holidays

5 things I'm thankful for in my business

In some capacity, I imagine that we are all getting ready for the big day on Thursday. Here in the U.S., Thanksgiving is a huge deal and one of the biggest (and tastiest) holidays that brings families together to eat, maybe watch football and most likely fall into a multitude of turkey comas. Because most of us are busy traveling, prepping meals or finalizing our Black Friday shopping lists, I’m going to make this week’s blog short and sweet.

What better way to add to the celebration of Turkey Day, than to truly reflect on and give thanks for the biggest blessings in our businesses? Although I’m very lucky myself and there are too many to name, I will state my five biggest ones. Maybe they’re a few of yours, too…

1) Clients

Clearly, without our clients, we don’t have businesses. We have nothing to work for and we are broke. They need us to create beautiful work, but we need them even more. I’m thankful for my monthly design service relationships, as well as my branding clients. They make my “untethered” world go ‘round.

2) Flexibility

While there are so many perks to working for yourself or running an online business and most of the time working from home, having flexibility is the best part for me. We all know that although we work more than most people and sometimes more than 40 hours in a week, we can also give ourselves a day off if need be. We can take a mid-day break and throw in some laundry, start dinner or run other errands. And when we’re working, we can work from anywhere – the couch, bed, kitchen counter or coffee shop. The possibilities are endless when the only tools that we need are our laptops + Wi-Fi.

3) Passion

Not everyone in this world wakes up happy and excited to go to work. Some people work their entire lives working for an ungrateful boss, not making enough money and getting sucked into a tireless routine. I’m so thankful that I can truly say that I love what I do. While I have stayed on track with knowing what I wanted to do after high school, worked through four years of college to earn a degree in design and have held nothing but design-related jobs for the last eight years, I also still get joy from working. I know that not everyone can do what I do, I serve a special purpose to my clients and I really help people and their businesses at the end of the day. It doesn’t get much better than that.

4) My mastermind group

If you’ve been following this blog for the past few months, you probably know that I took a big leap and hired a business coach this year. With that, I got to be apart of a small group of six other female entrepreneurs around the country and we formed a mastermind group. Throughout the six-month program, we committed to meeting every single Monday for a couple of hours and check in, find out what everyone was working on, help where needed and pick brains. Although the coaching is over, the girls and I still meet weekly as we always did and we plan to continue to for as long as we can. Hiring a coach and meeting this group of amazing ladies really helped me change my business around the last half of this year and I look forward to gaining even more wonderful insight and advice from them, to help square my business up to be even more successful in 2017. When you’re a solopreneur especially, you need to have someone hold you accountable and to bounce ideas off of. This group is my support system because they understand exactly what I’m going through in running a business, because they’re doing it with me. I highly recommend joining one! Check out some of your favorite Facebook groups for meet-ups (online or local to you.)

5) Challenging work

Although I love what I do and I am good at it, I can definitely say many days are challenging. There are times when clients can be less than ideal, no one is happy or work isn’t coming in the door as quickly or easily as it did a couple of weeks before. Not only can this entrepreneurial journey be challenging, but the projects that I crank out weekly can be, too. However, this is the sour that makes everything so sweet. Without putting in hard work (and in my case, super creative work) I wouldn’t feel so rewarded or enjoy what I do so much. Nothing worth having comes easy. Although many might think being your own boss is nothing but dreamy, those of us who are living and breathing this dream know otherwise. You have to work harder than ever before and put a lot of time into all of your different systems and platforms (the actual work, client-getting activities, social media, blogging, growing your email list, creating opt-in content + much more) in order to get yourself to a point where you can work less, one day. If you’re not feeling tested or ready to give up some days, your heart is probably not in this game 100% and you need to reevaluate things. Embrace the chaos from time to time — because no matter what, you’re still so lucky for getting to do what you do and that is reason enough to be thankful.


Branding 101 - Free Downloadable Guide
It’s hard to believe that we are nearing the end of another business year! Are you ready for 2017? Do you have a logo, website and more that you absolutely love…or…not so much? If you’re not a design professional, branding might be something that you don’t love to do for your business or you simply don’t have time for, so let someone else take over! Sign-up below to receive the link to download my new and free PDF tool “Branding 101: What it is, what it isn’t and why you need it” — right now! This quick and simple guide will walk you through why it’s important to establish consistent and memorable branding within your biz — and if you can DIY some of it or if you should hire that professional. If you have any questions after going through it, let’s connect and chat some more!

3 tips for finishing the business year strong

I can’t lie, although I’m a huge fan of summer and fall and really can’t stand the winter at all (if you have horses or other animals like I do, you feel me!) — it IS beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere I go. As we move through November and start prepping for all of our various Thanksgiving travels and multiple family dinners, we are inching a little closer each and everyday to the month of December, the biggest holiday of the year and the close of our business year, too.

With all of the craze that the holidays bring — shopping, pageants, musicals, baking and more — it’s easy to get caught up in the fun, curl up by a fire and watch the 24/7 sweet (but corny) Christmas movies airing on the Hallmark channel. *Yes, I’m guilty of all of those things.* And, while it’s perfectly fine and acceptable to enjoy the month and spend time with loved ones, I also know that it’s important to keep my nose to the grind and finish out the work year strong. After all, if you’re like me, you’ve put too much time, energy, heart and hard work into your business 11 months already — it wouldn’t be fair to let clients and some extra cash slide to the wayside, just because you’re stuffing your face with fudge and cookies. (Again, guilty.) Here are a few tips to help you keep working hard (while enjoying everything wonderful that the holidays bring) and finish reaching the goals that you set for yourself in January…

1) Check in with clients.

This is #1 for me. I love my clients and they are the bread and butter to my business. Obviously, without them, I have no work and make no money. Although I often do this throughout the year anyway, it’s especially important and the perfect time now to say hi to the ones you maybe haven’t done work for in a while and see if they need anything. Or, with the regular clients that you’re still doing consistent work for, check in to tie up some loose ends with either projects that were put on the backburner this year, or set up meetings to help plan for 2017. Plain and simple, just offer to be there and available for anything that they might need. They will appreciate the extra thought and effort.

2) Offer some special incentives.

You don’t necessarily have to discount (and to some that means de-valuing) your services, but you could plan a small launch (with some holiday flair of course) or offer some free calls or quick mini sessions. Whether your goal is to make money or not, think of ways to provide value, so that people will keep coming back to you and hopefully some new ones will find you. Send out emails around any of these ideas that you want to play with and get a few of your subscribers on board. It’s a great way to keep connecting with your current following and/or earn some extra cash that you can save away, pay some expenses with or spend Christmas shopping!

3) Plan goals for the new year.

By now, you probably know what worked for your business and what didn’t in 2016. So, take all of that into consideration to help you start planning for 2017. Is it time to get better organized or put more systems into place to help you work more efficiently? Is it time to hire a VA to assist you with emails, blogging, social media management and more? Is it time to really invest in your business and hire a coach for 2017, to help you brainstorm new strategies or look at your business differently? Or, is it time to cut back — work only on what you want, take more time off or start outsourcing/delegating work to contractors? Whatever the case, take a few days to really think about what you want to keep the same and change for 2017. It’s the only way to be smart about your business and truly grow!


Branding 101 - Free Downloadable Guide
If you’re not a design professional, branding might be something that you don’t love to do for your business or you simply don’t have time for, so let someone else take over! Sign-up below to receive the link to download my new and free PDF tool “Branding 101: What it is, what it isn’t and why you need it” — right now! This quick and simple guide will walk you through why it’s important to establish consistent and memorable branding within your biz — and if you can DIY some of it or if you should hire that professional. If you have any questions after going through it, let’s connect and chat some more!