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Go for the Gold in Your Goals

Inspired by this week’s featured Reflection Weeks episode of the Mom’s Making Six Figures Podcast episode with Jennifer Becker, Managing Partner of Moms Making Six Figures, who believes in the power of staying the course and finding both your passion and purpose in focused one year commitments emulating the training cycle of high performance athletes.


If you’ve ever pursued a physical goal, like training for a half-marathon, or preparing to hike the tallest summit in your state, or wrestled with improving your health, then you know the battle for success is one fought on a multitude of fronts, from your inner critic, to your daily responsibilities, down to the weather, and everything in between, setting your sights on success requires a plan, preparation, consistency, a support network, and strength in the face of adversity. Simply put, athletes do far more than entertain us, they inspire us because they were us, and they are us.  With enough sacrifice and focused commitment to our training season, we can yield similar performance results in the pursuit of our own personal and professional goals.


 Make a Plan

When I trained for a half-marathon, I had a schedule that I maintained to ensure my success.  My daily runs, down to their pace and mileage, my strength training days, and my rest days were all predetermined.  Because I had a plan, I was able to coordinate all the other moving parts of motherhood and my career around my training schedule.  It wasn’t easy by any means, but it was doable.  Without a plan, and consistent progress checks, I would not have been successful in my training.

If we apply this same approach to a simplified and specific target we have in our career, beginning with our end goal in mind and backwards planning a year’s worth of training, imagine what we could accomplish.  Taking the time to plan is essential to every athlete’s success, and our own.

Prepare

Many of us don’t realize the financial struggles athletes undergo before they achieve sponsorship or they have a signed contract in their hands; just like us, they need a day job to fund their day dream and they have to work diligently in both arenas.  This is only possible with preparation.  When we’re pursuing physical goals this may look like meal preparation, hiring a sitter for our long runs, or taking our running shoes on a vacation.

In our career, many of us are living in the day-to-day without a simplified and specific target with a set duration, and without the preparation to achieve success.  If your goal, for example, is to take on 5 additional clients each quarter, what are the necessary steps you will need to include in your quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily plans to take them on?  Would you be wiling to sacrifice a year of Friday evenings if it meant 20 new clients by the end of 2021? What preparation would help you to protect those Friday evenings –childcare, saying no to social outings, etc.—in the pursuit of long-term freedom and financial stability?

Consistency is Key

Athletes don’t exist in some super human form of detachment from emotions and exhaustion; like us, they are trying to keep all the plates spinning while pursuing greatness.  Unlike us, they show up day in and day out without excuse because they have no option but to; they have skin in the game.  If you miss practice, you miss the game, and if you miss enough games, there is someone who is eagerly awaiting their chance to play in your place.

Cal Ripkin played 21 seasons for the Baltimore Orioles.  In those 21 seasons, he also established the record for most consecutive games played, an astonishing 2,632.  When he was asked what motivated his consistency, he replied, “Any day could have been my greatest day playing the game.”

What could you accomplish in a year of consistently showing up to achieve your goals? Just 5 additional hours a week translates to 20 hours over a month, and 6 additional full-time work weeks over the course of a year.  Mamas, you spent longer growing your babies, bringing them into the world, and waking up with them in the middle of the night.  You can do this.

Build Your Support Network

Even in individual sports, athletes rely on experts like a coach, trainer, nutritionist, and physiotherapist to maintain their peak performance. And this team doesn’t even begin to account for their emotional support network of family, friends, and fellow athletes.

Choose and pursue your support network wisely as they will play a key role in your ‘training year’.  Maybe your support network looks like a grandparent taking your kids for an overnight once a month so you can review your progress on your goals, maybe your network consists of a mentor you have a weekly Zoom call with to refocus and align your priorities, maybe your network looks like your spouse taking over the grocery shopping so you can squeeze in an hour of client calls.  Find your people and return the favor or pay it forward after you’ve accomplished your goal.

Hone Your Strength

Unlike most of us, when athletes fail or experience a setback, they don’t give up and they certainly don’t spiral into self-doubt.  Instead, they lean into their confidence in themselves and their training, a confidence that is unshaken because they know they have prepared, that they have followed the plan, and that they have been consistent.  When you have that much faith in your training, you can recognize that sometimes life just happens, and that you’ll approach your next attempt with new resolve and trust in your abilities.

Many of us lack this confidence in our careers because we haven’t pursued the training necessary to be successful, or we abandon our goal well before the expiration date arrives that we said we would give it.  If we can recognize that failure and setbacks are inevitable without throwing in the towel, and instead refer back to our plan, and rely on our preparation and consistency, we will develop our confidence to face adversity.


As we watch the 2020 Summer Olympics and hear the stories of trials and triumphs, maybe we can reimagine our own training plan.  If we were to commit one year to one specific and simplified goal to grow in our career, with a clear plan, the necessary preparation, consistently showing up, and with the support of our chosen team, then perhaps we could also develop our confidence in our own strength in the face of adversity, like the competitors have with all of the challenges presented by the pandemic.  Trust in the training and stay the course.

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Lions, and Tigers, and Digital Marketing, Oh My!

Inspired by this week’s Mom’s Making Six Figures Podcast episode with Holly Tillman, founder of Holly and Co., who is a creative marketing strategist, and communication professional helping to make marketing online well-known, simple, and available to everyone.


If you’re a business owner, there’s no denying the need to dip your toe into the pool of digital marketing to grow your reach.  But where do you even start, and what exactly is digital marketing? We’re here to break down the basics and help you to make the most of your marketing this summer by finally taking the plunge!


What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing refers to any form of marketing that utilizes an electronic device of the internet.  Marketing strategists, and business owners alike, use various platforms like search engines, social media, email, and websites to connect with their current and future customers.

Why should I use it/invest in it/hone my skills or my team’s skills for it?

  1. You can target a specific audience and tailor your marketing to be personalized to them.

Unlike traditional forms of marketing where you’re essentially taking a shot in the dark as to whether or not you’ll have a true ROI, digital marketing allows you to place the ads where your audience already exists, and tailor your content to them specifically.  For example, your LinkedIn audience and customer is likely very different, in a multitude of ways, than your Instagram audience and customer.  Digital marketing meets your clients where they already are!

  1. It’s more money in your marketing budget.

Due to its nature, digital marketing allows for real time data for you to track the success of your various campaigns and marketing endeavors.  If the money you’re investing isn’t yielding the results you’re expecting, you can divert those dollars into the platform that is giving you a significant ROI.

  1. No More David and Goliath

Or maybe more David and less Goliath, digital marketing levels the playing field of traditional forms of marketing.  Your reach as a small business owner can be just as impactful, if not more so than a large corporation, when you start a social media campaign with a handful of influencers who stand behind your product and your vision.

There are countless more benefits to developing a strategic digital marketing plan, and investing in its development.  Look at this helpful overview for more information: “The Who, What, Why & How of Digital Marketing” by Lucy Alexander.

Where do I even start?

If you’re still holding onto the wall of the pool, here is a helpful strategy to get you started in developing or evaluating your current Digital Marketing Plan.  Begin with a SWOT analysis; this framework allows you to evaluate your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats as a business before you begin making any plans.  Consider this the water safety course of swimming lessons.

SWOT Analysis from: we are marketing

What now?

If we’ve convinced you of the value of digital marketing and you believe in its ability to attract, convince and convert your customers and clients to fall in love with your product or service, now it’s time to make a plan and begin brainstorming your strategy.  Begin by establishing SMART goals for each of your Digital Marketing goals.  Ensure your goal is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time bound.

Now that you’ve taken the lay of the land using the SWOT analysis (your water safety course), and you have developed some SMART goals (you’ve let go of the wall and you are treading water beautifully), it may be time to call in additional resources and experts.

Here is a helpful, more in-depth guide to help you further develop your own digital marketing strategy by we are marketing, “A Step-By-Step Guide to Structuring a Digital Marketing Plan”.


If you came of age without your new sidekick of the Internet, and you can still remember the sound of AOL connecting with eerie clarity, you may be surprised to know that the internet is still growing in its audience consumption.  According to Pew Research, for the last three years in a row, adult usage of the internet continues to increase steadily by 5% each year.  Offline marketing just isn’t as effective as it used to be, and it certainly doesn’t bring the crowds to Open Swim hours; it’s time to leave the water wings behind and work on those strokes once and for all.  The best news? There are lifeguards and swim instructors to help you along the way.

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Dream Jobs | Do They Really Exist?

Recently when discussing some frustrations surrounding a work place indiscretion and how it was handled (or more aptly how it was not handled) by the powers-that-be, my friend and colleague remarked, “I don’t go to work to have my needs met.”  Cue my existential crisis in response.

As I’ve continued to replay the conversation, I realize that now I could care less about the indiscretion or its lack of “public relations finessing”, instead I’m left in a mixed state of cognitive dissonance facing both the impending doom of the unknown and the refreshing optimism surrounding my career path. In one well-timed quip, my entire approach to my career progression, my work history and education, and my identity were called into question: who am I if the title I chased and achieved isn’t a cornerstone to my significance? As it turns out, on the heels of the pandemic, many of us are grappling with the same question: does a dream job actually exist?  And, if it doesn’t can we free ourselves by working to live rather than living to work, and stop relying on our work to meet our soul’s needs?


According to psychologists at Stanford University and Yale-NUS College, there is a reason so many of us are shaken when we recognize that the ‘dream job’ is just as fleeting, and just as much of a well constructed rhetorical gimmick as the ‘American Dream’.   We are thrown into the depths of existential despair in large part due to the years of planning, financial investment, and time spent (all, now perceived as lost) because we have hung our soul’s hopes and dreams on the ‘fixed’ hook of our dream career.  Instead, the report’s findings espouse a ‘growth’ mentality as the key to fulfillment; this mentality, combined with our resilience, allows us to adapt to an ever-changing work force and to “think innovatively about [our] industry.” When we become “overly narrow and committed to one area, that could prevent [us] from developing interests and expertise that [we] need” to bring different fields together.

But, the silver linings in abandoning the notion of “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life” (you’ll also never have healthy boundaries, or an identity beyond your work either) abound.

Instead of holding a dream that centers upon our labor for someone else’s financial gain, we should be shaping our dream life, and pursuing a job that is the right fit for our current needs in that pursuit.  In short, our job should support and fund our dream life, instead of our ‘dream job’ becoming the origination and determinant of every aspect of our life beyond the boardroom.

When we can let our idealized perceptions of ‘the one’ go, we begin to recognize that finding fulfillment beyond our career, allows us to pursue benefits we may have never thought to consider —like working remotely, a flexible schedule, a better salary, an easier commute— the list is only limited by our own ‘need’ to have a job be paramount.  If we can view ourselves, and our contribution to the world as separate from our work, we can invest our passion in our soul’s desire and let work, be well, work.

Rather than shape our life around accommodating our dream job, what would happen if we turned the tables, and instead pursued a job that allowed us to attain our dream life?  Take note from the Career Contessa, and pursue your next step in your career like you would any other physiological need in your life (e.g. a house hunt): make a list of your negotiables, non-negotiables, and everything in between.  Address your wants, and needs, and determine your required and ideal salary (do your research!); consider the day-to-day of your job and what constitutes a must-have versus a nice-to-have.  And finally, begin making your list of ideal companies and industries that feel like the right fit for your life’s dream.


Our fulfillment of our soul’s desire and our significance in the world are not reliant on our job title.  When we pursue fulfillment beyond our work, when we work to live rather than live to work, we can grow professionally, and personally toward our life’s dream.  There is freedom in knowing we are in the driver’s seat, and that we can decide to change directions at any point.  Our colleagues may be talking about us around the water cooler one day, for our audacious pursuit of happiness beyond our ‘dream job’.

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The Benefits of Believing in Something Bigger

Inspired by this week’s episode of the Moms Making Six Figures Podcast with Dr. Barbara Ryan who attributes her success, service of others, and belief in herself to her faith.


As parents, one of the first existential conversations we are asked to navigate by our children is the inevitable, “Where do babies come from?” shortly followed, or preceded by, “What (or who) is God?” ultimately leading to the teenage quandary, “What’s the point?” And, if we’re being honest, that last question drives many of our decisions as adults, the answer to why that guides our how. Without a why, a sense of purpose, or a belief in something bigger than ourselves, life can be practically unbearable.  Dr. Viktor Frankl, a famous psychiatrist, author and holocaust survivor describes the magnitude of belief as essential to enduring life’s hardships and traumas, “He who has a why can bear any how.”


Risk Tolerance

According to a scientific study conducted in the Netherlands, a belief in God, or a higher power,  “gives entrepreneurs a greater tolerance for positive risks.”  When we have faith in God, in the universe, or in humanity as a whole, we believe someone or something has our back when we struggle to believe in ourselves.

Passion and Vision

Belief in a higher power gives you confidence through the assurance of your own worth.  Being grounded in your identity and your ability to benefit others positively enables you to more clearly and passionately communicate and sell your vision to those around you.  Faith emboldens us to persevere.

The Happiness Quotient + Secret Sauce to Success

According to Mark Zuckerburg, Facebook founder and venture capitalist, in his commencement address to Harvard graduates, “purpose is what creates true happiness.” “Purpose is the sense that we are part of something bigger than ourselves, that we are needed, that we have something better ahead to work for.” Research supports his assertions; people who are purpose driven:

Purpose is an Assurance

When we believe in something greater than ourselves, and that we are needed, our life, our work, our daily decisions become meaningful.  Humans, by design, are meant to fulfill their basic needs, but once those needs are met, purpose is necessary to avoid debilitating depression, a perceived sense of burdensomeness, and ever more prevalent loneliness.  Frontline humanitarian, Linda Cruse, says we always have a choice to serve others and recounts her why that has served her throughout her efforts, “When I was 18, in nurse training, my Matron said to me: ‘It’s not about you. It’s about what you’re here to do…to be of service and [to] help others.’”


Our children are filled with wonder and an uncanny ability to ‘call it as they see it’.  It may be time for us to tune-out the world’s noise and tune-in to our own childlike wondering.  Without belief in something greater than ourselves, faith in God, the universe, or humanity, without purpose, we run the risk of living in a state of apathy, simply going through the motions.  What is your purpose, what is your why, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

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How to Raise Great Kids & Leave a Legacy Through Your Children

Inspired by Inc.’s lead parenting columnist, Bill Murphy Jr.’s, collection of science-based parenting advice collected and shared.


As parents, one of our core desires for our children is for them to be happy.  As working parents, we recognize that one of the core tenants of our own happiness is the pursuit and achievement of success, however we have defined it for our careers, our families, and ourselves.  Naturally, we want to raise our children to succeed as adults, but we also want them to experience the emotional health that is supported by their encounters of success (and dare we say, failure) as children, teens and young adults.  If we invest our parenting capital in these five key areas, we can later reap the rewards of that investment in children who become successful and well-adjusted adults (and grown children who still want to come ‘home’ for the holidays).


One | Great Expectations

We all have expectations, and we all know the frustration that results when those expectations are not met (likely, because they were never communicated in the first place).  We also know the power of a boss who sets clear (and high expectations), revisits them often, and celebrates our fulfillment of those expectations.  Our children are no different.  The greater our expectations, when communicated clearly and supported intentionally, the greater our children will perform.  That performance will directly translate into confidence, and improved self-esteem.

Our expectations communicate to our children that we believe they are capable of doing hard things, that we hold them accountable, and that we want them to achieve their dreams.  Establish your expectations, communicate them clearly, re-visit and remind your children of them often, and affirm and celebrate their fulfillment of those expectations.

Two | The Power of Praise

People perform better when they receive praise routinely.  However, in order to support our children in taking risks, and pursuing academics and activities with persistence, the way we deliver that praise is imperative.  Otherwise, we may end up raising vapid egomaniacs, and the world is already full of those.

So, how should we deliver praise? First, know that there is no ideal ratio, but the more you praise your children, the better the results.  In other words, you cannot spoil a baby by holding them too much, and you cannot spoil a child by praising them too much.  Next, it is important that you praise their effort and specific application of skills or attributes, rather than their innate talents.  When you offer praise frequently and ‘correctly’ you avoid the adage of, “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard”.

Here’s an example.  Instead of telling your child, “Wow, you are so fast!” praise them instead by saying, “I am so impressed with the way you were determined to push your body to move your legs so quickly.  You didn’t give up!”

Three | Chores, Chores, Chores

According to the longest running longitudinal study in history, there are two key factors people need to possess to be both happy and successful: love and work ethic.  How, as parents can we instill those two traits in our children simultaneously? Chores.  When children participate in chores they learn the importance of work ethic, and they feel loved knowing that they have a purpose in their family life and knowing that they are contributing to that family life.

But, we have to include them.   And that means letting go of some of our own expectations along the way.  They have to learn, and the only way for them to learn is to practice.  Give them grace, and ample amounts of praise, and then learn to live with the missed crumbs –they will get it right, with time.

Four | Be There

In a Love and Logic world, it can be hard to remember that ultimately our children need us there, and they need us to be a safe and empathetic shoulder as much as they need us to walk them through the natural consequence they were just delivered.  When something happens to our children, whether they get hurt, make a mistake, or are confronted with failure, you can (and should) rush to their side.  In numerous studies, researchers found that adults who reflect on their childhood, had a much more positive perception of their parents when they were perceived as being there, rather than modeling self-reliance by maintaining their distance.

You can be there for your children, without ‘fixing’ the situation.  And this is the Love component of Love and Logic.  We don’t sit back when our child trips and falls; instead, we lovingly acknowledge their pain, “Ouch!  That looks like it hurts; I am so sorry that happened. What would make it feel better?” and we offer them Logic when the time is right, “Do you think your shoes being untied caused you to trip? What are your ideas for preventing another trip?”

Five | Champion their ‘Weirdness’ and their Social-Butterfly Aptitude

Children are laughably weird, and it doesn’t take more than a year or two of parenting to also realize, they come to us as they are —wonderfully and wildly unique— with their own interests and passions and eccentricities.  Rather than dejecting their affinity for dinosaur trivia, champion it and channel their interest into some real life connections, like paleontologists or a trip to a dinosaur museum.  Warren Buffet attributes his success to his eccentric tendency toward entrepreneurship as a child.  So embrace their quirkiness, and help to develop it so they can later leverage it for success and happiness.

While we’re discussing comments you may anticipate hearing at Parent Teacher Conferences, if your child is often discussed as being ‘too social’, help them to curtail it…to an extent, and know that children who are perceived as prosocial, later have a significant financial lead.  And if your child struggles socially, seek out opportunities and employ strategies to help improve their social skills and their future.


While there is no handbook for parenting, employing these 5 study-proven and scientifically supported practices will help you to raise children who are both well adjusted and successful.  And, at the end of the day, if “all you need is love”, and your children are loved and secure, you have already started a beautiful legacy.  We are so looking forward to the return on our investment, of a home filled with grown children during the holidays.

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Success Can Look Like a Number, Especially if it’s 6-Figures

As a community of women who have come together with the same common goal of enhancing our lives, we each have our own individual WHY that keeps us progressing forward toward that goal.  And, while we each have our own perspective of success that we aspire to achieve, we all agree that attaining six figures as mothers is nothing short of life changing.  As we come together to empower one another with real stories, real inspiration, and real resources, we find ourselves asking, how many women in the US have actually reached the ‘big exhale’ on the other side of earning six-figures? And, perhaps more importantly, how can we help more women experience that same success, stability, and sense of peace that comes with the ‘6-Figure Safety Net’ for themselves?

In a recent study conducted by SmartAsset, experienced financial writer and CEPF®

Ben Geier states, “Fewer than one in every eight female workers in the U.S. are six-figure earners”.  This means that throughout “the largest 100 U.S. cities, the average percentage of female workers who earn at least $100,000 is less than 12%”.  When considering the data, initially it may seem as though, as women, we’re making significant headway in achieving financial security and success, but with a closer look, it becomes obvious that we still have a long way to go in shattering those ever-elusive glass ceilings.  According to Kristin Myers, reporter for Yahoo Finance, in IRS reported figures for the tax year 2016, “of the 9% [of the population] earning at least $100,000 or more, more than twice as many men earn a six-figure salary than women”.

That should not sit well with us, particularly when we consider that leading non-profit organizations like Heifer International, know and practice what we already know intuitively as successful women and mothers: “when women have control over their assets and incomes, they reinvest in their families”.  That is wildly powerful.  The ‘6-Figure Safety Net’ is more than a number, and it is more than a goal we set for ourselves; achieving six-figures means modeling for our community and our children that financial security is a pathway to ending significant global issues like hunger and poverty.  And when empowered women, particularly mothers, have both financial and social capital, “Everyone eats more nutritious food. Kids go to school. Families get better access to health care” and, as further affirmed by UN Women, they begin to have “control over their own time, lives, and bodies; and increased voice, agency and meaningful participation in economic decision-making at all levels from the household to international institutions”

We have work to do: for ourselves, for women, for our children and for our communities.  Attaining a higher salary provides us with financial independence in the short term, but also allows us to pursue long-term financial goals and to make significant strides forward for humanity and equity.  On the heels of a particularly devastating year, it is more important than ever that we enable and empower women to chase after, and to achieve a six-figure salary.  Over “thirty-one percent of both millennials and Gen X-ers [don’t] believe they [will] ever achieve a six-figure salary”.  Let’s change that narrative starting within our own homes.