4 Tips to Help You Follow-up

As December arrives so does time for reflection. This year has been full of ups and downs. From a business perspective, the word burned into my brain is follow-up. I have found my biggest failures have come from a lack of follow-up.

Failure to me can come in many different forms like not sending a Thank You card after a meeting, overcommitting or letting a lead grow cold. All these things resolve by following a few simple tricks.

  1. Set Reminders. As soon as you think of the act, write it down. I typically put reminders in my phone. It takes a quick minute to write down what you need to do
  2. Take your time. If something is worth doing, it is worth doing well. I am the worst at rushing through my to-do’s missing opportunities to secure next steps or forgetting details that can take work to the next level. I have found when I slow down I can set reminders, do better work and get more done.
  3. Do the behavior: I subscribe and listen to a podcast (SalesTuners.com). One of the guests discussed the importance of doing the behavior every single day. You can check out the episode here. The biggest take-a-way I found was to ask, “what are the minimum things I have to do today?” Once you establish your standard, the work ethic follows.
  4. Timeblock: I recently asked someone I look up to (who is coincidently the creator of SalesTuners) how he manages to get so much done in a single week. His response was to time block. Doing this activity is a challenge for me as my day currently revolves around a newborn, so I am pretty reactionary. However, when I do have help with the baby, I make sure to time block those days so I can maximize my efforts and eliminate multi-tasking.

Do you have any secrets to share that help you? I’d also love to know what (if any) technology you use to help you get more done?

Is Passive Income a Pipedream?

Wouldn’t you love to wake up with more money than you had when you went to sleep? I’m pretty sure everyone would say yes. As a millennial (don’t worry I won’t bite) I know the days of the gold watch and handshake easement into retirement are over. I also share the characteristics of my fellow generation. One characteristic being the desire to work on several different things at one time and having the freedom to do so. And today’s environment it’s important to have a side hustle. All this is great, but time is finite. Enter the passive income stream.

Creating a passive income stream is somewhat of an ethereal concept. Right? I mean it sounds good. You nodded your head yes when I asked if you wanted to wake up with more money. It just seems to be out of reach. So how can you get it done?

I’ve spent a lot of time studying how to market and create passive income streams online. The overarching theme (beyond execution) is content. Yes, okay this makes sense, right? You need to create epic content, put it online, and the masses will swarm, and you’ll wake up a millionaire. Well, I wish it were that easy. Still, it’s easier than you realize.

Your homework to get started?

  1. Identify your expertise
  2. Identify your audience
  3.  Identify the unique problem they have which you can solve (this goes back to your expertise. The difference is in this step you want to solidify an offering)

More likely than not these three steps are already on the tip of your tongue. However, I challenge you to think these three steps through.

What do you know or can provide to a specific person that would radically change their world? 

There are a ton of ways to turn the passive income goal into a reality. I outlined some quick homework to get you started on the path. If you’re interested in learning more, shoot me a message. I’d love to help you create your passive income stream online.

Consistency is King

Remember when marketing was all about the strategy and not the tactics? Ya me either. Mostly because I’m young, and I made that up. But also because marketing is one of those ever-evolving doors with shiny new tactics looming just around the corner. While it’s tempting to follow the shiny object or speak marketing jargon when talking to a prospect, don’t. Avoid the temptation to speak gibberish to appear as the expert. Focus on the customer. Focus on the goals. That’s what makes marketing so fun. Yes, it’s great ideas, solid strategy, and staying current with trends. Marketing fundamentals are much more straightforward.

As marketers, we get caught up in what’s trending. When in reality consistent is more important than new. Consistency is where growth happens whether it’s in your workout regime or marketing your business. Consistency is king. When looking for an Agency or Marketer focus less on what they ‘know’ and more on what they do. I have worked with over 100 companies to grow their business using both traditional and digital tactics. The thing that works every time? Execution. Consistently following the process and getting things done. That’s what works in marketing.

Drop the jargon. Stop the talking. Start doing the work.

xoxo,

Blonde Chick

Do you lead your life?

Most people don’t lead their life, they accept their life. Most people don’t challenge their thinking. They don’t question the way things are. They don’t reexamine their thought processes.  They don’t ask why they think a certain way. Instead, they accept the answers given. They are okay with no progression no evolvement.

Don’t be most people.

Question yourself. Question others. Inspire curiosity. Don’t accept ‘no’ to your ‘yes’. Don’t tell God your plans ask Him. Then listen. Always seek forward movement and reflection. Constantly ask yourself, why. The answers should inspire more questions and the questions should inspire action.

Go ahead. I dare you. Ask yourself, why.

xoxo,

Blonde Chick

post inspired by A More Beautifull Question by Warren Berger.

 

 

Peace, Love and Worry Free

As many before me have experienced having a baby is not easy. What’s more is having a baby stuck the NICU for weeks on end. I recently had a conversation with someone who asked me if I worried. No one had asked me that before. I’m assuming it’s because the idea of worrying about your baby is presumed especially when dealing with one born so early. Yet, for me, my answer was no.

I remember knowing I was pregnant before the test confirmed. Of course, I called my sister. I then sat on my back deck as a sense of great peace filled my soul. I knew that no matter what happened everything would be fine. Since then, I can honestly say that worry has not entered the picture. I view every circumstance involving my pregnancy and  now as a series of moments. Moments that I live in. Although, I’m looking forward to the future I’m not pondering it. I’m not worried about an outcome, I’m embracing the given situation, dealing with it in realtime, and then carrying on.

At times, yes, I have been emotional. As this process is draining in every aspect. At times, yes, I have been anxious to get home. But worry. No. I’m not in control. I never was nor will ever be. So, why worry about things I cannot control? For that matter, why worry about things you can control? To worry is a waste. To trust is to have peace.

There’s a verse that has carried me since the week I was admitted to the hospital, “Don’t be anxious about anything; rather, bring up all of your requests to God in your prayers and petitions, along with giving thanks. Then the peace of God that exceeds all understanding will keep your hearts and mind safe in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:6-7 CEB

If I feel a sense of anxiousness creeping in, I read this verse. I took a picture of it from the bible app youversion so that I can have it at any time. (although I should probably just memorize it 🙂 ). As it has for me, I hope this verse gives you peace as you face the challenges that life undoubtedly brings.

xoxo,

Blonde Chick

Keep on Keepin On

Over the past six weeks, life has changed immensely. From having a baby three months early to navigating the waters of my ever ebbing and flowing career. One thing I have been clear on since leaving my full-time job back in 2015 is that I never want to work a 9 to 5 again. Now, that I have had a baby this is ever more important as I never want to sacrifice my time with her for money. I never want to miss an important event. I never want to sacrifice travel and opportunity due to the parameters inherent with a corporate career. All this to say, I’m proud that I have been able to create a lifestyle business by working with and for like-minded individuals.

The biggest challenge has been time management. When given the opportunity to create your own hours, work on your own terms, autonomy is your worst and best friend. All that to say, I have learned (am still learning) a few things to keep the balance while getting the job done.

  1. Keep yourself accountable. Regardless of whether your ‘boss’ requires you to track your tasks and time spent, do it anyway. It is useful for you to know how you are spending your time. It also allows you to track the results of your efforts in relation to the task required. I have used several programs in the past most recently TeamWorks, Trello, and Myhours. They are simple to use and allow for you to collaborate with your colleagues remotely.  I also use Slack to keep communication channels open without having to use email or texting.
  2. Keep a calendar. I use Google Calendar to keep all my personal and professional commitments. I even use it to schedule my gym time, my ‘home’ time as well as study time. I try to follow it carefully while allowing me the flexibility I crave. In doing so, I set commitments each day for the things that I need to accomplish.
  3. Keep a commitment to your health. As noted above, I put in my calendar time for the gym and home. This way I have pre-scheduled the time needed to take care of my health and hearth. I have also recently joined a group that my sister runs that fosters a community of people striving to stay fit and eat healthy. This creates another layer of accountability beyond the intrinsic drive. (if interested in that, you can email her by clicking here)
  4. Keep learning. Never stop reading, listening to podcasts, meeting new people and engaging with those that think differently than you. I have recently started diving more into podcasts. There is so much free information out there from experts in every industry. A few of my new finds are Side Hustle Nation, Tropical MBA, EOFire, & Growth Hack Your LIfe. If you can’t tell already, they are focused on the digital nomad or entrepreneur, which are obviously in line to the career and life I’m creating. I encourage you to read at least one book a month, subscribe to one podcast, meet with a new person or old contact every 6 weeks and spark new conversations. It sounds like work, but in reality, it will keep you focused and ahead of the curve.
  5. Keep your priorities in check. Constantly re-evaluate your priorities. By looking at your calendar and your activity you can start to see a pattern of how you are spending your time. If you start to see a shift towards one thing or another be sure to make sure that shift is in the direction of your goals. If not, make a shift back. Your priorities should align to your purpose. Make sure you are vigilant in keeping these at the top of your mind.

Any tricks or tips you care to share?

xoxo,

Blonde Chick

5 Ways to Thrive in the NICU [or any challenging environment]

Today marks the tenth day of little Lennon’s arrival. Although being in the NICU is not ideal, it’s been a great opportunity for personal and spiritual growth. There are a few things I’ve picked up on over the past week and a half on how to not just survive this experience but to thrive. If you’ve been in a situation like mine or one similar, what things have you learned to help along the way?

1. Positivity breeds positivity

When dealing with a seemingly negative situation count your blessings. It’s amazing what a positive attitude can do for you, your baby, and those around you. Austin and I won’t allow negativity into the room. So when we’ve been tired and start to get cranky with one another, we pause and focus back on having a positive conversation. We even change the tone of our voice! We want Lennon to be surrounded by positivity. When I was pregnant, I wouldn’t even allow myself to listen to negative music. So when music came on full of strippers and hoes or angst or anger, I changed the station. Even now, I focus on putting good in so that my output is good. 🙂 It’s amazing what our subconscious picks up.

2. Keep deodorant with you

In all seriousness, the NICU is warm. Plus every day I’m carting in my tote bag, our meals for the day, my massive Law book and more! So by the time I get up to see her, I’m already a bit hot! Then after my skin-to-skin care with her, I have to peel myself off the leather chair. It may not be cute, but the sweat is real! I’ve also read that after giving birth, you tend to sweat a  bit more as your body regains balance and eliminates extra fluids. Keep it fresh. Your baby and nurses will thank you.

Another quick tidbit is if you wear contacts be sure to pack some solution. If given the opportunity for a quick nap, you’ll need to refresh your eyes.

3. Be nice

You would be surprised at how rude people can be – well maybe not. In every interaction, we try to focus on being kind to those around us. People around here are under a lot of stress and emotion. It’s easy to judge and be critical of behavior especially when you’re tired and dealing with your emotions. When I find myself slipping into ‘judgment zone’ I try to focus and silently pray that the Lord will bless that person. This sounds soo cheesy! However, it helps me regain focus on what’s important.

4. Go home

It’s hard to leave your baby, Period. It’s important for her health and mine that we go home to recharge and rest. It’s that simple. Go home when you can and be sure to take care of yourself and your relationship with your partner. When your home take care of your to-do’s for instance, make dinner the night before or throw in a load of laundry. Each day choose a small task to conquer. Doing so will help you to avoid building a mountain ‘to do’s’ and allow you to focus when with your baby.

5. Get dressed

It’s so easy to throw on sweats, put on no makeup, and make little effort to look presentable. I’ve found though that by getting up and dressed my mind is better focused and prepared for the day ahead. I’m not in mourning. I’m not depressed. So, why look that way? By getting dressed, I’m setting myself up for a successful day. Again, the power of attitude can make all the difference in how we deal with the daily opportunities.

xoxo,

Blonde Chick

Define What Matters

I’m on day 7 of Hospital bed rest. It was going fine (relatively speaking) until last night. Out of nowhere I was completely broken, discouraged, and had a suffocating feeling of being trapped. So like all adults do, I called my mom to come sleep here with me.

As I woke up this morning, from little to no sleep, I continued to struggle. My eyes red from tears that had dropped continuously through the night. I decided to take a shower, clear my head, and watch this weekend’s past service. One of the major take-a-ways for me was the understanding of pain and how the joy of the Lord is what will sustain me over these next few weeks (well, and in life).

In defining what matters, my focus goes from myself and to the mission. Quite literally my mission is to provide a house for our baby and to do what the Dr says. Success in life is not the absence of pain, of heartache, or of bed rest. Success is the leveraging of pain. By focusing on what matters, the goal, the mission, I can embrace the pain knowing I am making progress. Every day I am here our baby is making progress. In defining what matters, I can refocus my attention on the goal.

Although my analogy identifies the pain of having to be on bed rest and the multitude of emotions surrounding this, the fundamentals of this message resonates in all areas of our lives. Often, we focus on the negatives of what we are experiencing. We question God and seek to eliminate any discomfort. The reality is pain like failure is crucial to joy, which is God’s will for us. (John 10:10). There is no gain without pain. There is no opportunity for growth when you are unproductive and tired. Pain allows us to experience change, and this alone is a blessing. I challenge each of us to be clear in defining what matters. In the midst of any trial, focus on the mission and not the moment. In doing so, your pain becomes temporary, and your balance is restored.

xoxo,

Blonde Chick

Address the Elephant

In the past six months, I found out I was pregnant (surprise!) and had to deal with many family difficulties. I hate to say it and be cliche but the thought of becoming a parent has changed me. Instead of shying away from the awkward conversations that arise when people make poor choices, or do things that negatively influence you, I now find it necessary to address the elephant when these things happen. Why? Because my priorities have shifted. Because during this time my faith and friendships have grown stronger as a result of having these key conversations. I will not blame hormones for the issues I have had to address. Rather, I’ll credit hormones for giving me the strength to address things that once I would have let roll off my back or bury somewhere to never deal with. There’s something liberating about addressing an issue in a non-confrontational manner. Instead of ignoring it, pushing it down, or rationalizing it I have chosen to identify why it bothers me and communicate compassionately.

I have found that I have become quite particular with the pending arrival of our baby. Someone told me it was the hormones. Nope. It’s not the hormones. It’s a life-changing privilege and my particularities have grown to accommodate what we feel is best for our baby. Is that ungrateful, selfish or controlling? Some may say yes. I say no. We feel so blessed to have this little, unplanned baby and want to provide for her in the best way possible. I believe that things come from God – including the visions we may have for our future (caveat to this: the visions he plants in us because we have prayed and sought wisdom for them, James 1:5).

To me, addressing the elephant in any room provides an opportunity for growth and effective communication. In doing so, we must approach the conversation without anger or accusations. We must do so in a way that communicates a desire for clarification and understanding.

Elephants appear in every relationship whether it’s a significant other, friends, family members and/or colleagues. Don’t ignore the thousand pound mass, greet it. It’s better to gain understanding regardless if  in the end, your opinions differ. I guarantee the other person will respect you for addressing it and your relationship will grow.

xoxo,

Blonde Chick