My husband Ray has been forcing wanting me to get a job outside the home since last year to make a more consistent income so we can get out of debt faster. Last week I was hired for a part-time job.
It is a local, extremely successful business and the daytime hours I work are ideal, while still allowing me time to pursue my big dreams. If you have heard me speak before or read my books, you know one of my mottos is, “Dream big because we serve a big God!”
The business has a stellar reputation in our community and excellent products and customer service. Everyone there is so nice and has made me feel very welcome. I wish so much that I could take pics at work and share them with you, as it’s very interesting and it’d make AMAZING pictures! Just let me get through training first….and then I’d have to ask my boss for permission to do that.
It is more manual labor than the mental work I currently do working from home, as a women’s conference speaker and author. The part-time hours enable me to still pursue speaking and writing. I’ll also be able to still go to church on Sundays.
I’m very thankful for this job, but it’s been an adjustment. I’m still in training, and I’m trying to do my best job possible. When I’m through the training period, I”ll share more with you about what my job specifically is!
I made the mistake of buying new sneakers for the first day, since I’d be standing on my feet all day. My feet hurt SO bad that day; I was in intense PAIN!
Omgosh! I took a hot bath immediately after getting home from work; it felt like HEAVEN!
I plan to buy some Nikes or Skechers shoes asap, since most of my work at this new job involves standing or moving around a lot.Several friends on Facebook recommended Skechers when I shared about my aching feet the first day.
One of my coworkers says she always uses Nike and my boss ordered Brooks. If your work requires you to stand a lot or all day, what brand shoes do you wear?
I feel it’s very important to start my day off right, any day, but especially on the days that I’m scheduled to work at this job.
First, I try to go to bed at a decent time the night before I work to get enough sleep. Sometimes I struggle with insomnia, and I’m praying that doesn’t happen now. I don’t function well without sufficient sleep; I’m irritable and can’t think straight. Like a kitty cat, I need my rest!
I am so not a morning person, but I’m waking up earlier now since I go into work at 8 a.m. Right now it’s 5:45 a.m. and it still doesn’t seem very long! I actually set 2 alarms to wake me up, one with batteries, in case the power goes off in the middle of the night from a thunderstorm, because I don’t want to oversleep and be late to work!
I start my day off with “coffee with God.” I make the coffee first thing, cook a fried egg (one or two), and then drink my coffee while praying, reading the Bible, and journaling in the quiet of the morning.
A time-saver tip is that I pack my lunch the night before: usually a salad and maybe some crackers and cheese. This can save you at least 5 to 15 minutes in the morning to get ready for work!
“Brown-bagging” your lunch (making your lunch at home to take to work) saves a LOT of money, is healthier for you (no drive-through fast food places!), and also saves time.
Sure, there may be days when I opt to go grab some lunch somewhere (or even just go home for some place quieter like my coworker does, who lives nearby in town), but for now this is working great. My lunch period is only a half hour, so I wouldn’t have time to go sit down in a restaurant and eat anyway.
I bring my lunch in a soft lunch box, to put in the fridge at work. This sounds funny, but I also pack my toothbrush and toothpaste in it!
I’m really trying to push water at work.
Since I’m in training, I’ve been taking a journal and Sharpie pen to work to write down notes to learn the job effectively and to not forget important details I need for my tasks.
I’m a visual/hands-on learner, so I have to see something and then DO it to be able to really “get” it–to LEARN it. Other people are auditory learners.
The women who have been training me at this job have been doing it for years and are really good and very fast! They are teaching me how to do it by example (me seeing them do it), and then I do the task (kinesthetic or hands-on learning). What is your learning style? How do you learn something new best?
The biggest challenge so far, other than my feet hurting and trying to learn everything and do it well, is finding time to exercise when I’m off work. As soon as I get off work, I want to just COLLAPSE and do NOTHING the rest of the day! But I need to make exercise, healthy eating, drinking lots of water, and sufficient rest and fun priorities in my life!
This job is NOT rocket science, but there is a LOT to learn. I will have one primary job title, but I’ll also be handling other responsibilities that I’m being trained for now. Please pray that God will help me to catch on and learn the job quickly with efficiency and productivity, and that I’ll do an excellent job as unto the Lord.
The goal of this job is to help our family get out of debt faster.
I’ll still be speaking and writing, so if you need a speaker for your women’s conference, please contact me here.
I also have a new book on Amazon, my 2nd fiction book, Afflicted: A woman missionary kidnapped by terrorists in Africa, which you can find out more about or purchase by clicking here.
It is another Amazon Best Seller–woot! Below is the beautiful cover my graphic designer made for me. I LOVE it! I chose the image at Istock and she created it. What do you think?
You can also see the other books I’ve written at my Amazon Author page by clicking here.
I’ve been a busy bee this week. A goal I’ve had for several years for my online business is to convert all the books I’ve written to Kindle eBooks and upload them to Amazon.
Forbes estimates that there’s more than 30 million Kindle ereaders currently in use, so if you’re an author, I strongly encourage you to pray and think about getting your book(s) on Amazon!
I’ve been working with a graphic designer and a formatter this week to design the covers for these eBooks and to format/convert my Word documents to get them Kindle-ready. I’m so excited about having all my books on Amazon!
“Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.”
We have bird feeders and a hummingbird feeder outside by our sunroom. I love watching the birds, drinking coffee or green tea, and praying in the morning or afternoon. At times I’ve seen a baby bird out there, hopping on the ground, learning how to fly.
I don’t want to be a broken-winged bird. I want to fly. I want to be all for which God created me, fulfilling my purpose and calling.
I’ve made lots of mistakes in my life, have lots of regrets. Received an excellent education in “the school of hard knocks.” One of the places I’ve made mistakes is in my online biz as a speaker, author, and an entrepreneur. I’ve done lots of things that scared me: public speaking, webinars, telecalls, creating videos, and recently my first broadcast Google Hangout event. Sometimes you have to do the things that scare you to achieve your dreams and goals. But now I can pass these mistakes onto you to help you avoid them and to achieve your success easier and faster.
Here are my 10 tips I’ve learned since starting my online business.
1. God first. Listen to and obey Him. Jesus said apart from Him, we can do nothing. (John 15:5)
And I don’t want to try to do anything without God. Otherwise, it will fall flat and won’t be productive or fruitful. Conversely, when God is in what you’re doing, it will be a success.
2. Focus on your strengths; don’t operate from your weaknesses. When I first started my online biz, I was given very bad advice from my business coach/mentor in a class. She told me and others to basically do everything yourself: write your html sales pages, create your eBook graphics/ecovers, making your website, etc.
WRONG, WRONG, WRONG! I’m not a techy person, and this left me many nights in tears, totally overwhelmed, frustrated, and angry. God has anointed me to speak and write, and this is what I need to do.
A great resource to help you discover your strengths is the book, Strengths Finder 2.0 by New York Times Best Selling Author Tom Rath, available for sale at Amazon. It includes a test in it to assess your areas of strengths and talents.
You can take online tests to discover what your spiritual gifts are. I’ve included some links to these online tests and some resources here. Find out what your spiritual gifts, talents, and skills are, and do that. Outsource the rest.
3. Outsource. Hire people to help you.Fiverr, Elance, Odesk, and other places are great places to outsource work. Outsourcing allows you to use your gifts for God and walk in the anointing He has for you.
4. Be unique, beautiful you. Don’t compare yourself to others or feel envious/jealous of them. The Bible says in Proverbs 14:30 NIV, “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.”
There is only one you. Be yourself. Stay in your lane and don’t worry about or look at others. Jealousy and envy will eat you alive, and will distract you from your God-Designed purpose. They also make you very unhappy and miserable, which keeps you from being successful or at peace!
No one else can do what God has called you to do and fulfill your purpose and mission on earth.
5. Balance. When I first started my online business, this was the one area where I really messed up. Don’t let your business consume and overtake your life like a monster. I would literally spend 10 to 12 hours a day working on my business, primarily my website.
I was obsessed with improving and tweaking it. This became a source of contention between Ray and me, and our daughter Leah and me. Since then, I’ve learned to balance my time between God, my family and friends, time alone, and my business. One of the things I really enjoy doing now is watching the red cardinals, doves, sparrows, and other birds at our bird feeders, with a cup of coffee in the morning and chai with a little creamer in the afternoon.
Sometimes I take a break from Facebook and other social media. I want to live a real life, not just a virtual one. I refuse to be a slave to social media! Social media is necessary for business and isn’t going away, but God intended us for relationships with Him and others in real life.
Also, remember to eat! It’s important to include self-care: eating healthy, drinking plenty of water, exercising, sufficient sleep and rest, fun. You only have one body that will enable you to fulfill your purpose. Without your good health, you can’t do what God is calling you to do and be.
As a speaker and author, it’s important to get your butt in the chair to work on your speaking presentations and books (or articles, blogs, video and webinar content, etc.).
But it’s also necessary to get your butt out of the chair to spend time with Jesus, your family, friends, and to refill yourself.
Set a timer on your computer or laptop, iPhone or other phone, or even a kitchen timer as a reminder to get up out of your chair and do other things. (Remember the Pomodoro technique for greater productivity! I’d love to get the little red tomato timer!)
6. Know yourself. Know your purpose, mission, gifts, yourself. What works for others who are successful may not work or be for you. You may see someone all over Facebook and Twitter, doing webinars, creating videos, teaching marketing classes, and being a social media queen. But maybe you’re supposed to speak at live events and write books intead. Be YOU.
Stay intentionally and laser focused on God’s calling for your life so that you aren’t wasting time looking at your friends’ Facebook vacation pics, surfing the net shopping for clothes, watching TV reality and entertainment shows, playing games, etc.
Be serious about the call of God on your life. That doesn’t mean you can’t ever have any fun (we need fun and to just pull away from our business sometimes to de-stress!). But manage your time wisely each day.
I always make a to-do list every night for the next day. I’m obsessed with to-do lists. I love the feeling of accomplishment as I check things off my list. What I do is pray at the beginning of each day and ask God what HE wants me to do that day~ His priority for me. Jesus only did what He saw the Father doing. (John 5:19)
I may have 8 to 10 things on my to-do list, but the top two or three may be the ones that I get done that day. Then I move onto the next tasks the following day.
7. Invest. Invest in yourself, your business, but watch the Shiny Object Syndrome. I believe we should be life-long learners, learning something new every day. You can learn new things by hiring a coach, reading good books (read mine!), attending trainings like webinars, telecalls, college classes, and talking with other people.
I love to read and read every day. I prefer holding and reading a physical (print) book, but also read a lot of books using Kindle for PC and the Kindle app for my iPhone. I usually read at night before I go to sleep.
My husband Ray has a Kindle Fire that I bought him for his birthday last year, and he has 100’s of books on it. I encourage you to read a lot, especially if you are a speaker or writer.
I also believe if you’re a speaker, author, or have an online biz, you need a coach. I have an amazing, very successful business/writing coach, Shelley Hitz, who has written over 35 books. The royalties from hers and her husband CJ’s Amazon books pay their basic bills most of the time! She has coached 1000’s all over the world to write their first book. I’m now enrolled in her course, Author Audience Academy. Through what I learned in her writers’ training course, my new eBook, The Cinderella Story: The Power of Shoes became an Amazon Best Seller for its category and sub-categories the first day, which is a first for me as an author..
Coaching is so important. I also offer coaching to beginner speakers, writers, and online entrepreneurs here.
8. Get out of the house! Have a dinner date with your husband. Eat out or do something fun withyour child(ren). Have coffee with a friend. Talk to people in real life. If you stay hidden behind your computer, laptop or iPad all the time, and not have relationships in real life, you’re going to get weird!
I see so many people today on their smart phones out in public when they’re with their spouse or kids, ignoring the people right in front of them to “connect” with others online. It’s sad and you will miss out on so much if you do this all the time.
Again, God created us for relationships. Go have fun with others. Spend time outdoors in the sunshine and fresh air. Travel to the beach (I am craving the ocean!), mountains, desert, a new town, city, state, or nation. Do something new and adventurous. This also gives you inspired content for your speaking and writing and your biz.
9. Follow your fun. Recently I was talking to my prayer/accountability partner, Doreen Penner, sharing how I enjoyed doing something. She encouraged me, “Follow your fun.” What wise words. I’ve thought about them a lot since she said it.
Follow your fun and your passion. Do what you love to do. I can’t imagine anything worse than being miserable, hating your job every day. Pursue your purpose and passion.
This may change and evolve over time. When I was a child, all I ever wanted to be when I grew up was a mom and a writer. God made those dreams come true. I’m the mom of 3 beautiful daughters, Heather, Eden, and Leah.
I never imagined I’d be a speaker, because I used to be very shy and was terrified of speaking in front of people publicly. God has a sense of humor. Several years ago, He opened the door for me to share my testimony about my 3 abortions at a Mennonite church women’s Bible study. I was physically shaking, my voice quivered, I sweat profusely, and I thought I’d faint. But God got me through it.
Since then, He has opened the door for me to speak, even in other nations like Haiti, Canada, the Bahamas, and Africa. I now love it and as my husband Ray recently wrote me in a letter, I now live to have a mic in my hands (and to travel!).
There are times when we enter a season of rest. I went through this the last part of 2014. God told me to rest.
It may seem like you’re “on the shelf” and God isn’t using you or has forgotten about you. He hasn’t; He’s simply preparing you for what is next! You’re in a season of preparation by God the Potter.
My purpose and my desires have changed and grown. Yours may, too. Fulfill your purpose. Follow your fun and passion, which are often closely tied to your purpose. I believe God puts these dreams and desires in our heart, when they align with His will.
10. Don’t give up and don’t quit. Dream big because we serve a big God! If you’ve been in the audience when I speak, attend my virtual events, or read my blog, you know this is my motto. I say it a lot.
God has definitely stretched me since I started my online business. He’s taken me way out of my comfort zones into some pretty scary places. He will do extraordinary things through ordinary lives.
But as I’ve leaned on Him and not my own understanding, and trusted Him, He’s done miraculous, amazing things in and through my life. It humbles me. I can only praise Him for all He’s done. God is so good!
God has good plans for you. (Jeremiah 29:11) He wants to use you in a great way for His glory (and it’s about Jesus, not us!). Make sure you are aligned with His will and purpose for your life. Follow Him.
When we try to do things in our flesh, they won’t work. There will be no fruit. Your life will feel barren. But when you are seeking God, there will be good fruit. You will not just be busy, but productive.
Most of all, keep praying. Seek God’s direction for your life. God is the one who opens doors of favor and opportunity.
I created a podcast sharing these tips. You can listen to it at Podbean by clicking here.
You can also subscribe to my podcast at Itunes by clicking here.
I broadcast my very first Google Hangout this week, sharing these things I’ve learned. You can watch it on video at YouTube here
Those are my 10 tips I’ve learned since starting my online biz. I hope they’ve encouraged you. What have you learned in your online biz? Share your comments below.