Posts tagged Mindfulness
No Nude Bras! A Confidence Revelation

At first glance, the statement “NO NUDE BRAS” might seem unreasonable. What have I got against the seemingly sensible, attracts-no-attention, modest undergarment?

The answer is QUITE A LOT.

It’s not a personal vendetta against the color or a piece of fashion advice. I’m against nude bras because of what they symbolize. I will give its inventor the benefit of the doubt and say that maybe their intentions were pure. Maybe beige bras were supposed to be helpful in the cases of thin white shirts and bright lights. I’ll accept that, seeing as I’d hardly consider myself an exhibitionist. But I can’t ignore what nude bras really stand for overall, when you take a good hard look.

They’re about hiding yourself and any glimpses at or traces of your femininity, in a way that’s more suited for our grandmothers’ generations. Times have changed and we are now women in business in a way earlier generations could only dream of. Hiding and toning down your impact aren’t strategies that you want as an entrepreneur, bra-wearing or otherwise.

Nude bras try not to be seen. They don’t want to disrupt or draw attention. They’re never memorable.

Ask yourself this: on the day of a big interview or meeting, do you pick your boring nude bra– even when there’s no chance of it being seen because your top isn’t sheer? Does it somehow just feel more professional? It kills me to admit but it took a long time to realize how WRONG that is! That’s a leftover idea passed down from when women weren’t allowed to start their own businesses; when sexuality was too threatening.

There is nothing wrong with enjoying bright, beautiful colors and patterns– and allowing yourself to do so can do wonders for your work life and personal life. But you don’t have to take my word for it. A study conducted by Harvard found that confidence is a key factor for career success, where the less confident people, usually women, don’t reach their full potential because of it.

“From a young age, women appear less confident than men. This confidence gap has been argued to play a key role in explaining differences in academic success, occupational choices, and career progression.”

Knowing that, wouldn’t you do all that you can to feel more confident? Why let yourself be held back by something you can actually change starting right this second?!

I hear so many women say they save their exciting, fancy bras for things like first dates, anniversaries, and parties. For every other day, which is most of them unfortunately, we repeat the same bland bras until they’re dingy and worn out. Why is that??? Why do we think we only deserve a confidence boost and, hey, maybe even a cleavage boost, on special days and celebrations? A cardigan and underwear suitable for the 1950’s won’t automatically command respect in the workplace. Feeling good shouldn’t be an indulgence; it needs to be rebranded as a daily investment in your overall quality of life.

When I need to crush a big meeting now, I want the bright red bra or the hot pink that makes me feel like a powerful boss lady. I never thought a nude bra was hurting me, since it’s marketed as being so neutral and demure, but wearing one almost edged me towards taking on those qualities. I would never reach my audience if I was content to be the quiet, “well-behaved” woman in the corner who hopes to go unnoticed. I want BOLD, colorful, fun, and brilliant– for my clothing, my personality, and my first impressions.

If you’re confident in yourself and love who you are, then why wouldn’t you want to be noticed? Even if no one is going to see your pink, mint, neon, striped, plaid, polka-dot bra, they will notice the attitude it gives you. And not attitude in a bad way, as the term is so often used, but the swagger and confidence that other people can pick up on the second you enter a room. It’s the invisible ingredient that guarantees you will be noticed, paid attention to, and remembered because you will stand out. People don’t respect the wallflowers that quietly tread in others’ footsteps; they respect the wave-makers who insist on being heard and confidently present the new ideas they believe in. There is, after all, a reason why the phrase “Well-behaved women seldom make history” is so frequently referenced.

Everyone knows Steve Jobs’s name. No one knows the Microsoft engineer who worked tirelessly and never dared to think outside the box and build a newer, (arguably*) better technology system like Apple.

Work hard. Question tradition. Value yourself. Go far.


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How to Say No to Your Friends

When it comes to balancing work and family, figuring out how to spend more time with family usually takes top priority. And why wouldn’t it? As a mother, my chief concern is always my girls! But our friends are crucial, too, and can’t be overlooked. They are a huge part in how we’re able to release, relax, and stay sane. It’s no wonder we value them! So when we do find a couple of hours to ourselves for a girls night, we want to go with the flow and enjoy.

Sometimes that means...

We overlook the time spent on gossip.

We excuse the friend who has really been bringing us down lately.

We write off our own jealousy as healthy competition.

These are some of our most cherished relationships, so it’s understandable to want to avoid ruffling any feathers. Saying no to the people and behaviors that have started to take a toll on your happiness doesn’t have to make you feel like a jerk, though! Friends are the family we choose, and sometimes we simply need to choose to revise how we interact with those friends.

 

1. Gossip

It always starts so innocently– just a “Hey, have you heard…” that’s initiated out of a desire to share and egged on by curiosity. And then there’s a few pointed looks and a certain inflection of disapproval or scandal in the narration. By the end, what began as a simple transfer of information has turned ugly with opinions, judgments, and jokes at the subject’s expense.

No one feels good about airing other people’s dirty laundry, and yet we chime in to remain part of the group and the conversation, putting aside the regret and disgust we personally feel. But this isn’t junior high or the set of Mean Girls. You won’t get kicked out of your friend group for politely declining to gossip. All it takes to say no to gossiping is a simple, “I don’t want to talk about them. I’m focusing on myself right now and can’t worry about what other people are doing/wearing.”

2. Jealousy

You’ve known them for years, would give them the shirt off your back, and… wait a second, is she wearing a brand new Diane von Furstenberg dress? Yeah, scratch that last part– she doesn’t need my shirt.

Time and closeness do not make your friends immune to being the target of your jealousy– and how you’ll subconsciously treat them differently because of it. Yes, you care about them, but can’t a girl be a little frustrated over how amazing and effortless some of our friends’ lives seem to be at times? The answer is no! They don’t deserve that, and you shouldn’t waste your time and energy lamenting the things you want but don’t have. Say no to jealousy by making a list of all the things in life you’re thankful for. Sometimes we get so distracted by what our friends have, that we forget to see how #blessed we are, too.

3. Draining Relationships

Somewhere in the unwritten friendship code is the starred, highlighted role of supporting a friend who’s going through a tough time. It’s the long phone calls even when you’re tired or the nights you skip your plans to show up with takeout and wine, just to be there for them to vent, complain, whine, and cry to. But patiently helping a pal during a rough patch is not the same as endlessly putting up with someone who is just draining. Maybe they weren’t always that way, but now every interaction leaves you feeling emotionally and physically exhausted, irritated, and altogether spent. You’re torn between being a good friend and being protective of your positive energy, which is a tough place to be.

You can say no to draining relationships without severing a valued friendship. First off, know that it’s not your responsibility to ‘fix’ them. Instead, talk to them. Point out how down they have seemed to you, and how you hate to see them this way. Is there anything you can do to cheer them up? In the future, try to steer the conversation away from triggering topics. If the situation doesn’t improve, limit the length of time you spend one-on-one and mix things up with more group outings.

4. Extra Activities That Don’t Further Your Goals

Invitations should be compliments. They mean we’re thought of and included. But we all know how it can really feel to be asked to take part in something we just don’t see the value of. You don’t want to offend your friends by frequently turning down their offers to go out and spend time together, but at the same time, you also don’t want to find yourself rushing through a project you really, really want to succeed at. Here’s the thing: you can say no to the barrage of extra activities your friends invite you to– without feeling like a jerk. Instead of just saying you have to work, include your friends on what you’re putting so much effort into. Let them see how passionate you are about your goals, and they won’t secretly suspect you’re blowing them off for Netflix and your couch.

5. Constant Social Media

You can’t blame your friends for wanting you to be as constantly connected as they are. There are only so many people you can trust to always throw you a like on Instagram, after all. Your friends will forgive you for missing a post, however. The internet is a dangerous rabbit hole for procrastination, and it’s pretty unsettling to realize how often throughout the day you feel compelled to check your phone. So give it a break! Your fear of missing out is not greater than your drive to succeed in real, tangible parts of life that actually matter in the long run (and sure, you can repeat that as a mantra until it really sinks in.) Delete your apps to lessen the temptation. You won’t erase your profiles and accounts, you’ll just be making them less convenient and easy to access.

 

From Mobile Blowouts to 100,000 Blowouts (A Month!): Interview with Alli Webb

As a working mom and business owner, Alli Webb took one of those business ideas for women and blew it out of the water!  (Pun intended!) She made the blow-out, a natural add-on service to the haircut and made it an affordable yet luxury item for women.  Her story on Drybar's creation, expansion and explosion is not only inspirational it's informational!   

Mompreneur on Fire - Alli Webb

Do you love listening to Podcasts?  Or do you not really know what one is quite yet?? Let me make it easy for you.  It’s perfect for you -- the super-busy-always-running-around woman that you are.  Pull up the podcast on your phone, plug-in your headphones, and listen as you work out, do your errands, or even the dishes late night!  

CLICK on the LINK Below & Go!

OR another easy way you can pull up the Mompreneur on Fire podcast is via the Podcast App that is already. on. your. iPhone.

This post may contain affiliate links.

I can’t tell you how many people said ‘you’re crazy’ to start this during a recession.
— Alli Webb
Mompreneur on Fire - Alli Webb

The Interview:

We talked about many different things:  

  • From NY to LA
  • Starting out of necessity
  • Transitioning from SAHM to Mompreneur
  • Mobile blowouts to brick & mortar Drybar
  • Bald business partners
  • Leveraging mommy-bloggers for advertising
  • Taking a stand and being different in the industry
  • Quick growth and expansion
  • Starting a business during a recession
  • Taking a leap of faith
  • Overcoming stress and overwhelm
  • Teaching kids the importance of hard work and good values
  • The appeal of affordable luxury 
  • Mistakes and learning opportunities
  • International expansion
  • Product and tools in the works
  • How to re-charge
There was no hesitation on my part.
— Alli Webb
Mompreneur on Fire - Alli Webb

Links:

More From Alli

  • What did Alli want to be when she grew up?
    • I wanted to be a professional tennis player! 
  • What was her first job?
    • Working at my parents clothing store, Flips in South Florida.
  • What are her go-to books and apps?
    • I love workout & shopping apps! (Tracy Anderson, Soul Cycle, ShopBop, Zara, Net-A-Porter)
  • What are her favorite gifts to give??
    • That’s easy, the gift of great hair! All my girlfriends love getting free blowouts :)

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5 Places to Live Actively + 5 Places to Live Passively in the New Year

You can focus on creating multiple streams of income or waking up early to finish the laundry. While both need to happen at some point, they are not both a priority. Your to-do list is long, and time is limited. Make the most out of each day by knowing where to spend the energy and when to let things slide. 

ONLINE BUSINESS MANAGER

You can’t force motivation. It’s just not realistic to expect yourself to wake up each day with a laser focus on being productive, and the energy to follow through. But your heart is in this, and you can retrain your brain little by little until being your best self is only a matter of “I woke up like this.” 

When?

Even if you’ve struggled to stick to New Year’s resolutions in the past, the fact remains that this is an incredibly opportune time to make a change. We’ve been told over and over that this is a chance for starting over and bettering ourselves, so the perception is already ingrained in our psyches. It’s not a date you can push back and put off, and the aura of change will be all around you. Plan to start making little changes on January 1.

I changed my life January 1, 2016 and you can plan to do the same in 2017.

How?

You know how they say it only takes 21 days of doing something until it becomes a habit? It’s like that. You make the change. You fight for it. Every living day. And to start you can majorly change your life by making minor adjustments in how you approach the different parts of your day to day.

It’s all about active vs. passive.

These are terms you’ve heard a million times before, but did you ever consider redefining your life with them? You can’t resolve to be on your game, 100%, every day, but you can change how you approach your day to start getting the most out of it. As a working mom, you can do this by organizing the parts of your life into active or passive categories. What deserves your full attention and engagement, and what is better being overlooked?

You want to live actively in the parts of your life that call for it most-- the activities that benefit your mental health, wellbeing, and financial success. Dedicate your time and attention to the things that have the greatest positive results. Anything that doesn’t move you forward or positively affect your life should be regarded passively, with little acknowledgment and even less emotional significance.

Here’s where to start:

5 PLACES TO LIVE ACTIVELY:

1. Getting Out of Your Routine

There’s much to be discovered when you deviate from the beaten path, especially when the beaten path is the one you travel day after day, without much enthusiasm. Boredom and apathy come when you know exactly what to expect, so even if your daily routine isn’t horrible and painful, you’re still doing yourself a disservice by repeating it for too long. Stimulate your creativity and curiosity and make a change. I did things that freaked me out. Scared me to tears - before and after the activity. I fell and was foolish. I was embarrassed and I was terrible. But then guess what happened - I created some successes too. How did you start a podcast? How did you get so many listeners? How did you put yourself out there? How do you earn money from it? Do something that freaks you out. The mere fact that you will survive it - is eye-opening and can be life-changing too!

Even if it’s just trying a new restaurant for lunch, or going to the grocery store on a different day of the week. You never know who you’ll meet or what you’ll see, and that’s exciting all on its own. If you could choose, wouldn’t you want your life to be more Alice in Wonderland than Groundhog Day? Good thing you can choose.

2. Driving Sales

Boosting sales is a cause and effect type deal. Do what you haven't done before. Hello! Put yourself out there in a new way. Every business owner has to play an active role in accomplishing this, or sit around and hope a celebrity gets photographed with your product in US Weekly. Devote more time to researching marketing trends and implementing launch strategies. Start implementing ideas for multiple streams of income. Set up social media accounts for your business and go after meaningful business connections Reaching out to customers and influencers online is one of the easiest, cheapest methods of becoming active in this category.

3. Reducing Wasteful Spending

Ignoring the pile of receipts won’t make them go away, but actively addressing your spending habits will. Take a look at your spending history and see how many of your purchases were for essentials, and how many were a matter of impulse. What items could’ve been avoided if you had planned ahead? Even downloading a spending analyzer app is an active step toward cutting back on wasteful spending.

4. Being With Your Family & Friends

This is dual-sided, because it takes a deliberate effort sometimes to not only set aside time with your loved ones, but to be actively engaged when you do. If your life is so regimented and busy that it means scheduling family time in your planner, then so be it. Just make sure you can commit to a few hours of being there mentally in addition to physically, aka setting aside your phone. Family time is an important investment that can be overlooked without a little effort.

5. Living a Powerful Life Everyday

Fake it ‘til you make it, believe it until you achieve it. You can be wealthy without trying, but you can’t live a powerful, impactful life without actively pursuing one. Wake up everyday and tell yourself that you are powerful!

Then reinforce that mantra by living actively where it matters. Make choices that you can feel good about, and always look to move forward.

5 PLACES TO LIVE PASSIVELY:

1. Technology

For all of its benefits, there are just as many downsides to technology. It’s necessary for running a business in the 21st century, but that doesn’t mean you need to invest your personal life in all of the online happenings. Adopt a passive, almost uninterested approach to the internet and all of its trappings (see: the phone glued to your hands at all times). You don’t need to get involved in the comment war on Facebook or check Instagram/Twitter/Snapchat every hour on the hour. Contrary to popular belief, you can go to sleep without scanning social media for everything that happened online that day- and will probably sleep better because of it. You don’t have to cut yourself off from the outside world, just make sure it’s not on your priorities list.

2. Laundry

Disclaimer: please do not give up on your hygiene. But is forcing yourself to wake up early on Sunday to fold socks going to better your life? Let chores like laundry fade into the background instead of taking center stage. It will get done, just not before the things that help you reach your goals. You’re much more than a housewife, so think beyond that. You have much greater priorities. Besides, if you have school-age children or adult family members, the role doesn’t even have to belong to you at all.

3. Grocery Store

If you go to the grocery store because it’s Sunday, and not because you actually need anything, then you’re not living passively in this area. I know that most people make trips to the supermarket based on a schedule, but think of how much time that wastes! Grocery shopping doesn’t have to be a weekly outing that must be done above all else. Let it become a part of your life that you treat passively, meaning it gets attention only when warranted… such as when K-Cups go on sale.

4. Returning Every Email

I know how powerful the Pavlovian response to that little red notification box can be on your mail app. Maybe if it was a different color, we wouldn’t all be so anxious about opening and responding to emails as quickly as possible- I’ll write a letter to Apple. But in the meantime, decide to live passively in this situation. Having email capabilities on your phone is supposed to be a convenience, not an obligation. A powerful life is not one bogged down by tedious email responses. Your time is important, and you only need to give your time to the important emails.

5. Watching Every Show

It’s nice to be up on the latest pop culture trivia, but it’s better to feel accomplished in something with real value. Passivity here means watching TV when you have time and want to decompress, instead of blocking out your entire weekend to binge Orange is the New Black. There are too many streaming services and recording options to justify putting off something important in order to catch an episode. Besides, we all know it’s never going to be just one episode- not with THAT cliffhanger! Make a list of the shows that have piqued your interest, and catch up on them on your sick day, long weekends, or flight (Netflix now lets you stream offline!)

These past few weeks we have talked about doing work that is important to you, finding out what is important, how to make such decisions and why you need to. Today is just the beginning for creating space and making room in your life for achieving these things that you are deciding to work on. There IS room in your life for all these things - you just have to decide what you want and actively go for it.


5 Mistakes You are Making as a Creative Entrepreneur

When you're a creative entrepreneur sometimes you forget that you should be using your creativity to generate multiple streams of income!

Multiple Streams of Income

Let’s call a spade a spade. It what it is. Being a creative entrepreneur isn’t easy.

So please oh please don't make it harder on yourself!

It’s easy to fall in love with, and easy to work hard at because your passion is there and the fulfillment is just so rewarding. But it’s not cut and dry. There is no set trajectory or linear path of steps to follow – and that can be frightening. Being classified as “creative” means your business is inherently unique. I’d rather be unique when going into a business venture because it could mean striking gold where no one else has even thought of looking, but the flip side of that is never really having a handbook to fall back on when you hit a fork in the road.

But here’s how I can help you– all of you going after creative, non-traditional dreams– in very specific terms. Let me tell you what not to do. Take a minute to go through a few of the common mistakes I have seen creative entrepreneurs make over the years. If any of these already sound like you, it’s not too late! If you’re just starting out, here’s what to look out for:

1. You’re not treating yourself like a multi-faceted business

If you secretly worry that your business idea will only ever end up as a failed hobby, that insecurity will hold you back. What else holds you back is not thinking big enough. Not recognizing how much people need and want from you. You are in demand, right? You are loved and beloved. The possibilities are infinite. So why are you still producing 1-2 products a year?

It's time to fully commit.

You have the ability to do that comes from seeing yourself as a full-fledged professional entrepreneur… and not just a woman who’s cruising along. Dive in again!

You are running a business that may become the next Apple or Snuggie or Martha Stewart. You’re not selling lemonade in your driveway for $1 a cup. Consider that when you divide up the time in your day. You have to treat yourself like an established business with many moving parts that all need attention. This is important, because achieving success is important to you. There’s no need to feel guilty about devoting time to getting your company up and running, or running smoothly. You’re not being selfish; you’re being an entrepreneur.

I repeat. You're not being selfish; you're being an entrepreneur.

2. You don’t see yourself as the expert you are

You wouldn’t start a company that you have no interest in or knowledge of. This is your thing. Your interest has led you to spend a lot of time exploring the subject because

A. You love your product/field and personally enjoy using it/immersing yourself in it

Or

B. You had a personal problem that you’re trying to solve for yourself and others with your business idea

You are the expert, and people want to hear more from you!

They want to learn from your experiences, hear the story behind your business, and find out all about the product or service you offer. People love a good origin story, especially if you’ve come up with something truly out of the ordinary. They’ll want to know, “How did you think of that?” and you, as the captain of the whole operation, will instantly have a rapt audience. No one knows the company as well as you, which makes you the ultimate expert. Know that, and step confidently into the role.

3. You have the wrong attitude about self-promotion

Everyone around you is a potential customer, and every interaction can be a marketing opportunity. It doesn’t make you the pompous, self-centered woman that everyone else starts to avoid at parties and in the grocery store. It makes you a smart businesswoman who knows what she’s doing.

You have to be your own publicist– even if you can afford to hire a PR firm and especially if you can’t. Your genuine passion and depth of knowledge will always translate more powerfully than someone who reads off a script. You’re a marketing asset, so never be shy about what you do. You need to get your name and your company’s name out there.

To start, you want all of your established contacts to know what you’re up to: that you’ve started a business and what it does. That means updating your social media to include news clips, behind-the-scenes type videos, and a permanent link to your website– and updating often. Every post will not reach every follower, so you’re not bombarding people like you might think. People are focused on their own lives, so you have to fight a little bit to grab the spotlight for a few seconds.

But don’t stop there. Reach out to form new relationships, in real life and online. Social media grants you FREE access to millions of people, and you can take advantage even while waiting on line for a coffee. Not everyone will rush to buy your product right away, but you will be the person they think of when they are in the market later on.

4. You’re not using the data that you have right in front of you

Part of treating yourself like a multi-faceted business is investing time and money into data-tracking efforts. OR simply listening to what the others keep telling you! You need a book! You need to be on stage! Sure you may not know how to enter those fields just yet but come on! You have a wealth of people around you would love to help you out!

And if you don't know, girl, there are 1001 ways to see what "your people" are missing from you! For example maybe you’re getting a lot of likes, but how many people are actually persuaded to click on your website? What do they do once they’re on your page, and how long until they lose interest and leave? You don’t want to blindly spend money on promoted tweets or sidebar ads– you want hard numbers that indicate which type of paid advertising is being clicked on the most and focus there.

Data is the most reliable advice you’ll come across. It is proof of what has worked for other similar businesses, and pinpoints consumer needs and trends in every demographic. Stop guessing and wasting time. You know your field, industry and your company. If not - then really - take 30 minutes and start digging! The most successful and most profitable companies got that way from utilizing data.

5. You’re trying to be a one man show

Entrepreneurs make it because they have the skills and personality for business without needing to rely on a corporation, but no one makes it big completely on their own. You need someone who can help you grow your business and support you in the process. You’re an expert, but an expert in your field. You have enough on your plate without trying to take care of all aspects of your company on your own.

I know that you don’t want to pay for full time staff salaries, so hire only the most essential positions that your business requires daily to stay afloat. Leave other positions on an as-needed basis. For example, you probably don’t need a full-time IT team, even if your business is entirely online. Pay for the help you need, and don’t be afraid to acknowledge that yes, you do need it. Of the Essentials to hire are: advisors and managers to help with strategy and planning, assistants to do the time busting work, and of course the technical experts.

It is beyond fun to work with creatives who are masters of their craft. It is beyond fun for everyone involved to expand horizons, expand brand and yes, revenue streams too!

"There was so much work that needed to be done it was overwhelming. We had a hard time getting things done.  Now, we have 2 courses that are selling, signed partnership agreements, will be doing a speaking tour and have a book coming out next year.  It's unbelievably exciting!" - Beloved Reality Star

"We wanted to tap in to a new market and needed to know how the others were so successful.  I don't understand how Ashleigh knows so much.  Now we have hired designers and manufacturers, have 2 stores opening and have our website up and running. I carry Ashleigh's recommendations with me everyday." -International London-based Guru

Click here to sign up for my Make Room for Revenue 8 Step Checklist.  You don't have to be 1 thing.  Not at this stage.  Not anymore.


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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?  

NO!

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.  

1.     RESPECT YOUR PRIORITIES

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. 

2.     MAKE EASIER MORNINGS

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.  

3.     SEEK HELP WHERE NECESSARY  

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!

4.  CELEBRATE LITTLE SUCCESSES

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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From Hustle to Hindsight: Power Plays & Wisdom from Gina Horkey
Mompreneur on Fire - Horkey Handbook

Do you love listening to Podcasts?  Or do you not really know what one is quite yet?? Let me make it easy for you.  It’s perfect for you -- the super-busy-always-running-around woman that you are.  Pull up the podcast on your phone, plug-in your headphones, and listen as you work out, do your errands, or even the dishes late night!  

CLICK on the LINK Below & Go!

OR another easy way you can pull up the Mompreneur on Fire podcast is via the Podcast App that is already. on. your. iPhone.

This post may contain affiliate links.

I had the most amazing conversation with Gina Horkey from  Horkey Handbook.  You see, I seek out people with wisdom as I usually need a good grounding and within a few moments of talking with Gina, I knew she was my go-to gal!  Gina, an online business owner and a mom of 2 little ones, knew she wanted to make a shift from her Finance job. She liked the idea of writing, the idea of a flexible schedule and the opportunities in online business.  Gina set a goal, one goal and worked to prove her concept.  Within a matter of months, Gina trained her replacement at her J.O.B. and high-tailed it to freelance work full-time.  The evolution and growth was so interesting to hear including her great nuggets of wisdom was refreshing!   

Failure isn’t necessarily the end of something rather it’s the evolution of something better.
— Gina Horkey
Mompreneur on Fire - Gina Horkey

She is a married, millennial mama to two precocious toddlers from Minnesota. Additionally, she’s a professional writer and online business marketing consultant with a decade of experience in the financial services industry. Gina enjoys helping other freelancers gear up to quit their day jobs and take their side hustles full-time via her website, Horkey HandBook.

Notable Quotes from Gina:

"It started with one goal and then building off that momentum."
"Networking should be about building relationships and not getting your next client. Clients usually do come from that stuff but it's should be focused on meeting some really cool people that you have stuff in common with."
"You have to have a strong why to have initial motivation and then (use it for) long-term motivation."
"And I don't always know what I'm doing. I think people think either super smart or have my stuff together. When the reality is a lot of the time I am just trying things and putting myself out there and setting myself up to fail.  Because failure isn't necessarily the end of something rather it's the evolution of something better."
"Shut off the firehose when it comes to consuming content and start doing things and trying things and you can see what works." 
Mompreneur on Fire - Gina Horkey 2

The Interview:

We talked about so many different things:  

  • From Finance to Freelance Writer to Online Business
  • Transitioning into freelance work
  • Getting Up First thing
  • Proof in the pudding, income goals then doubled
  • Doubling down
  • Her process of trying new things
  • Learning on a surface level vs a deeper level
  • Batching conversations
  • Knowing how to be flexible
  • Mentors
  • What's she's interested in learning now
  • Her fun new timer!  Think Pavlov
  • Her Masterminds
  • Keys Conferences 
  • Building a community
  • Work - Life Balance - It's All Life

Links

More From Gina

  • What did you want to be when you grew up?
    • A doctor. ;-) 
  • What was your first job?
    • Babysitter, but then my first W2 job was as a dishwasher in a cafe - great for learning work ethic! (But I always smelled like french fries.)  
  • What are your go-to books and apps?
    • I really digged Derek Sivers, Anything You Want, I read a lot by Bill Hybels and I have a ton of books sitting and waiting to be read (just need more time!). Apps - Podcast Addict, iHeartRadio, anything Google... I'm not a big app girl. 
  • What are your favorite gifts to give?
    • Thoughtful ones - I try to keep mental notes and then use them when searching for just the right thing.

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The $100,000 Side Hustle: Interview with Cindy Collins
Mompreneur on Fire - Cindy Collins

Do you love listening to Podcasts?  Or do you not really know what one is quite yet?? Let me make it easy for you.  It’s perfect for you -- the super-busy-always-running-around woman that you are.  Pull up the podcast on your phone, plug-in your headphones, and listen as you work out, do your errands, or even the dishes late night!  

CLICK on the LINK Below & Go!

OR another easy way you can pull up the Mompreneur on Fire podcast is via the Podcast App that is already. on. your. iPhone.

This post may contain affiliate links.

So many of us are the "Jack of All Trades, Master to None."  It's hard not to be that in today's instant information, instant access age.  There are so many things we can learn, so many things we can do and give ourselves to.  You're a doula, a photographer, a mom - oh my!  That's precisely the story of Cindy Collins from Euphoric Herbals.  Well, part of it anyway. Realizing she couldn't be on call as a doula gig with 3 little ones running around and also realizing she was over editing all those photos, Cindy made a conscious choice to focus one business.  With no time at all, Cindy outgrew Etsy again and again and again.  Now her initial hobby has grown to over $100,000 business with over 10,000 orders in all 50 states and 44 countries.  She's moved from home office to warehouse and produces 600+ orders a month.  She's doing great work and just last month put all 3 kids on the bus!  She's committed to growing and also having time for herself. 

Seriously you will want to listen to this power chic, Cindy Collins!

A few great takeaways:

  • Motto - Service before Sales
  • Her "Hustle" comes from wanting to create change and make a difference.
  • Just start - you can always improve.

More Notable Quotes

Mompreneur on Fire - Cindy Collins

The Interview:

We talked about so many different things:  

  • Her hobby and side hustle start
  • Running 3 businesses with 3 children
  • Outgrewing Etsy
  • Determining "my 1 thing"
  • Doubling Orders in 2 Months
  • What she did after Momentum 
  • First thing she did when all 3 were on the bus and went to school
  • Looking forward to having a nap
  • How she got started
  • Giving away scholarships
  • How her upbringing prepared her for today's work
  • Hustle comes from wanting to create change and make a difference
  • Her goals
  • Mentors and mentoring
  • What does her day looks like
  • Her thoughts to women pondering...

Links

More from Cindy

  • What did you want to be when you grew up?
    • My earliest memory of thinking about what I wanted to be when I grew up was a mermaid, and then I remember I wanted to be a writer. 
  • What was your first job?
    • My first "real" job was a kindergarten classroom aide.
  • What are your go-to books and apps?
  • What are your favorite gifts to give??

 


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10 REAL-LIFE WAYS FOR THE WORKING MOM TO LIVE A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE

Balancing work and family is no easy task. As women, we are expected to give 100% to everything and everyone, all the time. If you're not taking care of yourself, you're going to burn out pretty quickly.

Mompreneur on Fire - 10 Real Life Ways Working MOm

“The struggle between work and family is not new. It is one of the most common causes of stress in working adults. More often than not, they are unable to find the golden balance between both. Given different circumstances, there is always a time when either family or work takes priority.”

These are the words of Rosette Obedoza, a blogger, entrepreneur, mother, and the loving wife of a military man. When asked about how difficult balancing work and family can be, she says     “…really stress is an understatement when women are the subjects, or much better let’s just say victims. The tussle is often associated with dysfunctional outcomes including poor physical and mental health, ineptitude at work, and strained family relationships among many other upshots.”

Laura Probert of Huffington Post says "If your expectation is that you must work harder and do more to get what you want, you will have to work harder and do more, which will lead to burn out."  And she's absolutely right!

Now Rosette and Laura are women we can both give the tag “badass mompreneurs”, of course in their own different and little ways. And here’s a list of the things that help define their success stories.

1.     Talk With Your Family

The first thing Rosette speaks of is open communication between yourself, boss at the office and of course the people you love back at home, your family. Listen: “Often I thought I did not need my husband and child to solve my work versus family concerns but I was wrong. So I decided to try and the more I did, the more I realized there is no way to get things done right if you only rely on what you know. For me, this is magical. I think that if you can make your entire family know about your obligations both at home and at work then they can be more understanding. The other bit is your boss. If s/he can understand a little more about you, certainly you hit the first step to a healthy lifestyle.

2.     Respect Your Priorities

If possible, get very clear as to how much time you need off and the impact it bears on your fee. Priority is the other thing. And it is 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 mompreneurs!

Sarah Krieger, a mother of three and dietitian in St. Petersburg, Florida says her 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         

3.     Create Time For Sleep

According to a recent post by Daily Mail, lack of sleep is damaging mothers’ lives. It affects the productivity of close to 82 percent of working moms, makes some 55 percent of them vexed with their babies, and about 70 percent off sex. Perhaps you’re part of the statistics but you want out. It’s simple, create time for yourself either during the day or at night and get a nap. It’s important.

The fact of the matter is that in the short term, good sleep will help improve your ability to learn and retain information, your mood during the day, and your judgment both at home and at work while also helping you avoid little misfortunes, could be errors in the office or knife cut at home.  

This in essence will not only make you more efficient but also more productive, not to forget that in the long term a good 6-8 hour sleep guarantees a healthy lifestyle.

4.     Set and maintain time for Routine Exercise

There’s a physical, mental, spiritual and energetic toll taken from you whenever you work, birth, work and raise children. The toll is huge for any one of these things. Combine them and you’ve got a sure-fire recipe for burn out. The only way other than sleep to recharge your batteries is to formulate a simple exercise routine you can maintain. For more fun, get your partner to try it too.       

5.     Make Easier Mornings

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.  

Mompreneur on Fire - Working Mom

6.     Seek Help Where Necessary  

Now if you are working 60 or more hours a week, there’s the alert. Even though you still manage to keep together a family despite all the work, you need help. And this again is what Laura speaks of, the expectations we have as women. The society expects us to be 100 percent mothers, wives, and still get a similar score at work.  Yet, how are we supposed to do that?! According to Rosette, one day you’ll be 100 percent mother less other expectations while other days you’ll be 100 percent other responsibilities less a mother. In the end, for a healthy lifestyle, it is only mature to admit there are times you need to be assisted. It's all about balancing work and family. So don’t waste a lot time listening to those saying you are lazy.  Some of my favorite resources are Amazon's Prime and Prime Now.  And of course I love Freelancer.com to help out with all sorts of odds and ends!

7.     Let Go of Negative Energy

It’s hard to please everyone, in fact, it’s impossible. Sometimes you’ll hear things; good and bad, if not how you’re not doing this right then it’s how you’re doing that wrong, sometimes from the extended family, sometimes from colleagues at work. This is part of life. Quite a normal thing in the life of both gender, but more especially for working moms so expect it and don’t allow it in.

According to Chris Talambas of Lifehack.com, negativity affects ourselves and everyone around us. It limits our potential to become great and to live a fulfilling life. Also it has a tangible effect on our health. Now, when we let it go, positivity comes in and then we begin to encounter other situations and people with more similar attitude and thus we begin to live happy and healthy lifestyles.

I am not shy about telling you how much I love this guided meditation.   It focuses my thoughts and efforts and shows me how to forgive myself for my failings (and there can be many!

8.     Listen to Your Body

Unfortunately what needs to be done can be so overbearing that we lose ourselves in it and fail to listen to our bodies. Laura tried to do it all and when she pushed herself harder, the body jammed then she realized you don’t have to sacrifice yourself in the process, you can do it all yes but save yourself; tomorrow needs you. She says, If you feel that you are really tired, run down or a little achy and that you need a vacation — take it because this isn’t a should, it’s a must for self

9.     Let Loose At Times

In Texas, a group of working women (bankers, nurses, and doctors) often let loose by organizing a roller derby. This is a game in which the members of Texas Derby Divas often laced in skates’ takes down local opponents of similarly organized groups and that’s it for them. Kerri Gathright, a member of the divas team says skating is her outlet, that if she’s often in a bad mood whenever she doesn’t go out. Like her Carrie Dopoma, who’s a flower mound mother of two often goes out and for her it’s another role with an added tag, ‘Baroness Von Booty’. She says, “I’m one person at home and a different one on the track. Well, like these diva moms, at times you can go out and let go. Like sleep, letting loose will help you become more productive by improving your mood thus keeping you on the pathway to a healthy lifestyle.       

10.  Celebrate Little Successes

Finally, there are so many ways celebrating little successes in our lives matter. Whether this is 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, however little. See, the whole point of putting in all that effort - working longer hours than normal and really stretching yourself to getting both done right is so you can enjoy the satisfaction of attainment. Otherwise, you’ll be robbing yourself the feeling and sending the message that really your efforts don’t need to be recognized. When we celebrate, we get ourselves ready for the next big job, project or goal.

Briefly, other ways to work and live a healthy lifestyle includes finding quality childcare,  having some “you-time”, staying connected with your partner and other family members during the day, creating special family bonding sessions whenever time allows and finding the balance as well as setting boundaries between work and family, not to leave out creating more time for your partner.

Which of these working mom tips are you committed to implementing? Let me know in the comments below!


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The Evolution of Your Business: Interview with Malea Anderson
Mompreneur on Fire - Malea Anderson

Do you love listening to Podcasts?  Or do you not really know what one is quite yet?? Let me make it easy for you.  It’s perfect for you - the super-busy-always-running-around woman that you are.  Pull up the podcast on your phone, plug-in your headphones and listen as you workout, do your errands or even the dishes late night!  

CLICK on the LINK Below & Go!

OR another easy way you can pull up the Mompreneur on Fire podcast via the Podcast App that is already. on. your. iPhone.

This post contains affiliate links.

Having other women entrepreneurs you can connect with is quite powerful.
— Malea Anderson

I am always curious how people get into their businesses.  How do they start? How does one decide they are going to create a fitness apparel company?? To me, that would never ever cross my mind.  But when you talk with Malea Anderson from Moxie Fitness Apparel, you see how it fits, how it makes sense, how she created a business and sales off of the things and needs happening in front of her.  In our conversation, she talks about each year, every step, and how she and her business have evolved.  Have you not yet taken "the leap" and want to know how another woman (and mom!) did so?  Have you taken the leap and are still thinking about your own evolution and growth?  Malea talks with me about all these steps, her 3 steps forward, 2 steps back.  Quite frankly, it's inspirational to hear what and where she's going. 

We talked about many things including: 

  • Taking what's natural to you and turning it into a business
  • Creating additional revenue streams
  • Creating relationships with people in the industry
  • Evolution of her businesses and sharing her passion
  • Primary driver of sales
  • Importance of defining your customer and how (in nitty gritty details)
  • Process of educating herself during business growth
  • How her business has evolved over the years
  • Developing relationships with influencers
  • Evolving her business whole fit lifestyle
  • HOW to live the whole fit life
  • Adding more resources
  • Mentors
  • Loneliness in being a entrepreneur
  • Benefits of a mastermind
  • How she guards her time
  • How she wasn't an entrepreneur herself and became one
Mompreneur on Fire - Malea Anderson 2
All the awesome education is out there. It’s so neat that we have so many ways to learn right at our fingertips but it can be a little bit overwhelming. You can overload on all of these cool ideas and then run out of time to implement them.... I ahve been on a self-imposed hiatus. No more courses until I implement more.
— Malea Anderson

Links

More from Malea

What did you want to be when you grew up??

  • When I was a kid I wanted to be a teacher, a doctor or a veternarian.

What was your first job?

  • Ocean lifeguard.

What are your go-to books and apps?

  • I love personal development books.  My all time favorite is You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero. I am also LOVING Gabby Bernstein's new book The Universe Has Your Back. As for apps, I am usually listening to podcasts or Audible, and I've recently gotten more organized using Evernote.

  • I love personal development books.  My all time favorite is "You Are a Badass" by Jen Sincero.  I am also LOVING Gabby Bernstein's new book "The Universe Has Your Back." As for apps, I am usually listening to podcasts or Audible, and I've recently gotten more organized using Evernote. 

What are your favorite gifts to give?

  • I love to give cute, girly gifts like fun jewelry, a cute trucker hat, or a fun water bottle.  Something personalized or motivational is always fun to give too! 


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Run Your Business On Your Timeline: Interview with Rachel Reeves
Mompreneur on Fire - Rachel Reeves

Do you love listening to Podcasts?  Or do you not really know what one is quite yet?? Let me make it easy for you.  It’s perfect for you - the super-busy-always-running-around woman that you are.  Pull up the podcast on your phone, plug-in your headphones and listen as you workout, do your errands or even the dishes late night!  

CLICK on the LINK Below & Go!

OR another easy way you can pull up the Mompreneur on Fire podcast via the Podcast App that is already. on. your. iPhone.

 Processed with VSCOcam with m3 preset Processed with VSCOcam with m3 preset

This post contains affiliate links.

I think you sometimes hit your stride a little bit quicker if you jump in and start.
— Rachel Reeves

Rachel Reeve's is a mom of several, a homeschooler and a business owner.  She's a badass chick with contentment seeping out of her and the conversation was unreal.  Her businesses, Declaration Learning and Attic 17, both celebrate history and are as unique and inviting as she is.  

I do have this entrepreneur inside me that wants to “push push you can make this bigger, you can grow this, you can reach more people” I also have to be realistic because if I try to do that in my season of life right now I will only be disappointed and it won’t get the results I really want which is to love what I am doing and enjoy it at every step... I am still really satisfied and am doing what I can and am enjoying the process.
— Rachel Reeves

We talked about many things including: 

  • Taking what's natural to you and turn it into a business
  • Expanding on your loves
  • Turning a stale subject and making it  come alive
  • Just jump in an do it
  • Businesses she's given up 
  • Priority and her time
  • Keeping expectations clear
  • Her specific time management 
  • How she skips past the learning curve
  • Her thoughts on Perfectionism
  • Her mentors
  • Where her caution lay with online business
There is a time for everything but I can’t do everything all at one time.
— Rachel Reeves
Mompreneur on Fire - Rachel Reeve Family
No is just as good of an answer as Yes.
— Rachel Reeves

Where You Can Find Rachel

More from Rachel

What did you want to be when you grew up??

  • I had always wanted to be a Broadcast Journalist.  I even began taking courses during my first year of college.  Who knows... maybe I'll still be on CNN one day.

What was your first job?

  • My first official job was working at a candy counter in a mercantile.

What are your go-to books and apps?

  • "My Utmost for His Highest" by Oswald Chambers is a daily devotional that never, ever gets old.  My favorite work of fiction is "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" by Betty Smith and my favorite history book is "The Reagan Diaries" by President Ronald Reagan.  My favorite app would have Five Star because my husband and I love to eat out and you can earn points by eating at your favorite local joints!

What are your favorite gifts to give?

  • I love to give candles to everyone because they are one of my favorite things.  I also enjoy finding the perfect book and almost always give a vintage photography instead of a greeting card.


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A Meal Plan That Won't Break The Bank: Interview with Samantha Rodgers

Do you love listening to Podcasts?  Or do you not really know what one is quite yet?? Let me make it easy for you.  It’s perfect for you -- the super-busy-always-running-around woman that you are.  Pull up the podcast on your phone, plug-in your headphones, and listen as you work out, do your errands, or even the dishes late night!  

CLICK on the LINK Below & Go!

OR another easy way you can pull up the Mompreneur on Fire podcast is via the Podcast App that is already. on. your. iPhone.

Good food should not (just) be for the wealthy.
— Samantha Rodgers
Mompreneur on Fire - Samantha Rodgers

Imagine knowing what you and your family are going to have for dinner tonight.  

You are going to know tonight and tomorrow night and the next night too. 

Imagine knowing that when dinner time comes by all you have to do is open the fridge and prep the meal for about 20 minutes.  

20 minutes until dinner is done!  What?

Sure there are expensive delivery plans that can take care of your meals but, again, they are really expensive.  These meal plans add up!  And I still have to go to the grocery store!  

I loved talking with Mompreneur Sam Rodgers about her new business Eating Clean Cooking Dirty.  Not only is the subscription meal planning a helpful idea to us busy moms, I love how she offers a personal touch with group coaching.  You can connect with her, including text with her if you have questions or need to substitute out some foods!

I love it!  And I loved talking with her about her business.  There are several points that stand out for me from our conversation but mostly I think I loved how she created the business and why which is not quite what you think!  And how she wished she would have started sooner!

Mompreneur on Fire Listeners & Readers get a 30-Day Free Trial!

For someone who doesn’t want to think about the food part of their life, I can help them.
Mompreneur on Fire - Samantha Rodgers
I wish I had started sooner.
— Samantha Rodgers

The Interview:

We talked about so many different things:  

  • Monthly subscription - meal planning
  • 30 Day program - group coaching
  • Transitioning a natural habit to a business
  • good food should not be for the wealthy
  • Her big moments in the business
  • How her subscription & group coaching business model works
  • Where can she connects with people
  • How she makes her business work when she's horrible with social media, 
  • Managing her schedule in building a business
  • Finding time on her own
  • Her favorite series to settle her time
  • How her upbringing helped her in today's business

Links

More from Sam

What did you want to be when you grew up??

  • I wanted to be a fashion designer.  Coco Chanel was my inspiration.  I did go to design school in London right after high school, but decided to switch to a business degree with emphasis in entrepreneurship after a year.  I realized that my true goal was to be an entrepreneur.

What was your first job?

  • My first job was in a pet store cleaning up after the animals.  I was 15.

What are your go-to books and apps?

What are your favorite gifts to give?

  • I love to give the gift of food.


PS: You May Also Enjoy These...

Turn Your Hobby Into A Business: Interview with Kate Casey
Mompreneur on Fire - Kate Casey 2

Do you love listening to Podcasts? Or do you not really know what one is quite yet?? Let me make it easy for you. It’s perfect for you -- the super-busy-always-running-around woman that you are.  Pull up the podcast on your phone, plug-in your headphones, and listen as you work out, do your errands, or even the dishes late at night!  

CLICK on the LINK Below & Go!

OR another easy way you can pull up the Mompreneur on Fire podcast is via the Podcast App that is already. on. your. iPhone.

I think sometimes women hit a wall. You have to say to yourself, ‘Do I completely switch directions or do I give this up?’
— Kate Casey

Kate Casey hit the nail on the head when she said she was a disruptor. She’s a disruptor for women who are under tremendous pressure and need an escape. Those women like me. I relate to that and I go to her for those reasons. 

I have been a fan and follower of Kate Casey from Love & Knuckles for years now. We have mutual friends and I’ve seen her around in town, but I have always felt too shy to talk with her too much. It even took a while for me to invite her on the show, to be honest. But I bit the bullet, and like she says about other things, I wish I hadn’t wasted that time.  

Kate, with four kids, did full-time work in PR and had her comedy hobby blog. This year, she gave up the full-time gig to really make “a go” at her hobby! She seems to be very conscious, intentional, and doing quite well at her new full-time gig!

Today, Kate is doing stand-up comedy, she’s writing all over the place, including doing reality show recaps on her site, writing for the Fashion Police in US Weekly, writing for several other publications, and doing seriously funny parodies on Instagram. (Some of my favorites are below.)

Unless you take the leap, you can’t give yourself that challenge. You may say to yourself, ‘Why did I waste so much time?’
— Kate Casey
Mompreneur on Fire - Kate Casey
It’s a hustle. I’m a one man band.
— Kate Casey

There were so many good nuggets of information and moments of inspiration from this interview - a few of my favorites are below:

On Building a Business

  • She’s a hustler. Never took a maternity leave and never told anyone she was pregnant. That’s the problem with consulting. If you are not available, they will find someone else.
  • No matter what you are doing, you have to look at the business side of things. Nicholas Sparks determines what he writes next by what’s missing in the market. 
  • The business you need to start is the disruptor. Are you disrupting the system?
  • Be more than one thing.
  • If you paint yourself in a corner, you're going to come up short.
I am writing. I take my computer everywhere I go. If I am waiting in the carpool lane, I have my computer with me.
— Kate Casey

On Life

  • Unless you take the leap, you can't give yourself that challenge. You may say to yourself, why did I waste so much time?
  • People need to be more mindful of how easy it is to help someone. It's so easy to help someone. Your little introduction could be huge for them.
  • We are all too hard on ourselves.
  • If you love something, you can make time for it.  

The Interview

  • Problems with consulting
  • Transitioning her hobby into a full-time job
  • Internal struggles of taking the leap
  • Business side of comedy
  • Her career advice from Travis Kalanick - Founder of Uber
  • The real side of blogging and what people don’t understand
  • Hustling
  • People need to be more mindful of how easy it is to help someone
  • Her hardest client
  • 2 mentors - I am so grateful. I've got to pass that on.  
  • Her Sh*t or Get off the Pot moment
  • Logistics of having 4 kids and hustling
  • Some frustrations
  • Time Management
  • Helping people - again

Kate does a parody on of Celebrity Moms often with the title "Same Thing, Right?" (Below are a few of my favorites from her Instagram account.)

Links

More from Kate

What did you want to be when you grew up??

  • I always envisioned myself either being a cast member on Saturday Night Live or a politician. 

What was your first job?

  • My first job was filling folders at a small investment banking firm. 

What are your go-to books and apps?

What are your favorite gifts to give?

  • My favorite gifts to give are books, monogrammed lucite trays, and photos. 

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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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Move Better Throughout the Day: Interview with Erica Ziel
Mompreneur on Fire - Ways for the Busy Moms to Move Throughout Her Day

This post may contain affiliate links.

Do you love listening to Podcasts?  Or do you not really know what one is quite yet?? Let me make it easy for you.  It’s perfect for you - the super-busy-always-running-around woman that you are.  Pull up the podcast on your phone, plug-in your headphones and listen as you workout, do your errands or even the dishes late night!  

CLICK on the LINK Below & Go!

OR another easy way you can pull up the Mompreneur on Fire podcast via the Podcast App that is already. on. your. iPhone.

Today’s conversation on the podcast was with Erica Ziel from Knocked Up Fitness.  I always love to talk with health professionals, to hear their niche and where they think our focus should be.  THEN of course you know that I love to hear all things on how they build their business.  Erica specifically focuses on working with and helping the busy mom move better through the day!

Erica has written a book, produced video content in the form of dvds and digitally.  She consistently working to help the busy mom live a healthy lifestyle be it through easy recipes, exercise moves or ways to create balance in your life.  Having lived the country and beach life her perspective is unique too! 

Now she's focusing on CORE Rehab a program that will help us moms, postpartum strength our core and move better throughout the day!  I especially loved her tip where she references using the high ponytail to help strength up. 

ERICA'S TIP -Walk As though you have a high ponytail to Help You Move Through Your Day

Mompreneur on Fire - Erica Ziel
Figuring out what to say no to and priorities are a big part of figuring out balance.
— Erica Ziel

We talked about many things including: 

  • CORE Rehab Program
  • Every year for the last 5 years she's created a new product
  • How her upbringing prepared her for entrepreneurial life today
  • How she gets help
  • Her Mentors 
  • Her Training
  • How she manages between the kids and building her business
  • How she works at balance
  • Figuring out what to say No to and Priorities are a big part of figuring out balance
  • How she manages when there's always something to do
  • How with growth you have to change your mindset and how she does that
  • How they handle bumps in the road with raising the kids
  • Little Kids - Little Problems, Big Kids - Big Problems

Links

More From Erica

  • What did you want to be when you grew up?

At one time I wanted to be an architect, and go to the Art Institute of Chicago. Then near the end of high school health, fitness and nutrition became a big part of my life {in some aspects probably too much, but I’ve learned to balance over the years}, and started Iowa State University to double major in Dietetics and Kinesiology but came out with my Bachelors just in Kinesiology and have since added nutrition certs rather then going the RD route.

  • What was your first job?

Well I grew up on a farm so I guess you could say it was just working for my dad and maybe got paid a little here and there once I was older, but my first ‘real job’ was crop scouting - yes I used to be able to identify weeds easier then flowers ;-)

  • What are your go-to books and apps?

Anything about nutrition, health, fitness. The last book I read was “FASCIA” - yup, your heard me right. Apps, well I don’t really do fitness apps, so it’s more just social media...

  • What are your favorite gifts to give??

I love giving practical gifts, things that I know people will use. So if it’s for a pregnant mama I’ll give her a Moby baby wrap or Aden + Anais lotion, for others my favorite candle or chocolate/treat, things that will get used rather then just stuff that sits around. 

 

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30 Things To Say No To Without Feel Like A Jerk

Between servicing clients, attracting clients, taking care of the home, the kids, the laundry, the dishes, the dog, the homework on and on and on and on I go, OH MAN life is full.  It's not easy balancing work and family. If you're going to keep your sanity, something has to give.

Mompreneur on Fire - 30 Things You Can Say No To

Oh man - my life is full. 

Yeah, yeah I am grateful and blessed and sooo thankful for all of the things I have in my life but

OH MAN, my life is full.  

Between servicing my clients, attracting new clients, taking care of my home, my kids, the laundry, the dishes, the dog, the homework on and on and on and on I go, OH MAN my life is full. 

And I know I am not alone with this one.  

This past year I declared it as the "THIS IS MY YEAR" year and I'm not going to lie.  As good as it has been, it's been tough too. 

I have my eyeballs filled to brims with commitments.  

And then I just broke. 

I am not going to Costco every week. 

I am not going to the grocery store every day. 

I am not doing laundry all the time.  The girls have enough clothes that, yes, that can pile up and they can wear what they don't wear.  (SHOCKING, I know.)

There is no need for me run around and bust my butt for these silly things.  

I don't want to be in the grocery store every day.  

And when I started to say NO, guess what happened.  I didn't need to do these things that often anyway.  

Guess what.  We survived not going to Costco.  We have eaten pretty fine without me stopping in the Grocery store every day.  

We are just fine.  Actually, we are doing great.  

And then I was talking with others and they needed to say no too.  So I created a list.  You can print it.  You can print your favorites only.  You can take one or two a day.  

You can say NO without feeling like a jerk and get control back. 

You've got this.

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!

BONUS! 

Some of my personal favorite resources for staying productive!


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Be Busy & Mindful with This Overlooked Tool

As moms, we experience days when we're severely lacking in sleep, the house is a disaster, and some disgusting smell is lingering from the kitchen. It's especially difficult when you work from home and find that your office has fallen into a black hole. So how can you re-focus on what's important and maximize your time?

Mompreneur on Fire - Busy & Mindful

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By Ty Schmidt

It’s one thing for us to embrace the concept of cherishing the little things and living in the moment.

It’s something else entirely when you have one of those days. You know the ones – the days that are etched vividly on your memory despite you wishing with all your heart they weren’t.

Especially as moms there are the days when you haven’t slept (or showered) since sometime last week and you watch in horror as your house (which, for me, is also my workplace as a work-from-home-mom) just morphed into something that would evoke nightmares in the minds of nannies and maids everywhere.

The days when canned goods from the pantry are scattered in every room of the house, and when you smell like a mixture of sweat, some sort of baby food goop and a diaper you changed only a few minutes (or maybe it was an hour) prior.

The days when glass was just shattered all over the floor and the garbage was tipped on its side and you think your beloved dog just ate what was left of a chocolate chip granola bar (doesn’t chocolate kill dogs?).

Those are the moments when living in the moment seems about as plausible as finally figuring out how to convince Starbucks to deliver a skinny vanilla latte to your doorstep.

Meditation Means Focusing

There are those moments we could all afford to just pause. To take a breath. To live in the moment.  We need a moment to focus.

Meditation is a great tool to help you learn to embrace these moments and live a more balanced life. I know what you’re thinking? What working mom or mompreneur has time for this?  I know it sounds impossible and that you’re too busy and all that glass you need to pick up before the barefooted children cut up their feet is desperately calling your name.

Who has time to sit down and empty their mind?  But that's not what meditation means.  It is not emptying your mind, it's focusing your mind.

But experts say that is where meditation practices are at their strongest. That is when taking five to 20 minutes to try guided meditation can really make a difference for you, by helping you learn to gain control over those chaotic moments. By helping you remember to breathe.

Mompreneur on Fire - Busy & Mindful

An overlooked tool to a healthier, happier you

One example I have personally found helpful is from Dr. Joe Dispenza’s “Change from the Inside Out” series.

The “Morning & Evening Meditations” download offers listeners the chance to get to know themselves better, and ultimately notice positive changes to their mental and physical health.

Available for download or on CD, the series begins by getting you in the right mindset to tackle the day and ends with a relaxing opportunity to ease your mind and body into restful sleep.

“It all sounds so simple but it can be really hard,” said Diane Sutrick, a mompreneur of three adult children who owns Peace Yoga Studio in a suburb of Milwaukee, Wis. and has been practicing yoga and meditation for more than 10 years. “In a world where our culture does so many things that are bad for the body and embraces multi-tasking like it’s the best thing in the world, we are losing ourselves and the ability to find balance.”

Meditation means teaching your body to heal

Research shows that meditation, which is a practice that helps calm yourself by quieting your mind, has many physical and mental health benefits that can aid in dealing with stress and anxiety, but also help keep you more focused and present in your daily life.

“I know the struggle for a lot of people is time – there is never enough time,” said Sutrick, who opened her yoga studio about five years ago. “Yet it is in learning to get into the moment and teaching your body how to flip the switch from using the sympathetic nervous system to using the parasympathetic nervous system that we train our body to get the rest and relaxation it craves.”

The ability to fully relax doesn’t come easy to everyone, despite the health benefits research points to in favor of taking some time to regularly reboot.

While cynics and skeptics alike may question the impact meditation can have on one’s daily life, finding a way to maintain balance by whatever means necessary sounds pretty good to a work-from-home-mom like me who all too often puts literally everything and everyone else ahead of simple things (like that yoga I’ve been meaning to pick back up for the last seven years).

Meditation means thinking about yourself and others

It sounded pretty good to Sutrick as well, which is among the reasons she wanted to find a way to help others find peace.

“I’m not an expert meditator by any means, but I am an advocate for moms who I support as they carve out the time to do something for themselves that ultimately benefits the whole family,” she said. “It’s easier for some people than it is for others, for a whole host of reasons, but meditation pairs with yoga to help you find a place to be quiet with yourself and reflect…and find your center.”

Despite the cliché that all moms live in yoga pants, not all who wear yoga actually practice yoga.

“Ultimately all that matters is that you are finding time to think, breathe and simply be in the moment,” Sutrick said. “You can meditate any time – it doesn’t have to be in a class or at yoga or what have you – in fact, it’s almost a sign you’ve learned the practice well when you can apply it to your everyday life.”

Meanwhile, doubters of the practice will try to make the case that busy people (i.e. mompreneurs on fire) don’t have time to get into lotus pose and clear their minds. Believers like Sutrick have these words of advice for them.

  1. The benefits of meditation are endless. Meditation is considered a highly effective relaxation technique, and relaxation is linked to a number of proven health benefits. Less stress means a healthier immune system more capable of fighting off all those germs kids are prone to bringing home, helps keep you focused and aids in retaining memory and decision making.

  2. Meditation can happen anywhere. Whether you’re wearing yoga pants or not, you can meditate almost anywhere at almost any time to help refocus, clear your mind and be present in the moment.

  3. Time is of the essence. Meditation is a practice that helps you let go of the past, live in the present and be ready for tomorrow all at the same time. By clearing your mind and learning to simply be, you are more capable of finding peace amid the chaos.

Because let’s face it. The life can be tough. And not just ‘oh my goodness, I miss happy hour and mani-pedis with the girlfriends tough.

It can mean admitting that yes, you’re having one of those days when you haven’t slept more than an hour or two in the last 72 hours and you can’t keep up with the mess and you really kind of just want to drink an entire bottle of wine when no one’s looking (because that won’t give you a headache or make waking up and doing it all again tomorrow that much more trying).

Maybe we should all just try meditating instead.




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Money Making Side Jobs for the Stay at Home Mom

Being a mom is a great experience that brings along lots of love and loads of work.  No one doubts that nor do they argue with it.  It can become an overwhelming task on some days,  heck, some moments, and then there will be days when you’ll wonder what to do with the free time at your hand. Here are some legit ways you can work from home.

Mompreneur on Fire - Side Jobs for SAHM

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Don’t we know you sometimes also want to earn a few extra bucks while also being able to spend quality time with your kids? It is more than true now, we do both.  No more stressing about balancing work and family, we can have our families, raise our families and have a side job too.

Here are a few things we look for:

  • Plenty of quality time to spend with kids
  • Have a feeling of self-reliance while doing so
  • Feel independent
  • Manage our household with the freedom to earn a few dollars too
  • A job that doesn’t force them to shift things too much from your current life.  

One of the fastest growing options for the caring and loving moms these days, who also want to contribute towards the finances of the family are side jobs that don’t need their full-time involvement or being away from family and kids too!

Let’s take a look at some of the most promising part-time side jobs that can make us $2000-$3000 a month during when the kiddos are napping or at school.  It’s a way to use our time in yet another productive way and make us more independent while they are able to stand on their own two feet.

Virtual Assistant ($200 / week = $800 a month per client)

Chances are you haven’t given this amazing opportunity much of a thought. However, Virtual Assistants is one of those careers which come with amazing benefits at the comfort of working from home. It’s true that this was not much of a possibility until recently.  Thanks to the exponential rise in social media now virtual assistants are now among the most sought after professionals on the internet.  Their rates can bring in real money for your household and your pockets for a few hours of work.  

As a virtual assistant some of things you would be responsible for include:

  • Schedule Meetings
  • Research
  • Send Emails Using Canned Responses
  • Answering emails
  • Data collection and analysis

The possibilities on how you can help are endless.  Find a solopreneur, a realtor, a blogger, a stylist, a jewelry maker, an Etsy or Amazon store owner and ask them if you can be of service to them!! Email them (yes! email them!) and ask if you can help!

If you can manage to 3 clients that are paying you $200 / week, that may not sound like a lot of money but at the end of the month you would collect for yourself, you can easily make around $2400 per month. That’s real money!  Made while you are working from home!
Now that sounds like a good opportunity, doesn’t it?

Monthly Payout - $2400 for 3 Clients


Proof Reading/Editing ($10-15 per post)

If you have an eye for errors or an ear for english, proofreading and editing posts may be a piece of cake for you. You need to proofread a pre-written blog and/or edit it if there are any mistakes. Most bloggers also have eBooks and Guides and Books coming out.  There is a lot one can do!  Try finding proofreading and editing jobs through Facebook groups or Freelance sites like Freelancer.com or Upwork.com.  You can earn around $10-$15 per post without much of a time commitment from you.  If a blogger writes about 8 posts per month and pays you $10 for each post that’s $80 of cash you didn’t have before for a few minutes of your time.  What if you had 3 clients??

Monthly Payout - $240 for 3 Clients


Set Up Blogging Tools

What if we tell you that you can earn hundreds of dollars with a laptop, an internet connection and no technical know-how?

I know if any of my friends came to me and said, how can I help?  I would direct them to the tools I am about to tell you and ask them to help me there.

This is especially good if you want to work on a project-by-project basis.  If you can spare just a few hours from your day and start setting up some of the tools, you would be in awesome, marketable shape.  Not only can you help one, you can help many.  

Start by watching some YouTube videos to learn the product.  Most platforms do not require you need to know anything about coding and are mostly quite straight forward.  Plus I promise you, if there is a question, it probably been addressed and a work around has been made.  Do one setup at a lower rate so you can physically go through the process. Once you learn a Tool, I cannot tell you how marketable and invaluable knowing these tools are.  Did I mention you don’t have to learn how to code or anything??  

  • ConvertKit: It’s THE tool that most people who email you use.  It’s THE tool.  It’s an easy to use email marketing software that you can use to grow the audiences. You can start by charging them for the initial setup and offer an hourly fee and monthly maintenance fee.
  • SumoMe: This is similar which can be used to grow a blogger’s email list.
  • LeadPages:  Similar to ConvertKit and SumoMe, LeadPages comes with an exception that you can use landing pages, social media posts, text messaging and emails to collect leads and build customer contacts for bloggers.

These tools may sound tricky right now, but once you go through them, you’ll realize how many you can help.  Charge a set-up fee and then a monthly maintenance fee.

Set-up: $200; Monthly Maintenance; $65
Monthly Payout for 3 Clients - $795


Consider Blogging Yourself

Have you thought of having a blog before??  Do you know what it would be about?  It’s one of those really great creative outlets that most people are still confused by.  How does one make money from a blog??  Okay, there’s advertising and sponsored posts.  But now there’s great opportunity in affiliate marketing and creating your own products.  

I find most people fall in one other these categories when it comes creating a blog: you’ve always wanted to start one, you’ve started one, or you have never even considered the idea.  Whatever your situation, I firmly believe it’s a great investment, much less fun thing to do!

  • Start by setting up your hosting for something like $4 / month on Bluehost.  
  • I use SquareSpace as my tool to build my website which is something like $8 / month.  (And it’s an easy tool to learn - yet another marketable skill!)
  • Get writing! Share and share and share!
  • If you’re worried about traffic, there are plenty of thoughts out there on how to improve your traffic but you know me, you know me, I love Rosemarie Groner and her Pinterest Strategy Guide not a bad investment at all at $35.
  • When you’re ready to your blog to a real income generating level, like Michelle Shroeder who makes over $100k a month, you can start by taking her Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course.  Affiliate marketing was her primary income source for the longest time.  

So there are many ways to generate multiple streams of income from having a blog.  Even if you decide not to monetize your blog directly, it’s a great placeholder for companies to see what you are up to, what your values are and act as an online resume.  It’s a great way to establish your authority as a freelancer and with time.

Monthly Payout - Infinite possibilities.  

Mompreneur on Fire - Side Jobs

Coaching/Consulting – Subject Matter Expert

There is a good chance that people often talk to you and seek guidance on a particular thing.  They may appreciate your style, the way you parent, how you manage your household or decorate.  

What I want to say is, if you have a skill that can make others’ lives better, then you should think about offering it as a service. Start by asking your friends and family if they would pay you.  Go to your local church or community center.  Put it out there in one of your Facebook groups.  
If you start at charging $100 a session, if you have 3 clients you are now bringing in $300 more than you were before!

Monthly Payout - $300+


I know we are busy with our lives.  I know our little ones take up all of our time.  I also know so many of us want a little bit more.  Start now.  Trust me, you can do these things you dream of without blowing up your life at home.

I'd love to hear from your experience and which idea you liked the most.  Let me know!


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