San Antonio Visits Houston and Houston Influencers #SAinHouston

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A great big thank you to Local Table and Local Bar in Katy, Texas for hosting the SA in Houston Influencer Meet and Greet! Twenty Houston area influencers were invited to meet with representatives from Visit San Antonio and Sea World Texas. What better way to get an opportunity to work with a brand than to meet them face to face? Influencers had the opportunity to share their ideas, audience, accomplishments and more while learning more about the travel opportunities that our neighbors in San Antonio have to offer.

A big thank you to Shalanda Turner of Live Life In Style, Samantha Foster of The Pink Envelope and Melissa Moreno of MissieRosiesViews for sharing their photos with us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Working at home and getting by with a little help from my friends and family

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By: Eric

Often I find myself in the position where I have to put the emphasis on work, when working at home and dealing with friends and family.  But even more often, I find that “I get by with a little help from my friends” and family.

“I’ll watch the girls.”   I love hearing these words, as friends every so often have surprised me with the gift of some extra time to work as a friend or family member takes the children for a few hours.  One friend and I will trade. One week I’ll watch her children while she works, during another she watches mine.  For other friends maybe they are going to the movies or maybe the girls can just go to a friends house for a couple hours of play, but whatever the occasion,  those four magic words are music to the WAHM’s (dad and parents’) ears!

Friends and family are a treasure trove of ideas. Whether I need an idea for an article, social networking or making the best use of my time, friends and family members provide me with the treasure of their experience, questions and comments that help me keep the block from happening to this writer.

Read all about it!  I often get email messages regarding topics for my column, articles or blog.   No, these emails aren’t coming from supervisors, clients or “bosses” but from friends who thought I may enjoy this topic or that to explore for my next writing project.   Sometimes it is a news article, sometime’s it is just a question about parenting, crafts, education, travel or saving money.  Whatever the reason, it gives me a chance to see what others are interested and help them “read all about it.”

Subscribe and share.  It never fails to amaze me when I see a new email subscriber on my columns that I know, or a Facebook share or Twitter tweet, mention or retweet of a piece of content that I have published.  Subscribing and sharing my content helps to promote it, and me as well as helps me make more money for my family.  I was very surprised to see my dad’s name and email listed among my subscribers and was told by my mother that he reads everything I publish.  Really? Everything?   That means a great deal to a writer.

Leave a comment.   There is no denying that for many WAHMs or parents we feel a little isolated.   Is anyone really paying attention to what we do? Are they actually reading my posts on Facebook to let them know about my latest accomplishment or challenge?  You can’t help but wonder if there is anyone out there actually noticing your work, no matter what it is.   A comment, text, or Facebook post can go a long way towards brightening this WAHMs day!

Get me out and about.   I admit, I could probably stay home and be a workaholic, very easily.   So it’s nice to know that there are some friends that are determined to make sure I get out and about and that every momemt isn’t consumed with work.   It doesn’t matter if it’s just not taking no for an answer to a request to meet for lunch to planning a trip to a movie or museum with the kids on a day when I can play.

Supporting your friends and family that work from home doesn’t have to be work at home for you.  It is actually the little things that you do that can add up to success, for your WAHM friend or family member.  Whether it’s a great big thank you for watching the kids, to mentioning that one thing that created a spark of inspiration it is important to give credit where credit is due.   Make sure that your support system goes both ways, or it may just go away.

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The not so friendly aspect of friends and family when you work at home

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Picography / Pixabay

Picography / Pixabay

I am at the bus stop waiting for my daughter to get home from school when my neighbor turns to me and says, “Hey, since you don’t work, could you take my mom to the Social Security office tomorrow?  She has a bunch of stuff that needs taken care of and there is no one to drive her.”

The phone rings.  Looking at the time, I tell myself, “Don’t answer it. You know you shouldn’t.”  But I do and it’s a friend who opens with, “Since you are home and I’m at work could you go pick up Matt from school?  He’s throwing up and I need to work today but need someone to watch him.”

“Hi honey, it is mom.   I’ve been trying to call you, could you please answer the phone?” is the text I receive. Thinking it something important, since my parents are older, I call back immediately.  “What’s wrong?”  “Oh nothing, I just wanted to see how you and the kids are.”  Forty-five minutes later we hang up.

Do you work from home as a freelancer or have your own business and find your friends and family contacting you like some of my friends and family do?   I think we all do.  Sure, there are many advantages to being a work at home mom/parent/dad (WAHM) but there are often several disadvantages too, and one of those disadvantages is the misconception that because I work at home, that I don’t really work.

How can we get friends and family to understand that the emphasis is on WORKING, at home?   Here are a few tips that I use to help people understand.

Don’t make excuses.   Our first instinct when we are asked to do something we can’t do because we have to work is to make up an excuse.  Tell them the truth.  Let them know you have a deadline, payroll, assignments or a client meeting to attend to.  By making excuses for your inability to help them, you are perpetuating the myth that working at home is not really working at home.

Assign times.    I assign specific work hours to my schedule, which means I don’t answer the phone or my personal email account while working those hours.  The television isn’t on and while I may stop by my Facebook pages or give a little tweet, it’s honestly usually work related.   We all know you can’t turn everything off, especially with children in school so I do keep my cell phone next to me and Caller ID is a wondrous thing.   I truly only answer the phone if I’m taking a break, it’s the school or my parents.  Yes, I always answer when my parents call.

Be proud of what you do.   How often do you hear a group of people talking at the school, a playdate, or party and they say, “Oh, I’m an account manager.”    Many WAHM’s and Dads often say, “Oh I work at home.”   Okay, yes, you work at home but tell them what you do!  I write.  That’s what I do.  I write articles, print work, web content and columns.  I have my own blogs.  Why not share what you do proudly?  If you aren’t proud of what you do, how can anyone else be too?

It is difficult to draw the line sometimes.  You want to help your friends and family.  You want to be available to your children.  After all for many of us that was one of the main reasons we started a business from home. We wanted flexibility and time at home. But your time is just as valuable as everyone else’s.    If they couldn’t take time off or take a phone call at work, then they shouldn’t expect you to be able to either.  Sometimes a gentle reminder, like “I’m working” can go a long way when you are asked, “What are you doing tomorrow?”  Remember, it’s business, it’s nothing personal.

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