Writer’s Block, Holidaze, Play it Forward

I have Writer’s Block.  I think it may be the time of year.  As a person that blogs for a super fabulous amazing toy review company people mistakenly believe I am the expert at picking toys.  Confession time: I have given many dud gifts.  Especially to my kids.  I don’t know if I test out theories on them, or sometimes buy things I want instead of seeing it from their perspective.  Either way I, like many of you, have a closet full of toys waiting to be played with.

At the same time, I also am finding it extraordinarily difficult not to get carried away in the gift giving department. I have my kids, three nephews, 4 teachers, 2 Sunday school teachers, doctors, volunteer organizers, a zillion service people (trust me I need lots of help!), babysitters, and a menorah in a pear tree.  Every time I think I am finished, another person I’ve left out pops into my head, that I would feel remiss if I missed.  I already told my siblings that next year there will be no gifts…their kids can pick a charity and we will support them.  Just writing all of these gift receivers down is exhausting me and my wallet.

All of this holiday hooplah has led to some heavy procrastination. While not so aimlessly surfing the net I cam across a really interesting article* in inc. magazine. Since I know you probably don’t have time to be quite so lackadaisical I want to share with you what some very cool entrepreneurs are doing in the Chicago area to help each others businesses grow.

After struggling to grow her own business Genevieve Thiers (http://www.sittercity.com/) has found a way to support other women in business. At her office she has set up an incubator for businesses that are ready to grow out of their homes, but not quite into their own spaces yet. She provides private cubicles, desks, a conference room and a library for free, and has room for up to 7 companies at any one time.  Her one stipulation is that these companies must be women-owned.

What I love about this concept is that women are helping women. Moms are helping moms. Companies are helping companies to grow and be better.  They are sharing resources and ideas to support each other and their businesses.  It has led me to question the ways in which I actively show my kids the importance of working together to grow into something better, while leaving competition behind.  How am I using the gift of being a professional volunteer to teach my own kids to pay it forward?  I have certainly not been doing that while running around buying gifts for every Tom, Dick and Jane in my life.  How are you teaching your kids?  As the holidays get closer I am looking forward to working on projects with my family to pay it forward in our own way. Stay tuned!

*This article is from March 2010, if you have any updates on these companies I would love to learn more!  And if you are interested in reading more about Genevieve Thiers and the entire article go here: http://www.inc.com/donna-fenn/an-incubator-of-her-own.html