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Just A Card

Just a Card

I took the Just a Card 5 day social media challenge and shared what Just a Card means to me and my business.

I’m Janet and this is my wee independent biz, Cards and Gift Wrap.

Day 1 My Story

Cards and Gift Wrap started because I am a full time mum at home with 4 children, now aged 2 to 12. I seemed in constant need of birthday cards and wrapping paper for the children and their class mates parties. Other friends were in the same position. Always having to go shopping at the last minute for a card and constantly feeling disappointed at what was on offer in the shops but having no other choice. Now they too are wise and keep a stock of my cards because they are nicer, more afforable, better quality and because it’s just so much more convenient than the last minute panic.

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Multi-tasking – is it really that great a skill?

multi-tasking

Apparently as a woman I’m very good at multi-tasking. Why is then that I’m not that proud of my ability?

Multi-tasking, an ability or a necessity?

I just ask because I’ve noticed that if I’m sitting at the kitchen table trying to write a blog post surrounded by 4 children all demanding food, drink or answers to really important questions like ‘why do you have to whack fish when you catch them?’ simultaneouly that I am expected to just juggle it all. At the very worst I’m supposed to drop the blog post and deal with the rest. Only once everything else is satisfied do I feel allowed to return to the blog. And of course everything else is never satisfied.

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Are you busy?

are you busy

The most common question I get asked about my self employed, work from home, stay at home mum job is ‘Are you busy?’ I’m never quite sure what answer to give.

What I normally reply when asked ‘Are you busy?’

Instinctively I say, ‘yes’.

Then I feel the need to clarify what I mean.

I’m a full time mother of 4 children aged between 1 and 11. Of course I’m busy! Permanently busy. But what people are really asking is if I’m busy with work, or more accurately they want to know if I’m making lots of money from it.

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Why committing a crime is appealing

Motherhood like prison

Do you find motherhood like prison but fear it would be wrong to admit it? Well you’re not alone – me too! In fact I’ve recently discovered that I would have significantly more liberties if I committed a crime.

5 ways I find motherhood like prison. Or put another way – 5 things I could do if I was locked up.

1 Bed

I’m guessing that when it’s lights out in prison then that’s it lights out. It’s not ‘please can I have another story, even though you’ve just read me the same story every night for two weeks and you don’t even need to look at the words any more’. Or ‘I need a drink of water, mummy.’ It’s not ‘I need the toilet, mummy.’ It’s not ‘I can’t find my stuffed toy that I haven’t looked at for months but I really need right now or I’ll never be able to get to sleep.’

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What to do when your team isn’t growing as much as you’d like and you think you’ve tried everything

Motivate your team

Do you have a team of people who aren’t doing as much as you’d like? You want your team to sell more, recruit more, produce more. You’ve tried everything and you’ve run out of ways to motivate your team.

You need some new ideas

It may be that you’ve been doing everything right in your own business. Your own sales are growing and maybe even your own recruitment is going well. The trouble is that your team don’t seem to be following your lead. You feel like you’re saying all the right things but they’re not responding.

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When you get a proper job

What do you want to do when you grow up and get a proper job
So, over the last couple of days I’ve been doing something a little different and to be honest a bit out of my comfort zone – but that’s how we grow right?? I’ve come the closest in a long time to having a proper job.

What do I do?

I’ve been at my children’s school for their ‘career – workplace’ week along with other parents and local businesses. We’ve been talking about our jobs and why we do what we do.
I was really impressed with the questions asked, especially by the older children. I also felt kind of humbled by their understanding of why I do what I do.
When the letter came home the previous week asking parents if they were willing and available to come in for a sort of ‘careers fair’ I half jokingly put my name down for ‘Direct Sales’. To be honest I didn’t think anyone would want me as I don’t work full time and for so many it’s not a ‘proper job’. Would teachers really want me to tell children that I don’t work much because I’m a full time mother and the business I have just fills the gaps?
So I ticked both days meaning I was available for either and expecting to hear nothing.
Well that’ll teach me! They asked me to come in both days and I was the only person who did do both days!

What do you want to do when you grow up and get a proper job?

I know when I was young parenthood wasn’t a viable career option. Looking back on my education I feel a bit lied to. I grew up feeling empowered and encouraged to change the world. No one explained that if I had children I couldn’t actually have it all. On the contrary I had to make choice.
So I told the children that I used to have another job but gave it up when my children were born. Then I wanted a business that would allow me complete flexibility of time and allow me to earn some money even if not a full time income as it’s not a full time job.
I thought they’d all be more interested to ask what my ‘proper job’ had been before my children were born. Yet not one child asked me that question. Instead they all seemed to get it. Perhaps because our children value the time we spend at home with them, even when we don’t or when we don’t realise how much they appreciate us just ‘being there’.

What did they get out of it?

I don’t know the answer to that. Most of them seemed to want to join the police (he did have much more interesting gadgets and equipment compared to my bookmarks and birthday cards!). Though their eyes did all light up when I explained that my job involves eating a lot of cake.
But I was reminded how clever and astute our children are. When I was 6 it was a visit from a missionary couple that sparked something in me to work overseas. That never left me and was the basis for my previous ‘proper job’. It’s still something I’d like to go back to. But for now my children appreciate me just being there for them. Even if they and I don’t always realise it. So I’ll keep doing what I’m doing, blogging about and selling cards and eating cake.
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Make your Dream come True

Make your dream come true day

Have you ever had a dream come true? I have but more on that later. What do you need to do to make your dream come true?

What do people dream about?

I don’t mean those horrible dreams about your teeth falling out (I’ve had so many of those!) I mean what are people’s ambitions?

If you Google something like ‘how many people want to work for themselves’ you’ll get a range of articles suggesting anything from 45 to 72% of people would rather be self-employed. Those who do want to work for a company want that company to be ethical and responsible. But how many people have managed to do either of those things?

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Dare to dream

Phoenix Trading greeting cards
Well what a week that was, feel like nothing will surprise me anymore! Wonder what this week will hold for us all?
 
Whatever your dreams are; dancing, presidency, and shortly before all that Ireland beat New Zealand at rugby for the first time in 111 years (OK – that might not interest you but being married to an Irishman, it was big news in our house!)….anyway with a big Supermoon in the sky tonight I think it might be time to dream big and reach for the stars.
What are your dreams?
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10 Gift Hampers I’d like to receive…I mean give (obviously!)

Pamper basket Phoenix Trading card gift hampers

Have you always loved wicker baskets and have always dreamed about receiving a hamper gift? However, you have this idea that they are really expensive. Well here is a list of some gift hampers that I’d love to send (and receive!). Gift hampers that seem afforable, as well as quirky and lovely.

Here are 10 gift hampers with something for everyone.

(Confession – most of the links in this article are links that I will receive a small payment from if you choose to buy anything. However the opinions expressed are my own. I decided which hampers to include by doing my own research.)

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MLM vs Affiliate Marketing

Fun With Technology

I was intrigued by a review of Phoenix Trading that I found online the other day. What intrigued me most was that the reviewer wasn’t a Phoenix Trader and never had been. Furthermore he had admitted that he had never actually even seen a Phoenix card.

As I read on it was clear that he was using Phoenix as an MLM company (Multi-level marketing) to promote his own affiliate marketing proposal.

I thought this was pretty underhanded and certainly wouldn’t attract me to his offer. (At least he didn’t accuse us of pyramid selling!)