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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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Archive for Jill’s Blog

Sep
29

5 Essential Ingredients to Building a Successful Brand

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Dana Susan Beasley, Branding for Success bloggerWhat ingredients make up for a successful brand? Some of them may surprise you!

1. Desire

This is where it must start. You have got to WANT to build a successful business. You must want it with every fiber of your being.

Because face it: hurdles are going to come. Something worth having is something worth fighting for. There will be times when you want to give in, to throw in the proverbial towel. But DESIRE to achieve your goal will keep you going despite feeling tired, discouraged, or having setback after setback. This is a lifelong journey so think of it as a marathon, not a race!

2. Pursue Your Passions and Callings

An old saying that I like comes to mind: “Do what you love, and the money will follow.”

God gave you talents, gifts, and life experiences. He has a calling (or several callings) planned for you. After all, He put you on this earth. He is the provider (Matthew 6). You are here for more than just making a living. What is it? What’s your destiny?

That’s why the Parable of the Talents is just as relevant today when Jesus taught it. Jesus invested in you. Are you going to invest in what He gave you to get a return or are you going to bury it?

The ROI in this case is so much more than business profits. The real desire that God has for you is that you invest in others so that they will come to the Kingdom.

And also, your passions will bring you more vibrant life, more desire, and fulfillment.

I think of the other day when I gave my first ever Kingdom Entrepreneur class here locally in Colorado Springs. As I stood up there giving my introductory presentation, I felt that I belonged in front of that class. I knew there was “fire in my belly.” Ideas came rushing into me and I talked with animation and excitement. I inspired my students. What’s more, all my experiences came to bear, even my childhood ones.

I could deliver that well because I had a passion on the topic.

When you follow your passions and callings, then you will attract more people to what you’re doing AND most importantly, you will stick with it when you have setbacks. Again, it gets back to that desire. When you know your why, you will have inspiration, not merely motivation.

3. Define Your Target Market

If you aim at nothing, you will hit at nothing. The more you define the group of people or niche who can benefit from your programs, the more you will attract customers and clients.

Even as I write this, for instance, I am keeping in my mind one PERSON, who is a Christian Work at Home Mom or Dad. That is the market of this blog! I’m not writing to everyone in the universe. Just you.

It’s the same with your business. Who is your ideal client? What is their gender, age, economic status, education level, location? What do they like to do in their spare time? What are their problems?

This is where a sweet spot comes in. When you identify your passions and callings and that product or service you provide can solve your target market’s problem, then you will attract customers like bees to honey! Read More→

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Sep
28

The Flintstones teach BOUNDARIES IN MARRIAGE

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I’ve couplebeen thinking a lot about the sanctity of marriage. I’ve thought about friendships with the opposite sex and how that has changed over the past decade or so.

Having friends while married is a good thing I believe, for both men and women. I think of the cartoon, The Flintstones, and watched it while growing up.

Fred’s best friend was Barney, who he could to talk to, go to the lodge with, and go bowling. Wilma had Betty to chat with, cook with, and to watch Pebbles if she had to go to the quarry.

It was healthy.

They lived life together, played together and were around one another a lot. They were also separate: two different marriages with four unique but different individuals.

But I don’t recall Fred ever going somewhere alone with Betty, nor Barney with Wilma. Why not? Well, for one thing, I believe they, cartoon characters notwithstanding, respected each others’ spouses and the boundaries inherent in a healthy happy marriage.

Trouble will come when one spends too much alone time with the opposite sex. Even if you are their best friends.

Lest you think I am from the dinosaur age, I am not! However, when I hear of a spouse spending more time away from home, away from their spouse, I start to hear “Danger, Danger!” (from Lost in Space series-another old favorite of mine). Danger can and often does come.

So, consider these warning signs and ask yourself these questions:

* Would you want your spouse to __________ {whatever you’re doing with a member of the opposite sex, texting, talking, having weekly or often coffee/lunch/meetings, etc.} ?
* Would you advise your best friend to do what you’re doing?
* Are you spending more time with your spouse than __________ ?
* Would your grandmother approve of your behavior/speech/thoughts?
* Would your pastor/bible study leader counsel you to keep doing ___?

If you’ve answered no to those questions, be forewarned! Trouble has arrived at your doorstep. Reconsider now!

If you answer yes to these 2 questions, you are seriously in deep doo-doo:
* Do you find yourself thinking of him often during the day, wondering what he’s up to?
* Do you go out of your way to call or text him or go to the gym, when you know he’ll be there?

Now is the time to flee this temptation!

Read More→

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Sep
27

My Sneeze Is No Gentle Breeze

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Disgruntled Young Man by Maggie SmithIt has been days (or has it been years) since I have enjoyed a sneeze free day. The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage told me it is simply that time of the year and I should learn to deal with it. “After all,” she opined, “you’re not going to die.”

That news was not quite encouraging, because it was the hope of dying keeping me alive so far. If my brain was functioning anywhere half-decent, (and I can’t remember a time it has) I probably could remember when I felt worse. However, it does not matter how I have felt in the past it is how I’m feeling right now that really matters.

I have gone through a million boxes of tissues this past week.

I would not mind an occasional sneeze every now and then. For example I could live with a simple “aah-choo,” and be done with it. But, oh no, my nose has different ideas about the whole thing.

It is what I call the unholy Trinity. It goes something like this.

Aaaaah Choooooooooooo.
Aaaaaah Choooooooooooooo.
Aaaaaaaah Choooooooooooooooo.

Each sneeze tries to outdo the previous one. I can never sneeze one time, it always has to be in multiples of three.

Of course, sometimes my nose tries to outsmart me. For example, when a sneeze comes I gear up for three in a row. Then my nose will sneeze two times and I am ready for the third one and it does not come. It will do this several times in a row, then it will sneeze twice, there is a small pause, and I think it is over and the third thunders forth.

Notwithstanding, this has made certain inconveniences in the life I once enjoyed. For example, in the middle of the night when nature calls I try to be as careful in getting out of bed and going as I possibly can. I never open my eyes so as not to become fully awakened in the middle of the night. Once awake I find it difficult to go back to sleep.

Just the other night I was responding to nature’s call as I normally do and was just about ready to get back into bed when my nose realized what was happening and called forth three mighty sneezes.

Not only did it bring me to full awake status, but also the lady sleeping in my bed was aroused to full alertness, and yelled, “What happened?”

I live by one basic rule. Never wake up grouchy. Read More→

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Sep
25

4 Ways To Create An Online Presence For Your Business

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There’s a lot to think about when you’re running a business. You have to secure customers, network and hire the right employees. Another important area many companies are experimenting with is getting online.

If you’re not sure where to start, it’s easy to catch on. You have a lot of options, so it’s best to do your research and slowly dabble in different opportunities to see how they work for you. Trying to do it all at once will be a big undertaking and you’ll run into issues managing it all. See four ways to create an online presence for your business.

Social Media

It’s a good idea to get involved in social media. Create a presence by creating a few different accounts with a couple of the platforms that interest you. See where your target audience is hanging out and what type of content you’re looking to share before deciding. You’ll most likely want to hire a social media manager who’ll be able to keep the accounts current and engage with your audience. Have the team help come up with content ideas and be open to posting videos and infographics.

External Sites

Reach out to other website owners who’d be willing to share your work on their site. Either exchange a blog post or see if they’d be up for showcasing you. It’s smart to get your information and links on other relevant websites that are out on the Internet. It will take some extra effort on your end because you have to contact each person individually and make an introduction. Be willing to offer them a tradeoff in return. Read More→

Categories : Articles, Jill's Blog
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Sep
25

Five Steps to Landing a Great Work-at-Home Job

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According to the latest American Community Survey data, there are approximately 2.8 million people, not including the self employed or unpaid volunteers, who consider home their primary place of work. The struggling American economy has created the need for companies to cut back as much as possible. This has created growth in the work-at-home industry as it allows companies to save on expenses like office space, equipment and insurance costs.

However, the telecommuting world can be a hard place to get your foot in the door. Linda Dickerhoof, Public Relations Director at VIPDesk, one of the leading virtual concierge and virtual customer service providers in the United States, reports that they receive as many as two hundred resumes a day. With that kind of competition, it’s imperative that you stand out from the crowd. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when applying for telecommuting employment.

1. Do Your Research – This is, by far, the most crucial aspect of your work-at-home job search. There are many legitimate companies that hire at-home employees. However, in order to weed out at-home job scams, you need to know what “red flags” to look for.  A legitimate work-at-home opportunity won’t ask you for any sort of “affiliation fee,” nor will they send you any type of list of employers to contact.

A legitimate opportunity will also not offer an unrealistic salary. The ads that you see offering $5k/wk with no experience usually are just what they sound – too good to be true. Avoid work-at-home opportunities advertised via infomercials, signs taped to a lamp-post, stop signs or via spam e-mail. Always check with the Better Business Bureau to see what type of reputation the company you are considering has, then follow up with an Internet search to see what is being said about the company in blogs, on twitter, and in the mainstream media.

2. Prepare Your Resume – Applying for a working-at-home position should be treated just like any other job application process. The company may allow you to work from home, but they will not tolerate an unprofessional attitude. In fact, it’s highly unlikely that your resume will be selected if it’s anything less than top-notch.

In order to get ahead, put together a professional resume outlining your job experience and highlighting any special skills or training applicable to the position you’re applying for. Keep your resume to one page, if possible.

3. Prepare For the Interview – The interview process is more critical than usual in the work-at-home world because the interviewer will not be meeting you face to face. Most at-home employers have a strenuous screening process to filter out applicants who do not fit the professional standards required.

Prepare ahead of time for questions not only about your employment background, but also about what your home work environment will be like (they do not want to hear animals or children in the background). Interviewers will be listening intently to how you present yourself over the phone, so be as prepared and professional as possible. Read More→

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Sep
24

Interview: ‘Finding Your Why’ with Mike McKeown

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Mike McKeown is a licensed professional counselor who has been encouraging, supporting, and helping people on their journeys for over ten years. Specializing in anxiety and depression, Mike has learned a great deal about the things that can hold people back. One of his greatest pleasures has been helping people leave those problems behind and step into the destiny that is meant solely for them.


Listen Now:

You can see more about Mike’s philosophy as well as his interests and opinions at his website, http://www.visionshepherd.com

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Sep
22

Your Brand and What You Charge

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Dana Susan Beasley, Branding for Success bloggerdana-chargeAs a brand consultant, one pitfall I have noticed time and again is a sense of guilt for charging customers.

Often my clients are so excited about what they do and love helping people so much that money is the last thing on their mind.

But there’s a huge problem with this thinking.

First of all, let me ask you this question. Does your mortgage company feel guilty in asking for your payment? Does your utility company make sure that they are being “sensitive” before they bring up the money issue and send you that cutoff notice?

Of course not! You agreed to a service or certain contract and they expect payment. They are not going to “play nice” or hope that you will get around to paying them. In fact, they are going to harass you until you do pay it and, if you don’t, most likely you will be sued.

So why do we approach money owed to us business owners in a willy-nilly fashion? The underlying reason is lack of self-worth.

If your customer sees the value in what you do, they will be glad to pay you. All you have to do is ask!

Of course you don’t have to be mean or obnoxious about it, but you do need to be clear and upfront about it. Just saying simple words like, “I’d be glad to get started on your project as soon as I receive the deposit” or “I’d be glad to send you the product as soon as I receive your payment” can have a powerful effect.

I just helped my husband do this very thing, as he recently started his architectural business. He was hesitant to ask for the deposit. Of course, as the one who pays the bills and does the invoicing for his new company, I urged him to ask for the check immediately. I helped him with the wording as stated above and the response from the client was immediate! The client was even apologetic that he had not paid yet.

Read More→

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Sep
21

LEAN ON ME

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pam-leanonI was listening to my favorite oldies station today and “Lean on Me” was playing. Here are some of the lyrics for those who don’t know the song (by Bill Withers, 1972):

Sometimes in our lives
We all have pain
We all have sorrow
But if we are wise
We know that there’s always tomorrow

Lean on me, when you’re not strong
And I’ll be your friend
I’ll help you carry on
For it won’t be long
‘Til I’m gonna need
Somebody to lean on…

It has a nice beat to it and I think a good message too. We all have pain, we do all have sorrow at some in our lives. Sometimes it’s in our childhood, sometimes later in life. Marriage is the ideal place and our spouses are the ideal people we could lean on during those tough times. But sadly, it may not be the case for many. Perhaps we’re very independent so we go through life with the attitude of “I’ll do it my way, I don’t need anyone”. By most people’s definition of marriage, marriage is not the place to live out and practice that idea. Singlehood is. Read More→

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Sep
20

If “All Things Are Possible,” Why Can’t I Balance My Checkbook?

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For me, the most terrible time of each month is the day our bank statement comes. We commonly call it BSS (Bank Statement Syndrome). I don’t know why it is, but I have trouble getting the parsonage checkbook to balance with the monthly bank statement.

That ominous document intimidates me every time it arrives. After all, the bank’s business is keeping track of accounts. They have hundreds, maybe thousands of accounts and I have just one. On the surface, it seems a rather simple thing for me to keep our checking account up to date, but I assure you, it is not. Every time I try, I lose interest.

Keeping our checkbook accurately balanced is almost like a circus balancing act; everything is up in the air. No matter how often I add those figures, I never get the same result twice. I have resorted to adding up the figures at least three times and then take the average. So far, I’ve been batting a .195 and have been dropped by the major league, which lost interest in my career. This may satisfy my conscience, but it does little to appease the accounting department of my friendly banking institution.

The thing flustering me more than anything else are those fees. The average bank has more fees than a West Virginia hound dog has fleas. Everything I turn around there is another fee. (I need to stop turning around.) Somebody needs to invent a fee powder.

Each bank must employ a stable of employees whose only job is to dream up these fees. How else can you explain it? These fees are creative enough to cover every aspect of a person’s wallet, retroactive three generations.

To open an account there is a fee. Each account carries a monthly maintenance fee. I have been paying this monthly maintenance fee for several years and I have yet to see someone from the bank come out and mow my lawn. What is this maintenance fee? What are they maintaining? They certainly are not maintaining my checkbook. With all the fees I am paying, I would expect someone from the bank come to my house, sit around my table, and help me balance my checkbook. I would supply the coffee and donuts; for a small fee of course.

Another thing I do not understand is the ATM fee. Why do I have to pay money to the bank to get my money out of the bank? Whose money is it anyway? Read More→

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Sep
19

How To Keep Your Dreams as Your’re Serving Your family

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babyWe had a dream.

Once, years ago, when we first became work-at-home moms, we envisioned happily typing away at our computers. Our adorable children would be frolicking at our feet – blissfully playing amongst themselves. Maybe they’d be reading, doing puzzles …

Then, we woke up.

Both of us had highly unrealistic expectations of the quality and quantity of work we could do with small children at home. Years later, with teenagers, we’ve found that not much has changed.

We still feel the continual tug of war between the piles on our desk and the needs of our families.

Because our kids, no matter what their ages, still need us. Beyond that, they want us. We’re wise moms to realize this and take advantage of it.

To be honest, most of the time we fail miserably at keeping up a good solid rhythm. Work happens in great spurts of creativity. A lot of times, it seems like the needs of home and family can be postponed. From bitter experience, we’ve found that too much of a “that-can-wait” mentality can come back to bite us.

So, how do we work with passion and purpose, free of that feeling that we should always be doing something else other than what we’re doing at that moment?

This is still a struggle for us. But we’ve made progress.

Whether you’ve just become a work-at-home mom or have been one for years, here are a few principles that we’ve found helpful when we follow them:

1. If we aren’t good at multitasking, then we shouldn’t try. We’re firm believers that multitasking is a myth. Something always suffers – at least at our houses. Focus on one thing at a time for as long as you can.

2. Ask God throughout the day, “What is the most important thing for me to do right now?” One definition we found for the word “balance” was “a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions.” We think the key words in that definition are “correct proportions.” Often, that doesn’t mean equal. So how do we know what’s correct? We don’t. That’s why everyday we have to invite and depend on the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

Read More→

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