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If you're like most of my readers, you're committed to your family and creating the best home life possible. But the truth is, if you've given up one income to homeschool your kids, you may be struggling to make ends meet. That's why I wrote this special report, The 9 Best Business Ideas for Homeschool Moms, in which I help you design the best business to complement your family's goals. There's only one way to get it—by subscribing to my weekly blog updates here:
 
 

Pre-flight tests for your business idea

Will Your Business or Product Idea Fly?

Is your idea one that other people would pay for? How would you like to know the answer to that question before launching your big idea? It would be like holding a crystal ball in your hands. Or getting inside information from the One who knows the future. It would be incredible!

While there are no guarantees in life or in business, there are certainly things that we can do to minimize our risk when we make big decisions in our lives – like pre-marital counseling before the wedding; eating right during pregnancy; training before a marathon.

When it comes to business, you can test your idea before launching it. How great is that?

I just finished reading Pat Flynn’s new book, Will It Fly? This easy-to-read book is a pre-flight check for testing and validating your idea before spending your money developing it. I wish I had this book 15 years ago when starting my business! But I am excited that I have it now, because I will use the tests and exercises before I write any new books, develop new tools or create new products. It will be a huge time and money saver. So I’m thrilled!

I’m also thrilled because I can share about it with you, who may be entertaining some business, product or service ideas yourself. Here are my biggest take-aways from the book:

  1. You are uniquely gifted. Every experience that has brought you to this point in your life has shaped you and given you unique (he calls them “unfair”) advantages that you can turn into products or services to serve others.
  2. It only takes minutes to “brain dump” your ideas onto paper (or software) and then only a few minutes more to organize those ideas into a “mind map.” This small amount of time invested now will save you countless hours later.
  3. Boiling your idea down to ONE sentence brings clarity and purpose to your work.
  4. Telling others about your idea and getting feedback will validate it and shape it into something that others will want to buy from you. Or it will kill it, which is truly a blessing in disguise.
  5. Pre-selling is a super way to find out if people want your product or service enough to open up their wallets. What your potential customers say they will buy and what they actually will buy may be two different things.

The best part of going through this process with Pat in his book, Will It Fly?, is that whether or not your current idea flies, you will have learned the science of testing and validating your ideas so that you will be ready to scrutinize any new ones that come your way. And often, an initial poor idea can lead to a new, refined, and polished great idea when you put it through this series of pre-flight tests.

Will your idea fly?

After reading Pat Flynn’s brand new book, Will It Fly?, I feel like I have an “unfair” advantage for all my ideas going forward. Would you like to possess this “unfair” advantage too? You can pick up the book on Amazon.com.

Will It Fly?
How to Test Your Next Business Idea so You Don’t Waste Your Time and Money

by Pat Flynn

Question: Have you read this book? What are your biggest take-aways?

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homeschooling and home business

Discover the Magic of Mapping out Your Week

Homeschooling is a growing movement. More and more parents are choosing to teach their kids at home for reasons that include individualized instruction, efficient use of time, the abundance of excellent curricula available, and the quality time they get to spend with their kids.

But for many families, to homeschool means to give up one parent’s income, which can become a financial hardship. What many families don’t realize, though, is that homeschooling does not preclude earning a second income.

Everyone is allocated the same 168 hours per week. The important idea to consider is how we use these hours. Let’s break it down.

Homeschooling takes less time than traditional schooling, because school time is more focused and intentional. You don’t need to use any of your time for assemblies, roll call, bathroom breaks, lining up, etc. Most families can be finished with their studies before noon, if they start around 8:30 or 9am. So, if it takes your children 3-4 hours per day to finish all their subjects, then you can allot 15-20 hours to homeschooling each week.

If you sleep for 56 hours (8 hours per night) and reserve 60 hours to “other” activities (such as errands, cleaning, meal prep and recreation), you still have 32+ hours left that you can devote to creating a second income. I spend about 20 hours per week running our two businesses from home (4.5 hours on 4 afternoons a week).

So, the time is there, if we use it wisely. But that is certainly not the only obstacle to working from home. As homeschooling moms, we are responsible for the care and supervision of our kids 24/7. All working parents need some type of child care, even those who work from home. However, public school parents utilize the school system, which provides built-in childcare. Homeschooling parents who wish to focus on work or building a business just need to get creative. That’s not a problem since creativity is our specialty!

supervision 24/7

We are responsible for the care and supervision of our kids 24/7.

Here are some ways that creative homeschooling moms have carved out some uninterrupted work time: Continue reading Homeschooling & Home Business: A Match Made in Heaven

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Earn an income online

Discover the best business ideas for busy homeschoolers

What would you do with an extra $25,000+ a year? A home-based business can provide you with an additional income to pursue the dreams you have for your family. I have heard many homeschooling moms say that with the addition of $25,000+ to their annual income they would:

  • Remodel their home
  • Save for future college tuitions
  • Travel the world with their family
  • Purchase quality school resources
  • Pay off debt, including mortgage

However, for stay-at-home, homeschooling moms, trading time for dollars in the form of a job isn’t always the answer. You homeschool your kids because you believe that you can provide them with a quality education that includes teaching your family values. And that requires your presence.

I have been running my own business and working from home for 15 years. This has provided me with freedom to schedule my own hours around my family’s activities. It has also allowed me to invest in my kids’ education, travel around the world with my family, and begin remodeling our home. My husband works from home now too, so he has been able to spend more time with the kids than he ever dreamed possible.

We love the life that we have designed. And I want to help you design your ideal life too. I have just finished writing the special report – The 9 Best Business Ideas for Homeschool Moms. It’s available now and you can download it below.

Are you ready to stop worrying about having enough money to pay the bills each month, design a business that fits your unique educational choices, and create the lifestyle you’ve always wanted for your family?

Then click the image below to download your copy of…

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Creative-sm

And why you’ll love these creative resources too!

I love being creative, but I am not an artist, nor am I very techie. I am just an average Jane who likes the things I promote or have my name on look fantastic. That’s not too much to ask, is it?

If you are a teacher, leader or business woman who likes her materials to look smashing, then bookmark this site and refer back to it often, whenever you need to get creative.

Here are my Top 5 Creative Resources:

  1. Canva. Canva is simple, comprehensive and makes me look good. I love their design tutorials and their easy-to-navigate design interface. I use Canva mostly for graphics that we display on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram. Check it out and sign up for their tutorial email series. You’ll feel like a design pro before you know it.
  2. Creative Market. I am new to this site, but I LOVE it! I am a font junkie and a photography nerd, so the resources that are available on this site are right up my alley. The best part is that Creative Market gives away 5-6 freebies each and every week, which you can sync directly to your Dropbox. Get on their email list! But I have been known to purchase fonts, photo effects, and photoshop images that make design a snap. I use these on my blog, website, magazine and my new book coming out.
  3. GraphicStock. This stock photo site gives away a free image every week, but I also signed up for an annual subscription. For $99, I can download an enormous number of photos that I use in our magazine and in our newest book – Explore Medieval Kingdoms.
  4. Photoshop. I love Photoshop and have been using it for years. I still do not consider myself an expert (I felt like a newbie forever), but I have finally achieved a moderate level of expertise. I used to consider this program priced out of the range that most people wanted to afford; however, you can now subscribe to the entire Adobe Creative Cloud that gives you access to Lightroom, Illustrator, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, InDesign, Muse and more. When you sign up for the student license, so that you can teach your kids all these awesome software programs, you can save up to 60% on the monthly subscription price.
  5. Udemy. This site is wonderful. At Udemy, you can learn any skill you want and if you’re timing is right, you can get in on some killer discounts and deals. I have learned Photoshop, InDesign, Dreamweaver, Photography, Graphic Design, Youtube, XCode, and more.
  6. Bonus #6 – Upwork. I wanted to add one more here because it deserves an honorable mention. Over the years, I have learned to outsource quite a few things that I am not very good at. As I said earlier, I am neither a designer nor a technician and I usually know when a project is just too over my head. This is when I head to Upwork and outsource the job. I have found amazing graphic designers, writers, coders, and other experts here that I can pay just to do a single job, or hire regularly for on-going work. I adore the people that I have found here that I get to work with every day.

So, there you have it – my top 5 (okay 6!) creative resources. Have fun getting creative! And remember to bookmark this site so that you can come back here and get your creative juices flowing once again.

This creative sunset comes from Graphic Stock

Question: What is your favorite creative resource?

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Your routine can set you up for success.

It’s a new year, full of hope, promise and opportunities ahead. But in order to see the hope, claim the promises or jump on the opportunities that come your way, you need to be centered, or grounded, in who you are (or whose you are), what matters, and what you have been put on this planet to do. That is what a morning routine can do for you. Plus, it sets you up to succeed in the things that matter.

A morning routine sets you up for success.

A morning routine sets you up for success.

I find that a solid morning routine not only makes my days flow smoother, but also contributes to a better attitude, sense of well-being, and purpose in my life. Maybe this sounds like a bunch of hogwash, but I challenge you to give a morning routine a try to see if it makes a difference in your life.

Now, most likely, you already have some sort of morning routine. At the least, you get out of bed each day, get dressed, eat breakfast (I hope), teach school. You may incorporate a great deal more into your morning routine – things like chores, exercise, etc.

I am going to lay out my morning routine for you below. It’s far from perfect, but it’s getting better and better as the months go by. I am looking forward to adding a few more things to my AM routine in the coming months. You might see something here that you want to add to your mornings on a regular basis, but it’s important that you only add one thing at a time, or you might sabotage yourself. As humans, we are only wired to accept a certain amount of change in our lives. Continue reading A Morning Routine Sets You Up to Win

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How is your balance?

How can balance be achieved through scheduling?

Being a homeschool mompreneur can get a little wacky, throwing our families into a tailspin, if we are not careful. Balance is important for everyone, but it seems to be particularly critical for moms.

Scheduling and mindfulness provide better balance

Scheduling and mindfulness provide better balance

I have not always been very good at maintaining balance in my life. I have gone through times over the years when I couldn’t stop working on my business and times when I didn’t want to work at all; I have endured a messy house for days on end and then went on a cleaning and decluttering rampage to rid my family of the mess once and for all; I have eaten perfectly and exercised faithfully month after month only to fall victim to a deadly combination of delicious home baked goodies and frightful weather that shook my resolve and dashed my good habits.

Through the passage of years and experience, I am learning balance. I am learning that planning and mindfulness are the keys to balance in my life. I would like to bet that this is true for you too. When I make an appointment with myself, I am likely to keep it. If I make something healthy, I am likely to eat it. If I have an audiobook or podcast on my phone, I am likely to take a walk to listen to it. If I schedule a day-off and plan something with my family, I am likely to show up. Continue reading Scheduling for Better Balance

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no-mistakes

Are you ready to achieve what really matters in 2016?

I love this time of year. The busyness of Christmas is over, the guests have gone home, we are still on winter break and snow often drifts down from the sky. Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas, but I also love the weeks that follow. I especially like this time because it is a time of reflection and goal setting. I get excited about what the new year will bring and I want to do what I can to achieve what matters and make it my best year yet.

How about you? Are you looking forward to, or dreading, this upcoming year? My hope and prayer for you is that you are getting excited as you look ahead to what 2016 holds in store for you.

I would love to share with you my 4 best strategies for achieving what matters in this brand new year. Continue reading 4 Ways to Achieve What Matters in 2016

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Why affiliate marketing is a great business model for the homeschool mom.

Homeschooling and affiliate marketing is a match made in heaven. Homeschool parents need flexible work hours, they love to tell others about what is working for them, and are often pretty computer savvy. And if they aren’t, their kids are!

With a few simple but powerful strategies, you can succeed as an affiliate.

With a few simple but powerful strategies, you can wildly succeed as an affiliate.

As defined by Wikipedia, Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts. You can read more technical details here.

First, I will tell you how it works, in a nutshell, then I will give you 3 sure-fire ways to rock it when it comes to affiliate marketing.

Continue reading 3 Sure-fire Ways to Rock Affiliate Marketing

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vintage-technology-keyboard-old-sm

Your gifts and unique abilities may be a perfect match for a service-type business.

Service businesses are a great way to offer your skill set to the world and earn a good paying income. With a service, there is usually no overhead costs so you are ready to open up shop as soon as you hang out your shingle letting people know that you are available to serve them.

Two weeks ago, we discussed why an online business is ideal for the homeschool and/or stay-at-home mom, who needs work activities to flex around her family’s priorities. Then we explored 4 ways that any mom can earn an income online to complement her family’s goals.

Below is a list of 9 service business ideas that I have created based on my own needs as a business owner and the needs of others that I network with. I have hired individuals for all of these services and more, so this is a good springboard to get started.

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Continue reading 9 Service Business Ideas for Homeschool Moms

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Earn an income online

And so can you!

Two-thirds of all homeschool, stay-at-home moms want to create an income from home. But they want to design something that complements their lifestyle and maintains their priorities – family first.

Last week, we discussed why an online business beats out a brick and mortar shop every day of the week. While I love my local brick and mortar company, it requires a staff to run it. Otherwise, I would be tied to the facility for 12 or more hours each day. I don’t have that kind of time or freedom to be away from my children for that amount of time.

My online business, however, is flexible. I work the hours I want when I want. I can turn on the product creation and the marketing as I see fit, working around my other priorities and family’s schedule.

Start a business around something you are already good at.

In this post, I would like to introduce you to 4 ways any homeschool mom can earn an income online. I say “introduce” because we’ll go into these at much greater depth in future blog posts. However, there is one thing that every online businesswoman needs so I will mention it now. It is an online presence. This online presence can take the form of a blog, a website, a podcast, a youtube channel or social media platform.

So, get ready to take notes and put on your brainstorming cap, because here we go!

Continue reading 4 Ways Any Homeschool Mom Can Earn an Income Online

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