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Do You Give Yourself Enough Time & Space?

Thu, 23 May 2013 18:58:43 +0000

You promised yourself that you’d leave the office at a sane time for the upcoming weekend or that long-awaited vacation, but do you?  Or do you try to do “just one more thing”? Sound familiar? You decided to be your own boss because you wanted freedom and flexibility. But, are you giving it to yourself? I can attest that once I became my own boss, I became my own worst nightmare. I would jam my schedule tight and find myself working late into a Friday evening and grinding it out like a mill worker. I’d get to the coveted weekend/holiday weekend/vacation and find myself practically in pieces from exhaustion. Photo: Paula Gregorowicz If a corporate boss told me to do that, I would’ve complained up a storm and likely just left when I felt like it. Yet, as my own boss solely responsible for generating income and creating success, I was ruthless.  It took me over five years to finally “get it” and create sufficient space before and after time away to actually make it rejuvenating.  Call me what you will (slow learner and a stubborn Polish woman come to mind ... ) but I share this because I sense you might be hurting, too. So, what made the difference for me?  The cycle of tired, frustrated, and exhausted was doing me in and souring my life’s experiences.  I couldn’ take it any more mentally, physically, or emotionally. I had to surrender and give myself permission to create what I want NOW instead of waiting for “someday ... later ... .” So while I am not less busy (I actually have more opportunities in the mix these days), I am performing more at my peak because I am far less frazzled and more in the flow. I can ease into time off like a gentle wave instead of thrashing in the surf.  Here is how you, too, can buy yourself more time off, space, and peace of mind without sacrificing quality work or opportunities. First, the inner awareness: Get real with what you are actually doing currently.  Look with a critical eye and an open heart and ask yourself: “Is this how I want to be/what I want to experience in my life and business?” Then ask yourself: “What would be the most kind way for me to treat myself in these situations?” Be no-holds-barred honest with your answers here. Next, the practical action: Work backwards from any major event or time off that you have on your calendar.  Give yourself ample unscheduled time (meaning no client appointments, etc.) prior to leaving to wrap up loose ends, schedule marketing activities for while you are gone, and prepare for your return gracefully. When you look at this timeframe, double, triple, or even quadruple the amount of time you “think” it’ll take you to complete something (at least one or two full days or more). If it feels like you’re being too generous or selfish, add yourself even more buffer than that, because you’re likely being too hard on yourself. Honor the boundaries and schedule you have set.  Don’t “just one last thing/email/facebook/client appointment” yourself to death.  Schedule it now at a time slot after you return, no exceptions.  This can be perhaps the hardest of all the steps ... so be ruthless and get the support of your team, assistant, or spouse to keep you honest.   Lastly, in the combination of inner awareness and practical action ... give yourself permission to be OK with creating this empty space and sane schedule.  It might feel uncomfortable, but that is only because it is an unfamiliar habit you are forming.  Bask in the fact that you are honoring yourself, your business, and those you serve by empowering yourself to be in the flow. Paula Gregorowicz plucks women business owners off the hamster wheel of overwhelm, struggle, and self-doubt and guides them to a purposeful path of building authentic and successful businesses using a unique blend of practical action and inner awareness called Intuitive Intelligence®. Grab a two-minute tip to nix that fearful and panicky feeling when you step out of your comfort zone.. [...]



How to Optimize Marketing Images for Facebook Graph Search

Tue, 21 May 2013 13:07:21 +0000

If you use Facebook to market your business, it can feel like things change so fast that you don't even realize you're behind! This post from Little Tech Girl helps you optimize images for the new Facebook Graphic Search in this post.

I just mentioned in my post about Facebook Home, that the fine folks at Facebook are always changing things! Graph search launched recently which enables several things such as real text searching on Facebook. With this also comes the ability to optimize your website for Graph Search. Read more about what you can do to optimize your site below.

Read the full post Guest Post: Optimizing Images for the New Facebook Graph Search on Little Tech Girl.

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Image: mkhmarketing via Flickr




Should You Say Yes to All Business Opportunities?

Tue, 14 May 2013 19:48:12 +0000

"Any business is better than no business." This is simply not true. Some business is not worth your time or energy. Some business will actually be detrimental to your business as a whole. So, how do you choose wisely? How do you know who are your ideal peeps? Darlynn from Little Blog Dress gives us some insights in this post.

In my inbox from Mantra today was this little pearl of wisdom:

While your product or service may be beneficial to the vast majority, not every client is worth the effort. A business filled with clients who are consistently looking for a "better deal" – or are otherwise causing you to lose sleep at night – is a clear sign that it’s time to redefine your target market. Start by creating a list of characteristics of your best customers and then research how best to reach them with your company message.

Read the full post All Business is Not Good Business on Little Blog Dress.

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Image: Desmond Kavanagh Flickr




Would You Get a Tattoo of Your Employer's Logo for Cash Bonus?

Sun, 12 May 2013 19:43:02 +0000

I know times can be tough and companies are always looking for ways to motivate employees, but when I saw this recent business news (which I mentally filed to the "crazy column of corporate antics") I was amused. Tracy Davidson from NBC-10 Philadelphia asked the question on her facebook page: Company offering a bonus to employees who get a tattoo of company logo. Would you do it? What's your price? What would tempt you? And the comments poured in. I thought, is this really true? Since I've met Tracy Davidson a few times I know she would never post something just to be sensational, so I knew there had to be validity to it. As it turns out, a Brooklyn Realtor promises employees a 15% bonus if they get the company logo tattooed on their body. “I think it’s a good opportunity to show commitment to a company that makes going to work fun every day,” Robert Trezza, who is the 40th employee to get the tattoo, told CBS. So, we now want permanent bodily changes in order to demonstrate company loyalty? Image: Shannon Archuleta via Flickr While this may work for Billy the Human Billboard, I don't see the tactic going mainstream any time soon. I relish creative ways to earn money and motivate others, but I draw the line at my body. It's my home for the time I am here on the planet, no one else's. The Q&A with the company's CEO in this article is quite interesting. The agency’s chief executive, Anthony Lolli, a tattoo-less man himself, says the point was to boost employee solidarity and to encourage people to think twice before quitting. My head spins on this. So I should tattoo my employer's logo on my body for a quick hit of cash that I will likely blow on who knows what so I can then feel compelled to stay at a company when I want to leave? Memo to CEO - you actually want employees to leave when they no longer want to work there. I understand brand ambassadorship but to a point. Wear a polo shirt with a logo, don't ink it in your skin. In today's economy of people struggling for cash coupled with the biggest lack of job security in history, the comments people have about this topic are interesting. Here are a few of my favorites from Davidson's feed. As you can see there are some wildly different opinions on the matter that swing both ends of the spectrum. So, I ask you dear readers... would you ink the company's logo on your body for pay? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.... Paula Gregorowicz plucks women business owners off the hamster wheel of overwhelm, struggle, and self-doubt and guides them to a purposeful path of building authentic and successful businesses using a unique blend of practical action and inner awareness called Intuitive Intelligence®. Download the Free Recording: Price with Confidence & Get Paid What You're Worth at http://www.thepaulagcompany.com. [...]



Save Time with Regular "System" Maintenance

Fri, 10 May 2013 17:56:16 +0000

Preventative maintenance. Also known as system maintenance, sharpening the saw, and taking care of the golden goose. We often give it lip service but skip it and then kick ourselves later. This post on things you can do to keep your system up and running (particularly in an online world!) from Paula Eder, The Time Finder, will help you save time in the long run and give you peace of mind.

System maintenance is one of those key tasks that (too often) gets pushed to the bottom of the priority pile. And yet, just as regular exercise and a healthy diet keep your body in shape, system maintenance is your assurance that everything is “go” in your on-line world.

Read the full post System Maintenance: Regular Checks Save Time on The Time Finder.

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Image: Rob Pearce via Flickr




Adapting. It Can Be Time Consuming

Tue, 07 May 2013 21:24:12 +0000

Whenever life upends you with something, adaptation (and resilience) are crucial. My friend and colleague Debra Woog has been in a major upheaval dealing with a diagnosis of diabetes for her young son while juggling the demands of being a business owner. Her heartfelt and vulnerable posts have been very powerful for working moms everywhere. I wanted to share this one on adaptation with you.

As described in my first and second posts of this blog series, my family is in a new and unexpected phase of life. As we’ve begun adjusting to the life-changing circumstance of my son’s new chronic illness, I’ve noticed multiple, distinct layers of our adaptation, each a new source of time pressure in our already busy lives.

The layers of adaptation I described earlier include Revising Priorities and Reconsidering Self Care. In today’s post I’ll address the additional aspects I’ve identified.

Read the full post Adaptation: It’s Time Consuming on Connect Two.

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Image: USFWS Mountain Prairie via Flickr




How to Develop a Mindset of Mastery

Sun, 05 May 2013 19:16:15 +0000

Everywhere you turn there is a quick-fix for this, shortcut for that, or wild promise about building your six figure business by the time commercial break ends on your favorite show. Hype and instant satisfaction follow us everywhere. Yet there is something to be said for the idea of mastering something - your craft, running your business, or service. There is no shortcut to expertise much like there is no shortcut for fine, aged wine. It takes time and attention to the fundamentals coupled with a lot of patience and trust. This post from bestselling author Pamela Slim breaks down 10 ways to create your own mastery mindset.

In today’s world of hacks, shortcuts and instant money-making blueprints, I think we have lost appreciation for slow-brewing mastery in our work.

Through the years, I have worked with many martial artists, cultural leaders and business mentors who have taught me that trying to finish first in a short race is not only stressful, it works against developing deep expertise.

Here are ten ways to develop a mastery mindset:

Read the full post 10 Ways to Develop a Mastery Mindset on Escape from Cubicle Nation.

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Image: violinist via Shutterstock




4 Ways to Grow Your List of Prospects

Sat, 04 May 2013 17:14:38 +0000

When you own your own business you must constantly be working to grow your list of prospects. It's called keeping your pipeline full. If you don't take consistent action your numbers will simply dwindle over time. In this post Linda Daley shows you 4 ways you can continuously and consistently grow your list.

Over a year, your mailing list will decrease by 30%. That’s an industry average but we've seen it with our own and clients’ lists. You’ll lose contacts in several ways, not just through unsubscribes. People change their email addresses, for example, or have other difficulties which cause your newsletters to bounce.

Read the full post 4 Ways to Constantly Grow your List on Work Better, Not Harder.

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Image: VirginMoney via Flickr




Over-Giving: Are You Putting Your Business at Risk?

Fri, 03 May 2013 13:26:50 +0000

Lately I've been on a weekly pilgrimage to a local microbrewery to try their new beers and fill my growler. While I'm not a huge beer drinker (more of a wine geek), I like good and interesting brews. I particularly love this brewery for their innovative creations. Their friendliness is a huge boost as well. They are up and coming and growing fast with a loyal following. Recently while I was sipping my samples, the owner was having a conversation with someone who stopped in looking for a donation for an upcoming event and my ears perked up as I overheard some of what was said. The people who stopped in were friends of the owner and were asking for beer donations for an upcoming charity event. Besides schooling them on the ins and outs of liability insurance as it relates to alcohol in the state of Pennsylvania, the owner made a hugely important statement that all business owners need to heed. He said, "If I donated to every person who came in here and asked (which is at least one or more a day every day), I wouldn't have any beer left to sell." Immediately my small business coach and consultant ears perked up in a celebratory "Yay for awareness and boundaries!" Image: sashafatcat via Flickr His remarks reminded me of something that every business owner needs to remember: You can't over-extend and over-give of your time, product, or service for free. If all you do is give-give-give with random hope that there will be some fantastic free publicity or future opportunities coming your way without putting strategy and boundaries around what you give, you will generously donate yourself right out of business. This holds true whether you are selling a tangible product (like beer) or a service that requires your time and expertise. Last year at BlogHer '12 I moderated a panel addressing the question of knowing when it is time to invest money to market your business. One of those key takeaways was: Time = Money You can guest post and do pro-bono work until the cows come home thinking they are all great free ways to market. Yet when you invest your time in something, you are by default investing money.  This doesn't mean you should never donate your time or product. It can be a productive way to build your brand awareness. However, it shouldn't be done unconsciously without a plan and limits. Never should it put the viability of your business in jeopardy. This is where the art of saying, "I appreciate you thinking of me for this opportunity, but unfortunately I have to say no thank you at this time." You can always keep the door open for the future. I am certainly grateful my favorite brewmeister at Free Will Brewing is so business savvy. They are a young business with so much potential and I want them around for as long as I live in the area. How about you? Do you tend to over-give in a way that hurts your bottom line or peace of mind? Do you see other local businesses making this perilous mistake? Would love to hear from you in the comments... Paula Gregorowicz plucks women business owners off the hamster wheel of overwhelm, struggle, and self-doubt and guides them to a purposeful path of building authentic and successful businesses using a unique blend of practical action and inner awareness called Intuitive Intelligence®. Free Teleclass for May: Assess Your Readiness for Self-Employment: 9 Habits You Need to Succeed. Register free here..   [...]



Success: It's Not About the Destination

Tue, 30 Apr 2013 11:41:05 +0000

We've all read the quote about how it's not about the destination, it's about the journey. Success is in the process, the road that leads to where we're going. Most of us nod our heads, agree, and then go about marching headstrong toward the destination without noticing much along the way. That's why I truly love this post from Denise Wakeman about success being a journey. Not only did she live this truth on a personal and visceral level, she is now bringing that same energy to her work. I had the pleasure of hearing her speak about her epic journey in person as part of a live conference a few weeks ago and truly wanted to share it with this community.

You’ve probably heard the quote or seen it on motivational posters…

“Success is a journey not a destination.” ~ Arthur Ashe, Jr.

I had never paid much attention to the quote. Seemed a bit trite and obvious. Then, I experienced it in an intensely personal way that surprised me and forced me to consider the meaning more deeply.

Read the full post Success is a Journey... on Denise Wakeman.

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Image: szeke via Flickr