Grab a Neuro And Finish the Work Day Strong

Are you the type of person who is self-motivated or needs caffeine to tackle the day?

I am a combination of both. Working long hours takes a toll on my body. I try to stay “fueled” by eating portioned out homemade meals, exercise, and limiting my consumption of sugar.

What keeps you moving throughout the day?

A healthy lifestyle has many benefits. No one is perfect and I know it’s hard to find good supplements to help with our individual goals.

My goals are to take in less sugar, limit my caffeine after 10am, sleep well, and increase natural energy sources. All this means I love muti-vitamins, snacking on fruits, vegetables, and nuts are some of the ways to give my body a natural boost of energy.

One of my favorite fruit drinks is Bolthouse Farms “Blue Goodness”. It is a combination of blueberries, blackberries, apples, and banana. The blended mix gives me antioxidant power to fight my allergies and an alternative to caffeine.

I might have scared a bunch of you off by suggesting that favorite healthy sources are vitamins, fruits, and veggies. When I need something different and need a pep in my step, I go to neuro drinks.

Neuro - RTC

Source credit: Neuro on Twitter  |  Words: RTC

If you like lightly carbonated water and more flavor than a soda can give you, then try Neuro. I have the “Sonic” and “Daily Immunity” in my house at all times. The “Sonic” is 35 calories and tastes like a fruit soft drink. It is equivalent to one cup of coffee (in terms of energy it gives you) without the crash and jitters.

What sources do you use to get you through the day?

If you LIKE my business page on Facebook, you will see a common thing happening on Fridays I call a “Friday Focus”. The topic varies by what you suggest or what comes to mind. My goal is to help YOU, the reader, to take away something valuable than you may not have considered before. If you want to contribute to an upcoming Friday Focus, please leave me a comment and we can make it happen. 

6 Ways to Overcome Social Media Overload

We all know social media helps us stay connected to those near and far away. I can browse through wedding and baby albums and send my congratulations in seconds. In return, I can share my adventures with my Handsome and others can see what we are doing since he has been back from training. Staying connected is important and enriching our lives. What happens when you get social media overload and cannot keep up?

You know what I’m talking about…

Alerts on our smartphones, reminders sent to e-mail, notifications on Facebook, mentions on Twitter, and everything in between is hard to manage. I admire the journey Jason Surfrapp is going through. He took a 30-day social media detox. When you run an online marketing business like we do, taking a break from social means no money. I am sure logistically speaking he knew what he needed to do to cover the gap of time. For me, I follow these steps to disconnect to recharge myself and my work to prevent social media overload.

1.  Your time is valuable. Limit the amount of time you are on social media. I have found browsing during a set time frame gives you your fix and get off. Without set limits hours go by and life happens without you.

2.  Airplane mode. I spoke with an Australian business man who reminded me of this feature. Turn your devices to airplane mode to get peace from the outside world. He suggested to do this to get a good chunk of work done. I have done it when I go out for a walk in my neighborhood. It’s your turn to think of clever ways to use this feature.

3.  Do Not Disturb for iPhone. This feature turns off notifications and most calls (contacts not set as favorites).

4.  Uninstall / Reinstall. It is that simple. The app will still be there in the App Store to reinstall when you are ready for it.

5. The cell phone stacking game . Have you played? It is a simple and sure way to get the attention of those you are engaged with at a certain time. My family and friends play it when we go out to eat.

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6. Filters. I am one person. I run a business. My clients think they are my only client. On social media, I am managing anywhere from 2 to 7 accounts a day (on Twitter alone). Every social media platform has filters or customized settings to clear through the noise.

Twitter: use lists effectively

I unfollowed over 150 people and added him/her/company to an assigned list. I can only take in so much on my home feed. When I know to know something about health, I will look at my health/food list. When I need motivation, I will search the #HustleMuscle or quotes list to get it.

Facebook: to be-friend someone or not to-be friend someone — use categorizes

Again, I cannot keep up with over 500 Facebook friends at any given time. I have added categorizes of how we met. Did we meet during school, work, or church? Guess what? You have a filter on your account to help me keep up with your life. The home feed gives me a recap of everyone and sometimes it can be time consuming. “Liked” pages also have this setting with subscriptions. Use them for instant updates or go to them when you are ready to browse the pages interest.

Pinterest / Instagram are straight forward. Follow or unfollow.

 

If you LIKE my business page on Facebook, you will see a common thing happening on Fridays I call a “Friday Focus”. The topic varies by what you suggest or what comes to mind. My goal is to help YOU, the reader, to take away something valuable than you may not have considered before. If you want to contribute to an upcoming Friday Focus, please leave me a comment and we can make it happen. 

It’s Time For A Change: Words from Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

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Before you read what Dr. Wayne W. Dyer says about change, please know these words are not from me. His words were taken directly off his Facebook fan page and onto this blog post. I do not take credit for the following text and wish to praise what he has said to inspire me, and … Continue reading

Going After What You Want is Hard Work: A Story From An Entrepreneur

“If it were easy everyone would be doing it.” I have heard this many times since I started my business. The thought of owning my business is far different from where it was four years ago. I do not regret a single thing but wish someone would have given me an actual glimpse of what it looked it to prepare myself.

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“Money is like oxygen.” Bruno (@bcoelho2000)

If you do not have money, you and your business are dead. It is wise to save up three months or more worth of bills set aside before launching. I did exactly three and it went faster than I anticipated. This resulted in me working multiple jobs just to bring money in. Tip: Save at least six months to a years worth or bills. Avoid credit cards and business loans.

Low-Hanging Fruit vs. Money Makers

When I stated in my business, I needed to build a portfolio to showcase my talent. Imagine going up to a car repair shop and applying for a car mechanic job with no actual experience working on a car. Yeah. Luckily, I found tradeoffs early in my business to get experience under my belt. A local gym needed help with online and local marketing, so in exchange for my services I was given a “free gym membership” and discounted health vitamins.

The low-hanging fruit term is what I call clients and projects that are in front of you. Just because they are in front of you does not mean you should do business with them. These projects and clients can be a distraction or produce low results in your own business while you help them in theirs. We all want to go after the money makers where it’s a mutual tradeoff of time, experience, and pay for both parties involved.

Carry your business card like you carry your cell phone.” @BMSomerville

How many times have you been in a place and meet someone new. You both talk and then you are asked for your business card and you don’t have it on you. Shame, shame. If you carried a stack of business cards like you carry your cell phone, you would ensure you are putting your name out there. No matter where I am, I keep a handful of cards handy to give my information out and to take down information of whom I am speaking with.

Nurture Relationships Before the Dry Spells

After meeting someone, I go through a methodical process that works for me. I exchange information with them and try to connect with them online to start creating a relationship with him or her. Within a week, I try to e-mail them a personalized e-mail reminding him or her how we met and would like to connect with them further. This can by done on LinkedIn or Twitter and ask for a time to talk on the phone or meet again one on one.

When a meeting takes place, I send a thank-you card in the mail thanking them for his or her time. (If you mail it to their office with the Attn: NAME it will get to them without asking for their home address.) During the meeting I take down mental notes that I file in Evernote’s Hello app to remind myself what the other persons interests are ahead of my own. By remembering a few details like this are golden in the world of networking. If I find anything industry related or an article that reminds me of him or her, I send it to them with a casual follow up.

By doing this, a business relationship is now nurtured. When my business runs low on referrals oddly enough my network comes back to me like I have for them in the past. When you have a good networking system, the system works for you and grows your business.

Grow Strengths and Outsource Weaknesses

I am great at strategizing and planning with a creative flare for any industry. I am not good at web coding, SEO, or grant writing. If a client or opportunity comes my way, I can two options:  Put a smile on my face, say yes, and ask for help behind closed doors or outsource my project. The latter seems to work best for me. Do you remember the network I was nurturing? I keep them close where I can ask if someone has free time to take on a new project. We discuss the details and I will outsource it to them. I am transparent with the client and tell them I have someone working on it and the project gets done. Everyone is happy.

Hello #HustleMuscle, goodbye 9-5

I set my schedule to get work done. I know what days I work on what and set deadline to keep me on track. The more I juggle, the less I see “regular business hours”. A half day usually means I work anywhere from six to eight hours. A full day means I am working a ten to fifteen hour day. This is not to scare you or brag, but to give you a reality of what it costs to go after what you want.

Schedule Downtime, Rest, & Play

My schedule is determined by me and my workload. When every client and project is scheduled, I go back and schedule “me” time. The mornings are best for me to meditate and pray. The early evenings are better for me to escape for a quick run and make dinner. The mid-afternoons are good for a quick power nap or walk to the local coffee shop. Our bodies are not meant to go, go, go… I notice my body gets exhausted before my mind is tired.

What lessons have you learned running your own business? What advice would you give to other business owners or entrepreneurs?

6 Free Resources to Better Your Business

Where do you learn about better business? We have plenty of resources how to manage and grow a successful business. We can read a magazine, book, interview/meet with a thought leader, watch a video, read tweets, scan through blogs, and the list goes on and on. The internet is full of articles and video channels to close a deal, but who has time to sort through it all? We have found six resources to better your business.

  1. Watch Shark Tank on ABC. We love watching Shark Tank because it reminds of the David and Goliath story. We see smaller businesses try to get bigger so they ask for an investor to help them grow. This is a path some businesses may follow while others may find another way. Throughout the show, we are given tokens of wisdom from a “Shark” (self-made millionaires who grew their own businesses) of what not to do. We suggest watching a show a day or on your down time to write valuable business lessons from the pros.
  2. Subscribe to an industry magazine. We have many subscriptions because we are a marketing business. By following a number of magazines, we stay in tune with a majority of the industries we offer our service. Consider subscribing to a magazine in your industry. Magazines are primed to announce and share industry trends and happenings, so this is a sure way to stop on top of what is in the now with each issue.
  3. Subscribe to a company’s RSS feed or YouTube channel. We love Ted Talks. The company is consistently producing great work we aim to do in our own business. Instead of copying them, we put into practice what motivates us. By subscribing to their RSS feed, we get an e-mail of the blogs that appeal to us and can view them on YouTube for further application. This is a combination of the number one and number two resource.
  4. Follow a #hashtag. What’s a hashtag? We like to follow #BusinessTips, #SMM, and #HustleMuscle on Twitter. Why Twitter? Twitter has resources outside your zipcode where Facebook and LinkedIn are all within your “defined network”. Twitter is full of resources beyond your zip code. With that in mind, follow a hashtag and use it in your own content strategy. Soon enough you will find others using the same and form possible business connections.
  5. Download the app Perch. What is your competition doing? How well are they doing it? How are you doing compared to them? This app allows you to plug-in your competition and other top players in your industry and receive their online marketing efforts in a digest format. Instead of focusing on the outside, let the app do the work for you. A weekly digest of your competition’s happenings are sent to your email. This saves you research time and allows you to scan through anything.
  6. Join a networking industry group. We have joined a local marketing group called #theJOMM (Jacksonville Online Marketing Meetup). The second Tuesday of the month we meet at 7pm at CoWork Jax downtown. Every mo the we network and learn about the latest marketing trends and best practices. Each meeting provides us with valuable connections and lessons to apply to our business.

How do you find resources to better your business?

Are You Flying Off The Seat of Your Pants? Forecast Before You Launch

Are you flying off the seat of your pants? Are you moving from one appointment to the next? Does your week run together? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, this article is for you. This article will highlight tips to forecast your week, tools to use, and how to manage your time better. And if you have any tips to share, we’d love to hear them.

The term forecast is related to weather, but as a noun it is a prediction or estimate of future events. If you run a business or are trying to accomplish a goal, you might forecast upcoming events to attend, appointments to make, and other work that needs to get done. Simply put, to forecast your week can be your guide of what you needs to get done instead of what can be done.

Forecast Before You Launch

What does it look like to forecast? We know to map out your week can be tiresome. How are you suppose to know what the next few days will bring? Try to pick a weekly schedule or routine and stick with it. We like to have a daily agenda made at least two weeks in advance for meetings, projects, daily business demands, etc. to commit the time it takes to do whatever IT is.

What does a weekly routine look like? We are a business that runs Monday through Friday with business and outside client commitments. This is a brief description of what we aim to do:

Sunday:  Day of rest, forecast for an hour with calendars*

Monday:  Work half day

Tuesday:  Work full day / Schedule and Attend Meetings

Wednesday:  Blog / Work Full Day

Thursday:  Work half day/ schedule Friday Focus

Friday:  Work half day

Saturday: Evaluate week / Make Note of High’s and Low’s

This routine is a general guideline of what we hope to accomplish each week. It is flexible to a degree where we can move items around. We have learned the more consistent our schedule is the more productive we are on those days.

How do you forecast? We use calendars to remind us of what is important and what isn’t. We limit our forecasting to an hour on Sunday to save us a time later. We have noticed our productivity has increased throughout the week instead of backtracking and flying off the seat of our pants to the next appointment.

We love electronic and hard-copy calendars. We use iCal for Apple and synced it with Google Cal. We know not everyone uses Apple or Google so we chose to use both to maximize our availability and diversity.

iCal synced with Google Cal

We send meeting requests by inviting whom we are meeting with to the meeting through Google Cal. (Since our electronic calendars are synced, the invitation shows up on our iCal as well.) We keep our Google Cal meetings “private” so each meeting shows us as “busy” to those who can view our calendar. Clients who ask to see our calendar can, but we keep the privacy of other client meetings and appointments private. Do you like privacy or public calendar settings?

The hard-copy calendars we use are from Get Buttoned Up (under the Productivity Section). Other great resources can be found here. We download and print out the “too many to-do’s” and make out our weekly list. We use a daily calendar to map out the day here and fill in our productivity for the week here.

The idea is to get ALL your to-do’s off your mind and on a the “too many to-do’s” list.

Too Many To-Do's

When you print out the daily calendar, you can put the to-do on which day fits your schedule or routine best.

Daily ScheduleAnd lastly, evaluate your productivity to see if this is working for you or not. We have used this system for a while now and found the first two to be the most beneficial for us and our focus. The last form we don’t always have time to go back and fill out, but try to review the days to see if we accomplished what we had set out to do.

Weekly Time Management

Now, where to begin? Use the resources we had mentioned or find others to forecast your week better. The key is find what works for you. Not everyone has the same method that will work for you. Ask friends or business partners for tips. And lastly, share your best practices with us and we will be glad to tell others about them.

If you LIKE my business page on Facebook, you will see a common thing happening on Fridays I call a “Friday Focus”. The topic varies by what you suggest or what comes to mind. My goal is to help YOU, the reader, to take away something valuable than you may not have considered before. If you want to contribute to an upcoming Friday Focus, please leave me a comment and we can make it happen.

Make A Change or Be The Change

Everyone where we go, we have options. In a coffee shop, we can have whole milk, fat-free milk, soy milk, whipped cream, or no cream. In a clothing store, we have relaxed fit, boot cut, and straight fit. When it comes to the way we live our life, we can choose to be positive, negative, “religious”, or a non-conformist. The possibilities out there are endless.

Psychology has told us birds of a feather flock together, meaning you are drawn to the things that you associate yourself with. There is no right or wrong in choosing a different path than someone else. And when you find a group or company that aligns with the way you look at life, a special connection forms within you.

Apple has done wonders to make a ripple in the music industry and commercials advertising a different choice of devices. #ShoeDazzle has made a spark in the  world by offering fashionable shoes to everyone out there who loves shoe. And now, LLAG Life has influenced a set of entrepreneurs who want to change the world around them.

What is LLAG Life? It is a company that aims to live, learn, achieve, grow, love, inspire, fulfill, encourage through the talents and passions of hard-working people. I saw a tweet on Twitter that had an eye-catching t-shirt. It was bold and it questioned my mentality as an entrepreneur. Was I bold enough to wear it proudly? I ordered the Jordan Stupar t-shirt in green (of course) and flocked into what Nate at LLAG Life has to offer.

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Do you have a talent? Are you passionate? What can you do to make change in your own life? Embrace your differences and follow the LLAG Life for encouragement on your journey. We cannot do this life alone. It is all about your individual #HustleMuscle and who supports you.

Do you have a new idea? Mantra? Talk to Nate and he can help display it in on a t-shirt to motivate you with his apparel.

Big Success Comes From Smaller Victories

I came home from a two-week vacation and found each work day had a long list of priorities ahead of me. I found myself questioning why I went on vacation when all this work appeared impossible to catch up on. I questioned my motives.

Why was I even doing this? To pay next month’s bills? To live another day? The answers were circling my thought process. And then I set smaller goals:  Get through one more day. Survive the week.

Big Success Smaller Victories

Guess what? Each day got a little longer and easier than the day before.

I made a running to-do list. (There was about 50 things I wanted to accomplish.)

I prioritized them. (Business, personal, clients, etc.)

I made action dates to get them done. (What to do on Monday, Tuesday, next week, etc.)

And got to work. #HustleMuscle

When I had a handful of tasks checked off my to-do list, I celebrated by being spontaneous. I ended up getting 42 of the 50 items off my list with time to work in my garden, see Steve-O at the Comedy Zone with my mom, have dinner with my sister and nephew, have lunch with my dad, and catch up with a friend.

Mom and I @ Comedy ZoneWhat does this have to do with being spontaneous? When I started working for the small victories, a bigger success followed. Reward your effort on your own merit system. Find time to put your work aside and come back to it.

If you LIKE my business page on Facebook, you will see a common thing happening on Fridays I call a “Friday Focus”. The topic varies by what you suggest or what comes to mind. My goal is to help YOU, the reader, to take away something valuable than you may not have considered before. If you want to contribute to an upcoming Friday Focus, please leave me a comment and we can make it happen.

Why You Should Better Yourself and Why It Matters

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With any goal or dream, the next step is usually the scariest and most rewarding step anyone can take toward their destiny! This big step tries to paralyze you with fear of what lies ahead. When you strive to better yourself, you create a motion of change to take place. This change is for any area of your life, including … Continue reading