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...]

7 Business Lessons from the Football Field for Mompreneurs [Movie Review: When the Game Stands Tall]

WhenTheGameStandsTallI rarely have an opportunity for a date night with my oldest son, but when I offered him and a friend tickets to a preview screening of a football movie, I instantly became the greatest mom on the planet! Andrew and I saw When the Game Stands Tall with our friends Cindy and Nick and we all agree the movie speaks to moms as much as it does to boys. It chronicles the lives of the coaches and players of the De La Salle High School football team in Concord, Ca. With an unprecedented 151-game winning streak, the Spartans are doing something right. But it is more than just winning football games.

Whether you’re a football mom, a swim team mom or a dance mom, I think you will agree that sports are the classroom of life. Especially when there is a great coach in the picture. In fact, coaches (like teachers) have the power to help shape a child’s character and set a player on the path to a winning life on so many levels.

Based on a true story, When the Game Stands Tall is overflowing with lessons of character for today’s youth…messages of dedication, brotherhood, leadership, faith, forgiveness, humility, love and honor. As I sobbed and cheered my way through the film, I couldn’t help but glean a few encouraging messages for the mompreneur. (You know I’m always thinking of you!)

7 Business Lessons for the Mompreneur from When the Game Stands Tall:

(I’ll try to do this without spoiling the movie, since it doesn’t come out in theaters until August 22!)

1. Give a perfect effort. The De La Salle coaches demand a lot from their players but they don’t expect perfection. Rather – they require a perfect effort. Every day. Every play.

Many of us mompreneurs have a perfectionism problem. We expect perfection – which makes us less successful and more critical of ourselves. I’d like to suggest we take a page out of the Spartan’s playbook and expect a perfect effort. What if we went to work each day ready and willing to give a perfect effort? What if we let go of the need to achieve and embraced the desire to serve? What if we applied that thinking to the job of motherhood as well? I think I’d like to play that game.

2. It’s not WHAT you do that matters…it’s HOW you change lives in the process.

Coach Bob Ladouceur could have moved on to lucrative coaching positions in college or professional football, but he was more interested in transforming character than winning games or earning a paycheck. “Winning a lot of football games is doable. Teaching kids there’s more to life? That’s hard,” says Ladouceur.

No matter WHAT you do in your business, you have the opportunity to teach, preach and reach people through your work. [Click to Tweet!]

Maybe God’s plan for your business or ministry has nothing to do with your bottom line and everything to do with the effect you have on the people you serve. I’m not suggesting we ignore traditional measures of success – that would be irresponsible. But I do believe we are called to look at the impact of our work through the eyes of Christ.  [Read more...]