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What It Means To Run the "Family Business" in the Modern Era
Dear Friends,
I've started Heard It From A Friend to create more conversation and community around running the "Family Business" and to share how we can use technology to be more efficient. The goal is help
women get more leverage, so we have more time for what we enjoy in life – our family, our friends and even ourselves!
10 Major Factors Intensify the Parenting Challenge Today
Running the “Family Business” in the modern era is a bigger challenge than I’d imagined, and it all came as a bit of a shock to me. My mom grew up in a household of 10 children, and she, my grandmother, and three aunts always made it look so easy. While I’m sure feeding, clothing, and transporting a family of 12 was no small feat, I do think the nature of the job has greatly changed.
10 Major Factors Intensify the Parenting Challenge Today:
  1. The rise of extracurricular activities and demise of neighborhood play
  2. The intense competition for higher education
  3. The focus on building 21st-century STEAM skills
  4. The expectations to spend more time with our children
  5. The rise of “Intensive Parenting"
  6. The expectations to volunteer more at school
  7. The increased frequency of documented learning differences
  8. Caring for young children and aging parents simultaneously       
  9. Our 24/7 work culture, relentless hours and long commutes
  10. The introduction of mobile technology
We’ve Been Promoted to Chief Technology Officer
The introduction of mobile technology represents the biggest sociological change of our time and adds layers of complication to the parenting role.  It’s disquieting to think of our kids being more technologically agile and that we’re behind the learning curve instead of leading it. Now that we are signing iPad school use policies for our kindergarteners and have close to 10 devices in the house, we’ve unwittingly been promoted to Chief Technology Officer. This role I was totally unprepared for, and it didn’t even exist 10 years ago when I first became a parent. 
With with my husband commuting across continents, I’m effectively CEO of our household, and I’m playing many C-level roles too. I know I’m in good company, as I’ve talked with many women about this on the soccer fields and at the grocery store.  It’s clear from the 
org chart what a big job running the “Family Business” has become. 
This is what we women carry with us whether we’re headed to the boardroom or the carpool line.   We are deeply committed to caring for our families, and it’s time that we all begin to value the work that we do. While I’m sure these responsibilities are divvied up differently in every family, the reality is that even in households with two full-time working parents, women are carrying the majority of the load.

While much has changed since the 1960s when my grandmother was raising kids, this current model of running the “Family Business” not only creates impossible demands
and expectations, but also comes at a real cost to our health and happinessThe question is: how are we going to get more leverage?
Women Need A Voice in Technology
Several weeks ago over 2 million women made their collective voice heard by banding together over many issues.  A topic yet to be explored is how technology can remediate the imbalances facing women's role in the "Family Business."  Given that many of us are self-employed and/or focused on raising families, we're largely isolated from product design and development.  Women remain noticeably absent from the tech world, and it's Is time that we have a voice in technology so that it meets our needs. 

 Heard It From A Friend aims to shine a spotlight on the tools we need to run the "Family Business" and how to use them.  With efficiency comes improved quality of family life, giving women the leverage we so badly need.   Coming soon: C-level Resources and  Tech Tips plus the launch of The Friend Forum.  To join the community and learn more, clickhere — I hope you will join us!
With best wishes,
Julie Paul
What are your thoughts on running the "Family Business?"
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