Tag Archives: business

Balancing, Juggling and Keeping All the Balls in the Air

juggleI’m in the midst of a 2-day planning retreat to map out 2009 and boy, is my life complicated!

My boyfriend lives in Atlanta, where he has two kids of his own.

Fortunately, his business is run from his laptop, which means he can come out to stay with me every other week.  But, he also has a business partner in Richmond he has to go see at least once a month.

Plus, both of us run coaching groups.  Mine are for lawyers who want to  serve their clients in a more holistic, caring way, while they make more money and work less.  His are for business owners and professionals who have something to say and want to make money with their message.

Not to mention, as of right now, I’m speaking at tthree events next year, attending a training to become certified in helping people discover their passions, beginning a course with Reverend Michael at my Church, hosting my own marketing event, writing my second book, attending three live events with my new mentor, and continuing to pitch (or maybe begin?) my television show.

Oh, and of course, taking care of the kids and running my businesses.  AND, perhaps most exciting of all, launching a new business for millionaire mom entrepreneurs or those who want to be.  More on that one soon.

And, of course we will be taking some vacations – on the schedule already we’ve got Mammoth in early February to ski, Chicago over the summer (I know, not the best time of the year), and of course Burning Man!

Whew, what a year!

This kind of a year doesn’t happen without some serious planning.

So, Dave and I spent the entire day yesterday plotting it all out on big fold out calendars from Franklin Covey.

The cool thing is that even with all of that happening, I can feel I’ll have plenty of time and space for myself, to deepen my spiritual practices, to do yoga and pilates, and to spend time alone.

How is that?

It’s all about choices.  I choose to fill my life with things that inspire me, excite me, and fill me with more energy.   And, I let go of all the rest.  Amazingly, the more I do that, the more I find room for more of what I love and supports my highest purpose.

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Filed under Burning Man, Entrepreneurism, Mom-a-rama, Spirituality

Ready to Uplevel Your Life?

diamond-crown-pin I’ve been thinking small.

That may sound shocking to some of you who have seen me do some amazing things over the past 6 months – tv show, pilot for a radio program, bestselling book to name a few – but, I just got back from an event with Alexandria Brown, the former “E-zine Queen” and now inspiration to women world-wide, where I came face to face with my small thinking.  And, it wasn’t pretty.

I’ve made a huge shift in my thinking and made the decision to let go of a lot of the little stuff that has been keeping me small.

Like what, you ask …

Small thing #1:  I’m not a mommy blogger.

Over the past 6 months, I’ve tried to fit in as a mommy blogger.  I went to BlogHer.   I became a blogging mom at LAMomsBlog.  I tried to fit in with the mommy blogging crowd on Twitter and even spoke on a mommy blogger panel.  In each and every instance, I felt out of place.  Like I didn’t fit in.  As we tend to do, I blamed myself.  I thought if only I did x better or y more, I’d be accepted. Um, no!  I wasn’t fitting in because that’s not who I am.

I’m building an empire, not a blog.

Small thing #2:  Email.

I cannot keep up with my email.  My inbox has gotten out of control.  I came back from Ali’s event to more than 400 emails in my inbox and that was with me checking my iPhone throughout the event and deleting.  300 of those emails had been read and were waiting response from me.   The other 100 were the ones I had not deleted from the iPhone because they needed more in depth review.  I am constantly checking my email and not working on my next book, not planning my next big thing, and not being present in my life.  I cannot do it anymore.

I will no longer be handling my personal email.  It’s getting turned over to one of my assistants.  So, don’t email me anything truly private.  Call instead.

Small thing #3:  Twitter.

I love to connect with people.  And so I found myself using Twitter in an unhealthy (for me) way.  I’ve heard Tim Ferriss talk and talk about how he uses Twitter as a way to send out real micro blogs that are useful and not as another inbox.  I thought that was good for him, but didn’t apply to me.  I was wrong.  It does apply to me.  I cannot afford to have another inbox.  It’s taking me away from my bigger purpose.

It’s been great for little things like meeting moms for networking, but the moms I was meeting are moms who are spending all day on Twitter, not moms who are building their empires.  Well, that’s not entirely true … Carrie Wilkerson (@barefoot_exec)  is a mom building an empire and Jessica Smith (@JessicaKnows) seems to be doing some big stuff and Gabrielle Blair (@designmom), co-founder of Kirtsy, definitely has some empire building going on, and I met them on Twitter.  But, I would have met Carrie or Jessica in some other way  that would take less of my mental energy if that was meant to be and I actually met Gabrielle at the conference where I was a mommy blogger panelist.

I can’t say I’m not going to tweet anymore, but it will be less and with awareness that I’m avoiding my bigger purpose.

Small thing #4:  Lawsuits.

As some of you may remember, I fired a pregnant woman who was working with my team back in April.  She had been stealing from me and disclosing confidential company information.  And, she sabotaged the sale of my law firm.  These things cost me hundreds of thousands of dollars. If not more.   And, now she has brought a labor board claim against me.  I was considering filing a lawsuit against her for the damages she caused.  Yes, I’ve invested time and money in having the complaint drafted and yes I could win and get a judgment against her, but what I know is that the greater cost of the lawsuit in terms of the time and energy I’d have taken away from building my future could be into the millions.

So, rather than investing another dime into her, I let go of the whole thing with one simple email to my lawyer “I have decided not to pursue the lawsuit at this time.  Thanks.”   No more stepping over dollars to get to dimes.

Small thing #5: Facebook.

I’ve spent an untold number of hours on Facebook looking up people from high school.  Embarrassing, but true.  Living in the past.  And not even a past I enjoyed.  High school was a nightmare.  Why in the world would I have any desire to go back there?

I’m not gonna do it anymore.

Each of these small things has taken time away from my bigger vision.  Time away from my kids.  Time away from my future.  I was so stuck in the middle of each of these things I didn’t even realize how I was cheating myself.

Then, I got to Ali Brown’s last ever Online Success Blueprint Workshop.

I almost didn’t go.  I had told myself I’m already successful on the internet.  I mean I’ve got a Twitter grade of 99.6 out of 100, a Twinfluence rank of 99% (as if these things actually mean anything) and thousands of people who subscribe to my weekly online magazine for parents who want financial freedom.  What else can I learn, right?  Ha!

(Hint: Anytime you find yourself saying “I already know that” – watch out, that’s your ego talking and it’s blocking your success in a big bad kind of way.)

Fortunately, I got over myself and admitted I’d been watching Ali from a distance for nearly 4 years, learning from the same mentors, attending the same events and LOVED the way she was putting what we were learning into action.   And, the event was going to be in LA.   And I was done letting my ego stand in the way of learning from a true master.

So, I bought the not inexpensive ticket and sprung for one for the COO of my company, too and dropped Ali an email that said “Ali, I’m coming.  Finally.”  She wrote back and told me to expect transformation.

Ooookaaaayyy, I thought.  I’m not sure how I’m going to get transformed at an internet marketing event, but ok, I’ll keep an open mind.

Well, guess what?  Ali delivered on her promise.

The transformation came not from the material, though you will see a huge shift in our websites over the coming 6 weeks based on what I learned at the workshop (I literally re-designed our websites and wrote all new copy while sitting in my chair at the conference); it came from watching Ali step into a whole new level of being at this event.

She launched a magazine, a boutique and an extraordinary coaching program (her Million Dollar Protégé Club) with the diamond level requiring a 6-figure investment to join – yes, you did read that right.  6 figures to join.

And, I applied.  As soon as I did, my mind expanded and I realized all of the ways I’d been sabotaging my dreams.  I’d been playing small.  And, I’m done with that.  I’m uplevelling my life in a big way.

Do you think I’m scared?  Yep, you betcha, yepper, mmhmmm.  Yes, I’m scared.

I’ve been up at 3am the past two nights in a row because my mind is going nuts.  But, I’ve also realized that over the past 6 months I’ve gotten into a comfort zone.  In that time, I havn’t cried even once.  I was starting to stagnate.  I was frequently grumpy and felt stuck.

Taking it out on Dave.  My team.  My kids.

Sure, from the outside everything looked great.  Million dollar businesses, happy kids, great relationship, beach house.  But, inside, I was dying.  And, I couldn’t figure out why.

All I knew was I was going numb again.  I spent a lot of time praying “God, please show me the way.”  Asking for guidance, my next teacher, guide, mentor and coach.

And she showed up and asked me for more than I was prepared to give.   (As Ali was introducing the Millionaire Protege Club, I was praying the elite Diamond level would have a less than $50,000 price tag …  it didn’t.)

And I said yes! (I’ll find out next week whether she said yes to me too – 20 women are applying for only 10-12 spots!!!)

I said yes to the bigger life I’ve been longing for, but been afraid to embrace.  I said yes to myself.

In the past 24 hours since I said yes, I’ve started feeling again.  I’ve cried (and laughed) at least every 3 hours over this time.  And, I’ve felt the total and complete support of the people closest to me.  The people who count.

I have no doubt there are people who will think I am insane for investing six figures in a coaching program.  People who think this is the time to save money.  People who think “how can she do that with the economy the way it is? Who does she think she is? You could feed so many families with that money.”

Those aren’t my people.  Or, they are the people who secretly wish they were my people, but are too afraid to uplevel their own life.

Yes, there is a lot that I could do with that money.  I could hire another person in my company.  I could do a lot of public relations or marketing.  I could put a down payment on real estate.  I could buy undervalued stocks.  I could tithe it to my church.  I could feed homeless people.  I could pay off some debt.  The list is endless.

But, here’s what I know.  There is no better investment I could make than investing in myself.  Than surrounding myself with other big thinkers who will help me turn that $100,000 investment into a billion dollars.  Imagine how I can change the world then …

The Intrepid Mompreneur is about living big.  And, I’m talking Oprah, Madonna, Bill Gates and Hugh Hefner big.  That’s the life I want.  That’s the life I deserve.  That’s the life I will have.

It’s about being afraid and doing it anyway.

And, I am.  How about you?

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In NYC … Mommy Blogger Panel, CNBC, and Focus

I was supposed to get my hair done this morning at 6a in preparation for the Mommy Blogger Monologue meeting hosted by Maria Bailey of BSM Media and Mom Talk Radio in conjunction with the Marketing to Moms Coalition.

Just as I was about to get into the cab for the ride down to the salon, I got a call from my assistant (it’s 5a where she lives), letting me know that my hairdresser left the keys to the salon in his other jacket and was not going to be able to do my hair.

Ok, great.

Thank god for this cute little flower/headband I bought from Anthroplogie.  I stuck my hair in a bun, put on the headband and headed down to the event.  I’ll post a video a little later taken by Gabrielle Blair of DesignMom and Kirtsy when she sends me the link so you can see the cute headband.

On the panel, besides myself and Gabrielle, were Kimberly Coleman, Kelcey K., Amy O., Kim P., Amy Platt, and Andi Silverman.  These are some of the hippest mom bloggers out there and I was honored to be on the panel with them.

But, being on the panel with them made me question a few things.  Do I need to focus more?  Can I focus?  What would I focus on if I chose to focus?

I blog here about my entrepreneurial journey, I write the Family Wealth Secrets online magazine to bring you more financial freedom, I’m training Personal Family Lawyers, I’ve created the Kids Protection Plan and I’m launching the Kids Protection Planning Kit and in 2009 an amazing online version and I’m pitching a TV show and meeting with CNBC later on today.  Not to mention the next two books are in the works and I am looking for partners to build the Moms Money Matters website, which I want to launch Mother’s Day 2009.

And, of course, I’m raising my kids.

So, am I nuts or what?

Then, I look at someone like Maria Bailey and I think focus shmocus.  She’s got 4 kids, a nationally syndicated radio show for moms, she’s the Founder/CEO of BlueSuitMom.com, the award winning Website for executive working mothers and co-Founder of Newbaby.com.   Plus, she’s the host of The Balancing Act on Lifetime TV and she’s the creator of Smart Mom Solutions, a product line that offers solutions to everyday challenges for busy moms.  She’s also got a consulting company, BSM Media that works with the big corporations who want to reach the moms and has authored three books on marketing to Moms, Marketing to Moms, Trillion Dollar Moms, and her newest release Mom 3.0.

That’s what I call one busy Mompreneur!

If I had to focus, I guess I’d focus on the TV shows and training the Personal Family Lawyers.  But, the TV shows are out of my control at this point.  And, that would mean I’d have to give up writing this blog, writing books, the Kids Protection Plan, and the Family Wealth Secrets online magazine.

So, I guess for today, there will not be more focus.  Maybe things will take longer to happen.  Or, maybe I’ll sleep less.  But, that’s what being a mompreneur is all about, right?

Oh, and about that CNBC thing.  Yes, I’m meeting with the development team at CNBC later today.  I’m excited and nervous.  I’m going in to hear what they have to say because at this point, I have no idea.  I’ll report back as soon as I have some news.

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Filed under Entrepreneurism, Moving Beyond Fear

Financial Details Drain Me … And I’ll Be on CNBC Talking Money Thursday

Spent the entire morning so with the COO/Executive Vice President of the Family Wealth Planning Institute Laura Lee Sparks and our bookkeeper.

Here’s what’s weird.  I help other people take control of their financial future and yet doing it for myself and my business is completely draining.

I’m more of a big picture person.  The nitty gritty details of where this $1.08 was spent or that $252 came from is more detail than I have the attention and patience for.  And yet, it’s critically important.

It’s also important to know what you are good at and what you are not and find team members who compensate for your shortcomings.  That’s why I have Laura Lee – she’s strong where I’m weak.

It may seem funny that someone who bills herself as a financial and legal expert is drained by the details of financial management.  That’s actually why I’m such a good person to teach you about it.   I know how important it is to have personal and business financial systems set up for my own personal experience.  If I don’t have it set up the right way, I mess it up.  You can learn from my mistakes … and save yourself big bucks in trial and error!

A big point of awareness for me was that if I was going to build an empire, I needed to start putting together the resources and the team to support an empire.  That means spending money on a bookkeeper, maybe even a controller, and at least a part-time CFO.

Here are some of the resources I’ve found particularly helpful:

Bruce Maxwell – great CFO who will work with you where you are and on what you need.  He will build you an amazingly comprehensive financial model in less than one day.

Manifest Management – this company will take you through a ten week program and at the end of it you’ll know what to track, how to track it and be managing your numbers in ways you never even knew possible.  Take their free business evaluation and see if you need them.

By the end of our 90-minute call with the bookkeeper, I’m so grateful to have Laura Lee on board to deal with most of this.  She’s going to be setting up a new chart of accounts that ties our income to expenses and we are going to start seeing our percentages and variances from budget each month.

Good stuff, but 90 minutes of this kind of detail work is exhausting for me.

Katie, my favorite CNBC producer, called me this morning and asked me if I was available Thursday.  They are doing a show on Retirement in the 21st Century.  Fortunately, Thursday is the one day I am available.  Yay!

Now to come up with a topic …

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