Author Archive for Dia – Page 2

9 Mistakes Business Owners Make Managing Their Time

If you’re like me, your waking hours are filled with tasks, expectations, and stress. For most of us, even our vacations or “days off” are filled with things we have to do or obligations that need to be handled. Well that’s a sad thought, isn’t it? It doesn’t have to be.
For a long time, I found myself in this loop of never-ending stress and a growing to-do list. I didn’t find some magic pill or master time travel to give myself an extra 10 hours a day to write, sleep and watch Netflix…(isn’t Netflix just the best thing ever?!?)
The first thing I did was learn to recognize the mistakes I was making when it came to building my business that was slowing my business down. I am still growing for sure, but if I’d started to realized these mistakes sooner, I could have been seeing revenue, growth and a lot less stress in my business a year or so sooner.

Maybe it’s because I’ve had a lot of experience in the different roles that come with dating but I see a lot of things the same way I see romance. Trying to figure out your work style is a little like kissing frogs, Often you figure out what doesn’t work far sooner than you find out what does… so let me save you some time and point out some of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to manage their business.

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Focusing on Perfect

Any time you put something out in the world with your name on it you probably want it to be pretty kick-ass, after all, your name is on it. So it’s easy to get stuck on perfection. I hate to say it, but you’re never going to reach perfection. So instead of getting stuff done you just keep finding yourself being unsatisfied with the little work you do complete because it isn’t perfect and therefore it never gets done. Done is better than perfect. Think of it this way how many programs or tools do you purchase that get an update or reboot. Sometimes you might think something is “perfect” only to discover once it’s out there that something is missing or not working correctly. Steve Jobs didn’t get the iPhone perfect the first time…see the multiple versions that have followed and continue to come out each year.

Failing to Start

Have you ever sat down with the intention of knocking out a few tasks with a to-do list that looks something like:
Create a pitch for Lane’s Online Magazine
Write this week’s newsletter
Update the blog post about knitting
Answer email from Karen

Then you sit there and look at it without knowing where to start so you decide, oh I’ll respond to some social media posts and watch an episode of Gilmore Girls. Next thing you know it’s 3 hours later, time for bed and while your Buffer is full nothing else got done.
Falling into this trap is easy. We want to get so much done, but we get frustrated and then nothing gets done.
Just get started on whatever is the first thing on the list just do it and get it done.

Taking on Too Much

This goes right in hand with not knowing where to get started. When you are excited about your business or side hustle, you find yourself constantly having new ideas or wanting to implement new things into it. For me, I always want to do more and go bigger. Adding new forms of revenue or a new kind of media is a great way to grow your business but doing it at the wrong time and in the wrong way is an excellent way to kill your business.
If you are a one woman team already feeling pressed for time, it probably isn’t a good idea to try to launch a new e-course, 2nd website, podcast and youtube channel in the same month (yeah I seriously was considering doing this at one point in time). Start by looking at low-hanging fruit (things that are easy for you to incorporate at that given time) if you want to do all of these see which would be easiest for you to do first and then start with that and once you have your footing in one area, add in the next. If you try to take on too much at once not only will your attention be divided but your work will be sloppy.


Multi-tasking isn’t evil at the right time and place. Listening to a book on tape while washing the dishes or reading a magazine while pooping is great examples of doing more than one thing at once successfully. But most of the time multitasking is a major productivity killer! If you want to get the most out of your work time, focus on one thing at a time. Turn your phone face down, leave it in the other room or shut down the sound, even small multitasking like answering a few texts during the time you said you’d work can hurt your productivity and strain your focus.
The more you spend time working focused, the more you learn about your ability to balance things. Can you listen to music with lyrics while writing? Can you watch television while painting pieces for your Etsy store? For me I absolutely cannot work in silence, my mind starts racing, and I start thinking about anything and everything, besides what I’m trying to focus on. If I’m working on social media posts I can listen to stand up or even re-watch old episodes of Family Guy on Netflix if I’m working on a post I can listen to music but if I try to watch t.v. more times than not I find myself taking a longer time to get things done.

Setting Deadlines But Not Work Sessions

Deadlines are important. For me, it is my way of saying, “Hey world, I’m doing this on this date.” Then realizing, “Holy crap it’s out there, now I have to do it.” But what is a deadline if you don’t have a plan for actually getting the thing done? If you say you want to publish a post on the 13th, when do you plan to write it? Schedule a period for working on it and if need be, anything else that accompanies the task, like creating graphics or social media posts. A deadline is a lot like a goal, it’s great to have, but a plan of action is what turns both a goal and deadline into a reality.

Thinking busy and productive are the same thing.

Busy having a great deal to do.
Productive achieving or producing a significant amount or result.
There are a lot of people who love to talk about how busy they are but the truth is being busy doesn’t mean you’re productive. I could go outside and try to pick up every rock in my apartment complex, and I’m technically busy, but it doesn’t mean I’m doing anything productive. While there are “busy” tasks that need to be done, you have to find a healthy balance of busy and productive. Yes getting your inbox down to zero is a great feeling but more than likely it doesn’t represent any income in your pocket. Just because you are doing something doesn’t mean you are making the best use of your time. Be able to recognize when you are performing goal achieving activities and not just stress relieving ones.

Focusing Too Much on Organizing.

This one was a huge rabbit hole for me. I want to be organized. Obviously, I work better when my desk is clean, and I know things look beautiful, but even worse I used to sit down with my to-do list and try to decide which thing was most important in the right order to get things done. Well, this was a waste of time.
I discovered that by just hitting the list running, I was able to get more crossed off. There are some days when it’s clear something needs to be done first, like if you have a deadline but other days you may not know where to start, so just start.

Getting Stuck on Semantics

If you can’t complete a task because you need something to complete it, then I try to follow this simple rule, if obtaining it will take more than 5 minutes I move on to the next thing on my todo list.
Are you writing a movie review and can’t remember the name of the lead actress? Go ahead and search for it, then go back to working on the review.
Do you want to make an email course outline on a poster board with sticky notes but don’t have the poster board or sticky notes? Then move on to the next task because you’ll probably just end up spending an hour at Target looking at cute office supplies. (Guilty!)
Don’t let the semantics, stop you in your tracks. Often I’ve discovered by moving forward and not focusing on the little things that could be a setback, I often find workarounds or better ideas.

Not Scheduling Downtime

This may seem counter-productive to all the mistakes mentioned above but in reality having downtime is great for productivity. I wrote a post Why You Should Take a Personal Day a while back, and I fully believe in it. Personal days and downtime are key for allowing your body and mind to recharge and relax. We are always so stressed and have so much to do, but I’ve discovered when I take the time to take a break or have some fun I come back with new ideas or feel revitalized and excited about whatever project I’m working on again. I try to do something fun most weekends, but I also have a night off I try to stick to at least once a week, Thursdays are for Shondaland. I put the laptop away, have some wine and enjoy some of my favorite shows. It’s all about rewarding myself for hard work and reminding myself that there is more to life than work.

Are you making any of these mistakes when it comes to setting up your day? Recognizing them is a great way to stop doing them. The next time you find yourself in one of these situations take a second and think about what you’re doing and how you can refocus your time and energy into working more productively.

Behind The Anxiety: Open Letter About Depression

You may not watch soap operas. You might think they are silly and over dramatic but for most of the past 29 years, The Young & The Restless has been a part of my life. I started watching like most people did, because of an older relative. Before I started going to school I would watch the show daily with my grandpa. After I started school it became a staple of the summer. So much so that I started recording it on VHS each day. Yes, I just aged myself. Then it became a hit or miss once I started college but once I got a DVR, forget about it. It was on like donkey kong.

That’s my fun way of saying I still watch every episode of the show.

As a lifer not only do I watch the show but I keep up with the cast on social media. You can imagine my shock when I woke up hungover Monday after the Superbowl to learn that Kristoff St. John had been found dead. Kristoff St. John has played Neil Winters on Young and The Restless for 27 years. A talented actor and a fan favorite. The last few months his presence has been sporadic at best. So much so that on the last episode he was on I remember squalling “Neil! My man!” when he appeared on the screen. “My man,” was kind of Neil’s catchphrase/greeting and from what I can tell may have also been Kristoff’s.

Dia, why are you going on about a soap opera star? Like sure death is sad but how much does this affect you?

The truth, more than you think. While the exact cause of his death is still up in the air most of the people familiar with his story are assuming 1 of 2 things,  suicide or a broken heart. A few years ago his son killed himself while in a mental health facility and he never truly recovered from the loss. So even if he didn’t kill himself his son’s death probably played some role in him dying at 52.

I feel like mental health is this big shameful thing. No one wants to talk about. People don’t get it. They say “Cheer up buttercup.” or “Can’t you just be happy,” like you’re choosing to be anxious or depressed. They say these things and all you hear is “I don’t want to deal with your pain. Can you pretend everything is fine so I’m comfortable? You’re such a burden.

If you’re never excused yourself from a meeting to sob uncontrollably in the bathroom because everything felt like too much….

If you’ve never doubted if you could live another day this way….

If you’ve never felt guilty for being so sad when things look so good to the outside world and you know things could be worse….

If you’ve never written a suicide note…

Looked too long and too hard at a bottle of pills…

Didn’t want to die but weren’t sure how you could live….

You’re lucky.

I’m not writing this to ruin your mood. I’m writing this for a few reasons.

  1. To explain why I do what I do. I know a podcast where I talk to some of the best minds in the business might seem like just a fun hobby but it’s stories like this. Anxiety and depression are very real and if hearing that you’re not alone or that it’s totally normal to feel like giving up or to cry in the shower…car…supermarket. As much as I love talking to these women, messages telling me how much someone related to a story or how grateful they are for the podcast it lights me up.
  2. To beg you not to say insensitive statements to people who seem sad all the time. Sometimes an “It’s not that big of a deal.” “Be positive,” may be well intended but can only alienate someone dealing with depression even more. You don’t have to let their feelings “bring you down” but just be supportive. Sometimes if you just listen it can be a huge help. Just say “I’m here for you.” Don’t try to fix it. When they push you away, and they might know that they appreciate the love and support even if they can’t deal with it at the moment.
  3. To ask you to educate yourself on mental health. While some of the stigmas have decreased around mental health unless you deal with it, either personally or through a loved one, it can be hard to understand. If you subscribe to the “just be happy,” mindset consider doing some research on the medical aspects of it, that might be easier to comprehend than the feelings part of it. Don’t stigmatize them if they feel like medication is what they need to do. It’s a personal choice and not an easy one.
  4. To remind you to check in with your loved ones. Even the happy ones. Because more often than you’d think the biggest smiles hide the most pain-filled hearts. Again, you don’t have to push or even ask “how are you,” but maybe just a “I love you, or a “I’d love to see you,” can mean the world when you feel alone.

There has been such an outpouring of love for Kristoff since his passing Sunday and I don’t doubt he had people who loved and supported him in life. Even as someone who suffers from anxiety and depression I can’t even imagine what the loss of his son in such a tragic way did to him.

Finally, #5 if you ever need to talk please feel free to email me. I may not be able to respond right away but I will respond. I’m not a therapist or mental health professional but I know sometimes talking to someone who gets it is a great start.

I love you, I love you, I love you,


Building Your Business With Storytelling Featuring Michelle Knight

Disclosure: Posts on contain affiliate links. For more information see policy.

In this episode, I talk with Michelle Knight from Brandmerry. We dive into the entrepreneur mind including comparison and building a brand that attracts your dream clients. You will walk away with some real eye openers from this episode.

In this episode:

1:45 How she started her business.

4:48 Staying at your 9-5 when starting your business and the process of getting your first clients.

10:25 Her current business season and her plans.  How difficult times open our eyes in life and business.

15:10 She talks about how she works with her clients on branding and storytelling.

20:48 What is the biggest issue she sees when people are developing their brand and their story.

26:00 What she has learned about herself since she started her business.

30:35 Why it’s important to show up for your community.

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Click to tweets:

When deciding when to leave your day job you have to do what works for you and your family. Click To Tweet There are times when you have to hustle during certain seasons of your business. -Michelle Knight, Brandmerry Click To Tweet Life is short. Ask yourself what lights you up and what isn’t working. Click To Tweet It’s during those times of strong discomfort that we experience growth. Click To Tweet Working with the wrong people can make or break your happiness if you let it. Click To Tweet People should see your brand and think 'OMG I love that' or 'Ugh that’s not for me.' Click To Tweet If you’re trying to be for everyone, you’re not going to be for anyone. Click To Tweet Do you really know who you want to work with and are you positioning yourself? -Michelle Knight, Brandmerry Click To Tweet Hearts and comments are wonderful but that’s not going to pay your bills. Click To Tweet Stop comparing your chapter 2 to someone else’s chapter 11. -Michelle Knight, Brandmerry Click To Tweet The worst thing we can do pretend we have all our shit together as entrepreneurs. It’s a disservice to our community.-Michelle Knight, Brandmerry Click To Tweet Entrepreneurship is like a fast track in personal development.-Michelle Knight, Brandmerry Click To Tweet To be your best self you have to do the work. Click To Tweet

About Michelle

Michelle Knight is a Branding and Business Mentor and the podcast host of the Free to Be Podcast. Michelle has distinguished herself as an entrepreneur through the power of storytelling and its power to unite people,
especially women. She has helped transform the businesses lives of female entrepreneurs by supporting them in tapping into their story to create a standout brand and message, ultimately leading them to living a life of freedom. Michelle is living proof that no matter what obstacles life may throw at you, or chapters that may contribute to your story, you have the power to write your own ending. As a storyteller and branding expert herself, Michelle supports women to break free from the shoulds and create a life of time, financial and location freedom.


You can find Michelle here:




Mentioned in this episode

The Artist’s Way

Brené Brown

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Thanks for listening! <3

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Now tell me:

  • How do you connect to your audience?
  • What is something you decided to let go to be happier?
  • How do your favorite brands attract you using storytelling?
  • How did you design your brand? 
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