Managing Overwhelm And Finding Your Zen

By Paula Bailey

Respond to emails. Create new content. Brief VA. Develop new product. Make sales target. Check client agreements. Tweet this. Automate that.

Business can be so busy and so very overwhelming at times!

Ever find yourself in a big mess by mid morning, stressed out by what to do next because everything seems to be vying for your attention and feeling like you’re almost frozen by the overwhelm of it all?

You are not alone! After years of dealing with these feelings myself and now helping other ambitious business owners also conquer the emotional rollercoaster that is running business, I have some key tips for managing the overwhelm and elegantly bringing some zen into your busy day.

Seek First To Understand
Understand what overwhelm is. When we feel the tendrils of anxiety slowing curling around our gut it’s useful to know that overwhelm is really your mind projecting you into a future - a future that doesn’t even exist yet. A future that doesn’t ever have to exist either. Accepting this without judgement on yourself opens the gateway to being able to glide through those moments in business.

Play Observer
Rise above it. With your new knowledge of what overwhelm is, if you catch yourself going ’there’ change it up. Rather than living in it and letting your mind run rampant, rise above it. Literally. Imagine yourself in the clouds. Rise above your body for a moment and look down at  yourself. Play observer. Notice that you are not really in this non existent future and that you can choose to remain present.

Follow These Steps
Now that you are a little more present, follow these steps to move from chaos to zen.

  1. Be Still: Cease everything you are doing in that moment

  2. Now: Feel the seat beneath your bottom. Feel the floor beneath your feet.

  3. Breathe: As you tune into these sensations, slow your breathing down. Take a deep breath in, BIG breath out. Inhale, then exhale….

  4. Gratitude: As you notice the seat and floor beneath you, acknowledge the support they give you. Tune into the infinite support that is around your every second of your day.

  5. Reflect: Keep breathing and your reflect on this moment now. This perfect, now,  silent moment.

  6. Ask: What do I move forward on next? Choose one small thing that you can complete today. Begin it now with the commitment to complete it today.

  7. Peace: Continue on with your day knowing that you can come back to this now moment any time you need by using these simple steps.

I hope this helps to provide mindful peace in those times when business seems to be chaotic and overwhelming. Remember you always have all the resources you need to be make your awesome business the success you desire!

Paula Bailey is a mindset and performance expert for ambitious women in business. Known a the ‘Sassy CEO Strategic Planning Queen’, she teaches her clients how to build and scale their businesses using a unique mixture of mindset, consciousness, performance and planning strategies based on the fastest start companies on the planet. You can find her at paulabaileylive.com

The Joy Of Failure

By Smack Bang Designs

It’s our fault. We screwed it up from the start. We gave a word the wrong meaning. The dudes from Collins got it wrong. The peeps behind Merriam Webster missed the memo. Even the guys from Macmillan stuffed it up.

We made history of a word and left out a crucial part of its meaning. Don’t get me wrong, words have dual meanings and complex concepts for sure. But ‘Failure’ in its current definition has just about the solidity of Aeroplane jelly only 20 minutes into refrigeration. When I read the dictionary definition of failure, my brain does not compute. Because to me, the definition of failure should at least mention a thing or two about learning.

Failure is a state of inability to perform a normal function. Yes that’s correct, but what happens after that? Failure is a state of inability to perform a normal function to leverage change or learning. Better? I think so.

I understand that to some, failure feels like an ending, but I will never stop wholly believing that to fail is to leverage a point of change and learning. Failure is not only a steep and inspiring learning curve, but it is also a door to new experience, understanding and excellence. For those who receive failure with the right attitude, it can be an incredibly motivating kick-in-the-bum to do more, be more and get back on the dang horse. It can provide that perfect ‘a-ha!’ epiphany and draw us out of same-same. I would go as far as to say that failure is vital to our growth and continued approach to reaching our dreams!

  1. CURVY LEARNING
    Some people trade learning curves in Mexican back alleys for cold hard cash and a black eye. Some people trade learning curves for multidimensional designer drugs and raving bush doofs. Some people trade learning curves for family crises with no happy endings. We all trade learning curves for heart-ache, heart-break and a heart-shake. Without these experiences of hardship or ‘failure’, where would we be?

    I currently trade learning curves with a 24/7 revolving door of work, heated encounters with the ATO, a bank balance that constantly mocks me and being a young leader with a lot still to learn.

  2. GLASS CASE OF EMOTION
    Some days I’m in love with what I do for the sheer joy of creating and watching my vision come to life.

    Other days I wait anxiously to find out if something I’ve emailed off has reached the hands of a happy customer who appreciates the work, because if not, obviously I have failed as a human being.

    Other days I frump around because my latest marketing activity seemed to flop faster than an Adam Sandler blockbuster. Then of course there are the dark days where I close my laptop and consider becoming a greenskeeper.

    Like most people, I swing between various emotional states. And when I say swing, I mean a full-blown pendulum action – just ask my darling boyfriend. But even in my lowest of lows, my pitch black days when it feels like all I am is a 6-foot hot mess of epic failure, I still know, deep down in my anxiety-riddled heart, that right in that moment, I’m learning something.
     
  3. HOW BAD CAN IT BE?
    Think about your absolute worst-case scenario. That time you positively longed to melt into the ground below you and die a thousand deaths before gouging out your eyeballs with a teaspoon. When the taste of your perceived failure was so acidic that you couldn’t stand it. And ask yourself, 1. Can you handle it? and 2. Can you learn from it? The answer, will almost always be yes.

    Sometimes you need to hit the bottom of the bathroom floor to find the gemstones. While it can be agonising to endure and wrought with emotion, it’s important to allow yourself the freedom to fail. Often, the very act of failing – the mechanics of the process – reminds you how to muster the courage to see the silver lining in everything (cos just about anything is better than how you’re feeling in the pit!)

  4. BACK ON THE HORSE
    It’s in those dark moments, we need to get all bootcamp bad-ass on ourselves and force ourselves to get back up again. In life, and most certainly in business, real strength means picking yourself back up and trying one more time.

    Even after humiliation, anger and pain.

    Even after your 28th hard drive crashes into eternity with your holy grail of files.

    Even after the phone call politely parting ways with your services.

    Even after the revelation that you’ve missed the cut off to submit your work for a coveted award.

    Up you get, on your feet and face the flame. Stronger, wiser, and more determined than ever.

    You might make a risky business move and end up falling flat on your face. You might pour in your heart and soul into an idea only to find out that there is no market for it. Or perhaps your investment deal that looked oh-so-promising turns sour and leaves you for dead. The book deal crashes and burns. The new manager doesn’t last. The client hates your work.

    You feel like the star of an ‘epic fail’ Youtube montage.

    They don’t come up with monotonous cliches for nothing. For doesn’t kill you really will make you stronger, because when you try your best and learn from the rest, you never really fail at all. So welcome failure with open arms and a new perspective on what it means for your future!

This post originally appeared on Smack Bang Design but has been republished here with permission. For more great life advice visit their website.

The Friday Files

Floating into this week after a blissful babymoon in Noosa and truth be told it's been a little difficult getting back to reality this week after such a lovely break.  

With the exception of a few Instagram posts I actually took my own advice and chilled out, put the laptop away and really disconnected. The end result was a relaxing, soul-filled, loved up weekend with my partner and a chance to sit back and really soak up some deep thoughts about where this business is headed and what's in store over the next few months after the little one arrives. It's exciting, slightly terrifying and thrilling to explore the unknown and allow it to unfold exactly as it should.

This refresh has left me in a great mindset heading into the weekend which is a good thing as next week is set to be BIG.  Our next round of Digital Bravery is set to launch Monday and I'm so excited but there is so much to be done before that so I'll be working through the weekend and putting all the final touches on what will probably be my only course launch this year.

AND I have some other news to share!

I have teamed up with this amazing lady to give our website a long overdue facelift - check it out here and let me know what you think!

Have a wonderful weekend and don't forget to check some of my fav link love from the week below...xx Jac

  • Obsessing over this pilates studio I discovered while away
  • I'm really keen to explore more about kinesiology & business alignment - have you tried it? ⠀
  • Digital Bravery launches on Monday - this is my 'must do' pre-launch ritual
  • I need a little more hygge in my life
  • A few tips on how to grow your network
  • I'm a huge advocate for when bloggers get vulnerable - and real. 

Instagram Etiquette: The Do’s and Don’ts

By Blazenka Harvey

When I first started on Instagram in 2013 there was no manual, or set of guidelines on how to post, what to post and when to post. (Well, if there was, I certainly didn't read them as I was having too much fun posting content)! They also had 500 million fewer users in 2013 than in 2017 ... crazy, huh!

However, if you want friends (not enemies) and real business prospects on Instagram, there are some written, and unwritten rules, we can follow. It’s what we would call basic Instagram etiquette.

Don't:
If you are going to use someone else's image, please ask them for permission or at the very least, be sure to tag the person / brand so that they know you are using their shot. Don't claim it as your own. Instagram even promote's this point in their Community Guidelines: "Share only photos and videos that you’ve taken or have the right to share." Besides it being illegal, it's just polite to ask someone to use his or her image.

Be careful with using third-party apps too unless you have permission from the user to repost their images. These apps make it easy to violate the Instagram Terms of Use and Community Guidelines, as well as infringe the copyright of another user.

Don't:
Don’t fake your comments. You've probably heard about various apps that people use to automate their comments. There are many downsides to this. One, it's very easy to put yourself into a socially awkward situation. I've read numerous posts on social media where the comment does not match the image, and sometimes it can even be offensive. For example, someone may be posting about his / her sad news and the automated comment was “That’s totally awesome!” Um, not cool.

The second downside is that using these automated Instagram bots to comment or follow goes against Instagram's Terms of Service. So there's a good chance you could get your account suspended. If you are a business, it's not worth the risk.

Do:
Do leave genuine comments. If you want to increase engagement, tell people why you like their shot, respond to their question, or ask a question yourself.

Don't:
Don't use the follow/unfollow method to build your brand. This is probably the most contentious of the lot as there are many who use this method, and at the same time, many who abhor this method.

If you're not familiar with the follow/unfollow method, it basically involves following people on Instagram and then unfollowing them a couple of days later if they haven't followed you back. You do this in the hope that the person won't notice that they have been unfollowed.

I am not an advocate of this tactic for growing an audience and I believe that genuine engagement will pay off far greater dividends than purely focusing on growing an audience that may or may not be interested in your brand.

Do:
Do visit hashtags that your target audience uses and then view the posts that come up under that hashtag. For example, if you are an Etsy shop owner, your target audience may like to peruse hashtags like "handmade" or "pursuepretty”. Go to those tags and spend a few minutes scrolling through liking and/or commenting on images. 

Don't:
Don't post numerous shots in one go. It's one of the easiest ways to get an unfollow – it’s kind of like spamming people’s feeds. People don't like to be bombarded by shots.

Do:
Do post consistently and spread out your posts. If you are posting a few shots per day then space these out so that your followers do not get bombarded. If you post once a day then try once you have worked out your optimal time, post at this same time every day. That way your audience can look forward to your post at that time.

Hopefully, with these basic tips on Instagram etiquette you can grow your account in an effective and genuine way.

Blazenka Harvey is the founder of Mama Bear Communications, which specialises in Instagram Marketing + Stock Photography for personal and business brands. Blazenka’s aim is to educate and nurture other bloggers, creative entrepreneurs and small business owners with all the tips and tricks of growing your brand on Instagram. She has a wealth of marketing experience with over 13 years in the retail marketing space, plus a huge passion in photography. If you want to receive FREE stock photography each month and have access to her Resource Library head over to her blog and subscribe to the mailing list. You can also follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

5 Ways To Grow Your Network

ByJessica Ruhfus

Whether you’re looking to make new buddies, geek-out on your favourite topic, build a business network or just have your finger on the pulse, growing your network should be a priority no matter what life stage you’re in. If the word ‘networking’ gives you the heebie-jeebies, don’t worry! Here are 5 ways to grow your network without the *cringe*-factor.

Collaborate with Brands
If you’re in business or work for a pretty awesome company, there’s really no better way to grow your network AND the business at the same time. If I’ve lost you at ‘collaboration’ think GoPro x Redbull, Spotify x Uber, Gelato Messina x Tim Tam or Peter Alexander x Moccona - when two brands partner up for some cool marketing activities. I started Collabosaurus as a matchmaking platform that is perfect for matching up with the right, complementary, relevant brands for collaborations just like these and there are over 3000 opportunities to connect with! If you’re not sure where to start, we have a free 5 day masterclass series on the lot (you can check that out HERE)

Attend Events
They’re not what they used to be! There are so many great events going on at the moment. Today, I got a message from one of my event attendees letting me know that she signed Redbull thanks to connecting at the event! How amazing is that? Attend events that target people you want to connect with. A great place to start is on Eventbrite, local co-working spaces, websites like Work-shop or checking out festival scenarios like Vivid in Sydney.

Oct 8th Event-9990.jpg

Have a peek on Directories
There are so many directory listings in different niches that you can try as a way to connect with awesome people. LinkedIn is of course the obvious one, but there are also platforms such as Like Minded Bitches Drinking Wine, Business Chicks, Behance, Big Hearted Business & The League of Extraordinary Women where it’s far less *cringe* to reach out than sending a cold email. That weird term ‘putting yourself out there’ doesn’t have to be awkward! Find some niches that you fit into and see what directories and websites are out there connecting people in the space.

Ask your Existing Network
You probably have some pretty cool friends, suppliers and co-workers already, actively tap into that! Send an email to your top 10 people and let them know that you’re actively looking to expand your network in _____ space and would love an intro to anyone they know (who is as awesome as they are, of course). You’ll be amazed at the results, especially from your existing, legendary network.

Start Stalking on Instagram
I love a good stalk as much as the next person, but stalking doesn’t actually grow that network of yours, does it? My advice is to take stalking to a whole new level: find 5 brands or people that you are inspired by and actively comment on their posts. Please, for the sake of everyone’s sanity, steer clear of “love it” “100%” or “Nice work!”  - make your comments personalised, involved and interested, it will help you stand out. I know that if I have a client or a follower consistently comment on my Instagram posts (over on @collabosaurus, in case you want to join the party) I end up becoming virtual best buddies with that person. The amount of real-life friends and networks I have made through Instagram is astonishing and so much easier than you might think.

What are you waiting for? Start growing that network of yours and consistently invest time in building relationships. The saying “it’s who you know” really does ring true!

Collabosaurus is an online match-making platform for brands to source valuable partnerships with other brands. If you want to tap into communities around Australia, and even internationally, Collabosaurus is a go-to tool that makes sourcing and negotiating a strategic collaborations simple. It’s FREE to get started and view your matches.

Free Biz Boss Toolkit + Resource Guide.jpg