When it comes to speaking, I’m not a newbie. I’ve given speeches as a teenager to an arena full of people. However, I’ve never given something as personal as the speech I’ll be giving in Ireland.
When my husband had a stroke in 2010, I didn’t know what the future would bring. All I wanted to do was survive the day. And now? Now I still am working through each day – one day at a time, but with a joy. A knowledge that the life I had dreamed of is not quite there anymore but the future is here. I am so blessed that this world that we are in allows me to take care of my husband and daughter, and help business owners organize and manage their lives. How lucky am I to be able to find such joy in helping them get things together so that they can concentrate on what they are doing and leave the “boring” things to me?
I love boring. The joy I find in checking things off my list (and yours) is unsurpassed by anything else.
When I learned that my joy is found in helping others, and that I could gain income to help feed my family, something clicked. I’ve recently branched out from just working with photographers and being able to help everyone in any industry means I get to use my skills far beyond the norm.
I cannot wait to share my store with the Ull conference in Killarney, Ireland at the start of November. I’m unbelievably honored to be amongst the 5 other story presenters, including a producer for Cards Against Humanity. I am so excited to be able to hang out with entrepreneurs and inspiring people from all over the world. Being able to have this experience in the beautiful lakeside hotel that is booked all for just us.
Tickets are still available, if you want to come hang out with me and others.
Until then, let me know who your favorite speaker you’ve ever heard speak plus if there is anything you think I should DEFINITELY do while I’m in Ireland! I’ll be staying in Dublin for about a week before and after the conference and hopefully London too!
There is a huge premium on a level of busyness in the American world today. If you work in an office at a corporate job, you are required to be there the 9 hours with an hour for lunch, regardless of what you are doing. I worked in corporate America for long enough to be tainted by the mindset that if you aren’t busy, you aren’t working. There was always something you could do, even if it was pretending and all you were really doing was updating your blog.
When I transitioned to self employment, and specifically project based pricing instead of hourly, I learned how false busyness is. Having a long to do list does not make you more successful. Staying up until 1am working does not make you more money.
I use to think I was lazy.
I would do the things I had to do as quickly and as efficiently as possible. My first goal is always accuracy. I built my brand by being detail orientated and it’s a strong belief in manifesto.
As I reach my third anniversary of being 100% self employed, I have finally come to terms with the fact that I am not lazy, I am efficient.
And that is okay!
I am successful in what I do not because I spend 12 hours at my computer. I am successful when I spend time with my daughter. When I can take her to a doctor appointment in the middle of the day without fear of having to ask permission from my boss. I am successful when I have been productive in the morning and can take a nap at 1 next to my husband. That my work is still able to be done and I can get paid and be successful and not work all the time.
More importantly, I know my work hours and so do my clients.
That doesn’t mean that some times I don’t work late, but my late is other people’s early. I pretty much stop functioning by 9, so try to be in bed by then. Sometimes I will be up later than that, but it can’t be for anything really mind heavy. Any writing I do has to be in the morning. Sometimes it can be done after lunch, but usually only if it’s puff pieces.
I know my schedule. I know how my body works. Sure, I can do some things during the evening, but it’s usually not. And again, that is okay. It’s okay that my afternoons are not very productive. It’s because of the amount of work at the beginning of the day. My morning starts at 6am and I am at my computer usually by 7. The ability to choose when I work means I pick when I work the best and that means I don’t have to pretend. I don’t have to make busyness a habit. My level of busyness is a truth bomb. If I say I am busy, it means I actually am. Not pretending to busy to prove my worth.
Do you want help to get rid of the busyness in your life?
We are here to help. We are the Unicorn Sidekicks for a reason! Not only can we actually help you get control of your task list, but we can help you rearrange your work days to better become productive.
Contact us to schedule a 15 minute call to discuss your days and really figure out how to get the busyness out of your life!
Okay, you know those posts that are all over the place telling you they have One Simple Tip that will make you productive and it’s always something you have to buy from them and it’s got like 25 steps to prep and then will take 2 hours and MAYBE it will work, but probably it won’t because you don’t work exactly like them, or you aren’t in the same business as they are?
Yeah, this is not that type of a tip.
I’m not selling you anything and you can do this with things you have in your house. You probably have the items within reach of you right now.
Are you ready?
It’s called a Brain Dump and it’s super easy.
Step 1: Grab a writing utensil (pen, pencil, crayon – doesn’t matter. You can use your phone or computer, but the tactile process of hand writing has been shown to work better.)
Step 2: Grab something to write on (fancy planner, notebook, post-it notes….anything)
Step 3: Write. Spill out EVERYTHING that is in your mind. Work things. Home things. Random thoughts about your crush in 2nd Grade. Everything.
Step 4: Organize that list. This can be anything from highlighting in color coded pens to put things on separate lists or simple crossing off things as you get them done. It’s up to you.
Step 5: Be Productive!
Alas, the list will not get done itself. But if you’ve written down everything that is in your head, it doesn’t need to sit in your head anymore and you can actually think about what does need to get done!
I do it every morning while listening to music and burning a candle, while drinking my coffee. It is a great way to recharge after a good nights sleep. It lets me transition from the craziness of making sure everyone gets out the door on time and prepared, and into #bosslady mode.
Have you tried Brain Dumping? Does it work for you? How do you dump?
Share in the comments or on our Facebook page how you manage your list of things to get done!
Today, I’m going to get a little bit sappy and a whole lot of rambley in a video…but every so often, something hits my heart and I need to share it with you guys.
Especially when on my Facebook feed today, I see this from a friend:
I’m here to tell you that yes, you can nap. Yes, it will help you not only be more productive, but it will help refresh yourself and really recharge and let you get to the place you want and need to be! Watch this video and let me know what you think! I really do want to hear.
I’ve had the honor to do two great workshops for education and implementation this year, Brand Camp with Kristen Kalp and BonjOrganization with Kelli France. Both have had different goals and different plans and completely different tasks to succeed. Both have helped me move mountains and make significant changes to my business, goals and the future.
Something that they both talked about though, is Starting Sloppy.
I don’t know about you, but I have all of these ideas spinning through my head. I’m an artist, and a mom and an entrepreneur – my brain never stops. After I brain dump though and get it all out on paper, it becomes less useful. At least, until I actually do something with that information and ideas.
So I just start. Starting sloppy means the stress of the unknown, the overwhelm that occurs with a blank canvas, is gone. That roadblock of nothingness isn’t there, which makes the next steps so much easier to take!
So I ask you, my lovelies: what has been on your to do list for so long it might as well be tattooed on your skin that needs to get done? Why not start sloppy so that you can get past the unknown and make every other step so much easier?
I’m going to be doing my new free PDF download for you guys….I’m so excited and have had notes on it but haven’t started yet because I’m scared. That is so going to change!
There is nothing worse than when you finally discover that you are not perfect at everything. I know this may come as a shock to you but it’s the truth. That there are some things that you cannot do.
I love the variety of skill sets that people have.
I know an amazing photographer who just so happens to also be a lawyer. She recently contacted me to help her with writing her blog pages so that they sounded less like a lawyer wrote them.
Another photographer friend is a bookkeeper who helped me with my taxes.
I know my limits. I knew I could get the basics of my paperwork done but I wanted to make sure that I did them right!
What about you? What part of your life do you know need help with? Or that maybe you aren’t the best at?
We go to the grocery store and buy meat and vegetables and fruits and breads that were created by other people. My clothes are bought at a store, not made from cotton I picked myself.
This doesn’t make me less of a woman. Less of a mom. Less of a person.
Why does asking for help or hiring someone else to do something for you can make you feel like less of a business owner? It should make you feel more successful because you need the help. You are succeeding and should take advantage of the need that has arisen.
Embrace it. Ask for the help you need from the professionals you can trust.
It’s the best thing you can do for yourself, your business and your life.
The other day, my daughter started an evening classroom/play time/fun thing at the local church. She wanted to take a nap to make sure she had the energy and good time to have fun. It was so worth it. She woke up, bright and shiny and had a wonderful time.
It made me realize that this is something to take to my work. Every so often, it’s okay to take a nap. To take a break from your day to refresh yourself. Allowing yourself to breathe and settle into things can prep you more than stressing or worrying.
When you wake up and start to work again, you will be bright eyed and bushy tailed and so much happier! Not only will your mood be lifted, your productivity will be better too. Setting yourself up to be productive instead of just being busy.
If only we can take a step back from this mindset that we need to be busy. That if we aren’t “too busy to think”, we aren’t really being successful. You deserve to be so much more happier!
What do you do to be bright eyed and bushy tailed for your day?
Chances are, when you started your business you were told that you needed to figure out your branding. You needed to work on your marketing and advertising. All of these words get spread around in our industry but rarely does anyone really truly understands what they mean.
I found this info graphic on Pinterest (follow me!) and even though the original company has merged with a new one and I cannot find a true original link, I’m still going to share it. Neutron, LLC created this info graphic which has now joined with Liquid Agency. I normally will only share something if I can find the original creator link but this was too perfect not to share.
If you are telling people about yourself, you are marketing. Someone else (whether hired or from your network) it is public relations. Advertising is just pounding your message into someone’s mind. Branding encompasses everything you are presenting and provides the information for people to really get your message.
Does this help you understand what you need to do in your business? Does it help you with your marketing or branding plan and goals for the year? What has changed?
I’ve seen the following a lot over the years but it’s just recently had another influx over the past week.
“My husband doesn’t like X option.” “My husband thinks I shouldn’t charge as much.” “My spouse thinks I need to get a day job because no one will pay me for what I do.”
When I see this, my soul hurts inside. I understand how much we love and trust our spouses. They tend to be our foundation, our rocks, our main support system.
However, unless they are a marketing manager for their own company, in the industry that you are trying to working in AND have experience with your target market, their opinion should be only that: an opinion.
When choosing how to price yourself and how to brand yourself, you should be getting help and guidance from someone who knows what they are talking about OR is in your target market. Chances are, he is not your Target Market. If he is, fantastic! You have a built in testing location. If not, you need to talk to people that know what you are trying to go for and why choices are made.
So next time your spouse gives you an opinion that makes you second guess what you are doing, gracefully thank him for his thoughts and let him know you’ll be taking his opinions to the industry to make sure that it lines up with your goals. If the industry lines up with his mindset, let him know and thank him. If it does not, also let him know and tell him why you are choosing to utilize the advice from professionals.
Your business is yours and it can be so difficult, especially if your spouse is successful in another industry, to not be tempted to just go with everything they say. However, it is not going to be the best thing for you to do!
Best of luck with any changes you make, but know that the choices should be for you and you alone to decide.
Now, this is in no way meant to degrade your spouse’s heart or thoughts or support. That’s always important for a relationship but this relationship is not for your business. You can love them, but not love everything they suggest!
Networking is one of those naughty words you hear when being a business owner. Everyone tells you that you have to network and the options available tend to be stuffy groups where everyone is part of the same industry and just want to collect business cards or it’s an event where the opportunities to force yourself to be someone you aren’t in the random hope that you may happen to meet someone that can contribute to your business.
I have a secret for you guys though!
Networking is talking to people and being able to mention what you do.
Hanging out at the coffee shop in the area that your target market attends and having a meet cute with someone there. Unlike a romantic comedy, you aren’t going to be romantic partners, but there is a definite partnership available here. Best of all, you are NOT looking for clients (but if you meet some, great!). Networking is all about finding businesses that have a similar client base and similar mindset. Get to know the people behind the businesses and you may be able to grow something amazing.
One of my favorite moments happened when I chose to do a free Photo Booth at a new kids music festival. It wasn’t anything special, but it was a ton of fun and I got to meet lots of fun kids and families. More importantly, I had the opportunity to meet and interact with business owners, one of who ended up hiring me for their chiropractic office.
We then got to meet and photograph their office, employee and some amazing clients of theirs.
It all started with just talking to people!
Who have you talked to recently?