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Monday, January 8, 2018

Struggling to Keep Your Goals

Many people use the start of a new year to set new goals for themselves. It's great to have goals, dreams and aspirations to reach for. Most people begin with great intentions of keeping and realizing the desires that they have set out for themselves but somewhere along the way those goals and good intentions become a struggle and get lost on the journey of life.  

It takes great discipline to achieve and reach your goals. Focusing on the results that you really want to see is what will get you there. Discipline is not easy but we all know nothing good comes easy. Whether your goal is to start a new business, go on a trip, save money for a new vehicle, lose weight whatever it is, it takes discipline. 

Many of us get lost because we don't define our reason for reaching our goals. It's great to say that I want to exercise and go to the gym 4 days a week but without a solid reason to back up why you want to achieve this goal you'll likely find excuses to skip your workouts, cut them short or end up not going at all.  Why do you want to exercise regularly perhaps it's because you need to keep yourself in better shape, lose weight or increase your muscle strength. Define your goal and write down your reasons to help you stay on track. Be clear about what you want. 

Perhaps one of your goals is to read 6 books on leadership or business this year. Is it just to say you've read 6 books or is it because you want to create your own business in the coming year or to increase your knowledge to become a more effective leader at your current job. Continual learning takes focus but this is how successful people achieve their goals. It takes training yourself and disciplining yourself everyday. 

Life is busy and keeping your goals moving forward may be a struggle. Balancing life, work, family while maintaining health and fitness is a challenge. Something I recently heard was to not let your emotions or emotional state be the driver in your decision to keep working your goals. Realizing it's a struggle for everyone at times. I mean who wants to get up at 6am to go to the gym (okay maybe a real morning person) or to get there after a long day of work, no one but truly this is where the discipline and clarity of your goals comes in. Don't let your emotions be what ruins your goals and outcomes.  I can struggle with this too, but I choose to hit the alarm off and get out of bed before my emotions get a chance to decide for me. If I want to achieve my goal I have to do it whether I want to or not. 

You can be a goal setter and be disciplined through training yourself for whatever it is you desire to do.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

One Word Challenge

We have arrived at 2018 and it seems this last year has flown by with lightning speed. As I was thinking about what to blog about today, the One Word Challenge came to mind. A single word can be a powerful thing. Choosing just one word is not as easy as one might think, many have come to mind as I am reflecting on the past year and looking forward to what's coming ahead.

Of course, none of us know what any given day, week or month may hold but we should look ahead with hope and perhaps choosing one word will help with direction and set the tone for the new year. 

Think about moving forward in the new year being guided by one word. How would you choose your word and what would it mean to you? Ponder what you want to see happen in your life in 2018. 

Think about your one word? What do you want to define your vision of moving forward for this next year?  It can seem like just a simple little word, but it can have great meaning and an even bigger impact over the course of the year. Putting intention and clear direction behind actions, can be life changing.

After much thought I have chosen the word 'fearless' for my one word. 
Dictionary - FEARLESS without fear; bold or brave; intrepid.

- to have courage when I feel apprehensive
- to be at ease when I feel nervous
- to stay positive when I am fearful

So what will your one word be? Leave a comment, share your word for 2018!  

Words carry so much power and influence more than we give them credit for. I wish all my readers a blessed 2018, choose your words wisely! :-)

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Take The Stress Out of Your Christmas

It's so hard to believe we are well into the month of December. Have you got it all together? I know this busy time of year can be stressful for so many people. Trying to create the perfect home, decorating, baking, finding the 'perfect' gift for your spouse or children. It can be over whelming if you let it.  

Here's a checklist with simple ideas to help you focus on what's important and keep the stress out of Christmas. 

1. Have a plan, so important but of course by now your plans should be well underway and many of them finished. If not it might be time to look at your goals again and even take a couple things off the list if possible. Remember the true meaning of the season, if you are a christian family keep your priorities and values at the top of your list. 

2. If you have family events to attend, dinners and family get together's be sure to mark the calendar and let other family members know of the plans well in advance.  

3. If the gift giving has become a burden and unnecessary for your family or extended family members speak up. Remember not everyone has extra money to spend on several gifts and the whole shopping thing is not pleasant for everyone. Many families opt to do a white elephant gift game or set a price limit and have a gift exchange rather than purchasing gifts for everyone. Another option is to donate to a charity that you might choose as a family and bless others this way.  This can relieve a lot of the holiday stress for people.

4. Don't put pressure and high expectations on your family members or friends. If people can't attend your party or family get together don't take it personally.  Allow other's the same courtesy that you'd expect. 

5. Plan your Christmas dinner menu well in advance. Stock up on kitchen staples that you know you'll need. If your family is large and the gathering is big assign food dishes to other family members. Everyone likes to bring something at this time of year and contribute to the dinner.  It's even okay to buy some baked goods if the time has run out for you to do your Christmas baking. Most people are okay with this. 

As you head into the final weeks before Christmas take a some time for yourself if even just to take a brisk walk each day, get to the gym or sit down and read a few chapters of a book. These things will keep your energy up and give you more focus as things begin to get busier.  I wish all my readers much peace and joy this Christmas season. Blessings to all for a wonderful 2018. 

Thanks a Latte Gifttag

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Holiday Buying Guides Make Life Easier

Well it's mid November and this month seems to be a popular time for the start of holiday shopping. Holiday buying guides can make your life a little easier by giving you some ideas for family and friends on your shopping list.  The holiday season can be a real push and pull as retailers whether at the big box stores, in the malls or online battle for shopper's attention.  Consumer trends show that two thirds of shopping will be done online. That's pretty huge. As an online business it's important to remain competitive in this arena. Sharing online gift guides can be a great way to boost your sales. 

In a consumer driven society everyone knows that shopping for other's has become difficult and challenging. A gift guide can be one of the most powerful tools you may use during the holidays. Here is where you can promote your products, inspire shopper's with meaningful items and leave an impression on your potential customers. 

Holiday Buying Guides

Pretty Gifts for Mom

Cool Gifts for Dad

Unique Gifts for Boys
Neat Gifts for Girls

Here is a link list of some other holiday buying guides for your inspiration. 

Gifts for Teenage Girls
Best Sellers for Teenage Boys
Sweet Gifts for Babies 
Gift Ideas for Grandma
Gift Ideas for Grandpa

Happy Holiday Shopping

Monday, October 30, 2017

Holiday Selling Tips for Your Online Shop

I hope you’re working hard and steady on your marketing strategy for the busy holiday season. Here are a few tips to get your shop ready for the holiday selling season. I feel like I've been working on Christmas and holiday designs for awhile already.  I’m sure you know that the stores in the shopping malls have already got holiday items on their shelves. Seasonal and promotional items, holiday and Christmas displays are popping up everywhere. It seems before one holiday or event is over the next one is in full swing. 

Big box stores have decorated Christmas trees and many holiday themed items on display. When people see these items it starts the ball rolling and many people start purchasing their gifts earlier and earlier every year. Personally I feel it is a little too early for me to see Christmas items in the stores in October but as an online small business owner I understand that one has to get on board and be prepared well in advance to have our online stores and websites prepared for those early shoppers. 

Marketing research and trends show that more and more people are shopping online and this surely will only increase with the convenience of shopping from the comfort of one’s home! 

So how do you get your online store ready. Well, first off you must have a plan, this is so important. Take a look at your inventory and decide what you need or want to showcase in your store. What are the trends and items that will attract customers to buy in your shop. What will be your big holiday sellers this year? Is there something particular that you want to feature? Do a review of what items sold well for you last year and what items didn’t move at all. With millions of online businesses the competition is fierce and just thinking that the customers will come and buy from you without you putting in some serious marketing efforts is pretty silly.

Use all available social media platforms that you are active in. Just do it subtly, nobody wants to just see a big push of your items, add something of value when you can. Perhaps offer a sale coupon or a contest.

When marketing add appropriate hash tags, like #holidayspecials, #holidaydeals, #blackfriday, etc. This will help when people are searching for shopping deals.  Don’t leave it too late or you seriously might miss your window of opportunity. The shopper’s will buy elsewhere and you don’t want to miss out on the sales!

Here are some of the latest products I've been designing for Designs by Shell. 

Keep working toward your goals! 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Get Better Results From Your Online Business

You are probably well aware that there are many entrepreneurs sharing and promoting the same kind of business and products as you. While promoting your company you have likely seen many of your own networking colleagues tweeting out similar items or content to yours. Most are offering the same services, similar designs, blogging about their shops, offering tips and so forth. Building an online business is hard work, I know that first hand. Keeping up and realizing all of the changes that seem to come faster than lightning is a tough reality. 

You've probably heard this before, I know it's nothing new but there are still many perks and freedom that come from running your own online business. I mean seriously, being able to work from anywhere in the world is a huge deal. If you're traveling you can work while your away.  A new setting or funky cafe that you find yourself in can do wonders to inspire and give you fresh ideas to work with. Making money passively while you sleep and travel is pretty awesome. 

Be authentic, those that come to buy from you want to know the real you. Customers buy from someone they like or feel they can trust. Let your own style and personality come through, people are  drawn to authenticity.

Get as specific as you can with your target audience. This will make your marketing a lot easier. Create a clear and concise brand and market it to the best of your ability. 

Websites can get cluttered and jumbled pretty quickly when you start adding widgets and plugins. This can be confusing for many people and can make them leave your site without giving it fair game. Create a solid foundation and build your site so customers can navigate through it with ease. 

Entrepreneurs know that there is never an end in sight as far as building and marketing your business. Every day is a new day, a fresh start to keep working hard as you promote your business in a professional way. Always keep working your goals. Perseverance is necessary in the online world. Everything takes patience and as you build your business you will need an abundance of it. Don't give up, keep learning, educating yourself and stay focused. Good things will come. 

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Online Business Interview With Bebop's Place

It's great to learn and share with other business owner's. Today I am sharing with you an online Q and A interview with another Zazzle designer. She does beautiful photography work for her shop. I am sure you will find it inspiring. Interviews are a nice way to see how other artists or entrepreneurs conduct their business. 

1.What is the name of your business? 

Bebop’s Place

2. What inspired you to start your own business?
            I am a passionate amateur photographer. Mostly I photograph the wild natural beauty of rural upstate New York where I live.  I wanted to share my work and it seemed that offering my images on Zazzle products would be a good platform.

3. Can you provide me with a description of your business?
            I have a print-on-demand shop on the Zazzle website.  I fit my images to the huge variety of products offered by Zazzle.

4. What are the advantages of this form of business ownership?
            I love the idea that I am free to create the images and that Zazzle does the actual manufacturing and distribution.

5. How do your customers find your products? 
            I wish I knew!  I assume that they search the Zazzle website directly or through search engines.

6.  Where do you get your motivation when things are slow?
            Slow sales can be discouraging but my motivation really comes from the creative process and that keeps me going.
7. Is there anyone that you look up to for business advice?
            The Zazzle Forum is really my only source for help and advice.  We all share our knowledge and encourage each other.

8. Do you do marketing for your business? 
            I do have several blogs that I post my products to but that is really all.

9. What will you be focusing on for the upcoming holiday season?  
            Probably my favorite product line is my calendars.  I truly enjoy curating my work into specific thematic material.  I am hoping they will be popular this year.  Here is a link to my 2018 collection of 12 page calendars:
 Here are a couple of products that I like from Bebop's Place