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Monday, December 27, 2010

Another Christmas Season Come and Gone

Before we had kids I was determined to keep the tree up through my birthday (December 30th).   This year the tree comes down tomorrow.  I can't stand the lack of mobility in our living room any longer.  It is wall to wall disorganization between new toys, old toys, and junk that just plain needs to be thrown out.  Yes, I should have cleared out much of the clutter prior to Christmas.  But between the Christmas related duties and making calls to potential business partners I never seemed to get around to it.

All in all it's been a wonderful holiday season.  It started with me losing the job I hated in November.  That same day I committed to Internet CEO Moms.

What I DIDN'T do this holiday season
With the beginnings of my new business getting underway, I admittedly didn't spend a lot of time on the holiday hubbub.   I missed out on holiday baking for the family except the 2 pies I made Christmas morning.  I also didn't get Christmas cards out like I would have liked.  I wonder if a lot of people had trouble with that this year.  It didn't seem like we received a lot of cards this year. We didn't have to miss my husband attending holiday events as he is no longer on 3rd shift.  During the past couple of years he has missed so much having to sleep to prepare for an evening shift.  It's nice not feeling like I'm a single mother when I go to events.  I'll have to remind him how much I love him being around now that he isn't on 3rd shift anymore.

What I DID do this holiday season
I made time for shopping and made cookies for a craft make and take for the kids' school.  I took a lot of time to appreciate my new role as stay-at-home mom to my 5 1/2 and almost 7 year old.  We spent family time together going through a local neighborhood that has an annual tradition of decking their homes out in lights and accessories until their hearts are content.  It is such a beautiful sight!  It's exciting for kids and grownups alike!  We also went to Christmas Eve services at church.  The service is of course busier than our usual service so the kids couldn't bring the coloring books and such they usually bring to keep themselves busy.  In light of that they behaved perfectly.  The service was beautiful as always.

We feel so blessed and grateful this holiday season.  We gratefully celebrate the Lord sending his only Son for us.  What a glorious gift.  We are also grateful that our family is healthy and happy and so close.  It has been a wonderful holiday season. 

What was the most memorable part of your holiday season?

Friday, December 17, 2010


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Monday, December 13, 2010

What are your favorite holiday traditions?

Before my kids were born I started the holiday tradition of exchanging ornaments on Christmas Eve with my husband.  When my kids came along, we continued the tradition.  As a child, I always got to open one present on Christmas Eve so I wanted to continue that tradition with my own kids.  I much prefer they open something small though.  I was able to pick from a few but the big ones came out after I was in bed.  I like the ornament idea because I add their name and the yr we gave them the ornament to the bottom or another available spot.  It will be fun to look back on ornaments we’ve given them throughout different phases of their lives.  Like when they liked Dora and Diego.  They also have ornaments to truly call their own throughout the years. 

Another tradition is to go to my mother’s-in-law for dinner.  We are forever guaranteed that their will be an abundance of home cooking at Granny’s (as the kids call her) house.  The staple is homemade macaroni and cheese that is a must-have for the kids.  I love the homemade stuffing/dressing.  The love and laughter in the home on that day is palpable.  It’s hard to go home to a quiet house after all of the commotion (said in the most loving way) that is had at Granny’s house.  I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  

What part of the holiday do you embrace?  What traditions do you love?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

5 ways to market an at home career

Much of your success in your work from home job can be attained through online marketing. The best part about this is that it’s either free or very inexpensive.

Create a Twitter account and get a lot of followers.
o Look for people that you may want to target for your business.
o If it’s a typing job target people that have “clerical” or “office job” in their profile.
o Follow these people in hopes that they will follow you back.
o Tweet a few times a day to stay in touch with everyone.
o Comment on other’s posts to get relationships going.
o People may want to learn more about your business the stronger your relationship becomes with them.
o Don’t advertise a lot on Twitter. It’s more about relationship building. Throw your link in there occasionally but don’t be there ONLY to show everyone what you do.

Create a Facebook account
o If you want, you can add a fan page for your business.
o Post about your business occasionally but don’t let that become the only reason you’re there.
o You can invite people in certain groups to be your friend on Facebook. People don’t often question who you are. They just accept your friendship.
o At the moment my avatar is my business logo. You may or may not want to go this route. At this point I’m doing it to see if people get curious and contact me. One person did because they were curious about my business and the other person contacted me because she is also a work from home individual and contacted me because of our common ground. The other option is to place your own picture on there so people comfortably connect with you without feeling like you’re going to try selling something to them. The down side to this is the people don’t know what you do unless they click on your profile or if you mention it in a post.

• Free Classified Ads
o Are you looking for people to join your team? There are countless free classified websites that will help you promote your business opportunity.
o Need someone to do billing work for you? There is a category for that as well. Simply enter “Free Classified” in Google and even be specific to the job you are filling or the type of person you’d be looking for. Perhaps “Medical Billing Free Classified.” There are classifieds for numerous niches out there.

• Start a Blog
o This is very important. I don’t want you to do it because everyone is doing it but do it because it works.
o It’s going to add a new link to your site out there on the worldwide web making it easier for people to find you.
o People learn more about you or your business and may be more inclined to go to your website.
o Use your blog to communicate to members of your team and potential members of your team.
o There is evidence throughout the internet proving that blogs are essential to any business.

• Post your website on related websites.
o Find blogs that relate to your business. Is there a blog that talks about medical billing or working from home? If you can contribute to these blogs in a meaningful way, post a comment. Don’t post a comment just to get your link on there. MANY blogs are no-follow which means Googles’ spiders aren’t going to follow your link. It’s the down side to some blogs but not all blogs are like this. Even no-follow blogs are beneficial:
  •  Other people that visit the blog could click on your link if they find your comment to be interesting enough.
  • Your comment MUST be beneficial. Don’t say “good points” just to get your link on there. I am very unlikely to click on your link if that’s all you say. You couldn’t be more obviously trying to sell, sell, sell.
Remember these 5 marketing strategies and you will be well on your way to a successful career.  Now, get out there and get marketing!!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010


I have found a way to get kids to WANT to put away laundry!  This will revolutionize the way kids put away laundry!  The secret is simple: early to bed.  This method is easiest with kids that can't tell time or haven't thought to ask what time it is when they are told it's time for bed.

How does bed time relate to laundry?  All kids do anything to delay going to sleep.  I'm using that to my advantage.  One day at bedtime I said innocently "let's put some laundry away quick" and they were excited to do so because it delayed sleep.  On night number 2 my 6 1/2 year old daughter asked if there was laundry to be put away.  "Why yes there is" I said as the excited mother in disbelief that her daughter is ASKING to put laundry away.  On night number 3 my daughter was disappointed there was no laundry to be put away.  Fast forward 3 months and I haven't had to put any of her laundry away.  Her and I help my son (age 5) occasionally but he is also putting away the majority of his own clothes.

The added bonus to my new found dutiful children... I can use NOT doing laundry as leverage when they don't want to cooperate at bedtime.  I just can't use it too often or they'll forget what it's like to put away laundry and how much they enjoy it.  It's a very fine line I need to walk to keep this up.  Now I just need to try to get this to work with cleaning up their toys.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Start A Home Business Online WHY?

With any big decision in your life, it is important to know WHY you are doing it.  What is going to keep you motivated when you want to give up?  What is going to keep you motivated to exceed expectations when you meet expectations?  Your "WHY!"

What is my "why?"  I wanted to start a home business online for my family.  They are my "why."  From the time my daughter was born almost 7 years ago I have been passionate about wanting to become a stay-at-home mom.  I have been blessed to be able to do that as of late.  Why bother staying at home for my kids when they're entered in school?  They can reap the benefits of having a stay-at-home mom even in high school.

When you start a home business online you don't have to worry about taking off for illnesses, you can freely volunteer in your child's classroom, your child can feel comfortable asking you to come get him if he or she is injured or falls ill at school.  This last one especially hits home for me.  When I was growing up my mom worked.  In high school I dislocated my knee so badly in gym class that I had to beg a fellow student to pull my leg to get it back into place.  The staff asked if I wanted them to call my mom.  I said "no."  I didn't want to inconvenience her or irritate her that she had to leave work early.  Instead I went to my last class for the day and sat through it with my leg propped up on a nearby chair.  Then I road the bus home and waited for my mom to finally arrive home at about 20 after 5:00.  If I had a stay-at-home mom maybe I would have been comfortable having the staff call my parents.  In addition to the reasons above, you are there for your child right after school and you'll be with your kids in the summer when they are out of school.

In addition to the benefits my kids experience from me being at home, my husband also benefits.  He has a wife that is less stressed.  I'm no longer working 40 hours, coming home and caring for the kids and picking up after everyone.  That 40 hours has gone down to about 25 so I have more time to take care of the house and spend more distraction-free time with my family.  I wanted this so badly that I have noticed my mood has also changed to a more happy one since I became a stay-at-home mom.

Having a home business online benefits everyone!  Find your "why" and give it everything you've got!

Monday, December 6, 2010

First Snow in Fall 2010

The first snow fall of Fall 2010 hit us Friday evening and into Saturday. 5+ inches were predicted but I think it was only 3 or so. Note to Southerners and others that don’t get snow: That’s nothing. Well, nothing to panic about. Roads were a bit slippery I hear but by the time we got onto the roads in the afternoon Saturday it was fine.

What do I like about snow? Not a whole lot. One great thing that came from this snow was that it came down wet enough to create snowballs and snowmen. I took the kids outside around 11am Saturday morning to give me a chance to shovel and them a chance to play.

Once the shoveling was done the kids asked if the snow was good enough to make a snowman. I reluctantly said “yes.” I say “reluctantly” because my initial thought was it required too much energy. That same person knows how important it is to create memories with and for her kids. So I helped them make a snowman. I think the last time I did that was when my daughter was 2 or 3 (so I did ALL of the work then) and my son was so little he stayed in the house with Daddy. Well now they are 5 and 6 ½ so they were both able to help me a bit. We made a medium size snowman. Not nearly the caliber I would have made as a teen, but large enough for my young ones. Once the snowman was made we had to figure out how to adorn her… oh yes, my daughter decided it was a girl. We found a scarf and baseball cap in the house along with some twigs for arms outside and leaves for facial features. Obviously we are not ones to stock our home with Buttons, Coal, a Carrot or top hat. We improvised and the kids loved every minute. Less the minute they argued over who would put the arms into the sockets.

When limbs were attached the kids decided it was time for a snowball fight. They both teamed up against me to make it more of a fair fight. It was so fun to laugh with them and run around like a kid. After about 15 minutes of snow flying back and forth we decided to make our way inside for some hot cocoa.

What a wonderful time that will live on in their memories as well as mine! Today it was quite frigid outside making the snow impossible to form into a ball. So the kids sled on the small hill that makes our backyard. That only lasted about 10 minutes as the cold creates stiff limits on time spent outside. Time for more hot cocoa. Yummmmmm!

OK The snow can melt now!!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Santa Makes His Way to Milwaukee for Breakfast

Today was the annual, early morning breakfast with Santa Claus. An “early weekend morning” is being dressed and to mother’s-in-law by 9am. It was a couple of car loads that we came with: Hubby, our 2 kids, sister-in-law, cousin, mother-in-law, father-in-law. In this Santa Claus appearance we were even graced with the presence of Mrs. Claus. These were the real looking Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Not the kind with the fake beard attached to the fake hair. Nice to be able to tell the kids that’s not Santa’s helper that it’s really Santa. In the great scheme of things my 5 and 6 ½ year old don’t care either way because they will have nothing to do with Santa in person whether he’s real or fake. They won’t sit on his lap or stand next to him or even wave from afar. When he was making him and his wife were making rounds to say hello to all the kids having breakfast, my daughter slouched down in her seat in fear that he would approach our table. Lucky for my kids, Santa and Mrs. Claus would have had quite the challenge weaving through the tables and chairs in the cramped room to get to our table. Before he visited with all of the tables he went to prepare for all of the little girls and boys that were going to sit on his and Mrs. Claus’ laps this morning. My daughter could relax again.

As delicious and variety-filled as breakfast was, it wasn’t the only highlight of the visit with Santa. After breakfast we were guided to the Children’s area of the large library where outside the door they allowed the children to decorate a Christmas cookie. Luckily they provided bags as well so we didn’t have to wait for the kids to inhale their cookies before we could move onto the next attraction. We stopped for a tattoo that’s already begun to wear off, but that’s ok. It was fun in the moment.

Then we entered the Children’s area where we were given the privilege of picking out a book for the appropriate age group of our two children. The added perk to this is that it was brand new books we were able to pick from. There was a craft table where the kids were able to color a paper gingerbread man that we have hung on the tree. They were also able to get a coloring sheet in this area which we decided to take home to complete.

We sat back and watched as families went up to sit with Santa and Mrs. Claus knowing full well that our two little ones had no interest in going to sit beside them. Instead we opted for a family photo in front of the Christmas tree. My husband has brought up an excellent point about the fear many children have of Santa. His philosophy is “wouldn’t you be afraid of a man that can see when you’re good or bad and comes into your house in the middle of the night?”

After our memories were captured on film in front of the tree we left the Milwaukee Public Library with smiles on our faces and full bellies. It’s a wonderful even the local library puts together and I haven’t had any complaints in the last few years we’ve been going. I think I look forward to it just as much as the kids.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Creating a Working Atmosphere

When we start to work from home, work at home moms often begin with a space that may include a couch, or dirty dishes, toys scattered, paperwork from the kids and yourself and who knows what else.  All of these things are taking up space that should be reserved for work.  I know I want to work my business in a stress-free environment; that starts with a clean and well equipped work area.  How is this accomplished?
  • It is optimal that you have a desk set aside from the everyday chaos of your life.  No need for added distractions as you're trying to juggle your kids and a lucrative business.  The kitchen table worked for a while, but the ideal would be to have an area to call your own for your business.  Less risk for sticky papers and other things that collect on a kitchen table.
  • If your desk is full of clutter, clear it off and only add back what you need.  Remember to make it known throughout the house that your desk is off limits to any unauthorized personnel. 
What other organizational products might you need for your at home desk?  This may include things you'll need or someone else may need for their business.  You'll get a good feel for it.
  • Computer
  • Pens
  • Pencils
  • Notebook
  • A few catalogs if you distribute catalogs in your business.
  • Files to hold company news, information, history
  • Phone (with mute, 3 way calling, and unlimited long distance)
  • headset for phone
  • Calendar
  • Calculator*
  • Shelving for file cabinet for paperwork, bills and other important papers.**
  • Files
  • Stapler
  • Paperclips
  • Tape
  • hole punch
  • scissors
  • staple remover
  • mail supplies (stamps, envelopes, labels,shipping labels,boxes,packing tape, bubble wrap)
  • printer ink
  • business cards
  • flyers
  • sticky notes
  • Bulletin board - Nice for reminders, appointments, inspirational quotes, family photos, or something from training you don't want to forget. 
  • stick pins for the bulletin board

*Your computer can help you reduce clutter even more:
  • Use Excel as your calculator.
  • Use Notepad or Word to write notes.  This will allow for a smaller notepad and less space taken up by the pad.  Use the notebook as a temporary holder for your notes when the computer isn't on or near by.  Then transfer the notes to Word or Notebook if you'd still like to keep the notes.  This also gives you the chance to organize your notes.  Organize by date, topic, or whatever is most convenient for you.  What a relief that would be to be able to rely on your notes being in all one place
  • Use the calendar on your computer rather than a hard copy.  Google has a calendar system where you can share your calendar with business associates so they can check to see if you're busy before they try to schedule a meeting with that person.
**In regards to the shelving, I would get only a couple of trays at a time.  You'll have a better perception of how many trays you need once you learn the business you're in.  If you end up needing quite a few you might want to upgrade to a filing cabinet.

Did I miss anything?  What ideas do you to organize my space to work my business?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Work at Home Mom Jobs

What do you do to bring in income for your family?  There are so many possibilities with technology facilitating the success of so many work at home mom jobs. Computers, the internet, and technology are fundamental in home based businesses these days.
• Bring crafts to the market place that in the past would only have the opportunity to be seen in local craft shows. Now there are countless websites where people can display and sell their wares Nationally or Internationally.
• There are keyword tools, social networking sites, online classifieds, and so many other resources technology brings to the modern entrepreneur.  When I was looking at work at home mom jobs I found one that allows me to bring the same opportunity to thousands of mothers that would otherwise not be introduced to my company as an option to facilitate working at home.
• Technology allows people to submit and find work that companies need. In the past, it was the local newspaper and the work was on paper so there was little opportunity for working at home. You are no longer limited to your immediate geographic location.
• Technology allows you to manage work at home mom jobs in a way like never before. My team of moms uses business management programs to help keep track of business contacts, give tutorials, provide marketing tools, assist with team connections, and so much more. You aren’t working alone anymore.

More and more women (and men) are moving their offices into their homes. Have you?