Mom, Incorporated Wins the Gold

No, this isn’t news of Olympic wins – although for us, it is pretty darn close!

The influential publishing world magazine and website Foreword has selected our book – Mom, Incorporated – as the Gold Book of the Year Award (BOTYA) winner for 2011 in the category of Career. We’re over the moon thrilled. This recognition was unexpected and incredibly validating of the long, hard work we put into the book content. We are grateful.

Ask any serious author and they will tell you that they pour their hearts and souls into each book they write, and for us, Mom, Incorporated was just that – filled with our own stories and the stories of many other women, all from the heart, honest and revealing. We worked hard to make sure that the more technical chapters – like the ones about finances and taxation for new businesses – had personality and soul so they were more compelling to read. (No easy task!)

We’ve heard from many of our readers that our book is not only inspiring them but that they keep it right at their desk and refer to it frequently. This is incredible for us to hear because it is what we set out to do and only dreamed would happen. We wanted to create a holistic, realistic guide to starting and growing a business from home with a baby or kids in your midst that would become an indispensable resource for women. And by adding the stories of dozens and dozens of moms across the country with thriving home-based businesses, we also set out to make our book more timeless and lasting.

We’d love your support getting the word about about Mom, Incorporated. We want to help more women with their dreams of starting a business from home. Here’s how you can help: Click here to tweet out a message. Or share our Facebook Page or posts with your friends. And if you haven’t picked up our book yet, you can do that here!

Thank you to everyone who has supported our book so far! We look forward to meeting more of you in the near future.

Mom Incorporated donates to Operation Shower

We have told you how incredibly proud we are of Mom, Incorporated.  Even more so when we are able to use this book to accomplish something good.

It has been a beautiful experience to hear how women have been moved by something within the 192 pages…. to start something of their very own, to push past a current challenge, to make it through the ‘hard stuff’ like accounting and business licensing – or even, to embrace the idea of a family/business juggle, instead of that elusive balance.

But for us – the notion that Mom, Incorporatedcan go even beyond that to ‘give back’ is even more special.  In November, on one specific day, we committed a portion of all sales of our book on Amazon to an organization we both

First Lady, Michelle Obama, Martha Stewart and Dr. Jill Biden at Operation Shower at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina

find inspiring: Operation Shower.  You buy Mom, Incorporated, we donate to Operation Shower.

Operation Shower provides beautiful baby showers for military moms-to-be who have husbands serving overseas.  This amazing non-profit is based in St. Louis as I am, so I am delighted to say, I’ve had the pleasure of working with them for the past few years.  Their showers have grown from ‘showers-in-a-box’ delivered to the new mom to full scale events held on military bases all over the country.  I most recently attended one late this summer at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina attended by a few dozen expectant Marine Corps wives, as well as the First Lady, Michelle Obama, Dr. Jill Biden and Martha Stewart.  The gratitude on the faces of these new moms as they were gifted their ‘showers in a box’ and ‘showered’ with love was beyond compare.

With Aliza’s dad being former military – the decision to support Operation Shower was an easy one.  We both feel strongly about the good they are doing on a daily basis.

Aliza and I are thrilled to announce, based on your purchases of our book that special day in November, we will be giving Operation Shower a check for $400.

Thank you for supporting us, for supporting Mom, Incorporated and for supporting Operation Shower.  We are so very grateful.

Buy Mom, Incorporated TODAY on Amazon to benefit Operation Shower

“Give Good, Get Good” isn’t just a professional motto for me – it is how I choose to live.  And Aliza lives much the same way.  For us, so much about writing this book was about helping Moms to live out their passions, generate income for their families AND still feel complete in their role as a mother.So, it was natural for us to figure out a way Mom, Incorporated might give in additional ways.  And, by jove….we landed on the perfect idea for us.

First Lady, Michelle Obama, Dr. Jill Biden & Martha Stewart at Operation Shower in North Carolina

Today, on November 1st, we will donate one dollar ($1) to Operation Shower  for every book purchased via Amazon. Operation Shower is an organization that supports military families by providing joyful baby showers for military moms who have husbands serving overseas, thereby easing the burden of deployment.  Since 2007, Operation Shower has grown from a few boxes delivered to individual moms to full-blown showers on military bases around the country for hundreds of moms-to-be. Danielle has been working with Operation Shower for more than three years now. Most recently, emceeing a Shower at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina that was attended by First Lady, Michelle Obama, Dr. Jill Biden and Martha Stewart. And Aliza? Well, her dad is former military, so this is a cause that is extremely important to us.Won’t you help us spread the word?If you are so inclined…. will you tell a friend, share a tweet or even buy a copy of Mom, Incorporated for a Mom you know?Sample Tweets

  • Today is the day: Purchase @momincbook on @Amazon & $1 from each sale will go to @operationshower
  • Today all purchases of @momincbook benefit our military via @operationshower $1 from each book will be donated! 
  • Help @momincbook support the military: $1 from each book purchased today 11/1 will benefit @OperationShower

Thank you, for the love and support you have shown us as we have spread the word about Mom, Incorporated and our love of moms in business.

Gina Alagata, Women Inkorporated

Gina Alagata, Women Inkorporated

Gina Alagata of Wink, a women-only networking company, is co-hosting Aliza and Danielle’s book tour on Tuesday, Nov. 1, at HeraHub in San Diego, CA.


Married to her husband Alden for 18 years, Gina is the mother of four: McKenna, 15; Hailey, 13; Paige, 11; and Joshua, 10. Gina has been leading peer groups of all sorts since she was 15 — from church groups to school and business organizations. Says she, “I love my life and have been incredibly blessed!

MomIncorporated: What inspired you to start Wink?
Gina: Great question! As an entrepreneur for more than 15 years, I have seen firsthand how women struggle in their confidence to build a business. I had been involved in both mixed and women-only networking groups in the past and found the women really could thrive in better in a women-only environment. Although I did not like public speaking I felt that God was calling me to be a Moses (in a sense) and help be a voice for these women to grow in business. I still get nervous when required to speak but have been blessed by the outpouring of response from these incredible women.

MomIncorporated: How long did it take to go from conception to up-and-running?
Gina: Five to six months of sleepless nights, writing all of my ideas down in my notebooks, testing out the concept and name with other women. I don’t know that I was fully ready to launch when I did. But a good friend said just to do it — the rest will figure itself out — and he was right. Again, the response has been amazing, exactly what women were looking for in business.

MomIncorporated: How did you fund it?
Gina: I funded everything from personal savings. That is something most people don’t realize: This is not a hobby; it is my job. I invested around $10,000 the first year in business and have not taken any money from investors. I’m very proud of that fact.

MomIncorporated: Why did you aim the group specifically at women?
Gina: Women tend to be more comfortable in a familiar setting. We have an instinctive gift to want to help others, and this environment helps women grow as slow or as fast as they want to. I have seen women come through my doors shaking like a leaf, barely able to share their name, and within a matter of months their confidence in who they are and what they do is a 180-degree turn. I love to be a part of that transition in their confidence, which usually turns into growth in their business.

MomIncorporated: What were some of your initial challenges, and how did you overcome them? 
Gina: Finding quality, committed leaders is most important to me. They are representing WINK to other women, so it takes a certain type of women to be able to do that. We are currently working on getting more media exposure on a local and, soon, national level as we prepare to go nationwide in 2012. Another challenge is trying to balance work and home life. I am never in full balance; some days are better than others, but I have a very loving, supportive family.

MomIncorporated: What makes Wink different from so many other networking groups popping up everywhere?
Gina: I wish you could ask all of the Winkettes (that is what we call ourselves) these questions. Here are some responses I have received from these women: Wink women are very friendly and take genuine interest in each others’ success. If you need something, including a job, the women step up and make it happen. We have seen new businesses open for some, a nonprofit started and revenue increases for women — some by as much as 25 percent to 67 percent in a year’s time. We strive to greet every woman that comes to our events and introduce her right away to other women in business. There is no drama with us, just compassionate, hard-working, dedicated women in business.

We offer opportunities for women to grow professionally through workshops and local events as well as personally by encouraging them to connect with other women. We also like to see that the women are sharing their knowledge and expertise with each other, business tips, how they are doing things, what worked/what didn’t and more. We offer speaking opportunities for the women as well as bringing in high-quality speakers they might not normally be able to connect with in business. I feel that no businesswoman, no matter how successful, is out of our league — so we strive to bring the best to them at an affordable price.

MomIncorporated: What are your top networking tips for entrepreneurs?

  1. Stick with what you love doing, and don’t give up no matter what others tell you.
  2. Be genuine in who you are and helping others grow; people can smell a fake a mile away.
  3. Be consistent. Don’t expect to attend an event one time and have your business explode. It takes consistency and getting to know others. I want to know someone will be around in the next six months or year, not some fly-by-night entrepreneur who has done it all but has nothing to show for it but burned bridges.
  4. Smile and be the first to reach out and welcome someone into your world. Drama mamas are a thing of the past; helping others up the ladder of success as we go is not only more fun, but then when we get to the top we have others there to enjoy it all with.

Felena Hanson, HeraHub

Felena Hanson of HeraHub

Felena Hanson of HeraHub, a co-working space for women, is our Mom Organizer for the Tuesday, Nov. 1, book event at HeraHub in San Diego, CA.


Mom Incorporated: What is Hera Hub?
Felena: Hera Hub is shared workspace for accomplished, like-minded entrepreneurial women.  It’s more professional than working from Starbucks, more focused than working from home, more collaborative than an executive suite, and more flexible and cost effective than full-time office space.  The concept boasts café-like co-working space for focused work, a community gathering area for ad-hoc collaboration, a modern conference room and private meeting rooms. Hera Hub offers scalable, month-to-month membership options for freelancers, independent consultants, entrepreneurs and authors.

Mom Incorporated: What inspired you to create HeraHub?
Felena: Hera Hub grew out of my personal need for flexible work, meeting and event space.  Pushed into entrepreneurship after being laid off from a marketing director position with a San Diego-based high-tech company in 2003, I launched a marketing strategy consulting firm, Perspective Marketing. Although it was convenient and cost-effective to work from home, it was also distracting and isolating.

I was turned on to the concept of co-working in 2008, when I hosted a networking event at San Diego’s first co-working space, the Hive Haus.  I began studying the model, visiting co-working spaces in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.  It took approximately 12 months from the time I decided to launch my space to the point where I completed my business plan, secured financing (which came from my personal savings and a loan from a close family member) and solidified my first location.

I operated in a temporary location for several months while the space was being remodeled. The official launch was August 15, 2011.  I set aside my marketing clients and veteran teaching position at a local college and now run the business full-time.  I’m proud to say that Hera Hub is a huge success. I already have more than 80 women-owned companies utilizing the space.

Mom Incorporated: Who was Hera?
Felena: Significant thought went into developing the name and logo.  I wanted a name that had meaning but wasn’t overtly feminine.  After hours of research I was drawn to the Greek goddesses for their significance and historical meaning.  In ancient times, Hera — Greek goddess of women — was revered as the only goddess who accompanied a woman through every step of her life, blessing and protecting her family and financial security.  Being Zeus’ wife, Hera represents the fullness of life and affirms that women can use their wisdom in the pursuit of any goal they choose.

Mom Incorporated: Why did you aim HeraHub specifically at women?
Felena: My experience running several professional women’s organizations led me to build a workspace dedicated to serving women.  I believe that women interact differently and are instinctively more collaborative in their approach to business.  I felt it was important to create a space for female entrepreneurs that is beautiful comfortable, feminine and professional.

Mom Incorporated: What lessons have you learned?
Felena: The commercial real estate process was much more complex and challenging than I ever imagined. I had two strikes against me — new business and new concept — and no one wanted to take a risk.  After six months and two failed lease negotiations, I’m happy to say that the third time really is a charm.  Through the help of my network and my tenacious broker, Misty Moore from Jones Lang LaSalle, I finally secured nearly 5,000 square feet in a very desirable location.  It was double the size and twice the risk, but I felt confident that the gamble would pay off.

Mom Incorporated: What advice do you have for entrepreneurial women?


  1. Be determined. Anything is possible — at least for those dedicated to making it happen.
  2. Be passionate. Nothing is worth doing if you don’t do it well.
  3. Be sincere. People see through right through you if you’re not.
  4. Trust your instinct. Your first reaction to something is always right.
  5. Take everything head on. Don’t be confrontational, but don’t avoid problems or challenges.
  6. Follow through. Your word is everything

Mom Incorporated: What are your plans for the future?
Felena: My vision for Hera Hub is to launch three locations in San Diego over the next few years and then package the concept (via a licensing agreement) for other markets across the United States.  My mission is to help well-connected women in other major cities launch a collaboration space for their community.  My goal is to have at least 40 additional Hera Hub locations across the U.S. by 2020.

Felena Hanson of HeraHub is the host of our book tour in San Diego on Nov. 1.