Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Lean Back and Thrive

In Arianna Huffington’s book Thrive she describes a new definition of success, one that focuses not only on career advancement, but on the equally important goals of health and wellbeing, personal fulfillment, giving back and living a life of purpose and meaning.

She writes:
Our current notion of success, one in which we drive ourselves into the ground, if not the grave – in which working to the point of exhaustion and burnout is considered a badge of honor – was put in place by men, in a workplace culture dominated by men.
Women are paying an even higher price than men for their participation in a work culture fueled by stress, sleep deprivation, and burnout. 
Instead of focusing on the two traditional metrics of success, she recommends adding a third metric. This third metric includes our well-being, our ability to draw on our intuition and inner wisdom, our sense of wonder and our capacity for compassion and giving.

I find it interesting how as I've gotten older my goals and aspirations are leaning more towards the third metric.  My twenties were all about making money and working as many hours as possible.  In my thirties I returned to college, passed the CPA exam, found a new job and again worked long hours.  In my forties, I began burning out and dreamed of vacations and early retirement.  I started exercising and taking better care of myself to help combat chronic insomnia. Now that I'm over fifty I dream of mentoring and giving back. Instead of leaning-in to my career I long to lean back and have a more well-rounded life.

Finding the time to add this third metric - meditation, yoga, getting enough sleep, renewing ourselves and giving back - to my life can be challenging especially while working full-time and attempting to maintain this blog. (By the way I consider this blog part of my third metric). For me, the only way I can make this all work is to schedule everything. Cleaning my house, cooking, shopping, blogging, exercising, work meetings and deadlines, spending time with my family and friends – everything is scheduled. I am also someone who doesn’t work well under tight deadlines, so anything that upsets my schedule also upsets this third metric.  

Another thing I’ve noticed as I’ve become more involved with social media I’ve been staying up later and sleeping less.  I’ve even been known to bring my electronic devices to the dinner table much to my husband’s displeasure. The problem with social media is I’m never finished. I could always write one more comment or schedule one more tweet.  It’s time I take a step back.  I need to cut-back on my social media participation.  My social media activity is now scheduled from 8:00 pm to 9:30 pm allowing me a half hour downtime before falling asleep.

This past week I read three blog posts from three different women about how their career goals have changed as they got older.  All three wanted to lean back rather than lean into their career.  One wanted to spend more time with her family, one wanted a different career from the one she's been working towards since she was sixteen, and the third wanted to spend more time giving back.

Have your career goals changed over time?  Do you dream of leaning-back?

This post was inspired by Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder by Arianna Huffington who encourages everyone to sleep their way to the top. Join From Left to Write on May 1 we discuss Thrive. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Career Interview: Q & A With Norine Dworkin-McDaniel

Today I am pleased to present my career interview with Norine Dworkin-McDaniel, the co-creator of Science of Parenthood, an illustrated humor blog for parents. Norines passion for writing shines though as she chronicles her career as a writer while sharing lessons shes learned along the way:

How did you decide to become a writer?
I always knew I was going to be a writer. Writing is the only thing Ive ever wanted to do. As a little girl, I was always writing stories. And I suppose I was a very early blogger, though back when I was in grade school in the 70s, we simply called it journaling,since there were no laptops back then, and the Internet didnt exist. But, like bloggers, Id write stories/essays about the things that happened in my daily life, then Id staple the notebook paper pages together like a book.If only Id had Create Space back then! Growing up, I was very influenced by the newspaper humorists Erma Bombeck and Dave Barry. That was my dream to write funny essays in my hometown newspaper. Now newspapers are suffering and I write funny essays on my own blog.
You have an interesting background.  Can you describe your career history?
I think Ive worked in all written media save for papyrus and parchment! I started as a newspaper writer in high school. Id go to class in the mornings and then work for the  neighborhood newspaper in the afternoons. During summer breaks when I was in college, I worked in the features/entertainment sections at several large regional dailies, like the South Florida Sun Sentinel, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Orange County Register. I started writing for alternative papers, like the Village Voice and the gay weeklies, when I was a grad student at New York University. After grad school, I made the leap to magazines, starting in the trade magazines as an assistant editor. Eventually, I worked my way up the masthead, landing bigger jobs at bigger magazines. My last staff job was as a senior editor at Vegetarian Times, a monthly magazine and managing editor for the sister publication Natural Remedies, a bimonthly.
But since I wanted to write more than I wanted to edit, I freelanced for other magazines as well. I pretty much spent every spare moment writing freelance articles. I got my big break in the late 90s doing a health feature for Good Housekeepingon pet massage, of all things and then I gradually segued into womens health, childrens health, nutrition and relationships. I quit my job at Vegetarian Times to write freelance full-time in 1999. Ive written for many of the magazines women read: Family Circle, Ladies Home Journal, More, Fitness, Parents, American Baby, Redbook, Marie Claire, Good Housekeeping, Womans Day, Shape, Prevention, Readers Digest, Health, All You. Ive written for websites as well: Lifescript, iVillage, Everyday Health, AOL.  

What kind of experience and preparation helped you the most?
I wrote for my college newspaper all four years I was in school and was the Arts & Entertainment editor for three. Thats where I started learning how to plan a section, how to work with and edit other writers, how to do page layout. I also interned at newspapers every summer. By the time I was finished with graduate school, I already had a sizable resume, with jobs at six newspapers and I had great clips (writing samples) to show for it. I worked with some really wonderful editors, who helped me become a better writer. This on-the-job training, some of which was paid; some not, was invaluable.  

Would you recommend this same path to someone starting out today? Why or why not?
Its different today because blogging has really opened up publishing to everyone. Anyone can jump on Blogger or Word Press and start writing, and if theyre doing interesting things on their blog, and promoting it well, theyll find an audience. But what I would say, though, to anyone who wants to write well, and/or professionally, is to get some kind of training, whether thats in high school or college or adult continuing education courses or through the many seminars/online classes/conferences/coaching offered by organizations like Writers Digest University, She Writes or Mediabistro. My friend Sarah Burns, whos been my editor at four magazines over the years, is getting set to teach a Mediabistro course on Breaking Into Health & Fitness Reporting.
Its easy to do a blog. Doing a well-written blog is harder. But if youre hoping to use your blog to attract brands and earn money or to become a blogger for your favorite magazine/website, youll need a good grasp of grammar/punctuation basics and a sense for how stories are told. All too often, Ill read what could be a funny or engaging story on a blog, but the blogger has approached the post like a diary entry, starting at the very beginning of her/his day (Well, first I woke up .) then plodding through every tiny thing they did till the funny thing happened. The post would be much stronger if theyd just started with the funny bit, then perhaps filled in the backstory for context.  So, taking some writing courses to learn about how to structure a story, can be helpful. 

What do you like best about your work?
My work is fun. It makes me happy. And I make others happy by making them laugh. Or at least smile. When I was strictly a freelance magazine writer, I learned a lot about health conditions, preventive care, good nutrition, what makes for good parenting, good relationships, etc. And I felt like I was giving back or providing a needed service by communicating information that women needed about their personal health, their familieshealth. But after 15 years of doing that, I started to get tired of just writing magazine articles. So I created Science of Parenthood and work became fun again. My day is all about making parents laugh about the craziness of raising kids. Theres workthere too. My partner and I have a schedule for posting; we have deadlines; sometimes things dont always go as planned; weve had some disappointments. But overall, I feel supremely fortunate that I created something that people enjoy; that I partnered with a friend who has complimentary talents and a similar sense of humor; and that I am excited about going to work every day. Although, to be honest the only going to…” I do is from my bedroom, up the stairs to my office, so its not like I have a long commute.  

What is your biggest headache?
Its not really a headacheper se, but what my partner and I are focused on now is growing our audience. Were constantly exploring new ways to get peoples attention because we know that people enjoy our cartoons. Wed like to have more people enjoy them.  

What are the important personal qualities or abilities necessary for a person to be a successful writer?
  1. A love of reading.  You become a better writer by reading good writing. I love writing essays, so Ill often flip to a magazines back page essay and read that first. I tear-sheet a lot of those essays, not only because theyre enjoyable to read and re-read, but because I can read them for structure to get a sense of how the writer told their story in 750 words. I also like to read essay collections. Two of my favorites are Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik, which is a collection of his New Yorker writings from when he was stationed in Paris; and I Wanna Be Sedated: 30 Writers on Parenting Teenagers, a collection of funny and poignant essays by well-known writers about the ups and downs of dealing with teenagers.
  2.  Self-motivation and discipline. One of my favorite quotes on writing is from Nathaniel Hawthorne (The House of the Seven Gables, The Scarlet Letter): Easy reading is damn hard writing.And that is the honest to goodness truth. Writing is hard. You need to be able to motivate yourself to sit down to write even when you dont feel like writing, even when you feel intimidated by the blank page/screen. And you need to have the discipline to edit and re-edit and polish what you write until its as perfect as you can get it. Some people are blessed with the ability to write perfect prose in 20 minutes. I am not one of those people. I am a very slow writer. I need a lot more time to really make my work sing. How do I know when one of my stories is finished? I know my writing voice. When I hear it as Im reading, then I know Im done.
  3.  A thick skin. Part of writing is rejection. By editors. By readers. By Internet commenters. You need to be able to brush it off and keep going. Case in point, an agent approached my Science of Parenthood partner and I a few months after wed started publishing with the idea of turning the blog into a book. We were incredibly excited at the thought. And we put together a book proposal and our agent sent it around to every conceivable publisher and we got universally turned down. There were publishers I never even heard of who turned us down. But we didnt let it deter us. We know we have a great book idea and well simply produce it ourselves. The publishing industrys loss is our gain. Ive also had my share of Internet haters leave nasty comments about my work. It used to bother me. Now I just dont read the comments.   
How many hours do you work each week?
Its hard for me to keep track. It feels like Im always working. But sometimes workingmeans Im writing and rewriting, or editing my partners work. Sometimes thats reading and commenting on other blogs, looking for potential guest posters. Sometimes thats doing social media to promote our content and other peoples content. Sometimes its networking or reading a book by an author Im going to interview. Sometimes its brainstorming cartoon ideas with my partner or ways to improve how we present our content to readers. Sometimes its being interviewed on the radio or webcasts or by other writers/bloggers, like Savvy Working Gal. And a few weeks ago, it was going camping in an RV with my family because a magazine wanted a first-person story on what its like to camp in an RV. So even though I was on vacationthat weekend, I was still working, taking pictures, keeping notes, being hyper-aware of everything that happened so Id be able to include it in the story later. Im a workaholic. I am always working.  
As a blogger, I can spend hours reading and commenting on other blogs. How do you focus your time to get the best results?
This one is hard because social media is so seductive, you can get sucked into your feeds on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest and burn hours before you realize it. And Im no more immune than the next blogger. Sometimes Im more disciplined than others. But I find when I have deadlines to meet and we have a set schedule for posting on Science of Parenthood then Im less apt to get lost in social media.
What do you wish you would have known before becoming a writer or blogger?
As a blogger, when I first started out and I had two other blogs before I created Science of Parenthood I did not realize just how social blogging is and how important it is to create community on your blog and encourage engagement and comment and share otherswork. Coming from Old Media (magazines and newspapers), it was very one sided the writer to the reader. Sure people wrote letters to the editor, but the writer wasnt expected to respond to every comment, only if it was something controversial or the writer had to address some accusation or point raised by a letter writer. With blogging, its very communal, readers want that engagement from the writer. Its a two-way conversation, and it took me a while to get that. Now I really enjoy engaging with readers and hearing their stories.
Are there any books you suggest reading, training courses that would be beneficial or professional organizations aspiring writers or bloggers should consider joining?
I mentioned a few above Writers Digest, She Writes (which is like Facebook for women writers of every stripe from poets to novelists, newbies to New York Times best-selling authors) and Mediabistro. Strunk & Whites The Elements of Style is a must-have for grammar. Its important to know the difference between your and youre; between its and its; to say youre doing well when someone asks how you are, not good; to know that its people who, not people that. These are common mistakes I see every day in blog posts and poor grammar really distracts from the writing.
As for the how-tos of blogging, bloggers can get a lot of knowledge from joining Facebook groups and Google + communities where veterans are always happy to support newcomers and help them overcome blogging challenges.
How much can a writer or blogger expect to earn?
That really depends on the outlets youre writing for. Print magazines still pay much better than websites, though articles are getting shorter, which is reducing payments. I used to be able to make $5,000 on a 2,500-word health story. Now that story is being assigned at 1,800 words, so the fee drops to $3,600. And with websites, they dont pay even $1 a word, which is rock-bottom for a magazine. The most Ive ever gotten for a web story is $750. Most are assigned at about $300 or less. Its almost not worth doing the research unless youre in it for the exposure,which is what blog hubs like Huffington Post offer in lieu of payment.
Ive written for exposureso that I could add certain kinds of blog credits to my author platform. Im working on a couple of books and its expected that as a parenting/humor writer/blogger I would have been featured on sites like Scary Mommy, BlogHer, HuffPo Parents, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop. The payoff for me will come down the line in a book deal or books sold. But without that kind of future payoff promise, I doubt Id blog simply for exposure.” 
Are there any scams, pitfalls or phony opportunities to watch out for?
This may relate to brands, but I cant comment because I dont write sponsored posts.
I recently read the age of the big blog is over and that blogging is sweatshop labor.  What are your thoughts on this?  Do you see a future in blogging as a career? What about freelance writing?
Publications, magazines, websites will always need freelancers because they need more content than what their staff editors can possibly produce, so in that way, absolutely, freelancing is still a viable career. Though the freelancers who will be best prepared today are those with multiple skills people who can write AND take photos AND produce and edit videos AND do podcasts AND understand SEO best practices AND work social media like a pro. Because publications are moving online, theres going to come a time when simply providing words wont be enough.  If you want to see an amazing example of this, check out the New York Times multimedia package Snowfall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek by John Branch.

Your statement about blogging being sweatshop labor,I take to mean that there are so many blogs now, bloggers have to work much harder to get noticed. But I firmly believe that good content always finds an audience. You may need to sharpen your social media skills to help people find you and pick up some publicity skills too but if you have a good blog and you consistently deliver quality content, people will read you.
Now, others may disagree with me, but I believe that having a tight focus or niche for your blog is helpful because then readers know what youre about and what kind of content to expect from you.  At Science of Parenthood, we do one thing parenting humor. That doesnt mean we dont cover crafts or food, but its always through a parenting lens. I find blogs that take the kitchen sink approach crafting, cooking, recipes, coupons, beauty, social media, parenting, books, gardening to be very confusing. If you have multiple interests, why not create multiple blogs? My friend Carissa Miller does this beautifully on her site Carissa Miller Do You Read Me? where she has separate blogs for mothering, crafting, cooking and gardening and everything else that doesnt fit into those categories under one URL. This approach gives her great freedom to write on the topics she loves, but it makes it easy for her readers to find what theyre looking for. 
So, can you make a living blogging? I certainly hope so as this is my plan to send my kid to college. And many bloggers have figured out how to monetize their blogs by selling ad space on their sites or working with brands to write sponsored posts. For us at Science of Parenthood, blogging is what we do to introduce readers to our snarky, cheeky, quirky humor, and were hoping that eventually those readers will want to buy our fridge magnets, coffee mugs, postcards and coming soon, our books.
How do you stand out from the crowd?
The mommy blog/parenting blog niche is incredibly crowded. We stand out as Science of Parenthood by presenting parenting humor with a very unique spin through a lens of faux math and snarky science. No one else couches the trials and tribulations of parenting in this way. Plus, weve got dynamic, colorful illustrations/memes that beg to be shared. The marriage of original content with eye-catching images makes us standout against the field of parenting blogs.

Is there anything else you would like readers to know about yourself or your career?
Were always looking for reader-inspired content. If you or your readers come up with a scientificprinciple on parenting and we use it on the blog, we give a shout out to the person who came up with the idea and a printout of the cartoon they inspired.
Where can we find you?
Please stalk us in a non-creepy way! on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ Pinterest and of course, our blog!
Thank you so much for the interview, Savvy! This was delightful. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Fired for Making a Flip Comment

I received the following question via email:

I was recently (1/20/14) fired from my job due to a post I made on a friend's Facebook page. I loved my job of eight years and the shock of losing it is still with me. I tried to explain to my employer that my comment was not an attack but only a flip comment and I did not mention the employer name. I have had two other job terminations in my past 30 year work history (1988--7 years of employment and 2005--4 months of employment). I am struggling how to explain the three terminations. Do you have any suggestions? Thank you in advance.

I am so sorry to hear you were fired from your job.  I know it is a tough lesson to learn, but you have to be careful with what you post on Facebook.  I've written about this before see: being terminated for a Facebook post.

The best advice I can give you is to explain honestly why you were fired. Be prepared to talk about what you've learned from these experiences and how you've grown and changed.

Here are a few suggestions:

Take down your Facebook account. 
If you can't bring yourself to do that, at least remove all of your posts and unfriend everyone who is not in your immediate circles.  Do not post on anyone's page including your own until after you have a new job. Then be very careful what you write and who you friend. 

You will most likely be asked to explain what you wrote on that Facebook page.  Be honest and practice what you are going to say. Here is an example:

I wrote that my boss was a jerk. I didn't really mean that, I was anxious about an upcoming deadline and just letting off steam. I didn't realize what I wrote would be read by others.  I've since taken down my Facebook account and have begun working on more positive forms of stress reduction. 

Do not say even one bad thing about your former company or anyone who worked there:
I once interviewed a woman who had been down-sized or fired six times.  While asking about her experience, I decided by job number three I would never hire her (really it was after job one and by job three I was looking for a way to end the interview).  Every manager was incompetent and all of the companies were horrible places to work.  No they weren't, she was difficult.  Instead, discuss what you enjoyed about your former companies and jobs.

I'd consider leaving job #2 off your resume:
You only worked there 4 months.  If it isn't absolutely necessary, I would consider removing this job from your resume.  Though, this one should be an easy explanation; most likely it was a bad fit.

Explore the reasons behind your firings:
Are there patterns?  Usually if a person is fired multiple times there is a common element.  Review previous performance reviews.  Do you need to update your skills or do your soft skills need improvement? Take personal development classes or become a member of Toastmasters.  Talk about your new skills and what you are learning in your interviews.

See a therapist:
I know someone who grew up in an extremely abusive household.  He now has a job managing huge global projects and a staff.  In his first performance review he was told his staff found him difficult to work for.  A therapist has since helped him realize criticizing his employees today then acting like nothing has happened tomorrow (behavior he grew up with) was not acceptable. His therapist also told him if he didn't change he would lose his job. 

Tap into your network:
You need your network more than ever before.  Contact former co-workers and managers who no longer work at your former companies. You need someone who can vouch for you.  The employee fired for having a bad attitude in this post found employment at a former manager's new place of employment.   The pregnant employee fired for not passing the insurance exam in this post was rehired for a job she held in college.  She is back to where she started, underemployed and not using her degree, but she is employed.

Play up your positive work experiences:
I am assuming you've held other positions in addition to the three jobs you mention. Be sure to talk up those experiences.

Seek out temporary work:
I'm not sure how many temporary positions there are out there, but this used to be a great way to get into a company without having to interview.  The employer sees how great your work is and offers you a job. Apply at every temporary employment agency in your area.

Good luck to you.  The job market is still challenging and three firings are going to make it more difficult. Don't be afraid to volunteer or to work at an interim job until you find something in your field.

Do any of you have additional suggestions to help this reader explain her terminations?

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Esthetician Interview - Q & A with The Esthetic Goddess

After reading Susie of The Esthetic Goddess's post What I Have Learned (So Far) As An Esthetician, I knew I had to interview her about her career.  In the following interview Susie provides an insider’s look into her career as an esthetician while offering advice and tips to help the consumer. Enjoy:  

I have been a licensed esthetician for over 10 years in a wonderful medical spa. When I go to work every day I get to do facials, chemical peels, micro current, skin tightening treatments, and micro dermabrasion. My job is not only fun but rewarding and I love sharing what I have learned in the esthetics field!

What is an esthetician?
An esthetician is someone who works on the skin. This can include facials, waxing, chemical peels, body wraps, make-up and lasers. Estheticians cannot diagnose or treat skin diseases. If I see something suspicious on a client I recommend them to my favorite dermatologist who I know will take good care of them.

What motivated you to become an esthetician?
I started getting chemical peels at the age of 28. I thought it was so cool that just by applying something to someone’s skin you could change their skin tone and texture for the better.

When I was 37 my 17 year marriage came to an end. I had always been a stay at home mom and need a career. I had such a love for esthetics that it was a meant to be for me! We have no esthetic schooling around me so I drove 180 miles a day for school. I was extremely determined to make it happen and it was extremely worth it in the end!

What kind of experience and preparation helped you the most?
I feel like I got an exceptionally education from my esthetics teacher. She was a tough teacher. At first she didn’t even like me. (Hello?! I’m really lovable!) She gave me the hardest clients to work on and I was determined (There’s that word again. It describes me well!) To not let her break me. By the time I graduated her heart softened. She’d seen me working hard and exceeding education wise. She adored me by the end and I her! I owe so much to her. I felt very well prepared when I graduated.

In Illinois where I live Estheticians are required to have 750 hours of schooling. Once you graduate you have to get a state license by passing a written exam. After passing you can go on to more advanced training since you only learn basics in school. Every two years you need to complete 10 hours of continuing educating. This is for Illinois. All states have different requirements for estheticians.

What do you like best about your work?
Helping clients gain confidence! When a client comes to me with sun damage, acne, wrinkles, or whatever the skin problem is. I not only will help treat their skin but teach them what they need to be doing at home to maintain their skin in between the time till I see them again for another treatment. My goal is to always get my client skin looking great without make up.

What is your biggest headache?
Clients who think everything can be corrected in one treatment. It took a long time for their skin to get to the condition it is so it will take time to get it in good shape. Sometimes it can take several months. If you want your complexion looking beautiful for a wedding, reunion, etc. then start working on it a year before the special day.

What are the important personal qualities or abilities necessary for a person to be a successful esthetician?
Patience is a biggie! Not just treatment wise but you must have patience with the client themselves. For many of them they have never been taught to use the proper skin care. Often times I will baby step them into using the correct skin care. Starting with a good cleanser and working from there. This way they will not be overwhelmed with a lot of products at once.

I also think you must always be professional. I have a ton of fun with my clients but I would never bad mouth my completion. Even if a client is telling me of a bad experience they had with them.

Always do your job with integrity. Don’t sell a client a product or treatment you know will not work for them.

For someone who is considering this field, what would be you advice?
Find what you love in this field and specialize in it and never ever stop learning!

What do you wish you would have known before entering this field?
I can honestly say I have no surprises when I enter this field of work. I went into it with my eyes wide open and have never regretted it for a second!

How much can an esthetician expect to earn?
As a licensed esthetician you can make anywhere from $20,000-$50,000. It will all depend on experience and were you are working as well as what field you’re in. Working in a medical spa will pay more than working in a in a hair salon. You can also work from your own home or become a make-up artist. Salary will also depend on geo graphics. Do you live in a small town or big city? There are so many different variables.

Are there any scams or pitfalls to watch out for (phony opportunities, uncomfortable or scary situations, etc.)?
Oh there’s a ton of skin care out there that doesn’t really work. That’s why I will try out products for 3 months when trying a new product line. You cannot expect skin care to change your skin in 2 weeks and if they advertise that I would be very leery of that company. You also have to be careful of salesman selling machines. Lasers, skin tightening, microderm machines or any machine really. They all have limitations but sales people will say anything sometimes to make a sale. Not all sales people of course but they better have clinical studies to back up what they are claiming.

You mention on your blog that this is an ever changing field, what is the biggest change you’ve seen over the years?
There are definitely more machines then ever out now. So many different types of lasers and you can treat everything from sun damage to sagging skin to wrinkles with them. This is why it’s so important to stay on your toes. You have to figure out what really works and how well it will work for your clients.

I am a 51-year old woman with extremely oily yet sensitive skin. I recently noticed fine lines on my forehead and in the corner of my eyes. I have a drawer full of free samples of over-the-counter anti-aging products which I never remember to use. When I do remember, I either end up with a rash or don’t see any noticeable difference. If I were to visit your salon what would you recommend for my skin?
First and foremost we would sit down and discuss everything you are using on your skin and figure out what you should be using. Many times client believe there skin to be sensitive when it truly is not. It may have to do with two products they are using that are interacting with each other or it is an anti-aging ingredient, like retinol or glycolic acid, which when you first start using causes your skin to get red, itchy, or flaky. When used correctly, your skin will get acclimated to the products and all that will stop. After that we would discuss some of the treatments I can do on you to help address these issues. Like a chemical peel to help with fine lines and your oily skin. You may also be a candidate for the Venus Freeze treatment which helps tighten the skin. However I think your best bet is Botox to erase those wrinkles. Botox is a muscle relaxer. It’s perfect for forehead lines and crow’s-feet. I have been getting Botox done for over 20 years and think its da bomb!!

Also, I know a woman who had a skin treatment to remove acne scars from her chin at a prestige skin-salon. She ended up with second degree burns on her face and a settlement of $3,000 to pay her medical expenses. I’m not sure what happened; if a mistake was made with the procedure or if she didn’t understand the potential side-effects. What questions should consumers ask or potential problems should we be aware of before choosing a skin-treatment product or procedure?     
This really is dependent on the type of treatment. I think the biggest thing for the client would be to know how often they are preforming this procedure. What kind of training was involved and what is the reputation of the facility they are planning on going to.

Is there anything else you would like readers to know about yourself, skin care or your career?
If anyone is think of going into esthetics it is an incredible rewarding field and I feel blessed every day to not only have a wonderful clientele but to work in a medical spa with the a fantastic group of people ever!

Where can we find you?
If anyone has any concern about their skin I am always happy to help. I can be found at

Sunday, April 06, 2014

The Savvy Reader Book Club Selection for Financial Literacy Month

In honor of Financial Literacy Month, I am selecting Helaine Olen’s book Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industryfor The Savvy Reader Book Club’s April/May selection.

National Financial Literacy Month is recognized in the United States in April in an effort to highlight the importance of financial literacy and teach Americans how to establish and maintain healthy financial habits.

Why Pound Foolish?
Journalist and former financial columnist Helaine Olen has written a book exposing the myths of popular financial advice promoted by Suze Orman, David Bach and others. Here are some of her claims:  

Small pleasures can bankrupt you:
Gurus popular­ized the idea that cutting out lattes and other small expenditures could make us millionaires. But reduc­ing our caffeine consumption will not offset our biggest expenses: housing, education, health care, and retirement.

Disciplined investing will make you rich:
Gurus also love to show how steady investing can turn modest savings into a huge nest egg at retirement. But these calculations assume a healthy market and a lifetime without any setbacks—two conditions that have no connection to the real world.

Women need extra help managing money:
Product pushers often target women, whose alleged financial ignorance supposedly leaves them especially at risk. In reality, women and men are both terrible at han­dling finances.

Financial literacy classes will prevent future eco­nomic crises:
Experts like to claim mandatory sessions on personal finance in school will cure many of our money ills. Not only is there little evidence this is true, the entire movement is largely funded and promoted by the financial services sector.*

In case you are not familiar, The Savvy Reader Book Club is an online nonfiction book club created for the serious reader. I select a nonfiction book early in the month, and then host discussion posts covering my selection throughout the month. There's no signing up just read the book and stop back in to participate in the discussions at your leisure.

*I selected this book because I think it could lead to several interesting discussions. I plan to write discussion posts in both April and May.

Other book recommendations for financial literacy month:
If you are looking for a book to understand personal finance Helaine Olen recommends Personal Finance For Dummies. She describes this book as one of the most, informative, basic and unintimidating books on the subject she's read, and one that appeals to all ages and both sexes.

For a great list of personal finance books see:
Toby Bowers list of 10 Best Finance Books on
(Note: Popular authors such as David Bach, Dave Ramsey, Robert Kiyosaki and Suse Orman whose advice is disputed in Pound Foolish are not included on this list.)

Personal finance books I previously covered on this blog:
Susan L. Hirshman's Does This Make My Assets Look Fat?: A Woman's Guide to Finding Financial Empowerment and Success:
This book written for women is a comprehensive introduction to personal finance. Hirshman uses dieting strategies as metaphors for successful money management.  There is good information here, but I thought the dieting references were not necessary and annoying.

Mariko Chang's Shortchanged: Why Women Have Less Wealth and What Can Be Done About It:
In addition to or as a result of the wage gap, women also experience a wealth gap.  Read Chang's book to learn why and what can be done about it. 

Have you read Pound Foolish? If so, what were your thoughts? What book would you recommend reading for financial literacy month?

Please Note, I am an Amazon Affiliate

*Part of Financially Savvy Saturdays on Femme Frugality and The Million Dollar Diva*