The Evolution of Employed vs. Employee

I’ve held many jobs over my lifetime.

I’ve always had an urge and a drive to be doing something productive and never turned down a job or opportunity to earn money.

I’ve babysat and nannied, I was a lifeguard, a waitress, a secretary, a warehouse worker, a food stand worker at Chiefs and Royals games, emcee, a housekeeper, organizer (dreamy!), an insurance salesman, a marketing manager and much more.

Most recent title: business owner. 

 

Maybe others saw I had an entrepreneurial spirit, a creative drive paired with a constant work ethic or maybe it came as a complete surprise. It was for me.

Over my years of working, before and after college, there was not much consistency. I knew everything was temporary until I graduated and received a ‘big kid job.’ I was highly disappointed by options available for military spouses and even more disappointed in my employers and their business structure.

After two years of working for more, more, more, I decided it was time to take my passion for strategic creativity and develop a business I, and others like me, could benefit from.

I was excited!

I was nervous to say I was a founder.

I was encouraged to move forward anyway.

 

Although I am still waiting for that big salary to reflect the time and effort put in (someday) this is exactly what I am meant to be doing. I’ve loved keeping myself employed on my terms instead of following mundane tasks that lead to no tangible results. I have never once cringed from unethical behavior or business practices. That in itself is a success to me.

Check out this excerpt from Simon Sinek’s book Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action:

9.17,2018 039

I’m a firm believer that making money is better than sitting idle waiting for the next big opportunity to fall in your lap. Part of this means you say YES to doing a job and learn how to do it after that. Even the most experienced bartender had a first shift at one time in their life. The best plumber knows what to look for because he’s worked day in and day out in his field.

You have to start somewhere.

I have never been nervous to say I wasn’t sure how to do something but I was willing to learn and ask questions. I was motivated to work a little longer, a little harder or a little more than my peers in order to get the job done.

And it always paid off.

Just like working out you might not always be thrilled to go in to work or motivated to do something but your discipline will keep you showing up day in and day out until you get to do what you want to do instead of what you have to do.

 

Maybe you find yourself ready to take a step toward a promotion? Toward leadership? Toward another job or starting your own business? Hopefully you’re already a leader, boss or employer and are seeking a way to treat your team better.

This is The Evolution Of The Employee I’ve come across online and I not only love that it resembles what’s happened for me personally but also what’s happening in the work culture.

evolution of employee- from linked in

When you find the release from poor management or micromanagement you find what you learned about leaving for college. A newfound freedom. A relief. Maybe a freak out when it comes time to memorize your SSN. I get it.

But you figure it out because maybe mom won’t answer her phone in time. So you have to figure out who to call and what office to visit. Maybe they’re not there to hand you gas money, entertainment money or tuition. So you’ve got to figure out how to earn money and budget your necessities vs your vanities.

“She stood in the storm and when the wind did not blow her away, she adjusted her sails.” – Elizabeth Edwards

 

So I encourage you to start today. Start right now. Go do something that will get you one small, tiny step closer to where you want to be. Even with your full-time job, your busy home life or your lack of resources (time or money) just go do something.

Start writing blogs, start taking photos, go to the gym once a week, then twice then three times.

Start reading books, listening to podcasts and watching documentaries. Start researching, learning, investing and attending.

Show up. Put the work in.

It was always work out in your favor.

If you’re looking for a place to start, ask me how I can help you. 

Cheers!

Marin

Walmart, Target and Your Business

By now you’ve seen me post a lot about branding, marketing and business positioning. So why is it talked about so much? Why is it so important to your business?

Let’s take the example of Walmart v. Target. Why do more people prefer going to Target even though they charge more for products? There are several factors in their marketing efforts like calling their customers ‘guests’ and creating an experience of higher quality products. Walmart is known for their low prices which attract a certain clientele. How have these competitors fared against each other? Target has figured out the formula combo:

Right Thing. Right Time.

Wrong Thing. Wrong Time. 

Right People. Wrong Thing.

Wrong People. Wrong Time. 

You get the idea. Target is able to charge higher prices for their products because their marketing efforts were placed to the right people, on the right platforms at the right time. They create a focus on what their clients are looking for. They use store displays, language and campaigns that elevate their client’s status.

What are you doing in your business that elevates your client’s status? Is it something they’re proud to repeat to their friends? To wear? To say? To bring others in on or brag about?

When you hire a service provider or purchase a product, let’s talk a blender or house painter for example, what do you think when comparing prices?

you get what you pay for. or do you?

Do you question the value and quality of the lower-cost blender compared to the higher-cost blender? Do you automatically assume you’ll receive higher value for the higher cost? Psychology of people spending money. If you plan on charging more for your products you better have a website and online presence that reflect your business.

Now reflect those same viewpoints on your own business? Do you not believe you’re worthy of charging that much? Do you bend and sway and adjust prices for everyone or do you believe what you create and sell is worthy of selling and paying you for your time? Do you think because you can’t afford those big-name advertising agencies that you don’t have anything worth sharing? You don’t have the need for a social media account or website? You don’t have a need to grow your audience?

These are limiting beliefs and lies you’re telling yourself!

Your job is to effectively overcome those objections with your clients, too. No one is exempt from putting themselves out there to best serve the people who need what you have to offer. Your business is not exempt from what is working for everyone else. The proof is in the numbers. The best way to succeed is to MODEL the behavior of what other successful people have done. Let’s take an experience we’re all familiar with.

discipline over desire

When you were a kid, you may not have FELT like doing something your parents told you to do but you still had to do it. These days you might not FEEL like working out but you still have to do it. You might not FEEL like doing laundry, grocery shopping or cleaning but that doesn’t change the fact that you need to do it.

You might not FEEL like marketing, social media and self-promotion are things you want to do but you NEED to do it or else 1) You won’t get paid and 2) Your potential clients won’t find things they’re in need of and looking for.

I’ve talked several times about branding, content, social media promotion, and other factors of why branding and marketing are vital to your business and you can check them out under my Local Collaborative Updates blog section.

If you have tried, failed and tried again to figure out what to post online or who your ideal target audience is, you are not alone. You might have tried replicating a sales system or social media strategy you saw work well for someone else but became discouraged when it didn’t work. Maybe it was even a little overwhelming?

Don’t worry, my sweet digital friend. Just as they have formulated a plan to market a product to a specific audience at a certain time does not mean it’s right for you and your business plan. During our Branding + Positioning Strategy we customize an approach that puts you in an optimal position to market yourself. Would your products work better printed in a magazine or filmed in action on a video? Should we sign you up for a podcast interview or would a collaboration with influencers work better? You might have heard great advice but tried implementing it at an unsuccessful time in your business.

time to re-evaluate and implement

If you find yourself creating 80% new material when you really only need to create 10% new material and can re-work or republish other content with a new email campaign structure. When you re-evaluate your efforts and your results you can see where your struggles are. What’s received a great reaction? Where were the mistakes made? What can you outsource?

Maybe you think of social media as a draining time sucker? Is that really what you should be focusing on when you haven’t even honed in on your own audience or done ‘enough’ elsewhere?

Overcoming the mental hurdle of a scarcity mindset will earn you more money in the long run. Investors search for more than one portfolio to invest in.  Multiple revenue streams provide steadier income. Outsourcing your business tasks creates more opportunities for you to do what you enjoy in your business and brings a fresh pair of eyes with innovative ideas to your business.

You can also watch this video posted with the spark notes of everything we just talked about.

Let me know if you have any questions. If you found this helpful please share with your business friends!

Cheers!

Marin

The Personal Side of Complaints, Apologizing and Forgiveness

In case you haven’t heard we are running a huge promo to celebrate our first birthday in March! Make sure you’re following (social media and enter your email) so you don’t miss out. Once March is over, so will this promotion.

In Success Magazine’s Spring 2019 issue they had a large several-page spread with one liners on how to improve areas of your life in 2019. One paragraph stood out to me. It went as follows:

Don’t insert a complaint about someone when changing subjects will suffice. Apologize for things hanging over your conscience, but don’t over-apologize when you’ve done nothing wrong. Forgive people even when you know an apology isn’t coming your way. Forgive yourself.

This simple paragraph out of all the writer had spewed out was exactly what I have been focusing this season of my life around and it’s a source of my largest stress as well as what I am most proud of.

I believe they wrote this down in a certain order because it’s often the way we need to process through these mentally. Let me break it down…

Don’t insert a complaint about someone when changing subjects will suffice.

We all have the friends and ‘group’ that you can rant to, uncensored, and it’s okay. But be careful who you tell what to. I have had several friends or confidants who I believed were on ‘my side’ but the same toxic things they would spew about their other ‘best friends’ shows you exactly how they will speak to others about you.

Even after removing the toxicity they are free to spread whatever they want around. It is about how you react to it that shows your character. It frustrates me to see them doing this same vicious cycles to others but who am I to tell others what they can and can’t do? If you’re someone who believes you are a good person then let your actions reveal that. Trust that people have the ability to decide what is and is not true. Trust that even if they’re in bad company they will soon figure that out the same way you did. Adding more trash doesn’t clean up a pile of trash…it just makes for one messy area no one wants to go near.

Don’t give in to the urge to reveal the truth. (I KNOW it is tempting but you will find it will reveal itself.) The minute you talk poorly of someone you become known as the person who talks poorly of others. You can say what you mean without saying it mean. It’s that simple. Wish them well. Bless their heart. Spread love where you can.  And just change the subject. You will feel much better avoiding that guilt hangover.

Apologize for things hanging over your conscience, but don’t over-apologize when you’ve done nothing wrong.

I remember every time I have extended a white flag and it was not returned. Not that I necessarily expected one (there must have been something off that caused the conflict in the first place) but it would have been nice! It’s like telling someone they’re beautiful and they respond with ‘I Know.’

See some of those stories below. Don’t worry, they’re comin’.

It’s not all just boyfriends and girlfriends but also in professional relationships. There is nothing that drives me more crazy than when people say ‘I’m sorry.’ in situations that do NOT require those words!

I worked with a person primarily over a conference line. She would never say the first word, she would never take the lead and she often only took action when guided how to. Nothing wrong with that at all. She did great work.

But every single time, often more than once a conversation I would hear her say Sorry for an accidental interruption, project missed, wrong title read, etc. It loses all sense of the word when it’s part of your regular vocabulary!

I am all for owning your mistakes and truly meaning you feel empathy for something. But do NOT go through this world apologizing for being here and assume every misstep you take is a bad one. NO. You’re better, smarter, tougher, stronger and too good for that.

I’ve known several people who are serial offenders to repeatedly adding condolences in their everyday sentences. I started asking ‘What are you apologizing for?’ They would mumble out some line about how they weren’t sure it just felt like they should say it. Break the habit!

 

Forgive people even when you know an apology isn’t coming your way.

Ah, offering forgiveness. It’s like volunteering and internally expecting something in return.

I remember when I was younger and going through a break-up there was always the conversation to bring ‘closure’ aka not a thing. Days, months, years later I would cross paths again and apologize for my wrong doings. Not because I thought profuse I’m Sorry’s would reconcile anything but truly recognizing where I fell short, what I learned from that and what made me better for the next relationship I would be in.

Alexa, start playing God Bless The Broken Road by Rascal Flatts…

 

Do not feel the urge to apologize when you feel you have done nothing wrong. I’m going to make this realllll big so you don’t miss it.

When a person tells you that you hurt them you didn’t get to decide that they didn’t.

-louis c.k.

I eventually told most everyone who hurt me in some way, shape or form what they did. We may have both been at the same place, same time doing the same thing but our memories of the event could be very different. If you felt humiliated, unsafe, hurt or let down they do not hold any kind of special power to say ‘No, you didn’t’ or ‘I didn’t do that.’  Believe wholeheartedly that it is better to agree to disagree and walk away than it is to convince them they fell short.

One response I got was fantastic. They said they were also sorry for not recognizing the major support I needed in a very difficult time and we were both grateful it happened and move forward. We are friends and it’s not weird. A large gap of time and space did help that (most annoying thing to hear, my bad) but it truly does. It can happen. If it doesn’t, that’s okay, too.

Another response, the big one, I apologized for my wrong-doings…and was met with Thanks for saying that. And trust me they had a lottttt, a lot they could have apologized for. Now there is a long, long story attached to that I won’t get in to but the main point stands out. Had I stayed with that person I would more than likely still be where they are (physically and mentally). It’s no wonder that was a leading reason I left the relationship. If you ever get the chance to experience something like that, it will be the  most clarifying moment. Just like you couldn’t fix someone back then  there is nothing you can do now.

Apologizing to those does not show defeat at all. It shows maturity. It shows growth. I would much rather leave telling someone ‘I’m for all I did wrong. Thank you for everything.’ than something cruel I said in a moment of anger.

 

Forgive yourself. 

I’m not much of a person to #selfcare #selftalk #forgiveyourself but #hereIam. Mostly because it was in the previous excerpt so I will give this my best shot. This is usually something I only speak about with close friends because, damn, is it hard.

I considered myself to be an extroverted, confident teenager. I liked being liked. I liked being everywhere with everyone at every event. The last place I wanted to be was sitting at home in what was, at the time, a place I felt extremely uninvited to. I much preferred to be out where things were lighthearted, where I had people who also wanted to be around me, where I could ‘make memories’ and be apart of everything.

Because of this outward image I was putting on it came as a big shock to those I opened up to what was going on at home, in my mind and in my personal life. Some people believe me; some of my closest friends still don’t. Some believe you can’t be two people at the same time.

You can’t be a party girl and also be someone who went through something invasive and demoralizing.

You can’t have amazing parents who love and support you and also physically, verbally fight with them, get kicked out and told you’re stupid or in need of a workout.

You can’t be the captain, the homecoming queen, hold a crowned title, several leadership positions and also see how many pills you can take to get away from the issues.

But you can. People go through things like this every single day.

You’re bound to screw up. It will happen. It’s important to have someone, at least one person who you trust that can help carry that burden with you.

There are things only my friends know. There are things myself and those who were there with me know. There are things only my husband knows. And there are things that are only between myself and God that not a single other person will ever know.

I am okay with that.

I have only been to two counseling sessions in my life. One I was tricked and forced to go to (which scarred me you could say) and one I chose to go to when I had a panic attack/actual breakdown in college. Neither one personally allowed me to open up but I encourage you to find someone you can trust, a licensed stranger if it helps, and let it out. You’re not alone and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.

I still have moments where a bad or annoying memory will pop up and in the deep pit of my stomach right under my ribs this anxious feeling creeps in. It’s all consuming. I recognize that and I let it pass; knowing it will come back sometime. Someday.

 

I was self-conscious about a lot of things in my life and several of those still exist. I am proud of who I am and what I have done.

I forgive others for thinking they get to say who I was or am. I forgive those who took their own personal vengeances out on my wedding day. Including someone close to me who has never publicly said one positive thing about me and instead pointed out everyone in the room except for me. For saying the only good thing I ever did was marry my husband and not screwing it up. I forgive them because they were blind to anything that was every actually going on.

No. Marrying him was the greatest experience of my life but I have definitely done many, many more good things. Being his wife is the favorite thing I have ever been but I am much more than that. I forgive myself for thinking anything less was ever true.

I forgive myself for every time I treated my body less than. For thinking I wasn’t worth something special. For going through phases of not eating, not eating enough, or eating junk. For harming myself, picking, pulling, prodding, treating, comparing. I forgive myself for ever letting words from teasing or bullying hurt me.

 

 

I forgive myself for thinking things happen to everyone. I forgive myself for being too ashamed to tell anyone. I forgive myself for feeling the shame of not stopping it from happening to someone else. I forgive myself right now for putting this out there in the world after being engraved in my mind and scribbled on paper for years.

I forgive myself for every time I thought I had to compensate for being something someone else wanted me to be. I forgive others who didn’t reach out, see the problems, or be the leader and mentor I needed them to be. I held on. I figured it out. I know what to look for and what to ask and when to ask it. I can take the shortcoming’s that adults gave me and use that for something much, much better now. I will break the cycle of what I have experienced.

Even if I never received a much-deserved apology, the justice that should have been served or the outcome I was too afraid of pursuing…I forgive myself. At 25-years-old I understand I no longer need public validation like I once thought I did. Just because you publish a post or a photo and no more than 10 people like it does not mean you aren’t beautiful or have nothing important to say. Not every person needs to see something to make it true or untrue. Not every person needs to believe or support everything I do or say. If I feel it is true, it is true. Wherever that is, Let It Be. 

I forgive myself for thinking terrible, awful things are happening in my body because of some twisted karma from an event that happened in 2009 or 2011 or last week. God loves me and he wants everything that I want. He’s just better at knowing what I need.

Forgive someone today. Don’t over apologize. Don’t insert a complaint when you could just change the subject. Forgive yourself.

Love,

Marin

“She wears strength and darkness equally well, the girl has always been half goddess, half hell.”— @nikita_gill

 

In case you haven’t heard we are running a huge promo to celebrate our first birthday in March! Make sure you’re following (social media and enter your email) so you don’t miss out. Once March is over, so will this promotion.

Interest in Pinterest: Analytics For Any Season

The world is visual. 

We want to see beautiful photos, watch motivating videos and see professional, clean posts in person and online. 

You may not think the font, colors or editing you use is important but it is. 

 

You want to know why? 

  • 87 percent of consumers purchase a product solely based on how it looks. 
  • 94 percent of first impressions are design-related.
  • 75 percent of potential customers confessed to making judgments about a company’s credibility based on their website’s design.
  •  

 

Social media, websites and online presence are more than likely the first impression someone will have of you; make it a lasting impression. 

You know why clearance sections are in the back corners of the store? They want the regularly priced items up front, they want the pretty display up front, the neatly folded clothes up front…the disorganized, pile of clothes with the small, white, boring sign above it. 

When an area is too busy or confusing humans avoid it. Chaos and messy areas are distracting to your senses (clean your room!) and you will never get your message across with the ‘noisy’ distraction of a mess. 

 

If your site is bland it looks neglected.

If it’s all over the place you look irresponsible. 

If you have incorrect grammar, spelling or punctuation it looks careless.

For a review of your current branding efforts, schedule a free consultation. You can also check out this post on branding.

 

No matter the season or occasion, people hop on Pinterest to plan their next celebration. 

There are several tools you can use to post across multiple platforms. Buffer, IFTTT and Hootsuite are some I have used and enjoyed. 

In order to track your progress and impressions you will need to establish a business account on Pinterest. Here is a quick guide on how to do that. You can either ‘rebrand’ and change your current page or create a new one; whichever makes more sense for your business and products. 

Not sure? Just ask!

 

Next, make sure your boards are organized into Holiday Recipes, Christmas Decor, etc. For examples on how to do this check out popular brands like Target, Crate and Barrel or other popular brands in your field. 

You will also want to make sure your images and headlines match up with the season as I mentioned in this blog. Get your pins out earlier than the season as people want to prepare. December 1 is not the time to start sharing Christmas decorations. October 31st is not the day to share Halloween makeup. Be there before your audience is. 

 

How are they performing? 

Pinterest Analytics serves as valuable market research to watch for traffic and what performs well (or poorly) so you can adjust accordingly. 

Pinterest is not my sole source of clients but it does allow business, self help and marketing searches to pop me up. I include visually pleasing photos that include my website so they can return to my page and not use my work on other pages. My travel guides, book club and 

Using my page as an example, I can find my page’s analytics in the upper left hand corner. 

I have 57.3k monthly viewers, 1,414 followers with 2.6k of monthly engagement and I can see what photos or materials were saved from my website or regular uploads. 

Business accounts are FREE so you literally have nothing to lose by trying this out. You start by answering five simple questions telling them about your business and make sure all of your contact information is setup correctly. 

I have the easy view of my stats once I log in to my account and I can promote the page if I would like. 

If I wanted to click on my monthly stats it shows my stats. This is helpful to see when I had a boost, what was posted or what time of day, weekend/day, and more valuable information so I can maximize my reach in future posts. If something performed poorly I might try switching the photo or, as some people do, publish the same material with 2-3 different cover photos and see which performs best then. 

I also get sent regular business page emails about which pins were performing best and how many impressions they received. The one I recently received let me know

“93% of people say they use Pinterest to plan purchases. As a brand,
creating boards helps you get your products or services in front of
Pinners. Pick a theme, like dinner recipes or summer outfits,
then 
add some Pins.”

Here’s a screenshot from another email breakdown. 

 

While not all of my pins are created by me I can see what people follow me for my most popular impressions and start to create material for them if I would like. 

I highly encourage you to switch over to a business account on all of your main social media pages and, even if a site isn’t a main traffic control, it can always give the opportunity to lead people back to your site…or you can just nerd out on numbers and demographics like me. 

 

If you need help setting up business accounts on any social media account, let us know. We are happy to help get you the marketing results you need!

 

Cheers! 

Marin

 

6 Creative Ideas For Your Holiday Social Media Strategy

$1 trillion

The predicted amount Americans will spend during the holidays this year. Hint: that’s the highest it’s ever been. (You can sign up free through my referral link here.


Source TheSkimm

 

 

As a business owner, how are you planning to compete in the marketplace against the noise of large, corporate companies? 

If you’ve completed a Branding + Positioning Strategy with us then you know who your target audience is, how to speak to them and where to interact with them. 

The unique position you have as an entrepreneur, small business owner or the town’s only boutique is the attention to detail, the local supplier, the sense of community, the benefit of supporting a family vs. a large corporation.

You may offer homemade ornaments, goodies baked from scratch or customized clothing. 

Maybe it’s a  service you offer. Landscaping companies who hang Christmas lights or do cleanup. A cleaning service prepping for the guest’s family visit. A decorator ready to deck the halls for any office party or set a table for a home gathering. 

 

 

Ho-Ho-Hold On….Even if you weren’t planning on incorporating holiday marketing in your strategy, you need to. Too busy or overwhelmed? We are here to help.

 

 

What you offer is just as unique as how you market it. How you market your product or service needs to match the effort you put into your work. Otherwise, how will it get into the lives of those who need it? 

I have put together six ideas to bring joy to your holiday marketing strategy (and to your customers.)

  1. ADVENT CALENDAR. Most manageable is a 12 Days of Christmas Advent Calendar. Each day, at the same time, publish a photo or video with an offer that’s good for the next 24 hours. You may also choose to do a full 24 days and you can enter whoever answers a fun holiday trivia question correctly to win one big prize. Other ideas could be the instant winner, the refer-a-friend tag or a discount on a future purchase. 
  2. E-COMMERCE. E-Commerce sales take the lead in all orders and more than 20 percent of those sales take place during the holiday season. more than half of the sales traffic is done via mobile. Is your site optimized for mobile screens? Another great idea is to ‘decorate’ the platforms your customers will see. Think of the Coca-Cola polar bears and Santa. Incorporate a new cover photo, cover video, profile photo, and effects to your platforms. Do you have an up-to-date website? We can help. 
  3. #HASHTAG. Market research can lead you to find the most frequently used hashtags for search engine optimization (SEO). #WishList2018 can be added to your feature items or #HolidayCheers for your wine, beer or spirits. The more creative for your special offers, the more buzz. You can also turn famous songs, stories or rhymes to fit your business’s theme. Have fun with it!
  4. Packages. Make it simple. Make it easy. Creating gift boxes, packages (or another creative name) is a great way to group similar items at a few different price ranges for your customers. If they can order a basket for an outdoorsman, a teenage girl or a newborn it’s a one stop shop. Showing these off as Gift Guides For… allows people to imagine who they could gift the package to. Bonus points if you include giftwrapping in the price!
  5. North Poll. Conducting polls about Christmas cookie shapes, favorite songs, least favorite movies, holiday drinks, decor styles, etc. gets interaction from your customers. By including your shop’s tag or website on the image, every time the image is shared it’s circulating to new audiences and people will look you up from the original source. 
  6. Santa’s Cause. Tis the Season to give back. At the beginning of the month announce a cause near and dear to your company’s heart. If you have a brick and mortar you can hold a warm clothing or toy drive. Enlist your employees and their families to ring bells for the Salvation Army. A portion of your sales can go toward an organization or you can accept Christmas donations (trees, wreaths, decorations, etc.) to give to those in need. I recently saw a story of a family unable to EVER have decorations or a tree because of their financial priorities. A simple Facebook post by a family friend gave them a beautiful Christmas and no Christmas decorations or trees were tossed in the trash. 

 

Looking for more ideas? We’ve been waiting to share more. Just ask!

I would love to hear your ideas in the comments. If you found this helpful or entertaining please share it with your friends and business tribes. 

 

Cheers!

Marin 

 

If this was helpful please leave a review on our Facebook page. 

Do you or someone you know need a hand during the holiday rush? Reach out! 

“My Success Is Inevitable.” And The 10 Step Action Plan To Get You There.

In the Winter 2018 publication of Success Magazine Harris Faulkner shared her bits of wisdom on a feature page in the back. I loved everything she mentioned and hope to get my hands on her book “9 Rules of Engagement” soon!

 

Harris shared answers to several questions but one of my favorites was her favorite quote. I agree with Harris that my favorite is always fluctuating depending on what I was going through or needed in  that moment.  Her fortune cookie left her with “My success is inevitable.” It’s a great reminder that you are where you are supposed to be and, so long as you keep working and moving forward, you will be successful and end up just where  you need to be.

 

The answer that stuck out the most was her definition of integrity. Her prompt was “Integrity is…” to which she answered and I will paraphrase ‘That thing you do when nobody is watching.’

The definition of integrity is ‘the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.’

 

It’s when you find money on the ground and return it to the waiter who dropped it. 

It’s when you have the opportunity to break the law but choose not to. 

It’s when you hold yourself accountable for your words, thoughts, actions when you’re alone or with others. 

“Take care of your words when you’re with others and your thoughts when you’re alone.” 

 

A person of integrity, a person of success, a person with knowing all have a plan. I also read in this issue that being ‘too young’ or ‘too old’ is not an excuse for wandering aimlessly. You can always change your mind about who you want to be but you must always be working toward something. 

To keep working toward something, you need to create an action plan. This will help you get started in the direction of your goals and allow for flexibility should you (probably) need it later on. This is something we do with all of our clients in the Branding + Positioning Strategy which you can check out here.

  1. Set SMART Goals. The first thing we learn in any communications class is how to set SMART Goals. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely. Instead of saying ‘I will raise awareness on diabetes,’ try ‘I will prepare 200 infographics with a checklist of tasks and due-dates to help identify pre-diabetes and distribute at the health fair by April 1.’ This allows you to track progress and see how well you performed. 
  2. Identify your audience. Who are they? What do they look like? What do they sound like? How do you communicate with them? On which platform? All of these questions and more are answered in our Branding+ Positioning Strategy.  
  3. Hire in the direction you want to go. In the time it would take you to learn, try, research and implement something by ‘just doing it yourself’ take a look at who around you could help out. You can find graphic design students, Fiverr freelancers, SAHMs, Facebook job postings or a family friend to take care of the things you can let go of. Use your time where it makes sense for YOU to be. If it’s not 100% mandatory you do a task, delegate it. 
  4. Identify Opportunities. If you’re a crafter, what holidays or occasions are coming up? If you’re a decorator, before what events do people want their home decorated? Find a problem in your industry and provide a solution for it. What is the biggest pain point for your clients and how can you fix it? This is often done by a little field research as informal as a Facebook poll. 
  5. Income. Even when you think the last three months of business have been booming there is always a chance that funnel will dry up. By creating products, email campaigns, eBooks or other services you can guarantee yourself, and your employees, continued paychecks. If you’re a coach and someone can’t (or doesn’t want to) pay your monthly coaching fee, would they settle for one call a month at a lower cost? Implementing a referral program or short-time offer is a great way to bring in new clients while servicing your loyal current clients. 
  6. Move forward every day.  It’s easy to feel burnt out in your endless pursuit to success. Each day you should be taking a step toward what you want to achieve. What would a fitness icon do today? They would workout even if they didn’t feel like it. What would a millionaire do today? They would make that phone call they might not want to make. You are always choosing. You can read a book or watch a TV show. Which would be more beneficial? You could choose to sleep an extra 30 minutes or you could take a walk. Which would be more beneficial? The best thing here is that the answer is different in every situation. Some days you will need to de-stress with trash TV and sleep in instead of working out and eat a bar of chocolate instead of an apple. Balance. You control your decisions. 
  7. Network! Building a network is much more than a business luncheon to pass your business card around. Meeting locals in or outside of your industry allows you to get the word out about your offers and work with others you may have otherwise never known. Networking provides the chance to meet your mentor and create an accountability group. You could be someone’s inspiration and you’re doing no favors by playing it shy and small.
  8. Take Action! A blessing and a course, my sense of urgency still gets sh*t done. My husband is very much the type who wants to put things off and is never ready to start in fear that it will never be perfect enough to put out. I encourage clients to be well prepared but you will never know what works or what doesn’t if it isn’t public. You have nothing to improve if it doesn’t exist. 
    Want me to review your current work? Just ask!
  9.  Log Your Hours. Keep a log on your computer of where you spend your time. Much like a timesheet when you’re on a 1099 contract, log your time for a week and see if you’re spending the most time on projects that make you the most profit and make you the most happy. 
  10. Review and Improve. After implementing, testing the course for a while and reviewing your log, review what is or is not working and how you can make it better. Even if things are going great there is always a way to make the customer experience better, increase employee morale, or add-on to a current offer. Fix anything broken and reward yourself for a job well done. Thank those who have helped you thus far and be kind to those just coming in. 

 

I hope that you know your success is inevitable. You can slow down but you cannot stop. As long as you never give up, you will succeed. 

 

Cheers to taking action!

Marin

Are you ready to put your plan into action? Let’s go!