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If you're like most of my readers, you're committed to your family and creating the best home life possible. But the truth is, if you've given up one income to homeschool your kids, you may be struggling to make ends meet. That's why I wrote this special report, The 9 Best Business Ideas for Homeschool Moms, in which I help you design the best business to complement your family's goals. There's only one way to get it—by subscribing to my weekly blog updates here:
 
 

Home Business

It’s time to launch that book!

Last week, I delved into the initial aspects of launching a book, from writing to editing to project management. This week, we’ll fall headlong into the second half of the book launching process – finalizing, printing, pre-selling, and publishing (AKA launch day!).

I briefly mentioned a couple fantastic tools last week in Part I of The Anatomy of a Book Launch – Scrivener and Mind-Meister. I want to reiterate how much these tools have served me during my book-writing process. In essence, they keep me organized. And without organization, it is nearly impossible to actually finish your book. So, stay organized by using great tools. They will help you finish your project.

Also critical to finishing your book project is outsourcing. Do not try to do it all! I have outsourced some of my research, photography, editing, layout, activities, recipes, book lists, and more. Writing a book is a BHAG (big, hairy, audacious goal) all by itself, so let others do the tasks they can. You can outsource pretty much everything except the actual writing (well, you can hire a ghost writer, so that can be outsourced too, if you really want to).

I tried something very non-traditional when I was writing my last book – A Child’s Geography: Explore the Classical World – in 2013 and it was a beautiful experience, so I just subjected myself to the process again for my current book – A Child’s Geography: Explore Medieval Kingdoms. I crowd-sourced the editing. Now, this doesn’t mean that I didn’t hire a professional editor for the final pass-through, but it does mean that I opened up my book manuscript to 300 pairs of eyes to comment on and critique.

Here is what I did: Continue reading The Anatomy of a Book Launch, Part II

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surprising discoveries

Would you like to write and launch a book?

I have recently finished writing the fourth volume of A Child’s Geography: Explore Medieval Kingdoms, so I am neck-deep in finalizing the book and preparing it for launch.

Launching a book is a complex process with many moving parts. But it is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your business. Your book is your gift to the world. It is an excellent way to serve others by sharing your expertise on a subject that others want to learn about. However, the most worthwhile accomplishments in life are often the most difficult (think: marriage, parenting, and healthy living).

I’ve been through the book-launching process a few times, so I am going to break it down – from idea to launch – into manageable bite-sized pieces for you, because as they say…

The best way to eat an elephant is… one bite at a time!

Writing the first draft of a book is the easy part. I know, I know, if you are in the middle of that process, that is the last thing you want to hear, but it’s true. I read a great quote a couple weeks ago. Shannon Hale, author of 20 books, said, “I’m writing a first draft and reminding myself that I’m simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles.”

You can't launch a book until you write it!

Your first draft of your book is the sand-shoveling phase. You set your brain to writing mode and you just empty out onto paper (or word document) the information that you have researched and collected for your book. Of course, some preliminary organization goes a long way to keeping your first draft manageable. Scrivener keeps me organized through the entire first draft of my book. If you would like to read more about the initial writing phase, here is a 4-part blog series on the subject of writing your book: Continue reading The Anatomy of a Book Launch, Part I

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5 Building Blocks to a Profitable Business

No one starts a business to fail. And yet, many businesses do. However, when you build your business on the right foundation; and then assemble it using the correct building blocks in the proper order, your chances of success skyrocket!

So, today, I am going to reveal my formula to building a successful and profitable internet business. I have pulled these ideas from many inspirational and successful entrepreneurs over the years, but I have combined them in a way that makes sense for me. I hope these ideas clear up the confusion around business building in the internet age for you as well, because homeschool moms are perfectly positioned to succeed in and profit from a business that operates online.

First of all, let me address the most obvious question that you might be asking. Not all businesses are internet businesses, right? Actually, I would argue that in the 21st century, all businesses are now internet businesses, because if you fail to harness the internet for your business, it will slowly disintegrate. In our digital world, every business needs an internet presence and an internet marketing strategy.

Your foundation is your WHY.

Whether you currently own a business, or you are dreaming about starting one, you need to understand your WHY. Why do you want to create a business? And the answer cannot be simply, “money.” You have to have a bigger WHY than money. Why do you want the money? What would you do with it? Who would you spend it on? What greater good would you invest in?

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No one on earth has the same set of gifts, talents and personality traits as you. You have gifts to share with the world that only you can give. You can serve the people around you in a way that no one else can. You are unique. You make a difference.

Think about why you want to start or continue your business. What do you bring to the table? Who can you reach? Who can you serve? Know your WHY. Because without your WHY, you will lose your way.

Once your foundation is sure, you can begin to build. Continue reading 5 Building Blocks of Internet Business

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Pre-flight tests for your business idea

Will Your Business or Product Idea Fly?

Is your idea one that other people would pay for? How would you like to know the answer to that question before launching your big idea? It would be like holding a crystal ball in your hands. Or getting inside information from the One who knows the future. It would be incredible!

While there are no guarantees in life or in business, there are certainly things that we can do to minimize our risk when we make big decisions in our lives – like pre-marital counseling before the wedding; eating right during pregnancy; training before a marathon.

When it comes to business, you can test your idea before launching it. How great is that? Continue reading Will Your Idea Fly?

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homeschooling and home business

Discover the Magic of Mapping out Your Week

Homeschooling is a growing movement. More and more parents are choosing to teach their kids at home for reasons that include individualized instruction, efficient use of time, the abundance of excellent curricula available, and the quality time they get to spend with their kids.

But for many families, to homeschool means to give up one parent’s income, which can become a financial hardship. What many families don’t realize, though, is that homeschooling does not preclude earning a second income.

Everyone is allocated the same 168 hours per week. The important idea to consider is how we use these hours. Let’s break it down.

Homeschooling takes less time than traditional schooling, because school time is more focused and intentional. You don’t need to use any of your time for assemblies, roll call, bathroom breaks, lining up, etc. Most families can be finished with their studies before noon, if they start around 8:30 or 9am. So, if it takes your children 3-4 hours per day to finish all their subjects, then you can allot 15-20 hours to homeschooling each week.

If you sleep for 56 hours (8 hours per night) and reserve 60 hours to “other” activities (such as errands, cleaning, meal prep and recreation), you still have 32+ hours left that you can devote to creating a second income. I spend about 20 hours per week running our two businesses from home (4.5 hours on 4 afternoons a week).

So, the time is there, if we use it wisely. But that is certainly not the only obstacle to working from home. As homeschooling moms, we are responsible for the care and supervision of our kids 24/7. All working parents need some type of child care, even those who work from home. However, public school parents utilize the school system, which provides built-in childcare. Homeschooling parents who wish to focus on work or building a business just need to get creative. That’s not a problem since creativity is our specialty!

supervision 24/7

We are responsible for the care and supervision of our kids 24/7.

Here are some ways that creative homeschooling moms have carved out some uninterrupted work time: Continue reading Homeschooling & Home Business: A Match Made in Heaven

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Earn an income online

Discover the best business ideas for busy homeschoolers

What would you do with an extra $25,000+ a year? How about $50,000 or $100,000? A home-based business can provide you with an additional income to pursue the dreams you have for your family. I have heard many homeschooling moms say that with the addition of $25,000 or more to their annual income they would:

  • Remodel their home
  • Save for future college tuitions
  • Travel the world with their family
  • Purchase quality school resources
  • Pay off debt, including mortgage

However, for stay-at-home, homeschooling moms, trading time for dollars in the form of a job isn’t always the answer. You homeschool your kids because you believe that you can provide them with a quality education that includes teaching your family values. And that requires your presence.

I have been running my own business and working from home for 15 years. This has provided me with freedom to schedule my own hours around my family’s activities. It has also allowed me to invest in my kids’ education, travel around the world with my family, and begin remodeling our home. My husband works from home now too, so he has been able to spend more time with the kids than he ever dreamed possible.

We love the life that we have designed. And I want to help you design your ideal life too. I have just finished writing the special report – The 9 Best Business Ideas for Homeschool Moms. It’s available now and you can download it below.

Are you ready to stop worrying about having enough money to pay the bills each month, design a business that fits your unique educational choices, and create the lifestyle you’ve always wanted for your family?

Then click the image below to download your copy of…

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And why you’ll love these creative resources too!

I love being creative, but I am not an artist, nor am I very techie. I am just an average Jane who likes the things I promote or have my name on look fantastic. That’s not too much to ask, is it?

If you are a teacher, leader or business woman who likes her materials to look smashing, then bookmark this site and refer back to it often, whenever you need to get creative.

Here are my Top 5 Creative Resources:

  1. Canva. Canva is simple, comprehensive and makes me look good. I love their design tutorials and their easy-to-navigate design interface. I use Canva mostly for graphics that we display on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram. Check it out and sign up for their tutorial email series. You’ll feel like a design pro before you know it.
  2. Creative Market. I am new to this site, but I LOVE it! I am a font junkie and a photography nerd, so the resources that are available on this site are right up my alley. The best part is that Creative Market gives away 5-6 freebies each and every week, which you can sync directly to your Dropbox. Get on their email list! But I have been known to purchase fonts, photo effects, and photoshop images that make design a snap. I use these on my blog, website, magazine and my new book coming out.
  3. GraphicStock. This stock photo site gives away a free image every week, but I also signed up for an annual subscription. For $99, I can download an enormous number of photos that I use in our magazine and in our newest book – Explore Medieval Kingdoms.
  4. Photoshop. I love Photoshop and have been using it for years. I still do not consider myself an expert (I felt like a newbie forever), but I have finally achieved a moderate level of expertise. I used to consider this program priced out of the range that most people wanted to afford; however, you can now subscribe to the entire Adobe Creative Cloud that gives you access to Lightroom, Illustrator, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, InDesign, Muse and more. When you sign up for the student license, so that you can teach your kids all these awesome software programs, you can save up to 60% on the monthly subscription price.
  5. Udemy. This site is wonderful. At Udemy, you can learn any skill you want and if you’re timing is right, you can get in on some killer discounts and deals. I have learned Photoshop, InDesign, Dreamweaver, Photography, Graphic Design, Youtube, XCode, and more.
  6. Bonus #6 – Upwork. I wanted to add one more here because it deserves an honorable mention. Over the years, I have learned to outsource quite a few things that I am not very good at. As I said earlier, I am neither a designer nor a technician and I usually know when a project is just too over my head. This is when I head to Upwork and outsource the job. I have found amazing graphic designers, writers, coders, and other experts here that I can pay just to do a single job, or hire regularly for on-going work. I adore the people that I have found here that I get to work with every day.

So, there you have it – my top 5 (okay 6!) creative resources. Have fun getting creative! And remember to bookmark this site so that you can come back here and get your creative juices flowing once again.

This creative sunset comes from Graphic Stock

Question: What is your favorite creative resource?

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Your routine can set you up for success.

It’s a new year, full of hope, promise and opportunities ahead. But in order to see the hope, claim the promises or jump on the opportunities that come your way, you need to be centered, or grounded, in who you are (or whose you are), what matters, and what you have been put on this planet to do. That is what a morning routine can do for you. Plus, it sets you up to succeed in the things that matter.

A morning routine sets you up for success.

A morning routine sets you up for success.

I find that a solid morning routine not only makes my days flow smoother, but also contributes to a better attitude, sense of well-being, and purpose in my life. Maybe this sounds like a bunch of hogwash, but I challenge you to give a morning routine a try to see if it makes a difference in your life.

Now, most likely, you already have some sort of morning routine. At the least, you get out of bed each day, get dressed, eat breakfast (I hope), teach school. You may incorporate a great deal more into your morning routine – things like chores, exercise, etc.

I am going to lay out my morning routine for you below. It’s far from perfect, but it’s getting better and better as the months go by. I am looking forward to adding a few more things to my AM routine in the coming months. You might see something here that you want to add to your mornings on a regular basis, but it’s important that you only add one thing at a time, or you might sabotage yourself. As humans, we are only wired to accept a certain amount of change in our lives. Continue reading A Morning Routine Sets You Up to Win

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How can balance be achieved through scheduling?

Being a homeschool mompreneur can get a little wacky, throwing our families into a tailspin, if we are not careful. Balance is important for everyone, but it seems to be particularly critical for moms.

Scheduling and mindfulness provide better balance

Scheduling and mindfulness provide better balance

I have not always been very good at maintaining balance in my life. I have gone through times over the years when I couldn’t stop working on my business and times when I didn’t want to work at all; I have endured a messy house for days on end and then went on a cleaning and decluttering rampage to rid my family of the mess once and for all; I have eaten perfectly and exercised faithfully month after month only to fall victim to a deadly combination of delicious home baked goodies and frightful weather that shook my resolve and dashed my good habits.

Through the passage of years and experience, I am learning balance. I am learning that planning and mindfulness are the keys to balance in my life. I would like to bet that this is true for you too. When I make an appointment with myself, I am likely to keep it. If I make something healthy, I am likely to eat it. If I have an audiobook or podcast on my phone, I am likely to take a walk to listen to it. If I schedule a day-off and plan something with my family, I am likely to show up. Continue reading Scheduling for Better Balance

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