10ConfessionsCover
Branding, Branding Balance, Freelance

10 Confessions from an Ordinary Person Who Happens to Run a Business

Today . . . I’m finding my community. I’m talking about my peeps that think the way I do, but it’s hard for me to wrap my head around finding people with whom I share common ground if we haven’t defined the ground on which we stand. (Wow, that was dramatic). So, I’m defining the ground. Below are 10 confessions that may or may not be interesting to you, but they sum up my thoughts. Oh and I have included some shareable images with each. My thoughts in graphic form. Please share if you agree.

1. I’m a reluctant blogger, but I do it because connection matters.

I’m not sure if you can tell (hopefully you can), but I consider myself a writer. Well, maybe. The true writers of the world may snub me for not treating this craft with the respect that I should, but I do love writing. I’m just a reluctant blogger. I’m learning over time, but it was difficult to believe that people cared about what I had to say. Who am I? Turns out at least a handful cares. So . . . thanks!
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2. I think my kids are hella cute.

Most parents think they have cute kids, but I REALLY think my kids are cute. Honestly, it’s a good thing. Sometimes that’s the only reason I stay sane.
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3. I can’t stand it when people talk in movies unless it’s me. I usually have something really important to say.

I understand that’s hypocritical. Usually, I only think something is important if I was the only one in my group that read the book and the movie left something out. Those details eat away at my soul until everyone knows them and then I can rest and watch the rest of the movie.
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4. I choose better instead of bitter at any possible moment.

I literally remind myself of this at least once a week. If it’s a rough week, then it could be daily. I believe that bitterness is a disease that lay dormant in the face of optimism and faith, but as soon as it is fed in any form (thoughts, words, actions, etc…), it eats away at EVERYTHING including things that aren’t even a part of the problem.
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5. I pretend know current events in a conversation and then actually research it later.

Don’t worry. I don’t do this for big important stuff or people seeking my advice. Anyone that knows me will tell you I’m happy to admit when I don’t know something, but I think currenteventsconfession5


 6. I’m not easily offended. Inevitably, I will need forgiveness too.

Whenever we speak or react, I believe it is a combination of what we consider societal norms, stereotypes, personal experience, and insecurities. I know it’s not always about me. I also know that I’m human and will mess up eventually. With that always in mind, it is difficult to offend me unless you disrespect my kids. Then, I will cut you. (J/K but not really).
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 7. Family is everything to me, but family isn’t always blood.

I love how the right people step into your life in just the right season. Isolation is luring and deceptive. It makes you think you are being independent and strong. It’s a lie. Our strongest moments are our most vulnerable ones and sharing those moments with the right people makes them family.
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 8. I’m a Texas girl, born in the 80’s that LOVES music from the 60s and 70s.

No joke, my kids walk around with The Commodores on their playlists. I used to bump Al Green in the parking lot of my high school and watch the Temptations movie on a daily basis. I’m not going to say I was born at the wrong time because I couldn’t have existed without my computer and the Internets (as my uncle says), but the music is amazing.
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 9. Goals are not my thing, but I celebrate each time I surprise myself.

The creative, unorganized side of my brain takes over from time to time (or most of the time) making structure difficult for me. Goals are structured or at least the way I think about them. I suppose my ultimate vision is my goal, but if I think of it that way, I will get intimidated. Goals are like broccoli. I would much rather have them smothered in cheese.Goalsconfession9


 10. I believe personal and professional balance can slow your ability to make money, but it allows you to enjoy the money you do make so much more.

I love being a successful entrepreneur or infopreneur as my friend says, but I can enjoy it because when I break from it, there is something meaningful to go to. Making sure that you are putting just as much into your personal life as you are into your professional life helps avoid burn out and reduces stress. It also helps you love your brand longer.
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Do you have any confessions as a business person (keep it clean, please)?

How to Avoid Sounding Like a Jerk When writing for Business
Branding, Branding Balance

How to Avoid Sounding Like a Jerk When Writing for Business

Hopefully, we are all familiar with the concept of social cues. You know the hints that guide conversations and social interactions both personally and professionally.

Some people have a hard time with social cues, and, as a society, it’s important that we are patient with each other. However, when it comes to business, I don’t want to you to go out like that (slang for look bad or get labeled negatively).

So, my goal in this post is to remind most of you and teach the rest of you how to avoid sounding like a jerk when you are writing for business (books, blogs, social media, etc.). By the way, when I say business, I don’t mean big business and I don’t mean instruction manuals either.

I’m talking about helping out your fellow entrepreneur, freelancer, small business owner, etc. You may be thinking, “Actually Brittany, you sound a bit like a jerk right now.” Sorry. (Remember that little bit I said about being patient with each other?)

#1 – Humility is a tricky thing. If you admit to being humble, you aren’t.

Arrogant person thinking he is a king of the worldThere is a fine line between communicating your accomplishments and boasting about them. I believe the difference comes with the tone and context. If you must talk about what you’ve done, that’s fine, but do it in such a way that it doesn’t alienate or diminish others. Also be sure that the situation calls for it. For instance, if you are writing a book, every example shouldn’t be about that time that you did something and it made millions. Or, even about that time that you tried something and it failed, but then, out of nowhere, it made millions. There is a time and place for that, but not every time and every place.

#2 – It is a fact that Albert Einstein, Ernest Hemingway and Andrew Jackson were horrible spellers, but that’s why spell checkers exist.

Learn 2 SpelI’m going to attempt to be vague and specific simultaneously in this example. (If it fails, at least I told you what I was going for). Years ago, my BFF and I decided we were going to take a class on self-publishing. We walked into a professional environment, scoped out the instructor wearing her conservative business suit and took the book she was handing out that had her very professional picture on the back.

Here is where it gets bad. We start reading from the book and there were so many spelling and grammatical errors that we left. That’s right. We left. Having a few errors here and there is understandable. I’m sure I could pull 10 out of this post right now, but when your errors become a distraction, you will not be taken seriously in the business world. Edit. Please.

#3 – Say what you need to say and move on. Save your ramblings for people with longer attentions spans.

Keep It Simple sign with clouds and sky backgroundIn college, one of my English professors would take off major points if the assigned essay exceeded the suggested page amount. I assumed it was because he wanted to have a life outside of grading our papers, but later, I realized that it is a challenge to write concisely and say exactly what you mean. Going off on tangents can lose your audience.


 

So where can you apply these little golden nuggets of goodness immediately?

How about when you use the month of May to write a book?

Yep, you heard me. You will write a book in 31 days.

Introducing InfoBoMo (Infopreneur Book Month)

Infobomo website - write a book in a month

The Details
Four other awesome infopreneurs and I are going to take you through a month of writing, editing, publishing, designing and promoting a book in 31 days.

There are two tracks.

download

You can go join the Free InfoBoMo Challenge and get an awesome 20-page Welcome Kit filled with writing tips, design tips, checklists and a lot more as well as join in some Twitter chats. Again, that’s 100% free.

OR

You can join the inexpensive InfoBoMo Guided Community that includes guided lessons for every weekday in May, a suggested schedule and breakdown of tasks, personalized support from your hosts within a private online community, the immediate support of others writing a book and checklists galore.

To register and find out more, visit InfoBoMo.com.

Don’t worry (because I’m sure you were), these won’t be the only tips I have for you during InfoBoMo, but when you write your book in May, I really didn’t want you to sound like a jerk.

rebranddiary4
Branding, Freelance, ReBrand Diaries

7 Things You Must Learn to Love to Stay Motivated in Business (and Life)

Have you ever wanted to throw your hands up and say “I’m done!” I know I have. You work so hard to get your business or blog off of the ground by chipping away at your content plan, gaining a few more Twitter followers, getting a couple more likes on Instagram and then you do it all again in hopes that you will reach some sort of break that will launch you to the next level.

If you are like me, you just hope you aren’t wasting your time. That’s why I started writing the Rebrand Diaries. I felt it was worth it to chart the journey of my business as it related to my life and family in hopes that it would encourage others.

Here is what I have learned to love so far.

Love the Process

Apparently endings are not a priority anymore. What do I mean? When was the last time you actually enjoyed the ending of a movie…not the movie itself, but the way it ended. I remember being in middle school (junior high for some) and reading The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline B. Cooney. I loved the book while I was reading it. It was the first time a book engaged me that way, but the ending was a cliffhanger.

Angry, I went to my mom and told her it was the stupidest book that I ever read. She laughed at me and said, “How was the book stupid, if you couldn’t stop talking about how much you loved it?” I realized I loved the story…the journey to the end. (I wasn’t old enough to appreciate the cliffhanger)

You don’t know what life has in store. Major life events occur and mess with the balance of your life and your work. The time you have to devote to certain things could change or the capital you have to make things happen professionally can decrease. Because you don’t know…you have to learn to love the process. Learn to appreciate your place in the present while setting up your place in the future.

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17 Classic & fresh ideas for gathering customer feedback that builds your business and improves your brand
Branding, Branding Balance, Graphic Design, Resources and Tools

17 Classic & Fresh Ideas for Gathering Customer Feedback that Builds Your Business and Improves Your Brand

I love to play a little game on my phone called Trivia Crack, and I often play against my husband. You can have multiple games going simultaneously, so he sometimes asks me for answers and I forget to check who he’s playing before I give him the correct one (I have no shame in sabotaging his game if it means I will win…don’t judge). Because the game has 6 different categories of questions (history, art, geography, sports, science and entertainment), I am quickly reminded that I don’t know everything and there are certain categories in which I don’t score well…at all.

This is exactly how your business works. It contains so many different categories like customer service, accounting, sales, data, etc.. and you can’t be great at all of them. Customer feedback can provide the right-on-time, specific suggestions that can help make your brand memorable and relatable.

So without further ado…let’s get to it. Some classic and fresh ways to get great feedback from your customers that will build your brand and further your business.

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UXAuditPostLong
BMAYS Design, Branding, Resources and Tools, WordPress CMS

What is an Online Customer Experience Audit and Why You Need One

I’m going to be honest. I spent about 20 minutes trying to come up with some witty, memorable anecdote to illustrate the idea that all websites serve a purpose and why you need be sure that your site is doing it properly, but I had nothing. Then I got an email from a client that said,

“This [the audit report] is really great. Clear, actionable items that I can systematically implement. Thank you.”

I decided to let go of my amazing anecdote fantasy (the story was going to be so amazing if I could have thought of it) and let this testimonial speaks for itself. Let me tell you a little more about what this client was referring to.

What is an Online Customer Experience Audit?

When you have a website made, it usually does something. You may want to sell a product, provide information, raise awareness, raise money or do any number of things. Unless we are talking about a website like FallingFalling.com (Epilepsy warning…not kidding) or KoalastotheMax.com, there is a specific experience you planned to provide for your audience that likely affects your bottom line in some way.

How do you know what visitors think when they land on your site? Are you showing them what you want them to do and how you want them to do it?

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