July 26, 2017

6 lessons I learned about life (and business) from Cars 3

Cars 3 movie still

I recently took the morning off to watch the new Cars 3 movie with my 5-year-old. I loved the story and characters in the first movie, so I was curious about the third installment in the Disney Cars series. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that although the story is targeted toward kids, the movie also had life (and business) lessons for all of us “big kids” as well. Luckily my son had a notebook in his backpack so I started scribbling notes in the dark.

The Cars 3 characters of Lightning McQueen (an, ahem, older racer feeling aged out of his sport), Cruz Ramirez (a female trainer who dreams of being a racer) and Jackson Storm (one of the high-tech racers taking over the sport) spoke about facing adversity, thinking creatively, gaining confidence, finding a mentor, overcoming ageism, and standing your ground. Whew—quite a lot for a so-called kids movie!

Face (and overcome) adversity

Cruz has always dreamed of being a racer, but because she thinks she doesn’t look like the other racecars, she is afraid to try. Lightning advises her, “Just because you don’t look like the others, doesn’t mean you can’t be in the race. You ARE a racer, use that.”

Think creatively

Lightening realizes that his age may be catching up with him and he just can’t keep up with the fancy, high-tech cars that are faster than him. Instead of giving up, he comes up with a creative solution to get back in the race (no spoilers, you’ll have to watch the movie!) As he says, “I can’t go out on the track and do the same old thing, it won’t work.”

Be confident

At one point when Cruz is trying to talk herself into the fact that she can be a racer, she asks Lightening “How did you know you could do it?” to which he replies, “I don’t know, I just never thought I couldn’t.”

Don’t fear failure. Be afraid of not having the chance, you have the chance! – Sally Carrera

Find a mentor

Once Lightening realizes he needs help getting back in the race, he goes out in search for a mentor. He finds a (reluctant) mentor, his coach’s former mentor Smokey, who helps him regain his confidence through unconventional training methods that encourage him to use his smarts as well as his speed. Smokey tells him, “You will never be as fast as Jackson Storm, but you can be smarter than him.”

Overcome ageism

Lightning quickly comes to the realization that the younger, faster racers have an advantage over him. When the TV announcers are predicting his retirement from racing, Lightning declares, “I decide when I’m done.” And instead of speed, he instead uses his experience and creativity to get back in the race.

Stand your ground

Toward the end of her big race, Cruz faces opposition from Jackson Storm who sees her gaining on him and says, “You’re not one of us, you don’t belong.” She confidently replies, “Yes, I do!” and goes on to…well, I won’t give away any spoilers, but I think you can figure it out.

As one of the racing announcers in the movie observes, “The racing world is changing.” Things are changing in the “real world” too. And we have to use both our smarts as well as our speed to keep up.

 

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May 26, 2015

Share your story: looking for Biz Mamas to feature!

Filed under: Biz Mama — Tags: , , , — lidia @ 10:00 am

Call for Biz Mama contributors

I’m kicking my monthly Featured Biz Mama column back into gear and need your help.

Are you a mom rockin’ a small business, creative side project or entrepreneurial venture? I want to feature you right here on Biz Mama!

I post Biz Mama interviews twice a month on Mondays. Fill out this Google doc to reserve your spot. And please share with your mom friends.

I’m constantly inspired and encouraged by the Biz Mamas that I interview… I look forward to reading your stories!

Read past featured Biz Mama stories here.

April 8, 2014

Featured Biz Mama: Jill Anderson of Jill Lynn Design

Filed under: Biz Mama — Tags: , , , — lidia @ 10:00 am

Featured Biz Mama: Jill Anderson of Jill Lynn Design

Jill Anderson of Jill Lynn Design is that rare breed of designer and developer who partners with talented designers, copywriters, and agencies on their websites, and their client’s sites. Jill is passionate about crafting beautiful and innovative websites focused on clear positioning and positive user experiences. As a freelancer for over 12 years, she loves typography, code, and WordPress. She lives in the Atlanta suburbs and enjoys hanging out with her husband and 4-year-old son. And cat, Peanut, the chief paperweight. She tweets @JillLynnDesign.

I heard about Jill through a mutual friend and was impressed with her website (great advertising!) so I reached out to her and was pleased to learn she is a fellow mom of a boy.

Jill Anderson of Jill Lynn Design

Tell us a little about your business/job responsibilities.

As a freelance web designer/developer, I make websites for creative businesses including graphic designers, copywriters and agencies. My favorite thing to do is to take a design and make it come alive on the web.

What are the ages/genders of your children?

I have a 4 year old son, Quinn.

Did you start your business before or after having children?

I started my freelance design business before having Quinn. My first freelance project was in 2002. For the first 5 years, I ‘moonlighted’ while working a full-time job. In 2007, I made the plunge to full-time freelancing, and Quinn was born in 2009.

How did your business life change after having children?

It has changed tremendously! When I first started freelancing on the side, I worked nights + weekends since I had a full-time job. Yet, even when I transitioned to full-time freelancing, I didn’t really change my ways. I just worked more. I worked between 9-5 pm and nights + weekends because that’s what I was used to. My most productive times were at 10pm.

Then I had Quinn in 2009 and my life completely changed. I, personally, couldn’t keep late night hours. Strangely, I became a morning person. My most productive time is now at 10am.

Describe a typical workday.

After I drop Quinn off at preschool around 9am, I head to my home office where I design and build websites all day and drink coffee non-stop. The day ends around 5:30pm when it’s time to leave and pick up my kiddo. I try not to schedule any client work on Mondays as those are ‘Marketing Mondays’ and the day that I work on my blog, newsletter, social media, and overall content marketing. Plus it helps me get over the Monday Blues (I’m always sad when the weekend is over) and gear up for the week.

What is one tip you can share with other Biz Mamas?

It is okay to ask for help. You don’t have to do it all. My son started going to daycare when he was 6 months old because I am not the kind of person that can do 2 jobs well at the same time. I can’t be a web designer and mommy at the exact same moment and be good at both. I need to be 100% one or the other. And that works perfectly fine for my family.

Jill Lynn Design

Dallas, GA
http://JillLynnDesign.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/JillLynnDesign
Facebook: http://facebook.com/JillLynnDesign

November 18, 2013

13 things I’ve learned in my 13 years of business

Filed under: Small Business — Tags: , , , , — lidia @ 1:25 pm

13 things I’ve learned in my 13 years of business

13 years ago today, I started my graphic design business.

I still recall starting out and telling myself: “I’ll give it a few months and see how it goes. I can always get another job.” And now here I am, 13 years later.

Over these past 13 years, Ive learned a lot. Of course, Ive honed my skills in things like billing and marketing. But Ive also gained many insights that transcend the day-to-day.

  1. Be nice.
  2. But…don’t let people take advantage of you.
  3. Stay in touch.
  4. Reinvent yourself.
  5. Try something new.
  6. Be there when people need you most.
  7. But…don’t be afraid to take a day off.
  8. Stay up-to-date.
  9. Take a risk.
  10. Learn from your mistakes.
  11. Don’t pursue every opportunity.
  12. Never stop learning.
  13. Be grateful.

I couldn’t have made it this far without my family, friends, clients, vendors and other supporters and mentors who I have been inspired by, learned from, and collaborated with. You know who you are, so thank you!

April 26, 2013

Working makes me a happy and healthy mama

Filed under: Mompreneur — Tags: , , — lidia @ 10:05 am
My new assistant

My laptop interloper: if only I could teach him how to use Adobe Creative Suite…

Lately I’m hearing about studies showing that “working moms” are healthier and happier than “stay-at-home-moms.” First of all, let’s get real: we are ALL working moms. Being a stay-at-home mom is hard work. I get a glimpse of it when my toddler is home sick, and it’s much more exhausting than a workday.

But I will say that personally, I enjoy being a working mom. I do feel lucky that having my own business allows me to make my own schedule—and gives me the unique opportunity to tap into both worlds. I work 9-5 hours in my office (which sometimes end up being 11-5 or 9-3), but I’m able to leave early for a playdate or stay home when Little One is sick (which has been happening too often now that his immune system is adjusting to daycare…)

I will admit that after having a baby, I had thoughts of staying home. Going to playdates, the park, mommy groups, it all seemed so…FUN. However, I quickly realized that staying home didn’t mean not working—and I would miss my design business that I’ve grown over the last 12+ years.

It’s not easy being a working mom. There are days when Little One is sick and crying for Mama, but I have to call a babysitter and go to my office (hello, Mommy Guilt). But I enjoy the balance, creativity and sense of accomplishment that my workday provides—not to mention the inspiration that my toddler provides for my design business (especially for my line of baby and kids apparel). And one day I hope my son will be proud of his mama’s business. So yes, working does make me a happy and healthy mama.