Business and Career

THREE QUICK WAYS TO MAKE NETWORKING PART OF YOUR ROUTINE

You’ve heard it hundreds of times: You need to network! If you want to build your client base, get referrals, establish your brand and be a better professional, networking is required. But when you’re already busting your tail to do your job, being involved in your community, staying somewhat healthy, and maintaining your personal relationships, networking often falls to the bottom of the list. Here are three easy ways to make networking part of your routine, so it no longer has to be another dreaded item to check off the list. Change your mindset. This one is so important. You want to approach the people you are already interact with as opportunities to build networking relationships. Say hello to the person in the elevator with you, strike up a conversation with another parent at your ki...

MORE IS NOT BETTER

We live in a world that glorifies being busy. We’re constantly hustling, adding items to our to-do lists and saying “yes” when we could be saying “no.” It’s normalized and expected. If you’re not insanely busy, are you really living? This is just one way to live, and, I would argue, not the best way. The problem is not that we’re busy, but that we’re busy doing things that aren’t most important to us. We have filled our lives up with other people’s version of success and piled on tasks accordingly. Will this leave you feeling fulfilled and satisfied with your life? Probably not. The danger in this is that we’ll spend all our precious time and energy on achievements that don’t really matter to us. From the outside we may look like we “have it all,” but in reality, there’s a huge gap b...

WHY MAKING MISTAKES ISN’T ALWAYS A BAD THING

I was recently reminded that I can be impulsive, indecisive, and at times, chaotic. Generally, these are not great adjectives for a business owner — or anyone — to have. But I am who I am, and despite others’ opinions, I am okay with that. In fact, I admit that I have never been more proud of myself than I am today. Over the past few months, working for myself has provided me with a lot of time to think and reflect back on all the decisions I made that led me to where I am now. Some of them were fairly impulsive, some of them were risky, but I don’t regret any of them. While they technically were mistakes, I am glad I made them when I did. So, I want to use this example from my own life to teach you — or remind those of you who knew but have forgotten — why making mistakes isn&...

MY STRENGTH IS NOT WEAKNESS

I’m five feet two inches and 107 pounds. I probably can’t do a pull up. Not that I would be one to try. One thing I’ve never been described as in my life is strong. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been told to speak louder, be more authoritarian, stop being so nice. I’ve been told to lean in, stand up, take up more space, take charge, say no. The older I get, the more competitive environments I find myself and at the higher level I succeed, the more frequent the comments have become. I am told to be a good leader, I need to stop being “weak.” While much of that advice was well-meaning, it is disempowering. And it is false. When they say weak, they’re talking about the moments that I listen instead of speak, think instead of raise my hand, process instead of stand up, acknowledge ins...

WHAT IT’S LIKE BEING A BUSINESS OWNER WITH A CHRONIC ILLNESS

My life has been a roller-coaster ride at times much like yours, I’m sure. Expectations, responsibilities and everyday pressures can take a toll on anyone. Imagine dealing with the normal everyday stress of life while trying to build a business and balance having a chronic illness like muscular dystrophy (MD). When someone without a chronic illness wakes up to the buzz of their second (or maybe third) alarm in the morning, a lot of thoughts may be running through their head. Is it 7:00 a.m. already? Do I really need to go to work today? Can’t I just lay here for another 10 minutes and still make it to work on time? My thoughts look at a little different: Will I be able to get out the bed without falling today? Will I have the energy to attempt to tackle my to-do list? How long can I actual...

FIGURING IT OUT

I know I’m good at what I do. I see women in NYC (where I started my career) and all over the web achieving so much success, and I think, ‘When am I going to get to that point?’ I moved back to my hometown six years ago, and I’ve been working hard to relaunch my business, and after being a small fish in a huge pond, is it crazy to think that the reverse situation will lead to greatness? I’ve been an event planner for over 15 years, and I’ve honed this skill to the nth degree. I can manage dealing with crazy deadlines/stress, Broadway stars and raising millions of dollars, and at this point in my career I feel like I’m ready to be considered the guru for event planning in my hometown. It doesn’t come that easy though, you know? When you have a family, you have responsibilities. ...

HOW TO MAKE THE BEST OUT OF YOUR WORKING DAY

I know we all naturally have different ideas about what it means to work hard. Many of us think that working hard means working constantly. I know many of us to think we can’t take another break or we can’t take any holidays not until we break through. But why work hard? How about working smart? It’s like a deep-rooted guilt that doesn’t allow us to stop for a while. Just so it’s clear, everything I write here is also a message to myself. I recently discovered how much more productive I am when I take breaks. Like real breaks, not the ones where you think about the work you’ll do once you’re back at your desk. Breaks that allow me to completely disconnect from my work environment, body and mind. With no guilt. Part of the ongoing challenge is this constant access we have to information, up...

JENI BRITTON BAUER; BRINGING LIGHT AND LOVE TO SOCIAL MEDIA, ONE SCOOP AT A TIME

There was a time not too long ago when ice cream entrepreneur Jeni Britton Bauer scribbled down requests for specific flavors of her now world-renowned creamy creations in a notebook behind the counter in her shop in Columbus’ North Market. When those flavors were created, she’d whip out that notebook and call every person on the list to let them know their coveted pint of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream was available. Social media changed all of that. No longer were her evenings filled with making call after call to customers eager for their pint of Salty Caramel, one post to Facebook and her fans knew what she was making, when and where to get it. “When social media came up, it was immediate – this is the future, this is how it’s going to work now,” the pink-haired, La Croix guzzling, fast-tal...

TIPS FROM A SERVER

It’s my day off. I’m drinking a glass of cheap gas station wine in my pajamas at 2 p.m. If this isn’t the ideal writing environment, I don’t know what is. Well, I suppose a beach, some sunshine and a bougie bottle of champagne might top this, but that’s beside the point. There’s a point, you ask? Well, yes. Sort of. Hopefully. I’ve been a lot of things professionally, but for the most part, the majority of my adulthood bills have been paid via my serving or bar tending jobs — hence the cheap gas station wine, ha! As I begin to enter the next phase of my professional journey, I’ve had time to reflect on the life lessons I have absorbed while serving others. When I was 14 I started working at a greasy, hole in the wall diner. By the time I was 17, I’d upgraded to a swanky five star establish...

3 WAYS TO KNOW IF YOU’RE WORKING HARD ENOUGH

You are a new entrepreneur and loving the flexibility, answering to yourself and being able to work at 2 a.m., which happens to be your peak productivity time. Really, you’d be hard pressed to find these perks in a corporate office. But corporate does have its own set of perks, including knowing the exact amount that will be deposited into your checking account on Friday and having a good sense of if you are working hard enough. When I first left my corporate job and started my own business there was a ton to do and even though I worked (work!) almost every day, I had this nagging feeling that I wasn’t working hard enough. After more than two decades of working in corporate and delivering on management’s objectives, working with tight deadlines and looming performance reviews, I had a good...

5 STEPS TO TAKE TO IMPROVE YOUR CREDIT SCORE

At this time of year, many parents start scratching their heads and turn to their keyboards to search for answers to their pressing financial questions.  Parents, reeling from the sticker shock caused by their son or daughter’s college acceptance and award letter are trying to figure out how to pay for college. Students are asking questions about credit, many for the first time.  Want to guess the financial question Google gets asked the most?  It is “how do student loans work?”  No wonder.  According to a recent Marketwatch article, Americans are trying to figure out how to deal with $1.4 trillion in student loan debt.  A study conducted by Liberty Bank for Savings found Google gets an average of 2.4 million searches per month from folks looking for the answer to this question. Unfortunat...

THE ONLY THING YOU CAN BE IS YOUR TRUTH

For me, writing was always like breathing. It was just something I always did, natural and necessary, ever since I can remember. By the time I was 21, I was pretty dead set. I was going to write a novel, I was going to take all the years of daydreaming and soap-opera-watching and turn it all into my own real living page-turning tale. I am 29 now and my first novel, “Heartsand” has been published for two years and it’s something I have to keep reminding myself of. I did that? Really? But rewind to the years in between. Back then, in my early twenties, it didn’t matter that I had no idea what I was doing, I just did it anyway. That summer, after graduating from my English Lit program at university, I wrote the first draft in between shifts at a hardware store, volunteering at a l...

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