If you’re like me, back from summer vacation, the grim reality is approaching like estimated taxes: It’s time to be a productive member of society again. Debbie Downer Soundbyte
But just HOW productive? That is the question I’m grappling with today…and, kind of like everyday. I remember getting a survey for Harvard Business School Alumnae years ago. It asked if I worked part time, or full time. This study became the basis for the media flurry of “opting out” articles and TV segments. I thought, “You’re missing the point. I work part-time, and make more than I used to make working full-time.” Yet, the decision to be home more seems to relegate me into this land of the “professional coma.” I find my own flexibility confusing sometimes. One day is go go go professionally. The next day is subsumed by kid stuff, and the little voice says:
“Oh, remember all those hopes and dreams and cool goals? Yeah, just stick those in the ’70s style trash compactor and be happy about it, little lady.” (Dot-dot-smiley-face).
- In this Women’s Business Fact Sheet, we learn an interesting fact: More women prefer to work part-time versus men. This one sentence, alone, could fuel some excellent cocktail chatter.
- Newsweek reports that one in five Americans works non-standard hours.
More people have to deal with part and flex-time:
What is this, where I am, who are you? If this is your first time here, this is the insider’s blog for The Hot Mommas Project. We are a women’s leadership project housed at the George Washington University School of Business (where I teach) and have an audacious goal of becoming a million dollar venture…while being led by a mom working part time. Since I started this blog, we have become the world’s largest women’s case study library. We showcase the stories of the women in your life in a TEACHABLE format, and they are published in major textbooks and used by educators. Click here to nominate someone. Click here for about page. Click here to check out our classes which are producing stunning increases in self-confidence for women and girls.
So, how do these factoids apply to our real lives? Here’s a quasi-interesting tale. On vacation at the beach, my husband and I took a walk and talked about plans for the fall. Okay, that’s a lie. We sat at our computers and opened Outlook and were scheduling like total nerds and sending each other appointments. He (Josh) has a lot of commitments because he is chapter president of EO (Entrepreneur’s Organization – formerly YEO). I shared an observation with him: That, recently, he has been on the “EO Crack” big time. He has a killer board, is all revved up, and can’t seem to “put it down” if you know what I mean.
I empathize. This was me at a certain point in time. Now, I work part-time which I started doing when I had my second kid. I am deciding if I feel evolved, or lame. Am I on a weird kind of “professional-drive-prozac”…in some metaphorical institution for part-time workers, wandering around with bed-head and a weird gender-neutral gown that ties in back? A tech-guy at x4243 and a fancy lunch would be the professional equivalent of a mani-pedi right now.
Do I want the professional-crack back? To be continued…. Former professional “career crack addicts” – where is this going?
Here is someone running for Senate with a platform of a policy-oriented Part Time Workers Bill of Rights
Read REAL Bill of Rights here.
From BPW Foundation: Women: Like Men, Only Cheaper
#29 Free Online Business Tools for Which I am Thankful – Building a Million Dollar Business Part Time
If you’re like me, then the holidays are the only time you have to dig out the neurons covered in dust that have been on sabbatical while you:
- Herd cats
- Deal with other mammals in your life
- Follow your own grandiose visions
So, I am using this post to share some of my favorite “get your act together” tools I use for “dealing” on a daily basis. Keep in mind, I am a busy, quasi-stressed out mom, entrepreneur, and colossal nerd.
THINGS I USE TO DEAL ON A DAILY BASIS
- www.Mint.com – A free finance tool
- www.Doodle.com – Easy group scheduling tool (see “cat herding” above)
- www.GoogleDocs.com – I use an excel sheet in Google Docs to manage my team, some of whom are virtual. Love it.
- www.PollDaddy.com – Polls are a great. I really like them. The fact that they are free makes them even better. You can use Google Forms as well.
- www.EventBrite.com – This was introduced to me by the guys at iStrategyLabs. Use it for your real life events or virtual seminars. You will see why.
- 1888PressRelease.com – Good stuff. I always like things that give you reach you don’t deserve because you have no money. But, we can’t let that stop us!
- www.TwitterAnalyzer.com – Gives me good stats I can share with the guys in my department and let them know I’m not TOTALLY wasting time.
- www.SlimTimer.com – It’s like you’re back in high school with your mom telling you to get your homework done. Love it.
- Six O’Clock Scramble – Healthy meals in 30 minutes. I’m sure I would use this if I cooked. Okay, also, this is not business. But, you gotta cook, right? And if you spend 30 less minutes on cooking, then that’s 30 more minutes for your business.
- www.FitDay.com – While we’re on the health topic, my favorite free health tool. Most entrepreneurs I know in EO (Entrepreneurs Oranization where you’re under 40 and have sales of $1 million or more) have some major hobby, including working out, etc.
What tools are you thankful for (more like the above, and less like – uh – a jack hammer). Or, as my aunt and dad and other erudite folks might correct me, “For what tools are you thankful?”
THINGS THAT ARE HIGHLY ANNOYING.
I have just read this blog, and am feeling quite snarky now. I am less thankful for the following:
- Trump Network on Twitter– How did Trump let this happen to his name?
- The “make cash at home” people
- The “make money on Google” people
- The “you can earn money on Twitter” people
- When I am looking for a document on my computer and click through like six windows, and then do that every time I need to find a document, several times a day, for years.
IF YOU DON’T LAUGH, YOU’LL CRY
It is important to laugh, because if you don’t laugh you’ll cry. Here are some of my favorite sites right now. These are only for people with sick senses of humor. If you are “normal,” don’t bother.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone, and don’t forget to nominate the dynamic women in your life (over 18) as a role model for the Hot Mommas Project 2010 case competition. We make everyday women’s stories teachable to help the next generation. Email us with your nomination including name, contact, and reason for nomination.
My Interview on Washington Business Tonight on “Hibernating for Business” (Windows Media Player Needed)
My husband and I are both entrepreneurs. Everyone we know has had to lay people off, us included. It’s a tough time. The other night we were on the porch talking for the umteenth time about how he is worried about cash flow in his business. My old boss and mentor Zane used to pace the halls when cash flow was at a worrisome level. However, THEN I did not take that problem home. NOW, I do. We do. It’s hard. It’s money, it’s home, it’s family, it’s “Am I successful?”, it’s all of that. Everything is tied together when you’re an entrepreneur.* Read more…
This is the second of two posts reflecting on what has worked, and what hasn’t, since conceiving and implementing the Hot Mommas Project case study competition. See first Confessions and Reflections post.
Pictured here, I am “relaxing” with my computer open. Quite unsightly on a number of levels. First confession: I may be a part time working mom physically, but I am full time-plus mentally. I am constantly thinking about the project. I’m freaking exhausted. I seriously think I have carpal tunnel in my shoulder. Read more…
Here is a little review of what held true and what didn’t for the Hot Mommas Project journey since March (when this insider’s blog was started). Things that turned out not to be true – that was not by design. I think I was just hopeful. You know, like, “Here’s how we’re going to do this. YEAH!” Then, reality unfolds. Read more…
For whatever reason I cannot post a comment to my own blog, which I find highly annoying – so, I am making a Q&A post. Here are two questions people have asked me in emails/tweets/and posts.
1. Is your mom okay? (From many).
I was really touched by this question. Thanks, so much. Yes. She is a new woman. (As some of you may have seen, my mom had a near-death experience due to truly weird complications after knee surgery.)
2. Any ideas on VC resources? (From Brent in Hawaii)
First of all, your site www.greencollartech.com is cool. Okay, re VC resources…
Brent, Without knowing more detail on what kinds of VC resources you’re looking for (e.g., finding avenues for deal flow, etc.) I make the following assumption: You’re LOOKING for financing.
Below are some general links for learning about and connecting with VCs. Pardon the “square 1″ discussion if you already know all this. Of course, the #1 thing is usually a connection into the firm, so asking around is key. The #2 thing is understanding what stage they invest in, as well as their “personality” to make sure you all will play well together. If you are the CEO, prepare to get ousted and lose control if you bring in a VC. That is the worst case scenario aside from failure. (Is that very doomsday? Sorry if so. But, gotta put on your big boy/big girl Underoos to play with VCs.) I would go to a VC for two things:
A. Money (a lot) to get big fast, and
B. Expertise and connections.
If you have B, you could go to an angel. Most entrepreneurs start with FFF first (friends, family, fool hearty). RE: debt – this is a tough market for debt, as many know.
Here are some places I would start for VC info:
1. Guy Kawasaki (since you got to us via his Twitter stream) http://blog.guykawasaki.com/2006/09/venture_capital.html (good link from his blog, there are many others).
2. The people at Angel Soft: http://www.angelsoft.net/ “The ecosystem for early stage investing”
3. The people at NCVA (National Venture Capital Association) http://www.nvca.org/
4. The people at EMPEA (if you’re into emerging markets) http://www.empea.net/
5. The MIT Enterprise forum – http://enterpriseforum.mit.edu/. Don’t see one in Hawaii, but, if you know a motivated MIT alum, maybe you could start one there. Otherwise, just try to get in on the CA ones (if they’re any good). Here in DC, they seem to be one of the most visible entities for bringing investors and entrepreneurs together.
6. TAG (The Accelration Group) – http://www.acceleration-group.com/.
Connecting angels and entrepreneurs when I last spoke with them, always looking for deal flow.
EXTRA BONUS RESOURCE for WOMEN: Springboard Enterprises
7. UNIVERSITIES – always a good locus for VC activity. E.g., Any local business plan contests at universities near you in which VCs are involved. For instance, when I search for “Hawaii University Venture Capital” many relevant links come up, particularly the following:
You will also be in an interesting situation due to your location because my guess is:
A. Lots of pretty well-off VCs and Angels have homes/retire in Hawaii
B. They didn’t get rich by sitting on their tush, and are probably looking for an occasional venture or cause with which to involve themselves part time, even if they are “retired.”
Hope this helps!
P.s. Here is my basis for answering your question (about VCs, not my mom):
1. Hanging out with entrepreneurs
2. Hanging out with VCs
3. Raising $8 from New York Life with a sr. mgt team (of which I was a part) for an aging/health venture (after speaking w/ many VCs)
5. Being taught (e.g. going to these forums – and even back to my MBA – and getting the scoop from VCs…which, theoretically, is #2).
P.s.s. And, BTW, just when you think $2 or $5 or $8 million is a lot, talk to someone who invests tens or hundreds of millions in ventures. In a strange way, it can make things less intimidating. We know someone who invests only $50 to $500 million! Ha! Asking for $5k or $20k sponsorships seemed less intimidating after learning that.
P.s.s.s. Feel free, everyone, to comment on your favorite resources or push back on my assessment. This is just a quick and dirty.