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Kathy Marshack News

What is a Mompreneur?

Thursday, April 08, 2010


The term "mompreneur" has been popping up everywhere. What does it mean? Entrepreneur.com defines "mompreneur" as, "a female business owner who is actively balancing the role of mom and the role of entrepreneur." According to the Center for Women's Business Research, in 2008 "10.1 million firms are owned by women, employing more than 13 million people, and generating $1.9 trillion in sales." No wonder mompreneur has become a popular term – they are everywhere.

Being a mother and a business owner is no easy task. But when done right, both areas can be a success. Here are a few things to help keep a mompreneur in balance:

1. Stick to a schedule. Scheduling will help you stay focused on the most important tasks without getting distracted with nonessentials

2. Get the family on board. A supportive spouse is key to running a successful business. Also, involve the kids when appropriate. They can help you with things around the house or even get involved with some of the business aspects.

3. Take time for self-care. If you don't take care of yourself first, you can't take care of your family or your business. Take a few moments everyday to relax whether that means exercising, reading, or chatting with a friend on the phone.

I have written many articles about women business owners over the years as part of my Families In Business column. I invite you to learn more about how to be a successful business woman leader.

Autism Awareness is Growing in Canada

Thursday, April 01, 2010


The Autism Society Canada has proudly announced that April 2nd, 2010 will be designated as the World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD) in Canada. Their goal is to spread awareness about autism and lend assistance to those living with ASD. It has been estimated that 1 in 150 Canadians have some form of ASD. Since Canada is without national surveillance, those numbers can only be viewed as an estimate.

Michael Lewis, President of the Autism Society Canada is hoping for a change in how autism is monitored in Canada. He said, “All autism stakeholder organizations agree that Canada must establish accurate surveillance and reporting on ASDs. This information will help us to determine the prevalence of autism to help develop policies needed regarding treatments and services for all Canadians living with an ASD."

For more information about the Autism Society of Canada and WAAD, visit their website or join their Facebook page. Let us all continue to work towards more awareness of ASD in whatever country we live in!

Optimism Is Good Medicine

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Recent studies show that optimism can have a powerful impact on your health. It seems that those who have a positive view of their health often fare better. It has not be proven "how" this works in the body, but studies show interesting results. For a more detailed look at a recent study, read Skip the Vitamins, Use Optimism to Lift Immune System.

If you are not a naturally optimistic person, don’t be discouraged. Here are a few tips to help you adjust your thinking to a more positive perspective:

1. Start off each day with a positive thought. It will help you set the tone for how you will choose to think for the day.

2. Smile, smile, smile. Smiling will draw others toward you creating a positive exchange and will guarantee to lift your mood.

3. Live one day at a time. Stop worrying about the past and the future. Focus on the present and make that day the best it can be.

4. Find a good support system. Pick associates that are going to encourage positive thinking and will help you work through your negative feelings.

If optimistic thinking still feels difficult, seek professional help. A mental health care professional will be able to help you uncover the cause of your negative thinking and provide working tools to guide you through the change.

Coping Techniques for Divorce

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Statistics show that 40-50% of first marriages end in divorce and it is considered one of the most stressful events in life. Emotional and physical side effects of divorce are becoming more and more common. For instance, depression and anxiety can easily set in and even more serious health problems like cancer and heart disease become a greater risk. The question then becomes, what can help you cope with a divorce?

1. Find a hobby
A hobby can become a pleasant distraction from your thoughts. Choose something that makes you happy and that you can easily turn to when you find yourself going down a negative train of thought.

2. Reorganize
Clean out your home and get rid (or put away) items that will bring up painful reminders of your ex. Instead of "our stuff" replace it with "your stuff." This can sometimes be a slow process, but a healthy one. It can also help you to remember the good, but put away the bad.

3. Make new plans
Planning is a great tool to keep yourself busy and productive. Planning helps you to set goals and reach them which will help promote self-worth and success.

Coping with a divorce is a process and one that cannot be rushed. If you are feeling depressed or anxious, please visit my website for additional coping techniques. I also have information on how to cope with high conflict divorce.

The Autism Society of Washington Conference

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


The Autism Society of Washington is hosting the Best in the Northwest Conference – Bridge to Adulthood: Promoting Competence through Comprehensive Transition Planning for Learners with Autism and Related Disorders. This is a one-day workshop in my hometown, Vancouver, Washington and it will be held on April 16, 2010.

The workshop will be directed by Dr. Peter Gerhardt, President of the Organization for Autism Research. With over 25 years of experience of working with autism related disorders, Dr. Gerhardt will be focusing on the transition process beyond classroom academics and promoting life competence for ones with ASD.

I have signed up to attend this workshop. Click here for more information or to register. Maybe I’ll see you there!

New TV Drama Adds a Character with Asperger Syndrome

Thursday, March 18, 2010


NBC has developed a new sitcom called "Parenthood". It is based around the challenges of raising children and starting life over. What I found interesting about this new show is that one of the main characters, Adam Braverman, has a young son with Asperger Syndrome. Yes, it looks like Hollywood's interest in Asperger's continues to grow.

Jason Katmin's, Parenthood's writer and executive producer, has a 13 year old son with Asperger Syndrome and wanted to use this opportunity to raise public awareness about the disorder and reduce the stigma around it. Wednesday morning after the second episode aired, "Asperger Syndrome" was one of the top Google searches. It looks like Jason Katmin's hope is becoming a reality.

If you would like more information on Asperger Syndrome, please visit Asperger Syndrome Frequently Asked Questions on my website.

An Inspirational Person Shares Her Gift

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Many of you have had the privilege of meeting my Office Coordinator, Michelle Lathim, in person. Michelle has been diligently working for me for a number of years and has truly been a blessing. I wanted to take this opportunity though to share a little bit about the work Michelle has been doing outside of my office.

For several years, Michelle and her husband Dwight have been volunteering at their local church to organize divorce recovery support groups. With divorce statistics on the rise, Michelle and Dwight recognized that this is a major need in the community. The groups have been a success and have multiplied!

The Lathim’s work was recently recognized by the New Heights Church. Last weekend they were asked to be the Keynote Speakers at the New Heights Navigate Gorge Getaway, a two day retreat for parents of young children who need time to relax and refresh their marriage.

I was thrilled to see that this wonderful opportunity that was extended to Michelle and Dwight. They have a wealth of knowledge and experience to share. I will continue to blog about their future speaking engagements.

Are Family Businesses Really Different?

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Many people who work in family-owned businesses, or family firms, have never stopped to think of the concerns that are unique to family businesses. While about half of the gross national product comes from family owned businesses, and roughly half of America's workers are employed in family firms, the family business is seldom seen as having issues of any significant difference than other sole proprietorships, partnerships or corporations.

Inc. Magazine decided it was time to dig deeper into family business issues. Author, Christine Lagorio recently posted the article entitled, How to Run a Family Business, which discusses how to run your family business the right way. She interviewed experts on this topic asking them to share their advice and lessons learned. Since I’m a Family Business Coach and the author of, Entrepreneurial Couples - Making it Work at Work and at Home, I was able to share some practical tips for family businesses. I discussed the value of determining what your family style is and working that into your business, as well as the importance of writing a formal business-partnership agreement. Click here to read the article in its entirety.

If you would like to learn more about family business or being an entrepreneurial couple, please visit the Entrepreneurial Life section of my website.

Update on Partners & Family of Adults with ASD Meetings

Thursday, March 04, 2010


Asperger Syndrome: Partner and Family of Adults with ASD Meetup Support Group was established in Portland, Oregon back in April 2009 and I am happy to say that it is growing by leaps and bounds. The discussions we have are honest and candid. They have proven to be beneficial no matter what stage of life you are in with your partner or adult Asperger family member.

Our group also consists of extremely talented people with a wealth of information to share. The next Meetup is scheduled for March 20, 2010 at the Old Wives Tales Restaurant in Portland, Oregon at 1 p.m. It is very heartwarming for me to see that members are willing to give of themselves to each other. Even though the Meetup lasts but two hours, many members choose to stay for another hour or two because the friendships are growing. If you are interested in attending, please click here for more information.

Another amazing experience is that members that live in different states, even different continents, join in. Through our message boards members from afar can reach out and be touched. For instance, we have had over 350 posts to the message board on the subject “Patients Not Believed About The Difficulty Of Their Lives” written by Bronwyn Wilson.

Please visit our message boards to read the discussions on a whole host of subjects from increased meltdowns on the weekends, to learning patience and acceptance, to the latest science and genetic research, to fatigue and self-care, and more. Sharing is what it is all about.

A New Review of Going Over the Edge?

Tuesday, March 02, 2010


Oren Shtayermman, a professor from the Department of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences at the New York Institute of Technology, recently wrote a book review of Life with a Partner for Spouse with Asperger Syndrome: Going Over the Edge? His review was published by the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. I was very pleased with the review and wanted to share it.

I was particularly impressed about how supportive it was of NT's living in these types of relationships. For example, Shatyermman writes,  "The author reveals in a sensitive and emotional manner, the encounters and endeavors women (and few men) are faced with while living in a world where spontaneity, empathy and social cues rarely appear."

The book review concludes with this statement, "This is an exceptional book which sheds light on a population often left out of the focus of treatment and in need of further exploration vis-a-vis issues they encounter as well as the possible ways to deal with those."

Please click here to view the book review in its entirety.


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