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Archive for December, 2008

Social Media Telesummit 2009

December 30th, 2008

This event is one of the few multi-day virtual events I really look forward to.  This year’s is especially exciting, not just because I’ve been invited to speak but because I will be on the line listening to every single speaker!  My friend Leesa Barnes has put together a roster of social media superstars and I don’t want to miss a single word any of them have to say!

Seems Leesa herself feels the same way about it herself! See, Leesa is considered a social media expert. She’s written a book, has been nominated for social media awards and continues to influence many with her ideas.

But, I have a secret to share with you… Leesa doesn’t “get” social bookmarking, a social media strategy.

I’m serious. Here’s a social media expert who doesn’t quite understand how social bookmarking can boost her business.

So, Leesa has invited Maria Reyes-McDavis aka the Web Success Diva to present on this very topic at the 2009 Social Media Telesummit. Maria will share with you how to use social bookmarking to:

* How to implement a social bookmarking strategy for your blog and/or website that will save you time, effort, and headaches

* What social booking is and why you should even care

* The #1 mistake to avoid in your social bookmarking strategy that could cost you your reputation and online rankings.

 Maria’s session is just one of the many sessions you’ll hear at the 2009 Social Media Telesummit, an 8 day virtual event taking place entirely over the phone from January 21-30, 2009. Check http://www.cartville.com/app/?Clk=2765682 for all the details.

Hurry! There are only 247 seats available and once the sessions start on January 21st, the doors close. Go to http://www.cartville.com/app/?Clk=2765682 to grab your seat.

Can’t wait for this!

The Ark Project for Heifer International Update

December 29th, 2008

Help Families in Need - Gift ArkWow! Santa must have read my post because he delivered what I really really wanted in a very big way – gifts to fill the Ark!

Gifts came in on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day via change. org and Paypal.  One very generous gift ($500)  plus) came in as a corporate donation (hint hint all you corporations who have the means to make a gift and need a 2008 tax deduction). 

I’ve added it all up and re-arranged some cash so that we get the most animal for the buck. Here is what currently resides on The Ark:

2 Cows (the most expensive animals on The Ark)
2 Goats
2 Trios of Rabbits
2 Beehives
2 Llamas

and one quarter of a sheep.

We’ve spent a total of $1750.

We still need to raise $3250.  What will we buy for that?  Glad you asked cuz I’ll tell you in just a sec.  But first, I want to remind EVERYONE that we are sharing the gift of entrepreneurship and self-sustainability with those who desperately want it. 

$20 will purchase a flock of geese that will help families in China better their nutrition and income through the production of eggs and meet.

$20 will purchase a flock of chicks to help families in Sri Lanka improve nutrition and generate income through the sale of eggs.

$20 will purchase a trio of ducks to help families in Ghana generate income through the sale of eggs and birds

$90 will buy the rest of that sheep to help families in Arizona produce wool.

$120 will buy the other sheep or a pig to enable families in Arkansas attain greater self-reliance.

$250 will buy a water buffalo to help Cambodian families increase rice production through animal draft power.

We also need to buy camels to help Tanzanian families earn income buy transporting agricultural and industrial materials, oxen to pull plows and carts in Uganda, donkeys for animal draft power for farmers in Kenya and guinea pigs to help families in Ecuador add protein to their diets and increase their income.

In the grand scheme of our entrepreneurial challenges, pulling carts and eating well really don’t show up on our radar, do they?  This project has humbled me and stopped my biz complaining dead in it’s tracks.   After all, when I look at this list, what could I possibly have to complain about?

We have just a few more days until the January 1 2009 deadline.  I hope that after reading the descriptions above you can see what a big difference we can make by putting together this Ark. If entrepreneurs can’t share the gift of entrepreneurship, who can?

Small gifts will add up to something big – $5, $10, $20 will all put life-changing animals on that Ark.  So please Play Big with me here and let’s finish loading up those animals!!!

Dear Santa

December 22nd, 2008

I know I am sliding in just under the wire by writing my letter so late.  I’ve heard that the North Pole has really caught up in the technology department, though so hopefully this will reach you in plenty of time. 

I’ve been very good this year.  I keep learning how to be a better mom and a better business woman.  My family tells me that I do a pretty fair job in the Mom department (hey – for them that equals a stellar rating).  My clients tell me that I have served them well, provided tons of great information, tools and strategies.

Oh, and I’ve launched this new thing – this tribe – for mompreneurs who want to fabulous moms and fabulous business women called The Maverick Mom.  Sounds a lot like me, doesn’t it?!  I’ve just decided that playing small serves no one.  You can watch me Play Big right along with the other mompreneurs who join me here.  I think you will be impressed.

My list is pretty short this year ( a far cry from the lists I used to send to you, I know.) I’m not looking for EVERYTHING on this list.  Just one of these under the tree would be really fabulous.

1.  A service person who will make and keep a specific appointment.  You can take your pick of the phone guy, the bug man, the cable person, it really doesn’t matter.  I would just like to have one that says, “I will be there at 9:30″ and keep the appointment instead of hearing “We will have someone there between 10 and 2″ and they actually show up around 4. 

2. Along those same lines, if you could wrap up a 1-800 number that will connect me right away (that part is important)  to a customer service professional who can a) understand my question or problem b) act interested in solving it (without reading the training script) and c) stay on the line until we are certain the problem is resolved, that would be great.  I know at the North Pole you have customer service down to “T”.  Maybe in the off season the elves could run a training course – if you need an extra revenue stream.

3. A self-cleaning kitchen.  I seem to spend an inordinate amount of time loading the dishwasher, unloading the dishwasher, wiping down counters and tabletops only to turn around and do it all over again several hours later.  I’ve never actually seen one of these but your elves are so great at inventing I figured you were the man to ask.  Oh, not to be greedy or anything, but once you have the technology down, a self-cleaning office and a laundry room that folds and puts away the clothes would be pretty nifty, too.

4. A day off.  I mean a REAL day off. All by myself. With no interruptions. And no frantic phone calls. That means that I don’t spend a week arranging childcare and making lists for those I leave at home to remind them about field trips, sack lunches, laying out clothes for karate, and preparing meals that can be heated up. And that I don’t spend another week cleaning up the disaster area created while I was gone. (ok maybe I am exaggerating, but not by much.) Oh – and if you could handle all the email and voicemail that comes in while I’m gone, that would be great, too. 

5. If you only pick one thing off my list, I hope you pick this one.  See – I am trying to put together $5000 so that I can give an Ark to Heifer International so that they can share the gift of entrepreneurship with families and communities who desperately want to be self-sustaining.  One water buffalo costs $500.  Or, if that is too much, a sheep costs $150.  This Ark is what I really really want.  So anything you can do to make it happend would mean the world to me. (Even though the self-cleaning kitchen would be really really cool.)

I hope Mrs. Claus is doing well and that Rudolph is gearing up for his big night.  I’m including a picture of the Rudolph that currently lives at my house.  He wants to be sure you know he is ready to stand in if your Rudolph should come down with a cold or something.

The usual warm milk and cookies will be waiting (and carrots for the reindeer).

Be safe flying through the sky!

Love,
Sarah

Give to The Ark & Live Fabulous NOW!

December 19th, 2008

The fabulicious Sandy Grason (www.sandygrason.com) is kicking up The Ark Campaign by offering the next 10 people who support the project with a gift of $10 or more an audio from her current, HOT and PAID program Live Fabulous Now!

Here’s how it works:

Step 1) Make your gift by choosing the best link at the bottom of the post at the top of this page.

Step 2) Post a comment.

That’s it! Give to Live Fabously NOW! Pretty Cool!

On the Fifth Day of Christmas

December 18th, 2008

my true love gave to Heifer International…..

2 Trios of Rabbits ($120)

A trio of rabbits is a low-cost, high-yield gift that helps impoverished families increase their protein intake and income.

Rabbits are easy to care for; the eat simple foods such as carrot tops, sweet potato vines and grasses.  Rabbit Manure can be applied directly on gardens without composting.

And because rabbits have so many offspring, the process of “passing on the gift” multiplies each gift quickly and helps other impoverished families live better lives.

Step Up, Play Big and Give the Gift of Entreprenuership!
The link to donate to The Ark Project is here: http://tinyurl.com/6ee7ou

Saying 'No' So You Can Say 'Yes!'

December 18th, 2008

One of the most common business challenges I hear from my mompreneur clients is usually some variation on the theme of Overwhelm.

-“I want to Play Big, but it feels like so much work!”

- “How do I get it all done?”

- “How do I set priorities?”

- “I never feel like I’m ‘done’ with work and my family has had it!”

-“I work and work and work.”

Does any of this resonate with you? Please know that you are not alone. Many of my clients and workshop participants struggle with feeling overwhelmed. Even I struggle with it sometimes (yes, coaches struggle, too) though it is not the way of life for me that it once was.

So that I could write a post that would speak to the heart of this matter, I looked up the word “overwhelm” in the dictionary. Here is the entry:

o·ver·whelm (vr-hwlm, -wlm)
tr.v. o·ver·whelmed, o·ver·whelm·ing, o·ver·whelms
1. To surge over and submerge; engulf
2. a. To defeat completely and decisively
b. To affect deeply in mind or emotion
3. To present with an excessive amount
4. To turn over; upset:

Well those are pretty yucky definitions! I couldn’t choose just one of these because, to me anyway, at some time or another, overwhelm feels like any or all of the above. Surged over, defeated, affected deeply in mind and emotion, excessive amounts, upset – yeah that’s overwhelm alright. So now the question is how to deal it. The solution is actually simple (remember simple and easy are not the same word!)

Just say “No”.

Great, Sarah. Thanks for the advice – right? I’m serious. When I am feeling overwhelmed, it is usually because I have said or implied “Yes” to entirely too many things. And usually I’ve done this for one of two reasons 1)I have not chosen on the front end what is important and not important to me or 2) I am afraid that if I don’t say “Yes” I might miss something.

These two reasons will keep you tangled up in overwhelm at every turn and if we don’t build a strategy to deal with them, our lives will stay that way. So, what is a woman/wife/friend/girlfriend/mother/businesswoman/housekeeper/cook/chauffer..you get the idea…to do?

Part of the problem is that our society tells us that we can have it all and do it all. We admire and lift up those who appear to have attained that glorified status of “having it all”.

Here is the hard lesson I have learned: I can have it all and do it all – just not all at the same time. I have to choose what I want in my life and in my business. I have to choose what I am and am not willing to do. And yes, when I choose sometimes I make the wrong choice, but that is just life and my world won’t end because of it.

When I consciously choose something, I can bring my best, most focused energy to it.

When I consciously choose something, the distractions fall away (unless I’m looking for distractions, but that is another story) because I know what my priorities are. This is a far better approach than just reacting to whatever comes my way and treading water as fast as I can to keep from drowning in it.

Here is a quick exercise to help you make some proactive choices for your business and your life: Think about all the areas of your life that matter to you and write them down as categories. Home and Business are good places to start. Then choose 3 or 4 (more than that is too many) things you want in those categories. Be specific. Under “home” you might write “Have family night at home twice a month”.

Once you get them written down, post them where you can see them. Then, when you are faced with overwhelm, check you list. What are you choosing? Is it something that is not on your list? If you want to keep it as a priority, are you willing to forfeit something that is on your list? If two things on your list come into conflict, which is a higher priority? If you had to choose between the two, which is more important?

If you quiet your spirit and listen, your heart will tell you what to say “Yes” to and that is what this whole article is about, right? Once you make your choices, teach yourself to say “No” to what doesn’t matter so you can say “Yes” to those things that do. Your heart,mind and spirit (never mind your family and friends) will thank you for being present and focused and giving your best.

Remember, playing small serves no one and playing big requires that you learn to say “no.”

 
 

 

Sandy Grason Celebrates The Maverick Mom

December 17th, 2008

I’ve made the greatest friends online and Sandy Grason is one of my very favorite people!  We actually met face to face for the first time at Ali Brown’s Online Success Blueprint Workshop in Los Angeles which was so much fun.

When I told Sandy about The Maverick Mom, she immediately said “I get it.  You don’t have to explain a thing.”  Made me feel so good.  We also took a few minutes to capture her enthusiasm on video which I’ve posted below.

Of course the minute I asked her to support The Ark Project, she stepped up big. She donated, she tweeted, she pinged on Facebook.  What a great friend! 

And here she is – Sandy Grason!

Top 10 Ways a Maverick Mom Can ENJOY the Season!

December 16th, 2008

I’m about to share this with my newsletter readers from another site I run and thought you might enjoy it as well!

No doubt about it. The last minute push to Christmas can leave us feeling exhausted and rather grinchy by the time the day arrives. As one of my friends said to me, “If it is the hap-hap–happiest time of the year, why do I feel so grumpy?”

My experience (and the experiences of my clients, my friends and my family) tells me that it is usually because we don’t slow down long enough to savor the holiday and once it’s gone, it is gone. So, I am going to offer some of my top ideas for taking the time to relish this time and revel in the most majestic of celebrations. Are you ready?

#10 – One night between now and New Year’s, order pizza from your favorite delivery place. Set up some games (a deck of cards will do), unplug the television, the computer, the gameboy, the ipod, the cell phone and any other electronic communication devices and enjoy uninterrupted time with family and friends. Yes, you will get snide remarks and dramatic protests from your teenagers. You’re the parent – override them. This is an investment of time that has a limited opportunity.

#9 – Pop in a Christmas movie for the children at home and slip away to the bath. I’m not advocating using the tv as a babysitter all the time. Recharging your batteries with a hot soak will make you a better mommy during the long days before school starts again.

#8 – Have your own candelight service with your favorite songs and readings.

#7 – Make a batch of cookies for a neighbor or the nursing home. You can use the slice and bake kind from the store. When you show up with them, no one will care how you made them.

#6 – Speaking of nursing homes, take your family to carol nursing home residents. This is a very lonely time of year for many residents and your bright smiles will make their day. You can even go after Christmas.

#5 – The day after Christmas, ask your children to make room for their new toys by going through their old ones and choosing some to give to a family shelter. Sharing with those less fortunate is a lesson that will stand them in good stead.

#4 – If you are frantically wrapping gifts at the last minute, what can you do to make the experience better? Sip something wonderful? Listen to the Vienna Boys Choir? Light a wonderfully scented Christmas candle?

#3 – Read the Christmas story or your favorite Holiday Reading as a family. It really doesn’t take very long and can be the beginning of a beautiful family tradition.

#2 – Give up the idea that you have to create a Christmas feast worthy of Martha Stewart. She has about 50 staff members and never cleans her own kitchen. Who cares if it doesn’t look like a magazine spread. The important part is that everyone feels warm and loved.

#1 – Remember the Reason For The Season. Find a still moment to quiet your heart and rejoice for YOUR reason for this season.

Enjoy!!

Tuesday Morning Ark Update

December 16th, 2008

Hooray!  How inspiring.:) Overnight, enough Big Players stepped up to add two beehives to The Ark plus,ummm, half of a goat.

More thank you’s will go out this afternoon with hot links!!!!

Wow, this is exciting!

Play Big. Give Big. The Ark Project Starts Today

December 16th, 2008

I’ve thought and thought about the best way to launch The Maverick Mom.  Following the typical marketing strategies, I could do a blog tour or put up some irresistible super stupendous offer or ask my friends to promote me to their lists.  While those are all viable options, none of them feel reflective of me or of what I want The Maverick Mom to be about.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I do hope you will like what you see here, download the 3 Keys and even subscribe to my feed.  Blogging for myself, my best friend and my dog will get old very quickly!

But, I want to launch with something uncommon, something that makes a difference, something hip and savvy.  You know, something that asks me and you to play a bigger game (but does not require deep pockets).  After all, Playing Big does not equal Spending Big! In a hurry? Scroll down to the bottom of the post to see how you can play!

My answer came over the weekend as I sat down to do some of my very favorite Christmas shopping from the Heifer Project International Catalog.  See, many many moons ago I was a fundraiser in some pretty large nonprofits.  And I was pretty good at it.  At one nonprofit I quadrupled gross revenues in less than two years. More on that some other time…

Anyway, because I maintain my heart for supporting nonprofits that do serious, uncommon good in the world, I  do much of my Christmas shopping from the catalogs of my favorite organizations.  And Heifer Project International tops the list.

In case you’ve never heard of them, Heifer International is in the business of creating economic stability in some of the most destitute parts of our world.  In their own words: “Since 1944 Heifer International has worked to bring help and hope to millions of impoverished families worldwide.  In areas where hunger and despair once prevailed, Heifer programs have reinvigorated communities through livestock, training and “passing on the gift”.

They accomplish this mission by using livestock and agriculture to help families start on a journey to fulfill the seemingly impossible – to secure food and a source of dependable income. Plus, each family who receives livestock passes on one or more of the animal’s offspring to other families who are in need in their communities.

So when I shop in their catalog, I am shopping for “The Gift of a Heifer”, or the “Gift of a Pig”, “A Trio of Rabbits”, “A Flock of Chicks” – you get the idea.  The people I give presents to during this time of  year have no need for more “Stuff” and if they do, they go buy it themselves. So these “gifts” acknowledge them in a meaningful way and do good at the same time – perfect!

So, I am flipping through the catalog choosing my “gifts” and I get to page 23: The Gift of an Ark which is comprised of 15 sets of animals and costs $5000. I found myself wishing I could give an Ark. But $5000 isn’t sitting idle in my bank account. Being the solution-oriented girl that I am, though, I started thinking….”well, how COULD that happen?”.  And then it hit me!

I can’t give the Ark by myself, but WE, together, absolutely can do this great big thing that will make a seismic difference in the world. And so, The Ark Project was born.

Let’s get to the heart of the matter…

I need your help in spreading the word so we can raise $5000 for an Ark – a collection of 15 sets of animals that can transform the lives of many, many women and families.

You can help even with a $10 donation.  You see, to raise $5000, all we need is:

500 people to donate $10; or

250 people to donate $20

Oh, and I’ve set a deadline for myself on this of December 31, which is why I need your help!

See, this is about many many people coming together, stepping up to Play Big, contributing their part to create something much much bigger than we can create alone.  And that is what The Maverick Mom is all about.

So, I invite you to catch this vision with me, step up, Play Big and Give Big!

Here’s how to play:

1) US Donors, please visit this special donor page and make a contribution (can be as low as $10)

Or use TipJoy and give as little as 10 cents!

SPECIAL NOTE FOR CANADIAN VISITORS ONLY: Gina Bell let me know that the link above won’t work for Canadians. I’ve contacted Change.org for a workaround, but in the meantime, please use this PayPal button. I will then post your gifts in your name.


2) Spread the word!  Please send your network to this page, so that they can play as well.

And, if you are curious…here is the list of all of the animals (and insects!) in the Ark:

-2 Cows
-2 Sheep
-2 Camels
-2 Oxen
-2 Water Buffalo
-2 Pigs
-2 Beehives
-2 Goats
-2 Donkeys
-2 Trios of Ducks
-2 Trios of Rabbits
-2 Trios of Guinea Pigs
-2 Flocks of Geese
-2 Flocks of Chicks
-2 Llamas

Pretty cool, huh?!

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