You guys have heard a lot from my experience at Blog World, but I haven’t shared everything. One of the best workshops I attended was about empowering women to be public speakers, run by Aliza Sherman, Jill Foster, and Danielle Smith. Aliza and Danielle recently wrote MOM, Incorporated, about how to have a family and start your own business (which I bought, am currently in the middle of, and loving. I will review soon!). When I spoke to them, they were wrapping up a six week book tour. Of course I had to take the opportunity to ask these accomplished road warriorettes a few questions!
RW: You’ve been on the road for six weeks. What are your tips for being on the road a long time?
Aliza: I learned that it would be so nice to be independently wealthy. To have an entourage, Sherpa included. (laughs) Here’s a good tip: Amtrak has something called red-cap service. You can call in advance and tell them what train you’re on, and they will wait for you and be there ready to get your stuff.
RW: So it’s like an entourage!
Danielle: That’s where the joke about having an entourage came from, because we had so much trouble with all of our bags. Our bags were packed with books, so they were extremely heavy. We had a red-cap help us in New York, and when we told him we were going to Philadelphia he called ahead and had someone waiting to help us.
A: He came onto the train and helped us with all of our stuff! It was a great thing that we had no idea existed.
D: Sometimes they don’t wear their red caps, and that can be highly confusing. Go to the information desk if you don’t see one and they will help you find them.
A: Another tip: travel with someone who has a great accessories bag. Then they can decorate with you with bracelets and necklaces and you look totally awesome.
RW: So find a friend with good taste and travel with them.
A: Yes! That’s the best tip ever.
RW: Anything else?
A: I use apps a lot. I use AroundMe, Google Maps, and Foodspotting as location services so I can find places that I need. So if I need a drugstore, then I have the handy apps already on my phone. I use the TripIt app for my itineraries. When it comes times to check in, I can fire up my app and find my record locators very easily. I have a hyphenated name, so it’s very difficult to be recognized by the machine. Having the record locator at the ready makes it so easy.
RW: What is your most important travel item?
A: Our matching pink iPhones! I could not travel without my phone.
D: Agree. I could not travel without my phone.
A: It’s everything—minicomputer, email, updating websites at the last minute, checking RSVPs for our book parties, using the apps to find things. It’s just constantly with us. I also use it for tweeting, checking the Facebook page, making sure we keep the conversations going, sharing what we’re doing on the road. Definitely couldn’t leave home without it.
RW: How did you prepare for such a long time on the road?
D: I’ve been able to go home so that helps.
A: People couldn’t believe how light I packed considering I was away for six weeks. I just figured I would do laundry, and I’ve done laundry five or six times. When a hotel does the laundry for you it is so expensive—like $15 to launder a tee shirt (in Russia). I did coin laundry when I was in Frankfurt, but in Russia they really frown on it so I ended up getting $75 worth of laundering done. It was truly just two tee shirts and two slacks. So expensive! But I had to pack light to have room for the books. Now [my bags are] heavier—one 48 lb bag and one 49 lb bag—because I keep buying things for my little girl.
Another tip is to pack light enough so can pick up those fun little goodies you find along the way. Originally I brought a tote bag inside of my smaller suitcase, eventually I started using it, and now it’s full.
RW: What is your favorite place to travel to? What was your favorite place as part of your tour?
A: Russia wasn’t part of our book tour, but it was phenomenal. I loved Europe and Germany, but Russia was out of this world amazing. Not at all what I expected, and I had a great time.
D: People have been really gracious so I don’t know if we could pick one place. Our experience has been dependent on so many things, mostly the events and the people attending the events. We haven’t had much of an opportunity to experience much of the cities.
A: Here’s one thing. The sun in San Diego the other day was heavenly. It really was.
RW: I can’t wait to read your book. We all know how hard it is to have everything all the time. What is your best way to empower women? To help them do what they want to do, and make the life they want to make?
A: Follow your bliss. Your passion. It will make you feel so good inside.
D: Stop striving for balance. Balance is a myth. Recognize that what you’re doing is juggling business and family, and it’s okay. It’s okay if you occasionally drop a ball. Because you’re never going to be stellar as a mother on the exact same day that you are stellar as a business owner. And that’s okay.
RW: It certainly is. Congratulations on the book and the tour, and thank you so much for speaking with me.
Did I mention that I love these women? I felt so lucky to get to spend some time learning from them and just absorb their energy. Look for my review of their book in the next few weeks.