Even when you’re running or starting your own business — something you designed from the ground up — it’s common to feel like you only have so many options. Despite the fact that you call all the shots, you can lose sight of this once you’re in the thick of the day-to-day or when you’re feverishly preparing your launch. Even if you’re in the very preliminary stages of planning your new venture, you might think that you have to do things a certain way. But why? What makes independent professionals think there’s a “right” way to do things, especially when their ability to think creatively is probably partly what motivated them to start a business in the first place?
This has been such a wild year, personally and professionally. I have to be honest -- I’m happy it’s coming to an end and I’m ready for 2018.
While I'm thinking about my goals and planning for the upcoming year, I've been reflecting on all the wonderful--and not so wonderful--things that have happened over the past year.
Asking clients for feedback on services and products might seem like an easy task, but many business owners struggle with it. Some forget to build it into their business model, while others neglect the process entirely because they don’t like to ask for favors. Or they have no idea what to do with the feedback they receive. What if it’s negative or hurtful? What if the suggestions for changes or process improvements aren’t feasible? With all this in mind, is it worth the time and trouble to ask for feedback?
I’ve been putting off making this list for a few weeks now because there’s so much good new music from 2017 that I didn’t know where to begin. There were some amazing singles as well as full albums.
You know how it feels to work on a project that doesn’t excite you. Deadlines loom, the work drags, and you dread sitting down to complete any task associated with it. Worst of all, when you’re finally done with it, you don’t feel any strong sense of accomplishment or reward. You’re just happy it’s finished. Even if you don’t know why you aren’t driven by this work, you do know that it’s absolutely not for you.
How important is it for small businesses to develop original content? In my experience, it’s essential.
Before we dive into that conversation, let’s get one important thing out of the way: there is very little truly original content out there. When I say that, I mean “original” in the sense of being completely unique. Most ideas, no matter how niche they seem, have been discussed and written about already. Unless you are writing a first-person account of an experience, there’s a good chance that you’ll be rebranding or repurposing content so that it resonates with you and with your audience. So in a business context, original content simply means the content you own.
Of all the things you can say in a business context, “Can I pick your brain?” has to be one of the most loaded. In many cases, people really do want to help. They may have solicited help from mentors and colleagues as they built their businesses, and they now want to extend the same generosity to others.
For those who are unfamiliar with coaching, it might seem like talking to a coach and talking to a friend aren’t all that different. Both listen. Both want to support you. And both can provide unique perspectives on your situation or challenge. And yet, that doesn’t mean that a coach and a friend are interchangeable.
My friends and colleagues have called me a business unicorn, a manifestation fairy, and the most connected person they know. I’m very grateful for the compliments, and it’s true that I love connecting people to opportunities and making introductions among clients, colleagues, friends, friends of friends...you get the idea.
Building and launching a business requires focus, determination and stamina—there’s a reason people say it’s like a full-time job. When you’re preparing to make the entrepreneurial leap, it’s an exhilarating time. But what if it doesn’t feel that way? What if you’re so preoccupied by stress that you can’t focus on planning? While you don’t want to put your entrepreneurial goals on hold forever, there are times when it’s useful to take a step back and consider the timing of it all.