Cats in the Cradle: Ode to Workaholic Moms

Cats in the cradle and the silver spoon

Little boy blue and the man in the moon

When ya coming home Dad?  I don’t know when,

But we’ll get together then, son.  You know we’ll have a good time then.

 

This little refrain dances through my head with a folksy little tune quite a bit these days.  I’m sure I was a strange child, because Cats in the Cradle has been one of my favorite songs since I was about eight years old. Yes, I was cat-crazy from an early age, but I’ve always understood the story that the song tells. http://www.lyricsdepot.com/harry-chapin/cats-in-the-cradle.html

Cats in the cradle…

It seems like recently has been a particularly tough “cats in the cradle” time for my family.  My mom just retired after working 44 years with the same company.  She called me on the last week of her job, also my birthday week, and I was working on deadlines, stressing about sitter arrangements, and a dozen other things that day.  It was hard for me to stop the whirlwind of my day to settle down long enough to ask her how she was feeling about her next big life change.   Recently, I forgot my Dad’s birthday, but randomly called home just to say hi on his big day.  Luckily, it wasn’t a birthday ending in a zero. Both of these incidents shone the light on me, constantly in motion, compared to their process of slowing their lives to a “smell the roses” pace.  My workaholic mom and I have officially switched places.

And the silver spoon…

My two preschoolers keep me busy with the usual stuff, like running to school and playdates. We have a lovely home that takes time to maintain and update. We are blessed with friends, church, and family.  My husband sometimes travels for his job, which strains our schedule.  And, of course, we joke that I work for the most demanding boss ever, myself.  It’s not quite a silver spoon life, but we, like most Americans, have it relatively good, as long as we are working and paying our dues.

Little boy blue…

Discipline, sibling rivalry, and reminders about manners take up a lot of my day.  Most days feel like one step forward, two steps back.  I thought two little girls wouldn’t wrestle, for heaven’s sake.  Sometimes I am blue- no-worn out- by day’s end. Where are all the well-meaning lookers-on from the malls and the stores when I’m refereeing my 99th wrestling match of the day?

And the man in the moon…

When Cats in the Cradle was a hit for Harry Chapin in 1974, I was just a baby.  Moms all over the country were still busting out of the household, scratching and clawing to make it into the working world.  My girls don’t realize that women have, indeed, reached the moon, but only recently.  They don’t yet realize how happy it makes Mommy to be able to keep one foot firmly in my professional life, while also working a second shift at home rather than sending them off to daycare.  The song croons about a boy and his father, working too hard to fully experience his growing son’s life.  The young child wants to be just like his daddy and by the end of the song, the workaholic dad realizes that, “He’d grown up just like me.  My boy was just like me.”

In this day and age, the song would be written for mother and daughter.  I really believe there is no absolute balance, no way to fully appreciate every single moment, no way to keep the kids small at their cutest stages.  If it’s hard to decide whether this is an article with more “up” sentiments or more “down,” that reflects reality.  Our lives are Cats in the Cradle moments strung together. Many women today take big risks to fashion a life that allows for professional pursuit, flexible scheduling, and time enough with their mini-me’s.  I wonder who will write the next Cats in the Cradle song for this generation.  I won’t be surprised if it will be all about a mom and her daughters this time around.

 

Are You Working on Mastering The Mommy Track?

New Book Alert:                                            Mastering The Mommy Track: Juggling Career and Kids in Uncertain Times

by

Erin Flynn Jay

 

ADVICE FOR WORKING MOMS TO GET THROUGH UNCERTAIN TIMES AND ACHIEVE HAPPINESS AT WORK AND HOME:

–Publicity expert addresses struggles working moms face during economic downturn and solutions to overcome them

 

         Many working mothers today face great tension between their families and careers. They are more likely than men to feel pressed for time and conflicted about being away from young children while working. They are also more likely to seek out help or guidance.

         In Mastering the Mommy Track: Juggling Career and Kids in Uncertain Times (ISBN 978-1780991238, 2012, John Hunt Publishing, 206 pages, $19.95, available on Amazon), Erin Flynn Jay tells the stories of everyday working mothers, the challenges they have faced and lessons learned. She also offers solutions from experts on how mothers can overcome current issues in order to lead happy, healthy lives at home and work.

         The Great Recession has had a deep impact on working mothers; this book delves into the issues these mothers have faced and timely solutions to overcome them. The Great Recession saw women working harder than ever before to support their families, many being the sole breadwinner while Dad stayed at home, caring for young kids. Many women also experienced burnout and depression, putting their children and spouse’s needs above their own.

         A 2010 Pew Research survey found that 30 months after it began, the Great Recession has led to a downsizing of Americans’ expectations about their retirements and their children’s future; a new frugality in their spending and borrowing habits; and a concern that it could take several years, at a minimum, for their house values and family finances to recover.

         As we gradually recover from the economic slowdown, women are seeking to reclaim their lives. Mastering the Mommy Track helps them do this, offering timely case studies and solutions that work.

         The dozen chapters each address critical issues women grapple with including: parenting, financial, time management, romance, psychological and nutrition/health. Mastering the Mommy Track, while not grim, takes a serious approach, telling the tales of women who have struggled through the economic downturn to achieve a new working attitude.

The need for such a book has become greater as the US economy still sputters along with national unemployment over 8 percent and 100 million Americans without jobs. “When shaping this book, I thought of 12 trigger areas that cause working mothers anxiety today–these became my chapters,” said Flynn Jay. “This was based on my personal experience, research, and feedback from friends and acquaintances.”        

Through a thoughtful and moving read, Mastering The Mommy Track touches on timely topics including:  

  • Unprecedented challenges moms face during this weak economy
  • Advice for getting through these uncertain times
  • The added stress unemployment and lower income brings
  • How mothers can take their careers to the next level–even with active home lives
  • Why many moms are resentful of their partners
  • Why moms must carve out more personal time for themselves

      “Many families across the country are still struggling to make ends meet, and parents are often too afraid to speak publicly about it. The middle class is facing poverty and many are fighting to survive. Our generation is very different than the one we were raised in,” added Flynn Jay. “My book offers insight that will help working moms improve their personal lives and careers. It is a juggling act to balance home and work duties, and for a lot of women in 2012, it’s a walk on a tightrope–a fear their families will never experience the rewards (vacation, travel, time off) they so rightfully deserve.”

About the author:

Erin Flynn Jay is a writer and public relations executive.

Since 2001, Erin has been promoting authors of new books and small businesses in all industries. Erin has expertise in successfully obtaining print, online and broadcast media placements for experts and authors. She has established on-going partnerships with other public relations agencies and teams with them on projects when her PR and writing skills are needed.

Erin’s articles have appeared in publications including careerbuilder.com, MSN Careers, Brandweek, Costco Connection, Opportunity World, Sales and Marketing Excellence, The New York Enterprise Report and Wealth Manager. In 2010, Erin wrote extensively about timely professional coaching topics for www.coachingcommons.org.

When she is not working, Erin loves to explore all that Philadelphia has to offer with her family. Part time taxi driver for her daughters, she will often be at a park, library or play area like the Nest or Please Touch Museum with her daughters.

She received a B.A. in Communication from the University of Scranton in PA and lives in Philadelphia with her husband and two young daughters.

Website: www.erinflynnjay.com

 

Mastering The Mommy Track is available on Amazon and www.jhpbusiness-books.com.

 

Disclosure:  There might be a page of organizing advice by moi in this newest must-have mommy guide, but I’m on my way to check out all the great advice by the experts Assembled by Erin Jay.

What to Wear to BlogHer (or What to Wear to a Business Meeting)

What, you don’t know what BlogHer is?  A year ago, I didn’t, either.  It turns out, there really is a time and a place for everything, and the time for (mommy) bloggers to hang out is at the original blogging conference called BlogHer.  In 2012, it’s being held in NYC, so a lot of my friends and colleagues are going, since it’s an easy drive from Philly.  I’ve been watching with amusement the emails, tweets, FB posts and blog posts posing and answering the number one question:

What should I wear to BlogHer? 

This very question drives me crazy.  As women, we get up every single day and decide what to wear.  Usually we look fabulous without even trying.  We dress our kids.  Some of you even dress your husbands.  Why does this primal cry ring out when we ladies are headed to conference, or any large gathering???  Here are the reasons that I think we go all irrational.

1.  It’s been a long time(maybe forever) since some of us were in corporate, where there may or may not have been an accepted style or even “uniform”.  Here’s mine, from back in the day.  Please excuse the dust on the shoulders.  I pretty much keep this outfit for funerals and the odd (very odd) corporate interview.  I know.

2.  We want to put our best foot forward.  If you work at home, like I do much of the time, this chance to dress to impress doesn’t come along every day.  So our confidence in our ability to be current, in fashion, and comfortable all at the same time might not be as well tuned as we’d like it to be.  I know, trust me.  While I have a closet full of wonderful clothes, the ability to pull together an outfit with great shoes and a current necklace all at the same time sometimes eludes me.

3.  We sieze this as an opportunity to freshen up our look.  All too often, though, we leave this until the last minute, risking buying or bringing something that doesn’t quite hang together. 

4.  If the gathering is something we’ve never been to before, we may honestly need help from veterans on the climate, environment, amount of walking/standing required, and the general mood of the place.

5.  There are no wardrobe rules anymore.  Ever since suits got replaced with “business casual” in the 1980’s, women have been somewhat adrift.  The goal is to be stylish but not faddish, comfortable but professional, standing out just enough to be remembered but still looking apporachable enough for networking. 

Women alone carry this burder.  My husband NEVER, EVER asks what he should wear before he travels.  Of course, today most men can grab a pair of khaki pants with a solid color “polo” or “golf” style shirt and call it a day.   Their shoe choice might be black or brown, with laces or without.  Done.

The best advice is to stay true to your own style and strive for a “professional” look, wherever you are.  My favorite definition of a “professional” look is one that maintains your style without causing anything to detract from your message.  So if feathers in your hair really explains who you are (maybe you are an avian activist or a blogger with a bird-themed logo), go with it.  If feathers in your hair will make everyone you meet think, “Whoa, what’s with that chick?” then skip it.   Here are some good picks from a blogging expert, Jo-Lynne Shane.

If you still need a visual, here are my picks.

I wore this to a professional conference earlier this year.  I always feel more polished with a jacket, but sometimes people are actually intimidated by the one chick in the room with a suit jacket on.  The cardigan is the working gal’s professional friend.  It offers the chance to bring in color, and it’s your best hedge against too warm/too cold meeting spaces.  These tops from Ann Taylor paired well with slightly more interesting than usual large check grey slacks. 

 

And comfortable shoes.

A long column dress works for me because I’m tall, it hides the fact that I’m anti-pantyhose, and a large scale pattern gives me a little boost of color.  Many of these rayon blends also pack suprisingly well and shed wrinkles, which is great for travel.

 

Add a fitted jacket, low heels, and acessories, and this is a very professional look. As a bonus, I was wearing this dress to a conference when I was almost 6 months pregnant and the cut of the jacket actually hid my bump a bit, which was something I was trying to do in that particular crowd.

And comfortable shoes.

 

For something a little more festive, I am getting daring and wearing this to an event tonight (the smaller but just as fun #PhillyHomeHer12).  It meets my criteria of always trying to wear sparklies.  I wouldn’t wear this to a standard button-down cocktail event, but tonight’s even is all gals, and way more fun than your average meet and greet, being hosted by the Firebird Grill and Towne Book Center in Collegeville.  I would feel totally comfortable wearing this to BlogHer, but not to a meeting with a major coporate client. 

And comfortable shoes.  Noticing a theme here?  Yes, these shoes from BORN are indeed comfortable even for my problem feet.

 

Remember, professional, stylish, colorful, feminine are all OK.  It really seems that the only true rule of fashion these days is to wear things that look good on you and make you feel fabulous. But, like mama always said, your best outfit always comes with a smile.

Chrissy DiAngelus of Piccadilly Arts (right) shows off her style at #PhillyHomeHer12. 

If you are pregnant, an entrepreneur, someone who works at home, or found your way here for a little practical wardrobe advice, I hope this works for you. 

If you’ve been to a conference lately, what outfit worked best for you?

 

 

 

 

Canadian Benefits for the New Parent

Thanks to a respondent on the www.DailyWorth.com website.  On May 9, 2012, they had a great post about one of the Daily Worth staffers getting pregnant, and thinking through her concerns as an employee of a small company.  Read it here.  http://dailyworth.com/posts/1259-What-You-Need-to-Know-About-Getting-Pregnant-on-the-Job

 

A Canadian reader shared this resource, which allows Quebec residents to claim benefits to stay home with their new baby even if they are self-employed.  Wish we had something like this in the good ol’ USA. Read more here.

http://www.rqap.gouv.qc.ca/index_en.asp

And the Reviews Are In!

Mommies-to-be, isn’t it great when you get sound advice from sage moms?  Mom bloggers are loving The Pregnant Entrepreneur, and they are willing to take up their blog space to talk about it.  Check out what they are saying, and click on their links to enter to win a copy they may be giving away:

In my opinion, this book is really one of a kind. Owning a business is a dream for many woman, but they may think it’s impossible to do this while expecting or already raising a family. Not anymore!

-Kecia at  http://southerngirlramblings.com/the-pregnant-entrepreneur-book-review/

Although there are some great business related tips, the book does not read like a textbook.  If you are trying to balance work and family, then you will most likely find this book extremely helpful and informative. 

-Cake Mom at http://jamielz.blogspot.com/2012/05/pregnant-entrpreneur-review-and.html

Whether you have a small starter business or a larger established company this book will help you navigate through pregnancy while owning your own business.  I wish I had this book 2 years ago while I was pregnant with Jace.  I had been working my jewelry business but stopped because I was so overwhelmed.  This book would have helped me to put things in perspective and keep the business going. 

-Lisa at http://www.astheygrowup.com/2012/05/mamas-ultimate-giveaway-bash-pregnant.html

 

Two aspects of the book that I especially enjoyed were critical questions and case studies. The critical questions at the end of each chapter help motivate and inspire the reader. The real examples of mom success stories are also inspirational and educational.

-Scarlett at  http://momswearyourtees.com/management-tips/pregnant-entrepreneur-book-review/ and https://www.facebook.com/Moms.Wear.Your.Tees.SMM

 

I kid you not – this is one of the most impressive non-fiction, how-to books that I have read in quite a long time.  Targeted to pregnant women who either have their own businesses or are considering starting their own business, it is also an invaluable resource for any self-employed, stay-at-home, working, or student mom.  I suspect that it is a terrific resource for all moms, at every level of working. This book has the potential of being life-changing!

– Cluadine Wolk, Author of It Gets Easier! And Other Lies We Tell New Mothers, Help4NewMoms.com

Interview with a Pregnant Entrepreneur: Sarah Bond of Main Line Parent Magazine

Welcome to an interview with another successful pregnant entrepreneur, Sarah Bond, CEO of Main Line Parent.

MainLineParent.com

 

  • You are nine months pregnant and are at the helm of a great resource for moms called Main Line Parent.  How did this come about?

Main Line Parent been online for two years and we are about to publish our fourth issue of our print magazine and launch a digital edition with customized mobile application for Spring 2012. We identify as a regional parenting publication, but what sets us apart is that we started out as a Facebook group in 2010. I started this company when my first daughter was four months old and I wanted to make more mom friends who were in a similar stage of life. I invited the four or five moms I’d met in prenatal yoga within days it grew ten-fold as their friends and friends of friends joined. We planned social networking events and started a website to publish parenting articles and features on local resources for families. Within a year I had my sights set on planning a charity benefit for the local birth center, where I’d had such an amazing experience for the birth of my daughter, and launching a print magazine as well. Mom’s Night Out for Mother’s Day was a huge success and the first issue of our magazine was met with rave reviews, so I kept going. In the following year I attracted a team of experts to fine tune our editorial and design and to assist in client relationship building, which also kept me going. 

  • You are about to release your fourth issue of the beautiful magazine Main Line Parent.  How are you feeling about the business right now?

 I feel great about the business. Our Spring Issue is about to come out the first week of March and we are riding a wave of success from our first Main Line Early Childhood Education Fair held earlier this month. The Spring Issue celebrates outstanding local parents with exciting features such as one several local moms who have built amazing businesses, another about a Mom’s Club which is building a $50K playground project, a chef from a new culinary hot spot in Wayne who makes cooking at home fun with his daughter by reinventing culinary classics with creative twists, and many more. This issue will be available for free through our distribution network of schools, cafes and local businesses as well as online to our subscribers and through a new custom mobile application for iDevices.

 

We are also preparing for our second annual Mom’s Night Out for Mother’s Day and we’re excited to already have $5,000 in contributions from local businesses for our silent auction. This night of beauty and fashion for moms is the ultimate girl’s night out: with a VIP lounge, swag-filled gift bags, cocktails, a red carpet, and dinner at the Radnor Valley Country Club and a fashion show by Van Cleve Collections. Our auction will benefit the Main Line Parent Foundation, which provides grants and scholarships to students, mompreneurs, moms clubs and local groups that share our mission of Building Community.

  • You started this venture in the midst of the Great Recession.  Some would say that is crazy.  What do you think?

Unlike many business models, such as opening a retail location or manufacturing products, Main Line Parent was built as a financially self-sustaining business. I already had the necessary skills from my years working in marketing roles, such as web and print collateral design, copy writing and integrated marketing communications planning, so I was in a good position to offer my expertise to local businesses and allow them to tap into a desirable niche market through the social media network I developed. The biggest investments were my time and my family has been very supportive financially so I did not need to take on a large amount of expensive debt to begin. We tapped into a niche market and have grown steadily with careful consideration to our financial position to ensure that we do not overextend ourselves as well.

  • What are your plans to take a maternity leave once the baby comes? Will your business be able to pay for you to be out?

I do not plan to take any kind of formal maternity leave, though I will be relying more on the rest of my team to keep our momentum going for a few weeks while I adjust to life with two. I’m optimistic that I will manage with a lot of baby-wearing and working during naps, which I did within two weeks of my first daughter being born (she was such a big sleeper during the day… cross your fingers for me that I’ll be so lucky again?)

  • How important are your staff and team to this business?  How did you connect with key individuals?

My team is absolutely essential. I would not still be doing this if I have not been joined by the natural relationship-building talents of Pamela Badolato, the copy writing savy and strategic editorial direction of Melissa Greiner, and the visual talents of Brittany Ostrov (our Photo Director), Veronica Utz (our Design Director), and Meredith Miller (our Art Director). And we, as the executive team would not be successful without the support of our contributing photographers and writers. As a business-owner, I would not be where I am today without the support and encouragement of my mentor and PR/Social Media expert, Dawn E. Warden, the event planning expertise and support of Karen Pecora and this would not have gotten started at all without the encouragement, financial support, and strategic consulting that my husband has provided.

 

I connected with this team through social media and networking (I even met my husband seven years ago on match.com… I guess I’ve always been connecting with key individuals online!) We united under a vision for taking this brand and with every issue we have fine-tuned our product.

  • Are there any physical challenges with your pregnancy, and how are you working through them? 

As with my first pregnancy, I had challenges getting pregnant because I have the most common form of infertility, PCOS. As anyone who has gone through this process will tell you, this is emotionally and physically exhausting — and I was about a year into running this business by that point. But with my determination, a great team of infertility specialists, and a tremendous amount of fortunate circumstances I was able to get pregnant again.

 

Then, about half-way through my pregnancy I was crippled by back and hip pain, barely able to walk or climb a flight of stairs and I was SAVED by chiropractic treatments twice and three times a week by Dr. Brandi Nemchenko in King of Prussia, Dr. Cara Hillwig in Bryn Mawr, and Dr. Martin Orimenko in Ardmore (I rotated between their practices based on my schedule and where I could fit in adjustments between client meetings!) I highly recommend all three to women who are pregnant — if you are experiencing any kind of hip and back pain — or if you are ever faced with a breech baby — give one or more of them a call!

  • People talk about mommy brain like it’s a bad thing, but I know you have serious plans for the future of your business.  Would you be able to share the next big thing we should look for from Main Line Parent?

Our next big thing is about to come to market, we are so excited to be working with Nxtbook Media, a company based in Lancaster, to be launching a free mobile application and digital edition of our magazine. (We are in the final stages of approval from Apple and expect our spring issue to be available in March through this medium. You can see a demo of our Winter Issue’s digital edition here.) This will compliment our printed circulation and enhance the reader experience with rich multimedia aspects and click-through links to share content through social networks. Along with our next big event, Mom’s Night Out for Mother’s Day, we’re looking ahead to the Fall 2012 when we will host the first Private and Independent School Expo for the region.

What to Do When Your Child Stops Napping

Pregnant Entrepreneurs are about to learn about the sweetest sound in the universe: a child sleeping.  For the first two years, you can get an awful lot done from your home office when your child naps.  But somewhere around two, many moms get a little shaky because it appears that your sweetheart is giving up naps, which can destroy the entire balance of your universe.

Here are a few great and practical tips from my friend, Erin Flynn Jay, Philadelphia writer, public relations executive and mom of two girls. http://www.metrokids.com/Blogs/MomSpeak/April-2012/When-Your-Toddler-Drops-the-Nap/  Check out her blog at FlynnMedia.com/blog.

To be completely honest, my own sleep hygiene these days isn’t the best, what with trying to burn the candle at both ends.  But I have always zealously guarded my children’s naptime. In addition to Erin’s tips above, here are a few of my own.

  • When your youngster first starts giving up naps, that doesn’t mean she’s actually ready to give up naps.  This is called a nap strike, and may just be for a few days.  If your child doesn’t get back into a sleep routine, try changing the routine.  If she always sleeps in her crib, for example, try taking her for a drive.  Find a situation she falls asleep in, and try to repeat it over the next week to get her back into a sleep habit.
  • Guard naps religiously if it makes you a better mom and a better business owner.  I am ALWAYS, ALWAYS home for naptime.  That means we miss out on a few events and some lunches with friends, but my kids know the routine, and usually go to bed with little fuss after lunch.
  • When naps fail, turn it into quiet time.  My pediatricians back me up that even a kindergardener needs quiet time.  While it may not be as long as a nap, your child can still stay quietly in their room, reading or playing with quiet toys.  It might be a shorter window than nap, but we don’t need that much time to accomplish our entire daily to do list after all, right?   😉
  • Reward naps.  As a mom, I am not above bribery.  When putting my little ones down for lunch, I often say something like, “I’m really looking forward to heading to the park with you after nap.  But you need to be well rested.  So read quietly and maybe close your eyes so you can have enough energy to do the fun stuff we have planned, alright?” 

Keep these strategies with you as your child ages.  I have found that my days are the best with my kids when they are well-rested, especially as they grow into toddlers and pre-schoolers.

Mommyland Surprises

You don’t know what you don’t know when you become a parent.  Here are a few doozies that still catch me off guard.

Table manners matter.  I’m not sure when this happened, but I became a stickler for table manners.  Of course, toddlers don’t have table manners.  More accurately, my toddlers actually own manners, they are just constantly misplacing theirs.  My oldest is five, and she absolutely loves being loud, making funny noises, hiding under the table, and getting her younger sister to misbehave along with her.  I wish I could be the carefree mom that laughs and sings at the table savoring every moment with my young children, but after getting everyone to a hot meal, I just want to enjoy it in relative peace.  Not complete silence, just peace.  Call me crazy.

No respect.  It amazes me that Rodney Dangerfield, who is absolutely a man, made a career of the phrase, “I get no respect.”  In fact, it is mothers who get no respect.  It’s become a running joke in my family, and it happens all the time.  I shop for dinner, plan dinner, and prepare dinner, but hand it off to my husband to grill, and the girls say, “Thank you for a great dinner, Daddy.”  For our recent trip to Hershey Park, I clear the dates, book the hotel, and buy the tickets, but my husband drives the car, and the girls say, “Thanks for taking us to Hershey, Daddy.”  I shop for clothes, launder them, and get the girls dressed, and the girls run to daddy to hear his obligatory praises of, “Oh, how pretty!”  I knew this would happen, of course, because I under-appreciated my own mom.  Serves me right.

Guilt.  I am sometimes ashamed and terrified of my perfect children.  As I befriend mothers who are raising children who are allergic, fragile, disabled, or tragically taken too soon, I am struck by guilt that I don’t actually worship my perfectly healthy children.  When they have a meltdown in the store or smack each other, I admit to sometimes losing my cool.  No, I’ve been too busy rearing them and setting boundaries to smother them in kisses several times a day, which is exactly what I should be doing. Which is exactly what my friends would do if their child were suddenly cured, restored, returned to them.  In the same breath, I am terrified that something terrible will happen in the next moment to my perfect children.  Would I be as graceful as these women I have come to admire?  There’s no way of knowing until I am tested, which I pray I won’t be. More guilt.

I love working.  Not that this one is a complete surprise.  I’m just grateful to be able to design a life where I can enjoy my kids and enjoy a fulfilling creative outlet that produces and income.  Especially when my kids drive me crazy, I still have this professional side of me up and running, and it is worth all of the energy that it takes to keep both sides of my life running at the same time.  Frankly, some days I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have my awesome business.  Yes, I love working, and I love working for myself even more.  udge me if you want, but I’m pretty sure I’m not alone on this one.

I’m sure there are more. But they’ll have to wait for a refill on chocolate and coffee, which I swore I would never use as crutches to get through my day.  Never say never.

 

 

 

 

Tax Returns and Significant Money

My bank account just tipped over into “significant money” territory.  I tell you this because it is, well, significant in my mind.  And I want to give you a benchmark for your own business.

I’ve been trying to decide whether to disclose the amount, but I decided not to because every business has a different “significant” number.  Yours might be a steady $25 per week or six-figures a year or a certain dollar figure in your checking account.  It makes no difference, really, except that you track it, watch for it, and celebrate it when it happens. 

My business has been profitable since day one.  Profitable just means that that the income completely pays for all the expenses in the business, including all the indirect expenses like my home office space, business lunches, and office supplies, and of course all the direct expenses like advertising and supplies for my clients. Profitability is good, because no one else, including my spouse, needs to be involved in how my business decides to spend it’s money.

Especially service businesses, like mine, may take a while to get off the ground and produce significant money, but it is a great feeling when you are able to point to a healthy bank balance, something that is large enough to pay for a family vacation, a car, or even a home, and see that your efforts are paying off in the same way they did when you were back working in cubicle-land.

If you are still struggling this year to make your business pay, and you aren’t already working with a CPA, you owe it to yourself to get some qualified advice on your taxes to keep more of your business earnings and get to your “significant money” threshold sooner.  Here are a couple of places to go and look for your next CPA:

http://www.daveramsey.com/elp/home/ictid/tp.nav

http://www.cpadirectory.com/

Best wishes for a healthy business and a healthy baby.