Business & Marketing

I Guest Posted Over At: One Woman Shop

Come hang out with me over on One Woman Shop where I talked about 5 steps for creating a routine that works for you. (Getting up at 5am is NOT on the list)

So one week ago, I guest posted over at One Woman Shop, but I was super sick and feeling very muddle-y. I’ve still got the dreadful bronchitis cough (goodness why does that stick around so long?) but I’m blending traditional and alternative medicine to try and take this beast down.

I gave 5 super simple steps for creating a routine that will work for you… and guess what the best part is? Nowhere in there do I say that you should get up at 5am! Isn’t that fantastic? 😀

Click here to check out my post (and leave a friendly comment… they’re like Scooby snacks for us bloggers!)

I’m Going on a Bit of a Blogging Adventure

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I’m going on a bit of a blogging adventure, and I’d love for you to come along! For a while now, I’ve been considering writing a blog post on the daily (ish). I say “ish” because we all know life happens, and I feel like adding an “ish” takes the pressure off, and makes this more fun. Which it should be!

I’m inspired by a lot of people who write daily blog posts, including the wonderful Modern Mrs. Darcy. Another favorite of mine, April Bowles-Olin, did a 365 blog challenge back several years ago, and it was great enjoyed by her readers.

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Don’t worry, I won’t send you an email every day (unless you want that, and then I’ll make it happen. 🙂 ), but I’d love for you to come hang out with me as often as you can.

Some of the things I’ll be blogging about are for your business: email, social media, organization, planning, etc.

But for those of us who work from home, our lives are more than just business. So other things I’ll chatting about include: recipes, reviews, and my personal creative endeavors. But more than that, I want share ideas for you to try too, and I’d love to hear back from you. What worked? What didn’t? What do you want to see me write about?

Leave me a comment if you’re coming along for the ride! (Also, if you have anything you’d love to see me blog about please share that in the comments too!)

Make Your Business A Family Affair

 

One of the fastest ways to make your business run more smoothly, is to keep your family a part of it.

Today is Week 2, Day 1 in a 5 week series called Strategies for Success. These posts will drop on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. This week we’re talking about Family Communication, and today’s topic is why you should make family meetings an integral part of your business . If you want to make sure you catch all of the posts in this series, you can subscribe in the sidebar.

One of the things you can do to make your business run more smoothly, is to keep your family in the loop. Sounds simple right? Trust me on this one… if you don’t keep them updated, you’ll wind up with your husband cracking jokes during your client call, because he thinks you’re on a Google Hangout with your buddies. Not that I’d know or anything.

I recommend having a family command center (more on that Wednesday), so that you can keep an eye on all the moving parts of your family’s schedule.

If you have important calls, make sure your husband knows about it, and let your children know as well (if they’ll be home).  Have a family meeting once a month, or more, so that you can evaluate what’s working, and what could use improving. You can also use this time to assess the chore rotations, brainstorm menus, etc.

If you have children, sit them down and explain what you’re trying to accomplish. Set up a vision board in an area of the house where they can see it. Get them excited about your goals & visions! Letting them be a part of the experience means that you’re not just raising future adults, but hopefully future entrepreneurs as well. And at the very least, they’ll have a healthy respect for other entrepreneurs.

Let me just quickly say that in this process, make sure that your children understand their importance. Make eye contact with them when you talk to them, don’t stay glued to your computer. Make sure that they have time with you on a daily basis. And don’t forget your husband either! My husband jokes that he’s my silent partner, but seriously he is. He is the backbone of my business, and it wouldn’t be half as successful without him. He cooks dinner, holds the kids at bay during important calls, and reminds me why I do this when I’m having a bad day (cause we all do!).

What is your number one tip for keeping your family included?

 

Be Human

Have you ever found yourself frustrated by the lack of humanity in today's communication?

I have a feisty personality.

Anyone who tells you otherwise, is merely going off of my appearance. I suppose at 5’1″, I don’t cut a very imposing figure. That having been said, I am ex-military. So there is that.

Me, back in my hardcore military days
See? That’s not a threatening face!

Actually, funny thing… I was a fitness instructor. But my friends (and sometimes my family) like to joke about siccing me on people like some sort of attack dog. As though military automatically equals hand-to-hand combat training. And yet… I’m more likely to make you do push-ups than I am to take you down. Although, as my mother points out, that may be even more terrifying.

So back around to the feisty personality. I’m not just feisty, I’m also very passionate about topics that strike my fancy, or get my blood boiling. 

And here lately, I’ve got a doozy brewing.

When did communication get so impersonal? After years of marketers wisely stressing the value of real, genuine connections, people have gotten… salesy. 

Ick.

I’ve popped in on Periscopes, webinars, Facebook groups, etc., that have flat out made me feel slimy just by association. People have gotten pushy. They’ve abandoned connection & conversation, in favor of likes & hearts.

I want to encourage conversation. I adore comments. I am thrilled when I get to chat with someone on Periscope, talk with them in the comment section, or even email back and forth.

But I just can’t get behind the demanding thing… it’s just not me. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE hearts, likes, follows, etc. But I want people to do those things, because I said or did something they truly appreciated. Or something that entertained them. Or something that touched them.

We’re over complicating this.

All you have to do? Be human. That’s it. There’s the big secret. It’s as old as time itself… do unto others. Be kind. Be generous. Above all else, be human.

If I’ve moved  you in some way, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. 😉

It’s Only Halftime

Did your first half of the year not go according to plan? Relax! It's only halftime.A lot of entrepreneurs approach July, the way Pain & Panic watched Hercules fight the Hydra. With trembling & nail-biting. Why? Well, if you’ve seen Disney’s Hercules, you already know. If you haven’t, let me set the scene…

Hercules is on a mission to prove he’s worthy of becoming a god, so he can go to Mount Olympus and hang with with Papa Z and the rest of the godly crue. (Yes I misspelled that on purpose. Music joke. Sue me.) Meanwhile, Hades, knowing of Hercules’ desperation to be admired, sets up a battle with the Hydra. (You remember the Hydra right? What? No? Dang, go read your Bullfinch’s Mythology, right now! Wait… no! I was only kidding… get back here! Please?)

The battle rages furiously, and Hades’ imps Pain & Panic are sweating big time. Mostly because their pointy-tailed booties are on the line, cause Hercules was kinda supposed to be dead already. Whoops! But then it happens! With some fancy footwork, and a mighty swipe of the sword, the Hydra’s head is gone. The crowd roars! Pain & Panic wait for Hades’ wrath to descend upon their head. But instead, he smiles a sickly grin, and utters the sinister words “Guys, guys, relax! It’s only halftime.” 

And as those words escape his grim lips, the Hydra’s neck pops out 3 new heads. But you knew probably already knew that was coming. You’re clever like that.

So where am I going with this?

It’s halfway through the year. And right now, we have 3 options.

  • We can quiver like Pain & Panic, and mope that we didn’t succeed.
  • We can get excited like Hercules, and we can start our victory celebration.
  • Or we can smirk like Hades, and realize that the fight ain’t over yet. It’s just getting started. 

So the year is halfway over. Amazing things can happen in 6 months time. And even if you don’t make as many sales during the summer, that doesn’t mean you can’t start laying foundations. That you can’t make plans. Or you can’t contact someone and see if they’d like to collaborate. Or that you can’t set your goals for this last half. 

First half of the year didn't go as planned? Relax, it's only halftime. Click To Tweet

So here’s where we can add the modern twist to this tale. Take a moment for the halftime show. I don’t watch much football (although my Dad used to bribe us into watching the Superbowl with him, by telling us the Superbowl Oreos were only for Superbowl watchers… sneaky, sneaky Dad!), but I do love a good halftime show. And by show, I mean music, or dancing… not “wardrobe malfunctions”. I can do without that show.

So enjoy the moment. Celebrate how far you’ve come. And then dig in! Make those things happen… collaborate, plan, dream, make magic.

That Hydra ain’t gonna slay itself guys. Let’s get in there and crush the last half of 2015!

How My Sister Helped Me Find My Voice

A conversation with my sister helped me find my voice. :)

I used to be a virtual assistant.

And back when I was a virtual assistant, I was under the (misinformed) impression that I needed to be professional. And by professional, I mean serious. My writing had a wee bit of my personality shining through, but not really. Being buttoned up made me feel stifled, and it partially contributed to me bailing from VA work, and diving head first into what’s developed into my current business.  So something did come out of that!

But when I switched to creativity coaching, I realized that the dry writing I’d been doing just wasn’t going to cut it. I saw bloggers I adored, like Mayi Carles,  and April Bowles-Olin, and I felt life shining from their writing. I wanted so badly to attract readers like they did, but it was crickets in my comment section.

So I started trying to figure out how to find my voice. I devoured everything I could find on the subject…I took classes, read books, read blogs….

Then one day, I was on the phone with my sister, and we were bantering back & forth like we always do. Seriously…we’re a freakin’ hoot when we get together. We play off of each other, and joke, poke, tease, and harass each other to the delight of anyone around us. We’ve said for years we need to do a show together…so I may have to get her in on my podcast after I start it up. 😀

My sister & I goof around a lot :)

But that’s when I had a thought… *insert sound effect of Gru saying “lightbulb”*

What if…

What if, I wrote like I’m talking with my sister? What if I was free to do that? And I joked, and teased, and said the quirky, random things that pop into my head?

So I tried it. I started casually joking around in my blog posts…and telling stories…oh my goodness do I love a good story! Someone told me that I have more stories than anyone else they know, but they’re all so fascinating…(and it’s true…ask me about the time I was felt up by a Korean madam!).

The more I did it, the more people responded in the comments…and I’ve gotta tell ya…comments are like Scooby snacks for me!!! I gobble them up, and they give me super powers…powers to keep doing this!

When writing is done well, you can hear the person in your head, as you read it. Kris is one of the awesome people that’s helped me finesse this talent out (and I’m working with her to hone my skills even more!). So when she asked me to join in on her blog hop, I was all over that…only promote people who I totally adore, and Kris rocks my socks off. And best of all? She’s doing a giveaway! You can have the chance to win a seat in her new program Craft Your Voice…it starts on the 25th, and I can’t wait!!!

I’m participating in a Blog Link-up with Kris (With a K), from http://www.withakwriting.com, because she wants to hear about the role writing plays in our businesses.

She is giving a Writing Workshop for entrepreneurs and bloggers, starting May 25th,  and she wants to give away a scholarship to one of the lovely bloggers who participate in this link up. You can participate and get a chance to win too.

Just copy and paste this piece of text into the introduction of your blog post answering the question, “How has writing been beneficial to your business, and what do you want to Craft with your Voice next?” Link back to this post, so any of your friends who are entering will be able to find it for more info.

Finally, go back to Kris’s blog on or after May 12th to add your link to the link-up party there, and you could win a scholarship to her new course: Craft Your Voice. She’ll be drawing a name on the 18th of May for a full scholarship to the 6 week writing course, so you can write and link-up your post any time before then.

 

How has writing affected YOUR business? Have you found your voice yet? Hit me up in the comments below (remember they’re like Scooby snacks to me!), and let me know what’s worked best for you. 🙂