Manic Mondays Vol 4

a sampling of my current open tabs…

Something I’m definitely working on at the moment. Wanna help?

Because creatives need support too.

As if I needed more things to add to my already miles-long reading list.

I’m inclined to agree (plus what a cutie pie!)

Family isn’t always defined by blood (no pun intended).

So wait? Robots are the new job creators now?

This feels vaguely 1984ish (but it’s super useful).

Don’t know which I’m looking forward to more…the actual show or the soundtrack.

 

 

Casual Fridays Vol 1

 

CF1

 

My new planner. I LOVE it!

 

CF2

 

And of course I had to get the iPad case to match.

 

CF3

My favorite assistants….

 

 

CF4

My card reading from yesterday.  Ominous looking right?

CF5

 

Sometimes my bed is my office…

 

What's Your Why?

why

We hear this a lot nowadays.

The whole question of why…discovering your higher purpose etc.

Sometimes it can sound a bit woo woo.

But there is some wisdom in it.

In business we have good days and we have bad days. Connecting to a solid why will help you navigate through those bad days and help you remember why you stared doing what it is you do in the first place.

So ask yourself this…and really take some time to ponder it.

Why does your business exist other than to make money?

Tell me your why in the comments.

Using A Content Calendar

If you’re blogging, you really should be maintaining some kind of content calendar (also called an editorial calendar).

Especially if you’re writing multiple blogs.

When it comes to blogging, consistency is the key, and having some sort of system for planning your posts ahead of time will help greatly in that.

You can use whatever software or app that you like and works for you. I started out using an excel spreadsheet. I still use the spreadsheet for planning purposes but now I use Google Calendar to track my posts.

If you’re using WordPress (and if you aren’t, why aren’t you?) then Edit Flow  is a really cool plugin that adds an editorial calendar to your dashboard. You can then drag and drop to arrange your posts drafts on the calendar.

edit flow

Here’s my full post planning process:

-At the end of each year, I brainstorm and make a list of at least 52 post ideas/titles. I also add to this list throughout the year as new ideas come to me. I keep this in a Google Doc.

-At the beginning of every month, I plug a post from my master list into each week on my spreadsheet.

-I set up a separate Google calendar called “Content”.

-Then I plug the posts into the calendar according to when I want to write them.

-Each day, I check my calendar and do a quick outline and first draft for any posts listed for that day. I save the drafts in WordPress and then I change the color of the item to red in my calendar once the draft is saved.

google calendar

-At the end of the week (usually on Saturdays) I go through all my drafts, polish and pretty them up, and then schedule them to publish on various days the following week. I then change the date in my Google Calendar to reflect the day the post is scheduled to go live.

-Rinse. Repeat.

-I add any posts that I didn’t get to to the next month’s calendar (provided they weren’t time sensitive).

Do you have a system for planning and keeping track of your blogging? If so, let us know what you do in the comments.

 

 

5 Business Lessons You Can Learn From Olivia Pope

I still watch Scandal (OMG did you see that season finale??), even though one can argue that it jumped the shark a little back last season. But who cares? It’s still a fin show to watch.

I’m not gonna go on a diatribe about Olitz or B6-13 or any of that though. Promise.

But if you look closely, you can lean a lot from Ms. Pope.

While Olivia’s personal life may be a hot ass mess, there’s no denying her prowess on the business side of things.

So without further ado, here are five business lessons one can learn from Olivia Pope

  1. Have a home base. No matter what’s going down, Olivia and her team of gladiators  don’t miss a beat because they’ve established a strong home base. Olivia’s enviable office complex is where everyone goes to receive further instruction, escape harm, and get together to brainstorm. Do you have a home base? We can’t all have a sprawling office space like Olivia’s (can you tell I”m a tad jealous?) but we can all have something. Even if it’s just a corner of a room, begin to establish a place that you go to in order to get stuff done. Make this environment conducive to working. Soon you’ll find that even being just near this space is enough to get you into that zone.
  2. Don’t wait for a seat at the table. No one has ever heard of a “fixer” before Scandal. Yet, Olivia has turned this unique personal strength of hers into a viable career. She didn’t wait for some hot shot company to recruit her. She didn’t study big firms to see who’d make the best fit. She took stock of her talents and carved a career path for her damn self. She didn’t wait to be offered a seat at the table. She went out and got her own table. What could you be doing right now to construct your own table?
  3. Just handle it. One of Olivia’s signature phrases is “it’s handled” or “consider it handled”.  Life, adulthood in particular, and most certainly business, is all about doing the things you don’t necessarily want to do. But whining about it, procrastinating, or ignoring the situation doesn’t fix it. Only handling it does. Learn to suck it up and just do what needs to be done in your business.
  4. Build a good team. Olivia would be nothing without her team. Similarly, you can’t reasonably expect to do it all in your business. Even if you are a one woman show (raises hand), you will need a team if you want to grow. Find you some good people and get them on your team. And once you do, trust them to get what you need done.
  5. Less announcing, more doing. This is a variation on number three. So may people talk (at length) about what’ they’ve got planned and what they’re going to do. Every minute you spend talking about something is one minute less you have to actually get it done. Don’t talk about it, be about it. Do Olivia Pope & Associates show up at their foes doors or send them emails saying that they’re gonna get them locked up? Hell no! They just do that shit! And then brag about it later.

Client Spotlight – Reina Miranda

So as you all know by now…I looove working with passionate creative types.

One of my latest clients is definitely one of those.

Her name is Reina Miranda and she’s what I love to call an ‘espanglish poeta’.

Reina is an artist and poet and she needed a site to showcase her fabulous paintings and keep her fanbase in the loop regarding her spoken word performances. She also has her very first book of poetry coming out this year so getting a site up for her asap was crucial  to helping her solidify and grow her platform.

Reina 3

 

 

Reina 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reina wanted a simple site where her artwork would be the real star. We even designed her logo inspired by her moniker ‘Red Clay Woman’.

Reina 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome Reina to the Cats Meow Media fam! Check our her new site at redclaywoman.com.

 

Newest Productivity Hack – Unplug Your Laptop

This one is for all the workaholics out there.

I embrace you. *hugs*

But honestly, if you’re like me and attempting to have a little more of that elusive work life balance then listen up.

Last year, I made headway with doing the important things before I even opened my laptop. Cuz once that MacBook gets going?

I. Will. Not. Stop.

I’ll just keep working and “forget” to pee, eat, shower etc.

This year I took it one step further.

I unplugged the laptop.

*gasp*

I no longer work with it plugged in. That means that no matter what, I have a limit on how long my work session will be.

It will only last as long as my battery, which is about a few hours (incidentally, if you’re already like “well I can’t do that because my battery doesn’t hold a charge so I *have* to work with my laptop plugged in…time to get a new battery hon)

When you know you only have a few hours to get shit done and that those few hours isn’t really negotiable, magical things happen.

You begin to prioritize.

If I’ve got a finite amount of time and that means I’d better be spending that time on things that are making the most impact. The things that are really pushing my business forward (read: NOT FACEBOOK).

Try it.

It will revolutionize the way you think about your work and what you really need to get done.

 

My Focus for 2014

It’s January of the new year (at least for the next couple of hours) and so there’s a whole lot of talk about goals still going on. Of course, like everyone else, I’ve set some goals for my business year and a lot of them are numbers based (and no, I won’t share thank you very much)

What I will share however is my sort of word for the year.

That word for 2014 is CONSISTENCY

 

This means a few things.

Foremost is consistency with writing. I really want to spend more time communicating with you all, my lovely tribe. Sharing what I know, showing you a few tricks I’ve learned, and giving you a glimpse of my business and life.

This also means consistency with clients. Before anything else, I want to make sure all of my clients have a spectacular experience and are treated fairly and equally. Not that I haven’t been doing that, mind you. But there can be a few tweaks made to improve overall customer experience and make it more consistent.

So that’s what I’m focusing on this year in my business. Feel free to spank me, scold me if you notice I’m not living up to any of that.

So what are you focusing on this year? Let me know in the comments.

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Salutations (that's from charlotte's Web in case you didn't know...excellent book)

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