Saturday, January 31, 2009

It's in the Network


You probably found out as soon as you had children that a secret society of moms exists, eager to share insider tips on motherhood. Thankfully, that network is just as present when it comes to mompreneurs helping other moms start businesses. From sharing marketing ideas and advice, to seeking other stay-at-home moms to work in your business, to sharing war stories about balancing work life and home life, women are supporting women all over.

The network is vast--and there's something for everyone. "One of the things that makes mom entrepreneurs different [from other entrepreneurs] is that they're already there--they understand what it's like to be a mom who's trying to start a business," says Shannon Cherry, founder of, a mom business blog. "You have your children and your other baby--your business. They understand that and how hard it can be to balance."

Finding the right network for you may take some time. There are mom business groups, direct-sales networks, stay-at-home mom (SAHM) or work-at-home mom (WAHM) groups, and even ones that share social or religious values as part of their businesses. The point, says Cherry, is to find the specific networks that fit your particular needs. Also consider groups where you are one of the only members in your industry, so you can seek not only mentoring and advice, but also referrals and customers.

After finding a network of supporters online, Heather Ledeboer, 28, founded, an online retailer for baby products. This Redlands, California, mother of two started her e-tailing business in 2003 after she went searching online for specialty mom-centric products and found there wasn't a whole lot to choose from. She decided to create a one-stop shop for items such as baby slings and nursing accessories. Not only did she find a community of mom customers, but her late-night forays onto the internet (after the kids were asleep) also brought her to a network of mom entrepreneurs who were often online at the same time. "It created an open arena for us to instant message, call or e-mail each other," says Ledeboer, who sought advice about finding employees, building a website and advertising. "[It was] basically a brainstorming session anytime it was needed."

Some of the networks Ledeboer looks to for mompreneur support are, and You may want to check out these other sites as well: www.clubmomcom,, and Wild Women Entrepreneurs.

Ledeboer, who has built her company to annual sales of more than $600,000, notes that one of the best things about mompreneur support networks is the feeling that you're not alone. "Find people who can support and encourage you and be your cheerleaders, so that when you're feeling discouraged you can go to them," she says. "Find a resource of other moms in business that you can network and share ideas with. It's amazing how, once you get started, you start inspiring others, too."

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Friday, January 30, 2009

Recession Proof Your Telecommuting Job

With today's uncertainty, you might feel as if your telecommute job is now in jeopardy. In rough times, fears about your jobs become increased and this is natural whether you are full time office employee or telecommute worker. Don't feel vulnerable because telecommuting can be positive thing for tough economic times. Here are a few pointers to help you recession proof your job.

Telecommuting Saves Company's Money

Just imagine that you don't have to take up the working space, utilities bills and office supplies. This is a plus point that you need to emphasis to your boss because now is the time to cut cost and your boss can save money without jeopardizing the productivity. 

More Dependable Employee

Telecommuters don't have to call in sick as often or being late to work. Show your employer twice the productivity with less money or company benefit. As a telecommuter, you need to work odd hours which will be beneficial to your employer.

Your Company Can Be Part of a Growing Trend

Rather than talking about your need to be at home with kids or for personal time, make sure your boss knows why telecommuting is a good arrangement for the company.  Arm yourself with statistics, check with competitors to see what their telecommuting arrangements are, and read as much about the benefits as possible.

Show Positive Value

Show your company professional value even when you are telecommuting. Rather than attending conference call with your pajamas, show them that you mean business when you work from home. Let them know about the success of telecommuting in your company. Always stays motivated and lead others who are working from office. If you are able to show how professional you are, you can make your company see the benefits of telecommuting.

Good luck

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Saturday, January 24, 2009

How Hard Times Can Drive Innovation

The Wall Street Journal:

Sure, the economy's bad. But it's a good time to innovate, according to Clayton M. Christensen, a Harvard Business School professor who focuses on innovation.

Prof. Christensen, tell us a little bit about what you think the effects of the financial crisis and economic downturn will be on the environment for innovation.

I think it will have an unmitigated positive effect on innovation.

That's counterintuitive.

Well, it will force innovators to not waste nearly so much money.

One of the banes of successful innovation is that companies may be so committed to innovation that they will give the innovators a lot of money to spend. And, statistically, 93% of all innovations that ultimately become successful started off in the wrong direction; the probability that you'll get it right the first time out of the gate is very low.

So, if you give people a lot of money, it gives them the privilege of pursuing the wrong strategy for a very long time. In an environment where you've got to push innovations out the door fast and keep the cost of innovation low, the probability that you'll be successful is actually much higher.

In other words, what you're saying is that prosperity tends to insulate innovators from market realities and allow them to pursue their vision -- a vision which is probably wrong, statistically speaking.

That's a perfect summary of how I think the world works. The breakthrough innovations come when the tension is greatest and the resources are most limited. That's when people are actually a lot more open to rethinking the fundamental way they do business.

How long will it take for that to take effect? Do you think we will see the fruits from the current lean period, say, five years from now, or three years from now?

Five years from now, we'll see some home runs have emerged. But I bet even two years from now, you'll see a difference.

I'm sure many people will be glad to hear that in this environment. There must be, though, cases where concerns about the market cause companies to abandon their plans for new products or really retrench. Or do you see that happening less these days as companies realize the importance of keeping up with changing markets?

In the next two years, I think the answer will hinge quite a bit on the role that hedge funds play in driving stock prices. By now, 95% of all trades on the stock exchange are executed by hedge funds, mutual funds or pension funds that you could not call shareholders. They're share owners, but they don't even hold the shares long enough, on average, to vote the proxy. And long-term shareholders are always better for innovation than the short-term people are.

So we might see innovation more from private companies?

Absolutely right. And there's another business model toward which more and more companies need to move. It's a business model you see with Li & Fung in Hong Kong, Tata Sons in India, and Cox Enterprises in Atlanta. In this model, the holding company is privately held, and then certain of the subsidiary companies that have the right characteristics take their shares public on the market.

What that allows those companies to do is, when they have a disruptive innovation that they need to launch, they can just do it under the private umbrella of the holding company, and not have it reduce the near-term performance of the publicly held subsidiaries.

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Friday, January 23, 2009

Dedicated to Creating the Cleanest Diapers on the Planet

Margarita McClure found that when her first baby was born, she had a lot of extra time on her hands. "For those first few months, the baby doesn't do much," she recalls.

So she filled the hours with a project that eventually became a business earning 2008 sales of more than $1.4 million. In 2005, while her baby slept, she created Swaddlebees.

McClure, 34, began designing and manufacturing organic cloth diapers because she couldn't fathom all the waste created by disposable diapers. "We don't generate much waste from my house, and the thought that I'd need an extra bag or two or three for diapers seemed wasteful," she explains. Plus, "They're hypo-allergenic, and a lot of parents feel better knowing they're putting natural fibers next to their babies' most sensitive areas."

The mompreneur made her first sales on eBay. "I made a dozen orders, put them on the site and sold the first one for $26. At that point, it was an unknown brand. It got me thinking that this had potential," she remembers. Soon after, she found a fabric supplier and developed a website.

Today, Swaddlebees, along with McClure's second diaper company, Blueberry Diapers, sell at nearly 100 boutiques and online stores, many of which are run by other mothers. "Last year, we had almost 200 retailers, but I found that many of them weren't serious about their businesses," she says. "So we set standards that our retailers need to hit certain volumes to work with us." By cutting the number of stores she works with, she has doubled her own volume because she's been able to concentrate on her better-performing customers.

McClure, a former restaurateur, attributes much of her early success to luck. "When I first started out, I didn't advertise. Our customers are always on the lookout for new brands, and somehow they found me."

And while she never had plans to start her own diaper company, now she can't imagine doing anything else. "I'm proud of myself," she says. "We're all having fun here."


Photo: Swaddlebees

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Unleashed Your Writing Skills

Have you ever wonder how you can maximized your blog content? If you are writing a business material, what is the strategy to ensure a winning proposal? Think about these two questions and see what you come up with.

In both situation, you need to put your fingers to the keyboard and get your creativity flowing in. Without it, you will be stuck with a blank screen. Just imagine how much time you can save or the amount of money you can earn if you are able to write without hitting the brick wall.

When I just started,  I am never a writer. I don't have any idea of words that you will help you sell, tools that will get you on top of the search engine. Today, I am earning decently from my online business. Much of writing is thinking and much of thinking plus practical makes you a success.

If you have fear in writing, below are tips on getting started:

1) Find a suitable place to squeeze your brain. Some people prefer noise while others prefer Mozart. Whatever it is, make it a place to your ease.

2) Are you clear of what you want to write or sell? Do this before thinking about monetizing your product. Talk to friends or family and map our your idea. Put it into a draft.

3) Write as if you are speaking to a friend. Don't worry too much about including big words. Focus more on selling words and phrases.

4) Always revise your draft and get a friend to comment about it. Be open towards constructive feedback.

5) Don't be too hard on yourself. Always remember that writing is an enjoying process to pen down your thoughts and the first step towards your success.

To help you up further, you can go through basic copywriting course. Copywriting course is not just for a copywriter but rather it is a tool that cover all aspect of your business from offline to online marketing. Take a peek here and Happy Writing.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Telecommuting Isolation

This is the most common negative in telecommuting world. Let me share how one of my close friend who has been telecommuting since graduated from university adjust to this atmosphere.

Stay energetic

Every morning I will wake up at 7am no matter whether I have any conference call or not later in the morning. If I don't do that, I will not be able to get into the momentum of working and this is very crucial if you work from home.


I always make sure that I won't take my time in vacuuming or washing the dishes during workday. I always imagine myself in a real office even when I am working from my bedroom.

Field time

I don't isolate myself in the house. Once a while, I will go for on site meeting rather than conference call. Meeting up with co-worker makes me feel more satisfied work. At the same time, I can build stronger relationships with my clients when we meet up in the office.

Professional Community

As an IT professional, I join a professional community near my place so that I can myself updated with what is happening around the industry. I treat this as seriously as I could because they become my professional lifeline on a daily basis.

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Stay Focused On Your Home Business Goals

Which WAHMs haver never ever get distracted? I never know of any. It is so easy to get distracted!

When I go to the kitchen to get a drink, the sink is so full that I have to stop my work and wash the dishes. If I go to the bathroom, it is so dirty that I want to scrub the sink and wipe the counters down. If I am on a call, Little C, my 2 years old daughter will come screaming so loud that I feel so embarrassed on the phone. And this happen ALL THE TIME!!! You will find endless distractions that vie for your time, energy and focus.

Here are a few tips that I use to help me stay focus.

TIP #1: Realistic Expectation
What is your reason to become a WAHM? Is it to have freedom to work while it is convenient for you? Is it to make tons of money working for yourself? Is it to work and be at home with your children at the same time?

Whatever your reason for going out on your own, you must keep your reason in the forefront of your mind and be realistic about your expectation. In order to be a successful WAHM, you have to make compromises and let go of perfectionism.

TIP #2: Time Management

Your own business is like a real job minus the boss plus children at home. It is important to schedule your activities at much as possible. Setting work hours is a prime to control business at home without it control you. You need to forgo bedtime in order to get your work done. You just have to find time to work in the nooks and crannies of life.

TIP #3: Family Support

Don't permit your family and friends run over you. You must stand firm and make sure that your family understands that being a businesswoman and full-time mother at home is a great challenge and they need to stand by your side. If your spouse don't understand the challenge, I should suggest baptism by fire where you let your spouse take over your role for a day.

Always remember that you are the only one who can stand up for yourself. Unless you make the effort to get their fullest support and respect, they will not be able to appreciate your dedication as WAHM.

TIP #4: Don't procrastination

Procrastination is a huge problem for everyone. When you are your own boss, you can take awfully long lunch, delaying your work as there won't be a boss looking over your shoulder. However when you are not motivated to do your work and stay in schedule, your work will show a under delivered result as well. Trying to stay focused and being self motivated is your biggest challenge that you need to overcome.

TIP #5: Outsourcing
If you find yourself doing too much non-productive activities, then you should seriously consider finding a third-party service provider who will assist you in those non-profitable business activities. Example, you can hire a part time babysitter when you are overload with work. If you are spending too much time learning about book-keeping for your business, outsource it to an account assistance.


Always remember that your sacrifice is worth it. In the end, you will all the valuable time you spent with your kids. No matter how hard the journey is, hang on there and drop me a note if you want to ask for assistance. Success is within your reach, if only you can stay focused on your goals.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Virtual Assistant Guru

Diana Ennen is a woman with many hats. She is an expert on publicity, PR, book promotions, starting a virtual assistant business, business startups and home-based businesses.

Florida-based Ennen brings together 23 years in business as President of Virtual Word Publishing. She is the publisher of two books (a children's book and a science fiction book), publicist to numerous authors, business owners and actors, and author of numerous books on starting a business including Virtual Assistant - The Series: Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA.

One of her main passions is helping others start their own home-based business. She offers online consulting and mentoring and is extremely active on groups such as etc.Ennen has successfully been able to get her clients featured in magazines such as Woman's World, Good Housekeeping, Reader Digest, Entrepreneur and numerous newspapers, radio, TV segments.

With the downturn in the economy and pink slips a way of life today, more and more are turning to working at home. In fact, CBS4 News recently did a segment entitled “Working From Home Can Rake in Big Bucks” in which it features the thriving virtual assistant industry and how becoming a virtual assistant can be the solution so many are looking for today.

Ennen who was featured in the segment and states that after it aired she received a tremendous response from those who have been out of work and looking to supplement their income. Ennen states, "It has been fabulous to be able to help those in my community get back on their feet. One benefit of being a virtual assistant is that you can work globally so your local economy doesn’t affect you as much as you can secure clients from around the world. Also, in addition to the services CBS mentioned, you can also do publicity and marketing, bookkeeping, database management, etc. "

Virtual Assistant Business is truly one of the best ways you can survive in this gloomy economy. Virtual Assistants are independent contractors and their rates start at approximately $35 dollars an hour but can increase to $95 dollars an hour depending on the services you offer. Ennen says for those who want it, there's more work than you can handle.

Ennen is the mother of three great kids Jeremy, Amanda and Amber and the wife of a very supportive husband Greg. Her greatest accomplishment is raising such wonderful kids and having the opportunity to work at home with them. She is a leader in the Virtual Assistance Industry and extremely proud to be among those who have been instrumental in its success.

Source from Virtual Word Publishing

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

WAHM Network

Welcome back to ProWAHM. After being down with series of sickness, I am fully up and running with new features in ProWAHM. If you can see, new year always brings new beginning. In previous blogs, I have posted series of information about starting up, telecommuter and entrepreneurship.

In 2009, with the current economy situation, I am sure more stay-at-home-mom will want to monetize their home earning. I DO! For that to provide further help and support to WAHM, I have make a weekly schedule for my posting so that you can keep track of it easily.

Monday: Telecommuter guide and job update

Wednesday: WAHM Support and Network

Friday: WAHM - Features

You must be wondering how I come out with this list. As I mentioned before, WAHM is more than just a mompreneur  or telecommuter. WAHM covers from work to home life and it is always challenging to find a balance point between the two of them. Thus ProWAHM will provide all the support that you need either as telecommuter or entrepreneur.

During my path as WAHM, people connection is very crucial. Here, I would like to connect all WAHM and provide marketing as well as business support to as many WAHM as possible.

Do subscribe to my RSS and let's get connected for your success!

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