Thursday, November 4, 2010

10 Ways to Come up with Ideas and Get Inspired by Lara Galloway the @MomBizCoach

Guest Blog Post by Lara Galloway - Helping mom entrepreneurs earn more money doing what they love, while taking care of Priority #1: Family. Find Lara and her awesome tweets on @mombizcoach

You know, there are times when my brain is simply too tired or overwhelmed to produce many (if any) new ideas. There is many a day when 4pm rolls around and I realize I haven’t thought of what to make for dinner for my family of five. I open the fridge and freezer and stand there, staring, literally hoping for something to jump out at me so I don’t have to think up what to cook. My brain is so tired I can’t even remember the standard meals I cook, much less come up with anything creative, new and exciting to try. And then there are times, like now, that my brain is about to explode due to all the creativity coming out of it. I used to scratch down an idea on a piece of paper when it hit me.

Then I started keeping them in my business notebook as they came to me more frequently. Now I’m creating whole spreadsheets of ideas to keep track of them, and they just keep coming. Are you looking for something to write about for your blog, your newsletter, for an article, for a marketing piece, or for a special report, e-book or book? Could you use some help brainstorming ideas for a new product, program or service you could offer? Need a strategy for generating engaging topics for your podcasts, teleseminars, or workshops? I’m happy to share with you a few methods I use for kicking my imagination and creativity into high gear. Hopefully you can find a few that will work for you, and you’ll be well on your way to developing some fresh content for your business this Fall.

Ten Ways to Come Up With New Content: 1. Focus on the part of your business you love. Just think about the parts that make you happiest. If you love talking, is there a new venue/forum that you haven’t tried yet? How could you teach others something about this thing you love?

2. Pick a partner and do some collaborating. You’re good at what you do; now go find somebody who complements your strengths and can help you develop your offerings in ways you couldn’t come up with on your own.

3. Check out your email inbox. Do you notice any frequently asked questions in there? Create a special report, an e-book, or a podcast that answers those questions and make it available to your customers and prospects. They’ll be grateful you did, and it won’t take you much creativity at all to answer these questions.

4. Create an add-on to something you already provide. Is your e-book/book selling well? Fantastic! Now create a workbook or study book that goes along with it so people can create their own path from the insights/lessons your book taught them. Doing teleseminars? Why not package your audio files with a questionnaire or worksheet and sell that as an information product?

5. How’s your existing product funnel? Take a good look at it and decide if/where there are any gaps. Do you offer products/services for free, low, medium and high-priced? Does one offering logically lead to the next, higher-priced one? Create items that fill in these gaps.

6. Have someone interview you (live or just recorded). Have them ask you who your target market is and what their top challenges are. Answer these questions, and let the creative juices flow. Often times being asked questions and having to answer them in real time helps your brain think in ways that sitting at your desk all by yourself just doesn’t.

7. Ask your team to review your web-site & offerings yearly. Aks your coach, mentor, board of advisors, supporters to review your website and all of your offerings. What would they like to see? Ask them to tell you what’s missing.

8. Keep a notebook handy.
As ideas come to you, write them down. You will not remember them later. If you can’t get to your notebook, consider using the voice memo feature on your cellphone/smartphone, or even call your own answering machine and leave yourself a message with your bright idea. Do it IMMEDIATELY before you lose it! Great ideas seldom re-visit tired mompreneur brains.

9. Spend some time exploring. Surf the web, search on keywords that are relevant to you and your business, and see what your competitors or colleauges are doing. Can you emulate something you see? Is there a way you can make it your own, with your personality, brand and flavor?

10. Get out of your office. Go for a walk, a hike, a bikeride, anything outdoors and in Nature. If you’ve been stuck for a while without new ideas, a change of pace and setting might be just what you need. Spend time with friends and family and turn off the “business brain” for a while. A little R&R goes a long way towards giving your mind the flexibility to generate new, different, exciting things that will benefit you, your business, and your clients.

Guest Blog Post by Lara Galloway - Helping mom entrepreneurs earn more money doing what they love, while taking care of Priority #1: Family. Find Lara and her awesome tweets on @mombizcoach

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Digital Stories told by Great Storytellers - Fantastic New Interactive Digital Apps for your iPad or iPhone by Ruckus Media Group

When children open Ruckus apps, turning and tilting pages, touching words and art, they read, see, and enter a story. Words, pictures, music, and dynamics made possible only by touch screen technology are woven to tell original stories to entrance and expand their imaginations. As with their favorite picture books, children will be enriched by and return to Ruckus apps again and again.

Rick Richter, President, CEO, and Chair: A leader in children’s intellectual property development and a seasoned publishing executive, Rick served most recently as as President and Publisher of the Simon & Schuster Children’s Division (1996 – 2008). There he established the company as a consistent award-winning children’s and young adult publisher of many bestselling brands, including Olivia (Nickelodeon, Spring ‘09) and The Spiderwick Chronicles (Paramount, ‘08), He’s Just Not That Into You (New Line, ‘08) and Yes, Man (Warner Bros '08). In 1990, Rick co-founded Candlewick Press, the prestigious children's publisher based in Boston. "The goal of Ruckus is to combine the most creative minds in children's media with tremendously exciting new mobile devices. We'll be satisfied when a mom or dad can hand their phone or tablet to their child without one ounce of guilt, knowing that the experience the child is about to have will entertain them, challenge them, perhaps make them giggle, and be utterly satisfying."

[Rich Richter, President, CEO, and Chair]

ABOUT THE FOUNDERS - MEET JIM: Jim Young, Co-Founder, COO, Board Member: Jim has spent over twenty years in the media and technology industries with GE’s entertainment division, NBC; Viacom’s publishing unit, Simon & Schuster; consumer health company WebMD; technology and software supplier Dendrite International and News Corporation’s publishing unit, Harper Collins. During his career, Jim has held c-suite positions handling operations, mergers and acquisitions, company restructurings, sale transactions and human resources on a global basis. “As a hands-on father of two children, I want a digital experience that not only gives them the choice to be able to select and experience stories but also allows them to use their imagination. That is Ruckus – a place where kids can count on us to give them great stories, complemented by the games, recording, and interactivity made possible by a digital format.”

[Jim Young, Co-Founder, COO, and Board Member]

PRESS AND MEDIA The Wall Street Journal [09.15.10] "Picture this: A child cozies up for a bedtime story, but with an electronic book that allows her to, say, tickle a character, record her own voice reading, or complete a maze. Rick Richter, the former head of kids' books at CBS Corp's Simon & Schuster, is launching a new media house that specializes in interactive digital children's book, including classics such as 'The Velveteen Rabbit'." His company, Ruckus Media Group LLC, has a line of children's books delivered via software applications that make use of color, video, and touch screen capabilities. READ MORE: Full version of the Ruckus Media Article in the Wall Street Journal

Get to know Rick Richter, one of the Founders of Ruckus Media Group and learn all about these new and revolutionary apps that are going to deepen your children's love of books and stories at the TimeOutMom Blog Talk Radio Show Tuesday, October 26th at 11:00am(est). Join us for some fun and sharing with Rick and let's talk about how he got it all started and what it means to parents, kids, and reading

Blog: The Ruckus Among Us Blog
Facebook: Ruckus Media Group on FaceBook
Twitter: @RuckusMedia

BUY THE APPS: $3.99 each at the iTunes Apple Store

TimeOutMom on Facebook
@TimeOutMom on Twitter


Listen to internet radio with TimeOutMom on Blog Talk Radio

Monday, September 27, 2010

Media Mondays: How do you let people know you are on Social Media?

How would people know that you are now on FaceBook or Twitter? Social Media is a two-way street. They can find you on the social media sites themselves, however, why not build relationships and connections with your existing customer base first?

Add badges on your website in a sidebar or footer that is on every single page. Make sure it is a clickable link that will take you right to your FaceBook, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Twitter Pages. It's a two-way street. You want people who visit your site to get to know you better and they can do so through social media.

Add your vanity URL names to your business cards. Depending on the style, design, and space on your card - you could include the actual social media logo too.

Put a sign at your checkout / register area that let's people know that they can connect with you on social media. I have even seen and entire menu panel displaying social media badges and vanity urls at a restaurant recently.





Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Eco Green Time: Solar Charge Your Life

I grew up in an environmentally conscious family. My mother was pouring the washing machine water on her garden well before “grey water” became a household term. As kids, we all dreaded being given the job of putting the food scraps into the compost bin up at the back of the garden – yuck! And then my parents bought some land in country Victoria. Weekends were spent planting trees – natives of course.

Time went on and my parents eventually bought a house to go with the land which resulted in my dad spending many hours installing and talking about solar panels, batteries and a wind generator. As a teenage girl it was put on me that I wasn’t allowed to take my hairdryer to the “weekender” as anything that heats up uses the most electricity. I am sure you can work out what my sisters and I thought of that!

Over two years ago, my husband and I decided rather than to renovate our cute little weatherboard house, we would rebuild. First things first. Our weatherboard house was cut in half, put on a truck and shipped off to a little town called Heathcote to become someone else’s happy home. No landfill!

Second things second, when you are spending that much money on a house, what is a few extra grand to owe the bank. So in went the water tank to flush the toilets (using water as it is harvested) and the SOLAR PANELS. I am sure people thought I was crazy, but I LOVE my panels. We have eight 165 watt Solar Panels with a large enough inverter that I can add more anytime I like.

I also got a rebate from the government so they cost me half of what you would usually pay. AND, they reduce my electricity bill by about half. On really sunny days, I even put electricity back into the grid which is automatically used by my neighbours. The electricity company pays me four times as much for my electricity as they charge me per kilowatt.

And because the electricity goes straight back into the grid, I don’t have any nasty batteries lying around. Huge win/win situation. Never mind the financials – I feel fantastic that I am contributing to greening up our lifestyle and the kids are starting to understand about the production and consumption of electricity.

Now if the production companies could work out a way to produce solar panels in such a way that they don’t damage the environment as they are made... one step at a time.

GUEST BLOG POST BY: Rosalinda Batson my friend on Twitter @RozBatsonfrom Melbourne Australia.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Twitter Tuesdays: What does your Twitter Profile BIO say about you?

Tell me something about you personally first. Are you a mom? Are you a runner? Are you a knitter? Are you a wine, beer, cheese, milk dud lover?
"Mom of 3, Beginning Runner, Needs a Daily Dose of Chocolate"
"Mom of 3, Avid Reader, Foodie who loves to good meal I don't have to Cook"
Social Media is Social! Share with me so I can make connections with you!

What is your business in ONE sentence.
"I am a professional organizer that specializes in Home Offices"
"I organize Home Offices"
"I have a blog dedicated to the lives of Moms"

Now bring it home for us. What is unique or special about your business? What will your business do for your target market?
"I will get your home office more organized + more efficient which will save you time + make you more productive!"
"I bring to you tips, information, and advice to make your life as a Mom easier, simplier, and save you time!"

Monday, September 20, 2010

Media Mondays: What are some of your favorite New Media, Marketing, and Business Blogs?

Sharing some of my favorite New Media, Marketing, and Business Blogs. I would love to get your input on some of your favorites!

UnMarketing Blog founded by Scott Stratten @UnMarketing:
"Scott Stratten is the President of He is an expert in Viral, Social, and Authentic Marketing which he calls Un-Marketing. It’s all about positioning yourself as a trusted expert in front of target market, so when they have the need, they choose you, That’s UN-Marketing."
Scott Stratten's Book: UnMarketing

Mashable Blog founded by Pete Cashamore @Mashable:
"Founded in 2005, Mashable is the top source for news in social and digital media, technology and web culture. With more than 30 million monthly pageviews, Mashable is the most prolific news site reporting breaking web news, providing analysis of trends, reviewing new Web sites and services, and offering social media resources and guides. Mashable’s audience includes early adopters, social media enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, influencers, brands and corporations, marketing, PR and advertising agencies, Web 2.0 aficionados and technology journalists. Mashable is also popular with bloggers, Twitter and Facebook users — an increasingly influential demographic."

Gary Vaynerchuk's Blog founded by @GaryVee:
"Gary launched a blog,, where he dispenses business advice and comments on emerging technologies and cultural trends. As his following grew online, Gary became one of the first to reach Facebook’s friend limit and accumulated more than 800,000 followers on Twitter. Gary’s first business book, entitled Crush It! Why Now is the Time to Cash in on your Passion, was released in the Fall of 2009 and debuted as a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller. Gary proceeded to make tv appearances as a social media expert and business consultant on programs including CNN Your $$$$, Fox Business’s Your Money Your Questions, and The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch. Gary’s ultimate goal is to one day own the New York Jets. Although his various businesses obviously play an enormous role in his life, he always puts his family first."
Gary Vaynerchuk's Book: Crush It!
Gary Vaynerchuk's Book: The Thank You Economy

Rich German's Blog founded by @RichGerman:
"Rich German is recognized as one of the most accomplished and popular business and life coaches in the world. Since 1999, he has conducted over 16,000 individual coaching sessions and has led numerous training seminars for thousands more. His clients not only get the results they are looking for but they also experience great amounts of happiness. He is also a certified meditation teacher."
Rich German's Book: Monetize Your Passion

Share some of your favorite Media, Marketing, and Business Blogs!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Summer Family Fun Time: The African Lion Safari Adventure

We had a great time at the African Lion Safari. We brought our three kids ages 11, 9, and 2 plus two of their friends ages 11 and 9. Our biggest regret was that we did not get there right when it opened at 10:00am! They have the Animal Game Reserve, The Elephant Ride, Pony Rides, a Play Center, an awesome 2-part splash pad (one for the little ones and toddlers and one area for the bigger kids), Live Animal Shows, a Train Ride, and the African Queen Boat Ride.

We decided to drive through the Animal Game Reserve (9km)first. We debated on taking the Safari Bus, but my husband went here as a child and insisted that we take our minivan through because sometimes the animals walk right up to your window! My husband was right! This was incredible! We had giraffees, baboons, emus, and zebras right at our car window. The kids were going crazy and were super excited. Our littlest, 2.5 year old Jonathan, wanted to take them home with us!

Highly Recommended is the Elephant Ride! It is only $5 per person and you can see here that Mack and Maria had a great time. I am so sorry that Jonathan was napping during this - I wish we had done this earlier in the day. Our kids were literally the last kids to ride the elephants.

The African Queen Boat Ride was fun for all on a slow moving pontoon boat took us around to areas we hadn't seen before to see various endangered species that have been rescued, some breed in captivity, and some that get reintroduced to the wild. There is an impressive list on the African Lion Safari Website:

*Note: We regret that we did not go to information center right from the start and get the entire schedule of events for the entire day and plan out our day a bit better. We had no idea there was so much to do! WWe had a fantastic time and will be making this an annual family event! Be sure to plan on getting there at open and staying until close - that is the only way you will fit everything in!

African Lion Safari Information: Address: 1386 Cooper Road, Flamborough, Ontario Canada

African Lion Safari is a Canadian owned family business created in the name of conservation. Our manner of exhibiting animals is completely different from the traditional approach; that is, the visitor is caged in the car, and the animals roam in 2 to 20 hectare (5 to 50 acre) reserves.

They first opened the gates to the public in 1969 with 40 lions in 3 reserves; today the park houses in excess of 1000 animals of over 100 species. After 40 years we have been successful with breeding 30 species that are considered endangered, and 20 or more species that are considered threatened. The original idea of "maintaining self-sustaining populations of species in decline" is still our priority.

Admission $29.95 each / $19.95 children (ages 3-12) Safari Bus Ride $4.95 / $4.75 children (ages 3-12)

Lay's Chips Trips Information:
*The offer we used for this trip was: Buy one Adult Admission and get $10 off your 2nd Admission. Limit - one coupon per family.