When most people think of writing a business plan, they envision a long, extensively detailed document with reams of data and financial forecasts. While that may be the requirement for people seeking outside funding, a business plan doesn’t have to be all that complicated to be effective. Continue reading
Although it isn’t always the case, busy mums are generally those who work outside the home. There never seem to be enough hours in the day to get all those tasks done and with kids needing to be transported to an assortment of games, activities and friends’ houses, your time becomes even more limited.
Stressed mum – by Shutterstock
This can lead to stress, even if you were in line for sainthood, and is why you really need to slow down for a minute, catch your breath and think about ways to streamline (just like at work!) to be more effective. Continue reading
Am I the only one who was surprised by the sudden burst of hot weather? It always seems to sneak up on me. One minute we are hiding under as many layers of blankets as possible and then suddenly Bam! It’s Summer and baring all is the latest thing.
I am much better prepared this year though. I am back to my Thinking Slimmer programme, listening to my Slimpod each night and writing down my positives. Since I found this programme a couple of years ago it is the only way that I will ever choose to lose weight.
Life is too short for dieting. Yes I want to look good for summer and I will, but I want to have fun while I do it and not stress about what i am eating and how it fits in with the children and my life. So the nightly whispers from my Slimpod are helping me to choose healthy food and to move my body more each day. It’s slower than other weight loss methods that I have tried but it is so much more sustainable and less of a hassle to fit in with my family.
Slowly but surely, I think and I get slimmer. It’s fun and it works!
If you would like to try the Slimpod method of losing weight, now is your chance.
Please fill in the Rafflecopter below and you could win your own Drop 2 Dress sizes Slimpod, worth £29.99, which is the pod responsible for the results that you can see.
There are 10 more chances to win a Slimpod this week – all on different blogs – check out the list of competitions at the Slimpod Treasure Hunt page
Younique Cosmetics is an American MLM business which launched in the UK on October 1st 2014. I have joined the company and you can see my website here:
This is not the first time that I received advance notice of a new MLM company coming to the UK. Normally I am wooed by a plethora of American sales reps who think that I am the gateway to all the UK mums who want to work, and promise me untold riches if I sign up with them.
I have turned down quite a few such opportunities, because quite frankly, I have been in MLM before and I know the amount of work needed to invest in building a downline, and I also know that you really need to love the products before you even begin, and love the sales techniques they feed you.
I have seen several of my contacts embrace these opportunities at the start and go on to build a substantial business in no time, because it always pays to be in at the beginning with MLM. But for me the time and the products just weren’t right before.
But Younique Cosmetics has turned my head, and this time I have gone for it.
I don’t wear a huge amount of make up. But the make up I do wear has been mineral makeup exclusively for the last few years, because it suits my skin, stays on nicely and doesn’t cause itchiness or rashes. I discovered bareminerals a few years ago, which is hugely expensive, but made such a difference to me, and I also love the cheaper but still lovely Body Shop minerals brand.
So, to start off with, I love the basic idea of what Younique have to sell, and even though I haven’t tried it yet, I can see from the range that I am just going to love it.
The packaging is gorgeous, the colours are lovely, and I love the idea that I can receive a starter pack containing lots of different colours for just £69 – when I look and see what I can get on bareminerals site for that money I know that I am in the money before I make a single sale.
I have read some reviews of the Younique products and I am convinced that this is something that women in the UK will embrace with open arms:
The idea that I can try out the new colours in my home without having to go into a shop and deal with a pushy sales rep is enough to convince me – i am investing in this starter pack because I would love to have that much mineral make up for £69. Once I know what colours I like, I will be able to order my make up online and pay wholesale prices. I might even start wearing it more…
The second thing that has convinced me is the mission statement of the company
LOOK BEAUTIFUL.BE BEAUTIFUL. INSIDE AND OUT!
Our mission is to uplift, empower, validate, and ultimately build self-esteem in women around the world through high-quality products that encourage both inner and outer beauty and spiritual enlightenment while also providing opportunities for personal growth and financial reward.
I think that is really lovely – a small amount of make up can do wonders for self esteem, and while I am not of the orange faced “can’t leave the house without it” brigade, i can still see how having a regular supply of a make up brand i trust could do me good, and how i could persuade others to try it too.
The final thing which has convinced me is that Younique encourages its presenters to sell online. They are suggesting that I can take pictures of myself wearing the make up and everyone will buy from me online. Now, I wasn’t born yesterday, and I’m fairly certain that the best sales people will do a little more than that…. but the idea that I can run a MLM business without doing home parties or door to door leaflet drops sounds like a mighty fine idea to me. I have a huge contact list up and down the UK and I will be able to sell to all of them.
I have researched my upline thoroughly, and am joining up with a team that has a lot of additional sales materials and help for its new presenters. One of the other good things about starting at the beginning is you can choose your upline.
Does anybody out there fancy joining me? If you do, you can sign up here:
If you would just like to receive some more information about Younique, please sign up to this mailing list and I will let you have lots of information and training so that you can decide if you would like to be a customer or a presenter or both. This does not commit you to joining Younique, it’s just so I can send you more information.
I’ve worked with a few MLM businesses before, and made all the common mistakes already.
I think that this time I am well set up to cut through the huge volume of sales training that you get in many businesses, and to find my own sales and presenting style with a great set of products. I think I have enough experience of MLM, online selling and business in general to lead you as you get started, and I’m sure I have chosen a great upline team for us all to join up with.
Can I help you to start your UK business too?
What’s the worst that could happen?
Well, at worst I will spend £69 and have a whole box of lovely new makeup for this Christmas season – at best I will have some beautiful gifts for my friends and the start of a whole new income stream, surfing on the wave of the next big thing.
Either way sounds good to me – or anything in between – anybody else with me?
Watch this space……x
August is typically a very quiet month at Motivating Mum, time for reflection, time to sit back and take a breather, ready for another year.
After all, any sensible mum who can, is out playing with her children this month, and so she should be. Those who can, leave their work or their businesses do, and those who can’t, do as little as possible and try not to waste their time idly on social media, when they could be enjoying the last precious few weeks of lovely weather.
…or would you rather be on Facebook? by Shutterstock
So, because my tribe are away from their screens, I tend to go away too – no point in creating beautiful hand crafted content and offering my most potent words of wisdom if none of you are reading it. I take myself off – with my own children – to somewhere lovely, and I sit and I think and I doodle, so that I can return in September re-energised and ready to go with new and startling ideas.
A lovely place for refelction and idle doodling (by Shutterstock)
This year for the first time, I have invested in some training and support to help me with my idle doodling.
I took Sally Hogshead’s Project Fascination test, and have been delighted to explore the Rockstar personality that she has introduced me to. Look forward to seeing that insight reflected in my communication style over the next year. This test is free until September 5th – I urge you to give it a go.
So that’s why my tribe isn’t listening to me….. by Shutterstock
I invested in the recordings from Suzanne Dibble’s Expert Authority Challenge which is running until the end of August. I decided not to take the challenge; this is a really bad month for me to be trying make a name for myself because nobody is listening and because I need a rest, but I do want to learn from all the experts that are sharing their advice in so many disciplines on this course. So I have the audio, which will see me through many an idle hour on the beach
And finally I took the plunge and invested in Leonie Dawson’s Amazing Business and Life Academy (I will add in an affiliate code to this group when she reminds me what my password is….). This is a huge membership group, with so much to read and so many lovely people all around the world to chat to and get to know. This is really pressing my social button – forcing my introverted self to get out there and connect with more new folks every day. This has got to be good for my business and is fun too.
All things taken together, I feel like I am absolutely bursting with life and new ideas this summer. I am so glad that I took the time to invest in myself, rather than just going to a lonely spot to work things out myself like I ususally do. I have been challenged, stretched and been shown all kinds of insights over the last few weeks, and I have also met some wonderful new people who will be continuing on with me on my journey.
I’m heading off on my main holiday at the end of August and it will go very quiet around here. But believe me, something amazing is fermenting here – and Motivating Mum is never going to be the same again.
Taking a retreat with the family – by Shutterstock
What about you?
Do you regularly take time out to have a business retreat?
Do you have an annual planning cycle?
How do you find the time to sit back and think about where you want to go with your business?
I’d love to hear your comments in the box below. And if you would like to hear more abut the ideas that I am brewing, then please take the time to join my mailing list and you will be the first to know the new plans (and my secret new products…) when I get back
How the World Sees You – great new book and business concept by Sally Hogshead
Branding expert and leading authority on the science of fascination, Sally Hogshead, is publishing her new book How the World Sees You on July 1.
To celebrate the insights gained from a decade of research, she is launching Project Fascination with the goal of showing 100,000 people how their personalities add value.
As a part of this project, she’s given me a special code (BL-MOTIVATINGMUMUK) to share with to you. The first 100 people who use it to take her Fascination Advantage® assessment will receive the assessment for free! This has never been done before, and will only last until September 5.
I took the test, and apparently I am a Rockstar, communicating with Innovation and Passion. This really rings true for me, and the pdf report that Sally sent after I completed the survey had quite a few insights that will definitely help me to use my strengths (and move away from my weak areas) in order to commuicate better.
There are 49 different Personality types – download the Archetype matrix above to see them all. I was fascinated to read about them all, and I would be very interested to know which one you are. Please use one of my 100 free codes and take the test yourself – it takes about 5 minutes, and i guarantee you will learn something interesting from it.
Simply go to www.howtheworldseesyou.com/you before September 5th.
Enter code BL-motivatingmumuk in the Book code section and take the test. Please leave a comment below with your results.
The best part is, you will trigger a chain reaction—a pay it forward situation. When you take the assessment using BL-motivatingmumuk, you will receive 100 assessments to share with your circle for free, too!
That’s it. Now you’re ready to discover how your personality is custom built for certain situations, and which situations you should learn to avoid. And it only takes 5 minutes (you can even do it on your phone!)
28 questions. 5 minutes. A whole new way to communicate your value.Your Fascination Advantage® Report is the first big step towards knowing how your personality can be heard and remembered in an overcrowded market. Sharing the assessment will help others do the same.
Find everything you need to put this knowledge into practice with your colleagues, close friends and significant other in Sally’s new book, How the World Sees You.
Summertime – that time of the year when everything slows down and moves out of doors. “Less work, more play” is often the motto found in the minds of many. It’s a time when you spend a day at the beach or lake, or take an afternoon off work just to be outside. Kids are out of school for the summer and holidays are on the schedule. Outdoor activities take front seat.
But how do mumpreneurs deal with juggling their business commitments in the holidays? Here are some summer business tips for mums.
Running Your Business While on Holiday
It’s been reported that at least 60 percent of all small business owners don’t take a holiday in any given year. And of those who do, 75 percent still do some sort of work every day during their holiday, These numbers are higher for home-based business solopreneurs who have no one to toss the reins to while they take a break. It’s a challenge to take time away from your business when you know that if you aren’t working, you aren’t earning money.
But taking time off allows you to recharge your energy levels so that you don’t burn out. The summer slow-down time is the perfect time to do this.
Here are some tips to manage your work and time while you take time to have some fun.
- Plan ahead. This means setting up a schedule on your calendar for when you will be away, so you can get projects done ahead of that time. Let clients know when you’ll be away and have them schedule what they need prior to or after this time.For example, if you are going to be gone for a week in July, have all your projects finished the week before you leave. Don’t try to fit 3 days’ work into the day before you leave. Give yourself time to fit in all the activities you need to get done.
- Set up systems and tools. Almost all businesses have tasks they can automate. Marketing efforts can be maintained with various tools. For example, social media posts can be scheduled with tools like HootSuite. Blog posts can be written in advance and scheduled to post later in WordPress.Autoresponder systems like Aweber.com allow you to schedule your email message updates, so set up one that answers common questions you receive.Be sure to add a note that questions will be responded to personally after you return (unless you have a virtual assistant who can take care of them).
- Virtual Assistant/Online Manager. Hire a virtual assistant to take the reins while you’re away. They can take care of your emails, update posts or whatever you need them to do while you’re away. They can work as your project manager as well, keeping your projects moving forward. They can even help you in planning and setting up tools and systems.
- Outsource. Even if you have a virtual assistant to manage your business, you can outsource many other individual tasks, such as writing, graphic work or blog maintenance.
- Take care of maintenance only. While on holiday, make it a point to only check in once in a while. Do the very minimum to keep your business going, such as checking your email once a day and quickly checking in with your virtual assistant a couple of times.
- Inform clients. Let clients know you will be away from the business. Be upfront with them so they can get work to you ahead of time if they need to. Letting them know your schedule demonstrates that you value them and respect their business. But don’t forget, many of them will be on holiday too
If you need help with setting up any of the above or running it over the summer, check out Mum’s Little Helper
Just because you own a business doesn’t mean you can’t take time off for relaxation and rejuvenation.
Using the tools and systems available online can help you keep your business from falling into a slump while you are away. You can continue to market your business with help from a virtual assistant or concierge company. And you can keep your relationship with clients on good terms by informing them of your plans well in advance.
Managing Your Time While Having Fun
Summertime can find many online business owners focusing more on where they could be instead of the work that’s actually in front of them. We see images of boats on the lake, beaches and swimming pools and tall cool drinks instead of our computer monitor and the tasks at hand.
Often, we are constantly checking the clock or the weather outside or even our Facebook accounts.
The summer slow-down steals your motivation to work and kills your productivity, making you feel like you’re constantly fighting an uphill battle to get work done. You try to work but the outside air is calling you…. You can beat this slowdown and still have time for fun by managing your time better.
These tips will help you manage your time so you can get work done more quickly.
- Switch your working hours. Change your normal working hours so that you have enough outside time to keep you satisfied. For instance, you could work early mornings and late evenings, leaving the afternoons free to enjoy outside activities. Or take certain days off during the week.
- Delegate work to others. Outsource more than you normally do in order to free up some time. Hire a virtual assistant or online manager to take care of the big projects, giving you more time to do what you want.
- Take advantage of technology. Use your smartphone to keep up with email and social media while you’re having fun. Wi-fi is available almost everywhere, making it easier than ever to keep in contact with customers and clients. Just be sure to set time limits for yourself so you don’t end up answering emails instead of catching waves at the beach.
- Use to-do lists. A daily to-do list during the summer can keep you organized and on task. Ticking off ‘done’ items from your list keeps you motivated to finish, instead of checking your social media accounts or daydreaming.
- Prioritise work. Plan out your days with work that has to be done. Do your money making tasks first. Also, don’t take on a lot of new projects if you are more interested in going out in the boat. Keep your work load lighter if possible so you can enjoy time on the water.
- Break up big projects into small micro-tasks you can do throughout the day or week. This works for projects such as a new product launch, and for client work as well.
- Take your work outside. There’s no reason you can’t take your laptop to the park or your back deck to work. Even without a wi-fi connection, you can write documents or work on graphics.
- Take advantage of systems. You can create a bunch of blog posts ahead of time, and schedule them for publication at a later date using WordPress. The same is true for your autoresponder messages. And social media posts can be pre-scheduled to appear at a later time using software like HootSuite.
Managing your time and taking advantage of tools and outsourcing can help you do more than just dream of being outside during the summer. Breaking down projects into smaller tasks can help you get more done in less time. Mum’s Little Helper can assist with any of your outsourcing requirements
If You Have Children at Home – How Do You Manage To Get Work Done?
Many online business owners work from home. And just as many may have kids at home with them during the summer holidays. It doesn’t matter whether they are young children or teens, working at home with kids can be challenging. Not only do you have to find time to work your business you have to keep the kids entertained as well.
Here are 10 tricks for working at home with children:
- Be flexible. Get up early and work before the kids wake up, or stay up a little later at night to finish projects and jump online throughout the day when you need to. Send emails while kids are napping. Don’t worry so much about how many hours you are working, and instead focus on getting your work done whenever you can.
- Get the kids involved. Hire them to do some of the housework while you work. If they are old enough, hire them to do some of the cooking or taking care of younger siblings. Older kids can even be hired to do small tasks in your business, like packaging orders or uploading photos to your website.
- Schedule playdates with other mums who have kids the same age. You can alternate between your homes so that one parent isn’t watching the kids more often than the other.
- Take advantage of technology. Use your smartphone or tablet when you’re out. Check your email or make notes while you’re at the park or take conference calls on the way to an outing.
- Outsource more of your work. Giving work to a virtual assistant or ghostwriter can free up time to let you spend time with your kids doing fun things this summer.
- Go on field trips. Take the kids with you when you need to pick up supplies or pick up a gift for a client. Along the way, stop at places your kids might enjoy, like a new ice cream shop.
- Go to the library. Or even a local bookstore. Check out new books or DVDs the kids can watch and read while you work. Or get some work done while older kids browse the library for their own books or DVDs.
- Send the kids to day camps. There are many local authorities that offer reasonably-priced camps your kids would want to attend. Everything from sports to music to adventures is available in almost every town.
- Schedule work ahead of time so you know when something has to get done, and can make arrangements for the kids to be entertained elsewhere (either outside the home or with their own activities).
- Don’t schedule any big projects to be due during the summer. Work more on maintenance and keeping things updated.
If you have children at home during the summer, finding ways to work with them underfoot can be a challenge. Make it a priority to spend time with them doing fun activities while fitting your work into their schedule.
Other Tips and things to consider during the summer:
Even if your business sees downtime and you are staying in town, there are some things you can do to get your business ready for the latter part of the year.
- Spend time looking for ways to add passive income. Create that program or eBook you don’t have time to work on during peak times of the year. Check out affiliate programs that fit your audience.
- Back up and tidy up your files. Consider an online backup programor an external storage device These can be used in addition to external backup systems. Summertime means many areas are prone to summer storms and power loss. Print out copies of important business information like client contact information and passwords.
- Jump into a training program for something you’ve wanted or needed to learn. Or attend networking events that can help you grow your business. Print out some relevant reading material or download some audio files to listen to while you are at the beach
- Plan marketing for the rest of the year. Do market research to see what your customers think about your business or services.
- Update your website if it needs a makeover. Improve navigation structures, remove or update old content, update the design and more.
- Look for ways to incorporate summer type themes or information into your email newsletter and your website. For example, send out newsletters that focus on summer specials, mixed with summer recipes or tips for pet care during the heat. Just make sure it relates to your niche.
Even if business slows down during this time of year, you can still make progress with your business. Take the time to make plans for growth, update your website and network with others.
What Happens Next
In this report we’ve looked at ways to keep your business thriving while taking time to enjoy the season. We’ve gone over some tips on getting work done if there are kids underfoot and how you can spend time doing activities with them while still having time for work. I hope that you have found something that you can take away and use in your own business.
Now it’s time to start implementing some of the tips you’ve found here so that you can enjoy the summer. Start planning and scheduling your projects. Get help from a virtual assistant or outsource work you are going to need done while you enjoy the season!
If you would like to hire a virtual assistant over the summer, or if you would like a few hours of hands on help to implement some of the projects covered in this report, then check out Mum’s Little Helper, a joint venture between Motivating Mum and Sooqini. You can pay somebody to take care of your business projects for a few hours, or for the whole summer, so you can get on with the things that are important to you and have some serious fun.
Louise Sims was eight months pregnant with her first daughter when she joined Stampin Up. Now, with another baby on the way, Louise is determined to remain fully productive through pregnancy in order to further grow her business.
When you were a child did you have big ambitions as to what you were going to be? Did you have big amazing dreams of being a sports superstar, or an astronaut, a pilot, or the doctor that discovered the cure for cancer? Did you have places you wanted to go and things you wanted to do before real life took over?
Well I am here now to tell you to never give up on all those dreams no matter how far fetched. Yes you may be a suburban mum of two, running a small business and doing your daily grind to make ends meet (well I am anyway!) But amazing things can still happen if you keep your dreams alive. Continue reading
I’ve had Evernote on my PC and on my phone for quite a while. I’ve been using it here and there – mainly to take text notes when I’m out and about for projects, blog ideas etc.
But I have recently been looking at all the other things that you can do on Evernote and now I realise that it is just the most useful app I possess, bar none. Here are some of the things i have done with my Evernote set up just recently. Continue reading