Ally Loprete, Community, Direct Sales, Resource Articles
In case you haven’t noticed, “Less is more” is not only economical, it’s the latest trend. With good reason. With the unsteadiness of the economy people are beginning to feel more comfortable with those who are also behaving with frugality. Your clients want to know that you appreciate the need for living within tighter budgets and that their hard earned dollars are not supporting frivolous spending or unnecessary expenses for flashy arrogance.
Where the high rise office in the business district once may have appeared impressive to clients, it now may appear unmindful to the financial challenges of our current society. Setting up your place of business in a home doesn’t necessarily indicate a flailing business as it once did, but instead, it indicates common sense and that the business is smart for making the choice to conserve.
We are a quickly evolving culture, and the one thing that we all have going for us is the ability to empathize with one another. It’s the primary reason we need to make the decision to support those who have chosen to provide products or services out of their home. Small businesses need you as much as you need them. By working together and utilizing our power as consumers, we can rebuild an economy that works in our favor.
Community, Member Contributions
By Judith Cassis
Having been self employed for most of my life and at the same time raising my kids I get a lot of questions asking how I managed to work from home without compromising my family. Well, I did it for 25 years, and I’m happy to tell the story. Why? Because I believe that it’s more important than ever for moms to come home.
Our kids are raising themselves and they need us! We blame the economy, inflation or the need for two incomes for taking us away from our children. But if we place our highest value on those little gremlins we bring into the world instead on the lifestyle we want to live, often times we can change course and create/supplement our income while staying at home with our kids.
I’m committed to supporting you, whatever your choice. Work at home part time, full time – whatever! When you decide to take the leap, I’ll be here. I won’t have all the answers, but I promise I’ll help look for them. Please email me privately at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll sign you up for Two Months FREE Membership to my monthly Mama, Come Home! teleclasses.
Judith Cassis,C.Ht. is a Personal Development Consultant with 26 years experience. Known as “The Bounce-Back Coach”, she works with people who are “bouncing back” from failure, loss or tragedy. Judith is co-owner of a small newspaper,Tidbits of Santa Clarita Valley, www.tidbitsscv.com a family business she and her husband, Lee Cadena run with their sons. Through a monthly teleseries, Mama Come Home, Judith supports mothers in staying home or returning home to raise their children.
Ally Loprete, Community, Family
Start by embracing “change” as our only hope to a brighter future, and see the rainbow at the end of the storm.
Written by Ally Loprete
Have you noticed that there is no longer a basic definition of what a typical American Family entails? These days, families are being redefined by what works for them as a means of survival. There are those that oppose the unfamiliar, which is certainly understandable, and those that embrace it, which is what I believe is THE ANSWER.
Nowadays, anything goes. Men are staying at home with the kids while the women go to work. Women are becoming business owners while staying home and running the household. Families are working together to bring in extra revenue with small side businesses. Men are playing bigger roles in their children’s lives, contributing more with what used to be considered the women’s responsibility: cooking, cleaning, folding laundry, grocery shopping, helping with homework, etc. Gay men and women are getting married and having children together. Women are running for office, and winning.
If this isn’t a revolution, I don’t know what is.
Standing ovation and Bravo!
I honestly love all of it! I am so impressed with the way American families are coming together and making it work. I know it’s been a struggle for so many of us, but I think it’s important that we are all aware of how much we have achieved already just by surviving… and all the glorious places we can go to from here. If you are a parent, pat yourself on the back for what you have accomplished and the innovations that are activating a brighter future for all of us, especially for our children.
You don’t see it yet?
Okay, suppose for a moment that you deserve the difficult time that you are living in. It doesn’t matter where you think you went wrong, the truth is, you probably didn’t. We all remember the basic things our parents and teachers told us growing up, and the simple keys to happiness.
Get good grades, stay in school, get a degree, marry the right person, save 10% of your paycheck, work your way up the ladder and earn your increase every year, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
Okay, so maybe we deviated from the advice just a tad, but so what? We were promised a pretty secure and stable life with 2 cars, a house, some pets, stuff to play with, family vacations, college for our kids and a pension for early retirement. So what went wrong? Why are so many of us left scratching our heads after doing what we were told?
We’re broken down, beaten up, stressed out, over-weight, over-medicated, under cared for, jobless and hopeless, short-saled, repo-ed, and drowning in debt. We have blamed every president, politician, pushy boss, parent, partner and professor. We are fighting with our spouses, yelling at our kids and blaming ourselves. Sheeeeesh!
Let’s all just stop for a moment, take a deep breath, and decompress.
Did it ever occur to you that this is all just part of our journey? This may not be a punishment. This “challenging” time may very well be an opportunity to rebuild an even better tomorrow for ourselves and for our children. We are living in a radical time of ground-breaking technology, new forms of mass communication, insurgent medical discoveries, and we live in a country where no one can REALLY tell us “no”. Sure, society might discourage us from trying something new or to taking risks, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t. We need to re-program our minds to see the benefits of CHANGE, and how we are already in the middle of a spectacular revolution.
In the words of the late, talented and insurrectionary Michael Jackson, “Make that change.” Look in the mirror and start with yourself. Stop fighting with your spouse, your business partner, your boss or your neighbor. Look for the commonalities of what we are all trying to achieve, and realize the power we have in togetherness.
We are a new collaboration of men and women, alike. We are a partnership of moms and dads, of CEOs, COOs, and CFOs in our lives and in all that is important to us. We are united and we celebrate our differences. We are unapologetic for who we are, and accepting of those that have different viewpoints. We are each other’s teachers. We embrace each other’s special qualities, exceptional idiosyncrasies and unique characteristics because it is our only hope to solve this puzzle. We have only just begun to realize that by coming together we may all have a necessary contribution to the answer we have been seeking. This is a very distinctive time for us all, and we have the power to make a difference.
A rainbow cannot exist without first the presence of a storm. We deserve that rainbow.
Don’t Worry, Anyone Can Do This!
By Ally Loprete
When I think back to before I came home to work and take care of my new son, I remember how “stuck” I felt. I envied other women and men who had their own businesses and I believed that the only reason that I didn’t was have one was because I lacked the motivation.
No, actually that wasn’t the only reason. Now that I think about it, I had a whole list of why I couldn’t be my own boss: I didn’t think I could hold myself accountable if I didn’t have a boss, I was sure I’d never get out of my pajamas during the day, I was afraid I might blow off all the work I was supposed to do and I’d eventually run my business into the ground, this little business of mine would end up being a hobby of some sort ike a never ending project of scrapbooking, I didn’t know what the start-up costs were, I didn’t have the money, I didn’t have a unique idea or a business plan, I was sure that I lacked whatever skills I needed, I was certainly not organized, I didn’t know the first thing about becoming a business owner, or about financing, taxes, or even the slightest notion what I could actually DO. I’d also had way too many jobs (more than I care to share, actually) where bosses had convinced me that I was capable of very little. The sad thing is that I really believed them.
Now that I am self-employed, I look back and laugh at how absurd I was thinking that I couldn’t pull this off, and I wonder what took me so long to get here. I know that it was the fear of the unknown, but had I really grasped what it would be like to work for myself, I would have started 10 years earlier, and spared myself all of those confidence crashes, not to mention the most difficult year of my life while my infant son was in daycare.
The really crazy part is that I know how many others still feel stuck the way that I did, and are probably surfing all over the internet right now for the answer. I have no problem admitting that 90 percent of my corporate salary was spent surfing the internet for a way out.
I am not trying to suck you in to a multi-level marketing scheme, I do not have a fool proof business to sell you, and I certainly don’t have all the answers. You can do it, because anyone can.
Believe me when I tell you that although I am passionate about my mission in the business I’ve created, I am by no means a business expert. My college degree was in the performing arts, and there is no way that a year ago I would have believed I was capable of what I am achieving today.
If you have a skill, you can work for yourself. So many people do not realize that they already have what it takes to become self-employed. The simplest question is, what are you doing for someone else that you could be doing for yourself? Without making a single excuse, just answer the question. Make a list of your skills. Then, trust that you will figure out the rest. You’ll find ways to market, to connect with others, to tap into resources that will give you whatever information you are lacking. Trust that you will find the answers and that there will always be someone to help you.
The internet is an amazing thing and has given us unlimited resources as far as information is concerned. Plus, it connects us to just about everyone on the planet, so when you do decide to venture out on your own, you will have help and support. The possibilities are endless. All you have to do is ask. I had no idea a year ago that the internet community existed to support one another the way that it does. I have been blown away by the generosity of those that I’ve met in my first year as an entrepreneur. I am astounded every day at the passion others have to see ME succeed. Why? Because my success means their success. I GET IT NOW.
So the reason I wanted to write this article is because it wasn’t out there when I was looking for it. I wish that ,back when I was feeling stuck, someone had invited me to THIS party, just for a moment. I needed to be taken by the hand and introduced to this encouraging world of self-employed parents. Perhaps I wouldn’t have quite realized the compassion and the support that it contained, even if it was staring me directly in the face, but I do know that it was something even greater than what I was searching for, and others need to know that it exists as well. So if this is you, then welcome to the party. You’ll love it here.
Ally Loprete is the Co-Founder of OurMilkMoney.com, an online directory of self-employed parents across the country. Ally’s focus is to help expose parents working to create a better life for their families and her mission is to educate consumers on the value of purchasing from the small business owner. Ally is passionate about inspiring parents to connect with one another, and will often write about the brilliant ideas that seem to come to her only in the shower or while blowing her hair dry.
daddysden, Dads, Family
Written by Guest Blogger, Chris Mancini
Let’s face it, it hasn’t been a good year for the dollar. From being gouged at the gas pump to the financial markets all put collapsing, it makes me want to go into a large corporation at random and punch a CEO right in the face and then smother him with an actual golden parachute.
Then when you have kids, every time there is a food price increase due to higher fuel costs, it hits you exponentially. But there’s all that money you’ve put away for retirement, right? Right?
I work free-lance. I don’t really have a 401K. My wife, however, is a normal person. She does. Or, she did. Before our eyes we saw our balance that we… I mean my wife, worked very hard for years and year so it would hopefully grow into something we could use when we retired. Or at least blow on something stupid like a yacht painted with the slogan “Gas, Grass or Ass, No One Rides for Free”.
My wife and I knew very little about money and the “markets”, “401Ks” and “investing.” We really didn’t. So we learned the hard way, by making mistakes. Not a good way to learn.
Our generation learned nothing about money from our parents. “Put money in a savings account” was the long and short of our financial planning advice. I remember once my father asked me what a stock option was. Then I told him. He looked at me like I just tried to explain quantum physics.
But then I asked my father how his pension was doing. “Fine” he replied. “I don’t trust the stock market so all my money was in fixed.” Whoah. Stop right there. It was the wisest thing my father had ever said. That wily, wily son of a gun.
Obviously now this whole “knowing nothing” about money and the economy was all a ruse. My father was a financial genius and saw this coming a mile away. His money wasn’t in the market. He was safe. And since he’ll be retiring soon, he doesn’t have to worry about working another 100 years, like the rest of us. This of course made me both impressed and resentful.
But who do you turn to? Financial planners? They are nothing more than glorified bookies. We had one that was so moronic he actually got us into more debt. Thanks, I could have done that myself and saved $500.
So we had to learn about money on our own. But more importantly we have to teach our kids about money. We just have to. Things are too complicated and unstable. They have to know. Right after they get their $5.00 allowance tell them if they hold on to it for a year and keep it in the market then they’ll only have to pay capital gains taxes on it. Their response will probably be “But I just want to buy candy” which is certainly valid as well.
Recently our 401K (I can say “our”, we’re married) went down to a 30% loss. At least that’s something. Right now all you can hope for is a smaller negative number. But when my father comes to visit this Christmas, he’s buying.
Chris Mancini is a comedian and author. His first book “My Life is Over, A Handbook for the Freaked-Out New Dad” will be out next father’s day.