November 25, 2020
A handprint on glass with condensation (or steam) and water droplets

Four Ways You Can Share Of Yourself To Connect With Your Audience

I wasn’t planning on writing today. It’s the day before Thanksgiving in the U.S., and although I have a meeting today, along with some other business tasks. I was going to take it easy. It’s been a nice sunny day in Orlando and I was just going to enjoy that. But then Meghan Markle’s heart-wrenching personal essay in the New York Times Opinion section changed my plans. If you haven’t read it, go read it now and come back. I was especially compelled to write about her today because last night I finished the latest season of The Crown on Netflix. Holy frijoles, was that a wild ride through my childhood! Anyway, there are a few things that you can glean from this piece for your own writing, even for your business and beyond the takeaway message of just being kinder and more empathetic (that will also help your business). Be vulnerable. Meghan sharing her miscarriage in the first few paragraphs of this essay was exceptionally disarming. I was not ready. I knew this would be about COVID and just how tough it’s been this year with the title “The Losses We Share” (which, by the way, is doing double work there. She’s sharing about her loss, but she’s also talking about collective losses). This piece was the first time that she has publicly discussed it. And she started with an ordinary summer morning with her child which ended up heartbreak for her and for her husband Prince Harry, the Duke […]
November 12, 2020
A white man with glasses, a white button-up shirt, a black blazer, and jeans is walking with a phone to his ear. To his right is a white board with big black block letters that say PRODUCTIVITY

How to Better Respond to People When You’re Busy

Being a business owner means one important task you’re doing on a daily basis is reaching out to people. A lot us aren’t really fans of networking. It can be so awkward and strange, like you’re trying to force connections that aren’t really there. It can be nerve-wracking to meet new people (especially if you’re an introvert). Meeting people online is no different. Whether the person is a cold or warm contact, it can be a little scary to just say hi and try to get to know them. What if they don’t respond? What if I’m bothering them? What if they block me? All of that is possible. But it’s not the end of the world. But…what if they’re possibly unintentionally rude about connecting with you? Healthy Boundaries and How You Express Them Have you ever tried to get to initially know someone online and asked if they had time to chat and get a hard brush off? In a response to wanting to learn more about them and their business, I’ve heard things like I don’t schedule extra meetings or I only have time for client calls or other explanations that frankly are none of my business. The message you’re conveying to the person interested in getting to know you is that you’re not important. And that may not be your intention, but it’s not the nicest message, is it? Your idea of honesty isn’t necessarily a kind one. Just because you’re harried does not mean you get to […]
October 28, 2020
A stack of gingerbread cookies in a bakery window

Tasty, Customized Solutions — How I Work

Just wanted to share some insights into how I work and what you can possibly learn from it, especially if you’re a business owner. “Take what you need and leave the rest.” I love this idea from the recovery community because sometimes, we can get hung up on doing things by the letter of someone else’s idea of what works. And it’s something I’ve been thinking about lately in terms of my own business. For example, today I decided to take down my content creation packages. If you go to my services page now, there are no submenus. I have always sold based on what my clients need — and that is always bespoke and customized solutions. I had one (former) toxic mentor and one (current) supportive mentor suggest that I create these packages. And, it made sense at the time. I was excited to create services that I know people need. But none of them sold. OK — technically, one package did sell in an exchange for other mentoring services. But it was still customized! It can be really easy to blame myself, and sure. Maybe the value wasn’t clear enough. Maybe I wasn’t fully tuned into my ideal audience. And it’s true — I wasn’t tuned in enough because they typically don’t purchase this way. If I look at other colleagues and see how they sell their services, I typically do not see any packages. They sell services and the results of those services. That’s how my industry […]
October 20, 2020
Influencers have been accused of not being authentic, and for good reason. A woman holds out her pink cellphone and smiles into it.

What Does Being Authentic Online Even Mean Anymore?

Hey there, small business owner…we need talk about how to be authentic online. If you crave real, authentic connection with people — especially if your business is based on one-on-one interactions — then being online these days may feel like you’re walking into a dollhouse full of pretty paper dolls. But it really is important to have some sort of online presence, because people are looking for you. Whether you are online or not, as a small business owner, you are most likely the face of your business or brand. And with that, there’s a tension between keeping it professional, keeping it real, keeping it too real, and keeping it entirely fake. While being on social media and online as a business owner and content strategist, I’ve been struggling balancing all of those competing compulsions, especially as someone who had social media 1.0 as a young adult. ICQ. MSN Chat Rooms. Message Boards. sixdegrees. AIM. MySpace. LiveJournal. Remember those? All of these platforms were centered mainly around connecting, not making money. Social media 2.0 evolved into marketplaces — of ideas, lifestyles, products, and services. Connection is still important, but even the idea of having “content” is a part of this evolution. Now, social media is all algorithms and ads and corporatization and poor data security and governmental manipulation…truly, a mess. And yet, it’s generally a good idea to be on one of these platforms if you own a business. Believe it or not, you can still genuinely, authentically connect with […]
October 1, 2020
A white woman dismissively holds up her hand and looks away as a woman of color looks annoyed.

Checking Your Inner Karen — White Women in the Workplace

This a post I have avoided writing for years, because I just didn’t want to deal with the possible blowback of white denialism. But it’s on the 4th anniversary of the last day (September 30th) I worked for an employer in a 9-to-5 capacity. Hooray for self-employment and biz ownership! The Concrete Ceilings of Patriarchy and White Supremacy So it seems like a good time to reflect back on how patriarchy and white supremacy have been barriers in my career as an employee — by white women in particular, and how they uphold patriarchy and white supremacy explicitly and implicitly. And they don’t have to go full-on ballistic Karen to do that. These concrete ceilings I believe are the main reasons Black women end up being the fastest demographic of people who end up creating businesses and start-ups, but are still less likely to obtain funding (CNBC talks about it here). Simply put: Black women like me go into business for themselves because of the barriers of advancement in traditional employment. Aggressions, microaggressions, being consistently paid less than their white counterparts, being consistently passed up for promotion, full-on racist and sexist behaviors from fellow employees and managers…it all pushes Black women out the door. Black women create businesses mainly out of sheer necessity. And other marginalized groups, such as disabled folks and LGBT folks (and you can imagine the intersections if you’re queer, disabled, and Black), probably have to do the same thing because of the lack of work protections […]
July 27, 2020
Spongebob Squarepants Meme "Me Helping Clients" with a buff Patrick Star and "me trying to do stuff for myself" with Patrick Star with a nailed board in his head while holding a hammer.

Client Work vs. My Own Work

So I saw this meme that my friend and colleague posted the other day, and I thought, wow, this is at the heart of my business. We really do need each other to succeed because we can’t do everything by ourselves. It’s probably at the heart of your business, too. You realize that there are some things that people can’t necessarily do on their own — like heal from childhood trauma or recover from heartbreak or mourn the loss of a loved one. If you’re a therapist, intuitive, or any sort of healer, you’ve trained and gained experience helping others grow and live their best lives. For me, I’ve trained and gained experience in helping others consistently connect with the people they want to help through the written word — otherwise known as content marketing and strategy. And I want to make sure that people aren’t nailing themselves in the head when it comes to their own content! And sometimes, you just want to do that yourself — write your own content, post your own social media, have your own unique voice out there. But who has the time? I have admitted this before, and I’ll admit again — I also find it hard to carve out the time to create my own content. And sometimes, I feel like Patrick Star up there. And it’s not because I don’t know how to write. It’s all the other parts of my business that need my attention. And then, with the little […]
July 3, 2020
Kickstart Your Content!

New Service: Kickstart Your Content!

I wrote most of this on Instagram earlier this week, but here’s a slightly different version of something I’m really excited about. If you’ve been following this blog for a minute, you know the power of content. And maybe you actually have the time and expertise to write content for yourself. You may even enjoy writing.⠀ ⠀ Yet somehow, the time to get it posted just escapes. Client work comes first, a lot. And, a lot of times, it’s a lot more fun. I’m probably not supposed to say that, right? But it is more fun to work for others than it is to do the same for myself. ⠀ ⠀ Again, hello, meet my shoeless children, I am your happy cobbler! ⠀ ⠀ Eventually, though, your children need those shoes (yes, including mine).⠀ ⠀ So how do you go from being a little haphazard and random with your content to being a little more put together.⠀ ⠀ You need a PLAN.⠀ ⠀ The plan involves the what, when, and where. ⠀ What – what are you writing about?⠀ When – when are you writing and publishing?⠀ Where – what platforms will your content be published?⠀ ⠀ It’s just like how you would plan your day, except you’re planning your content. Typically, you need a calendar, where you schedule when you’d publish your posts.  And you make that content planning time sacred as much as you can.⠀ ⠀ Now with #COVID-19, scheduling time can be a lot harder, especially if […]
June 11, 2020
A Black Lives Matter protest outside of the White House. Proteters hold signs that say "WHITE SILENCE IS VIOLENCE" and "BLACK LIVES MATTER"

Protests and Pandemics: Ways to Cope, Heal, and Grow

Looking back at my last blog post, I can’t believe it was written in late March. So much has happened to me personally and globally that prevented me from writing here more frequently. But I am back — although frankly, it is extremely difficult to write about mental health in times like these, even though mental health is of paramount importance. Frankly, I’m feeling like this: It’s a bit absurd to keep going as if everything is fine, because everything is not fine. Since Memorial Day, after George Floyd was extrajudicially murdered over an alleged counterfeit $20 bill in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the U.S. has seen national unrest as we grapple with our bloody, racist history. And I’m sure the COVID-19 pandemic, with its resulting historic unemployment and economic impact, played a catalyzing role in mobilizing Americans, who inspired people across the world to look at their country’s colonial histories. So, you know, it’s a lot. And the protests have centered around police brutality of Black people, which has, in turn, propagated more police brutality. People are getting maimed by rubber bullets, and the use of tear gas (which can’t be used in international warfare according to Geneva Convention) during a pandemic of a disease spread through our respiratory systems — it’s especially cruel. I personally cannot watch all the videos of people being harmed by police because it’s traumatizing to watch. Children especially have been experiencing distress, from distance learning and not being able to see their friends and teachers. For […]
March 26, 2020
An infographic by the (Sheltering in place)

Sheltering in Place: Healthy Ways to Deal with Anxiety and Isolation

The Mental Toll of the COVID-19 and Sheltering in Place As more cities, counties, and states begin sheltering in place due to the coronavirus pandemic (including my county), life in the great indoors is becoming our new normal. A lot of us are working from home, trying to learn how to create routines for ourselves and our children. But today we learned that close to 3.3 million people applied for unemployment insurance in a single week. On top of the work and employment concerns, we’re encountering empty shelves in grocery stores, enduring increasing amounts of cabin fever, and probably, most of all — we’re worried. There’s so much uncertainty — of how we’ll pay our bills, if we’ll get sick, if we or our sick loved ones will get better, or if that cough is due to seasonal allergies or something else. It’s OK To Be Worried So I’m not here to say you shouldn’t be worried. This outbreak is a serious matter. In the U.S., our infrastructure has been laid bare and low. Hospitals are scrambling to find masks, gowns, ventilators, and more medical professionals to keep up with the growing amount of people who need to be hospitalized. The economy has essentially shut down because need to keep physically distant from each other to help contain this virus (and not like everyone is adhering to those recommendations). It’s a scary time. Worry and anxiety about the present and the future aren’t feelings you should shove to the side. […]
March 13, 2020
Things to do 1. Own today printed frame beside teal headset

So You Have to Work from Home? Here’s My Experience.

The Coronavirus and Transitioning Into Work from Home Life The World Health Organization has just declared the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) a global pandemic. And it’s a little scary, and that’s mainly because of how the American federal government is responding (hint: not very well). So as many businesses and events are shutting down, you may have to work from home (WFH). Online and offline, many people are offering tips about how to transition as we’re trying to implement more social distancing. And I’m here to give my two cents of advice, too. But first of all, I want to say flat out that it will be a transition, but you can do it! I’ve worked from home starting in 2007 when I had knee surgery, back when remote work isn’t as popular as it is now. That was for two weeks where I had to be on crutches. And, I admit it was strange. I lived with three other young women. In the morning, they all would go to work or school for the day. And then, I was left with myself. I called myself “the cat lady without any cats.” because I didn’t leave the house except to go to physical therapy for two weeks. There were times I enjoyed the solitude, but after my knee was stable enough for walking, I was happy to go back to work because it was weird to be by myself for 8 hours a day. Fast forward to now and I’m […]