We’re growing and changing!

ICM Network Joins National Association of Christian Women Entrepreneurs

I’ve been a little quiet here lately. You may have noticed I haven’t been blogging or emailing as much this year. Well, it’s because I’ve been in a season of prayer and discernment…allowing God to pour into me so that I am better able to serve. And, I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear that He has given me the wisdom and courage to take the next faith leap on my entrepreneurial journey!

Through God’s divine intervention, the International Christian Mompreneur Network – a community I created nine years ago by reaching out to other moms who shared my values – is now expanding into a much larger community of faith-filled women who want to connect, share, grow and serve! We are officially joining forces with the National Association of Christian Women Entrepreneurs (NACWE for short!).

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ICM Network Welcomes Kelly Garrett as Marketing and Education Director

If you’ve been around the International Christian Mompreneur Network for a while, you’ve probably met Kelly Garrett (pictured with me above on right). Even if you’re new, you’ve seen her work behind the scenes. Kelly was one of the first mom entrepreneurs to join me in this adventure as part of a mastermind group. And seven years later, I’m excited to announce that she is now my partner and joins the ICM Network team as our marketing and education director!

Kelly is a digital marketing connoisseur, strategist, graphic designer and web developer. She’s been my go-to girl for anything tech for a long time and she’s been a valuable resource to the ladies in the Sisterhood as well. In fact, she’s built websites and designed logos for several of our members.

As our marketing and education director, Kelly’s job will be to help you learn all the techie things you need to run your business online. (Read between the lines: she actually enjoys doing the things that make most of us pull our hair out in frustration!) You’ll see her face more often in the Facebook Group and as part of our Sisterhood. And you’ll get to learn from her as she develops courses, webinars and other programs designed to help you grow your business.

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You Haven’t Missed a Thing

Last week, my mom and sisters and I went away for a few days of relaxation and girl time. We stayed at the fabulous Omni Bedford Springs Resort, where we hiked and dined and enjoyed the beautiful views. While exploring the lovely little town of Bedford, we discovered this sign in one of the shops. Wait…what?! We JUST missed the free wine! We got a little chuckle out of it but I have to say, it’s a familiar feeling…the thought that maybe I’ve arrived a little too late.

Do you know what I’m talking about? Have you ever felt like you were behind the curve? Like you’re working toward something but as soon as you get there you will discover that everyone else has already moved on to the next thing?

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Meet Featured Sister Amy Walton


Sometimes you meet people and you just feel a connection to them. A sense of familiarity or comfort. That’s how I felt when I first met Amy Walton through our work on the board for Girls on the Run. She’s a dynamo when it comes to development and has a heart for serving the girls and our community. 

It was a few months after meeting Amy that I had the opportunity to really get to know her over a cup of tea and learn about her work coaching women. Amy is a true blessing to the ladies she works with, helping them make time for themselves, trust in God and improve their relationships.  

I would describe Amy as compassionate, resilient, personable and incredibly smart! Her life story is one that will inspire and amaze you – no matter where you are on your journey. I’m honored to share it with you here. 

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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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[Author Interview] Meet Christian Mompreneur Tammie T. Polk

Author of The Virtuous Business Woman

I used to think Proverbs 31 was written to encourage the homemaker, wife and mother. But one day when I was reading it, I realized the Proverbs 31 Woman was more than a Wife of Noble Character; she was also the ideal mompreneur. That’s exactly what the theme of Tammie T. Polk’s book is — The Virtuous Business Woman. And we are blessed to have Tammie as part of our circle of Christian mompreneurs, to share her wisdom and encouragement with us. I’m honored to share this conversation with her on the blog today.

Q. What does it mean to you to be a virtuous woman?

A. To me, being a virtuous woman means remembering that virtue and faith still have a place in our lives, even in this busy, digital world. Many times, we feel like we have to put our convictions aside in order to be what is perceived to be successful. It also means that I see that I am a lot closer to being this woman than I think I am. So many think that her lifestyle is unattainable and don’t see the progress they’ve already made. It is a matter of making a conscious effort to do what is right and to be guided by the principles of God’s Word, which isn’t always easy.

Q. You write about putting family first. What is your best advice for a mompeneur who is having trouble balancing business and family responsibilities?

A. Yes, that’s one thing so many struggle with. My best advice is to use your family! Find out what their gifts and talents are and allow them to use them to help you in your business! Even use the things that annoy you about them. Another thing I would say is to pay attention to what you may perceive as a family distraction. Many times, those things that they do to distract you just might be their way of showing you that they want to help if you’d only take a moment to show them what you need.

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How to Deal with Criticism

how-to-deal-with-criticismThe moment you become a mother you open yourself up to criticism. It seems as soon as that sweet baby takes his first breath, someone is telling you what you’re doing wrong. The commentary continues over the years and eventually that sweet baby joins in the discussion. But somewhere along the journey we learn to deal with the critics and embrace our unique mothering style.

The same thing happens when we open a business or launch a ministry. Despite the fact that you are making a positive contribution to the world, people feel the need to tell you all the ways you are failing. They do it in writing – on your blog or social media or via email. They do it in person – often in front of customers and staff. And they do it behind your back, which is sometimes the most hurtful of all, especially when the critic is a friend or family member.

So how to you deal with the criticism that comes with being a leader? I don’t claim to have it all figured out, but here are a few steps I take to prevent these remarks from stealing my joy and derailing my mission.

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Are Mompreneurs Trading One Identity Crisis for Another?

are-mompreneurs-trading-one-identity-crisis-for-anotherA friend of mine explained to me why she felt called to open her catering business. She is the mother of a special needs child and said she didn’t want to be defined in that way. She didn’t want her identity to be wrapped up in her role as a mother to her special needs child. I totally understood her – and I told her that lots of moms open businesses or get jobs to avoid that same identity crisis. They don’t want to be labeled as “just” a mom. Or they feel like they “need something more” in their lives.

I get it. I’m not judging anyone, here. I’m admitting that this need to have an identity outside motherhood is a huge motivator for me – and for a lot of moms I work with in the International Christian Mompreneur Network. I KNOW that being a mother is my most important job. And it’s my calling during this season of life. So, I don’t take that responsibility lightly. And maybe motherhood should be “enough” for me… I envy women who are confident enough to dedicate 100% to motherhood. But for some reason…maybe it’s ego…maybe it’s money…maybe it’s fear of failure…or entrepreneurial genes…or lack of patience…but I have always felt the need for an identity that isn’t tied to the little people I love.

The Mompreneur Identity Crisis

But what happens when we start a business to fill that need? Sometimes we simply replace our identity crisis. We are no longer known as “Luke’s mom” but we become “the photography lady.” And that’s fine… except when it consumes us.

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2016 Christian Mompreneur Holiday Gift Guide

Ten Unique Christmas Gifts Made or Sold by Christian Mompreneurs

Christian Mompreneur Holiday Gift GuideOne of the things I love most about the International Christian Mompreneur Network is the opportunity to learn about the creative and inspirational things other moms are doing with their businesses or ministries. And I had the chance to do that recently on a video conference with some of the women in our Facebook Group (which you can join here). We held a Zoom meeting to share our products and services and prepare for holiday shopping season.

These ladies are blessing the world with their talents and gifts. And they are about to bless your friends and family with some fabulous Christmas gifts highlighted in our 2016 Christian Mompreneur Holiday Gift Guide!

With more than 10,000 Christian mompreneurs in our community, the following is just a small sampling of the amazing work these ladies are doing. Please take a few minutes to support a fellow mompreneur and do a little Christmas shopping!

Ten Unique Christmas Gifts Made or Sold by Christian Mompreneurs

2016 Christian Mompreneur Holiday Gift Guide 

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