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Keeping all your business passions under one umbrella is hard (and sometimes even impossible).  I know where you’re coming from because I was there too.

A couple years back, I became certified as a Reiki Master/Teacher.  No one thought I could merge the two together, but I found a way by not only offering Reiki sessions on businesses and spaces but I also changed the type of client I wanted to attract.  I was looking for less of the stuffy shirt that didn’t want to see anything beyond the black and white of his own spreadsheet, and more of the people who had opened their minds to the possibility that what they put out into the world is what they’re going to get back.

It worked – quite well, in fact.  In the past year, my bottom line has doubled.  Uh huh.  You heard me.

This year, I found myself looking at more natural stuffs and trying to figure out more about essential oils.  One of my clients has researched, loves, and uses Young Living essential oils so I took to my own research and decided to pick up some oils of my own.  I told the woman who sold them to me that I had absolutely no interest in getting involved with direct selling again.  “There’s no time!  There’s no time!”  Not only did I love the oils beyond belief, but for those of you who know my story – wanting to be the business builder in direct sales is where my passion for my VA business actually came from.

So here I am as a Virtual Assistant/Online Business manager, a Reiki master/teacher, and a Young Living distributor. How the hell do you fit them all together?  This may not be the perfect solution for you, but here’s what I’ve done.

I bought dawnmartinello.com a number of years ago and it sat with nothing on it for the longest time.  When I became involved with Reiki, I popped some static information on there so I had somewhere to direct people when they asked for information but otherwise, it sat.  It’s now part of a two way street between that site and mondaymorningva.com.  Here’s how:

MONDAY MORNING VA

This is 100% business management but it focuses on people who are not your traditional entrepreneurs.  There is a page dedicated to Reiki in business and it also talks about the essential oils. This is a new addition so in the coming weeks, there will be information and posts on how I use the oils in business (I keep a roller ball of Stress Away next to my desk at all times because at times, this job is incredibly stressful) as well as some of the tips and tricks I’ve kept up my sleeve for direct sellers that I’ve gathered from my time working in MLMs.

DAWN MARTINELLO

This site is dedicated to a holistic way of living.  It goes more into depth with Reiki and the essential oils.  There is a link back to MMVA for anyone who hits the site who may be a seller of oils.  Where as MMVA would only talk about the holistic things in relation to business, this is going to be a free for all of information. I have to say – this is still not ideal.  In the coming year, I plan to bring everything into one place under a premise that goes something like this: Create a holistic and happy life and business on your terms.  See, the one passion that transcends both businesses for me is this holistic approach.  I’m not a white robe wearing faerie princess and I’m not a hard assed business person.  My life and business fit in between.

FACEBOOK

I currently run a couple of Facebook pages – one related to MMVA and one related to Reiki.  The Reiki page is going to be disbanded and the MMVA fan page will have a name change to something like “Dawn Martinello Biz”.  This will allow me to talk about both sides of my business in one house.

So how can you put this to work for you?  Think about what passions you want to bring together in a business.  How can you combine them?

Example:  You’re a business coach but you have an intense passion for fashion.   Solution: Become a business coach for fashion designers.

Example: You’re a social media maven, but you want to become a yoga instructor.   Solution: Focus your marketing in the area of your genius – social media.

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What if I said you could get more Facebook fans to see each of your posts and it wouldn’t cost you a dime? Sweet deal, right? Two words: embedded posts. It may not sound exciting yet, but wait until I show you how to do it and more importantly, how it’s going to make a difference for you.

Getting the code

You can embed any post, so long as the privacy is set to public. If you’re snagging one from your own page, you have two options. The easiest way is to find the post you want to embed and click on the little arrow on the top right hand side of the box.

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Then click on “embed post”.

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Now all that you have to do is copy and paste that code into your website. Here’s what it looks like:

Go ahead and play around with it – you can like the post, share it, or comment on it.

Putting it to use

None of this is of any help if you can’t figure out how to properly put it to use. Grab a pen, kitten.

1. Show off the things you love

A lot of times, you come across something you love on Facebook, and the only way for you to share it on your page is to take a screen capture and upload it to your site. It works but … meh. Now, when you find a great quote that you want to add to your site, you can use your new trick to embed it right into your site. Extra bonus: people love to be flattered so once you’ve embedded the post into your page, let the original author know about it by sharing a link to your article.

2. Story Bumping

I learned about this from Jon Loomer. Now we all know that Facebook is constantly changing things up, but I still think this is fairly relevant. Jon describes it like this: Story Bumping is a tweak to Facebook’s sorting algorithm that will begin surfacing content you missed to the top of your News Feed. You can also read more about it here on Facebook’s page.

3. Social Proof

I’m pretty excited to use this for one of my clients as we were just talking about how we may need to use a graphic designer to create better looking graphic replicas of her Facebook testimonials. No need for that now, check it out:

4. Show off your BEST OF posts

This is the second way you can embed a post but it also has the added benefit of creating a listing of your most popular posts from Facebook. Click on “see insights” and then on posts:

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Once you’re there, you can see which posts have the best reach, the most comments or likes, etc.

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Now all you have to do is click on the post, grab the embed code by clicking on the arrow, and paste it onto your site.

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5. Extend your reach

Normally, you post something on your blog first and then share it on Facebook. Try doing it backwards. Share it on Facebook first, and then on your blog by embedding the post. There are probably quite a few people on your email list or reading your blog that have never made it over to your Facebook page (or maybe they just haven’t liked it yet) so this is an excellent way to grab some new fans.

BONUS TIP: Here’s a great quick tip for anyone who does any guest posting. When you link back to your site in your bio, create a unique page that is dedicated to that particular audience. One up that page by embedding something fabulous and timeless on the page .. now they’ve seen not only your website but also your fan page.

More questions?

Can I embed any post?
Yes, so long as it is set as a public post. If the author deletes it or changes the privacy settings, it will no longer be available on your page.

Will a long post show up in it’s entirety?
No, it will be truncated with a “read more” link. Once clicked, the full post will be shown on your page.

If I embed someone else’s post on my page, can I still send them to my Facebook page?
Nope, if you embed another pages post, clicking on it will go to their page. If you embed a post from someone’s personal profile, it will send them to their personal page.

Can I ask a favour?

Share this post with someone who might be able to use it and then leave a comment below on how you plan to use embedded posts in your business.

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it's not your fault - working from home is hard

So, you want to work from home.  Maybe you want to be available for your kids, or maybe you are tired of the 9-5 rat race.  I’ve been working from home for the past 7 years and let me tell you, it can be HARD.

I’ve had to deal with people who think my “little business” is some type of a scam.

I didn’t have a good support system at home – at times he sabotaged it.

My son was only a few months old when I first started working from home.

Like I said, hard.

 

CHALLENGES:

 

Working from home can be a godsend, but there are a few challenges that people don’t always talk about.

Isolation

The best part about working from home is also the worst part .. you’re working from home. Alone.

Working a regular job affords you the luxury of talking shop with people who get what you’re talking about.  Have you ever tried to talk strategy with a 7 year old?  You can go days without any kind of face-to-face human contact if you’re single, so getting out is so much more important.  Plan a lunch with some friends, become more involved in your kids school, go to chamber of commerce events, work a day or two a week in a group office setting.

Guilt

My little man can melt my heart when he wraps his arms around me and tells me that he wants me to play with him instead of work.  When I surprised him with a 1 week mommy-and-me trip to Cuba, he just about peed his pants … because it was an entire week of my devoted attention to him.

Here’s the thing – guilt is going to happen.  Just roll with it.  Know that you and your kiddo will get through it and be just fine when you get to the other side.  Plan your work schedule around what happens in your family.  I quit work just after 3pm until after my son goes to bed at 7:30.  It’s not always ideal for business, but it is what I need to do to make things work.

Time

This one is always the thorn in my side.  I don’t want to be working day in and day out, 7 days a week.  Everyone has a finite amount of time to spend working each day, and as a single mom, mine seemed to be shaved a little closer than most.

We’re conditioned to think that we’re superheroes and have to do it all on our own.  Not so.  At some point, something will need to give, so it’s better to prepare for it now rather than having things crash around you later.

Hire a VA: A lot of people think that they have to have made it big (or bigger) to justify hiring a virtual assistant.  If cost is a concern, look for a more general VA and have them do some of the smaller tasks like setting up meetings, handling email correspondence, or publishing your blog posts.

Create a solid schedule: It’s crunch time and you need to make the most of it.  You may need to wake up early, or perhaps put in an hour or two after the kids hit the hay.  If it works for you, separate your day into the various tasks that need to be done:  client work from 9am – 11am; lunch and self care from 11am – 12pm; client work from 12pm – 3pm; business building from 3pm – 4pm.  I also use my Google calendar to keep track of everything.  One calendar is strictly for business, one is for personal.  It makes it easy to see exactly what needs to be done each day.

Interruptions:  There’s not a whole lot you can do about these but be sure to set up boundaries.  You will run into people who think that because you’re home, even if you’re working, that you’re available for guests to drop in, leave to do whatever, or hop on the phone.  Stay strong, be firm, and keep your head on.

 

HOW TO DO IT:

 

My sister-in-law asked me one day – what kind of at-home business do you think I can start?  Whoa .. that’s a loaded question.  There’s a lot that goes into creating any kind of business, and now that you know some of the more miserable parts of working from home, getting it right is kinda important.

Why do you want to start a business?

You need to be really specific here.  Being home for the kids or making money isn’t going to cut it on the days where you’re ripping your hair out and give a solid consideration to packing it in and going back to a regular job.  When I first started out – long before I opened the doors to MMVA – I wanted to add to our household finances.

My then-husband had a tendency to make me feel extremely small and not worth a whole heck of a lot even when I was working outside of the house so it was incredibly important that I still made a solid contribution financially.  Being home for my son became more of a necessity after I ended my marriage because there was no one else available if he were to get sick or during his days off from school.

Is it right for you?

Grabbing an idea from the sky isn’t really a great idea and I don’t think you need me to tell you that.  Take a look at your past experience, your passions, what do people tell you that you do exceptionally well?  Those are the things you’ll need to look at when coming up with an idea for a business.  Keep reading to the bottom of the post – I’ve got some great at-home businesses that can get you heading in the right direction.

Budget

Some businesses can be started quite inexpensively (I started my business when we were in the red and had about $20 in the bank) but you still have to be realistic when it comes to money.  You’ll need to think about things such as buying a domain name, marketing (business cards, website, etc), and licensing.

Take care of yourself

7 years later and this is something I still struggle with.  You can’t burn the candle at both ends so set a quitting time each day.  During the day, take at least one 15 minute break.  Step away from the work and grab a book, a nap, or go for a walk.

 

IDEAS:

 

Some of my favourite ideas are below - The Mogul Mom has a few more ideas for you here and there’s 5 more ideas on Simple Mom.

Virtual Assistant

No brainer, right?  I’ve written about this before and you can get started with my Virtual Assistant Business Plan too.

Blogging

Promise me that you won’t choose blogging just because you can’t think of anything else to do and you figure that everyone will love reading what you write.  Check out David Risley or Pat Flynn’s site.

Ecommerce

Whether you have your own product or you’re doing something dropshipping, there are a lot of ways you can create your own store.  Sandi Krakowski’s 12 week store is currently sold out, but this is exactly what you need to get into if this is something new to you.

Transcription

If you can type at a decent speed, you can market yourself as a transcriptionist.  Your start up is next to nothing and I can guarantee that this is the one job that no business owner wants to do on their own.

 

 Answer in the comments:

What type of job would YOU do at home?  What’s holding you back from starting?

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