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Saying No to Overbooking the Holidays is Saying Yes to Yourself

We are two-and-a-half months away from the end of the year—if that number doesn’t scare you, think about this: we have fewer than 75 days left of 2016. The progression toward the holiday season and the end-of-year countdown seems to get earlier each year; stores are marketing the holidays as early as October. It would be easy to ignore these factors, yet there are social pressures to already start thinking about dates—do you want to go away for the end of the year, or spend the holidays with family? Does your family want you to host? Are there work-related expectations?

Life is already moving at the speed of “too fast” for most of us: There are work deadlines, but there is also pressure to save for gifts or holiday parties, and plenty of hidden expenditures during this time of year.

Working moms especially face so many pressures. If kids are in sports, there are games and maybe playoffs on the schedule; if your student is in high school, this is the season of college applications and SATs, which means it’s the season of comforting your stressed teen as they worry that their entire future hinges on a few hours of test-taking. Then kids have to get presents for other kids, or teachers, or coaches, and all this must be added into the already-swelling budget. It’s enough to make a busy mom want to throw up her hands and hide until January.

This isn’t an option, of course. What is an option is saying no to holiday overbooking.

This isn’t always easy. There’s an undue amount of pressure on women during the holidays, more so than falls onto men. Half of women in the US report holiday stress, compared with a third of men. Why is this? There are still expectations that women fulfill certain duties that aren’t expected of men, as well as pressures and guilt put on women at higher rates than on men, socially forcing women to overbook. If men say no to family activities or work-related functions, people are far more likely to be accepting of the “no” response, without critique or guilt. Women don’t get off so lucky; they are far more likely to be pressured into family events than their husbands are. Women are also expected to do more of the work in preparing for these events. At work, women are often judged by how willing they are to be a “team player,” which includes participating in (and sometimes working) many holiday events. But saying yes to activities when you want to say no can actually lead to burnout.

Holiday stress is a very real problem: long term effects of holiday stress include high blood pressure and potential heart disease, anxiety and depression, obesity, menstrual problems, and skin problems.

So how can working moms empower themselves to say no to holiday overbooking? Start by taking a look at your holiday list and deciding which are obligations that bring you joy.

How you prioritize depends on your family structure. Do you have small children or infants? Don’t overbook your holiday with family events on the same day or weekend: Lugging your family, your kids, and all their stuff between multiple places on the same day will likely be too much for them and for you. This includes saying no to events that require unusual travel, especially requested by distant relatives. Young children can’t be expected to “perform” on holidays. Also, don’t feel obligated to participate in extravagant gift exchanges. With big families, suggest a family name drawing, so you only have to get one gift per person, or reserve gifts for the kids. And don’t feel guilty about setting your boundaries in advance. (If you ever had a license to pass on hosting duties, having young children provides not merely an excuse, but a valid reason.) Say yes to your own wellbeing.

Say yes to things that make you happy. If you see your list of obligations becoming overbooked, think about why you feel obligated. For one thing, it’s hard to feel joyful when you’re forced to do something; a gift isn’t actually a gift if it is required. Sometimes, “faux obligations” can sneak into your itinerary, overwhelming you. But are these really duties required of you? Conversely, if hosting the family dinner and modeling your holiday after Martha Stewart makes you happy and relieves your stress, than absolutely do it. Feel free to ask for help from your capable and willing family members, but remember not to make others feel guilty for not participating at a high standard. Those other family members may feel compelled to overbook their holidays as well. Chances are, though, if you speak up, other people may be relieved and back you up.

With work-related obligations, things can be trickier. There are tactful ways to say no, and feel free to include your workload as a means to decline certain requests. If you have a boss who asks you to plan a holiday party or gift exchange, but it’s not on your normal slate of work-related activities, then tell your boss you would be happy to do so, and he or she should tell you how to prioritize that request with the rest of your duties. That way, the boss can see how busy you are while also taking pressure off you to manage your time.

With all of these examples, practice not letting other people make you feel guilty for saying no to holiday overbooking. Hopefully, this empowerment will spill over to the rest of the year, and you can live life more on your terms.

At Moms Making Six Figures, we help working moms prioritize what’s most important to them, with the purpose of building a community of empowered women. If you’re ready to join the community or would like more information, give us a call at (858) 837-1505, or visit our website at www.momsmakingsixfigures.com.


MomsMakingSixFigures featured in the Del Mar Times.

You can read the full article here: http://www.delmartimes.net/our-columns/sponsored-columns/sd-ljl-saying-no-overbooking-holidays-yes-to-yourself-20161020-story.html

Press

Moms Making Six Figures encourages a lifestyle of balance

Nearly eight years ago, Heidi Bartolotta was finding it was an ongoing challenge trying to juggle full-time employment while caring for her two daughters. As a result, the former pharmaceutical sales representative and two other women decided to establish a company in 2009 that would provide financial stability and offer the ability to spend more time with their families.

The result was San Diego-based business Moms Making Six Figures. It has now grown to include more than 500 parents in similar situations; 150 of them are in San Diego.

“We essentially take women who come from other backgrounds and we mentor them on how to have success here,” said Bartolotta, a resident of the Del Sur area in San Diego. ”It’s very different than what many of the women have done in the past but it provides a lot of freedom.”

Those who are part of Moms Making Six Figures work as marketing representatives for a U.S.-based manufacturer of more than 500 consumer products sold online. Bartolotta said the high-quality wellness items are a great value and include healthy snacks, nutritional goods and safer cleaning products.

In addition to educating family, friends and others in the community about the products, team members spend time mentoring other parents as part of the business.

The women and men involved come from a wide range of backgrounds, including stay-at-home moms and dads, doctors and accountants. Many previously held successful jobs in the corporate world but longed to be at home with their children.

They all have a common goal: to create a lifestyle of balance to enhance their lives, be there for their families, and help others do the same.

“It provides a lot of ability to really be a mom,” said Bartolotta. “Yes, we have all had successful backgrounds and we all need to be financially successful, but we really want women to have flexibility to be on the soccer field, the piano recitals and those kinds of things.”

Bartolotta said that Moms Making Six Figures helps parents create a passive, stable income. There is no limit to their potential earnings; however, it takes commitment and dedication to be successful. She tells newcomers the importance of spending at least five to 10 hours a week to see results. Over the years, she has witnessed many of these parents who once had stressful careers, become happier and calmer.

Kara Lynch Guthrie, who lives in Carmel Valley, has been part of Moms Making Six Figures for the past five and a half years. Before getting involved, she spent 21 years in the media business, routinely working more than 50 hours a week.

“I realized pretty quickly after leaving the media industry that my life was really out of balance,” said Guthrie. “There were a lot of things that were flying under my radar at home that I was just too busy to pick up.”

She decided to take a year off of work to spend time with her two boys, who are now 15 and 13. When she was ready to go back to work, she realized that an eight-to-five job wasn’t appealing. “The further away I got from the corporate grind, the further away I wanted to stay from it,” said Guthrie.

She reached out to Bartolotta about the possibility of working with Moms Making Six Figures and was intrigued. After working with the organization for several years, Guthrie said it has really changed her family’s life. “I love what I do every day,” she said. “The idea of being able to help other parents, not just moms, and to have flexibility to be able to be totally present for my kids, was something that was really needed.”

Guthrie has found that working at the company allows her to maintain a better work-life balance and be there for her kids, whether it is picking them up from school, dropping them off at a team practice or attending a game.

“Owning your own time makes you a lot more efficient and happier,” said Guthrie. “Time goes so fast and you really need to be able to enjoy it.”

Bartolotta agreed. “My vision is really to help other women to have flexibility,” she said. “There’s this amazing thing that happens with women when they’re not stressed financially and they have the time to do the things that I feel like we really want to do as women, which is to invest in our families and other people.”

For more information, visit www.momsmakingsixfigures.com.


MomsMakingSixFigures featured in the Del Mar Times.

You can read the full article here: http://www.delmartimes.net/sddmt-moms-making-six-figures-2016sep10-story.html

Press

Why Working Moms Need Mentors

According to Beyoncé, women run the world. While you might think this is an exaggeration or merely aspirational, a recent study from the Peterson Institute for International Economics found that companies are more profitable when more women take on leadership roles within the company.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that of all women in this country with children under the age of 18 years old, 69.9% were working or actively looking for work.

While the Peterson study is promising, here’s another statistic: only 14% of the top corporate leadership positions of companies in the S&P 500 are held by women. The number of those women who are mothers is even smaller.

And women in positions of power have a harder time managing their time and priorities when they are mothers. Sometimes, these moms receive pressure from onlookers, who can accuse them of working too much or not enough.

The one truth is that circumstances are different for every woman, and working moms have to decide how much work and what kind is right for them and for their families. But this is easier said than done.

What women need to navigate this difficult work/motherhood balance are mentors.

Because what statistics don’t show is the cost to many of these powerful women.

Trending research shows that women in top positions in politics inspire other women to take part—not only because they serve as role models but because they make it seem normal for women to hold these positions of power.

What holds true for politics works across the occupational board (and board room). A brave few can blaze a trail and inspire others, showing that a daunting climb is still surmountable. But sticking with a hard job, and all the pressures that come with it, on top of being a mother, can be exhausting, physically and emotionally. To survive this, women need more than just a remote role model. This brings us back to mentors.

The difference between a role model and a mentor.

A role model can be anyone, from a female politician, a historical figure, a pop singer, a teacher, or even a fictional superhero. These are examples that serve to inspire people. But often, these are not the people you can turn to for guidance.

Enter the mentor. A mentor is someone in the field who has been through what you’re going through and can give you sound advice. Mentors have become wiser from their experience and they enjoy empowering others. Mentors are supportive of others in similar situations and can put aside their own interests to help others.

Mentors can also fill in where family members are unable to help. With more people living busy lives or living apart from their traditional family support systems that include grandparents, parents, and extended family members, women will need to rely on external sources of help and guidance. Women mentors serve to empower other women and develop a community of assistance.

Not all workplaces look the same. And not all women mentors have to be the CEO or vice president of a company. Sometimes, mentors can be supportive friends and extended family members. But they can also be women within your community. Maybe they are even professional life coaches. These mentors can provide individually-based guidance and genuine support and friendship, which can help women get through the daily struggles. Because it’s one thing to have Sheryl Sandberg’s picture as your desktop wallpaper, but chances are pretty good that she’s not going to sit next to you late in the evening when you have a deadline looming and realize you’re going to miss your child’s game or recital, telling you, “You can do this!” Or telling you that missing a game or recital doesn’t make you a bad mother, especially when you are providing a good life for your family. That’s why we need mentors even more than role models.

At Moms Making Six Figures, we pride ourselves on mentoring working moms and helping them to follow their dreams and support their families, and we work together to build a community of empowered women. If you’re ready to join the community or would like more information, give us a call at (858) 837-1505, or visit our website at momsmakingsixfigures.com.


MomsMakingSixFigures featured in the Del Mar Times.

You can read the full article here: http://www.delmartimes.net/news/2016/aug/16/Why-Working-Moms-Need-Mentors/

Press

Jennifer Becker and MM6F Featured in 92127 Magazine

Change. It’s hard, but worth it.

Sometimes it’s hard to admit we need to make a change. My story is probably one many moms can relate to. My husband and I struggled to conceive for years, so to fill the void, I decided I would put all of my time and energy into climbing the corporate ladder. Along the way, we finally welcomed our first child. By that point, I had put so much into my career that I was convinced I could do both – be a super mom and a powerhouse businesswoman. At age 30, I was running an international supply chain organization and gave birth to our second daughter. This time it was a little different: not just caring for two children, but our second daughter was born with significant health issues. I was torn between a career I loved and a child who needed me more. Naturally, my priority was tending to my daughter’s medical needs, so I stepped out of the corporate world for nine months.

During those nine months, she made great strides, and just as I was starting to contemplate what was next for me, a job offer fell in my lap. I leaped at the opportunity, but within seven short months,
I found myself traveling domestically and internationally far more than I had anticipated and was missing my kids like crazy. It was then that I realized just how precious those nine months at home with my girls were, and I knew I needed to somehow find a balance between my work and home lives.

My husband and I thought that maybe owning our own business would give us the time and freedom I was desperate to have. A new shopping center was opening in a promising area near our home with multiple franchise opportunities available, so we thought we had found our answer. My husband and I were going to spend our life savings and take out a second mortgage to get it started.

A month before I was to fly to the franchise’s headquarters to sign the paperwork and be trained to run the business, I met Heidi Bartolotta, founder of Moms Making Six Figures. My husband and I refer to Heidi as the woman who changed everything for our family.

Heidi founded a local marketing and advertising company for women with one common goal: coming home to their families while still being able to earn a significant income. I was skeptical (to say the least) but after weighing my options – continuing to work for a company I wasn’t happy at or sinking over $100,000 into a franchise – I didn’t have a lot to lose by simply giving the Moms team a chance. I worked with Moms for a year part-time while still grinding it out at work. After that year though, I was able to quit my full-time job and within two years replace my corporate salary. Looking back, it was the change I desperately needed, as I now have the time I need to be a more patient mom and wife. Don’t get me wrong, realizing that a change was necessary and then actually making it was very scary, but I would do it all over again to “own my schedule” the way I do now. I have never missed a class party or field trip, and I know those are the things my children will remember. What I’ve realized is that with the right tools and people to support and guide you, anyone can successfully make the same change I did.

Visit us at www.momsmakingsixfigures.com.


Thank you to 92127 Magazine for featuring Jennifer Becker in this month’s issue!

You can read the full article here: http://92127magazine.com/2016/08/02/moms-making-six-figures-4/

 

 

Press

Kara Lynch Guthrie and MM6F Featured in 92127 Magazine

Growing up in San Diego, I was raised in a family of athletes. My dad had a stint in the NFL, my brothers played in the NFL and MLB, and my mom is an avid golfer. Me, I grew up playing competitive soccer. I love the teamwork, leadership, and competition of sports; it’s in my blood. In college, it was my dream to become a TV anchor but there was something about having to leave San Diego and relocate to a very small town that was not so intriguing. I majored in Communications at USC and was introduced to an opportunity to minor in Sports Journalism. Post-college, I dove into the media industry and ultimately ended up working with the NFL and MLB among other media outlets.

Twenty-one years into a successful career, things changed. In what seemed just a blink of an eye, my sons were six and eight and I realized how much of their lives I had missed. So, seven years ago, I took almost a year to evaluate my life and focus on my “little athletes.” That time confirmed what I had suspected; I needed them just as much as they needed me. Knowing that my family needed my income but also that I couldn’t go back to a corporate job, I strived to find something that would allow me to balance my personal and professional lives.

Shortly after beginning my search, I had coffee with a long-time family friend, Heidi Bartolotta, who introduced me to Moms Making Six Figures. That was almost five years ago, and since then I have been able to design my new career around my sons’ very busy school and sports schedules. From picking them up from school every day and shuttling them off to practices and then back home, I have truly been able to be there for them. This is so important because soon I will blink again – and they will be off to college.

“Moms” is a marketing company that represents a U.S.-based manufacturer. Though based in San Diego, many of the 100-plus women who work with Moms live all over the United States. Of these women, about half work 25-plus hours per week. Their only qualifications are that they’re self-motivated, hard-working, and coachable.

Kara invites interested women to reach out through www.momsmakingsixfigures.com. “Learn a little more about who we are and what we do. We would love to help bring you home too!”


Thank you to 92127 Magazine for featuring Kara Lynch Guthrie in this month’s issue!

You can read the full article here: http://92127magazine.com/2016/05/13/moms-making-six-figures-3/

Press

Dr. Barbara Ryan of Moms Making Six Figures Featured in 92127 Magazine

Thank you to 92127 Magazine for featuring Moms Making Six Figures partner, Dr. Barbara Ryan. Here’s a brief excerpt from the article, which you can read in full here.

Dr. Barbara Ryan, a surgeon of many years, chose to make a change in her career in 2010 for greater flexibility. “I enjoyed being a surgeon and caring for my patients immensely, however, the medical arena was changing and I simply didn’t have flexibility in my schedule that would allow me to balance my personal and professional lives; something many women struggle with,” said Barbara. “Also, my husband is in the military and has no control over where we get stationed, meaning everything I poured into building a surgical practice (time, energy, and money) could be wiped out with one phone call. Not only did I want more time to spend with my husband and also to care for my aging parents, I wanted to ensure that when I built up a substantial income it was portable, no matter where the military said we needed to be.”

Click here to read the entire article on 92127 Magazine’s website.