Establish the Work of Our Hands

psalm90.17

psalm90.17

Psalm 90:17 is written on an index card and taped to my kitchen cupboard door. You can tell it’s been hanging there now for a few years. The edges of the card are bent; and if you look closely, you’ll see some spatters of food or drink around the “of” and the “our.”

I keep it RIGHT THERE because it’s at my eye level when I’m cooking, which I seem to do a lot of! I need to be reminded that my work matters, as God is “establishing” it: setting it in stone. I can’t help but read it and reread it and reread it. And many times, I also pray it.

Not only is running a home tough, but running a home-based business can also be challenging! Results are slow to come or non-existent. You blog. You market. You finish one assignment and take on another. You write a little today on this eBook and a little bit more tomorrow.

But your traffic numbers, your sales figures, and your social media connections don’t budge.

What to do?

Pray Psalm 90:17 and realize that your work—all of it—is not in vain.

And guess what? It’s not temporary, either.

Yes, I know our earthly lives here are temporary and we await our sure and eternal home. But this verse tells us that the work we do actually endures. It is “established.” Furthermore,

God will redeem all things in the new heavens and the new earth.

If our work today is set in stone, what may it look like redeemed to its intended glory for all eternity?

Wow. Blows my mind. :)

Realize that your work—all of it—is not in vain. —Psalm 90:17

9 Ways to Use Other Bloggers’ EBooks to Grow Your Business

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homemaking, home office, home business, work at home mom, wahm, Christian wahm, Christian mom

If you spend even a day online, you will discover an eBook or two for sale. In fact, most of the bloggers I follow regularly have at least one eBook under their belts.

Writing an eBook has always seemed like an out-of-reach ideal that I’d probably never do. I mean, I reasoned, What in the world do I have to say that’s not been said before, I doubt I’d sell many (if any), and How do I get started anyway?

This week’s mega eBook sale, though, has really gotten my wheels turning—and is motivating me to write my own eBook. I hope you’ve purchased The Ultimate Homemaking Ebook Bundle (and if you haven’t, you should; read about this limited time special deal here). If you’re a mom, a wife, you live in a house or apartment, you have a home-based business/blog, and/or you eat food, I promise you’ll find something that will apply to you!

But I’m also hoping that the Bundle will give you some new ideas, like it has for me.

Consider all the ways you can use other bloggers’ eBooks in your business (I’ve listed my ideas here):

1. Get inspired to write your own eBook! Whether your niche is pregnancy or poodles, just reading through other bloggers’ eBooks will inspire you to write your own. Come to the collection with the mindset of looking for inspiration to write.

2. Teach an online (or in person) course, using an eBook as the required curriculum.

3. Give away books and/or the Bundle on your blog. (Make sure you read the FAQs about copyright restrictions before gifting an eBook.)

4. Find new business partners and mentors. These authors are some of the sharpest businesswomen online. Simply by reading their books, you’re peeking into their wealth of knowledge. Begin following them on their blogs and social media and expand your reach.

5. Research, research, research. Guess what? These books were created because they are book-worthy topics. These are the topics readers demanded. I’m sure each author came at her topic from a slightly different angle, but in the end, these are hot topics in each category. Find your niche category, study the eBooks there, and see what pops up for you. Hopefully, you’ll get new ideas for blog posts, articles, or a future eBook.

6. EBook review page. Once you’ve read an eBook, write a review. Create a separate page on your blog where you post reviews of several eBooks that you believe your audience would find helpful. Make sure you become an affiliate for each book and post your affiliate link with your book review.

7. Include specific books in a holiday gift guide. Create a gift guide, tailored to your niche. Suggest eBooks in the guide using your affiliate links in short reviews.

8. Launch a business from something you learn. Many eBooks are “how-to” guides. Learn a new skill or craft, or create a DIY project. Use your new “creation” as the first item for sale in your home-based business.

9. Create a Favorite eBooks podcast. Interview the eBook authors for a podcast specific to your niche.

So, what’s number 10? What ideas do you have to use eBooks in your business?

Image credit: MorgueFile.com

 

 

 

Mom, Are You One of the 62%?

Infographic: New MomsI recently read an article that featured all sorts of stats about mothers, expenses, and employment. (Image courtesy of: CreditDonkey)

When our first child was born in 2003, we were in a comfortable financial situation—no debt, healthy monthly cash flow, and a cushy emergency fund/savings account. I had always wanted to be home full-time with my kids, eventually pursuing part-time freelance writing work. It all seemed more than manageable.

We were fine living on my husband’s salary and my meager few thousand dollars a year.

That was until the twins were born in 2005.

I don’t have to tell you that with twins, everything is double: more diapers, more onesies, more gear. We had tons of help (with finances and resources), but we quickly blew through our stash of cash and (unfortunately) piled on the credit card debt.

We’ve been digging out of that the last few years, as we’ve both increased our incomes. But now, we’re facing the preteen/teen years with out-of-control appetites, $100 athletic shoes, and orthodontics.

Kids are expensive. (Sigh.)

As a mom, I know you’ve got to be facing the same types of challenges in your own family. According to the article I read:

  • the average cost of raising a child to the age of 17, is $235,000
  • of working moms, 74% work full-time, 26% work part-time
  • of working moms, 62% prefer to work part-time, 37% prefer to work full-time

I find these numbers interesting. If I’m interpreting them correctly, there’s a whole lot of working moms working full-time who would prefer to be working part-time.

I’m here to tell you that it can happen for you. I wholeheartedly believe that when you tap into your God-given passions, your priorities will come into focus. As you work your priorities, the provision appears.

It’s not hard to get started in your pursuit of the opportunity that you can turn into a successful home-based business. I’ll let you in on a little secret: God has left clues for you everywhere.

Just look around! What has God placed in your heart that motivates you? What do you love to do? How has he already given you the skills, passions, objects, and equipment to move forward to follow his call?

Maybe you love children and find them running in and out of your house all summer long. What about beginning a day camp or starting a kids’ birthday party business?

Maybe you have a great eye and love taking photos. Take a few classes and offer family photo sessions initially for low cost or free in exchange for the experience, referrals, and to build your portfolio.

Are you unhappy with your work situation? Would you like to have your own money-making business but aren’t sure how to begin?

Start by looking in your house because there you will find your passions, priorities, and provision.

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If you want to know more about discovering a home-based business that’s perfect for you, download my free ebook that walks you through the process and offers you 65 business ideas you can start right away!

Why and How to Start a Work at Home Business

work at home, work from home, home based business ideas

work at home, work from home, home based business ideas

I have been a WAHM (work at home mom) since my first child was one. It’s not always easy; some challenges come with the territory. I talked about that in a previous post, “Do You Want to Work at Home?”.

But honestly? I have loved it and really prefer it to a full-time office job. (In the interest of full disclosure, I need to tell you that I’m now working at an office part-time and loving that, too.)

I’m a writer—a profession that transfers well to working from home. If you don’t know why you should work from home or exactly where to begin, I have some helpful suggested resources for you.

Why Should I Work at Home?

People choose to work at home (or from home) for a variety of reasons. You may consider it if:

  • You’d love to earn money while also having time for your family.
  • You see that the cost of childcare and other full-time work-related expenses outpaces your income.
  • You have an entrepreneurial bent, are interested in being your own boss, and/or are a self-starter.
  • You don’t mind being alone most of the time.
  • You prefer working alone on deadline-oriented projects.

How Do I Begin a Home Based Business?

Now that you’ve decided to work from home, exactly how do you make that transition?

Before you make the full leap, have a general plan in place. Begin your research with some of these websites:

1. Subscribe and follow Kelly McCausey at Solo Smarts.

Kelly has many years’ experience of working from home as a solo business owner, and she’s a fantastic coach to moms who want to do the same. I highly recommend her podcast, products, and coaching. Some of my favorites that I think you’d find helpful when just starting out include:

2. Find help and information with Solo MasterMinds.

The SoloMasterMinds group is a forum for encouragement, assistance, and accountability. The savvy and experienced businesswomen who hang out there are eager to help you and answer your questions.

3. Read a lot from people who are doing what you’d like to do. Some of my “go-to” sites for insightful blog posts and podcasts include:

If your income has been a big part of the monthly family finances, then switching to a work at home job will cause your finances to take a hit. Be sure there is enough financial cushion in your bank account to weather the first six months of your new career. It will take time to establish your business.

Ideally, I’d suggest beginning your home based business alongside your traditional business. Once your work at home business is successfully generating some income, you can more easily transition out of your traditional job.

Get Home Based Business Ideas

For more home based business ideas, including ways to work at home, download my free report, 5 Easy Steps to Discover the Home Based Business That’s Perfect for You.

Photo Credit: papernstitch via Compfight cc

Do You Want to Work at Home?

We women are complicated creatures; at least, I know that I am.

I have always had creative and business aspirations. I have always wanted to have a family and be a successful home manager.

I know that I can’t have it all (women who say you can have it all are either wealthy and pay for a lot of work to be done in their stead or terribly disillusioned).

No, I believe that having what you have is a beautiful mix of making choices within the framework of God’s leading, your talents, and your affinities—and deciding on prioritizing passions and necessities.

I also believe that one aspect of determining these things can be achieved by looking around you—in your house—to see what he’s given you.

Stumped to find God’s will? Just take inventory of what he’s put in your path of responsibility and possession, then embrace it and ask for his leading.

Stumped to find God’s will? What’s in your path of responsibility and possession? Embrace it and ask for his leading.

Remember that what God calls us to do, he will equip us to do.

Start a Work at Home Business

One terrific compromise to the work/family balance, I believe, is working at home or working from home for professional clients and/or running one’s own business.

I am amazed at the varied and passionate creativity that so many of my friends and peers possess.

Are you thinking of starting a work at home business? Consider the following benefits and challenges.

Benefits of a Work at Home Business

  • Flexibility to work when you can/want to
  • Little overhead (no commuting or dry cleaning bills)
  • Little risk to begin (often a computer and Internet connection are about the only tools needed to start)
  • Can be more productive if you enjoy working alone

Challenges of a Work at Home Business

  • Can be easily distracted if chores are calling your name
  • Can be lonely if you enjoy working around people
  • Little to no boundaries between family life and home life
  • Interruptions in the family routine (school holidays, sick family, etc.) can derail work plans

Great websites for more info:

The Work at Home Woman is a great resource of information for just about any type of at-home work you’re interested in doing.

FlexJobs.com is another highly recommended (I first heard them featured on NPR) site that features legitimate work-at-home jobs.

SoloSmarts from Kelly McCausey features a helpful blog and podcast that will guide you in getting a home based business off to a great start.

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Download my free report, 5 Easy Steps to Discover the Home Based Business That’s Perfect for You, for more ideas about working at home.