Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Enjoy Your Sleep with Dreamlandia

Congratulations to Comadre Coaching client and 110% comadre Suzanne McKaig for getting some noteworthy ink on her Dreamlandia line of pillowcases.

Suzanne started in the Chispa (that means "spark")coaching circle with a foggy yet sincere idea to print surreal dream stories on luscious cotton pillowcases. Over the course of time, Suzanne adopted a personal board of directors (aka fellow coaching circle members) and was able to flesh out her idea from concept to product.

Now here's her business spotlighted in Not For Tourists as a great San Francisco find.

Check out more from Not For Tourists.

And if you have an idea for a business, check out Comadre Coaching for support!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

"And I'd like to thank my coach..."

The New York Times March 26 issue ran a story on the rising popularity of coaching in Hollywood. Seems like Hollywood stars are finding out the benefits of working with a coach.

Do you have to be a Hollywood Star to afford a coach?

The article highlights several success stories of Hollywood careers skyrocketing after hiring a coach. Of course to balance the article they must include a naysayer who inaccurately declares that coaching " is for people with too much money."

Not true, not true, not true! Mentiras!

I am working hard to get the final details of my new program finished and as soon as I get that last piece, I'll be posting about it.

Sneak peek: Coaching that starts at $47 month.

Now go write the NY Times and tell them their naysayer source is full of himself!

Read the article here


Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The Accidental Techie

Yesterday I spoke to the National Latina Business Women's Association on using technology in business.


Technology in business.

(Reminds me when my nephew Andrew was little and he was seated in a restaurant with actual silverware in front of him. For the first time, no one was doing the sweep of dangerous objects he could hurl across the room. "Me? A fork? Wow! Me?")

I guess I didn't take notice, but after running a mostly virtual business for the past 3 years, I have acquired more than my share of tech expertise. Now I don't mean tech like I'm going to debug your computer and fix your jammed printer (although I do have a gift with old persnickety copy machines), but really the APPLICATION of technology.

In my talk, I asked the attendees to remember WHY they had their own business to begin with and WHAT their business needs to stay visible.

In my case, it was all about wanting to create a home based business that wouldn't interrupt my life as a mom. A virtual business was the way to go and staying visible required me to establish a web presence.

Did I know how to do any of this? NO.
Was I willing to learn? Absolutely.

I embarked on an adventure that unveiled the mysterious world of internet marketing, websites, you name it. I took a beginning HTML class at my local junior college (6 months pregnant and a good deal older than my classmates), spent hours and hours on web tutorials, all to make this succeed.

The first thing I did was launch a website, then the ezine, next came teleclasses, blogs, podcasts... dang, I have done a lot haven't I? A natural teacher, I find it easy to share what I've learned with others.

To balance things out at the presentation, NLBWA also invited people who actually understand tech and speak that language. The local Staples store sent some folks over with great information on gadgets (that was easy!) , and Ray Hernandez, CEO of Pueblo-Tel told us about his Voice Over Internet Phone company. (As soon as I finish figuring out how to move this blog successfully over to Type Pad, I'm calling Ray. Sounded very cool and saves lots of dinero).

By the way, muchas gracias to Addy Perez Mau of Heaven Sent Jewelry for bedazzling me w/ her bling. She made me this awesome necklace and earrings to wear while I spoke.

Speaking of all things tech, check out the interview I did with Addy on my podcast. She and I have a lot in common, besides that fact that we were born just days apart and are both Sagitarrius Dragons. Growl! Powerful women unite.

Random photos:

Here I am dazzling them with my brilliance.

And you can learn more about NLBWA by clicking their logo


Monday, March 13, 2006

7 Secrets Presentation & How Education is Killing Creativity

I'm fresh back from presenting at the 19th Annual Latina Leadership Conference of the California Community Colleges which was incredibly fun. My presentation, The 7 Secrets of Big Picture Thinkers was packed! Standing room only, people sitting in the aisles... wow, it was great. It was interactive, engaging, and people asked for more. I even met some fellow educators who are doing coaching on the side. Go do it!

The audience was comprised of students, college teachers, college staff, administrators, and a few visitors. From teens to veteranas, we had all ages represented. I can't stress enough how important it is to think big, to not be trapped by doubts and fears, and to catch your ideas. As silly as some may be, they may be the seeds of something incredible in the future. The audience was very receptive to the message and if they choose to apply those tips to their lives, we're in for some amazing, positive changes in our world.

Let's start with the educational system itself.

As a teacher with plenty of experience behind me, I feel more than qualified to opine on this subject. I always tell people that the main reason I left education to start Comadre Coaching was the birth of my daughter. That is true, but there is more.

For years I choked under the oppressive, uncreative nature of the educracy. People who believe that one size fits all instruction will bring kids up to speed are delusional. They need to spend a day with the average teacher who juggles the many aptitudes and personalities of the classroom: the class clowns, the bright ones, the troubled ones, the starved for attention ones.

I remember when I was teaching illiterate teens, an administrator told me to just give them worksheets and "keep them busy." Busy until what? They get pregnant or go to jail? I tore up her worksheets and went to work on one of the most innovative curriculum projects I ever undertook, that gave the kids exposure to college level literature and uncovered their critical thinking skills that for so many years were left out to die.

I left education yes, because I had a child and decided to work from home to be with her. But the way was paved long before that with the mounting frustration of standardized testing, and as the following article describes the drill and kill nature of today.

This article from the San Francisco Chronicle accurately presents the catch 22 of this test crazed system so many are trapped in.
Leaving Creativity Behind: Drilling for Tests Kills Curiosity and Imagination.

My wish for the world is that we stand on our heads often enough to remember there are alternative ways of seeing things. I know that creative thinking is scary because you can't quantify it the way those handy little Scantron bubbles can. But the results will show themselves, mark my words.


Friday, March 03, 2006

Look for Me in Latina Magazine March 2006

Snuggled in the pages between heartthrobs of Reggaeton and jeans to flatter your curvas, is a great article featuring expert advice from... yours truly!

Read The Stressed Our Mujer's Guide to De-Stressing on page 92 of Latina Magazine (March '06). Learn how a simple exercise in gratitude can melt your stress in just a few minutes.

Help bring more advice like this to Latina's pages! Write a letter to the editor and comment on how gratitude helps you de-stress. ( editor@latina.com) .

And if you want to positively comment specifically on me, thousands of comadre blessings and besitos will come your way.