5 Reasons It’s Time to Try Facebook Live

You know you need to do it. You’ve been meaning to, but somehow things keep coming up. Or maybe you’ve gotten so far as about to push that “Go Live” button, but something stopped you.

 

Live videos like the ones on Facebook are amazing, and they’re not going away. We consumers have a lot of options these days, so we want to feel a connection to the company or person we’re working with. There is no better way to connect than by showing your face and your real life.

 

I can’t tell you how helpful my weekly Facebook lives have been to my biz, and I also can’t tell you how long I put it off. I felt like I just wasn’t a “live” kind of person. I’m a writer – I like working by myself, carefully crafting the perfect sentence over and over again.

 

But the time was right, and I went for it. Since then, I have received multiple requests for work and coaching – even though I wasn’t even offering coaching services at the time! Putting yourself out there in a real and vulnerable way will be so valuable for both you as a person, but also your income.

Here are 5 reasons it’s time to go live…

 

You’re the expert

Even though you probably don’t feel like it, you are an expert in your field. You truly are. If you know enough about something to start a blog or biz, you have knowledge to share. Committing to providing live videos for your audience instantly ups your expert status and will draw new readers and customers to you.

 

Establish trust

There is nothing like hearing someone’s voice and seeing her face. I’m a writer. I love sitting in Starbucks with my tizzy and working away by myself. Writing is the easiest and most natural way for me to express myself, BUT it doesn’t connect me to my audience the way live video does. I have had so many people ask to work with me, purely because they have been watching my videos.

 

Not everyone is doing it

This is big, because I truly don’t think it will stay this way. Live video is still big and exciting, because only a fraction of us entrepreneurs and bloggers are doing it. If you jump in now, you’ll be one of the innovators. This is the absolute BEST time to try it out.

 

It pushes you to be better

Like any new skill or service you’d like to provide, pushing yourself to do Facebook lives will make you better. You’ll become better at public speaking and thinking on your feet. You’ll start thinking of more topics and feel more confident.

 

There is literally zero risk involved

This is the best part. Live video is one of the most powerful ways to connect with your audience, and there is NO downside. There is no cost to you, and what’s the absolute worst that could happen? You freeze? You forget what you were going to say?

At the end of your video, you have the option to post it to your wall or discard it. If you really feel like you bombed, then all you have to do is toss it. I’ve done that before, because this is completely new and it’s okay that there’s a learning curve.

 

So now that you’re ready to jump in, here are some of the lessons I’ve learned over the past few months.

 

These are my 5 secrets to rocking Facebook live…

 

Commit to a schedule

Just like any new skill, the only way you’re going to get better at live video is by practicing. Trying it out here and there will always feel awkward and hard, but if you commit to one video per week, you will quickly start to feel confident. I put this off for so long, and now I actually look forward to my videos!

 

Write a quick outline

Talking into your phone for 5, 10, or 15 minutes does not feel natural. It’s a good idea to think out what you want to say and write down some bullet points. In the beginning, I did this for every video. Now I mostly just make a quick list in my head and go for it. You may not even have to look at your list, but just knowing it’s there will help you move forward.

 

Take a deep breath

Doing your first live video is scary and overwhelming, but at the same time, it’s just a Facebook live video. Take a deep breath and go for it. Think of the atrocities going on around the world. Live video really isn’t that bad (how’s that for some tough love??)

 

Trust yourself

One of the reasons why I put off live video for so long was because I felt like I just wouldn’t be good at it. I saw other people looking confident and being really funny in their videos, and I felt like I wouldn’t measure up. However, there is no one right way to do this. I’m not super funny and over-the-top, but I try to provide as much value and love as I can. Trust that you have what it takes to do this.

 

Ask for help

You’ve never done this before, so it’s more than okay to ask for help! Maybe that means reaching out to a mentor or biz bestie who’s already doing this. Maybe it’s a quick prayer right before you go live. Just remember that you’re never in this alone. Ask for help and move forward.

 

Ready to do it?? Join us in The Sisterhood of the Hustlin’ Mamas for our Go Live Challenge this week! You’ll have the chance to share your mission and message with a supportive sisterhood who wants to hear from you!

How to Combat Work at Home Mom Loneliness

As a work-at-home parent, community is everything to me. In the past, I’ve tried to do it all myself. I knew that if I tried just a little harder, I could be the perfect mamapreneur. I could launch new programs and land big clients while making organic meals and volunteering in the classroom. And I planned to do all of this while staying home full-time with my kids.

 

But here’s the thing. We’re not meant to stay home with our kids all day everyday. In the past, mothers leaned on one another. There were friends and mothers and neighbors and aunts to help. It’s impossible to stay happy and fulfilled if you’re only talking to Facebook and a four year-old all day. I know – I tried.

 

I found myself living my dream. I left my nursing job, because I was making a full-time salary as a freelance writer by working just a couple hours per day. My kids no longer went to daycare, because I was home with them. This was it. Literally everything i had worked so hard for, but I felt the same.

 

I still felt constantly busy and overwhelmed. I still wasn’t taking them to the zoo and the park. Not because I had to be at the hospital, but because I was sitting at a laptop.

 

I quickly realized that something had to change, and I wasn’t going to be able to do it all myself. I like to choose themes and words of inspiration each year. It keeps me grounded and helps me remember what’s really important. One of my words for 2017 is COMMUNITY, and I can’t believe I didn’t value this sooner.

 

Cultivating a loving, supportive community is not a nice thing to do or something that will just happen on its own. It’s an absolutely essential act of self-love.

 

As a nurse, I never could have made it through a 12-hour shift without asking for help or at least laughing with a friend at some point during the day. I also have a tendency to get in my head too much, always chastising myself for not doing enough, so getting out and social is crucial for my wellbeing.

 

Here are just a few ways to cultivate community when you work from home…

Find your online tribe

Yes, face to face contact is the best, but it’s just not possible every. Single. Day. We’re all busy with school, activities, and work. We can’t always get together, and on those days, it’s really nice to log into Facebook or Instagram and immediately connect with your biz besties.

Start looking for Facebook groups that speak to you. There are some spammy ones where everyone is just constantly promoting themselves, but there are also some lovely ones where the members are there to raise each other up.

I am incredibly proud of the Sisterhood of the Hustlin’ Mamas and would love to welcome you in!

 

Look for a meet-up (or create one!)

Once you’ve found your online tribe, find a local one too. Look into meet-ups for female entrepreneurs, new moms, freelance writers, whatever interests you the most.

Don’t see one that fits? Create your own!

 

Join a group coaching program or mastermind

This is one of those things that I put off for so long, and once I dove in, couldn’t believe I hadn’t tried it sooner. When you join a paid program or mastermind, you will instantly elevate your business. When you choose to surround yourself with fellow go-getters, you will naturally rise to the occasion.

If you follow a certain mentor online and would love to connect with her, sometimes you have to pay to play. She is crazy busy and has created this program in order to help people.

You will also connect with the other participants who are also ready to step up and go bigger. When you invest in yourself and surround yourself with like-minded mamas, amazing things happen.

 

Find a workout class

Your community doesn’t just have to be fellow work-at-home moms. You don’t need to only talk Facebook ads and Instagram algorithms all day!

Take a moment to think about your interests and hobbies, then pursue them. A group fitness class is a great place to start. You’ll have the chance to connect with some fellow human beings while taking care of your body.

 

Join a social business

I have certain online idols who I have loved following from afar. Fellow bloggers and mamapreneurs who are just making. Shit. happen. I find them so inspiring and love watching their journeys.

So when two of them (Rachel Camfield and Amber Lilyestrom) started sharing their adventures with their new biz, I was intrigued. Here they were, already successful coaches, building second businesses while connecting with like-minded entrepreneurs. They were also traveling and looking better than ever.

I decided to be brave and reach out. I decided to forget all of my biases about social marketing, and I dove in. By joining a business that is based on community, you will automatically join a tribe that wants you to succeed. You’ll also receive free coaching!

I am focusing on nurturing a small group of mamapreneurs who want more community and less stress this summer, so if you’d like to hear more, email me at carrie@healthywahm.com.

Behind the Scenes Part 1

2017 has been a crazy year of growth and travel for The Healthy Work at Home Mom. I have been busily plugging away at growing our community and developing new programs, and there is a lot in the works that I haven’t shared yet.

 

Where I’ve been

2017 has been the year of travel for me and my family. It’s amazing how much was possible this year. From a mommy daddy trip to Punta Cana to a girls’ trip to Vegas, I haven’t been able to sit still!

  • Punta Cana – In February Tim and I snuck away for our first real mommy-daddy trip, and I seriously cannot describe how amazing it was. White sand beaches and frozen pool drinks welcomed us with open arms, and we took advantage of every relaxing moment. We went to the spa, overindulged at gorgeous dinners, and even took naps everyday. Seriously one of the best things I have ever done, and we’ll be back!
  • Kohler Spa – Next weekend my little sister is getting married 🙂 so in March we headed to Kohler Waters Spa for a weekend bachelorette party. I’m not going to lie. I wasn’t pretty nervous about what this bachelorette weekend was going to involve. I had visions of terrible clubs and too many shots, but as soon as my sister suggested Kohler, I ran with it!
  • Blue Harbor Resort – Some of our college friends have started a yearly tradition of going to the waterpark with our families each winter. If you had asked me my idea of a fun night away a few years ago, an indoor waterpark would have been at the lowest point on my list, but becoming a parent changes everything 😉 This trip has turned into one of the highlights of our winter.
  • Las Vegas – For YEARS, my friends and I have been talking about a girls’ trip. Every time there was another bachelor party or guys’ night, we would text back and forth about finally planning the trip, but it never happened. Fortunately my friend Patty took the reins and got us to commit. It was a mom’s dream – lazy brunches, sunny pool days, and always in bed by midnight. We even saw Britney front row!!

 

What I’m creating

  • The Hip Mom’s Guide to Freelance Writing – I’ve been dreaming of this course for years. I recently ran a beta group, and the ladies are killing it. Now it’s time to revamp it and get it out there!
  • From Burnt Out to Lit Up – This is a new self-care program for stressed out mamapreneurs. I can’t wait for this one. It’s a 6-week program to help you get out of survival mode, start focusing on your own health, and move your business forward. #weteachwhatweneedtolearn

 

What I’m reading

    • What Alice Forgot – I’m a self-development junkie, so I’ve been forcing myself to read some fiction books just for fun. I loved Big Little Lies, so now I’m diving into another of Liane Moriarty’s books. It’s a quick, fun read, perfect before bed!

 

  • She Means Business – I love this business book, because it’s so unique. The author puts a big focus on spirituality and the power of positive thinking, so naturally I love her.
  • Present over Perfect – another great bedtime read, and the author lives in Chicago, so I couldn’t resist. It’s all about slowing down, savoring life, and everything else that I so desperately need to learn.

 

 

What I’m outsourcing

  • Article research – I have been STRESSED trying to constantly crank out content and have been looking for a solution. The answer? Asking for help. My amazing sister-in-law is a teacher, so will be doing my article research this summer. I can’t wait!

 

What I’m launching

  • Arbonne pop-up shop – I’ve been wanting to weave the right products into The Healthy Work at Home Mom and have finally found them. I can’t wait, because these vegan nutrition and skincare lines are the perfect way that we mamapreneurs can invest in ourselves and our own health, so that we can become better moms, wives, business owners, human beings.
  • Self Care for a Cause – This week I’m hosting my first LIVE event, and I’m excited/terrified. I’ll be leading a private yoga class, as well as offering Arbonne products and donating 10% of all sales to Parcels of Love. If you’d like your purchase to go towards this campaign, you can place your order here now through Wednesday!

 

What I’m eating

  • Chocolate protein shake every morning – I have never been a smoothie girl in the morning, because I was always starving an hour later. This is the only protein powder that keeps me full.
  • Anything on the grill – we’ve been marinating chopping veggies in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and a little salt before grilling them.
  • Lots of birthday cake – we have a special girl turning 5 soon, and we’ve already started celebrating 🙂

 

What I’m saying no to

  • Any new opportunities right now
  • New webinars or trainings – my brain is already in overdrive with everything I have going on, so any additional info or trainings is only going to distract me from the projects I know I want to focus on.

 

What I’m saying yes to

  • More stillness, more meditation, more quiet
  • Time with family – as soon as school gets out for the summer, we’re planning a birthday party for Charlotte, then hitting the road for a week to relax on the lake. The cabin has NO internet connection, so I’ll have no choice but to slow down 😉

 

So that’s it for me! What are you focusing on this summer? I’d love to hear in the comments!

Delightful Summer Planning Tips for Work at Home Moms

Can you smell it coming? Sunscreen and barbecues and that unmistakable scent from the zoo’s family farm?

Summer is upon us, and I for one cannot wait. Ever since having a June baby, summer has felt like this magical time when nothing else matters. When I was on my first maternity leave 5 YEARS AGO (seriously, it’s been 5 years!), we spent our days walking to Starbucks and taking catnaps in the sun.

And now that I’ve created a career where I can be home everyday, I want to recreate that magic all summer long. And I do NOT want to spend the summer stressed, because I no longer have school time to get my writing done.

In my experience as a work at home mom and serious mamapreneur, planning my schedule has to be a priority. I need to take control early on or other commitments and distractions start sucking away all of my time.

This is especially crucial in the summer when I no longer have those kindergarten mornings to fall back on. I’ve spent the last month talking with mamapreneurs at every level about how they leverage their time in the summers. Here are some tips I’ll be implementing in the coming months…

Get clear on what you want

Isn’t this the first step for anything in life? You can’t make a plan until you know what the goal is. What do you want your summer to look like? What experiences are important to you? When the first day of school rolls around, what do you want to look back on?

I recently sat down with my daughter, and we made a long list of everything we want to do together this summer.

Here’s some of the highlights

  • Join a pool
  • Walk to the park
  • Take a class at the zoo
  • Go to Door County
  • Spend a weekend in Chicago
  • Buy ice cream from the ice cream truck
  • Eat popsicles at the beach
  • Have a lunch picnic
  • Go to a baseball game
  • Ride bikes to Dairy Queen (are you noticing a theme here with sweet treats?)
  • Make a lemonade stand

Most importantly, notice what is not on there. Working constantly. Staying up late to write. Stressing about money.

Making this list made me feel so good, and it’s going to make it a lot easier to actually do #allthethings.

What can you outsource?

Once you make your list and see what’s important to you, the next step is to outsource what is not. Because I want our summer to be all about having little family adventures together, I’m going to focus on outsourcing some of my work. Here are some of the tasks you could start outsourcing this summer…

Childcare

Let’s be real – you can’t get real work done when you’re with your kids 24/7. Make a plan now for when you’ll be doing your work solo. That may look like getting up early, working late, or taking advantage of nap times.

If that’s not going to cut it, make a plan for childcare now. Look at summer camps, nannies (full or part-time), grandparents, babysitters, and mother’s helpers. If you work from home, having a mother’s helper (a younger babysitter, maybe 10-12 years old) who isn’t quite old enough to be left alone, could really save the day. We’ve had an amazing 10 year-old come over to play with the kids so I could get some work done, and it is great for all of us. I can cross some things off my list while Charlotte gets undivided attention from a cool older girl and the 10 year-old gets to earn some cash!

Business tasks

Business tasks are usually the best things to outsource, but also the hardest. It’s one of those things where it’s always just easier and quicker to do it yourself, as opposed to spending the time teaching someone else. However, once the teaching part is done, outsourcing some of your work will free up so much time and brain space.

Take a look at your workload and start keeping a list of all of the tasks that YOU personally don’t need to do. For example, as a writer I need to be doing the article writing, but I don’t need to be the one researching and and creating graphics.

Look into a virtual assistant or just a tech savvy friend. I’m betting you have a friend or relative who is either a stay-at-home parent or teacher who wouldn’t mind earning a little side income this summer. I’ll be outsourcing my article research this summer, and even though it’s scary to spend the money, I can’t wait to free up that time.

Life stuff

Finally, look into outsourcing that adult stuff that you just hate to do. A house cleaning service is probably not as expensive as you think. I was pleasantly surprised when I learned their hourly rate, and we now have a team come to clean every other week. Sure, I could just do it myself, but now I spend that time either working (and making more than it costs to pay the cleaning team) or playing with Charlotte and Jack (priceless).

Some other life stuff to outsource could be:

  • Grocery delivery
  • Shopping (I like Stitchfix affiliate link)
  • House organizers (someday!)

Bonus – Create a passive income stream

To truly start freeing up your time, start brainstorming products and services that you can create once, and then sell over and over. As a writer, I don’t get paid unless I’m sitting in the chair writing, so I have been working hard to create some additional revenue streams.

Here are a few ideas for passive income opportunities:

  • Create a course
  • Become an affiliate for a product you love
  • Write a book (or an ebook)
  • Launch a network marketing biz (I am just launching one and am working on a free mini course for mamapreneurs who want to incorporate network marketing into their businesses without feeling pushy or sleazy – will keep you updated!)

So there you have it! Your go-to plan for creating a fun, stress-free summer. Get clear on what you want, then outsource what you can.

What is your work from home plan this summer? Tell us in the comments below!

How to Find Time to Write

Time is sneaky, isn’t it? There’s never enough. Unless of course it’s 5pm on a Sunday afternoon, and the baby is cranky and exhausted, but it would be a grave error to put him to bed This early. Then time can’t move quickly enough! (and yes, that’s exactly what is happening in our house right now.)

When I have the chance to speak with fellow mamapreneurs, time is always the major culprit for why we can’t make any real progress.

I’ve used the time excuse myself on at least a daily basis, but then I only feel worse. It’s a pretty terrible feeling to think that you know what you want and how to get there, but it’s not going to happen because of time.

Don’t let time steal your joy. Here are just some of the tips that have helped me create more time for my writing biz, while helping me feel rejuvenated, instead of racing the clock.

Make it a priority

Let’s be honest. When something is really important to us, we make the time. If you’ve decided that you want a writing career (or really any online business), you need to devote time to writing. There’s just no way around it, so the first step is accepting that fact and making your writing time a key priority.

Even if you’re not a freelance writer, your content is the only way that your clients or future customers get to know you. You need to be putting out consistent communication so that they develop a real relationship with you.

Envision your future

This is my favorite way to jumpstart my motivation. Take a few slow, deep breaths and close your eyes. Where do you envision yourself in a few years?

What do you want your career to look like? Will you be traveling? In a bigger house? Speaking a events? Have more than enough in your savings account?

The more specific you can be, the better! When we envision our future, not only does it give us an extra dose of inspiration, but it forces us to get really clear on what we want. If I envision our family being able to travel frequently, then I know I shouldn’t be applying to any full-time or even part-time writing jobs that will make it difficult to take time off. I focus all of my energy on freelance work, so that I am always in control of my schedule and workload.

Take a moment to think about what you want, and it will help you move forward.

How will you get there?

Now that you know what you want, you can make an actionable plan. If you dream of being published in a national magazine, then start researching. Read the articles, engage with that company on social media, become a superfan.

If you’d like to have a profitable blog, then you’ll need to be writing just about everyday. Pull out your calendar and start plugging in uninterrupted writing time. Play around with what works for you. If you’re just not an early riser, start writing at night or during naptimes. Get creative and don’t feel bad if your schedule doesn’t work out. It’s just time to try something new.

Break up your writing

This was a big lesson for me. If you sit down intending to write an entire article or blog post, it’s going to feel overwhelming, and you’re going to procrastinate. Sitting there staring at a white page with that cursor blinking is only going to make things worse.

Break up your writing process into tiny manageable tasks to keep you efficient and moving forward. Each week, I like to batch my tasks by day. On Mondays I’ll research all of my articles and contact experts for interviews if needed. Then on Tuesday, I write detailed outlines. So when the time comes to actually write the final article, all of the hard work is done, and I’m able to just focus and do it.

Since I’m home full-time with my kids, I don’t have a lot of wiggle room to put work off, so breaking up my writing helps me stay super efficient and keep my writing rate at about $100/hour.

Create 20 to 60-minute chunks

Speaking of staying efficient, I am a HUGE fan of time blocking! This process of blocking out work time and assigning specific tasks allows me to only work during naptimes, yet still make more than I did as a full-time nurse.

In an hour, you could:

  • Research a few articles
  • Write article outlines
  • Write one article from your outline

In 45 minutes, you could:

  • Clean out your inbox
  • Research a couple articles
  • Edit articles

In 20 minutes, you could

  • Respond to emails
  • Connecting with new colleagues on LinkedIn
  • Engage and provide value in a Facebook group

Try blocking out your time and see what happens!

Schedule self-care and downtime too

This is a big one, and it took me WAY too long to figure it out. When you are a freelancer, YOU are the business. There is no income without YOU.

But here’s the problem… how do we freelancers treat ourselves? Like the irreplaceable business assets that we are?

Oh no, we work ourselves into the ground, all the while berating ourselves for not doing enough the entire time.

If you want to grow your biz and increase your income, schedule regular self-care and allow yourself to truly walk away. It doesn’t matter if it’s a spa weekend or simply lying on the ground in silence for a few minutes (one of my faves). All that matters is that you give that brain a chance to rest. I promise it will be worth it!

Track your progress

Finally, the best way to improve anything is to track it. Start writing down your writing and income goals each day and tracking your time. Notice how many minutes get sucked into Facebook or deleting random emails.

It’s amazing how much time can pass when we’re not staying conscious of it. Keep track of how you’re doing, and you will naturally start to notice more opportunities for 20-minute time chunks.

And if you realize that a lot of your time has been wasted? It’s okay. Forgive yourself and move on. You have A LOT on your plate, so be kind to yourself as you build this biz. You’ve got this!

Do you ever struggle with not having enough time? What’s your best strategy for creating time to reach your goals?

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Healthy Unicorn Smoothie

If you’re like me, you’ve been feeling extra curious about those unicorn frappuchinos that have completely taken over my newsfeeds. Not curious enough to shell out the $5 for it, but curious.

Sure, it’s probably disgusting, but there’s just something so happy about it. And that’s what Starbucks got right. Forget the ridiculous amount of sugar and processed crap in there – they are selling a feeling. That drink makes you smile. It looks good on your Instagram feed. And buying one shows that you know what’s trending.

How can you channel your own inner unicorn?

So how can you launch your own unicorn in your biz? How can you help your customers or clients cultivate those happy feelings? Maybe you could send a card in the mail or give away a free download.

Focus on the feelings first, and the offer or product will develop itself. Have a new unicorn-inspired idea? Share it with us in The Sisterhood of the Hustlin’ Mamas!

And now…

As a former food blogger, I can’t possibly see a constant barrage of frappuchinos and not try to recreate it. Here is your healthy, sugar-free, dairy-free version…

Healthy Unicorn Smoothie

Serves 2 unicorns

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries

Preparation:

  1. In a clean blender, pour in 3/4 cup milk, 1/2 of the peeled banana, and 1 cup blueberries. Blend on high and divide into 2 cups or mason jar. Place the smoothie in the freezer.
  2. Rinse out the blender and add the remaining ingredients. Divide between the 2 smoothie cups. Top with a strawberry, fun paper straw, or whipped cream!

Ready to take your biz to unicorn level? I’ve just opened up 10 clarity call slots for mamapreneurs ready to stop spinning their wheels and start making real progress. Click here to sign up!

10 Solid Business Lessons from The Real Housewives

We all have our vices. For some of us it’s wine. Others can’t be left alone with girl scout cookies. And still some of us could binge on hours of terrible reality television. For me, it’s all three. Last night as I sat on the couch after a long day of writing and mothering, sipping my pinot grigio, sampling the s’mores girl scout cookies, and catching up with my home girl Bethenny and all the New York ladies, I really could not have been happier. And it got me thinking.

The housewives are not just entertaining us. They’re holding up a mirror and teaching us life lessons. Who among us has never snapped at a loved one or chosen the wrong guy or fallen on our face?

Sure their bank accounts have a few more zeroes than mine (for now), but I don’t think they’re so different from us hardworkin’ mamapreneurs. Here are 10 business lessons they’ve graced us with…

 

Promote Yourself

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Your business is never going to take off unless you tell people about it. So many of us are resistant to sharing too much on Facebook or bringing it up when we’re out to coffee with friends, or updating our instastories. But here’s the truth. If you believe in yourself and your message, it’s your obligation to get it out there.

No one does this better than Bethenny. She is proud of her biz and doesn’t care about the people who aren’t into it. She shares her products and services like crazy, because her fans can’t get enough. Keep sharing. Your audience is waiting to hear from you.

 

Believe in Yourself

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Before you start any kind of business or freelancing service, ask yourself, “do I love this work?” No, you won’t love every moment, but deep down do you feel called to this work? It is crucial to believe in yourself and your work before you put it out into the world.

There will always be critics or friends who just don’t see your vision, but if you believe in it, you can succeed. Look at Luann’s singing career. Can what comes out of Luann’s mouth during performances technically be classified as singing? Uhhh not exactly; it’s more slow talking to music. BUT, is her “singing” career bringing her fun, money, and the chance to live out a childhood dream? YES! Do what you love and forget the rest.

 

Don’t Go It Alone

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The biggest mistake I made at the start of my business was believing I had to figure everything out by myself. I stayed up for hours googling how to design a website and what to charge long after my family had gone to bed. I cried when it took me hours to figure out how to simply change the font color on my wordpress site. And what I was forgetting is that millions of women have gone before me and could have helped me.

Where are you struggling right now? Have you asked for help? If you’re a fan of Erika Jane (and who isn’t?) you’ve probably noticed that she is never alone. She even brings her glam squad along on girls’ trips, because she loves them and their support. Pull together your own glam squad to support each other throughout this crazy mamapreneur adventure!

Ready for some support – join The Sisterhood of the Hustlin’ Mamas for free!

 

Follow Your Passion

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Your business or consulting services need to fill a hole. You need to find out what your clients are missing or wishing they had and make it happen. However, the only way you can do that is by loving your work. And that means sticking with your passions.

When Ramona wanted to start a new business, did she write a book on proper etiquette? No, because she clearly doesn’t value that. She launched a new line of wine! And you know what, she’s been successful! Follow your passions.

 

Stick with What You Know

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Before you invest some money and a whole lot of time into your business or blog, make sure you’ve thought it out. Journal about why you’re starting this new venture and how it’s going to serve you, your family, and the world. Get clear on exactly what you want to offer and why before jumping in.

Sonja is the perfect example of what happens when you get sucked into business proposals you don’t understand. She bounced around from toaster ovens to a soccer team to a lifestyle brand to movie production. All of that jumping around left her looking flakey and in serious debt. Clarity first, then business.

 

Try New Things

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As important as it is to stick with what you know and do your research, don’t sit around forever. If you are inspired to try something new, go for it! Talk to people who have done it, read books, and sign up for courses.

I loved when Melissa Gorga ignored her husband’s whining and started her own business. She was inexperienced, but took advantage of all of the resources around her, and she stayed strong when Joe tried to guilt her out of it. Go for it!

 

Cross Promote

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If there’s one thing I’ve learned from the past four years, it’s that we mamapreneurs like to make things harder on ourselves. We insist on doing it all while slowly burning out. We resist daycare and try to only work during naptimes. We refuse to pay for services, because we know we can just do it ourselves. And we don’t see the opportunities right in front of us.

Business is often easier than we think if we’re willing to take a breath and look around. When Lisa Vanderpump noticed the ridiculous antics and romances in her restaurant, she decided to cash in by pitching a new show to Andy Cohen. All she has to do is sit back and let her servers be ridiculous. Then she collects her paycheck while getting free publicity for her restaurants.

Look for opportunities to collaborate and make things easier on yourself. Is there a way that you could partner with a local business or fellow mamapreneur? If you’re a network marketer, could you cohost a party with another company that compliments yours? Is there someone who would be perfect for your services? Reach out! Take some of the pressure off of yourself!

 

There is a Season to Hustle

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No one knows how to hustle like the OG of the OC herself. Vicki hustles harder than anyone else in the franchise, and she’s not afraid to tell you about it. While I don’t agree with constantly overworking yourself, there’s something to be said about her work ethic.

If you want big results in your business, you need to take massive action. The more focused action you take, the faster you’ll reach your goals. Are you in a point in life where your kids sleep through the night and go to school during the day? Maybe this could be your season to hustle, to put in the work now in order to create more freedom in the future.

Do some serious reflective work on what season you’re in and then adjust your workflow. I’m in a hustle season right now, but I know we want more children in the future. I’m putting the work in now so that I can take time off when the next angel baby comes along. Go with your season.

 

Nurture your Marriage

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If the housewives have taught us anything, it’s that all the money in the world does not matter if your personal relationships are falling apart. How many divorces and failed friendships have we watched on Bravo? Throw your whole self into growing exactly the kind of business you love, but always take a step back to look at the big picture.

Are you working every night and giving up the only time you and your spouse have together? Put the laptop away, at least a few nights per week. Do you decline dinners and coffee dates with friends because you’re too busy? The work can wait, but your friends won’t always be asking. You are a whole person who needs community. Nurture yours.

 

Learn from Your Mistakes

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Whenever you do something new, you’re going t make mistakes. Looking back, there were so many times when I went down the wrong path, but I had to do that to move forward. If you wait until you have researched absolutely everything and feel truly ready, you will never launch that new career. Jump in and make mistakes.

The trick is to learn from your mistakes and use that new data to move forward. Schedule some time each week, month, or quarter to review what worked and what didn’t. Then make a new plan going forward. I like to write down 3 new lessons every night. It helps me shift from beating myself up for the mistakes and instead value them as lessons.

Teresa made a lot of mistakes in recent years, but it seems like going away to “camp” really changed her perspective. She is now noticeably more easy-going, isn’t getting sucked into as much drama, has taken control of her finances, and is even becoming a yoga teacher! If Teresa can go from flipping tables to downward dog, you can change too.

 

So right now you’re thinking…

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Thank you housewives for imparting your wisdom on us amidst the fights, mansions, and relaxing girls’ trips where “we just want to clear the air and get along.”

Even though I wrote this post for fun (and I was cracking myself up the entire time,) the lessons still ring true. Which one will you start implementing today? I can’t wait to see which one inspired you!

How to Stay Consistent When Working from Home

Staying consistent – it’s the topic I hear about most in Facebook groups and masterminds and on coaching calls. We know what we want. We may even know how to get there. But something keeps us from moving forward.

Maybe it’s a fear of failure or maybe it’s a lack of confidence, but whatever it is, it stops us in our tracks. As a work-at-home mom, I often feel like it’s our family life that keeps me from being consistent. It’s hard to stick to a schedule when the baby is teething and not sleeping. BUT, there will always be those distractions.

The problem comes when we let those interruptions and distractions derail us and our goals. I don’t always know why I flake out, but I DO know how to get back on track and that’s all that matters.

If you’ve been struggling to kick distractions and make real progress in your biz, then I have a treat for you! I’ve gathered productivity and consistency tips from 10 mamapreneurs making their dreams happen!

We all have those same 24 hours in a day, so read through the list and choose one tip that you will implement TODAY to move your business forward. Let us know what it is in the comments below!

And if you’d love to start connecting with fellow mamas making it happen, head over to The Sisterhood of the Hustlin’ Mamas for free resources, challenges, and an amazing community!

Set boundaries

I worked at home specifically to be able to be with my children as they were growing up, and over the years, I’ve had to come up with a lot of tips and tricks. My best tip for avoiding distractions is having a dedicated space that truly looks and feels like an office… that also has a door.

Patricia LaCroix, Creative Specialist and Coach, LaCroix Creative

Write down your ideas

Keep a notebook or planner next to you when working during nap time or other short blocks of time. At the end of each time block, write down in detail the one thing you will do during your next available window of time. This way you never waste precious uninterrupted minutes deciding what to do next.

Kelly Brown, Integrative Health Coach, Real Food House

Plan ahead

I just resumed working from home again, but I think the biggest thing for me is planning, the night ahead.

It’s not a sexy tip, but has worked well – for those in between times. And being super diligent on relating back what I’m doing to my goals. Something has to be pretty special for me to get extra child care or additional work time! I also love the idea of a notebook, as I’ll get ideas for a blog or share with someone.

Michelle Grewal, Michelle Grewal

Prioritize your business

Treat yourself as your client. Show up to work, and focus on the work. Leave behind the laundry, the dishes and any other “oh-it’ll-only-take-a-minute” tasks. You’d give your client your full attention; extend that same courtesy to yourself.

Deborah Fingerlow, Writer, Deborah Fingerlow

Stay focused

One of my favorite ways to stay focused is a Chrome browser extension called Stay Focused. You can set it up to give you only a certain amount of time on websites you find distracting or if you really need to get focused you can pick the “nuclear option” that will shut off access to certain sites for an hour or however you have it set up. That, and I wear HUGE headphones, even in my home office. It’s a signal to others that I’m busy and seems to help me get in the zone.

Ali Willoughby, Virtual Assistant, Ali The Happy VA

Get rid of distractions

Turn off notifications on your smartphone while working. Otherwise everyone will get your attention.

Lisa Tanner, Writer, Lisa Tanner Writing

Stick to your schedule

My best tip would be to set a schedule for yourself. It seems counter-intuitive, since most of us are after that whole flexible lifestyle and time freedom thing, but setting aside dedicated work hours (when you can) really helps when it comes to focus and getting stuff done!

Gina Horkey, Freelance Writer and Coach, Horkey Handbook

Work first

My tip is to start your ‘project of the day’ before email, work tasks or social media. If possible work 1-2 hours on that first thing!

Lisa Kimrey, Registered Nurse and Coach, My Life Nurse

Set yourself up for success

I do anchor habits as suggested by BJ Fogg and Pomodoro technique, and they’ve worked for me! When I start out the day, as soon as the coffee mug hits the table and the same coffeehouse productivity music track on Spotify is playing in my headphones, I’m off to the races and get started on my “to do’s” – usually set the iPhone timer for 25 minutes. Break 5 minutes, get back to work 25 minutes and keep going until lunch. Then I do the same in the afternoon. If REALLY distracted, I’ll work out of a local coffee shop or one in a nearby town to mix it up. This one Whole Foods cafe a few towns over has a great setup and looks like one of those co-working spaces for the price of a cup of coffee or two. Although it’s a hike from me, I feel I’ve gotten some of my best work done there.

Lori Rochino, Writer and Declutter Coach, Lori Rochino

THANK YOU to the amazing mamapreneurs who took time out of their days to share their best tips! And here’s mine to round out our list…

Start NOW

Start before you know enough, before you’ve done all your research, before you’ve lost those five pounds. Just start! I think so often we don’t stay consistent simply because we don’t think we can do it, but here’s the thing. You’ll never feel 100% confident, so starting will create some momentum to drive you forward. You’ve got this!

Ready to start?

Join us in the Facebook group and then download The Ultimate Mompreneur’s Checklist <3

 

From Stay at Home Mom to Business Owner

Hi hi! Today I am so excited to present The Healthy Work at Home Mom’s guest blogger, Sara Meadows! Sara and I connected in The Sisterhood of the Hustlin’ Mamas, and I know her story will inspire you. When Sara’s kids went back to school, she was faced with a tough decision. Throw herself back into working fulltime or take a leap of faith and start her own content company….

When my daughter was born, I felt the pull to leave my corporate communications job to stay home with her full time. It wasn’t an easy decision. Staying home would be a sacrifice financially. But in my eyes it was well worth it, so I left my job with the intention of going back once they were in school. A ‘win, win,’ right?

As they say, those days were long, but the years were short and I treasure every moment. All too soon, with my youngest almost in kindergarten, the clock was ticking. So while I watched many of my friends deservedly enjoy their first hours to themselves in years, meeting friends for coffee and going to Barre class, I started to look at opportunities to go back to work.

Knowing I would likely go back one day, I had stayed connected to my employer throughout my stay-at-home years, doing minimal freelance writing. I applied for full-time work with them and other large Milwaukee companies. But the thought of a 9-to-5 gave me an enormous pit in my stomach.

Was I going back too soon? Who would watch the kids after school and during the summers? Who would greet my kids when they ran out of school or help them with their homework? I wanted it to be me, yet I knew I needed to start making some real money after years of not earning. Suddenly, my ‘win, win’ felt a lot more like a ‘lose, lose.’

I realized I couldn’t be the only one going through this, so I started to look around, and saw something really inspiring. A lot of women were starting businesses. At first I thought they probably just wanted a little extra spending money or a way to keep busy. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized these businesses could be anything they wanted them to be. They could be really big.

That’s when I decided to take my freelance writing work and turn it up. Way up. I knew that if I worked enough hours, I could make more money than I could going back to work, and have the flexibility I was looking for.

While it hasn’t always been easy, I’ve now built something that’s allowed me to still do school pick up and carpools, while earning the money I need. Here’s what I’ve learned from starting my own business from home after years of being a stay-at-home mom:

Take Yourself Seriously and Formalize Your Business – I’ve been doing a little freelance writing for seven years, but never thought of it as a business. Once I got an LLC, created a logo and built a website, not only did other people start taking me seriously, I felt so much more legit. This made me way more confident to go out and ask new clients for work. I’m absolutely done calling this a ‘side gig’ – if we work hard enough, the work we do from home can earn real money, often even more than a 9-to-5.

Set and Track Really High Goals – I wouldn’t have had nearly as much success if I didn’t create really ambitious goals for myself. I had a lot of self-doubt starting off (and still do sometimes), not thinking I could actually make a significant amount of money from home. Once I put my goals on paper, I knew I had to work a certain amount of hours to reach them. Literally crossing off these numbers as I achieve them pushes me not just to hit my goals, but to aim even higher. There is literally no ceiling when you start your own business. That endless opportunity is so motivating.

Structure Your Days – Once the kids get home from school, there are so many distractions, requests and carpools, so I treat the school hours as my true workday, getting my most important tasks done while the kids are out of the house. While I love having flexibility in my day, I like my nights and weekends more, so I push myself to get my hours in while they’re at school so I can enjoy more time with my family when everyone is home together.

Work Hard and Put in the Time – This sounds obvious, but after years of being a stay-at-home mom, working even just four hours a day felt like a lot. It was a whole new muscle to flex. After a few hours, I’d be exhausted and allow myself to stop. Once I realized I needed to put in more time, I saw quickly how more hours directly led to greater results. There’s just no way around the hard work when you’re starting a new business.

After staying at home, I had put any professional dreams aside. Now that I’ve changed my frame of mind, I realize not only can my career be something really big, I can do it on my terms from home if I push myself hard enough. To my surprise, the real reward has not been the money, but the looks on my daughters’ faces when I tell them about my business.

Sara Meadows is Founder of Match Point Consultants, a Milwaukee-based communications consulting firm.

And now Sara and I would love to hear from you!

Are you a mom who stayed home and now your kids are in school? What could you do to make more money while working from home?

Let us know in the comments below!

The Real Life Dangers of Sitting Disease

As a mom, there are a lot of things to worry about. My head is constantly filled with worries that really don’t need to be there. Will Jack sleep through the night tonight? Does Charlotte feel left out at school? Ugh lice in the classroom again?!

I’m an expert at creating scenarios that will probably never come about, but take up way too much real estate in my brain.

One worry that doesn’t often cross my mind is my long-term health. Sure I think about adding in a green smoothie or dropping a few pounds, but my overall heart health? Not so much. At 33 years old with two small kids, one business, and a million other things on my mind, I’ll save the heart disease worries for another decade.

That is, until I wrote an article for a writing client about sitting disease. As mamapreneurs, it often feels like there’s no time to sit down! I mean, I’d love to sit enough to get sitting disease!

But when I’m honest with myself, I actually sit a lot more than I’d like to admit. I sit while I’m at my laptop, while I’m playing on the floor with Jack, while I’m vegging out with some Real Housewives every night. And none of those activities are bad, but when you add up all the sitting time, it’s affecting me and my health both now and in the future.

Excessive sitting has been called the new smoking, because study after study is showing how dangerous it is. No one is safe from sitting disease. It does not matter if you are completely sedentary everyday or training for a marathon in the evenings. If you spend the majority of your day sitting, it’s affecting your health.

As a work-at- home mom, I sit while I’m working at the computer, while I’m driving to school or swim lessons, and when I’m relaxing at night. I used to think that my 30-minute workout before the kids got up kept me safe, but sadly that’s not going to cut it.

Even if you add in an hour workout first thing in the morning or during naptime, the majority of our days can easily be pretty sedentary. While working out is of course important, it can’t outweigh the dangers of sitting too much. In fact, a January 2015 review in the Annals of Internal Medicine reported that prolonged sedentary time, no matter how much you work out, caused health problems.

Excessive sitting or sedentary lifestyle has become the norm in today’s culture. According to the World Health Organization, physical inactivity is the 4th leading risk factor for death among adults around the world!  This one scared me. I definitely do not intend to leave my sweet babies, because of decades of too much sitting.

Sitting for long periods of time causes physiologic changes in our bodies that can’t be undone with working out a few times per week. A sedentary lifestyle has been linked to increased risk for heart disease, cancer and poor bone density. Sitting for 8 to 12 hours per day increases the risk of type 2 diabetes by a whopping 90 percent!

Get Up and Move

Fortunately, you don’t have to quit your flexible home job in order to reverse or prevent the dangers of sitting. All we need to do is just make a few changes throughout the day. Start building movement into your days.

If you work from your computer, consider standing while you work or taking a quick walking break every hour. I’ve been known to stack cookbooks up on our kitchen table and then balancing my laptop on them to create my own standing desk #whateverittakes. If I’m on the phone with a client, I walk laps around our house. To take this one step further, a recent Wall Street Journal article recommended that for every half hour of computer work, an employee should sit for 20 minutes, stand for 8 and then walk for 2 minutes.

No time to keep standing up or walking? I get it, I really do. But I think it’s time for us to accept the fact that if we don’t make time for activity now, we’ll be forced to make time for illness later on.

There are even apps to help with this such as Stand Up! and StandApp. A NASA study found that standing up for 2 minutes 16 times during the work day improved muscular and bone health. You  could also easily sneak in some extra exercise in your evenings. When watching television, rather than fast-forwarding through commercials, use that time as a walking or standing break.

So what small change can you make tomorrow to sneak in a little more activity? Get creative and involve your kids. Let us know in the comments below!