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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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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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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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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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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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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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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


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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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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.


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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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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When Shortcuts Cause Problems

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We’re Busy woman doing many things at the same timebusy. We need things to happen quickly. We scroll through social media feeds for distraction, encouragement, or affirmation. We click like and share what is most consistent with what we believe and prefer. If it sounds good and doesn’t immediately contradict what we know to be true, it makes it through our quick filters and we claim it and send it on for others to see and accept.

We often take a quick approach to God’s Word, too. We use a concordance or online search to find all instances of a certain word and declare that’s all God has to say about a topic. We can’t possibly know everything that’s in the Bible, right? And there are those sections that are pretty much just rules and names and things that really don’t apply to our everyday life. Isn’t it just easier to play search-and-find, circle the treasures we dig up, create a fun image about it, and make it our profile pic?

Years ago, as I was leading a group of women through the first Bible study I wrote, I noticed how many times we all talked about feelings. I got curious about what God says about our emotions—fear, anger, jealousy, peace, anxiety, frustration, guilt, shame, joy—and dug into the Bible. I spent a lot of time untwisting the distortions we’ve created about those emotions from the purity of what God says about them. My journey resulted in the study Pure Emotion. I’ve spent the last year taking the same approach with submission. We search for the word submit and claim the few verses we find are all God has to say about the topic. In reality, submission is scattered throughout the Bible. We try to keep it in a box, making it only about specific situations or groups of people. That is not pure submission.

Submission has become one of those words (and concept) we’d rather avoid. It brings up stories and experiences of mistreatment, disrespect, and abuse of power. The concept has been “hijacked” by authority who have only their own interests in mind and want everyone else to do it “my way.” We live in a culture and time of applauding “my way”—until it bumps into someone else’s “my way.” Read More→

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Moving Abroad & How It Affects Your Job

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If you’re already working from home, you’re probably up to speed on what needs to be done. The self-employment laws are finally embedded in your mind, and you’ve got a good idea of exactly what needs to be done and when. The thing is, when you move abroad that all changes. If you’re serious about setting up shop and moving to the other side of the world, it’s time to do some thinking. Is working from home still the best idea? Let’s discuss.

Before you move, you’re going to need to talk to your employer (if you have one) and inform them of your intentions. Is it going to be possible to do your job from the other side of the world? In some cases, it won’t matter one bit. In others, though, meetings that you might have attended now and again could be crucial roadblocks that will stand in your way. If it’s not going to be easy, you’re going to have to reconsider your options.

If the work from home idea is still your intention, you’ll want to study the laws of the country you’re going to. Is there anything you need to know before you get over there? You might find that there are financial implications that will stand in your way. Suddenly, that nice paycheck you take home every month might be taxed enormously. Do your research and figure out the best option.

So what if it’s time to reconsider? Is it worth going back to an office job? Can you find more opportunities in that country that you can’t find back at home? There are specific roles where jobs for foreigners are in excellent supply. Your extensive knowledge of a different language or set of skills might just give you the advantage in an area you particularly enjoy. It’s worth exploring your options and getting an idea of what’s available to you.
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