What I Learned From Barbie's Mom

Written by Donna Schwartz Mills

When my daughter received a gift certificate at KB Toys for her birthday this month, she announced her intention to spend it all on Barbie.

Never mindrepparttar fact that she already owns a Veterinarian Barbie, Lifesaver Barbie, Prom Queen Barbie, two Barbie Ballerinas and a Prince Ken... She's got Barbie's Beach House, a Barbie Steering Wheel, two Barbie autos that each seat four, a Barbie tape player, Barbie Hair and Makeup Model, Barbie Nail Designer Software, and a big box full of clothes. But Megan wants to have a *collection*, a peculiarly human urge understood well byrepparttar 123898 Mattel Toy Company, which comes up with all this stuff.

It's too bad they don't make a Work at Home Mom Barbie. If they did, they could draw onrepparttar 123899 life of Ruth Handler for inspiration. Handler, who passed away last week, is best known asrepparttar 123900 inventor ofrepparttar 123901 Barbie doll. She was also one ofrepparttar 123902 most successful female entrepreneurs of all time, beginning in an era when women were expected to stay inrepparttar 123903 kitchen and out ofrepparttar 123904 boardroom.

Like many of us, Ruth's career as an entrepreneur began by accident. Money was tight when she married her husband, Elliot. She was working as a secretary and he was studying industrial design. He decided to use his skills to make some housewares for their apartment. *She* decided that there was a market for them. They operated their first business out of their garage. Ruth handledrepparttar 123905 sales, which reached $2 million withinrepparttar 123906 first few years... and that was in 1945 dollars. Today that amount would equal ten times as much!

Ruth and Elliot joined with another designer, Harold "Matt" Mattson, to formrepparttar 123907 Mattel Company (named for Matt and Elliot). They manufactured picture frames. Elliot realized that he could takerepparttar 123908 wood scraps fromrepparttar 123909 frames and turn them into doll furniture. This side business proved to be so successful thatrepparttar 123910 company changed its focus to toys.

The folks at Mattel credit Ruth with playing an integral role in their success. Her natural talent as a marketer helpedrepparttar 123911 company turn a profit its very first year as a toymaker. But her biggest was her ability to identify a market void and fill it ("niche marketing," which is whatrepparttar 123912 experts all tell us we should be doing.)

It was just such an instinct that led torepparttar 123913 Barbie's birth. The 1950's were an era when little girls played with baby dolls -- in fact, those were just aboutrepparttar 123914 only kind you could buy. But Ruth noticed that her daughter, Barbara, was fascinated with paper dolls representing adult and teenage women. She would change their dresses and imagine how life would be all grown up.

How To Find Your REAL Self Again

Written by Kathy Gates

Onrepparttar surface it seems an odd idea that you could actually be anything other than who you really are. But fromrepparttar 123897 time we can talk, we're being programmed to "fit in". We find ourselves conforming in order to pleaserepparttar 123898 people we love, and who love us. But sometimes that means that you have to suppress what you know isrepparttar 123899 real person inside.

If you're ready to get re-acquainted with someone you haven't seen in a while - yourself - start with these 5 ideas to help you rediscoverrepparttar 123900 real you.

1. Quietrepparttar 123901 noise in your head. You know those voices well,repparttar 123902 ones that are constantly nagging you to pick uprepparttar 123903 dry cleaning, talk torepparttar 123904 school teacher, jugglerepparttar 123905 bills, call your mother, keeprepparttar 123906 kids in line, and keeprepparttar 123907 boss happy. With all that noise going on, it will be impossible for you to hear anything aboverepparttar 123908 din. This MUST berepparttar 123909 first step. How do you do that? By setting up systems, simplifying, and establishing enough extras in your life to allow you to operate from a position of abundance, instead of lack.

2. Learn how to- and practice - thinking about yourself in healthy ways. In order to do that, you must first BELIEVE that you are valuable, and your Real Self has something to offerrepparttar 123910 world. Since you talk to yourself more than everyone else in your life combined, --that's a lot of talk!-it's up to YOU to establishrepparttar 123911 healthy communication in your thinking. Consciously listen to how you talk to yourself; write downrepparttar 123912 unhealthy things you say; challenge them; and replace them with facts. Talk: "You never do anything right." Challenge: "Of course I do things right. I did (example) right. I did (example) right. This time, I just made a mistake. I'll learn from it and have better success next time."

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