(323) 863-3603 admin@ourmilkmoney.org
Remembering 9/11

Remembering 9/11

Oh, wow. How was it already 20 years ago?
And yet, anyone who was alive that day remembers it like it was yesterday.
It was a day I realized I was living in a false sense of security. I’d heard there were terrorists, heard that they had tried to take down the WTC in the past, but it wasn’t anything I felt threatened by. Ignorance was bliss— for me. And so many like me.
The night before the attack, I had an attack of my own. I started crying for absolutely no reason. I couldn’t figure out what had triggered it. I wasn’t even sure of the exact emotion I was feeling. It wasn’t sadness or anger. It was just pure overwhelm. I cried myself to sleep that night.
It wasn’t until months after the attack that I remembered that night of September 10th, and I knew. This may sound strange, but it was as if my higher self wanted to warn me— not about the attack— but about the change the was coming, and the abruptness of it, the magnitude of the shift it would create for all of us, removing how secure we felt in our comfortable little lives, how we saw and related to one another, how hated we were by some parts of the world, how expendable human life was to them.
For many of us, it caused us to shift directions.
My circle of friends got started right away getting married and having babies. I knew people who quit their jobs abruptly and got started looking for a career that fulfilled them. Some got out of bad relationships. Others started traveling. Our lives became shorter. We had less time. We didn’t want to wait any longer to do everything we ever wanted to do because it was the first time we realized the fragility of our lives.
Tomorrow was not guaranteed.
I see so many social media posts about how we came together as a nation and let differences go. Yes. I felt and appreciated that, too. But even that was an illusion. The truth is, that love we passed back and forth was only reserved for those who looked like us. White Americans.
The hate crimes against people of color sky-rocketed. Many of them were Americans too, but we didn’t mean to include THEM, did we. We only felt united together because we were against something else. We didn’t grow closer in love. We united together in hate.
In fact, to this day, I see people wave their American flags, and their blue lives matter flags, and remove abortion rights because they truly believe they are saving babies from hateful murderers… and I think they truly believe they are on the side of love.
Love of what?
White American Christian Men? Patriarchy? The right to not get vaccinated or wear a mask? No, it’s their love of freedom and their desire to protect their white American privilege. And they can’t REALLY do that unless they are against anything that threatens that. So, ask yourself, are they driven by love? Or hate?
I am not pretending there is an easy answer to this. If I knew what it was I would shout it from the mountain tops and use it to heal the world. Love helps, but it often shows up in disguise. It’s used against us so often now that we don’t even know what is real anymore. We are vulnerable, but we have the ability to become strong. I still believe that, and I will keep searching for the way to heal until I find it or die trying.
Final note: If you have not seen “Come From Away”, don’t wait. You can stream it now on Apple TV. It’s a beautiful way to honor and remember those who perished, all of those lives lost— people who left loved ones behind— and all those heroes.
Heroes who wore official badges, and many who did not.
Don’t deny yourself this beautiful story of what happened in one corner of the world on 9/11. We ALL have a story to tell about that day. For years, and even now, we tell others where we were when we first heard about it, where we watched the video of the planes, how we didn’t turn off our TVs for weeks, how it changed us… that day our perception of what we believed about our lives was shaken to its core.
The story about what happened to a small town of people in Newfoundland is worth hearing. Don’t deny yourself because you think it will be hard to watch, or because it will pull at your heart strings and make you cry. I promise, it will REPLENISH YOU.
It’s okay to cry. It’s important that we remember. It’s how we make sense of the senselessness in the world. #NeverForget #NeverStopGrowing #Remembering911
Meet Kara Anderson!

Meet Kara Anderson!

Quite the entrepreneur, Kara Anderson founded Maids on the Run as well as several other businesses that have stayed successful for decades. The following is the spotlight interview that was originally posted in January of 2013. 

1. Business name, description and what makes it special

I do so many things and that is the mind of a self employed person. I started Maids on the Run after I lost my job to just put food on the table and now  we have 14 other cleaners that work with me and do about 100-125 homes a week, I invented The Bag Holder when I was a personal chef to make freezer meals easily with no mess and I wrote Santa’s Secret Elf while dealing with breast cancer. As my 5 year old sat on Santa’s lap all he asked for was to make his Mommy better. The next night I woke and wrote the story of Merryam and how she helps Santa with all those requests asking for things he can’t make.


2. Tell us about how you got your first customer. 

Maids on the Run was easy to market. I offered free bathroom cleanings to everyone on my email list and if they loved us get rid of their housekeeper and keep me and if they didn’t just enjoy a clean bathroom. I got 4 new clients the first week in late 2008. The other product based things I do are not so much. People listen to other peoples opinions so trying to get someone to love The Bag Holder and the book and then share it is difficult. I need a group of friends to spread the word for me since that is on a tight budget. I can see how great it is and of course your first reply Yeah Yeah, everyone trying to sell somethings says that…LOL… but it really is 🙂


3. How do you measure success?

By how many people I make happy each week and how many activities I am able to enjoy with my family with out getting calls from the office. I f I don’t get calls that means all is going well and that we planned the week perfectly for staff and clients and fans.


4. Ever felt like throwing in the towel?

NO way! I had cancer at 39 so dying would have been me throwing in the towel. I have been blessed to be here so I better make the most of it and do as much as I can while I can.


5. One thing I wish I would have known…

I would love to have known more about connecting with others to grow and not just rely on myself and my research.


6. Moving forward…

I hope to have build a brand with Merryam and big things to come for families and to franchise Maids on the Run, we are ready just timing and The Bag Holder we still hope it will be a household kitchen item. We all store leftovers and this is time saving and less mess making.


7. The absolute best part of being self-employed is…

My schedule allows me to be available for all the activities my children have and knowing that something I created is making a difference in the lives of many.

8. The absolute best part of being a parent is… 

Being the one person that shows my children that if you think you can do it. Never be the one to say I wish I could…. I will  and I do.


9. I never imagined…

Getting cancer would give me the confidence to do all that I wanted not just dream about it. I believe God gives us a wake up cal now and then and we better make the most of it. I live life with sense of urgency and this is what I would like to share. Courage, confidence and commitment are the only three things you need to know. Courage to actually take the leap and follow through with the ideas you have, confidence that it will be successful and that you will make it happen, commitment that even on bad days you remember than any day that you are your own boss is better than the best day of being someone else’s employee. They are the Three C’s to Success in my book.

You can find Santa’s Secret Elf, Bag Holder and Maids on the Run on Facebook.

Meet Tania Mulry!

Meet Tania Mulry!

Meet Tania Mulry of DDx Media.  Following is the story of her business, how it came to be and what the future holds for her and her business.

1. Business name, description and what makes it special

DDx Media is a mobile marketing agency, specializing in helping small, local businesses and experts create and launch beautiful, useful and profitable mobile applications to deepen their connections with their customers. We also created a wonderful, award-winning school fundraising app called edRover.

2. ‘Ah ha’ moment that led to launching this business:

I was working as an executive at a larger marketing agency, helping gigantic retail brands with mobile marketing, when I realized I wanted to help smaller organizations and businesses take advantage of the benefits of a huge tidal wave of mobile marketing opportunities. Mobile is the fastest growing communication channel of all times, and you can just walk down the street, look around a restaurant, or glance around your own home to see the cultural and behavioral shifts we are all making.
Our phones are like a new organ of our body. We rely on them for contact with the outside world, with thousands of friends, family members, coworkers, and near strangers on social media. The help us keep time, schedule appointments and manage our To Do Lists. They entertain us with music and games. They help us find directions and choose where to shop. They can even help us save money, and now with edRover, raise money for our favorite cause.
I knew I could create a great mobile app that would serve both local businesses that needed foot traffic and sales as well as consumers who were tired of traditional fundraising methods like selling junk food and trinkets to friends and family. That is how the edRover idea was born.
Then I realized I could repeat this success for other businesses, and that’s how my agency was born.

3. Tell us about how you got your first customer.

With edRover, we started getting customers once our app was posted in the App Store. Keeping them coming was the big trick! We needed to do a lot of outreach on the web and in person to get more consumers to download the app and use it to benefit their school. We really hit success when we found a local champion that wanted to lead the promotion of edRover within their own school. Now we seek out those influential parents to lead the charge.
With our agency, we reached out to a few influential businesses in town and gave them great deals to be our charter customers. They’ve really helped us open doors to new business opportunities.

4. How do you measure success?

We are all about impact. Are we helping schools with edRover? Are our apps generating new business for our clients? We know if we are serving our customers well, they will be great referral sources for new business.

5. Ever felt like throwing in the towel?

Sure! The app business is actually really hard! It looks awesome and glamorous to have an award-winning app, but every day, you have to stay in the trenches to improve the app, respond to customer feedback, tweak the business model, find new sources of traffic to keep growing.
Then I remind myself that most people wouldn’t even know where to begin! That knowledge helps keep me going and helping other people realize their own app dreams.

6. One thing I wish I would have known…

You need to spend at least as much on marketing your app as you did on building your app to get the success you desire.

7. Moving forward…

I can’t wait to offer a new version of the edRover platform to other charitable organizations so that they can benefit from a new way of fundraising. This vision has me so inspired!

8. The absolute best part of being self-employed is…

The flexibility to participate actively in my children’s lives is priceless. I used to work for a big company and had a three hour commute daily, if I weren’t on an airplane to the far reaches of the earth most of the time. I had a nanny, a work from home husband and a live in grandpa helping with the kids, but I could never be there for school parties, for drop off and pick up, for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I felt tremendous mommy guilt which definitely outweighed my desire to progress in my career, even though that was extremely strong! I knew I needed to follow a path to becoming an entrepreneur to reinvent my life, and I finally feel like it is paying off. My kids love having me at home when they are home, I have the best commute ever (strolling downstairs to my office), and I can help my kids in their classrooms, sports, church and scouting.

9. The absolute best part of being a parent is…

My kids are entering middle childhood (7, 10, 12) and it is amazing to watch them turn into funny, smart, disciplined, ambitious, helpful and sweet young men. I’m glad they still want to hang around with and hug and kiss mom although I know this phase may not last long!

10. I never imagined…

The feeling of seeing your app “baby” for the first time in the App Store or Google Play is such a thrill. The fact that your kids think you are cool for having an app is even better!
Why Do I Need to Brand My Products?

Why Do I Need to Brand My Products?

There are literally millions of products on the market today.  What makes yours stand out from the others?  If the answer is nothing, you need to brand your products.

Branding is a way of getting your product in the minds of customers all over the world.  You could walk up to someone in Europe and they would know what Pepsi was.  Or, better yet, ask someone to name a soft drink and they would think of popular brands like Pepsi and Coca-Cola.  That is how much we are into those two sodas.

Whatever you are selling, there is someone else selling a variation of that product as well.  What hope do you have of gaining a share of the market?  Your hope is in branding your product.  

To brand your product, you will need to ask yourself a few questions.  First, what is the business all about?  There must be a reason that drives you to sell your product.  If it is to provide good quality socks or soap or radios to the consumer, then let that be the key to your brand strategy.

All products need a logo.  Without one, that shirt you are trying to sell is just another shirt.  The logo will remind people of your products and also say something about the company’s mission.  For instance, a logo for plush toys wouldn’t be a creature with fangs.  You may have always wanted to create such a logo but this is not the appropriate product.  

Do you have a slogan or tagline?  When people talk about Verizon wireless service they hear, “Can you hear me now? Good.”  For Visa, they hear, “It’s everywhere you want to be.”  Those slogans say something about the service.  You can depend on their wireless service to keep you in touch with the world even in remote locations.  As for Visa, you can use it anywhere credit cards are accepted.

Determine what sets your product apart for others of its kind and play to that strength.  Being unique is difficult in business, but it can be done with a good branding strategy.  The uniqueness will get your product noticed through a marketing campaign.  It won’t benefit your business if you have a good product and no one knows how good it is or can find it.

Without branding, your products are just one of a hundred or a thousand others on the market.  If you can back up the claims about the product, use a brand to get it into households and businesses around the globe.

Branding your product will make it stand out among the competition.  Branding is not an exact science but it can boost the sales of other lesser-known products in your inventory when your premier product catches on.  In business we are always looking for a way into the inner sanctum of profit, and branding is the beginning.  

JuliImageanne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Director of Communications for Our Milk Money, the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of Buy By Mom and Buy By Mom Blog. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.

Meet Stacy McGuigan!

Meet Stacy McGuigan!

Meet StacyMcGuigan, Party Conciege!

1.      Please tell us about your business and the service that you provide:

Special Events Company, provide invitations, theme ideas, centerpieces, favors, just ask and I will find (florists, caterers, DJs, etc…)

2.      What motivated you to start your business?

I have been giving people party ideas for years as well as throwing great parties not only for my kids but for my husband and our friends, it was time to get paid for my creativity!!

3.      What kind of background or expertise do you have in your field? 

I was the PR/Marketing Manager and Special Events manager for The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner.

4.      What trends do you see in your current industry? 

More home parties.

5.      What are the most demanding aspects about your business? 

Meeting your client’s budget and giving the WOW factor!!!

6.      What are the most rewarding aspects about your business? 

Seeing the person who the party is for, thier face when they see the event all pulled together.  Seeing people have fun at the events I create and getting their feedback.

7.      What advice would you give to someone interested in starting a business like yours? 

Be specific with what type of events you want to do and go for it, put yourself out there, be positive and know that it takes a while for people to call you, but once they do, they will keep calling.

8.      What are you most proud of as a parent-preneur?

Showing my children that if you have a passion for doing something, take the chance, work hard and you can be very successful and happy at the same time.

9.      How have you been able to balance your time between work and your family? 

It is very hard but I try to work when the children are in school or when they are in bed.  If they can help me with a portion of the event, they do.  We are successful together and support each other in our family.

10.  What has been the most effective way for you to promote and market yourself? 

WORD of mouth and making “friends” with reporters in the local papers.  Within one year of being an official business I have had 7 articles written either about me or thanking my company.

Finally: What does your “Milk Money” provide for you and your family? 

As a new member, I hope more exposure for my company and potential new clients.

Quick Tips to Help You Produce More Content

Quick Tips to Help You Produce More Content

If you’re a content producer, sooner or later you’re going to come to the point where you have to ask yourself: “What am I going to write about?” Sooner or later, we all have trouble coming up with ideas. Don’t worry though – If you follow these quick tips, you’ll be on your way to producing great content in no time at all.
Tip #1 – Explain an Expert’s Concept
One great way to produce some killer content is to take some of your favorite quotes and expert ideas and use them as fodder for your content.  For example, if you’re running a business blog, you might take an idea like Donald Trump’s “it takes as much effort to think small as it does to think big, so you might as well think big” quote and turn that into a blog post about goals and planning.
Tip #2 – Mistakes to Avoid
Another great way to write articles is to teach people what not to do. What mistakes have you personally made in this niche? What are common mistakes other people make?
You can either list several mistakes in one article, or go in depth on one common mistake that they should pay attention to and spend the whole article on that.
Tip #3 – Share a Personal Experience and a Lesson
Is there a personal story you can tell that will help teach your readers a lesson? If you can tell your story in an entertaining and informative way, that will definitely be a great article.
For example, Zappos’ CEO Tony Hseih often shares the story of how he learned business lessons from playing poker. The lessons he learned later helped him sell his company for $1.2 billion dollars. The story is both entertaining and highly educational.
Tip #4 – Browse Related Websites
If you’re really having trouble coming up with ideas, go take a look around other websites in your industry. As you browse through what other people are putting in their content, a great idea for your site will likely hit you like a thunderbolt.  If it doesn’t, then go browse some niche forums. Specifically pay attention to questions people seem to be asking again and again and see if you can answer some of those questions in your content.
Tip #5 – Tell it Differently
If you feel like you’ve really exhausted everything you have to say, then take a concept you’ve already touched on and go deeply into it. Expand on it in depth.
In the spirituality industry, there’s one primary teaching that’s repeated over and over: “Be present.” This one concept is expanded upon again and again, filling up thousands of pages of content.  This concept doesn’t get boring because every time it’s told it’s from a different angle, with a different story or a different emphasis. You can do the same with your content. What’s one important concept you can expand on?
These are just some ideas of how to quickly produce more content. Use these tips to help stimulate your mind, then use your creativity to create some knockout content.
Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Director of Communications for Our Milk Money, the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of Buy By Mom and Buy By Mom Blog. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.