What do you have to say? Do you know how to say it? If not, your message will definitely come back to bite you in the fanny. We’re seeing it every day in the news, aren’t we? People say foolish comments and try to take them back (i.e. delete their tweets and Facebook posts). But it’s too late, the damage has been done. What’s even sadder is it’s something that could be prevented in the first place! Continue reading “Communication Will NEVER go out of style”
I can’t believe how long it’s been since I posted here. I never imagined being this busy and caught up with trying to get other things done. But more on that later, right now I’d like to get to today’s topic!
I attended one of my networking meetings today. I’ve discussed the importance/necessity of networking groups in the past, so I’ll just reiterate briefly how they are VITAL in the world of solopreneurship. Being around people with similar goals and visions pays off immensely. I’ve been in this particular group for at least a year now and it’s consisted of the same group of people for the most part, so they’ve seen me from day one of hardly having an elevator pitch, Continue reading “Value Yourself, Value Your Business!”
I will say upfront – you don’t need any type of degree to be a freelance writer. However, there are specific skills that come with this line of work and are required in order to have a significant impact. So the degree is not necessarily required, but education is a must. Here’s why… Continue reading “Does Education Matter When it Comes to Writing?”
Are you trying to expand your writing business or get noticed? What steps are you taking beyond sitting behind the laptop? Yes, social media has its advantages but getting out there and getting involved definitely has it’s benefits.
Sometimes, it takes going back to the basics. Yes, we’ve read endless blogs on how to make connections for your business via Twitter and Facebook and this and that. All of that is good and true. I can personally attest to how Twitter alone has boosted my business, but in my opinion real groundwork still has to be laid before reaping the benefits of social media. Here are some ways your writing business can grow:
Small business meetings: These types of groups are all over the place. Every city, town and neighborhood has some sort of meeting group for small business owners, where a set schedule, they meet and share advice and pitch ideas to each other. It’s very beneficial and quite important for anyone starting out particularly in the world of freelancing. As you can see on my page, I am a part of Femworking which consists of women business owners who are looking to thrive in their talent. It supplies endless resources from folks who are more than willing to share what they know.
Running your mouth on the phone: I got one of my first decent paying clients by chatting with a former co-worker one evening. We were catching up and I was telling them of my latest venture as a writer so if they knew anyone who needed service, send them my way. I didn’t even take myself seriously when I said it. A few days later, I get a phone call from someone who was referred to me by that co-worker. I was elated and was able to formulate a great deal for myself and the client. Everything is not done via the laptop. Getting out there, chatting and communicating with those right underneath your nose just might lead to your breakthrough in writing. Let those close to you know what you’re up to.
Word of mouth: With the example provided above, I can’t help but emphasize even further. One thing that folks are good at is talking. Now is a good time to put gossipers to use! Once your service is out, it’s bound to spread. That’s definitely what happened to me. Word soon spread about my services and what I was offering. It was especially attractive because the prices were fair and reasonable.
Mixers: Another form of face-to-face networking. I’m pretty sure they hold networking meetings in your town as well. It doesn’t have to be a specific freelance or business network. It could be on the topic you blog or write about. I recently attended a mixer on public health. I stood out in the best way because I was the only one walking around the room with the title “blogger” underneath my name on the name tag. This got people’s interests immediately and I made great connection that way. It wasn’t a freelancing event, it had to do with an area that I was familiar with and figured I could someway tie it into writing since I cover health and wellness topics. Whatever your niche or passion may be, find a social event or forum being held in your area and attend, representing your website or business. Nothing but good can come out of it.
Explore your neighborhood: Check out the small businesses in your area and find out if they need a way to communicate with their customers on a regular basis. If so, don’t hesitate to tell them what you can do. You’ll have to convince them that they need you – which they do because every business needs to keep their customers engaged. Stop by, give them a business card (and/or resume) and let them know you can write for them. You can also visit the local newspaper offices, libraries and community magazines. All of those outlets involve writing services. If you get rejected, that’s okay since it’s all part of the process. Keep getting out there and engaging until you land some potential clients.
What steps have you taken so far?
Among the many hats I wear is that of a full-time career woman. Over the past 15+ years I’ve seen things and people come and go. This includes rights and wrongs as far as moving up the career ladder. Nothing too complicated, but little things that go a long way. People have come to me with questions regarding their advancement ad why they don’t move up as fast as they think they should. Well, there are always different factors and situations that will affect one’s career, but here are 5 solid ones I think will always stand the test of time.
Always complaining without presenting solutions. There’s nothing that irritates a boss or manager more than that one employee who complains about the company’s problems, but doesn’t present a solution of some sort. Not that your boss expects you to turn the company around by yourself, but many of them welcome suggestions that may help with current problems in the office. Don’t assume that your voice won’t be heard. Come up with a well thought out plan that can help with a current problem and present it at the appropriate time with your boss or during a staff meeting. You’ll be surprised at the end result.
Your physical appearance. This is one of the most common ways people ruin their professional image….their appearance. It’s quite horrifying what people chose to wear especially when they work in a highly professional environment that deals with plenty of customer service. You’re the initial representation of your company or department. It doesn’t make sense to wear:
– sloppy jeans
– tight jeans
– low cut blouses
– halter tops
– flip flops
These items damage your credibility and decrease your chances of being taken seriously. Do you have to come in wearing Armani suits five days a weak? Absolutely not. It doesn’t take an expensive wardrobe to be presentable everyday, especially if your office is business/casual. Some folks take this granted and become too comfortable with the “casual” part. Wearing a decent cut blouse and slacks will do the trick.
Here’s a useful link on office attire tips that won’t bust your budget: Perfect Your Professional Image at Work
Wearing your emotions for the world to see. There are many types of personalities in the average office environment. People come from different types of backgrounds and upbringings that may or may not mesh well in a professional environment. Additionally, some days at work are just awful and you’re ready for it to end already. While it’s normal to have such days and things don’t always go your way, it’s so important not to let your emotions control you and your reaction to the un-pleasantries of office life. Walking around with a frown or sitting at a staff meeting with your arms crossed and face turned up will get you absolutely nowhere. And don’t think your boss doesn’t notice because they don’t say anything.
In actuality, they do notice and make note of it.
It’s not a good look and it just shows you’re incapable of handling certain responsibilities, making management less likely to rely on you. Well if they can’t rely on you then your chances of getting that promotion are pretty much shot. It’s better to take a moment away from everyone and put your emotions in check. Whether it’s in a bathroom stall or venting to someone during lunch break, it’s better than walking around announcing to everyone how ticked off or disappointed you are about something. Keep it professional and make sure you do what’s expected of you…with a smile. It’s easier said than done, but it’s possible.
Not giving your best. It’s funny how those who do the bare minimum of their responsibilities are always the ones looking for praise and accolades. All they did was their job (barely) and they didn’t even bother to go above and beyond. If you’re looking to stand out from everyone else, you have to give management numerous reasons to have confidence in you and what you deliver because at the end of the day, your work speaks for you. Doing the bare minimum and expecting rewards for just showing up to work won’t cut it. Paying attention to detail, reviewing your work before submitting and performing quality assurance are habits that will make you stand out in the crowd – especially if you have decent management. Have pride in your work and interactions with people. Believe it or not you’re building a brand of yourself and want it to be as effective as possible.
Now, this doesn’t mean slaving away and being treated like a doormat. Know your worth and be smart about what you produce. It’s important to not only be on the grind, but to give yourself credit for it as well. If you’ve created a new form or an effective way of doing things in your office, keep track of that as a kudos to yourself and update it on your resume. If the time comes for you to ask for a promotion or salary increase, you’ll have solid reasons for management to consider (if that doesn’t work out, there are other companies who just might appreciate your accomplishments!)
Getting caught up in office drama. Another big turn off for other co-workers and management is the office gossip. They can’t wait to spread the latest rumor (or start it) and get in everyone’s business. It’s unprofessional and makes you look unproductive and horrible at your job. It doesn’t matter if it’s a corporate setting, beauty salon or mechanical shop. Gossiping at the job starts nothing but trouble and at the end of the day does damage to your image. It shows that you have little to no work ethic and can’t be productive when needed. Plus, you’ll be surprised at how aware management is of office gossip, who started it and who keeps it going. The last thing you want is for them to see you that way or to categorize you as a gossip. It’s one thing to be aware of it and something else to be caught in the middle of it. Avoid those who come around to run their mouths. Don’t encourage conversation with them and make it clear that you’re not interested. Keep a low profile and stay productive!
Are you frustrated in your current job? Have you thought about your next move? Ask and share right here in the comments!
As indicated by the button on the left side of my blog page, I’m part of a networking group. This organization is designed for independent business women trying to make their mark in the world. There are women with all kinds of backgrounds who are a part of the group. I’ve attended a few meetings and every time has been a rewarding experience. No one is hesitatant to provide guidance or advice on how to market your brand and work your away around social media. It really is a group of unique women who are willing to share.
This whole social media thing
I’m no stranger to the internet, but some avenues of it leave me slightly skeptical. After ending my relationship with Facebook after 5 years, I opened an account with Google and have been on there for a while now. I recently joined Linkedin, but haven’t really made my rounds there yet. I was highly encouraged by the group to get back on Facebook especially because it’s the nucleus of their organization, which is understandable and makes perfect sense. My previous encounter with Facebook made me tired of the personal ads, obnoxious friend requests and annoying privacy changes. When I first joined Facebook, it wasn’t with any real purpose; it was something everyone else was doing and it was a way to reconnect with folks you hadn’t seen since high school…well I’m pretty much over that now – next! After a few years went by all communication pretty much stopped between me and my contacts. If I really wanted to talk to I would call or text….and I didn’t care about your current status talking about eating a cheese sandwich while in the bathroom. Who cares?
Now, the purpose has been re-visited and re-defined. I haven’t gotten back on Facebook yet (one step at a time folks), but I feel a LOT more comfortable going back in with a business approach. This means fresh new contacts and a healthy way of networking, at least that’s what I’m hoping for. In the meantime, don’t get me started on Ello! I’m still trying to get comfortable with Facebook and Twitter! Well, I’ll ponder on it for a second: Do I think it will blow Facebook out of the water? Not really. Just from glancing around the site it doesn’t seem as feasible to navigate as Facebook. For example, those small circular pictures can get annoying – how are you supposed to recognize the faces or objects? Maybe it looks better on mobile phone. I haven’t read much about it so that’s pretty much all I have to say about it for now.
Learning the art of “paying it forward”
Because I’ve been introduced to the world of sharing (and caring), it only leaves me with the duty to be the same towards people who are not as knowledgeable as me in this journey of freelance and social media. The information I’ve learned at this point has really taken me places, all because people were willing to share and help me along the way. The advice they give is priceless; not just from Femworking but from other networks I’m currently a part of, such as Hub Pages (shout out to Billy Buc!) and Google. The great friendships I’ve built thus far encourage me to actually take time and build my online profiles with quality, instead of just rushing to put my information out there for the sake of numerous visits. I’m doing it because I actually look forward to working with and helping people. Why are you doing it?
Is it worth joining these types of networks?
Absolutely. Even if it’s just a few bucks a month, it’s well worth the investment. You’re not only investing in your business, you’re also investing in people which is a must in this line of work. The connections are endless, and the time is well spent. Because of networking, I’ve gotten clients for the line of work I wasn’t even planning on doing. But since I’m skilled at it, I don’t mind exploring and expounding in that area. Well what is it, you may ask? Stay tuned and find out!
In the meantime, I can be reached on LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and Hub Pages. Stop by and say hello….you may never know how it might turn out! : )
Here are some recent thoughts I shared on Hub Pages:
Remember: sharing is caring!
It’s been a while since I’ve done a Daily Post. I came across it today and couldn’t resist! So if I had to come up with one question that would determine whether or not I would let someone be my friend, what would it be?
After going through some of life’s hard knocks, one learns a lot at some point and they also are fed up and put up boundaries. Not out of spite, but because they know their worth. The question I would pose is this:
Would you take advantage of one’s weaknesses and vulnerabilities, or would you pounce on it to make you feel better about yourself?
I’m not sure how old the readers of this post are, but at some point in life you reach a place where enough is enough and you have to draw the line. It’s like second nature for most people to take advantage of someone when they don’t know any better or don’t have certain strengths. They jump on the opportunity to make someone feel even worse about a vulnerability they have just to make themselves feel better. It’s like those fights your classmates used to have on the playground where one person got beat up. When that happened they would run home and get their “reinforcers” to come and take care of the situation. Don’t treat people in such a crappy way because when they come to realization about themselves, they come back with reinforcement and you will NEVER treat them that way again!
This is not just in friendships, it’s every where in life, including the type of job you decide to take and what writing assignments you decide to accept (yes, I had to make a writing reference – I’m a freelance writer for crying out loud!).
So if you’re finding yourself saying “no” more or having an answer for someone who comes at you the wrong way, there’s nothing bitchy about it. You’re growing and you’re learning your self-worth.
And most of all – ask questions! Ain’t nothing wrong with that!
Today’s food for thought comes from another African proverb:
“He who is destined for power does not have to fight for it”
This simple saying speaks volumes. I hope it speaks something to you and your life as you read this post. Life can definitely serve some curve balls; and for some, it just started out on a bad foot. But it doesn’t have to continue that way. This saying reminds me of the story of King David. Before he was crowned King of Israel, he knew he would hold the title, but circumstances at the time were the complete opposite. King Saul, his predecessor was in complete denial about losing his position and gave David hell about succeeding him. It got to the point where David had to seek refuge in the fields and hide for a while because Saul was after his life. It was one incident after another – enough to discourage anyone from pursuing what was theirs. But David never relented. In fact, he didn’t really make a big fuss about it because he knew the position was his, so there was no reason to put up a fight with Saul for it. When the time came, he was appointed to his new office and was able to claim his title as king.
Simple, but not so simple.
A certain fixation of the heart and mindset has to be in place in order to have this type of approach to adversary. I personally feel we are all destined for power, but life, family history and other circumstances have clouded that vision and realization. There are certain things in my life that I’m looking forward to. They’re not happening at the moment, but I know for a fact that they will. Why? Because I have to ability to see it that way because I’ve ingrained it in my mind. Of course, reaching this point didn’t happen overnight, and there’s still work to be done in building up my mind and faith. Every little positive thought and prayer makes a difference. For instance, I decided a few months ago to use my writing as a platform of expression and excellent income. It’s going to get to the point where I will watch the income roll in without lifting a finger at times. Am I there at the moment? Nope, but I know that my business will get to that point. I have a plan. I have a strategy and I have the will power to push because I know what I want. But at the same time I don’t go around throwing it in people’s faces to prove a point. I just know it will happen and I will be in a place of comfort and establishment.
And what exactly is power? Let’s visit that for a second because power tends to be associated with the wrong concepts like position and being able to control people. I’m not talking in that perspective at all. I’m talking about real power.
Power is stillness. Power is that quiet strength one has to control themselves, not others. Because of that type of control, they have a positive influence on others and are able to make serious moves. If one can inspire others in a positive way, I consider that power. Not because of the effect they have on people, but because of the quality they carry within themselves.
I’m going to end this with another quote in conjunction to today’s food for thought. Are you in a rut or at an all-time low? Is your business not where you want it to be? Read this quote, say it to yourself, then take a step further and look into the mirror and say it out loud to yourself:
“At any given moment, you have the power to say, ‘this is not how my story will end’ “.
Watch things change.
I really do. My friend and I recently embarked on a new eating adventure in an attempt to eat healthier and drop some pounds. We came up with a list of foods to stay away from and read up on foods that would provide healthier options for us. We’re setting goals and making changes one step at a time. In those changes, we’re struggling to let go of pleasurable foods – especially those that satisfy our sweet tooth! But because we set a goal, certain things MUST be sacrificed.
During this “cleansing” journey, we’ve both already made some pitfalls along the way. I have a tendency to really beat myself up when I fall short or don’t stick to what I had planned, not so much with my friend. They simply said we can keep going and just modify more as we go along – no stress because of setbacks. I thought to myself, hmmm…they have a point!
So there are a couple of things I’m taking from this experience. One, if you want something to improve, there are some steps you’ll have to take that won’t be the most fun. This is where self-discipline kicks in. As I mentioned earlier, I hate apples, but I will eat them because they are good for me and I want to be in a healthier state physically. Will I eat them on the regular? Heck no, but I will do my best to incorporate them in my eating habits by substituting them in place of sweets that are not so good for me. I know what I want and will do what needs to be done to get it.
The other point I would like to make is allowing oneself to operate in their human nature. It’s okay to mess up. Mistakes and bad choices will be made, but that doesn’t mean the journey has to stop.
A quick quote:
“If you have made mistakes, there is always another chance for you. You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call ‘failure’ is not the falling down, but the staying down.” – Mary Pickford
On the job experience
I recently had a rough day on the new job. It seemed like everything I was doing was wrong and kept getting kicked back. It made me feel awful, but it didn’t stop me from asking for help and finding out what I needed to do to improve my work. Once I approached the boss about it, they didn’t hesitate to offer me insight and guidance. They were once in my shoes and made the same mistakes I did and told me I shouldn’t feel bad, just learn from them. Now I have the tools to help me prepare my work with better quality so that it doesn’t get kicked back. I also learned to dig deeper within myself to be more keen and attentive to what I’m doing.
So from apples to heart to heart conversations with bosses, it all boils down to self-discipline and perseverance. Don’t burn yourself out trying to outdo yourself or others, and keep going despite the setbacks you may have. These life lessons are definitely being applied to my writing journey as well. While some doors have opened for me, I’m still not where I would like to be as far as platform and exposure goes. Does this make me want to throw in the towel? Not really, but some days are definitely more encouraging than others. Nonetheless, I decide to keep moving forward.
With that being said, I hope you too decide to let your mistakes teach you instead of bring you down. As a writer, fashion blogger, chef or whatever it is you decide to do, learn from your human nature and make the most of it.
Have you practiced self accountability? If not, what’s the hold up?
I probably should’ve named this post: To Whom Much is Given Much is Expected….oh well.
The past few weeks have been extremely busy for me in a good way. As some of you know, I recently started a new job and it’s been great. There’s the orientation, adjusting, adapting and of course learning. A lot of information is thrown at you and you must catch it and keep up (I think I’ve done fairly well in that area, thank you 🙂 ).
A New Sense of Purpose
A significant part of the reason why the transition has been successful is because there’s been a new need or fresh sense of purpose. I’ve had to redefine my career in a good way and it has caused me to exercise mental muscles I haven’t used in a long time. It’s important to sit and redefine things every now and then. It helps refocus on the goal at hand. Because I’m in a new position I was kind of forced to sit down and redefine the direction of my goals and career.
Letting Go of the Old
The mindset and attitude definitely have to be looked at during this process. It’s so easy to carry concepts from an old situation and carry it into a new one. Most of the time, this can be a hindrance. The past couple of weeks have been a complete culture shock for me; as I learn my new duties and expectations, I compare them to what I did before. In the past, there was continous strain and dealing with way more than I was supposed to deal with. It’s the complete opposite with the new setting and it’s taking me a minute to get used to that. I’ve been told three times already “no, you don’t have to that here” or “no, you won’t have to worry about that – it will be done for you”. Wow! I’m really working on reprogramming my mind so that I won’t over exert myself for no reason; I had gotten so used to doing other jobs and duties outside of my own that I’d come to see it as normal. It wasn’t. Now I had to refocus on my actual position and zone in on that vs. mastering other positions. I have to admit, it’s been a challenge for me, but I know I’ll be fine.
Strap on those Boots and Get to Work
Not just in a physical sense, but mentally to have the right frame of mind to be productive. When something you’ve been wanting finally happens for you, it’s vital that you’re prepared to handle it properly. If it’s something along the lines of a promotion, be prepared to have more demanded of you and be sure to deliver. If the opportunity comes for you to be in charge while the boss is away, be sure to put your best foot forward. Don’t just gloat in the the so-called limelight of being in charge for a day (that’s just ridiculous) put forth effort in every task. I was recently placed in this position and had to sweat in order to meet certain demands on time. It wasn’t perfect, but the effort was definitely noticed and acknowledged.