Week of Help – Part 1, Courtney DeFeo on Writing
I’m really excited about this week and I hope you’ll take advantage of it! I decided my BEST gift to you – was just free advice or help from some of my favorite friends and experts. So, you let us know your questions and we will do our best to answer!
How does it work?
Each day will be a different topic:
- Monday – Courtney on writing/blogging/business
- Tuesday – Ashley and Kylie on adoption
- Wednesday – Lindsey aka Izzy on Super Nanny tips or home organization
- Thursday – Tara C on discipline for our kids and behavior concerns
- Friday – Heidi on working smarter from home
Each person will write a post on a few questions, then you get to add your questions. You can do that today if you know some. Or, ON THAT DAY – below the blog post, just put your question in the comment section and that writer will respond right there.
Courtney DeFeo Questions
What advice would you give someone that wants to start a small business like yours? What were your important first steps?
First, start with these two blog posts that has a ton of information. Creating a Meaningful Product and Building Your Platform.
Next, you are getting me at a REALLY tired time in this business. So, I would beg anyone to pray, pray and pray some more – and be sure this is from the Lord. Especially if you have young kids at home. It is just plain hard. Definitely rewarding but 10x more work, expense than I ever imagined.
Clarity and research is key – knowing if you want to make money, or build a ministry – knowing “what” you want to do is key from the start. Some people LOVE making homemade things and then when it goes big – they don’t love that anymore.
Etsy is a great first step – so many things in place to support small businesses. Custom websites and commerce can be costly. So, if you have a product to “test” – I would consider starting a blog that links to your etsy page. Blogs and social media help you connect with customers and get the word out there about your product. However, warning – it can consume you if not careful.
Outside of prayer and clear direction from God, my important first steps were 1) meeting with a mentor 2) designing a product and site that was truly unique and useful 3) determining a mission statement to keep me on track – empower moms and changing little lives through innovation in the home.
Good luck! I want to tell you – YOU CAN DO IT! GO FOR IT! At the same time, I want you to know it comes with a cost and you have to maybe wait on timing if kids are young and still needing you. A little “hobby” or “business” can take over – but it can also impact thousands of lives. So, pray that God gives you the word on what and when.
How do you balance everything?
I don’t. I am strong in a few areas and really weak in many. I am a lifelong over-achiever, multi-tasker and “yes” kind of girl that is paying the price. My heart is HUGE for others – but my biggest regret would be IF I put it all before my family. So, I am in a time of re-evaluating right now to see how I can tweak, change, stop so that my desire for my family to stay first meets up with the day to day reality. It’s a constant tension for me – never more aware of God’s presence in my life and how he can use me – but also aware of my weaknesses and the sacrifices that come with it.
I also ask for and use a lot of help. I stay focused with a mission statement that is my filter. I pray that God helps me discern what is the BEST for my business – not just a fun/good idea. The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst is an incredible tool for this process. Get it!
If I want to write – where to get started?
Write. It sounds so simple – but you have to start writing. The only thing that will help you find your passion, voice and influence is to write. With NO expectations. You can write just for you – you can write for a blog but be clear your goal is to share what God placed on your heart and don’t watch those numbers. It can ruin the creative process to alter our message to fit what we “think” will soar fast or go viral. Know your customer – are you writing to the struggling wife? the tired mom? Think of her face and don’t be like me – I preach too much. Encourage and write from your struggles. He will use it. If you get really serious about writing a book, connect with Compel or She Speaks.
Did the rice trick work on your computer?
Oh yes it did!
Are you having fun?
I am so so honored to be traveling around and speaking directly into groups of moms. I love the group called moms. I love encouraging them and challenging them. My constant battle to say “no” and put first things first is truly wearing on me and I am trying to determine what that looks like for 2015. Stay tuned. I do not want to quit because it’s hard – but I want to honor God and my family above all else. And no one panic – we are truly all good. Marriage and kids – I just feel it (as you probably already noticed) that it was too much.
Two recent podcasts you can hear tips and more of my story:
Encouraging Words for Working Moms
Dear God, this is a big year for my on-line friend, Courtney. Please be close to her as she makes decisions for her family and for her business. You know her heart’s intentions are all for you. I thank you for her ministry and willingness not to quit encouraging moms. Even on the days she feels she is talking to a wall. Lord encourage her today. Show her your priorities, your BEST for her life. I pray her book gets into the hands of someone who needs it today. We thank you for always being good and giving us good things. Amen!
I cracked up when I read today’s blog post because this one was sitting in my bloglovin timeline waiting on me to have a few minutes to dedicate to it! I’ve got some questions. 🙂
1- what’s been the most beneficial thing that you’ve handed over to someone else? (Ie blog posts, finances, photos, etc. I’m trying to figure out what I should get off my plate and what is going to get me the most bang for my buck.)
2- Working at home is so difficult. During the summer/school breaks how do you balance it with your girls? Do you just let them know that Mommy is working or do you only work when they’re out of the house?
I’ll come back with more as I think of them! Thanks!