Friday, August 16, 2019

HOW TO DECIDE ON YOUR FIRST BUSINESS


HOW TO CHOOSE A MOMPRENUER BUSINESS
By LM Preston



Wanting to start your own business is a big step for working moms. Therefore, selecting a business that will meet your needs, be flexible, calls to your passions, and makes you money is sometimes hard to find. There are so many personal factors that impact the decision and as a Momprenuer, I’ve tried many.

INVESTING IN YOUR BUSINESS OR GET PAID OUT THE DOOR

When considering starting a business that you are supporting from home or as a working parent, money and the amount to invest is usually a concern. You want a business that has as little startup cost and operating cost as possible. That’s the one way that you can ensure that it is a financial benefit for you and your family.

POPULAR TYPES OF BUSINESSES OF A MOMPRENUER

Creating a micro-business specific to your experiences and areas of interest. This is the best option for many. Take what you’ve done in your career and make it your own business. Working in freelance to provide administrative and marketing support for other small and large businesses is a great business that works around your personal schedule. Another possibility is transferring your knowledge and interest to an online course or coaching business. Online store owner can be a business where you basically sell your old stuff or buy then sale in various marketplaces such as Etsy, Mercari, Amazon, Craigslist and more. 

Starting a franchise business is a pricey, but, could be profitable business. There are small businesses such as tutoring services like Kumon and Sylvan where you can invest in the franchise for a small fee. Other choices are Cruise Planners, Fit4Mom, Chem-Dry, Jazzercise, Jan-Pro which offers services from travel, fitness, and cleaning services.

Multi-Level-Marketing is a form of business that many mothers find cheap to start up and easy to work around their family obligations. Some popular and successful ones include Usborne Books, Avon, doTERRA Essential Oils, Pampered Chef and Scentsy.

THE FINAL DECISION

Your final decision should be based on what you intend to gain by starting your business. It’s goal to include income and self-gratification. If you aren’t making money from the work you are putting in, it is a detriment to your family and goals. It is a discouraging aspect of starting a business. Do your research on the business you hope to pursue. Make sure it checks all the points that are important to your goals. Realistically, it takes at least three to five years for any business to make a profit. 

Knowing that consider what you would want to do for that amount of time just for the experience. Having your business in line with your personal areas of interest that you are passionate about makes it a success even when you aren’t making the money from it you’d like.

By LM Preston


Thursday, August 1, 2019

Blog Tour for Working Parents

Join in the tour for the Giveaway and more!

Homeschooling and Working While Shaping Amazing Learners is a nuts to bolts guide for working parents who want to groom exceptional learners through the flexibility of homeschooling. Learn to juggle working and homeschooling your kids while maintaining your sanity. Also, use aspects of homeschooling for after schooling when traditional school isn’t working. Single parents are given options for executing homeschooling or after schooling methods that work in practical bits for the busy parent. Learn how to take your child from an average student to an exceptional student by exploring the possibilities shown in the section on acceleration of learning. From pre-K to homeschooling college, open your eyes to the many options in flexibility this approach to learning can give. You can homeschool and work to shape amazing learners by exploring the possibilities.

THE BLOG TOUR for HOMESCHOOLING AND WORKING WHILE RAISING AMAZING LEARNERS

Virtual Book Tour - August 7 - September 18

August 7 - RABT Book Tours - Kick Off

August 8 - Nana's Book Reviews - Spotlight

August 9 - The Avid Reader - Interview

August 10 - T's Stuff - Spotlight

August 12 - Book Lover Blog - Spotlight

August 13 - Java John Z's - Excerpt

August 14 - Beach Bound Books - Spotlight

August 15 - The Bookworm Lodge - Spotlight

August 16 - Angela's Freelance Writing - Excerpt

August 17 - Jazzy's Book Reviews - Spotlight

August 19 - Truly Trendy - Review

August 20 - Mythical Books - Guest Post

August 21 - Alyssa Faye Blog - Interview

August 22 - Novel News Network - Review

August 23 - Jena Baxter Books - Spotlight

August 26 - Silver Dagger Scriptorium - Spotlight

August 27 - Texas Book Nook - Review

August 28 - Stephanie's Book Reviews - Spotlight

August 29 - The Sexy Nerd Revue - Spotlight

August 30 - The Indie Express - Review

August 31 - Dina Rae Writes Stuff - Spotlight

September 2 - Momma and Her Stories - Excerpt

September 3 - Momma Says to Read or Not to Read - Spotlight

September 4 - A Life Through Books - Interview

September 5 - Book Reviews by Virginia Lee - Spotlight

September 6 - On a Reading Bender - Review

September 9 - The Voluptuous Book Diva - Spotlight

September 11 - Beach Bound Books - Spotlight

September 13 - Sylv.net - Spotlight

September 16 - Tea Time and Books - Review

September 17 - Crossroads Reviews - Spotlight

September 18 - RABT Reviews - Wrap Up 





Monday, July 8, 2019

SURVIVING WORKING AND PARENTING

SURVIVING WORKING AND PARENTING

I never considered what would happen with my career once I had children. Many young professionals don’t consider the road beyond graduating from high school and forging the pathway to that sought after career. When life happened and I got married, within a year we had our first baby while both he and I were working and attending college. I was working in my chosen career and my husband was starting college. We’d never considered the cost of childcare and the rest is a speed trip we took into reality of raising kids.

As a mom who’d worked full time as an engineer through the birth of four kids and finding a way to pump milk to nurse each of them for an entire year after their birth while working, I can tell you, having a great partner who helps makes all the difference.

MINDSET CHECK

Family comes first, then career, and then anything else. As a working mom who is pursuing a career it takes more of a balancing game to be able to decide what is important to you at each phase of your career, marriage and parenting. Raising kids should always be number one since they are with you for life. Most careers have some leeway and give that if you have to take a job that you are able to get home early, have flexibility but the pay is low, doing so for the sake of the family is always best. For example, my mother in law was a social worker, but she and my father in law had six kids and she decided not to be a social worker, but to be a foster parent where she mentored other foster parents. When she was done raising kids, she went back to school for her Masters and within five years became a principle.

Parenting and working requires the tenacity to consider how a goal may not just affect your end game, but your family. Keep your mindset on a positive bent by feeding it with the care and feeding it needs. Finding other working moms, being there for each other, giving a positive word helps all of us succeed in the journey.

THE POWER OF SAYING NO

Saying ‘no’ isn’t easy for many ambitious working parents. You are so used to accommodating everyone’s needs. That needs to change. If you can’t do extra work after you get off the job, say so, and allow yourself to seek another job if the employer doesn’t have realistic expectations of the job.

PLANNING MAKES PERFECT

In order to survive managing a home, a marriage and your job, plan your day, your week, and your month. If you start to see unnecessary events that suck the time out of your schedule for rest, spending time with your kids, remove them. If you need to get stuff done around the house, delegate it. Everyone in the house should pitch in and if they have, but there is still much to do, hire it out or forget about it.

ANCHORING YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH KIDS AND SPOUSE

With all the juggling of a career, raising a family, and maintaining a relationship, we sometimes forget to feed the relationships that count. Don’t push time aside from spending it with your kids and your spouse. Play with each other, cook together, shop together, watch movies as a family, make those relationships the priority over all else. When you anchor your relationships you have a continuous cheering section every time you get home from work.

By LM Preston
New Book Homeschooling And Working While Raising Amazing Learners: Amazon www.EmpoweredSteps.com 

Monday, June 24, 2019

Defying Social Expectations


Defying Social Expectations
By LM Preston
I was always a tomboy when I was younger. I loved being around boys because they were less emotional. Growing up with a ton of cousins that were rough and tumble taught me to speak up for myself.

Being a woman in a man’s world isn’t easy. It’s not for the faint at heart. Many girls walk into careers in science, military, manual labor only to run the heck out of there since it seems like it’s a losing battle.

We need to follow through in order to make headway, to get used to one another. To build a better product, environment, and innovations.

COMBAT FEELING AWKWARD

Diverse opinions and viewpoints build a better product that serves everyone. Having a workplace or business that is not diverse hurts innovation. Men and woman definitely have different points of view and it helps combat problems from many perspectives.

The main issue we women have working in male dominated environments is not fitting in with the masses. In these environments, you have to be comfortable in your differences and fight for your place by using your voice.

MEN CAN BE GREAT ALLYs WHEN YOU PROVE YOURSELF

Being consistent and standing out gains respect. Not only that, it makes speaking up and demanding your place in your working environment easier. Practice makes perfect.

THE GENTLE TOUCH

It’s a tricky place to be as a woman. You want to roar and say, “I am here.” Don’t do that. Be watchful of your environment. Assess the players. Then observe how others fit into the equation. After you have the lay of the land, get involved. Start speaking up during meetings. Everything you say, back it up with facts.

PUT YOUR EMOTIONS IN CHECK

One of the best part of being a woman is our ability to sense and sympathize. In a male dominated workplace, you can’t be to sensitive. You have to speak up for yourself and set boundaries. Also, you have to realize that men communicate in a more aggressive manner. However, they don’t usually hold grudges. Once they get it off their chest, they move on.

SET BOUNDARIES

Setting boundaries is the best way to handle confrontational males in the workplace. If you don’t tell a person they are doing something you don’t like, they won’t know. Don’t be to nurturing at work. Be careful of falling into a typical role as a woman. Being the coffee girl or the note-taking person can your ability to be on a level playing field challenging.

READ BODY LANGUAGE

Taking the time to understand and read body language can give you insight into your peers. It also allows you to position yourself, your body in a way that says, take me seriously and listen to me.

DON’T GIVE UP – GET BETTER

The more we women keep the road steady to progress upward into positions of influence, our male peers will get used to sharing the space. Taking the time to point out the benefits of a diverse workplace each step along the way. We can start to see and gain sponsors that understand the challenges of being a woman in a man’s world.

As a female engineer, I’ve seen a lot of progress over the years. It’s why I stay, it’s why I want to mentor other woman who desire a career in the science and tech industry. It’s why my daughters now work in a much more fulfilling and equalized environment than I did. We each represent one step closer to defying the odds.



Monday, June 3, 2019

EMBARRASSMENT – A LESSON, A STRENGTH BUILDING EXPERIENCE

By LM Preston, author of Building Your Empowered Steps and Homeschooling While Working To Shape Amazing Learners, www.empoweredsteps.com
Many of us fear embarrassment to the point of going to great lengths to avoid it. With the exception of comedians, making fun of our past mistakes, goof-ups or unpleasant experiences isn’t common. Instead, we typically try to forget those situations ever happened.
ONE OF MY EMBARRASING MOMENTS
The kids in my neighborhood would spend tons of time making up games. One we played was truth or dare. Usually, I wasn’t invited to play because I was the youngest kid in the neighborhood. However, this particular time, they allowed me to play seemed like the best day of my life. I was going to play with the big kids, and no longer follow behind them. That day, Miniworm had arrived, and she was on top of her little world.
The SET UP
The game went on as usual. Dares were made, secrets were told and the bottle spun. Finally, it was my turn. My moment, my acceptance, and then it came. The kid that had made the last spin, looked at me with a sneaky grin, and I knew immediately that I was doomed.
THE DARE
“I dare you to eat this beetle!” the kid said. I gulped. Then I compared the penalty for not going through with a challenge. The penalty was to let every kid spit in your face. The decision was difficult, the choices were both gross. However, I refused to be made to eat something that I didn’t want.
STANDING UP TO MY SO-CALLED FRIENDS
At that moment of recognition, I felt strong and fierce. Ok, no really I was scared to death. However, I stood and said, “I renege on the dare!” There were gasp, snickers, and whispers. I held my ground, stuck out my chest and licked my lips. “You know what that means don’t ya?” the kid with the dead fat beetle snickered.
“Yeah, and I don’t care!” I said, and swallowed as a tear ran from my eye. Man, I was so angry. The other kids bustled to stand in line in front of me. Never before in our game of Truth or Dare had someone challenged their fate. I was the first, and they relished in the chance to demean me further.
There I stood, as each kid gathered as much saliva in their mouths as possible and spit in my face. My eyes closed as I felt the thick, cool, wet globs slide from my forehead, down my nose to my lips. I held back a gag.
Finally, it was over. My best-friend, who was last in line did a fake spitting sound that held little or no power. Then she took out a tissue and wiped my face.
“Why didn’t you just do the dare?" she whispered.
“I opened my eyes and smiled at her then said, “Cause I didn’t want to eat a stupid beetle.”
GROWING FROM YOUR EXPERIENCES and USING THEM TO HELP OTHERS
When I sit down to write my novels from a teenaged perspective, I have a lot of material to pull from. I was called all sorts of names, teased, and jeered at. I wasn’t the lowest on the totem pole, but I was somewhere near the bottom middle of the middle school pecking order. Yet, through these experiences I learned something about myself. I was a survivor and I was never a follower. That is what I portray in my fiction books and that is a skill I sharpen every day. We all have a purpose and the capacity to stand up for ourselves. Never forget that.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/empoweredsteps/
Blog: http://empoweredsteps.blogspot.com/
Website: Fiction Books: www.lmpreston.com Empowered Stepswww.empoweredsteps.com

Monday, May 6, 2019

Overcoming the Challenges of a Female Video Gamer

Overcoming the Challenges of a Female Video Gamer

By LM Preston, author of Building Your Empowered Steps and Homeschooling Homeschooling and Working While Shaping Amazing Learners
 www.empoweredsteps.com
My youngest daughter has always been a video game fanatic, much like her father who she would play with endlessly as a child. When she was in 6th grade, I started homeschooling her, asking her if there was one thing she could do all day what it would be. She, like me, had many aspects of herself she wanted to explore. However, the first was, play and develop video games.
GAMEPLAY ANONYMOUSLY
Since she was a teen, we allowed her to create her game persona with and name that could either represent a male or a female. Since I was an engineer, in a male dominated world, I knew the implied bias towards females and didn’t want her to deal with that as a teen. She was never to talk to anyone online, and we had her set up where we could watch her play. She loved that. Everyone loves an audience, especially a gamer. In addition to playing games, she started watching others play them, researching game development companies, absorbing information on the industry and growing in her knowledge of the field she desired to pursue.
In an industry that is known for bullying female game players and developers, we wanted her to be able to feed her interest, improve her skills, in a safe and fun way. Then find her path to changing the tides.
TURNING YOUR PASSION INTO A BUSINESS
Starting out as a female game developer seemed a fun idea and career path for my daughter. We decided to take her to some game developer conferences to talk to other females about the field. We were surprised to learn that the video game industry is one of the most vicious industries for women in engineering and programming fields do to the bullying and bias of the field towards women. It’s a surprising fact, considering that women initially led up key components in the software engineering and game development industry in its infancy.
My daughter, nor I, would give up. Instead she decided to one day work towards creating her own games, designing her artwork for them and writing the scripts. Then she would hire out the other aspects. Changing the industry by creating their own opportunities is the way in which women can impact the bias and bullying in the field.
Instead of depending on an industry to give you a way in, creating your own way, with your own rules is the best solution to turn the tides.
TIDES ARE CHANGING
With the conference bringing to light the bias in the industry, and more women taking the hits, and paving the way, there is a slow wave of change that is allowing more women to be integrated. It is also causing more males that had the ‘boys only’ philosophy and unconscious bias against female co-workers to respect the fact that the landscape is changing.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/empoweredsteps/
Blog: http://empoweredsteps.blogspot.com/

Monday, April 1, 2019

Sometimes We Dream, We Do, We Change Directions


MY TRIP TO AUSTRALIA and NEW ZEALAND
was a DREAM COME TRUE


Sometimes We Dream, We Do, We Change Directions

SOMETIMES WE HAVE TO TRY ON A DREAM 
Just to see if we like it.


MY DREAM TO BE A TRAVEL WRITER

Yes, I used to dream about being a travel writer. I followed this travel show starring SAMANTHA BROWN and I was hooked.

Actually, I believe it started when I was a kid and watched the Brady Bunch, a family of twelve that went to Hawaii. That planted the seed.

THE FIRST TIME I LEFT MY BUBBLE was WITH MY SINGLE MOM

My mother, who was a teen single mom when she had me, worked hard to get my brother and I through private schools. The first trip I took out of state was to Italy. I was lucky enough to get a scholarship and my mom worked extra hours at one of her jobs to pay for the rest. She started a spark in me and love of travel at that moment. I went on a fourteen-day trip that changed my life for the better and made me truly believe that sometimes, just sometimes dreams come true. 

MY HUSBAND GOT ON BOARD

He asked me to marry him and I told him I wanted an adventurous life. Boy, did he ever deliver. He has been my driver, adventure partner, ride or die, best friend and body guard through our travels with four kids.

DOING IT

I dabbled and created a family and friend newsletter of sorts when we started traveling as a family. We’d go somewhere every month by road trips, then upped the game to include week long road trips, then three to four-week trips and finally to flights, and cruising. We pretty much stuck with the international family travel by cruise only since it was easier and payment was simple.

-       I planned the trips, wrote newsletters, created video books
-       I started a travel business
-       I helped others plan their travel

And let me tell you, I learned so much. Mostly, that traveling isn’t perfect, it can be stressful, but oh boy, is it fun!

CHANGING DIRECTIONS

After the newsletter, and traveling with the kids for awhile, I realized, I loved to travel, but the video editing, photo editing, write-ups, details, trip plans, and all that went with it, sucked the fun out of the experience for me. Since this was my personal passion that bought me pleasure in being with my family while experiencing new places, I decided I would only focus on that experience. The time and effort that took away from something I enjoyed wasn’t worth the personal cost for me.

THE EXPERIENCE IN ITSELF is LIFE CHANGING

Always see to try, experience, grow through accomplishing what you are interested in and passionate about. Then realize that it’s okay, to keep the experience and the focus on your own personal pleasure from the experience.

-It’s benefits in trying it on for size
-It’s benefits in changing a course
-It’s benefits in saying, I’ve been there
-It’s benefits in saying, I don’t want to share this, it’s just for me
-It’s benefits in saying, I tried it, but I didn’t like all of it, I didn’t like it at all – but now I know for myself

WHAT HAVE YOU TRIED ON FOR SIZE? AND FOUND IT FIT? IT DIDN’T FIT? IT WAS FUN, but you are ONE and DONE.