NACWE Member Spotlight: Heidi Kleine

DSC_5855-EditHeidi Kleine knows as well as anyone the struggles women face in a busy and stressful world. After years of feeling overweight, overwhelmed, and over-exerted, Heidi was ready to make a change for the better. She went on to transform her life by improving her physical and emotional wellness. Now, Heidi runs Worth It Woman, her practice as a Certified Professional Success Coach. She uses her coaching practice to encourage women to achieve their dreams through ambitious, realistic goals and strategies. “Worth it Woman empowers women to shine,” Heidi said. Through her writing, speaking, and coaching, Heidi helps women uncover their big dreams and shatter the obstacles and challenges in their way.

Heidi believes an important aspect of her business is using her personal experiences to foster empathy with her clients. “I love using the challenges and experiences of my life to help other women,” Heidi said. She enjoys the flexibility that comes with the life of an entrepreneur, and she balances her time between taking care of herself, her family, and her business. She depends on her faith for the wisdom to accomplish that balance. “Faith plays a huge role in my business,” Heidi said. “The Holy Spirit guides my words and actions and gives me the confidence to address the issues my clients face. Being an entrepreneur and a relational service provider is not an easy thing. It can be emotionally and spiritually draining. My faith keeps me grounded.”

Worth-It-Woman-NormalAnother way she stays grounded is through her involvement with NACWE. Heidi joined NACWE in the fall of 2013 after attending two of Diane’s monthly webinars. “I felt am immediate connection to these sisters in Christ living their callings and supporting one another,” Heidi said. To her, NACWE is a safe place to express her ideas, knowing she will be held accountable and be encouraged in return. She also values the tools NACWE provides each week. “The most important gift for my business has been the connections and resources,” Heidi said. “Diane also ‘blazes the trail’ for us. She lets us in on the backside to see how things are done. She even lets us see the bloopers to help us learn from her mistakes.”

DSC_5862-EditOverall, Heidi knows her business wouldn’t be where it is today without the support of her NACWE sisters. “NACWE has transformed my business and my life,” Heidi said. “It has given me the confidence and tools to truly step into my calling.” She hopes to see NACWE grow even more in the coming years. Since she lives in North Carolina, she would love to put down roots for NACWE in the eastern United States. “I look forward to participating in leadership of a local chapter,” Heidi said. “I’d like to see groups all over the country.”

Her advice for new entrepreneurs comes in three parts. First, she encourages new entrepreneurs to be patient because launching a new business takes time. Second, don’t be intimidated by the initial investment, and don’t expect results without it. Finally, pick and choose your resources. “It is easy to get distracted by too many coaches, ideas, programs,” Heidi said. “Find one or two that really resonate with you, and then tune out the rest.” One additional piece of advice from Heidi: join NACWE! “Make the investment,” she said. “You are worth it! NACWE is worth it. When you do, dive in full force. Take advantage of every opportunity that NACWE offers. Get the most out of your membership.”3D Worth it

As a female entrepreneur, Heidi has overcome many obstacles and faced the unknown head-on. For encouragement, she clings to Joshua 1:9:

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.

This verse reminds Heidi that she is never alone in her business pursuits, and she never needs to be afraid. “I go back to that verse as a mantra in my head almost every day,” she said.

 

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Written by Callie Revell

3 Common Reasons Why Blogging Isn’t Working for You (And How To Fix It)

[This article was originally published by Elayna Fernandez on April 15, 2015.]

3-common-reasons-why-your-blog-isnt-working-and-how-to-fix-itThere are certain patterns successful bloggers follow to get the results they want, and while it is true we could figure out and model their formula, you must define success on your own terms!

Are you getting enough out of your blog?

  • traffic?
  • comments?
  • subscribers?
  • conversions?
  • click-throughs?
  • shares?
  • exposure for your brand?

You get to define enough on your own terms, too, and avoid falling in the trap of comparing yourself and your blog or your content to someone else’s.

Whether you are here because you want to get more out of your blog and you feel like blogging isn’t working for you or you’re simply curious to learn three common reasons why blogging doesn’t work for others, I wrote this post with you in mind because these pitfalls are preventable and reminders never hurt.

Reason #1 Bloggers Fail: Lack of Strategy

One of my favorite sayings of all time is, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Maybe it's because with all the hats I wear, I need this constant reminder. You want to have a solid strategy in place for your blog . . . and I don’t mean perfect: done is better than perfect!

Any strategy will do because even if you start out with a “bad” strategy, you can learn and tweak, correcting your course while in motion. One thing must be true, though: your strategy must align with your biggest goals, your top passions, and your main priorities so that it is sustainable and you can develop the self-motivation to refuel along the journey.

Reason #2 Bloggers Fail:  Content Needs Focus

There is so much amazing content out there like blog posts, videos (vlogs), and articles, and there is only so much time in the day . . . not to mention, attention spans are getting shorter by the second.

In order to stand out, we must create original, valuable, well-written content that is focused on addressing specific issues, questions, and concerns of a very select niche and organized in three or five categories that we can use to guide our posting calendar and create balanced content in all the areas we specialize in.

This sounds really simple, yet I can see many people struggling with picking a niche, narrowing down topics, or choosing an overall theme. I tend to work with creative types, and structure is something they mostly resist. I once had a coaching client who hated the words “outline,” “intro,” or “template” because they caused her stress and made her feel confined.

Believe it or not, structure provides freedom! As you define your objectives and match your content to your chosen reader persona, you will create more, help more people, and see more results.

Reason #3 Bloggers Fail:  Poor (or No) Promotion

“Build it, and they will come . . .”

Umm . . . not really! A successful blogger is a marketer and is proactive in the marketing process. Remember my 5 stages to marketing:

Contact > Conversation > Connection > Community > Conversion

Getting the word out about your blog doesn’t happen overnight and requires daily actions to make progress toward the goal, according to plan (see reason #1).

 

Now you know that to achieve the results you want out of your blog, you must:

  1. Design a road-map that defines where you’re going and how you will get there.
  2. Define your ideal audience intimately and focus on providing relevant solutions.
  3. Determine the daily actions you will take to achieve your dream – and do it!

I look forward to your feedback. Would you be willing to share some of your blogging goals and the actions you are using to achieve them?

 

ela-laptop-the-positive-mom-227x300A former desolate, homeless, penniless single mom, Elayna Fernandez is a bestselling author, international keynote speaker, and award-winning success guide, often featured on mainstream media sharing her expertise on how to develop a Millionaire Mom Mindset, BE Positive, and Discover, Live, Balance, Monetize, and Radiate your Passions, in order to create JOY, BALANCE and SUCCESS on your own terms without mommy guilt, struggle, or overwhelm. Her 7p Guerrilla Positioning System™ (GPS) teaches how to turn your passion into your paycheck and elevate your Impact, Income, and Influence.

Wellness for Women Entrepreneurs

by Karen Lindwall-Bourg

 

11067829_10206602038074440_7894390764424740891_nAs women entrepreneurs, we are focused on our calling and our passion. We have taken our God-given vision, and with grace and elbow grease, we are making it work!

Performance Pressures Hinder Wellness

Let’s be honest, though—there are times when we get frustrated and discouraged. This entrepreneur journey is hard. And it’s not the only “performance” pressure we have in our lives. Relationships, parenting, friendship, and being a business leader all require our energy and effort to successfully maintain.

Personally, I sometimes struggle to stay encouraged and motivated when things aren’t unfolding the way I want them to. When I started out, there were times I felt I just couldn’t keep up. There was often no more “go” in my “get up and go”.

How do we get unstuck? How do we manage when we’ve lost sight of the horizon? How do we press on when discouragement lurks?

Wellness Checks: We are Multi-dimensional!

God wants us to be holy and blessed in every aspect of our lives.

 And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way.
—Mark 10:52

A huge portion of His ministry included healing and restoring people to wholeness.

We are spirit, soul, and body. Whenever I feel super stuck, I check in within these three dimensions. What’s going on in my body? Is my soul getting what it needs? Am I neglecting something regarding my spirit?

Check Your Physical Wellness

  • Sleep
    • Our physical and physiological needs cannot be overlooked. Just like a toddler gets grumpy without enough sleep, our bodies and personalities are also compromised. Are we going to bed at a healthy time? Are we getting quality sleep? I can no longer go to bed with my iPad, iPhone, or laptop.
    • Turn off your devices, including the TV. Put your head on the pillow, and close your eyes. If needed, put a pen and paper by the bed for those lists that rush in when your head hits the pillow.
  • Nutrition
    • When I get busy or excited about something I am working on, I will put off eating. And put it off. And put it off. Then, I am starving and eat a big, poorly chosen meal at the end of the day. Take it from experience, this is not healthy. Eating healthy and regularly is such an important factor to our mood, energy level, and brain function.
    • Your body is trying to tell you what it needs when you feel hungry. It’s important you listen. That 3 p.m. energy slump with brain fog can be easily managed with a healthful snack.
  • Hormones
    • We are all women here, and let’s be real. To deny that hormones play a part in our bodies is naive. I know I have one or two crazy days when I feel really down and out. I don’t need medication; I need to be gentle with myself and aware of the pattern. For me, I know it will pass.
    • Take a month and recognize when your mood swings to places you are not so fond of. Depending on your age and health, it may take more medical investigation. However, be encouraged; it’s totally manageable.
  • Movement
    • I know, I know. We hear it all the time. Exercise makes you feel better. And we aren’t talking marathon training!
    • Did you know a 20-minute walk every day can help improve clarity and boost creativity? And a pace a little faster than a stroll can clear your head, wake up your body, and renew your energy.

Check Your Soul Wellness

Your soul can also be thought of as your heart, mind, will, and emotions. It’s the place where your spirit meets your decision-making process. Your soul finds peace and strength when you listen to the Spirit.

  • Desires
    • Sometimes, we ignore the desires of our hearts, and everything gets off kilter. We get disheartened.
    • Checking in on your heart’s desire with prayer and listening can help ease discouragement.
  • Positivism
    • Thankfulness can transform a negative attitude into a positive one. Our soul is also influenced by the people around us—negative and positive alike.
    • Selectively listen to those who speak into your life! Increase the positive influences and uplifting voices in your life.

Check Your Spiritual Wellness

Our spirit is that holy part inside where God dwells and communicates with us. Having an active and intentional spiritual life produces spiritual health. It is where we find the strength to keep going when we feel we can’t take another step.

  • Prayer
    • It requires conversation and listening to be a good friend, a good wife, or a good mother. The same is true with God. Prayer is the conversation. Quiet time is not just about reading and praying; it’s also about listening to what God is saying.
    • Prayer can happen at any time. It doesn’t just have to be the 20 minutes you set aside in the morning before the kids get up. It can be part of your daily walk or in the shower.
    • Find exhortation and encouragement from God’s Word.

I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

—Philippians 4: 29

  • Worship
    • Worship is similar to prayer in that you can do it anytime, anywhere.
    • Worship is the singing we do. It includes the little moments when we take the time to recognize what a great and amazing God we have. It encompasses noticing the stunning clouds on a stormy day. It embraces appreciating the luxuries we have in life and acknowledging that He is the source.
  • Thankfulness
    • Gratitude is a popular concept today. It is effective in creating a positive and appreciative life view.
    • It is also a great way to remind yourself of all the wondrous things in your life by taking the time to recognize and thank God for them.

11070483_10206602040354497_444182184261363099_nWalk in Love

. . . be filled with the Spirit,  addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
—Ephesians 5:18-21

Those moments of feeling like giving up will come. But, before we make up our minds to quit, we need to check in with the most important parts of ourselves and our God-given purpose!

Are there things you do to help keep moving forward?

What tips do you have for making progress when you feel stuck?

 

KarenLKaren Lindwall-Bourg is the Founder of RHEMA Counseling Associates, a Biblical Counseling, Coaching, and Training Center seeking to honor the Lord by leading others to the Sovereign God and the cross and Life of Jesus Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit and equipped with the Sufficient Word [Greek: rhema] of God for abundant life and ministry. Karen lives with her husband Fred in North Central Texas, and spends as much time as possible with their 6 children, 5 grandchildren, extended family, and menagerie of ranch animals. www.rhemacounseling.com.

How and Why to Use a Swipe File

by Theresa Ceniccola

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If imitation is a form a flattery, then there are plenty of people I’ve flattered since I started blogging more than five years ago. Like most people, I created my first website and launched a blog with no real training or experience. I was already a professional writer, so I figured I’d learn the rest on the job. And part of the learning process for me is studying what works well for others. That’s where my swipe files comes in handy.

A swipe file is a tool I learned about in my early career in public relations and marketing communications. I collected articles, headlines, direct mail postcards, advertisements, proposals, and other materials for inspiration. It was kinda like Pinterest for writers. Only, when I first started using a swipe file, it was a paper accordion style folder with actual printed samples torn from newspapers and magazines.

I’d save anything I found interesting or compelling—even if it had nothing to do with my industry or current projects. Then, when it came time to work on a new piece, I’d flip through my swipe files for ideas. I’d find formulas for great headlines, templates for sales letters, and even some clever photo captions that would trigger an idea.

I eventually went digital with my swipe file, and now I use it to kick start my creativity on all sorts of new projects. Even if you’re not a writer, chances are you do a fair amount of writing for your business or ministry. So, why not make your job a little bit easier and start a swipe file of your own? Collect anything you find interesting or effective so you can refer to it later. Start with a simple file folder on your desktop, or try using Evernote to store your swipe file items. Evernote lets you bookmark webpages, add images or screenshots, and tag your notes for easy sorting and retrieval. You can even share your swipe file with someone on Evernote.

Not sure what to collect? Here are a few ideas to get you started!

Seven Things to Add to Your Swipe File

1. Sales pages. Have you ever made a spontaneous online purchase? You may have stumbled across a compelling sales page and found yourself hitting the “buy now” button without even thinking about it. When that happens, take a screenshot of the sales page and file it for future reference. There is probably some language in there that will come in handy!

2. Facebook ads. If you’re on Facebook, you’ve probably clicked on an ad in your newsfeed at some point. There are definitely tricks and tips to Facebook advertising, so capture screen shots of your favorite ads and study them to see what works well for others. When it comes time to do your own Facebook advertising, you’ll have a head start.

3. Bios. I always get a kick out of short, clever bios I read online. Not the ones that are stuffed full of credentials and accomplishments. But the ones that reveal addictions to Sharpie markers or a lifelong struggle to successfully grow a tomato plant. I’ve been swiping memorable bios for years and vowing to make my own humdrum narrative a little more intriguing. One. Of. These. Days.

4. Freebies (Compelling Free Offers). If you’ve got a website, then you probably have a freebie or compelling free offer that you use to help build a list of prospects. It could be an ebook, whitepaper, printables, video training series, audio recording, or a simple checklist (something like my free ebook called the Ten Commandments of a Mompreneur). If you don’t already have a freebie, start collecting samples of interesting freebies you’ve signed up for yourself. And even if you have a freebie, you’ll probably change it every couple of years, so keep your eye out for inspiration!

5. Blog posts. Have you ever read a blog post and thought, “I should totally write something similar on my blog!” Maybe you read a post about the Top Ten Reasons to Go Vegan (Even if Your Family Loves Burgers) and decided you should write a post about the Top Ten Reasons to Homeschool Your Children (Even if You Think You’re Not Qualified). Swipe that blog post and tag it in your file so you’re ready with an idea when it’s time to write!

6. Book covers. The most important text in any book appears on the book jacket—on the front and back covers. Even in the era of digital books and e-readers, the jacket copy is essential for converting casual browsers into paying customers. So, even if you never plan to write your own book, take note of the extraordinary book covers you read and use them for inspiration on other projects.

7. Solicitation letters/emails. Asking for money takes a special kind of skill. There is a great deal to learn from exceptional development (advancement) professionals. They know how to tell a story. And they know how to make you part with your money and feel good about it. That’s why I save those seven-page letters from non-profit organizations and capital campaigns. And it’s why I take note of the occasional solicitation email that makes it past my spam filter.

What else? Have I left off anything you would add to a swipe file?

 

TGC photoTheresa Ceniccola is The Christian Mompreneur—a Mentor to Moms Who are Running a Business that Supports Faith and Family. She empowers entrepreneurial moms to build profitable businesses with wisdom and grace through the Christian Mompreneur Mastermind program and her professional Marketing services, which include copywriting, marketing, and strategy consulting and private coaching.

NACWE Five-Year Anniversary Charter Members Series: Naomi Hartung

AIMG_1514 (2)bout six months before Diane launched NACWE in 2010, Naomi Hartung stumbled across one of Diane’s blog posts and connected with her online. “When she started NACWE, I just knew I had to be a part of it,” Naomi said. “Diane’s vision and process resonated with me, and I knew it was something that fit with my path.” Naomi needed a place to connect with other Christian women who wanted more for their businesses, and NACWE was that place.

Naomi is a Legacy Executive Director with Tupperware and has worked with the brand for nearly twenty years. According to Naomi, selling Tupperware is much more than—well, Tupperware. “Yes, I sell plastic bowls, but the largest and most rewarding part of my job is working with women to realize their dreams using the God-given talents in them,” Naomi said. She helps women on her sales team “find their hot buttons” and discover how their uniqueness can lead to growing a successful business. “I love helping women to become the best they can be!” Naomi said.

In the past five years, Naomi has experienced many highs and lows with her business, and she is thankful that NACWE was there through it all. “The single biggest influence has been in prayer,” Naomi said. “Knowing that there is this amazing group of women out there who are walking alongside me in this journey provides me with a sense of security, comfort, and courage.” She also appreciates the sense of camaraderie the women of NACWE have and how they work together through blessings and struggles. “I know that when I need it, it is just a Facebook post or email or phone call away, and I can find that person who knows just what I need in that moment from prayer to programs to support,” Naomi said.Cruise Jan 2013 Naomi 266

Naomi believes all female entrepreneurs need support, and she is no exception. The biggest struggle she sees women face involves balance. “Many get caught up in the desire to be superwoman and still do all the ‘womanly’ things our society says we have to—be there for our kids after school, take care of our homes, be a good wife, serve on committees, et cetera.” When women can find a way to balance both roles—entrepreneur and nurturer—balance becomes more attainable. Naomi says this comes through a clear vision of where they want their businesses to go and how that contributes to their families. When they figure that out, their busy schedules don’t seem so overwhelming. “Understanding that there will be give and take in all areas for a common end result allows them to ‘forgive themselves’ for doing the things they need to do to get their businesses growing,” Naomi said.

For anyone considering starting a new business or looking for direction in their current endeavors, Naomi has three simple tips:

  1. Find your passion. You can’t build a business around something you do not love!
  2. Make a plan. Spending time in planning and preparation saves headaches down the road.
  3. Stick with it. Everything may not fall into place exactly as planned. Stick with it. Sometimes things take longer or need revision. Don’t quit. Keep moving. Reflect and re-plan. Take action.IMG_1108

Being a female entrepreneur comes with its own set of challenges, but Naomi sees the challenges as part of the excitement. She loves being able to use her God-given talents every single day. She also enjoys being her own boss and the flexibility that comes with entrepreneurship. The rewards of owning her own business definitely outweigh the struggles. “I have become more confident, a better speaker, have financial flexibility, and have had the privilege to impact so many other women in the past nineteen years,” Naomi said. “I often say this is my mission field.”

IMG_1570It’s a mission she’s taken to heart. “My faith allows me to have courage to keep going even on days when I just want to quit,” Naomi said. “I am so often reminded that He knows my plans and that He plans to prosper me.” That’s a reference to one of her favorite Bible verses, Jeremiah 29:11: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” Naomi’s faith helps her connect with others, even those the world has cast aside. “My faith allows me to be open and love even the unlovable,” Naomi said. “I find security in knowing that God is my business partner and that together, we can do anything.”

Naomi has the highest recommendation for anyone thinking of joining NACWE. “If you are looking for a place to connect with Christian women who are also entrepreneurs, then this is the right place,” she said. “Not only for the love, prayer, and support, but for the myriad of resources available to you. I have found so many valuable resources through NACWE from a VA to a simple program to save me time to a datebook that I love!” NACWE is going places, and Naomi is happy to be along for the ride. She has high hopes for the future of NACWE and all its members. “I pray that others come to see the support available to them through this association”, she said, “and that we spread like wildfire through the lands!”

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Written by Callie Revell