So Fall is approaching, school has started and I have even spied a couple of wrinkled leaves on the ground. The flowers are drying up and the mornings are certainly cooler. I don’t know about you, but at this time of year I crave organization. It seems Summer is a very “lazy” season for me. My home-business slows a bit as I spend time with the kids and their activities. I sleep in a little and organization in the home seems to take a back seat.
However, as August approaches and the back to school craze begins, my organizational tendencies wake back up! Something about it makes me want to rip apart closets, start new routines and organize! I know I am not alone here so I thought I would try something fun and begin an organization “bootcamp” so to speak. I plan to start it on the 1st of September. It’s not going to be daunting. Just a daily activity to keep our homes organized and ready for Fall. Are you up for the challenge?
If you are a tweeter follow my organization bootcamp by using #organizationbootcamp
No good business gets off to a stellar start without a solid plan. In fact if you are hoping that a bank will invest in your business, by giving you a loan, you can be certain you will need a plan in place.
When you make the decision to work a home based business a plan is ESSENTIAL! Before you even get started, you need to consider a few things.
Set some office hours and stick to them. This is imperative. When you work at home you do have the freedom to clock yourself in and out. Nobody else is going to do that for you. Alot of people dream of the day that they can fire thier boss and work for themselves, but the reality is that if you don’t have the discipline to schedule your work then it is going to be slow going for you in building your business. It’s very easy to start a load of dishes before returning to your phone calls. But let’s face it, unless you are in a cleaning service industry, washing dishes will not produce income. Making those phone calls on the otherhand will produce income over time.
Instill belief, followed by eliminating obstacles. One thing I have seen people do time and time again is give up thier business before really trying! That being said, more often than not the reason for the “giving up” is often preceded by a spouse or close family member convincing them that they got involved “in another one of those things…”. Whatever company you are checking out, make sure you do just that! Check them out. Are thier people in this company making the kind of income that you want to make? Has this company got credentials? Does this company involve products and services that you full heartedly believe in? If your answer is yes to those questions then go with your gut and start eliminating obstacles. By the way obstacles are a/k/a excuses. Do you tell yourself “I’m not sure I can do it?” or “I am shy”? If you do this, you must stop. Those are excuses! An excuse is nothing more than a little white lie that we tell ourself, becuase we know that it is something that would be acceptable for others to believe. But make no mistake, its a lie all the same.
To Do Lists to keep you FOCUSED on your goals. This is maybe the most important activity that you can do to improve your life both personally and businesswise. Every night before you go to bed, make yourself a list of tasks that need done the next day. Make sure that at least 2-3 tasks on that list are tasks that are business related income producing activities. Please don’t make your to do list for tomorrow ON tomorrow! Otherwise, what may happen is life, family and any number of unplanned events will take over your day and beforfe you know it, its 10 am and the list has not yet been made. By 10 am I have easily knocked a few things off my list.
Find a Mentor and stick to them like glue. Find someone else in your business that can teach you. My mentor is the person who contacted me concerning the company I work with. Without her education and business knowledge I would have failed FAST!
Education ME. You are likely not an expert in EVERYTHING. Your business will require constant “continuing” education. This could be reading a good leadership book. It could be educating yourself on current marketing trends. Mabye, like I do, you need to learn a thing or 2 about SEO. Constantly stay one step ahead and learn!
Committing yourself to these activities will help you plan your work and then work your plan!
Goal setting is such a basic component in owning your own business, yet sometimes it’s sadly overlooked. It’s too bad that so many don’t realize that a business without goals is not likely to grow and prosper. How will you push ahead if you don’t know where you want to go? By setting goals you allow yourself the ability to grow, not just financially, but in other areas as well.
Typically this is the time of year that I reflect on the business goals that I have set for myself in January. Am I moving forward? Have I reached any of the goals that I have set out? Hopefully by the time May and June rolls around I will have accomplished at least some of the minor goals for myself, as well as laid the foundation towards reaching those larger goals. This year I have worked very closely with some of my key business partners to launch a fresh new team web-site. That goal took a little longer than we would have liked, but you have to factor in the fact that not a single one of us had a clue how to begin! We simply shared a vision and went with it, one day at a time. One of my other seriously important goals for the year is to narrow down the basics of using social media for business. Sure I have a Facebook profile and a Twitter profile. However my you-tube channel is still empty, and my blog is well… NEW! By year-end my plan is to understand the basics of social media, share that knowledge with my partners and begin to really integrate social media tools along with the more traditional marketing methods that continue to stand the test of time and work for us.
However merely setting goals for myself does not work. I need a plan! I have to put the pedal to the metal! In order to make my business goals a reality, I have found it necessary to schedule a couple of activities daily that will push me forward in reaching them. This is again where the famous to-do list comes in so handy! In fact this blog-post is on my to do list today. Right alongside picking up eggs at the grocery store I will also set tasks for myself that will advance me closer to my business minded goals that I have set.
I encourage you to take a few minutes today to reflect on your business goals. How are you coming along? Do you have a plan? Do you need more research? Do you need a budget? Chances are you could be doing something a little more frequently to make your goals become a reality. Figure out what your major goal is you want to accomplish. The every day on your to-do list make sure you add daily activities that will help you achieve that goal!
Whether you work at home or outside of the home if you have school-aged children, your mornings are hurried, stressed and busy! Today was certainly no exception. This morning my daughter who attends a private catholic school put on some cute blue jeans and a lime green t-shirt. I looked at her out of the corner of my eye and kindly told her she needed to put her school uniform on. Dress-down day is tomorrow. She was positive dress down day was today! So, organized momma that I am, went down to the bulletin board, grabbed the school calendar for April and showed her that dress down day was in fact tomorrow, Friday April 29th. She grumbled, told me I was wrong and put a uniform on. We went about our usual busy morning routines.
Well low and behold as I pull up the school drive their they are. Kids wearing blue jeans. For a moment I think I must be crazy. I was certain we read that calendar correctly. I even asked myself IS today Friday? I smiled sheepishly at my daughter and let her know that I would be back with jeans and a t-shirt for her as soon as I could. As it turns out their was a note sent home last week (missed by me) indicating the date change for dress down day.
I am the kind of gal that strives for perfection. I strive to be perfectly organized. I plan my work. I use a to do list. I use my calendar. I strive to clear my desk of clutter. Had I really missed this note? The idea of my missing it drives me crazy! But you know what? This is just the kind of stuff that God uses to remind me (and I need daily reminders apparently) that it’s great to strive for perfect organization, but NEVER should I dare assume that I am perfectly organized.
TIP: Go through your child’s folder daily, right after school if possible. Note any notes with dates on your OWN calendar. Discard notes that are not relevant to you child’s particular class.
Here is a great song I love to share with other moms who let the little things get to them. Let me know if this is you and if it IS rest in the fact you are not alone.
Tuesday night while I was on a conference call with a business partner, my little first grader lost her first tooth. How awesome to be right there to catch her excitement! She was so excited to hand me her tooth and it was so cute to see her little toothless smile. Moments like this make it so worthwile to be able to work from home! Their are so many little things that make it wonderful. I love watching my 2 1/2 year old play with her toys while I am literally a few feet away working. I love having coffee with my husband in the middle of the afternoon. I love working for an hour or two and then have the ability to head right into an intense work out. I know I am babbling a little but I just can’t express enough how great your life can be at home with your kids (if that is what you want to do!) I think a lot of people feel working from home is a pipe dream. It doesn’t have to be. It simply takes discipline, persistency and consistency.
I started “eating clean” about three weeks ago. I have always been a pretty healthy cook and shopper when it comes to the food my family eats, but recently I have really started taking a serious hard interest in nutrition. I can’t read enough about it! Thus I landed upon the Eat-Clean Diet books by Tosca Reno.
I have been cooking clean healthy items for my family ever since and I would say we eat 90% clean. Sure I have a cheat meal here and there, but I got to tell you that most of the times that I have cheated I actually regretted it. Those foods don’t taste the same to me anymore. I can taste the chemicals! I also can’t handle the HUGE portion sizes of fast food.
If you aren’t familiar with what eating clean means, its not rocket science I promise! It means eating whole natural foods containing no preservatives, artificial colors or flavorings. Eat nothing processed and choose organic whenever possible. The principles are pretty simple. Pair a complex carbohydrate with a lean protein 5 to 6 times a day (small meals). Yes! You get to eat a lot of food! It’s actually not a diet at all. It’s a way of life.
My kids and husband have been great. They are not hungry or lacking for great tasting food. In fact they ask for MORE! My toddler wakes up asking for good old-fashioned oatmeal. She likes hers with chopped apples and a good bit of cinnamon, almond milk, flax-seed and wheatgerm.
This way of eating has opened up ingredients for me that I had no clue even existed. Foods like coconut oil and yogurt cheese for example. If you are looking to get your family to eat this way, there are some great blogs out there on the topic of “eating clean”. My favorite blog is www.thegraciouspantry.com. Visit it today and you will find loads of recipes! I am super excited about making a clean ranch dressing that I also found on this blog. Buttermilk is already on the next grocery list. 🙂 We tried the Spaghetti Pie recipe from this blog for dinner tonight and it was delish! (Also made the house smell so yummy….) It was perfect paired with a garden salad drizzled with a vinaigrette dressing.
Here is a picture of tonight’s finished product.
I work from home and do confess from time to time I can lose that “motivation” to get started for the day. A practice that I have found most helpful in both my personal and work-at-home life is to write out a to-do list for the week and delegate which items should be done on Monday. I like to complete this task on Sunday afternoon or evening.
I find that a to-do list keeps me centered. My to-do’s will have work and family tasks combined. I always keep my ultimate goal of business growth in mind when creating my to-do list tasks. I try to add a task or 2 every day that is going to keep me centered on my business goals and move me forward to accomplishing them.
I don’t always get every task on the to-do list completed. My life is full of “roll-overs”. Sometimes that task might rollover for days and days! However, putting it down on paper does really seem to keep me centered on what filling my day with activities are the going to be the most productive and fulfilling.