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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How to Stop Giving Away Your Time and Working for Free

Stop Working for FreeA friend of mine recently spent an entire day volunteering her services as a retail consultant for a small shop owner who couldn’t afford to pay her. She sorted inventory, rearranged displays and even helped with pricing strategies. As I sat listening to her talk about the job, I wondered why we agree to such things. Why do intelligent, successful women give away their time and work for free?

We like to believe it’s because we are generous. We have a heart for service and we know God calls on us to care for others. So we are ready and willing to take on whatever task is asked of us. I’m guilty of it, too – I’ve agreed to far too many lunch requests with someone who wants to “pick my brain.” And I’ve offered my writing and marketing services pro-bono for dozens of organizations – each of which has a noble cause. Why? Partly because I want to. But often because I feel I have to.

When someone is in need, we help them. That’s what we do, right? That’s just the way it works.

Not exactly. I want to remind you that it doesn’t have to work that way for you. YOU don’t have to be the one to step up Every Single Time something needs to be done. And you certainly don’t need to say yes when you’re asked to give away your time and professional expertise.

Trust me – I know you have valid reasons for saying yes:

“It may lead to something bigger.”

“They can’t pay me now, but if I do a good job, I’ll be the first one they call when there is money in the budget.”

“It will look good on my resume/portfolio.”

“It’s my duty to help others in need – I’ve been blessed and I want to give back.”

“If I don’t do it, nobody will.”

There may be an element of truth to your reasons but I’m going to challenge you to say no anyway. I want to encourage you to keep your priorities (rather than the needs of others) at the forefront of your decision-making. I know that sounds selfish but it’s really more a matter of staying focused.

Giving away your time and talent is a wonderful way to serve others – as long as it doesn’t derail us from God’s plan. If you are constantly putting your own business or ministry (or worse – your family!) on the back burner while you help others, then you’re not really living your purpose.

Sometimes our desire to help others is a distraction or procrastination technique. It prevents us from doing what God is calling us to do. Because it’s easier to be in charge of the silent auction for the third year in a row than it is to write that memoir about finding Jesus and healing from addiction.

If you really want to be a good steward of all your gifts, then be wise in the way you share your time and talent. You just might discover you have more time to do the things that matter most. And – you may even improve your bottom line!

Five Ways to Stop Giving Away Your Time and Working for Free:

1. Run the Numbers. Decide on a percentage of your product or service you will provide pro-bono and don’t go above that number. For example, if you are a portrait photographer you may decide to offer one day of your time per month to a local non-profit.  If you teach a course or workshop then you may offer a certain number of scholarships for every 10 paying students. Once you choose a reasonable number and start tracking your time, you’ll feel better about saying no to additional requests because you’ll be able to quantify the pro-bono work you are already doing. [Read more...]

Please Take My Reader/Member Survey

surveyI started this blog and created the International Christian Mompreneur Network as a way to connect with women like you. It’s a place for mom entrepreneurs to get the information, encouragement and support they need to run a business that is in alignment with their values of faith and family. I know it’s helping a lot of women! But is it helpful to you? Could I be doing something better? Something more? I’d really love to know!

Please take a few minutes to fill out my Reader/Member Survey and let me know what I could be doing to make this blog and the Network more relevant and valuable to you. The survey is 4 pages and there are 30 simple questions. It shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes and you can skip any answer you choose. (But the more information you provide, the better I will be able to make the changes you want.)

Please know that the survey results are completely anonymous. Your answers – especially the demographic information – will be super important in securing sponsors for our events so that we can keep the cost down as much as possible.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to help!

Click here to get started – or complete the survey below.

 

 

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7 Rules for Thrifty Back-to-School Shopping

back to school shoppingI was in Target one day picking up a few items when I saw a mom with an overflowing cart of school supplies. Ugh…is it that time already? For a moment I felt guilty because I’m always the slacker mom who sends her kids off to school with barely the essentials and does her best to catch up by the end of September. But as I watched this woman negotiate with her 7-year-old who was throwing a temper tantrum about a lunchbox, I was reassured that my way of back-to-school shopping works just fine for me.

I may not get EVERYTHING on the supply list…and I certainly don’t buy it all on time. But I’m willing to bet we spend less money than some other families. The National Retail Federation estimates the average family spends $669 on clothes, shoes, supplies and electronics during the back-to-school shopping season from July through September. That’s a lot of notebooks!

Here are a few of my personal tips for saving money – and saving your sanity – when it comes to back-to-school shopping.

7 Rules for Thrifty Back-to-School Shopping

1. Go Solo. I know it’s tempting to make the back-to-school shopping trip a special event to help children get excited about the start of a new year. But I personally haven’t found shopping with my kids to be effective. I spend less time and less money when I make a list and knock it out on my own. Of course, I need the children with me to buy shoes and some clothes, but the supplies I can do on my own. When I do take them with me, I give them a budget and let them use their own money if they want something more expensive.

2. Wait and See. There’s no medal for completing your back-to-school shopping before the first day of class. In fact, I find there are always a few teachers who add to the supply list in the first couple of weeks. And there are often better sales later in the season. Last year I waited so long to buy my daughter safety goggles for science lab that she ended up getting a hand-me-down pair from another student. Gotta love a resourceful child!

Oh, and when it comes to clothes, I most definitely don’t buy a new fall wardrobe in August. Why? Because it’s still 98 degrees outside and by the time the weather cools off enough to wear jeans, my kids will have undoubtedly had a growth spurt. [Read more...]