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Opinion Editorials

Fighting Poverty- Rocky Turner



Blog Action Day

Today marks the second annual Blog Action Day in which the goal is for all bloggers to be focusing for one day on a single cause, this year it’s fighting poverty in an effort to raise awareness and encourage a global discussion.

Rocky Turner

Anyone who knows the Rocky Turner (founder of Mothers Fighting for Others), her husband Jeff Turner (Real Estate Shows President) and their six children knows that it is amazing that any of the family of eight ever sleep much less lead the charge to change the world.

From Mothers Fighting for Others:

Everyday, children are orphaned into extreme poverty. They are left to fend for themselves, without safe food or clean water and with no hope for a quality education.

Mothers Fighting For Others is dedicated to providing these children with the basic necessities that we provide for our own children. We will give them a roof over their heads, safe food and clean water, and a chance to learn, to grow and to thrive. We are Mothers Fighting For Others.

Please consider joining Mothers Fighting For Others, donate what you can, get to know Rocky and the Turner family, and send this article to anyone you think might be interested in MFO. On behalf of the AG crew, we thank you Rocky, for making this world a better place.

Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The American Genius - she has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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  1. Mike Mueller

    October 15, 2008 at 7:58 am

    I wrote my first Poverty post this morning because of Blog Action Day.
    One post. That’s it.

    I am humbled by what Rocky does on a daily basis.
    Yes! Support MFO, forward this post, retweet, repost, reblog…

    Thank you Rocky for all you do!

  2. Kim Wood

    October 15, 2008 at 9:22 am

    What a great organization to feature on Blog Action Day, Lani! The image you chose is one I’m familiar with – it puts a smile on my heart. It captures such an awesome moment – you can just feel Rocky’s love radiate.

    Whether it be donating money through paypal, shopping for underwear, or collection drives for clean water – Mothers Fighting for Others is an organization that will put your pennies in Africa where they are needed – no doubt.

  3. Nick Bastian

    October 15, 2008 at 9:30 am

    I was fortunate to have lunch with the “Turner Clan” a couple months ago while they were on a family vacation. What an amazing family.
    Rocky is such a great example of giving back to those less fortunate and her love for her family shines so bright!
    I can’t tell you how impressed I was with this family and with all of their children. Seriously, impressed!
    Thanks Rocky, for all you do… You ROCK!

  4. Jeff Turner

    October 15, 2008 at 9:50 am

    Lani… I won’t speak for Rocky, but I can tell you we are humbled by this post and thankful for your support. More than we’ll ever be able to express.

    Mike… I agree. What Lani is doing here today is inspiring.

    Nick… As a parent, you know that what you’ve just said is perhaps the nicest thing you can say to another parent. Again, we are humbled and thankful!

  5. Sarah Cooper

    October 15, 2008 at 10:27 am

    Rocky and Jeff do so much good for other people, in big and little ways, as naturally as if they were breathing.

    I’m really glad they have a house full of kids — I can’t think of better parents to get kids ready for the world, and I can’t wait to see all the amazing things those kids will do. 🙂

  6. Mana Tulberg

    October 15, 2008 at 10:54 am

    Rocky is one of the most amazing human beings I have ever had the pleasure to meet. Jeff too.

  7. Rocky Turner

    October 15, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    I really have no idea what to say here. Thank you all for your love and support as our Family moves along this journey. I know, that none of this could be done without the amazing support of my husband, and all of you who believe in our cause and want to make a difference. So, thank you my friends for believing in me and in MFFO!

    “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” Henry Ford

  8. ines

    October 15, 2008 at 12:31 pm

    Rocky and Jeff are inspiring – they move mountains and many of us look up to them. What they do is nothing short of amazing….goes to show that no matter how busy we are, we can make a difference.

  9. Missy Caulk

    October 15, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    I am an avid follower of Rocky’s web site and fight for the children in Africa. I also enjoy her blog on Muthahood. Heartwarming to read this here, Lani.

  10. Jay Thompson

    October 15, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    Personally, I struggle with how Turner landed such a remarkable woman. Some guys (self included) just have all the luck. 😉

    Both Jeff and Rocky are indeed truly inspiring.

  11. Ginger Wilcox

    October 15, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    Rocky and Jeff are tremendously inspiring. Their truly giving spirit and warm hearts makes me want to give more! It is so sad that there are children in this world without safe food and clean water. They can’t help themselves. I applaud Rocky’s efforts. Truly amazing!!

  12. Noble Turner

    October 15, 2008 at 4:32 pm

    Hey Rocky and Jeff:
    Wanted to say hi and congratulations for all that you do…….Spreading Love, Truth, and helping those that are less fortunate, is about the most honorable way to spend ones time and life. Love you both! Long live Wiclwire Creek!
    Love to your beautiful family…. Miss you guys!
    Namaste and aloha, Uncle Noble

  13. Noble Turner

    October 15, 2008 at 7:05 pm

    J and R:
    Sorry, that was ‘Wickwire Creek.’ Uncle

  14. Jeff's Mom

    October 16, 2008 at 10:10 am

    I sat here reading all of the comments and was crying. My son is a very fortunate man,as I am for being his Mom. Rocky is truly a real jewel. She loves my son, take great care of my Grandchildren,
    and feels as though is one of my own kids. We are thankful to have her in our lives.
    It’s a great feeling having such wonderful careing, loving , giving children that I can call mine.
    One lucky Mom
    Pat White

  15. Dale Chumbley

    October 16, 2008 at 11:07 am

    Okay, I was doing fine reading through the comments until I got to Jeff’s Mom. Drat! Now I need to go find a Kleenex. Jeff & Rocky ROCK! I’m honored to know them.

  16. Jay Thompson

    October 16, 2008 at 11:48 am

    Dear Pat White –

    I’ll bet ya a whole bunch of money that Jeff and Rocky would say they are thankful for having YOU in their lives.

    Jeff’s values didn’t appear out of thin air. You instilled a lot of what makes Jeff tick. So thanks for raising a great kid!

  17. ines

    October 16, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    Hand me a wipy! (is that a word?) How cool of you, Mrs. White, to come here and acknowledge your daughter-in-law like this – WOW!! you guys are an amazing family, that’s for sure. (I’ll have to send this to my mother-in-law now)

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Opinion Editorials

Dopamine detox to rewire your brain from internet addiction (it’s common!)

(EDITORIAL) So, you’re addicted to the internet. Whether your drug of choice is scrolling, posting, or interacting – it’s time for a dopamine detox.



Upside down photo of man holding iphone case saying "social media seriously harms your mental health" representing dopamine.

Ah, smartphones. The best friend we can carry around in our pockets. This small device that’s nearly glued to our hands gives us instant access to many worlds.

It’s exciting to see what’s up on Instagram, take up to six stabs at Wordle, and scroll recipes you’ll never make on Pinterest. It’s also a place where we can share the highlights of our life and, in return, get validation through likes.

With that validation comes a small rush of dopamine, something we’ve all become accustomed – and some of us addicted – to.

While I’m not addicted to posting, I would say I have an addiction to scrolling. I can’t make it through a 50-minute episode of “Dexter” without picking up my phone to check an app or two.

And there is that dopamine rush with it, where you feel like you’re the most up-to-date you’ve ever been. But what about when this becomes too much and we’re overloaded with information and feel bogged down by the constant updates?

First, we need to understand what dopamine is.

It’s a neurotransmitter that works in two spots in the brain: first, its production helps us begin movement and speech. Second, we feel it when we receive or expect a reward. It even creates a kind of “high” similar to what’s found in nicotine and cocaine.

So, if we expect these dopamine hits from social media and we don’t get those results, the dopamine crashes to the ground creating burnout.

Well, this can cause burnout. And, while tempting, the solution isn’t as easy as just deleting all of your social media and walking away clean. Additionally, “take a break” features are too easy to swipe away.

So what can you do?

Mana Ionescu at Lightspan Digital recommends a Dopamine Detox.

While breaking an addiction takes longer than a day, Ionescu recommends starting there and tailoring it to your needs.

Here is what she describes is necessary for a detox:

  1. Turn off all notifications on your phone. ALL of them. You will be looking at your phone every 10 minutes as it is. You won’t miss anything. We lose endless hours of productivity because of those pings.
  2. Tell people to call you if it’s urgent. And teach them the difference between urgent and important. So do keep call notifications on.
  3. Stop over-messaging. The more you message, the more you’ll get responses.
  4. Shed the pressure to respond right away to messages that don’t need a response right away.
  5. Take detox days. Nothing but calls, confirming meetings, and using the GPS is allowed on those days.
  6. Put your phone on sleep mode at night. You can, at least on iPhone, set permissions so that certain phone numbers can get through, in case you’re worried about mom.
  7. If you’re dating, remember that texting is for laughing, flirting, and confirming plans. Please pick up the phone and talk to that person to get to know them. I will not take you seriously if you just keep texting.
  8. And yes, we all know the game, whoever looks at their phone first over dinner picks up the bill.

This won’t be easy, but your brain will likely thank you in the long run. And, when you’re back online, hit up the comments and let us know how the detox went!

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Opinion Editorials

Strong leaders can use times of crises to improve their company’s future

(EDITORIAL) In the COVID-19 crisis, some leaders fumbled through it, while others quietly safeguarded their company’s future.



strong leaders

Anthony J. Algmin is the Founder and CEO of Algmin Data Leadership, a company helping business and technology leaders transform their future with data, and author of a new book on data leadership. We asked for his insights on how strong leaders can see their teams, their companies, and their people through this global pandemic (and other crises in the future). The following are his own words:

Managers sometimes forget that the people we lead have lives outside of the office. This is true always but is amplified when a crisis occurs. We need to remember that our job is to serve their teams, to help them be as aligned and productive as possible in the short and long terms.

Crises are exactly when we need to think about what they might be going through, and realize that the partnership we have with our employees is more than a transaction. If we’ve ever asked our people to make sacrifices, like working over a weekend without extra pay, we should be thinking first about how we can support them through the tough times. When we do right by people when they really need it, they will run through walls again for our organizations when things return to normal.

Let them know it’s okay to breathe and talk about it. In a situation like COVID-19 where everything was disrupted and people are adjusting to things like working from home, it is naturally going to be difficult and frustrating.

The best advice is to encourage people to turn off the TV and stop frequently checking the news websites. As fast as news is happening, it will not make a difference in what we can control ourselves. Right now most of us know what our day will look like, and nothing that comes out in the news is going to materially change it. If we avoid the noisy inputs, we’ll be much better able to focus and get our brains to stop spinning on things we can’t control.

And this may be the only time I would advocate for more meetings. If you don’t have at least a daily standup with your team, you should. And encourage everyone to have a video-enabled setup if at all possible. We may not be able to be in the same room, but the sense of engagement with video is much greater than audio-only calls.

We also risk spiraling if we think too much about how our companies are struggling, or if our teams cannot achieve what our organizations need to be successful. It’s like the difference in sports between practice and the big game. Normal times are when leaders game plan, strategize, and work on our fundamentals. Crises are the time to focus and leave it all on the field.

That said, do not fail to observe and note what works well and where you struggle. If you had problems with data quality or inefficient processes before the crisis, you are not fixing them now. Pull out the duct tape and find a way through it. But later, when the crisis subsides, learn from the experience and get better for next time.

Find a hobby. Anything you can do to clear your head and separate work from the other considerations in your life. We may feel like the weight of the world is on our shoulders, and without a pressure release we will not be able to sustain this level of stress and remain as productive as our teams, businesses, and families need us.

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Opinion Editorials

7 sure-fire ways to carve out alone time when you’re working from home

(EDITORIAL) It can be easy to forget about self-care when you’re working from home, but it’s critical for your mental health, and your work quality.



Woman in hijab sitting on couch, working from home on a laptop

We are all familiar with the syndrome, getting caught up in work, chores, taking care of others, and neglecting to take care of ourselves in the meantime. This has always been the case, but now, with more people working from home and a seemingly endless lineup of chores, thanks to the pandemic. There is simply so much to do.

The line is thinly drawn between personal and professional time already, with emails, cell phones, and devices relentlessly reaching out around the clock, pulling at us like zombie arms reaching up from the grave. Working from home makes this tendency to always be “on” worse, as living and working take place in such close proximity. We have to turn it off, though.

Our brains and bodies need downtime, me-time, and self-care. Carving out this time is one of the kindest and most important things you can do for yourself. If we can begin to honor ourselves like this, the outcome with not only our mental and physical health but also our productivity at work will be beneficial. When we make the time to do things we love, our mind’s gears slow down that constant grinding. Burnout behooves nobody.

Our work will also benefit. Healthier, happier, more well-rested, and well-treated minds and bodies can work wonders! Our immune systems also need this, and we need our immune systems to be at their peak performance this intense season.

I wanted to write this article because I have such a struggle with this in my own life. I need to print it out and put it in my workspace. Last week, I posted something on my social media pages that so many people shared. It is clear we all need these reminders, so I am paying it forward here. The graphic was a quote from Devyn W.

“If you are reading this, release your shoulders away from your ears, unclench your jaw, and drop your tongue from the roof of your mouth.”

There now, isn’t that remarkable? It is a great first step. Let go of the tension in your body, and check out these ways to make yourself some healing me-time while working from home.

  1. Set aside strict no-work times. This could be any time of day, but set the times and adhere to them strictly. This may look like taking a full hour for lunch, not checking email after a certain hour, or committing to spending that time outdoors, reading, exercising, or enjoying the company of your loved ones. Make this a daily routine, because we need these boundaries. Every. Single. Day.
  2. Remember not to apologize to anyone for taking this me-time. Mentally and physically you need this, and everyone will be better off if you do. It is nothing to apologize for! Building these work-free hours into your daily schedule will feel more normal as time goes on. This giving of time and space to your joy, health, and even basic human needs is what should be the norm, not the other way around.
  3. Give yourself a device-free hour or two every day, especially before bedtime. The pinging, dinging, and blinging keep us on edge. Restful sleep is one of the wonderful ways our bodies and brains heal and putting devices away before bedtime is one of the quick tips for getting better sleep.
  4. Of course, make time for the things you absolutely love. If this is a hot bath, getting a massage, reading books, working out, cooking or eating an extravagant meal, or talking and laughing with a loved one, you have to find a way to get this serotonin boost!
  5. Use the sunshine shortcut. It isn’t a cure-all, but sunlight and Vitamin D are mood boosters. At least when it’s not 107 degrees, like in a Texas summer. But as a general rule, taking in at least a good 10-15 minutes of that sweet, sweet Vitamin D provided by the sun is good for us.
  6. Spend time with animals! Walk your dog, shake that feathery thing at your cat, or snuggle either one. Whatever animals make you smile, spend time with them. If you don’t have pets of your own, you could volunteer to walk them at a local shelter or even watch a cute animal video online. They are shown to reduce stress. Best case scenario is in person if you are able, but thankfully the internet is bursting with adorable animal videos, as a backup.
  7. Give in to a bit of planning or daydreaming about a big future trip. Spending time looking at all the places you will go in the future and even plotting out an itinerary are usually excellent mood-boosters.

I hope we can all improve our lives while working from home by making time for regenerating, healing, and having fun! Gotta run—the sun is out, and my dog is begging for a walk.

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