Christian Mom: You Can Create a Business That Supports Your Values of Faith and Family!

If you are running a business while raising a family, you are not alone! Women are opening small businesses at a higher rate than men. And many of these businesses are owned by moms who work from home. In fact, a new home-based business is started every 12 seconds in the United States. Why? We believe it’s because we’re experiencing a shift in priorities and women are searching for a way to create a business that supports their values of faith and family. They want a profitable business and a family-centered lifestyle. And it’s easier than ever before to make that dream a reality. 

The International Christian Mompreneur Network is a community of moms who are passionate about faith, family and business (in that order!). We know that God calls us to share our gifts and talents and serve others through our businesses. We offer solutions and support to help you build a profitable business with wisdom and grace. If you’re self-employed, starting a business, running a home based business or just thinking about creating a business while raising a family, you’re in the right place!

Get started by joining for free today! Then dive right into our business training videos and the Christian Mompreneur Toolkit — to inspire and guide you on your journey. 

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I Don’t Know Much About Parenting, But I Do Know That #SportsMatter

SportsMatterCeniccola

Sometimes I wonder why we do it to ourselves…why we allow our family schedules to become so overloaded with activities there is barely room for fun. Why I spend every night of the week chauffeuring children from one activity to the next and praying that I have time to wash the uniforms and pack a cooler to eat dinner at the field.  Why chores and homework sometimes take a back seat to soccer, volleyball, wrestling, swim team, track or some other sporting event. Why I wake up at 5 am to work out or run with my Sole Sisters – even on a Saturday.

And then I remember. I remember why we do it. We do it because #SportsMatter. We do it because our children are happier, healthier, more productive, less hormonal (teens in the house!) and better adjusted when they are involved in sports.  And the same goes for me! Despite the fact that I sometimes push the limit a bit in terms of overscheduling, our family sporting activities do more good than harm.

What I didn’t know until recently was that there is a boatload of impressive statistics to back up my reasoning…like the fact that student athletes are four times more likely to graduate high school…they are on time to school more and absent less…and they score higher in social skills like resolving conflict, appreciating diversity, resisting peer pressure and moral conflict. (Up2Us.org)

Unfortunately, youth sports are facing a crisis. An estimated $3.5 billion was cut from school sports budgets during the 2009-2001 years. And 27% of U.S. public high schools will not have sports by the year 2020. Even community-based sports programs are at risk of becoming extinct. That’s why I’m thrilled to support the #SportsMatter campaign and help generate $2 million, raise awareness for the youth sports crisis and save teams facing budget challenges. [Read more...]

Making the Shift from Blogger to Business Owner: Type-A Bootcamp Walt Disney World [Part 3]

African American woman checking her piggy bank for moneyIs it time to make some money with that blog of yours? I had the privilege of presenting with Adrianna Domingos-Lupher of Next Gen MilSpouse at Type A Parent Bootcamp in Walt Disney World last week where we inspired some amazingly talented bloggers to make that shift to business owner.  This post is the last in a 3-part series about what we shared at the conference. You can find Part 1 here: Making the Shift: Five Truths to Tell Yourself About Turning Your Blog into a Business and Part 2 here: Making the Commitment: Five Practical Tips for Making the Shift From Blogger to Business Owner.

It’s interesting to study how people make money online. I love peeling back the curtain and really digging in to how the cash flows in an online business. Some of the more predictable revenue-generating strategies for bloggers include ad networks, affiliate income, sponsored posts and ambassadorships. Lucky for me, there were fabulous speakers at Type-A Bootcamp who shared generously on these topics! A special shout out to Missy Ward of Affiliate Summit and Debbie Bookstaber of Element Associates for the scoop on affiliate marketing; and Roo Ciambriello of Neon Fresh, Titania Jordan of Cool Mom Picks and Kelly Whalen of The Centsible Life for their negotiating tips for working with brands.

Adrianna and I shared a few ideas of our own…some of which may open your eyes to a new revenue stream for your business. In fact, we know from personal experience that the potential in these strategies could possibly be more lucrative for small businesses and new bloggers. So you may want to consider one of the following in your mix!

Making the Money: Five Ways to Make Money as a Blogger and Business Owner

1. Speak and Host Events. While not all speakers are compensated for their presentations, there are plenty of paid speaking opportunities out there for experts. If you’re comfortable on center stage, then take a look at you niche and your audience, determine what you can offer and start pitching to event planners and association managers. You can even consider online speaking (webinars and teleseminars) and hosting your own events where you can speak and bring in sponsors and other speakers like Kelby Carr does with Type-A Con.

2. Start a Consulting Practice. Many bloggers are also full-time consultants who earn a living by sharing their knowledge on a wide variety of subjects such as marketing, social media, photography, creativity, nutrition, fitness, finances and more. They get paid by the project or by the hour to help other businesses or individuals succeed. How can you turn your area of expertise into a revenue stream for your business? [Read more...]

Making the Shift from Blogger to Business Owner: Type-A Bootcamp Walt Disney World [Part 2]

Beautiful woman displaying the screen of a laptop computer – isolated

Ready to make the shift from part-time hobby to full time business owner? I had the privilege of presenting with Adrianna Domingos-Lupher of Next Gen MilSpouse at Type A Parent Bootcamp in Walt Disney World last week where we inspired some amazingly talented bloggers to make that shift to business owner.  This post is the second in a 3-part series about what we shared at the conference. You can find Part 1 here: Making the Shift: Five Truths to Tell Yourself About Turning Your Blog into a Business

Today, we’re talking about what it takes to make a commitment to your business. Sometimes we tend to dabble in a business…experiment with our ideas…play in the space for a while. But eventually, there comes a time when we need to invest in the business. This is what it looks like when you’re ready to make that commitment:

Making the Commitment: Five Practical Tips for Making the Shift From Blogger to Business Owner

1. Invest in great branding. There’s an incredible tool called the Internet and it can help teeny tiny businesses compete with massive companies in pretty much every industry. But just because your business is teeny tiny, doesn’t mean your branding should reflect that. If you had only a few dollars to spend on the business, I would invest it in a great website, with branding that speaks to your ideal customer and functionality that makes the experience easier for your visitor.

Unless you are a graphic designer or web developer, please don’t try to tackle everything on your own. Yes, you can build your own site. Yes, you can create your own graphics. But just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. At least not all of it. If you’re pulling your hair out trying to create graphics or learn coding, then maybe it’s not your gift. Maybe your time would be better spent somewhere else in the business while someone else is working on the branding. That’s not to say you need to spend thousands of dollars before you begin earning money. You can start with a free WordPress.org website theme and work with a graphic designer to create a custom banner. Ask her to create some brand standards for consistency when it comes to fonts and colors. Then, as you grow, invest in upgrading the site with a new theme and more custom graphics. 

And while you are investing in branding, make sure you create a consistent look and feel across all of your social media channels and platforms. You should have the same images, colors, fonts, etc. everywhere your business appears on the web or in real life. I recommend Matt and his team at TweetPages for this job – a fabulous Christian family-run business with superior customer service and great quality design.

2. Make a clear and consistent call to action. Bloggers love RSS subscribers. That means people actually want to read what we write! They get our blog posts delivered to their inbox so they won’t miss a thing. But business owners love email subscribers. That means readers opt in to receive email messages from us. This is how online businesses develop relationships with customers and make sales. What is YOUR goal on your blog or website? Do you want visitors to subscribe to your email list? Call for an appointment? Join your community? It’s your job to understand what you want people to do when they visit and make it easy for them to take action. It’s time to get strategic!

3. Take your business seriously by establishing a professional foundation. This means doing the stuff that sometimes freaks us out – like establishing a legal entity (consult a lawyer to find out which one is right for you), obtaining a business license and Tax ID number, opening a business checking account, creating contracts and non-disclosure agreements, developing policies and procedures, getting business insurance, trademarking your brand, etc. While you are at it, make sure you’ve got a professional email address and phone number. No more Hotmail or AOL email addresses for business! [Read more...]