How to Know it’s Time to Hire Help

It’s starting to feel a lot like fall outside! This time of year can often feel overwhelming for us as mompreneurs. As much as many of us look forward to the beginning of the school year to get back into some routine, there also tends to be a lot more going on as well. Keeping up with kids, homework, and extracurricular activities can have us going in all directions and have a serious impact on our businesses.

Not long ago, I got the opportunity to moderate on a peer-to-peer conversation panel for mompreneurs. We gathered together and discussed many topics of the challenges surrounding being a mother and a business owner. One of the most robust topics ended up discussing how to know when it’s time to hire help for your business.

It can be hard to know when is the right time to take the plunge and spend money on more help or resources. At the end of the day, you need to take the time to look at the amount of money you are bringing in versus your expenses and factor in that, as of now, you are stuck being the one who does it all. That’s not to say that it isn’t highly respectable to be willing to do all of the hard work and “bootstrapping” on your own—because I think that’s something that all entrepreneurs have deep down. However, it is also known that moms have a notoriously limited amount of time. Maintaining that you are the only one who does all the aspects of your business is simply not sustainable if you are looking for real business growth. And though it can be hard, it’s important to push yourself to do what you need to do to nurture and grow your business in a way that also supports you and your family.

The fear of hiring outside help can often be boiled down to both a pride and control issue. When you have managed to reach this level of success doing it all on your own, why bring anyone else in? How are you going to trust that they will be capable and will care as much and do as well in your business as you? Unfortunately, there always comes to be a natural make or break point. Maintaining that you are the only one doing all aspects of your business will eventually become too expensive and too difficult and will stand in the way of your business growth.

Things to consider when looking to hire outside help:

  • Do you want the business to grow?
  • Which is more important to your current situation: less stress or more money / more profits?
  • Do you need a better quality of life? Have you been pushing off things like family, friends or other obligations to consistently give your business your full attention?
  • How will hiring this person serve my priorities personally as well as a my long-term goals professionally?

Hiring can be a difficult decision to make but ultimately even though it costs money, it also will save/make you money in the future. Having another capable set of hands in your business will enable you to do and handle more than you could before. Also, don’t wait until your business is at a breaking point or a downhill slope to consider hiring help. Be sure to factor in training time and consider your options before your business is in a crisis.

Will hiring help in your business help to serve your greatest goals and top priorities or will it interfere with that? I can help you figure it out, that’s what coaches are for. If you find yourself stuck or ready to make a big decision (like hiring), a coach can help you not only decide IF, but make a plan for HOW. Contact me today for a free Discovery Session and find out if coaching with me is right for you!

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How to Land Your First (or Next) Client

Today I want to cover some of the fundamentals of how to land your first client. I realize some of us have been in business for a long time and are far removed from the wonder and excitement of that long-anticipated first client, but many of these basic principles bear repeating from time to time along the journey. So whether this is your first client or simply your next, take time to refresh your mind and your business with these rudimentary, yet powerful and effective strategies.

Know your target market’s pain points. What problem does your ideal client experience that you can solve? You may offer an amazing, impressive, ingenious product or service… but if it doesn’t address a specific problem that your market has, chances are you’re not clear on who your audience is and what they need most. So do your research and be sure that there are people out there who need what you have to offer.

Know how they spend their money. What do your potential customers or clients spend their money on? Do they buy things for themselves, for their families, for their businesses? Do they pay top dollar for spa treatments and expensive technology or are they more practical and pragmatic? What are they willing to invest in? Do your homework. Understanding your market’s financial profile will give you a better picture of who they are, what they’re interested in, and how you can best serve them.

Know your Unique Business Statement. Do you have a UBS? If not, get one! If you know who your ideal client is and what they need, and you understand what they spend their money on, the next thing you need is to be able to tell them who you are, what you do, and why they should hire you—in 10 seconds or less. If you can’t do it quickly, then you’re not focused enough, because being great at what you do isn’t the be all and end all; you’ve got to be able to say it so that people can understand it.

Know your value. I can’t tell you how many small business owners or mom entrepreneurs come to me with the idea that because they are small, or because they are just starting out, they’re not worth much above nothing. If you feel that way about yourself, you’re not doing you or your clients a service. You can offer a small sample of your product or services, but don’t give away the farm—know your value and stick to it.

Know how to make your sale. Ask them to hire you. Seems simple, doesn’t it? But how many times do we find ourselves in a situation where we are just not prepared to make that sale? Have your calendar ready. Have your terms of payment lined up. And then ask them to hire you!

I hope this has been helpful. These are just some really simple steps to take to land your first (or next) client, and I think we can all revisit them along the way. Now go out there and put them into action!

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Get Organized and Be More Productive

Get organized, be more productive

We’ve all heard the expression “A cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind.” Of course some may counter with “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, what is the significance of an empty desk?” But I digress. In all seriousness though, I think we can probably all agree that our environment and its level of tidiness or organization does have at least some degree of impact on our mental state, particularly when it comes to doing our job well. Nobody thrives in the center of chaos. It’s distracting, aggravating, draining. In fact, it can be downright paralyzing at times. So let’s highlight a few easy steps we can take to clear out some of the clutter and make room for productivity!

Take the Paper Challenge

To take the paper challenge, you will need: a timer, a trash bag, a file folder, and a box with a lid.

  1. Set a timer. 5-10 minutes should be plenty of time. Now run through the house just as fast as you can. Pick up any paper that is obvious trash and throw it in the trash bag.
  2. Now for the file folder. The file folder is an “action” folder. This is where you’ll put any papers that require some action. This could be bills that need to be paid, school forms that need to be filled out and turned back in, notes reminding you to make phone calls, appointment reminders, etc.
  3. Next comes the box. There is a reason why I specified that the box have a lid. “Out of sight, out of mind.” The visual distraction of clutter is what has the potential to suck the productivity out of us, so put a lid on it! The box is for any papers that belong somewhere else. This could be anything from tax forms to medical statements to kids’ artwork—anything that needs to be put in a designated spot for long-term safekeeping.

Simplify your Digital Spaces

As we exist in an era that is increasingly paper-free, and as we streamline more and more of our processes digitally—on the computer or even our smartphones—we find that those spaces can become cluttered as well.

  1. Delete, delete, delete. Can’t remember the last time you used an app? Delete it. Done with a document? Delete it. Get rid of out-of-date programs, duplicates, and memory-hogging files if they’re not absolutely necessary.
  2. Organize. If you can’t delete it, organize it! Create category folders on your computer and phone to organize the things you need to hold onto. Utilize cloud storage with Dropbox or Google Docs to clear up space and keep things tidy.

These are just a few simple ways to declutter your workspace and increase productivity. In just a few minutes you can take control of your environment, clear your mind, and feel great about the space you live and work in so you have more energy and focus for the things that matter most. Now go set that timer and have a productive day!

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What Type of Business is Best for You?

What kind of business is best for you? Are you hearing me? Do you think about this? I think we all get to a point in life and business where we need to evaluate if what we are currently doing is what we need to continue to do, or if it’s time to move on to the next thing. Let’s take a look today at some helpful considerations when beginning to make that big decision, because as entrepreneurs, we are multifaceted, multitalented people; we can do anything! But what’s BEST?

  1. Your interests and passions. Each of us has “a thing.” That thing (or things) that we are just super passionate and lively about. What are you excited about? What do you get worked up about? What brings you joy? What animates you?
  2. Your skills, talents, and experience. Everybody is good at some things and not others. Make a list. What are you good at? What training do you have? What types of jobs have you held in the past? What types of activities do you do in your spare time?
  3. Your geographical preferences. Do you prefer to work from home in your jammies or do you like the commute-to-the-office concept? Is the type of work you’re most interested in confined to a specific community or locale, or can it be done virtually, worldwide? Do you have little kids at home, necessitating a home office, or are you free to travel or be away from home during the day?
  4. Your preferred business model. The sky is the limit here. Passive streams of income, in-person coaching, video trainings, group programs, product based storefronts—virtual or brick and mortar. Consider your personality, goals, and potential offerings. All these affect the type of business model that will ultimately be best for you.
  5. Your availability. How many hours per week do you want to work? How many CAN you work? Be honest about your lifestyle and the needs of your family at this stage in life. There is a time and a season for everything. Maybe you can give 15 hours per week or maybe you can dig deep and give 40. There is no wrong answer except that which doesn’t serve you.
  6. Your income requirements. This is absolutely up to you. What kind of business are you considering and what type of income is it able to generate, given your needs and availability? How much income do you need in order to make ends meet? Consider overhead and possible staffing needs, supplies, and last but not least, time.

These are just a few ways to evaluate what type of business may be best for you right now. Things change—we change—and because of that, sometimes our business needs to change as well. Change can be good. Take the time to discover what’s best for you!

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Time Management Tips for Mompreneurs

If you—like I do—sometimes feel that you’re only barely managing to juggle motherhood and all the ins and outs of running a business, then it’s time to take a good, hard look at how you spend your time. Especially on the cusp of 2015, after the frenzy and chaos of the holidays, the following are some of my favorite time management tips to help you manage your juggling act a little better!

1. Get a routine. Now I understand that there are those of you who will balk at the idea of a formalized routine. But hear me out. While it’s totally not necessary to plan your day in strict, 15-minute increments, a regular schedule of sorts will support the flexibility you value in your life, allowing you time to work on and in your business, as well as time for household chores and family events. Start by creating a loose schedule—morning, lunchtime, afternoon, dinnertime, evening—for Monday through Friday, blocking off office hours and your regularly scheduled daily activities, like packing lunches, getting kids off to school, and so on.

2. Break down your office hours into manageable chunks. This one is simple, and you can block off time by just observing your habits. Is there a particular time you tend to work on the computer? How about returning emails or phone calls? Schedule time to work on your business—marketing and the things that cause your business to grow—and in your business—actual, billable hours of production or face-to-face client time.

3. Make appointments for yourself. You would never stand up a client with an appointment. Why not show yourself that same respect? Need to work on your website redesign? Make an appointment! Have a marketing concept that needs to be fully fleshed out? Set a time for yourself to work on it. Give importance to the things you want to accomplish by putting that time and date on the calendar, and then showing up for that appointment.

4. Schedule downtime. Yes, productivity is important. Yes, as mom entrepreneurs, it seems that 24 hours is never enough. But taking care of yourself is a priority, and it needs to be planned for! Try alternating tasks that require mental focus with good-for-you breaks—a walk around the block, a healthy snack, a phone conversation with a friend—whatever relaxes and recharges you. You may be surprised at how productivity soars when you’re fresh and energized.

These are a few tips that I use to manage my time as a busy mompreneur. All of this will help you round out a really ideal schedule for you, adding up to more time to get things done in a way that makes you feel productive and purposeful—not overwhelmed. I hope these are helpful to you!

Which of these tips can you implement today to help you get control of your time?
What other tips would you include that keep you focused and productive?

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Define Your Ideal Client

First, let’s define ideal client: the person who most needs what you have to offer, recognizes your value, and
happily pays what you’re worth, according to your terms.

Seems simple enough, right?

Take a moment and think about who this person is to you. What does this person need? What would make his or her life better? If you can really wrap your head around this and truly understand your ideal client, you can create and modify your products and services to address their top challenges. It’s critical for you, as a mompreneur, to be able to define who your ideal client is, along with their pain points, so that you can understand them and then market to them.

If you can solve someone’s problem, they will buy what you’re selling!

So, now you can dig a little deeper: What does your ideal client read? How do they spend their money? How do they use their time? Where do they congregate? If you know what they do and where they are, you can position yourself directly in their path, so that you become the obvious solution to their problems as they come across your products and services naturally, in their daily goings-on. Networking groups, blogs, and social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are all great “places” to learn more about your ideal clients, because that’s where they’re asking their questions and looking for answers.

The next step is to take a look at your unique business statement. Does it specify who your ideal client is? And does it
state how your product or service can add value to their life? If not, consider changing it. Your ideal client is a big part of identifying who you are as a business, and ultimately makes you better at what you do best.

And that’s it! Getting that locked down will help you streamline your offerings and your marketing, so it’s an important exercise to take on. As always, you can find me on Twitter if you have questions!

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The Secret To Stopping The Insanity

always got“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” ~Someone Smart


And today… the secret you’ve all been waiting for… except it’s not a secret! Today we’re talking about change. As much as I value routine, sometimes what needs to happen is you just have to change it up a bit. So let’s look at some of the previous examples from THE DEFINITION OF INSANITY and come up with just one thing that you could do differently in each situation, because just one simple change might be all it takes to get you headed in the right direction.


Here are some options for shaking things up, but the possibilities are endless once you realize that just a little change is all you need!


  1. Are you struggling with your kids during the same time of day, day after day after day?

Feeling rushed and frazzled at breakfast? Try getting up 30 minutes earlier. Change the menu to something nutritious but fast. Put your kiddos to bed in their clean clothes for the next day (yes, I’m serious)! Is dinnertime your witching hour? Have a picnic on the living room floor. Let the kids help cook something simple. Have dessert first! If it’s bedtime you need to switch up, how about playing some soothing music or incorporating story time? Every little thing counts and can make great big changes in the results you’re getting.


  1. Are you having the same argument with your spouse or partner over and over and over again? Instead of going down that same old path of you say this and then he says that and then… throw him for a loop with something unexpected for a change! Try interrupting with a simple “I love you” or “I respect your feelings,” or really go for the gold and come right out with what you need—“I could just use some acknowledgement for the hard work I did today.” Try it. I bet you’ll be surprised.


  1. Are you marketing and networking like crazy but still not getting the sales, new customers, or more money that you desperately need? If you’ve been marketing like crazy online, do something in-person for a change. If you’ve been doing everything via text, switch it up and do a video or a podcast. There are so many really wonderful and free technologies out there for you to leverage that could change things up just slightly and give you some of those results that you want.


  1. Are you having a hard time finding time for your own health and well-being, even though you claim it’s one of your top priorities? Is work never finished? You have to watch just one more episode of your favorite show? Try setting the alarm for a 9:30 pm bedtime—no kidding, no excuses. Can’t find time to exercise? Sign up for an early morning yoga or Pilates class that will get you home in time to get the kids ready for school. Invest that time in yourself. You are your most valuable asset.


I want you to remember that baby steps can create fantastic change in your life. Any one of these small alterations to your daily routine can shift you away from those patterns and habits that are keeping you stuck (and making you crazy), and toward the life you truly want and are working so hard to have.


I love to hear from you, so leave me a comment!


Which of these small changes have helped you get out of a rut?


What are some other ideas you have for making simple changes that pack a big punch?

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The Definition Of Insanity

Albert Einstein Quote“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” ~Albert Einstein


Sounds simple enough. Even if it’s not completely insane, I think we can all agree that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting something different is at the very least… well, not very bright, right? But yet, I can speak for myself when I say that in business, and especially in motherhood, there have been times I know I’ve been certifiable, according to this definition of insanity! We’ve all been there. Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we waste our time repeating actions and patterns that don’t yield the results we want?


Let’s take a look at some of the common places in our lives that we could be exhibiting signs of insanity, according to the definition above.


  1. Are you struggling with your kids during the same time of day, day after day after day? Before school, dinnertime, bedtime—you know the drill! I refer to it as “the witching hour.” Whenever it is at your house, you dread it, because the same thing goes down every. single. day.


  1. Are you having the same argument with your spouse or partner over and over and over again? You know how this one plays out. There is a topic that always sets you or your partner off, without fail. Someone says the word, and it’s all downhill from there—you say this, he says that, and the end result is nothing short of predictable.


  1. Are you marketing and networking like crazy but still not getting the sales, new customers, or more money that you desperately need? You’re in massive action. I mean you are just out there making it happen. But it’s not producing the results you’re after.


  1. Are you having a hard time finding time for your own health and well-being, even though you claim it’s one of your top priorities? You can just never seem to get enough sleep. It is impossible to find time to exercise. Date nights or girls’ weekends are a thing of the past. These are all things that are important to you, but for some reason or another, they’re just not happening.


These four areas are very common pitfalls for us mompreneurs to get stuck in. These are the areas where we tend to compromise some of our best skills, talents, knowledge, and expertise, in favor of getting stuck in a rut of routine that simply doesn’t serve us. So ladies, it’s not really about insanity, is it? Look around you. Look at those kids around your ankles that will one day be great big teenagers. Look at that brand new business that could one day be an empire. Things change. We need to be ready to change along with them.


I love to hear from you, so leave me a comment!


In which area are you exhibiting signs of insanity?


What patterns, habits, or routines are no longer serving you?


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You’re Speaking My Language!

You're Speaking My Language“Seek first to understand, and then to be understood.” ~Stephen Covey


Being understood is a universal need for all of us, isn’t it? If we can speak and articulate our needs, our thoughts, our desires, then we have a chance of getting those needs, thoughts, and desires met. If we don’t communicate effectively, chances are things are probably showing up as a struggle for us in our lives. So if we need to be understood and our clients need to be understood, what are some ways that our communication strategies can boost our marketing effectiveness?


Like, know, and trust.


When we communicate effectively, people begin to like, know, and trust us. We’ve talked about this “like, know, and trust” factor many times before. If we’re going to compete in the business world on more than just a price standpoint, this is where it’s at. When your clients like, know, and trust you, the value of your products and services is going to go up. And following that increase in value is a willingness to open the wallet and spend money with you.


How do we cultivate this “like, know, and trust” factor?


Be yourself. What is your unique voice? Well, when you visit a website, do you prefer a bland earful of product and service offerings, or do you enjoy that feeling of knowing the mind behind the madness before making that purchase? My target market is a market I can relate to because I am one of them! When I create a message, I want my target market to go, “Yep. She must have written that for me.” That feeling of being related to and understood when somebody out there says it exactly the way you were thinking it is priceless.


Market yourself. Website, e-zine, newsletter, blog, social media—all these platforms are vehicles for effective and authentic communication with your target market and can be used to create relationships that give you a leg up on the competition.


Be interesting. Who is your target market? Answer some important questions about their interests and pain points in order to craft your language to speak to those exact things and cause them to feel understood. What are the top challenges of my target market? What are their favorite things to do? What motivates this group? When you can communicate on a level that matches their priorities and concerns, they know that you “get” them and are more likely to buy from you.


Does your target market feel understood?


I hope this has been helpful today. I believe this is one of those topics we need to revisit from time to time in order to check in on our language and focus. Are we communicating the way we want to? Are we communicating in the language that our clients speak? Are we communicating in a way that makes them feel understood?


I love to hear from you, so leave me a comment!


Have you struggled with speaking your target market’s language?


Can you think of a time when you, as a customer, had that feeling of not being understood?

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Overcoming The Fear Of Marketing

Overcoming the Fear of MarketingI’d say we generally understand “fear” to be a dirty, little, four-letter word.  As mompreneurs, it tends to present in our businesses looking something like this:  “I am scared I’ll look stupid” or “I don’t know how to do that” or “I’m not good enough at that yet to get paid what I want.”  These are all fears that we have.  They typically show up as a little voice inside our heads that we may not even realize we’re listening to.  It’s really sneaky sometimes.  And even though we probably feel like we’re ignoring them a lot of the time, these fears have a loud way of showing up in our lives because they keep us from doing the things that we really want to do.  Marketing is one of those things that we know we need to do, and we know we want the results, but oftentimes are just too afraid to do it, at least in a powerful way.  If you’re someone who struggles with this, I’m hoping I can give you some tools to help.


Here are three solutions to overcoming the fear of marketing:


1.  Know your target market.  Underneath it all, if you understand your target market—their top priorities, challenges, and what keeps them up at night—then you can become an expert at what your prospective clients need.  If you become an expert on what your prospective clients need, then you’ll gain some confidence in providing solutions that add value to their lives.  When you feel that confidence, it will be so much easier for you to market yourself—to share who you are in this world and what you have to offer.


2.  Create your 10-second elevator pitch.  This unique business statement (around ten seconds, hence the name) tells your niche market who you are, what you do, and why they should care.  You’re going to practice this statement again and again and again so that there is absolutely no doubt, even in your most panicked situations, who your target market is, what value you bring to that market, and how to describe yourself in a way that makes that value evident.  This is a practical tool to help you get out of your own way and overcome some of the fears you may have around marketing yourself.


3.  See yourself as valuable.  Yes, you are a mom, and a good one at that!  And any time we put the word “mom” in front of “entrepreneur,” that says something about our priorities.  But just because your first priority is being an awesome mom does not mean that you can’t contribute to the world in other ways.  You can do it.  You are smart enough.  You deserve it.  Those fears inside us that talk to us about “But what if…?” and “But I’m not…”—they’re just fears!  Fears are not the truth about who we are and what we’re capable of, and if we’re going to be successful and if we want to share the wonderful work that we’re up to in the world, we’re going to have to stop them in their tracks.


I love to hear from you, so leave me a comment!


Do you have a 10-second elevator pitch?  Share it with us!


In what ways can you speak truth to yourself instead of fear? 

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