Archive for Business

Weary working Momma?

Whether you CHOOSE to be a working Momma,

or NEED to be a working Momma,

rest in this fact:

God has you RIGHT HERE,  RIGHT NOW, in the midst of the chaos

that is your day-care-dash, powerpoint-prepping, working-through-lunch break, off-to-soccer day.

Because he KNOWS you are able.  He made you for this moment.

Thank Him and savor it.

What’s holding you back from your happiness?

Only 3 days are left in 2007. And only 4 days left on holiday break before most of us head back to the routine, normal, work / school schedule. I get so reflective this time of year. Maybe its because I declutter and the clean desk and clean email make space in my cluttered mind. Now I’m actually able to have clarity and focus and think to myself

Are you really doing the right things with your life?Am I serving God in the best way possible with the talents he’s given me? Have I found the “sweet spot” that Max Lucado talks about?

Am I doing everything possible to insure I’m being the best mom to my kids and the best wife to my husband?

In 5, 10, 15 years, will I have any regrets about how I’m spending my precious minutes today?

First of all, everything in my life I owe to the grace of God. He has blessed me to be a blessing. We will never be sure we are absolutely doing the right thing. That’s where faith comes in. God gives and God takes away. However, you know if you are in ‘the sweet spot’ or if you have those nagging feelings in your heart and those nagging thoughts in your mind.

If you can’t answer the questions above with a positive, happy, heart and trust and faith that you are on the right path, then stop and think about it.

What’s holding you back?
A dead end job. An unstable, demanding boss. An unhealthy relationship. Letting other people’s emotional roller coasters take you for a ride. Financial worries.

Here is a file to stimulate some thinking for you. It’s from a website I like called successnet.org. This is a list of 101 questions to ask yourself as you reflect on 2007 and plan for 2008.

101 Best Year-End and 101 Best New Year Questions.The file is an MS Word document and you may download
your workbook with this link.
http://SNIfiles.com/docs/101Questions.doc

Take this. Take your bible. And talk this through with someone you trust. If you don’t have that person, email me and I’ll be glad to be a listening ear for you.

If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never get there.

We all deserve to be happy! Make it your year!

Focused and Guilt Free

Can life be any crazier than in December? I’m not sharing anything new. All of us are in the pre-Christmas madness. In the past, craziness like this would have tipped me over the edge to uncontrollable panic, stress and anxiety. But I’m sitting here today as cool as a cucumber. Here’s just a little background into what’s on my plate right now: Christmas is 2 weeks away. I’m not done with my shopping by a longshot. I just spent 4 days in Sweden for business. Our new au pair arrived the day I got back so I’ve been spending every spare second getting her up to speed on our household and childcare needs, driving her around town to get familiar with the area and helping her do all the logistics of social security card, drivers license and bank account and trying to learn to cook special new food so she feels welcome and comfortable here in America (Did I tell you cooking is so not my gift? . Not to mention this little Heritage Makers business I’ve drummed up. Oh yeah, and we are hosting my oldest daughter’s 5th birthday party this Saturday. That’s enough to commit most people to the insane asylum. And I’m sure each of you has an equally comparable list of things going on right now and I commend you for even taking the time to read this article! May the 5 minutes it takes you, provide 15 minutes of productivity for you this week. The best way to capture that time…

1. Replace your ‘freak out’ moments with ‘in focus’ moments. It may sound cliché but life is really about how you look at it. I could seriously freak out and panic and let my heart race and get grouchy with my kids but none of that will help get everything done. All I can do is the one thing I am focusing on at this moment. I can’t change anything that’s already behind me. I can’t make anymore time. And worrying about the stuff to come doesn’t help either. (Preparing for it does but that’s another lesson Just focus completely on enjoying and completing the task at hand…decorating the tree with your little ones, visiting Santa, choosing the perfect gift. Focus on them for the right amount of time without straying from the goal and GTD (Get Things Done!) My example from today…getting my Christmas Cards done. I had a zillion other things on my mind but today was the ordering deadline. So I focused solely on that activity after the kids went to bed and got it done. Something knocked off the list. BAM! It feels great. If all I do is focus on one activity like that an evening, I’ll have 12 more things knocked off the list by Christmas. When you focus and look at it that way, you see how much you can really accomplish and you are able to more completely finish an activity and quickly switch gears and move on to the next (like writing this article!)

2. Don’t overcommit. You’ve heard it a thousand times before but here is another reminder to help you have a guilt-free day. It’s ok to not be the mom who is sending in the snack for the classroom holiday party. It’s ok that your Christmas cards do not get into the mail until Dec. 30th. It’s ok to make the easy-cheesy-pleasey dip with store bought crackers for that holiday party. It’s ok to not put up all your Christmas decorations this year. It’s ok to skip your husband’s boring office Christmas party. It’s ok to not bake a tray of cookies for each of your neighbors. My example for the week, my daughters birthday party. Instead of inviting 25 kids and spending a small fortune putting together goodie bags that every mom hates having around their house, we are doing a smaller, more intimate lunch and afternoon at the ballet with my daughters closest friends. We get to dress up in pretty dresses and go down to the ‘big city’. That is an experience for all of us to remember and saves so much prep time. Now I can look forward to a fun time with my daughter, her friends and their moms without fretting about a clean house, activities and food for 25 people.

Remember, saying “No” is really giving you the opportunity to say “Yes” fully and completely to your other commitments.

How does this apply to my business?
1. Focus Moments: When you are ‘working the business’, really work the business. Don’t be distracted by unimportant email newsletters. It won’t hurt your busines if you skip reading the daily newsletter or even if you miss a week on a Yahoo Groups. Pick your few, specific, business building tasks and focus directly on them alone. Call clients and book events.. Call potential customers to sell gift certificates. Call that person you’ve been trying to connect with to join your team. And focus only on that person and their needs for those 15 – 30 minutes.

2. Don’t Overcommit: Did you tell yourself you were going to send a personalized holiday thank you card to all your clients from 2007? And a tempting postcard to everyone else on your potentials list? Consider this…will it just be lost in the shuffle of the holiday season? You can still do it but make them and send them just after Christmas so it stands out from the crowd and has a bigger impact for you. Remember..work smarter, not harder! And this Christmas season, family first, then business will follow.

This week’s practical resource is a simple quote so as to not add further tasks or guilt to this already busy time:
“I really cannot give you the formula for success. But I can give you the formula for failure. It’s this: Try to please everyone.” Bernard Meltzer

2 Traits You Will Find in every Happy Working Mom

People ask me all the time how I do it all. I have 4 kids (age 7 and under), I am a Heritage Maker and I also work a full time job aside from Heritage Makers. I have a career position in technology and business management with a wonderful company that I have been with for nearly 15 years. With this career, I get to travel the world and lead large teams of people. Despite all these roles, I was able to work the Heritage Makers business on the side and achieve my goal of director even faster than I had anticipated. This month is my 9th month as a Heritage Maker and I just achieved director (thanks to the equally amazing efforts of my team!)

I’m not sharing all of this to boast or brag. In fact, I’m trying to figure out how to share it in the most inspiring and empowering way possible. There is power in example. Power in seeing and knowing that your dreams are achievable. What I hope you see and understand from me is that I am your typical working mom from the Midwest. A girl who grew up in small town America, the daughter of a high school math teacher and quiet, obedient stay at home mother who was a product of the 1950′s catholic schools. A young woman who went off to the local state university and now lives an almost non-descript life in “anytown suburbia”. Yet I feel I am abundantly blessed and have found true happiness in being able to ‘have it all’. To be a mother and wife and have a career. To not have to sacrifice being a soccer mom, classroom volunteer or help with the boyscout pack in order to be in business and use these other talents that God has blessed me with. Yes, I feel I have discovered some of the many keys to leading a successful and happy life and I am compelled strongly to share this with others.

There are so many places to begin sharing on this topic so this week I will start with an overview of what have been a couple of the keys to my success: Passion and Productivity.

Do you know what you are passionate about? When is the last time you got up in the morning and said “I can’t wait to do what I’m going to do today”? What makes your heart race and gives you warm fuzzies inside? For what do you get so excited that you have to pick up the phone and call your mom, sister, brother, best friend? Sometimes as a parent, we get so focused on raising children that we forget there is also a ‘me’ and something that I love to do. And more importantly, something I need to do to recharge my batteries as an adult and ultimately be a better parent. Is it a sport? Running, walking, yoga, volleyball, mountain biking? Is it reading fictional stories or watching movies? Is it cooking? Is it scrapbooking – either traditional or digital? Is it photography or writing? If there was one thing you could do in your life and there was a way to make money doing it, what would it be?

For me, I have a passion to take new technologies and bring them easily and effectively to the people who need them. Whether its an easy way to preserve your stories and digital scrapbook as with Heritage Makers or finding the latest new software development technique that will allow my team to produce better quality software, I am passionate about doing this. It is uniquely me and part of my genetic make up. If I stray away from this in one area, I pick it up in another. From setting up and programming a new TV to designing my own family website. It always creeps into my life. It is a passion.

Productivity. No matter how passionate we are and how sure we are of our life purpose, we still must plan and be productive to make it happen. Sure you could just go with the flow and do it when there’s time but when is there ever time?? We have to be intentional about fulfilling our purposes in life. There needs to be discipline, processes and planning. I didn’t just make director without hard work and a plan. I knew I had limited time due to my job and my 4 children (well, 3 at the time I started. Yes, I even gave birth during these past 9 months as a Heritage Maker!). So I had to choose to focus on the most impactful activities that would help me achieve my goals. And I had to do them at times that would not take away from my family or my job. That meant late evenings on the computer after the kids went to bed nearly every single night. It also meant sacrificing some lunch hours to meet with clients and potential consultants. Much more to come on productivity. This is certainly a big reason I can do what I do. By spending my time in a focused and effective manner. And getting rid of those time wasters!