RSS Feed .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Mary Schmidt Business Builder & Renovator


Idea Pool

Eek! Feminine Hygiene!

Mary Schmidt

Jan 22, 2016

frightened man This is pretty much the look I get from men (and some women) when I talk about my pro bono passion, Women To Be (feminine hygiene kits for Nepal refugee camps). Just the other morning, when I was doing the “need pitch” to a group, the men were (for the most part) freaking out. They weren’t screaming out loud, but I saw the “EEK!” thought bubbles. 

But here’s the thing—MANY things make us uncomfortable. Some even frighten us. If we’re going to solve problems, we have to get uncomfortable

In Brain Food, Do Good. Do Well.

“Write It Down.”

Mary Schmidt

Jan 20, 2016

if you didn't document it Yup. It’s still January 2016. Still time to work on your personal success and happiness projects for the year.

Yesterday, in the Trusted Advisors meeting, we talked about setting realistic goals.  My wise, big brain colleague who was leading the discussion helped us focus on what we really want in 2016.

Which led to the “why” of what we’re doing. We were all scribbling away on old-fashioned paper (which is how I get my synapses going anyway, on any project.)

Here’s a reality check

In Brain Food, Start-Up Sanity Checks

Are You Procrastinating or Thinking?

Mary Schmidt

Jan 18, 2016

Mozart procrastinationWhy I Taught Myself to Procrastinate. —Adam Grant, NYT 01/16/16.

I have no trouble procrastinating. Unlike Mr. Grant, I have a natural talent for it. Of course, there are different forms of procrastination; I prefer to think of mine as productive.

We think of procrastination as a curse. Over 80 percent of college students are plagued by procrastination, requiring epic all-nighters to finish papers and prepare for tests. Roughly 20 percent of adults report being chronic procrastinators. We can

In Brain Food, Mindful Mondays

“I Don’t Know What Else To Do!”

Mary Schmidt

Jan 15, 2016

what goes around comes aroundRecently—on a cold, rainy night—as I was leaving Trader Joe’s, I was approached by a young man. He very carefully stayed about seven feet away from me and asked for my help. The story was he had stood up for a neighbor when a policeman was harassing her and was put in jail. He’d just gotten out after over 60 days and had lost his job and apartment. He had been “out “here all day, didn’t know what else to do!” and would appreciate anything so he could provide shelter for his family for the

In Do Good. Do Well.

A Patent Isn’t a (Commercial) Product.

Mary Schmidt

Jan 12, 2016

Consider the ballpoint pen. John J. Loud patented a “rolling-pointed fountain marker” on October 30, 1888.  Over the next 30 years, 350 similar patents were issued by the U.S. Patent Office. But none of these products appeared on the market.  The idea was fine—they just couldn’t get the ink right. If it was too thin, the pen leaked. Too thick, the pen clogged. Eventually two French brothers solved the problem and licensed their patents, in 1950, to a Frenchman named Bich. He then took

In Brain Food, Start-Up Sanity Checks, Marketing Troubleshooting

Mindful Business = Integrity, Respect and Kindness

Mary Schmidt

Jan 11, 2016

“Positive Workplaces Are More Productive.” —Harvard Business Review

Once again, something we “all” know. And yet…many people still work in toxic environments—expected to put in long hours and take whatever the boss wants to dish out on any given day. 

Perhaps if the Harvard Business Review says it, more companies will believe it. 

Many businesses rely on a cut-throat culture to drive success—there’s no time to be nice.

But the costs over time are beginning to show: sick days,

In Mindful Mondays

Doing Good Better

Mary Schmidt

Jan 08, 2016

My weekly Friday Do Good. Do Well post.

I’m currently reading Doing Good Better, How Effective Altruism Can Help You Make A Difference, by William MacAskill, the co-founder of The Effective Altruism Movement

I picked it up at the library when the word “effective” caught my eye. That’s the trick isn’t it? I’ve watched volunteers almost literally crawl over each other looking for something, anything to do at a fundraiser; seen nonprofit staffs do redundant tasks (that yield few, if any

In Do Good. Do Well.

Start-Up Sanity Check for B2B Tech Ventures

Got a great idea? Are people telling you it’s crazy? Good! You’ve got to be a little insane to take that start-up leap – rather it’s out of your garage, the lab or a day job. I'll help you decide where and when to leap (and what to do when you land).

Investment: $500.00 (Why do I call it an investment? Two reasons: 1. If you’re willing to pay, that tells me you’re serious. 2. When you pay for advice, you’re more likely to value and use it.)

Drop me a line and we’ll see if we’re a good fit. If I can't help you, I’ll tell you (and if possible, tell you who can.)

Got funding? I work with one to three start-ups a year, on retainer (minimum of three months, maximum one year).

Free Downloads


Social Media Isn't Free, Easy or Magic.

If one of the self-anointed experts contacts you, pitching magical thinking, ask:

1. What results can I expect if I work with you? (Note: Twitter followers aren't necessarily customers.)

2. What kind of time will I have to invest? (Social media, properly done, is all about personal relationships. You with your customers...and a good relationship takes time.)

3. How do I integrate social media tools with my current operations? (Your salespeople need to know what you're saying on Facebook. Your customer service process and policies should be consistent across the board, from phone to Twitter.)

More Free Advice