a self-love guide for the insanely busy
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positive change: an interview with the creator of iaam


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February 2011 has been all about self-love here at Positively Present, and last month I was fortunate enough to be introduced to a site that really promotes and encourages self-love an positivity. iaam.com is a website geared toward teenagers, but it's really a site that anyone can enjoy. It's an interactive media platform that promotes positivity in all aspects of life -- and definitely worth checking out. If you're looking for some positive inspiration and articles on various life skills, iaam is the place for you. 


Tell us a little about iaam.com. What does the acronym stand for and what can readers expect to find on the site?

The Teen Entertainment & Life Skills Multimedia Network, iaam.com, is an interactive multimedia platform providing entertainment and life skills information to teens and their parents and teachers.  iaam.com provides valuable information on money, career, entrepreneurship, self confidence, and overall success for teens  through interviews with professionals and life-skill articles and blogs, while free online games, movie trailers, music videos, quizzes, polls, and free contests boost the fun. iaam.com empowers teens to showcase talents that make them unique. By encouraging individuality and promoting positive media, iaam allows teens to shine on site. 

iaam is acronym  for “I am a millionaire” in all aspects of life. Media already bombards teenagers with messages of being millionaire as an ultimate prize in the society.  iaam inspires teens to redefine wealth, to be rich in all that matters, and to embrace their futures believing “I am a millionaire” in all aspects of life.
 

What inspired you to create iaam?  Why did you choose to focus on this particular audience?

As I got older and busier as a mother, I wanted to do what I love to do, make a difference, and earn a living all in one place. iaam achieved that balance. Teens are consuming more media than ever, but unfortunately, the images they see often reinforce gender stereotypes, emphasize unrealistic body images or show women in passive roles. The need for more positive images of teens in the media was clear to me. Being a parent of twin girls, I also understood the impact of media on impressionable young minds. I wanted my daughters to be exposed to positive and empowering media to help them succeed in all aspects of life and fulfill their inner potential. That was one of the primary reasons for me to be a media entrepreneur.  

Our society is only as good as our next generation. By not guiding our youth on a path to success we cannot expect to be leaders in the world.  According to a national survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 8- to 18-year-olds devote an average of 7 hours, 38 minutes to entertainment media in a typical day, or over 53 hours a week. It’s essential that teens are exposed to positive ideas so they look forward to creating a successful future. Young adults need a place to go where their dreams are nurtured and where they can discover how to strike a good balance in their lives early and overcome challenges they face.  As a media entrepreneur, I want to provide a positive message to counteract the negative messages of violence, deceit, sex, and drugs that bombard today’s teens. 
 

What media outlets/resources do you look to for positive inspiration?

I look to variety of media outlets to keep me inspired and motivated. Every day I try to look up positive quotes from websites like thinkexist.com and successconsciouness.com. Entrepreneurship is a long challenging road to success so being a positive person helps to fulfill your goals and stay on the mission. I enjoy positive entrepreneurship communities and websites like entrepreneur.com and onstartups.com. I also like to read inspirational stories and articles at entrepreneur.com and inspirational-short-stories.com. I enjoy websites like positivelypresent.com to get you fired up and inspired! 

My favorite thing to do is to watch old episodes of “StarTrek Voyager” with my daughters and have them appreciate the leadership role of the female captain. Currently I’m reading Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.  When I need an uplift in my day I can always pick up Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.

 

How does positivity play a role in the cultivation of the iaam community?

From early on we designed the site to celebrate intelligence and creativity and be a place teens can dream. We are raising a tide of socially responsible media whose ultimate mission is to make teens successful. One cannot achieve success and happiness without being positive. Positive attitude, persistence, and new ideas are the main ingredients of true success. Why not help our youth follow the same path as successful people and help them build fulfilling and accomplished lives? When has gossip and negativity really helped anyone? This young generation has an enormous challenge ahead of them and we must help them prepare for what’s ahead and give them the right tools to succeed in life.

 

Who are some of the positive people working behind the scenes at iaam?

Everyone on our team: web designers, webmaster, and all our contractors are so excited to be part of something positive and make a difference in the world. They put their best work on the site every day. Our virtual interns, bloggers, and writers believe in our mission and their strong desire to make a difference in their peers’ lives makes a huge impact on behind the scenes. Their energy and work drive our mission.
 

What essential tips does iaam share with readers when it comes to living a positive life?

We are always growing and learning. Why can’t we share our wisdom and positive reinforcement in the lives of teens? Our top and foremost message is to do what you love, believe in yourself, try to be unique, and stay positive. We also channel the message that the mind is the most powerful part in your body and your thoughts are your road to what you want your life to be.  Happiness and success cannot be achieved without positive thinking! Being surrounded by positive people is a very important tip we share with teens. We interview people from all walks of life and share their hard work, their passion, and what they gave up to follow their path to success.

 

How can others become more involved with iaam?

Websites like iaam.com are critical to a positive teen internet experience. iaam is growing organically through a grassroots movement. Here’s how you can get involved:

 

  1. Join the iaam community. In addition to its teen/young adult community iaam features a parent/teacher community you can join.
  2. Help spread the word about iaam by being our Facebook fan and Twitter follower.
  3. Repost links to iaam articles you like on Facebook and retweet them on Twitter.
  4. If you are a blogger or a website owner share our site with your viewership, review our site, and/or link to our site so your viewers are one click away from a positive entertaining life-skills network.
  5. If you are writer or blogger share your thoughts and ideas with teens on iaam.
  6. Share our site with your teen and other parents and teachers.

 

We all have to work together and challenge mainstream media by showing we care what our youth are exposed to. I’m proud to say we’re getting incredible support from teens, communities, bloggers, writers, entrepreneurs, etc. I believe everyone understands what we are trying to accomplish because they were teens themselves. One of the questions I always get is “Where was iaam.com when I was growing up?”
 

If you could offer any positive words of wisdom to young readers, what would they be?

"Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world." - Harriet Tubman



LELA Media Inc., based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is the first national positive teen media company. Founder Malini Hoover is a passionate teen advocate and she launched LELA Media Inc. to make a positive and lasting impact on today’s youth.  Please visit iaam.com and be our Facebook fan. Share iaam.com with your friends -- and keep an eye out for featured posts by Positively Present on the site! 

Comments

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Thanks for this insight into iaam.com. I had never heard of them before but I'm really excited to check them out. I have worked with many teenagers over the years and I found a real need for many of them just to get positive feedback on their own abilities and then tips for them to improve. They all have the ability and desire to succeed, but many of them do not simply because they were told that they are failures their entire life.

I think this could be one of the single most important things that teenagers could benefit from. I will definitely be checking out the website and adding their fan page :)

thanks again

Stephen - You're welcome! I'm glad I came across the site and I'm glad I was able to share it here. The more young people can learn about living a positive life, the better -- and iaam.com is such a great resource for positive living!

This is great! I'm passing along as well. I know all to well how great this would have been when I was teenager...if passing along just helps one I know...that will be great and hopefully get them talking to their own friends about it.

Thanks Dani for the intro, and Malini continued success to you in this venture.

Saggleo - Glad you liked this! I felt the same way -- I would have loved something like this when I was a teenager and I hope the site will provide some great inspiration for teens everywhere. Thanks for spreading the word!

> Our society is only as good as our next generation.
Powerful words.

I'm a fan of lifting others up and standing on the shoulder's of giants.

J.D. - That's a great quote you picked up on, and it's so true. Lifting up others feels great and it can have some powerful long-term benefits to society as well.

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