As women, we often put aside our own: health, wants, dreams, & hopes for our spouses, for what society says we should be doing, or for the “better-ment” of the family. Even though I know what a huge mistake this is, I’ve been guilty of it myself for far too long.
Even if you have a wonderful marriage and divorce isn’t anywhere on the horizon or even in your hemisphere things happen. Life happens. You know that old saying, “If you want a good laugh, tell God your plans.”
I grew up like most of you did. My dad worked and my mom stayed home taking care of us kids. We didn’t have a lot of money, but we weren’t struggling either. I had four brothers, three of whom were older and out of the house. My parents were in their 40’s, much like my husband and I are now.
It was a normal Friday in May, sunny and mild when my father stuck his head inside my bedroom door and shouted “Snow Day! No school today we’re having a snow day!” I was 15 and you didn’t have to tell me twice. My younger brother and I watched that big yellow bus go by thinking we were so lucky!
Eight hours later my father died from a massive heart attack and our lives were never the same again. I don’t just mean the gut-wrenching loss of my dad, but even the mundane daily stuff that we never paid attention to before. When you’re in your 40’s you don’t think much about dying. Well, at least my parents didn’t, but they had never been big on planning things out.
My mom woke up that Saturday morning as the sole decision maker, breadwinner, & a widower with two teenagers at home. She not only had to figure out how to bury my father with no insurance, but also keep the house, and raise her kids.
I always said my life would be different, but as we grow older we tend to take the path of least resistance. The days go by in a haze of soccer games, dinners, and laundry and before you know it 40 is staring back at you from your bedroom mirror and you’re no more prepared than she was back in 1985.
Then my brother-in-law died with no insurance and we struggled to come up with the money to bury him. It was so bad that my stubborn husband went out and dug his brother’s grave to save money. Don’t ask…it was a very dark time, but we learned something very important.
A few weeks later we were the owners of two bright, shiny new life insurance policies and two gravesites. We thought that was it. We were responsible, we were smart, we still didn’t have a clue. Those things are VERY important but financial freedom means a lot more than just two pieces of dirt and a sheet of paper.
I’m on a mission to find out what it means to be financially secure because those two words have never gone together in my world. My parents grew up with nothing. I mean NOTHING. My mom’s family grew or hunted their food & my father was an orphan by the time he was 4.
My parents were the first generation to ever see a city of more than a few thousand. I’ve written before about the lives of my ancestors and it’s not a pretty picture. Not only was it one of the poorest times in our country (the depression), but also one of the poorest places in our country(Kentucky).
They couldn’t teach us about money because they didn’t know about money. They spent what my dad made on a little house and five mouths to feed. Their years of having little paving the way for a long road of shiny new object syndrome. Until at 46 years old my father had a heart attack and died. Forty-six. Think about what you were doing at 46. What would happen to your family if you died suddenly on a random Friday morning at the age of 46?
Even worse, imagine a world where you were alive, but unable to take care of yourself. How would your family function if God forbid, you had to have round the clock care or expensive therapies? How would your loved one earn a living and be a caretaker too? What would your kids have to give up? college?
What if you have big dreams about the second half of your life. Travel around the world or maybe owning your own restaurant. How do you create that strong foundation to be able to live out your dreams when you’ve finally met all of your responsibilities. We’re married, we’re single, we’re homosexual, we’re L.G.B. or T. We’re black, we’re white, but WE ARE ALL FEMALE. Whatever it is that we are in our lives we’re already far behind in one of the most important things we need to survive. MONEY.
It takes us longer hours, more days of the weeks, and more years in college to make less pay and even fewer promotions. This isn’t going to change overnight. What we’re going to have to do is educate ourselves on making our money work both smarter & harder.
We have to make better choices and we can’t do that if we don’t even know what those choices are. We need to be strategic in not only how we spend our money, but how we save it and make it grow at a healthy rate. I don’t know about you, but I have no clue what this looks like.
According to CNN Money:
- Women earned about 82 cents for every dollar a man made in 2016.
- When you take a career-long view, the gap hinders wealth building. Based on the 2015 wage gap, a 20-year-old female entering the work force full time will lose $418,800 over a 40-year career compared to a male worker, according to the NWLC.
- The gender pay gap is much larger among African American and Hispanic female workers.
Hispanic women made 54 cents for every dollar a white, non-Hispanic man earned, which means they will lose more than a million dollars over a 40-year career based on today’s wage gap, according to the
- Black women earn 63 cents for every dollar a white, non-Hispanic man earns, meaning they will typically lose more than $840,000 over a 40-year career.
Asian female workers are faring the best at narrowing the gap. They make 85 cents for every dollar a white, non-Hispanic man makes.
- The gap is often larger among higher-paying jobs, according to Hegewisch.
Personal financial advisers had the biggest gender wage gap last year, according to a report from IWPR. The study did find occupations where women earned more than men. Those occupations included counselors; teachers assistants; combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food; and sewing machine operators.
What this tells me is we have to stretch our dollars even further to get what we want. That means investing the money we do make. Just saving it isn’t going to grow that nest egg.
So with a little help, I’m going to learn about investing and I’m going to share that with all of you in small bits and pieces (in a way that doesn’t make you want to stab me in the eye). Because as female entrepreneurs we owe it to ourselves to educate ourselves on what it takes to achieve financial freedom on our own terms.
Working women contribute to healthier economies and societies yet we still have to contend with challenges like the gender pay gap. We can’t fight for equality if we don’t know what equal should look like and the worst thing we can do for ourselves and our businesses is to make financial decisions based on fear.
Are you so frustrated with the results of your email marketing campaign that you’re ready to throw in the towel? Don’t worry about it – we’ve all been there. Email marketing seems like a simple way to boost sales.
And it can be, provided that you can get your subscriber to open the email in the first place. After all, it doesn’t matter how great your marketing message is if no one ever reads it, does it?
In the busy world that we live in, you need to time the email perfectly so that they get it when they have time to open it. Is there any point in sending it through late on Friday afternoon when everyone’s getting ready to go home, for example?
Security awareness training is another thing that you’ll have to consider when crafting your email. Many companies have software that allows them to remove any suspicious messages and spam before they get delivered to their servers.
There are a good few more, but these will be dealt with in the EveryCloud infographic that we’ve published below. You’ll learn:
· Why email marketing is still the best thing since sliced bread
· How people use emails and whether or not they view them on their mobile phones
· What might make people consider your email spam
· When the best spending times are
· And a whole lot of other interesting facts
*This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase their services I will earn a small commission that will in no way affect your pricing.
Most of you probably already know that when you are trying to promote your business you will likely need more than one tool to schedule content. I use a combination of free and paid tools to get my message in front of the right people.
Today, that just got a little easier with Tailwind. If you haven’t heard of Tailwind or think it’s just not for me you should take another look. Tailwind specializes in only two platforms: Instagram & Pinterest which just happen to be my favorite of all of them.
Tailwind saves so much time by allowing you to schedule in bulk. It automatically optimizes your Pinterest and Instagram schedules based on when your audience is most engaged. Saving you both time & money. Not only is it a remarkable scheduling tool it also has some awesome analytics because let’s face it, you also need to know what’s working and what isn’t.
Tailwind for Instagram automatically suggests the best hashtag for your posts! This is so helpful because if you’re on Instagram you know exactly how important hashtags are. If that wasn’t terrific all on its own they’ve recently gone one step further. You can now put those hashtags in the first comment right inside of Tailwind! What?!?
Here’s how it works:
- Hop over to your Tailwind account and upload your post, drop in your caption and then type the # symbol to get predictive hashtag suggestions.
- Click to choose or add frequently used hashtags from your list.
- Check the box to move those comments from your caption to your 1st comment.
- Click “add to queue” to automatically schedule your post for the best time.
This is like scheduling on steroids! If you post to Instagram often you know how hard it is to come up with relevant hashtags. Do you find yourself making them up as you go along because you just don’t know what they are? Now, you don’t have to know Tailwind has this info built right in. It simply doesn’t get much better than this!
Pinterest & Instagram are quickly becoming the standout platforms for 2019. Loss of trust in Facebook and frustration at not being put in front of your tribe has people leaving in droves. Where are they going? Instagram & Pinterest!
Schedule like a pro with Tailwind! Want to give it a try? HERE YOU GO!
Welcome to the second in our “Women In Biz All Around WordPress” feature that will run the 1st Sunday of every month. It’s a brand new series where we spotlight amazing women and the ways in which they have used WordPress to spread their message, sell their products, or provide valuable services.
The hope is to inspire other midlife women to build their online businesses and find what we’re all looking for; financial freedom, a lifestyle they love, and excitement they may have been missing! All of these women are clients of mine who have inspired me over the years and I think they will inspire you as well.
Last month, we featured The Contessa from The Vintage Contessa. You can find that interview right here.
This month I want to introduce you to Carol Cassara who is not only one of my clients but also one of my very best friends! When we started a conversation about her new business idea I don’t think either one of us realized that it would become the business it is today. She’s an in-your-face, no-bullshit, tell-you-like-it-is powerhouse, who also has an innate kindness that makes you feel as if you’ve been friends forever.
Her business A HEALING SPIRIT.ORG is a service & product based business that helps people work through their grief or dealing with a diagnosis of any kind. From her thoughtful Condolence Gifts to her beautiful hand-crafted Pet Memorial Candles she is changing the way we deal with inevitable situations.
Here are the questions and her answers:
1. What made you first decide to build a blog or website? How long have you had your site?
My first website, carolcassara.com, was for my personal writing and still is. I started it in 2008 because it seemed the best way to get some of my writing out there and accessible. And of course, there is a Portfolio page so editors can see examples of my work.
When I started A Healing Spirit in 2017 I knew it would be web-based and so AHealingSpirit.org was born.
2. What is your niche?
My work at A Healing Spirit is all about health and wellness. My products help people who are grieving or healing—everything from beautiful printed products and gifts to crystal-studded candles that are so pretty they lift my mood when I just look at them.
On top of that, I am a hypnotherapist and work with clients who have anxiety, insomnia, chronic pain, migraines or who want to break a habit. As if that’s not enough, I am a past life regressionist and I can help people connect to “the other side,” as in “the afterlife.” Whew! It always sounds like a lot when I describe it, but I love every bit of it and have had some of the most interesting client experiences you could imagine.
I blog at AHealingSpirit.org/blog/ about spirituality, nutrition, mind-sets, manifesting, serious health conditions and of course, grief.
These beautiful, original condolence gifts are geared to help work through the grief that comes with any loss. Instead of flowers, these make wonderful gifts.
3. Of all of your blog posts or pages on your site which is your favorite?
Oh my gosh, you’re asking me to choose which of my babies is my favorite!! I can’t! I love my Regressions page because it explains what past life regression is all about and of course, I love guiding clients to their past lives. Like you, Rena!
Right now, I am so excited about my Summer Cocktail Series candles with sea glass, shells and flowers—they are so bright and colorful and mood-lifting—it makes me happy to see photos of the candles I’ve already made.
And then again, I love the inspirational posts I do at AHealingSpirit.org/blog/ and…and…you see? How can choose just one?
4. What is your favorite social media platform and why?
I love Facebook. I’ve met so many fabulous women that way and it’s sad to see the company mess with it so much that if you don’t buy an ad most of your friends don’t see your posts.
5. Do you find WordPress easy to maneuver or do you avoid the back end like the plague?
What’s WordPress? Only kidding! I hate all that back end stuff and love having someone in charge who knows how to do it and is an expert. I want nothing to do with any technical stuff!
6. Is your site a business that makes money or a passion that makes your heart sing?
My site will never make me rich—because I keep my prices affordable—but it is a passion that consumes me. Helping people really makes my heart sing and there’s no end to the ways I want to do that.
7. If you use your site for business what do you sell or what service do you provide?
I’ve already talked a bit about what I do but my latest thing is putting together retreats for women. I can’t even tell you how excited that makes me!
8. What is one thing you’d like people to know about you?
The one thing I’d like people to know about me is that I live out loud! But then again, you just have to meet me to know that! I embrace all of life, the good and the bad because I know there is a bigger purpose to it all.
Also, I am a sucker for a cute dog.
You can find Carol here:
If there’s one thing we know about goals, they have to be SMART, right?
After all, that’s what we’ve been told for years. The only thing that matters is that your goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.
While that looks great on paper—and clearly it’s easy to remember—it doesn’t go far enough for those who want to achieve big things.
Think about it. Do you want to be stuck with “attainable” and “realistic” goals when what you really dream about is a 3-day workweek, frequent international travel, and enough money to fund a mission trip (or three)? Seems pretty clear that those safe, smart goals aren’t going to get you there.
In fact, they might even do worse than simply “not get you there.” They may actively hold you back.
Consider what happens when you set an “attainable” goal of earning 10% more than you did last year. You might work 10% more. You might spend 10% more on ads or product creation. You might even reach out to 10% more potential clients.
And you’ll likely earn about 10% more.
“Not bad!” you say. After all, that was your goal.
But did that 10% goal inspire you to work harder? Or did it create a subconscious ceiling on your earning potential that you’re unable to break through?
Rather than focusing on goals that are attainable and realistic, savvy entrepreneurs know that the key to incredible success lies in creating lofty goals that feel out of reach—maybe even UN-attainable.
They don’t strive to earn 10% more than last year. They want 50% or even 100% more. They stretch themselves. They find new—and better—ways to do things, so they don’t have to work twice as hard, but they remain open to the possibility of doing so—at least in the short term—when it’s necessary.
Of course, you cannot simply declare crazy goals and expect the universe to hand them to you. And that’s exactly why putting aside those smart goals is so…smart. When you shun the attainable in favor of the “holy cow, how will I ever do THAT?” goal, you push yourself beyond those self-imposed limits and reach for the stars.
Sure, you might not double your income, but you’re almost guaranteed to do better than a mere 10% increase. So push your boundaries. Set big, audacious goals. Even if you fail, you’ll be much further ahead than those smart goals would leave you.
Want to know what sets the uber-successful apart from the wannabe entrepreneurs?
It’s not money, or brilliant ideas, or even powerful friends.
All of those things (and more) are nice to have, but they’re not a requirement of success. What is a must-have, though, is a good attitude. Without the proper mindset, you’ll constantly be battling your own brain, and that’s exhausting.
- You’ll allow yourself to believe your ideas are no good
- You’ll remain convinced that you aren’t smart enough
- You’ll be certain that someone else did it (whatever “it” is) better
And before you know it, you’ll have talked yourself right out of launching your new program, asking for a JV partnership, or writing your book. In no time at all, you’ll be back at your day job, working away on someone else’s business because you don’t have the confidence to create your own.
But a simple mindset change can make all the difference.
Dress for Success
Ladies, this one is for you. When we work at home, it’s easy to fall into a habit of wearing sweatpants and T-shirts to the office. After all, why dress up just for the dog?
But if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to instantly shift your mindset in the right direction, ditch the yoga pants and break out the lipstick. You’ll suddenly find you feel more professional, more confident, and sexier, too. (That last one won’t help your business, but it might just help your love life, and that can’t hurt, can it?)
Never Let Fear Drive Your Decisions
Too many would-be entrepreneurs operate with a scarcity mindset rather than approaching business from a place of abundance. Rather than telling yourself that you can’t afford to hire a virtual assistant or work with a coach, try reframing your thoughts.
Rather than thinking, “I can’t afford to attend that event,” ask yourself, “How can I earn the money to invest in this trip?”
Rather than saying, “I have to do everything myself because I can’t afford to hire a VA,” remind yourself that your hourly rate potential is much more than you’d pay a virtual assistant. Then fill those hours you’re saving by outsourcing with money-making tasks of your own.
By reformatting your thoughts, you’ll turn that negative money talk into positive solutions that help you grow.