CWAHM Devotional

Do Life DifferentDo Life Different
Work-at-home mom: take a deep breath and Do Life Different as you allow these devotions for work-at-home moms to fill the vacuum of your needy heart in the chaos of your busy world.
 
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Dana Susan Beasley, Branding for Success bloggerdana-work-ethicWhat one tool can help you distinguish yourself above the crowd, above your competition?

An old-fashioned work ethic!

These days, the entitlement mindset has infected business after business. Sometimes, business owners will think that work is just owed to them or it will come magically. They will over-promise and under-deliver. They will say anything to get the job, but not follow through. If it’s not quick and easy, then why bother doing it? That is the mindset of this microwave generation where instant fixes are the expectation.

I have experienced this kind of mindset in my own business, with people I’ve hired to help me. I was particularly amazed by the attitude of interns who thought that they should automatically get the best jobs because they were college students studying to be graphic designers. If I had had that attitude when I was just starting out in my first job, I would have been fired! I gently pointed out to them that you have to earn the more desirable kind of projects by proving yourself!

But you can be different. The Bible is full of exhortations to work hard. Those who don’t work, don’t eat. Those who work diligently reap rewards. When you sow generously, you reap generously. And then think of the Proverbs 31 woman. She was a very hard worker indeed!
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Working from the comfort of your own home is liberating, fun and convenient. Sadly, you’d be surprised at how few people make it big from their at-home businesses. This is usually because they fail to tackle a niche and they aim for a goal they can’t possibly reach. It’s important to identify niches in the market to take advantage of, especially considering you have very little capital and you’re just a new startup.

To help you achieve this, we’ve put together a couple of tips that will help you find your own niche and grow your business to new levels.

Expand on your current skills

First of all, try and expand on your current skills in order to find a niche that you can really identify with. Let’s say you studied engineering at university and you’ve yet to find a job relating to it. Instead of trying to start a blog or a website about something random, consider expanding on those skills first. Take a look at the best MBA for engineers that you can study online and you’ll find that it’s easy and relatively cheap to expand on what skills you currently possess. By learning new skills related to your current interests or qualifications, you can unlock more paths to take in life and it can inspire you to start an at-home business with a niche that is based on the skills you have.

Master social media

Social media is one of the most useful tools for startups because you can keep up with the latest trends and popular products. Many companies use social media for marketing purposes, so the earlier you learn to use platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, the faster you’ll be able to grow your at-home business. It’s also amazing for finding niches. You can judge a market by looking at social media and you can see important feedback from the most important people in a business: its customers. Audiences aren’t afraid to speak their mind on social media because it’s largely anonymous. They’ll say what they really think and they will request what they really want. If no one is answering those calls, then it’s your turn to step in and offer a product they can’t refuse. Read More→

Categories : Jill's Blog
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Oct
11

What Kind of Farmer are You?

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I farmerhave been seeing too many couples lately, who have been married 25+ years, and who are ready to divorce.  The problems have been there for a long, long time.  They are reaping what they have knowing or unknowingly  sowed. It is a bit hard to think that they did not know what they were doing, but in my office, the sad but truthful facts are right there. Painful and in plain view, for us to see.  I am no farmer, but I do know that if I plant lettuce, I will not reap tomatoes!  If I sow beans, I will not grow corn!

How do they not know? you might ask me.  My guess is that

1. they (or one spouse) saw and ignored it;

2. they tried once or twice to uproot it;

3. they thought it was NBD (No Big Deal) at the time;

4. they lied to themselves about #1-3.

Denial is part of the problem usually.  Deception is right up there, beginning with myself:  I deceive myself, I think its NBD.  I tell my clients that that is a Red Flag Waving!  Jeremiah 17:9 states: “The heart is deceptive above all else; who can know it?”  Another Red Flag is when you start a sentence with, “It’s just a little problem” or “He’s just like that/he’s always been like that”. Or some version of that.  You can’t say, “she’s just a little pregnant”.  You look the other way.  You don’t want to deal with it now.  Later, you tell yourself.  You work around the problems, hoping they’ll “just go away”.  Resentment begins to build.  You begin to pull away or turn away from your husband.  You tell yourself lies and make adjustments and concessions.  “I’m taking care of the kids! They need me more!”  “It’s only for a little while, just til I get my business up and running, then we’ll take that weekend getaway”.  “It’ll get better after the kids ___________”.

Galatians 6:7 warns us that we “reap what we sow”.  Are we sowing words of affirmation into our husbands’ soul?  Are we sowing kind deeds?  Are we answering harsh words with a gentle response as Proverbs 15:1 tells us?  Am I going regularly to the Lord asking Him to cleanse my soul, so I don’t deceive myself?  What seeds am I watering today that will bring forth good fruit and not bad fruit?

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light through cloudsWell,” the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage sighed rather deeply, “now that the hurricane is over I guess we can all get back to normal.”

When she said “normal,” she looked at me and gave me one of “those looks.”

I am very much confused when it comes to this idea of normal. What in the world is normal?

Often when we go out somewhere she says, “Please try to act normal tonight.”

For me, normal is just the way I act. Furthermore, I am not acting.

I have never given the subject of normal much thought. I just assumed that is what I was, was normal and let it go at that. If I would pose such a question to my wife, I am sure I would catch a rather lengthy definition of what normal is. I can be sure her definition would in no way harmonize with my definition.

I do not know if I am normal according to her, but I am normal according to me. I just will not let this get out.

Perhaps this is one of the great problems in our society today. Nobody knows what normal really is. If I would meet normal on the street downtown, I am not sure I would recognize it. In addition, normal probably would not recognize me.

For example, what is a normal lunch for a normal person?

I believe a normal lunch would be the lunch that I would have on any given day. I am not outstanding in anything. I do not have gifts, personality or anything of that nature. I am just normal when it comes to everything about me.

Could it be that normal is what a person defines it to be?

Just the other day I walked into my favorite restaurant, sat down at my normal table and when the waitress came, I told her, “I’ll have my normal lunch.”

I have been going to this restaurant for a long time, so the waitress did not have to ask me what I meant. She knew that normal for me was what I usually got for lunch. One time I decided to go in and order something different, but I just did not have the strength to do that. When she came to my table I blurted out, “I’ll have the normal.”

There is nothing wrong with normal. It is usually something we have done before and so we are comfortable with it. Personally, I do not want to be anything more than normal. What advantage would that be for me to be abnormal? Moreover, what is the definition of abnormal?

I am comfortable being my normal self. I am not competing with anybody. I am not a person with multi-personalities and so I have to compete with myself. I am just a normal person with normal appetites and normal expectations of life.

I never gave it so much thought before, but perhaps the reason my wife has this thing about “normal,” is that she does not know if she really married a normal person. I would like to sit her down and explain to her that I am as normal as I am ever going to be. But, you know the outcome of that kind of a thing.

My aspirations in life are to be normal and to be accepted as a normal person. I never want to pretend to be something that I am not. Read More→

Diana Ennen, Virtual Marketing bloggerWant to get more engagement out of your social media?

These tips work!

  • Have a Plan – Work that Plan – The key is to be consistent. Don’t stop, start, start back up again, etc. Be consistent in your postings.  For example, I share tips, reviews, images, articles from publications, any media I get, what events I’m doing, tips from others, etc.)
  • Review Your Plan & Make Changes – Constantly review your SM marketing and make changes .. Just one might be .. finding out when your people are on SM by reviewing your insights and then sending more during that time.
  • Use Your Profiles –Use appropriate keywords to describe what you do in your profiles. Does your LinkedIn Profile sound like the same person as your Twitter Profile?  It should! Don’t be two different people online!
  • Post #PRTips, #VATips, #BookMarketing tips – Remember to include those tips that will reach your target audience. Also, set up columns so you can see what others post under these hashtags and repost some of their tips as well.
  • Do not run the same postings over and over again. Yes, you can use ones you’ve used before, but don’t do same ones repeatedly.  It  makes you appear lazy!
  • Facebook Ads – They work!  You get to set the budget, target the audience & more. You get more people to your page & you get ads that promote your events or services.
  • Images count. Use a great image, compelling message, call to action, etc.  Start noticing the ads that you see.  What is it about them that stands out?
  • You can send people to your website OR your Facebook page. Decide which you want? I normally do a combination of both.
  • Use the editor to fine tune your audience. One thing I discovered is that you can “Type in possibilities” and it will show what’s available. Say .. Entrepreneurs, business owners, romance novels, etc.
  • Boosted Posts – Just hit “promote this post.” Bam…it’s done! More likes=more engagement. Promote the posts that get the most responses and the ones that mention your newsletter, your specials, etc. (Not the ones that Facebook recommends.)
  • Promote the good stuff!

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Diana Ennen, President of Virtual Word Publishing, www.virtualwordpublishing.com offers PR and Marketing services, book marketing services, and PR and Virtual Assistant Coaching.  Sign up for her PR Success Series Webinars at www.prsuccessseries.com. ollow her on social media at https://www.facebook.com/VirtualWordPublishing/ and https://twitter.com/DianaEnnen

Dana Susan Beasley, Branding for Success bloggerSuccess. You want it. More than anything, you want a thriving work at home business. One that gives you the freedom to stay with your children, to be debt free, to enjoy life and most importantly, contribute to God’s Kingdom.

So how do you achieve this wildly successful business? Through authentic branding. Authentic branding is like a magnet that draws your ideal customer to you. Because you have a unique message to bring to the world. You have something valuable to offer that people want, need, and desire.

How do you find this authentic brand, your own unique identity? Here’s an unexpected clue that you may not have thought about:

Your childhood!

Let me explain. Years ago, after I had graduated from college, I purchased the book, “What Color is Your Parachute.” With this book’s guidance, I wrote about achievements from my childhood and turned them into skills for my resume.

This idea stuck with me when a few years later I participated in a career assessment seminar hosted by my workplace at that time, The Navigators. I realized that my childhood experiences were key in determining my passions and callings.

Looking back, I was always doing something creative or adventurous: I wrote plays and led my classmates into acting them out; I was writing a novel at age 10; by the time I was four, I had traveled the world in a camper with my family; I was making magazines; I was composing songs; I was holding lemonade stands and selling candy; I was playing school which included making a class roster, creating the assignments, doing the assignments and grading!

All of this makes sense to me now as a creative entrepreneur and homeschool mom. But there was one huge piece of the puzzle that until now had been untapped:

I was also a huge fan of Chronicles of Narnia and Lord of the Rings. In fact, by the time I was 16, I had created my own world, my own language, my own history and started to write a fantasy trilogy. When I was in grade school, my friends and I would go to the mesa behind our backyard and play Narnia. Read More→

Oct
05

Everybody is a Rock Star

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Do HiRes-superwomanyou remember the movie, “The Incredibles?”  It’s one of my favorites.  A few things stand out about that movie:

#1  When the bad guy, Syndrome (Buddy Pine), says to Mr. Incredible, “If everyone is Super, then no one is”.  I think he was really hurt when Mr. Incredible told him (when he was young) that he works alone (“Sorry kid, I work alone”). So, he grows up and becomes a genius inventing super powers that he can control.  It seems that nowadays, everyone can do that too:  We can ALL become a Rock Star with a little help, of course,  from Garage Band, iTunes, You Tube, etc.  We can all self promote, self publish, and get a million hits on our website.  We can all be bloggers too! We all are in effect Rock Stars now.  I wonder, then, are we realy?  My answer to that is, yes and no.  On the one hand, I believe that for those of us who follow Jesus, yes, we are His beloved little Rock Stars.  Just like when my sons put on a Superman  Cape, they ‘were’ Superman.  They were my little Supermen, running around, jumping off couches & trying to fly, saving the world from the bad guys.  They were cute to watch and I smiled a lot.

I also knew, as their loving mom, their limitations: I knew they weren’t really going to fly, or always catch the bad guy in real life.  Jesus loves me just as I am, warts and all.  My crazy schemes to help marriage improve, to  save the world or whatever.  I know He loves me as the child I am: cute, funny, immature at times, distrusting at other times, and usually wanting to please Him, my loving Parent.  Just like my sons were when they were little rock stars in my eyes.  {They are now just bigger, older, but they’re still my little big rock stars!}

On the other hand, we are all NOT Rock Stars.  We all put our underwear on the same every morning.  At the end of the day, we all go to bed, hopefully surrounded by loved ones.  As a wonderful friend pointed out to me, “at the end of the day, what does it matter if I am a Rock Star?  My husband, children are what REALLY matters, not being a famous Rock Star.” Read More→

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