Why Don’t Mompreneurs Don’t Dream Big?

I know exactly why mompreneurs don’t dream big.  Why? Because I have personally experienced this. It’s a challenge for many of us, myself included.

Sadly, there are so many things in life that hold us back from not only chasing our dreams, but thinking large, dreaming big, and moving forward with our goals.

Here are a few reasons why mompreneurs don’t dream big.

(Check out my Facebook page…I try to post videos there regularly)

We are afraid.

Yes, fear.  There’s that old word again.  We’re afraid of so many things: namely, what people will think about us.

Sometimes we’re afraid to step forward in those things that are new, different, and challenging.  No worries, a lot of us feel that way, and it is completely normal.  Nonetheless, that 4-letter word FEAR tends to keep us back from a lot in life.  Once we begin to overcome fears one step at a time we’ll start to walk in freedom.

I’m still overcoming my own sets of fears. (Notice I said “sets”).  I’m no where near the freedom I’d like to experience but I trust that with a few precise action steps and support I need along the way, I’ll get closer and closer to getting free of fears.

False humility

Growing up my teen years in the deep South, I found that it’s been a challenge to keep faith in myself while maintaining a sense of what I thought was humility.  I thought being humble meant deflecting compliments and not taking ownership of my successes.

Any time I took ownership with a “thank you” or just received a compliment, I immediately felt shame- as though somehow I was allowing myself to be prideful.

Family, friends, and relatives and how they view us do affect us.  It’s important to understand that we live in the now, not in the past.  

We love our aunts and cousins, grandparents, and long-time friends, and we value their opinions.  

But the key is not to value their opinions while undervaluing ourselves.

We can still value our family, our culture, and our future while lifting them up and not putting ourselves down.

Afraid that we might fail

Business involves taking risks.  Taking risks is inevitable and can’t be avoided.  We’ll have to give up our time, energy, and money in order to create an entity (the business) which begins to live and breathe on its own.  And the key here is that risk can sometimes involve failure…but many times it involves successes.

I’ve been watching men and their responses to life challenges. Many of the men I know personally, such as my father, my husband, my uncles, cousins- they take risks, and they do so with less struggle than most women I know.  I find women in general to be more careful and calculating with less tolerance for risk…and I honestly think that’s a good thing.

(Now, that’s not always the case, of course, and I’m using over-generalizations here.  And then there’s the mere fact that just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so is risk.

It all depends on how you view risk-taking.)

But I also feel that in business, there has got be a little bit of drive for risk-taking that takes us over the edge and gets us moving in the direction.  In business we need a little spunk, a little sass, a little but of that crazy energy that takes us over the edge to where we want to go in life.

What are your reasons for not dreaming big?  It’s okay to dream small, too.  Small dreams eventually turn into bigger ones.

But if you want to dream bigger, reach for more, move higher…why not?

MIH 042:Branding, Life, & Business with Stephanie Ciccarelli of Voices.com

Listen to “042:Branding, Life, & Business with Stephanie Ciccarelli of Voices.com” on Spreaker.
On this podcast I am super excited to bring to you an awesome guest and mompreneur, Stephanie Ciccarelli!

Stephanie Ciccarelli is the Co-founder and Chief Brand Officer of Voices.com and has contributed content to such publications as The Huffington Post, Backstage Magazine, and Upvoted, and her company has been written about in the LA Times, New York Times, Forbes Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, and The Wall Street Journal. Stephanie is also the author of Voice Acting for Dummies and has been listed on the PROFIT Magazine’s 2013, 2015, and 2016 W100 lists, a ranking of Canada’s top female entrepreneurs.

What is Voices.com?

Voices.com is an online marketplace that connects people who need to get a voiceover recorded with talent that can record for them.  Over 200,000 clients and 200,000 talent are connected on their platform.

Just a bit about her background: Stephanie grew up surrounded by music- involved in world-renowned choirs, and attended a school that was music-focused.  She found her career path through finding her voice.

What does the voiceover talent landscape look like today?

People come from various backgrounds and industries and are bringing their voices to the platform.  If you are a voice artist who has a background in a niche area, you could record projects related to your industry.

What are some ways actors can transition into voiceover more smoothly and to break into the market?

The answer is pretty simple: it really boils down to your ability to read well aloud and picture an audience of one (rather than many), then delivering your message as a believable expert.

How can women begin the process of branding their own business?

Get to know yourself before you start developing the brand.  You are the brand since the business is an extension of yourself.

Also, finding out your personality type can be helpful in building your brand.  You can use a number of different tests tools such as Myers-Briggs,  The Disc Method,  and Social Styles to discover your unique personality type. It’s important to understand how you are a part of your brand and getting to know your own personality can be quite helpful in this process.

Some other key factors you should know when developing your brand are:

  • what drives you
  • what your values are
  • and how you want others to perceive you

On family life and business balance…

Stephanie Ciccarelli agrees that it’s important to keep family first. Within her company, her husband is the CEO and she is the Chief Brand Officer.  They have found ways to keep family life afloat even amidst her travels, by securing needed help and building business around family obligations.

In the beginning, Stephanie was working from home and as her business evolved and the kids grew older she found herself in a different season.  Important points to note are:

  • We should acknowledge that there are seasons in life when we won’t be able to focus so much on business.
  • There are also seasons when we need to push a little more energy into our business to get things moving.

Stephanie talks about the three different circles we tend to live in and how it’s a balancing act to keep those circles from touching each other so that we don’t allow different aspects of our lives to spill into one another.

An example: keeping business separate from family life and remembering that home is home, not the boardroom.

How does Stephanie see her business as part of her purpose?

Voices.com is way to give people a chance to create their own stories and to have a voice. She believes she was meant to use her voice, and she took the guided steps necessary to get where she is today.  By stepping in faith, Stephanie is able to use Voices.com as a connecting tool to bring people together all over the world.

You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.  Zig Ziglar

A business essentially exists to solve a problem. Voices.com gives people tools to help them deliver their message. 

How to reach Stephanie:

Twitter: @stephciccarelli

Stephanie’s Instagram

Purchase her book: Voice Acting for Dummies

Voices.com on Facebook

Voices.com on LinkedIn

Voices.com on YouTube

Voices.com on Instagram

And, of course, visit: Voices.com

I truly enjoyed speaking with Stephanie today!  Thanks for listening in and let me know your thoughts. How are you branding your business as an extension of yourself?  How are you balancing family and business?

How to Battle Work-At-Home Mommy Guilt

Work-at-home mommy guilt.  It’s real.  If you’ve ever decided to launch out on your own in business, you understand just how difficult it can be to be build an authentic and thriving brand.  It takes a lot of work, some know-how, an I-can-do-it mentality, and some hustle.  And sometimes that hustle keeps mompreneurs from feeling as though we are absolutely present.

Whatever your struggles are- whether you feel guilty for “not being there” mentally and emotionally, or if you struggle with time management and attempting to get it all done, rest assure that I understand. Many of us have been there.

If you’re a homeschooling mom, I have some specific tips for you on building a business while homeschooling– since that is where I am in life right now. Otherwise, keep reading…

One of my biggest goals in creating a thriving business is to ensure that I spend quality time with my kids.  After all, that’s why I chose to build an online business to begin with.

So here’s a video I filmed on my Facebook page (I invite you to “like” my page and join me over there, by the way). On this video I share some motivating tips- three to be exact- on how to avoid this work-at-home mommy guilt.  There’s no need for guilt to overtake you.  You’re a hard-working mama who is giving your business all you’ve got- AND you’re giving your family all you’ve got.

You really can do both.

3 Ways to Battle the Infamous Work-At-Home Mommy Guilt

Designate specific office hours.

It goes without saying that if you set aside the time to get things accomplished- you shall!  You will have whatever you set out for.  Your intentions for the day will dictate your level of productivity.

So, one thing I’ve been doing is either a.) getting up earlier than my kids, or b.) going to be later than my kids.  Either of these two things will get me moving towards my goals because I’m 100% positive I’ll achieve a good chunk of my goals while my kids are asleep.  Not that they’re super needy or anything (I have a teen and a pre-teen…so…no.)  But because we’re homeschooling this school year we have additional commitments to get through school work together in the mornings.  So, getting up earlier works for me.

Do what works for you, but know that if you are consistent with special hours and set times that you choose to work you’ll get more accomplished.  Try to have a similar sleep/wake cycle every day and try an early morning or late nighter if you have kids at home.  If your kids are in school, use that time to work. This way, you don’t have to allow your work to bleed over into family time when the kids are home from school.  Which leads me to my next point…

Designate mommy/kid time.

If you just set aside a few minutes a day (or hours) to hang out with your kids you’ll make deeper connections with them.  I’ve found that even just a few minutes of a card game or board game gives my kids the quality time they need with me, plus time to chat and catch up on anything they want to talk about.

The thing here is to not overcommit. (Don’t say you’ll read five chapters of their favorite book AND bake cookies with them if you know you don’t have the time.)  That is probably the quickest way to heighten your feelings of guilt.

Keep things simple.  Kids can learn to appreciate the small things you do for them. You don’t have to take them to a theme park or Chuck E Cheese to make up for all your hard work during the week.  They’ll be okay just talking with you and knowing you love them and want to spend time with them. (Or at least we hope so.)

Be Okay With Crazy.

Not everything is going to pan out the way we want it to life, but that’s okay right?  You likely won’t get all your t’s crossed and i’s dotted, but…that’s the way of life.  Sometimes things aren’t going to go as planned.  Whether it’s a family crisis, or really cool decision you make to go FREE yourself for a week at the beach, you can afford to let loose and live a little.

Be okay with crazy sometimes and just enjoy life.  It’s okay, really!

Did you enjoy these tips? Join me on my Facebook page for additional weekly support (and videos!) Also, be looking for an upcoming course in the next few weeks…I can’t wait to unveil it!

3 Steps to Becoming an Online Entrepreneur

Hi, Mompreneurs! I was feeling pretty adventurous this week and realized I wanted to pop in to my Facebook page and do a live video. My topic was 3 steps to becoming an online entrepreneur- and I hope to do more of these.

Here’s an overview of some of my tips that morning:

3 steps to becoming an online entrepreneur

Discover your passion, then work it!

It’s all about finding what you love, then building a business around that.  Once you know your area of expertise, build on it.  You don’t need an awful lot to get started…sometimes you can just hop on Facebook Live (like I’m doing right now!) and start working your platform right where you are!
Find out what you love, then build on your expertise.

Overcoming business fears.

I get it- there can be a lot of fears associated with business, especially when you’re just starting off. When I was in the beginning stages of building my first online business in web design it was pretty scary.

I had to overcome fears of marketing (what would people think? would I appear to sales-y?)

I needed to overcome anxiety about whether or not I would actually make any real money.  Would I do well?  Would I waste time building something that wasn’t successful?  In a nutshell, that was probably my biggest fear.

I also had to overcome fear of placing myself in front of thousands of unknown audiences.  When I decided to start a YouTube channel and begin podcasting I knew that I would have to step out of my comfort zone, but it was something I needed to do as part of my marketing system.  Through social media and digital media platforms that allow me to share my content in a number of ways, I’ve been able to connect with so many awesome people who became my clients.

So, it was definitely worth it!  I had to overcome my fears.  If I can do it, you can.

For more action-based steps to overcoming business fears, read this post.

Get into action

Probably the hardest part of anything you do in business is to put your plans and goals into action.  Yes, you should be organized and have goals, then use reverse engineering to get yourself where you want to be.

But if you don’t place those goals into action, nothing will happen.

Sometimes you just have to act in faith- not really knowing what’s around the corner.  Building your business means that there will be some variables you won’t be able to control sometimes. There will definitely be some business challenges. You don’t know what’s around the corner exactly and you sometimes don’t feel like you’re on the safe zone, but you know you’re doing the right thing (especially if you surround yourself with positive-thinking people and coaches.)

So, you’re only option is to move forward, and keep moving forward.  As your business momentum builds, you’ll feel so free! Get into action.

So, I want to know how you’re feeling.

 Have you taken the necessary steps to get started in online business?  Are you ready to truly become an online entrepreneur?


Find Your Mompreneur Web Success Strategies!

For this post, I had to dig way back: way back to 2014 when I was first re-building my tech consulting business. I found that I had some true nuggets to offer mompreneurs about using web success strategies to jumpstart your online business. I realize there is wisdom in the old nuggets, so I’m revisiting some older content which is all about coining some different techniques for pulling together a successful web based business.

I believe your blog should start with your brilliant business idea and passion.  Next, I think you should consider some different online strategies and venues for promotion of your business.

The cool thing is that all of this can be done online- and that’s saying a lot for busy moms with a heart for her family and for business.

Web success strategies I discussed in the video 

  • Creating digital products (and adding them to a service-based business.)

As of the summer of 2016, I finally completed my first major digital product- my book, Mompreneurs in Heels:A Guide to Passionate, Purposeful Blogging– and I’ve found this to be an excellent basis from which to serve my clients.

It wasn’t an easy process, but looking back I’m really glad I took those many months to write and edit, and the six weeks to refine the book and publish it.  I just had to make up my mind to get moving and to do it.

  • Creating a service (adding it onto a predominantly product-based business).

I tried to shy away from service-based business for a few years.  Between 2014-2016 I have announced on several occasions (like on my podcast and newsletters) that I was going to focus mainly on offering digital products, and not so much services.  (My services are website design and maintenance, podcasting consulting, and WordPress coaching). I offer a few more tech-related services, but that’s the gist of it.

Although I’ve been on the fence about offering services, I recently have finally come to terms with the fact that my services really are needed.

Between December and February of 2017 website design and podcast consulting clients have been flowing into my life more quickly than I can count- all a God-blessing I know- and definitely unplanned! How can I say “no” when the need is clearly there?

So…I’m back to both a product and service-based business- and I’m perfectly okay with that for now.

As a woman in business, you have to decide what’s right for you during this season of your life. Will you offer products only?  Services only?  Both? Figure out what works for you and set out in that direction.

  • Authoring and speaking.

Speaking is something I haven’t done yet (besides podcasting), but it’s definitely in the works.

I appreciate mompreneurs like  Theresa Ceniccola, and many other speaker moms who are making it happen!

(Just a side note: it’s always a good idea to have business women in your life you aspire to or who influence to be a better you.)

  • Creating and promoting ebooks and other digital products (reports, worksheets and workbooks, audios, videos)

This is where I have found my real drive- in creating workbooks, podcasts, ebooks, and such. It’s easy for me to sit behind the laptop and create something from my heart, and sell it; at least, easier than offering a platter of services.

But I’m finally finding my niche in both worlds: services and products.  Products are neat because you make it, sell it, and walk away while watching it work its magic! Products make money for you when you’re eating, sleeping, and hanging out with your kids.

So, here’s the video I promised you from 2014…take a look and tell me what you think.

What are some success strategies you use to build and promote your online business?

MIH 038: 3 Ways Mompreneurs Can Find Rest During The Holiday Season

Listen to “038: 3 Ways Mompreneurs Can Find Rest During The Holiday Season” on Spreaker.As mompreneurs, our main goal many times is to work. We keep pushing forward when we’re tired, we throw in the towel at midnight and then wake up bright and early to do it all over again.  We win at life only because we don’t give up working.  

But you know, sometimes, we just need to focus on rest.  More than anything, you probably feel the need to work harder and longer hours.  You can probably think of a billion things you need to do in order to prepare your business for the start of a new year.  

Despite the busy season, how can you assure rest?  How can you make sure you’re giving yourself the gift of rest during the holiday season?

3 Ways Mompreneurs Can Find Rest During the Holiday Season

Give your clients a heads up.

If you’ve been neck-deep in the trenches for your clients in the past months, now’s the time to let your clients know that throughout the holidays you’ll be easing up on your work a bit.  

They can expect to hear less from you for a few weeks as you spend time with family or just recuperating on your own terms.  Let them know your availability-and how much you are limiting that.  Giving them a heads up is always helpful so that you don’t set up unnecessary expectations.

Start delegating.

One constant struggle that I have is delegation, but I force myself to do it.  I realize that without extra hands on deck I will inevitably fail at my vision.  Many hands make work lighter.  

Now that the holidays are here, I’ve already determined that I need some major family-focus time as we make memories together- and I can’t possibly balance family and work without extra help to accomplish my work during the holidays.  If I want time off, I’ve got to get extra help.

As many of you know, I don’t currently have a full time VA.  I’ve had several people ask me this and offer their services, but I just haven’t taken the time to go down that route.  However, I do hire a lot of independent freelancers for one-time projects at places like Fiverr.  

So, in the upcoming days and weeks I’ll be handing off many more of my projects, such as graphics and book formatting so that I can take off some additional time to focus on the main passion for me, which is blogging.  I’ll also be setting up my blog posts for a few weeks out so that the rest of December is completely mine to enjoy!  Once again, that’s the beauty of batch scheduling.

Plan Self-Care

As moms, in general, it’s in our nature to give, give, and give some more.  We bend over backward for our kids and spouse.  We go out of our way to volunteer in the community and over and above the call of duty to help our clients in extra special ways.  Sometimes we undercharge, overcommit, and many times feel underserved.

All that said, we deserve to care for ourselves.  We deserve to pampered- and not just once in a while, but on a regular basis.

I encourage you this holiday season to go out of your way to do something extra special for yourself.  

Allow for time to be by yourself.  Book a sitter or leave while the kids are at school or with your spouse or a friend, and just go for a walk.  

Go to the park.  Go to the mall.  Go to a restaurant.  Go to a movie.  

Choose whatever makes you happy, but the main thing is just to go be by yourself for a while.

You could even book a massage with a group of friends.  Book a mani/pedi at a nearby salon.  Join a Girls’ Night Out.  

Spend money on yourself sometimes.  Purchase that favorite blouse you’ve been eyeballing for a few weeks now.  Invest in a nice perfume set you’ve been wanting.  Buy yourself a set of earrings or that tech gadget you’ve always wanted.  

This holiday season I want you to remind yourself that although we should be thinking of ways to say thank you to others, that you should thank yourself too.  It’s okay to pamper yourself, and you can be regular about it, too!  You deserve it.

I hope that you find the rest during the holiday season that you need!

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