Category Archives: Business Bites

Business Bites: Do You Take a Break Over the Holidays?

diy cocktail stirrers

Photography: With Lovely

It’s that time of year where we all start wishing the time away and eagerly awaiting that glorious week between Christmas and New Year where we can all have a proper week off. Unless you work for yourself that is.

However long I’ve been blogging I always agonise over whether I should join the rest of humanity and step away from work completely, or if I should keep up my regular posting schedule. On the one hand it’s nice to lay down, watch crap tv and have nothing to do apart from pour another sherry. But on the flip side, if most of the western world are off work, the likelihood is that they’ll also be spending a lot of time online. After all there’s only so much family time you can take. Plus, Christmas is a time rife with proposals, surely wedding professionals in particular should be putting their very best content online during this time to capture the attention of the newly betrothed.

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Business Bites: Get Over It and Get It Done

theblogcademy lakshal perara

Late one night this week, as I was battling the jet lag and working way past 3am, I was simultaneously having an email conversation with Paul Jarvis: web designer, writer and all round awesome dude, If you haven’t obsessed over Paul’s work yet by the way, where have you been?

Anyway he sent me a copy of his latest book, Everything I Know, and while flipping through it I was met with an uneasy feeling of dread. It wasn’t dread knowing I had to read it (I promise!) it was an impending feeling that I’m not sure if I’ll ever match up. I haven’t said this publicly anywhere before but next year my grand plan is to write and publish a business book. ARGH.

I’ve been procrastinating on the whole thing for months because I’m shit scared. Scared that it’ll be rubbish, scared that people will point and say things like “What the hell does she know” and scared that I’ll tell you all about it and then never actually get it done.

Paul replied with possibly the best piece of advice I’d received all year, “Get over it and get it written” he said. And so that’s what I’m going to do.

So let’s all be honest with each other today. It is seriously scary to share your plans in public, especially if you’re not really sure if you have the ability to follow through, but let’s be brave and do it together. If I can share then you certainly can do. So tell me, what have you been procrastinating over recently? What do you need to get over and just get done?

BlogcademyMelbourne_1200px_052

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Business Bites: What Goal Would You Set Yourself If You Knew You Couldn’t Fail?

rocknrollbride beach janneke storm

Photography Credit: Janneke Storm

With my adventures down under soon drawing to a close, this week I’ve really started to think about my goals and plans for 2014. While, yes, it may be a little intimating to ponder a whole new set of tasks and things that need to be achieved, it is one of my favourite things to do. Someone in our Auckland workshop this week asked me why it was important to set yourself goals and commented that she was scared to do so in case she didn’t achieve them. I told her what I’m telling you now.

Goals are great because they not only set your head in the right space and give you something to aim for, by committing them to paper (whether publicly or privately) you are also much more likely to achieve them… and if you don’t, well that’s OK too, you have something to keep aiming for next time. Without goals we simply plod along aimlessly, having a concrete benchmark to hit is a massively powerful tool in our business arsenal.

As the latter part of the year creeps up on us, and if you haven’t already, I’d like to encourage you to set some 2014 goals for yourself and your business.

So tell me, what goal would you set yourself if you knew you couldn’t fail?

Why creative people sometimes make no sense
What you fail is more important than if you fail
Does my business idea have potential?
Success is for the lucky

“In business or entrepreneurialism especially, more luck and serendipity is required than anything else. So the only way to reduce the probability of loss is to try experimenting with new ideas as often and as publicly as possible. This is the only common thread with successful entrepreneurs: they keep trying different ideas until one sticks”

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Business Bites: Perfect Hotels, Blogger Mansions and Snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef!

the blogcademy down under janneke storm surfers paradise

So usually I open these Business Bites posts with some kind of work-related lesson that I’ve uncovered over the past seven days… but when you’re having so much fun exploring the Queensland coast there’s no time for nonsense like that!

After our surf lesson at Surfer’s Paradise we checked into our hotel for the night, QT Gold Coast. I’ll be doing a much longer post on this hotel chain at a later date because it was so damn amazing and you all need to know way more about it than I could fit into this short intro. After a blissful night’s sleep we hopped on a plane to Cairns and took the hour drive to our epic ‘blogger mansion’ (as we’ve dubbed it!) and from my Instagrams alone I’m sure you can tell that it’s pretty damn ridiculous.

And then it was time for pièce de résistance – snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef! Gala and Shauna have been feeling a little poorly this week so they stayed back at the house, but our photographer Janneke and I weren’t gonna let that stop us. Finally, yesterday we went jungle surfing in the rainforest where we were zip-lined through the trees and we all even went upside-down!

PHEW! This week has been nothing short of incredible and I can’t thank Tourism Queensland enough for spoiling us much more than we’d ever deserve!

Our first Blogcademy class is taking place in Brisbane this weekend so it’s back to the daily grind… although when you’re in Australia talking about your favourite subject it’s really not that much of a drag at all…

the blogcademy queensland janneke storm

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Business Bites: Three Ways to Prepare for Time Away From Your Business

pink girl

I used to make so many excuses for not travelling. “Oh I like being at home”, “I’ve just got too much work to do” and “I hate airports” were my favourite justifications. And then The Blogcademy came crashing into my life avoiding travelling just was not an option!

Now, I literally can’t get enough. I love love love experiencing new places and meeting new people. I’m even starting to weirdly enjoy airports.

But let’s not forget that when you run your own business it’s much harder to take off and leave it all behind. If there is no-one else that can do what you do, or can hold the fort while you’re away just how do you physically tear yourself back from your desk without worrying that your livelihood is going to come crashing down in your absence?

Well, in preparation for this latest jaunt I’ve learnt three very valuable lessons.

1) There’s no way around it, you need to work your butt off to get as much done before you go as possible. For me that’s meant long days and even longer nights writing and scheduling blog content and letting people know that I’m going to be harder to get in touch with for a few weeks.

2) You have to realise – and be OK with the fact – that when you run your own business you really can’t ever take a proper and complete break. I’ve bought myself a new laptop and I fully intend to keep up to date with as much work as possible while I’m down under (coming back to 1000 emails sucks balls. Believe me, I’ve done it).

3) Ask for help. I’ve enlisted some amazing guest contributors to send me a couple of articles for the blog which have massively taken the pressure off having to produce so much advance content myself.

If you haven’t travelled for a while I can’t encourage you enough to just do it. It’s now one of my favourite things to do and I can’t believe I put it off for so long! As long as you’re willing to put the effort into to being prepared in advance, it really doesn’t have to be that stressful.

LET’S ALL GO AND EXPLORE THE WORLD!

♥ Improve your small business cash flow
A women’s tactical advantage to entrepreneurship
♥ Simple SEO keyword research tips
♥ Who are these bloggers? Loving Holly’s response to Martha Stewart’s comments
♥ The number one branding mistake (there are a lot of wedding bloggers who fall into this trap!)

“The biggest branding mistake companies and organizations make is using an acronym or abbreviation for their company name. Acronyms can be convenient for internal use in your office, but they should never be used in public communications, including social media.”

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Business Bites: Ideas are Pointless

quick slacking

Can I let you in on a secret? Ideas are pointless. How many people do you know that have ‘brilliant new ideas’ all the time but never actually do anything with them? How many people have you heard say “Well, if I did that, I’d do it sooo much better”? How many Pinterest boards do we see full of amazing recipe ideas people will never cook or home décor ideas they’ll never implement?

If you’ve been sitting on an idea for a while, today I’d like to encourage you to actually do something about it. Maybe you just need to start some research, or send a few emails. Remember the first few steps are often the hardest. If you don’t, well that’s fine, but maybe it wasn’t such a brilliant idea after all.

♥ How to manage your business for results, with an iron fist
On shortcuts and being an overnight success
Science reveals what really increases Twitter followers

“Expressing negative sentiments in tweets is the second most harmful factor to growing a Twitter audience. This might be because Twitter is a medium dominated by very weak social ties, and negative sentiment from strangers may be unpleasant or uncomfortable for a potential new follower to see.” – Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology

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Business Bites: Giving Up Guilt

pink dogs

Cara Delevingne By Walter Pfeiffer for British Vogue, September 2013

It’s the same old song and dance. I got to Australia for our final leg of The Blogcademy 2013 tour in a little under two weeks (cue major freak out!) and so I’m spending most of my waking hours desperately trying to get as much blog content written and scheduled for while I’m away. This is no mean feat when you have at least two blog posts per day for three and a half weeks to do (not to mention the blog posts before I go as well!) ARGH.

So why, when I’m working so hard to get this done, do I still feel that stupid pang of guilt that I’m not doing more? There’s a big project that I really wanted to start on this month but I just haven’t had time… actually, that’s a lie, I could have found the time, I’ve watched plenty of crap TV in the evenings, but I haven’t had the mental capacity to do it!

I know I’m a crazy work obsessive and am always looking to push myself and Rock n Roll Bride to the next level but why can’t I just give myself a break already?

So I’ve decided that however much I really wanted to crack on with this project, it’s actually OK that I haven’t. The world will not end it it gets pushed back a little while!

However much you’re doing do you ever feel guilty that maybe it’s not quite enough? I think we all need to get over it.

What’s better than getting something for free?
♥ I’m so glad Lucy’s business tips with Ryan Gosling is back!
What every creative person with a product or service needs to know
Three steps for giving up the guilt

“Decide here and now that feeling guilty about what you have/haven’t achieved is a waste of your mental and emotional energy… use your energy reserves more wisely.  Instead of acting from guilt or obligation, choose your actions and reactions from a place of authenticity, knowing what your biggest values are and what definition of happiness you’re striving for.”

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Business Bites: Business Plans and Blogger Meets

chris craymer for british glamour

Photography: Chris Craymer for British Glamour

How am I going to Australia in three weeks?! But more to the point, where the hell is this year going?! So much to do, so little time… Ah sod it, I’m just gonna stop for a while and read some inspirational business articles instead. Who’s with me?

What inner city kids know about social media, and why we should listen
How to use social media to generate leads
♥  How to handle customer complaints
♥ 7 tactics your content marketing strategy Is missing
♥ Sorry, “working on your novel” is not a business model

“‘Making books’ is not my primary source of income as a writer. And probably never will be. Some writers might find that depressing. I don’t. I think it’s liberating.” Alexandra Franzen

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Business Bites: Vulnerability and Value

lavender wedding cake

This week I should have been really getting down to the grind and cracking on with my mammoth to do list. There’s always something to fix, or perfect or organise isn’t there? But despite supposedly having a busy week in the office, I allowed myself to do something I haven’t for a long while. I procrastinated.

I watched some crap daytime TV, Gareth and I went out for lunch (and stayed out until 5pm) and I even slept until 11am on Wednesday! It was awesome. Sure, maybe I didn’t power though my ever expanding to do list as quickly as I might have hoped, but you know what, that’s OK. As long as you don’t make a regular habit of slacking off, I don’t think there’s anything too terrible about just allowing yourself to be once in a while. The work will still be right there when you get back.

So why not allow yourself to slack off a little bit and read some of the fantastic business articles that I uncovered this week?

Just go home
Taking a breath
♥  Are your marketing emails getting ignored? These five reasons are probably why
6 steps to getting the perfect job
♥ Embrace the new

“The more I embrace the new, the more I feel at home on a path of growth and change. Going outside my comfort zone ceases to feel scary and stressful, and instead it becomes fun, stimulating, empowering, and even playful. I become comfortable in those spaces of awkwardness, confusion, and mistakes, knowing that whatever happens, I can deal with it and learn from it.” Steve Pavlina

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Business Bites: Bigger Goals and Geekery

edward addeo photography

Photography: Edward Addeo Photography

Spending two weeks away from my beloved computer doesn’t half make me desperate to crack on with work as soon as I get back. It’s totally geeky I know, but that’s just me! As soon as I’d gotten through all the emails (oh so many emails!) that had build up over the past fortnight I was straight onto plowing through my RSS feed to devour all those business articles that I’d missed.

My geekery is your gain… and there’s plenty to gain from this week’s selection, I promise!

Staying organised with an editorial calender
How can you develop an authentic brand?
Your goals are too small
♥ How to size your images so they look their best on Facebook
They throw rocks at things that shine

“What you need to know is the following: some people just won’t like you. And some people won’t like me. They’ll spend hours plotting to dismantle your name and shake the love you have for what you do. What I’ve come to discover is that these people are unhappy, disillusioned, and frustrated with their current state so they want to hurt others they way they themselves are hurting.” Jasmine Star

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Business Bites: New Ideas and Brand New Adventures

mmmm-lekker-lekker.1369396087-van-Pstelwagen

You know that amazing feeling when you get a genius idea for a new project? That rush of excitement and the anticipation of getting really stuck in? Well I had that this week. I was sat in Austin airport about to catch my flight home and Shauna and I were gassing about the things we have coming up. It hit me like a bolt of adrenalin and we immediately started scribbling notes about how I can make it a reality…

And no of course I’m not going to share anything more just yet (blogger’s prerogative!) but I think those of you that love the Green Room will be particularly excited when you find out what it is (I hope!) That’s all I’m saying for now..!

Dreaming big! How I landed my dream job in a dream startup
♥ Here are some fantastic links if you want to give your blog a quick make over
We deserve the clients we get

“But the truth is, we deserve the clients we get. Bad clients aren’t the result of some cosmic force working against us, they’re more likely the result of our own actions.”

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Business Bites: Eat All The Things!

mexican food

I didn’t mean for the intros to these business bites to always be about food, but I guess the series name lends it to be. It’s official, Texas has the most insane food! Since I arrived here on Wednesday we’ve eaten more delicious morsels than ever. It my be a work trip but vacation rules still apply right? I.e. sod the diet, I’m going to try everything! Weird cheese dips, frozen margaritas and wine, and more Mexican food than I even thought possible. The rumours are true by the way, Austinites are very proud of their food culture – we’ve had more eatery recommendations than ever. I kinda wish we were here a bit longer so we could actually try it all.

I guess we’ll just have to come back…

♥ Just shut up and blog
♥ How to deal with doubters, unbelievers and naysayers
♥ What your Twitter bio says about you
♥ Love the work your with
♥ How I stopped waiting to become a writer, quit my job & launched my dream

“There was power, I learned, in giving more than taking, being generous instead of greedy.”

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Business Bites: Making Your Dreams a Reality

one pot spagetti

Image: Apron Strings

I’m not the best housewife but I made this for dinner on Monday night and it was flipping delicious and SO EASY. It look a whole ten minutes. I actually added some chopped up sausages to it after it was cooked too, Gareth is a hardcore carnivore and a veggie dish for dinner probably wouldn’t have gone down that well. Oh yeah, I’ll be winning that wife of the year award in no time!

But onto much more exciting things, lovely business learning clicky links:

How to make a good first impression
♥ 6 tips for managing multi-author blogs without losing your mind
♥ If you’re looking for a new WordPress theme for your blog or website, Shauna has laid out some of the best places to get ’em.
♥ Stuck on what to blog about? Use these awesome prompts (88 of ’em!)
 Darren Rowse of ProBlogger spoke at World Domination Summit all about dreams and how to make them your reality. It was great. Do yourself a favour and take a 40 minute break to check it out…

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