Women Entrepreneurs Week – Maia Haag

Women Entrepreneurs Week – Maia Haag

November 19 was Women’s Entrepreneurship Day where the accomplishments of women in business are highlighted. I love being in business and meeting other women who are living on purpose and adding value to the world through their business. Instead of celebrating just one day I’m celebrating all week and possibly the rest of the month.

I’ll introduce you to incredibly innovative women and highlight their business for you. To learn more about them personally and/or what they sell, click on the links to visit their websites. Remember, when women are strong, the world is stronger.

Today I want you to meet woman entrepreneur Maia Haag, Co-Founder and President of I See Me!

What kind of business do you have?

I See Me! (www.iseeme.com) is the largest publisher of personalized children’s books and gifts in the US. We sell beautifully illustrated and designed personalized books that are made one-by-one especially for each child. The books make perfect holiday gifts, new baby gifts, birthday and baptism gifts for children ages 0-8.

i-see-me-fairytalebundle
What keeps you going? What’s your Why?

The mission of I See Me! is to make each child feel special. Our books help to build self-esteem in children because the child is the star of the story. Our books are deeply personalized. For example, many of our books allow the gift-giver to select the skin tone and hair color of the child. Other of our books incorporate a photo of the child’s face into the illustrations. As a result, children love reading their very own books over and over, and they cherish them forever.


What kind of help did you have to start and build your company?

My husband and I built our company together. We received a personalized book for our own child and we thought it could have been done better. My husband is a graphic designer, I am a marketer, and we combined our business minds to create a much higher quality personalized book than what was in the marketplace. Now we have a fantastic team of leaders helping to shape the company.

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What makes you feel successful in life and business?

I have re-defined success to mean not only building a successful business, but also having time for my children, husband and myself. I especially enjoy the one-on-one time that I plan with each of our kids and with my husband. For many years I was focused on the business at the expense of my personal life, and I have made some major shifts such as no longer working in the evenings. It required me to redefine my definition of success in order to do that.

maia-haag-womens-entrepreneur-week.jpgBIO: Maia Haag is an entrepreneur and general manager who has gone from managing multi-million dollar businesses at General Mills to writing and self-publishing personalized children’s books that have generated multi-millions in sales. Maia is the Co-Founder and President of I See Me! , the largest publisher of personalized children’s books in the world.

Women Entrepreneurs Week – Sharon Blumberg

Women Entrepreneurs Week – Sharon Blumberg

November 19 was Women’s Entrepreneurship Day where the accomplishments of women in business are highlighted. I love being in business and meeting other women who are living on purpose and adding value to the world through their business. Instead of celebrating just one day I’m celebrating all week and possibly the rest of the month.

I’ll introduce you to incredibly innovative women and highlight their business for you. To learn more about them personally and/or what they sell, click on the links to visit their websites. Remember, when women are strong, the world is stronger.

Today I want you to meet Dallas mom, Sharon Blumberg in the interview I had with her.

What kind of business do you have? 

I am the owner of a children’s lifestyle brand called CHOOZE. We create footwear, apparel, and accessories that are different, literally. We are best known for our signature creatively-coordinated footwear – the left shoe is always different from the right – and we have extended our colorful design aesthetic onto our apparel and accessories.

chooze-spook-baby-booties      chooze-candy-pants

Thanksgiving special – 50% off all purchases over $100 on mychoooze.com with the code GIVETHANKS.

What keeps you going? What’s your Why?chooze-candy-dress

The entire goal for our business has always been about empowering kids to reach their potential and inspiring parents to
give their kids the freedom to do so. CHOOZE is about self-expression, creativity, and confidence. When we foster these qualities we can do anything. The name of the brand represents our power to choose to be who we are truly meant to be. From the design concept to our socially responsible business model, our “why” is about the power of choice.

What’s your biggest challenge?

Being a business owner brings on new challenges every single day. Every day I am tested on how I will react and handle a new issue. I would say that my biggest challenge is trying to stay calm and positive through the roller coaster ride of entrepreneurship.

What do you do for regular self-care?

I try to take time every day to do something for me, whether it’s going for a walk or practicing yoga. The practice of yoga has been fully transformative for me because it has taught me to calm my otherwise chaotic mind, to be strong & flexible on and off the mat, and to live consciously.

sharon-blumberg-choozeBIO: Sharon Blumberg is a Dallas mom on a mission to empower and elevate kids through creativity and confidence. Blumberg’s career began as an artist and designer focused on creating custom murals and furniture for children’s rooms. Since becoming a mom to three creative kids, she realized one of her greatest passions – using art to motivate kids to dream big. Blumberg turned this passion into a business and created CHOOZE, a lifestyle brand that started with a line of creatively-coordinated footwear.

Women Entrepreneurs Week – Debra Stangl

Women Entrepreneurs Week – Debra Stangl

November 19 was Women’s Entrepreneurship Day where the accomplishments of women in business are highlighted. I love being in business and meeting other women who are living on purpose and adding value to the world through their business. Instead of celebrating just one day I’m celebrating all week and possibly the rest of the month.

I’ll introduce you to incredibly innovative women and highlight their business for you. To learn more about them personally and/or what they sell, click on the links to visit their websites. Remember, when women are strong, the world is stronger.

Today I want you to meet Debra Stangl, Founder/CEO – Sedona Soul Adventures – Sedona, AZ

Author – The Journey to Happy – How Embracing The Concept That Nothing Is Wrong Can Transform Your Life” 

What kind of business do you have?

At Sedona Soul Adventures, we do private retreats that are custom-designed for individuals and couples. We help people go from where they are to where they want to be. We work with over 40 of Sedona’s master practitioners and we spend a lot of time talking with each person before they come to Sedona to really go deep into what’s going on? What do you want?  Then we custom design each retreat of private one-on-one sessions to give our clients exactly what they need to have the life or the relationship of their dreams.

The two most common things people say to us is  “I never dreamed my life could be this good” or “We never believed our relationship could be this wonderful”.  The retreats are truly life changing and transformational.

I have also combined my spiritual work with my love of travel and I take groups each year to Egypt and Machu Picchu, to experience the sacred energy of these amazing places.

I’ve now become an author. My book,The Journey to Happy – How Embracing The Concept That Nothing Is Wrong Can Transform Your Life” launched October 19, 2016 and has gone to Amazon #1 Best Seller in 5 Categories and International #1 Best Seller in 4 countries. In the book I explain how I went from being a burned out divorce attorney, who was 40 pounds overweight and $50,000 in debt to $50,000 dropping out of the sky, losing 40 pounds in 5 weeks without diet or exercise and doing the work of my dreams with Sedona Soul Adventures. I then show the reader how using the concept of Nothing Is Wrong can transform every area of your life.

I blog every week about living your best life and how to do it. It’s posted on our web site, http://SedonaSoulAdventures.com

Why did you choose this business or blog?
In many ways, I feel like it chose me and I almost didn’t have any choice! Because I was so unfulfilled and unhappy as a divorce attorney, that led me to Sedona where I connected with some of the world’s most amazing and advanced healers and spiritual guides. My own healing led me on a quest that culminated in the discoveries that I discuss in my book and that we utilize at Sedona Soul Adventures, especially that real and lasting change is possible. I knew I had to bring that message to the world and that has been my mission for the past 14 years.

What do you do for regular self-care?
Quite literally, I use the Stepping Stones that are in my book (meditation, Gratitude Journal, Tapping) and I do sessions cover-for-kindle-finalregularly with my fantastic practitioners, especially sessions that move energetic blocks and breathwork. I do yoga 1-2 times per week and I hike in the beautiful red rocks of Sedona with my golden retriever, Daisy. I have weekly massages and myopractic adjustments every 2 weeks. I also do a very unusual type of weight workout with my personal trainer for 25 minutes every 10 days.

What makes you feel successful in life and business?

My business is all about helping people live their best lives and that’s what my life is about. I truly believe that the key to feeling fulfilled and happy is living our lives in connection on all the levels – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. When we are connected on all the levels, we feel great, we’re operating on all four cylinders. When we’re not, we simply can’t live our best life.

I try to live this all the time and try to practice what I preach. Do I do it all the time? No, I don’t, I’m human. But the more I try, the better I get at it. I also teach having compassion with yourself, which is something that as women we often find hard to do.

deb-stanglBio: 17 years ago, Debra Stangl was a burnt out divorce attorney, 40 pounds overweight, $50,000 in debt and in an unhappy marriage. She came to Sedona for the first time and everything changed. As she recounts in her new book, “The Journey to Happy – How Embracing The Concept That Nothing Is Wrong Can Transform Your Life”, $50,000 dropped out of the sky, she lost 40 pounds in 5 weeks (without dieting) and now does the work of her dreams with Sedona Soul Adventures, by helping others find happiness.

Women Entrepreneurs Week – Tina Hay

Women Entrepreneurs Week – Tina Hay

November 19 was Women’s Entrepreneurship Day where the accomplishments of women in business are highlighted. I love being in business and meeting other women who are living on purpose and adding value to the world through their business. Instead of celebrating just one day I’m celebrating all week and possibly the rest of the month.

I’ll introduce you to incredibly innovative women and highlight their business for you. To learn more about them personally and/or what they sell, click on the links to visit their websites. Remember, when women are strong, the world is stronger.

Today I want you to meet Tina Hay the Founder and Creator of Napkin Finance 

What kind of business do you have?

Napkin Finance is a platform that simplifies complex financial topics.napkin-finance-start-up

Through sketches and videos, we make financial literacy more palatable. What’s unique about Napkin Finance is that we engage through humor, simplicity, trust, and empathy.

Why did you choose this business?

The inspiration for Napkin Finance was my own struggles with finance as an MBA student. I am a visual thinker, as are many other people. Sketching out images has always helped me understand complex topics.

I started illustrating different topics on napkins as a marketing platform for a previous startup and we saw that our napkins seemed to resonate with quite a few people.

As we added more and more topics, we realized that there are few resources that make financial literacy more palatable and accessible.  From there we have grown from napkins to videos, a glossary and we are now working on releasing a podcast.

What keeps you going? What’s your “Why?”

The best part of what we do is the feedback and messages we get from our members. Nothing beats hearing from parents, young adults, teachers and many others that they love our content and we are helping them make smart and impactful money decisions.

napkin-finance-student-loan

What kind of help did you have to start and build your company?

I have been very lucky to have a team that is incredibly talented, hard-working, and loves working on such an important and vital subject.  I have also had great advisors from the start that have helped guide the strategy and direction of the company.

What’s your biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge is focusing my time and resources on the most important issues, rather than getting distracted by the numerous daily challenges and opportunities.

What kind of support system do you have?

I have incredibly supportive family and friends. Starting a business is a roller coaster ride and it is sometimes difficult to handle all the ups and downs. It is nice to also know many people who have started companies and can understand and relate to the difficulties and demands of startup life.

What makes you feel successful in life and business?

Working on a company that is helping people and also having fun doing it is the best feeling and more rewarding than any other financial return.

women-entrepreneurs-tina-hay-ceo-napkin-financeBIO: Tina’s personal struggles understanding complex financial topics led her to found Napkin Finance, a guide to everything you need to know about money in 30 seconds or less.  The mission of the company is to empower readers to make smart money decisions and build a lifetime of financial well-being. Prior to creating Napkin Finance, she was Co-founder and President of CityTripping.com and Founder of Platinum Test Group. She holds a B.A. from UCLA and an MBA from Harvard University.

How to Sell Your Engagement Ring Online (Worthy.com)

I shared with you what happened when I sold my engagement ring after I got divorced. Back then the only way to sell your engagement ring online was to go to Craigslist or some other classified directory. I didn’t get the best price I’m sure because I wasn’t well informed. I didn’t get the ring appraised, in fact, I didn’t really know I could take it to a jeweler to find out all the details about the ring.

Things are different now so you don’t have to practically give away your diamond ring. You have options for selling your ring online and getting the best price instead of the first price someone throws your way.

I got information about Worthy.com recently and feel it is a great way to sell your diamond engagement ring online. The site was created so women who have jewelry laying around can sell it for a great price to the highest bidder. I decided to give a try myself so I went to the website and started the process of selling a wedding band. In the video below you can see step by step how to sell the rings online. It’s very easy to do so take a look at the video and then dig out your diamond rings and start selling.

Fast Facts:

  • The estimate is free
  • The shipping is free
  • Listing in the auction is done for you
  • You get to decide the lowest amount you’ll take based on the appraised value
  • You get paid in 7 days after the sale of your jewelry

Have you sold your engagement ring or wedding band? Do you think you would sell it now that you see how easy it can be?

13 Powerful Money Lessons Every Single Mom Must Learn

13 Powerful Money Lessons Every Single Mom Must Learn

Introduction

This little guide is an introduction to the 13 money lessons that will bring you peace, prosperity, and a brand new outlook on money. I have learned these lessons my life as a single mom. Being financially responsible for my children basically forced me to learn these lessons because I did not want to be a welfare mom statistic.

The tips in this booklet range from ways to control your financial life to a plethora of savings strategies for your big and small dreams.

Managing money as a single mom (or anyone) can be challenging when the income source is deficient. The secrets discussed here will show you how to use what you have, heal from your disappointments, and learn how to magnetize more money.

Let’s dive in!

1. Controlled Spending = More Freedom

single mom financial freedom

To turbo charge your financial life begin by developing a spending plan to avoid overspending. If the word budget conjures up feelings of restriction and lack; call it a spending plan.

Understand that when you develop a spending plan you feel more in control and it’s easier to stop overspending.

The first thing to do is think about and list everything you need, and then assign a dollar amount to each item.

Review your past spending trends to get an accurate look of how much you spend for bills, food, clothing, car/ transportation, and entertainment.

Review your bank account online for a ready source for seeing where your money goes.

2. Give a Kid a Dime He’s Happy for a Day Teach Him About a Dollar He’s Set for Life (Kids & Money)

Teach your kids how to create and maintain a budget. Because the older they get the more money they will want.

Kids should know how the money is spent so that they can be more sensitive to money limitations.

When kids know approximately how much money is coming in and how much has to go out to maintain a life they will be more sensitive to your role as provider.

Knowledge about financial obligations might encourage kids to find ways to earn money on their own.

3. Hedge off Disaster or Head to Vacation (Rainy Day Funds)

rainydayfund

Have a savings plan to prepare for emergencies? It is hard to predict when an emergency will happen that requires a large chunk of cash.

Putting away money for a rainy day is very empowering (I’m speaking to myself here).

If you have money saved, that is specifically for these times, your stress level will go way down.

A stash of cash can relieve feelings of desperation and resorting to uncharacteristic behaviors.

Most financial gurus recommend that you have $1k-3k in savings. If you can manage to save at least $500 that is better than nothing.

Open up a separate account for your rainy day fund. Use your tax refund, raises, or other windfalls of cash to fund this account.

4. Get Smart About Child Support

parentsarguesmGet child support payments direct deposited if possible. There is nothing worse than waiting for a check to arrive in the mail from your ex.

If you are getting support through the state, you should have the direct deposit option.

If you have an agreement with your ex, insist on having the funds automatically transferred to your account. The money will be taken out automatically so you won’t have to worry about getting the funds on time.

If you are not getting child support, please find a way to get it. For more information, read the e-book, Stop Whining and Start Winning Child Support.

5. Keep More of Your Money in Banking Transactions

make money blogging

Join a Credit Union to avoid outrageous bank fees.  Your money will earn interest over time.

If you are eligible to join, you can easily become a member by completing a membership application, depositing and maintaining the minimum par value of a share (generally ranging from $5 to $25), and paying a one-time membership fee if the credit union charges such a fee.

As a member, you will have the right to vote at the credit union’s annual membership meeting for the credit union’s board of directors and its other officials.  All of the officials are comprised of members, like yourself, from its field of membership. (MyCreditUnion.gov)

Banks are notorious for nickel and diming people to death. There is a fee for everything from checks to account balances below a certain amount. A credit union may be available through your employer, your state, or your school. Find a credit union near you.

An alternative is an insurance-run financial institution like USAA or PenFed. These types of banks

6. Knowledge is Power for Purchases (Research, Research)

research prices for best deals

Research products or services online for quality and price before purchasing. Before you go out and buy a product or hire someone to do a job for you please, please check online.

When you research prices and quality of service you can same much time, effort and possible frustration.

Places to go online are Google, Amazon.com, ePinions, Znet.com, Cnet.com, Consumer Reports, and a few others.

Get the inside scoop on the quality of a product and can get a good idea about how much it will cost. You can never go wrong with good research.

7. The Art of Making Extra Money from Your Expertise

make extra money after work

You can find a way to make extra money from your skills and talents. I talk about this on my blog and now I am talking about it again.

Have multiple streams of income; it is almost a sin if you don’t.

Your extra income doesn’t have to be consistent at first but enough to give you extra money for the special thing you want to do or have.

Do something you are passionate about or just be able to see what people need/want and fill it.

Check out Rich Single Momma for side hustle ideas.

Take a class on starting a business through the local Chamber of Commerce or SCORE. You don’t have to have an MBA to run a business but you can take a class.

8. Master Your Mindset About Money as You Think So Your Will Money Be

Master Money Mindset

Change your thinking about money. For many people, especially single moms, money has many negative connotations. You don’t have it, there is not enough of it, and you don’t know where the next batch is coming from. We have a tendency to think that it is out of reach so we struggle with it.

Money is simply a tool to get the things we need and want. Of course not having it and thinking about your lack will not make it come to you any faster.

When you change your thinking about money, see its true purpose, and realize it’s abundance, you will have more of it.

Remember that there is more money available for you. Whenever I have to pay a bill, write a check, or spend money I keep that thought in mind. I will have more, not because I am doing anything special but because I just know that it will come again.

Let the money go to receive more. Think of it as a Money Cycle. Sometimes we get so caught up in holding on to money with such tight fists that we fail to realize that, “a closed hand cannot receive more”.

9. Creative Ways to Get Anything You Want with Little to No Money

When you look around the world it seems like everything requires money, but I want to share a little secret with you. It doesn’t.

There are ways to get anything you want out of life with little to no money. All it takes a bit of outside the box thinking and a little creativity. Read on to find out how to get more out of life with less money.

Discover other ways to get what you really want (money may not be the bottom line). With money constantly on the brain we forget that it is not what we really want.

The true needs are:

  • A roof over our heads
  • food to eat
  • clothes to wear
  • a problem solved

If you can look past money and see the true need or want, it’s easier to release the tension and negative thoughts about money and your situation.

Open your creative eyes and you find ways to get what you need without being burdened by the “not enough money” syndrome. 

Bartering with Family/Friends

Barter with others including moms, small businesses, your health providers, etc.

Bartering was the first form of exchanging goods for services.

The basic idea is to give something to get something. You may have something that others need or want. It may be a product, service, or personal item.

Others may have what you want so you come to an agreement to exchange things or time instead of money.

The barter system is a temporary way to get what you need when money is flowing in slower than you want.

Join a Barter Club13 powerful money lessons single moms should learn

There are bartering clubs all over the world. I belong to a club called TradeBank, and organized bartering club. I get what I need from members of the club using trade dollars. The value of a trade dollar is just like a real dollar.

You earn trade dollars by performing a service or delivering a product. Your trade account grows and give you more trade power. You can get medical, dental, contractor, retail, and other services. The Tradebank network is currently in cities across the US.

Here is a list of other barter clubs:

Join or Organize a Swap Meet/ Trade/ Exchange Group

Look for local swap meets with a regular schedule. You can connect with other women who have clothes, shoes, kids’ items, baby equipment, etc. that they want to swap with you. If you do not find one in your area you can start your own with ladies in your neighborhood, church, or community center. You can find out about swap meets on Facebook, Craigslist, and other community newspaper or classified ad sites.

Check out Freecycle Groups

People are always giving away free stuff in these groups. They’d rather give away stuff they don’t need to people who can really use it and appreciate it. There are hundreds around the country so you should be able to find one in your area. I’ve seen (and given away) furniture, equipment, clothing, and so much more. Here is the Freecycle link to check it out and find one in your city.

10. Truth About Being Need-y vs. Want-y

Learn to separate your wants and needs

Sometimes it is hard to separate our needs from our wants. Air, water, food, and shelter are really the only things we need to survive. Okay we need clothes too, but the basics are few. The rest of the stuff is optional.

Plan your purchases

  • When you see that you need (or want) a new thing it is very important to plan the purchase.
  • Write down what you need/want, do the research, save the money, and then make the purchase.
  • Make the wanted item a reward for doing certain challenging tasks that you may be procrastinating about.

11. The Giving and Gratitude Cycle is Huge for Prosperity

Your attitude about money plays a big role in how prosperous you become (and remain).

There is a saying, “the more you give, the more you get”. I’d like to add my own twist to it; “the attitude of your giving determines the altitude of your getting”.

The more grateful or thankful about the money in your life the more you will get. The more grateful for the things you have in your life the more you have. The more grateful for the people who help you the more people want to help you.

The same goes with the way you give. Give more (with gratitude) and you get more.

The interesting thing is you will rarely receive from the same place you gave. In other words, you will most likely not get anything from the homeless man on the street or the person you give a bag of clothes. You will get from a completely different source and often you will get back double what you gave.

Here are a few ways to practice giving with gratitude to increase your prosperity:

  • Pay your bills with a grateful heart. The services you receive in exchange for your money are essential for living.
  • Be grateful because you have the benefit of using the services provided by the city, phone company, car finance company, and on and on.
  • Allow the changed perspective to change your attitude about paying bills. You could be in a homeless shelter, unemployed, or living with your parents
  • Lights, water, a car, gasoline, food, and many other necessary services are reasons to be grateful. Paying the bills is a blessing so pay with a happy heart!

12. Get Obsessive-Compulsive About Saving

Get creative with your savings techniques. Piggy bank, change jar, online interest bearing account, PayPal, or mattresses. All of these items and location are places to save your money.

Where Will You Save?

It really isn’t about where you save it but how you save it. Here are a few ideas to get your saving juices flowing:

  • Savings can come out in addition to tithe or other charitable donations.
  • Savings may come out before taxes on the payroll into a 401K account.
  • Still others save all their loose change and deposit it when it overflows the container they are using.

The key to the savings method you decide to use, is to be consistent.

Saving $5 or $10 per pay period or per month is better than saving nothing at all.

Keeping it safe from your prying hands may be a challenge but when you commit to saving, and you have a purpose behind it, you will leave it alone.

The Big Savings “Why”

Decide why you are saving your money, find a picture to keep prominently on your bathroom mirror, and start saving.

Tape a picture to the fridge, go to online and look at the features, and plan how you are going to use item you want.

Save or invest your windfall (tax returns, student loan refunds, stimulus checks, monetary gifts).

Windfall Savings Method

The tax season is prime time for a money windfall especially for single moms. The child tax credit and earned income credit is the reason we get a fat tax refund.

Commit to saving at least half of your refund. Use the other half to pay down debt or may annual purchases such as car registration, insurance, or other yearly expense.

Save all, some, most of your tax refund for your rainy day fund, vacation fund, or the kids need braces fund.

When you get that stimulus check put that in the pot too, along with your student loan refund, and that birthday gift money.

If you play the lottery, put your winnings in there too! 😉

13. Embrace True Independence and Make Awesome Financial Decisions

Too often we are focused on the loneliness of single motherhood so we can’t see the blessing it is to be independent. If you can see past the negative you will discover that your independence is a ticket to an amazing financial life. Change your mindset so you can change your life. Here are seven perspective shifts you can make to embrace your financial independence:

  • Relish the thought of not having to answer to anyone for your financial decisions. As a single mom you have such autonomy.
  • Every purchase you make for the benefit of you and your kids is worry free.
  • To save or spend; get in debt or get out of debt is all up to you.
  • There is no one to question you or blame you if there is no money in the bank and you don’t have to fight with anyone about balancing the checkbook or taking money out without letting you know.
  • Money is one of the major reasons for divorce so there is something to be said about separate accounts and a house account.
  • Resolve any money issue you have and get settled before embarking on a new relationship.
  • Just promise me that you will check out his financial history and habits first before committing to a long-term relationship or marriage with him.

Now that you know these 13 powerful money lessons, pass them on to your kids so they will have the best financial start in life. You are their best teacher not because of what you say but because of what you do.

Which of these lessons will you apply to your life first?

download-13-money-lessons-single-moms