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Highly Effective Habits of an Alpha Mom #1 (not really, but whatever)

By Isabel Kallman

So, the other day I gave a small presentation to my colleagues on the art of networking online and off-line. After the applause had died down (I know! I’m as shocked as you), someone pulled me aside and suggested that I “take my act on the road.” I laughed, then I thought more about it (and laughed some more) and then realized that I have this space for exactly that reason.
I guess what shocked me most is that now that I have been in the working world for over 15 years, habits that I apply to my home and work life have become so ingrained I don’t even have to think about them. These habits are like breathing to me.
Yes, this will wind up being a series of posts. I’m listing them a la my hero Steven Covey and his famous The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
Alpha Mom Highly Effective Habit #1: Connect Online to Meet Off-line
I think almost everyone is most effective in person. Yes, online is fast and and can be furious, but the home run is taking an online relationship and developing it IRL, meeting face-to-face.
All that bonding that is done through moving prose or witty one-liners should be translated into in-person smiles, tears or fist-bumps.
Why do you think there has been a rise in online conferences in the past year? It’s not just SxSWi or BlogHer anymore. But there’s Mom 2.0 Summit, BlissDom, and Startup Princess. It’s because online friends want to meetup and hug each other or eat cheeseburgers together.
(As an aside, that’s also why marketers are very big into experiential events. Their dream is to have the products in the hands of consumers. If you’ve got a great product, the best thing that can happen is to have consumers using it and seeing its benefit first-hand.)
Bottom-line, is that I try to attend as many events as possible (sponsored or not) where I can put a friendly face, a warm smile, or a hilarious chuckle FINALLY to the sharp wit or thoughtfulness of acquaintances met online.
Here are some very recent examples of how I took online friendships and strengthened them with face-to-face fun (it was a busy week, that one!):


Me and Betsy Cadel. Photo by Mom-101
Look at how much fun I’m having in this picture. Seriously, online is fun, but off-line is so much better.
My friends Liz of Mom-101 and Emily McKhann of The Motherhood hosted a fun and charitably-focused Picnic with a Purpose on behalf of Hebrew National (I lurve their tagline). I was able to catch-up with some great online friends like Andi of Mama Knows Breast, LookyDaddy, Katja of Skimbaco, Betsy of Gray Matter Matters, Magpie Musing, Laid-Off Dad as well as make a couple of new friends, some of whom I had been following on Twitter for awhile like Carole of NYCityMama and Laurie of Bored in the Burbs.
Me and Renee Ross. Photo by Mom in the City.
Did you know that smiles are contagious, especially in person? Renee has a very contagious smile.
Online doesn’t help you stay fit. Oh no, sitting on your tuckus all day just adds more junk to the trunk (I can attest). But, trying out the EA Sports Active personal trainer workout for the Wii, well THAT does a body good.
Less than 48 hours after the Picnic with a Purpose, I was FINALLY working out, drinking, laughing and crying with some lovely ladies I have known virtually for awhile. I couldn’t wait to finally meet Jessica Smith, Renne J Ross and Jennifer James of Mom Bloggers Club. Luckily for me, I also got to chat with long-tome friend Alicia Ybarbo of Today’s Moms and meet Nichelle of Style Mom (she lives up to her handle!). We were all at the launch party for EA Sports Active workout game for the Wii (which totally kicks’ Wii Fit’s skinny booty).
Plus, there was wine. Score!
Me and Renee Ross. Photo by Mom in the City.
The following day I was pampered at a nail salon party hosted by Katja Presnal on behalf of Pledge Multi-surface Cleaner. (No joke that cleaner is amazing– NO streaks on glass– and it can be used to clean your computer, too). I was able to chat up Kimberly of Mom in the City (with whom I share an eerily similar school and business background), Renne J Ross, Carole of NYCityMama and get to know some other lovely moms I have been following on Twitter for eons: Amy of Selfish Mom, Esti of Primetime Parenting, and Wendy of Babies Gotta Have It.
It was splendid. Plus, there were cupcakes.
I have to be honest, I don’t understand the point of a web-based relationship if you can’t develop or translate it into real life. Remember, people do business with people, not companies. And, socially-speaking a “Twitter Party” is no CheeseburgHer Party. Just sayin’.
So, as we approach the mother of all social networking events for women bloggers, BlogHer, don’t be wary, be excited.
Or, just come find me. I’ll be the one handing out Cheeseburgers (Saturday night afterparty, location TBD).
Plus, I would LOVE to meet you.


Isabel Kallman
About the Author

Isabel Kallman

Isabel Kallman is the founding mom of

Feel free to send nice emails to isabel[at]alphamom[dot]com.


Isabel Kallman is the founding mom of

Feel free to send nice emails to isabel[at]alphamom[dot]com.

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Here here! And hand me a cheeseburgher, lady. Can’t wait to see you.

Gray Matter

Awwwww, I love the picture of us. That was fun and I look forward to doing more face-to-face events. I agree, there’s nothing else like them.
Except then you have to train yourself to say Isabel and not Alphamom.

Kimberly/Mom in the City

I totally agree. I definitely feel more connected to people whom I have met and spoken with in person (at least once!).
On another note, I went home after the Pledge event thinking “I seem to do everything 2 years after Isabel (college, investment banking, etc.)”. So, following this trend, perhaps in 2 years, I’ll be a major force in the parenting field – like you!


Awesome tale of the meeting of fabulous women. Lovely photos as well. Meeting in person really is a great part of being online. I have also been lucky to meet some great ladies. You of course included!


I got to meet you when we marched in the March of Dimes walk. I can’t really say it was networking because there is no practical business reason for our connection, so I’m not sure if that was an “effective” use of time, but I just liked meeting you and learning more about you. And that is even more important to me. ________________________ Isabel: loved meeting you too. The most fulfilling part of my having this business is that not only the messages of support and thanks we receive from readers but the personal connections and friendships I make. When… Read more »

Busy Mom

Fun pictures!
I can’t tell you how fun it is to meet online friends in real life, everyone should do it!
OK, I guess I can tell you because I just did and that’s how I met you…
Um, anyway. Great to know about the Pledge, btw. I’ll check it out.


Love love love you for a zillion reasons, but also for saying this out loud – getting out and connecting in person feeds the soul. Especialy when it’s with company as delightful as you.


Wow this is great! Can’t wait to read the rest of your tips.

Momo Fali

I can’t wait to meet you! Hooray for cheeseburgers!