In the last few years we have seen the proliferation of a new niche of marketing activity, specifically influencer marketing.
This form of marketing relies on brands connecting and working with an influencer i.e. a person who has a substantial following and persona on social media. The brand hopes that by working with this “influencer” or group of influencers that they can leverage the individual’s following towards creating custom and branding for the brand.
This has created a whole new niche and as a result a plethora of influencer marketing agencies have sprung up to represent these influencers and help to monetize their following. We’ve also seen this behavior to emerge into hotel marketing.
The key thing to remember though is that influencer marketing can be effective but it needs to be carefully planned and researched. Businesses such as hotels need to ensure that they align themselves with the right individuals who “fit” their branding and who appeal to their target market. Hotel marketers also need to ensure that they carefully measure the return on investment of these campaigns because to work with some of these “influencers” can be quite expensive.
The people at The Dunloe Hotel have put together this infographic which covers the whole area of influencer marketing as it pertains to hotels specifically. It details some interesting statistics in the area of hotel influencer marketing; it outlines the benefits of the practice; it suggests an influencer marketing strategy format and it also touches on the area of measuring return on investment for such campaigns.
Entrepreneurs diving headfirst into a new business venture have more in common with LEGO enthusiasts than they would like to admit.
Your enterprise has reached a peak.
You’ve constructed the 3000 piece Death Star set… but, and here’s the caveat, you’ve only reached a peak, not THE peak.
Which leaves you with a few options.
You can stay your hand, hamper your imagination, and cage your ambitions. Basically, be as simple as humanly possible and simply “stay within the lines”. Or, and this is the pivotal moment that separates the mortals from the Steve Jobs, you can stare at your business and coworkers and say:
“This is a good start. Now let’s make this baby grow. Fellas’ burn the manual and let’s think outside the box.”
Of course, this sounds great…like something from a movie. But how do you make it a reality?
Explore Your Market
The best way to make your investment pay fruit is by exploring, beating and penetrating your own market. You already know your niche and target audience, now it’s time to really dig in.
You first instinct, “more business = more customers”, is the sort of gut feeling that sounds right, but isn’t actually true.
It’s more cost effective to convince people who already know your goods to break out their wallets and buy more of your wares. Getting new customers is much harder than working with existing ones.
Explore New Ideas
Just like it’s easier to work with existing customers, a simple way to increase profits is to attract more people to your product.
Discover, promote and invent new uses for your products or services. Walk down any Walmart aisle and chances are that each and every product on that endless army of shelves has been sold to the public under a strange umbrella of practical, odd, zany and even miraculous properties. Properties that go way beyond their main purpose.
For example, consider all the people pitching the idea that all you need to survive the apocalypse is: WD-40, Olive Oil, Crazy Glue, Duct-Tape and Milk. None of these things was originally intended for disaster situations.
There’s a whole subsection on YouTube alone dedicated to this theme. Investigate your product, and discover in it things you never dreamed off. Nothing is too bizarre or too wacky; leave nothing off the table.
Here’s a great example: each time an authority figure says that “something something” has a previously unknown holistic quality, that something’s profit suddenly skyrocket.
Make Them Addicted
Brand loyalty:you have to snare your public and make them unconditional devotees. Inspire in them religious fervor. There’s a reason you’ll never catch a Coca-Cola fan sipping a Pepsi. Why in certain states Bud reigns over Miller. Why some folks will only wear Nike for a marathon and never anything by Under Armour. There’s a reason why, every September, with the coming of the new iPhone, Apple stores have to bulk up their security.
It’s not a question of quality or quantity necessarily, it’s all about subjective perceptions.
You have to create, using both classic and non-traditional marketing techniques, a clear link between your product and your public’s self-image. The key to Brand Loyalty lies in making your wares essential facets of your client’s life. Intrinsically tie together your goods and the positive perception or construct they’ve made of themselves. Or, make them so reliant on you that it costs more for them to switch to someone else.
For example, consider Rolex. They have defined themselves as being the luxury watch. If you want to be seen as wealthy, you wear a Rolex. Or think of Nike and how they dominate the basketball world. Or Zappos and how they signify customer service.
Consider how you can inspire deep product loyalty in your customers. There are all sorts of simple ways, including:
Have amazing customer service
Offer a product associated with a specific lifestyle (think Whole Foods)
Constantly use imagery that associates with a self-perception (think Fitbit)
Give rewards to loyal customers
And many more
If you manage to make zealots out of your audience, they’ll come back – time and time again – to your trough.
Extend Your Reach
One of the best ways to attract new customers is to explore uncharted territories. Boldly go where your products have never gone before. Think about the various ways you could do this.
Open a new location
Advertise to audiences you’ve never previously targeted
Create products that will target new audiences
Partner with companies offering similar, supplementary products
Digital advertising on platforms like Facebook and Google allow you to reach audiences you never thought possible.
These days, people in give more credence to what’s happening inside their phone’s screen to the discussion they are having over dinner. The lines between reality and Virtual Reality have blurred. You can take advantage of these blurred lines.
In most cases, spending some advertising money on a social media platform you didn’t even know existed, or a service that specifically targets an unknown buyer’s pool, might be more cost-effective than getting a loan for a new store location.
Go Big On Word Of Mouth
Ebay, Amazon, Tripadvisor, UBER, AirBnB, and hundreds upon hundreds of platforms peddle their services and products with the explicit help of their customers. The truth of the matter is that referrals, good costumer reviews, and positive experiences are the driving force for sales these.
Each star on Amazon, owl on TripAdvisor, or thumb up on Facebook, for any business venture, is like to getting a pat on the back by God. There’s a reason why certain enterprises go the distance, and are willing to sell off their mother, for a 100% review anywhere.
Scour the web and, I know it’s a pain, but list each and every platform out there (Google Maps, Snapchat, Yelp, Facebook, Twitter, etc), then get some positive feedback. It’s a simple, time demanding practice, that will payoff in a big way.
If someone leaves an unfavorable review, follow up on immediately and make it right. Show customers that you are a trustworthy company.
Go Across The Waters
Take a walk around your house, pick up random objects, and turn them around. That ladle, that alarm clock, that guitar set, that BluRay of Deadpool, that kitchen towel – what do most have in common? That’s right! 3 out of 4 have a big label that reads: “MADE IN CHINA”, and there’s a 50% chance the last one says: “MADE IN TAIWAN.”
If you want to make your business grow, then you have to look beyond state lines. Cast your eyes over the horizon and start thinking Internationally. Sometimes, it might seem strange, but the same qualities and characteristics that manage to keep your product safely hidden behind the eight ball in your neck of the woods, might be considered amazing overseas.
Here’s a clear example: ever wonder why Hollywood keeps dredging out so many innate sequels? Ever wonder why, despite the fact that the first one was a gigantic bomb in the box office, they suddenly decide to churn out a second helping? Because, overseas – in some exotic locale – that movie broke records. Let’s look at some numbers:
WARCRAFT the movie:
Domestic Sales: $47,225,655.
International Sales: $385,900,000.
It’s a plunge into unknown waters, and outlining and mastering an exportation plan is no easy task, but it’s one that pays off in gold.
And here’s the good news. Given that you don’t need a physical storefront to sell products to people in other countries, you can implement this without a huge amount of work.
Consider testing ads for your products in other countries. See which countries send the most traffic to your website and then target those countries with ads. Find out what products are popular in certain countries and see if you can tap into that popularity.
Be Cost Effective
An IPhone, depending on the generation and model, costs about 350 to 435 dollars to make (that includes parts, assembly, transportation, marketing, rent, employees, etc.). Those same models are sold for 700 to 900 dollars. That’s a HUGE profit margin! Almost a 100%.
All great companies will swear by one fact: the secret to success is to bring the cost of manufacturing down, and maintain a semblance of quality. If you find this golden ratio, than you better start building a Scrooge McDuck bank for your gold coins.
What we are talking about is growing your business’s bottom line. Everything, no matter how small, takes a bite from your profits. Taxes – snap went those jaws. A/C at your office – crunch. Faulty overhead lamps – yummy went the profit devouring monster. Hour commute to work – a buffet.
Here’s a nice nice example. SG guitars used to manufacture their line of electric guitars in Taiwan. One day, a competing company approaches them with an offer:
“I can produce the low E string for 5 cents less than what they are charging you.”
The head haunches rushed madly into that handshake and moved – despite the overall initial cost of millions – to the new factory. In less than a year, their profits had skyrocket. Why? Because those five cents, spread out over so many guitars and products, equaled mountains of cash.
One small move, that might cost an arm and a leg at the beginning, might fundamentally change the dynamics of your revenues.
Scrutinize all your costs. Are there ways you can cut down on overhead? Can you cut production costs without sacrificing quality? Can you save on shipping? Each of these things represents potential growth for your small business.
Being the owner of a small business isn’t easy. You work long hours. You have to handle a lot of things that would normally fall to other people in a larger company. You have to be creative to beat out competitors.
But you get to be your own boss, the captain of your ship. You drive the train and you can take it into new, unexplored places.
While expansion might be scary, it can be done. Be creative. Maybe take a few small risks. You’ll be amazed at the payout.
If you have developed a good relationship with creditors, now is the time to call in a few favors. It’s worth making some inquiries to see if you can refinance to get a loan with lesser repayments, or perhaps renegotiate terms with established suppliers. If you have an unnecessarily large office space, there could be an opportunity to hire out a portion of this to interested parties and reduce your rental costs in the process.
It could also be worth marketing yourself more actively to existing and prospective customers. A lot of businesses now pursue the opinions of customers by asking them to leave online reviews, as a swarm of positive feedback could persuade a prospective customer to do business with them. If you don’t have an active social media presence, it’s a good idea to form one, as these avenues can be very lucrative to businesses nowadays.
Eazy Cash (http://www.eazycash.ca/car-title-loans/) created this infographic guide to managing business debt, advising on where money can be saved or extra revenue generated. Once your company’s debt is continually decreasing, you stand a very good chance of maintaining the business long-term.
Mom passed away. Dad’s health was declining. Trips to the doctor constant.
How am I going to handle all this with a demanding job that also requires my constant attention? As a business owner and manager, how can I keep juggling it all before something breaks?
And so I decided. I’m resigning and going to focus on taking care of Dad. Family first.
That is the decision a friend of mine had to make.
It was a tough choice as they had a thriving business and life was good.
But life often has different plans in store.
Luckily this friend had prepared financially and was able to take this often scary leap to focusing on family without having to overly worry about the financial side. His wife was making enough to support the family along with savings.
They would survive until he could sort out his next steps.
How about you?
Could you do it?
Or are you just struggling paycheck to paycheck trying to make ends meet? What would happen if you lost your job?
What would happen if one of life’s little (or big) challenges hit?
What would you do?
Here’s the thing.
It isn’t a question of IF this is going to happen to you. It is a question of WHEN.
What are some of these life derailleurs that have big financial impacts?
Consider some of these…
Company goes Bankrupt
Company Loses Market Share and Downsizes
Technology changes that make your job replaceable
Age Discrimination (becoming less marketable)
Health (yours or that of a loved one that requires your intervention)
Divorce or Marital Strife
Tight Finances Requiring a second job or new job or non-working spouse having to go to work
Burnout (just can’t do the job any longer)
So what do you do when these things happen?
Here are the key areas you need to look at to be prepared.
How’s Your Savings?
Financial talk show host Dave Ramsay talks about the Emergency Fund – having 3-6 months of savings in case of a disaster.
That is a great start but if you’re nearing the middle of your career or later you need a lot more. Here’s why.
At that point if you lose your job you either need to find a new job in the same industry, start in a new industry, or retire on your savings.
New Job, Same Industry
If you look for a new job in the same industry, your reputation (assuming it is good) and network (assuming you’ve developed one) should give you a leg up on job opportunities. However if either of those are not in place, or you’re out of work for more than a couple months (average is 8 months) or you had a role that was a high level role that isn’t readily available in the market, you could be in trouble. And 3-6 months really isn’t going to save you. And you’ll find yourself having to downsize your house and cutting spending to the bone to survive.
New Job, New Industry
So what about starting in a new industry? That is even uglier since you don’t have connections (8 of 10 jobs are landed that way) and you don’t have industry knowledge (that is what businesses pay more for in managers and execs ). So you’d likely have to take a significant step backwards in role and pay and that is if you could land a job at all, since few people want to take a risk on an overqualified hire who’s likely to leave as soon as they can land a job in their original industry.
Retire? If you planned well then do it. Maybe with consulting on the side to ease into it. But if you didn’t plan well then this is out the window.
So those situations look pretty scary. What can you do to better prepare?
Here are some things you can do.
Give Yourself Breathing Room
First is to create a better nest egg. Get it to one year of expenses. You do that by creating an income to expense gap that allows you to boost your savings from every paycheck.
Figure out first what you can cut out to create that savings. Here are some things you might look at.
Bring your lunch – $7 X 5 days X 50 weeks ==> $1,750
Eat home for dinner – 2 days out a week X $35/meal for family X 50 weeks ==> $3,500
Make coffee at home – $3 X 5 X 50 ==> $750
Cut the cable – $100/mo X 12 ==> 1,250
Shop your insurance (car and homeowners) ==> $500
Shop for groceries with a list (especially at Costco) $100/week X 50 weeks ==> $5,000
Total Savings just from these ==> $12,750
Now that is a great start. But if you want to pour some rocket fuel on to gain ground even faster (or if you must have your NFL Sports Network) then consider the side job, freelance work, side hustle, Uber/Lyft, etc.
Doing that you could easily add another $200 to $2,000 a month that can go straight into your savings (minus a little for taxes and other incidentals).
Do that and now you’ve got $15,000 to $35,000 a year to boost your savings with.
The side benefit of that is it also gives you something to fall back on (especially if it is freelancing or a side hustle business you could make a full time income with pretty quickly if you lost your job).
That is peace of mind.
So where are you now? What do you need to do next?
Happy to share mine! Mine was through a freelance website PPH. I had the idea for an explainer video service. Back before explainer was a word or thing.
The service was based on explainer videos I had created for myself. I put it together as an offering and someone bought it. This confirmed that there was demand so I kept going! Began to develop the offering and my brand as things grew. Let me know if you want more of the story or more info
I do graphic design and sent an email to a number of my closest business contacts. Told them what I was doing, where I was hoping to taken it, and to please keep me in mind if I could help. One person responded and hired me to do the graphics for her campaign for Board of Directors for a national association. Word of mouth picked up from there! She continues to be one of my biggest cheerleaders and advocates, and has become a mentor.
Al Clunnie (Side Hustle Success Lab)
Way back I was chatting to an old friend and telling him I was learning about web development. He said he knew a guy that needed a website and put us in touch. That was it! I’m still working with this client on retainer even though I would never take the same type of client now.
CherylAnn Crego (Side Hustle Success Lab)
Right after my marriage ended, before the divorce, an acquaintance asked me to lead sing in his gypsy jazz band, for pay. I know it was motivated by compassion. It was a kindness and it gave me the confidence I needed to become a voice teacher. That was 6 years ago. I started teaching 4.5 years ago. I think our rural area really needed a voice teacher and I filled a void I hadn’t recognized existed. I was used to traveling 6 hours to see my teachers. I said I was doing it and a year later I had a full studio of voice and piano students via word of mouth. When I think back, it makes me emotional. There is a lot more to that story…like it never could have happened if I’d still been in that marriage, I’d forgotten/not listened to the people who said I should do it for years before I did, when I decided to do it I did not believe I was ready or qualified but showed up, transparently, anyway. This work doesn’t pay all the bills but it is consistent and brings me joy.
2. We started teaching cooking classes out of our home. Then someone who knew we were doing that asked us to be private chefs for a vacationing family. Since then, private Chef work is making a bigger percentage of our income every month. We’ve done a lot of FB ads, have a very active FB page, and stay in front of our email list.
Really, long story short, we take risks and show up, giving all of ourselves to each person/family we work with. And we have a couple angels who helped us launch in both music and cooking. I hope to do that for someone someday…be an angel that launches them into their fulfilling future.
Tracey Minutolo (Side Hustle Success Lab)
When I made the decision to offer virtual services for podcasters, I reached out to a few podcasters I’d been following for awhile and asked them a few questions (which looking back now, amounted to some solid target market research) about what types of tasks they outsourced to virtual assistants, what they liked/disliked about their experiences with VA’s so far, etc. Two of those three podcasters became paying clients.
Jo-Elle Byrne (Serious Bloggers Only)
I’m lucky, my friend works as an SEO specialist and decided to set up his own business. He landed a gig for a shed company of all things and asked me to do the content marketing for it. Believe it or not it was a great gig and I learnt a lot from doing it. Plus, being paid to write was the dream right?
Becky Gallion (SH Nation)
Threw up a post on craigslist.
Matthew Miele (Hobby Hustler Community)
Hey Mike, for me it was reaching out to local businesses and offering help for free.
I know some people who went straight to Facebook ads to an offer and that worked well too.
Dharmesh Barot (Hobby Hustler Community)
I got my first photography client when I offered free photos as part of a dog trainer’s classes.
My first freelance design client was one of the acquaintances I met during social events. Told them what I do and what I can offer to their part time business. They were so happy I got my 2nd project with them soon after.
I learned this technique from a book I read “Getting The Money” by Susan Lassiter. She said tell everyone you meet what you do and soon people will start recognizing you.
It took me 2-3 events and coffees to show my value.
Brian Seim (SH Nation)
I just started selling my services to non-profits I was involved with.
Kelly Boyles (Hobby Hustler)
Back in 1985, can’t recall how I found this guy. But I wrote five holiday-themed poems for a funeral home for $100. You can’t make this stuff up!
Jonathan Wilson (80/20 Entrepreneurs)
I circled back around to people I’d formerly worked with in other places.
Donna Regen (Serious Bloggers Only)
Mike McRitchie I am now getting some paid gigs after a few unpaid gigs, but the unpaid gigs served as published work samples, and that is what helped in securing the paid gigs. So I would would say they are worth doing.
Hey there Mike. My shortened story goes something like this…9 years ago, my son was born to us through adoption. Shortly before that, I was contracted to created an animated training course, much like Cardone University, for the 10xers in this group. I have 20 plus years of training and instructional design experience and that was the first assignment that caused me to get a DBA, buy my own software versions and learn how to do all pieces of the project.
So, not only did I have to learn some of the software, but I knew that at anytime during the project – our son could be born and make us new parents. I was under a time crunch, but finished it without the audio – they contracted that piece separately and paid me accordingly. That was the first major project that taught me on the fly that I could do all aspects from the writing, development and animation!
Before that project, I didn’t think I could do it, but the project sponsors loved my corporate work and trusted my services, so I had to trust in me!!! This was not my first gig, but my first LARGE-SCALED gig!
Heston Glenn (80/20 Entrepreneurs)
Desperation. I was trying to pitch a family member a pyramid scheme, and failed. I needed money, so I asked them if I could coach them in their current business for free for a month. They agreed, and we’re still going 5 years later.
Brandon Traynor (Hobby Hustler Community)
Not a huge break, and not my main business, but a while ago I actually got a job delivering pizza 2 days a week just to get to know the owner. Now I run the social media for all his stores for a good bit of money a month. Obviously no longer deliver pizzas
Brian P. Hower (80/20 Entrepreneurs)
I learned something of great value, applied it first for myself. It proved to be a fantastic system and concept. At that point I knew that just about every existing small business and/or business minded individual/entrepreneur should also be doing it. I had no trouble gaining my first paying client because I am supremely confident that my offer is great, that they need it and that I am the best one to help them.
The business card doesn’t use the latest technology, but it is still a very powerful marketing tool. This infographic from Colourfast looks at its influence and gives you some advice on how to print the perfect business card.
This isn’t an area where you should try to save a few bucks as cheap looking business cards will leave a bad impression on people. 39% of people would not do business with someone who had a cheap looking business card so don’t make this mistake.
Make sure you include all the vital elements on your business card. Take your time on this as the last thing you want to do is end up with 500 business cards that have a discrepancy or a typo.
remember that because you have printed a load of cards; it doesn’t mean that you should give them to absolutely everyone. Be a small bit selective about just giving them away and a good rule of thumb is to give one to every person with whom you shake hands. Check out the full infographic for more information.
It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters. – Epictetus
Life is filled with joy and sadness, success and failure, good and bad times, hope and despair and good and bad health with few exceptions for every living being.
We can play the role of the victim or the victor…it’s all a matter of attitude.
In truth, we can’t change what has happened to us only how we deal with it. I don’t believe what happens to us is a matter luck or chance and in most cases we ourselves are masters of our own fate. We chart our own course often with the actions we take but also our inactions.
No matter what happens to us good or bad we have a cognitive choice as to how we react to the circumstances. We can act positively or negatively, optimistically or pessimistically, in a state of denial or indifference or we can accept it and move on.
However, it is natural for us to be depressed or feel sorry for ourselves when we are negatively impacted, for example by the loss of a loved one, a divorce, being fired from a job, or facing a serious illness; there is a grieving process and it takes time for healing and acceptance.
I have learned that adversity as bad as it may be also brings with it the opportunity for personal growth that only experience can bring and in the end can produce a positive outcome…if nothing more than how to face and deal with the next challenge that befalls us.
Often we fail to realize the example we set for those around us based on how we deal with a difficult situation, so just because I feel miserable doesn’t give me the right to make others feel bad.
Finally, happiness and unhappiness is not a thing but a belief so we are as happy as we chose to be. It’s not something we get from life but rather what we bring to life.
As project manager, you’re responsible for successfully completing a project. You are the person who leads your team and is ultimately responsible for your project’s success. As a project manager you work on the scope, detailed requirements, project planning and completing the deliverables. You are responsible to the team and your client.
But being a good project manager is not just about handling all the core project management details. How you deal with the people involved is equally critical.
Emotional intelligence, the capability of individuals to recognize their own emotions and those of others, discern between different feelings and label them appropriately, use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior, and manage and/or adjust emotions to adapt to environments or achieve one’s goal(s), is a necessary quality in an effective project manager.
This is because project management requires getting results through others and managing the emotions that go along with pushing team members (and vendors and clients) to deliver their work on or ahead of schedule to ensure a project’s success.
Emotional intelligence is all about how to manage your own emotions and the emotions of others. Through emotional intelligence, you as a project manager, can regulate your own emotions. And by doing this you can also calm down the emotions of the stakeholders.
Emotional intelligence helps build effective teams and increases your chances of achieving a successful project result for a number of reasons.
Boost Your Success Rate
Successful projects require care and attention. And a positive result often lies in the hands of the project manager. A project manager is the one who understands the full nature of the project, and has the technical skills to manage the project. The intelligence of project manager plays a decisive role in completing the project on time and under budget. But emotional intelligence boosts the success rate, as emotional intelligence enables the manager to keep team members calm and focused as they do their work. Studies show a positive work environment just gets better results.
Build Healthy Relationships With Your Team
As a project manager, you guide your team and lead them through your directions. You also provide daily tasks to your team members. Although the success of your project is ultimately dependent on you, the project manager, your chances of success go up substantially when you have the cooperation of your other team members.
Teams cooperate only if they view you as a reasonable manager. To achieve that positive relationship with your team, you need to be actively listening to your team members. This will help you understand the problems each team member has and provide solutions.
Helps to cope with negotiations
Project manager not only deal with the team members but also clients. He has to negotiate with others much of the time and empathize with others points of view. Managing the budget is also the responsibility of the manager, and for this purpose, he may have to present to lenders, bankers, or internal finance and executive management. During those sessions, a project manager must present his whole project scope to them to demonstrate how the money will be allocated and how the project will generate a profit or stay on track if it is a mid-project evaluation. This will help reassure the financial managers and stakeholders that the money will be used properly and provide an appropriate return on investment in the desired timeframe.
Most clients struggle to explain their requirements in front of the project manager and many times choose not to implement the manager’s suggestions. In such situations, a manager must grasp the system’s limitations and boundaries – this can only happen if he refuses to be drawn in to the drama and regulates his emotions. In this situation where emotional control is a key factor for success, emotional intelligence is mandatory.
Improvement of communication skills
Technical skills and soft skills are the essential to effective project management. Emotional intelligence provide the calmness necessary for the project manager to develop and hone his communication skills. Effective communication skills help a project manager progress through his career as these skills are highly valued in all areas of project management work and help him progress up an organization. This effective communication style also attracts like-minded people to join a company or team. And because of that a company can grow.
Where you go from here
Emotional intelligence plays a positive role in the success of a company and should be a core skillset in every project manager. A project manager with a short temper will be ineffective. Where a solid project manager has the technical skills but is deficient in emotional intelligence, the project manager must improve his emotional intelligence to get better results.
Author Bio: Jessica has been writing for websites and blogs for three years now. She has been writing in various niches with her main focus on business, finance, and social media, and technology. Currently, she is working with Aurion UAE who is providing assistance in ISO certification in Dubai. They are offering their services across all states of UAE.
Balancing my day job, kids, exercise, everyone else’s to do lists, etc.
Fitting a side hustle into your life, or making time for a hobby or other passion often takes time. Sometimes lots of time.
So how do you do it?
I find it comes down to three things.
Big Blocks of Time
Let’s start with …
What do you want to get accomplished?
For me getting you this email each week is something I prioritize. It is important. It is something I’ve committed myself to doing. Every week. For at least 50 weeks a year. Without missing.
In order to make that happen I need to generate ideas. I get these throughout the week. Sometimes they just pop into my head. When they do I dictate them into my “Google Keep” app on my phone. I just started using this (used a phone post-it note app before). I also get them from listening to business podcasts on my way to work. Or I get them from other people’s emails I subscribe to. Or they come from random conversations I have throughout my day.
So now, when I sit down to put this ezine email together I have several ideas to choose from for the weekly core essay.
Then I comes to writing. And that is about…
Focus is critical in writing. I find that when I write I need UNINTERRUPTED TIME to get an article written. This is because when you’re in creative mode, the thoughts cue up off each other. So you just need to really write until you’re done. Until the words stop coming.
Then you can edit later.
But if you don’t knock out the piece uninterruptedly, you’ll find you lose the essence, the passion in the writing. And it will seem like where you picked up again doesn’t match the feeling you get in the first part.
I tend to be a logical person so the editing piece is easy for me. But the writing I often struggle with. But it is amazing when you get into that zone. That zone of complete focus on the story. In the moment. How everything flows easily and you just enjoy the process. It is freeing and fun.
But getting into this zone often takes being free from distractions and being in that place where you can just get it done.
And this is where…
Big Blocks of Time
This is something I got from one of my mentors, Kevin Hogan. He was all about finding a block of time when you won’t be interrupted by responsibilities, kids, housework, etc. A time when you were in your “Happy Place”…okay that was a Happy Gilmore movie reference :).
The thing is, if you only have an hour to do the work, it is highly unlikely you’ll make much meaningful progress on any major initiative. For this ezine, because I’ve done the prep work I can usually knock this essay out in under an hour of writing. May take another half hour to get the rest of the ezine put together and scheduled for the Monday 11AM distribution.
If I’m doing a bigger project. Like revamping my website, creating a landing page for an opt in offer, or spending some serious time thinking about my business, then having 2-4 hours…or even a full day…can result in tremendous boosts in implemented ideas.
It’s Not Magic…or maybe it is.
Looking back at a side hustle that started out as testing the waters with a blog and website, with no paying clients nearly three years ago to now having a thriving part time business where I get to work with people who want to drive their career or business forward. Working with doers who are making things happen in many different arenas. It is cool. Here’s some of the things I’ve been a part of from this experience.
Resume/LinkedIn Profile Writing –Last count 45 clients. I’ve learned from them about – IT, Fashion, Event Planning, TV/Radio Production, Wine Business, Sales, Staffing/Recruiting, Women Leaders, Startups, Commercial Construction, Wireless and Wireline Telecom, Comcast and Frontier TV Home Installs, Drones for Business, behind the scenes insights to the war in Afghanistan from someone who was in the main triage center there. I’ve worked with CEO’s, Startup Founders, Board Members, Startup Incubator Leaders, Podcasters, Recruiters, a ton of people in Telecom, construction managers, project managers, Directors, VP’s, Sales and Business Development Experts, coordinators and administrative staff.
Blogging – Having written over 200 blog posts and with guest posters on my site doing at least one blog post a week (50+ a year). It keeps me engaged, creative, and connected with my community (yes, that’s you). These posts show up on my website, reposted to LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook (since not everyone is a subscriber to my ezine yet).
Mondays with Mike Ezine – You’re either reading this because you’re on my weekly email list, or had this email forwarded to you by a friend, or saw it reposted later on my website or through LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook on those repostings. Here, like the blog, I’ve learned to be consistent. This is also the place I try to get a little more personal. Sharing my thoughts and stories – where my blog often has more formal articles, particularly with those guest posts on my site. My goal for the ezine is for you to learn something (often it is just triggering an idea you want to pursue that may not have anything to do with my article but just popped into your head anyway) and to have something fun and different to read to break up your Monday.
Marketing – Right now most of my business comes through referrals. From people who’ve worked with me or people who’ve seen my articles or heard of me through a podcast I was a guest on or from recruiters I work with (when they have a great candidate with a bad resume, they send them my way). Are these methods the best for getting clients? Yes and no. For me and the part time limited nature of my business they work well. If I needed a full time income I would probably need to take a different approach to get enough work. That might involve Google, Facebook or LinkedIn ads. It might mean more work with influencers – podcasters, recruiters, and others who work with the people I work with but in non-competitive ways.
For those of you who might be considering a job change, starting a side hustle, or jumping into a new hobby or project, consider some of the things I shared throughout this article. I would hope that it would help you guide your efforts so you could be more successful in your efforts.
I would love to hear some projects you’re working on. Shoot me an email (or comment when this hits my blog later).
And if I can help in your efforts, let me know about that as well.
Now go schedule and tackle some Big Blocks of Time and make something great happen!
The New Year has begun and some people will have plans to start eating more healthily. The problem with many of these plans is that they often fall by the wayside after a couple of weeks as maintaining a healthy diet is not easy. This infographic from HappyCleans aims to clear up the big problem of how misleading food labels can be. For example, two very popular words at the store are natural and organic and to the untrained eye they both mean very similar things. However, they it’s important to know that organic is a far more healthy option.
The labels on snack products are also worth understanding. You might think that it’s okay to eat a lot of a reduced fat snack, but remember these foods are still very unhealthy. Just because they are 25% less unhealthy, does not make them healthy. The reality is that while some food labels are beneficial, many of them are more marketing ploys than anything else.
Don’t let misinformation on food labels get in the way of your plans for a healthier 2018. Check out the full infographic for more information.
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