How to Step Up Your Business Without Stepping on Toes

Patients In Doctor's Waiting Room While running multiple errands I stopped by the audiologist. Our oldest son’s cochlear implant wire had gone bad. The audiologist loaned us one until the company shipped the new cord.

When it arrived, Ian switched out the cords. I had to return the loaner cord to the audiologist and pick up Ian’s defective cord to be shipped to the cochlear implant company.

So it was basically a switcheroo operation.

The audiologist told me to swing by anytime for the exchange.

The waiting room was packed when I entered. I told one of the receptionists that I needed to trade a cord with Carmen, the audiologist.  In the past Carmen has left items at the front desk for me.

The woman looked but couldn’t find anything left for me at the front desk. She went on to say that both doctors are working. She didn’t know when Carmen would be available to discuss this. She asked me to sit down in the waiting room.

I observed the receptionist made no effort to contact the audiologist to see if she was free. I was unwilling to wait 45 minutes to an hour for a transaction that should a few minutes. I politely stood near the reception desk.

Seeing I did not sit down, the receptionist glanced at me and then called the audiologist’s office.

She peeked into the audiologist’s office.  She let me know Carmen was on the phone and would come up in a few minutes.

Carmen did come to the front desk.  We completed the switch in about two minutes.

A 45– 60 minute potential time-wasting disaster was diverted into a 10-minute encounter, and a time mastery for entrepreneurs tutorial.

Some people would feel uncomfortable standing at the reception desk when asked to sit down. I wasn’t rude. I let my silence and my choice not to take a seat in the waiting room speak for itself:  I value my time and theirs and I don’t use more than necessary to complete my responsibilities.

Often hourly rate workers or those with little connection between their compensation and results have much different concepts of time. In fact, wasting time or dragging out a project could be advantageous, leaving them with fewer responsibilities and less stress. Even salaried or other employed people view time differently from entrepreneurs.

I can personally attest to the differing time perception when I freely took my sick days when working for Xerox.  As a self-employed person, a “sick day” translates to a day you don’t get paid.

Those enviable mom business owners with profitable businesses, and time for family and themselves, know and live an important secret. They understand the implications of how they use time because a proper use of time produces the life and business they love.

Once you know the right mix of strategy, activities, focus, and structure you’ve earned the key to juicy mompreneur benefits of freedom, flexibility, and more time and money.

But you still have to implement it…and that takes focused time.

And there’s a learning curve for new mom business owners to have time mastery for entrepreneurs.  They have lots to learn about running a successful business and are initially clumsy about implementation.

A minute wasted here, 15 minutes wasted there rob you of the time to do those high priority activities both at work and in your relationships. Getting clear about tasks better suited to outsource, more productive work flows, and ways to increase efficiency and effectiveness sometimes involve very awkward encounters with people who have no comprehension about why you are doing what you are doing. Oftentimes others look down on you or put you down for your actions.

Steadfastly and politely moving ahead regardless of popular thought steps up your business without stepping on someone else’s toes. You are taking responsibility to create the life and business you want and are giving others the dignity to do or not do the same.

Catholic Mompreneur Biz and Life Tip:  Sometimes a mompreneur coach can offer the support and guidance you need when you are developing time mastery surrounded by those who don’t recognize and live the power of time.

Successfully Projecting Costs and Sourcing Funds For Your Mom Biz – Part 2

Anxious woman calculating her debts sitting in the living-room It’s not uncommon for women to be swept away with the freedom and flexibility the mompreneur lifestyle offers. However, they overlook the financial realities of being a business owner.

And a critical business skill is finessing the funding of a startup business or business expansion.

Where should you start?

KNOW HOW MUCH YOU NEED TO FUND

In my previous blog I outlined ways to discern what kind of mom biz is right for you or when the time is right to expand.  The goal of the discernment process is to come up with a funding amount you need along with a clear plan towards profitability.

Whether that is a big or small number, you need to know how you will infuse capital into your enterprise. Here are some options from the most invasive—meaning you need to share more details and private information about your business with others — to the least invasive.

WEIGH THE PROS AND CONS OF FUNDING OPTIONS

1)     Bank Loans – Banks typically aren’t eager to loan money for new, unproven business ideas. But with a good business plan, a good relationship with a banker, and possibly collateral or a cosigner, you may be able to get a loan. Understand that banks will often require you send them ongoing financial statements through the course of the loan. As a new startup or company without a long track record, the terms of your loan may not be as favorable as other loan sources. Banks are able to loan you larger amounts of money for longer terms than other financing options, which keeps your monthly payments more manageable.

2)     Home Equity and Property Secured Loans – It may be the simplest to take out a home equity loan for the cash you need. If you do own other properties, you could take loans out against them as well. Realize though that if your business doesn’t produce like you project, and you can ‘t make the payments, you could lose your property or even your home.

3)     Family – You could appeal to family to help fund your business either in the form of a gift or an investment. Some family might love to contribute. But you open yourself up with entanglements in both your business and personal life when you invite your family to support you.

4)     Credit Cards – If you have good credit, credit card companies shower you with credit card offerings for low to no promotional interest rates. At the end of the promotional term you can often transfer the balance to another credit card for another low promotional rate. Be careful to only fund what you have identified in your projections. And make sure the monthly payment  doesn’t climb so high that you aren’t able to pay it.

5)     Working More – If you already have a business, you could increase your revenue generating hours to close the revenue gap in your business. As a therapist, it didn’t dawn on me to increase my therapy hours a couple clinical hours a week to fund my initial intensive coaching training. It goes against the grain for many mompreneurs wanting to have more money in less time.  But if you look at it as a temporary measure towards a bigger goal and have a plan to reduce your hours in the future, it can provide the money you need while giving you a sense of control.

6)     Direct Marketing – You may not want your mom biz to be in the form of working for a direct marketing company. Consider that direct marketing can generate the quick cash you need for the business of your dreams. With a very low financial entry point, you may be able to generate several hundred dollars a week in direct marketing, which you can use to help fund your business without being tied to a 9-5 job.

7)     Yourself – You could use savings or cash out investments to fund your business.

 

The key to making any of these funding strategies work is to have a well thought out business concept and plan and to stick with a defined funding schedule. Throwing money at a bad idea leads to heartache.  But, it you do the footwork, are realistic about what it takes, and are willing to do the right things well to grow your business, you are on your path to have the business and lifestyle of your dreams.

Catholic Momprenuer Biz and Life Tips:  When you plan and discern how your business will work and what funding you need, you are light years ahead of other businesses. Schedule a mini-business retreat now to review the fundamentals of funding, marketing, and operating your business.

Four Goal Setting Mistakes and How to Correct Them

Goal setting mistakes I’ve always been one to regularly make and write goals. I hoped my diligence naturally gave me an edge on the life and biz success track.

Having goals has certainly helped, but goal setting is a learned art and science. The power of goals comes from activating and uniting your unconscious mind that influences 95% of your behavior with your conscious mind and actions.

If your goals contain incongruences or conflicts, you end up with a psychic misconnection. This disconnect doesn’t propel you forward, but keeps you in a fog, usually in hit-or-miss action, and delivers lackluster goal outcomes.

You don’t need to suffer the consequences of the four goal setting mistakes I’ve learned the hard way:

1)      Too many goals

In an effort to cover all the bases, I’ve made lengthy lists of goals in all areas.  But too many goals indicate unclear priorities and overloads your brain. Narrow to four or so your top priorities so you can focus and complete certain objectives. In the future you can replace the completed goals with new initiatives.

2)     No goal review process

Putting lists of written goals in a drawer will have a minor effect on their fulfilment. You must find a way to incorporate and integrate the goals you set into your behavior. The best avenue is via your calendar. Break down your goals into action steps. Input those regular or time-specific action steps into your calendar. You can also review a list of new habits you want to develop in your morning and night prayer time. Creating tracking sheets is another way to stay accountable, like tracking your weight daily or your daily review of your financial information.

3)     No goal analysis

Without analyzing your process on a goal, it’s easy to keep passing that goal forward to the next month, and the next, and the next. Are you guilty of trying to lose the same five pounds for the last four years?  When you review and analyze your goals, you ask questions.  Are you not losing the five pounds because you are exercising, or you are eating too many sweets, or you aren’t getting enough sleep? Take the answers to those questions and rework the  action steps necessary to achieve those goals for improved results.

4)     Lack of awareness of when to modify or change goals

As busy mompreneurs know, each change of season can warrant re-looking at goals and schedules, etc.  My father (who’s also a  colleague) recently passed away, which triggered a need to re-evaluate my goals. Feeling confused, unproductive, anxious, scattered can all signal outdated goals. Your brain has lost its focus and has you moving aimlessly looking for a course correction. Simply sitting down and reworking your goals can often provide immediate relief and clarity to your next steps.

Your goals are what make your business and life vision a reality.  Harness their power now by seeing if yours need a tune-up or an overhaul.

The Catholic Mompreneur’s Biz and Life Tip:  Schedule an hour with yourself today for some effective goal setting.

Do You Know How To Party?

Woman Relaxing In Bath Drinking Champagne As a mom business owner you are running a marathon, not a sprint. Skip these two imperatives, and you may not reach the finish line:

  • Follow basic business principles (do the right things and do them well)
  • Have fun.

Type “As” with the drive to plunge into entrepreneurism don’t always see the value of having a good time.

But if you don’t acknowledge our accomplishments along the way, you may be in for a long ride.

Not feeling and sharing the exhilaration of a nailed presentation, landing a new client, or making an intimidating phone call, demotivates you to tackle future challenges. To not celebrate business success or put a low priority on having fun during and outside of work hours tempers movement towards your goals, costs you money, and has the potential to sabotage your business results.

We’re human beings…not machines.

Here are some ways you can celebrate right and regularly to keep your enthusiasm, creativity, and cash  flowing:

Family Celebrations

Every couple and family is different when it comes to enthusiastically hearing about your work accomplishments. Gauge where you can at least share snippets of success. It’s helpful for your kids to observe you moving towards and achieving goal.  Your family benefits when you model how and when to celebrate business success.

Friendship Celebrations

As a mom business owner, you may not fit in with the stay-home moms or the working moms. Don’t be deterred from sharing good business news with good friends no matter their lifestyle choices.  Be sure to celebrate the great things that are happening in their lives as well.

Collegial Celebrations

To celebrate business success with other entrepreneurs particularly satisfies, validates, and motivates.  You speak a common language.  They get the significance of the baby steps you are thrilled to take. Here are celebration structures that work:

  1. Accountability buddy – Agree to call a colleague for a weekly 20-minute accountability call. Quickly go through a structured 10-minute outline of the highlights of your week, your celebrations, and what you plan to tackle for the next week.
  2. Coaching buddy – You could invest more time by trading coaching with a colleague. You may want to extend the weekly sessions to 45 minutes and alternate who is being coached and receiving coaching.
  3. Mastermind Group – People rave about the accountability and support they receive in a mastermind group. Do a Google search to find a compatible group or start one of your own. Again, this group meets regularly and incorporates regular celebrations.

Personal Celebration

Your celebrations don’t always have to be public. You could reward yourself with a special treat, or a clothing item, or beauty product when you hit a goal. Scheduling regular pampering like a bubble bath to reward yourself for hard work done is another great idea that inspires you to keep taking those steps that make you quiver.

Regular celebrating, like good self-care, isn’t always talked about in business circles as key strategies, but if you neglect either you may find yourself with a frustrating flat tire on your road to success.

Catholic Mompreneur Biz and Life Tips: Schedule regular parties to celebrate your success with friends, family, colleagues, and yourself, and watch your confidence and business results grow.

The Mompreneur’s Twist to Working “On” Your Business

Smiling woman near closet For quality control I’ve been my own student in my own “Faith Based Revenue Boosting Program”.  It is odd that something I’ve written created such epiphanies when applying it.

An early mentor stressed scheduling time weekly to both work “in” and “on” your business.

Seeing clients, marketing, team meetings, and day-to-day implementation constitute working “in” your business.

Working “on” your business includes planning, strategizing, reviewing, and creating productivity-enhancing systems.

Friday mornings I worked “on” my business.

But when I heard Alishia Willardson, Peak Power Coach, shared her peak personal power secrets, I knew I had to include her system in my routine. Finding time for her suggested daily power hour of reading, inspiration reading, and motivation gradually became a guarded segment of my day.

Alishia’s recommended weekly 3-4 hour date with yourself proved a little trickier to work in. After indulging in several Power Date weeks and seeing the improvements in my clarity, creativity, and confidence, I determined to incorporate it.

I bounced my Fridays of working “on” my business and my peak power date. I even tried to blend the two, which didn’t give me the satisfaction of either.

My conflicting priorities confounded when another mentor I respect made a compelling case in the connection between success and productivity and a well-ordered work and home environment.  This wasn’t new to me. My experience with personal organizers proved this true.

After the funds dried up for the professionals, I haphazardly implemented the plans to finish my home organizing. But with time clutter grew like moss on a brick wall. I ignored the disorder and undone projects until they were invisible. But they still weighed me down unconsciously.

Your outside environment reflects your insides.

I was growing. The chaos clashed with my internal order. I knew I needed to tackle those projects in time blocks. But when was I going to do that?

So, I followed my directive I read in my Faith Based Revenue Boosting Bootcamp:  identify the weekly time blocks you will devote to completing  business and personal projects.

By sitting still, thinking creatively, and listening, I discovered I did have three weekly blocks of time to assign to work projects, personal projects, and peak personal power time. They varied in length from 2-3 ½ hours. I would be flexible each week about which activity to allocate for which time

The time existed!

Coaches help you see past your blind spots and allow you to be unstoppable pursuing your vision. It worked even when I was mentoring myself.

Catholic Mompreneur Biz and Life Tip:  Getting what you need to be successful in your work and personal life is a journey that requires your action.

Christina Weber helps Catholic mompreneurs fully engage the power of their calling, earn more in less time, and get back to enjoying their families. To jumpstart your biz and life success, with her complimentary special report, “The Catholic Mompreneur’s Guide to 12 Things You Can Do Today To Earn More in Less Time,”  by clicking here.