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The Motherhood Manifesto

Friday, May 26, 2006

Have you read this book? It is an absolute must read. Kind of jolts one into reality. What you are giving up as a woman to have children in the US.

Dear MomsRising member,

Well, Mother’s Day has gone by and in just those few days, more than 50,000 folks signed up with MomsRising. The Motherhood Manifesto book reached the Amazon top 10, and the T-Shirts are selling like mad. I think we’ve started something here.

Let’s keep it going.

For the next few weeks, we’re going to send out a chapter of the book for discussion online every other week. And then take on an important action related to the topic of that chapter in the following week.

This week we’ve posted chapter “M”, about maternity/paternity leave, online. To read that chapter, just go to:

http://www.momsrising.org/manifesto/chapter2

We’ve taken the unusual step, with our publisher’s blessing, of posting chapters online, to get the discussion going. Join us online. Read the chapter. Tell your maternity story. Hear others’ stories.

To discuss maternity and paternity leave issues with others, just go to:

http://www.momsrising.org/forum

By the way, the biggest surprise of the MomsRising launch has been how popular the Rosie with baby T-Shirt is. Check them out at:

http://www.goodstorm.com/stores/momsrising

We’ve already sold more than five hundred without even mentioning them in an email (and all proceeds go to the organization).

Thanks for everything,
Joan, Kristin, and Catherine

Small Business Development Class

Monday, May 15, 2006

I am taking this class through PCC on how to take your business to the next level. Several people in the community have recommended it to me and with all my HR problems, paperwork, and trying to scrape up enough to do tradeshows again I decided it was time I took the plunge. It is a year long class and promises to be fun with spreadsheets, forecasting, marketing, bookkeeping etc.
But, had my first class tonight and am don't really know how I feel about it. A lot of the class is based on Gerber's philosophy from the E-myth. Much of it has to do with putting systems into place and having systems to run those systems. I know why this works. I also recognize that it is successful but I have worked in far too many places run by these systems and have detested every moment I spent within the confines of these rules, regulations and necessary way of doing things because this is the way we do it. All my life I have strayed from doing things the correct, right or 'efficient' way because they usually don't work for me. See, every person is different and therefore they each have a different way of getting to the same place. At least, this is what I believe. So, with my business I have given (perhaps too much so) great freedom to my employees. They pretty know what I expect. If they learn or operate differently than I do (or whatever the system dictates is best) that is fine by me. I leave them to do there job once I am satisfied they know what it is. They are on their own and I am happy to let them alone.
In class I commented that I thought perhaps these systems in place seemed to side swipe innovation. I mean how do the people I work for have the freedom to innovate if they are asked to follow particular procedures? Someone in class mimicked Gerber and said that there are systems in place for changing the systems. I thought, good God, procedures for implementing changes? It sounds like a big business to me with lots of tape to get through before we can change the type of paper clip we use internally. The point of operating my own business is to avoid all this crap. But, I do agree that there does have to be documentation and therefore some way of doing things (systems...I admit it). No doubt, so that if a person leaves the position can easily be filled. But, I believe that if each new employee understands what the goals and priorities of the organization are and they are given the tools to meet these expectations AND the freedom to experiment with the systems currently in place then the company is that much more human and that much more an organization I want to run and also a place someone might want to spend some time at.
Just my thoughts. So I am sticking to hybrid on the whole system thing. Otherwise, I am excited about the class and to be surrounded by 19 other people all running their own small businesses.

Poopyhead ranks #2 most viewed photo on 5/6/06

Thursday, May 11, 2006

http://www.flickr.com/photos/hangglide/141316638/
I love it! Especially with that expression.

Organic Mattresses naturalamericanhome SUCKS

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

So, I make infant sheets and am thinking of adding their crib mattresses to my site and try one of their twin ones for my daughter.
I talk to Susie. We build a relationship. I am also doing business with A Natural Home in NC who sells organic cotton batting to me. I send out a check to pay for the batting but accidently send it to Susie. She cashes it and doesn't tell me about it. The owner of A Natural Home emails me a nasty note to tell me that I better pay up as I am 90 days overdue. I call my bank because my check has been cashed and I figure out what has happened. I email and call Susie at naturalamericanhome. She ignores me. I tell her she can just send me some of her goods instead of returning the money. Delay. Now six months. I write and tell her just to send me a check back. She agrees this might be better. I write again. Nothing. NADA.
Just a word of warning in doing business with http://www.naturalamericanhome.com because they are unresponsive once they have your cash.

Lessons learned

Thursday, May 04, 2006

I can't believe I haven't blogged in over a month. Just shows you what happens when you lag. Damn. Well, I am back now with a ton of new experiences under my belt. In the last month we just purchased a new home that needed some fixing up, produced two coloring books, came out with some new designs and added a ton of organics from AA.

What I learned. 1) that when I see an employee (even if they are a friend) mistreating my business I need to SPEAK UP instead of holding it in for a better moment to talk about it. I have so far reacted rather badly to 1 intern and 2 employees. I held it in until their behavior became so offensive that I flipped out on them rather than acting like a 'mature' adult. I made the situation so much worse because I was unable to view the situation objectively due to all my built up anger. Don't let it build it. It is your business. Take care of it.
Instead of being so freaking nice and saying sure and yes of course and it's all up to ya and do whatever you want to do; if it affects me I need to put my foot down and say hey man, your actions are unacceptable.
2) never partner with anyone unless boundaries are agreed upon before committing resources to the project because someone will just end up feeling like a used snot rag to be tossed away.
3) figure out what your core business is and organize everything else around that. Obvious, I know but I kept pushing the lines out because I did not recognize what my true core business was and no, it ain't baby clothing.
4) go on a vacation at least once a year.