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Learn the Story behind the woman who’s transformed the infant safe sleep sector.

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Healthy sleep is an aspect of childcare that plagues all parents who’ve just welcomed their new baby home.

Questions raised by these parents usually revolve around the sleep environment of their child. 

Inadequate sleep environments are considered one of the significant factors contributing to SIDS( Sudden infant death syndrome).

SIDS is a fundamental concern amongst new and expecting parents, and this comes with good reason. About 1400 infants die annually from S.I.D.S in the United States alone, and these numbers are expected to increase on a global scale.

In this article, we learn how C.E.O and founder of Linen & Leah, Jen O’ Malley has transformed the safe sleep sector and provided babies the comfort and safety they deserve!

Baby Steps

Jen is a child growth and development expert who’s worked with children for more than 20 years.

She started her career as a teacher at a childcare center, then transitioned to in-home childcare after giving birth to her kids.

Jen worked towards returning to the childcare center when her youngest child started grade school, but when the time came, she realized she had developed intimate connections with the children she looked after.

“It was something the childcare center could not give me, and I didn’t give up due to this.”- Jen

Some time passed,  and Jen started her home-based childcare business. It’s the best decision she’s made to date, and she’s fallen in love with it completely.

Discovering the problem

During her daily rounds, she noticed that while the kids were asleep, most of the sheets in the Play-yards would untuck.

She asked herself this question, ” how can I provide the utmost comfort for sleeping infants without putting them at risk?”

“As my passion for the quality of care that I provided grew, I also started to care for the environment I put the children in- making sure they were safe outside, inside, and while sleeping.”- Jen explains.

Safe sleep environments were the most challenging part of Jens’s work. Like many childcare providers, grandparents, and parents, she used Pack n’ Plays during naptime for children aged eight weeks to 16 months. 

A Pack n Play is a beautiful alternative to a crib because you can move them around or take them apart to create more play space.

The catch is that they don’t come with sheets, so you are left to find your own. 

There are several Pack & Play sheets on the market. However, most of them are too loose, and every time Jen did her 15-minute check-in at naptime, there would be a child who had pulled the corners of the sheet off the mattress.

One day, she went for a check-in and found her daughter entirely wrapped in her pack n’ play sheet; she was gasping for air, and her face had turned a terrifying shade of red.

Knowing that this happened in 10 minutes- the time it takes to fold a load of laundry- was enough for Jen to realize that she needed to make her sheets.

Eventually, Jen created a sheet that completely secures itself to the mattress, providing a safe sleep environment for babies and toddlers. 

In June 2016, she closed her Home-Based childcare business to run Linen & Leah full time. And In recent times, Jen accepted a position on the Board of Members of a Safe Sleep campaign in Minnesota.

Values and Principles

Former CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs, once explained that, “You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. 

Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.” 

Jen and her family are substantial apple fans, and this quote by Steve Jobs has formed the foundation for Jens’s principles. 

When she started linen & Leah, she would stare at it every day to remind herself that it’s not always about money, passion can be an excellent driving force instead, and Jens passion is safe to sleep. 

Lending a helping hand

“A lot of Childcare providers and grandparents use our sheets,  and this creates peace of mind for parents because they know that their baby is in a safe sleep environment when they can’t be at home napping in their crib.” – Jen says.

The goal at Linen and Leah is to create a safe sleeping environment for infants. Apart from this, Linen & Leah has also optimized their website for education. Their website is packed with safe sleep best practices and blogs. 

Her thoughts 

Yes, there are a lot of factors that can contribute to the sudden death of an infant and new parents this can be a little overwhelming; to clear things up, I’ll let Jen take it over from here;

“Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) (SUIDS) Is the sudden, unexplained death of a baby 

Usually, less than a year old. SIDS doesn’t have a known cause even after countless studies and research carried out scientists.

When an Infant dies of SIDS, an investigation takes place. This is somewhat like your usual CIS process;

First, a complete autopsy is done; after that, the death scene is examined. The process usually ends with a review of the infant’s clinical history.

Many clinicians and researchers believe that SIDS is associated with problems in the ability of the baby to arouse from sleep.

Another thing to note is the infant’s ability to detect low levels of oxygen; When babies sleep face down, they may re-breathe Exhaled carbon dioxide, and this leads to the build-up of dangerous amounts of carbon dioxide.

There is no guaranteed way to prevent SIDS, but there are things we can do to lower the risk significantly. 

Try following the American Academy of Pediatrics Recommendations of Safe sleep, which include: 

  • Place the baby on his or her back on a firm sleep surface such as a crib or bassinet with a tight-fitting sheet.
  • Avoid the use of soft bedding, including crib bumpers, blankets, pillows, and soft toys. The crib should be bare.
  • Share a bedroom with parents, but not the same sleeping surface, preferably until the baby turns one but at least for the first six months. Room-sharing decreases the risk of SIDS by as much as 50 percent.
  • Avoid baby’s exposure to smoke, alcohol, and illicit drugs. 

Free Time

Our leisure time is often spent with the people we hold close to our hearts, our friends, family, and loved ones.

It’s a time when we get to relax and reminisce about all the good things that have happened to us.

For Jen, Family is where the hearts at. Jen ensures she spends adequate time with her family, especially her teenage children. 

As they grow older, she engages in activities she couldn’t do with them as Kids.

This Halloween was spent in haunted houses and hayrides. Apart from Halloween themed activities, Jen also plays a significant supportive role as a soccer mom.

She does her best to attend all their games 

Traveling helps a lot too. Jen and her fiance travel as often as they can. Seeing new places and exploring new traditions can put things into perspective.

Company culture at Linen & Leah

Linen & Leah is a new firm comprising five individuals. And safe sleep is the topic of the day, every day.

They love to keep their dynamic positive, light, upbeat, and fun, just like a family.

The company culture at linen & Leah is all about creating a safe sleep environment for infants and raise awareness for SIDS/SUIDS.

10% of the firm’s revenue is donated to the SIDS Foundation. Asides from that, they have a collaboration with Baby2Baby, a non-profit organization that shares the same mission as Linen & Leah.

“It’s not about making the sale; it’s about all of us sharing the same passion, building relationships with our customers,  being honest, moving forward, and having fun!”- Jen

I've always had a knack for storytelling! Hi there, I'm Chukwuma Agugbue. I'm a copywriter and, a blogger. I Interview individuals who've achieved some sort of success in their field- Actively building a knowledge base for Millenials

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Protected: The Young Tailor Traveling The World : Aristide Tofani

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How Vito Glazers plans to help 1000 people become influencers in 2020

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Vito Glazers, a real estate investor, media entrepreneur, former Huffington Post contributing author, and actor, is the CEO of One World Publishing. His PR company has helped over 100 people share their stories through the media. Glazers is most known for WE TV’s Mystery Millionaire and the Mancow Show. He is also the Executive Producer of the film Too Big For TV, and Chop Chop TV Show, a comedy sketch series filmed in Chicago in which he plays himself.  In addition to being a television and media personality and media contributor, Glazers was also featured in a national media campaign for DadsRights.com. He sponsored a giveaway on Kim Kardashian’s Instagram and ended up with over 100,000 Instagram followers from that. His Facebook Livestreams about Donald Trump during his then candidacy gained him a significant social media audience and regular television news appearances. 

He had a diverse upbringing by immigrant parents and traveled through Central America where he learned to speak Spanish fluently from his Guatemalan mother. Glazers graduated with honors from Prospect High School in his hometown of Mount Prospect when he was 16 years old. After high school, Glazers worked in financial services and eventually attended universities studying business and economics, but he never graduated. An advocate of ‘self-education,’ Vito has also expressed his support for The Piven Theater Group in Chicago, Eric Morris Actor’s workshop in Los Angeles, and other public speaking and acting courses.

Glazers is a renowned public speaker who has spoken at Judson University, WIN University, Platinum Speaker Camp, Small Business Expo, the Tim Burd Masterminds, AdLeaks Retreats, Goal Digging Academy in Las Vegas, Baby Bath Water Institute, Webinars, and Podcasts.

He Loves helping people and brands tell their story through news, media, and film. He pioneered a successful four part system for Internet marketing to promote and grow his own advertising networks and personal brand for over ten years. He has also used the same system to help grow a real estate brokerage, exotic car dealerships, E-commerce products, clothing lines, television & film releases, musicians, authors, actors, entrepreneurs, universities, and charitable organizations. Here is how Vito Glazers can make you an influencer.

Follow The Money

Glazers advises that the first step to becoming an influencer in your field is not posting bikini photos on the beach trying to grow your Instagram to a million followers, but rather figuring out what audience your content appeals to, and developing a plan to use your content as a path to make money as you grow the audience. Some ways that he advises monetizing audiences are developing an offer or service, selling products, tickets to live events, or even coaching, training programs and masterclasses.

Establish Your Claim To Fame

What is it that makes your influence unique?  Vito Glazers specializes in helping people craft their claim to fame. This is what makes you appealing to the media.  It is why your brand is special.  What do you want to be known for?  According to Glazers, claims to fame can range from winning an award or accolade in your industry, to doing something controversial or that garnered a lot of attention on social media.  Your claim to fame should be supported with coverage from major media outlets.    

Sell Your Story

Once you have your monetization strategy in place, and have developed and established your claim to fame, the next step is to begin selling your story.  In an ideal situation, your claim to fame is so strong and your story is so appealing that either a book publisher or even a film company want to own the rights to your story to produce into content.  If you are not able to sell the rights to your story up front, there are many other ways to sell and monetize your story.  One way that Glazers helps clients sell their story, is from the stage.  By booking stages and speaking at live events, you can sell your story to an engaged audience.  Another way is through social media.  Glazers uses the same formula for selling from the stage, to sell on livestreams and webinars as if those platforms were stages. Anywhere you can get an engaged audience that your story will resonate with, is an opportunity to lead them to your offer or service that you created in step one, and continue generating income from your story.

Keep Scaling

Once you have gotten the hang of selling your story to audiences, the sky’s the limit. Every platform becomes an opportunity to generate income from your story.  Your mission as an influencer should then be to create content on all relevant platforms that continues to draw in your ideal audience and turn them into clients.  Again, social media, webinars, masterclasses, live events, podcats, television apperances and even film give anybody with a story to tell a platform to share that story.

Without following the money first, influencers find themselves creating and promoting content with no plan on how to ever generate an income to sustain their craft.  By following the money first, it gives influencers a guide of how to create content and what opportunities to pursue, and how to monetize those opportunities, which allows them to continue creating, inspiring and influencing.

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TEDx Speaker Juan David Campolargo Sheds Light On His Book, "Generation Optimism"

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Juan David Campolargo could easily be described as a Renaissance man. He was born and raised in Venezuela and later relocated to Chicago when he was fourteen-years-old.

When Juan David first arrived in the United States, he knew no English. But in the space of less than six months, he mastered it. A year after learning the language, Juan David took on college-level and honors classes.

Today, Juan David is the founder of Optimum Smart, a digital marketing agency. Apart from this, he manages a small hedge fund under the name Campolargo Holdings, serves on Naperville’s Downtown Advisory Committee, and contributes to the nonprofit Panas en Chicago, which provides assistance to Venezuelan immigrants. He is also the author of Generation Optimism, a book that’s aimed at transforming the  pessimistic Generation Z.

Juan David was compelled to write this book after reading an article about how his generation (Gen Z) and millennials are the most pessimistic in the history of mankind. He knew he had to take action and researched the best way to make an impact. Juan David began writing this book to inspire the next generation to embrace a worldview of optimism.

In this interview, Juan David explains more about his book and shares how he’s achieved his goal of making an impact on the Gen Z

What is your book about and how will it help the Gen Z generation transform the world we live in?

Gen Z is one of the most pessimistic in the history of humankind, yet every aspect of life — education, entertainment, healthcare, information, medicine, science, sports, technology — has never been better. Why then do we think the world is getting worse?

Generation Optimism is about how to create the next generation of doers and dreamers. Optimism is a skill and like any other skill, as with happiness, coding, or public speaking, it can be learned. In reading this book, you will:

* Gain a deep understanding of our human psychology and why we are wired to be negative

* Read inspiring stories of people like Mark Cuban and others as they took the journey of optimism

* Learn to alter your perspective if optimism is not your strong suit

* Learn the advantages of living an optimistic life and dare to be an optimist! 

Generation Optimism isn’t just a book optimism or how to become optimistic. Who cares about #Optimism? Optimism will be the only way to solve the problems and challenges in the future. I see optimism as the only mindset that makes sense in the 21st century. 

Intelligence isn’t just good grades or a high #IQ but rather the ability to adapt quickly. And that is what we all need to do. 

Sure, things in the world suck and will always suck but I’ll tell you this: OPTIMISTS ARE THE ONES WHO ARE BRAVE ENOUGH TO EVEN TRY.

2. What’s the source of inspiration for your book?

Find a pair of glasses and put them on. if they are sunglasses, you’ll likely see a darker image, but if they are reading glasses, you’ll see everything closer than it is. I like to use this analogy: we see with our lenses and we see through the lenses, but we don’t see the lenses themselves.

What most people don’t know is that we have agency over them. We can build, create, and change our lenses for the ones we desire. How we perceive things (our lenses of reality) determines the kind of experience we are going to have.

Solution: Get a new pair of glasses.

By reading this book, I will give you for FREE the new pair of lenses you need. 

Over the past year, writing a book about optimism has been quite challenging, but as you continue to read this book, you will realize how much I love challenges and adversity. I knew I wanted to write about my story; a lot of people have expressed interest in who I am and what I do. 

At first, I thought about writing an autobiography, but I think it’s just too early and would be a project I’d want to pursue later in my life.

Then I realized how optimistic I’ve been throughout my life, even as my generation is so pessimistic. and that’s when the book journey began. I researched many topics related to optimism, generational theory, positive thinking, and other interesting research. 

In  addition to the research, I had the opportunity to interview fascinating individuals such as Mark Cuban. if I was optimistic before this process, I can now say I’m a thousand percent more optimistic after writing this book. 

The number of hours, rejections, effort, calls, and energy I’ve put into this book has made me more resilient and, of course, optimistic.

Only an elite few are selected to speak on the TEDx Stage, how did you attain this level of success? 

For this question, I’ll share an excerpt from my book, Generation Optimism. It’d be a lot better if you have the opportunity to read the book as you’ll have a lot more context of who I am and where I come from.

“I had moved to a different country, learned English unbelievable quickly (6 months), started a profitable business with eleven clients. I was waking up at 4 a.m. to invest in stocks, playing sports, and had just been selected to attend one of the most prestigious summer programs for high school students: LaunchX at the University of Pennsylvania.

I was living the DREAM.

Not only was I living the dream, but I was happy and doing pretty well in everything. You might be thinking, Yeah sure, you’re probably a genius. I want to make one thing super clear: I’m definitely not a genius, nor was I lucky. The stoic Seneca explained it best when he said, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

Many people go through life as if everything is a coincidence or their lives were already written. imagine if that were true. Life would be Boring! Thankfully, the world doesn’t work that way, at least for most people. Being goal-driven and aware of your goals gives you the focus to find opportunities. I’ll give you an example.

I say that luck doesn’t really exist and you have to be prepared for the opportunity. Everything that has happened and continues to happen in my life is because I either created or wanted it. That may sound cliché, but these are some of my methods—and don’t forget, I was fourteen or fifteen at the time.

Goals: I wrote down my goals. Every single one of them, without exception. What goals? Academic goals, life goals, fulfillment goals, dreams, etc. You can be creative, and best of all, you can be crazy. You won’t believe the type of goals that I wrote down and continue to write down.

I set a reminder every month to check my progress on these goals. You can also learn more about the twenty-year plan. I haven’t personally done that one, but it’s great for perspective.

•Reading: I read one or two books every week. That’s about sixty a year. Reading is basically legal theft (no, just kidding, you don’t really steal anything). Reading is a way to get ahead and accelerate your learning curve for anything you’re trying to achieve. I can’t believe reading has this stigma of being boring or nerdy.

•Daily Affirmations: Twice a day, I tell myself things I aspire to be. An example could be “I’m a speed-reader. I’m smart. I’m happy. I’m focused.” It has gotten to a point where it feels natural every morning and every night to go through these daily affirmations. Once the messages sink into your subconscious, you really start acting differently.

•Morning Routine: I call mine BEE. It stands for Bed (yes, I make my bed every morning), Exercise (I do twenty push-ups or more), and Exercises (Daily Affirmations explained above). I sometimes add the M for Meditation. Starting off your day in the right way is the secret to having a great day.

I can go on and on my own techniques, which I think are super interesting. The goal of the S (Success) is how having goals and desires can be a powerful way to be optimistic, positive, and happy.”

Share words of advice to Millenials who see finding it hard to stand out in the saturated world we live in today.

Viktor Frankl said it best:

“Don’t aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it.”

That’s a quote that is a little bit long but it so fundamental and key to understanding life. My advice would be this write down your goals and know where you want to go but don’t focus all of your energy on achieving those goals. Write down your goals as ambitious and crazy as possible. (If you’re not embarrassed or scared, by them your goals are not ambitious enough). After they’re written down, revisit them every month without exception. 

This isn’t a magic trick or anything like that but what this will do is give you focus. I’ll give you an example: let’s say you want to get a Tesla, all of sudden you will start seeing Teslas everywhere. Knowing what you want is the first step and now opportunities will arise.

Opportunities will show up and now it’s all up to you. You’re the one who decides how far you want to go and how ambitious you want to be. All the things I’m achieving now were written down 3 or 4 years ago.

In the end, you have to want it but not really. Success is a consequence, not a cause. If you think I’m contradicting myself, remember life isn’t a math equation. 

For more information, you can connect with Juan David on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter at @jdcampolargo.

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