My Media Breakthrough
I am really excited about this opportunity to represent Mojo Moms everywhere on the national stage. I'll be bringing my perspective to a discussion about "Women Who Opt Out" of the workforce and what happens next. My goal is to breathe some fresh air into this topic with my ideas about identity, career reinvention, and mothers making a difference whether or not they are in the paid workforce.
The discussion is scheduled to include Leslie Bennetts, author of The Feminine Mistake, and my blogging about her book is what drew The Today Show's attention to my work. Fortunately the panel will be rounded out by Lisa Belkin, author of the original "Opt-Out Revolution" article, and Today Show regular contributor, psychologist Gail Saltz.
This is an interesting group and I have been thinking about what distinguishes my Mojo Mom perspective. Three main qualities jumped out: First, I truly represent Gen X and newer Moms among a panel of established Boomers in this discussion. Second, although Lisa Belkin's Opt-Out concept has been criticized for representing a small sliver of women, I am a member of that precise demographic, so if they want to talk about that group I can speak from experience. I hope to broaden the topic to connect to the needs of all Moms. And third, I am much more of a media outsider, working my way up as an independent author.
When I approached agents and publishers with the book proposal for Mojo Mom, the uniform response I received was "This sounds like a good idea, but it's a crowded market and you don't have a platform." Translation: I wasn't famous enough. So rather than giving up, I created MojoMom.com independently, published the book independently, landed a national distributor, and hired a publicist. I like to think that this entrepreneurial spirit represents Gen X at its best. I came of age in Silicon Valley in the 1990's. By the end of the decade, everyone and their brother had a startup, so it didn't intimidate me that much to launch my own company. Desktop technology allows me to publish my blog, create & distribute the Mojo Mom Party Kit, and produce my podcast. I have kept writing and publishing as I built my "platform" one plank at a time.
After receiving the call from The Today Show, my first reaction was to email my colleagues at MomsRising.org and Mothers & More to ask them to help me gather the most relevant statistics to arm myself with. This was a useful exercise, but I soon realized that I have been preparing for this moment for years now. I know who I am and what my message is. This is like a final exam in being myself.
My friend Meghan Gosk, whom I interviewed in Mojo Mom about her family-work-life path, will be coming to New York with me. We've been friends since our children were in baby and toddler playgroup together and our friendship has grown to include my book, joint activism, and a year together in our Mojo Advisory Circle that focuses on business development.
And finally, as I come up on my 300th Mojo Mom blog posting, I want to thank all of you who are reading this for joining me on this journey. I've written the equivalent of a second book on this blog, and I enjoy our timely and interactive discussions even more than book publishing. Keep reading the blog and listening to the podcast--and please send some mojo my way on Saturday. I promise I'll do my best to make you all proud.