What To Do When You Have More Than You Can Handle

Life is a series of challenges to be managed. In between challenges, life can seem easy, but the next challenge is always on the way. When faced with too many challenges at once, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and to believe that you have more going on in your life than you can handle.

Regardless of the size or the number of challenges you may face, the solution is the same: Ignore those things you can’t influence and spend your time and energy implementing solutions for those things you can influence.

A level head, a solid plan, persistence, and assistance can overcome any challenge life may bring.

Try these strategies to lighten your load:

  1. Acknowledge that you’re feeling overwhelmed. There’s nothing to be gained by ignoring your situation. You’ll be in a better position to deal effectively with your life when you acknowledge the reality of the situation. When you recognize that something is wrong, you can begin to do something about it.
  1. Take a time out. If you’re at work, slip away for a quick walk. If you have the freedom to do so, try taking a weekend trip. A change of scenery can make the challenges in your life seem more manageable.
  1. Make a plan. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s easy to spend too much time focusing on the challenges in your life. While this is a natural response, it leads to feeling even worse! Rather than focusing on your issues, try focusing on solutions.
  • Imagine your friend was facing the same challenges, what advice would you give to them?
  • Make a plan to move beyond your current situation. What solutions can you find? How will you implement them?
  • A simple change of focus can alter your perspective and your mood. Do you think you’ll feel better focusing on your problems or the solution?

  1. Distract yourself for a few hours. Read a good book or take a friend to the movie theater. Now is the perfect time to do all the things you usually do to avoid working!

  2. Talk to someone. You could speak to a coworker, a friend, family member, or a mental health professional. Who would you call on in your life to talk you down off a ledge? Pick up the phone and include someone else in your current situation.
  1. List the good things in your life. Things might be rough at the moment, but there are plenty of things in your life that you can be grateful for. Make a list of them and reflect on the many blessings in your life.

  2. Laugh. Few things feel better than laughing. What makes you laugh? Rent a funny movie or spend time with someone that always finds a way to make you giggle. Who is the funniest person in your life?

  3. Get some help. More heads and pairs of hands can get a lot more accomplished than you can all by your lonesome. Most people are pretty bored and would jump at the chance to help you deal with your drama. Get some help.

You have plenty of options when you think you have more to deal with than you can handle.

Life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. When life becomes especially challenging, feeling overwhelmed can dampen your spirit and hide the best solutions from you.

Admit to yourself that you’re struggling and begin looking for solutions. Allow yourself a few distractions when you need them. Reach out to others and avoid trying to solve everything on your own. Soon, you’ll be back on a more enjoyable path.

15 Questions to Ask Yourself to Discover Your True Passions

If you’re lucky, you’ve already discovered many of your passions and get to spend much of your time enjoying things that bring you excitement and joy. However, maybe you’ve not yet connected with activities, skills, and interests that ignite your passion.

It takes time, soul-searching, and some life experience to identify your true passions. These prompts are written to tap into your wants, needs, desires, and fantasies. Have fun with them and discover what you can add to your life that will fill it with delight.

  1. What’s the one thing I’ve always wanted to do? Consider what would need to happen in order for you to carry through with this long-sought wish. Make a plan and get started.
  2. If I could spend today doing whatever I desire, what would it be? Let your mind go. It could be something related to your work, your home, or simply a lark.
  3. Where do I really want to live? What city and what type of residence? Perhaps you’re already fulfilling this passion and you do live in your true first choice. If not, ponder the possibilities of moving to a place you’ll love.
  4. Where would I like to visit? Perhaps you’re harboring a secret yearning to visit Washington, D.C. or Westminster Abbey in London. The streets of Hong Kong may be calling your name or even the Grand Canyon. Can you make it happen?
  5. What do I talk about doing but never do it? In a conversation, you might state something like, “For the last 10 years, I’ve really wanted to take a cruise to the Caribbean.”
  6. What are the reasons I don’t go after my dreams? Explore within yourself why you haven’t pursued the life you want. Can you do something differently to help bring your dreams to life?
  1. How will I finish the sentence, “More than anything, before I die, I want to ___________?” Say it out loud and fill in the blank. Then, figure out a way to accomplish your wish.
  1. What are the things in my life that I would like to get rid of? If you’re discovering you don’t love everything about your life, maybe it’s time to do some “housecleaning.” Make a list of the ways you’d like your life to change.
  1. Which people in my life inspire me and why? It’s important to know who inspires you so you can spend more time with them. What is it about them that lights you up so much? Decide to take every step to be inspired more often.
  1. If I were to make just one radical change in my life right now to make life better, what would it be? Your answer to this question will really open up your possibilities. Moving to a bigger city might really spice up your life. Getting more education might be a goal—plus you’ll likely make more money.
  • You’ll be happier if you chase your dreams. Make 1 change.
  1. How do I feel when I put all my effort into accomplishing one of my goals? Notice these feelings. You’ll no doubt want to experience them more often.
  2. How do I feel whenever I achieve a life goal? Awesome, probably.
  1. What’s missing from my life? Answering this question requires considerable soul-searching.
  1. Who are my biggest supporters? It’s wise to know the people that will stand behind you and help you pursue your passions, no matter what.
  1. Who gets in the way of me achieving my goals? In order to find your true passions, you might be required to disengage from those who wish to counteract your efforts.

If you take the time to thoroughly ponder each of these questions, you’ll be pleased with what you discover. Your true passions are inside you, just waiting to be let loose to bring you excitement, joy, and fulfillment.

What Girl Scout Cookies Can Teach You about Becoming More Successful

The Girls Scouts have been selling cookies for more than 100 years, and they’ve created the largest girl-led entrepreneurship program in the world. In fact, more than 200 million boxes of cookies are sold each year, totaling about $800 million dollars.

While the cookie sales sound impressive on their own, they’re not the only benefit of scouting. Studies show that former Girl Scouts have higher achievements across the board, including increased income and greater self-esteem.

With a record like that, the Girl Scouts must know something about blending traditional and modern paths to success. Take a look at what Thin Mints and Samoas can teach you about reaching your own goals.

Traditional Paths to Success:

  1. Focus on giving. Supporting worthy causes is part of what makes Girl Scout cookies so popular. The money goes back into the local community or to other charities that the girls select. Whether you’re selling shortbread or life insurance, helping others to reach their dreams will help you to fulfill your own.
  2. Be authentic. The pictures on the cookie boxes are all real Girl Scouts, and the girls are encouraged to wear their uniforms going door to door or staffing their booths. Being genuine with yourself and others will make you more likeable and trustworthy too.
  3. Build skills. The Girl Scouts have invented their own 5-part formula for success. It includes goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics. While you may choose different wording, it’s important to develop the abilities and behaviors that enable you to deal with life’s challenges.
  4. Look out for your family. The first Girl Scout cookies were baked by mothers and daughters in their own kitchens, and parents still bring cookies to the office to sell to coworkers. Family support helps you to stay strong and resilient.
  5. Make friends. Selling cookies takes teamwork. You’ll discover more opportunities and make more progress if you network vigorously and consistently. Focus on what you can do for others and follow up when you make a commitment.
  6. Leverage your strengths. Would you believe that Thin Mints account for 25% of Girl Scout cookies sales? While it’s important to be open to new ideas, your biggest achievements will come from knowing how to use your unique talents.
  7. Live healthy. Speaking of new ideas, Girl Scout cookies now come in vegan and gluten-free options. To accomplish anything in life, you need to take care of your mind and body.
  8. Appreciate nature. S’more cookies are one sign of how scouting brings cookies and camping together. Outdoor activities are another mainstay of a happy and productive life.
  9. Gain confidence. The greatest benefit of scouting and selling cookies may be the increased confidence that Girl Scouts report. Believing in yourself makes you a success in any field.

Modern Paths to Success:

  1. Go digital. Caramel deLites and Do-si-Dos took a giant step into the 21st Century with the launching of the Digital Cookies platform in 2014. Embracing new technology enables you to work smarter and stay relevant.
  2. Use social media. The internet makes it a lot easier to find out when your favorite cookies go on sale. Build your community by staying in touch and sharing your views on Facebook, LinkedIn, or other channels.
  3. Seek balance. On the other hand, Girl Scout cookies are still officially on sale for only about 6 to 8 weeks a year even in a 24/7 society, so girls can participate in other worthwhile projects. It’s a good reminder to stick to your own values and priorities.

Girl Scout cookies are a delicious way to treat yourself and invest in your community. Let these young cookie entrepreneurs inspire you to take action and live the life you want.

8 Effective Habits for the Successful Entrepreneur

Every career has a set of habits that greatly increase the odds of success. The habits necessary for success will vary from career to career. Fortunately, there are many successful entrepreneurs that we can look to for guidance. It’s not surprising that many of them share the same habits.

There’s no reason why you can’t have the same habits as some of the most successful people in the world!

Increase your odds for success with these habits:

  1. An incredible work ethic. It takes a lot of time and effort to grow a company. It’s necessary at first to be a jack-of-all-trades. Until you can grow enough to hire others to cover all the required skills your company needs to thrive, you’re going to have to carry a lot of weight.
  2. Conscientiousness. When you own a business, it’s up to you to ensure that things are done properly and on time. The responsibilities are great. You don’t have the luxury of putting out sloppy work. It will always come back to haunt you.
  3. Use time wisely. Time will always be a limited resource. How you use your time dictates how successful your company ultimately becomes. That means having the knowledge and experience to make wise decisions and the mental toughness to avoid distractions.
  4. Have a plan each day. One of the keys to using your time successfully is to plan for each day ahead of time. Avoid going to bed without having a detailed idea of what you’re going to do the following day. When your feet hit the bedroom floor, you should already know what needs to be done for the day.
  5. Wake up early. There are very few successful entrepreneurs that don’t get up very early. Some get up even before 4 a.m. How early you get up is up to you, but if you’re not beating the average person out of bed, you’re behind.
  6. Set goals. It’s not enough to work hard and work smart. You also must know where you’re going. Goals help you make wise decisions. Know what you’re trying to accomplish today, this week, this month, this year, and 10 years from now.
  7. Deal with stress effectively. Entrepreneurs have plenty of stress to deal with on a regular basis, so it’s important to learn how to manage it. Have a process for dealing with stress and anxiety. Learn to recognize what you can control and what you cannot.
  8. Look ahead for obstacles. Avoid being blindsided by obstacles and setbacks. Be aware of your future. Look ahead for the challenges that you’re likely to face and have solutions in mind.
    • Think of all the major challenges in your life and notice that there were plenty of warning signs for all of them. The same is true with your business. Avoid putting your head in the sand and hoping for the best. Deal with challenges now while they’re still manageable.

What are your current habits? Can you see why your current habits have either helped you or harmed you on your path to business success? Think about what you want to accomplish to be successful and build a set of habits that will support those activities.

The person with the best habits usually wins. How far will you go with your habits?


If you enjoyed this post, I invite you to take a moment and sign up to receive the BusyGal Bi-Weekly Affirmation Inspiration in Your Inbox.

Affirmations are simply statements that are designed to create self-change in the individual using them. They can serve as inspiration, as well as simple reminders. They also can serve to focus you attention onto your goals throughout the day, which, in and of itself, has the potential to promote positive and sustained self-change.

People use affirmations for a variety of purposes. Generally speaking, affirmations are used to reprogram the subconscious mind, to encourage us to believe certain things about ourselves or about the world and our place within it. They are also used to help us create the reality we want—often in terms of making (or attracting) wealth, love, beauty, and happiness.

According to Walter E. Jacobson, M.D., there is value in affirmations of this nature, because our subconscious mind plays a major role in the actualization of our lives and the manifestation of our desires. What we believe about ourselves at a subconscious level, he says, can have a significant impact on the outcome of events.

At the simplest level, when we feel good about ourselves and have a positive attitude, our lives tend to run smoothly. Proponents of the “law of attraction” often refer to this as raising our vibration such that when our vibration is positive, positive things—such as financial abundance, love, and renewed health—are magnetically drawn to us.

You can sign up HERE to receive the BusyGal Bi-Weekly Affirmation Inspiration in Your Inbox.

The Reinvention of YOU – Increasing Your Self-Esteem

You might have discovered lately that you aren’t feeling as positive as you could about yourself. Maybe you’re disappointed in how you look or some of the emotions you feel. Your attitude might slip a bit at times and you find yourself making self-deprecating statements to others.

How can you get out of this rut and reinvigorate how you feel about yourself?

These strategies will help you get back on track and increase your self-esteem:

  1. It’s time to take a good, long look at yourself. Although it might be scary or even a bit disappointing, the sooner you do it, the quicker you’ll be able to get yourself back on track.
  2. How’s your physical appearance? Consider any changes you’d like to make to how you look. It’s common to go through life phases when you don’t take the care with yourself that you usually do. For many, a new haircut and some extra attention to personal grooming goes miles toward increasing self-esteem.
  3. Look at yourself with a kind eye and make some decisions on what you can realistically and financially do to improve your appearance. As you probably already know, your appearance is paramount to how you feel about yourself. Improving your appearance most likely means you’ll improve your self-esteem.
  4. Recognize your strong points. Although your mind hasn’t been in a place to really notice what you’re good at, take some time now to do just that. Maybe you’re a great cook, wonderful with kids, and the hardest worker at the office. Every single person has strong points and it’s important for you to know what yours are.
  5. Remind yourself what you truly love about you. Maybe it’s the way your green eyes shine or your red hair makes your facial features stand out. Perhaps you’re consistent about doing exercise or you’re brilliant at keeping the conversation going. You’re even in awe of the patience you have with others or your willingness to step up and volunteer to help out others.
  6. When it comes to you, what are you the most proud of? What do you consider your greatest achievements? We all have something to be proud of. Figure out the things about you that you take pride in to raise your self-esteem a few notches.
  • Maybe you keep an organized house or wash your dad’s car every week without fail.
  • Perhaps you write a good story or can keep your cool when your kids are acting out.
  • Did you work your way through college without any help or support from others?
  • Accept compliments openly. Make eye contact, smile, and say, “thank you” whenever people pay you a compliment. After all, people aren’t going to go to the time and trouble to pay you a compliment unless they believe you deserve it. Relish in the good things about you that others notice. Embrace those positive comments. Doesn’t it feel great?

You can reinvent yourself by taking steps to increase your self-esteem. Look within yourself to evaluate what you need to feel better about yourself. Make changes in your physical appearance, open your eyes to your strong points, and be aware of what you love about yourself. Acknowledge what you’re most proud of and embrace compliments.

As you do these things, your self-esteem will soar. The reinvention of you will be successful and complete!


If you enjoyed this post, I invite you to take a moment and sign up to receive the BusyGal Bi-Weekly Affirmation Inspiration in Your Inbox.

Affirmations are simply statements that are designed to create self-change in the individual using them. They can serve as inspiration, as well as simple reminders. They also can serve to focus you attention onto your goals throughout the day, which, in and of itself, has the potential to promote positive and sustained self-change.

People use affirmations for a variety of purposes. Generally speaking, affirmations are used to reprogram the subconscious mind, to encourage us to believe certain things about ourselves or about the world and our place within it. They are also used to help us create the reality we want—often in terms of making (or attracting) wealth, love, beauty, and happiness.

According to Walter E. Jacobson, M.D., there is value in affirmations of this nature, because our subconscious mind plays a major role in the actualization of our lives and the manifestation of our desires. What we believe about ourselves at a subconscious level, he says, can have a significant impact on the outcome of events.

At the simplest level, when we feel good about ourselves and have a positive attitude, our lives tend to run smoothly. Proponents of the “law of attraction” often refer to this as raising our vibration such that when our vibration is positive, positive things—such as financial abundance, love, and renewed health—are magnetically drawn to us.

You can sign up HERE to receive the BusyGal Bi-Weekly Affirmation Inspiration in Your Inbox.

Turning Your Hobby Into An Income Stream

If you’re like most people, you probably dream of having a job that’s enjoyable and fulfilling. Maybe the solution is to turn something you love into a way to pay the bills.

You may be thinking, “There’s no way I can make money from my hobby.” But you might be surprised!

Just think how great it would be if you could make money from the one thing that you actually choose to do when you have free time. What could possibly be better than that?

You might not be able to fully replace your regular job right away. However, you could earn a few hundred dollars a month or more for something you would be doing anyway. And that can make a big difference.

The two basic routes to making money from your hobby are:

  1. Teach Online. Someone out there would like to learn what you know. Don’t make the mistake of believing that you have to be one of the world’s top ten leading experts on something in order to make money at it. Nothing can be further from the truth! If you know more about something than anyone on your street, you can certainly make money teaching others.
  • Some ways to teach include:
    • Giving seminars (online or in person)
    • Selling articles related to your hobby
    • Writing and selling a book or e-book
    • One-on-one coaching
    • Setting up a website that provides educational information and sells related products and services.
  1. Sell a related product or service. Hobbies require supplies. Other people may as well be purchasing those supplies from you. If your hobby is collecting something, you can buy and sell whatever it is you collect. Or think of businesses related to your hobby. For example:
  • If you love animals, you could sell your services as a dog sitter.

  • If you love boats, you could sell boat plans or rent boats to vacationers.

  • Do you love design and interior decorating? Do you like to watch design shows on TV? You might not be on television anytime soon, but you probably know more about decorating a house than the average family does. Certainly you could charge a few hundred dollars for a consultation.

  • What if fishing is your passion? How about owning a bait and tackle shop? You could be a fishing guide. You could sell fishing lures online.

  • Do you love to travel? Take lots of pictures and write about your adventures. Travel magazines and websites are always looking for good content. You could also start your own travel website.

The real key is to take time to think about all the ways you could possibly make money related to you hobby. Then you can choose to do so in the most enjoyable way possible.

The hardest part of getting started for most people is marketing; you must market yourself and your business to get clients or customers. So be bold. Tell your neighbors and family members about your plans. Post an ad on Craigslist.com. Make a website. People have to know you’re out there so they can hire you or purchase from you.

Imagine the excitement you’ll feel the first time you cash that check for doing something you used to do for free! Once you make a little money from your hobby, the wheels will really start turning, and you’ll be surprised at all the other ideas that come to mind.

Start today by making a list of all the ways you could possibly make money at your hobby. Have fun, and good luck!


If you enjoyed this post, I invite you to take a moment and sign up to receive the BusyGal Bi-Weekly Affirmation Inspiration in Your Inbox.

Affirmations are simply statements that are designed to create self-change in the individual using them. They can serve as inspiration, as well as simple reminders. They also can serve to focus you attention onto your goals throughout the day, which, in and of itself, has the potential to promote positive and sustained self-change.

People use affirmations for a variety of purposes. Generally speaking, affirmations are used to reprogram the subconscious mind, to encourage us to believe certain things about ourselves or about the world and our place within it. They are also used to help us create the reality we want—often in terms of making (or attracting) wealth, love, beauty, and happiness.

According to Walter E. Jacobson, M.D., there is value in affirmations of this nature, because our subconscious mind plays a major role in the actualization of our lives and the manifestation of our desires. What we believe about ourselves at a subconscious level, he says, can have a significant impact on the outcome of events.

At the simplest level, when we feel good about ourselves and have a positive attitude, our lives tend to run smoothly. Proponents of the “law of attraction” often refer to this as raising our vibration such that when our vibration is positive, positive things—such as financial abundance, love, and renewed health—are magnetically drawn to us.

You can sign up HERE to receive the BusyGal Bi-Weekly Affirmation Inspiration in Your Inbox.

How to Embrace New Chapters in Your Life

As you’re well aware, life is full of changes. Sometimes, the changes occur when you least expect them, and you end up with your routines being thrown out of whack. That’s how it often is when new chapters are opened up in your life. You might get caught by surprise, and immediately get flustered because you’ve never dealt with being in that situation before.

It’s easy to lose composure when you’re going through something totally novel to you. It’s easy to give up because you feel like you’ve lost control of your life.

The good news is that you can approach these life events with positive techniques that keep you from feeling intimidated by them.

Follow these strategies to not only deal with, but also embrace, these new chapters in your life:

  1. Have an open mind. Expect the best scenario instead of the worst. Remind yourself that you’ve made it through more challenging situations before.
    • Embrace the idea that this event might bring with it all sorts of positive spins on existing situations that challenge you. This new chapter in your life could be the answer to your reaching previously unattainable goals.
  1. Exercise courage. Fear can keep you from achieving what you want out of life. It can turn strong men weak and result in disappointment, sadness and humiliation. If you picture living a life with those negative attributes, you’ll start to develop the courage to prevent that from happening. So face the unknown with every ounce of courage you have!
    • Even when you’re not feeling courageous, tell yourself you’re brave. Walk into a situation while repeating the words, “I have what it takes to conquer this.”
  1. Take one step at a time. By far, the easiest way to approach any situation in life is to break it down into its smallest parts. When looking at the big picture of your new chapter, it might seem mammoth and insurmountable. But if you take a minute to dissect it, you’ll realize it’s a lot easier to take smaller bites and even savor the taste of newness.
  1. Be guided by past mistakes. Nobody you know has more experience in your life than you do! You know your strengths and abilities, and you also know where you went wrong before. Those learning lessons should be the tools you take into life’s new chapter. Use them as much as possible to help guide you through the unknown.
  1. Be honest. If your new chapter in life is something being presented to you by someone else, be honest about feeling intimidated by it. If you’re expected to tackle it and come out victorious, you definitely don’t want to disappoint! It’s better to state your position up front because people respect honest even when it doesn’t favor them.
    • New chapters don’t have to be scary at all. You’d be surprised how perfectly capable you are of taking things head-on and relishing in the goodness they can provide. Give yourself the chance to experience fulfillment; use these strategies to embrace new chapters like you already know the outcome!

If you enjoyed this post, I invite you to take a moment and sign up to receive the BusyGal Bi-Weekly Affirmation Inspiration in Your Inbox.

Affirmations are simply statements that are designed to create self-change in the individual using them. They can serve as inspiration, as well as simple reminders. They also can serve to focus you attention onto your goals throughout the day, which, in and of itself, has the potential to promote positive and sustained self-change.

People use affirmations for a variety of purposes. Generally speaking, affirmations are used to reprogram the subconscious mind, to encourage us to believe certain things about ourselves or about the world and our place within it. They are also used to help us create the reality we want—often in terms of making (or attracting) wealth, love, beauty, and happiness.

According to Walter E. Jacobson, M.D., there is value in affirmations of this nature, because our subconscious mind plays a major role in the actualization of our lives and the manifestation of our desires. What we believe about ourselves at a subconscious level, he says, can have a significant impact on the outcome of events.

At the simplest level, when we feel good about ourselves and have a positive attitude, our lives tend to run smoothly. Proponents of the “law of attraction” often refer to this as raising our vibration such that when our vibration is positive, positive things—such as financial abundance, love, and renewed health—are magnetically drawn to us.

You can sign up HERE to receive the BusyGal Bi-Weekly Affirmation Inspiration in Your Inbox.

Online Sources of Capital for Women Entrepreneurs

Capital is pivotal for the success of any entrepreneur to launch a sustainable and lucrative business. Traditional routes of access to capital are changing as technological development creates new avenues and the distance between entrepreneur and investor decreases due to an increase in fast and efficient communication.

Women entrepreneurs have notoriously faced hardships in gaining access to capital, from lack of information and resources and local and state government assistance, to facing cultural biases from investors. Without adequate capital, women cannot make their creative ideas a reality, nor can they afford to maintain the businesses that provide jobs for a significant portion of the population.

U.S. Census Bureau data reveals that women own 36 percent of privately-held businesses and contribute $3 trillion to the economy due to job creation—creating 16 percent of jobs in the nation. As more women become their own bosses, they compose a larger share of small businesses, of which 80 percent have no employees other than the owner. In 2013, there were 28.8 million small businesses in the U.S.

Traditional means of gaining access to capital, which typically involved a long and cost-intensive process, are being expanded with online options, which provide smaller loan amounts faster and at lower costs.

Here are some new, innovative tools for women entrepreneurs seeking financing:

Crowdfunding
Crowdfunding is an efficient way to gain capital from many individuals through small donations, and is low risk compared to venture angels and banks. A 2015 Massolution report estimates that $17.2 billion was invested in North America through crowdfunding websites, a number that’s increasing each year. Top crowdfunding platforms include Kickstarter, Indiegogo, GoFundMe, CircleUp, Patreon, Crowdrise, Razoo, AngelList, and many more.

Gender Lens Investment
According to Veris Wealth Partners, investment of this type has risen 41 percent in the past year, up to $910 million. In addition, the number of mandated publicly traded gender lens investment strategies has reached a total of 22, after five years of steady growth. This is an incredible increase from 1993 to 2012, when there were only five strategies for gender lens investing.

Online Lending Tools
An emerging means for access to capital for small businesses in particular are online lending tools. The 2017 Kauffman Foundation report states that many businesses are in need of funds to manage cash flow and to access short-term financing, and the most commonly used tools are loans and lines of credit. Fintech companies like OnDeck and Kabbage are facilitating small businesses’ access to credit in online lending by providing fast online vetting for small business loans, utilizing personal data and credit scores.

Whether they decide to leverage crowdfunding, merchant cash advances or sector-focused angel syndicates like gender lens investment, women entrepreneurs in need of funds for their startup—or capital for their business—have new tools at their disposal.

Commentary by Desiree Patno
Originally post on RISMedia


Desirée Patno is the CEO and president of Women in the Housing and Real Estate Ecosystem (NAWRB) and Desirée Patno Enterprises, Inc. (DPE), as well as chairwoman of NAWRB’s Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Council (NDILC). With 30 years of experience in housing, Patno is a champion for women’s economic growth and independence. In 2017, Entrepreneur.com named her the Highest-Ranking Woman and 4th Overall Top Real Estate Influencer to Follow. For more information, please visit www.nawrb.co

The Determination of Creative Women

From our Connected with Kathleen Cooke Section.   
Re-published with permission from Kathleen Cook. 

Originally posted on www.KathleenCooke.com July 5, 2019
and in her Blog influencelab.com/women
Web/blog: kathleencooke.com
Twitter: @kathycooke

In a recent Wall Street Journal article, What Women Artists Knew About Work, Mason Currey cites Harriet Beecher Stowe’s (“Uncle Tom’s Cabin”) letter to her sister-in-law with these words…

“Since I began this note, I have been called off at least a dozen times – once for the fish-man to buy a codfish – once to see a man who had brought me some baskets of apples – once to see a bookman… then to nurse the baby –then into the kitchen to make a chowder for dinner and now I am at it again, for nothing but deadly determination enables me to ever write – it is rowing against wind and tide.”

As I sit at my desk and computer hashing it out with a multitude of to-do’s nipping at my feet, I feel very close to Harriet.  It requires determination and sheer work to find the time to read, think, research and write but I am compelled to do so by the pounding drum within me. 

Finding time to create was difficult for many women throughout history. In many ways we have it easier today but media distractions can be one of our fiercest opponents. Technological advancements have disrupted and loaded our lives with interruptions and the one highest on the list is the smartphone in our hands. Its unrelenting grasp hooks us. We often get blindly swept away following social media, watching YouTube or are mesmerized by video games.

Women of the past had multiple distractions since so many worked from home. Most were solo entrepreneurs who produced in their own creative spaces. They had to learn to discipline themselves and learn business skills on their own.

The entrepreneurial spirit continues today. According to a 2017 survey by Remote.co, 28% of women who work remotely are CEO’s and leaders of their own companies compared to 5.2% of women working in S&P 500 companies and 6.4% of women in Fortune 500 companies. Interestingly, 90% of women surveyed chose to work remotely because of the barriers they felt from men in top leadership positions. Another reason was the inability to be a family caregiver due to conflicts in the workplace. The New York Times reported in 2017 that “half or more of the women who earn an M.B.A. that year would drop out of the full-time workforce within a decade.” 

I had several distractions, including children, before I was able to fully pursue my first passion: theatrical acting. The balance of work and home responsibilities often continues to deter women from pursuing artistic and business endeavors. However, my dad, a basketball coach, often inspired me with these words from his mentor, former UCLA coach John Wooden, “Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” My dad taught me to be persistent and not to be deterred by interruptions. My heavenly Father has also taught me that when you are pursuing what you are called to do by God, interruptions won’t deter you either.

Completing a project of any kind may have momentary interruptions, many of which can’t be controlled. Some may only last moments and others, years. But one thing I have discovered is that there is real joy and contentment when you are in the zone of creative work doing what God’s called you to do. When you are in the middle of where He wants you, it doesn’t matter if it gets difficult. You’d do it again and again because it breathes life into your soul. It allows you to communicate with God fully. 

At the end of editing my devotional, Hope 4 Today: Stay Connected to God in a Distracted Culture, I was given a 24-hour deadline by the publisher due to printing issues to complete the final draft. I was forced to stay up and work all night, shoving all other responsibilities aside. Surprisingly, the time flew by. I found myself energized within the sleepiness because I was driven to submit a manuscript that I felt had been inspired by God. 

Headwinds can never deter those who are “called according to His purposes.” (See Romans 8:28.)



A Second Chance in the Second Chapter of Life

by Felicia M. Lopes
Twitter:  @TheBusyGal
LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/feliciamlopes/

There are times that your life changes suddenly.  At those time I feel like my stomach kisses my backbone and my hands start itching and aching like crazy!  I can still remember my life going into total upheaval mode when I was told unceremoniously by my boss 4 years almost to the day that I’d been hired at my job, “I’m sorry, but you’re fired!”  


A few days ago, those same feelings came rushing back at me like an avalanche as I sat in Starbucks drinking my favorite coffee, scrolling through my iPhone, when Jennifer Lopez’s new film, which is coming out this Holiday Season, came up on my news feed.  It looks hysterically funny (that’s code for I can’t wait to see it!), because as a women, now in hermid-50s, that moment in 2006 when I was 42, utterly changed my life!  I still wince from the financial aftermath — the sting of losing my job — remembering it so clearly as if it were yesterday, because it was the start of a Herculean uphill financial battle that lasted many years!

Check out the trailer below and see if it doesn’t resonate with you:

SECOND ACT Trailer (2018)

Getting back to my story.  Apparently the Executive Board had lost their contract, so, through no fault of my own, I was laid off!  As most people do after a job lay off, you start marketing yourself furiously so that you can get another job — any job to pay the bills, especially if you live in Forest Hills, Queens (NYC) where I lived at the time, and where my rent for my 2 Bedroom apartment was over $2800 a month! 

I’m a “glass is half full kind of gal”, so to tell you the truth, I was actually kind of excited and hopeful about the prospect of finding something new.  As I have a Masters from Columbia University which I’d earned only 7 years previous to that time period in my life, I figured that it would take me no more than 3-6 months to find another position.  

Sister… How wrong I was! 

To this date… I have NEVER been able to get another permanent full-time job with benefits!  I physically have documented that since 2006, I have sent out well over 2500 resumes to employers for positions for which I am absolutely qualified.  I was interviewed several times for high level positions in NYC and even called back for additional follow-up interviews at several companies – a few up to 5 times!  But every single time I was informed a few weeks later, that they’d hired someone else for the job via a letter like this…

Dear Felicia,
Thank you so much for sending us your resume and cover letter.  We enjoyed meeting you, but we regret to inform you that we are moving forward with another qualified candidate… yada, yada, yada, yada, ya ….  

You get the drift!

The ultimate humiliation came when I was told “off the record” by a well meaning head hunter, that my problem was that those hiring  want to hire people younger than me, because I reminded them of … wait for it… their “Mom” as I was now 46!  

Can you just image being told that!?!

It took me a long while, but I finally woke up and realized a truth.

The only way to guarantee income into my household, was to be in business for myself!

So after much prayer, reflection, research and re-education (I call it PrR&R), I bootstrapped my own business and I vowed to make three essential changes to my life. 

Change #1:  Develop A Positive Mental Attitude Reading Regimen

I began by putting myself on a reading regimen to “brainwash” or rather “brain flush” the negative that had permeated and manifested itself into my life up until that point.  I started reading classic positive mental attitude books like Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill, The Power of Positive Thinking, by Norman Vincent Peal, and Dale Carnegie’s How To Win Friends and Influence People.  I devoured books by successful female writers such as, Arianna Huffington’s Thrive, Fearless and Free, by Wendy Sachs, Answers Unleashed by Olympia LePoint, Womenomics, by Claire Shipman and Katty Kay, and Goddess on the Go by Leora Edut.  Ultimately, I set reading goals for myself so that I can finish at least one book every 2 weeks. 

Change #2:  Hang With and Listen to Successful Business Owners 

Additionally, as I build my business I know that the more I listen to successful people who’ve built fantastic businesses of their own, the better I become at my business.  I listen to podcasts like  The Big Shift, The Marie Forleo Podcast, Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations, and She Did It Her Way because I need the inspiration to keep on keeping on!  Additionally, I schedule into my calendar, local, regional and national meetings and conferences to go to, where I can meet  successful people and associate with them.  This way I can model their success habits into my own business. 

Change #3:  Focus on the Spiritual 

Lastly I started focusing more on the spiritual needs of my life by becoming more grateful and thankful.  I remember when this epiphany occurred.  I was sitting in my basement apartment in Santa Monica.  I had just moved there, I had no money in the bank, and I had no job.  Real inspirational success story there, right?!  What’s crazy is that I woke up and I heard God, speak to my heart and I realized that though I had nothing in the bank, I had a roof over my head, food in my belly (not one day did I go hungry) and clothes on my back – and stylish clothing at that!  Though I had no job lined up, I had hope and good prospects that some how or some way soon, He would provide for me.  I started saying to friends – tongue in cheek, “God is letting me ‘suffer’ in style while living in Santa Monica” – which is one of the most expensive areas of the country to call home! 

As I continue to build my business – now in my hometown of Dallas, Texas (that’s a whole other story for another time!) – I have come to realize that I am not alone as a middle aged female business owner.  According to New York Times writer Kerry Hannon’s 10/3/2017 Article, which is absolutely worth a read, check it out HERE, “in 2016, there were an estimated 11.3 million women-owned businesses in the United States — a 45 percent increase since 2007, according to the 2016 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report from American Express.”  The article goes on to state,…

“Female entrepreneurs, particularly those over age 50, are igniting intergenerational entrepreneurship partnerships and collaborations among women of all ages,” said Elizabeth Isele, founder and chief executive of the Global Institute for Experienced Entrepreneurship. “Intergenerational partnerships between women dispel age-related stereotypes and build strong bonds across age, race and ethnicity in our increasingly diverse workplaces,” Ms. Isele said.”

If you fit into this demographic – being a a women who wants to start your own business and you’re in your 2nd or even 3rd chapter of life being in your 40’s, 50’s, 60’s or even 70’s – take a minute to ask yourself and answer these 3 questions: 

  • When you were a young girl, lying in your backyard looking up at the stars in the sky, did you imaging living the way you are living now? 
  • Is your Income Circle as large as your Dream Circle? 
  • Can you honestly state that you are happy and financially secure with where you are in life at this stage of life? 

I believe that all Women Over 40, 50, 60 or even 70 need a second chance because 9 times out of 10, most of us did not “get it right” in our 20s and 30s and we aren’t necessarily where we dreamed we’d be at this age.

If all your answers are YES to the questions above…  then “Hooray for you!!!!  You got it right in your 20s and 30s!!”  But I bet, 90% of you have answered, NO.  

So please for your sake and for your sanity, consider starting your own business and push hard for your own dreams!  I know I did it, and though it is one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done, it is also the BEST thing I’d ever done because…

My business became my second chance in my second chapter of life and it can also be that for you!

Felicia Lopes trains and empowers Women Over 40 who want to start businesses and become entrepreneurs nationwide through her robust online learning management system which features 3 Curriculum, 8 Core Courses, and over 70 individual classes (or modules).  Join her this coming 12/20/2018 for her webinar — Cultivating the Entrepreneurial Mindset where she will walk you through the minefields and  mental hurdles most Adults Over 40 face when launching a new business.  Register here to attend this information packed webinar.