We are potty training!!!! Today is the day!! We have our potty timer out, we have our potty stickers and we have about $20.00 worth of toys from the dollar store for those wonderful successes! Itâ€™s nap time, so for the next 2 hours I am going to revel in the knowledge that I wonâ€™t hear the word Potty come out of my mouth for approximately 120 whole minutes!!!
I had a meeting with my graphic designer and got my first draft of the graphics for the packaging back. I love it! There are a few things that Iâ€™m going to change and mull over, but over all, itâ€™s awesome! The front is basically a “window” to see the Charms, along with my logo and tag line. I feel it is interesting enough for Joan-Q consumer to pause a nanosecond and actually pick up the package. Now that they have it in their hands thinking… “this is kinda cool and different” the next thing they will do is turn it over. This is were I (will) have a photo of the Charms in use, and there is enough space for about 50 words of explanation. Not much when trying to explain a completely new product… This is what I have….
“Grill Charmsâ„¢ are the grilling equivalent to the popular wine charm. Grill Charmâ„¢ your food prior to cooking to indicate steak temperature, food seasonings / spice or to address health or allergy concerns. Your food is personalized before, during and after itâ€™s cooked, the way you want it each and every time!â€
Iâ€™m going to let that sink in for a while and see how I like it in a week from now. With consumer goods, the packaging can make or break you. Thatâ€™s a lot of pressure to put on a 6 x 2 x 3 inch box! Itâ€™s such a wonderful feeling watching all the aspects of this invention process come together to make 1 tangible product. Iâ€™ve still got a long way to go before I see this on the shelves, but things are really coming together.
I was able to procrastinate doing my UPC codes for another week as my husband is really particular about putting stuff on the computer. The disk that needs to be installed to make the UPCâ€™s asked some technical questions about the computer that I donâ€™t know, so Iâ€™ve asked him to install it for meâ€¦ Hee heeâ€¦. I get to get out of it again!!! Yahoo!!!
Leslie Haywood, Founder and President of Charmed Life Products, Inventor of Grill Charmsâ„¢? www.grillcharms.com
I am so thrilled – as a mom, as a teacher, as a mompreneur – to find continued support in the field of research and data to support what I continue to pour my heart and soul into.?
It would be like, “Wow!? Great!? I came up with a sunscreen that also kills insects on camping trips!” only to find study after study stating that the chemical used in your sunscreen also causes skin blemishes and burns to the body.? It would not be a win/win for the consumer or for you as the manufacturer, and you would have to start back at ‘square one.’
So, this week, when the following report – in snippet form for us busy Mompreneurs – came across my desk I squealed, did the Mexican Hatdance and more with joy!!!
“BABIES as young as four months old can tell that their parents are bilingual by their mouth and facial movements alone, according to a new study.
Scientists from Canada have found that infants donâ€™t need to hear the words to realise another language is being spoken in a bilingual environment.
Welsh experts last night said the research showed the importance of introducing children to a second language as early as possible.”
Well, can I tell you, that since I was “Ms. Music” in local?preschools back in 2001 I continually extolled the virtues of introducing a new language to young children as soon as possible.? The directors thought I was ‘cute and fun to have come into their center.’ and the children loved ‘Ms. Music who taught them Spanish with simple songs!’
Now the studies out of Cambridge and Texas and Harvard and Georgetown and Wales all claim that the philosophy of “the earlier, the better” (when it comes to introducing a new language to?young children) is THE philosophy of this decade!
So – do it this summer and do it now……..Find a way to give your child the gift of a second language!? ….. Read on for a little more detail of why babies really can get it!!!!!!!!!!
â€œIt is important that parents and carers are enthusiastic and approach it as a fun thing through play, facial expressions, smiles and body language. Children can easily pick up two languages.
â€œParents have got to give it a go. Even if they only have a little bit of Welsh like greetings or times of day then they should try to use it. If they do they find they will build confidence.â€
Soooo…..amigas……..Happy Summer!? Happy Having the Children Home! and Happy Expanding Their Minds as We Grow Our Businesses!
Happy Educating!? ?Sea feliz educando!
Well summer vacation is almost here.? For us work-at-home moms that brings some extra challenges.? The secret to surviving … summer camp!? Only kidding.?
This summer I think it’s important to realize that it can be a challenge.? You want to have fun with the kids, but you also need to keep your business running.? The key for me is planning ahead.? We have already invested in a new side desk that I can place another computer by the living room.?? That will enable me to work while they are around the house better, but also give them a place to play on their computer.? We have been to the craft store, Michaels and loaded up.? And Sams Club for lots of goodies.? I’m ready.? Of course, check with me next week when it actually happens.
?I thought you might enjoy my time management article.? Every second counts during the summer and you need to make sure you make the most of your time.? Thanks!? Diana Ennen
Time Management — Friend or Foe??As I write this article Iâ€™m sitting here with a desk that even a bulldozer couldnâ€™t save, a stack of e-mails to respond to that soon will surely topple 6 figures, and a to-do list thatâ€™s turned into the size of a manual. ?But … thatâ€™s okay … I achieved a couple goals this summer.? I had a fantastic summer with my kids and as a home-based mom, thatâ€™s one of the most important things. I landed several new authors to do their publicity for, and I finished one of the books I was writing.? Now thatâ€™s not half-bad!?In order to make time management a better friend for me, I needed to get better rewards from it.? Try these and see if they work for you.?1.????? Think of Time as Money:? Sounds pretty basic and overdone I know, but try applying it to your business.? The next time you spend that extra 15 minutes on an instant message or phone call, apply a cash figure to it.?? Letâ€™s say, you make $40 an hour, that call was $10.00.? Was it worth it???
2.????? Write it down: What?? Everything. Thoughts for your next business promotion.? Thoughts on how to â€œwowâ€ your new client with additional services you provide they might not know about.? Notes you just received on the phone about pick-up times for the kids, etc.? I have a spiral notebook right by me and it saves me hours looking for a little piece paper that I used to write things on.? Also, write a separate To-Do List.? A Goals List.? A Motivation List.? And utilize your Daytimer for all appointments.? As a writer, you can imagine how key this is for me.
3.????? Put Your Thoughts In the Right Place/Focus:? Now that youâ€™ve written them down, schedule a time each week or every other week to put them in the appropriate place.? Do you realize how much time you spend dreaming and planning.? This is part of being a business owner and I encourage it fully!? Never stop dreaming!!? But dream at the right scheduled time.? Believe me you can develop this habit, but it takes practice.? When you have work to be done, you need to stay focused on the job at hand.? By jotting down your ideas, knowing you will get back to them, you save time now, and also later by not taking up time thinking .. what was that great idea I had last week??
4.????? Reward yourself often.? Iâ€™m too good at this.? Iced coffee for me.? Find something for you.? When you have successfully kept your desk organized, your time managed, your clients happy and your kids fed, smile and say, â€œHey I did it.â€? Youâ€™ll find youâ€™ll want to get that feeling again, so youâ€™ll hard the next day to accomplish things again.
Diana Ennen is the president of Virtual Word Publishing, www.virtualwordpublishing.com.? Articles are free to be reprinted as long as the authorâ€™s bio remains intact.
Hey guys!? Iâ€™ve just got a quick one todayâ€¦ more of an observation, realization followed by pondering then concluding with gratitudeâ€¦ here goesâ€¦. ?We are all so fortunate to find this place here to garner much needed support and, my word for the month, â€œvalidationâ€.? I am on a few entrepreneurial co-ed boards as well as have entrepreneurial male friends in my real (as apposed to cyber) social life, and it seems that they donâ€™t express doubts, insecurities and worries about their businesses and their decisions and in turn I find they get less support from peers.? It seems that we have a good little support system around these parts, likes of which I do not find in the co-ed/male entrepreneurial circles.? Do they not have doubts? or does pride or even strategy interfere with the expression of them?? Most of the time the guys are supportive of ME when I have an issue, but I canâ€™t remember the last time I heard one say â€œhelp!â€.? That was the observation, realization and the pondering of this phenomenon, now hereâ€™s the gratitudeâ€¦ THANKS GALS!!!? I like being allowed to feel vulnerable and to be able to say â€œHey, I donâ€™t know that the heck Iâ€™m doing!!!!..â€¦how bout you???â€??? Thanks youâ€¦ itâ€™s pretty liberating!
Today one of my friends was on NBC with a full segment on virtual assistants.? You might want?to add this to your site.?
I’m so happy to report that Karen Reddick, a terrific Virtual Assistant, had her segment on Virtual Assistants air today on NBC.? She says the phone is ringing off the hook.? Yahoo!!? Here’s the link …
?And here’s the press release that we prepared for her segment.? What’s great is that we were able to send this out prior to the show airing, now that it aired, and following too with the link.? So she’ll get terrific exposure.? Congratulations Karen!?
?CENTENNIAL, CO (April 2007) â€“ Six years ago if anyone had told Karen Reddick that the growing industry she has been working hard to promote would finally receive its day in the limelight with a segment on the NBC Today Show, she wouldnâ€™t have believed it. Itâ€™s a dream come true to see the industry she is passionate about get national attention. Reddick is a Virtual Assistant (VA) who helps small businesses successfully run their businesses virtually from her home office. When an NBC correspondent got wind that there was such a business, they became intrigued and decided to pursue the story. NBC flew to Reddickâ€™s home office in Centennial to film a typical day at the office. They also set up a crew at one of Reddickâ€™s clientâ€™s office 850 miles away in the St. Louis area to show how easy and efficient working with a VA can be. The piece is scheduled to air in April. Reddick, owner of V-And-E Services, is a former executive assistant and originally conceived the idea for her business in October 2001 immediately following 9/11. Starting her new career was her way to put family first and be home for her then pre-teenage daughter. Reddick helps clients by working remotely and uses the latest technology to deliver creative administrative support and technical business services to busy professionals. Projects are often handled over the phone, by fax, e-mail and instant messaging. Most attractive to her clients is perhaps the fact that Virtual Assistants are responsible for their own taxes, training, healthcare, insurance, and overhead costs that make hiring an in-house employee expensive. Reddick states, â€œMy clients pay only for the time actually spent working on their projects. They donâ€™t pay for my coffee breaks, visits to colleagues or other things that happen in a normal office environment. This is a great benefit for them to pay on an as-needed basis.â€ Reddick is also the author of The A-Z Guide: The Best Ways to Work With a Virtual Assistant, which shows businesses exactly what a VA can do for them. In her A-Z Guide, Reddick starts with the letter A and highlights typical services such as administrative assistance, ad campaigns, appointment setting, auto responders; B–bookkeeping, branding, brochures, bulk mailings; C–concierge services, copywriting, contact list management and so on. It clearly helps businesses and virtual assistants see exactly what a VA can do for them and highlights tasks they might not have even considered. â€œI think this industry will just continue to grow,â€ Reddick adds. â€œThis used to seem like a radical concept; and now hopefully with this national recognition it will allow other business owners to realize how using a Virtual Assistant can streamline their administrative tasks and save them time and money.â€ As proof that the industry is growing, Diana Ennen of http://www.virtualwordpublishing.com recently landed an interview in Readerâ€™s Digest, where she was able to spread the news of the Virtual Assistant Industry. The article talks about making money while working at home, stating â€œIf you possess word processing, transcription, bookkeeping, public relations, or website design skills, you may want to try employment as a virtual assistant. Ennen is quoted as saying, â€œThere is so much work for VAs that the field is thriving. It is absolutely booming.â€ And Ennen believes this with all her heart. Look for this segment airing on NBC sometime in April. Stop by Reddickâ€™s site at: http://www.vandeservices.com for additional information on the VA industry and her services. About V-And-E-Services: V-And-E-Services specializes in â€œtaking the administrative weight off the shouldersâ€ of the small business owner and/or entrepreneur so they can concentrate on making their business grow. Visit http://www.vandeservices.com for more information. Reddick also offers a weekly newsletter entitled Grammar Tips From The Red Editor, a division of V-And-E-Services. http://www.theredpeneditor.com.
I have a problem saying no to volunteering, especially at my daughter’s school. I help out in the classroom twice a week, help with parties and specials, am a PTO board member, the list goes on and on.
Don’t get me wrong. I love helping out. I’ve made great friends, have seen a side of the classroom I wouldn’t normally see (and have kept up with what my little one is doing much better that way), and I feel great after I help. But lately I’ve noticed it’s taking a real toll on my business. There have been days that I’ve volunteered for three different school events in one day, some of which have lasted hours, and that left me nearly no time for work. It got so bad for a while that one of the parents at school asked me what class I taught, because she saw me so much up at school.
As work at home moms, it’s really hard not to think you can do everything a stay at home mom can. We’re home, after all. We have flexible schedules. And we feel like we’re doing our part when we can spend an hour helping the school, which in turn helps them help our children more. But it’s very easy to get caught up in the ‘I can do it – I work from home!’ trap if you’re not careful.
It’s tough too because for me, volunteer work is kind of my social outlet. I had a pretty close group of friends in my coworkers when I worked outside the home. And over the years, everyone has kind of drifted apart little by little as they left work, plus many of my friends moved to other towns or out of state. So my time at school has provided me with most of my current friends. Plus there are the kids. There’s absolutely nothing better than knowing that you’ve been able to make a difference in a child’s life, even in just one small way. But your business is always looming in the background, menacing – and let’s face it, beckoning – you to go back home and work. What people don’t realize is that we still need to get our eight to ten hours in a day. So if I’m up at school for four or five hours, I have to make that time up at night.
I’ve made a promise to myself that next year I’m going to stop and think about whether I can truly afford the time before I volunteer for anything else. Hubby suggested that I note days and times that aren’t quite as busy (like, say, Friday mornings), and only volunteer at that time. I’ll never be able to stop completely, but I can definitely be smarter about it!
So where were we?? This past weekend we had a wonderful time. We took the kids out on the boat as itâ€™s been in the mid 80â€™s all weekend and life is good! On Thursday I took the family with me to my meeting with Mr. New Sourcing Agent. Fortunately I have friends that live there in the same town so we made it a less than 24 hour mini-vacation. My meeting went really well and today I Quickbooked a PO for the tooling and my first 100 samples. What sold me on Mr. NSA were his terms. The terms are no money to be paid on the tooling and samples of the 1st PO until I approve the 100 samples. The terms for my original sourcing agent are tooling costs upfront. Both agents came back with similar prices (higher then I would have liked, but in the same range, so cost was not a factor in my decision) but the terms in this case sealed the deal. With New Guy, I am not out anything until Iâ€™m happy with the work and see that my project can be done to my satisfaction. I just feel warm and fuzzy all over!? The tooling etcâ€¦ will take 8 weeks so Iâ€™ve got some time to do other stuff thatâ€™s been piling up on my deskâ€¦ like those darn UPC codes!!!
Oh, by the way, the packaging is fine. The University emailed me and said they ran some more tests on it and the strength of the material of primary box and shipping box will be able to sustain the compression of 2 pallets double stacked so Iâ€™m good to go. On Friday I took my packaging prototype to my graphic designer and got him working on the graphics. Iâ€™m not very creative, so I pretty much explained the â€œfeelâ€ I wanted for the box and let him have at it. I did make mention that in the best legal-ese possible he needed to put the warnings 1) These are not edible, so donâ€™t eat this dummy, cause if you do, itâ€™s gonna hurt coming out! And #2) This is metal and itâ€™s gonna be hot coming off the grill. Donâ€™t burn yourself! Itâ€™s a shame that these are things that are necessary in this litigious society in which we live, but hey, I know the game, so Iâ€™ve got to be prepared to play!
On a mommy note, itâ€™s so enjoyable to visit friends that have kids around the same age and the same parenting style. We took the kids on a little overnight so mommy could go to her 2.5 hour business meeting and then we just played with our friends. I have friends that I was once close to and now that we have children I find myself not wanting to hang around because we parent so differently. Iâ€™m not saying ANY way is right or wrong, itâ€™s just hard when you are so different. I was reminded this past week of how much fun all the kids can have together when you are around friends that parent the same. Thatâ€™s about all for now!
Leslie Haywood, Founder and President of Charmed Life Products, Inventor of Grill Charmsâ„¢? www.grillcharms.com
This morning I let myself sit with my son at my computer. He was snuggled perfectly into my lap, thrilled at the permission to explore typing on a computer. I let myself sit there without being stressed about doing the next thing I needed to do for my business.
I spent a lot of time this weekend playing school with my daughter and ball with my son. I spent a lot of time with my kids this weekend, and my soul is better for it.
While I make a valid attempt to focus extra time on each of my kids every day, rarely am I able to do it and completely let myself go – put the stress off for later and make a commitment to be in the moment with my kids. And just giving myself permission to let it all go for 15 beautiful minutes with my son actually gave me new life. It was like a breath of fresh air.
Most importantly, I could tell that my son could feel my calm. And his calm increased my calm. So, I’m on a mission to give myself permission to enjoy my children and my time with them without thinking about the outside world or the rest of life – or anything except them, what we’re doing, or where we are.
We can do this!? I know we can!
Every Sunday I try to get at least the business section of the paper read (and try to catch up on the entire week’s worth of the daily business section that my weekday mornings never afford me the luxury of getting to!).? Each week I marvel at the column written about teaching our children financial responsibility.
Did you realize that in a?survey released this March 2007 by Charles Schwab & Co. and the Boys?& Girls Clubs of America, American teens?believe that?they will be earning an average?annual salary of $145,500 based on the careers that interest them?? Yet the Census Bureau reports that only 14% of U.S. households have incomes between $100,000 and $200,000.? Something is wrong with that picture, don’t you agree??
It’s terrific that these teens are so optimistic that they will?follow in the footsteps of successful lawyers, doctors, business owners and the like who have been fortunate enough?to earn those 6-figure incomes.? The reality?is that we need to help these children of today prepare to live within their means -?and that might mean $46,326 (the median household income in?the United States).
I live it every day in my home!??Two teen boys (one 17, one 15) – both good kids, both good students, both hang with pretty nice crowds.? Here’s the thing about hanging with pretty nice crowds……their parents hand them many things on a silver platter.? No work required.? No parameters set.? It is basically, “Mom I need.” or “Dad I want.” and they give, give, give.? In fact, our 17-year-old is STILL waiting for us to purchase his first car for him!!!? (He’s been waiting since November of last year…..don’t you think he’d get the fact that we are serious when we say, “No Mitchell, we will not be springing for a new car for you.? Get a job!”)
I would love to hear what you all are doing to handle this aspect of life – do you agree that we should buy it for this very able-bodied son who is capable of getting a minimum wage job or even a tipped position at a local restaurant?? I would not even be opposed to helping out with some of the initial costs, but he has made no attempt to even move in the direction of getting a job!? I’m truly amazed at his lack of initiative as well as disappointed in his lack of motivation.
So, here’s where the teaching part comes in for all of us – as moms, as parents, as aunts, as grandmas, as teachers, as the guiding force of today’s youth.? These children, ages 4-18, are screaming for help in learning how to manage their money.? From the weekly allowance to the future of credit card / debit card use – we need to provide these children the tools with which to learn the simple word ‘budget.’?
Do you know almost two thirds of these same teens surveyed insisted that they knew quite a bit about budgeting, saving and investing?? Yet when asked for more specifics, most could not even demonstrate how to budget, how to pay bills or even how to explain credit card interest/fees!? In fact, most of them thought that check cashing places were a good thing as far as a service offered (whereas the truth is they are expensive and cost a lot to use).
There are tools online to help those of us who ourselves do not have a good handle on our own financial status – click here and see!? Many of the tools and activities on this web site are free.? Then use search engines to find a cool financial literacy program for your age child.? There are kits for kids ages 4-6 and 7-10 and teens and tweens and more and more!? Just seek and ye shall find my friends.
We owe it to our children – their future and the future of our world.? We Can Do This!!!
Happy Educating!? ?Sea feliz educando!
I just wanted to add a few inspirational words to piggy back the post by Leslie about our “other babies”.? My business is my other child, we are contemplating having another baby….but I always tell everyone how hard it would be because I alredy have 2..my business and my little girl…OK..well 3 if you add my husband!!!!? After all they are just overgrown boys right?!?!
In the last couple of years I have had those who have told me how great my concept is, but have also been told–”no one will pay you to do that!”…this last statement came from someone I considered a good friend, sadly, we no longer speak.? She could not comprehend the emotional connection I had to this business…the personal reason behind why I started or why I thought it was so important…..I realized quickly that she was not a real friend to me…..
I have shed many tears over the remarks and comments that have been made about me on a personal level and from a business standpoint….I have been hurt and offended….I have felt completely let down by some I though were really good friends….
When things were tough and sales were not going well I though, “hmm, maybe they were right”. Many times I have wanted to give up because of lack of confidence and belief in what I do.? This was years ago…..now I am COMPLETELY confident and secure in the potential of my business. This new found strength DID NOT come overnight, it actually came about from practicing skills from Marketing 101! FIND YOUR TARGET MARKET!
When I originally started the business I went to craft shows…(you know the country craft school type shows)….yes, people liked what I did-so they said, but I never got any sales…..so were they lying about liking my work? What was I missing? Why were they not buying? I did a LOT of these shows-all with the same results. Then I started attending higher end shows-only after being encourage by a REALLY good friend-and my husband!…Art Shows and shows that were juried (you have to be approved to exhibit)…..BINGO! That is when it started to change for me…. these were the people that had extra money to spend, people who had the type of homes that warranted unique art to fill those bare walls…the type of people who WANTED and craved different and unique.? After almost 5 years in business I finally have a good grasp of who my target market is both for my photo studio and for my custom art work-this has helped me tremendously in so many ways.
So, for those of you who are at that “weird” place of insecurity and fear…..be patient and ride the roller coaster of emotions that come with running a business. You will build the confidence and strength needed to be successful. Do not be afraid to push the limits…do not be afraid of possibly losing some “friends” along the way….and DO NOT be afraid of failing…..you will learn more about yourself than you have ever imagined you could……and like my husband constantly tells me….”so what if you fail, we are young enough to pick up and move on!”? I could not do this without his support………and his ability to calm me when things seem scary……
Remember, you are NOT alone with ANY of your feelings!