Interview With Alyssa Avant, Author of FaithLeaps

Alyssa
FaithLeaps

 

Today I have the great pleasure of being the host on Day 7 of the Virtual Blog Tour for FaithLeaps: The Christian Mom’s Guide to Passion, Purpose and Profits by author Alyssa Avant. On the last stop of the tour, Alyssa visited Rosann Cunningham’s blog at Christian Supermom.

Below is the great interview I did with Alyssa about FaithLeaps.

Why did you write this book? Alyssa

ALYSSA: I was inspired to write this book several years ago, as I was attempting to navigate the overwhelming journey of working from home.  I had taken a “leap of faith” and quit my part time job and really needed to make an income from home.

Through trial and error, I found my way, but wished I would have had a guide or friend to help me along the way. There is also the issue of passion and purpose, which ultimately is what this book is about.  Yes I talk about working from home and ways to do that, but a stronger theme throughout this book is finding one’s passion and purpose and ultimately profiting from it (not necessarily financially).

What are the two or three main ideas you hope readers take away from FaithLeaps

ALYSSA: There are several main ideas that I hope readers will take away from FaithLeaps.  One of those is that we are all created by God with a God-given passion and purpose.  It is important, I believe, for us to identify and explore that passion and purpose.  Secondly,  I hope that readers will take away from this book that God enables us and can work through us to help us to accomplish our dreams and desires.

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The Power of Interruptions

I’ve written before about my often-successful ability to multi-task. I’m sort of proud of the way that I can stop and start and juggle a myriad of things at once.

But I realized recently that interruptions actually pack a powerful punch to my creative writing productivity. I catch myself thinking, Well, I’ll just throw a load of laundry in while I’m writing or I’ll get the dishes going before I sit down.

You know what? Those seemingly innocuous interruptions somehow trigger de-motivation and detachment from the project at hand; and sometimes, I become absolutely derailed.

I say, Never underestimate the power of interruption.

Going into this new school year, I’m going to be working more, both for my part-time employer, contract assignments, and my own creative pursuits. I must respect how powerful interruption is in my life. Even thoughts, responsibilities, and appointments can carry the power of interruption.

So, in an effort to eliminate distractions:

  • I’m saying no to more and more activities and responsibilities. In many ways, I hate it because I love being involved. But in identifying our priorities, our family needs me to be focused on work this fall. I’m not very focused when I’m running here and there with all sorts of things on my mind.
  • I’m aiming to begin and end my day with the most important things: the Word and the family. Getting myself back into a routine of daily Bible study and meditation and resuming our family worship time with the kids before bed will help me compartmentalize my life (can you see how much we’ve strayed into bad habits this summer?). I’m a firm believer in work at work time and play at play time. Too long, they’ve all run together in my world, making it rather dysfunctional.

What do you do to minimize distractions? How do you organize family time and work time? Share with others in the comments below.

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Feeling Overwhelmed? and How to Make $1000 a Month Online

I wanted to pass along two really interesting links for you, especially as we continue to explore issues of time management here.

Overcoming Overwhelm

Michael Hyatt posted a helpful list about how he has overcome feeling overwhelmed. I liked his list and I believe he has some positive things to say.

His major take-away, though?

Delegate and out-source those tasks that are not productive for you.

I get that. I really do. I can see the wisdom in hiring a part-time maid/nanny/cook to take care of my kids, dust and vacuum, keep the laundry moving, grocery shop, and prepare meals (think I could get all that accomplished with ONLY a part-timer? Ha!) while I write and blog on an almost full-time basis.

My biggie question, though, is how do you outsource when you have no way to pay for it? It doesn’t seem wise to go into debt to pursue this business model.

What do you think? How helpful is Michael’s advice for the struggling new business owner who is doing it all because there’s no other option at the moment?

Read the entire post here.

(Thanks, Jennifer Cortez, for calling this post to my attention.)

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How to Make $1000 a Month Online

If you’d like to make at least $1000 per month with your blog online, you should check out this upcoming webinar from Authority Blogger. These types of webinars are every where, but the pitch for this one impressed me, and I signed up. Why? Because the organizers tell you up front that not everyone will become a millionaire online:

Contrary to popular belief, not everybody can make millions of dollars per year while working in their underwear on the computer. It’s just not realistic.

BUT, they say they do believe that everyone is capable of making a nice supplemental income (at least $1000 per month) with their blogs. They say this webinar will give 5 different ways to do just that.

I like that honesty. That’s really my approach, too. I DO believe that most anyone can make at least a nice part-time income online.

So, I want to learn more.

You may want to, as well.

Register here.

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Sign up for my FREE weekly email devotion now.

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Don’t miss a post. Subscribe to my blog now, please!

Disclosure: I feature affiliate links on posts on this blog. If you follow my link and eventually make a purchase, I will receive a commission from my referral. You will never pay more through my affiliate link; in fact, you may receive a better price because you were referred by me.

 

What’s Really Necessary in Life?

Do you remember Martha?

Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

Luke 10:38-42 (ESV, emphasis mine)

Most of my life, I’ve bristled at this passage a bit, believing that Jesus was somewhat harsh with the trying-to-please Martha. But more recently, I’ve seen it with new eyes. I believe the Holy Spirit gave us 21st century women (with our busy families, homes, and jobs) Martha and Jesus’ gentle rebuke.

I find it interesting that it is Martha who welcomes Jesus, yet she is too busy to enjoy his company.

How many things, people, or opportunities do I invite into my life, only to be “too busy” to give them proper attention?

In this portion of Scripture, the Holy Spirit tells us serving is a “distraction.” Isn’t it interesting that an action, normally commended, is discouraged. Why? Because even “good things” can distract one (especially us women!) from the ONE THING.

Jesus says Martha is anxious and troubled. All this serving and doing and busyness reap anxiety and trouble. Does anything good come of all this work? Nothing except that Jesus uses the opportunity to point Martha to himself.

Jesus calls the ONE THING “necessary.” It’s as if he’s saying, “Martha, you don’t need to be doing all that other stuff. There’s only one thing that you need to do and that’s to worship me, learn from me, talk to me, and listen to me. I am your one necessary thing.”

Had Martha just taken a closer, more deliberate look in her house, perhaps she would have rearranged her priorities.

How is your busyness distracting you?
How is Christ your ONE THING?

Become an Effective Decision-Maker

I’m a waffler.

There. I said it. I admit that I’ll make a decision then look for the back door “out” of it. The Myers-Briggs personality profile would tell you that’s because I’m a “P” and want to keep all my options open. I’m afraid I’ll miss some great opportunity if I’m stuck toiling away at my previously-committed decision.

But you know what it really is?

It’s immaturity, cowardice, and fear.

So, it’s time for me to GROW. UP. The only way that things get done is by, well, doing them.

(Deep breath.)

It’s time to—

Decide. Commit. Prioritize.

I wish I could take credit for this succinct statement of brilliance. But I can’t.

I listened to a podcast interview from Nicole Dean with Carrie Wilkerson of The Barefoot Executive. These two women are successful Internet marketers, and I loved soaking up their wisdom. When asked what the “turning point” was for her Internet business success, Carrie responded that it was making a decision.

She went on to explain that anything one wishes to do must first start with a decision. Then he or she must commit to it and finally, make that decision a priority in his or her thoughts and actions.

Want to have a successful Internet business? You must work every day on your business. Want to lose 30 pounds? The weight loss goal must be your priority—a greater priority than a bacon cheeseburger (my summary and paraphrase).

What decision, commitment, and priority do you need to make right now?

Establish Boundaries

Modern-day women are too often overworked and overwhelmed, yet we find ourselves piling on more and more responsibility. We commit to time-sucking activities that take us away from our goals.

Our culture of excess has fooled us into believing that more is always better. Full is always better. Busy is always better.

If we’re overbooked and in demand, we feel important, right?

That’s why I’m making a concerted effort to:

Establish boundaries by evaluating each commitment through a priority grid.

In yesterday’s post, I discussed my goals for the new year.

So, today’s tip is a partner to it.

In order to achieve those goals this year, I must daily be mindful of them. A good way to do this is to weigh each decision according to its usefulness in achieving my goals. So, I require the activity/event/commitment to meet three of the four following criteria:

  1. Renew me spiritually
  2. Renew me emotionally
  3. Renew me relationally
  4. Make some money

Each activity that requires time, energy, money, or other resource from me will be pressed through this grid.

Volunteer opportunity? Soaking in a tub with a good book? Accepting a freelance writing project? Taking my daughter out for ice cream? All will need to be evaluated by this new system.

Will it grow me spiritually? Will it strengthen relationships in my life? Will it be financially profitable? Will it give me an energy boost so that I’m better equipped to pursue Christ, other relationships, and/or making money?

More than one “no,” it’s crossed off the “to-do” list.

What do you think? What boundaries do you need to establish for your resources?