Aerie Lane Tarpon Springs Florida

I had the pleasure of interviewing these two amazing sisters that decided to take the leap of faith and invest, not only in themselves but in their future by opening a new franchise called Aerie Lane. In this interview you will learn:

  • How these sisters are able to work together, divide and conquer.
  • Splitting roles while one left corporate and runs the day to day and the other is still working her corporate job.
  • Playing off each other’s strengths to create an amazing partnership!

What is Aerie Lane?

Aerie Lane is about gathering with friends, creating with inspiration, and connecting projects and people in creative ways. Each time you construct a project by hand, you share a part of yourself with others.

Check out their website here to book your next party!

Like them on Facebook and support their business!

Have you been thinking of starting your own business? Need a little motivation? Maybe just a little push? We invite you to join our Facebook group here.

 

Mompreneur Interview with Owners of Aerie Lane – Tarpon Springs, FL

Have you been thinking about starting a freelancing business or going into business with a partner?

Being your own boss is an exciting and frightening feeling. It is something you want so bad and yet are afraid to chase that dream or leave your comfort zone.

I think at some point every person dreams of owning their own business, making money doing something they love to do.

Unfortunately, very few actually take that leap of faith and follow their passion and dreams.

In today’s world with this awesome tool called the internet, we truly can create a freelance business and work from anywhere.

For example, I am writing this blog from a beach by my house in Florida! 🙂

In this blog we will be covering:

  • Our Story of How We Became Partners
  • How to Know if Having a Partner is Right for You
  • Tips for Running a Successful Freelance Business with a Partner

Our Story

I remember when I started my business, I had set out to do my own thing, my own way and I was committed to making it work!

The day I started my business I already had 6 clients who had signed up for my services, so I was already making the same monthly income I was making at my corporate job!

See, the backstory on that is I told my husband (boyfriend at the time) when I left corporate to give me 6 months to replace my corporate income or I would go back!

The fact I was able to do that right away gave me even more drive and desire!

When I started my business I had offered a couple different services, social media management, networking, virtual assistant help and for a couple of my higher-end clients, I went to their office a couple days a week to help get them organized and some assistant work.

Things were moving and shaking.

I had my business for almost three years before I met Caitlin. We worked at a Marketing Firm in Northern Colorado together. We managed about 5-10 accounts for this company and really worked well together.

After a few months we had found out that owner was embezzling money from some of the clients, so we both left.

Caitlin and I both knew we liked each other and thought we should explore more about what we each do. We grabbed coffee one day and 4 hours later we had figured out that we could really complement each other.

My business had been successful for the first three years and I knew it would continue to grow if Caitlin and I could work together.  We could really take our businesses to the next level, and help all sorts of businesses with their digital marketing.

Caitlin had a different skill set than me and vice versa. We both had been managing digital marketing from two different angles.

I worked on social media management and she worked on analytics and AdWords, so we really complemented each other.

We each had our own businesses with our own clients that would benefit from each other’s skills and services.

We decided to work together, we thought it would be best to keep our own businesses but incorporate each other’s services by offering them to our own clients. Just to test the water, we wanted to make sure we would really work well together before we said: “I do, want to be your business partner.”

This worked extremely well, we were each bringing in more clients and happy with the results they were getting.

We worked together for over a year when we hired our second intern.  It had started to get a little confusing for our intern trying to keep track of what clients were Caitlin’s, what clients were mine and which were ours together!

We really had to work on our systems at this point!

The TALK

We had a long talk about how we both managed our own businesses, what systems we had in place, price points, income, how we each managed our own clients and where we needed help, etc.

There were a few things we would both have to adjust if we joined forces, but we were both committed to doing so.

My grandmother was a CFP and owned three H&R Blocks in Michigan for over 25 years, so we had a conversation with her about moving forward with becoming partners and combining our businesses.

Our question was “how do we partner and join forces and what is the best way to do this?”.

I have to be honest, my grandmother was not very excited about the thought of us being “Business Partners.”  She had told us that almost every business tax return she had done with partnerships never ended well.

They couldn’t agree on finances, roles, services, prices, or one would think they were doing more work than the other, lack of communication, the list went on.

We both knew that by working together we would be able to reach new goals and grow our business.

We both have exceptional work ethics. Our core values are in alignment. We compliment each other nicely.

A few things needed to happen before we moved forward, the biggest thing was roles!

Roles in the Business:

– Who was going to manage the money
– Accounts Payable and Receivable
– Sales
– Marketing of our own business
– Client Interaction
– Managing our Interns
– Day to day tasks

We both were able to express what our goals were, where we wanted to be, how we wanted to grow the business. We both were able to play off of our strengths and weaknesses.

We had written out what each of our responsibilities would be and what our expectations were for each other. This helped set the foundation for our successful business. We got those uneasy conversations out in the open first thing.

Still, to this day we have our own roles and have had very clear conversations about money and expectations.

Long story short, we decided to go for it and we created Boundless Internet Marketing Solutions (The BIMS Team). We both kept our own LLC’s and formed an S-Corp together. We decided that any client that had to do with marketing would go through The BIMS Team. We also agreed if we had a client or project that was outside the scope of BIMS we could run it through our own LLC as long as we communicated. This included side projects like I made soaps and sold them for fun, Caitlin refinished furniture and has an online store where she sells apparel.

How to know if Partnership is Right for You

I have always loved the idea of co-creating. I also know I am a control freak and like things done my way! As much as I like things to go my way and have the control I also knew that I could learn a lot from Caitlin. We could really go far with our business together.

Teamwork+Trust = Success

I liked the idea of shared responsibilities, someone to hold me accountable, someone to bounce ideas off of and feedback on projects.

I think before you decide to have a business partner you need to have a self-talk.

Really understand the type of person you are and who you want to be. You have to be honest with yourself and understand the areas where you can grow and change your ways.

You also have to be ok with taking direction or constructive criticism from someone else.

For example, there are times where Caitlin has an idea to change a system or process that we have had in place and I usually have resistance towards that change. She talks me through the new process and how it is going to help us, I let my guard down and allow the change to take place.

9 out of 10 times it works out for the better!

Just remember it is ok for things to grow, adjust and change. I have to remind myself that this is why we started our own business to have that freedom and flexibility.

Having a partner in a freelance business can really be a powerful tool. Time to time, I think where would I be in my business if I didn’t meet Caitlin, or if we didn’t join forces. I know for a fact that I wouldn’t be the person I am today if we hadn’t joined forces.

I am a type of person that LOVES my comfort zone! Caitlin helps me grow and pushes me. (In a good way)

It has been a great journey so far learning from each other, and for each of us to allow another to grow in their our own ways. To also collaborate on new business goals and techniques. You can set yourself up for personal and business success with a partner.

This past year, we both took the ‘What’s Your WHY?’ test and that was a huge eye-opener for us. You have to trust each other and know that both of your end goals is the same. You may both take different roads to complete a task or project, but as long as neither one of you are hurting the business or brand, allow each other to flow.

Tips for Running a Successful Freelance Business with a Partner

Like I said above, having a partner is a great idea if both of your personalities mesh together and you can work well together. Ove the past 7 years of running a successful freelance business with a business partner where everything is 50/50. I have learned a few things about having a business partner.

Here are 10 Tips for you: 

1.Have a Successful History Together Before Forming the Company

It is important to form a relationship/friendship outside of work, this piece can be tricky. You want to find that right balance, of friendship and work relationship. You want to feel comfortable with this person. Someone you can go grab a beer with or call if you need something. You have to be yourself!

2. Agree on a Vision

In the beginning “Talk” you need to both express your vision for what each of you is thinking for the company. Outline a one-year plan, three-year plan, five-year plan, and long-term plan.

Where do you both see yourself in ten years?

Is your vision the same?

Are you both wanting to serve the same target market?

Are your both looking to grow the business with the same idea of services or programs?

3. Have the Hard Talks About Money

Make sure to keep your communication open about money. This is the key to run your business and grow. If you both are not on the same page you need to talk about it. How do you both feel about money? What is your worth? How should you charge for services? Where is there flexibility with pricing and working with clients?

Will you have monthly contracts with your clients, do they pay weekly, or monthly? How will they Pay? Credit Card, Check, PayPal, Stripe, Cash?

Then, once you are both in agreement about how you are going to charge your clients and collect money. Then you need to have the conversation about how do you pay each other. Are you going to have paydays?

At the beginning of our business journey together, we would split the money as soon as someone paid, so if we had a $500 client pay that day we would each make $250. This was fine when it was just us two.

We hired interns early on to help with certain tasks, so then we started having business expenses. We needed to figure out how we were going to pay our interns or contractors. We pay them on the 1st and 15th and then we decided it would be better if we set dates to pay each other. So, we pay each other the 1st and 3rd Friday each month. We adjust if needed.

This put another system/process in place for our business.

4. Decide the Roles

Figuring out the roles and expectations of each other will help things run more smoothly. Now, there are two of you so it is a good idea to split the business responsibilities.

I suggest to sit down and write out a list of every task there is to running your business. Write it down on a daily, weekly, monthly basis. I mentioned these roles before:

– Who was going to manage the money – Accounts receivable and accounts payable
– Bills and expenses – who is in charge of making sure those are paid?
– Sales – are you both bringing in new clients? Do you each have a goal or minimum of new clients you want to bring in each month?
– Marketing for your business – who is doing the blogging, videos, social media, networking, digital marketing, etc.
– Client Interaction – are you both going to have the client interaction or is all communication going through one person? Do you figure out who interacts with them based on who brought them to the business?
– Managing Interns or Contractors- Who is in charge of finding help? How much will you pay them? How will you pay them? What are your expectations or requirements for each intern or contractor?

Once you have your list written down, you can then both go through it and pick the tasks you want to manage. The ones that neither of you is passionate about, see if you can hire those out. Work smarter not harder.

5. Understand Each Other’s Commitment

Core values come into play here. When you understand where your core values are at then you can understand each other’s commitment level for the business. What is each of your commitment to the business, clients and each other?

6. Identify Each Other’s Strengths and Weaknesses

This is why you are even thinking of having a partner because they most likely do something that you don’t. Outline each of your strengths and weaknesses, this is something you may have jotted down during your own self-talk section. What areas in your business do you excel at and where are the areas that you may not pay as much attention or areas that are more weak for you or you are not as passionate about. Each of you needs to do this. You should both have different strengths and weaknesses. If you both have very similar strengths and weaknesses, you might want to reevaluate that partnership. Will you be able to push each other and compliment each other?

7. Compatible Styles

Now, that you both have discussed your core values and outlines each of your strengths and weaknesses, it is time to make sure you are compatible. Where your weaknesses are should be your partners’ strengths, and where their weaknesses are should be your strengths.

Being compatible can go deeper than just running the business.

For example, Partner #1 works 12-14 hours a day, has no kids and is always trying to get new clients to get the business up and running to bring her vision into play. Is very driven and doesn’t like to be told what to do.

Partner #2 has a family and needs to find that work/life balance, has a busy schedule with hobbies or child activities and may work more in the evening than during the day.

This could be a problem for some people, this is where those upspoken expectations come into play. As long as each of you is able to get the work was done and you can communicate during hours that work for each of you, then you are compatible.

You need to have common ground and communicate about schedules and family life. We have found that having a task-driven company works better, there are days where I may only work 3-5 hours a day and then there are days where I am working 12-14 hours a day and same with Caitlin.

We can’t track each others hours and hold that over each other’s heads but have those roles and tasks clearly outlines so you both know what is expected from you each day.

Another thing to talk about with your business partner is their “psychographic” styles. In a nutshell, what is their personality like, values, attitudes, interests and lifestyles?

8. Figure Out How to Grow the Business

Go back to number 2 – What is your vision? If you both have the same or at least a similar end-goal then what are the steps you both need to take to reach that goal? Set monthly and annual goals for the business. Revisit that one-year, three-year, and five-year plans.

9. Have a Plan for Success

You have set your goals which is great and now you need to create your plan. If you both want to make over six figures a year, what does that look like? How many clients or projects do you need to have each year to reach that level of success? What does success look like for each of you? Is it happy clients? Six-figure income? Make sure you are both on the same page.

10.Have an Exit Strategy

The last thing – put an exit strategy in place. This is something that just protects each of you and again outlines those expectations.

If either of you chooses to part-ways, what does that look like? Sometimes things just don’t work out. Maybe one of you got a new opportunity or decides to go in a different direction. Maybe deciding to start a family and chooses not to work at this time.

You need to have a clear outline. Is there a buy-out process? Do you measure how many clients each of you brought to the company? Can you just walk away and let your partner continue?

This is another hard talk to have, but it is important to discuss an exit strategy so you don’t burn bridges with your partner or clients.

 

We covered a lot on this blog and you may need a little time to really think about if having a business partner is right for you. If you discuss these steps we outlined you both are on your way to success!

Are you ready to grow your freelance business?

 

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Interested in learning more? Take a look at the following articles:

Importance of Having a Schedule

How to track your goals

Cost-Effective Ways to Market Your Local Business Online

 

Have you been thinking about starting a freelancing business or going into business with a partner? In this blog we will be covering: Our Story of How We Became Partners How to Know if Having a Partner is Right for You Tips for Running a Successful Freelance Business with a Partner #businesstip #freelancing #freelancebusiness #runningafreelancebusiness

 

mk ectopic and miscarriage

“You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming.” – Pablo Neruda

I first wrote this blog in January, waiting for spring and new beginnings to bring fresh light to the loss we endured in December, but alas, a new situation has arisen where I need to share and invite a community of others into my life. When I finished writing this post at the end of March, I couldn’t click publish. Now, it is nearly 3 months later, and I’m finally editing my blog to share with others.

This post will be difficult to write and I assume difficult to read. My goal is not to hold back, but to embrace my mission of creating a community of strong and empowered entrepreneurs. Being authentic and open about my own struggles will hopefully help you do the same as you face your fears and create something for yourself.

I start here with my miscarriage at 10.5 weeks in December, followed by a ruptured ectopic pregnancy 2.5 weeks ago (in March) at 6.5 weeks, and end with a message of love and support that being a mompreneur has provided me.

Part 1: The unexpected loss.

I could see his eyes drop as the ER resident brought the ultrasound across my body one last time. Joe slowly shook his head as he looked me in the eyes. He had seen what we already knew was true: our little baby was gone.

Every year we travel back to the east coast between Thanksgiving and Christmas to take advantage of low ticket prices and fewer travelers during the Holiday season. It’s a time that we can spend with my Joe’s brother’s family, my brother’s family, my parents, and our friends.

As business owners, we always spend a few hours here and there working, but this is a time of relaxation and reconnection with friends and family.

This year was different. Both my sister-in-law and I were pregnant with our second children and due 7 days apart! Our daydreams were filled with visions of the cousins growing up together and reaching the same milestones in sync. Our trip started with pure joy and excitement. MK and her cousin J were all snuggles and did a great job of playing and sharing with each other.

We then announced my pregnancy to my aunt and grandparents who were over the moon that the family brood was growing: from 1 great granddaughter a few years ago to soon-to-be 8 great-grandchildren by mid 2018.

But the next day I saw a little blood. After calling the doctor’s office, I was reassured that perhaps I just had a yeast infection, and it wouldn’t harm the baby. The following morning, however, I started having cramps around 5 am,  and my optimism quickly vanished. Waking my husband up, I crawled upstairs to tell my mom we needed to go to the hospital and asked if she and Dad could watch MK until we returned.

Then I had my first set of contractions. Though not as bad as actual labor contractions, I was quickly reminded of how utterly bad I am at natural labor and immediately rushed to the bathroom to throw up and collapse in pain on the floor. Heading back downstairs a few minutes later another contraction came, and I passed what I knew was our little baby.

In the ER at Dartmouth Hitchcock, we were met by a lovely nurse and an ER resident who guided us through the ultrasounds. They took their time not only explaining what had happened but also shared their own personal stories of loss. They explained that it looked like the baby had stopped growing about a week and a half before and reiterated over and over that there was nothing we could have done.

We felt the loss and pain deeply, but were fortunate to be surrounded by family and love. Joe and I cried and held each other in support as we processed everything in waves over the following months.

At one point, shortly after our ER trip, I realized that based on the timeline, the baby had died right after Thanksgiving, when we had told my in-laws that we were expecting. Our little angel had found their to a better place as they were surrounded by love, prayers, and well wishes. This realization that the baby left the world embraced in love has helped me move forward. It helped me overcome the pain I felt that our baby had died, and nobody knew for a week and a half.

Additionally, I found talking about the loss opened doors to deeper connections with the women in my life. People who were once only acquaintances shared their own stories, and I realized I was not alone.

Everyone deals with the pain of a miscarriage differently and on their own time, but being able to have these conversations allowed me to accept our truth and become excited about the growing our family once again.

Unfortunately, the joy we experienced when we next saw the second blue line was short lived.

Part 2: Left in a daze.

This time around, I first thought I was pregnant while at Steamboat for a long weekend and ski trip with friends and family. I kept my excitement at bay until I was certain of a missed period and waited one more day to take a pregnancy test.

Above all else, I truly didn’t want to get too excited. In the 2 months following my miscarriage, each period was a tragic reminder of our loss. I would get my hopes up for a positive pregnancy test only to start my period the following day. This month, I wanted to set aside the stress and give my body time to tell me in its own time.

All stresses at bay, we were ecstatic when the test came back positive. But, with visitors in town and more coming, I pushed off scheduling my first visit with the OBGYN (which I knew wouldn’t happen until 7-8 weeks anyways). I felt great (at least as great as you can feel in early pregnancy ) but was sore, tired, and had mild aches and pains.

However, one thing was new. My cramps, though mild and aligned with a changing body, felt a little too strong for so early in the pregnancy. Additionally, I experienced pain in my ribs just under my left breast. It reminded me of the aches and pains I experienced later in the pregnancy with MK, so I didn’t try to think much of it.

At 5.5 weeks, however, I looked up ectopic pregnancy symptoms and even brought up to my sister-in-law that I was afraid that I had it, but I wasn’t fully convinced. After all, the cramps weren’t consistent with an ectopic pregnancy, but that nagging pain in my ribs – where was it coming from?

My sister-in-law and I chatted about how you can’t scrutinize everything in a pregnancy, because it would cause too much stress.

Especially after a miscarriage, all you want to do is scrutinize each slight feeling…you’re hyper aware all the time. But, God has his plan, and trusting in that needs to be enough.

Then Wednesday night came. At about 12:30am, I popped out of bed thinking I needed to use the restroom and ended up crawling from the bedroom to our bathroom, dry heaving over the toilet, then collapsing in pain, burning up, and nearly blacking out. Just barely able to call for Joe, I managed a drink of water and ate a cracker.

All I could think about was, “Is this what morning sickness and early pregnancy constipation actually feel like?!” My pregnancy with MK was so easy. I only had morning sickness once, so I honestly thought that my fever, chills, and urge to throw up was because I needed a little food to settle my stomach.

After a few minutes I managed to get back to bed and slept until morning.

On Thursday, I had my weekly networking group, but knew I needed to use the restroom before I left (I really thought I was constipated or even impacted). One thing led to another and before I knew it, I was on the kitchen floor crying in the phone to my mom, a retired nurse, about how to relieve myself.

How embarrassing, right?

Joe had gone to the meeting for me to drop off handouts for a presentation I was scheduled to give, while I stayed at home, in pain, crying about not being able to poop! I then called the hospital and asked for a nurse in the women’s clinic to call back about early pregnancy constipation and to schedule my 8 week ultrasound.

Amber (my business partner) and I chatted after Joe returned home, and I even laughed with her about how embarrassing it was to be in so much pain.

Finally my nurse called back and I decided I absolutely couldn’t take the pain anymore. The pain was growing worse by the second, especially that rib pain! Crying on the phone, I exclaimed that I needed to come in and luckily, the nurse listened and squeezed me in for an appointment with their new midwife. Could I be there in 20 minutes? “I’ll be there.”

After hanging up, I called Joe, who was out for a walk with MK and Clover, and said we needed to go to the hospital right now.

He rushed home, we piled in the car, and off we went.

From the facial expressions of the midwife—whom I hadn’t met previously—I swore she thought I was insane. I kept going back to how utterly ridiculous it was to be in so much pain from a lack of bowel movement. Hadn’t I gone just fine the day before? Was the rib pain from gas? Or was it actually referred pain from an ectopic pregnancy?

Apparently, my judgement of her facial expression was totally wrong and the ultrasound tech cut her lunch break short to make sure I could be seen before her busy afternoon. We immediately made the trek upstairs to the OB clinic, but when we arrived, I needed to sit to keep from fainting and was immediately rushed to the closest restroom to throw up.

I knew the ultrasound tech from both prior pregnancies and loved how she talked through everything she saw. I think (technically) the techs are supposed to wait until a doctor reviews the findings, but she helps her patients understand exactly what they are looking at on the screen.

We started the ultrasound and immediately I recognized my uterus looked different. It was dark, meaning there was no embryo, but there also were dark spots as she moved the ultrasound wand around. She began looking for the sac in my right Fallopian tube, but all we found were pockets of blood all the way up to my pancreas.

Turning to the left, we immediately found my baby… along with a ruptured Fallopian tube. She stayed on the embryo for a minute, taking measurements and listening for a heartbeat. I forget now if the my little kidney bean’s heartbeat was able to be measured, but it was the perfect size for a 6.5 week old fetus.

My sweet baby was absolutely perfect, but in the wrong place.

I already knew then that the next steps would be surgery to stop the bleeding, remove my Fallopian tube, and save my life. By the time the doctor arrived at the ultrasound room, I had already heard a call being made to prep an OR room for my arrival.

As my eyes fluttered closed in the OR, I forced myself to focus on an image of Joe holding MK to keep my breath steady.

Long story short, I am forever grateful that I listened to my body, that the nurse listened to me, and that the doctors rushed to action without delay.

Healing after a Ruptured Ectopic Pregnancy

I wasn’t initially going to put this into the post, but there is so little information out there about healing after laparoscopic surgery for an ectopic pregnancy.

We were lucky for a few reasons:

  • I’m healthy and athletic
  • MK is a darling
  • Joe can make his own hours (also a business owner)
  • Joe’s family is 45 minutes away
  • My mom was able to fly out, as well

We’ve had a lot of help , which has allowed me to focus on resting and healing. The first 2 days I took my ibuprofen and Vicodin as instructed, but soon grew wary of how I felt on Vicodin and switched to only ibuprofen and acetaminophen here and there.

The biggest challenge was MK. She was at the hospital, though not in any of the exam rooms, but she was VERY worried about my boo boos. We realized after the 2nd night that she needed more one-on-one time with Mommy, and we started watching Sesame Street each afternoon before dinner.

As a family that doesn’t even have a TV in the living room, the screen time was not ideal, but at least it was something we could do together.

About a week after the surgery, my body felt a lot better, so it became a little more difficult to make sure I didn’t overdo anything. I still wasn’t scheduling client meetings, and mentally I could only really hold one thought in my head at a time. I worked some, but not even at 50%.

MK, however, was exhausting. My poor husband… She started crying for hours at night and throwing temper tantrums at every little thing. It took me awhile to get back to a point where I felt like I could help discipline her, but it’s difficult to say “Let’s do X instead” when you can’t then actually pick her up, let alone get up, to change the situation. Again, poor Joe.

Luckily, my mom stayed with us for a week and helped keep our house clean and take MK for walks or to the park to keep her occupied.

Now three months out, the steri strips are gone, the stitches have fallen out, and I’m feeling like myself again.

Emotionally, the pregnancy has caused more fear about the future rather than sadness about the loss. I think this is because we hadn’t been in to the doctor’s office for that exciting first ultrasound yet (combined with how in the back of my head I thought something was wrong).

Above all, I feel a longing for the naivety of my first pregnancy with MK.

Part 3: The Power of Connection.

Mompreneur's story of a miscarriage followed by a ruptured ectopic pregnancy and the value of a supportive community to move forward, miscarriage, pregnancy, #family, business, #sheboss, community, #healingIn times of loss and helplessness, it is easy to get lost in your own thoughts. You can also, however, use your loss as an avenue to open doors and build relationships.

I am overcome by how talking through recent misfortune has allowed me to connect on a deeper level with my business partners, clients, friends, and family.

Everyone has their own story, and allowing myself to start the conversation invited others open up about their own experiences.

As business owners, we need to take this to heart, as well. The world is full of people who want to see you succeed. If you have big dreams, you should talk about them. If you are struggling, find a coach or accountability partner to help you find the way.

As a mompreneur specifically, we are always pulled in so many different directions. It can be lonely even when we are surrounded by others at play times or in meetings with clients. Each waking moment is either devoted to our family or our business. Even instances of relaxation are flooded with thoughts of the next step to reach our goals. It is exhilarating, yet exhausting.

The past few months, however, have truly shown that being a mompreneur, though utterly draining at times, is incredibly rewarding.

Taking a step back since my surgery to heal has allowed me to examine the relationships I’ve built. It has reiterated that though I only work with my small team scattered throughout the country, my business relationships have a far more impactful reach. It is a privilege to be able to engage in conversations with clients about my experiences and have them open up in return. To have them write letters and send flowers (or home cooked meals) weeks later, letting me know they are still thinking about my family.

What comes next?

Time will tell 🙂

Today (3/29), I have the all clear to pick up my little love again, though her feet sit right at my scars. MK has been worried, however, since the hospital, so hopefully a nice hug and kiss will help her recognize mommy’s boo boo is all healed.

Her worrying has caused our usually sweet and silly girl to throw tantrums at every decision and to wake up screaming to be let out of the crib each night (Currently it’s 8pm and MK is exclaiming “All done NAPPING” … “Daddy, Daddy in bedroom, No Crib, Come out bedroom, Daddy out crib, come out bedroom, all done napping…” It might be a long night).

Hopefully, in the next few days her temperament will start coming back to normal. (A huge shout out to my husband for his patience and to the YMCA for their childcare so he can get some work done).

It’s been a tough go of it, but with mommy back, fingers crossed she snaps back to it! We’ve also had family in town for nearly 6 weeks straight, so a normal routine will be a welcome change.

Please feel free to leave a comment with your own story or experience. Sometimes things that are taboo are they best conversations to have.

I’ve been lucky to have a local community of business owners who understand the struggles of getting your hands dirty. Our goal with Social Speak is to create a community of values-driven professionals who wish to build a creative outlet in their lives, establish relationships with other driven moms, and grow their business beyond their wildest dreams.

Mompreneur tips

Can someone please tell me where the year has gone?  I cannot believe it is already the end of May! School is out in this week, well last week for us, my daughter graduated from Pre-K. Which is SUPER exciting for her, and I have decided to keep her home with me this Summer, rather than sending her to daycare. I am a work from home mom AKA Mompreneur, “I got this, Right?!?!” Oh my, to be honest, I am a little worried. Let me tell you a little back story on myself and my family.

I moved to Florida with my daughter, husband, and dog in October of 2015, when we moved our daughter had just turned three and wasn’t in school yet.

When we lived in Colorado, where we were born and raised, where we had all of our family and friends. They all loved helping me by watching Allisun (my daughter) so it was SUPER easy to get work done.

All I had to do was call my mom, aunt, family friends, in-laws, you name it and I had someone at my house who was excited to watch her!

Which was great!

We knew when we decided to move to Florida on a whim, change of scenery type of deal that we wouldn’t have anyone to watch her right away. My husband had a great Aunt – Aunt Lois who we had just met and fallen in love with. We bought a house within a few miles of her, so she was able to help out as much as she could until she moved last month 🙁

Moving to a new state and city we didn’t know anyone in the town we were moving to. It was the FIRST time in both of our lives we were actually on our own. I have worked for myself for 10 years and have always been able to work with limiting distractions, I had this in my head that my personal life couldn’t get in the way of my work! I have to be a business owner and people couldn’t know what was going on personally.

I know CRAZY!

So we sold our house in Colorado in September 2015 and started our DRIVE, yes DRIVE to Florida, see the red eyes in our picture, wiping the tears away. Off we go! In my head, I am really thinking WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING? AM I MAKING THE RIGHT CHOICE, WHAT IF I HATE IT, WHAT IF I CAN’T MAKE FRIENDS, YADA YADA YADA . . .

When we got to Florida my husband was taking a break from corporate and figuring out what he wanted to do and looking for a lowkey job for a little while, that’s the main reason we moved, slower pace life and be able to spend more time together.

Once again my personal life didn’t interfere with work!

Once he found a new job we found a preschool that we put Allisun in 3 days a week so she went Tuesday through Thursday and that was perfect. It gave me time to schedule calls, meetings and get client work completed.

She started VPK this past year so she was in school every day. Like I said above, she is now a VPK graduate and will be home with ME the WHOLE Summer until she starts Kindergarten. 

Now, I know moms all over have dealt with this before if you have had a child in school and has the summer off.

Most parents either put their child in summer camps or find childcare because you have to work. I am stepping out of my comfort zone and keeping her home with me!

She has a couple summer camps scheduled she will be doing throughout the summer and we have some traveling as well. I have a few things planned. I had to step out of my routine and comfort zone, call in help and ask another mompreneur down here if her daughter would be willing to watch Allisun once a week for a few hours so I could get out of the house and still attend my networking meetings and have ME time. I hate asking for help!

I am also a very routine driven mama! I like working certain hours and getting my work done without distractions. That is about to change next week when Allisun is with me.

To prepare myself so she is just not watching TV all day and I can continue to work, I have been doing a TON of research to figure out what I am going to do and how am I going to create a schedule! Allisun is very independent and task is driven as well, so I know having a schedule is important to both of us.

Has anyone else had this issue before?

What did you do to keep the balance during the summer? Here are a few tips I have found and will be implementing into our summer schedule!

Here are 8 Tips to help you get through the Summer:

1. Create a schedule and workspace

I am a person that LOVES to have a schedule, I need to know what I am doing each day, well when you have a young child at home it is important for them to have a schedule as well.

Remember, mamas, you may need to lighten up the schedule or be more flexible since it’s more than just YOU now.

Create a workspace for each of you, if you have been working at the kitchen counter or table that may not be the best place when your kiddo is home.

I know my daughter eats all day long so I need to make sure I have space where I can continue to work and a place where she can play or work with me.

Another thing to think of is, if your office is in a separate room you may need to adjust workspace so you can be involved with your child as well.

2. Get out of the house

I usually work from home ALL day, which I love, I am able to get my work done and stay on top of my house duties like laundry, dishes, vacuuming, which I feel like I do twice a day with our dog!

I actually really enjoy working from home and have been able to put systems in place. Just because I like it, doesn’t mean my daughter is going to like it!

It’s important to get out of the house, go to a library, coffee shop, kids indoor play center, out to lunch even. Find a place that allows your child to be able to play and be a kid, while you can bring your computer and work or take advantage of that play time as a time for you to read or catch up on emails.

I am not saying you have to spend money every time but find fun and unique places outside your house where it’s a win-win situation for you and your child.

One thing that I started to do, actually this week, I put together a mompreneurs networking group. I put a post up on a Facebook group I am apart of and asked who would be interested and I got quite a large response so I went ahead and created an event.

A group where we will meet monthly but can bring the kids. Allisun was in charge of helping people sign in on the computer, give name tags out and their handout. It was great!

I was working, building relationships and Allisun was making friends but also saw what I do and a peek into leadership! 

3. Create Lists – We all LOVE lists

This is something I find very helpful to keep me organized for my business, and I just implemented this into our personal lives as well. You may have one list or a few different lists. I have a couple of lists:

  • One for work which I have created in GoogleSheets so I can list out what I need to get done each day for our client work and our business brand/website.
  • One for personal “To-Do’s” like things I want to get done around the house, some may call this a honey to do list.
  • One for Allisun, she has a daily “To-Do” as well. It lists out the things she needs to accomplish each day and the activities she can do within the day. This gives her a great sense of accomplishment and pride in what she can do. It also allows her to create her own schedule throughout the day while I need to work. 

Lists help us keep our minds organized!

Lists can come in all different shapes and sizes, you may have sticky notes around the house with reminders or a few tasks on them, you may have a grocery list, house list, notebook that keeps all your lists or even notes on your phone or computer. There is not a right or wrong way to create lists, as long as you do it!

We always have a million things going on and as quickly as thoughts enter our minds I think they leave quicker than they come. Have a note on your phone or voice recorder app that you can talk to and create lists, even use Alexa or GoogleHome while you are at your house.

Just find a way that works for you and your family to create and organize the lists!

4. Set Timers

Timers is a new thought to me, I haven’t really had to use timers before for work or home life because I feel I am a disciplined person and stick to my schedule to get things done.

Well . . .  that was until I had a 5 1/2-year-old running around the house!

She is super self-efficient BUT still needs help. She wants my attention. Whether she needs to get a snack and needs help or if she is wanting me to play.

I have quickly learned by setting timers we all get what we want. I have started to have Alexa set timers for bathtime, iPad time, TV time but more importantly MY work time.

Keeping me on track and focused on what I need to do. I tell my daughter I am setting the timer for 1 hour and mommy needs to get a few things done for work and she can either use her 1 hour of TV time or playtime and once that hour is up we can do an activity or go on a walk.

Whatever that is, you need to all agree on it.

If you set 3 timers during the day for an hour each you can get a lot done if you think about it! You may need to use timers more throughout the day depending on the age of your child and situation.

5. Utilize Travel Time

Travel time is HUGE! You are driving an activity, networking meeting, playdate etc. Schedule your quick calls in between that time, you can also use that time to listen to podcasts or even books on audio.

This drive time can be anywhere from 15 minutes to even an hour, you can get a couple calls done and out of the way so when you are at home you can focus on your work and tasks that you need to accomplish and not get distracted with calls.

These calls don’t always have to be business, these can be calls to friends and family as well. For me when I am at home working I want to get stuff done, but sometimes the phone doesn’t stop ringing, it can be my sister, my mom, friends whoever it is I love them BUT I am WORKING! So take advantage of the drive time!

6. Keep a Routine

I know it’s summertime and we are looking forward to staying up later or sleeping in, but as a mompreneur, it’s important to keep that routine for you and your children.

Keep bedtime at certain times and make sure they are still getting up at the right time. I know things come up and change so remember to keep that flexibility, but 80% of the time we want to keep that routine.

Kids do well in life when they have had a routine and you are eliminating the fights about bedtime or homework time when school starts back up. We as moms still need to work, and the children need to respect that.

7. Hire help if needed

This is hard for me personally.

I really don’t like asking for help and haven’t had to do too much since we have moved.

We have a large support group and great friends that always say “If you need help during the day, let me know” . . . . it’s one of those things like do they really mean it?

HA, If you have a good support group of other mompreneurs or family that is willing to help out and watch your little one for a couple hours a week, take advantage of it!

You can still work from home but you are OFF limits, or you can go to a coffee shop or library by yourself and get stuff done. The other option which I am doing is having a babysitter come over once a week for 3-4 hours at $10/hr.

It’s something we needed to add to the monthly budget, but we were already spending $75/week when she was in VPK. I have realized if I stick to my schedule, have a clear “To-Do” list I can get SO many things done in 3 hours per week. I am going to make that my blogging time, client projects, research etc.

The items I need to have FULL focus on and NOT multitasking at.

It’s ok to ask for help! Trust me!

8. Be Flexible and Set Boundaries

At the end of the day, we are all trying to grow our businesses and raise awesome kids, right?

Remember to be flexible with yourself and others, things come up, life happens and sometimes it’s hard for us to allow those things to mess up our schedule.

I know for me I HATE when life gets in the way of my work, I am a workaholic and LOVE to work, but there are times when my daughter is sick and needs me more, or I don’t feel good or something is a little more important than writing my blog.

Give yourself grace when it comes to being a mompreneur.

We can’t be perfect 100% of the time! We are close though! Set boundaries with friends and family if you need to, if they are stopping you from moving forward or getting work done, let them now times and days they can come over or let them know you need their support, and YES this is your job (Blogging, videos, social media, making products, etc.).

We have a tough job here ladies, we are changing the world and taking care of our families. Some days you may need to get up earlier or stay up later, you may miss out on some of your own TV time to finish work, but think of it this way, you are creating your own reality and allowing yourself that flexibility and freedom, well, isn’t that why we are in business for ourselves?

If you are ready this blog and want to create an online business or grow your business, we are creating a weekend event in September where we will be diving deep into what is your passion and how do you create a business around that.

If you have a current business, how do you fall in love again with it and take it to the next level?

Stay tuned and we will be putting out the details before June 8th! Enjoy!

 

Interested in learning more? Take a look at the following articles:

Mom Business Ideas for 2018 [Ultimate Guide Plus Action Steps for Mompreneurs]

Christina Savage: How to Jump off a Metaphorical Cliff and Land on your Feet (Guest Blog)

 

Tips for work from home mompreneurs during the summer, #mompreneur, business tips, #workfromhome, #sheboss, work while kids are at home

 

How to tell your story

How to tell your story:

  1. How did you get to the place you are at now? Tell us about your journey.
  2. How did you know that you wanted to do “this” for a living?
  3. Core Values – What are your core values and how can you add them to your products or services? (We have a lot of resources o our website on core values)
  4. What makes you different? How do your products or services stand out from the others?
  5. What do you say when people ask you “What do you do for work?”
  6. Who is your target market? What problem are you solving for them or what pain point are you addressing? This will tie into your WHY!

Notes:

  • Once you have your story written down, make that your “About Me” page or create a blog post out of it. Also, create a video that shares your story, Add it to Facebook, Pinterest, make a short one for Instagram.
  • You are creating your Personal Brand with your story
  • Make sure you are fulfilling your target markets needs, are you solving a problem or fixing a need? By writing your story it will help you fill in the gaps you may be experiencing.
  • Check out your competition. Both locally and nationwide, look at what they are doing well and look at what they could be improving on and take notes!

Once you have your story complete and you are ready to move into the marketing piece and really being able to speak to your target market, you need to know first what are they searching for? What keywords are best for your business to be blogging about that will reach your target market and attract those perfect customers or clients.

You are on your way to creating SEO-Friendly content for your website and blog! Please sign-up for our FREE  training video on performing keyword research to improve the SEO on your website and blog posts.

Sign-Up for our FREE Keyword Training Video

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Interested in learning more? Take a look at the following videos:

Internal and External Goals

Setting Your Business Up On Autopilot

Finding Topics Your Tribe Will Love [Video]

 

By Christina Savage
Owner & Technical Consultant
Christina Savage, LLC

In late summer 2016, I jumped off a metaphorical cliff. I quit my six figure, salaried management job to start my own software consulting business from the ground up.

As a single mom of a 9-year-old son and the sole earner in my household, taking this leap posed a significant risk. Given this fact, you’d think I would’ve created an elaborate business plan, but I didn’t; I just rolled up my sleeves and got started.

But, why?

After years of working in high-pressure software and IT management roles, I was ready for more autonomy and flexibility. I wanted to build something all by myself. Starting a business is, in my mind, a creative process – and I desperately needed to create.

How I got started

In the software world, there’s a saying, “fail fast, fail cheap.” I knew that if I over-thought things, I’d never start. So, I just started getting things done. As an example, I didn’t create a fancy brand; I just used my name as my company name.

christinasavagewebsite

Here a few practical steps that will help you start a service-based business:

Buy a domain name

I bought my domain name from GoDaddy, but there are a lot of domain name registrars out there. It’s fast and easy and will typically cost you less than $20.

Name your company and register it with the state

I formed an LLC by registering it with the state, paying the fees, and filling out the required paperwork. Visit your state’s Secretary of State website to find out the process. Depending on your line of work, you may also need a business license.

Set up a mailbox

I bought a P.O. Box at my local post office, but I’ll likely move to a virtual postbox in the future.

Set up a business phone line

I knew that I didn’t want my personal cell phone number posted publicly, so I set up a Google Voice number. It’s free and forwards all calls to my cell phone. If you plan to build a business with more than one person, be sure to look into other VoIP options like Grasshopper or Fluentstream.

Create a logo

I hired my graphic designer friend to create a logo for me. I love it and I have it on everything – my website, my business cards, my invoices—you name it.

Hire a professional photographer

I hired a professional photographer to take headshots and I used them on my website and LinkedIn profile. Professional photography makes a huge difference, especially when you work with people who find you online.

Launch your website

Even though I’m technical and I’ve worked on a lot of websites in the past, I’m not a website designer. I knew that I’d spend too much time banging my head against the wall over my website theme and design if it was too customizable, so I just went the quick and easy route and chose Squarespace. It’s affordable and really easy to use. In the future, I’ll likely move to WordPress because I think it will scale best for me and offer me better SEO, but for now, Squarespace works.

christinasavagewebsite

Set up your email

I’ve always been a fan of G Suite because I love the Google platform. I’m a huge proponent of a paid email platform, as opposed to using a personal @gmail.com account. It’s one of the most critical tools in your business. Plus, G Suite makes it easy add and manage users and it offers some of the best collaboration tools on the market. My Google Drive files are well-organized, allowing me to keep my personal and business documents separate, but to also access my documents at any time, from anywhere, and on any device.

Get your financial tools in order

Set up a business bank account. Be sure to keep your expenses separate from your personal expenses. If you decide to move to an S Corp or other type of entity in the future, you’ll need to keep these separate anyway.

It’ll make accounting a lot easier, too.

Set up a cloud-based accounting software. I use FreshBooks and absolutely love it. It’s made for entrepreneurs and small business. It allows me to track my time in real time (I typically charge hourly), quickly generate invoices, and automate payment reminders. It’s also integrated with my bank transactions and credit card gateway. Plus, their support is outstanding. Having FreshBooks allows me to spend only 10 minutes per month on invoicing.

Finally, consider getting business insurance. Many clients may require it.

Start using a CRM

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is a central database to track client communication. I consider it the ‘brain’ of my business. Most CRMs integrate with website forms, sales and marketing tools, accounting software, and reporting dashboards. My CRM allows me to track my prospects, organize my projects, build reports, and market to my clients. It’ll also allow me to easily onboard and communicate with future employees.

These initial steps took me about two weeks. It doesn’t take much. Just start!

 

How I grew (and the emotions that ensued)

Once I set up my systems and processes, I had to figure out how to get clients. I’ve never considered myself a salesperson and I’m not into self-promotion. However, the primary skill that’s contributed most to my career success has been my ability to build and maintain relationships.

I’ve kept in touch with everyone over the years—former coworkers, employers, employees, clients, and vendors. So, when I started my business, I reached out to everyone. I scheduled coffee meetings and a lot of phone calls. This quickly led to a couple of key software partnerships, including my CRM software partner – a referral source that contributed 48 percent of my revenue last year. Other significant projects and clients came from referrals from friends and former clients.

I don’t mean to make this process sound easy. It took a lot of work and even more persistence. There were many days when I literally had no projects. I spent about eight months dipping into savings before my revenue became significant.

I also had a lot of job offers and people trying to get me to come work with them. As someone who’s used to saying ‘yes’ to almost everything, I had to say ‘no’ to a lot of great opportunities and stay focused on my goal of building a business.

systematize your business

What I’ve learned

Once the momentum starts, it keeps going. There will be many days in your journey when you have no idea where your money will come from next month—when your projects wind down and you have few opportunities in the pipeline. It’ll be scary, but you need to keep moving forward. Schedule more coffee meetings, attend a local networking event, reach out to an old colleague, or teach yourself a new skill. If you keep the momentum going, your business will continue to grow.

business organization

Structure your day. Even though you may want to sit around in yoga pants all day—and will probably do that most of the time—you need to stay focused. If you work best in the morning, do your most important work before noon. Schedule your meetings, calls, and business development tasks in the afternoon.

Do great work. You have to put your clients first. Make it as easy as possible to work with you. From your contract to the way you accept payment, it needs to be easy. I accept credit card payments from my clients and I wouldn’t dream of passing through the transaction fees. I invoice clients once a month, my time records are clear and detailed, and I give my clients 30 days to pay. Trust is key.

Systematize everything. Even though you may be starting out as a solopreneur, you may bring on employees or consultants in the future. The more clearly-defined systems and documentation you have in place, the easier onboarding and offboarding will be. Even if you just need to hire a consultant, you’ll save yourself so much time and money if they can easily review your documentation and devise solutions for you. Trust me on this.

Say yes. In the beginning you’ll say yes to almost any work that comes your way. As you grow, you’ll need to start learning how to say no and specializing, but the work you do in the beginning will teach you so much. You’ll also get used to facing brand new problems. Every. Single. Day.

You’ll have to tackle projects you’ve never done before. I’m not sure this ever stops. You’ve gotta be confident that you are smart and you’re a problem solver. In the words of Marie Forleo, “everything is ‘figureoutable.’” Don’t shy away from hard things. Focus and figure it out. You’ll get there. I promise.

You’re going to wear #allthehats. I run my business by myself. I’m the business development rep, sales rep, sales engineer, proposal writer, project manager, technical lead, researcher, marketer, visionary, customer service rep, tester, bookkeeper, and accounting department. I even did my own taxes the first year. Because I worked for small, lean businesses for years, I had experience in all of these areas. If you don’t feel comfortable doing these tasks, delegate or outsource them so you can focus on the highest and best use of your time.

Stick to your vision. As I previously mentioned, I received many job offers and invitations to discuss employee-type roles. It’s flattering and sometimes tempting, but I’m proud of what I’ve built—there’s no salary that could pull me away from doing my own thing.

Track your progress. For me, tracking my revenue is an easy metric to monitor. It took me 8 months to start making consistent and sufficient revenue. I gave myself many pep talks and I had to look at my consulting revenue chart every single month to prove to myself that my revenue was trending up. These trends showed me that I actually had a viable business and that I wasn’t blindly following a dream. Supportive friends and family are also key!

Where I am now

More than a year-and-a-half in, I’ve got 28 clients in 12 states and three countries. I’ve provided consulting on CRM, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), call center, and help desk software. I’ve written enterprise software manuals and marketing collateral, and I’ve managed a few big projects. And now, I’m starting to narrow my focus to the services I enjoy the most.

growthchart

I’m starting to consider re-branding and doing some marketing campaigns. To date, I haven’t done any marketing besides partnering with a few software providers.

I also started working with a CPA to reduce my tax liability and I put myself on payroll (yikes!). Finally, I’m focusing on larger, longer-term projects and building a recurring revenue model.

My current areas of focus are intended to help my business grow and reduce the chance that I’ll burn out over time. Next year, I may be focused on completely different objectives. It’s critical to be able to pivot and scale as your business grows.

“A year from now you may wish you had started today” – Karen Lamb

If you’re eager to start your own business, just start with the steps outlined in the “How I got started” section. Take one step forward every day. You may be surprised where you’ll be a year from now. Good luck!

Any questions? Comments? Get in touch! I’d love to hear from you.

Interested in learning more? Take a look at these articles:

How Social Speak was Born

5 Social Media Goals To Get You Started

Defining Your Core Values

 

How I jumped off a metaphorical cliff to start a successful software consulting business, #business, #momprenuer, how to start a business, steps to start a business, how to become a mompreneur, tools to use to start a business

How I jumped off a metaphorical cliff to start a successful software consulting business, #business, #momprenuer, how to start a business, steps to start a business, how to become a mompreneur, tools to use to start a business

mindset for entrepreneurs

As an entrepreneur we wear a lot of hats, sometimes we can get lost in what we are doing or what we are supposed to be doing. In this video, we will talk about 6 Tips for Creating the Right Mindset.

  1. Make sure you are passionate about what you are doing.
  2. Everything is possible – truly believe that!
  3. Be accountable to yourself
  4. Give Back
  5. Have a positive attitude
  6. Work for it

Interested in learning more? Take a look at these videos:

Setting Your Business Up On Autopilot

Core Values, Why They Are Important To Your Business [VIDEO]

Social Media Audit

how social speak was born

At the end of 2017 we, Caitlin & Amber, said that 2018 was going to be a year of change. Sometimes you just know in your gut that something is going to change. We knew this change was going to be for the better, we just didn’t know what the “change” would be!

For 7 years of being in business together and on our own for 10 years, we have worked hard at building our client’s brands, products, online communities, and businesses.

We are really good at what we do! The only problem with building everyone else’s businesses is you tend to put yours on the back burner.

Oh, we will make those videos later, we will write those blogs next week, oh, yeah that’s a good idea to have a coaching program – maybe next year . . . .

Long story short that “next year” came it’s called 2018!

We LOVE, LOVE, LOVE working with our clients and most of our clients have been with us since the beginning.

In December, Caitlin and myself had a talk about what we wanted to do differently in 2018.

How could we take our business to the next level?

We love being a resource to our communities and we both know so much about social media and digital marketing. We wanted to up our game and be able to provide MORE to our tribe!

Um, LIGHTBULB moment, it clicked for us.

What about if we create a website, a new educational platform, where our tribe can go for FREE, YES FREE, to search and find all the information they wanted to learn about social media and digital marketing . . .

Sounds great right?

Caitlin and I like to jump in feet first and not look back. When we have an idea, we are set on it we are making it happen!

We created a new website called Social Speak Network with a TON of information for our peeps, but we wanted to take it one step further . . . with all this awesome content, videos, and downloads, people were still asking on the “How-to.”

They love all the content but wanted to learn more hands-on how to implement it into their business and be held accountable for their digital marketing strategy.

That’s why we created our “Small Group Online Coaching Program” – a 6-month program for 3-5 business owners to really dive deep into their social media and digital marketing strategy, learn how to be successful online, grow their tribe, and learn new things!

Now, this is something that totally feeds our soul!

We are so very passionate about teaching others about social media and digital marketing and all the fun and cool things you can do! Isn’t awesome when you find your true meaning, your purpose, what you are supposed to be doing?

We want to help you create that too!

So, what does this mean for you???  What are we looking for? 

-> We want to invite you to our Facebook Group, this is the starting point, we post great information every day, you can ask questions, engage with other business owners and grow your tribe through this group!

-> We would also love your support if you would subscribe to our YouTube Channel 

-> We would LOVE to offer you is a FREE 30-minute consultation to answer any social media or digital marketing struggles you have been facing. You can email us at SocialSpeakNetwork@gmail.com to set up a time!

Interested in learning more? Take a look at these articles:

A day in the life of an Entrepreneur

Reaching and Attaining your Goals

How To Work SMART In 2018

As a business owner, it is important to figure out what steps go into each process, service or product you sell. When we start our business we are excited to serve our customers/clients. We sometimes max ourselves out and take on too much or can’t do everything. We forget to take vacations, spend time with family and friends, take care of US. We are working too hard and too much! Write down each step or task you do for each service or product, look at them and see which ones you can put on autopilot.

Things Each Entrepreneur should have on Autopilot:

  • Social Media Posts
  • Blog Posts
  • Newsletters
  • Chatbox on Facebook Messenger
  • Meeting Reminders
  • Invoicing
  • Leads
  • Networking Connections
  • Sales Pipeline/funnel
  • Event Registration Process

Interested in learning more? Take a look at the following videos:

Finding Related Keywords on Google

Interview with Casey Smith – Wild Liberty Design Co.

Core Values, Why They Are Important To Your Business 

 

Has anyone called you a control freak? I get that all the time! I feel as a business owner it is super important to create a schedule and stick to it, allows yourself some grace to adjust things, and we all know life happens and things come up. I always say stick to your schedule at least 85% of the time. So, yes I do feel like I am a control freak because I like my schedule! From home life to business.

My mom and niece were just in town for a week and I was able to get most of my work done before they came so I could enjoy time with them, but I still had a schedule each day of the things I HAD to get done, like write my blog, do a video, client work etc. I gave myself the grace to have fun and I got my work done before, as soon as you fall off the scheduling wagon it is so hard to get back on track. Think of your schedule like a diet, how many times do you start a diet and do great for a week or two and then something comes up and we fall off, it then takes us weeks, sometimes months to get back on track. By creating a schedule for yourself and sticking to it, it allows your business to run so much smoother. You know what needs to get done each day when you have time to check emails, work on projects, play with your kids, run errands, videos, all those things as an entrepreneur we have to do each day. You are creating a plan for success!

Here are 5 reasons having a schedule are important:

1. Your S.M.A.R.T Goals become real

Remember back in January we spoke all about S.M.A.R.T goals and what we wanted to accomplish for 2018? If one of your goals was to increase your clientele by 20 clients, or increase your video subscribers to 1000 then on your schedule you should mark out time to network, make calls, send a newsletter to past clients or potential clients, make videos and ask people to subscribe. By putting something on our schedule that we want to accomplish helps us succeed with our goals.

2. Stop spinning your wheels

Do you ever feel like you have this imaginary list in your head of things you need to get done and then 5 minutes later you forget and you are walking around for an hour saying “What was I suppose to be doing?” I know I can’t be the only one this happens too. Within your schedule create a ‘To-Do’ list this can be a daily ‘To-Do’ or weekly, whichever feels better to you. This then allows us that space to write down those things we need/want to get done and we stop spinning the wheels in our head and forgetting.

3. Life happens – be prepared

We all know as business owners life happens, a child is sick, an unexpected event pops up, maybe you are not feeling well. Anything can happen, by being properly organized it is easier to adjust your schedule. When you are able to pre-plan and pre-work to get things done earlier you are allowing again that grace period of these unforeseen life events that come up.

4. Everyone is on the Same Page

When you are able to create a well-crafted schedule for personal life and business life everyone can be on the same page. Each person knows what they need to do and when. You know what needs to be done to accomplish your goals and maybe what your team needs to do or even family. You are creating the foundation for your business and on that schedule or plan, you are also setting guidelines for others. I know having a schedule or plan doesn’t seem like such a big deal, but when you are a business owner and entrepreneur a lot of fun, shiny, new things that I like to call SQURRIELS show up and DISTRACT YOU!

What I am getting at is having your schedule and plan set you know what you need to do and when and so does everyone else. End-goal . . . less stress for you!

5. Keeping Track

Again I know I can’t be the only one who can’t remember what I did last year or even last week at some points! When you have a schedule, whether it be a day planner or Google calendar or even a Google sheet like I use, we write down all of our meetings, activities, and To-Dos. This allows us to track what we were able to get done each day, week, month and year. This makes it easier for you to keep track of your goals. Going back to point 1, if we wanted to get 1000 new subscribers to our YouTube channel and I looked back at our 2018 schedule or plan I could see I did 5 videos per week and that increased our subscribers past 1000! Or whatever your goal may be.

It is important to add your benchmarks to your schedule for your annual goals as well, to make sure you are sticking to them and are on track. Schedule them out, let’s say June we want to have over 125 videos on our YouTube channel and 500 subscribers. When that event pops up on my Google Calendar I would know YES! I am on track and have surpassed that goal, or I need to work harder to make sure I meet the goal before the end of the year.

Tools to help you with your scheduling

Google Calendar

Google Sheets

Wunderlist

Todoist

ScheduleMaker