Why I Turned Down a $132,000 Job

So many times, we think, “If we just had more money, life would be better?”

Ever fall in that trap?

Working from home doesn’t spare us from this thought process, and over the past five years, I have wondered if I should continue working at home, put my kids in daycare and really pursue a career or just quit altogether. Very different situations, but the ups and downs of freelancing can cause you to have major mood swings. (more…)

How to Become a Mom Inventor

Mama Profile with Michelle Gast

Everyday problems are necessary for ingenious inventions. There are some people who look at life’s minor problems as an inconvenience, and other people who see these problems as an opportunity. Michelle Gast, mama of two and founder of BEAUTILITY and the inventor of the Recoup BEAUTISCOOP, a flexible scoop that helps you save every drop of make-up and beauty product. (more…)

Don’t Be a Rory Gilmore: 4 Tips When Your Life Plans Fail

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I am a huge Gilmore girls fan, so you can bet I was excited about the Netflix relaunch.

And yet, I was totally let down.

Don’t get me wrong. There were a lot of things I loved and several things that made me cringe. One of the most cringe-worthy things was that Rory was such a loser. 

Harsh. I know. Hang with me. 

Rory was always super smart, with big goals and charming personality, so it was frustrating when she just gave up when her life plan didn’t exactly plan out. Girlfriend was having a midlife crisis in her 30s.

Here are four lessons we can learn from Rory when life doesn’t go as we plan.

1. Don’t Hang on Your Big Star Too Long

Rory wrote an amazing article for The Atlantic, and it had people talking. However, it was one piece, and eventually people forget about it.

I wish for everyone to experience those amazing moments where their wildest dreams come true. However, when they do happen, don’t park your car there too long. You need to keep moving forward. Your next accomplishment might not be worthy of any praise, but at least you aren’t growing stagnant.

After I wrote the first Blondie McGhee book, it was such an amazing feeling, but I realized that I needed to keep going. I don’t think I would have sold over 1,000 paperbacks and eBooks of the first Blondie book if I hadn’t published the second and third one.

Crystal Paine of MoneySavingMom.com and author of Money Making Mom made a similar point in her book. She jumped on the Facebook wagon right when it was hot and was able to secure a lot of traffic through the social media site. After putting all her efforts into Facebook to make her blog succeed, Facebook changed its algorithms and temporarily crippled Crystal’s website. She says that she learned from that experience not to put all of your eggs in one basket.

2. Don’t Waste Time with Pointless Pursuits

I was also annoyed with how Rory then threw all of her time and energy into Star Hollows’ newspaper. She wasn’t getting paid, but that is not the worst part. She wasn’t even allowed to pursue the newspaper project in her way and make it her passion. Did the paper make her happy? Judging by how much alcohol she consumed at her editor’s desk, I am guessing no.

There are going to be a lot of opportunities that come your way, but not all are worth pursuing. Don’t waste your precious time on them. I’ve wasted my time on plenty of pointless pursuits. I’ve wasted time trying to become a MLM success, planner creator, fashion/celebrity blogger, English teacher, and more. The common theme of the pursuits was that I wasn’t passionate about them, and therefore, I was wasting my time and talents on them.

3. Paying Rent Is More Important Than Saving Face

Rory had high expectations for herself in the publishing world, which is great, but she forgot a little fact – rent is due every month. If you have financial obligations, then you sometimes have to take on less desired positions to stay afloat financially. I’m not saying saddle yourself to a desk job and forget your passions. I’m just saying, “Don’t forget rent is due.”

Rory rejected several writing positions because they weren’t highly esteemed. Sometimes you have to do the “crap work” before you get your dream job. This past month, one of my dreams came true – I was published in Forbes. #Mindblown However, if you looked at what I was writing four or five years ago, you might have thought I would get my name on top websites.

Don’t be afraid to start at the bottom and work your way up.

4. Babies Are a Game Changer, Not a Game Ender

Spoiler alert, Rory tells her mom she is pregnant at the end of the Gilmore Girls’ reunion. The way she took and delivered the news was like a death sentence. Before my two kids came along, I wasn’t on the path to greatness. After each child, I became much more focused, organized and successful.

Having children is not a game ender or passion destroyer. Yes, they are hard. There was a long period when I got very little sleep between keeping up with assignments and a baby who woke up every four hours. There are times I let an editor down because the most unexpected things happen with my children, but they are so worth it.

When you have your first child, your life is going to change, and that is okay. You can change with your life and still feel fulfilled in pursuing your passions. Think of becoming a parent as a new perspective rather than a dead end.

Okay, Gilmore Girl fans. Tell me what you loved and/or hated about the show revival. I always love to talk Gilmore.

 

 

 

Don’t Quit Your Passions: Lori Cheek Interview

Going from a Shark Tank Rejection to Success

I use to watch Shark Tank religiously, and remember watching the lively Lori Cheek present her business to the Sharks. She was full of zeal and her business idea was quirky, but she received some very blunt rejection from the Sharks.

Imagine my surprise when Lori emailed me wanting to share her story for Credit Sesame. Can I just say that one of my favorite things about being a writer is that I get to interview some super cool people? I am constantly blown away by the crazy, exciting things that others have done.

You can read her whole story and secrets on Credit Sesame here.

After several emails back and forth, Lori’s won’t-quit attitude inspired me. The Sharks shredded her business idea, but she turned that rejection into fuel to keep going.

Finding the Diamond Out of Your Rock Before You Quit Your Passions

Sometimes your passion or business idea, whether it be a side hustle or a product, needs a lot of refining. Right now you have a rock, and you wonder if all of your hard work of sanding and shining it will make it the diamond you hope it can be.

I felt the same way about freelance writing many years ago. When I first started, blogging and online writing were just beocming a thing. I regularly would take work for $5-12 an article. When sites started to offer me $25 an article, I was over the moon.

Imagine my surprise that I now am paid 12-15 times that amount per article now. It is completely mind-blowing to me.

Same thing with my books, especially the Blondie McGhee series I started this year. I just wanted to write and have young readers enjoy my books. I sold over 1,500 paperback copies this year and over 500 ebook copies.

If I had given up years ago, I would not have been able to see this wonderful fruit of my labor. Don’t quit your passions just yet; the diamond might be waiting for you around the corner. If you are still passionate about your pursuit, then don’t worry about the numbers.

What passion or business idea have you been working hard at this year?

How to Start a Successful Etsy Business with Kids

Want to start a successful Etsy business with kids? This mom makes her living selling vintage jewelry on Etsy and started with two young daughters at her side.

You don’t always have to be a crafter to be successful on Etsy. I chatted with Etsy shop owner, Veronica Staudt of Vintage Meet Modern about her amazing vintage jewelry collection on Etsy. She was kind enough to share her tips on how to become a successful Etsy seller and why she started selling vintage jewelry.

 

Veronica has had a love for jewelry since she was four years old. She developed a keen eye for which jewelry was valuable through her grandma and aunt. Before kids, she also worked as a stylist and sales associate at Neiman Marcus in Chicago.

Even though she left Neimans to start a family, the love of jewelry and the passion of styling never left. Her story is a great reminder that you can still pursue your passions after having kids. You don’t need to choose one or the other. Now, on to her story!

Why Did You Start Selling Vintage Jewelry?

“I fell in love with jewelry because it always fit, and regardless of age the pieces often remained in perfect condition, and in many cases over time went up in desirability and even appreciated in value.  I fell in love with vintage because all the pieces we were sourcing where unique – either the piece was special and was an important part of fashion history or the person it came from had a great story.

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As our collection grew, I learned that collecting vintage jewelry was a lot like coin collecting; there were actually volumes of books and databases full of information on the pieces. It has become much like a treasure hunt for us.  We have a large library of books which talk about collecting vintage designer and costume jewelry.

I still get a thrill whenever we can find a piece that has been documented or photographed in a book or has been seen on celebrity or in ad campaign from the past. I also fell in love with vintage personally. I would often go someplace and the first thing people would notice was my jewelry. They would always ask where I got it from, and I would reply, ‘It’s vintage.’ People would be in awe and say, ‘That’s so cool!’ Now we are on a mission to bring [everyone] the most beautiful collection of designer and vintage jewels [they] can find!”

When and How Did You Start Vintage Meet Modern?

“Vintage Meet Modern was born on my dining room table, with my two small daughters at my side.

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I had inherited a huge lot of vintage pieces and was getting ready to put them online, and my daughter, 8 at the time, asked ‘What is vintage?’ I, of course, answered her, ‘Vintage is something that is 20 years or older.’ And her response was, ‘but everything here looks new? It looks all modern.”

In that ah-ha moment, I replied back, ‘You are right, it’s like an introduction – ‘Vintage Meet Modern.’”

Why Etsy Rather than eBay or Other Online Vendors?

“I decided that the collection spread out on the dining room table was not headed for an eBay auction but decided, that my company, my style, my dedication to a sustainable fashion movement needed to be connected to a place where we could grow and connect with clients and that is how I turned to Etsy.

I did a lot of homework about where I could sell vintage goods and have them respected, understood, appreciated, and desired. At the time there were not very many selling platforms that allowed for that. Etsy is one of the few that appreciates what makes vintage special and unique.

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While a majority of sellers on Etsy are handmade sellers, I do believe in my heart that Etsy supports the vintage community because they want all of their goods to be appreciated and be part of the sustainable goods movement. Etsy was also one of the few places that allowed sellers to be more than a user name or number, and that is truly why I believe Vintage Meet Modern has been successful. The ability to connect with our clients through personal conversations and correspondence is what makes Etsy a special and unique place to buy vintage.”

When Did Your Business First Start Seeing Success?

“I started selling vintage jewelry on Etsy in July of 2011, but we did not really hit our stride until March of 2013. My goal has always been to provide an exceptional buying experience for our customers but it was around that time that I really buckled down and started studying and connecting to other vintage sellers and creative entrepreneurs.

We have found tremendous support in online groups, most notably Got Vintage, which is an active community of vintage sellers on Facebook. Got Vintage also has a team on Etsy.  Etsy ‘teams’ have been a huge part of our success. The support, collaboration, spirit can’t be matched on any other selling platform. Etsy sellers really do have a community feeling to them.

You can ask a question and almost always someone has an answer or has been in the same situation. Forums are full of good usable and practical ideas regardless of whether you sell vintage or handmade.  When people ask me about how I feel about selling on Etsy, I am proud to say, it feels like my own little boutique in a shopping center. I know that customers have come to Etsy as a destination to find unique, high-quality items, and it’s up to me to promote myself, work hard, and distinguish myself so that they find what they are looking for.”

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Wrapping Up – Top Tips for Selling on Etsy

Can’t you just hear the passion oozing from Veronica’s story? She gives amazing tips on how to grow your at-home business, and I don’t want you to miss them. Here are my top three takeaways from her story that can be applied to any Etsy business, whether selling vintage jewelry or homemade creations:

  • Profit Follows Passion: Veronica says, “In the beginning, it was supplemental income that my family needed but as time grew on, I found I really, really enjoyed selling online. Part of the fun was that I truly loved all the aspects of what I was doing and that is how I fell in love with selling vintage, specifically jewelry and accessories.” She could have tried her hand at something that promised to be more “profitable,” but that would have worn her down quickly. Instead, she chose to pursue something she was passionate about, and the profits followed. Money will not carry you through working at home for over a decade, but passion will.
  • Keep Learning and Growing: What is Veronica’s library full of? Books on her trade. After almost 15 years in the business, she is an expert. However, that doesn’t mean she doesn’t stop growing and learning all she can about her trade.
  • Connect with People in the Same Trade: It can be easy to think of others in our same field as competition. However, when we shut out others in our line of work, we are only inhibiting growth. When Veronica connected with other vintage sellers (many of whom would be considered direct competition), her business flourished through the help of an online community who shared a love for vintage and business.

To see Veronica’s gorgeous vintage jewelry collection on Etsy or her site VintageMeetModern.com. You can also connect with Veronica on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @vintagemeetmdrn.

Passion or profits? Which one are you pursuing? Share your experience below.