Author: Lily Herman (page 1 of 59)

Sometimes the only time is now

When we bought our house in San Francisco in 2008, we didn’t really know if we’d be able to afford it. We knew we’d have to do some work on it and we didn’t really know where that money would come from. But I’d just gotten a check for $50,000 from my first book, and since my then-husband and I pretty much lived paycheck to paycheck, I didn’t think I’d ever have tens of thousands of dollars in one place again. 

I felt like it was now or never. 

So we leapt. It was the tail end of the era when you could put 10% down, which is good because we certainly didn’t have more than that. And that house has quadrupled in value.  Read more...

Sad Girl Books

Newsletter editor Lily here.

This week on my podcast (I think I’ve mentioned that I have a podcast? Anyway…), my best friend Mackenzie and I were talking about some of the most polarizing popular romance novels, and we got on the topic of what we call Sad Girl Books.

You’ve probably read a few of these or at least heard of them: In Five Years by Rebecca Serle, Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney, Luster by Raven Leilani, the list goes on and on. They’re the types of books that won’t necessarily make you feel warm ‘n’ fuzzy inside but will definitely give you plenty of fodder for your therapist. Read more...

What to say when you f*** up

“Mom, do you love bad words?”

Ok, where was Eli going with this out-of-the-blue question?

“I heard you talking about giving up bad words for Lent, but you have to give up something you really love. So what I want to know is why you love bad words so much?” 

Now that’s a lot to unpack. 

“So, when you are young and a woman and you work in an industry where everyone is like a car trying to run you over, sometimes you have to loudly and dramatically advocate for yourself,” I said. “And I know it’s silly, but when I was in my 20s and kinda scared and trying to do that, I thought bad words were an easy way to get their attention and show I was serious. Kinda silly, but it’s the same reason Lizzo and Taylor Swift do it. It can be a lazy way to show you are tough and serious.”  Read more...

Our latest course offering is…

Here’s how I think about our course business: Yes, they cost money. Between $600 and $2,000. I know that is out of reach for a lot of you. We have business realities of our own, and they’re a lot to build and market and produce. (I do all the video editing on weekends and late nights to save on a video editor, for instance.) 

So, if we’re going to charge that much, we want to make sure it is stacked with value. I agonize about this, especially in the days before we launch a new one. To the point where last Monday, Eli raced out of school to ask me how the New Media Masters launch went and if everyone loved the content as much as I hoped they would. (Always the opportunist, Evie has started calling her slideshows “courses.” I am expecting an invoice…)  Read more...

Child-free curious

Newsletter editor Lily here.

We’ve curated many pieces in the newsletter over the past year about how women are completely rethinking family planning as the pandemic goes on. We’ve also had quite a few questions tackling these questions. Is now a good time to get pregnant? Should a third kid get added to the mix? The list goes on and on.

Amongst my own friends, what’s been sort of shocking (and yet not) as of late is how many have gotten “child-free curious” in recent months. People I know who long said they wanted children (plural) are now saying they don’t know if they want any at all. Read more...

An affiliate opportunity

A few years ago, Chairman Mom tried launching an affiliate program. We figured we have some budget for customer acquisition and we’d much rather give it to you than Facebook. We heard all sorts of excitement from users. We launched and…crickets. 

I don’t totally understand the psychology of affiliates when it comes to women. On one hand, I think women hate evangelizing things generally. If we don’t promote our own business, we certainly don’t promote other ones. It feels kinda icky, doesn’t it? On the other hand, tupperware parties, Mary Kay, Stella & Dot? There’s a huge tradition of women building large companies and women unlocking their own financial freedom by evangelizing services they love. So clearly, it works for some folks.  Read more...

My child is a pessimist and I’m an optimist. Now what?

Today’s intro is from our contributor Amanda Munday, who’s the founder and CEO of The Workaround and author of Day Nine: A Postpartum Depression Memoir.

My four-year-old son threw a tantrum the other day. Not a simple “no I don’t want to” cry but the dreaded kid on the floor (except in our case, a sidewalk in winter), legs kicking, screaming, full-blown fit. 

Why? He lost his stuffed yoshi, the one I told him not to take out on our walk but he insisted he bring, so of course he lost it somewhere between home and the park. Read more...

Born this way

Sometimes you find yourself saying the same thing your parents used to say to you, and you cringe. 

And then sometimes you find yourself saying something you could only say to your own weird child like, “Evie, please stop rapping for five minutes and brush your teeth.” 

I feel like the last year has shrunk-wrapped my family. 

My kids are even more of an extension of my body, my wellness, my sense of home. I feel—like it or not—more in the trenches with their dad than any time before, despite being divorced and disagreeing about some pretty major things. I feel more open and vulnerable—because in a time like this, what are you protecting yourself for?—in my relationship than ever before.  Read more...

Taking on “too much-ness”

Have you ever been told you are too much?

Um, yes, I have basically every moment of my life. Fortunately, I had a mother who encouraged me to lean into that. I went to an all girls’ school that similarly encouraged my individuality too. I’ve been in long-term relationships where people were drawn precisely to my “too much-ness.” (Although I sometimes had to remind them of this fact…) I also fell into a career where being too much was basically a requirement. 

My too much-ness has gotten so much hate. Threats even. It’s not an easy ride. But it’s mostly been able to breathe and be celebrated by those around me. My reward has been two children who are even more “too much” than me, and clearly, we celebrate that. Read more...

Now on the pod

Today’s intro comes from CM contributor Adimika Arthur, a public health expert, hospital executive, and founder of Health Tech for Medicaid (HT4M). She fiercely advocates for vulnerable populations and loves to help people better understand health equity, healthcare, and health technology through storytelling, connection, and sisterhood. She is also the co-founder of the Sisterhood Project with Sarah Lacy, a six-month tailor-made deep dive in supporting other women, and co-host of the new sisterhood podcast Bring a Friend. Read more...