GUEST BLOGGER: Finding the work/life balance when starting a business

Creating a business from scratch is not easy. It takes a lot of drive, goal-setting and most importantly: TIME. When you’re seeing your business grow from the ground up, it makes you want to say yes to everything. Soon, however, all the hours in the day disappear, and you lose precious family time or even just personal leisure time.

At first, it might feel like you have unlimited stores of energy that you can dedicate to your business (the excitement is real!) but if you’re not careful, too much work will start to wear on you.

Here are some important tips to keep in mind while creating a work/life balance:

  1. Know When The Work Day is Over

We are so connected to our devices! If you’re starting a new business, it’s seems natural to be your own 24-hour network. But shutting things off for the night is essential. In order to be more productive in the future, it’s best to set a time where you switch off business and focus on winding down. Not only will this help you sleep better, it will give you an opportunity to build discipline in finding the work/life balance we all crave.

  1. What are Your Time-Wasters?

What do you do in the day that is productive towards your goals? It can be little things, like posting a brand-relevant message on Facebook, or sending out a few introductory emails. Social media is PIVOTAL for business (I know a thing or two about that…), but are you using it for too much leisure time? How much time do you spend scrolling down your Facebook feed during your precious “working hours”? Sometimes old habits die hard!

We all need to re-evaluate what is important in order to make sure our time is used to grow the business and spend quality time with people we love.

  1. Social Self Care is Very Important

Speaking of people we love: when you’re running a business, you often forget to take care of yourself! Simple things like diet and exercise are obvious – but what about social health? Don’t abandon your friends! Try your best to make plans and stick to them. It will help you stop focusing on work 24/7, and actually leave your office every now and then. Friends can be great supporters of your vision, by the way, and that support comes from building strong bonds.

  1. Make Small Achievable Steps

A brand new business is like having a new baby! You have to nurture it and give it plenty of attention. But you can’t do everything all at once and expect it to run smoothly. Are you spending 12 hours a day glued to the screen when you’re only aiming for 4? Quitting cold turkey will backfire. Try weaning yourself off, hour by hour, until you find the right workflow that fits for your blossoming company. You’ve probably heard the phrase “Work smarter, not harder.” Keep an eye out for efficient solutions that help you get your business off the ground without taking up all your time to do it.

There isn’t a formula for the perfect work/life balance. Everyone has different lifestyles, workflows and circumstances that create their own unique challenges. However, once you find that golden balance that works for you, your new business and your home life will thrive!

This is a guest post by Josh Elkin, founder of Best Coast Marketing a marketing agency that helps increase our clients’ traffic through organic link building. Josh enjoys writing about entrepreneurship, marketing, productivity and self-improvement.

Connect via email:  josh@bestcoastmarketing.com

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Reflection…..2017

I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect over the past year as 2017 brought many different elements from both personal and business sense.

I started the year with working towards finishing my 10 month Mastermind program that I invested in and can tell you that it was a HUGE impact with my business, from many levels.  I grew as a person, I developed more free downloads, changed my pricing, implemented some new packages and increased my client base.  I realized my value and that changed how I presented myself, how it allowed me to believe that I was the expert in Facebook.  It is amazing when you change your mindset as to what you can accomplish.

I also learned how to say “no” more and to know when I wasn’t the “right” fit for a client.  Sometimes, we have to realize that not everyone is a good fit and we have to release ourselves from it (but do recommend them to someone else).  I also embraced more of my competition and developed relationships with them so that when I wasn’t the right “fit”, I could refer them to another Social Media person.  We all have our own talents, our own ideas, our own personalities and together we can provide services to everyone who needs them.

I think one of my BIGGEST “learns” this year was that I was more than just a Facebook Trainer, I was a coach.  Never would I have thought that people would hire me to coach them regularly on completing their social media goals.  Being able to provide them with guidance, marketing ideas, strategy, training, inspiration and of course structure (that is one of my fortes), was something I had not realized I had become and it feels awesome!!

I had the opportunity to travel this past year, a trip to Italy and to Whistler.  Italy was a celebration for completing the Mastermind Program with the others who also participated.  It was an outstanding trip, I fell in LOVE with the Amalfi Coast, truly spectacular!!  Whistler was a family trip with myself, my daughter, my boyfriend and his daughter.  We did 5 hikes (and yes some were killers lol) and embraced the world surrounding the mountains, just unbelievable.

One of the biggest “personal” elements that happened this past year, was with my daughter.  Many don’t know, but as a family, we have been working with our daughter to help her battle anxiety and depression.  I had to adjust my work schedule to be here for her, to be her “rock”, to help her understand and to work at getting her the help she needed.  We are now on the right track, in the past 2 months, and she is seeking regular therapy and on meds.  She was not able to attend College, so we had to withdraw her and she was not able to hold down a job.  I decided to hire her to help me with some admin work, as she really wanted to feel as though she was doing something.  She has struggled with leaving the house, unless I was with her, and we are slowly working towards her getting her life back and not being afraid of the “outdoors”.  As a family, we have all come together (her father and brother as well) to help and support her and we believe that she is on the road to being the person she eagerly wants to be.

As I move into 2018, I have to admit to you that I have not set any goals.  For me, I take each day as it comes, develop some ideas as they come to my mind and continue to push myself to grow and achieve.  Every day, I do reflect on what I have done and what I need to do and then I do it.  It is part of who I am.  So, that means, that I can’t tell you what my goals will be this coming year but they will fall into place as I continue to grow.

I want to thank each one of you for always supporting me, for encouraging me, for pushing me, for believing in me.  It I didn’t have you, then how can I continue to grow my business and push myself towards success?

Let’s ROCK 2018!!!

Who is the person behind the face?

Have you ever thought about those who follow you on your Business Page, whether they really know who you are?  I mean, we have many of them who are also on our personal timeline as friends, but there are followers who only see what you put on your Business Page.

So, following the lead of another business owner, Debbie Green from Sweet EverGray Baby, I thought I would tell you about ME, the person behind the face 🙂

  • I am a single Mom of 2 teenagers, 21 and 18
  • I teach part time at a College, working with International students, teaching them how to use Word, Powerpoint and Excel
  • I am on 2 Board of Directors’ teams
  • I started working right out of high school and was fortunate to land a job at a very large corporation when I was 21.  They hired me as a Secretary and I did 13 different jobs, working my way up and to learn as much as I could about business, before I quit to be a stay-at-home Mom
  • I drove a school bus for 2 years    school-bus-1563493__340.png
  • I got involved in Direct Sales, which is what ultimately led me to my current business, working with Small Business owners in the world of Facebook
  • I absolutely LOVE caesars    caesar
  • I absolutely LOVE drinking Coke BUT it must be in a can lol  download (2).jpg
  • I have 3 siblings, a sister who is 52, a brother who is 51, and a sister who is 36 (I am 50)….my younger sister was adopted when I was 14
  • I am self taught when it comes to computers
  • To settle my mind before going to bed, I play free slots on my tablet   casino-161438__340.png
  • I am a very organized, structured type person
  • I LOVE to travel    airplane-2744744__340.png
  • I have 3 tattoos
  • I would rather wear very comfortable clothing than dress up   yoga.png
  • When I am doing my videos, I am usually in my pajama bottoms, I just put on a nice top lol
  • I am as real as I can be, in everything I do
  • I am pretty positive however, I do have moments where I escape and cry, just to get it out
  • I don’t meditate, do yoga or anything that has me sitting for too long lol
  • I really dislike cooking, so I rely on others to make food for me lol   download.png
  • I LOVE pasta
  • I LOVE teaching people
  • I was born on the East Coast but grew up in Ontario

So, there you go, an insight to the person behind the face.  I would love for you to tell me 5 things about yourself, that reflects who you are 🙂

Time to realize…….

I am mighty.  I am strong.  I can do it all by myself!  Ummmmmm……pause…..think.  No, Tammy you can’t!!

lol okay so this is how most of us think when we are entrepreneurs, that we can do it all, we don’t need help.  Mostly we think this because we believe that we can’t afford to hire people to help us.  This was me for the last 5 years.  BUT NOT ANYMORE!!

I am here to tell you that you have to seriously look at this.  You have to understand what your strengths and weaknesses are and determine how it is affecting your business and you on a personal level.

I cram my weeks, Monday to Friday, with as much work as I can so that I can take weekends off.  However, sometimes I was working non-stop all day and into the late evenings, just to keep on top of things.  We find it hard to say “no” (which is something I have been working on as well) and we continue to take on more, more and more!!

Do you know how this is ultimately going to affect your business?  Do you realize that you open yourself up to burnout?  That you may want to just run away and give up on everything because you don’t believe you can ever reach your goals?

I recently hired a VA who helps me with different elements (like updating my website, adding captions to my YouTube videos) and I hired my daughter to help with some of my social media work.  WOW, all I can say, is what a difference it has made for me (and it has only been a couple of weeks).  I can now focus on what I am truly good at, can focus on building more relationships, taking on more clients, providing valuable information.  I can breathe, I can relax, I can reduce the hours into the evenings, I can eliminate the frustration.  AND guess what?  I do have the money BECAUSE when you hire others to help, you can bring in additional income from focusing on building the business, the clients.

So take some time, make a list of all the elements that make up what you do in your business and determine where you can hire someone to help.  AND just breathe……

GUEST BLOGGER: Turn Rejection Into Reflection to Get What You Want.

Thank you to Laurie Hunt for opening up and sharing her thoughts, as well as giving up some tips on how we can deal with rejection.

A couple weeks ago I received a ‘rejection’ notification email. I had applied to an organization with which I felt a great deal of alignment of purpose, values and what they were trying to accomplish. Truthfully, I felt that I was natural fit. That all my varied experience in organizational development, leadership, non-profit consulting, athletics, mentoring and coaching meant I was ideally suited to set up a local branch of this U.S. based non-profit that is looking to expand globally.

After evaluating the opportunity carefully and deciding that I wanted to be a part of the organization, I submitted my application. I was quickly granted a video interview the following day with two senior staff of the organization. I was right! They had to be very interested in me to respond so quickly.

After the interview was complete, I felt depleted rather than excited. From my end, I thought I handled the interview well, responding to their questions thoughtfully and with enthusiasm. Yet something felt off. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was that caused my energy to drain. Then, just as quickly as they scheduled the interview, I received my rejection email the next day.

My immediate reaction was huge disappointment. Part of me was very surprised and another part of me wasn’t because of the impact the interview had on me. They said my way of doing things didn’t align with theirs and that some of my projects wouldn’t fit with setting up a branch for them. They must have misunderstood who I am and how I do things! I quickly typed up a response clarifying my perspective and asking them to reconsider.

Then I went for a run. It was a big decision on my part to apply in the first place and their rejection caused me to feel off balance. Getting outside and moving always helps me find a fresh perspective on a situation, especially troubling ones.

The conversation I had with myself went something like this:

Laurie: OK. Well that wasn’t the result I expected. However, since I believe things work out the way they are meant to, what’s the reason for this rejection?

Inner Self: You felt a disconnect between who they said they were and how they treated you in the interview. They said they are creating a warm, friendly, non-competitive environment and yet they were cool and formal in the interview. It wasn’t a conversation. It felt more like an interrogation. Well not quite that severe, but similar. Who they were being doesn’t actually align with what’s important to YOU.

Laurie: Well, yes. That’s true. My comment after the interview was ‘that was strange’. After my many years of experience in HR and interviewing, that was not a best practice interview by any means.

Inner Self: You also have said that your More-In-Me Movement is important to you. You are launching soon and if you were accepted by this organization, your focus would be on creating that entity and not your own work. You have been so excited to bring all your skills, experience and passion to your More-In-Me Movement.

Laurie: That’s true too. It seems that this rejection is a good thing. Reminds me of my tendency to help others and put their initiatives and businesses ahead of my own. LOL. Saying no was the best possible outcome for what really matters to me and where I want to focus my time and energy.

My learning from the reflection resulting from the rejection is invaluable and will serve as a reminder in the future to say no when other ‘shiny things’ show up to distract me from what I say is most important to me.

It took a week for them to reply the second time and say they were not changing their minds. By then I had firmly decided that I did not want to work for them. I had wondered how I would say no if they came back and said yes. But I didn’t have to. Things have a way of working themselves out when we trust in the unfolding and stay true to ourselves.

Here are three suggestions for dealing with rejection:

  1. Turn rejection into reflection. What did you learn from the experience? Ask, what else? What’s possible that wouldn’t have been if you were accepted? What do you really want?
  2. Do your best and accept the outcome in the end. You may not be happy with the result, however, dwelling on it won’t serve you. Ask yourself, what would you do differently next time? Did you do your best? What other options are out there? There are always more options.
  3. Most importantly, don’t take it personally. Rejection isn’t about who you are. It’s about what they want and their perception of how well your skills, experience, and approach fit with theirs. If they don’t see a fit, then it’s not likely the right opportunity for you. After all, they know their organization or situation best. And it means there is something else out there that is going to be just right for you. You get to choose too. It’s never just a one-way street although it sometimes can feel that way. You get to evaluate how well they fit with what’s important to you. Turn rejection info reflection and trust your instincts. Be a possibilitarian and see what else is available for you to discover. There’s more for you out there.

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Laurie Hunt believes everyone has more in them. Calling herself a possibilitarian and system disrupter, Laurie works with clients to discover their ‘more-in-me’ by seeing new possibilities and disrupting the habits and patterns that may get in the way. Laurie recently launched The More-In-Me Movement. It’s a movement because she wants to get people moving – literally- towards what they say they want in life, work and family. 

GUEST BLOGGER: Not everyone will want you to SUCCEED By Vanessa Dewsbury

We all hope for support and encouragement from our friends and family when we venture off on a journey of turning our dreams into reality, but the unfortunate truth is, not everyone will want you to succeed…and why is that?

There are some people who are triggered by the success of others because it makes them question their own life.  When someone sees you where they want to be or where they think they “should be,” it can create feelings of jealousy and resentment, and some people operate in competitive or comparative mode.  They either view you as competition so they are not supportive of your success or they compare themselves to others and if they perceive you are “doing better” than they are, they lack offering you any kind of encouragement.  And some of your friends or family don’t want you to succeed because they fear you may drastically change and leave them behind.

You may even find and have personally experienced someone trying to taint your character and reputation to others.  They talk bad about you behind your back in hopes that others will view you in a negative light.  However, usually in that situation it only makes the person who spoke badly of you, look bad.

Entrepreneurs are naturally driven, creative, rebellious and they tend to not like to follow the rules, or the crowds and this can actually be very off-putting for some.  If one is conditioned to believe that you have to do things by the book, then they will have a hard time accepting your choices and may view you as doing it all ‘wrong.’

But the thing is, we are all on our own journey of truth, growth, self development, and most everyone desires successful relationships, careers, health and so on but not everyone will arrive there at the same time.  We are all on different parts of the path just trying to do the best we can and maybe we will all arrive to where we want to be or maybe not all of us will.

How do you find you respond when you hear about the success of others?  Do you feel happy for them, do you encourage and congratulate them or do you feel resentful, jealous or hostile?

If you find your reaction is negative in nature, ask yourself why you’re feeling this way, explore your thoughts because deep down, they have nothing really to do with the other person, your reaction is coming from a place that might need a little bit of self reflection and healing.   And that’s okay, acknowledging and taking responsibility for your feelings can be the key to your own success.  If you find you are having difficulties in certain areas of your life, reach out and ask for help from others, surround yourself with the people you want to be like and most importantly, believe and trust in yourself that you can too achieve the success you desire.

If you are someone who praises, supports and gets excited when others succeed, then good for you, keep doing what you’re doing.

At the end of day we aren’t here to please others, we are here to enjoy, explore, create and live a life of happiness and bliss, and we are all worthy of that.  Don’t let the jealousy or non-approval of others deter you off your path, just keep moving, keep creating and keep believing in yourself, and in your dreams.

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

Steve Jobs

 

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Vanessa Dewsbury
Facebook:  Soul Alive Barrie