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?

 

Setting your goals into motion

How should you go about setting your goals into motion?

You already have that tremendously gorgeous business idea and you can’t wait to see it hoppin’…but one problem: when do you find the time?  

How do you do it all?

Where do you start?

Since the beginning of 2014 I have been busy behind the scenes, working furiously at catching up on the two-year (plus) hiatus I took away from working my solo business so that I could raise my young children.  When I first started my web business coaching and consulting in 2004 I created  goals for my business that with time shifted into a different set of goals each year as my business transitioned.

One of the most important things I learned is that regardless of how you go about doing it, you absolutely need to create and set business goals for yourself. This is what I’m doing for myself now- with each passing year.

Creating your business goals is one thing, but sometimes- I tell ya- setting them into motion is a whole different ball game.

Here are a few tips that have helped me over the years to remain consistent with my goals.

Here’s how you can go about setting your goals into motion.

Plan goals that are in tandem with your business vision for the year.

Look at your business for the scope of the entire year and make a note of what you’d like to accomplish throughout the course of the year.

  • Which projects would you like to complete? (books to write, services to offer, products to produce and introduce)
  • How would you like to connect with your blog readers? (blog topics to discuss, giveaways, social media, newsletters)
  • How do you plan to keep your client connection and client work happening while maintaining your own business?

These are all important questions to think about, and will help you solidify your goals.

Answer the above questions, then move on to setting them into motion.

Find tools, resources, and support networks that will help you get the job done.

When setting your goals into motion, you’ll absolutely need to uncover your own goldmine of resources that can help you accomplish your goals.  You can see my list of favorite tools here.

But mostly, you’re going to need a dose of “roll-up-your-sleeves-and-get-busy”.  There’s just no getting around it.

Once you’ve found your favorite tools and resources, and you surround yourself with like-minded people, it’s time to put your goals into action.  

Here’s what I do:

  • Write down my random thoughts in a notebook or journal.
  • Organize these thoughts in Google Drive/Docs.
  • Create my vision board- again in Google Drive/Docs.  This is also where I visualize the kind of business I want to see happening for me one year from now.
  • Develop my mission statement, core values, and determine my specific vision- making sure it falls into alignment with my personal and spiritual values and is the right timing for not only myself but the important people in my life (my family).
  • Write down the projects I want to offer my clients as a result of my mission/vision and projected dates to have these rolled out.
  • Create long-term (year at a glance), then short -term (monthly/weekly/daily) goals that I should accomplish throughout the year.  This is where my Google Calendar is my best friend.
  • Stay consistent.

Do you need specific helps with goal-setting and planning your business? If you do, don’t hesitate to let me know how I can be of help to you.

Until then- what are some ways you’ve been able to set your goals into motion this year?  Have you been successful at it?  If not, what is holding you back? Leave me a comment!

 

Stepping Into a New Year

It’s a brand new year! Can you believe it?  Are you excited?  Are you jazzed??

I am!!

How are you going to make this year different than last- in business, in health, in spirituality, in family?  What will you do to ensure that your life is taking the right trajectory toward complete wholeness- or what I like to call true success?

Here are just a few tips to help you launch your new year of business with purpose and excitement.  You can do this!

Take spiritual inventory.

No matter your faith (and even if you don’t claim to have one), your spirituality, which is deeply personal to you, affects your life in every way.  Your worldview and the way you perceive circumstances in life will have a huge impact on whether you achieve success this year or not.

In my life as a devout Christian, I find that reading scripture and meditating daily on them is helpful to my well-being overall and makes me a more confident person.  This confidence exudes into my business life.  I really can’t separate them!

I’m planning to take some major spiritual inventory this year- digging up some weeds and planting new seeds in the garden of my soul- so that I can achieve in all areas in my life God wants me to.  This is a process and something I can’t achieve overnight, but I’m working on it.

Set goals and stick with them.

I have SO many goals, you don’t even want to know about them.  Seriously.  My goals list can reach close to a hundred pretty quickly, because that’s just how much I want to get out of life.  I want to accomplish everything.

But, alas, that’s impossible.

So, my job at this point is to narrow down my goals to specific ones that are achievable for this year only, and stick with them.

Sticking with goals, means that I constantly review my goals each month to make sure I’m still on track.  And if I feel that I’m getting off kilter, all I have to do is pull out my handy dandy Google docs, and there are all of my wonderful business and life goals all typed out.

Step into the new year with confidence!

There are so many reasons to doubt ourselves.  After all, as moms we’re super busy putting out the fires everywhere, pleasing everyone, and taking care of business both at home and for others.  There are a gazillion reasons why we might be tempted to lose our confidence that we can do this online blogging business thing.

But we can!

Don’t give up if it takes longer than everyone else to get your blog going.  Your blog might not reach 1,000 page views for months.  But don’t let that discourage you.

You keep your focus on why you’re doing what you’re doing, and find the joy in it that will keep you fueled and energized. Be confident in your offerings to the world, and don’t look to the right or to the left.

It doesn’t matter how much traffic another mom blogger is receiving, or how many of her pins went viral when yours are stagnant.  If you don’t watch everyone else you won’t have time to worry about their successes.  Because you need to be happily busy with your own successes.  And you will have plenty of them if you’re patient.

So be confident!  You can do this!

Have I encouraged you? I sure hope so.

Happy New Year to you!

 

MIH 036:Ten Super Productivity Tips for Mompreneurs

Listen to “036:Ten Super Productivity Tips for Mompreneurs” on Spreaker.

I can’t wait to share these productivity tips for you this week!

Being uber productive is, let’s face it: a challenge for mompreneurs.  I get it.  We’re busy. We’re tired. Life is hectic. But we also have goals, a vision, a dream. I don’t know any of us who want to see that dream die.  So the key is to keep moving, keep looking forward and moving forward, and find those things in life that help us with our forward focus.  That’s why on today’s podcast I’m bringing to you 10 super productivity tips for mompreneurs like yourself and myself- tips that I believe will help us specifically in our season as moms AND business owners and bloggers.  I am following these productivity tips as well, so my hope is that you’ll find just as much motivation from these as I am currently.

Productivity Tips for Mompreneurs

1.Get to bed and get some sleep!

Okay, I must absolutely start with the night before, because if we’re honest, that’s when our full day really begins.  The kind of sleep you get the night before determines the quality of your following day.  Get to bed early if you can, but if you have night obligations that keep you from saying goodnight when most folks are already sleeping  you’ll need to figure out a routine that works best for you so that you are getting the proper amount of sleep for your body.

Determine what that is (9 hours, 8 hours, 7 hours?) and stick with it. I know people who survive off 4 hours of sleep nightly, but I don’t recommend it. We moms need all the rest we can possibly get.

If your body is well rested so is your mind.  You can think better and make better decisions in family and in business.

2.Start your morning off right.

Now that we’ve taken care of night routine let’s focus on the morning routine. When you wake up, what’s the first thing you do currently?  This also determines the trajectory of your day. Do you normally get a reasonable breakfast?  A light snack?  You don’t have to have a full course meal in the mornings if that’s not your thing, but getting a little healthy fuel for the day first thing is not such a bad idea.  Your brain and body cells need a nice wake-up call.  For some entrepreneurs, it’s coffee or tea. I always recommend a nice full glass of water to clear the brain first, then move on to whatever makes your mornings happy.  For me, it’s a bit of protein like scrambled eggs with a side of gluten free toast buttered with coconut oil.  That’s just my morning thing. Other mornings it’s gluten free chocolate chip pancakes on the weekends.

I also have to start off my morning with prayer and meditation.  Talking to God, clearing my thoughts, reading and meditating on scripture are what keeps my days in tact for me. It’s the glue that keeps my life from falling apart.  I need it. One week a morning I join a group of women for our weekly prayer group and study session.  This has been spiritually refreshing and also helps me get motivated for the week ahead when I have the emotional support to do life with other women who are such motivators and encouragers.

3.Set non-negotiable work hours.

The thing about our lives as mompreneurs is that it can get hectic and fast.  We have to set work hours aside so that they take priority in its proper time.  Those hours are going to typically be non-negotiable so that we can be productive.   This means setting aside a block of time where we do nothing else except the work set before us.  Use whatever you need: Google calendar, your personal planner, list apps…whatever works to help you plan for setting aside time to work.  Then when it’s time to work, pour up a cup of coffee or tea or grab your glass of water, shut the door (put a sign on it if you need to), and work!

Remember, it’s non-negotiable.  You’re not going to argue with yourself about it, or with others about it.  This is your time to work.

4.Work by a to-do list.

I just mentioned Google calendar and list apps.  For me, Google Calendar has been a life saver and I absolutely don’t do life without it. I’ve heard some people enjoy the todoist app.  Others swear by the Happy Planner or iBloom Life and Business Planner.  It ultimately doesn’t matter what tool you use so long as you create a to-do list and schedule of some sort.

It’s amazing how much a check list will get you through a work day more effectively. Just a few minutes of your time to create that list and put your tasks on your calendar can really change the way your work flows.

It’s all about finding ways to increase your productivity.  Having a to-do list keeps you orderly and organized. Your list keeps you functioning within the framework of your task list.

I have found that it is difficult for me to work without a to-do list just because I need an effective way to keep my days functioning smoothly and my work life in order.  With a to-do list, I know what’s first, then next, then last on my agenda.

I always have the freedom to shift things around on my schedule, but the main goal is to have a task list so that I know what my day looks like first thing when I wake up.  I can then make it a point to tackle my tasks as soon as possible during the day – specifically during my work hours.

5.Dismiss distractions (phone, social media).

If you can get rid of distractions, you can solve 98% of your business productivy issues.  The problem with getting rid of distractions is that it’s virtually impossible to do so.  People will always ring your doorbell, give you a phone call, text you, or shout your name from downstairs right when you’ve hatched out the most awesome post title ever and you have the best idea for your first paragraph.

The best thing to do with distractions?  Dismiss them. (Not the people, just the distractions!)  Forget they exist and keep moving.  Sound harsh?  It really isn’t.  That’s why you have voicemail, email and a doorstep waiting for the next (scheduled) visit.

As for social media, turn it off while you’re working on writing and producing content.  When you’re ready to share your content on social media then it’s time to get social!

My next few set of productivity tips have to do with how you treat yourself and interact with people around you. I think this is a good chunk of what determines just how productive you are in your daily routines.

6.Factor in a good workout.

A few mornings a week I start with stretching exercises and pilates class.  A few days a week I make an early trip over to the YMCA for group exercise classes that really get me moving!

If you haven’t tried factoring in a good workout into your daily routine, give it a shot. Not only will you feel so much better (give it a couple of weeks, though!), you will be proud of yourself for making time to take good care of your body.

Also, working out helps me think better! There’s just something about a good workout in my body followed by a good brain session. I feel more invigorated and ready to hit the day when I get exercise daily- whether that’s taking a walk a few blocks around my house or going to a group exercise class or popping in a pilates DVD.

7.Set aside fun time with your kids.

Our kids are always in need of something from us.  After all, we’re mom, and we are always in high demand.

When you’ve made a solid decision to set aside time in your day only to work, if your kids are home with you, this can be a struggle. If you don’t have help, this can be even more of a struggle.  I’ve been there, and I get it.  My kids are now old enough to entertain themselves and finish up school work without my constant prodding, but when they were younger I needed an extra pair of hands involved in my life each week to keep my business life running smoothly- if I can even call it running smoothly.

The only way for me to balance out the time I spend working on business is to make sure I’m also spending some quality time with my kids: daily.  And I’m not perfect, so there are days I’m not operating at my best mode. But I really, really try to be proactive about putting aside time to put work out of my mind and only focus on enjoying the kids.

This, for me, means taking each child aside and asking her what she wants to do with me that evening.  We could play a board game, card game, do nails, or watch a favorite show together on Netflix.  Whatever they want to do. But taking time out for my kids (beyond helping them with school work) is what keeps us connected in our relationships.

Kids need this a lot more than we think.  Just spending simple time with them can make a huge difference in your relationship (and can also help you accomplish your business goals better as you receive their cooperation in exchange!)

8.Don’t forget your partner.

I admit, it’s easy to believe that your spouse doesn’t need you quite as much as your kids do. So, we tend to leave the husbands to fend for themselves as far as time together goes.  But I encourage you to not forget him and give him just as much attention as you would want in return.

If you have an awesome husband who is extremely supportive of your life work like mine is, you’d definitely not want to leave him in the dust as you work to achieve your goals.  Don’t forget about your relationship and keep the spice flowing there too.

9.Learn to say no.

As mentioned before with the idea of turning off your phone and social media, sometimes you just have to say no.  No to impromptu visits with your friends during your office hours.  No to random one-hour phone conversations with your bestie when you’d planned to finish up your digital product.

It really is okay to say no to things that keep you distracted so that you can focus on being productive. Say yes to setting aside time for your friends later on, and yes to working on your projects during your office hours now.

Another reason to say no is when you are asked to do things that you just cannot fit into your schedule.  It’s okay to say no to requests that don’t align to your values at this time in your life.  No to people that serve as distractions or that place too much demand on your time.  These are the productivity tips that will help you set boundaries for people in your life.

10.Schedule in fun time for yourself.

Don’t forget about you.  Besides taking care of yourself (like working out) you’ve got to remember to put the right foods in your body.  So…basically, no surviving on coffee and donuts right? Eat plenty of fresh fruits and veggies and drink a ton of water.

Your body will thank you for the TLC and so will your brain and your business.

Also, don’t forget to love on yourself with your favorite music, movies or t.v. shows.  Sit down and treat yourself to a mani/pedi – either at home or out with friends at a salon.  Take a load off and curl up to read a good book in a bubble bath one evening.  Make plans to visit a jacuzzi and just chill.

The smaller things- like watching your favorite movies and listening to good music are things you can incorporate into your life daily.  If you play an instrument or paint, make sure you have time to add these valuable activities into your life.  Start weekly and then work up to daily.

For bigger things like salon or jacuzzi visits with friends- you may want to make this a monthly or quarterly ritual, something you can work up to as a big reward for all the hard work during the month.

Most of all, have fun with your life- both in work and play- and you will be a much happier person.

Did you enjoy these productivity tips?  Please let me know if they help you in your lifestyle as a mompreneur.

 

MIH 031:How to batch schedule your posts

Listen to “031:How to batch schedule your posts” on Spreaker.

In blogging, there are some wonderful reasons to batch schedule , and staying ahead of the game is definitely one of them.  Life gets busy for mompreneurs, and in order to keep your blog rolling in the background even when life is throwing some nasty curve balls at you, it’s a great idea to make sure your content keeps rolling out.  Batch scheduling is not a new concept, and you should definitely consider making this a part of your blogging routine. Now that we’ve got the “why” out of the way, let’s talk about how to batch schedule your posts.

Clear your schedule for at least one hour at a time.

When you clear your schedule for blogging- and only blogging- then your mindset shifts to one of productivity.  Think: “How many blog post ideas can I think of in one hour?”  Also think: “How many blog posts can I actually write in one hour?”   The truth is, you won’t actually know your productivity rate until you start this activity.  Go ahead and select a day and time.  All you need is an hour, and you may actually need longer as you learn how much you can accomplish.  Find someone to keep the kids, clear your desk or find a good thinking spot, and get to work.  Start planning your blog posts. Once you learn how to batch schedule your posts, you’ll be so excited you did, and you will look forward to these planning sessions.

Gather your topics.

Compile a list of topic ideas your audience would love to hear from you.  You can add in some keyword research strategy as well, finding good topics on Keyword Planner.  Write down as many ideas as you can.  Try to have a goal: say- 10 topics for 10 weeks?  Start with a goal small enough to be easily accomplished but big enough to be a slight challenge.

Write your first blog post.

Start by outlining your post.  I like 3-step how-to posts because it’s a nice number for me.  Give a topic sentence, a few supporting sentences for your outline, then fill in the juicy details.  Now title your post and go in and handle your meta tags and add your image lastly.

Find your groove.

[tweetthis]#Mompreneur tip: Find your blogging groove by batch scheduling![/tweetthis]

Don’t forget to time yourself.  How long did it take you from start to finish to actually write your post once you had the ideas at hand?  This will give you an indication of how many posts you should be able to write in an hour. Today,  I can muster about two posts per hour, not including images.  Media like podcasts and videos, of course, take longer.  Figure out what your rate is to determine how many hours you’ll need total to get your posts completed up front.  If your goal is to post once per week on your blog and you’re able to batch schedule 5 posts, you’ve already got 5 weeks of content ready to go.  This, my friend, is why it’s so awesome to know how to batch schedule your posts.  It saves you time and allows you to be so much more productive!

Schedule your posts in WordPress.

There are many plugins you can use to accomplish scheduling your posts, but you really don’t need a plugin.  Wordpress has a schedule feature already installed.  Simply click over to “Publish immediately” and edit this to schedule your post for a future date.  Plugins, however, can give you a few more options.  If you’re visual like me, you might like to see your posts scheduled out in a full month calendar spread like the one offered in WordPress Editorial Calendar.  Coschedule is a great one that offers social media sharing options as well.  Scheduling your post in advance can become as fancy an event as you like it to be.

And voila- you’re done.  You can sit back and take a week’s break if you like.  If you want, you could even schedule out your tweets and other social media shares using platforms like Hootsuite. I really believe that learning how to batch schedule your posts is going to be helpful for you.

So…are you using the batch scheduling method to stay on track, or keep up with your blogging routines? If you are using this method, how has it helped your online business?

Why it’s important for mompreneurs to keep a business routine

What does it mean to develop a business routine as a mompreneur?

So, we wear all the hats…and the shoes (think: slippers, sneakers, heels).  Now, how in the world- with a busy schedule- are we supposed to fit in yet another set of routines for business blogging? That’s why today I’m going to talk to you about about developing your business routine.

I understand, and I’m with you.  I have two daughters of my own who are very, very busy girls.  They homeschool, are involved with music and dance, and extracurricular classes- so I understand how busy we can be as moms.  We chauffeur our kids around, stay on top of their education, keep them well fed and dressed, as well as address their emotional and spiritual needs with extra support. Now, we have to think about developing yet another routine in our lives?

Some real talk! Watch the video on business routines

Take a look at this video and let me know what you think. I hope that it will be an encouragement (and motivation) to you to simply get going.  Create a plan and launch into action.


I encourage you, as a blogger, to begin developing business routines now rather than later.  Learn to fit these routines into your lifestyle so that as the patterns develop, it will be easier for you to commit to your goals daily.  They just become a part of your lifestyle.  Like tying your shoes or brushing your teeth.  You’ll get up each morning, start your day, and know when it’s time to push out another blog post, or schedule your tweets for the week…because it’s part of your business routine.  You’re already in the flow of it. I encourage you even more with this in my book.

Let me know what you think…I’m interested in helping you.  What are your most prominent stumbling blocks to creating business routines?

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