Originality

Originality

I had the absolute honor of being interviewed on the most recent episode of Originality, a new podcast on my favorite podcast network.

The premise of the podcast itself is different (one might say: original) in that one of the fabulous hosts (either Aleen Sims or K Tempest Bradford) will interview the guest separately. They then take that interview and the two hosts will talk about a similar conversation with each other with sound bites dropped in.

It was such a delight to talk to Aleen again (we had met at XOXO in 2016) and really delve into what I do. Additionally, we talked about what I do for clients and it should really help describe what I can do and how best I could help you!

It was so neat to be able to listen to someone else talk about what I do to better reaffirm what it is that I can do and how I can help. Especially Tempest’s comment on labels. It was so true – being able to confirm yourself for what you want to be and your goal is, and really push yourself to identify what you are! You are the label that you want to be!

Contact me if you’d like to have a free 15 min consultation and we can chat about what you think you need and discover what you actually need help with!

And if you want a new podcast to listen to, I highly recommend Originality. It will let you learn new things and the ability to listen to two fantastic women talk about some amazing things is irreplaceable! The best part is it’s a biweekly podcast, so the responsibility isn’t too much at all. You can easily fit it in during your morning routine!

Don’t Fetishize the System

Don’t Fetishize the System

Confession: I love systems. Systems and templates and spreadsheets make me happy. However, I don’t fetishize the system. The system doesn’t run me, I run it.

I use a Hobonichi planner with a modified bullet journal system to track my daily tasks and brain dumps. The ability to write down EVERYTHING that has to be done but also everything that is on my mind, makes things work.

Once I put the tasks on paper, I’m able to wrap my head around what actually needs to be done and how to do it.

I use different task management systems for different clients. Asana is my favorite, because I’m able to have a single login and just move between clients, most of whom love Asana too. I can immediately tell what needs to be done from them and place them on my current day’s tasks with just a click. But for me, if it doesn’t move from the internet to paper, it won’t get finished. I schedule meetings and appointments on my iCloud calendar so that it can yell at me before I have to do something at a specific time.

I do what needs to be done in the way that works for me.

My system wouldn’t work for anyone else. My brain is different than others, and my workflows are different as well.

On a recent episode of Free Agents, a fantastic podcast on the Relay network, Jason Snell and David Sparks talk about the systems they use to keep things under control and how they are productive. One of the things they mention is how some people fetishize the system and worry about the system itself, instead of what they are actually suppose to be doing.

Systems don’t pay your bills (unless you are David Allen) and they should not be what you spend most of your time on.

This is something that I can definitely get behind. The system I use works for me but wouldn’t work for someone else. I would never write a book about my system either, because I’m aware how little it would work for someone else. I’m constantly reviewing the process, but it’s not more than 5 minutes every other week or so. There may be things that are working now that won’t work in 6 months, but I don’t spend an inordinate amount of time on that review either. I don’t fetishize the system.

Being flexible is so important. If you can’t be aware of what your day is doing and how to adjust around you, you will become stagnant. This also means that the system you read in a book 10 years ago may no longer work for you.

Guess what?

That doesn’t mean you’ve failed!

As long as your work gets done, you can sleep at night knowing you haven’t forgotten anything, and don’t drop any balls or miss appointments, you can be successful.


What is your system? Do you adjust it as things move around or is it the same system you’ve used for years because you’ve always done it that way? Or maybe you don’t even have a system in place. It’s one of those things that you always thought you would do in the future. There is a good chance that you do actually have a system and you don’t even know it.

Take some time this weekend and think about what you could do to work better and know that it’s okay to change things to make them work for YOU!

Why Busyness Will Make You Fail

Why Busyness Will Make You Fail

Why Busyness Will Make You Fail :: TheUnicornSidekick.com

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!

One Simple Tip to Get Control of Your Business (and Life!)

One Simple Tip to Get Control of Your Business (and 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?

OneSimpleTipSmall

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!

Tuesday Tip :: Don’t Forget to Love Yourself

Tuesday Tip :: Don’t Forget to Love Yourself

LoveYourself

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:

napping

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.

Tuesday Tip :: Start Sloppy

Tuesday Tip :: Start Sloppy

StartSloppy

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!

Work with Professionals

Work with Professionals

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.

Professionals

I love the variety of skill sets that people have.

For example…

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.

Tuesday Tip :: Bright Eyed and Bushy Tailed

Tuesday Tip :: Bright Eyed and Bushy Tailed

Tuesday Tip :: Bright Eyed and Bushy Tailed

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?

Differences between Marketing, Public Relations, Advertising and Branding

Differences between Marketing, Public Relations, Advertising and Branding

Differences

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.

Differences Between Marketing, Branding, Advertising and Public Relations :: The Photog's Helper

 

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?

Why Your Spouse’s Opinion Doesn’t Matter

Why Your Spouse’s Opinion Doesn’t Matter

YourSpouse

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!