Tag Archives: entrepreneur

The Cost of a Coffeehouse Office

You would think that someone who lived alone wouldn’t need to get away to get things done. But when it comes to creative writing, grading class assignments, or even prepping my courses, there’s nothing worst for me than being home alone.

Several years ago when I worked from home, it was a little easier. My house was one level, but I had a bonus room. I knew the day I decided to start my own company that I would have to put mechanisms in place to help me be disciplined enough to work from home (can I get an Amen for other entrepreneurs out there?). So for me, going upstairs into the bonus room was treated like going uptown to an office building. Each day, while taking the four steps up, I pretended to be getting into my car; the top opening of the room I imagined as the door into my company; and the entire upstairs was the various areas of my office.

Now, my Saturday morning or early afternoon office for what’s now become my “side” job (having taken my career in another different direction) is at the same table in the corner at the Panera just two miles from my house. If it’s in the evenings, I usually opt for the Starbucks two blocks further. Panera is brighter during the day, with lots of windows where the sunshine streams in. Starbucks is a little darker, which is perfect for late evenings. Don’t get me wrong, those places certainly come with their own distractions. Panera is usually teeming with families with young children in the morning and youth sports teams in the afternoon. And Starbucks tends to play host to groups of college students, wanna-be authors, and awkwardly paired couples, perhaps meeting up for the first time. But those distractions seem different in one of these places than what surrounds me at home these days.

After choosing to move closer to my full-time job in a suburban town just outside the city I used to live in, I thought distractions would be the least of my worries. But with a rental house that’s just the second one off the busy main street through the neighborhood; coupled with homes that are way too close together for my comfort (something I won’t be looking for when the time comes to buy again), and dealing with what often sounds like the loud echoing sounds of everything from garage door openings to lawn mowers going, and dogs barking at anything that moves; even the sound of birds chirping outside my window can become an irritant at certain times; especially when I’m trying to concentrate.

And then there’s the television. When it’s off, it taunts me to turn it on “just for a little while.” It lies to me, and tells me I have the power to turn it back off just as easily as I turned it on. But when it’s on, it drains my energy and sucks any semblance of time from the air, with each passing 30-minute show, especially the weekend marathon of home & garden shows, and 24-hour news channels.

So that brings me back to getting out of the house and hanging out at Panera.

With all of those embedded cameras in the ceiling, that most visitors to a place like this would probably never take note of, it becomes impossible; and quite honestly, probably rude, to take up real estate for hours at a time, without contributing financially to the business…if for no other reason than the fact that I frequently take advantage of the convenience of using their wifi to update all my phone apps!

So how do I maintain a reasonable budget during my frequent visits? Well, first of all, I became a member of their Rewards program many years ago — the same day I realized I had taken several meetings at the same Panera one month when I first launched my company. I knew that was just the beginning. There’s always a reward at the end of a certain number of visits. Saving even just two dollars for a free cup of coffee or bagel is worth it! Second, fortunately my sisters are wise to me, and often give me Panera (or Starbucks) gift cards for my birthday and Christmas. One of the biggest challenges of hanging out at Panera is the fact that they are NOT the cheapest food option in town. I have to be mindful of what I order and have learned how to make the most of it.

Here are a few of the things I do.

If you’re a coffee drinker, then Panera is a better option than Starbucks because you get free refills; and can even switch to decaf when you’ve energized enough for one day. Starbucks charges, even if it’s at a discounted price. The same goes with their tea and soft drinks. There’s nothing wrong with drinking water and forgo the additional cost of adding a drink to your order. If you love their bagels, don’t ask for the cream cheese. The butter is free, and the cost of that small cream cheese container is almost as much as buying an entire tub of it at your local grocery store. With the side items, I always ask for the bag of chips. They’re perfect to throw into your purse or leave in the car for times when you’re running around doing errands, and your stomach starts growling. Keeps you from taking that trip through a drive-thru and spending more money.

When I do order a meal, I ask for the free additions; things that help to fill you up. Most people aren’t aware that you can ask for extra lettuce on your sandwich at no additional cost. The same goes for your salad. I never order a whole salad. Instead, I choose the much cheaper half salad, and then I ask for extra lettuce. They don’t mind giving you (most) extra veggies, but the protein (meat, cheese, egg) will cost you a little more. When I started using the kiosk, I discovered there are several other items you can add — kale, apple chips, cabbage, corn — that don’t cost you any more. The end result is a fuller salad that is more in line with the high price you pay. And equally important, you won’t be hungry an hour later while you’re still working on your latest novel!

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From Zero to Hope: Part Two

I can’t say that I’ve always wanted to be married. But I can say that I’ve never wanted to be divorced. I have actually been neither.

But I’ve been to more weddings than I can count; a bridesmaid in my first one at only 15 years old. That was my oldest sister. She divorced seven years later. My two brothers also married and divorced. My parents, on the other hand, had been married for almost 50 years before my mother passed away. Oh, theirs was not a perfect union; far from it.  Something made them stick it out — for better or worst. I’d like to think it was always love that kept them together when things got rough and they felt like giving up; especially once we were all out of the house and old enough to survive on our own.  But it also wasn’t lost on me (and likely, not my parents either) how difficult it would have been for either one of them to survive single life in the late 20th and early 21st century, had they divorced during some of those trying times. Or even earlier, if my mom tried to raise six kids on her own. It’s been done before, but not always with success. And I’m certainly glad it was never anything we had to grow up in or deal with.

Other kids aren’t as lucky. Other couples aren’t as fortunate. And sometimes, no matter how hard you try, things happen. I have a number of acquaintances, associates, co-workers, and even friends who have gone through a divorce. Not a one of them have ever said they saw it coming; or at least not when they walked down that aisle, said their “I Dos,” promised to love in good times and bad times; until death do us part

No, most of them admit to struggles and challenges, like most marriages, but ending up divorced was not a part of their life’s plan. When it happened; they had a couple of choices. They could either allow their divorce lead them to anger, depression, bitterness, guilt, shame, and so many other negative, unhealthy feelings — which I’ve seen. Or they could choose to hang on; cling to hope, and to not accept or allow what happened to their marriage to define what was going to happen to them and their future.

Most of them ended up going in and out of  both places. The reality of a changed life that they didn’t ask for. And the truth that they didn’t have to let that determine their future success — in love, in parenting, in work — in life. And those who landed in a place called HOPE have been able to move on; to adjust to their new normal.

That’s what Kathy did. Her story post-divorce began “messy,” as she described it. But she didn’t leave it there. She found a way to keep going.

From Zero to Hope: Part Two

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What this little graphic does not show you are many nights I cried for one reason or another.

Yet, I can say despite the struggles, I am blessed to look back and see the village that supported me and those who still do to this day. Transparency and vulnerability are necessary if you are going to benefit from the “village.” It is not just about the transparency and vulnerability of the ones in need, but it extends to those playing the supportive role. Once again, this is not easy, especially if your tragic circumstances include a form of loss of meaningful relationships. This too is messy…”who do I trust and what do I trust them with?” I have to ask myself this question constantly and consistently, which is exhausting.

So where is the hope in all this? Well, I can tell you that once I accepted the fact that my new normal was going to be “messy” for a while and that I needed to prayerfully invite members into “my village” for support, this is where the strength to take the first step begun. What the graphic does not show you are various victories won:

  • healing from the emotional struggles
  • freedom from doubt
  • regaining sight of my worth and value
  • new friends and strengthened family ties
  • two wonderful boys who remind me daily how much they love me
  • the experience of walking with the Savior who is fashioning something new out of my life
  • gaining beauty from my ashes

kathy-phillipsFor me the journey is still underway and I must keep moving forward. Yet, I do know with each step that I will need the love of God to sustain me, the love of friends to encourage me, the courage to inspire others, and the ability to accept that this is going to be “messy.” Win or lose, the battles will come. I can only take it one day at a time, pressing toward my final destination-hope. Mercy and grace continue to cover me and allow me to discover that hope exists and is available along the way!

 

From Zero to Hope: Part One

Yesterday I had to go for my three-times a year follow up to check my thyroid levels. My doctor and I are actually the same age, so it’s funny to watch him struggle through some of life’s unfair assaults on our aging bodies like I do. He had just returned to work after having surgery on both wrists for carpal tunnel. We certainly aren’t 20-something any more. But I swear, there are days when I feel a good decade older than the calendar says I am!

After our usual time together, I followed my routine of heading around the corner to get my blood drawn. Sitting down chatting with the woman who had been drawing tubes of blood from me for almost two years, the conversation somehow ended up on the topic of the importance of living within your means, and planning for the unexpected. We’d been talking about the recent gas shortage in Nashville, and the impact it had on some people. I began explaining to her about why I’d topped off the gas in my car — because I knew I had several appointments coming up that week; and running out of gas was not going to be an option. She admitted that did not. “My sister called and told me to fill up my tank on that Friday,” she said. “But I figured I’d get around to it later in the weekend, and went about my day.”

By Saturday afternoon, she found herself driving around town to four different gas stations before finding one that hadn’t run out of fuel. “And then I paid much more for it than it was the day before,” she said. We continued our conversation, so that I could pretend the needle prick didn’t hurt, and I shared with her how it’s become a passion of mine to try to help women to not put off nor feel guilty about taking care of themselves. I told her that it needed to start with proper planning. She was lucky because she found an open gas station, and paying more for fuel is better than not having it at all. But I asked her if there was any particular reason why she didn’t go ahead and get it on Friday after she heard the news, and her sister’s advice. She admitted there wasn’t, which lead me to talk about the importance of planning, and finances in general. I told her in the big picture, this was something minor, but it could have turned into a bigger deal. “You spent more money paying for gas, after spending a lot of time being worried that you might not find any, all because you wouldn’t heed the advice and take the time to get some earlier, when you could.” When I was done, she said, “You know, you should write a book.” I laughed a little, and then shared with her that I had already begun working on one. But in the meantime, I told her, I was sharing my story and other people’s stories, advice, and encouragement through this blog. So I gave her my card, told her to check it out, and then said I’d see her again in four months.

Sharing the stories of female friends and associates who have been through different trials, and how they were able to make it through, is important to me. I don’t have all the answers…I just have my story. My friends don’t have all the answers, but they can share what worked and didn’t work for them. It’s their story. And most of you reading this right now…you have your own story. What connects the stories I choose to share, is not just what people do to plan and prepare for the unexpected things that can happen in their life; but also what they did to survive when those unexpected things happened. There are those who live in denial — after a job loss, a divorce, the death of a loved one — who will continue to do things as they always have. Then there are others who acknowledge the changes in their life, how it has impacted them — on personal, social, and oftentimes, financial level — and then they make an adjustment for their different lifestyle. They adjust to their new normal, so that they can move on in the life they now have.

Below is part one of the story a single mom, entrepreneur, and friend shared with me. It’s about the curve ball that life threw her; inconvenient timing and all; and the journey that followed. Remember to come back for part two of her story, next week. Perhaps something she shares might help you or someone you know as well.

From Zero to Hope

I cannot really put my finger on when I took a wrong turn off my life journey toward hope. It could have been the aftermath of drama in high school, the blurry and illogical moments in college, or the sudden and tragic end of my marriage of 12 years. Regardless of how I got to my lowest point, I can recall the emotions affecting my daily life beginning around Christmas of 2006. It was at that time I discovered the reality of a pending divorce, I was 34 weeks pregnant with my second child and the mother of a four and a half year old son. It has been 10 years since I began my journey from zero to hope. I can proclaim two things about this type of journey.  The journey is messy and it takes a village!

There is no Hallmark Channel story here. My tragedy transformed how I viewed myself, shattered my confidence and caused misplaced views of my value. I do not know about you, but trying to “dream” for yourself is hard enough. Yet, I needed to look past myself and begin a new life for the joy of my two young sons. There is no magic formula to regaining purpose after tragedy. In the beginning, every decision was painstaking. I found myself overwhelmed every five minutes, either dealing with my emotional struggles, the emotional and physical needs of my children, or just battling loneliness. This was my “zero” point. As much as I wanted to move forward, I often lost strength or ran out of resources, time and/or money.

Today, 10 years later, I own my own business, work from home and am able to play an active role in my children’s lives. I must admit it is not easy to look back. I have not arrived, but I know I am so much further than I was when I started out. The process for me is like a winding road with rest stops, exits to amazing or scary places (all distractions, I might add), and the homes and hearts of friends and family. At the surface, the process seems simple enough.

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What this little graphic does not show you are many nights I cried for one reason or another.

  • The struggle of overcoming stereotypes as a black woman with two kids; some assuming I was never married and the boys had different dads.
  • Endless nights trying to find strength to take every necessary “next step” for my children and me.
  • Another night having to turn down companionship or relationships because my new life demanded transformed priorities.
  • Struggles to believe I had worth and value.

The list goes on and on. This is the “messy” of the journey. Did I always make the right choice? No, probably not. So finding courage and strength to forgive myself made it even more “messy.”

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More from Kathy Phillips in Part Two…

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.

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

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.

 

 

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.