Have an Imperfect Lent

How to have an imperfect lentI made my family chicken soup on Ash Wednesday. I don’t know what I was thinking – except that it was freezing cold outside and homemade soup sounded like a good idea. But it was Ash Wednesday. The very first day of Lent and I had already screwed up. I’m not sure how you observe Lent, but our fasting requires us to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and every Friday during Lent. Well, I typically don’t pay much attention to this requirement because I don’t eat meat anyway. But I do cook it for my family. #LentenFail

So what’s a mother to do when she’s gotten off to such an imperfect start? As W.C. Fields says, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”

I admit, I don’t think I’ve ever had a “perfect Lent” – one in which I stuck to my promise of sacrifice or prayer without faltering. In fact, I shared my story with Inc. magazine this week when they profiled three entrepreneurs who use Lent to form highly effective habits. (And yes, I’m still pinching myself to see my name associated with a Christian message in a popular mainstream business publication!) But if you read closely, you’ll see me confess that I didn’t quite make it through 40 days of my Lenten practice last year. So I’m convicted to making it go better this year! Although, I’ve come to realize it will never be a perfect process.

God doesn’t expect us to be perfect. He knows we make mistakes. That’s why he sent his beloved son to save us from our sins. The only thing God expects is that when we fail, we try again. So here I am…trying again. [Read more…]

14 Ways to Give Your Business Some Love

Happy woman daydreaming about love in officeFeeling a little ho-hum about your business or ministry? Or perhaps you’re so overwhelmed with daily tasks that you don’t have time to give your business the attention it deserves. Many mompreneurs think of their business like another baby – one that needs some tender loving care. But it’s easy to neglect our little darlings, at times. So, here are 14 ways to give your business or ministry some love!

1. Make it official. If you haven’t established a legal entity, opened a business checking account, filed for a trademark, purchased a URL or obtained a business license, then maybe it’s time to make it official!

2. Celebrate success. Entrepreneurs are constantly focusing on what they need to accomplish and how they can improve. Pause a minute to take an inventory of what you have been doing well – and celebrate!

3. Automate. If there’s a process or task in your business that’s draining your energy and consuming your time, create a way to automate or systematize it. You can find tools to automate everything from appointment scheduling to email management.

4. Shift your perspective. Spend a day (or even an hour) experiencing your business from the eyes of your customer. You’ll discover a whole new perspective that might lead to some positive change!

5. Delegate some duties. If you’re overworked and unable to focus on the “big picture,” you may need to delegate a few tasks and experience the Gift of Support. Maybe you need to delegate housework or childcare or make your first hire in the business.

6. Generate some revenue. Nothing gives you a boost of energy like an influx of cash flow! Make a list today of 5 things you could do to quickly bring in some revenue over the next two weeks.

7. Learn something new. There’s no such thing as the status quo for entrepreneurs. If we’re not growing, then we’re dying. Take time to expand your knowledge, invest in growth and develop your skills so you can better serve your customers.

[Read more…]

Meet Featured Sister Tami Kiser

Kiser, TamiIf a mother of 10 (yes, 10!) can run a home business then I really have no excuse. I met Tami Kiser through CatholicMom.com where we both serve as blog contributors. I was excited to hear about her upcoming virtual event designed to revive busy moms spiritually — without the added hassle of traveling to a live conference. Join Tami and get out of survival mode and into revival mode!

Meet Featured Sister Tami Kiser

Business Name: CatholicConference4Moms

Business Description:

This is an online Catholic conference for moms, but certainly not exclusive to just Catholics. It’s just that this is the primary faith that is shared by the presenters.  It is hoped that it will become an annual event connecting moms and many of the blogs that minister to Catholic moms.

Tami’s Story: 

I tried my hand at running my own ministry, Smart Martha. In that ministry I had a book and travelled regularly to do all day seminars, mostly for women’s church groups. The seminars focused on setting priorities, faith and family first, and then on practical organizing and homemaking tips. They were well received. But, I got tired of travelling and was looking for other ways to help busy moms. (Travelling also took it’s toll on this busy mom.)

I started to look into the idea of an online conference. AFter a lot of research, I came up with this current model. And after so many years of travelling, speaking at conferences, and writing a couple of books, I had many connections with other women who were my potential speakers. Plus I like the fact that it could all be done from my desk at home! I found a couple of film students and hired them to be my video team. The conference is all pre-taped–this may not seem as dynamic, but for most moms, having that flexibility of when the presentations will be viewed wins over the “live” factor.

I’ve always loved being in business for myself and am thankful for the opportunity this conference has been for me. I’ve found an outlet for my creativity–designing the webpages, ads, logo, etc. I’ve found an opportunity for practicing my marketing, advertising skills. And finally, I’ve used my HR skills with all of the people I’ve been meeting, emailing, and talking to on the phone. Besides this small business venture, I am a full time mother of 10 children. And I work part-time teaching at a private, Catholic school.
[Read more…]