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How to Turn Your Side Hustle Into a Full-Time Business

How to Turn Your Side Hustle Into a Full-Time Business

Deciding to become an entrepreneur is a big deal.

The benefits are awesome. You can ditch the 9-to-5 and create your own schedule. The earning potential is huge in the long run. The flexibility to spend more time with your kids while also doing work you love makes for a very rich life… rich in ways that are far more meaningful than only financially.

For all the positives there are some truly hefty risks.

Can you afford to quit your full-time job and give up benefits? Do you have the knowledge, skills and support to start up a business? Most importantly, is there a market for what you’re selling?

In my work as a career coach, I always present the option of entrepreneurship to the moms I help through job transition. Especially for those who are looking to reinvent their career entirely. I’ve worked with a number of moms whose entrepreneurial dreams percolate while they continue working full-time. And I’ve seen it’s a great option.

Starting a business on the side is a fantastic way to dip your toes into entrepreneurship without all the risks. You build credibility and brand awareness  as you work on your business in a part-time capacity. You can lay the groundwork for quitting your day job and position yourself to leave your company gracefully. Most importantly, when you’re ready to jump into your business full-time, you won’t have to start from scratch.

Here are some key steps that will make this transition more successful.

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LinkedIn for Entrepreneurs

LinkedIn for Entrepreneurs

As entrepreneurs, many of us use social media in some capacity to grow our businesses. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are among the most popular social channels. But there is another social platform you might be overlooking – LinkedIn. Whether you sell to other business (B2B) or to individual consumers (B2C), LinkedIn can help you reach potential clients or customers.

You may object to that last sentence by saying that your target audience is not on LinkedIn. But unless your target demographic is people who avoid social media, then your target – and people who know and love your target – are on LinkedIn.

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The Next Big Thing in SEO is Brand Presence

The Next Big Thing in SEO is Brand Presence

Brand presence is the next big tactic in your overall SEO strategy. You’ve heard of SEO – search engine optimization – right?! If not, Google it. And that highlights the definition: SEO is the magic of bringing your content to the top of a Google search.

Since the dawn of time (OK, since 1990 when the first search engine was created in Canada - you’re welcome, world),  search engine optimizers (SEO’ers for short) have tried to influence search engines to make their page appear at the top of a search result.

Because of this, sophisticated engines like Google must crack down on tactics that influence their results. A great way to do this is to recognize brand presence and monitor for industry relevance and consistency.  

Brand presence is everywhere your brand exists online. This can be through social media, directories, reviews, your website, guest blogs, and that random ancestory.ca account you created once. It all adds up to a blueprint of what you or your business is about.

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5 Ways to Boost Your Business

5 Ways to Boost Your Business

It’s common for business owners to go through phases of feeling stuck, or in a rut. Maybe it’s the weather (I think January broke a record for the number of consecutive days without sun in Toronto) or the political climate, but we’ve been hearing this as a recurring theme among our members this winter. So if you’ve been feeling this way too, know that you are not alone.

Also know that you can turn things around with a few mental shifts and new habits. We decided to pull together our first Mamas & Co. webinar to share valuable strategies to help our members get themselves out of a rut. 

Here's a summary of the 5 ways we shared to help give your business a boost, starting right now.

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How to Plan for Savings as a Sole Proprietor

How to Plan for Savings as a Sole Proprietor

It’s a tale that all sole-proprietors know too well: some months things are going great and the dough is rolling in. But then the next few months are an icy, cold winterland where the cheques stop coming in the mail and you have to stop RESP contributions.

Although the flexibility and feeling of achievement usually make up for it, the life of an entrepreneur and parent can be stressful and unglamorous. Not to mention making it super difficult to manage your money — especially savings.

It’s almost impossible to set monthly saving targets when you have variable income. For that reason it may be a better idea to set annual savings targets.

When you have annual savings targets it gives you more flexibility.

For example, let’s say your annual savings target is $5000. Every month, depending on what you make, you put in a portion into a high-interest savings account. Months you’re doing well you put in more, and months that are tight you put in less. At the end of the year, you decide where to deploy those funds.

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How to Prevent Mama Burnout: Creating A Practical Self Care Strategy

How to Prevent Mama Burnout: Creating A Practical Self Care Strategy

As a life coach of mamas and mamas-to-be, I’ve seen a lot of burnout. I often ask my clients to compare their energy level to a cell phone battery. I notice how many of us mamas are functioning in the “red zone”, which means being at 20% and under. Many have been functioning on so little for a long time. It’s almost as if we’ve adapted to being tired, being rundown, being resentful, and being exhausted. We care so much, and put pressure on ourselves to succeed at “the most important job in the world”, while also juggling careers, friends, aging parents, not to mention the turbulent state of the world.

It’s leading us down the road to burnout.

In my experience, there’s one pretty strong antidote to burnout. It’s self care.

For some of us, that word makes us cringe, as in ,”another thing I need to add to my list”. For others, that word comes as reprieve. It’s permission to want more space, time and energy for ourselves.

So wherever you’re at, dear Mama, know this.

Self care is a radical act.

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5 Tips for Finding Beautiful Images for Your Website and Social Media

5 Tips for Finding Beautiful Images for Your Website and Social Media

We’ve all heard the saying “A picture is worth a thousand words.” This has never been more true than today. In the age of Instagram and Pinterest, the best way to catch someone’s attention online is with an engaging image.

In an ideal world, we’d retain the services of a wonderfully gifted photographer to take all the photos we need for a business — I know a few are members of Mamas & Co. who can do just that! But when custom photography isn’t in the budget, or when it’s not practical (say for use on blog posts and social media) it’s time to look for alternative sources.

Here are five tips for finding photographs for your website and social media.

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Productivity Tools for Entrepreneurs

Productivity Tools for Entrepreneurs

Last week on the blog, Mamas & Co. founder Lianne Kim shared 5 time management strategies for the busy entrepreneur. Her last tip, “write it down” seems simple enough. But the how and where has so many different answers! We took it to our members-only forum, asking the question “what are your favourite productivity tools?”. And as always, our members were full of amazing tips!

Here are the tools with the most use amongst our members.

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5 Time Management Strategies for the Busy Mamapreneur

5 Time Management Strategies for the Busy Mamapreneur

Time management and organization go hand-in-hand with running a profitable business. If you cannot manage your time effectively then you cannot be successful. As entrepreneurs, there are all kinds of tasks vying for our attention. We need to be on top of our admin and our finances. We need to create engaging content, get it out into the world (marketing!) and hopefully bring in leads, then once we bring in leads we need to act on those leads and hopefully convert them into paying customers.

If we’re trying to juggle all of these things all of the time, well, things can fall apart very quickly. But if we can sit down and map out the best possible times of the day and the week to complete each of these important tasks, and batch similar tasks together, then we have a shot at running a thriving in business.

Here are 5 time management strategies that I often share with my clients.

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Multi-Passionate Business: How to Fuse the Things You Love into a Rewarding Entrepreneurial Lifestyle

Multi-Passionate Business: How to Fuse the Things You Love into a Rewarding Entrepreneurial Lifestyle

For close to eight years, I have blended my passions for fitness and career development into a successful business. For me, offering both fitness and career services to moms brings me huge personal fulfillment while also delivering multiple streams of revenue.

Here are four questions that may help to consider as you add a new, distinct line of business into your existing entrepreneurial venture or if you want to create a business that combines your multiple passions.

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17 Tips for Starting a Business from our Mama Entrepreneurs

17 Tips for Starting a Business from our Mama Entrepreneurs

At Mamas & Co. we’re proud of the culture that we have created. We have a very lively members-only forum that gets a lot of action. Our members ask questions, share ideas, reach out for support and get support in return. They also have a lot of sage advice. Some of our members are new to entrepreneurship, but we have many seasoned pros who have been running their own business for several years, some over a decade. So one day, we asked in our forum:

“If you met someone who was just about to start their own business, what advice would you give them?”

The response was overwhelming and four different categories of advice emerged: Support, Authenticity, Resilience and Planning. Here, we share the top tips from our mama entrepreneurs for anyone starting their own business.

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4 Mental Shifts to Help You Move From Employee to Entrepreneur

4 Mental Shifts to Help You Move From Employee to Entrepreneur

In 2009, I got my first “real job” out of academia. I was single, living on my own and I finally bought a car to prepare for my commute. I settled into the 45-minute drive (each way), excited to have become a real adult.

But four years later, when I was coming off maternity leave with my first child, things began to feel less right. I started doing things that didn’t make sense to me. Things like waking up my sleeping baby in the morning to take her to daycare – where she would remain for eight of her waking hours. I’d then drive her home through rush hour traffic, she’d be tired and hungry and fussy. I did this in the name of adulthood and responsibility, but it was not consistent with my heart. Experiencing this dissonance was the beginning of the shifts in my thinking that led to where I am today.

Here are four major ideology shifts that helped me evolve from employee to entrepreneur.

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