5 Tips for Becoming an Entrepreneur

There is so much opportunity out there. In today’s world, the possibility of becoming an entrepreneur is everywhere. Becoming a brand is so in-your-face that it’s almost become a trend. We see it all over Instagram and social media; it seems that ever D-list celebrity now has a brand and a business of their own.adult-business-casual-806835

Yet in the real world, the world I live in, it still is a real possibility. I have been an entrepreneur for four years. That means I have my own business and pay real taxes each year. My mom has been an entrepreneur for almost 40 years and has started and sold various businesses. From early on I knew that creating my own path in life was my destiny. Now I’m 36 and have had two business which are drastically different from each other. One business I created from the ground up and one business I joined as an independent consultant.

I’ve been fortunate to have the innate ability to keep things pretty well balanced in my life, but that hasn’t come without a learning curve. On a daily basis I juggle so many roles: mother, alarm clock, chef, school bus driver, teacher, business owner, bookkeeper, accountant, blogger, runner, friend, daughter, wife, parent, and the list goes on, right?! Some of you even have more roles than that. It’s insane what we expect ourselves to accomplish in a day.

With all those roles at hand it can be overwhelming to think about starting your own business. I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be. Part of my role in one of my business is to help others get their business up and running and off the ground. Over time you learn the short cuts, the things that work, and the things that don’t work.

Here are my tips on how to get your own business off the ground:

  1. Find something you are passionate about. If you don’t absolutely love what you are doing then you’ll really be miserable when it’s late at night and you are trying to put a few more hours into the business. Successful businesses are run by people who love what they are doing. One of the reasons they are successful is because they love it. It seems like a no-brainer but you’d be surprised by how many people don’t love what they do each day. I love working on both of my businesses! They are totally different from one another and fill something different in me. One gives me the creative outlet I need and one gives me the business and marketing structure that I look for.
  2. Research the hell out of it. Are you jumping off the cliff without looking at what’s in the water? You better not! What’s your competition like? Is there a market for your business? Is the market saturated? What makes you unique? You need to know your industry before you jump in. Just because you have an idea doesn’t mean it will work. This goes for MLM business too. What’s the track record of the company you are joining? Are they on the uphill or are they stagnant? How do they treat their employees? All of this is necessary if you really are serious about making your business a success.
  3. Make a game plan for how much time you plan to put into this business. There are 24 hours in a day and 168 hours in a week. How many of those hours do you really want to spend working on your business? What are your attainable goals? Are you committing to eight hours a day? Maybe only three hours a day? What are your other simultaneous commitments? You really need to have a concrete answer to this before you get going. If you plan to work from home (instead of an outside office), it’s easy to waste time with “time sucks.” Scrolling IG or Facebook can suck time from you. Then suddenly, that’s time you don’t get back. Figure out how much time you can put into your new business on a realistic level. You still need to sleep!
  4. It takes money to make money. I’m going to really stress this! The easiest way to start a business is to join an MLM, buy the “business starter kit” and start selling product. I’ve seen threads of women asking for a “legit business opportunity that has no start up costs.” Like really!? Ladies, that doesn’t exist! Having a business is an investment and that means making a short-term sacrifice to create a long-term, exponential result. You are going to have to spend money to make money. Just make sure that you are spending money in the right spot. Even if you choose an MLM as your way of becoming an entrepreneur, you need to spend money. Get the biggest starter kit you can, invest in creating a brand for yourself, business cards, thank you cards, a website… it’s really a must!
  5. Find a mentor. It doesn’t matter what type of business you plan to create. Having a mentor is priceless. I’ve had various mentors for both of my business and each person wore a different hat. I had a mentor that advised on social media-marketing, somebody who answered questions about corporate policy and compliance, somebody to help with accounting and bookkeeping, somebody to advise on sales, and somebody who was great at creating relationships with people. There are many different places to look for a mentor and some are paid and some unpaid, but realize that you aren’t building a business alone (at least you shouldn’t). It’s ok to pay for advice and outsource a task that you just can’t handle. Having a mentor can be the difference between giving up or growing up.

Hair Color for Little Girls

Pink or blue hair is no longer considered unusual. I walked around with my girls this weekend at a local festival and we saw hair color in every shade. I’ve even seen many women 60+ with purple or pink hair. Honestly, I love it! I think it’s fantastic that people feel comfortable enough to make a statement in this world.

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Joico Color Butter in Rose — Day 4 streaks

A few months ago I dyed my hair pink (rose) with some at-home color. I had done the same at the salon over a year ago but wanted to test the waters at home. Since playing around, I fell in love with the Joico Color Butter. It’s easy to use and not permanent. The color builds on itself as well. I read the directions many times!

My girls are 5, 7, and 9. The middle one is more eccentric than the others. I already know she’ll be my wild child. She has so much to express and certainly loves to dress her own way. When I told the kids I would color their hair for summer she was SO excited. They are not allowed to have colored hair at school. I had the pink/magenta on hand and the second color we opted for was blue. Blue hair for summer, why not? Off to Ulta we went.

We started easy with doing the tips of their hair. The instructions say apply (with gloves) to wet or dry hair. In my experience the dry hair took color better than the wet. You leave the color on for 5 minutes but I left it on for 10-15 minutes. It’s super conditioning so their hair feels silky after using the product. Of course the color will take blonde hair differently than it will do brown hair. Both girls have more brown-ish hair than blonde so the color isn’t super intense. It washes out over time as well.

 

So here are the girls with pink and blue tipped hair. They are happy, I’m happy– it’s a win-win. Warning for those who swim a lot. We tried the color and swam the next day in the pool. The color just about totally came out. I’m not sure if this is normal or not but to save money on color, wait until you don’t plan on swimming a lot. Their hair is so fresh and not chemically treated so I don’t think the color stays as long as it does in my hair.

Have fun experimenting this summer!

July 4th Fashion

I remember the first year I watched our town 4th of July parade. It was 100 degrees and I had two little kids. We sat at a friend’s house at the end of the parade and it was SO long. Our little town has a 3-hour parade! Families put chairs out the day before and we have rules about when you can leave your seat unattended. It’s so big that the 3rd has turned into a party just waiting for the 4th to arrive.

When I was a kid we visited my Uncle’s house for the West Allis July 4th Parade. I always got a baton to twirl on the sidewalk. Later on we would head to a friend’s lake and my dad would shoot fireworks off the dock over the lake. It was a huge party and we were always a part of it.

The last two years our school has had a float in the town parade. My girls have dressed up in red, white, and blue and helped to cheer to all the parade watchers. They really had a blast and were thrilled to ride the float instead of walk. They smile. I smile. I have a few drinks. It’s a fun day! I can’t imagine not taking part in some festive activities. It’s been such a big summer memory my entire life. But each year I think about what red, white, and blue clothes I have on had to wear. If it’s super hot, I end up with an outfit change or two.

Here are my season picks for festive outfits. Stores don’t always have a section curated, but if you search for the colors you may find something you are looking for. Have a Happy 4th of July and always remember to pay it forward and be a little kinder.

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  1. Red Star Tank from Evereve (one of my favorite stores to shop at).
  2. Roxy Trucker Hat, decked out in red, white, and blue– just like our flag.
  3. Striped Embroidered Tank from Escapada. Resort wear at its finest!
  4. Braeve Embroidered Dress found at Evereve (of course). Off the shoulder too.
  5. Scout cooler, must keep your beverages cold! Online or at Amazon.
  6. Cherry Red Slip-ons from Ugg “Sammy”. Comfortable, breathable, fashionable.

Rent The Runway, should I?

Rent The Runway is another fashion subscription service but focuses on the top designer brands. What makes this one different than the next? Here is a rundown of how RTR works.

  • With RTR you can shop online or shop at one of their stores (big cities only), where you can try on a selection of dresses and rent on the spot or for a future date.
  • Not sure about what size you are? You can add one free backup size to your order, and rent a second style for $32.50.
  • Almost every dress features customer reviews (with photos!), so you can see how the dresses look on real women. This is a crucial part of the service. By reading reviews you can see real women in the dress and they usually share what size they are wearing, their measurements, height, and weight. It’s pretty easy to tell if your body type would be a good match for that dress.
  • Keep your items from 4-8 days. Everything ships back free via UPS.
  • There is a $5 insurance fee which covers most mishaps
  • There are many ways to rent: Pay as you rent each piece, $89/month for four rentals per month, $159/month for unlimited rentals per month.
  • There is a PRO Membership for an additional $29.95/year. You’ll get FREE shipping and FREE insurance for a year, plus a $30 birthday gift. Shipping TO you is normally around $12-15 (return shipping is free). If you plan on renting even two dresses a year, this PRO membership is worth it.

Here are three dresses I’ve rented and wore. Two of the dresses I shipped directly to the location I was flying to (hotel in Las Vegas and a Texas home). I have rented some things that didn’t work out. In one instance, the dress fit but I wasn’t convinced that it would stay up all night (strapless)– luckily I had a back up of my own at home. RTR is good about sending an emergency dress if you really need one.

 

What can you rent?

You can rent designer dresses in any style, tops, coats, pants, and skirts. There is no athletic wear. There is an app for your phone and it is really easy to filter by color, size, date of rental, occasion, price, style, body type, maternity, designer, and more. If you’ve ever wanted to wear a $1,000 Marchesa lace dress, now you can for around $145. What a steal! In addition to clothing, you can rent hats, sunglasses, jewelry, purses, and scarves. Designer accessory heaven.

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Would I use RTR again?

For *fun* events I will definitely use this service again. I love renting a fancy dress and sending it back. I hate wearing the same dress twice (especially if the crowd is similar) so this is a great solution. I don’t think I’ll ever subscribe to the Unlimited Monthly Service for the same reason as I won’t keep a long-term subscription to Le Tote. I just don’t need to wear high fashion on a regular basis. I work from home and sometimes won’t really have any other adult interaction. I do have a closet filled with pretty decent clothes so wearing those day-to-day is best for me.  For that reason, it’s a good splurge but not a regular thing for me.

A Night in Paris: Father Daughter Dance

Last night marked another fabulous Father Daughter dance at our school. This is my second year as co-chair for the event. Our first year was a pajama party so we wanted to get a little fancy this time around. After searching Pinterest for some fabulous ideas, A Night In Paris became our favorite pick.

papersphinx_paris_1-To get our creative juices flowing we started with this beautiful watercolor Paris pack from Paper Sphinx on Creative Market. We bought it for $12 and used it for all our invitations and posters for the dance. Super chic!

I rented an Eiffel Tower from a local prop company for $50. To save on delivery charges I pick it up and dropped it off myself with my truck. A super fun touch for a special evening! For the backdrop to our photo shoot we opted for pink and white stripes. We found a plastic table cloth roll from Oriental Trading Company and gave us 100 ft. for $20. We also used it to cover all the tables at the event. It was a deal and really looked great.

A local coffee shop and two friends had the bistro tables and chairs for us to borrow. Much better than renting them and it was a cute touch to have the sitting area at the dance. We had floral donations and also used silk flowers to add some Parisian flower market touches. Our original inspiration was these beautiful bistro windows!

IMG_1336Bistro Windows

To make the windows we used foam board. I hand drew all the pastries on the window and colored it in with colored pencils. We used black 1″ masking tape to make the window lines. For the window box, it was a separate piece of black foam board that was cut and hot glued together and onto the back of the window. The ivy pieces are so light weight they just sat inside the box. We initially had plans to hang the windows from the ceiling with hooks but they were so light that we were actually able to tape them to the wall. The black and white striped awning was poster board from Hobby Lobby. I cut foam board triangles and glued them to the back of the poster board to hold them out from the wall. There is a wooden dowel on folded under the top of the poster board with eye hooks on the side. This allowed us to hand from the ceiling as well but with a few pieces of tape it just stuck to the wall. The overall affect was stunning!

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A Night In Paris dance set up in our gym foyer. Bistro tables, raffle table, and concessions.
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Vintage bicycle for a prop used with silk and real flowers. Silk flowers and galvanized pails were from Michaels craft store. The fresh flowers were a donation from Native Floral in Milwaukee.
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The bistro awning was made with one large sheet of black paper and then we glued down alternating white pieces. The top was folded over a piece of foam board cut about 2-3″ wide, alternatively you could use a wooden dowel with eye hooks on the side to hang. I suggest using a dowel. It hung with fishing line from the ceiling in two parts, the top and the front to create the “hang” affect. You can see the white hooks in the photo. It really was a great addition!

If you are planning a Father Daughter Dance I sure hope this helps you! It was such a fun theme and we really got creative. Everybody walked in and felt they were transported to Paris. The girls truly enjoyed it all. Good luck with your planning!

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Paris PIN