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The Practical Perks of Involving Your Children in Your Business

Inspired by this week’s Moms Making Six Figures Podcast episode with Tax Strategist Jessica Smith who believes in making your money work as hard for you as you work for it, all while giving our children the gift of practical experience and work ethic.


I can still remember my first job.  There was no W-2, no new hire paperwork, no cash exchanged.  The contract was made between my parents and their dear friend, recently widowed, over a handshake and through tears of gratitude.  I mucked horse pastures, and cleaned stalls for an entire summer of Saturday’s in exchange for hot tub privileges.  In hindsight I know exactly what my parents were doing and I hope to be able to do the same for my children.


The Perk of Perspective

As parents we ask our children about their day, their academics, their athletics, and their friends, but it’s important that we share our lives with them as well.  By opening these reciprocal conversations, we offer our kids a window into the reality of work and making a living (and a life) for ourselves, and for them.   These conversations develop empathy and gratitude, and lay a valuable foundation for successful communication with others.

The Perk of Practical Experience

The workforce is rapidly evolving and so are the skills required to be successful; by involving our children in our businesses and in our daily work rhythms, we provide them with valuable knowledge and practical experience to advance their own careers when they choose to enter the workforce.  Many of our children have a variety of foundational skills, but lack the ability to hone them or apply them in a different context without direction and support.

Think of the variety of tasks you and your employees perform in any given day and begin teaching your children those same skills you now consider to be rote; you can develop their skill set as their interest and ability grows.

The Perk of Principles Learned

We’ve all experienced our own share of failures as working professionals (and as parents), and sometimes the sting is worse than others.  By teaching our children principles of the business world and developing their work ethic early, we offer them a safe place to take risks, and make mistakes, before a future employer or client delivers their first critique or negative review.

Start with a seemingly simplistic, but essential skill for everyone who is self-employed.  Teach your children how to create an invoice, disperse it, and collect on it for the work they are doing in your business.  A valuable skill set is learned, and responsibility and ownership over their agency as an employee is instilled.

The Perk of Parenting in a New Way

As parents we know the painful reality of the adage, “The days are long, but the years are short” and many of us are feeling stretched to find intentional time with our children with all the hats we wear.  Bringing our children to work and including them in our business, allows us more time with them when time is fleeting, and allows us to bond with them and strengthen our relationship in an entirely different way.  They get to see a different side of you, and you get to see the person they are becoming.

The Perk of Pennies Saved

If you are a sole proprietor or LLC, and your child is under 18, you can hire your child as an employee without paying social security or Medicare taxes, and write-off their work as a business expense.  Of course, you will want to discuss the specifics with your accountant and ensure the work they are performing is reasonable considering their age. If your children earn less than $12,000 (the standard deduction on any tax return), they have no tax liability. Better yet? You can teach your children the value of financial investment and saving by establishing a 529 College Savings Plan with a portion of their earnings to help them (and you) save for their future.

The Perk of a Passion Ignited

In addition to instilling the foundations of work ethic, from learning to report to someone else, performing a task as directed, and showing up prepared and on-time, you may also spark your child’s passion for their future education or career endeavors. Author and speaker, Ramon Ray, gave his son the opportunity to accompany him on work travel and shoot video, and later edit that footage, “I told my son that I had a number of people I could turn to for video editing but that I’d give him a week to do several videos.  After that, I’d turn to my regular video editors.  He did the videos.”

Opportunities present themselves in any number of places, whether it’s in a conversation with a colleague while they’re organizing your filing cabinet, a spark of innovation while cleaning the office space, or a passion for social media marketing ignited when they take over your business Instagram for the day, your habit of making “Bring Your Child to Work Day” a normal rhythm of your life (and theirs) may just jumpstart their road to discovering their purpose.


Mucking horse pastures and cleaning stalls instilled a deep appreciation within me for manual laborers and their often thankless work.  Sacrificing my Saturdays helped me to understand the value of putting others before ourselves, and looking back on my first job I am filled with gratitude for my parents and their wisdom, and now have some of the fondest memories of ‘swimming’ in an indoor hot tub.

Career Children Corporate Family Finance Household Money Success Women Work Work at Home Work-Life Balance Working Mom

With Spring Showers Comes the ‘She-Cession’: Keeping the Plates of Working Motherhood Spinning in the Midst of a Pandemic

Inspired by Maria Shriver’s investigative report for 3rd Hour Today, The State of Women: She-Cession.

The month of March typically fills our calendars with the return of spring weather, spring-cleaning, spring training and spring break, but this year, March also marks one year since the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus pandemic.  While we typically welcome the renewal and recharging that comes with spring, this year, many of us are instead reflecting on the insurmountable challenges and changes presented by the last year, and by the pandemic.  One of these challenges and changes has even coined a new name –the ‘She-cession’—plaguing American women, mothers, and caregivers and costing the United States an estimated “64.5 billion a year in lost wages and related economic activity” according to the Center for American Progress (CAP).  As we prepare spring break plans, however different they may look, we continue spinning our countless caregiving and career plates but to what end?  The pandemic’s effects are taking both economic and personal tolls, and they are hitting women the hardest.

In a recent report conducted by the CAP, findings show that women have lost a net of 5.4 million jobs as a result of the pandemic-induced recession, nearly 1 million more jobs than their male counterparts, and Black and Latina women have experienced a 50% higher unemployment rate than the national average according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  While women are experiencing the benefits of workforce trends that have emerged in the last year like working remotely, they continue to shoulder the majority of domestic duties.  In fact, working moms are 1.5 times more likely to report an additional 3 hours a day on domestic ‘chores’ like supervising their children’s remote learning –practically another part-time job, and an unpaid one at that. As a result, the most recent Women in the Workplace report found that for the first time, 1 in 4 women are considering stepping out of the workforce or downshifting their careers.  The outcomes of the ‘She-cession’ are nothing short of disastrous—jeopardizing huge strides made toward gender equity in the workplace, lifelong effects on skills and earnings potential, and a significant impact on women’s mental and emotional health.

So what do we do? How do we solve problems as great as women living in their cars to afford care for their aging parents after losing their job? How do we pay the estimated $1 trillion bill of unpaid labor performed by women in the home? Girls Who Code CEO Reshma Saujani is proposing a “Marshall Plan for Moms” that would ask Congress and the White House to support working mothers by implementing multiple policies that would address problematic parental leave plans, stabilize the child care industry and pay $2400 monthly to mothers to for their unpaid labor.  Issues like these, according to Saujani, who has garnered the attention and support of many working moms including celebrities, are forcing the hand of working women and mothers, “We aren’t choosing to leave the workforce, we’re being pushed out”.  There is hope.  The Biden administration is already reviewing the “Marshall Plan for Moms” and has already backed several of its initiatives such as family leave and subsidized childcare.

As working mothers, we embody empathy, compassion, interpersonal skills and the ingenuity required to care for, teach, and respond to the ever-growing needs of our children and our families.  Let’s come together and take action to utilize these talents and advocate for ourselves, our families, our world and our place in the workforce.

Find valuable resources, support, and action steps toward advocacy at the California Work and Family Coalition.

Career Corporate Dream Big Finance Goals Money Success Uncategorized

Success Can Look Like a Number, Especially if it’s 6-Figures

As a community of women who have come together with the same common goal of enhancing our lives, we each have our own individual WHY that keeps us progressing forward toward that goal.  And, while we each have our own perspective of success that we aspire to achieve, we all agree that attaining six figures as mothers is nothing short of life changing.  As we come together to empower one another with real stories, real inspiration, and real resources, we find ourselves asking, how many women in the US have actually reached the ‘big exhale’ on the other side of earning six-figures? And, perhaps more importantly, how can we help more women experience that same success, stability, and sense of peace that comes with the ‘6-Figure Safety Net’ for themselves?

In a recent study conducted by SmartAsset, experienced financial writer and CEPF®

Ben Geier states, “Fewer than one in every eight female workers in the U.S. are six-figure earners”.  This means that throughout “the largest 100 U.S. cities, the average percentage of female workers who earn at least $100,000 is less than 12%”.  When considering the data, initially it may seem as though, as women, we’re making significant headway in achieving financial security and success, but with a closer look, it becomes obvious that we still have a long way to go in shattering those ever-elusive glass ceilings.  According to Kristin Myers, reporter for Yahoo Finance, in IRS reported figures for the tax year 2016, “of the 9% [of the population] earning at least $100,000 or more, more than twice as many men earn a six-figure salary than women”.

That should not sit well with us, particularly when we consider that leading non-profit organizations like Heifer International, know and practice what we already know intuitively as successful women and mothers: “when women have control over their assets and incomes, they reinvest in their families”.  That is wildly powerful.  The ‘6-Figure Safety Net’ is more than a number, and it is more than a goal we set for ourselves; achieving six-figures means modeling for our community and our children that financial security is a pathway to ending significant global issues like hunger and poverty.  And when empowered women, particularly mothers, have both financial and social capital, “Everyone eats more nutritious food. Kids go to school. Families get better access to health care” and, as further affirmed by UN Women, they begin to have “control over their own time, lives, and bodies; and increased voice, agency and meaningful participation in economic decision-making at all levels from the household to international institutions”

We have work to do: for ourselves, for women, for our children and for our communities.  Attaining a higher salary provides us with financial independence in the short term, but also allows us to pursue long-term financial goals and to make significant strides forward for humanity and equity.  On the heels of a particularly devastating year, it is more important than ever that we enable and empower women to chase after, and to achieve a six-figure salary.  Over “thirty-one percent of both millennials and Gen X-ers [don’t] believe they [will] ever achieve a six-figure salary”.  Let’s change that narrative starting within our own homes.

 

Corporate Dream Big Finance Freedom Uncategorized Women

I just have always believed in entrepreneurship!

We recently had the opportunity to catch up with Miriam! She owns a successful vacation rental business in Victoria, B.C. Victoria is a capital city located on Vancouver Island. Miriam has always had a love for working with people, along with being an entrepreneur. Read on to learn why Moms Making Six Figures was the perfect fit for her!

Can you tell us a little about yourself and your career background?

I’ve always considered myself a transformation coach. I love anything to do with helping others be their best selves and seeing change for the better! In my corporate career, I worked as an Account Executive with Franklin Covey enjoying 3 tenures over 20 years. In this position, I would help senior-level executives, directors, and business/organization unit leaders to increase productivity, help with business execution, leadership and employee performance improvement. Alongside my amazing corporate career, I have always had a “side-gig.” It’s always been important for me to have multiple streams of income and I love being an entrepreneur. From the time I was a little girl, I had a newspaper route and sold Regal gifts. I just have always believed in entrepreneurship.

After I retired from the corporate world, I started a vacation rental business. I own four properties and manage another for a client, as well. For a long time, I had a dream of owning a Bed and Breakfast, so this business is the perfect way to fulfill my dream and welcome guests to our beautiful city of Victoria, B.C. I see guests from all over the world and feel very blessed!

How did you first learn about Moms Making Six Figures?

About a year and a half ago, one of my friends reached out to me and introduced me to the Moms Making Six Figures Team. After learning about the company and their mission to help others lives healthier lives, I was very intrigued.

With my vacation rental business, I always ensure guests visiting my properties have everything they need. From seasonings to cookware, laundry soap and much more, all my guests need to pack is their clothing. Making sure that my properties had safe products was a top priority, so partnering with Moms Making Six Figures just made sense.

Although partnering with Moms seemed to make sense, did you have any initial reservations?

At first, I was hesitant to join the Moms Making Six Figures team because I had been pouring so much energy into my vacation rental business. After I spent some time getting familiar with the company, everything truly seemed to fall into place. My business was doing extremely well, I felt financially secure, but I started to miss some aspects of having a side-gig. I also missed being able to work with people like I did in my corporate career…

I woke up one day and it kind of dawned on me that working with Moms Making Six Figures would add so much to my life. I would be helping people, goal setting and continuing to nurture my entrepreneurial side! I couldn’t be happier that I decided to take the plunge and work with this amazing team of women.

 

Family Finance Freedom Goals

Building a business from the ground up!

Meet Holly! After building a successful small business with her husband and holding the CFO position, she decided to step away to focus on raising their children. However, she knew there was still a need for her to contribute financially. Holly was looking for something that offered flexibility, but also made her excited to jump out of bed every morning.  Read on to learn more about Holly’s journey!

 Can you share a little bit about your personal, career and educational background? 

When I look back over the first half of my life I am amazed by the diversity of personal and work experience that I have been fortunate enough to have. I grew up in Tucson, AZ. and after I graduated from high school, I spent a year as a Rotary Exchange Student in Finland.  This was a phenomenal experience and opened my mind and heart to the joys of travel, along with understanding and connecting with other cultures.  Upon my return, I attended Kenyon College for two years and then embarked on another exchange to Bali, Indonesia. When returned home, I transferred to the University of Arizona where I completed my undergraduate degree in Liberal Arts. 

 After finishing my undergraduate degree, I lucked into a position as a teaching assistant in a preschool classroom at a mental health facility for children. This challenging and rewarding experience led me to my first career as a Special Education teacher.  I completed a Master’s in Special Education and taught for almost 10 years. During the summers I worked at Teton Valley Ranch Camp in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where I met my husband, Terry.

 I loved being a teacher and expected that this would be my career. However, after having our second child, my husband and I realized a teacher’s salary in Arizona didn’t make enough financial sense for me to continue teaching.  I spent the next few years at home raising our two young children and helping my husband grow our small business, DSA Vacations. 

 What was it like growing a small business from the ground up? What were the highs and lows?

After Terry and I got married in 2001, he joined me in Tucson. Terry decided to follow his dream of starting a travel company focused on travel to South Africa, where he is from.  In September of 2001, DSA Vacations was born in the back bedroom of my childhood home.  I was involved in growing our company every step of the way.  Initially, my role was his confidant and emotional supporter. After our second child turned two, I started going to the office to “help,” and ultimately became the CFO.  

When you start your own business, you wear all the hats. Both Terry and I had backgrounds in education, so we were on a steep learning curve.  Every decision seemed enormous and precarious.  Fortunately, we both thrived on the creativity involved in this process. We had to become experts in managing our staff, marketing campaigns, developing relationships with airlines and so much more. Because of our hard work and determination, our company now generates 10 million in sales, has over 15 employees, and has branched out to Asia and the Americas!

As exciting as this time was, there was also a lot of stress. It started to feel like DSA was consuming all our time.  When our 3rd child was born in 2010, I decided to step out of the day-to-day activities and focus on raising our children.

 How did you find Moms Making Six Figures? 

After our youngest started kindergarten, I start to think about going back to work.  Although we had built a very successful business, I still needed to start contributing financially again to our family. I spent almost two years thinking about what I wanted to do next.  I wanted to do something meaningful, flexible and lucrative. Basically, I was looking for my “dream job.” I considered returning to teaching, going back to school, or even starting my own business.  However, each of these did not check all the boxes I was looking for. In January of 2017, my cousin Angie Hancock Gange, got in touch with my brother and he mentioned I was looking for a new career. We got in touch, and almost immediately I knew I had found something special.  I recognized the structure of working with Moms Making Six Figures allowed for major success. Not to mention, an incredible team of very successful woman to help me every step of the way.  With Angie’s help, I launched my business and I have never looked back.

So, what is life currently like these days for you and your family?

It took about a year for me to really accept I had found my “dream job.”  I was able to start my own business without taking out a loan, like I did the first time, and I immediately made a profit.  I still have complete control over my time, which allows me to be a totally hands on mom and to travel whenever we want.  I work with an incredible group of people and I am now building my own team here in Tucson, with their help.  I work to educate about healthy living and environmental issues that are beyond important to me.  With Moms Making Six Figures, I know I can hit my goal to get our family permanently out of debt and pay cash for our children’s college educations.  I feel like I have rediscovered myself.  I am proud of everything I have accomplished and excited about the future.  So, to sum it up, life is great these days. 

 

Family Finance problem-solving

Steps in the right direction…

This week we talked with Angie Wright. Her story is one a lot of moms can relate to as they weed through various “work-from-home” careers out there. Angie found herself in serious debt after investing her precious time, energy and money into a business that drained her on all fronts. Understandably, she was skeptical to learn about Moms Making Six Figures. Would it be different than her past experiences? Read on to learn more about her journey!

Can you give us a little bit of your background? What were you doing before Moms Making Six Figures?

Of course! I was born and raised in Oceanside California. I went to Vanguard University in Costa Mesa and studied Intercultural and urban studies. When I graduated in 2000, I was a youth pastor for 3 years in the Los Angeles area. I loved working with youth and when I moved back to Oceanside in 2003, I started working with teenagers in group homes. My heart and passion still lie with helping at-risk youth. I eventually became the Director of a crisis program for teens through the YMCA, but in 2014 the program lost funding and I was let go. 

After all of that happened, I decided to stay home with my kids. I have a 10-year-old son named James, an 8-year-old daughter, Janise, and then our two-year-old son, Jasiah. I loved being at home with my kids, but I knew I still needed an income. I tried anything and everything to be a stay at home mom and contribute financially.

What were the types of jobs you did to maintain your lifestyle as a stay-at-home mom? 

Initially, I helped run a daycare with my mom in her home for about a year. After that, I dabbled in some direct sale companies. I sold juices, jewelry, and the biggest one was LuLaRoe, which I worked with for about two and a half years. The initial investment was a very hefty $5,000 for the clothing and roughly another $3,000-$5,000 for all the equipment needed. I enjoyed my time with LuLaRoe because I loved helping women feel beautiful and I love the clothes myself, but it was a very hard business to be in. I spent countless hours advertising on Facebook, ordering more inventory and getting severely into debt. Not to mention, working events where I had to literally haul 300-500 pieces of clothes back and forth from my home.

I realized I was spending so much money and time away from my family that the business just was not worth it anymore. So, I left.

What did you do with your left-over inventory? Were you able to sell it before you stopped working with LuLaRoe? 

I had the option of returning inventory, but below wholesale because I would have had to pay a restocking fee. The process was so arduous, instead I decided to discount my remaining inventory to other retailers and my current customers. I definitely did not make my money back because I had to discount it way below wholesale to sell it all. 

One of the hardest parts about selling LuLaRoe is that we were not able to pick the patterns of the clothes. We could pick the style and the size, but they would send us whatever print they had. To tell you the truth, there were some prints that no one wanted to buy, and retail consultants would end up getting stuck with them!

So, tell me a little about how this journey led you to Moms Making Six Figures? 

In January of 2018, my friend, Jennifer Becker contacted me and wanted to share more about her business. I knew if anything, we would be good source of referrals for one another.  We had become friends when our daughters started kindergarten together in 2016.  I knew she did some sort of work-from-home business because she had a table set up at a fundraiser at the school. Unfortunately, I was too busy setting up my 300-piece display and did not have time to go check it out.  So, I told her that I would be open to hearing more.  Little did she know I was struggling financially and having regrets for starting a LuLaRoe business.  

Jennifer came over to my house, we sat at my kitchen table and she shared with me what Mom’s Making Six Figures was all about.  By the end I was literally in tears because for some reason I saw a hope and a future in her presentation I hadn’t experienced with any other company.  More than that, Jennifer was so genuine. I believed she would be a supportive friend and business partner, which is something I never had before.  

How have you found Moms Making Six Figures to be different from your career with LuLaRoe?

At first, I’ll admit I was a little skeptical to jump on board based off my previous experiences. In the past, I had become “star struck” with other business presentations and none of them had worked. They all left me broke, in debt and hopeless. However, I decided to give it a try to see if there really was NO startup cost or fees. If what Jennifer had said was true, I thought, what’s the risk? 

Jennifer helped me get my business rolling by mentoring me, helping me educate others and so much more. I was amazed that I truly did not have to spend any money to become successful in this business. Month after month, I have received a paycheck without having to sell any products, carry inventory, or invest any money in supplies.  I haven’t had to lug 100+ pieces of clothing to fairs and vendor events or bombard my Facebook friends with posts about buying my products.  My work now revolves around the relationships I build and sharing my experience with others.  

I am so grateful to Jennifer for introducing me to Moms Making Six Figures and for the continuous support she offers.  On top of that, we have an entire team of supportive women I can turn to for anything at any time.  Because of my new career with Moms Making Six Figures, I will have the financial freedom to support my family and give back. 

I will once again have the time to use experience in social services and as a youth pastor to help those in need.  I have always dreamt of opening a center for at-risk youth since beginning my work with teens back in 2000. I am confident Moms Making Six Figures will help me realized this dream!