Building a Million Dollar Business_The Art of the Start

Here…today….it begins: The journey to build a million-dollar enterprise.  My business partner and meThis is a beta blog chronicling the growth of ‘The Hot Mommas Project’ – a women’s leadership endeavor focused on helping women to balance it all.  Click here for main blog.

Pictured left – My non-mammalian, yet very helpful, business partner and I give each other a peptalk in my office at The George Washington University School of Business, Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence: “We can do this.”

Inspirations to start this journal:

1. Listing of Hot Mommas Project general blog on Guy Kawasakis Here is another description of Alltop from a fellow blogger who is funny (which, is one of my top three traits desired in anyone regularly within a 5 foot radius of me). Guy Kawasaki is the author of many books, including The Art of the Start (inspiration for this title). describes: “Guy Kawasaki writes that his goal is to help you use your knowledge, love and determination to create something great without getting bogged down in theory and unnecessary details.” I feel Ive been getting bogged down in the details. Time to break through.  (Note to girls:  neurologically, we are natural multitaskers and may be subject to getting bogged down in the details- see brain book.)

2. Seth Godin’s #26 “Start at the beginning and take your readers through a months-long education.” (From his summary of how to pimp out a blog).

3. I want to try word press. (See non word press blog)

4. I need some accountability. Im pretty sure part of the reason Im not making as much headway on this is that: a. I have unrealistic expectations and, b. No one is kicking my a**.  I’ve been seriously riding the break.  So, maybe someone out there can help.

5. People saying “yes.” Everyone seems to say “yes” to the Hot Mommas Project.  Its a good idea. Weve won awards and stuff. Its time to get this show on the road. I want to learn from these people who are saying, “yes.” Already, so many incredibly smart people have generously shared their time and brains in figuring out the next step for this project. See future post:”People who have helped The Hot Mommas Project.”

6. Sadness– Out of pain and sadness can emerge growth. So, I feel sad that, of all the tons of business people I know, only two women come to mind who have built million dollar+ businesses. Then, I think about it and realize its really more like 6. I know this small number of millionaire female entrepreneurs is a statistical reality as mentioned in various research including awesome entrepreneur Susan Wilson Solovic’s book The Girls Guide To Building a Million Dollar Business. However, I thought my own network would defy these statistics (teaching womens leadership and business and all that). But, I know way, way more millionaire guys than gals.

7. Lucky 7 – The little voice. Everyone has a little voice. Mine is a feisty little thing.


Little voice #1

Me: [In 1998 looking around at my b-school class] Geez. Were all spending a freaking fortune on our education. What is going to happen when we have kids? I hear that things are really different.

Little voice: Uh. Yeah. Duh.


Little voice #2:

J-Ro:  [John Rollins, my colleague at GW] I went to a workshop on how to teach a case study.  The female protagonist business owner was pregnant.

Me: Wow. So, that must have been a spicy discussion.

J-Ro: Not really. It went up on the board as an issue, but, we never really discussed it.

Little voice: Yikes! What are we teaching Americas future leaders? More like, what ARENT we teaching them? ********************************************

Little voice #3:

Me: [Speaking at Boys and Girls Club in DC] Good morning everyone! I am a business consultant…My consulting firm is called Vision Forward. We help businesses set and meet goals.

Boys and Girls Club kids: [silence]

Me: We use a crash course day-long seminar to do it. Executives love it.

Boys and Girls Club kids: [silence. One kid wipes some drool from his mouth.]

Me: I call our consultants “Hot Mommas,” they are really smart moms who used to work 16 hours a day and now work for us for the same money per hour.

Boys and Girls Club kids: Thats cool! My mom is really smart too. How did you come up with the name Hot Mommas?

Little voice: Okay, Hot Mommas is officially more interesting than everything else you do. Time to unearth your idea from the business school years: “The Hot Mommas Project.”


With that said, here are the primary two orders of business:

A. Global case study competition– The Hot Mommas Project will hold an online case study competition wherein working women from around the world tell their stories in a teachable format. Labels and tags from the cases will be used to sort the cases for consumers and educators.  The BHAG (a slightly nauseating term) is to have the worlds largest womens case study database (including links to great already-existing resources).

B. Write a Book– “How to Be a Hot Momma.” The book will focus on data about successful balancers (professional/personal & family) from our research, as well as exercises to help women replicate these success factors on their own. My sense is that, from this, other things and opportunities will become clear.  Additionally, I need a motivator to slosh through all this research. BHAG: The book sort of is the BHAG, but, if Im really pushing myself I would say a “best seller.” (Side note: My vibe is that the NEXT book would be the best seller, not this one. Not sure why. As you will see throughout the blog…I have vibes, and they are often true, and my husband calls me a precog for this reason. However, I do not think this will help with fundraising.) If Im walking my own talk, the next step is to devise a plan to accomplish these things.

Parting thought: After lots of meetings, networking, thinking, and getting-ready-to-get ready Im finally out of the closet and am going to do something with this project.  Theres no hiding now.


42 thoughts on “Building a Million Dollar Business_The Art of the Start

  1. I read in your entry that you read Susan Solovic’s Book. You might be really interested in seeing her speak. I actually work with Microsoft, and right now I’m really excited to spread the word about the “Vision to Venture” tour they’re having between April and May, which will consist of five live events. Susan Solovic, as you know, the best-selling author and CEO of, will be giving the keynote speech-“Girls Guide to Building a Million Dollar Business”-geared toward women entrepreneurs like yourself. Maybe you can find something new that you may have bypassed in your readings. There are other speakers featured as well. You can see more and register at so let me know what you think! And if you have any questions, I’d be more than happy to answer them 

  2. Pingback: Building a Million Dollar Business Part Time at Hot Mommas Project « All about Baby Clothes at Tuni & G.
  3. Pingback: Building a Million Dollar Business Part Time at The Hot Mommas Project «
    • Tanya, Months after starting this blog I am going back and replying to comments and I want to say thank you. You are one of the first comments I got and it really inspired me.

  4. Pingback: Fundraising » Building a Million Dollar Business_The Art of the Start
  5. 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed my description of Alltop! Best of luck with this project of yours. I look forward to checking in on this journey from time to time as it unfolds.

  6. Pingback: #18 Top 5 Tips for Getting Media Coverage. Media Training Part 2 – Building a Million Dollar Business Part Time. « Building A Million Dollar Business Part Time (Hot Mommas Project Insider’s Blog)
  7. Pingback: #30 Would You Read This? My Book Outline for Women and The New Success – Building a Million Dollar Business Part Time « Building A Million Dollar Business Part Time (Hot Mommas Project Insider’s Blog)
  8. Pingback: Intro Post – Building a Million Dollar Business Part Time « Hot Mommas Project blog
  9. Pingback: Summary of Posts 1 – Building a Million Dollar Business Part Time « Hot Mommas Project blog
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