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“Submit” – A button that can make you “poop your pants”?

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Audrey Isbell

Speaker and Author of "100 Simple Truths All Virtual Assistants Should Know"
Audrey Isbell
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I never thought I could be so intimidated by a submit button, but there I was, cursor poised.

Do I click the button? …DON’T CLICK THE BUTTON…Other people might see the answers to those very personal questions. You should totally click the button. You know you want to. What if people judge me…or the business I’ve created. …I don’t know what to do!!! Click the button. No! Don’t! …ah, come ON!!!

It’s like a tiny Ren and Stimpy were in my brain arguing over clicking the button. LOL!

The fuss was all about Entrepreneur®, a brand that most everyone in business knows about. People study their material, hashtag them, and reference their wisdom ALL THE TIME!!! They’re what I perceive as a GIANT in business. So when I sat down to apply for their 2019 Entrepreneur 360™ list… you can bet your sweet-Stimpy-cheeks I was sweating buckets of anxiety.

It’s funny how opportunity and anxiety go together.

But, having recently attended a Make Your Mark – Business Mastery event with Colin Sprake, who emphatically said:

“If you’re not pooping your pants, you’re not dreaming big enough…”

… I was really on that fence. For a small business like ours, THIS (clicking submit) would be freaking HUGE!!! To make the Entrepreneur 360™ list, your business is evaluated on impact, innovation, growth, leadership and business valuation. They do this with the goal of identifying 360 small businesses that are “mastering the art and science of growing a business.”

I realized it was a poop your pants moment! So I took a deep breath and clicked submit. No, the anxiety has not gone away. Seriously… the questionnaire feels kinda personal, and it would to any small business owner. They want to know things that would give any good business owner pause prior to sharing. AND THEN…they ask for permission to share some of the details, publicly. YIKES! …YEP! I’m virtually poopin’ my pants. (Thanks for that analogy, Colin 😉 )

Anyway… I’m still freakin’ out a bit, but to use an old cliché…

Go BIG or go home!

And if you literally pooped your pants – yeah… you can tell ’em I said you were okay to just go home, mmmmk?! LOL!

BTW, the Make Your Mark family and curriculum is AMAZING!!! I highly recommend attending one of their events. It’s changed my life and the lives of others too (you don’t have to take just my word for it):

P.S. I’ll keep you posted on the Entrepreneur 360™ stuff. My understanding is that they have been doing this since 2015, and that other companies in the administrative industry have made the list in previous years – so fingers crossed! Wish us luck.

 

 

 

Nap Schedule for Work at home mom

Schedules: The WAHM’s Secret Weapon #2 for Sanity & Productivity

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Audrey Isbell

Speaker and Author of "100 Simple Truths All Virtual Assistants Should Know"
Audrey Isbell
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Work at Home moms have a unique set of challenges. We’ve covered why and how to be a WAHM first, then last time we talked about the importance of being able to give 100% to both your work and your baby, in turn. Today we’ll tackle my favorite method (and the only method I’ve found that’s actually worked!) for being able to do that. As a stay-at-home mom, it can feel impossible to find a consistent time to give work 100%. The key is…

Secret Weapon #2: Start Scheduling

I know a lot of people don’t like the “s” word. But scheduling is an absolute life-saver for the WAHM. When used correctly, schedules foster calm and order while reducing chaos and stress. The important thing to determine when creating a schedule is how rigid you want it to be. Trying to keep a strict to-the-minute schedule will likely only add to your stress instead of lessening it—especially when we’re working with babies, who are by nature unpredictable. So loose is a key word here.

As soon as your baby is three months old, their sleep begins to stabilize.* At this point, not only can they fall asleep by themselves, but they actually begin to enjoy structure as well. Babies thrive on the stability of a routine, so the bonus of having a schedule is that your baby may enjoy it just as much as you! I can’t recommend creating and implementing a nap schedule more highly. It has made a world of difference in this mom’s life.

Nap Schedule for Work at home mom

There are a lot of great resources to learn more about nap schedules, but the most important thing is to find the perfect waketime for your baby (the time between each nap). Use a list like this one as a starting point, and you’ll soon discover what your baby’s ideal waketime length is. Then you can create your nap schedule around that. (As your baby grows, this waketime will continue to stretch every one or two months. So your schedule will shift, but the following principle remains the same.)

When your baby sleeps, work! It will be tempting to start cleaning the house or tackling the dishes. Resist the urge! You can do housework while baby plays next to you or hangs out in a pack, so it’s a waste to use this totally quiet, uninterrupted time for those tasks. Put your phone down, dive into your work and get some quality focus time in. I’ve found I am actually even more productive in less time since becoming a mom—those quiet nap periods are so precious and limited that I become doubly focused!

Now, for some WAHMs, this will be enough work time in a day. But keep in mind you should always schedule in some downtime, so just because your baby theoretically sleeps 3 hours in any given day doesn’t mean you will clock in exactly 3 hours. Sometimes, too, it’s important to take 15 or 20 minutes as soon as baby falls asleep to take some well-deserved R&R! (I do this once a day at the beginning of Alan’s last nap, and it is much needed!) So if you can’t get all your work in done in those few hours, it’s time to take a look at my “bonus” secret weapons.

I hope this post has given you a little insight on why I love scheduling so much. There are a lot of resources to find out more about baby sleep and scheduling, but the most important thing is to find out what works for you. Experiment and remember that no two babies are alike.

 

*Before three months of age, it’s more difficult to get consistency, but this doesn’t mean you can’t get work done. At this stage they often sleep best on Mom, so get a carrier or wrap and wear that baby while you work! This might be a nice time to invest in a stand-up desk so you can stand and bounce while you’re at the computer…

What the hell is a hashtag anyway? #love

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Audrey Isbell

Speaker and Author of "100 Simple Truths All Virtual Assistants Should Know"
Audrey Isbell
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Hashtags are keywords that link off to additional content. When people click the hashtag, the link takes them to a listing of posts made by people who also used the keyword (hashtag) with their content. Hashtags work similarly to a thread.

Great! What the hell is a “thread”? Right!?!

PCmagazine helps to define a thread as:

“A running commentary of text messages pertaining to one topic or question.”

The benefits of using hashtags are many, but here are a few:

  1. Hashtags help audiences filter what they are viewing.
  2. They help businesses reach target audiences/a defined demographic.
  3. Strategic use of hashtags can help thought leaders build their communities.

What is hashtag abuse, and how to avoid #overkill:

Have you ever followed a person/brand only to find that every post was harder and harder to digest simply due to hashtags? If you discovered them by way of hashtag/filtered search results, you may not have noticed it right away. When you land on your media newsfeed now, you see a post that’s a billion miles long — mainly hashtags!!!…

Ugh! Unsubscribe. Block. Remove. Unfollow. Unfriend. Report Abuse.

LOL! Kinda joking about those last two… KINDA.

That really isn’t the kind of “abuse” that social media platforms are looking to have reported, but for many of us, it does feel like abuse on the senses. It doesn’t take much to be visually stimulated (okay- get your brain out of the gutter). We build graphic designs, ads, and logos for people sometimes, so please, increase engagement in a way that won’t make me dizzy.

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