It's been hard to focus on work, what with all the spring sunshine, flowers, birds chirping, soft breezes (and sneezing). Years ago I would have fought the urge to take a day off, thinking I needed to be disciplined and work, but not any more. I've learned how rejuvenating it is to take regular breaks, even during the week. I end up refreshed, renewed, and better able to focus. Thankfully, we live close to the Getty Center and love exploring the garden throughout the year. This spring is especially spectacular. Harry and I had a wonderful time and want to share a bit of it with you:
Harry and I are completely alike, except in some very opposite ways. We both like to be organized. HOW that happens, well, very differently.
Getting organized is highly dependent on your personality. One person's "organized" is another's nightmare. There is no one right or wrong way. You have to figure out what works for YOU. Take a look at what we do:
Harry is a paper kind of guy, he likes to spread out. I don't like paper. Clutter makes me edgy, so I go digital. Don't let anyone tell you that you HAVE to do it a certain way. We have a client who lives by her sticky notes. All over the wall. That works for her.
By the way, that's Evernote I'm using on my iPad. I HAVE to have a master "to-do" list plus lists for each client/project, recipes, and personal stuff. I collaborate a lot, share files and info, and need to be reminded to do things.
Evernote is the love of my life (after Harry). I started with the secure free version, now pay $35/year ($2.92 per month) for awesome collaboration/sharing/reminder features. I use it every day both for work and personal organization and it stays sync'd across my desktop, iPad and phone. Yay!
How often should you update your website? Whenever the information and images on your website become dated, when you have new information to add, and when you have finished and photographed new work or new products. No less than four times per year, in my opinion. Then viewers, and search engines, can see that you are active and productive.
Very often I see websites that have not been updated in years. Lack of current blog posts, old resumes and bios, old copyright dates, and no recent information make it very easy for the viewer to assume that you are no longer in business, not creating anything new, or that you're not really serious.
Also, make sure the design and navigation of your website are up-to-date and looking fresh. If your site hasn't had a facelift in a year or more, it's time.
Mark your calendar so you don't forget. Get some help if you need it. It's not a good use of your time to spend hours struggling with it and your results may look less than professional.
Contact me if you need help. Websites are a big part of what we do to help keep you going strong.
All my best to you and yours!
I learned this treasured piece of advice while shopping with my daughter for shoes, many years ago. The very nice, older shoe salesman was talking about his marriage and why he felt it was a success. What he told me was gold, and I've since used his advice in our business as well as in my personal life.
He said, "The most important thing in relationships is what happens first and last. That's what people will remember, no matter what happens in between."
He went on to explain that in the morning when he and his wife got up, they tried to make sure the first thing that happened was pleasant, and the last before they went to sleep. A kind word, a shared moment, a smile, a hug.
I've read the same advice in marketing books, about how your first and last contact with people are the most important moments. That's what they remember. It's absolutely true. It's not about selling, but it is ALL about building relationships.
Think about it and notice how many times throughout your day you have opportunities to make your firsts and lasts special.
Email newsletters should be an essential part of your marketing. They are low-cost and give you the opportunity to connect with the people on your mailing list.
To make sure that your newsletter isn't dry as dust, follow these seven simple guidelines from Michael Katz of Blue Penguin Development. I have learned so much from his newsletters and classes:
"Buy things you can’t afford or don’t want. Either choice is a sure fit for unhappiness. When you buy things you can’t afford, you go into debt, which limits the other choices available to you. When you buy things you don’t want, you lie to yourself about the real source of your unhappiness.
"Compare yourself to others. The love of comparison is the root of much misery. Therefore, judge your success or worth based on other people, especially those with a different background from you. Do this on a continual basis, always looking for a new idol or competitor in which your ideal unhappiness lies.
"Take no joy in the journey. Focus only on the destination without appreciating the ride. Fail to celebrate small successes, and neglect to pause for reflection on how far you’ve come." ~ Chris Gullebeau.
He's got more ways to be unahappy on his blog (and a lot of other good stuff too).