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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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It’s said that it takes a special kind of person to become an entrepreneur, one that is filled with ideas, drive, passion, and that desire to succeed and follow-through on their ideas. Of course, it all sounds very romantic when you put it like that, but in reality, the life of an entrepreneur isn’t a cakewalk. It’s one that is filled with hard work, constant determination, the ability to overcome obstacles, and the flexibility to change course and adapt when needed. So are there any secret tips to mastering these skills? How can you ensure your path as an entrepreneur ends up successful?

Here we’ll take a look at three tips meant for budding entrepreneurs who are just in the beginning stages of getting their idea off the ground.

Accept That You Will Need to Make Sacrifices

One of the first tips to share with budding entrepreneurs has to do with your frame of mind. Many people assume when you own your own business it equals total freedom. I mean you no longer have a boss watching over you, so it has to mean freedom – right? In reality, the life of an entrepreneur is anything but free, instead, you need to be willing to make a lot of sacrifices, especially in the beginning. 

There will be very long hours, plenty of hard work on your part, no money coming in for at least the first while, and the stress of trying to make a name for your business and get the word out. You are the one responsible for your company’s success, so everything else in life tends to take a backseat.

Make Sure You Have the Right Tools

If you are designing a product rather than providing a service, then the tools you use are going to be of the utmost importance during the design process. Having the right tools means you can bring your idea to life in an effective manner. 

Take, for example, Upverter, which is an electronic design tool that requires no previous engineering knowledge on your part. The hardware is loaded with tools that make it possible to indeed design and bring your specific idea to life. You can even make use of the community hardware designs and then customize them. Read More→

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Aug
19

Three Tips To Get You Started Blogging for Business

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creative-workOver the last several years blogging has become the foundation for social media campaigns of businesses big and small. Where Facebook and Twitter help keep companies in the limelight, spreading the word about special events, discounts and newsworthy items, blogs are the place where companies build their reputation and make sales. As popular as blogging has become, I often hear from home-based business owners who are trying to figure out exactly what a blog consists of and how they can use one to benefit their business. Below are three tips that can help maximize the impact of your business blog.

1. It’s All In The Name
Be sure to choose a name for your blog that is both descriptive and easy to remember. Try to stick to either your business name or the name of your star product/service. If none of these are available consider using your name or business tagline. Also, consider possibly adding in your keywords … such as Publicity Virtual Assistant.

2. Use Keywords Effectively
When you write posts for your business blog be conscious of the words that you choose. Pepper your posts with keywords relating to your business, products, services and brand. These keywords will trigger Search Engine results and help you reach the top of the results for your keywords. Be careful not to overuse keywords, though, because readers will get frustrated and the Search Engines consider that against the rules.

Also, consider keyword phrases – often called long tail keyword phrases (why, I’m not sure!). Long tail keywords are simply a sting of words that make up a phrase that represent your keywords. Think, what would people type in Google to find me. Examples, “how to start a business.” Think … how can I define my blog more (or this particular post). I wrote this blog post on … (fill in the blank), now what keywords do I need to put in so others can find me? Read More→

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Jul
31

How To Be A Better Entrepreneur

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Being a master entrepreneur is about much more than knowing how to run a business. The most celebrated entrepreneurs in the world have worked tirelessly to get to where they are today and will have developed a wide range of skills in this time. If you have aspirations of being a master entrepreneur and taking your business to the top, then it can be hard to know where to begin, but there are a few steps to take which will put you on the right path and could help you to find success. It can be extremely challenging, and you must be willing to step out of your comfort zone, but this will all prove to be worthwhile in the end.

 

Learn About The Great Entrepreneurs
There have been many incredible entrepreneurs over the years, and they have inspired people all around the world to start their own businesses. You can learn a lot about how to be a great entrepreneur by merely studying these individuals and learning from them. There are many names to look into, but a few worth researching include:

 

  • Bill Gates
  • Walt Disney
  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Steve Jobs
  • Andrew Carnegie

 

Find A Mentor

 

Similarly, many young/new entrepreneurs find it helpful to have a mentor that can provide advice and guidance. People often make the same mistakes when it comes to business, but you can avoid these by having a successful and experienced entrepreneur in your corner who can keep you on the right path.

Network Continuously
Networking never stops when you are an entrepreneur as the more people that you have a connection with, the more opportunities will present themselves. Networking online is a fantastic way to grow your brand and connect with people all over the world, so you should certainly be using social media and platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter. Additionally, make sure that you are networking in person, too, as this can be much more effective and memorable.

Be Tech-Savvy
Technology has always played an essential role in business but never more so than today. There have been so many remarkable technological advances in recent times which have completely revolutionised the way in which companies operate, so you need to be familiar with the latest technological trends and news. You can do this by reading blogs online, signing up to mailing lists, reading magazines, following tech people on social media, and so on. A few types of technology to familiarize yourself with at the moment include:

 

Set Yourself Goals
Being a better entrepreneur is all about self-improvement, but this can be challenging if you do not have goals and targets in place. Set yourself regular and achievable yet challenging goals so that you are always focused on moving forward. Be sure to celebrate these accomplishments when they have been made too.

Take Calculated Risks
As mentioned, you need to be able to step outside of your comfort zone in order to be a better entrepreneur which will require taking a few risks. These should always be calculated risks so that they should work out and not jeopardise your livelihood, but they should still be a risk. All of the best entrepreneurs in the world will have made numerous mistakes over their career, but they will learn from these mistakes so that they can be smarter in the future.

Improve Your Soft Skills
It is hard to succeed in business without excellent soft skills, so think about what areas need improving. You can improve your soft skills by reading, watching videos online and practice, but in some cases, there will be a course or class that you could take. The main skills that need polishing include:

 

  • Leadership skills
  • Communication skills
  • Time management
  • Self-motivation
  • Teamwork
  • Problem-solving
  • Negotiation

Earn Qualifications
You should also look into earning qualifications, which will help to improve your knowledge and skills in a business setting. A masters degree in operations management online is an excellent qualification which will equip you with the tools that you need to find great success in business. Additionally, you are able to study the course online, which means that there is flexibility, and you can study and work at the same time.

Stay Organised
One of the biggest challenges that entrepreneurs face is staying organised because there are so many areas that need close attention. This means that you need to find a way to organise your time and give enough attention to the different areas. Technology can be helpful for this and even lighten your workload, so make sure that you are embracing the latest technology.

Work Hard
The best entrepreneurs all have a strong work ethic which is better than the average person’s. This means that you need to find a way to improve your work ethic; you can do this through goal setting, focus and by eliminating any distractions. Although it is important to work hard, you must also make sure that you do not go overboard as this can lead to burnout and is not good for your physical or mental health. 

 

  • Look After Your Health

 

Although you will be highly busy with work, you must also find the time to look after your own health. This is so that you are able to perform to a high-level day in, day out, but also so that you can enjoy your life. Looking after your health will include:

 

 

These tips should help any entrepreneur to find greater success in their business ventures. It can be challenging to be a better entrepreneur as you must be willing to work hard, step outside your comfort zone and take risks but this journey makes the end result that much more rewarding, and you could find that it helps in other areas of your life too.

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Jul
18

How To Renovate Your Home Into A Place You Can Work And Live

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If you’re a work-from-home mom or want to start using more flexi-time to look after the kids, you will need a space that allows you to be productive. You may have heard other parents claim that working from home is impossible. However, if you sit in bed with the television on – then of course concentrating will be a struggle. If you want to create a home space that also works as an efficient office, here are a few aspects to consider. 

Fix the big issues first 

If you are dying to use the extension on the side of your house as a personal office, but leaks and disrepair make it a daily hazard, then it may be time to bit the bullet and get it fixed. Finding a contractor who can create a custom made metal roof for you will solve your problems and help you create a safe-to-live-in space. 

Clear space

Having a clear space will create a clear mind. If you have a small desk in your living room, which also happens to be littered with kids’ toys, you won’t be in the right frame of mind. However, clearing space doesn’t always mean putting a few books away here and there. Sometimes a clear-out can involve a significant re-shuffle. Here are a few ways to effectively clear some room and create a working space:

  • Pull out all books and decorative items in the room. Do you really need them or could they be re-loved at a charity shop or thrift store somewhere?
  • Do you have old furniture that is no longer used? This can take up significant room – particularly in spare rooms, which can easily become a junk yard for unwanted furniture and ornaments. 
  • Rearrange furniture: by pulling furniture out and trying it for size in different corners of the room, you not only ensure that every nook and cranny is cleaned, but you will also get to see if you are using your furniture to the best of its abilities in the space you have. 

Read More→

Categories : Articles, Jill's Blog
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Jun
21

Seasons of Finding Yourself

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We oftenWoman in worship position hear about “seasons of life,” especially when something tough happens in our life. As the years go by, I am also noticing what I like to call “seasons of finding myself.” This applied primarily to times in our life when a major shift has occurred, and we must readjust our view of ourselves – our identity – into a new normal.

Some of these major life shifts may include:

  • Becoming a wife
  • Becoming a mother
  • New life-stages of motherhood (infants, toddlers, elementary age, tweens, teens, adult children)
  • Transitioning home from the corporate world
  • Going back to school
  • Starting a new job

I have experienced each of these stages, and each one seems to throw me off while I sort-out what my new identity or role is. For example, when my children transitioned from toddlers to school age, I had to determine what my role would now be. My role as their mother hadn’t completely changed, but new role opportunities had been added – Room Parent, School Volunteer, PTA Parent, etc. I now had to decide what level of involvement I would have in my children’s day-to-day lives while they were at school.   Read More→

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Jun
14

5 Ways to Run an Ethical Business

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Many companies often develop various guidelines for their employees to adhere to, which can range from social media policies to payroll and overtime procedures. However, few fail to establish an ethics policy, which clearly sets out a code of conduct for the brand and staff to adhere to each day.

If you want to create a policy of your own, here are five ways to run an ethical business.

 

  • Set Core Business Values

 

Core business values will set internal priorities for your brand and could help to set it apart from its rivals. After all, they will inform your target audience that you run a trustworthy business that takes responsibility for its decisions and actions.

The values you incorporate into your business are not only essential to your branding, but they will define corporate behavior that you expect your employees to embody.

 

  • Secure Consumer Data

 

Every business has a responsibility to protect consumers sensitive data, such as their:

  • Addresses
  • Bank and credit card information
  • Customer account numbers
  • Email addresses

Unfortunately, some organizations fail to take this legal obligation seriously. If you want to protect your consumers’ data, invest in a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate, which will encrypt all data between the customer and your web server. It can also prevent hackers from accessing the information.

As an SSL certificate will change a URL from HTTP to HTTPS, it can indicate to your visitors that their information will be protected when they use your website. Read More→

Categories : Articles, Jill's Blog
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Jun
03

4 Ways to Teach Kids Good Security Habits at Home

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There are no shortage of worries when you become a parent, but the majority of them boil down to one simple objective: keeping your child safe. As your child gets older and more independent, it is critical to teach your child how to keep himself safe when you are not around, both for his safety and your sanity. Here are a few ways to build those good habits.

Teach Your Child to Notice the Details

Encourage and nurture a mindful, observant attitude in your child. It’s all too easy to get caught up in our thoughts and overlook details that could be critical to your safety at home. Teach your child to pay attention to his surroundings and notice the details. One easy way to do this is by playing a game of “I Spy.” Draw your child’s attention to anything that is out of the ordinary, like a strange car parked by your home or a suspicious person passing out flyers in your neighborhood. Make vigilance a habit from an early age to keep your child aware of his surroundings at all times. For young children, read books that have a personal safety theme as an additional way to reinforce this topic.

Keep the Doors Locked

Lock the door behind you whenever you enter your home and teach your child to do the same. It doesn’t matter how safe you think your neighborhood is, an unlocked door is an invitation for unwelcome guests. By building the habit of locking the door immediately, you can decrease the instances of forgetting to lock up when you are in a hurry, consumed with other tasks on your to-do list. The sooner that you can help your child build this habit, the sooner you can feel a little more confident about your child being at home alone when that time comes. Read More→

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May
17

101 Tips to Help Your Budget (and YOU) at Home – #100 & 101

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101 Ways to Help Your Budget and You at Home

 

100. Cut Out Haircuts
Now, we don’t want to go crazy here and have everyone running around with long shaggy hair, but it is possible to cut out expensive haircuts. You can, of course, choose to grow your hair out. Or you can purchase an inexpensive haircutting kit (such as this one on Amazon) and do cropped haircuts (both my son and husband allow me to cut their hair this way).

 

101. Reuse Old Stuff
In the end, one of the simplest ways to save money is to not buy new stuff. Find creative and useful ways to reuse what you already have. For instance, create tennis racket mirrors, candy themed pouches and even trash can tables.

 

Read the entire series here!

 

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May
15

101 Tips to Help Your Budget (and YOU) at Home – #97, 98 & 99

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101 Ways to Help Your Budget and You at Home

97. Go Natural
Consider planting a garden to save on the cost of fresh fruits and vegetables. It can be as simple as a garden box with tomato plants or as big and full as you can fit in your yard! Do some research on what grows well in your geographical area and what time of year to plant different items and then get to digging.

 

98. Create a Price Book
Know a good deal when you see one by creating a price book. “A price book is simply a list-a list of items that you normally buy, and what their lowest prices are at the stores you typically shop at. With this list, when you happen upon a possible “deal”, you will be able to quickly and simply tell if it will actually save you money.” Read more about how to create a price book here.

 

99. Washable Wins
Napkins, diapers and other disposable items can easily be replaced by washable cloth versions to save money. To reduce costs even further, create your own reusable napkins and diapers from inexpensive cloth or items you already have at home.

 

Read the entire series here!

 

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May
13

101 Tips to Help Your Budget (and YOU) at Home – #94, 95 & 96

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101 Ways to Help Your Budget and You at Home

94. Snack in Bulk
While they are convenient, buying the snack-size bags of crackers and cookies is often much more expensive. Instead, buy snacks in bulk and divide up into snack size portions and put in individual baggies for easy snacking.

 

95. Go Old School
While modern conveniences seem like the only way to things at times, there are tried-and-true (usually cheaper) ways to do things. For instance, consider line-dry clothing instead of using the dryer. Install a line in your laundry room or even hang them outside if the weather permits.

 

96. Trash It
Consider recycling or composting to save money on trash service. Or, if you have a pick-up or trailer, you could even haul your own trash to the dump instead of paying for someone else to do it.

 

Read the entire series here!

 

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