Talking Brilliance with Adrienne Dorison

Hey guys,

This week it’s my turn to be the guest! The lovely Adrienne Dorison invited me to her fabulous podcast.

We talked about some topics which are so close to my heart like:

  • Content creation & re-purposing content
  • Working smarter as a solopreneur Mum
  • Working with chronic illnesses
  • Using tech to build a business with a chronic illness and family
  • How to set up smart working to make more of your time

You can check it out here:

Adrienne & Jo podcast

Are you ready to ignite your Brilliance, darling?

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Adrienne Dorison

Adrienne Dorison is the host of The School of Self-Mastery podcast, a no-nonsense business coach to entrepreneurs who are ready to make bigger impacts & profits with their work AND a passionate dog-mom.

Adrienne teaches her clients how to overcome the blocks that hold them back, helps them identify what they REALLY want in life, and shows them how to leverage their strengths & develop personalized success habits so that their success and freedom becomes inevitable.

Episode #26 – Talking Wealth And Finances With Jen Turrell

Episode 26

Hi guys, it’s Jo Gifford here, welcome to episode #26 of Work Smarter, Dream Bigger, Live Brighter.

Today I’ve got a lovely friend, colleague and just general all round amazing person here to host the show for me, and it’s the amazing Jen Turrell of jenturrell.com.

Jen does an awesome intro as to who we are to each other and how we met and she’s super sweet in the way that she does that, so I just want to tell you a little bit about this lovely lady which she doesn’t tell you herself.

About Jen

Jen is a financial personal trainer and she’ll tell you all about that in her guest microphone holding spot, but she also runs a ranch as a business in Arizona, which I think is pretty cool.

Not only that, but she’s an actual pop star, as in, in the nineties she and her husband were kind of indie rock stars and they were travelling and doing gigs and just super cool people. She’s a pilot, she’s a mum and she has two children with autism who she’s amazing at nurturing and taking good care of.

She’s just so interesting as well as being a lovely, lovely friend and client.

So Jen will tell you all about how we met and the work we’re doing together, but I really wanted her on the show today, because Jen has so many tips on finances and running a business and feeling wealthy, but in a really sensible way. I think she’s going to be really influential, really helpful for so many of you, and me, I’m always learning from Jen.

This woman runs multiple successful businesses and she has a family. She’s amazing with what she’s doing with it all, so I would urge you to really listen to Jen, to take on board some of her tips and check her out at jenturrell.com. She also has a Facebook group, Mastering Money Mindset Labs, which you can access for a super affordable rate.

Without further ado, over to Jen Turrell.

Welcome to Work Smarter, Dream Bigger, Live Brighter. This is your guest host today, Jen Turrell, financial personal trainer, and I am standing in for the gorgeous Jo Gifford, the Dexterous Diva herself today, and I am so honoured to have a chance to guest host this show.

Jo Gifford is one of my favourite people on the entire planet and she has drastically changed my life over the course of the last nine months.

Just to introduce you to my experience of Jo, I met her last October when I was working with a coach that she’s worked with too, named Rebecca Dickson. If you’re interested in hearing more about Rebecca Dickson, Episode #17 of Work Smarter, Dream Bigger, Live Brighter is an interview with Becky Dickson where she and Jo discuss how they met and her influence on Jo’s life as well.

Becky Dickson introduced me to Jo, first as someone who could make a book cover for me, because I needed a new book cover, and that was the start, and then I hired Jo to do my logo, and then some blog boosts for me as I struggle sometimes to write my own blogs.

I have no trouble having conversations with people, talking about things, even this, talking to a microphone, I find much easier than sitting down sometimes and writing a blog, which is funny, because I did go to college as a creative writing major, but still, the blog has some barriers for those of us who run our own businesses sometimes, so I really appreciated Jo’s help with the blog boost first.

I then also hired her to do some bespoke images for me, and little by little over the course of the last nine months, I finally got to this summer, learned all about her Web Smart work plans and realised that that was what I needed in my life, so this summer I’ve been working with Jo one on one in her team, and they have been helping me to streamline and systematise my work, and my world has changed!

It’s getting better and better, I am working smarter, I am dreaming bigger and I am living brighter, so I am a testament to the success of Jo Gifford.

One of the reasons that I love what Jo does so much is that I help women set up financial systems and I particularly like to automate them so that it takes the daily decision out of as many financial tasks as possible, and I feel that Jo does that for content creation and work flow and all kinds of things. While I’ve been able to do that with this one small area of my life in finances, Jo’s sort of spreading it out to the work life. What I want to share with you today are some of my financial productivity tips that help me do that with finances.

My Two Tips

The two tips that I would like to share with you are:

  • Batching your financial tasks and;
  • Scheduling financial days.

These are two things that have made a huge difference in my life. The reason that I think it’s so important to do is that a lot of people end up thinking about their finances every day. You think about major financial decisions, can I afford this, can I not, what’s coming up, what’s left in my account, checking bank balance, doing bank balance accounting as opposed to bottom line accounting.

What I mean by that is you check your balance, see, oh, there’s a lot of money in there because I just got a payment, let me pay all these bills without necessarily thinking of what else needs to come out of that first.

Here in the US as small business owners we all have to think about setting aside quarterly estimated taxes which can be a real problem with bank balance accounting. If you look at your bank balance and see that you have enough money to start a new project or do something that you’ve been thinking about, but you haven’t yet set aside your taxes, you can get into trouble.

What I think batching and scheduling could do for you in terms of your finances is relieve all of that thought and worry on a daily basis so that you can focus more on what you want to be focusing on, which is probably your work, your family, your life, the rest of it. If we can batch our financial tasks and schedule in days to take care of those tasks, it can relieve you all of that worry the rest of the month.

Here is how we do it!

Batching

First, for batching I like to use my rewards credit card as much as I can to corral in lots of different little bills, like my cell phone bill and other things that recur like that. Anything you can put on it, I put on it and then set the credit card on auto pay, full balance, every month.

I’m not talking about running up crazy balances that you can’t pay, I’m just talking about using it to get points and also to be able to batch the payment date. All of those little payments like my credit card and little things you can put on there, maybe your internet company, whatever bills you can put on there, it gives you a single payment date when your credit card payment is due.

For anything you can’t do that with, you can go online or call the companies you pay, electric, heating, car payments, different things like that, and ask them to move the due date.

Top Mortgage Tip

For your mortgage, if you’re able to, I recommend that people pay every two weeks instead of monthly, and there are a couple of reasons for this. One, it lets you balance it out across the month rather than having one day when you have a much bigger payment. The other reason is if you pay every two weeks instead of monthly, by the end of the year you get an extra payment in. While there are only 12 months in the year, there are 52 weeks, so if you’re paying it every two weeks, you get an extra payment in over the course of the year which helps you get ahead of that mortgage interest just a little bit.

For other invoices and bills that come in irregularly from random places, things you get in the mail, things you get in your email inbox, I would recommend having both a physical inbox and an email inbox for those bills that you put them into it and then address them on your scheduled days.

Scheduling

Now we will get to scheduling those days. It takes a little bit of work upfront, like calling the companies and asking them to change your due date. In order to schedule these days I like to work on this system which is that if you have a regular pay cheque, most people get paid on the 1st and the 15th of the month or thereabouts.

If you work for yourself, I still recommend giving yourself your own salary on the 1st and the 15th, just so you have a regular system that you can work with. If the income comes in on the 1st and the 15th, I auto transfer to savings and a bill pay account on the 2nd and the 16th, so the day after the pay cheque hits your account, you transfer out the spend into your savings account or retirement, which is set up however you want to set it up.

I definitely work on that with people one on one and in my Mastering Money Matters membership group, but for now, let’s just say it goes into a savings account and then you have a separate bill pay account that’s a chequing account where all your other bills get paid out of.

That includes the credit card, the rewards point card that you’ve put little bills on, and then your mortgage, your utilities, whatever else you couldn’t put on that credit card, all get paid out of that bill pay account. That gets set to pay on the 5th and the 20th, so when you called the companies or went online to batch your bills, you batch them for the 5th and the 20th, and you try to make it roughly even.

If you aren’t able to change your mortgage and if it happens once a month, see if you can have that on the 5th and then balance out your other bills so it’s roughly an equal amount on the 20th as well.

Now that you have the electronic automatic pays happening on the 5th and the 20th, you can also go to your inboxes, both online and physical, and pay those on the 5th and the 20th as well.

Keeping Track

You schedule in the 5th and the 20th if that’s the day you take care of all those things. You check that all the online payments have happened correctly, that there was plenty of money in there, and you check that there’s enough money for the cheques you’re about to write or the online bill pays that you’re about to do, the invoices that have come into your inbox.

Make sure everything’s working okay and then what’s left in your spend account, the account that you transferred out of, that original chequing account, that is what you get to spend for the rest of the month, guilt-free, your bills are paid, your savings are done and that is what you have to work with, so now you can do real big balance accounting for that account and it feels pretty good.

Good Housekeeping

The other day that I like to schedule is the last day of the month, so on the last day of the month, as someone who runs small businesses, that’s the day that I look at the income that came in for that month and make a transfer to my tax account.

If you don’t run a small business and don’t pay quarterly estimated tax you don’t have to worry about that, but I still think the last day of the month is a great day to just look back through the month. That’s when I do my expense reports for my credit cards and just make sure everything’s tidy. Look into everything, check the accounts and it doesn’t have to be a long time. Sometimes it’s just 20 minutes or half an hour that I check over everything on that last day of the month, and feel confident going into the next month that everything’s working the way it should.

How You Can Work With Me

So that is my financial productivity tip. If you’re interested in finding out more about what I do, my website is www.jenturrell.com, and you can find my new Mastering Money Matters membership group where I walk women through a lab a month.

We focus on debt reduction, on automating your accounts and expenses, it’s just a slow month by month progression through all of these different things to get your money set up into a system that you love and that will give you peace of mind, knowing that your savings are done, your bills are paid and everything is working toward the goals that you want.

That’s what I have to offer, thank you so much for joining me. I can’t wait to listen to next week when Jo Gifford is back!

Find the podcast on:

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Episode #25 Stellar Email Marketing Tips with Jenn Scalia

Episode 25 Stellar Email Marketing Tips with Jenn Scalia

Hi everyone, and welcome to episode 25 of Work Smarter, Dream Bigger, Live Brighter, it’s Jo Gifford here.

Today I have a super special guest who’s going to be holding the mic for me.

I’ve invited some of my colleagues and co-workers and collaborators and biz friends to contribute to the podcast on occasion, and this is a really great way to allow them to share their amazing tips with you, for you guys to really benefit from some people whose journeys I’ve been part of and whose work I really admire.

Jenn Scalia is one such lady.

We met in April 2014 when we were both part of a group – and I’m going to shout out the awesome Becca Tracey of theuncagedlife.com – the Uncage Your Biz group. This is a month long group with Becca and it really helps you to get your biz to the next level.

On the Same Path

Jenn Scalia was someone who really stood out from the crowd of amazing ladies in that group and since then she and I have been on a path of growth. We joined Denise Duffield Thomas’s Lucky Bitch Bootcamp {affiliate link} at the same time. We were both also working with the amazing Rebecca T Dickson so we’re both now experts on Becca’s Clients, Clarity and Cash programme, which is just amazing for female coaches, it’s a brilliant programme, and Jenn has had an explosive business growth over the last six months to a year.

She works really hard, she hustles really hard, she invests in herself and in her business and she has such an ethic for self-improvement and learning, to really getting herself to the next level. It’s just amazing to have been on even part of that journey by experiencing the same things she has, but also to be just standing here watching her stuff go crazy.

Jenn has some amazing tips for you guys today on email marketing and she’s someone you should definitely check out. She’s going to share ten tips for email marketing and of course you can check her out on her site.

Without further ado, here is the amazing Jenn.

Hello everyone, this is Jenn from jennscalia.com and I am excited to be here as Jo’s guest for today. I am a bestselling author, visibility coach and business strategist. I work with coaches and other online entrepreneurs to help them get in front of their ideal clients by showing up and standing out in a crowded industry.

  • I have coached hundreds of women entrepreneurs to get more clients, make more money and achieve success online. I grew my list organically from 300 to over five thousand in less than a year without spending a dime on advertising. I also booked over 100 thousand dollars in new clients in the first three months of 2015.
  • I have over ten years’ experience in marketing and social media, including starting and growing my own clothing line to an internationally recognised brand that was featured on reality TV shows and MTV.
  • I have been published in the Huffington Post, MindBodyGreen, Elite Daily, Tiny Buddha and more. I also co-authored the book, Against the Grain, with Brian Tracy, and have been featured on countless podcasts and telesummits.

Again, I am so glad to be here today, I am so happy that Jo invited me. Jo and I met just a little over a year ago when we took a course together and we’ve kind of been on this very eerily similar path through our businesses, through our entire journey, through entrepreneurship, so it’s been really cool to see each other kind of grow and see the huge changes that have happened over the past year.

It’s really amazing to just think back and look back at the big picture and really see how much can happen in such a short period of time. If you feel like you’re struggling right now or you feel like it’s not happening fast enough for you, I just want you to think about that. Even look back a year from where you are today and look at all you’ve accomplished.

It really can happen super fast, and with all of the knowledge and information you get from Jo and her experts and with some of the knowledge I’m going to give you today, you’ll be able to make that happen even faster for yourself.

Breaking the Rules

Today I want to talk about breaking the email marketing rules. There are all these rules and things that we’re supposed to follow in the online space. We see things all the time, there’s so much content, there’s so much noise, so it’s really hard to distinguish what you should listen to and what can go by the wayside.

It’s really about tuning in and tapping into what feels really good for you and your business, because one way of marketing or promoting may not feel good to you and another way may feel really awesome to you, so always check in with yourself and your inner guidance on which of these things feels really good to you.

#10 Tips on Email Marketing

Today I’m going to give you ten tips on your email marketing and how you can use that. For example, if you don’t resonate with all ten, then you don’t have to do these. Just take what feels good, take the little nuggets, use them for your business and leave the rest.

  1. I’m going to start off with one of the things I learned from my mentor which was sending out newsletters on a specific day.This was always something I taught my clients, I was always telling them to make sure to be very consistent. If you’re going to send out your newsletter on Tuesday, make sure that you send it out on Tuesday, every Tuesday at the same exact time, and that’s the way I did it for myself for the longest time.I found that between Tuesday number one and Tuesday number two there was definitely stuff I wanted to say and it really sucked to have to hold that back and didn’t feel good to have to wait until the following Tuesday to say what I needed to say or share what I wanted to share with my audience.This is a rule that I began breaking a few months ago and I think it’s been really, really good. Instead of only sending on specific days, I only send when I have something to say. If I have something that I’ve created, if I’m doing a podcast or an affiliate for another coach, if I am doing an event, if I come across something I feel like my audience can really benefit from, I don’t want to wait to send it.Only send something when you have something to say and likewise if you don’t have something to say, don’t just send crap. Make sure that you do have something to say, make sure that the content in your emails is very valuable because that is what’s going to keep people on your list.

    It’s one thing to get them on your list, it’s a whole other thing to keep them on your list, especially because there’s so much inbox competition and people are getting inundated with stuff, day after day, hour after hour, email after email. You want to make sure that your stuff stands out so you want to make sure you’re giving high value on every single correspondence you send out to your list.

  2. The next thing is something I love doing and it is to send love it or hate it emails.
    Much like I was saying before, there is a lot of competition, so if you’re sending the same old boring emails saying, six ways to do this and ten ways to do that and you’re really not having any type of personality or stance on anything, you’re going to get deleted pretty soon because they can get that information anywhere, and people don’t need to have that clutter in their inbox.So what I mean with a love it or hate it email is for you to get really personal and authentic with your ideal client. Now, notice I didn’t say with your entire list, I said with your ideal client. This is what you want to keep in mind when you’re writing these emails, you are speaking from the heart. You are taking a stance for something. You are speaking to one specific person. Everyone else, don’t worry about.When you do this, what you’re doing is you’re really calling in those perfect clients, you’re really calling in those people who are meant to work with you, who are going to adore you, who are going to become raving fans, and you’re going to start to see other people who aren’t exactly your ideal client or maybe who will never buy from you disappear, and you will get unsubscribes.Don’t worry about that, because unsubscribes are just a filter for you having a list that’s really quality, which brings me to my next point.
  3. The number really isn’t that important. You can have a list of five thousand people, but if those five thousand people are not engaged, then it really doesn’t matter. However, you can have a list of a thousand people and if you get 80 per cent open rates – which is crazy, by the way, but I know some people who do – then you have a better chance of selling and of calling in your tribe with that smaller number than someone who has a big number of unengaged, unresponsive people who aren’t even opening up their emails.The actual number on your list, for me is not that important. The number you want to pay attention to is that number that shows you how many people opened your email.So let’s say for example, I have about five thousand people on my list and I used to get upset because I was like, oh my gosh, only 22 per cent or 27 per cent of people are opening. I started to reframe because once I looked at that number and I saw that at least 12 to 15 to 1700 people were actually clicking and opening and reading my emails, that’s the number I started to focus on. I really started to focus on the people who were opening my emails and didn’t really worry too much about the people who didn’t.
  4. Number four is to really nurture your current list instead of just trying to grow it. Of course you’re always going to be growing your list, you’re always going to be putting things out there to try to build your list and get new people. However, don’t forget about the people who are already on your list.You want to make sure that you really nurture these people. Like I was mentioning before, high, high value, make sure that they feel like they’re getting something special from you, so don’t just build a whole list and then continue to build your list but never communicate with the people that are currently on it.Yes, we have social media, we have Facebook groups, we have Twitter, we have all these ways of getting in touch with our people, but your list is your bread and butter because this is actually your platform, these are your people whereas Twitter could go away tomorrow, Facebook groups could be banned, and then what are you going to do? You want to have a consistent communication with the people who are on your list.
  5. Next is don’t send the same emails that everyone else is sending. I kind of touched on this earlier when I said about being vanilla and bland and boring and saying, here’s the six best ways to use Twitter for your business.That’s all well and good and I’m sure it’s really great information. However, it doesn’t move someone, there’s no emotional factor there. When you’re sending your emails, are you sending something that has been said before? Are you sending something that your competitor is probably going to send next week? If that answer is even a slight yes, re-think and re-frame what you’re going to send out there.Make sure that you put your personality, your own unique spin, make sure that you are flipping it or creating some kind of controversy or even just looking at it from a different angle. This is a tip that I give to my membership site members.We had a content challenge and this is something that I actually had them do. Whatever your industry is saying right now, whatever everyone is on the bandwagon about, you come in from a completely different angle and people are going to want to read it.Say for example you’re a health coach, and everyone is talking about creamed smoothies and kale and all of these things that are so great for you. What if you were the health coach that was like, hey, you can eat ice cream and cookies and lose ten pounds next week? Of course that might seem a little bit like a stretch, but people are going to wonder, they’re going to say, oh my gosh, I want to know how to do that, so you want to really get people to get excited about your emails, you really want to know what you’re going to say next.
  6. Number six is to get crafty with your email subject line. Similar to sending the same emails, if you’re sending a subject line that’s tired, that’s overused, that everyone in the industry uses, people just become blind to it, they don’t even look at it, they’re just going to delete, so make sure that you get really creative with these things and make sure that you’re putting some personality in here.Like I mentioned before, it’s kind of flipping the script on what your people are going to expect from you. Make it so enticing that they’ll want to open the email.
  7. Next is to have one call to action at the end of every email. I see this all the time! I get people’s newsletters and there’s all this stuff on there, read my latest blog post, check out my latest YouTube video, follow me on Twitter, follow me on Periscope, join my Facebook group and oh, by the way, I have this course for sale!It’s not going to work! You need to give people JUST ONE call to action at the end of all your emails which will pull them to take that action as opposed to giving them five different things to do and having them choose, because they’ll never do any of them.
  8. Next is to leave them hungry for more. At the end of your emails you want to entice them with what’s coming next, so say if you did an email post or a newsletter about the five ways that you can get a flat tummy by next week, then at the end of your email you want to give them a nudge that you have more!You could say something like, watch out for next week’s email where I’m going to be talking about how you can get buns of steel within three days, so give them that little hint that something even better is coming, and what this is going to do is actually make them want to open your next email.
  9. The next thing I do a lot. I always encourage my people to reply, so this would be my call to action on a specific email. If I’m talking about something that I went through or some kind of struggle or something I’ve learned that I shared with my audience, I often encourage replies.If I really want to hear an opinion on a certain email, I’ll ask my audience and say, hey, have you ever gone through this? If so, hit reply. If you’re giving them a call to action, maybe have them hit reply, maybe you’re telling them how to use Periscope for the first time for their business, so tell them, hey, if you want me to follow you, click reply and give me your username and I’ll follow you on Periscope.That’s going to be something that people are really going to want to reply to so it’s not just a one way street with you broadcasting to those people, you’re actually going to interact with them by asking them questions and showing them that you actually care. I have got anywhere from 12 to 20 and even up to 40 people that emailed me back on a specific email that I sent out, so that is pretty darn good, because I’m now creating and opening this line of communication with my audience that’s not just one way.
  10. Finally, do not be afraid to sell on your emails. I know that as coaches and online service providers a lot of time we think that we just want to send out really great information, that we don’t want to bother our list, but here’s the thing. You have a business to run, so in order for you to have a viable business, you need clients, you need to sell products, you need to sell stuff, so do not be afraid to sell on your email.As long as you are giving valuable information and it’s not always sell, sell, sell, it’s absolutely okay to sell on your email, and this is a big mistake I made in the beginning of my business because I really thought the same thing. I didn’t want to bother them, I didn’t want them to think that I was salesy or sleazy so I never gave them the call to action to actually buy something.If I knew I was launching something and I wanted to send out an email I was always nervous and felt like they were going to hate me and unsubscribe. I’ve got over that and I’ve realised that I’ve given my audience and continue to give my audience such great value that when I have something to offer, I’m going to offer it, especially when I know that it is going to benefit them.

So those are my top ten tips for breaking the email marketing rules. I’m just going to go over them really quickly one more time.

  • Don’t worry so much about sending out your emails on specific days, but send something out when you have something to say.
  • Send the love it or hate it email and don’t worry about unsubscribes, because you will get them.
  • The actual list number isn’t that important. Make sure you’re looking at the number of people that are opening your emails and focus on that number and those people.
  • While you’re growing your list, make sure that you are nurturing your current list and make sure they know that you really care about them and that you want to continue to give them valuable information even as you are adding to your current list.
  • Don’t send the same emails that everyone else is sending because you will get ignored!
  • Get crafty with your email subject lines and be really creative and unique. Make sure that it’s something that people are going to be dying to find out what’s inside.
  • One call to action at the end of every post. If you’re giving people too much, they won’t do anything.
  • Leave them hungry for more by giving them a little teaser of what’s to come in your future emails.
  • Encourage them to reply by asking a question, asking if they’ve ever struggled with something, offer them help and ask them to reply to you personally to open up a communication that is two way.
  • Don’t be afraid to sell on your emails.

That is it, my friends. I want to thank Jo again for having me on, I really hope that you’ve found this helpful, I really hope that you can take some or all of this and apply it to your business in a way that feels really good and authentic. ‘Bye!

 

Make sure you check out Jenn and her work right here.

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How tracking your successes can help you stay focused and achieve more

Tracking your successes

Hey guys – this week we’re super lucky to have the lovely Chloe Adlington guest posting and telling us how to track for success! Enjoy!

If there’s one thing the corporate world does well it’s ‘review stuff’;

  • weekly “one-to-ones” with your manager;
  • team meetings;
  • project reviews;
  • appraisals;

sometimes it felt like my entire life back then was about evaluating ‘our situation’.

However a few months after going self-employed and I found myself doing it again (and willingly)!

I felt like I’d lost my sense of direction and needed to find my business ‘mojo’ again so I sat down with a pen and paper to review my goals. I reflected on ‘why’ I had wanted to start my business and the progress I’d made so far.

Ask yourself whether what you’re doing today is getting you closer to where you want to be tomorrow.

I realised that asking questions of myself (as a manager would have done back in corporate land) helped me to clarify what to focus on, move past things that my mind was ‘stuck on’ and make me feel more in control.

A meeting with myself!

To keep myself on track I decided to set time aside for a weekly review – essentially a little business meeting with myself! As well as keeping an eye on my online statistics I started logging my successes (no matter how small), identifying things that were slowing me down and prioritising my to-do list. That’s when something clicked!

Rather than going round in circles when I don’t know what to do I now use my weekly review time to brainstorm solutions then move forward. I can now see the progress I am making and feel much more motivated and focused! And that’s what it’s all about; we should feel excited and passionate about our businesses!

Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and how you do it
– Maya Angelou

How to track your successes:

The ‘weekly review meeting’ has been a game-changer for me. It’s probably the most important half an hour of the week as it reminds me to actually take care of myself, celebrate my progress and enjoy what I’m doing.

I like to make a big cup of tea in my favourite mug, shut the laptop (and get rid of any other distractions), light a few scented candles and sit down for 30mins with a pen and paper and go back to my big picture.

Try these

Here are the kind of questions I recommend thinking through to help you overcome overwhelm, regain direction and clear your mind from that ‘stuck’ feeling:

  • How are you feeling about your business? Are your goals still taking you where you ultimately want to go?
  • Are you taking care of yourself? Do you need to make more of an effort to eat better or exercise for example?
  • What successes can you celebrate and how will you reward yourself for all your hard work?
  • Where are you getting stuck and is it really a roadblock or can you plan your way through / around these frustrations?

You can see exactly what I do here, including the key questions I ask myself regularly and the numbers I keep logged to monitor my progress.

Want to give it a try?

Here’s a quick breakdown to help you get started (although it looks a lot, it only actually takes 5mins per day plus your 30min ‘weekly review’):

Daily

Write down at least 3 things you’ve achieved towards your goals. They can be teeny tiny or really significant but by logging them (I use a paper diary) it will help you feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of each day, or be more honest with yourself if you’ve slipped off track!

Weekly

Set a reminder in your calendar (I use my iPhone) to spend 30 minutes reflecting on the previous week. For some, this might be best done at the end of each week so you can switch off and enjoy the weekend but I like to do it every Monday morning. I note down successes from the week before, rewards to look forward to and priorities for the week ahead to help motivate me to stay focused and remind me why I do what I do!

Monthly

Once a month, use your weekly review session to take a step back and evaluate how you’re doing overall. Are you making progress towards your goals for the year? Are there things you can simplify, celebrate or need to work on to achieve your ultimate ‘why’?

Oh, and very importantly – have you got a holiday in the diary? Taking regular breaks helps to avoid burnt out and keep your motivation going – it’s good to always have something to look forward to!

Yearly

Take a look back through your weekly and monthly review notes to see just how far you’ve come!

Give yourself a couple of days to really reflect on the last 12 months and put a plan together for the year ahead. Consider questions like; What are you most proud of achieving this year? What activities resulted in your biggest successes? What did you learn this year? What do you want to achieve over the next 12 months?

Since I started doing this my productivity has tripled. Just this month alone I’m celebrating launching my new website, planning our wedding in under 3 weeks, working on collaborations with entrepreneurs I really admire (like Jo!) and my email list successfully passing a big milestone!

How about you?

I’d love to hear how you currently take time to reflect on your business? What are the key areas you could track to help you stay focused and achieve more this year?

Chloe x

PS. Don’t forget to download the weekly and month review templates here!

Chloe AdlingtonChloe Adlington is a marketing mentor, a small business advocate and tea lover. She specialises in helping small + home-based businesses get set up to flourish online.
Chloe runs online courses for women in business as well as working one-on-one with clients to help them market their businesses more effectively and ultimately get more fans, clicks and sales.

When she’s not working with lovely entrepreneurs you’ll find Chloe baking, hoarding pretty notebooks, cuddling her two pugs, winning national blogging awards or planning her Spring wedding!
www.chloeadlington.com
hello@chloeadlington.com

How To Fill Your Creative Well – Creative Thinking With Daire Paddy

creativity

Keeping your creativity topped up is essential as an online business owner, and something I am passionate about.

One of the tips I share with people on my courses and mentoring groups is doing something slightly new every day. Here, the lovely Daire Paddy share how 40 days of doing something new really fuels your creative thinking and, ultimately, your biz!Over to you, Daire.

As my entire business revolves around staying inspired, getting stuck in a creative rut is the worst possible thing that can happen.

Luckily for me, just as I was dangling dangerously close to that dark place, the wonderful Jo reintroduced her #newdivadaily challenge.

Basically, the idea is that you try a little bit of something different each day, and just see where it takes you.

They don’t have to be big things, just something other than your usual choice.

Today I thought I’d share some of the little tweaks I made in my routine, and how they helped me get my act together, finally start my own business, and rediscover my creative flow.

 

Day 1 – Start a new book

Instead of battling through one I really wasn’t enjoying… and I actually start enjoying reading again, instead of viewing it as something I “should” do.

Day 2 – Do some painting first thing in the morning

Instead of after work…and ended up in a better mood for the rest of the day AND enabled me to snap some pics in natural lighting (great blog fodder!).

Day 3 – Write everything in a colour I’d never pick

(Orange)… and made me put a lot more thought into everything I was writing down.

Day 4 – Take myself to bed 3 hours earlier than usual

I felt SO optimistic the next morning that I finally registered as self-employed (biz greatness, here I come!)

Day 5 – Try out a new recipe

I tried Fingerlickin’ Jerk Chicken…and it made my boyfriend love me EVEN more.

Day 6 – Watch a TV show I’ve never heard of

Betrayal…and kept myself very entertained for a weekend.

Day 7 – Went to a pole dancing class

I discovered a fun new way to keep fit.

Day 8 – Sign up to a workshop outside of my usual sphere

Jo’s wonderful Pop Up Pinterest Party… and realised how powerful Pinterest is as a promo tool. I also managed to double my following in 4 days!

Day 9 – Tried handmade canoli from a new deli

I went to Ugly Bread in Nottingham. AND OH MY GOD IT WAS AMAZING.

Day 10 – Went for a drink after work even though I wasn’t in the mood

And bonded with a colleague I’ve only ever spoke to in passing.

Day 11 – Ate at a new restaurant

We went to Amores in Beeston…and loved it so much it was established as official date night venue.

Day 12 – Started a new art journal

Even though I wasn’t done with the last…and jolted my creativity back into action.

Day 13 – Followed 3 new-to-me bloggers

They inspired me enough to come up with some great ideas for an Instagram series.

Day 14 – Went to an in-person seminar

It was on improving efficiency and achieving your goals…and discovered just how much disposable time I have, and how it can be scheduled to make sure I get shit done.

Day 15 – Skyped with an international friend

The unstoppable Brandy Morris…and realized just how much biz stuff I’d got done in the past 15 days!

Day 16 – Tried a new bubble bath

Radox Spa – Fig and Neroli Oil…and actually unwound after a day at work (doesn’t happen too often!)

Day 17 – Ordered different pizza toppings

I realised exactly why I always order the same thing.

Day 18 – Made an art journal video

As a practice for an exciting new blog series I’m working on… and learnt A LOT of filming tricks in the process.

Day 19 – Arranged a visit with a friend I haven’t seen in years

I planned pamper time, vintage shopping and lots of crafty goodness!

Day 20 – Embraced the capsule wardrobe

This did away with the 20 minutes of frantic scrabbling before work.

Day 21 – Had lunch with a work colleague

Instead of eating at my desk as usual… and had a massively productive afternoon (evidence that taking a break is a MUST!)

Day 22 – Treated myself to a new creative ebook

I got The Art of Whimsical Lettering by Joanne Sharpe)… and discovered a fun new hobby!

Day 23 – Dove into a networking event without fear 

I managed to avoid any spontaneous combustion.

Day 24 – Went to Lasertag

And DESTROYED the competition.

Day 25 – Outsourced the redesign of my website 

Managed to stop myself from going completely postal. The designer I worked with (Christine Schnell) was an absolute dream, excellent value for money, and she put up with every second of my neuroses.

Day 26 – Had a pamper night 

I actually stepped away from any laptop related/list-making activities.

Day 27 – Tested a new programme to edit images 

And I discovered that Jo is right. Canva is AMAZING.

Day 28 – Tried bubble tea 

I decided that it’s completely disgusting. I will be sticking to normal tea going forward.

Day 29 – Treated myself to a magazine (Flow)

And was so inspired by the amazing articles that I drafted three new blog posts.

Day 30 – Had a smoothie for breakfast

And realised that I can actually function without eating all the bread first thing in the morning.

Day 31 – Revisited materials from Blogging for Business Bootcamp

…and revamped my editorial calendar in less than an hour. (Check out this post for my ode to #blogbizboot)

Day 32 – Signed up for a new newsletter 

…and realised that Denise Duffield-Thomas has all the answers!

Day 33 – Found an accountability buddy

…and got my promotional stuff pimped and scheduled.

Day 34 – Had a total duvet day 

I actually let myself RELAX and get better, instead of working through the pain.

Day 35 – Learnt how to use a sewing machine

…and proceeded to break said sewing machine.

Day 36 – Arranged a guest post swap

I managed to schedule a few months’ worth of guest posts on a variety of fun topics.

Day 37 – Added something to my online shop

I took the first step in my business plan. My e-course “30 days of intensive, getting-to-the-good-stuff journaling” is officially for sale, now I just can’t wait to get started!

Day 38 – Spontaneous mid week night out

…and got totally smashed! (Whilst realising that I am definitely too old to go out and get totally smashed)

Day 39 – Bought myself fancy underwear on the way home

…and see Day 5 😉

Day 40 – Relinquished control of the remote for a whole day

I received lots of Brownie points (despite the fact that I only really did it because there was nothing I wanted to watch anyway AND I had an ebook to draft!)

 

So in review, I managed to accomplish a lot in 40 days. I started a business. I wrote an ebook. I designed an e-course. I got to grips with Pinterest. I finally “got” why everyone needs to be blogging for business. I learnt to relax. I spent time with loved ones. I got back in my creative groove.

 

What more could a person want?

 

Thanks so much Daire!

How do you encourage your creative thinking? Let us know in the comments below.

You can find more from Daire over on The Open Way.

Jo Gifford

My work is about helping people work in smarter, creative ways + getting their message out to the world via killer content—blogs, copy, images + social. I am a designer, writer, blogger, mentor, author, creativity addict + prolific geek. You could call it a portfolio career of multi-potential multi-passions. I call it being me.
Work with me, Shop with me, and Chat with me!

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