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Can You Afford To Quit Your Job?

Can You Afford To Quit Your Job?

One of the biggest misconceptions that parents who want to quit their job make is in the financial preparations. If it takes at least a year to build a business from home, then logically that would mean you would need to save at least your full annual income to live off of in that year, right? WRONG.

No wonder so many people think it is impossible and remain STUCK in a less than desirable situation.

The good news is that you are NOT STUCK.

The bad news? There are still sacrifices to be made.

Before losing all hope, create a financial spreadsheet. Cut out all of the expenses that go along with working outside of the home, such as daycare expenses, house cleaning, commuting, etc. With your spouse’s income, you should only be in the negative $200-$500 a month. If you are higher than that, go back to the drawing board and see if you can’t cut something else out. Sacrifices will need to be made for a short time.

Once you have gotten your expenses down to no more than -$500, multiply THAT amount by 12 months.

For example: 500 x 12 = $6,000

Now isn’t that a more logical annual goal to save before you quit your job? $6,000 is much more attainable to have saved than $60,000, and should minimize the fear of jumping without that safety net.

Furthermore, this now gives you a new income goal as a first time business owner.

You have enough of a safety net for a year… and that is more than enough time to get your small business up and running. Remember, you don’t have to REPLACE your monthly income. The goal now is to earn $500/ month. Sure, it may take you a few months to get there, but when you do, you won’t have to dip into your safety net anymore… or if you have a down month, your safety net should still be there for you.

Don’t look now, but you are self-employed.

Before you know it, you’ll be thriving as a self-employed career parent. You may even get used to the less expensive way of life. Once business picks up, you’ll need to think about how to scale it up, hire some outsourcing support, or even scale it back for busier times of the year. You got this!

WAHM: Your Ticket to Being Home with the Kids and Earning an Income for your Family

Have you ever dreamed of a job where you could spend time with your family and earn money at the same time? Most traditional jobs don’t offer that. But, becoming a WAHM could be your ticket to your dream. But, before embarking on such a quest, here is some helpful information detailing what it’s all about.
Just what do these letters stand for? WAHM stands for Work At Home Mom. Over the past 20 years, more and more women have come out of the workplace and gone back into the home.
The decision hasn’t been an easy one. It became apparent a long time ago that men were the only ones being allowed to “have their cake and eat it too.” They could pursue a corporate career and still come home in the evenings to the family.
Women with careers had a different path to follow. Besides working longer hours to achieve the same pay and credibility as their male counterparts, they also had to contend with the housework and the kids. After a long day at the office and doing the household chores, the kids sadly got what was left over which was usually a very worn out mother.
That has since changed. WAHMs are proving everyday that women can contribute to the family financial situation and nurture their families. Both online and off, a network of support has been created for any woman who wants to consider an option that will help them meet their needs.
How to get started?
When you talk to your family about the possibility you want to have an idea of the direction you will take. Check out sites like justaddsweat.com, internetbasedmoms.com and wahmtalkradio.com. They offer helpful hints to moms getting started with a work at home enterprise and also a network of opportunities for connecting with other WAHMs.
If your income has been a big part of the monthly family finances, then switching to a work at home enterprise will cause your finances to take a hit. Be sure there is enough financial cushion in your bank account to weather the first six months of your new career. It will take time to establish your business.
First, figure out your interests and skills. WAHMs can find business opportunities to work for someone else doing everything from audio transcription to writing articles to accounting. Be aware that there are scams about and that legitimate companies looking for professionals won’t ask for money upfront from you.
Some WAHMs carve out their own niche and begin an online business. If you are skilled with crafting, you can create a website to promote your crafts and sell products. A blog is also another idea. Blog about your area of expertise and develop a following. Combine that with affiliate or search engine marketing to generate revenue.
Making it work
With new career comes the issue of balance between home and work. Just because you are home doesn’t mean you won’t need help around the house or time away from the kids in order to work. Consider these tips for creating a balance:
•    Develop a set schedule for work and play on a weekly basis
•    Discuss dividing up household chores between you, your spouse, and older kids
•    Do pre-work such as fixing lunches, prepping breakfast, choosing clothing the night before
•    Hire a babysitter once or twice a week
•    Separate home office space inside the house
There are advantages to being a WAHM. Plan carefully and be patient. Support from your family makes all the difference.
Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Director of Communications for Our Milk Money, the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of Buy By Mom and Buy By Mom Blog. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.

My Journey to Becoming a Self-Employed Parent

My Journey to Becoming a Self-Employed Parent

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 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 found that to be so ironic when being a stay at home parent pays nothing and is literally one of the most difficult jobs there is. 
If you are looking for a quick easy answer, sorry to tell you there isn’t one.  I do not have a fool proof business to sell you, I personally don’t have a job to offer you, and I certainly don’t have any specific answers. But I promise you… you can do it, because anyone can. 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 this: 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 2 years 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.

Self -employed Parent Enthusiast Ally Loprete is the Founder of OurMilkMoney.com, a nationwide online business directory of self-employed parents, and the host of This Little Parent Stayed Home, a live weekly radio show, on The Toginet.com Radio Group which can be downloaded on iTunes.  Ally is on a mission to help other’s deal with the sometimes overwhelming prospect of leaving a full time job to start a new business, while running a full time household and raising kids. She is resolute about creating a haven in which parents across the nation will continue to thrive and obtain the support they need in their personal journeys. Visit more at www.ourmilkmoney.com. Private coaching is available at www.thislittleparent.info

Organization tips for moms who work from home

Organization tips for moms who work from home

Organization can be a great challenge for some work at home moms (WAHMs).  For others, it comes naturally.  Still others wish they could be more organized but don’t know where to begin.  Regardless, getting organized can really help you run an effective business from home.  Here are some tips.
The Calendar.
Your calendar can be a simple notebook, an online calendar, or a business day planner from an office supply store.  Some WAHMs like a big desk calendar; others prefer an hourly rather than a daily or weekly approach.  Choose what works for you – if you have trouble organizing yourself, a more hourly approach may help in the beginning.  If you are naturally task oriented and ordered, a weekly calendar might work better for you.
The calendar is where you divvy up your time.  It’s where you prioritize the urgent tasks and separate them from the less urgent ones.  Your calendar is also where you note the time it takes for repeated tasks – making meals, running errands, doing laundry, bedtime routine with the kids, etc.  It can really help to go ahead and write those things in just so you can realistically see how many hours you have to devote to work.
Quick Meals.
Meal preparation can take some time, especially if you are concerned about your family eating fresh, whole foods made from scratch.  However, you can cut corners on time and not necessarily on health.  Here are some ideas for taking a load off of meal prep:

  • Have someone in the family go to the store for you.  Keep your list specific and easy to read.
  • Divide up meal preparation among family members (this depends on the age and number of people in your family, of course, and does not apply to everyone).  Let everyone in the family choose a day when he or she makes dinner, or helps make dinner.
  • Delegate clean-up to other family members as well.
  • Food does not have to be elaborate to be healthy.  Pasta tossed with steamed veggies is quick and healthy, and lean meats like turkey can be popped in the oven and baked while you work.  Save the gourmet experiments for the weekends.

Be Realistic.
One of the quickest ways to lose your sense of order and become disorganized is to take on too much.  If you are a ‘yes’ person, you may ultimately disappoint your
clients because you promised more than you can deliver.  So be realistic about the hours you can devote to working each week, and learn to say ‘no’ when you have to.
Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Director of Communications for Our Milk Money, the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of Buy By Mom and Buy By Mom Blog. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.

Success tips for work at home moms

Success tips for work at home moms

Work at home moms like to share tips and tricks for helping each other succeed.  There is no perfect formula or guarantee of a huge income while you do nothing (and anything that promises that is likely a scam), but those who have succeeded or know others who have succeeded have some good ideas.  In fact, it is this networking and sharing that is success tip number one.
Social Networking.
Join groups with similar interests.  There are entire online communities dedicated to supporting the work at home mom (WAHM).  Some of the online communities are free to join, some provide space for you to advertise for a small fee and some sites require a fee to join.  As noted above, moms who work at home usually enjoy sharing success tips, and having a support community can really help when you have questions.  You can also share your own tips and successful ‘moments’. 
Another word on social networking – sites like Facebook are becoming increasingly popular among small home businesses.
The Latest Technology.
Don’t be afraid of things like Twitter and online advertising.  Success is more likely to come your way if you are connected and available.  You might consider a mobile device so you can update people as to the latest information on your business, and so you can respond to clients and prospective clients right away.
Love What You Do.
It’s hard to be successful doing something you dislike.  You are likely to lose motivation if you don’t like the product you’re selling, the information you are writing about and so forth.  Your passions and interests may not be conducive to a work at home business, but if you are really honest with yourself you can probably find something that interests you that would make a fulfilling business venture.
Be Decisive.
One of the pitfalls that can happen with WAHMs is distraction.  Another pitfall is uncertainty.  If you aren’t sure that you want to do this particular business or even whether or not you want to work from home, then decide before venturing into business.  You can research and ask before deciding, but it can be a mistake to do things halfway (such as starting a website but having no idea how to promote it or update it).
Keep it Personal.
One of the things that business customers sometimes complain about is that they can’t seem to talk to a ‘live human’ in customer service.  If you are courteous and take the time to answer people’s concerns, it ups your chances for success.
Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Director of Communications for Our Milk Money, the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of Buy By Mom and Buy By Mom Blog. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.