Thursday, December 22, 2016

Tips for a Stress-Free Christmas

From Woman's Day

It's the most wonderful time of the year-but also one of the most stressful! Make the season more enjoyable by stopping stress in its tracks with these 31 expert tips.

Here are five.  Click the link below to view the entire list.

- Make a change. Take one task that drives you crazy during the holidays and tackle it in a new way. A fresh approach just might make a difference. For example, if you dread having to send out holiday cards, enlist your husband and split the list.
- "Don't always go for bigger and better," when planning your holiday, advises Loretta LaRoche, author of Life Is Not a Stress Rehearsal. "Does the tree have to be bussed in from the hinterlands of Alaska?" she quips. "Isn't a little bush enough?"

- That massive pile of holiday cards needs to get mailed ASAP, but just the thought of it gives you writer's cramp? "Refocus on what's most important to you," says life coach Linda Hedberg. "If you're overwhelmed with dozens of cards to send out, ask yourself, Which are the 10 most important ones?" Send those and put the rest on the back burner. Or just send cards electronically with a service like SendOutCards to everyone on your list. Bonus: It's eco-friendly!

- Donna Wallace of Shawano, Wisconsin, found that adding, rather than deleting, something from her to-do list made her Christmas feel less hectic. One year, she joined her church choir for the express purpose of singing with others in praise and celebration of the season. "It grounds you to acknowledge the spiritual side," says Donna.

- As you take part in trimming the tree or preparing the Christmas or Chanukah cookies with your kids, take a deep breath and savor the moment. Give yourself permission to forget about all those tasks still left on your to-do list.

Click Here to read the entire article and read all 31 tips. 
Your comments are welcomed and appreciated.  
Wishing You and Yours a Very Merry Christmas and a Very Happy Prosperous New Year,
'Helping You and Your Business Look Good'
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Sunday, November 20, 2016

Thanksgiving Gratitude

It is said that in order to receive, we must be thankful for what we already have.  Not just at Thanksgiving, but all year long.  I came across an article published by Forbes by Neale Godfrey that says that people who have an 'Attitude of Gratitude' tend to be happier, healthier, and live longer.

Here are some highlights from the article that I found most interesting....

Gratitude can be taught and we can live it by example.  It’s even healthy for us and may counterbalance the damaging health effects of our overindulgence all year long, especially at Thanksgiving.  If we can extend the “thankful” part of our lives beyond “turkey day," we may be happier, less stressed, and around to see many more turkey days with our loved ones. 

“Throughout history, philosophers and religious leaders have extolled gratitude as a virtue integral to health and well-being.  Now, through a recent movement called positive psychology, mental health professionals are taking a close look at how virtues such as gratitude can benefit our health. And they are reaping positive results... Grateful people take better care of themselves and engage in more protective health behaviors like regular exercise, a healthy diet, [and] regular physical examinations.”

Gratitude research is suggesting that feelings of thankfulness have a positive value in helping people cope with daily stressors at home and at work.   Think about it.  If you are grateful, you are probably more optimistic and that is a “... characteristic that researchers say boosts the immune system.  A report from The University of Queensland in Australia also supports the findings that, “A positive attitude can improve your immune system and may help you live longer.”

So let us carry our Thanksgiving gratitude throughout the whole year.

Wishing you and your family a Very Happy Thanksgiving.

Click here to read the entire article. 
Your comments are welcomed and appreciated. 

Happy Thanksgiving,
Painted Lady Enterprises
'Helping You and Your Business Look Good'

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Time Management

Someone asked me the other day how did I manage everything, i.e. business, personal time, family, etc.  She really caught me off guard.  I had to stop and think about the question.  I don’t really consider myself an expert in Time Management.  My business ebbs and flows.  Sometimes I think I have more than I can handle on my plate, but then I keep chipping away at what needs to be done until I can breathe a sigh of relief that I am in control again.  I believe if you did a survey and talked to several people, each one would have somewhat of a different approach to how they manage their time.  I believe that you have to find what works for you and stick with it.  Even though I read many articles on time management and organization and even save them to my Pinterest board, I still come back to the basics of what works for me. 
So here is my list of what works for me –

  •  I write it down.  Yes, I am an old fashion to-do list maker.  I’ve tried using electronic apps, but I am a visual person.  I write out my to-do list and have it right beside my computer so I can mark off what’s been done and I can see what needs to be done.

  • I try and prioritize my to-do list.  What projects need to be done first are typically the ones that I’m getting paid to do.  Some are dependent on deadlines.  I put stars by the ones which need to be done first.  The more stars the more urgent.

  •  I use a Month at a Glance calendar.  Again something I can write my appointments on and see all in one place.  Even if I add something to my online calendar, I transfer it to my hard copy calendar. 

  • When I’m working I typically don’t answer the phone unless I’m expecting a call.  Incoming calls with no caller ID and/or out of state area codes can leave a message.  When I get a break, I check my messages and return calls. 

  • I get a ton of emails every day.  I do selective reading.  I scan my emails and read those that are business related and/or need to be handled.  About once a month I do a massive deletion of emails from some months prior.  Typically if I haven’t read them, I evidently didn’t need them and they weren’t important.

  • Since I work from home, when I do go somewhere, I try to do all my errands while I’m out.  Another reason I do this is, I’m out in the country, so the nearest major stores like a grocery store is 8 to 10 miles away.  So it’s just not easy to run out and pick up something.  So even my grocery shopping is coordinated with the day I go to my weekly networking meeting.  And yes I have a list for my errands and a list for groceries.

  • I have created a grocery list that coordinates with my favorite store.  I keep one on the side of
    the refrigerator so that I can add things as I run out or hubby can.  This makes grocery shopping a little more organized.  I do coupon.  I keep them in an envelope that I take with me to the store.  I also go online and add electronic coupons to my loyalty card for the products I use.  Wished they would do all the coupons like that.

  • My workday typically starts around 8am and goes to 6pm or so.  When I quit for the day, I quit for the day.  I leave my phone in my office.  After sitting in front of the computer all day, I feel I deserve some down time.  Whatever phone calls and emails after 6PM can be answered the next day.  There are some exceptions to this from time to time depending on the client and the project.

  • I schedule time for me.  Sitting at a computer all day almost every day makes that monthly massage appointment a necessity.  I also exercise.  I am a runner, so I try to do a good run at least once a week if not more.  I’m a firm believer in use it or lose it and I definitely want to stay active and mobile.

So these are the things that works for me.  Would love to hear from you to hear what works for you.  What is your best advice for managing your time?   Please share.  Your suggestions and comments are welcomed and appreciated.

'Helping You and Your Business Look Good'

Monday, July 11, 2016

Are You Spreading Yourself to Thin?

Do you do Six thousand things or do you do Six things well?  I came across this video by Dr. Ivan Misner who explains this theory.
When it comes to marketing, do you jump from one thing to another trying to find what works?   Do you give ample time to see if the new plan is working or not and why not? 
As an entrepreneur it’s sometimes hard to determine what marketing will work best and where to spend marketing dollars. 
Here are some things to consider and questions to consider:

  • ·        Who is your target market?  Get as specific as possible on this one.  For instance:  I often hear people in the skin care business say – ‘Anyone with skin.’  Really?  A baby has skin, but doesn’t have any money.  Instead think in terms of what problems does your product/service solve and/or what is the benefit of using your product or service.  So if your skin care product clears adult acne, then you want to target adults with acne.  Perhaps people in a professional environment who need to look their best. 

  • ·        What part of your business do you do 80% of the time?  Your business may cover multiple facets, say for instance in the insurance area; your business encompasses everything from personal lines of insurance, long term care, health insurance, life, commercial, etc.  Which of these is your specialty?  Sometimes by trying to cover to much, people get confused about what you do and your message is watered down.  By concentrating on one area, your message becomes more clear and focused.  Once you get the opportunity to sit down with someone one to one, then you can explain all the facets of your business.

  • ·        Where do your best referrals/business come from?  Look over your past business history/customers and analyze where your best referrals came from.  This is a great way to understand where your marketing efforts are working and where to put more focus.  Concentrate more on quality instead of quantity.

  • ·        And as Dr. Misner says in his video, ‘Are you persistent and consistent?’  Placing an ad for one month and/or going to one networking meeting is more than likely not going to get you any business.  Most of the time it takes people 6 to 8 times to hear your message to understand and retain what it is you do.  In the advertising world it’s called ‘Spaced repetition education.’  Why do you think they run ads over and over again on TV.  Why do you think publications want you to sign up for several months at a time?  Because they know one time is not enough.  And most people want to get to know you before they will trust you enough to give you their business.

  • ·        If you are new to your business field, ask others what has worked for them.  Talk with those in your field who have been successful and with whom you can relate and find out what has worked for them.  Determine what you feel comfortable doing.  Sometimes what one person enjoys doing, like cold calling, is not for you, but going to a networking meeting and meeting people face to face, would be better for you. 

Whatever you determine is best for you and your business, focus on being persistent and consistent.   Give things time to work.  Analyze what works and why it worked and do more of that.

Tell us what has worked for you.  What has been the best avenue for you to obtain business?  Your comments are welcomed and appreciated.
To read Dr. Misner’s entire article -
Happy Marketing,
"Helping You and Your Business Look Good"

Friday, June 10, 2016

Are You a Networking N.E.R.D.?


So what is a Networking N.E.R.D. you ask?

It means - 'Networking Everyday Requires Dedication!'  That is especially true in the summertime when our interests are on doing other fun activities that don't necessarily include work/business.  

Fun abounds during the summer. Networking can, too. But it requires you to be intentional. Remember, networking can occur anywhere, anytime. Avoid the summertime networking blues and make the most of the fun (and networking) in the sun!
In 1958, Eddie Cochran sang a very famous rock-n-roll chorus:

Ah, Summertime. That time when we look forward to the weather, family, vacation, relaxation, beach, and the fun that comes along with the season.
Every once in a while I hear a business person say that their business slows down during the summer months. I also know of many businesses that flourish in the summer.  So why are some up and some down?  It is a matter of gearing towards the season. Winter coats sell better in December than July and bathing suits sell better in June than January! So do you change your networking strategy for the season?
Have you re-tooled your networking machinery? Are you being intentional with your networking?  I subscribe to the philosophy that every event can be a networking opportunity as long as you honor the event.

As an intentional networker, we must step outside of our networking comfort zones and look in other places to find new networking opportunities.

Where does an intentional networker start?  Begin by searching where you spend your time during the summer months.
What summertime networking activities are you attending?
... Bar Be Que?
... Pool Party?
... Lake Party
... Picnic?
... Wedding?
... Golf... Boating...Ball Games...Tennis... Gardening?
There are many Summertime Networking Opportunities! Remember that a good networker has two ears and one mouth and uses them proportionately!  Listen to what everyone is really saying.  Pick up on the ques for business and referrals for other referral partners.
Sports Fields. Kids play baseball, softball, and soccer. Parents spend night after night at practices, games, or volunteering at the concession stands. These parents/athletes are business people-people who may share your target market.  Discussions can range from vacation, work, home repairs, to neighborhood politics. A simple conversation or offer to help amid the extra innings, may lead to growing your business.

Neighborhood Festivals. Summer is the time of festivals and county fairs. It's a time for rides, music, games, and good greasy food!  It can also be the time to talk to neighbors in more detail. We can build relationships beyond the friendly waves while mowing grass. Take the time to get to know your neighbors.  Host a neighborhood cookout to strengthen or even start relationships.  Who knows, they may hold the key to your ideal referral partner.
Ball Game Networking!  A great networking strategy is to get tickets to a ball game and invite a business owners and/or a potential referral partners. Whether your team wins or loses great connections can be made!   

The FOUR hour one to one!  If you are a golfer, you know what I mean! Find a fellow business owner who also plays golf.  Set up a round and you each bring a client. What a great way to solidify a top referral!  You do not play golf?  Is there an activity that you do that you and a fellow business person can invite clients too?

Any place you go with family, friends or strangers is a networking opportunity!  (as long as you honor the event).
... Bring Your Business Cards!
... Remember Your Fellow Referral Partners
 The GOAL?
... Make connections at every Event You Attend!
... Keep in Touch to Build on the relationships.

Do you attend networking meetings on a regular basis?   More than ever, intentional networkers must be diligent in attending their meetings, whether weekly, monthly, etc. Visibility is crucial during the summer months.    

Vacation. We love our time off to recharge and relax. However, during that time networking is usually left off the agenda and it shouldn't be.  Out of sight, out of mind!

It's ok to be a networking N.E.R.D., Networking Everyday Requires Dedication!

Be a summertime networking N.E.R.D. and cure your summertime blues.
Here's to a GREAT summer filled with lots of referrals!

Happy Networking!
"Helping You and Your Business Look Good"


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