Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Kate, err… I mean Catherine

There are not many things I would voluntarily set my alarm for these days.  But the Royal Wedding is one of them!

What will Kate, err… I mean Catherine wear?  Will the impending rain give us less opportunity to see her and her dress?  

We don’t know much about how Princess Catherine will spend her days once she settles into married life. What will her platform be? Which charities will she devote time and star power to? 

While William and Kate are bucking many long standing traditions, I can bet the future Queen will not have a career.  At least not a traditional one like us commoners.  She’s a smart cookie; she holds a Masters of Art degree, has held a position as an accessory buyer, and pre-engagement was rumored to be taking classes with famed photographer Mario Testino.  A life behind the camera?  Not much of a chance for that now.

Or is there?  My hope is that the monarchy will be open to Flexible Work Arrangements.  Let's hope that while traveling the world on her honeymoon, Kate doesn’t forget to pack her camera.  


Friday, April 1, 2011

ABC’s of Small Business Success

At SleeveShirt Consulting we’d like to take you on an inspirational journey to reach your career goals.  Are you just starting to think about launching a business?  Or maybe you are looking to build your brand and grow your customer base?  No matter what phase you fall into, together, we will build successful strategies to help you become the fearless entrepreneur you want to be. Here are some tips, from A to Z.

Anthem.  Choose a song that motivates you to focus on your goals.  Listen to it while you’re exercising, make it your ring tone or set your alarm to wake up to it and kick off your day with a smile on your face.
Barter.  There are ways to conduct business that do not include invoicing customers. Find a complimentary business that needs your services and find common ground on a trade agreement.
Communicate. Have you ever heard of anyone being looked down upon for OVER-communicating?  Ranked in order of importance; In person, over phone, via email, via text, and lastly, megaphone.
Drumroll, please!  Celebrate your successes- no matter how small. If you don’t pat yourself on the back, no one else will. 
Elevator Pitch.  A 30 second intro to your brand and your mission.  Don’t have one? SleeveShirt can help.
Freebies.  That’s right, I said the magical word: FREE!  Everyone wants a deal. Together we’ll brainstorm ways to market your product/service to customers and provide them with some valuable extras so they keep coming back for more.
Greed is good.  Be greedy about your time.  Time is money.
Humility.  Make a mistake? Own it.  Don’t hesitate to apologize and make good on the situation. 
Intention.  Setting an intention, different than setting a goal, allows you to focus on “being” in the present moment.  Let go of goal-oriented outcomes and instead look inward and ask yourself, “Where do I want to be (with my business/with my life)?”
Just Do It.  So you’ve been thinking about starting your own business for a few years, but just haven’t had the time…  What’s stopping you?  Fear? Don’t know where to begin?  Call me for a free consultation and we’ll get you on your way.
Kindness. Kill ‘em with it.  
Love thy neighbor.  I recently reached out to a number of local small business owners for advice and I couldn’t have gotten more genuine, helpful responses.  Your community wants you to succeed- reach out!
Mentor.  Don’t have one? Get one. Feel you would be a good one?  Sign up here:
Network.  With your facebook fans, with your chamber of commerce, with a local women’s group. You never know where your next customer will come from.
Pay.  Not a copywriter? Don’t pen your website. There is good value setting aside money to pay for expertise.
Question. Ask it:  “Do I have your business?”  You can’t be shy about this.  You have to close the deal.  Here are some additional tips:
Read.  About your industry, about your competition, about people who inspire you. Then share those good resources with your network.
Stamina.  If you are thinking about launching your own business, or are already self-employed, you know that it takes stamina and endurance to keep going.  Think of yourself like an athlete who is in training for the race of your career.
Travel: Outside of your comfort zone.  Sometimes we have to do things that make us uncomfortable just to break down the door and move past it.  It's good for the soul.
Underminers.  You know those folks in your life who tend to be on the more negative side? If you let them, they’ll just bring you down.  Avoid them at all costs! 
Vision.  Ever created a vision board?  I can walk you through 3 simple steps to achieve your most important goals in business, and in life.
White Board.  Oh how I love my white board calendar.  Thank you Board Dudes!  Organizational tools like this one help me visualize my to-do list and gives me a snap shot of my schedule so that I am able to stay on my game.  Are you on your game?
X factor. What will Simon Cowell be looking for on his new show?  The indefinable “something” that brings unique star power?  What is your businesses Xfactor? Let's define it together.
Yard Sale!  Cleaning out the clutter in your space allows you to focus on the task at hand. If you work from home, ensure you have a quiet, comfortable work-space free of distractions, and full of inspiration. 
Zero-tolerance.  Adopt it for ignorance, hostility, arrogance, wastefulness, dishonesty, and the complacent.

Ready to get started?  Call me to set up a free consultation.