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: Being My Own Boss
small business, startup, bootstrap


I have always secretly dreamed of becoming my own boss. I know that sounds crazy to some people. Perhaps I have lost my mind. Becoming your own boss is not for the faint of heart. That is for sure. It takes a lot of hard work and risk to be an entrepreneur. I haven't had much of a problem with the hard work part. In fact, I have more issues with working too hard than not hard enough. That stems, I think, from the way I was raised, with a strong work ethic. I am not and probably never will be much of a risk taker, however. Fortunately for me, I am married to someone who is.


My husband and I began our entrepreneurial journey about five years ago, only one year into our marriage. It was not an easy road and nearly cost us everything including our marriage. We did some things right and a lot of things wrong. What hasn't killed us, however, has made us stronger as the old saying goes. Looking back, I was hesitant to take the risks we took, but I trusted that our young love could conquer all.

One thing we did right was choosing to have our business set up in a local flea market. The flea market where we sell is one of the largest ones in East Tennessee. The competition can be very stiff there, but the school of hard knocks has taught us a lot about how to buckle down, survive and have each others' backs when things get tough. We have also changed direction from the type of products we solid the beginning, which proved to be a good decision.


One thing we did wrong was spending our entire life savings buying out a very over priced existing business in the flea market. In hindsight, we probably would have done much better to buy a different type of business with which we were familiar or build something from the ground up ourselves. Oh well, as they say, hindsight is twenty twenty. Thankfully, we were both able to bring in income from other sources until we were able to get the business to a point of financial stability. I still work a part time job, but we are much further along now than when we first started. Thankfully, we did not have all our eggs in one basket, so to speak.

We still have a lot to learn about swap meets, flea markets and making money being our own bosses. One thing that has served us well through it all, however is an attitude of positivity and persistence even when we felt like giving up.
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: Free Small Business Product Exposure On Pinterest
pinterest, free marketing, small business, grow
Pinterest Success For Small Business


I have to admit that I never used to give Pinterest the light of day. I guess I was afraid that I didn't have time for such frivolous things. I was also intimidated by the technological learning curve that I have always felt with trying something new. In the past few months, however, I have found that my Pinterest account can be viably useful for helping me to gain exposure for my business. It is also much more user friendly than I had originally perceived.

Pinterest has been tremendously helpful in growing traffic to the products on my website because it provides a clever way to organize my products and categories of interest. It also allows other users to both see sample pictures of my products and comment with questions. Pinterest also allows me to arrange the order of my product categories (boards) and add links to individual product pages on my website. All in all I have found a Pinterest to be well worth my time and efforts.
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: PVC Pipe Projects
In today's economy, building materials are becoming increasingly expensive. One material, however, still remains affordable. It is amazing the things you can build with PVC Pipe. I have even dedicated a Pinterest board to amazing things you can do with the material. All you need is a little imagination and some basic tools to create shelves, displays and much much more.

You can follow my board at https://www.pinterest.com/mapokorny/pvc-pipe-projects/, but here are a few of my favorite photos from the board.

Plant Tower PVP Pipe Craft DIY Homemade
Plant Tower Vertical Gardening Creative


Laundry Hamper, Laundry Sorter, Washer, Dryer, Organization, Dirty Clothes, Laundry Room, Home, Clutter
laundry room organizer


pool swim summer fun beat the heat organize reduce clutter diy easy cheap free
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Personalized Children's Books.

October 8th 2013 19:31
: Unique Custom Gifts That Won't Break The Bank
My Very Own Name I See Me Story Book


I See Me has been creating smiles on the faces of children across the nation for over a decade. Their distinctive style of blending creativity, imagination and learning has gained them recognition and awards from Creative Child magazine, homeschool.com and more. They have also been featured in such popular magazines as Good Housekeeping, Women's World and US Weekly. Clients include celebrities Courtney Cox, Rachel Zoe, Tiffani Theissen and more.

The company's primary specialty is the personalized book line which features, among others, the book that started it all My Very Own Name..

Other popular products include custom embroidered t-shirts with the child's name, the Let's Play personalized placemat and more.








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Save Money Drinking Water

October 4th 2013 10:24
: Free Water
Things are uncertain in today's economic climate. Political challenges such as the recent government shutdown and the rising cost of healthcare are combining with increased cost of goods in general and everyday struggles like unexpected car repairs to create a financial minefield that is becoming increasingly challenging to navigate. In spite of all the doom and gloom, however, a few of us are still able to enjoy an occasional meal out with family or friends.

I have previously mentioned that you can save money in many restaurants by ordering the kids meal for yourself providing you are not embarrassed to do so and the restaurant allows you to. This also cuts down on portion size which may help you lose weight as well if you need to do so or maintain a healthy weight otherwise.

Another way to save your wallet and your waistline is something you may not have previously considered. Many restaurants offer tap water as an alternative to other beverages of choice. Most offer it for free or very close to free even if they also offer bottled water. Of course, like many other good deals, you won't find it prominently displayed on the menu board. You have to ask.
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Save Money and Lose Weight

May 7th 2013 22:39
: Save Money and Lose Weight
I went to the grocery store two days ago and was amazed by the amount of junk food I found at every turn. Brightly colored packages blasted with enticing graphics were impossible to miss. That made me take notice of the grocery carts around me and consciously consider the amount of unhealthy food purchased by my own household.

What if Americans spent less money on junk food and more money on healthy food? What would that do to health care costs?

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How To Tackle Time Wasters

March 13th 2013 23:42
: Using Time To Its full Potential
Wasted time, how to save time, multitask, multi task



Each of us are only given twenty four hours a day. Some days many of us feel as though we need more like forty or eighty hours to get things done. So, how do you make the most of twenty-four?

The mystery of using time effectively can be difficult or impossible for many of us to unravel. I think part of the problem is that we live such hectic and distracted lives. A few minutes of pre-planning, however, can save many hours in the long run and help us to slow down the pace a bit.

First, before we can attack the time thief, we must identify who it is. Try this technique, for one week, take a note pad with you and jot down places and instances where and when you feel like you have wasted time.

Next, plan the attack. Proper planning can help you turn an overwhelming task load into something much more manageable.

Here are some tips to help you get started....

1). Prioritize! Think of a scale from one to ten. How critical are the different things you have to do? If you aren't sure or you think everything is a ten, you may find it helpful to write your to do list down on a piece of paper and then sort it all out.

2) Mentally or in writing group and ungroup tasks. What tasks cannot be completed until another task is done? What tasks can be done while doing other tasks?

3) Break it down! Create measurable and attainable goals out of larger projects.

4) Spread it out and create a routine. You might be surprised by how much you can accomplish by creating habits of accomplishing even a few small tasks each day.

5) Plan for the future. Many times the reason why we waste time is that we don't plan ahead. This causes us to scramble and try to plan on the fly when we could have handled the task much more efficiently by using a little forethought.
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Little Buy Little

February 24th 2013 11:53
: Small Purchases Add Up To big Bucks
I am a people watcher. There, I admitted it. I am curious to know what makes people tick and what makes them fall apart. Although I am not trained in all the nuances of psychology, I am amazed by what you can learn about people simply by taking the time to listen and observe.

One thing that I have learned from my observations is that people usually don't think twice about buying something they want if they think it is cheap. While we all have our definitions about what we think is cheap, I would hypothesize that the vast majority of the population of the United States would think that one dollar is cheap. I would even venture to say that only a slightly smaller portion of our citizens would consider five dollars cheap.

Now, let's stick with this one and five dollar hypothesis and see how it adds up over time. First, lets start with some easy math. There are 365 days in one typical year (not a leap year). If the average American consumer were to waste only one dollar each day, that is three hundred and sixty five dollars.

Now, let's take that same three hundred and sixty five dollars and apply it toward getting out of debt. Lets say someone has a $1000 credit card debt at 14.67 percent interest (the average rate for an American with a blance according to www.creditcards.com). If this typical American paid a minimum amount of forty dollars a month on their 1000 dollar balance, it would take them over two and one half years to pay it off ( calulated using Crown.org repayment calculator). Now, lets apply that three hundred and sixty five dollars to that balance and still make the monthly payments. Doing so saves over one year of payments and cuts the title interest paid by more than half.

It amazes me how many people walk around day by day living in such blissful ignorance of how even the smallest decisions can drastically impact their financial bottom line.
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Consumer Psychology In Question

December 26th 2012 14:08
: The Day After Christmas Sales and Shopping


I heard an interesting statistic while watching Good Morning America on television this morning. It stated that today, the day after Christmas, is typically the fifth biggest shopping day of the year. My question is....why? Although they also stated that shopping today is expected to be down from years past, I would argue that perhaps America as a whole has grown overly materialistic. We have become desensitized to what really matters in life in our attempts to keep up with the Joneses so to speak.

Now I have turned off the television and as I write this blog I am taking some time to reflect upon my life and the people, not material things, that really matter to me. Yes, things are nice, but what really matters in the grand scheme of life is our relationships, our faith, things that were designed to really last for a lifetime and even beyond the confines of this life. Today I would challenge you to sit back, take a breath and make mental or even written note of what really matters to you. Doing so may even change your whole perspective on life.
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Uniquely Custom Christmas Gifts

November 19th 2012 19:49
: A Personalized Christmas
religious name meaning unique custom gift cheap affordable
three crosses name meaning print


The season of giving and receiving is upon us. It is difficult to believe that Black Friday 2012 is only days away. This Friday, November 23, 2012 many people will flock to the malls and retail stores for great deals, sales and specials on many one size fits all style gifts that will be out of date and unwanted within a matter of time. That begs the question, what kinds of gifts really mean something?

In today's culture it's easy to lose our sense of individuality amongst the pressures of our society to conform to the norm. Thus, the quest for something that makes us unique has created a niche market in which some retailers are now willing to tread.

In example,www.personalizedtoday.com, provides name, photo and saying personalized keepsakes and wall decor at affordable prices. These types of gifts require effort on the part of the gift giver to really give some thought to who the gift recipient is and what their interests are. Other retailers are starting to catch on as well, realizing that one size fits all doesn't really work in a modern society that is constantly struggling to look different while simultaneously blending in with others.
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