September 8, 2010

Checking in with Mary...

First, let me say Thank You to everyone who has reached out to me. I'm not much accustomed to being on the receiving end of "Oooooooh, I'm so sorry to hear the news." but I've come to understand that these expressions are very heartfelt and I've also come to understand that although Mary in The Morning and Marigold were my livelihood, they meant a great deal to the folks that were engaged in all that we did. 

On Tuesday, the first day of school, I heard from many moms and dads that the morning drive to school just wasn't the same without their dose of Mary in the Morning. Even the kids were asking, "Where's Mary?". On the Marigold side of things, the women whom we have served have been amazingly supportive, but their condolences always include the question of how will they all stay connected to each other without us. And so, to all of them and you, I want to convey how sorry I am that it came to an end.

I do feel a sense of commitment to everyone. I couldn't change the decision that was made by the owners, and I don't have the wherewithal to buy back Marigold and start over.

The Future: There IS something in the works and I am thrilled to experience the entrepreneurial seizure-like passion for a new project. I am putting the pieces together with the bonus of implementing all that I have learned from the experiences of Mary in the Morning and Marigold. My every impulse wants to scream from the mountain top what I'm planning, but I need to do my due-diligence on researching the viability of the concept and secure the sponsors, media partners, etc... For those wondering if I'm returning to the airwaves, well... we'll see if that fits in. I imagine that it will, in some format.

Getting Together: One of the great joys of my career is helping local charities raise funds and awareness for their programming and services. I am continuing to emcee local events and speak to groups around the state. There are several events in the coming weeks.  I would love to see you and catch-up at any of these. My newsletter,  presently named  Mary's Next Big Thing, is where you will find info and links to buy tickets and learn more about, well, my next big thing. You can register HERE to subscribe. To read the current issue, CLICK HERE.

The Lame Arm: For those who are wondering..... I had major shoulder surgery on Aug. 20th. I came home from Munson with the equivalent of the backseat of a small car strapped to my waist. My arm was then strapped to the "backseat". I've since traded that in for a smaller model, but the concept is the same. Friends have suggested that I name the darned thing, but nothing has stuck. I now type and write with only my left hand, which is not fun or efficient when you are right-handed.  I am 4 weeks away from freedom from this thing. No driving, no cutting into a juicy steak, but no folding laundry either! And certainly no ice skating which got me into this trouble in the first place.

I would love to hear from you, my new e-mail address is Feel free to drop me a note. 

My Next Big Thing has a role for everyone. Stay tuned!

Your friend,

August 26, 2010

Mary's Next Big Thing

Let's be frank. My radio show, Mary in the Morning, has been canceled. Marigold, the company I founded in 2005, sold to the radio station in 2008 and have been the consultant to, has been shuttered and I'm trying to figure out where to go from here. In case you are wondering, I'm having a ball with this bizarre turn of events. Sure I shed some girly tears, but rest assured, I'm good to go.

I have received hundreds of e-mails, phone calls and Facebook messages offering condolences and eager enthusiasm for my Next Big Thing. I have also had numerous inquiries from businesses and organizations wanting to partner (literally offering to write the check!) with my Next Big Thing. Funny thing is... I hadn't really planned for this. This is The Penske File.

I'm not being coy or mysterious about this thing. I don't know what it is yet. I just know that we're on to something. It will most likely involve a website, events, deals & discounts, maybe a membership thing, audio and/or video in some form, great collaborative opportunities, lots of ways to connect you to great people and your world.

The one thing I know is that my Next Big Thing needs you. You and your friends, co-workers, neighbors and any body else you know who has been missing Mary's Last Big Thing. I'm asking you to subscribe to and promote something that doesn't exist.

Soon after you subscribe, I'll be asking you for some basic info about yourself and what you miss. I'll take it from there, put it together, make it fun, make it relevant to your life, shop it around, put it through my entrepreneurial filter, and see what comes out the other end. I can't be much more transparent than that.

Would you like to be part of this? Cool! CLICK HERE 

Want to help even more, great! Here's what you can do for me: In the right-hand column of this blog page is a link to share this on your Facebook wall. Please add your own encouraging message to your friends.

Help me even more? Wow! Get your non-Facebook friends (Gasp...) on board. Send an e-mail to friends with this link: pasted into your message and we'll really get this thing, whatever it is, growing.

Thank you, thank you thank you. I can't wait to get started. You can REGISTER YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS HERE.

Please comment here, am I crazy or am I making some sense?
Your friend,

August 18, 2010

The Kitchen Counter Version of Mary in the Morning

Today is Day 3 of Mary in the Morning broadcasting from my kitchen counter into my hairbrush. This morning, Dr. Laura stopped by to be on the show. It was Foodie Wednesday so she brought me a box of Lucky Charms. We began our chat but she kept grabbing at my mic (the hairbrush) and saying "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry". That got old very fast. 

A few more guests stopped by. Dave Dennison of Amical made me pancakes, which were delicious! That is him in the picture from my kitchen. Mario Batali came next and made the mistake of using my microphone as a hairbrush. Now I have long red hairs all over my show prep. I forgave him after he gifted me with a pair of bright orange Crocs just like his.

You may be asking what is in store for us tomorrow? Well, Thursdays, we usually Hit the Road with Travel Michigan. I may make a visit to Grawn, or perhaps Buckley for the Old Engine Show. Of course, you never know who will come knocking at my front door and join the conversation. If you would like to stop by, please bring your own hairbrush.

You will find the show, as it is, from 7 to 9AM on the Mary in the Morning Facebook page until other arrangements can be made. You will need to visit that page and "Like the page" (not just the Link). I will then recap the show here on my blog for those of you who don't get up that early.

Help me spread the word, and come back often!

Thanks for visiting the Mary Rogers' Blog!,

August 16, 2010

A Congenial Disentanglement

I am separating from Northern Broadcast which owns Marigold and until last Friday, aired Mary in the Morning. Last week I sat down with the powers that be, looked at the options and we agreed to a congenial disentanglement. I believe it was as tough of a conversation for both sides. I honestly have no bad feelings toward the makers of this decision, it makes sense from a strictly business perspective.

Northern Broadcast’s management reviewed revenue and expense budgets – and although the quality of our programming was excellent, they needed to allocate their resources to more profitable cost centers.

I do feel just terrible for the rest of the team who are now looking for jobs. They are all awesome women who will make great additions to any organization. I will tell you in a moment how to stay in touch with them.

But what about you? In speaking with many of you over the weekend I heard sadness, shock, and some anger. I understand. Marigold and Mary in the Morning are very personal brands. They were designed to be that way. They were sincerely designed to make you feel like a part of something, to give you a warm and positive feeling about your community, your world and yourself. I think we accomplished that very well because it came from our hearts and not just a marketing plan. Karyn Hertel did a wonderful job as Director of Marigold because she believed in and embodied the Marigold spirit.

When Proctor & Gamble sold Spic n' Span, consumers went nuts when the pine scent was discontinued. There are blogs and websites populated by crushed consumers pining for their...pine! Men & women relied on their Spic n' Span  not only to clean their homes, but they connected the unique pine scent with a job well done cleaning their house. The truth is, not enough people bought the pine scent. You can still find the product through eBay where savvy folks have stockpiled the stuff and sell it at huge profit margins.

Unfortunately, we can't sell you what we made in a box. It was the community that we brought together that made it what it was. Both Mary in the Morning and Marigold could resurface in the future in other forms. But when they operated side-by-side, it created a certain magic for us all: staff, sponsors, show guests, event speakers, attendees, advertisers, publicists, even our vendors loved being a part of what we were doing.

Please subscribe to this blog, there is link on the right-hand side of this page. Here, I will continue to post my blog, also you can keep track of our happenings and stay in touch. I will also continue my Mary in the Morning Facebook page which I hope you will "like".

Please keep our community together by sharing your comments here on the blog.

You can reach our team members as follows:
Karyn Hertel -
Erin Cheney -
Heather Daniels -
Carol Vernam -

Thank you for everything,
Mary Rogers

August 9, 2010

Homemaker of the Year

On Monday, the 2010 Homemaker of the Year was named at the Northwestern Michigan Fair. This makes many women very edgy. First, because it takes a very narrow view of a woman's talents and yet to discount the importance of "making a home" under values the role of women. Once again, we sigh a collective sigh and mutter, "I don't even know what to think about this!".

I do think you need to put this in the context of a county or state fair, where these competitions are held. The fairs spotlight the agricultural community and the traditions of farming. This is where the womanly arts of canning and quilting (yes, both are judged categories) were developed and remain part of our historical perspective. Back in the day, these skills, along with rug beating, clothes line drying, sewing, plucking  feathers for down pillows, were all necessary and valued skills. Today, we buy Smuckers jams, get a poly-something bed quilt which we wash and dry in machines and use a vacuum cleaner from Sweden. 

Homemaking has changed, but I put forth that it is no less important.

When you first walk into a family's home, in that first moment, you can grasp the effort, or lack of, that has been made to make a home. It can be chaotic or peaceful, rustic or stark and modern, richly adorned or a mismatch of yard sale furniture, it doesn't matter. You can sense when a house or apartment is a home.

Regardless if it is a man or woman in charge of the home, you can tell when somebody cares enough and knows enough to create an atmosphere of home. Looking closer, there is the care to manage the family schedules and finances. Thoughtful parenting is taking place here. I think these are very important skills, not just Donna Reed-isms.

Yes, I hope my daughter grows up to be the president of something, but when I am invited to her home, I will be a bit disappointed if she doesn't know how to make a pot roast. Because, pot roast is delicious. Nothing you buy in the frozen food section is every going to taste as good as pot roast with potatoes and gravy. It won't make her a good or bad person, but she and her family will miss out if they don't have a home that when other people walk in, they feel happy.

Keep in mind, I am an extremely homey person. I can feed 10 people dinner with an hour's notice, I can sew (but don't), I can knit, I can design, plant and care for a garden, I know how to set a dinner table, throw a brunch for Mother's Day, needlepoint Christmas stockings and remove most stains. I truly enjoy the effort it takes to make my home a home. It should also be noted that my house is usually quite cluttered and we do eat fast food when all fails.

Most of my accomplishments have been made outside of my home, in the arena of my career and community involvement. And an equally important role most women play now includes management of the family finances, but I consider these "domestic arts" to be just as much a piece of Me. My family means enough to me to warrant Making The Effort to Make a Home.

If you work 60 hours a week, then you can pay somebody else to do a lot of this, but you yearn to have time to put in the Effort.

I will certainly never be a Homemaker of the Year, but I appreciate the art!

August 2, 2010

Mary's New Blog

Thank you for visiting my blog. New content is coming daily, so do check back and see how I've grown. 

The best new feature of my blog is access to a store of all the books featured on Mary in the Morning or my Facebook page booknotes, plus more great books that I personally recommend. Check out the store featuring all these great reads (growing daily!). You can buy them right here, or make a list and visit a local bookseller or visit your local library.

If you would like to contribute content to my blog or wish to link in a mutually satisfying sort of way... drop me a note here.

August 1, 2010

Never Negotiate the SPIRIT of the Deal

Okay, so I am an organizational development geek, admittedly. But I want to share with you a moment in a meeting that I found so perfect, so clarifying, so break through the bull, because I promise you can use it immediately in just about any situation. Here it is: Before collaborating, and I use that term very loosely, be sure that all parties share the same spirit of the agreement to come.

Some examples:
Before you agree to co-host a bridal shower, be sure you both will share in all expenses and work involved. True Co-Hosting, Big C Big H. Or does the other person mean: she expects you to have it at your clean house, you to pay for the food and drink, you clean up the mess, handle RSVPs and she's just "helping where you need her". She'll "be there for you". Small c Small h.

Entering a business deal as partners on a project to a shared client. What does the term partnership mean? 50-50? 10-90? Both are perfectly acceptable, as long as it is clear from the beginning. 

What is the spirit of the deal?
What is the spirit of the collaboration?
Warning!! Warning!! If you are walking into the deal WITHOUT the same spirit, no matter what you  negotiate, there will be trouble ahead!!

In the meeting I was at, we were discussing a possible collaboration between two organizations with complementary missions coming together for a joint event. A collaborative effort. A partnership. One of the masterminds behind this plan said: "Before we sweat the details of this proposal to organization #2, let's make sure that they are open to the spirit of the deal. Organization #1 is in charge of and owns the overall event. Organization #2 will own a portion of the overall event". She was absolutely right in simplifying the approach. Be sure the spirit is agreeable before you commit to anything.

You've probably learned that a lack of communication up front can sour a deal later on. But this "spirit discussion" will bring clarity to all the little details along the way.

I wish I had learned this a long, long time ago. I could have saved myself from so many business regrets, not to mention cursing under my breath during bridal showers!

When you you get to the dirt of the deal, here's the best book yet on negotiating: You Can Negotiate Anything by Herb Cohen