All Posts By

Stephanie O'Neal


3 Ways To Redeem Your Day After Snapping At Your Kids

You’re with your kids and they’re being kids, maybe being a little too wild or a little loud ... but, for all practical purposes, not doing anything wrong other than just being kids.

And yet, you lose your cool.


Surely I can’t be the only mama who occasionally snaps at her children when they aren’t doing anything wrong. Maybe it’s because you’re having a bad day, you don’t feel good, or your internal temperature has been building over a day full of small, insignificant mess-ups; but, for some reason, you finally lose your cool and take it out on your kids.

This is something that mamas deal with in their day-to-day life but I would wager that it doesn’t make you feel any better after the fact knowing that other mamas are dealing with the same thing. All of a sudden, you’ve lost it and you look up to see little faces slack with astonishment, guilt, and sadness and you feel like the most rotten mama on the planet.

Like I tell my kids often, mamas make mistakes too, and the way to handle it is the same as how you tell your kids to handle their mistakes…apologize and move on doing better. But sometimes, as an adult, we’re bogged down with guilt and it’s hard for us to move ourselves past the place of blame. Today, I want to share a few ways that I’ve found as good options to redeem your day after you snap.

3 Ways To Redeem Your Day After Snapping At Your Kids - Jenn Elwell
Ask for forgiveness

As mamas we need to remind our kids that we mess up just like they do. A great way to do that is to get down on their level and make a heartfelt apology. Speak some truth in their lives by reminding them that you make mistakes and specifically ask for them to forgive you for your current one. Remind them of the truth of the situation (whether they were making a mistake or not) and talk about how  you handled it the incorrect way and how you can handle it better the next time. If you want to take it a step further, you can also pray for God’s forgiveness out loud with them so they can see an example of your relationship with God as well.

Throw a dance party

Once the forgiveness is given (and my kids aren’t quick to forgive and forget!),  you want to take some time to reset the mood in your house. I’ve found that a great way to do this is to throw an impromptu dance party. Put on some music that everyone loves to dance to (Can’t Stop The Feeling, anyone?) and get your groove on. Your kids will probably giggle at you making a fool of yourself and a little exercise will get endorphins flowing through you and your kids to help you all feel better.

Spend some time snuggling

Once you’ve gotten some of your pent-up energy out, take a few minutes to snuggle with each kiddo and remind them how much you love them. Whether it’s by telling them you’ll read each of them one book of their choosing or just a quick hug and kiss repeating your favorite love mantra, take some time to reconnect with each of them and reestablish your familial bonds. I’m of the opinion that you can never tell someone that you love them too often so take a second to remind your kids of the truth of your love.


3 Ways To Redeem Your Day After Snapping At Your Kids - Jenn Elwell

And after you’ve asked for forgiveness and reset the tone in your house, move on!

Just like God throws your sins “as far as the east is from the west,” so should you. Don’t let one mistake ruin a perfectly good day.

You’ve taken the time to think about how you can handle yourself better next time so now forgive yourself and continue with your day.


Mamapreneur 101 | How To Create A Client Persona

Last week I talked about why it’s important to create a client persona for your business. If you missed the post on why you need a client persona, go back and read it in case you’re not sure if you really need one.

But today I want to share some ways that you can narrow down a client persona in a way that will really help your business.


Physical Attributes

When you’re creating a client persona the easiest place to start is with their physical profile. Envision what your ideal client physically looks like and start writing it down. You’ll include everything from his or her gender to age to hair color. Think about how you see your ideal client and write down every small nugget of information that you can find.

  • Here’s a hint from my upcoming client mini-course: write each letter of the alphabet on a piece of paper and try to come up with an attribute for each letter.

Some of you might be wanting to skip this step because you’re thinking either that you’re stereotyping your clients or that physical attributes don’t matter, but I want to ask you to stop and think about this for a second. How will you know if the people who you include in images related to your brand are people who your ideal client identifies with if you don’t know what your client looks like? People, whether good or bad, like to see themselves reflected in the advertising and marketing for the things that they buy. So, if you’re not sure what your ideal client looks like, you won’t be able to create images that they identify with.

If you feel like you really can’t narrow down the physical attributes of your ideal client into one persona, then consider making no more than three ideal clients and giving each of them physical characteristics. You would assume in this situation that their other attributes are the same and it’s just their physical attributes that differ. When you’re running through ideal client scenarios in your head, you would just envision these few clients as best friends and consider them as a group.


Mamapreneur 101 | How To Create A Client Persona - Jenn Elwell

Relational Attributes

After you have identified the physical attributes of your ideal client, move one to the relational attributes. The types of things you want to identify with these are what your client’s family looks like, who they associate with, and how they interact with other people.

  • Another hint from my upcoming client mini-course: write down the numbers 0 through 15 and come up with an attribute for each number (for example, 3 kids or 15 hours of work a week.)

When you’re thinking about the relationships that your ideal client has, don’t forget to think of their relationships outside of their immediate family. This might include their parents, siblings, best friends, acquaintances at their child’s school, or work relationships. You’re thinking through all of these things to help you build a more rounded picture of your ideal client.


Location Attributes

Another area of your ideal client that you want to consider is their location. Where they live in the country will determine not only their climate and seasons but also what kind of topics are generally discussed and what extra’s like sports or activities they are involved in.

  • My hint from my upcoming client mini-course for this set of attributes is to draw 5-10 concentric circles and describe the locations of your client in each of those circles moving further and further away from your client.

You not only want to focus on your client’s physical location, but also their online location when you’re thinking about “location.” Which social media sites does your client frequent and what do they use to check their email? Are they even on some social media sites? All of this information will help you narrow down your marketing strategies as you work to find and connect with your ideal client.

Hopefully these three areas will help you create your client persona in a way that is natural and helpful. I’ve found client persona’s to be one of the most simplifying things that I’ve done in my business. Once I had a very detailed client persona, it became easy to filter every decision based on whether it would appeal to my ideal client or not.

Don’t worry about excluding people when you come up with your client persona! Unless you choose to share the information, no one will ever know what your ideal client looks like. And much of your content will attract not only your ideal client but also those who share some similar attributes.





Superhero Mamapreneur

My kids are all about superheroes these days. It’s not unusual to see them sitting on the counter, find books about them spread on the floor, or open the door to find a full-scale battle going on in a bedroom. They can’t get enough of the ‘good vs. bad’ storyline. And since the superhero always wins, I think it’s a great way to expand their imagination.

Superhero Mamapreneur - Jenn Elwell


As these images have shown up constantly in my everyday life, I began to think about the traits that the superheroes are displaying.

When you read through these traits, you’ll notice that you already embody a lot of them! I identified with a majority of these qualities right off the bat – I was amazed at how little being a superhero had to do with the supernatural abilities and how much it had to do with the everyday personality traits that are within all of us.



What do superheroes have to do with us?

As mamapreneurs, not only are we ‘Super-Mamas’ day in and day out, but we can learn a lot from them about how to succeed in business. Think I’m reaching a little far? Let’s look at some common characteristics that almost every superhero embodies.

Superhero Mamapreneur - Jenn Elwell

  • They Choose a Territory to Protect or a Focus to Deal With

Each superhero has chosen an area to be responsible for…whether it’s the city they live in, fighting off a certain type of villain, or protecting a certain type of people, each hero knows their role in the universe.
Likewise, as mamapreneurs, we should narrow down the purpose of our business to one thing and then spend our time thriving in it instead of trying to master a variety of different areas.


  • They All Have an Origin Story That is Unique

You can probably name the birthplaces of a handful of superheroes right now without putting much thought into it. One thing that makes superheroes so interesting is that they each have their own story which is totally unique to them. Whether bitten by a spider, sent to our planet from their home planet, or simply decided to use their skills for the good, each hero has a story that allows others to relate, appreciate, and identify with them.

Each mamapreneur should also have her own origin story for her business and it should and will differ from anyone else’s. By embracing what makes us different, we can all find a place in the business world.


  • They Lead by Example

While the bad guys continue to emerge and resurge from the hidden underbelly of the superhero world, the superheroes are the ones setting the tone for others.

Like them, we mamapreneurs are not only setting an example for our little ones, but for our customers as well. In a small business, you are the face of your business – the way you act and present yourself in public is how customers will view your business. So we should strive to set a positive tone in not only our home, but also in our business.


  • They Don’t All Have Superhuman Abilities

There are superheroes out there who can do amazing things with supernatural abilities, but some of them are just dedicated people who are resolved to make the world a better place.

Designing stationery, planning weddings, or selling insurance might not take superhuman abilities, but by showing up day in and day out, we’re demonstrating that we have extremely strong human abilities!


  • They All Have a System That Supports Their Greatness

Whether it’s someone back at home base creating new high-tech gadgets, someone watching their back from the sky, or a sidekick helping them out while they’re fighting, most superheroes have a community of support behind them.

Just like them, we should also build a support team around our business. This can mean everyone from professionals, like CPAs and lawyers, to your assistant or designer. Having a strong team surrounding you only increases the quality of your work and helps you not get so burnt out in the day-to-day upkeep of your business.


  • They See Their Gift as a Calling to do Something Heroic

No matter what your business is, mamapreneurs are doing heroic things. By showing kindness to strangers, we are encouraging others. By being vulnerable with our peers, we are showing others that it’s ok to be authentic. By working hard, we’re letting our children know that both dads and moms can work hard and enjoy their work. Your gift is a calling to do something heroic every day … Even if the only heroic thing you can do is to show up.

Superhero Mamapreneur - Jenn Elwell

How to be more of a superhero every day??

Since I’ve now convinced you that you’re actually a superhero, I want us to think about how we can be more of a superhero every day. Think of ways that you can go above and beyond when you’re dealing with clients…0r take a few minutes to send an email praising someone on your team and their work.

You are a superhero Mamapreneur and I want you to recognize and embrace it!


P.S. Another great way to embrace your superhero-ness is by applying to be a Mamapreneur Mentor!


Mamapreneur 101: Why You Need a Client Persona

When you’re just starting your business, you want to make any sale that you can get. Your mom wants something that you don’t currently offer? No problem, you can add it. Your friend needs something customized when you don’t offer customization? That’s fine! You bend over backwards to make any sale you can get and you’re excited about each and every one. But have you ever thought about how doing this sets your business up for failure?

Mamapreneur 101: Why You Need a Client Persona - Jenn Elwell


You’ve heard the phrase “an inch deep and a mile wide” and, when you are selling to the entire world, that’s what your business is like.

In trying to sell to everyone – you are actually selling to no one.

    • No one is being drawn to your brand because they identify with you.
    • Repeat customers are few and they’re rarely for the same product or service.
    • And your focus is pulled in a million different directions every day.


Mamapreneur 101: Why You Need a Client Persona - Jenn Elwell

Your business is not moving forward, but spreading thin.


The solution to moving away from selling to everyone is to create a client persona who embodies the only type of person to whom you are selling. This puts your business in a niche market selling to one type of person.


You must get specific with your client persona in order for this to work but, once you have a detailed persona created, all of a sudden your marketing becomes second nature. The time that you were spending trying to please everyone is now spent pleasing your dream clients that are paying you to do exactly what you want to do.




As an example, I’m going to share my client persona for Mama’s Black Book with you. While I’ve decided to pursue other projects right now, due to the amount of work the magazine required, I still have a very clear picture of who the magazine was for.

Mamapreneur 101: Why You Need a Client Persona - Jenn Elwell

       click to enlarge

Do you see how specific I got with my client persona?

Not only does she have an age and a general location but I know what kinds of products she loves to shop for, what brands she wears regularly, and the type of dog that she has!

I am the expert on Analise and being the expert on her makes my marketing decisions incredibly easy…

Should I promote MBB on YouTube?

– No, Analise doesn’t visit it.

Should the pdf version of the magazine be laid out in a full spread or single page?

– Single page, because Analise usually reads it on her iPad and she wants to focus on one page at a time.


Knowing exactly who I’m selling to not only makes my job easier but influences all of the smaller decisions regarding my product. I’m able to choose packaging, distribution avenues, colors, and more simply by knowing the type of person Analise is.


If you don’t currently have a detailed client persona written down, I encourage you to sit down today and create one. Get as detailed as you can about him or her. You’re going to find that knowing the exact type of person that you are selling to makes it infinitely easier to make decisions about your business. And you can be reassured knowing that creating a client persona doesn’t mean that you can’t sell to buyers that don’t fit your “ideal client” makeup, but it means that everything that you do as a business will attract the kind of clients that you want to get and keep in your business.


What I Learned From My Tax Audit

You’ve been selected for a tax audit” is a scary sentence for a mamapreneur to hear on the phone….and I heard it a month ago. Luckily for me, my local sales tax office chose someone who is terrified of getting in trouble so I had (almost all of) my ducks already in a row. But I was still terrified to get audited and as the big day drew closer, my nerves only intensified.

 * Please note: Some links in this post are affiliate links because I want to share the products that are helpful in my business. These links are denoted with an * before the link and do not cost you anything extra but might provide me with a small percentage of the sale if you were to purchase.


Mamapreneur 101: How To Survive A Tax Audit - Jenn Elwell


Now that my audit is over I want to share some of my newfound knowledge with you. I’ll dig deeper into the “to do’s” in a later post, but this week let me tell you what I learned from my audit and how it’s changing the way I run my business.

Mamapreneur 101: How To Survive A Tax Audit - Jenn Elwell

  • They aren’t out to get you

So often auditors are painted in a negative light but I was pleasantly surprised to find not only a kind and understanding auditor, but one who told me from the beginning that her department was not concerned with raising funds but with making sure businesses were compliant. Just like having a business license protects you, so does having tax auditors. My local office wants to audit businesses regularly so that they can catch any errors before the fines, fees, and costs skyrocket. And my auditor explained the selection process to me and it sounds like it really is a random selection.

  • An accounting program and an accountant made my audit so much easier

I have an accountant who handles my annual taxes in addition to being a place of reference when I have questions. I also use *Quickbooks for my accounting which has an extensive report repository to pull from. Because I use both of these, gathering my information for my audit was fairly painless. Yes, I did have to print out a number of reports that I hadn’t been printing during my EOM bookkeeping previously, but, in all, gathering the information took no more than a couple of hours. And when I had a question about a form, my accountant was able to quickly email me exactly what I needed.

  • The tax office is an easy source for reliable answers

While myself, and hopefully everyone else that you read about online, works hard to try to provide you with accurate information, there is always the possibility of human error. In addition to that, the tax laws for your city could vary greatly from the tax laws in mine, so what I advise you to do may not have any application where you live. I found that my auditor was not only willing to answer questions about the correct ways to do things but also volunteered to pull specific codes for me and explain them to me so that I could understand exactly how to stay in compliance. I know it seems scary to call the tax office and you could be afraid that you would trigger an audit, but they really do just want to help you do everything right – and no one will be able to answer your questions better than the one who could find all the ways you’re doing it wrong.

Mamapreneur 101: How To Survive A Tax Audit - Jenn Elwell

Overall, my sales tax audit was practically painless. I did discover a few ways that I was unintentionally reporting incorrectly but they are easy fixes to modify as I go forward in my business.  I’m now confident that I’m keeping my books correctly which gives me an incredible peace of mind!



Mamapreneur 101: Frequently Asked Questions About Business Licenses

Mamapreneurs often wonder if they really need a business license to conduct their business. Last week I addressed whether or not you need a business license and the answer is in almost all cases “Yes, you do.” But there are some other frequently asked questions about business licenses that I want to address today.


Mamapreneur 101: Frequently Asked Questions About Business Licenses


Do I need a business license to sell on Etsy?

Yes. Etsy does not require you to have a business license to comply with their terms of service, but your local governing agencies typically require you to have a business license to do business in their jurisdiction. So even if you are only selling on Etsy and never in your city, you will likely be required by your local government to have a business license.


Do I need a business if I resell my own stuff (examples: eBay, Poshmark, etc)?

Reselling your own property for a loss potentially means that you don’t need a business license. But that changes if you start making a profit on your sales, purchase items with the sole intent to sell it on the platform, or resell property for a profit. In that case, you will typically need a business license.


Do I need a business license if I am only selling online?

Yes. While you may or may not need to set up sales tax reporting if you are only selling online, your local government most likely requires you to have a business license when you are operating a business in their jurisdiction whether or not you are selling in person to those in the area.

Mamapreneur 101: Frequently Asked Questions About Business Licenses


How much do business licenses usually cost?

Business license fees are determined by each governing authority so the cost can vary. Typical costs are usually no less than $50. Some areas have a flat business license fee regardless of what type of business you are running. Others will charge based on your revenue and the type of business you’re operating.


How soon should I get a business license when I start a business?

A business license is generally required as soon as you start selling products so it’s ideal that you purchase a business license within the month that you start your business. If you wait to purchase a license you might be responsible for fees back to the original start date of your business.


Do I need a business license to sell as part of a market or trade show?

For markets in the area where you live, you will most likely be required to have a business license. For markets and shows outside of your normally licensed area, you should check with the market organizer to find out the requirements. Sometimes these types of events procure a license for all out of area shops and include part of the cost of the license in your application fee for the show. Organizers will be able to answer those questions, and if they can’t then you shouldn’t be partnering with the organization because you can’t be sure that they are operating legally.


I don’t sell products but only provide a service, do I need a business license?

Yes, no matter what you’re selling, if you’re operating a business you need a business license. [Sales tax may be a different issue but that’s for another day.]


How long does a business license usually last?

In general, a business license will typically be good through the remainder of the governing body’s operating year and then will need to be renewed annually.


How long does it usually take to get a business license?

The actual process of getting a license will vary based on your location but, when I went down to my city offices, it only took about 15 minutes.


Do I need a Federal Employer Identification Number to get a business license?

If you are a sole proprietor then you won’t need an EIN to get a business license because you will be running your business off of your social security number. If you are a different type of entity, you are mostly likely required to have an EIN for operation which would make it required for a business license.


I conduct business in several cities, do I have to get a business license in each city?

Yes, if you have a physical place of business (brick and mortar store) or run a business in multiple municipalities regularly, then you will likely need a business license in each of those areas.

Mamapreneur 101: Frequently Asked Questions About Business LicensesHow could the city find my business if I only sell online?

Governing entities use multiple resources to find businesses that are not abiding by their laws. If you have identified yourself anywhere online (social media, Etsy, Facebook profile, etc.), it would be very easy for them to find your business and notify you that you are not in compliance. Most governing bodies don’t have the time, manpower, or money to search out every small business but, if they happen to run across yours, you could be in trouble. If that’s the case, not only may you be liable for back licenses fees but your could also be required to pay penalties and they could deny your request to get a business license.


Must I have a business license if I’m not turning a profit?

Yes, you’re running a business even if you’re not turning a profit so you will need a business license.


If I have multiple businesses but they are all run from one address, do I need a separate business license for each business?

You should check with your local governing agency but in some cases you might be able to only have one business license and be operating multiple DBAs (“doing business as” businesses) from the one business license.





** Please remember that I am not a financial or legal advisor. All information that I offer is based on my own experience and is not to be taken as a replacement for consulting a financial or legal professional. Remember that all advice, articles, and education that you see online pertains to a specific type of business in a specific environment and you should always consult with someone familiar with the laws, guidelines, and best practices of your industry as well as being familiar with your individual company and area.