Thursday, May 31, 2012

Socially Acceptable-Apps To Help You Sleep

I am sure that there is a connection to a creative person and how much they sleep in a given night. I have always been an early riser but lately I get up in the middle of the night and that is pretty much it. I have NO problem falling asleep...but to stay asleep is always a challenge. I have tried so many things, I thought I would find some apps to see if that will give me some relief:


Power Sleep & Nap | AmbiScience™
This was attractive to me from the reviews: Never slept better, this is the best, etc..It looks like it gives you a bunch of options.

Sleep Cycles
My best friend is obsessed with this app. I know that I dont sleep at all and very well at any time....so I am not sure that I would like to know exactly how bad I do or do not rest.

Count Sheep HD
Once again this is proving that this blog is NOT for me. This is a good app for people that can lay after being awake and will themselves back to sleep. I envy you more than you know. My mind would be a million miles a minute.



As you can see, these are just a sprinkling of the tons of apps that will help you get your Z's...here are some other options:

Remember the Milk-I have talked about this app before but I bring it up again because I think it would be a good idea to look at your to do list for the next day and make a plan. That would clear your head and give you some relaxation.

Spotify-Sometimes when I travel I just put in one of favorite albums and go to bed. When I wake up in the middle of the night, when watching TV or moving to another area isn't a possibility...some old school John Mayer. Make a playlist for bed, and maybe for the middle of the night.

Essential Oils-Many oils can give you a calm and peaceful sense that should ensure some ZZZ's. I am a big fan and use my friend Shanti Aromatherapy, (who is reasonable and amazing) and all her sleepy blends. There is also an app for that.

By the way, Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook are sometimes mind numbing ways to get you back to bed.

What works for you?

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Foodie Pen Pal Reveal

 Foodie Pen Pals are so much fun! Each month it gets better and better. Especially since I ask very nicely if they have a Trader Joe's and lately they have been saying YES! I am  the luckiest girl alive. Make so mistake, Kristen of Beauty and My Feast  may be one of my favorites! She actually called me with a very important question/story (I will let her tell you) and it was cool to talk in person and gush together how cool we think this program is! This time she picked an Italian Theme, and I have no idea why the fabulous pasta is so dark!

yum!

My two favorite flavors

Can't wait to make this with asparagus, parm and a little bernaise

I eat this like candy!

I'm scared if this is as good as it looks


Vodka Sauce is my fave, how did she know??


How do you partake in such awesomeness?? From Lindsay from the Lean Green Bean herself: -on the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email.

it will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.

 -you will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. on the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!

 -the boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! the spending limit is $15. the box must also include something written. this can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!

 -you are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)

 -foodie penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. if you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. if two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month

If you’re interested in participating for JUNE, please send an email to lindsayattheleangreenbean@gmail.com and include the following information:

 -your full name
 -your email address
 -your blog name/address (if applicable)
 -your twitter handle (if applicable)

 Lindsay needs to hear from you by June 4th as pairings will be emailed on the 5th. Can't wait till next month!  Pin It

Monday, May 28, 2012

Ask for Help With Your Social Media Marketing


I am always a little surprised when new businesses don't take marketing as serious as opening your doors for the first time. Unless you are handing gold bars out to every customer, the build it and they will come adage just doesn't translate to modern day in a struggling economy. You must find a way to build your business that makes sense for you and word of mouth is not going to do it.

The good thing is thanks to social media, some of these efforts can be done for very cheap and for free in most instances. Obviously, that and radio are my choice to get you going. Even though most social media is free, you need to think about your experience level in these channels before you begin. Just because you know how to update your status on Facebook, marketing on there is a completely different animal. Of course you can always pay someone you help you do your social media but there is also a ton of websites, blogs, etc etc to help show you the way. Ask questions and pay attention to competition to what they do right and wrong. You can learn a lot this way. Of course, I spend all day on social media but if I can just offer one piece of advice, get some sort of training and be mindful of your ability and ask for help if you need it.
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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

How Do You Do Business?

At the end of the day, I will still be a customer. 

I was told that thought process when I first started out selling advertising....it isn't easy being told no when you have a great product but I always kept it light and fluffy (does that surprise you?) when I sold. I was never really into the hard sell and the cheesy car salesman approach. I did the best I could, I made them see why they should do this...but if they said no, I moved along. And at the very least I would be a customer...sometimes I would actually spend more money in there then I would ever see in commission  even before the sale was done because I liked them and their product. 

Now, that the tables are turned slightly and I am being sold TO a little... thanks to the city posting my information online (GRRR). The pitches have been interesting...they assume that I am a new business because my license is new so they try to tell me what I need...like a credit card terminal, one young (well, I think she was older) lady argued with me that I needed to hire her because I was new and needed help...A for Tenacity...but I remained patient and kind which is tough for me, but I know what they are going through.

I try to be as humane as possible for this reason alone, it is really not ok to be nasty to someone who has a viable product. Something that gave me confidence is that I was selling radio for the biggest (only) conglomerate in town.  I wasn't terribly deflated when someone say no, because it wasn't like I was pushing the local yocal Beacon. So if you said no, the answer was no...but some horror stories still haunt me to this day like:

1. The Wine Bar. The guy that yelled and screamed at me because he ran out of money to pay me...and that was my fault. He also belittled me at every turn. By the way if a hunky dory relationship suddenly goes way South for no reason and all the sudden you are on the bum end of everything that is wrong...a small red flag that they are about to cancel due to lack of funds. This falls under the real fun type of person that makes themselves feel better by making you feel like dirt. 

Status: Out Of Business...ha ha hee hee hoo hoo

2. The Sub Shop. When I walked in to this business, I kid you not she started screaming on the top of her lungs for me to get out. Who knew Hi I'm Darlynn from Black Crow, I would like to schedule an appointment with you regarding advertising (a suggested pitch, btw) would cause such insanity.

Status: Still in Business, but I will spend my last breath telling everyone to not go there.

3. The Sports Bar. Three guys walk into a bar  start a bar business and we hit it off swimmingly. It was a $$good$$ account and I turned a blind eye on extremely late (like midnight) calls regarding their ad...and that came to a screeching halt when they went MIA and stopped paying. Couldn't get near them to save my life, they owed me 3K which I was to receive 15%.

Staus: Out of Business and sadly the owner still lives in town. Not sadly, I drink a large amount of vodka and enjoy seeing him out. Because telling people the story when he is within earshot is yes, unprofessional but makes me feel so so much better. Not $500 better but close. 

That is three...I have three hundred...but the moral is-it is nice to be nice, that still holds true. 

How do you sell? How are you sold to?? 


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Thursday, May 17, 2012

When A Sales Pitch Goes Very Wrong


An email I got last night at 11:30pm.

Hello
My name is _______ and I am with the _________, We are an SMB partner of the Google networks.  I work with new businesses like yours getting them new customers through the internet, direct marketing and yellow pages. I would like to show you just how many potential customers are looking for your type of business in Volusia County and just how to let them know why they need to choose you. You opened your business to be a SUCCESS. I can help you do this. Please reply back to me and I will show you just how it works. Tell me about that perfect customer that you want calling you. That will help me build out the right program for your business. I look forward to hearing from you.


________
Volusia New Bussines analyst


This is like a giddy dream for my cynical self. I mean this is the kind of stuff that keeps me motivated and giggling for hours.

Some things are wrong with this pitch, and by the way it isn't spam exactly because they at least got the county right and it doesn't say Dear Sir. But it is def a form letter:

  • I am not a new business, I opened in 2010
  • Don't send sales pitches at 11:30 at night
  • Who reads the Yellow Pages? 
  • And the obvious-he wants to show me about new BUSSINES 


What did my mean self write back?




Thank you for your email. You might want to change your signature to reflect the word BUSINESS spelled correctly in order to be taken seriously. 



That was good, right?? No coffee and all!

What was the worst sales pitch that you received?


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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Dressing The Part

A big bonus of working for yourself is you have a lot of control. Control of your time, the way you conduct your day, where you work and what you wear while doing so. As I have left the world of high heels, skirts and blazers-(ooof!) at my radio sales job, there is great joy to have the choice of throwing on a pair of jeans or wearing pigtails on a Wednesday. But I think some of the rules still apply ...you want to dress for the job you want, right? At the very least, your first meeting when you are asking for money. 

The other day, I was in a meeting with a new client. I had a dress and strappy heels on. As I was leaving his next appointment was coming in. She was a girl who also owned her own company.and was there to pitch my client. I wasn't sure what she was selling but I couldn't get past her outfit: Tank Top, headband and leggings...it looked like maybe she was gonna go to the gym but changed her mind, and made a quick stop to go pitch her goods to a new client. I don't mean this as a bash, but it gave me the inspiration for this blog. 

Quick Thought-

Be yourself, but know when it is appropriate. Everyone loves the arrogance of waking up and throwing on sweats if you feel like it. Because you can. Just know when it isn't right-a professional atmosphere like a lawyer or doctor office, a first meeting and when you are asking for money or renegotiating. 

I grabbed some freelancy, but professional outfits but would work in any of these situations:

Source

I would love a jacket with this
Source
Source


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Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Tumultuous World of Trade

Do you trade services with other businesses? Do you find that is a benefit to your business? My dad, a business owner, taught me the value of trade at an extremely early age. In retrospect, I am not sure if we  got the best end of the deal or my dad was just being his usual generous self but let's just say in exchange for cold air at our local Greek restaurant, I never went without a lifetime supply of barley soup. Which sounds a little funny, but it was really good. More importantly, it taught me the value of trade, or barter as it was called back  then. When I worked in radio, our trade department was as important as any area of the business. I haven't paid to wash my car or go to the movies in almost two decades, it rocks!!

When you start your own business, trade with cash may be something you wish to consider. I feel with some cash behind it, it shows responsibility on both ends. Trade is actually kind of cool if you manage it properly. Think of things that you don't want to lay money out for and see if the two of you can utilize each other's services. I currently have awesome trade agreements set up and they work really well. 

Any trade deal may be beneficial if you lay down certain parameters. Some that I have learned along the way:

1. Know if you are the kind of person that can work on trade. If you separate your trade clients from your paying clients and think of them different in any other light, than trade might not be for you. When you negotiate your agreement, you have to have a number or value in mind that will make this worth it for you. You can not put these people to the side and work on them later because they are trade. They should be treated exactly the same as a full paying client. If you don't think of them in this light, you need to reevaluate this agreement, as you are providing a disservice to your client as well as a successful flow to your business. 

2. Make sure the other party have the same goals in mind. The ideal trade investment scenario is this: You provide a normal bill of service and the client pays cash with a agreed amount gift certificate for you to use as you wish. No stress! The situation stops working when you the agreement is service for service. When you are providing the same amount of service month to month and the other party starts wavering on their end of the agreement, that is a red flag. When you feel cheated or you feel that you are last on their list for them to provide the service on their end, it is time to get out.  

3. Trade can also be used as a negotiation tool for leverage of a cash investment. You can easily look like The Negotiator if you have someone wavering at your fee, and you take $50 bucks cash off and ask for it in trade.

4. Be weary of people who have the moo and want to trade only. Since you are providing the service, it should be your ultimate decision if you want to go this route. There is a difference between a struggling business owner like you that wants to work out a trade so there is a mutual benefit, and a business that is trying to get out of spending money with you, just for the sake of saving money. Know the difference and make the best decision for what works best for you and your business.

5. Be clear that this deal can be renegotiated at any time You may start doing this for a couple of months and realize that this may not be the best deal for either of you. Make sure when you start this agreement, both parties will feel comfortable revisiting if it isn't working. 

How do you deal with trade? Any nightmare stories? I would love to hear them!


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Friday, May 11, 2012

Little Blog Dress Media Sponsors Project Hope


Little Blog Dress Media Sponsors Project Hope. 

We are real excited to be a bronze sponsor for this event. There will be a fashion show/runway atmosphere, live entertainment and more.  

Florida Hospital Memorial Foundation will host the 7th Annual Fashion Show on Sunday, May 20 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Ocean Center, 101 North Atlantic Ave., Daytona Beach.

This year’s event entitled Project Hope will feature fashions for men, women and children provided by Bealls, Jos. A. Bank, White House Black Market and LOFT. This is exclusive fashion show will benefit the Comprehensive Cancer Center at Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center.

Guests will enjoy the “Red Carpet” experience and light hors d'oeuvres in a true high-fashion runway seating. Corporate Sponsorships are available, and individual tickets are $50. Everyone who attends the Fashion show will receive a gift bag that will include a 25$ gift card to Stonewood and 10$ to Peach Valley!!! To purchase tickets or to learn more about the Project Hope Fashion Show, please call (386) 615-4144 or email foundation@fhmmc.org.
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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Skinny and Clean...Jewish Penicillin

Well, it's official I have the funk. Sometimes I think it is someone's way of slowing an overcommitted must be in ten places go go go lifestyle kind of girl. (can you relate)? I woke up yesterday with a scratchy throat and I knew the only thing that would help is some good old fashion soup. For someone who is loves to cook, making chicken soup from scratch is something new to me. The irony is that the only time making chicken soup from scratch sounds like a good idea is precisely at the time that you would rather do anything at all but stand in the kitchen and slave over this sure to be cure.
The theories and the myths over the glory of chicken soup may or not be hogwash but when you don't feel good,wouldn't you try anything to make life better?
There are many versions of chicken soup...Greek (lemony), Italian (beany), but the Jewish version has the folklore behind it. When we were looking for prizes for my Foodie Pen Pal a month or so again, we came across  a bag of an herbal mixture called Super Soup and I promised that I would grab it and add it to my tricks the next time I felt like I was about to burst in flames, er...under the weather...here is what is in it:

“SUPER SOUP” 
Echinecea - Boosts the Immune System. Fights Infection. 
Ginger Root - Reduces Fever and Inflammation. 
Lots of Garlic - Nature’s Antibiotic. Immunity Booster. 
Lemon Balm - Eliminates Toxins and Promotes Sweating. 
Sage - Soothes Sore Throats. Antiseptic. 
Vitamin C - Fights Infection. Immunity Booster.

I ended up tossing it in after I made my broth from scratch as Jewish as a girl who just found out her great grandma was Jewish only about 10 years ago. The recipe I tried came from this blog (Jewish Penicillin). Everything I used was fresh from the garden, which makes it that much more yummier! 


Do you feel sometimes things happen for a reason? As I am lamenting (bitching) over my sore throat, Mashable claims that marshmallows cures sore throats in an article this afternoon? How is that for fate?

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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

No, No, It's You...

When you start a business, you would be a fool to not take every bit of business to come your way. No matter how painful, annoying, needy, even jerkish...if it is money and coming in to your new venture...give it to me. But when is enough is enough? When is the line drawn in the sand when it is no longer ok to be spoken to like you are an employee or not an equal and you have Holly Go Lightly and tap danced for someone to pay you that you are over it? Do you wait till you have a good customer base to where you can sacrifice your income but save you morale? How much is peace of mind actually worth? These are questions that I ask myself a lot. I am very fortunate that I have finally got over the nerves of making my number to exist successfully. It wasn't a big number it was just the number that in my head was enough to make monthly where all my bills could be paid, money could go in savings and not check your bank balance every minute. Now that I am at the point, my courage is there to really establish what I will and will not put up. They include the following:

1. Being talked to like I am a piece of dirt. This is really never acceptable but with years and years of working for the man (although in my case, he is one the nicest men I know), you can get very accustom to  sucking it up for your customers or clients to get the deal done, so that he wont cancel, so you will make money off of it, etc. When you own your own business, you may forget that you don't have to deal with this anxiety anymore.

2. People that do not respect you. There is this interesting psychology when you are being sold to, you are way up here (reach your arm way up) and the seller is somewhere near or beneath the ground. I have backed out of a proposal because the guy was a total arrogant cussword the entire time we were meeting for the first time. When I politely said Thanks, but no thanks-he was shocked. Even as far to ask incredulously, do you not want my money?? Sometimes the money isn't worth it.

3. People who don't pay you. Speaking of money, why are working with people that don't respect the fact that we need to be paid? I have very clear billing terms and I tend to lose my mind a little when I have to stalk people for payment. Because I choose to work with small businesses, I take it a little more personal than when I was at the radio station. If it is taught me anything, I try really hard to make sure the biils I pay are in order of "The Man" or lack thereof...lawn gets paid first, that hospital bill, when I get around to it...sorry....People that don't pay you, and know full and well firsthand the challenges you face as a small business owners should be ashamed of themselves. Just be very clear of each others expectations in this matter so everyone is on the same page.

These are my top three of people not to work for...what are yours?

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