Mama, Build Your Empire
[MBYE 24] Genia Stephen on Agency, Having Vision for Our Children, and the Good Things In Life

[MBYE 24] Genia Stephen on Agency, Having Vision for Our Children, and the Good Things In Life

March 21, 2019

MEET THE GUEST:

Genia started young with amazing mentors and a strong mother with a vision. Now, she’s a mother to two sons, a midwife to many, and an activist with a mission to band together with families to joyfully pursue the good things in life. Genia’s a registered midwife, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, MSc in Evidence-Based Health Care (student), Speaker, Presenter, Podcast host, and founder of Good Things in Life which offers resources, courses and networking opportunities for a community of parents with a shared vision of the good things in life for their children with disabilities.

 

In this episode, we cover:

  • Genia’s introduction into special needs advocacy + social role valorization
  • Setting expectations and raising the bar for our differently-abled children
  • Creating a vision for ourselves and our children, and redefining what’s possible
  • Starting her organization to reach families of children with disabilities
  • Dealing with grief and moving past the sadness to learn to embrace the good things in life

 

When asked for one piece of advice they’d give moms going through the grieving process of a new diagnosis, Genia says:

 

“Everything wonderful in life happens on the other side of that cry. So you’ve got to get past the grief. Cause there are great, wonderful things on the other side of grief. Everything great is on the other side of special, so it’s worth it to go there.”

Where To Connect with Genia Stephen Online:

Connect with Mia Francis-Poulin!

  1. Find out how you can work with Mia at www.racreative.co
  2. Catch up with Mia on Instagram.
  3. Join the Mama, Build Your Empire Group on Facebook.
[MBYE 23] Nick and Darlene Abrams on Launching a Business While in the PICU, Showing Up, and Leaning Into Gratitude

[MBYE 23] Nick and Darlene Abrams on Launching a Business While in the PICU, Showing Up, and Leaning Into Gratitude

March 14, 2019

The Abrams are a family of 3:  Nick, Dar, and Owen (who is the main CEO of StomaStoma). Owen was born at 24 weeks and spent 5 months in the NICU before coming home for the first time. He was only home a short 2 weeks before going back to the hospital.

 

He then spent the next 784 days in the PICU.

 

He received a gtube and trach to help get him home, and Owen is still gtube fed, and vent and trach dependent. StomaStoma was birthed in his hospital room during that long stay.

 

Nick, Dar, and the StomaStoma team want to bring awareness and education about trach and gtube life, but in an encouraging and lighthearted way. The shirts that come from StomaStoma are just that, some encouraging and some cheeky, all with the hopes to open conversations to share about this abnormal life we hope can be viewed as normal one day.

 

In this episode, we cover:

  • How Nick and Dar got the idea for StomaStoma in their son’s hospital room
  • What they did to validate their business idea for such a niche topic
  • How they manage and maintain the business through the tough times that come along with raising a medically fragile child
  • Finding gratitude in the darkest times and choosing to seek grace

 

When asked for one piece of advice they’d give a special needs moms who are going through a tough medical situation with their children or who are looking to start a business, Dar says:

 

“Be real with yourself. If you’re having a hard day, let yourself have a hard day. And find your support. When we spent that long stint in the hospital, it was really intense. And there were times when we didn’t know if he’d make it. But one of the biggest things that’s helped us get through has been our community, our support.”

Where To Connect with StomaStoma and The Abrams Family Online:

Connect with Mia Francis-Poulin!

  1. Find out how you can work with Mia at www.racreative.co
  2. Catch up with Mia on Instagram.
  3. Join the Mama, Build Your Empire Group on Facebook.
[MBYE 22] Alice Vo Edwards on ADHD, 504 Plans, and Building Social Capital

[MBYE 22] Alice Vo Edwards on ADHD, 504 Plans, and Building Social Capital

February 15, 2019

MEET THE GUEST:

Alice Vo Edwards is a consultant with roles at multiple companies including Alerive, MassInflux, and BattleBuddy, where she specializes in utilizing her technology and applied psychological science expertise to support systems for improving health and wellbeing outcomes.

 

She is also an advocate for improving mental health support systems and founder of ADHDKid.net. She volunteers as the outreach coordinator for the Nevada Coalition for Suicide Prevention, and advocates for women in scientific careers working internationally in her role as At-Large Delegate for Graduate Women in Science. She is also completing a Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology at Walden University with an emphasis on research and evaluation related to workplace wellbeing.

 

In this episode, we cover:

  • How Alice started her advocacy journey when her daughter was diagnosed with ADHD
  • How she went on a quest to build a better 504 process for her daughter and others like her
  • Her mission to help other parents of kids with ADHD through the ADHD Kid Diary and ADHDKid.net

 

Where To Connect with Alice Online:

  • www.ADHDKid.net

Connect with Mia Francis-Poulin!

  1. Find out how you can work with Mia at www.racreative.co
  2. Catch up with Mia on Instagram.
  3. Join the Mama, Build Your Empire Group on Facebook.

 

[MBYE 21] Abbi Perets on Maternal Mental Health, Raising a Child With a Dual Diagnosis, and Finding Herself After Trauma

[MBYE 21] Abbi Perets on Maternal Mental Health, Raising a Child With a Dual Diagnosis, and Finding Herself After Trauma

February 4, 2019

MEET THE GUEST:

Abbi Perets wants moms to know they don’t have to choose between kids and career. She’s the coach and mentor moms turn to when they want to break into freelance writing and earn great money from home, on their own terms.

Abbi combines nearly 20 years of experience freelancing for some of the world’s biggest companies with firsthand knowledge of having five kids of her own — including one with special needs. She understands the unique challenges moms face every day and has created programs specifically tailored to meet those challenges and empower moms all over the world to have it all.

 

In this episode, we cover:

  • How Abbi started a successful freelance business working for some of the largest companies in the world
  • Shutting her business down overnight when her son received a leukemia diagnosis
  • How starting Successful Freelance Moms saved her from her depression
  • How she helps other moms who are looking for the financial and emotional freedom that freelancing provides

 

This message from Abbi summarizes the wisdom she’s gained from the various challenges she’s faced over the last few years. She writes, “I decided a long time ago that my mental health matters more to me than making other people feel comfortable, so I'm pretty good at saying, "I'm not sure what you think is helpful about that comment," or "I'm asking for your support right now, and your criticism isn't supportive." So When you go through trauma, you will then have to deal with PTSD. And ignoring it will NOT make it go away. At some point, you have to make a choice: You can DEAL with what you went through and address it and get help, whatever that means for you (medication, therapy, etc) and take active steps towards rebuilding your life, OR you can pretend to be okay and continue NOT being okay and stay unhappy. Asking for help is the bravest thing you can do. It DOES take courage, and it is SO IMPORTANT.

Where To Connect with Abbi Online:

Connect with Mia Francis-Poulin!

  1. Find out how you can work with Mia at www.racreative.co
  2. Catch up with Mia on Instagram.
  3. Join the Mama, Build Your Empire Group on Facebook.
[MBYE 20] Meg Brunson on Finding Your Inner Advocate, Raising Kidpreneurs, and Leaving Facebook to Start Her Own Digital Agency

[MBYE 20] Meg Brunson on Finding Your Inner Advocate, Raising Kidpreneurs, and Leaving Facebook to Start Her Own Digital Agency

January 29, 2019

MEET THE GUEST:

Meg Brunson has been marketing to moms for nearly a decade. After leaving her corporate job at Facebook in 2017 to be a more present mom to her 4 daughters, she founded EIEIO Marketing; a digital marketing agency focused on Facebook Marketing for family-first businesses. Through highly targeted, results-driven, Facebook Ads she's delivered results for her clients that include: doubling their lead volume, generating 62% more sales than the in-house team, attaining a 16x return on ad spend, and reducing the cost per lead by 99%! She also hosts the FamilyPreneur podcast, an interview-style show that explores the “balance” of family & entrepreneurship with a focus on raising kidpreneurs.

 

In this episode, we cover:

  • Meg’s journey from social work to the Facebook offices
  • Transitioning out of her position in the Ads Department at Facebook into full-time entrepreneurship
  • Starting a platform for her family of FamilyPreneurs (and starting her podcast by the same name)
  • Learning how to become the parent advocate her children need

 

When asked what’s the one thing she wants special needs moms who are going in business to know, she says: “Know that it’s okay to ask for help. People who are in the position of service coordinator, therapist … they want to help. So take advantage of the resources out there. There’s no shame in asking for help -- and the same goes for business.”

Where To Connect with Meg Online:

Connect with Mia Francis-Poulin!

  1. Find out how you can work with Mia at www.racreative.co
  2. Catch up with Mia on Instagram.

Join the Mama, Build Your Empire Group on Facebook.

[MBYE 19] Jessica Mandujano on Starting (or Stopping) a Business, Scaling Horizontally, and Telling Your Story

[MBYE 19] Jessica Mandujano on Starting (or Stopping) a Business, Scaling Horizontally, and Telling Your Story

January 14, 2019

 

MEET THE GUEST:

Jessica Mandujano is mama to two wonderful kiddos -- one of which has global developmental delays and is non-verbal. Her days are filled with chasing a toddler, driving to developmental Pre-K, therapy sessions, and she also runs her own marketing business. She loves advocating for her son, cheering him on and sharing his story to promote inclusion + kindness for all differently-abled kiddos.

 

In this episode, we cover:

  • Starting a business while pregnant and going through the process of transitioning it into something different after a rocky delivery and NICU stay
  • Growing horizontally when most business coaches encourage you to grow vertically
  • Providing more services to existing clients and nurturing those relationships to generate more income
  • Work-life harmony vs work-life balance -- what juggling it all really looks like for a special needs mamapreneur

 

Talking about transitioning her business to a new structure when she became a new mom, Jessica says, “Just because I have these goals for my business and I’m now a special needs mom, doesn’t mean I need to get rid of them completely. I need to change them a little bit, and maybe it’s gonna take me a little longer to get there, but I’m not in the business for the short-term, I’m in it for the long-haul.”

Where To Connect with Jessica Online:

Connect with Mia Francis-Poulin!

  1. Find out how you can work with Mia at www.racreative.co
  2. Catch up with Mia on Instagram.

Join the Mama, Build Your Empire Group on Facebook.

[MBYE 18] Susie Liberatore on Designing Your Day, New Autism Diagnoses, and Building Your Support Team

[MBYE 18] Susie Liberatore on Designing Your Day, New Autism Diagnoses, and Building Your Support Team

January 7, 2019

MEET THE GUEST:

Susie Liberatore is the owner at Visions2images Creative Services. She helps established businesses grow their brand awareness by using digital marketing and professional branding techniques. With over nine years of experience, she brings businesses visions to life, while watching their return on investment increase.

Her fields of design expertise are branding development, social media marketing, and all things related to print!  She is the face and voice of Visions2images. Susie is an entrepreneur, she has several businesses and wears many hats for all of them. She has been able to help businesses thrive and grow with her help. Let her help you get your vision on track!

Our mission: Visions2images LLC is a creative service agency, providing the vision that your brand deserves. We believe in being professional and helping your business goals on all platforms. We work with small business that are established businesses and need that extra boost in their business.

 

In this episode, we cover:

  • Going from agency life, to corporate, to full-time entrepreneur -- and receiving an Autism diagnosis for her child in the meantime
  • Balancing and designing a business between therapy and client meetings
  • How she built a support team, instituted office hours for her clients, and uses productivity tools like Trello to organize and run her business while her son naps or goes to ABA therapy
  • Organizing her week to successfully deliver on client expectations and also market her own business.

To those wanting to start a new business while raising a kid with special needs, Susie says, “Start small and don’t be afraid to fail. Be flexible … simplify.”

Where To Connect with Susie Online:

Connect with Mia Francis-Poulin!

  1. Find out how you can work with Mia at www.racreative.co
  2. Catch up with Mia on Instagram.
  3. Join the Mama, Build Your Empire Group on Facebook.
[MBYE 17] Melissa Rohlfs on Sensory Processing, Nutrition, and Getting A Support System

[MBYE 17] Melissa Rohlfs on Sensory Processing, Nutrition, and Getting A Support System

December 31, 2018

MEET THE GUEST:

Melissa Rohlfs is a transformational holistic health and life coach.   She helps moms lose the baby weight for good and increase their energy so they can flourish in motherhood. {No deprivation or hours of working out here!}  She is married and has 2 children, her daughter has SPD. When Melissa learned about clean eating, not only did she lose weight, but it also helped her daughter with her SPD as well.  Her passion is teaching people how to nourish themselves with real food and a holistic approach.

Where To Connect with Melissa Online:

 

Info on Sensory Processing Disorder: https://www.spdstar.org/basic/about-spd 

Connect with Mia Francis-Poulin!

  1. Find out how you can work with Mia at www.racreative.co
  2. Catch up with Mia on Instagram.
  3. Join the Mama, Build Your Empire Group on Facebook.

This episode is sponsored by The Autism Strategies and Autism Moms Getaways! The FIRST Autism Moms Getaway will be in New Orleans, Louisiana on April 12-14th, 2019. Join us in the Big Easy for a short getaway to relax and relate with other Autism moms. Reserve your spot for only $50 when you book before January 1st -- and payment plans are available!

 

More info at bit.ly/bookgetawaynow!

[MBYE 16] Aundrea Caldwell on Self-Restoration, Setting Stretch Goals, and Redefining What It Means To Be An Autism Mom

[MBYE 16] Aundrea Caldwell on Self-Restoration, Setting Stretch Goals, and Redefining What It Means To Be An Autism Mom

December 17, 2018

 

MEET THE GUEST:

Aundrea Caldwell is passionate about many things and now it’s all about
encouraging and supporting Autism Parents through writing, speaking
and most importantly - sharing her Autism Journey.

In April 2018, Aundrea released her first book, “Wait! Did You Say Autistic?” A Mother’s Journey of Acceptance and Advocacy, which is part-autobiography/part-self help book for parents and caregivers who are raising children on the Autism Spectrum. Her book walks readers through her journey of acceptance and advocacy for her son, Cameron, who was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome in 2008.

After the launch of her book, Ms. Caldwell started The Autism Strategies, a consulting practice focused on supporting Autism Parents in four key areas: Acceptance, Advocacy, Creating Connections and Setting Goals. Those were the focus areas that were instrumental in putting Cameron on the right path.

Aundrea is redefining what it means to be an Autism Mom. As a mother of three, with two of her children on the Autism Spectrum, Aundrea wants other Autism parents to know that it's not the end of the world when you get the diagnosis and that you can survive and thrive with Autism.

Prior to embarking on this journey, Aundrea enjoyed a twenty-five year career in Project and Product Management across multiple industries and technology areas. Aundrea wears many hats but this ex-Googler has turned her focused
towards giving back and sharing her knowledge.

Aundrea is a 2001 graduate of the Eli Broad School of Management at Michigan State University (MBA). She also holds two undergraduate degrees from Michigan State University (1997) and the University of New Orleans (1993).

She’s also a US Army Reserve veteran.

Aundrea currently resides in the Atlanta Metro Area with her three children, Cameron, Mari and Milaan.

Where To Connect with Aundrea Online:

  • bit.ly/IEPStrategies
  • bit.ly/aundreafirstbook
  • www.aundreacaldwell.com
  • Learn more about the Autism Moms Getaway in New Orleans, LA bit.ly/bookgetawaynow

Connect with Mia Francis-Poulin!

  1. Find out how you can work with Mia at www.racreative.co
  2. Catch up with Mia on Instagram.
  3. Join the Mama, Build Your Empire Group on Facebook.

 

This episode is sponsored by The Autism Strategies and Autism Moms Getaways! The FIRST Autism Moms Getaway will be in New Orleans, Louisiana on April 12-14th, 2019. Join us in the Big Easy for a short getaway to relax and relate with other Autism moms. Reserve your spot for only $50 when you book before January 1st -- and payment plans are available!

More info at bit.ly/bookgetawaynow!

[MBYE 15] Chrissy Caley on Leaning In To Special Needs Motherhood, Starting and Scaling a Business, and Living Authentically

[MBYE 15] Chrissy Caley on Leaning In To Special Needs Motherhood, Starting and Scaling a Business, and Living Authentically

December 10, 2018

MEET THE GUEST:

Chrissy Caley is a Professional Organizer, mother of 3, and mompreneur. Chrissy grew up in a family of 9 and was constantly surrounded by chaos and clutter. As an adult, she had to learn how to overcome the habits, beliefs, and routines that were preventing her from the life and home that I had always wanted. When she became a mother, and then a mother of a special needs child, her understanding of the importance of a streamlined, orderly, and functional home expanded.

 

It is Chrissy's passion to teach others how to get out from under the clutter and claim their spaces, their time, and their lives for their own. Chrissy has helped many moms get out from the weight of the stuff in their lives and make space for the things that are truly important.

Where To Connect with Chrissy Online:

  • www.binsandgrins.com
  • www.facebook.com/binsandgrins

Connect with Mia Francis-Poulin!

  1. Find out how you can work with Mia at www.racreative.co
  2. Catch up with Mia on Instagram.
  3. Join the Mama, Build Your Empire Group on Facebook.