Family: Marriage & Parenting, Mompreneur

When Your Spouse Is Your Business Partner

In this day and age there are a lot of families choosing to start a home-based family business. Typically, one spouse may stay home to work on the business and before long the other spouse joins them.

This is our story.

A little over a year after starting our business, Bryan and I found ourselves both heavily involved in making it work.

A lot has changed since the beginning. As part of the journey, lessons have [and continue] to be learned.

It’s through this process that I want to share 5 tips for having a successful business relationship when your spouse is your business partner.

Build on a solid foundation.

“If YHVH does not build the house, its builders have labored in vain…”
– Psalm 127:1a

There is an amazing concept to be learned from that Scripture. One that you can see over and over throughout the Bible.

Having a successful business relationship with your spouse starts with building on the solid foundation of YHVH, His Word, and prayer.

Bryan and I constantly pray over our business, down to the smallest detail.

It hasn’t always been that way, and I for one can tell you that there is a huge difference between praying here and there versus being adamant about praying continually.

If you haven’t already done so, try these practical tips for building on a solid foundation:

  • Select a few key verses to write down and put in the area where you do most of your work. I have Scriptures taped to my laptop and on the walls around my little office area.
  • Make it a habit to pray over everything about your business. New product? Pray. New service? Pray. New collaboration(s)? Pray.
  • Don’t forget your why, and revisit it often. It’s easy to get caught in the whirlwind of owning a business, and even easier to do things that aren’t necessarily part of your why. Remembering why you and your spouse started your business will help you stay on track.

Establish clear roles.

There is nothing like trying to build and run a successful business with your spouse but having not a clue of who is doing what.

Or, try building and running a business without letting your spouse do anything.

Bryan and I have been in both of those situations. And until recently, Bryan wasn’t sure what he could do to contribute to the business. And I was Mrs. Do-It-All, not really allowing him to do anything.

“Wives, subject yourselves to your own husbands, as to the Master. Because the husband is head of the wife…”
– Ephesians 5:22-23a

This concept couldn’t be more important especially when it comes to spouses working together.

There may be cases where the wife “owns” the business, but the temptation that comes with that word should never override the Yah-given role given to the husband.

This is another facet of our business that took a lot of navigation through what we call growth opportunity moments.

Moment of transparency here… I had to come to the realization that just because my role “seemed” to carry more weight didn’t mean that I needed to become the head honcho over this thing.

Truth be told, it’s quite the opposite. Bryan’s role in our business may be considered “behind the scenes”, but it is the most important.

[amazon_link asins=’B076VNDVWF,B00I2XXM2K,B07BFN7N88,B07CP4G3RB,1725932652,B07GK5ZGDK,B07GBP3DGH,1548079243,B07873SRCP’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’withthehuddle-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’9fa0101c-eb78-11e8-b62d-7d88c482b63e’]

Respect each other’s roles.

It’s one thing to identify roles, and it’s another to actually respect those roles. Big difference.

“In the same way, husbands, live understandingly together, giving respect to the wife, as to the weaker vessel…”
– 1 Peter 3:7

Before your mind starts to wander through all sorts of thoughts about this Scripture, keep in mind the context. It is from yet another passage that speaks of the gender roles of a husband and a wife.

When you read the entire chapter you’ll see that the concept is all built on respect. Respect for and from the husband, as well as respect for and from the wife.

This is super important when your spouse in your business partner.

Those moments when I lacked to include Bryan in any business venture was just down right disrespectful. In the forefront it may have looked all fine and dandy. However, in the background, I was hindering him and our business.

Being respectful doesn’t mean you are cowering down. It means that you value what it is that you and your spouse are trying to build.

Learn to agree.

Yes, I say learn because believe it or not, a business can come to a screeching halt when the business partners don’t agree.

From there a mess can brew, and before you know it, you’re going out of business. (LOL!)

“Would two walk together, without having met?”
– Amos 3:3

Yet another powerful Scripture that lays down a concept that can [and should] be applied to business ownership – especially with your spouse.

For the longest time I would nonchalantly run something by Bryan. I’d introduce it as though it was already a done deal, and if he disagreed, there was a fight.

Not to water down my actions, but I genuinely didn’t know any better.

There was a time when it seemed like our business was a one-man show, but even then I should’ve sought a better understanding of the concept of coming to an agreement.

Fast forward to recent days and we now make it a point to ensure we agree before moving forward with a decision.

Just the other day we couldn’t come to an agreement on a price for a product. So what did we do? After the back and forth, and kicking and screaming [mainly from me], we rested from it.

After taking a break and praying, we then agreed and was able to move forward.

Profitable communication.

Without profitable communication, it would be really hard to build and run a successful business.

And I’m not talking about just any ole kind of communication.

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up displeasure.”
– Proverbs 15:1

“Death and life are in he power of the tongue…”
– Proverbs 18:21a

I talked about growth opportunity moments earlier and it’s fitting to bring them back up here. This is what Bryan and I used to call “arguing.”

In the past when we disagreed, there would be something close to a verbal WW3.

To be more exact, the way I responded would be full of wrath, harsh words, and death. Let me tell you something. That is one of the quickest ways to break down your husband, and in return your marriage and/or whatever else you’re attempting to build.

DON’T DO IT!

Try these practical ways to ensure you have profitable communication with your hubby-business-partner:

  • Make it a point to communicate. Nothing fuels growth opportunity moments more than thinking the other is a mind reader.
  • Communicate often about business matters. This helps keep everything open and up front – no room for errors.
  • Schedule business meetings. Yep! Even when your spouse is your business partner, those meetings still need to happen!

Here’s to a rockin’ business relationship with your spouse.

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one lifts his companion up. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up.”
– Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

I’m not suggesting that working with your spouse will always be easy. But what I will say is just what the above Scripture says – two are better than one and they have a good reward for their labor.

I believe there is a special blessing involved when a husband and wife can work side by side, building something from the ground up. Personally speaking, I know that our family is better for it.

CHIME IN: Do you and your spouse work together? What are some ways you make it work and keep your relationship thriving?

Mompreneur

Hey Mompreneur! Do You Have A Business Plan?

Fact.

A lot of mamas start a business with every intention to build it successfully and make money.

Another fact.

Not every mama who starts a business does so successfully, let alone makes a profit.

The problem?

The truth of the matter is the lack of business sense. I’ll be the first to admit that I was that mom. When I look back at every business venture I attempted, I had every good intention on it being able to pay some bills and afford some extra wants in life.

My first issue [and hardest to admit] was that I lacked the basics of knowing how to successfully start a business, let alone run one. The second issue [just as hard to admit] was not listening to my amazingly gifted husband.

Business sense, and all within, comes naturally to him. It’s genuinely a gift the Father has blessed him with. Because I have finally listened to him and come face to face with fixing my business sense, we are now seeing what a successful business looks like.

I know that not every mompreneur has a husband with business sense that comes natural (and a business of helping others have success in their business) – but that’s okay! You can still be successful with all the right tools and skills.

When it comes down to it, the difference between a successful business and the non are just a few key components. My husband, Bryan, says it best – “business is like science – there are elements and components that come together to get a desired result… there is some testing and there will be failures… and there will be results.”

[amazon_link asins=’1548079243,B07DS82TJR,B074L83669,B078WRD8S1,B07B65S57T,1633533948′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’withthehuddle-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’ae56c5fc-c9c6-11e8-95bc-d174cf75cf02′]

How do you see failure?

Bryan also suggests that folks (ourselves included) ought to look at business failure from a perspective that is contrary to how we are told to see it. Instead of seeing business failure as a time to throw in the towel or call it quits, look at it as one step closer to figuring out what it is your are truly supposed to be doing.

He also said there are times when you are just so far off that you need to stop and do something else, but that is not always the case.

Sometimes failure in business can be traced back to those few key elements that were left out in the beginning, which was part of my issue. Believe it or not, it has taken me over a year to actually sit down and write out a real business plan.

[amazon_link asins=’B0754K6GHQ,B073VTCMQ5,B0719THJ99,B01NGU1YTZ,B01N9HQM9F,B013SKI4QA,B00HFJWKWK’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’withthehuddle-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’6ca48c5c-c9ca-11e8-9aa1-f7289cb0bd33′]

I, like so many other business owning mamas, started off trying to fry big fish in a small pan. I wanted my own domain name, lots of content and resources to offer people, tons of blog posts, and bring in lots of income from the start.

All that did was get me off track from what I was supposed to be doing, spending countless hours creating content and resources, none of which profited much. That was until I started taking my husband’s business advice serious.

From setting a schedule that maximized my time to dealing with my lack mentality, I can truly say we have a successful business. I implement what he says and have not been ashamed of having to go back to the drawing board.

Who wants to backtrack?

Part of this includes some backtracking, but again – that’s okay.

Part of my backtracking has been to write a business plan. I looked for a business plan template that was simple, yet powerful, and I couldn’t find one that included everything I needed. If I could have put together a few [almost] good ones that I did find, I would’ve been set. But since I couldn’t, I made one!

The Business Plan Guide for Today’s Mompreneur is what came out of it. This is the perfect business plan guide for any mompreneur looking to get her business started on the right foot (or up to par in my case). It includes the following templates:

  • My business: your why, mission, purpose, vision, and goals + work hours tracker
  • Products & services: pinpoint exactly what they are
  • Market analysis: identify your audience/customers, what they need, how your product/service will help them, etc.
  • Sales & marketing: identify strategies and tactics to implement virtually & locally
  • Financial plan & budget: establish financial forecasts and requirements + the what and how you will achieve financial goals
  • SWOT analysis: identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats
  • Resources: list the resources NEEDED (not wanted) to run your business
  • Action plans: stay on top by getting things done

The templates in this guide will help you establish a business plan unique to you and your brand. The eight steps come together like a road map, helping you identify where you want to go and how you will get there.

This is a guide that will walk you through important aspects of your business. So, always keep it handy and make adjustments as needed.

Keep it simple. Keep it specific. And, keep it realistic.

The guide should be so resourceful that you refer to it regularly. Use it to compare your actual performance.

Be intentional and don’t chase the unimportant stuff (trust me, I did that for a long time).

Lastly, get the help you need to learn the skills necessary for making your business successful. If you’re looking for one-on-one support with getting your business started or analyzing the current condition of your business while walking away with a detailed plan of action to reach whatever goals you have set, then I highly recommend contacting my husband, Bryan.

I recommend him not only because he’s my husband, but because he knows what he is talking about. After doing what he advised, we have seen continual growth all throughout our business!

In the meantime, go snag your copy of The Business Plan Guide for Today’s Mompreneur and join my Mompreneur Mastermind inner circle email list for weekly emails to boost your business delivered straight to your inbox!

Plan for success!

Family: Marriage & Parenting, Holistic Health & Wellness, Mompreneur

3 Time Management Tips for Today’s Busy Mama

Things look a bit different since joining motherhood, don’t they?

But let’s be real. When it comes to cleaning, I’ve recruited my kiddos to help in the name of teaching responsibility.  My wardrobe consists of the new-age stay-at-home + work-from-home mama attire – also known as pajama pants and a t-shirt. Working out is carrying a five month old, chasing a two-year-old, and keeping up with the demands of a sassy three-year-old… not to mention the growth spurts of a ten-year-old. Please tell me you can relate.

I realized something you probably have already caught wind of – since becoming a mom, time management has become super important. Since becoming a work from home, homeschooling mom, time management is key for thriving in all areas. I learned that working 8+ hours per day outside of the home for a period of my life and now working a few hours a day at home and also homeschooling, that time management is key.

So, how can you get it all done?

You have to do everything you don’t want to do. You have to do everything you have not been doing. Schedule. Your. Time.

You already know that I am preaching to myself here. I want to say you can just wing it everyday and get everything done. But, that’s hiding from reality. And we aren’t hiders. We are seekers of valuable, purposeful time with our families. So here are three time management tips that can get you started on a path of THRIVING – not simply surviving:

  1. Make Faith a Priority.
    If you’ve ever had the goal of scheduling “Bible time,” you know it doesn’t just happen. You find every excuse in the book to use the time for other well-meaning tasks, and the kids are less than enthused to sit and listen. You need to make this a priority {remember, this is an example} and set a daily time to learn about and practice your faith. It could be as simple as one Bible story in the morning, or over dinner. Whatever you do, make sure the family understands that we won’t be doing anything else until this is accomplished. Don’t get upset when you don’t get it in for the day. These are factual, time chunks you’re talking about and you can only fit so many pegs into the holes. Push something to tomorrow, know when to quit. You did your best, and you will do your best again tomorrow.
  2. Make Yourself a Priority
    You’ve heard and disregarded the old adage that you can’t help others if you don’t help yourself. And mama, it’s true. The second priority in your day has to be you. Whatever fills you up – exercising, reading, journaling – schedule it. Even if it’s 30 minutes a day before the kids wake up or after they go to bed. It’s okay if you want to do a number of things and can only fit one in during each time of your life. Just do one, and enjoy it fully.
  3. Set Realistic Expectations.
    Don’t make a 7-point lesson plan on the busiest days of your week. Don’t expect a three course meal when you have swim lessons until 4 p.m. Be realistic with your expectations and yourself. Planning your week out will allow you to see the busy days and to push more onto the lighter days. You can only do so much. And some days, that means that getting the house-food-work done won’t all happen. Each day, pick one thing that is your focus. This is a good place to start if you feel totally unmanaged. Maybe it’s saying “hi” to the new neighbor, calling the lady from church, or playing a game with your youngest child. Whatever it is, write it down and treat it like a real “to-do” on your list.

[amazon_link asins=’1544018614,B0039Q6S1W,0310357799,B01520N3C4,B076VXN24G’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’withthehuddle-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’18de9388-62c1-11e8-9bc1-9947c4b042fc’]

And When We Don’t Get it All Done

It happens. Something tough goes down and your whole planned day is blown. You prioritize your schedule in the coming days to get it done. You are gracious with yourself and move things around. You don’t take it personal and you can’t get emotional about it. Show your children what it looks like to accept a defeat, be positive, and make the most out of it. You skip out of ruining the rest of the day and treat yourself to a long bath or your husband to a massage with no guilt. Plan your best and have joy and grace when it doesn’t work out. You will find that you have more time than you think, are okay leaving the laundry for one day, and focus more on what matters: your family {and yourself!}

 

I know how crazy it can be trying to make sense of it all, let alone find a starting point for time management. That’s why I want to give you a copy of my Get Stuff Done Planner. The printable pages can be put in any order and you can use whatever you like and ignore what may not work for you. Remember, we just gotta start somewhere.

To get your free Get Stuff Done Planner, simply type in your name and email then click download link!


 

Mompreneur

My New Adventure…

If you follow me on social media, you have probably seen me post the excitement about a new opportunity to conveniently work from home and make $20 per hour teaching – both before my kiddos even get out of bed.

When I originally saw this opportunity on a job search website, I clicked on it… read about it… and then tossed the idea to the side. At the time, my brain couldn’t figure out how it would work so I dismissed the entire idea.

My husband was the one who brought it back up and encouraged me to really check it out to see if it was something I’d be interested in doing. At this time, we were also needing additional income, which my books and curriculum resources were lacking to bring in.

Needless to say, I revisited the website, read it in detail, and thought, “why not?” So I applied. Within in hours I received an email saying that they wanted me to do the interview (and demo). At that moment, I froze. I couldn’t believe the quick response, let alone the enthusiasm obviously felt through the acceptance email. Believe it or not, I put it off for days… almost weeks to be exact.

The emails kept coming and I kept clicking delete.

I honestly didn’t know why I was so resistant to this opportunity. The thought of failing? The thought of actually succeeding? Whatever it was, it had me clicking delete to every “we’d love to have you teach for us” email.

With a little more encouragement from my husband, I decided to go for it. I scheduled my interview and demo, but was still too chicken to do it “live”, so I opted for the recorded version. In the meantime, something clicked. It’s like I became excited at the thought of a new adventure as a teacher (beyond homeschooling and the brick and mortar classroom), working from home, and teaching Chinese kiddos ESL!

After recording my interview/demo, I received another email of congratulations and the invitation to go to the next step, which was to do what they call a Mock Class I. I wanted to run from this part because there was no way around meeting with someone live (a teacher-mentor), who would pretend to be a 5 year old Chinese child, and me pretending to be his/her teacher. I went ahead and scheduled the class so I wouldn’t be able to escape (again).

This part of the process turned out to be the funnest part for me (thanks, Lauren). Going into with with nerves bouncing all over the place, sweating in unseen areas, and shaking in my chair – it ended up being super relaxed, very helpful, and a huge encouragement to keep going. I still needed some work, so I had to schedule what’s called a Mock II Class. This just gave me more practice, more feedback, and more opportunity to get a feel of what it would be like to teach an actual Chinese child. Again, it was another incredible time (thanks, Michelle)!!

It became real once I received the last and final “congratulations, you are a VIPKID Teacehr email. I did it! I couldn’t believe it, but I did it! Within a week’s time I finished submitting all the necessary paperwork and signed my contract.

The new adventure was beginning. I don’t want to bore with ongoing details but what I will say is this job opportunity has been nothing but a blessing for me and my family.  It is everything it says and more. Yes, I work from the comfort of my own home. Yes, I actually do get to pick my own schedule. And yes, I make $20 per hour (pay is between $17-$22/hr).

The biggest reward is working with my Chinese students via a platform that even a child can figure out. I do not have to plan the curriculum or lesson plans, and anything I use that’s considered extra, I already own (thanks to being a homeschooling mom of three kiddos)! This opportunity has not cost me anything and the fact that I can work while my kiddos are asleep is everything!

If you are interested in more information and applying to become a VIPKID Teacher, click HERE! I’d love to help you apply, get hired, and start teaching ASAP! And before you talk yourself out of it, just know that if I can do it YOU CAN DO IT! If you have a Bachelor’s degree (doesn’t have to be Education related), at least 1 experience in some form of teaching (yes, homeschooling counts), and a good computer with high-speed internet (wifi) and want to apply NOW, clicker HERE (my referral link)!

 

CHIME IN: Are you already a VIPKID teacher? How did the process go for you?

 

Until next time, try something new!