Starting Businesses as an Encore for Women

Exploring entrepreneurship as an option for women in later life.

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Today’s Wall Street Journal Covers Slash Careers


Today’s Wall Street Journal has a nice feature on slash careers, written by Toddi Gutner. It includes the stories of two people from the book — Dan Milstein (computer programmer/theater director) and Karl Hampe (consultant/cartoonist) — and has a nifty slide show with photos of Dan and Karl.

I know it’s been a little quiet over here at heymarci.com. All my blogging energy is going to Shifting Careers at the New York Times. There’s plenty of slash talk over there (as well as daily postings about other ways to think smart about our careers), so if you’re not reading it, please do visit and sign up for the RSS feed.

Also, if you’re interested in being part of a greater community of slash types, join the “slash careers” group on Facebook.

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My New Blog at the New York Times

Big news about my blogging. Since last week, I’ve been blogging for The New York Times (that’s why it’s been so quiet over here!). The blog is called Shifting Careers, and it will be the daily complement to my twice-monthly Shifting Careers column. (If you haven’t been keeping up with the column, you can read all the past ones here.) I’m posting almost daily to the blog, so be sure to subscribe to the blog’s feed here to stay current.

While I get up to speed on the NYT blog, Heymarci will go a little quiet. But I expect to begin posting again soon, with a slightly different focus. So stay tuned, and keep it on your feed if you subscribe.

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Worklifeblur – NYT.com

I started writing this column while spending the weekend at the Jersey Shore where my mom has a home, and where, for most of my childhood life, work and life blurred together. My parents, who owned a series of beachfront motels while I was growing up, made little effort to separate work and life.

If we went out for dinner, we always stopped by the motel on the way home. On these visits, I sat in the car, listening to the radio or dozing, wondering what was keeping them. Sometimes my mom waited with me while my dad went inside. After my dad passed away and my mom took over the business, she was the one going inside.

When I finally joined her a few times, I realized why she stayed there so long. She enjoyed talking to the night clerk and whoever else was hanging around. They chatted about mundane news and local gossip: a guest disliked the room and wanted a refund; a family had driven all the way down to the shore only to learn of a crisis that required them to turn around; a crowd of drunken promgoers had ransacked the motel next door; the local convenience store now stocked vanilla-flavored coffee. These moments were more than merely catching up on business. My parents were checking in on another child, something they had built, nurtured and loved.

Click this sentence to read the rest of my NYT.com column, “Blurring by Choice and Passion.”

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Self-promotion, revisited

In today’s Shifting Careers column at NYT.com I revisited the always-popular terrain of self-promotion, with a specific focus on introverts, who tend to have an even more difficult time than most tooting their own horns.

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Blogging to Career Change (NYT.com)

This week’s Shifting Careers column online at The New York Times, Blogging Your Way Into a Business, is about using blogs to build a business or make a career change. I wrote this piece because I was tired of reading stories about how blogs can harm one’s career — and while I know that blogs can do damage, they are also one of the easiest, most-effective ways to test out an idea, get a business off the ground, or build a following in your niche.

Jeremy Blachman, one of the bloggers I profiled, wrote a great piece (available through Times Select) for the Times about why employees blogging about their is good for the public good. It was a bit off-topic for the column, but it’s relevant to the whole “are blogs good for your career?” conversation.

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My Q & A with Herminia Ibarra (NYTimes.com)


For today’s Shifting Careers column at NYT.com I got a chance to interview Herminia Ibarra, author of Working Identity, my all-time favorite book about careers. Ibarra, who has spent the past several years working in France had interesting insights about European vs. Americans attitudes towards work/leisure/unplugging.

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Entrepreneurship, with a twist (NYT.com)


Today, my Shifting Careers column for the New York Times covers three new books on entrepreneurship, each focusing on a different niche. I’m partial to books that describe types of workplace breeds, so it’s not surprising these books — one about “Grindhoppers,” one about “anti 9-to5 women,” and one about “parentpreneurs” — appealed to me.
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Questions from the recent grads (NYT.com)


Today my Shifting Careers column for The New York Times is a roundtable with questions from recent college wandering through what I call “the decade of drift.”

You can read it here:
“Young, Confused and in Need of Coaching”

If you happen to be one of those wanderers, or happen to live with any, work with any, or just care about understanding this period of life as it is lived today, make sure to read The Quarterlife Crisis by Abby Wilner and Alexandra Robbins and The Quarterlifer’s Companion, a follow-up book by Wilner and Cathy Stocker (with a very long subtitle I’ve left out.) These folks have also started an online community with some nifty resources (job listings, info on health insurance, links to online dating sites.)

In other Monday news, Penelope Trunk just linked to my blog in a post about using slashes on business cards. Her writings on “braided lives” will be interesting for anyone already on the slash bandwagon.

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Is self-promotion a women’s problem?


The avalanche of emails responding to my Shifting Careers column on self-promotion continues. When I wrote that column, I didn’t think self-promotion was a women’s issue and I know that many men — and many folks who were just raised to think being humble is good manners — also have a problem with it. But a lot of the experts and commentators believe that women have a harder time with it than men.

Lisa Cullen, Time.com’s workplace blogger (the unidentified friend who called me a “master of self-promotion”), blogged about my column. For her, it all came down to the estrogen factor. Read what she has to say here.

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