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. 

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Five Simple Ways to Keep Your Business Afloat This Summer

Five Simple Ways to Keep Your Business Afloat This SummerTravel, visitors and camp, oh my! I don’t know about you, but I’m finding it difficult to do anything more than absolutely necessary in the office these days. It seems there is always something more enticing than my computer. And the motivation I was filled with in January has fizzled to a desperate attempt to do as much work as possible before noon so I can hit the beach or the pool with the kids.

After I’m finished beating myself up for feeling like a slacker, I remind myself that this is what I signed up for. This is what I wanted when I decided to go into business for myself and work from home. I wanted the flexibility to work my schedule around other things in my life – like my family. I wanted to call my own shots and control my own workload. So instead of feeling guilty for not accomplishing extraordinary feats in my business this summer or crossing a thousand things off my “to do” list, I’ve decided to embrace the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of being a mompreneur.

But that doesn’t mean I’m putting business on hold until September. I’m just finding ways to be more efficient and prioritize better. Here are a few strategies I’m employing this summer to ensure smooth sailing for my business while I’m focusing on family a little bit more:

Five Simple Ways to Keep Your Business Afloat This Summer

1. Put first things first. I’m on a mission to become a Time Management Ninja! I ask myself, “What are the things I absolutely, positively have to keep doing in my business?” Then I carve out time – even if it’s early in the morning – to make sure those get done first. I feel a sense of relief once the necessities are finished and then I can decide to move on to additional work – or take the rest of the day off to play!   

2. Give each goal a deadline. It’s easy to put off larger projects in the summer when my calendar is a little more open and the temptations and distractions are a little more alluring. The only way I know to combat this situation is to give myself a specific deadline. If it’s a big enough project, I give myself smaller deadlines along the way. This helps me prevent procrastination and overwhelm.

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Do You Belong Here? A Peek Inside the Sisterhood of Christian Mompreneurs

Survey Results IGOne of the things I love most about what I do is getting to know some pretty fabulous women. When I stepped out in faith to create the International Christian Mompreneur Network, I was placing a call for help. I was reaching out to other moms just like me who were feeling overwhelmed and isolated as they juggled the challenges and joys of running a business while raising a family. These ladies answered my call for help and formed an extraordinary circle of support and encouragement for me and for one another. They’ve developed friendships as they’ve grown their businesses.

But lots of women wonder if they will fit in. They send me emails saying:

“My children are all grown and out of the house. Am I too old to join?”


“I don’t really have a business…it’s more of an idea right now. Can I still belong?”


“I’ve got a J-O-B but I hope to start my business soon. Is this the place for me?”

My answer is YES! Of course, you belong here! But sometimes it’s good to see the data – so you can really learn about the women God has placed in our lives. So, here’s a peek inside our circle.

The ladies in the Sisterhood of Christian Mompreneurs:

  • Live in 21 different states in the United States and one Canadian city.
  • Are older than you might think, with 57% of us in our 40s.
  • Have 2 or 3 children living at home – some more, some less.
  • Want to learn about a variety of different topics to help grow their business or ministry.
  • Take advantage of our private Facebook group for networking and support as well as our monthly group calls, opportunities to promote their businesses, training webinars and more.

(Keep in mind, these are just the ladies in our Sisterhood group. The full membership of the International Christian Mompreneur Network is even more diverse – with members from all over the world including Australia, United Kingdom, India, Philippines, Brazil, South Africa, Indonesia, Italy, Germany, New Zealand, Nigeria and more!)

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If You Treasure It, Then Measure It: Five Simple Ways to Track Your Business Success

Treasure It Measure ItWhat do dieticians encourage people to do when they want to improve their nutrition? Write down everything they eat. What do personal trainers ask people to do when they want to improve their fitness? Keep an exercise log. What do financial advisors tell people to do when they want to improve their money management skills? Create a written budget. No matter what you want to improve, the first step is to identify your current position so you can measure your progress.

The same concept holds true in business. You can’t grow your business if you don’t really have an understanding of where you are now. And you can’t maintain momentum if the only time you ever look at your stats is when someone asks you about them. So I tell the mompreneurs I work with “If you treasure it, then measure it.”

As a marketer, I’m a bit of a data geek, but some of this doesn’t come naturally to me so I have to remind myself of the value of monitoring the numbers. While this may not be the fun part of owning a business, it’s an important one.  Here are some simple tools to get you started:

1. Website Traffic. The best tool for most small businesses to measure website traffic is Google Analytics. It’s free, easy to install and packed with valuable insight. The only problem I have with Google Analytics is that I can easily fall down the rabbit hole and spend way too much time exploring and researching data I don’t need. I’m no expert so I’m sure there’s a lot that I’m missing, but the data I find valuable to monitor in Google Analytics includes:

  • Unique Monthly Visitors – how many people visit my site?
  • Page Views – how many of my pages are people visiting?
  • Average Visit Duration – how long are readers spending on my site?
  • Referrals – where is my traffic coming from?
  • Keywords – what words are people using when they search for my site?

I also take a look at demographic information such as age, gender and country; the use of mobile devices; and the most popular pages.  I don’t necessarily track those categories every month but I know how to find the information when I need it. You can also use Google Analytics to track your conversion rate and determine how successful a specific page is. 

2. Subscriber List Building. If you’re building a business or ministry then you are probably communicating with your clients, customers, readers, listeners, members, patients, students, fans, donors, etc. in some way.  If you’re using an email marketing solution such as Mail Chimp, Constant Contact, Aweber, Direct Pay or one of the many other platforms, you should have a wealth of insight available to you. I typically monitor the following:

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Put Jesus on the Shelf

ElfontheShelfFor the past five years, December 1st has marked the arrival of Elf on the Shelf in our home. It’s a highlight of the season. You’re probably familiar with how this works, but I’ll fill you in just in case. Affectionately named Goody, our Elf’s job is to observe our behavior and report to the North Pole every night to let Santa know if we’ve been naughty or nice. When Goody returns each morning we find him in a different location. Peeking out between the leaves of a silk poinsettia plant, dangling from the dining room chandelier or munching on some snacks in the pantry. We engage in a month long game of Hide-and-Seek with our felt-covered friend! (Some people claim their Elf on a Shelf gets into mischief while they sleep, but Goody is on the straight and narrow.)

The other day I was trying to figure out exactly why my children love this game with Goody. They are more excited for his arrival than they are for Santa – and Goody doesn’t bring presents! Then it dawned on me – Goody brings out the best in them. He encourages them to be kind and helpful. And it feels great when you are your best self.

You know who does that for me? Jesus. Of course you knew I was going to say that. But what if I told you I was going to make Jesus my Elf on a Shelf? No, I’m not planning to create a fabric Baby Jesus and hide him in my house every night. (That might be frowned upon in some circles.) But here’s what I am going to do:

Three Ways I’m Going to Put Jesus on the Shelf this Christmas Season

1. I’m going to look for Jesus every day. Just like my children search for Goody in anticipation first thing in the morning and then delight in his discovery, I’m going to make it my mission to seek Jesus in the most unusual places each day. I’m going to keep my eyes open for the presence of Christ in every corner and crevice of my life. I’m going to recognize his light in the grouchy sales clerk and the impatient driver honking his horn behind me. I’m going to marvel at his works shining brightly despite the bullying and terrorism and apathy and despair of our world. I will not give up until I find him. And when I do, I’m going to jump for joy! 

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Three Fabulous Reasons to Join the Sisterhood of Christian Mompreneurs

If you like free stuff, discounted prices and hanging out with smart women who share your values, then listen up! It’s “Back to Business” time here at the International Christian Mompreneur Network and we’re inviting YOU to join us for a full year of learning, encouragement and networking in the Sisterhood of Christian Mompreneurs.

So what’s the Sisterhood of Christian Mompreneurs and why would you want to join us? Well let me just say that the Sisterhood is better than anything I ever could have dreamed of creating. In fact, I’m not even sure I knew what I was doing when I started the Sisterhood – I simply knew we needed a place where we could feel supported. The Sisterhood has flourished beyond my expectations. It’s a thriving circle of women who do more for me than I could possibly do for them. It’s a community of encouragement, learning and sharing. And it’s just for Christian moms who are running a business that supports their values.

Now, if that’s not reason enough, take a look at these three fabulous reasons to join the Sisterhood of Christian Mompreneurs this month:

Sisterhood Photo1. The Sisterhood is filled with the most talented, inspirational and supportive Christian business women I know! They are doing AMAZING work in this world and it’s my privilege to bear witness to their journey. I am blessed to be a part of the group and I absolutely love watching them support one another in everything from business to motherhood. Don’t take my word for it – you can meet some of them here: Meet a Featured Sister.


2. I’ve got a super secret promo code you can use to save $50 off your annual membership! Just enter “BACK2BUSINESS” and you’ll automatically get a $50 discount. It’s valid through October 31, 2013 and you can redeem it here: Sisterhood of Christian Mompreneurs. You’re welcome!

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3. You’re going to get free stuff! And I’m not talking about pens that break and magnets you’ll never use – I’m talking about high quality training programs designed to help you grow your business all year long. In fact, when you join the Sisterhood, you’ll receive our latest training program as my free gift to you. It’s called the She Builds a Business Home Study course and it includes more than 3 hours of video training from our spring 2013 live event. You’ll learn the Five Foundations for Flourishing in Business as you get in on the action at the premiere training and networking event for Christian mom entrepreneurs!

Not sure yet? Watch the first training video for free and discover the 7 Gifts of Strategy and Spirit – click here for your sneak peek now!

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What’s on Your Business Bucket List?

business bucket listEvery June my children create a Summer Bucket List. Well, actually we call it a Wish List. MyFriendStacy (yes, that’s all one word) calls it a Sand Bucket List. But it’s pretty much the same thing. The kids make a list of everything they want to do before school starts. Some of the activities are simple and fun; others take a bit of effort (not to mention cash) on my part.

Here are the things I love most about the list (and bear with me because I’m going to tell you how this will help your business):

1. It provides a goal – something to work toward. Learning to surf is not a simple thing to check off the list…and we’re in the very early stages of learning so it will probably not be checked off for another year. But just having that goal gave my son something constructive to focus on this summer.

2. It requires structure. During the summer when schedules are loose, the list gave us a reason to plan. A reason to think ahead and put something on the calendar (like a trip to the water park) so we wouldn’t wake up on September 1 and realize we hadn’t done anything we planned.

3. It celebrates accomplishment. Don’t you just love that feeling of crossing something – anything! – off your list? When we completed something on the bucket list (no matter how big or small), it was a great day.

So when summer ends and the kids are back in school, guess what mommy does? You got it! I make a Business Bucket List. I write down all the amazing, challenging, outrageous things I want to accomplish in my business. Now that I have more time to do them. I’m sure you’ve created strategies, goals, plans and other boring sounding documents…but if you haven’t made a Business Bucket List, you are missing out on the fun!

What Should You Put on Your Business Bucket List?

All of your dreams and goals and Big Picture Plans. Maybe you want to write a book…or speak at a specific event…or create a website…or find an investor or sponsor…or hire a staff member…or break 6 figures in income…or develop a professional relationship…or get a certification you need…or buy a piece of equipment…or launch a program…or develop a product…or finally figure out Twitter…or quit your day job…the list is endless. And it’s unique to you and your business or ministry. And it will give you a goal and a structure and a reason to celebrate for the rest of the school year.

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Five Mantras for Peace and Productivity

Ok to Say NOHave you ever sat down with a friend over coffee and poured your heart out about something that’s been troubling you? And somehow (let’s call it divine inspiration), she comes up with the perfect statement to put you at ease. She finds those magic words you need to hear to make you feel better and remind you that everything will be ok.

Wouldn’t you like to bottle that encouragement and tap into it anytime you need it? Of course, I know you’d rather have your BFF deliver it in person, but we don’t always have time for a long chat with a friend. So why not try the DIY method of encouragement? It’s not a replacement for your loving friendship, but it will help you stay positive and focused on what matters most. And don’t be freaked out because I’m calling them “mantras” – they aren’t woo-woo Western chants designed to bring you wealth and happiness. They are simply affirmations…reminders to yourself of what you ALREADY know…of what your best friend would tell you if she were sitting right next to you.

Here’s how it works. Create three to five mantras that encourage you. These are the messages that you know you need to hear whenever you are frustrated, defeated, overwhelmed or exhausted. These are the words you hear the Holy Spirit whisper in your heart when you really spend the time to listen. These are the words that bring you peace and confidence and clarity – in business and at home.

Your mantras will be unique to your life and your business and the challenges you are experiencing in this season. But take a look at some of my personal mantras for inspiration:

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Ten Weird Things I Love About Being a Mompreneur

Work from HomeWhenever I ask women what they love about being a mom entrepreneur or working from home, I always get the same response: the flexibility to set my own schedule so I can spend more time with my family. Flexibility is the overwhelmingly popular benefit of owning a home-based business as a mom. But beyond that, what else is so wonderful? What are the other surprises and joys that come from running a business and raising children under the same roof? Here are a few of my favorites:


Ten Weird Things I Love About Being a Mompreneur

1. Saying yes. When you run a business and raise a family at the same time, there are lot of things you have to say no to, but there are also some things that you get to say yes to. Like stopping by the school to drop off a forgotten item, taking a day trip with the kids, visiting a friend in the hospital or volunteering as a Girl Scout leader. If I worked full time in a J-O-B, those things would be out of the question.

2. Soaking up some quiet. If you’re a homeschooling mom or your children are still babies, you may not appreciate this…but I treasure the quiet in my home from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm every day. I don’t turn on the TV or radio at all. I don’t even answer the phone unless I have to. I just bask in the calm between the storms that bookend our daily lives as a busy family. And yes – I get a whole lot of work done, too!

3.  The office infirmary. With three active kids in elementary and middle school, we’re exposed to a lot of germs around here. When one of them is run down with a bug, it doesn’t set my world in a tailspin. I can administer Saltines and chicken soup in between writing blog posts and doing radio interviews. Easy peezy.

4. Yoga pants. Enough said.

5. My own cooking. Now, I’m not the best chef on the planet, but I do take the time to prepare healthy and delicious meals for myself and my family. I pack four lunches a day and I love the fact that I don’t have to pack one for myself. I can just go the fridge and grab something homemade for lunch. Of course, I still make time for lunch with friends and colleagues on occasion because I love going out to eat. But on a daily basis, I get to eat in my own kitchen. And I have more time to prepare healthy dinners too. I kinda love that.

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My Life is a Game of Whac-a-Mole

Kid with a fever. Whac!

Overdue bill. Whac!

Deadline at work. Whac!

Laundry piled up to the ceiling. Whac!

Out of milk. Whac!

Seriously, ladies, I dish out repeated blows to the head all day long. Sometimes I think I’m the all time champion in life’s game of Whac-A-Mole. You know the game, the one with the silly little moles wearing hard hats. They pop up in an unpredictable pattern and taunt you as you attempt to smash them in the head. I know…it sounds a bit aggressive, but the game is alarmingly close to reality for me.

Every morning, I wake up energized, plastic mallet in hand, ready to take on the day. I set my intention – to be cheerful and kind and calm. Then I get out of bed and prepare for invasion. The frenzied and erratic pace of the day makes it difficult to remain true to my intention.

My typical day begins with a 6 a.m. workout followed by a frantic search for a missing soccer ball or ponytail holder, then the mad dash to three different summer camps in various locations, all of which begin at the same time. Then it’s off to work as I tackle deadlines and phone calls interrupted by text messages regarding last minute changes to the carpool schedule. With the grace of God, I manage to handle assignments at work and keep up with laundry, groceries, cooking and cleaning.

But there’s always something that pops up like a nasty mole in my delicately landscaped life.  The case of swimmer’s ear, a broken dishwasher, last-minute travel for work, a sick babysitter, emergency dental appointment, the list goes on. You’ve been there. We all have. Staring that goofy mole in the eye and willing it to disappear forever.

Despite the chaos and overstimulation in my daily game of Whac-a-Mole, I enjoy the healthy aggression. In fact, I thrive on the sense of accomplishment I gain from successfully exterminating each and every mole. At the end of the day, I retire victorious and exhausted. But, I admit, I’m having the time of my life.

Ten Things I’ve Learned Playing Whac-a-Mole
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