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Oct
02

Let It Go

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balloonIt seems that everyone I talk to lately says, “let it go, just gotta let it go” either to themselves or they’re telling someone else.  It reminds me of past sayings (which may date me!) such as:
Where’s the beef?
Is that your final answer?

As catchy as this new saying is, it probably falls into that “easier said than done” box.  How do you just let it go?  It is hard, isn’t it?

By the time this goes online, I’m sure most of you have seen the movie, Frozen,  and heard the famous song from the movie, Let it Go.  Even now, you may start to hate me because you’re hearing these lyrics in your head! The singer makes it sound so easy: “Let it go, let it go…” Somehow, I don’t think its that easy, for me or for anyone

One line jumps out at me: “I’m never going back; the past is in the past!”  This is hard to do isn’t it?  How does one keep the past in the past?  Most of us don’t know how to actually do that.  If I’ve been betrayed, there’s usually a current song or movie out that reminds me, ‘somebody done somebody wrong’ {Thank you B.J. Thomas}.  I may remind you of what happened in the past.  You remind me of my past mistakes, etc.  Usually its the bad stuff.  We don’t tend to bring up the good things.  I find most people, myself included, have no problem recalling the bad things, the negative, the hurts, the wrongs someone did or said to me.

It’s the good things I have to work at remembering, either by rereading my journal, or looking at a photographs.  I’m glad God doesn’t bring up my past!  So, why do we hang on?  What good does it do?  It really only makes things worse?  If you don’t agree, I’d like to hear your thoughts. Combine the “Let It Go” saying with a new thing making its way around the US via social media. I’ve seen this a lot recently online:  A 7-day challenge of stating 3 positive things a day and sharing them with others, usually on Facebook.

I think that Satan does try to remind us of two things:  our own past mistakes, sins, and crimes.  That way, he keeps us feeling guilty, keeps us stuck.  We get focused on “me”, which is where he wants us to be.  Instead of on our great God who DOES forgive, heal, restore us, first to Himself, then to others.  Or satan tries to get us to focus on all the wrongs, sins, mistakes and crimes against us.   This will also keep the focus off God. Read More→

Dave

DanalaughinglIn this Internet age, information is everywhere. In fact, information is so abundant on the World Wide Web that it can be very overwhelming. Think about it: How many unopened emails do you have right now sitting in your inbox?

If you’re like me, you have too many!

The information that is available can be very helpful in your pursuit of growing your business. But it is even more effective to have a mentor.

A mentor can take you from where you are to where you want to be in a much quicker, more effective fashion.

You can bounce ideas off a real person, receive feedback, get accountability, and much more. It is worth the investment of time, money, and effort.

Sometimes you are not in a position to hire one­on­one consulting. What should you do then? Choose one person at a time to follow!

Believe me, I know how hard that is! To me, Internet marketing courses are like candy. There’s always a new shiny object that I want! And as an author of Internet marketing courses, I like absorbing as much information as possible.

One of my favorite virtual mentors is Ali Brown. One of her sayings changed my life. She said, “Don’t make decisions from where you are, but from where you want to be.” At the time, my husband and I ran a vacation rental. It was a drain and almost brought us to financial ruin. I knew that I wanted to be a wildly successful Internet business woman. My husband wanted to be an architect working at home. Read More→

Brian Ellsworth

Sep
30

When You Cry

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cryAs women, we have lots of opportunities to shed a few tears. Truthfully, any emotion could be grounds for our eyes to moisten, and those salty droplets to draw trails down our cheeks. We have happy tears, sad tears, tired tears, mad tears, overwhelmed tears, grateful tears, joyful tears, scared tears and tears for no reason at all. (And lest I fall into stereotyping, I will confirm that women aren’t the only ones who weep.)

But what happens to them, all those tears we’ve cried?

First, we should understand that our tears are recognized. God does not ignore or condemn our tears. He is not annoyed by them or offended by them. As Hezekiah was pleading with the Lord to deliver him from a terminal illness and give him fifteen more years of life, the prophet Isaiah received this message for him from the Lord (Isaiah 38:5; 2 Kings 20:5):

Go and tell Hezekiah, “This is what the Lord, the God of your father David says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears.”

God Almighty does not look the other way when we cry. He takes note, He listens, He responds. We can also be assured that our tears are recorded. Psalm 56:8 says, “You have recorded my troubles.

You have kept a list of my tears. Aren’t they in Your records?” This isn’t some sadistic list written by an angry God who wants to keep track of our pain. Rather, it is a testimony of His watch-care, a reminder of His intimate involvement in our lives. As the psalmist wrote this, he was testifying of God’s nearness, God’s goodness, and God’s perfect plan. Popular Christian group Casting Crowns said it this way: “Every tear I cry You hold in Your hand.” That’s the God who sees and takes note of your heartache. That’s the God who cares. Read More→

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jill-new14booksWhen someone asks you about what you do, do you have a ready answer? Or do you stumble and stammer trying to explain your business?

I was recently at a writer’s conference where one of the main focuses was learning to create a successful book pitch. My instructor emphasized what a good pitch can do for a writer. She explained that when an editor asks an author about their writing project, they have one shot at sharing their pitch and getting the editor excited about their project. A great pitch makes a great first impression and can translate into a book contract. On the other hand, a pitch that is not well thought out can cost an author the chance of selling that project.

A good book pitch is a summary of the author’s idea, but more than that it’s a summary with a sizzle. At the conference, I learned that many authors spend hours crafting and memorizing their pitch. Then, when asked about their project, they are able to give a quick, concise synopsis that not only explains their idea, but makes the editor want to learn more.

I believe that the concept of creating a pitch can also apply to the home-based business world. As entrepreneurs, we can put together a summary of our business that will not only explain what we do, but grab the attention of whomever we’re speaking with.

A good business pitch summarizes the business concept in one to two short paragraphs, usually a total of 50 words or less. To begin, write out a list of the five most compelling aspects of your business. Try to think about your business as if you were on the outside looking in. What would interest you? What would make you want to learn more?

Try to answer these questions:
• Who is my target market?
• What are my top selling products/services?
• What about my company makes it stand out? If I were looking at starting a business, what would interest me about this company?
• Why did I choose this company? Read More→

bugThe Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and Yours Truly finally exercised our right to a vacation and planned for a whole week to spend with our son and his family. Preparing for a week vacation takes about six weeks prior to the vacation and then six weeks after the vacation to get caught up. I do not know how people take vacations all the time.

It was to be a great week of relaxing and spending time with our son and his family in the state of Ohio. Ohio is remarkable for a lot of things but when my wife and I think of Ohio we think of one thing: our grandchildren.

Someone once remarked that grandchildren was God’s way of apologizing for our children. Maybe that is so, I do not know. If so, I gladly accept His apology. All I know is it is wonderful to spend time with grandchildren. The important thing about being a grandparent is discovering the skills necessary to adequately spoil your grandchildren within a week’s time frame. Secretly, my plan is to get back at my children for their childhood in my home by spoiling my grandchildren in their home.

Revenge is sweet and wonderful.

It was about the middle of the week and my wife and I were sitting outside enjoying the cool weather. All of the grandchildren had been snuggled down into their beds for the night. It certainly is tiring to spend the day with grandchildren who have no shortage of energy and whose tongue is a well oiled machine and does not know how to be quiet.

Our ears were still tingling from the day’s childish verbiage extravaganza.

We were sitting in the backyard sipping some hot coffee, enjoying the quiet evening when I heard this buzzing sound on the left side of my head. Automatically my hand swatted in  that area and I went on drinking my coffee as though nothing had happened. I thought perhaps the kids were still up or maybe it was a flashback from the afternoon.

My wife looked at me as though something weird happened, but we continued enjoying the evening atmosphere with only the soothing sounds of sipping coffee.

Then I heard the buzzing sound again. This time it was on the other side of my head and as I swatted I began to realize what was happening. All of the bugs in the state of Ohio had received a memo that I was vacationing in the state. In well organized shifts they began the welcoming process. Within a short time I was swatting bugs with both hands which did not seem to change the situation at hand. Read More→

Sep
25

Upgrade Mentality

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phoneI have been thinking a lot lately about my phone. You see, I have made it last another 2 years and my current contract is up.  So, I can upgrade to a new phone.  Undoubtedly, a sleeker, cooler, faster, better, prettier, smarter phone.  So, a month ago, I started researching phones (again).  Then a funny thought entered my head while I was driving home from lunch:  Why do I even have to or want to upgrade my current phone?  Seriously, what’s wrong with it?  After a few feeble protests from my big SELF, I concluded that I do not HAVE to upgrade at all.  I won’t go through all my reasonings here, because that would take too long and would be very boring for you.  However, I will say that it made me think about my mentality:  it’s all about upgrading.  It reminds me of what some people were saying way back when that “we’ve become a throw away society”: just throw it away if it doesn’t work for you anymore, doesn’t fit you, etc.  Go buy or get another _______.”

I wonder, well, actually I don’t wonder anymore about this because I do believe we have so become accustomed to upgrading, throwing out the old & replacing things, that it has crept into our beliefs about marriages and our spouses: “Just divorce him; you can do better than him.”  We see it all around us, on TV, the internet, our family and friends’ marriages.

It seems also that people are not too fond of rules anymore.  Rules of any kind.  We want our freedom so much, but no constraints.  No limitations.  No consequences.  But there are consequences!  And some will learn the hard way.  I remember stealing candy bars as a 16 year old from the gas station. We met there so often that we knew the attendant by name!  I forget if my friend dared me or how it all started.  I recall feeling so terrified at first, afraid of getting caught. What would my mother do? {She was not the type to say, but rather DO if you get my meaning.}  But nothing happened the first time. Nor the second, third, and so on.  I started feeling less afraid.  I became bolder.  If I can steal one candy bar, why not two this time? Again, I succeeded.  (With hindsight, of course, this is one area you do not want your kid to succeed in!) Read More→

letterBuilding an online business is certainly not easy, especially when you are on a very limited budget. It has been my experience that numerous entrepreneurs and home-based business owners overlook some very effective and free advertising opportunities.

Some examples of these result producing techniques are:

1. Welcome Letter for Subscribers – I subscribe to tons of groups and ezines and am sometimes disappointed when I get a default welcome letter. Welcoming a subscriber or group member is one of the most potentially effective tactics for your business.  Personalize the welcome by introducing yourself and letting the person know about your website and what you offer and how that will benefit them. This is a crucial moment in that you can start connecting and forming that relationship with your reader before they even get your ezine or mailing.

* Inform them of any exclusive specials you have.

* Tell them your advertising rates and add a testimonial or two.

* Invite them to your site to utilize the free resources.

* Let them know your email and that they can contact you anytime with questions, comments, etc.

* Use some of the space for add swapping with other publishers.

* Highlight any of your best products or affiliate products you may be marketing.

2. Goodbye Letter – When you lose a reader or subscriber, you have one last chance to get them to purchase a product or service from you. Utilize it to the fullest. Thank them for being a subscriber and encourage them to re-sub at any time. Be sure to ask them why they have left so you are able to make any possible improvements. Read More→

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