Work + Life: Handling the Balance with Grace

Adulting is hard. Like really hard. And that elusive work/life thing doesn't always balance out in the life of an entrepreneur. Danielle LaPorte writes, 'I no sooner want to be balanced than I want to be a “good” girl. “Balance” is not something I want to live down to.' There are all kinds of articles out on the interwebs telling people how they can achieve work/life balance by just doing this one thing. Tips for work/life balance make for really good SEO because people always wants tips + tricks. But many would argue that work/life balance is bullshit {me included}. Balance assumes that all things are equal. All things are not equal. And never will be. There is only flow. Going with the flow of your life + how you want to look + feel.

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Happy Black Friday: Gifts for the Entrepreneurs in Your Life

Entrepreneurs are an interesting breed. We work ALL the time. Ideas are floating around in our heads all the time. I just had one yesterday while walking Lucy. We plot + plan + stress about how many followers we have on Instagram. Totally an arbitrary number, we do actually know this, but our brains are always on the ‘please like me’ mode so the number is important and the world will end if someone unfollows us. We have day planners {sometimes multiples}, notebooks, sticky notes + monitors cluttering our desk with post-its sticking out everywhere and week old coffee mugs next to our laptops. We have laptops because you know, we’re entrepreneurs and we can work from anywhere in the world we want. Except we never move from the little corner of our home that is our ‘office.’

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What You Can Get Done in a Week: Set Up Your Marketing System

Set it + forget about it! I totally said that in a Jersey accent in my head. We do this for dinner all the time. But what about doing it for the marketing in our businesses? Most of us find marketing to be hard + spend 90% of our time doing what we think is marketing our business.

But imagine a world where you don’t have to do that + the time you just reclaimed can be spent doing your favorite work, loving on your clients, making dinner, drinking wine with your friends, watching football, the list is endless. That is where the marketing system comes in. My definition of a marketing system is where you design a path for a potential customer to come into your world and engage with your work. It’s organized + automated and your marketing job is now to evaluate the system and make tweaks as you see things working or not working or new trends among your audience. I think it’s pretty obvious why it is important - to take your life back.

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What You Can Get Done in a Week: Customer Profiles

Customer avatar. Customer profile. Persona. It’s all Greek to me. This is one of the hardest pieces of the marketing puzzle for entrepreneurs. We can’t seem to figure out who our ideal customers are. We are so stuck on how we can help everyone but know we need to narrow it down to one person and that’s just… hard.

This is the one thing I see that makes businesses either soar to the top fast, or keep spinning their wheels to make ends meet. The businesses that figure this out are successful because they make products + services specifically for their ideal clients. They talk the same talk of their clients, walk the same walk as their clients and in return their clients spend a shit ton of money.

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Get Sh!t Done: Get Your Operations Manual Done in a Week

No Sh!t?! You can get your business model done in a week?! 

I swear, I'm not lying to you! Cross my heart + all that other cliched stuff. It doesn’t have to be that hard. Everything can get set up in a week. I’ve found that one of the keys to running a successful business is to not keep re-inventing the wheel over + over again. That’s where the Operations Manual comes in. Documenting the tasks that you do in your business does a multitude of things, like, gives all your customers a consistent experience, let’s you easily delegate things out + keeps you from pulling your hair out trying to remember what you wrote or how you did it last time.

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Scary Halloween Edition: Marketing Scares Us Sh!tless

We are diving into a hot topic today! You know me, I want to research everything so I find myself asking lots of questions of my entrepreneur friends + clients. I can almost guarantee that when I ask them, 'what's your biggest challenge?' Every one of them puts marketing as one of their top three answers.

It seems that everyone needs help with {and pretty much hates} marketing. They struggle with that fine line of getting their message and work out into the world + being the sleazy used car salesman that bombards you with 'BUY ME' emails 24/7. So, consequentially, we feel we have to do ALL the marketing things, which is daunting... and fucking stupid.

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Raise Your Glass: Now You Have it All

Can you believe it? 2017 is approaching at lightning speed. I went to TJMaxx {yes, I’m a maxxinista} the other day + all the Christmas decorations are out already. You’ve got to be kidding me! We haven’t even had Halloween yet.

Is your business ready for 2017? 

This year has had lots of ups + downs and twists + turns. But as we approach the holidays there is still time to hit this year’s goals. Well, unless your goal is to marry Bradley Cooper. There still might be time for that, but chances are slim. Even so, I found myself at a working lunch today planning for 2017. I was asked earlier this week to list my top 3 goals for next year. Are you fucking kidding me? We haven’t even made it through 2nd quarter yet! Oh, wait. Son of a bitch. I’m behind already. 

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If You Build It They Will Come Doesn't Work, I Live in the Real World

I’ve done them all. You name it, I’ve put it on my credit card. I have spent thousands of dollars on every business program out there. I get sucked in because the copy writing is good + I just throw money at gurus. Only to be disappointed when I don’t get the practical solutions I crave. I know I need clarity. I know I need to have a plan. I know I need a content calendar. I know I need ALL the stuff. But how?

I Just Want Practical Solutions for Real Business

Ever single time I dive into a new ebook or program I’m super excited to find that missing link where they just tell me what to do next. I just need a checklist on how to do this whole running a business thing and I’ll do it. But I’m always disappointed when they start off with ‘stick with me and I’ll tell you 'The Secret.' WTF? I live in the real world with real bills + I just need you to tell me how you built this 7-figure business so I can too. I have a fucking MBA for crying out loud. I should know this shit. It’s a frustrating time, can you tell?

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Toast Your Biz Plan *clink*

Your business plan should be your tool to make your business work for you, not against you. It should make all your decision making easier. Have an idea to add website design to your bookkeeping business? Um, first, those are two totally different things and just because you used a Wordpress template to make yourself an awesome website doesn't make you a web designer. And, second, does that align with your business plan. Probably not.

Organization equals clarity.

This year has brought a lot of change to my business + myself. After some debate + many glasses of bubbly, Bartles & Associates got a rebrand. After I finished my one-page business map {I loved maps as a kid + while it’s called a plan, it's really a map}, I sent it over to Jenn. My note said, 'what do you think? do you get it? thoughts?' I send her notes with no caps all the time. The perfectionist she is, she probably hates it.

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Business plans are a BITCH

Business planning is a BITCH.  That is they are Boring, Irritating, Tedious, Consuming + Hard. Can I get an amen?

I wasn't into it. Creating a 400+ page business plan just didn't sit well with me. I could be doing so many other things with that 40+ hours like, I don't know... making money. But guess what? I needed one and found myself floating around the business sphere with no real direction for 8 years. EIGHT YEARS! Can you imagine the progress I could have made in those 8 years if I had a business plan?!

After being hospitalized in the spring, I was forced to make space in my schedule + in my head. That space afforded me the time I needed to think + get clear on me + my business. Once the clarity came I needed a to way to capture it and communicate it to my team + community. I needed a business plan. But one that was true to me, who I am and that didn't take forever to write.

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