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.

15 Feb

Staying Inspired

We had a blast at the Power MOB luncheon last week as we shared about (and rallied for) staying inspired while running a business! For those of you who missed the event, I am sharing the highlights of our conversation, so that you can participate too! Please leave your own responses in the comments below.

Key Questions:

1. What are some of your inner and outer resources? How do you regularly stay connected to them?
Responses: Attending Power MOB events to connect with other women, moving my body, doing something for someone else like volunteering, spending time with my family, listening to my inner voice, focusing on my breath…

2. What is your soul food?
Responses: Being of service, connecting with other women, being authentic, cooking, crafting, reading…

3. When you feel stuck in your business, where do you turn?
Responses: To mentors, friends with great perspective, towards another activity that is relaxing, mastermind group, move my body…

4. Which aspects of your business most excite and energize you?
Responses: happy clients, being in the flow, doing my actual job (rather than all the side jobs that go with my business), being creative…

5. What do you stand for and how does your business reflect you?
We didn’t get time for this question in the group. I charge each of you to consider it carefully!

6.. If you were braver, what would you be doing differently in your business?
Responses: Delegating more, letting go of being in control, reaching out (even when it is scary), heart-fully asking for business, taking on that project that both excites and terrifies me…

Tiny Tip List:
*Tend to yourself first. As an entrepreneur, you are your own brand!
*Fuel your inner fire and your business will thrive.
*Get a mentor, even if you never meet them in person.
*Drop or delegate things that drain you.
*Remember you have a body: take deep breaths, move and commit to your own health.
*Keep your business directed towards where you want to go.
*Remember why you do what you do. Yes, the meaning of it all!

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.

13 Feb

Send Me Your Questions!

How it works: You send me your questions to AskQuestion@SarahAdamsLaw.com and I will answer them in the order received. I will then turn your question into a blog post (keeping your identity anonymous, of course) and respond by email to let you know that your question has been answered.

Disclaimer: Keep in mind that any questions I answer are intended as general information to raise some issues for you to discuss with your lawyer and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is best to consult an attorney if you want a specific question answered.

13 Feb

I need to negotiate a lease, what should I look out for?

Each lease may be very unique. However, there a few key issues covered in almost all leases. As described below some of the key issues include: the how long are you guaranteed to have the space for; how much it will cost; what uses are permitted or excluded; and who is responsible for which repairs and maintenance.

Term. The length of the lease is a most basic provision. In deciding the term length you want to consider: the term start date and end date; and whether you need a guaranteed option to renew.

Rent. The other most basic provision is the rent – how much will this lease cost? Pay close attention to what is included in the base rent and whether you will be paying for operating expenses, property taxes, and insurance.

Uses. Permitted uses are not always covered, and sometimes forgotten. Ensure that all the uses you plan to make of the premises are expressly included as permitted uses. Broad language used here will offer greater flexibility to the tenant.

Repairs and maintenance. Repairs and maintenance can be a costly and unpredictable. It is common for the tenant to bear responsibility for maintaining and repairing the interior portions of the premises including electrical and plumbing. Landlords often retain the obligation to repair all structural and foundation issues with the premises. Consider the age of the building and expected maintenance while negotiating this point.

Other. During lease negotiations any number of other issues may arise and promises made in response. Common promises include: making the lease contingent upon outside factors such as securing permits; excluding competitors from renting space in the same complex; or dedicated parking spaces.

It is critical that you carefully review any proposed lease to ensure it contains your understanding of the negotiations and all the promises made by both parties. Just remember that if it’s not written into the agreement, it will be much more difficult to enforce.

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 4 and 1 year old girls.

11 Feb

The Importance of Having a Secret Sanctuary

It’s been an amazing week. Lots of highs, and the lows…the lows were tough (so thank goodness for the highs!). This morning I was feeling very, very frustrated. I did what I needed to do to clear my mind: I went grocery shopping. BY MYSELF.

As pathetic silly as it sounds, the grocery store is my secret sanctuary. That is, when I get the rare opportunity to go on my own. There’s something about wandering each aisle at a leisurely pace, without having to play referee to my two fighting kids, without having to administer bribes/threats/pleas in order to receive semi-sane behavior from them.

When you go early in the day, it’s a rather peaceful place.

And then there’s the food.

I love to cook and bake, and while my kitchen is another, different kind of sanctuary, the grocery store is a place outside of my normal everyday routine where I get to imagine the meals I can create for my family and friends. All by my lonesome, I get to stop and actually read labels to make informed choices. I get to stand back and look at the full array of options and pick and choose carefully instead of rushing to just grab whatever is nearest to my reach and get the heck out of there before (more) tantrums begin. I get to (and this is the geeky visual communicator in me) admire & compare product packaging, soak up the colors & scents of the seasonal fruits & veggies, and visualize the hearty meals that might produce satisfied smiles from the ones I love the most.

A trip to the grocery store by myself transports me out of the madness of work problems, the here & now challenges of raising kids, the general chaos & frustration of everyday life, into an oasis of calm that helps produce amazing clarity. I sit here now, refreshed, less frustrated, with a clearer vision for how to tackle the issues that were bugging me beforehand.

I’m also now insanely hungry. But I digress.

I can’t hop on a plane and soak in Paris by myself on a whim, but these little solitary trips to the grocery store are incredible for my focus and decision-making. As a full-time business owner and a full-time mother, I know how important it is to step outside of the situation, and into a secret sanctuary that helps you recharge, rebuild, and move forward.

If you think really hard, I bet that you have your own secret sanctuary. Care to share where yours is, and how it helps you as a business owner & mother?

7 Feb

Inspiration + Momentum: Winter 2011 Power MOB Event

We have just TWO spots left for Thursday’s Inspiration & Momentum luncheon event! Learn more about the event here, but I wanted to share with you the mouth-watering menu that our wonderful friends at Mother’s Bistro have put together for us.

For just $25, attendees get to meet & mingle with fellow mom entrepreneurs, participate in a discussion with Life Coach Savannah Mayfield about inspiration and momentum in business & life, AND attendees get to enjoy appetizers and their choice of one of the following tasty lunch entrees and one tempting dessert:


Fried Calamari crispy calamari served with sweet & sour garlic sauce
potato & onion-filled handmade dumplings, served with caramelized onions & sour cream
a dip of garbanzo beans, garlic and sesame, served with sliced tomatoes, spicy chili paste, kalamata olives & pita bread

ENTREE OPTIONS (attendees choose one)

Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken Sandwich prosciutto ham-wrapped, garlic-marinated chicken breast topped with melted provolone cheese, on a grilled french roll, with mesclun greens, tomatoes & roasted garlic mayonnaise
Mexican Chopped Salad
julienne leaf lettuce, grilled marinated chicken breast, tomatoes, red onion, avocado, cheddar cheese & crispy tortilla strips, with honey-lime vinaigrette, topped with cotija cheese
Cobb Salad
red leaf & romaine lettuce, grilled chicken breast, sliced egg, avocado, tomatoes, blue cheese & bacon, with side of blue cheese, balsamic vinaigrette, thousand island, poppy seed or honey mustard dressing
Grilled Portabella Mushroom Sandwich
on a grilled seeded brioche bun with organic field greens, tomatoes & sun-dried tomato mayonnaise, served with pasta salad (add provolone cheese)
Macaroni & Cheese
Varies, great as a vegetarian option. Can be broccoli & cheddar or spinach, ricotta & parmesan cheese
“Strawberry Mountain” Beef Burger
grilled to MEDIUM temperature all-natural 1/3 pound burger on a seeded brioche bun with mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato & red onion, served with made-from-scratch french fries (add cheddar, swiss, provolone, jack cheese, bacon or avocado)

DESSERT OPTIONS (attendees choose one)

Seasonal Crisp served warm with vanilla ice cream–  OR — Devil’s Food Cake

Thanks to Mother’s Bistro for hosting our event in their wonderful space and offering such a fantastic array of options! We look forward to connecting, educating & empowering all of you fabulous mom entrepreneurs who will be joining us:
Thursday Feb 10
11:30am – 1:00 pm
Mother’s Bistro

212 SW Stark
Portland, OR
$25 admission
Register online ASAP before we’re sold out!

Questions? Please email us (if you have questions about the event, please send us an email at least 24 hours before the event start, otherwise we may not get to your email until after the event).

7 Feb

MOVE, a girl and business on the move

I and ghilotti ink are two weeks new to Los Angeles, California. (Beyond having some sticker shock from living in Mexico the last two years all is good in this design and writing world). So let me take you quickly through Ghilotti Mandel MOVES. Last move was from Guadalajara, Mexico. Before that ~ Portland (my favorite place in the US!) and before that Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Before that ~ brief stint in Los Angeles and before that San Francisco, CA where ghilotti ink was actually born!

I feel like ghilotti ink always has her bags at the ready.

MOVE, a girl and business on the move. And so far so good.

When I landed in LA, I had to remind myself how I get new clients, how I re-boot a design business?

Hopefully this helps some of you…to either make the leap to live abroad (I’ve had a few people email me surprisingly the last few months about “How” I did it) or make ANY move you’ve been thinking about emotionally or professionally or both. But wait…for any of you considering leaving Portland…don’t. There’s a ha-ha in there but from all my travels, living and otherwise, boy is it a GEM! Best place in America, it really is.

How do you get new clients in your new city?

  • First, connect with friends old, new, the person walking down the street. Before we left Guadalajara, I connected (via facebook mainly…thank you social media!) with distant college friends living in Los Angeles doing either marketing, design work or advertising and told them, in advance I was coming and was super interested in hearing about any opportunities they personally might have that would be a good fit or if there were any they could pass my name along to other relevant folks or companies. As I was sitting on the beach in Mexico, I received an exciting marketing opportunity with a yoga brand I love very much. Nothing has ramped up as of yet but I was then reminded about the power of marketing  yourself and better yet, making really simple connections with people you know (and not burning bridges, yeah that’s a big one, too).
  • Talk. Talk. Talk about your business. To anyone that will listen.
  • Post your cards or brochure on the appropriate boards around town.
  • Blog.
  • Connect with old clients, if there are some that you haven’t chatted with in a while. Just a hello goes a long way.
  • Serve those old clients you have ongoing work with amazingly well (not that you wouldn’t). Oh referrals. Bread n butta, icing, dark chocolate…referrals are all of those things!
  • Update your site (best advice to others is best advice for self…I MUST badly do this)
  • Add yourself to sites advertising your line of work. i,e, in Portland I listed ghilotti ink up on Rose City Designers and it was a great additional way to expand my  opportunities
  • Know and maybe more importantly, really feel that it will come because…it always does or has. Many of our businesses have that ebb and flow. It was hard, very hard, for me to accept a few years ago but once you do, once you trust that it all really does fall into place, it does.

Hopefully this is the most important piece ~ trusting yourself and trusting this girl on the MOVE over here who is telling you it most definitely can be d o n e. And happily!

You get what you think and will for yourself so think, repeat the good stuff in addition to putting yourself out there!

24 Jan

Maximizing Mama Work Time in a Short Month

February for me symbolizes; my tax deadline is creeping closer, preschool open house season, Valentine’s Day, oh and my kids will miss 5 full days of school for various holidays, conferences and in-service days. If you are like me, you are still riding high on the energy and inspiration which comes with the New Year and appreciating and maximizing every golden minute allotted.

Here are a few options to help you through a short month with even less hours for us Mamas to do our thing (with kids, without kids and in the spirit of Dr. King, a few volunteer options with organizations that are uber kid-friendly).

We Village (wevillage.com) A super-fun, modern & eco-friendly drop in childcare spot in the Pearl.

Sitter Soiree (sittersoiree.org)– next event February 23rd @ Branch * Birdie. Let us introduce you to a pool of brilliant, educated and qualified babysitters while noshing on delicious treats and shopping local goods.

Playdate PDX (playdatepdx.com) – My new fave kid-play space. They offer Stumptown Coffee, a nice cafe and a comfy parent area (bring your laptop and catch up on emails while the kiddos play).

Portland Parks & Rec Community Centers (portlandonline.com/parks/finder). PP & R offers indoor parks, classes and camps .

Kid-Friendly Volunteer Options-
Hands on Greater Portland (handsonportland.org) will help you select a child friendly volunteer project. Through HOGP, we may family has enjoyed making alphabet posters for Preschools, making thoughtful cards for the elderly or children’s hospitals and delivering meals and Valentine’s cards to seniors.

Children’s Book Bank (childrensbookbank.org). You can clean and sort books for various low-income schools at locations throughout Portland.

Also, be proactive and coordinate with other Mamas for a few swap hours!

Plan, plan, plan.

19 Jan

POWER: What makes a woman powerful?

Today I had the amazing opportunity to be interviewed by Lara Galloway, the Mom Biz Coach, as she kicked off her 2011 WoMEN teleseminar series with a discussion about women and power. We both have worked with women entrepreneurs and specifically mom entrepreneurs for several years, so our discussion drew from a lot of our personal experiences and our experiences working with so many incredible women who juggle motherhood with business ownership every day. You can give it a listen here online — if you’re pressed for time, the gold nuggets of our discussion and the key points I think we hope you’ll walk away remembering can be found more toward the middle of the interview.

The subject of power and women, especially moms, is VITAL to me. Each day, I watch women apologize for their accomplishments. Each day, I watch women minimize their success, shy away from sharing their happiness, and they allow others to take away their power. I’m really tired of it, ladies. Stop apologizing and start accepting. Stop allowing other people’s perceptions to stop you from harnessing your power to live the best life you can live.

Every single woman is powerful. One of the reasons I started Wonder Woman Wednesday and why I’ve been featuring a MOM-E of the MONTH for the past five years is because I truly believe every woman is worthy of recognition. We ALL have many powers within us. They are not all the same, and thank goodness: how boring would this world be if we all excelled at the exact same thing! Yet as we all have the same access to our own power, we also all have the same capacity for self-sabatoge. If I could give every single woman I met one thing, it would be this: the self-respect to own her power. Because when you OWN your power, you are then free to move upward and forward and accomplish amazing things, instead of holding yourself back.

Let go, ladies. Take a good, hard look in the mirror. Accept your flaws – OWN your flaws – but then more importantly, right now: OWN YOUR POWER. Own your voice, own your convictions, own your beliefs, own your sense of self. THAT is where the source of power lies.

How would I describe a powerful woman?
1. She is happy because she lives her life fully: she lives her happiness proudly and shares it with others.
2. She stands strong in her sense of self: she acknowledges her strengths but she is also openly flawed and vulnerable. She doesn’t pretend to be perfect, she doesn’t hide parts of who she is for fear of not being accepted or losing an audience, she doesn’t apologize for the traits that make her who she is. She respects herself – the good, the bad, the ugly — and therefore commands respect from others.
3. She has influence over others around her and uses her influence to promote good, to help others, to spread happiness and thus empower others. A woman who has the ability to invoke strong emotion or action in others? That’s power.
4. She is confident enough in her traits and abilities to be supportive and cheer on those who excel either in similar areas or in areas in which she does not excel and has no interest in.
5. She lives her passion. Different from living her happiness, she proactively pursues the things in life that she cares deeply about, whether professional or personal.

Those are five main points of hundreds that describe what I define to be a powerful woman. Those are traits I see in all of the women who inspire me, motivate me, and mentor me.

So what about YOU? I would love it if you would leave a comment here or on our BlogFrog forum thread:
1. What makes a woman powerful?
2. How do you think power is defined differently for men as it is for women?

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

18 Jan

2011 Challenge: Stay connected to your heart!

Happy 2011, Power MOB women!

I have a challenge for each of you this year and it is actually pretty simple, quite powerful and not always easy. Here it is: stay connected to your heart while running your business.

I told you it was simple! Maybe you already do it naturally. You wake up in the morning and feel good about the way you care for your family, feel passionate about the work that you do and stay in touch with the things and people you care about in life.

And it is a powerful way of being. You are the heart of your business, so the more connected you are to your own heart, the more life and energy your business has to grow and succeed.

But it isn’t easy every day, is it? Life can be challenging. You are often stretched thin between family commitments and work responsibilities. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and exhausted. When you lose touch with yourself and your own needs, you can’t access your heart as fully.

Here are a few actions that can keep you on track:

1.  Make sure your business reflects your values. You should feel proud about what your company represents and realize that your company mission statement is truly your personal mission statement.
2.  Take care of yourself. Just like you tend to every other important tool in your business, continue to prioritize your own wellbeing. You are your business’ greatest asset. Treat yourself as such.
3.  Care about your clients and customers. And if you don’t, why would you serve them anyway? Let go of the ones that aren’t a good fit for you.
4.  Be passionate about at least one aspect of your business. I know that you might wear many hats and not all of them fit perfectly. But make sure that there is at least one key role that you play in your business that rocks your own socks off. One thing that you would do, even if you weren’t getting paid and that you can’t wait to do each and every day you go to work.

I suggest having a regular check-in (at least once per month) to evaluate how you feel about your business. It could be as simple as a few minutes of reflection to see how connected you feel to your company’s current direction and to make sure you are tending to your own needs.

I guarantee that if you dedicate time and attention to this important challenge, you will enjoy greater fulfillment.

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.

17 Jan

{event} The Power MOB Winter 2011 Event: Inspiration & Momentum

Power MOB Winter 2011 Event: Inspiration & Momentum
Thursday February 10, 2011
11:30am – 1:30pm
Mother’s Bistro
212 Sw Stark, Portland, OR

$25 admission
Includes choice of an entree, dessert and beverage from The Power MOB special event menu

Are you ready to make 2011 the most successful, most fulfilling year yet — for both your business, and your family? At The Power MOB, we aim to inspire, educate, connect and empower business owners who are also mothers. We invite all women entrepreneurs to join us for a luncheon discussion about inspiration and momentum that will keep you motivated and growing your business all year long.

This is a great opportunity to connect with fellow women entrepreneurs who are also mothers. Bring plenty of business cards but more importantly, a positive collaborative attitude and an eagerness to grow authentic relationships that last and flourish. We aim to have a lot of FUN while learning to build stronger businesses & communities!

Guest Facilitator: Savannah Mayfield, Owner, Nurture Life Coaching

Savannah Mayfield, Nurture Life Coaching


Savannah is a life coach who specializes in partnering with women for their professional success and personal growth.  She supports her clients in gaining insight and clarity into their lives and relationships, planning and launching new ventures, and navigating challenging transitions.  She offers one-on-one personal coaching, group coaching and inspiring workshops.

She has been featured regularly on the morning television show AM Northwest, published articles in parenting magazines and serves as the editor and coaching specialist of MotherSource.org. She writes a popular blog and joyfully plays with her journalist husband and two sons (17 & 2) in Portland, Ore.

* * * * * * * * * * Click here for more information and to register * * * * * * * * * *

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