4 Clues Your Business Has Become Your Idol

Has your business become your idol? For the last 11 years I have grown to cherish my commitment to an annual silent weekend retreat. But, I wasn’t always crazy about going.

My first exposure to the silence made my skin crawl. My first conference had a three-hour Friday night mini silent retreat component. But now I believe the retreats are saving my life.

Sounds dramatic?

Without exception, in the silence the Holy Spirit gives me a truth, I was blind to, about myself and my behavior. I leave renewed with tools and the strength for a course correction.

What’s the big deal?

Think of it like a spiritual chiropractic adjustment.

Once to save money, I tried to extend the time between getting a chiropractic adjustment for my elevated hip. By the sixth month I woke up in so much pain in my hip and low back that I could hardly get out of bed. I ended up crawling back to Dr. Spoonhour for relief, paying for extra sessions to get everything back into alignment.

But spiritual neglect can have worse effects, which is why you might lose a hand, or other body part, if you try to keep me from my annual renewal.

Ignatius Retreats take the participants from a series of structured meditations. Several of the early ones being around sin. The priest had us meditate on our own attachments to our sins. He directed us to explore if we had create idols—people, places, and things— in our life that we put above God.

It smacked me in the face from out of the blue. I was guilty of idolizing my business.

It certainly was understandable. This has been an intense year. My dad passed away this summer suddenly. We shared a mental health practice, including the bills. So, in addition to grieving I was scurrying into serious action to make the numbers work with the therapy practice, on top of keeping my focus with the growing coaching business.

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Okay, we all have challenges where we have to turn up the heat at work. That doesn’t necessary mean we are making our businesses idols.

Here are the clues that I was worshiping the fatted calf of my own entrepreneurial enterprise:

  • Working on Sundays – Now, weekly planning is probably okay. But, other work activities had infiltrated my Lord’s day. Carving out a couple hours in the evening to finish a work project, checking emails while watching a football game with the family were bleeding into my day of rest. The remedy here is to plan well, be focused when you do work, and let go of what doesn’t get done at the moment.
  • Not Getting Enough Sleep – I kept kidding myself that 7 hours a sleep was enough. It was the amount of time I felt I could devote to sleep and still get what I thought I needed to get done. Left to its own devices my body made it clear I’m an 8-hour-per-night gal. Believing God gives me 26 hours of things to do to fit in 24 hours demonstrates a lack of trust and belief in his loving care for me. Sacrificing my health for the to-do list disrespects the Temple of the Holy Spirit God created me to be. Taking care of your health first shows your faith in God and demonstrates your trust in his plan.
  • Robbing from Peter to pay Paul – Overwork would bleed the energy I would use to invest in relationships with family and friends. I was stealing the attention that rightfully belonged to my loved ones. The key is to create realistic schedules that you stick to so you are not setting yourself up to fail in either area.
  • Confusion Who Your Savior Is – In addition to personal satisfaction, I saw my business success as critical to offset disorder going on in my home. But, my error was in seeing the business, not God, as the solutions to my problems. Seeing my business as my solution gave me control and false security. Sometimes awareness of our mistake seeing the business as the salvation and consciously shifting it to God where it belongs does the trick.

Just like catching cancer early to increase your chances of survival, so does pulling the weeds of idolatry before they overgrow your garden.

The Christian Women Entrepreneurs Biz and Life Tips: Spend an hour this week in prayer or in Perpetual Adoration, asking God to enlighten you about any spiritual corrections you need to make in how you approach your business.

How to Achieve Your Financial Targets in Half the Time

reach your financial targets

For some people of faith, money is a dirty word. Others admit, although with hesitation, that they want to earn more money.

But the proper use of money creates wealth for you and others. It also allows you to fully invest in the people God puts in your life and your mission.  Figuring out how to reach your financial targets gives you peace that carries over into your relationships, life, and business.

If some of your money baggage has you a little behind in developing the financial resources for you and your family, here are four ways to achieve your financial targets in half the time:

1. Know The Numbers

Without exact figures for

  • regular living expenses,
  • current income,
  • college savings,
  • retirement savings,
  • weddings or ordination expenses,
  • 6-9 months of monthly income,
  • emergency funds,
  • vacation savings, etc.

your mind doesn’t take your financial goals very seriously, because you don’t seem to.

It can be daunting and depressing crunching numbers, but view it as your opportunity to increase your dependence on God and open up unexpected ways to reach your goals.

2. Leverage Your Business

I started my coaching business in anticipation of my father’s retirement. I was a marriage and family therapist in the very nice office I shared with him. My one-on-one model could not generate the funds to pay for the overhead and earn the money I needed without working lots of hours away from my family. With coaching I could work from home and transition to a more profitable one-to-many model.

My dad unexpectedly passed this summer. Because of the addition of a more leveraged model, I was able to make up for the overhead he contributed fairly quickly.

3. Follow Proven Models

Good role models, who are steps or years ahead of where you want to be, educate you on what is and isn’t realistic in terms of revenue growth. They can help you set up daily, weekly, monthly, and annual activity schedules that help you hit your financial targets. The systems and shortcuts they teach you cut the time and stress around earning the money.

4. Account for Success

Accounting was my least favorite business course, but the inability to see a snapshot your finances robs you of celebrations that motivate you to reach your goal quickly. As quickly as possible, have the means –software programs, bookkeepers — to see current financial data, so you know where you are in relationship to your goals. Having a command of the financial facts lets you make adjustments quickly, which is one of the advantages of being a microbusiness owner, and it also helps you see creative ways to generate wealth and solve problems.

Conclusion

All of these tools are amplified when you focus on your, “why”. Start making reasonable associations between money and you being able to connect better with others. Know the costs of being short on funds, whether it’s increased stress, being more distracted and not present with your loved ones, or being drained without energy to use in connecting with others.

As my kids get older, I realize I have a short 4-10 years before they start leaving the nest. Do I really want to spend those years distracted, unbalanced, scrambling for the funds I need? Or do I want to have the revenues I need and our finances in order so I can give them my best self so they are prepared and excited to know, love, and serve God in the unique mission He’s given them?

What about you?

Catholic Mompreneur Biz and Life Tip: Determine what you are willing to invest so that you hit your financial targets in time.

Successfully Projecting Costs and Sourcing Funds For Your Mom Biz – Part 1

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In all the mompreneur bliss hype, the pundits leave out an important component .

They overlook the elephant in the living room that no one talks about. Some mompreneurs experience shame about the topic, like you should already know how to do this since everyone else does. Or it’s whispered under breath so no one stops their excited momentum to mom business ownership land.

So what’s the clandestine topic?

It’s the truth about funding a business.

Many pretend there are no costs involved, or that the entry point is so low everyone’s able to absorb them.

Any enduring business needs resources—time and money—to start and carry it through the early years.  Some business owners will need funding again for future expansion.

ACCURATE RISK ASSESSMENT

You need to select or, for existing business owners, possibly reevaluate the different business options before you can start projecting costs and finding funds. Your comfort with risk combined with pickiness  about the work you will do, leads you to the best fit.  Once you have a concept in mind, you can play with the numbers.

Here are samples of businesses to consider or add to what you already offer:

  • Direct Sales –Provides a lower level of financial entry, an established business model, and a track record for you to review before signing up. Sell a product you love and believe in and associate with a company with good compensation. Before signing, view the pay structure.  Compare to at least two other direct selling companies before selecting the best one.
  • Franchise Business – A franchise will have a much higher initial investment level. However, you will benefit from all the systems being in place. You should be able to study or even visit the structure and financial results of comparable franchise owners in other locales. This gives you a good picture of your business can look like and what exactly you would be doing in it.
  • Creating Your Own Business – Designing your own business or ministry from the ground floor can offer the greatest personal fulfilment. You design your role. However, when you create your own business model there can be many flaws.  The lessons can be expensive and painful.  But with wisdom and perseverance, you could have your dream business.

PROPER DISCERNMENT

New and existing mompreneurs must discern well.

You must do the numbers, calculate their estimated investment along with the payoff potential. Many mompreneurs underestimate their time involvement in their enterprises. They either devote less time than necessary and don’t reap the benefits of the high payoff activities they don’t have time to do. Or they get burned out devoting more time than they want to give, and find the “freedom” of being a mom business owner elusive.

A imperfect estimate of your money and time is better than no estimate at all.

The more you investigate prior to starting the business, the energy you spend educating yourself on how the marketplace works, and the investment you make in good mentors will give you the most realistic picture of how your business will work.  But there still will be unexpected expenses.

MATCHING COSTS WITH FUNDING

Moving forward with some model or evaluating your own should allow you to calculate your monthly and annual business expenses and your projected revenue.

Construct a possible sales cycle to figure out when you likely will have your first sales. In an existing business you too must determine the length and steps needed in your sales cycle, so you ensure you have enough prospects in the pike to get you close or to exceed your estimated goals.

If the expenses are higher than the revenues, you must analyze why.

  • If you have a new business, you may need time to set up products and services first and then follow your sales cycle process until you close new customers. Your job is to estimate how long that will take. That is the number you will need to have funded.
  • If you are in a relatively new but existing business, determine your shortfall. Identify ways to cut expenses or increase revenues. Understand the reasons for the shortfalls. Perhaps, you are not spending enough time marketing. Or maybe you lack a key skill that you need to make your business successful. Or maybe you’ve missed a core business fundaments – customers that are not interested in your products, flawed service delivery system, customers who can’t afford your products— in which case you are wise to troubleshoot with a professional before moving forward.

The shortfall amount that can be attributed to normal start-up costs and processes or the gradual building up of a clientele in a viable business concept with good potential is the amount you will seek funding for.

Funding a business doesn’t need to cause night sweats.  Your financial investment shows your commitment to your enterprise.

In my next blog, we’ll discuss the various funding options you can consider.

The Catholic Mompreneur’s Biz and Life Tips:  The more time you spend looking honestly at your potential business idea or existing business, the easier it will be to make course corrections, get the funding you need to move forward, and be very happy with your mom biz choices.  Spend 20 minutes evaluating your idea or existing business.

The ABCs of Becoming A Mompreneur (Part 2)

Traveling sales woman In my last blog, I highlighted foundational elements to help you discern if and how to start a mom biz, which included:

A – Acknowledge What You Want

B – Be Honest About Your “Why”

C – Count Your Talents

D – Do Your Research

Today we’ll look at the nitty gritty of what will make your mom biz live up to its billing delivering freedom, flexibility,  and more money in less time.

E – Each Person Needs a Different Fit

With a clearer picture of what your mom biz might look like, check how it fits with your vocation. Kids at different ages have different needs. The expectations of your spouse may affect which route you go. Not every mompreneur has the same support from family and friends. Your financial situation may determine which avenue to pursue.

You can design your business around your family. But there are certain business principles that apply, like

  • the need for an effective marketing and sales arm and
  • selling a product or service that people want and can afford.
  • a way to find and reach those customers
  • systems that support your entire process,

Here your investment with a knowledgeable coach will pay off.   You can save thousands of dollars should by avoiding errors on key components of your business ownership.

F – Find a Business Model That Delivers

Put pencil to paper.  Calculate revenue and expense estimates.  Start mapping out how business time spent and on what activities.  Get accurate feedback – not overly pessimistic or optimistic– before moving forward.  Unrealistic expectations could doom your efforts or leave you feeling stuck.

G – Get On With Funding Your Business

Real businesses require upfront and ongoing costs. Direct marketing is a great option because the low entry costs and a clearly defined earning structure.    Many people fund their businesses with savings, credit, or work on the side to pay for the initial costs.  Locating funding isn’t always as daunting as it seems. Often the opportunities lie under your nose when someone helps you see past your blind spots.  Again, here’s where a good coach can help.

H – Hire Help

Free education and advice only get you so far. To tailor your startup so it works for you, now’s the time to bite the bullet, find the funding, and hire an affordable and competent professional mentor or coach. Getting past the hurdle of needing to spend money to make money separates the mompreneurs that end up making a go at their businesses from those who go for years pining about having one.

Taking those first steps to start your mom business can be exhilarating, exciting, and scary.  But it doesn’t have to be if you follow the ABCs and take inspired action from above.

The Catholic Mompreneur’s Guide to Biz and Life Tip:  Understand God doesn’t put the burning desire in your heart without a means to put it into action.  Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to someone you can talk with about how to put your mompreneur dreams into action, if they are God’s will.

Christina Weber helps Catholic mompreneurs achieve their God-given mission by teaching them time, money, and relationship mastery. Gain clarity (and peace) in understanding God’s will for you, your family, and your business by scheduling a FREE session here.

The ABCs of Becoming a Mompreneur” (Part 1)

Surprised woman When God genetically implants you with entrepreneurial DNA, even motherhood can’t flush it out. But not having a clue where to start frustrates many moms burning with the mom biz itch.

Prudently pressing forward while listening and following sound, Godly guidance prevents your journey to mom-biz ownership from being a bumpy one. Here is the first of two parts on the ABCs of how to become a mompreneur:

A – Acknowledge What You Want

Are you looking for financial wiggle room, just want to break even, or to be a bigger financial contributor to the family? Do you want a flexible, family-friendly schedule? How critical is having a profession that resonates with your deeper life mission for you? Or is it deeper personal fulfillment you desire, that despite loving being a mom, you sense God’s call to have a greater impact on the world through entrepreneurship?

When you can be honest about what you want, it helps you find the best fit among the various mom biz options. Don’t worry whether your answer might sound good to others. You have to be gut honest here to lay out the best path for your business and family life.

B – Be Honest About Your “Why”

The “why” precedes “what”. For example, I “want” financial wiggle room with my mom biz to afford the activities for my kids that I believe will help prepare them for life and fully integrating in the world without being of the world. Or, I “want” a flexible family schedule because I’m concerned the about the culture’s direction and I want to be able to supervise and guide my children even as they get older to ensure they continue to walk with God despite all the temptations while collaborating with my spouse to meet the family budgetary needs.

The bigger and clearer you are about your “why”, the more strength you will have to successfully overcome the challenges of implementing your vision.

C – Count Your Talents

Past jobs, volunteer work, personal interests—these will all give you insight into your unique gifts. Knowing yourself and selecting a mom biz that augments your talents will make the visibility and work, much, much easier. Being exactly who you are rather than forcing something else, gives you energy rather than drains you of it; energy you will need for the work in your business.

D –Do Your Research

With some self-analysis under your belt and a little bit of mompreneur exploration, you are ready to

  • explore opportunities,
  • know what is already being done,
  • find different options for running a business,
  • know who is already doing what you are considering doing.

You can talk to people, read, check out the Internet, and take classes to start getting ideas. But eventually you will need an advisor you trust. If you don’t seek or vet a guide, you’ll end up piecing together conflicting recommendations and wasting time applying strategies that don’t take into account your unique needs and situation. Acting on feedback from mentors not well suited to your beliefs and goals steers you in the wrong direction that won’t feel right or jive with your lifestyle. At this point, I recommend you investigate and eventually hire a professional mentor or coach.

It’s often a frightening proposition for a fledging momprenuer to invest in a coach with no revenue yet coming in from their business. But, seasoned successful entrepreneurs consistently advocate that investment in a good coach should be on the top of your spending priority lists for a new and beginning business owner.

Your confidence here separates the wheat from the chaff. A good mompreneur coach can guide you on family-friendly ways to help you generate income for the initial start-up of your business. But it’s ultimately up to you to take than initial leap of faith of the investment in yourself and your business as God’s plan unfolds for you.

Tune in next week for the rest of the ABCs of Becoming a Momprenuer.

The Catholic Mompreneur’s Guide to Biz and Life Tip: The difference between reaching your dream and just dreaming about it is following the path of inspired action. Ask the Holy Spirit what your next step is and to give you the courage to take it.

Christina Weber helps Catholic mompreneurs achieve their God-given mission by teaching them time, money, and relationship mastery. Gain clarity (and peace) in understanding God’s will for you, your family, and your business by scheduling a FREE session here.