Mara and Babcia at the doctor

I Don’t Help My Grandmother Because She’s Old

If you’ve been reading this blog for a bit now, you’ll know that I love to tell about my Babcia, partly because I adore her, and partly because she’s hilarious.  (You should know that she’s a strong, independent woman who looks like a cross between the queen of England and Barbara Bush.)

I met her for a recent cardiologist appointment, as I tend to do.  (Don’t be jealous: I also take on  dentist appointments, periodontist appointments and, if my mom isn’t able to join her, any other astonishingly fun medical outings that find their way onto our schedules.  We’re a wild bunch of women.)

When I went to assist her down the steps of her living facility’s shuttle bus, where the amazing Kiko had driven her someplace other than the Dollar Tree, pedicurist and Winn Dixie this week (don’t judge… Kiko is amazing!), she proclaimed, “I don’t need help.  Don’t treat me like I”m old.”

Again, let’s revisit the fact that she’s 91 years old, but admire that she doesn’t FEEL 91 years old, and still dresses with more pizzazz than I do on any given day.

The woman wears Jones New York suits to Publix, folks.

Fast forward to the end of the appointment.

Upon being asked to “hop down” from the exam table (seriously?!), the nurse left the room.  Babcia looked at me, and we both knew there’d be no hopping.  I’m fairly certain all hopping ended years ago.

With that, I helped her as she sat up and she put on her brilliant royal blue jacket.   I carefully helped her off the exam table, her little legs dangling off the edge, and looked her right in the eye.

“I’m not helping you because you’re old,” I said to all 5’2.5″ of her.  “I’m helping you because you’re short.”

And with that, we were both in stitches of laughter.  She’s totally fine with that.  Just don’t call her old.

Toilet paper cropped

Why Toilet Paper Baffles Our Household

Me, in bed this week, at 6 a.m.

Husband: “Babe!  Where do we keep the toilet paper now?”

(Note: He had purchased the toilet paper yesterday, and it’s been kept in the same place since we moved into our house nearly 6 months ago.

Also note: he once asked me where we kept the sheets to make the bed… after living together for more than 3 years.)

Me, sleepy-eyed and barely awake: “Huh?”

Husband: Repeats the question with a bit more force than I understood at that hour.

Me: “Hallway closet!”

(End of thoughts on toilet paper. In theory.)

Until I  used our hallway bathroom later that afternoon.

Text to Husband: “I can see that this must have confused you.  I can show you how to use this when you get home.”

(Those women that live with men: can you explain this, please?)

 

Toilet paper

Beer quote

Why No One Steals Her Beer

From time to time, we’ll invite my Babcia (in case you missed it, Babcia, pronounced “Bob-Cha,” is my 91-year-old Polish grandmother), over for happy hour.  While she’ll tell you that she can no longer drink with a sad, reminiscent look in her eye, this woman used to be able to toss them back.

She drank Dewar’s, a blended Scotch Whiskey on the rocks.

She had beer delivered RIGHT to her apartment when she lived in Center City Philadelphia.

In her years before she had my mother, she played piano in bars… and was paid in alcohol.

But, she doesn’t drink anymore, thanks to a rockstar cocktail of medications that, well, have kept her in her rockstar status since her stroke eight years ago.

So, imagine when we had this conversation:

Babcia, facing the Macbook Pro we used to dial my mom: “I’m drinking Odles at Mara’s now.”

My mom, via Facetime: “You’re drinking what?”

Babcia: “Odles.”

Mom, now looking to me: “I have no idea what that is, but okay.”

Me: “O’Doul’s, Mom.  She’s drinking O’Doul’s.”

Babcia, later that evening as I dropped her off, she let me know that she should have brought the leftover beer back with her, fearing that my craft beer loving husband would consume all of her precious O’Doul’s.

And much to her pleasure, I’ve reassured her several times since, that even when our fridge is almost bare, the way the fridge of two working professionals can get, one thing remains: no one, and I mean NO ONE, touches her Odles.

Frog with beer quote

Lil

The Birthday Card from Babcia

At lunch on Saturday, my 91-year-old grandmother, Babcia (picture a cross between the Queen of England and Barbara Bush and then pronounce it BOB-CHA) let us know she got my stepfather a birthday card, and the dog on the cover looked EXACTLY like my parents’ oldest daschund, Lil, featured as the cover girl for this post.

(My momma took this photo. You’ll find tons of photos of my parents’ sweet girl on my mom’s Instagram account with hashtags like #seniordog #blinddog #deafdog. I kid you not.  But she’s adorable and lovable and my stepdad used to sing her show tunes when she was a puppy.  Again, I kid you not. It WAS some enchanted evening!)

Lil

Back to lunch.

Babcia let us know that the dog on the front of the card looked so much like Lil that she felt the need to sign her own name.

Because, you know, clearly my now-older-than-last-year stepfather would have gotten confused that the card would have otherwise been from his beloved canine.

Babcia told us in great detail, for several minutes, about this dog: the color of its fur, the length of its fur, its brown eyes, you name it.  I had a full mental image of a brown, black and tan long-haired dachsund with skinny little legs.

Until my mom lovingly chimed in.

“Mar,” she said, “the dog on the front of the card was a basset hound.”

#itsagoodthingBabciahasakillersenseoffashion‬ #sheclearlyisntadoglover

020813 Mara headshot EKM horizontal

A Makeover

If you subscribed to this blog over the past few years, you’ve probably noticed that, like dinosaurs, opposable thumbs and my dog’s ability to counter surf, it evolved.

I didn’t disappear as much as join forces with The Best Medical Business Solutions, a medical business consulting company, focusing on the cosmetic and aesthetic industry, that I run with my father.  (You can read our story, and see a super adorable photo of me and the-man-everyone-thinks-is-my-much-older-husband-but-is-really-my-dad here.)

And so this site forwarded to that site for a few years.

Now, though… I’m ready to take back the reins.  I still love what I’ve built at The Best Medical Business Solutions, so heck no, I’m not switching career paths.  But I do write… a lot… for other publications (you can see all sorts of samples on my business’s website here).  But with the start of 2016, I’m craving the ability to use the instant sense of wit and tales of reality that I’ve built and collected over the years.

So, with THIS makeover, you’ll see glimpses into my ridiculous life, packed with stories about daily personal life as an entrepreneur, the amazingly hilarious conversations I have with my 91-year-old grandmother named Babcia, and whatever else comes to mind.

If I’m being honest, so far, I have five stories written about Babcia and zero about entrepreneur life, so, be prepared.  She’s amazing.

Not what you signed up for originally and looking to unsubcribe? I totally understand.  Finding out that this blog is EXACTLY what you didn’t realize you needed in your inbox?  AWESOME!  Subscribe away at the link in the right hand column on the website

Either way, be prepared.  Awesomeness awaits.

2013 Central Michigan University Alumni Awards

This past weekend, my family, friends, fiance and I traveled to Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.  If you would have told me when I graduated in 2005 it would take eight years to get me back to town, I would have laughed.  I had a passion for the school that helped shape me, and certainly loved everything about it.  But alas, life gets in the way, and college grows more and more distant after graduation, despite the life lessons used to enhance your future.

But this year, I was meant to return.  This year, I’ve been awarded Central Michigan University’s Distinguished Young Alumni Award.

Entered into the competition earlier this year, I found out I had won while I was on a work/play trip to Tucson visiting one of my best friends in May.  Ecstatic to have a reason to go back to my old stomping grounds, I gladly accepted.  (It’s hard not to when they pay for airfare, hotel and car rental, after all.  More than half of my college roommates would go on to drive back into town for the evening.)

What followed I’ll show you in photographs, which includes portraits taken at the event, a few family snapshots, and, of course, shots at the football game the next day.  Yes, I was even announced on the field and allowed to shoot a t-shirt out of a gun.

All parents portrait Me and Russ at sign Me cheering Mom and me holding award Parents at football gameFriends

 

And with that, thank you to everyone that came out to support me!  Now, if only I could think of additional awards to apply for…

LinkedIn: A 5 Step Guide

I’m a big fan of repurposing content.  You might notice that I often link one blog post to another.  Call it lazy; I call it smart :)

So when one of my fantastic clients recently asked me to come up with a step-by-step LinkedIn guide for her, I noticed, as I was hitting “send,” that this is a topic I get asked about quite often.  My father’s mastered the art of utilizing the social media site for our other business, The Best Medical Business Solutions, and I’ve even taken a few tips from him.  We’ve used LinkedIn to meet conference organizers, share bits of wisdom and, at times, the tool has even landed us new clients.

Looking to get started… or better utilize your static profile?  Keep reading.

#1- Build out your profile.  First, before looking to connect with other groups and individuals, build out your profile.  Include all relevant information, just as you would a resume.  Past jobs and bullet points about what you did, awards you’ve won, information under “Interests,” and your education.  Include information under “Background” to whatever degree you’d like as well.  (If you need an example, take a look at my page: www.linkedin.com/in/marashorr)

#2- Connect with all of your contacts.  This will continue to build your profile, and help with the next step… http://help.linkedin.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/118
#3- Ask those connections for recommendations.  Once you’ve built a rockin’ page, ask people for recommendations through LinkedIn.  Basically, allow others to brag for you, and use this as an easy reference page when people find you online, whether those people be potential new employers or clients. http://help.linkedin.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/96 
#4- Connect with new contacts. Now that the people who you know and love have supported you online, it’s time to get together with others and connect.  I would suggest two different types of groups: one for others in your industry nationwide, your peers, so that you can see who’s doing what, where, when and how, and the other of your potential clients in your geographic region. There’s a wide, wide variety, but better instructions on how to do that here: http://help.linkedin.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/186
#5- Posting to those groups.  For about a week or so, sit back and watch the feeds, looking at what the members in each of the groups do.  Are they asking for advice?  Are they posting about brag-worthy things?  How often are they posting?  I’d say no more than twice a week, but follow the lead of the others.
Have additional questions or tips?  Feel free to post them in the comments section below!

Back in Touch

It’s a struggle every solopreneur deals with, and something I’ve discussed time and time again: the battle of working IN your business and with your clients while still working ON your business.

I raise my hand in guilt.

I’ve had a full load of clients, including Edible Orlando magazine, Orange Appeal magazine and the Florida Film Festival.

You may remember that, two years ago, I left my position there as the Director of Development and Community Relations to start The Leone Company.  (If you don’t, here’s the blog post where I announced it.)  When the position opened back up again two months ago, I was honored to be asked to help on an interim basis while they regrouped and reestablished the department’s needs.  Old habits die hard when it comes to working with the local arts groups and a great group of people!

With that, know I also serve as a partner and the Vice President of Marketing and Business Development for The Best Medical Business Solutions, a company my father founded two years ago.  (More information on that business here.)

And so, back I come, to try and make every effort to once again bring relevant content to this site through the blog.  I’m not perfect.  And I go against any advice I would give my own clients about regularly blogging.

But, through all of its transitions over the past TWO years, I am, indeed, The Leone Company.

Follow me on Twitter: @marashorr and @theleoneco.

Follow The Leone Company on Facebook here.

What to Consider When Hiring a New Employee

I’ve been writing blog posts for another business I’m involved in, The Best Medical Business Solutions, over this past month.  While some of these posts aren’t valid to The Leone Company’s clients or blog post readers, this one, on employee selection, is indeed.

032813- Hiring employees

Therefore, I’m sending you along to that blog here.

And so, without further ado, enjoy “What to Consider When Hiring a New Employee.”

Follow me on Twitter: @marashorr and @theleoneco.

Follow The Leone Company on Facebook here.

5 Tools to Save You Time, Money and Sanity

Non-profit professionals, entrepreneurs and small business owners alike have to be lean. I’ve talked about this before: we have to learn to do more with less, all the while not compromising our work ethic and the final product. Let’s be honest – that’s not easy.

Last week, I wrote a piece for the Orlando Chapter of Young Non-Profit Professionals Network’s monthly enewsletter.  I’ve talked about writing for other publications before and the importance of sharing your knowledge with your target audience, and this was a perfect way to connect with peers.

ynpn logo

If you’re looking for 5 easy tools to make your life a bit easier, check out the piece here.

Follow me on Twitter: @marashorr and @theleoneco.

Follow The Leone Company on Facebook here.