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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Dec
03

Let God Invade Your Business

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A few years ago I had one of those “lightning bolt” moments. Each year I sit down to write out goals and dreams for my business. This particular year, as I sat and thought through what I hoped to accomplish in the upcoming year, how I hoped to help people, it hit me. Where does God fit in to all of this? Does He fit comfortably in the “Spiritual” categories or is He a part of everything that CWAHM is and does?

Whoa. Talk about a challenging question.

As I wrestled with this I came to realization that God wants to invade our lives – and that means our businesses, too. In the gospels we see Jesus meeting people right where they were. He healed the sick, fed the hungry, and taught the seeking. He met their physical needs as well as their spiritual needs.

He wanted to be a part of their everyday lives, not just the days they went to the temple (the Old Testament equivalent of church). He wasn’t afraid to hang out with the sick, the hurting, the “sinners.”

He wants to be a part of our everyday life, too. He wants to invade our families, our marriages, our businesses. He wants to show us that there is a different way of doing things. A better way. A way that points to the divine even in the midst of most basic business task.

He wants to be in:

* The decision to be kind to the difficult customer.

* The decision to give a sale price when we could charge full price to someone who isn’t aware of the sale.

* The decision to give a product away to someone we know is struggling or hurting.

It’s our choice.  We can choose to do business with Jesus. Or we can choose to do things our own way…usually the way we’ve been taught by people who seem to know how to “do” business, how to make money. And yet, in the end … is really about making money?

So I saw that there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy their work…” Ecclesiastes 3:22, NCV

Where does God fit in your business?

If you are beginning your working from home journey, then there is a lot to be thinking about. How will you get the clients that you need? How will you schedule your time? Do you have the right kind of computer for what you will have to do? The list goes on. You may find that you underestimate just what you will need to get started, as is the case in many aspects of business. But when you are underprepared for what you need to do, it does have a knock-on impact and it can hinder what you are doing. You can’t progress or be productive when you have to pause often throughout the day or have to head out to use a printer at the library, for instance. When you focus your efforts to creating a stellar office at home, then it can really help your productivity.

With that in mind, here are a few of the things that can be a great help to get you started for what you need to do. Depending on your niche, there may be more specific things that you do need to help you. But get a paper and pen out, and make a list of all of the things here that are going to be essential to your working from home business and are going to help you to be the most productive to get your business off you a good start.

 

Computer

All home-based businesses are going to need a computer to get things going. These days, we are so blessed with the technology that we have that it means we can work from home with just that, meaning new and exciting things for many people. But the kind of computer that you have will depend on you and your preferences. For example, if you are a web designed or a graphic designer, you may prefer to have a proper desk setup with a fixed computer as the screen is larger and visually having that up in front of you can help you to create better work. For something like blogging or writing, it could simply be easier to have a laptop as it makes it much more flexible. You are more likely to head to a coffee shop to do a little bit of writing work than you are to do the same but for graphic design. So think about your business and practicality of it all. If you travel a lot, then a laptop could be better, for example.

 

Computer Storage

There will only be so much space that a computer or laptop comes with. And for a business, you will need to keep copies of things like invoices and completed work for quite a while (for tax return purposes and so on). So having enough storage for all that you need to do is a must. It could be that you will use something like an external hard drive for storage. You could also think about using the cloud as a way to store things. You could also alternate between the two using USB storage, and could perhaps treat yourself to one of the designs at Cute USB, for instance. Whatever you choose, just make sure that you have something chosen and set up before you start. You don’t want to get started with something and then realize that you don’t have enough space for it. So choose before you get ahead.

 

High-Speed Internet

If you are going to spend much money on something for your business, then having a high-speed internet connection is what you need. It is pretty self-explanatory really, as the internet is what is going to get you connected to do all that you need to do. You don’t want to waste time and money when it comes to working from home, and a bad internet connection is going to do that for you. So shop around, look for the best deals, and make sure that you get what you need from your internet provider. Then you can get on with business.

 

Desk and Chair Workspace

In an ideal world, having your own space to create and work from is really important. It can help you to be comfortable, as well as getting you in the zone for working. Ideally, having a workstation desk and chair that are ergonomic is best, so that you can adjust the seat height and desk height to be just as you need it to be. Although it may not be possible, if you do have space, investing in a good desk is important. If you are really limited, then at least a table is next best; you can do damage if you just sit on your sofa with a laptop on your lap the whole time. Read More→

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Nov
26

How To Set Up Your Own Home Business

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Many people dream of setting up their own business which they operate from their home, and it is easy to see why!

Working from home can be much more relaxing than having to travel into the office each day, plus you get to be your own boss which brings many benefits. More and more people are setting up their own home businesses in today’s day and age, and the internet has made this much easier as you can carry out practically all operations online.

Luckily, there are a vast variety of types of business that you can operate from home, but here are a few tips for getting started.

 

Suitable Home

First, you need to have a suitable property for the operation that you intend to run. This will involve having enough space to run the service, having areas for you to both work and live because separating the two is vital for success, and potential factors such as good transport links, fast internet, and so on. For many people, purchasing a new home may be the best way to start a new home business.

If you do decide to purchase a new home for your home business, then you will want to apply for a mortgage. This can be a stressful and challenging process, but it can be made much easier when you use services like LendingTree where you can quickly and easily be connected with nationwide lenders and help you to find a suitable mortgage. You can follow this link to find out more https://www.crediful.com/mortgage/lendingtree-mortgage/. Doing so will enable you to quickly find a suitable property for you to run your home business from.

 

Business Ideas

The type of operation that you run will depend entirely on your skill set, talents, and interests. There are many businesses that you can operate from your home, but a few good examples include tax preparation, business manager, marketing consultancies, virtual assistant, an e-commerce store, copywriting services, catering services, wedding planning, and in-home beauty services. These are just a few ideas, and it is worth looking to see what current industries are experiencing a sharp rise in popularity. Once you have your idea, there are a few crucial steps to take, including:

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Nov
21

Where’s Best For You To Invest?

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When it comes to money, your intentions should be personal. It’s all too easy to get wrapped up. To be influenced by others. For you to start spending your money on things to live a certain lifestyle. To impress others. And none of it may be right for you. Because the power of society and opinions often takes over, when we really shouldn’t let it. And this can often be why it’s just too easy to get into debt. You may find yourself spending a lot of money, all of the time, just to keep up. It’s exhausting. Wouldn’t you rather know that you’re putting your money in places that matter most to you? Into areas and ideas that are suited to your lifestyle and who you are? And, most of all, what YOU really want out of life?

However, even if you know this or you’re just starting to admit it to yourself, you may find that it’s hard to actually move away from a habit that you’ve been so used to. That you struggle to actually work on a different way of life. That you cannot get social conventions and other people’s opinions out of your mind. It’s now time to work on changing that. And start to invest your money in areas that matter most to you. So let’s consider your options.

 

Financial Security

First of all, you may just want to make sure that you are financially secure. That you are debt-free. That you have savings. That you can pay your bills comfortably. And that you never have to worry about money. Then make this what you invest in.

 

Property

But then also, there’s property. And sure, right now you may think that you are investing in your property. But are you really? Or is your home sucking up everything you have? Or have you spent WAY more on your home than it is worth? So, here, you’re going to want to think about finding property to invest in that CAN grow your money. Look for a cheap apartment, a fixer-upper, or a landed for sale that can help you here. Then look to make sure that you are flipping it to make your money work harder.

 

Lifestyle

Or maybe you want to invest in your ideal lifestyle. Not the fake one that you are building for yourself. The one that you don’t really want. But the one that you actually dream of. The life you’ve always wanted. Maybe you need to put time and money into making this happen for you.

 

Health

But then also, there is the idea of investing in your health. Maybe you’ve been stressed out lately? Full of anxiety? Or maybe even completely burnt out? Maybe you’re letting life get to you, and your health is suffering as a result? If that is the case, then it is time to do something about it. Put your money into yourself. Invest in healthy foods. In therapy. In holistic wellbeing treatments. In a break! Think about putting your money into areas that will only ever benefit your health, instead of harming it.

 

Career

Or maybe, for you, the best thing that you could ever do is to invest in your career. Maybe you have dreams of doing something different or of starting something new? But you are afraid to do it. Or you worry that you can’t do it because your life costs so much? So here is where you should invest. Take that course. Quit your job and take a pay cut so that you can work on this. If you invest in yourself, you know that you’re getting personal with your money.

 

Future

And then there’s your future to think about too. Maybe you want to save for retirement to feel more at ease with your financial situation? Maybe you want to save for a rainy day? If you are at all concerned about your old age, now is the time to start planning for it financially.

 

Community

But then also, from here, you might want to think about the ways that you can invest in your community too. Maybe you don’t want to spend money on cars and your house, but you do want to live in a great area – so why not invest in your local community. Invest your time, your energy, your thoughts, and your finances too, of course. Think about how you can improve your community, give back, and really make sure that your money is being put to good use.

 

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Nov
19

Thanksgiving Perspective

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jill-new14Do you feel like a success? As work-at-home moms it’s easy to get caught up in the “look what she has accomplished” mindset and fail to see all that God has done in our own lives and businesses. We need to shift our perspectives from  “what I want to accomplish” to “WOW! Look what God has done!”

Thanksgiving is upon us and this seems like the perfect time of year to think about how God sees you and your success. Do you believe that He wants you to succeed?

May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.

Believe it or not, the sentence above is a quote directly from Scripture – Psalm 20:4. If our hearts are right with God, we are on track for success in life. Now, this may not mean that each of us can be a millionaire, but it does mean that God wants to lead us down the path to success.

We must, however, keep in mind that God’s idea of success in our lives may not look exactly like the version we see in our heads. God first and foremost wants us to be the person that He created us to be; to live a life of sacrifice, obedience and love. We can’t simply hoard our money and resources for ourselves, living in fear that we won’t have enough,  hoping that God will bless that. God calls us to a much bigger belief than that!He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless.

This proverb (see Proverbs 2:7) is a powerful reminder that our God is a God of justice. He “holds success” for the upright. Does that mean wicked people can’t be successful? No. We must look at the sentence following and be reminded that God is our shield – if we trust in Jesus. Only by trusting in the person and power of Jesus can we be seen as “blameless in God’s sight.” (1 Corinthians 1:8)

You see, God looks at us much differently than we look at ourselves. We see our sins, failures and shortcomings. However, when we believe in Jesus as our salvation, God sees us as blameless. What freedom there is in that truth!

There are other areas of life where we need a perspective change as well. You see, many of us, especially Americans see ourselves as poor.  We makes comments like, “I’m so broke.”  I’ve been guilty of this more times than I can count. But I recently had a wake-up call as to how God sees my financial status.

In his book Weird, pastor and author Craig Groeschel shares:

If you earn $37,000 a year, you are in the top 4 percent of all wage earners alive today – certifiably rich by anyone’s definition. If you make $45,000 a year or more, you are in the top 1 percent of wage earners in the world.

How many of us can say our family income is $37,000 or more a year? Many of us easily fit into even the TOP 1 PERCENT of wage earners worldwide. That is a staggering truth. That makes us not poor, but RICH in the world’s eyes….and in God’s eyes. Sadly, we believe we are poor because we do not manage our finances responsibly, nor do we share much of what we have with those in true need.

Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.

Ephesians 4:28 reminds us that have a God-given responsibility to share. This Thanksgiving, let’s change our perspective. Let’s see ourselves for who we truly are – children of the King, co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17), people who have been given much and who need to look outside of ourselves and see the need that exists around us.

Let’s make this Thanksgiving a time of not only thanking God for what He’s given us, but going a step further and changing our lives to reflect our gratefulness.

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Nov
12

10 Ways to Make Blogging Work for Your Business

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jill-new14blogBlogging is a favorite for small business marketers, mainly because of the amazing results they received when they blog consistently. And publicity isn’t the only benefit to blogging. There are many ways that blogging can add merit to your business. In fact, The Wall Street Journal once featured CWAHM in an article on how blogging can help small businesses create a buzz for their products and services. The results from this were amazing and prove that blogging truly works.

Here are ten ways to use blogs to increase your business revenue:

1. Ad Revenue — Offering paid advertising on your blog is one of the easiest ways to see tangible evidence of the benefits of blogging.

2. Link Swaps – Swapping links with other like-minded bloggers increases your standing with search engines. One of the biggest blogs available, problogger.net, recently completed a survey in an attempt to find where bloggers get the most traffic. The overwhelming response? Google at 46%. This shows us how important search engine rankings are. Link swaps are just one way to improve yours.

3. Reviews — Another growing trend online is that of the customer review. People appreciate reading the thoughts of others before they purchase a product. It doesn’t seem to matter how big or small the product, either. Posting reviews of books you’ve read, CDs you love, etc, is a great way to generate traffic for your blog.

4. Free Offers — Who doesn’t love a freebie? There are many ways of using freebies to your advantage.You can offer a free e-book when someone signs up for your newsletter is an easy way to build your subscriber base. Many blogs also offer contests for those who post comments or interact in other ways on the blog.

5. Social Media — Having a strong social media presence is one of the best ways to promote your business. You can make this a bit easier on yourself by connecting your blog to automatically feed posts to just about every major social media site out there. You can also add links to easily allow your blog readers to share you content, making this a great free way to gain visibility.

6. Networking — It goes without saying that building relationships with people is one of the oldest ways of gaining long-time, loyal customers (or in this case, readers). Taking part in the comments discussion on blogs and social media sites is a great way to do this. The key, though, is to be authentic. Don’t simply blast places with the link to your blog; take part in the discussion and provide useful information — not just your business pitch.

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Nov
05

5 Tips For Choosing the Right Home Business

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jill-new14mgyUUaeStarting down a new career path can be both exciting and terrifying, especially if your chosen “career path” is being an entrepreneur and running a home-based business. Below are five questions to ask yourself to help you determine what type of business might be right for you.

1. What is your passion?

Answer this question with the first thing that comes to mind: If money were no object and you could do anything, what would you do? You might have answered “be a writer”, “speak at conferences,” “bring my product idea to life” or any number of things. Whatever your answer, this most likely is your passion. I challenge you to take the time to ponder this and see if there is a way to bring your dream to fruition.

2. What types of things did you like to do as a child?

Many times the toys and games we loved as children give us a glimpse into who we have become as adults. If you loved climbing trees, you may now be an “outdoorsy” type of person. Think about how this might be incorporated into your business. For instance, you might enjoy setting up outdoor birthday parties for children or selling herbs from your backyard garden.

3. What type of products would you be interested in representing?

If you’re looking in the direction of direct sales, whether that be your own product or an established home-based business option, you need to think through what types of products you’d be comfortable presenting to your customers. Take the time to do some research and find a product that truly excites you. Your customers will see your sincerity and that can sell a product just as easily as a fancy presentation.

4. What skills and experience do you bring to the table?

If you’ve left the corporate world in favor of working at home, you’ve undoubtedly brought with you a set of skills. There may be a way to market those skills in a new way and turn them into a profitable business. For instance, if you were an executive assistant you may be able to type 80 words or more per minute. You could set up shop as a Virtual Assistant and help other business owners in processing orders, transcribing documents and much more.

5. Are you thinking outside of the box?

Most of us have a fear of the unknown. We many times assume that if we haven’t done something before it is simply out of reach. This carries over to the business world as well. We take our products or services and market them in the same way that we see other business owners using. However, it can be much more effective to find new and innovative ways to market. One home-based business owner I know sells stuffable toy kits. Instead of using the usual home parties and birthday party events, she works almost exclusively with children’s hospitals doing fundraisers. She makes a great living and helps not only the hospitals, but the children as well. She is a great example of unique marketing and overcoming the mundane marketing methods that so many business owners resign themselves to.

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Oct
31

Achieving a Better Work Life Balance When You Work From Home

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Working from home has many advantages that can really bless your life and that of your family. But because you work from home, it can feel hard to switch off, as your home is your office, and your office is your home. In other careers where they work out of the home, people walk in the door and know that they’re home and their mind will switch off from work. But when you work from home you don’t get that same thing, as you could be tempted to just check your emails or log on your computer once the children are in bed.

With a family and working from home, it can be hard to get a good work and life balance. So here are some of the things that you could start to do, to make sure that you are able to achieve and switch off. When you’re able to do, you can really enjoy the time at home, and be more productive when you’re at work. Would you add anything else to the list?

 

Drop Habits That Drain Time

There can be so many things that can drain our time, both at home and at work. So it is a hard lesson, but learning to drop some of those habits or things that waste our time on can really make a difference in our work and life balance. Things like scrolling on Facebook or TV shows that we just watch for the sake of it, are all things that could be ditched so that we are able to use our time more wisely.

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Oct
24

Why the Correct Software is Essential for Every Job

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Woman with laptop.In the modern world as we know it, the need for software is an important aspect for the daily operation of most workplaces. It could be argued that a large proportion of employees are now reliant on software to perform their roles with efficiency. It goes without saying that software has certainly changed the way in which businesses are managed, to the point where it has become an essential aspect of most job roles.

Software is now used in a great deal of industries throughout the world, but here are a few key sectors in which it has become a real game-changer:

1. Education

The scope of technology in the education sector is widening, but there is still large potential as to the way in which software can be used in schools. Education software is considered to be of huge benefit to teachers, pupils and other staff members; whether that be due to improved visibility of student data, an easier circulation of content or a streamlined collaboration between staff members. It may also be used for distributing content to students, communicating with parents and coordinating data into a single program which can be accessed with ease. While many schools are yet to make major progressions in using software as part of the learning process, it could certainly be argued that it has become an essential for school management in recent years.

2. Engineering

While engineering has always been deemed as manual labor, the use of software has truly changed up the industry from its traditional form. Design engineers for example, now rely solely on specialized software to create and develop new products, create blueprints for machines and collaborate with other engineers on projects. The correct software should allow engineers to fulfill their job with ease. Altium present an innovative PCB tool which gives designers the opportunity to get creative on a shared workspace with its easy-to-use interface and customizable workflow. It also offers an impressive 350,000 components in the CircuitStudio content library.

3. Retail

Whether it be a physical store or online company, retail businesses now depend on on software to control their operations with proficiency. Major chain stores use software that divides stock into categories for easy searching, aswell as monitoring how well products are selling. The correct computer systems may also provide tools to re-order products via smart replenishment and keep a close inspection of the products that have been sold.

4. Business

Businesses in general use different software to assist with the day-to-day upkeep of the overall management. Choosing the correct types of software can dramatically improve the productivity and organization of the business as a whole. For example, handling finances can be managed via accounting software, which will oversee any incomings and outgoings; invoice tracking software which can manage client transactions and payroll software which is used to take charge of employee’s wages. There is also the likes of word processing programs and desktop publishing programs that could also be of benefit, dependent on the business sector.

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Oct
23

Things You Will Never Regret in Life

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Mother & Daughter Enjoying Time TogetherIt is very easy to get hung up on the one hurtful thing we said that one time. Or, perhaps the time that we snapped, even when it goes directly against our better nature. The moments we question everything. And, there are plenty of things in life that will catch us off-guard, and we will have to make peace with. So you should. You should make peace with everything that you can and ask for forgiveness for those you can’t make right. But, what next? Well, the time spent feeling guilty or having on to regrets are of course much better spend enjoying things – something we could all do more. For every moment we spend beating ourselves up or holding on to negative emotions and feelings, we could be spending those with love and positivity. No one is perfect by any means but, spreading some good moments and appreciating them more? We can all get on board with that.

 

Laughing. We will never regret enjoying a good belly laugh with our most loved family and friends. Sitting around, eating popcorn (salted or sweet? Maybe toffee!) watching a movie. Blankets on the couch, warm thick socks, comfortable pillows and the rest of the house silent. The joy in laughing with family and friends is second to none. Some of the best times that we recall when we were children involves moments just like this. So go ahead and book in movie night with the kids. You will never regret these moments.

 

Learning. We have been gifted with these beautiful learning abilities. You might already have a few qualifications and are looking to upgrade them a bit, it might be time for a change. You might be pushed for time, like so many people, trying to fit in life, a full-time job and maybe even freelance work too. Luckily many online portals can help you tackle that time issue. Everything from journalism to rn to bsn online programs are available, so nothing is holding you back. You will never regret learning more than you know now.

 

Cooking. Admittedly we can’t all be brilliant home cooks, some of us are likely getting by with simple meals, but you know what? Simple meals are something to be loved. Many a tale is told by children who enjoyed the simplest meals the most. If you think you could do with working on your recipe base a bit more, then hit the internet hard, create a Pinterest profile and get a board ready for all the fantastic things you’re going to cook for you and your family (or friends). Try and get a few ‘fancier’ meals in there too. Think about slow cooker roasts, curries and rice dishes. Warm and cooked with love. You’ll never regret watching someone enjoy something you’ve cooked for them.

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