Posted on

5 Innovative Franchises Under 100K

franchises under 100k

I work with women every day who are dying to get out of their 9 to 5 straight jacket. They frequently say they have always wanted to own a business, but the time was never right… until now. The time is often right because a woman’s asset base is now large enough to give a bit of cushion, but sometimes it’s due to a layoff or she feels the universe is giving her a nudge.

Unfortunately for a woman in this situation, the investment parameter is usually tight. The most she could come up with (either out of pocket or with me helping her get a little SBA express loan) is under $200,000. No startup business is so magical that when you open your doors the cash and profits just flow. Having 200K in available capital means the total cost to launch should be well under $150,000. And ideally under $100,000 because – surprise – there are bumps in the road and marketing costs to consider.

And at that investment level, (franchises under 100k) you are priced out of trendy brick and mortar stores where you envision yourself as the hostess having fun every day. Plus, that’s a delusion. No business is fun every day.

Simply put, at this price point your options are home-based businesses with no inventory or service businesses. You will be starting out in your home office offering some sort of service to entrepreneurs or homeowners. That is what is commonly referred to as ‘B to B’ or ‘B to C’ (business to business or business to consumer).

B to Bs generally require you to get out there and do business development – that’s code for networking your rear off and/or making cold calls or scheduling appointments. B to C means you are dealing with the public who can be picky. But those businesses can be advertising driven – i.e. you throw your money into marketing campaigns and, hopefully, your phone rings with potential customers.

So, with that in mind, here are a few franchises under 100k that I think are great and maybe even fun to operate:

#1 Just Between Friends

This one gets the award for lowest investment with a franchise fee of just $17,900 and a technology fee of $1,500. Just between friends is a ‘pop-up’ consignment business. You will put on large (and I do mean large – like you need to find a space with at least 10,000 Sq Ft to stage your events) consignment sales two or three times a year. You won’t make enough income to replace your salary – but you can bring in some serious spending money with what is essentially 2 months of work a year.  Learn more about this opportunity here.

franchises under 100k

#2 Spaulding Decon

Okay, admittedly this is not for everyone. As an owner of a Spaulding Decon franchise, you are offering meth lab, crime scene, and hoarding cleanup services. Some people think that’s sexy, ok? You’ll own a tremendously profitable business and as a bonus, you’ll hire EMT’s and firefighters to be your contract workers. Who wouldn’t want to work in with a bunch of physically fit guys and gals wanting to make extra money?

This type of company is a good fit for public speakers, networkers, and workers who have empathy. You will be in close contact with families on the worst days of their lives. But you will be providing a needed and valuable service to your community.

#3 Senior Placement Referral Businesses

Referral companies offer a free service to families who have an elder or disabled person who needs more assistance and are no longer capable of staying in their home. You’ll be providing value and getting paid nice commissions by the network of assisted living facilities that you refer.

Like a realtor, you’ll learn the client’s needs and budget, go into your database and generate a report with two or three local providers that are good matches. Then you’ll tour the facilities – and the client picks one. Once they have signed up the facility pays you a hefty fee.  This industry entails plenty of networking and calling on the referral sources. Who are, for the most part, happy to learn about what you can provide.

#4 Patrice and Associates (Recruiting with a Niche)

Patrice and Associates is the nation’s largest and oldest hospitality recruiting firm. Talk to any restaurant or hotel chain of size and chances are they already use their services.  As an owner, you can start at home and hire one recruiter to come with you to training sessions. These businesses can scale easily by hiring more recruiters and opening an office. You are recruiting management positions and calling on your local large restaurants, hotels, and casinos to land their placement business.

You will also interview and maintain resumes of folks wanting to move up the career ladder. This can be very profitable if you are willing to be on the phone for as much as eight hours per day. We’re talking headsets on and dialing for dollars.

#5 Challenge Island

This is one of the only franchises under 100k offering after-school enrichment programs that are on the cutting edge of S.T.E.A.M. (science, technology, engineering, art, and math). Challenge Island’s proprietary curriculum has earned countless accolades from schools, teachers, and parents.

You will hire teachers who are looking for extra pay to lead your classes. Many owners do not lead a class of their own. To provide additional revenue streams you can offer to hold birthday parties, summer camps, and girl scouts events through a national partnership the company has with the Girl Scouts of America. This is a fun business and you can achieve a great return in short order. The investment is low and the profit margins are high with little to no inventory or overhead.

Related Reading: It’s Never Too Late for a Startup

There are many other franchises under 100k to consider. Make sure to fully explore the alternatives with an expert, like me, to identify the right one that will incorporate your interests and transferable skills.

Posted on

11 Powerful Podcasts for You; the Businesswoman Over 40

businesswoman over 40

As I have said many times before, I love podcasts.  I listen to all sorts too. Whether it’s a show dedicated to solving real crime mysteries or one intended to expand my knowledge on an exciting topic, I’m an avid listener.  But my favorite shows are about creating and growing successful businesses.  So, in my quest to add quality shows to my audio library, I thought I’d make a list of the most potent podcasts for you; the businesswoman over 40.

#1 About That with Marga Ortigas – This show is about professional and personal transitions at midlife and beyond. Guests discuss how they have successfully navigated life’s changes.

Favorite episode: Breaking Ground with mental health professional, Darby Latshaw

 

#2 Your Next Avenue with Richard Eisenberg – This inspiring new podcast focuses on the work and careers of people fifty and over.  The show is hosted by the Senior Web Editor of Next Avenue, one of my favorite media websites.

Favorite episode: Finding Meaningful Work with author Shawn Askinosie

 

#3 AgeWYZ with Jana Panarites – This weekly broadcast deals with the emotional topic of caregiving and provides resources to those struggling to balance work life and the duties of caring for an aging family member.  It’s perfect for the businesswoman over 40 who is tending to the needs of elderly parents.

Favorite episode: The Legacy with caretaker Maggie McClane

 

#4 The Second Act with Benita Adams – This one isn’t actually a podcast.  You can listen to Benita’s radio show or watch her on TV or catch episodes on YouTube.  Either way, you’ll be entertained by her stories and interviews with reinvention experts.  Check out Benita’s show in this video: What Would I Tell My Younger Self?

#5 Feisty Side of Fifty with Mary Eileen Williams – Mary dedicates her show to boomers and gen Xers who embrace positive change in all aspects of life and look forward to the years ahead.  It’s a real ‘life is just beginning’ type of podcast.

Favorite episode: Interview with Betsy Werley of Encore.org.  This show is especially poignant for the businesswoman over 40.

 

#6 Women in the Middle with Suzy Rosenstein – The host, Suzy, is a Master Certified Life and Weight Coach who’s areas of expertise are midlife and transitions.  Her podcast encourages “frustrated women to get excited about their lives again.”

Favorite Episode: Why You’re Miserable at Work and How to Change It

 

#7 Second Act Stories with Andy Levine – In each new show, (offered every other week) inspiring people recount their experiences of making a significant career change in pursuit of a rewarding professional life.

Favorite episode: Ready for Some Expert Advice? with author Marci Aloboher

 

#8 Forever Fierce with Catherine Grace O’Connell – Each week Catherine is joined by a co-host to discuss a wide range of topics that midlife women find quite interesting. The show can be heard live Tuesdays at 2 PM EST on LA Talk Radio or downloaded from iTunes or Stitcher.

Favorite episode: Interview with the woman who stood up to Tony Robbins on the #metoo issue: Nanine McCool

 

#9 Experience 50 with Mary Rogers – Mary is on the same mission as me; helping midlife women succeed in business.  So, I naturally gravitated toward her show.  If that’s the type of help you need, have a listen.

Favorite episode: Rebranding Midlife Women with Juju Hook

Related Reading: 25+ Terrific Gen Xer, Midlifer, and Boomer Blog to Love

#10 Advice to My Younger Me with Sara Holtz – I love the concept of this ‘pay it forward’ show. Older, wiser, more experienced guests discuss strategies to help younger women achieve career success.  This podcast is all about the things you wish you had known as a professional in your 20s and 30s.

Favorite episode: How to Have a Good Day with Caroline Webb

 

#11 Women Killing It with Sally Hubbard –  Sally is an investigative journalist who has created an inspirational broadcast that celebrates and features rockstar businesswomen.  They share what has worked in their careers and what pitfalls to avoid to thrive in any job.

Favorite episode: How to be Confident with Regina Huber

I hope I piqued your interest with a few of these podcasts for the businesswoman over 40.  Let them motivate you to reach for the stars in your quest for success.  If you have any suggestions for new podcasts we should listen to, please leave a comment below.  And, as I always say…

Life is better when we lift each other up.

Posted on

How to Write a Shareable Blog Post Quickly

blog post

Whether you own a business with a blog, you’re a freelance writer or a traditional blogger, learning to write a shareable blog post quickly is an essential skill that can be quite lucrative.  Even if you’ve never written a post before, knowing how to do so can break down barriers and provide opportunities to guest blog on other sites and grow your business.

Do you know how to create a shareable blog post quickly?  Your answer obviously depends on what I mean by ‘quickly.  After all, the word is a bit vague. Some people can crank out a post or two every day.  For others, like me, it’s a slower process affected by time constraints, professional obligations, and family commitments.  So, my definition of the word may be substantially different from yours.

Nonetheless, I would argue most writers would love to increase their output and improve the quality of their posts.  That is where the word ‘shareable’ comes into play.  Will your articles get the love, attention, and engagement they deserve? Will readers clamor to share your content on social media?  If you’re uncertain, consider what you can do to compose more shareable content and increase your writing speed.

Ramp Up Your Productivity

Personally, when I need to produce an article quickly, I use a time management method called the Pomodoro Technique.  I avoid ALL distractions and work on my post for twenty-five minutes.  Then, I take a five-minute break to perform other tasks.  I can answer an email, start a load of laundry, etc.  After my break, the process begins again.  After completing four rounds, I allow myself a more extended break of thirty minutes to relax, eat a meal or exercise.

This technique is amazingly effective, and I suggest using it throughout the entire process of creating your content.

Perhaps you’re saying, “I’ll just write shorter posts.  Then I can produce more in less time.”  Well, you can do that.  However, your site will not please Google if it’s packed with mini posts.  Google will respond by pushing you down the rankings.  Better to publish articles of at least 600 words.  And audiences share longer articles more often anyway.

Create a Catchy Title

I can’t tell you how many times I have read a strange, unclear, or incredibly long post title and ask, “What was this writer thinking?”  Of course, I don’t click on the link because I don’t want to waste my time.  That may sound harsh, but it’s hard to take bloggers seriously when they don’t understand or adhere to basic rules.

  1. The title should be a clear statement or question

  2. It should be relatively short – six to ten words is usually plenty

  3. Powerful and emotional words like ‘you’ or ‘free’ or ‘easy’ should be incorporated

  4. Numbered posts and how-to articles typically generate more interest

Chose a Relevant Yet Interesting Image

Another important aspect of a shareable blog post is the image your readers see.  You don’t have to break the bank to obtain eye-catching pictures for your content.  Plenty of free-to-use sites offer professional photos for you to upload to your blog.  Here are a few:

  1. Pexels

  2. Skitterphoto

  3. Gratisography

  4. Pixabay – now offers pictures and short videos

For example, this video was free for me to use in this post.

Use Images, Graphs, or Videos Within Your Post

Readers will likely find your content more appealing if it contains a little visual stimulation.  Include a relevant photo from the sites I mentioned above or embed an emotional Tweet or instructional video for impact.  People share posts that entertain and provide value.

Make the Words Stand Out (In a Good Way)

Most professional bloggers keep their paragraphs short.  They would likely tell you to vary the length of your sentences too.  Readers have become accustomed to this style of writing because they’re skimmers.  They simply love subheaders and bullet points.  So use them.

This brings me to another point.  I know it sounds boring, but use a large, standard looking font when you blog.  People can’t read tiny words on a mobile device and won’t stay on your post, let alone share it.  And if at all possible, use black lettering on white background.  You might think this is ho-hum, but you’ll look like a pro.  And that will result in social media shares.

Include a Call-to-Action At the End

If a reader makes it all the way through your post, you have kept their interest and provided valuable information.  It’s the perfect time to ask them to:

1. Leave a comment about your post

2. Join your email list or Facebook group

3. Follow you on social media

4. Share your post

Don’t ask your audience to complete more than one action.  Their time is important, and you’ll likely irritate them if you request too much.

Triple Check for Spelling and Grammar Errors

The following paragraphs contain affiliate links.  If you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you.

Before you publish your content, edit it.  Then do it two more times.  Go through each paragraph line by line.  Does it make the grade?  Nothing will ruin the quality of a post like a series of typos.  You won’t look professional and neither will your work.

When I began my journey as a blogger, I wanted to hire a proofreader.  However, I could not afford one.  So, I purchased Grammarly.  It is an inexpensive program that edits my posts, Microsoft Word documents, and my emails.  I still rely on it to correct my work daily.  If you just can’t swing it at this time, ask a trusted friend or family member to review your article.

For Goodness Sake, Include Share Buttons

How can anyone pass along your epic post without share buttons?  Don’t make it difficult for your fans to sing your praises.  No share buttons translate into little attention or exposure to potential readers or clients.  Perish the thought!

Several plugins give writers the ability to place share buttons on their site.  After much research, I opted for Social Warfare.  This tool has helped my business grow with professional looking buttons that look great on desktop and mobile.

Related Reading: 7 Expert Strategies for Using Share Buttons

So, there you have it; my suggestions on how to write a shareable blog post quickly.  I hope you found them valuable.  If you follow these steps, you’ll be cranking out crazy good content in no time!

And please consider sharing this post. (There’s that call-to-action – ha!)

Remember, life is better when we lift each other up.

Posted on

5 Steps to Avoid a Professional Midlife Meltdown

midlife meltdown

From time to time, we all experience feelings of boredom, dissatisfaction or even exasperation in our jobs.  Most of us muddle through, knowing these feelings ebb and flow, as they often do throughout a long career.  But what should you do if those feelings persist and grow stronger with each passing week?  When you are longing for change and beginning to resent work, you might be on the road to a professional midlife meltdown.  In other words, you’re approaching career burnout.

You realize it’s important to be careful in this situation. You’ve probably known people who faced a similar dilemma and took leave, not only of their senses but their jobs as well.  These restless souls decided suddenly to resign and jump without looking.  Gutsy and a bit foolish, yes?  But that’s not you.  At least you don’t want it to be.

Well, what can you do to keep from going through this type of crisis? Let’s break it down. There are five steps you can take to avoid a midlife meltdown, thus saving your career, relationships, and mental state.

#1. Acknowledge Your Feelings

As the old saying goes, “Perception is reality.” You don’t need anyone else to validate your emotions or tell you that you’re wrong.  There’s a reason for your angst or malcontent, even if you haven’t discovered what it is yet.  Let the feelings flow, and you may discover the cause of or solution to your problem.

midlife meltdown

#2. Add a Few Minutes of Mindfulness to Your Routine

Mindfulness is a therapeutic technique used by successful professionals to avoid stress, negativity, and frustration.  When you focus awareness on the present, it becomes impossible to dwell on the regrets of your past or the worries of your future.  Meditation, yoga, and relaxation exercises are all popular forms of mindfulness.  Consider adding one or more of these activities to your daily regimen to stave off a midlife meltdown.

#3. Determine if the Situation is Temporary or Not

Once you have accepted and pondered the situation for a while, consider whether it’s a temporary irritation or one that’s bound to continue.  How long are you willing to tolerate the current state of affairs?  If your job is unbearable or you dread Monday mornings, it might be time to make a plan or take action and make positive changes.

#4. Investigate a Different Career 

Do you daydream starting a more fulfilling career?  If so, check out this epic list of potential jobs and resources: 11 Midlife Career Change Ideas that Don’t Suck.  These positions take less than two years of education and pay a starting salary of 40k – 76K.  You may discover a more satisfying professional life is not out of reach.

#5. Plan to Become the Entrepreneur You’ve Always Wanted to Be

If, however, you long to start a side-hustle or become a full-time entrepreneur, you will need to do some investigation and devise a plan.  Do you know what type startups to consider?  If so, have you researched your competition?  How much money can you get your hands on to fund a potential business?  How long can you afford to go without a steady income?

All are critical questions to answer before leaving your current position.  Check out this basic guide from the Small Business Administration to help you start a business plan.  While some people don’t think a structured plan is critical to success, I firmly believe even a shortened version can save you thousands of dollars and countless headaches throughout the first few years of your startup.

Following these five steps regarding your career can help you steer clear of a midlife meltdown.  You can have a satisfying professional life again.  But it will take patience, research, and commitment.  Let’s face it, anything worthwhile does!

Remember, life is better when we lift each other up.

 

 

Posted on

7 Expert Strategies for Using Share Buttons

share buttons

Do you ever get frustrated trying to locate social media share buttons in an article or on a web page that you enjoy?  I know I do.  Then, of course, I quickly give up the search and move on with my day.  Honestly, it’s too bad.  That business or publisher lost out on some free exposure all because there were no readily visible icons on their content.

Believe it or not, though, there is some debate amongst experts as to whether sites should even bother with share buttons.  Some argue that readers rarely use them on desktop and even less frequently on mobile.  It all depends on what type of product or content you produce and whether or not you know how to use share buttons properly.

As a blogger, I can’t imagine marketing my posts without them.  However, we all should learn to utilize sharing icons effectively.  But what are the best practices?  After much research, I discovered 7 expert strategies for using share buttons.

  1. According to Coschedule, the upper left-hand corner of your page is the optimum location for placement.  This is because people scan pages in a pattern starting in the upper left area.  Buttons should appear ‘above the fold’ when someone clicks on your page or post.  Let me explain that; they should be visible immediately without a reader scrolling down first.

  2. As reported in research conducted by Nielsen Norman Group, low numbers offer users negative social proof.  Meaning nominal sharing counts may suggest to readers your content is poor quality or weak.  Some social sharing tools can hide the number of times a post has been shared until a minimum number is reached.  I set my site so the counts aren’t displayed until my posts have been shared at least ten times.

  3. Don’t clutter the screen with too many buttons and overwhelm your viewers.  Many big-name blogs and online magazine like Huffington Post, Business Insider, and Social Media Examiner, for example, offer four to six buttons at most.  And I’m guessing they’ve done their research on this topic!

  4. Share This recommends you display buttons in order of importance to your target audience.  What social channels do your customers prefer?  Do they like Twitter more than LinkedIn?  If so, put them in that order.  And it doesn’t matter if you have an active presence on a particular platform or not.  If your clients like it, give them the opportunity to share your content where they want to!

  5. Use standard buttons instead of custom buttons that match the colors and fonts of your website’s theme.  This can be difficult for some entrepreneurs to accept because they put a great deal of money and time into branding their business.  Then, naturally, they want everything on their site to match.  But if buttons blend in with page design, they will become invisible, and readers won’t see or click them.  As marketing expert Jeff Bullas states, “Use standard buttons that work.”

  6. Consider adding call-to-action text to your icons.  Some social sharing tools allow you to add words to your buttons.  Wordstream suggests you merely ask for what you want.  Saying, “Pin This” or “Share on Twitter” might be a great way of increasing social metrics.  You can try this method and test which strategy works best for your site.

  7. Using a floating share bar makes it easy for readers to click on their favorite icon at any time.  Floating buttons scroll with you down the page while you read.  The folks at Sprout Social believe this is why floating bars have become so popular.  I use them on the left-hand side on desktop and at the bottom of the page on mobile devices.

Related Reading: How to Use Hashtracking & Other Hashtag Lookup Tools

There is an abundance of choices for entrepreneurs regarding the use and placement of social share buttons on their web pages and blog posts.  Hopefully, you will implement a few of the expert tips offered here and grow your business as a result.  What do you think?  Should your share buttons stand out or blend in with your design?  Feel free to comment below.

Life is better when we lift each other up.

Posted on

9 Quality Pinterest Group Boards for Motivated Midlifers

midlifers

Midlifers really like Pinterest.  In fact, according to Ignite Social Media, 53% of Pinterest users fall between thirty-five and fifty-four years of age.  What’s more, 80% of all users are women.  So, it’s safe to say female midlifers are big fans of this social media platform.

However, Pinterest isn’t exactly social.  As a user, you will find little opportunity for networking, friending, or chit-chatting in general.  Instead, think of Pinterest as a search engine like Google.  That being said, you can make comments on pins, follow specific people or businesses, and join group boards.  People typically join Pinterest group boards to promote their business products or blogs.  Additionally, you can participate in other types of group boards based on your hobbies and interests.

What Are Pinterest Group Boards

A group board is substantially the same as any other Pinterest board. The only difference is that many people (members) contribute pins to it rather than just one person.  It’s important to note that you can follow a board without becoming a member.

The creator of the board acts as an admin who can add new members or remove members who don’t follow the rules.  The creator is the first person pictured next to the group’s description.  The description explains what topics are covered and usually gives instructions on how to become a member.

How Can I Find Pinterest Group Boards?

Before I give you my list of group boards for midlifers, let me explain how to find other group boards that pique your interest.  There are a few methods of discovering relevant boards.

  • First, you can go to the Pinterest website and type in a word or phrase you want to search.  People and boards with names containing your searched word or phrase will appear.

  • Second, look at your competitors’ boards to see which group boards they belong to and contribute to frequently.

  • Third, check out your analytics if you have a Pinterest business account.  Look at ‘People You Reach,’ then ‘Interests,’ then ‘Your Followers.’

  • Fourth, search Pin Groupie to find groups and learn vital statistics about each one.  This is my favorite method.  You can search by category, word, phrase, or description.  And it’s free to use.  Woohoo!

Here is a short YouTube video to help you learn to use Pin Groupie:

 

My Favorite Pinterest Group Boards

Happiness at Midlife is the group to check out if you need a mood boost.  Inspirational quotes and topics like romance and mental health are frequently covered.

Skin Care for Women over 40 is a large group dedicated to providing tips, products, and articles to midlifers seeking health and beauty advice.  This active board offers an abundance of DIY recipes for self-care.

Boulevard of Midlife Bloggers is a collection of posts by women who are professional and hobby bloggers over the age of forty-five. The group allows up to two pins submitted each day per member.

Mid Life Stride allows members to pin up to two items a day and asks, like most groups, for reciprocation.  Topics like goals, fashion, health, and empty nest are preferred.

Forty Plus Bloggers Supporting Each Other permits up to three pins per day to be submitted by members. Pins must be of articles and not items or services for sale.  To become a member, you must be a writer who is forty plus and willing to share other members’ content.

Midlife Ladies is brought to you by Kimberly at Fifty Jewels.  This group is comprised of about fifty women who contribute all types of content.  That is, as long as they are of interest to women who follow the group.

Food and Recipes for Over 50s is, of course, a group for pinners focused on preparing and eating food designed to appeal to the fifty plus crowd. Consider joining if you have recipes to contribute or you just need to prepare a tasty meal for dinner.

Interesting Reading: The Other F Word Director Shines a Spotlight on Midlife

Midlife Inspiration is comprised of a small yet mighty group of women focused on embracing and enjoying life after forty.  Pins on this board offer tips on everything from health to love to career.

Vintage Hippies 50+ is Pinterest’s virtual time machine.  Travel back to the sixties and seventies if you’re feeling a bit nostalgic.  Pins are meant to promote vintage hippie culture and lifestyle.

Well, there’s my list of quality Pinterest boards for motivated midlifers.  What do you think of my choices?  Did I leave out your favorite?  Let me know in the comment section below.

Remember, life is better when we lift each other up.

Posted on

How to Control Fear and Overwhelm in Business: An Expert Speaks

How to Control Fear and Overwhelm in Business: An Expert Speaks

Randi Levin has helped hundreds of fledgling entrepreneurs avoid fear and overwhelm in their business lives throughout the years.  She is a nationally recognized life strategist, author, keynote speaker, and reinvention expert.  As an advocate for professional women, she coaches them through successful and powerful life transitions.

I recently interviewed Randi about the most common struggles women face when starting and managing a small business.  Topics ranged from fear and overwhelm to productivity and time management to self-worth.  I am confident you will be able to relate to this important discussion.

Life Wise Lady: When a woman wants to start a business or take an existing one to the next level, how can she get the ball rolling and skip feeling stuck?

Randi: We do tend to stop ourselves right at the door with a lot of excuses and reasons why not.  The first thing you should think of doing is getting your feet wet.  If you’re coming out of corporate and into private, that’s a very scary place.  Ask a lot of questions.  Is there someone you could shadow or a course you can take?  You have to be able to see yourself in that new business.

Life Wise Lady: Sometimes an entrepreneur is intimidated because of her lack of experience with technology, social media, or some other process.  How can she avoid getting caught up in anxiety and insecurity?

Randi:  My favorite quote is “Say yes now and figure it out afterward.”  We get in our own way.  Nothing is ever really perfect.  If we hang around waiting to launch the perfect product, business, or website, we are passing on developing ourselves and stepping into our business.  Step into the thing that scares you the most.  We all feel fear.  Go!  Trying things is so much more worth it than not.

“Step into the thing that scares you the most.”

Life Wise Lady: An overwhelmed businesswoman often experiences frustration and is tempted to multi-task.  What tips do you have to help her stay focused and calm?

Randi:  It goes back to that old issue of balance. It’s something I talk about all the time. The reality is we’re not balancing multiple things.  We are balancing one thing – ourselves.  What are we letting in our lives and what are we letting go of?  We need to shift our view of balance and ask ourselves if we are fulfilled.  We do have to pick and choose.  Are the things we are working on and surrounding ourselves with the things we love?  When you answer that truthfully, that’s when it all starts to fall into place.

Life Wise Lady:  What time of day do you think a professional woman should take on her most challenging tasks and why?

Randi:  I think it’s morning because we are refreshed.  If you’re talking about business tasks, always go after the ones that deal with money first.  If there is something that’s dealing with your service to a client, handle that task before the others.

Take a look at your to-do list.  We are all guilty of adding small tasks so we can cross them off quickly.  If you had three to five really key things to accomplish, you would have a better chance of actually doing them.  Put in front of you what is doable.

Life Wise Lady: What strategies do you recommend to a woman who is overwhelmed in her professional life?

Randi:  Give yourself some space.  If you feel as though things are going south for you or you’re stressed, allow yourself to pause.  And not necessarily for a moment.  Break away from the stressors and regroup.  We have so much coming at us.  Take a lunch.  Put the phone away.

The other piece is to stay connected.  We are so connected by social media and through texts and phones.  We have moved away from the in-person connections.  So, bringing those back into our day takes away stress and allows us to be human.

“Break away from the stressors and regroup.”

Life Wise Lady: What causes the fear of failure and how can women overcome it?

Randi:  People often won’t start something or won’t finish something unless it’s perfect.  A lot of New Year’s resolutions stop because they seem like too big a mountain to climb.  Reassess what you said.  Who is the one who said they were going to lose weight or get three new clients?  It was you.

I’m all about growth versus goals.  Have the goals and the destination in mind, but what is the process?   When you track your success it’s a little bit easier to get to the end result and failure seems a little less imminent.

Related: Chrometophobia; How the Fear of Spending is Hurting Your Business

Life Wise Lady: An entrepreneur might tend to feel like a fraud or have difficulty accepting praise or accolades.  How can she move past these insecurities?

Randi:  In business, people say, “Fake it until you make it.”  There are certain times when we have to take a leap of faith.  When we step into a relationship and get married, it’s all new.  How do we know how to be married?  We step into that and learn as we go.  When we allow ourselves to feel like imposters, we are not giving ourselves credit for living and for all the things we know and have accomplished.

Maybe you don’t have the ten years of experience someone else has, but you have other skills that they don’t.  There is something in your history that got you to do what you’re doing now.  If we own our story a little bit more, all of it, we can project why we are doing what we are doing.  Your experiences are to be celebrated and highlighted.  The minute you take yourself seriously, people are going to take note of that.

Life Wise Lady: When should a businesswoman seriously consider hiring a coach like yourself to solve a problem or achieve a higher level of success?

Randi: The first thing is to be aware and understand when you feel stuck.  Question yourself.  Should I get some help?  Is what I’m doing not working?

Sometimes, as women, we will go out with friends and unload our problems and our friends want to help us.  So, they tell us what to do.  If you do that, you’re probably going to wake up the next day and not take any of their advice.  Even if you do, it may not work.  The reason is that these solutions are not yours.  They are your friends’ solutions.

Coaching allows you to come up with your own answers and solutions to the things that are going on in your life.  We take actions on the stuff that is our own.  If you’re getting at the right things, in a few months your perspectives are going to shift and you’re going to be taking action in your life.  Having a coach is very rewarding.  It’s a gift that you give yourself.

 

Posted on

Midlifers and Boomers; 20+ Best Facebook Pages for You

midlifers and boomers; 25+ best Facebook pages for you

On the heels of my first post in a series of resources for Midlifers and Boomers, I’ve composed a list of targeted Facebook pages for the woman over forty.  They range from well-known, popular pages to obscure, smaller ones. As long as each is useful or entertaining, that’s all that matters.

The topics covered vary widely as well.  From pressing health matters to funny memes, you’ll get a little bit of everything with this list.  Consider it a Facebook buffet.  Are you ready to eat up?

 

Humor and Inspiration

  • Rocking Over 40 encourages you to be bold and own your age while striving for personal and professional success.  Very empowering messages found here!

  • Amazing Women 50 and Better is a blend of positivity and humor.  Stop by when you need a little ‘pick-me-up.’

  • Purple Clover has a sarcastic and clever vibe.  I simply couldn’t leave this popular page off the list.

  • Midlife Mayhem is interactive and entertaining.  Join in and answer questions or laugh at pictures and memes.

  • Life Starts After 50 inspires and helps you feel better about getting older with themed days like ‘motivation Monday’ and ‘feel good Friday.’

  • Aging Abundantly shares uplifting cultural stories and thought-provoking ideas about midlife and beyond.

  • Sad But True Life of a Middle Aged Woman is, you guessed it, funny with a dash of unfiltered attitude for flavor.

  • Women After 50 boasts well over one million followers for two reasons; it is witty and covers all the topics close to our hearts.

Parenting, Grandparenting, and Family Life

  • Grown and Flown gives parenting advice and support to those with older teens and young adults.  An empty nest doesn’t mean your worries stop.

  • The Midlife Mamas shares the most interesting family-oriented posts on the web.  I can quickly get sucked into the feed on this page if I’m not careful.

  • Daily Caring gives practical tips and advice to those caring for a parent, spouse or sibling.  Such a good resource!

  • Fabulous Grandma is the page you follow the second you find out you’re gonna have a grandchild.  This is THE feel-good place for grandmothers!

Travel and Leisure

  • My Itchy Travel Feet is for boomers who have wanderlust and long to find inspiration through adventures.

  • Mid-life Cruising! shares the experiences of a couple as they live their lives sailing the Caribbean.  Bon voyage!

  • AARP Travel Center is a partnership between AARP and Expedia that offers member discounts on travel to locales all over the world.

Money, Business, and Career

  • iRelaunch educates and supports professionals attempting to return to work after a career break.

  • Boomer Benefits empowers those new to Medicare and unsure of what it covers.  Use it as a resource to compare benefits and prices.

  • Life Wise Lady is my page (not so subtle #humblebrag).  I help women over forty create and grow successful businesses of their own.

Related reading: 25 Fantastic Facebook GROUPS for Midlifers and Boomers

Health, Wellness, and Food

This is a mere sampling of the many wonderful Facebook pages dedicated to midlifers and boomers.  You can find hundreds, if not thousands, of others to follow.  As a matter of fact, if you would like to share your favorites, mention them in the comments section below.

Life is better when we lift each other up.

Posted on

25 Fantastic Facebook Groups for Midlifers and Boomers

Fantastic Facebook Groups for Midlifers and Boomers

To whom do you turn for support and resources as a woman over forty?  Do you confide in family members, neighbors, co-workers, or high school friends? Perhaps the answer is no one.

As midlifers, we experience daily challenges particular to our situations and ages. The sandwich generation, as we are sometimes called, is pulled in multiple directions as we caretake our parents and children, our jobs and romances, our changing bodies and plummeting hormones.  We yearn for emotional support and comradery to maintain a sense of balance and clarity.

Thankfully, with the rise of social media, we no longer rely on proximity to establish connections to people with whom we can relate.  Facebook groups is a prime example of a tool that can help us find quality connections.  According to Pew Research Center, only eighteen percent of Facebook users are women ages forty-five to sixty-four.  However, there is no shortage of groups dedicated to midlifers and boomers.  In fact, the task of narrowing down hundreds or thousands of social groups is daunting.

But fear not my friend.  I have narrowed the choices by eliminating groups of less than two hundred people and those that allow men to join.  Sorry, fellas!  My list of 25 fantastic Facebook groups for midlifers and boomers is for women only.  Of course, the exceptions are groups created for singles and finding romance.

 Update: I have added a few groups to this post and started my own FB group.  It is a community of businesswomen and bloggers over forty who want to share their wisdom, products, and services with each other.  Join Life Wise Lady!

Support of All Sort

  • The Latte Lounge (Top Tips 4 Women Over 40!) This “virtual coffee shop for all women over 40, 50, and BEYOND” is a delightful forum to contribute interesting articles, health recommendations, advice, and news.  It was formerly called Top Tips 4 Women Over 40. 

  • Over 40, Fearless & Free (Women’s Group) is a safe place to share inspiring books, tips, and delicious recipes.  There is a maximum of six posts per day to keep down the number of notifications you receive.

  • Fab Women Over 50 is where to go to chat about issues important to you at this stage of life.  It’s an active community of positive, like-minded women who encourage and engage each other frequently.

  • 40+ Women Divorce Support Group is dedicated to helping those who are separated, divorced, or widowed.  You may ask questions or offer guidance to make the most out of one of life’s most stressful situations.

  • Rocking Midlife – Join the crowd and connect with fantastic ladies from around the world.  You can indulge in humorous videos and memes or seek comfort and counsel.

  • Women Over 50 ROCK was established to empower women with themed days like ‘Monday Motivation’ and ‘Tuesday Tips.’ While the group is mainly one of support, you are allowed to promote your Facebook page or a product/service on Fridays.

  • Forever Fierce: The Midlife Revolution – The name says it all.  This collaborative community was founded to “shift the perception of women at midlife and beyond.”  Although this group emphasizes style and fashion, various topics are welcome for discussion.

  • My Side of 50 covers issues like health, retirement, food, fashion, travel, grandchildren, and aging parents.  It’s a one stop shop for midlifers and boomers who want to establish virtual friendships.

  • The Flock (of TheMuttonClub.com) – Meet, chat up, and laugh with feisty, outspoken ladies here.  Topics vary and there are no holds barred.  You may also promote your business page on Fridays.

 

Parenting

  • Midlife Moms is for women who have babies or toddlers a little later than most.  I am not a member, but I imagine the talk and advice revolve largely around parenting small children and the struggles of midlife motherhood.

  • Having Babies Over 40 (Women Only) – If you are planning to get pregnant or are pregnant or recently gave birth, then you will be welcome here.  It’s a supportive, friendly crowd of “kindred spirits ready to welcome you.”

  • Moms with College Kids – When the hatchlings fly off, you may need tips on how to handle this transition or how to accept your empty nest.  Members also discuss college admissions, internships, and surviving ‘adult children.’

 

Health, Fitness, and Wellness

  • Day Off Diet Support for Women Over 50 assists midlifers in their struggle with weight loss.  Everyone benefits from the tips, strategies, stories, and recipes shared amongst members.

  • Peri / Menopause Support Group gives direction to those in the beginning stages of menopause or those who have been experiencing this transition for years.

  • ForeverHer – This group focuses on wellness and exercise trends for ladies who are thirty-five plus.  Members offer tips, encouragement, and reviews to inspire you to stay fabulously fit.

 

Relationships, Dating, and Romance

  • The Original- Over 40 Single Mingle is a “make friends and see what happens” kind of crowd.  You are encouraged to share pictures, discuss events, and arrange meetups.

  • For Over 50 Senior Singles Dating is similar to the group above.  However, the admins strictly forbid anyone under fifty from joining.

  • World Wide Senior Dating and Romance – Don’t let the name of this club discourage you from joining if you are a midlifer.  Singles forty and up are accepted if they have a Facebook profile with a picture of themselves.

 

Style, Beauty, and Fashion

  • Beauty Q&A..Insider Tips – This is a U.K. only group for women to share, ask about, and learn beauty tips.  They frequently discuss trends and which products and services they prefer and why.

  • Ageism is Never in Style – Don’t you just love the name?  The group was created for women who feel ignored by the fashion industry simply because of their ages.  Feel free to contribute style tips, blog posts, and inspiring stories.

  • Mamas Over 40 Who Love Makeup, Fitness and Fashion! –  This bunch of gals is, of course, into chatting about style, clothes, makeup, and fitness.  They share the latest trends and discuss releases and give reviews.

  • Style Your Way to Success Over Fifty was created by a midlife image stylist. Interact with this empowering tribe by giving advice, asking questions, or posting pictures of your confidence boosting outfits.

  • Silver Foxy is all about women (and the occasional man) who want to maintain natural, silver hair.  Contribute tutorials, tips, videos, and pictures of yourself and your lovely locks.

Related Reading – Midlife Reinvention; Is it Time for a Professional Pivot?

For Writers and Business Owners

 

I sincerely hope you discovered a few groups that piqued your interest on this list. After all, we need to vent and share our successes and frustrations occasionally. Do you remember the intro to the show Cheers?  “Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name.”  My apologies if that song gets stuck in your head for a while.

Do you belong to any fantastic Facebook groups for midlifers and boomers?  If so, don’t keep it a secret.  Please share the names so we can all join.

Life is better when we lift each other up.

Posted on

Chrometophobia; How the Fear of Spending is Hurting Your Business

chrometophobia-fear-of-spending-hurting-your-business

Starting a business is not for the faint of heart.  The reality of inconsistent sales and paychecks should scare the hell out of anyone with a brain.  Yet, according to the most recent U.S. Census data, over 450,000 Americans dive headlong into the dark, unpredictable waters of entrepreneurship annually.  About half of them sink within four years.  Why?  It is almost always due to a lack of planning or funding or both.  A thorough business plan will adequately address the former, but the latter is not as easily overcome.

Financing a successful startup consists not only of your access to money but your psychological relationship with it.  Do you hoard cash or spend it too freely?  Are you willing to or capable of investing extra capital when it is needed?  Do you suffer from a slight case of chrometophobia; the fear of spending or managing money?  If so, it could cause your endeavor to go under or keep it treading water.  You could be setting yourself up to fail by:

  • Limiting your exposure on social media channels without an advertising budget

  • Not spending money on the development of new products or services to sell

  • Not learning or improving skills through courses or coaching

  • Appearing unprofessional with low-end branding, photos or website

  • Not investing in software and programs to eliminate unnecessary tasks

Let’s face it.  Our financial situations cause many of us a substantial amount of stress and anxiety each month.  The pressures that come with handling money affect our personal and business decisions every day.  Saying you can’t afford ‘x’ for your business while planning a vacation or trekking to Starbucks every day is nonsensical.  Yet, we can all make strange choices like these and then have the audacity to justify them.  Are you guilty of this?  I know I am from time to time.

 

Making a mental shift is scary and often necessary to grow your startup and prosper.  But what if you’re not in a position that will allow you to change your financial strategy immediately?  If you can’t actually afford to increase the support of your fledgling business, then maybe it needs to become or remain a side hustle.  There is no shame in that.  That is a decision only you can make after a bit of soul-searching.

Related Reading: Overworked and Underpaid? 9 Free Apps to the Rescue

However, if you want to succeed and prosper, you’ll need to find a way to overcome your chrometophobia and make some room in your budget for your dream, your baby, your business.  Is it time to make some fiscal changes and a commitment to yourself?

Personally, I need to increase my advertising budget. I have understood this fact for a while but have resisted the change until now.  The decision means something in my private spending will have to be cut.  So be it.  My business is worth the sacrifice and I am ready to flourish.

What are you willing to give up in your personal life to succeed professionally?  Tell me about it in the comment section.  If you know a business owner who is struggling with this issue, please share this post with them on social media.  Life is better when we lift each other up.