Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Today is Her Birthday...

...Happy Birthday to her!

Daughter is 6. Daughter told the world she was 6. There's nothing monumental about 6 but she's loving it. Daughter went to the cub scout pack meeting with her brother and got to touch a snake - 2 actually - a bearded dragon and a hissing cockroach, to name a few.


Daughter is happy. See?

She was up a little late eating candy from the pack meeting and ice cream cake. Don't ask me if she ate food. That was her daddy's job before we went to the pack meeting. Her brother signed her up for Club Penguin - his FREE gift to her.

Oh, and here's one of the snakes. That's Son at the head. He was going for the tail but the man switched it up on him. (God said He'd make us you the head, not the tail, right?)

Oh yes. It was that big. And Daughter took the picture. (That's why I'm getting her a camera for Christmas. Shhhh.) Clearly few things phase her.

Daughter was happy. Her birthday party is Saturday but for now, it was a good day.

Happy birthday, baby.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

An Encouraging Word

I've been writing - just not on my blog. I've been on my website - just not my blog. I've been networking and even talking to other bloggers - just not on my blog. So now here I am. On my blog. And I've got some cool people for you to meet. (and by the way, my new blog designer should have had her baby by now and hopefully in December - in time for my birthday or Christmas maybe? - I'll have a fresh new look in the place. It's gonna be great!)

You see I am writing a book. (You knew that.) But the first part was actually writing all my thoughts down and figuring out the chapters. (Check.) Then I needed to write a proposal. (Check.) Then I wanted to show it to an agent and get feedback. (Check.) The agent's feedback was for more info that I had already planned to write about so now I'm on the fourth thing - talking to other moms for my book. This has been so much fun so far and very encouraging...for me! Talking about the book keeps me writing for the book.

Teachable moment: So, if you really want to do something, my friends, don't keep it to yourself. Putting it out there helps you do what you need to do and keeps the momentum going. The vision in your head can't come to life if you don't let it breathe and circulate among others.

Who have I met so far, you ask? Well, I want to talk to 100 moms. I've got about 30 so far. I need to start getting them organized anyway so I thought I'd share some of them with you. I think you'll like them. Say hello to:

Coach Carrie Bliss - Get Your Bliss - Carrie is also an author and oh my goodness, this woman is a true multi-tasker!

Hypnotist Fern Tausig - My Healing Hypnosis - Fern is really disciplined and had some interesting things to say about making the family her priority.

Writer Rhonda McKnight - Urban Christian Fiction Today - Rhonda is a writer worth emulating and she's an editor too and you know how hard it is to find that combo? Very.

Coach Felicia Pratt - I Complete Me - Such a sweet person. She's just getting going but she's clearly got a vision and a message for moms in particular about finding themselves in the hustle and bustle.

Virtual Assistant Angel (that's her web name) - The Corner Office - I was amazed by Angel who is a blogger I follow. (Look for her in my followers.) She got her business up and running AND has employees in I won't even tell you the amount of time! Awesome.

Web magazine editor Diedra Chatman - Noir Mommies - Deidra knows what she wants and never hesitated about the steps she's taken. Like Carrie, she's independent and unstoppable.

Product developer Jennifer Covello - Frittabello - Fun person with a fun product - a journal for the first 5 years of your child's life. She's selling in stores and already getting accolades and it's barely been 2 years.

I am so inspired by these women and it's been fun talking to all of them. I have more on tap and some previous to them who I now need to call since I revamped by questioning. Some of these moms blog, like Angel and Felicia. I'm stalking them. You should too. Some of these moms are also on Twitter, like Jennifer and Diedra. Shoot. I need to go make sure I'm following them everywhere they are myself!

I can't wait to share what they shared with me for my book. I can't wait to talk to some more moms next week. If you are a mom and you want to start a business but you have a job, that's no reason to not move forward. It really depends on how much you want to do it and if you are open to the unknown. The first step is truly knowing who you are, how you do things, what you want to do and why. And even the what doesn't have to be crystal clear just yet. You can research that. It's all about being true to you while being the mother/wife/significant other/employee that you are. You were created for a purpose and frankly, while I know it's not easy and we all have different priorities, I don't believe God intended for you to hide your light under a bushel at any point in your life. It may need to manifest differently according to whatever is going on at that time, but no matter where you are or what you are doing, take the time to shine.

I need to talk to 68 more moms for my book. Moms who created businesses while working a job and taking care of a family. I want to talk to you if you feel successful, whatever success means to you. That means you don't have to be profitable yet. I just want to know you know you are on your road and have some wisdom to share. Should I be talking to you? Here I am. Contact me.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

October Optimism

We've been busy - Bizzy Girl and I. Last Saturday we trekked back up to Hartford with our designing friend who I don't think I named for blogging purposes. I shall dub her Graphic Guru because she really is a great designer and co-creative force for part of my business. It's good to be surrounded by like minds.

The three of us have given Hartford much play lately. (And if you've been to Hartford, you'll know that's saying a lot. It can be a depressing sight.) Twice last month we drove up for the Get Motivated Seminar and the Women's Expo, which I still have to tell you more about. Bizzy Girl went back there later on for a 2-day financial workshop precipitated by the seminar. And this past weekend was a website seminar also the result of said seminar. We have truly been riding the wave of that seminar, let me tell you.

We went. We listened. We critiqued with discriminating ears because we have MUCH experience in websites and how they should operate at best, as well as the cost to get them done. We were promised free websites just for going but once we saw all we could get - the analyzing features that are available - we left there with paid sites, more enthusiasm than ever and me? I was slightly cringing because I knew the work ahead. I had done much of it before. But I knew this time we had Bizzy Girl's sister as long-distance help in getting the site together. We also knew the value of what we were getting and now going to be able to do (and the crazy good price we got on it). It's worth the time and effort it's going to take to get this ball rolling.

Last week, our young photographer showed us the product shots she did and they are fantastic. She's making adjustments to some of them and I can't wait to see the finished products. It won't be easy implementing the vision I have for the site but it WILL happen. Hopefully before 2010 but a launch of Jan. 1, 2010 is a goal worth setting. I'm going to be busy for the rest of this year.

October is proving to be interesting.

  • I am heavily into my interviews for my book. (76 more mommies needed please!)
  • I am heavily into the website redesign, WITH some new photos awaiting upload. (Nope. Not gonna Facebook those. You'll have to wait!)
  • I am restructuring my and the kids' life insurance policies after discovering they are not going to do what I wanted them to do and that is going to save me money I can now reinvest in my kids' 529 plans as well as my Roth IRA. (My financial adviser is going to love me.)
  • I am, consequently, killing a good percentage of debt and hopefully shifting that in a way that will lift a load for good and finally allow me to focus more on today and tomorrow with just a slight nod to yesterday as I get rid of it faster than expected.
  • This week, we'll be reassessing the business itself and getting a clearer plan in place with a little help from an expert.
  • And at the end of the month, 2 days of training on how to effectively use all the tools our website offers and really make it the success it's meant to be.
I'm feeling pretty good about the work ahead and I think I may even look into 1 or 2 additional streams of income as I work toward my ultimate goal - freedom to be me. I'm 39 later this year. 40 is coming. I am blessed to still love my job but I want to be emancipated before too long. There is much work ahead but this time last month, it was just a long-standing vision. Now it's a vision with an evolving plan of action. It feels good.

You want something different? Do something different.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Here I Grow Again

I did it again. I signed up for NaNoWriMo but not because I am a glutton for punishment. Instead I recently went to hear author and coach Jen Sincero at a workshop given by one of my networking groups. She was talking about book proposals, which I have finished, and as I listened to her, I thought about the comments I got on my proposal by an agent who was gracious enough to read it. What the agent wanted to see was certainly doable and was actually my next step for the book anyway, so here I am listening to Jen whose newsletters I get but I never expected to meet since she lives in California. I am also reading Tamara Lowe's book Get Motivated! and I can barely get through a chapter because every time she says to do something, I do it! This time she said to set a short-term goal - work on the next step of my book! - and to use our motivational DNA to help define how we'll accomplish that goal. What's motivational DNA? Basically the traits you possess that make you want to do what you do. (Really, you just have to read her book but if that's questionable for you, start with this test. It's gotten my co-workers really intrigued so far. If you stop at question 21, you'll have completed the part needed to do the test.) And just to tease you further, this was the result of my test:

Monica’s Motivational DNA Type is: PVI
(Production-Variety-Internal) The Visionary

Visionaries are persistent, energetic and confident. They are able to organize people and projects. Visionaries exhibit strong leadership potential and react quickly to crisis. Creative thinkers, Visionaries have the ability to craft a vision and get others excited about it. They enjoy working on multiple projects at the same time and like to be involved in exploring alternative concepts. Farsighted and imaginative, Visionaries are good at finding original solutions to difficult problems. Visionaries enjoy change and thrive under pressure. They have the ability to shift gears and turn on a dime. They are confident in their ability to master new skills. Visionaries enjoy challenge and desire personal growth. Visionaries want to know that their work matters and desire to “go where no man has gone before.”

PVI Motivators: Inspiring work environment, opportunity to originate and initiate ideas, peer respect, credit for work accomplished and a strong sense of mission.

PVI De-Motivators: Rigid structure, routine, delays, time-consuming details and bureaucracy.

Very on point. I gave the test to Mr. T. He's CSE - The Chief and it too was on point. Interesting stuff, I tell ya.

Ramble, ramble, Monica. Long story short, the agent said she wanted to see certain things. Tamara said set a goal. Jen said, "You can do it!" and so now I'm looking for mothers to interview who have started their own businesses from scratch all while working a job. They can be at any stage of the game but I want moms who feel successful at this and the definition of success is up to the mom. After all, we are all motivated differently, right?

So if I should be talking to you for my book, then YOU should be letting me know that!

Friday, October 02, 2009

Bittersweet Moment

Jobs you love are hard to come by. And when you love the people you work with too, you're doubly blessed. I've been blessed to have made really great friends at every job I've had so far and I stay in touch with them all. This one will be no exception as my little editorial group says so long now to one of our backbones who has watched amazing opportunities blossom in her and her husband's life, as it will for all of us in time.

See ya later, Kerri. (She's the one in the middle.) Enjoy this next phase of your life. Enjoy all the big and little things to come as much as we enjoyed having you in our lives in person. Back into the blogosphere you go but not without our hearts. We'll IM all our jokes and latest videos obsessions. We'll tell you about all the office mishaps and the community babies we are all watching grow up. When the dapper fella reveals yet another talent, you'll be among the first to know. Of course we'll be seeing you so it's not like it's forever. Just for now. Be good. Be happy. Have fun.