The other day in part one of this twoÂ part series, we shared tips to enhanceÂ ‘your brand’ and ‘your pins’ to help you with your Pinterest business presence. Today, we’re showing youÂ how to optimizeÂ your boards and your marketing for maximum effect.
Are your boards… bored?Â A bit of tidying upÂ can help maximize your pins’ effectiveness and keep them relevant.
Board popularity changes, check your analytics,Â thenÂ rearrange your boards with the most popular on top.Â You can do this very easily by dragging them where you want them.
What’s In A Name?
Itâs fun to come up with kitschy names for your boards, but it may cost you viewers. Make sure your board names are clearly congruent with the subject matter. For example, aÂ board dubbed ‘Business Tips’ is far more likely to be found than one called ‘Biz Shizz’. (I’ve seen it happen.)
All of your boards should have categories. If you forgot to choose a category when you created the board, you can always go back and add one. Just click on the board and hit edit. Some pinners choose to browse via category and this tip will better position your board to be found in those searches.
Ever look back at stuff you pinned awhile ago and cringe? Me, too.Â From time to time it’s good practice to go through and purge old pins that are either no longer relevant or appealing. Outdated content, a passed fad, an ended contest or promo, or something you no longer abide by should allÂ be among the first to go.
If the board fits…
Sometimes you have a pin that fits nicely into more than one board- and that’s ok. While you can shareÂ a pin inÂ more than one board, you should’t have multiple instances of the same pin on the same board. Take a few moments to scroll through your boards and delete the duplicates. You canÂ eitherÂ repin them to another relevant board or keep the pin that has the most likes and/or repins and axe the other(s).
Your board cover photo is a great way to garner the attention of someone perusing your board grid. It’s also a good idea to change them up from time to time to keep them fresh. Your best bets areÂ images that areÂ eye-catching: choose graphics that are interesting, colorful, and just beg to be clicked.
Sometimes you gotta streamline.Â Don’t dilute board popularity by having several boards no one topic where a single boardÂ will do.
If you have just a handful pins in a single board you can move them to another board. Or, if you’ve tired of them, you can delete them. While the pins disappear from your boards, they’ll remain active by those who re-pinned them.
Conversely, sometimes you may have a board that’s growing a bit out of control. When a board houses an overwhelming number of pins, it’s less likely a viewer will go through them all. Â Sometimes it’s better to lighten the load and segment things out a bit. Scroll through the board to see which subcategories jump out at you and make new boards for those. For example, a board entitled ‘Food’ may be broken down intoÂ three smaller boards like, ‘Appetizers’,Â ‘Main Courses’,Â and ‘Desserts’.
At the end of last year,Â PinterestÂ made it much easier to move pins between boards.
1. Go to any of your boards on the web
2. Click ‘Move Pins’
3. Select up to 50 pins to move
4. Pick a new board for them
Pinterest is currently beta-testing Promoted Pins. These are regular pins that have paid for featuredÂ placement. Learn more and get on the waiting list,Â here.
Click hereÂ to see how some big brands are usingÂ Pinterest to take their businesses to new heights.
On the top of your Pinterest analytics page, you’ll see a tab that says ‘Your audience’. Click it to get more information about your followers. From demographics, to interests, you canÂ use these stats to hone in on people who repin your pins and check out their boards. What else are they liking? See any common themes? Is there something youÂ work on to increase interest and virality?
Timing is everything
There are plenty of studies out there that share their insights into the ideal pinning times, but as a brand-brained person I feel that everyone’s audience will have a different answer. To get a better gauge, check analytics to see what days and times most of YOUR repins occur.
This will depend on who your target market is and how they spend a typical day. If your audience typically spends Monday through Friday from 9-5pm in an office setting, it’s less likely they’ll be perusing Pinterest during those times. If your audienceÂ consists mainly of those spend the day in a less traditional setting, you’ll probably benefit from pinning around 2-3pm when the afternoon lull begins to set in.
A blog post on PinterestÂ broke down the most popular pinÂ trendsÂ by days of the week:
Monday: the week starts with good intentions in fitness
Tuesday: next up, gadgets are all the rage in technology
Wednesday: need a little something to get through the week â inspirational quotes
Thursday: threads lead Thursday with fashion
Friday: GIFs bring some comic relief to the end of the week with humor
Saturday: summer vacations are top of mind with travel
Sunday: the week closes with food and craft ideas
Spread Things Out
Now that you’ve got a handle on your own idealÂ pin times and topics, you can get to work scheduling some optimized pins.Â RobovyÂ is a great, affordable scheduling tool that allows you to take control of what you share and when for maximum benefit forÂ your Â audience. That way you don’t have to watch the clock and stop what you’re doing toÂ pin during your ‘peak’ times.
Lead The Way
Share your Pinterest URL everywhere:
Add a Pinterest button or widget to your website and blog.Â Here’s how to build one.
Add to Facebook withÂ this handy little app.
Add a link in your email signature.
There’s also an option at the bottom ofÂ everything you pin that allows you to save your pin while simultaneously tweeting the link.
Wanna see how you’re doing?
I mentioned Pinterest analyticsÂ earlier. Use them , they’re a great source of information. For more, you can also check outÂ third party analytics sites like:
OR You can type the followingÂ into the address bar andÂ easily find out whatâs being pinned from your site:Â http://www.pinterest.com/source/yourdomainname.com/
Keep current on Pinterest’sÂ Business Terms of ServiceÂ at all times. Sign up for notifications to be informed when they’re updated.
If you haven’t done so yet, be sure to check out Part 1 of this post, over here.
In the comments, we’d love to hear yourÂ successful Pinterest tips.
Every month we’ll be introducing you to an inspiring entrepreneurÂ who turned theirÂ passion into a successful business.Â Today, we’re talking with Ortiz Industryâ˘ Founder and CEO, Claire Ortiz. She took her professional skills and experience and paired it with a bold investment to set out to build a fashion empire.
Tell us about your company.
The mission of Ortiz Industryâ˘ is to provide menâs and womenâs fashion apparel with highly advanced performance technology solutions that enhance and simplify the demanding lives of the active urban professionals worldwide. Ortiz Industryâ˘ Tradecraft is a set of formulas combining a proprietary collection of innovative materials with advanced engineering techniques, each with a unique combination of functions and benefits, all with a luxurious feel and beautiful design.
Armed with a plethora of professional knowledge and research, co-founders Claire Ortiz and Heather Park set out to make clothing that is not only tailored and elegant, but also sublimely comfortable, while functioning specifically to exceed the ever evolving demands of life; and, by their interpretation, that means getting dressed in the morning and forgetting about it for the rest of the day, regardless of the tasks at hand. Everything Ortiz Industry creates has to provide superior performance, be washable, comfortable and absolutely beautiful.
How did you get started with all of this?
For more than 25 years, Iâve helped build infrastructure and led teams in startup environments and global corporations like Nike, Wilson and Underarmour, as well as at my own startup companies. Iâve been making clothes since I was 14, and have always been a technology geek, a voracious reader, and an obsessive perfectionist. After leading well-known brands into major success, and developing other startups, Iâve decided to put my expertise in materials development to create an unmatched value to the brand through proprietary formulas for performance materials. My tech geek side emerged while collaborating with the likes of DuPont and Optimer to invent compounds for new technical fibers, and Heather and I are excited to be literally creating an emerging market for performance fashion that looks and feels good from a skateboard to a boardroom.
As Global Creative Director at Nike, I was hired by basketball legend Michael Jordan to turn Brand Jordan Apparel into a success. This was an immense amount of work, as I carved out distribution channels and partnerships across the U.S., Asia and Europe that took the business from $15 million in 2000 to $128 million in 2005. Having led creative campaigns for more than 100 NBA, NCAA and NFL teams, and more than 2,500 world-class Nike athletes during the 2008 Olympics, and working successfully with Wilson Sporting Goods and UnderArmour, I went back to my entrepreneurial roots to start Ortiz Industry with Heather Park. Together we spent countless hours in research and development â literally studying human behaviors, as well as technological advances that we could weave into apparel. So, it was a project of passion built on a platform of necessity â we are taking action to provide consumers with what they need, apparel that reacts to the wearer, with each movement, while looking and feeling chic, modern and beautiful.
What was your start-up investment?
How long did it take you to become proďŹtable?
Where do you ďŹnd yourself ďŹourishing?
Where do you ďŹnd yourself struggling?
Three business tools you canât live without?
- Adobe Creative Suite
- My business partner who also serves as my confidant providing much needed comic relief.
- My notebook!
If you had to do it all again, what would you change? What would stay the same?
I think I would put more trust in our gut instinct and less on what people told us we should do. I would also have less tolerance for mistakes (internally and externally), and would shut them down quicker. We spent too much time playing nice in the sand box, and thinking about personal relationships versus making tough business decisions. I’d keep everything else the same.
What’s the best piece of business advice you can share with new entrepreneurs?
Stick to your guns. Just because you are a startup, doesn’t mean you have to be at the mercy of established companies/suppliers and customers. Know that you can’t please all the people all the time, and you must do what is best for you, your business and your team. Hold your ground, and be sure to play fair and expect the same.
Anything else youâd like to share?
As a female entrepreneur, I would just say that we women must remain extremely business minded. Too often we fear offending others, coming across too tough, or demanding. We have to take the personal out of the equation and keep business and personal separate. That isn’t to say that we should all be sharks, with no emotion or compassion. That is simply to say, we must do what is right for our business and ourselves, versus what we think might be right for everyone else.
* * *
Some pieces from their collections:
Got a success story you think our readers would like to hear?
Drop us a line with your storyÂ andÂ youÂ may be chosen to beÂ part of our interview series!
It’s right around this time of year that the slump hits. Mompreneurs are feeling the weight of the summer slowdown. Vacations are happening, money is tight, and your time seems to be more in demand than ever.
You know that if you want to be a success in business, you’ve got to get eyes on your stuff. But who’s got the time or the money? We get it. That’s why The Marketplace was created.
The Marketplace is an alcove of The Mogul Mom’s highly ranked website where we showcase shops and providers (just like you!) to our large audience, full of potential buyers. You pay one annual fee and we do the rest, sharing with our readers and website visitors. All sales are made on your website, no commissions or fees, ever.
Right now we’re offering 12 full months of Marketplace advertising for just $95.
That’s less than $8 a month. Seriously.
What’s even nicer is that The MarketplaceÂ doubles as both a advertising venue and a topnotch networking community. With your Marketplace subscription,Â you’ll getÂ access to our private Facebook Community where women come together to discuss tips, ideas, and to help their businesses thrive. We call it The Power MOB. It’s a great way to connect with fellow mompreneurs going through exactly what you are.
The Power MOB (Powered by Mom OwnedÂ Businesses) is anÂ encouraging networkÂ of professionals hosted on Facebook, where we come together any time of the day or night to:
- build relationships, both personal and professional
- engage in professional conversations
- bounce ideas safely off one another through trusted peer-interaction
- get and make professional referrals
- encourage one another
- enjoy exclusive offerings, events, andÂ file sharing
Our members love it!
JOIN THE MOGUL MOM MARKETPLACE AND YOUâLL GET:
- YourÂ listingÂ in the newly designedÂ Mogul Mom Marketplace, including your company name, your 150 X 150 logo image, your URL link, and your business description for one full year.
- Regular promotion of the Marketplace page on The Mogul Mom websiteÂ and acrossÂ ourÂ socialÂ media channels.
- Free membership in our private Facebook community, TheÂ PowerÂ Mob,Â where youâll delight in the intellectual capital of our friendly, professional members.
WHO SHOULD LIST THEIR BUSINESS IN THE MOGUL MOM MARKETPLACE?
- Product providers
- Service providers
- Brick and mortar store owners
- Anyone whoÂ has a blog, website, or other online presenceÂ they want noticed
- Those looking for the support, camaraderie, and the amazing networking opportunities that an intentional community of professional mompreneurs offers
- Anyone seeking heightened exposure, increased sales opportunities, and a bump in SEO by being listed on aÂ highly ranked site
WHY SHOULD YOU LIST YOUR BUSINESS IN THE MOGUL MOM MARKETPLACE?
Here are just a fewÂ good reasons:
- Compared to traditional ads inÂ similarly ranked venues, itâs anÂ extremelyÂ affordableÂ way to market your business.
- It offersÂ maximum exposureÂ for your business.
- It will help youÂ increase your sales all year round.
- It will help boost your SEOÂ by having your URL link on a site with a Google Page Rank of 5.
- It willÂ support your new business, product launches, promotions, specials and more.
- It will give youÂ a free membership to an amazing community of likeminded entrepreneurs.
- We help promote the Marketplace with a permanent sidebar ad on the site (see it on the right over there?) as well as through our email newsletters, social media channels, and posts like this one.
WHAT WILL MY MARKETPLACE LISTING LOOK LIKE?
Your Marketplace listing will be as beautiful as it is professional. Ads include a 150x150px avatar and a few sentences describing your business. You also get a live link right to the page of your choosing. Your listing will appear on the Marketplace grid. (which rotates regularly so you donât get pushed to the bottom as we add new members!) It will be a clickable ad which then opens to your own dedicated page.
CLICK HEREÂ TO SEEÂ WHAT THE MARKETPLACE LOOKS LIKE TODAY.
OK, IâM IN! HOW DO I LIST MY BUSINESS IN THE MOGUL MOM MARKETPLACE?
Listing your business in the Marketplace is super easy. Just secure your spot by paying with the button below and youâll be taken to a form where you can fill out your information. Within 24 business hours, youâll be added to the Facebook community and be live inÂ the Marketplace!
So, if youâd like toÂ boost sales, make friends, AND network withÂ mom entrepreneurs around the world, join us today!
Normally $150 per year. This week, we’re offering an annual Marketplace subscription for just $95!Â Take this rare opportunity to get some eyes on your business, increase exposure, and become a part of a growing community of female entrepreneurs who are there to grow and learn together.
Get your business in front of thousands of targeted eyes daily and join a community of women just like you.
Join now for $55 off theÂ annual rate!Â This great rate disappears on Sunday, 8/9/15!
It’s no secret that Pinterest is one of the most popular social media websites in the world. In this two part series, we’ll share tips on how you can maximize the power of this social media powerhouse for your business.
Create a recognizable profile image
This can be your logo, a branded avatar, or a headshot. Whichever you feel best conveys your brand to your right people. It’ll show up on everything you pin, and thus will be seen a lot around the Pin-o-sphere. It should be clear, unique, and recognizable.
Make it easy to find
Don’t use special characters in your Pinterest username. Not only do they make it more difficult to find you, they don’t translate well in the URL. It may also confuse customers, leaving them wondering if they’re in the right place. Using misspellings can also make it difficult for people to find you. Unless your business name is known for having an unusual spelling, try to keep the spelling standard.
Write a good about/bio section complete with keywords
Create something complete, catchy, and likable. Pinterest allows only 160 characters here, so efficiency is paramount.
In your professional bio, you’ll want to use your actual business name, not your personal name, unless that also happens toÂ beÂ your business name. Don’t forget to add your URL to your profile.
Add your social media links
If people like what they see on your boards, they’ll want to know where else you hang out online. Make yourself easy to find by sharing direct links to your other online stomping grounds.
Add your location
SharingÂ your city and/or state onÂ your profile adds a bit of a personal touch. It’s nice to let people know ‘where you’re coming from’. You may find common interests with people geographically nearby or even potential clients or people to network with.
VerifyÂ your website
There are three great reasons to confirm your websiteÂ on Pinterest:
1. You’re lettingÂ pinners know that they’ve reached yourÂ ‘official’ Pinterest business account.
2. It adds a profile image to pins that come directly from your site.
3. It gets you access to your site’s Pinterest analytics.
It’s pretty easy to do and the benefits are invaluable.Â Here’s how.
Make it personal
Businesses sell solutions, not products. That’s why it’s so important to make anÂ emotional connection with customers. The best pins focus their content on the lifestyle benefits versus the actual product itself. This, in turn, makes the customer identify withÂ the pin and share it because they believe in it.
On the Pinterest visual playground, imagery is everything. When it comes to choosing pictures for your pins, here’s what you need to know:
- Pinterest images that appear in the grid are 235 pixels wide.
- When they’re expanded, they’re 736 pixels wide.
- Your images should have anÂ aspect ratio of 2:3 to 1:3.5, with a minimum of 600 pixels.
Using a unique image willÂ stop scrollers in theirÂ tracks. Lighter images with a clear focal point are fan favorites. Images that haveÂ Â red or orange in them statistically do well, also.
WriteÂ a great description
Pins with descriptionsÂ get pinned more often. Probably in part because they’re more easily found because they containÂ keywords. No description=no keywords. Â Plus, people want to know what they’re looking at. Tell a quick story, give a brief ‘how-to’, or share a snippet. Offer something valuable in the description field. Make people want to share it.
Create niche-centric boards
Off-topic, errant boards that don’t seem to have any connection to your brand or message can seem out of place and confusing- not to mention distracting. Focus your boards on the things your right people want to (and expect to) see from you. You can always set up a second Pinterest account for your own, personal interests.
Research trends and pin accordingly
People are always searching for something timely and relevant.Â Pinterest does us the favor of showcasing the hottest and latestÂ pins in the aptly named categoryÂ ‘Popular’.
Pin and be pinned
Don’t just pin your own stuff. Not only does Pinterest frown upon it, we all do. It’s sort of like dominating the conversation. Share and share alike.
One of the underlying fears of virtual sharing platforms like Pinterest is that people will pin your content without giving you proper credit. And with all of the bazillion pins out there, youâd probably never even know.
Always credit photos & state the source.Â Adding the @ symbol in front of the name of the person youâre tagging will alert them that youâve mentioned them. Not only is it flattering, it’s the right thing to do (morally and legally).
You should also click through to the actual website of the pin to ensure that not only does the link work, but that it’s going where it’s supposed to. (Spammers suck, but they’re out there in droves.)
Take advantage of Rich Pins
Rich PinsÂ are Pins that include extra information right on the Pin itself. There are 6 types of Rich Pins: app, movie, recipe, article, product and place.Â This tutorialÂ will help you enable them on your website orÂ ShopifyÂ store.
Pin client images
Sharing your client’s images not only makes them feel appreciated and valued, it shows them that your business relationship is more than a ‘one-way street’.
Make it a convo
Make it a habit to not only comment, but to answer people back when they comment. Engaging conversations not only benefit you and your business, but others who happen upon the interaction. They may even want to chime in with their own two cents.
Politely sidestep or ignore any rude comments designed incite anger. Unfortunately not even Pinterest is immune to ‘trolls’ looking to entertain themselves by riling people up. Remember how you behave represents your business. Take the high road and others will notice.
Hashtags act as a gathering mechanismÂ to round up all pins with that same keyword. Used properly, they can help make things more searchable. It’s a great idea toÂ create unique hashtags for your business and for any promotions you’re doing.
*Side note:Â Use hashtags in your descriptions, but don’t use them in your board titles.
Speaking of Boards…
Check out PART II to find out how to get better performing boards and how to boost your marketing for a better Pinterest presence.
What do you think… did I miss anything so far?
I crawled from a low rooftop in the jungle to board her, sitting just behind her head, her huge ears hugged my thighs in place. I began to feel her incredibly powerful body move confidently beneath me. I was on a retreat I led in Thailand and was privileged to ride on an elephant. The situation for elephants in Thailand is as complicated as my feelings were about riding on her. The heavy chains around her neck bothered me. I longed for her to be free, even though freedom could mean her being in an even more vulnerable position. Then, just as I was thinking this, something amazing occurred.Â A huge message was delivered silently from her heart to mine. It was this:
Each of us is chained in some way and weâre all continuously moving towards greater freedom.
Where in my life was I burdened by heavy chains? A few months later, I got a hint from my Mom.
I was sitting at a dinner party when I saw her lean over to another woman and gesture towards me saying, âThatâs my daughter Sarah; sheâs a charismatic and very successful life coach.â Hearing her say that to another person, I smiled inside. It felt good to hear my Mom say I was a success. Then a few seconds later, I suddenly choked a little on my arugula as a voice inside me nagged.
Is that really true? Are you successful?
It depends on how you define success. I used to be a big success as popularly defined by how much income I generated. As a full time practicing physician, I earned a small boatload of money. Back then, meeting people for the first time and discovering I was a doctor (or in my Northern Minnesota city -a âlady doctor!!), they always seem wowed.
My status was an instant âinâ. I was legit. Their reactions seemed to say, âyes- you are a success!â. Was it the years of toiling away and dedication they admired? Perhaps. However, I had the hunch that it was also tied up with the cash. I was living the American dream: big paycheck = happy life.
I enjoyed medicine for a long time. But, after nearly two decades practicing, I left in search of more heart-centered work. Iâd become less interested in diagnosing disease and more curious about what created health.
After a six month sabbatical and much soul searching, I slowly found my groove. Now, I do a mixture of writing (Iâve written two books and have a third on the way), coaching, and shamanic healing. These new activities are challenging and deeply satisfying. I frequently leave my office in the early afternoon with such a lovely sense of being useful — itâs my version of heaven on earth. I am doing healing and creative work I love and Iâm in charge of my destiny and schedule.Â It feels very good.
And thatâs just the icing.
My new vocation has given me another giftÂ –Â to be present with my four kids, ages 10 to 18. After a dozen years of feeling pulled/pushed between parenthood and work, I feel whole again. Iâm being the mom I longed to beâŚ more present in their lives both literally and metaphorically.
Since I left my medical practice, Iâve served hundreds of shamanic healing and coaching clients, co-hosted a dozen retreats and created group adventures in Thailand and Hawaii, taught dozens of teleclasses, stood on stage a few times, and sold a couple thousand books. Iâve also created hundreds of inspirational posts plus co-created an app to help humans discover the wisdom of wild animals that has users in 62 countries.
A slam-dunk success—- right?
The thing that nagged me about my Momâs comment- and made me feel like a fraud is this, dear reader. I have a confession: in the four years since I left medicine, Iâve generated close to $100,000.00 for sales and services, yet Iâve failed to make a profit.
Does that make me a failed entrepreneur?
A poor money manager?
It is what that voice in my head wants me to believe, but itâs far from the truth.
In addition to experiencing a sweet sense of purpose, Iâve have been able to pay my office rent, hire fascinating people with whom to collaborate, invest in continuing education, support other creative people in their work and, travel to many beautiful places.
Lately, the blessings bestowed on me are frequently non-monetary and ineffable: peace of mind, satisfaction, frequent experiences of wonder and connection.
I feel like Iâm doing exactly what I am meant to do. I feel blessed.
Despite the success I know deep in my bones, that sketchy voice in my head is still LOUD (mostly when I do my accounting, âş) saying âyou should be making more money by now!â Or âif youâre not paying yourself by now then youâre doing it wrong!â or âyou need to work harderâŚdo moreâ. Or âsuccessful businesses show profitsâ. That voice causes me to feel awfulâŚ to shrink.
Please understand, dear reader, itâs not that money doesnât matter- it clearly does. Each of us has to figure out how we are going to support ourselves and our families. Before I left medicine for good, I moonlighted, we downsized and I began spending money differently so we could live on one salary. Each of us will have a different path when it comes to work and money. And, let me be clear, itâs not that I renounce money- I donât. I know the freedom it affords. And, I have more than enough.
What I want all of you to know is that real success cannot simply be measured by how much income you generate. The gift and talents you have to share with the world are beautiful and important. These must be quantified at the level of the heart:
- By the way you feel each night when you lay your head on your pillow and when you rise each morning.
- By the thrill you experience by helping a client discover solutions.
- By the way your relationships sing with honesty.
- By the feedback you get about the effect your company/work has on others.
- By the joy you feel inside.
- By how much your work serves.
- By the quality of your experiences.
Thinking back to that beautiful elephant who shared her wisdom with me, I was able to cast off a few heavy chains of my own when I decided to define my businessâs success in a holistic wayâŚnot looking at numbers alone.
Success, def.: the sweet feeling of usefulness I experience when I use my talents and abilities to serve others.
So, no matter what your accounting software is showing you this month, I invite you to ask yourself these questions:
Metrics of the Heart: How Successful is My Business?
- Have I used my talents to help another person or group of people?
- How did my business (services or products) make others feel?
- How has my business allowed me to manifest dreams, both big and small?
Iâm extremely grateful for the abundance that continues to flow in and out of my business, enabling me to share my work and collaborate with others. But, money isnât my businessâs sum and substance. Ultimately, my currency is that delicious feeling of usefulness I get when I share my gifts. And seeing how the experiences, products, and services I create help others feel good. In short, my legal tender is love. And knowing that, Iâm pleased to roll up my sleeves and get to work being a former lady doctor turned VERY successful (and occasionally charismatic) life coach.
Love the article? Check out Sarah’s books:
Everyoneâs looking for a magic bullet. The ONE thing you can do to improve your health or make you a better mom or shift your business into high gear. What if I told you I found one thing that has changed all three?
Thatâs right. One meal changed my attitude towards life and has had positive repercussions everywhere. Let me tell you how.
About a year ago, it became quite clear to me that I needed a bit of a reboot: I was starving for lunch by 10am, craving cookies at 3pm, and ready for bed before my 8-yr-old. Whatâs more, I couldnât get any ideas off the ground for my holistic health business and felt like a failure all around. Definitely a case of the shoemaker needing a dose of her own medicine! (See, even my metaphors were mixed.)
Enter an online breakfast challenge: 5 days of a solid morning meal and some life wisdom to get me back on track.Â Seemed like a good a place as any to start.
Iâll admit, it took a few days of resistance to get me through the initial commitment, but the difference it made to my day was INSTANTLY remarkable.
â˘ Being so satiated, you can put your head down and focus on your work all morning.
â˘ Your blood sugar stable enough to prevent a meltdown when your project hits a major roadblock.
â˘ No mid-afternoon slump
â˘ No sugar cravings
â˘ AND youâre still awake enough after the kids are in bed to hang out with your sweetie.
In the last 6 months, my productivity has improved (aka my income increasing), I have time and energy for more exercise, and Iâm more present for the whole family.
This wasnât about creating some strict regimen that Iâve I had to stick to religiously. It was about taking the time to make myself a wonderfully nourishing meal. And through the experience, a whole spectrum of life lessons opened before me.
First, was the reality of taking 15 minutes every morning to prepare the meal. To introduce a new habit into your day, you need to take the time, make the time for it. (Yes, you may have to get up 15 minutes earlier.)
When youâve made that effort to cook a beautiful breakfast, youâll want to sit down and enjoy it fully. Iâm always getting on my clients to sit down and enjoy their meals. This includes breakfast. Weâre all so stressed and rushed and needing to get places that the very basic concept of filling the fuel tank before hitting the road becomes an afterthought.
I alsoÂ saw the effect my breakfast had on the family. My youngest has never been one to eat much before school. I always chalked it up to his not being hungry so early or school day nerves. Last year, as I continued the habits Iâd instilled in the summer, I would sit and eat with him, rather than flit around packing lunches and throwing the laundry into the dryer. Wouldnât you know, he sat and ate a proper breakfast too. How could I have expected him to sit and eat when I wasnât?
Another long-term effect has been better food choices throughout the day. Having started the day with a good dose of protein, minerals, vitamins and complex carbohydrates, Iâm more inspired to continue with more of the same through the day, be it lunch, snack, or supper.
But the biggest shift for me has been the attitude of commitment and forgiveness that now permeates all aspects of my life.
There are days when I go back to a bowl of cereal or a piece of toast, when I dip into the bag of cookies, when I graze my way from teatime to bedtime. There are days when I want the fries with that.
By starting the day with a nourishing breakfast, Iâm wiping the slate clean.
>>It sends a message of being worth the time and energy to every cell in my body.
>>It reminds me that if I fall off the focus wagon in my work â a day lost to Facebook or âjust one more episodeâ of The Mindy Project â I can start fresh in the morning.
>>Itâs removed my need for perfection and reignited by belief in commitment.
It all starts with breakfast.
1. At least 25% of your daily caloric intake
After 12 hours (in theory!) of not eating, your stores of brain-food (glucose) are depleted + you need enough energy to get you fully functional for the day.
Even if youâre trying to cut down on animal protein, this is the meal to eat it! The nutrients you eat in the morning need to be easily accessible. Ready to use. The BEST source in terms of assimilation? Eggs.
Bonus: Eggs also contain some of the good fats your brain needs and the lecithin to ensure they flow easily through your arteries.
3. Complex (whole) carbohydrates
Iâm not talking flour-based products. I mean whole grains and starchy vegetables. Carbohydrates are your main energy source; thatâs where the starch in things like sweet potato or brown rice are a good thing.
Youâre also looking for sustainable energy. The high fiber in these choices means that energy will be released slowly through the morning.
4. Green vegetables
Leafy greens nourish you with the vitamins and minerals your body needs to effectively use the protein, fats & glucose.
5. Lacto-fermented food
This is a condiment: a spoonful of sauerkraut or a dollop of miso. Other than add zing to your meal, it feeds the friendly bacteria in your gut and stimulates digestionâŚand elimination.
Play around with it to see which foods work best for YOU.
Click hereÂ to grab aÂ free, colorfulÂ PDF to pin to your fridge.
What healthy habits help you kick start your day?
One of my first thoughts about becoming an entrepreneur was imagining the thrill of working for myself by myself. I loved the idea of becoming the boss of me. Self-employment would give me the opportunity to set my own schedule and appeal to my own high standards of creativity and integrity. It would allow me to make my own rules (and break them when I wanted to). It meant that I would be 100% responsible for my successes and my failures. To me, this felt exhilarating.
Like many of you, Iâm an introvert (a sensitive INFP for the Myers Briggs aficionados). Iâm energized by having ample time to process, reflect and re-group on my own. I look for moments of deep connection rather than hours of polite conversation.
Introverts are well positioned to be successful entrepreneurs because we are fiercely independent in our work. Until the day that we lean so far into our independence that we catch the dreaded: âLone Wolf Syndromeâ.
Signs & Symptoms of the Lone Wolf Syndrome in Mompreneurs
- overthinking EVERYTHING
- minimal support system to talk out ideas and get feedback
- taking an extremely long time to launch new ideas because weâre too busy talking ourselves out of them
- stalling out because our creativity feels stagnant
- exhausted from doing everything
- diluting our zone of genius because we arenât willing to ask for help
- slower growth rate because weâre hiding out instead of showing up (online and in person)
- observing more than acting (we could scroll the internet for hours!)
- letting our inner critic be the CEO in our business
- choosing perfectionism over experimenting
- not investing in ourselves or our business because we believe 1) we can just figure it our ourselves and/or 2) that chunk of money should go to our family
If youâre familiar with any of these experiences I want you to know youâre not alone. Almost every woman entrepreneur Iâve met has found herself struggling to find the right mix of support and structure for herself and her business. However, the introverted mompreneurs I know are especially prone to this kind of struggle.
Here are 3 ways introverted mompreneurs can avoid the pitfalls of the Lone Wolf Syndrome:
1.Â Make peace with investing in yourself. Even though you can probably figure everything out on your own doesnât mean you have to. None of us have endless amounts of money to throw around so itâs important to be discerning about who and what we invest in. The point is to make peace with asking, receiving AND paying for help. Thereâs someone out there that has the exact right personality and skillset to help you. And, you are so worth it. Imagine gifting yourself with more support, education, accountability, and TIME. It could absolutely transform your experience and set you up for a much more fulfilling and profitable business.
2. Find another soul with a similar vibe. Itâs ok if big mastermind groups arenât your Thing. All you really need is one other person who gets you. Find your person and connect with her regularly. Create a system of support that works for both of you. Share ideas. Listen. Reflect. Challenge and champion each other. Sometimes just getting out of the house and co-working, side by side can ramp up your creative flow and energize you. (Note: your spouse doesnât count. Sorry!)
3.Â Consider working with a Thought Partner. Like a coach, a thought partner will leverage her clientâs wisdom but she will also freely share her own wisdom and experience. The expectation is that you can move forward faster, more strategically, and with less self-sabotage by utilizing the experience and support of a thought partner. Thought partners help you to cross-pollinate your idea pool. Innovate. Stretch your thinking and your courage. They help you ride the wave of what is possible all because you have someone else intimately aware of the details of your business. Think of it as another brain and heart holding your vision for growth and impact with you.
Sharing the load of this can feel like a massive relief, one that will allow you to get out of your own way and into consistent and intentional action. This kind of support can make all the difference between aimless exertion and incremental success steps in your business. Remember: ideas wonât make income unless you put them into action.
These strategies have allowed me to create a business experience that feels empowering and full of momentum and meets the uniqueness of my own personality. I hope they help you too.
In the comments tell us how you honor your personality in your own business.
Mid-July marks the half-way point for summer. August is fast approaching and, for us, at least, this means backyard picnics and pool parties to celebrate the with friends and family.
The other day I discovered PinnacleÂŽ flavored vodka and thought I’d share a couple of pretty divine (super easy) drink recipes you can make with just a few ingredients. TheÂ Skinny Pina Colada is a twist on a summertime favorite that allows you to enjoy the delicious flavors with half the calories! [HALF!]
Skinny PiĂąa Colada
2 part(s) PinnacleÂŽ Coconut Vodka
4 part(s) Club Soda
Splash Pineapple Juice
Mix in a glass filled with ice and garnish with a pineapple slice.
PinnacleÂŽ Raspberry Lemonade
1 parts PinnacleÂŽ Raspberry Vodka
2 parts Lemonade
Mix ingredients and serve over ice. Garnish with a lemon wheel or raspberries
What are some of your summer favorites?
So you’ve got an Etsy shop and have packed it with awesome offerings. But, even with all good intentions, your sales are nonexistent or slow. Don’t despair! Converting browsers to buyers may be easier than you think.
There are plenty of reasons to open an Etsy shop. Some benefits include the ability to:
- reach a larger audience
- own and manage your own store with little overhead
- be part of a community
- be associated with a community of fellow entrepreneurs and artists
All great, valid reasons. But, if despite all the great things Etsy has to offer, you’re still struggling, this list is for you. Here are ten things to help you build your own Etsy empire and a storefront you can be proud of.
1. Your SEO
No matter how great your shop is, if no one finds it, it won’t matter. Enter, SEO.
Search engine optimization is confusing to say the least. I often referenceÂ this free guideÂ by SEO Moz when speaking with clients. They say it much better than I ever could.
My own best advice is to ensure you’re talking to your right people and you’re offering them the right products. Not even the best SEO can help you if you’re missing the mark on those items.
2. Your Pictures
The importance of having exquisite photography cannot be expressed strongly enough. Invest inÂ a decent cameraÂ or even a professional photographer.
Your photos should reflect the aesthetic of your work and the integrity of your brand.Â They should be rich with detail and supremely clear. Make use of interesting angles giving the item a unique perspective.Â Staging images in unique ways calls attention to the photo, too. An example might be to hang earrings from a teacup or other unexpected object instead of simply laying them on a table.Â This not only turns heads but it tempts curators of Treasuries to include your item.
3. Your Descriptions
For the most part, your images catch their eye and entice them to click, and your description closes the deal. Great descriptions areÂ easy to read, scannable in bite-sized chunks, conversational, and concise.
Be sure to share theÂ benefitsÂ in addition to theÂ features. Subtly explainÂ them why their life would be better having bought this item and why they should buy it from you. You can reference your excellent customer service, the originality of your item, the quality of workmanship, your experience, etc. But do it briefly. People really want to read about the item. Tell them what they need to know as efficiently as possible.
Include all the details. It saves you from having to answer email inquiries for elaboration, and it makes it less likely the potential buyer will click away when they can’t get the information they’re looking for right away.Â IÂ like to block off the details in a simple place (size, materials, etc.) A description done right will make the sale.
4. Your Niche
No matter what business you’re in, you’ve got to know who you’re talking to. [Shameless plug in 3, 2, 1…]Â This articleÂ I wrote not too long ago gives some great tips on figuring it out.
Once you’re clear on your right people are, find out where they hang out and go there.Â Show up in online forums and social networking conversations. Don’t ruthlessly self-promote, but rather lend your voice and identify yourself as someone who offers productsÂ to help meet their needs.
5. Your Reviews
This is something I need to work on in my own shop. I have had 242 sales and have only 68 reviews. It’s worth your time to send a note about a week or so after the item is delivered to the customer to thank them and to make sure the item arrived safely and was to their liking. If they respond positively, as them to take a moment to leave a review.Â Those reviews go a long way toward credibility. TheyÂ add a layer of trust & give confidence and areÂ proof positive that you offer quality products and service to match.
To increase the liklihood of a stellar review, go above and beyond in your service and packaging. PerhapsÂ tuckÂ a handwritten thank you note and a little unexpected gift. The idea is to make them remember you. Always stick to the branding and do more than you have to and you’ll earn the mindshare of your customers.
6. Your Branding
Branding is crucial to any business. Get a beautiful logo and perfectly sized avatar and banner. Get business cards, tags, and packaging that reflects your brand colors and style. As for your online brand, consistency of voice, appeal, logo, color, overall look and feel will lend credibility to your brand.Â Ideally, if a customerÂ spottedÂ one of your listings elsewhere, Â they would recall the branding as yours.
Just because you’re on Etsy doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have your own brand. Quite the contrary. A little reminder in case you need it: Your Etsy store IS a business. Your business. Make it so.
7. Your Pricing
Pricing is among the trickiest and stickiest thing businesses contend with. For handmade sellers this can be tough because they tend to have more of an affinity for their creations. No matter what you’re selling, it’s really important to get it just right. In fact, it’s essential.
Prices that are too high can causeÂ potential buyers pass over your items in the search results. If your items aren’t selling maybe you’re asking too much for them. This includes shipping prices, too. As a buyer myself, I know I balk at making a purchase when the shipping cost seems exorbitant. Examine the market to make sure buyers can’t get the same or similar items for markedly less.
If your prices are perceived to be too low, potential buyers may fearÂ it is of inferior quality. While this may be far from the truth, it’s a commonÂ thought.
Pricing that’s out of line with the marketplace in generalÂ will leave your items collecting dust on yourÂ virtual shelves. You risk them becoming stale or out of fashion. Scour Etsy, eBay, andÂ GoogleÂ to see if your prices are in line with competitors.
If you’re still wrestling over changing prices, consider altering your items to make them better suited to the price tag. If possible, pad the listing with a free bonus to increase the perceived value.
8. Your Policies
Buyers want to know what your policies are before they hand over their money. Take some time to draft an excellent policies section for your shop.Â Include your rules onÂ returns, exchanges, damages, etc.
9. Your Restrictions
Are you limiting your sales with restrictions? Two ways you may be doing this without even knowing it are through payment methods and by not selling internationally.
Paypal is typically the third-party payment venue of choice online. For the most part it’s reliable and easy to use, offering both buyer and seller protection. But they’re not the only game in town. And not everyone uses them. It may benefit you to add other payment options such as money orders (which are better than checks because you don’t have to wait for them to clear and won’t risk them bouncing), and other providers like Dwolla, WePay, or Skrill.
>Not Offering International Shipping
There’s a giant world out there loaded with potential customers. Limiting yours sales to a single country greatly narrows your potential sales pool. While it can be more time consuming to ship parcels internationally, it’s certainly something to consider.Â ClickÂ hereÂ to find out how to best prepare your international shipment.
KnowÂ that most countries have restrictions on the items they allow in the country. ClickÂ hereÂ for the giant list. Reference this prior to shipping your item, lest it get tied up in customs and lost forever. It’s happened to me!
Shipping internationally isn’t an option for everyone (like people selling very heavy or unwieldy items), but for most shops, it’s definitely something to consider.
10. YourÂ Marketing/Promotion
Are you sitting back and waiting for the sales to roll in or are you out there making things happen? Proactive marketing efforts are a must for business owners. Some ways to shine the light on your store are:
- Having a Facebook business page
- Adding a tab to your Etsy shop to your Facebook business page
- Pinning your items
- Cross promoting with other brands
- Maintaining an email list
- Writing to popular blog owners in your marketplace to inquire about how you can work together to mutually benefit from showcasing your shopÂ
The Mogul Mom offers an affordable option to get your business out there through an ongoing annual dedicated ad and link throughÂ The Marketplace. You’ll also get access to our private community on Facebook where like-minded professional women meet to strategize and network. It’s a steal at $150 a year.Â Click hereÂ for more info.
Hopefully these tipsÂ will help you take your Etsy shop to the next level. Which of these elements can you work on to build a better store?
In the comments tell us, were you able to use any of these tips to increase sales in your Etsy shops? Did we miss anything? What tips do you have?
When my son, Sam, was 3 years old, I began to notice that his language wasnâtÂ developing as quickly as his sisterâs had. A doctor diagnosed a hearing problem thatÂ could be fixed via surgery and (after giving Sam an IQ test where he scored in the 37thÂ percentile) pronounced that Sam would ânever be very smartâ and there was nothing IÂ (or anyone) could do to change that. I couldnât believe what this doctor was telling me.
I had dreams for Sam, and now I didnât know what his future might be.
My mother, a PhD in Early Childhood Development, disagreed with the doctor. After weÂ fixed Samâs hearing, Mom showed me how to teach him through play so he would haveÂ the skills he needed to function in a regular kindergarten classroom. With her guidance,Â I worked with Sam for about 30 minutes a day. Weâd snuggle in bed together while weÂ âplayedâ. To him, it was fun-time with Mommy, but everything was designed to helpÂ him grow cognitively. A year later, Sam scored in the 94th percentile on an IQ test. HeÂ was admitted to a competitive school in Manhattan and became an excellent student.
After this experience, I informally began showing other parents how to help their ownÂ kids catch up when they were behind and get ready for important early childhood tests.Â I became so inspired by this calling that I made it my career. I now work fromÂ home running a highly profitable online company that I am incredibly passionate about.Â Best of all, Iâve been able to advise thousands of parents in helping their children buildÂ skills for school readiness and testing, the way my mother guided me when I needed itÂ for Sam.
This experience taught me that your biggest problem could actually be your biggestÂ opportunity.
Here are the five key lessons Iâve learned over the years that I hope canÂ help you turn your biggest problem into a business that will help others:
1. Know that if you have this problem, other people do as well
If you create aÂ solution that works, other people will pay for access to your solution. AskÂ yourself: how can I turn the answer to my problem into a product or service?
2. Create for others what you wish had been available when you were trying toÂ solve the problem yourself
If my current business had existed when I wasÂ struggling to help Sam, I would have paid anything to have it! Thatâs how lostÂ and alone I felt when that doctor wrote Sam off. Today, every aspect of ourÂ website, from its simplicity of use, to the fact that parents can ask us questions,Â to the siteâs affordability, to the fact that itâs so much fun that kids donât evenÂ know theyâre learning â these are all benefits I would have jumped at when I wasÂ trying to help Sam all by myself. With your problem and solution, ask yourself:
What do I wish I could have purchased when I faced my own big problem?Â Thatâs what you must create for others.
3. Get your product out there, but be open to surprises
The first shared solutionsÂ to my big problem came in the form of a book and a board game. It wasnât until IÂ was trying to get the word out about those products that I unexpectedly found aÂ business partner who proposed an online solution. When we started our onlineÂ business, we created the site we thought parents would want. It turned out,Â parents wanted many different features than we envisioned. In the last four years, weâve revised and upgraded our site in response to what theyâve askedÂ for, and it is now quite different from where it began. Get your product outÂ there even if it isnât perfect, and be open to the unexpected â thatâs the only wayÂ your business can start to unfold and become what it was meant to be.
4. If you choose a partner, pick someone who is different from you
Our businessÂ works well because I love creating content, while my partner is adept inÂ operations, technology and marketing. I once had a partner in a differentÂ business where we both excelled at the same things, and we had to hire outsideÂ experts to do everything we couldnât do. When you start a business, you have toÂ do everything on a shoestring. If you and your partner have different skill sets,Â you will get a lot more done for a lot less money.
5. Make it personal
If your business is born out of a personal problem you solved,Â never forget the feelings of struggle and being at witâs end that you had beforeÂ you found your answer. I believe that my business success is because myÂ partner and I have been in our membersâ shoes We know how they feel andÂ care deeply that they are able to help their kids the same way we were able toÂ help ours. You will spend so much time working your business after you launchÂ it â it is that profound caring for what you do that will carry you through theÂ enormous challenges of building a business.
Last May, Sam graduated from NYU. It was one of the proudest moments of my life.Â Even after all the years that have passed, I still remember the feeling of helplessness IÂ had when the doctor told me my son would never be very smart. When I look back onÂ the time we spent snuggling in bed as we worked on Samâs skills, those are some of theÂ happiest memories I have of the two of us together.
Are you facing what feels like anÂ impossible challenge right now? When you solve it (and I know you will!), think aboutÂ how many others might benefit from your solution and how you can create a businessÂ that will bring your hard earned knowledge to those who need it!
In the comments, tell usÂ how you convert problems into opportunities in your business.
Nobody sets out in business hoping it will take years to get anywhere. We all want to make progress as quickly as we can. Especially when we’re running a business around a growing family.
Building a business and being a present, content parent can be hard. It takes passion, perseverance, and the willingness to be patient. We do have it that bit harder than those who are commitment-free, but motherhood should never feel like a limitation.
Here are 4 ways to reach your work-from-home business goals faster, around your hectic family life:
1. Get More Specific
The quickest way to achieve your goals is to make them more achievable. This doesn’t mean lowering your ambitions or abandoning a long-term project, this means making sure that you have a super clear understanding of what you are trying to achieve and making sure all the action you’re taking is in alignment with your goals.
Is everything on your to-do list actually leading you towards your goal? Be as specific as possible about why you are working on each business activity and identify whether it is required to help you reach your next goal.
2. Work On Your Mind-set
What’s the biggest obstacle you have when it comes to getting everything done? Could it be the fact you only have a couple of hours of an evening and you’re knackered from mama duties anyway? Maybe. But it’s more likely you need to take a closer look at your approach. How are you currently feeling about your goals? If you’re struggling to find the motivation to get things done in the limited time you do have, it’s time to examine your WHY again.
Why are these tasks important? And why aren’t you excited about them?
Having the right mind-set is crucial to getting things done. If we don’t believe we can achieve our goals, we won’t. Limiting beliefs can debilitate your business. If we don’t believe we deserve to achieve our goals, we won’t.
Reach your goals faster by ensuring your mind-set is as positive and productive as possible.
3. Reach Out
Going the entrepreneurial journey alone is tough. How are you expected to keep motivated and enthused when the only conversations you have- are with yourself? Self-doubts, uncertainty, fears- these can all be reduced with the right support.
Ramp up your business progress with coaching, accountability partners, mastermind programs- whatever feels like a good fit to keep you inspired, encouraged, and ready to take action.
Want to wipe tasks off your to-do list with one fell swoop? Outsource. Giving away control and trusting others to get involved with your ‘other’ baby takes courage and can be a challenge for the creative, perfectionists among us. But, if reaching your goals faster is important to you, then let someone else take time-consuming tasks off your hands so you can focus your attention elsewhere.
4. Get Emotional
Positive emotions are powerful motivators. When we feel good about what we’re doing, we work harder, we work smarter, and we get things done faster. Having your goals on paper isn’t enough. Spend time visualizing these goals to the point that you can feel them happening.
And get really clear on why they are so important to you in the first place. What does it look like when you actually achieve a big business goal? How do you react? How do you feel?
Visualize yourself with a beaming smile, reading a rave review from your new client, seeing that money check-in to your bank account- whatever it is you wish to achieve. Visualize it as if it is happening right now. Start to feel the excitement bubble within you and use this every time you need to take action.
A vision board is a great way to translate your goals into emotive imagery. Place it somewhere you will see it regularly to trigger emotions to motivate you.
In the comments below, tell us what tactics you use to reach your business goals more efficiently.
Self-doubt. It happens to the best of us. We find ourselves wondering why our business isn’t going as planned. What we’re doing wrong. Sometimes, that frustration can become so palpable, we may even feel like giving up.
Like you, I have had my own share of self-doubts concerning my business.Â It wasn’t that long ago that I had my own inner-battle during a difficult time, and my temptation to surrender and throw in the towel was strong. The voice in my head nagged, “What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I make things work out the way I want in this business?”
But one day, it dawned on me, seemingly all at once in a single a-ha moment.
Since when did giving up ever become an option in my world? After all, I’ve been a single mother, run three successful businesses, survived the torture of graduate school to earn a Doctorate in Psychology, was on national television, and published a popular self-help book. How could I now be even CONSIDERING giving up?
And there it was. The voice of reason had finally arrived and I came to my senses. I realized I didn’t need to wallow in a place of unrest. I needed a new perspective; aÂ different view point on what I was really trying to achieve. It was time to stop the pity-party and get on withÂ the business of doing business.
Here are a few steps I rely on to overcome obstacles and frustrations.
1. Put on your big girl panties. Summon forward the âadultâ part of your personality who will tell you that youâre okay, even if something youâre working on hasnât worked out so far. Remind yourselfÂ that youâve had many more successes in your life than failures. Recall all the previous times you have come across challenges and seemingly impossible obstacles, but have indeed overcome them. You already have a success record, so make sure you take it out and look at it for reassurance. Your adult self will remind you that youâre smart, capable and motivated. You wouldnât be on this journey of starting your own business and come this far if you didnât have âwhat it takes.â
2. Take a step back and take a hard look at what youâre doing. Write down your original plan for your business or re- examine your business plan if you have one. Examine which steps have been successful, or not, according to your original plans. Try to find a common pattern to the successes and failures. For example, see if your challenges come up mostly in the financial or marketing areas. Ask somebody you trust to take a look too. Sometimes an objective point of view will be able to identify patterns youâre too close to see.
3. Examine your patterns for areas of potential improvement. Focus on the areas you have had the most difficulty with. Examine those areas for patterns and write down what you have discovered. If youâre unable to find patterns yourself, it may be time to consult with an expert for that specific part of your business.
Once you have identified success and challenge patterns you will be able to better understand why things arenât working out as well as you had hoped. If pricing, social media, branding, sales or search engine optimization donât seem to be working well then it might be time for a change in strategy. Or perhapsÂ itâs time to delegate certain tasks like billing or social media. Find a trusted consultant to help you with your specific challenge areas. Examine what’s not working and look at it with new eyes.
- Sometimes it takes a village to make a business successful. That village may include your family, colleagues, or experts. Make use of as many resources as you can. You donât haveÂ to do it all alone, all the time. Seek help when you need it. Stepping up to the plate and asking for help is not failure, itâs bravely taking the bull by the horns.
- Recognize that frustrations and times you may feel like a failure are natural for those of us in the cut throat world of small businesses. Remember, though, that they are just feelings-Â not reality. One disappointing result does not a failure make.
- You are perfectÂ just as you are. Cut yourself some slack. Things arenât always going to be successful all of the time, despite our best wishing skills. We are all human, after all.
- Life has ebbs and flows for a reason. Make use of the downÂ times to re-examine your original vision. Allow yourself some daydreaming to get back in touch with thatÂ original vision.
- You are a highly motivated, multi-tasking, rockinâ small business visionary! Donât forget that for a single second. You are who you choose to be. So go get âem!
Post some of these reminders where you can see them when doubt starts to creep in.
And so my fellow entrepreneurs, let’s make a pact with ourselves right now.
Let’s celebrate being genuine and authentic.
Letâs accept our emotions as real and necessary.
Letâs not be ashamed to cry if we need to.
Letâs also realize that we are indeed not perfect and that everyone has disappointments along the way.
Letâs not be so hard on ourselves and recognize that itâs a good thing to ask for help when we need it.
And most importantly of all, letâs remember that we have a special kind of spark and vision to be building our own businesses and taking control of our futures.
In the comments let us know how you handle self-doubt and frustration in your business.