LAUNCHING/CREATING THE BUSINESS
- Renee Trudeau & Associates (RTA)– a national coaching/training firm focused on enhancing life balance and emotional well-being –was created to support women around the world in starting/joining and facilitating Personal Renewal Groups around The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal.
- Balanced Living Press –the publishing arm of Renee Trudeau & Associates– was created to serve this women’s initiative. Our first product was The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal (additional products in the works!).
- The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal launched regionally and kicked off the Personal Renewal Group life coaching program at Mercury Hall in Austin, TX with Sara Hickman in May 2007. Austin PRG Facilitators and more than 300 women attended the moving celebration featuring storytelling, music and sharing. Immediately following this launch, Personal Renewal Groups began meeting around the U.S. that summer/fall.
- An amazing online training program was created to support and mentor therapists, life and career coaches, doulas and women in the healing arts/women’s empowerment fields around the world to lead Personal Renewal Groups; additionally a video was created to help tell the story of how the groups came to be and why women’s circles are so important.
- Much of the success of the project is due to the beautiful, moving, Zen-like quality of the end product; the Guide was designed by an amazing art director/graphic designer (www.BellaGuzman.com), who collaborated with our equally fabulous web diva Amy Hufford (www.stellarplanet.com) to create www.ReneeTrudeau.com. I am endlessly grateful to these two women for their belief in me and this work.
- Sales: Thousands of copies of The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal have been sold in the last twelve months through www.reneetrudeau.com, www.Amazon.com, online bookstores, through retail outlets in Texas, at events/workshops/keynotes Renee has led and beginning in April 2008 and through bookstores like Barnes and Noble and Borders.
- Distribution: In January 2007, Renee attended Book Expo America in New York to interview distributors and in spring 2007, Independent Publisher’s Group in Chicago — one of the largest distributors of independent titles in the U.S.—offered RTA a contract to distribute The Mother’s Guide to bookstores and retail outlets around the world and the book was launched nationally in April 2008.
- Availability: The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal is now available in book stores across the U.S. and Canada including Borders and Barnes & Noble and is available in many targeted retail outlets in Texas including The Crossings, Unity Village, Kula Yoga, Special Addition, Book Woman, Book People, Whole Earth Provision Company, Unity bookstores and others. Look for the Guide in many more mind-body-spirit retail stores in 2009.
- Foreign rights for The Mother’s Guide have been negotiated and sold to a Korean publisher—look for the MGSR in bookstores everywhere in Korea next year! Plans are underway to secure foreign rights agreements for the book in other parts of Asia including China and Japan. We have also have had interest in the Guide in Mexico and Germany.
THE PERSONAL RENEWAL GROUP PROGRAM (self renewal circles for women based on the Guide)
- We now have more than over 150 Personal Renewal Groups and informal book clubs (based on the Guide) meeting across the U.S./Canada and this number grows weekly. It is so exciting to hear the feedback from Facilitators and PRG Members everywhere about how this work is impacting their careers, lives and parenting. We agree with Jean Shinoda Bolen, Ph.D. that women’s circles really can change the world!
- We have RTA-trained PRG Facilitators leading groups in Texas, Connecticut, Wisconsin, Arizona, Florida, Missouri, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Michigan, Iowa, California, Calgary, and British Columbia and informal book groups in other states. New PRG Facilitators are signing up weekly from around the world to be trained to lead Personal Renewal Groups in their communities.
- In addition to the hundred of general PRGs for Women, RTA-Trained Facilitators are also leading groups for women have children with special needs (one of these groups was funded in part by the Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas), women who are empty nesters, women who are parenting their parents, women who are entrepreneurs, women who are foodies, women in mid-life, women on a spiritual path and women who are not moms, to name a few.
Facilitators are discussing leading groups for women in their early twenties (non-moms), women who are cancer survivors, women navigating infertility, stepmothers and others. We have also had conversations with men about PRG for dads. We would love for a male therapist or coach who works with dads to lead this charge. Please email email@example.com if you are interested.
OUTREACH: SPREADING THE SELF-CARE MESSAGE
- Given our current economic uncertainty, heightened employee stress levels and focus around retention of women in the workplace, more and more companies are calling Renee to lead national workshops and keynotes on Creating Life Balance from the Inside-Out and The Transformative Power of Self-Care. She has recently led national (and in some cases, global) workshops for Ernst and Young, Dell Computer Corporation, American Heart Association (Southwest region), the Association for Women In Communication National Conference, Texas Conference for Women and Applied Materials among others.
- Renee is about to lead her third women’s Self-Renewal Retreat at The Crossings, a world-class retreat center and spa. The demand for retreats which serve women in mid-life transitions continues to grow.
- RTA is partnering with and serving as a contributing writer for numerous women’s organizations and companies around the U.S. including MomCentral, Your On Ramp, WomenBloom, Work Life Initiative LLC, Life Meets Work LLC, Jobs and Moms, Mothering Magazine, Moms on the Move, Hybrid Mom, Momsteam, Family Groove and many more.
- In the coming months, Renee is scheduled to present at the Texas Conference for Women, the Pennsylvania Conference for Women, and tentatively at the Florida Conference for Women. Please come say hi if you will be at one of these events. Renee would love to see you! Or, visit our calendar to learn about other upcoming events.
- Renee launched her blog The Journey, to chronicle her personal path to creating balance from the “inside out” and how she integrates self-care into her daily life. In the blog, she has the opportunity to take many of the themes from the book to a deeper level and share her very personal and real journey of moving in/out of balance. Feedback on The Journey has been very positive.
- The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal chose Girls Empowerment Network Austin–an amazing nonprofit dedicated to helping middle and high school girls find their voice, define their personal values and feel empowered–as its beneficiary and “cause extraordinaire.” We promote GENAustin programs at our speaking engagements and continue to donate a percentage of designated book sales to their clubGEN program.
- Renee loves sharing the messages from the Guide to male/female audiences of all ages on self-care, managing your life from the inside out and work/life balance. This year, she donated her time to speak to the Junior League, National Charity League, Stephen’s Ministry, Seton Cove, Austin Parent Teachers Association, BookPeople, E-Women Network, The Greater Orlando YMCA, the Texas Leadership and Diversity Conference, Kula Yoga and many others. She and many of the PRG Facilitators also led numerous Self-Renewal Parties for mothers over the past twelve months around the U.S.
- The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal caught the attention of many journalists and we received great press over the past year, with features in U.S. News & World Report, Family Circle, Yogi Times, Pregnancy & Newborn, Plum Magazine, Parenting Magazine, Working Mother, Mothering Magazine and stories in regional newspapers/magazines and on TV and mothering/women-focused websites. There continues to be tremendous interest around the book/groups from medical and healthcare journalists as the program is viewed by many as an innovative and low-cost stress management and wellness tool.
- The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal partnered with Plum magazine (a national magazine targeting pregnant women who are 35+) to help educate their readers about the Personal Renewal Groups and the book. This ad ran in the May/June 2007 issue of Plum magazine.
- The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal has received wonderful endorsements from nationally-recognized authors/speakers/teachers including best-selling authors SARK, Richard Carlson, and Jennifer Louden.
- The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal received two national awards in the last year including becoming a Finalist in the Indie Book Awards and the USA Best Book Awards.
Special thanks to our amazing staff–none of this would have been possible over the last twelve months without the hard work and support of:
- Christy McDonald, part-time Program/Events Manager, Renee Trudeau & Associates
- Nikki Grice, part-time Communications Intern, Career Strategists and Renee Trudeau & Associates
- Angela Estes, Senior Career Coach with Career Strategists and RTA-Trained PRG Facilitator
- Communications interns from the University of Texas: Jennifer Paladino, Linden Kohtz, Lisa Sandeford, Cristina Castro, Megan Edwards and Cassidy Huddleston
And deep appreciation to our very talented special friends and project supporters whose assistance—in both big and small ways—has been integral to our project’s growth:
- Bella Guzman, art director/graphic designer (www.bellaguzman.com)
- Amy Hufford, graphic design/web strategist and developer (www.stellarplanet.com)
- Anne Hebert writer/editor/marketing strategist (www.annehebert.com)
- Rachel Hobson, web designer/developer (www.notsosuburban.com)
- Wendy Morgan, branding/PR strategist (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Laura Bond Williams, PR consultant/writer (email@example.com)
- Erin Geisler, PR counselor, (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Dabney Oliver, PRG Facilitator, PR advisor and president www.AstroCutie.com
- Jennifer Hill Robenalt, PR consultant/writer (www.hooplamedia.com)
- Leila Kalmbach, editor/proofreader (http://www.eyeforink.com/)
- Shane Bowlin, product fulfillment specialist (http://www.productfulfillmentservices.com)
- Holly Evans, bookkeeper (http://www.hollyevansbookkeeper.com/)
- Michelle Canning, video filming/editing (email@example.com)
- Suzanne Minuet with Biz Buzz Video, video filming/editing (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Wes Hatley, video filming/editing, (email@example.com)
- Ed Honzik, video filming/editing, (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Susan McElhenney, SEO expert, (www.refreshweb.com)
- Larry Seiler, Your Texas Music, (email@example.com)
- Tupelo Kenyon, video music, (www.tupelokenyon.com)
- All the friends and mentors listed in the Acknowledgment section at the back of the Guide
Last but not least, a huge thank you to all of our Austin RTA-Trained PRG Facilitators who are tireless advocates and spokespersons for this work and who were pioneers for the PRG program.
And to all of you who we left off, please forgive us! Our brains are a little fried. This project has taken on a life of its own and we all feel we’re “in service” to the larger mission. It has been and continues to be a huge team effort.
We look forward to moving out of start up mode in 2009 and into a more stable place as the program begins to mature.
We are deeply appreciative to all of you for your support and all of the positive thoughts you sent our way over the last year. Keep them coming! The journey has just begun.
Warmly—Renee Trudeau and Associates