The Super Heroes Behind Your Business

Blog ID 60 Having God’s will at the center of everything you do is a cornerstone ingredient to having a supportive spouse in your business and home life.

The Holy Spirit will prompt you in big and small ways how you can invite your husband to stretch and grow in his own faith.  This was the case for some unsuspecting friends – fathers, and husbands – who happened to be at our house for a barbeque at the wrong or right time, depending on how you look at it.

Little did they know what they were about to get in to; they were as vulnerable as lambs.

I promise I didn’t premeditate the plot. The Holy Spirit inspired the master plan only 5 hours before our guests arrived.

For the past several years, I’ve had the honor of being the leader of Kids for Jesus (K4J), a virtue building program) in my parish and school. It carries great responsibility, but getting to be silly makes helping out with K4J be more fun than burdensome.

As part of the K4J School of Virtue, K4J surprises are random, funny, unexpected events that help the school kids joyfully remember and absorb the monthly mission and virtue. They are the “icing on the cake” of the program.

I was particularly looking forward to the surprise we had planned this month during the K4J BE A REAL HERO Mission. Being a real hero is recognizing and accepting God’s grace and doing his will.

Our “surprise” was to have several adults dress up in superhero costumes. They would crash the kids’ lunch or recess, quizzing them on the definition of a real hero.

I was having trouble connecting with the people who had volunteered to help with the surprises. I couldn’t reach the new helpers. Neil, the man who did it last year and recruited them wasn’t responding either. So when I saw Neil  handing out tootsie pops with the Knights of Columbus after mass, I cornered him.

With leadership comes the need to be sensitive to others when they need to step down from their service roles. Tragically, Neil’s wife had been struggling with cancer. The couple who had volunteered to help were having marital problems.

Alas!  I felt sad for them. But I also felt sad for me having to find someone else to help.

Enter the Holy Spirit.

As my family and I were scouring around preparing the house for my two good friends and their families to come for dinner, the inspiration hit me. We could have our husbands dress up as superheroes!

While grilling the chicken, I plotted with my girlfriends. They thought it was a hoot. They were in!

Since the youngest guest peed on his jeans while trying to potty cut the evening short. Just before everyone left, my friend introduced the super hero idea to our hubbies…. And the guys were up for it!

Our superheroes came through!

Your spouse can often end up the superhero behind your business. Although they might not be your #1 supporter at first.

So how to have a supportive spouse? By continuing to give them attention and the TLC they deserve, while developing a real business that helps reduce his load, often you can win them over.

But most importantly, when they see your willingness and effort to make God number one, the shove from the dove (the Holy Spirit) will often push them into your camp.

Catholic Mompreneur’s Biz and Life Tip:  Take one step today to make your husband feel support.  What comes around, goes around.

Four Tips When Your Confidence Is Shot

A businesswoman with her colleagues There’s good news and bad news about having your own business.

The good news is you are your business.

And that’s the bad news, too.

It’s great when your personal life flows and glows.  And life is even sweeter when your business hums too.

You believe in what you do. You are clear on how you deliver it. You see the value you give your family and God’s hand guiding the way.  You recognize the way you help your customers improve their lives. You put your message out there with great results, your confidence soars.  You attract paying clients and achieve your financial results.

But…life doesn’t always work out that way. We all have times when our confidence takes a hit.

You need a prescription how to boost your confidence.

So what do you do when achieving your business results requires you playing your “A” game, but you want to hide out in the dugout?

Here are four tips to get out of any confidence slump:

1. Determine the root of the confidence buster

Is a personal matter dragging you down? Have you had a series of setbacks or a tsunami of rejections? Could it be that time of the month that leads to the insecurity? When you can pinpoint the source you can take precise action to eradicate the confidence squelcher at the root.

2. Nurture Yourself

As a general rule, a hard core, pull-up-your-bootstraps approach doesn’t motivate women. We do better with understanding and recalibrating. We may need a little gentle self-parenting and some TLC (tender loving care) to mend what is blocking your inner and outer shine.

3. Set Yourself Up For Success

It’s wise to ease back in when your confidence is bruised. Pick tasks you are likely to succeed in, even if it’s just being able to cross something off your to do list. Use this positive momentum to get back into completing the more nerve-inducing tasks.

4. Remember Your Call

If having your dream life was so easy, everyone would have it. Emotional bumps are the price of playing a bigger game. Keep focused on both the vision for your life and the positive impact you have on those you serve in your business. Go back to your “why”, the reason you stepped on this mom biz boat in the first place. Normalize the doubts and resolve to overcome them. Getting out of self and into serving others will help you stride back into confidence.

God’s given you a call, and it’s up to you to do it.  When you learn how to boost your confidence at low points, you develop the perseverance needed for long-term success.  Use your confidence slump as a way to rise to an even higher plane in your business and personal life.

Catholic Mompreneur’s Biz and Life Tips:  Don’t ignore slumps in your confidence. They will give you important clues into the next steps that God wants you to take.

Sister Trails

Young couple hiking in nature. Sport and exercise. Where did you get the guts to start your mom biz?

Who inspired to you to pursue a lifestyle of freedom and flexibility?

Who taught you what authentic femininity was and how to live it out?

Who modeled the elegance of being both a Catholic mother, embracing the beautiful gift of children, while still being the unique woman, making a positive impact on the world, God created you to be?

Most of us have had sisters or mothers or someone who has gone before us, giving us that spark to see God’s incredible plan for us women without feeling like it is out of reach. Many of us have had more than one.

When there is a chance that God is calling one of them home before you are ready, God floods you with grateful awareness of the significance of the role they played in your life.

One of my “sisters” had been blazing a “sister trail” for me—she’s a breast cancer survivor for nine years. Recently I learned that the doctors discovered new cancerous lumps. She underwent a rapid second mastectomy, and now awaiting test results to see if another miracle were possible or the cancer is past the treatable stage.

Even with the devastating news, she modeled dignity handling a potentially lethal medical situation. Prayer and discussion with loved ones influenced every decision about the next step. The second time facing cancer wasn’t novel like the first.  Novelty replaced a painful awareness and better understanding of the reality of what is to happen and what the doctors were saying.

The same humility, fidelity, and deliberateness I’ve seen in my years knowing this sister that gave me confidence as a Catholic woman, wife, mother, and business owner carried her in this difficult time.

Humility

Watching her as she daily communicates with constancy, fulfilling her roles as wife and mother and mompreneur herself, showed me how much I need the Eucharist. I can’t do what I need to do in my business and personal life without the comfort, wisdom, and calm I receive in frequent reception of the Eucharist.

Deliberateness

While not a hard charger, this sister was conscious in her thoughts, actions, and consequences in her role as wife, mother, and woman. She hungered for more – more meaning, more support, more fellowship—and listened and followed the gentle guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Fidelity

This sister was a founding member of the Regnum Christi team I’ve been a part of for over 13 years.  Through the ups and downs she was faithful to the principles of the group and steadily did what it took to keep it strong, including pull back when she had her first bout with cancer.

I learned to embrace both my womanhood, my motherhood, and my personhood by watching the example of this sister. Her modeling freed me to fully engage in my mom biz because I was comfortable first with who I am as a Catholic woman.

I’ve always benefited from learning from other mompreneurs.  But I gain a much clearer vision of who God wants me to be when I witness the virtue of a Catholic mom business owner navigating life’s unexpected turn.

God gives us many sisters and “sister trails” to guide us on our journey. May our clarity and gratitude be as sharp as it is when we recognize he might be calling one of them home.

The Catholic Mompreneur Tip for Biz and Life:  Tell those who love you and support you what you appreciate about them.

Good Kids’ Supervision While Mom “Biz”-ing It

Mother using telephone in living room with baby frowning Being a successful business owner and mother isn’t always so easy.

Does this sound familiar:

After a productive mompreneur work session, you climb out of your mom biz cave to either see that

  • all your kids did was play on electronic devices all day, or
  • a tornado hit you home with every toy, game, and gadget unpacked and scattered.

And you’re not the Martha-Stewart-Mom-Business-Owner type who has creative, individualized, and age-appropriate activities for each of your crumb crunchers that you cheerfully present to them each morning before you begin your work time.

So does it really have to be a choice between 1) getting stuff done in a sea of unsupervised chaos or 2) not focusing on work, having an empty bank account, but a clean house and engaged family life?

Wasn’t your concern for your kids’ well being that drove you to take the mompreneur plunge in the first place?

Ladies, follow these principles and the supervision puzzle WILL come together.

Navigate Well in a Catholic-Unfriendly World

Job number one is to get your kids to heaven.

You must base your first strategy on the truth that we are no longer living in a Catholic-friendly culture. It used to be and open door policy.  Your kids could wander the neighbor and watch TV freely and safely.   It worked because the world’s values fit well with your Catholic world view.

Today the culture contradicts the teachings you are trying to instill in your kids.

Prioritize selectively providing access to media, resources, etc. you want your kids to have, rather than cutting your kids off from the culture. (That only makes it more intriguing.) Go to the library, limit screen time until after 5 or 6pm in the day, and install Covenant Eyes on all your devices to ensure the right stuff gets in and the bad stuff stays out.

This is a battle worth your time and energy. You don’t want to lose your kids’ souls while you’re upstairs banging out a blog or conversing with a client.

Be Fruitful and Multiply

One and done may be the trend in the NBA, but smart Catholic parents know there is power in numbers.   Making babies can be a great long term mompreneur productivity strategy because your kids entertain each other.

And you have the peace of mind that your values are being reinforced since they come from the same family values genetic pool. They’re happy because they have playmates, and you’re happy because you don’t always have to keep them amused.

No-Fighting Toleration Policy

The “be fruitful and multiply” strategy can backfire if you lack a no-fighting tolerance policy. In fact, you could end up with fatal injuries as the kids duke it out when you’re distracted trying to meet a work deadline.

Require your kids to work out their differences. Teach and model empathy. Discuss and elevate Christian virtues. Take a hard stand on physical aggression.  Make not knowing how to get along with others totally uncool.

If You Can’t Beat Them, Recruit Them

Model good boundaries around your work time with your kids. Explain how your efforts contribute to their well-being and the good of the family. Including your kids by paying them for simple tasks, helps reduce your taxes, but also gives them a sense of ownership in your enterprise.  As they see you respect yourself and your business, they, too, will show respect.

You create a climate of respect for your business.  It was endearing earlier today when my two youngest kids came into my home office to get some markers and supplies. Even though I wasn’t on the phone or listening to anything, they were both whispering so as not to interrupt me.

Kids can be trained! (And by the way…that’s our job.)

Conclusion

The limiting belief that you really can’t be both a great wife and mother and a successful mom business owner, will crush you under its weight. Being a successful business owner and mother entails finding the right ways to supervise your kids.

Believing you can be productive and attentive to what is most important tops all the suggestions listed above because you tap into your own creativity and divine inspiration to find ways to get it done.

The Catholic Mompreneur’s Biz and Life Tip:  Make notes and learn from your victories and set backs in fulfilling both roles of your vocation as a mother and a mompreneur.

5 Signs Your Mom Biz Transforms You

bouquet of flowers I knew it was coming, yet I didn’t picture it this way. I wasn’t surprised. God told us, we wouldn’t know the day or the hour.

My nineteen years of having a business partner, a professional colleague and a lifetime of fatherly grooming and TLC ended 10 days ago.  God removed—even temporarily— the warm blanket that covered me all those years.

With an autoimmune disorder diagnosis last year my normally vibrant dad’s health declined. The undesirable symptoms ushered in his frustration; my dad’s body would not cooperate with the dreams his mind and soul wanted to manifest. The illness challenged his spirit, but it wasn’t what killed him.

A life-threatening perforation in my dad’s GI track lived up to its billing. The police, EMS, and I broke into his place to find him disoriented and in pain curled on the floor. Ambulances, emergency surgery, scopes, critical care units, heart-broken loved ones bathed the next 14 days. Two weeks later we said our final good-byes as they buried his cremated remains.

God presented me with numerous tests to see what kind of woman I had become.

The last two weeks of my father’s life on this earth validated my deep heart-felt conviction. The mompreneur journey isn’t just about business, time, and money. It’s about God’s spiritual, mental,  emotional, and physical transformation of the mom business owner.

Here were my signposts on how my mom biz has transformed me:

1)     Inspired action-orientation

At each juncture— at my dad’s condo, navigating medical advice and care, dealing with family, organizing the funeral — all required decisive actions.  My mom biz psyche kicked as with prayer I analyzed options to make prudent, immediate decisions founded in obedience to God’s will. I instinctively knew delays and procrastination in my choices just added time and another undone task in an already packed schedule. Just like in my business, confident inspired action helped the process move forward to better everyone.

2)     Laser-focus

In planning the funeral and dealing with the estate, it seemed that every meeting I attended resulted three to five new things being added to my to do list. Instead of getting overwhelmed, I naturally focused my attention on the next task at hand, whether it was visiting my dad, getting something to eat, talking to the funeral director, being present for visiting family, helping my kids in their last days with their “Papa Don”, catching up with paperwork or essential to-dos on my laptop, or praying.  From the years of my stop-and-go mompreneur lifestyle, it felt natural to switch from activity to activity and be fully present with whatever I was doing, whether it be with people or things.

3)     People-first

Being there for those they love motivates most mompreneurs to take on the extra stress of business ownership. I found I was able to juggle my work and home obligations, just like I wanted to because I practice it on a daily basis. I was in spiritual fit condition to handle the emotions and relationship needs of the dying process. In the past, I would have been emotionally overloaded, resorting to overeating or other unhealthy behaviors to get through the stress.

4)     Delegation

The mompreneur in me did not hesitate to ask for help or respond to, “Please, let me know if there is anything I can do to help…”   Accustomed to working with assistants, it was easy for me to see what I needed to delegate and what I needed to handle myself. I accepted meals, help with the kids, assistance cleaning up my dad’s home, making the whole process much smoother. I responded with clear instructions of what I needed—help arrange my dad’s pictures at the Church, run to the store to get the guest book I forgot, take my kids out to play so we could clean up the condo —which made it easier for people to help me.

5)     Spiritual Clarity 

Once again, my Catholic faith buffered the pressure of the outside world. The  Church’s teachings were when it came from transitioning from medically working to save my dad, to managing his pain as he prepared to meet Christ. We stopped procedures and, ultimately, extubated the respirator following an orderly process that allowed my dad to die with dignity and those he loved to spend his last hours and moments in peaceful intimacy with him. The Church was my guide for the dying process, as it has been my guide for living out my vocation as wife, mother, and mompreneur.

So, the same talents successful mompreneurs, like you, work to develop that lead to your profitable business also foster wisdom, courage, and love when dealing with your most significant life events.

The Catholic Mompreneur’s Guide Biz and Life Tip:  Fully invest in your mompreneur success skills; they will come to your aid when you most need them.