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Are you working ON your business or only IN it?

When I was first starting my business, I frequently felt underwater, like I was gasping for air and couldn’t find any. Every day was a constant struggle between doing what I loved (serving clients) and doing what I knew I should be doing (growing my business). I spent 90% of my time working in my clients’ businesses. And when it came time to do anything beyond invoice my clients, I felt drained. Writing a blog post would wait. Crafting a new piece of content for email subscribers could wait. Meeting with industry people could definitely wait. Worst of all, I […]

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How To Be Responsive and NOT Lose Your Mind

Did you know that being constantly in your inbox, reading and responding to email can feel productive, but is actually a form of distraction? YEP! This was such a head-slap moment for me when I learned it years ago. The constant need to be ultra-responsive pulls your focus away from the bigger picture of building a successful, sustainable business you can love for many years to come. But, how do you make your clients feel cared for, but not spend the day in reactionary mode in your inbox? First, it starts with expectations and boundaries. This is the tough part […]

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Business Tools I Love: Unroll.me

Do you have serious FOMO when it comes to knowledge? I DO! I love to learn and if someone has something wonderful to say, I’ll likely give them permission to come into my inbox on the regular. Yes, I freely give out my email address to websites and other businesses. I know they say to protect your email address, but I want to know what people are saying and thinking. How else can you learn but to explore the thoughts and ideas of others? But… Confession time: my inbox became rather unwieldy with this strategy. I know, me, the biggest […]

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Business Tools I Love: Canned Responses for Gmail

“OMG – Canned Responses are my new best friend. That is all.” That was the email from a happy client recently, after I recommended Canned Responses to her. And last week, while in an operations + tech overview for a client’s new assistant, she had a similar reaction to finding out about the tool. It got me thinking about you, a smart, successful business owner and I thought you’d like to be in on the secret, too. Consider this your formal introduction to your new TOP business tool – Canned Responses for Gmail. First, let’s start with what they are […]

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Planning for the Unplannable

The recent events in Texas are devastating. I have friends and clients in the Houston area. People that are affected by the flooding. They’re living in hotels. They’re spending their days ripping apart their homes to prepare for the restoration process. Helicopter rescues have taken place only 2 blocks away. I was on a call with one of those very lovely people this week. As we talked, the discussion steered towards the larger idea of continuity within our businesses when large-scale events, like hurricanes and flooding, divorce and illness, happen. What do we do as small business owners? We still […]

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Losing clients? Make sure you’re not skipping this SUPER SIMPLE step

I was thinking about you recently because I’ve been having some customer service issues with a local business. This business provides a hybrid product and service, which I know so many of you do. You have your 1:1 service, but then there’s usually some sort of deliverable that goes along – a website, workbook, training manual. You think that the only thing that matters is the deliverable. After all, that’s what you’re being paid to provide. I’m here to say that you’re wrong. There’s many people out there that likely do what you do in a broad sense. Other developers […]

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When Business isn’t All Glamour and Sexiness ALL THE TIME

Earlier this year, I had a HUGE client deliverable due. It took a good chunk of time and brainpower and the timeline for completion was short. To get through it, I relied on this little, but super unsexy trick – I wore the same thing each day until the project was done and out the door. And we’re not talking about the same outfit every day, in an endearing, look ‘how smart he is’ way, like Steve Jobs. Oh no, this was the same exact clothes for three days straight – aqua North Face hooded sweatshirt with black Nike yoga […]

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Systems or Technology – which comes first?

This question comes to me often – when setting up your business for success, where should the focus go first? Should you concentrate on getting the right technology and software? Or is developing operational systems the first stop on the business organization train? After all, you can’t do such fundamental actions as sign up new email subscribers or collect payments without some basic pieces of technology. So that’s it right? Concentrate on the tech first. You probably know my answer is very much the opposite. In my opinion,  systems come first! And this isn’t just because I’m all about the processes. […]

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