business tips

How to End Time Stealers & Manage Your Time Better

By Karen Lynn

When you are trying to balance growing your career with taking care of your family, it is nearly impossible to fit everything you need to do into a 24-hour period.  You may find yourself looking at the clock and realize it’s later than you thought it was, and think “Where did the time go?”  We have all been there.  However, if you feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day every day, you may be struggling with time management.  These 7 tips will help you use your time more efficiently so you can get more done and feel less stress!

Plan Your Day
Too much time is spent not sure what to do next or feeling scattered.  You get to work and you spend 10 minutes sitting at your desk not sure where to start, or you dive into one project, then halfway through you start something else.  When you get to your office, before you start sending emails or making calls, plan out your day as a combination to-do list, and schedule where you can determine what you need to do and schedule the time to make it happen.

Prioritize Your Day
As you create your daily plan, make sure you set your two or three highest priority items at the top and get those done first.  Not only is this great for taking care of your business, but it gives you a great sense of accomplishment!  Don’t set more than two or three items as high-priority though, or you’ll stress yourself out.  Getting in touch with a distributor about a missed shipment and vacuuming your office rug are not on the same level of priority.

Shut Off Social Media
Social media can be amazing, but it can easily turn into a huge time waster.  A one minute tweet about your business can turn into liking friends’ vacation pictures and taking quizzes about what type of person you are based on your astrological sign.  If you use it for your business, use a site like Hootsuite to create a few days’ worth of content and schedule your social media posts, or block out a time each day to post on social media and follow up.  

Take a Lunch
Spending all day plugging away at work seems like you’ll get more done than if you take breaks, but that isn’t necessarily true. Your brain does need some down time, and you need to re-fuel.  Schedule your lunch for a specific time.  You will naturally work more quickly to finish projects before your scheduled lunch time than if you were planning on eating while you work or skipping it altogether.  Plus, when you return to your work, you’ll have a refreshed mind and outlook.

Set Boundaries
If you work from home or you receive a lot of interruptions from others while you are working, those interruptions can eat into your productivity.  Stopping your project to take care of something else, then having to find your place and get back into it is a major time-stealer!  If you struggle with unnecessary interruptions, put up a “Do Not Disturb” sign.   This doesn’t work if you have customers or clients who need you and you need them, but it helps with children and co-workers if you work in an office.  If you worry about hurting feelings, but you can’t be interrupted, tell the person, “I want to devote 100 percent of my attention to helping you, and I can’t if this project is hanging over me.  Let me finish this, and I can give you my full attention.”  

Avoid Multi-tasking
Trying to do two (or more!) projects at once seems like a great idea, in theory.  However, dividing your focus actually takes an overall longer amount of time than if you would have done one task first, then the second one.  You are also much more likely to make an error if you divide your concentration and having to correct it will waste even more time.  Start a project, finish it to completion, then more onto the next thing.  If you get an unavoidable interruption, focus on that until you can transition back to your original project.

Delegate Tasks
It’s easy to slip into the “I’ll do it myself” mindset.  You know that when you do something, it is done to your specific standards, and it’s hard to let go of that control.  However, if you have employees working for you, you hired them to help you.  Let them help you.  The same goes for kids, too.  If you’re tired of coming home to a messy house, even the smallest child can help pick up the mess.  Don’t be afraid to let others shoulder some of the load.

For more information and great tips on how to de-stress your busy mom life, click here to sign up for my free newsletter and receive a free gift. I also offer a free complimentary phone session if you’d like to take advantage of this opportunity and de-stress your life.


Karen Lynn is a certified Life & Holistic Health Coach and the founder of CoachKarenLynn and the creator of the “From Frazzled to Fabulous” programs. Which helps mom entrepreneurs find health, balance and an amazing life of their own design.

Karen Lynn mentors mom entrepreneurs to create time in their busy days, so they can feel focused, relaxed and productive in their business & their lives. As a single mom who has worked in both the corporate world, and has owned own businesses, Karen understands the challenges that busy working moms are facing these days.  She designs her programs to fit easily into a busy moms lifestyle. She is a Certified Life Coach and Holistic Health Coach, with 10 years experience in the Health & Wellness field.

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

Managing Stress & Anxiety Whilst Running Your Own Business

By Amanda Cavallaro

‘Stress should be a powerful driving force, not an obstacle’ – Bill Phillips

Business, can be both an empowering experience and a battle of stress and uncertainty all at the same time. The stress of growing your business and the day to day tasks that come with it, the ongoing uncertainties of ‘will I make enough money’, balancing work/life commitments whilst maintaining your own health and self-care. Stress is common amongst entrepreneur’s and surprisingly the right amount in short bursts CAN be healthy for a business, it can help you stay more alert and improve performance levels! Unfortunately, when stress turns into anxiety is when it can become a detriment to your health, emotional wellbeing and business.

There is no doubt that running your own business can be a whirlwind of thoughts, emotions, fears and stresses. The key to stress is not only learning how to handle it but also learning how to channel that stress and anxiety into a positive driving force and energy to fuel creativity, passion and innovation throughout your business. There are several challenges that come with running your own business such as, workload, staff and customer management, maintaining a Healthy Balance (Home/Work), financial Stressors and a change of conditions (Product demand, Environmental and External factors). These challenges can often result in prolonged stress and anxiety which can appear in both physical and non-physical ways in the body. Here are some common (although not restricted to) signs to look out for..

  • Feelings of Overwhelm

  • Frustration

  • Irritability

  • Fatigue

  • Loss or change in appetite

  • Problems sleeping

  • Headaches, muscle tension

  • Decrease in Immune System (find yourself getting sick more often)

  • Nausea

  • Constipation/Diarrhea

  • Racing heart

  • Feelings of Unhappiness

  • Feelings of Guilt

  • Constant Negative Thinking

  • Memory Loss

Symptoms differ from person to person, I guess it’s fair to say that we all deal with pressure, stress and anxiety so differently. Each individual will notice they experience those symptoms with different intensities and frequencies. So, what do I do if I am feeling this way I hear you ask??? Below I have included some of my Top Tips to help you better manage your stress and anxiety whilst running your business and improve your performance.

1. Have realistic expectations of yourself and the business.
As we all know we are so hard on ourselves! Ensuring you set realistic expectations of yourself as well as the performance of your business will minimize guilt and disappointment. The key here is to set goals or have expectations that are realistic and within the capabilities of you and your business. Be specific when setting goals this allows them to be more measurable and as a result more achievable.      

2. Celebrate your Wins
We are so quick to mourn our losses or focus on our stressors that we often forget to celebrate our wins. It is so important to be mindful of this rather than being caught up in the moment and automatically placing your focus on the next task. Your wins big or small are just as important to fuss over as your ‘losses’, it can be motivating and a great way to remind you to focus on the positive elements rather than the negative. This can be something simple you do for yourself and or your staff (such as going for lunch).

3. Sleep and Eating
The importance of good Sleep is underrated in our go-getter society. Sleep is not only crucial for our day to day functioning and health, but also our bodies way of having some time out to heal and re focus. Lack of sleep not only heightens your anxiety, impairs your judgement and affects your memory but also lowers your immune system. A good balanced diet is also another essential to your health, wellbeing and performance. It can be very easy to skip meals and survive on caffeine when busy with work. It’s sometimes so much more convienent to just reach for the easy option... or even at times nothing at all! Food preparation is great for those busy days, having easy on hand snacks to munch on (such as fruit, healthy dips and vegie sticks, prepared salads etc.). H2O is also another important one, keep a bottle at your desk as a reminder and be creative by adding fruit and fresh herbs such as mint to your water to make it more tasty and exciting!

4. Communication is Key!
If you have staff working with you in your business, communication is key! Discuss an open communication channel to allow everyone to be free to discuss concerns or worries they may have or you may want to bring up in relation to their work. Being open with each other reduces the anxiety and apprehension that sometimes comes along with dealing with disagreements or not seeing eye to eye. As a business owner, it is also very beneficial to have someone to regularly talk to such as a close friend or relative or even a business coach, psychologist or counsellor.

5. Maintain a healthy Work Life Balance
The temptation to give up all your time and energy and place it in to your business when it’s your own is very common amongst business owners. You want to do the best you can and give it your all. This can result in long work hours at the sacrifice of your family and heath. It is super important to set healthy boundaries in order to maintain a good balance between work and home life to prevent burnout, especially when working from home. Some of these boundaries may include setting specific work hours (9am-5pm) and then no work-related calls or emails after that time or setting aside allocated time to work on answering emails etc. out of those hours. One of those boundaries may include having weekends off to spend with friends and family or just time for you to unwind and re energise for the week ahead. Be sure to look out for warning signs and act accordingly.

6. Keep Active
Physical exercise is not only good for our physical wellbeing but also our emotional and mental wellbeing. It produces all those happy hormones we LOVE and gives us more energy. It is important to keep active especially if you are stuck behind a desk or computer all day. Get in the habit of scheduling time in your week for a walk, jog or even a class of your choice to get those muscles moving!  

7. Take a Break
We are working harder than ever and unfortunately it is at the cost of our physical and mental health! Just because it is YOUR business and there is no one there telling you to go and have some lunch or take a simple break, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it – be sure to take a lunch break and schedule time throughout your day even if it is 10 min time slots to stretch or go for a quick walk. We all know the feeling of a mind block, sometimes a quick change in environment gets those creative juices flowing again and gives you the recharge you need to keep powering through!

Many of us go by the concept that if our business is not the TOP priority in our lives we are not doing everything we can to make it successful. That we are in a sense ‘neglecting’ something that could be ‘better’ or ‘more’ amazing than we could ever imagine. The matter really isn’t that at all, the reality is that by making our selves the top priority in our lives, our business as a result will flourish.  

Amanda Cavallaro is a Anxiety Coach, Mum and face behind The Anxiety Wellness Queen. She is passionate about reducing the stigma associated with mental health and making a difference in the management and approach to treating anxiety. Amanda loves to travel and cook, she find it very relaxing and therapeutic. In the last 2 years her business has moved solely online and now works with clients all over Australia via phone and skype to manage their anxieties. Amanda has recently started a blog to share her knowledge and passion with the world.  You can find her on Facebook or Instagram.

Photo by Verena Yunita Yapi on Unsplash

8 Reasons To Choose Squarespace Over Wordpress

By Rachel Gadiel

One question I hear all the time is how to choose the best platform for your website.

I’ve experimented with various platforms including Wordpress, however in recent years, I’ve become a Squarespace convert and now I host all of my websites with them.

It’s the platform I use for my clients’ websites and it’s the platform I recommend most often to anyone looking to create a beautiful, well-executed, mobile responsive website.

That’s not to say I wouldn’t recommend Wordpress - I believe Wordpress to be an incredibly powerful and robust platform - plus it can make for a lovely website, but at the end of the day it comes down to your specific needs; your skill set; and how hands-on you want to be with your site.

Many people opt for a Wordpress site simply because their designer or website developer recommend it; or because they see the insane number of plugins and programs that can be integrated.

However, in both of these scenarios you can end up finding yourself out-laying significant costs as your site evolves - simply because you don’t have the time or expertise needed to maintain the site and you end up needing to pay someone to help.

Ask any person who is starting a new business how much time they have to dedicate to learning code to configure their website and make changes - the answer is always: not a whole lot.

So today, I’m sharing 8 reasons why I recommend Squarespace as the best option for aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners to launch a web presence, with maximum impact.

 

1. Squarespace offers an all-in-one hosting and publishing solution.The most significant difference between Wordpress and Squarespace is that Squarespace offers an all in one web publishing solution, with all of their services including hosting and publishing bundled together.

Given this, it offers new business owners simplicity, ease of use and the convenience of having their website, hosting and publishing tools all safely housed in the one platform - which is a very attractive offering to time-poor entrepreneurs and business owners.

The biggest upside to this means that you don’t need to worry about having multiple providers when it comes to your domains and hosting.

The integration Squarespace provides with third party domain providers is brilliant, making it a seamless process to integrate your domain from providers like Google, GoDaddy and Blue Host.

Plus, it also offers the ability to connect multiple domains and then choose a primary domain and configure all other domains to point to your nominated primary domain.

It is important to note that your website code base ultimately belongs to Squarespace as it is hosted on their servers.

But, unless you have a very specific reason as to why your site requires self-hosting (for example, organizations like banks and telecommunications companies have unique security requirements), given the level of convenience Squarespace offers, the benefits are overwhelmingly compelling.

 

2. Simplicity and ease of use.The simplicity and ease of use of Squarespace is not just limited to their hosting and domain bundling - it extends to their entire publishing platform.

Not only is it easy to navigate your way around the various functions of the site, the seamless process it offers users to update images, copy, add pages, forms, newsletter integration, or audio files, make it an incredibly attractive option.

Users need zero coding experience to navigate their way around and the highly intuitive platform, making it a breeze to use.

 

3. Beautiful range of fully customizable designs.Given Squarespace is a closed source platform, the only designs available are the templates they create and offer to their customers.

I see this as a huge benefit as there are so many beautiful design options to choose from. In the majority of cases, users will be able to find a design that matches their requirements.

And if not, they can tweak the templates via the ‘content blocks’ Squarespace offers to suit their needs.

What I love about Squarespace is they are continually updating their range of designs and there are always new designs being added.

4. Seamless eCommerce integration.
Opening an online store has never been easier with Squarespace. All stores integrate with Stripe and incorporate the appropriate taxes rules for your region.

Inventory management, coupons, discounts, order confirmations and invoicing are all taken care of within the platform.

 

5. Your website can grow and evolve as your business does.This is probably one of the main reasons why I’d go for Squarespace over Wordpress. I remember when I had my Wordpress site and any time I wanted to add a new page, or change the layout of something, I’d spend hours trying to work out how to do it, eventually getting frustrated by it and ending up pay someone to help me.

It is natural for your business offerings and services to evolve and grow over time. It should not mean that you need to hire a developer each time you want to add a new feature or page to your site and Squarespace makes it super easy for you to do so.

 

6. All designs are mobile responsive.64% of americans own a smartphone which means there is a strong likelihood the people checking out your website will be doing so from their mobile device.

Add into the mix the latest Google SEO ranking factors meaning organic search results will now take into account how well your site has been optimized for a mobile-friendly experience.

Never before has it been more important for your website to look amazing and offer an exceptionally seamless user experience across all devices, including mobile, tablet and web.

All Squarespace designs are fully mobile responsive, which essentially means that regardless of what size or type of device you are using to view a website, the design will automagically render to fit your screen.

No more having to configure multiple design layouts to work across various browsers; no more ugly designs randomly showing up because the design doesn’t work on a specific screen - none of these are a concern with your Squarespace website.

Even better - there is even a nifty viewer in the content management system to switch between your design and how it will look on each platform.

7. Cover pages are a smart way to promote special offerings, launch products or services and encourage newsletter sign-ups.
I
 love the ability Squarespace offers to create and add cover pages to your site which can be used to your advantage in numerous ways.

From promoting features, special offers or even to as a way to grow your newsletter database, you can put cover pages to work in just about anyway you want.

It also means that if you are just starting out and building your site, you can put up a cover page on your domain and start generating buzz for your site launch, along with capturing email addresses at the same time.

And, if at any point need to update your site design, a cover page will allow you to seamlessly make the transition between your old and new website design.

 

8. Squarespace support and documentation.In case you need more convincing at this point, I think it’s worth mentioning the fantastic support Squarespace provides their customers. Any time I’ve needed support with my site, or even just to ask a question, I’ve been easily able to have a live chat with one of the friendly Squarespace team members who are always incredibly helpful!

There is also a huge archive of support documentation available so it’s super easy to find the information you need.

Their documentation is written in plain English - meaning you don’t need to understand complex coding or design language - it’s written in a super digestible and straightforward way that is easy to make sense of.

Still on the fence? Here are a few questions to consider when choosing the best platform for your new website:

  • What is the most important thing you need your website to do for your business?
  • What are the main functions you need your website to perform?
  • Are you happy to get your ‘hands dirty' and learn some basic (and potentially more advanced) HTML and CSS?

Nothing gets me more excited than helping ambitious women launch their businesses to the world with a strong brand that gets you noticed.

If you’re in the market for a new website, I’d love to chat more about how I can help create a gorgeous Squarespace website for you that will let your dream clients find you; connect with you; as well as positioning you as an expert in your field.

How To Grow Your Business By Trusting Your Intuition

By Rachel Allan

You already know the answer. Before you were aware of the question, you already knew the answer. What you lack is the confidence to believe in yourself and trust your intuition.

When you are next deciding and you are not sure, focus on what your body and mind is telling you, this is your intuition guiding you.

Making decisions guided by your intuition will feel right, and will have more chance of successful outcomes. You will be committed to success, because it is on path for your goal achievements.

What is intuition? It is simply a feeling. Have you ever had a feeling that you shouldn’t be doing something or the feeling that what you are doing is just perfect. That is intuition. Next time you are stuck trying to make a decision toss a coin and make your decision based on heads – yes and tails – no. Once the coin gives you the answer how do you feel. Do you feel that it is the right decision or the wrong decision – this is your intuition working.

Here are my four top tips to using intuition in your business:

  1. Does it fit with your goals? The answer is simple

  2. Are you excited about the opportunity or project? Then give it a go

  3. Do you think it may be OK but not sure? Don’t rush a decision – give yourself 24 hours

  4. It doesn’t feel right. The answer is simple.

  5. Have confidence to make the decision

Once you believe in yourself, and trust your intuition, it will make the everyday decision making in your business, and your life, both easier and true to you. If you would like to learn more on intuition check out the free course, Getting Closer to Balance at www.rachel-allan.thinkific.com

Rachel Allan has been a business owner for 12 years, and a mum for 5½ years. On her business-and-baby journey she has learned a lot about life, business and herself. She shares her discoveries (and the wisdom of other parents and experts) with you in her new book, When Business Meets Baby. Rachel is honoured to be Sophie’s mum, and she is also an author, integrated marketer, entrepreneur and property investor. From 2007 she has shared her journey with her business and life partner Craig.

If you would like to discover more about Rachel and the services she offers, visit her at www.rachelallan.com.au.

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.

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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.

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