Entrepreneurial Think Tank for Moms, Unclutter Your Life

How Blogging Can Change Your Life

Do I have your attention???

8 years ago I took a  challenge.  If you have been reading my blog for awhile, you know the story…

I met an amazing group of women, The Entrepreneurial Think Tank for Moms (now for Woman) founded by Lynette Barberi and Vanessa Coppes.  I wanted to grow my business.  I wanted to make a difference in the lives of others.  I wanted a full-time income from my direct sales business.  The question was, was I willing to work for it?  My immediate answer was YES!  But, it meant I had to step out of my comfort zone.  Not something I was very good at and even struggle with today.  Vanessa challenged me to start blogging.  Who would want to read what I had to say?  What would I write about?  FEAR crept in but the people pleaser in me wanted to be accepted by this group of women so I was willing to do whatever it took to have what they had.

My first blog post “Bullying – The Visible vs the Invisible” was first published on March 29th, 2013.  It was probably the hardest thing I had written up until that point BUT the feedback I got was amazing!  So, I jumped in with both feet and starting writing daily for years.  When my MS flared – my memory and the words became more difficult.  I stepped back to only a few times a week then I actually stopped writing altogether.  There was only so much I could write – who wants to hear about the struggles? Was I really making a difference?  Fear and doubt crept in again.

In January of this year, I decided I would start again.  Once a week was all I could handle.  I would share some tips and on occasion write about life.  It is good for me to get things out.  I figure if my ramblings can help just one person, it is worth it. I’m stepping out in faith instead of letting fear rule in this area of my life.

I have been blessed over the last few months and despite heartache which has come from losing loved ones…. I’m feeling pretty good (minor MS stuff), my ThirtyOne business is thriving and I’m rebuilding key relationships in my life.  God has blessed me beyond my dreams.  God willing, I will celebrate 3 years clean in May.  I have stopped beating myself up (most days) for the mistakes of the past.  I actually like myself (most days) which has helped with the stress eating (not necessarily showing on the scale BUT it is okay). I have found joy in cooking (who would have thought? LOL). I’m looking forward to warmer weather and spending time with hubby working on the yard at the new house and maybe even some mini trips.

What does all of it have to do with blogging??? Probably very little except I found my voice by blogging.  The ability to share feelings which I don’t deal with very well with others. The ability to step out of my comfort zone because when I do, the magic happens.

Do you journal?  Have you thought about blogging?  Blogging has helped my business and me grow personally in so many ways.  I’m always amazed when someone in my pick bubble googles a word or something and my blog or my name comes up towards the top of the list.  If they are finding it so are others, right?  I have gained customers and insiders (aka hostesses) through the link to my blog.  Have a business?  Why not give blogging a try?  Share recipes, share tips & tricks about your products, share how to’s….. just give it a shot.  I’m grateful I took the challenge so many years ago and still do some writing.  It will not be a magic wand of instant success but it will make a difference when you are consistent – monthly, weekly, daily whatever you decide to do.  When you do start (or if you already do) share your link with us…

Here is to another year…. have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

 

Budgeting

Got A Pay Raise?

Thank you to Julie of The Hallway Initiative for the inspiration for this post which appeared in MoneySavingMom.

“Nothing stimulates creativity like a good crisis.”

Living on a budget has never been a strong point for me.   I can remember very short periods of time in my adult life when I was credit card/debt free.  Then those addictive traits reared their ugly head and it was back.

Finances were almost always tight as a single mom.  As my own boss, my income depends on me which means it is sometimes inconsistent.  I have been  reading books on personal finance, working on a detailed budget (YKES!), and always on the look out for money-saving ideas. I ran into MoneySavingMom.com awhile ago and am eating up every penny-pinching post.  My initial thought is always to go back to work full-time then the realities of health struggles and age (everyone wants young social workers) hit me.  I will admit, I am great at managing money for others but when it comes to my own account it is a totally different story.

I don’t know about you but when I used to get a pay raise at work, my spending increased.  I mean now I could pay the bills (at least the minimums) and have extra money in my account.  The truth was (and still is) despite how much money is in the bank, I need to remember how I budgeted during the lean times.

I love these four strategies to maintain a frugal mindset:

1. Think in terms of stewardship.

I often forget everything I “own” is a gift on loan from God. When I remember it’s all His, no matter how much or little He’s given me, I am challenged to be a better steward with His things. I need to work with my money the same way I manage other people’s money.  Even during lean times, I found ways to help others in need.  It may not have been in cash but it may have been in groceries or time.  It is when I do things like this, the blessings come back in multitudes.

2. Keeping a budget.

This is probably the hardest thing for me.  I don’t remember much talk about budgeting when I was growing up.  I have tried to stick to a budget off and on for years with limited success.  I think I was the most successful with a budget when Elsie managed my money and bills in my early days of recovery.  I couldn’t trust myself to have cash laying around so she monitored it all.  Bills got paid and money got saved.  sticking to a budget is one of the best ways to maintain control of your spending.  It helps you keep track of your expenditures and reminds you to be wise with what you have. And, if finances permit, it’s perfectly okay to increase certain budget categories, such as giving, saving, and splurges! Just make sure you’re doing it deliberately rather than on a whim.

3. Keep up with penny-pinching resources

There are a lot of them out there…. I don’t necessarily mean “Extreme Couponing” unless it is something you love to do but I do have a few favorites besides MoneySavingMom.com.  I am always scrolling through financial blogs, keeping up with new frugal tips and making sure I am remaining a good steward of my money.

Some of my favorite resources include:

4. Save for the next crunch

This is where I made my mistake years ago.  When my finances were Just because your freed up for a moment, I didn’t plan for the next squeeze.  I didn’t listen to Dave Ramsey and other financial giants recommend building up 3-6 month’s worth of living expenses. If you’ve never been able to do so before, do it now while you have money left over at the end of the month (even if it is $10).

I haven’t done a perfect job of thinking in terms of stewardship, continuing to keep a budget, keeping up with penny-pinching resources, and saving for the next financial crunch, but those are the four strategies I’m working toward at this time.  I tried to keep in mind it is progress  not perfection.

What are some of you favorite money saving tips or resources?  Share them with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Hope Wissel

Change Your Beliefs Manifest Your Money

 This blog post was written by Lynette Barbieri

Ladies, think back to all the negative perceptions we were taught about money growing up. “Money is the root of all evil.” “Money doesn’t buy happiness.” “Money is not spiritual.” It’s this kind of thinking and this kind of mindset that is the cause of most people’s financial demise. Yes, money does NOT buy happiness, but neither does poverty.

I feel like I can be as bold and as blunt as I want with you because I have your best interest at heart. Additionally, I’m talking from my own personal experience. I was always surrounded by friends and family members that were the biggest proponents of thinking negatively about money.

I have been in the financial industry now for almost two decades. I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to help clients that come from all different financial and economic backgrounds. What I’ve found over the years is that even though I help them understand the importance of having a financial road map they tend to fall short on the execution.

The inability to follow through with their plan all stems from their belief system regarding money-that’s where I come in. After digging deeper through asking the right kinds of questions, I was able to identify the mental and financial blocks my clients were experiencing. All it took was a little redirecting of their belief system, and then they were finally ready to take those first steps towards financial stability. It wasn’t long after that they were started seeing success from their efforts.

The transformation does not happen over night. Like anything else you have to invest some time in personal development.

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If you are interested in learning effective strategies to relieve financial stress so you can experience more peace and joy in your life you are welcome to attend my workshop below.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Budgeting, Entrepreneurial Think Tank for Moms

5 Steps To A Fun Date Night On A Budget


This is a blog originally written by Lynette Barbieri

Spending a small fortune on date night isn’t going to make the night any more memorable – except when the bill arrives. There are plenty of ways to have a wonderful night out for any occassion without blowing your budget. Here are some ideas:

1. Go somewhere new – Visit that museum you’ve always been intending to get to but never seem to have the time. Take a boat or scenic train ride. Catch a play or romantic movie you both have been wanting to see. Getting out and doing something new, especially for harried parents, helps your relationship keep going strong.

2. Whip up something romantic – Fix your sweetheart his or her favorite meal. And even if you’re not known as the most enthusiastic of chefs, Chicken parmesan and a no bake chocolate cake are way easier than they look. Make something that allows you to do most of the prep work ahead of time and finish at the last minute. This is where those Internet cooking channels can come in handy.

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3. Make it a day out – If it’s warm where you are, consider a picnic at your favorite park or at the beach or pool. This is a picnic you’ll want to do up right with an old style wicker basket, champagne, fruits, pickles, delicious sandwiches, veggies with dipping sauce, cake, and good chocolates. Bring along some romantic music and a thick blanket on which to put everything – including yourselves. Don’t forget the bottle of wine.

4. Trip the light fantastic – Have a romantic dinner at home, and then head out to dance the night away. If one or both of you aren’t big on dancing, a couple of hours of ballroom dance lessons could be a romantic and new experience. There are Internet specials galore for introductory dance lessons. You can go to the gym, hike together, or a simple walk by the beach could work too.

5. Start the day right – The perfect day starts with the always trusty breakfast in bed. Think how pleased your loved one will be to wake up to the aromas of freshly brewed coffee, warm apple muffins, crispy bacon, and fluffy omelets. Especially if that loved one happens to be you!

Having fun doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Don’t forget to use coupons too. You can get discounts on dinner, movies, activities and more. Remember paying yourself first is the #1 rule of the money game!

Thank you Lynette for these great tips.  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Entrepreneurial Think Tank for Moms, Woohoo Wednesday

What Makes You Special?

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Today is WOOHOO Wednesday and we are going to CELEBRATE your uniqueness or those qualities that make you special.   I was inspired today to talk about this after reading a blog post by Lynette Barbieri.

If I asked you to tell me “what makes you special?“, could you do it?

It would be a struggle for me – shocking for some, I am sure.   Growing up, I didn’t want to be unique – I just wanted to fit in.  I didn’t want to be “special” because that meant that I wasn’t popular.  I didn’t know what was special about me.  I didn’t have that feeling in my gut that told me how great I was.  I wanted to hide in a corner and not be seen.  I lived that way for many years.  Then I started to squash those inner gremlins and embrace the positives qualities that are deep in my core.

In direct sales, I  often hear that you want to stand out from the pack.  I mean with thousands of consultants in your company, why would someone pick you above anyone else.  Why would they stay faithful to you?  I honestly didn’t know.  I always knew that I had a special purpose but I never knew how to express it.  Was being a good listener special?  How about helping others? Or giving to others even when you don’t have it?  I am crafty but is that special?  I can play (or used to) the piano, what is so special about that?

I am learning that all of those things are the qualities that draw people to me.  I am resourceful able to connect people with resources.  I get along with people from all different backgrounds.  I am passionate, and caring.  I want to make people smile.  I have lots of “stuff” (information) in my head but I don’t always know how to share it – just ask and I will share all I know.

The truth is that I may not believe that I have greatness inside of me BUT I DO believe that you have greatness in YOU!

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So, what about you?  What are your strengths?  I know I keep going back to that but when we lock into what those are, it will help us know where we are going.  We have to be willing to take risks to discover our purpose and to achieve greatness.  A life without risk is boring, right?

Maybe you know what your greatness is and you are afraid to share it?  You don’t have to hide it.  You don’t have to deny it.  You don’t have to worry about what other people say or think.  You need to OWN IT!

At a Leadership retreat, my mantra became “Own My Journey“.  Because the truth was that I was trying to follow everyone else’s journey.  I need and so do you to “own your journey” so that we can grow into the people sharing our gifts along with the way.  We all have our own journey.  What other people think is none of our business.

keep calm and sparkle on

As Vanessa Coppes, refers to it “your shining  light”!  By working with both of these ladies, I started to see my shining light and I learned that I need to let it shine more!

So, ladies, never let anyone dim that light.  Remember, life is a marathon not a sprint.

What makes you special? I would love to hear it! Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!