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Archive for the ‘Women In Business & Life’ Category

reversable apron, crocheting www.anniesgoathill.com

Annie’s is not dead. Sound like a familiar movie title? Well … Annie’s Is Not Dead!

Annie’s Goat Hill currently does not have goats on the apartment patio, nor does it have fresh soap in the (non-existent) spare room…but Annie’s is alive and kicking.

Annie (Mary Humphrey – myself) has authored books (Essential Soapmaking and Advanced Soapmaking: Removing the Mystery), along with stories she contributed to the Selah Press anthology 360 Degrees of Grief: Reflections of Hope, all of these books are available on her blogs, and on her Amazon.com author page. She’s also polishing her first edition, soon to be published, of Annie’s All About Goats. Behind this writing project is the first draft completed of Jackson and Delilah’s Adventures, a fiction youth novel. Devotionals follow suit, which are in the stage of notes written in pen and ink. There may also be books from the kitchen, because this woman can cook. Did you know that? She cooks from scratch and follows the little-bit-of-this-and-that method.

Soap creation and sales may return to the agenda in late 2014. Can you imagine creamy, skin loving goat milk soap once again coming from Annie’s studio? It just might happen.

What you absolutely have not heard about, until today, is Creative Expressions by Annie. You know, she thrives on creativity – writing, DIY personal care products, sewing, crocheting, soap making, aromatherapy and crafts that work all of these things together. The photo above is a sample of things to come – a series of blog posts that she hopes inspires you to new (or renew) your passions. The world is full of beautiful things…and the freedom to use your imagination!

“In this time of ‘information overload’, people do not need more information. They want a story they can relate to.”  – Maarten Schafer

Annie’s Goat Hill – Smell and Feel the Goodness!

 

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www.dreamstimefree_236739

Many of us need a second or third (in addition to a first) income stream to make financial ends meet.

Thankfully, starting a small business does not always require the investment of thousands of dollars.

Right off the top of my head I think of a soap making or beauty product business. Begin with research – look at other small businesses in the industry, study how to make soap or beauty products, determine where to purchase supplies, and ask yourself where you will sell your product and determine your pricing (how you will make a profit).

Start small, and place your profits back into your business. Continue on a small scale, do not spend money on unnecessary supplies. With a much loved product, like hand-made soap, it will not be long before you turn your business into an income producer.

Other small start-up businesses that do not require a fat bank account or additional funding: baking, cooking, cleaning, writing (blogging, books, editing), delivery service, personal trainer, personal shopper and/or errand runner, farmer’s markets (hand-made items, home grown, resale). The list is endless, depending upon your personal interests, willingness to work hard, and your initial investment.

Always consider your local business codes, laws, and insurance requirements.

I urge people, especially women that want to work from home, to give entrepreneurship a try. I strongly believe God gave each of us talents, gifts, that we may never realize if we do not let go, let Him, help us branch out.

After a decade of owning small businesses, I can tell you my experiences have been rewarding, challenging, fruitful, wisdom gaining, and I continue to take on more avenues that keep me independent with additional streams of income. Once an entrepreneur, always an entrepreneur. Freedom!

Email me if you have any questions about starting a soap making or small business. I also recommend:

Books by Selah Press, Kayla Fioravanti, How to Self-Publish, DIY Kitchen Chemistry, The Art, Science and Business of Aromatherapy, Melt & Pour Soap Base From Scratch

Books and business coaching by Bath and Body Academy, Alyssa Middleton, as well as her most recent Kindle book, 12 Revenue Streams for Your Bath and Body Business (Beauty Business Basics), in which she shares additional ways to expand a beauty business to bring in additional revenue streams. I highly recommend this book to people entering the handmade bath and personal product industry, and to business owners in need of fresh ideas for their existing businesses.

I offer two books, co-authored with Alyssa Middleton, the first of which helps you get started in soap making, along with the business basics, Essential Soapmaking, and Advanced Soapmaking: Removing the Mystery, which focuses on progressive methods of soapmaking.

Before I began to write books, and before I shifted my motto to Share, Encourage and Grow (blogging both here and at www.hispasturepress.com), one book made an incredible impact on me, The Path: Creating Your Mission Statement for Work and for Life, by Laurie Beth Jones. After reading the book, I developed a precisely clear vision of my life and work mission.

I also recommend the Indie Business Network (IBN), especially their social site where both well-versed and budding entrepreneurs share in the discussion forum. IBN serves the handmade and beauty industry with an enormous amount of support for their paid members (including liability insurance).

I look forward to your comments, especially if you list additional resources for budding entrepreneurs (even outside of the handmade beauty industry).

Share, Encourage, and Grow!

Mary Humphrey

http://www.anniesgoathill.com

http://www.hispasturepress.com

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www.anniesgoathill.com spotlightMost of us, with the exception of my friends (whom I sort of envy right now) that reside on the bottom side of our globe, are into winter – dark and cold days. As I was scrolling through blogs, photos of animals, the promotion of small businesses and farms, and posters of positive thoughts, I thought about all of the brightness that those people brought to me and came up with the idea of an Annie’s Goat Hill spotlight. Why not bring good news into the world during this, seemingly, long season? We can all use a Spotlight of Warmth, it spreads.

So, beginning today, if you would like to share, or link to, one of your photos, blog posts, an article about your small business, most anything of taste relating to natural, farm, small business, encouragement and faith, and handmade personal care products on this blog – I encourage you to contact me (anniesgoathill@gmail.com) with your submissions and ideas.

I have some folks in mind already, which leads me to remind those of you that are small business owners and authors to always provide contact information.

Mary

Share, Encourage, and Grow

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floating along www.anniesgoathill.com

Why is it we seem to not recognize all that we do until we put it in writing? It causes us to question why we are not taking certain steps, or better yet, why we are still doing something that isn’t helping us reach the results that we want.

In all of our busyness, with an ever-changing world and business life, we tend to forget to check in with our goals.

Our goals – where we ultimately want to be at a specified time. We can get there without plans, but it may take us an enormous time to reach our destination. In fact, instead of getting there in any reasonable length of time, we may be floating along on a slow-moving magic carpet ride, not sure where we are going to land, and perhaps not caring because we are so involved in productivity each and every day. We get busy, right?

This is my personal reminder to set goals and outline the steps to get there. An outline includes concise steps and expected completion times. Anything completed during working hours, that is done above and beyond the outline is either 1) fluff (and takes me away from the goal) or 2) icing on the cake that is necessary for good results.

On a daily basis – be flexible, bend, bend and bend again, but keep the tasks that are imperative to ensure the books gets written, the soap gets made, the website is up and running, or whatever business goals that are set. If the goals shift, the outlined plans must shift as well.

Try it if you want. Imagine, someone has just asked you to outline a list of your sites, your social media addresses, and what your daily work schedule consists of.  What is your mission? What are your goals? Which, by the way, are two very separate things. Are you on track, or floating along? What steps (deadlines and actions) must you take to reach your goals?

Personally, I am facing the legal pad with pen and paper in hand, busily drafting an outline. Checking in with my goals.

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comittment www.anniesgoathill.com

The most prominent virtue I gained in 2012 was the ability to be flexible without looking back.

Life and business thrives with an acceptance of change – one that allows us to merely become fluid any time it is necessary.

In 2012, I shut down my soap business and goat farm. It was not an easy shift, but to this day it is providing opportunities that I never imagined could exist.

I started The Creative Entrepreneur blog series in 2012. With the pivoting of business and writing gears, I found I could not devote myself to both my personal and series commitments.

In 2012, I also began writing several books, co-authored with Melissa Middleton of Vintage Body Spa. We published the first book of our series, Essential Soap Making, as an e-Book. We recently re-submitted the book to editing. It is being re-formatted as a book in print. The newly formatted book is within weeks of a publish date.

I have committed (myself) to publishing eight books in 2013. If you are raising your eyebrows at my lofty goal, trust me, so am I. Being flexible, as life continues to take amazing twists and turns, will lead to greater success. But committing to the writing goal, by just tying the knot that won’t come undone, is how it will be accomplished.

I hope you stay and witness my exciting journey ahead!

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Years ago, as new goat farmer, and as an owner of a business, I nearly toppled over with the desire to soak up as much information as I could.  The more I read, the more I wanted to learn. There was (and is) passion and vitality behind all of that!

This week’s Handmade Chat hit a home run with me.  Based on the strong momentum on the chat floor, as we discussed books throughout the hour, I was not the only person in attendance that was ready to run out to the library, or to the book store, to pick up a major list of new books!

Thank you Alyssa Middleton of @highwireinheels, for leading the wonderful chat!

Need I say more?

Here is a small sample from the chat:

How do you have the time to read when running a business?

  • @highwireinheels Even reading for 30 minutes, can help start your day right & give new ideas to think about/implement.
  • @INDIEassist This is a huge challenge. It needs to go into your Google calendar with everything else. Respect your own time!

The entire chat flowed with book recommendations and tips, too many to list here, like this one:

The transcript from the chat can be downloaded here.  If you are looking for a list of excellent books for a small business entrepreneur, start with printing the transcript!

I will lead next week’s #Handmade Chat, Thursday, 8/9/2012, at 8 p.m. ET, How To Manage Unhappy Customers.

We, the Handmade Chat team, look forward to seeing you there!

Mary Humphrey

http://www.anniesgoathill.com

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I have been weighing out the pro’s and con’s of starting a new blog for a very long time.

My longing is to write about anything and everything that I feel passionate about. Most of those thoughts have nothing to do with the soap business.

The Annie’s Goat Hill Handcrafted soap website will be re-designed in the future, with the link to this blog located on the main navigation page of the new site.  It only makes sense to me to ensure a big portion of  the blog content is related to soap, products, the soap business, the farm (milk wouldn’t exist without it), and bits and pieces of me (who I am).

One of the joys that I have come to know as a business owner is the reality that I can be myself.  I love it! I have the capability and power to make my own decisions, to guide my own ship(s).  And writing is a boat that has sat at the dock.

So, the decision was made to start a new blog, www.Mary-Humphrey.com, geared towards writing, and link to it and the posts here (for a while).  For those of you that have expressed your enjoyment of my posts, I would love for you to follow me over!

Marching forward!

Mary

Annie’s Goat Hill Handcrafted Soaps – where you can Smell and Feel the Goodness!

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