It’s that time again. Time to stop messing around and throw down the gauntlet for myself, much as I did in the first post in March, 2008. At that time, I could not see what lay ahead. All I saw was fear, no money, and a bunch of to-do lists and ideas that never seemed to get done. Piece by piece – and while being incredibly cheap aka “resourceful” – I recruited help, enlisted partners, built the Hot Mommas Project story-telling software, and then…the clincher: THE WOMEN. Women came from everywhere…from Twitter…from HARO queries…from mail blasts…from blog posts….from media appearances…from the George Washington University School of Business newsletter! They showed up, ready to fight. They said:
“We are here to fight to make the next generation better, and more prepared, and self-confident. I am here to share what I have learned, good and bad, so that we may have options in life, instead of being told what our options are.”
They told their stories, and the ripple effect never stopped. Stay-at-home moms inspired corporate execs. Victims of abuse inspired start-up entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs who lost, and then found, their way inspired students. Cancer survivors inspired everyone. I didn’t grow up with sisters, but, I got over 100 sisters last year. These incredible women who told their stories to help the next generation, and each other, are my Everyday Revolutionaries.
But, I STILL remember that feeling…sitting there in my office, writing my first blog post, and not seeing ANY of that. It’s sort of how I feel now. I should be writing a book, I should be getting more nominations for the Hot Mommas Project 2010 case competition, I should, I should, I should. So, once again, I humbly turn to my invisible…yet not so invisble…audience. Here is my idea for my book. I have lots of people ready to run with this and help me when I finish my outline, which I never seem to be able to do. (Who is helping me? Aside from friends’ connections to book agents, I have to give MASSIVE shout outs to pitch and media experts Sam Horn, and Marc Silverstein).
How to be a Hot Momma
The New Sisterhood of Success
Enduring message: Here is HOW to do it based on how Hot Mommas do it (life, career, etc.). Hear it straight from the mouths of your sisters, friends, mothers, and aunts…because we care. Oh, yeah, and we also want you to rule the world.
Why you should listen: This will be the Belly Laughs mixed with Four Hour Work Week of business/life books. Not only will this be immensely fun to read, and possibly contain some profanity depending on the author’s coffee levels and general level of crankiness, but – also – there are actual FACTS and HOW TOs based on:
The largest library of teachable role models in the world (they taught, we listened, and now we bring those lessons to you).
Cutting-edge, inside-look research detailing the practices of hundreds of driven AND happy women.
Highlights from the award-winning Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership class at the George Washington University School of Business.
Author: It is I, your humble So-You-Think-You-Can-Dance-watching, kid-chasing, husband-raising, coffee-drinking author who also happens to have a Harvard MBA, teach college students, and have an illustrious career (entrepreneur and former corporate wheeler and dealer and nonprofit executive in the aging sector). In the “for what it’s worth” category I am a DC Twitter Elite, write for Maria Shriver Women’s Conference site, and have been dubbed “one of the nation’s top business bloggers” by HSM’s World Business Forum. Bio link.
If you choose to believe the above, please read on … we’re almost to the good part.
The following has been said about “How to Be a Hot Momma” author, Kathy Korman Frey:
“You have something in your teeth.”
Oh, wait, wrong quote …this is it:
“Kathy is like a modern day guardian angel, without a God complex. She navigates us through stories and helps women apply them to their own lives.”
Mysterious and Powerful Entertainment Industry Corporate Communications Executive
Now that I’ve paid the nice lady five, crisp, $100 dollar bills…here’s the outline:
Intro: Who is a Hot Momma? Hot Mommas think being perfect is boring. Hot Mommas are entrepreneurs of life: Making their own rules, and finding their own way, and having the self-confidence to do that. And the number one trait of a Hot Momma that distinguishes her from all others? A Hot Momma helps her sisters. She learns, and doesn’t stop there; she pays it forward so that others may learn.
Major steps in becoming a Hot Momma (in the book, I plan to use Sam Horn’s IDEA framework: I = Idea, D = Detail, E = Example, A = Application).
1. Self confidence – First, a Hot Momma must believe she can do it. Tips for building life-long self-confidence are discussed in this section.
- “Grey boxes” (fun stats) will include research showing the self-confidence differential between women and girls, and our male counterparts.
- Resources: Examples of Hot Mommas who have been through the self-confidence building process, how they did it, and links to templates and tools.
2. Idea generation – A Hot Momma’s GPS is constantly on the lookout for the intersection of “Passion Ln.” and “Idea Ave.” When those two meet, BINGO. But, the Hot Momma also knows that the journey is part of the trip.
- Grey boxes: Stats on idea creation, and neurological information on women.
- Resources: Examples of Hot Mommas who have been through the idea generation process and how they did it. Mind Mapping, Opportunity Recognition, and Passion Inventory exercises used in GWSB’s award-winning Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership class are included.
3. Okay, that was too many ideas – Focus, implementation - Sometimes, the brain of a Hot Momma is in overdrive. There can be ideas, then too many ideas. There can be to-dos, but then too many to dos. This chapter focuses on how to reign in the brain of the Hot Momma, and use its power for good…using…”The F Word” (FOCUS).
- Grey Boxes: Stats from Hot Mommas Project mentor survey on traits for success, including focus.
- Resources: Examples of “master focuser ”(is that a word?) Hot Mommas, their tips and tricks, and a daily action-plan template.
4. Stocking the toolkit – Key tips for women only, communication, negotiation, and more. Did you know that women engage in certain behaviors (by accident) in communicating and negotiating with people, bosses, roommates, etc? This chapter deals with the most important things Hot Mommas try to improve on to get out there and take on the world.
- Grey Boxes: Statistics on communication, negotiation, resulting salary differentials, and other key facts.
- Resources: We draw from outside the Hot Mommas Project data pool for this section as most women don’t even KNOW they are engaging in these behaviors which impact their success.
5. Be a game changer – Hot Mommas are entrepreneurs because they have to be, they are miserable where they are, or they hear the distant call of “Passion Ln.” and “Idea Ave.” However they became entrepreneurial, Hot Mommas just ARE. At home, at work, in their communities. They take the pieces of the puzzle and don’t just put them together WELL, they put them together DIFFERENTLY.
- Grey Boxes: The Hot Mommas Project literally created the data set on women as game changers. We reveal our previously unpublished data, and compare it to existing “traditional” data which shove women into traditional categories (part-time, full-time, etc.).
- Resources: Case studies on game changers from the Hot Mommas Project survey and case library will be highlighted. Tools and templates on “how to be a game changer” will be included.
6. Balance – This is high on the radar screen of women and families everywhere. We take on the concept of balance with three critical topics: Perspective, Organization, and Delegation. Many women treat balance as if it is an end in and of itself. The evolved Hot Momma treats balance as a MEANS to an end. Something to achieve, and move on, so that they can get onto number 7, back to number 3, or go rogue with some other activity like bathing. The topic of managing expectations (self, and others) is also addressed.
- Grey Boxes: Former Harvard Business School Professor and Assistant Secretary of Commerce Dennis Hightower states: “A good manager can make decisions with between 40 and 70 percent information.” We apply this statistic to balance, encouraging women make sure that achieving balance is a hurdle, not a brick wall. We validate womens’ concerns about balance by revealing data on dual income couples, and common responses and attitudes about balance from our Hot Mommas Project survey and previously unpublished “Balance Snapshot” database.
- Resources: Tips from Hot Mommas Project “Master Balancers” – the top 10 percent of our survey-takers who are highly driven, and highly balanced both personally and professionally. If they can do it, we can do it.
7. Mentoring and support systems. Hot Mommas not only HAVE mentors, they ARE mentors. Hot Mommas have an internal call to action that leads them to pass on their learnings to others both formally (through the Hot Mommas Project and other outlets) and informally. They mentor, because they have been mentored. Hot Mommas have a large support network, and are more successful because of it.
- Grey Boxes: Hot Mommas Project research on the hierarchy and scale of support networks will be shared.
- Resources: A Five Minute Mentor template will be shared that can be used with mentees, mentors, and at work or at home. Did you know your whole family could serve as a mentor? Learn how in this chapter.
Thank you for reading. The last step is to fill out this poll (I’ll use it in my book proposal!). Thank you, again.
Want to get involved with the project? Go to www.HotMommasProject.org and NOMINATE a dynamic woman you know to share her story, and help the next generation. Winners of our annual case study competition will be published in a major Prentice Hall Textbook. Here is our 2010 press release.
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…
The Hot Mommas Project has no business model. Is that wrong? Okay, maybe that is not totally true. We have 5 out of 6 parts of a business model. The clincher: We’re missing the economics. So, to rationalize this – I have decided there are two primary ways to look at business models. This can be summarized as:
A. What I teach my students at GW.
B. The “Because it would be cool” theory.
A. Okay, let’s first start with what I teach my students about business models. One of the best business model tools out there is a 6 part process constructed by a team at Syracuse led by Michael Morris.
The 6 parts of the business model – in layperson’s terms – according the the Michael Morris paper are:
1. How we create value – what you do/make and put out there in society
2. For whom – okay, this one is self explanatory
3. Internal comp advantage – operational efficiencies or processes that make you better
4. External com advantage – how folks outside the company know you’re better
5. Economics – how you make money
6. Exit strategy – what is your exit from this business, is there one?
This is an incredibly back-of-the envelope description of the paper by Mike Morris and his team, but, you get the general idea. There is a grid at the back of the paper I have students fill out using various business examples. First, we start with a seemingly non-businessy example. Mine is Lord of the Rings. I hand out a summary about the filming, the tax advantages they gained filming in New Zealand, how they filmed it all at once, how they locked in the stars for all three in doing that, the rights to the book, the cult following, and some other stuff. Then, using information we just know – because we walk upright and have cable – the students talk about how the movie makes money. That’s fun. That’s when they realize they know more than they thought about business. Last, is the exit strategy part. This is a zinger. LOTR really shows students how movie makers put in a TON OF MONEY for something that they HOPED would make a ton of money back in a relatively short period of time. There is, however, no way to be sure. What does this sound like? Uh? Venture Capital? So, the movie industry has been doing this for a loooooong time before VCs became the Britney of finance. Mark Ordesky was one of the LOTR producers and we have talked about collaborating on this curriculum, which would be cool. Which gets me to my next point.
P.s. Don’t confuse business model with business plan. Here is a good piece on business plans.
B. The “because it would be cool” business model.
I started the Hot Mommas Project because it was needed (See first post, and blog brief or about page). I also thought it would be cool. People had, and continue to have, all sorts of ideas for how the Hot Mommas Project can make money. However, I am pretty much just forging ahead with what fills a need in women’s education. Exposure to role models correlates with women’s professional success. So, we provide role models on paper so the stories of those leaders can be read anywhere, anytime, free. (Side note: We used to sell the cases, but, that was a pain.) Family and work life balance is a HUGE issue globally impacting the supply and demand side of employment. So, Hot Mommas Project cases address the personal lives and backgrounds of case protagonists are discussed along with business lessons such as the 4 Ps of marketing and what have you. All of this is geared to be taught in a classroom, so educators are preparing the next generation of workers with the toolkits that research – and reality – shows they need. I am not sure how we are going to make money to be honest. I’ve thought of a coaching network with exclusive access to our data. I’ve thought of workshops and conferences. I just don’t know. All I know is I’m doing the right thing by starting this initiative and I’ll let the case readers tell me what they need.
I am intrigued by the term “CLOG” – which I made up the other day – since what we are producing is a hybrid between a case study and a blog. So, maybe we’ll be the inventor of CLOGS, but, a clog we can all be proud of and not just associated with bell bottoms and unattractive hair styles. Here is a sample CLOG (the kind we are building).
Others who I perceive have a “because it would be cool” business model:
Both of these guys are successful and intelligent. My guess is they don’t get involved in much of anything that won’t ultimately make scads of money. However, at the outset they appeared very personally connected to their ventures and doing it because they though it would be cool….not just for money. Is this true guys? I would love to know and will forward you this post. Clearly there are big markets for both areas in which Guy and Peter are involved. Ted Leonsis, friend of the Hot Mommas Project, won’t get involved in a market under 10 million clients.
The Hot Mommas Project is involved in the education market, specifically written products which is a $15 billion dollar market globally. Can you help us brainstorm a financial model for the Hot Mommas Project?