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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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jill-new14The Internet can be a scary place for those looking for a home-based business opportunity. The fear of not connecting personally with others is one concern and many people have been “taken” by online scams in their search for a legitimate business and are fearful to take any more risks. One way to overcome fears such as these is to market your online business locally. By simply offering the person a contact that they can speak to and possibly even meet face to face you will making the statement that your business is legitimate and trustworthy.

It is effective to market your online business locally primarily because potential customers and business recruits prefer to have the option of speaking with the business owner face to face. By attracting customers locally, you can maximize the opportunities to meet with them. You will no longer be that “someone they found online,” but someone that they will be able to relate to and feel confident doing business with.

But how do you market locally? Here are some excellent tips:

Besides the common local advertising routes, such as Newspaper Ads, Yellow Pages, Etc., another effective (and inexpensive) way to advertise locally is to post business related flyers around your community. Many grocery stores, libraries, bookstores, and office supply stores offer bulletin boards for this purpose. Make yours stand out and be recognized, yet professional enough to warrant someone trusting you with their business. Also, if possibly have a tear-off section on your flyer so they can take your number and leave your flyer.

Look for events geared toward small businesses. There are organizations, such as your local Chamber of Commerce, that hold events across the nation to help promote the small business owners. At events such as these, you can purchase a booth and make hundreds of local contacts, as well as sales, all in one day. Read More→

Jan
02

Organizing Your New Year

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jill-new14
new year new startThe New Year is here!

I look forward this new beginning each year with a great deal of anticipation. It’s time to shake off the things of last year and look to the days of head and all of the opportunites they hold.

To help you start your year off right, here are a few thoughts for organizing your business and household for the upcoming year.

BUSINESS 

1. Files – Now is a great time to go through your files and make sure all is in order – labeled and put in a place where they are easily accessible. Take the time to throw out anything that can go and put old tax and business files into storage.

2. Desk –  A clean desk is a great way to kick off the new year. Find a place for everything and put everything in it’s place. It will help motivate you to sit down and get to work – no distractions.

3. Calendar –  Buy yourself a new calendar and/or planner and start filling that baby up. Make sure to mark in the days when there is no school (or early out days), and other items that you’ll need to keep you organized in both business and family tasks.

HOUSEHOLD 

1. Drawers and Closets – With the cold weather keeping you indoors, this is a great time to clean out those drawers and closets that need your attention. It’s also a great time to donate your gently used items.

2. Books – Just like clothing and other household goods, books can be donated to your local homeless shelter. Our local shelter has a library available to all of it’s residents. So, take time this new year to go through your books and donate those that you can part with.

3. Storage Spots –  Now that it’s time to put the Christmas decorations away, you might as well tidy up those storage areas as well. I’ve found that adding shelving to our small storage room makes it much easier to keep things organized and accessible. Also, nowadays you can buy colored totes to make separating out holiday decorations – or other items – easy.

SPIRITUAL LIFE

1. Hello/Goodbye Workbook and in this new decade, they are offering The Last 10, The Next 10, (by Jo Saxton and Stephanie O’Brien – “The ‘Hello Goodbye’ process is a tool in response to New Year’s resolutions – it is not about fixing yourself, but intentionally, prayerfully turning away from certain things, whether good or bad, and turning towards other things.  Those things might be fun (like working out!) or they may be uncomfortable, such as embracing  grief or forgiveness, but the focus is finding ways to be healthier emotionally, spiritually and physically.”

2. Joanna Weaver’s 2018 Utmost for His Highest Bible Reading Plan  –  Joanna Weaver is the author of several books, most notably Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World. Joanna explains a little about her 2018 reading challenge: “Each day, after reading an assigned chapter from the Bible, you’ll be encouraged to also consider that day’s entry from Oswald Chambers’ devotional classic, My Utmost for His Highest .” Joanna will be sharing updates every weekday on her blog (and I’ll be contributing in April!). You can download the free workbook when you sign up (also free) on her website: JoannaWeaverBooks.com.

 

I hope you’re as excited about this new year as I am! I’d love to hear your tips for getting organized – post them in the comments below!

Read More→

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Dec
10

4 Considerations to Make When Deciding to Work from Home

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With the rise in popularity of working from home, many workers view it as a beneficial opportunity and would jump at the chance to make their comfortable home their workstation, too. Avoiding a tough commute and being able to work to your own schedule are just some of the bonuses of working from home. However, a lot of people easily neglect the negative aspects of working from home, or at the very least, they don’t realize the extent to which their home has to be prepared for this new routine. 

Below are 4 important considerations to take into account before you decide on a home-based work routine. 

  1. Do You Need to Move Property? 

This may seem like a huge leap, but it’s an important decision to make if you’re serious about working from home for a significant period of time – or even the rest of your working career. If you currently live in a property that is simply too small or doesn’t provide the environment you need to work from home successfully, then a new property is a relevant consideration. 

You should consider the following: 

  • What kind of working space you need, whether it’s a home office or a workshop, and whether your current property can be changed to accommodate that 
  • How much privacy you need, such as living with a family and needing a quiet space to fulfill your work. If your current property only has one main living area, then you may need a new property that provides a separate room to work in

As with any new property, be sure to have a home inspection from a qualified individual using home inspection tools before you make any final decisions.

2. Are You Organized Enough? 

Some individuals are naturally organized, and others are not. Making the decision to work from home doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re equipped with the skills needed to make it work effectively. Working from home requires a huge amount of preparation and self-discipline to get the job done, especially if you are going to be alone for the majority of the time and are prone to distractions

If you’re an individual who has always thrived in a busy work environment with other employees and are used to being delegated tasks and told precisely how to manage your time, that will all change when you decide to work from home. You need to be able to understand how to manage your time effectively and organize a professional routine that works for you. 

If you don’t already have these skills in place, you will need to look to hone them before you begin your home-based work, in order to get the best out of your arrangement.

3. If You Live with Others, How Will Your New Schedule Affect Them? 

Working from home is easier to adapt to when you only have yourself to think about – but what if you live with others? Whether it’s a partner, a small family, or a huge family, your new home-based working routine will affect everybody. If you share your home with others, they need to understand the changes which have to be made. 

You don’t want to compromise on the happy and healthy home life you have, but at the same time, your home needs to be treated as a working environment when applicable. This isn’t so much a problem if your working hours are going to be set when the other residents will be absent from the property, whether they’re at their own jobs or attending school. However, if you intend to work during hours when other individuals will be at home, then you all need to come to an agreement regarding your work schedule being respected and not being disturbed. 

Additionally, you should also ensure that your work doesn’t intrude on any downtime your family needs to have at home – which is why a separate working office is much better than working in the living room, for example.

4. Can You Handle the New Financial Demands?

Working from home as a self-employed worker means that you are completely in charge of your personal finances. More importantly, this includes the tax amount you need to set aside in order to file your own taxes. If you find it very difficult to manage your finances effectively in general, then you need to make sure extra care and attention is taken, so you fully understand the amount of tax you need to be setting aside every time you get paid. 

 

Categories : Articles, Jill's Blog
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Dec
06

4 Ways to Grow Your Business

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Whatever stage you reach with your business, it’s never easy to take it to the next level. While you often hear about incredible rags-to-riches success stories from businesses that came from nothing, the majority of business success is earned over time through sheer hard work. Nevertheless, there are several ways that you can develop your business and propel it to the next level. All business success is born out of good planning, so it’s important to always have your goals in mind and a clear idea of how you’re going to achieve them. 

Here are four ideas you can incorporate into your plan to help grow your business.

Boost Your Capital 

If your aspirations are being held back by your budget, you need to find new ways to get more capital. Either you can look to build your capital through investors, or you can get a business loan. By opting for a small business loan from a company like biz2credit.com, you can get the extra capital you need to turn your business plans into a reality. Money makes money, and if you’ve got a strong growth plan, a loan can help you take the next steps in successfully expanding your business. 

Invest in Your Website 

The internet is playing an ever more important part in peoples’ lives, and your website needs to reflect this reality. People make big assumptions about your company based on your website; in fact, 75% of consumers admit to making judgments on a company’s credibility based on its website’s design. Whatever line of business you operate in, your website says everything a consumer needs to know about you, and that’s before we even factor in its ability to generate leads and create sales. If your business is going places, then your website needs to show people that you’re going places, and they should come along for the ride. 

Be Specialized

When you’re looking to grow your business, you naturally look for areas you can develop. What if you can expand by cutting back on some of your operations and focusing on the things you do best, though? We tend to get carried away doing all we can for everyone in search of greater revenues, but sometimes, it pays to stick to the things you do best. It’s easy to outsource the things you’re not so good at in modern business, which gives you more time to focus on maximizing the things you are good at. 

Create a Positive Customer Experience

Modern technology gives consumers the ability to have a greater say in the experience they get from your company, and they expect to be able to take full advantage of this opportunity. You’re always looking to improve your products, but you’ve got to continue to make improvements in your customer experience. You have many ways to get detailed feedback from your customers, so use it to create the experience they are looking for. You can’t just rely on good products; the customer experience has to be high-quality too. 

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Dec
05

How to Run a Successful Home-Based Business

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If you’re tired of the traditional 9-to-5 working environment, then you should branch out and start your own home-based business venture. If you’ve got a profitable business idea and you have the ability to remain productive despite not having a boss looming over your shoulder throughout the working day, this could very well prove to be both a fruitful and fulfilling route for you to take in your career.

To find out what you need to do to run a successful home-based business, be sure to read on:

 

Go above and beyond to prove your worth

No matter how big your company grows or how successful your venture turns out to be, your home-based business will always be labeled with the stigma of operating from a residential address. Most consumers will openly admit to the fact that they would much prefer to bring their business to companies that operate from traditional workspace environments, and that’s something that your organization simply cannot provide. This is just the way the world of business is, and you’re never going to change that.

What you can change, however, is the perception that people have about your business. You can prove to them that you are a viable option in your market despite the fact that you do not work out of a commercial property. To show that you are a bonafide competitor in your field in this instance, you must go above and beyond to prove your worth. To do this, you should:

  • Communicate with customers, partners, and clients in an effective manner that they expect from business owners — if your communication skills could do with a little improvement, have no qualms in enlisting yourself on a Speaking Training Toni Vans course
  • Have all the right equipment at hand to ensure that you are able to take on all orders no matter how big they are or the time at which they come in
  • Keep your company website up and running at all times to ensure that your business is always accessible

 

Write out a business plan

Writing out a business plan is one of the best things that you can do to ensure your home-based company’s long-term success.

Here are a few of the things that you need to incorporate into your plan if it is to be as effective and targeted as it can possibly be:

Executive summary — a professional overview of your plan

Company description — a brief history pertaining to the inception of your business

Products and/or services — information regarding what it is you actually plan to offer to customers going forward

Market analysis — proof that you have studied your market, that you understand your niche, and that you know who your competitors are

Marketing and sales — a documentation of all the ways you plan on promoting your business

There’s nothing stopping you from taking your home-based business to the very pinnacle of its industry. To reach those lofty heights, you just have to be willing to put the move advice into practice.

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Oct
08

5 Inspirations for a Career in Social Work

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Social work is both a demanding and rewarding vocation. It is a career that offers diversity and an opportunity to make notable differences in people’s lives. These 5 American individuals have made notable contributions to and impacts upon the social sector and may inspire your career progression into social work.

How you could become a pioneer of the future

You are now able to obtain a social work online degree that can prepare you for a role in areas such as social services, policy analysis, or within health agencies and better position you to implement change and improve lives. Like the people you are about to learn about, it could be you who is next to deliver significant transformations within the social care sector.

William C. Pugh (1921-1989)

Pugh’s 35-year career in social work had a significant impact in Alabama. He established and executed a number of social services programs for the citizens of Alabama, including a legal service program for the under-privileged and both a day care and advocacy program for those with developmental incapacities. In addition to this, he also contributed to the development in academia within the University of Alabama. 

He later became a Director of AGAPE, an agency committed to supporting children and families with a number of social issues, such as marriage counselling and adoption matters. Perhaps his most significant legacy was as a discoverer of talent and mentor to numerous social work professionals, many of whom continue to carry out high levels of care to the Alabama community.

Jane Addams (1860-1935)

Addams was a pioneer of social working in America and was the first ever American woman to be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize. She is considered to be the founder of US social work as a profession and had significant political influences.

Jane recognized the connection between governmental services, such as schooling and sanitation, and the role of women within the household at the time. This connection formed a valid argument for women to secure the vote, influence services that would enable families to be better supported, and better improve and support their communities.

She also co-founded Hull House, which later became renowned as one of the most famed settlement houses in the USA. Drawing in an array of prominent figure heads, driving support, and providing a voice for those in the greatest need, Hull House studied and campaigned for improvement in:

  • Midwifery
  • Over-crowding
  • Truancy
  • Substance abuse
  • Child and working women welfare services
  • Housing

Ida B. Wells (1862-1931)

Wells was a significant figure-head for the progressive movement and fought relentlessly for gender and racial equality. She was a founding member of a number of associations centering around the right to vote for and the inclusion of African-American women as well as equality for all Americans. 

As an established journalist, she was the first to record the lynching of African-American people and was a leader for many anti-lynching campaigns. She worked alongside Jane Addams in opposition to segregation in schools in Chicago and helped establish settlements for migrating African-Americans heading to the South. She is now commemorated in the Ida B. Wells-Barnett museum in Mississippi, which is a hub for African-American history.

Alfred Neumann (1910-2002)

Neumann was an advocate for the Jewish population during his 30+ year career in social services. He worked in Denver, New York, Cleveland, Ohio, and Minnesota among others within Jewish Social Service organizations to improve family and child services, including adoption, counselling, immigration, and rehabilitation. This included the implementation of vocational and psychological screening and workshops. He consulted with other agencies to assist in the resettlement of those seeking refuge due to persecution, war, and natural disasters, for example, and provide comprehensive support and counselling to allow them to deal with the individual and family problems they were suffering from. 

In addition to this, he also consulted the Office of Economic Opportunity at a senior level, training in administration and resource management in order to better utilize volunteers. He was also a pioneer in the reorganization of the Jewish Family and Children’s Service social service and family counselling programs in Colorado. He was awarded for his substantial contributions in Colorado, and this ultimately resulted in the 30th of June 1982 being dubbed “Dr. Alfred M. Neumann Day” by the Governor of Colorado! Read More→

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Oct
03

Choosing a Name for Your Work From Home Business

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Choosing a name for a work at home business can be difficult. In fact, choosing a name for any business can be, as once it is chosen, you can’t go back. You want something that sounds right for the type of work you do, isn’t already taken, and is unique. This can take some thinking about, and it isn’t something that can simply be done overnight. If you are starting a work at home business, here is how you can go about choosing a name. 

Standing Out

Work from home businesses are becoming more popular, and this means more than ever you need to choose a name that will make you stand out from the crowd. Perhaps this is going to be something that will make people laugh, or perhaps you just want this to be something simple so that people will understand straight away from your business name what it is that you do. Some people prefer to use their last name and what their business is, while others decide to take the risk and use something quirky. This comes down to your personality and your willingness to attempt a quirkier name. 

You also need to consider the future too, for example, you may want to name your business “Smith’s Wedding Photography” but what if in a few months you broaden that horizon and start doing other events and parties? This would mean changing your business name, so think very carefully about how you may want to expand in the future. 

Ask for Opinions

Once you have chosen a few ideas, ask for opinions. You may be very biased if you came up with the name yourself and it may be that you didn’t notice a flaw in the name. Asking a range of people including friends, family and even strangers means you will get a good idea of whether the name could work or not. If you want the name to be simple and want those who hear it to know exactly what your business is, ask them and see if they can guess. If they can, you’ve hit the nail on the head and can move onto step three. 

Legalities

Once you have chosen a name or two that you like, it is time to check if the business name has already been taken, as well as how you want your business to run. 

There are many forms of businesses out there including sole proprietorship and LLC, so you must first choose what you want your business to run as. You can then use an online search tool to determine if your name has already been used. For example, if you live in Oregon you can use a state-specific business registry search to ensure that your business name is legal to use. 

Choosing a great name is just the start for your work from home business. Once you have chosen the perfect name, you can begin to build everything from your website to your logo.

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Sep
30

Living Life As a Mad Mom – Hope and Help For Angry Moms

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I know firsthand was life as an angry mom is like. I spent almost two years trying to control my temper and failing miserably. It took a confrontation with someone close to me for me to really take a good, hard look in the mirror and realize that the problem was bigger than me. My anger was out of control. I had turned into someone that I didn’t recognize and my family was suffering because of it.

Living Life As a Mad Mom - Hope and Help For Angry Moms, by Jill HartSoon after that confrontation, my kids and I were in the doctor’s office because one of them was sick. After the check-up, as the doctor was getting ready to go I mentioned to him briefly that I’d been struggling with anger. I remember saying, “I’m not sad or depressed. Just really angry…all the time.” Having known us for quite a while (in fact he delivered my son), he gave me a prescription for an anti-depressant and wanted me to try it to see if it helped. I really wanted it to help. I wanted to be a good mom, a loving mom, and at the moment I felt an ogre.

Fast-forward a couple of years. I was no longer taking the anti-depressants and the anger was still an issue. One day, during an appointment with a med-student (I had gone in because my hands were swollen), she decided to check my thyroid levels because of some other symptoms that I described such as weight gain and exhaustion. It turned out that things that I assumed were part of a mom’s normal life (what mom isn’t over-tired? and many of us are still carrying around a little ‘baby fat’, right?) were actually a medical issue with my thyroid. I’m thrilled to tell you that after a year of treatment, I’m on my way to being “normal” again and the anger is no longer an issue. Read More→

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Sep
20

From Idea to Finished Product – Three Tips for Budding Entrepreneurs

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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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