Posts tagged ‘entrepreneur’

March 30, 2014

This Little Girl Means I’m Doing Something Right

by Kate W. Hall

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I spend half of my time worrying that I’m a terrible parent and the other half exhausted from the daily trappings of parenting.

Shit. I just typed “trappings.” No good mom would consider child-rearing duties as such. All of this work is a labor of love, right?

Bad, bad mama.

Today though, I won at parenting. No, not because I schlepped my soon-to-be-seven year-old to the overpriced, wonderful American Girl Doll store. . .because we shared an experience that will forever tie us.

We dined over chicken tenders and salmon (I wanted those tenders though don’t you ever doubt it.) As her baby doll sat between us, her tiny plastic teacup waiting patiently for an imaginary tint plastic teapot, she said, “Mama, this is my best birthday ever.”

She barely touched her lunch and the store was far too massive and overwhelming for her, but she knew what her birthday wish was–“just a few clothes for her dolly.”

“I don’t need a new dolly mama, just a few new things for her. Thank you for bringing me here.” She could care less about the quantity of her birthday booty; she’s quite content with a few items.

We hold hands.

And I know that I’m saying yes to all the right things and that, for this one day, I am hers. She is mine.

She looks up at me in awe as I hold tiny little branded boxes between grandmas and moms and girls who, too have probably been waiting FOREVER to get here. She loves her dolls and the tiny, soon-to-be-lost-in-transit accessories and our time together, and I love her to the moon and back. This is my freedom.
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September 26, 2013

Give ‘Em What They Never Knew . . .

by Kate W. Hall

In an early conversation with a friend in 2007, when I described my vision for Richmondmom.com, she somewhat-protectively said, “I think that’s already being done.”

But it really wasn’t, not the way I wanted to do it.

You see, I had to create what I felt passionate about–a blog that didn’t yet exist but that was something I thought readers would want.

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Selling my blog to one of my clients (who are carrying the torch well!) five years later with over 200,000 annual readers & dozens of advertisers was bittersweet but necessary for me personally. I’d fulfilled my mission & wanted to focus on my other creative bent, my Richmond Rocks children’s books and other pursuits.*

After all, I’d likely never had pursued publishing Richmond Rocks & The Spooky Sequel had I not built a platform that created the perfect birthplace for my books.

That desire to create is what fuels my flame, because most of us don’t even really know what it is that we want until someone brings it to us.

*Oh yes, I have a full-time job, three kids, two houses (we’re hoping to whittle that to one when the market swings back!) & one husband.

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September 22, 2013

Over the Edge

by Kate W. Hall

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The last three years I rappelled down twenty-four stories for an amazing fundraiser for the Special Olympics called Over the Edge. You see me smiling in the poster above because I am on the descent in that shot: letting go is the toughest part.

Literally I was asked to “lean back” into thin air, and even though I was roped to the hilt it was a bit frightening to put all my trust in being tethered to the roof of the massive SunTrust building.

All three times, I landed safely on the sidewalk below after taking in one of the breathtaking scenes of Richmond.

Like life–only maybe a teensy bit scarier from atop a city skyline roof–taking chances is simultaneously frightening and thrilling.

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*if you ever get the chance to do this, please do–great organization & experience.

September 9, 2013

Four Business Approaches I Learned from Dexter

by Kate W. Hall

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I’m still learning every day, and one of my mentors is an unlikely source: Dexter Morgan*, my favorite Sunday night television companion:

1) Be Focused. As in, don’t let anything detract from your goal.

2) Listen Intently. Every I interaction, very clue, can help you in some way, even if it doesn’t materialize until much later.

3) Have a sense of humor. Whatever your goal, have a little fun doing it.

4) Find your niche. We can’t try to be the jack-of-all-trades, being known for something, if its a positive trait–is a good thing.

*This post in no way encourages murder, even of serial killers. Just having a bit of fun here.

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June 4, 2013

Excitement

by Kate W. Hall

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Watching my son at a Richmond Squirrels game last Friday was a treat. This is a kid who is Minecraft-obsessed and hard-pressed to leave the creature-comforts of home, so to see him at a local minor-league baseball game touting logos & cheering was a fan to my fire.

What gets us excited about anything? It’s so easy to fall into the everyday/comfort/routine of home that it’s often hard to break out into a world of the unknown (potentially in-fun). But it can surprise us, too.

Breaking out of my role of CEO of the blog I created, Richmondmom.com has been tough yet I’m excited about the possibilities. Even when great friends/cheerleaders continue to share accolades I’m not sure I deserve I know it’s right for me.

After five plus years at the helm it’s time for something new & I’m thrilled that the new owners have some fire behind their excitement for “my baby.”

Sometimes we all need to break out I our comfort zone for the unknown, which may often be more thrilling than we expect. . .

May 22, 2013

Life After Entrepreneurship

by Kate W. Hall

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I found this under my pillow the other night, a sweet hand-scrawled sentiment from my sweet six year-old.

Step back to a couple of weeks ago, after just closing the sale of my blog I had kissed her head before walking out the door to an event while transitioning the sale.

“Mama,” she asked while looking at me with her ridiculously-sweet baby blues, “why are you leaving again?”

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I knew the draw to get back to my writing roots–closer to my babies who are no longer babies–away from being the owner of a busy online magazine/blog, mom of three and full-time corporate girl was right for me.

Creativity has many forms and mine is morphing. Adventures to follow.

April 30, 2013

Think Big(ger)

by Kate W. Hall

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Why not push yourself beyond what you imagined? We–or should I say I because I couldn’t afford to build a team then–started with a handful of readers five years ago. Richmondmom.com will reach over 200,000 unique visitors this year.

How?

Listening to readers through daily interactions via social media.

Providing unique & high-quality content.

Interacting & having fun with our clients/partners/non-profits.

Doing good in the community & giving back.

What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

October 30, 2012

Why it’s Ridiculous to Be Someone Else

by Kate W. Hall

20121030-230450.jpg I post things like this all the time in our Facebook group.

I love humor and find it as necessary as the basic elements to feed me. Is this something that comes naturally to me? Bingo. Does it help my brand? Without a doubt.

It’s so critical to be ourselves no matter what we do, no matter what “conventional” wisdom tells us.

Creating posts, content & ads like everyone else is ho-hum & wont attract readership, nor is it any fun.

So please, if you stop by, let’s talk this through, and bring some fine wine, too please?

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October 28, 2012

Congrats! You’ve Arrived (At The Middle)

by Kate W. Hall

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Last Wednesday I was given the honor of being named one of Richmond’s Top 40 Under 40 by Style Magazine. Listening to the accomplishments of the thirty-nine others in my class I was humbled at my blogging and charitable efforts compared to their “roll-your-sleeves-up” hands-on community activism.

Sharing this observation with my manager at Capital One the next day, his response to me was simply: “the pen is mightier than the sword.” Could it be that our team’s endless clacking behind the keyboard is as valuable as planting a garden to feed the hungry?

Debatable, but great food for thought.

The true food for thought was the celebration in the moment, surrounded by my husband, mom, dear friends, brother and one of my sisters.

It was then that I realized that I had arrived at the middle.

20121028-093229.jpgWith Scott Blackwell, former manager, mentor & friend.

The five years of building the brand are behind me; the days of working bell-to-bell less frequent (yet not unheard of.) Now, with a team to support the mission, I am fortunate to have the much-appreciated arms and legs.

Our advertisers are valued partners; we work hard to make sure their investment is maximized and that their visibility is paramount. Our charitable efforts are a vital thread in our offering to Richmond; it keeps us grounded. The readers who inspire us to create new categories/content/contests: they’re just the best.

Yet, with an entrepreneurial-fed lust for innovation, I find myself leading this team through the middle of our journey to excellence. It’s a gift to reflect on the road behind (and to celebrate it, no less) and a dreamer’s dream to imagine what more the future holds.

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September 25, 2012

Why Do It? Selling Bodies By The Hour, of Course.

by Kate W. Hall

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Well, there are sometimes we just do it for the scenery, as in when we emcee the annual Pink Tie Gala Bachelor Auction.

I love it when being a blogger meets being charitable meets meeting über-cool people like Susan Groves who heads up this amazing Pink Tie Gala enterprise for Susan G. Komen each year.

It’s a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it.

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