As many of you know, I had to put down my dog of 15 years just six short weeks ago. Today, her best friend of 13 years left us to go to that great dog run in the sky. Smokey, this black bundle of love and cuddles, saw me through years of fertility treatments gone awry until I had no tears left. She was there for me on my darkest days with a wag of the tail and her shiny chocolate brown button eyes. We had so many adventures together and this picture was taken in Yosemite. I don’t think that in the 10 years she graced my life that I ever raised my voice to her. Eager to please, eager to love, she was joy personified. Please join me in sending Smokey off with a message to your dogs that have gone beyond to welcome her and play with her on her first day there.
Home-Office Noise Levels, Am I in Compliance?I enjoy running my business out of my home. It allows me many luxuries that working in an office can’t offer. I could go into all the pluses, but there are too many to mention, and I’m going to keep this short. But, the main reason I love working from home is my children are always near, most of the time in the same room, or at least in view. Yes, my work environment is sometimes noisy, wild and chaotic, but it’s what I have come accustom to, and quite frankly I enjoy it. Let me give a bit of background. I’m an only child and lived 18 years with just my mother. I am quiet by nature. I enjoy doing things alone- going to movies, restaurants and even traveling by myself. I truly enjoy solitude…….that was until I became a mom. Now with 2 little boys and a third on the way, silence no longer exists. I’m not sure how I have adapted, but I’m sure it had something to do with the grace of God. I know my life will never be a quiet one again, and I am ok with it.Ok, so continuing with my story….My husband was home from work sick this week, and got to experience a bit of my workday. He informed me the noise (from the children) exceeded the workplace limit of 85dB! (He is somewhat of a noise level expert.) “No way could I work in this noise,” he said…..I just had to laugh. I’ve never seen him recover from the flu that quickly.
I could go out and buy a set of ear defenders, but I’m quite happy not being in compliance.
I HATE chain email! It infuriates me! Honestly. As a busy mom whose schedule is already full I use my email as a serious tool to stay in touch with the world, my friends, my family and my son’s teachers. It is the easiest way for the world to stay in touch with me. So when I get an email from someone I think of it as a gift. Who wants to be given a gift with an assignment? “Read this and send it to everyone with a pulse in your address book.” To me this is like saying “Read this and then suck time out of everyone else’s day too.”
If all of the Moms around the world united and said no more chain email, how much more time would we save? I estimate that I get three of these foul emails a day – I don’t read them – Usually – sometimes they slip under the radar. Even to delete them takes a minute of my day – I want it back! If I did read these emails that would be 10 minutes a day – in ten minutes I can make my child laugh til he hurts, I can email a friend I haven’t talked to in years, I can unload the dishwasher or fold a load of laundry, I can even write an angry blog in 10 minutes! I would rather do any of these things and my life would be better for any of them.
Imagine if I actually forwarded these time sucking capsules! That would be at least 20 minutes. Ladies, in 20 minutes a day we could be resculpting our thighs, teaching our children to read, making healthier meals, meditating. Put all those 20 minutes together and we could be changing the world.
Stop with the mushy chain email! Make another choice. If something is so wonderful that you want to share it – go ahead and share it but delete the sentence about forwarding it on to friends and loved ones. Stop the insanity! But ask me how I really feel.
I left off where my website received a much needed facelift. I gave it one and then some! Plus, I decided to start a FREE blog where people in the BPO and REO business could communicate with each other, ask questions, post blogs on their personal experiences and more.
For the first few months my blog started to get more and more members, as well as various new topics kept on appearing every few days. While today, I have built up the blog to having over 900 members and over 120 different topics discussed. This blog is such a blessing in disguise because it helped me stand out from my competitors as a selling point. Plus, I decided long ago to not let any adverstisements be run or placed anywhere on my website or within my blog space.
Within this whole time I also had been selling my first eBook on eBay and quickly grew to possessing a coveted status of being a “Powerseller.” What this means is that I had to have an almost 100% positive feedback that my past customers left about how it was to do business with me as well as reach minimum monthly sales goals. I have been able to keep this status for over 1 year and hope to continue to be able to do this also.
On top of all of this I also wrote 3 more eBooks. Two of them were just the list of 60 and a list of 120 companies that was inside my BPO Manual. I created these eBooks for people that already had an intermediate level understanding into the BPO business, but at the same time they wanted to grow their business. I sold the lists for $9.99 for the list of 60 companies and $19.99 for the list of 120 companies. I haven’t increased or decreased my prices and have been able to ride out a stream of people who tried to “Copy-cat,” my material and sell it as their own. This is a whole different story that I’ll write about another time.
One of the questions I am most frequently asked is how do you do it all? At first, I would stumble around all the usual answers:
I am really organzied.
I have a terrific team.
Then I took a minute and really thought about it. I think the secret of running a business as a mother is that I just do as much as I can — and then not beat myself up if I don’t do as much as I wanted.
After taking all these time management courses, reading books, talking to professionals I realized one thing: we all have the same total amount of hours. It’s what you do with those hours that determine how much you get done and more importantly how satisfied you are with your life.
I make a concerted effort to be done by 5:30 in my office. Door shut. No more computer. I may peek at my blackberry if I am nervous about something, but there is an end time to my workday. I also decide whether or not I am going to work on the weekends.
I used to worry that if I wasn’t working all the time on my business, it wouldn’t grow. I was wrong. I found that doing a little bit each day adds up to all the time I need and can afford right now. That might mean only working on my business for a few hours in a full week.
My priorities are my children first, my family second and my business third. I think many women are like me and when starting a business they think – oh I don’t want all that responsability. I don’t have the time. I’ll just work for someone else. And this is okay.
I invite you to think about the possibility of working your own hours on your own terms around the things that are important to you. Motherhood Incorporated was founded on the principle that we in building our business that we must do it with respect to ourselves and our families. I am living proof it can be done, and I know many of you can do it to. Just take it slow. Do a little bit at a time.
I just explained this concept to my son recently as we read the Tortoise and the Hare. The bunny hopped all over town like a crazy rabbit, while the slow and steady turtle crossed the finish line. Slow and steady wins the race