Blog Business   , , ,   no comments

Balance Business Femail Creations   , , , , , , , , , ,   1 comment

Business   , , , , , ,   1 comment

Most worthwhile things take time, effort and commitment.   The “overnight success” story is usually years in the making.   We all want to succeed, but are we all willing to commit to success?

“I don’t care what my clients want – everybody ‘wants’ a thousand things.  I care about what they’ll commit to.”  ~ Tony Robbins

I recently wrapped up a discussion with friends who are at the top in their fields who “want” to bring in much needed new management.  Yet none of them are actually taking concrete steps to resolve the situation.   Just wishing it would happen.

Have you ever heard a single friend say they “want” to meet someone special?  But then they won’t get out and mingle or engage in any activities.  Unless their delivery person is special, this probably won’t work.

We all “want” to feel great.  I hear people say they want to feel better all the time—as they wash down a handful of chemicals with a sugary drink or hit the drive-thru for the third time that day.  Saying we want to feel better is meaningless. Wanting something doesn’t make it so.

Wanting less stress, better health, more clients, a new way of life or whatever change we expect to make, takes more than desire.  It takes commitment and effort.


Are you willing to accept a challenge?  Pick one area that has been all “Want” and give yourself a Commitment Challenge. List 3 things in that area that you are truly willing to commit to.  Set a deadline and follow through.

I can’t wait to hear about your Commitment Challenge successes!

Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

Business Inspiration Uncategorized   , , , ,   no comments

I often hear women and men question whether or not they have what it takes to see their idea through.  People frequently come to me for advice about how I found the courage to follow my passion and start my own company.  The fact is many people are selling themselves short.

If you are raising kids, you are already using the very same skill set you will need to run your own company.  The demanding life of a parent is excellent training ground for being a CEO.

1. If you can manage children, you can manage employees

Ask any business owner to tell you their top challenges and inevitably managing employees will be high on the list. Raising children will give you lots of relevant practice!

2. You have already been a CFO

Creating a budget for your family prepares you to manage financial plans for your business. Continuing good financial habits and discipline is critical as you raise your next baby.

3. You have the hours down

Owning your own business is a 24/7 commitment and it usually takes a long time to reap what you sow.

4. Take the sticker chart concept and move it to the boardroom

If you apply the same Gold Star technique to your leadership style, you are going to do just fine!

5. Now you have help!

If your kids are old enough, give them the gift of coming to work with you sometimes to see how a business works.  Teach them the valuable skills of entrepreneurship.

6. Creating the company work schedule will be a piece of cake

After organizing multiple soccer practices, dentist appointments, back to school nights and dance lessons, putting together a simple office schedule will be no problem at all. And now you have Excel!

7. Any parent of a toddler has had plenty of practice with negotiation

So you can thank your two or three year old as you negotiate contracts and work out sweet pricing deals for your business.  Remember where you honed those skills when it comes time to set their allowance.

8. Parenting is really networking 101

Being a mom or dad forces you to network and that skill will be invaluable for your business.

9. Raising teenagers is like nailing Jell-o to a tree

Patience is a skill that can’t be taught, but must be acquired for both parenting and business building.  Raising kids helps you acquire more patience than anything else in life.


10. Treat projects like Lego’s

If you have ever watched kids building a Lego contraption you have witnessed the ultimate teamwork.  Bring that same level of collaboration and enthusiasm and success is bound to follow.

11. Don’t forget to sleep like a baby

I recently heard Arianna Huffington say the best way to get to the top is to sleep your way there!  Literally!  Her advice is to get a solid 8 hours of sleep a night if we want to be effective in our businesses.

12. Set a good example

I started my first business because I wanted to be an example to my daughter. I wanted to show her that it was possible to follow your passion and be a good mom.  She showed me I was right.

Having kids has certainly taught me that life is full of curve balls. In the very wise words of Alfred A. Montapert, “Expect problems and eat them for breakfast.”  You will need to be able to do the same thing as a CEO.  So you better put on your big girl panties and eat your Wheaties!

I originally wrote this post and it first appeared on the insightful and informative site

Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

Business family   , , , , , , ,   3 comments

My dear friend BJ Gallagher is the author of this post in honor of “Take Your Child to Work Day”.   Enjoy!

Every April when “Take Your Child to Work Day” rolls around, I think of my friend, author and entrepreneur Lisa Hammond. She was a young mother of two when she started her business almost 20 years ago. And she managed to keep her sanity while building her business, raising two children, and creating a strong, happy marriage – all at the same time!

Over the years, Lisa has told me some great stories about her multi-tasking life as a Mompreneur. She’s learned a few things that can help all of us juggle our commitments to work and family.

Lisa encourages women to be creative: “Find what works for you and your family,” she says. “It may not be traditional or even conventional, but that’s OK. Don’t be bound by what your parents did or what other people are doing – explore and experiment to figure out what works for you.”

Lisa explains:  “In my case, what was important to me was having dinner together as a family every night – no matter what. It didn’t matter if it was served on good china; it didn’t even matter who cooked it. But it did matter that we ate together.

“In the first year of my business, I was working out of our home, so it was easier to have meals together every night. My kids were five and eleven, so they were in school much of the day. My husband ran our construction business so he was gone all day, too. In the evening, everyone was at home and we sat down at the kitchen table to share dinner together.

“My second year in business, I needed more space so I moved my business out of the house. I moved our kitchen table, too!  I figured out that it took too much time for me to leave work, come home, have dinner, and then go back to the office to finish working. It was much more efficient for my husband to bring the kids and the food to me.

“I would stop working and have dinner with my family. I created space at the office so my kids could stay and do their homework in the evening. There was a rock-climbing gym across the street and sometimes they would go over there and train when their homework was done. We spent our evenings together as a family – but we did it in my office, not at home. That’s what worked for us.

“Did we have gourmet meals every night? No. I would make a pot of soup or chili – and that was on a good day!  But more often we had takeout Chinese food, Mexican food, or even pizza. But you know what? We had fun! We enjoyed our meals together every night and focused on the quality of our time with one another. Who cares if the food of homemade or not? It really doesn’t matter.

“We had an unconventional family life in those early years while I was building my business and raising my kids, but those were great years. Sometimes I’d put the kids to work helping me pack boxes. We were a family that played together and worked together. We had both quality time and quantity time!”

I asked Lisa what else she did to build a healthy family while she built her business.

“My husband moved his office to where I had my office so we could spend more time together. For us, the couple that works together stays together. And with shared office space, we were able to provide even more cohesion for our kids. My husband and I have always agreed: Family is #1 and work is #2.”

I asked Lisa how her business is today, now that the kids are grown:

“I don’t have to juggle so many different responsibilities, that’s for sure. But I think back on those early years as some of the happiest years of my life. In fact, I still have my kitchen table at work – I moved it into the break room. That’s where my employees and I sat for a cup of coffee or lunch. It makes me happy to have my old kitchen table at work.”

I asked Lisa what advice she has for single Mompreneurs who don’t have husbands to bring them food and help out with the kids.

“If you don’t have a spouse, it’s essential that you build a good support system for yourself – friends, extended family members, neighbors, other single moms. Build your tribe. Everybody needs a tribe – whether you call it a clan, a club, a posse, a support group, or a gaggle of girlfriends. You need a tribe even if you’re married – but you need one even more if you’re single.

“I always encourage women to be creative, be innovative, and figure out what works for you. And above all, cut yourself some slack! Don’t try to be Supermom. Give up perfectionism – it’ll kill you. Don’t worry about a clean house or home-cooked meals. Your kids don’t want Martha Stewart at home – they want a mom who takes time to eat meals with her kids, a mom who listens and enjoys time with her kids, and a mom who doesn’t sweat the small stuff.”

Lisa Hammond is coauthor of OH, THANK GOODNESS, IT’S NOT JUST ME! Woman to Woman, Heart to Heart (Simple Truths)

Click link to view It’s Not Just Me! the MOVIE

Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

Balance Business family   , , , , , , ,   no comments

Today, I’m hosting Day 9 of The 10 Commandments of Leadership Blog Tour. For 10 days, 10 blogs are highlighting and discussing each chapter from The 10 Commandments of Leadership written by Eric Harvey and Steve Ventura.

Regardless of if you a leader of a large organization, a small group of peers, or your own family, you are often leading, and they count on you to be effective.

The best leaders are in service of a vision and a mission greater than themselves.  When we are following our passion to make a difference that enthusiasm is contagious and will be felt amongst our team, within our companies and in our families.  Inspiring others to serve by example is the hallmark of all great leaders.

“The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.” — Max DePree

Read on. Lead on. Choose to be the most effective and respected leader you can be.

EXCERPTED from Chapter 9 of  “Strive to Serve Others”

It was a Tuesday morning many years ago. And it’s one we will always remember. On that day, we learned one of the best leadership lessons we have ever received. We had just begun a meeting with the head of a new client organization. After the customary exchange of pleasantries, we noticed something on her office wall. It was a framed poster with a few simple, yet unbelievably profound, words:

A “boss” CONTROLS.

A “leader” SERVES.

Which will I be, today?

Without question, that poster captures the true essence of effective leadership – and the core principle of leadership commandment number nine: SERVICE.

As a leader, your role – your purpose – is to help others, to guide others, to bring out the best in others. Your position exists because people have needs. They need assistance; they need direction; they need resources; they need support; they need inspiration; they need accountabilities … and a whole lot more. Meeting those needs is what your job is all about.

You Serve Others When You …

  • Make providing exceptional customer service a performance requirement for everyone on your team.
  • Demonstrate respect and empathy for every individual.
  • Tell people what they need to hear rather than want to hear.
  • Hold team members accountable for doing quality work.
  • Contribute to others’ success and well-being.
  • Make sure that everyone on the team does his or her share.
  • Keep everyone focused on the organization’s mission.
  • Maintain a positive, productive, and safe working environment.
  • Set the example and tone for everyone to follow.
  • Provide resources and information, and remove obstacles.
  • Do what’s right … what needs to be done – regardless of how difficult it may be.
  • Hire and promote people of quality.
  • Help team members learn, develop, grow, and achieve their personal goals.
  • Know the way and show the way.
  • Commit to being the very best leader you can be.
  • Embrace and practice The 10 Commandments of Leadership.

To lead is to guide, to guide is to help, to help is to serve. Remember that. Apply that. Strive to Serve Others.

QUESTIONS for Chapter 9
A Paradox of Leadership is that “The people who work for you are also the people for whom YOU work.” Briefly discuss your feelings about this idea and how it may apply to you.

Now is your chance to win! Here’s how…

1. By 12 midnight (Eastern) tonight: Post your answer to the above question (as a comment) on this blog and your name will be entered into a drawing to receive a FREE copy of The 10 Commandments of Leadership. Your name will be entered into the drawing a second time if you send us a tweet by copying and pasting the following:  @Leader_Solution I commented on Day 9 of The 10 Commandments Blog Tour

2. By 12 midnight (Eastern) on January 28, 2011: Post your answer to each day’s question (10 comments in total) for a chance to win a $100 Gift Certificate to

Be sure to click here to learn more about the book and see the schedule for

The 10 Commandments of Leadership Blog Tour.

Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

Business   , , , ,   3 comments

Years ago as I was trying to figure out what I was going to be when I grew up, I pondered the idea of starting a non-profit organization that gathered clothes for women returning to the work force.  Now more than a decade later after founding other businesses and writing many books, in a true full circle moment I had the pleasure of donating my first executive desk, office furniture and more business suits than I can count to the new local chapter of Dress for Success. I am thrilled that someone has started just such a charity!!!

Full Suit Moment

One of the suits I had so much fun donating was the very suit I write about in this excerpt from Dream Big.

“I am often asked to do public speaking, and my beloved daughter Harlie has assigned herself the job of making sure I look right when I do it. Every time I am asked to speak the first thing Harlie asks is what I am going to wear. After all, in her mind if I don’t use these invites as an excuse to get a new outfit, what’s the point!

When the American Marketing Association asked me to speak, Harlie happened to be home for spring break. It was a nice treat to actually have her present in the dressing room instead of on the other end of a cell phone giving styling tips. After trying on a dozen things, we finally settled on a new suit and headed home to make sure the shoes and shirt I had in my closet would match. It was a go.

The next morning, however, the universe had a surprise in store for me. When I went to put on the approved ensemble I noticed a bulge in the jacket. Sticking out of my armpit was a huge white security sensor that the clerk at the store had forgotten to take out. I don’t know why we didn’t notice it sooner (or why we hadn’t set off the alarm as we left the store!), but I did know that I was in a real pickle since I had to speak in about an hour and, as usual, the rest of my “presentable” wardrobe was at the drycleaners.

Cursing myself for not picking up my drycleaning sooner I woke Harlie up to show her my predicament and beg her to race back to the store with the receipt and ask them to remove the sensor before I stood up in front of the AMA crowd looking like a shoplifter.

Being the good sport Harlie is she raced to the mall and stood outside waiting for the store open. What happened next still amazes me. When Harlie went to the counter and showed the clerk the receipt and the jacket and asked for the sensor to be removed, they told her they didn’t have the device to remove it! Didn’t have the device to remove it? What? Why would they be selling jackets at their store with sensors in them if they didn’t have the gadget to remove them?

Suffice to say, Harlie wasn’t exactly pleased. She explained the urgency to the manager on duty, who then began running around the mall to other stores asking if she could please use their security device to remove the tag. Oddly enough there is some rule against sharing these gadgets among stores, so that plan didn’t work.

Next the store manager called her other stores to see if any of them had the jacket in the right size without a security sensor sticking out. No luck. By this time Harlie was starting to steam and she made it clear that her mother was going to have this jacket back,  minus sensor,  in the next fifteen minutes or there would be hell to pay.

Desperate times must call for desperate measures because the next thing Harlie knew the manager had magically appeared from the back room holding a jacket in my size — sans sensor. Harlie called from her cell phone to let me know she was en route with the jacket.

We did a hand off in the garage and I raced off to give my speech. I arrived a little late and plenty frazzled and decided the only thing to do was to tell the truth. I have always been the type of gal who tells it like it is. So I shared the story of my wild morning with the audience. The women in the crowd laughed till they had tears rolling down their cheeks, the men didn’t quite get it. I guess that to guys once you’ve seen one suit you have seem them all, but for women getting dressed for public appearances can be a monumental task requiring the endurance of a dressing room marathon and the luck of the shopping Goddess to shine upon you—not to mention the pressure we have for that all important good hair day!

Dream Big is available at Amazon in both Kindle and Paperback

Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

Book Writing Business Dream Big Making a Difference   , ,   no comments

I have been asked more times than I can count lately why in the world I would ever sell Femail Creations.  Having spent the better part of fifteen years building up a business with my heart     and soul, how could I ever sell it and move on?

“To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it.” –  Mother Teresa

My mission and passion haven’t changed—to inspire and make a difference.  However, I have learned, as Mother Teresa says,  I must keep putting oil in my lamp.  In order to teach women how to put oil in their lamps I have to pay attention to my own flashing low oil indicator light.

As excerpted from my new book Oil For Your Lamp

“Over the last forty years, research studies have shown that women’s overall level of happiness has dropped.  This decline in happiness has no connection to whether or not we have kids, how healthy we are, what career we choose, what our income is, how old we are, or whether we are single or divorced.  The bottom line is: Women are loosing ground on the happiness scale. I think it’s because we are out of oil.

Over the years as my dream of empowering and inspiring women and girls expanded and grew, and so too did the time and energy required to fulfill that dream.  As many entrepreneurs can relate, the “start up years” last far longer than can be imagined.  I have joked that owning your own business means you can set your own hours—yep, you get to pick any 18 hours a day you want to work!

Rarely did I ever take a real day off.  Even when I took a “vacation” the laptop, cell phone and work came with me.  As the owner of the company I was never off duty.  After almost a decade like this true exhaustion set in and health challenges were mounting.  My body started refusing to comply with this inhumane schedule.

I wish I could report to you that as soon as my body spoke up, I listened. I want to tell you I wised up and started to take better care of myself.  But that would be a lie.  I am ashamed to admit while I was telling other women to nurture themselves, I was spreading myself far too thin.

The passion to help other women was stronger than the call to help myself and I unwisely started another business.  Yet even with the best infrastructure in place and devoting endless hours to the new business it became a financial and emotional bottomless pit. It had finally depleted every once of energy I had left.  It was a wake up call for me.

We all have to start with ourselves.  It was time to walk my talk.  I had to get serious about putting oil into my very depleted lamp.  I began a journey of making very difficult decisions.  I started removing things from my life that were not filing up my cup and adding things that brought joy back into my life.  Some changes were sweeping, other changes were small. I started cooking again and I started writing more books, something I rarely had time for with my old work schedule.  I tended to my garden, weeding out the draining things, and planting more of the things that replenished my spirit.

It wasn’t easy for me to admit how far off track I had gotten.  After all it was my mission in life to inspire and empower other women, and here I was failing at that for myself.   However, the gift of burn out, and a soul crying out for OIL, finally snapped even me out of it.”


To purchase your copy of Oil For Your Lamp visit

Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

Balance Blog Book Writing Business   , , ,   1 comment

Funny as it sounds, I’m a big believer in the power of procrastination. I used to spend a lot of time agonizing over projects I was dreading. That alone was a waste of time. Now, when I don’t feel like looking at spreadsheets or some other less appealing part of my business, I throw myself into something else as mundane as cleaning out a closet. Some of my most productive moments happen when I’m in procrastination mode. You would be amazed at how much you can get done when you are trying to avoid doing something else.

Next time you have a project that you are dreading move on to something else you have been putting off.  If you have been thinking about organizing the spice cupboard in your kitchen for months but never seem to have the time, move that to the top of your list when you are trying to procrastinate doing your quarterly taxes.  Then get your quarterly taxes done when you are procrastinating scheduling your annual pap smear.  See how effective this method is!  Eventually everything gets done because there is always something worse than the next thing!

Just when you think that spreadsheet is looking bad there is always a root canal waiting around the corner!  Ah, the power of procrastination!

Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

Balance Business   ,   1 comment