Welcome to The Power M.O.B.(Mom-Owned Businesses)!

Since Mother's Day of 2006, we've been working tirelessly to help change the way the world works, one mom-owned business at a time. The Power MOB is a leading professional organization for business owners who are also mothers. We offer professional development opportunities through panel chats, workshops and discounts on career events; social networking opportunities to connect with fellow mom entrepreneurs; expert articles to help you move your businesses forward and also find some balance in your busy days; and more. We also offer businesses and consumers the chance to connect with and support mom-owned businesses.

Click on the navigation links at the top to learn more about The Power MOB, how to join, view upcoming events, resources and our Member Directory. Read on below for current blog posts, articles and Power MOB News & Events.


14 Apr
2011

Giveaway! Tickets to Touchpoint, presented by StartUp Princess

UPDATE: Congratulations to Susan Finch and Angela Russell! You won the tickets to Touchpoint! Check your emails, and I’ll see you next Thursday April 21st at Touchpoint!

As you all know, we are all about creating and maintaining a close collaborative community within The Power MOB. I love partnering and working with other organizations who share our mission of connecting, educating and empowering mom/women entrepreneurs. StartUp Princess is one such network. They are bringing their Touchpoint event to Portland, and all current Power MOB members have a chance to win one of two tickets to the event!


StartUp Princess presents
Touchpoint
Thursday April 21, 2011
9am – 4pm
Wilf’s Restaurant
800 NW 6th Avenue

Touchpoint is the premiere event for women entrepreneurs, where practical planning meets sky-high inspiration, networking fuels momentum, and high impact strategies are the most coveted party favor. Speakers include StartUp Princess founder Kelly King Anderson, Ashley Sinclair, Diane Danowski Smith, Leigh Anne Wilkes, Ellen Rowan and Jen Grant. I will be joining fellow women entrepreneurs during the final panel, What I Learned My First Year in Business.

ENTER TO WIN TICKETS!

All current Power MOB members are eligible to win tickets! If you have yet to become a member, please two minutes (it’s really that fast!) to sign up online for your ONE-TIME, LIFETIME MEMBERSHIP with us. Within the next couple of weeks, we’ll add you to our Member Directory, but you can start connecting with fellow mom entrepreneurs immediately and experiencing other member benefits – such as entering to win a ticket to Touchpoint Portland – immediately! Click here to register for Power MOB membership.

Members, here’s how you enter to win one of two tickets to this FABULOUS event for women entrepreneurs:
1. Leave a comment to this post letting us know who you are and tell us briefly (one line will do!) about your business (free self-promo? Come on! You can’t pass this up!)

You also have the chance for additional entries by doing the following optional steps:
2. “Like” The Power MOB (Mom-Owned Businesses) on Facebook, then come back to this post and leave another comment letting us know you’ve done so.

3. Follow us on Twitter @ThePowerMOB then come back to this post and leave another separate comment letting us know you’ve done so, and what your Twitter ID is.

DEADLINE: This giveaway ends at 11:59pm FRIDAY April 15th! Two separate winners will be announced Saturday April 16th in an update of this post. Please be sure to check back here to see if you’ve won!

Ready to join fellow women entrepreneurs for a day full of inspiration, practical advice and strategic tips? Enter to win a ticket to Touchpoint NOW! Good luck!

12 Apr
2011

Stalk a rock star (in your industry)

There is no better way to become great in your business than to absorb and learn from the greatness of others. Everything you admire in someone else is either already a strength that you have or one that is waiting to be developed.

Go ahead and picture someone in your industry (or a related one) that you makes you feel a little awe-struck. What about that person or business curls your toes? What do they do really well? Which of your secret dreams are they currently actualizing?

Now take that list and point it back to yourself. How many of the qualities can you find, even in tiny amounts, in yourself? Which of those traits would you like to amp up in your own business? How ready are you to claim your vision?

I currently have a few “business crushes.” One is the uber-talented Danielle LaPorte of White Hot Truth. While our mission, message and voice are very different, there is something about her clarity that regularly gives me chills. She bravely writes and speaks right to the heart of inspiration and challenges creative thinkers to new levels.

Are you brave enough to learn from the masters in your industry? Go ahead, share a few of your “rock star” crushes in the comments section below!

Savannah Mayfield is the mom of two boys and a freelance writer and life coach in Portland, Oregon. Find out more about her work at Nurture Life Coaching.

12 Apr
2011

Re-vise, Re-vamp…or simply re-write? When change is necessary.

Though sometimes we feel using our funds in this economy to fund marketing materials or re-vamp our website seem like the least favorable things to do (or the least favorable to those loved ones that advise us), I say…

If you know you need it (and we know who we are), revise your materials and re-vamp that website!  Sometimes even small changes create big talk and big momentum…what about the copy. Could your copy stand a change? A refresher?

Being a business back in the US for the last two months and slowly ramping up with design work locally here in LA, I can say, for me, it’s now necessary.  RIGHT NOW. I was a business focused mainly on social stationery for a good number of years but for the greater part of my ten years in business now I’ve been focused on branding and graphic design for businesses. So, it’s definitely time…this look won’t cut it anymore:

Not only has my address changed (yet again…how much longer can I hand-write my address over my old one?) but my business has changed, not in what I do or how I service but mainly in how I’d like to communicate who I am and what my company can do for other businesses.

I’ve been inspired since living in Mexico, yes, but I also live in a new city too with a slightly different feel than Guadalajara or Portland for that matter. And though my clients are from all over, I feel that as I include LA as a new ghilotti ink city, I also need to re-vise my look.

Do you have a fresher way to say what you need to say?

So, personally, these are what I’ve checked off the list:

– Called three web programmers for quotes for web design (right now I merely have a “micro-movement” completed…a sketch on a piece of white paper but hey sketches become jpgs and jpgs get loaded onto new websites).

– New web design idea that ties to ghilotti ink’s mission and goal(s) moving forward

– New mailing address

– List of new contacts in place to send out the exciting news of the update (including, possibly a new logo, still mulling that over)

Again, you don’t have to be in a new city to make changes like this but *ask yourself, ask that gut; is it time to revise your look*?  If the answer is a genuine yes, start slow but start, grow that momentum and find people to help you do it right.

And it needn’t be something that demands a big outflow of cash. It could be spending a few hours deciding to change the copy on your site, a couple hours on creating that online newsletter you’ve been talking about or a more frequent blog presence. Again, start small. Small always grows (I’ve been mulling over the re-design since before leaving Mexico three months ago). Create a micromovement that will eventually lead to big change, more buzz and attraction to your *star power* again.

Every time somebody tries to go in and reinvent what we do, it always ends up being more about technology and sets, and flash and dash, forgetting the main thing, which is interesting people saying interesting, important things ~ Diane Sawyer


7 Apr
2011

10 Tips for Employee Wage and Hour Compliance

There are a variety of wage laws that require strict compliance and that may lead to heavy penalties for the unwary employer. Following are some tips to help ensure you remain compliant.

1.    First, ask whether your employee is “exempt”? Exempt employees are not covered by some wage laws (such as minimum wage and overtime). These employees include certain executive, administrative, and professional employees.
2.    Non-exempt employees must receive at least minimum wage for all hours worked.
3.    Non-exempt employees are entitled to overtime pay for anything over 40 hours in a “work-week.”
4.    Set a “pay period” and define a “workweek.” These may or may not be the same thing. For example, workweeks commonly begin on a Monday and end on a Sunday, while a pay period may be every 15th and 30th. The workweek will help you determine when or if an employee is due overtime wages.
5.    Pay attention to mandatory breaks and ensure your employees are them:
a.    A 10-minute rest period for each segment of four hours in the work period.
b.    Unpaid 30-minute meal period for every 6-hour work period.
6.    Permissible deductions are strictly regulated and limited. Following are the permissible deductions:
a.    Legally required deductions, such as payroll taxes.
b.    Voluntarily authorized deductions that are for the employee’s benefit (e.g. health or dental insurance).
c.    Authorized charitable contributions.
d.    Garnishment processing fees.
e.    You may not deduct for till shortages, inventory breakage, etc., and only sometimes for uniforms or tools that are required for the job.
7.    You may be required to pay for an employee’s travel time, such as:
a.    Travel between job sites;
b.    Special one-day assignments; or
c.    Overnight travel.
8.    Training time must be paid unless it is voluntary, outside regular working hours, not directly related to their job, and no productive work is performed.
9.    “Show-up” pay is only required for minors, and no longer for adults. You only pay for actual hours worked.
10.    Be aware of when an employee’s final paycheck is due.
a.    If terminated by Employer: check is due by end of next business day.
b.    If employee quits with 48-hour notice: By end of final workday.
c.    If employee quits without notice: Within 5 working days, or on the next regular payday.

Sarah E. Adams is an Oregon-licensed attorney and founding member of Adams Law Office, LLC. She has her own practice in Portland and specializes in advising business owners on how their legal rights and needs fit in with their practical business considerations. Sarah is also a happy mom to 5 and 2 year old girls.

27 Mar
2011

Laptop Lunch! April 20, 2011 at Warehouse Cafe

mompreneurs laptop lunch networking event

All Portland-area mom entrepreneurs are invited to join us:

Laptop Lunch
Wednesday April 20
11:30am – 1:30 pm
Warehouse Cafe
3434 SE Milwaukie Avenue
Portland, OR

As mom entrepreneurs, it is easy for us to get wrapped up in our own worlds. We need the opportunity to be able to get work done while also getting out of the office/house and to network with other business owners who get what we’re going through. Enter The Power MOB’s Laptop Lunch sessions. Every other month, we meet at a local cafe that offers free Wi-Fi. You bring your laptop, any work you need to get done, business cards, cash for your own lunch, and an eagerness to connect with, learn from, and support your fellow mom entrepreneurs. Our Mom-Owned Business Laptop Lunch events are free and open to the public, but your RSVP is requested at least two days in advance so that we can plan accordingly.

NOTE: If you are NOT a Power MOB member, you may attend up to TWO (2) Laptop Lunch sessions without being a member. After the second, you must become a member to attend. Simply click here to register for your one-time, lifetime membership!

To RSVP: Please click here and fill out the very brief online Power MOB event registration form to reserve your spot at our next Power MOB Laptop Lunch for mom entrepreneurs.

15 Mar
2011

You Are A Pioneer!

As a business entrepreneur, no matter what type of business you have created, you are a pioneer. No one is doing it just like you are. No one has your exact skills, personality, vision, and community.

Seeing yourself as pioneer can have several benefits for you and your business. This perspective allows you to enter the unknown of your future with a sense of adventure. It invites you to navigate the ups and downs of business life with the understanding that any exploration has its trials. A true pioneer is resilient and courageous, gathering inner resources when faced with external challenges.

Consider our foremothers: the women who fought for suffrage, civil rights, women’s rights to make choices about their own bodies…and more. Keep in mind the women all over the world who at this moment are faced with enormous obstacles while standing for truth and justice.

You are no different.

If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, gather strength from the pioneer spirit. It has the following components:

1. Stay curious. A pioneer explores uncharted territory, holding a sense of curiosity as the very best compass.
2. Take risks. The great strides that have been made would be impossible without the willingness to take risks.
3. Gather support. When entering a new frontier, it is never a good idea to go alone.
4. Know yourself. Every pioneer had an inner drive towards something she cared about. Make sure you know what is driving you in your own venture.

In moments when you feel stuck or unsure, think of someone you know who embodies the pioneer spirit in their business and apply those qualities to your current situation. This will get you much further than remaining in a limiting mindset.

Savannah Mayfield is a the mother of two boys and a life coach and freelance writer in Portland, Ore. She is dedicated to women having inner clarity and practicing self nurture. You can find more information about her work at Nurture Life Coaching.

8 Mar
2011

Happy Int’l Womens Day, Power Mobbers!

I just finished a week long, super duper intense book proposal bootcamp. Seven days, 10 hours of writing (at least) and three conference calls PER DAY with 19 other writers from around the globe (makes me tired just thinking about it again!).

Yes, I’m writing a book for my newest baby, how to be a walking Momtra, (http://howtobeawalkingmomtra.wordpress.com/) and most days I still can’t believe it.

As with real birth, the birth of this new foundation and book is and has been me-hessy! And it hurts.

Oh has it hurt.

I spilled coffee onto my laptop two days in and almost lost EVERY SINGLE WRITING FILE from the last seven months. Eighty-five percent was recovered but boy were those 36 hours waiting to hear from the technician painful.

What got me through besides my yoga breathing?

Being a part of the writers group. Support got me through.

And, this is what I believe we should all be chasing after (and inspired by) when we move to a new city, to a new house, to a new office, jumpstart a new business, create a new blog post…small to big, support is key to bring something to life!

Be active in this pursuit, ladies. Search it out for yourself because more than likely it will not find you. Get and be in charge…it will make the newness or scariness of whatever you have going on soooo much better, not to mention more fun!

I think as entrepreneurs, many of us working inside the home, we forget organizations exist (thank you Power Mob, thank you Marlynn!) or, even, that our friends, partners and neighbors exist! You believe in the village? Me too…we all exist to support and help each other. So:

Ask for it.

And, let’s remind each other that being a woman and birthing new life to and to growing our success is imperfect.

With that said, happy birthing of new projects today, Power Woman!

And speaking of support and birthing, please join the conversation on the perfection myth by following MomsRHuman on twitter (born today!!! be the first to follow), created by how to be a walking Momtra. (http://twitter.com/#!/MomsRHuman). Thanks!

Again, Happy Int’l Womens Day, Power Mobbers! I, one of many, support you!

3 Mar
2011

Where is the Time?

This week has been a week for me like many busy Mamapreneurs. The babysitter canceled again, my youngest daughter has a nasty cold and had potty accidents two nights in a row, my husband’s working until 10:30/11:30 nightly, and my own business and personal To- Do lists are ginormous. Mind you I turn into a pumpkin at 11:00 pm, latest, since I arise when still dark and start training clients at 5:00 am. It is a week when juggling is the key word, and I know every busy Mamapreneur has been there or may be there as I type.

This “week” is an example of time when many women push their own needs aside, as they try to make it to the end of each day in one piece. Thus, their exercise routine is thrown out the window during a time when they need stress release the most. Please, during days and weeks that are slammed, incorporate even a little bit of exercise time into your day. It is the medicine that will help keep you stronger both mentally and physically, and truly able to take 5 big breaths when craziness hits.  ie: You in the middle of writing an article and your kiddo hops in your lap for a big hug but turns off the computer. Lovely feeling, sarcasm intended, with laughter, long groans, and laughter again all in the same minute.

HOW TO incorporate exercise on wild ‘n crazy days:

Try some of the following ideas even if you only have minutes at a time. Each chunk of time helps, and you can always incorporate your kids too.

Wild Week Workouts:
1. Playground Perk n Pick Up- When picking up your kids at school, let them play at the playground for at least 15 minutes. During that time, join in on a game of tag, grab a park bench and do some dips, jog laps around the little kids playground, do liners with your kids and their friends on the basketball/tennis courts. Make yourself move fast, as you have your kids moving and getting their wiggles out too.

2. Playroom Pick UP– Every playroom, kids bedroom or family room tend to be the messiest and craziest rooms of the house. Grab a big tub/basket to toss the toys into. With your kids, set the timer and time how fast it takes to pick up all of the toys. When done everyone does 10-20 push ups and 10-20 squats.  Toss the basket of toys all over the ground and starts again. Reset the timer and continue game for 7-10 times.

3. Errand Round Up- You kid may have a bad cold and unable to go to school, but can easily get bundled up and enjoy some fresh air.  Make a list of what errands you have to get done and map it out- post office, dropping off a proposal for a client, picking up milk, and borrowing a special book from a friend.  Stick with your map and run or walk to each errand.  If your kiddo is home with a sitter, put on your backpack and feel like a camp counselor, and run to each spot solo.  I did this yesterday to my dentist appointment, the post office and by a client’s house.  At the end, 5.8 mile run complete in addition to the errands. It does take a few minutes of planning, but makes a huge difference to your day!

4. In HOME Workout- Everyone can do anything for at least one minute.  Do the following Minute to Win IT work out 1,2, 3 or 4 times through, at 80-90% of Maximum Heart Rate.  Your body, running shoes and water to hydrate are the only items needed.

Minute to WIN It Workout

Exercises: do 3 sets of each exercise for 1 minute = 30 minutes

Mountain Climbers
Jumping Jacks
Push Ups
Reverse Lunges
Plank Jacks
Dip with Jacks
Side Jumps
Narrow Grip Push Ups
Speed Skaters
Jump Squats

Make sure to write your workouts in your agenda, just like every important task. Even 5 minutes of sweating can boost your endorphin levels.  YOU can do it, all you need is a little nudge and support.  Make sure to take care of YOU while you take care of your world!

If you have any questions in regards to the workouts, additional ideas, or health and fitness questions you want answered please email me: powerfitnesspdx@gmail.com

Erin Kreitz Shirey can be found on an island in the Bay Area running and cycling everywhere. She is the Master Trainer/CEO/Chief Coach of Power Fitness PDX – Boot Camps, fitness workshops, personal training and fitness media. When not teaching or training, she is laughing deliciously with her kids and trying to enjoy every ounce of life’s adventures. Recently the parent of a sick child, Erin writes about juggling and balancing it all at EmbraceLifesChallenges, in addition to writing her fitness blogs PowerofYOUfitness and Power Fitness PDX

2 Mar
2011

Women Entrepreneurs Mentorship Pilot Program

From our partners at Mercy Corps NW Women’s Business Center

Three things we know for sure:

1. Small business owners get tons of benefits from mentoring.

2. Effective, experience mentors tend to be in short supply – it can be hard for small business owners to put their fingers on exactly what they need, much less locate a mentor who fits, and good mentoring takes time and practice (something that’s in short supply for mentors who need to  keep their minds on their own businesses).

3. We want to help – so we’ve got something a bit different to try and we’re looking for small business owners who’ll pilot it with us.

WHO: The Women’s Business Center at Mercy Corps Northwest is looking for 20-25 women who own and operate a small business to participate in a pilot mentorship program with other business owners. We are looking for business owners who are up and running, have taken in at least 12 months of revenues, but may be struggling with the next steps in their business-building.

WHAT: The 3-hour event will be hosted by the advisory board of the Women’s Business Center at Mercy Corps Northwest. The event will be facilitated by Julie Huffaker, a partner with On Your Feet, an international business consultancy located in Portland, Oregon.

HOW: Participants will be introduced to a Think Tank problem-solving model, and use this to clarify a business issue the y’re struggling with or an aspiration they don’t know how to tackle. Structured small group clusters (“think tanks” that include advisory board members and other mentors) will then select issues to work on. Participants will leave with (1) better tools to define their business challenges (and therefore a better chance of getting the help they need; (2) new ideas and inspiration from advisory mentors and their small business peers; and (3) perhaps some of their own issues resolved!

WHEN and WHERE: April 1, 11-2 pm in the Ache room in the Mercy Corps Action Center.

If you are interested in participating as a mentor or a business owner please contact Leslie Bevan, Women’s Business Center Manager at Mercy Corps Northwest.

2 Mar
2011

MOM-E of the Month {March/April}: Linda Cohen, 1000 Mitzvahs

Mom entrepreneur of the Month: Linda Cohen, Power MOB member
March/April 2011
MOM Entrepreneur (MOM-E) of the Month: Linda Cohen
Author/Speaker, 1000 Mitzvahs

Kids:
Gabrielle age 13, Solomon age 10.

Brief biz description:
I am currently a writer and speaker.
Author: 1000 Mitzvahs: How Small Acts of Kindness Can Heal, Inspire and Change Your Life – in Bookstores November 2011.
Speaker: volunteerism, mitzvahs, motherhood, moving through grief.

Target audience:
Women both with kids and without, folks that have experienced loss, seniors, Jewish communities, corporations with volunteer programs

Job held before you started this biz:
Before working on my book, I was a consultant for Arbonne, a health and wellness company, although my background is in fundraising.

Initial Start-Up Costs:
$1,200 – Once I got the book contract, I upgraded to a new Mac computer. $ 800 – I also enrolled in the Fast Track program through the National Speakers Association.

Initial Funding:
Book contract money

First “woohoo!” business moment:
When I received the acceptance letter from Seal Press letting me know they wanted my manuscript.

Biggest Mistake-Turned-Teaching-Moment:
In my last business, I wasn’t good about setting work hours and felt like I worked a lot after the kids were home from school. Now, I try to finish what I need to before they come home from school and be present when they arrive. It already seems like their childhood is going by so fast. I mean, I have a teenager! Yikes.

How you feel about competition in your industry:
There are lots of inspirational books and speakers out there. Finding my message and my audience and marketing myself is really the key.

Greatest source of clients for your biz:
Word of mouth from others who know me or my work.

Your inspiration:
My family. They make me laugh a lot and always keep me humble!

#1 piece of business advice every mom entrepreneur should follow:
Find or create your own mastermind group, ask me how if you aren’t sure. I organized one when I knew I was jumping into a new business venture and wanted to reinvent myself. I have been so grateful for this group of women. We call each other our own board of directors.

#1 sanity-saving tip for work/life balance:
It’s making sure to take care of myself, exercise, massage, being in nature and remembering that it’s okay to say no.

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