Authenticity Online and Off – #DisneySMMoms

disney social media momsExactly 2 weeks ago I was extremely fortunate enough to be able to attend the Disney Social Media Moms – Disney on the Road event in Bellevue, WA.

I admit, I have coveted the Disney Social Media Moms Conference since it’s inception and during the event in Washington I was even more excited to hear that the conference will be held on the west coast next year. YIPPEE!

Of course, hearing about all the wonderful new things at both Disneyland and Disney World increases the excitement even more.

But that wasn’t really my greatest take away.

Our Keynote Speaker was Mindee Doney, inventor of Boogie Wipes® Gentle Saline Wipes for Stuffy Noses, and fellow Oregonian. I began blogging about the same time that Boogie Wipes® started hitting shelves and blogs. I was inspired by her story then, I’m even more inspired after hearing her complete story.

Mindee had so many wonderful things to say, it was the authenticity that she exuded, however, that was my greatest takeaway.

Being authentic is extremely important in the blogosphere. If our readers don’t get the vibe that we are being our true self, why would they want to come back and read the verbal vomit err, uh, well-thought out posts that we write. 😉

It’s definitely something that I think all bloggers struggle with. It’s super easy to suddenly morph into someone different online because you have your words to hide behind. No one sees your face or mannerisms. They aren’t able to see that behind the witty comments and upbeat words, there is pain. Unless you share it.

Before hearing Mindee speak my idea of her life was based on the stories I had read about her and Boogie Wipes®. How she was able to see her idea brought to such successful fruition. How she then sold her labor of love and lived happily ever after.

That’s what I thought I knew.

During her speech Mindee chose to be authentic offline with all these online moms.

She told us about her struggles with running her business and maintaining her family and marriage. She told us about how just before the sell of Boogie Wipes® she realized she needed to step away and take a less active role for the benefit of herself and her kids. She told us how she thought she was going to be rich when the sale was final. She told us how when all was said and done, she ended up filing for bankruptcy and even divorce.

She told us the good, the bad and the ugly truth about business. Sometimes it works and everything comes our roses, and other times it’s just a big pile of crap.

You might be thinking that this is just a big Debbie Downer of a story, but really it’s what so many of us in that room needed to hear. We needed to hear someone be genuine about their business story, to remind us that our business of blogging isn’t always going to be rainbows and puppy dogs. It’s not easy and it’s not a give in.

We also needed someone to tell us that if we do fall we can’t let it define us, that we can rise from those ashes and carry on and even be stronger for it.

I honestly don’t know what the future holds for Mad Hatter Mom. It’s never been something that I have tried to make a ton of living with. I don’t even know if I have what it takes to do that for this little ‘ol blog.

I do know though, that while I’m here in this space, I will continue to be my authentic self because those stories that make me who I am could be exactly what someone out there needs to hear today.


  1. It’s coming to the West coast next year? YEAH!

    Sounds like you had a really interesting time at the Bellevue event. When professionals talk candidly about the hard work and struggles it takes to be successful, anyone else who is self-employed can definitely commiserate – even if they’re in somewhat different industries, there are usually a lot of shared experiences.
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