• Reality
    Work At Home Mom Issues

    Everyone Thinks Being a WAHM is Great and Easy – Reality Check

    So today’s blog post is sort of multipurpose – it’s a personal confession, a bit of a reminder to everyone, and there might be a little slap in the face on the side.

    We’ve all talked about how important it is to have a support network of people that support your decision to work from home. That’s extremely true, and it certainly makes life a lot easier. Easier – not easy.

    So I’ll get to the confession part first so that you have a little background. Lately, I haven’t been feeling so well. I’m not sick or dying of some horrible disease, I’m just not feeling the best. I’ve long dealt with things like anxiety, depression, insomnia and nightmares.

    I don’t know what causes these things to happen, I just know that they make me feel like complete and total crap. I’ll be honest, it’s one of the reasons that I first started working from home, to make it easier to deal with days and weeks where just getting out of bed was a long and difficult struggle. Over the years I’ve found out that many of my work at home colleagues have done the same thing and for similar reasons …. essentially making it so that when they aren’t feeling well they don’t have to call off sick or have someone asking them 20 questions about why they’re not in the office today.

    It’s a huge relief in a lot of ways not having to call off sick or try to save sick days. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to work from home. It’s still not easy. It’s often actually more difficult. People think that because you work from home you can work whenever and wherever, even if you’re sick. And the feeling is contagious, because we tend to think that we should be working even when we’re not feeling our best and we push through and carry on thinking that’s the best thing to do, or it’s what we should do, or some other thing that we tell ourselves…

    And all of that somehow leads us to forget to take care of ourselves. There’s no boss looking over our shoulder saying, “Hey, you need to go home and get some rest,” so we push through the day and we put too much stress on ourselves, making us sick, making us feel like crap, and we pile it on until finally our body physically starts to reject what we’re doing and we feel sick.

    Sometimes a project or a goal requires pushing through the rough water, I totally get that. Sometimes the electric bill needs to get paid so your family will have heat in the winter and you work extra hard to make a little extra money to take care of that, I totally get that too. The problem starts to occur when everything becomes a rush, everything becomes urgent, everything becomes “just one more thing,” and we let ourselves take on too much and tell ourselves that it will all work itself out later.

    I want you to stop for a moment, evaluate your situation, evaluate your to-do list, evaluate yourself and your health, and I want you to take some time for you. Take care of yourself. Have a cup of tea, chat with a friend, watch a movie with your kids, get away from the computer, go do stuff. While you’re at it, schedule your annual doctor’s check up – and I mean that, as women we tend to forget our own healthcare because we’re so busy trying to take care of other people.

    What did we learn today?
    Working from home is not easy, it’s hard.
    We push ourselves too hard sometimes and our bodies can only take so much stress.
    We need to take care of ourselves

  • Motivated
    Work At Home Mom Issues

    Quick Tips For Staying Motivated

    Do you have trouble focusing on work during the summer months? If so, you’re not alone. It can be hard to juggle a business when the weather is nice and you have other things on your mind. Here are some tips to help keep you productive:

    Write It Down – It may not seem like a big thing, but writing out the things you need to do can be a big motivator. A to-do list helps you prioritize your tasks and tells you where you should be focusing your attention.

    Make A Plan – Once you have your to-do list written out, create an action plan to get things done. When are you going to work; what needs to be done as soon as possible; what are the things that you can outsource? Seeing these things in writing can help you get a clear picture of what you need to work on in order to reach your goals.

    Get An Accountability Partner – An accountability Partner can keep you on track. Meet each week and tell them your goals; at your next meeting, you will have to let them know if you accomplished those goals. It can be easy to let your goals fall to the wayside if you are the only one who knows them, but once you tell someone else, it is harder to put those tasks off. Do you want to come back to your next accountability meeting and confess that you spent the week being lazy? No way!

    Get Rid Of Distractions – When you work from home, there isn’t a boss looking over your shoulder to keep you on task. You have to be the “bad cop” and limit your distractions, whether it’s watching television or spending too much time on social media sites. What do you find to be your weakness? Limit the time you spend on that activity when you’re supposed to be “working” and you’ll find out that you can get a lot more accomplished within your business.

    Doing just one of these things can make working from home a little bit easier and a lot more productive. Doing all four of things will make you a productivity ninja, knocking out big projects in days instead of weeks.

  • Work
    Work At Home Mom Issues

    Combining Work and Pleasure

    One of the things that I love most about my job is that I often cannot tell if I am doing something for fun or as part of my job. There are definitely a lot of things about my job that I do not love (customer service issues, running reports, upgrading plugins, etc). But I’ve managed to combine enough of what I enjoy into it that my days feel a whole lot less like things I must do and more like things that I want to do.

    Here are some examples:

    Reading books is a huge passion for me. I try to read at least one each week. I don’t have a site set up specifically for reviewing books, but I can definitely work in a review every now and again on my mom site. It’s also helpful in engaging people on Facebook and Twitter to mention what I am reading every now and again. You could do the same with current music or movies.
    Attending conferences. Every Affiliate Summit is a mix of business and fun for me. I am always careful to make sure that I go into it with specific business goals and then measure them afterward. But at the same time I am getting to travel (which I love) and spend time with friends. For some people local networking events would fall in here as well if they truly enjoy meeting new people and can use those connections to further their business.
    If you are really passionate about something and feel like it has a lot of earning potential, start a niche site. That’s how I ended up with WineClubReviewsandRatings.com with Todd Farmer and Eric Nagel. There is very little that I do on that site that is work compared to a lot of pleasure!
    Involving your family can take a work chore and turn it into a family experience. This happens in our house quite a bit, especially when it comes to reviewing products and making videos. My kids love trying new things and love even more seeing themselves on Youtube.
    The one thing to keep in mind is to maintain a good work/life balance so that everything doesn’t turn into something about work. That’s especially easy to do when you own your own company.

    What parts of your job feel more like fun than work? What other things could you be doing that you enjoy that would help you grow your business?

  • Podcast
    Work At Home Mom Issues

    WAHM-WHAD Podcast With Work At Home Dad Joshua Belland

    WAHMoms/WAHDads hosts Deborah Carney and Karen Garcia are joined by work at home dad Joshua Belland.

    Tell us a little about yourself:
    I am a 26 year old stay at home father that works from home with a 2 year old son. I used to be a salesmen in a more corporate setting where my quotas were over 1 million dollars per year. This put a lot of strain on my family and I because I was always thinking about work. I believe it was a blessing in disguise when the let me go. That is when I decided to start my I own web design & company. My company is located in Houston and is fairly successful. Now, I enjoy what I do tremendously because it is something I am passionate about and I get to spend more time with my family.
    The most important things in my life are God and Family. Taking the time to spend with them is essential to my marriage and relationship with my son, Caden. I try to be an active member in my community by volunteering to help friend in need or coordinating fundraisers when I can.

    My hobbies include playing the guitar, working in the yard, and training for 5k’s with my wife. My wife and I try to keep our hobbies similar because it gives us more time together and I believe that is essential to maintain a connection when having such a busy life.

    As a work at home parent what is your biggest challenge?


    My biggest challenge is getting people to understand that working from home is just like having a real job. Working at home is not what people think it is. If you are successful, you are just as busy as would be at a an office. Unfortunately, not everyone sees it that way. My wife is a teacher and has the summers off, which you think would be nice right?

    It is very difficult to get work done when your spouse is at home with you taking the day off or comes home early. It can be very distracting and they naturally want demand more of your time. My wife sees it as an opportunity to spend more time with me, while I have to remind her that she has to treat it just like I am away from home at the office.

    My clients work from 8-5 Monday through Friday so I have to as well. As a web designer things go wrong and fires have to be put out. When they need something fixed during working hours, I can’t tell my clients, “Hold on Ms. Smith; let me just finish shopping with my wife and I’ll get to that later when I have time for you.”

    Understandably, my clients want the same attention that large firm would give them. So, in order to compete with that, I have set very strict boundaries at the home while I am working.

    What is the biggest advantage to being a work at home parent?


    The biggest advantage is the flexibility. While boundaries must be set, I am still my own boss. I can change around my own schedule to take a day off. If my son has a doctors appointment, I can arrange to take him to the doctor. Not only can I work from home, but I can work from anywhere. Because I’m a web designer, I can simply take my work with me when I go out of town or on a trip.

    Having flexibility gives me peace of mind because I don’t have to worry about what my boss is going to say if I request a day off. I simply make my schedule and inform my clients.

    As a work at home parent what advice would you give other work at home parents?


    My advice is to set up your office in a bedroom or somewhere where you can shut the door. At first, I had my office in our formal dining room because it had a lot of space. Unfortunately, that room connected with our living space and every time I sat down with the family, my computer was staring me right in the face. You still need to separate your work from home; even when you work from home!

    Don’t lose sight of what is important and at the same time, set boundaries so you don’t get distracted from your work. It is definitely a balancing act, but once you get it down, it can work out pretty well.

  • joined
    Work At Home Mom Issues

    WAHM-WHAD Podcast With Gina Baker

    WAHMoms/WAHDads host Deborah Carney is joined by guest Gina Baker.

    Tell us a little about yourself:
    I work during the day as a Nurse Informaticist with electronic health information exchange. I am able to work from home part time, attending meetings remotely and doing a lot of thinking on how to solve our quest of seamless electronic health information exchange.

    At night I am able to forget the technical things and proper way of the professional world and let me creative world fly on my 2 blogs, My Chocolate Peaces and The Chocolate Bike.
    Otherwise I enjoy photography, chocolate, the outdoors and spending time wtih my family.

    As a work at home parent what is your biggest challenge?
    Paying attention to my kiddo… since I am there after all. I also feel like when he is home with me that I should do more such as teaching etc.

    What is the biggest advantage to being a work at home parent?
    Being there, I know I just contradicted myself. But it is so nice to get up, eat breakfast with my kiddo and not be in a rush to get out the door. Then I am there as he plays and if he needs anything.

    As a work at home parent what advice would you give other work at home parents?
    Be patient with yourself and them. WFH is challenging, but very rewarding at the same time.

  • Valentine’s Day
    Work At Home Mom Issues

    5 Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for the Work at Home Mom

    February 14th is approaching fast and while most women love flowers and chocolates, a work at home mom will likely appreciate the more “productive” kind of gifts. If you’re searching for inspiration for a gift for the WAHM in your life, you might find some below.

    Spa Day


    Wait, I just said productive gifts, right? This IS all about being productive. Working from home usually means blurring the line between your work and home life. AKA, it’s easy to get burnt out.

    Sometimes, the most productive thing you can do for your business is to take a break – recharge and re-energize your mind and creativity with some downtime.

    A few hours of a massage, pedicure and manicure at a spa can often send a WAHM home with tons of new ideas, inspiration and motivation – in both her business and personal life.

    A Kick Ass Crock Pot


    Some women might find kitchen gadgets boring, but WAHMs are often pressed for time. Anything that helps them save time while still managing the household will be a welcome item. I’m actually a very good cook, but I until recently I wasn’t a big fan of crock pot cooking. Most of what I attempted to make in a slow cooker didn’t turn out that great. That was until Michael Gray taught me that not all crock pots are created equal.

    I’ve since purchased a really nice slow cooker and have found some pretty kick ass crockpot recipe sites. And just to avoid the possibility that it may SEEM like a “so you can cook me dinner gift”? Try including a short note about how much you appreciate all the roles she juggles and that you hope this will make the amazing job she already does a tad bit easier.

    “On the Go Office” Capabilities


    If you’re not on a tight budget, nothing makes a WAHM smile like gadgets that make their ability to productively work on the road, at the park or while sitting at their child’s football practice. Think Hot spot services, adding a tethering function to create a personal hotspot via your phone to your monthly plan (if it’s not already included) and gadgets that make going mobile easier.

    You can find tons of computer and tablet related Valentines day gift ideas (and deals) right now. And don’t forget accessories! Grabbing a WAHM a keyboard for her iPad can greatly increase what she can get done while mobile.

    “Uninterrupted Time” Coupons


    If you ARE on a tight budget, giving your time can go a long way. Have a friend who is a WAHM? Offer to take her kids on a play date once every two weeks at your local park to give her some uninterrupted time for her business tasks. Married to a WAHM? Giving her a morning every other Saturday where you’re on kid duty can help her schedule important tasks for times she knows she can get them done more effectively without interruption.

    A Killer Office Chair


    Office chairs are often overlooked, but as Missy wisely pointed out, an office chair is one of the top things you shouldn’t skimp on as a work at home mom. Sitting all day can cause a lot of issues – a chair might seem like a “boring” gift, but the WAHM in your life will likely think otherwise.

    Missy uses a Star Ergonomic Chair. I have tons of friends who swear by Herman Miller chairs (but, be prepared, they’re costly). I personally use a Boss chair (I discovered them via staying in so many Hilton properties).

  • Work at Home
    Family And Kids,  Work At Home Mom Issues

    WAHM-WHAD Podcast With Work at Home Dad Mike Moyer

    WAHMoms/WAHDads host Deborah Carney is joined by guest Mike Moyer.

    Tell us a little about yourself:
    Mike Moyer is an entrepreneur who has started a number of companies including Bananagraphics, a product development and merchandising company, Moondog, an outdoor clothing manufacturing company; Vicarious Communication, Inc, a marketing technology company for the medical industry; Cappex.com, a site that helps students find the right college; College Peas, LLC which provides publications and consulting on college admissions; and Trade Show Samurai, LLC a company that teaches trade show exhibitors how to capture lots and lots of leads. In addition to his experience as an entrepreneur he has held a number of senior-level marketing positions with companies that sell everything from vacuum cleaners to financial data services to motor home chassis to luxury wine.He has taught entrepreneurship at both Northwestern University and the University of Chicago. Mike is the author of How to Make Colleges Want You, College Peas, Trade Show Samurai and Slicing Pie, a book about dividing up equity in early-stage companies. He has an MS in integrated marketing from Northwestern University and an MBA from the University of Chicago. He lives in Lake Forest, Illinois with his wife, two kids and the Lizard of Oz.

    As a work at home parent what is your biggest challenge?
    Staying focused on work with a lot of distractions can be a lot of work. It’s important to create structure around time and space so that you can get done what you need done.

    What is the biggest advantage to being a work at home parent?
    Time with the family is great. I see my kids all the time and I can spend time with them during the day.

    As a work at home parent what advice would you give other work at home parents?
    Set expectations with your spouse and your family so they can help you find the time and space you need to get your work done.

    Website
    SlicingPie.com
    CollegePeas.com
    TradeShowSamurai.com

    Thanks to GeekCast.fm for hosting all of our podcasts. Visit them for more podcasts about marketing and working from home. Also join the forum that is for women to interact with other successful women, JoinWOMU

  • going
    Work At Home Mom Issues

    I’m Just Going to Do One More Thing…

    How many times have you said that while working on your business? I’m willing to bet all the money in my pocket that you’ve said it a lot. Probably more than you even realize you’re doing.

    When you’re at home it’s so easy to say “I’ll just do this one other thing and then we’ll go to the store…” or “and then we’ll go to the park,” maybe even, “and then I’ll go to bed.”

    Oh yeah, you’re busted now.

    I know how it easy because I do it myself all.the.time. Even after years of working at home and being aware that I can fall into the trap, I still get caught doing “just one more thing” until 2:30 and 3:00 AM.

    I actually caught myself doing this very thing last night as my husband was on his way to bed. We’ve both put in a lot of hours working this week and we’re both exhausted, probably a little cranky, and I actually started to say, “I’m going to finish formatting this file and I’ll be right there…” when I stopped and hit save on everything I had open, closed it all up, and hit the shutdown button instead.

    Sometimes one more thing isn’t worth it. I’m not saying there aren’t going to be late nights and lots of hard work and hours put in. What I’m saying is you need to know your limit and it’s okay to go to bed before 2:00 AM when you have to get up at 5:30 to get the kids ready for school.

    There’s nothing wrong with pushing yourself to meet a goal, after all that’s the stuff dreams are made of, but sometimes you have to hit the off button and get some sleep so you can focus properly.

    I went to bed earlier than usual last night and I was so exhausted I actually fell asleep instead of staring at the wall like I normally would that early. But this morning I got up and I was ready to get back to work. I got the boys off to school, pulled up those files I was working on and got them done much quicker than I expected to when I was starting at them last night with toothpicks holding my eyelids up.

    So today – right now – I challenge you to step away. Don’t do ” just one more thing,” and instead go spend some time with your family, or take a walk in the park, or go play with the dog outside.

    Go do something that doesn’t require a computer monitor in front of your face and recharge your virtual batteries so that you can come back to your desk and knock that to-do list out faster than ever. Rinse and repeat again tomorrow…

  • social-media
    Work At Home Mom Issues

    Who To Trust in Internet Marketing

    Having been an online marketer for 8 years now, I’ve fallen for my fair share of “this product is the new greatest thing” emails. When I am introduced at local meetups as an “expert” in my field, people always start asking me if I know X, Y, and Z marketers because they are supposedly the “gurus” of Internet marketing. 9 times out of 10, I have no idea who the people are. And yet I know the people I really trust to teach me about affiliate marketing. People like Shawn Collins and Missy Ward from Affiliate Summit. Scott Jangro from Shareist. And hundreds of others to numerous to even name.

    Why do I trust those people more than I trust all of these others that I keep hearing about and that I see selling products? How can you tell who to trust?

    In working on the Affiliate Marketing Plan launch with Todd Farmer the last few weeks I had to do a lot of soul searching about how to reach the people that want to be reached about affiliate marketing education but not come off like one of those “gurus” that I don’t trust. Here are some of the realizations that I came to:

    It’s okay to sell a product or service and make money from it. That’s why we are all here. Just because someone is selling something doesn’t take away the trust factor.
    But along with that, it’s not all about selling. The people I trust give just as much for free (if not more) than what they sell. It may be in speaking at conferences, writing blog posts, or even just retweeting important information. But they are giving and not always just selling.
    When someone is trustworthy, they don’t have to pay everyone to spread the word about what they are doing. Referrals and affiliate programs are nice, but people talk about true experts just because they believe in what they are doing.
    Trust is built fastest when a personal connection is involved. We all use mass mailings. But how many people take the time to respond to personal emails and tweets or leave comments when you write a blog post? I can’t tell you how many times Shawn has left a comment on one of my blog posts just to continue the conversation. He wasn’t selling or dropping links. He was genuinely responding.
    I will admit that I have become pretty skeptical about people always trying to sell me the next big thing in online marketing. That has caused me to pull back from responding to a lot of offers. At the same time, I want to expand my network and exchange information with people. Because of that, I have to trust others. It’s just a matter of trusting the right people.