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.


13 Jan
2011

When do I need to trademark a name or process I have created?

What is a trademark?

A trademark is a mark (name, word, phrase, symbol, etc) that is used to indicate that the associated product or service has originated from your company. Think of the Nike Inc’s Swoosh, or Macintosh’s Apple. Therefore, trademarks are critical components of any company’s brand. Once you begin using a given mark on your products or services you are creating your trademark and you will automatically have certain limited rights to protect that mark against infringers. Trademark registration will broaden those rights and enhance your ability to protect your mark.

Why Register my Trademark?

Registration of your trademark has a three primary benefits: 1) deterrent effect against future infringers; 3) protects your mark in other states before you get there; and 3) gives you enhanced ability to aggressively protect your trademark against other infringers.

You may register with either the state or federal government. Where you register depends upon the geographic expanse of your market.

To register with the State, you will need to contact the Secretary of State and fill out an application and provide any supporting documentation requested. For Federal registration, you may begin the application process at www.uspto.gov.

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.

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.

7 Jan
2011

How Busy Mamapreneurs Can Make Fitness Goals Work

We all make them, those pesky New Years Resolutions, about working out more and losing 5-10 pounds. But the reason they are made annually; we don’t change the parts of our lives to incorporate them. We may be good for a month or two, but then the deadline of a project approaches, combined with helping your child with the Science Fair. How are you supposed to fit your workouts in when slammed with life’s unexpected busy weeks? A big part of making fitness a goal is being organized, which can be challenging if you don’t know where to begin. Follow these tips for making a fitness resolution a goal, and that goal a reality. In addition, the following 4 exercises can be incorporated to any busy, multitasking Mama’s schedule.

Goals…. Have you written your goals for the day, week, month, and year? Have you thought about what you truly want to accomplish and HOW you are going to make that happen? If not, I encourage you to take a journal or notebook and on the top of four pages write: Fitness Goals, Life Goals, Family Goals, Business/Work Goals. With listing on separate sheets, a broader picture is created to differentiate fitness goals from the others. As a busy Mamapreneur it is easy to put your fitness goals aside as you focus on the Life, Family, and Business goals. Write down ALL your health and fitness goals. They could range from cooking fresh organic meals 3 nights/week, doing a sprint triathlon, or running an entire 5K.

Example:
Run 5K Race by St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th
-Google St. Patrick’s Day Races to find race 2 months away. Register!
-Repeat goal to friends daily.
-Get fitted for running shoes (and orthotics) by January 12th.
-Put running appointments on the calendar to RUN 4x/week.
-Add dates (2/1, 2/18, 2/28, 3/9) for four 5-mile long runs. Make notes regarding how each run felt.
-Add dates for 2x/week 20-minute strength work to help core conditioning.

When you can break down a goal and make it more tangible, it will happen! But if you don’t have specific goals it is easy to lose track of your initial focus. Go for the GOALS!

4 Exercises You CAN MAKE FIT!
You can do these exercises anywhere. Your home is your gym and your bodyweight your resistance. Repeat circuit 2-3 times.

Triangle Push Ups– Strengthens chest, back, arms (triceps!) and core. Place hands in a triangle with thumbs and pointer fingers touching. Keep elbows wider than shoulder width. Line shoulders behind placement of hands; bend at the elbows and lower chest to the floor. Extend to starting position, maintaining even and controlled pace on flexion and extension. 15-25 reps.

Lunges are very effective in strengthening your bum, quadriceps, hamstrings and calves. Stand tall, bring your leg forward, and lunge down. Ensure that your shoulders remain lined over your pelvis. Press up through heel of the forward foot and bring the rear leg forward for a toe touch. Alternate right and left leg while going forward.

‘Round the Clock lunges— Pretend you are standing in a big clock. Lunge forward to the 12 o’clock. Reverse lunge back to starting position. Lunge sideways to 3 o’clock, leaning your weight towards your right leg. Return to center. Lunge left to 9 o’clock, leaning weight over left leg. Repeat through the “clock,” keeping knees aligned over ankles

Burpees– Cardio and overall entire body strength = Dynamic exercise
Sit back in a traditional squat with hands in front at shoulder height and weight in heels. Fall forward to a plank position as your feet jump behind your torso. Do a push up, jump both feet towards hands, jump tall, extend arms above head. 15-25 reps

Caterpillars to Around the World Planks – Strengthens entire body, highlighting core
Stand tall with arms extended overhead and belly button pulled towards spine. Bend over to hinge at your hips, bringing hands to dangle by feet. Walk hands forward to plank position placing them under shoulders on the ground. Bring right arm off the ground, rotate bodyweight back, stacking feet on each other sideways, spine in alignment, left arm holding body. Rotate back to plank and complete on Left side. Return to plank position. Walk feet towards hands hinge at hips, extend tall, jump. 15-20 reps.

Erin Kreitz Shirey is the Master Trainer & Coach of Power Fitness PDX. When not teaching or writing about health and fitness she is chasing her two dynamic daughters everywhere. www.powerfitnesspdx.com and www.embracelifeschallenges.blogspot.com

3 Jan
2011

Keep Your Business Fresh All Year Long

A new year represents a fresh start for many, but most business owners know that fresh thinking is required year-round in order to stay ahead in the game. Here are some quick ideas to help jump-start your creativity and get those innovative juices flowing again anytime you may feel stuck.

* Get up from your desk and take a walk, do jumping jacks, or simply do some stretches. Just make sure you do so in a different room and definitely not facing the computer. Sometimes a different viewpoint is all it takes to get your mind grooving again.

* Read a new business book. Even if you end up disagreeing with the author’s theories or tips, it’s always helpful to learn how other people attain success.

* Attend an industry networking event or start a regular gathering of a small group of people who also do what you do. For consultants and freelancers especially, it is critical to get out and connect with those in the same field. This helps you stay on top of industry trends, lets you get answers & feedback from those who best understand your work, and gives you a chance to learn from them.

* Take a class or workshop. Professional development is vital to your growth as a business owner and your company’s growth. Even if the topic is something you’re familiar with, the simple act of being in a learning environment will trigger your innovation reflexes.

* Volunteer. Whether you volunteer at your kid’s school or at the local homeless shelter, the act of giving can help remind you of why you do what you do and help you feel energized about your work.

* Take a day off. When you’re really feeling stuck, sometimes the best thing to do for yourself and the business is to step away and regroup. Become a tourist in your own city for a day. Go hiking. Grab a friend for lunch, a matinee and massages.

These are all activities that I put into practice on a regular basis in order to keep my own graphic design & social media strategy business fresh (after all, our motto is “modern, FRESH, fun” ;)).

What are some activities that you do in order to keep your mind clear and ideas flowing throughout the year? How do you keep your own business fresh all year round? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

2 Jan
2011

Jan/Feb 2011 MOM-E of the Month

Mom Entrepreneur of the Month banner

Savannah Mayfield, Nurture Life Coaching

Savannah Mayfield
Owner, Nurture Life Coaching

Kids:
Caleb 18 , Liam is almost 4.

Business:
Nurture Life Coaching: Life coaching and integrative bodywork for women. I support women in cultivating greater clarity and creating positive change in their lives. I also write free-lance articles about women’s well being.

Target Audience:
Women who are actively engaged in self-growth, seeking greater clarity and want to connect more with their inner wisdom and resources. I believe that each woman has an inner voice that can guide her to be her most fulfilled self.

Job held before becoming an entrepreneur:
I have a degree in Creative Writing (which means I waited tables while I wrote on the side)!

Initial start-up costs:
About $20,000 in educational training and $3,000 in office equipment.

Initial funding:
About half came from some family funds and the rest I borrowed and paid back over a few years.

First “woohoo” business moment:
I actually have to walk my talk. If I don’t listen deeply to my own inner voice and follow my passion, I am of no service to my clients :)

Biggest mistake/teaching moment:
Taking on a client who I knew was not a good fit and ended up being quite a challenge. Lesson: Listen to my instincts!

Competition in industry:
There are some great practitioners in our community and we each offer something a bit different. I love having other people to refer clients to when I am not the right fit for them!

Greatest source of clients for my biz:
My website! I have great SEO. Also, I get direct referrals from clients and colleagues.

Your inspiration:
I am a voracious reader and constantly learning! This keeps me engaged with new ways to support my clients. Also, I love to learn and am always taking interesting trainings and workshops. I am currently in the second year of a body-centered psychotherapy training and that is really inspiring my work!

#1 Biz advice:
Do what you love! You are the juice for your business and if you aren’t fully showing up everyday with your whole self, you won’t have the same level of success and fulfillment.

#1 Sanity saving tip:
Nurture yourself deeply! Not just time for yourself, but also listen to and know yourself. You give so much to your business and your family, the fuel has to come from you staying in connection with your own heart.

20 Dec
2010

The Power M.O.B. 2010 Annual Holiday Party

Thanks to all of the incredibly talented, kind, generous, fun & funny mom entrepreneurs who came out to help us celebrate another year of amazing mom entrepreneur connections! Our annual holiday party was held at the fancy new digs for The PLAY Boutique, a longstanding member of The Power M.O.B. and HUGE genuine supporter of fellow mom-owned businesses. Thanks to owner Kelley Peake and her wonderful staff (seriously: she has the best, most loyal staff ever) for their work, the space, and for providing our nighttime noshes from their new BEEZTRO cafe.

I regretfully didn’t take very many photos that night (I was having such a fun time mingling with the wonderful powerhouse business women!) but here are a few photos I did take. Thanks again to all of the great women who came to connect, celebrate and collaborate. What a fun night!

17 Dec
2010

Goodbye Mexico, Hello to how to be a walking Momtra™

(I have a new baby!) Had to get that out as I’m about to burst!  That’s good for now, let me get to the main post and ‘ll come back to that :)

As I sit here approaching my last night in our house in Mexico I reminisce on how great it’s been doing www.ghilottiink.com’s design business south of the border for the last year and a half. Living in Mexico yet servicing clients in New York, San Fran, LA, Amsterdam, Portland has made for a jolly jolly business. I’ve always loved that feeling of freedom (comes with some cons of course, as anything does). I enjoy being able to work and service from anywhere TO anywhere.

Anyhow, from that first “oh, you’re not going to want to do design down here, people don’t “pay” for that sort of work” (feeling: discouraged) to moving on and to continuing to happily service my American clients without glitches. BLESS THE INTERNET.

I sit here on this eve of a new adventure, of change and can say that anything in our businesses is possible. Being an expat is no different than being at home, really. Especially if you want it hard enough. Hard to find offset printing here but beyond this and a couple other differences, it’s not so scary and anyone can do it. (if you’ve ever thought about it…yes, you can). And boy is there inspiration on a daily basis too. Much fuel for the creative line of work but I think it’d be inspiration for any type of business to live overseas. It’s amazing what I’ve continued to learn about design from just traveling to the various small towns around Guadalajara!

Speaking of it being possible…my first expat experience to Holland I had some of my best years designing and was also able to keep clients in the US happy too which I was proud of. I even had a calling timetable (to a US number that reached me in my Amsterdam pad three stories up) on the back of my business cards so US clients knew how to get a hold of me without a problem (I did have a few 1am calls prior to this little timetable). I talked about that nine hour time difference (and far, Eurolocation) that might have scared some people away as nine hours where I’d be getting ahead of their work.

For what it’s worth, that first expat experience GAVE me experience. Experience in knowing that no matter where I’d find myself (uh hm, Mexico 2009-2011) that it will work. We find ways. In many ways these out of country experiences are like motherhood or having children, really. Some trying moments but all in all SO worth it.

We are moving back mid January and though I was resistant to closing this chapter early (it was originally a two year gig), I thank Mexico and the year that has gone. I’ve gained immeasurable professional experience and, obviously world citizen experience too. In not having many Mexican clients, I was (thankfully!) able to focus on something I’ve thought about for a long time which is BEAUTIFUL. So with all that,

I announce with joy the birth of the how to be a walking Momtra™ foundation, first a blog, and working on the book. Stay tuned! Follow on twitter & facebook as Walking Momtra. Powermobbers, I’d love your support so check it out and if you like it/get something from it please pass it along and/or subscribe.

It’s written for modern women like you who are also Moms:

http://howtobeawalkingmomtra.wordpress.com/

Til I write to you from Los Angeles, take care!

Michelle

1 Dec
2010

{Mom-E of the Month} December 2010: Christine Eichorn, Designer & Illustrator

Christine Eichorn, Designer & Illustrator
Christine Mackenzie Design

Kids, names, ages
Tashi, age 13

Brief biz description
Design services focused currently on the footwear industry; including graphic design, materials, color and footwear design.

Target audience
Currently, the footwear industry

Job held before you started this biz
Graphic Illustrator at Nike

Initial Start-Up Costs
Initial client provided the computer, and I purchased a scanner, software and various other office supplies.  It was minimal at the time, but needs continual upgrades.

Initial Funding Source(s)

Self

First “woohoo!” business moment
Realizing that I wrote down a goal, or “wish: of having a design business several years earlier; and seeing it come to pass over time.

Biggest Mistake-Turned-Teaching-Moment
Taking things too personally; it’s best to keep personal relationships, and emotions out of the business.

How you feel about competition in your industry
This industry is very competitive; and at times it can be overwhelming, and frustrating; but then I try to focus on the positive, and have faith; and it doesn’t hurt to have a plan B, which is something I am working on.

Greatest source of clients for your biz
Word of mouth has been my best source; which I hope indicates my reliability. I did not use business cards for several years.

Your inspiration
My daughter!  She is the reason I decided not to stay a full time employee. We have had some great quality time together, due to the flexibility of my schedule.

#1 piece of business advice everyone should follow
Someone once quoted to me; “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you!”  This quote helps me step back and gain some perspective, when the going gets rough.

#1 sanity-saving tip for work/life balance
Know when you need a break, such as a massage or a good work out, and treat yourself to that time off.

To view Christine’s work, click here for her portfolio.

—————–{About MOM-E of the MONTH}—————-

The Power MOB’s Mom Entrepreneur (MOM-E) of the Month is chosen randomly by The Power MOB staff and features one current member. Interested in being featured? Click here to see how easy it is to join The Power MOB and start making valuable connections with fellow entrepreneurs today, and you could be featured as a future MOM-E of the Month!

22 Nov
2010

{event} 2010 Holiday Party

Power MOB Holiday Party

We know you worked hard this year, so it’s time to kick back, celebrate your successes, and connect with fellow mom entrepreneurs at The Power M.O.B. 2010 Holiday Celebration! This is our chance to thank YOU for all of your support through the years in keeping The Power MOB going and also in being such a collaborative group in helping your fellow mompreneurs grow as business owners and mothers. This is also a great chance for you to touch base with old friends and make a lot of wonderful new connections.

We invite all local entrepreneurs to join us in our annual end-of-year celebration. We’ll have appetizers, wine, non-alcoholic beverages, and little goodies for all attendees. :)

Thursday, December 16, 2010
6:00 – 9:00 pm
The PLAY Boutique
464 First Street
Lake Oswego, OR 97034

www.playboutique.com
RSVP required by December 9th.
Admission: Free for current Power MOB members, $15 for non-members
Donations to help with the cost of food & beverage are welcome
Plus: please bring one item for our adopted family-in-need (see details below)


ADOPT-A-FAMILY
This year, we are adopting a local family in need through the Family Assistance Foundation. This is a family who has been struggling and could use a little cheer and assistance this holiday season. Please email info@thepowermob.com with the item you will be bringing for our adopted family.

ABOUT THE WAGGONERS: Heather and her two children moved to Oregon after Hurricane Katrina drove them from their home. Heather was out of work the first two years, then found a job and worked for two years. Within the last year she was laid off but found another job with limited hours. With unstable income, higher cost of living and a lack of any family support this family is struggling. Any assistance will allow this family to have a happier holdiay.

Learn more about the specific items this family could use and also register for this event at the link below.

RSVP REQUIRED BY DEC 9. REGISTER HERE: http://powermobholidayparty.eventbrite.com/

1 Nov
2010

Welcome!

Welcome to the new home of The Power MOB!

We are a professional organization for business owners who are also mothers and we are focused on helping mom entrepreneurs build strong businesses while raising strong families. Founded on Mother’s Day of 2006 and based in Portland, Oregon, we support, educate and connect businesses that are at least 50% owned by a woman who is also a mother. We host the annual Makings of a MOB Conference, as well as regular panel chats, workshops, social mixers and offer tips and best practices through our newsletter, blog, Facebook and Twitter pages.

Joining The Power MOB is easier than ever. For an extremely low one-time fee, your mom-owned business can be listed on our directory and you have access to unparalleled opportunities to connect with your fellow mom business owners. This community is all about collaboration over competition, supporting one another as strong, independent business women and as passionate, dedicated mothers, and sharing experiences so we may all learn, grow and connect.

We look forward to your active participation in this vibrant community. Please click here to learn more about joining The Power MOB.

16 Sep
2010

Getting Paid For Our Work

It happened again, today. Somebody asked if I would write something for nothing. Well, from a cash-based, tangible point of view, anyway. But from the perspective of this well-heeled, quite successful radio news outlet, my occasional pieces for broadcast would be great for my “exposure”. Ah, yes, that.

If I were any more exposed I’d be naked, any more reciprocitious I’d be in a knot. The trend of web based journalism in Alaska (and probably everywhere else) is moving faster than our good-old-boy, television/radio/print media, and the two aren’t just ships passing in the night. They’re at opposite ends of the ocean.

I’m all for the occasional freebie; after all we have to start someplace. I don’t worry about doing some gratis work for a non-profit organization I support; that’s not it. I’m referring to bona fide feature-length articles or regular appearances on local web sites and other forums that would garner a reasonable sum to at least pay for my research and expenses. And my writing ability. Almost forgot that part.

Interesting was the reaction when I turned the conversation around to include a package of compensation. “But we’re offering you exposure to xxxx number of listeners!” they persisted, pushing statistics across the table at me. “How about free trips?”

With echos of encouragement I’ve heard over and over since joining The Power MOB, I said “I have a service. I am happy to negotiate, to be creative, and work with you. But I will not sell my skill short.”

I made them pay for my hungarian goulash soup and orange-ginger salad, too.

While picking up my son from school, I heard my smartphone’s “blip” that told me I had a new email. Sliding down the screen, I saw a message from the Conundrum Cadre. “Could we meet next week to discuss some options for compensation?”

Oh yeah, we can.

Connect with The Power M.O.B.

Follow Me! Follow Me! Follow Me! Follow Me!
Sign Up for our Newsletter
Email:

The Power MOB Photos

Mom-Owned Business Forum