Everyone needs a little time off eventually. This is true even for those of us who work at home, as contrary to popular belief, this lifestyle is no vacation! All of us need a little time to ourselves to unplug and step back from the computers and mobile phones that so frequently tie us to one place in our work. Here are some of the best vacations that allow us to disconnect and unwind, even if only for a little while.
Take a walk out into the backcountry and see the world through a different perspective for a while. Traverse mountain fed streams; walk through endless deep forests and silent meadows, and summit peaks where you can see forever. If this seems like your way of unwinding and enjoying all God’s creation, there are many great backpacking trails to be found, from the famous Pacific Crest Trail or Appalachian Trail, to the Wonderland Trail around Mt. Rainier in Washington State. If you’re unsure where to go, a quick online search can yield plenty of options and reviews.
Deep Sea Fishing in Hawaii
Calling all fishermen! Imagine waking up in paradise, hopping on the boat and going miles out off the coast of Hawaii to put your angling skills to the test in some of the best sports fishing waters in the world, where you could very well pull in the next record setting Marlin. Everyone knows that Hawaii is beautiful, but if you enjoy fishing there is no better place to go to unwind, disconnect, and have an all around great time than the U.S.’ own tropical paradise. Read More→
Usually when I write something have to do with working from home, it’s about how to create an income. However, making money isn’t the only necessary ingredient in the stay-at-home recipe. The flip side of the coin is making some sacrifices and finding ways to save money.
When my husband and I first made the decision that I would leave the corporate world in favor of working from home, we knew it was going to take more than just me finding a way to bring in money from home. The amount that I would be making was half – or maybe even less – than I made at my corporate job. We needed to find a way to make it on his Air Force salary and my very small financial contribution.
Get Rid Of Non-essentials
In order to cut out some of our living costs, we sold one of our cars and for the next several years I drove around a lovely (I use that term loosely) car that had been my grandmothers. It certainly wasn’t my dream car, but it got me around town and we also saved a LOT of money when the time came around to pay tax and licensing fees.
We also cut out cable and anything else that we could find in our budget that we could live without. It’s amazing what things we consider “essential” that truly aren’t.
Keep It Simple
Another aspect of our life that received serious cutbacks was eating out. This was a hard adjustment for me at the time. When I worked full-time outside the home, it seemed easiest many nights to just stop and pick up supper on my way home. And once I began staying home every day, I still wanted the ease of fast food. Read More→
I confess that I am not at my best early in the morning prior to my bathroom ritual. As far as I am concerned, the bathroom is a sacred place of refuge before facing the world. It is a place where I can prepare myself to meet the world as well as prepare for the world to meet me.
On the day in question, not only was I unprepared to meet the world but I was unprepared to meet my bathroom. Looking back on the situation, I do vaguely remember the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage mentioning something to the fact that she made certain changes in my bathroom.
This brings me to an important point; never underestimate the damage a wife can do to the sacred places of her husband.
When I walked into my bathroom and switched on the light, I had the shock of my life. I looked in the mirror, as normal and looking back at me was the most frightful thing I have ever seen.
The face looking back at me was old and haggard, desperately needing a shave. The bags under his eyes looked like sacks of potatoes and what little hair he had looked like the aftermath of a suicide bomber. I wanted to call the police, but I was too paralyzed with fear.
I must have yelled or something because my wife came running into the bathroom and asked, “What’s wrong?”
Then she did something that infuriated me even more than I was at the time.
She laughed, and then explained to me what had happened. My wife took it upon herself to replace the mirror in my bathroom.
For a fleeting moment, murderous thoughts stomped through my mind. Fortunately, for me they were still wearing their bedroom slippers and not their marching boots.
When I get up in the morning, I look forward to going into my bathroom mirror. I have a little ritual I do upon first glance into my mirror. “Mirror, mirror on my wall; who needs a shave the worst of all?” Then we have a good laugh together. Read More→
Did you ever have one of those days where nothing seems to go right? Well, I did recently. You see, I have been having a relatively good month of, nothing too good or bad was happening. All was well in Pam’s world. Then yesterday came.
I think I may have woken up on the wrong side of the bed. I hadn’t been sleeping all that well the previous nights. But because of the snow, church was cancelled, and I was fine with it. I didn’t like the way I was asked to serve (long story), so I was happy I didn’t have to do what I really didn’t want to do.
This was Super Bowl Sunday. Now, I’m not that big of a football fan; neither of “my” teams were playing. Still, I was looking forward to a few things:
- Idina Menzel was going to sing the National Anthem.
- Downton Abbey was on after the game.
- I was cooking chinese dinner.
- Football would be officially over and I’d have my husband back
So, all was well….until I got goofed up with the times: 6pm EST means 5 pm CST. (first upsetting thing) So, I missed Ms.Menzel singing (second disappointment). The commercials didn’t live up to my expectations (third disappointment). They were rather so-so. Not what I was used to. One or two good ones and that was all.
A few more things happened: It was a close intense game. I wanted a blow out of sorts. My competitive spirit doesn’t need any more intensity, especially when “I don’t really care who wins” is in my head (one of many lies I told myself that day). I had been reading my Bible, reading Charles Spurgeon’s works on sharing and preaching the Good News to unbelievers. My heart was torn between: “Why on earth am I watching this ‘insignificant-in-the-scheme-of-eternity’ TV special” and “This is a relaxing way to spend a Sunday night-with family, watching PG entertainment, culturally appropriate event, here in America.” Seattle was winning. Then the Pats came back, then Seattle made this awesome catch on the 2 yard line with 40 seconds left. Second and goal. “All is well” I thought: Seattle just has to run the ball 10 feet and they’ll be the champions. But, no, their coach decides to pass and it gets intercepted! Sometimes you don’t realize just HOW MUCH you want something until it is taken away! I was upset. Then to top it all off, Downton Abbey had started at 8pm (which I had forgotten) and so I had missed it because I thought it started at 9 pm which is now was. Read More→
People love to get free information so using a free tutorial to share your knowledge is a great way to promote yourself and your business. By doing this, you will be establishing yourself as an expert and building your reputation. Then when people need products and/or services, you will be the one they trust and believe.
Divide your tutorial into lessons, one for each day of the tutorial or ecourse. Once you get your lessons written up you want to set them up individually on an autoresponder.
There are many autoresponders available for free and for a fee. Some hosts may have autoresponders available as well. WordPress also has autoresponder plugins. Let’s say you own a home décor and furniture website store. You could set up an ecourse on how to successfully paint a piece of furniture. Your lessons would be something like this:
Lesson 1: Choosing the Right Paint
Lesson 2: Preparing the Piece to Be Painted
Lesson 3: Painting the Piece
Lesson 4: Maintaining the Finished Look
After your lessons are completed, you can set them up to go out each day in a row or separate them by a day or two. It would depend on how many lessons you have and how long you want the tutorial to last.
Separating the information into lessons works better than sending all the info in one mailing because it keeps your name and business fresh in the mind of the potential customer.
When writing your lessons, sprinkle in information about your business and what you offer but try to make it fit into the tutorial so it doesn’t appear too. Offer special discounts for signing up for your ecourse/tutorial. Read More→
Burn out can have a negative effect on your brand, resulting ultimately in failure if not addressed properly.
For my husband and myself, that became very apparent late last Fall. It took a great toll on our businesses and we had to reevaluate. It could have had a negative impact on our marriage. It’s been a long journey but one that is well worth it.
Perhaps sharing our story and the steps we took to improve our lives and businesses will help you in a similar situation. I believe strongly that my “mess” can be a message to help others, and that the topic of branding is so much bigger than a logo. As work at home professionals, my philosophy is one of a holistic view. So therefore the solutions to this problem are not just the mechanics of business, but much wider in scope.
Here are some of the steps we took:
1) Be honest with yourself and your spouse and/or business partner. If something’s holding you back, if there’s something going on that is having unintended consequences on your marriage, family, home, and business, confess it. This may be a habit, a mindset, or even a sin. Remember that a lie by omission is every bit a lie. This takes courage and trust and a great deal of patience for the person receiving the confession, but this is where it starts.
In our case, my husband admitted that there was a huge void in his life which led him down the wrong path. He had attitudes and mindsets that was causing failure in our lives and businesses. He confessed everything to me so that there was nothing hidden anymore.
2) Get to the root of the problem. What is the cause of this problem? Dig deep and come to an understanding. This is rather like peeling the layers of an onion. It can be painful, but it is worth it.
For us, we found out what was missing in our marriage. We were so busy working that we neglected it. And we kept putting off joy. Our lives were lonely and bereft of laughter and smiles.
Once we came to this understanding, we immediately took more time out to “smell the roses.” We are now going on regular dates. We spend time together. Before we led separate lives. No more.
3) Consider taking a sabbatical. That’s what I had to do in order to concentrate on our marriage. I also realized that I needed to concentrate on my husband’s business since I am the marketer and administrator. I had to put my projects off so I could concentrate on what he needed. Read More→
Have you ever wished that you could work from home? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 19 million people worked from home (either part-time or full-time) in 2001. It’s a growing trend in our society with the number steadily rising as many people are leaving the workplace in favor of a work-at-home career.
There are four main ways to make working from home possible:
1. Telecommute For Your Current Employer – Many employers are beginning to see the benefits of allowing their employees to work from home. If you have a job that would be possible to do from home ask your employer to consider it. More and more employers are allowing employees to telecommute. This is an easy way to work from home while maintaining the security of a stable career. You must realize, though, that working from home may limit you in terms of advancing in your company. It’s important to think through the sacrifices that you may need to make in your situation to work from home.
2. Telecommute As An Independent Contractor – There are many companies that hire independent contractors to do work such as data entry, transcription and customer service from home. This can be an incredible opportunity as long as you’re willing to keep track of your own taxes and aren’t relying on the employer for insurance and other perks There are many benefits to the company also, such as lower wages, not needing to provide insurance, or being able to offer a commission based position. The company may also choose to hire home workers so that they do not need to pay for space to house an office full of employees. Read More→