Using your entrepreneurial skills to inspire your kids

As entrepreneurs we recognise that working for ourselves means independence and financial freedom. And because we know it makes sense to live and work in this way many of us want to instil entrepreneurial values in our kids.

What’s great for children of entrepreneurs is that they get to observe their parents working and supporting the family and as the child gets older they can also get involved in small ways.

That’s why I love school holidays. It’s a chance to have my children be around our work environment and get a sense of the focus and the energy of the business and it gives them a few little chores to do that teach them a little about what working means.

Even a young child can place a stamp on an envelope or add a sticky label. It doesn’t take much training to fold a letter, to bring the working team drinks or to file and before you know it they can be filling in a spread-sheet with marketing data or dropping off the mail. Continue reading “Using your entrepreneurial skills to inspire your kids”

Business run out of steam? Here are four ways to get it moving again…

It can happen to the best of us. You take your eye off the ball and before you know it your web traffic goes down and your profits head south too.  Maybe you’ve been busy with your family or perhaps you’ve had a new baby? Whatever the cause, your business needs a jump-start and a blast of new energy.

So how do you take a stagnant business and revive it? Here are four ideas for you:

Find someone new

Could you bring someone on board who would be excited about the business? That excitement could well be infectious and bring back your own sense of excitement. Sometimes you need new ideas and energy to come from the outside because it’s too hard to do it alone. An outsider could bring you a completely new perspective.

Take a look around your network for someone who complements your skills and personality. It could be the best business move you’ll ever make.

Increase your hours

Your business stagnation could be down to simple neglect. Most mums with businesses seem to be running multiple businesses all at the same time. And maybe a part-time job , too! Sit down and work out how many hours you spend on your business in a month. Is this really enough to give you the results you want? If not, now is the time to fix that.

It’s hard, but sometimes we have to drop a few projects so that others can have a chance at success. Do you need to let one business go so that another can get the attention it needs?

Decide how much time you want to put into this business and put it in your calendar. Then tell other people about your new commitment so you have an incentive to stick to it.

Sometimes, all a business really needs to flourish again is attention.

Set fresh goals

Can you remember a time when you were very excited about this business? Can you remember when you used to dream about its success and what that would be like?

It’s time to get back into that state of mind. Without it, you’re just keeping your  business ticking over, rather than taking it forwards. The world and business are moving so fast now, you need that excitement and energy just keep up.

So focus on what you really want from this business and set a few new goals. Make sure they are measurable and have a date when they should be met, otherwise you’re unlikely to reach them

What do you want to accomplish? Why? How would it change your life if you succeeded?

Get back in touch with that reason why. That’ll really help you to succeed.

Commit

The most important aspect of jump-starting an old business is just committing to its success again. At some point in the past, you probably lost your commitment and that’s where things started to slide downhill.

And if that doesn’t work…

If you’ve tried your best but you know deep down that you can’t get that feeling back, then perhaps it’s time for pastures new? One thing that is guaranteed when you’re working around young children is that things change. Working through the ideas in this article will help you decide if you want to revive your business or if it’s time to move on.

If you’ve successfully revived a flagging business, I’d love to hear from you in a comment 🙂

And if you enjoyed this post, why not make sure you stay in touch by joining  my mailing list? I’ll also send you a copy of  my e-book Running a business around a family: 9 steps to success.

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How to cope when you miss your child’s event (and why sometimes it’s a good thing)

I have a fab post for you today by working mums’ coach Elinor Wilde. One of the big reasons that mums start up in business is to give us the flexibility to go to events like school sports days. But what happens if, despite your best efforts, you still can’t go? Over to you, Elinor…

Running a business when you have children can mean some pretty tough choices. At the end of recent call, a client of mine dropped into the conversation that she had been really looking forward to going to a friend’s 40th birthday party. It had been in the calendar for months but she wasn’t going because her daughter had just been invited to perform at a dance concert. Now this mum has seen her daughter perform at many concerts, this wasn’t the first and it wasn’t a competition, but she wouldn’t allow herself to miss it even though she admitted she was gutted to be missing the 40th.

When you decide to run your own business you hope you will have more flexibility to be with your children and attend their events more easily than if you were working 9-5, but you will still have conflicting choices to make whether they are to do with business or social arrangements. Obviously you want to attend your kids’ events to support them and share in their pleasure, but here’s the thing – you don’t have to be there EVERY time and feeling guilty about it can be a sign of the perfectionist trap we mums can fall into. Here’s how to cope:

If, like my client, you feel consumed by guilt at the thought of missing a child’s event, consider why.

• Are you worried what other mums will think? Remember you’ve got nothing to prove to them. This is your life and your family.

• Are you mind-reading and making assumptions? Are you scared your child will be upset if you are not there? This is really down to how you handle things. Be factual, don’t over explain or over-dramatise and above all don’t ask for permission! Explain that you already have something organised and can’t go, describe whose mother will be there instead and that you are really looking forward to hearing how much they enjoy themselves. Don’t get drawn into a long conversation about it or over-explain. It’s this that can make your child anxious.

Are you worried what other mums will think? Remember you’ve got nothing to prove to them. This is your life and your family.

Continue reading “How to cope when you miss your child’s event (and why sometimes it’s a good thing)”

How to overcome information overload: Dealing with too much info as a mumpreneur

Business books, audio books, eBooks, blogs, websites, ezines, newsletters, webinars, podcasts, downloads, infographics.

The list is endless.

As a mumpreneur trying to learn as much as she can while staying on top of her game and building her business, the amount of information that is available to us in this electronic age is indeed, vast and often, overwhelming.

How does one make the time to read it all and absorb it all?

Actually, one doesn’t.

Here are simple steps to deal with information overload in the digital world:

1. Know what you want

Begin by jotting down or at least, identifying what you want to learn, know more about or do. Have the goals in mind before you begin signing up for newsletters and webinars. For instance, if building an email list for your business is your goal, it is best if you look for someone who offers just that via their eCourse, eBook or podcast instead of signing up for a general business newsletter and hoping that they’ll talk about email list building sometime.

2. Organise your information

Say, you have multiple learning goals for this quarter or year, create folders in your email or on your computer to store the information you receive according to the need it will fulfil. This will help you find what you need when you need it. There is little point signing up for an eCourse and then, not using that information or worse, finding it when you want it.

3. Use only what’s most valuable

Even when you’ve identified your goals, you still have to filter the fluff from the real deal. Yes, unfortunately, in the digital world you’ll often come across information products that aren’t really all they’re cut out to be.

Filtering your information will help you unsubscribe from anything that doesn’t add value to your business goals or actually teach you something new.

4. Have a technology turn off time

Finally, the best way to deal with information overload is to turn off technology and just switch off. Do this every weekend or at least on a Sunday so that your mind gets some rest and can recharge itself for the busy week ahead. Try it!

How do you deal with information overload as a busy mumpreneur?

About the Author: Melissa Vandermeer is the founder of Zayth, an online women-centric marketplace for digital products and services. Zayth will help you deal with information overload by bringing everything you need as a mumpreneur under one virtual roof. Sign up for the Zayth newsletter or join us on Facebook and Twitter to simplify how you find and sell digital information.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What is a pop up shop?

What is a pop up shop? It’s a temporary shop that can be used to test demand for a more permanent shop, or to bring attention back to a shop building that has been empty for some time, or to showcase a product. You can get a good feel for pop up shops in this article from the Independent.

My home town Bedford now has quite a few empty shops – most towns do these days. A combination of the recession, online shopping and the growth of out-of town retail parks have hit our town centres all at the same time, closing down many shops. The community group We Are Bedford have been using pop up shops as a way of bringing empty shops to life.

I love the whole concept of pop up shops for three reasons. Number one, it’s obvious that we need to reinvent our town centres – things are never going to return to the way they were pre-credit crunch because too much has changed. Second, it’s great that small businesses and communities are taking the lead in this reinvention because we are so often dominated by big brands. And third, it gives small businesses exposure that they haven’t had before.

This third reason is why I’m writing this post. Because I know lots of little home-based business owners who don’t stand a chance of renting a high street shop, but that could get together and try a pop up shop.

I keep hearing about the idea of pop up shops and I thought I’d share some articles and resources just in case you want to give one a go. Please do feel free to leave a comment and share what you know.

If you have any other examples of pop up shops or resources to help people thinking of setting one up, please do leave a comment below..