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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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Archive for Articles

Sep
21

Got Goals?

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To establish a clear, central purpose or goal in life is the starting point of all success.

Goals, I know that word can be very scary, but it doesn’t have to be, especially if you know what to do. What is a goal? A goal is something specific, something you want or need to accomplish in a specific period of time. To establish a clear, central purpose or goal in life is the starting point of all success.

There was a study several years ago at a business school and the results of the graduates who had been out of school for at least ten years illustrates the power of goals. Upon graduation the graduates were surveyed and the following was found:

83% did not have goals

4% had vague goals

3% had clearly articulated written goals

When their level of accomplishments were compared ten years later, those with some sense of their goal earned three times more than those with no goals. The 3% with clearly articulated written goals earned ten times more than those without goals.

You have goals; you may just not realize it now. I want to help you realize, develop and achieve your goals. Your goals are your promises to YOU! Goal setting is just like creating a blueprint. Lets get started creating your blueprint!

Everyone needs to learn how to set effective, realistic and SMART goals. Start the process by first creating a list of dreams. Make sure you list places you would like to visit, things you would like to experiences, items you would like to have, skills you would like to acquire and the amount of money you would like to make. Maybe you want to travel to Hawaii or Europe or you want a new house or car. You decide what you want and write it down on paper. You will need this list to develop SMART Goals.

There is no limit to the number of goals that you set. You need to make sure your list includes goals that you are committed to attaining. There are a few steps to take to set effective goals and we will cover those here:

S=Specific Your goals must be clearly defined and written.

M=Measurable The goal must be able to be measured over time. You must be able to clearly define what success on a goal will look like.

A=Actionable There must be specific action steps you can take toward realization of the goal.

R=Realistic Your goal must be one that is realistically based on your current level of skills, environment, and the time allotted.

T=Time Based Your goal needs to have a deadline that you are committed to.

Look over each goal you have on your list and ask yourself, “is this a SMART goal? Why or why not? Here are a couple of questions to ask yourself about each goal you want to set:

· Do I need help with my goal?

· What may hinder the process of my goals?

· Do I need more education to achieve more?

This is another major step in goal setting because you may see and feel necessary changes in your plan.

After you have written your “SMART Goals” you need to prioritize your long-term and short-term goals. This is a very important step in the goal-setting process because it enables you to step back and examine which goals are most important to you. This does not mean that you should ignore the goals farther down on your list, but it does help you to identify where and how to focus your efforts now. Read More→

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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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Sep
19

Hallelujah, It IS a Scam

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Rev. James Snyder, Out to Pastor bloggeremailI know I am not the sharpest pencil in the drawer, or the brightest bulb on the porch, and a few bricks shy of a load. However, my philosophy is simple, if you know what you are not, then you can soon figure out what you really are.

If somebody can’t con me, they can’t con anybody. I admit that I am naïve about many things. A Girl Scout needs only smile, wink her brown eyes at me and I will buy all the cookies she has.

My problem is, I have a hard time believing anyone would lie to me. Why would someone lie in the first place? What does lying get you?

An incident happened this past week that sucked me into that whirlpool of naivety.

I received an email from somebody who wanted to give me a lot of money. It seems this woman was recently widowed and her husband was very wealthy and she wanted to give money to some charity. Would I be interested in receiving money?

Well, when it comes to money you do have my interest.

Immediately I printed this email out and brought it to show the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. Now, if anybody can con her, they can con everybody. She can spot a lie three generations back.

She read the email and then looked at me with one of those “stares” and said, “You do know that this is a scam?”

“But,” I said rather hesitatingly, “what if it isn’t a scam? What if it’s real? What have I got to lose?”

“You mean,” she said rather sarcastically, “besides your mind?”

It was at that moment I had an overwhelming urge to prove finally that she did not know everything. When I follow through with this and get all that money in our bank, I will have a laughing party heard around the world at her expense.

I decided to see if maybe this was legitimate. So, I emailed them back and said I was interested in their money for our charity and explained a little bit about our charity.

Very soon, I got an email back congratulating me on a wise decision.

I sat back and grinned to myself; at least somebody appreciates my wisdom.

Then I received an email saying I needed to send them some information, so I immediately sent it.

All the while, I’m thinking of how I’m going to rub this in someone’s face for a very long time. After all, the amount of money they were talking about was $4.7 million. I started thinking about what I could do with all that money.

It is amazing what happens when a person starts thinking about all the money he is going to get. Then the thoughts go to “things.” Things that I cannot afford right now. I tried to think of all of the things that I would buy as soon as I got this money. I got some paper and a pen and started to make a list.

I ran into a little problem here. I could not think of anything I wanted that I did not already have. I don’t have a long list of things I want. I like books, pens and pocketknives. Of course, I could buy my own Apple fritter bakery. That would be a good option.

For a couple days, I shot emails back and forth with this company that happened to be in Nigeria, Africa. I have some wonderful friends there so I was not even thinking on the negative side of this transaction.

Of course, being a pastor, I would donate some of that money to my church. Then I got thinking about what we could do in the church with that kind of money. How many people could we bless and encourage with the programs we could do with that kind of money?

I continued emailing back to this widow and she connected me with the bank that was going to handle the transaction. I was beginning to feel a little more comfortable with this. I know my wife thought this was a scam, but I’m not so sure it is a scam. I think it is some dear widow who wants to give her money to somebody that she doesn’t know. What a sweet and wonderful woman she must be. Read More→

When you run a small business it can be very difficult to keep your head above the water and stay out of the red. Making money in your first couple of years isn’t as easy as you thought it would be. You are very passionate about your small business and you would do anything to keep it up and running. This means that you might need to embark on some other money making ventures to keep a steady income coming in. Cutting down costs is also an effective way to keep your small business afloat; the more you can save the better chance your business will have of survival.

 

Find a Side Hustle

Running a small business can be pretty unpredictable, so having a second income is always a good idea. Whether you want to earn money from paid social media advertising or dabble in trading forex, there are a whole host of opportunities out there waiting for you. If currency and numbers is your thing then you might find trading the most effective money maker for you. Not only will it give you a better knowledge of the markets, but you might also be able to bring in some extra cash for your small business.

 

Keep Your Costs Down

You don’t want to blow your budget before you have even got your business off the ground, so make sure you are actively looking for ways to keep your costs down. Whether you buy your office supplies from a wholesaler or you cut down on your daily energy consumption, you can easily cut your business costs and save more and more money each month.

Read More→

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Sep
17

5 PR Myths That Just Aren’t True!

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Diana Ennen, Virtual Marketing blogger

pc: pixabay

There are so many PR myths flying around about PR and marketing these days.  And what is even worse is many of these myths have businesses bolting and instead of getting more PR for their business, they just cave and do nothing.  Not good.  Not good at all.  Let’s dispel some of these myths once and for all and have you on your merry way to more positive marketing results.  Let’s break it down.

5 PR Myths You Need to Expel ASAP:

The bigger the publication the more the results:  This isn’t always true.  Yes, it’s fantastic to land big media mentions and they can get you awesome coverage and a huge boost to add to your media page, bio, etc.  And you will get more attention.  However, a site that has a loyal following and is right on topic can often produce even more positive attention for you.  If you think about it more, does your audience actually read Inc. Magazine or that big publication you are so desperate to get it?  Or are they loyal folllowers to sites that gives them tips regularly that helps with their business and/or life.   Now, I’m in no way saying don’t go after the big guys, you want to.  But don’t focus solely on them. Start building great relationships with other sites that are a good fit for your expertise and message.

Getting Media Attention Is Just For the Bigger Companies, Not Some Solo Entrepreneur or Small Businesses Like Mine:WRONG!  Why yes bigger companies may at times seem like they have an unfair advantage, it’s your wisdom and knowledge that makes a difference.  So many make this critical mistake and lose out because of it.  They don’t try to get media attention because they think they aren’t “big” enough.  YOU ARE!!  Remember you are an expert in your business so share what makes you great and unique. Just do it!

Any PR is Good PR – NO, just No!  That’s almost like saying any food tastes as good as the next.  So my brussel sprouts will be just as good tasting as my 3 layer carrot cake.  I think not!  Yes, you might get more attention with some negative press, but ask yourself this, “Is that the attention I want?” Probably not.  Now larger corporations might be able to benefit with some negative campaigns, but they are usually throwing some hard-earned money on that to make it happen. And we aren’t talking a couple of dimes here.  So bottom line, continue to shine in your business and show the best you!  And if something were to happen to harm your brand, seek out a professional.

Exclusives – I Can Send Elsewhere – They’ll Never Know –I’m seeing this happen more and more and it’s not good. Some are promising exclusives to publications, and then sending elsewhere as well. They believe it’s okay to send an article that you’ve published elsewhere to top publications even though they say they only take exclusives. Sure, if you want to be red flagged and put on the immediate let’s not work with them list. Don’t do it!   Here’s the thing.  Top publications, and even those really good ones, don’t want to see their big feature story at the grocery store’s checkout next month in a competing magazine.  It is understandable.  Even if they only take a few tips, always play by the rules and do it right.  If you’ve given an exclusive, don’t publish your article elsewhere.

Let’s talk exclusives.  Usually bigger publications want original content. And a lot of websites do the same.  It’s up to you to review these and see if you feel it’s worth writing them an original piece or offering them the latest article you are pitching.  It truly depends.  What works is when you have a new article, you first pitch it to the bigger publications that you’d be happy to have them print your article and you don’t send it elsewhere.  You do the happy dance when you hear back from them.  But let’s say they don’t bite, then you pitch to the next set.  As you continue pitching what you’ll find is more places that want exclusives and want to build a relationship with you. Read More→

Sep
13

How to Find the Right Career Path

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Finding the right career path for you isn’t always easy. Even when you’ve been working for a couple of decades, you can realize that you still haven’t really found the right career. If you’re still searching for a career that works for you, here are some top things to think about.

Assess Your Skills and Strengths

Taking stock of your skills can help you to decide what you want to do with your career. But you don’t have to have existing skills to put to use. You can consider your strengths and how you might be able to develop them into solid skills.

Consider Your Values

No one wants to do work that they find soul-sucking or that they don’t feel is worthy. Thinking about your values can help you work out what sort of work you will find fulfilling. You can find careers and employers that match up to your values.

What Are Your Goals?

Everyone has different goals for their career. You might want to try and climb all the way to the top, or maybe your aim is to make a difference to the world in some way. By thinking about your goals, you can consider what sort of career path might be suitable for you. Read More→

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Sep
12

I Never Thought I Could

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Rev. James Snyder, Out to Pastor bloggerAs a person gets older things change. By things, I am referring to my body.

When I was young, I never gave a thought to what it would be like when I got old. I was too busy enjoying my being young. What young person wants to waste their time thinking about what they are going to be when they are old?

However, as a person gets older there is more time to think about things. To think about your health and strength and is it time to go to bed yet?

I can remember as a young person my parents had to wrestle me into my bed to go to sleep at night. I never wanted to go to bed; I wanted to stay up all night and watch TV.

I tried to think of many reasons not to go to bed when I was younger.

Now that I’m older, I’m trying to think of many reasons TO go to bed early.

The problem is it is not feasible to go to bed when the sun hasn’t set yet.

“Is it time to go to bed?” I queried the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage.

Looking at me she simply said, “Has the sun set yet?”

I understood what she was saying and it is hard to say that the sun has set when it is still light outside. For this reason, I like a very cloudy afternoon when it hides the sun. It is so dark that I’m trying to convince my wife that it must be time to go to bed because it’s dark outside.

I must not be a very good salesman because my wife never buys what I’m trying to sell.

So, sitting in my easy chair thinking about stuff like this, I often get a little bit discouraged. What I’m thinking about is the fact that I cannot do what I used to do when I was young.

“What are you,” my wife said one afternoon, “so gloomy about today?”

“You know,” I said very sadly, “I just can’t do what I used to do when I was young.”

I remember all the fun times I had when I was young. It seems I had more energy than I could waste in one day. Now, I don’t seem to have that kind of energy.

My wife got us coffee and came, sat down in the living room with me, and was just quiet for a few moments.

Then she said, “Sure, there’s a lot of things you can’t do that you did when you were young.” She snickered after she said that and then said, “Why don’t you think about the things you can do now that you couldn’t do then?”

As far as I was concerned, there was nothing on that list. I know many people have what they call the “Bucket List” but I certainly don’t have such a list. My list only contains things that I used to do that I can’t do now. I cannot do them now because of the time element and my energy or lack thereof.

“Don’t worry about what you can’t do,” she explained. “Focus on some of the things that you can do and that you enjoy doing.” Read More→

Working from home offers plenty of advantages, especially if you trying to juggle work and family. But while office employees can easily separate their work time from their social time, a work-from-home mom needs to get smart about managing a healthy balance. You can’t leave your work at the office; your work is at home. In the long-term, this can lead to confusion and difficulties if you’re not careful. You might find yourself working longer hours than any office worker because you’re worried that your home location might affect your productivity. You might get interrupted during your productive hours by kids eager to play with you. You might waste a lot of time on business administration tasks that are mandatory but not income-generating. In short, nobody can deny that running a business from home is a lot of work. But no challenge is insurmountable, as long as you are prepared for it.

Indeed, you need to think of your life as a dual scale. On the one side, you’ve got your business responsibilities. On the other side, it’s your role as a mommy and household holder. The secret to maintaining the scale in a position of perfect balance is organization.

 

Keep the home office mess-free

Ultimately, there’s no denying it: There’s a lot less room in your home office than there is in a commercial office. Consequently, if you want to ensure that you can continue to find everything you need and not disappear under a pile of loose documents, you need to make the most of the space available. Vertical design offers amazing potential for small rooms, which is likely to be the case in your home office. You can use it to display inspiring photos, or even a board to note down appointments and ideas. Combined with floating shelves, this smart decor keeps a small space organized without feeling crowded. You can opt for digital documentation for most things, from invoices to project-related communication, as this will reduce the risk of losing important documents.

 

Managing work time and family time

How do you stay on top of what you need to do when it can be so difficult to concentrate at home? You need to prioritize your work in time and by revenue allocation. For instance, a project for a paying client is more urgent than dealing with a non-business related query. While this sounds somewhat logical, you’ll find yourself tempted to answer emails as they come in or to return phone calls that may not be relevant to work during the day. Stick to your schedule to stay productive! It would also help if you knew when you are at your most productive, aka are you an early bird or a night owl? This frees time for everything else!

Read More→

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Sep
10

Interview with Alli Worthington

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What inspired your book, The Year of Living Happy?

My inspiration for the Year of Living Happy didn’t come from any one thing, but more from the journey I’ve been on over the last five years.

Back in 2014, I realized I needed to break out of my own crazy busy lifestyle so I could hear God and live out His purpose for me in a new way. I shared these stories and the lessons I learned in Breaking Busy.

After that, my husband and I went through one of the most challenging season of our lives, and I learned how to fight fear, wrestle worry, and overcome anxiety and shared those stories and insights in Fierce Faith. It was an especially difficult time for us, but in the midst of that crisis God strengthened me, built my character, and taught me in a very real way to value what is truly important.

It was during these seasons of growth, God put the word “Happiness’ was on my heart. I spent a year diving into both the truth of scripture about happiness and modern research that shows what habits, choices, and thoughts bring real and lasting happiness to our lives. All that I learned from those difficult seasons, along with the truth I found in God’s Word became The Year of Living Happy.

 

What is one thing that women can do daily to help them live happy?

Scripture and research teaches that practicing gratitude directly relates to us living happier lives. So of course that’s the first thing every woman should do in her daily life. But another really practical idea is something I call delegating the drudgery. And modern research backs me up on this. Research has shown that one way people can increase their happiness in their daily life by hiring people to do the tasks that they don’t like to do. In other words, money can’t buy happiness, but using your money to hire a housekeeper actually can.

Of course we don’t all have lots of disposable income, so we have to be creative in how we delegate the drudgery. In our house our older sons mow the lawn, do the laundry, and load and unload the dishwasher. Another way is bartering tasks with other people. Maybe you are an amazing graphic designer, but coding websites makes you want to poke your eye out. You can trade the services that you don’t like to do with someone else that loves to do those things and needs the service that you provide.

Delegation is a key habit that will increase our day-to-day happiness. So look for ways in your day-to-day life to take those things off your plate that you don’t enjoy doing. Then you’ll be able to focus on the things that you are called to do, the things that you love to do, and the things that make you happiest.

 

How did you learn to turn off “mommy guilt” in order to balance life better?

Because I have five sons ages 10, 12, 14, 17, 20 I have a unique perspective on motherhood. With some of the kids, I’m still in the middle of it, and with others I have gone from more of a disciplinarian roll to a coaching role. What I’ve realized over the years is that we, as mothers, tend to be approximately 1,000,000,000 times harder on ourselves than we need to be.

From the moment that tiny child is put in our arms, our sense of responsibility as well as the guilt over not being perfect goes through the roof.

What I have learned through the years is that our kids need quality time, love, discipline, encouragement, and coaching. There is more than enough time in every day to give them those things and still do the things that make us happy, healthy individuals. Read More→

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Sep
07

Three Unexpected Injuries in Business

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When you work in a business environment, health and safety may not be a primary concern as you assume, like most people, that working in an office doesn’t really pose any major health and safety risks. However, while the risks are different from a more industrial, hands-on job, they are still very much there, and you need to be prepared to spot them and do something about these injuries quickly. Getting an injury can mean you need to take serious time off of work and this is the last thing you want to be doing when building up your career while running a business. In the handy guide, you will find out about three unexpected workplace injuries you need to look out for and what to do if you get one of these.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

One of the big risks when working in a modern office environment is carpal tunnel syndrome. You may be wondering how your work can cause carpal tunnel syndrome and the answer lies in simply in the main tool you use for an office job: your computer. Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by repetitive and continual movements that lead to nerves being trapped over the carpal bones in your wrist, leading to serious pain. If you work at a computer every day, this injury can be a really nasty one, so try and take little breaks from typing every ten or so minutes to gently loosen up your fingers and wrists to try and prevent this.

Back Problems

Believe it or not, there is a right way and a wrong way to sit at your desk. Bad posture can cause serious aches and pains in your back and, if continually ignored, can even lead your back to have incredibly uncomfortable spasms. Make sure the chair you are using is giving you’re the right support, and you are always sitting up straight.

Computer Vision Syndrome

A final unexpected injury from work in a business environment is known as computer vision syndrome. The first thing you need to know when figuring out what computer vision syndrome is, is that it is not one condition but an umbrella term for many ailments. Focusing on a screen in your short distance vision day can actually cause the shape of your eye to change from an oval to a rugby ball shape which limits your long distance vision. While, if caught early, this can sometimes be corrected with glasses worn for a year or so, often people will rugby ball eye are left wearing glasses for their whole lives.

Getting justice

If you receive an injury at work that means you either need to take time off or have had your health affected in one of the above ways and it is stopping you from doing good work at your job, you will need to investigate injury claims. Visit www.the-compensation-experts.co.uk as they can help you through the legal process of getting compensation for your workplace ailment and this financial aid can help you get your life back on track.

Now you know some of the unexpected injuries you can get at work, you will be able to spot them early and act quickly.

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