Accounting Essentials for Entrepreneurs

Accounting can be overwhelming for anyone, and that’s especially true when you’re dealing with a small business or startup which may have unique financial needs, like renting desks in an all-in-one coworking space, and fewer accounting resources than larger businesses. Bookkeeping and taxes are significant costs for small businesses, but there are some simple strategies you can use to set your company up for success.

Create a Company Bank Account

Most jurisdictions require that business-related income and expenses can be easily separated from personal purchases and other transactions. Many banks have accounts that cater to small businesses, and some will provide introductory offers for further savings.

Remember that you don’t have to create a business account at the same bank as your personal checking and savings. Feel free to shop around for the offer an account that fits best with your company’s financial goals.

Carefully Track Expenses

It’s common for employees to use their personal funds for a variety of business expenses, whether it’s lunch with a client, travel costs, or gas in the company car. All of these expenses should be quickly and meticulously logged in order to keep track of tax-deductible costs as well as compensation from the business.

There are a variety of programs available to help you manage your personal and business expenses, and many are designed specifically for small businesses. These applications will automate and streamline many aspects of accounting that would otherwise be time-consuming and difficult to manage.

Structure Your Company to Minimize Taxes

Depending on your location and the size and type of your business, you may be able to structure your company in a number of ways. Different types of businesses are responsible for different taxes and other expenses, so the wrong decision could lead to unnecessary costs.

If you’re unsure of the pros and cons associated with each type of business, consider seeking help from a professional accountant. They will be able to walk you through the available options and make the decision that’s best for your company’s short- and long-term goals.

Send Invoices and Follow-up Quickly

While cash flow can work differently on a large scale, small businesses need to stay on top of all incoming payments. It’s important to send invoices promptly after work is completed in order to receive payment on time and be able to pay your own employees.

Getting too far behind on invoices can make it difficult to pay for all business-related expenses, so don’t be afraid to follow-up if a customer doesn’t pay on time. Many companies set up automatic follow-up emails after a certain grace period, and you have the option to pursue legal action if a customer refuses to pay or is consistently late.

Efficient accounting is vital to the life and growth of a startup or small business, and it’s important to do everything possible to save money and reduce costs. These tips will help you effectively manage your cash flow and ensure that you’re doing everything you can to help your company grow.

Rae Steinbach

Rae is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined International Relations and Chinese degree. After spending time living and working abroad in China, she returned to NYC to pursue her career and continue curating quality content. Rae is passionate about travel, food, and writing, of course. Fueled Collective

Twitter handle: @araesininthesun

2019-02-04T06:22:35+00:00

Rae is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined International Relations and Chinese degree. After spending time living and working abroad in China, she returned to NYC to pursue her career and continue curating quality content. Rae is passionate about travel, food, and writing, of course. Fueled Collective

Twitter handle: @araesininthesun

How to build a resilient mindset to create success

Resilience is one of the most difficult thing to build as a business owner. We want to succeed, and sometimes, we hang on so tight to the results, that we become frustrated, stressed out and overwhelmed.

Resilience is, in a big part, trusting God and accepting our circumstances. The ability to be flexible, and to let go. To open ourselves up to new opportunities and be guided through the unexpected.

Resilience is one of the most difficult thing to build as a business owner. We want to succeed, and sometimes, we hang on so tight to the results, that we become frustrated, stressed out and overwhelmed. This mindset trait is one of the most important to build. It helps us to let go of the outcome, it frees us from overwhelm and it helps us to create better content, services & products for our clients.

How will resilience impact your business?

I have been coaching resilience as a big part of my programs. My weekly open rates went from merely 10% to between 15 and 40% (the industry average is 10%).

I have clients who have signed clients WITHIN DAYS of our first call on resilience, because we dived deep and they were able to let go of the outcome, and simply show up and serve.

Other results like… booking collaborations, increase of engagement & numbers in their own Facebook communities, etc.

But they already had a following, and systems in place. They needed mindset work more than anything. It wasn’t a cookie cutter solution, or a magical recipe. They worked hard, listened and implemented the strategies we talked about.

In the midst of all the make money easy, 5-figure months copy, how can we build resilience & focus on our goals, our vision, without getting distracted?

  1. Face reality.
  2. Take a good look around, and analyze other businesses. Did they REALLY achieve those results within 30 days? A lot of them already had a following, they have been working on the behind the scenes for a while.

I have had coaches told me: you can round up the numbers. You made 9K? Tell you made 10K. Like in any industry, there are honest and dishonest people.

  1. Look at where you were and where you are now.
  2. Being a business owner is not just about your bank account. It’s about growth. It’s about the person you are becoming, the better version of yourself. I am sure you made amazing progress! Take a moment to take that in!
  3. Accept your circumstances
  4. It is so hard to accept where we are when we know something better is coming. But fighting where we are is pointless and waste of time and energy. You can’t do anything about your current circumstances. The only thing you CAN do is keep working and moving forward. Every little step, every post, everything you put out there counts and will lead to big results.

Wouldn’t your life be more amazing if you LOVED the place you are at right now? In 2017, I hit a big wall and to make a long story short, I almost declared bankruptcy due to the wrong investments in my business. During this time, I’ve never had so little money and yet, I was so happy. It forced me to focus on the positive and to enjoy every little things. From my fridge full of fresh fruits to all the new recipes I was trying out.

My husband and I got closer. Instead of going out, we would cook, read, play video games, make a tent in our small living room. It was magical.

You have to find joy and peace where you are right now. Otherwise, you will always want more and never be satisfied with what you have. Enjoy the process. When you will get to the finish line, you will look back and be SO HAPPY!!!

  1. Focus on the positive
  2. Focusing on the negative and what is going wrong won’t help you to build a successful business. It will show up in your services, in your content and in how you present yourself. It will also make everything worse. Building a business is already hard, building resilience is hard, you don’t need to make it harder.

Focusing on the positive will help you develop resilience. It will help you accept your circumstances, and let go of the things out of your control. This is one of the most amazing feeling. To face a wall and say: oh well, it’s okay! I will find a solution!

  1. Be open to the unexpected
  2. This is my last point. You can plan everything in your business, from strategies, to marketing, to goals. It is super important actually! But you need to be careful of not overdo it: hanging on too tight to your plans and lose opportunities.

Sometimes, we hang on too tight to the results. What if an opportunity comes your way? Will you let it pass by just because you have your plan?

I didn’t plan on starting collaborations that soon. I thought it would be more in 2019. And then, one of my business friend, Allie Davis, offered me to be part in her amazing giveaway in December 2017, alongside 11 amazing other women. This led to me, writing this blog post, and being offered a few guest experts gigs in different groups & programs for later this year.

I fell in love with collaborations. In a space where it is easy to feel lonely, it makes it easier to surround myself with amazing women and we build each other up.

I have my business plan for 2018 since October, but I changed it. I left space for incredible opportunities.

Resilience will truly change your business and your life. I am living proof of that, and my clients are living proof also.

Love, Leïla xx

Your Business Strategist

 

Leïla Simard

Leïla is a business strategist. She helps female entrepreneurs create the perfect road map to build their amazing business around their lives, and not the other way around!

IG: leila.simard

Pinterest: leilasimard

2018-03-01T13:00:23+00:00

Leïla is a business strategist. She helps female entrepreneurs create the perfect road map to build their amazing business around their lives, and not the other way around!

IG: leila.simard

Pinterest: leilasimard

Resilience is one of the most difficult thing to build as a business owner. We want to succeed, and sometimes, we hang on so tight to the results, that we become frustrated, stressed out and overwhelmed.
Resilience is one of the most difficult thing to build as a business owner. We want to succeed, and sometimes, we hang on so tight to the results, that we become frustrated, stressed out and overwhelmed.
Resilience is one of the most difficult thing to build as a business owner. We want to succeed, and sometimes, we hang on so tight to the results, that we become frustrated, stressed out and overwhelmed.
Resilience is one of the most difficult thing to build as a business owner. We want to succeed, and sometimes, we hang on so tight to the results, that we become frustrated, stressed out and overwhelmed.

Earning an Income while Suffering 
the Effects of Chronic Fatigue

Brunette woman holding head - Earning an income while suffering the effects of chronic fatigue

Definitions

Dictionary Definition of Chronic Fatigue:
A medical condition of unknown cause, with fever, aching, and prolonged tiredness and depression, typically occurring after a viral infection.

Mayo Clinic Definition:
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a complicated disorder characterised by extreme fatigue that can’t be explained by any underlying medical condition. The fatigue may worsen with physical or mental activity, but doesn’t improve with rest.

This condition is also known as Systemic exertion Intolerance Disease (SEID) or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME).

The cause of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is unknown, although there are many theories — ranging from viral infections to psychological stress. Some experts believe Chronic Fatigue Syndrome might be triggered by a combination of factors.

What a simple definition of a very debilitating, potentially soul-destroying health and lifestyle challenge. It is also not very accurate as there are many nuances and day to day challenges that rear their ugly head with Chronic Fatigue.

Additionally, it is associated with other conditions such as hormonal imbalances, Fibromyalgia, Autoimmune Diseases, Mental Health Challenges and Early Postpartum Mothers.

Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

Signs and symptoms may include:
Fatigue
Loss of memory or concentration
Sore throat
Enlarged lymph nodes in your neck or armpits
Unexplained muscle or joint pain
Headaches
Unrefreshing sleep
Extreme exhaustion lasting more than 24 hours after physical or mental exercise

Other symptoms associated with Chronic Fatigue may include:

Food sensitivities and allergies that are idiosyncratic
Cognitive dysfunction
Irritable bowel symptomatology
Nervous system disruptions e.g. passing out
Textural and sound sensitivities
Muscular dysfunction
Temperature sensitivities

Difficulties Associated with CFS and Diagnosis

Chronic Fatigue is linked to many other health and mental health challenges and the medical profession wants to put the correct label on the collection of symptoms in order to treat – what to many appears – an untreatable challenge.
The traumatized clients who come to me have been through a gamut of disbelief, rejection and belittling, especially from the workplace.
Seen from an employer perspective the person has an intense history of absenteeism, is not always cognitively on top of their game and has no initial visible reason for the absenteeism and there is a lack of visible symptoms to justify being absent.
Disability does, in certain cases, become a factor as time progresses with the disease becoming chronic, leading to inability to walk due to fatigue, pain and other debilitating aspects.
Exercise definitely exacerbates the condition, even if it is just driving to work or walking for a bus.
In younger people it disrupts their learning, their socialisation and their potential earning capabilities, leading to further emotional challenges as time progresses.

Implications for Earning an Income

As you can imagine, it is very difficult to hold down a full employment position when you are unable to get out of bed, think clearly, move easily and remember what you are supposed to be doing. It does not help that there is disbelief and people telling you to “Pull yourself together.”

There are different degrees of Chronic Fatigue and, as mentioned, different causes.
Each one has to be looked at on its own merits. Employers are becoming more open and understanding as to allowing flexitime work, working from home and different employment posts.
Ultimately though they are in business to make money and that is the bottom line – their bottom line. It is difficult in smaller firms to have to accommodate someone who may or may not be able to fulfill their work tasks effectively and on an ongoing basis.

The person is caught between their illness, their employer, the legal system and the need to put food on the table.

My Story

In short, I never knew when I would suddenly experience an attack of fatigue and lapse into unconsciousness, nor were the periods of unconsciousness consistent in length. It happened while driving, shopping and at home. This was due to various back injuries, hormonal imbalances and lifestyle challenges. I was able to stay at home, have people look after my children and my husband took up the financial slack.

Not everyone is able to do this.

Possible Support and Solutions

Each country has their own system of grants and laws to protect both employee and employer.
Please look into what is available in your country.
It is a challenge for people enduring this, mainly unrecognized and acknowledged challenge, in countries like South Africa where there is not a supportive Social Security System in place for effective disability and other financial grants.
The shopping centres, places of learning and workplaces are also now slowly coming on board to accommodate people with disabilities and wheelchair access.
Home based businesses online and offline are becoming more and more possible solutions. Again, the challenge is the ability to be consistent in offering services and other income producing activities to their clients.
It is not always possible to predict when a flare up, fibro fog or any other challenge will present itself. It also becomes apparent and diagnosis is given when the person is in an advanced state of the Chronic Fatigue and related symptoms so there has been no time to establish, effectively, another source of income.
It is very important for the person to have support, care and understanding.
It is admirable that there are companies able, and prepared to, to provide the position suited to the person’s need to have to rest more than normal, be absent above average, work flexi time or remotely.
However, they are the exception rather than the rule.

Summary

Find the legal aspects applicable in your country as to grants, employee rights and disability pensions

Speak to your employers to see if there is a workable solution to remain in their employ

Look into alternative ways of healing and balancing of your energy

Have a family meeting to discuss the financial implications and home life adjustments as you emotionally and physically understand you are not your disease and despite the prognosis the medical world gives, there is hope and healing available

Ask for help looking into home based and online businesses. Keep in mind they all have their own associated challenges

Consider the energy implications of all steps in the beginning as emotions as well as physical exertion are really debilitating.

Make time to assess each step and avoid victim mentality so as to be open to all situations. Not easy and doable with support from yourself and others.

We are in a new world of digital availability that is opening up doorways to earning income, having support and walking into our own power that were not available before.

Be open to change, something different and understand your worth is not tied to your income or work, this opens doors to creating a way of life that is financially rewarding and more in alignment with what you are needing

 

Janine Kathleen Shapiro

Janine Shapiro, a Personal Life Expansion Coach, started out as a qualified registered nurse, midwife and psychiatric nurse.

Her personal experience with severe health challenges, led her to expand her healing practice to exclusively using integrative, holistic healing modalities.

Janine empowers you on your journey of becoming the expert on your body, emotions and purpose, helping you overcome fatigue to regain energy and spark in your life to live a zestful, confident, fulfilled lifestyle.

Connect with Janine

If you would like to know more from a healing perspective and work with me to expand your energy, wellness and purpose let us connect:

http://bit.ly/janinekathleenwellness

jaro@tiscali.co.za

https://instagram.com/janine_kathleen

https://www.linkedin.com/in/janine-shapiro-5a901824/

2018-01-29T09:21:51+00:00

Janine Shapiro, a Personal Life Expansion Coach, started out as a qualified registered nurse, midwife and psychiatric nurse.

Her personal experience with severe health challenges, led her to expand her healing practice to exclusively using integrative, holistic healing modalities.

Janine empowers you on your journey of becoming the expert on your body, emotions and purpose, helping you overcome fatigue to regain energy and spark in your life to live a zestful, confident, fulfilled lifestyle.

Connect with Janine

If you would like to know more from a healing perspective and work with me to expand your energy, wellness and purpose let us connect:

http://bit.ly/janinekathleenwellness

jaro@tiscali.co.za

https://instagram.com/janine_kathleen

https://www.linkedin.com/in/janine-shapiro-5a901824/

Blog Post title -Earning an income while suffering the effects of chronic fatigue
Brunette woman holding head - Earning an income while suffering the effects of chronic fatigue
Blog Post title -Earning an income while suffering the effects of chronic fatigue
Brunette woman holding head - Earning an income while suffering the effects of chronic fatigue

Even More Ways to Prepare Your Business for time off (especially during the holiday craziness)

Are you a small business owner or online entrepreneur who would like to take a little time off during the holidays? Sound like a luxury you can't afford? Read my article on how to prepare your business for the holiday so that you can spend time with family and friends. They only catch is you have to start preparing now! Read the full articleDoes this give you a little bit of anxiety?

The holidays are almost upon us.

I for one would like to take a step back during the holidays and enjoy the festivities while my business keeps chugging along in the background.

Last year I wrote up this blog post to get you started preparing for the holidays.

And while it’s all still relevant I wanted to update it with 6 more things you can do so that you can take more time off, keep bringing in leads, and stress less this holiday season.

Because who couldn’t use a little more holiday sparkle and a little less business stress!

Get Yourself Organized

Now is the PERFECT time to get yourself organized for the upcoming months.

You’re going to be busy with family, friends, and other holiday commitments and thinking about posting to your social media is the last thing you should be doing.

Calendar

Go ahead and spend a few minutes planning out what content you are going to share and when you are going to create the content.

Here are some things you should consider adding to your calendar

  • Business commitments
  • Business-related deadlines
  • Family/friend commitments
  • Holiday Shopping
  • Holiday Gift Wrapping!
  • When you are creating social media content
  • When you are scheduling the content
  • What topics you are going to talk about
  • Where you are posting your content during the holidays

Keep in mind that if you want to modify your social media content plan for the holiday season that a LOT of other online entrepreneurs are doing so too…or they are just running out of time.

But not you because you’ve gotten organized now!

Make notes on your calendar of how you’re going to use your content library, we will talk more about this in just a bit.

What content needs updating to be relevant for this time of the year and your current audience? And when are you going to work on it so you can work ahead?

Set your boundaries

One thing you can do to prepare is deciding right here and now what your boundaries are going to be during the upcoming months.

  • Are there dates you are going to be taking off and won’t be answering emails? How does this impact your content? your clients? Your launches?
  • Do you need to modify your office hours to accommodate extra snuggles? Long lunches? Holiday promotions?
  • Are you going to be offering holiday promotions on your products or services?

What do your clients need to know about getting in touch with you during the holiday season?

No one wants to spend their family dinner in the corner trying to respond to client emails because you didn’t set the boundary beforehand that you would be answering emails within business hours only….

Think about these things now!

Fill up your social media calendar by intentionally repurposing content

Your Content Library

Think about ways you can leverage your content library to make space for fun activities WHILE staying consistent online.

  • Do you have content you can tweak and repost?
  • Can you update your old blog posts to stay fresh without writing all new content for the month of December?
  • Do you have freebies you can promote to generate leads while you are hanging out with friends at your Ugly Sweater Christmas Party?
  • Do you have a series of social media posts all on the same topic you can tie together into a blog post?

What do you already have created?

Think outside the box on this one…

  • videos
  • challenges
  • freebies
  • blog posts
  • newsletters
  • social media content

How can you take what you already have and reinvent it for the upcoming months? For example, maybe you did a live stream on the top 3 strategies to grow your email list… you can take the content you discussed in that video and create a blog post from it or freebie to share with your community… maybe you even take the video and share it directly to your email list.

Look at that..almost a week’s worth of content from ONE thing you’ve already done!

Who is excited???

Email Clients

Now is the time to draft emails to clients to tell them….

  • what to expect from you during the holiday
  • when you are definitely not working
  • how they can contact you in an emergency
  • and don’t forget to spread some gratitude and let them know how thankful you are that they are your client!

You can also create some Canned Email Templates for common email responses you send to quickly personalize and send while out and about or working on other tasks.

Think about emails you send regularly, do you get the same questions over and over? Do you have the same “report” style email you send each month?

There are lots of opportunities to systematize your emails but these are just a few to get you started this holiday season.

Plan how much social media engagement you want to have

It’s a good idea to go ahead and think about how often and how much you want to engage on social media during the holidays.

You may have long hours in the car or a flight to spend engaging with people in the online space, or you may only have 5 minutes before you go to bed.

You get to decide.

AND there is nothing wrong with planning social media blackout time and putting it completely away for a day, a week, the month.

But if you don’t spend some time right now and decide you may end up feeling like a slave to your social media even when you didn’t want to. I know this first hand because I struggle with setting the boundary and sticking to it.

I’ve got an alarm on my phone to make sure I don’t work past 4:30 every day otherwise I’d get into a groove and before you know it it’s past bedtime.

Spend time Planning out the first quarter’s content now

This way when you come back in January you aren’t already feeling behind because you’ve got your content plan in place!

I know you are probably thinking, but it’s only November and I have all of November & December to plan out…

Now you want me to plan out Q1 of 2018 too???

Are you crazy???

Nope. I promise you’ll see why in just a second.

If you spend 10-20 minutes planning out what you are going to be creating content about for Q1 now you’ll save TONS of time when January rolls around in a few short weeks and you’re panicking about what to even share with your audience.

When you are armed with your plan and you KNOW what is coming up you don’t have to revert to reminiscing about the holiday on your social media.

You can create powerful on-brand content right out of the gate that is going to stand out in a sea of samesess while everyone is still trying to find their groove.

Having your topic list at the ready will not only save you time later if you happen to find yourself with a few spare minutes you can go ahead and start crafting the content you need to so you aren’t running around like a crazy person on 1/2/2018.

Now it’s your turn!

Do you have a plan in place to prepare your business for the holidays? Or do you wing it? What was your biggest take away from this article?  Let me know in the comments!


Passion Driven Solopreneurs Facebook Group

Hey, I’ve got something to say to you!
I love bacon and green smoothies. I gave up my car to walk around the downtown area where I live. I rock a lot of stripes. I spend my entire day helping online business owners find their place in this crazy online space. And I find it really strange when I come across someone who would skip chips and salsa for dessert. That’s just weird. I’m sorry that I’ll probably reference movies and tv shows as life and business lessons. And I hate it when I see bullies in the online space (it happens more than we want to believe).
I believe in a world full of venti-sized iced teas, inspirational women-owned businesses, and fresh flowers.
I’d love for you to come hang out with me in the Passion Driven Solopreneurs group where I can help you figure out how to bring your mission to life through your message, how to create content that answers your dream clients questions and drive traffic to your website organically.
Are you a small business owner or online entrepreneur who would like to take a little time off during the holidays? Sound like a luxury you can't afford? Read my article on how to prepare your business for the holiday so that you can spend time with family and friends. They only catch is you have to start preparing now! Read the full article
Are you a small business owner or online entrepreneur who would like to take a little time off during the holidays? Sound like a luxury you can't afford? Read my article on how to prepare your business for the holiday so that you can spend time with family and friends. They only catch is you have to start preparing now! Read the full article
Are you a small business owner or online entrepreneur who would like to take a little time off during the holidays? Sound like a luxury you can't afford? Read my article on how to prepare your business for the holiday so that you can spend time with family and friends. They only catch is you have to start preparing now! Read the full article

Where do you get inspiration for your business strategy?

Where do you look for your business strategy inspiration? As a small business owner or online entrepreneur it can be really hard to keep your blinders on and find inspiration that works for your business. Where do you go for small business strategy ideas? Inspiration in business has been on my mind recently.

It’s good when you are sitting down to do something creative like writing a blog post.

But where you get inspiration is also important to consider.

I hear from a lot of people that they are tired of trying all the stuff people say that they have to do online to grow their business.

I get it!

Every day it seems like there are new strategies to try. New proven methods. New techniques.

But that is overwhelming.

Stop looking outward for inspiration

This always outward-looking focus for inspiration that you can use for your own strategy is wearing you down and stopping your forward movement. It will keep you stuck in the consuming phase forever.

And if you are stuck there right now, don’t worry we have all been at one time or another. It seems like so-and-so is finding more success than you doing XYZ so you start to feel pressure to do the same things.

It seems like so-and-so is finding more success than you doing XYZ so you start to feel pressure to do the same things.

Maybe you are active in Facebook groups and someone posts about a topic that gets a TON of engagement and is something you can talk about too.

So you decide to also write about it.

And you may find some success from jumping strategies but it isn’t sustainable and you will never find your groove.

When you are ready to find the strategies that are going to help you take your business to the next level you want to quit looking outward and start looking inward.

Looking inward for inspiration

Looking inward for your business can be a really powerful place to gather rich data on what is working for you and your audience.

So many times I see people say they are doing the same thing as everyone else and not seeing results.

I then have to ask them what are they doing that is producing results (even small results) and how can we do more of that? How can we cut out the stuff that isn’t working and still have a fully thought out strategy to grow your business?

Many times people who keep trying to do what they “think” is successful can keep them from finding what truly is successful for them.

Where do you look?

So now that we’ve talked about the difference. How do you know where to find your inward inspiration?

You can…

  • analyze your data
  • ask your audience

Analyzing your data whether it is from your website, social media, or other content you are tracking is the very best place to start when looking for inspiration.

It gives you information about how YOUR content is doing, what people love reading from you, how your distribution is going…etc. I could go on and on about this but that is outside the scope of this post.

If you are interested in learning how to unlock the secrets of your data and start making educated decisions for your online presence rather than guessing check out my Google Analytics Crash Course, it goes into great detail about how to read your data.

You can also ask your audience for insights directly from them.

  • what are they struggling with right now
  • what topics do they feel you’ve helped them with the most
  • what do they want to see next
  • what are their biggest questions

How to apply what you find

Now that you’ve gathered insights from your data and your audience you can start building more content on the best performing topics or the burning questions your audience has.

Think about repurposing old content into new formats or adding more information to it now that you’ve gotten additional knowledge.

You can create supplemental information, run a Facebook Live, or look for guest posting opportunities. Essentially building upon the momentum you’ve already built rather than starting from scratch for every piece of content you put out.

Leveraging outward inspiration

Now I know I’ve said a lot of looking outward for inspiration and why you shouldn’t do it.

But…it’s still really important for getting new ideas and growing.

You just have to be really careful with it.

Like the example from Facebook groups, I used above this is an opportunity to be outwardly inspired but the resulting action isn’t going to help you.

Maybe an example of how you could use this would help.

So you’ve seen a post that got a lot of engagement, it seems like a hot topic, you can also talk about it and are excited about it.

Instead of immediately drafting up your own post. I’d like you to slow down and consider the following.

  • add it to the list of your content ideas for use later
  • think about how you can switch up the idea/topic/info to really serve your audience?
  • what is your perspective or your personal spin that you can bring into the same topic so that you stand out

The problem I see when people take a “hot” topic from the internet and use it directly in your own strategy.

Is that you don’t stand out, even when talking about a timely topic. You end up following the flow of topics and missing a great opportunity to really let your expertise shine and build your own credibility.

Final thoughts on inward & outward inspiration

You’ve got to find a balance between looking inward and outwardly for inspiration, it’s true.

But everyone’s balance will be different. Some will need to rely more on outward inspiration until they get enough data to feel confident enough looking inward.

And…

If you only look inward you will miss out on great opportunities for future ideas that you can really put your own mark, experiences, and spin on to grow your own visibility.

Now it’s your turn!

Where do you look for inspiration for your business strategy? How do you decide what to make, write, or market for your business? Let me know in the comments!


Passion Driven Solopreneurs Facebook Group
If you are a female solopreneur this is for you! My free Facebook Group the Passion Driven Solopreneurs is the place for you to come and share the story of your journey on this crazy ride of being an entrepreneur. And just because we do it solo doesn’t mean it isn’t meant to be shared. Share your wins when you have them and let us celebrate with you. Share your struggles and get support to continue on. It’s a pretty wild ride being a solopreneur and get’s infinitely harder if you are trying to go it alone, come join us for a party and make some new friends along the way!
Can’t wait to see you in there!!! And as a thank you for being a part of my community I’ll sprinkle in some training and free resources from time to time.
Where do you look for your business strategy inspiration? As a small business owner or online entrepreneur it can be really hard to keep your blinders on and find inspiration that works for your business. Where do you go for small business strategy ideas?
Where do you look for your business strategy inspiration? As a small business owner or online entrepreneur it can be really hard to keep your blinders on and find inspiration that works for your business. Where do you go for small business strategy ideas?
Where do you look for your business strategy inspiration? As a small business owner or online entrepreneur it can be really hard to keep your blinders on and find inspiration that works for your business. Where do you go for small business strategy ideas?

Let's Work Together!

Have a project you want us to discuss about? Feel free to get in touch:

Accounting Essentials for Entrepreneurs

Accounting can be overwhelming for anyone, and that’s especially true when you’re dealing with a small business or startup which may have unique financial needs, like renting desks in an all-in-one coworking space, and fewer accounting resources than larger businesses. Bookkeeping and taxes are significant costs for small businesses, but there are some simple strategies you can use to set your company up for success.

Create a Company Bank Account

Most jurisdictions require that business-related income and expenses can be easily separated from personal purchases and other transactions. Many banks have accounts that cater to small businesses, and some will provide introductory offers for further savings.

Remember that you don’t have to create a business account at the same bank as your personal checking and savings. Feel free to shop around for the offer an account that fits best with your company’s financial goals.

Carefully Track Expenses

It’s common for employees to use their personal funds for a variety of business expenses, whether it’s lunch with a client, travel costs, or gas in the company car. All of these expenses should be quickly and meticulously logged in order to keep track of tax-deductible costs as well as compensation from the business.

There are a variety of programs available to help you manage your personal and business expenses, and many are designed specifically for small businesses. These applications will automate and streamline many aspects of accounting that would otherwise be time-consuming and difficult to manage.

Structure Your Company to Minimize Taxes

Depending on your location and the size and type of your business, you may be able to structure your company in a number of ways. Different types of businesses are responsible for different taxes and other expenses, so the wrong decision could lead to unnecessary costs.

If you’re unsure of the pros and cons associated with each type of business, consider seeking help from a professional accountant. They will be able to walk you through the available options and make the decision that’s best for your company’s short- and long-term goals.

Send Invoices and Follow-up Quickly

While cash flow can work differently on a large scale, small businesses need to stay on top of all incoming payments. It’s important to send invoices promptly after work is completed in order to receive payment on time and be able to pay your own employees.

Getting too far behind on invoices can make it difficult to pay for all business-related expenses, so don’t be afraid to follow-up if a customer doesn’t pay on time. Many companies set up automatic follow-up emails after a certain grace period, and you have the option to pursue legal action if a customer refuses to pay or is consistently late.

Efficient accounting is vital to the life and growth of a startup or small business, and it’s important to do everything possible to save money and reduce costs. These tips will help you effectively manage your cash flow and ensure that you’re doing everything you can to help your company grow.

Rae Steinbach

Rae is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined International Relations and Chinese degree. After spending time living and working abroad in China, she returned to NYC to pursue her career and continue curating quality content. Rae is passionate about travel, food, and writing, of course. Fueled Collective

Twitter handle: @araesininthesun

2019-02-04T06:22:35+00:00

Rae is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined International Relations and Chinese degree. After spending time living and working abroad in China, she returned to NYC to pursue her career and continue curating quality content. Rae is passionate about travel, food, and writing, of course. Fueled Collective

Twitter handle: @araesininthesun

How to build a resilient mindset to create success

Resilience is one of the most difficult thing to build as a business owner. We want to succeed, and sometimes, we hang on so tight to the results, that we become frustrated, stressed out and overwhelmed.

Resilience is, in a big part, trusting God and accepting our circumstances. The ability to be flexible, and to let go. To open ourselves up to new opportunities and be guided through the unexpected.

Resilience is one of the most difficult thing to build as a business owner. We want to succeed, and sometimes, we hang on so tight to the results, that we become frustrated, stressed out and overwhelmed. This mindset trait is one of the most important to build. It helps us to let go of the outcome, it frees us from overwhelm and it helps us to create better content, services & products for our clients.

How will resilience impact your business?

I have been coaching resilience as a big part of my programs. My weekly open rates went from merely 10% to between 15 and 40% (the industry average is 10%).

I have clients who have signed clients WITHIN DAYS of our first call on resilience, because we dived deep and they were able to let go of the outcome, and simply show up and serve.

Other results like… booking collaborations, increase of engagement & numbers in their own Facebook communities, etc.

But they already had a following, and systems in place. They needed mindset work more than anything. It wasn’t a cookie cutter solution, or a magical recipe. They worked hard, listened and implemented the strategies we talked about.

In the midst of all the make money easy, 5-figure months copy, how can we build resilience & focus on our goals, our vision, without getting distracted?

  1. Face reality.
  2. Take a good look around, and analyze other businesses. Did they REALLY achieve those results within 30 days? A lot of them already had a following, they have been working on the behind the scenes for a while.

I have had coaches told me: you can round up the numbers. You made 9K? Tell you made 10K. Like in any industry, there are honest and dishonest people.

  1. Look at where you were and where you are now.
  2. Being a business owner is not just about your bank account. It’s about growth. It’s about the person you are becoming, the better version of yourself. I am sure you made amazing progress! Take a moment to take that in!
  3. Accept your circumstances
  4. It is so hard to accept where we are when we know something better is coming. But fighting where we are is pointless and waste of time and energy. You can’t do anything about your current circumstances. The only thing you CAN do is keep working and moving forward. Every little step, every post, everything you put out there counts and will lead to big results.

Wouldn’t your life be more amazing if you LOVED the place you are at right now? In 2017, I hit a big wall and to make a long story short, I almost declared bankruptcy due to the wrong investments in my business. During this time, I’ve never had so little money and yet, I was so happy. It forced me to focus on the positive and to enjoy every little things. From my fridge full of fresh fruits to all the new recipes I was trying out.

My husband and I got closer. Instead of going out, we would cook, read, play video games, make a tent in our small living room. It was magical.

You have to find joy and peace where you are right now. Otherwise, you will always want more and never be satisfied with what you have. Enjoy the process. When you will get to the finish line, you will look back and be SO HAPPY!!!

  1. Focus on the positive
  2. Focusing on the negative and what is going wrong won’t help you to build a successful business. It will show up in your services, in your content and in how you present yourself. It will also make everything worse. Building a business is already hard, building resilience is hard, you don’t need to make it harder.

Focusing on the positive will help you develop resilience. It will help you accept your circumstances, and let go of the things out of your control. This is one of the most amazing feeling. To face a wall and say: oh well, it’s okay! I will find a solution!

  1. Be open to the unexpected
  2. This is my last point. You can plan everything in your business, from strategies, to marketing, to goals. It is super important actually! But you need to be careful of not overdo it: hanging on too tight to your plans and lose opportunities.

Sometimes, we hang on too tight to the results. What if an opportunity comes your way? Will you let it pass by just because you have your plan?

I didn’t plan on starting collaborations that soon. I thought it would be more in 2019. And then, one of my business friend, Allie Davis, offered me to be part in her amazing giveaway in December 2017, alongside 11 amazing other women. This led to me, writing this blog post, and being offered a few guest experts gigs in different groups & programs for later this year.

I fell in love with collaborations. In a space where it is easy to feel lonely, it makes it easier to surround myself with amazing women and we build each other up.

I have my business plan for 2018 since October, but I changed it. I left space for incredible opportunities.

Resilience will truly change your business and your life. I am living proof of that, and my clients are living proof also.

Love, Leïla xx

Your Business Strategist

 

Leïla Simard

Leïla is a business strategist. She helps female entrepreneurs create the perfect road map to build their amazing business around their lives, and not the other way around!

IG: leila.simard

Pinterest: leilasimard

2018-03-01T13:00:23+00:00

Leïla is a business strategist. She helps female entrepreneurs create the perfect road map to build their amazing business around their lives, and not the other way around!

IG: leila.simard

Pinterest: leilasimard

Resilience is one of the most difficult thing to build as a business owner. We want to succeed, and sometimes, we hang on so tight to the results, that we become frustrated, stressed out and overwhelmed.
Resilience is one of the most difficult thing to build as a business owner. We want to succeed, and sometimes, we hang on so tight to the results, that we become frustrated, stressed out and overwhelmed.
Resilience is one of the most difficult thing to build as a business owner. We want to succeed, and sometimes, we hang on so tight to the results, that we become frustrated, stressed out and overwhelmed.
Resilience is one of the most difficult thing to build as a business owner. We want to succeed, and sometimes, we hang on so tight to the results, that we become frustrated, stressed out and overwhelmed.

Earning an Income while Suffering 
the Effects of Chronic Fatigue

Brunette woman holding head - Earning an income while suffering the effects of chronic fatigue

Definitions

Dictionary Definition of Chronic Fatigue:
A medical condition of unknown cause, with fever, aching, and prolonged tiredness and depression, typically occurring after a viral infection.

Mayo Clinic Definition:
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a complicated disorder characterised by extreme fatigue that can’t be explained by any underlying medical condition. The fatigue may worsen with physical or mental activity, but doesn’t improve with rest.

This condition is also known as Systemic exertion Intolerance Disease (SEID) or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME).

The cause of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is unknown, although there are many theories — ranging from viral infections to psychological stress. Some experts believe Chronic Fatigue Syndrome might be triggered by a combination of factors.

What a simple definition of a very debilitating, potentially soul-destroying health and lifestyle challenge. It is also not very accurate as there are many nuances and day to day challenges that rear their ugly head with Chronic Fatigue.

Additionally, it is associated with other conditions such as hormonal imbalances, Fibromyalgia, Autoimmune Diseases, Mental Health Challenges and Early Postpartum Mothers.

Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

Signs and symptoms may include:
Fatigue
Loss of memory or concentration
Sore throat
Enlarged lymph nodes in your neck or armpits
Unexplained muscle or joint pain
Headaches
Unrefreshing sleep
Extreme exhaustion lasting more than 24 hours after physical or mental exercise

Other symptoms associated with Chronic Fatigue may include:

Food sensitivities and allergies that are idiosyncratic
Cognitive dysfunction
Irritable bowel symptomatology
Nervous system disruptions e.g. passing out
Textural and sound sensitivities
Muscular dysfunction
Temperature sensitivities

Difficulties Associated with CFS and Diagnosis

Chronic Fatigue is linked to many other health and mental health challenges and the medical profession wants to put the correct label on the collection of symptoms in order to treat – what to many appears – an untreatable challenge.
The traumatized clients who come to me have been through a gamut of disbelief, rejection and belittling, especially from the workplace.
Seen from an employer perspective the person has an intense history of absenteeism, is not always cognitively on top of their game and has no initial visible reason for the absenteeism and there is a lack of visible symptoms to justify being absent.
Disability does, in certain cases, become a factor as time progresses with the disease becoming chronic, leading to inability to walk due to fatigue, pain and other debilitating aspects.
Exercise definitely exacerbates the condition, even if it is just driving to work or walking for a bus.
In younger people it disrupts their learning, their socialisation and their potential earning capabilities, leading to further emotional challenges as time progresses.

Implications for Earning an Income

As you can imagine, it is very difficult to hold down a full employment position when you are unable to get out of bed, think clearly, move easily and remember what you are supposed to be doing. It does not help that there is disbelief and people telling you to “Pull yourself together.”

There are different degrees of Chronic Fatigue and, as mentioned, different causes.
Each one has to be looked at on its own merits. Employers are becoming more open and understanding as to allowing flexitime work, working from home and different employment posts.
Ultimately though they are in business to make money and that is the bottom line – their bottom line. It is difficult in smaller firms to have to accommodate someone who may or may not be able to fulfill their work tasks effectively and on an ongoing basis.

The person is caught between their illness, their employer, the legal system and the need to put food on the table.

My Story

In short, I never knew when I would suddenly experience an attack of fatigue and lapse into unconsciousness, nor were the periods of unconsciousness consistent in length. It happened while driving, shopping and at home. This was due to various back injuries, hormonal imbalances and lifestyle challenges. I was able to stay at home, have people look after my children and my husband took up the financial slack.

Not everyone is able to do this.

Possible Support and Solutions

Each country has their own system of grants and laws to protect both employee and employer.
Please look into what is available in your country.
It is a challenge for people enduring this, mainly unrecognized and acknowledged challenge, in countries like South Africa where there is not a supportive Social Security System in place for effective disability and other financial grants.
The shopping centres, places of learning and workplaces are also now slowly coming on board to accommodate people with disabilities and wheelchair access.
Home based businesses online and offline are becoming more and more possible solutions. Again, the challenge is the ability to be consistent in offering services and other income producing activities to their clients.
It is not always possible to predict when a flare up, fibro fog or any other challenge will present itself. It also becomes apparent and diagnosis is given when the person is in an advanced state of the Chronic Fatigue and related symptoms so there has been no time to establish, effectively, another source of income.
It is very important for the person to have support, care and understanding.
It is admirable that there are companies able, and prepared to, to provide the position suited to the person’s need to have to rest more than normal, be absent above average, work flexi time or remotely.
However, they are the exception rather than the rule.

Summary

Find the legal aspects applicable in your country as to grants, employee rights and disability pensions

Speak to your employers to see if there is a workable solution to remain in their employ

Look into alternative ways of healing and balancing of your energy

Have a family meeting to discuss the financial implications and home life adjustments as you emotionally and physically understand you are not your disease and despite the prognosis the medical world gives, there is hope and healing available

Ask for help looking into home based and online businesses. Keep in mind they all have their own associated challenges

Consider the energy implications of all steps in the beginning as emotions as well as physical exertion are really debilitating.

Make time to assess each step and avoid victim mentality so as to be open to all situations. Not easy and doable with support from yourself and others.

We are in a new world of digital availability that is opening up doorways to earning income, having support and walking into our own power that were not available before.

Be open to change, something different and understand your worth is not tied to your income or work, this opens doors to creating a way of life that is financially rewarding and more in alignment with what you are needing

 

Janine Kathleen Shapiro

Janine Shapiro, a Personal Life Expansion Coach, started out as a qualified registered nurse, midwife and psychiatric nurse.

Her personal experience with severe health challenges, led her to expand her healing practice to exclusively using integrative, holistic healing modalities.

Janine empowers you on your journey of becoming the expert on your body, emotions and purpose, helping you overcome fatigue to regain energy and spark in your life to live a zestful, confident, fulfilled lifestyle.

Connect with Janine

If you would like to know more from a healing perspective and work with me to expand your energy, wellness and purpose let us connect:

http://bit.ly/janinekathleenwellness

jaro@tiscali.co.za

https://instagram.com/janine_kathleen

https://www.linkedin.com/in/janine-shapiro-5a901824/

2018-01-29T09:21:51+00:00

Janine Shapiro, a Personal Life Expansion Coach, started out as a qualified registered nurse, midwife and psychiatric nurse.

Her personal experience with severe health challenges, led her to expand her healing practice to exclusively using integrative, holistic healing modalities.

Janine empowers you on your journey of becoming the expert on your body, emotions and purpose, helping you overcome fatigue to regain energy and spark in your life to live a zestful, confident, fulfilled lifestyle.

Connect with Janine

If you would like to know more from a healing perspective and work with me to expand your energy, wellness and purpose let us connect:

http://bit.ly/janinekathleenwellness

jaro@tiscali.co.za

https://instagram.com/janine_kathleen

https://www.linkedin.com/in/janine-shapiro-5a901824/

Blog Post title -Earning an income while suffering the effects of chronic fatigue
Brunette woman holding head - Earning an income while suffering the effects of chronic fatigue
Blog Post title -Earning an income while suffering the effects of chronic fatigue
Brunette woman holding head - Earning an income while suffering the effects of chronic fatigue

Even More Ways to Prepare Your Business for time off (especially during the holiday craziness)

Are you a small business owner or online entrepreneur who would like to take a little time off during the holidays? Sound like a luxury you can't afford? Read my article on how to prepare your business for the holiday so that you can spend time with family and friends. They only catch is you have to start preparing now! Read the full articleDoes this give you a little bit of anxiety?

The holidays are almost upon us.

I for one would like to take a step back during the holidays and enjoy the festivities while my business keeps chugging along in the background.

Last year I wrote up this blog post to get you started preparing for the holidays.

And while it’s all still relevant I wanted to update it with 6 more things you can do so that you can take more time off, keep bringing in leads, and stress less this holiday season.

Because who couldn’t use a little more holiday sparkle and a little less business stress!

Get Yourself Organized

Now is the PERFECT time to get yourself organized for the upcoming months.

You’re going to be busy with family, friends, and other holiday commitments and thinking about posting to your social media is the last thing you should be doing.

Calendar

Go ahead and spend a few minutes planning out what content you are going to share and when you are going to create the content.

Here are some things you should consider adding to your calendar

  • Business commitments
  • Business-related deadlines
  • Family/friend commitments
  • Holiday Shopping
  • Holiday Gift Wrapping!
  • When you are creating social media content
  • When you are scheduling the content
  • What topics you are going to talk about
  • Where you are posting your content during the holidays

Keep in mind that if you want to modify your social media content plan for the holiday season that a LOT of other online entrepreneurs are doing so too…or they are just running out of time.

But not you because you’ve gotten organized now!

Make notes on your calendar of how you’re going to use your content library, we will talk more about this in just a bit.

What content needs updating to be relevant for this time of the year and your current audience? And when are you going to work on it so you can work ahead?

Set your boundaries

One thing you can do to prepare is deciding right here and now what your boundaries are going to be during the upcoming months.

  • Are there dates you are going to be taking off and won’t be answering emails? How does this impact your content? your clients? Your launches?
  • Do you need to modify your office hours to accommodate extra snuggles? Long lunches? Holiday promotions?
  • Are you going to be offering holiday promotions on your products or services?

What do your clients need to know about getting in touch with you during the holiday season?

No one wants to spend their family dinner in the corner trying to respond to client emails because you didn’t set the boundary beforehand that you would be answering emails within business hours only….

Think about these things now!

Fill up your social media calendar by intentionally repurposing content

Your Content Library

Think about ways you can leverage your content library to make space for fun activities WHILE staying consistent online.

  • Do you have content you can tweak and repost?
  • Can you update your old blog posts to stay fresh without writing all new content for the month of December?
  • Do you have freebies you can promote to generate leads while you are hanging out with friends at your Ugly Sweater Christmas Party?
  • Do you have a series of social media posts all on the same topic you can tie together into a blog post?

What do you already have created?

Think outside the box on this one…

  • videos
  • challenges
  • freebies
  • blog posts
  • newsletters
  • social media content

How can you take what you already have and reinvent it for the upcoming months? For example, maybe you did a live stream on the top 3 strategies to grow your email list… you can take the content you discussed in that video and create a blog post from it or freebie to share with your community… maybe you even take the video and share it directly to your email list.

Look at that..almost a week’s worth of content from ONE thing you’ve already done!

Who is excited???

Email Clients

Now is the time to draft emails to clients to tell them….

  • what to expect from you during the holiday
  • when you are definitely not working
  • how they can contact you in an emergency
  • and don’t forget to spread some gratitude and let them know how thankful you are that they are your client!

You can also create some Canned Email Templates for common email responses you send to quickly personalize and send while out and about or working on other tasks.

Think about emails you send regularly, do you get the same questions over and over? Do you have the same “report” style email you send each month?

There are lots of opportunities to systematize your emails but these are just a few to get you started this holiday season.

Plan how much social media engagement you want to have

It’s a good idea to go ahead and think about how often and how much you want to engage on social media during the holidays.

You may have long hours in the car or a flight to spend engaging with people in the online space, or you may only have 5 minutes before you go to bed.

You get to decide.

AND there is nothing wrong with planning social media blackout time and putting it completely away for a day, a week, the month.

But if you don’t spend some time right now and decide you may end up feeling like a slave to your social media even when you didn’t want to. I know this first hand because I struggle with setting the boundary and sticking to it.

I’ve got an alarm on my phone to make sure I don’t work past 4:30 every day otherwise I’d get into a groove and before you know it it’s past bedtime.

Spend time Planning out the first quarter’s content now

This way when you come back in January you aren’t already feeling behind because you’ve got your content plan in place!

I know you are probably thinking, but it’s only November and I have all of November & December to plan out…

Now you want me to plan out Q1 of 2018 too???

Are you crazy???

Nope. I promise you’ll see why in just a second.

If you spend 10-20 minutes planning out what you are going to be creating content about for Q1 now you’ll save TONS of time when January rolls around in a few short weeks and you’re panicking about what to even share with your audience.

When you are armed with your plan and you KNOW what is coming up you don’t have to revert to reminiscing about the holiday on your social media.

You can create powerful on-brand content right out of the gate that is going to stand out in a sea of samesess while everyone is still trying to find their groove.

Having your topic list at the ready will not only save you time later if you happen to find yourself with a few spare minutes you can go ahead and start crafting the content you need to so you aren’t running around like a crazy person on 1/2/2018.

Now it’s your turn!

Do you have a plan in place to prepare your business for the holidays? Or do you wing it? What was your biggest take away from this article?  Let me know in the comments!


Passion Driven Solopreneurs Facebook Group

Hey, I’ve got something to say to you!
I love bacon and green smoothies. I gave up my car to walk around the downtown area where I live. I rock a lot of stripes. I spend my entire day helping online business owners find their place in this crazy online space. And I find it really strange when I come across someone who would skip chips and salsa for dessert. That’s just weird. I’m sorry that I’ll probably reference movies and tv shows as life and business lessons. And I hate it when I see bullies in the online space (it happens more than we want to believe).
I believe in a world full of venti-sized iced teas, inspirational women-owned businesses, and fresh flowers.
I’d love for you to come hang out with me in the Passion Driven Solopreneurs group where I can help you figure out how to bring your mission to life through your message, how to create content that answers your dream clients questions and drive traffic to your website organically.
Are you a small business owner or online entrepreneur who would like to take a little time off during the holidays? Sound like a luxury you can't afford? Read my article on how to prepare your business for the holiday so that you can spend time with family and friends. They only catch is you have to start preparing now! Read the full article
Are you a small business owner or online entrepreneur who would like to take a little time off during the holidays? Sound like a luxury you can't afford? Read my article on how to prepare your business for the holiday so that you can spend time with family and friends. They only catch is you have to start preparing now! Read the full article
Are you a small business owner or online entrepreneur who would like to take a little time off during the holidays? Sound like a luxury you can't afford? Read my article on how to prepare your business for the holiday so that you can spend time with family and friends. They only catch is you have to start preparing now! Read the full article

Where do you get inspiration for your business strategy?

Where do you look for your business strategy inspiration? As a small business owner or online entrepreneur it can be really hard to keep your blinders on and find inspiration that works for your business. Where do you go for small business strategy ideas? Inspiration in business has been on my mind recently.

It’s good when you are sitting down to do something creative like writing a blog post.

But where you get inspiration is also important to consider.

I hear from a lot of people that they are tired of trying all the stuff people say that they have to do online to grow their business.

I get it!

Every day it seems like there are new strategies to try. New proven methods. New techniques.

But that is overwhelming.

Stop looking outward for inspiration

This always outward-looking focus for inspiration that you can use for your own strategy is wearing you down and stopping your forward movement. It will keep you stuck in the consuming phase forever.

And if you are stuck there right now, don’t worry we have all been at one time or another. It seems like so-and-so is finding more success than you doing XYZ so you start to feel pressure to do the same things.

It seems like so-and-so is finding more success than you doing XYZ so you start to feel pressure to do the same things.

Maybe you are active in Facebook groups and someone posts about a topic that gets a TON of engagement and is something you can talk about too.

So you decide to also write about it.

And you may find some success from jumping strategies but it isn’t sustainable and you will never find your groove.

When you are ready to find the strategies that are going to help you take your business to the next level you want to quit looking outward and start looking inward.

Looking inward for inspiration

Looking inward for your business can be a really powerful place to gather rich data on what is working for you and your audience.

So many times I see people say they are doing the same thing as everyone else and not seeing results.

I then have to ask them what are they doing that is producing results (even small results) and how can we do more of that? How can we cut out the stuff that isn’t working and still have a fully thought out strategy to grow your business?

Many times people who keep trying to do what they “think” is successful can keep them from finding what truly is successful for them.

Where do you look?

So now that we’ve talked about the difference. How do you know where to find your inward inspiration?

You can…

  • analyze your data
  • ask your audience

Analyzing your data whether it is from your website, social media, or other content you are tracking is the very best place to start when looking for inspiration.

It gives you information about how YOUR content is doing, what people love reading from you, how your distribution is going…etc. I could go on and on about this but that is outside the scope of this post.

If you are interested in learning how to unlock the secrets of your data and start making educated decisions for your online presence rather than guessing check out my Google Analytics Crash Course, it goes into great detail about how to read your data.

You can also ask your audience for insights directly from them.

  • what are they struggling with right now
  • what topics do they feel you’ve helped them with the most
  • what do they want to see next
  • what are their biggest questions

How to apply what you find

Now that you’ve gathered insights from your data and your audience you can start building more content on the best performing topics or the burning questions your audience has.

Think about repurposing old content into new formats or adding more information to it now that you’ve gotten additional knowledge.

You can create supplemental information, run a Facebook Live, or look for guest posting opportunities. Essentially building upon the momentum you’ve already built rather than starting from scratch for every piece of content you put out.

Leveraging outward inspiration

Now I know I’ve said a lot of looking outward for inspiration and why you shouldn’t do it.

But…it’s still really important for getting new ideas and growing.

You just have to be really careful with it.

Like the example from Facebook groups, I used above this is an opportunity to be outwardly inspired but the resulting action isn’t going to help you.

Maybe an example of how you could use this would help.

So you’ve seen a post that got a lot of engagement, it seems like a hot topic, you can also talk about it and are excited about it.

Instead of immediately drafting up your own post. I’d like you to slow down and consider the following.

  • add it to the list of your content ideas for use later
  • think about how you can switch up the idea/topic/info to really serve your audience?
  • what is your perspective or your personal spin that you can bring into the same topic so that you stand out

The problem I see when people take a “hot” topic from the internet and use it directly in your own strategy.

Is that you don’t stand out, even when talking about a timely topic. You end up following the flow of topics and missing a great opportunity to really let your expertise shine and build your own credibility.

Final thoughts on inward & outward inspiration

You’ve got to find a balance between looking inward and outwardly for inspiration, it’s true.

But everyone’s balance will be different. Some will need to rely more on outward inspiration until they get enough data to feel confident enough looking inward.

And…

If you only look inward you will miss out on great opportunities for future ideas that you can really put your own mark, experiences, and spin on to grow your own visibility.

Now it’s your turn!

Where do you look for inspiration for your business strategy? How do you decide what to make, write, or market for your business? Let me know in the comments!


Passion Driven Solopreneurs Facebook Group
If you are a female solopreneur this is for you! My free Facebook Group the Passion Driven Solopreneurs is the place for you to come and share the story of your journey on this crazy ride of being an entrepreneur. And just because we do it solo doesn’t mean it isn’t meant to be shared. Share your wins when you have them and let us celebrate with you. Share your struggles and get support to continue on. It’s a pretty wild ride being a solopreneur and get’s infinitely harder if you are trying to go it alone, come join us for a party and make some new friends along the way!
Join me here!
Can’t wait to see you in there!!! And as a thank you for being a part of my community I’ll sprinkle in some training and free resources from time to time.
Where do you look for your business strategy inspiration? As a small business owner or online entrepreneur it can be really hard to keep your blinders on and find inspiration that works for your business. Where do you go for small business strategy ideas?
Where do you look for your business strategy inspiration? As a small business owner or online entrepreneur it can be really hard to keep your blinders on and find inspiration that works for your business. Where do you go for small business strategy ideas?
Where do you look for your business strategy inspiration? As a small business owner or online entrepreneur it can be really hard to keep your blinders on and find inspiration that works for your business. Where do you go for small business strategy ideas?

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