Author Archives: jturchi21@live.com

Brittany Video

My best friend is getting married and her mother asked me to make the favors, pop cake lollipops, for her bridal shower.  The theme of the party was “Love is Sweet” so it had to be bake goods and/or candy related.  Now, I know these cake pops have been the in thing for the last decade but I wanted to try something different.  I came across this DIY cupcake soap video tutorial and I am so glad that I checked it out.  The video was supper easy to follow and they turned out to be the cutest party favors, ever!  Cupcake Surprise, I like to call them, turned out to be such a hit that I received three individual orders for them at the party.  If you are the creative one that is always asked to help out with  favors, say bye-bye to the old fashion cake pops and say HELLO to sweet smelling cupcake soaps!

Raising the Income for Stay-at-Home Moms, Dads, Students and Retirees

Hello!  That’s me in the video above asking all of you for support in my campaign.  I have been preparing for this campaign for over a month and it will be launching towards the end of April, beginning of May.

I am not a professional speaker, as you can see, I felt a little out of my comfort zone speaking on camera.  I hope that I my message was clear and I can count on each and every one of you who will be reading this to sign the form below and share it on your social networks.   Just want you to stop by and really see what the cause is ALL about.

The further the reach, the better chance of making a difference!

Campaign Launch Sign Up Form

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The Adventures of Tom the Turkey

Argh! I think I’m going to die!

I’ve been walking and walking for days. My blistered feet ache and I’m covered in dirt from head to toe. My legs feel like Jello. I’m thirsty and hungry. My stomach is growling like an angry bear. I have no idea where I am or where I’m going. This isn’t the sweet and free life I had imagined away from the farm. Going back to the farm wasn’t a choice, so, one foot in front of the other.

“Get off my tree and my land!” a thunderous voice boomed by a big brown bear. “You’re trespassing and I don’t like it!” I shook in my shoes as blazing eyes stared down at me. I wanted to run, but my feet stuck to the ground like glue.

“Please, please, “I begged. “I have nowhere to go, nowhere. Don’t make me go back. I can’t go back. It’s a terrible place. I’ll only rest for a short spell. I promise to be as quiet as a mouse.”

“Are you an escapee!?!”

“Na .. no! I am not!”

“Tell me the truth. Do not lie to me. I’ve had turkeys wander on these parts before. Don’t be frightened, just speak the truth. If not, out you go!”

“Umm. Okay. Thanks. I’m Tom, by the way.”

“I don’t need to know your name. All you turkeys like to ruffle feathers with your attitude. Well, I don’t have any feathers to ruffle.”

Turns out, the bear who was named Mato, has lived in the woods for many years. She had been part of an Indian tribe, but left to set out on her own. She wanted a different life, so she left her family and started a new life. She learned how to survive in the woods by gathering food and finding shelter on her own. She fished in streams, picked fruit and berries and found the perfect den for her new home. She prepared a nice supper for me and a warm place to sleep. After a good night’s rest, she promised to teach me how to live in the woods, too.

“Why’d you leave turkey?” I didn’t answer. I only wanted to hear about the woods and the new, better life I’d have living there.

“My name is Tom.”

“I know, turkey. Why’d you leave your home? You don’t look like a pilgrim.”

I began my story by pointing towards the farm where I used to live. “It’s over the mountains, the tallest ones there in the middle.” My finger shook as I continued talking. “The farmers took my brothers, one by one and my mom, too. They ended up on their Thanksgiving table, stuffed, seasoned and drizzled with gravy. My dad told me I was destined for greatness, not a Thanksgiving meal. He said, run for freedom Tom, run! So, I ran as fast as I could out of there.

“And your dad?”

“I don’t know. Hopefully, he ran, too.”

Several days passed and I became stronger, thanks to Mato and her help. She taught me how to survive in the woods and the woods became my new home and Mato became my new friend.

“I heard that there’s this place where turkeys can go to start a new life, make friends and not be on their farmer’s dinner table.”

“A place? Really!?!”

“Yes, really. It’s far away, but can only be reached by  flight. There’s a meeting tomorrow and you should go to it.”

Several turkeys gathered in the corner of the woods, closest to the stream and talked about their chances of getting to this place of peace. A home, where turkeys would no longer live in fear.

“We need a leader for our flock. Someone who is brave and wants freedom more than anything else in this world.”

Raising my hand and trying not to show my own fear I said, “I want my freedom more than anything else and I’m brave.” The turkeys went wild cheering and clapping. “Tom, Tom he’s our (man!)”

The turkeys were sad to leave their homes. Tom and Mato parted ways, happy to have become friends and promised to one day meet again.

As Tom took the lead in flight, he smiled and thought, perhaps, dad was right. I am destined for greatness.

 

[JT1]

Preparing for the Holidays: Fall Clean Up

One-day last week, I was sitting outside with my kids. They were running around chasing one another and laughing; they were having fun.  It was a beautiful day, clear skies, brisk but comfortable.  I was, for a moment in time, to myself, and at peace while I enjoyed the scenery around me. My eyes followed the hawks swarming in a circle as they searched for prey.  They soared across my tree tops, and that’s when I noticed, very little leaves were left on the branches.  I then brought my eyes to the ground to find the other 90 percent scattered across our 1.25 acre of property, which is self maintained.

Like I said, it was merely a brief moment in time, because now, all I could think about was the fall clean up, and if we missed our yearly scheduled leaf pick up date.   Ladies, if you want your partner to help out in the house, it’s only fair that you get down and dirty and help out with the yard work. Little does my husband know, I have a chore for him next week; I need my kitchen cabinets cleared of the clutter and all dates checked so I am prepared for cooking.

Luckily, we have time for our leaf pickup. However, we should get the yard Prepared for the Holidays. This is our year to host, and a little tidying up of the yard is in order. This was the first year we could get the kids involved with clean up, which made it much easier for me to be involved.   We bought them each a toy rake, shovel and hoe, and put them to work.  They actually enjoyed helping out, but what they enjoyed more was making a mess out of the piles of leaves that took us hours to gather.  How do you get mad at the sound of their laughter? I couldn’t help but to jump into the pile of leaves and play along with them.  What can I say, they bring out the kid in me.

Important Management Strategy #5: Self Management

Last week I shared with you my experience with Business Management and what I found to be important. This week is my final post to the series, Important Management Strategies  for this Work-At-Home Mom

Last but not least, self awareness. There are times I feel like a forgotten pot, boiling over on the back burner. The energy evaporates and no water is left to cook the meal. When that happens, both home and business suffer.

Having to be on overload, constantly, I knew I needed to start taking better care of myself.  This is when I created the daily routine I mentioned in my post Time Management. One of the most important parts of that is “me time” in the morning and “me time” in the evening. My kids are adjusting to the idea beginning to understand that Mommy has to recharge her batteries, too. I’m hoping in time, “me time” can be more about me.  That was not enough, with all that has to be done, I need more energy to get through my day.  I was still missing something.

When I first started out, one of my first clients was Jonathan Bailor, author of The Calorie Myth. He also produces a podcast called SANE Show. My company transcribes those podcasts, and my entire team loves them. The subjects range from healthy eating to food myths and truths, and address many health issues such as diabetes, high cholesterol and obesity.

Those podcasts turned out to be the key.  It was not just the stress I was putting on myself that was depleting my energy but the food I was putting into my body that was making me feel sluggish.  These podcasts have helped many people on my team, and they are still changing my lifestyle. Though I am by no means perfect, I have begun to incorporate many of the healthy living myths an truths I have learned by just proofreading transcripts from this one client. I do feel different when I follow the SANE lifestyle when compared to old lifestyle habits. It has been a smack in the face, a wake-up-stupid, life-is-knocking-at-your-front-door difference.  If you need a change in your life, check out some of this guy’s websites: www.sanesolution.com and/or www.thebailorgroup.com.

Also, check out his co-host, Carrie Brown, cookbook author, recipe developer, and food photographer for The SANE Solution / Calorie Myth www.carriebrown.com

A tired you is not the best first impression. There is too much competition for a client’s business to allow that to happen. A well-rested, confident and engaging you will receive a much better reception. So rise and shine with feet planted firmly on the ground, a crazy but happy family life, and a home-based business plan worthy of making you a success!

Passages On a Page (Blog Series for the Book Club)

Let us know the passages on a page that jumped out at you, touched you on a personal level. How they made you feel. Did it make you laugh or cry? Did it make you think or where you repulsed. Share your thoughts and start a discussion to see how others feel.

Book of the Month: “Overwhelmed” by Brigid Schulte

overwhelmed_book-250x405

Chapter 1, page 6

“I had been part of an internal work group at the Washington Post researching way so few women were reading the newspaper”

I chuckled after reading this passage. It touched me on a personal level. My husband talks current events to me all the time and when I look at him and say, “I have no idea what you are talking about.” he would ask me, “How do you not pay attention to what is going on around you?” I would just laugh to myself in a bit of annoyance. I think I pay perfect attention to what is going on around me: kids, husband, bills, budget, meals, cleaning, shopping, and all the responsibilities of running a business. Could I sit down and read the paper? Yeah — most likely — if I wanted to, but that’s what I have him for. When I ask him that same question, “How do you not pay attention to what goes on around you?” I get the same answer, “I have no idea what you are talking about.” I guess that’s what he has me for.

 

So, I am taking my own poll on this topic. How many of you women out there read the newspaper and keep up on current events?

Important Management Strategy #4: Business Management

Last week I shared with you the importance of stress management. You are the foundation of your business and you need to be determined and focused. The success of your business will depend on the characteristics of its founder, you. Smarts, strength, confidence and willingness to learn from one’s mistakes can make a business. Lack of those characteristics can break it. I prefer to look at these lessons as learning aides, not failures. They are, quite simply, lessons I needed to learn in order to succeed. Finance, accounting and marketing strategy are the fundamentals. If you manage others, leadership and team building become critical factors as well.
I didn’t just breeze through it all. There were dark days. There were tears. Giving up seemed so much easier than trudging forward. But my perseverance is paying off, and the blood, sweat and tears are worth it! I am not going down this time. I feel more confident than ever as I chase after this success story.
Luckily, it didn’t take much financing to start my home-based transcription business and the expenses gave tax-filing benefits. I’ve always been good with numbers and ledgers, so accounting wasn’t an issue for me. Planning and organizing are definite strengths of mine. Leadership, team building and marketing, however, gave me a real challenge.
After doing extensive research and understanding what other online employers offered, I knew that in order to find loyal, talented people for my team, I would have to attract them with something more than the norm. So I took a chance and offered a higher pay scale, and rather than making people wait for their money, I paid them for their work within 24 hours. It worked.
I was also honest with them, and they knew I was just starting and would not be able to provide steady work at first. They were OK with that, saying they would fill in with other work until I was ready. But they stayed in touch. They cooperated with and trusted me, and together we built a strong team. My team is the framework of my business. I know now that it is not only my attributes that will bring this company to success but the attributes of my team. No matter how strong you are, if you have a weak framework, you will suffer. Just as you ask others to trust you, if you find someone you think is worth the effort, you need to let go and trust them also.
The marketing of today is very different than the marketing of the past, because most of it is online. It can be a big bad wolf trying to blow your house down. The old “if you build it, they will come” motto doesn’t work so well in the online world, because you’re competing with millions of other people with millions of other websites.
My website went live a few months ago, and I’m taking it one day at a time. So here I am, reinforcing my analogy in reference to my business and houses, while writing an opening blog series for my new blog, Business Mom Chronicles. My last article, Self-Management will bring this blog series to an end. Fortunately, I have much to say and will continue to update you in my journey of being a Business Mom.

Preparing for the Holidays

The sweet smell of pumpkin spice, Yum! Wish it could all be that nice. It’s that time of the year where I am checking the supermarket receipt for my free turkey (or ham) and skimming the stores for the items on my Christmas list. A season filled with so much love and joy only means more things to do in the limited time we have. The stress of this holiday season can get you down, worrying about the pressures of gift giving and getting, the lack of time and money and all those extras added on to a relentless to-do list.
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Important Management Strategy #3: Stress Management

This is a high priority, considering the endless responsibilities and the time management skill needed, stress management should be at the top of the list for the WAHM. If there is a partner in the home, that person should bear responsibility and pitch in as needed. Remember the saying, “If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” Put your foot down, insist on help from your partner. If you haven’t started your business yet, get the ground rules in place early, and gently enforce them when necessary.

I first tried to start a transcription business in my early twenties. I was young, inexperienced, knew little about how to build a business, and lacked the discipline to follow through. It wasn’t a waste of time.  Failures expose cracks in the foundation and allow one to make the changes needed for a sounder structure. I think failures are tools to be used to build success.

The birth of my newborn twins initiated enormous change. Financially, daycare was not an option. An approximate 85% salary giveaway to someone to care for my children seemed ludicrous. I would stay home, we decided, and work a little on the side to make extra money.

I started small, transcribing for attorneys. Sleep deprivation limited my hours at first, but gradually I was able to increase hours. However, then I couldn’t handle it all myself, which led to the need for additional help. So I hired someone to help me. I had no intention of building a business. It came my way and I refused to turn it down. The time was right to start that business again. Today, I am more knowledgeable, disciplined and determined to succeed.

I am no expert at stress management. In fact, my patience has been tried to the limits more than once. I’ve thrown my hands up in resignation, but only for a little while. In the end, the dream of being a business mom always won out.

I knew that exercise would be a great stress reducer, but come on. What mother with small children has the time or energy to work out on a treadmill or bike? Hop on and off would be more like it. That wasn’t possible with the gym being a car trip down the road, and no ability to fit that into an already-busy day. Then I found an exercise program called Essentrics, which promotes a speedier body change through strengthening and stretching. It saved my life. Working out with just one of their eight-to-10-minute videos leaves my body and mind regenerated, and I feel totally relaxed.  Check it out for yourself @ www.essentrics.com. Maybe it can help you, too.  I know it gets me ready to start my day with my Business Management