Monday, February 24, 2020

CHALLENGES OF RUNNING A BUSINESS WITH YOUR SPOUSE


Husbands and Wives in Business Together

Being an entrepreneur, self-starting business woman, and a wife is difficult. However, when you add in the dynamics of your husband being your business partner, things can get even more challenging. My husband and I have owned several businesses together and separately. The most successful businesses were the ones we worked on building together. They were also the most challenging business to manage because there were so many dynamics to doing it successful that clashed with our personalities, areas of passions, and work methods.

WHO IS THE BOSS?

That is the major hurdle that many couples have to establish. In our case, I had the business idea, but my husband was the business front man since he had the sales experience and passion for in person and phone sales. In his mind, he was the boss. In my mind, I was the boss. This bought challenges when it came to the goals of the business, who did what, who made the decisions, and of course the power struggle.

To fix this we had to:

·       Agree on mission of business

·       Create a business plan

·       Decide on how decisions were made

·       Divide areas of management determined by the person’s strength

·       Agree on expectations – write them down, make them visible

TIME MANAGEMENT

The other area that was hard to manage was our time. Since both of us needed to work the business, work our actual full time jobs, and parent our children, we had many times when we thought the other person was cooking dinner, putting the kids to bed or picking them up from school.

To fix this we had to:

·       Create weekly schedules

·       Assign each other or delegate task out

·       Cut time at full-time job (one of us) to part-time or hire a nanny

MAKE TIME FOR LIFE AND DATES

Sometimes the business takes over. It can cause stress to manifest in the personal relationship of the couple in business. Building a business is fun, exciting and like raising a child that you have more control over. If you aren’t careful though, it will consume everything you care about.

To fix this we had to:

·       Have standing date night – no talking business, kids, or work (we played board games, went to movies, or a day trip)

·       Take mandatory vacation (even if only for two days)

·       Do something special for each other, write notes to remind each other we love them, sneak off for breakfast.

·       Continue to work on our balancing act

By LM Preston, author of Building Your Empowered Steps and Homeschooling and Working While Raising Amazing Learners, www.EmpoweredSteps.com



Thursday, January 16, 2020

HOW TO BLAST YOUR BUSINESS TO EARN RESIDUAL INCOME


Start to think beyond selling your one tangible product and consider how you can sell your product, your knowledge, your lessons learned, and any other possible companion products based on your original business focus. As a business owner, finding consumers that are interested in your work is always a challenge. However, assessing your skills and ways to express or market them, even when it may seem redundant is important. It allows you to spread your products and knowledge to a wider playing field and overtime can keep you relevant in your market even when you decide to take a bit of a break.

WRITE and PUBLISH THAT COMPANION BOOK OR PAMPHLET

When writing or publishing materials with your business name on it, do not skimp on quality. Also, consider not placing your face on the cover unless you have a large platform that sells products just with your likeness on it. This works for Oprah, but not most people. Consider getting a writing coach, hiring out the building of the pamphlet and writing of it to a professional, always get it edited by a professional editor. Make sure the graphics and artwork looks professional and is in line with other like published works. Distribution is important and spreading it beyond your personal website and presence also allows it to have a greater reach. Lastly, build it into your marketing.

VIDEO AND AUDIO EXPANSION OF YOUR KNOWLEDGE

Building a video platform and audio podcast can be time consuming but can pay off in major dividends and clients. Even if your business is selling jewelry, you can create videos that teach how to do what your do, train your team, share your jewelry and much more. Being versatile in your message boost all aspects of your business.

AUDIO BOOKS

Once you have created several books, podcasts and videos, re-purpose them as audio books. This opens your products to a different market and potentially new customers to all of your offerings. Creating an audio book is easier than your think, but it does require some level of financial investment beforehand.

CREATING YOUR CONTENT ROAD MAP

The above are just a few examples of how to re-purpose your product, knowledge and any companion product to build a stronger infrastructure that will support residual passive income to your business. Think bigger, and wider when you approach maturing your business to sell more than your original product. Include, selling use to your mailing list, building and marketing companion products on your site and on your video podcast, then create courses on how to build a business like yours. All these possible streams of income from one original product creates a strong content road map that is constantly feeding your business. By promoting or selling one companion aspect to your business, you are selling them all indirectly.

TAKE A LONGER LOOK AND BUILD, BRANCH OFF OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUR BUSINESS




Monday, October 14, 2019

Working For Someone Or For Yourself




My husband and I have always been entrepreneurs at heart. It was in our blood since we were both in grade school. When we started having kids while attending college, we both decided that we needed the stability of a full time pay check instead of the erratic and extensive but flexible hours of running a business.

Most all businesses need capital, and time to kick start. This could mean up to three years of investment without any real return. That makes selecting a business that you are passionate about even harder when that business may not return the dividends you hoped to get just to pay your bills and survive.

In our case we went for businesses that had a good infrastructure and at least moderate success, knowing we would have to work to fund the business. We chose Real Estate and worked that business for almost ten years.

HAVING A BUSINESS IS ABOUT THE HUSTLE OF THE SALE

Most people want to start a business to be their own boss. It sounds great until we as the sole source of income for our household realize that we aren’t making any money at it – initially. Pouring 50 to 60 hours of effort into something that doesn’t pay off can be a drain.

Here’s what we did to focus on sales, but not worry so much about returns when we first started.

Work part-time to fund marketing and sales for business

Use part-time job to network and gain customers through relationship building

Use part-time job to fund household while building business

Realize that business income is based on sales and that at the base of the business, you have to sell the business offerings

Partnering with someone that can help run the business and take some of the pressure off

Partnering with someone to get vacation time    


Many people are in love with the type of business they own, but hate the aspect of selling it. If that is you, maybe other options are better.

WORKING FOR A COMPANY – THE BENEFITS OVER OWNING ONE
With having a bill from college debt, we realized that owning the business didn’t gain us what we needed most at the time-a regular paycheck, health benefits, vacation paid time off, sick leave in some cases and standard work hours.

In most cases, working a job, you can depend on the pay being the same every week and getting the deposit with no more effort than what you were expecting going in.

DECIDING ON THE BEST-CASE SCENARIO
The best case for us was working for a company that allowed us to have our business as a part-time endeavor. Having a constant stream of income, we could count on most of the time, gave us comfort and joy in building our business part-time. We partnered with others and the part time business grew to the point my husband could work it full-time. It helped for one of us to stay employed to gain health benefits and others from a well-established company.

FINDING WHAT WORKS FOR YOU
Doing your research and evaluating what your reason is for starting your business is your first stop. Then map out a business plan. Decide when you need to make money on your business and if you are willing to put in the time and effort selling your product, marketing it, and being on social media to promote it. If you aren’t interesting in the selling of your product, are you willing to pay someone to do that for you? Then you will realize what the cost and benefit is of starting your own company or working for someone else.


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.