Discussing being your best boss

“I believe in recharging as often as possible.
Go somewhere luxurious to luxuriate.”
~ Niquenya Fulbright of Building Bridges Consulting

Last week the Network of Entrepreneurial Women held a discussion on treating ourselves. As we nibbled on savory paninis and vegan chocolate pralines at Let Them Eat Chocolate, NEW co-founder Erica Thomas provided tips on how to become better bosses to ourselves, while facilitating a lively discussion around self-care.


Erica stressed that as our own boss, we have to be the best boss, in order to keep our business functioning and energized. “Burnout can ruin a perfect production schedule,” Erica said. “Avoiding burnout has to be prioritized as highly as project goals.”


Our attendees covered the full spectrum of women business care taking needs, including 2 nutrition and wellness experts, a fashion designer, a wardrobe stylist, a brand consultant, a technology consultant, and a small business coach. With our introductions we had to state how we treat ourselves. These treats ranged from booking luxurious getaways to pampering in retail and at home spa places.

A “2011 study found that frequent small pleasures,
like double lattes, pedicures, or soft socks provides
more happiness than infrequent large ones like sports cars or vacations.
Research shows that breaking up enjoyable experiences into brief events
— such as two 20-minute massages at different times
rather than one 40-minute massage —
gives people more pleasure. “

~ 33 Ways To Be Happier by Dina Spector

While massages and manicures and pedicures were popular, the majority of ladies present love to take a (jacuzzi) bath. To soak our stressors away, this article suggests taking a champagne bath, and offers a less extravagant milk and honey recipe a la Cleopatra. Before that bath, My Health Beet’s Svetlana Burak recommended dry brushing to exfoliate and detoxify.


Highlighting that treats do not have to be high-cost or difficult to implement, many women also enjoyed getting lost in a story, whether through a popular TV series or by being transported into a book. Savoring a delicious meal or anticipating a glass of wine at the end of the day also served as pleasurable rewards for a job well done.

“Self-care is such a buzz word that it’s often tossed around
without people really thinking about what it means to practice it.
The truth is that integrating self-care into life is a choice
and a practice, and it only happens successfully
when someone is conscious and consistent about it.”

~ During Your Next Launch, Don’t Neglect Self-Care by Kate Swoboda

One way to treat ourselves better is by stopping to review what we have achieved. We each grow and learn every day, and looking back on a to-do list from a year to 6 months ago can indicate milestones we may not recognize as we adopt new skills into our regular routine.


When asked what we would give our best employee suggestions ranged from a day (completely logged) off to family outings to writing down a daily or weekly list of accomplishments. Realizing that acknowledgement of things well done is a key motivator, we encouraged each other to print certificates of achievements for the things we sometimes fail to recognize.


Getting in touch with nature also offers the opportunity for a re-set and turns out to be extremely helpful for the brain. John Haltiwanger writes that people who appreciate nature are happier, healthier and more innovative.

“Natural environments stimulate the brain
in ways civilization cannot,
exponentially improving our cognitive abilities
and igniting our imaginations.”
~ John Haltiwanger

Erica suggested that solopreneurs evaluate their businesses based on Crain’s “Best Places to Work 2015.” The selection criteria included: quantitative issues about pay, promotions, health care and other benefits, hiring practices as well as fairness of pay, vacation time, relationships with management and co-workers, career development and other day-to-day workplace issues.


Being self-employed can cause for some pitfalls of bossiness. Key to preventing burnout is to also acknowledge our biorhythms, which we can sometimes try to push through. Once again, the best places to work example came to the rescue with the question “Would you work for someone who made you come into the office during a blizzard?”

“It’s OK that you don’t do everything.
It’s OK that someone else does it for you.
You have the wisdom to understand:
‘that’s not my strong suit, that is not my best quality’.”
~ Brand Consultant Cierra Cole

Delegation was also discussed and encouraged, whether it be training a 3-year old to shred papers, engaging older children in answering the phone, or outright hiring someone. Erica stated that we tend to take the longest doing the things we don’t like to do, and outsourcing that task to someone else can free us up to more productivity. Being a perfectionist can hinder that process, but one member pointed out that getting it done is better than for it to be perfect.


It was lovely to lounge in a welcoming and comfortable space while bonding over indulgences. We look forward to revisiting Let Them Eat Chocolate in Andersonville, and are excited to spur each other on in our respective ventures.


Continuing our theme of wellness and self-care, our next Wine Women and Wellness Event will coincide with a Women Out Walking presentation. NEW member Svetlana Burak of My Health Beet is partnering with Kim Leider, a Training Leader with Ava Anderson Non Toxic to present: “Clean Living Inside and Out” at the Evanston Public Library on Thursday, May 28 from 7 to 8:30 pm.


Group photo courtesy NetworkHoncho.com.

NEW – The Network of Entrepreneurial Women is a group of Chicagoland business women who are upgrading business networking with fun and creative events that inspire attendees to work together, refer each other and most of all cheer each other on as the membership succeeds. Events rotate around various suburbs on a semimonthly basis, usually the 2nd Wednesday and 4th Thursday of the month. RSVP for our upcoming events at Meetup, or like us on Facebook and check up on the calendar there.


Girls’ Night Out at The Sugar Path

Last week I attended The Sugar Path’s first Girls’ Night Out pop-up event, which was a lovely gathering of women. Owner Michelle Adams kindly invited me to bring my Maraviglia wax and wire pendants.


The Sugar Path was founded in 2011, when three sisters decided to pursue a love of baking. Michelle researched the food industry for 6 years prior to leaving her career as an attorney to embark on this venture with her family.

The Sugar Path storefront

Initially the cupcakes and pies traveled to various farmers markets in the Geneva area, but when a storefront became available last summer, The Sugar Path expanded into a storefront operation. Their official ribbon cutting was on February 5.

Now the bakery has become a lovely gathering spot for after-school tutoring, post-work cupcake happy hours, and fun events like Girls Night Out. In addition to regular and alcohol-infused cupcakes, mini-pies and slices of pie, the cafe-style location offers teas, coffees, cocoa and milk.

Vitrine at The Sugar Path

Since I arrived early (The Sugar Path’s hours and menu are updated here), I had lunch at Graham’s 318, which served a fabulous egg salad sandwich and yummy hot cocoa.

I admired the snowy landscape as I walked around.


Then I stopped in at the Peaceful Parlour to stock up on tea and honey. Owner Shari had introduced her wares to us at the Geneva WIN Retreat.

Peaceful Parlour in Geneva IL

Soon it was time to set up at the store.

Maike's Maraviglia Pop-up

Girl’s Night Out! features female owned businesses, and will be held on a regular basis. The vendors in the February 4th line up included:

Frock ’n Roll Chicago (clothing)

FrockNRoll Chicago

NYR Organics (make-up and lotions)

NYR Organic

Pawprint Barkery (dog treats)

Pawprint Barkery

Bema and Pa’s (infused Olive Oils)

Bema and Pas

The Farmer’s Wife Aprons


Stella & Dot jewelry

Stella and Dot

We were offered samples of K’Tizo Tea, Fresh Ground Roastin Coffee, and mini cupcakes by The Sugar Path.

Tea and Coffee

Harpist Tina Barber of Simply Elegant Harp played lovely melodies.

Simply Elegant Harp

Sweet Embellishment’s postcards were a favorite as well.

Keep Calm and Eat Cupcakes

Sweet Embellishments at The Sugar Path

A few friends stopped by for the fun.


I was happy to send my wire pendants off with new owners, including two of the girly hearts inspired by the shop owner’s daughter.

Maraviglia sold at Girls Night Out

A great time was had by all.

Girls Night Out at The Sugar Path

My collages are still up at The Sugar Path’s Market Place corner, so stop in and peruse the vendor shelves and don’t forget to pick up a cupcake or some pie!

The Sugar Path market

My pendants wanted to jump into the Cowboy Pie (so I took one home).