In Good Company Blog

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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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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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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A Tip for Achieving Your Entrepreneurial Black Belt

Over and over again I’m reminded of the power of resiliency.

When I was studying relationship and systems coaching a few years back, one of the big takeaways from my instructor was this: the difference between competence (skill level) and mastery–that indescribable level of execution–is recovery time. You may have a particular skill set, but how quickly can you bounce back from a setback and utilize it?

The more rapidly you can gain your footing and be present to what is, the more successful you’ll be at what you’re doing. So many people (and I’m speaking particularly to women business owners) get side-lined by challenges, give up and fade away.

In a Modern Love column of the Sunday Times Style … READ MORE >>

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The Power of Photography, How to Make Your Brand Stand Out!

 

 

Great photography is the single most important component in communicating your brand in today’s markets. A beautiful, well-styled picture can elevate your products and services, build trust, create media attention and give you the edge on your competitors. Let’s get started:

1. Build Your Image Strategy

Whether you DIY, purchase stock photography or hire a photographer the first thing is to think about your image strategy. What does your brand stand for? Who is your audience? How will you use your images? Collect a few words that describe your brand for example: clean and simple, or beautiful and luxurious.

 

2. Get Inspired

Look for images that inspire you and fit your brand. Rip out pages from magazines and create … READ MORE >>

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3 more lessons for my 18-year-old self

Last week I had fun thinking about the lessons that I’d want to share with my college-aged self. I talked about femininity and female friends among other things. Here are 3 more lessons for today.

4. Protect the personal

If you like what you do at all, it’s very hard to leave enough time to take proper care of yourself and to tend to your personal life. In college, I made time for two things: parties and papers. I spent way too much time on the first and not enough (in the beginning) on the second. So back then, I probably would have laughed at this piece of advice. But the truth is that moderation is always your friend. … READ MORE >>

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Keeping the Kids (and the Husband) Out of Our Home Offices

 

At five years old, my youngest child was able to precisely mimic the voices of the adults in her life starting with a political phrase often used by the sitting President which she’d heard on TV. When I asked her what Mommy always says, she didn’t hesitate. In a serious voice and rapid speech pattern she said, “Okay, Kids, I’m off limits.”

I knew setting boundaries was imperative as a home-based business owner, but I was surprised to hear it reflected back to me from the mouth of my babe.

When my client Mary called recently and spoke about a similar issue, I understood her pain. As moms working at home, establishing a quiet zone that will not be … READ MORE >>

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3 Lessons for my 18-year-old self

I recently joined a organization out here called The Women’s Society of Washington University. Each year they host a panel called “Composing a Life” which is intended for women who want to “gain valuable insight into composing a successful and rewarding life after earning a degree”. It’s made me think a lot about what advice I would give to my 18-year-old self. As a fun exercise I decided to actually make a list. Here are 3 lessons that I’d share given the opportunity to travel back in time.

Don’t focus on your femininity at work

Of course this depends on the workplace but before I even had any experience I worried about my professional image and specifically how I could … READ MORE >>

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9 Tips on Running a Successful Kickstarter Campaign from 3 Women Who Have Done It

I love small business stories. I find the purpose, the passion, and the suspense intoxicating. It’s no wonder then that the site Kickstarter has become a (not so) guilty pleasure for me. For those that don’t know, Kickstarter is a popular online funding platform that allows people to offer incentives and rewards in exchange for monetary contributions that are to be used to help create or further a creative project – often a business. It is like a mini-investment but the creators don’t need to sacrifice their equity.

Recently I talked with 3 entrepreneurs who have run successful and compelling Kickstarter campaigns. I was interested to hear about what they learn and find out more about their own impressions of … READ MORE >>

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Making Room for Baby: “This Would Not Be as Easy as I Thought”

An installment of ‘Making Room for Baby: A Series About Becoming a Mother When You’re Already an Entrepreneur”

Anne Kilcullen

Professional path: Floral design expert strikes out on her own

Children: Son, almost 3

Location: New York

The back story…

Anne launched Blade in the fall of 2007, knowing that she had 100% of her time and energy to commit to building her business. Since Anne did not have children, she had “complete freedom to work at any time, taking last minute jobs, run to the flower market at the wee hours of the morning to buy flowers, load my car with boxes and buckets and drive from one job to the other.” Anne discovered she was pregnant in late … READ MORE >>

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Making Room for Baby: Delivering During the Busiest Season and Hurricane Sandy

An installment of ‘Making Room for Baby: A Series About Becoming a Mother When You’re Already an Entrepreneur”

Allison O’Neill

Professional Path: Banker turned Children’s Boutique Owner

Children: 16 week old daughter

Location: New York

Allison runs Bundle, a New York City boutique and global e-commerce site offering designer children’s clothing and gifts. She’s proud to have clients all over the world, many of who have discovered the store while vacationing in New York, or while searching web for the top designers in kids fashion.

The back story…

Allison started her business in 2008, years before her daughter was born and even before she was even married. Four years later, in the midst of their busiest season and Hurricane … READ MORE >>

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4 Essential Business Lessons Not Just Learned But Incorporated: Lesson 4 – Adapt

The learning curve for all entrepreneurs is a steep one that never quite flattens or slows. While it’s great to learn a lot, the pace and intensity makes it hard to absorb, never mind implement, the lessons learned. Kind of like when youused to cram for an exam. You knew the information really, really well for about a day before it became lost in the deep recesses of your brain. That’s why, at the end of the year, it’s really important to reflect on what you’ve already learned before you outline what else you want to accomplish. This is especially important when you are a very small business as you probably don’t have the resources to learn expensive lessons over … READ MORE >>

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4 Essential Business Lessons Not Just Learned But Incorporated: Lesson 3 – Simplify

The learning curve for all entrepreneurs is a steep one that never quite flattens or slows. While it’s great to learn a lot, the pace and intensity makes it hard to absorb, never mind implement, the lessons learned. Kind of like when you used to cram for an exam. You knew the information really, really well for about a day before it became lost in the deep recesses of your brain. That’s why, at the end of the year, it’s really important to reflect on what you’ve already learned before you outline what else you want to accomplish. This is especially important when you are a very small business as you probably don’t have the resources to learn expensive lessons … READ MORE >>

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4 Essential Business Lessons Not Just Learned But Incorporated: Lesson 2 – Collaborate

The learning curve for all entrepreneurs is a steep one that never quite flattens or slows. While it’s great to learn a lot, the pace and intensity makes it hard to absorb, never mind implement, the lessons learned. Kind of like when you used to cram for an exam. You knew the information really, really well for about a day before it became lost in the deep recesses of your brain. That’s why, at the end of the year, it’s really important to reflect on what you’ve already learned before you outline what else you want to accomplish. This is especially important when you are a very small business as you probably don’t have the resources to learn expensive lessons … READ MORE >>

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4 Essential Business Lessons Not Just Learned But Incorporated: Lesson 1 – Focus

The learning curve for all entrepreneurs is a steep one that never quite flattens or slows. While it’s great to learn a lot, the pace and intensity makes it hard to absorb, never mind implement, the lessons learned. Kind of like when you used to cram for an exam. You knew the information really, really well for about a day before it became lost in the deep recesses of your brain. That’s why, at the end of the year, it’s really important to reflect on what you’ve already learned before you outline what else you want to accomplish. This is especially important when you are a very small business as you probably don’t have the resources to learn expensive lessons … READ MORE >>


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