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9 posts from September 2008

September 28, 2008

WE Magazine for Women - Free Fall Edition

I became a lifetime member of WECAI. I believe in it's bootstrap brand of women helping women become economically self-sufficient by the use of e-tools. The following is from WECAI founder, Heidi Richards on the latest issues of WE - WECAI's FREE e-magazine. Give it a read.

We"So many exceptional women, so much wisdom and excellent advice on building wealth.  Beginning with our cover story, Loral Langemeier, the Millionaire Maker!

For those of you who have not had the pleasure to hear Loral speak, see her in person or read her books on building massive wealth, you are in for a treat. Loral is considered one of the top experts in her field. But Loral doesn’t go with traditional thinking when it comes to building wealth. Not by a long shot. Yes, she does endorse many of the tried and true wealth building principles and she also introduces you to newer concepts about building wealth.

I know they work because she has created over 600 millionaires and she is now a regular guest on the Dr. Phil show ~ those episodes will be airing  over the next few weeks sharing her wealth building advice with his audience as she does a Money Makeover. Powerful stuff!  Loral is also a returning guest expert during the Grow a Million Dollar Business Summit. If you read this after the fact, you can visit Where Women Prosper to find out how you too can learn from her and 14 other wealth experts.

We have 6 Women on a Mission that we are excited to share with you!  I had the opportunity to interview Beath Davis, The Hand Analyst several months ago about her practice and it was one of the most compelling interviews I have had the privilege to conduct. Beverly Mahone, Founder of Baby Boomer Diva Nation is a dear friend with a passion for life and people and one I am honored to call friend. In fact, she hosted the very first Girlfriends Retreat in Daytona Beach where I was asked to speak about social networking and was delighted to meet another Woman on a Mission, Dr. Shenin Sachedina, Surgeon and Author. I met Wendy Blum of Destiny Bodywear during my husband’s 30 year class reunion and she shared her vision with me. I knew she too needed to share her story with you. Sheryl Entwhistle and I met online and I loved what she was doing with Living Celebrations and you will too.

And finally Jessica Kizorek is someone who is not only On a Mission, she is a 20-something woman On the MOVE! She has accomplished so much insuch a short time, I know she is going to change the world!

September 26, 2008

Getting Grilled over a 12 year old Burger

If you're wondering what kind of power one little-ol'-post has, check out Karen Hanrahan's burger post on her 1996 McDonald's hamburger.

She just clued a few of in on her experience thus far. Can't wait to see where this one goes... I don't know what is more interesting, a 12 year old burger or how responders are grilling the messenger and each other.

for those of you following the burger gig, I blew out my bandwidth on wed - hits were at 102,000 by the end of the day

this morning boing boing featured the post - holy cow

i have had calls from belgium, berlin and toronto

the hour will have " the burger" pics on their show tonight, the nat'l post and other newspapers are curious too...

I'm Dreaming of a 'Lite' Christmas...

What?!? Already?

Oct 1 is just around the corner which means the start of the holiday season. Actually, when I owned an ad agency 20 years ago in Kalamazoo, MI, the holiday season started in July for one of my clients a major retail mall. Ugh. And people wondered why after five such seasons I never wanted to put my foot in a mall again.

I remember walking the mall on Thanksgiving weekend to survey the glad tidings of the latest campaign and feeling guilty because I didn't carry the buy,buy,buy gene. Perhaps it was the same backlash I had when working at a Dairy Queen in high school - the last thing I wanted at the end of the day was a cone. Still, isn't there something un-American or selfish if you aren't buying up cartloads of presents?

A shirt-tail relative of mine has it right. She and her husband share six kids ranging from 8 to 24 ish. From the very beginning they lead a frugal, but values driven lifestyle. Simple was better and living well didn't require multiple trips to the store. The lessons they taught the clan throughout the year were the same for son #1 as they were for daughter #6.

They aren't poor, but with six kids they aren't out to waste cash either. All of them know that a pop can is "money for the college fund" and that a brother's or sister's uni-sex T shirt/jeans is good enough for play clothes. I smiled to myself when one son told me that he refuses to wear a brand name and can't understand what the big deal is about Abercrombie and Fitch. Maybe that comes from the fact that TV was pretty much banned as they grew up. They could watch movies together, but sitting around watching the tube and all those commercials wasn't allowed.

What they do instead.

SkiWhen the holidays roll around, instead of piles of presents, they take the cash and put it towards a big family sking vacation. All eight load into a the family van and drive from Michigan to Colorado. Talk about a memory maker. If you ask anyone to recall their childhood, it's always memories of places and events and things they did with others. Rarely is it about stuff they recieved.

The net effect?

It's amazing, but none of the kids covet stuff. I watched the whole clan walk through Mall of America and not one whining moment of "Mommy can I have...." I guess when they can make it through the biggest spending spree of the the year without giving into it, the rest of the year is easy. By not letting the holidays get the best of them, they get the very best of the holidays - each other. They get something else too, a memory making moment that's light enough to carry with them for a lifetime.

This post for is part of the Green Moms Carnival, hosted by Green Bean Dreams: commercialization of the holidays. 

September 23, 2008

Walking the Walk and Building the Buildings

MarilynWhile I struggle to live one green life, this summer I met Marilyn Farmer who designs greener lives for the masses plus helps other architects do the same.

Take a look at this space inside her home in San Luis Obispo, CA. Is that curved ceiling and the pop out skylight cool or what? It makes a very small space delightful.

Claiborn_2Marilyn is the owner of Habitat Designs. She started designing sustainable homes and professional buildings about 20 years ago and won an award for the straw bale construction of Claiborne and Churchill Vintners. That was the main reason I stopped by. I liked the organic concept of a straw bale home and wanted to touch the construction first hand. The winery, had two-foot thick walls and the feel of Tuscany during slower paced times. I drove up at the end of a toasty afternoon, but inside it was a cool 70 degrees without the use of AC. Farmer_2What's not to love, old world charm and a low energy bill as well. I hear that it would do well in wetter climates such as Michigan, too.

The second reason for the visit was to learn more about her other passion, Green Building Pages. It's a comprehensive resource for benchmarking sustainable building materials and companies. As the market has been improving, Marilyn's system raises the bar for what is the best in any area by looking at how the product affects the triple bottom line of the environment, economics and social responsibility. Lately she's added the SMaRT sustainable product certification which adds third party audits and a full Life Cycle Assessment over 12 environmental impacts.

At first it was just an extended database for her own use while creating sustainable homes. Then she thought maybe other architects could use the information as well and went public eight years ago.

Because it was her resource and her rules, one of the areas she asks about is how many women a company has in management. She explained that when she was starting out, being taken seriously as an architect was difficult. It was important to her to work with companies who respected women enough to have them in the upper management positions.

Because Green Building Pages is so comprehensive, it has been selected by by the LA Community College District as a procurement resource for green school buildings. LACCD is set to build 44 LEED Certified Platinum buildings over the next few years. To be certified at that level each building must meet tough requirements for air, light, water and energy efficiency and that means choosing the right materials first.

If you're in the market to build a new home or just need retrofit your current space, take a tour through Green Building Pages and be ready to become own climate change agent.

September 16, 2008

Dear John (and Sarah)

It's over between us.

Let me say this as boldly as I can. I don't want Mavericks to shake up Washington. I want someone to FIX Washington and rebuild what's been shaken apart; someone who can blend and mend broken systems and broken people. I want someone who can face the world with a smile and intellect, not a gun from under the table; someone who gives us (dare I say it) HOPE.

With Mavericks there is no hope, no steady hand, no trust on face value. A shaky world needs a consistent personality, not someone who plays poker with my future. Anyone in marketing knows you can't be jumping all over the place and expect people to trust your brand and I no longer trust you.

I also don't want to be entertained with the media talking about everything BUT all the serious issues we face today. I've lived through the Jesse Ventura days in Minnesota and don't care for a sequel. We need leaders and news media who take problems head on and don't get lost in sideshows.

This blog is about the values that women bring to the table. Obama has those values and therefore will get my vote. The McPains don't have them. Kathy Schaaf expresses it well on her blog this morning.

This is it John, I loved at once, but it's time we went our separate ways. Mary

Leading Us Away From Fear

These days, I keep thinking of the Zen wisdom:
Be careful what you ask for because you might get it.

Like many, I am passionate about manifesting more women in positions of viable and visible leadership. The past days of our presidential campaign have made me realize I apparently forgot to specify the most important part of my intention: I really need my world leaders (whatever their gender) to carry the feminine qualities of nurturing, compassion, balance, intuition, integration and wholeness... more

September 13, 2008

Evolution of Marketing

FishburneKudos to Tom Fishburn for this cartoon that he posted back in August. I think it's worth a second go around as we head into the fall shopping season. (Thanks for the progressive thinking Tom.)

Now if we could just blend Authenticity Hawkers with the women's Consumer Advocates...

September 08, 2008

Old Women (and men) Rule!

older-demographics-biggest-7462.jpg

A new survey shows that older women are the biggest users of green products. I never just cut and paste and article, but this one deserves it's space. It came from Environmental Leader which is an executive summary of environmental trends to help them make better business decisions.

This is very telling as the Boomer Women not only want to embrace the blogosphere, when they do, they can use their power to help transform the market.

full article below:

Consumers over 55 years old are the most prolific users of green products in the U.S., according to a survey by ICOM Information & Communications.Both male and female groups 55 years and over reported above average use of environmentally friendly home goods. Leading the way was the 55-59 year-old female demographic, who was more than twice as likely as the average consumer to use green products. [emphasis mine] Males 65-69 years old were second, more than 1.7 times as likely to use than the average American.

In a rare insight to the penetration of green products into the American home, 61.9% of survey respondents said that they do use some type of environmentally friendly product. When asked why they elect to purchase eco-friendly goods, a leading 33% of the group selected the self-gratifying “makes me feel good about myself.”

When asked why they elect not to purchase or use green products, 50% of non-adopters cited high prices as the main factor. The next highest reason selected for avoiding green goods was “I do not believe that they are that much better for the environment,” at 17%.

Of those that said they do not use environmentally friendly products, both male and female demographics aged 25-34 years old were among the “least likely to use” when compared with the national average.

September 02, 2008

Speak up ladies, business is listening to you more than the government

Ey_consumers_2Remember that post on Why women bloggers can do what Washington can't? Guess what, Ernst and Young's recent survey is proving that to be true - at least when it comes to influencing business.

In a survey of high C types mostly from finance, consumer goods and manufacturing, they believe that consumers (57%) are the big driver behind a company implementing sustainable strategies in their supply chain. Regulators (50%) came next followed by governments (36%).

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to tell you why - follow the money. If women are the biggest consumer segment (and we are) and we like our products to be more sustainable, (and we do) then business is going to supply what the demand wants or even hints at wanting. Check out the growing list of eco-mom sites to the left of this blog.

What this confirms is how much REAL, world changing power we have as a bloggers, shoppers and word-of-mouthers. Forgit about Big Brother - it's the Big Mothers who will be holding the market accountable.

September 01, 2008

Buildings - the Top Emission Maker and Women

It's time to get serious and focus our efforts on what's going to do the most good in the shortest amount of time to prevent "permanent" climate change as the NY times stated last week.

Where to start - Buildings! Our homes and offices are the biggest culprits. Not that everything else isn't important as well, but if we SERIOUSLY want to reverse the problem, then we have to start with the biggest contributor. In Boston the largest owner of office space will save $1.5 million in electricity costs by 2012 at the six Boston properties where green retrofits are currently under way.

(My thanks to Marti at Green Netizen for flagging Planet Hazard in a recent blog post. I was experiencing green fatigue and Planet Hazard helped me refocus my green light.)

Below: left - pounds of emissions. Right - industries.

Emission_2If you believe that Climate Change is man-made as the Bush White house says it is, then cutting emissions is the #1 task at hand. The linked list is alphabetical by industry, but can be re-organized in excel to the top emission contributors to see where the work needs to be focused first. (left)

I kept "Food", just for comparison's sake, but if you look the next eight categories, they all work with buildings, i.e. the raw materials to make them, heat/cool/light/furnish and keep the water flowing through them. Let's not forget the transportation of products before they arrived at that address, either.

Moving water around California eats up energy as well. According to the Sierra Club:

Moving water around the state, over mountains, to your house and through the waste water treatment system uses an enormous amount of energy. A draft report from the California Energy Commission notes that these water-related activities use 18 percent of all the electricity and 31 percent of the natural gas consumed in California.

Add it all up and all the transporation inbetween and some estimate that the building industry alone is over 60% of the emissions. (in comparison, cars are 10%)

As we slide into the Republican convention week I'm going to be listening for their energy answers. Currently I'm very confused, the Bush White House report states that Climate Change is man-made and yet the  McCain wants to drill, drill, drill... Would someone explain that one to me? It seems counter productive at best and unconscionable at worse. Shouldn't we be throwing all our resources at greening up buildings and creating energy sources that don't produce emissions?

What's an average woman to do about buildings? First of all recognize that you aren't average. If you write a blog, you're in the top 1% in the social media nation - what you say matters! And don't dismiss your ability to connect people face-to-face, either. Be the Glue-u of your company and community.   

  1. Bring the energy consumption down in your own home. Blog about it. 
  2. Be an advocate for lower energy use at your workplace - Blog about it. Bragging is good.
  3. Vote for those who want to focus all political energies on alternatives to drilling for oil.
  4. Buy products that have been certified as sustainable via the SMaRT standard using a life cycle assessment.

Don't forget to bookmark the Planet Hazard site, the numbers will help you make your points. Be fearless, creating new buildings and greening up the old will not only save energy, as the biggest economy they'll help jump start the next one.