Working Moms Inspiration from Oprah's O You!
“ Your attitude will determine your altitude.”
—Samantha Ettus
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  • What to Know About Turning 40

    by Samantha Ettus

    At every age, I have been a bit proud of the year under my belt. But this one is different. My 40th birthday arrives this week and I have become a wreck. I want a party. I don’t want a party. I am sad. I am hysterical. I have everything I have always wanted. I just want to crawl under the covers.

    I am often accused of being that woman – the one that appears to have it all together. Whose Facebook page looks like a highlight reel, whose kids look at the camera in synch for the holiday photo, but at the end of the day, we are all busy fighting our own struggles and assuming others’ don’t exist. And I find that working moms especially, worry in silos. We don’t think we have more on Forbes…


    A Personal Story, Told Twice

    by Samantha Ettus

    How are you telling your stories? If you told me yours, I could take it and retell it to you – in the positive and the negative. Here is a story of mine. I will tell it to you twice.

    “I spent my childhood as a nationally ranked junior tennis player which made for some very abnormal early years. This led me to be an outcast. I never really fit in anywhere. I was either the tennis player at school or the academic city kid in the tennis world. No matter where I was I felt uneasy and I was treated differently. This followed me to college where no matter how hard I tried, I never quite fit in with any group. And in adulthood, it has been the same. I have a disparate group of friends but no real group I am connected to. Whether it is the moms at school, the workplace or childhood friends I never feel at home in any group. This makes me feel like an outsider.”

    Now all stories can be told positively or negatively. So let’s unravel that story and tell it in a positive more on Forbes…


    XOXO, Cheers and Best: 6 Steps to Signing Off

    Hancock's signature as it appears on the engro...

    by Samantha Ettus

    Tennis players have the serve. Basketball players have the foul shot. In business we have the email signature, our chance to score a point without interference from others. Unlike a conversation or an email response, we control our signature regardless of who is on the other side of the court, so let’s perfect it.

    A few rules to sign by:

    1. Always include a signature when you initiate an email or respond to an email for the first time. To not do so would be to miss another opportunity to make yourself memorable. If you are in a long email chain, no need to continue to insert your signature in each response.

    3. Do include your full name, phone number, email address and yes, your Twitter handle and website in more on Forbes…



    Living in the Sunshine State: Four Steps to Positivity

    Image via Wikipediaby Samantha Ettus

    I had a friend who, when asked at a party what she did for a living, would consistently respond, “You don’t want to know. It’s really boring.” The polite person would invariably feel obligated to press on, prompting my friend to answer, “I work in accounting. And I hate it.” In less than 30 seconds, my friend had killed any chance of this person being part of her professional network, and, even socially, her negativity left her on thin ice.

    My friend’s inaccessibility contributed to a self-fulfilling cycle, one that prevented positive, ambitious people from wanting to connect with her. And where do you think this person is today? 14 years later she remains in the same job at the same company. Her negative attitude had repelled any potential opportunities that might come her way.

    Regardless of how closely you identify with this example, like the rest of us, you could shine more by climbing up the positivity ladder. Here are some basic rules to increase your rank on the sunny scale:

    1. Smile as often as possible
    It is proven that smiling is contagious and, in the workplace, optimism even increases sales. So you too will benefit from the associated boost that a smile offers.

    2. Say yes
    When you are inclined to say yes, you open yourself up to new opportunities. Meeting new people, expanding your network, exposing yourself to new ideas – the rewards come in spades. More on Forbes…


    You Earned It, Now Own It: Self-Promotion for Women

    Image via Wikipediaby Samantha Ettus

    As women we are taught not to brag and to downplay our successes, while men are encouraged in the opposite direction. Yet every day we are thrown onto a playing field with men – in negotiations, in the office, and in our own living rooms – and the huge disparity in perceived value created by our cultural norms places women at a significant disadvantage. Put simply, we need to start bragging.

    Still, for women, bragging must be approached with caution. In fact, better to think of it as projecting and sharing your accomplishments than the boastful bravado more typical of men. The goal is to subtly reveal your strengths in a way that draws people to you.

    In a previous post, I talked about the first ingredient – confidence. Now that you are standing tall, let’s talk about how you can “brag” effectively.

    Scenario 1: On your way to dinner with friends, you receive a call informing you that you won an award at work for your annual sales volume. Though you’re bubbling with pride, when your friends ask you what’s new you say, “nothing much.”

    Wrong move. More on Forbes…