Tag Archives: self employment

Making Business Cards

Let’s Talk Business – Entrepreneurial Rules Were Meant To Be Broken

Making Business Cards

The last time I posted about business stuff, I was hellbent on FINISHING CRAP UP.  I’d finished my logo, and was starting to work on my website, and I had a PLAN to finish the website in about 6 weeks.

Well… things don’t always go as planned. As was going through writing the copy, I sort of started feeling this fog, like I just wasn’t sure about something, something that I couldn’t even put my finger on. It was just a feeling of a lack of clarity.  Then I got really busy with client work, so it became easy to put it on the back burner.

Thankfully, my obsession with meditation has taught me a valuable lesson, which is “when in doubt, wait it out”.  That’s right, the most impatient woman in the world can now peacefully wait for what she wants.  Meditation truly can lead to miracles.

So, I stepped away, and focuses on networking for now, trying to attend at least 1 event per week.  Meetup.com has a lot to offer anyone who’s looking to network, or just about anything else social.

Also, I ordered cool rubber stamps of my logo so that I can make my own business cards.  This is extra super fun.  I think I’m slightly addicted.

Ultimately, a feeling of clarity came to me out of the blue yesterday.  I’ve been knocking WordPress as a website (vs. blogging) website for the past year.  The reason is that yes, there are a lot of amazing plugins that can make life very easy, but they’re third party plugins that could contain bugs, and you really have to be on top of making sure they’re updated regularly to avoid security issues or whatever.  So, I kind of made it my personal policy that I just don’t do WordPress for websites (blogs, yes, in fact this is a WordPress blog).

Generally, I tend to be extremely wishy washy.  My husband says the only predictable thing about me, is that I will always change my mind and will always be extremely unpredictable.  Sure enough, out of the blue yesterday, it occurred to me that WordPress is the best solution for my website!  And, I need to sell my ability to build custom WordPress websites!!!!!!!  Whatever.  So, the fog has lifted, my mind feels clear, and here I go, building a WordPress website.  The entrepreneurial spirit is re-energized!

Never say never, I guess.

The Practice of Setting Goals and Achieving Them

I am self employed.  Often times, when I tell people I work from home, I hear the same question “how do you stay motivated?”, and the truth is, it IS really hard to self motivate when you don’t have coworkers to keep you on point.  The television is there, the breakfast dishes, the bed, the books, the yarn, whatever.  It’s definitely something that took me years to come to terms with, and learn to manage, and I have to say, if it wasn’t for the kids waking me up at the crack of dawn, and the student loans and mortgage debt hanging over my head, I don’t know if I’d be successful at this job.

But, there are some things I’ve put into practice that help me to get it done, and here are a few of them.  I think these can really be applied to any type of work, whether it’s a career, a hobby, managing your finances, or household chores.

1.  Goal setting done RIGHT.  I recently went through this webinar by Hubspot.  They say one of the single biggest mistakes we can make when going into any endeavor is neglecting to make measurable goals.  I went into the webinar feeling completely confused about which path to take in this turning point of my career that I’ve found myself in.  I left feeling completely solid and confident!  Believe me, if you’re feeling uncertain, this is worth your while: http://www.hubspot.com/small-business-inbound-marketing/quickstart-grader-page/session-one/

2. If / Then thinking.  Read this, just read it.  http://99u.com/tips/7248/How-To-Use-If-Then-Planning-To-Achieve-Any-Goal

3. The right tools for the job.  Staying married to an exercise regime is hard.  Take one day off, and good luck getting back into it.  The solution?  Buy yourself some new sneakers, and see how excited you are to try them out, show them off at the gym, etc.  A little reward, particularly one that helps you achieve your goals, goes a long way.

Recently I had a massage.  My butt’s been killing me.  I told the therapist I work long hours with my laptop on the couch.  She practically spanked me (hey now!), and yelled “Meredith!  You’re smarter than that!”.  She was right!  Now I sit at a kitchen chair with my adjustable laptop table (in the living room, in front of the TV).  I feel so much better physically, and it’s fun to pretend this is my cute little studio office.  I get a lot more done, I eat less junk food, my clients are happier, I’m happier, the money’s coming in, my house is cleaner, I’m HAPPY!  The gadget helped. (Dave Laptop Table)

My friend buys herself fancy cleaning products to motivate her to keep the house clean.  You see where I’m going with this?

4.  Mantras.  I’ve scheduled my mantras into my Google calendar.  I get an alert when it’s time to revisit them.  Believe me, it helps.

5. Do it your way.  Throw out any notions that it needs to look, feel, smell or act like anyone else’s achievement.  Go out of your comfort zone.  Be OK with ugly (ahem, did you see my title graphic??).  Notice the word PRACTICE.  Achieving goals is a practice, which means, no one’s perfect at it.  Go easy on yourself, take your time, rest in between efforts, look around and feel proud!

The worst thing you can do is lay around and wish you had motivation.  The rewards are there for the taking!

xoxo, Mere

Let’s Talk Business – Sickness and Death Edition (it’s not as scary as it sounds)

Currently working with a 102 degree fever.

There’s two things I hate that I sometimes do.  Sound like a broken record, and complain.  Life is no joke, we know this.  However, I can’t help but kind of sound like a broken record, because lately, things have been really unpredictable in my life, and it’s gotten in the way (so I thought) of progressing in my career.

As some of you know, last week I was complaining because Leif got sick, and for the 10th week in a row, I couldn’t work a full week.  We’ve had deaths in the family, the holidays, and lots of bad colds.  It’s been tough.

I really love my kids, and I really love my job, but at the age they are, it’s 100% possible for me to be productive and make enough money when they’re home with me.  I’m self employed, so I don’t get no paid sick days.

All along, while this is going on, I keep thinking, there’s got to be some lesson here, and as soon as I learn it, things will get easier!  Well, I think that’s partly true, there is a lesson, and in fact I think it’s multiple lessons, and things might get easier, but easier isn’t necessarily better.

Stay with me.

So far I’ve learned to laugh in the face of misfortune.  Just throw up your hands and make the most of it.  Try not to let it eat away at you, and keep on trying.  I’ve also learned that these roadblocks are teaching me to make the most of my time.

When I first lost my job and dove in to starting my own business again, I was enjoying the perks of self employment, a little too much.  I spent a good portion of the morning, let’s just say, taking really good care of myself, in an effort to prepare myself for an afternoon full of productivity.  Well, the truth is, I was being a little lazy, and by the afternoon, I wasn’t all that motivated to get going.

Now that I know that it’s likely my schedule will get messed up due to some unforseen mishap, I’ve really learned to make the best use of my time.  I’ve LITERALLY been working since 8:30 this morning, and I’m so excited to see how much got done today!

So, what I’m trying to say, in all my rambling, is that sometimes we ask for things.  Some pray, some ask the universe, some manifest, whatever.  We all express a desire for something at some point or another.

When we ask, we’re usually given some opportunities to make it happen.

We also may be given stumbling blocks to sort of keep that goal just out of reach, and that can be extremely frustrating!  But, eventually we’ll learn how to work around those stumbling blocks, and then we get what we want (and what we want may change in that process), and also have skills to keep on moving forward into the future.

So really, those mishaps are good for us, so we should embrace them as part of the process.

Whew.  That’s enough preachiness for one day.  Back to work!

Let’s Talk Business. Episode 3

I’m absolutely horrible at math.

When I got engaged at age 20, I didn’t have much direction, career-wise. I’d held a few different jobs, but never put any thought into what I’d probably end up doing, long term. No one ever really asked me what I’d want to do. I wasn’t encouraged to go to college, or to figure out a general path, so it just didn’t occur to me that i should do those things. I did, however feel pretty certain that it would all work itself out, eventually.

The process started randomly. I’d recently quit my nanny job. Nanny-ing wasn’t for me. I couldn’t stand seeing people’s business all up close and personal like that. I was working for a very intense, proud family. They’d pulled themselves out of the trenches of South Philly, and both parents were earning a decent living in the suburbs. They freely informed their kids that they were in fact, rich, which in turn created kids who freely informed the whole world that they were rich.

The parents also each freely informed me about their dirty little secrets; the mom was having an affair, and the dad had a drinking problem. It was up to me to keep that a secret from both of them.  I was in the process of planning my wedding, with the highest of hopes to live happily ever after, and that all became too much of a downer, so I quit.

I ended up getting hired as a bookkeeper at a fly fishing wholesaler. They sold things like feathers and pieces of fur to people who delighted in creating fake bugs stuck to a fish hook. Some of the furs were cured in-house, in the office next to my desk. The smell of ammonia and god knows what else was enough to make you cry.  It was mostly redneck men who worked there.  They actually gave me a nickname.  Baby.  My nickname, was Baby.  Not like, Hey Baby, but like, Awww, wook at the wittle baby!  It was gross.

I’d never really done books before, but the owner was certain it was easy, and I’d pick it up fast enough. It turns out it’s not all that easy, but she was so busy with her own 2 children (who came to work with her every day along with 3 dogs), that she didn’t really notice I was mucking it up a little.

As gross of a place as it was to work, I loved that job so much. It was cool, because I taught myself something. I actually liked bookkeeping. It all felt very organized and businessy. I felt a little important, for the first time in my working life. I started to think, maybe I should go to school for accounting.

As my future husband and I were in the process of putting our future apartment together, we found an ad in the paper for someone selling an old kitchen table. We went to her house to check it out. When I got there, I was pretty impressed with her lifestyle. She was a single mother with two kids. She owned a small accounting business, and ran it from the rec-room, which had it’s own entrance. She seemed to have it all, the kids, the nice house, the career, AND she was able to be at home with her kids. It was the perfect setup! It was confirmed, I was going to school for accounting, and I’d be a CPA who works from home.

I actually ended up going down a different path, and became a graphic designer instead of a CPA, but what matters, is that I eventually achieved my goal of being my own boss, working from home, and I do love (most things about) it. It’s pretty amazing how one little job at a dinky little place can completely change a person from someone who has no direction, and no inkling that they even needed direction, into a full fledged workaholic (and I do mean that in a good way) like me.

Sometimes all it takes to turn a person’s thoughts into a productive direction is a little trust. They need to trust that things will be OK for them in life, and another person needs to trust them to carry out a task, and believe that they’ll do a good job. A seed of trust helps us to figure out what our dream is, and give us the confidence to venture out into the wild world of commerce to fulfill it.  It really is just that simple.