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Archive for February, 2009

Announcing: The Rockstar Sisterhood

February 27th, 2009

AvatarWow! The game I am playing keeps getting bigger and bigger! My dear friend and colleague Dr. Mollie Marti asked me about a month ago if I would be interested in partnering (actually I think she said “playing”) with her to design and deliver an amazing group coaching program for women entrepreneurs.

One of the great things about my life is that I get to CHOOSE the things I want to do and this proposition from Mollie, whom I respect and adore, was simply to delicious to pass up. So, we talked it through and quickly and easily ( a hallmark of being “in the flow) put together The Rockstar Sisterhood – a six month mastermind program for women entrepreneurs who are ready to Kick It!

If you are curious about this kind of program and whether it would be a good fit for you, you can check out our pre-launch page and sign up to be “at the front of the line” when we make our formal announcement. Gotta tell ya – it’s gonna ROCK!

The Rockstar Sisterhood

A Conversation with Del Williams

February 26th, 2009

I just love it when my work involves playing with very fun friends – and that is exactly what I got to do yesterday.:)  One of my Twitter Heroes, Del Williams, interviewed me as part of her Portrait of a Business Laser Series. (Click here to see the AWESOME video she put together promoting the event!)

I am in amazing company in this series as Del interviews me, Sugar Jones, Janene Mascarella and Gini Dietrich. You can register for the series and get all the recording here: http://portraitofabusiness.eventbrite.com/

Don’t want to spoil by repeating myself here, so you can catch the recording using the link at the bottom of this post

And FYI – in the last few minutes of I give Del and my new crush TwitterPete so super exciting scoop on an upcoming program I’ve just launched with Dr. Mollie Marti.

Click here to listen – it’s just 15 minutes:)

Support Stop The Silence & Win $800 Prize Package

February 24th, 2009

As most you know by know, I’ve had to very public obsessions this month: #tweepletuesday and 12for12K’s campaign for Stop the Silence.  Today, I am actually going to attempt to merge the two, raise a ton of money and give away some really great stuff while I’m at it. (Remember, one of my mantra’s is: If it isn’t fun, I’m not doing it.)

Here’s the deal – we need to raise over $8000 in less than a week to hit our goal of $12,000. And if you divide that amount by all the twitter users, that comes to less than $ .50 per person. You and I both know that not every person on twitter will give, so I’ve designed this giveaway to encourage people to give $25.00.  Don’t know about you, but I’ve wasted way more than $25 on incredibly frivolous things.  If you need convincing that Stop the Silence is anything but frivolous, read this post by a survivor of childhood sexual abuse here.

To get us to goal, I am pulling out all the stops, calling in a TON of favors and putting together a Kick-booty package that anyone who donates $25 or more is eligible to win.

This package will grow as we approach the end of the month, but even as it stands, it’s pretty incredible. So far, here’s what’s in it:

1) A 45 minute laser strategy session with me – value $175

2) A four page site edit by @Missive - value $200

3) A custom twitter background from Bill Tamminga value: $60

4) A ersonal Wellness Assessment from Cindy Kirchoff value $39.95

5) Quick-Me-Ups Stationery Gift set from @modishplum Value $25

6)  Signed Dan Hampton Hall of Fame photo (on a plaque) donated by Gini Dietrich. Value $60

7) A rare photo of Dick Butkus with the 2008 Linebacker of the Year award winners; Manti Te’o, Punahou High School, Hawaii, Inside Linebacker; Aaron Curry, Wake Forest, Linebacker; DeMarcus Ware, Dallas Cowboys, Linebacker. Only event attendees go this photo! donated by Gini Dietrich

8)

Handmade work of art: 21” waterfall chain w/beaded accents hummingbird/pink nasturtium charm.  Donate by: www.charswildart.com  Value – $35.00

 

9)

Handmade work of art: 17” invisible wire w/clear and pink beads choice of charm (purple hummer or initial). Donated by www.charswildart.com  Value $35.00

 

10) The 12 Factors of Business Success: Discover, Develop and Leverage Your Strengths autographed by author Dr. Mollie Marti Value $24.95. www.rockstarsisterhood.com

11) Selling: Powerful New Strategies for Sales Success autographed by author Dr. Mollie Marti Value $29.95. www.rockstarsisterhood.com

12) $25 Barnes and Noble Gift card donated by Elizabeth Marshall.

13) A one-year subscription to A Flash In The Pan, a chef designed and authored weekly menu planning service featuring quick, delicious, seasonal recipes, personalized, chef-created menus, scalable recipes from 2-12 servings and a shopping list! Donated by Chef Max. Value $180

ATTN: I’ll be putting up some unbleivable stuff today (Wednesday)! Get your donation in so you can WIN!

(like I said – more stuff is coming. If you would like to donate a prize email me sarah at themaverickmom dot com).

Now that you know WHAT you can win, here’s HOW you win:

Here’s how the raffle works:

  • Anyone who donates $25 to Stop The Silence (via 12for12k.org) between 2-24-09 & 2-28-09 will be entered to win.
  • To enter, forward your paypal receipt to sarah@themaverickmom.com with “12for12k.Org Raffle” in the subject line (type these exact words in the subject line, or I might miss your email).
  • The lucky winner will be announced during the first week of March.
  • Go here to donate $25 to Stop The Silence or donate below.

#TweepleTuesday

February 23rd, 2009

#TweepleTuesday began one day a little over a month ago when I realized that there were people I was tweeting with who would enjoy knowing each other. So, being the well-trained southern hostess that I am, I started introducing people. “@Deb, please meet @Joe. You are both great copywriters and you are super funny, so you should know each other.”

Then other people thought that it was a fun idea, so we did it for a few more Tuesdays. Then we took the big step of actually adding a hashtag – and so #tweepletuesday was born.

#tweepletuesday is different than #followfriday in that, instead of tweeiting out lists of people to follow, you actually take the time to introduce one tweep to another tweep, tell them why you think they should connect and then step out of the conversation.

Also, some of my very fun friends like to spin great tunes during the event and @aceconcierge passes around great virtual food and drink. So, we have a ton of fun while we are networking.

So, If you want to play, start introducing people and hastag it with #tweepletuesday. And if you are introduced to someone, engage in converstation with them. As I like to say, following someone on twitter is like being at the same HUGE cocktail party. Being introduced is an invitation to have a conversation and, perhaps, form a relationship.

Hope we will see you there!

Stop The Silence: A Message from a Survivor

February 17th, 2009

Last week I put out a request for bloggers willing to post about 12for12K’s Stop The Silence campaign this month. One of the replies I got was from a survivor who had read my original blog post. I am overwhelmed by the fact that she entrusted her story to me and is allowing me to share it with you. Her courage and authenticity will move you beyond words.

A Message from A Survivor

I am a survivor.  We are all around you, but for the most part you do not know who we are.  The tears have been welling in my eyes since I went to the Stop the Silence site, but not only because of my own suffering.  In watching their video I stepped out of my own story and awoke to the abuse and extreme suffering that continues on in the world.  I’ve been trying to write this for the last few weeks hoping to encourage support for this cause.  In the process I have been reminded that despite how far I have come in moving on, this will never be behind me. The abuse itself damages us to the core, but it is the silence that can ruin lives.  No child should have to endure this.  It must be stopped.

Contrary to the belief of many, sexual abuse is not simply a pathology of a few broken individuals.  It is a systemic issue in many cultures and in families.  In fact, what most people don’t realize is that many abusers were abused themselves.  Unfortunately, shame begets shame. And in the cultures and families in which there are more taboos around sex, the more prevalent the shame and horrific the victimization seems to be. 

This did not start with any one of us as individuals.  Yet those of us who have been the unfortunate victims as well as those who have become the new generation of abusers can choose to have it end with us.  We cannot do that without help to create awareness and understanding, and providing support for all involved and affected.

Donating to Stop the Silence is one very important way you can make a difference.  I wholeheartedly encourage you to do so.  I also hope that if you choose to read on, you will gain insight into how you might help in other ways.  This is my story, what I have learned and what I have come to believe over the last 35 years about what it will take to end the abuse.

The Personal Cost of SilenceWhen asked to describe his life’s work in one sentence Sigmund Freud said “secrets make you sick.”  They also make our society and our families sick.  This sentence defines my personal struggle.  And it does not just apply to the secret of sexual abuse.  The intensity of shame that kept me silent has taken a tremendous toll on my life in the form of depression and autoimmune disease.  In some ways I feel like I have only gotten to live half a life because I have spent so much time being ill and recovering.  Yet I feel lucky.  I witnessed a dear friend have a psychotic break, returning to the age of 5 when she and her sisters experienced a violent attack by their brother.  Another friend had to be institutionalized for a time after the birth of her sons because the birth triggered such painful memories that she had suppressed.  I know people whose very survival and ability to move on required that they sever all ties from their family. 

 

So why post anonymously?For the abused stopping the silence is not about telling the world.  It is about breaking your own silence and the silence of the people around you so the abuse can be stopped and the healing can begin. 

 

I stopped the silence in my family.  What would sharing my name publicly really accomplish now?  It would simply perpetuate a conversation around me and my family that I am committed to ending for me and future generations once and for all.  I also don’t care if people think I am courageous.  Stopping my abuser at age 13 all on my own was courageous.  Confronting my family was courageous.  Telling the world my name would not be courageous, it would be reckless given the risks to me and my family.  We have all suffered enough.  I will do everything in my power to make sure this ends with me and the only people who need to know are the people who can help me do that.

Breaking the Silence Goes Beyond the Abused Speaking UpAnyone who has had the courage to speak up has likely encountered some combination of denial, anger, compassion, and pity.  Some people do not believe you.  Some direct their anger by blaming you.  Others simply pity you.  We pray for and are eternally grateful to anyone who greet our story with compassion, respect and understanding.  Our fears of not being believed and of being shunned are justified.  Breaking our silence is fraught with risk.  The silence destroys the abused, but it keeps the abuser safe and the system intact.  There is not much incentive to listen.

 

While many recognize the courage it takes to speak up, the closer it is to home the harder it is for people to hear.  It is easier to hear it from a stranger than from someone we know and love because in the moment this is shared both people are somehow changed forever.  We are forced to make a choice we never wanted to make about so many things and even the people in our lives.  Knowing can place us face to face with our own fears and judgments or even cause us to face our own abuse in whatever form that may have taken. 

 Some people are just not ready.

We must do more than just open ourselves to hearing the cry for help as a society if we are to end this. 

We have to become awake to the signs.  We must work to change the beliefs that have made sex shameful rather than a beautiful and essential expression of our humanity.  Both the abused and the abusers are all around us.  But do we know enough and are we willing to be aware enough to recognize it?  My parents did not know.  The doctor who diagnosed my ulcer at age 15 did not even suggest seeing a therapist.  I did well in school, had nice friends and was a generally good kid.  They simply thought I just overanalyzed things and needed to learn to lighten up.  The system is clearly broken.

And There is Hope.In so many ways I have moved on in my life.  I have said my peace, forgiven and continue to heal with my family.  It seems I am never really done, but perhaps that is true of any deep wound.  I can honestly say I have a great life with a loving husband, beautiful children, amazing friends and work that I love.  This has been my circumstance, but it no longer defines my life.  I continue to struggle with my health to some extent, yet I have come a very long way.  I am free of chronic migraine headaches, and no longer suffer many of the debilitating symptoms of fibromyalgia, depression and interstitial cystitis.  I am living proof that you can heal with the right kind of support physically, emotionally and spiritually.  I am certainly not done yet, but I have tremendous hope for my future.   Shame no longer defines my inner world and illness no longer defines me to the outside world. 

 

You can make a difference in Stopping the Silence by making your donation today.  I welcome your comments and your questions.  The conversation cannot end here if we are to stop the silence once and for all.

I want to thank John Haydon, Danny Brown, and Sarah Robinson for taking a stand for this cause, for being willing and able to listen and for giving a voice to this survivor.

The Fine Art of An Apology

February 11th, 2009

No one ever taught me how to apologize. I know that sounds silly, but it is a skill that does not come easily to me. For a long time I thought mumbling “sorry” under my breath was as good an apology as anyone could expect from me. And, I only did that under extreme duress.

Now I find myself struggling to teach my son how to master this difficult skill. As I ungracefully slog through the mechanics of how an apology works, I realize that these days when accepting responsibility for the harm we do others is not exactly in vogue (witness Enron among others), making a heart-felt apology
can feel a lot like leaving yourself open to a shark attack.

What I now know, though, is that mastering this skill is one of the single greatest things I can do to foster the growth of my own integrity. It also lays the foundation for healing and for magic in any relationship. Apologizing is good for me and I can get better at it with practice. And so can my son.

So, how do we make a sincere apology? This outline I’ve put together is a good place to start:

1. Use good timing. Apologizing as quickly as you can is a good rule of
thumb – unless you have really screwed up and your apology needs to
be thoughtfully approached.

2. If at all possible, make your apology in person. Doing it over the
telephone is for wimps. If an in-person apology is absolutely
impossible, hand write it (no e-mails, not typed-up letters) and put
it in the mail.

3. Look the person in the eye.

4. Use a warm, sincere voice.

5. Throughout your apology, be sure you emphasize how important the
other person is to you. “I really value you as a co-worker.” Or “Your
friendship really matters to me.”

6. Own what you did and be specific.
“I’m sorry I yelled at you. Yelling is never okay.”

7. Acknowledge its likely impact – causing pain or doing damage.
“My yelling has jeapordized our realtionship and I am sure it hurt
you.”

8. State what you intend to do next time to keep from repeating your
mistake. “Next time I feel angry enough to yell, I will take a walk around the
block instead.”

9. Ask for forgiveness. Depending on the severity of your mistake, the
other person may not be ready to answer and that is okay.”Will you forgive
me?”.

Here’s the tricky part of this last step (especially for my son). We must be
prepared to live with a “yes” or “no” answer. Though we hope to be forgiven,
we are the ones who screwed up and we can’t force the other person to respond
a certain way. If we go into an apology expecting a certain outcome, we are not
apologizing – we are manipulating.

10. Listen to and validate whatever feelings the other person wants to share
with you about the impact of your actions. I cannot over emphasize the importance
of this final step. This is the step that will let the other person know your apology is
heart-felt.

Now, here is a list of what NOT to do:
1. Do not make excuses.
2. Do not explain or rationalize why you did what you did – then the
apology becomes about you, not about the other person and your
relationship.
3. Do not say vague things like “I’m sorry for whatever I did to make
you mad.”
4. Do not apologize for how someone else feels – “I’m sorry you are
hurt by what I did.” or “I’m sorry you feel that way.”

For me, the best part about apologizing is that, even though I am scared to death while I am doing it, I feel so much lighter after I’ve done it. I may still wish I hadn’t screwed up in the first place, but cleaning up a mess I made is the next best thing. It’s all about taking responsibility for myself and my actions.

Now to explain the benefits of all that to a six year old……

Product Review: My Precious Kids Car Seat Tag

February 10th, 2009

I am always on the lookout for “uncommon” products that make me feel like a better mom. I rarely find them, but that doesn’t stop me from looking for them.:)

Lucky me stumbled upon My Precious Kids and their car seat ID tag.  As I read the instructions I could feel some of the “mommy guilt” start to fade away. This small simple tag lets you be a great parent, even when you aren’t around.

Here’s what it does:

There is a small card that you fill out with your child’s info, photo, fingerprint and doctor’s info. There is also a Medical release you can sign that allows necessary medical treatment should you not be available to give permission.

Doesn’t sound like much until you imagine a couple of scenarios: 1) You are in an accident with your child in the car. You are unconscious and your child need immediate medical attention. Or 2) Your child (and their car seat) is on a field trip or with another family and they are in an accident. Time is of the essence in providing care to your child.

This card gives medical rescue professionals EXACTLY the information they need to treat your child immediately no matter what.

There are a ton of other super-smart safety products on their website, so check them out: http://www.mypreciouskid.com/

Stop The Silence – For Our Children's Sake

February 4th, 2009

Part of my mission for The Maverick Mom is to call out and highlight nonprofit causes that are doing Uncommon Good in the world.

The one I’ve chosen to talk about today cuts me to the core: www.12for12k.org is raising money to support the work of Stop the Silence – a nonprofit that is completely focused on the heartbreaking work of dealing with the sexual abuse of children.

 Did you know that in the U.S. alone,  at least one out of four girls and one out of seven boys are sexually abused by 18 years old.  Nearly 50 percent of all sexual assaults are against girls aged 15 or younger. As a mother, these are statistics I can hardly bear to consider.

The life victims live if they are not properly treated is full of shame, poor school performance, depression, psychosis, promiscuity, teen pregnancy, prostitution, drug abuse, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV, homelessness, suicide and homicide, and chronic disease.

Stop the Silencehas a three part mission to stem this epidemic. They are committed to exposing and stoping child sexual abuse and help survivors heal worldwide. The charity’s overarching goals are to:

1) help stop child sexual abuse (CSA) and related forms of violence;

2) promote healing of victims and survivors;

3) celebrate the lives of those healed.

Through their work, Stop the Silence aims to address the relationships between child sexual abuse and the broader issues of overall family and community violence, and violence within and between communities.

www.12for12k.org has made is their mission to raise money for this uncommonly worthy cause during the month of February. I will support them and I am asking every mompreneur who reads this blog to do the same. Even $10 will make a difference. I will forgo my trips to Starbucks this month to make my contribution. I hope you will find a way to offer your support, too.

I retweeted a great quote today: “Anything you ignore, you condone.”- Coach Gary Henson ~

For our children’s sake, we cannot afford to ignore Stop the Silence. Join me, won’t you?

A Roundup of Mompreneurs in the Media

February 4th, 2009

Looks like Mompreneurs are coming into their own. We are our own demographic – how cool is that?!

Health and Fitness: Running The Race Of Life, This Mompreneur Is …
RunnersWeb – Ottawa,Ontario,Canada
From her business to her children, to her witty sense of humor.this Mompreneur is BornFit! BornFit, an innovative apparel collection that creates athletic …

“Mompreneurs” earning extra money through their hobbies
WIS – Columbia,SC,USA
Even some stay-at-home moms are thinking outside of the box to earn some extra money by taking on the title of “Mompreneur.” Lexington mom Tonya Douglass …

THE ROOTS OF A MOMPRENEUR’S SUCCESS
The Patriot Ledger – Quincy,MA,USA
Cronin, 27, is a new breed of female entrepreneur – or mompreneur – that has left the rat race to set up shop at home. By definition, a mompreneur runs her …

A Day in the Life . . . Part I
MSNBC – USA
This is the first in a three-part “Day in the Life of a Mompreneur” series. … If you’ve ever wondered whether you could hack it as a mompreneur, …

Rufa Mae is happily single
Inquirer.net – Philippines
Celeb “mompreneur” Tintin Bersola and her Mommy Ching are inviting all “entrePinoys” for the Grand Fiesta Summer Event. Bookings and sponsorship inquiries …

Local magazine portrays ambitious ‘mompreneurs’
Calgary Herald – Calgary,AB,Canada
Kathryn Bechthold first published a 16-page Mompreneur Magazine in June 2006 that was distributed in a few grocery stores in Calgary. …

Mo Lynch Vashel of Diablo Doggies
The mompreneurial spirit
Marketplace – Los Angeles,CA,USA
Mitchell Hartman: If there’s a typical mompreneur out there, Mo Lynch Vashel probably fits … But she does have a bone to pick with the “mompreneur” label. …

Giveaway: Bellalulubaby
TheInsider.com – San Francisco,CA,USA
Bellalulubaby was created by mompreneur Paula Seguin who felt compelled to develop this luxurious line of products that were inspired by her own little …

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