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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Oct
25

How and When to Post on Twitter

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Twitter BirdWhile not quite as big as Facebook, Twitter is still an impressive social media platform with a lot of potential for your business. With over 1.3 billion registered users, and an average of 500 million tweets per day, there’s a lot of activity going on with this platform.

If you’ve tried using Twitter before, you may have noticed how quickly anything you say gets lost in the noise. To help your business stand out and gain followers, today I’m going to show you how and when you should be posting on Twitter.

5 Twitter Tips to Help You Tweet Smarter, Not Harder

The act of posting a tweet is simple, but there are numerous implications. How long should it be? Which hashtags should you use? All of these things, combined with the day and time you post, will affect how many people see and engage with your tweets.

Here are five ways you can start using Twitter smarter and do more with your tweets:

1. Gather Data on When to Tweet

You could always conduct your own studies, but there have been plenty done already on when to tweet, so it’s better to use the information others have already found. For example, Buffer did a study of over 4.8 million tweets to see which times were the best.

Here’s what they found:

  • On average, tweets posted during the morning hours have the most clicks.
  • Evenings are when tweets receive more favorites and retweets.
  • Time zones play a factor, and sometimes the best times to tweet for engagement and clicks are opposite from one another.
  • Taking time zones into consideration, the best time to tweet is between noon and 1PM for your local time zone.
  • If you have an international audience, it’s best to look at what times they are tweeting in their time zone.

This type of data is great for starting out, but eventually you’ll want to gather your own. Luckily there are tools for that purposes. Tweriod, for example, is an excellent option (also free) that allows you to see when your followers are online and engaging with tweets.

2. Use The Right Hashtags

Hashtags, also known as pound signs (#) are used on Twitter to categorize your tweets. Using them can offer you an excellent way to gather your audience around a single conversation or event. Of course, the only way to be successful with these types of tags, is to know how to best choose them. Read More→

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Oct
13

Ordinary People, Extraordinary Risks

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questionIn the same way you learn leadership from leaders, law from lawyers, and art from artists, you learn most about risk-taking from risk-takers. Emerson once wrote, “The great distinction between teachers sacred or literary is that one class speaks from within, or from experience, as parties and possessors of the fact; and the other class, from without, as spectators merely.” We read many stories about real life risk-takers, including those from risk’s outer edges. However, even the extraordinary examples will be put in service to the ordinary risk-taker. Lessons from risk’s extreme edge can be applied well within its inner fold.

Common truths are often most magnified through uncommon feats. Just as courage, composure, and commitment are required of a fighter pilot, so too are they required of the young entrepreneur opening a business, the professor breaking free from the confining prejudices of an academic discipline, and the soldier defying an unjust or immoral order. Courage, composure, and commitment are equally required of the local politician taking a stand on an unpopular issue, the addict reaching out for help (and the jaded cynic reaching back), the young mother leaving the deadly comfort of an abusive relationship, and the volunteer firefighter running into a burning house.

Right Risk happens every day, everywhere. The promise woven into all Right Risks is our own relevancy. Each of us wants to feel that we have lived a life that matters. We want to make a difference for ourselves, for our families, for our communities, and for our world. When the choices we make, and the actions we take, are reflections of our higher self, we are ennobled with the knowledge that our life has been worthwhile, at least to ourselves. In the end, the only person we will spend our entire life with is ourselves. We are a lot easier to live with when we are proud of who we are. And we are most proud of ourselves when we take Right Risks.

Consider the following questions:

* In what areas of your life do you tend to take more risks (i.e., physical, intellectual, interpersonal, or emotional)? How might you be able to “borrow” from this area in order to take more risks in the areas of your life where you tend to avoid risk? Read More→

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Oct
06

How to Relocate Without Interrupting Your Home Business

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Owning your own business is stressful. Moving is stressful. Doing both at the same time can feel like you are setting yourself up for disaster — especially if your business is run out of your home. By taking a few precautionary actions, you can make moving a breeze and not experience a single hiccup in the process. Here are a few tips to make relocating your home office less stressful.

Protect Your Assets

To protect your assets you will want to secure your home office in the moving process. If you have the original packaging that your equipment arrived in, utilize it to transfer everything from your current home to your new one. If the original packaging is unavailable, thickly pad your equipment with bubble wrap to prevent any cracks, dents, scratches or any other potential harm. Tape any cords to the outside of the packaging or wrap them within to make sure they do not get misplaced in all the moving hustle and bustle. It is also wise to backup any of your computer’s important information onto a cloud-based software or site before moving your computer, as sometimes unplugging and jostling your computer can create data loss. If you already use an automatic backup software, make sure it runs a backup the morning of your move.

Move With a Plan

As your own boss and working from home, you need to create a work space that is conducive to productivity. Before you move, it’s important to have an idea of how you want your home office set up so you don’t waste time and energy on it when you arrive. If you’re moving to a city with small apartments, like NYC, having a plan for your home office will be even more important. When searching for a new apartment online, use a site that offers full floor plan views of your potential new home. That way you can plan and organize your home in a matter of minutes instead of attempting to do it amidst stacks of boxes. Planning how to get the most out of your space will make moving a breeze. It will also be helpful if you are using a moving company to help transport your stuff. It takes the guess work out of it for them and you when you are able to hand them a map of where everything will be placed. Read More→

Categories : Articles, Jill's Blog
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Sep
22

Top 5 Productivity Tips For Working at Home

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Multitasking mother with her daughterBeing productive is important because you cannot support yourself unless you are willing to work for your salary. Even self-employed business people have to work hard. Fortunately, working from home is now possible in certain professions. Freelance writers, data entry experts, artists, and bloggers are good examples of people who can work from home. Doing so has its advantages and disadvantages. For instance, people who work at home are more likely to procrastinate than those who work in the office. This kind of behavior can limit their productivity severely. Here are the top five productivity tips for working at home.

  1. Plan Your Schedule Carefully 

A schedule is important because it keeps you focused on the task. You will not stray into something else when your schedule indicates what you should be doing. Make sure that it is realistic because you will not adhere to it if it is not. For example, it should take into account break times including breaks for lunch, supper, or breakfast. It should also make sure that you have enough time for rest. Do not overwork yourself.

  1. Be Strict With Your Family and Friends

Your home is a place where you would welcome visitors, make them tea, and then have a conversation with them for hours. An office is a place where visitors are the exception and not the rule. Your friends should understand that if you work from home, then your house is both a home and an office. That means visitors should only come on specific days and at specific times. Your family members should also give you the space you need to work because if you do not work then the overall household income reduces.

  1. Prepare Your Work-space

You may be working from an office desk at home. You may also be working at the kitchen table or on the couch. Just remember that your work-space is wherever you work. It should be clean, tidy, and free of distractions. For example, you should not have game consoles lying near you when you work. You should also keep you phone away from you so that you do not focus on chatting with your friends. You should also make sure that your work-space looks inviting so that it would be nice working from there. This kind of serene setting encourages you to sit down and work. Read More→

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Aug
26

How to Find the Work You Love — From Home

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Cropped shot of a young man working from home using smart phone and notebook computer, side view of a man's hands using smart phone in interior,man at his coworking place using technology, flare light

Everyone dreams of being able to create their own schedule, to work from home and to make family time more of a priority than chasing a paycheck, but how do you make this happen? There are plenty of opportunities available to those seeking to pursue their passions and leave behind the 40-hour work week in a stuffy office. Deciding what route you want to take may be the hardest part of beginning your new career from home. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Focus on Your Skills

First, take a look at what your skill set is. Are you a great sales person? Perhaps you have always had a knack for writing. Are you a type-A personality who is highly organized and has strong management skills? This will enable you to begin to evaluate what jobs fit your personality. Working with assets that you already possess — rather than learning new skills to take on your new career — will allow you to launch for a stronger foundation. Working from home can be stressful at times when not surrounded by a team of co-workers to ask questions of or look to for support. Using your strong suits to find a job that will come to you effortlessly and without a strong learning curve will set you up for success from the get-go. Read More→

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Jul
18

Five Tasks You Can Outsource as a Remote Worker

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shutterstock_325899806According to a report by outsourcing advisory firm the Everest Group, business administration outsourcing (BAO) is a more than $6.1 billion industry poised for rapid growth. Outsourcing has become a mainstream practice to help reduce costs, free up time and work more efficiently. But outsourcing isn’t just for big businesses and corporations looking for help overseas.

Work from home professionals can jump on the trend to help streamline their business for success. You can maintain a core staff small or keep working as a solopreneur with the help of an outsourced team. Here are five tasks you can start outsourcing today.

Administrative Assistance

Reclaim valuable hours from your work week wasted on research and data entry. A reputable company like Fancy Hands can help connect you with virtual helpers at a monthly packaged price. Choose the monthly hours you want, and submit the tasks you need help with. Fancy Hands assistants work on travel itineraries, data entry, research tools you need for your business and just about anything else you can think of. They can even sit and wait on the phone with your cable company to discuss an issue and patch you through when you need to give your information or approval.

Online Security

According to TransUnion, identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America and the number of identity theft incidents has reached over 9.9 million a year. Broken down, that number accounts to 19 people falling victim to identity theft every minute of every day.

Leave online security and identity theft protection to the experts. Laying low and hoping you won’t fall victim to the latest malware attack is a disaster waiting to happen. There are businesses that can help monitor your identity, alert you when new lines of credit are taken out or any other suspicious activity. The company can also help stop identity theft before the fall-out spirals out of control and restore your credit. Read More→

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Jun
02

Affordable Business Tools for Entrepreneurs on a Budget

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shutterstock_152949047When you’re running a business from home, every little bit you save helps. The average business costs about $30,000 to start up, the Kauffmann Foundation reports. If you work from home, you may be able to trim this down to under $3,000, the Small Business Association says. When you add on operating expenses, you may be looking at another $250 a month, equivalent to another $3,000 a year, entrepreneur Purna Duggirala estimates. Fortunately, you can cut your expenses by strategically employing today’s business technology. Here are five technological tools you can use to lower your business expenses.

Virtual Office Services

In 2015, the average annual cost of renting office space for a single employee ranged from $4,194 in Atlanta to $14,800 in New York City, according to The Square Foot. To trim office rental expenses, one cost-efficient alternative is using virtual office services. A virtual office provides you with a business mailing address where you can receive mail and have it forwarded to you without having to rent actual office space. Some virtual office packages include professional phone answering services, voicemail, virtual assistant services and even meeting space you can pay to use on a per-meeting basis. Today’s top virtual office providers charge around $100 per month for a mailing address and $220 per month for both a mailing address and answering service.

Office Communication Tools

Even if you rent an answering service, you will probably want to have your own business line for outgoing calls, and you will definitely need a business email. A New York City business using five phone lines a month from a traditional provider can expect to pay a $385 setup fee plus another $467.20 a month in taxes and fees, estimates Fit Small Business. This can be cut to $232.92 a month by using a phone service based on Voice over IP (VoIP) technology. If you only need one line, you can get a VoIP line for as little as $30 to $60 a month, including free long distance and advanced phone management features.

For enterprise-quality email services, Rackspace estimates that the average cost of a traditional on-premises Microsoft Exchange email deployment runs around $585 per year per user. By going with a hosted email service that provides an email address with a domain customized for your business, you can cut this down to as little as $2.00 to $12.95 per user per month, Comentum estimates.

Office Productivity Tools

Every small business needs an office productivity suite. Microsoft Office has long been the most popular small business solution in this area. The home edition of Microsoft Office 365 currently costs $9.99 a month or $99 per year. A number of freeware alternatives to Microsoft Office are available, such as Apache OpenOffice and Google Docs. If you want the business edition of Google Docs, prices currently run at $5 per month per user, including features such as email branded with your domain name and online storage space.

Backup Storage Tools

Data, such as your financial records and customer mailing list, is vital to your business, making reliable backup essential. Backing up enterprise data using traditional on-premises equipment can run as high as $60,000 for 4 TB of storage, estimates tom’s IT Pro. If you use a cloud-based data service such as Mozy, you can start with 10 GB for as little as $109.89 a year or $9.99 a month.

Web Design Tools

Today’s small business needs a website. Traditionally, many web designers have used Adobe Dreamweaver, which currently costs $19.99 a month if you use it as an individual app or $49.99 a month if you use it with Adobe’s Creative Cloud. Plus you’ll need to have web design skills, unless you plan to hire a designer, which is considerably more expensive. More recent online web design tools geared toward non-designers have cut design software fees down, while also making it easy for anyone to build a website, even if they don’t know web design.

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May
23

What To Do When Your Marriage Is No Longer A Happy One

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When you first met your husband (or wife), you were most probably crazy about each other. You would spend all your time together, dream about the future, and talk about what you would do when you were old and gray. However, after being married for a few years, you may have noticed that your relationship has changed. Perhaps your once happy, fun marriage has all but disappeared, and in its place is a couple that seems to have very little to talk about.

Don’t worry; you’re not alone. A lot of couples find that after a few years, their marriage is not what it used to be. If your marriage is no longer a happy one, you may be thinking about divorce. However, that’s not the only option; you may be able to get your relationship back on track. It’ll take time, but it is doable.

Seek help

marriage1

Image credit

 

If you’re unhappy with your partner, the first step is to seek help. You can’t fix your problems all on your own; you may need a helping hand. Talking your problems through together will often lead to an argument, which is why marriage counseling can be a good idea. This allows you to chat about your problems in a calm, controlled environment. This will allow you to work things out by talking to one another, instead of arguing.

 

Keep talking to each other

In any long-term relationship, it’s crucial that you keep talking to each other. Instead of eating dinner in front of the television, sit at the table and talk about your day. Don’t spend your time in bed on your electronic devices, chat about anything and everything. Be intimate with one another, take the time to show affection. As you chat, you’ll find that you’ll start to grow closer again, and you’ll realize what it was that made you fall in love in the first place. Read More→

Categories : Marriage Articles
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Apr
28

3 Great Jobs You Can Do From Home

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Asian Businesswoman Working From Home Using Mobile Phone

Everyone would work from home if they could. Well the truth is, now you can. The trick is finding the professions and jobs that will make you real money from the comfort of your own home.

Of course, you’ve seen the pyramid schemes, the work-from-home scams, but there are legitimate jobs you can do from home in your spare time, and while they may not become a full-time job, they can supplement your income. Here’s a look at a few jobs and professions you should consider.

Freelance Writer

While many will scoff that your words can earn you money, content writing has become a lucrative business in recent years. It may seem like written content is on the outs and visual media is a more prevalent medium in this day and age, but you may be surprised that the demand for well-written and interesting content is a larger market than ever before. Companies, as well as personal bloggers, pay for content that is engaging and informative, however, there are many unfair offers for freelance writers out there.

When you first start out you may not get the type of money you want, but don’t sell yourself short, either. Craigslist is filled with horrible rates for writers as low as one dollar per 100 words. Read up on freelance writer rates of pay, which vary depending on the client and your experience.

Telecommuter

In this technologically connected world more people than ever telecommute, at least part time. If you have computer skills, there are many companies that can utilize those skills while you’re at home. Jobs can range from a web search evaluator (someone who tests the accuracy of online searches) to remote employees for identity theft prevention firms, like LifeLock. Many customer help lines have given up on large call centers and now direct their customer service calls to home-based agents. All you need for this job is a gift for social interactions and a script from the business that contracts you. Of course, in-depth knowledge about the companies products or services is also plus. Read More→

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Apr
18

Sifting In Israel—and Everyday Life

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long travelsWith each trip I lead to Israel, I start with a past itinerary. There are some non-negotiables I want each group to experience, but I also want some new opportunities for each group, especially for repeat travelers. Plus, some new opportunities arise, so I always ask the touring company and guide if there are any additional options they recommend. So, before the last trip, I received an email that asked, “Would you be interested in an archeological dig?”

Yes, please!

We spent a morning at the Temple Mount Sifting Project. Truckloads of earth, containing centuries of artifacts, had been taken from the Temple Mount and carelessly dumped. Archeologists usually take great care in uncovering layers of civilizations, but all the strata were dumped together. Now, it needs to be sorted, studied, and categorized, one bucket at a time.

We started with brief training, learning about the project, archaeology basics, and the careful process we’d follow. An archaeologist and regular volunteers were on site to help. (Who knows what valuables we would have tossed aside without them!) They had already placed scoops of dirt, artifacts included, in buckets and added water to soak off some of the dirt. We worked in pairs, choosing a bucket, pouring its contents over the sifting frame, rinsing everything well, then sorting—every single rock and remnant.

It was tedious, yet exciting, because at any moment, we might find a treasure among the rubble. We had to learn what was important and what wasn’t. We looked closely and asked a lot of questions. We relied on people who knew a lot more than we did. And we celebrated when we found something. (And we did!) Read More→

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