Mental Post-Its

Thoughts, Notes and General Mental Mayhem


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Get the 2020 Solopreneur Success Bundle!

2020 Solopreneur Success BundleHey, fellow female business owners!

Who has the time to scour the internet for the best resources to help you unlock your solopreneur success potential? 

Enter ➡️ The 2020 Solopreneur Success Bundle, aka your one-stop-shop for some of the best solo biz resources from creators who have been around the block and seen incredible success. 

From streamlining and automating your systems, conquering your client management, mastering SEO, or becoming an affiliate marketing pro,  there’s something for every solopreneur whether you’re service-based, product-based, brand new to biz, or boosting your brand to the next level. 

The only requirement? You’re dead-set on hitting your definition of solopreneur success this year. 

You bring the tenacity; this will deliver the tools. Deal?

Get The 2020 Solopreneur Success Bundle and gain access to 12 amazing products worth over $1,000 for just $129

But here’s the catch: it’s only available this week, from February 24-29. 

Here’s what’s included:

  • The Better Blogging Blueprint by Vanessa Shepherd of She’s Got Vision (Value: $29) – A done-for-you, idea-to-publishing system, complete with an editorial calendar, promotion tracker, and more. 
  • Create Your Business MasterFile by Kerstin Auer of Simply Good Business (Value: $29) – 10 steps to creating a digital MasterFile with everything you need to run, grow, or sell your business.
  • Create Your Course Using Only Free Tools – Content by Seema (Value: $197 ) – Ready to sell an online course but don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on the wrong tools to start? Seema will help you get started without spending a small fortune on software subscriptions so you can be profitable fast. 
  • Dubsado Setup Plan – Rae Targos of Productive Co. (Value: $49) – Your step-by-step, strategic action plan for Dubsado setup that will allow you to start experiencing the magic of workflow automation right away. 
  • Inbox for Solopreneurs – Jordan Gill of Systems Saved Me (Value $97) – Get rid of inbox insanity forever with Jordan’s signature system for labeling, filtering, and managing your email with a simple weekly routine. 
  • Paid To Post – Influencer Marketing, Sponsorship And Working With Brands – Chelsea Clarke of Her Paper Route (Value: $67) – Learn how to position your blog and yourself as an influential authority so you can successfully monetize your online persona.
  • Pin Practical Influence – Monica Froese of Redefining Mom (Value: $197) – The A to Z comprehensive course on all things building affiliate revenue via organic and paid Pinterest strategies. 
  • SEO Client Magnetism Workbook – Meg Casebolt of Megabolt Digital (Value: $37) – Meg’s signature 7-step process to simplify your content creation so that you get found and make sales via Google.
  • The Lazy Guide to Affiliate Marketing by Elizabeth Goddard (Value: $247) – Super simple tips and strategies for affiliate marketing that have brought Elizabeth earnings of $2k+ a month without really trying – minimum effort, maximum $$!
  • The Productivity Solopreneur – Sarah Morgan of XO Sarah (Value: $97)- Kick stress and overwhelm to the curb with Sarah’s framework for setting up processes, workflows and automations for literally every area of your solopreneur biz. 
  • The Ultimate Social Media Guide and Pinterest Made Easy ebook – Deanna of The Inspired Boss (Value: $57) – All of the need-to-know info to get your solo business up and running on all social cylinders and harness the power of organic search on Pinterest starting today. 
  • Your Perfect Opt in : How to Create an Opt in that helps you get More Clients in 4 Simple Steps by Vanessa Ryan (Value: $97) – No more guesswork on what will get your ideal client on to your list, Vanessa gives insights building an opt-in that capture attention and convert subscribers into clients. 

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Grab yours before the timer runs out!

 

 

(By the way, I’m an affiliate for this bundle, which means I get a small percentage of any sales I make. But I only recommend products I know and love!)


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Solopreneur and Small Business Resources

Solopreneur and Small Business ResourcesIf you’ve ever had a conversation with me, you know I love recommending resources of all kinds. From podcasts to books to products to events—and everything in-between—if I know something that would interest you or that I think you should know about, I feel compelled to share it!

In fact, I have a Resource List on my business website for this very reason. But my clients are primarily nonprofits, social enterprises, and other cause-focused organizations. While this is, of course, awesome, I also know about a lot of resources that aren’t a great fit for them as well. And those items don’t live in any organized place like my business Resource List.

So, for the sake of my other solopreneurs and small business friends (and my sanity), I thought I’d go ahead and include them all here for easy access.

Note: There are obviously a lot of other options besides what I’ve listed below, but these are the ones I refer again and again, as well as have personal experience with. And anything with a * means it’s one of my favorites!

BOOKS

 

PODCASTS

 

EMAIL LISTS

 

CONFERENCES

 

FREELANCE RATES

 

SOFTWARE

 

OTHER BUSINESS TOOLS

 

SAVING MONEY

  • Trim is negotiates lower bills for me
  • Ebates for money back while online shopping
  • Honey for online coupon codes
  • Fetch for saving money on grocery bills (referral code RM8DK)
  • iBotta for saving money on grocery bills ($20 referral bonus)
  • This post on saving money on medical bills
  • Medi-Share for health sharing plans
  • Check out my Travel Hacking 101 post for tips on how I travel to conferences cheaply.

 

MISC

 

And if you are a nonprofit, social enterprise, or other cause-focused organization, you can find more great resources for your business on Signify’s site! 😉

What am I missing? What would help you? What do you need?

PS: If this has been helpful, would you mind sharing it with another solopreneur or small business owner?

 

 

Some links are affiliate links, which means I get a little somethin’ somethin’ for telling you about them. However, I only promote things I know and love!


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My Third Annual New Year’s Retreat

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The beautiful view from my room in Hiawassee, Georgia.

So sorry for the delay on this post. I literally hit the ground running on January 1st, and haven’t stopped. I’ve been working late nights and weekends trying to get on top of my goals for the year. But now that I’m slowing down a little, more because I’m tired than anything else, I wanted to update you on my third annual New Year’s retreat.

You can read more about my first and second New Year’s retreats here, but even as I’ve had some practice at this, I still made some key mistakes that you can learn from.

First of all, if you’ve never planned a personal or business retreat before, let’s start with my basic tips. (By the way, I use the terms business and personal kind of interchangeably since I’m self-employed and all areas of my life tend to overlap. 😉

  • The schedule and format are up to you! You can read, reflect, journal, hammer out notes on your computer, or however you’d like to spend your time. Retreats are a time to reflect and focus on specific goals, so do whatever supports those. But, you need to know what you’re going to do before you leave, so plan ahead. Otherwise, you’ll end up wasting a lot of time trying to figure out how best to use your time.
  • The location is up to you! I’ve taken retreats several hours away, and also just down the road. For me, it usually depends on where I have travel points to use. But you can camp, fly, or drive. You can rent a room, rent a house, or just borrow some space that someone isn’t using. The point, however, is to be away from home. You’ll get distracted at home, and that’s not what you want for your retreat.
  • The budget is up to you! It doesn’t have to be expensive. I’ve eaten out, bought groceries, and stayed inside 99% of the time rather than spending money on activities. But there is always a way to fit it in your budget. On this year’s retreat, I actually paid for the hotel (thought I got a great Cyber Monday deal), so it was my most expensive retreat yet at $250.
  • Who you go with is up to you! You can take a retreat solo, or go with a spouse or business partner.
  • The length is up to you! If you’ve never done this, and aren’t sure how it’ll work for you, start small. Take a few hours and go to a co-working space, coffee shop, or park. Work up to a day trip, overnight trip, or even a couple of days. And then do it again!
  • Make sure you rid yourself of distractions! Turn your phone, email, and social media off. Tell people that you’ll be unavailable. Again, resist the urge to waste time. Make the most of your retreat, which is a total gift.
  • Know what happens when you get home. You likely need to act on what you accomplished at your retreat. Have a plan for when life gets back to normal.
  • Final tip: Create time for fun! I do this at the end to celebrate the retreat, and get my head of task mode.

Are you catching a theme here? Yep, it’s up to you! It’s called a personal retreat for a reason.

For my January retreats, I usually like to stick close-ish to home because I’ve just returned from holiday travel. This year, I drove about two hours north of Atlanta, which was a good distance, and also gave me enough time to finish an audiobook on the drive.

The only real downside to this year’s location is that we were going through a major cold snap here, and it was literally in the single digits while on my retreat. So, I just hunkered down rather than venturing out to coffee shops and other interesting places.

And as I said, even having planned my own retreats several times, I still made a few mistakes this year:

  • I didn’t think through the timing. I’d started my retreat on New Year’s Day the past two years, so that was the plan. BUT this year, I’d only been back in town for 48 hours before leaving for my retreat. And those 48 hours were fairly filled with activity. So, I was tired and slightly unmotivated when I woke up and had to drive two hours north to the retreat. However, this was important to me, so I sucked it up, and made the most of it! #entrepreneur
  • The other timing issue for me was the normal schedule I’d already developed for my business. The first of the month, and first of the week, is filled with things like writing my email newsletter, scheduling my social media, writing my business blog post, etc. So, the entire first day was spent on these items rather than digging into my retreat. That was frustrating.
  • I WAY underestimated what I could get done this time. My list was really long to try and accomplish in just a couple of days. I always tend to do this a little anyway, but I was way off this time because of an email series I wanted to watch that ended up taking most of day two.

The good news was, that the first of the year is typically a slow time for people, and I had some “buffer” time built in which allowed me to get few more things done when I got home.  So, if you can plan a little buffer time, that’s ideal. It’s hard to get out of retreat mode! It’s a beautiful place to be.

Regardless, this is why it’s important to know what exactly you’re going to be doing on your retreat, and also prioritize the most important items. That way, no matter what comes up, you get the essentials taken care of.

I really can’t stress taking a personal/business retreat enough. Here’s why:

  • They allow you to focus on very specific areas. This could be specific projects, long-term goals, or anything in-between.
  • They provide clarity. When you’re out of your own environment, you see things differently.
  • They provide renewal. If you love to travel, like me, you’ll get filled up with an experience like this one.

And I can’t state this enough times: retreats aren’t a luxury. This was a big lesson for me to learn, but they can be a vital way to re-examine your own business, goals, etc. There are so many ways to plan retreats to make them work for you.

As of last year, my goal is actually to take quarterly retreats, even if they’re short. This way I’m reflecting throughout the year, so I can make small adjustments along the way, rather than only doing that at the end of the year. It’s another way I strive to be intentional, and would recommend that approach for you as well.

Oh, and by the way, you don’t have to be a business owner to do this. They are a great tool for anyone to utilize. You just have to decide to make them a priority. We all put our time and money somewhere, so it’s up to you to decide.

Finally, if you think a retreat would be a great idea for your year, get it on your calendar now! If you wait, you’re more likely to keep putting it off. Again, it’s about prioritizing it.

If you decide to plan your own retreat, let me know any of your lessons or best practices. Or even just tell me how your retreat went. I’d love to hear!

(And if you have any questions about a retreat, just let me know!)

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At the end of this year’s retreat, I stopped in nearby Helen, Georgia. It’s a strange, fun, and touristy place north of Atlanta that resembles a Bavarian village. But it was a good spot to stop, grab lunch, and walk around for a bit before returning home.

You can see more pictures here in Instagram.


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Black Friday / Cyber Monday Business Deal Roundup

Hey, everyone!mike-petrucci-131817

I just sent a roundup of my favorite Black Friday / Cyber Monday business deals to my business email list, but I thought the information might be relevant to some of you as well.

If you are a solopreneur, small business owner, or key employee, these sales might just be right up your alley. You’ll see offers for:

  • Easy-to-use legal documents
  • A conference
  • Online tools
  • Website domains
  • Printed materials
  • Financial stuff
  • Book skimming
  • Email marketing
  • Social media scheduling

Read the email here.

Happy shopping!

And don’t forget about Small Business Saturday, the new Shop for Good Sunday, and #GivingTuesday as well!


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7 Lessons From the First Year of Business

7 Lessons From the First Year of BusinessI still have a hard time believing it, but I launched my business, Signify, on July 1st of last year! Some days it really does seem like yesterday, and others feel more like a seasoned pro. Regardless, it’s been an intense learning experience.

I created Signify out of a desire to help my friends. I knew people with small nonprofits and purpose-driven for-profits and social enterprises that needed someone like me who could lend another set of hands and breakdown marketing and communications for them. They cared deeply about their mission, since it was the driving force of their organization, but marketing and communications weren’t their strong suite. They knew they needed to look and sound more professional in order to get noticed and grow, but they didn’t have time, or maybe even the know-how.

So, I stepped in. I’d already been freelancing, giving them advice, volunteering, and helping them as best I could along the way, but with this as my full-time business, I was going to be able to help them even more.

Many of these relationships became my first clients, and they’ve even stuck around for multiple projects, or referred their friends to me. It’s been a wonderful way to sustain and grow my business. Whether they need writing, consulting, or strategy help—and most often a combination of all three—these organizations have been a privilege to serve. I wanted to assist cause-focused organizations who were doing great things in the world. They were already making a difference, and I knew I could help them create a bigger impact.

It’s been an incredible journey, and I’m eager to start year two.

But first, here are seven lessons I learned from these first twelve months.