Tag Archives: moms

Learn by Doing


I enjoyed another delightful weekend  in Rumson, NJ, with twin seven-year olds, Harry John and  Mae.  After playing hours upon hours of “Dr Scarlet, the Horse Vet”, I declared that all my horses  were now healed and we should play another game.  Next  we painted race cars and  set up our own Nascar-esq event.  Hours later, while Harry and Mae were still going strong, my back began to tell me I had raced enough cars and I found my way to the couch.

Sitting on the couch to many of you means watching TV or perhaps even taking a little nap.  Sitting on the couch to Harry and Mae means its  iPad games time! We always start with my word games but when Yenga, the game designers, refuse to accept Harry and Mae’s made up words, Harry and Mae opt out and find a game of their own to teach me.

The game of the day was  “Jump Car”.  Mae  downloaded it and was giggling while playing, often uttering, “You guys have to play “Jump Car”! It is so much fun!”  Harry quickly downloaded the game on his iPad.  I was just closing my eyes, (just for a moment mind you), trying to rest. In true twin unison, they both exclaimed: “Gram, you have to download “Jump Car”!  I was not as skilled at “Jump Car” as I am at Words with Friends.  When I asked the kids a fourth time to show me how to skip over the bars and avoid hitting the other cars,  I saw Mae look at Harry and simply raise her eyebrows as if to say, “Oh Brother, Gram just doesn’t get it!.”

That’s when Harry put his hands on my shoulders, looked me square in the eyes and said ever so slowly,  “Just – keep – trying – it, Gram. You – learn- as – you – go !”

“… learn as you go.”

How wise Harry was!  The only way to learn something is to actually do it.  You can listen to the explanation of an expert, watch a UTube, or enter an online chat to learn about almost something. But at the end of the day, you really learn most things by doing,  “as you go.”

Life is a “learn as you go” series of events, with no instructor’s guide.  No one taught us how to be a mom, a lover, a business woman, or an entrepreneur.  We learned by doing.  I could have used a rule book when all five of my children were teenagers way back when! When my marriage ended, no one taught me how to pick up and move on with strength and confidence. No one taught me how to forgive a wrongdoing, but I learned by forgiving.

I have come to believe that if we women were all identical, there would be a rule book on how to be a woman,mom, entrepreneurs, spouse or partner.  Moms would read a list of what to do when and it would all work out perfectly.  Relationships would last forever because we would all follow the rules.  Entrepreneurs would know how their product would get to market when they followed the carefully scripted plan.  But we are not all the same, not even close! As a result, there are no rule books, only a few guidelines, and we have to learn by doing, every step of the way.  We continue moving when things are working, and we alter what we are doing when it is not working.  It’s called “learn by doing”.

High SUCCESSTROGEN women enjoy the freedom to learn by doing, not being controlled by boundaries telling them what, when, where and how. They rely on their confidence and their innate abilities to move through life in a way that is enjoyable, challenging, productive., and rewarding.

Some women have put their lives on hold a bit, unsure or unwilling to fail. Perhaps they are still waiting for the “how to”book. There will never be a rule book on how to become YOU. You have to learn who you are by doing, by taking chances, and using your best judgement.  You learn by doing, observing, and listening, and yes, by failing occasionally along the way.

If you have put your next steps on hold, because you are unsure how to move forward or away, you might start with downloading the “Jump Car” app and learn by playing. And after that, take charge of your life. Go and do, and learn by doing.  Enjoy the freedom to move from where you are and create your life according to you.

In the Moment


Old teddy bear isolated on a white background with clipping path.

“Come on Mary Beth. It’s time to go! Your brother will be home from  camp soon.”, the woman said in a tone that indicated she had said it several times before. Her words distracted me from my mindlessness that took me miles away as I worried about how to schedule the surgery needed on my right thumb.

“But mommm-eeee”, Mary Beth said.  With her arms outstretched so her mom could have a direct view of her bear. She asked, “Can’t you see my bear is sad? He needs a hug.”  At that point she pulled the tattered looking bear to herself, and hugged him with all her might, turning her body side to side, as the bears arms and legs flailed left and right.    For a moment there,  I feared she would squeeze the stuffing out of him.   I couldn’t help but feel envious of the bear and the enormous, warm hug he was getting.    I smiled at the little girl and then nodded to her mom as if to say, “Nice work, mom.  You have taught her to be caring and loving.” The mother smiled at me, gratefully, as though  she is often unsure of her parenting skills.  It was in the language of moms, one mom to another. In this very moment, the mom received a compliment that she needed, Mary Beth got the extra moments she needed to care for her bear, the bear received the hug he needed, and I became mindful of the moment, something I needed.   We were all fortunate to be there at that moment to get what we needed.

And just then, the little girl took a half step towards me.”Do you need a hug too?”, she asked.  I glanced at her mom and quickly added, “No thank you, I’m fine.”   I knew I had  bailed her mom out of an awkward moment (the “mom-to-mom” thing again).  And I added, “Watching you give your bear a big hug made me feel good.  He is a well-loved  bear, I can see that!”

Her mom nodded ever so slightly, again both saying a lot while not saying anything.  And at that very moment  I realized I was right there in the moment, taking it all in.  So this is what being in the moment means.  Women of high SUCCESSTROGEN work at being mindful, of staying in the moment and capturing the learning that is there for them.  I am working hard at being mindful, of staying right in a moment in time, but it doesn’t come easy to a high energy woman like me.  This moment in time was  a tender moment between a child and her bear, a child and her mom, and two moms. The moment was sweet and loving and my worry about whatever I was worrying about disappeared, at least for now.  I found that when I am in the moment, gratitude comes easy to me.  I am so grateful I didn’t miss this moment.

“Ready mommy!” Mary Beth said as she took her mom’s hand and wrapped her other arm tightly around the bear.  Somehow the bear didn’t look quite so tattered as he had a few minutes ago.  She glanced back over her shoulder at me and waved.  The world was good.

I sat for quite a while after that experience, being in the moment, enjoying the view, the warmth of the sun, and the warm of the almost hug.  I watched  a gecko climb over my large purse to the other side and had the strangest feeling he smiled at me.  I listened to the boat captain welcoming his passengers as they boarded and had a feeling that I, too, was  welcomed to the moment.  What a nice morning…..I am grateful for the moment and ready to start my day!


Stay in Your Lane


As you are aware, I am now working full time.  I know I already told you this but I love saying it so bear with me as I say it still one more time:  I am CEO of a startup company and love every moment of my 24/7 job helping MomPreneurs bring their product to market through Crowdfunding.  I am, of course, familiar with the female psyche so dealing with women is easy for me.  I am also familiar with coaching and developing since that was my career for over 33 years, so that part is easy.  And since I managed a household with  5 teenagers, a business of my own, and a spouse who needed more managing than I care to remember, bless his soul, I guess I could claim to be a good manager as well.

And so I am working with a skeleton-crew of dedicated-to-the-concept people all of whom have the best of intentions of contributing to the overall success of our MomPreneurs and our own startup company.  While our roles are fairly clear, and responsibilities have been discussed ad nauseam, far too often, I find someone holding up the work of another to add his/her two cents, and sometimes more forcefully than that, deciding the course of action.  Frustrated with this ineffective part of our culture, I consulted my son Michael Jr.  Michael  has taken his technology-based business for hospitals from  3 employees to over 200, and from a tiny Georgetown office to a huge office building , servicing  hospitals all over the US.

Michael offered me simple advice:  Tell them and lead them so that everyone knows to stay in their own lane.

“Stay in Your Own Lane.”

And there it was.  A simple way of dealing with what had become a complex issue. Everyone needs to focus on her own expertise and be empowered to go and do and make decisions in her own lane.  Matt, the website developer should be able and allowed to design the website according to the requirements of our owner. Our social media expert should decide how we are going to organically reach thousands of people, and our finance person should focus on accurate targets and projections. Our PR firm should promote us globally, getting our names in the press, and building our brand. The videographer should create the scene based on the scripts we have written. Our operations person should be able to design processes, communicate them, and expect others to follow them. And I should lead. We all need to stay in our lanes. I should not tell the PR firm what to do, or the videographer how to shoot the 60 second clip.  I should stay in my own lane.

Sometimes as we go about our lives, we tend to cross over into someone else’s lane, right? When I am watching my grandson play in a basketball game, I am a fan, not the ref or the coach; I need to stay in my own  lane. When I am playing tennis with my partner, I am a player, not a coach to my partner.  When we do not stay in our own lane as friends, we find ourselves meddling and suggesting, perhaps even lecturing at times. We find ourselves outside of our lane, and in the lane of another, where we do not belong. As moms, mothers-in-law,friends, and businesswomen, we need to learn the art of staying in our own lane, doing what we do best from our own lane. When we are invited into the lane of another,then we can easily make the transition, but if we are not invited, we have no business going there;we run the risk of colliding and causing havoc.

We all need to be conscious of the boundaries provided by our lane. Look around, are you in your own lane?