Category Business

5 Ways to Start Taking Small Steps for Big Results

Often times I find myself sitting at my desk at my job, or at home at the dining room table, looking at my planner intently with overwhelm.  Whether it be big goals and changes for myself or my business that I am striving for or daily tasks that need to be done, I am frozen because I don’t know where to start, so I end up starting nowhere and sit there for another long period of time.  I want to do all of these big things, like lose twenty pounds, get to yoga 2-3 times a week, and actually run a 5K.  Even when we are frozen in completing out to-do lists, we all have to start somewhere. RELATED READ: 2017 Planner Recommendations Straight from Creative Entrepreneurs Ever since my grandma, who battled breast and bone cancer for nine years, told me her greatest advice was to “follow your heart,” I

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What You Should Be Doing Now to Prepare Your Business for a Successful Year

Every year you have a business you start to see the ups, downs and do the best you can to make it better. I know I do. These past few weeks I have been working to make sure my business(s) put their best foot forward for the year ahead. Here’s how you can do the same: Year Review: Looking back can be the best way to move forward. Make a list of what happened in 2016. Include events you participated in, networks you joined, press you received and even social media campaigns you ran. Now, break this up into what worked and what didn’t. This is the short list for The Cookie Cups: Daniel Carroll of Hammerback Media states “On a daily basis, search engines and social media platforms are modifying their algorithms that determine result page position and newsfeed exposure levels.” “If you don’t have an Internet marketer on

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Why ‘Getting Moody’ Attracts the Right Audience: The Impact of Mood Boards

Let’s face it – starting a business is NOT the most pleasant of experiences. Perhaps in a perfect world, we would open up shop and customers would instantly flock to us like seagulls after a French fry. However, we aren’t deep fried goodness and our consumers don’t have wings, so it’s just never going to be that easy. Being a Brand Stylist and Graphic Designer, I know all too well how incredibly frustrated one may become when trying to effectively influence the right audience for his or her business. After banging their head off of their desk a few hundred times, clients often approach me with the same worry: “I know who I want to attract, but I’m confused as to what direction to go in.” This is where the fun really begins for me! The most important step in branding is to set the tone for your business. What

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Stay Focused and Productive with a Not-To-Do List

Do you ever feel like there’s not enough time in the day? Is “busy” your go-to response when people ask how you’re doing? Do you ever end your workdays feeling like distractions got the best of you and kept you from getting enough done? If so, you’re preaching to the choir. I’m a business attorney for creative entrepreneurs. I love running my own law firm, but staying focused and productive is always a challenge for me. Like many of my creative clients, I struggle with staying on track and not chasing the latest shiny objects. My job is all about protecting businesses, but in order to do that it’s really my productivity that needs protecting. Now, I’m not a productivity guru. But I’ve done a ton of research on the subject, and I’ve experimented with different tools and practices to keep myself on track. There’s one productivity tool that’s been

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Dear Entrepreneur: If You Were Your Bravest Self, What Would You Be Doing?

Dear Entrepreneur, When was the last time you gave yourself permission to dream big? When have you stopped work to think about where you want to take your precious business in the next year, the next five years or even ten? We are so bogged down with the everyday hustle. There never seems to be enough time or energy. We are creating new content, building relationships, serving our clients, posting on social media… the to-do list is never ending. We are caught up IN the business. In the every day. In the daily minutia. I encourage you to make the space and give yourself the grace of envisioning where you want to go next. Brain dump all those wild and crazy ideas. Don’t get caught up with the I can’ts or the I don’t haves. Be open and daring and dig deep into your heart’s desires. Allow yourself to reach

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5 Powerful Ways Your Business Grows When You Use Your Story

You know you have a great product/service. People tell you they love what you’re doing and you’re seeing engagement within your online presence, and yet, no sales. What gives? You’re not using your soul and you’re significantly missing out on the value your story has ready to serve up for you. Even though my entire community and the success of my brand is largely attributed to and founded upon vulnerability, there was a time when sharing my story (and the struggles within it) seemed like the worst possible path to growth. I kept talking to all these other business owners around me, even my clients, seeing them struggle, and I so badly wanted to scream, “I’m with you, I’m suffering with depression and anxiety just like you.” But, it heightened my anxiety just to think about exposing my heart in such a way that could open me up to judgement. I

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Be Confident, Love Yourself, and Stay True to What You Believe

I don’t know about you, but few things in life stress me out more than packing – and I’ve found myself having to do a lot of packing lately (not complaining, I LOVE traveling, but that doesn’t make the putting my life together in a suitcase for a week part any less anxiety provoking). I’m always like, “Okay Allyn, let’s only pack what we need, plan outfits out beforehand, and not have to sit to close the suitcase”. (My recent New York Fashion Week adventure really did a number on my suitcase, it has some battle wounds and a large rip sidelining the zipper… whoops.) Entrepreneur Sarah Yonover (above) has innovated quite the hypnotizing product to combat such situations! HipKnoTies is 30 styles power packed into one garment. Yes you read that correctly – one piece, 30 ways. Need I say more? Your HipKnoTies is 20% off with code GemNation20!  I’ll

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Influencer Marketing: It’s All About Creating Connections

As entrepreneurs, I think that getting your awesome product or service in front of the eyes of the right people is one of the most challenging, yet important, things you can do for your business because it’s so directly tied into your profit.  So, what if I told you that 92% of people trust their peers or trusted sources to make product recommendations and that 72% of people rely on social media to make purchasing decisions (source)?  It’s pretty clear that word-of-mouth marketing is the most effective.  A recent survey by Think With Google further solidifies this point by showing that 60% of consumers are more likely to buy a product recommended by a YouTuber than a mainstream celebrity.  All of this sounds pretty, incredibly awesome – you connect with a couple of influencers in your field, have them put up a review, and you’re flooded with sales from their

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