Balancing School, Kids and a Full-Time Job: Yes, You Can Do It

If you work from home full-time and have young children to take care of, you might think going back to school is not an option. But that is not the case. According to, more than 60 percent of students earning a degree online are women, most of them over the age of 25. Balancing school, kids and a full-time job can be difficult, but with motivation and the right strategy, you can do it.

How to balance school, kids, and a full-time job

Time Management

This should probably go without saying, but the only way this is going to work is if you manage your time properly. If you have young children, you won’t be able to devote hours at a time to your studies. There are too many distractions and kids have too many needs, and you will only wind up frustrated and unable to focus.

A great piece of advice from The Bump: Break up the work in sections. Instead of watching an hour-long lecture while the kids are nagging, watch 20 minutes and then hang with the kids for 10 minutes. Get them a snack, change a diaper and put on a new show. That can buy you another 20-30 minutes straight to watch or work. Moms can complete an hour lecture in an hour and twenty minutes by doing this, rather than it taking two hours with constant stopping and no focus at all.


Another important aspect of time management is focus. If you’re not understanding the material because you’re distracted, it does not matter how much time you set aside. One of the most difficult parts of online learning is how easy it is to shop, chat and surf instead. Use a tool like RescueTime that tracks what you are doing and enables you to block online distractions.

Reduce Stress

Seek and spend time with other student/working moms who are going through the same things. Consider sharing babysitting expenses a few nights a week so you can get work done. Having an in-person support group can really help, especially when your classmates are all online. Visit a site like CollegeOnline LLC for more tips and resources about being a successful online college student in nursing.

Be Realistic

Don’t take on too much at once. Set realistic goals about how many classes you can juggle with the rest of your schedule. Plan your daily routine; figure out how many hours are left after work and taking care of the kids, then determine how many hours you will need to devote to each class. And do not forget budgeting time for yourself and sleeping.

No one is saying this is going to be a cake walk, but you can do it. Maintain the right attitude and put a good strategy in place, and you can get that degree for your nursing profession.

Five Things To Know About The First Year With An Online Business

Starting a new business is an exciting prospect! One of the things that we’ve found in beginning our own business and in helping others launch their new businesses is that business owners have no idea what to expect that first year. It’s easy to get thrown for a loop – or ten – with your new business. Here’s a great list of five things you should expect to encounter in your first year with an online business.

twahm online business first year

1. Ramping up takes time Once you’ve had your big idea, it’s easy to expect things to all fall into place. However, that likely won’t be the case. There will be a myriad of things you’ll have to decide before you even get started. Your brand message, your imagery, your target audience are all things you’ll have to take time to strategize. Don’t be discouraged that the time from when you decide to get started and when you actually get started is a little longer than you’d like.

2. Startup costs will exist To start any business, even one that doesn’t have the costs of a brick and mortar store, takes some capital. At a minimum, you’ll likely need to pay for hosting for a website, a logo, and possibly some marketing materials. You also should consider if you need to create a formal legal entity such as an LLC. Investing in your business can be the key to making sure your business actually takes off. An online business website that is hard to navigate or looks like spam can easily turn potential customers off.

3. You need more business than just friends and family I have no doubt that your friends and family think your idea is great. They likely will support you and even buy some of your products or services when you start. However, you can’t expect them to be your sole source of revenue once you’re off the ground. It’s unreasonable to expect them to buy something from you every single month. Your customer base needs to be larger than just the people you already know. To get this, you’ll need a marketing and/or advertising strategy to reach people who will be likely to become repeat customers.

4. People will unfollow you Social media can be a huge driver for many businesses. New followers can be extremely exciting! While it’s something no business owner likes to see, the truth is: people will unfollow you online. This can happen for a number of reasons. Perhaps they’ve decided to only follow friends and family. Perhaps they were only following you because they’re playing a numbers game and looking for a follow back. You may never know the reason that someone unfollowed you but take heart: it happens to every person and every business. There’s no reason to take it personally. Just keep on chugging away with your awesome content.

5. You owe taxes Hooray! You just made a big sale. That money is all yours, right? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. If your business is making sales, you owe taxes on that money. One of the things we’ve seen with many small businesses is that they forget to take taxes into account when they set their prices. It can be tempting to set your prices low to make sales. However, you need to be sure that after the cost of materials, labor and taxes, that you’re still making a profit off these sales. Without planning for this, it can be a shock when the government comes knocking on your door.

Have you started your own business? If so, what would you add to this list?

Kristin Zaslavsky is co-owner of Eli | Rose Social Media, LLC, a small business online marketing firm. Find more small business and social media wisdom on Facebook, Twitter, and Google +.

The Direct Sales Customer Rewards Program

Amanda Austin is a Jamberry nail wrap consultant, and she’s managed to grow her personal business through the use of a direct sales customer rewards program. She’s here to explain how and why she did it, and how it has helped her grow her business.

Building customer loyalty through a rewards program

I’ve been tempted over the years with quite a few direct sales opportunities, but I finally made the plunge in July by becoming a Jamberry Nails Independent Consultant. My decision was part of a bigger dream of mine to open a fashion or beauty boutique; considering I work full time and am a mom and haven’t won the lotto yet, this was the perfect opportunity for me.

Coming into this new venture, I had two main concerns: first, I didn’t have time (or a wide variety of contacts) to do many in-home parties and second, I didn’t want my business to be a “one-and-done” kind of thing – I envisioned my customers coming back to me again and again to help sustain my business. I wanted to be a true consultant, not just a party planner.

I struggled for a few months trying to find a business model that worked for me, but after some research and consideration of how my customers were purchasing products, I decided to develop my own customer loyalty program. Many of my customers were purchasing one or two wraps at a time during parties or flash sales, which meant they weren’t able to take advantage of the company’s Buy 3 Get 1 free discount, but in return, they got the benefit of a small discount or free shipping from me. I based my customer rewards program around the Buy 3 Get 1 free discount, providing three levels of rewards after each four purchased. Anyone who buys from me is enrolled and added to my Insiders exclusive customer group. If she buys four from a party, she’s already met the first level and her next purchase will include a discount. The program cumulates in a free sheet of wraps after she buys 13 wraps. I launched my customer rewards in January and have had amazing results in the past two months.

Customer rewards aren’t for every business, but the concept circles back to taking care of your customers – which is especially important when you’re in the direct sales business. There are lots of reasons to create your own customer rewards; here is my list!

Thanks your customers: Let’s face it – your customers have a choice for where he or she will do business. Customer rewards are a great way to thank your customers for their purchase, especially when the purchase was made through a direct sales party to help a hostess gain more rewards. I use my rewards as a way to show the customers I appreciate that they spent their hard-earned money to help the hostess and to support my business.

Creates a buzz: Customer rewards can help boost a sagging business and help get leads in your funnel for future parties, events or sales. I launched my rewards program as part of a Mystery Hostess party and introduced it during a live Facebook party. My Insiders were able to take advantage of their rewards right away and be entered to win the hostess rewards. The program created excitement for my customers and past hostesses, and lead to one of my biggest parties ever.

Encourages frequent purchases: It has always been important to me that my customers are buying the product because they love it and not because they feel obligated to buy it.  Although buying more gives you a great deal, not everyone has that kind of cash in their fun budget, so I want to reward the customers for any purchase, whether it’s one sheet during a party or seven sheets on a whim. This way, she feels like she can still get a great price from me without having to break the bank.

Increases customer loyalty: Again, your customers have a choice, and can easily hop to another independent consultant! The majority of the time, your customers appreciate that you’re giving them additional discounts for sticking with you, and will reward you back with their loyalty.

Gives opportunity for an incentive: With a customer rewards program, you can provide added incentives without lowering your prices or undercutting your bottom line. Occasionally, I will offer double rewards for a purchase. This gives them an incentive to buy, and I will still make the same profit from the sale.

Keeps you in touch with your customers: A customer rewards program gives you a reason to keep in contact with past customers, or customers who may normally be a one-time sale. This can be especially helpful if you’re hosting your own party or fundraiser, or offering a sale.

The best part about having a customer rewards program is the appreciation you get from your customers. In fact, after redeeming some of her rewards, one of my customers told me she loves that I look out for my customers and help them get the best deals. Plant those seeds, and your business will grow!  

Do you utilize a rewards program for your customers?

Find Amanda at her website, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

Organize 365 eBook Bundle: 23 eBooks for $20

Welcome to the eBundle that will have you organizing and spring cleaning your home, schedule and home based business! In these 23 eBooks, you’ll find tips, support and know-how about working from home, cleaning, organizing and mom support along with printables!

Update as of April 8, 2014: The bundle is no longer available, but the individual eBooks are. Click on the links to purchase.

Organize365 All Organized Ebundle 23 ebooks to organize your home and home based business for $20

The All Organized – Organization eBook Bundle is available March 24th until April 7th for only $20. That’s a savings of $133! So hop over and buy it now!

Organizing your home

Organize your home and home based business with the organizing mini bundle from

This 6 eBook mini eBundle will have you breathing a sigh of relief as you move through getting your pictures organized, know what paper you need to keep, help for homemaking and getting to less stuff & living more!

Working from home

Organize your home and home based business with the work at home mom mini bundle from

The ‘Working from Home’ mini eBundle will help you stay sane and productive when the kids are home and you need to work. It will also help you organize your direct sales business, and, along with an eClass, to learn about establishing office hours and a schedule that will help you run a family and a business. And, if you’re looking into starting a home business, or already run one, there’s an eBook about how to be a work at home mom.


Organize your home and home based business with the mom support mini bundle from

This mini eBundle will help all of us with meal planning and involving the kids in cleaning so we can work and live more efficiently. There’s also support here for the mothers of special needs children and those in the military to organize their homes even more efficiently than their military service.


Organize your home and home based business with the cleaning mini bundle from

This mini eBundle of 2 cleaning books is mighty! They’ll help you schedule your cleaning and know what’s clean enough so you’re not embarrassed when clients, friends or your mother-in-law stops by unexpectedly.


Organize your home and home based business with the scheduling mini bundle from

This ‘Scheduling’ mini eBundle of 6 will help you create a schedule, arrive on time and provide simple strategies that work for your entire life. With the planner printables included, you will be able to make a plan that works for YOU!

This eBundle will be available March 24th until April 7th for only $20. That’s a savings of $133! So hop over and buy it now!

The Fine Print: We have all the nitty gritty details over on the Frequently Asked Questions Page, but here are a few highlights:

  • Download and back up your eBundle right away! We all know how busy life can be, so don’t wait! We can renew download links until May 9, 2014.
  • Can’t find your eBundle? Check the spam folder in your PAYPAL email.
  • All sales are final. There are no refunds and the deadline for purchasing will not be extended.
  • If you have any questions or issues with any of the e-Books included in this bundle, please contact that author directly.
  • YES! This eBundle CAN be read on Kindles, iPads and more!
  • Have questions about the eBundle? Check out the FAQ page for support!

EXTRA fun!

Want to become an author or affiliate of our next eBundle? Head over and submit your eBook information!

This eBook bundle link is an affiliate so it will help your family AND mine!

Coming Soon: 23 Ways to Improve Your Home/Work Life!

I’ve something I want to share with you and it’s coming Monday (March 24).


It will help you organize, freshen the house and your life and with Spring we’re all looking for fresh starts.

Want a hint?

 Come back 3/24 to find out!

There’s information over

  • Organizing

  • Working from Home

  • Schedules

  • Cleaning and

  • Moms

So come back Monday, March 24th at 8am.

See you back here!


The Top Ten Advantages of Starting a Home Based Business

My name is Elizabeth Messerly and I have been selling Premier Designs Jewelry for the last 11 ½ years.  The first two years, I worked a full-time job and did the jewelry gig on a part-time basis.  My husband, Jeremy, and I had our daughter, Kenzie, 9 ½ years ago and decided that being at home would be the best thing for the family.  The great thing about my jewelry business is that I could work it with a little one at home.  Since then we have had a son, Aidan, who is 6, gone on multiple vacations and moved into our dream home.  Without my business these things would not have been possible and I am so grateful for the opportunity to work at home as my children grow.  There are so many advantages of starting a home based business, and below are the top ten reasons to think about becoming your own boss and seeing the potential of working from home.

The Top Ten Advantages of Starting a Home Based Business:

 Top Ten Advantages to Starting a Home Based Business

  1. Flexibility – Setting your work schedule around your family’s activities is what makes the job so much fun!  You get to pick the times that you work vs. being told when you must work.
  2. Tax deductions for expenses you already incur – You already have a phone bill and internet that you were using prior.  Since you are using these items with your home based business, you can deduct a percentage of your bills.
  3. Part-time or Full-time you decide – A quote that you should always think about is, “You can work this business part-time or full-time, but not in your spare time.”
  4. Tax deductions for traveling – Sell your product while visiting friends and family and now a portion of your trip becomes a deduction!  Book a party and go see your family!
  5. Home Office deduction – Get your home office set up so you can take the deduction!
  6. You are the boss – You get to determine exactly how your business is run!
  7. Mileage log – With all the trips to the post office, office supply store and to home parties (if that is part of your business), this deduction can really add up!  Grab an inexpensive pocket calendar and leave it in your car.  Every time you leave your house for a business errand, make sure to get it on your calendar and include your mileage, where you went and why.
  8. Put your family to work for you – Have your children help out in your office, filing papers, getting mailings together, entering expenses, etc. When you pay them less than $500/year, they do not have to submit a tax form.  Plus, you could also use this as a way to help supplement their 529 plan to get the best use out of your money!
  9. Great Income Potential – You can determine how much you are worth!  The harder you work, the more income you will generate.
  10. Anyone can start a business – There are so many different home based businesses out there to choose from with so much training to get you started and keep you going for as long as you would like to work out of the home.


I hope this has helped you in making your decision or helped you see what you truly have with the home based business you have started.  If you have any questions, please let me know.

Elizabeth Messerly

Surprising Careers to Look Into as a Stay at Home Mom

If you’re a stay-at-home mom and wanting to return to the workforce, don’t even think about that long commute. Here are some surprising jobs you can do at home, with your kids present, without having to put on that pantsuit every morning.

Image courtesy of

 Surprising careers to look into as a stay at home mom:

Gift Basket Maker

According to, a Gift Basket review survey found 72 percent of respondents making annual gross sales of at least $50,000.

  • Making a basket for a corporation averages at about $61.89 while birthday, get-well, and sympathy baskets average at about $20.00 less.
  • This job provides a flexible, work-at-home schedule that still gives you time with your kids.
  • You may have to invest a little in startup costs, depending on the types of items you choose for each basket. 

Culinary Consultant

Companies like hire experienced cooks to give kitchen advice over the phone and through chatting online. You can literally cook up a satisfying career by providing paying customers with your cooking knowledge and expertise.

  • While no degree is required, having some teaching or culinary experience will increase the likelihood of getting hired.
  • If being your own boss sounds more appealing, start your own culinary blog!

twahm surprising career food

Image courtesy of


If you have some writing or editing experience, proofreading from the comfort of your home may be the job for you. Proofreading can even lead to online tutoring if you have some teaching experience.

  • According to Kiplinger Magazine, Cactus Communications, an Indian editing and translation company hires proofreaders to edit academic papers and the like written by non-native English speakers.
  • While it’s hard to make a living off of just one freelance gig, paired with a freelance writing job, a proofreading job can be a productive “side hustle.”

Sell Your Crafts

Are you creative, crafty, and artsy already? Are you constantly drawing, painting, sewing or making jewelry? Why not sell your one-of-a-kind items online? There’s a growing market for handmade goods today.

  • Creating a personalized shop on Etsy is fairly easy and costs very little.
  • Customers can pay you through an online service such as PayPal.
  • You’ll have to be available to pack and ship orders by yourself. 

Re-sell Vintage Items

There’s a good market for vintage items on the Internet, whether you’re selling furniture, clothing, or jewelry. Start your own online store and present your unique and desirable taste to the wanting world.

  • Browsing thrift stores, flea markets, yard sales, estate sales, and consignment stores are a great way to get out of the house. You can even bring your kids with you if they’re not too rowdy.
  • List each item online through eBay or Etsy and watch them “fly off the shelves.”

Did you know that, according to the Center for Women’s Business Research, there are 10.1 million women-owned businesses in the U.S.? Stay-at-home-mom jobs can range from crafting and cooking to marketing and designing. Whatever your ideal home business may be, it’s certainly possible to work, make a decent income, and never miss a moment with your kids.

Naomi Shaw is a stay-at-home in Southern California. After being a stay-at-home mom for seven years she works fulltime  as a freelance writer. She enjoys blogging about mommy tips, small businesses providing insight, advice and more! She hopes you enjoy this article.

Stay Organized With Home Office Accessories

Working at home means having to stay organized, so you don’t end up with Doc McStuffins coloring pages where you should have a copy of this month’s invoices. Whether or not you’re working in a dedicated office space or tucked in a corner of a family area like a dining room or open kitchen, having the right office accessories will save you time when you sit down to work. Organizing a home office often takes a few attempts, because different things work for different people. Start with these seven home office accessories — they’re stylish, functional, and won’t take up too much space.

home office must-haves

Start with a desk calendar

A large desk calendar can be a lifesaver for work-at-home moms. Even if you use an electronic calendar, seeing deadlines and tasks on paper helps many women organize their time and avoid double booking on important days. Try the bloom daily planner desk calendar pad in blue and pink chevron (Amazon, $13).

Desk Calendar
Stay inspired with a French memo board

A memo board, like the Hanging Fabric Wall Memo Board, is the perfect place to gather the things that inspire your work (Amazon, $20). Tuck in business cards of people you’ve been meaning to contact, your favorite inspirational quote, a note about a project you’re working towards, or even a photo that helps you feel less stressed and more centered.


Home Office Collection French Memo Board

Choose the right file folders

They’re a small thing, but choosing the right file folders will help keep your papers organized. The Semikolon Striped Vertical File Folders come in eight different color combinations — the pink and orange is fabulous — and have a reinforced vertical side to protect your files (Amazon, $8 for 6). Vertical file folders are useful because they tuck neatly into organizers like magazine holders or wall systems.

Semikolon Striped Vertical File Folders

Magazine files keep your workspace neat

Magazine files help you organize any workspace without taking up too much room on your work surface. You can go with a solid form and hide everything away or choose a decorative holder, like the Design Ideas Vinea Magazine File/Holder (Amazon, $20). It comes in white or black, letting you choose your favorite way to tuck in actual magazine, file folders, or old homework papers your kids can’t seem to keep off your desk.

Design Ideas Magazine File Holder

A divided organizer keeps small things in place

A desk organizer or hanging wall organizer helps corral small items like binder clips, business cards, letters, and pens. The Design Ideas Magnetic Divided Bin can sit atop your work space or attach to the wall (Amazon, $11).

Design Ideas Divided Bin

Small notebooks keep your thoughts in order

A simple notebook is a working mom’s secret weapon. Tuck it into a bag on the way out the door, and you don’t have to worry about wi-fi access or draining your phone battery. Keep shopping lists, notes about school, and project priorities all in one place. Moleskine notebooks are popular options — they’re lined, inexpensive, and come in all sorts of colors and sizes (Amazon, $12).

Moleskine Large Notebook

Pick the perfect pen

Gel pens roll smoothly, come in fun colors, and make writing longhand just a little more fun. When you’re used to spending your days typing, having the perfect pen makes your writing neater and more comfortable. Pilot’s Acroball pens come in a four-pack of fabulous colors (Amazon, $10).

Pilot Acroball Colors Pens

What are your favorite home office accessories?

Angela Amman is a busy work at home mom of two, juggling her blog, her job as a Listen To Your Mother-Metro Detroit co-producer/director, author/publisher, and various freelance writing gigs.

Links are affiliate links.

Use Your Mom Skills to Fill Your Empty Nest with a Rewarding Career

The kids are getting older, and it’s time to start thinking about what to do with your new free time. However, you’re not ready to grab the knitting needles and settle into a rocking chair. Luckily, you don’t have to. Instead, you can leverage your mom skills to launch a new career.

new career for an empty nester

The Mom Calendar

For nearly two decades, you have been balancing a mom calendar full of multiple daily events and sticky notes with reminders about who and what to bring where. Take those planning and organizational skills and turn them into your own party or wedding planning business. Instead of stalking your kids’ social networking accounts to see what they are up to at college, jump online to market your company. All you need is one client to let you plan their wedding. Once their friends and your contacts see how successful that event was, they will be knocking on your door for your planning services.

The Art of Persuasion

You survived toddlers and their constant questioning of why, why, why, and you survived teens who always think they know best. Through both stages, you learned how to hold your ground and explain your opinions thoughtfully to get what you want. Take those persuasive communication skills and turn them into a career as a debt collector. Most collectors earn a base wage plus commission, and the more persuasive you are, the higher your commissions will be. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average debt collector earns $32,000 per year, while some of the most effective collectors earn salaries more than $48,000.

Animal Savior

You nursed the baby bird your kids found in the bushes back to health, you trained the dog that the kids promised to raise, and you even gave the hamster a lifesaving shot at one time. Your career as a mom has been a lot like running a veterinary clinic without the pay, but now that the kids are gone, you can turn those skills into a paying gig. Although becoming a vet requires college plus four years of graduate study, you can jump into a career as a vet tech easily and quickly. According to, becoming a vet tech only requires an associates degree, and by 2022, the industry is expected to grow by 30%, meaning that it should be easy to snag a job.

Yummy, Yummy

If you were always the mom who had freshly baked cookies ready when the kids arrived home from school, it’s time to launch your own baking career. All you need are a few great recipes to get started. Because many states have cottage baking laws, you might not even need a commercial kitchen. According to the Michigan state government, cottage baking laws allow you to use your home kitchen to create saleable treats. If there are no cottage baking laws in your state, rent a church kitchen or bake at night in a restaurant’s kitchen. When it’s time to peddle your wares, you can deliver baked goods to your customers, or you can set up shop at a farmer’s market.

Learning a Lesson

As a mom, you impart a lot of knowledge to your little ones. If you have a teaching degree, becoming a teacher is a great option for your empty nest years. However, you don’t necessarily need a teaching degree to work in a classroom. Many schools hire teacher’s aids without a degree, and if you just want part-time work, you can put your name on the substitute rooster. According to the Huffington Post, you can make about $400 a week as a substitute.

New careers for an empty nester

What do you plan to do when your kids “leave the nest”?

Host an Online Party with a Rumbletalk Chatroom

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of RumbleTalk. All opinions are 100% mine.

Calling all direct sales folk, or anyone for that matter.  But, being I am in direct sales I thought this was something that kinda hits the spot for those like minded business women and men.  Have you ever tried to do an online party for your clients and just can't seem to figure out the best way to play games, chat back and forth, answer questions, etc.   Well RumbleTalk web chat room has you completly covered. 

With Rumble Talk web chat room you can now rock those online parties to boost your online sales.  You can add Rumble Talk to your website, or to Facebook and then share it with others on Facebook and Twitter.  Rumble Talk is also mobile, so if you are a busy one like me that makes it perfect for me to be in the car on the go (hubby driving of course) and me conducting business on my phone with Rumble Talk web chat room.

You can design your own chat room to look how you want, so it fits with you or your business.  Unique themes to use to make your chat room fit your business.  Once you share your chat room with your business contacts, they can simply share with their friends and contacts by a simple copy and paste.  No html required or anything to download.  And, even though we like to chat with other, I know sometimes there are people we don't want in on our convo's so you can even ban people not allowed in what you have going on. 

A low monthly fee to have a Rumble Talk chat room to use for whatever you need it for.   Check them out for yourself, and I bet you will fall in love!


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