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Entrepreneur Mom

with Aliza Sherman

If you own a business - home-based or otherwise - this is the blog where you'll find practical tips and smart ideas about entrepreneurship. I've started and run 4 different businesses so "been there, done that." I'll also invite successful entrepreneurs to share their best advice with you.

To learn more about Aliza, check out her profile on Work It, Mom! and her website, www.mediaegg.com.

Are you a Mom Incorporated?

Categories: Books & Articles

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I’m about to embark on an East Coast and later West Coast book tour for my new book, Mom, Incorporated. I’m excited and exhausted in equal measure, and the travel hasn’t even started yet. But I wanted to share details about the book and the tour and promise to post from the road as well.

The Book: Mom, Incorporated

Mom, Incorporated is a holistic, realistic guide to starting and running a business from home with children in your midst. This is my 9th book but my first with a co-author. Danielle Smith is an accomplished video correspondent with her media company Danielle Smith Media (which she runs from a home office) and creator of ExtraordinaryMommy.com.

The @momincbook Book Tour #mominc

Danielle and I head to South Florida and then to Atlanta this weekend for the start of our book tour.

From Heather Solos, author of Home Ec-101 and Heather Lopez of Super Mom Entrepreneur Conference to Adelaide Lancaster and Amy Abrams of In Good Company and authors of The Big Enough Company: Creating a Business That Works For You, to Shannon Nash in Atlanta and Niri of MommyNiri.com and Laura Fitton of oneforty/HubSpot in Boston to Karla Trotman of BellyButtonBoutique.com in Philly, we’re sharing the spotlight with other amazing women and moms to share the stories about our businesses and share advice from our experiences running successful home-based business.

You can find the constantly updated list of tour dates here.

We hope to meet moms like us - like YOU - who are aspiring to start - or grow - a business from home.

YOU are Mom, Incorporated, a Power Mom, and we want to celebrate YOU!

Let us know if you can make it to one of our events!

Are you a mom with a home-based business?

Categories: Books & Articles

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I know I’ve been a little bit absent here but for good reason: I’m working on my 9th book and my first book with a co-author, and I’d like to possibly feature you in my book. Are you a mom with a home-based business and a baby or small children at home with you? You can submit your story for consideration to be quoted or featured in the book or read on for more information.

The Book

The title of the book is Mom Incorporated, and it is a guide for women who are home with a baby or small children and think “I want to start a business” (instead of returning to the 9 to 5 grind) but don’t know where to begin. The guide is very personal, easy-to-understand, and really emphasizes using the Internet and technology to help you with your business.

The Authors

I’ve been writing about women-owned businesses for over a decade including blogging here since 2008 (or has it been longer than that?) and have started and run a number of businesses myself, mostly from home since about 2003. My co-author is Danielle Smith who is an accomplished vlogger and talented blogger at Extraordinary Mommy.
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The Myth of Multitasking

Categories: Books & Articles, Work/Life

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Is multitasking really the most effective way to get more done? Problogger, Gina Blitstein, explores the phenomenon with Christine Louise Hohlbaum, author of, The Power of Slow: 101 Ways to Save Time in Our 24/7 World.

As busy people, it often seems there’s not enough of us to go around and there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything we need to do done. In an attempt to tackle a seemingly endless list of things to do and attend to, we take on more and more at once. Many women even wear their ability to multitask as a badge, awarded in recognition of their ability to juggle numerous responsibilities and tasks simultaneously. While we employ multitasking as a way to accomplish more in less time, does this strategy actually help us do that?

Author Christine Holbaum says, “Science has long since proven that multitasking is a myth. According to neuroscientific research headed by David Meyer at the University of Michigan, the brain cannot concentrate on two comparably difficult tasks at one time. What actually happens in the executive lobe of our brains is task switching. It takes a great deal of energy and focus for your brain to switch back and forth, yet so many of us attempt to multitask every day.” When our thoughts and emotions are divided between several things, no one of them is getting the attention it deserves. Not to mention that multitasking is physically and emotionally draining! We all know that when we feel drained, we have a diminished capacity to make our sharpest decisions.

In short, declares Christine, “Multitasking does not make you more efficient. It simply makes you more exhausted.” She suggests the following tips for stopping the multitasking madness:

  • Eliminate distractions. At the workplace in particular, we are often distracted by externalities such as the radio playing, someone else talking loudly on the phone, unsolicited instant messages from people or simply the Internet itself. Close all the applications you don’t need to work on the task at hand. You’d be surprised how quickly you can finish that report when you’ve not intermittently updated your social media pages in the process!
  • Prioritize. It sounds simple, yet it is challenging for many to stick to their plan. Once you’ve eliminated some of the common distractions in your workspace, set priorities. If you dread finishing that assignment, but know it is due first, break it down into bite-sized chunks. Tell yourself you will work on it for five minutes and allow yourself a break if you need it. Pretty soon you’ll be in the flow of things and forget how much time has gone by. It is a great way to offset procrastination. Reward yourself for the good job done such as having your favorite hot beverage or a visit to your favorite card shop in between. It will help you stay motivated and focused.
  • Take time-outs. Everyone’s focus wanes at some point in the day. Remember to take mini-breaks every now and then.

It seems the key to true productivity lies in your focus. Juggling seems to be an apropos way to illustrate the ineffectiveness of multitasking. The goal of juggling is to narrow your focus. Even though there’s seemingly a lot going on, the juggler’s steely focus is on catching just one item at a time, albeit quickly. If the juggler had to catch all the items at once, he would drop them all! Clearly then, the answer to accomplishing more is to focus on one thing at a time.

Multitasking is madness! When it leaves us overwhelmed, exhausted and still overworked, multitasking is sabotaging rather than reinforcing our best efforts at productivity. Let’s try a fresher, kinder, more focused approach to tasks and see if we can tackle our to-dos without becoming a slave to the multitasking myth.

Are you ready to dispel the myth of multitasking by taking on your tasks one-on-one?

Michelle Goodman and her so-called freelance life

Categories: Books & Articles, Uncategorized

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Are you still aspiring to go out on your own in business? What about a freelance business? Blogger Maia Nolan spoke with Michelle Goodman about diving into a freelancer’s life.

Nearly two decades ago, Michelle Goodman dove headfirst into full-time freelance writing. Although there were bumps along the way, Goodman has managed to come out on top, and in her new book, My So-Called Freelance Life, she has assembled her hard-earned knowledge into a step-by-step guide for fledgling freelancers in all fields. Goodman (who is also the author of The Anti 9-to-5 Guide) graciously carved some time out of her hectic schedule this week to share some of her insight with Entrepreneur Mom:

What keeps smart, talented women from taking the plunge into full-time freelancing? And how do we get over it?

Fear of not having enough work. Fear of having to sell yourself. Fear of making mistakes. Fear of having to buy your own health insurance, set up your own retirement fund, and deal with all the legal and tax aspects yourself.
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How to be a super woman without being superwoman

Categories: Books & Articles, Business Essentials

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guest blog post by Gina Blitstein

Women wear many hats - some we love and some we loathe, yet we wear them nonetheless. It seems every day requires more of us as we pursue the many roles we play, be it partner, mother, businesswoman, daughter, sister, friend, good citizen…the list goes on and on. It often feels like it requires superhuman effort, endurance and speed to fit all we want to do into a mere 24 hours.

How do our lives get so crazed? If we step back and take an introspective look, we’d see that a lot of it is of our own doing. We tend to take on too much, never admitting that we have limits or boundaries that even we ourselves need to respect. So why do we think that we need to be “Superwoman” - and for that matter - that any woman is or needs to be?

Book Cover Kathy Caprino, psychotherapist, women’s work-life expert, career and life coach, speaker, and author of the new book Breakdown, Breakthrough: The Professional Woman’s Guide to Claiming a Life of Passion, Power and Purpose, describes the phenomenon she calls “overfunctioning” in women. Kathy defines overfunctioning as “doing more than is necessary, more than is appropriate, and more than is healthy.” Sound familiar? Kathy explains that “Women are addicted to overfunctioning out of fear of not being in control, or not living up to someone else’s standards, or being judged negatively by others.”
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Getting Your Financial Life

Categories: Books & Articles, Uncategorized

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by guest blogger Emily Bass.

Trying to find a financially viable arrangement for my future feels like trying to find the best method of treatment for some rare disease. There are so many options and so many opinions to assess out there. Since I am not a professional financial planner, it is daunting to try and understand my options.

Book Cover I really appreciate finding Get a Financial Life - Personal Finance In Your Twenties and Thirties by Beth Kobliner. The writing style respects my brain while still using very basic language and explanations when referring to my financial dis-ease.

A former writer for Money magazine and columnist for Glamour, Beth has appeared repeatedly on Oprah, Today, CNN, MSNBC, and ABC’s World News This Morning, as well as public Radio’s Talk of the Nation and Marketplace.

Beth said she wrote this book because financial advice tends to be targeted towards older and better-established people while people in their 20s and 30s lacked advice that spoke directly to them and their concerns such as: paying off student loans, getting their careers on track, and thinking about buying a house some day.
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Don’t Bring It to Work: Breaking the Family Patterns that Limit Success

Categories: Books & Articles, Uncategorized

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Book Cover Sylvia LaFair, Ph.D., author of Don’t Bring It to Work- Breaking the Family Patterns that Limit Success, is an expert on leadership, workplace behavior, and relationships. She is also President of Creative Energy Options (CEO), a consulting firm that runs teambuilding workshops and educational seminars that focus on results through relationships.

“I’ve been writing this book in my mind ever since I began to see the powerful impact leaders who are ‘pattern aware’ can have on their companies,” says LaFair. “As I offer executives and their teams the secrets of why we interact the way we do, I see less on-going conflict and more innovative solutions”

LaFair’s target audience are “leaders of the 21st century.” She feels these leaders can lead with more confidence when they learn about the complexities of relationship systems, especially how the learning in their original organization - their family - is replicated in their present work organization.


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Workplace Etiquette for the Holidays

Categories: Books & Articles, Legal Stuff, Uncategorized

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It’s that time of year again!

Somehow, in between all the shopping and baking and wrapping and mailing and planning and driving to Christmas pageants and holiday concerts, you still have to find time to run your business—and decide how you’re going to mark the season in your professional life.

Here are a few tips to help you ring in the holidays the right way at work:

  • Gifts. Who gets them? And what should they get? Etiquette maven Emily Post says giving gifts to employees is “a nice gesture and a great way to acknowledge those who work for you.” If you’re going to gift your employees, though, remember the old Valentine rule from elementary school: Bring one for everyone. Books, gift cards, tickets to arts or sporting events, and baskets of cookies or other treats are all appropriate for employees. Avoid gifts that are too expensive or intimate.

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Tips for Switching Banks

Categories: Books & Articles, Uncategorized

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If you’ve been tracking this blog, you know that I had some very self-confessional posts a while back about leaving one bank for another. The bank I was using for my company was trouble from the start, but I was afraid to move to a new bank, not just because of the hassle involved but because I simply felt trapped.

I finally took the plunge and moved my company’s business to Key Bank. During that process, I was fortunate to be able to speak with Maria Coyne, EVP, Key4Women. She provided me with the following tips about switching banks for this blog.

from Maria Coyne…

Switching banks can be a daunting prospect so making the move is often put on the bottom of the “to do list.” But understanding the correct steps in transferring banks can make the process less stressful. If you’ve been considering transferring to a bank that is more closely aligned with your financial goals and personal values, first take time to research the new bank to know if it’s the right fit for you and then understand the logistics that make the transfer legal.


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Quick Green Tips for Your Business

Categories: Books & Articles

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Book Cover With all the talk lately about carbon footprints and eco-everything, you may already have taken steps to reduce your household’s impact on the environment. But what about your workplace?

Many offices are already recycling and making efforts to reduce waste (such as going “paperless” or providing reusable coffee mugs rather than Styrofoam cups). There are a lot of other easy things you can do to help shrink your office’s impact on the environment.

To get some ideas for “going green” in the workplace, we turned to mompreneur Diane MacEachern. Diane is the author of Big Green Purse: Use Your Spending Power to Create a Cleaner, Greener World and the founder of BigGreenPurse.com, a site that helps shoppers identify eco-friendly and fair trade products.


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