Mom Boss Interview: Heather Criswell from WiseInside

2018 is coming to an end… have you started making your New Year’s resolution yet?

If beginning your business and/or working from home is your goal, I highly recommend reading on, as today’s mom boss is making a big difference in the world and wants you to do the same! If you are ready to be inspired, meet the incredible Heather Criswell: a wife, boy mom, author, and motivational speaker who is changing the world by #rootingforlove.

Here she is:

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Heather: I have never met you in person but just reading through your website makes me feel like you would be an amazing mentor and friend! Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?

Thanks so much Annie for giving me the opportunity to share. My life has been full of peaks and valleys, but I'm happy to say that I still rise and shine through it all. I started my journey as an entrepreneur at 21 years old. I was presented with an opportunity to open a preschool and left college to follow my dreams. After nearly a decade of owning the school, I decided to focus on adults for awhile. I opened a holistic wellness center and worked with clients to experience alternative healing methods. I sold the wellness center and started an online business to help parents and children communicate and connect with games, mediations, and coaching. Now, I am hosting a podcast, local town hall meetings, and helping people reconnect to life's purpose by Rooting for Love. I currently reside in Las Vegas, Nevada with my husband and 7-year old son. 

Your story is so inspirational and relatable on so many levels! How did your story bring you to WiseInside? 

Life gives us so many opportunities to follow our own wisdom, our gut instinct.  We know we are WiseInside as babies, we know what we need and want.  Over time, that "knowing" gets chipped away and replaced with other's opinions, ideas, advice and wisdom. We often loose the connection we have to our own wisdom. We are guided throughout our days and lives, but often disregard the "nudge" from within. When I follow my intuition, my wisdom, my heart...everything seems to work out in my best interest. 

What do you offer via WiseInside? Who would most benefit from this community?

I offer tools to help you reconnect to your own wisdom. Those of us that are tired of "you should" or "you have to" would benefit from reconnecting to the wisdom within. 

Just what is #rootingforlove and why is it so important?

#rootingforlove is a movement to help us all remember that life is rooting for us and when we root for each other, we have the power to do the impossible. 

I was on a podcast about a year ago. We had a beautiful conversation with the emphasis  on my book, Wise Talk from the Other Side (conversations I have had with my family members that have passed on) it was a powerful chat and at the end he said, “Heather, I want you to know we are rooting for you.”  Something shifted. I sent him a message after the show and thanked him for rooting for me. It was so profound, it felt so powerful, and I had no idea why. He responded quickly with a story…”Theres a species of trees that should not be able to grow as tall as it does. It has the ability to link root systems with other trees so it can weather any storm and not be uprooted. On the surface, it’s an anomaly. Underneath it is entwined with the others so it can “do the impossible”. That’s what I meant by “we’re rooting for you.”And there’s more…on the surface the trees are separated by great distances but those roots can stretch football fields in length, they seek each other out. 

This is why #roootingforlove is so important. 

We seek each other out to root in and do the impossible.  

Because This journey through life is filled with struggles, challenges, grief, loss. frustrations, misunderstandings, we often forget our truth. 

We are born in love, with love, and for love. 

How did you go about building this brand/community and what advice can you give other moms out there looking to build their own business (or even movement)?

It has been a long journey...because I had to take my own advice and stop listening to what everyone thought I should be doing, and do what I love instead. I had to trust that my love, passion, and excitement would open doors that I didn't know were available to me. I trust that everything is working out for me, even when it doesn't look like it in the moment. I trust that life is rooting for me and so many people want success for me too!  I know when I follow my heart, I will always succeed. I know that I will rise above any circumstance, love myself and others through it, and shine brighter than I imagined. 

As a fellow mompreneur, I gotta know: How do you balance it all? What does a day in your shoes look like?

Haha!  I don't believe in balance. At all. Nope. haha!  Everyday is different.  Some days I am very focused on business, other days I am at the park for 5 hours with my son. I gave up on the idea of balance. I used to feel guilty if I spent too much time working or too much time neglecting my work. Now I know that in the end, it all "balances out" on it's own. Sometimes I need a full day of grind and other days I need to step away from the computer and breathe in air from the park all day. What I know for sure, we are all doing our best, and that's enough. For reals. That's enough. 

What do you consider to be the greatest thing to have happened since launching WiseInside? 

The greatest thing that has happened is a confirmation that I am here on purpose. My words have meaning and help others (and myself) along the way. I know that every act of  love that I do on a daily basis is reminding us all that our purpose is simply to shine. Our purpose is in the small acts of love we do every single day. Because those acts of love travel and heal the world in more ways than we can imagine. 

Incredible, right? To connect with Heather and/or WiseInside, visit her Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.

How To Rent Out Your Guest Room On Airbnb (And Make An Extra $1,000/Month)

Please Note: This post may contain affiliate linking. While these links don’t cost extra for you to use, a percentage of all sales made through these links will help fund future Side Hustle Mom content.

I have said it before (just last week, I believe!) and i will say it again: motherhood is one of the busiest, most challenging, yet most rewarding things you will ever do...

...and not only is it all of the above, but it is also pretty freaking expensive, seeing as though kids like to outgrow their clothes every week, eat multiple times a day, and eventually have the gaul to leave you to pursue their future at college.

Speaking of college, did you know that as of this publication, the average cost of school per year is $10,000+, which will only go up more and more by the time our kids and grandkids are ready to go? 

Now that I have got myself both worked up and freaked out, you are probably wondering why I am going off on this irrelevant tangent... well, one of the reasons I wanted to work on the side while staying home with the boys was to put more money into both their savings/college accounts and ours, and I know that I am not the only one, which is why I am constantly on the prowl for potential money-making ideas for busy moms like you. 

Enter Airbnb.

For anyone unfamiliar with the company, Airbnb "uniquely leverages technology to economically empower millions of people around the world to unlock and monetize their spaces, passions and talents to become hospitality entrepreneurs." 

In other words, your spare bedroom becomes a hotel of sorts and you take home the cash.

Obviously, this approach to making extra money is unconventional and not for everyone, but if renting out your spare room, home (if/when you are out of town), or second home sounds like a financial path you would be willing to explore, read on: 

How does renting your space on Airbnb work?

I'm so glad you asked! The first step in the process is to create or log-in to your account, in which you describe your space and location, and receive an instant estimate on how much Airbnb thinks you can earn by consistently renting it out.

 Airbnb’s estimate if I rented out our entire house consistently.

Airbnb’s estimate if I rented out our entire house consistently.

 Estimate for renting our guest room.

Estimate for renting our guest room.

Obviously, this is just an estimate and at the end of the day, you get to name your own price (also remember that Airbnb does take a 3% cut), but keep in mind that it's a competitive market, so you will want/need to price it fairly.

Once you have your Airbnb account set up, it is time to get even more in-depth about both yourself and your space, which is where you get a chance to tell potential guests a little bit about you (their host), build trust, and then explain the space even more in depth, including amenities, (towels, internet), perks (in-room snacks, breakfast in the morning), and nearby activities/attractions.

One of the great things about using a platform like Airbnb is that you have complete control over how often you rent, so if there is a particular time that does not work for having guests, you can simply block it out on your calendar! Another bonus? You can have as little or as much interaction with your guests as you would like, making this the perfect side gig for introverts and extroverts alike.

Now that you know the basics of renting your space on Airbnb, here are a few do’s and don’ts for getting the most out of your listing.

For visuals sake, the following are pictures of our downstairs guest room… if any of you reading this have an eye for design, please give me your tips for sprucing up this space!

Do: Make the space as clean and comfortable as possible

Whether you hire a professional cleaner or do the deep cleaning yourself, it is vital that your space be spick and span, as it may reflect on both you and your Airbnb rating! (You would hate to walk into a hotel room to find used sheets, dust, and an un-vacuumed floor, so don’t expect that to fly with your guests.)

Don’t: Make the space a shrine to you or your family

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As you can see, we display A LOT of old family photos on the guest room dresser, which is obviously fine when our parents visit, but may not be the best when Airbnb guests are using the space!

Do: Spruce up your space

 Not the greatest shots/angles of our guest bathroom, but bear with me!

Not the greatest shots/angles of our guest bathroom, but bear with me!

A pretty shower curtain. Some art deco prints. A colorful bedspread. These little touches can add so much to a room (and are really affordable, if you look around!), and can make your guest’s experience all the more enjoyable!

Do: Add extra amenities

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As I previously mentioned, extra amenities are always a good thing in the world of Airbnb, so get creative with it! One idea: Our basement (where the guest bed and bathroom are located) has a really nice theater room, so I would advertise that as one of the perks of staying at our home.

As you can see, renting your space on Airbnb is a great way to make extra cash, so if you are comfortable with hosting, I highly recommend you look into it! (If one of your reservations is safety — as it would be with me — check out what Airbnb does to keep you, your home, and your guests safe.)

Now I want to hear from you: Would (or have) you host on Airbnb? Let me know in the comments!

How to Rent Your Room on Airbnb

New Data Shows Women Love Their Side Hustles and It’s Not All About the Money

Are you ready to have your minds BLOWN, Side Hustle Moms?

One of my friends from the fabulous Ruby Ribbon just contacted me about some amazing new data regarding three women-led gig economy startups and the results were not only fun, but seriously fascinating:

New Data Shows Women Love Their Side Hustles and It’s Not All About the Money 

“Women in the Gig Economy 2018” Reveals Women Value Flexibility, Income and Entrepreneurship

SAN FRANCISCO – Sept. 7, 2018 – A new survey of more than 1,000 women with side hustles reveals that the top three reasons women choose independent work are: flexibility (44 percent), income (38 percent) and entrepreneurship (25 percent). Commissioned by BabyQuip (www.babyquip.com), Ruby Ribbon (www.rubyribbon.com) and UrbanSitter (www.urbansitter.com) “Women in the Gig Economy 2018” provides an in-depth look at a cross section of women who make income working side hustles either as their sole source of income or as a complement to full time work. The findings show that the majority (95 percent) of women with side hustles find the work fulfilling and nearly a third (32 percent) say they plan to continue doing independent flexible work forever.

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The gig economy is steadily reshaping the workforce as evidenced by the May 2018 Gig Economy Index, which reported that roughly 40 percent of the U.S. workforce makes 40 percent of its income through gig work. “Women in the Gig Economy 2018” sought to examine the landscape as it pertains specifically to women who have chosen side hustles to earn supplementary or primary income. The resulting data creates a snapshot of how and why women gig in 2018.

Flexibility First

When asked why they choose to side hustle, “flexibility” was the most frequent answer, with 44 percent of women indicating it is one of the primary reasons.

More specifically, when rating how important various aspects of their gig economy work was to them, 65 percent of respondents indicated flexibility is “extremely important,” with another 30 percent saying it is “very important.”  In all, flexibility is important to 95 percent of respondents. What’s more, women with children under age 5 were more likely to select “more time with children” (54 percent), another form of flexibility, as the reason they gig.

“Even in an era of historically high employment, women are choosing a side hustle,” said Anna Zornosa, CEO of Ruby Ribbon. “In spite of the growing demand for full-time workers, these findings indicate that women are going to continue with their gig economy jobs, which offer them fulfillment and flexibility, as well as a satisfactory income.”

Income is Important

While flexibility is the leading reason women report they gig, income is a close second. Overall, 38 percent of women indicated they side hustle to “earn a good income.”  When asked to rate how much importance they place on various aspects of their side hustles, “earning money” was most likely to be rated “extremely important” (66 percent). 

More than half of respondents (54 percent) reported adding over $500 to their monthly household incomes through their side hustles. Most (57 percent) reported that their hourly earnings were below $20, with the balance (43 percent) reporting earning $20 or more per hour. Women were most likely to report they gigged between 5 and 9 hours a week.

Most women reported they are either “somewhat” satisfied (56 percent) or “extremely” satisfied (20 percent) with the money they earn. Only 12 percent of women report being dissatisfied with their earnings.  The survey found that women who have been doing this work for 3 or more years enjoy higher earnings, with 59 percent earning $500 or more and over a third (36 percent) earning over $999 per month.

Women most commonly report that they use their side hustle earnings to cover general household expenses like mortgage and rent, car payments and food costs. When considering only age, women in their 20s are the most likely age group to use earnings to pay off student loans and other debt, while women in their 50s and 60s are the most likely age groups to use side gig income to save for retirement.  The survey also found that most prefer to have an independent contractor relationship with the company that provides their side hustle opportunities (61 percent), rather than being traditional employees (12 percent).

“The gig economy appeals to women of all ages, and we’re not surprised  that the  ways they use their side hustle incomes differs by life stage,” said Fran Maier, Founder and CEO of BabyQuip. “What excites us is that they enjoy this kind of work and we are looking forward to creating great opportunities for them at any age or life stage.”

Entrepreneurship is Evolving 

Entrepreneurship was the third most popular answer (25 percent) to the question asking participants why they gig.  More than half of the women surveyed (58 percent) rated “build my own business” as being “very important” or “extremely important.”  

Additionally, respondents value the skills they are acquiring through their side hustles with 72 percent of women acquiring “customer service” skills and just under half learning various marketing skills, including sales (44 percent), marketing and advertising (43 percent), social media marketing (42 percent) and public relations (41 percent). 

“Side hustles aren’t new to women. Many were gigging before the term was ever coined,” said Lynn Perkins, CEO of UrbanSitter. “But with the availability of more robust gig platforms and marketplaces today, it is easier for women to find and succeed at side hustles that offer the flexibility and money they need, while also allowing them to acquire new professional skills and become entrepreneurs at any stage in life. It’s truly a winning proposition.”

For more detail on the survey and its finding you can see the full white paper entitled “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop Her Side Hustle: Women in the Gig Economy 2018” at each of the site’s newsrooms.

Download the white paper at  UrbanSitter, BabyQuip or Ruby Ribbon.

Download the infographic at UrbanSitter, BabyQuip, or Ruby Ribbon.

About BabyQuip

BabyQuip, formerly Babierge, is the leading baby gear rental service and marketplace serving traveling families visiting more than 250 destinations in the US and Canada. The company helps families pack light and travel happy by delivering and setting-up exceptionally clean, quality baby gear. As a branded multi-sided marketplace, the BabyQuip platform enables on-the-ground "Quality Providers" to build a solid business renting gear that they own. BabyQuip is backed by Startup Capital Ventures, Quake Capital, Rostrum Capital, The GWC Innovator Fund, the Stanford-StartX Fund and several angel investors. 

About Ruby Ribbon

Ruby Ribbon is an apparel company, focused on intimates, that sells its products nationwide through a technology-empowered network of Independent Stylists. True to its mission of supporting all women, Ruby Ribbon's award-winning intimate apparel and on-trend fashion are designed for comfort, style and fit. The company supports female entrepreneurship by enabling each Stylist to operate her own business. Ruby Ribbon is backed by investors, including Trinity Ventures, Mohr Davidow Ventures and DBL Partners.

About UrbanSitter

UrbanSitter is an app and website that’s making it easier than ever for parents to find, book and pay trusted childcare, from date nights to full-time care. Only UrbanSitter taps into a parent’s personal network to connect them with sitters of friends, co-workers, moms groups and parents from their kid’s school—to find a sitter they trust. With more than 1 million registered users in more than 50 cities, UrbanSitter is solving the childcare dilemma for families everywhere. The company is backed by Advance Venture Partners, Canaan Partners, DBL Investors, First Round Capital, Match Group - a division of IAC, Menlo Ventures, Rustic Canyon, Aspect Ventures, A-Grade Investments and several angel investors.

In case you missed it, I had the chance to speak with a few of these amazing mompreneurs, so please check out our interview with Ruby Ribbon’s Anna Zornosa here and BabyQuip’s Trish McDermott here.

Open An Tiny Online Boutique And Make Money With Kollectin

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post, meaning I may have received payment and/or free product in exchange for this post. That being said, I would never give my endorsement/recommendation for something I didn't absolutely love!

Being a mom to young kids is one of the happiest, most trying, and most expensive times in our lives. 

We ooze pride when our 2-year-old sings their ABCs or counts to 10 for the first time.

We heavily sigh when we sit down for the first time all day, just to hear screams and cries of "mommy!" coming from down the hall.

We cringe every time we go to Costco and spend $100+ on JUST diapers, pull-ups, and wipes.

It's a tough job, ladies... but let me just say that you are rocking it! 

Despite the days with (in my case) an almost 5-year-old and 2-year-old being so long, I feel incredibly blessed to be able to stay home with my boys and work around their schedules; it is something that I will never take for granted, as I know there are millions of moms out there who yearn to stay home with their babies.

According to a recent study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the estimated cost of raising a child from 0 to 18 is a whopping $233,610, which does not even include the cost of a college tuition! With the cost of raising just one child nearly a quarter-of-a-million dollars, it is no wonder why so many moms who want to stay home have to work, and it is also why I am so thankful to learn about and partner with companies like Kollectin!

kollectin app boutique

What is Kollectin? Kollectin is an innovative fashion tech startup geared to empower women and help them flaunt their style and individuality while making money and allowing them to be their own Girl Boss. 

If you have been around my corner of the web for awhile, you know that I have experimented with both selling on eBay and Amazon, which -- while potentially lucrative -- also proved to be stressful in shopping for inventory (not to mention coming up with the money to purchase your inventory), keeping track of overhead, running back and forth to the post office, and so on. 

This is where the beauty of Kollectin comes in: You don't have to spend tons of money to make money (unless you decide to keep product on hand, in which case you buy the jewelry at wholesale price and sell it at retail!) OR go through the hassle of stocking your own tiny boutique, as Kollectin — with no cost, no subscription — does all the work for you! 

How does Kollectin work? With their Tiny Boutique Box program, you get to pick and choose the jewelry you love, and manage everything with a couple of swipes of your phone: keep for yourself, sell, or send back and get something new. It's that simple.

Are you the girl who loves to experiment with new looks and accessories? 

Kollectin is for you.

Does your tribe consider you to be the group fashionista? 

Kollectin is for you.

Are you a busy stay-at-home mom, college student, or side hustler looking to make a little extra money each month?

You see where I am going with this, right? 

Even if you are not in the market to make extra money (if that is even a thing), Kollectin is a fabulous platform, as they partner with numerous designers to bring you not only the hottest looks, but special pricing and deals, rewards, and style inspiration. 

"Whether you are a girlfriend or an Influencer, you get to choose your favorite jewelry designs and build a virtual store to promote them."

Now for the million dollar question: Just how does one build their own tiny boutique... through an app? 

When you first log in to the app, you are asked to create your own style profile, which may sound daunting (it did to me, at least), but is actually really fun, as you get to browse through numerous necklaces, rings, bracelets, and earrings, and decide which pieces best fit your style!

Here are a few of my picks:

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Totally fab, right?! 

Once you have chosen your favorites, your tiny boutique has been established, meaning you can enjoy a discount on your chosen pretties OR invite your friends to shop your collection! 

(As I previously mentioned, when you make a purchase through the app, you not only receive some of the newest styles, but special deals, pricing, and rewards as well.)

When your friends purchase? You receive a generous commission! So cool, right? 

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Whether you are a busy mom, broke college student, fashionista, or influencer, be sure to check out Kollectin! (Psst... Christmas is coming and EVERYONE could use some pretty new earrings or a chic handbag ;) 

To apply to be one of Kollectin's first influencers, simply fill out their application/survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/X9D5T5G

The Kollectin App is currently available on both iPhone and Android

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