Category Archives: revenue streams

How Are You Using Your Water Buckets?

You’ve heard us talk about “water buckets.” It’s even in the name of the website. But have you ever wondered what we’re talking about when we refer to them? Do you know what your water buckets are and how are you using them?

Your water buckets are those things you use to catch the “rain” of blessings that you’ll need to sustain you, not today, and maybe not even tomorrow, but at some point in the future.  Preparation is one of the keys to success. While you can’t know every possible bad scenario that could happen in your life, you can have a plan to better prepare yourself for how to deal with those circumstances as they come.

Everyone should keep water buckets around. Maybe it’s maintaining your own savings account after you get married; or learning how to turn your hobby into an income stream for your family. Perhaps as a single adult, you decide to take in a roommate so that you put the extra funds away for that emergency. Or as a family you purchase a house with the purpose of turning part of it into income property to help you pay your mortgage off early. Water buckets are ways to save money and resources today so that you have them to use later when you unexpectedly need it.

If you’ve been through a divorce, and suddenly found yourself dealing with the shock of returning to just one income; or your spouse carried you on their insurance, and now you’re having to pay for your own, along with the mortgage, and that new car that at the time seemed like a good idea — then you understand the concept of having the advantage of having something in those buckets to help with your transition.

Maybe you’re single, just lost your job, and now there’s no second income to fall back on; no one else to help pay those bills or provide some of the health benefits that you just lost. Or you and your spouse figured you’d “get around” to getting life insurance when you got older, only now they’re gone and you’ve had to use all of your savings to pay funeral costs.

Perhaps you still have your job, but with the cost of everything increasing, you’re just barely making enough to cover your monthly expenses, with no room for anything else. But then the brakes go out in your car, and there’s no coworker or bus line within 10 miles of where you live, offering no alternative but to some how get the car fixed.

If any of these scenarios sound familiar in your life or with someone you know, then you understand that life is full of unexpected surprises and unplanned stops in the middle of places you never imagined. And while we can’t control some of the circumstances that may happen to us, we can control how well we’re prepared to take on those events when they happen.

Being prepared for life’s unexpected turns means being willing to create and then implement a plan now, so that you are where you need to be, have what you need to have, or are on your way to accomplishing steps to help you if or when a crisis hits.

So when it’s raining outside, the grass is looking green, the flowers are colorful and all the trees are thick with foliage, don’t worry about your neighbors or friends looking at you strangely because you’ve placed your water buckets around the house to fill up. Maybe they haven’t checked the forecast to know that there’s a drought coming. Be thankful that you’re going to be ready for it.

Along Comes a Baby and More

Two weeks ago I spent Saturday afternoon at the baby shower of a long time friend. Sometimes, it’s really hard for me to believe just how long I’ve known this young lady, because she was only 13 years old when we first met. I’ve watched her grow up; become successful in not one, but several careers in her young life; fall in love, get married, and now…prepare to have her first baby!

In spite of how long it’s been since I first met her, I was still truly honored to be remembered and invited to her baby shower; as well being at her wedding, and the weddings and baby showers of her sisters. And after 23 years of having the pleasure of our professional relationship, what matters more is the lasting personal friendship.

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In addition to hanging out with her though, I ran into some other ladies who I’ve met in the same circles over the years. What is so cool about that? I realized at some point in the afternoon that we were all talking about our business, ministries, and professional activities we were engaged in.

Since starting Catching Raindrops in Water Buckets, I’m always on the look out for finding young teens, college students, and women who are taking control of their financial futures by creating, developing, designing, and running their own businesses now, and not waiting for some magical moment to descend. So whether it’s service-oriented, consulting, talent-driven, beauty and fitness, health care, or even the entertainment industry that I myself am a part of, when my friends and former associates start branching out on their own, I want to be a major cheerleader, to help spread the word, as well as sharing any knowledge and suggestions I might have in any given area.

As I sat there listening as we caught up with one another, I took note of one young lady who said she’d been really busy lately working, but primarily for other people. She had been a Work for Hire with another company, but the content was totally hers. She said she was ready to take control over her brand. I knew she was right. She DID need to take over her own brand.

Another lady chimed in moments later, and said she’d been running her own company for almost a year, but was having financial challenges due to her lack of discipline with her money. I was impressed at her honesty. Since she was a single mother, she knew how important it was to get control over that area of her life, not just for the sake of growing her business, but for her family. I asked a few direct questions and uncovered at least a large part of the problem. For her, she was spending way more money picking up meals on the way home, rather than going shopping and preparing them at home.

It can be very tempting to take the safe way out — like working for someone else and picking up a pay check. Or the easy way out — like running through the drive-thru on the way home. But in the end, it almost always costs you more money. Being a Work for Hire, might be a way in to getting business, but it should be just that — a way to get in, not a means to stay in. Otherwise, your talent, and hard work is building someone else’s company and bank account. And at the end of each month, stopping by restaurants and fast food chains might seem economical, and definitely convenient, but the money adds up. Where you see only spending $10.00 on dinner tonight, it becomes $50.00 by the end of the week, which quickly adds up to $200.00 or more by the end of the month. And that doesn’t include the groceries that you DO buy for the other meals of the day. The reality is that smart shopping and creative meal planning will cost you a lot less than pizza, a bucket of chicken, or four kids’ meals a few times a week.

As I’ve said many times before, planning is the key. Whether you’re planning how to branch out on your own, build your own business, create a secondary source of income; or planning how best to save money for your family on meals and other household items, the main part of the process is the Plan.

When’s the last time you’ve asked yourself about your Life Plan? Do you have one? Where do you want to be this time next year? What about five years from now? Ten? Have you even given thought to what your financial situation will be when you’re ready to retire? What happens if you lose your job years before that retirement time?

There are a lot of questions we prefer not to think about; after all, we’re young, or perhaps already well off; or we think our job will last forever. But the truth is that we can’t control what the future holds. Things happen. Life happens. But we can begin to plan for various outcomes so that we are better prepared, should something unexpected come our way.

Why not grab a journal, and take a few moments to ask yourself some of these questions. Then step away, and come back to your answers later. Are they what you think they should be, or what you want them to be?

Think about that, and let’s talk more about it later.

Welcome Back!

Yes. Welcome Back to Catching Raindrops in Water Buckets. That’s what I tell myself every winter and summer break when I actually have the time to devote more attention than just a Facebook post (find us and join our group on Facebook — catchingraindropsinwaterbuckets) or make a Pinterest share(https://www.pinterest.com/ggproverbs31/catching-raindrops-in-water-buckets/). The conversation doesn’t end when I’m not here. I’m just having it multiple other places too; places where I can drop in briefly, share a tip or two; give out a challenge to those ladies who are, like me, still trying to find, secure, and grow our place in this world amidst the changes, and sometimes, challenges of our “new normal.”

My New Normal included transitioning from a Talent Agent, to starting my own business (gloriagreenentertaiment.com) to now being a full-time college Professor. My job requires more of my time than I at first imagined, as well as much of my physical and mental energy — as working with older teens and young adults often does. And as much as I love what I do and the impact I’m having on college students interested in the Recording Industry, I strive to be careful to take my own advice, from personal experiences and the experiences of other women I’ve watched having to transition in their jobs, martial status, and other life changes. I don’t ever want to be in “that place” again where I rely soley on another entity or someone else’s financial ups and downs.

In the sporting world, a team’s Offense often gets most of the glory when they win a game. But the truth of the matter is that it doesn’t matter how many points the team puts on the scoreboard, if the Defense isn’t keeping the other team from scoring just as many (or more) points, then there would not be a win. As is often said, “the best offense is a good defense!” That’s how we have to approach our life…our jobs, our finances, our relationships…It’s not just about how well you’re doing what you do but also, how well you prepare for what you may end up having to do, even if it wasn’t originally in your playbook of where you saw yourself coming into the “game.” As I’ve said many times before,

Life is full of unexpected surprises and unplanned stops in the middle of places you never imagined yourself ending up. And while we can’t control all of the circumstances that may happen to us, we can control how well prepared we are to take them on when they happen.

So with that reminder to myself, as well as all of you, I now go back to working on the other parts of who I am. I’ve dusted off the water buckets, and put them back out around the “yard,” ready to catch the raindrops during this rainy season so that I am prepared, and able to survive the next dry spell, when/if it comes again.

What about you? Do you even own any water buckets?

Holding the Date…

Life is full of unexpected surprises and unplanned stops in the middle of places you never imagined ending up. And while we can’t control some of the circumstances that may happen to us, we can control how well we’re prepared to take on those events, and what we do with them when they occur.

So life took you in a new direction; one you weren’t expecting. Okay, so now what?

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Stop trying to maintain the lifestyle you once had, and start living the new life you have today.

Learn how to adjust to and love your new normal!

Catching Raindrops in Water Buckets: The Conference…Coming March 20-21, 2015

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 www.2dangle.com. And for an up close look at Diana’s work, visit her 2dangle board on Pinterest at http://www.pinterest.com/dianastancil/.

 

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.