Monday, March 25, 2013

Why you shouldn't say "that's not my job!"

LInchpin by Seth Godin
Since I was 18, I´ve taken on gigs that I didn´t know for sure whether I could pull off, until I did. To this day, when an opportunity or challenge makes me slightly queasy because I can actually imagine failing at it, I know I need to say yes and take it on. That´s the fast track to know-how.  

And that´s how I take every single professional endeavor – as an opportunity for growth and learning. I don´t always learn my lessons from someone else. It´s often my own curiosity that pushes me to acquire new skills. It´s a kind of survival mechanism. If I don´t know how to do something, I will usually figure it out, or at least give it my best shot.

“That´s not my job,” kills more good opportunities than we know. I don´t say it. Here´s why: Because when you do what´s not “your job,” you learn someone else´s job. And guess what that does? It gives you a new skill …

Because I can do the job of every person on my team and do it well, when I have a request for them I know exactly what it entails and what to expect. Because I can step into their shoes at any time, I´m not scared that someone will get sick or even quit. I would not be left hanging, as I could stand in at a moment´s notice and the show would go on. I appreciate them all, mind you … more than they know perhaps (although I try to make it a point of expressing my gratitude daily), but it's a good feeling to know I've got my back! That's not to say I want to do it all, but it's certainly comforting knowing I'm able to. 

So, next time you think of saying: “that´s not my job,” reconsider. Being capable of doing the job of every one or most people in your team makes you invaluable. It also allows you to be a better manager when the time comes. Oh, not everyone will like you – as this knowledge may make you more demanding or have others look like slackers – but that’s going to happen anyway no matter what you do.

Recommended Reading: Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? By Seth Godin.

Lorraine C. Ladish is a bilingual published author, Editor in Chief of and proud mami of two girls. Follow her on Twitter: @LorraineCLadish

Saturday, March 9, 2013

As Editor in Chief of Mamiverse, I Owe it All to This Blog, Success Diaries

Lorraine C. Ladish, Editor in Chief of Mamiverse
When I started out this blog, it was to keep up my spirits during the bleakest of times. I also hoped it would help others try to uncover and celebrate the smallest of successes when facing tough moments in life. A year and a half ago, when I was asked to be managing editor at an online publication, I decided to stop posting to this blog. How would I juggle so many responsibilities?

Well, since my last post, lots more things have happened in my life. In July of 2012 I made a career move that took me back to, where I started out as a contributor in 2011. I returned as Editor in Chief, and I'm happy to say that 9 months later, I'm still as excited about it, or more, than when I came on board.

Lately, as I've been featured as a speaker in social media conferences, such as Latism, Hispanicize and BusinessWire, and recently invited to be a participant at the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, I've been thinking ... I should go back to blogging here. After all, this humble blog was where my conversion from print media to digital started. I had no idea what I was doing when I posted the first entry ... I hoped it would lead to something good. And it certainly did.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Marks the Beginning of a New Chapter

After running 13.1 miles. I did it!

My gratitude list for Thanksgiving is long this year! All the hard work, determination and persistence has paid off:

I ran the Women´s Half Marathon in St. Pete, FL. on Sunday November 20, and finished in 2.5 hours despite running it with an injury. It was one of the most emotional, satisfying and validating experiences in my life, and I’ve had a few …

I sold my book Diario del éxito (Success Diaries), based on my blog. It will be released in Spanish in 2012.

I became the Guide (writer and editor) of Consejos de mamá on, of the NY Times. The site is doing really well and I will continue to run it. 

I was contributing writer for Mamiverse, the online hub for Latina moms and their daughters and was able to write and publish in English articles that were heartfelt and reached and helped a lot of readers. I thank my editor Sylvia Martinez for being so easy to work with and so much fun to talk to. I will continue to support her and Rene Alegría, founder of Mamiverse. 

With Emilio Sánchez, at VOXXI
And, most recently (yesterday) I accepted the position as managing editor of the Women’s Lifestyle section on VOXXI, the Hispanic Voice of the 21st Century, leadered by Emilio Sánchez, former Bureau Chief of the news agency EFE in Miami. It is an exciting project in which I will design, create and manage the content for Latina women in English. I will also do my own writing. I could never give that up! I will give VOXXI my all, as I do with every challenge I take on, and I hope you will follow me there, as well as the writers and bloggers I will manage on that site.

I am very thankful to all of you who have followed this blog since the very beginning. It is time for me to close this (blogging) chapter of my life and career and invite you to join me on the next one at VOXXI. I will not have the time or energy to devote to writing on multiple sites, but my content on VOXXI will continue to be heartfelt and real. 

I am grateful, and I continue to write a gratitude list daily and suggest you do too. It’s been a trip -a difficult but rewarding one- and I know its not over. Not till the day I die.

Happy Thanksgiving!

If you enjoy this blog, follow me on Facebook or TwitterLorraine C. Ladish is the author of 16 books and an expert Latina mom, now also the managing editor of the Women´s Lifestyle section at VOXXI.

Friday, November 18, 2011

6 Principles for Success

Lorraine C. Ladish (left) with Mercedes Soler at CNN

Thanks to those of you who sent me tweets and messages during and after my apperance on CNN en español. On December 22 I will be back on the set to discuss more Latina mom issues.
In Spanglishbeauty I’ve listed the beauty products I used that day, and I’m grateful to all the brands that sent me their best treatments and makeup to help me look and feel radiant.
Following previous posts in which I state that perseverance breeds success as you understand it, I want to share a few tips that help me stay on track.    
  • Even when you don’t see results, keep on taking steps towards your goal.
  • If you think: “but nothing is happening”, relax! You don’t know what’s going on. You may have sent out a résumé months ago and they may be considering it today.
  • Everything worthwhile takes time. Even pregnancy is 9 months long. If it´s shorter, that´s not a good thing.
  • The more difficult life’s challenges, the better. If you overcome them, you will be much stronger than if it had all come easy.
  • When you reach your goals, don’t forget those who helped you along the way.  
  • Be grateful daily for every little good thing in your life, no matter how small.

If you enjoy this blog, follow me on Facebook or Twitter. Lorraine C. Ladish is the author of 16 books and an expert Latina mom

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Lorraine C. Ladish on CNN en Español

On Monday November 14, I will be, for the second time, on CNN en españolNotimujer, interviewed by Emmy-award winning journalist Mercedes Soler. The program is aired live, from 12 midday to 1 pm, Miami time.

The subject of the interview will be my book Volver a empezar (Starting Over) and finding love again when you are a divorced or separated mom.

Of course it is wonderful to be able to reach out to my readers through a TV network, especially because I know you follow me from different countries. Many of my readers are in Spain, Mexico and the U.S, but I also have readers in Argentina, Peru, Chile, Ecuador and Greece, and other places I´ve never been to.

The magic of the Internet is that through Consejos de mamá, Mamiverse, Diario del Éxito, Success Diaries and, more recently, SpanglishBeauty, I am able to reach readers from all over the world.

I am very grateful to every single one of you who write to me and for all of my followers on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks to you all I live my dream every day, which is to make a living of connecting with others through my writing. 

Lorraine C. Ladish is the bilingual published author of 16 books and the blogs Success Diaries and Diario del Éxito. She is also an expert Latina Mom.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Writing a Blog to Change Your Life

With my little one
Entering the tunnel
I launched Succes Diaries in order to keep myself going during tough times that included a recession, unemployment, divorce and eventually, bankruptcy. If my entries helped others who may be facing similar issues, so much the better.

I started blogging a few times a week, while I strived to find writing gigs and resolved financial and personal challenges. I started this blog in English and then decided to write it in Spanish too, as Diario del Éxito, which is now also at Diario del Éxito at, which has helped me reach more readers.

Always looking forward
An Internet entrepreneur noticed what I was doing and hired me to write paid blog posts, and that’s how I started to learn SEO (search engine optimization). Shortly after, another company hired me to write SEO content for websites, which taught  me even more about writing for the Internet. I had to reduce my Success Diaries postings to two a week, as I again got more paid work.

When I applied to be a writer and editor for Consejos de mamá (Mom Recommends) at of the NY Times Co, I was already fluent in SEO and writing for the web, but the application process taught me even more. When I was chosen to manage that website, I understood it was a wonderful chance to keep on learning on the job - HTML, SEO, key words, linking and social media presence - while writing about something I’m passionate about: motherhood.

A recent girls-only vacation
In the meantime, I wrote a book based on this blog, which will be released in February of 2012, by ediciones Obelisco. I am also a weekly contributor for Mamiverse, the online hub for Latina moms, in English, and will soon be up and running as a collaborator for a new platform for Latinos: VOXXI. Another project will soon be launched with two other wonderful writers I’ve met on the way to follow my dreams, and there are more in the works.

The light at the end of the tunnel
In short, something I started just to keep my spirits up – this blog – helped me create a platform on the Internet and a following that has resulted in my professional reinvention and success. I was able to adapt to the Internet in order to, once again, make a living doing what I love: writing.

The global crisis is still there. Many are still unemployed and confused, as I was. I look back and I recall how difficult it is to get out of bed in the morning when you´ve lost it all.

If that is you now, don´t despair. Focus daily on something that lifts your spirits and do it consistently, while you look for a way to overcome your struggles. Life goes on whether you fight for your dreams or not, and I hope that one day you will look back as I do now and think: “I don´t know how I did it, but it was well worth the fight.”

Now I only write weekly entries in Success Diaries, because I am so busy with my work, but I won´t stop posting, because I know from my stats that there are people who still find inspiration here, even if only to take one more step towards their goals.
The engine of my life

Thank you for following me on this crazy rollercoaster called life!

Some of my articles on that may inspire

From Middle Class to Foodstamps: A Latina Mom´s Tale. Please read and share. There may be other women out there who don´t look like they need the help. But, you´d be surprised at how many are still struggling.

A Latina´s Journey to Bulimia and Back. This was the subject of my first book, published in 1993 and still in print. I hope it helps other sufferers and their families.

After a Lifetime of Searching, I Found My Tribe. On growing up bicultural and bilingual. I am proud of my mixed roots and strive to instill this pride in my kids.

A Child´s Mantra. The lessons I learn from my kids.

If you enjoy this blog follow me on Facebook or Twitter. Read my articles on Mamiverse.
Diario del Éxito (Success Diaries) will be published in book form in February 2012 by ediciones Obelisco.To read about my books:

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Simply Cupcakes of Naples: Living Life, One Cupcake at a Time

Simply Cupcakes' creations

I love success stories, which are usually the result of following a passion even when the odds are against you, and so when I discovered the successful Simply Cupcakes in Naples, Florida, I was curious as to who was behind it.
The woman behind this tasty business with four locations in Southwest Florida and soon to be a franchise, is Joanne Glasgow, supported by her husband Ken.
Joanne gracefully accepted to be interviewed for Success Diaries, to share her story and inspire other women entrepreneurs:

LCL- When and why did you decide to open Simply Cupcakes?
 JG- Soon after we moved to Florida I realized that although the cupcake craze was sweeping the nation it had not yet come to Southwest Florida.  Coming from a family of Italian cooks and bakers, I had a love of baking and I decided to test my cupcakes at the Third St. Farmer's Market in Naples in October 2006 where the response was immediate.

LCL- Were you afraid of making a career change?
JG- I really didn't make a career change in the traditional way. I had been a Pediatric Registered Nurse for over 30 years but when we moved to Florida in 2003, I had already retired from Nursing. When I was a nurse in Rochester, NY I helped a friend of mine part time in her dessert catering business. This satisfied my passion for baking at that time and ultimately gave me the courage to make a business out of it. At the time I started Simply Cupcakes, I was 60, which is the age when most people think about cutting back.

Joanne, loving her work
LCL- What were the biggest stumbling blocks?
JG- My biggest stumbling block was my lack of business and retail experience. It's one thing to bake a cupcake but another to sell it. Since the cupcake industry was young, there were few resources to turn to for guidance, so my business never really had a plan. Of course, I started my business at one of the worst times in the economic history of our country. At a time when businesses were closing, I was starting. Loans for new businesses did not exist

LCL- What are the greatest rewards?
JG- There is no greater reward than to have an idea and see it become a reality. In the cupcake business I get rewarded every day with compliments from our customers. [My husband] Ken and I have also had the satisfaction of creating a Simply Cupcakes training program to help others start their own cupcake business.

LCL- Who have been your best supporters?
JG- My husband Ken has been with me every step of the way behind the scenes although he loves to wait on the customers and schmooze with them. He has taken over the marketing of our business and has successfully created a brand with little or no paid advertising. I also have the support of my brother and sister in law and our children who are in awe of the fact that "mom" is a successful businesswoman.

Pink delight
LCL- How do you promote yourself?
JG- Although we had little knowledge of social media, we taught ourselves to use Facebook and now have over 12,000 fans on the Simply Cupcakes Facebook Page. We have been fortunate to have many articles written about us because there is little good news these days and mine is a "feel good" story. Mainly, we have used word of mouth. Our business plan was to get people to our store (which is in an out of the way location) and get a cupcake in their mouth. We have enough confidence in our product to know what the reaction will be. If we sell a dozen cupcakes, they go into a dozen mouths and hopefully we will have a dozen new customers.

LCL- Do you recall having any "aha" moments?
JG- I remember at the beginning at the Farmer‘s Market, when we sold a Key Lime cupcake to a customer and as he walked away he took a bite and yelled "OH MY GOD ! " It was the first sign that we had something good. The turning point for us was when we started the business without a store and just had a website. We took orders for cupcakes online and delivered them to customers in Naples. By the time we opened the store, we had over 300 customers already. We have been told that this was the reverse of traditional thinking. Most businesses open a store and then put up a website. We put up a website and then opened our store.   

LCL- What would you say to other women who would like to follow in your steps?
JG- I would tell them what we tell every person we train: "Unless you have a passion for baking, find something else to do.” Make sure that the passion you have today will still be there a year from now when you have a large order to fill and your mixer breaks down". I would also tell them to bake every cupcake as though your reputation depends on it, because it does. We are scratch bakers, using fresh eggs and butter. We don’t take shortcuts or use mixes. We bake only in small batches and our customers can tell the difference. 

Joanne and Ken, the team behind the dream
Some of Simply Cupcakes´ and the Glasgow’s many noteworthy accomplishments:

·      The business was started with borrowed money three years ago, and they paid it all back with interest in less than two years. They now operate a debt-free business.
·      Joanne has trained 36 locations nationwide in 24 months, to open their own Simply Cupcakes on a License Agreement from California to Puerto Rico. 
·      Ships Key Lime and Red Velvet bundt cakes worldwide including to the troops in Afghanistan and Kuwait.
·      Donates cupcakes to many worthwhile local causes including cupcakes for the homeless on almost a weekly basis.

If you enjoy this blog follow me on Facebook or Twitter. Read my articles on Mamiverse.
Diario del Éxito (Success Diaries) will be published in book form in February 2012 by ediciones Obelisco.To read about my books:

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Her Memorial Inspires me to Run Faster, Live more Intensely

I often run by the memorial you can see in the picture. It’s for a girl who was hit by a car in 1996. She was 12 when she died.

When I got home after taking the picture, a few months ago, I Googled her name. I found she was hit by a driver who ran a red light. Alycia died on the spot and her friend, of the same age, was severely injured, but he lived. They were on the way back from doing homework at a friend’s house.

Apparently the driver did some time, but was eventually released. I read the testimonies of the friends who were with her that night and the expressions of pain of her parents. That night I had a hard time falling asleep.

Every time I run by her memorial by the sidewalk next to the intersection where she was run over, I salute Alycia. I think of her parents and her friend. I think of my kids. I think about life.

When I run by her memorial I become aware of my feet hitting the ground and, even if I’m tired, even if it’s sweltering hot, I feel good. I’m alive, my kids are healthy and my loved ones are fine. I hope this lasts, but you just never know, and she reminds me of that. We have to squeeze the juice out of life while it lasts.

During the rest of my run, I make a mental gratitude list. And even if I feel like slowing down or walking, I don’t. I keep on running because Alycia can’t. In her honor, I enjoy every minute of my journey. She’s my reality check. RIP.   

If you enjoy this blog follow me on Facebook or Twitter. Read my articles on Mamiverse.
Diario del Éxito (Success Diaries) will be published in book form in February 2012 by ediciones Obelisco.To read about my books:

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

4 Strong Latina Moms that Inspire

As much as I enjoy being recognized for my work, it is a far greater pleasure to be able to showcase other strong, creative and determined women. If I’m having an out of sorts day, knowing I made someone else’s, through something I wrote about them, is a better mood enhancer than any happy pill.

In Mamiverse, the place for Latina moms, you can read my pieces on some of the special women I’m fortunate to be able to shine the lights on. They have all overcome odds in one way or another, and turned a challenge into an opportunity to grow and pursue their dreams. Thank you for being such an inspiration, and keep on keeping on!

While most people complain over petty things, Eliana makes being the mom of two children with Down syndrome seem easy. I’ve never heard her complain about trips to the hospital or having to juggle work and motherhood.

Lisana’s jewelry is a reflection of who she is and where she’s from. She enrolled in Law school to appease her family but eventually followed her dream. It’s not easy to go against the grain, especially when you have kids to tend to.

Aymee literally lost it all to the recession: marriage, business, money, investments, her house … And yet she is an upbeat mom who rebuilds her life every single day. She is a doer, and she’s doing it her way, with her Wacky Cookie company. She involves her son in all she does. 

Monica wanted to stay home with her kids, but she also wanted to work. She used her degree in Business Administration to manage her home business. For a few years now, she’s been designing and selling handbags she handcrafts herself, at Tuffcooki. A creative go-getter with two small tots who make her day, every day. 

If you enjoy this blog follow me on Facebook or Twitter. Read my articles on Mamiverse.
Diario del Éxito (Success Diaries) will be published in book form late in 2011 by ediciones Obelisco.To read about my books:

Thursday, October 6, 2011

5 Steve Job Quotes that Impacted My Life

I had a different blog post in mind for today, but yesterday Steve Jobs died. I cried. Whether he was philanthropist or not, had affairs or children out of wedlock - he stayed true to his vision, which is something few people do. There are the complainers and blamers, and there are the doers and shakers. I like to think I belong to the second group. He certainly did. I'm glad he lived to see his Vision come true. 

I can’t say anything he didn’t say better, so in tribute to The Visionary of our times, here are some of his best quotes on life. 

"For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: 'If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?' And whenever the answer has been 'No' for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something."

"You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life."

"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything -- all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. ... Stay hungry. Stay foolish."

“I think if you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long. Just figure out what’s next.”
[NBC Nightly News, May 2006]

"Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes ... the ones who see things differently -- they're not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. ... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things. ... They push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do."
[Apple’s 1997 Think Different Campaign]

I may not be a visionary as he was, but I’ve followed my calling for the past twenty years, as a writer and a communicator, despite those who told me it wouldn’t pay the bills and that I needed to get a “real” job. I´m glad I didn´t listen. 

I’m a misfit, I’m a crazy one, a rebel. Writing is paying the bills, although I don´t do it for the money. Writing is my passion. It gives me the sense that I could die feeling I made a difference, however small. At least in that sense, so far I´ve life on my own terms, and I intend to keep it that way. 

RIP Steve Jobs. 

If you enjoy this blog follow me on Facebook or Twitter. Read my articles on Mamiverse.
Diario del Éxito (Success Diaries) will be published in book form late in 2011 by ediciones Obelisco.To read about my books: