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Tuesday
Apr222014

I Can’t Get NO Satisfaction! How to stop playing hide and seek with fulfillment.

By Mindee Hardin

Full Speed Ahead! Never Look Back! Onward and Upward!

All nice warm fuzzy motivational mantras intended to power us forward and into greatness in our entrepreneur journey. Yep! It IS very wise to set goals, create a vision board and plan ahead. It IS positive and impactful to practice the art of imagination and manifesting your dreams into a reality.  As with wine and whining, spending and saving, this also absolutely must be done in moderation. Your daydreaming must be balanced with reality and with measurables you can call on for a clear picture of where you are in the present, where you were in the past and where your personal success point is at.  No matter what stage you are at in your business development = just starting with an idea, a garage full of thingies, a mountain full of debt or a pay pal transfer away from cashing out, it’s really important at some point you have taken the time to define what will make you feel satisfied for your sacrifices. What is your definition of success? When will you have enough of what you set out to achieve?  There is a reason gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins. Consuming more than what you require will eventually kill your passion.  You absolutely must define your bliss in being an entrepreneur.

Fulfillment happens with an occasional dance in the clouds, an intermittent stake in the ground and a lot of checking in with yourself on where you are in between.

I see many Moms in business pouring gallons of money, time and hard work into a business bucket with holes in the bottom. They have NO idea how to feel fulfilled in their business. They just get on the hamster wheel and go. Put out fires all day, answer emails, process orders, manage customers having no real idea if they are on a path headed towards why they even started their business in the first place. It might be money, might be connection or making a difference, meeting people or staying busy. Everyone’s reason for starting is different and likely a combination of many of these things together. It doesn’t matter what it is, just that you have taken the time to recognize it and find ways to put it at the heart of your decision making.

If you are feeling burnt out and overwhelmed, uncertain if you are on the right path, perhaps now is the time to start drawing a map to FEEL BETTER Rd.  To help do this, I suggest my Juicebox clients take two simple steps:

STEP 1: Ask yourself the following questions, reflect on them and be specific in your answers:

1.       How many hours can I easily commit a week to be FOCUSED my business? This is not while a kid is watching cartoons, this is focused without interruption.

2.       What do I expect to get from those hours? Number of customers, number of likes, hits, shares etc..

If one of your answers is money (which seems pretty relevant since this is a business, not a hobby)…..

1.       How much money do you want to make in your business? A REAL number, not “enough to buy some new shoes” or “enough to retire at 50”

2.       How many units of your product or service do you need to sell a month to make that much money?

PAUSE

LOOK AT THESE NUMBERS AND EXPECTATIONS! HOW DO THEY MAKE YOU FEEL?

Can you really sell 40 units in a month working 10 hours/week? Can you sell 4,000 working 40 hours/week? Can you really get national PR for your cause only spending 2 hours a week dedicated to it or is local PR a better aspiration? Only you know what’s realistic given your unique set of resources and opportunity. Look at what other companies are selling, consider the marketing you are doing, the budget you have to work with, advice from experts, amount of help you have, past sales and what your consumer behavior is. Set up a plan to scale the numbers as you grow and adjust spending and time as needed when it’s evident a strategy is or isn’t working.

STEP 2: Remind Yourself. 

It’s a pretty simple thing to re-vist these goals, but HUGELY impactful on your daily attitude as a business owner.

The glory and PR and attention is fun, the connecting is beautiful, the money is nice, the networking is rewarding. None of it will make you sustainably happy if you don’t know where happy is for you. Once you can determine that place by asking questions like those above, you can work backwards from it to be intentional and efficient in your work TODAY. You will have a realistic picture of what is required from you to get there. It’s just about knowing what you are up against to fill your bucket. Knowing what making the holes and aligning them with the resources and mindset you have to plug them up. It makes you feel incredibly empowered and in control instead of flailing from one thing to the next.  

Put these magical numbers and goals up in your office, tattoo them on your feet, ink them on your steering wheel, scribble them on your coffeemaker.

Know every day what you set out to achieve in your business.

One of two things will happen from this exercise. The first is you may not hit these goals, repeatedly, month after month you can’t get there.  In my experience if you have not met your original sales goals in 12 months, it’s time to pivot! Hopefully you had some experts chime in when you developed them and you know truly what was realistic given your business model. If you are repeatedly off from them, that is a SIGN you need to pay attention to before it’s too late. Something is broken in your business model and you must adjust it.  Redefine your fulfillment point. Seek new ways of thinking or doing things differently.

The second thing that could happen is you reach these goals, with the hours committed and the resources you assembled – you hit the nail on the head. Awesome. Now CHILL OUT! Just keep doing what you are doing for a while. Enjoy it. Swing the pendulum back to family time or you time or visits with friends you miss.  Clean up your office, take a trip, play more cards with the hubby. Your business is not your life. It is one part of what makes you, you. It’s ok to dedicate a lot of time to help it grow as long as once it does, you stop and make sure the rest of what lights your heart is growing right along with it. No doubt you and your family have been making changes and sacrifices for this risk so accept the reward with open arms. Face it! You did what 90% of those who start out can’t do. Don’t screw it up by thinking so quickly, right away, you need to go do more. That’s how and why so many fail and burnout and lose it all.  Eventually, once the balance resets, you will feel the itch again and then you can start the climb over, set another goal, add more resources and time or money to help propel you to the next benchmark.

Growing a business is a series of sprints, NOT a marathon.

If you do not rest in between you are guaranteed to collapse at the finish line.

No amount of money will ever be able to buy you a peaceful night’s sleep, the ability to be fully present in moments with your kids and family and a confident heart you are living your best life. Only fulfillment can do that.

Peace & Be Well

Mindee

Mindee Hardin:: Author, Inventor (Boogie Wipes®), Idea Consultant.Tired of chasing her kids runny noses, Mindee herself ran with an idea she had for a saline infused nose wipe she called a Boogie Wipe ®. In 2007, she partnered with Julie Pickens and by 2011 grew her concept, to $12 million in sales, with distribution to 50,000 retail locations in 8 countries.  She managed all PR, marketing and branding herself and landed Boogie Wipes® on the Today Show, The Big Idea with Donny Deutch, Good Morning America, in People Magazine, The NY Times and countless others.  She is the author of Get your Own Juicebox – Confident Moms raising Capable Kids and consults an exclusive group of start-ups through her company Juice Box Consulting.

Thursday
Apr172014

Flash Sale!

 

**FLASH SALE** 50% off each of the following this week only!!

$25 gets you your choice of::

- One month of button advertising on our site
- One advertorial in our newsletter (one photo, 2 links)
- 4 Facebook posts & 4 Tweets to the thousands in our networks
- Sponsored blog post (one photo, 3 links)

Choose 1 or combine all 4 for an awesome, affordable marketing campaign!

E-mail me today at info(at)marketmommy.com to take advantage of this phenomenal deal!!

Tuesday
Apr152014

Easter Gift Ideas:: Games!

The great folks at Wonder Forge recently contacted me and asked that I review a few of their new games in time for the upcoming Easter holiday. I gladly obliged. I've reviewed their products before and have always been impressed. In fact, when these two arrived my kids were jumping with joy that they had more new games to try out!

Right now, Frozen is all the rage! My kids loved seeing it at the movie theater and all of the items (custumes, toys, games, etc.) surrounding the animated movie have become very, very popular. So, of course the Disney Princess Frozen Matching Game was a hit at my house. My daughter loved it (and asked to play again and again) but my sons liked it too. You really can't go wrong with this choice, espcially if you have a little princess-lover in your life.

About the game: It’s the classic game of picture-matching, now featuring your favorite characters from Frozen! Flip over brightly colored tiles and find beautiful pictures of sisters Anna and Elsa, plus friends Kristoff, Olaf, Sven and more. What familiar faces will you see? Pick up the most matching pairs to win!

I also chose to review the Disney Planes Sky Race Game. My boys, especially my younger one, love all things that relate to planes, trains or automobiles. So, I thought this was the perfect choice and indeed it went over very well.

The game offers some more challenges than just  your basic matching game and I thought it might be a little too difficult for my toddler. However, it kept his attention pretty well and he enjoyed the 'high-flying, tricky-tossing fun!'

About the game: Fly your plane through the Wings Around the Globe Rally to win. But, watch out–flight conditions change and you’ll face surprising challenges. Toss with your eyes closed, between your legs, lying down, and more!

Friday
Apr112014

Life is Beautiful, But Life is Messy - My Messy Beautiful

I think all mothers try to give the constant impression that their life is completely put together. We never want others to think we’re scattered, overwhelmed, unorganized, sad or even depressed. We don’t want others to see that side. So, we put on our smile, go about our day and rarely, if ever, let anyone see the truth.

When in reality, we all have the same truth. We are all a mess. Despite our best moments, we all have our struggles. I’m so thankful for Glennon over at Momastery. I love her blog so much and was so excited when she invited other bloggers to share their messy beautiful. I ‘discovered’ her several months ago and read her book, Carry On, Warrior, on my summer vacation. The entire thing resonated with me. She speaks the truth ladies. I encourage you to check it out if you haven’t already.

So, what is my messy beautiful?

Here is my beautiful.

As you can see from my picture, the act of actually bringing my children into this world was a messy one. Like many mothers, I started my journey naïve and uneducated about childbirth. The birth of my first was anything but smooth; some may even call it traumatic (I did). My welcome to motherhood changed my life in so many ways. In addition to the sleepless nights and bombardment of hormones and emotions, it put me on the fast track of self discovering.

As soon as I succumbed to that unnecessary surgery I knew that I had to do better for myself and for my children. I then went on an intense journey of education and empowerment. Because of that, I’ve become a better person in many other aspects of my life. I’m a better advocate for myself and my body. And, maybe more importantly I’m a better advocate for my children and theirs.

I’m more confident and ultimately I’m a better mother.

They are the loves of my life. I don’t think they fully grasp the fact that I would give my own life for theirs, but I would. I’ve never known love any deeper, and I’m sure that all mothers would agree that you don’t truly know love until you have a child. They are my inspiration and the reason I go through each day.

But. They are also at the root of all (ok, most) of my messy. I often try to think back to the days before November 2005. Before I had children. Did I have less messy? I believe much less.

  • I didn’t sporadically scream hysterically at 6:30 a.m. when children wouldn’t get out of bed or stop bickering at each other.
  • I didn’t have to clean puke out of someone else’s hair (well, maybe I did do that but it was because I was a good friend, not because I HAD to).
  • I didn’t have to peel a screaming toddler off my hip and turn around and walk out on him.
  • I didn’t have to do 18 loads of laundry in one week.
  • I didn’t have to cry as much or as often (granted some of these are happy tears, but they are messy regardless).

And, that was just a peek of this week alone.

We all would say the joys outweigh the struggles. But the truth of the matter is, there are SO many struggles. This job we have as mothers, as wives, is a damn hard one. Anyone who says it isn’t is a bold faced liar.

The best things in life are the things we work for, I believe. So no matter how hard this job is I wouldn’t trade it for anything. And, I would even add to our brood if I could. Pardon me while I pick my hubby up off of the floor.

So, despite all of the messy, my children have taught me how to embrace the beautiful. They’ve taught me so much about myself. They’ve given me courage, strength, confidence and belief that I was made by God to be a mother.

My messy is beautiful and I love it!

 

Friday
Apr042014

Kinsa Smart Thermometer

When your child is sick, the last thing you want to struggle with is a thermometer that isn’t working or that is difficult to use. I was recently asked to review the new Kinsa Smart Thermometer since it has received regulatory approval from the FDA. It provides a convenient, trackable way to take temperatures of your family members.

The packaging is neat and simple and provides a great way to store the thermometer between uses. I was easily able to open it, download the free app via iTunes and set up the thermometer. All of that in just a couple of minutes.

About the Smart Thermometer:

As a reminder, the Smart Thermometer is the world's first oral, digital thermometer that connects to your smartphone (via the audio jack). The use of the smartphone allows us to create a fun and engaging temperature-taking experience (see screenshot below) and do far more than what the average thermometer can do. With just a few taps, a mother can track temperature and symptoms over time for each member of her family and help her doctor provide the best care. In the coming weeks we will also be adding the ability to track health within your own private groups (e.g. your child’s classroom).

It was also very easy to take my temperature. It was quick and simple. The thermometer plugs directly into the audio jack but there is also a nice extension cord to give a little space between the phone and the actual thermometer.

About Kinsa:

Kinsa is driven by a bold mission – to enable society to track and stop the spread of disease, while simultaneously revolutionizing the way we care for our families. By using innovative ‘connected’ health devices, we can provide unique value to our users, while simultaneously aggregating information to help society understand what illnesses are spreading and where.

Kinsa's mission is to enable society to track and stop the spread of disease, while simultaneously revolutionizing the way we care for our families. By using innovative ‘connected’ health devices, we can provide unique value to our users, while simultaneously aggregating information to help society understand what illnesses are spreading and where.

The Kinsa app currently includes the following functionality:

o   Engaging temperature taking experience. Kids fidget. Especially when they’re sick. So Kinsa uses the smartphone display to create a fun, engaging screen that calms your child while you take her temperature.

o   Automatically track your family’s illness for better care. With just a few taps, track temperature and symptoms over time for each member of the family, so you can help your doctor give you the best care.

o   Find care. If your symptoms persist, find nearby urgent care facilities without ever leaving the app

What I find most beneficial is the ability to track and store the readings. When my child is sick, it is stressful. When I’m sitting in the doctor’s office, the ability to pull up the app and relay the accurate readings is a huge benefit. I don’t have to worry about giving misinformation or forgetting how high their fever actually was.

If you’re interested in your own Kinsa Smart Thermometer, they are currently taking preorders on their website. The price point of $29.99 is more than reasonable. You can also find Kinsa on Facebook and Twitter.