Tag Archives: networking

Life Balance Pyramid Having Family Career Health And Friends by Stuart Miles

WiL: Luncheons that Inspire

Life Balance Pyramid Having Family Career Health And Friends by Stuart Miles

Today I was fortunate enough to be invited to attend the Women in Leadership’s Vancouver Women in Business Luncheon down at the Fairmont Waterfront.   Events likes these are essential for women who want/need inspiration wherever they are on their career paths.  It was because of organizations like WiL that I could think of even attempting to forge my own business dreams.  I have to admit to feeling a bit smug when there were so many women in attendance who I consider friends or at least colleagues, and they are all amazing.

I may not be terribly far ahead in my business goals, but it isn’t for want of confidence.  My confidence comes from listening to and sharing with women who are further ahead on their career paths.  I have heard much great advice from networking and listening to great speakers like they had today, which included Suzanne Siemens of Lunapads, Rita Rogers, Tracey Orr of TD Financial and Kasondra Cohen.  And today’s topic ‘Best Advice I Ever Got gave the audience much food for thought.

Rita started with some perfect advice for a roomful of women: “Help one another get there instead of stabbing each other in the back.”  (Paraphrased)  I totally agree with her.   I have stated before that women are creating the new economy of the future.  We are reshaping the job world to suit our needs instead of struggling to fit into the old mold.   Networking, sharing, helping, collaborating are how we can all get “there.”

Tracey Orr shared her story from childhood to where she is today.  She showed that when you learn to expect change, compartmentalize crisis, and look forward instead of back, you can adjust to what life throws at you and learn and grow and make the right choices.

Kasondra Cohen takes that even further with her philanthropic ideals.   For her giving other people the chance to create their own futures is crucial.   She took her own experiences and created a foundation to help others who are not so lucky to come from such an illustrious family.  She is building a fabulous career by giving back to her community.

Giving back is at the centre of Suzanne Siemens business ideals.    After building a successful career on paper, suffering terrible health issues, she listened to her body and her heart and teamed up to create Lunapads….one of my most favorite businesses in Vancouver.   Not only are they giving women HERE an alternative when it comes to dealing with our periods, she and Madeleine Shaw created Pads4Girls to support education and employment for girls and women in developing nations.   They also teamed up with Afri-Pads to create similar products for women in Uganda.

Women helping Women.

This is the message I am hearing at every type of business meetup or organization that I have attended.   When I reach out to other women, good things happen for me.   It is far better to look at the women around you as potential partners instead of competitors.   Social Media is all about community building and when I take that theory into my own business world, things happen.   At the least you learn you are not alone in your struggles.  At the most, you move one step closer to your dreams.

Don’t give up and go join and business network.

Negative Branding

I was skimming through Twitter this am and spotted a little thread that had begun with someone stating their dislike of the term ‘Mompreneur.’ Like the term ‘Mommy Blogger,’ this expression is probably starting to outlive it uses and the positive effect may be getting overshadowed with the negative, which is what happened with the whole mom blogger debacle. Catchy cutesy titles do lose their luster fast.

Which is a shame, because they do start (mostly) with the best of intentions.

In my years of blogging and networking, first to find other moms and potential friends and then for more work related issues, having an identifier is what put in in the club so to speak. You were one of a group. You fit in.

I have found that women in business do things very differently from men. The image of a male entrepreneur is of some sort of pioneer heading valiantly out into unknown territory, unsupported and alone. Women are social creatures. We seek like minded individuals. Which is why organizations like Momcafe and Enterprising Moms are such huge successes.  We build confidence, support and buzz about our ventures with other ‘pioneering’ types.    Women are love networking.  This is also why social media has been the perfect medium for women and moms.

Unfortunately the ‘mom’ tagline has also been frowned upon.  For bloggers it meant you were family obsessed and had no sense of self other than in marketing your children to the world.  Other niche bloggers would turn their backs upon you for your frivolous focus and marketers looked at you as fresh meat.

Now for the mompreneur, while the term has created great opportunities for women to connect and support each other in their ventures, it can be a tad limiting and can (for some) promote a non professional image.

The twitter buzz was about how the women appear to not have a sense of self without the mom tagline.  I don’t think this is true at all.   Moms are moms…no matter what.  Mompreneurs are moms who have stepped slightly out of that role and taken on something new.

Moms who are in business or are creating their own businesses generate a lot of flack for this….why are they neglecting their children over something else?

Being a mom…stay at home, working mom, career track mom or entrepreneurial mom is really a no win situation.  You can’t impress everyone.

Picking the name SAMedia (Stay At Home Media) was probably a HUGE mistake for me.   The implication is that a stay at home mom  would have no other background, education or knowledge beyond mommyhood.  People forget that you were a person before you were a mom.    I worked in various businesses since high school.  I have a university degree.  I have professional interests.  I have knowledge and experience behind my blogging and social media abilities.  Yes, my family does shape those interests.    And that might be the key difference between a ‘mompreneur’ and an entrepreneur.  Many women create their own businesses out of pure necessity because working for someone else is not going to fit their families needs.   Commitment to family, childcare costs, building a better lifestyle are all key to what makes a mere mom take the leap into business ownership.

Mompreneurship can be more complicated then.  We are the ULTIMATE multitaskers.   We juggle many balls at the same time.   It does not make us any less professional, any less capable.

It does not necessarily mean that all we can handle is mom related issues.     The majority of the freelancers I know who are also moms (including myself) can write on any topic we are presented with.   Hence my social media project for a gold mining company.   A project I have enjoyed.

Women who are moms who are also entrepreneurs identify themselves as such because then they are able to networking and communicate with other women who struggle with the same issues.  Who perhaps will be a tad more sympathetic to dealing with the stereotypes and the obstacles in front of them.

Sadly, that identifier seems to be one of the key obstacles now.