Seasons Greetings from The Entrepreneurial Mother

Well its that time of year again; no surprise I know but…
“where did the last year go” I hear you cry!
Join us at the the entrepreneurial mother community, and this is what would have landed in your inbox this week…

Time certainly seems to be moving a lot faster these days, but then that’s maybe because we try and jam too much in….

…So… lets use the “quiet” time over New Year to do a little navel gazing…

* like review what worked and didn’t work in 2007, and use that information to kick-start 2008
* like looking at your financial situation and really understanding it
* like sitting down undisturbed and letting your mind wander and dream about what would really make you happy…

yes you can do it and as my Christmas gift to you, I share a few useful tools that I use and that I know will assist you:

* So here is your very own copy of The Entrepreneurial Mother’s Guide to Working Out What You Want!… click here to download it.
If you’ve not gone through this already, I encourage you to spend some time over the New Year and do yourself a favour!

* Hoorah! A concise booklet about money management designed to help you!
It’s not aimed at providing all the answers you need – but to engage and kick start your appetite for financial control.

* Download the Money Survival Guide for Women by clicking here, and start working your way through it today… go on, I know you want to!!

* Grab the “Secrets of Inspiring Women Exposed” book (click here for details of the famous people that feature!!) as a gift for you and for the special people in your life.

* The recent article in The Age (Melb)/The SunHerald (Syd) featuring yours truly may also give you cause to chuckle if you’ve not seen it… click here

ho ho ho and have a wonderful and safe festive season.

I will be in touch again not too far into 2008

the entrepreneurial mother

ps we also wanted to share our little personal Christmas “gift” with you so click here. It makes us laugh each time we see it so we hope it does for you too.

pps The next weeks of entries will be “live crosses” from our African adventure… yes we are off in the safari truck as at today! Updates won’t be as frequent til the end of January 2008 (depending how technologically challenged I am), but updates there will be, from all parts of the African continent.
how exciting!! So feel free to visit and catch up on our antics!!!

stay safe…


This month, looks at FREE LOVE, which is all about the ongoing rise of ‘free stuff’, and the brands already making the most it.

Not to mention the millions of consumers who are happily getting into a free-for-all mindset. Yes, expectations are being set.
Absorb and apply!

P.S. sticking with FREE LOVE, are giving away 5 MacBook Airs this month!

All ask you to do is to tell your colleagues, or clients, or friends about Just go to the Tell a Friend page

Apart from being a great source of trend information, winning a MacBook Air wouldn’t be a bad Easter Egg to collect now would it!! You must let me know if you win it…good luck…

Google’s nine principles of innovation

via Kristen Le Mesurier
Everyone wonders how Google does it. Now a $145-billion company by market capitalisation, revenue has grown by over 50% every year since 2002.

Clever and motivated employees is a common guess. Another is the playground Google has created for adults – free gourmet food, an outdoor wave pool, an indoor gym, and those company scooters used to whiz around on between buildings. Great ideas are sure to follow all that freedom and hilarity, right?

It’s true that these factors are part of the picture. After all, freedom has a lot to do with creativity and the ownership of ideas.

But the philosophies and systems operating under the surface are far more considered and methodical than all of that fun would have you believe.

Fast Company’s website last week listed Google’s nine principles of innovation and they touched on so many themes in and around innovation that I’ve been listening podcasts and presentations made by Google’s innovation experts to fill in the detail.

1. Ideas come from everywhere

Unlike the heirarchical approach to running a business usually sees ideas come from the top down, Google expects everyone to have ideas – executives and employees, employees working for companies they have acquired, and users.

Four Australian engineers working for a company Google acquired came up with Google Maps, for example. And Google News was born when one employee, frustrated with having to trawl 15 news sites to get the best and most comprehensive information, built a clustering tool that automatically grouped links to a range fo news sources covering a particular subject on a single website. He then emailed the tool to Google in case it could be used internally, and Google picked it up to develop it further for users.

Google now has an internal ideas forum that encourages employees to post new ideas and throw them open to dissection and improvement to colleagues. This serves two purposes – the best ideas are voted on and quickly rise to the top of the list. Colleagues’ comments also lead to new and better ideas that may have been missed.

2. Share as much information as you can

Before Google listed on the stock exchange, staff were told what revenue was every morning. Google’s innovation guru, Marissa Mayer, says during this presentation that by giving clever, motivated employees almost unfettered access to information about the company they work for, their choices about what they work on and set out to achieve are much more informed. Duplication is minimised, collaboration is fostered, and they feel empowered and trusted.

3. We hire brilliant people

Tell prospective employees that you only hire the best. Google’s experience has been that clever people drive and feed off each other. They set challenges that they may not think they have the capacity to meet on their own.

4. Pursue your dreams

I’d be surprised if you hadn’t heard of Google’s 20% time – the time granted to employees to work on projects that are a passion or personal interest.

Most business owners I’ve spoken to say this is too expensive. You’d lose 20% of productivity, 20% less would get done, it would be equivalent to a 25% pay rise.

Mayer says 20% time rarely works out that way. Few employees set aside Fridays to work on their pet projects. In reality, they’ll spend two to three months working on a particular project then two weeks working on something they enjoy. Or they’ll work on their pet projects on the weekends, or at night.

In any case, this trust pays off. In the final six months of 2005, 50% of Google’s product launches came from 20% time. This means that Google employees produce two and a half times the output you’d expect given the amount of time they have to pursue these projects.

5. Innovation, not instant perfection.

It’s a tough balancing act. Launch a product before it’s perfect and be the first to market? or spend months polishing it and risk a thud when you eventually launch?

Google’s learned that it’s innovation, not perfection, that works best. Its strategy, ‘launch early and often’ gives Google the opportunity to test the idea on the market before months or years has been spent refining a product that the market might not want. It uses the market’s reaction to refine the product straight away.

6. Data is A-political

There’s nothing worse than working for an organisation where politics determines promotions and whose ideas are picked up. Google doesn’t touch an idea without the data that proves it’s worth pursuing.

7. Creativity loves constraints

This sounds counter-intuitive, but total freedom can be intimidating. For example, when I write I scribble a few (less than perfect) sentences on the page straight away and use those as a starting point. If you pen in some constraints it’s easier to think your way creatively out of that box.

8. It’s about customers, not money

Google insists that if it focuses on products that draw users, the money will follow. This works well for online businesses, particularly because advertisers follow users.

9. Don’t kill projects, morph them

How do you know which products to cull and which to keep refining? Google reasons that if the ideas have made it through their filtering process, they are strong enough to have a place somehwere in the business and shouldn’t be culled. Remember that someone got excited about it for a reason.

I hope the list provides more of an idea of how Google has built an entrepreneurial spirit, both on a macro level and on the smaller project level, so that you can pinch the best strategies and morph them to suit your business.
Let me know how you go…

Using Your Networks and Experience

Using your networks and experience to push forward on your next big idea may seem only natural to the second-time entrepreneur but just how hard is it?

You may have left the other business with a golden handshake. In some cases, it didn’t work out. Either way, you have to recharge and find the passion to do it all over again – tough call!

An Ernst & Young study of over 200 global leader enterprises identified six fundamentals for any business to succeed and these included managing risk; transactions and alliances; operational effectiveness; managing finance; customer recruitment and people recruitment and retention.

The nature of entrepreneurs is to be optimistic and that’s tied up with their business… read on

Do you know what being entrepreneurial means to you?
Are these the knowledge and skills you’re using to make Life! work?
If not, why not?
If so, maybe its time to enter a competition like the one Ernst & Young have on offer with this article… why not?

The nice little earners: Ways to beat budget blues

Kate Adamson for

YOU’VE found the best deals for your home loan, fuel, groceries and utilities. You’re running a tight budget and know where your money goes.

Now open your mind and figure out ways to boost your income to combat rising interest rates.

Earning more money, as against scrimping and saving, is a way to fight interest rate rises… read on

Switching the focus off saving and on to making more money, lives can improve dramatically.

Ain’t that the truth…
the mindset shift is fundamental for this to happen, but happen it can… and does. I am a prime example of this thought process working.
go to the web site to find out more…

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