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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Customers always want to get the most value, and that value means both money and time. The more value that you offer your customers, the more likely they will be to purchase from you. It truly is that simple. However, achieving the right level of value provision is a challenge that will need a robust and proactive strategy. Providing the right kind of value is essential, but it will depend on your sector and your branding. If you’re not focusing your strategy on those areas, then the chances are that what you are currently providing is minimal, and that will reflect clearly on your bottom line. If you want to offer the right value, then these key areas should be your starting point.

 

Becoming an authority

The more that your customers see you as an authority in your field, the more trust they will place on your business. Look at your sector, and consider the reasons why someone might come to visit your website. If they come looking for answers to a question and you don’t have the answer to that question, then they have received no value and will seek it elsewhere.

 

Boost authority
There are several ways to do this, with content marketing the proven key to authority establishment. If your current marketing strategy is not working as well as you hoped, it may be time to focus on value by making use of professional experts. The experts at companies such as Click Intelligence are able to fine-tune your marketing goals and provide a clearly focused strategy that adds real value. Look at ways to improve your authority, and your value will grow organically.

 

Understanding consumer needs

The more that you know about what your customers want from you, the better you will be able to provide them with value. Any business that has not yet carried out an exhaustive market research campaign in order to understand the basics of their current customer base is going to be working with incomplete data. Make it a priority to understand who your customers are, as well as their habits and ways of using the internet. Look at your social media platforms and only prioritize those that you know your audience is using. You should know what devices they are using, what times of day they are most likely to be online, and most importantly, what they are looking for from your business. The more that you know, the more that you will be able to target your growth more accurately.

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Categories : Articles, Jill's Blog
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Tell us about your new novel, Ours for a Season.

Ours for a Season probably combines the most incompatible list of themes I’ve ever tried to meld into a single story: infertility, marital discord; questioning one’s faith; life-long friendship; homelessness; a serious health challenge; rebuilding a ghost town… But if I were to encapsulate it all into one thematic idea, I would say this is a story about starting anew. There’s a wonderful old hymn with the phrase, “Morning by morning new mercies I see…” That is what this story is about: God’s mercies blooming fresh in people’s lives.

 

Most of the book takes place in a Kansas ghost town. Being from Kansas yourself, are there any real places that remind you of the ghost town?

Several years ago, my critique partners and I visited a nearly abandoned Kansas town called Elgin. The crumbling buildings in the business district made my heart ache. One could imagine the once-thriving community and the pride the owners must have taken in operating their stores. One of my critique members commented that it was too bad we didn’t have the money to bring everything back to life, and the idea of restoring the historical structures sort of got tangled with the idea of rebuilding broken spirits and emerged in this story.

 

The book touches on human trafficking. How did you become interested in this topic?

I’ve always had a soft spot for people who suffer from abuse, especially sexual abuse. The subject of trafficking became personal to me when the young teen daughter of one my daughter’s neighbors was missing for several months and eventually rescued from the man who was pimping her out (such an ugly thought). If a child from small-town Kansas can get caught up in this net, it’s far too prevalent. The effects of being used in such a vile way by people who claim to care about you are deep and agonizing, and we all—every single person—need to take a stand and do what we can to put this soul-stealing industry out of business.

 

The book is in memory of your dear writing friend and author Diann Hunt. Can you tell us more about how she inspired this story?

Diann died in December of 2013 after a lengthy battle with ovarian cancer. Although the cancer ravaged her body, it never stole her faith or her infectious love for life. She wrote on Facebook on a day when she was feeling particularly low physically, “Stop! Right where you are. What do you see? Taste? Feel? Smell? Hear? Root yourself in this very moment. Memorize it. Life is made up of these. Don’t be so consumed by the past or with the future that you are blinded to your moment. Right now. The one you’re given by Almighty God to make a difference. Go out and live for Jesus today, my friends! I mean REALLY live!! You can do it! Start now. Ready. Set. Go!” She so loved Jesus (she glowed Jesus) and she so loved laughter (you couldn’t help but laugh when in her presence) and so loved life… She’s been gone now for several years, but she lives in the hearts and memories of her family members and many who had the pleasure of calling her friend. Brooke and Marty were to each other what Diann was to many of us—steadfast, encouraging, and ever loving. She wanted to make a difference, just as Brooke wanted to make a difference. Brooke did, and so did Diann.

 

What can you tell us about what you’re working on next?

Next out of the chute is a historical story set at the Cotton States and International Exposition in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1895. Laurel Millard, youngest of seven children and expected to stay home and “take care of Mama,” becomes a silkworm weaver at the exposition in hopes of snagging a beau wealthy enough to support both her and her mother so she can have her own home and family while still honoring her siblings’ expectations. Of course, what we want isn’t always what God deems best for us. The story is called A Silken Thread and will release in early April of next year.

 

Where can readers find more information about Ours for a Season?
Please visit the WaterBrook website or my website: www.KimVogelSawyer.com.

Categories : Jill's Blog
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Oct
09

Organizing Your Home Office

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It can be a real challenge as a work at home parent to maintain an organized home office. Many times, the office or desktop is the last of our worries as we strive to raise our children, support our spouses and run our home-based business. However, keeping up with the clutter and chaos of your office may be just what you need to get you in a working mindset and help you to be more efficient while working.

There a few simple things that you can do on a regular basis that will help to de-stress organizing process:

 

  • Address your home office/desktop chaos in blocks of time. You may need to set aside just a few hours, or you may need an entire day. Decide what will work for you and stick to it. If it’s not possible for you to set aside a block of time, consider using a headset while you are on the phone and be de-cluttering, too!
  • Have the necessities on hand: a trash can, pen, file folders, mail baskets and other organization items that will enable you to sort, throw out and find a place for each item. Envision your goal and purchase the supplies necessary to create that environment.
  • Clear the space you want to organize (the desk surface, one of the drawers, etc.). Then make a pile of all the paper. Begin to evaluate each piece of paper, sorting it by importance. Throw out as much as possible and find a place for each of the other items.
  • If you start to feel stressed, take a break. Make a goal of how far you’d like to get during the time you have available and set an incentive for yourself if you reach your goal. It’s always easier to complete a task when you know you’ll be rewarded.

Once you’ve organized your office, it’s important to take small steps everyday to keep the room clean and tidy. It’s very easy to fall back into the routine of piling things on your desktop and around the room. There are five simple tasks that you can do daily to help maintain your organized space:

1. Clean out your “Inbox”. In today’s world this can apply to postal mail or email. Create a special basket for postal mail that needs to be taken care of right away, and another for items that can wait a day or two.

To keep your email inbox under control, create folders within your email program. Keep what needs to be done immediately in your inbox and distributed the rest into your folders. You can also use “rules” to help separate email and make it easier to manage.

2. Make sure all notes are transferred to your calendar, palm pilot or day planner. It is very easy to pile up a desktop full of paper by writing every note on a Post-it. You can also create an “Idea Book” to catalog all of your business ideas for future reference.

3. Remove all mail, catalogs & magazines from your desk. Put them in their proper place as you receive them. This will considerably cut down the amount of clutter on your desktop.

4. File as you go. This is the most basic and most important tip of all. If you file as you go your records will be in order, your desktop will be clear and you will feel like a professional.

5. Clean off your desktop each evening. There’s nothing better than sitting down at a clean workspace each morning. It helps to keep your mind focused on your business and makes finding important documents a snap.

By following these easy guidelines you will have a clean and organized home office in no time. Having a clutter-free workspace is the first step in creating an organized and professional home-based business.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jill Hart is the author of several books and the founder of Christian Work at Home Ministries, CWAHM.com.

Oct
01

How to Fund Your Growing Business

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In today’s world, there are more people starting their own businesses than ever before. However, very few make it past the first year, and this is largely due to financial struggles weighing them down. Every business owner deserves the chance to show the world what they are bringing to the table, which is why it’s a great idea to look for ways to fund your growing business. This can be a struggle when there are so many options out there, so you should take note of some of the best ideas, which will help you get your business on the road to success in no time.

 

Use personal savings

One of the most popular options when it comes to funding a business is using your own personal savings. While some people are fortunate enough to have large resources to fund their business with, others aren’t. Yet, this doesn’t mean all hope is lost. There are many ways you can top up your personal savings, such as keeping a part-time job on the side or by starting to trade on platforms such as TastyWorks. If you are new to trading stocks, you can read a reliable TastyWorks review to see if it’s the best option to help you save quickly.

 

Find a business partner

Sometimes, handling the pressure of owning a business and finding ways to fund it can be a lethal combination. This is when many people choose to bring a business partner into the fold, who can help them with certain responsibilities and funding aspects for a cut of the business. This is only an ideal option if you are willing to share ownership of your business, but it can be a huge help when you are struggling financially and time-wise to have someone there, and it can give you more free time to spend with your family.

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Categories : Articles, Jill's Blog
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Sep
29

Review: Reload Love

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Will we try to forget all the things we’ve seen?
Or will we see, really see, and then let our emotions lead us into a new way of living?

Reload Love is the story of one woman who refused to look away from atrocities on her television screen. Lenya Heitzig allowed her heart to break at the plight of refugees and the deaths of innocent children, and then she begged God for a job to do.

In this gritty, passionate story, Lenya details the epic way God answered her prayers—how a spark came to life turning weapons of war into something beautiful. Experience the hope found in a children’s playground as you journey with her through the jungles of Burma and the war-torn streets of the Middle East.

Though the shape of your heart and passion may look very different, you will find hope and inspiration in ordinary people who go to incredible lengths to share God’s life-giving love.

Enter to win a copy of Reload Love: https://www.blessedfreebies.com/reload-love.html

About the Author Lenya Heitzig’s heart is to reach out to hurting people through tangible acts of love. She is the founder of Reload Love, a ministry which touches the lives of children affected by terrorism. Lenya also serves as the executive director of she Ministries at Calvary Church, pastored by her husband, Skip. www.lenyaheitzig.com

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Sep
28

Why Professional Development is Important for Teachers

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teacher's appleOnce upon a time, it was considered OK to get the right qualification and then start off on your chosen career path, without looking back or needing to do anything extra. Things have changed considerably, particularly for those choosing a career in education. Continuing education requirements are now part and parcel of being a teacher. Sometimes they are only encouraged, while at other times they are mandatory. Whether you consider this an annoyance or welcome it with open arms will be a personal thing. However, there are a number of ways in which professional development can benefit you.

The Benefits of Continuing Education Courses for Teachers

There are a wide variety of continuing education credits for teachers to choose from. Subjects range from art courses to the principles of coaching and much more in between. There are courses on dealing with unruly parents, improving mathematical skills and how to help slow learners.

The education system has come on in leaps and bounds with the advent of technology, and it is still constantly changing. To be able to provide the best learning environment for your students it’s important for you to keep abreast of all the changes. You owe it to your students to be up-to-speed with the latest teaching techniques.

Taking extra courses provides an opportunity for you to network and hone your valuable skills. From a career perspective, it will improve your chances of promotion and your students will also benefit from your new skills.

Enrolling in a Continuing Education Program  

Trying to fit in new learning can be very difficult for a teacher. There are the weekends, but this isn’t always the most attractive option. Luckily, there are a number of online courses you can choose from. Enrolling for an online course means you can study at your own pace. Your choice, of course, won’t be restricted by your location, and the cost of traveling will be removed. There is a downside to online learning, which is that there won’t be the same interaction between instructors, classmates and the content of the course. However, most good courses do provide ways to keep in touch and interact to some extent.

Continuing your education long after you’ve gained the necessary qualification is important. Challenging yourself will keep you moving forward. This applies whatever industry you choose to work in as very few look the same as they did just a couple of decades ago. For the betterment of yourself both professionally and personally you need to keep up to date with the latest trends, attend seminars and take online courses to further your education. Getting stuck in your ways and not looking to better yourself will not only impede your career. It will also be of detriment to your students.

If you’ve not taken part in anything so far, it’s never too late to start. Do some research online and see what’s available. Ask your colleagues what they have found interesting and take the first steps towards improving your skills. It’s an investment you’re not going to regret making.  

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Sep
28

The Ultimate Guide To Setting Up Your Own Business

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When you first start to think about setting up your own business, it can be so overwhelming. Most of the time, you’ll find that your mind just automatically thinks about all of the things that you’ll have to do. So much so, you may see this on a huge scale! And that can always cause you to freak out! Instead, you need to take a few steps back and think about in all in stages. Little stages for a small business! Because if you’re going to get overwhelmed right off the bat, you may never get started. So don’t see this as a huge deal. Instead, you need to think about this as being a small business that you’re just going to casually set up and see what happens. When you do that, and you follow the right steps, you’ll find it so much easier to manage.

Now, the only question is, how do you get started? Because this is often what holds a lot of people back – actually knowing what to do to get the business off of the ground. But the good news is, this can all be learned. So let’s take a look at what you can do to get your dream business off the ground.

  1. Set Goals

The very first thing you need to do before you do anything, is figure out why you’re going this. In order for you to set up everything right from the start, and for it to work, you need to know what you’re going. This is where your goals come in. So start to think about what you want to achieve with your business and what you really want to get out of it. Then put your overarching goals in place.

 

  1. Start A Business Plan

When you’re starting to think about what you want to achieve, you should start your business plan. Writing a business plan can seem very formal and important. But it’s really just a way for you to get all of your thoughts and ideas down for your business. It makes you really think about each area so you know what you need to do to make your company work. Find a template and get started on this next.

 

  1. Do Some Research

Now, one thing you will start to realize as you’re doing that, is you need to do some research. But that’s always the case when you’re launching a business. You’ll not only want to research the sections talked about in your plan, but you will always want to research the market you’re looking to enter and your competitors too.

 

  1. Define Your Audience

Then, one of the first things you need to do is to choose your target audience. When you launch a business, you need to know who your customer is. You need to know who you’re aiming your products at and what they are looking for from you. For this, you want to sort of imagine a person that you’re marketing to at all times – what they like, dislike, their lifestyle, and their struggles. That way, the next two steps will be more effective.

 

  1. Create A Marketing Strategy

Marketing to your audience can be a lot of fun – but it has to be relevant to them too. No exceptions! You’ll want to really target all of your marketing activity to your ideal customer segment. This means that the channels you choose and the content you put out will all need to engage them, so plan this carefully with a marketing strategy.

 

  1. Define Your Product Or Service

From here, you then need to really home in on your product or service. What makes it special? Why would your audience by from you over anyone else? You need to be really sure that your offering is the best it can be in terms of quality, pricing, and where you’re selling it.

 

  1. Gain The Skills You Need

At this point, you may find that you need to learn more. And that’s very normal. You may not know how to write or how to design or even how to use Facebook Advertising. but don’t worry – all of these skills can be learned. Practice your writing and take an online course if you have to. Use a simple design tool like Canva, if you want. And you can easily learn about ads online. Just make sure that you’re really pushing yourself to learn everything you need to know.

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Categories : Articles, Jill's Blog
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Sep
27

Relaxing Hobbies From Home- For WAHMs

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As a work at home mom, you’re busy pretty much all of the time. As well as looking after your children and doing regular mom stuff, you’re also running your own business or working from your desk around all of this. This doesn’t leave much of an opportunity to do much else- however it’s important that when you do get the opportunity to relax, that you do so. A fun, relaxing hobby can break the work/ eat/ sleep/ repeat cycle. It can help you to build up your skills, and can also help you to maintain a bit of ‘you’- an identity that’s often lost when you become a parent. Ideally you need something that’s inexpensive since as parents we’re often on a budget. You need something accessible, and from home as that way you can easily fit it in around your daily tasks without extra planning and preparation. But what kinds of hobbies fit the bill? Here are some ideas.

 

Try a new craft

Sewing, knitting, baking, jewellery making, logo design and much more can all be enjoyed from the comfort of your own home. You could order a starter bundle of any materials you need and have a go at creating new things. Again, this could go on to become a business or you could just do it for yourself. It’s a hobby you could enjoy alone or with your children.

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Categories : Articles, Jill's Blog
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Sep
24

Review: Guideposts Academy

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I’m truly excited to share with you an awesome initiative by Guideposts to make writing classes available to everyone. I had the opportunity to sample the class “How to Tell a Great Story” and I loved it!

The format is user friendly and easy to follow. There are recorded sessions, which I found very enjoyable, as well as a workbook that can be downloaded. I found both beneficial and, although I write non-fiction, I found the course really helpful is crafting the way I tell stories with the writing I do.

I would recommend this class for anyone who is interested in writing, as well as anyone who is already writing but wants to be challenged with new and different ways of doing things

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Other student reviews:

Guideposts Academy 5 Stars

By Patricia Parish

July 8th, 2018

This course an incredible opportunity for me. No university could have done better. So much for so little money. I thank you all so very much. Will be sending something to you all regularly even if all I get is rejections! So grateful for the helpful information, I am tearing up as I write this. Patricia (Pat) Parish, Blessings to the teachers and all your personnel.

Rating: 5 of 5

 

Quick Course that is Very Helpful

By Barbara Litchfield

April 30th, 2018

Thus course is excellent!  The short recorded sessions with Edward, Rick, Colleen, Jim, and Amy, were full of helpful information for writers in any genre.  The workbook download helped me with note taking and reinforced the learning.  I also am grateful that I can retake the course whenever I need a refresher.  It is definitely worth $24.99.

Rating: 5 of 5

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Sep
20

Simple Tactics to Boost Office Morale

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If you are very much in tune with the way your workplace is running, you should be aware as to whether your employees are happy in their job role. In recent times, you may have noticed a lack of productivity, lower performance levels and fewer conversations between employees,  but why is that?

While low morale may be out of your control if they are struggling with issues in their personal lives, there are a number of tactics you can use to lift the positivity within your workplace.

Here are 4 ways you can boost office morale within your workplace:

1.  Recognize efforts

Often, employees can feel their hard work is going unnoticed, which means they don’t feel as though they should be going above and beyond to produce results. To show you are taking note of how their personal development, praise employees within meetings as and when necessary or you may even take the time to write a handwritten letter of thanks to leave on their desk. If you feel a certain employee has really produced outstanding results, you could even opt to give out bonuses.

2.  Keep the work environment fun

Although you are all essentially there to do a job, there is nothing wrong with allowing employees to let off a bit of steam on the odd occasion. You may set up a team-building day for new employees to get to know current employees in which they can bond over ice-breaking activities.

You may also decide to add more long-term entertainment to the office, such as adding a ping-pong table or video game machine to the break room. If you like the idea of your employees meeting up out of the office, you could, for example, offer to take them out once per month at a restaurant of their choice.

3. Give employees added benefits

No employee will feel productive if they feel they can’t make themselves at home to an extent. For example, employees with young children may be allowed to bring their little ones along during the summer holidays, so they don’t have to worry about arranging childcare. This idea also allows employees to get to know one another even more and shows you, as a business owner, care about each individual employee on a more personal level.

Purchasing a coffee machine for the workplace is also a great way of spirits in which employees can make a drink during their working hours, without having to wait until their break comes around. You may even arrange a couple of coffee breaks throughout the working day, so staff members have some time to catch up with one another. Add a state-of-the-art coffee machine to the office, so that your employees can enjoy free hot beverages. Companies such as Office Coffee offer simple-to-use coffee machines, which provides you with barista-like coffee.

4. Extra holiday time and paid birthdays

Employees will most likely work harder to achieve if they know they have longer breaks to look forward to. Therefore, it may be an idea to boost the amount of holiday they can take or allow employees to spend the day off work on their birthday.

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