Time Management 101: The Falsity of Busy

A few years ago I had a dentist appointment. I’m one of those very few people that loves going to the dentist. That’s probably because I don’t have any cavities and haven’t had any major dental work so all I ever get is a cleaning. I was chatting with the hygienist while she cleaned and when the dentist came in she asked the same question that most people ask, “How’s it going?” I gave my standard answer...

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2014’s Hot Messes Lead to 2015 Hotness

Hey Darlin’
 
Every year I make a couple New Year’s Resolutions that I get all hot + heavy over like that sultry summer love affair and 2 weeks in I’m crawling back to my old familiar ways.
 
Not this year. I’m not falling for the bad boy of business hype. I’m going for the good guy that wants a long lasting relationship that keeps on giving + giving.
 
I’ve been watching (and not in a creepy peeping Tom kinda way), all year long, and the #1 challenge I see you having is… organizing your business ops to make good marketing talk.
 
That’s why I’m declaring 2015 the Year of the Champagne Thursday.
 
I’m on a mission to get you popping a bottle of bubbly and gabbing about business, branding and booze (for the love of Ryan Gosling, let’s talk booze).
 
Here’s just a tasting what we have cooking for 2015:
 
:: We’re revamping our emails. I’m like pee-my-pants excited about this one. Every month our little corner of the business world will get a Happy Day present from us. Its gonna be something fun + useful that you’ll love and be able to use that very day.
 
:: While we’re revamping lots in 2015, we’re still here to help you with a branding session or workshop, marketing campaigns including social media + implementing business strategies that work for you.
 
:: You’ll hear from us on Champagne Thursdays. We’re officially making the last Thursday of the month Champagne Thursday cuz you know… its Thursday and all. And in between those you will catch us over on the blog or chatting it up on social media for #motivationalmonday or #winewendsdays, maybe #funfactfriday or (my personal favorite) #caturday
 
:: In addition to all that fun stuff I just mentioned, you can expect to get little presents from us like… THIS. (Hint: It’s a super handy resource list of what we use to stay semi-sane.)
 
That’s my New Year hot trends list.
 
What about you? What are your big plans for 2015? Hit the reply button and give us the juice gossip about:
 
In 2015, I’m totally committed to _________________ and I’m SO excited about ___________________.
 
Can’t wait to tip it back and let the inspirations flow with you.
 
Here’s to the happiest of happy New Years!
 
xoxo,
Ronii

Overwhelmed Much? 3 Strategies That Help Simplify

I was going through some of our blog posts recently looking for a post to maybe repurpose for a client that needs more content and wanted something different from their normal topic. I came across a post I did about a year ago about how running a business is hard. It was a pretty good post if I do say so myself. It struck me at how we (B&A) are in a different place in the business but at the same time in the same place. Because running a business is hard. Still.

One of the key things that post talked about was being transparent with the business and letting people see behind the scenes, good and bad. So much good has happened over the year and we have amazing clients that we are doing amazing work for and that’s all fabulous. But with all that good comes being overwhelmed sometimes. It made me think about how overwhelmed I can get and my reaction to overwhelm is to be tired. All. The. Time. Tired enough that a few weeks ago I blew off work in the middle of the day (I apparently called in sick) and took a nap. And then felt guilty about it. And then I was overwhelmed by the guilt, hence more tired and then overwhelmed even more. And it all turned into a vicious cycle. Now, what kinda crap is that?

There are so many things in my business that contribute to this overwhelm. Too many emails, perceived client demands (that I probably make up in my head), to-do lists, social media, social engagements, setting goals, meeting said goals, success, failure, meetings, strategies, business models… Should I keep going? Did I mention too many emails? This is the vein of my existence yet the goal of my ego.

Enough Already!

I’m over it. The being overwhelmed. I’m guessing you are too. Let’s all make a pack together. We are going to implement these 3 simple steps in reducing our overwhelmed brains that will also help reduce all this crappy stress.

  1. Unsubscribe from Emails: All those emails that you get that you save for later, skip over or delete altogether. Get rid of them altogether so they don’t even hit your box. I sign up for these guys all the time with all the good intention of reading them and then I just don’t for whatever reason. I’m really bad about saving them because I’m going to read them later when I have time. Reality check: I never have time. I’m not saying get rid of all of them. There are a few that I religiously read every time they hit my box. Here are a few that I read and highly recommend: The Middle Finger Project (warning if you like sugar coating don’t bother), Melissa Cassera (I totally have a girl crush on her) and Tara Gentile (she just knows her shit and like Star Trek). I do watch Marie Forleo and Carrie Green’s videos because that’s easy for me to listen to in the car. We sometimes send out emails and you should keep on that list really ;). Sorry I had too, it’s in my contract.
  2. Hire an Assistant: Or a cleaning lady, or a copywriter. Whoever it is you need help from. You guys all know Jenn around here. She writes for this blog and helps me exponentially. She runs all of our social media (among a lot of other things) and that was the best decision I ever made. Because now it actually gets done. Period. Best. Decision. Yeah, your going to have to pay for it and sometimes money is tight. I totally get it. I’m in the spot a lot. But trust me when I say you need help. You need someone that is going to do that crap you don’t want too or don’t have the skills to do. I totally have the skills to run our social media, I just don’t want too. So, I either pay someone to do it for me or it just doesn’t get done. I’d rather it get done. If you need help with something, get it. You don’t have to go with the most expensive option just something.
  3. Take the Nap: And don’t feel guilty about it. That’s just down right ridiculous. I tell people all the time there is no such thing as a marketing emergency. No one is dying because your sales copy isn’t whipped out in 10 minutes. I have learned that I’m a late afternoon and early evening worker. I get more creative work done between the hours of 4pm and 7pm than I do all day. Those are my writing and graphics hours. So if I try to do it in the middle of the afternoon and I’m overwhelmed or tired I’m just going to have to re-do it again because it’ll be crap. I might as well take a nap and do it right when I’m more refreshed and in my zone. That’s just me. I find everyone is different and your best times might be early in the morning (I still do have a conspiracy theory about morning people but I digress). Find your zone and then just take a nap already if you want.

What do you think? Will these tips help with our overwhelm? What are some of your strategies to not feel so overwhelmed all the time? Obviously, email overload is the big one for me but what is your hot button? Leave me a comment and let’s work on reducing our overwhelm together.

Information Overload: 3 Strategies to Make Your Marketing Good

Buy this! Get this FREE! Sign-up Here! Get our new product here!

Our world is loaded with these and many other demands. Everyone is trying to get you to buy their product or get you on their mailing list. Let’s face it… it’s what we call Marketing! And you know what… we DO it too! We want your business and for you to like us, just like everyone else. And I bet you want people to buy into what you are selling or offering and like you too. It’s all part of your marketing too!

So how do you get your target to bite without sounding pushy or being like everyone else? How can you stand out from all the rest? With the information overload that your potential target market is on, how can you make them see AND trust you? Luckily for you, I came up with some helpful tips that we live by at B&A, and so should you.

Our top 3 tips to help you get through the information overload:

  1. Be yourself: Yes I said it… BE. YOURSELF. No one wants to buy into a fake personality or product. We preach that the brand of your company is what you do and why you do it. It’s about you. You can’t sell something you’re not and be successful. You have to be yourself. Your target will know if you are not sincere or authentic. Humans communicating to humans, what a novel concept. (and yes, I am aware that we have beat this to death in everything we write, but IT’S THE TRUTH AND NEEDS TO HAPPEN!)
  2. Know your target: You can’t market to everyone all the time. You have to know who it is that needs your product or service and can’t live without it. Part of knowing your target is also knowing how to reach them. Not everyone loves Facebook or Twitter. Oh let’s just say that you are an engineer. Chances are your target prefers email over social media avenues. So to market to that target, put your information into an email strategy. Now if your targets are young professionals between the ages of 23-35, chances are very high that adding a social media strategy into your marketing mix will resonate with this target group. Know who it is that needs what you are offering and how to reach them… we CANNOT stress this enough.
  3. Make your information fun: As you know, we love Champagne. So we created our Champagne Thursdays. Even wrote an ebook with our top 5 marketing tips paired with our favorite Champagne recipes (if you don’t have yours, go here to get our free ebook. Shameless, I know!). Along the way we have added Wine Wednesdays and the B&A book club to our social mix. What is something fun that you do in your business or with your employees? USE IT!! Market it, tell your peers and talk about it, put it to your advantage to stand out and be a little different. Make your information fun! Don’t make everything so business-y, business-y.  Offer your uncorked (yeah, see what I did there… another reference to Champagne) idea as a free gift. Draw them in to buy what you really want them to. If they like you and trust you, they will love the information you are giving them.

Being in today’s market as a small business, you need to have a great personality and stand out above the rest. That will get you noticed. So hopefully you are following the 3 tips we laid out for ya. If not, maybe you should start. Have fun with your business and make it fun for your customers and clients.

xoxoxo,

 

Why Didn't I Think of That?

Picture this. You can’t sleep. It’s 3AM. You finally get up because you’re keeping the cat up (or your spouse, it’s your story). You wander into the living room in a sleep-deprived state. You turn on the TV in hopes that you make the noise in your head stop and get pre-occupied with whatever is on the TV. The only thing on is infomercials because really that’s all that’s on at 3AM. You finally get tired of flipping through all of them and just land on a channel with an infomercial about, let's say, how to clean your house better. You call the number and order one because it is totally going to change your life. Your head starts churning again about work and your watching the commercial thinking, “Why didn’t I think of that and make millions?” 

You’ve done it, I know. Admit it. We have all looked at Mark Zuckerburg and thought, “Why didn’t I think of that? A website that other people generate the content for you? WTF?”

I’m in the car a lot. And I’m a radio listener. Radio as an advertising medium is another topic for another day but FYI if used right it is very effective. I’m listening to the radio and my head is wandering. When that happens I tend to not flip the channel when a commercial comes on. I’m sitting in traffic and a commercial comes on and the very first thing they say is, “FREE PIE WEDNESDAYS!Now you have attention!

Are you fucking kidding me? FREE PIE!

I mean who doesn’t love free? And who doesn’t love pie?

Don’t tell me you don’t like pie because if you don't we can’t be friends.

Why didn’t I think of that? FREE PIE WEDNESDAYS!

The commercial is for O’Charley’s and you can view the YouTube commercial here. What a brilliant promotion.

You have to purchase an entrée to get the free pie and it is only on Wednesdays and its for a limited time. Why is this great? Well, let me tell you. It's. FREE. PIE. But seriously, this is a great promotion because it gets you to come in a buy something on one of their slowest nights for a new product they are introducing. And they have made it exclusive by saying it is for a limited time only. It hits all the high points of a promotion. And its free pie! The point (besides I love pie)… create promotions and incentives with very specific goals. And give away free pie.

I’m totally bummed that I didn’t think of this promotion. I should have thought of that. I’m smart enough to think of promotions like that. I wish I had thought of that. Although, we do have Champagne Thursdays.

Did I mention that I love pie? Keep that in your back pocket for any special events like the upcoming B&A anniversary on July 1st. But guess where this girl is going on Wednesday night? Who’s going with me?

Cobbler's Kids Never Have Shoes

Have you guys noticed we did some updates to our website? (Shameless plug alert!) Go sign up for our Champagne Thursday Inspirations! We will send you some of our quirky ideas that come out of our infamous, drunken-hazed evenings (sometimes Champagne Thursday comes twice a week). Ok, I'm done with that. I promise. Maybe.

Back to the topic at hand. Confession. We FINALLY updated our website. After a year and a half. Just like a cobble, a marketer never markets for themselves.

You know nothing about this, right? Quit bragging. We know you're perfect.

Honestly though, you're sitting there shaking your head in agreement. No matter what profession you're in you never do that thing for yourself. 

Funny story, my other half is a carpenter. And a brilliant one at that. He is an artist with wood. Do you know how long it has been since we had doors on our kitchen cabinets? TWELVE years. That's a 1 and a 2 put together. He still doesn't unload the dishwasher. And when I complain about it and ask why, do you know what he says? "I don't know where anything goes." Seriously! We have no doors, you can see everything!

A carpenter's house is never finished.

But I digress. Do you have this problem? What do you do for other people that they pay you money and you don't do it for yourself? We should be leading by example, right? (This is why we updated our website) How do we solve this problem? For me, my team held me accountable. I set a goal that I want to generate new business and send new people to our website. When they came to our site they would get outdated information and I didn't want to be embarrassed and then I have to talk my way out of a paper bag. I hate doing that! I'm really not good at it.

So, I challenge you! For 1 hour today, right now, go do what you make money at and do it for your business and yourself. Otherwise I'm going to call you out on it in front of everyone on Facebook. Not really. Yes, really. You would do it to me. I totally will do it.

Here's to rocking it out rockstar!

~Ronii

Be Awesome

Not boring. Don’t be boring. Boring is….easy. It’s lame! The worst part is, anyone can be boring. The whole world is boring! Especially the business world and the people in it. Boring status updates. Boring newsletters. Boring advertisements. Boring clothes, uggh!

Wake the hell up! This is LIFE people. The opportunity for approximately 100 years of pure awesomeness, or what COULD be pure awesomeness if you let it. For most of us there is that 20-something confusion before the suit and tie, the 30-something doubt if you’re on the right path, or that 40-something regret that you haven’t (yet) fulfilled your life dream. You’ve got air in your lungs and a beat in your chest. Do something about it. Be awesome!!

An excerpt: “Two roads diverged in the woods… and I took the road less traveled. And it HURT man! ROCKS! THORNS! And GLASS! That shit broke! NOT COOL ROBERT FROST.” – Kid President

So, what if there really were two paths at your 20-something confusion before the suit and tie?  Forget traveled or less traveled. Did you choose the path that leads to awesome? Are you on it now? Are you getting out of bed in the morning wearing awesome pajama pants? There’s a quote that reads, “Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning, the devil says ‘Oh shit! She’s up!’” Now, this doesn’t have to be a bad thing, nor does it apply only to women. This simply suggests that you’re a BAMF and you’re about to go about your day bring a totally awesome BAMF.  Positivity and creativity go hand in hand, and both are incredibly empowering.  What will you create, share, or discover that will make this world more awesome?

I don’t know everything. I’m at my 20-something confusion but I don’t ever see myself wearing a suit and tie (figuratively). But I’m navigating through life, work, and my late-twenties by making a conscious effort to be awesome each and every day. Call it a new leaf. Call it whatever you have to until you realize that you deserve to feel awesome at all times, and others deserve someone awesome to inspire and motivate them. Go on with your bad self!