Archive for April, 2010

A Day in the life….

Posted by at 29 April, 2010, 11:31 am

Stuff to look for:

As I sit here for 30 minutes trying to get a blog post in, I wonder what in the world I will accomplish once both kids are in the same school.  As you know, my 2 girls were 1 and 3 when I had my light bulb moment and it’s been “balls to the wall” ever since.  Looking at my schedule “objectively”, I can’t believe I get ANYTHING accomplished in a day!

Here is my typical day: Up at 6:30, get both kids in the car by 7:30, drop the 7 yr old off at school by 8:00, go to the gym with the 5 yrs old for a quick work out and shower.  Have the 5 yr old to school by 9:45, home by 10:10, work until 12:30, grab a “soup to go” on the way out the door, pick up the 5 yrs old from school at 1:00, home by 1:20, work until 2:35, in the carpool line for the 7 yr old by 3:00, homework time then depending on the night, soccer, tap, ballet, gymnastics, dinner, maybe a bath if time, kids to bed by 7:00.  Then, depending on the night, work, dinner and conversation with the hubby, or an event with the various organizations that I am a part of.  (The Chamber of Commerce, The Komen Foundation, Charleston Young Professionals…)  I have done live podcasts from the carpool line and conference calls from the laundry room!

Now I’m not telling you this to get any sort of pity or even praise.  I LOVE my life and as “Mompreneurs”® this is just what we do!  I am just sharing this more of a reminder to ME that starting in August, I’ll have both kids in elementary school and the sky is the LIMIT!  I have days that I am really burnt out and think about just selling it all, but then I think… “Leslie… you’ve done the majority of the “hard” part and did it when the girls were little and arguably, the most “work”.  Now that you are about to have some set “company time” (maybe even 4 consecutive hours a day!) let’s open’er up and see what this baby can REALLY do?!

This leads me to another little topic I thought of while on the phone conducting business on the way to pick up the 1st grader.  I have A LOT to thank Shark Tank for, but one of the biggest things that show did for me (besides getting my product in front of 5.5 million American’s and doing business with multi millionaires) is that it “exposed” me for what I am and therefore has given me TREMENDOUS freedom to be that “Southern Mom turned entrepreneur”.  I do take customer calls from the carpool line and answer emails in the parking lots of the girl’s ballet studio.  I do interviews on the go and send PO’s from vacation.  Before Shark Tank, I tried to act like a “big dog” and not let anyone know what really happened behind the scenes.  I still think that is important to do in many cases, but I was “outed” last year and I LOVE IT!  My customers know that when they call, I don’t have a receptionist, you WILL get ME and you may or may not hear children in the background.  100% professional… NOPE, but then again… That’s something I have never claimed to be.  WOW… sorry for rambling on so today.  I didn’t even get to more on social media!  I’ll continue that next week.

1 last thing!  My mentor, the Original Mom Inventor Tamara Monosoff just came out with her latest and greatest book “Your Million Dollar Dream”.  I’ve got my copy right here on my desk and if you don’t have yours Here:

Tamara shares the story of one of my very first “real sales” when I just received my first shipment.  It as November of 2007 and for those of you that have been with me from the beginning, you’ll remember this one!  I did it topless!  (page 109 of the book)  See…. I NEVER said I was EVER professional!

Leslie Haywood, Founder and President of Charmed Life Products, Inventor of Grill Charms™

Category : Inventing | Mompreneur Stories | The Journey of Grill Charms!

Marketing and PR 24 / 7

Posted by at 19 April, 2010, 7:39 am

Here is a podcast I did the other day and in true “Mompreneur” style, I multitasked with the best of them!  To listen, go to  and find the one for 4/14.  My  segment is around minute 30.  The show was live and the show time was such that I would not have time to pick up my 7 year old from school if I did it from the office, so I went to her school early and sat in the carpool line to do the show.  You do what you’ve got to do right?! 

 I just got back from a cousins wedding in upstate New York and while up there, Canadian TV ran my episode of Shark Tank.  I started getting all these orders and wholesale requests from Canada and couldn’t figure out why!  Thank goodness for Twitter!  A Canadian follower filled me in.  I’m going to keep this blog post a little short because I just got back and have lots of work to do for our wonderful neighbors to the north.  Thanks for the support folks!

Okay, on to a little bit more about social media.  With social media you can immerse yourself in PR and Marketing 24/7!  IMO, The single best free PR tool you can have is HARO.  Help A Reporter Out.  For those of you not familiar, it is a free service where 3 times a day you receive information regarding stories that media of all kinds is working on.  The urgent queries are sent out via Twitter, @helpareporter.  I can talk all day about HARO, so if you want to know more about, we can talk after or just sign up and you will be amazed!

Something else I do, once a month I have in my favorites the web addresses for every major television show I want to appear on and just see if there is ANY possible way that I can any topic they are looking for.  They all have little sections on their websites usually entitled “be in the show”. 

Right now, The Bonnie Hunt show is looking for Kid Inventors

Ellen Degenerous wants to know if you have had a crazy hard sale find

Martha Stuart is looking for a guest with a “unique craft” that you can show her on the show.

Oprah is looking for folks to talk about how a past guest has changed their lives.

 The list goes on and on and on.   All of the things I am telling you now are what got me on ABC’s show Shark Tank, which ultimately pushed me into profitably in 2009, my second year on the market (which is almost unheard of)  I’ll tell you how it all came together. 

There was a show a while back called “The big idea with Donny Deutsch” which I watched religiously.  It was all about entrepreneurs and small business success stories.  On the show’s “be on the show” section of the website, it instructed viewers to send in a video about how the show helped you, which of course I did.  They loved the video, called me up and flew me to CNBC studios on two separate occasions to do segments on the show. 

Fast forward to this summer.   Out of the blue, I got an email from a producer with Mark Burnett productions saying they were shooting a new show for ABC.   He had been on the social networking site for small business (Start up nation) and saw that I had won Start up nation’s Home Based business of the year contest.   He went to my website and checkout of my “news page” which had a link to my YouTube account and my appearances on The Big Idea, liked what he saw, and the rest is history. 

 I’ve got more true life stories coming up next week… stay tuned ;)

 Leslie Haywood, Founder and President of Charmed Life Products, Inventor of Grill Charms™

Category : Inventing | Marketing | Media Coverage | Mompreneur Stories | Public Relations | Social Media | The Journey of Grill Charms!

Empty Space

Posted by at 14 April, 2010, 11:20 am

As you are organizing, make sure you leave some room for growth. If all the shelves are full, there won’t be room for anything new. Don’t be afraid of empty space. It’s essential to organized living.

Category : Organizing Mom | Uncategorized

Establish yourself as an expert

Posted by at 9 April, 2010, 9:48 am

Howdy folks!  Okay, I’ll get back on track with my series on social media.  Lot’s of great potential media coming!  I have a chapter in a booking coming out by Sherry Sexton.  The book is called “And the T-Shirt to Prove it!”.  As soon as I get a release date, I’ll let you know.  Also, thanks to HARO, I heard back from Self Magazine and am in the running for an article they are doing on women inventors, so keep your fingers crossed for that.  Below are a few “things” from last week. 

 And next week I’m doing an interview at  Tuesday, April 13 from 12:30-1:00 pm EST.  The name of the show is “Believe in Your Fairytale and Your Zing will come True!”  After the show airs, it will be available to download for free .

Before I go into more about this social media thing, just a quick update about my sega with Frontgate.  EVERY THING IS FINE!  J  The ship date wasn’t until the 4th, so I knew I’d be okay with that, and there wasn’t even a slap on the wrist.  YEAH!!!  I feel so much better !!  Today I received an acceptance letter from the catalog Femail Creations for their holiday catalog and it was just the vendor manual with contract, so I signed it and faxed it back.  Now it too says all PO’s need to be confirmed within 48 hours, so don’t you know, I’ll be SOOOO looking out for it!!  I’m not going to make THAT mistake again!!  :)

Okay, onto a little bit more about social media and PR.  Last time we left off, we were talking about becoming an “expert” (or being perceived as an expert) 

This is where my blog came into play but if you are still intimidated by starting and maintaining your own blog, get involved and active and basically ride of the coat tails of your target market or others in your field whom already have established Social Media street cred. 

Use other people’s social media savvy to spread the word about your product or service.  Regardless of the fact that I have my own blog, I still write articles, contribute and “guest post” on other people’s blogs.  (Of course, always linking back to mine as well as add to my “news” page.)  Bloggers are always looking for well written content.

Get reviews on your business, product or service from bloggers in your industry.  I would search out the higher ranking blogs of my target market foodies, grillers and believe it or not, mom’s / women. (because Grill Charms are such a great gift item and we all know who buys the gifts in the house!)   I would get active and comment on their blogs and follow them on twitter and make it a point to RT some of their tweets.  (RTing is one of the highest forms of flattery)  and eventually reach out, introduce myself and ask for a review.  Once I get a review, the first thing I do is post on FB Grill Charms page which is linked to my twitter and then put it up on my news page with a link to the story.  Then I would blog about all the links I had for that week.  (as you all know)

Oh, social media success story from this week:  The article above with Basil Magazine… Here’s how that went down.  I followed her on twitter, she followed me back, I asked if I could email her some product info, she DM’d me back with her email, I shot off my “schpeel” and she CALLED ME 5 minutes later saying she loved the product and wanted to feature it!  This stuff WORKS people!!

You want to be an expert?  Have your own radio show.  With blogtalkradio all you need is a decent microphone and you can have your own show.  If you don’t want to devote the time, simply ask to be a guest on an already existing radio show.  I’ve done about a dozen online radio interviews.  Once again, those “in the know” of social media and “content marketing” already have radio shows you can contribute to.  Just go to  and search for your industry or topic, then reach out to the host (if they are on blogtalkradio, GUARETEED they are on FB, Twitter, LinkedIN and have a blog you can comment on to break the ice) I know I sound like a broken record, but it needs to be done…once the podcast goes up, I tweet, FB, and Blog about the link then post it with an icon and link to my “news” page.

Establish yourself as an expert by posting a video on Youtube and embed into your website or blog.  You can buy a flip camera for $30.00 and in 10 minutes have it up for the world to see.

Don’t like being ON video? Use and make a very professional video with content you create and photos you have, all set to music for $3.00.  It’s sooooo easy, even I did it!  Animoto will post to Youtube for you, than you can embed it in your blog or on your website.  Here’s what mine looks like:

That’s about it for today.  I’ve still got so much more to talk about, but we will wait for next week.  Happy Friday!!

Leslie Haywood, Founder and President of Charmed Life Products, Inventor of Grill Charms™

Category : Blogging | Inventing | Marketing | Mompreneur Stories | Social Media | The Journey of Grill Charms!

votive candle holders in the medicine cabinet

Posted by at 1 April, 2010, 9:39 am

Glass votive candle holders can be used to contain a lot of little things cluttering up your medicine cabinet

  1. small tubes
  2. scissors, tweezers, nail clippers
  3. Q-tips
  4. medicine droppers

They look nice and are inexpensive.  You probably already have some just waiting to be used.  Send me before and after pictures of your beautiful, organized cabinet.

Category : Organization | Organizing Mom