2011 is swiftly coming to a close and when I saw this MSN Business on Main article “Lessons Learned in 2011“, I was inspired to post a blog to ask YOU to contribute your lessons learned in business in 2011. So, go ahead, post them in the comments! On January 1, 2012, I will choose two winners to win a $50 Amazon gift card each! Your business lesson can be long or short, good or bad and the only rule is that it has to be something that you personally learned in 2011.
This was a huge year for me and I experienced some of my highest highs and my lowest lows but through it all, I’ve learned one really, really big lesson that I will take with me into 2012. That lesson is: “Say yes to what you love and no to what you don’t.” It’s a short and sweet lesson and one that we’ve heard often but I really could have used this motto during 2011. There were many things I said yes to that I should have said no to and sometimes, when I said yes, had to say no to things that in hindsight should have been my yeses. So, I’m going to try and be more critical in 2012 of the reasons behind my yes and no responses and make sure they sit well in my gut.
There are some really awesome responses over at the Business on Main article that you should check out too!
Remember, leave a comment and tell me YOUR biggest learning lesson in 2011.Read More
This isn’t one of those posts I write with advice embedded into it and this isn’t even going to be a post with much of a beginning, middle and an end.
Nope, this is a post that I am writing on my iPhone while I soak in a glorious, peaceful bubble bath.
I was talking to a client and very dear friend of mine today about business and life and how the two end up affecting each other so much. In my case, my daughter is cutting her first year molars and it’s killing me… Figuratively speaking of course but the late nights, endless suffering she is experiencing and my insane work schedule has created this space where I feel slightly trapped.
You see, business is not an easy journey to choose. Over the past seven years, I have not gone a day (literally not a day – probably not even an hour) where someone has not needed me for something. If you are in business too, you might be able to relate. Regardless of how many hours you put in, regardless of how much support you have around you, someone ALWAYS needs you.
I am fairly certain that this is why I started my business in the first place. I loved feeling needed and like I was making a difference and more importantly, I loved when my clients relied on me to make their life easier. I had a place in the universe – a purpose. However, sometimes I wish that I had a day, or an hour, where I could disappear and not be needed.
You see, with being needed comes a lot of guilt. Guilt when you can’t produce the way you want to, perform the way you want to and be the kind of person you want to be for everyone you know. The guilt then turns into resentment and that isn’t healthy for anyone.
So, I’ve been learning. I’ve been learning that it’s okay to be imperfect, it’s okay to say no to things, it’s okay to choose what or who I give my time to.
I was talking to Steve tonight about our daughter and I was telling him that I want to make her growing up experience memorable and exciting. I don’t want to focus on material things or keeping a perfect house or having her in the best schools (not that I don’t think education is important but I do believe it should be chosen based on the individual needs of the child and not because of the school’s status in the community). I kind of feel that way about my business too. It’s more important to me to get my offerings / talent / skills / whatever out to the world than it is to worry that everything has to be perfect.
I’m also learning that when you balance life and a business so delicately on your shoulders, something somewhere has to give a little and that is okay too.
What are your big learning lessons about business as you make your way through?Read More
Launch Strategy for a New Blog
Announcing a new blog is an exciting thing for most web-based business owners because you now have this interactive platform for your audience to engage with you from. If you didn’t have a blog before (and if you were also lacking a social media presence), you may not have any idea who is out there enjoying your work. Launching a blog opens the doors to get to know your online audience in a more intimate way.
Since you have two groups of people — those who know you now and those who don’t yet know you — the blog strategy needs to incorporate both of these groups. It is important to personally invite the people who know, like and trust you into the environment but it is equally as important to set up some things that will attract in new prospects as that is the goal of your blog.Read More
It is not often that you see the words service and storefront come together. Most professionals sell their services on a very personally-driven platform. Client hires or retains your company, you provide service to the client and an on-going relationship is built. However, in a world that is going online more and more each day, one needs to consider the ability to combine the face-to-face feeling of a service with the ability to reach more people, in less time.
Shopify is a service that provides a shop-style service to online business owners. The service combines an e-commerce platform with a payment gateway of the client’s choice to allow the business owner to sell products and services to their customers online. Most people using Shopify are selling a tangible product but we recently tested the store’s ability to house and sell services. We were so pleased with the results that we wanted to share the tool with you and explain why setting up a storefront for your services could be a lucrative aspect of your business.Read More
I was recently interviewed for the Tips & Tools for Virtual Assistants Telesummit, hosted by Tracey D’Aviero, on the subject of creating multiple streams of income for your business. You will find a transcript of that interview below.
How Did You Get Started in the VA Business?
I have always been entrepreneurially curious and at the age of sixteen I had this vision of providing administrative services to the businesses in my local area. However, I ended up getting a job at an ice cream store and well… my mobile admin business dream got replaced by a ice cream scooping muscle.Read More
I was reading an article on MSN’s Business on Main website called, “Prepare for Popularity“, which discussed the steps to take to prepare your business for a quick upsurge in website traffic. You know, the kind that happens if you get featured on Mashable or you get mentioned on Oprah’s Twitter account.
It got me thinking about all of the different ways that we need to make sure our business is protected, especially in this web 2.0 landscape where everything is “in the cloud” so to speak.
This blog post will unearth some of the practices you can follow to make your business safe in this fast-paced, technological business atmosphere.Read More