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Posts Tagged ‘business’

Is Your In-Box Running Your Life?

Wednesday, March 4th, 2020
InboxJail

Do you ever wonder if you can actually have zero emails in your in-box?

I do know some people who have empty inboxes. I will admit I never have. I fully expect my inbox, virtual and not virtual, to be full when I die.

If you are trying to move in the direction of a less full inbox, here are eight tips, plus a bonus reflection, that might just help.

Send less email

Doesn’t that seem obvious? If you send less, you will get less.

Consider whether you need to start an email chain or if a simple phone call might answer your questions.



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Valentine’s Dinner Thoughts

Wednesday, February 19th, 2020

Did you enjoy your Valentine’s Day?

My husband and I went to a fabulous dinner at Volt in historic Frederick, Maryland. Volt is housed in a 19th Century brownstone mansion. It is the creation of Brian Voltaggio. Reality show fans will recognize him as a finalist on Top Chef Season 6 and Top Chef Masters Season 5. 

As I was watching the staff handle the evening’s activities, I was reminded about how our businesses are like a restaurant.

When you own a successful restaurant, it’s divided into two areas: front of the house and back of the house.

Front is what the public sees, i.e., the host/hostess, the waiters, the dining room, the meal.

And the back of the house is where the work takes place.



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Getting over Blue Monday?

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020

By some accounts, Blue Monday was this week.

What is Blue Monday, you ask?

It goes back to a campaign created by Dr. Cliff Arnall and Sky Travel in 2005, and it’s the third Monday in January.

It is a pseudo-scientific calculation that considers weather conditions, debt level (the difference between debt accumulated and our ability to pay), time since Christmas, time since failing your New Year’s resolutions, low motivational levels, and feeling of a need to take action.

The idea is that all of that is enough to put you in a “blue” mood. Of course, the solution for your low feelings would be to book travel! Since then a campaign was started called #stopbluemonday.

I think Blue Monday is when you look ahead and see all you have set to accomplish this year and start to feel overwhelmed when you have barely gotten started.



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Stop waiting for permission

Wednesday, October 9th, 2019

 

Anyone who has been around small children knows they ask questions, lots of questions.

Many of those questions start with “Can I.” Can I have one more cookie? Can I watch TV? Can I stay up late and read? Can we get a dog?

We are conditioned early on to ask for permission.

We did it as kids with our parents. It continued in school with our teachers.

Even as adults, you may find yourself asking for permission, sometimes unconsciously.

Women, in particular, tend to have what’s known as upward inflection, the habit of raising their voices at the end of a sentence. This turns the sentence into a question, giving your power away to someone else.

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Once it’s created, it’s copyrighted

Wednesday, February 27th, 2019

Last week a post popped up in my Facebook feed that dealt with copyright.

A textile artist discovered that her original work had “inspired” someone to create a nearly identical piece of art. The copier thought that if she gave credit to the art’s originator at some point, it was okay. She did credit the original artist in a blog post. She also thought it was okay to enter her work into a contest. Well it’s not okay in either instance.

Late last year one of my pattern design clients shared that someone had created a nearly identical quilt to hers and was selling patterns. Again, the copier was inspired and didn’t see the harm in what she was doing.

In both these cases, the copiers infringed on copyright. They didn’t have the rights to make a copy. In neither case did the infringer even ask permission.

Unfortunately this topic comes up on a regular basis.



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Biz lessons from the dentist

Wednesday, February 6th, 2019

I had a dental visit last week. I have one every six months, like many people. I don’t actually mind these because  — knock on wood — I’ve been blessed with healthy teeth.

I was thinking about what I could learn and share about business as Julie, the hygienist, was cleaning my teeth. After all, you can’t exactly carry on your end of a conversation while this is going on.

Create relationships

Julie has been a dental hygienist in this small practice for nearly 40 years, and I’ve been going for at least half that time.

While she started her job because she loved cleaning teeth, Julie told me that for her it had not been about cleaning teeth for a long time.

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Looking Back and Moving Forward

Wednesday, December 5th, 2018

The end of the year is often filled with planning activities. For many creative people. though, the thought of planning is beyond boring.

It can be black and white — after all it does involve looking at numbers. When you get right down to it, though, getting your big dreams and goals down on paper and figuring out how to accomplish them is creative. Especially when you get out those colored markers and pencils!

For more than ten years, I hosted an annual Planning Day, and we always start with looking back. Instead of jumping into what next year looks like, take time to clear out this year. Look at the good, the bad, and the lessons learned. This will let you celebrate what you accomplished and put you in a positive place to start the new year.

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Building a Healthy You and a Healthy Business

Wednesday, October 10th, 2018

Do you give much thought to how your general health affects your business? You may not think they are connected, but they are.

Truthfully, your own personal wellness should be a priority. Without a well you, your business suffers. In the extreme, you become run down, exhausted, and burned out — and so does your business. In the short run, you can lack focus and just aren’t as productive as you need to be.

In my own life I’ve seen this. I used to prioritize nutrition and exercise and sleep. At one point, I started down a slippery slope. I wasn’t exercising like I should. I used to have a personal trainer who came to my house, and when her schedule changed, I started to slack off. I used to go to yoga. When my personal schedule changed, I didn’t fit it in. Sure I was still walking every day with my friends, but that wasn’t enough. As I would learn, I was actually overexercising or doing the wrong kind of exercising.

On the nutrition front, I thought I was eating healthfully. And, while I probably was for the most part, I wasn’t eating enough. I’m sure you know the mindset. You must cut your calories to lose weight. And, of course, you have to give up everything that you love to eat!

And, this showed up in my business, particularly around focus and energy.

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Are you leaving money on the table?

Wednesday, June 20th, 2018

 

We’re into the last six months of the year. Just where did the first six months go?!

Our ICAP Members’ Studio peeps regularly look at their numbers. How about you?

Have you look at your numbers for the first six months? What did you discover? Were you on track or were your results not quite what you were expecting?

I talked with one of my private clients recently about this, and she said she needed a cash infusion. I think finding that cash infusion comes down to two items: ideas you didn’t take action on and things you didn’t follow-up on.

Ideas that you didn’t act on

First are those items you didn’t take action on. One of my good friends has something she calls “the $5,000 notebook.” I bet you have a similar notebook full of cash and you don’t even know it.

Do you often make notes of the great ideas you had? You know, the new pattern you wanted to create, the class you think you should develop, the cards to print based on your paintings, the new line of jewelry you want to work on.

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Train Tracks and Getting Things Done

Wednesday, June 13th, 2018

 

One day recently I was stopped at a railroad bridge and started thinking about what we learned as kids about crossing the train tracks. Stop, look, and listen. Do you remember that?

The next morning I looked at the mountain of work on my desk – as well as those bright, shiny objects across the room – and wondered where I should start. I picked up the task on the top and started to work.

Shortly I became distracted and found myself on the way to the kitchen for another cup of tea.

Back to my desk. What was I working on?

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