Category Archives: Creating Income

Prepare Yourself for Success!

Today I was reminded why I LOVE customer reward programs and try to remember to use those which I sign up for. Now, I’m not one of those people who sign up for everything (I’ve met some of those people before). And I hate it when my email inbox gets flooded with offer after offer from some companies, once they get my email address. It’s one of the reasons I reserve a specific email address to use whenever I sign up for a new reward program. But any inconvenience that I might endure is still worth it for what I get back in return.

I heard a report on one of the morning programs that over 21% of Americans are members of various reward programs. Unfortunately it went on to say that only about 9% of them actively use their accounts and redeem the offers. In this continually challenging economic times we live in, I am always looking for ways to save money and get something back while doing it, as often as I can. So the concept that people just “don’t” collect on the freebies that are available for them, blows my mind. I may not always remember to redeem everything due to me, but there are certain things that I make a point of always doing to save money now, and be rewarded later. One of those things is using my Kroger Plus card. Sure, there may be other grocery stores any given week that may have certain products on sale or listed for a less expensive price. But I like to look at the overall benefit. For instance, while I get my groceries at a savings by using the card, I also get three cents per gallon off at their gas stations too; and have the ability to build up even more money on that.

So while I was out running errands today, I knew I would pass three different Kroger gas stations in my travels. The first one, just a couple of miles from where I live, was $2.99/gallon. I kept that in mind as I continued my drive, passing a second one at 2.97/gallon, and finally, the third one that was $3.06. After getting my errands done, I knew the route I would take back home — and stopped at the station with $2.97. I was expecting my grocery savings to reveal a 10 cent savings at the pump. But I was even more surprised to learn I actually had accumulated 20 cents. So today, I filled my tank up for only $2.77 a gallon — the same day a news report indicated that gas prices were on the way back up this winter.

Without the rewards program, and searching out the best gas station, I could have easily paid 20-30 cents more per gallon. Those costs really add up when you’re filling up every week!

That’s why I don’t get what people have against signing up for programs like with Krogers. I enjoy knowing I’m saving money when I shop and then again when I get gas. I actually like finding out what kind of surprise awaits me at Panera, where I take several meetings; especially when something comes up on the days I’m a little low on cash. Or getting extra savings at places like CVS, Walgreens, and even the Regal movie theater. Who wouldn’t want to save on a movie ticket, or get a free bag of popcorn at that show you’re already attending?

So if you want to start making some changes that will show up in your bank account, start first by planning ways to save money. It’s been said that “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” One of the ways you can prepare to succeed is to start implementing changes in your life and not just talk about making changes. Sign up for reward cards. Cut coupons.  Shop for bargains. Plan your travels to keep from wasting gas. Do what you have to do to make the kind of changes in your life now, that will result in a better life for you later.

In other words, prepare yourself for success!

Watching Other People’s Raindrops Fill Water Buckets

This morning I spent a few hours at a women’s event called Morning Brew here in Nashville.  It was sponsored by the Chix Chat Clubs of Nashville (an in-home women’s Bible Study group started by Stephanie Huffman).

stephanie at morning brew


The exhibitors were all women who owned their own small business, and it ranged from visual artists, soap makers, handcrafted cards, a spice company (who we’ll be featuring in coming weeks), cup cakes, cookies, skin care, and our very own, recently featured jewelry maker, Diana Stancil of 2Dangle.

Morning Brew programI had the chance to connect with some ladies I already knew, like Diana and Stacy, who’s in full swing with her new company Camp Stacy; as well as meet some new ladies out there doing what we’ve talked about here many times — creating secondary sources of income for their families; mostly doing things they’ve loved as a hobby, and have turned into a revenue producing business.

Stacy of camp stacyChristi S.diana at morning brew

In talking with some of these women, I learned that the majority of them were already doing something as a hobby; creating things for their own families and gifts for friends. What turned different for them was an opportunity to help make additional income, while sharing their service, art, craft, talent, and even baked goodies with others. And why not?

So for all those who I met today; even if I didn’t get a chance to personally talk to you, I tip my water bucket to you for learning how to catch those raindrops! Keep encouraging one another to keep moving forward with your dreams and passions to grow a business.


2Dangle or Not 2Dangle: How a Hobby Became a Second Business

I hope those of you who visit my blog regularly know by now that I’m an advocate of people, especially women, having multiple sources of income. I’m not advocating running out and getting a second job or joining the latest pyramid schemes. But so many women have talents that reach well beyond the tasks of their day job; and passions that invigorate their souls, even after a long day at the office, or extra long week at work. So I ask…why do you work so hard building up someone else’s company, when you can use some of that energy during your “off” days and time, to start building your own?

Many people have said it, but do you want to be in your 50s, 60s or 70s, and look back with regret about the bakery you never opened; the designs you never finished; that “idea company” you never started; the craft projects that keep stacking up in the closet — maybe even the chapters you never completed in the book you never sought to get published.

So while you’re thinking about all of that, let me introduce you to another one of my friends. and tell you part of her Catching Raindrops story.

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Diana Stancil isn’t your average, ordinary grandmother type; or at least not the type of grandmother Hollywood likes to portray in the movies. Born and raised in Grants, New Mexico, Diana moved to Houston, Texas as a young adult. It was shortly after the birth of her third child that Diana was approached by a modeling agent and asked to do some work for a department store.

“This was during the late 70s, and being in Texas, I think they were just looking for a new face to represent the Hispanic market,” Diana shares, trying to deflect the obvious truth of her natural beauty. “But it was fun while it lasted, and I even did one job that included my baby girl.”

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It would be this same little girl who would give rise to Diana’s reason for leaving Texas for Nashville, Tn. Jaci Velasquez, Diana’s only daughter, began singing when she was just a child. At only 14 years of age, she caught the attention of Christian music record executives and was signed to her first record deal. Not one to leave her daughter soley in the hands of complete strangers in the music industry, Diana not only moved her family to Nashville, but became involved in the business aspects of her daughter’s career.

“My goal was never to work in the music industry,” Diana explained. “My sole purpose was to take care of my daughter.” Because Diana was traveling with Jaci and taking up the day-to-day duties, she inevitably learned the business, which ended up preparing her for her future endeavor as co-owner of Artist Garden Entertainment. “Everything was very new to us, and Jaci was still very young. I felt it important to be there for her. I wanted to help give her the space so that she could just be a kid”

In the spirit of catching raindrops in her water buckets, Diana learned how to quickly adjust to her new normal. She was no longer just another working mom. With the enormous success of Jaci’s first album, Diana was also thrust into the limelight — that of being the mother of an increasingly popular music artist. And even after her daughter turned 18 years old, Diana continued to travel with her, offering both motherly counsel and professional advice as Jaci’s career continued to grow.

Then, 10 years later, when Jaci’s manager decided to retire from the business, it was Diana who took over managing her daughter, including helping to run the new record label she’d recently launched.

“There were a lot of things going on during that time. And I was wearing too many hats. It was a lot.”

Diana was still a newlywed when she took over managing Jaci’s career. A few years later, Jaci also married and had given birth to Diana’s first grandchild.  Diana knew it was time to help Jaci secure another manager. “I wanted to be a grandmother and a mom; not a manager. I wanted to be able to talk about my grandchildren with her, and not just talk about business.”

In 2009 Diana took up a craft she’d taught herself many years earlier – jewelry making. It started at first when she was helping to develop a unique bracelet for her daughter to wear for a special occasion. A few months later, and Diana was designing and creating one-of-a-kind earrings for friends on a regular basis. “Working on my jewelry was very therapeutic for me,” Diana said. But with word of mouth growth, creating earrings, necklaces, and bracelets was no longer just a hobby; it was quickly becoming a side business as well. And by 2010, her new company, 2dangle, was born.

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“I make jewelry for all kinds of occasions,” said Diana. “And since I handcrafted each and every piece myself, they are mostly unique to the woman buying them.” Diana makes jewelry for birthdays, proms, graduations, and Christmas gifts; even for weddings and other special occasions.

And while Diana keeps an inventory of jewelry in place, representing the various types of work she does, she also frequently gets commissioned to create special pieces that she agrees not to duplicate for anyone else. “Offering one-of-a-kind jewelry is the key,” she says. “People like knowing that they’re wearing pieces no one else can get or walk into a store and find.”

Diana also does private parties, where she is able to showcase the wide range of options available to someone looking for something special. Most of her pieces are available for shipment within the US. In November, she will participate in Nashville’s Morning Brew women’s conference where she will be one of several exhibitors at the event.

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Diana is married to Keith Stancil, a former record company executive who runs their management company, while Diana provides the insight and assistance that her over 15 years in the business have afforded her. She loves being a mom to her two sons and daughter, and grandma to two energetic grandsons and an adorable granddaughter.

Diana fancies herself a Food Designer, using everyday pantry and grocery items around the house to create new and exciting menus for her husband and many friends and artists who frequently visit. “My favorite type of meal to make is New Mexico and Spanish cuisines.

For more information about 2dangle, or to book a private party in the Middle Tennessee area, visit And for an up close look at Diana’s work, visit her 2dangle board on Pinterest at


NOTE:  The beautiful green and black necklace and earrings that Diana is wearing in the first picture were designed and made by her, as was the silver necklace Jaci Velasquez is wearing.



What I Wish I Knew Already Five Years Ago!

I met Mildred Walters four years ago when she was the Executive Director of a small business Incubator. I don’t really remember how we met, but our initial meeting revolved around a book she’d written, and she wanted to talk to me about some promotional ideas for it. At the time she was still working at the Incubator, and I was not even a year into a new journey; one that I didn’t really see coming, and hadn’t fully planned on. It was a journey into self-employment without the benefit of the time to make a plan. Though our initial meeting was about PR, we ended up staying in touch  for months (and now years) later, as she shared with me her plans to leave her steady-income, health benefits, retirement package, paid vacation job, and venture into the world of self-employment. I congratulated her, and at the same time thought about how different things might have been if I’d been able to develop an exit strategy; create a plan for launching forward into something I knew I had become more passionate about. But like thousands of other people, I didn’t have that luxury of time. In one moment, an otherwise ordinary day turned into a large clock ticking down, hand moving each second closer to the end of a 13+ year run.

If only I’d met Mildred, now the owner of BizOwner Coach, LLC, two years earlier. I could have talked to her about the advice she shares here in our Newsroom about the 5 Things You Should Do Before You Leave Your Paycheck Job!

Perhaps that’s why I’ve become such a huge advocate and encourager to the women I meet and friends I know; especially single women with no “back-up income,” to become proactive in securing multiple streams of revenue for their lives. As a former employee with a “worker bee” mentality, I was loyal to a fault pretty much everywhere I worked. Now, I am one of the biggest supporters of doing what I can to help encourage my friends to turn hobbies into money making ventures, to develop businesses out of the creative juices that drive them, to reach beyond the 9-to-5 world of generating money for someone else’s business, and start exploring opportunities to make money for your own. That is one of the main foundations of where my passion to start Catching Raindrops in Water Buckets all began, and where my drive for all that will soon develop from out of that, comes from.

But before you quit that day job, and while you still have the benefit of time, a regular income, and financial flexibility, click over to the Newsroom and read Mildred Walters’s tips to help you plan for the next step in your future. And if you’re interested in more of Mildred’s advice, or need her consulting services, visit her website at

Camp Stacy – Part 2

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“Patience was the key thing I had to learn. I am only now realizing all of the blessings I’ve had.”

When Stacy bought her 2001 Alero, getting flood insurance on a car wasn’t the first thing on her mind. It’s not something most people would think about. But getting renter’s insurance to cover her personal possessions should have been something she thought about. Like so many other people, Stacy didn’t think she had anything of value that someone would be looking to steal, so the monthly cost of renter’s insurance didn’t make sense in her mind. Stacy’s mistake, however, was thinking that theft was the only thing that would threaten everything she owned.

On the morning of Saturday, May 1, 2010 it was another ordinary late spring day in Nashville, TN. The fact that the rain had not stopped falling from the night before wasn’t that alarming either until the morning turned into early afternoon, and the area creeks began to swell. By late afternoon, flood warnings and watches were abundant throughout the Middle Tennessee area, and major streets and interstates began to take on water. Except for those who were directly impacted by the closed streets, life in Nashville seemed to go on as normal, even as the irony that day — May Day — began to grow!

Stacy lived with a roommate who had a home that sat above a large pond. Three days after the rain began, and just 48 hours after the initial Nashville flooding, there was a second flood created in part by the release of water to help save neighborhoods from flooding. Only this release impacted the entire Cumberland River areas including the neighborhood where Stacy lived. Within hours, the streets surrounding and leading in to the neighborhood were under water, and the flooding was creeping closer and closer to the home where Stacy had decided to ride it out in. The next day, after having to be boated out, Stacy and her roommate returned to see neighbors’ homes damaged by the flooding, contents of their homes destroyed by the waters. But by the grace of God, the interior of their home was saved. Though the waters had come up, they did not come in to the home. Everything inside, where Stacy’s clothes, books, music, and personal possessions lay in wait, was safe. But her car was not as lucky. Enough water had risen and flooded it to the point of being totaled.

Stacy didn’t know what she was going to do. She had recently been hit with a huge financial pay cut at the company where she worked; a decision the owners implemented rather than laying people off in the middle of the recession. Before the pay cut, Stacy had been making plans to purchase her own home; and now this. “Not finding a home during my initial house hunt ended up being a blessing due to the unexpected financial change at work,” she thought back. “But I wasn’t expecting a flood to overtake my car!”

God was looking out for Stacy. The things in the house that didn’t have insurance, wasn’t touched by the flood waters. And unbeknownst to her, the insurance policy she’d taken out on the car actually had coverage for flooding. So with that, Stacy once again saw first hand how God had taken care of her through another potential financial crisis.

Two years later, Stacy had moved on to renting her own place. Though she was paying the exact amount she’d prayed over prior to the move, 2012 still proved to be a financially trying time for her. “Mostly it came down to me not being wise in how I was spending my money,” said Stacy. “It was that I was being frivolous with my spending, it’s that I wasn’t always being wise. And I also didn’t expect that after three years, our company had still not moved me back up to the salary I was making when they hired me.”

Fortunately for Stacy, her dog-sitting client list and frequency of services continued to grow. By 2013, Stacy began to reap the benefits of the previous years as she saw her “job on the side,” becoming a legitimate business, working several hours a week; and at times, even a week or more at a time. After several people over the course of a few days all encouraged her to start an official business – Camp Stacy was launched in the summer of 2013!


The services at Camp Stacy includes dog sitting while the owner is away, and dog walking services when they can’t get back home to let their dogs out during the day.  “I work with people who travel a lot with their companies; many of whom don’t want to board their dogs in a kennel while they’re away. I also work with those who are at jobs that don’t have the kind of flexibility they need to return home in the middle of the day to let their dogs out.” The company’s services range from simply letting pets out for fresh air and checking on their food and water supply, to playing with and entertaining client’s dogs, to walking them for up to 30 minutes one or two times a day. For established clients, Camp Stacy is also available for overnight doggie services.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

“I’m really excited that what started off as a service I offered for my friends, turned into a business that I enjoy doing for people who are hearing about me through word-of-mouth,” Stacy said as she reflected on the past few years, while looking towards the future at the bigger picture. “While I’m not sure where this new business will take me, one of the immediate rewards I get isn’t just about establishing more financial security for myself, but it’s also enabling me to get involved in other passion projects.”

Six years ago, in 2007, Stacy joined some of her friends in what was to just be another movie night. It was that night, while watching the movie, Taken, when she began hearing more about the growing issue of sex trafficking. “The Lord really started putting it on my heart to get involved, but the only thing that I saw was the ‘rescue’ side of it. I knew that was not for me, because I knew emotionally I would not be able to separate myself from all of that.”

Over the next four years, Stacy started being introduced to people who were involved in helping to educate others about sex trafficking, and as a result, she learned more about the different aspects involved. With her newfound secondary income in place, Stacy was now able to start volunteering her time to help trafficking organizations. Currently Stacy is working for Rescue1Mission, an awareness and action initiative designed to assist the Church and the global community to combat Human Trafficking through education and mobilization. “Ideally, what I would like to do is to train groups about the reality of human trafficking, and to help people understand how damaging pornography is, including it being one of the root causes of sex trafficking.”

Everything has started coming together for Stacy. With a background working as a nanny, and an unexplainable desire to move to Nashville for most of her teen and young adult years, Stacy now wonders if it was all for such a time as this. “I’ve always had a heart for women and children, and seeing the injustice of human and sex trafficking makes me mad. When I think about the stolen innocence of children, I can’t sit by and do nothing.”

Stacy loves her life and living in Nashville. She is single, is active in her church’s women’s ministry, and still enjoys listening to country music. “I have a great group of single gals in my life, a church where I’m learning more and more about God, a new business that’s growing, and now a new purpose in my life working with these organizations.”

For more information on sex trafficking, please visit

Camp Stacy – Part I

How does someone who’s allergic to dogs, and allergic to most of the allergens outdoors, end up in a dog sitting and dog walking business?

That’s a good question. But to uncover the answer, you’d have to first go back many years to learn more about the type of person who would do just that. You would need to know who is Stacy Hostetler?

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Born and raised in Shipshewana, IN, Stacy started dreaming about living in Nashville before she was in high school. “I got into country music as a teenager, and followed several artists and their music,” said Stacy. “I always wanted to go to Fan Fare and to see some of the artists I was listening to.” Unlike most people who dream of moving to Nashville for the country music scene, Stacy wasn’t interested in becoming a singer or a songwriter. She just wanted to be closer to the people who were.

After graduating from high school, Stacy went to a small college in Kansas, but then left before finishing to move to New Jersey where she became a nanny for a year. After making friends with another nanny in the area, Stacy followed her then roommate to Nebraska where she lived for another year before returning to Kansas for four months. “I was just unsettled. There were things I was trying to run away from but the Lord kept following me.”

Although Stacy still felt drawn to Nashville, she returned home to Wisconsin instead where she lived with her parents (who had moved there several years earlier) for over four years, before moving on to Madison for another five years.  It was during that time when Stacy’s restlessness forced her to stop running, and to start listening. “I started praying and seeking God for clear direction. I didn’t want to have any regrets; I didn’t want to look back years later and have regrets about never going to Nashville.”

So in May 2006, Stacy packed her bags and headed for Tennessee, without a job, without a real plan for what she was going to do, and with knowing only one person. It only took Stacy a month to find a job; start attending a new church; and meeting new friends.  And it was through these new friends that her business idea began to develop. But not before, and perhaps even because of, some financial struggles along the way.

Shortly after Stacy met her new friend Stephanie, she was introduced to Stephanie’s best friend, Judge, a black lab. Before long, Stacy found herself dog sitting Judge on a pretty regular basis. “It’s strange, because it’s not something I really set out to do; it just happened, and I found that despite my allergies, I loved doing it.”


Word spread quickly about Stacy’s service and availability to not just sit with people’s dogs in their absence, but to take care of them as she would her own. Before long, she had several regular clients and through word of mouth, was being introduced to new ones.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”  Psalm 46:10

Being paid to dog sit wasn’t just a hobby for Stacy. It was an answered prayer. “I’ve had a few rough years financially; just not making good choice with my expenses, and being really bad at budgeting,” said Stacy. “But last year (2012) I really struggled trying to get back on my feet back; get them steady.” Realizing she was barely making ends meet at her job, Stacy prayed about getting a second job. She asked God to provide her with something that she would enjoy doing.

“I’d spent plenty of time in my 20s working two jobs to pay bills, so I didn’t want to get another job just for the sake of having that second income,” Stacy shared. “Back then, I was always tired, and I grew to be mean, and maybe even mad at everyone and everything. I was always working, sleeping, or going between the two jobs. I didn’t want that again.”

While in the middle of praying to see where God would lead her, Stacy had not yet realized that God was answering her prayer faster than she could speak them. Right there in front of her was everything she’d asked for – a job that she loved, with great flexibility, and the extra money to help make her budget each month.

Without realizing it, Camp Stacy: A Dog Sitting, Dog Walking Business was born! But that was just the beginning of Stacy’s answered prayer, and just the start of her new journey. God had so much more in store for her.


Come back here next week for part 2 of Camp Stacy with Stacy Hostetler!

Creating a Revenue Stream for Your Life

I teach in the Recording Industry department at a local university. One of the classes I teach is called Music Survey. It explores the three main revenue streams of the music industry. The first time I taught the class was as an Adjunct Professor. I was working full-time with my own company, and teaching three courses. As I read through the book to prep for class each week, I was reminded of something I’d promised myself almost three years earlier. When I left my former job, I told myself I would never again work for just one company unless it was my own. And at the point that I decided to launch Gloria Green Entertainment, I also decided then that I would seek out multiple means of earning an income, so that no one thing could ever be pulled out from underneath me again.

As I was teaching students about the various ways to generate revenue, and stressing the importance of creativity and diversity in those streams, I continued to seek out multiple sources of income earnings myself. And while my age may put me on the forgotten line for those of us born in the 1960s, frequently left out of true marketing, psychological, or social demographic studies – other than being referred to as the Me Generation, thanks in part to the success of the Michael J Fox Pepsi campaign, and a series of Brat Pack movies from the 1980s, my mindset and lifestyle plants me firmly on a different line – that of the entrepreneurial-minded Gen Xer and tech-loving world of the Millennials.

So as a woman; especially a single woman, I have made it a point to try to encourage my friends to seek out opportunities to turn their hobbies and passions into a means of financial reward, while keeping their day-jobs. It is the spirit of Catching Raindrops in Water Buckets; and it is becoming the necessity of adjusting to your new normal. In the wake of five years of financial instability, where job security is a phrase of the past, seeking entrepreneurial opportunities just makes sense. And no, you don’t have to put together a 10-page business plan; you don’t have to have an MBA; you don’t even have to know how to run a business, although understanding how to balance a checkbook would definitely come in handy. What you do need is passion, a drive for hard work, and to surround yourself with good friends who will help you realize your dream, and maybe even come along side you in it.

I know talented women who have various abilities and skills that they could monetized, but they’re afraid of the idea of running their own business. That’s not to say that starting a company is easy and everyone should do it. Quite the contrary. Way too many first-year companies never make it past a few years. My challenge to my female friends isn’t about quitting their day jobs and giving up their profit share, 401-k, and retirements to chase a dream. It’s more about extending your ability to realize your dream by starting something more – like those incredible cookies you bake and give away as Christmas gifts every year that no one can stop talking about; those birthday cakes you decorate for your family, and every year more friends ask you to make some for theirs; the homemade cards you make from recycled paper; or the soaps you make using your own garden herbs. You love giving them away, but there are people out there who wouldn’t mind paying to have them.

I have friends who offer services ranging from copyediting to house sitting; and those who taught themselves new skills, like web design and photography. Even the ability to help others get organized can be turned into a nice side business.

So over the next few weeks, I’m going to share some stories of women; average, everyday women I know, who for various reasons, have taken a talent, a passion, or just a desire to do something else, and created a secondary stream of income; some out of need, some out of want, but all are growing a new business for themselves.

Perhaps you’re one of those people; someone who has created something more than the 9 to 5 job that pays the mortgage. Maybe you’ve gone from a two-income family to a one and you had to find another means of support for the family; perhaps you’re one of thousands of people who are currently underemployed, working at a job earning much less money than you were 3, 4, or 5 years ago. Creating another income source helps to close the financial gap. Maybe you’ve had several unexpected bills – after all, life happens – and the salary you have barely covers the bills you’ve created. Or maybe, like me, you’ve been burnt before, and never want to rely on only one income source. Whatever drove you to the desire to start something new, I’d love to hear from you here, or follow us and share the link to your website on our Twitter page @CatchingtheRain.