Author Archives: Christine

About Christine

Entrepreneur & business owner. Single mom. I love dogs, the ocean, fashion, marathons, the Red Sox, wine, humor and kindness. I champion women in business, technology and small business and enjoy helping others make their dreams come true.

New Book Helps Parents And Educators Raise Confident, Powerful Female Leaders

I’m a big advocate for helping women in business to be bold, strong and confident. I think as the gender that was born with a big “Caretaker” sign on our foreheads, we spend a lot of time putting ourselves last in order to make others feel cared for. This doesn’t always work well in business, and is likely one of the reasons women continue to struggle with workplace equality and power. I think we will only see a sea change for women in business if we can start teaching young girls some fundamental things during their adolescent development.

A new book was released last month that can further help parents and educators of preteen girls embrace such fundamentals. Brave Girls: Raising Young Women with Passion and Purpose to Become Powerful Leaders,” is written by Stacey Radin, PsyD, and Leslie Goldman. It is being touted as “the ultimate guidebook for parents and educators who want to learn how to help their girls become confident, passionate, and powerful leaders.” Radin also runs a social justice program, Unleashed, a 12 week program where girls learn to diagnose a social challenge, dig deep beneath the surface to address the root causes, and learn to create change. Radin’s background is as a psychologist and consultant for women struggling in the professional world. During this work she “made a ground breaking realization: it all begins in middle school. Women who become successful leaders learn how to do so in the middle grades—the most formative stage in a girl’s development and self-identification.”

Unleashed’s mission is “To empower middle school girls to take a stand against an injustice they care deeply about, and advocating for animal rights and welfare in the process.” Over the course of 12 weeks, girls develop critical tools they will use to solve complex social problems throughout the course of their lives.

The program and the book cover such important topics, and key areas that need to change for our young girls to grow up strong and proud – and happy. Things that we as parents and educators need to support and help them to embrace, including:

  • Love yourself first – it will make you a better lover of others. It’s not only okay, it’s fundamental to a happy and fulfilling life.
  • Be proud of your talents – celebrate what you’re good at! “People think you’re full of yourself when you talk about what you’re good at.” Yikes. We need to teach them to be PROUD of what they are good at. That being full of self love is a good thing. Not boastful or rude, but proud – and with the knowledge that it’s okay to talk about yourself in a positive light.
  • Know that it’s okay not to be perfect – perfect is a fallacy. Don’t try to pretend you don’t fail, rather, learn from it – and share with others so they can learn, too. (I see this “can’t fail or be wrong” mentality in a certain 7 year old I know.) As a New York Daily News writeup by Arielle Landau mentioned, “That sounds drastic, but little girls are often shielded from failure. An old Verizon commercial illustrates the way they’re taught to keep their pretty dresses clean and sit still. By high school, they’re detached and uninterested. So Unleashed gives them an outlet, and Radin shows them how to make mistakes … and learn from them.”
  • Support other girls/women – don’t be jealous, be happy when good things happen to others.

I love that the Unleashed program involves puppies and helps them, too. As Landau wrote, “Radin uses Unleashed, a program that helps preteen girls build their confidence through animal rescue. Through the process of saving puppies — puppies! — the girls learn that they are allowed to passionate and organized. Perhaps more importantly, they learn they’re allowed to fail.”

I know I’ll be grabbing this book, how about you? Our girls need all the help they can get.

 

Peace On Earth? Probably Not. But That Doesn’t Mean We Should Stop Trying.

“The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively”  ― Bob Marley

“The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively”
― Bob Marley

Today is Tuesday, December 16. My heart is heavy. One could say I’m emotional about the holidays, as I tend to be, but it’s more than that today. In the last 24 hours, the earth has been anything but peaceful. On Monday morning, we woke up to reports of a hostage situation in Sydney, Australia, and a mass shooting in Pennsylania, where a suspect who killed his ex wife and her family is still on the loose. This morning we learned that the Taliban had slaughtered 132 children and nine adults in a school in Pakistan, ranging in ages from 10 to 18. I simply cannot fathom that carnage.

Hanukkah started today. Christmas is just nine days away. Many of us are busy stressing out about getting the shopping and the wrapping done, whether or not the kids will like their gifts, and how to fit in everything that needs to be finished before year’s end. We’re hoping no one gets sick, that our travels are safe, and we’re thinking about what we’ll do for New Years. We’re Instagramming and Facebooking our great holiday moments, and we’re shopping and baking and caroling. But today, take a moment to pause and look around. Try to put your worries into perspective. Try to put your blessings into perspective. Don’t ignore what’s happening in the world, but rather take a moment to really think about it – and what little things you can do to try and make it a better place, despite these horrors around us.

We can try every day to be harbingers of peace.

I’m not naïve enough to believe in world peace. But, I do believe that we have the power within us as individuals to do small things that can make a long term difference as a larger whole. We can try every day to be harbingers of peace. We can strive to be truly good – to hold the door for a stranger, to let someone step in line in front of us, to drop ridiculous grudges and frivolous lawsuits. We can forgive. We can stop being so narcissistic, only thinking about our own needs. We can become aware and stop hatred and jealousy when we feel it arriving in our hearts. We can truly teach our children through our own actions to love and to be kind; to be colorblind and to see humans  – good and bad – as the individual people they are, not judging them because of their color, sexual orientation, gender or lot in life.

We can’t stop mad men like those responsible for the horrible events of this week. But, we can support entities that help with mental illness (which is often a cause of mass shootings). We can make an effort to better understand and treat it, as well as depression – and not to avoid the topics simply because they make us uncomfortable. We can send a care package to a soldier who is fighting for our freedom. We can take a stand on gun control. We can vote. We can help build a home for those in need, instead of taking that family vacation.

It’s easy to get caught up in our own lives. We get so wrapped up in the ridiculousness and eccentricity of it all, as perfectly captured on any one of the reality TV shows here in the U.S. Keeping up with the Joneses is still a thing – whether we want to admit it or not. So this year, when you’re making your resolutions, try to think bigger. Go beyond the weight loss wishes or the promotion goals, and think about what you can truly do to try and spread light in this world. I’m making that vow, and I hope you will, too. I’ve constantly got to remind myself to let go of stress around silly things. I have a daily reminder in my phone to think about my blessings and the joy in my life, and I am making a commitment to do one major volunteer effort this year with my family. I’m donating my time to help with two organizations that take care of those with life-threatening conditions. And daily, I’m simply trying to be conscientious of others around me – letting someone pull out in front of me while driving, or giving someone my spot in the grocery line when I’ve got 20 things and they’ve got two. Tipping well.

Little things every day.

If we can do enough good things, no matter how small, perhaps they will begin to dominate the headlines. Never stop trying to make this world a more peaceful and happy place – even if it’s just in your little corner. Smile at a stranger. Pull a “Pay it Forward” move in the coffee line. Volunteer in the middle of the summer, when you may have to give up a day at the beach to do so. Foster a dog.

I’d love to hear your ideas for making the world a more peaceful place. What have you done, or will you do, to shine a little light in 2015? Wishing you all a blessed and peaceful New Year.

 

Photo by Francesco; used under Creative Commons license.

Still Time To Register! Xconomy Forum: Tech Agenda 2015

I’m excited to be moderating a panel tomorrow at Xconomy’s Forum: Tech Agenda 2015. I’ll be speaking with Ellen M. Brezniak, Senior Vice President of Customer Operations at Constant Contact, and Jennifer Lum, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Adelphic Mobile, on “Marketing in the Mobile Era: What Changes, What Doesn’t.” 

While we have quite a timely topic to discuss, there are plenty of other great speakers. From ecommerce to cloud computing, to hackers, robots and drones, to 2015 predictions, the day is sure to be energetic and informative. Join some of Boston’s smartest investors, entrepreneurs, business owners and journalists. The event begins at 12:30 and – bonus – you can take $100 off with discount code “XconFriend.” The full agenda is here, and registration is here.

Hope to see you there!

 

What Are You Waiting For?

We spend so much of our lives waiting:

  • We wait to grow up
  • We wait to graduate from college
  • We wait for the bus, train, plane
  • We wait to order food or get a seat at a restaurant
  • We wait on hold
  • We wait in lines for events, auditions, jobs

Some of these waits are unavoidable. But too often, we wait until life is “ideal” enough to do things – to get married or start a family, to quit our job and start that entrepreneurial journey we dream of, to buy something special.

Sometimes, you just have to go for it. It may never feel right until after you do! Sometimes, as the saying in my kitchen goes, you just have to “Enjoy life, this is not  a dress rehearsal.”

You have to stop waiting. You have to jump. You have to stop staring down, wondering – you’ll only get the answer when you take the leap.

So, what are you waiting for? It’s Monday. This week, don’t wait. Do something daring and go for it.

 

Photo by Andy Spearing; via Flickr Creative Commons

Marketers, Don’t Be “That Girl”

In a chat about content marketing yesterday, it struck me that there’s one simple thing marketers are overlooking when it comes to the type of content they’re developing. Unlike traditional marketing, content marketing is not all about you. In the past, marketing used to be all about your brand – marketers would develop ads, direct mail, email newsletters, press releases, sales collateral and more – usually focused briefly on a prospect’s pain point, and at length on how the marketer’s company would solve it.

That’s all well and good – but today content marketers have to go a step further.

You have to be a resource.

Think of marketing like a cocktail party – you’re never going to keep someone engaged if you ask them a question (what’s the pain point) and then go on and on and on for the rest of the party about why YOU are the answer to that question (what your product/service is). Even if you do have the answer, you’d come across as shallow and not all that interested in learning more, but rather just in talking about yourself.

Nobody likes the gal who just brags about herself and doesn’t really listen.

Content marketing has got to be resourceful. You have to share information that’s not just about you. You have to think of how to help, not just sell.

What information can you share with your prospects that educates, informs, resolves an issue and otherwise benefits your fans over time? Give, even when you don’t need or expect something (like a sale). People remember how you make them feel – not just what you say. And when you make someone feel important, cared for, and understood by being a resource that helped them, they’re more likely to want to do business with you when the time is right.

 

Image credit: 10ch Flickr Creative Commons

 

Marketing Tips For Startups

I was lucky enough to be included in an article today, “25 Startup Marketing Tips To Get Traction,” at MediaLeaders.

Some of my favorite tips from the piece include:

Put up your marketing site and blog at least 6 months prior to launch. – @PlanPod

To get the product in front of your customers you have to work on distribution. – @HarriRautio

Startups should know who their target customers are and which publications they read.- @LydHow

I especially like that last one, because it’s a big part of what we provide at SeeDepth. Not only do we help you to easily measure and score your PR, but our Services team also helps companies – especially startups – understand why a certain publication might be more important than another, and to build a media target list that makes sense. Too many companies waste time and money just hoping to “get coverage” instead of securing coverage in the right places – those that their buying audience actually read.

Click through to read the other tips – here’s mine below (feel free to click and share!). What would you add?

Feature others on your blog so they will spread the news and link back to your site. – @missusP

Resilience – Why Perseverance Is Essential In Life And At Work

Today I’ve been working on my presentation for next month’s INBOUND conference. I’ll be speaking on the Bold Talks stage, where we are asked to be storytellers of a topic to which people can personally relate – not marketers talking marketing. I’ll be speaking on the topic of resilience, and sharing some pretty personal experiences of which I don’t often talk about. These will include painful childhood experiences that impacted my decisions and choices throughout my life, as well as a crazy series of events that have taken place over just the last three years.

The point of sharing these experiences – as daunting as the thought is – is to give context as to why I’m qualified to talk about resilience – and why it matters for both your personal and work life. I’m going to share how I’ve persevered through abuse, moving as a teen (kids are mean!), depression, a failed marriage, legal battles, family conflicts, founding and running two businesses (including the high highs and low lows), financial challenges and more. It’s completely out of the norm from my usual topics of digital marketing, startups, technology, women in business, etc. But… sharing my humanity is a way for me to help others see that life isn’t just what you see on Facebook – we all have dark moments. The truth is, everyone struggles, we just don’t like to admit it, and we certainly don’t document most of those moments like we advertise the great ones. Look at the Robin Williams news – some struggle more than others, and some struggle in silence. I know – I’ve done that. So if sharing my experiences can help others, then it will be worth it.

After all, in life and in work, we have to overcome troubling times. If we can learn better coping mechanisms and how to be resilient, we can focus more of our time on the good moments. And, I can attest that especially as an entrepreneur, startup founder, and single mother, resiliency is an absolute must. There’s no giving up. Too many people are counting on me. I must keep moving forward. I hope to help others to do the same.

If you’d like to share a tip or two for me to include in my talk, please let me know. In addition to my own experiences, I will be including some snapshots of a few really amazing and strong people who I know that have overcome huge obstacles in life, and their tips for perseverance and resilience. I’d love to hear from you if you have a story to share, and I hope to see you in September in Boston.