The first wave of Canada’s Hot Mommas secured their spot in history earlier this year. These women have taken mentoring to the next level, offering their stories of personal and professional challenges and a-ha moments to the world’s largest online library of role models for women and girls – The Hot Mommas Project. I am thrilled to be part of this stellar group of women and had the pleasure of chatting with these ladies about their Hot Mommas journey.
Importance of having role models
Research has shown that having access to role models increases the self-efficacy of women. Tamara Plant, the winner of the Top Canadian Case Award for 2010 and publisher of MOM Magazine, said it felt empowering to know that her story will be available to the world as an educational tool, “I want women to take the lessons I’ve learned and the examples from my life and use them for their own successes.”
These women are not just role models to others. They understand the importance that role models have placed in their own lives as well. Case author Chrissy Atley, president of TotalHarmonyCoaching.com states, “I think it’s super important to have someone who will support you and give you positive encouragement as you’re trying new things and finding your way through life. It’s important to choose someone who won’t judge you and is going to be your cheerleader! This helps to motivate me and in turn follow my dreams.”
Betty Ann Heggie, speaker and founder of StillettoChick.com, has been fascinated by women’s stories right from childhood, “I remember in high school vowing to make all my leisure reading be autobiographies of famous or inspirational women. I always wanted to know what those of my gender did to handle situations and what I could glean from their actions that would be of value for me.” For females, having access to other women’s stories – whether virtual, in a book, or in person – provides them with an incredibly powerful learning tool.
The thrill of being nominated
Many of the case authors were nominated by others to write their case study. The Canadian case authors all agreed that being nominated was a thrill. Atley describes it as, “Amazing! Unbelievable! A dream come true! I have dreamed of being a role model myself and feel so thankful that others may learn or even feel comforted from my experiences.”
Heggie has spent a number of years mentoring young women and felt that to be recognized for doing something you believe strongly in is a tremendous feeling of achievement, “It is external validation of my internal value-system and that feels like I am on the right course.”
A tool for self-learning
The end result and value of a case study is quite clear. But how does it feel to actually write your own case? Marcy Berg, founder of Mortgages4Women.com and one of Canada’s Hot Mommas found that writing her case was an emotional but beneficial experience. “Writing the case study turned out to be more difficult than I first imagined. I started my business with a business plan and model but writing the case study was my first experience confronting the emotional force behind the idea. I learned a lot about myself.”
Lara Galloway, founder of MomBizCoach.com and a Top 25 Case Winner says that in writing her case it gave her an opportunity to step back and reflect on the life she has been living. She explains, “Although it didn’t always seem so at the time, I realized that I actually WAS following a logical path to get where I am today. And that made me feel satisfied and proud. It also felt good to be honest about the mistakes and problems I’ve had along the way, knowing that people can often learn more from those than from me wrapping my story up with a happy ending and trying to appear perfect.”
Are you ready to be a Hot Momma?
So if the Hot Mommas Project is resonating with you and the idea of writing your case study for this award winning initiative sounds intriguing, there is a strong “just do it!” consensus from the founding Canadian Hot Mommas. Heggie encourages women by saying, “Go for it!” We all seem to suffer from a syndrome that we believe our stories aren’t significant enough to be shared but all our stories have value for others and may be exactly what someone else needs to hear.”
Rather than looking at your case study as a final piece, it can be a great impetus to self-understanding and appreciation. Plant encourages, “Don’t over analyze it, just write. And write. And continue to build your story as you go through life. Don’t stop with one case study, write multiple stories!! The final case study will be written by someone else when you’re gone because you can never stop growing or encountering new
To read the case studies of these and other dynamic women, visit the Hot Mommas Project website at www.hotmommasproject.org.
Lydia Fernandes is the Canadian Regional Manager and the 2009 Top Canadian Case Award winner for the Hot Mommas Project. You can connect with her by email at lydia[at]motivmode.com or visit her website at www.motivmode.com.