Winners of the Winter 2019 High Five Grant for Moms

We are pleased to announce Laura Borsky, a mother of two boys and owner of SaferSit, who lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, is the $5,000 grant winner for the Winter 2019 High Five Grant for Moms competition.

A Judging Panel of seasoned executives selected Laura as one of eight finalists out of 175 applicants. In the second phase of the competition, out of more than 4,600 total, her business received 1,503 votes.

Laura not only receives the $5,000 grant, she also will be sent to Mama Spring Break, a business and adventure retreat for mom business owners to learn in workshops, valuable business coaching, a $100 gift card from the grant sponsor, Belly Bandit, and a promotional interview on Talk Radio NYC.

Safer Sit Laura Borsky High Five Grant for Moms Winner

More about SaferSit

SaferSit serves busy parents who need reliable childcare with just the push of a button. SaferSit is an on-demand service that connects highschool and college students with babysitting jobs in their area. 

More than 1,500 families have used the service, and SaferSit has over 100 5-star reviews on Facebook from moms. The company has booked over 10,000 jobs since starting in 2016. 

”We are the only child care service that background checks both the parent and the sitter making it safe for both parties,” Laura says. “We are also the only service that is started by a mom and a sitter so that our team understands both sides of our business.”

The future of SaferSit

"We are planning to expand to multiple cities in 2019,” says Laura. “We have hired "mom managers" in Louisville and Lexington and hope to add a note tracking system for parents to communicate needs and allergies with their sitter.”

In her application, Laura wrote that she plans to use the $5,000 grant to add the notes system to the SaferSit app so that the sitter can have more safety information and the parent would be able to trust the service even more. This note system will include emergency contact info, allergy info, and additional notes. 

Lion Latch Lerin Lockwood High Five Grant for Moms

First Runner Up - Lion Latch

Lerin Jane Lockwood, mama of a two-year-old daughter who lives in Burnet, Texas, owns Lion Latch. Her invention, Lion Latch is a small container that does not come unscrewed, to store wedding rings on-the-go, earrings, necklaces, pills, and hearing aids.

After knocking out the diamond in her engagement ring while playing softball, she knew she needed a solution. “I want to help more people prevent losing the jewelry they love! Jewelry is so sentimental, and can be passed down generations. You don't realize how much you love it until it's missing/damaged.”

After creating her own solution, others wanted one too. She raised $14,000 on KickStarter to have her invention manufactured. She’s shipped over 10,000 Lion Latches and recently received a call from Good Morning America. See how to protect your jewelry on the go at www.lionlatch.com.


Second Runner Up - EATABLE Inc

Charlene Li EATABLE Inc High Five Grant for Moms

Mother of one, Charlene Li, co-founded EATABLE with her husband in 2018. Based in Ontario, Canada, EATABLE creates luxurious, refined snacking experiences for millennials and the young professional demographic who values quality and unique experiences. Their 100% all-natural gourmet popcorn features alcohol-infused flavors inspired by classic cocktails, wine, and spirits.

“The mission behind EATABLE is to create products that are part of people’s everyday celebrations,” says Charlene. “Whether you’re celebrating everyday wins at the office, at a gathering with friends, or spending quality family time at home, we want our products to be a reminder to celebrate those everyday wins, big or small. We are looking to partner with local charitable organizations that promote self-love and personal achievement.”

Pop over to www.eatable.com to find creative new flavors for your #everydaywins.

High Five Grant at Mama Spring Break

The Mama Ladder, in partnership with sponsor Belly Bandit, will award a giant check to Laura at Mama Spring Break this March (and a bank-friendly-size too!) at a special awards luncheon. We welcome mom entrepreneurs to join us and climb to greater heights in your business. 

Announcing Winter 2019 Finalists of the High Five Grant for Moms

We are pleased to announce the 8 finalists of the Winter 2019 High Five Grant for Moms competition! We’re feeling the finalist LOVE for Valentine’s Day.

HIGH FIVE Grant for Moms™ is a semi-annual $5,000 international business grant competition. Hosted by The Mama Ladder® and sponsored by Belly Bandit®, this grant provides economic empowerment for mom-owned businesses.

In this round, there were 175 applicants from across the U.S., Canada, Nigeria, and Jamaica.

After much deliberation, the Judging Panel decided on the following 8 finalists, listed in alphabetical order:

High Five GRant for Moms Finalists

VOTE for your favorite mom-owned business

Public voting is open from February 14-20 to determine which of these finalists will receive the $5,000 USD grant check and a trip to #MamaSpringBreak Business & Adventure Retreat. All finalists are being awarded prizes, which you can see at www.highfivegrant.com. The winner will be announced February 21, 2019.

Why It's Time to Pay Yourself In Your Business

I know too many women who don't pay themselves in their business. 

So today's message is my declaration: You absolutely deserve to pay yourself, and if you are your own boss, IT IS YOUR JOB.

Otherwise, you've got an expensive hobby. 

You see, hobbies don't pay you. Business does.

Being compensated is not selfish. It’s actually loving yourself enough to recognize what your ideas, effort, and creative energy are worth.

If you’re not paying yourself yet in your business, read on for why you need to start … this month.

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Why entrepreneurs don’t pay themselves

The reason you’re likely not paying yourself is fear of not having enough in your business. Maybe you’ve been told that sacrifice is the only way to make it as a startup. Maybe someone advised you to wait until you have a certain amount in your business bank account--and then it’s safe to pay yourself. Any of these sound familiar?

Fear of scarcity and limiting beliefs around money are a very real thing. Holding on tight to every dollar and cent that comes into your business might seem like the logical thing to do, especially according to an accountant, but it can actually do damage to your mental power and how you see yourself as a business owner.

The fearful action of not allowing yourself to be paid is the opposite of abundance mentality, or the belief that there will always be enough. And the truth is, when we allow ourselves to receive, we open the door to receiving more.

Do other founders pay themselves in the lean, early years?

While I can’t speak for all start-up founders out there, I do have a mentor who shared with me the details behind his seriously successful entrepreneur story. I wrote his biography and learned about how he approached his own compensation wisely and with a long-term vision in mind.

The outsourced marketing and sales company he started grew slowly, despite his valiant efforts to scale. It took time, persistence, and conservative protection of funds. In the first two years he only took home $5,000 to support his wife and six kids. They lived on food storage and hand-me-down clothes. But you know what? He had a vision, and grew that company to be $200-million+ revenue business with thousands of employees around the world, still thriving 30 years after he started it.

Let’s break this down: The first years were rough. Really rough. He hardly took home anything. His family didn’t make much to live on. But he did take SOMETHING home! And that something grew and grew, until it was much more than where he started.

Why you need to pay yourself, starting TODAY

Whether you have a desperate need for funds in your family finances or you can hold out for years, you need to be compensated for the work you’re doing in business.

There’s something really important that happens in your head when you pay yourself. By cashing in that paycheck, you are declaring in a physical way:

  • I am a real business owner

  • I am making money

  • I value my time

  • I am rewarded for the efforts I’m making

  • I welcome money into my life and invite more!

These messages are really, really important because they empower you to make MORE money. The truth is business is mostly a mental game, and paying yourself is one way to increase your capacity to attract more of what you want.

So whether you feel comfortable paying yourself $25, $2,500, or $25,000, I invite you to set up a recurring payment through your bank. Within the next six months, mark my words, you will start seeing more money flow into your business. Then it will be time to give yourself a raise!

Want to make more money in less time? I’d love to help you. My passion is passing forward what I’ve learned in my six-figure business to other mom entrepreneurs. Reach out to me for 1:1 PowerStep Sessions™ here and I’ll help you take power steps towards your business dreams in ways that fit your family.



Why You Need to Stop Feeling Guilty About Being Ambitious

Let’s dispel the myth that women, especially young mothers, need to refrain from ambition or feel guilty if they are ambitious. If you ever feel you might be doing something wrong because you believe you have business or creative potential and want to do something about it, read on. Time to kick those limiting beliefs to the curb!

be ambitious

“Ambition” seems to be a loaded word for women. Does ambition collide with feminine virtues of motherhood? Let's take a look: The dictionary defines ambition as “a strong desire to do or to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work.” That sure sounds admirable to me!

There is room for “ambition” in every area of our lives. You can be ambitious about raising kind, contributing humans. There’s nothing that takes more effort over the course of decades than raising kids. You can be ambitious about improving your marriage, a serious effort for the committed of heart! You can be ambitious about improving your health, which requires you to make changes in your day-to-day nutrition and exercise habits. All of these meaningful efforts require determination and hard work.

At The Mama Ladder®, we empower women at the intersection of mamahood and entrepreneurship. Believe this: You are absolutely allowed to be ambitious about growing your company, creating more opportunities, and making more money. Be as ambitious as you want!

I’ve had to work through my own limiting beliefs about being ambitious in my career. For years, I hid my ambition from different people in my life, trying to gauge how they would react. I would be quiet about exciting achievements because I was afraid of others’ responses. Looking back I think, “What a waste of energy!”

I’ve learned I don’t need to to waste my precious time and mind power worrying about what other people think. Being out of the corporate ladder really helps because I’m not constantly surrounded by others’ limiting beliefs. I “create my own ladder” as a business owner and it’s incredibly liberating to set BIG, beautiful goals, and climb after them boldly without needing to hold back due to other people’s fragile egos.

If you find yourself thinking you need to rein in your ambition, here are some truths to keep in mind:

Progressing, growing, and learning are your innate right and potential.

This ability to move towards your goals has many names, like “the pursuit of happiness” in the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Nature shows us examples of this: Fruit trees are always seeking to grow and create as much fruit as they can. Do they hold back for fear the other fruit trees will feel inadequate? No! They are naturally created to seek sunshine, nutrients, and every possible resource to help them progress. The same goes for you. Progress, grow, and feel good about striving towards your potential!

The desires and wild dreams you hold in your heart are there for a reason.

Whatever your belief system (God, the Universe, Muse, etc.), know that the quiet whisperings of your heart are there to guide you towards what you can become and who you can help. If you have a deep desire to do something good or meaningful, listen to it. This could be finally writing that book you’ve always want to write, or collaborating with other brands for a big campaign, or launching new services that will make a real difference in people’s lives.

See your ambition as a clue to the good you (and only you) can do for the world.

Doing good is not limited to non-profit organizations or church groups. There are countless ways to be big-hearted as a for-profit business. It’s the reason we give $5,000 to a promising mom entrepreneur in our HIGH FIVE grant program twice a year. It’s our dream to truly empower mom entrepreneurs, and we’re happy to put money behind that dream!

When you allow yourself to dream and ACT big, you give others permission to do so as well.

This includes your child(ren). By showing your kids you believe you are worthy of greatness and your dreams deserve your attention, you teach them they can believe the same for themselves. What an incredible gift to give your children, friends, community, and anyone who your life touches!

If you feel ambitious about growing your business, congratulations. That’s a sign you deeply care, and have the ability to do and BE more than you currently are. Listen to that desire, and allow it to motivate you to take bold action. You’ll be happily surprised to see what you can create, thanks to your ambition and hard work to back it up.

Want help to climb after your ambitious business goals? Let’s do it, Mama! We specialize in working with women of action who are committed to their babies and their business. Join us and other like-minded mamapreneurs at #MamaSpringBreak.

Announcing Summer 2018 #HighFiveGrant Winner: Leesie & Pip

Bust out the confetti! For the one-year anniversary of The Mama Ladder® today, we're celebrating with a BIG announcement. We're pleased to share the voting tally is in for our inaugural HIGH FIVE Grant for Moms™ business competition.

Drumroll, please ... congratulations to Ellyse Harris, grant winner of $5,000 to grow her business, Leesie and Pip. Leesie and Pip creates whimsical heirloom dolls that are handmade from quality materials produced in the United States. For every doll purchased a book is donated to a child in need.

Read on for details on how Leesie and Pip was selected, what Ellyse has learned in business, and where she plans to lead her company (and share her darling dolls!) with this grant.

How Leesie and Pip was selected

For our Summer 2018 grant, hundreds of applications came in from mama business owners in 37 states in the U.S. and countries around the globe: Canada, England, France, Jamaica, Korea, Nigeria, and Spain. See the beautiful WHY behind their businesses with the #HIGHFIVEGrant hashtag.

A Judging Panel of experienced entrepreneurs chose eight finalists for their originality, clarity, market potential, and future vision. See more about the eight mom-founded companies who were selected by the Judging Panel here.

The Leesie and Pip journey so far

"Starting my company Leesie and Pip has been an amazing ride! I have created a brand that reflects my love for play, childhood, and children's literature. I feel a deep sense of purpose and accomplishment in my commitment to donate a book to a child in need for every doll that is sold. My dolls truly have blessed hundreds of lives! Through social media I have connected and collaborated with many talented shops, influencers, and customers, who have all helped me to grow a following of almost 10,000 on Instagram. Through hours of hard work and dedication I have taught myself how to use Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to simplify my process of creating and designing dolls. I am so happy when I see the many pictures and messages from customers telling me about how much they love their Leesie and Pip dolls." 

What Ellyse has learned in business

"I have learned so much since starting this business! The biggest thing I have learned is to be patient with myself. It isn't easy creating this little doll business while balancing being a mom. Time is definitely my biggest constraint and I haven't been able to grow as fast as I'd like because I haven't been in a position to invest in manufacturing. But I look at my business and I feel proud, I have worked so hard to create a product and brand that I love and others love too! I know that if I keep at it, I'll be able to scale the business while still keeping time set aside to be a great mom."

Where Leesie and Pip is headed

"I am currently unable meet the demand for my dolls by hand. In the future I would love to get my dolls manufactured or hire a team of seamstresses to create the dolls so that I can meet demand. This will also enable me to focus on growing the brand through design development, marketing and building relationships with additional distribution channels. I will use the grant to produce them at larger quantities and a lower price point. This will enable me to sell through boutiques and other distribution channels to grow the brand. My ideal is to have them still be handmade in the United States." 

More about the HIGH FIVE Grant

HIGH FIVE Grant™ for Moms is a semi-annual $5,000 business grant empowering mom entrepreneurs to make massive impact. This grant provides economic empowerment for promising mom entrepreneurs to build their business. The Summer 2018 grant is hosted by The Mama Ladder® and sponsored by Belly Bandit, and coaches Katie Richardson and Lady T. See more about the next opportunity to apply for our grant in winter 2019 at highfivegrant.com.

Meet the Summer 2018 #HighFiveGrant Finalists

HIGH FIVE to all the incredible  mom entrepreneurs who applied for our first semi-annual grant. We are so pleased to announce the finalists for your vote!

How they were selected

For our Summer 2018 grant, hundreds of applications came in from mama business owners in 37 states in the U.S. and countries around the globe: Canada, England, France, Jamaica, Korea, Nigeria, and Spain. See the beautiful WHY behind their businesses with the #HIGHFIVEGrant hashtag.

A Judging Panel of experienced entrepreneurs chose eight finalists for their originality, clarity, market potential, and future vision. From June 11 - 20, YOU can vote to select the grant winner! See more detail about each finalist below.

High Five Grant for Moms Finalists

Listed in alphabetical order by business name, here are more details about each promising mom-founded business:

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Ketler Dog Treats

Founder Kellie Thayne looks to serve pet owners who are adventurous, traveling, and on-the-go. "When stopping at gas stations to fuel up and get snacks, we noticed there are never any good options for the dogs," says Kellie, who is a mother of two. "Grocery stores usually only have large or expensive bags of treats. We want to be able to grab our dog a small healthy affordable treat while traveling or just out for a drive with the family." See more at www.ketlerdogtreats.com.

high five grant for moms leesie and pip

Leesie and Pip

Mama of one, Ellyse Harris creates whimsical heirloom dolls that are handmade from quality materials produced in the United States. For every doll purchased a book is donated to a child in need. "The biggest thing I have learned is to be patient with myself," says Ellyse. "It isn't easy creating this little doll business while balancing being a mom. Time is definitely my biggest constraint and I haven't been able to grow as fast as I'd like because I haven't been in a position to invest in manufacturing. But I look at my business and I feel proud, I have worked so hard to create a product and brand that I love and others love too! I know that if I keep at it, I'll be able to scale the business while still keeping time set aside to be a great mom." See her dolls at www.leesieandpip.com.

High Five Grant Finalist Love Powered Co.

Love Powered Co.

Based in Canada, mamas Lindy Sood & Anna Lozano are all about the power of love. The mission at Love Powered Co™ is to power the next generation of mindful leaders (our littles!). To fuel them with positive self-talk, confidence, self-love and self-worth. To empower them, so that they may take the torch, lead with love, and light the way for others. These mamas have created simple, meaningful, beautiful tools to remind our future leaders of the POWERS that exists within them. Their first product, Love Powered Littles, is a gorgeous box set of affirmation cards for kids. They also offer affirmation prints, digital versions, downloadables, and will launch Love Powered Teens in just a couple of months. Feel the love at lovepoweredco.com.

Mommi

high five grant for moms mommi

Mommi, led by mama of three, Erin Schurtz, creates supplements that improve the experience and quality of nutrition for women in all stages of motherhood, whether they are trying to conceive, pregnant, breastfeeding, or recovering postpartum. "I am definitely most proud of getting Mommi on Vitamin Shoppe and Sprouts shelves several months after having the idea for Mommi," says Erin. "I feel extremely proud of the product we have on the market today, the Chocolate and Vanilla Mommi prenatal protein shakes." Meet this mom behind Mommi at mommi.com.

High Five Grant for Moms My Kindness Calendar

My Kindness Calendar

My Kindness Calendar, built by mama of two Maran Stern-Kubista, is a new tool to actively engage kids and support parents in practicing kindness. They make premium-quality reusable kindness calendars that help to instill kindness, compassion and gratitude in children, making it easy and fun for people young and old to strengthen their "giving" muscles by practicing daily acts of kindness. Their signature product, My Kindness Advent Calendar, helps kids countdown to Christmas during the month of December, but instead of getting the usual chocolate or toy as in a traditional advent calendar, each day is an opportunity to give an act of kindness. Spread the kindness at mykindnesscalendar.com.

HIgh five grant for moms pilloplush

PilloPlush

Creator and mama of two, Alison Carlile is on a mission to share her blankets that double as a beautiful (washable) decorative pillows. She pitched her product at the American Dreams program through the Home Shopping Network to the VP of HSN and Randi Zuckerberg. "It was a success," says Alison. "I have been working with HSN to prepare my business and product for its debut and a grant would be incredibly helpful as I work toward that goal!" See her designs at pilloplush.com.

The Creator's Law Firm and Revolutionary Creative

high five grant for moms creator's law firm

With a son (and daughter on the way!), mama and attorney Ticora E. Davis helps online entrepreneurs protect their smarts in these internet streets by producing culturally relevant legal content that empowers creatives to take some serious action. She's affectionately called "legal bae" as she helps business owners, large and small, secure their trademarks and copyrights to protect their brands and build generational wealth. "I am moved to tears by the trust that I've been able to gain in such a short time," says Ticora. "I have a wonderful community called "Revolutionary Creative with Ticora Davis" that encourages online business owners to make rebellious moves in their business. We can show up in the world, be unapologetically ourselves and make an amazing difference in the lives of people we touch." She more at www.creatorslawfirm.com.

high five grant for moms soul gems club

The Soul Gems Club

Alexis Belliston, mama of one (and one in the oven!), has a soft spot for people who love sending and receiving thoughtful mail, love learning about nourishing the soul & mind and appreciate fine art. Her business, the Soul Glems Club, is a postcard subscription featuring original art and meaningful quotes to encourage meaningful, handwritten connection and soul-deepening thoughts. "I started the club as a way of sharing my passion of art and design while also encouraging people to connect to others through thoughtful handwritten notes," says Alexis. "I have had many customers share similar experiences where their mailed postcards have helped others feel loved & remembered (more than a text or online message can do)." Experience her art at www.thesoulgems.club.

Now that you've met the finalists, go vote on your favorite business! Voting is open between June 11 until June 20 at 5 p.m. MT.

More about this grant

HIGH FIVE Grant for Moms™ is a semi-annual $5,000 business grant empowering mom entrepreneurs to make massive impact. Hosted by The Mama Ladder® and sponsored by Belly Bandit, and coaches Katie Richardson and Lady T, this grant provides economic empowerment for promising mom entrepreneurs to build their business. See more at highfivegrant.com.

5 tips for writing your first book

Do you dream of writing a book? Writing a book is a huge way to set yourself apart as an expert, to share your message on a broader scale, and attract clients to your business. The word “author” has the same root as “authority” for a reason.

I believe if you’re feeling prompted to write, sharing that book inside you is one of the reasons you’re on this planet.  

I’m in the final publishing stage of my first book, the most transformative professional project I've taken on yet. (We’re talking, my-life-will-never-be-the-same kind of stuff, and a catalyst for why I cofounded www.themamaladder.com.)

write your first book tips by Crystalee Beck at The Mama Ladder

Writing this book was more challenging and rewarding than my master’s thesis, which I wrote during maternity leave and I thought would kill me! So yeah, this 300-page baby means a whole lot to me.

FIRST, THE BACKGROUND STORY ON THIS BOOK

In summer 2016 I was commissioned to write a biography for Alan E. Hall. He’s well-known in northern Utah and beyond as serial entrepreneur, angel investor, and philanthropist. He has influenced thousands and thousands of people around the world as a caring employer, generous philanthropist, and inspiring leader.

We spent a year and a half meeting regularly for interviews for the book. There’s something sacred about hearing someone’s life stories like that. I got to know about the kid, teenager, young adult, and mature versions of Alan through his memories. And what I loved most of all was how he’s dedicated his life to GIVING BACK after finding his own business success.

5 TIPS TO HELP YOU WRITE A BOOK

His lessons have become intertwined into how I view the world, family, business, philanthropy, and most of all, myself. I’ll share some of those insights in another post, but for now, here are five tips to help YOU write your own book.

1.  BE PREPARED FOR SERIOUS MENTAL BLOCKS.

Any time you do anything important, you will have an internal struggle. It’s so much easier NOT to finish something hard. To tune out deadlines and binge on Netflix. To fill your life so full of commitments there is no room for creativity. For me, this internal struggle was painful. I fought with self-doubt, procrastination, and self-sabotage I couldn’t really understand.

 Thankfully, I read Stephen Pressfield’s landmark book, “The War of Art” during this project. I cannot recommend it more highly. Pressfield so eloquently identified my daily battles with inner Resistance—and then gave me tools to fight it. Some days Resistance won the battle. But I won the war.

2.  FOCUS. FOCUS. FOCUS.

The hardest part of writing a book was NOT the writing. It was forcing myself to focus. To carve out uninterrupted chunks of time where I could lose myself in the process. I deemed 2017 my year of “FOCUS” specifically because of this project.

I found a quiet, beautiful location in my local community without Internet where I couldn’t be distracted by email notifications, whining kids, or taunting piles of laundry. I’d go there, put in earplugs, and time myself for a three- or four-hour chunk of focused writing time.

3.  DOUBLE HOW LONG YOU THINK IT WILL TAKE.

Originally, I told Alan I thought I could write his book in nine months. That date came and went. Alan was patient with me, and happy with the chapters he’d seen so far, but I felt behind.

To give me some credit, I really didn’t know what I was in for. (And I made lots of mistakes. Once I accidently didn’t save a chapter, and 20 hours of work was gone!) It took 18 months before I sent Alan the final chapter to review. If possible, I highly recommend giving yourself ample time.

4.  SET MINI MILESTONES ALONG THE WAY.

During this process, the sheer personal effort reminded me of running a race. When I compete in triathlons or half marathons, I bring my whole self to races: physically, mentally, and emotionally. Writing a book was the same. For me, each of the 19 chapters was like passing a mile marker, one mile closer to the finish line. Without chunking it into mini milestones, I would have felt much more overwhelmed. Make sure to have little victories along the way.

5. BELIEVE YOU’RE WORTHY OF WRITING A BOOK—AND JUST START.

This is closely tied to mental blocks, but important enough to have its own bullet point. Sure, having a paying client forced me to face my own dreams (and demons). But now that I’ve written one book, I believe I’m worthy of it and hungry for more. It feels SO GOOD to get those words down.

I struggled with the thought, “Me? Are you sure you want me to write this?” but working through every page, paragraph, and sentence helped me see those insecurities for what they really are: excuses. The truth is, WHY NOT ME? And the same goes for you: WHY NOT YOU? Just start. Commit to finishing, and have someone important in your life hold you accountable.

Want to read Alan’s biography? For right now, it is not available for the public. It was written as a memoir for his family first, with the possibility of publishing in the future.

However, I’m currently working on my second book. It is written for YOU, the mom entrepreneur climbing after business dreams. This book “baby” is a labor of love and I can hardly wait to share it with you. (But first, let me double the time I think it will take me!) Sign up here for updates and to get a free chapter in the coming months.

Keep climbing,

Crystalee

Announcing $5,000 HIGH FIVE Grant for Moms™

Your business dream, meet our BIG grant. We are thrilled to announce the opening of our $5,000 grant for promising mom entrepreneurs. Starting May 11, mom business owners from around the world are welcome to apply for this grant.

HIGH FIVE Grant for Moms™ is a semi-annual $5,000 Business Grant empowering mom entrepreneurs to make massive impact.

Hosted by The Mama Ladder®, this grant provides economic empowerment for promising mom entrepreneurs to build their business. 

At The Mama Ladder®, we see motherhood as your greatest advantage as an entrepreneur, and running a business as powerful training for leading at home. You can find more information about this grant on our oh-so-official press release.

High Five Grant for Moms Application

WE BELIEVE MOM ENTREPRENEURS CAN DO ANYTHING WITH THE RIGHT TRAINING, POWERFUL MENTORS, SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY, AND A HIGH FIVE.

Summer 2018 Grant Timeline 

MAY 11 - JUNE 1, 2018

Applications open May 11, just in time for U.S. Mother's Day! Mom entrepreneurs from around the world are welcome to apply.

JUNE 2 - 10, 2018

A judging panel of successful entrepreneurs (soon to be announced) who support mom-founded businesses will narrow down entries from around to world to just eight (8) promising finalists.

JUNE 11, 2018

Eight (8) finalists will be announced, featuring their business story. (Great way to promote your brand!) From June 11-June 20, 2018 the public will vote on their favorite mom-founded business.

JUNE 21, 2018

The winner of the HIGH FIVE Grant for Moms™ competition announced here! On the one-year anniversary of The Mama Ladder®, we're celebrating by giving $5,000 to a promising mom entrepreneur. Will she be YOU?


POWERED BY MOM FOUNDERS

Thank you to our incredible sponsors, who help make this grant possible. They are moms who turned big dreams into reality. You can too!

Katie Richardson

Katie is a wife, mother of four, business owner, author, speaker and coach. She cofounded www.Puj.com with her husband from their garage and built it into a globally recognized eight-figure brand. She has been featured on the cover of Entrepreneur magazine, and  her products have been seen on Ellen, Raechel Ray Show, The Today Show and several other national media outlets. Now she's passionate about helping others do the same thing. She coaches an exclusive group of committed men and women who want to want to take their business and life to the next level. See more about this leader of leaders at katierichardson.com.

 
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Author, leadership expert, motivational speaker and mompreneur expert empowers women to become their grandest self! “Anybody can be a mom entrepreneur, but a mom entrepreneur extraordinaire is a woman of balance and focus,” states Lady T. As a corporate trainer and motivational speaker, her client list includes United Way, Fred Pryor Seminars, Bell South, Indianapolis Power and Light, Delta Airlines and Kent State University. Her biggest claim to fame is homeschooling her five children for 22 years. To learn more about Lady T’s services and publications, visit www.thebusinesscoachformoms.com.

We want to see you have big MOMentum in your business. Apply and let's see what you can do!

High fives from here,

CRYSTALEE BECK, MPC 

Why Fear Can HELP You Progress in Business

Fear. It's a four-letter word. But then again, so is hope.

And FEAR doesn't need to stop you from starting or growing your business. No, Mama! 

In my recent interview with fabulous Monica Packer of the About Progress podcast, I shared my (ongoing) journey through fear as a mama business owner. 

She asked great questions and I was radically open and honest about what I've learned about fear, money, business, and motherhood ... addressing a lot of points from our 37-page, packed-full-of-goodness eBook, "The Mama's Guide: How to Embrace 7 Big Business Fears." (Which listeners get as a free gift!)

Listen in to hear:

  • Why fear is a GOOD thing -- and you need to listen to it
  • My biggest fear I am working through (even now!)
  • Why money is not good OR bad 
  • Practical tips on how you can embrace your fears and BE, DO, and CREATE more in your life

Listen here to the interview on the About Progress podcast >>

What fears are holding YOU back in business? Share below. There's power in telling your truth.

Why your kids need you to protect your work time

The constant triage of mamahood never really goes away—do I finish making dinner, or stop my boy from wiping Vaseline on our suede couch? (My boy really did this. Ahh!) Do I watch my pregnant friend’s kids for her while she goes to the doctor or take my girl to dance practice?

These kinds of questions get more complicated as a business owner, especially if you work at home part (or all) of the time: Do I play outside with my kids or stick them in front of the TV while I work on marketing content? Do I finish the laundry or schedule meetings with clients?

Your attention will always be desired by more people, activities, and goals than may seem humanly possible. Even for a super mama like you!

But fear not. What you CAN do is protect your time by scheduling specific “chunks” that are dedicated to your business.

It may seem counterintuitive, but when you protect work time, you’re also protecting time for your family.

why kids need you to protect work time

Why is this?

We’ve met with moms who feel overwhelmed with the time required to run a business. It feels like they are constantly checking their email or on social media. And they want that to change.

They want to be present, happy moms. They also want to climb after business dreams. We fully believe BOTH are possible. But it requires protecting your time.

When you protect your work time, you are showing your kids:

·         Your work matters to you.

·         You set healthy boundaries.

·         You honor the creative process.

·         You value what you’re sharing with the world.

·         You will be available to them when your work time is over.

That last one is important – without setting specific times to work, you risk blending business and family so there’s no intelligible difference between the two. That’s “anything goes” territory becomes an exhausting, overwhelming downfall for too many mamas in business. It’s not fun for you, your partner, or your kids to have an overworked mama.

So don’t let it happen to you. Schedule work time, and stick to it.

Does this make you selfish? No, Mama. Think about the commitments your kids have. For example, if your son is on a soccer team, you both know he’ll spend Tuesdays from 4-6 at practice and Saturday afternoons at games.

Do the same for yourself. Schedule a babysitter for the hours you want to commit to your business, and show up. Get your work done. Then when you get back to your kids, you’re fully present. And we think a mama who values herself and what she’s sharing with the world is the best gift she can give her kids.

We’d love to help! To identify your best time blocks and create an ideal life/work situation that works for your work, schedule a PowerStep Session.

7 Free Business Apps that Save You Time

One of the most-asked questions we get from mamas in business is, how do I make the TIME for business while raising my babies?

It’s a legitimate question, especially for a go-getter mom like you who wants to do it all, and do it well. (Right?) The truth is, we all have access to the same number of hours each day. But there are ways to multiply yourself with a team and with tools that maximize your time.

free business apps that save you time

So, without further ado, here are seven FREE apps that save us time—and sanity—so we can spend more time with those we love most, and that's what we call a h(app)y hour!

All of these apps are free—some start with a free trial, but at least you can getting a taste and know if it works for you. For full disclosure, some of these are affiliate links. But that just means we both benefit from sharing them!

7 time-saving apps for business

1. Freshbooks

Wanna make invoicing easier and even, dare we say ... FUN? For two years I've relied on Freshbooks for invoicing clients. It's sleek, easy, and the support team is super helpful. You can a free 30-day trial by clicking here.

2. Typeform

Typeform lets you build beautiful online forms & surveys with great completion rates. Click here to try it out. If you upgrade, we both get 10% off for life!

3.  Doodle

Doodle is a free polling app, specifically for setting meetings with multiple people. Instead of sending out an email, “Let me know a time that works for you in the next two weeks,” and being bombarded with emails to sort through, you set up options and your attendees pick their preferred date/time. Once you’ve Doodled, there is no going back!

4Later

A social media scheduling tool, we’ve been using Later to plan our Instagram account for more many months now. As of this writing, Instagram does not allow pre-scheduled posts. But clever Later lets you write posts in advance and be notified when you’d like them posted. With a quick click, it’s shared. We love that Later gives us an advance peek of what our Instagram grid will look like. 

5.  Calendly

This free scheduling app gives you a slick way to automate appointment scheduling. We use it to have mamas schedule 90-minute PowerStep sessions for clarity on their ideal Life/Work Vision and baby steps to climb after it. 

6.  HelloSign

As the name suggests, this easy-to-use app helps you send agreements and get signatures easily. We use this for our #MamaSpringBreak Alumni to sign our Event Waiver before our amazing retreat.

7.  Asana

We could just HUG the team at Asana because we use this project management app all the time in our business. You set up projects and invite contributors to those projects. Everyone has visibility into upcoming deadlines. You can upgrade for more permission-based access, but for our purposes, the free version has worked really well.

And here's a bonus No. 8, just for you!

8.   MileIQ

We’d rather eat last week’s burnt leftovers than sit down and track business miles. MileIQ is the #1 mileage tracking app, trusted by hundreds of thousands of users every day! It’s just not our thang. So, when we found MileIQ, we were pretty happy to find an easy solution that pays us back at tax time. Try it for free and get a 20% discount when you upgrade.

Which of these apps have you used? Any others you recommend? Pop in a comment below. 

Check out how we can help you MULTIPLY YOUR TIME with a talented business team here.

10 Reasons Why You Need a #MamaSpringBreak this year

It's your year. Your year to face your business fears, try something new, and surprise yourself with what you can accomplish. 

Why not you? And why not 2018? 

You'll find just what you need at #MamaSpringBreak Business & Adventure Retreat. Here are 10 reasons why this special event is made especially for the adventurous mamapreneur. 

When & Where: It will be March 15 - 17, 2018 in gorgeous St. George, Utah.

1.  Get business training from experts.   In one weekend you'll learn how to protect your business legally, be smart with business finance, set up processes, master your leadership mindset, and take notes on marketing strategies. We've lined up  a keynote you'll adore  who is gonna let you know why being a woman and a mother are your biggest assets!  2.  Adventure outside in gorgeous Zion's National Park.  Forget a stuffy seminar. No, Mama! This retreat is about fresh air, happy vibes, and climbing greater heights. What better way to do that than with a hike? We'll see the sights from atop  Angel's Landing , a famous hike in the southwest.  3.  Forge lasting friendships with like-minded mamapreneurs.  You'll meet women who love their babies AND their business at #MamaSpringBreak. They are coming in from across the U.S. We've got mamas signed up from Illinois, California, Utah, and Oklahoma ... all there to learn with you.  4.  Attend a Pat Benatar rock concert at the gorgeous Tuacahn Amphitheatre . Because who doesn't want to rock out to "Love is a Battlefield" from the legend herself?  THIS  will be so rad.  5.  Give yourself a kid-free getaway that's a  business expens e . Because we all need breaks from diapers, dishes, and laundry that never seems to end ... right? It's just three days, and they will sure be glad to see you when you get back.  6.  Bring home more than $200 of sponsor gifts!  Our sponsors are ahhh-mazing and you'll get gift cards and products from:  Chatbooks ,  RadSwim ,  Baby Cubby ,  Modern Piggy,   Mommi,   Brightbox ,  YNAB ,  SmartShyp , and more!   7.  Bring home an exclusive #SeeMamaClimb t-shirt.  Designed only for event attendees, you can show the world you're climbing after your business dreams. (Because you are!)  8.  Enjoy having your food taken care of!  No cooking or cleaning for you, Mama. We've got you covered. All meals and healthy snacks are included.  9.  Shake what yo' mama gave ya.  We'll have our own dance party, just for attendees. Woot.  10.  Relax in a soothing yoga session.  We've got an incredible instructor coming who will get you feeling serene.  Convinced you need a #MamaSpringBreak in your life this year? Sure, we'll have a really, really good time. But we'll also stretch our hearts, bodies, and minds so that we can all climb (literally and in business) in 2018. Invest in yourself, and your business. See you there, Mama.

1. Get business training from experts.  In one weekend you'll learn how to protect your business legally, be smart with business finance, set up processes, master your leadership mindset, and take notes on marketing strategies. We've lined up a keynote you'll adore who is gonna let you know why being a woman and a mother are your biggest assets!

2. Adventure outside in gorgeous Zion's National Park. Forget a stuffy seminar. No, Mama! This retreat is about fresh air, happy vibes, and climbing greater heights. What better way to do that than with a hike? We'll see the sights from atop Angel's Landing, a famous hike in the southwest.

3. Forge lasting friendships with like-minded mamapreneurs. You'll meet women who love their babies AND their business at #MamaSpringBreak. They are coming in from across the U.S. We've got mamas signed up from Illinois, California, Utah, and Oklahoma ... all there to learn with you.

4. Attend a Pat Benatar rock concert at the gorgeous Tuacahn Amphitheatre. Because who doesn't want to rock out to "Love is a Battlefield" from the legend herself? THIS will be so rad.

5. Give yourself a kid-free getaway that's a business expense. Because we all need breaks from diapers, dishes, and laundry that never seems to end ... right? It's just three days, and they will sure be glad to see you when you get back.

6. Bring home more than $200 of sponsor gifts! Our sponsors are ahhh-mazing and you'll get gift cards and products from: Chatbooks, RadSwim, Baby Cubby, Modern Piggy, Mommi, Brightbox, YNAB, SmartShyp, and more! 

7. Bring home an exclusive #SeeMamaClimb t-shirt. Designed only for event attendees, you can show the world you're climbing after your business dreams. (Because you are!)

8. Enjoy having your food taken care of! No cooking or cleaning for you, Mama. We've got you covered. All meals and healthy snacks are included.

9. Shake what yo' mama gave ya. We'll have our own dance party, just for attendees. Woot.

10. Relax in a soothing yoga session. We've got an incredible instructor coming who will get you feeling serene.

Convinced you need a #MamaSpringBreak in your life this year? Sure, we'll have a really, really good time. But we'll also stretch our hearts, bodies, and minds so that we can all climb (literally and in business) in 2018. Invest in yourself, and your business. See you there, Mama.

Interview on Plaid Radio: Why I traded the corporate ladder for The Mama Ladder™

After several good years in the corporate world, when my first baby came along, I felt super torn. I'd worked hard at my career, earned a master's degree, won international awards for my work ... but this new precious person was (and still is) my proudest achievement. I refused to miss her babyhood.

Although I'd negotiated to work from home two days a week (thanks to a great manager), I felt constantly torn between being an employee and being a mom. I wanted to make a change, but wasn't sure how. Sometimes when we deeply desire something, surprise doors open.

I was unexpectedly laid off, due to corporate downsizing.

My girl was one and I was 15 weeks pregnant with my second baby at the time. Fast forward a year later, after having my baby, chipping away at self-doubt, changing my mindset, investing in mentors/training, and taking bold action ... I got a business license.

Now, instead of climbing a complicated, full-time corporate ladder, I’ve created my own ladder that fits my mamahood. My talented team of writers and I help remarkable people and organizations tell their story. We have a lot of freedom to work when and how we want, and deliver high-quality content for our growing list of world-class clients.

Listen to my recent interview on Plaid Radio to hear: 

  • How I work less, enjoy better compensation, AND enjoy the privilege of motherhood
  • My daily mamapreneur routine and why it makes me so happy
  • What I tell myself when things get tough in business (spoiler alert: it happens!)
  • My experience working with a business partner
  • Why shifting from employee to business owner puts you in the power seat

The Mama Ladder™ International is all about mamas helping mamas. Want help translating your corporate world skills into your own business? Let's connect.

Much love, 

Crystalee