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5 New Years Resolutions For Every Entrepreneur

5 New Years Resolutions For Every Entrepreneur 900 900 BrandFiend

Well we meet again! Us vs. another new year. It seems like only a few months ago when we walked into 2017, right? But that’s one thing about time, it doesn’t stop or slow down for anyone, no matter who you are. While we hope everyone leveled up in 2017, we also know this is the time of the year we all reflect and figure out how to be better moving forward. As entrepreneurs, business owners, doers, dream chasers, or whatever you want to call yourself, we all have things we can improve on. Below is a list of 5 key things we as entrepreneurs should keep top of mind heading into the new year and throughout all of 2018.

1. Get Healthy.

I know I know, most of you already have this on your list, and that’s great! But really, when you’re in better health, you have more energy, are more productive, and overall happier. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or not, who doesn’t want those things as a part of their lives? So whether it’s hitting the gym a few times a week, eating better, or both, let’s make a healthy lifestyle one of our top priorities in 2018. That way we can reach our full potential physically, mentally, and emotionally. If you need some motivational gear or need a team to hold you accountable, check out our good friend Brandon Miller and his Be Great & Accountability Gear.

2. Get More Social.

Social media is one of the best ways to engage and interact with customers, spread brand awareness and connect with potential supporters of your brand. If you have a Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn account that is dormant, spend the next year being active and optimizing these channels. Use the different tools provided by each platform to help build your following and grow your brand, it’s all about consistency. For example, our LinkedIn and Twitter pages are lacking heavily. This year we will focus on bringing those to life a bit more, spreading our message and engaging with people on those platforms. If you’re already using these channels, figure out ways to engage with your following even more. Also, don’t just be present on these platforms, focus on building a brand, something people will remember and appreciate! Need help telling your story even better on social media? Hit us up!

3. Charge Your Worth.

Jay Z said it best in 2017 when he said “Set your price and live your life.” and “Sometimes you need your ego, gotta remind these fools.” (If you’re looking for more motivational vibes check out our Fiend Vibes playlist) But seriously, I know we’ve all thought it at some point along this entrepreneurial journey! We’ve all had that moment when we feel like we’re worth more than what we’re charging. So this year let’s focus on being confident in your gift, standing firm, charging what you’re worth, and truly leveling up!

4. Learn Something New.

I’ll be the first to tell you that I don’t know it all, nobody does. Although we may be skilled at whatever it is that we do, don’t be afraid to learn something new. Pick something different to master this year, whether it’s related to your field or not, it’s always important to keep learning and stay sharp. It’ll help you become a more well rounded individual and entrepreneur. Learning something new may also help spark a new service to provide, as well.

5. Remember Why You Started.

When all else fails, remember why you started! Because as we know, obstacles will come, it’s just a matter of when and what those obstacles will be. And a lot of times those obstacles distract us from the bigger picture. But through those rough times, we must continue to remind ourselves of why we started, why we’re doing what we’re doing, why we wanted to become entrepreneurs. That alone should be the push to get us through those tough times.

Happy New Year, Fiends!

3 Strategies For Handling Your Hustle During The Holidays

3 Strategies For Handling Your Hustle During The Holidays 900 900 Aqweela Green

Image result for santa on computer

3 STRATEGIES FOR HANDLING YOUR HUSTLE DURING THE HOLIDAYS

This year FLEW by! Last minute shopping, inquiry responding and holiday festivities are beginning and you’re starting to freak out! Don’t. With as much as you have on your plate, from your full-time gig to your personal life, you’ll soon start to feel swamped with obligations. This is not the time to set your side hustle aside, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get down to business. You’re probably giving me the Kanye “How Sway?” look right now, so I’m going to explain 3 strategies that will help you to handle your side hustle during the hectic holiday season.

         1.  )  PLAN/SCHEDULE: USE A CALENDAR Image result for calendar gif

You WILL eventually forget if you don’t write information down. First of all, you have a “side hustle”, a whole full-time job, on top of being human. Forgetting is inevitable. Something we always say, “I’ll put that on my calendar” has become more of a saying than an actual action. If you haven’t already, you’ll need to obtain a planner that you can carry with you on a daily basis. Instead of allowing it to collect dust in the corner of your dresser or purse, use it to jot down all of your commitments and tasks you’d like to tackle each day. Utilize your phone and your physical planner.

TIP: At the time that you agree to a meeting or a project, take a moment to schedule it in your phone/planner. Include dates, times, locations, contacts and project/meeting name. Be sure to invite attendees or people you’re collaborating with via email or text immediately. Clarify all of the details with them and make sure it’s scheduled on their end as well.

            2.  ) PRIORITIZE & SAY NO WHEN NECESSARY

Your priorities lie somewhere between paying bills on time and successfully completing the 10 projects you promised would be done by the end of the month. At times, we can be so eager to take on more work than we need to, risking our sanity and in some cases the quality of our work. I get it, you’re hustling and trying to make ends meet without having to deny any possible customers. Yet, during this time of year, it’s important to distinguish which projects/personal gatherings will be more beneficial and which will simply be a distraction from your current commitments. The last thing you want is to be stressed out from taking on more than you can handle. This can lead to a loss with both your client and your credibility as a reliable professional.

TIP: I’m not advising you to literally tell potential clients “No”. It’s imperative that you simply inform them that you are temporarily booked. To ensure that you don’t run them off to another business, let them know a date that you can get them locked in right away. Organizing an efficient and balanced schedule for handling your everyday work and personal duties is going to be prominent in your journey to prioritization (Yes my friends, it’s a real word).

     Image result for vacation gif   3.  ) A LITTLE “ME TIME” IS OKAY!

As most companies nationwide have specific office hours and special holiday schedules, so should you. Make an adjustment to your availability calendar, marking off the dates that you’d like to take a vacation. Create an automatic reply for your email while you’re away. This prevents clients from assuming that you are disregarding their messages, and allows you to enjoy your well earned vacation in peace.

TIP: My biggest tip is to give yourself a break. Either allow the weekends to be your work days, while after full-time job hours you relax, or vice versa. Whichever you choose, just make sure that you leave your 9 to 5 work just that. If they’re only paying you during those hours, the work should begin and end at those times as well. Meet your obligations, fulfill your passions, be daring and adventurous on your time off.

If there is any take away from these 3 strategies, it’s my encouragement to push forward and strive for productivity during the holiday season. Also, don’t forget to treat yourself!

Break Out of Your Creative Rut & Flourish

Break Out of Your Creative Rut & Flourish 900 900 BrandFiend

Let’s face it, we’re all human. I know I know, sometimes as creatives people tend to think we’re super heroes & while we may possess some magical capabilities we all fall victim to a creative rut from time to time. But don’t worry, being stuck isn’t a bad thing, staying stuck is. Here at Brand Fiend we juggle tons of projects at a time, and when you’re paid to deliver these amazing ideas in a short time frame, getting overwhelmed is bound to happen. I’m not going to lie, sometimes I sit in front of my computer, getting absolutely nothing done. Not because I don’t want to, but because I haven’t found that rhythm that’ll help me produce the best work. So if you’re anything like me, you want to get out of these ruts as soon as possible. Below are some tips to break free from your creative rut & FLOURISH:

TAKE A VACATION

Sometimes it takes a total change of pace and scenery to reset the mind. Whether you can afford to take a few days off or simply enjoy the weekend, make a point to surround yourself with a culture different from your own. I recently visited Philadelphia, New York, then home to St. Louis to see family all in the month of September. Getting out of your normal surroundings can help spark ideas you didn’t know existed.

STEP OUTSIDE YOUR COMFORT ZONE

A lot of time ruts come when we’re most comfortable. Look at it as a sign, and as a time to challenge yourself to something new. Force yourself to do something outside of the norm in order to help keep you on your toes. As creatives, we need to stay sharp in whatever it is we’re trying to accomplish. So creating a challenging task for yourself then actually completing it might just do the trick.

MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF

Being an entrepreneur/business owner is time consuming. People are literally pulling for your attention and expertise at all times. While it’s always great to do your best to help everyone else, sometimes it’s good to make time for yourself. Make time to do those things you love and help boost your confidence. Don’t lose yourself while putting others before your own personal care/needs.

LAUGH

Sounds pretty simple, right? Well, it is, at least for me. Creative ruts can bring on a lot of stress & stress can drain you. There’s nothing like a good laugh at the right time. So whether it’s watching one of your favorite TV shows, hanging out with friends/family, etc. Whatever the case may be, be sure to loosen up and allow some room for laughter. Sometimes, it’s the little things that count and those little things can help you get back on track.

INSPIRATIONAL MUSIC

As you all may already know, #FiendVibes is definitely a thing here at Brand Fiend. Music has always been one of my biggest forms of inspiration. It’s always been one of the most effective story tellers in my life, since I was a kid. I’ve gained a lot of knowledge from lyrics from those on this journey towards greatness, like myself. So when I’m in a rut, I’ll put on an album or a song that speaks to me, in order to help get me back focused. There’s nothing like putting on some good music to get you back in the groove.

SWEAT IT OUT

Sometimes the best thing to do is to just hit the gym, and sweat it out. Especially if you haven’t gotten much physical activity lately, you’ll feel great once you do! Look at it as the sweat releasing all the bad vibes from your life and giving you a fresh start, a chance to reestablish your creativity!

WRITE IT DOWN

Redefine your goals be writing them down. & I mean the old school way, with pen and paper. Sometimes seeing these things will help remind you of what you set out to do and help you get back to where you need to be.

New Technology in Networking

New Technology in Networking 900 900 Bree Johnson

Hey there!

As you all know, the past couple of months have been filled with many new experiences, opportunities, and challenges for me. Many of these new experiences have caused me to really step out of my comfort zone and work on a major skill that I have always shied away from, NETWORKING. Like most people, the thought of walking into a room with one hundred other people to “pitch” myself terrifies me. I understand the benefits and I actually like meeting new people but I despise networking events. However, because of what I would like to do with my life it is a necessary evil, and one that I think every professional should work on.

This past month I challenged myself to attend two networking events per month, or meet-up with a new person twice. I am happy to announce that only 18 days into August I have completed this challenge. *yay bree!* I have to say that accomplishing this goal was easier once I figured out what actually works for me. For instance, I like networking events that include happy hour, and are in cool restaurants or venues. I also prefer the smaller crowds or one on one networking opportunities. I am not opposed to finding someone on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc and “sliding in their DMs”. (I am actually 3/3 in this, and it’s how I got the coolest roommate ever).

MEETUP

On top of messaging potential connections through social media, I have also found some cool tools that have helped me excel at networking events. The Meetup App is a great one that I have known about for a while now and just recently started back using. It’s an app where you can connect with people in your city for networking events or even just to hang out with people who have similar interests. You get all of the information for the events directly from the app and then you just attend. It’s a great way to find events in your area that you may not have even heard of normally.

SWITCHIT

Another great tool that I just learned about through my work with Brand Fiend is the SwitchIt App. It’s a digital business card app that allows you to create and store multiple business cards right from your phone, no more carrying around 20 business cards in your car or wallet. Anytime you’re at an event or even the gas station and you run into someone, you can send your business card right from your phone to theirs. Check out the SwitchIt video business card featuring our Communications Specialist, Aqweela Green below:

 

 

As the professional landscape changes so will the way business is done. Think about apps like LinkedIn and Indeed.com and how they’ve even changed the way we apply for jobs. As things continue to become more digital it becomes more imperative that you create a personal connection and develop face-to-face relationships so that you can be remembered. It’s all too easy to become lost in the internet, but if you put yourself out there and create a lasting impression you never know how it can propel your career or business. This is especially true for entrepreneurs and non-profit business owners. A large part of your business will come from your connections, so take a shot and get out there! You can even start with my goal of just two events or meet-ups per month and go from there.

Good luck!

Why Start Up Brands Are Perfectly Imperfect

Why Start Up Brands Are Perfectly Imperfect 3000 3000 BrandFiend

In honor of Small Business Saturday we decided to share some pretty cool reasons start up brands have such an amazing upside in today’s market. I like to think of Start-up Brands as perfectly imperfect – and that can work to their advantage. Unlike the established brands that present themselves as polished and refined, Challengers are a little edgy, unconventional and willing to push the envelope. That’s the kind of adventurous spirit that allows Start-up Brands to win over clients by winning over their minds.

Relationship-Building Between Clients & Your Brand 

Establishing a relationship between customers and your brand is key to creating brand loyalty. It’s human nature to want to feel a sense of belonging and connection, so it’s critical to clearly identify the Lighthouse Brand identity and consistently communicate the company’s personality throughout all marketing, advertising and social media outlets. Let your customers get to know the personality of your brand with all its lovable imperfections.

People Embrace Imperfection

Worried about building a perfect brand to that of your larger competitors? Think about it this way – in high school, was it easier to relate to the straight-A prom king/queen with perfect hair and a cool car (Mr. or Miss Perfect)? Or did you find it easier to approach the quirky, but cool kid with his/her own sense of style, who rode the bus and was friendly to everyone?

Define your Brand identity – who you are, your point of view and where you stand. Before you know it, your customers will like you, imperfections and all.