Any mother and sometimes father can tell you how exhausting juggling family, home, and a 9 to 5 job. When spending too much time in an office job, your family life suffers. This is because you tend to miss out on the memories and your children growing up. In addition, some jobs require a lot from you in terms of long hours, out of town trips, and sometimes working on weekends and holidays. It is for this reason that a growing number of parents are all for working from home.
It is usually a terrifying experience leaving a solid source of income into a world of the unknown but you must look at it as a chance for growth and being your own boss. In fact, working from home trains you on time management. The great thing is that you now have the ability to juggle family life, errands, and your home office in a flexible manner. Working from home can have its disadvantages because you may be distracted by the kids when they cry or when company unexpectedly stops by. The trick to handling this is to train the kids to keep away from your home workspace within set hours and informing family and friends of days you can avail yourself socially.
The key to success in working from home is balancing work and home. It is not always easy but with time, you can definitely handle and enjoy both. One of the things you can do is to create a timetable for each day and how you intend to have family time, do your chores and errands and when to buckle down and get some work done. If you are doing work that excites you and requires flexible time to handle it, then it means you will have more time for other things in the home and about town. Read More→
This past week I had this brought to my attention in an interesting manner. I had ordered a printing job at Staples and went in to pick it up. Walking in the door I noticed that at the printing department there was a long line of people waiting. My heart sank.
Nothing seems to be more of a waste of time then standing in line waiting for service or to pick up something. The woman behind the counter was doing the best she could, but the line did not seem to shrink very much. In fact, it seemed to grow.
I noticed the people in line were getting a little grouchy. You could tell by the grimace on their face that they were not in one of their “happy moods.” Nobody was talking to anybody, just staring or should I say glaring at the woman behind the counter trying to move the customers through as fast as possible.
Then things began to take another turn. A woman came behind the counter, saw me and asked very loudly, “Are you here to pick up?”
Without hardly a thought, I said in my outdoor voice, “No, I’m married, but thanks for the offer. It’s not often an old geezer like me get such an invitation.”
Then the whole atmosphere changed. Most of the people in line broke out in hilarious laughter. They never heard such a line in all their life. One woman looked at me and said, “Thanks, I needed that.” Another said, “You’ve made my day.”
Everybody was laughing and talking and the time seemed to go by very quickly and soon I was on my way out.
My observation is that most people are too serious, but too serious about the wrong things. Everybody seems to be uptight particularly when they are in the store standing in line.
One rule I have in life and that is, I do not take myself very seriously. After all, I do own a mirror! If what I see in the mirror is what other people see when they encounter me, I better start laughing now and join the crowd. Read More→
Trust is hard. Trust is relinquishing our control and admitting that we are helpless. I’m in a season on my life where I am forced to trust God, not that I wouldn’t, but my circumstances require it. I can’t change where I am and what is happening around me, but I know He can. So lately, I’ve been working on being more trusting, and this is what I’ve discovered.
John 14:1 in the Amplified version of the Bible says, “DO NOT let your hearts be troubled (distressed, agitated). You believe in and adhere to and trust in and rely on God; believe in and adhere to and trust in and rely also on Me.”
So, what does trust mean? We get the basic idea, but what does Mr. Webster say? He says that trust is “Assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something; one in which confidence is placed, and dependence on something future or contingent; hope.”
That definition gives us the answer to what we need in order to trust in God. It tells us we must believe 3 things:
1. He is who He says He is.
Who does He say He is? In Revelation He tells us, “I am the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End.” I’ve often wondered why He says He is the first and last and then says again, He is the first and last? It’s no secret that in order for the Hebrews to drive a point home they would repeat it, but we also know that every word is intentional and necessary. Then this came to me, the first term “Alpha and Omega” refers to the Greek alphabet. The Word spoken and written. When He says He is the Alpha and Omega, in essence, He is saying, He has the first and final word in all things. Nothing happens without His say. The second reference “Beginning and the End” refers to time. He was in the beginning and will be until the end of time. In other words, He is THE sovereign One, and when all is said and done, He alone will remain. Read More→
Small business owners drive the U.S. economy. In 2012, government statistics showed there were more than 10.2 million firms in the country with fewer than 10 employees. When you consider that the Census Bureau reported roughly three out of four U.S. businesses had zero reportable payroll, and most principals were self-employed, it’s logical to assume there are more than a few small businesses operating from a home-office.
So, the two most important questions for all the self-employed, home-based business owners out there are:
- Can you quickly identify your most valuable business assets?
- And, are you doing enough to protect your assets?
Identifying Valuable Assets
Think for a moment about how you protect your personal assets. You probably lock your doors to discourage would-be intruders, and maybe there’s a home security system installed for coverage when the property unoccupied. If you read the news, you already know identify theft protection is vital in today’s digitally-connect environment.
Applying those “front door” security tactics through a business lens may mean adding perimeter surveillance cameras to monitor inventory. Make additional efforts by updating personal identity theft coverage with business protection solutions, and installing computer locks to deter would-be intruders.
If you’ve already covered these basics, good start!
Protecting Human Capital Assets
Every business, even those who do not have paid employees, have human capital assets. It may be outside vendors who supply services, or consultants who have access to proprietary information about how you manufacture products. Key contacts have knowledge about your most valuable intangible assets, intellectual property.
Effectively protecting intellectual data and human capital assets often requires outside help. An article published by Archimedes Intellectual Properties Ltd. exemplifies the importance of utilizing a variety of tools to protect business stakeholders and assets including:
- Legal contracts
- Managerial oversight
- Professional IT teams
- Insurance policies (i.e. product recall, O&E, casualty, auto, health, etc.)
Leveraging Social Assets
Many people were surprised to learn they suddenly lost “likes” on social media when Facebook initiated their new policy to scrub page likes from inactive accounts. Perhaps a more important stance for small business owners is the necessity for protecting your reputation by proactively removing fake likes and inappropriate connections from less-than-stellar hitchhikers.
Facebook explained the benefit of monitoring followers and managing your social sites to avoid sanctions associated with automation and bots. One way to take control of your social sites is to check your back-office data. Identify removables by examining key characteristics like:
- Country of origin
- Geographic location (city, county)
- Language preference
Look for Less Obvious Ways to Protect Your Investment
Create a workplace environment that encourages a healthy, thriving lifestyle to protect your assets, human and financial. Obesity and chronic health conditions costs businesses millions of dollars each year in lost productivity. CDC research shows that overweight females miss between 15 percent and 141 percent more days than average-weight female workers, and male counterparts miss up to 56 percent more work.
Protecting business assets demands business owners continually monitor their tangible and intangible property. Do everything you can, but realize some things are best left to professionals.
I believe this is a misconception.
At any given time, there are only 20% of consultants in any business that are really working their business. Even though you may know a lot of consultants, are they really active? Are they holding parties every week? Are they staying in contact with their customers? Are they sponsoring new people into the business? Are they getting out to meet people every week? Read More→
Even Joe the Pipefitter must look askance at some of the moves made in corporate America when faced with a string of bad news.
Mistake #1: Become Reactive and Reactionary
There is truth in the old saying “Respond in haste. Regret in sorrow.” This is also known as the “ready, fire, aim” approach of leadership. When leaders fail to gather the information and critically assess the long-term impact of decisions, severe errors are made. Consider the Big Three auto executives who knee-jerked their way on private planes to ask for a handout without ever having a plan. Now that’s a bonehead mistake. First, stop any action and breathe. Think long-term strategy. Be cautious. Be proactive. Test out the decisions by saying, “If this… then this… ” so you can try it on for size.
Mistake #2: Huddle With Only the Corporate Folks
First, answers are often found at the floor level, not at the ceiling. Involve everyone in the search for efficiencies and innovations. Engage everyone in a common vision and mission. Besides, if managers tell employees what to do, you’ve taken away all sense of responsibility and ownership. How refreshing it would be for management to post discussions on the web and seek input from a variety of people with differing viewpoints. Building transparency goes a long way for building trust and making us all feel we are part of the solution. Read More→
This is part 2 in a series on stepfamilies. (Read part 1 here) Below I will address some common pitfalls briefly. This first one is so important, but rarely do people really think about it:
Losses cover a lot: Status, Housing, Money, Friendships, Church attendance, Leisure Activities, Parent Availability to name a few! Dealing with all the losses that occur, whether after a divorce or death, which created the step family in the first place is hard work! A lot of acting out by kids, grandparents (yes, they too add to the mix!) are due to the losses they experience: loss of change of basic living–my house, my bedroom, backyard, frontyard, basketball hoop-you name it–probably have all have changed. My school, church, and friends–these too have probably changed. Traditions will be adjusted and or changed, dropped, or made new. Grief will often go unrecognized, which like anything unacknowledged leads to many other problems. Loss of status: “I’m not the oldest/youngest anymore!” Our culture does not, IMHO, do grief well. We try and force our way through it fast, which doesn’t work. We return to work within a week and act as normal as possible, when nothing is normal anymore! How sad and ultimately dysfunctional. Step families are no different: their world as they knew it has been turned upside down. So why do we expect the kids especially to just act the same? It will take a long time.
B. POOR COMMUNICATION AND COPING SKILLS
I see a lot of basically good people who have good hearts. That’s my good news! My bad news is that many of these good people have poor communication skills. Marriage is harder than even in our busier-than-ever, high paced, crazy American society. Marriage the second or third time around, well, times that by 100!. You have to have or get better communication skills. Most people think “I’m good or above average” when they’re not. Ouch, I’m sure I hurt someone with that. Sad but true I’m afraid. Myself included by the way–we ALL need to grow and LEARN. That takes TIME. We have to make it a PRIORITY if we don’t wish to repeat our past mistakes. (And no, it wasn’t “All my ex-spouses’ fault”). Read More→