10 Green Businesses that Made It Big

Tuesday, December 20, 2011 at 4:13am by Site Administrator

Decades ago, many people didn’t care about environmentally-friendly businesses and what they had to offer. Promises of natural ingredients, sustainable practices, and social responsibility were not a priority for the average shopper. But the times have changed and people have turned a new leaf to the idea of going green and are using more natural, sustainable products. Check out these 10 green businesses that made it big.

  1. Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day

    Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day is a popular line of earth-friendly home care products and supplies. The products were inspired by an Iowan mother of nine, Mrs. Thelma A. Meyer, who wanted to develop cleaners that "smell like a garden, but clean like the dickens." The phosphate-free and biodegradable products come in a variety of delectable scents and have earned their place as a top-selling household product line.

  2. Tom’s of Maine

    Tom’s of Maine is an eco-friendly manufacturer of personal care products that uses only natural ingredients. Known for their natural fluoride toothpaste and aluminum-free deodorant, Tom’s of Maine has earned a reputation for producing some of the best natural, sustainable, and environmentally-responsible items on the market today.

  3. Seventh Generation

    Seventh Generation is a Vermont-based manufacturer of household and personal care products that have become a favorite among conscious cleaners. Seventh Generation was established in 1988 and has been committed to making safe and sustainable products ever since. The brand continues to grow in terms of revenue and environmental responsibility, earning multiple awards for its business strategies and contributions to Mother Nature.

  4. Burt’s Bees

    Burt’s Bees is one of the most well-known and successful natural personal care brands in the country. From their beloved beeswax lip balms to their natural lotions and potions, Burt’s Bees has a very loyal following that continues to grow year after year. The multi-million dollar enterprise began on a much smaller scale. In 1984, creators Burt Shavitz and Roxanne Quimby started the mom-and-pop company, which only produced beeswax candles at the time. Quimby expanded the brand with natural soaps, perfumes, and their best-selling lip balm. Burt’s Bees was an instant success that was capitalized by their $925 million buyout by Clorox in 2007.

  5. Method

    Method is a San Francisco-based company that produces naturally-derived, biodegradable household and personal care products. This green company was founded by former roommates Adam Lowry and Eric Ryan. Their vision of developing a safe, yet powerful line of cleaners that are fragrant and stylishly designed came to fruition in 2001. Method is one of the fast-growing private companies in America and their eco-friendly practices continue to gain recognition.

  6. Whole Foods

    Whole Foods is a supermarket chain that prides itself on selling natural and organic products. Based in Austin, Texas, Whole Foods got its start as a small natural foods store, called SaferWay. Since its humble beginnings in the early ’80s, Whole Foods has expanded into a massive chain that dominates the natural food supermarket industry. Whole Foods has also succeeded in its social responsibility, earning a top ranking as the Green Power Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2006.

  7. Aveda

    Aveda is an environmentally-friendly manufacturer and distributor of cosmetic products, based in Blaine, Minn. Aveda’s personal care products use non-toxic, plant-derived ingredients that are safe and sustainable. Aveda was founded by Horst Rechelbacher in 1978 and his affinity for natural, healing ingredients led him to create Aveda’s first shampoo. Rechelbacher has since sold Aveda to Estée Lauder, but the separate entity has maintained its commitment to producing natural products for people to enjoy.

  8. Zipcar

    Zipcar is the world’s largest car sharing company that gives drivers a cheaper and more environmentally-friendly alternative to car ownership and car rentals. This American membership car service has taken off with tourists, car-less college students, and those who just need a car for the day.

  9. Trader Joe’s

    Trader Joe’s is a specialty retail grocery store that has spanned across nine states, bringing exotic, natural foods to people. There are more than 365 stores across the country and the number is expected to grow as the chain expands to other states. Trader Joe’s has earned a reputation for being a socially-responsible and eco-friendly store that emphasizes the use of its reusable grocery bags and offers sustainable food.

  10. American Apparel

    American Apparel is a Los Angeles-based clothing manufacturer that prides itself on being sweatshop-free and made in the U.S.A. The successful clothing retailer is most widely known for its basic, solid-color t-shirts and underwear, but has added several garment pieces, accessories, and bedding to the mix. The socially-responsible brand continues to intrigue shoppers with its risquée advertising and bold messages.

9 Businesses That Depend On The Holiday Rush

Monday, December 19, 2011 at 4:19am by Site Administrator

For the majority of people, the holiday rush is an extreme annoyance. Stores are crowded, shoppers are frantic, and you can’t turn left out of a parking lot to save your life. Many of America’s businesses, though, look to the holiday season to make up for losses during the year or just push them farther into the black. Of course, major retailers make some serious money as consumers clear their shelves, but these businesses in particular are extra merry after the holiday rush.

  1. Professional photographers

    As everyone is preparing their Christmas card photos to make their bratty kids seem like little angels to distant relatives, professional photographers, either with their own businesses or with department stores, can really rake in the cash. Weddings may bring in bigger chunks of money throughout the year, but the holidays bring a bigger quantity. There’s also the chance to photograph holiday events and parties or even pictures with Santa.

  2. Airlines

    If you’ve ever seen Home Alone, you know how crowded and crazy airports are during the holidays. Everyone is trying to get home to their families for Christmas and that means lots of packed flights. Not only do the airlines sell more tickets during this season, but they also raise the prices so they are maximizing their profits. With so many airlines facing money problems or declaring bankruptcy, the Thanksgiving and Christmas rush will be a boon to their budgetary deficits.

  3. Hallmark and other greeting card companies

    You might hear people argue that holidays were created by greeting card companies just so they could make a tidy profit. This might be true for some minor holidays and events (let’s consider that Hallmark recently made a "sorry you lost your job" card), but the December holiday season was already a built-in profit-maker for card companies. Though sales are consistent throughout the rest of the year, business spikes as Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa cards fly off the shelves, and people buy gifts and ornaments while they’re in the store.

  4. Fireworks retailers

    Fireworks are really only sold twice a year — for Fourth of July and New Year’s — so the holidays are crucial for a fireworks retailer to break even. Fireworks stores and stands light up the areas outside of city limits across the country a couple weeks before each holiday and do big business with party-throwers, cities, and teenage boys. Firecrackers and fireworks can be ordered during the rest of the year for special events, but if it weren’t for the holidays, none of these retailers would make any profit.

  5. Credit card companies

    Spending with credit cards has decreased in recent years, but it’s picked back up again with the holidays in sight. Credit card companies and banks aren’t letting the opportunity pass, offering extra benefits and incentives to get people to use plastic rather than cash. Many give discounts at certain retailers just during the holiday season, knowing that spending will be at a high for the year and that those dollars will push their profits up.

  6. Liquor stores

    Because there are plenty among us who enjoy a good glass of wine or a beer every now and then, liquor stores aren’t in any danger of shutting down, but the holiday season definitely contributes to the year’s profits for alcohol retailers. Liquor sales tend to peak the day before Thanksgiving (as people realize they’re going to have to deal with their crazy families again) and continue selling in high amounts throughout the holidays. In some states, the profit made between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is more than that made during the rest of the entire year.

  7. Package delivery services

    For people kind enough to send gifts to faraway friends and relatives (but not kind enough to actually go visit), delivery companies are a lifesaver. Sure, you have to make sure you plan ahead so it’ll arrive by Christmas and stand in a line at the UPS or FedEx office, but in the end, you’ll spread holiday joy without having to spend time with your family. This idea means lots of money changing hands at package delivery companies. Online purchases also contribute to the busy season, as 47% of consumers say they buy something online during the holidays. UPS alone says it ships more than 430 million packages during the short time frame.

  8. Online stores

    Christmas shopping is just one of the thousands of things that the Internet made easier. You don’t even have to face the throngs of crazed shoppers at the mall to get exactly what your family wants. Online retailers start preparing for the holiday season in July if they’re smart, because the glut of orders at the end of the year would make it impossible to catch up without serious planning. Many small, online-only businesses especially feel the benefits of the holiday rush. Etsy shops, for example, where many crafters and independent business owners sell items, see an increase in sales of 60% each year during the holidays.

  9. Nonprofits

    OK, nonprofits aren’t exactly what you would consider a business, but they do need to at least break even so they can continue their charitable work. The holidays bring out a fascinating spirit of giving in people who are pretty cheap and stingy the rest of the year, and many businesses provide avenues for people to contribute to nonprofits easily. Certain stores and websites donate a portion of the gifts you buy to a specific nonprofit, some people make donations in others’ names as a present, and many nonprofits launch campaigns to bring in extra earnings at the end of the year.

Avoiding Financial Pitfalls During Divorce

Monday, August 22, 2011 at 5:53pm by Site Administrator

By Eliza Morgan

Divorce is a devastating time in a person’s life.  Unfortunately, divorce can also wreak havoc on your finances and can leave you without a safety net during a vulnerable time.  But, some good advice can limit financial hardship, which is especially important during a time in your life when you may not be thinking clearly.  Keeping tabs on your finances and credit history can mean the difference between a fresh start and financial ruin.

When you decide it’s time to end your marriage, there are several things you can do immediately to safeguard your finances:

Establish Responsibility

Look at all your bank accounts, mortgage, credit cards, utility bills — everything.  Know who has personal responsibility for each account.  Even if you’ve already decided who gets your property, you still need to establish sole responsibility.

Dissolution

Dissolve ALL joint accounts (mortgage, credit, utility).  If your spouse has access to your account, he/she has access to your money/personal information.  However painful, be sure you do this together with all the proper paperwork in place so everything is legal.   You need to close these accounts and open individual accounts.  Divide any remaining funds evenly.

Sell the House

This is the best and simplest solution for shared real estate holdings.  It is also the most equitable because it enables you to split the proceeds.  You don’t know what the future can hold and if you’re name stays on the deed, you are responsible if anything happens to the house.

Documentation 

This is especially important as you begin divorce proceedings.  Make sure all financial arrangements are made and all paperwork processed and filed.  You may need this information in the future and it’s good to have it ready now and can be used in court.

After you’re divorced, you must be vigilant:

Watch that score

You should already be doing this every year but it’s especially important to monitor your credit score after your divorce.  Your credit score can drop after a divorce.  And, you’ll be able to monitor activity on your accounts to ensure there is no unauthorized activity.

Tell your creditors

To head them off before the collection calls start on accounts no longer yours, call your creditors and tell them you’re divorced.  This may take a while and it’s a good idea to notify them in writing as well as over the phone.

Divorce is a complex and emotionally-charged process.  It can be difficult to "play hardball" when you’re hurt but it’s imperative for your future financial health.  Amicable divorces happen when both partners come to the table prepared, reasonable and rational.
 

Savings and Retirement Plans for Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners

Tuesday, August 2, 2011 at 5:54pm by Site Administrator

By Eliza Morgan

If you are an entrepreneur or small business owner, you are the one who’s in control regarding your financial future.  There is no one else to rely on when it comes to saving and planning for the future, so you must take on this matter yourself.  The thing is many traditional savings and retirement plans are unavailable to you due to income limitations.  Here are a few savings options for entrepreneurs and small business owners.

 

Solo 401(k)

A solo 401(k) plan is a great alternative to the traditional 401(k), and was created for self-employed individuals, entrepreneurs, and small business owners with no full time employees.  The only exception to this is if the small business owner’s spouse is an employee.  Solo 401(k) plans have simplified administrative rules, unlike their traditional counterparts.

The advantage of a solo 401(k) is that it is simple to use and maintain.  You may contribute up to $13,000 of tax-deferred income, in addition to up to 25% of profit from your business.  As long as you contribute no more than $41,000 annually, you fall within the limits of the solo 401(k).  The amount you contribute to a solo 401(k) is completely discretionary and can be decreased or suspended at any time.  Additionally, loans against your plan, as well as hardship withdrawals may be allowed.  Rollovers from previous 401(k) plans are allowed as well.  

There are a couple of drawbacks to the solo 401(k).  Naturally, there is a cost to establish and administer a solo 401(k), which may or may not be desirable for the individual investor.  Solo 401(k) plans may not ultimately end up meeting your needs for you and your business.  If your business grows, you may end up needing to hire on additional full-time employees.  When this happens, you are no longer eligible for a solo 401(k), and must revert to a traditional 401(k), which is far less simple to administer.

SEP IRA

An SEP IRA, or Simplified Employee Pension Individual Retirement Account, is a savings and retirement tool that can be used by both small business owners and self-employed people as well.  SEPs are considered part of a profit sharing program, and the employer may contribute up to 25% of a qualifying employee’s income to the fund.

SEPs are affordable and simple to administer, and is an excellent benefit to provide to employees.  If an individual is self employed, they are still able to put aside a little over 18% of their net profit, which is a powerful savings tool indeed.  Contributions to the plan are tax deductible, and standard income tax applies to the money once it is withdrawn for retirement use after the investor reaches age 59½.  Additionally, its high contribution limits make it very attractive ($46,000 in 2008).

One of the drawbacks of this type of retirement plan is that it is seen strictly as a profit-sharing plan, so employees must have another savings vehicle if they wish to put more money away on their own.  There is no catch-up payment clause for those who started saving later in life, as there is with the solo 401(k).

SIMPLE IRA

Savings Incentive Match Plans for Employees (SIMPLE) IRAs are fairly simple to administer, no-hassle IRA plans that offer a great benefit for employees in your small business.  Recommended for businesses with 10 or fewer employees, it s a great savings tool to offer for employees, and benefits both parties in the process.

SIMPLE IRAs allow employees to contribute up to $10,500 of their annual income to the plan.  Employers match this amount as part of the process.  Employees are then vested and are eligible to receive this money upon reaching retirement age.  Contributions are tax deductible.

For business owners, the drawback of this type of account is that the employees doesn’t have to earn his or her vesting, but is vested once the account is opened.  That means matching someone dollar for dollar who may not be around to help you grow your company may not be a sound investment.  SIMPLE IRAs are also very strictly administered and cannot be rolled over, nor can a traditional IRA or 401(k) be rolled into a SIMPLE IRA.

SOLO DB Plan

This plan is a slimmed-down version of a standard defined benefit plan.  If you are looking to save a whole lot of money over a short period of time and have the resources to do so, this is the plan for you.

Like other retirement plans, contributions are tax-deferred and the money is available to you once you reach retirement age.  These plans are very popular with people in business for themselves who are over 50 years of age, due to the ability to save vast amounts of money in a short period of time in order to meet future income requirements for retirement.

The drawback for this type of retirement account is that investors must be willing and able to contribute ongoing mandatory contributions of at least $45,000 for five consecutive years to keep this plan going.  For many, this amount of money is simply not possible.  For the well-compensated small business owner or entrepreneur, however, this account could be just perfect.

 

When GTD Goes Too Far: How To Avoid Productivity Paranoia

Wednesday, July 27, 2011 at 1:34am by Site Administrator

Anyone interested in improving their productivity has no doubt heard about the Getting Things Done philosophy. Created by

David Allen

, this workflow program advocates a five step process to getting your daily to-dos under control. For many, it’s helped them turn their chaotic and unproductive work hours around and get their careers and jobs under control. But for others, productivity management has taken over their lives and their well being. If you feel yourself slipping into this kind of productivity paranoia, it’s not too late to salvage your sanity and your productivity. Here are some tips for getting your obsession under control.

  • Stop wishing you had more time. You can only fit so many tasks into so many hours in the day. Having one or two more hours isn’t going to make you any happier in the long run. If you’re going to plan your time, plan for the time you do have, not what you don’t have. Assign yourself an appropriate amount of tasks for each day that you can actually get done. If this means some things don’t get tended to, so be it. It’s not the end of the world.
  • Don’t quantify your output. You may feel good about getting more things done in a day, but getting more done isn’t really what it’s all about. The quality of your work is what really matters, and chances are pretty good that if you’re clamoring to cram in as much as you can, the quality of each of those tasks is suffering. Instead, pride yourself on the quality of the work you’ve gotten done each day.
  • Take a break. That’s right, take a break, as in stop working. When you get things done ahead of schedule or just have a few spare minutes, don’t try to cram them full with even more tasks. Reward yourself with some time away from your desk and your omnipresent task list. If you can’t bear to just do nothing, then add break times to your to-do list so you can check them off as if you’ve accomplished an important task.
  • Realize that getting more done isn’t the only thing that makes you an asset. Do you brag to others about how much you work or how much you managed to fit in one day? This shouldn’t be the quality by which you define your worth as an employee or a person. Being a hard worker is a great quality to have, but if you’ve become paranoid about your productivity, chances are you’ve taken it too far. Loyalty, creativity, and good leadership skills also help to make a great worker, so take a few minutes to reflect on what other assets you bring to the table besides your ability to multitask.
  • Stop the guilt trip. Didn’t get to everything on your list today? Don’t beat yourself up about it. You’re only human, after all, and even the best of us can’t meet goals that are unrealistic. Stop making yourself feel guilty for everything you didn’t get done and start thinking about all the things that you did get done instead. Chances are that you’re not giving yourself credit for having done a whole lot of work.
  • Narrow down what works for you. There are literally hundreds of GTD techniques out there, so many, in fact, that you could spend days reading about them. Many addicted to productivity spend an awful lot of time trying to find ways to squeeze extra minutes out of their days. Whether you use sticky note reminders or an elaborate online to-do list setup, find what works for you and stick with it. You’ll save yourself the stress of worrying that you could be using a better method and you’ll get the extra time to spend connecting with friends or doing small tasks.
  • Enjoy your time away from work. Many who are used to days crammed with back-to-back tasks find it hard to take a load off and enjoy a quiet evening at home with family or a vacation that doesn’t involve staying in constant contact with the office. The reality is that we all need a break and working too hard can lead to numerous stress related illnesses that can not only put a crimp in your productivity but in your health and well-being as well. Change your mindset when you leave the office and let yourself enjoy just doing nothing if only for a few hours a day.
  • Keep track of your accomplishments. For many addicted to getting things done, the to-do list is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, it helps motivate and keep track of what you need to accomplish. On the other, it can make you feel terrible if you don’t check off every box by the end of the day. Break out of this guilt and let yourself relish in your sense of accomplishment for what you have gotten done instead of what there is still to do. Attempting to tackle everything is an unrealistic goal, as there will always be more work to do, so work your hardest, finish what you can and let that be enough.
  • Make things simple. If you know you have to get something done, you don’t always have to write it down or make sure it gets put into your PDA. Sometimes, the most productive solution is to just do it. For many, letting go of the lists and the calendars can be hard, but it can also help you to break the habit of turning your life into a to-do list instead of something you should be enjoying.
  • Time is worth more than money. You might pride yourself on working hard for every dollar that you earn, but at the end of the day those dollars don’t mean much if you don’t have guilt-free time away from work to enjoy them. Time spent with people you care about or doing things you love is just as valuable as time spent completing lengthy to-do lists. Keep that in mind the next time you’re tempted to make yourself feel bad for not checking off each one of those tasks.

Being productive is great, but when it starts causing you to stress out endlessly, it may be time to take a step back and reevaluate. There will always be more to do, and basing your happiness on getting more done in a day is going to result in disappointment. Make your to-dos manageable, and make time for the things that really matter in life, like family, friends, and enjoying the benefits of all that hard work. In the end, that’s what being truly productive is all about.

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Carnival of Business and Entrepreneurship #13

Wednesday, February 2, 2011 at 7:13pm by Site Administrator

Greetings! Welcome to the 13th edition of the Carnival of Business and Entrepreneurship. Although we had received 85 posts for this edition, we could select only 41 posts based on merit, relevance and quality. Here you go:

Editor’s Picks:

Helen Anderson presents 5 Reasons Why the Federal Reserve is a Failure! posted at Bankaholic. No single quasi-private institution has as much influence on the worldwide economy as the Fed, and as a leader can head this institution for an indefinite term, no one man is as influential on the markets as the Fed Chair. An examination of what has gone awry can help Forex traders understand this new era at the Fed.

Andy Boyd presents The 50 Most Common Mistakes People Make In Business posted at The Credit Letter. Some tips on how to avoid failure in business covering finance, planning, hiring, advertising, etc.

Scott Allen presents Should Entrepreneurs Jump on the Social Networking Bandwagon? posted at About.com Entrepreneur’s Guide. A look at three core social networking strategies and when they do and don’t make sense for small business owners.

Ralph Jean-Paul presents Be THE Presence in Any Room posted at Potential 2 Success. So you want to be one of those people who seem to get noticed wherever they go? You want to have an invisible magnetic attraction that can be felt? You want to come across as confident, cool and in control whether you are in front of an audience or walking down the street? Then you want presence.

Other Great Posts:

Vee presents Community Role in your Success posted at Polishing the Pearl Blog.

Kenton Newby presents One of the Best Content Sources for Infoproduct Creators and Affiliates posted at KentonNewby.com.

Aaron Brandon presents Don’t Leave Home Without This posted at Aaron Brandon.

Steve Oliphant presents Easy method to take notes posted at Steve Oliphant’s Musings.

Don D. Morrison presents Do You Have True Personal & Financial Freedom? posted at dondmorrison.com.

Marcus Hochstadt presents Dreaming vs. Achieving Goals posted at Marcus Hochstadt.

Woody Maxim presents I just have to tell you this posted at Woody Maxim.

Jose DeJesus MD presents Tips for People Considering a Mac or Macbook posted at Physician Entrepreneur.

Steve Faber presents - Top Work at Home Jobs – Earn Extra Money to Get Debt Free posted at Debt Free.

Anya presents Selling in a recession, podcast #1 posted at Gavin Ingham.

Carole DeJarnatt presents Don’t Give Up–The Goal is Not Far Away posted at Tips from the Biz World of Alliance Advisors, Inc..

Edith presents Three Golden Rule of Presentation by Guy Kawasaki posted at Edith Yeung.Com: Dream. Think. Act..

Shawn Driscoll presents Are You Busy or Productive? posted at Shawn Driscoll.

Cindy King presents 3 Easy Steps To Attract International Business Through Your Website posted at Cindy King.

Richard Lee presents What Will Continue To Sell In A Recession? posted at Richard Lee.

Vishal Gupta presents A rose by any other name? posted at A Business Professor’s Weblog. If you are thinking about starting a new business, it is tremendously useful to think about how to name your business.

Thursday Bram presents 5 Reasons Small Business Owners Should Give A Damn About The Election posted at One Vote Matters.

Kurt Brouwer presents Paul Krugman — Capitalism’s Mysterious Triumph posted at Fundmastery Blog. Why does capitalism win?

Alvaro Fernandez presents Report: The State of the Brain Fitness Software Market 2008 posted at Brain Blog. You may have been reading about "brain training" and "brain fitness". Here go ten Highlights from The State of the Brain Fitness Software Market 2008 report, which was just released.

Joshua C. Karlin presents Fundraising Ideas – Identification posted at Marketing & Fundraising Ideas.

Erica Douglass presents How I Tripled My Blog’s Traffic in Two Months posted at erica.biz – Erica Douglass challenges you to change your life! What is holding you back from your dreams?. A complete four-step action plan to tripling your blog’s traffic. Includes all details!

Alex M presents RSS Content Builder Review or 5 Advantages of Feeds for eBusiness posted at Dropship Suppliers and Services.

James Feudo presents Executive Leadership posted at Overnight Sensation. Whether you own a business or climb your way to the top of the corporate ladder, there are several important skills necessary to be a leader. This article discusses three of these important skills.

Blue Skelton presents 10 Ways to Make a Name for Yourself Blogging posted at Blue Skelton Publications. Blue Skelton wanted to show you some ways that you can make the chance of making a name for yourself in blogging overnight, less rare.

Craig Andrews presents Outsourcing To Help Your Internet Business Grow posted at Craig S. Andrews.

Derrick Markotter presents 7 Simple Steps To Passive Income posted at FreelanceIncome.co.za. Create passive income by building a mailing list.

Tali presents John Chow – The Dark Side of Making Money Online posted at The Marketer Review. John Chow is a very controversial figure in the blogging-for-money landscape. This is probably the reason why he knows how to make so much money.

SJ Yee presents Time Management for Lazy People posted at Personal Development for the Book Smart. Time is Money. Here’s a detailed summary of the key concepts in the time management lecture by Randy Pausch… You can skim through it to get the points you need…

Teresa Morrow presents Marketing for 1 hr a week posted at Key Business Partners.

Carol Bentley presents Results are in. . . lessons to learn. . . posted at Carol Bentley.

Susan Tatum presents How to Drive Traffic to Your Business Technology Website posted at TechnoBuzz.

Michael Walsh presents Action Management posted at Business Growth. This article outlines a simple system that if followed will save entrepreneurs anywhere from a half hour to an hour a day.

Mark Riffey presents Be the Google of your market niche posted at Business is Personal.

Mattg presents Do You Get Twitter? posted at Matt Garrett. Twitter is really a fast growing community site and providing a good environemnt to interacting with people of same thinking or business line. So, go and get a twitter, now.

Tim Gary presents Introduce Yourself Anywhere and Prepare for Surprising Results posted at Internet Success Bites.

Raymond Le Blanc presents Protect Your Time, Don?t Solve Everyone?s Problems posted at Time Management Blog.

GreatManagement presents On Leadership by Allan Leighton posted at The GreatManagement Blog. If you want to improve a certain skill, then you should model yourself on someone who already has had success in that skill.

That concludes this edition. Next edition of this carnival will be hosted here on March 28, 2008. Submit your blog articles using our blog carnival submission form.

The WAHM’s Toolbox: 100 Links and Resources

Sunday, December 13, 2009 at 6:34pm by Site Administrator

Balancing work and home is hard enough when those are two separate places, but some women manage to tame the chaos of their hectic family schedules long enough to get work done without ever leaving the home. These moms doing double duty can use some resources to help them make the most of their time at work, with their families and for themselves. Here are a 100 resources and links that we’ve found to help moms working at home make the most of everything they do.

Articles

Here are some articles that can help WAHM get some ideas on how to manage their time and build their businesses.

  1. Job Opening? Work-at-Home Moms Fill Bill: This article from USA today will help give you some background as to why working while staying at home with the kids has become such a popular option for moms.
  2. Tips for Dealing with an Unsupportive Spouse: Starting your own business from home isn’t always the easiest thing, and can often be met with opposition from those closest to you for a variety of reasons. This article discusses how you can deal with a spouse that doesn’t share your enthusiasm about your home business.
  3. Childproof Your Home Office: To avoid messy spills or dangerous situations with your children in your workspace, check out this article which gives working moms ideas on how to keep their home offices safe and functional.
  4. Keeping Your Kids Busy While You Work at Home: It can be hard enough to concentrate on work in an office, but throwing a couple of attention seeking kids into the mix can make it near impossible. Here you’ll find advice on how to make time for work while keeping your kids happy and entertained.
  5. WAHM and Loving It: Tips for the Work-at-Home Mom: This article from Parenthood.com gives WAHMs some tips on how to make their business integrate smoothly into their day-to-day lives.
  6. Balancing Home and Work: The Challenge of the Home-Based Business: Keeping up with the demands of housework and children while tending to a business isn’t an easy task. This article discusses the battle between the two and how you can achieve a sense of balance in your home.
  7. Brainstorming a Business Idea: Want to start a home based business but can’t think of an idea to get off the ground? This article will give you some pointers on how to come up with an idea that’s practical and profitable.
  8. Remember to Take Care of Yourself: You can’t care for a family or a business if you become so run down that you get sick. This article discusses the importance of taking time to make sure you’re healthy.
  9. Mom-preneurs: Moms Create Work Options that Work: If you’re a mom working at home and caring for a family you’re not alone. Here you can read about other moms who’ve built successful businesses without sacrificing their dedication to their families.
  10. How Much Do You Need to Make as a WAHM?: This article discusses the financial realities of choosing to leave the workplace and opt for a home based job instead. It will help you factor in many costs associated with childcare and family needs to make sure you’ll be able to stay on your feet while staying at home.
  11. Tax and Accounting Solutions for WAHMs: Managing your personal finances is complicated but can be made more so with the addition of a home based business. This article gives links to loads of resources women working from home can check out to help them get their finances under control.
  12. Combating Work at Home Loneliness: When your kids are off at school, working at home can be a lonely experience. This article discusses how moms working from home can avoid feeling isolated by getting involved.
  13. Avoiding the Work-at-Home Weight Gain: Easy access to your kitchen may cause you to put on a few pounds when you start working at home. This article gives times on how to combat the weight gain and keep you healthy while you stay at home.

Blogs

Blogging is not only a great way for WAHMs to make money, but also to read about the experiences of others and get ideas. Here are a few written by or for WAHMs.

  1. Home Office Women: This blog, written by WAHM Doris Chua, is a place where moms can meet to talk business, get advice, and hear about Doris’ successes and challenges at managing her business.
  2. Mamalama: For the hippie chick moms out there who are working at home, this blog lets readers share in the day-day-day experiences of Deb and her daughters.
  3. Crayon Writer: This home-based copywriter tells about her experiences working, gives advice on products and services to use and discusses issues related to freelance writing.
  4. It’s a Work at Home Life: This working mom chronicles the ups and downs of her hectic life raising a young child, caring for pets, and managing to fit in work as well.
  5. Pinay WAHM: This Tampa, Florida based mother blogs about the trials and joys of parenthood, blogging, and news and events.
  6. Work from Home Momma: This blog is full of great information for WAHMs. You’ll find posts on taxes, email strategies, managing work and personal time and much more.
  7. Work at Home in Progress: Get tips and suggestions on a wide variety of subjects with this blog. From ways to go frugal to finding telecommuting jobs, this blog is full of helpful ideas for any working mother.
  8. WAHMs Motivated Forever: If you’re having trouble staying motivated to get things done when you feel like you’ve just got too much on your plate try giving this blog a read. It’s full of motivational tips on how to get up and going in business and as a parent.
  9. Two Moms in a Blog: Here, working moms can find product reviews, advice on online business, and parenting tips written by two busy WAHMs trying to balance it all.
  10. Christian Work at Home Moms: If you’re looking for work at home advice with a religious twist, then check out this blog by Jill Hart. Moms will find book suggestions, tips on parenting, teleseminars and more.
  11. A WAHM’s Blog: Share in the trials, tribulations and small joys of blogger Kristy as she struggles to make ends meet with her work at home endeavors. It can be a great read for other WAHMs who are in the same boat!
  12. WAHM Blog: This blog is a great place to read about the success of other entrepreneur mothers, find WAH opportunities, and even learn how to market your own website or blog.
  13. Queen of Kaos: This blog is dedicated to helping WAHMs improve their productivity, get organized and get more done in less time. It is also home to a weekly podcast done by Jan Ferrante.

Networks

WAHMs don’t have to go it alone. Here are some places where moms can get to know each other, get advice, and work together.

  1. Black Work at Home Moms: This networking community is a great place for African-American WAHMs to get to know each other, and find information on everything from parenting to selling products.
  2. WAHM.com: This online magazine doesn’t just have articles moms can read, but is also home to a messageboard for meeting and talking with others, classifieds as well as loads of job listings and opportunities.
  3. WAHM’s Network: This site is a a great place for moms to list their businesses as well as find great articles on starting out, getting organized, networking and just having fun.
  4. MomsNetwork: Meet other moms in the same situation as you with this networking and informative site. You can look through the directory, advertise your business, and find links and free stuff to keep you entertained in those down minutes.
  5. WAHM Network: This network for moms provides links to business opportunities, articles, an online marketplace and more.
  6. Christian WAHM Network: Here, Christian moms and business owners can come together to find resources, share ideas, promote and encourage one another. The site has a directory where you can list your name and business making it easier to network with like minded moms.
  7. Moms Business Network: Dedicated to "moms who mean business" this site provides WAHM’s with a business directory, classified ads, articles and resources and a blog to help make managing work and home a little easier.
  8. Work at Home Parents Network: Designed to help both moms and dads who want to work from home while caring for their children, this site has links to helpful articles, directories, scam alerts, and fun craft ideas to try with your kids.
  9. Home Based Working Moms Network: This site is home to a professional association and online community just for moms that work at home. Visitors to the site can network with other moms, read the blog, and learn the basics of owning or working at a home business.
  10. Work at Home Network: Not just for moms, this site provides resources to anyone looking to pursue a work at home opportunity. The site contains links to a variety of business opportunities as well as discussion boards and a few that are just for fun.
  11. Southern Moms Online: If you’re a mother living in the Southern US then you’ll find a great community of moms (and moms to be) on this site. There are resources for work at home moms as well as just for moms in general to give you help and guidance on family, marriage, and business all in one place.
  12. Freelance Mom: This site is a support network for women already working or looking to work from home. Users will find a supportive online community as well as loads of advice and resources on keeping a business up and running.

Business Resources for Women

Building a work at home business can be tough but the net is full of great tools. Here are a few business resources geared towards women for working moms to check out.

  1. WomenEntrepreneur.com: From the publishers of Entrepreneur comes this female oriented business site. Visitors will find articles on blogging, inventing, growing your business, managing work and family and more.
  2. Woman Owned: This business networking site is dedicated to helping women who own their own businesses get the resources and support they need to be successful.
  3. eWomen Network: This site is a place where women can get help promoting their businesses and getting connected with other women in business. Sign up for the newcomers introduction to the site or listen to the weekly radio show.
  4. Ladies Who Launch: Working women can join this online network and get access to helpful business resources as well as meeting with other women in business.
  5. Women’s Biz: Get inspiration from other female business owners, career and legal advice, and even spiritual support on this site dedicated to discussing women in business.
  6. Working Mother: This online magazine can give working moms tips and advice on balancing their careers and family lives as well and making time for themselves. There are also articles on business and a message board so moms can connect.
  7. Association for Enterprise Opportunity: The AEO provides entrepreneurs with training and technical assistance, micro-loans, access to market services and training, and economic literacy and asset development services, helping working moms get their businesses off the ground.
  8. ATHENA International: This program aims to create women who are leaders in their communities and in their businesses. Women who own small businesses can get paired up with a local mentor to help them build business skills and the confidence to succeed.
  9. American Business Women’s Association: This association’s mission is to bring together businesswomen of diverse occupations and backgrounds and to provide them with opportunities and resources in education and leadership that will help them be successful.
  10. Digital Women: Here, moms looking to start a business or just get some advice can find resources ranging from small business grants to home-based business ideas.
  11. Inc. Life: This division of the online magazine is primarily dedicated to helping the home based entrepreneur and gives tips and advice on balancing the demands of work and home.
  12. United States Women’s Chamber of Commerce: Moms working at home can get involved with local and national business program and committees through the Women’s CoC. The program was developed to help boost the opportunities of women in business.
  13. Women-21: This federally sponsored site is a great place for women to gain information and access to resources that can help their home businesses be successful and profitable.

Parenting

Managing work and taking care of the kids can be challenging, so get some advice on childcare from these sites.

  1. Parenting is Risky Business: Finding Your Entrepreneurial Spirit: Here you’ll find help on maintaining your patience and energy with children while building a work at home enterprise.
  2. Parent Dish: This blog is filled with parenting advice, humorous and touching stories about parenthood, as well as information on the safety and usefulness of many products.
  3. Geeky Mom: This blogging mom posts about education, parenting, and technology and everything in between. Readers will find lots of commentary and responses to current news stories.
  4. Mom is Nutz: This mom writes about her kids, her experience raising and home schooling them, and the trials of day-to-day life.
  5. Notes from the Trenches: Busy moms can relate to the hectic schedule of this mom who raises and home schools seven children. Posts range from suggestions on what to make for dinner to discussions of her personal experiences.
  6. Because I Said So: This parenting blog is kept busy with her three kids, but still manages to have time to write a humorous blog that many an exhausted but happy parent can relate to.
  7. Snippets of Life: Australian blogger Karen Cheng writes about her experiences as a working mother balancing life and the joys and frustrations of trying to add more children to the mix.
  8. Family Education: Whether you’re on your first child or your fifth you can find resources on every stage of their lives at this site. You’ll find resources on marriage, children, recipes, and family entertainment.
  9. Positive Parenting: Parenting can be a trying experience for even the most patient of parents. This site is dedicated to providing parents with resources and information to make parenting more fun and rewarding.
  10. Parenthood.com: Find a little bit of everything on this parenting site. Read great articles on helping children cope with fears, creating fun crafts for every occasion, or find a collection of baby names and discussion boards for parents.
  11. Parents.com: This site is home to parenting magazines American Baby, Parents and Family Circle. Find suggestions on squeezing romance into your life, and tips for parents to be or of teenagers.
  12. Ultimate Parent: Here moms can find tons of parenting advice to raise happy, well-behaved children. Articles on guilt free pampering, preventing burnout, and free parenting courses online will help moms keep their sanity while balancing work and family.
  13. Parent Hacks: Need a few tips or helpful pointers on parenting? This site is full of advice from the authors and other parents on a wide variety of topics.

Work at Home Resources and Ideas

There are many ways that women can work at home and bring in extra income for their families. Here are some resources and links to get you started or to help you build your work at home business.

  1. eMoms at Home: Here, work at home moms (and dads) can find tons of tips and information on running an Internet-based home business. Get tips on blogging, organizing your home office, how to handle snow days and more.
  2. Home With Heather: Blogger, mother, and home business owner Heather gives advice on marketing, working with Web 2.0 and tips for newbies on her blog.
  3. Working at Home Mom: For moms interested in starting work at home businesses online or just needed some ideas to jumpstart your imagination, check out this blog which is full of information on internet WAH opportunities.
  4. Home Business Blogger: This blog is dedicated to providing information on running and building a home business, especially those that are online. Readers will find articles, links and advice to help them make the most of their home business.
  5. Success from the Nest: Home-based entrepreneurs can read articles and enjoy relevant comics with this illustrated blog by Tony Clark. While not a mother, he can still offer great tips on building home businesses.
  6. The WAHM Blog.com: This blog is dedicated to discussing the issues that affect today’s busy working moms and their families. Readers will find everything from tips on using sites like Squidoo to suggestions on a variety of work at home businesses.
  7. Internet Based Moms: For those looking to or already running an online business, this site can give you advice and insight on how you can build your online business to be more successful with free newsletters, ebooks, articles and more.
  8. WAHM’s Resources: If you’re in need of some helpful resources to get you up and running this site can give you some. You’ll find links to business opportunities, ideas, sources of funding, and even useful software.
  9. Mommy’s Helper Online: Looking for an idea for a work at home business? This site contains links to hundreds of possible businesses you can work at from your home.
  10. WAHM 2 WAHM: This site provides resources to moms who want to start working at home but aren’t sure where to start. Members of the site will get access to a searchable database of business opportunities to help them find legitimate and profitable work.
  11. My Mommy Biz: Here you’ll find a large number of resources just for moms working at home. There’s a message board, articles and tips, ebooks, and links to business ideas and openings.
  12. At Home Works.com: This site is dedicated to helping work at home moms find new business ideas and openings or learn to make money selling products on eBay.
  13. Mompreneurs Online: Mompreneurs is a site creating to helping mom-owned businesses succeed. Visitors to the site will find a marketplace, mentors, books, resources, and loads of other great things to help working moms be productive and happy in their pursuits.

Time Management

There are only so many hours in the day, so make the most of every one with these time management resources.

  1. 5 Minutes for Mom: Even the most dedicated mothers need some time for themselves for at least a few minutes a day. This blog has contests moms can win, tips for promoting your internet business and fun suggestions for projects.
  2. How to Avoid Wasting Time: This article from Internet Mumtrepreneurs can help moms to learn to make the most of every minute in their day. Get tips on planning, managing and organizing your day here.
  3. Secrets to Better Time Management: Everyone wishes they could make their waking hours more productive, especially working moms who never seem to have time to get everything done. This article discusses ways to make your tasks more efficient and to save you time.
  4. Time Management Junkie: Are you a mom who’s addicted to time management programs? This article is about how to break your addiction without ruining your work-life balance.
  5. Time Management Tips for WAHMs: This video gives overworked WAHMs some tips on making the most of their time in a humorous and short format.
  6. Work at Home Moms Get Organized Now: One killer of productivity is a messy office. This article will give readers some tips on organizing their office to make the most of work time each day.
  7. Get Organized: Creating a Paperless Office: This article will give moms tips on how they can reduce the amount of paper their office requires. It will take up less space and keep tiny hands from misplacing papers around the office.
  8. 8 Work at Home Time Management Strategies: With eight different strategies from Casual Keystrokes blog, there’s bound to be one that can help you balance your time more effectively.
  9. 10 Work at Home Productivity Tips: Here you’ll find tips on how to boost your productivity when working at home. From designing your space to setting up work hours these tips can help you make working at home less stressful.
  10. Scheduling Your Day for Maximum Work at Home Productivity: If you find yourself constantly multi-tasking or struggling to balance husbands, children and clients then take a look at this article. It gives helpful hints on how you can schedule your day to get the most from the hours you spend working.
  11. Measuring Productivity When You Work from Home: Unsure of what you’re really getting done each day? This article can help you measure your productivity while you’re working at home and see if it needs a little tweaking.
  12. 94 Ways to Keep Kids Busy for the Work at Home Parent: Keeping your kids occupied while you work on projects can be tough, by eMoms at Home have combined 94 suggestions for keeping them busy. Check this out next time you’re swamped.

Miscellaneous

Here are a variety of resources and links to help WAHMs.

  1. Work at Home Moms Talk Radio: Moms looking for a little inspiration can read about it on this site, but they can also listen to weekly podcasts. The show has interviews with other working moms, tips on staying healthy and positive and building a better business.
  2. Mom Inventors: Do you have great ideas for new products and services? This site can help you take your ideas from prototypes to the real deal with helpful advice on the inventing process.
  3. The WAHM Magazine: This online magazine can be a great place for WAHMs and WAHDs to find information on balancing work and home. Readers can subscribe to the bi-monthly publication to read articles designed to help them create a great work-at-home experience.
  4. Want to be a WAHM?: This site is dedicated to helping moms currently in the workforce or staying at home find work at home opportunities that will suit their needs and lifestyles.
  5. WAHM Addicts: Here you’ll find everything you wanted or needed to know about being a WAHM. Moms can get their fix of articles, resources and classifieds.
  6. WAHMShoppes eStores: Moms looking to start an ecommerce business from their homes can get hosting from this mom-centric site. For just a few dollars a month moms can start selling their wares on the net.
  7. WAHM Hosting: Another hosting site just for working moms, here moms can find a cheap hosting solution for their online businesses.
  8. The WAHM Shack: Moms in need of advertising and marketing for their products can find many free and low cost solutions on this site.
  9. Work at Home Mom Events: Keep track of what’s going on in the WAHM community with this site. Users will also be able to add their business to the directory and meet with other moms.
  10. WAHM Forums: Meet and talk with moms from all over the world in these forums about stress, work, life and more!
  11. Free WAHM Stuff: Need some cheap or free resources for your work at home office or business? Check out the resources on this site to see if there’s anything that will work for you.

Is Critical Thinking Important for Entrepreneurs?

Friday, November 30, 2007 at 4:00pm by Site Administrator

As a long-time proponent of criticial thinking, I’ve always felt it’s an important skill to us as humans. But is it important to the success of a business, or can you overthink think things? And is critical thinking even taught in school anywhere? I don’t mean touched upon, I mean really taught.

Having long ago decided not to do an MBA [NY Times; possible registration required], I couldn’t tell you if critical thinking is taught as any part of such a degree program. I suspect it’s not, though that doesn’t mean those graduating with MBAs dont learn critical thinking skills during school. Most critical thinkers I’ve crossed paths with learned by themselves, though there are a few teachers out there trying to change things for the better.

On the other hand, you can over-think things sometimes. If you over-analyze, you get to the point where you start doubting your abilities to launch a successful business. You get stuck in a cycle where you come up with great ideas but endlessley analyze all the things that can go wrong. This cripples you and prevents you from Getting Things Started,which has to come before you can be productive.

In my experience, critical thinking is good for coming up with a better way to do something old, not necessarily to come up with new products. But if you embark on a course to be a critical thinker, don’t confuse this with pure analysis in a business sense.

Bootstrapper Cracks Technorati 10,000 – Assistant Entrepreneur Blogger Needed

Wednesday, September 19, 2007 at 10:30am by Site Administrator

Many of you reading this might have noticed all the great list articles on Bootstrapper the past couple of months. Some of the smaller ones are mine (w/ my name on them) but the bigger ones aren’t. The traffic that’s been generated by both these big lists and by the regular posts as well as resulted in pushing Bootstrapper well into the Technorati Top 10,000 blogs. That’s no small feat when you consider that the Bootstrapper blog was added to the Business Credit Cards website around May 2007.

There’s a great team at work behind the promotion and all the writing that I don’t do, and now I need an assistant business blogger to help me with regular posts and some smaller feature articles/ lists. For clarity, I’m contracted to Bootstrapper; it’s not my site/ blog. I’m the defacto Editor as well, and I need a hand with the blogging. Here are the details. Please read carefully before applying.

  1. You must have some experience blogging, and understand the value of deep linking as well as referencing other materials.

  2. You must have some relevant business experience or the equivalent knowledge of business concepts. A degree in business is not necessary.
  3. The focus is on entrepreneurship, startups, and especially bootstrapping. This is especially important, as all the articles you will be doing relate to these and related topics.
  4. 20 posts/mth (mostly 1 post per weekday, with a little bit of flexibility in schedule).
  5. 350+ words per post, original content. The occasional summary article is okay.
  6. Those who show suitable skills will be trained by me to also write 2 features per month for an extra fee, to be discussed.
  7. Rates negotiable depending on relevant skills/ experience – minimum $150/mth for 20 posts.
  8. One week trial or shorter, commencing Mon Sep 24th or as soon before Oct 1st as possible.
  9. Full duration unspecified – for later discussion. Minimum two months.
  10. I will be copyediting your work during the trial, though you should otherwise be capable of working on your own, with minimum supervision.
  11. Your location irrelevant, though a excellent grasp of English is a must.
  12. Payment is by PayPal only – no exceptions – and made early in each subsequent month.
  13. Reply in the comments of this post. For your sake, do not put your email address in the body of your comment.
  14. Only those under consideration will be contacted.
  15. When the position is filled, I’ll indicate that by updating this post.