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48 Days – “Ah Ha Moments”

48 Days – “Ah Ha Moments”

48Days-3“God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.” – 1 Peter 4:10

I call them Ah Ha Moments – like a light bulb appearing over a cartoon head on TV – all of a sudden that moment of realization hits you – that’s exactly what happened a few weeks ago when I was sitting in the 5th row of seats at church.  We were a few minutes early and made it in time for the on-screen announcements.   To my surprise Dave Ramsey appeared on the jumbo screen.  Everything in life paused for a moment and my face lit up like a candle!  I caught myself instantly being filled with an overwhelming sense of longing to Dave’s energy and passion for what he does.  I’ve always liked Dave Ramsey – his personality, his passion, his energy, his drive, his overall message, his love for the Lord – all of it.  He even reminds me of my dad and I catch myself calling him “Uncle Dave” – even though I don’t have any relation to him at all (deep down I really wish I did though).

Dan says in his book, 48 Days to the Work You Love, that everyone has a vocation or a calling and you need to take notice of Ah Ha Moments in your life – this may give you a strong indication of your calling.  Those moments of deep longing, or when you are doing something and realize in that moment that you are doing exactly what you were born to do.  A calling is not something reserved just for pastors, priests and monks.  God places a calling inside each one of us with special gifts and talents reserved just for us as individuals.  We fulfill our calling simply by being exactly what God created us to be and by being excellent at it.

It sounds so simple, doesn’t it?  I’ve struggled with this idea for such a long time – trying to figure out my true calling in life and never really understanding what it is.  Half the time I always felt like people are “called” into ministry – but rarely  do you hear someone say, I’m called to be a mom or an IT professional.  Seems like you can only be “called” when it has to do with devoting your life to full-time ministry, but that’s flawed thinking – 100% flawed.  Think about it – God created everything and everyone and each has a unique purpose – God created trees to be trees and by that tree being a tree it gives glory to God.  The same is true for us – God created each of us unique and by being ourselves and doing to the best of our ability exactly what God intended for us to do, we will find ultimate fulfillment.  Whoa!  That was profound – even for me!

So, how in the world do we figure out our calling?  According to Dan it starts with understanding the difference between your vocation, your career, and your job.  I’d have to say I used the words vocation and career interchangeably – they seemed like the same thing, where in fact, they are not, and this understanding has again lifted a burden off me.  Your vocation is the big picture of your life – the overall direction and purpose, the thing you do in life that gives you meaning and leaves a legacy for generations to come.

The Dictionary defines Vocation as:

  1. a particular occupation, business, or profession; calling.
  2. a strong impulse or inclination to follow a particular activity or career.
  3. a divine call to God’s service or to the Christian life.
  4. a function or station in life to which one is called by God.

I define vocation as the overall direction of your life, your calling – that unique path for your life that only God could put you on – that “thing” that you were put on this earth to do.

Your career is an entirely different thing – it’s a line of work that you do for a certain amount of time and you can have many different careers in your lifetime.

The Dictionary defines Career as:

  1. an occupation or profession, especially one requiring special training, followed as one’s lifework.
  2. a person’s progress or general course of action through life or through a phase of life, as in some profession or undertaking.
  3. success in a profession, occupation, etc.
  4. a course, especially a swift one.

My favorite definition is #2 –  a person’s progress or general course of action through life or through a phase of life, as in some profession or undertaking.  “Through a phase of life” – this perfectly explains a career to me.  A phase of life – think on that.

When I figure out my vocation and the overall big picture of what I want to do with my life, then there will be many careers that I may choose to do that still fulfill my overall vocation, especially if I decide that the career path I choose when I was 18 is no longer the career I want today.  Take for example the vocation of “helping people” – that can translate into many different careers such as being a teacher, doctor, pastor, writer, entertainer, etc.  And that also translates into many different jobs within a chosen career path.  If you started out helping people by being a special education teacher in an elementary and then decided that teaching kids was not your thing at all, then you could change your career path by going on to teach college students instead or start a ministry where you are helping homeless people.  All of these careers still fall within the vocation of “helping people.”

I hope I haven’t lost you yet!  All of this is a like gold to me!  I feel like I’m learning about myself and living backwards – oh to go back to my younger years and do all of this in the correct order!  Oh well, I’m sure if I could go back in time, none of this would seem so profound.  Right?!  I’m hoping my journey can somehow offer hope to someone else in my shoes who is struggling with their calling as well.

Let’s also define a Job – the Dictionary defines Job as:

  1. a piece of work, especially a specific task done as part of the routine of one’s occupation or for an agreed price.
  2. a post of employment; full-time or part-time position.
  3. anything a person is expected or obliged to do; duty; responsibility.

A job is a job.  It can be big or small.  It can be fun, or awful.  It can be the best choice you ever made or the worst.  It’s all up to you!  And the best part, it’s just a job – so if you hate it, change it.  If you love it, turn it into your career and if it’s fulfilling to you, then most likely it’s right in line with your vocation and you can truly say it’s your calling in life!  I think most people live their entire lives never finding their true vocation or calling – not because they haven’t tried, but because they let life and circumstances get in the way.  There were bills to pay and kids to take care of and they took the first job they could make money doing so that their kids were taken care of.  Next thing they know, it’s 20 years down the road and they are wondering what happened to their life.  Maybe, it never occurred to them to look at their life’s purpose and seek to understand what is God’s best for them.  Please Lord, don’t ever let that be me!  I don’t want to be scared to dream, to wonder, to take a leap!

Dan says, “Jobs will come and go, but they should never derail you from the fulfillment of your calling.”

I think I’ve made it too hard for me to see my calling.  It’s probably right in front of me and has been all this time.   I must be making it complicated – as if my calling is not enough – like it must be more, or harder, or it’s not worthy of being the calling of my life.  Funny, when I consider who placed that calling on my life – who is the Master and Creator of ALL that I am?

“You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.” – Psalm 139:16

Lord, help me see it – help me see my calling, my vocation, the overall direction of what you want me to be and do with my life.  Make it clear to me and give me a sense of Peace when it’s resonated in my heart.

I’m still working on this one you guys…. I’m thinking and praying about it and will be back with my thoughts soon.

48Days-3

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September 19, 20170 commentsRead More
My 48 Day Journey – Money Isn’t Everything

My 48 Day Journey – Money Isn’t Everything

48Days-2“Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.” -Confucius

As I dive into the 48 Days to Work You Love book by Dan Miller I’m struck with many “um hmmm” and “yes” and “oh you tell ‘em Dan” mumblings out of my mouth.  I read a page or two and wanted to highlight most of the words!  He has so many one-line truths that make me feel very hopeful and validated.  I even feel validated in my confusion of what I’m doing with my life, which is very encouraging.  I think I’ve always felt that your job is what defines your success in life – if you climb the corporate ladder just high enough, or if you start your own business and have a bunch of employees, or if you join a network marketing business and build your team to the top level, then that means you were successful in life.  With each of these, there would also be a big stream of money that came along with it.  Big fancy job, high level career, top earner and lots of money – to me, that was being successful.

I hate that I even put that on paper, I feel like it makes me sound shallow.  Yes, I had dreams too, and yes having money sure seems to be the best solution to a lot of life’s hardships.  How many times have you taken a job just because of the money?  Or better yet, how many times have you tried a job because of the promise of BIG money?  You know what I’m talking about.  We all have the one friend who is in a network marketing business – not too long ago I was also in one myself.  My husband and I got into the business because we loved the products and we wanted to share them with everyone!  Naturally, I assumed that every person in my life would want to try them, and I also assumed that the products would literally sell themselves.

At the beginning, lots of friends and family did support us and they gave the products a try.  Our business declined as soon as I ran out of friends and family to talk to.  I desperatlely wanted our business to succeed because we both wanted that promise of money, more time with the kids, and the cool car that came along with the higher levels of achievement (we did need a new car at the time, so this seemed like a win-win).  We stuck with it for two solid years.  We went to all the local meetings, and traveled to the BIG meetings out of state, and held our own meetings out of our house.

I wrote ebooks, blogged about the products, shared the products on all forms of social media, messaged and called all my contacts, and as time went on I started to notice a shift in my attitude.  I no longer saw people as people – they were a target.  I would consider every possible angle I could think of to somehow bring up how my products or business could fix any problems they had.  I no longer saw people for who they were – my friends, my family, people God placed in my path on a daily basis that needed His love – they were all possible business associates that could take us to our next level.  Ick!!! When I finally realized this I was ashamed of who I had become.  That’s not who I am.  I love being around people and being there for them when they need something.

I realized my new business that I started with the best intentions had turned into something that I didn’t want to be a part of anymore.   And you know what?  I didn’t see God’s blessing in it either – it was like  we were spinning our wheels and never getting any traction.  After the second year of trying to fit a square peg into a circle we finally walked away, and I’m not sorry we did.  Let me tell you, a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders when I could finally love on my friends again without seeing a dollar sign.  For me the big selling part to joining a network marketing business was the amount of money and success you could achieve – all depending on how hard you work – I wanted to experience the American Dream of having lots of money, toys, and time.  While I think this business model is legit, it’s super hard, and so many of us try and don’t last very long.  For those that make it and enjoy it, I applaud you, but for me, I sure hated how much I thought about money and the constant push for more time, more meetings, more people, more…more..more…more.

In the pursuit of my dream, I was sacrificing so many other parts of my life.  I was focused too much on money and forgot about caring for people.  My good intentions of having a better and more fulfilling life were pushed way off to the side and eventually I lost myself.  I toiled so hard in working our business that I didn’t make physical exercise a daily habit, and I quit eating healthy because it took up too much time to prepare healthy food.  I only made coffee dates with potential clients instead of just meeting up with a friend to see how they were doing.  I stopped volunteering to make dinners for neighbors in need because I was “too busy working”.  I quit doing a lot of the things that God put me here on earth, in my state, in my neighborhood, on my street, to do for others.   Like I said, it was a big learning experience!

My journey of being a part of a network marketing company taught me many things about myself.  I don’t want to sell – period.  The funny thing about that is I totally can.  I have a personality for days – I can talk to just about anyone, but I hate the feeling of having to “sell” to someone or convince someone they need what I have.  It’s not who I am and I’m so glad I found Dan’s book because one thing I’ve learned is that just because I have the skills to do something really well, like selling, it doesn’t mean I have to do that for my job.

Until I figure out what I want to do for my “work” I’m happy that there is more to life than just job success.  I saw so many people in my network marketing business that seemed happy on the outside because of their top level achievement, but behind the scenes when no one was looking, they were over-worked, stressed out, and quite possibly unfulfilled.  I didn’t want to be one of those people who spent all my time, efforts and energies working on my business and neglected all other parts of my life.

I won’t ever take a job again where I have to convince people to buy something – it just feels wrong to me.  For those of you out there who are in a network marketing business and love it – ROCK ON!!!  Stick with it if you are loving it and can’t wait to get up every morning to work on it.  For me, I’m glad I now know that my job success is not the only piece to a successful life.  There are so many other parts to who we are as human beings, and the key is to keep it all in balance and to make deposits into all areas of your life – not just work.

Dan’s book has a whole new take on what really is a successful life.  A successful life is so much more than a job or a career.  Your work is only a small part of your overall life success, or at least it should be.  That’s the key.  In Dan’s book, 48 Days To The Work You Love he says, “Work cannot be the only component of a successful, fulfilling life, but it is a very useful tool.”  God made us to work and it’s a part of life, but why not have work that is fulfilling both physically, mentally, and spiritually? Yes!!

How in the world do you even figure this out?  That’s what I want, a J-O-B that earns money, is fun, exciting, fulfills my spiritual gifts, helps people, and doesn’t feel like work.  That’s what I’m looking for.  But I have to remind myself that work is not the only part of having a fulfilled life.  We need to stop being defined by what we do, but instead by who we are.   There are 6 areas of your life that need constant deposits made into them to keep them running – Work, Family, Personal Development, Community, Church, and Recreation.  If you spend all your waking hours working, then your family and kids suffer.  If you spend all your time with your friends in community – staying out too late then your job suffers and your home life falls apart.  If you spend too much time working on personal development by reading books and watching YouTube seminars never leaving your couch, then your health suffers.  If you give and give and give to your kids and family always meeting their needs first, then your health and personal development suffer.  It’s a nasty cycle of give and take.  You give too much to one thing, than everything else suffers.  I think a successful life is all about balance – which is so much easier said than done.  Am I right?!  Success cannot be defined by work alone.  Mind-blowing!!!

So…wrap it up Katrina…what do you mean?!  For right now, I feel like Dan has just lifted a burden off of me.  Work and money are not everything!  In our crazy, success-driven American lives, we give our souls to our work and there are lots of other areas of life that are worthy and are part of a successful and fulfilling life.  Just dwell on that for a few days…until I have more.

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September 7, 20170 commentsRead More
My 48 Day Journey – The Beginning

My 48 Day Journey – The Beginning

 

48Days-1Part of my recent silence has been a lot of contemplation, not only about my kids, but about me and where I’m going in my life.  When I was senior in high school I had HUGE dreams – my life was all ahead of me, and I thought I would be something AMAZING!  I dreamed of being a business owner that would make my first million dollars by the time I was 30 and then I planned to sell everything I owned, donate my million to my local church and go be a missionary in the poorest parts of Mexico.  For real.  Those were my dreams!

At the ripe age of 18 I had to pick my future career, and for me, that was deciding what business I wanted to have that would make me my million dollars.  I had been exposed to graphic design in my high school classes and won a bunch of awards, so I felt like that was what I was good at.  I had also been exposed to business classes and truly loved them – I ran our school store and was the CEO of our school business department – that was my true passion, I just didn’t realize it.

When I chose my college, I picked it because of scholarships I was given to attend, the warm location (I was tired of Colorado snow I guess), and because I wanted to attend a private Christian University.  My plan was to double major in Business and Graphic Design, but was advised to pick just one and I had a bigger scholarship for art, so I chose Graphic Design.  The problem was that my college did not have a good art department – it’s no wonder they gave me a big scholarship!  My 18-year-old self didn’t think much of any of this and I just put my business degree on the back burner and went ahead with an art degree at a private, out-of-state school that cost a lot of money and left me with a huge pile of debt when I was done.  If I could do it all again, I absolutely would have gone to a community college in my home state and went after a business degree instead of art.  It would have a saved me a ton of money, and given me a much more well-rounded education that was geared more towards my true passion which is business – not art – but at the age of 18 I didn’t think that far down the road.

My college years put me on a journey towards a career that now, almost 20 years later, I’m not longer interested in doing.  Awesome. ☹  I think this is common for a lot of people, you think you want to do one thing, you pay a ton of money to go to college to do that one career and then realize that is not really your true passion.  Seems like a very expensive way to learn that lesson, which is very frustrating at this time in my life.

Two months before I graduated from college (a year early I might add – yes, I could’ve handled a double major for sure…but oh well), I got married!   Wahoo!!!  We began our first business shortly thereafter – a graphic and web design company and we built it from the ground up.  We started it small, working at night and on the weekends with only one client at a time, and we made a deal to keep our business 100% debt free, so we knew it would grow slowly.

After a few years of both of us working on our business just part-time while we both worked full-time, we made a huge leap of faith to move to Colorado and for me to quit my full-time job and work our business full-time.  My husband was able to keep his full-time job and work remotely from our apartment in Denver, while I joined our local Chamber of Commerce and hit the pavement selling our business.  It took time, but slowly it began to grow.  After only living in Denver for a little while I was bringing in a lot of work and my husband was able to go part-time with his job and spend even more time on our business.  Only 6 months later our business had grown so much much that my husband quit his job and began working for our business full-time!  That was a huge leap of faith for us, and God totally honored it!

At its peak, our business was great and we were making more money than I ever imagined was possible!  It was one time in my life when I truly felt God’s blessing on what I was doing.  The phone was always ringing and the work just poured in.  My favorite thing each day was going to our mailbox and receiving signed contracts and deposit checks.  It was really awesome!  Even though our business was booming, it was a ton of work.  We had no down-time – we were always working, because we were the business, if we stopped working, we quit making money.  The up-side to our  business was that  we got to be together all the time and despite what you might think, that is a good thing for us!  We work very well together – probably because we are such opposites.  I miss working with him these days…..but that is another story…

A few years into our business we were making great money and we decided it was time to have some kids!  By the time our 3rd child was born, I was burnt out!  I couldn’t be business owner, full-time graphic designer, meet with clients and do all the sales while being a mom to 3 young children who were at home with us all day long.  It was such a challenge to balance work when they were napping – especially when they got older and didn’t nap nearly as much!  I realized one day when I was running my oldest son to Kindergarten and my middle child, who was super sick, had just thrown up in my car on the way school.  At the same time my newborn was screaming his head off and my cell phone was ringing off the hook with a client who needed to talk to me – it was just too much, I just couldn’t do it all anymore!  My priorities changed and I needed a break and felt like it was more important to just be a mom while the kids were young.  The stress totally got to me and I wanted a time-out!

My husband was also burnt out from all the long hours and the stress of being a business owner.  Because our oldest son was born with heart problems, we were having a hard time paying for our self-employment insurance – it was awful to know how much we had to pay for insurance just because we could not get on a group plan.  It was time for a change and I was ready to walk away from the business, the long hours, and the constant phone calls.  I was longing to breathe, play with kids, and not worry about clients.  It was much harder for my husband to walk away from it – it was like the death of a dream – he felt like a failure.  I, on the other hand was super proud of us!  We did it!  We started and successfully ran a thriving business that was our sole income for 7 years!  I think I was ok to walk away from it all because I didn’t enjoy all aspects of my duties – I learned that I loved business, actual business – I like managing our employees, organizing our work flow, and meeting with all our clients, but I didn’t love doing the actual graphic design work.

I’ve spent the last 11 years just being a mom – you know what I mean, carpooling, crafting, tons of cooking, gardening, more carpooling, coaching soccer teams, working with the kids at my church, starting a MOPS ministry, and lots of couponing.  When my kids were babies, it was very fun and fulfilling – the days were long and busy and I didn’t have time to feel sorry for myself.  Now that all 3 of my kids are in school, I have a lot more time to think and dream and find myself at a spot where I’m totally lost as to what my purpose is.  I never planned or even thought about what my life would be like past starting a business and having kids.   It’s a very weird place to be.  I feel very unsure and lost about what I’m supposed to do next or what I even want to do next.

15 years ago, as a wedding present, we received Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover 12-Week Course and it was the best thing that ever happened to us.  From Dave Ramsey, we learned about Dan Miller and his book, 48 Day To The Work You Love.  I’ve heard Dave advertise this book on his website for years and it never seemed to apply to my life until now.  I checked out the book from the library and am going on a 48-day journey to try and figure out what is the work that I love!  Join me on my journey and I’ll try to let you know what I come up with!  So far, I wish I would’ve purchased the book because there are a ton of things I’d like to highlight and make notes about – it’s just that good!

48Days-1

 

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August 30, 20170 commentsRead More
Do You Feel Like Giving Up On Your Side Gig? How To Stay Motivated

Do You Feel Like Giving Up On Your Side Gig? How To Stay Motivated

GiveUpSideGigAre you worn out and exhausted and wondering why in the world you keep trying to make money with your side gig when it’s the millionth time that you have hosted a home meeting, brewed the coffee, baked the cookies, spent hours practicing your presentation, prepared handouts, creatively displayed your products, sent out tons of invites, received a long list of RSVP’s, only to have your phone ring over and over with cancellations 10 minutes before the meeting, and then no one shows up at all?

Or here, let me set a different scene – have you spent hours and hours waking up super early each morning to work on your blog – day after day – you are writing for hours and hours and usually that is between a child or two that decide to get up early too?  You write, photograph, design beautiful “pin-worthy” images for every blog post, create catchy slogans, read every book by the famous bloggers who have made it, go to blog conventions, rub shoulders with celebrity bloggers, all to have your latest blog giveaway of a free lunch only have 3 people comments (and it’s a FREE lunch people…free…and you still can’t even get people to enter).

Both of these scenarios are in addition to everything else that is added on top of your regular daily jobs as a mom of cooking, cleaning, taking care of the kids, soccer practice, grocery shopping, school carpool, etc. – and somehow you are also trying to carve out time to be an entrepreneur and be successful because you have lofty dreams of one day being one of the celebrity bloggers you read devotedly each day, or one of the top level earners who just got a new car!

I’ve been there.  I’m there now.  I’ve been on the upside and have looked down and I’ve been at the very bottom.  It’s all hard.  There are pluses and minuses to both sides.  But I think the biggest thing to remember in all of it is your attitude and how you look at your present circumstances.  These are my top 5 tips on how I stay motivated to keep working towards my dreams:

  1. Remember that being broke is a state of mind.  If you are an entrepreneur and already have a side gig, then you are leaps and bounds ahead of most people – broke people.
  2. Consistency is key – keep at it.  Don’t give up.  Hold on to the reason that you started your side gig to begin with.
  3. Identify your “why” and write it on a sticky note and paste it up on different places in your house to remind you of why you choose the struggle to have a side gig.  If you don’t have a “why” then stop everything and identify it right now.  Focus on it, and keep going.
  4. Surround yourself with people who encourage you to reach your goals – if they don’t get super excited when you are winning than they are not your friends.
  5. Your success is up to you.  If you want to grow your business, it’s up to you – not anyone else.  If you want your blog to be amazing, write amazing blog posts.  If you want to take your business to the next level, then hustle and make it happen.

And finally, moms, give yourself some grace.  If you don’t get it all done in one day, that’s ok.  Like they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day.  Give yourself grace, go to bed, and get up and try again.  Just don’t ever stop trying!

We can do this together – plus I’m praying for you and would love you to pray for me too!  Please feel free to send me an email with how I can be praying for you and your side gig!  If you want to pray for me, please pray that God would direct my side gigs to be whatever He wants them to be and that I would humbly follow His direction.  Hugs momma!

DoYouFeelLikeGivingUpYourSideGig

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March 30, 20162 commentsRead More
Why You Should Use IBOTTA

Why You Should Use IBOTTA

WhyUseIBOTTAEver wonder what IBOTTA is all about?  Have you heard people talking about how great it is?  Have you read bloggers who have written about IBOTTA being their favorite coupon app?  Well, you have come to the right place and I’m just one more blogger who absolutely LOVES IBOTTA and would love to tell you why you should use it too (I guess that’s also my way of saying to stop reading right now if you don’t want a super-easy way to save money on the groceries that you already buy).

IBOTTA is a very easy-to-use coupon app for your smartphone.  Available for both Android and Apple devices and is free to download.  If you join IBOTTA via a friend referral code you will instantly earn $10 after you redeem your first rebate.  You can sign up now via my referral code – SIGN UP NOW so you don’t miss out on that extra $10!  The great part signing up via a friend is that your friend also earns a $5 reward for signing you up!  It’s a win-win!  After you have joined IBOTTA you can start referring your own friends and you will make $5 for every friend you refer that signs up via your own personal link and redeems at least one rebate, plus they also earn that $10 reward as well!  Can you see why I think IBOTTA is awesome?!

Don’t wait, go ahead right now and get signed up – SIGN UP NOW, and then once you have the app installed on your phone, continue reading.  I’ll wait, seriously, go ahead.  SIGN UP NOW

Now that you have the IBOTTA app installed, let me give a quick overview of some the great things IBOTTA can do and how you can save
the most money:

  1. How IBOTTA Works: Download the app, unlock rebates by browsing the app before you go shopping, go shopping and buy the items you unlocked, verify your purchases and upload a quick picture of your receipt, then get cash loaded to your account.  SO EASY!
  2. Extra Savings on Groceries:  You will see that the IBOTTA app works at most major grocery stores and you can useIbotta-logo IBOTTA and paper coupons to purchase the same item!  For a lot of things that you mean you can get them for free with the double savings.
  3. Not only for groceries:  I use IBOTTA mostly for savings on my groceries, but you can also earn rebates at restaurants, on electronics, clothing, even movie tickets, and so much more!
  4. Redeem for CASH! After you have earned $20, you can redeem your earnings for cash, or gift cards to great places like Starbucks or the movies!

Now do you see why I love IBOTTA?!  If you still haven’t downloaded the app, do it now,  SIGN UP NOW and start saving and making money today!

Some links in this post are affiliate links, thanks for using them – while they help you save money, they also support me and my blog.

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March 12, 20160 commentsRead More
Why My Children Do Chores

Why My Children Do Chores

WhyMyKidsDoChores1Are you one of those moms that does too much because you have children that don’t do very much.  Make it your goal to work yourself out of a job.  If a child can play a game on your iPad, he/she can help with chores.  Now doesn’t that hit you like a ton of bricks?  When I first read this, I was in total agreement.  It’s so true.  Sometimes, we as moms, do way too much for our kids.  You know how it goes, your oldest child might tend to spill too much so it’s easier for you to pour the milk for cereal rather than letting him try, spill, learn, and you’re on your way out of a simple job.  I’m totally guilty of this.  I hate messes, so I tend to do way too many little jobs for my kids just to make sure there is a not a huge mess to clean up afterwards.  But I know I’m just making my job as a mom harder in the long run.  Kids need to learn to help even if it makes a bigger mess.

Confession time…when I was a kid I remember my mom making me and my brother do a lot of chores around the house.  The worst one of all was dusting and I had the lucky job of dusting this curio cabinet that had glass shelves.  I had to take every single little Precious Moments figurine that my mom collected off each shelf and make sure the shelf was dust free.  This job was so awful!  It was meticulous and took what seemed like FOREVER to do.  The worst part to doing a lot of my chores as a child was that even though I ‘thought’ I was doing a really good job as a 10 year old, my mom would always come along after and redo whatever I had just done, because it wasn’t done as good as she would have done it.  It always used to really drive me crazy – I never could figure out why I needed to waste the time doing the chores if she was just going to redo them anyways.  I catch myself doing the same thing to my kids.  Why???  I have no idea, except that I’m a crazy neat freak.  But I’m trying really hard to not redo their work anymore.  I’m trying very hard to remember how old they are and what their actual abilities are and then asses their level of efficiency and effort.  Your kids absolutely should be helping you around your house.  They live there for free – so they should pitch in and help!

So the next question becomes, what chores should your kids do and should you pay them to do those chores?  Here’s what I think.  Yes, yes, yes!  I’m a big Dave Ramsey follower and we love his ideas on kids and money!  Dave believes that you, as parents, are the boss and your kids are your employees.  As a boss your kids work for you, and they should earn commission.  When they work, they get paid.  When they don’t work, they don’t get paid.  Simple as that.  It works too!  It also teaches kids the value of money.  Rather than just paying them because they breathe, this forces them to equate working hard for the money they want to spend on fun things.  This idea works really well when your children are old enough to really understand what their money can buy them.  We have three kids, ages 4, 6 and 9 right now.  We started doing commission for chores when my oldest was 4.  At that age he did very simple chores and was paid at the end of each week.  From his weekly commission earnings he would then distribute that between three different envelopes for Giving, Saving, and Spending.  We have taught all 3 of our kids these concepts and they each have a list of chores based off their ages and abilities that they earn commission for.  This process forces the kids to see chores not so much as a chore, but as a job they can earn money for.  When there is a special toy they want to buy we often have some requests for extra chores in order to earn bonuses, and sometimes they do business deals with each other - getting paid from a sibling to do their chore!  It’s great! To a mompreneur like me, I love seeing business deals happen with my young children (and so far, they have been very fair)!
Just in case you are wondering what type of chores I have my kids do each week here is a quick list:

9 year old:

  • Undo the dishwasher/Set the table (alternates with 6yr old)
  • Shovel the driveway and back patio (in the summer instead of this he cleans up dog poop)
  • Clean room and make bed
  • Vacuum
  • Take out trash

6 year old:

  • Undo the dishwasher/Set the table (alternates with 9yr old)
  • Dust
  • Clean room and make bed
  • Sharpen pencils (in summer instead of this she waters the flowers)

4 year old:

  • Collects the newspaper from driveway
  • Feed the dogs/let’s them out in morning
  • Make bed
  • Collect trash

Bonuses (when I’m feeling generous… I don’t always pay for these things, but sometimes I do, especially when they help without being asked and without expecting a bonus):

  • Clean the bathroom
  • Sweep/Mop kitchen floor
  • Clean basement toy room
  • Clean glass windows and patio doors
  • “Help” mow the lawn and trim bushes
  • Unpacking groceries and helping put food away
  • Prepping/Washing weekly veggies
  • Cooking
  • Pitching in and helping mom with whatever job she is doing without being asked

Do your kids do chores?  What ages and chores do they do?  Do you pay them?  Would love to hear what you have tried and what works for your family!  Hugs to all!

WhyMyKidsDoChores1

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January 25, 20162 commentsRead More
Life Is All About Perspective

Life Is All About Perspective

landscape-nature-hand-fieldPerspective is really hard for me. I’m terrible at envisioning the future. I’m not a “dreamer,” I dwell in the present and rather than looking forward to the future I have this awful way of digging up the past.  For example, I love people and I have a God-given ability to meet and get to know people.  God has given me a gift of being able to bring people together – I like to call it “I’ll introduce you to your next best friend.”  I loathe this gift, but am trying very hard to find God’s blessing in it.  Instead of being happy for the people I’m able to help and blessed by the time (no matter how short) I was able to enjoy with them, I end up feeling lonely and that a piece of my heart has been sacrificed on the altar of “friendship.”  I’ve never understood this gift, but am praying for wisdom on how God intends me to use it.  It’s all about perspective, which I’m still working on.

I’ve spent a lot of time lately pondering what the Lord wants me to be doing at this time in my life.  I’ve had a rough year and I realize now that it’s all been about my skewed perspective.  I’ve spent a whole year beating myself up for all sorts of reasons, mostly my failures as a mom, wife, friend and business owner.  And the longer I beat myself up, I felt so lost and frustrated, that I wanted to give up on everything.  I was spending so much time dwelling on just how much I had failed rather than looking at just how much I had accomplished!  Seriously why does one single failure out-weigh a hundred victories?  And why do we keep score on ourselves anyway?  Perspective.  It’s all about perspective.

Then I came across an awesome quote, “God never sends you into a situation alone.  He goes before you, He stands beside you, He walks behind you.  Whatever your situation, be confident, God is with you!” Knowing that God is with me when I winning, when I’m failing, when I’m lonely, and when I’m totally lost is like having a burden lifted off my shoulders.

I don’t have to know or understand what the Lord is currently doing, or what He plans to do with my life in the future, my sole job is to live each day in the full confidence of the Lord, and to just keep pursuing my dreams, to keep trying, until God closes a door.  My first priority is God, then my spouse, then my family, and lastly my business.  When my perspective is on the wrong thing, all of these tend to get out of order.  In Joyce Meyer’s book, Get Your Hopes Up (which is an AMAZING book – highly recommend that everyone reads this book) she says, “You don’t have to sit back, just waiting for an answer to fall from the sky.  You can take your hopes to God, ask Him for His wisdom, guidance, and direction, and then take real practical steps toward your goal…..you can aggressively thank God that He is working in your life.”

In what ways do you need to change your perspective?

 

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December 2, 20150 commentsRead More
How To Make Money While Staying Home

How To Make Money While Staying Home

Have you ever rolled out of bed, stumbled down the stairs, and looked around at your messy house filled with toys that you didn’t feel like putting away last night, knowing it’s just another day and you probably still won’t get the toys put away?  Besides never getting the toys put away, you still have to get the lunches made and the piano practice done and on and on and on and on…all within the next hour before you get kids off to school?

I remember when I had this exact morning about 3 years ago, and I remember thinking – “gosh, this sure is fun – said no mom – ever.”  But then my thoughts jumped to the fact that already two of my kids are in school all day and I only have one still at home with me.  In a few years he will be at school all day as well – and once he is, then WHAT??  What would I do with my time all day long?  Yes, for the first week I will eat bon bons and watch soaps all day.  Actually, I don’t like either of those things, so I probably won’t do that.   The quiet will be nice – but only for a couple days.  I know myself well enough to know that I’ll go nuts if I don’t find something to keep me slightly stressed and busy.  That’s how I roll – I function so much better on the edge of panic.  It’s also how I get a lot done – I fill my days from sun up, to sun down with some type of work, and I tend to be very effective.  If I don’t have something to keep me actively busy and full of purpose, I will flounder.

Since I know all of this about myself, and because I’m a planner, 3 years ago I started looking for things I could do to keep busy when all three kids will be in school full time.  If you have read my blog for awhile now, you know I’m an entrepreneur5MM_Cover_295x448 at heart,  so naturally, I began to think about business ideas and ways that I could earn and save money from home.  After a lot of research and prayer, about a year ago I started actively working on a new business that I plan to work on full time when all three kids are in school, and I’m so excited!

If you find yourself in the same place I did, wondering what you’ll do once kids are in school full time and wanting to make or save some money, then here are some ideas for you.  I’ve also written a really great eBook, 5 Money-Making Ideas for Stay-At-Home-Moms, that you can download FREE now that explains many of these ideas and even a few more in detail.

  • Shop at thrift and consignment stores.  Don’t freak out – you really can find some amazing deals at thrift stores for your family and you can save a lot of money.  Especially if you shop on their 50% off days!  Yes, it takes some work to really look for stuff, and you tend to deal with long lines, but you can find some really great deals!  Some of the best deals I’ve found have been on sporting equipment for the kids (especially on cleats) and maternity clothes.
  • Sell your stuff at consignment stores.  Not only should you shop at consignment stores, but you can sell your used stuff at them as well!  I know some mommies who sell enough of their own stuff that they can then use their store credit to turn around and buy whatever they need, and are never7BigMistakes_Cover_295x448 really paying out of pocket for clothing!
  • Use coupons every time you shop.  Join a coupon group where you can share deals and swap coupons.  Get your kids involved and have them help you clip coupons!  If you get a system down, you can use coupons every week, save money, and not have it take up too much of your time.  I explain a lot more about how to do this in another eBook I’ve written, 7 Biggest Mistakes Couponers Make – you might want to download that one as well. :)
  • Have a garage sale.  We all know this is a lot of work, but you can make quick money by having a garage sale!
  • Start your own business!  This is my favorite idea of all – I love to SAVE money, but I also love business and I personally want to earn money.  The best way I know to earn money from home is to start a network marketing business.  There are so many of them to choose from with great products like jewelry, bags, makeup, energy drinks, etc!  It’s all about finding one that fits your lifestyle and has the potential to earn the amount of income you are looking for.  Some people just want the free stuff that you get from having a few parties, some people want to earn enough money to make the car payment, and some people want to find a business that replaces their spouse’s income.  I was looking for a serious business model, with a company that had ground-breaking products that no one else offered, and that had the income potential to replace my spouse’s income and bring him back home to work with me in business again.  I’m so happy because I’ve found it!

Download my eBook for more ideas on how to save and earn money from home – it is possible!  I’d love to hear your ideas on how you save your family money or how you make money at home!  Please share them in the comments below!  Hugs!

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November 4, 20150 commentsRead More
Have You Ever Wanted To Be An Entrepreneur?

Have You Ever Wanted To Be An Entrepreneur?

Have you ever wanted to be an entrepreneur?  If your answer is no, I totally understand – I never wanted to be riskone either!  Now, does that surprise you?  It should – especially if you have read my blog and know that I’m a huge business person.  There is a difference in loving the art of business and actually being an entrepreneur.

Entrepreneur: a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.  

Did you read the part that said considerable risk?  Ok, stop everything right now – know this about me – I’m a WIMP!!!  A huge wimp.  It’s actually sort of funny because I have no problem talking to anyone, or being up on stage commanding a crowd, or leading a huge group of people to do some task – but when it comes to any sort of risk, I wimp out – big time!  Funny the way God made us huh?  The risk-taking part of being an entrepreneur is the hardest part for me and the biggest hurdle for me to cross.  But, I’ll admit, I have all the other parts covered – I love to organize, manage, and take initiative – and those three things outweigh my fear of risk and that’s why I’m an entrepreneur!

If you want to be an entrepreneur and have no idea where to start – I’ll tell you one thing, you already have crossed a big hurdle – desire - dreaming of more!  At the heart of every entrepreneur is a dream of more and that is a great place to start!  If you find yourself dreaming about firing your boss, or dreaming of having more time to spend with your family, or simply dreaming of having more income coming into your household, then it’s time to get started!  Being an entrepreneur doesn’t have to be overly complicated – simply decide it’s time to do something.   Figure out your strengths and limitations, and then start considering your options.

For example, you might be a stay-at-home-mom like me and dream of making some extra income for your household to pay bills and maybe save a little for a newer used car.  You know you are good at sewing and cooking, but you also know your time is limited because you have young kids.  You realize that a lot of people need their clothes tailored or mended and you decide to start an in-home sewing/tailoring business for your friends and neighbors, that you can do a couple hours a day Are You An Entrepreneurwhen your kids are napping – and tadaa – an entrepreneur is born!  It’s really that simple!  It just takes some desire, passion, purpose and a drive to go for it!

I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas!  If you have any questions – comment and I’ll try to help as best I can!

I recently posted a video of my journey to becoming an entrepreneur – if you didn’t get a chance to watch it yet, you can now - WATCH NOW.

 

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July 28, 20150 commentsRead More
6 Real Ways You Can Make Money As a Stay-At-Home-Mom

6 Real Ways You Can Make Money As a Stay-At-Home-Mom

StickyNote_6RealWaysToMakeMoneyAsASAHMIt’s no secret, I’m a stay-at-home-mom and I love it!  There are so many positives to being home with my kids all day!  I know I sound all “chummy” and“happy go lucky-the world is full of rainbows,” but I really do love that I get to be home with my kids and also create income doing some of the simple and complicated things I do as a mom.  If you have read a lot of my blog posts you know that I’m very business-minded, God just made me that way.  In high school I spent all my time running our school store, as well as being a part of every business club our school offered and competing at the National level in many of them for things like Job Interview and Desktop Publishing.  By the time I graduated I was determined to make a million dollars before I turned 30 with my own business.  I was an entrepreneur from the get-go.  Now, I’m proud to say I’m a MOMprenuer and love that I can have the best of both worlds.  You don’t have to put your dreams of working and creating an income on hold just because you are now a mom and spend the majority of your day cleaning up spit-up and dirty diapers.  Trust me moms, I know!  I’ve been there and I’ve just passed the potty training stage for my youngest and am literally doing the happy dance!  Through all the stages of my 3 kids, I’ve kept a candle burning for my business dreams and am happy I’ve not quit.  When the kids were babies I was not able to spend as much time working as I can today, but being a mom comes first above any work EVERY DAY.  I’ve learned ways to work in a little bit of work here and there while I’m doing the mom thing and I’ve gotten pretty good at it.  Here a couple quick ideas of ways to keep working during the day when you are in full-time mommy mode – then, I promise I will give you some REAL ways you can make some money:

  • Make A List (I actually keep 2 at all times): Keep a notebook/notepad with you when you are being mommy-chauffer taking kids to and from school, soccer practices and dance class.  Jot down a list of things you need to do that day for your personal life when you are a stop sign or waiting on your kids during practices – like chores, phone calls you need to make, cleaning you need to do, etc.  I’m slightly crazy, so I actually have 2 notebooks that I take everywhere – one is for my personal life and the other if for my business.  Anytime I think of things for either one I add it to the list.  Oh and because I’m always thinking about coupons/groceries, in my personal notebook I always have a running list for the grocery store.
  • K_Kenz_work_webSchedule Your Time:  This is a no-brainer.  In order to be effective both as a mom and as a MOMprenuer you MUST schedule your time.  I know so many moms who struggle with time management.  They get so wrapped up in doing something silly (like watching a quick program on TV) that all a sudden the whole morning is gone and they didn’t get anything done.  I’m a huge fan of scheduling – and I’ve found that when I get up early in the morning and start the day with a some strenuous exercise as well as a good cup of coffee and some quiet time with the Lord and my Bible I have a much better day.  That helps me get going and then I can attack the day.  I will then spend the next 10mins before kids are up to get out my personal notebook and make a list of all the things I want to get done that morning while my older kids are at school.  I try to block out about 45mins each morning to spend some time working in my office.  I allow my youngest son that time to pick out the educational games he wants to play on my iPad and this is his only chance during the day to play uninterrupted (from his older siblings) on my iPad.  It’s a win-win and I know exactly which tasks in my office I want to get done and I set right to it (because I had already made my list).
  • Get Off Facebook:  Yeah, I just went there!  I mean it.  Get off your phone.  I’m so bad at this, but I try to be present for my kids when they are awake.  Let’s be honest, there is nothing more annoying than trying to talk to someone who is also checking their Facebook or phone at the same time.  Imagine how this feels to your kids?  Plus, think of how much time you truly do WASTE on Facebook.  A lot huh?  I understand, I have the same problem!  But I’m really trying to work on it.

Now on to the good stuff, 6 REAL Ways to Make Money as a Stay-at-Home-Mom and here they are:

  1. Start using coupons regularly.  Start to think of them as paper money, which they truly are.  Every single coupon you have is just like a couple quarters or a crisp dollar bill.  While they may not actually make you money – they will keep the money that you have made in your wallet by not having to pay as much for the items you need.   If you need help getting started with coupons download my FREE ebook – 7 Biggest Mistakes Couponers Make.
  2. Consign your old clothing.  This is a great way to make couple extra bucks on something you were going to donate or give away.  Go through your closet and your children’s closets and take all the stuff that is still current and in great shape to a consignment store and watch your account collect money!  You can get paid with a check, or you can buy clothing directly with the money you just made on the clothes you brought in.  It’s a win-win!
  3. Join an online selling group like VarageSale – it’s a local community app that you can put on your smartphone to buy and sell anything you have or want to have!  Clothing, household products, toys, shoes, etc.  All you do is take a picture of the item and pick a price and upload it to the group.  I personally love my community Varage Sale group and love that I can sell stuff without having to ship the items out.  Your community members just stop by your house or wherever you plan to meet them and yOu are done!  Check out VarageSale.com and see if your community has a group and get involved.
  4. Have a Garage Sale!  I love, love, love, love garage sales!  They are one of my favorite things to do from spring to fall.  You can make a great amount of money and get ride of a ton of stuff all in a matter of days!  It’s wonderful!  Make sure to check your community and home owner’s association for any rules they may have regarding garage sales.  My community is pretty strict, so I have to really be careful.
  5. Blogging is another great way to generate an income.  Set up a free blog and start writing.  What you have to say may go viral!  I love blogging, it’s a great way to relieve stress – it’s almost therapeutic to me.  Plus I love “meeting” new people online!  You never know what post will skyrocket your blog to the top of a search result.  Add some affiliates to your blog and you can start generating some income right away.
  6. Network Marketing – consider working part-time for a network marketing company.  There are many out there that have amazing products that you can share with people from makeup, to bags, to health and wellness products.  Choose whichever one fits you best and get online and start marketing your business.  Of course, I have my favorite that I think is best and would be happy to share it with you if you want to know how I make extra money.  Leave me a comment or shoot me an email and we can set up a time to talk to hear more info.  You also need to download this FREE eBook that I have written – 5 Financial Success Secrets For Stay-At-Home-Moms.

Hope this list helps!  If you have any questions, let me know! Love ya all!

 

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February 20, 20150 commentsRead More