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Not Strictly Speaking...

Starting a Business? Talk To Your Family First

Posted By Lisa Regan on 06/24/2013

Starting a business is an all-consuming process. For a while—and let's be honest, that "while" is likely to be years—you are going to be completely, totally absorbed by your company and its stresses and demands. So, how can you make starting a business compatible with your other completely absorbing concern—your family?

It's not going to be easy. But there are strategies you can use to prepare your loved ones for your unavailability, and to give them the sense that they can still access you if they need to. In short, you can psychologically prepare your family. Here are a few tips from experts on setting expectations and establishing boundaries, including some wisdom from our own Srikumar Rao:

”There are times when entrepreneurs feel terrified, when the world seems to be collapsing around them and they wonder why they made that horrible mistake. There are other times when they feel invincible and all powerful sure that they are exactly where they are supposed to be. The trick is to smooth these cycles and especially not to get into the deep trough. And, never to share this with spouses who could lose their own moorings. I don’t believe it is a good idea to share unreservedly with partners. There are some roads you have to travel alone. The best way to prepare loved ones is to let them know that you will be there for them at times of crisis but may not be there for things short of that.”

Starting a business, or stressed at work? Book Srikumar to help you manage your emotions, and your schedule:

See Us on Varney & Co.

Posted By Lisa Regan on 06/18/2013

Here's our CEO Ian Shea on Fox's Varney & Co. this week talking about our company. In the interview, he explains how we help experts reframe what they do to be relatable for the general public; how we help our experts think through pricing; and how we help our experts take their reach from local to national (or even global). It's a quick, pithy, informative interview. Please check it out!

The Arrival of the Sharing Economy

Posted By Lisa Regan on 06/10/2013

There was much news out of the LeWeb '13 conference in London this month that particularly interested us, given that the conference's focus was the Sharing Economy. Maestro Market participates in the Sharing Economy -- that is, we allow people to sell their excess capacity, their expertise, in ways that otherwise would not be possible, or would come with major barriers to entry. LeWeb is Europe's largest tech conference; that the Sharing Economy was its major focus for the London event means that what was at first marginalized as a fad Internet experiment has truly arrived.

Summarizing LeWeb's founder Loïc Le Meur, TechCityInsider writes that, "The sharing economy has been spurred to the forefront by a world in recession, said Le Meur, with too much waste, too much stuff to consume, and bigger homes – at the same time as a mobile and social revolution is transforming the way people learn and consume."

For a couple of interesting responses to the conference, check out Francine Hardaway in Fast Company with a warning to business and advertisers not to ignore this movement. And, on the flip side, a piece in Techcrunch on the ways big businesses are trying to leverage this economy.

What Would You Ask?

Posted By Lisa Regan on 06/03/2013

We have amazing experts on our site. Why be modest—we know we do. But we want to bring new people on board, and we want these to be the people you want to talk to. We started by sending out emails to our friends, and asking them a couple of questions: What do you want to know, and to whom would you like to speak? I'll tell you a little about what we've been hearing—and then I'm going to ask you to answer those same questions yourself.

Here's some of what we've got so far. Our head of Product wants to talk to a San Francisco expert who knows everything about private and public education in the city—and also to Sheryl Sandberg and Hillary Clinton. A friend of hers wants advice on managing a freelance business (taxes, accounting), and also to talk to Seth Godin. I've got a friend who wants to talk to Ira Flatow from NPR's Science Friday, and another who seems very much concerned with bacteria. I myself want to understand my health insurance options, both now and when the new health care law goes into full effect next year. And I want to talk to Penelope Trunk.

Some of these needs are already represented on our site. Some are people we are going to go out and find. Some are, frankly, dreams. But we're ready to make a big push to get on board anyone and everyone you would want to talk to. So, it's my time to ask you: who do you want to talk to? And, what do you want to know about? Email me:

I can't wait to hear what you've got in mind.

Claudia Chan on How Minority Women Can Lean In

Posted By Lisa Regan on 05/31/2013

Claudia Chan recently published a set of tips for minority women on Leaning In, and I wanted to flag them for you to look at, as this is a conversation that takes place all too infrequently. To read Claudia's fill piece, head here. Let me fill you in on a couple of the highlights:

"In her book, Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg talks about seeking and speaking your truth at work. For those who grow up in close-knit families of recent immigrants, this can take on even more significance. As the daughter of Chinese immigrants, I understand how strong cultural expectations from family and communities can be for women of color. But, the truth is, we all have to summon the strength to identify and pursue our own passion in our career and life, even if it isn’t what our parents or friends would choose for us."

And far from recommending a "grin and bear it" approach, she talks about the strength women of color bring to their companies, and the importance of their voices: "Find the courage to speak up for diversity initiatives and to take initiative in planning events and programs that address the needs of minorities at your company. Importing and driving change inside corporations is just as significant as doing it in the broader society and world."

For more of Claudia's thoughts, read the whole piece. And then, book her for a one-on-one conversation through our platform: