Thursday, June 11, 2009

Happy Auntieversary to Me!

Dear Readers,

Exactly two years ago today, I woke up an "Auntrepreneur." It was on June 12, 2007 that I decided to start the company of my dreams. I didn't know it then, but it was the happiest day of my life.

I have learned so much as an entrepreneur over the last two years - the first year spent developing the brand and, and the second year seeing the brand and website launch and grow. Savvy Auntie is a multi-platform media company. You've only see the tip of the iceberg....

I thought this milestone was a good time to reflect on a few of the things I've learned over the last two years.

30 things I've learned as an Auntrepreneur:

1) Believing in yourself in more important than having anyone else believe in you.
2) Believing in yourself makes other people believe in you.
3) Success is relative. It's important to relish each success. Then move on to a higher goal immediately thereafter.
4) "You should..." is the hardest thing for me to hear. Not being able to meet others' expectations of me or my ability to engage their good, sometimes really great ideas, is something I am not yet comfortable with. I hear "you shoulds" just about every day. I should learn to let it go.
5) I've learned that by sharing my journey, others are inspired. It's a pretty easy way to pay it forward.
6) All the things I enjoyed doing as a kid are skills I bring to the task now. I loved theatre, for example, which helps me feel comfortable on stage.
7) Respect is something you earn...not once, but every single day.
8) When colleagues in various stages of my career said to me: "You are meant for bigger things," they were right. I'm just now understanding what they meant.
9) I've learned that I'm talented at things I never knew I was talented at. Entrepreneurship is bringing out the best in me and I'm so loving what I am learning about myself.
10) I've learned that curiosity is one of the most valuable assets I have, so I've learned to be more curious, more open and more accessible to diverse ideas and new people.
11) I've learned that I don't have time for a hobby. And I'm ok with that.
12) I've learned that I don't work really hard because I love what I do. I work really hard because that's what it takes. Loving it is the reward.
13) I've learned that a 5 year old can be proud of her Auntie
14) I've learned that friends are very supportive and embracing of my entrepreneurship. And thanks to Facebook, they know I haven't fallen off the face of the earth.
15) I've learned that I don't need a lot of clothes and shoes after all.
16) I've learned that making really smart business decisions feels really good.
17) I've learned that every problem has a solution if you really, truly believe it does.
18) I've learned that as much as you may inspire a stranger, their telling you that can be incredibly empowering.
19) Happiness is a decision I make every day. The days I forget to do that, I'm not happy.
20) Some people really do hang on to every word I say.
21) What I don't know, someone else does. They also know the stuff I didn't know to ask them about.
22) I've learned that people are incredibly generous with kindness.
23) I've learned that I can do just about anything I set my mind to do.
24) I've taught myself how to accept imperfection.
25) I've learned that it's not what you know. It's not who you know. It's you. It's 100% you.
26) Goals are limiting, if you think about it.
27) You don't become an overnight success overnight. I studied entrepreneurship, branding, marketing, business management and self-motivation for almost 20 years (on my own - outside of school and work) before I started my company. I just needed the right idea to become an entrepreneur.
28) No one has asked me what school I went to or what my GPA was.
29) Every single day is valuable and gets my company one or multiple steps further along it's way. It sounds trite, but I now have 730 days to prove it.
30) I take my company personally. And I'm ok with that.

What have you learned as an entrepreneur?

Auntie Melanie

PS - Save the Date! Savvy Auntie's Day is July 26th and were planning some fabulous stuff for Savvy Aunties and for those who love them.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Savvy Grace

Dear Readers,

Today, turns 11 months old. I just can't believe that it's not even a full year since the launch of the site! The support and encouragement from aunts, the press and sponsors has been incredible.

Speaking of sponsors, I am proud to announce the newest sponsor for the Savvy Auntie brand. Turner, specifically TNT, has asked me to help them connect Savvy Aunties (and frankly anyone who likes quality television) with the third season of Saving Grace.

After seeing a preview for the show's second season and learning that Grace Hanadarko, played so amazingly by Holly Hunter, is an aunt, I watched the show and was immediately hooked! Grace's sister was killed in the Oklahoma City bombing and Grace does her earnest to help her brother-in-law raise her nephew. It's a very authentic relationship and one that I think many aunts can connect with. Because if this, I contacted Seth Miller, Senior Manager, Digital Partnerships for TBS/TCM/TNT, and told him that we needed to bring this show to Savvy Aunties!

It took us a couple of months to figure out the best way to create engagement through social media...and finally agreed that inviting everyone to a weekly Twitter event - led by yours truly - to watch and live-tweet Saving Grace every Tuesday at 10PM EDT, starting June 16, would be a fantastic solution. As many of you who are on Twitter know, being able to watch a show as a community, sharing our thoughts and anticipating what will happen next, can add so much to the viewer experience. Twitter has made TV an "event" again, something DVRs have diluted over the last few years.

Savvy Aunties, those who follow me on Twitter (, Savvy Auntie Facebook Fans, TNT's Saving Grace Facebook Fans and Twitter Followers, and viewers in general, will be invited to share in the 'sponsored conversation' on Twitter beginning next Tuesday, June 16th at 10PM EDT. I'll also be blogging about each episode from an aunt's perspective.

Because these weekly events are sponsored, I will add [sp] to each tweet. The hashtag "#SavingGrace" will be used to keep track of the conversation for all those following.

Normally, actors or reality show talent will live-tweet their own shows. This is the first time, as far as I am aware (and please correct me if I am wrong) that someone outside of the show is asked to lead a Twitter conversation about a series.

I'd like to thank Seth and Turner/TNT for enlisting me and Savvy Auntie to help make the Saving Grace experience that much more valuable for their audience - and mine. I'd also like to thank creator Nancy Miller for making Det. Grace Hanadarko a Savvy Auntie - or at least the very best aunt she can possibly be.

Auntie Melanie

Here's a little information about Saving Grace:

Sneak Peek:

TNT’s bold series SAVING GRACE is set to return for a third season Tuesday, June 16, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT). Academy Award® winner Holly Hunter stars as gutsy Oklahoma City Police Det. Grace Hanadarko, a woman who holds nothing back, whether on the job or in her personal life. Hunter’s acclaimed performance has earned the actress two consecutive Screen Actors Guild Award® nominations. She is joined in the series by an ensemble cast that includes Leon Rippy (Deadwood), Kenneth Johnson (The Shield), Bailey Chase (Las Vegas), Gregory Cruz (Criminal Minds), Yaani King (The Prince & Me) and Dylan Minnette (Prison Break), with Lorraine Toussaint (Any Day Now) and Laura San Giacomo (Just Shoot Me).

SAVING GRACE focuses on Det. Hanadarko (Hunter) as she investigates brutal crimes while trying to balance her relationship with her partner, Ham (Johnson). Grace also must figure out cryptic messages from her last-chance angel, Earl (Rippy). At the end of the second season, death row inmate Leon Cooley, who shared visions of Earl with Grace, was executed, leaving a hole in Grace’s life. Soon, she began having dreams of a young drug addict named Neely (King), which lead Grace to believe Neely also shares a connection with Earl.

Meanwhile, Ham’s divorce was finalized. Ham hopes he and Grace can finally be together, but Grace might not be on the same page. This season, we will learn more about the personal lives of fellow detectives Bobby Stillwater (Cruz), Butch Ada (Chase) and Captain Kate Perry (Toussaint).

Grace’s best friend, criminalist Rhetta Rodriquez (San Giacomo), has financial problems that could threaten her marriage. And Grace’s nephew, Clay (Minnette), continues to be an OCPD Explorer, helping out at the police station.

SAVING GRACE comes to TNT from Fox Television Studios and creator Nancy Miller (Any Day Now). Miller also serves as executive producer on the series, along with Gary A. Randall (Any Day Now, Leaving L.A.) Artie Mandelberg (Leaving L.A., Mr. & Mrs. Smith) and Holly Hunter.