Thanksgiving As A Lifestyle

If you’re like a majority of my social media feed, your house (and mind) are probably decked out for Christmas already.

But we have to celebrate Thanksgiving first!

 

Usually my husband and I spend Thanksgiving as Friendsgiving since we live far away from family. Last year we were in Hawaii! You can read about it here.

This year, however, my in-laws will be coming to visit us and spend a week as a family of six people and two dogs.

Wish us luck on the two dogs part….

 

 

I  enjoy Thanksgiving because of the delicious comfort of traditional food, being surrounded by family and friends, watching parades and football, playing games and enjoying each other’s company with warm-scented candles and cold drinks.

In my family we pray before we eat. Right before we’re allowed to grab a plate we form a circle, hold hands and bow our heads.

We thank God for blessing us with a healthy, happy family standing to our left and right, a roof over our heads so we can celebrate together and how fortunate we are for everything we have. We also have a tradition of going around and saying what we’re thankful for. It often includes a few sarcastic remarks to make us laugh, a few sentimental comments but mostly saying we’re thankful for what is considered mundane and common.

Then we eat.

And an hour later someone will be napping, the kids want a piggyback ride and 10 people are looking through Black Friday ads.

 

 

Thanksgiving began as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. It’s a time to express gratitude to those who helped you, thankfulness for having overcome trying events and appreciation for everything good in your life.

I’m thankful for my husband and my marriage. 

I’m thankful for my dog bringing humor and love to our life especially when I’m alone.

I’m thankful for a car that works, a beautiful home and the opportunity to work.

You remember the feeling of the love, the gratitude and the initial pull at your heartstrings when someone mentions your name or something you’ve done.

If you’re wanting to give this feeling to someone else in your content, download this free guide.

 

 

Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be reserved as your once-a-year good deed. It’s a lifestyle.

A lifestyle of expressing gratitude, showing appreciation and spreading joy. It’s a chance to reflect on how thankful you are for people and experiences; negative or positive.

If you haven’t already hopped on the gratitude journal train, let this be the time you try it out. Just give it one week. Just try it. You have NOTHING to lose.

Literally. Nothing.

 

Every morning write three things you’re grateful for. Think of five things and list them out. If you can think of ten things, write down ten things you’re grateful for. I challenge you to come up with something different every day. Stretching past the obvious and easy topics encourages you to focus on what you take for granted or what makes you happy.

When you’re actively looking for gratitude, you will find it. 

 

The idea of writing down what you’re grateful for provides a visual of how much positivity you are surrounded by. I often flip through my old entries and can see me going in and out of slumps or where my mind was at that time. I forget I was thankful for the sunshine, a trip or flexibility.

Finding gratitude and appreciation in your daily life is proven to reduce stress levels, improving self-esteem, creating change and gaining new perspective. It also helps attract more of what you want (Law of Attraction) and forms self discipline in your daily routine.

Many people often pair gratitude journaling with meditation, prayer or just staying silent in a moment of self-care (which might be your only moment of silence all day.)

 


 

I’ve been a confused child, a dramatic teenager and a college student surrounded by chaos. I have always aimed to do my best but know I have made mistakes and experienced many things only few know about.

In times of wanting comfort and support from others I found people who could care less, people who smirk and reply with ‘I told you so’ or thrive on the secrecy of disappointing news. In the times when I was physically or mentally alone it helped to bring myself back by realizing every good thing I did have.

If you’re struggling with diving past 1) Family 2) Friends 3) Health on your gratitude list, think deeper. Write down every detail and find the positive in every step. I’ll use my day as an example:

  1. I woke up. I’m grateful for that. 151,600 people die each day
  2. My phone alarm went off. I’m grateful I have a phone and the money to pay for it. 14% of the global population don’t have access to electricity.
  3. It was raining so I didn’t take my dog on our usual morning walk. I’m grateful for the rain and a house to protect us from it. More than 20 percent of the world’s population lacks adequate housing.
  4. I worked out. I’m grateful for a healthy, fit body that’s capable of moving. 5.6 million Americans are paralyzed. 
  5. I ate a healthy breakfast and threw a healthy supper in a crockpot. 1 in 6 Americans face hunger.
  6. I took a hot shower. 25% of the world’s population don’t have access to adequate sanitation.
  7. I worked on my computer while listening to an audiobook. I’m grateful for technology to connect to people far away. I’m grateful for my hearing and sight. 700,000 individuals in the U.S. have some level of both vision and hearing loss.

All before noon. If you realize how lucky you are, even in a horrible circumstance, you are still alive to experience that.

And that’s something to be grateful for in itself.

 

Getting Started

I prefer pen and paper in a journal so if this appeals to you grab a fun pen that glides across the paper, a journal that excites you to look at and, another thing I did, place stickers randomly throughout the pages. I also flipped to random pages and wrote quotes or inspirational sayings.

You will come across those pages at just the right time (like this) and they can also work as writing prompts should you get stuck.

 


 

I can’t wait to hear about living a life of thankfulness, gratitude and appreciation. There is a difference between saying or believing you are and actually living as if it’s true. In your words, in your actions and in everything you surround yourself with I hope you are thankful.

 

Cheers and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Marin

Looking for ideas to promote your business over the holidays? I have some ideas I would love to put to good use in someone’s business.

Schedule a time for us to talk.

Please use them!

How To: Be Content With Content (Free Guide Included!)

Personal brands, business brands, start-ups…there’s a lot that goes into creating a business. You want to do something that you love and earn compensation that reflects the work you put in.

You’ve set up the bank account, you’ve followed legalities, you’ve branded your company and purchased the materials needed to get going.

Let’s tell people about it!

 

Oh, but it’s just sharing a few photos and updates with a touch of humerous mishaps, right?

Eh….not so much.

You want to tell people about what you’re doing but it’s important to tell the right people, on the right channels, the right way. And the field of communications was born…

 

You don’t get fitter by just buying the gym equipment you have to use it!

You don’t get instantly prosperous by doing a one-time marketing session or class. You don’t get traffic or customers by just posting about it once and carrying on, hoping everyone will remember you’re selling ____ . Communication is a multi-platform, full-time job.

So you have the social media accounts but now what?

 

If you can, pick up some help. If you’re maximizing your resources, you should be BUSY and you’ll need to focus on doing the part of the business that you love. This can be difficult for many business owners because it’s usually something with your hands or that requires all of your attention.

Once you’re done working, you want to spend your time doing…well…what YOU want to do.

One of your goals in starting your own business was being in charge of your schedule.

So why are you letting it run you over?

 

I’ve seen waayyyy too many people fall just short of taking advantage of their communications strategy. Their competition, who are focusing on their communication and content strategy ALWAYS COME OUT ON TOP.

 

Creating content that converts…not just gets Likes

 

Will you let me help you?

Whether you want to be a top dog or you just want to play the game, I want to help you reach your goals. I created this content guide I’m about to share and had it in my marketplace ready to sell but knew the same people who weren’t paying for content strategy before wouldn’t now. So I made it an added bonus.

Is it worth something? Absolutely. The hours I spent on this could have been spent elsewhere.

But I believe this is valuable enough for you that it will just take putting in to action to see results. If you feel the urge to reciprocate, leaving a review, sending a referral or inquiring about working together would be fantastic. I am here to help whoever I can, whenever I can.

 

I would love to hear suggestions on what else you want to see and learn about. Please leave them in the comments below and don’t forget to share this on your social media pages!

 

Without further ado…

Here is your guide How To: Be Content with Content. Click the link to download!

(It is a downloadable document and will also be available on my website Products page here.)

 

Cheers!

Marin

Have a success story or want to leave a review? Sweet, thanks! You can do that here.

1) A false belief or 2) A BS excuse

*Feel free to share*

I went to our local farmer’s market this weekend and while we walked around purchasing random products and speaking to the owners, I noticed how they presented themselves and their tables.

One lady was head down, sitting, playing on her phone.📲 Another was standing up, energetically talking to every customer approaching the table and explaining how and why her treats were different, with a creative, cute, unique setup. 🙋🏼‍♀️

I went online to reach out to everyone and connect them with Local Collaborative. The woman sitting down had over 35k followers on Instagram (?!) and the one standing up engaging had only 300 followers. 🙇🏼‍♀️

Are you the one with 300 (or less) followers, feeling like you’re trying everything but it’s just not working and questioning if you should even do this for a living? 🤦🏼‍♀️

Or are you the 35k who think you’ve made it and have maybe taken a backseat. Maybe you don’t know the next step. You might want to sell, start something new, collaborate or expand but just don’t have the time to manage it all.

There’s a secret.

It’s absolutely priceless when you know how to communicate your story. Don’t let the fear of “not having a story” or “not being a good writer” keep you from achieving a great impact. I’ll let you choose what to call that: 1) A false belief or 2) A BS excuse. 💁🏼‍♀️

You can be both creative and strategic. Business can be fun. 💸🎉 Let this be a wake up call and take action ➡️RIGHT NOW.⬅️ If you’re a business owner or know an entrepreneur, please don’t hesitate to share.

Let’s find a solution to whatever problem you’re facing right now. Click here.

 

Cheers!

Marin

Systems: Make it simple, Make it successful

Home visits, airplane rides, business meetings, hard drive crash, jury duty…just a few of the reasons over the last two weeks that I was grateful to have systems in place.

If you haven’t yet set up a team of pros and are taking the route of a solo-prenuer for now, this is a mandatory foundation of your business.

You may be able to head out for a planned vacation or you might have to drop everything for a last-second emergency. Is there a system for someone to take care of things in your personal and professional life?

 

Systems=Freedom. You have the freedom and flexibility you were looking for when branching out in your own business. The best type of system is the one that works for you and it’s the one you will use.

If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there. – Lewis Carroll

 

If you’re looking to stay organized in your home, your system won’t work like someone else’s does. Their lifestyle, their environment, their schedule vs yours. This is why many people struggle in their weight loss or other goals they set.

 

So how do you establish a system to success? 

  1. What are you currently doing? Is there anything that is working or not working? Is there something that scares you, stresses you out or something that you would have to spend more time learning than implementing?
  2. Write it all out. Write on a separate page for each area of your business (marketing, social media, finances, business partners, newsletter, virtual team, in-person team, etc.) What is every step that needs to be taken to make these happen and who is responsible for doing them? If you can include a timeline this helps you stay accountable.

 For example, when I have a new client my system looks something like this: 

  1. Client reaches out via messenger–Send them to contact form to schedule a call and collect info (24 hours). 
  2. Receive client contact form and call. Research all needed meeting and contact information. Research client’s online presence. 
  3. 24 hours before call, send confirmation. 
  4. 10 minutes before call, setup work station (quiet, full water, notes, chargers, strong service). 
  5. During the call take all notes, ask lots of quality questions (post coming up on this soon) then schedule a time for Branding+Positioning Strategy 7-10 days out.

3. Use the F-Word. Every successful business owner has written, spoken, preached, typed and tattooed (nope, too far) this critical part of their business after each contact with your client. There should always be a clear call to action before, during and after the transaction. You should show them the value you provide, why they need it, what materials they’re responsible for providing and a due date.

4. Where to find it? If you need to leave, where can someone access these documents? Using GoogleDocs is a free and very simple way for your team to access and see real-time changes. Evernote is a helpful system to declutter and organize so your team is on the same page. Team App, Slack and other Task Management Software are helpful for your team to test and use. There is no point in creating a system if no one follows it. Every person should be held responsible for following along and improving what you put in place.

5. Make it simple, make it successful. What can be delegated? What can be automated? How can something be made more efficient? Time is your most valuable asset, don’t waste it; you can’t get any more of it. Your time is worth money and it’s worth saving or spending with your loved ones. If there’s a way you can work smarter, it’s making your system and business work harder for you. Humans have always innovated to improve their efficiency.

There is nothing attracting people to someone that’s too busy. You’re showing them you’re worn down, disorganized and ‘too busy’ for them.

My favorite sources for this are HootSuite, Buffer, IFTTT, among others. If you are looking for something specific, platforms will offer free trials.

Always be improving. You need to implement to see what works and there is always room to adjust your system. Help me out here, would you mind? Tell me about a problem you ran into and a system you implemented that helped your business. Especially when dealing with clients!

 

Cheers!

Marin

PS: We only have a few weeks left on our Branding+Positioning Strategy discounted promotion! When you schedule a FREE Discovery Session you will receive 75% off your Branding+Positioning Marketing Plan. Let’s Talk!

What Kind of Brand Am I?

In the worldwide network of marketing, there are varying opinions on how many different types of brands there are. No wonder millions of companies and entrepreneurs face challenges finding their niche and target audience. In a world where it’s mandatory to be online, create content, respond to client engagement in a timely manner, be visually appealing and still run your business to earn a living, branding and marketing are the first step in figuring out a cohesive message and image to work from.

 

Let’s break this down to the most basic form. There are two types of brands: Personal and Company.

Personal brands are recognized by a person’s face and name. Think of YouTube’rs, Instagram’ers and fitness icons. Kayla Itsines is a great example of this with her interactions and selling her BBG programs. On a larger scale, the cycle of know, like and trust has grown to a level where people associate a name with a certain standard of quality, purpose or visual image. Think Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres or Tony Robbins. The person who represents the brand is the brand.

Does your product have your name on it? Is your service you personally coaching a client? Does your website or social media page have your name as the title? You’re probably a personal brand.

 

Company brands are what people imagine of when they hear ‘brand’ and they’re more familiar with the mission. They are easy to identify because they provide a service or product to the consumer. Companies like Nike, Apple, Amazon or Harley Davidson are common examples of strong company brands.

If you’re a service brand your client is buying a service from you sight unseen and sometimes without anything tangible to hold. Service brands are the most reliant on having an extremely established brand message for buyers to know, like and trust them. Their business profitability relies on best serving other people and creating raving testimonies through consistent high-quality customer care and service. Examples of a service brand are someone that provides help, repairs or provides outstanding customer service.

If you’re a product brand like many of the examples above your business is providing a product and aims to differentiate itself against other similar products. How do you make decisions on the best burger, best car seat, best razor or best water bottle? Through branding. Great examples of this are Kleenex and ChapStick. If you’re wanting a facial tissue many will ask for a Kleenex. If you’re wanting a moisturizing lip balm, you’re likely to ask someone if they have ChapStick. Establishing your product’s brand closely with your client’s values and positioning yourself as the best in the industry are the main goal of a product brand.

 

If you’re just starting out the best type of brand to build is a business brand because of the diversity, employment and investment opportunities. Being able to market your products or service from a business name instead of your name alleviates the pressure of selling to your personal network. It also allows your business to go on without you having to be the individual that serves someone.

For example, Diane’s Wine Tours could tell a client the best wine tours are given by Diane. Your goal should be to run a successful business that is systematized to work if you take some time off.

What did you find most helpful in figuring out the start of your brand type? Let’s hear your branding questions!

 

Cheers!
Marin

PS: Want help distinguishing your brand? When you connect with me for a FREE Discovery Session you get all of those answers AND MORE. Let’s Get Started!

Relax. You’re Not An Imposter.

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Even as you’re reading this I know there will be at least five people who will speak poorly of this. How do I come up with five?

Because four of them told me so (All men boys. All on social media.) I’m throwing the fifth in for good measure.

Starting a business is nerve wracking and exciting. Wondering if people will support it is intimidating. None of this is debilitating.

 

But who cares? This is something I love doing for me and if someone believes not ‘liking’ a post will hinder the improvement they are too afraid to branch out and work for themselves….then who cares? They say they don’t like it or don’t support it but they’re still taking the time out of their day to pay attention. They’re still watching.

 

They’re learning from you. They’re watching for your success or failure to gain some knowledge. You are playing the game they want a part in. If you win, they will celebrate. If you lose, they’ll say of course. Keep entertaining them, keep teaching them, keep giving them something they’re finding value in. You’re leading the way. You’re getting things started. You are encouraging and inspiring them. (You is kind, you is important.)

 

If you’re thinking of going for something but you’re worried about what others will think (We’re human. This is inevitable.) Relax. They are too worried about themselves to pay attention to you.

If you’re going back to the gym, relax. They’re (really) not watching you, they’re focused on their own improvement.

If you’re writing something that makes you vulnerable, relax. They’re not nearly as worried about what you’re saying as they are in themselves.

 

The fear of being thought of as a fraud is known as Impostor Syndrome. “A concept describing individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and have a persistent fear of being exposed as a “fraud.”

 

The sentence that begins with “Who am I to…Do This. Become This. Say This. Pursue This.”

Who am I to give people advice on their marketing and branding and earn money for it? Well. I’m an outside perspective. Your business is your entire life and you’re engulfed in it. You might not be able to see the challenges or changes that are even possible to be made. I spend hours researching, preparing, creating, writing and working for these clients and my time focused on them is valuable enough to be compensated for. If I weren’t providing something I believed was valuable or helpful enough I wouldn’t do this for a living.

Who am I to write a book? I don’t have an interesting story.

Who am I to write a blog? There are millions out there who have blogs.

Who am I to coach someone? I’m not enough of an expert. You will never will be.

If you think you’re incapable, you are. If you think you’re boring, you are. If you think you’re doing something wrong, you are.

If you think you’re charging too much, you’re demeaning your value. If I have a new $20 bill, how much is that worth? If I take that bill and crumple it, spit on it, step on it, how much is it worth now? It’s still a $20 bill.

 

You can lower your value or you can believe you’re worth it, no matter how much others try to lower your value. Don’t you dare let people who are too afraid of you succeeding stop you from being courageous.

 

Relax. Stay on your path and they will continue on theirs.

 

Cheers!

Marin

 

PS: Have we worked together?

“I read your reviews and I want to work with you.”  I value all the feedback I can get and I’m going to do everything I can to earn your five-star review.

If we were co-workers, I provided you a service or something I wrote on the blog made you really happy please leave a review here. Thank you for paying it forward to those looking for the best fit for their business goals.

 

Why Are We Doing This?

Interested in working together? I’m celebrating my one-year-launch with Free Discovery Consultations + 50% your Branding+Positioning Strategy now through March 31st. Let’s talk!

morning

People, we are currently on Day Three of Daylight Saving Time (yes, take that ‘s’ out of there!) I have been confused by what time it really is, I have read numerous friend’s posts on the funny things they have done and I have asked myself the question many of us do around this time “Why are we doing this?”

For my friends in Hawaii, Arizona and other non-clock-turners let me catch you up…

Daylight Saving Time’s main purpose is to make the most of the daylight hours. While this isn’t fun to lose an hour of sleep when we spring forward, it does make a lot of people happy because now we can do more in the daylight at a later time. If you want more numbers and details like how it conserves energy, survey results and how this correlates with car crashes, read up here.

I asked my husband “Why are we doing this?” and he answered “It all started for people like you.”

 

UH, WHAT?

 

Allow me to translate his humor. Drew was referring to the fact that I come from a family of farmers. While this was kind of funny (What do you mean YOU PEOPLE?!) this isn’t the sole reason for DLS and many agricultural professions actually opposed DLS because they preferred more daylight in the morning. Still, it got me thinking…

So many people are fatigued and tired. It’s argued that DLS actually hurts work productivity. It has people asking “Why are we doing this?” come Sunday (and Monday …and Tuesday) morning. It can impact your productivity and, as with any change, provides an opportunity to adjust. Here are three ways I answer ‘Why are we doing this?’ and ‘What am I doing this for?’ every day.

  1. Get Up. Just do it. You know this change is coming up so if you’re able to go to bed earlier and sleep in that weekend, do it. Take the time to adjust.
    • If you haven’t already placed your alarm clock far away where you have to walk to turn it off, do it.
    • Every night I make sure my alarm is set, turn on ‘Do Not Disturb’ and charge my phone on the bathroom counter. It’s not fun when that early morning alarm goes off but once I’m out of bed, I might as well get dressed in those clothes I laid out.
    • Just keep moving no matter how unmotivated you are. You will be more upset come 3 p.m. and you have tons to do than you would be if you’ve been getting it done since 6 a.m.
  2. There’s always a bright side. This should be your mindset every moment of every day but take this literally. It is all about your mindset.
    • Sunsets are pretty but I prefer sunrises. It is so much nicer to wake up to sun than it is to a dark, cold morning.
    • Each morning I walk my dog before working out and even when it’s cold, it wakes me up. If you were coming home from work in the dark, now you’re coming home in the sunshine.
    • I heard the kids next door playing basketball outside yesterday and if you’re familiar with the PNW, that’s a miracle in itself. Go do something fun with your time.
  3. Prioritize. I am a Type A personality which means I make lists about lists I should make. I hold firm to getting things done ahead or on time, I must be rigidly organized and I have this underlying competitiveness about weird things (EX: When a commercial comes on TV I see how much I can get done before the show comes back on. Like putting away dishes, folding laundry, etc….just try it.) Yes, this has caused some problems with the impatience it brings on but it has also been a consistent strength for my work ethic and achievements. This can be as simple or as detailed as you’d like. Maybe you’ve got it figured out or maybe you don’t even know where to start.

Looking for accountability? Let’s Talk

Here are some ways I hold myself accountable and stay on track every day:

  • I use a planner and pen because it makes sense for me. You might prefer your phone. I write out everything I have for that day and carry over anything that didn’t get done yesterday. When a box is full, I look at the rest of the week and put remaining tasks in an emptier box. Here is what I have for Tuesday, March 13.
    • Go through dog closet and cleaning closet for donations (truck comes by tomorrow so this is important today but not the end of the world.)
    • Walk, 15 min HIIT and upper body workout
    • Shower
    • Blog post (I will be posting every Tuesday!)
    • Finish portfolio & get prices lined up
    • Discovery call with potential client
    • Do nails after supper
  • Now I prioritize those tasks by writing a number and circling it to the left. I will go in that order for the rest of the day, inserting time if I can and when I am done I scribble it out of existence. Ahhhhh.
  • I stay flexible for life to happen. For example, the call with a potential client didn’t come up until 9 a.m. I scheduled time with her at 11 a.m. and factored this in to a top priority. So now my list looks like this:
    1. Walk
    2. Blog post
    3. Discovery call with potential client
    4. Finish portfolio & get prices lined up
    5. 15 min HIIT and upper body workout
    6. Shower
    7. Go through dog closet and cleaning closet for donations.
    8. Cook supper (in my mind’s timeline, I don’t write it)
    9. Do nails
  • When they day is done I put a large X through it. If there is anything left undone I will move it to the next day.

Do I realize this won’t be for everyone? OF COURSE. There are people with office jobs, people with kids and their schedules, people who get stressed by an ordered timeline and prefer to just deal with whatever comes up…I get it.

This is something that works for me and if you’re feeling a change coming on like I often do, I hope you will at least give one of these a try. It takes 21 days to form a habit. If you saw at least one new idea I challenge you to commit yourself to trying that out for 7 days. No excuses. After that you can toss it, you can adjust it or you can expand on it. When in doubt, ask yourself “Why am I doing this?” The answer will either drive you or it will check your priorities.

Please tell me which of these new tips you’re going to try out and share any ideas on how you stay productive. I love reading your comments.

Cheers!
Marin

 

Interested in working together? I’m celebrating my one-year-launch with Free Discovery Consultations + 50% your Branding+Positioning Strategy now through March 31st. Let’s talk!