Keep It Moving, Mompreneur!

Now that we’re a few months into the new year, I often like to think back on my goals and see if I’ve made progress.  Some years, looking back felt painful as I discovered I hadn’t traveled far in my entrepreneurial journey.  Other years and months, I rejoiced at having journeyed a foot or a mile down the road toward the end result: my final goals. 

How are you feeling about your progress so far? 

Here are a few things to keep in mind when contemplating your progress.

Keep moving forward.

Whether you look back and see much of your goals accomplished, or you find you haven’t gone as far as you would like, remember to keep moving forward. 

Luke 9:62 tells us: “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”  A forward-thinking mindset is the only way to succeed in business and in life. 

Whether you’ve achieved your goals these past few months or not, you have so much more ground to cover, so keep it moving!  You can do this.

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Why It’s Important to be Passionate About Your Business

Over the years I’ve had women ask me why I do what I do.  What makes me get up every morning to fix a cup of tea and head into my office, start my computer, and get to work for yet another client?  Why would I want to work from home?  Why would I maneuver my life events, my kids’ activities, and my own leisure around fulfilling the needs of other business women?

It’s true that being my own boss takes sacrifice and commitment.  But the other side of the picture shows that it’s because I enjoy what I do that it’s all worth it.  I love helping moms in business to realize their business dreams with a newly designed blog, or inspire them to keep blogging, keep motivated, keep putting out products and keep doing what they do.

If there’s anything I’ve learned for certain over the past ten years, it’s that if you want to have a successful business, you must first and foremost find that love spark that got you started in business to begin with, and rekindle your passion!

PASSION fuels you.

Without business passion, it’s quite difficult to keep your business going.  You’ll find yourself dragging your feet on assignments, and not pushing yourself to get things done.  As your fire dwindles so does your business.

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Is it Time to Take on a Business Partner?

5 Considerations Before Starting a Joint Venture

Business PartnerMy business partner Candy, and I have been writing together for almost 4 years. We co-own PatAndCandy.com, offering support and encouragement to homeschool moms and parents of teens.

A while back, a blogging friend of ours told us she is considering a partnership with a few other associates, and asked us to share some thoughts about a joint venture.

So, we put our heads together! While we are by no means offering legal advice here, today I’m sharing an overview of the top five areas to consider before jumping into a joint venture of any sort.

As you prepare to move forward, let me encourage you to overthink it.  No matter how well you know your potential partners, it is SO important to have everyone’s cards on the table and look at them sans rose-colored glasses at the get-go.

It’s also important to determine that everyone’s expectations are reasonable in terms of workload and responsibilities and pay-off.  Everyone needs to understand why each person is interested in being a part of the project. Ideally, all should be on the same page, or at least know what page everyone else is on (and be ok with it!) as you move ahead.

5 Considerations Before Taking on a Business Partner or Starting a Joint Venture

1. Legal – Personally, I don’t think you should rush into an LLC or any other form of business registration until you are fairly certain that things are going to work out. Hastily or flippantly doing so creates an unnecessary administrative mess, not to mention a bite out of your pocketbook. You might want to consider having the venture as an extension of one of the partner’s current business, with the other partners perhaps getting a set amount or percentage of proceeds as independent contractors. If you do decide to go ahead and make it legal, you definitely want some “sine qua nons” in place. Meaning, cover the following points (at minimum):

  • What responsibility does each partner have? Is there a back-up?
  • Will you be determining any type of professional standards?
  • How are differences in opinion handled – who has the final say?
  • What happens when one of the partners wants/needs to leave the group? Or isn’t holding up their responsibilities?

2. Financial – This could get tricky if your partners are not located geographically near each other. Fortunately, there are so many online banking options these days; you could use one that’s cloud-based so that all partners have access and accountability. Other considerations include:

  • Under whose name will a bank account be set up, and who will manage finances?
  • How will reporting be communicated to all parties?
  • How is the budget set up and whose responsibility is it?
  • Who will handle the tax preparation and record keeping?
  • What if the partner in charge wants/needs to leave the group? Who is willing/able to take over finances?
  • How will affiliate income be divvied up?

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Verse of the Year 2017: John 5:8

Guest Post by Amy Walton

At the International Christian Mompreneur Network, we’re not making New Year’s Resolutions. We’re choosing a scripture verse to guide us through the year instead. We’re selecting a verse that speaks to our hearts and offers support, hope or motivation for us to live out the following year with purpose and direction. The following is part of a series of posts featuring members of the International Christian Mompreneur Network sharing their scripture verse of the year. We pray these posts will inspire and encourage you to select a scripture verse to guide you through the year as well.

I have read the story of the invalid man by the pool so many times in my life, but it has been in the past year that this story has really spoken to my heart… I guess because of where I am in my life right now.

The man in this story had been an invalid for 38 years. When Jesus encounters him on his mat, he asked the man if he wanted to be healed. Interestingly, this invalid did not answer “yes” or “no.” He simply gave an excuse, saying that every time he tried to enter the healing waters, people went before him, and no one helped him. 38 years… imagine!

I wonder: Did this person ASK anyone to help him? Did he focus more on his disability than his abilities?

I think about some of the “mats” on which I have lain in my life: The mat of insecurity regarding my own gifts and talents. The mat of an eating disorder in college. The mat of trying to attain perfectionism ( it took me years to get off this mat, but I finally learned… finally… that no human can ever be perfect). There have been many mats in my nearly six decades of life. A few have been really comfortable… a little too comfortable. Some have been downright ugly.

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Verse of the Year 2017: Isaiah 61:7

At the International Christian Mompreneur Network, we’re not making New Year’s Resolutions. We’re choosing a scripture verse to guide us through the year instead. We’re selecting a verse that speaks to our hearts and offers support, hope or motivation for us to live out the following year with purpose and direction. The following is part of a series of posts featuring members of the International Christian Mompreneur Network sharing their scripture verse of the year. We pray these posts will inspire and encourage you to select a scripture verse to guide you through the year as well.

My daughter had the privilege of playing a role in our local community theater’s presentation of “The Worst Best Christmas Pageant Ever” this Christmas season. It’s a fairly recent production that’s quickly become a classic, revolving around the story of the Herdman kids and their involvement in a church Christmas show. We see the true power of the Christmas story; how Jesus can influence even the “worst” of us when we come to an understanding of the story’s significance and embrace Him in our hearts.

At one point in the script, the Sunday School teacher/director reads portions of Luke 2 to the children, most of whom are familiar with the story. None of the Herdmans, however, are. And this year, I, too, heard it anew with a seeking heart.

“And the angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people.'” – Luke 2:10

A story I had heard a thousand times. But when those lines were spoken aloud during that first rehearsal, I quietly tucked them away in my heart. Something quickened in me, though, because of course, God knew that I was already “on the hunt” for my Word for the year.

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Verse of the Year 2017: Hebrews 10:35

Guest Post by QuaWanna Bannarbie

At the International Christian Mompreneur Network, we’re not making New Year’s Resolutions. We’re choosing a scripture verse to guide us through the year instead. We’re selecting a verse that speaks to our hearts and offers support, hope or motivation for us to live out the following year with purpose and direction. The following is part of a series of posts featuring members of the International Christian Mompreneur Network sharing their scripture verse of the year. We pray these posts will inspire and encourage you to select a scripture verse to guide you through the year as well.

My word for the new year came about as a result of a recent visit to the salon. Yes, you read me right.

For the past two years, I have been against hair salons because I just couldn’t tolerate the atmosphere. You don’t have to be a black woman to appreciate the dissatisfaction with waiting your turn in a hair salon. So I stopped going. Well, I needed a new look and my hair was badly in need of deep conditioning so I started the undesirable search for a new stylist. I come from a long heritage of hair professionals in my family. Both my mother and father are the offspring of beauticians who learned hair styling in the 1950s. Several aunts and cousins carry on the tradition. I grew up spoiled by free hairdos and beautifully, well -maintained hair. So my standards for stylists are legitimately grounded. Grandma taught me to be particular about whoever has their hands in your glory (1 Corinthians 11:15).

I talked with the stylist several times before my appointment. In fact, while I was in the wash bowl, she said to me, “You have been lying about your hair. You have nice hair.” I did not intend to make her think I have a “bad head.” But I talked so badly about my hair that she believed negative things before she even met me. The last thing she said to me before I left the salon that day changed my outlook on life. “Stop talking bad about your hair. It’s not good. You won’t receive a good result.”

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Verse of the Year 2017: Habakkuk 2:2 (KJV)

Guest Post by Tammie Polk

At the International Christian Mompreneur Network, we’re not making New Year’s Resolutions. We’re choosing a scripture verse to guide us through the year instead. We’re selecting a verse that speaks to our hearts and offers support, hope or motivation for us to live out the following year with purpose and direction. The following is part of a series of posts featuring members of the International Christian Mompreneur Network sharing their scripture verse of the year. We pray these posts will inspire and encourage you to select a scripture verse to guide you through the year as well.

Being challenged to think bigger lead me to this verse. For years, I used I Timothy 4:12 about being an example, but my thoughts really didn’t change much and I became complacent. When I embraced the challenge to think bigger, God began to show me a lot both through His Word and through others that I knew and trusted!

For example, I was challenged to take my book, The Virtuous Business Woman: Inspired by Proverbs 31 and turn it into a workshop, online course and train the trainer program. Those thoughts eventually turned into hosting my own business retreat in the near future. As a mom, I found myself looking for better ways to cultivate the interests of my children and now we are making plans to further that goal.

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Verse of the Year 2017: 2 Corinthians 5:7

At the International Christian Mompreneur Network, we’re not making New Year’s Resolutions. We’re choosing a scripture verse to guide us through the year instead. We’re selecting a verse that speaks to our hearts and offers support, hope or motivation for us to live out the following year with purpose and direction. The following is part of a series of posts featuring members of the International Christian Mompreneur Network sharing their scripture verse of the year. We pray these posts will inspire and encourage you to select a scripture verse to guide you through the year as well.

I oftentimes find myself reaching out, grasping for concrete answers to various problems throughout any given day. As a homeschool mom and blogger I run into conflicts daily, fires that must be put out instantaneously. Because I’m a bit of a planning addict, I find that one of my biggest challenges has been to learn to walk by faith, trusting God to take care of all of my needs and help me put out fires. In fact, if I pray before I start a project I may very well have less fires to put out.

As we begin 2017, I am looking forward to all the many blessings God has in store for His people  – myself included. I can’t see what’s ahead of me, but God can. As long as I allow Him to lead me, I know that I will be fine. I am learning to flex my faith muscles!

When there are a billion fires to put out each day, if I’m walking by faith, I will rest more in the Lord’s promises to guide me through tough decisions. I will trust Him to give me practical answers to practical everyday problems. Whether relationships or business, God is on our side, giving us wisdom for handling issues that need to be dealt with.

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Why Choose Gratitude in Business (Despite Your Circumstances)

Gratitude in businessHow are you feeling about your life work and business this season? Are you feeling discouraged or thankful? How does gratitude relate to your business?

Know it’s guaranteed that at some point in your business you’ll have both ups and downs.

Like anyone else, I’ve had my slow months when business just wasn’t pouring in as quickly as I would have liked. Some months are just better than others. Sometimes sales pick up, and other times I hear crickets. There are times when I have to work out a misunderstanding with a client, and I don’t always land the contract that I’d been hoping for.

Business life is certainly not always a bed of roses.

But the key is: my response. How should I respond, as a woman of faith in business, when things don’t quite work out the way I wish them to?

The best response, I’ve learned, is to wear an attitude of gratitude. Gratitude takes you a long way in life.

I have found that when I make a decision to change my response from being disgruntled to one of gratefulness, I have a better outlook on my situation. I’m in a better mood, I feel more thankful, and I want to help others.

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How to Start an Instagram Gratitude Journal

A New Spin on the Gratitude Journal for Your Business and Homeschool

Instagram Gratitude JournalEvery November you see people writing and talking about gratitude. It’s as if the 11th month of the year somehow got assigned the task of reminding us to be thankful.

Just because it’s the month in which Thanksgiving falls (at least in the U.S.).

But here’s a way to take a new approach to the concept of gratitude and incorporate it year round. The beauty of this technique is that moms (and dads, of course) can apply it to a home business and it’s a more tech-savvy way to get the kids to buy into the action, too! It simply requires adding a small bit of text to a picture.

Starting an Instagram Gratitude Journal

I stumbled upon this concept quite by accident, but I’m running with it, folks! And you can, too.

Instagram is all the rage these days. Actually, I should say, visual content is all the rage. From a small business perspective, any social media promotion that includes an image, graphic or video has a much greater chance of being shared by others and “liked” by Facebook. Pinterest, of course is all about images, and Instagram is the same. Instagram (IG) has the added benefit of being a bit more “real life” and in the moment, which makes it a super tool for this idea.

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