Listen to “MIH 051:How to treat your business like a garden” on Spreaker.
I’ve learned that owning and operating a business is very much like gardening. There are moments you put in a lot of work only to have to step back and allow it to grow. Other times we have to be more hands-on, give out garden a few sprinkles of water and be more attentive to its needs. In order to grow a business that thrives we should think of nourishing a business the way we might a garden.
On this podcast I’m sharing some ways we can do just that! Here is the basic outline:
Start with a seed.
Plant the seed in good soil.
Give it sunshine
Watch it grow!
Listen in to hear my thoughts this week. I’d love to hear yours, too…just comment below and I’ll be sure to respond.
Okay, mompreneurs out there- I know by the title of this post you’re thinking, “But is balance really possible?” Like you, I am skeptical of the promise of complete balance and freedom and bliss in my daily schedule. It just won’t happen.
I firmly believe, however, that balance doesn’t just happen but it is achieved through hard work and perseverance (and even then it’s not a complete “balance”). Balance happens for every mompreneur in the way that suits her best for each particular season of her life. And it’s different all the time.
At this season of my life I am homeschooling my kids…and…I’m working flexibly around our daily school schedules. On this podcast I will be sharing what’s been working for me (or not) and how I’ve managed over the years to merge two very alternative lifestyles and adapt them to meet my unique family needs. I’ve also got a video to share from my homeschool YouTube channel over at MomZest. Most of what you’ll hear in this podcast will reiterate what I’ve mentioned in the video, but I share a few extra tips in the podcast that you might find helpful if you are balancing these two unique lifestyles.
Watch the video
You might be thinking: “But I don’t homeschool” or “I don’t have kids at home, but I’m a mompreneur who still needs help with life balance. Will this podcast be helpful for me?”
Although I’m gearing up this particular episode with tips I’ve learned along the way as a homeschooling mom in particular, I do believe that no matter your kids’ education status is, you can still very much benefit from this episode…so don’t tune out.
How I balance being a homeschool mompreneur
Prepare for the ride.
I’ll be honest with you, if you are planning to become a homeschool mompreneur, getting ready for the ride ahead of you will be the biggest challenge. Mindset is always the #1 deterrent from success. Being mentally prepared for the task ahead and not cheating yourself out of the truth will take you a long way. You will need to own up to the fact that the ride ahead of you will have some bumps and challenges. It won’t be smooth sailing and there will be days that you may feel like giving up. But in order to succeed, you’ll need to keep going.
Prepare for the ride ahead of you by getting some support systems in place. Find groups of like-minded moms who are following the same path as you, who have also decided to become a homeschool mompreneur. Join entrepreneur meetups and groups in your area. Join groups online. But whatever you do, get with somebody else who is walking the same path as you because you’ll need that support for your journey.
Here are a few more tips to help you find homeschool mompreneur life balance:
Juggling a homeschool lifestyle with work is not altogether impossible. In fact, it’s quite doable. Here’s an example of another mompreneur besides myself who is doing it. In my family, I’ve learned a few tricks of the trade along the years that work for us quite beautifully, but it all started with trial and error. One of the biggest lessons I learned in the beginning is that if an event, a task, a new routine or schedule isn’t efficient for the family, we won’t choose it. If it takes too much time or energy or doesn’t give our family the room to practice solace and simplicity when we need it, we won’t do it.
For many of you listening, that may mean finding schools for your kids closer to your home so you reduce travel time. It likely means arranging your work hours to fit around your kids’ school schedules so that you’re available for drop off and pick up. For a homeschool mom like myself that could mean choosing curriculum that doesn’t require a ton of parent teacher prep, choosing school hours that fit around my work routine, and changing my wake/sleep cycle to allow for more time in the mornings and evenings to accomplish my business work so that I still have the space to homeschool.
Efficiency means streamlining my family lifestyle in a way that allows for increased productivity with the least amount of stress for everyone in involved. That’s a huge undertaking and it’s not a perfect process, but I find that when I set my mind to it, I can place my plans into motion and watch the efficiency begin happening.
Keep a loose, yet solid routine.
Playing off the idea of efficiency, is the concept of scheduling. Time management is a major topic in the business industry because everyone in business has to learn how to make good use of their time. What I’ve learned as a homeschool mom is that I have to keep our family schedule loose enough to allow for flexible situations that may come up: like education field trips, weekly coops and group classes. But I also have to make sure our routine is solid enough so that, although our days don’t look alike from one day to the next, we at least have some idea of what a daily school routine looks like. I also have an idea of what my routine looks like for keeping up my home (meal prep and cooking, cleaning days, laundry) and what routines I have in place for work.
As a homeschool mompreneur, keeping organized is crucial. I keep physical notebooks as well as Google docs and Google calendar. At the beginning of each week I like to set expectations for the week, what I wish to accomplish.
If you stay organized best with physical notebooks, digital notebooks, post it notes, checklists, or one of those fancy planners, do whatever works best for you. The main things to organize are your physical space and your time. If I can ensure that I spend quality time with each child throughout the week, and time with my husband as well, I’m a happy camper. I love family game nights, and dinner at the table together. That doesn’t happen all the time but when it does at any point during the week, it makes me pretty happy. Our time together as a family is even more important to me than the time I spend on business. However, if I want to succeed in business I have to make sure that I spend adequate amounts of time moving forward on my plans and not getting stuck in a rut, which can happen so often with distractions.
For this reason, I hole myself up in an office or coffee shop during my business hours with a no-disturb sign if I’m at home so that I actually can get some work done. It’s just one of those things I have to do personally to make sure my family is on the same page with me and everyone understands I am working and that just because I’m in the room next door doesn’t mean I’m available to make a sandwich. Also, my kids are thankfully of the age now where they are making their own snacks and pretty much keeping the house running for me while I’m working. They know that when I’m done working, we can spend time together and they’ll get 100% of me at that time.
Keeping organized with my time is the only way for me to maintain family balance and still keep my business rolling!
I hope that these tips have been helpful to you if you are in the same boat as I am. Being a homeschool mompreneur isn’t easy but it is definitely doable. Let me know if I can help you in any way such as with branding your business or designing your new logo and website.
Listen to “MIH048: When Should I Rebrand?” on Spreaker.
First off, let me start by saying that I have experienced a myriad of phases of “the company rebrand” over the years. In other words, I’ve reinvented myself and my offerings over and over and over again. How did I know when it was time to rebrand? Do you ever ask yourself: “When should I rebrand?”
As a solopreneur and mompreneur, my reasoning for rebranding has mostly hinged on my own needs to re-express myself, my goals, and mission for my blog and business. There were also moments that I just felt plain bored of the same old thing and wanted to shake things up a bit. Said simply, I like to redesign my business every so often, giving it a fresh coat of paint and brand new life from the inside out.
I can’t honestly say that I’ve always had legitimately solid reasons to rebrand. It’s just what I said above: it’s all personal preference for me.
How about you? Should you rebrand your company? There are a few reasons you might find rebranding a beneficial thing for you. Let’s dig into some reasons why you might want to rebrand…or not.
When Should I Rebrand?
Your business has changed names
Name changes obviously require a rebrand with a logo change being one of the first things to get shifted. With a logo redesign comes the opportunity to change your business colors and other graphic elements and marks that will make a difference for the new representation of your company.
I recently changed my logo from:
I wanted to give my logo an updated look: a fresh coat of digital paint, an updated heel, and different typography to express my sentiments for Mompreneurs in Heels even better. In doing so, I also ended up freshening up my website and changing out my social media as well. I created a brand board with colors that express the mood I want to convey through Mompreneurs in Heels, which was really exciting.
Can you tell I love design?
So…back to reasons you should rebrand…
Your vision has changed.
To answer the question, “When should I rebrand?”: in the case that your brand no longer reflects your vision, it’s time to rebrand. Maybe the name doesn’t match your new geographical region. Perhaps you’ve changed gears and want to do something completely different than what you started off doing. Maybe your passion for designing logos has waned and you want to now begin a new journey of life coaching.
It’s okay to switch gears, to rediscover your interests, and to rebrand your business, your self entirely.
You might find that you’re attracting a certain type of client…but not your type. You know who your ideal customer is and hopefully you have created a customer avatar and have begun to pursue this type of clientele. If the wrong people are showing up at your virtual doorstep you’ll need to ask yourself if perhaps you’re presenting your company in a bad light.
What does your ideal customer see when they land on your website? Do they feel attracted to what you offer right away or do they have questions about your credibility because your brand doesn’t reflect what you are trying to project?
So, again, if the question: “When should I rebrand?” is on your radar, then ask yourself these questions to see if it’s time to rebrand, my friend!
That’s all for today’s episode. If you enjoyed it, don’t forget to sub!
Happy New Year! I’m so jazzed about what 2018 has to bring me and for you.
Are you in need of a new website design? A brand change? A logo redesign?
How about someone to coach you through WordPress?
Then what are you waiting for, beautiful mompreneur? I’m ready to help!
If you fit any of the above, you’re in luck. I’m still currently offering my website design special for all solopreneurs, artists, creatives, moms and women in business.
$99 Blog Design for Mompreneurs
You are qualified for this deal if:
You’ve never owned a blog and need to begin your online business.
You are starting a brand new blog with a brand new vision!
You don’t know the first thing about blogging but you know you need one. (You have a billion business ideas floating around your head right now!)
You know exactly what you want to do with your online business, but you just need someone to carry out your vision with a blog that fully represents who you are…OR...
You don’t have a clue what you want to do, but once you figure it out you’ll definitely need that blog developed right away. (And don’t worry- I’ll be here to help you figure it out if you need extra support.)
What I will do for you:
Help you decide on a a colorpalette you love!
Help you purchase your domain name and hosting.
Set up and develop your WordPress blog complete with professional themes from Genesis by Studiopress.
Design your site header.
Set up your navigation menus and plugins.
I know how important it is to just get started. You may not feel you have the funds and resources to accomplish designing a site when all you want to do is get started with your business. Your passion is there, but you just need someone to help you with the tech details.
Also I’m available to help with not only your design but on helping you to develop your web presence as well. Once your design is complete let’s talk about some ways I can assist you building your site to noticeability in search engines and through social proof. I’m here for the long haul!
On this week’s podcast, I enjoyed speaking with mompreneur, Urbana Chappa.
Urbana is fashion designer and celebrity stylist. She began her company Maison de Mini, which is an eco-friendly children’s fashion line which focuses on creating from bamboo, soy, and hemp. Her husband is a songwriter for Bruno Mars and has written many songs such as “Just The Way You Are”. They have four adorable children together and she is an advocate for childhood cancer awareness and giving back to many children causes.
Urbana is raw, real, and authentic. On today’s podcast she gives an unhindered transparency of her experience with postpartum depression and how she overcame it through finding her passion in the fashion world. We also talk about the realities of balancing life as a mom in business and what it means to take care of and make yourself a priority.
What we talked about:
What lead her into the world of fashion design and styling
Her struggles with postpartum depression and how she managed and overcame it
Where she got inspiration for her designs
How she developed her different clothing lines
Some of her favorite style clients (Diane Warren, her husband songwriter to Bruno Mars Natasha Henstridge from Species)
Her biggest passion in life and how her fashion lines reflect her life mission
How having a family affected her career on a day to day basis and how she balances motherhood with running her company
Urbana’s words of advice for mompreneurs out there wanting to live their dreams, but who also really care deeply for family and being a great mom
As women we should…
Be comfortable in our skin!
It’s all about being okay with who we are in each season of our lives.
Calling a blog design “perfect” is a far stretch, I know. Perfection is a relative as beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder. But on today’s blog post and podcast I want to discuss a few elements- namely 12- of what I believe a perfect blog design will entail. There can be more or less, mind you, but these are 12 elements that I believe will round out the development of your blog and make it as user friendly as possible.
Simple color scheme
I believe a simple scheme for your blog is optimal. The amount of colors you can have in your color palette are completely up to you, but I usually shoot for no more than 4 or 5. You want to have a few mainstay colors that are consistent with your brand, and just keep it simple.
If a turquoise blue isn’t found anywhere in your color palette for your site and logo branding, it’s probably best not to awkwardly throw in this color on your social media accounts. It just throws people off, and they wonder if it’s the same brand they’re seeing on Facebook versus Twitter. Keep things consistent with colors and simplicity in your branding.
There is nothing quite like the confusion that happens when visitors can’t find anything on your site. Usually this is a result of having too much in your main navigation. We want to avoid information overload as much as possible and give our readers a great place to start finding our content. Make the navigation easy to navigate by reducing your blog into just a few distinct topics and placing those topics in your main menu.
A nicely organized website makes all the difference for your site visitors. Think about the flow of your traffic as a reader lands on your blog. Is it easy for them to navigate your site?
If your navigation menu is cluttered, try simplifying it.
In a perfect blog design world, your viewers will want to get to know you better. It’s always a great idea to include a “who am I” section. Your bio tells your audience a bit about yourself and a lot about your mission all in one compacted paragraph.
Your bio shouldn’t be extremely long as it usually goes in your site sidebar with your headshot. Having a bio in your sidebar as well as a bio page gives your readers a chance to get to know you and become familiar with your mission. Plus, it’s always nice to way connect a friendly face to a blog.
Social sharing buttons
You want your readers to share your content. Word of mouth is the best way to spread the news of your offerings. One of the best ways to do that is by using social sharing buttons. Many of these are free plugins. Just do a quick search for free social sharing buttons and pick from a variety of styles. I’m currently using WP Social Sharing.
Probably the only reason I’m able to write quality posts that fly through the Google “good post” detector is completely due to Yoast SEO. This plugin has helped to guide me through making sure my keywords are in my metatags and throughout my post and title as many times as needed to have a quality SEO-rich post. For SEO help when creating blog posts I highly recommend this plugin.
It’s no mystery that blog readers love great images. Readers want to not only read but see pictures sprinkled throughout the post. It helps to break up the lines and paragraphs to make reading easier. Additionally, images are paramount for Pinterest users. If you want to bring a nice dose of traffic to your website with an image only, you’ll need to begin creating catchy images for your blog which you also pin on Pinterest. It’s a nice deal!
Content then sidebar on right
I love sidebars for so many things. I place my bio there, a search bar, affiliates and sponsor information, and sometimes it’s a great place to add popular posts.
I find that when I place my content first and sidebar on the left of my content, readers find my content easier to surf through. The eyes automatically land on the content without distraction. Here’s a post I wrote a few years back on creating content your readers will love.
Header and logo
Every great blog should have a nice logo and header. Branding is very important, and as I’ve learned over the years, it’s not enough to throw up an image and call it a day. Taking the time to craft a catchy logo that speaks volumes of what you offer will make a huge difference.
Be sure to hire someone who understands your brand because your logo or header will practically follow you everywhere!
I like plugins that allow your readers to view related posts. This gives readers a chance to NOT hop away from your blog so quickly. Once they reach the bottom of one post they’re more likely to click through and read more of your related posts served up through the one of the many “related posts” plugins.
Check with your mailing list provider for the newsletter signup script and be sure to place one in your sidebar as well as other places throughout your blog. Having a sidebar opt-in that’s always visible no matter which page your reader is on might make a difference in a new signup…or not.
I always love giving my viewers a chance to search for something on my site. You might be surprised at the types of content your readers want to look for on your blog, so providing them a way to search for a blog post you’ve written is a service you want to offer. It’s free and very easy to add. I usually add mine to the sidebar.
That’s all for this podcast. I hope you enjoyed it.