In January this year I sat in the back of a bumpy Landrover in South Africa and blatantly eavesdropped on a conversation between my adopted brother and one of my dearest online friends. Crystal Paine from Money Saving Mom was brainstorming a hundred different business ideas with my little brother, Karabo. He was relentless in his creativity and he peppered her with the kinds of questions I wouldn’t even have thought to ask.

They are entrepreneur soul-mates. And it was fascinating to listen to how their minds worked.

Karabo has always had an eye for a business opportunity and Crystal is a self-confessed idea junkie, so the two of them pretty much tuned the rest of us and the animals out for a good chunk of the morning as they pretty much geeked out on business ideas.

Pretty much all the photos from that trip included Crystal deep in conversation with someone about shared dreams and big ideas for future enterprises. Well, that and coffee. Coffee on the back of the landrover also got her pretty excited.

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She is a perpetual listener and learner. I was always amazed at how in the midst of all the heat and chaos and agenda she was able to tune everything out and focus in on one person and their story. And then offer practical advice from her own story.

And Crystal’s story is unique. Make no mistake. Her blog is her business and her business is her ministry, supporting a mother and child maternity center in The Dominican Republic and 2 communities in South Africa.

None of this is by accident. But Crystal is the first to admit lots of it grew out of her learning from her (many) mistakes. Until she finally landed on the business concept of offering advice to moms who wanted to save money – and hence the astronomical success of her website

She has a book launching today that pretty much offers that kind of one-on-one conversation to everyone who holds it in their hands.

Money Making Mom: How Every Woman Can Earn More and Make a Difference is all Crystal’s very best business savvy along with tons of practical steps and examples of how they work all packaged into a business idea starter kit for every mom.

Heck, for every woman, person, kid and little brother.

I get emails regularly from moms wondering if I can suggest any work-at-home ideas — this book will be my go-to, start-here advice from now on.

I can’t overstate how much I love Crystal’s mantra: that every woman can earn more and make a difference.

Money can’t buy happiness, but properly managed it can be an amazing tool to change lives and make a positive difference. I’ve watched first hand. And most of you have too as you’ve supported our Serve South Africa projects.

Here are just a few of my favorite Money Making Mom ideas from Crystal’s book:

  • Identifying your skills and talents – what makes you – you. And how do you monetize that.
  • Dos and Don’ts of a successful business
  • Practical ways to get started and tons of stories from other people who’ve done it
  • Tons of real life business ideas for working from home (and a bunch of other places)
  • How to grow your business
  • How to manage obstacles that get in your way
  • How to really, truly live generously

Speaking of that last point – how to really, truly live generously – from day one of my blogging about South Africa I’ve never once asked Crystal for help. She’s always come to me and offered. And she’s surprised me again and again by her enthusiasm and her passionate pursuit of fresh ways to support the communities in South Africa that mean so much to me and my family.

It’s become personal the more she invests her heart and resources until her own family is just as connected to the community as mine. I mean, they just traveled there together and no one gets on a plane for 16 hours with three kids if they don’t care. Crystal cares so much that she’s included a final page in the book inviting all readers to join the 10 Dollar Tribe and the movement to Serve South Africa. Again, total surprise to me!

Money Making Mom Ten Dollar Tribe

I know how hard she works. I get glimpses behind the scenes into her business. And what I’ve learned is that she feels called to maximize her business opportunities so that she can maximize her ability to give. It’s astounding. And contagious. When you’re around people who want use money smarts so they can be crazy smart givers, you want that. You want to learn to be like that too.

Because, it turns out we can. We can all find nooks and crannies in the market made for us so that we can earn more and then enjoy giving more.

If you’re in a season where either or both of those are high on your radar, I can’t recommend this book highly enough. I basically want to shove it into your diaper bag so that you can read it at the doctor’s office or in the car pool line or during the 2am feeding.

How much impact we have on the world around us is entirely up to us.

If you’re not sure where to begin, then start here and pick up this book.