Posts in Management
Why You Need An Online Business Manager - Introducing Burn the Beige!

An awesome Online Business Manager on your team will take your work from beige to bold in a matter of weeks.  You see, as I see it, there are 2 kinds of people out there - those who wear beige and those who live in and seek out color!  

Let me repeat, you either wear beige or seek out color.  A good OBM will help you seek out the latter vs settling on the beige.

If you're one that seeks out color - then this post is for you.  

Here's what I know.  You're an awesome cross between excitement and knowledge.  Everyone who knows you loves you. They love the work you do including the fun (and funny) that you put out.  Your energy all around is what excites others!  That coupled with your masterful skill in web design has referral after referral coming in.  

As far as I can tell, you have 2-3 launches on your programs a year, one big event and sure you'll take some 1:1 work when it comes in and when it's a good fit.

You team up with some friends to do the occasional promotion because - why not - it's fun to work with your girls.

AND now I see that you are building up a Video & YouTube platform.

You're a creative.  I get it.  I love it.  I love your work!  I'm not going to lie.

But here's a brutal truth too.  My brutal truth and I hope I am not pouring water on your fire of excitement.  But I am disappointed for you too.  Because from what I can see, you're really awesome, you do awesome work and now, next year is going to be more of the same.  

More of the same.  

YouTube?  Really?

What I want and am DYING to see from you is sooooo much more!  

You're bold not beige!  

Where are the gigs?!  Where are the products and partnerships?!  Where is your book??  Where is your speaking tour?  Where are your planners and post-it notes? How come you're not making Matt Lauer swoon first thing in the morning?!

I'm shaking my virtual head over here in sadness.  

The first thing I would do as your Online Business Manager is BURN THE BEIGE and shake you out of your own status quo.  

YouTube?  Really?  


You're bold! Not beige! 

You don't wear those dirty boring dingy nude bras do you?  NO!  You'd burn it I am sure!

Then why oh why would you settle your life and business on beige or boring?  

Okay.  Now I am opening your eyes.  Right?

Your eyes have needed to be opened.  You need to get excited again.  You need to think bigger.  

That was and is Step 1.  

Step 2 happens when I have you thinking about shaking things up, I want to hear about your out-of-reach "thing" that you rarely allow yourself to think about.  Together we will get out of you that very super fantastic awesome out of this world dream that you really want to work on but never go there.  AKA What do you want?  What do your dreams dream about?? Is it that book and speaking tour?  You having your own product with "in collaboration with" your favorite brand?  Hello American Rag - feature my style?!  Hellooo Jonathan Adler - we've got some great collab ideas!  Hellooo fun post-it notes!

Step 2 is crazy fun.  You start thinking bigger and dreaming up the awesomeness again.  Once we have figured out the most awesome ideas for you, then we start making plans!  These fun, crazy ideas build out your brand, get you closer to your own awesomeness, keep your peeps loyal and grows your business.  Grows your pockets with revenue too! 

So, um, YouTube?  What in the world does YouTube have to do with anything??

YouTube is just more of the same.   You don't want more of the same.  Do you?

When working with an OBM you will go through Steps 1 and 2.  Heck, truthfully, sometimes you can do this on your own or when you're at Happy Hour, a little buzzed and are dreaming with your best girls.

The problem is that more times than not, the next morning happens, you wake up thinking how fun that was.  Then you shake it off and continue on your day as usual.  

This is precisely why you need an OBM.  Enter in Step 3. 

A really good OBM will not only help you think bigger, they will bring to life the big dreams you dream of.  Instead of shaking off the Happy Hour as a fun night with the girls, your OBM will have a plan of action that next day for how you're going to make those G&T dreams come true.  Specifically, she would hand you the steps you need to take to write that book, create that product and make that partnership happen.  Then together we would work with your team to determine who will perform which activity, what needs to be researched / hired out and how, specifically, this action plan will be executed on.  Not to forget from within what timeframe.  She would orchestrate a step-by-step plan and activities the moves you and your team need to make last night's dreams happen. 

Let me repeat, a really good OBM will not only help you think bigger, they will bring to life the big dream you dream of.  They will show you how absolutely POSSIBLE this dream is. They will work with you and your team step-by-step to orchestrate the moves you and your team need to make your crazy dreams, not your boring, beige dreams, come true. 

Let's say, my darling, that you want to publish a book.  That is what you realllly want.  Then this awesome OBM would break it down the steps and tasks for you.  You want a book?  

Here's where we would start:

  • What are you going to write about? 
  • What are the goals of your book?  This matters because it will determine what and how we create it.  Is it worth trying to go through a Publisher or is it something we can Self-Publish?  Your goals determine which path here is best. 
  • If you decide you want to get it published, then you need a "One-Pager."  This one pager is 7-10 pages long and will cover the gamut of information you need to present to a publisher.  What is the book, who is the audience, what the book's uniqueness. Why why why. 
  • Then we pull a list of publishers
  • And we start connecting with them.  Think 100 publishers in 45 days.  

From there within a very short period of time we will have you working on your book and the process started.  No more "I always wanted to write a book."  Now you are taking action and by the time Q1 is up, you will know be writing that sucker and know when it will be released!  Burn the beige! Go for bold!

Today, in your crazy busy life, there is space to do the work of the big dream.  You don't need to shake off the excitement as a Happy Hour with friends.  You can actually get working, as you are, to makes these things real.

It's your OBM's job to create the steps, hold your hand and walk you (and your team) through the process.  Beginning to end.  The OBM will create the plan and facilitate these conversations, day in day out until those connections, collaborations and creations are made.  

In real terms this means that everybody has a role.  Everybody has expectations.  Everybody and every task has deadlines. And everybody has help.  If something is not clear, we clear it up.  If a deadline is too soon, we push it out to a reasonable time.  If a hand is raised we ask and we answer.  Your team is excited again and they become accountable again.  Excuses disappear and commitments are made.

Real work gets done.  Magic happens. 

This Burn The Beige 6-month program will: 

  • Give you the clarity on what it is you reallllly want to achieve or point it out to you if it's clear as day!
  • Give you the actual steps (Steps 1, 2 and 3) you need to take to achieve those big, crazy dreams.
  • THEN we will work these steps into your and your team's day.  We won't extend hours, we will focus the work. 
  • Finally, just as important as the rest we will have regular conversations, in fact several times a week, to answer questions, get past hold-ups, hang-ups and any other randoms that prevent us from meeting our marks.  
  • Within a matter of a month or 2 you will have real progress to the real stuff that matters to you and your people.

Burn the beige and go for the bold!  Get an OBM on your team that will not only push push push you to think bigger but to also put the steps and team in order to make that happen. 

I have 4 spots available beginning in January. Click here to secure your spot.  Burn the beige and go for bold! 

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Working Mom Moments to #MakeMoreHappen

Whether you are just starting with your business ideas or are already up-and-running, you need a way to #MakeMoreHappen. Get inspired and empowered because you are going to make progress today.

Mompreneur on Fire - Make More Happen

Staples has always been this working mom's go-to place to get organized, to set priorities and to help #MakeMoreHappen.

Listen, I am a girl who lives for and loves organizational supplies.  Stock. me. up!

And Staples is one of those places you can get purposefully get lost in... Do you need more binder clips? And how many sizes?  Ooo, there are new colors!  Do you need more Sharpies?  Yes.  Oh yes.  Goodness, I could always use a new wipe board.  If only I had the room. 

For the small business owner, it's that place you slowly walk through and carefully imagine what your dream office would look like. What it would feel like.  These clips here, those pens there. These planners and pads here.  Sure, of course, I need more of ... everything!  

Now when I walk into Staples my girls dash and examine every planner, every notepad, every kind of marker!  They see coloring books and painting pads and stationary galore!

There's no doubt about it, it's fun for everyone. 

But I've got to admit.  Life is busy.  I don't shop much anymore.  Life is this crazy mix of running between conference calls and drop offs.  Making snacks and playdates while driving business and launching products.  One moment quickly leads you into a demanding next moment.  

So here I am, a confident power mom on the brink. On the brink of something really amazing.  I know it.  Everyone around me knows it too.  I need to #MakeMoreHappen and I need help doing it.  I want more and I own that.  I have no time for wishy-washy and I don't care about trends.   

As a working mom, and entrepreneur mentor, I follow a few essential cardinal rules to help me (umm... us) not only survive but grow.  


Get very clear as to how much time you need and the impact it bears on your day and your work. Priority is the other thing one we know too well. We have stickers all over or don’t we? And in them we have our day’s schedule. So what really is the problem? Well, it happens not all of us respect our schedules and priority lists and yet we need this to be successful!

Other business owners who are moms say they agree their priority list is a combination of things to be done over the week including; children stuff, business and personal needs. At the end of the day she ensures all is done in good time. Alice Garbarini, a freelancer in New Jersey on the other hand says her to-do list is only complete with both work and fun slotted.

The one significance of making a to-do list is that we are able to think well and make appropriate decisions before we act; with it you will be able to act on issues much proactively than reactively. 


Still at home, try not to get yourself worked out in the morning by making relevant preparations for the day the night before. Pack the kid’s lunches, lay out their clothes, and have them shower. You can also decide what to make for breakfast, repack the diaper bag, purses, backpacks and or the work bags to be placed by the door, alongside the keys so you can grab them on the way out. The importance of a light morning is that you leave to work with enough energy and good mood.  


You can't do it on your own.  Nor should you have to.  If you're as forgetful as I am then you know you need help.  Even though society says we should find balance we still want to be 100 percent mothers, wives, and business owners.  Yet, how are we supposed to do that?!   In the end, for a healthy lifestyle, it is only mature to admit there are times you need to be assisted. From Staples - I was able to order printer paper, cartridges (necessary tools to keep my business running) plus get a few holiday treats for the girls all the while we are are in the car on a Tuesday afternoon.  No special trip.  No time out of my day.  No wondering if my printer will be able to make it one more load.  It worked out quite well.  Order online then pick up in an hour!


There are so many ways celebrating little successes in our lives. Sure you can celebrate a promotion at work, beating a deadline, completing a task/project or just getting a good feedback from your manager, it’s important to acknowledge and celebrate success. And then you can celebrate the small wins from the day, like picking up your order in. an. hour! 

Helloooo - can we talk convenience??  I am all for convenience.  That is a major win for me.  Save me time and it helps me #MakeMoreHappen.  

Then when we celebrate, we get ourselves ready for the next big job, project or goal.

As a working mom and entrepreneur mentor, the moments of the day are not lost on me.  Not one bit.  It's hard to work and and live a healthy lifestyle.  This includes kicking butt at work, finding quality childcare, having some “me-time”, staying connected with my family members.  It also means owning up to any help you can get to #MakeMoreHappen.

I was asked to participate in the #MakeMoreHappen campaign, sponsored by Staples. Although I have been compensated, all opinions are my own.

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What It's Like to Work with an Online Business Manager

An Online Business Manager (OBM) is your partner-in-crime and your second set of eyes on your business. Sort of your entrepreneur mentor, if you will. They help you travel the muddled road of stuck to un-stuck. An online business manager helps get you to that promised land of doing less and making more. I bet you're wondering why you haven't you heard about this before?

Mompreneur on Fire - OBM

What is an Online Business Manager?

They help you accomplish the things you don't have time for anymore. In order to grow your business, and add multiple streams of income you have to work in the big picture and out of the weeds of your business.  Yet, how does one do that when they ARE the business?  An online business manager will keep you focused on operating your business as a business.  Growth, revenue, profits and efficiencies are the only focus.  The OBM is the one to work with you, in your business, to help you specifically grow your business and to take advantage of all the opportunities coming to you.   Period. 

Does that make sense?  They help you maximize the opportunities in front of you, eliminate the waste and things always on your shoulder, eliminate the hold-ups and then also generate more revenue.  More and more revenue.  You get your shop set up so you can maximize.  

Where Most People Have Fears

It can be scary to hire an OBM.  All sorts of questions immediately arise when you think about bringing someone in to work with you.  

Most people have fears and don't know what to expect.

How will they really help?  Will this add more work for me? Is this another scheme?

Are you ready?

Are you organized enough to have someone come in? Will they really help?

Or will they make it worse? 

What if they want to tear apart what you have built?  What if they want to change ... well ... everything? Change who you are?  

What if they see what a terrible job I am really doing?

The fears are valid.  It would be scary to have someone come in and tell you all the things that you did wrong, are doing wrong.

Where Most People Fall Down

Just like my kiddo learning to ride her bike, she is going to fall.  And you are too.  That's how you grow.  You fall.  You fail.  And you get up as fast as you can and try try again.  

So let me tell you where most people fall down in their business.  

1. Not taking advantage of real multi-income stream opportunities.  This happens all. the. time. Admittedly, it's kind of an easy oversight since you are often busy running your business and running your own life.  Adding more work doesn't sound like it's worth the extra effort.  Yet, effort is only temporary.  With the right team and system in place, the effort is minimal and the revenue potential is endless. 

2. Wasting so much time.  You're busy.  I get that.  So is Beyonce.  So is Bethenny.  So is Glennon.   So are Mariah and Ruth and Rosemarie.  It's hard to know where to focus sometimes. It's hard to know how to focus sometimes.  How did they choose?  How do they handle all of the same things coming at them as you have?  How do they cut the waste and hyper-focus on the the revenue and goals as they do?

3. Wasting so much money.  It's easy to throw money at a problem especially when you are out of time.  You just want it to work.  I get it.  So if you can throw money to help solve a problem, then you're going to do it!  I get it.  Absolutely get it.  But then... you realize that just throwing money at the problem won't change things. 

Truth be told most people fall in their business.  Being an entrepreneur, being a business owner is the hardest of hard and isn't for the weak.  The roller coasters are real.  Instead of merely surviving, how do you grow in such a way that you are thriving??

How I Work

I first get to understand the big picture.  What is happening.  What is slow to happen.  What are the dreams.  Then, I talk with your team to really understand what's going on.  No judgement. Just work.  This helps to create and then clean up your big picture.  

I take you out of your weeds and together we work backwards to "make it happen".   I cut the time wasters, return intention to conversations and hold people accountable.  Yes, I babysit too.  

Let me repeat.  I cut the time wasters, return intention to conversations and hold people accountable.  

I keep you focused and moving.  It's that simple and that hard.  

If it were really that simple, you'd already be doing it.  Your business would be generating revenue through multiple streams in an effective and efficient manner. 

That could all sound generic and "yeah yeah" but if you are not doing the work you want to do or if there is room for growth in your business, then you need to work on this here too.  In fact, I would argue you need to work on this first and foremost otherwise you are going to be spinning your wheels.  

You may say "I don't want to do that" it's wish-washy.  And haven't I already created the "big picture"?  

Thing is, you are not at your big dream goal because you want to be because you haven't done this work yet.  It's not easy.  It's not wish-washy.  It's specific work.  Direct and intentional.   Do you want to add multiple streams of income?  Do you want your days to be easier and your time to be used more efficiently?  Do you want to do the work you want to do?? 

What does it mean to "return intention to conversations"?  We are going to cut the email in half.  And cut the reliance on Slack.  Cut the IMing on Skype and texting - oh my!  We are going have real conversations.  Real conversations that will have a purpose behind it.  (Wait, what?) The conversations will either teach, inform or problem solve.  

And then guess what will happen after that conversation?  You will work.  Your team will work. And guess what else.  

You will accomplish.  

Why I Work This Way

For me, this work is a two-step process.  The first step is to understand what you are doing and why.  Once I know your WHAT and WHY, then the next step is as simple as implementation.  And remember implementations are my expertise!  

Just wanting exposure is not enough.  Just having an online presence is not enough.  What are you trying to accomplish?  For what purpose?  Once I have a clear understanding of the what then like a chess game I am a master at I see and know the steps it takes to get there.  Period.  

After I know what we want to do, I have conversations.  I hold and host the most effective conversations out there.  I like conversations, real, live conversations because I get to know you, I get to work with you and together we get to make promises to one another from which we will keep.  

Truly, this is how and where the magic happens.  Conversations, commitments and promises is how the work gets done.  

With that, anything is possible. 

I have only 3 spots available for the New Year.  Click here to secure your spot to add additional revenue streams to your business next year.

15 Ways to Relax in 5 Minutes

When you only have a few minutes to relax, use them! It’s not very often that I have time to take a long, luxurious bubble bath– or even want to use my time to indulge in such a way– and I’m guessing that many of you feel the same. When you need to de-stress from mom life but can’t slow down, try any of these 15 working mom tips & tricks to relax in just 5 minutes– or less!

Mompreneur on Fire - Relax

1.     Cup of Tea

“You know, there really isn’t much that can’t be solved by a decent cup of tea.
— Louisa Clarke, Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Tea is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of releasing tension, and there’s good reason for that. It’s inexpensive, simple to make, and you can feel a difference in the first few sips. Herbal blends with chamomile or lavender get the most press for promoting relaxation, but you’re not limited to those two flavors.

 My go-to is Yerba Mate, a hot tea that is known for providing an energy boost. Unlike coffee, which can give me a jittery, intense burst of energy, this tea calms me down to the point where I can focus better on whatever I’m working on.

2. Walk it Off

In a stressful situation at home or at work, remove yourself for a few minutes and get outside for a walk. Breathe in that fresh air and feel your jumble of thoughts untangle with each step.

When you’re pressed for time, walking is your best bet. Unlike running or an intense workout class, you can go straight back to your routine without needing to change clothes before and after or shower.

3. Phone a Friend

 This works for more reasons than one.

•   It’s a mental break from what you’re working on. All of those things that were stressing you out a minute ago can be forgotten while you focus on catching up with your gal pal and hearing about her life.

•   Supporting someone else makes you feel good. Reaching out to someone and showing interest in their daily goings-on is a great way to show you care, and that kindness and support will not go unnoticed– or unreturned.

•   Complaining is a nice release. If you won’t say it, I will. It just feels good sometimes to vent and let it all out. Most of the time I don’t expect my friends to have a mind-blowing solution to whatever is stressing me out, but the simple act of talking to someone about it seems to lessen the weight of my stress. If nothing else, we can both complain and help each other see the humor in it all.

•   It’s inspiring! Call someone up and say, “Tell me some good news!” Sometimes it’s the mompreneurs on my podcasts, and sometimes it’s friends and family, but hearing about others’ successes is inspiring!

4. Journal

Writing can be so incredibly therapeutic. Even if you’ve never found joy in writing, put your past conceptions aside because journaling may be your new favorite pastime.

 Don’t think “Dear Diary…”

Instead, try writing down the things you’d like to accomplish today, this week, in the next six months. Make a list of the things you have already accomplished this week, last month, in the last six years. Doodle!

5. Queue Up the Ultimate Playlist

I challenge you to not feel more relaxed in five minutes or less when you have your favorite music playing. Shake off the dust from those high school classics and sing at the top of your lungs when no one is around. It’s not just athletes that need to be pumped up. Figure out your fight song (if one didn’t come to mind immediately) and use it to rally against fatigue, stress, and days when you would just rather be at the beach.

6. Focused Breathing

A quick tip I learned from a licensed therapist is that you physically can’t feel panicked if your breathing is in control. If you feel like you’re spiraling in the middle of the day, are having a hard time falling asleep, or just need to get centered, try this quick breathing exercise wherever you are:

Breathe in while you slowly count to 3, then breathe out for 4 slow counts. Inhale 1…2…3… Exhale 1…2…3…4…. and repeat until you feel completely calm. It will happen!

While you count slowly in your head, you’re distracting yourself from the negative thoughts, and the slow, deep breaths will instantly relax you. I love this one because it flies completely under the radar and is virtually unnoticeable by those around me. It is also a great way to begin a meditation session.

7. Pull Out the Foam Roller

If you’ve used a foam roller before, I’m sure you understand exactly why this little activity made the list. It’s a favored tool by those who exercise regularly because it helps break up lactic acid buildup from previous workouts while also getting you loosened up for the next training session. You don’t need to hit the gym every day to experience the benefits of foam rolling, however.

Rolling out your muscles for a few minutes every day can have the same effect as a massage. You might not realize how tight your muscles have gotten from stress or sitting down for long periods of time. Using a foam roller can give you a deeper stretch than doing without, and help posture, blood flow, and the aches and pains of daily life.

8. Look Over Photo Albums

What else can instantly put you in a good mood like seeing all of those happy memories you stored in photo albums? With all of the technology that has come along, actual printed pictures aren’t as popular anymore, but it’s a habit I won’t let go of. I love looking back on forgotten moments from vacations and first days of school, and my kids really get a kick out of it, too. It still works if your pictures are saved on your computer or phone. After all, if you’re going to use most of your phone storage for pictures you might as well take the time to go back and enjoy them!

9. Look Over Favorite Quotes

I’ve always had a ‘thing’ for quotes; a sort of amazement at how someone could take so much wisdom, inspiration, or profundity and squeeze it into a cleverly worded little sentence. I jot down the quotes that have stuck out to me for one reason or another in my journal, on post-its that dot my desk, or clip them from magazines and newspapers to look back on when I need to remember:

•   why I work so hard at the things I love

•   other people have failed and struggled before reaching their goals

•   some of my problems are not as big as they seem, and they can be overcome

•   love is real and it is out there for me

If you haven’t started collecting quotes yet, check out Pinterest and Instagram for some of their many quote accounts.

10. Furry Friends

Petting your dog or cat may seem like it’s for their benefit, but doctors say it is one of the most efficient stress relievers around. If you’re an animal lover, then it already brings you joy to be around your furry friend, but did you know that taking time out to give Fido a belly rub can not only lift your spirits, but lower blood pressure and release a relaxation hormone? And admit it, it feels good to have someone who is always excited to see you no matter what.

11. Aromatherapy

Whether you want to relax or not, there are certain smells that just do the trick. Light a candle, turn on an essential oil diffuser, or lather your hands with an aromatherapeutic moisturizer.

For a more on-the-go solution, I love Aveda’s stress-fix roller ball that I can keep in my purse and discreetly apply to my wrists, behind my ears, and under my nose whenever I feel stress levels rising.

12. Mint Gum

The peppermint herb can have great health benefits when used in teas and tinctures, but don’t overlook mint gum. It might seem like a simple, everyday item, but mint gum can be your secret weapon in stressful situations. Chewing can release some of that tense energy, and the scent of mint is calming. For those prone to stress eating, try chomping on sugar-free gum to avoid consuming mindless calories– a habit that would stress you out more in the long run.

13. Self Massage

I never realize how sore my hands are until I get a massage, and wow what a difference it makes! Massage has long been the poster child of relaxation, but it doesn’t have to be the book-in-advance, expensive, time-consuming outing that you might be thinking of. Try devoting five minutes to just your hands. Take some coconut oil, vitamin E oil, or a glob of moisturizer and really work into that meaty area of your palm between thumb and pointer finger. For the most part, you will just know what feels good, but it doesn’t hurt to Google the location of pressure points so you can hit on those.

For your feet, find a small, dense ball. Golf balls or lacrosse balls work well, but a tennis ball has too much give. Position it under your arch while standing and slowly roll your foot back and forth to get deep into those foot muscles.

14. Surround yourself with green

No, not money–although that would be nice! Getting out into nature does wonders for the mind. There are endless ways to go about it, depending on what activity level you enjoy: walking, hiking, lake activities, golf, or just lounging in a park. The serenity and beauty of a lush, green landscape is the change of scenery that will spark instant relaxation.

15. Creative Visualization

Yes, I love meditation, so you might be wondering why it didn’t make the list. Creative visualization is so similar! I don’t always use meditation to attune my energy and focus to the future. Sometimes it is a way for me to just clear my head. Creative visualization is another way to relax. Sometimes you have so much going on that you don’t want to clear your head. You want to keep that to-do list at the forefront of your attention. Being hyper-focused doesn’t mean you can’t find calm, though! Set a timer for 15 minutes and close your eyes, relax, and visualize how you want things to go in a specific situation– the best possible outcome! Forget the skepticism and worries about things going wrong. Picture your future as you want it to be. When your timer goes off, ask yourself what’s stopping you from the dream you just envisioned? That ‘dream’ might just be your new plan of action.

We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.
— Kurt Vonnegut

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10 Simple Ways to Get More Done Every Day

I’ve heard moms around me say it and I know I’ve said it plenty of times: there aren’t enough hours in the day. Typical mom life. Of course, it doesn’t matter how many hours make up a day if you aren’t using them to accomplish your goals.

Mompreneur on Fire - 10 Ways To Get More Done

This post may contain affiliate links.

“Life is too complicated not to be orderly.”
— Martha Stewart

We can all get sidetracked, distracted, and delayed. Some days, it seems like the world is purposely throwing hurdles in my way to test my focus and slow me down. I combat days like those with this list of tried and true methods for getting more done every day. Stop drowning in mom life and get stuff done!

1. Establish Real and Specific Goals

You have to know what you’re trying to accomplish! Take a moment to think about what your immediate goals are– for the day, the week– and then consider your larger, long-term goals. Looking too far ahead can be daunting, and you don’t want to end up mentally putting things off, so think about a 6-month goal instead of a 6-year goal.

2. Prioritize

One you identify what you want to get done, it’s time to figure out what needs to get done– and in what order. Divide your goals into two categories:

1.     Goals that are important to you

2.    Goals that are important to your business

List #1 would be your personal, lifestyle priorities, such as spending time with your kids. These are the things you want to accomplish to keep you sane, happy, and healthy. They are what matter to you most emotionally.

List #2 might be sitting down to go over finances, meeting with a distributor, or any of the other tasks that you need to make time for this week or this month in order to keep your business on track.

Both lists are important!

3. Set Deadlines

You need deadlines to make sure these priorities don’t fall by the wayside.

Determine a limit for how much time you can spend on each task, or a day that they absolutely must be completed by. You can base this off a client’s actual deadlines, or use your priorities list to remind you of what you would like to come first. But remember, this also means you will need to hold yourself accountable!

4. Create a Checklist of Things That Need to Get Done

I’m a very visual person, so I find that nothing helps me more than to actually see what I need to finish each day. Before I dive into anything else, I write a numbered checklist of tasks on notebook paper and tape it to the wall above my computer in my workspace. Instead of getting overwhelmed by how much needs to get done, I focus on one number at a time, going down the list.

Crossing items off gives a sense of accomplishment that motivates me to get to the end of my list. Be realistic with how much you can get done, and confine the list to only the most pertinent tasks for today and today only. Then add one more to challenge yourself!

5... And Go!

Set a timer as you begin an item on your checklist.  Did you know that not only is there a timer on your phone but if you Google "Timer" one will pop up that you can set.  Just like that.  Set it for 20 minutes and tackle one thing on your list.  You’ll want to work faster knowing that you are “on the clock,” and seeing your results will help you plan more efficiently for the days to come. It’s easy for me to say that I can draw up a proposal in an hour, but my estimations don’t include getting interrupted by my children for snack time and look-how-dusty-my-keyboard-is time. Most cell phones have an easy-to-use stopwatch timer built in. Turn that on and get going. See how long things actually take you so you’re aware of how much you can actually accomplish in a day.

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”
— Stephen Covey

6. Turn Off the TV

My life changed when I stopped watching cr*p tv.  Long gone are the days hours watching people fight with each other endlessly.  (Instead, I just read about them from my favorite funny comedian Katy Casey @ Love & Knuckles!)

Anyway, speaking of distractions, watching television is a good way to zap your time and focus. When you’ve got a full list of tasks to complete and goals to meet, watching TV will likely only get in the way. Save TV time for when you need a break from beating so many deadlines. DVR was made for busy people like us who need TV shows to run on our time, not primetime, and Netflix will wait.

7. Involve Your Family

Recruit the little ones to help in more ways than one:

  1. Let them hold you accountable for deadlines. Are you following through with the rules you set for yourself? We can negotiate with ourselves to get out of things, but it’s not so easy to cheat deadlines when you’ve asked your 8-year-old to oversee your completion of checklist #1-5 by dinnertime.
  2. Complete tasks. You’re not the only one who can empty the dishwasher or fold the laundry! Delegating can be family time too, right?
  3. Keep you on track. Let your family know that you are in grind mode and should not be disturbed for the little things if they can help it! Essentially: “Please don’t ask me to watch a movie with you tonight! Help me keep my deadlines!”

8. Wake Up Early - YES I MEAN THAT

I get some of my best, most efficient work done when I push myself to wake up early. It’s quieter in my house (and the world in general) which is half the battle of staying focused. It also gives me more hours in the day. Yes! Conundrum solved.

9. Meditate

Meditation is like the WB-40 of getting more done every day. Try meditating to figure out your goals and priorities. Download some guided meditations.  It's no secret this meditation is my favorite.  A meditation session at the beginning of your day can help you enter into the focused mindset you need by helping you set your intentions and concentrate your energy.

You will feel unbelievable after you finish meditating and that there is nothing that can stop you!!

You can try it by sitting in silence in a cool, dark room, or letting a Youtube video lead you through the process. There are different types of meditation, depending on what you need help with that day: concentration and focus, relaxation, anxiety relief, falling asleep, or even learning to trust your intuition.

10. Celebrate Successes– Even the Small Ones!

It feels good to get things done, and sometimes you just need to take a minute and really feel the accomplishment. Just as you give yourself deadlines, plan out ways to treat yourself when you reach certain checkpoints. These little celebrations are something to look forward to– besides being successful– and reminders that you can, and should, be having fun along the way!


Some of my personal favorite resources for staying productive!

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Organize Your Life in 1 Single Afternoon

When you work from home, your office can go from clean and tidy, to disaster in about 8 seconds. You know what I mean. The kids come in and dump crayons, legos and anything else they can find... and well, now your head is a mess too. Every Sunday I get prepared for the week and this is how I do it.

OMGoodness - Are you so overwhelmed sometimes that you just want to throw up your hands? You don't know where to begin? 

I know the feeling. 

I have to fight living in and becoming a complete and total mess every. single. day. Since I work from home, my office (fancy word for room above the garage) is my haven.  I have casually and quietly decorated it.  It's a work in progress but it's mine. 

And then my girls come in and the room explodes with markers and coloring pages and food everywhere!  Then in a heartbeat they take off and run to the next thing!  Sometimes, most of the time, with me running after them!  What happened to my office?? 

It was so nice before...

Honestly, this was a metaphor for my life. 

It's clean, it's messy, it's clean, it's messy.

Total mom life! Total woman life.  Total entrepreneur.

There are a few things that help me get motivated.  You may agree or not but once in a while a girl's just gotta do what a girl's just got do.  

Sundays I prepare for the week ahead and this is how it goes. 

1. Get Caffeinated. 

Yep, I said it. 

Drink a cup of coffee or have some iced tea.  Black tea.  

I am a zombie many afternoons but I don't have time to lay low.  

I don't have the desire or ability to crash on the sofa as if I were a 22 year old with all the time world.  I don't have that luxury.  So Starbucks here I come.  

Tejava - sets me straight.  

Revolution Teas too. 

Maybe for you it's better to get those endorphins going and you need to take a brisk walk.   Skip the caffeine.  Skip the sugar (and I really mean that) and go for a walk.  Do some jumping jacks!  Get yourself energized for a productive afternoon.  

2. Let the Kids Watch Cartoons

Yep, I said that too.  

I know who I am talking to.  

I am talking to that mom who wants to do the right things for their kids, the mom that wants to have a neat house and dinners on the tables.  

She wants to have her side gig, her successful side gig.  

She wants it all or at least a little bit more.  

And here I am saying it is okay to put the tv on and put your kids front of it.  

(Now, I can't guarantee how long they will stay there but a few minutes with their attention elsewhere is the point.)  Get your kids in a position where they are focused on something besides you and where they are not making more of a mess.  

I know that's easier said than done.  But our goal here is to prepare you (energy) and your family for a productive evening.  

3.  Straighten Your House.  Don't Clean It.  Straighten It.

I'm a modern woman and a modern mom.  A modern business woman.

I can't believe I am actually telling you not to clean up!  My mother would fall flat on the floor with that advice coming out of my mouth.  

(You'll understand more with my most popular post about my relationship with my mom.)  

Here's the things about cleaning up.  It clears out your mind too.  It clears out the clutter of your house and your mind. 

Truth be told.  I hate cleaning.  I LOVE TO straighten!

Frankly, you feel better with a straight room or house.  

Here's what I do to power through and straighten up as quickly as I can without just moving piles from one place to another.  

  1. Start with the kitchen.  Clean out the sinks, load the dishwasher and clear the counters.   Phew! Once you have done that you have made it through the hardest part!
  2. Clear out the toys and the random items in your family and dining rooms.  Move anything that doesn't belong in these rooms out.  Move them to the stairs to go up if that's where they belong.  Don't move them upstairs at this point, just put the stuff on the stairs for now!  Clear out the family room of anything that doesn't belong there and put that stuff in piles to go where it does belong.  Make sense?  If it goes upstairs, put the stuff on the stairs.  If it goes in the garage, there's a pile by the door to take to the garage.  Focus on cleaning out one room at a time. 
  3. Fluff pillows. Wipe tables clean.  
  4. Once the family room and dining rooms are straight, you are ready to move to another room that is downstairs.  Move that pile for the garage into the garage and put away what you need to.   So on and so on and so on until that floor is straight. 
  5. Now it's time to move upstairs.  Here's where I recruit my kids to help me.  All they need to do is help me move the stuff I have piled up on the stairs up.   
  6. Now that we are upstairs, the clothes go in the hamper.
  7. The beds get made if they aren't already.  (I love to make my bed in the morning.  It makes me immediately feel as if I am in nice surroundings and I am productive within minutes of waking!)
  8. The piles get distributed to the place they belong.  

Phew!  You did it!  You should be proud and happy to have a straight home again! That part, admittedly, is the hardest part sometimes.  Honestly, I throw my headphones in and listen to a book on Audible or a great Podcast!  (Ummm hellooo of course!)

4. Feel Good About What You Are Doing. 

Listen, you're making progress already.  

When you clean up and clean out you are doing good things for your family and your soul.  

It's time, now is the time, to feel good that you are actively taking steps to get organized.  

Setting the intention and following through is something you are doing right now.  

This is it.  This work is what makes the difference.  

Feel good about it and carry on. 

Mompreneur on Fire - Black Desk

5. Next Make Your Lists.

I love lists.  Don't you love lists?  I also need them too.  If my list is too much of an 

  • Meals - what and where are you and your family going to eat.  It doesn't have to be elaborate, you can eat out every night.  The answer doesn't matter but oh-my how helpful it will be to know what you are having for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 
  • To Do - Do your brain dump here.  Now.  Let it go, let it all out.  Don't worry about doing any of that now, just get your list pulled together.  
  • Follow Up - Who is waiting on you to respond?  Who needs what from you? 
  • Phone Calls - What phones calls do you need to make and follow up on?  Who have you been meaning to call and haven't done quite yet?
  • Preparation for Tomorrow - This list is often my life saver.  I write out what I need to remember for tomorrow.  What the needs to be packed for the girls, what needs to be pulled aside or does anything need to be completed.  I am constantly forgetting different things for the girls whether it is homework or flip flops or money for ice cream.  It's always something but when I plan it out ahead, I have a better shot of getting it right. 
  • What you need to do this week - Pull together a list of things that need to get done this week. Period.  Star or highlight the important ones from your original to-do list or create a new list.  

Now you are probably feeling a mix of accomplishment and overwhelm.  Don't let the overwhelm stop you from taking the next steps.  

Often times we create our lists to get the things out of our heads.  

If you take one (or two) final steps, you will be further than you have been before. 

6. Calendar Blocking

Calendar blocking is a funny beast.  There's not an exact science to it but there are some real benefits of taking a look at your scheduled calendar and then filling in your To-Do List items during your open time.  

  1. First thing you want to enter into your calendar is your appointments and activities that are non-negotiable.  Do the kids have basketball practice?? Do you have work meetings?  Or a Moms Night Out?  All of that goes into your calendar, first and foremost. 
  2. Once you have all of your appointments in your calendar you can now see where you "free" time is.  There's not a lot of it I am sure!  In your open spots, enter in when you are going to do what.  Use the lists you created earlier to fill in the things you need to do this week, the phone calls and preparation you need to complete.  Fill in your calendar to the best you can. 

Now you are set for the rest of the week.  You have a solid idea what is going to happen and what needs to happen the rest of the week.  

Your life is organized to point where you are starting off on the right foot.  Clean, ready to go, knowledgeable. 

Be kind to yourself, allow that things are going to change and work your schedule. 

Good luck!! Let me know how it goes! 

When you're ready you can add on too!  

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Hate Asking Your Husband For Money? A Funny & An Easy Legit Way to Get More Cash

Okay, so one of you has to run the finances in your household.  Maybe that's you.  Maybe that's your husband.  Maybe you have two completely separate accounts and divide it the expenses each month. Whatever it is, there's a way to work from home without disrupting your life.

Whatever your situation is you have to have the conversation with your spouse about money.  My husband and I, over the years, have worked out a system that works for us.  He doesn't ask and I don't tell.  

No, just kidding!  

But we don't discuss every penny spent, we have a threshold where either can comfortably spend without talking with the other.  

But our income combined is our income combined.  

Family money.  

Household money.  

You wouldn't believe the behind-the-scenes conversations I have had with friends about how they wished for the independence of having extra cash in their pockets.  

I get it, you want the freedom to make some shopping decisions without having to consult another.  

You want to buy and purchase things without having that consultation.  That discussion. 

Here are two ways I know people are making money, working from home

1. The Most Funny Way

One of the moms I know absolutely loves her department store lipstick but her husband doesn't agree that this is money well spent.  She works hard in the home and doesn't want to give into his request.  I get it. I have expensive taste too.  So at the grocery store she purchases gift cards for the Department Store and uses the gift card to purchase her lipstick! 

Her husband looks at the credit card bills but not the grocery bill.  She gets what she loves and he gets peace of mind that their money is being well spent.  

Sounds like a compromise in the making, right?? 

I was dying of laughter / shock when I heard this one!  But a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do! 

2. An Easy Legit Way

Ask your friends if you can help them out.  YES.  That's how.

Tell them you are looking to make some extra money and do they know anyone who could use part-time assistance?  

Actually, if you start by helping someone out, the work could easily turn into regular, paid work if not a reference.   

I believe if you have a LIVE conversation versus sending an email to someone, your likelihood for getting a positive response is much higher.  

Here's the conversation:

Hey Friend - I would like to bring earn some extra cash and am looking if I can help anyone a few hours a week.  Do you know anyone?  I could help them with this, this, or that.

Do you know anyone who may need this type of assistance?  Could I call them that way you don't have to be in the middle?

Thank you!  

If you start by asking your local community, if you can help them, I am confident something will come through!

3. (Bonus!)  Do you like to write?

Writing for blogs is a real opportunity out there.  

Many places pay $100-200 per blog post or article.  

The first article you write, may take you some time if you are rusty but once you get into the groove of it you can really pop out some articles and make some real cash.  

I sat next to one woman and mompreneur at a conference while she wrote an article on Kim & Kanye.  

Her 30 minutes article earned her $175.  I know other bloggers who write articles, collect the income and have this other avenue to get their name out there.  Ah-mazing!  

The "trick" to earning extra income is to just start.  Put yourself out there and be open to what comes. 

Good luck!! 

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5x Bad Parenting Turns Out To Be A Good Thing

I don't think Bad Parenting is the end of the world.  I don't even think it's that bad.  I'll admit it.  Bad parenting can actually turn out to be a good thing. Mom life can be overwhelming, it's okay. You don't need to be perfect all. the. time.

Mompreneur on Fire - Bad Parenting

But before I get into why I think bad parenting could even offer some benefits, yes, benefits, I have to put out a few disclaimers.  

First and foremost, what I am about to say in relation to the normal, average parent.  We try to parent well but we also make big, huge mistakes.  We have failures too.  This justification is for those who intend to do what is right, what is best, what is most appropriate but just as we are humans, we slip and we make mistakes too.  

If you are abusive, mean-spirited or just plain, deeply and emotionally troubled, I am sorry about that.  You should do what's best for you and your family and seek out professional assistance.  There is light at the end of every tunnel.  This is not for you.

But if you are the normal, everyday mom or the normal everyday parent then I am here to say: Bad parenting is okay.  

In fact, bad parenting is more than okay, it's likely to be a good thing!  And yes, that's okay. 

My kids are young, they are 4 and 5 1/2.  I try my best.  I try to teach them proper manners and fun play.  I try to teach them lessons and consequences.  I try to teach them about love, unconditional love and putting your energy to good things.  Helpful things.  I try.  I can honestly say I try.  I do good things I know.  I do regular good things for my kids.  

Yet, I know, I have epic failures too.  Goodness, I point my finger at them when I am really angry.  I count in a voice so firm that when I get to whatever number it is, there will be consequences if need be.  And my kids know it.  

I fly off the handle.  I hate to admit that.  I am embarrassed it happens.  But it happens.  

There are some tense moments in the house when my husband is around.  

There is crying on other occasions.  Geez, there was real, heart-breaking sadness, that I just couldn't hide from them when my Dad passed.  

And just the other day, I am ashamed to admit, my daughter had been "mom mom momming" me and then stopped in her tracks and said in her beautifully strong voice "Mom taking care of your kids is more important than work."  Ouch, that one hit a nerve.  Wonder where she learned that adult statement from...

Did I drop my non-work email and hug her immediately?  No, maybe another bad parenting moment came after that. Because I then proceeded to tell her how I had taken care of her all day long, in excoriating detail, and to not ever talk to me like that again.  

"Did you like that camp you went to today?  Which I found.  Which I convinced Daddy was the right camp to attend and pay for.  Which I coordinated friends to go along with you.  Did you like the lunch you ate with the hearts, fruit and your favorite snack, which I purchased, made and packaged for you..."

I went through the entire day from start to present moment with her about how I had taken care of her bit by bit.  You can imagine how long that digest was if we were having the conversation in the early evening.  I was not happy, she hit a nerve and had to listen to my firm, stable voice about the day's activities. 

Almost immediately I felt bad I got so upset.  (Can we say she hit a nerve?)  We hugged it out and my sweet darling responded as she does.  "It's okay Mom."

But here's the thing.  Bad parenting has its' moments.  These moments bring forth emotions, moods, and lessons. 

Because we, as moms love lists, here are few ways bad parenting is not so bad. 

1. The Kids Experience Mistakes 

It's important that kids experience mistakes.  I would also argue it's important them seeing you make mistakes too.  Now you don't have to go overboard.  I want my daughters to look up to me but I also want to them to see that when I make a mistake, I take action to correct it. When I make a mistake, I work to improve from it.  When I make a mistake, sure it hurts, but I will survive.  They will survive too.  When kids experience mistakes, they learn that mistakes are part of the natural learning journey.  When kids experience mistakes, they learn that a mistake is just that, a mistake.  Nothing more, nothing less.  It's something that happens and it's something they can move on from.

2. The Kids Experience That The World Is Not Always Rosy

Omgoodness.  Do you know where I live?  I live in one of the most beautiful towns by one of the most beautiful beaches in the country.  The homes are literally the most expensive homes in the country.  The shoes these women walk around in are jaw-dropping gorgeous and expensive.  The clothes are seemingly perfect.  Their health is seemingly perfect.  That's where I live.  It's 70 degrees and sunny everyday.  

All that said for what purpose?  Even if your surroundings are rosy, your kids need to experience life that is not rosy.  Life is not rosy.  I did not grow up where it's 70 degrees and sunny everyday.  I grew up in Upstate New York, in New Hampshire and Virginia and Washington, DC.  

Just like you would take your kids to the carnival, to the park, to the beach, to Disney World, to Europe and Mexico you want to have your kids experience the days that are not rosy.  Dare I say dark? 

Here's my reasoning.  Life is not going to be rosy for them always.  Don't you want them to experience the dark days when they have the comfort, support and encouragement at home?  Don't you want them to learn that when the dark days come, they are still loved and capable?  Let them experience the dark days while they are still at home, that way they can get used to the experience and can come out of it thriving with a strong support system around.  When they are older and on their own, the dark days won't be so hard, right?  Because they know they can not only survive it but thrive from it. 

3. The Kids Bond Together By Their Experiences

I was talking with another family recently about their own parenting mistakes.  My friend was telling me how she felt regret that her kids had seen some fighting between herself and her husband.  She wished she could have handled certain situations better.  She was talking about how she had this specific conversation with her 20 year old daughter.  Sure, mistakes were made, sure we wish could have done better.  Her daughter is very close to her brother and said the parents fighting was a bonding experience for the two brother and sister.  A bonding experience for the brother and sister that are the closest of friends.   While my friend did not intend to do some bad parenting, a positive did come out of it.  

4. The Kids Learn From An Early Age How To Deal With Mistakes

Imagine down the road your kiddo gets caught with their hand in the cookie jar.  Their first big mistake.  They took an action that was not worthy of them, they made a big mistake.  What will happen? How will they deal with it?  How will they move forward?  Will they even learn from it? Grow from it?  It's best to lay that foundation when they are young, right?  Ensure they learn about actions (positive and negative), about consequences now, right?

5. The Kids Learn From An Early Age That Nobody Is Perfect

Needing to be perfect is a growing problem in our society.  I do think we are more aware of our imperfections but with social media so prevalent there's some hypocrisy happening too.  We present on social media the good, the pretty and the planned out.  Only.  That's okay, I accept that. I don't want my Facebook feed filled with woes.  I enjoy cheering on the good things in my friends and families' lives.  Offline, if they discuss with the hard stuff.  But I am a confident adult with emotional development and stability.  

When perfection is always presented to them, when only the good is presented to them how are they going to learn that they themselves do not have to be perfect?  That they should and can embrace those imperfections within themselves.  

We are not perfect and that is okay.  Wouldn't it be wonderful if children learned at an early age that everybody has individual flaws. Nobody is perfect.  When they see that nobody perfect but we are still wonderful, lovable beings. Wouldn't that be wonderful?

Yes, I am actively trying to build a well-rounded child and I believe that means my kids fall, they see the good but also some of the bad.  I try to protect them, absolutely, but I don't lie to them either.  I respect them, even from an early age, and firmly believe (pray) that together we create a great meaningful life. 

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Improve Your iPhone Family Photos in 3 Unbelievably Easy Steps

Make the most out of your mom life moments with better pictures! When I had my girls it became immediately apparent that I was going to be a photo taker.  I was / am one of those women that takes a zillion photos to capture the moment.  I want to hold onto it forever.  I want to have access to the things my terrible memory would otherwise almost certainly make me forget.

Mompreneur on Fire - Family Photos

This blog post contains affiliate links which means if you make a purchase from any of these links, I may make a little money. Thank you in advance for using these links.

I am the person that gets so excited about a great moment I am living I will take photos of everything even knowing it won't translate later.  Case in point, have you ever been to Las Vegas and stood outside the Bellagio to watch their water show?  Being there is such a magical fun moment, even YouTube videos don't do the experience justice.  This video is a good try though and who doesn't love Billy Jean by Michael Jackson??  In any event, I would come out of watching that 5 minute show with about 40 photos.  Ha!  Photos of water in air doesn't do justice to the experience.  

So when the girls were born I knew I wanted to learn how to take photos without having to invest in a big camera and without having to learn a whole new hobby. I just wanted to take good photos, like, NOW. 

I wanted to learn how to quickly, in the moment, capture it.  Make it pretty and something I could proudly share - to share the experience and the moment - to my family on the other side of the continent. 

I have been a long time follower and admirer of two women, Ashley Ann from Under the Sycamore blog (those are her Instagram photos above) and Kristin Rogers. Both produce beautiful work in the form of photography, blogs and sharing meaningful moments.  They capture the moments of the day in a way that brings more meaning to it, perhaps.  Or perhaps it highlights the most meaningful moments.  Ordinary becomes extraordinary.  I follow along and learn from them in all these ways. I want to have that in my life too.  I want the beauty of the ordinary to shine.  

At some point years ago Ashley Ann opened up an online photography course including modules specifically for the iPhone.  Something I was just looking for!  Technical direction, community support and feedback all around!  All without breaking the bank. 

Since I have taken the course literally I get told all. the. time. that I make the most beautiful photos.  I am better than normal, I can admit that.  And I have learned a few things.  I think it is totally worth it to take the course - I mean I give this sucker out as gifts! (I'm not kidding!)

Below are 3 vital takeaways to start from. 


Why oh why do we have to see the entire landscape if you really just want to see the people?? The faces? The expressions??  With too much stuff in the photo you miss you on the good stuff.  Rather the good stuff gets over looked. Look at the black and white photo below of the girls sleeping on the floor together.  Doesn't your heart just melt?  The sweetness ooozes out, right?  What if the photo below was taken with all the other stuff around?  Would you want to see the nightlight next to the bear?  Or the books and clothes by their side?  Would that have added to or taken away from the photo?  The point of the photo is how sweetly the girls were sleeping together.  That's all I cared about.  That's all I wanted to capture.  

By Zooming in you capture the important stuff, like how sweetly the girls are sleeping together and leave out the other unimportant stuff, like clothes and books on the floor next to them. 

By Zooming in you capture the important stuff, like how sweetly the girls are sleeping together and leave out the other unimportant stuff, like clothes and books on the floor next to them. 


Brighten it up baby!  You can use the standard photo editing app on your phone or you can upgrade for a few bucks.  I solely use Camera + app for all of my editing.  I have tried other apps that come highly recommended and simply find this one to fit with me.  I can easily brighten things up, pick my favorite filter (Boost), crop and go!  Oh and if I am on the computer, then I definitely use PicMonkey.


This is a very easy way to create a photo that is completely amazing and captivating.  Honestly, to explain it I had to go back to Ashley Ann (love her) for how to explain it correctly: 

The Rule of Thirds means you want to aim at placing your subject on the top, bottom, right, or left third…or near one of those intersecting points. Basically anywhere but the center.
— Ashley Ann of Ashley Ann Photography

So with the rule of thirds in mind, I moved the lifeguard stand and post from the center of the photo to the side and wa-la. An amazing pic - right??  I wish I had the original to show you the real impact. Point is, forget the center, try to put things to one side or another.  See what happens!

Wouldn't this photo look weird if the lighthouse were in the middle of photo?  Much much better with it off to one side.  Don't you think?

Wouldn't this photo look weird if the lighthouse were in the middle of photo?  Much much better with it off to one side.  Don't you think?

With three of these things in mind (Zoom In, Brighten Up, Rule of 3rds) you can absolutely use your iPhone to take some great shots.  

Then when you are ready for more Ashley Ann has that awesome and affordable SnapShop course.  Not only does it teach you about capturing the moment and the storytelling behind it but HOW to do that.  She tells you about the harder stuff like composition and cropping too.  It's a community and there's wonderful feedback too.  

If you sign up for her SnapShop the course that will truly help you make the most the camera you always carry around you will get a special discount as a Mompreneur on Fire reader.  

Sign Up Here: Not kidding it's amazing!

Special Treat: Enter Code: SSOnFire to receive a $10 discount from the course!


By the luck of the draw, I was so so pleased to have the opportunity to talk with Kristin Rogers for my podcast. Talking with her was so inspiring.  I think the others agree as her podcast has been my most downloaded and most read to date.    

Click on the her image here to go to that specific post.  We talked about so many wonderful things.  Just listen and take my word for it!

I am still working on Ashley Ann to say YES! for an interview!  I think she is super busy and a little shy! But I am keeping up hope and will let you know when the YES! comes!

Click On Photo To Hear more about my interview with Kristin.

Click On Photo To Hear more about my interview with Kristin.

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15 Work Things To Do When You Only Have 15 Minutes

I work from home.  My kids are around and are always asking for something from me.  I know I am supposed to be focused and totally present with them but the truth of the matter is if they are watching a cartoon, why can't I do some work too?  Or if they are at swim lesson, do I have to be 100% present?  Reality is, for better or worse, I am dying to get a few more things done when I am sitting and waiting.    

Mompreneur on Fire - 15 Things

This post may contain affiliate links.

Don't shoot the messenger but here are a handful of things you can do to get more work done when you only have your phone a limited amount of time. 

1.  Make a quick phone call.  Seriously.

It's hard to make a phone call these days, right?  We are always so distracted and then as more time goes by we think the conversation has to be longer and longer.  But I find, I am actually making more phone calls now that I have in years.  It's easier and faster than texting or shooting a quick email.  It's okay if we haven't talked in a while, who said we have to stay on the call for a long while anyway?  We don't have to make up for lost time. 

So really, you can call your client, your co-worker, your mentor and say:

"Hey! I have 5 minutes to talk and wanted to get your input on XYZ.  Do you have time now?"  

Certainly the person on the other end will tell if you if it's a good time for them and then, take that moment.  Have your call.  Discuss your thoughts and ideas.  Right now.  

Plus, I truly think phone calls these days are "back".  It's easy to avoid and write.  Phone calls build relationships.  Relationships build businesses.

2. Edit photos for social media postings.

No one said the photos on social media had to be from that exact moment always.  Do we always live in these picture perfect environments?  And if you are a mompreneur, then I know you know about social media.  And there's probably always this feeling that you have to have more out there.  

So while you are sitting and waiting, go through and edit some of your photos.  Brighten them up.  Make them square.  Heart them.  

Mompreneur on Fire - Desk Layout

3.  Comment and connect with your people.

Review and comment on social media platforms that you are attracted to.  Comment and connect with the content creators that you admire and aspire to be like.   I know I want to build my tribe with like minded women.  I love it when people connect and comment on my work.  It's feedback and connection.  It's crazy to think that real relationships can develop over social media but the fact of the matter is not only is it possible but it's happening time and time again.   Imagine connecting with your people.  All it takes is reaching out...

4. Review your monthly / weekly goals.

I am going to assume you have goals well-established.  You have things you want to accomplish this month and you are actively working on them.  Right?  If not, then spend the 15 minutes or call me.  (Like now.)  

If you DO have your goals set then take a look at them.  Now.  The work that you are doing, the place you are spending your time, is it here?   Are you actively working to achieve them?  Where and how can you spend your time better?  Where and how can you be more efficient?  What needs to shift?  Where do you need help in order to get to your goals?

Do that.  Write that down.  Make your changes.

5.  Update Your To-Do List. 

Don't you just love a good to-do list?  Do you use Evernote?  I live and breathe by Evernote.  I can create, review and update my to-do lists on the fly.  They've even got checkboxes so when I am done, I can check my box and move on.  When I am sitting I like to go over and figure out what's next.  Is the work? Is it the grocery store? Is it the next kiddo activity?  Geez, even what's for dinner is always on the list!  Update your to-do list, figure out what's next. 

6. Calendar Block.

Yes.  Now is the time to put in your calendar when you are going to do those important, high priority tasks.  Block out the time.  Even if you don't use it as an exact science, it's helpful to see and know just what activity you have to do and what timeframe you have to do it in!!

7.  Pin Strategically. 

Followers and value count.  I hate to admit that and even say it out loud.  Well, the followers part, not the value part. But it's true.  If social media is a part of your business (and I almost can't imagine what business would be without it) then you must be online.  Pinterest is far more important now than it ever was and there is no better time than the present than to make your Pinterest profile that much better.  Pin pin pin.  

There's a whole lot more to be said about Pinterest and a whole lot of learning to be had!  I, personally, am following anything and everything The Busy Budgeter does!  (Remember her from one of my first podcasts?? She is making well over 6 figures on her blog in less than 2 years time!  Here's that podcast interview with Rosemarie Groner.)  And while we're at it, her working with me and her Pinterest Strategy CheatSheet has helped this site get tons and tons more traction.  

8. Email an old client. 

I have said it before and I'll say it again.  Following up and keeping a relationship going is what will keep you in mind.  Everyone loves to be thought of and you need nothing more than a quick email saying 

"Saw that XYZ was happening and it made me think of you.  Hope you guys are doing well and pressing forward.  Let's connect again soon."  

You have kept your conversation and more importantly, your relationships going.  That was 3 sentences that ultimately told your old client that you still cared.  What better way than to spend a few minutes of your time?

9. Read. 

You don't have to read a book.  You can if you want but you can also start reading more about the business things you want and need to do.  I cannot even begin to tell you how massive Pinterest is and how it truly is not just for pulling entertaining ideas together anymore.  I have learned and learned and learned so much, business-wise, from reading about what other people are doing from reading and researching posts on Pinterest.   

10. YouTube. 

If you want to learn anything and I mean ANYTHING YouTube is the place to go.  I literally learned how to physically podcast from YouTube videos.  When I talked with Deva from My Life Suckers, (you know the awesome viral video maker), she said she learned about video editing through YouTube too!  Want to learn anything - YouTube it!

11. Meditate. 

I love to meditate.  It has such a bad rap.  People think you need to sit there and magically make your mind go empty but it's simply not (always) the case.  I don't even know how one would begin to make their mind go empty.  I think my skin would start crawling and I'd have a panic attack or something!  Much less, if I was able to find a time for no interruptions, now I have to figure out how make my mind go empty?? 

Okay - so I get it.  I'm not interested in making my go empty.  Truth is that is probably for the expert mediators.  That's not me.  What does the beginner meditator do?  Someone like me? You get these amazing meditations that guide your thoughts in a positive uplifting manner.    Think about your dreams.  Think about your power.  Think about forgiving yourself.  Think about how this world is there for you to bring your best foot forward.  

My favorite meditation is this one.  It's 20 minutes and I will admit, I sometimes (cough) fast forward right to the good stuff around minute 8.   But imagine being guided to your best self??  Seriously what better way to spend 15 minutes?

12. Sit down and do nothing. 

You heard it.  Your body needs to rest.  Your mind needs to rest.  How can you be your best self if you are constantly running?  Put on some music and rest.  Sit down and do nothing! 

Wooops. I know I said I had 15 great ideas for working while the kiddos are distracted but truth is - this is where and how I focus my time.  I could make up another 3 more ideas but that would just be fluff - right.  When I have a moment to sneak a peak at my phone - here i my focus.  Truly.  

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No Time for a Book Club? Start a Cooking Club in 5 Steps!

As much as I love to read, I admit that don't always make it a priority. Or when I do, I want to read what I want to read.  Now imagine getting 5-8 other moms together to discuss the same book.  If we all have young children, it is so hard to do!  Mom life just consumes all of our time so why not start a cooking club?!

Mompreneur on Fire - Cooking Club

When I lived back East, I was in a book club aka wine club.  Six of my girlfriends and I were in our 20s and it was BK, (Before Kids) where we had all the time in the world to be together.  

We started off reading a selected book each month and as our friendships grew we would still read the book but then would barely discuss it because we were so excited to see one another we couldn't wait to catch up on our real lives.  Occasionally though a book would draw us back for some deep and sometimes heated conversations.  Actually this book, I remember, was the most heated discussions.  Do not get me started. 

This idea is taken, lovingly from one of my most favorite people in the whole. wide. world.  Shauna Niequist.  Each month, Shauna and friends gather around the table for good food and plenty of conversation.   She says: 

“We don't learn to love each other well in the easy moments. Anyone is good company at a cocktail party. But love is born when we misunderstand one another and make it right, when we cry in the kitchen, when we show up uninvited with magazines and granola bars, in an effort to say, I love you.” 

With the girls by my side, my husband growing in his career, my parents passing, I am often bursting for an easy outlet of authenticity and connection.  Every book club attempt in the past years has fallen flat to cold and curfews.  It's harder to read even though I coincidentally, wrote another post about being a mom and finding the time to read again!  

In any event, when I first learned of cooking clubs from reading Shauna's book Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table  and I grabbed onto the idea and ran with it.  Actually here she discusses specifically right here how she runs her cooking club.  And it's brilliant.  

The heart of hospitality is about creating space for someone to feel seen and heard and loved. It’s about declaring your table a safe zone, a place of warmth and nourishment.
— Shauna Niequist

So to start your cooking club you need a few essentials:

1. Trusted friends interested in getting together on a regular night every few weeks.  

That may seem easy, that may seem tough.  Or maybe there is someone you would like to get to know better.  You know there are women you connect with and would love to see more of.  Here's your perfect opportunity to get to know them!  Make a list.  Make a meaningful list of women you want to deep dive with.  10 maximum.  

2. Invite but invite with rules and understanding.

Another woman I love and fellow Podcaster, Kristin Rogers just had a podcast with 5 of her friends about creating book clubs where they discuss pulling one together for themselves and even their kids.  It was quite a fun episode you can check out here!   What I love is how they were very intentional about the rules of their book club.  We, here, have established doing a cooking club vs a book club but setting the foundation applies everywhere.  

This is where you can invite people you love to see and those you want to see more of into the cooking club.  Now is also the time to be upfront with what you are looking for.  Connection,  yes but what else?  Consistency.  Not to have to spend a ton of money.  Will each person put in say $20 and the host will supply everything but the wine?  Maybe it's a good idea for you to work in teams and each team can rotate hosting.  That way responsibility isn't on one person.  How often will you meet?  Monthly? Quarterly?  When is best?  For breakfast? Lunch? Dinner?  Will others be invited in? And how?

3. Pick a theme.  

Yes!  Do that now!  As the host, you get to decide.

How about Breakfast for Dinner. Or Italian Night! Mexican!  Favorite family recipes!  Favorite EASY recipes!  Appetizers and Hor D'euvres!  There I just gave you 5 options to choose from.  Host your first dinner and then together you, as a group, can decide what you want to do next time. 

4. Pick some discussion points.  

The conversations can be heavy or light, as you wish.  Don't force it though.  Some questions that started our cooking club included:

  1. Name one thing you learned today.
  2. Tell us something that happened to you this week (or since the last we spoke) that I wouldn't know about nor know to ask about. 
  3. What can you open up about without spilling your guts? 
  4. Where have you succeeded today?  Where have you failed? How's mom life treating you?
  5. And the ultimate, let's cut to the chase, question: "What keeps you at night?"

Is there something on your mind? Something you are trying to figure out?  Work out? Want more information about? Bring it up.  Make it your question.  You don't have to go into the deep deep history of why, you can simply ask for insight. 

5. Enjoy.  

There's fear and pressure and judgment all around us.  When pulling together a group there can be pressure to for everything to right and perfect.   Forget that.  Stop wasting your time there.  Focus your time on enjoying what you pulled together.  Make and create the connections.  Enjoy and enjoy and enjoy!

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First Time Manager? Use This Single & Effective Tip!

My primary job as an Online Business Manager and entrepreneur mentor is to get people working.   We need to cultivate our teams to do work that is internally satisfying and meaningful to each team member all the times but really that conversation can be left for another blog post!  What I know to be true is that a lot of the times, we aren't doing, we are delaying.  

Mompreneur on Fire - First Time Manager

Don't you hate it when you are working with a team of people, you have the conversations and think everyone is on the same page only to wait, wait and wait some more for the work to be completed?

In all the projects, large and small, I have managed, the same thing happens.  Everyone is in agreement and then as they go on their own with good intentions a distraction or higher priority arises and your work is put off.

We all start out excited but when the real work is required, we procrastinate.  

I am convinced it is in our nature to be this way.  Maybe it's our culture and we are attracted to the shiny objects always changing, always having a hard time focusing.

Here's the thing, I take this knowledge, that we are going to be distracted or shifted as a given.  I know we will procrastinate for whatever reason, I don't care nor do I judge, I plan around it..  

What I know to be true is that a lot of the times, we aren't doing, we are delaying.  

Why do we procrastinate?  Why do we wait?  Why does it take until the 11th hour to actually start the work??

Then it can be the worst managing over others who are dragging and delaying.  You feel like a mother nagging.  

OR you take a different approach.  

My most effective step to get work done is in a genuinely caring and helpful approach.  

In all the work I have done, I swear by the friendly and powerful follow-up.  

It has helped me cultivate relationships within my teams and clientele.  I have no doubt my products are stronger too because of the caring I go into a project.  

And sometimes, translating what we do into word format doesn't come across quite as nicely as you hope.  So I put together a brief video for you to follow along to. 

Following-up is brief, frequent and worthwhile. 

Good luck!  I'd love to hear what you think or how it went!  


What’s the Hardest Part of Getting Something Done?? I Think I Know…

Whether you are just starting out gathering your business ideas, or are in full blown implementation mode...something is going to be difficult. As awesome as you are, you will meet a struggle. Don't worry, as your entrepreneur mentor, I'm gladly going to walk you through it!

Mompreneur on Fire - Hardest Part of Getting Something Done

Over the past two weeks I have talked with more and more people and felt a simultaneous sense of struggle AND a sense of power that we each have.  I have had conversations with people about their kids being sick, their parents being sick, them being sick.  I have talked with people about job losses and crazy criminals.  I have talked with people about being their own boss and crazy bosses.  Crazy customers too.  

All of this is great reason to get yourself thrown off track.  Absolutely!  And to be honest, It hits me the same way.   There is no doubt in my mind that knowing your vision and priorities, being committed to them, having this vision enter your life as often as possible (remember what I said about practice) great things happen.  I know it – I have seen it happen over and over and over again.  

But there is this undeniable force out that sometimes feels like it is meant to throw us off track.  Another example of this is the customer needing something completed bright and early Monday morning… and they first mention it Friday afternoon!   (Truth is – I have heard this TWICE -not once but twice!- in the past two weeks.)  Their weekend then becomes consumed with new requirements from their ultimate end customer.   

The black cloud, the force, the inevitable thing that is going to force you to get “off-track” is going to happen.  After hearing of all this news all I have been saying to myself over and over again – is that the hardest part of getting something done, is getting through the hardest part. 

The hardest part is getting through the hardest Part. 

The hardest part is getting through the hardest part.   


And the more I think of this, the more I think it is true.  Another example is that I have friends running the Army 10-miler and Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC.   I know they have been in training and I have no doubt about their finishing.  That’s not say their training hasn’t been hard and their hasn’t been commitment tested, but I am confident they have made it through the hardest part and will finish the races happily and successfully.

So whatever that “hardest part” is… fear, too much work, changes in expectations or all the above.  Maybe there is comfort in knowing that the Black Cloud does go away, that while the inevitable will occur – what’s needed sometimes is conquering this “hardest” part. 

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One Step to Beating that Crazy Day!

How many of us start the day and just go? From the moment we wake up, we feel like we are on the run and it could be bedtime again before we get a break. Our days are filled and we are in high gear. It can be especially hard for those of us who work from home. Kids, chores, deliveries- it's easy to see the crazy unfolding.

Mompreneur on Fire - One Step to Beating that Crazy Day

Here we go....

I’ve got to get dressed and ready for the day and I have the little ones too.  Get them dressed, fed and out the door.  

Oops, I forgot their lunch. 

And their jacket. 

Why doesn’t the little one have shoes?

Why am I getting a work call this early?

By the time the kids are in school, I am “in” for a few hours already!  

Frankly, I love it.  I love a busy day and I love it when I get a lot done too because I feel accomplished.  

When nighttime comes, I crash.  I either die into the sofa and watch some terrible show or I crash hard in bed.  My body needs to rest.  I love these days but they are hard too.  I am physically and mentally trying to keep ahead of the day. 

I think this is why I also love and sometimes prefer those nice, casual, low-speed kinda days when my mind and body simply float.  

Those days where I am just present.  My body and mind are relaxed and I can let everything go.  

Let’s face it, as a mother and business owner, I don’t have days anymore where I can just float.  But I realize, I don’t need days because I have moments.

Mompreneur on Fire - Zen

I have lots of little moments throughout the day where I am settled and happy.  

And it’s these moments when I am comfortably settled in my day, I love them and hold onto them for dear life.  

The question is: how do I beat the crazy day?? This mom life has gone crazy! How can I feel accomplished and comfortably settled like from my low-key days? 

For me, it takes a lot of practice and a lot of resetting through the day, but a mere pause, a deep breath and becoming present changes the day like no other.   

Try this: 


Stop physically moving.  Stop right there in your tracks.  

Take a single deeeeeeep breath.  

Take a deep breath in and let it out ever so slowly.  

Get control of your thoughts, your moment, your energy, your day.  

Ask yourself what thoughts do you want to have?

Think to Yourself  

My day doesn’t have to be crazy.  

I have everything I need. 

My kids have everything they need.

Where I dropped the ball, others will help out.  They will be okay.

I can do this. 

I have so many gifts in front of me, right now.  

I’ve got this day.  

There are many fun, great things happening right now. 

Even if a little ugly pops up, that’s okay too, because I have all this other good around me.  

Lots of good around me today and right now.

Lots of good around me today and right now.

Don’t forget to breath as you stop and take in the world around you.  

Deep breath in, deep breath out.  

How can that 30 seconds not re-align your day?  When I am running around, I sometimes feel like I don't have a moment to breathe, and I have literally have to be doing many things at once just to accomplish what I need to in that moment.  Yet, there are these moments when I stop, take a breath, and reflect on how there IS a moment (or many) of this day that IS neat, cool or fun.  These quick moments or flashes of “being present” brings your intention back in the day.  As you are running from the first thing to the next take a moment and catch your breath.  Recognize the things around you and take it in.... 

Mompreneur on Fire - Zen 2

That's it, one single step.  It's a loaded step. But you weren’t asked to spend more money or “outsource" as your could.  You weren’t asked to forget the responsibilities of the day and take time for yourself, which you could do too.  Or not do.  Nor were you told to add other items to your list and take a walk, or listen to your favorite music, even though those all help too. You can work from home and remain calm(ish).

There are loads of exercise and ways to do this but one of the quickest ways is to find your breath and take in the moment.  When I am at my craziest and busiest, “finding your center” and becoming “present" is arguably the single best way to improve your day, at that exact moment.  All day, everyday, within my crazy mom life, I have lots of little moments of joy, gratitude and happiness. 

What better way to spend 30 seconds??

Good luck!

Update: I started doing guided meditations this past year and cannot speak anymore highly of them.  Life. Changing.

Here's my favorite!  Download it.  I *promise* you, you will love this meditation!

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your project is going to be late - how to break the news

You know your project is going to be late, but your boss does not and worse yet, the customer does not know.  You laid your best plans and gave your best effort in telling everyone when you would be done.  You feel confident that you would have had enough time if you weren’t answering questions, putting out fires or attending meetings you didn’t know why you were attending. 

Mompreneur on Fire - Late Project

Hello – you have work to do! 

In the end, you finally sat down and realized, this work is going to need more time. 

And the worst part is - the due date is right around the corner. 

When you do your best, speak openly and honestly, it's respected.  It's appreciated.  It fosters engagement and a willingness to work together. 

So now you have talk with your client and boss that the project is not going as smoothly as you hoped.  What do you?

6 Steps - How To Tell Your Boss the Project Will Be Late: 

1. Determine what you can do on-time.  Can you do 50%? 80%?  Can you do all of the major work but not the nice and pretty stuff? 

2. Determine how much more time would you require to finish the entire thing.  And determine how much time it will take finish the core piece. 

3. Determine whose help, if any, you require to complete the project on time.  Is there someone else who can focus on other details while you hunker down?

4. Next, schedule a meeting for today with the person responsible for the delivery of this project.  That could be the Project Manager, your boss, your Client, the Project Coordinator; it could be a variety of people.  Don’t delay and spend days working on this knowing that you won’t be able to deliver. And if there is no free time on their calendar, walk to their office.  If they are out of the office – email, call, or tell them you require 5 five minutes of their time. (If you can’t get in the door, then that is another issue all together!)

5. In your meeting, in a calm, conversational manner, this is what you SAY:  

I need to give you an update on the project.  As I am looking at the work, I realize it is going to take me X number of hours to complete the task as it stands now and I will have a hard time delivering by the due date.  

I have determined that with X person’s help, we could work together and deliver on time.  Or without (name part of the project) I can deliver that to you on time.  

Where do you want me to focus my efforts? On completing the task with the new deadline?  Gaining assistance from X person and working together to complete the project on time? Or completing the task without certain bells and whistles?

6. Proceed as determined between you and your counterpart.  

Mompreneur on Fire - Late Project 2

I have seen many people panic, work unbelievable hours and run around like their head has been cut off because they are fearful of telling “bad” news to their boss or client.  

In my experience managing many large projects, 99% of the time people are understanding when you are honest with them.  Isn't that the most respectful trait?  

How many of us have started a project or task and once in it, realized that it is going to take longer than expected? Doesn’t it seem that everything you do takes longer than expected??  By working with your lead, boss, and customer on delivery dates as an active, moving piece on what can reasonably be delivered, you are not only managing expectations but forming a deeper working relationship with this group of vitally important people in your career. 

Now, I have given you the steps, the words even, to have the conversation.  

Practice if you need to, come in a manner of openness and good luck!

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5 Steps to Hosting Effective Meetings

If you want your business to be successful, you need to be setting goals and accomplishing them daily. With so much to do and so little time, priorities are a must. As an online business manager, I help keep things organized and keep everyone on task. Here's how you can apply my methods.

Mompreneur on Fire - Effective Meetings

Love them or hate them status meetings and regular check-in will actually determine your project success rate.  

These meetings that we dread - actually get-it-done.  

If they are strategically held.  

When I am managing projects, I have several status meetings a week.  They can be 5, 15 or 20 minutes.  This is several meetings each week with my team, and one with the end client.  The team meeting is to review internal progress, answer any questions and strategize for any problems that have arisen.  The client meeting is to review accomplishments and discuss work-in-progress.  The client can answer any questions and set priorities for continuation. 

When a project is created, we know the scope of work is determined, a team is assigned, and a timeframe is provided.  If not, then we have a lot more to discuss, but this focus will be what and how baby steps and teamwork get you where you need to go.

Mompreneur on Fire - Effective Meetings in 5 Steps

The Only 3 Things You Need to Do in a Status Meeting:

  1. Review the current and active week’s activities and goals.
  2. Ask each team member’s progress on their tasks,
  3. Ask if they need support and/or extra time.  

This information isn’t about micro-managing a team member or prying too much, it’s about knowing if we will get what we need done this week or not, if that person needs assistance, or if further changes are made.

  • Once we have an understanding of how each team member’s workload is, I then either try to find assistance from within the team to help any overloaded members, or I make requests to the client based on feedback from the team.

Yikes! I know that last statement probably raises fear in a lot of people.  You mean talk with the client about the work, timelines, and productivity?? This leads me to discuss my status meeting with the client.

At least weekly I meet with the client to discuss Accomplishments and Work in Progress. 

Note: that my words are specific here.  I want to present Accomplishments as a regular thing to my client and to keep our accomplishments on their mind.  I want my clients to know all that we have achieved and not surpass it.  As they say, we want to acknowledge and celebrate wins.

  • As I talk about our "accomplishments", note just about everything is an accomplishment.  I don’t hogwash things nor am I overly annoying, but I do communicate all of the project activity that is taking place. Me personally, I am a glass is half-full person.  I find that clients appreciate knowing, on a regular basis, the work that was involved in accommodating their requests. 
    • For example, you could communicate: “In order to put together this presentation, it took pulling information from 3 different locations, 9 different sources, organizing it, and formatting it so it will have the information we want to deliver.   It took a while but we got it done!”
  • Also I discuss "works in progress". A client makes a request and you must deliver.  What happens when you finally get into your work and find that it will take twice as long as expected?  There are 2 reasons this could happen, you came across something unexpected, which causes the extra delay, or you are working on extra tasks.  It is completely fair to communicate to the customer what either has or is occurring.  
    • From there you can request them to confirm their priorities.  Do they really really want X if it takes (and costs) this much longer?  Or are there other priorities that can be shifted?  In my experience – no one has ever gotten mad because things aren’t what they seemed.  (One other rule here is: don’t start this communication when the deadline is there.  I address all this in another post.  Then the customer will rightly get mad.)

In the end, open and active communication with the team and client not only creates a deeper relationship but also actively helps you accomplish your goals.


If you are working primarily on your own these status meetings (or regular check-ins) are still quite effective.  What is the goal for the week?  What needs to be re-prioritized to get it done??

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Always Putting Out Fires? How To Stop Being The Company Fireman

As a business owner, you need to set priorities and communicate them with your team. This allows you to feel confident that your business will stay on track. Your customers and clients can be served without any major disasters. As an online business manager, I help women accomplish this every day.

Mompreneur on Fire - Stop Putting Out Fires

There are many people who are constantly running around putting out fires and living the mantra “if it’s not one thing, it’s another”. Unfortunately, having to put out fires on a regular basis is not only energy-zapping and time-wasting, but it is also a money drain on your business.  The time spent on so-called fires takes away from the time spent on goal achieving, revenue-generating tasks for your company.  

Are you constantly putting out fires?  Do people come in your office or call you requesting immediate updates, help or answers?  Did the work need to be completed yesterday?

The need to put out a fire, a genuine emergency, in your office happens to everyone.  Having to consistently put out fires means something completely different: it represents a lack of priority setting and lack of communication.  

The funny thing about firemen is, night and day, they are always firemen.
— Gregory Widen, Backdraft

Priority setting is important in all businesses, but it is sometimes forgotten by the business owner. 

Setting a priority is when something (i.e. a goal) is deemed more important than something else.  What are the priorities in your office?  Who set them?  Why are these priorities higher than others? These are important questions to obtain answers to because when priorities are set and communicated, teams know what work will be focused on, what actions need to be addressed immediately and what changes can postponed for now.  

If you are consistently putting out fires, you are managing your world as it comes to you instead of managing your priorities.  To achieve success and fulfillment in your project, your goals, and/or your dreams, one must set priorities not only to have something to work towards, but also to have a scale to measure incoming work and distractions.  With a priority scale in place, when something new comes in, you can more easily determine where it fits into your task list for the short term, the medium term, or the long term.

Don’t forget to communicate your priorities to your colleagues, teams and customers.  Communicating the order of importance puts them in higher regard and keeps everybody focused.  

Always having to put out fires is a waste of valuable time, energy, and company money.  Working in a structured manner not only assists you in reaching your goals faster, but also allows the person and team to preserve their energy for a more balanced lifestyle. It's time to feel confident in your business again. 

Good luck!

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ABCs of Getting Stuff Done!

Let's face it. There is a lot to do and sometimes you don't know how or where to start. And yet, you still need to get things done! You need to feel confident in yourself and your business in order to be successful. You got this!

Mompreneur on Fire - ABC of Getting Stuff Done

A is for Accommodation.  Stop accommodating everyone else now!

B is for Begin.  Begin now.  Whatever it is, you must start!

C is for Charge.  Take charge of the situation.  So many of us live passive lives – those who don’t get what they want.

D is for Do It Now.  What are you waiting for?  If you continue to wait, someone else will get it.

E is for Excuses.  There will always be excuses and 

F is for “Frankly my dear I don’t give a damn.” 

G is for Good for you.  Celebrate the good, move on from the rest.

H is “Heck I don’t know – but it’s still not going to stop me!”

I is Imagine the finish line.  You need it to get there.  

J is for “Just.”  It can never “just” happen.  Hard work is involved! 

K is for Killer.  That killer instinct that you have – is in there.  Listen to it!

L is for Labor.  You will have to labor to get it done.  Work is required, yes.

Mompreneur on Fire - ABCs

M is for Manage. Manage your activities against your priorities.

N is for “No.”  You are going to hear it.  Get used to it and get over it!

O is for Opportunity.  There is an opportunity in everything.  Everything. 

P is for Priority.  Set them.  Without it you will get lost. 

Q is for quick.  Nothing is quick.  Get over it.

R is for Resources.  Maximize your resources.  You have the help! Use it!

S is Strategize.  Strategize how you will get it done and work that strategy! 

T is Trust.  Trust in yourself.  You are good enough and you can do it. Period.

U is for Ugly.  Determination and competition can get ugly but you don’t have to. 

V is for Victory.  Celebrate them all!  Small victories win wars.  Celebrate each!

W is for Win.  You’re going to win, persevere and you will win!

X is for X-Ray.  (Not that creative, I know.)  BUT you can take an x-ray to your activities and look at the internal workings.  What do you see?

Y is for WHY.  Why are you doing this?

Z is for Zillion.  There are a zillion different ways you can go. Start with one.

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15 Kids Activities That Will Buy You 15 Minutes

Summer can be difficult, as much I love being around my kids I have to admit, I am not used to this activity and energy level anymore. 

On top of that I need to mix in some work, some house, some kids and hello some me time too.  How and where does that happen? I've had a ton of mompreneurs share these working mom tips to get a few minutes of free time.

Mompreneur on Fire - 15 Kid Activities

This post contains affiliate links.

1.  Coloring Pages

This is the summer of coloring pages in our house.  I either print out a zillion coloring pages for the girls or we create our own pictures and color on in.  I live and breathe by Washable Markers too.  I feel safe with them around.  I know if the kids get them on the sofa or bench then I can wipe them up.  I literally had red marker on my light green ottoman and sure enough - it came out!  Phew! Classic #momlife

We print pictures simply from Googling characters or seasons and then click on images and there are tons and tons of options for the kids.  They have fun picking out what they want to color.  I usually do 3-4 print outs at a time so they can just color away and I can work.  Or we will together design a picture for a guest that is coming along.  They design and color it.  It's a special treat for all involved.  

2. Workbooks

The girls love workbooks.  They love to color and make pictures for their next visitor or playdate.  Honestly, I Google their favorite characters, then I go to the Images link and hit print.


Mompreneur on Fire - Chalk

3. Sidewalk Chalk

My driveway is often covered with welcome messages and hearts and names of everyone we know thanks to tons and tons of sidewalk chalk.  I keep some in my car too and sometimes break it out at the park.   It's relatively mess free and let's them create create create!

4.  Shaving Cream!  

Don't look!! Let the kids run outside and DON'T Look!  How much fun would they have running around after one another with shaving cream?!  Let them scream and play and run!  Or have them play strategically and add some color to the shaving cream!  Let the kids make a mess and spray the hose - on them and the driveway - to clean up!

5.  Legos

Helloooo Lego!  And BRAVO! to them for finally having girl-based legos.  I mean - who doesn't love Elsa & Anna?  Now you can create a castle?? 

Even if you don't get this one no one has ever said they were bad to play with.  The kids create create create.  What better lesson than that?  

6. Sofa bed pillows.  

The girls love to make tents and forts.  They play family, they play doctor, they create offices and shopping plazas.  They knock on doors, they have doctors appointments and give shots.  3 Large Bottom Pillows a blanket and the corner of a room is all you need.  Not kidding when I say they have so. much. fun. 

7.  Library books

Let the kids sit down and read some library books.  Right now my girls are 4 and 5 1/2.  One clearly doesn't know how to read and the other is learning.  When we head to the library we do a mix of picture books and and early reader books for the kids.  They love to sit there, to try to read and even just make up the stories.  My little one will take her finger and move her finger along the words "reading" as she tells the story.  

8.  Magnatiles

Ohhhh the things you can make!  What kid does not love these things?  My sister-in-law (who is 35 years old) can even get sucked in to Magnatiles too!!  You can build castles and balls and so much more!  The kids love them and are so proud at the end.

9.  Stickers.  Hello!

Do stickers ever get old?  We buy them in bulk and make collages.  Stickers, stickers everywhere!

10.  Let them play in the bath

Assuming your kiddos are old enough they can play in the bath.   We love the LUSH bath bombs.  They make the bathtub a great bright pink.  They have toys and do each others' hair.  My kids would stay in the bathtub for an hour if I let them.  I sometimes sneak into the next room where I can hear them play and keep an eye on them while also catching up on things from my phone.  

11. Slip N Slide!

I remember a good ol' Slip N Slide as a kid.  We would spend forever outside on that thing!  We recently bought one of these this year for the girls. I am not even sure we set it up right and they just loved it.  Played and played they did!  What's with the water that makes the little ones so happy?! 

12. iPad or a kids tablet

The apps are endless.  As much as I try to limit screen time, I have to face facts that this is a new reality.  It's true with my phone, that I don't just use it for making calls but for taking photos, for answering emails, for being productive in all sorts of ways.  There are some really great apps for the kids.  My kids are currently loving EPIC and Homer.  They are both apps for learning and I am completely approve!  

Also - kind of crazy but my husband just bought a like-new (maybe last year's model?) iPad on eBay for less than $200.  And I have heard Amazon has these amazing tablets too. 

13.  Netflix

I love how on Netflix you can create different profiles and even set limits to them too.  The suggestions for the girls will never mix with the suggestions for me and vice versa.  I love the age limits too, which I think you have to set through the web.  But my girls are still young enough where I can block out cartoons I don't think are age appropriate yet.   Netflix is so handy and the girls often request that over the regular tv. 

14. Have them clean their room 

After the initial complaining and they get in a mood of wanting to help, they do a great a job in cleaning their room or playroom.  It's not perfectly straight nor is the bed but who cares?? The kids are doing something productive while giving you a moment's break.

15.  Good ol' fashion play outside

Outside!  Go!  Do your thing!  Be creative!  Get dirty!  I don't mind.  Set the timer and a create a challenge for them!  Keep the windows open if you need to listen in but let them go!! Let them play!

Enjoy!  Now what will you do with 15 minutes??

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