More Than Just a Generation: How to Use Form Builders Across the Buyer's Journey (featuring Laura Renner from Freedom Makers)
Freedom Makers' very own, Laura Renner, spoke on a JotForm and Xverify Webinar. In case you could not watch it live, here is the recorded webinar.
By Laura Renner
Virtual work is a growing field and nothing new to the business world. Despite this fact, people are still intimidated and hesitant to take the leap into hiring a virtual person to help their business. There are pros and cons to hiring an employee and a virtual assistant (VA). It is important to weigh them both and see what is the best fit for your business. But if you are a small business owner or entrepreneur who is finding themselves working on the weekends or in the evenings, a VA might be the right solution that is cost effective and beneficial for your business’ growth.
By Laura Renner
Freedom Makers has been admitted to the newest San Francisco cohort of WeWork Veterans in Residence powered by Bunker Labs. We are excited for this opportunity to help improve and grow our business, so that we can continue to support small business owners while also creating portable work opportunities for military spouses. Through our participation in this program, we aim to improve our operations and scalability, ensuring we give our clients and Freedom Makers even better experiences with us.
After just the first day last week, we came away with new marketing ideas and opportunities, met partners who can help us streamline operations, started to get to know each other, and learned about our membership with WeWork. We even met Todd Connor, the founder of Bunker Labs. The first day was inspiring and motivating. We are excited for what is in store!
By Laura Renner
Don’t you just love this time of year? The holidays has everyone out and about. People are gifting and smiling just a little more. Yes, the end of the year can bring a certain amount of stress for a small business owner. There are details to tend to and things to wrap up before starting fresh on January 1. But if you are able, I encourage you to slow down for just a minute at some point and create your highlight reel from this past year.
One of my favorite things as a kid--and still to this day--about the end of December is the myriad of highlight reels you see on the news, sports channels, and in publications. My personal favorite was always the sports blooper reel from the past year. Nothing like watching million dollar sports stars drop a ball in some crazy way or somersault over a teammate bringing them back down to human status. These reels are a great way to remember all the greatness of the past year. Yes, there is always tragedy and unhappy things that happen in a year, but the highlight reels showcase the successes and the awesomeness of the year.
I encourage you to take stock and share with your team and clients the awesomeness of your past year. Here at Freedom Makers, we have compiled our highlight reel to share with you. 2018 was a growing year for us and many of our goals were realized and surpassed. Sure, there are things we still need to work on, but today and over the next couple of weeks, we will showcase our highlights.
By Laura Renner
In honor of Veterans Day, I wanted to take a moment to share my journey to becoming a small business owner. I grew up in the military as my father served in the Army. My mom even worked on post, so all I knew was the military way of life growing up. Shortly after turning 18, I entered the Air Force Academy where I went on to become a Public Affairs officer in the Air Force and served for 6 years.
I became attracted to the business world and the other side of American life. So after 6 years, I decided to attend business school in Chicago. One thing I had heard about veterans entering the business world is that they lacked business context and business contacts. My goal was to gain business context through business school. And I did. But when I graduated, the truth is I did not have the contacts as I had lived all over with no true roots.
By Jenny Boyles
Last month, Laura was featured on Smack Happy’s Videocast where she discussed figuring out what to delegate in a small business. And then once you have decided what needs to be delegated, she talked about creating a system to fulfill those tasks. The full videocast can be found here.
By Taylor Matzelle, Freedom Maker
Never in a million years did I think I would be living this lifestyle. I mean seriously, who actually dreams of marrying an active-duty Marine where you will be forced to spend limitless time apart? Not me. Way back when, in the summer of 2008, I had decided to head east to the beaches of Emerald Isle to serve cocktails and beer at the infamous beach bar, The Emerald Club. I was not expecting to find my forever love. I was there to save money to pay back the thousands I owed in college tuition. I was not aware that this particular place was the go-to-hang out for our American heroes stationed at Camp Lejeune. I remember asking a co-worker how she knew which customers were Marines and ones that were just there on vacation? I remember the laughter because she was completely blown away that I did not even notice the traditional haircuts that they all seemed to be rocking. From then on out I was schooled on how to spot a Marine from a mile away.
Fast-forward to 2011 and I married my active-duty Marine and chose to put my career on the backburner and focus on his career and our future family. This was all by choice because I could have pursued my dreams and goals but living this life of changing locations every two-three years is not for the faint of heart. Trying to find a new job after every move, keeping up with credentials, and the costs of childcare was overwhelming.
If only I had known then what I know now I would have joined Freedom Makers a lot sooner. Two words. Virtual Assistant. Being a Virtual Assistant is the absolute dream job for a military spouse. I am able to work from the comfort of my home while caring for my three-year-old son and also my six-year-old when he’s out of school for holidays or summer break. It’s the best of both worlds. I wanted the ability to stay home and be the best mother and wife possible but at the same time, I wanted something for myself to help me continue to grow as a person. This is it. It motivates and challenges me to keep growing and gives me something of my own. I’ll never regret my decision to stay home with my kids while they are little, but I must admit that it is nice to have a job that forces me to go outside my comfort zone and keeps my brain flowing.
By Libby Jamison, MSJDN Past President
The Military Spouse J.D. Network (MSJDN) is a bar association for military spouses in the legal profession. Founded in 2011, it supports over 1,200 military spouse attorneys by advocating for licensing accommodations for military spouse attorneys; educating the public about the challenges faced by career-minded military spouses and their families; encouraging the hiring of military spouses; and providing a network connecting military spouse attorneys with each other and their supporters.
MSJDN would not exist without the dedication of our volunteers - from Board members to committee leaders to project managers, volunteer power has made MSJDN the successful organization it is today. But as we have grown in size and scope, the administrative burden on our volunteers has grown as well. One of our goals has been to offer MSJDN members meaningful volunteer opportunities like pro bono legal work, regulatory and legislative advocacy experience, and project development to help them gain experience, build their resumes, and maybe fill a gap between jobs. We don’t want to bog down our volunteers with some of the necessary administrative work that keeps MSJDN running. When it became clear that the administrative tasks were becoming overwhelming, we sought out options for help, which is when we contacted Freedom Makers to find out more about virtual assistants. Initially, there was some opposition to the idea. We decided to try a test period and ultimately, continued with the program, which has been a critical development in building a sustainable non-profit organization.
By Laura Renner
Mel Austin owns Laugh 2 Success, a stand up comedy and entertainment company. His company provides comedy out into the community, in places like churches, school assemblies, senior homes, military organizations, and hospitals. They also offer Squeaky Clean Comedy at Dave & Busters throughout southern California. Mel’s company works with more than 200 comedians and other entertainers to perform at these shows.
In November 2017, Mel attended a presentation about our Set It and Forget It Systems A Set It and Forget It System is a simple tool for business owners to implement, allowing them to be more efficient and to eventually delegate.
Intro by Laura Renner
Blog by Sharmin Romero
As most of you know, we are a virtual assistant business that finds meaningful, flexible, and virtual employment for military spouses around the globe. Because we are stretched throughout the world, it is rare that I actually have the opportunity to meet our Freedom Makers in-person. However, every once in a while they will swing through my neck of the woods and we can meet. And when these in-person meet-ups occur, I am reaffirmed that Freedom Makers is comprised of some amazing people. I invite you to read Sharmin Romero's blog below about her take on our in-person meeting and what she thinks about Freedom Makers.