Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Too Expensive? Or is It?

I had a few health issues back in August where I changed my diet for the better now that I’m in an area where there is more opportunity to buy quality food.

I switched from generic dairy and meats to quality meats. I noticed a difference in eating quality foods. I can no longer stomach certain fast foods.

When I mention I shop at certain places I usually get “I can’t afford to shop there” or “It’s to expensive” or “I can’t justify paying their prices”

Those comments are true on many points….for someone a strict budget I get it. I’m not spending a couple bucks more for the exact same product I can get somewhere else.  It’s interesting though, food and what we put into ourselves is often a low priority.  We get the “cheapest” products we can find when in fact our body and health should be a top priority.

We spend money on take out a couple times a week, drive through coffee, alcohol, clothes, unnecessary trips, things that all add up. Since I moved to a larger city, it is tempting to spend more. I started a “Spend on a Whim” journal….where I’m tracking all my take out and money I “would have spent” So far this month I would have spent over $40 on things I would have spent but found a cheaper and just as effective solution. You may think while $40 isn’t that much, it does add up.  

When you look at the bigger picture, cutting back and becoming a minimalist can free up some extra cash for quality food. You would be surprised how switching to healthier choices does in fact make you feel better and helps you cut back on things you REALLY don’t need.  

Thursday, 17 November 2016

ONE person ONE move can mean BIG loss

In 2011 I moved to a community of around 12,000 for a job. In March of 2016 I was downsized from my full time job and started working for myself full time from home rather than part time.

Working from home means I’ve cut back on:

Gas – I don’t need to drive as much
Clothes – I don’t need to wear professional clothes as much
Take Out- I’m on a budget and have everything I need at home
Stationary/Office supplies – Everything I do is on line
Wants…Needs are more important than wants when working for yourself.

In December, I’ll be moving to a community of 90,000. I’ll still be able to run and grow my on line business and look for something full time.

So here’s a rough breakdown of business that will be loosing money with me moving:

Health and Wellness and Appearance Upkeep -  $1000 a year
Gas - $700 a year (I went to one gas station for 6 years)
Independent Local Businesses - $2000 a year.
Other Businesses (Groceries/Car/Misc) $5500

In total that’s roughly $9,200 I put back into my local community yearly,  give or take a few numbers….multiply that by the 6 years I was up here that works out to 55,200…ballpark….for 1 person for various services. That figure of course will vary per household.

I never realized how ONE person coming into or leaving a community can affect the local economy financially. Having said that, all it take is ONE person to move back into a small community to balance it out. Think about it when someone new moves into your community. All it takes is one person to have a domino effect financially. 

Monday, 13 June 2016

Social Media Open Media

When I was working full time in Radio I always made sure I conducted myself professionally wherever I went. I set certain boundaries and I stuck to them. Like everyone in the media industry you need to keep up with social media. I make sure I tweet, and blog and update my Facebook.

Even though I have two Facebook accounts, one for professional (for listeners and clients) and a personal, I never post anything negative about work or former employers on either account. I admit, like 90% of social media users I have posted my share of “rants” on my personal Facebook, but I never singled out a person or specific organization.

Several twitter accounts come with the disclaimer “All tweets are my own and do not reflect on my employer” Even though I’m currently a “Freelance Content Provider” I still like my tweets to reflect on me and my company or future employers. Even with a disclaimer, our on line presence STILL reflects who we are and who we work for.

Statistics say people are now turning to social media by vocalizing their “complaints” to the world rather than complain directly to the company.

I get people have a right to post whatever we want on our private Facebook pages, but is posting a negative review really going to further ourselves?

It’s the same for employment. I’m still amazed at the amount of unprofessionalism that people still post on line….not just social media. 

The internet has become a way people use to “have the last word” or “make their point” It can be therapeutic to write down how you are feeling or how you have been misunderstood or how you have been treated badly. I have written letters to myself on my current situation how I need to improve it. It was hung up on my bulletin board and left for me to read, not posted all over social media and my webpages. There is a fine line between being vindictive and moving on.

Bottom line, what post ANYWHERE reflects who we truly are and once it’s out there, it’s out there.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Up and At Em

This is a society where we have now cocooned ourselves into "me me me me"....sad to say but it's true. We feel sorry for ourselves for whatever reason... and yes some of it may be we post it on Facebook, tweet about it and now we even Instagram it and let the ALL of our inner circle know how badly we've been treated or how no one loves us....oh come on admit it we've all been guilty of reading/posting
A few month back I was sitting in on some skating lessons and a little fellow caught my eye. He was on his rump more than he was on his skates the ENTIRE lesson. Not once did he complain "It's to hard. I can't do it" He got off is hiney, stood up.......and instantly fell back down really he did....face first..right on his bum, you name it he landed on it...........BUT he kept GOING.
SOOOOOO we as adults who are older and wiser have the POWER to keep going. Sure we can't control some things, it's all in how we respond
Let's think before we post our woes on social media....yes life can be tough/disappointing and the list goes on....we ALL have our issues in life....BUT we all have the power to Master our own Ships... (You can thank my cousin for the Master our own ship part, she kicked my bum with that phrase a couple weeks ago)

Sunday, 21 February 2016

The Personal Touch

As a kid I was brought up in a very “personable” home. My parents taught me the value of being personable. If I received any form of gift, a Thank –you note was sent. I was taught, if you receive a letter, you reply.

I carried that on into adulthood personally and professionally. Any e mail I receive through my full time job or my part time side businesses I run, every e mail gets a reply. Same goes for social media messages.

Recently I started to wonder if I was wasting my time with that philosophy.  A few weeks ago I decided to use my transferrable skills and eventually expand with freelance work for audio production and social media consulting. After talking to Chantal from Enterprise Temiskaming we discussed the lack of "personality" and interest business owners/employers have in general. I know myself I have had a few negative experiences with a couple companies wanting my services but had no interest in talking to you personally or even researching what I did, but rather push their years of experience or direct me to a poorly constructed webpage with a list of their rates. The "I don't have time to answer your questions but you need my service" is a big turn off to any client or employee.

This wasn't the case however when I was re searching music production companies.  Zach from First Com called me personally.  Right off the bat he mentioned where I worked, what I did part time and even mentioned a few hobbies. He had taken the time to check out my webpage and catered his conversation to benefitting me, not just the company he worked for. Throughout several conversations and e mails and thanks to his personal touch I felt like an induvial not a number, which made me want to work with his company. I’m using some of Zach’s approach when potential clients contact me, by responding with a comment about their job/company.

I had a similar experience with Jennifer from Mossop Media. I remember watching Jennifer as a news anchor on t.v when I was a teen. I stumbled across an article that was posted on Facebook written by herself about "Life After Job Loss" I shot off a quick e mail telling her I enjoyed the article and to my surprise I received a very personal e mail back with some great tips on how I can improve my future. She didn't push her company or her philosophy on life but rather challenged and encouraged me to better myself. 

Now I see how important the personal touch really is for networking and sales in any business. Those positive experience make me want do business with those individuals at the same time bettering myself and improve my businesses so my clients will have positive experiences themselves.  

There are many benefits to taking a few minutes out of our busy schedules to connect with potential clients or individuals. It may not generate business, but it says a lot about your character, which is important for any one in sales or the public eye or an induvial branching out on their own with personal projects.

There's always a TON of negative situations that sour us to stop doing what we stand for, but there is ALWAYS someone who reminds us, to keep doing what we know is right.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

The Working Routine Makes you Seen

Lately I have been working on my side businesses a lot more and I have discovered the importance of a “working routine/schedule”.  

Here’s a few tips:

  1. Get dressed. Believe it or not getting dressed and brushing your teeth and hair can make you more productive. You don’t need to wear business attire, but working in clothes other the PJ’s can make you more focused.
  2. Schedule a time you start your business and keep too it. Schedule it in your daily to do list.
  3. Inform family and friends of your scheduled time for your job so you have minimal disturbances.
  4. Schedule your “ coffee breaks” and set a specific time to it (10 to 20 min)….and stick to it.
  5. Keep the distractions to a minimal. Music can help but try and avoid t.v/netfilx or anything that may visually distracting in the background.
  6. Set your cell phone to an emergency ring only and set important contacts to a specific text sound, it helps ignore the unimportant texts.
Treat the time you are working on your side business as a JOB. The more you treat your venture as a JOB the more successful it will be.  If you don’t cruise Facebook or social media or webpages at your full time jobs, don’t do it for your side/home based business.

Get rid of the “I need to make a quick buck” mentality.  I’ve discovered part time entrepreneurs who are successful have followed the formula investing time and treating it as a job have gone far.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Dedicated Time and Space Brings Higher Customer Data Base

Over the past couple of years I’ve been running a side business from home and I’ve been expanding with other side ventures.  So often people want to run something on the side to make a quick buck to supplement their income.

Many people don’t realize side business don’t grow without two important things, invested time, and a proper home office.

During the weekday I work my full time job, on my off hours I set aside specific times for business activities.

Before my full time job I have a scheduled time I check e mails (including social media accounts), source out contacts and reach potential clients. 

In the evening I block out a certain time to work on my side business. At that time, I’m not logged on to any social messaging apps and my cell is set to an emergency only ring. Texts are sent to my computer so only important texts are answered.

With the nature of my one side business, I don’t plan any unnecessary evening activities from Sunday through Thursday. However, if there is someone who needs my time for something important I’m not rigid.

A functioning home office is a must. Entrepreneurs can run a highly functioning home office at a minimal expense. I live in a small living quarter, but I have a section of my place dedicated to a small home office. My organizational supplies didn’t cost a lot, many fashionable yet functional items were bought on sale  or at discounted prices…even garage sales and local artisans can offer what you  need for a highly functional yet professional looking home office.

Small home run businesses can be successful if you devote the proper time and dedicate a proper working space.  Like anything, when you put dedicated time and effort into your small business it will eventually grow.