How I Ended Up Doing The Online Business Thing

I have a confession to make. Today we are getting very real. It’s funny because even when I decided to talk about this, I thought maybe I should wait until the end of the year because any post where someone talks about lessons learned and battles fought it does have a very end of the year or end of an era feel to it. I don’t know if it’s the end of an era, but it is something I need to get off my chest about my journey into online business.

First I’ve been running this site for almost three years now, and you still may or may not know much about me. So I wanted to take some time to do a real introduction and not any of the fluff, “5 random facts about me” type posts that are fun but ultimately slightly shallow in details. As I connect with more people and work with more people, I realize that there is a lot out there and we all have our own story that sets us apart. But don’t you worry, I’ll be sure to add some value that hopefully can help make your story a happier one.

How It Started

It was 3:14 am on a warm July morning. It was the 80s and everything was about to change…  I’m kidding. I’m not going that far back. When I got my degree in Communication-Public Relations back in 2012, I have to tell you; I had no idea it would lead me where it did. Back then in my ideal world, I would be Samantha from Sex in the City. I mean the publicist part. I just wanted to be the genius mind spinning news stories and scandal in the background.

My last year of college I had started working at an insurance agency and continued after graduation. I worked in insurance for just under two years, and I have to tell you it was not for me. I hated selling insurance, and the topic didn’t excite me. I know what you’re thinking, who gets excited talking about insurance? People who are successful in it, that’s who. I would see the passion my boss and others had for the industry and not understand it. It wasn’t there for me. I haven’t gone longer than a month without a job since I was 15 years old and let me tell you I knew how to spot what I didn’t want.

I had hoped that a role at a successful insurance company might evolve into some marketing or human resources job. Marketing because there is a huge overlap in the marketing and communication curriculum at most universities. Human resources because order and organization have always been soothing and fun for me.

After having my fill of the insurance industry, I managed to land a real-life marketing job at a commercial real estate company. What kind of marketing do you do at a real estate agency? Truth, I would say a more appropriate title would have been executive assistant, site manager, event coordinator, marketer, glorified receptionist and overall superhuman (sometimes printer repair person).

For the most part, I enjoyed the things I learned at the real estate agency. I got to plan and coordinate huge events; I learned how WordPress works, attended some fun events and was writing for the first time in years.

The last item on that list was both a blessing and a curse. While I was creating copy on a regular basis, it was as the company’s ghostwriter. Yes 20 something liberal me was writing in the voice of a 60 something super conservative man.  I felt so conflicted because while the topics I wrote about weren’t political or controversial I wasn’t writing in my true voice.

That’s how All The Things I Do started almost three years ago.

I eventually left the real estate company when I realized that I had hit my ceiling there as Marketing Director. The only way to “move up” was to “move over” and become a real estate agent. I took a job at a small agency, and it was a world wind.

I was working with multiple companies, doing Google Adwords, social media management and even participating in events and news coverage. Because we all know it’s bad etiquette to trash talk, I’ll just say, the environment wasn’t for me and within two months of starting I was ready to go.

Now don’t think I’m some sort of job hopper before this, I had pretty much stayed in all my jobs at least a year but normally closer to 3. After lots of job applications and three interviews and two job offers later, I left the agency after five months for a new role as an SEO Specialist.

What is an SEO specialist? Well basically, I write a lot of website copy, find and write the content for guest post opportunities, some social media management, local citations (making sure all your listings are correct on sites like Yelp and Google), maintaining good SEO on your website (making sure keywords are on point, and you are checking off all of the things needed. Learn more about that here: SEO Checklist).

Okay, that’s all about my career working for others so far but how did I turn my blog into a business. Well, it happened kind of organically.

Finding My Own

I started my blog as a place to write about the things I cared about and as a relatable space for women like me. Over time my content evolved more from antidotes to how to’s. Next thing I knew people were asking to pick my brain.

I played with the idea of writing a book (which I do still plan to do eventually) and doing courses. Then I noticed a real need in an area I’m passionate about, order and organization. I’m not talking about coming over to your house and organizing your closet; I’m talking about getting your blog and business on track with productivity coaching, workflows, systems and organization.

All the facebook groups I’m in as an online biz boss, I see the usual tech questions and social media/email list inquiries but I saw a common theme in all the groups and even courses I was in. People might have a clear roadmap of what they needed to do to achieve goals, but the missing link wasn’t know how it was time. They can’t find time with their kids, day job, lack of motivation or whatever the block was.

So I started wondering how I could help and that was how my services began to form.

Why I’m Doing It

If you’ve been online for a week you probably already know that a lot of time and energy goes into it, even if you’re not trying to turn it into a business.

So you know that without the right reasons it can get old fast.

I spend hours each day building my website, answering questions, recording podcasts and more for three reasons. Okay, more than three but I’ll share three of the big reasons.

  • Because as Marie Forleo always says, the world needs my special gift that only I have and I want to help people.
  • I deserve a happy life, and this stuff makes me happy.
  • Because I want more. More freedom, more connection, more income (I’m not going to lie), more knowledge, more of a positive mark in the world.

I don’t think I’m God’s gift to anyone, but I know that everyone I help just a little bit, then I’m doing good work.

3 Things We Deal With & Why They Don’t Matter

Comparison

Earlier this year I wrote an article for a magazine about comparison for The Letter l I don’t know if you’re busy into astrology but I’m a cancer and have always been a sensitive person (classic Cancer trait, if you follow that sort of thing). So it’s easy for me to see certain things online and get served with a big ole fat helping of imposter syndrome.

Even knowing the experience I’ve to build the past decade in different jobs, as a blogger and even in life experience and trusting my abilities I still find myself dealing with those issues from time to time. I have to remind myself two things constantly.

  1. At the end of the day, you are the only you out there, no one else can do what you can the way you do.
  2. The people your work is meant for will love it, and if they don’t then it’s not for them, and that’s okay.

Expert Status

I sometimes worry that people may not feel like I’m an expert because they can’t see everything on the backend. But as so many of my mentors have constantly pointed out… You don’t have to know everything; you just have to know more about the thing you’re teaching to the person you’re teaching it to. We are all at different stages, and all need varying levels of help. Find your level, rock it, then advance.

You don’t have to know everything. Click To Tweet

All The Advice  

The best thing I’ve done for myself in 2017 has been becoming more self-aware. More self-aware about what I want and what I don’t want. More conscious of what I need inside and out.  It seems simple, and it’s easy to think, “Well, I’m me. I know what I want.” But the truth is we are all so constantly bombarded with outside voices from our family, friends, partner, online, in the media, etc. if can be easy for your voice to get lost in your head. 

Don’t feel the need to take everyone's advice. Click To Tweet

Don’t feel the need to take everyone’s advice. Heck, don’t even feel the need to take mine if it doesn’t resonate with you. Find the people you trust and relate to but remember to listen to yourself. I see so many people online get overwhelmed trying to learn and implement everything they never actually get anywhere. They are like a hamster wearing themselves out but just running in place. Do you!

Tell me:

  • How did you end up online?
  • What is your big why?
  • What is one mistake you’ve made that held you back but you are working on now?
  • Do you ever deal with imposter syndrome?
  • Do you feel the online world ignores your real world experience?

 

Five Signs You Need A Productivity Coach

We all have our unique working styles. Some people feel like we thrive when they have a million things going on. Others like to get laser focused and work on one big goal at a time. However, chances are your productivity isn’t at it’s best. While some people just need to take a vacation or hire some help to get more done and get back in their productive mind space, others require more help. Some people need someone to help them focus directly on their productivity habits and identify areas of strength and weakness. Productivity coaching can help change businesses and lives.

Here Are Five Signs You Need A Productivity Coach.

You Know What To Do But Aren’t Accomplishing Anything

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard someone say that they know what to do to grow their business, but for some reason, they don’t seem to be doing it.  They feel like something is just keeping them in place. This is usually the result of a productivity block they don’t even realize they have. A coach can help you identify what your productivity blocks are and work with you to address and move past them.

You Feel Like You Can’t Ever Rest

Maybe your business is doing great, but you can’t remember the last time you took a real day off from it. There always seems to be a million more things to do, and you don’t see it slowing down anytime soon. You know that you need help, but you don’t know where to start? Do you buy a new system? Hire more people? If so, what roles do they need to fill? You need someone to look at your business and identify where all your time is going, what can be cut out and what can be automated, so you can finally take a day off.

You Know That You Lack Accountability

The biggest thing that trips up a lot of people trying to build their own business online is they don’t have anyone holding them accountable. If you have a partner supporting you or you’re still working a day job, you have a safety net. I’m in no way telling you to quit your day job before you are ready but I want you to recognize that deep down you know if your online business flops you will be okay. You will still have a roof over your head and food in your mouth. If you’re not employing others or your lively hood isn’t dependent on your business it’s easy to cut yourself too much slack or let yourself stay paralyzed by your productivity blocks

You may be a little embarrassed if you tell your email list you are releasing a new program on January 3rd and then that day comes and goes with no new program, but no one seems to notice. The truth is you need accountability, both the investment you make financially of working with a coach and having them check you when you don’t stay on track can make a huge difference.

You’ve Bought Lots Of Programs & Haven’t Finished A Single One

It’s easy to get course fever. There are so many awesome programs and trainers online who make their packages look mouth watering and promise you the world. You feel like every six months you buy a new program and you are pumped about it but a few weeks pass, and you haven’t logged into the course site in weeks. The reason? Well, in this case, there could be several reasons.

  • You can’t “find” the time to do the lessons.
  • Your productivity blocks are rearing their ugly head, and you subconsciously are wondering what the point is? It won’t work for you.
  • The trainer has your money and therefore aren’t really keeping track of how your progress is, so you have no accountability.  

Whatever the reason is a productivity coach can help you create the time in your schedule, identify why you stopped and how you can finish. There are courses out there from $47- $10,000 and some of them can be game changing if you make the time to implement them. Don’t let your issues with time management and productivity stop you from fully reaping the benefits of your investments.

Don’t let your issues with productivity stop you from fully reaping the benefits of your investments. Click To Tweet

You Frequently Miss Deadlines Or Break Promises To Others or Yourself

When you are working at your most productive level, you are likely to find yourself scrambling. This looks different for different people. You may find yourself having to push back deadlines for client work. Perhaps you work hard to never let a customer down, which is important for referrals and reputation but instead, you frequently cancel plans with loved ones to work or stay up way too late or get up insanely early to work on projects. Lack of sleep is horrible for your health and will contribute to sickness and burnout in the long run.

Perhaps, everyone is your life has nothing but good things to say about you. Your clients give you rave reviews; your friends know they can always depend on you and your partner knows you never miss a date night. That’s all good, but in order to be everything to everyone, you find yourself breaking promises to yourself.

You have to get copy over to a client by noon so goodbye morning yoga class.

That spa gift certificate expires this weekend but you promised your sister you’d go to your nephew’s little league game, so you just give the certificate to a friend.

You may think you are managing “all the things, ” but you are neglecting a huge one, yourself. You are your biggest asset, take care of yourself. A productivity coach will help you figure out where you can fit in self-care and how to identify unnecessary things sucking your time and energy.

If you want to learn Spanish you hire a Spanish tutor. If you want to be more productive, hire a coach. Click To Tweet

Working with a productivity coach can be the start to identifying and defeating the things holding you back. If you wanted to lose weight you’d hire a fitness trainer. If you wanted to learn how to speak Spanish you’d hire a Spanish tutor. So if you want to become more productive you should hire a productivity coach. If you are ready to start working with a productivity coach you can learn about my packages here.

 

Top 10 Tips For Getting Organized As A Solopreneur


When operating an online business as a solopreneur, there are a lot of moving parts and it can be hard to keep track. Especially when everything moves so fast, and often the most important parts are the not so fun ones like scheduling and finances. I wanted to share a few tips to help you get and stay organized.

Always Have Something To Take Notes

There is a good chance content creation is a large part of your business plan. If it’s not, it should be (why you need to start a blog).  Whether it’s blog posts, YouTube videos, or podcasts, you should be providing your audience with some free value. The one thing I’ve learned about content creation is you never know when an idea will hit. My best ideas seem to appear when I’m in the shower, ten minutes from falling asleep or in a meeting at my day job. I always keep some way to take notes. You never know when you’ll get that idea for your first viral blog post or have a light bulb moment that solves an on boarding issue that has been keeping you up at night.

I believe you should have an electronic option and a paper one. Electronic is good because if you use something like Google Docs, it syncs to the cloud and is easy to pull up when you return to your computer. Paper is great in case your phone dies, or you want to write more than quick notes (even as a self-proclaimed texting pro, I know typing extensively on the phone can feel a bit limiting and slow). I have written entire blog posts in my purse notebook at the airport, a Chili’s and so many other places.

Workflow Is Life

I know, I know, systems aren’t sexy. But you know what is sexy? Free time and business owners who aren’t pulling their hair out while constantly reinventing the wheel. I mean it when I say workflows are life. You know how sometimes you’ll leave work and the next thing you know you’re home? It’s not that magic fairies waved their wands and your car ended up in the driveway. It’s just you do it so often you don’t have to think about it until an unusual situation like a major traffic jam or a detour. Your systems can be like that. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming you just need to sit down and identify the things you do on a regular basis.

For Example

Task: Blog posts with audio once a week

You can use a whiteboard or an app like asana or Trello to move items from step to step so you can do it in order and without worrying that you missed anything.

Workflows don't have to be overwhelming you just need to sit down and identify. Click To Tweet

Your blog post workflow might look like this:

how to organized as an online wellness coach

Afterwards, you may run through a different workflow for amplifying the post. You can check out my post publish checklist.

For client onboarding what is your process? How can you create workflows to make it as easy as possible to plug and play? A customer fills out an inquiry on your website then what? Do you email them when you see the email or is your CRM programmed to give them the next steps? Sitting down and mapping out the workflow may take some time to set up but when it’s done, it’s done.

Plus there are so many systems out there that make it easy to streamline the vital money making efforts required in your business.

If you don’t know where to start,  learn how I can help you here.  (workflow sales page)

Client Folders Are Key

If you work with clients or even certain brands on a regular basis folders are a must! I don’t mean those overstuffed accordion folders your mom kept all her bills in during the 90s. I mean digital, sharable and editable organized folders. Once again, Google has you covered. Google Drive makes it easy to create folders within folders and store all types of files. Your Google Drive might have a main folder and within it clients by name, inside the individual folder an email folder, a meeting notes folder, before and after photos folder, etc.

Clients folders help you CYA. Cover Your Ass!  If something about your agreement is in dispute or a customer claims they didn’t give certain approvals you can easily locate, access and share any information to clear things up.

Clients folders help you CYA. Cover Your Ass! Click To Tweet

Track Income and Expenses

Taxes are confusing enough without a plan to deal with them. Make it a habit to meticulously track every single scent that goes into and out of your business.  You don’t need some uber complicated system to do it, spreadsheets work just fine, or you can invest in a system like Quickbooks.

Be In Sync

It’s not just the name of a band (I could help myself). While I am a huge believer in keeping one calendar to avoid confusion, I understand I can be undesirable.

What if you are working at a gym training clients by appointment while also trying to build your own wellness business on the side, the studio you work for may have no objections, but you would rather not cross streams. Or you don’t want to share your calendar with everyone on your team because your boss asking you how “that bachelorette party was last weekend,” you know you didn’t mention, but oh yeah… It was on your shared calendar.

I get it. What you do want to do is make sure you have a master calendar that is synced to all your calendars, so you don’t double book or forget anything important such as a client meeting, certification renewals or your mom’s birthday. Sync your calendar and check it twice.

Plan Ahead

If the previous tip was any indication, you might realize that I am a huge fan of planning. When you are working you need an end goal in sight. Videos, articles, guest posts and all that are great but they can’t get you anywhere if you don’t know where you want to go. By setting big goals and deciding what it is you’re trying to achieve. If you’re creating content, reaching out about guest posts you need to decide what it is you hope to accomplish with them and what the end goal is. Don’t spend your time now doing tasks just to make yourself feel productive if they aren’t building towards your long term goal.

Don’t spend your time now doing tasks just to make yourself feel productive. Click To Tweet

The Cloud Is Your Friend

If you aren’t backing up your information,  all I can say is, “Why not?!?”  Stuff gets hacked. Systems crash. I advise backing up all your documents and work into a cloud program like Google Drive or Dropbox. At the most, you will be glad if your website or computer crashes. At the least, you’ll be able to free up space on your computer’s hard drive.

Snag My Free Productivity Checklist

Make Passwords Simple

Nowadays you need a password for everything but the bathroom. This presents a problem, you don’t want to have all your passwords be identical, but you also don’t want to memorize 50 passwords.

There are a few ways to combat this. You can create a master list in a protected document, you could use a 3rd party app like Password or you could go old school and write them down in one place and keep it hidden somewhere private and safe.

Whatever it is you feel the most comfortable with, set it up and get it done. Looking for a post it notes for the super complicated password you created or always resetting them is not organized.

Schedule Everything You Can

You can’t schedule when your pipes will burst or when your boyfriend will break up with you. You can schedule when you will get stuff done. A big mistake a lot of people make is only scheduling due dates and appointments with other people. But you need to schedule a time to get stuff done. If you’re a solopreneur that means you’re wearing all the hats and are doing all of the things until you can hire someone else to help you with them. So make sure you put it on your calendar what you are doing and when.

For Example:

Tuesday 6 pm Meeting with graphics department (you)

Tuesday 7 pm- Meeting with finance department (you)

Tuesday 8 pm- Meeting with editorial team (you)

You don’t have to schedule it like I did above with the “department meeting.” But maybe it will help you to get in the right headspace. These will probably be somewhat fluid and even subject to change, but you’re more likely to keep these appointments if they are organized and scheduled.

Have Boundaries In Place

Boundaries will be one of the biggest reasons you stay sane! You have to have boundaries around your time and projects.

  • Boundaries with your clients, who want to reschedule a session at the last minute.
  • Boundaries with your friends, who want you to blow off your blog for happy hour.
  • Boundaries with your significant other, who wants you to sleep in when you have a webinar to prepare for.
  • Boundaries with yourself, when you want to watch 2 hours of Netflix instead of working.

Setting boundaries doesn’t make you mean or unprofessional. In fact, setting boundaries makes you more professional and more organized.

Setting boundaries makes you more professional and more organized. Click To Tweet

Think about it this way, if a store closes at 9:00 pm your clients wouldn’t break down the window at 9:30 because they really “need” something inside. So why would it be okay for them to break down the invisible but very real closed sign you have with your boundaries. If clients aren’t supposed to contact you after 9 pm,  you have no obligation to reply before your next business day.

Where people find themselves in trouble is when they slightly bend the rules once and respond to that late email or allow a client to extend a due date then you are saying, “I know I said XYZ wasn’t allowed, but I’m doing it now so you can probably get me to do it again.”

I know you want to provide your clients with the best results and support their goals but you have to take care of yourself and boundaries are vital to making sure both of those things happen.

Now tell me: What is your favorite organization tip? What is the one thing you do to stay organized? What is your biggest obstacle? Tell me in the comments.

Become More Productivity With This Free Download