Common Mistakes to Avoid as an Entrepreneur

Starting a business can be one of the most challenging and liberating endeavors someone can undertake. Many people dream of being their own boss, but it can be difficult to start a company from the ground up and successfully scale it into an efficient, lucrative operation. When starting a business, it is exceptionally important to avoid the common pitfalls that can plague entrepreneurs by following the tips outlined below. 

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Best Practices For A Marriage: 5 Tips For Dealing With The In-Laws

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Some people like their in-laws. Some of us win the lottery, and get on with our significant other's family just as well (if not better) than we get along with our own. For everyone else, though, getting along with the in-laws can be tough. In some cases it can be downright Herculean. If you're not one of the blessed few who have common ground with your in-laws, then you should keep this list of tips in mind. Especially around the holidays.

By the way, if you need some support on your marriage, I offer a free call to help you clarify things- schedule it here!

5 Tips For Dealing With The In-Laws

Tip #1: Set Boundaries

This can be awkward, but sometimes the best thing to do is to sit down with your in-laws, and talk about your boundaries for you, your significant other, and any children you have. Be reasonable, and keep things light, but make sure you communicate clearly what you expect, and what you need from your in-laws. This might lead to some head-butting, especially if you have grandparents who want to spoil your little ones, but it's also the best way to get results. Remember, you're all adults here, and you should be able to solve things just by talking them out among yourselves.

Ideally, anyway.

Tip #2: Take Time For Yourself

If you get along well with your in-laws, then being with them might feel refreshing. Just like spending time with good friends. However, if you have to stay on your guard all the time, that can quickly sap your strength. Remember to take a break, and to catch your breath. When you feel your reserves getting low, it might be time to take a nap, go run some errands, or get lunch with some friends. Whatever you do, make sure it will relax you. The key to making sure you can deal with your in-laws is to never let the pressure get higher than you can take. That's how fights start.

Tip #3: Prepare

An ounce of preparation is worth a pound of cure, or so the old saying goes. When it comes to dealing with your in-laws, this is astonishingly true.

You know them. You know what causes arguments, and you know what smooths things over. So, before you spend any time with them, do some preparation. Maybe that means planning a family meal so you can all spend the evening together to start off the get-together on a high note. Maybe it means taking a day or so for yourself so you'll be ready to handle the pressure of spending time with this part of your family. Think of it like stretching before a workout; you're less likely to hurt yourself if you go in prepared for what's coming.

Tip #4: Make Sure You And Your Spouse Are On The Same Page

Coping with your in-laws can be hard. Coping with them alone can be an impossible task. So make sure you sit down with your significant other, and talk about what you need from them. Don't make it about you versus your in-laws, because that can lead to hurt feelings all around. Instead, make sure your spouse knows what you need from them, and that you both agree on how to handle certain situations. You need to be a collaborative unit, instead of working separately.

Tip #5: Don't Take Them Personally

Your in-laws are just people. Sometimes their comments, habits, or way of being might be abrasive, or exhausting, but you need to ask when it's being directed at you, personally, and when it's just how they are. Because a lot of the time, it may have nothing to do with you, and everything to do with them. And if it's their problem, you shouldn't stress yourself by making it your problem.

Tips for Blended Families Celebrating Thanksgiving

By Sylvia Cochran

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Are you combining your spouse’s children with yours this Thanksgiving? His/Her, mine and ours is not always a recipe for blissful success.

Instead, there is a good chance that underlying emotional currents will make this Thanksgiving meal memorable for all the wrong reasons. Celebrating a grace-filled Thanksgiving takes a lot of effort on your part — but it is well worth it.

By the way, if you need some support on your marriage, I offer a free call to help you clarify things- schedule it here!

Recognize That You Are the Norm

The University of Houston reveals sobering and enlightening step-parenting statistics. Figures show that 50 percent of youngsters are currently raised in blended families. This dynamic is quickly eclipsing all other types of family setups. A somewhat surprising statistic points out that over 50% of second/third marriages that end in divorce are caused by the children. It is clear that children have a lot of influence on family dynamics. Holidays — including Thanksgiving — are prime time for stress and strife. 

Recognize Why Kids Can’t “Just” Fit In

There are feelings of betrayed loyalty and the fear of betraying a biological parent’s allegiance. There are new family members to get to know and adapt to. Competition between half siblings is common. Thanksgiving traditions vary. Holiday customs are different and beloved tasks may go by the wayside in a new family. 

Recognize That Taking Vows United You and Your Spouse, Not You and the Children

You new wife may have promised to love, honor and obey; your new husband may have sworn to cleave unto you until death do us part, but your step children have taken no such vows. They are simply along for the ride. Do not expect them to live up to your vows — after all, they were left holding the bag the first time around. If your spouse is a serial-marriage partner, there is even less of a chance that the children might willingly give their hearts.

So What’s the Step Parent To Do At Thanksgiving?

What tools does a step parent need?

Practice applied Christianity. Treat the stepchildren the way you want to be treated. If you want respect, treat the children — regardless of age — with respect. Christ’s Golden Rule is clear: Model the desired behavior. Of course, note that Jesus did not specify an amount of time for another person to reciprocate; in fact, he left the reciprocation blank. Instead, Christ intended for you to be exemplary — no matter what.

Be comfortable in your role. You will never be a new mom or dad. The kids already have one. Do not demand to be called mom or dad; do not refer to the bio-parent as real mom or other mom. A step parent has a different rank in the familial hierarchy than a parent; do not try to aspire to a seat of honor that is not yours to occupy. Instead, flesh out your role of step parent as a positive influence on — and provider of care to — the children.

Become unified with your spouse. Present the kids with a united front when it comes to acceptable and unacceptable behaviors, consequences and expectations.

Start new traditions. Do not try to compete with the bio-parent at Thanksgiving. Whether you are in a custodial or non-custodial position, remember that the old traditions mean a lot to the kids. Start your own, so as to differentiate your home from the other parent’s residence. There is no need to one-up the mom or dad.

Respect the other parent. Go out of your way to defer to the other parent. Children will feel more comfortable with you, if they realize that liking you will not in any way jeopardize their loyalty to their mom or dad.

Do not expect Rockwell. You knew ahead of time that you were entering into a blended family situation. Do not (now) bemoan the unfairness of having to hold up your plans and dreams to accommodate a court-ordered visitation schedule. Do not rebel when the children fail to sit at the table with bright eyes that gaze adoringly at you as you present the turkey. This is rarely the case for nuclear families and is made more difficult for blended families, where intense likes and dislikes create an emotional undertow.

 With God’s grace, it is possible to make it through the holiday season in general and Thanksgiving in particular. Just remember: God’s grace was meant to be shared and freely given away — not demanded for oneself and then hidden from prying eyes.

 Source:

University of Houston; https://prtl.uhcl.edu/portal/page/portal/SOE/Programs/COUNSELING_MS/Counseling_Resources/Files/BlendedFamilies.pdf