Author: Lily Herman (page 2 of 41)

Biking in a pandemic

Editor’s Note: Sarah and I (Lily) have been doing most of the talking during this pandemic, but we want to hear from YOU! If you have something to say about how you’re feeling in these strange, terrifying, and surreal times we’re living in and want to write a newsletter intro about it, send an email over to me at

Our intro today comes from Chairman Mom reader Samantha Barnes, who’s the co-founder and CEO of Raddish.

Despite an abiding love for my pretty-in-pink seashell bike in 1987, I never much liked biking. My mom, who at 76 mountain bikes and travels the world cycling, has spent over three decades feeling mom guilt about this fact. Read more...

Just how bad is the coronavirus pandemic for working women?

“At least there’s gonna be less rape now.” 

That was the best “silving lining” that a friend of mine who has devoted her life to fighting for victims of sexual assault and domestic abuse gave me about the COVID-19 crisis this week. 

But she quickly undercut it by pointing to escalating domestic violence and a ticking time bomb of revenge porn, given online dating is all the dating there is right now. 

There are a lot of twists and turns of irony and fortune in a time like this that is upending everything, but it’s generally making life even worse for the underrepresented in society. The coronavirus itself hits men harder than it hits women. And yet, the efforts to contain it are definitely hitting women harder, as most of us feared.  Read more...

A big “finally” from NeedHop


Tl;dr: NeedHop, the 1:1 help platform that spun out of Chairman Mom, now lets you offer PAID phone calls to people who need your help. 

Download the free app on iOS or Android, create a one page profile, and start earning $$$ for sharing your life experience with people who really need it! 

Let me know if/when you create a profile so I can book your first call!

Ok, now some background…

Many of you know about NeedHop, a company that was spun out of Chairman Mom late last year/early this year. Read more...

Can America be gaslit into an economic recovery?

There seems to be a new strange divide happening amongst those who want the economy reopened and those who don’t. It isn’t as simple as partisan politics. 

Two weeks ago, those of us in blue states—including our governors—were scoffing at states like Georgia that were opening up, despite the agreed-upon things we should see before opening up not having been met.

Less than a week ago, California’s Gavin Newsom was closing beaches, as other states were opening up, and vowing to follow science, not the White House or protestors.  Read more...

A slower pace

Newsletter editor Lily here.

Is anyone else reverting back to strange habits that they haven’t had in years as quarantine goes on?

First, despite being more of a romance novel fan (as y’all know by now), I started picking reserving mysteries and thrillers from on my library app, which harkened me back to when I was a kid reading Nancy Drew books way past bedtime. For the first time in adulthood, I’m consistently reading that genre.

Two weeks ago, I spend my entire weekend playing The Sims, a game I’ve loved since I was 10 and play in spurts. When I was in college, I used to come home after finals and log onto Sims for my first 48 hours back in Florida, only stopping to grab something to eat or sleep for a few hours. The pattern seems to be repeating itself now. Read more...

A dramatic two years

Amid everything else that’s been going on in the last few months, we breezed right past a pretty big milestone: Chairman Mom launched to the public a little more than two years ago. There was a year before that of building the company and raising funds and assembling the team, and this newsletter has been going on for close to three years. 

But February 2018 was when the community launched to the public. 

I wanted to look up the date because recently I realized something pretty astounding as a personal milestone: I’ve lost 40 pounds since Chairman Mom launched. WHAT? I know. I can hardly believe it myself because I’ve worked so hard at it and it’s felt like a glacial pace of getting healthy.  Read more...

A made-up company

I’ve written before that Eli and Evie do this adorable thing where they argue—based on the opinion writing skills they’ve been learning in school—why I’m cooler than they are. I don’t love the inauthentic self-negging, but I do appreciate the ego boost. 

There are always a bunch of reasons, including my work accomplishments. The other day Evie phrased it a new way that struck me, “…And you run a made-up company!”

A made up company?? I assure you young lady, it’s very real, I reacted, cackles up. And then I realized what she meant: It was a compliment. Perhaps the highest compliment from a kid: It was a company that had come from nothing more than my imagination. It had roots in absolutely nothing else. And I had imagined so hard and strong it came into being.  Read more...

“Risk makes you afraid.”

My favorite ways of building businesses are to handcraft something that works first, and then challenge myself and my team to scale it. There is an amazing Masters of Scale episode where Reid Hoffman talks to Brian Chesky about how they did this at Airbnb. So, yes, you can build a large company this way. But not everyone does it. So many founders want to think about SCALE first. That can work too. But I don’t know how to build something that way. 

I think part of this goes back to my experience as an author. You have to think about writing for one person (even if that’s yourself). You can’t let everyone else who might read this crowd into your head or you’ll try to please too many people and fail.  Read more...

My Mother’s Day gift to one of you

Happy late Mother’s Day to all the moms and kitty moms and doggy moms and plant moms and weird bird moms (looking at you, Jessica!) in our network! I hope you all had a great day, and as I wrote on Instagram yesterday, I am sorry for anyone who experiences pain and hurt on Mother’s Day for any reason. Motherhood in America can be so fraught, so polarizing, and something where EVERYONE feels entitled to their opinion about your life and your body. It can be a triggering holiday for a lot of reasons.  Read more...

Life of the “yes mom”

I consider myself a “yes mom.” There is so much I already had to say no to. I have limited money and we live in an incredibly wealthy part of the world. We do not, and will not, ever have a plane. I wasn’t able to give my kids the house full of siblings I wanted. And they aren’t growing up with both of their parents in the same house. 

But beyond those limitations I always try to say yes. If a request is too outlandish, too expensive, or too crazy, is there a way we can turn that no into a yes? If there’s something that they show an interest in, how extremely can we lean into that yes? This is how we wind up with DJ stations and sewing stations in my house. “Who do I know who builds animatronics?”  Read more...