In Good Company Blog

What Happens When Girls are Called “Little Miss Priss” at the Science Center…by the Staff?


School is out in St. Louis and I’m in survival mode. We have several un-programmed weeks to fill before we spend a month with our families at a lake in PA. And my kids can’t go for 5 minutes without fighting with each other, especially if we are inside and extra especially if we are inside our own house. Since they wake up a little before 6am each morning, you can see why I might be panicking. But being a planner by nature, I’m coping by creating a robust and enriching calendar of activities and adventures. St. Louis has a lot to offer so it’s actually a challenge to cram a summer’s worth of events into just four short weeks.… READ MORE >>

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10 Tips for Taking Maternity Leave as an Entrepreneur

I’m nearing the start of my third maternity leave in four years. Given the way that I worked for the first 6 years I was an entrepreneur I would have never thought that any time off was possible, but it is. No matter what, time off is possible. Still in order to make it happen many things need to be adjusted and planned for. I find myself talking to my self-employed friends about the specifics of maternity leave a lot. I thought it would be helpful to share some of the lessons that I’ve learned from my own experience as well as my clients’. And by the way, these are great tips for ANY time off – extended vacation, summer … READ MORE >>

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Becoming is the Hardest Part

There’s a theory used often in career counseling that refers to three modes or perspectives, all of which are integral to meaningful work and a meaningful life: doing, being, and becoming.

  •  Doing is about conducting purposeful, goal-oriented activities.
  • Being is about taking time to reflect, being introspective, and savoring the moment.
  • Becoming is about the journey. Being able to imagine your future state and seeing your present as a connected to that possibility.

I’ve thought of a lot over the years about these modes, applying them far beyond my career.

My default mode is DOING. In fact I only used to be comfortable in this mode. Yoga used to make me anxious because it’s too BEING oriented (versus other types … READ MORE >>

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Is Being an Entrepreneur a Responsible Career Choice?

I have had lots of reasons for being an entrepreneur over the last 10 years.

At first it was the only way to do what I wanted, especially when all the “working-for-others alternatives” seemed painful.

Then I had an idea that I couldn’t put down.

Then I couldn’t stop pouring myself into my work and it felt amazing not to have any artificial limiters. No red tape but my own.

At every step along the way I’ve loved and embraced the challenge, novelty, thrill, and meaning that comes not just from working for myself but from helping and supporting other women who are also creating meaningful work for themselves. I’ve always appreciated the theoretical flexibility that accompanies entrepreneurship, but it’s READ MORE >>

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Girl Power is Powerful

I love when my world and the world conspire to teach me a lesson. It happened this fall when the book “Raising My Rainbow” helped me realized that I was being more tolerant of my son’s gender non-conforming behavior than I was of my daughter’s gender conforming behavior. As a result I withdrew her from a painful Irish dancing class that she hated and enrolled her in the preschool ballet class that she had wanted all along. She adores it and that has come to be both her favorite 45 minutes of the week, as well as mine.

And it happened again this last week. As I’ve written several times, the age of three ushered in an unbridled affair with … READ MORE >>

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How to take responsibility for something bad you’ve done, like shooting your neighbor with a BB gun

A funny thing happened to me over Christmas break. Well, it was actually only remotely funny a couple hours later, after I had a chance to calm down, reflect on the fact that no one had been seriously hurt, and feel comforted by the fact that responsibility had been taken.

 It was the Friday before Christmas and our UPS man had just delivered our last huge batch of gifts for the kids. That morning had been unseasonably warm and we had been out on the porch playing and swinging. By the time the afternoon rolled around though it was frigid. Usually the kids help me ferry in packages from the porch, but given the biting cold I had to keep … READ MORE >>

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Being Extreme

“Too often, its not the mountain’s harshness that kills climbers but their own hubris.” – Mark Jenkins with regard to the climbing trophy Mount Everest, which has now been summitted by more than 4000 people. (full piece found in The Week)

I don’t need to wonder if I’m the kind of person who could climb Everest. I’m not.

The summer I was 14 I went on a month-long outdoor adventure experience, during which we were guided up the summit of the Grand Tetons – small potatoes for those in the Everest world but a big deal to the kids on the trip. We spent the day before the summit clinging by the metal spikes on our shoes to … READ MORE >>

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The Joy of Connection

Recently I’ve taken to saying that I’ve been wrong about pretty much everything in my life. Anytime I feel myself establishing a “plan of action” or prediction for the future, I reminded myself of just how wrong I’ve been in the past.

For example, I thought it was ludicrous for some of my high school peers to even entertain the idea of getting married right after college. Yet, I got married just weeks after college graduation. Of course at the time, I thought that it was forever. But it wasn’t. In my early 20s I couldn’t fathom what it would be like to be divorced and faced with starting over. But then I found out. Around the same time I … READ MORE >>

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Yoga Pants and Entrepreneurial Patron Saints

A lot has been said about the Lululemon founder’s gaffe and non-apology apology last week. Some are outraged and called for boycott, while others encouraged people to look a little deeper. Personally, I was put off by his comments when I read about them, and horrified by the whole interview when I actually watched it*. Aside from the notion of “women’s bodies not working” being incredibly offensive, it just seems like an incredibly unenlightened thing to say – from both a feminist standpoint and also from a general business savvy perspective. Chip Wilson founded a female-oriented “tribe” business. For him in particular, the consumer relationship is king (or perhaps I should say queen). Nothing matters more than … READ MORE >>

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My feminism now.

 

Last week I went to a terribly fascinating women’s event that was part of the St. Louis Jewish Book Festival. We heard from brilliant, inspiring and fascinating authors and an author/comedian as well. One author was Lynn Povich, whose book “The Good Girls Revolt” details how the women of Newsweek magazine sued their employers for sex discrimination in 1970 and by doing so set off a wave of feminist action, particularly in the world of journalism. It was her talk that sparked an interesting conversation about what had become of feminism in the younger generation – my generation.

The audience, largely comprised of women in the generation above mine, chimed in asking questions such as: Where are … READ MORE >>

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Composing a Life

A few weeks ago I wrote a few pieces of advice to my 18 year old self. I had just learned about a panel called “Composing a Life: Women Inspiring Women” which was produced by a women’s organization here in St. Louis for the students and community of Washington University. The panelists were all professional women of varying ages, stages, and industries who were willing to candidly share their take on “life after college” and how to pursue both professional and personal success.

I immediately signed up and began contemplating what would have been really helpful for me to hear when I was 18. I came up with these two lists. (ONE and TWO.)

Last week … READ MORE >>

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When Feminists Worry About Boys

I’ve spent much of the last year researching women’s achievement. Where do we excel? Where do we fall short? Where are we supported? Where are we held back? As a life-long feminist I was thrilled to see so many reports that consistently show that girls are outperforming boys at nearly every level of education. Woo-hoo! What progress! What a coup! Go girls.

But then something funny happened. Life and an infographic conspired to make me look at things differently.

Over the last several months my son has transformed from a baby to a bona fide KID, and moreover he’s, as my father-in-law says, all XY. He is incredibly active, can’t sit still, is constantly building and disassembling things, and has … READ MORE >>

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A Focus Tune-Up Courtesy of Daniel Goleman

 

I haven’t felt as productive as I’d like lately. And it’s not hard to figure out why. I’ve been juggling a lot, both personally(pregnancy, kids, life) and professionally (I’m working on a lot of new initiatives and projects). I love being involved in a lot at once. In fact it’s good for me. I’m the kind of person who can really tunnel into one thing, living and breathing it around the clock. This is ok in the short term but it’s not how I want to spend my life. Since I have a tough time dialing down my intensity, I instead work hard to disperse it into several areas. However, even though having my hands in many things makes … READ MORE >>

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TMI and its Impact

You’re at a networking event or simply on the street and an acquaintance or someone from your past begins an unstoppable one-way conversation with her full agenda. She unloads what is on her mind and offers a perfunctory question as an attempt at a two-way interchange.

This happened to me recently in the park. It’s always interesting to hear what bubbles up when you see someone from your past. What I wasn’t expecting was to hear about her financial woes during our less than 5 minute conversation. And a request to spend time with me, ostensibly for my advice. I left feeling icky. Would she even listen to my advice, or would she just continue to vent her upset? Do … READ MORE >>

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Are Men Bystanders in the Work/Family Juggle?

I very much enjoy the writing of KJ Dell’Antonia – one of the motherlode writers for the NY Times. Last week she wrote an article that made me think even more about the role of men in gender equality – particularly in the workplace.

The article, entitled Both Men and Women Should Uncover Family Responsibilities at Work, stresses the importance of men (in addition to women) talking about their families and personal lives at work. Dell’Antonia details the perils of a workplace where employees keep their personal lives under wraps, essentially arguing that when people “cover up” the existence of their home lives, the workplace shifts further and further to a family-unfriendly place. If no one else talks … READ MORE >>