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The Harvest is Plenty but the Working Entrepreneurs Are Few

harvest

by: Polet Sabetimani

“Harvest is plenty, but the workers are few.”

This may be one of my favorite verses in the book of Matthew. Now lets set aside the religious meaning to this verse for a moment doesn’t it sound like a description of why some people are successful and others aren’t?

When I read this for the first time, I wondered why the workers are few? I remember one day my personal trainer telling me, “Polet, you will work out, and as a result you may feel a little muscle ache, but don’t quit. Just come back.” Also on another occasion as a volunteer at a non-profit, the leader said, “Thank you all for volunteering, but there will be times that you may not feel like coming–just join us anyway.”

By nature we are easily drawn to comfort versus challenge, growth, and work.

Then I read the verse again, focusing on the word “harvest.” What is a harvest? Harvest means accumulation, return, and result.

I learn a lot from nature. In my opinion God created nature to give us examples of consistency, worship, peace, and multiplication. Another verse in Genesis says, “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” So we will always need workers.

If you were to plant an apple tree, could you see the apples that will be produced by simply staring at the seeds? No. It is an image we have in our mind. Faithfully, we plant that seed, hoping for a harvest. The verse goes on to say that harvest is plenty, and from one apple seed there will be a tree with hundreds of apples on it. That same applies with any other seed–lemon seed, orange seed, kindness seed, ministering seed, prospect seed, follow up seed, referral seed. You get the point.

I believe there are many reasons why people don’t experience a harvest so plenty, but here are three reasons that resonate among most entrepreneurs that I have studied and paid attention to:

1. No Patience

Most people want instant gratification instead of delayed gratification. I once heard a mentor say that as competitors and result driven entrepreneurs, we must be “aggressively patient”. Sometimes the rewards are worth the wait.

2. Limiting Beliefs

We’ve all heard the many stories of people who were anchored by their limiting beliefs and once they broke free of them, experienced massive success. Ask yourself, is there anything that is holding you back from reaching the next level? Do you have an anchor pulling you back? If you do, unless you decide to break free, you will keep getting the same results.

3. Low Self-image

There’s a quote I read that said “our self worth determines our net worth”. Therefore a low self-image will give us less than expected results. Understand that elevating your self image takes time and consistency in your habits; the good kind of habits. Are you reading? What are you reading? How’s your self talk? A great way to start feeling uplifted is to encourage others and pour belief into people. You are unique and have something special to give to the world, so remind yourself of that everyday.

Sometimes when we start working out, we want to get into shape overnight, or when we build a business we want to become a millionaire in two hours. But the pregnant lady doesn’t get pregnant and give birth in one week. Instead, it takes 40 very interesting weeks, and once she holds the baby she thinks to herself it was totally worth the wait. Through the anticipation of having a baby, a woman becomes a mother. She transforms into a new person.

In order for us to experience a harvest in business or as entrepreneurs, we have to be the workers that plant seeds consistently in the areas we want to see growth in; then in due time we will reap the results. We may be planting black cherry that grows 4 inches in a season or a bamboo tree that may take 5 years to grow. As we get into the world of entrepreneurship, we don’t come in with experience, so we need to develop ourselves to transform from an employee mindset into a business owner mindset. We become the workers that are few, and we will increase in numbers over time.

Many people are lost out in the world. They are in need of financial education, marriages are falling apart, people are settling for less than they deserve, going from living to just existing, children are getting involved with the wrong crowd because they don’t have the right mentors. But when we believe in ourselves that we are created to do good in this world, I believe that with faith and hard work, we can accomplish anything, because the secret has been revealed to us: The Harvest is plenty.

Polet

 

Polet Sabetimani is a Marketing Director at PHP Agency out of Burbank, CA.

Rise of The MOMTREPRENEUR

Super Mom

by: Marlene Gaytan

Can women really have it all? A successful career and a balanced family life?

As a newly initiated mother, I soon found myself pondering this dilemma that has plagued countless women before me. What career choice would allow me to “have it all”? I found only one answer: a MOMTREPRENEUR.

There is a revolution currently taking place. With job security and satisfaction at an all-time low, women are joining the free enterprise movement like never before. According to the Center for Women’s Business Research, women are starting businesses at nearly twice the rate of men. And women with children are jumping on the band wagon, each momtrepreneur with different business goals and family situations endeavoring to find that balance.

Mothers more than ever want to be liberated from the confinement of the 9-5 schedule and 40 hour work week that has dominated our working culture. Women today want the freedom to control their schedule, without the fear of calling in sick because their child has an ear infection or they want to attend a ballet recital. This is when in a corporate setting most mothers feel pressured to choose between the job and income they need or time and quality of life with family. Mothers are seeking the freedom to control their time and are finding the only way to have that freedom is to start their own business.

Lack of job security is a contributing factor in this movement, with technology replacing jobs in various industries and the constant threat of being replaced with a recent college grad who would be more than thrilled to do your job for half the cost. There is now a new-found inspiration to explore different options. “The glass ceiling that once limited a woman’s career path has paved a new road towards business ownership, where women can utilize their sharp business acumen while building strong family ties,” says Erica Nicole, who left Corporate America to start YFS Magazine.

[su_pullquote align=”right”]“Women today want the freedom to control their schedule, without the fear of calling in sick because their child has an ear infection or they want to attend a ballet recital.”[/su_pullquote]

With dwindling wages in today’s economy, it’s almost impossible for a mother to afford adequate child care. After all, what mom wants to spend the vast majority of her paycheck to have someone else raise her kids? And YES! We do want it all. We want to be able to spend time with our children, we want unlimited income and growth potential, we want to be in control of our time and our destinies, and more than ever, we want to be our own boss.

Here are a few points on how to maximize the momtrepreneur in you:

1. Find a mentor:

Starting a business can seem intimidating because it’s something new. Search for role models you can look up to and people who take an interest in your growth. A good mentor is invaluable in the success of your business. 

“A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you, than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you.” —Bob Proctor

2. Invest in your growth:

There is such a thing as a good investment, and that’s an investment in your personal growth. Successful entrepreneurs are always growing their identities. They use tools such as books and seminars to increase their knowledge in their fields. A great book for anyone that has an interest in learning about business is Think And Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.

3. Remember that it’s okay to ask for help:

Moms already have busy schedules with kids, errands, bills, kissing booboos, and scaring away the boogie man. It’s easy to get overwhelmed. Recruiting a good support team such as your spouse, grandparents, neighbors, nannies, and friends is absolutely crucial. 

“Alone we can do little, together we can do much.” —Helen Keller

4. Find likeminded associations:

When it comes to relationships, we are greatly influenced by those closest to us. Associations affect our way of thinking our self esteem and our success. Avoid the negative doubters and critics and instead seek out the positive and fortunate. Remember, birds of a feather flock together.

5. Start part time:

It may come as a relief from your previous schedule, but the vast majority of businesses begin part time. Starting a business like any new venture is a process. You can take the plunge and still have the security of a stable income.

Momtrepreneurs are pleasantly surprised to learn that many of the skills required to run a family—such as organizing, educating, communicating, collaborating, delegating, and multitasking—are all indispensable skills in business. With more and more moms taking the plunge, there’s no doubt this movement is picking up momentum. Whether you are pitching a deal to Shark Tank or starting an in-home business, there’s no denying that momtrepreneurs are here to stay. 

How do you maximize the Momtrepreneur in you? Please share your thoughts.

Marlene_Gaytan

 

 

Marlene Gaytan is an Executive Marketing Director at PHP Agency in Burbank, CA.

Packing a Lunch: 4 Tips to Benefit Your Waistline and Wallet

save money pack lunch

by: Jessica Coulthard 

What is the cost of convenience?

The smell, the taste, the good company, the service, and most of all the convenience of going out to eat all make it such an enjoyable experience. Like many Americans, my favorite pastime is food! I love trying different recipes, I love the experience of tasting something new, and I love it even more when someone else makes the meal for me. After being a waitress for six years, my taste buds got a little spoiled—as did the rest of me, as I never had to cook any of the food myself.

Once I retired as a waitress and started running a business full time with my husband, it didn’t take long to pay the price of convenience. We loved each other’s company more than anything else, but we would get coffee in the morning, lunch around noon, and then on the way home grab more food and have dinner together. After doing this for about a year we noticed our waistlines were getting bigger—but our bank account, well, not so much.

We started really paying attention to where our money was going and realized we were spending at least $300 a month on food outside our home. Coffee alone was $60 a month. That’s crazy!

So we decided to jump on the band wagon of “meal prepping.” I noticed how simple it was to buy a bunch of plastic containers and make 8-10 meals for the week. That alone would save me a minimum of $50 a week. But because I was so routine with our meals for about a month, I noticed my husband started sneaking fast food again a few times a week. After stopping and starting over again and again, I started to notice a trend: If it’s boring, we get burnt out, just like with anything else.

The most important thing I can say about taking a lunch on the go is to be creative. There are so many wonderful things we can do with simple ingredients. We have all been guilty of it at one time or the other. We have all said it and we have all heard it: “I don’t have time.”

“I don’t have time” was a very frequent phrase out of my mouth. Like I said, we have all been guilty of saying that, but we all have the same 24 hours in a day. Since we usually have Sunday dinner with family every week, I started trying to figure out things to cook that could also be used for the week. That saved me a lot of time. We can call them intentional left-overs. It made it easier to prepare meals and add sides to my prep dishes. Along with more food ready to go in my fridge, I also started keeping quick and filling things I could eat all around me. I have a stash of snacks in my office and in my car. That way I can easily grab something satisfying without all the processed food and extra spending.

The best part for us as busy parents, spouses, and business owners is we really get to treat ourselves once in a while. Instead of spending carelessly all the time, we can spend more without the guilt on special outings and dinners that can be planned or spontaneous. I believe with any discipline you deserve reward.

[su_pullquote align=”right”]“Some people regard discipline as a chore. For me, it is a kind of order that sets me free to fly.” – Julie Andrews[/su_pullquote]

To keep it simple, here is our recipe for meals on the go:

1. Be creative.

In a world controlled by the internet, there are millions of recipes that are quick and easy. You can make great salads that are good for you and delicious. My husband loves the crock pot! He believes it is the easiest was to cook large portions without all the other hassle and dishes. There are no limits.

2. Be prepared.

After eating salads for a couple weeks, you may relapse to fast food like we did. I wasn’t getting satisfied anymore. I bought a small microwave and put it under my desk. No one can see it, but that microwave has made such a difference in the variety of our meals. As entrepreneurs we need to live a healthy lifestyle if we want to keep our energy levels high—and while I admit I am not a health expert, when we cook at home we know exactly what we are eating, whereas when someone else cooks we just don’t know.

3. Make time.

I agree with the phrase “time is money.” Just like in our business and parenting life, time is designated when it comes to eating. We have special time set with our son and time that is just for business. Cooking on Sunday night and Thursday night became a habit that is now a routine. Sometimes we get home late, so it’s nice to not have to stay up and cook every night.

4. Treat yourself.

Throw a few cookies in that bag. Maybe even a couple pieces of candy. When we work hard to accomplish something—even when it’s uncomfortable at first—the reward is so much better.

No matter how good of a cook I may become, I will always love food so much more when someone else does the dirty work for me. But through these simple steps, my husband and I have built a routine that benefits both our waistlines and our wallets. 

Do you have a lunch packing recipe? Please share!

How Packing a Lunch Helps Your Waistline and Your Wallet

 

 

 

 

Jessica Coulthard is a Marketing Director at PHP Agency and runs the Ventura, CA location with her husband Matt Coulthard.

Don’t Talk to Strangers?

Strangers in public

by Cecilia Vargas

I can still hear that warning in my head: “Cecy, don’t talk to strangers!”

When I was twelve years old, I started to hear that more and more often from my parents. They warned me to be careful who I talked to on the street and not to give away any information about myself.

I understand that my parents were protecting their little girl; but when I grew older and became a business woman, I started to find out that this principle is completely the opposite in the business world. At a recent conference, Brian Tracy said that “the more people you know who have a positive opinion about you, the more successful you can become.” Similarly, my mentor taught me early in my career that “the person who shakes the most hands, is the person who makes the most money.”

I recently came across a predicament: Talking to strangers is a big part of my business, but why is it uncomfortable every single time? I almost have to force myself to talk to strangers each evry single time, even though in the last four years of my career, nine out of ten conversations with strangers have led to great business opportunities. Those same conversations have also led to referrals, and most importantly, great friendships. Through talking to strangers, my husband and I have been invited to one of the coolest birthday parties we’ve ever been to. We’ve also been asked to speak on three tv shows, two radio programs, an awesome limo party, an amazing homemade steak, a ride on a boat on one of the most beautiful lakes in Texas and at my husband’s birthday party, we were fortunate enough to have a full house of new friends; after just living in a new city for about a year and a half. By simply shifting my mindest towards strangers, I have met some of the most interesting and amazing people.

“the more people you know who have a positive opinion about you, the more successful you can become.”

I read this quote from a life coach recently: “What you’ve got when you interact with strangers is the development of empathy.” When you talk to someone and you find common ground, you can really make a connection and yet as I said before, every single day I have to force myself into starting a conversation with a stranger!

Finally, I decided to dig deep into this issue to understand what was stopping me from fully enjoying this experience of meeting new people. I started to wonder about it and I could hear those words in the back of my mind repeating what I learned when I was little: “Don’t talk to people you don’t know.” Afterall, I was trained as a kid in El Salvador not to look into the eyes of people on the street, so maybe that’s part of it—or maybe I still believe in the myth that others are not interested in talking to me.

Nevertheless, I decided to debunk the myths surrounding strangers. Did you know that a study done by researchers at Harvard showed that talking with strangers can be at least as important to our daily happiness as talking to our close friends and family? In the study, those who took the time and talked with strangers at the coffee shop, at the store, in line at the bank, or on the elevator, tended to enjoy the moment and ended up feeling happier than those who didn’t talk to anyone. Researchers expected this to be the case only with those who were extroverts; but to the researchers’ surprise, people with all types of personalities were happier after interacting with strangers.

So if we are happier when we talk to people we didn’t know before and this action could have a great impact on our health in a positive way, why not make it a habit?

Go and make somebody happy today! Compliment someone or strike up a conversation and create a new connection. I promise that you will really enjoy the experience—and you might end up making a wonderful new friend. My new philosophy on talking to strangers is this: I’m helping others have a happier day.

Cecilia Vargas

Cecilia Vargas is a Senior Marketing Director and Financial Services professional at PHP Agency. She is on the board for The PHP Ladies and with her husband, runs one of the top offices at PHP in Houston, Texas.

Connect with Ceci on Linkedin

Style and Etiquette

• Wardrobe
• Business Etiquette

The way that you dress in a professional environment can have a big impact on how you are perceived and whether or not people will decide to do business with you. There are some fundamentals to building a professional wardrobe that will allow you to create that great first impression and get the most of out the pieces that you own.

Do you ever get jealous of men’s ability to create a whole new outfit with just the change of a shirt and tie?

As women, we can have the same flexibility by buying separates. If you buy skirts, slacks and blazers that are interchangeable, those few pieces can be worn many times over without repeating the same outfit.

Separates should mostly be neutral colors like black, brown, navy, and beige. You can always add a splash of color with a blouse or with accessories. Basics shouldn’t be too trendy; professional attire is more conservative than avant-garde.

The most important thing that I would impress upon a woman looking for guidance in this area is the value of maintenance. Clothes that are cared for properly will last long after trends have changed and maximize your investment. If you spend the money on dry cleaning or the time and care of hand-washing, quality pieces will often last a decade (as long as your figure doesn’t outgrow them!)

Below is a list of must-have basics for a professional wardrobe.

A couple of good pumps: black and brown, preferably with a heel


Three skirts in neutral colors – navy, grey, black or brown


Three dress pants in neutral colors


Corresponding jackets or blazers to go with your pants or skirts


Six Blouses in avariety of styles and colors


Handbag – Stick with neutral colors, specifically black, and your handbag will go with everything. Make sure to maintain your handbag; keep it clean and, if its leather, a little polish goes a long way.


• Two watches – gold or silver.
• Three jewelry sets – necklace, bracelet, earrings; one colorful, one silver, one gold.
• Nude slip – it surprises me how many women do not wear a slip. It’s a necessity to give you a smooth, non “peek-a-boo” look.
• Nude bra with no frills – this is essential so that our eye is not drawn where we don’t want it to be.
• No panty lines – this may mean different things to different women (thong or full coverage), but the panty line is unacceptable if we want to be taken seriously.

Business Etiquette

A good lesson in manners and etiquette is something our society can certainly improve upon. When I was a young girl, my Mom sent me to an etiquette coach to teach me the basics of how to be a lady and the proper manners when dealing with people. These things have always stuck with me, and I’ve always tried to be respectful and conscious of others. My husband commented on the way I carried myself and the etiquette that I practiced the first day we met he asked me if I had ever had professional training in etiquette and manners. When he learned how my mother had encouraged me as a young girl, he said that it was clear why I treat people the way I do. As a Texas pageant girl etiquette was always something important and a must if you were going to compete with the best of the best. Below you will find a few basic tips on etiquette when you are dealing with people. Always remember the golden rule, “Treat others the way you would like to be treated.” – Jennifer Bet-David

Conversation:

• Listen carefully when someone speaks to you.
• During conversation, use the person’s name to which you are speaking.
• Make eye contact.
• Do not chew with your mouth open.
• Always use a clean, pre-printed business card. Never use a card with bent edges or with information written in by hand.


Email:

• Be professional. Limit abbreviations and emoticons.
• Email is permanent; do not write something you will regret later.
• Start out with a friendly salutation.
• Check for errors before sending.
• Messages can be forwarded, so think carefully before you write.
• Use a clear subject line.
• Update your subject line if the topic has changed. This helps when searching email archives by topic.


Phone and Voicemail:

• Smile when you answer your phone.
• Be aware of the volume of your voice when using a cell phone in public.
• Check your voicemail often and reply promptly.
• If someone leaves a detailed message, it allows you to find out the reason for the call. If the caller has a question, it allows you to find the answer ahead of time and have it ready when you return the call. This saves everyone time.
• When you leave a voicemail, briefly state the reason for your call and speak clearly. Give your phone number at the beginning of the message and repeat it. This way whoever you call does not have to listen to the entire message twice to retrieve your phone

Quick Meal Tips

If you are on the go all of the time like most people you develop an appreciation for quick meals at home. Eating out as often as we do adds so many additional calories every day. That’s why it’s important to eat breakfast and dinner at home as much as you can. Lunch is almost impossible to eat at home since most of us don’t work at home. But if you have time to make your lunch and bring it to work, that is so much healthier for you.

Here are a few quick and healthy recipes that you can make at home:

Steamed Tilapia

• Frozen filet Tilapia
• Butter
• Lemon pepper seasoning (or your favorite seasoning)
• Zip-lock Zip & Steam bags


If you are making dinner for two: remove 2 tilapia filets from the packaging, spread a little butter on both sides of the fish and sprinkle the lemon pepper seasoning on both sides. Place the Tilapia filets inside the Zip & Steam bag and cook in the microwave for 6 and a half minutes. The fish will be hot and ready to serve.

Serving Option 1:

One of my favorite meals is fish tacos. Each filet will give you approximately three small tacos. If you use corn tortillas they have fewer calories than flour. Add some cabbage, lettuce and fresh veggies and top your taco off with some fresh-squeezed lemon and a sprinkle your favorite hot sauce if you like a little spice. (You can use this method of cooking for any type of fish you like.)

Serving Option 2:

You may also serve the fish with vegetables and salad. Something simple could be sweet potatoes. You can use the Zip & Steam bag method to cook the sweet potatoes as well. We recommend chopping the potatoes in quarters for faster cooking and add a tiny bit of butter on top.

Baked Scallops

• 1 lbs. of fresh sea scallops
• Olive oil
• Seasonings or herbs of your choice

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Wash scallops. Pour approximately 1 cup of olive oil in a bowl. Dip and coat each scallop in the olive oil and place on a flat baking pan. Then sprinkle with whichever seasonings you like best. You could use a lemon pepper seasoning or crushed red pepper (those are the spicy ones)or a dill and rosemary seasoning. This gives you different flavors to choose from. When finished seasoning the scallops, pop them in the oven for 10-12 minutes.Allow the scallops to turn a slight golden color. Be sure not to overcook, it will make them too tough. You can serve the scallops with vegetables of your choice or with a side salad.

Chicken Enchiladas

• 4 chicken breasts
• 1 can chopped olives
• 2 cups of shredded jack cheese
• 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
• 1 onion
• 1 can Las Palmas Green Enchilada Sauce
• 2 dozen corn tortillas
• 1 8oz. sour cream


Preparation:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Boil chicken with salt and half of an onion for flavor. When fully cooked, drain the water and shred the chicken. Chop the other half of onion, mix in chopped olives, 1 cup of jack cheese and 1 cup of cheddar cheese. Then mix in the chicken ONLY when it has cooled completely. In a pan, heat canola oil and dip corn tortillas in the oil for a couple of seconds only (too long and it will turn into a tostada). Once you’ve done that with all the tortillas, fill the tortillas with the chicken mixture, roll and place in an oven safe casserole dish. Pour Las Palmas sauce over the top and sprinkle on the remaining cheese. Bake the casserole in the oven until the sauce has come to a boil and the cheese has melted (approx. 15 minutes.) Top with a little sour cream and enjoy.

Chicken Salad

• 6 chicken breasts (approximately)
• 1 can of Veg-All (found in the canned foods section)
• 1 can of Corn
• Half an onion
• Tostada shells
• Salt, 2-3 dashes
• Pepper, 4-5 dashes
• Mayonnaise, Approx. 1 cup
• Mustard, Approx. 1 tablespoon

All ingredients besides the mustard can be added based on your desire.


Preparation:

For approx. 20 minutes boil chicken breast in pot with onion half (no need to chop the onion) and add some salt. Be sure to not boil too rapid it causes the chicken to be dry. Remove chicken from pot and allow it to cool, then shred chicken into small pieces. Add Veg-All, corn (be sure to drain excess water from can before adding), mayo, mustard, dash some salt and pepper and mix all ingredients together. Serve chicken salad over tostado shell.

Chicken Pasta with Veggies and Sundried Tomatoes

• 4 chicken breast – boneless and skinless
• 4-5 cloves of Garlic
• Garlic powder, as much as desired
• Salt, as much as desired
• 1 table spoon of Olive oil
• 2 jars of Vodka Sauce (it’s the pink pasta sauce)
• Half a pack of julienne sundried tomatoes (found in the produce section), chopped
• Half a pack of frozen veggies- petite style (peas, carrots, and corn)
• 1 box of bow-tie pasta (Farfalle), Barilla preferred
• 1 table spoon of chicken bouillon (if desired)


Preparation:

Wash chicken and cut into small pieces (you can use kitchen scissors for this). Then season chicken with salt and garlic powder. Pour approx.one table spoon of olive oil in large pan, mince 4-5 gloves of garlic and sauté over medium high fire for no more than two minutes (garlic burns very quickly). Then add chicken and brown until almost done. Stir in sundried tomatoes and frozen veggies and cook for a few minutes until veggies are tender. In a separate pot heat up vodka sauce. At the same time you are cooking the chicken, boil the pasta. Be sure to not over cook the pasta. When preparing the water to boil the pasta you can add a few table spoons of olive oil and a tablespoon of chicken bouillon. When the vodka sauce starts to boil, add to the chicken and allow to simmer for a few minutes. Once the pasta is done, drain all the water. Then add the chicken, veggies and vodka sauce all together with the pasta and mix. Voila! You have a yummy dinner!

Time Management

Busy Family Gets it Done

By Tasha Cooper

On any given day if you were to take a peek into the Cooper household you may see something that resembles a busy traffic intersection. Just like a busy intersection, there are many different people heading to different destinations and with different goals and it requires coordination to keep everyone moving. Just like a traffic accident can clog an intersection for everyone around, a “fender bender” in one family member’s day can throw everyone’s schedule out of whack.

In my household we have many activities taking place at the same time. Being able to juggle a lot of activities is an art, but you don’t need to be a gifted artist to do it. I have learned that keeping my priorities straight (God first, family second, and business third) is the key to not letting the important things in life get run over by the urgent things that pop up.

My husband is full time in the business, I work full time and help with the business, and my two sons are scholar athletes. We spend our time working hard, but we also prioritize in family time as well. My husband, my twelve and fourteen year-old sons and I work together as a team. We believe in the concept of Together Everyone Achieves More. We know that if we all help each other, it’s a win-win situation for everybody. In working together, communication is pivotal. It’s vital to have a day set aside just for discussing the coming week’s plans and activities. We have made Sunday our setup for success day. Many Sundays we cook meals for the entire week. This enables us to have healthy meals on the go. As a family, we plan our week on Sunday. We talk about upcoming school projects, meetings that my husband and I have, the boys’ basketball schedule, etc. This helps us to be organized and for each of us to get to the places we need to be on time.

Time is precious and valuable. Because we value time so much, as a family we strive to spend our time with one another and working towards the goals and dreams we believe God has placed in our hearts. A little bit of planning, a lot of communication and an attitude of teamwork keeps the traffic in the Cooper household moving, and more importantly, it keep us moving in the right direction.

Books We Love

Education

• Books We Love
• Budgeting Your Money
• Women in Business Statistics

The Ultimate Gift – By Jim Stovall

What would you do to inherit a million dollars? Would you be willing to change your life? Jason Stevens is about to find out in Jim Stovall’s The Ultimate Gift. Red Stevens has died, and the older members of his family receive their millions with greedy anticipation. But a different fate awaits young Jason, whom Stevens, his great-uncle, believes may be the last vestige of hope in the family. “Although to date your life seems to be a sorry excuse for anything I would call promising, there does seem to be a spark of something in you that I hope we can fan into a flame. For that reason, I am not making you an instant millionaire.” What Stevens does give Jason leads to The Ultimate Gift. Young and old will take this timeless tale to heart.

The Five Love Languages – by Gary Chapman

Dr. Gary Chapman’s international bestseller has brought back or intensified the love in millions of marriages by revealing the five distinct languages we all use to express love:

• Words of Affirmation
• Quality Time
• Gifts
• Acts of Service
• Physical Touch

Couples who understand each other’s love language hold a priceless advantage in the quest for love that lasts a lifetime-they know how effectively and consistently make each other feel truly and deeply loved.

The Secret – by Rhonda Byrne

Fragments of a Great Secret have been found in the oral traditions, in literature, in religions and philosophies throughout the centuries. For the first time, all the pieces of The Secret come together in an incredible revelation that will be life-transforming for all who experience it. In this book, you’ll learn how to use The Secret in every aspect of your life — money, health, relationships, happiness, and in every interaction you have in the world. You’ll begin to understand the hidden, untapped power that’s within you, and this revelation can bring joy to every aspect of your life. The Secret contains wisdom from modern-day teachers — men and women who have used it to achieve health, wealth, and happiness. By applying the knowledge of The Secret, they bring to light compelling stories of eradicating disease, acquiring massive wealth, overcoming obstacles, and achieving what many would regard as impossible.

The Power of a Praying Wife – by Stormie Omartian

Bestselling author Stormie Omartian inspires women to develop a deeper relationship with their husbands by praying for them. This encouraging resource is packed with practical advice on praying for specific areas of a husband’s life including his:

• Decision–making
• Fears
• Spiritual strength
• Role as father, leader
• Faith and future

Every woman who desires a closer relationship with her husband will appreciate the life illustrations, select Scripture verses, and the assurances of God’s promises and power for their marriage.

The Power of a Praying Parent – by Stormie Omartian

After decades of raising her own children along with her husband, Michael, she looks back at the trials and joys of parenting and the power found in praying for her kids. In 30 easy–to–read chapters, Stormie shares from personal experience as to how parents can pray for their children’s:

• Safety
• Character development
• Adolescence
• Peer pressure
• School experiences
• Friends
• Relationship with God

Now adults, Stormie’s grown–up children reflect on the way their praying parents raised them—and what a difference it made.

As a Lady Would Say – by Sheryl Shade

Have you ever been in a situation in which you were caught off guard, left speechless, or, worse yet, put your foot in your mouth? This easily accessible book focuses on those moments when knowing exactly what to say is both a challenge and important. From the light-hearted “how to react when your boyfriend gives you a blender as a gift” or “what to say when you run into another lady at a party wearing exactly the same dress” to the more serious “what to say to a friend who has had a miscarriage or to a friend who has suffered the sudden death of a parent.” As A Lady Would Say differs from other etiquette books. It not only offers suggestions for the correct thing to say in more than 100 social situations, but it gives humorous examples of the wrong thing to say as well. Saying the right thing requires a little logic, a bit of forethought, and a great deal of consideration for others. With the advice provided in this book, a lady will never need to stumble or stutter again.

How to Win Friends and Influence People – by Dale Carnegie

One of the best known motivational books in history: Since it was released in 1936, How to Win Friends and Influence People has sold more than 15 million copies. Carnegie’s first book is timeless and appeals equally to business audiences, self-help audiences, and general readers alike.

Proven advice for success in life: Carnegie believed that most successes come from an ability to communicate effectively rather than from brilliant insights. His book teaches these skills by showing readers how to value others and make them feel appreciated rather than manipulated.

Men are from Mars. Women are from Venus – by John Gray

Once upon a time Martians and Venusians met, fell in love, and had happy relationships together because they respected and accepted their differences. Then they came to Earth and amnesia set in: they forgot they were from different planets.
Based on years of successful counseling of couples and individuals, Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus has helped millions of couples transform their relationships. Now viewed as a modern classic, this phenomenal book has helped men and women realize how different they really are and how to communicate their needs in such a way that conflict doesn’t arise and intimacy is given every chance to grow.

Budgeting Your Money

Who Wants to Budget?
By Diana Wiley

Even though budgeting is no fun, it’s definitely a necessary evil! It is vital to keep your financial house in order. There are many programs out there that you can use, such as Quicken or Microsoft Money or others available for free on the internet. Before you get started, follow the steps below to make sure you get the most accuracy out of your budget. When you finish this important exercise, you will know exactly how much money comes in, where your money goes and, most of all, how much is left over each month.

1. Look at your income; use only income that you can count on. For example, don’t count on year-end bonuses, tax refunds, or any interest received from investments.

2. Gather as much financial information as possible and include invoices for expenses (such as utilities), bank statements, or any other monthly expense. You want to review the information to deduce an accurate monthly average.

3. Record expenses that are fixed, such as a mortgage payment, car payment, cable bill, etc. Next record expenses that vary like credit card payments, groceries, gas, eating out, etc.

4. Now total your expenses and subtract them from your income. If you are spending less than you earn, and you have debt, it’s time to make a decision to pay down your credit cards. If you are spending more than you earn, it’s time to make some important changes to your budget.

5. Reduce or eliminate some unnecessary luxuries (i.e.Starbucks coffee in the morning, dinners out, movie channels, etc.) Beware if you find yourself getting money from the ATM frequently; it is easy to spend cash and not account for it on your budget. Tip: Ledger in a small notebook all cash expenditures and you will be surprised how fast cash goes and where it goes!

6. Pay yourself first! Save 10% of your income. This can be used for your emergency fund, which should be in a liquid account. You should aim to save three to six times your monthly expenses. Then, invest for long term savings goals.

7. As your income increases due to annual raises, promotions, and bonuses, think twice before spending it. If you want to purchase something, think before buying and ask yourself, “Is it essential?” “How badly do I want it?” Wait a week and then make a decision. Better option: Invest that income increase into your financial future.

8. Look at your budget monthly, and make adjustments as necessary.

Following these steps will help you stay on a budget and sleep better at night knowing you have taken the most important step towards achieving your financial goals!