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    My answer to “This is How Real Working Mothers Are Managing (It’s Not as Complicated as You Think)”

My answer to “This is How Real Working Mothers Are Managing (It’s Not as Complicated as You Think)”

Laura Vanderkam’s article “This Is How Real Working Mothers Are Managing (It’s Not as Complicated as You Think)” states, “The math is straightforward.  There are 168 hours in a week.  If you work fifty and sleep eight per night (fifty-six hours per week in total), that leaves sixty-two hours for other things.”

Of course, my first thought is that she was remiss in not mentioning the imperative that you outsource your personal errands to TimeSquared Concierge.  My second that was the realization that my opinion on this matter changes with the day and, if I am truly honest, the difference is the lens through which I am viewing my life. 

If I allow myself to be hyper critical, I see the inside of the refrigerator that could benefit from a thorough cleaning.  However, most of the time, I see the smile on my daughter’s face or hear her utter a clever statement that is decades beyond her years or catch the reflection of the two of us attempting to imitate dance moves that clearly should be left to the professionals.

Sure, I could benefit from some “me” time and I have my share of “first world” challenges, but I am tremendously grateful for the life I have and the people I share it with!

https://verilymag.com/2015/09/working-mothers-i-know-how-she-does-it-laura-vanderkam?utm_source=Verily%20Newsletter&utm_campaign=8bb79406ca-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_02_27&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e08a3e62a0-8bb79406ca-88944549

By |March 16th, 2018|BLOG|0 Comments

Quality vs Quantity Time

Recently, I attended a speech on the topic of parenting.  The speaker was great. I agreed with the majority of what he said, but his suggestion that parents increase the amount of time we spend with our children rubbed me the wrong way. I mean, it all sounds good on paper, but the reality is that most of us are trying to cram 30+ hours into a 24 hour day. If we plan to spend more time with our children and then fail to do so, it creates guilt or anxiety which is no good for anyone.
With all the expectations put on us in our professional and private lives, we don’t need any more reasons to feel inadequate.
I thought long and hard and, after much deliberation decided that it’s just not possible. I do my very best and give all the attention that I can to my family. In my opinion, what’s most important is the quality of time spent, not the quantity. Being extremely present in the limited time you do have with your family can go a long way. And if they could be doing something better with their time, who am I to prevent them? For example, I love spending time with my daughter Charlie, but I can’t teach her how to do a pirouette. She must spend time with her ballet instructor to learn that.
Its best to use your limited time together giving what only you can – unconditional love.
The most memorable moments with my daughter happen when I am present enough to recognize and seize the opportunity. For example, one morning while driving my daughter Charlie to school, we saw a red fox dart across the road. I pulled over and we […]

By |February 27th, 2018|BLOG|0 Comments

Is Your Life Being Squeezed?

The answer to “Sandwich Generation” retention

How do you retain your valuable employees who find themselves in the “Sandwich Generation” – a generation of people who care for their aging parents while supporting their own children?

Imagine an employee who leaves work 30 mins early to pick up mom’s prescription, then fights traffic for another 45 minutes to get to the daycare on time and avoid the exorbitant late fee. Once they are home, they whirl around the kitchen, trying to whip together a healthy meal for their family while struggling with the guilt from missed time at the office. I’m sure this is all too familiar for most of you.  After all, the Pew Research Center, reported just over one of every eight Americans aged 40 to 60 is both raising a child and caring for a parent, in addition to between seven and ten million adults caring for their aging parents from a long distance. 

These individuals are at war with themselves – struggling with demands from so many with so few hours in the day.  They know the importance of putting family first, but they also know what is expected of them at the office. For the ones I know, their professional life is a safe haven. It is the place where they can give 100% and reap tremendous rewards with often quantifiable measures of success.  It feeds their sense of accomplishment, pays their bills and hopefully allows them to financially prepare for their own “golden years”.  That is unless it is totally derailed by the competing factors previously mentioned.  Do you doubt for a minute that it happens?  You know it does.  The question isn’t IF it happens, but rather how frequently.  I […]

By |February 9th, 2018|BLOG|0 Comments

Cheer Loudly!

http://www.timesquaredconcierge.com/blog/

As the president of a company in the service industry, I am always a little anxious when a customer call escalates to me.  Is someone less than 100% satisfied with our service?  So, this was no different until the woman on the other line said, “This is the first time I’ve ever attended a game.”  This customer went on to explain that, as a single working mother, it was all she could do to drop her son off then race frantically around town – to Walmart, Costco, & the grocery store – all the while praying that her son was not the last one at the ballpark when she returned to pick him up.

But tonight was different because a member of our team ran all of her personal errands while she was at work.  So, for the very first time she was going to be seated in the stands watching her son’s game.  I could hear the excitement in her voice as she called to thank me.  It was almost as if she couldn’t believe that it was happening – a dream come true.  As we both fought back the tears, I said, “Cheer loudly, because the games where he looks up in the stands and sees you yelling his name – Those are the games he will remember 30 years from now.  Cheer loudly!”

What motivates you to do what you do for a living?  I look forward to hearing from you.

By |August 19th, 2015|BLOG|0 Comments

Leave a voicemail that won’t be deleted

According to Jill Konrath, the sales and marketing guru, busy professionals only listen to the first 2.7 seconds of each voicemail message. I admit I’m a “voicemail deleter”. I am so quickly annoyed by rambling voicemail messages. Since I’m in a confessing mood, if you are my mother, I NEVER listen to any of your messages. Why? Because I love her dearly, but her messages never tell me anything that my caller ID hasn’t already told me….”Andrea, this is your Mom. Call me back when you get a chance.”

So, the question is not how to avoid being my Mom, rather …

How to leave a message that compels the receiver to listen to the message in its entirety.

Here are some easy steps:

#1 Give them a value proposition that is meaningful to THEM.

#2 Don’t start the message with your company name unless it is one that makes people stand up and take notice.

#3 Speak as you are their peer – not their buddy and not subservient to them. Do not say, “I know you are super busy”. They will say to themselves, “Yeah, I’m too busy to listen to you tell me how busy I am”.

#4 Ask for the next step in your sales process (conference call, in person meeting, web-based demo, etc.).

Give these tips a try and let me know how they worked for you.  I’d love to hear your tips too!

By |June 19th, 2014|BLOG|0 Comments

The Shoes have it! Meeting Etiquette.

The Shoes have it!  Meeting Etiquette.

I’ve been reading studies about the increased productivity of walking meetings as well as a recommendation for standing meetings (meetings where all participants remain standing during the meeting).  I can assure that if I’m wearing my Manolo Blanik’s – which I refer to as my “sitting shoes” – I will be distracted through the duration of the ever so brief meeting.
We are over thinking this.  Meetings are simply too frequent, too long and too unproductive.  We need to get laser focused on the intended result, set a firm end time, reiterate the action items at the close of the meeting and end every meeting 5 minutes early. Lastly, we need to hold one another accountable to complete their required action items in order to move the process forward.
I have found weekly status updates via email very productive.  I also am a proponent of set meetings with the same agenda so each party knows what they need to have prepared prior to attending and they know what to expect from the meeting.

By |May 12th, 2014|BLOG|0 Comments

Never take your customers for granted

A while ago I arrived at the hair salon that I had been going to for years. After a quick shampoo, I was directed to the chair of my stylist – who was also the salon owner. He wasn’t nowhere in sight. A few minutes later I spotted him behind the front desk handling a business matter. Since he looked busy, I got up and strolled through the salon looking for a magazine. I proceeded to wait in his chair with wet hair until I completed the entire magazine. Just then my stylist rushed over and began cutting my hair. As he finished trimming the hair on one side of my head, he was called away again. He excused himself and scurried off. I then got myself a glass of water and walked by the front desk to check on an ETA of my missing stylist. Since no one even acknowledged my lingering, I finished my water and grabbed a hairdryer. I proceeded to dry and style my almost dry hair. My stylist grabbed me as I was walking out of the salon. He apologized for being so busy and explained that he would finish my haircut as he couldn’t afford me walking around town representing his salon with a half completed haircut.
How interesting that he realized that his customer represented him every day as the walk around town. However, he failed to realize the importance or cost of losing one of those walking billboards. As I sat in traffic thinking of creative ways to hide my new “half-do”, I thought about my previous experiences at that salon. Was I always treated so poorly? Of course, not. Previously, I was warmly greeted with a […]

By |March 25th, 2014|BLOG|0 Comments

Creating your recurring revenue model

Here is a link to sound advice about how to create personal financial stabiity.  This is crucially important in uncertain financial times as we face in the US today.  I think you will like this one as Rusty always presents valuable information in an easy to digest format! Enjoy and let me know what you did to take action on this!

http://www.holcombefinancial.com/events/recurring-revenue-foundation-success/

By |October 22nd, 2013|BLOG|0 Comments

Pat’s volunteer experience

A big thanks to Pat, a 2 Places employee for sharing his experience from our company-wide annual volunteer day:

As you know, our company’s volunteer day theme this year was to assist senior citizens.  Therefore, on Friday, September 23rd I volunteered my time and services to SAGE Eldercare in Summit, New Jersey.  Please see the attached document that provides concise text of what this organization is all about.

My efforts were dividing into two parts.  In the morning I assisted Daniel, an experienced driver using his own car, to provide hot lunch to fifteen seniors in the nearby town of Springfield, NJ.  These people are either shut ins, low income or unable to prepare meals for themselves.  For most of  them, the person delivering lunch to their home is the only human that they will interact with during that day.  The vast majority are extremely appreciative of the efforts of the people bringing healthy meals to them on a daily basis. It was an eye opening experience as it showed me how many people that are living near me who require food assistance.

In the afternoon I worked with Priscilla at SAGE’s facility to create organized food bins to store a large amount of food that the organization recently received from the general public after Hurricane Irene. This mundane project had us sort cans, bags and packages of food that had been stored helter skelter in a very unorganized manner.  Our completed effort made the director of volunteering very happy.  She now has an inventory of easy to access food that her group can quickly utilize for whatever purpose they need it for.

I left SAGE feeling very good that day because I saw how my efforts provided a small, yet positive, impact on the lives of […]

By |September 20th, 2011|BLOG|0 Comments

Lessons from the masters

My first job was working at a hair salon for blue-haired old ladies when I was 14 years old.  My job included washing and folding towels, helping customers in from their cars, and carefully covering their ears and hairline with a protective layer of cotton before placing them under a dryer to roast.  Most people would think that spending the summer surrounded by women older than my grandmother while my friends were spending endless days lounging by the pool talking about boys would be sheer torture, but not me.  I found these women fascinating!  After all, they had lived! Tales of the Great Depression, Kennedy’s assassination, and the Civil Rights movement were spinning in my head every day.

But it was more than that. I read about all of these landmark events in history class.  The real stories were about how these monumental events shaped their everyday lives.  I learned of victory gardens and the personal decisions to treat people with dignity in the face of danger and alienation.  I saw how someone who did without as a child appreciates all that she has some 50+ years later and is quick to share with others as others had done with her.  I saw in the eyes of these women that a dream doesn’t die with an individual person but lives within all of us.  I saw passion, resilience, conviction, and a quiet strength.  I saw teachers who were willing to accept me as their pupil and I consider myself fortunate to have had one short summer to learn from these masters.

When 2 Places At 1 Time, Inc. wass celebrating its 20-year anniversary, I  paid homage to the lessons learned from the past.  To do so, I propose that the […]

By |July 27th, 2011|BLOG|0 Comments