see one another we couldn't wait to catch up on our real lives.  Occasionally though a book would draw us back for some deep and sometimes heated conversations.  Actually this book, I remember, was the most heated discussions.  Do not get me started. 

This idea is taken, lovingly from one of my most favorite people in the whole. wide. world.  Shauna Niequist.  Each month, Shauna and friends gather around the table for good food and plenty of conversation.   She says: 

“We don't learn to love each other well in the easy moments. Anyone is good company at a cocktail party. But love is born when we misunderstand one another and make it right, when we cry in the kitchen, when we show up uninvited with magazines and granola bars, in an effort to say, I love you.” 

With the girls by my side, my husband growing in his career, my parents passing, I am often bursting for an easy outlet of authenticity and connection.  Every book club attempt in the past years has fallen flat to cold and curfews.  It's harder to read even though I coincidentally, wrote another post about being a mom and finding the time to read again!  

In any event, when I first learned of cooking clubs from reading Shauna's book Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table  and I grabbed onto the idea and ran with it.  Actually here she discusses specifically right here how she runs her cooking club.  And it's brilliant.  

The heart of hospitality is about creating space for someone to feel seen and heard and loved. It’s about declaring your table a safe zone, a place of warmth and nourishment.
— Shauna Niequist

So to start your cooking club you need a few essentials:

1. Trusted friends interested in getting together on a regular night every few weeks.  

That may seem easy, that may seem tough.  Or maybe there is someone you would like to get to know better.  You know there are women you connect with and would love to see more of.  Here's your perfect opportunity to get to know them!  Make a list.  Make a meaningful list of women you want to deep dive with.  10 maximum.  

2. Invite but invite with rules and understanding.

Another woman I love and fellow Podcaster, Kristin Rogers just had a podcast with 5 of her friends about creating book clubs where they discuss pulling one together for themselves and even their kids.  It was quite a fun episode you can check out here!   What I love is how they were very intentional about the rules of their book club.  We, here, have established doing a cooking club vs a book club but setting the foundation applies everywhere.  

This is where you can invite people you love to see and those you want to see more of into the cooking club.  Now is also the time to be upfront with what you are looking for.  Connection,  yes but what else?  Consistency.  Not to have to spend a ton of money.  Will each person put in say $20 and the host will supply everything but the wine?  Maybe it's a good idea for you to work in teams and each team can rotate hosting.  That way responsibility isn't on one person.  How often will you meet?  Monthly? Quarterly?  When is best?  For breakfast? Lunch? Dinner?  Will others be invited in? And how?

3. Pick a theme.  

Yes!  Do that now!  As the host, you get to decide.

How about Breakfast for Dinner. Or Italian Night! Mexican!  Favorite family recipes!  Favorite EASY recipes!  Appetizers and Hor D'euvres!  There I just gave you 5 options to choose from.  Host your first dinner and then together you, as a group, can decide what you want to do next time. 

4. Pick some discussion points.  

The conversations can be heavy or light, as you wish.  Don't force it though.  Some questions that started our cooking club included:

  1. Name one thing you learned today.
  2. Tell us something that happened to you this week (or since the last we spoke) that I wouldn't know about nor know to ask about. 
  3. What can you open up about without spilling your guts? 
  4. Where have you succeeded today?  Where have you failed? How's mom life treating you?
  5. And the ultimate, let's cut to the chase, question: "What keeps you at night?"

Is there something on your mind? Something you are trying to figure out?  Work out? Want more information about? Bring it up.  Make it your question.  You don't have to go into the deep deep history of why, you can simply ask for insight. 

5. Enjoy.  

There's fear and pressure and judgment all around us.  When pulling together a group there can be pressure to for everything to right and perfect.   Forget that.  Stop wasting your time there.  Focus your time on enjoying what you pulled together.  Make and create the connections.  Enjoy and enjoy and enjoy!

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10 Ways to Get Ahead Even When You're Already Late

Do you always feel like you are behind?  Like everyone is making progress doing things you think or dream about?  You want to get ahead, yet you always feel late to the game? As an entrepreneur mentor, it's my duty to share with you everything I can for you to be successful. Let's do this!

Mompreneur on Fire - 10 Ways To Get Ahead When You're Already Late

My own coach told me, "Honey, that is a game you are never going to win.  You are not late."  I kind of "yeah yeah'd" her, thinking I "should be" err... so desperately wanted to be further ahead in my goals and dreams than I actually was.  

In thinking about our conversation, I think she is right.  (Totally right.)  I get to put together the plans for what I will accomplish, when, and how.  I get to decide if I am late or not -- it's my own game.  Right?! 

Given that, I still very much want to move forward, actively, and continuously.  I personally found that by giving myself space to work, and by taking it step-by-step, I was able to get ahead like never before.  (Well, like before when I had all the time in the world and no kiddos pulling on my leg asking for another coloring page!) As an entrepreneur mentor, I want to share with you everything I can to ensure your success.


Before you can really get ahead, you have to know and decide what you want to do.  Sounds like a no brainer, I know, but when you have lots of ideas and lots of responsibilities, it's hard to nail down just that one thing.  I get it.  I have a hard time doing that, too.  Being a professional project manager, where I literally teach and help others implement their goals, I can tell you through and through, it is simply impossible to change every single thing you want all at once.  You have to decide where to focus, and that's a maximum of 3 things at one time.  Depending on your workload and responsibilities, it may be 1 thing at a time.  That's okay.  Step by step, you will get to the others, but first you have to decide which item you are going to tackle now.

Are you going to focus on getting those big dream accounts?  Are you going to focus on building your brand?  Are you going to focus on having dinner on the table each night?  Getting to the gym on more regular basis?  

Once you decide, then own it.  


Again, once you decide what you are going to tackle, what you are going to accomplish, you have to decide when you will start.  

Right now? Are you prepared for that?  Probably not.  

Heck, I gave up processed sugar as a test to myself, and before I could fully commit to when I would start, I suddenly had cravings for Trader Joe's bite-sized licorice that I had to get!  Random!  But I had to do it!  I was not prepared! 

(By the way, best decision ever to give up sugar!)

Point is, you need to get prepared.  Will you start in a week?  Tomorrow?  Pick a date.  Put it on the calendar.  Mark where you are, and what your starting point is. 

Then give yourself a stop date.  An arbitrary stop date.  In my podcasts with Rosemarie Groner, the Busy Budgeter, she talked about how she gave herself a year to make full-time money from her blog.  If it didn't work after a year, she was going to move on.  (She's killing it, btw.)

Give yourself a reasonable timeframe to accomplish what you are looking for.  Test the waters and commit. 


OMGoodness, I cannot tell you how many times people let go of their own commitments to themselves.  You know it's true.  We all do it.  In order to get ahead, you have to commit to doing what you set out to do.  The best and easiest way to do that is also to plan out how you are going to accomplish it.  Plan out how you are going to get started TODAY and for the rest of the week.  That's it.  Don't go any further that next week.  Truth is, part of your work will be learning.  When learning comes, the plan goes out the window.  

Commit today.  Plan for tomorrow and next week.  Then start doing. 

Mompreneur on Fire - Desk


When are you going to do this?  Do you watch tv? 

Good, I do, too.  I wish I could be that person where we didn't have tvs, but that's not me.  I have 3 shows I watch.  The Good Wife (sad it's actually over).  Scandal. (Silly I know, but I'm committed.)  The Deadliest Catch.  (My husband and I have been watching it since it started, what can I say, I'm a loyal person.)  Then if I need something mindless in the background, I watch Friday Night Lights from Netflix on repeat.  I have literally seen the show way too many times.  

But guess what -- that's it.  I watch tv, but I don't let tv consume me, either.  Typically I watch an episode of something with my husband and then I walk away.  With the tv out of my life, I have many more hours to give to my goals and dreams.  

Step away from the tv.  You'll thank me for it later. 


OMGoodness.  Google is dead.  Google is sooo 10 years ago.  If you want to know, if you want to learn, it's all on Pinterest and YouTube.

Don't even "yeah yeah" me on this one -- just listen.  I had no idea myself until just a few months ago.

Want to know how to put together a podcast?  YouTube.  

Want to know what equipment you need to put together a podcast?  YouTube.

Want to know how to start a blog?  Pinterest.

Want to know how to create multiple streams of income online? Pinterest. Or Here.

Want to know how to do that and put a meal on the table at night?  Pinterest.  YouTube. 

Anything you want to learn or do, there is information about it on Pinterest and YouTube.  (And actually Facebook, too.)  Google is sooo over.  Trust me.  Keep the learning going and go where I tell you.

Actually, I am so serious about this that I have 2 guides that I am living and breathing and dreaming about when I sleep.  Pinterest Strategy Guide and Strategies Worth Sharing (for Facebook).  Seriously, 2 books to increase traffic by the thousands??  Worth it?  Ummm, yes!


I started calendar blocking just a few months ago and I simply love it.  It's not an exact science but what it does do is open up your eyes as to how much time you really have to devote to certain things.  

Immediately, the first things in the calendar are my girls' activities.  Most afternoons are booked solid with their activities.  That gives me mornings and evenings to add in.  When will I interview a guest for the podcast?  When will I edit the podcast and prepare the show notes?  When will I work on client work?  When will I hit the grocery store?  Make those returns I have to?  

Once I started putting tasks in my calendar, it was eye-opening where and how I was spending my time.  And with whom.  Was I spending my time with the people I wanted to vs the people I was actually seeing?  I was inadvertently and unintentionally setting priorities that way. Once I started calendar blocking, I really realized I could better control my time and make my activities align with my real values. 

Try it.  Just try it. 


Pick 3 priorities.  If a request comes in, then have NO at your forefront.  Remember, that is an option for you.  

It's okay to say no.  Actually, it feels amazing to say no.

No, thank you.  Not interested.  Not today.  Not tomorrow.  (Maybe next week.)  No.  


Have fun with YES!  Just say YES!  Let things change up.  Do what you wouldn't normally do!  Get out of that rut!  Allow the doors to open, breathe in the fresh air!  Say YES! and give it a shot!  You will get ahead more and more by just saying YES! YES!  I am open to that!  

Nothing is permanent.  If you cut your hair, it will grow!  If you say YES! then you get the experience of being open to the new experience!  Say YES!  Then next time, you can decide is this a YES! or a NO!

Mompreneur on Fire - Be Kind to Yourself


It's too much.  To really get a break, to really get ahead, to really connect and move forward, you have to put the phone down. 

It's hard.  I know.  I have a love/hate relationship with my phone.  I hate it.  But I need it.  

Truth is, I don't need it all day every day.  Put the phone down and get back to work. 


Mompreneur on Fire - With Coffee

You cannot get ahead without treating yourself well.  

I repeat.  You cannot get ahead without being kind to yourself.  

There are so many glorious and easy ways to be kind to yourself, so just do it.  

Recognize that you are strong and capable.  Treat yourself.  

All. the. time.

I realize this past year I mostly talked about my dreams, or even got angry about my unfulfilled dreams.  Without quite realizing it, I felt I had less time because I had my kiddos around and my charming, yet needy husband to take care of.  I felt my responsibilities were overwhelming me and preventing me from doing the things I dreamt of.  Perhaps that's true to a degree.  Or perhaps, I wasn't quite ready.  

But I'll tell you what, when I did get ready, when I did focus and turn off the tv, the tide shifted in my favor.  There has been so much learning this past year.  There's been a lot of highs and lows too, I'm not going to lie.  Yet, I realize, like my coach said, I was the only one who thought I was "late to the game" and I just had to focus on moving forward.  Was I committed?  Or wasn't I?  Was I open or wasn't I?  Was I willing to do the work?  When all my answers there were YES!, everything started to change.  

Start!  Take action!  Correct your actions and continue to move forward!

Good luck! Also, by all means, if you are working on getting ahead in your own life and want further explanation on any of these steps, please reach out to me.  I'd be happy to explain my process further if that would help you! 

In full disclosure, this blog post contains affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase from any of these links, I may make a little money. So thank you in advance for using these links as it adds a cushion in my accounts, too! 

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3 Quick Ways to Surprise & Delight Your Customers

The manner of giving is worth more than the gift.  ~Pierre Corneille, Le Menteur

Doesn’t it always seem like the customer wants “just” one more thing?  Heck, I don’t blame them. I do it myself.  Aren’t we trained to always want more?  Sometimes, even when we get what we want, it isn’t what we really need.  

So it’s no surprise that our customers want one more thing. 

One small thing. 

When you give your customers that one small thing they want ahead of time, they are not only surprised but they are excited to see what comes next.  That one small thing is big because it's big to them. These business ideas will keep your customers happy and increase your referrals.


This small thing is there to make them feel special.  And that’s the ultimate end goal, right? We want our customer to be excited with our delivery and to feel special. 

Now when reality sets in and when we have multiple customers who want multiple additions to what was promised, we can get to a place where we have added on tons of work, higher expectations, and lower profit revenue.   To me, “just” doing one more thing always ends up taking much longer than expected. 

So how do we manage both? Surprise and delight our customers and all of them?  This is the power of low-hanging fruit.  Low-Hanging Fruit: What is it?  There's always the core offering or product that you are delivering.  The low-hanging fruit is the thing that helps them that much more, it's something that would make it easier and nicer for them to use or achieve. 

Mompreneur on Fire - Gold Calc

Low-hanging fruit is something seemingly small, a minimal effort, but it provides a surprisingly big impact to the your client. 

Below are some things you can do to make your customer happy while not adding loads of work to you and your team:

  1. Powerful & Friendly Follow up.  By checking in with your client you are keeping them engaged and in-the-know with how you care about them.  This could a quick email to them, a text or call.  Give your client an unexpected follow up and have them light right up. 
  2. Send them a Thank You Note.  When was the last time you received a hand-written thank you note?  Spend the few minutes to tell your customers how appreciative you are to work with them.  Your client would be thrilled and feel appreciated themselves.  The impact and improvement on the relationship will be great.  
  3. Proactively Give Them a Service They Would Pay For. Do you offer services by the hour?  If so, then during that appointment, add in 15 or 30 minutes just for fun.  Time is a commodity and something we all need more of.  Why not give some additional time? Won't your client love and appreciate that?!  
Mompreneur on Fire - Thank You Note

Bonus Steps:

  1. Bring Them a Treat. Are you local? Who doesn't want a surprise afternoon coffee break?   The pharmaceutical industry relies on this practice and it truly generates sales for them.  They bring breakfast, coffee, sweet treats.  You're are getting in front of your client, face-to-face.  What better way to remind them you are there than being there?
  2. Give Them a Recommendation.  Do you know someone who could use their services?  Do they do good work? Share the good will.   Speak highly of them and recommend them too.  Even write them a recommendation on LinkedIn.  That takes minutes but the effect and goodwill will only improve your relationships.

Making the extra effort for your client will grow the relationship leaps and bounds.   People admit there is always a better service or better price but they enjoy the comfort and loyalty of people they work with.  If you have a relationship where your customer is surprised and delighted, why would they not want to work with you??  Low-hanging fruit is one of the simplest ways to make your customer happy.  You're showing a customer that you are thinking of them when they are not there.  This thing that you do will require a minimal effort on your part but will make big impact to your customer.    

Your customer will be excited, feel special and be happy with you! You'll feel confident that they are there to stay.

Good luck!

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How 1 Woman's Journey Will Inspire You To Live Yours Fully Too!

Do you love listening to Podcasts?  Or do you not really know what one is quite yet?? Let me make it easy for you.  It’s perfect for you - the super-busy-always-running-around woman that you are.  Pull up the podcast on your phone, plug-in your headphones and listen as you workout, do your errands or even the dishes late night! 

CLICK on the LINK Below & Go

OR another easy way you can pull up the Mompreneur on Fire podcast via the Podcast App that is already. on. your. iPhone. 

Mompreneur on Fire - Kristen Rogers

Note: This post contains affiliate links.

When Kristin Roger's said she barely sees herself as a mompreneur, I had to shake my head.  I didn't see that one coming but now that I think about it, it fits.  It completely fits with how she lives her life. The little bit that I know and the parts that I soak in, I can see she lives an intentional and full life.  Yes, she's a mom, a wife, a homeschooler, a woman and friend extraordinaire.  She proudly boasts how she's a Master Moocher, knows how to "let it go" AND she manages several outside projects at a time.

For years now I have been following Kristin Roger's online journey.  Everything she posts online has real meaning and beauty behind it.  Every scene - she sees IT and captures the beauty.  Take a look at her Instagram feed - or just the snapshot below - it's beautiful.  I wanted to talk with her to learn and to soak it in.  What I got was so much more.  She REALLY IS that thoughtful and wise.  She sits with understanding and lack of judgment.  She knows her natural power yet presents it carefully. 

"It's so important not to compare to someone's else's journey when it comes to being a working mom.  

There are so many dynamics that lead to families making decisions that they do that it's so silly to look at somebody else and say "well look at all that she's doing" yet you don't know what she's given up for that or what's she's had to juggle...

or if there's a mom that doesn't have her hands in all these endeavors, it's like ohmygoodness it's because she's spending her time somewhere else that her family has values tremendously.  

And Bravo to her.

Mompreneur on Fire - Kristin Rogers Family

In addition to all that Kristin is a beautiful photographer including wedding, family photographer and stock photographer.  She provides nature journaling work, teaches online photography lessons at The Define School and just started her own podcast, AtHome06, with 5 of her friends.  

We talk about many things including:

  • How her learning photography turned into a family & wedding photography business
  • How life changes helps with business decisions
  • Entering the Stock photography
  • How she DOESN'T do it all and how she naps everyday!
  • Her gauge for setting priorities
  • What does she let go of?
  • Learning how to say Yes & No to things
  • Why it's important not to COMPARE and JUDGE
  • Her mentors
  • How she's a proud and master moocher!  (AND VERY IMPORTANT LESSON TO WHY)
  • Summer planning
  • Living with no regrets
All the images above are from Kristin's Instagram Account
I will not give at the expense of my family.
— Kristin Rogers


  • What did you want to be when you grew up? 
    • When I was little I wanted to be a Veterinarian. : ) 
  • What was your first job?
    • My first job was working at a Quicksilver outlet store, then I went into banking! (Oddly enough) 
  • What are your go-to books and apps?
    • My go to books are typically theological or classic literature - My fav App are Instagram and Podcasts
  • What are your favorite gifts to give??
    • My favorite gifts to give are ones I found specifically for someone at a consignment or antique shop.  Something unique and stood out to me as being for them :) 

I love love love Kristin's photography and a close 2nd is Ashley Ann's photography.  I have been not-so-casually courting Ashley Ann to come on the podcast.  She has a beautiful eye, an intentional life and admits she sometimes is barely hanging on by a string.  

When I had kids, it was immediately clear that I would be taking a lot of photos and I wanted to learn.  My photos aren't as good as either woman but they moving along.  In fact, I get complimented more and more.  Knowing that photography would be a part of this blog post, I wanted to

Ashley Ann was so kind to offer a special deal for her SnapShot Photography class to the Mompreneur on Fire listeners if they should want to learn photography.  You're even taking better photos from your phone!!  

Get $10 off when register for her SnapShop Photography Class when you use Coupon Code: SSOnFire

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4 Things to Do When Your Values Don't Match Your Mom Friends Anymore

As a mom and a mompreneur, good quality friendships are the hardest things in the world to find.  I find I am consistently analyzing and judging (yes, kindly judging) where our time is spent and with whom.  I am a mom and am relatively new to town.  Making friends per say isn't the necessarily the hard part, I find making friends with people whose value systems are similar to mine to be the biggest challenge. Balancing work and family isn't an issue for women without kids, they don't understand the struggle.

Mompreneur on Fire - 4 Things to Do When Your Values Don't Match Your Mom Friends

A good, quality friendship in my 20s meant who could meet me for drinks after work or who was game for book club.  We would read yet barely discuss the books and found getting together as an excuse to have a fun girls' night out.  It was and still is a fun way to relax with some wine while the host gets to share their latest appetizer recipes!

Then when I had babies, I was lonely.  L.O.N.E.L.Y.   Lonely and unsure of myself, who I was anymore and then how in the world I was going to raise this baby!  Heck, I could barely, if ever get dressed myself, how in the world was I going to do good for this child??  Anyone who wanted to meet with me at the park or Nordstrom's was a gift sent from above and it gave me reprieve from my internal insecurities, woos, thoughts and wonders!

Yes!  I will meet you at the park!  Yes!  I will meet you anywhere. you. want!

Motherhood is this club you join the second you have babies.  When you talk with other moms  your first questions are - how many? how old? and how far apart?  This gives that starting place of understanding what the mom next to you went through when they had babies.  And you can ask away or just share stories of survival. Balancing work and family is hard, and those without babies just don't get it. 

And of course there are the birthing stories that ALWAYS come out.  It's something we moms must share.  It's how we connect. 

But now my kids are getting older.  Now, their kids are older.  Now at ages 3, 4 and 5 words matter.  Actions matter.

When a kid says they don't want to play with them anymore, that hurts.  When a little girl says "you're not my best friend anymore" at the age of 4, that hurts.  Maybe here and there it's okay because I don't know the circumstances around it. Yes, kids will be kids.  But when it happens everyday for weeks, whatever the circumstances are, my daughter is getting hurt.  When a boy says to the lunch table "let's not talk to her, she wears glasses", that hurts.  When a little girl says to another, at the age of 5, "I feel sorry for you" those are adult words she is bringing in.  Again, not that funny.

I don't know all the back stories or all the circumstances and yes, "kids will be kids" but when something happens everyday that doesn't align with your values or you don't see the mom stopping behavior you don't agree with.  What do you do?

It sits and naws in your stomach.  It naws in my stomach.  I wonder and worry about the things my kids are exposed to.  They are not allowed to watch Barbie and not allowed to watch even My Little Pony.  At this age, I am doing my best to protect them from the grown-up things they will certainly have to experience.  Can't I hold onto their innocence for as long as possible?  Heck, even with my grasp, they are exposed.  

The question is: what do you do?  How do you re-enforce value judgements you want to raise your kids with?

Mompreneur on Fire - Red Flag

1. Listen to the Red Flags

I am quick to accept good intentions from the acts of my friends.  I am quick to believe they mean well and if something doesn't translate, then that's okay too.  I am not perfect, nor do I expect my friends to be either.  Perhaps the other mom doesn't know how to discipline.  Perhaps the other mom doesn't know how demeaning her actions are.  Perhaps that mom doesn't realize her little one is taking cues from her actions.  Perhaps the mom doesn't realize this is the starting place in building character.  

Red flag are just that.  We are quick to make excuses.  That's okay too.  When there are consistent little red flags, if the red flag is always there.  Listen to it. Sometimes, for me, there were BLARRING red flags and I was just loyal because that friend helped my loneliness in tough times.  

Yet once the red flags started impacting my sweet girl (and on a regular basis) I know I need to take action.  I couldn't ignore the differences in value systems.  I like to pretend differences didn't matter but when it came to raising my girls, nothing became more important.  And the red flags were there all along.  

I wish I listened sooner. 

2.  Use kind words but meaningful ones too. 

Keep with your own value system and use kind but meaningful words.  I have done my best and in my heart try to have the most meaningful conversation with the other parent.  Hurtful words from the little one can become consistent if not taken care of.  I looked to my friend, another mother, to take action and stop it.  Among other things I would say and have said is that the mother had to stop the hurtful behavior and even "nip it in the bud."  Was it that she watched Barbie at 4?  Was it that they had older girlfriends who were teaching older behavior?  I guess the reasonings don't matter.  The hurt has to stop.

Truth be told, conversations with kids are much easier than conversations with adults.  Kids take your word for it.  Adults have their own history, judgments and insecurities to manifest through.  You never really know if your intentions will be understood from the other side.  I have genuinely done my best to have easy, yet important conversations.  I had the conversation with mothers and conversations with my daughters.  

Words hurt.  

It's important to be nice.  

Just because your friend is saying these things doesn't mean it's okay to say.  

Her mother is going to talk with her.  

You have learned.  She hasn't, she's still learning. 

Over and over, I have had to have these conversations with my girls.  My words have always been kind but with meaning behind them too. 

3. Create Space 

When you have space from the situation you are better to reflect and make different decisions.  Sometimes, the mother is mortified at her child's behavior and takes immediate action.  Then in other cases, the mother has been defensive. Honestly, I can imagine if a mom had such a conversation with me, I would be mortified.  Mortified that my child was treating another kid poorly.  My kids are not perfect and I am sure this will happen.  I imagine that my child will be punished and I will hunt to no end to find a way to make it right.  And I can imagine that I would be defensive too.  

It's what you do going forward that matters most.  Create space.  

With space you have room to reflect on my choices.  With space you have a better opportunity to listen to what your soul and gut are telling you.  Does your little one need to spend time with others?  Or will the hurtful behavior not become a pattern.  Will a quick conversation be all that's required or even further conversations.  

You can't control how others are going to react to your requests but you can control how you react. 

I listen to the red flags now, all 800 of them, and am happy with the choices I make.  With space I am able to make clearer choices.  With space you have room to listen, to decide and take action. 

Perhaps, in your case, when you have space you will find you are overreacting.  You will find your values are a good match and the kids or the mother is simply having a bad day.  We all do.  Space, I believe, it a good way to step aside and observe what is really happening. 

Mompreneur on Fire - Coffee and Phone

4. Re-connect 

Re-connect with your kids.  With your family.  With your tried and true, trusted friendships.  With yourself.  

You did it.  You took action and now that should be celebrated.   Whatever your outcome, it was intentional and conscious.  Time will only tell how things will settle but at least you are putting your best foot forward, contentiously for yourself and your family.

Our kids are the most important things to us.  Even if we are distracted and working hard.  Even if we feel our time should be spent differently, I firmly believe that by kindly connecting your family to those whose values matches yours is of utmost importance.

Hard decisions become easy decisions when you know they are the right ones.

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5 Things My Mother Taught Me About the Kind of Woman I Want To Be

A year ago today, my mother passed.  While she was not in the best of health, her passing was a shock.  I miss her, more than one could imagine.  As the year has progressed, I realize the good in her, more than I had before. I hope to emulate these characteristics too.

Mompreneur on Fire - 5 Things My Mother Taught Me


1. There is nothing you can’t learn, nothing you can’t do. 

I get asked all the time, where do I get my confidence from?  This was definitely a lesson from my mother.  She always told me “There is nothing you can’t learn, nothing you can’t do.” My mother was raised just outside of the MadMen/1960s era, when most women went to college, worked as secretaries, married and then settled down.  That’s not how things happened in her life and given the opportunity, I think she would have done a few things different.  She always talked about how maybe that would have been to attend law school.  She always wanted me to feel I could do anything.  I could be the CEO, I could go to Harvard, I could do anything but walk two steps behind a man.  Then as serial entrepreneurs, I watched my parents learn about many different things in order to create and make the most out of business opportunities.  She did an amazing job balancing work and family. Seriously, at one time they were experts in Wisconsin cheeses!  I learned from my mother, there is nothing I can’t do.  

2. You can always and easily make someone feel good. 

When I walked in the door to my parent’s house she would exclaim, “There she is!”  When my father walked in the same door she would exclaim, “There he is!” She would always put on fresh lipstick for us.  At Christmas time, your gift, no matter what it was, was the thing she had been waiting for, wanting, and needing.  And with all the gifts passed around, all the gifts were equally special.  Her smile to you and appreciation for your efforts was consistent, she was always happy to see you and always happy to hear from you.  She taught me that the simple effort of smiling when someone walks in your door, is day-changing for that person.  And no matter what the gift is, someone put their money, time and energy in getting it for you.  No matter what it is, it’s worth great appreciation, which is what you always got when giving to her. 

3. Anger and hurt only hurt you. 

A number of years ago, I got in a really big, unimaginable fight with my brother and sister-in-law.  I was very close with them and this thing that happened between us, as my mom said really “shook my core”.  As I processed through the hurt and anger she listened, she heard every detail, and she cried as I sobbed.   She took her time with me and my pain. She was on my side, in terms of rooting for me to feel better and giving me what I needed.  I don’t doubt she tried that with my brother either. In the end, in one of our last emotional conversations about this long-lasting disagreement, she talked with me how I had to find a way to let go of the hurt and anger and that I was only hurting myself.   It took a lot of work and the birth of my daughter to let it go but in the end, she was right.  Anger and hurt only hurt you.

4. You, too, can be your biggest cheerleader.   

Hands down my mom was my biggest cheerleader.  She was excited for me for everything I did.  Everything was an opportunity that I was going to naturally excel at.  (Really, she cheered you on in such a great manner, I never felt pressure either.)  Missing this part of my mom has been of the hardest.  When I sent her pictures of E’s nursery, she noticed every single detail and asked me about each of them.  Where did I get the pink and white striped shade for the lamp?  Where is the giant bear from?  How did I match the wall mural to the bedding so closely?  She was proud and excited for me and our upcoming arrival! When planning my little girl’s first birthday party this past year, it was mom who would have wanted to hear every detail about how the Birthday Banner coordinated so cutely with the high-chair banner, bibs and other decorations.  I miss my cheerleader but I hear her words and excitement as I continue on.  I, too, can cheer myself on!

5. It’s okay to be different, be yourself and not be perfect. 

I don’t know if it is because she was my mother, but she loved me just the way I am.  She never tried to change me, always embraced me, and was excited to see me, always.  No matter what.  I know I am different than others.  I know I am quirky and there aren’t many like me.  I know I am not perfect nor was she.  But she loved me and I loved her, just the way we were.  

I wish everyone a relationship similar to the one I had with my mother.  We weren’t perfect, we didn’t always see eye to eye.  Heck, we got mad at each other too.  But we mostly enjoyed each other’s company and loved each other very much. These are five things I have been thinking about in the year I have missed my mother.

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Tired of Waiting By the Phone? Listen to What 1 Mom Did to Make S**T Happen

Don’t really know what a podcast is quite yet?? Let me make it easy for you.  It’s perfect for you - the super-busy-always-running-around woman that you are.  Pull up the podcast on your phone, plug-in your headphones and listen as you workout, do your errands or even the dishes late night! 

CLICK on the LINK Below & Go

OR another easy way you can pull up the Mompreneur on Fire podcast via the Podcast App that is already. on. your. iPhone.  

"Rejection is Protection" - Diane Mizota

Mompreneur on Fire - Tired of Waiting

What do you do when you’re tired of waiting by the phone?  Well, you get up and go.  You figure out other things to do.  You light that fire.  You learn.  You proactively ask, help, do.  You participate.  You take “no” as data.  You grow.  Yes, you struggle too but you move, gracefully.  You plan.  You hustle.  You listen. to. your. gut.  

The podcast conversation with Diane Mizota (and all around hustler) was quick - boy was it quick- and insightful too.  She’s a content creator, a producer, a host, an actor, a dancer, and a “full-time working stay at home mom”.  She’s running her household, raising her boy, running to auditions, preparing client work and yes, hosting a style segment on Access Hollywood!

Mompreneur on Fire - Diane Mizota

Diane has this storytelling capability that will make the time fly by.  We talked about many things but you will learn what she did to quit waiting by the phone: 

  • Learned a new skill
  • Act proactively and don’t judge a potential opportunity before it happens
  • Started a small business
  • A healthy way to look at rejection
  • Ask your mentors to help
  • About listening to what your gut is telling you

“Even the set backs have lead me to really great things happening.”

- Diane Mizota



  • What did you want to be when you grew up?
  • What was your first job?
    • Domino's Pizza.  I was employee of the month 3 times, thank you very much. 
  • What are your go-to books and apps?
  • What are your favorite gifts to give??
    • I love giving gift baskets from the Broadway Baker- it's like you baked the goods yourself, only you didn't.  Pure Genius.

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Build Your Business 1 Layer @ a Time: Interview with Ann IMIG

Do you love listening to Podcasts?  Or do you not really know what one is quite yet?? Let me make it easy for you.  It’s perfect for you - the super-busy-always-running-around woman that you are.  Pull up the podcast on your phone, plug-in your headphones and listen as you workout, do your errands or even the dishes late night! 

CLICK on the LINK Below & Go

OR another easy way you can pull up the Mompreneur on Fire podcast via the Podcast App that is already. on. your. iPhone. 

It’s not about networking and getting ahead, it’s about scaffolding and bringing people along with you as you make your own way.
— Ann Imig
Mompreneur on Fire - One Layer at a Time

Imagine one day you are at a conference going from talk to talk, mingling and smiling, taking notes and doing your best.  And then suddenly you are in a room and realize you are soaking in every. word. spoken.  

You have found your people.  

You have found your tribe.  

Ann Imig, took that moment and built the Listen To Your Mother, a National Reading Series and Media Company production, that celebrates and validates all things motherhood and is hosted around Mother’s Day year now for the last 6 years.  Starting with a single show in Madison, WI, 6 years ago, this year, the show will be in 41 cities across the US, 2000 shows on YouTube.  And just recently Ann was awarded the 2016 Game Change of the Year for the IRIS Awards

Mompreneur on Fire - Ann Imig

In the conversation not only was I trying to soak in what she had to say, but I was a little nervous too.  Ann was kind and informative.  Real and knowledgable.

Below are a handful of things we discussed:

  • When she feels stuck.
  • What Blogging was to her in the beginning
  • How being a stage actress prepared her for today’s work
  • The seeds that were planted that began LTYM
  • Authentic Connections & Authentic Collaborations
  • How her production grew
  • How being out of her comfort zone prepared her
  • How luck and strategy helped her grow and a really great team
  • How she almost did a reality show and DEB helped her without that…
  • Who make the best producers
  • How she makes it through her busiest time of the year
  • What she doesn’t do with her business
  • When she’s pulled off the miraculous
  • Her mentors
  • Her tribe.  Her tribe. Her tribe.

“Authentic collaborations really pushed me to be better.” - Ann Imig



  • What did you want to be when you grew up?
    • A teacher-ballerina-actress-mom
  • What was your first job?
    • I was a bus girl at a deli at age 13. I could barely lift the bus-tubs full of dishes after I cleared the tables.
  • What are your go-to books and apps?
  • What are your favorite gifts to give??
    • I love giving gifts of jewelry, books, accessories--if I seriously consider keeping the gift for myself instead of giving it to the intended, I know it's the right gift.

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Is Your 9-5 Causing You to Miss Your Kids Life? Listen to How this Mom Made a Change

Do you love listening to Podcasts?  Or do you not really know what one is quite yet?? Let me make it easy for you.  It’s perfect for you - the super-busy-always-running-around woman that you are.  Pull up the podcast on your phone, plug-in your headphones and listen as you workout, do your errands or even the dishes late night! 

CLICK on the LINK Below & Go!

OR another easy way you can pull up the Mompreneur on Fire podcast via the Podcast App that is already. on. your. iPhone. 

Mompreneur on Fire - 9-5

The conversation starts out with us belly laughing over the realities of being a mom, a business owner and taking on yet another task.  My goodness, Heather from Safe in the City was a real gem to talk with.  W e just laughed and laughed.  This former NCIS Agent turned her badge in so she could be with her kids more and also help women be safer around the country.  She gets thank you wherever she goes and if you ask me, should speak to every Sorority out there!  Heather is kind, real and funny AND as strong and authentic as they come.  

Mompreneur on Fire - Heather Ryan

A few of the things that we talk about include: 

  • Why we started the podcast belly rolling with laughter.
  • Why her balance has been thrown off recently!
  • How her personal WHY is the embodiment of her business
  • The interesting dinner conversations at her home
  • The trigger to make a change from a stable, pension position to an entrepreneur’s life
  • How she came up with her idea for her business
  • Her differentiator 
  • How she got her first big sale
  • How her husband gave support 
  • Putting things out into the black and white world
  • Taking a Leap to a J.O.B.
  • The support system to take her through
  • Her favorite podcast and business coach!
  • Where she feels behind.
  • Favorite resources



  • What did you want to be when you grew up?
    • When I was growing up I frequently changed my mind about what I wanted to do when I grew up. When the movie Space Camp came out I was certain I wanted to be an astronaut, but I get motion sick fairly easily, so I thought that might not be a good idea. I actually went to college on an education scholarship. I thought being a teacher would be fun since they get summers off. But once I got to college, I realized I don't really like to deal with groups of children. Lol It took 5 major changes until I figured it out. So...I guess you could say I wasn't one of those kids who just knew I would be a Special Agent when I grew up. In fact if you would've told me the path my life would take I would have looked at you like you had two heads. :)
  • What was your first job?
    • My first job was at Old Country Buffet when I was 14 years old. I was a hostess and "muffin lady." If you mean my first "real" job, I was a social worker for the Department of Children & Family Services in Cleveland, OH.
  • What are your go to books and apps?
    • My two "go to" books are The Alchemist and To Kill a Mockingbird. They're both very inspirational and anytime I've felt lost in the world, they have reassured me I'm on the right path.
    • My favorite fun app is Bitmoji, it cracks me up! My "new to me" favorite app is Evernote. I struggled to understand Evernote for a long time, but now I'm addicted.
  • What are your favorite gifts to give??
    • My favorite gifts to give are from Etsy. I love finding personalized original gifts and supporting other small businesses. 

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Does Your Business Solve a Common Problem? Shark Tank Deal Maker talks business

Do you love listening to Podcasts?  Or do you not really know what one is quite yet?? Let me make it easy for you.  It’s perfect for you - the super-busy-always-running-around woman that you are.  Pull up the podcast on your phone, plug-in your headphones and listen as you workout, do your errands or even the dishes late night! 

CLICK on the LINK Below & Go!

OR another easy way you can pull up the Mompreneur on Fire podcast via the Podcast App that is already. on. your. iPhone. 

Personal & professional development go hand-in-hand.
— Cameron Cruse
Mompreneur on Fire - R.Riveter

“Personal & professional development go hand-in-hand.” - Cameron Cruse

Two running buddies became business partners with a WHY in mind.  Their passion and commitment here has led them down a great path also a deal with Mark Cuban on Shark Tank.  This week’s podcast, I talk with Cameron Cruse Co-Founder of R.Riveter a company owned and operated by military spouses.  Their WHY, to offer mobile income to the consistently moving military spouses, has led them all along.  Their beautiful hand-stitched bags are pieced together around the country.  I talked with Cameron not only excited for them for the deal they landed with Mark Cuban but also because the mission was simply amazing.  

Mompreneur on Fire - Cameron Cruse

 A few of the things that we talk about include: 

  • How their WHY really helped them come this far
  • How “jumping right in” paid off
  • Their first big break
  • How your personal & professional growth help each other out
  • Learning about "Goal Setting Mentality"
  • Finding the right person for the job
  • Finding out what is most important 
  • Putting themselves out there
  • Hesitation behind Shark Tank and how they ultimately decided to go ahead
  • How they celebrated the Shark Tank win - both publicly and privately
  • What Mark Cuban is like
  • A wish she could have done differently
  • Mentors
  • Books on her nightstand
  • Favorite gifts to give
  • Things Cameron simply doesn’t do



  • What did you want to be when you grew up?
    • Depending on the day I wanted to be an artist or a teacher. 
  • What was your first job?
    • My first Job was folding towels at a high end spa and fitness club, I also worked summers with my Dad in construction. 
  • What are your favorite apps?
    • Basecamp for productivity + work. TED app for listening. 
  • What's your guilty pleasure these days?
    • Doodling with my kiddos on the weekends + going to bed early on Friday night!

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your project is going to be late - how to break the news

You know your project is going to be late, but your boss does not and worse yet, the customer does not know.  You laid your best plans and gave your best effort in telling everyone when you would be done.  You feel confident that you would have had enough time if you weren’t answering questions, putting out fires or attending meetings you didn’t know why you were attending. 

Mompreneur on Fire - Late Project

Hello – you have work to do! 

In the end, you finally sat down and realized, this work is going to need more time. 

And the worst part is - the due date is right around the corner. 

When you do your best, speak openly and honestly, it's respected.  It's appreciated.  It fosters engagement and a willingness to work together. 

So now you have talk with your client and boss that the project is not going as smoothly as you hoped.  What do you?

6 Steps - How To Tell Your Boss the Project Will Be Late: 

1. Determine what you can do on-time.  Can you do 50%? 80%?  Can you do all of the major work but not the nice and pretty stuff? 

2. Determine how much more time would you require to finish the entire thing.  And determine how much time it will take finish the core piece. 

3. Determine whose help, if any, you require to complete the project on time.  Is there someone else who can focus on other details while you hunker down?

4. Next, schedule a meeting for today with the person responsible for the delivery of this project.  That could be the Project Manager, your boss, your Client, the Project Coordinator; it could be a variety of people.  Don’t delay and spend days working on this knowing that you won’t be able to deliver. And if there is no free time on their calendar, walk to their office.  If they are out of the office – email, call, or tell them you require 5 five minutes of their time. (If you can’t get in the door, then that is another issue all together!)

5. In your meeting, in a calm, conversational manner, this is what you SAY:  

I need to give you an update on the project.  As I am looking at the work, I realize it is going to take me X number of hours to complete the task as it stands now and I will have a hard time delivering by the due date.  

I have determined that with X person’s help, we could work together and deliver on time.  Or without (name part of the project) I can deliver that to you on time.  

Where do you want me to focus my efforts? On completing the task with the new deadline?  Gaining assistance from X person and working together to complete the project on time? Or completing the task without certain bells and whistles?

6. Proceed as determined between you and your counterpart.  

Mompreneur on Fire - Late Project 2

I have seen many people panic, work unbelievable hours and run around like their head has been cut off because they are fearful of telling “bad” news to their boss or client.  

In my experience managing many large projects, 99% of the time people are understanding when you are honest with them.  Isn't that the most respectful trait?  

How many of us have started a project or task and once in it, realized that it is going to take longer than expected? Doesn’t it seem that everything you do takes longer than expected??  By working with your lead, boss, and customer on delivery dates as an active, moving piece on what can reasonably be delivered, you are not only managing expectations but forming a deeper working relationship with this group of vitally important people in your career. 

Now, I have given you the steps, the words even, to have the conversation.  

Practice if you need to, come in a manner of openness and good luck!

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5 Steps to Hosting Effective Meetings

If you want your business to be successful, you need to be setting goals and accomplishing them daily. With so much to do and so little time, priorities are a must. As an online business manager, I help keep things organized and keep everyone on task. Here's how you can apply my methods.

Mompreneur on Fire - Effective Meetings

Love them or hate them status meetings and regular check-in will actually determine your project success rate.  

These meetings that we dread - actually get-it-done.  

If they are strategically held.  

When I am managing projects, I have several status meetings a week.  They can be 5, 15 or 20 minutes.  This is several meetings each week with my team, and one with the end client.  The team meeting is to review internal progress, answer any questions and strategize for any problems that have arisen.  The client meeting is to review accomplishments and discuss work-in-progress.  The client can answer any questions and set priorities for continuation. 

When a project is created, we know the scope of work is determined, a team is assigned, and a timeframe is provided.  If not, then we have a lot more to discuss, but this focus will be what and how baby steps and teamwork get you where you need to go.

Mompreneur on Fire - Effective Meetings in 5 Steps

The Only 3 Things You Need to Do in a Status Meeting:

  1. Review the current and active week’s activities and goals.
  2. Ask each team member’s progress on their tasks,
  3. Ask if they need support and/or extra time.  

This information isn’t about micro-managing a team member or prying too much, it’s about knowing if we will get what we need done this week or not, if that person needs assistance, or if further changes are made.

  • Once we have an understanding of how each team member’s workload is, I then either try to find assistance from within the team to help any overloaded members, or I make requests to the client based on feedback from the team.

Yikes! I know that last statement probably raises fear in a lot of people.  You mean talk with the client about the work, timelines, and productivity?? This leads me to discuss my status meeting with the client.

At least weekly I meet with the client to discuss Accomplishments and Work in Progress. 

Note: that my words are specific here.  I want to present Accomplishments as a regular thing to my client and to keep our accomplishments on their mind.  I want my clients to know all that we have achieved and not surpass it.  As they say, we want to acknowledge and celebrate wins.

  • As I talk about our "accomplishments", note just about everything is an accomplishment.  I don’t hogwash things nor am I overly annoying, but I do communicate all of the project activity that is taking place. Me personally, I am a glass is half-full person.  I find that clients appreciate knowing, on a regular basis, the work that was involved in accommodating their requests. 
    • For example, you could communicate: “In order to put together this presentation, it took pulling information from 3 different locations, 9 different sources, organizing it, and formatting it so it will have the information we want to deliver.   It took a while but we got it done!”
  • Also I discuss "works in progress". A client makes a request and you must deliver.  What happens when you finally get into your work and find that it will take twice as long as expected?  There are 2 reasons this could happen, you came across something unexpected, which causes the extra delay, or you are working on extra tasks.  It is completely fair to communicate to the customer what either has or is occurring.  
    • From there you can request them to confirm their priorities.  Do they really really want X if it takes (and costs) this much longer?  Or are there other priorities that can be shifted?  In my experience – no one has ever gotten mad because things aren’t what they seemed.  (One other rule here is: don’t start this communication when the deadline is there.  I address all this in another post.  Then the customer will rightly get mad.)

In the end, open and active communication with the team and client not only creates a deeper relationship but also actively helps you accomplish your goals.


If you are working primarily on your own these status meetings (or regular check-ins) are still quite effective.  What is the goal for the week?  What needs to be re-prioritized to get it done??

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