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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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40 Days to a Better Business

When you’re in business for yourself, your reputation is incredibly important and must be handled with care. In order to gain customers, you must earn their trust. In order to earn their trust, you must run your business with integrity, striving to do your best for your customers at all times.

To keep yourself grounded and on the right path as a business owner, it’s important to not only have a mission statement for your business, but for yourself as well. I call this your Personal Mission Statement. It defines not only your intentions as a business owner, but also helps keep you accountable as you face the hard decisions that come with running your business.

Writing your Personal Mission Statement is somewhat like writing your Business Mission Statement. In fact, it’s a good idea to print out your Business Mission Statement and have it in front of you as you write your personal statement.

To get started, think through questions like:

* Who am I as a business owner? How do I want to be seen, remembered or talked about by my clients and customers?

* Why will customers choose to work with me? What about me stands out from the crowd?

* What has God called me – as an individual – to do?

Once you’ve fleshed out answers to these questions, compile them into a short paragraph. Then refine your wording until you have a Personal Mission Statement that you’re comfortable with.

Print out both your Personal Mission Statement and your Business Mission Statement and post them near where you work. Refer back to them daily as a reminder of who you are and where you’re headed.

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If you are considering starting your own business, then you have no doubt looked at what others have done to be successful. The problem is that there isn’t a one size fits all when it comes to business; you have to choose something you love doing, or at least have an interest. If you are stuck for ideas, here are some of the top new business ideas for 2018.

Social Media Consulting

The world of social media is growing all the time, with many of the platforms still developing. There are still a number of businesses that haven’t joined many of these networks and have little idea as to what they need to do. If you are used to social media, and you know what it takes to make a post go viral, then you can offer to be a consultant for these companies. Because of the potential revenue that social media can generate, companies are willing to pay well for the help you can give them.

Box Subscriptions

Box subscriptions are becoming more popular recently, but there are still some areas that are as yet untapped. The premise is that you create a box full of certain goods that are tailor-made to each subscriber. It could be beauty products, chocolates or wine; these boxes are then sent each month to the subscriber for them to enjoy. While you can go for the luxury end of the market, it could be better to keep it as inexpensive as possible.

Property Investment

To enter the realm of property investment, you need to have some capital, but it can quickly become a great way to build wealth. The other big advantage is that you consult with other companies like 1031 Exchange Properties to help you with your reinvestment. Investing in real estate can be the riskiest of the new business ideas, but the rewards can be the best of them all.

Fitness Instructor

Health and fitness are always big topics, and there are always people looking for a trainer. If you love exercise and think you have what it takes, then you can start your own fitness company. You can advise on healthy eating and exercise and take classes at your home or in a rented unit. Once you have started, there are many possibilities to this business; you can add yoga, Pilates, and other routines as well.

Software Training

Technology is everywhere, and more businesses now require customers to interact with them online. The problem is there are a lot of people who are uneasy about using computers and technology. People such as these can be an ideal way to start a new business venture, offering classes or personal tuition on how to use computers and the internet. You can also offer classes for the higher end businesses to teach them new software or technology.

There are many ideas that you can use to start a new business this year, the most important thing to remember is not to take too long thinking about it.

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40 Days to a Better Business

Part of working from home is being self-reliant and self-motivated. The flip-side of that is knowing when you may need some outside accountability to help you find direction and keep your business moving forward. There have been several times over the years that I have found myself in a rut. I reached out to business friends and other coaches for help in digging out from the rut and giving myself and my business some fresh perspective.

Something to always be on the lookout for is a business mentor. This doesn’t have to be a formal mentoring relationship, although it certainly can be, it just needs to be someone who is further ahead in business and who is willing to tell you the truth about where you are and where you’re headed. Someone who will dispense advice and ask you the hard questions.

It’s also beneficial to find an accountability partner. This would be a colleague or friend/acquaintance who is in a similar place to you in business and is willing to share struggles and prayer requests with you. An accountability partner would walk with you through the hard times in life and in business as you share each other’s burdens  in your business life and spiritual life. This is someone you could have coffee with or check-in with via Skype or a Google hangout, to be there for one another and hold one another to God’s high standard in business and life.

A prayer team is a great addition to any business. No matter what type of business you’re running, you will have struggles as well as victories. You can set up a prayer team by including just a few close friends or business associates. Email prayer requests and praises to them regularly and ask them to be in prayer for you, your business, your clients and your family.

To help your business find direction, you might consider setting up a Board of Directors. This option is often used by ministries,  ministry-related businesses and non-profits. A Board of Directors can help you make decisions about the direction your company should take and keep you accountable in areas like finances, staffing and other areas that may lack direction.

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40 Days to a Better Business

Even with all of the brainstorming and networking that you’re now doing, based on the last 21 days of lessons, there will still be days where it feels like you’re sitting on the sidelines seeing no action. In times like these, it will be up to you as the leader of your business to create that forward motion that you desire. Sometimes we simply must create our own current to swim in.

Think Outside the Box

I know this saying is overused, but it’s so very true when it comes to running your own business. We often lock ourselves into doing things the way we see other businesses around us doing them. However, in order to stand out, we must do things differently.

Take a look at your business from your customer’s vantage point – what would make you jump at the chance to be a part of it? How can you promote that in a new and fresh way?

Ask a friend or colleague to give you their viewpoint on your business. In their opinion, what things could be changed and made better? How can you use that information to do things in a unique way?

Be Special

Another way to spice things up in your business is to offer a new discount, special or freebie. These things help to create excitement about what you’re doing. People will want to share about you and your business if they feel that you are meeting their needs in some way – a discount or freebie can do just that!

Be wise when using this format – require that people sign up for your mailing list in exchange for the freebie. Or offer a discount on a new (or old) product that you are featuring. Decide WHAT you would like your customers to do – sign up, purchase, etc – and then create the promotion in such a way that it directs them to do so. Read More→

40 Days to a Better Business

One of the toughest parts of being in business is deciding where and how to spend your time when it comes to customer relations. You must divide your time between current customers, whom you want to keep as happy returning customers, and new clients, many of which you need to go and find. You must then secure their business.

Thankfully, we live in an age where you don’t necessarily need to leave home to find new customers. Online networking avenues make it easier than ever for you to spread the word about your business. These tools include:

* Social Media Channels – These include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and many more. Use these tools not just to market your business, but to build relationships with clients – both present and future.

* Message Boards – Many niche websites have message boards, also known as forums, where you can interact with others who share your interests.

* Online Advertising – Depending on your product or service, it may make sense for you to advertise online using tools like Google AdWords, Amazon or Twitter ad, or even ads on niche websites like CWAHM (check us out!).

Despite all of these ways to communicate and spread your message online, you can’t overlook the benefits of networking in-person, either. Here are a few ideas for connecting with your local community as a businessperson:

* Chamber of Commerce – Your community most likely has a Chamber of Commerce with events to help you meet and connect with other local business owners as well as new customers. Building relationships with other business owners can be a great way not only to gain great business advice, but to cross-promote each other as well.

* Christian Networks– Check to see if your city/town has an organization for Christian business owners that you can take part in. My local community has CBWF, which stands for Christian Women’s Business Fellowship. It’s a great way to connect not only in business, but in faith.

* Referrals – Never doubt the power of a referral. Ask for referrals from your face-to-face clients as well as online. Also, don’t be afraid to mention once in a while to your friends and family how much you appreciate any referrals that they can pass your way. Consider offering an incentive for referrals to help as an incentive, too.


Miss any posts from this week or last? Read the entire series here.

Learn more about starting your own business HERE!

40 Days to a Better Business

This week we’ve covered:

* Boundaries

* Contracts

* Handling Difficult Clients

* Making Getting Paid Easier


What have you learned? What do you need to put into action?


Your homework over the weekend (next 2 days) is:

1. Assess what needs to change in your business in the above areas.

2. Begin outlining any contracts and new payment options that need to be put into place.

3. Set a deadline for when you will complete each task.


Get to work! 


Miss any posts from this series? Read the entire series here.

Learn more about starting your own business HERE!

Tell us about your new novel, Across the Blue.

Across the Blue is a historical romance set in Kent, England, in 1909. It’s the Edwardian era, and the dawn of aviation. The hero, James Drake, is a young aspiring aviator who dreams of being the first to fly across the English Channel. He hopes winning that race and prize offered by the Daily Mail will help him gain a respectable reputation and the love of Bella Grayson. Bella longs to become a journalist and write for one of her father’s newspapers. She especially wants to write about aviation and the race to fly across the Channel. But her parents want her to focus on developing a relationship with a wealthy, young aristocratic who will help them step up in society. It’s a story of high-flying adventure, family drama, romance, and inspiration, and I’m excited to share it with reading friends.


Bella Grayson, the heroine of the novel, lives on a grand country estate with her family. Was this inspired by a real location? If so, which one?

I had Broadsworth Hall in Doncaster, England, in mind for the Grayson’s family estate when I was writing Across the Blue. I changed some things about the house, so I called it Broadlands. It’s a lovely home, and I hope to visit some day. I have several photos on my Pinterest board. I hope you’ll take a look:

A central topic in Across the Blue is the race to make the first flight across the English Channel. How was your interest in early aviation sparked?  I visited the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in 2016, and I enjoyed the displays about the Wright Brothers and early aviation. I saw a poster for the First International Air Meet in Rheims, France, and I noticed it took place in 1909. That’s the time period I enjoy writing about, so I decided to do some more research. That’s when I found out about the race across the Channel. The more I read about the race, the newspaper owner who sponsored the prize, and early aviation, the more the story came to life for me.

What was the most fascinating information you discovered in your research for this book? I loved learning about those early aviators and how they designed the first airplanes. Their determination to come up with a design that would actually fly was very inspiring. We take air travel for granted today, but only a little over 100 years ago flying machines were brand new and piloting an airplane was an amazing feat. I was surprised to learn that more than 200,000 people attended the first International Air Meet in Rheims, France, in 1909. The crowds went wild watching those first aviators demonstrate their skills. I enjoyed including that air meet in the book.

What do you hope your readers will take away from Across the Blue? I hope readers will be inspired by James and Bella’s pursuit of their dreams and enjoy the journey with them. I hope their imaginations will be sparked and they will look for ways to reach for their dreams. Most of all I hope their faith will be deepened and they will see how God’s work in their own lives.

What can you tell us about what you are working on next?

I’m working on a new English historical series set in the early 1900s and focused on British Home Children—poor and orphaned children who were sent to Canada not to be adopted but to become indentured workers on farms and as household servants. It will include family drama, adventure, romance, and inspiration.



Set in Edwardian England and ideal for readers who enjoy Julie Klassen novels, this romance about an English aviation pioneer and the girl who falls in love with him is filled with adventure and faith.

Isabella Grayson, the eldest daughter of a wealthy, English newspaper magnate, longs to become a journalist, but her parents don’t approve. They want her to marry well and help them gain a higher standing in society. After she writes an anonymous letter to the editor that impresses her father, her parents reluctantly agree she can write a series of articles about aviation and the race to fly across the English Channel, but only if she promises to accept a marriage proposal within the year. When James Drake, an aspiring aviator, crashes his flying machine at the Grayson’s new estate, Bella is intrigued. James is determined to be the first to fly across the Channel and win the prize Mr. Grayson’s newspaper is offering. He hopes it will help him secure a government contract to build airplanes and redeem a terrible family secret. James wants to win Bella’s heart, but his background and lack of social standing make it unlikely her parents would approve. If he fails to achieve his dream, how will he win the love and respect he is seeking? Will Bella’s faith and support help him find the strength and courage he needs when unexpected events turn their world upside down?


How to Grow a Plastic Surgery Business

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The medical profession is one that offers people a fair amount of flexibility in terms of who you choose to work for. Often, you’ll have the ability to work in a clinical setting, hospital, or another healthcare facility, or you can go down the private route and open your own practice. If you’ve decided that plastic surgery is the field you want to work in, then you may decide that your own plastic surgery business is the way to go. If so, here are some tips that can help you grow your business and help it to become successful.

Get Your Start by Attending a Top-Notch School

If you haven’t yet opened a plastic surgery business, then you want to be sure that you get off to a good start by attending a top-notch school. You can find one nearby by visiting, which identifies the top schools in your area, such as the ones listed in the state of Pennsylvania. Patients will want to see your credentials front and center when they come to visit you, as they want to make sure they are getting the best care, knowledge, and experience out there.

Put the Work Into Your Website

Part of being a successful practice and growing your business is bringing in new patients. Considering the fact that most people rely on online searches to find products and services these days, it’s imperative you put the work into building a great website.

You’ll want to be sure that all the latest SEO techniques are used in order to help your Google ranking, which will mean your site ranks higher on the search menu. It may be wise to hire an outside company to build your site and optimize it since they will be aware of all the best practices.

Ensure You are Leaving Enough Time for Consultation

In order to bring in those new patients, you’ll need to meet with them to have a consultation. Some practices leave very little time in the schedule for consultations. They assume consultations aren’t always worth the effort since they don’t guarantee the person will return. The problem is, without the consultation, you’re not going to be able to grow your patient list.

Work on Your Brand’s Image

You want to also spend time working on and then growing your brand’s image. This includes things such as the logo, images you use, the color scheme, taglines, and your advertising campaigns. You want to be sure that you start to build a reputation as an expert in the field, which may include focusing on niche areas of plastic surgery. The more recognizable your brand becomes, the more patients you will draw in. It’s your branding that can help set you apart from the competition.

An On-Going Effort on Your Part

Growing your plastic surgery business isn’t something that will just happen overnight. Instead, it is an on-going process that may require you to make changes here and there as you respond to the market and your patients.

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40 Days to a Better Business

When you’re in business for yourself, it’s important to be able to collect payment from your customers without a lot of drama. Some people are wired to be able to kindly confront others and ask for the necessary payment due, but others of us are not as comfortable in this particular area. We all know, however, that if we don’t receive payment, we can’t stay in business.

Here are some ideas for making payment easy for your customers while still keeping your sanity intact.

Collect payments up front. This, of course, depends on the type of business that you’re in. For CWAHM, I decided from the very beginning that I would collect payment for ads before they appear on the website. This alleviates the need for me to collect payment after the service has been rendered.

I know of Virtual Assistants who require at least half of the agreed upon payment before beginning a project. The allows them the security of knowing their client is serious about the project and gives them the ability to feel out what a working relationship with each client will be like from the get-go.

Make it as easy as possible.  I’ve noticed during my years in business that the easier I make it for people to do things – purchase something, respond to a post, enter a contest, etc – the more likely they are to actually do it. So, I’m constantly searching out ways to make things like this more accessible and understandable for people, no matter what level of computer use they may be at.

Even the simplest things like moving your payment button or “subscribe” button to the top of the page, or using a pop-up to direct traffic can make a world of difference. Know what you want your customers to do when they come to your website and then direct them in as few steps as possible toward that goal.

Give Options. If your business allows you to collect payments online, this may be the easiest way for your customers to make payment. One of the most widely known online payment systems is PayPal, but there are other options such as PayFlex, WePay, Google Checkout and Amazon Payments. Many banks also offer a service that will allow you to accept credit cards online.  There are also options like Square and PayPal Here that make it possible for you to accept credits cards through an app on your smartphone.

Even with all of these online options, it’s still important to consider accepting payment via check as well. Some people are still distrusting of online payment services and will prefer to send you payment through the mail, via check or money order. Make sure that your customers know that this is an option and that they can readily find your payment address information.


Miss any posts from this series? Read the entire series here.

Learn more about starting your own business HERE!

40 Days to a Better Business

You’ve got your contracts in order, you know your boundaries and your business has its mission and purpose in order.  But what do you do when you encounter those clients who just don’t seem to take no for an answer? Or that customer who lashes out at you for something that wasn’t even your fault?

Without a doubt you’ll encounter difficult customers during your business journey. Here are a few tips to help you stay sane and handle them with grace and kindness.

1. Step Back

When you receive a voicemail or email from a frustrated client, the first thing that you may want to do is respond and defend yourself. However, I’ve learned from experience that this rarely (read: never) works.

Close your email program. Step away from the computer and take some time to gain perspective.

I have found that even just 30 minutes away from the problem allows me time to cool down, think clearly and form a gentle response.


2. Respond In Love

God calls us to love above all else. In fact, Jesus tells us that the second greatest commandment (for the first, see Mt. 22:37) in the Bible is to love others as yourself (Mt. 22:39). It stands to reason, then, that we must be loving to others even through our businesses … and even when they hurt us.

It has repeatedly surprised me over the years how quickly a gentle answer can turn a conversation and resolve conflict.

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