How to Banish Business Stress as a Mompreneur

We recently found out that we are moving again, so our family has been feeling just a little bit stressed lately!

How do you deal with stress as a mompreneur? How do balance your life hiccups while cruising through your business? (Or do you cruise through?)

As I am surrounded by moving boxes, plus a full schedule of homeschooling, volunteering at our church, and helping mamas create their brands online, I am feeling a significant amount of stress, to say the least.

So how do I deal with the stress? What can you do to overcome life stressors while keeping your business running effectively?

Here’s what I’ve been doing so far that’s helping me keep my sanity.

End some obligations

This is a big one for me since a lot of the time I tend to be over-committed. If you’re a “yes” person, saying no can be really hard.

Essentially, this means saying no to offers that don’t fit my life goals at the moment. Because I love helping everyone, this is not the easiest thing for me, though I am getting much better at it, I admit.

Freeing up some time by ending obligations that don’t fit your life goals will be the thing that propels you forward. Sometimes we just have to say no.

Exercise

One of the best ways I’ve been dealing with stress lately is exercise. I’m loving Zumba and Blogilates with a splash of yoga. It’s okay that I don’t get to the gym much these days since I’ve found my favorite YouTube channels that keep me moving.

Whether it’s to take a walk around your neighborhood, go for a jog, or find a group exercise class you love, exercise certainly keeps the business stress down. All movement helps and gets the endorphins released, which makes you feel happier.

Laugh more

I’ve found that one of the best ways to let go of business stress is to let my hair down…and laugh! Getting together with friends and having a good time together is my definition of a great stress-reliever.

Laughing, like exercises, releases those feel-good hormones.

Don’t have any let-it-loose friends? Find some incredible comedy on Netflix or YouTube and kick up a few laughs to release those stressors.

I find that when I take time to laugh, I feel more productive in business and in life. Laughing is healing.

So, these are just a few of my tips that have helped me to feel better and get rid of business stress.

What are some things you do when business life (and personal life) gets overwhelming for you?

How To Create an Ebook (A Guide for Busy Mompreneurs)

Let’s learn how to create an ebook- I’ll show you!

Work at home moms and mompreneurs- you’re busy, I know (believe me, I relate to the hustle and bustle of your life).

But you have great product ideas for your business and one of those is that ebook you’ve been wanting to write forever. Do you finally want to know how to create an ebook so that you can start your digital product creation strategy?

Don’t worry- I have you covered.

Here’s a quick tutorial on how I’ve been able to crank out a few ebooks over the past years and I do hope this will help you.

Why learn how to create an ebook?

There are quite a few reasons, but I’ll list a few here. Ebooks are:

  • easy to create
  • easy to sell
  • a long-term lucrative project

You honestly only have to write a book once and watch it take care of itself in future sales without doing very much at all. Because ebooks are digital you don’t have to worry about shipping and printing costs, and downloads are instant.

How To Create an Ebook

Gather an outline for your topic.

When creating an ebook I usually start with the problem I want to solve for my reader. A good idea is to make sure you’re not all over the board with ideas.  Your ebook should have a specific purpose to solve a particular problem or meet an overall goal.

Remember, it’s better to be too narrow than too vague.  You can always save additional subtopics for another ebook.

No worries if you can’t talk about it all (and you really shouldn’t). Find the main topics you want to write about and let this be your main focus for your book.

Schedule out your writing.

Divide your outline into manageable chunks and plop these chunks right onto your calendar.  

For example, if you have eight chapters in your book idea and you figure you can find time to write twice a week, maybe you can complete 1-2 chapters per week. At this rate, you’ll be finished between 4-8 weeks from now.

This is how I was able to finally complete my ebook (which I later published as a hard copy on Amazon.) It took some real-time management and staying on track with daily tasks to get it done.

I also needed accountability, so be sure to grab a friend to help motivate you through this process.

Don’t procrastinate.

The main message I want you to leave with after reading this blog post is to get on it right away.  Start writing your book. Just start.

Let your fingers do the talking and start typing your thoughts on the topic. Before long you’ll have one paragraph, then two, and you would have completed an entire chapter and pretty soon- your entire book!

No one says a chapter has to be exactly 10 pages.  You get to determine how long your chapters are. Make your sections the length you feel quantifies what you are trying to get across.

Don’t let the idea of having “seven more chapters to go” looming ahead of you keep you from writing the one chapter in front of you.

You can do it!

Remember your audience.

Want to really know how to create an ebook? Remember who you are writing for and stick with it. If you have a passion for your readers, they’ll feel it in your writing, so write from your heart.

Your readers want to feel spoken to, loved, considered. Let them know you’re on their team and that your book will help them solve their problems.

Proofread, edit, and add graphics.

Use your favorite editor to write your ebook.  (I switch between Word, Pages, and Google Docs).

First, you’ll want to add a cover page with a title and a beautiful cover image (which you can have a virtual assistant do for you or head over to Fiverr). You may also want to add a title page with copyright info.

Add page numbers and your name and URL  in the footer section for each page.  

For eye-catching images for your book find royalty-free stock photos at places like istockphoto.com or even free places like Pexels.com.

Publish.

I use Adobe Acrobat Professional for this one, but here’s a quick and easy way to create your PDF document in Microsoft Word.

Simply go to: File->Save as Adobe PDF.

Voila!

You can also do this in Google Docs or in Pages. With your PDF you now have a simple way to distribute your ebook without having to worry about whether your readers have Pages or Word installed on their computer.

Adobe PDF Reader is pretty universal and is free to download.

Distribute.

If your ebook is a free download, upload it to your hosting and provide the link for your subscribers. I recommend using cloud hosting like Amazon S3 Storage.

If it’s a paid product, services like Ejunkie or Gumroad make it more convenient to distribute digital products.

You can also simply use Paypal as your shopping cart preference or you can go fancier and install Woo Commerce if you are using WordPress.

Password-protected membership sites are also a great way to ensure encryption on ebooks.

Lastly, if you want to reach a wider audience, you’ll need to employ some social media methods to get the word out!  Try your Facebook connections, Pinterest and Twitter.

That’s all for now!  

So now that you know how to create an ebook, are you ready to begin writing your ebook? Remember, the first step is simply to get started.

Discover your passion to share, create an outline, and go for it. You can do this!

Has this tutorial been helpful to you?  I sure hope so!  I hope you’re encouraged to move forward in publishing your ebooks!  Leave me comments- I’d love to hear from you.

Self-Care Tips for Moms in Business

I’m so glad to talk to Allison Jackson about self-care tips for moms…especially moms in business. How can we better care for ourselves?

Press the play button to listen to the podcast below.

(By the way, check out my latest podcast episodes at the HER Business Elevated Podcast!)

Mompreneurs wear quite a few hats (and shoes)!

You know the old adage “if the shoot fits, wear it”? Well…this would be the epitome of the mompreneur life: being able to fit comfy sneakers, cozy slippers, or working heels.

We wear them all.

The question, then, is how do we take care of ourselves while tending to our busy, hectic and chaotic lives?

How do I balance three coaching calls, two design clients, a leaky faucet, a sink full of dirty dishes, and a day of homeschooling my daughters?

The true question is: how do I balance these things while maintaining self-care?

Welcome, Allison Jackson of Allison Jackson Fitness- this week’s podcast guest.

Allison is the founder of Allison Jackson Fitness. She is passionate about all things health and fitness, but she really loves sharing her knowledge and expertise to help corporate moms get lean eating foods they love so they can be at their best.

She knows exactly how hard it is to work full-time, take care of the kids and household…plus try to fit in working out, eating right and taking care of herself, too!

Allison has spent the last seven years training and competing in figure competitions — even winning her pro card — so she has a crystal clear picture of what it takes to get to your ideal weight and stay there. Now she’s ready to share what she’s learned and experienced.

What we talked about on the podcast

Self-Care Tips for Moms #1: Get moving!

As mompreneurs and bloggers we might often find that sitting behind the desk at the computer can keep us more sedentary.

Allison recommends looking for ways to get movement throughout the day. Shoot for 10-12,000 steps.

Just focus on taking a few extra steps. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, for example.

Self-Care Tips for Moms #2: Ways to set goals for our health

Self care for moms doesn’t have to be rocket science. It’s often just a matter of creating small and easy goals. I talk a lot about creating easy blogging goals, but we should do the same when it comes to caring for our bodies.

Break down huge goals into bite-sized manageable tasks.

  • 6 months
  • 3 months
  • 1 month

Another way to set goals is to track what you eat (five days out of the week).

Simply focus on eating and working out. Setting tiny goals makes a big difference at the end of the day.

Self-Care Tips for Moms #3: Suggestions for healthy snacks on-the-go

As for self-care tips for moms when it comes to eating, Allison suggests focusing on protein. Did you know that women don’t get enough protein in our diets?

So, guess what? Protein bars are great and quickly accessible. Slip them in your purse on your way out the door before running errands or keep a few at your desk while you’re working throughout the day.

Also, don’t forget small snacks like almonds. They keep well and travel well. Almonds also provide both protein and healthy fats.

Allison’s Programs

Allison offers an 8-week group coaching program. She helps with tracking goals and teaching how to eat foods you love and still lose weight.

Find out more about her programs at Allison Jackson Fitness.

You can also reach Allison at Facebook – Instagram – Hacked Snacks .Ambassador

Did you enjoy the podcast? Let me know your thoughts.

Check out my newest episodes at the HER Business Elevated Podcast!

MIH055:Mompreneur Balance Hacks for Blogging While Raising Kids

I get it-it’s not easy balancing a full-time blogging lifestyle while tending to family full-time as well. But guess what, Mompreneur? If you want this, you can do it!

Listen in on the podcast!

On this post and podcast episode (yay for another podcast this week!) I want to share with you 5 mompreneur balance hacks that will help you with your blogging while raising kids.

I have two daughters – and although they are now on the older side- both a teen and a preteen, I have been blogging with them in tow since they were both toddlers. I understand the complexities of a stay-at-home and work-at-home lifestyle and what that means for mom bloggers.

Mostly it means, we have to learn how to balance, or juggle our responsibilities, so that we can at least attempt to get it all done.

Rest assured that although you won’t likely get it all done, that you will at least have made some headway in accomplishing your goals.

What are the hacks I used for the past 14 years to help me balance mom life (and mompreneur life) while blogging?

Make a flex schedule.

Mom life wouldn’t be the same without a flex schedule. We have to give ourselves time to get it all done (or most of it anyway) and that requires a lot of freedom to move things around in a day (or week).

The way I do it is, although I have a set time to work (my block schedule), I give myself the option to move that block of time around wherever and however necessary.

So let’s say I typically work from 1- 4 pm on weekdays, but I have a dentist appointment scheduled on Wednesday at 2 pm out of town. I would simply just take that 1-4 pm I would normally work on Wednesday and move it back to 5-8 am so that I get the same amount of time and work accomplished, all before my kid wake up.

(Check out my podcast on time management tips for mompreneurs).

Sometimes I have to move my work blocks to the late evening and sometimes to a weekend. I might even have to break up my 3 or 4 hours into 1-hour chunks spread throughout the week.

For the most part, however, I like to keep my amount of time blogging the same per week. Currently I am working at an almost-full-time pace, breaking up my hours throughout the week as needed.

Cut out filler activities.

This is a big one for me because Netflix gets me every time. But if you can cut out extraenneous activities while working you’ll be much more productive.

One thing I’ve learned to do is to only focus on my writing and nothing else. If I’m blogging, that is exactly what I’m doing. Crafting my posts- and not checking social media.

Staying completely focused on one task at a time and not going down rabbit trails – like checking email, for example- can help tremendously in productivity.

Pre-plan your posts.

I love to know what I’m going to write about before I fire up my laptop. The way I handle this is to make sure I have already pre-written a few outlines so that when I’m ready to start blogging, all I have to do is begin.

Writing my post ideas out and creating outlines for them speeds up my productivity to double the time than if I were to research a post, then write it up- one post at a time.

I like to batch my work, getting all the research and topics out of the way in one setting, then going back to create outlines for them in another sitting.

Eventually, when it’s time to write my posts, I already have a road map before me and I can just plug in and start writing.

Check out my Facebook Live video about creating my blogging roadmap while on the road! 🙂

It’s so much easier this way! As a busy mompreneur, you need all the shortcuts you can in order to make the blogging life easier and more fulfilling.

Only write, nothing else.

It’s like I mentioned earlier- focus on only the task at hand. If I’m writing, I’m not checking social media, but neither am I creating a podcast. I’m only writing.

Batching out my activities makes things so much easier. For example, if I’m creating a blog post image for one blog, why not for several? I’m already in Canva, so I may as well create several images at once.

If I’m only focused on writing- which is the bulk of my blogging activities- then I can crank out several posts within an hour’s time.

Focusing on one task at a time truly improves speed and productivity.

Factor in fun.

One of the best things you can do as a mompreneur is make sure you’re getting taken care of.

What does fun mean to you? Factor that into your life on a regular basis and take care of yourself.

I often like to get away for a walk and have coffee. It’s too much fun to live downtown where walking to a coffee shop only takes 2 minutes!

On my way to coffee on my blogging lunch break!

I love an occasional gourmet coffee at a fancy coffee shop (or just my local one), so I might go out with another mompreneur friend some weekends.

I celebrate small achievements by rewarding myself with special treats that mean a lot to me.

(I like to share my fave coffee drinks on Facebook!)

I also like to motivate myself with a daily calendar check-off just to keep me motivated, and this is all part of my fun.

Mostly, I just try to remember that the mompreneur life is not all about work, work, work and no play. We need to pay our bills, but it’s also nice to put aside some money to spend for pleasure– and to do so regularly to keep our spirits up.

What does factoring in fun mean for you?

Going out to celebrate with girlfriends? Saving up for a cruise for your family? Taking your kids to Disney? Taking yourself to a spa?

Figure out what fun is for you, and reach towards it!

Did you enjoy this post and podcast? (I hope you didn’t forget to press play- just scroll to the top!)

Let me know what you think, and be sure to listen in on recent podcasts:

MIH054:How I went from stay at home mom to full time blogger

Are you a mom who has been thinking about becoming a full time blogger?

Listen in to the podcast here.

(This blog contains affiliate links which help to support this podcast and blog. I stand by all the products I recommend.)

Today’s blog post (and podcast) are for you to get encouragement as a stay at home mom as you consider becoming a full time blogger.

When I first began blogging in 2005 I did it for fun, and not to be a full time blogger. Two years later, I blogged because I’d just had a baby and I wanted to share a few sneak peeks into my world as a new mom. I loved writing and this was a great outlet for me.

I was already working at home as a web design and social media consultant back then, so I naturally saw how great blogging would be for small businesses. I made sure to include blogging in my clients’ strategies- always. Blogging worked so well back then that websites with an accompanying blog attached always ranked higher in Google.

But for me? I just blogged for fun initially. I wasn’t even thinking about using it in any other way except for my first few podcasts (I share about that here if you want to find out more about me.)

Then it hit me: if this blogging strategy stuff really works for my clients, why not apply it to my own business? How about taking this blogging game up a notch and see if I can make this a full -time income with it?

If my clients could see their websites top ranking in Google for keywords all because of blogging and the marketing strategy we were developing together, why wasn’t I applying this to my own strategy?

That’s when I started taking blogging even more seriously.

Sure, I’d just had a baby and just started homeschooling my oldest- so my life was beginning to feel a bit overwhelming. (Just a little bit!) But I could do this.

I knew I could do it. I had already begun writing for local magazines around town and had started pitching bigger magazines, so I was serious about writing. Why not blog?

It took a few years and a cross-country move to California before I finally settled into my new home and a new blog and podcast all about homeschooling.

It took me an entire year to get my first 1,000 email subscribers, but at the end of that first year of blogging I’d also gotten my first 500 YouTube subs, and I was happy with my 800 pageviews. This was in 2012.

It may not seem like much compared to other bloggers who make it to 100,000 pageviews within a year, but I was happy with those numbers because:

  1. I was homeschooling, and that took a lot of my energy reserves. I gave myself a lot of grace during that season.
  2. I had a toddler-turned-preschooler. I chased her around constantly and watched her chase butterflies. This was my life and sometimes that meant shutting down the computer rather than blogging.
  3. I valued flexibility more than a devoted blogging schedule and routine at the time. After my second move within 6 months, and then a third move 3 years later, I learned quickly how to maintain a life of flexibility. This meant, blogging oftentimes took a back seat.

I am so nostalgic about those days and I am glad I did things the way I felt best at the time. I got the best of both worlds: blogging part-time while raising my beautiful girls.

Today, seven years later, I have worked myself into a full time blogger role as my children are able to handle a lot more responsibilities on their own.

I no longer have to worry so much about how to get things done: I have more help. My teen and tween daughters chip in with chores around the house and we have at-home systems that work for us while we homeschool, and I work. So far, it is working out well for us.

If you are a stay at home mom and thinking of becoming a full time blogger, here are some key things to keep in mind when it comes to balance and getting it all done.

Work around schedules and naps.

If you are a mom of littles, being a full time blogger will require that you schedule your writing times around your baby’s schedule.

I remember those days- how life centers around baby. Usually when baby naps, you nap, or when baby is hungry, you eat together.

But as a full time blogger, you’ll need to think about how to fit your blogging times into your day. This means when baby naps, that might be a great time to write your blog posts.

When their nap times change and they become toddlers, you’ll start chasing them around and everything else will change along with it! This includes your blogging routines.

My best advice is to take it one stage at a time with your little ones, observe their routines, and fit your blogging around this.

Work on time blocks.

Time blocks are so important. As I mentioned earlier, when baby sleeps, you can blog.

Suzi from Start a Mom Blog tells how that she gets up earlier than the rest of her family, doing whatever it takes, to take her blogging seriously. Today she makes a 6-figure income from her blogs, all while raising three kids as a stay at home mom.

Choose a nice block of time and be as generous with yourself as possible. (If you know it will take you two hours to write a quality blog post, count on taking a two-hour, uninterrupted time block.)

This might mean that you have to wake up earlier or go to bed later.  When your family is asleep, maybe you can spare a few hours in the early AM to get in an extra two hours of writing. Or maybe you go to be a little later than everyone else.

Perhaps you cut back on Netflix binging (that’s me!) ?‍♀️

Being productive means you have to give up something in order to gain something. Rearranging your schedule will be part of the business of finding success with becoming a full time blogger.

Have an immediate plan of action.

Okay, here’s a tip that really helped me with getting things done faster:

??Do all of your thinking and strategizing before you sit down at the computer.

This way, when you sit down to actually write your posts, the outlines and general research have already been accomplished. Do you see how easy this makes things for you?

I used to write for several companies as a freelance writer a few years ago, and this is one of the key strategies I used to write up to five, well-researched, 1000-word articles per day.

I knew that writing this much content would  require some type of time management strategy, and this was the best way to manage it: research first, write last.

Delegate, delegate, delegate.

You won’t get it all done by yourself. This has been the hardest lesson for me. I have been blogging for 14 years, and I have done nearly all the work on my own, until recently.

When I say all the work, I mean everything: from my blogging and writing work, podcasting and audio, video editing, graphics, email list, SEO, and social media management.

Did it keep my costs down by doing everything myself? Sure it did. I saved tons of money. I was super frugal and I kept my costs low to run my business.

Did I save time? Absolutely not. This is why it has taken me so long to grow my blogs. Without help you just grow really, really slowly. If you’re not in a hurry, then it’s okay. But if you want to see quicker or more immediate growth, you will need to get help.

Check out places like Fiverr for reasonably-priced helps, hire a VA on a project basis, and don’t get caught up in the tech if that’s just not your thing. Let someone help you past the blocks that keep you from moving forward to enjoy the parts of blogging you love.

Hopefully you do enjoy writing, though!?

Accept and enjoy your journey.

The main lesson I’ve learned in becoming a full time blogger is to enjoy my journey. I won’t always be a mom of littles. Today, I am a mom of a teen and a tween. I have a driver-in-training and a tween who is shockingly as tall as I am. No more littles for me. This means my blogging life has changed drastically.

What I couldn’t do seven years ago, suddenly becomes a cinch. I took my kids with me everywhere years ago. Today, I can walk out of the house to run an errand and not bat an eye as I know my kids are able to hold down their responsibilities at home. This means I have more free time to work on my blog that I didn’t have before.

Okay…maybe not “free” time. I am, after all, still responsible for their education which is a hefty job (as all homeschool moms can attest to.) But my season of life is different today than it was during the years I needed to keep one eye open at night listening out for my daughter’s cries.

Those were sweet years and I appreciate them, but they are over and I am in a different season. I have learned to embrace each season with all of its difficulties.

Today’s season is difficult in its own way- raising teen daughters with values in today’s society– but with each stage and season, as I accept it I appreciate it and I can deal with whatever is in front of me for that day.

So be encouraged, mama! You can do this. You can be a full time blogger and a stay at home mom. It’s a lot of work, but with the proper strategies in place, one step at a time, you can make an income with your blog while enjoying your kids.

Has this post and podcast been helpful to you? Check out the following posts to help you with your blogging:

Mentioned on the podcast

To learn more about blogging, join the course

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