Happy Mother’s Day 2013
May 12 2013

mothers-day-rosesAnother year has passed and another Mother’s Day is almost over.  Apparently my Happy Mother’s Day 2012 – Keep Up The Good Work post had several hundred views the last few days via google searches.  I still find that “greeting” card I took a picture of and put in that post humorous in an ironic kind of way…not even sure that makes sense or not.

This Mother’s Day, we find ourselves living in an extended stay hotel for a couple of weeks while we wait for our new home to be ready.  We’ve already had several friends over to eat and swim with us. Our new home was supposed to be ready in January, and we are crossing our fingers & toes that we will be able to move in soon.  So many amazing things have happened on this journey and invariably they involved wonderful people with big hearts who have gone the extra mile to make this transition as smooth as possible given the other unexpected changes in my life.  I really can’t thank some of these people enough.  I’m pretty sure I’ll be a grandmother with some of the best First World war stories ever!  :-)

So today for Mother’s Day, my son played soccer, the kids did their homework, they took me to Firebowl for lunch where mom’s ate free, we saw The Croods, they went swimming in the heated & nicely shaded hotel pool, they took me to Macaroni Grill for dinner (using gift cards the buyer’s of our house gave us), and they listened to me 90% of the time without me having to repeat myself multiple times.  All in all I’d say it was a very good day with the only downer being me having a cold.

I told the kids that I would share the fortunes (or statements) from the fortune cookies we chose at Firebowl in this post, so Happy Mother’s Day and here they are :

  • Embrace change, don’t battle it.
  • Don’t be so critical and overly concerned about details.
  • Don’t worry about losing. If it is right, it happens.
  • Drastic means are not as necessary as you think.
  • Hard work pays off in the future, laziness pays off now.
  • Good character is more to be praised than outstanding talent.
  • Help people reach their full potential.

 

Author: | Filed under: mom, mother, mother's day, mother's day, movie reviews, parenting, working mom, working mother | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Around The Corner…
Jul 14 2012

Why is it when we are stressed or depressed we usually can’t envision peace and happiness around the corner, but when we are happy and things seem to be going well, we are more likely to anticipate bad things around that corner?  Not everyone thinks like that but most people are not as enlightened as Buddha professed to be and events, people, pets, and words affect us.  We doubt ourselves and our future.  The ironic thing is that if something really bad does happen it’s usually not anticipated.  So we get ourselves worked up over things that usually don’t happen because we can never really prepare for the really horrible stuff.

I saw this photo of a little Indian boy rowing in a metal bowl (not sure where I got it now since I saved it months ago) and it evoked several thoughts/emotions in me as a mother:  “That could be my son.  What a brave little boy!  Does he know where he’s going?  Where are his parents?  Was there a big flood or is this his usual morning routine? Will he be ok? Who is waiting for him on the other side.  I hope someone hugs him.  I hope someone gives him some food.”  Who knows what he’s thinking, but he apparently found a big flat oar like stick, got in this metal bowl, and decided to row to a better place.

Author: | Filed under: mom, mother, parenting, random stuff | Tags: , | 8 Comments »

The Importance Of Being Consistent
Jun 10 2012

I’ve been observing businesses from several different perspectives for most of my career.  After I became a mom, I began observing other parents so I could learn from them.  It’s clear to me that being consistent in action whether it be disciplinary or rewarding in nature is very important….but so very hard to do “consistently.”

If you aren’t consistent as a manager/leader or as a parent, your team or your kids can easily get confused and frustrated.  They aren’t sure what behavior will result in what reaction from you. If you keep changing direction before your team or your kids understand where things are going, it can result in fatigue and rebellion.  I’ve seen this happen countless of times in business.  The entrepreneur/CEO isn’t sure where things are headed, so they shift directions before the team gels and can improve the situation or in really bad cases they don’t even tell the team, and they find out only when they are in a random meeting weeks later!  I’ve seen cases where one day the manager is happy with the way someone is doing something and the next day they act as if they have no idea what you are talking about.

I’ve seen parents (myself included) say one thing and do another because we are tired, not sure what to do, feel guilty, are under extreme emotional duress, or think because someone else is doing something a certain way we should too. It’s not easy being consistent from bed times to drop off/pick up times to homework with your kids as well as expectation setting, messaging, or rewarding your employees.  I’m sure someone somewhere has done a more scientific study than I have that would prove the value of being consistent.  If it were easy, I’m pretty sure we’d have fewer wars! :-)

Author: | Filed under: entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, mom, parenting | Tags: , , | 3 Comments »

Happy Mother’s Day 2012 – Keep Up The Good Work
May 12 2012

Happy Mother’s Day to all you fabulous mothers out there!  Being a parent and especially a mother these days is probably one of the hardest jobs on the planet.  Unlike an OB doctor, who can be liable for a kid’s physical health until they are 18 or sometimes 21, mother’s can be blamed or praised for their kids successes or failures until they die.

I have been blessed with great women friends who are amazing mothers.  Most of the older women I know have stood by their now mostly-out-of-the-nest kids through many ups and downs even if their own parenting styles and home situation might have had an impact on some of the “down” parts.  They realize they aren’t perfect and don’t expect their kids to be perfect either.

It’s not easy being an adult and raising kids when you sometimes feel like breaking down from exhaustion and other things because you are still trying to figure out life and yet you’re expected to model the best for them.  Most of the time motherhood is the greatest thing since sliced bread but sometimes you wonder how those little babies turned into talking beings.  Some of us can keep it together better than others and are the poster children of great motherhood, some of us are extremely narcissistic, and some of us keep it together too well and have little emotional connection with our kids.

It’s easy to brag and boast about your kid when everything is going great and the world sees them as well behaved “darlings.”  It’s not so easy when things take a turn down the road of bad health, abuse, depression, drugs, alcohol, behavioral problems, learning disabilities, emotional issues, divorce, differences of opinion, lifestyle choices, etc.  But to those mom’s and dad’s who accept & love their kids for who they and are there for them despite the sometimes disappointment, pain, health issues, talking back, expressions of sadness & anger, and embarrassment, this post is for you.

The photo in this post is from a card I saw in a grocery store.  I found it so hilarious I had to take a picture of it.  Inside it says “Keep Up The Good Work.” :-)

 

Author: | Filed under: mom, mother, mother's day, parenting, working mother | Tags: , , | 4 Comments »

Mommy Book Club
Jul 17 2011

Call me crazy, but I’ve joined a book club with currently 14+ moms from the neighborhood.  I love reading.  I love reading good fiction because I find there is so much tie to real life.  I work full time and have two kids so I haven’t had time to really read much for the last 8+ years.  I’m hoping that belonging to a book club, something I haven’t really done before, will get me back into reading.  I’ve reviewed books before on this blog and mostly they were recommendations from friends that were relevant to what I was going through at the time.

I’m looking forward to being part of a book club where I have a deadline by which to read something.  Our first book is called The Help by Kathryn Stockett.  See below for link to the book on Amazon.  I went to Half Price Books today to see if I could find it and I think because the movie is about to come out they didn’t have any copies on hand.

Author: | Filed under: book review, mom, mother | Tags: , | 1 Comment »

Happy Mother’s Day – 2011
May 7 2011

Happy Mother’s Day!  I hope all the mothers out there have a pleasant day tomorrow – May 8, 2011 – with kids not whining doting on you, listening to everything you say, and smiling all day. :-)  If your kids are grown and if you’ve been a good mother, hopefully they’ll send you something or call you.  My kids are still young so I suspect they will give me something they made at school.  For one brief second I thought about writing a short Mother’s Day poem, but then I realized how late it was and changed my mind.  Being a mother has been the hardest, yet so far the most rewarding profession I’ve ever had.  I love my two little human start-ups (i.e., ventures) more than anything else in the world.  The mother-child relationship is the only relationship that starts with a human physically connected and constantly fed by another human.  I imagine I’ll always feel connected to them in some form even though the connection changes over time.  I hope I have as positive an affect on their lives as they have had on mine.

My neighbor shared some of her Mother’s Day roses with me today.  She said she had so many and she wanted to share some with me.  That was so very thoughtful and sweet of her, and I’m tearing up a bit writing about it now especially given the hard year we’ve gone through.  They are my favorite flowers: roses, which are shown in the photo accompanying this post.  I’m grateful for people like our neighbors who we’ve lived next to for over 10 years and who have been kind and supported all of us.  She’s a wonderful mother with 4 kids, and I think close to 10 grand kids now.  When she’s not working, she seems to be always doing something for her kids or grand kids.  Her husband is the wonderful guy who helped us plant our new trees, and he has also read my blog consistently since almost soon after I started writing on it over three years ago.  So I know he’ll see this post and hopefully tell her about it.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY 2011 to all.  Do your best to be great mothers every day and night (since it’s a 24×7 job) and hope your kids forgive you when you screw up as you will forgive them when they do…unless of course they forget mother’s day or your birthday!

Author: | Filed under: marriage, mom, mother, mother's day, mother's day | Tags: , , | 1 Comment »

Resurfacing, Recovering, and Creativity
Jul 18 2010

One of my favorite female singers is Sarah McLachlan.  My lifestyle doesn’t really allow me to keep up with all the latest things going on in the world of music, but I picked up a copy of a recent M-Music & Musicians magazine at my voice teacher’s studio, Octave Higher, this Saturday because she was on the cover.  The title of the article is called Resurfacing. She just released a new album after 7 years called Laws Of Illusion (Amazon link).  At the bottom of this post is a video of one of her new songs called “Loving You Is Easy,” which is probably the most upbeat song that I’ve heard from her.  She says “It was based on a new relationship, and on hope and excitement and the fact that it is possible to feel this way again.  I didn’t think I could.  It was about the thrill of possibility and, quite frankly, lust.”  She said she is 42 and that she’s going to have “fun” tattooed on her arm because she’s determined to have more of it!  She also said (and I agree) that “Writing about happiness and giddy love is tricky.  It’s not as easy to write about as sadness and heavier things….happiness is quite fleeting.  It’s very light and it’s not something that you can pinpoint.”

She got divorced a couple of years ago and says her music reflects much of her emotional life.   I think most singers/writers works reflect their emotional lives.  I know my writing does.  She has two daughters named India and Taja, whose father is Indian.  It’s nice to see that she has been able to use her emotional experiences to write songs.  She admits it’s harder now with two small kids because “being able to have long periods of time to focus on nothing but myself and writing is long over.  I live in a pretty ADD world right now.”

She is also reviving the female musician focused Lilith Fair tour that she helped start many years ago.  Successful musicians to me are the ultimate entrepreneurs.  They are betting against the odds of making it big that are probably 100 times greater than a technology company making it big.  There are so many more people trying to be successful singers (e.g., just look at American Idol) than there are business entrepreneurs.  I was reading the article and wondering how it would be to go to a studio every day of the week to work with someone as talented as her musical partner, Pierre Marchand, who helps her complete her songs.  I have to say I was day dreaming a bit while I was reading the article.  She has the benefit of great successes behind her before she had kids and she can play the piano as well as the guitar.  I can’t play either…but there’s hope!  They also featured Ozzy Osbourne in the magazine and he says he can’t play any instruments either. :-)

I sing one of her older songs called Ice Cream (you tube link) to my kids sometimes.  I drop them on the couch during the part where she sings “It’s a long way down” and they laugh hysterically.  It makes me laugh while I’m singing it to them.  “Your love is better than ice cream…your love is better than chocolate.”

I wonder if it’s possible to find someone out there who could be my music partner who is looking for a lyricist/singer like me and if we could both take a month or so off and create music.  A nice little dream…

Author: | Filed under: entrepreneurship, mom, music, parenting | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Self Starter – Gay Gaddis of T3
Jul 26 2008

I co-write articles for university alumni magazines with my fabulous writing partner Pam Losefsky.  You can also see more of our write-ups on the article page

One of our latest articles for The University of Texas at Austin’s alumni magazine, The Alcalde, is on Gay Gaddis.  Gay is the founder of T3 - The Think Tank, the largest women-owned advertising agency in the US!

Here is a thought provoking quote from Gay’s interview:

You get knocked down a couple times and your confidence gets busted and you draw back a little bit,” she says, “but you have to allow yourself the mistakes and the rejection and not let them eat you up.

I agree with Gay that many entrepreneurs give up is when they let their mistakes eat them up instead of learning from them and moving forward.  I struggle with limiting thoughts often.

Gay has 3 kids and came from a long line of entrepreneurs so she saw the reality of how it is to build a business.  She started helping her mother with her kindergarten program when she was 13 years old after her father died!     

 

There are more articles to come, so sign up for free email updates to get them right in your inbox!

 

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Business School or Med School for Moms?
Jul 22 2008

Thanks to a Mommy Track’d post called MBAs Are Opting Out for the link to the article by Reuters called More women with MBAs take mommy track than doctors: study.  

I can’t say I’m surprised for a variety of reasons.  I have an MBA and although I never thought of completely opting out of the business world to be a full time stay at home mom (other than the first 6 months of my kids’ lives), I did choose a more flexible transition back into the workforce by starting my own company.  That way I could start them off in part time care until I felt they and I were ready for them to go to full time care. 

According to the article by Reuters, “The University of California Berkeley Haas School of Business study of nearly 1,000 Harvard undergraduates found that 15 years after graduation, business school graduates were more likely than doctors or lawyers to leave the workforce.”  

It continues by saying “Those surveyed were about 37 years old and had at least one child. Fifteen years after graduating from Harvard College, 28 percent of the women who went on to get MBAs were stay-at-home moms. By comparison, only 6 percent of MDs stopped working outside of the home.  Of the MBAs surveyed, 27 percent had careers in the financial sector and 17 percent worked in consulting. The majority of the MDs worked in specialties centered on women (13 percent in obstetrics/gynecology), children (31 percent in pediatric medicine), and family.” 

As a business student, there’s not often a set path like there is for med students.  In the medical field, you finish school, you do your internship, you do your residency, and then you get hired into a private practice or university to continue in your field.  Sure the field of medicine changes but apparently not as fast as the field of business.  

Business is all about your network and skills.  Moms/Parents who stay at home with their kids are advised to continue building and keep up with their network.  Medicine is definitely about your skills, but you usually don’t get hired on to a hospital or private practice based on who you know, it has more to do with what you know and where you got your degree! 

I find it interesting that I know several MBA women friends who have opted out of pursuing a career while their kids are young and at the same time my OB/GYN and pediatrician (who both happen to be women) came back to work shortly after their kids were born.  Our pediatrician came back to work only about 8 weeks after her baby was born.  I think both of them are amazing and incredible doctors! 

I remember my OB saying how important it was that I take it easy after the baby was born and to take as much time off as possible.  I then made a comment to her about the fact she returned to work after her babies were born and she was able to manage it, and she kind of stared at me blankly and didn’t seem to know what to say. 

So what do you think the reasons are for the different parenting choices made between moms who got a business degree and those who got a medical degree?  I have some ideas, but I’d love to know what you think.

Author: | Filed under: diversity, mom, mother, parenting | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments »

MBA Class: Mom’s Business Acumen
Jul 15 2008

And now for a very cool guest post from Michelle Yozzo Drake author of a newly released book: “From the Kitchen to the Corner Office:  Mom’s Wisdom on Leadership.”

MBA Class: Mom’s Business Acumen…Or, “How to Take Skills Learned From Mom to Kick Butt at Work” 

As Aruni braves the balancing act that returning to the “formal” workplace brings for a working mom, I was thrilled that she asked me to do a guest post for entrepremusings.com. 

I love to work with women…they just get it, even if they don’t know it!  Generations of women have been successfully running the home-based business that we call “The Family”.  They have had to utilize all of the skills needed to address the same issues that Fortune 500 companies struggle with. And they’ve done it with grace, style and, okay, maybe a few bad hair days here and there! 

My version of an MBA class focuses on “Mom’s Business Acumen”: 

Risk Management-The art of baking bread, taught to me by my Aunt Giovanna Yozzo Fanelli (Aunt Jennie), yielded a surprising class in risk management, crisis management and plan-failure recovery. As I made loaf after loaf of bread (according to Aunt Jennie’s half Italian/half English instructions) and failed every time, I had to learn how to push past my fear of failure and create new plans to minimize my risks of future bread baking failure! Hours of work sometimes yielded sub-par results (a.k.a “lead-bread” – this made Aunt Jennie laugh as she encouraged me to persevere and continue on my quest for the perfect loaf of bread).  My ultimate victory (at least 20 loafs and 80 hours later) was the title of Bread Maker in my family’s eyes.  And after Aunt Jennie died at 96 years old, she passed her pans to me. I had become the bread and the baker, and she would be proud! 

Mergers and Acquisitions-My sister and a few of my sisters-in-law now have new “blended families”.  With divorce rates and remarriages at an all-time high, there are new things today’s mom has learned. Creating a family with kids from previous marriages and new ones with new husbands takes a lot of hard work and effort…no wonder the idea of running a newly merged company is child’s play for the mom that has balanced issues with siblings, half-brothers, step-sisters, etc.! 

Cultivating Strong Teams and Leaders-Lessons learned from the women in my family who are masters in the kitchen – my mother Mimi and my Aunt Marie, specifically – have been priceless in developing my ability to coach my clients on building strong teams and leaders at work.  Have you ever watched two strong women in the kitchen putting out a holiday meal for the family?  Mimi and Marie were masters at leading and following as they consistently put out a quality product (the seven-course Italian holiday meal) for their customers (35 family members and a few stragglers). The big news is, I never remember a moment of tension in either of their kitchens…but always lots of laughter! 

Budget Cuts-My mother-in-law Marty used to take her twelve children (my husband Rich is number NINE) to the beach on the ferry every Wednesday…because kids ride free on Wednesdays when accompanied by their parent! She knows how to work a budget! Examples like that guided me during my family’s lean years – when I was sewing shorts for my two young sons out of my husband’s old shirts – and during the first crucial years of my businesses when breakeven was only a dream. 

Sales and Product Issues-Have you ever negotiated with a four-year-old over why Oreo cookies are not a breakfast food?  Successfully selling those eggs over the Oreos takes a sales master! How easy negotiating with a customer over the price of your products or services is compared to “selling” bedtime to a child! 

So when I meet a mom getting ready to return to the workplace and she’s fretting over her perceived “resume gap,” I see the opportunity to educate a sister on how to talk about her degree from the “Mommy Management Training University!” 

What have YOU learned from your mom, “mom-figures” in your life, or being a mom yourself? 

Michelle Yozzo Drake is a management consultant who has just released a new book: “From the Kitchen to the Corner Office:  Mom’s Wisdom on Leadership.”  Her Workplace Wisdom Blog is hosting Lipstick Leadership Week -July 14-18 – where Michelle is highlighting other women’s stories about what they have learned from their “moms” or as a mom that helps them succeed at work!  Submit your story (and get a plug for your website!) at LipstickLeadership.com or KitchentoCornerOffice.com 

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Contest for Innovative Moms
Jul 13 2008

I recently received the following email from one of Whirlpool’s PR reps.  Although I don’t recall being upset (maybe disappointed) about not knowing about the program (which I can’t recall at the moment) she was referring to, I figured I’d share her email about this contest because it seems like a cool idea.  I do have a vague recollection of commenting on a Washington Post article and if I didn’t, she’s a pretty good PR rep to tell me about this contest, because I like to post about programs that support entrepreneurs! 

The cool thing is that if you win you not only win cash but also appliances!  Also, upon reading their site you cannot submit a company/idea for a new appliance.  Your business idea has to be totally unrelated to Whirlpool’s primary business of appliance creation and manufacturing.  

I also noticed that one of the guest judges is Julie Aigner-Clarke, founder of Baby Einstein

I haven’t figured out yet if I can apply for Babble Soft (no issue about us being an appliance :-) ) but I haven’t read all of the fine print yet.  The application looks pretty simple and straight forward so chances are I will apply.  I encourage you all to check it out too and tell other mom-inventors out there about the competition. 

Hi Aruni,

I saw that you commented on a Washington Post blog entry about a grant program and that you were upset you didn’t know the program was going on.  Just wanted to share with you another grant program that I thought might be of interest to you and your readers.

Whirlpool brand has recently kicked-off the fourth annual Mother of Invention Grant Program. In the past three years, Whirlpool brand has recognized and helped more than 15 moms turn their innovative ideas into reality.

The Whirlpool brand Mother of Invention Grant Program provides seed money and expert guidance to moms to turn their invention, business or service ideas into full-fledged businesses.  Contest winners receive:

  • A $20,000 grant for the grand prize winner
  • $24,000 in grant money for the four runners-up
  • Appliance prizes
  • Invitation to business boot camp where winners will receive guidance from Whirlpool and industry experts

This year, we are greening the program by adding a new category focused on moms who create an environmentally friendly product/service or use natural/recycled materials to create their invention. 

More information and entry forms can be found at www.whirlpool.com/moms. Entries are accepted through July 31, 2008.

Please let me know if you have any questions or would like additional information about the program.  I’d also be happy to share information about our past winners, should you be interested. 

Best,

Laura

Author: | Filed under: competition, entrepreneurship, FYI, mom, mother, working mom, working mother | Tags: , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Happy Mother’s Day!
May 11 2008

Happy Mother’s Day!  I put this poem I wrote for Mother’s Day in a previous post, and wanted to share it again here.  I hope you enjoy it along with a picture taken by a good friend of mine, Sandy Blanchard.

 

Motherhood and Childhood

What does it mean to be a mother?
Is it love?
Is it fear?
Is it feeling dear?

What does it mean to be a child?
Is it love?
Is it joy?
Is it having a favorite toy?

As mothers we hope for our child’s happiness
We pray for our child’s health
We hope they are treated with kindness
We pray our children find peace in the world

As children we live for today
We anticipate a life of fun
We hope for a million tomorrows
We cannot imagine a world without our mothers

As mothers we cannot imagine a world without our children
We are one and the same…

Aruni Gunasegaram
March 2008

Author: | Filed under: mom, mother, mother's day, mother's day | Tags: | 3 Comments »

Moms Gone Viral
May 2 2008

I was planning to write a post updating everyone on our search engine optimization experience today but the real world injected itself with a sick kid at home.  High fever and rescheduling meetings doesn’t leave much time for writing long, heavy posts.  Plus I had to sneak in a nap in the afternoon while our daughter napped since we didn’t get much sleep the night before. :)

So instead, while my husband takes care of the kids this evening, I thought I’d write a post on the example of an unanticipated, viral marketing story with a mom twist.  So here it goes…

Once upon a time I met a friend on the Internet.  I found her blog and commented away.  After some time, we realized we had similar visions and she invited me do a guest post on her blog called Entrepreneurship: A Blessing or a Curse.  We kept in touch, spoke on the phone a few times about ways to work together, became twitter pals, and finally met in person at SXSW here in Austin back in March and clicked even more. 

While at SXSW she got further proof of what she already knew which was that the name of her blog, then called eMoms at Home, was not really reflective of the demographics of her readers and would-be readers so she had a mini-meltdown, picked herself up and came up with a cool new name called Sparkplugging!  Since she was and still is an advocate of entrepreneurs and especially those who work from home, her cool, new name opens the door wide open to many of us who are moms or not but like to spark up ideas and play with them until something happens.

So after SXSW, she went home and saw a post about dads on twitter and decided to do one for moms.  Within hours she got tons of replies and created a post called The Ultimate List of Moms on Twitter that started with 250 moms.  I commented and subscribed to comments on that post and every day new moms would leave a comment with their twitter name until May 1, 2008 that is.  Twitter sent out an email to everyone yesterday, May 1, and in it they included:

Mother’s Day: On The Way

We’ve noticed a trend of parents twittering the moments of their baby’s birth so we know there are some new moms on Twitter. Are you a mom on Twitter? Is your own mom on Twitter? Maybe you even made “The Ultimate List of Moms on Twitter”? Mother’s Day is just around the corner so don’t forget to @reply the moms you know with a thoughtful phrase–but keep it under 140 characters, moms are busy people.

List of Moms on Twitter: http://tinyurl.com/6cxgp5

And today I had 150+ comments in my inbox and they are still coming.  Now she has close to 400 comments on that one post! Did she do anything extraordinary to make it happen? Not really.  Did she tell people on twitter about it? Yes, of course.  Did she know others would tell and re-tell more people about the list? Possibly.  Did she know twitter would pick it up in their mass email to everyone? Doubtful (but I don’t know what went on behind the scenes).  So in hindsight what played in her favor to have a post she wrote on April 8 (before her name change) take on a life of its own?  Here’s what I think:

  • She took the initiative to do something that ended up being quite time consuming, but she saw from the responses it resonated with hundreds of moms on twitter that it was a worthwhile endeavor. 
  • She told her friends about it who re-tweeted and blogged about it. 
  • The tweeters kept the link going within twitter and in the blogosphere. 
  • Mother’s Day was around the corner and the guys (I think they are all men) at twitter saw the activity and might have said to themselves “Hmmm. How can we mention a major holiday, get brownie points with our wives/mothers, and promote twitter at the same time” and voila a mention was born!

UPDATE: I sent a link to @Biz to this post and he informed me there are several women who work at twitter!  So of course I followed them.  Here is his tweet: 

biz @aruni awesome! I included the moms list because it was noteworthy – also, women who work at Twitter: @crystal @krissy @alissa @lane @sara

In case you haven’t guessed who this friend is, it’s Wendy Piersall.  I guess only Wendy can tell us if she planned all of this, but to me it’s another example of viral marketing that in hindsight makes sense but when started, the current result would have been highly unpredictable. 

To me, this is why it is so hard to orchestrate a viral campaign.  You can plan everything down to the “t” and still not have it work out the way you wanted.  It’s hard to predict when there are so many variables.  You can also just do something you enjoy doing that helps others and see a “spark” turn into a flame!  Way to go Wendy! :-D

Oh and by the way, I am @aruni and Wendy is @eMom on twitter…

Author: | Filed under: entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, mom, mother, mother's day, networking, seo, social networks, success, working mom, working mother | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Give the Gift of Peace-of-Mind This Mother’s Day
Apr 28 2008

I don’t often do a full on post about Babble Soft, but considering Mother’s Day is coming up on May 11, 2008 and we are offering 15% off of all subscriptions (click here for full press release) to Baby Insights and Baby Say Cheese using code MOTHER#1 on the Purchase Form through May 15, I figured it would be OK.

So for all the new moms out there who want a record of their baby’s newborn activities, who want a place to create a unique baby’s first year photo album with a family tree, who want a better way to communicate about childcare with their spouse, nanny, sitters, and family members, this one’s for you!

Gift subscriptions also make great Mother’s Day and baby shower gifts for those couples who you know will want breastfeeding support or see how often mom pumped and share when their baby ate, slept, and pooped! :-)

I even came up with a poem that I had submitted for a local parenting related publication.  It wasn’t selected so I thought I’d share it here.  As you can tell, I didn’t major in poetry but I hope you like it anyway!

Motherhood and Childhood

What does it mean to be a mother?
Is it love?
Is it fear?
Is it feeling dear?

What does it mean to be a child?
Is it love?
Is it joy?
Is it having a favorite toy?

As mothers we hope for our child’s happiness
We pray for our child’s health
We hope they are treated with kindness
We pray our children find peace in the world

As children we live for today
We anticipate a life of fun
We hope for a million tomorrows
We cannot imagine a world without our mothers

As mothers we cannot imagine a world without our children
We are one and the same…

Aruni Gunasegaram
March 2008

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Nine Tips to Recession-Proof Your Career
Apr 21 2008

I saw this great post in Renee Trudeau’s recent email update and asked her if I could re-publish it on my blog and she agreed!  Given what we are seeing happening around us in the economy, I thought this article was extremely relevant. 

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Nine Tips to Recession-Proof Your Career
By Renee Peterson Trudeau

“You have the choice between being the victim of circumstances or being empowered through them.”  Carol Orsborn, author, Inner Excellence: Spiritual Principles of Life-Driven Business

Many of our clients are asking how to respond to the volatility and uncertainty in the current job/economic market. Here are some insights to support you:   

  • Move into the driver’s seat. Job stability (and loyalty) are a thing of the past. Take control of your career path. You’re in charge, don’t hand your power (or your future) over to someone else. Read the book “Work Less, Make More,” by Jennifer White.
  • Pause. Then, take time to plan. Now is a great time to hit the pause button and ask the important career questions: What do I most want at this life stage? What do I do best? What type of work/environment is a fit for me? (Consider attending our Career Mojo Workshop to help you hone in on how to determine what type of work is a fit for you. Click here for more information.)
  • Be prepared. It can take days to create a really outstanding resume. Update your resume (and cover letter) now and be thinking about references, even if you’re not ready to leap. Make sure and highlight recent awards/accomplishments/promotions.
  • Stay connected and make time for networking. Over and over again I meet professionals who were so consumed by their current jobs, they lost touch completely with their community and contacts. Take time to build and nurture relationships and attend professional organization and networking meetings. Read the book “Never Eat Alone,” on authentic networking by Keith Ferrazzi.
  • Know-and leverage-your strengths. Ideally, 80% of your time at work should be devoted to activities that you naturally excel at. Know where your brilliance lies and leverage your innate strengths. This is how you can bring the greatest value to your company AND how you substantially increase your income.
  • Save and live lean. Give yourself as much financial flexibility and breathing room as possible over the next 12 months. Live below your means. Cut out unnecessary expenses. Enjoy free or low-cost leisure activities (there are hundreds in Austin!). Create a budget and stick to it.
  • Be open to new possibilities. Layoffs, mergers, buyouts and outsourcing decisions don’t have to signal bad news. How can you take advantage of these changes? Where are there opportunities for new products/services? What niche can you fill? What problem is not being solved that you can address? Are there new internal opportunities within your company you should consider?
  • Stay in the loop on changes in your field/industry. What are the biggest challenges facing your current industry? How has your field changed in the last three years? Where are the employee shortages in your profession? What are the reoccurring themes or headlines at your professional conferences or in industry publications? Learn to be agile.
  • Take time to enhance your skills/talents. This is a great time to brush up on leadership or management skills, receive career or success coaching, reach out to mentors for guidance or sign up for in-house mentoring or training programs. Don’t isolate yourself-reach out and ask for help. People have a genuine desire to help others-we’ve all been there.

Finally, be kind to yourself. Realize that there is a lot of fear in the air right now due to all the uncertainty. Be discerning and own your feelings, not others’.    

Renee Peterson Trudeau is a career/life-balance coach and president of Austin-based Career Strategists, and author of The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal: How to Reclaim, Rejuvenate and Re-Balance Your Life.  Visit http://www.reneetrudeau.com/ to start/join a self-renewal circle using the Guide, receive monthly self-renewal and life balance tips or order the book.   For more information on Renee Trudeau click here.

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