Category Archives: Home Business

The Luxury of Staying Home?

To be a stay at home Mom or not to be a stay at home Mom….
….that is the controversy. (or at least it seems to always be controversial)

I grew up with a mother who graduated from college with a BA and teaching credential, got married, worked as a teacher for one year, began to have children and left the workforce for almost the entirety of her 27 year “active” mothering career. (being a mommy never ends but the day to day “job” of mothering does) Other than working a few hours, here and there, when we were all in school and occasionally substitute teaching, she was a “stay at home Mom” taking care of the business of managing a home and raising her children.  When the youngest began high school she re-entered the “away from home” workforce as a high school English teacher and enjoyed a 20 year career as a teacher, earning a Master’s Degree and excelling in her field before retiring with a pension. Personally I think that is awesome! She had the best of everything due to her and my Dad’s great choices, sacrifices and hard work….and my siblings and I were the beneficiaries!

A generation later, I earned my college degree and worked as a youth minister both prior to and after getting married. When my first child arrived I desperately wanted to stay home with her but couldn’t see a way to make it work with a husband in college at the time. So we figured out how he could work part-time, in addition to being a full-time student while I would work part-time as a teacher and school activity director. With this arrangement none of us stayed home…even the baby who was with one of us all day except for a three hour time period in the morning. As our family grew and my husband finished college and took a full-time job teaching I continued on in my part-time job. I still wanted to be at home with my little girls but did not see how we could make it work on my husband’s Christian school teacher salary. We just couldn’t afford it…or at least that is what I thought (and was often told by others).

In 1997 through a series of providential events I instantly and without planning became a “stay at home Mom”.  We made so little money that year that we were audited by the IRS who wanted to know how our income diminished so much in one year. (the agent even asked…how are you making it?) I did build a very successful home business in the years following that eventually replaced the income I had made teaching part-time and yet I was able to work from my home along side and with my children.  So…..I have been a “generating income outside the home mom” and a “stay at home income generating mom”.   (whew! those are long titles)

I hope we can agree that all moms are working moms, right?  Some generate income outside the home, some generate income inside the home and some do not generate income at all but as moms….we ALL work. Better yet, we all work very hard!

And yet the majority of women that I have talked with desire to spend much less time out of their homes working and more time with their children if they had a “choice”.  Yes, I realize that there are the few moms who even if they were independently wealthy millionaires would still want to work outside of their homes because they simply love their careers but I believe that most would rather stay home and raise their children if they felt they had that “luxury”.  Here is where my issue lies.

Is staying at home a luxury or is it a choice…that is the question?

Other than single Moms (by never marrying, being divorced or widowed) who most simply must work to pay the rent and put food on the table (unless they have an extremely lucrative child support payment or alimony…kudo’s to them!)…I personally believe that most married moms can make the choice to stay at home (some with  generating income at home and some without). 

No, I do not believe it is a “luxury” for those moms whose spouses makes a certain magical level of income. I believe it is a choice.  A choice to perhaps sacrifice personal fulfilment, career advancement, social interaction, achievement accolades and of course income.  A choice to “do without”, to let go of material possessions, goods and services and fun vacations that we have come to believe are essential. A choice to have 37,440 extra hours to pour into the life of our children, homes & families during their 18 years of childhood.

And yet many have bought into the paradigm that it is a “luxury that we can’t afford” to be a stay at home mom (income generating or not). That it is simply impossible for anyone other than the ultra rich to pull off.  We even get encouragement to think this way from our influential leaders.

Speaking at what the administration called “The White House Forum on Women and the Economy,” President Barack Obama said that after his two daughters were born, he and his wife—both Harvard Law School graduates—could not afford the “luxury” of having her stay home with the children.

In 2005, when Obama began serving in the U.S. Senate (and his daughters turned 4 and 7), he and his wife were earning a combined annual income of $479,062. Barack Obama as a senator was paid a salary of $162,100, and Michelle Obama was paid $316,962 to handle community affairs for the University of Chicago Medical Center.

So let me see if I’ve got this right…..

Then Senator Obama made $162,000 a year plus outstanding benefits and they could not afford the “luxury” of Michelle staying at home to raise their children? (he did not say she was working to advance her career or for personal fulfillment or for benefits….he said they could not live without her salary)

Things that make me go…”huh?….am I missing something here?”. Let’s see….if my husband currently made $162,000 a year that means, even after taxes, we would have about $9,000 a month for our family budget. (actually we would bring home even more than that knowing the charitable contributions we would be making and the number of kids we have would reduce our tax liability greatly) We live in California, said to be one of the more expensive states to live in and my husband brings home a third of that much money every month. If I had an extra $6,000 a month I could pay myself a salary for my hard work as a Mom of eight children and still have thousands of dollars extra each month to save, to spend and to give away. It would be a life of luxury for me as well as my family and my husband, who might actually enjoy a clean bathroom every once in a while! (yes I could pay someone to clean our bathroom or clean it myself with the extra time I would have from not having to work at my home business)

I do realize that most families who make this amount of money (equal to Obama’s $162,000 in 2005) do decide they can live on one income and one parent does stay home to take care of household business and raise the children. But there are many who make less than half of that salary who say they “can’t afford the luxury” when in reality they actually could. Yes, they might have to drive beat up cars, live in smaller houses, skip private school tuition, and forgo some “extra’s” in life (like eating out, cable TV, expensive cell phone bills, nicer vacations, manicures, gym memberships etc..) But in reality are not all those things actually  luxuries that the previous generation, who primarily did have stay at home Moms, did not have?

No, for the vast majority of couples having one parent stay at home is really not a luxury they can’t afford but a lifestyle choice that they have made. (just as it was for me during those early years when I bought the paradigm that we “couldn’t afford” to have me home) And as a culture we need to “call it what it is” instead of using rhetoric to justify our choices  or perceived lack thereof as well as making moms feel like they simply “have to work” to survive or by giving husbands the cultural confidence to tell wives they “need to work”. (I mean after all honey, Senator Obama needed his wife’s income, so you should work too) ** Husbands who pressure their wives to work is in itself is a whole other blog post that perhaps needs to be written about men who no longer feel pride and motivation to creatively provide for their families and demand their wives drop their precious babies off at daycare for nine hours a day for someone else to raise, when those mommys desperately want to stay home…..but back to the point.**  I believe that we need to influence our culture to encourage moms (or dads) to make the choice to stay home to raise their children. The more families that can have at least one parent investing a significant  amount of time (37,440 hours!) and energy into their home life and children the better off our society will be!  So let’s be honest:

It is a choice…not a luxury we can’t afford.

P.S. To my very special single, divorced & widowed Moms…let me say again I know that you do not have a choice as to whether you can work outside your home nor did most of you choose to be single Moms…I pray that the Lord will strengthen you, encourage you and wrap His loving arms around you all the while multiplying your time, energy & resources and surrounding you with great friends to support you!

And yes I do understand that there are special circumstances and situations (illness, loss of jobs, business going under, medical bills) that may at times “force” both parents to work).

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Filed under Economics, Home Business, Life Lessons, Motherhood, My "take", Priorities, Uncategorized

The thrill of victory!

High school sports – there’s nothing quite like ’em.

I have spent much of my life playing, coaching and now regularly attending high school athletic events.  I was on the swim team and played field hockey in high school (and college too).  As a youth pastor I attended high school sporting events all over the city to cheer on the kids who attended our church. I faithfully sat in the stands almost every Friday night for three years as my fiance and later husband, Dan coached a local high school football team.  When I began to work as a teacher at a Christian High School I got talked into coaching the Varsity Girls Volleyball team (which thankfully my dear darling hubby took over later – and did a far superior job!) and for the past 21 years of working at Christian high schools we have been in the bleachers cheering wildly for countless sporting events.

While I have enjoyed watching my girls (and I am sure all to soon, the boys too) playing youth soccer, swimming on the neighborhood swim team and playing city league softball, I loved going to college football, volleyball and basketball games and I thoroughly enjoy attending a professional baseball game (when we can afford it)….there is still nothing quite like high school sports. 

The emotions run higher – the victories more thrilling and the losses more devastating. The friendships formed often create a bond for life. The fans are more connected to not only the team and the school but to one another as well. The coaches (who get paid very little) are there because they love the kids and they love the game. The entire atmosphere is electrifying.

This past weekend we got to experience yet another exciting high school athletic competition as we attended the softball section finals for our area.  Our beloved Lady Eagles from Jim Elliot were in the championship game for the fifth consecutive year.  Our team was down by one run in the bottom of the seventh with the tying run on second and two outs when the player at bat hit a triple and then ran home to win the game on an overthrow error.  The screams, whistles, wild cheering, hugs, tears of joy, jumping up and down went on for what seemed to be eternity.  Just several feet away, the other bench felt the agony of defeat after being so close to beating this powerhouse team.  The sobbing, down on bended knees, hitting the dirt, consoling in one anothers arms, looks of shock and dismay equaled the emotion of the championship team. For those talented teams, dedicated coaches and devoted fans, it will be a day not too quickly forgotten.

For the vast majority of athletes…that final high school game will be their last time in competitive sports. A few will go on and play in college and then four years later, they too will close that chapter of their lives.  But the lessons learned through athletics will be with them for life! These lessons are some that could benefit our families, our marriages our businesses and our lives.

  • You learn the power in having a positive attitude

Every good coach or trainer will tell you that the athlete who wins is the one who believes he is going to win.  The single best predictor of success when two athletic teams have equal ability and talent is what is in their minds before they compete.  We hear it over and over again…but when will we start being diligent at putting positive things into our heart, mind and spirit.  It is the difference maker!

  • You learn that any team can win on any given day

What a great way to live – knowing that no matter what hand you have been dealt, no matter what the odds, no matter what the gloomy prediction – you can win, you can overcome and you can beat the odds!Unfortunatly this lesson can also work against you – that same softball team that won the championship on Saturday learned this lesson the hard way last year when they lost in an agonizing defeat to their biggest rivals who they had beat decisively several times earlier that same season.  They came in with the a relaxed attitude and a bit lazy, knowing that even if they had a bad game they could easily win the section championship.  They did not play their hardest, they made stupid mistakes, they were a bit arrogant and they were not on the offensive costing them their fourth consecutive section championship and the number one ranking in the state.  You have to live life on purpose, on the offensive and always ready to give it your all.

  • You learn that you must stay focused even under incredible pressure

This perhaps is one of the greatest lessons competitive sports can offer us.  When the pressures of life come, you must not fall apart but remain calm and focused.  With two outs and the team behind by one, the batter up was under an incredible amount of pressure.  If she had concentrated on that pressure instead of being focused on hitting the ball, she most likely would have failed.  In the same way when the third baseman, on the opposing team, was under extreme pressure trying to prevent the winning run from scoring, she lost her focus and overthrew the ball resulting in the game winning run.  How often do we do the same thing when under pressure with often disastrous results. Extreme pressure has destroyed many a marriage, caused businesses to close and contributed to many health ailments and damaged relationships all because we crumbled under the pressure instead of focusing on the fundamentals and keeping a cool head. 

  • You learn that the long hard practices pay off when you win the game

Face it – no one likes to practice.  It is hard work, causes pain, takes lots of time and energy and equires discipline.  It is for the love of the game that people spend hours daily practicing and training.  Yet 90% of an athletes time is spent in practicing and training.  But the 10% is worth it all.  This is not much different than our businesses.  No one loves the hard work, the phone calls, the rejection, the paperwork, the hours spent with seemingly no results….but we all love the pay days, the incentive trips and the rewards of being a business owner.  Our relationships often take lots of hard work, practice and self discipline too.  But what a great reward in the love of a child, a strong solid marriage and life long deep friendships. Almost every area of life takes a large measure of hard work, personal discipline and practice but the rewards are worth it all!

  • You learn that it takes more than individual talent – it takes teamwork

No matter how talented you are – you can’t win on your own.  In order to win a championship, you need a team who will work together towards a goal. A team that is committed to the same end. A team who will support, encourage, challenge and hold each other accountable.  In life, in business, in marriage and family – you need to be a team!  You cannot win on your own.

  • And on a Christian school team you learn that the most important thing is to glorify God!

Last year when the team lost the section championship and this year when they won – the game ending cheer was the same – “Good game (the opponents), thank you officials,  Glory to God!”  The most important thing we can do in our businesses, in our marriage and family life, in our jobs or careers, in our friendships and in our lives is to bring glory to God.  Whether we win or lose, whether we are number one in our field or just barely hanging in there, whether or marriages are strong and healthy or we are struggling to stay together…the most important thing is that we look to glorify the Lord in everything.  We don’t have control over all the circumstances in our lives (and those that we do have control over we need to do something about) but we do have control over our response to the circumstances.  Are you praising or cursing God? Are you calmly trusting His will or panicking and stressing about life? Will you give God glory no matter what the outcome of your current crisis? Is what you are doing glorifying God?

Congratulations Lady Eagles on your fourth Section Championship. May the lessons you have learned during your years as a high school athlete be a foundation for a life of excellence.

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Filed under Home Business, Inspiration, Jim Elliot Christian High School, Monday Motivations, Uncategorized

Ahaaa chooo!

I love living in the Central Valley of California!

I love the beautiful & moderate weather that we experience throughout the year.  I love the size of my city and that I can get anywhere I need to in 15 minutes or less – with no traffic.  I love the trees, foliage & flowers that grace the residential neighborhood I live in. I love the cool and comfortable evenings taking walks with my husband after enjoying a delicious date night dinner. I love that I can hop in the car with the kids and be at the beach enjoying the sand & surf or in the mountains camping or snow skiing in a short two hour drive. I love my church that I have attended faithfully for almost 25 years.  I love the dear friends that I have made here. I love my home. I love the beautiful downtown waterfront. I love that I can see Starbucks from my front yard! I could go on & on about the things I love about living in Stockton. But even with all the things I love, I have to tell you that for 6 weeks every year – I am miserable!  I sometimes even find myself loathing it!  You see by living in Stockton, California I can’t escape from the allergies that seem to affect many of our residents.  Before coming here as a college freshman I never had ANY allergies.   Then I experienced my first spring in the Central Valley and now I find myself every year sneezing, gagging, itching, and with watery eyes, a runny nose & a scratchy throat.  The only thing that gets me through is a daily dose (or two) of medicine and the knowledge that “this too shall pass.”

Recently as I was going through another box of kleenex I thought – “this is just how it is with our home based businesses”.  We all love them – the products, the mission, the friends we’ve made, the income opportunity, the trips, the prizes, the recognition, the tax write offs, the conventions.  We could all come up with a long list of things that we love about our businesses.  And yet often, just like the winds of spring blow in pollens, peat dust & allergens that make me miserable, we get “stuck” on the things that make us miserable about our businesses. We find ourselves dwelling on the things that are hard or the aspects of our business that we flat out don’t like. We sometimes even think that because these aspects of business that we should just pack up & move on!

How crazy is that?  Yet even as I type this many of you are considering “throwing in the towel” because…..

  • you don’t like making phone calls
  • you are uncomfortable with sales or recruiting
  • you can’t stand doing the paperwork
  • you are sick of  cancellations
  • you have a fear of rejection or coming across as being pushy
  • or put your own frustration in here______________________

Wouldn’t it truly be crazy for me to pack up my family & move from the place we call home & the people we have grown to love simply because of six short weeks? Yes…it would!  You know why?  Because no matter where I went in the world there would be things I disliked, things that were uncomfortable, things that were not “just right” and things that made me miserable.

And the same is true with your business. It would be crazy for you to quit something that you love simply because of a few hardships, obstacles or discouragements. No matter what you do in life, there will be things that cause you grief.

The better answer is:

1. List all the things you love about your business or life, review it often and be thankful for the things it has blessed you with. (just writing here all the things that love about the place I live has helped me get through each sneeze)

2. Take your medicine every day – what is the antidote to your personal business allergy?  The best medicine for most business “allergies” is a healthy dose of positive thinking.  Are you filling your heart & mind with positive, uplifting & encouraging things?  Are you surrounding yourselves with positive, uplifting & encouraging people?  I challenge you to spend 30 minutes everyday reading a motivational book or listening to a CD. I can guarantee it will do more to bolster your immune system to business “allergies” than any single other thing you can do.  

3. Remember that “this too shall pass”.  Things never seem as bad once we have gotten through them.  In fact, I know that by mid June I will hardly even remember how miserable I am today. What you are struggling with right now in your business, the things that are making you miserable will eventually pass.  You will survive them if only you don’t quit.  You will come up with great ways to overcome obstacles, or you will learn to deal with the hardships or you will simply hang in there (perhaps even suffering a bit) until you make it through the trials & move on to the triumphs!

And as we say after each sneeze – “God bless you” – every step of the way.

 

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Filed under Attitude, Home Business, Monday Motivations

Leader Extraordinaire

My upline Cathy recently promoted to Executive Director with Creative Memories.  For a look at what makes an exceptional leader I’d like to share with you the letter I wrote for her in honor of her promotion. We should all aspire to such leadership.

 

Dearest Cathy,

 

 

CONGRATULATIONS on promoting to Executive Director! I could not be more excited for you as you achieve this CM milestone.  I am filled with so much joy and excitement, only wishing that I could be there in person to celebrate with you! Enjoy every moment of being the shining star.

 

As my upline in Creative Memories you have been amazing!  From the very beginning when I was not interested in pursuing CM as a business, you called me regularly just to check in.  You did not push me, but simply offered the opportunity to take my career to a new level through motivation, encouragement, enthusiasm and your personal business success.  When I did decide to jump in with both feet, you provided everything that was needed to soar to the top!  You were there to provide wisdom and advice from your years of experience as well as outstanding training. You role modeled a balanced and successful hard working business. You offered incentives and you showered me with praise, recognition and rewards.  You challenged me and cheered me on every step of the way.  When we hit bumps in the CM road, you offered a listening ear, supporting and being there every step of the way.  Your leadership is one to be commended, rewarded and recognized.

 

You are much, much more than simply my leader and upline in Creative Memories –

 

  • You are my friend.  We have shared so many wonderful times together over our CM journey.  We have laughed, jumped up and down, screamed with delight, danced, embraced and cried together.  We have gone on the most incredible incentive trips, had the time of our life at conventions, relaxed and scrapbooked together at retreats and enjoyed great fellowship in each others homes. The memories are warm and wonderful and will be forever cherished!
  • You are my sister in the Lord.  Our common faith in the Lord Jesus has been such a great blessing to me.  You are a woman of virtue and solid moral values. What a joy to have a leader whose priorities include serving the Lord.
  • You have given generously of your love to both me and my precious family – Cathy your love is truly the best gift that you have given me over these past 12 years. You have been there to welcome three new babies the Lord blessed us with. You were there as we scraped and struggled to start Jim Elliot Christian High School – always believing in the vision.  You have walked with us through some tough times as we have had to deal with the loss of our employment, major health issues and serious financial struggles. You have celebrated with us through many of our milestones – wedding anniversaries, birthdays, the start of JECHS, graduations and much more. You have been so kind and generous to the girls – showering them with little gifts, passing down your daughter’s fun toys and beautiful clothes and always making them feel special and welcomed to CM events.

 

Cathy, I pray that the Lord will continue to bless you in every way as you have blessed so many others.  As you continue to celebrate this promotion over the upcoming months may you be filled with great joy and fulfillment as you are given recognition of the leader you have been for years. Here’s to you!

 

With much love, appreciation and admiration,

 

Beth

 

 

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Filed under Home Business, Making a Difference, Monday Motivations

Spring has sprung

Just in from my morning walk and….Spring has Sprung!

Everything is fresh, clean & new – the warm sunny days and perfect cool evenings, the kids riding bikes at the park, the smell of BBQ’s firing up in neighbors backyards, shorts & cooler clothes coming down from the attic, flowers blooming & grass growing longer and greener. Yes, Spring is here…and I love it!

There is something refreshing about the change of season.  Just when we are getting tired of the rain (or snow!), the cold winter nights, or foggy mornings…. God in His incredible creativity brings us a new season to enjoy. It gives us energy & enthusiasm and a fresh new start and perspective on life.

Perhaps this morning you need “spring” to arrive in your home based business. Perhaps its been a long cold winter & you haven’t seen much “sun” in your business lately. Perhaps you need to see new, fresh green growth in your business, or you are ready for a major change, or you need to add some fun & play.

Why not officially declare today the start of Spring in your business and start a little –

  • Spring Cleaning

There’s nothing like a stack of paperwork, unfinished business, discontinued products or inactive customers to really bog down your business! Its time to clean up…..if you haven’t used it…throw it out! If you need to finish up a project – get going! If you have a bunch of customers who never respond – give them one last call and tell them your doing some “Spring cleaning” and you’d like to know if they are still interested in staying on your active mailing list. (If they say no….by all means remove them…..you WILL be relieved!). Have a Spring cleaning “sale” or “special” and get rid of that discontinued or overstocked products you have. (its a great way to get events on your calendar too by offering EXTRA free gifts that have just been collecting dust anyway!) What a great feeling to start fresh & clean! (While your “physically” cleaning up be sure to start with a clean heart attitude too. Throw out your past failures, excuses or disappointments with your business and start a new today!)

  • Gardening 

 The best thing for any of our businesses is to see a bit of green growth happening. It lifts the spirit and soothes the soul to see the growth of spring & the beautiful array of flowers that begin to sprout up everywhere. It brings joy & life to everything! The same is true as business owners – we need to cultivate NEW growth in our businesses. If you haven’t held an event in awhile, perhaps you need to get revitalized and renewed in your vision for your busness. Or perhaps its time to begin planting seeds to get a fresh new brand of clients at your workshops, or a new excited hostess, or the greatest of new growth, an excited, hopeful, energetic, full of dreams & vision new recruit. Or maybe its time to start that Aspiring leaders group you’ve been thinking about. (I guarantee that if only one new leader pops up into your garden…it WILL revitalize your business!)

  • Play a little

Have some fun! Don’t be so serious – do something spontaneous! Get out from behind the computer and enjoy the sunshine. Have lunch with your consultant friends just for the fun & fellowship. Start a “dream” album, faithbook or celebration album all about you! Do something new in your business that you would enjoy – have a customer Spring tea, or meet at a park (let the kids play) and take time to enjoy looking at your customer albums (and letting them look at yours), or hold a fun theme workshop for your closest friends where you crop along with them & renew your love of scrapbooking. Remember to enjoy life each day and everything it brings.

Here’s to a new fresh spring start in your business….have an incredibly beautiful & blessed day! 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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Filed under Home Business, Monday Motivations

It’s the deadline

I have a BIG deadline looming ahead of me that is forcing me to turn all my attention, effort and energy in that direction. In less than three weeks I am in charge of a Spring Dinner Auction for Jim Elliot Christian High School, that is their biggest fundraiser of the year. 

I am promoting, planning, preparing, soliciting donations, selling tickets and recruiting, training and leading over 50 volunteers!  

Deadlines are amazing motivators, don’t you think?  So for today’s Monday Motivation, I am reviving something I wrote five years ago about setting your own personal deadlines.  Here it is:

“I work better under pressure” 

Haven’t we all heard (as well as used) those words often in our lives?  The truth is we don’t necessarily work better under pressure BUT we certainly do WORK!  It seems like all we need to accomplish something in life is…..a deadline.

Think about it –

  • How many of you will finally start getting around to doing our taxes this next week?  It’s that April 15th deadline!
  • Why can’t we lose that extra weight until the invitation to the class reunion arrives in the mail?  It’s because we finally have a deadline!
  • When do our kids sit down & really study for that test or write their term paper?  The night before its due – the deadline!

We all have a tendency to work hard & accomplish the goal when under the pressure of a deadline.  Just this morning, I told my girls that if they got dressed, ate breakfast & finished all their chores before I got home from my doctor’s appointment that I would take them to the store to buy their summer sandals.  It was amazing!  What usually takes them over an hour with lots of prodding from Mom was accomplished in half the time & they were ready & waiting to receive their reward.  They had a deadline!

In business, I think we often fail to work hard & accomplish our goals because we lack a deadline.   But the bottom line is we are self employed.  No one will fire us or fail us if we don’t meet these deadlines.  We must have internal motivation, drive & desire to put a self imposed deadline on our  goals & dreams and then work hard to meet that deadline.

  • Deadlines provide us with a sense of urgency.  We feel that “pressure” to get things done….and get them done NOW!!  As a matter a fact I am feeling that same sense of urgency that a deadline provides right now -with less than three hours left of Monday. (can you believe I actually began writing the first lines early this morning?)
  • Deadlines give us extra energy.  Have you ever noticed that you can stay up most of the night and not even feel tired, before a big event and accomplish all sorts of wonderful things, simply because it has to be done by tomorrow.  The adrenaline of the deadline helps us to accomplish the seemingly impossible
  • Deadlines forces us to lay aside our excuses. When faced with a deadline we stop making excuses as to why we haven’t done something yet and we start looking for ways to do it.
  • Deadlines help us to focus. We are able to really concentrate on that one goal and not let anything distract us from meeting it.  We have the single-mindedness, determination and power that focus brings.

Begin today to set yourself a self imposed deadline to meet your business goals.

Set a deadline to schedule ___X___ number of events in the next month by this Friday. Call your upline or manager and tell them your goal.

Set a deadline to make five phone calls before you get to enjoy your morning coffee!

Set yourself a deadline to have your current family pictures in your album & journaled by National Scrapbook Day (what a great example you’ll be to your clients!) Email them & tell them that you’ll have it there to show them along with great ideas to complete simple & easy albums.

Set a deadline to promote to leadership in your company by ______________,2008.  Tell your spouse, your family, your friends, your upline and sidelines. 

Did you notice all these “self imposed” deadlines also included telling others?? The more people you tell the more it will feel like a “real” deadline. (and the more pressure you’ll put on yourself to meet the deadline!)

I had a self imposed deadline today, that when Joy was 6 weeks old, I would do two things – start back up writing Monday Motivations and go back to the fitness center!  I put it on my calendar and planned and prepared to do it, but I also told others.  For Monday Motivations I emailed & told everyone I’d be back  (no pressure there…..Ive already received several emails today asking if I had sent it yet!) and as for working out I shared my deadline with my friends, the owners of the center and my family. 

And as I sit here in the quietness of the late evening, with my muscles aching from my first workout in nine months, typing one handed as I nurse the dear baby, I have that sweet satisfaction that comes when you have accomplished your goal & met the deadline!

 

Here is that “dear baby” I was nursing when I wrote that Monday Motivatin. Joy just turned five in February!

I hope to be able to keep posting during the next three weeks before the BIG event (as it is a very enjoyable “break” for me) but if you begin to hear from me less, you’ll know why! It’s the deadline! 🙂

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Filed under Home Business, Monday Motivations

And the winner is….

I don’t usually watch the Academy Awards (or any television for that matter), but last night I caught bits and pieces of this grandiose event.

Why is it that I found myself getting misty eyed everytime the award winners got up on stage to accept their award? After all I don’t know these people personally nor have I even seen most of the films honored. (My two personal favorites in 2007 were –

Amazing Grace“Amazing Grace”  and

The Ultimate Gift“The Ultimate Gift”    neither of which received any Oscar nods but are FABULOUS movies that I highly recommend you see on DVD!)

No, my heart was stirred because it is very inspiring and touching to see others earn awards, be honored, or achieve a lifetime dream…..there is something simply magical about it. Perhaps it because we all have dreams and desires in our lives and for a small moment we can imagine accomplishing our goals, winning wonderful awards or achieving a lifetime dream.

Recently I had one of those magical moments where a longtime dream became a reality.  One of my passions is Christian education! I believe the impact that a Christian school and faithful Christian educators has on young people can change the world. I have seen the influence first hand as my husband and I have spent over two decades in this life changing ministry. Because of that I have always dreamed of being able to help provide scholarships for students who did not have the financial means to attend Christian schools yet wanted to be there. 

The one obstacle to this dream was…..money. You see when you are in Christian education, more often than not your salary is…well let’s just say…”great is your reward in heaven!” 🙂

Just two weeks ago at the Jim Elliot Christian High School Founders Gala, my dream became a reality with the introduction of the Dan and Beth Lambdin Scholarship Fund!  I felt just like one of those Academy Award winners as I stood up in front of hundreds of people amidst the glamour and glitz of this fancy affair, dressed to the hilt and received a plaque announcing this fund that I had been dreaming of for years! It was glorious.

Dan and I are beaming after the scholarship fund announcement!

Why is it that many don’t dream at all, others just continue to dream with no results and some actually achieve their greatest dreams and desires? I believe those who dream, believe and achieve have some things in common:

1. They actually have a specific dream.

Those winning Oscars last night had a specific dream of winning that award. They knew that someday they wanted to be taking that coveted Oscar home. I’m sure many of them had actually visualized themselves up there accepting that honor. None of them had vague hopes or fuzzy fantasies. They knew they someday wanted to be at the top of their field and the “proof” of that would be their nomination or winning of an Oscar.

If you are going to achieve your greatest dreams they must be specific and measurable. They can’t be fuzzy or vague. You have to know exactly what you want. Seven years ago at the National convention for my home business (as I was receiving my Senior Directors Chair – another magical moment achieving a dream) we were challenged by the main stage speaker to write down our specific dream.  It was at that moment that I wrote down that I wanted to have a scholarship fund for JECHS students.

 What is your specific dream? (or dreams – if you are anything like me – you have many!) Take that first step and write them down today.

2. They tell others their dream

One of the single best thing you can do to move your dreams closer to reality is to tell others your dream!  While this is so simple, many people do not do it.  They keep their dreams to themselves, afraid of failure or of looking foolish to others. Telling people your dreams – propels you into action, holds you accountable  and helps solidify your belief in that dream!

I have told hundreds of people over many years my dream of having a scholarship fund.

3. They are committed.

No one achieves great things in life without a rock solid commitment to their dreams & desires. Everyone who won an Oscar was committed to their career. How can you tell what it is you are actually committed to in life? One simple formula:

Time = Commitment

Look a where you spend your time and I promise that is where your commitment lies. There is no way you can expect to have a successful business without putting in time (the same is true for your marriage, parenting or anything else you want to have success in.) It’s not that you can’t do ok or even accomplish a measure of success by just being involved in your career BUT you will never “win an Oscar” by just being involved – you must be committed. (my standard analogy here as to the difference between being “involved” or “committed”….a big yummy bacon & egg breakfast takes two animals…a chicken & a pig…the chicken is involved in making the breakfast, the pig is COMMITTED!)

4. They work hard!

Sorry….there is no way around it. Everyone who has accomplished anything great…..works hard. It takes sacrifice, sweat, shortness of breath, stretching out of your comfort zone and pain while you are working towards your goals & dreams. There is no easy road or short cut to rewards. As the popular saying goes – “no pain, no gain”.

5. They involve others in their dream.

Every one of those receiving Oscars thanked others – the people that helped them get to where they were – friends, family, co-workers, agents.  Not one of them attempted to say they did it on their own.  And likewise none of us will accomplish our dreams without the help, input, coaching, training and support of others.

The Dan and Beth Lambdin scholarship fund already has over $6,500 in it thanks to the generosity of others who believe in Christian education and believe in us!  And the scholarship fund will only continue as others join with us in donating money to help young people attend our school.  My personal goal is to provide 10 full scholarships and 20 partial scholarships each year. That translates to $100,000 – which may seem like a lot to you – but if just the folks who read my blog each week decided to contribute something we would be right there!  I keep dreaming BIG! 🙂

6. They stick with it.

Quitting is not an option. They are like super glue – holding fast to their dreams despite what is happening around them. No matter what disappointments, discouragement’s, or road blocks they had to endure, they did not quit. This tenacity and perseverance alone is one of the single most important qualities you can develop in your life to ensure your success!

It took seven years from the time I wrote down my dream of a scholarship fund for it to become a reality.  There were many roadblocks standing in the way, many discouraging days, many detours and times when I just couldn’t see how it was going to happen but I just kept pressing on, believing and working to make the dream a reality.

Are you ready to begin to make your dreams a reality?   

Can’t you picture it? Wouldn’t it be great? Your time to shine & sparkle like the stars!

Decide today what your dream is. Write it down, tell someone (I would love to hear your dream!) – then make the commitment, work hard, involve others & don’t quit! And soon you too will be hearing –

“And the winner is…YOU!”

PS – If you would like join me and contribute to to the new Dan and Beth Lambdin Scholarship Fund to help students attend a fabulous Christian High School and have their lives influenced to go out and positively impact the world – you would bless me beyond measure!  Just click here to donate to this fund!  Or you can send a check to (please specify it is for the Lambdin Scholarship Fund):

Jim Elliot Christian High School

2695 West Vine St

Lodi, CA 95242

You will receive a tax deductible receipt.

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Filed under Goals & Dreams, Home Business, Jim Elliot Christian High School, Monday Motivations