I don’t often publish promotional content on my blog, but when someone reached out to me for this campaign that goes through the end of March 2015, I thought it was worth sharing. You can help an entrepreneurial woman towards achieving her dream by checking this opportunity to help via Kiva.org out. Please watch the video and read the information about how you can participate below.
More than seven billion people live on Earth. That’s seven billion hearts beating. Seven billion bodies breathing. Seven billion minds creating thoughts and ideas all over the world. Yet, so many face struggle everyday all around us. Even so, there is one thing that will never cease to be created regardless of the struggles: dreams. Dreams created from the the slums of a bustling gray city, to the parched land of a an isolated farm, to the refugee camps of a war-torn nation.
On March 8, we honor the dreams of a group of people who have been told not to dream. A group of people who have been told “they can’t” more times than they have been told “they can.” A group who has faced abuse for being born the way they are. A group of people commodified and enslaved. A group who brings life into this world, but who are often powerless over their own. We honor women.
To celebrate International Women’s Day – and the days that follow – Kiva has launched Kiva.org/Dreams to spotlight the power of women because it’s their dreams that make our world better.
By visiting Kiva.org/Dreams, you can back a dream by choosing a woman whom Kiva should lend $25 to. There is no cost to you. By choosing her, you help her to follow her dream of starting or growing her business, sending her children to school, and ultimately, gaining financial independence.
When women have the resources to make their dreams a reality, the world changes. More children go to school, more food is grown, and nations are more peaceful and prosperous. A case in point: if women farmers had equal access to farming assets and finance, they could increase their crop yields up to 30% and 150 million people who go hungry every day would be able to eat.
Kiva.org is the world’s first and largest crowdfunding platform for social good with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Since 2005, Kiva and their growing global community of 1.3 million lenders have crowdfunded more than $675 million in microloans, backing the dreams of 1.6 million people.
By contributing to the success of an entrepreneurial woman who has overcome obstacles, we discover so much more about our own resiliency, possibility, and potential. Each of us has a part to play.
Together we can make dreams a reality for thousands of women around the world. So in honor of International Women’s Day and the power of women, back a dream at Kiva.org/Dreams.
Happy New Year! I thought I’d get a new post out before the 15th of January, but here we are half way through the first month of 2015!
My boss shared this link: The 7 Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs (Tenacity, Passion, Tolerance of Ambiguity, Vision, Self-belief, Flexibility, and Rule-breaking) with our team a while back. I was surprised that they said most entrepreneurs weren’t neurotic. I’ve met more than a few neurotic entrepreneurs and have felt like one myself at times…maybe they define it differently than I have seen others exhibit it.
There are so many moving parts to a new business that I think it helps to be able to multitask, but sometimes it hurts a business too. A friend sent me the article below about the Supertasker test that helps you figure out if you are one of the 2% of the people in the world who can actually multitask vs. ineffectively task switch. It made me wonder who those supertaskers were and if they could do the same thing they were able to do with two kids in the back seat asking you every 5 minutes to look at something, change the radio station, or telling their sibling to quit making some noise or the other. Check out these articles:
I was fortunate enough to be invited to be one of the coaches at this year’s InnoTech Women in Tech Summit event. InnoTech Austin, presented by Presidio, returns to the Austin Convention Center on October 15, 2014. The 11th annual event will include all new topics and speakers for a fresh and exciting conference.
I have not had the opportunity to attend InnoTech in the past. I’m looking forward to the experience and to networking with a bunch of new and interesting people. For those of you in Austin, I look forward to seeing you there!
Another 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.
There are have been many advancements to support women in the workplace and yet women still don’t have equal representation in many areas of senior leadership. For the first time ever, women are earning more college degrees than men. Yet at the senior level of most organizations, women are not very visible (i.e., “heard”) and sometimes their actions are deeply scrutinized by both men and women. It seems to be the ongoing price of progress, and I’m glad I’m living in the year 2013 versus 50 to 100 years ago. I think women have clearly demonstrated their value in the market place…now if they could earn equal pay for equal work across all job functions, that would be another step in the right direction…
To those men and women who take the time to teach women and young girls how to be leaders and provide them support as well as access to your networks to help them grow and learn from their failures & mistakes, thank you for your foresight, interest, and encouragement! “Give a man/woman a fish, he/she eats for a day. Teach them how to fish, they can eat for a lifetime.”
Everyone is so busy these days. We fill our lives with things that take us from here to there in minutes, when even just fifty years ago it might have taken us hours or days to do something. The infrequent times I get to work on my music are the times I get to exercise a different part of my brain. I’m in the middle of getting two songs produced with a professional named Ron Wikso. I’m learning a ton about the process, and he has been patiently explaining it to me.
The phrase “between the notes” has come to my mind often these last few weeks as I’ve found myself with a little more time to work on my songs, but I struggle with enjoying the space…the temporary lull in some of the noise…because there are so many other pressing daily life details that need to be attended to with the kids, job stuff, house stuff, etc.
I think that not only in “music,” but also in life the most poignant moments can lay in the space in between the noise of our daily lives. The times when things in our lives are on pause (or change dramatically) while we wait for the next great refrain or chorus to start are often ignored, because we are waiting for the “silence” in one part of the symphony of our lives to end and the activity/music to begin. Unlike an already written sheet of music, we don’t know if the next refrain in our lives will be a joyous beat, a steady (a.k.a. boring) rhythm, a pleasant melody, or the background music from a horror movie. We don’t know, yet we often live in the anxiety and can’t enjoy the space…the space to explore other options or even to take a nap!
True learning, profound connection, and great discoveries have been known to happen in the space between thoughts, yet most of us are afraid of that space. We don’t often choose the space or if it chooses us, we don’t know what to do with it. It has been proven that meditation has many benefits when you can stop the thinking and sit still in silence, but it’s not easy. “I think therefore I am” could have easily been said “I am therefore I think, play, laugh, feel, love, etc.”
The more we are able to quiet our thoughts and live in that space, the more peace we seem to achieve and the more positive impact we have on those around us. The challenging nature of that endeavor mixed with the constant flux of our lives is why I believe there are very few gurus and prophets in this world. Most of them are men who did not have kids or had someone else taking care of their kids. Many of them also did not want or need money and were fine with sitting under a tree or in a cave meditating most of the time. If I had no kids, I might try that life for a while.
May the space between the notes in your music or the choruses of your lives become great defining points in the stories you tell. I already know I’ll be a grandma or teacher with the best First World “war” stories based on the space between the notes of my life…
Happy New Year! From what I’ve observed at this point in my life, it seems to me that there really is no telling what awaits around the corner with regards to jobs, kids, health, love, or whatever, so I’ve given up on resolutions for the time being. We are living in interesting times, and I have been fortunate/unfortunate enough to experience many things…some of my choosing and most not of my choosing. Maybe I will live long enough and happen upon the right muse(s) along the way to enable me to write more about it…
So in 2013 I’ll just do my best to breathe deep, laugh with my kids, and spend time with people who support/love me & my kids (i.e., no fair weather friends or family). I’ll continue to do my best at whatever I’m attempting to do and support others even if I find myself in less than ideal circumstances or around negative people, which seems to be happening less and less. I also will continue to come to grips with the reality of my busy life (e.g., it took me close to 5 days to actually finish writing this short post because of work, facebook, watching TV, words with friends, going to the movies, spending time with real offline friends, downtime, and kid stuff!).
May you experience the most peace, love, and joy possible in 2013!
BiGAUSTIN is excited to begin the Small Business @ Work series with our first event, BiG HealthCARE Opportunities Summit on November 1st, 2012. BiG is teaming up with The Seton Healthcare Family to educate and inform women and veterans about the advancements, changes and opportunities within the healthcare industry through panel discussions, breakout sessions, and workshops.
Participants will be able to gather information on HealthCARE and have the opportunity to network and learn about available self-employment as a CAREER within the healthcare community, have ACCESS to healthcare providers, be able to attend economic RECOVERY breakout sessions for personal needs, and learn what every ENTREPRENEUR should know about the new policies, healthcare acts and how these initiatives will affect their day to day business.
The BiG HealthCARE Opportunities Summit’s keynote speaker, author and small business person of the year 2007: Ms. Colleen J. Payne-Nabors, will share her experience and struggle as she built a multi-million dollar business in the mobile cardiac imaging business
It’s already breaking 100 degrees in Texas. Summer is here…well officially on June 21. My kids will finish school this week. Then, hopefully, they will go on a couple of trips and attend a bunch of summer camps including a Spanish immersion one held by their school and have a lot of outdoor fun at Doublecreek Camp. They have been given things to work on during the summer and, of course, they are complaining that it’s not fair they have a tiny bit of summer “homework.” Little do they know that I would be fine with year round school! If only they could grasp now how “not fair” life usually is and how “more than fair” their short lives have been when compared to the majority of kids around the world, it would save them much disillusionment later.
This summer is going to be an interesting one for many reasons that I’ll post about soon. Lots of changes, mostly good. But with changes in situation and temperatures, there is always an adjustment period.
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.”
When I wonder what it’s all about, why I am where I am, and whether all my decisions or in/out-of-control direction changes in life were good ones, I usually need to drink lots of red wine and stay away from the hard liquor! When my 6, soon to be 7, year old daughter tells me to take a break from cooking dinner and see what she made and affixed to my home office desk (photo to left), everything makes sense for a few moments.
I tell her that I need to save all these precious notes and drawings she makes me because when she’s a teenager she’ll want nothing to do with me. She denies it adamantly and tells me she will always love me. I tell her I know that’s true but she might not express it the same way as she does now, but I will always love her which thankfully she believes. I doubt she’ll be writing me the same heart warming notes and drawing me butterflies when she’s 16, but the fact that she thinks she will is sweet. Although I’m sure her peers and society might think it weird if she’s drawing hearts to her friends and mom when she’s older, I hope she continues to be comfortable expressing her love for people because it’s not an easy thing to do without judgement when you get older.
I don’t recall my now 9 year old son writing too many “I love mommy” notes when he was 6, but I do have a few of those that I’ve saved and stuck to the fridge or put in his box. He mostly wants to play with my iPhone and the Wii runs into me to show his affection and randomly hugs me sometimes in odd places like Office Depot. He still likes me to sit next to him when he’s watching TV and cuddle with him for a bit before he goes to sleep. When I ask him why he is hugging me in a superstore, he says “I don’t know, I just wanted to.” I sigh, laugh, roll my eyes a bit and say “Ok sweetie, I’ll take it when and where I can get it,” hug him back and muss his hair.
I’m so lucky when it comes to my kids (knock on wood) and I guess I am where I need to be right now for them. If I’m penniless in my 80s, I’ll show them the notes and see if they remember writing them and the feelings they were trying to express at the time. Deep stuff, I know.
The following is a guest post from Kiva’s press team:
Kiva launches Kiva.org/women and Partners with Dermalogica’s joinFITE to Give Away $100,000 in Loans to Women around the World
KivaFor those of you who have made loans on Kiva.org in the past, this will come as a piece of good news. For those who haven’t – it’s a double whammy: you’re being introduced to Kiva AND finding out about their newest venture!
First, here’s what Kiva does, in a nutshell: Kiva.org is the world’s first and largest microlending website where anyone, anywhere can help alleviate poverty and empower entrepreneurs across the globe through loans as small as $25. Lending through Kiva creates a ripple effect in a local economy because with as little as $25, you enable an entrepreneur to build their business and bring goods to their community. As these businesses grow, so do other opportunities: to employ other members of the community, or to make enough money to send their children to school and learn to perhaps become business owners themselves one day. So your $25 loan might help lift an entire village out of poverty!
The latest piece of good news from the folks at Kiva is that, in honor of International Women’s Day, they are launching Kiva.org/women on March 7, 2012 to help empower women and create sustainable change.
To kickstart it, Dermalogica’s joinFITE program is funding a $100,000 Kiva Women free trial program. What does this mean for you? Free money! You’ll be able to make $25 loans to a female borrower of your choice without fronting a single penny (for as long as the Dermalogica money lasts).
Just for the record, Kiva has already been helping women around the world: since its launch in 2005, more than 80% of the loans funded through Kiva have been to women borrowers in 60 countries including the United States. Kiva has connected more than 600,000 women borrowers to nearly 650,000 lenders, crowdfunding more than $200 million in loans to women.
Because women have proven to be such massive agents of change in impoverished communities when given a minimum of resources, this program is designed to focus specifically on them.
We all have the same amount of time (barring unforeseen, usually dire circumstances) to do what we are meant to do or want to do while here on earth. It doesn’t really matter if we are born knowing what we are supposed to do or we aren’t. In the case of Hugo (movie), he discovered his purpose in life was to fix other people, things, automatons, and clocks. A series of unfortunate and fortunate events led him to the automaton/person he was meant to fix.
Sometimes time feels like it ticks so painfully slowly when you aren’t able to do what you want to do, be with the people you want to be with, or ironically figure out what your purpose is in life. But then all of a sudden you look up, notice that time has slipped through your fingers and you realize…you rationalize…you reason that maybe this was just all the way it was supposed to turn out. But you know there were points in the road of life where you could have gone a different seemingly easier or treacherously hard way. Would it have resulted in fame, fortune, finding your soul mate, and great health or would you have been run over by a bus?
Timing is everything, but the passing of “time” is the one thing none of us can change until my kids someone invents a time machine. Many of us spend so much time chasing something just out of our reach, so much so that it must be human nature. But when do we stop…do we stop? We can’t stop! Or can we? Well, maybe after we discover intelligent life on another planet.
Working Motherhood/Parenthood/Fatherhood requires you to try touching your elbow to your ear (yes, I tried it to make sure it was near impossible to do so) on more occasions than you’d like to admit
I hope in all this living around parents with an accidental (prone to earthquakes) entrepreneurial foundation, my kids are learning that they have to whine a little, adapt a lot, smile, try a bunch of different things, have faith that things will turn out as they should as long as they work hard and are kind to others…including animals and a select few insects like butterflies.
Knowing what you want is a blessing and a curse. If you know what you want, then you know the usual paths of achieving it. You can improvise along the way, but if you know you want to be a singer, doctor, lawyer, teacher, pro football player, screen writer, monk/nun, landscaper, etc. you follow a prescribed path for the most part. It’s a curse because a) someone can decide you aren’t good enough, b) you actually aren’t good enough, c) you weren’t born into knowing the right people, or d) you always seem to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Most people do not become world famous singers, athletes, novelists, or movie directors.
Not knowing what you want is also a curse and a blessing because you can drift aimlessly wondering where you belong and in what you might be phenomenal. You can be strong at many things but unless you know that you want to be an entrepreneur, a CEO of a Fortune 500 company, Martha Stewart, Dilbert, a world class surgeon, a lawyer, etc., what you end up doing probably won’t feel like a custom made glove. The blessing part of not knowing what you want to be when you grow up is that you never had a burning desire to be Lady Ga Ga, so you aren’t as disappointed when you roll out of bed and you aren’t her. The blessing is also that you can decide to like what you are doing and find ways to make a difference and change the world in your own little non Lady Ga Ga like fashion and still have people think you are pretty cool.
My son says he wants to be a soccer player and my daughter says (only recently) that she wants to be a singer. I’ll see if I can steer them towards being a soccer playing physicist and a singing doctor. I wonder how that will work. Despite our best voluntary & involuntary attempts at showing them the life of an entrepreneur is not laced with candy, they might be crazy like us and commit entrepreneur-icide.