Wednesday, February 14, 2018

How To Keep Motivated In The Dog Days Of Summer

July 31, 2012 by  
Filed under All Posts, Business Practices

How do you keep motivated to do your work in the summer?

Summer should be about enjoying yourself, getting outside and hopefully getting away from it all. Of course, most of us don’t have the luxury of avoiding work all summer long. Sometimes, we’ve got to roll up our sleeves and get busy, but it’s not always easy if you work from home. I’m sure just about any home or Internet business owner can relate, so here are some tips to stay motivated this summer.

Work HoursWork hours are your friend: We talked about avoiding distractions previously but it applies here too. When you know when you’re supposed to work, you’re more likely to do it. If you leave your days wide open and think you’ll squeeze work in somewhere, it’s less likely to happen.

Focus on what you like doing: There’s nothing worse than dreading something on our to-do list. Not only do we procrastinate from getting that one thing done, but it can remove our motivation to do anything at all. Always focus on what you’re good at and enjoy. Hire others or take on a partner to do the things you despise, but they enjoy. I’ve never understood why some people love crunching numbers and doing the accounting, but I’m so glad that they do.

But what if you aren’t able to hire someone, here’s a trick I’ve been doing that has worked for me this summer: I eat a frong first thing in the morning! What I mean by this, is I do my least favorite item on my to-do list FIRST. That way, I get it done and then I can focus on what I like doing. Also, I don’t have the thought of doing it hang over my head all day.

Set summer goals: While you may not be working as hard in the summer as you do other times of the year, do set some goals for yourself. Set daily, weekly and monthly goals. Make them challenging, yet attainable and outline the steps you’re going to take to achieve them.

Breaking them into steps is very important. I spread these steps throughout my week and lo and behold, I usually complete my goal on course!

Reward yourself: When you accomplish a goal, give yourself a reward. Whether it’s a camping trip, a weekend away or simply an iced tea on the patio, everyone likes to have their work appreciated. Appreciate yourself readily!

We’ve been doing this a lot this summer. Last week when we finished our tasks mid-afternoon, we headed to our local county fair. Every week there is an evening concert in the evening so that’s our mid-week treat.

Take a breakGive yourself a break sometimes: As entrepreneurs, we can be pretty hard on ourselves. We try to pack so much in, create ridiculously long to-do lists, but it’s not really necessary. Always re-evaluate your work plan and adjust it to make sure you get the most important things done.

I guess the real lesson here is to know where you want to go and how you’re going to get there. Always have a plan, but be prepared to adjust it where necessary. When all you want to do is enjoy the summer, it just makes keeping motivated a little more challenging.

Of course, if your motivation has gone down because business has slowed down, we have another problem. We’re going to talk about reviving a slow business in my next post.

Meet Guest Blogger Adele Jackson

This summer is going to be a busy one for us – finalizing our book Shoot To Sell: Make Money Producing Special Interest Videos and setting up the companion website, getting our SIV Academy up and running, so we’ve enlisted the help of Adele Jackson to help out a bit. She’s got a ton of ideas for your business this summer. Whether you want to take a vacation or rev up your sales, she’s got you covered. We hope you’ll enjoy her posts. Adele writes for

Without further ado, meet Adele Jackson.

Summer and BusinessHi folks, I’m so glad to be able to visit over the summer and share some strategies that have worked for me and others. Keeping business going through the summer isn’t always easy, but if you approach it right, you can still have fun and keep the cash flow coming.

My house is always filled with kids in the summer (my own and, it seems, all the neighborhood kids), so I can relate. Add to that, we love to go camping and get ourselves right off the grid for days at a time. I know, it can be a shock to the system to survive without Facebook. 😉 Regardless, somehow I always manage to make it through and I’d love to help you too.

A few things we’ll be talking about

• Avoiding distractions and staying motivated.
• Even if it’s your slow season, how to keep business moving along.
• Going on vacation, even when you’re a solo operation.
• Generating traffic, staying on top of social media and keeping your content fresh while you’re busy having fun in the sun.

I do hope you’ll join me for the journey. If you haven’t already, I’d recommend signing up for the RSS feed or email updates, so you don’t miss a thing. I’ll be talking to you again soon.

Adobe Video: Adobe Premier Elements – The Best Choice For You?

July 26, 2012 by  
Filed under All Posts, Equipment, Video Production

Adobe video editing software – is it the right choice for you?

While at NAB Show 2012, I headed over to the editing pavilion to take a look at what Adobe software has been up to.

While I’ve used Adobe Photoshop, After Effects and Illustrator for years, I’ve recently begun using Adobe Premier Pro over Final Cut for my video editing. And I have to say…I’m a convert.

Here’s a short video I shot while at the Adobe area at NAB and find out what I think about using Adobe Premier Elements as your video editing software.

(If you’re unable to watch the video on this page, go to YouTube to view it.)

My Recommendations

Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 and Adobe Premier Elements 10 – Get both Photoshop Elements AND Premier Elements in this package.

ON SALE!! Until August 6, 2012, you can get the full version of Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 and Adobe Premier Elements 10 for $99.99, Use Code: SummerElements when ordering. (Normal price: $149.99) If you’re thinking of getting this program, NOW is the time to get it!

Adobe Production Premium CS6 – This is what I use. It’s the whole production suite of products, including Premier Pro, and really geared for the professional.

Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 – Easily edit, create, organize, and share your digital photos.


How to Focus Better On Your Business: 10 Tips To Avoid Summer Distractions

July 24, 2012 by  
Filed under All Posts, Business Practices

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Summer should be about enjoying yourself, getting outside and hopefully getting away from it all. Of course, most of us don’t have the luxury of avoiding work all summer long. Sometimes, we’ve got to roll up our sleeves and get busy, but it’s not always easy if you work from home.

Distractions are numerous; the nice weather, having the kids home from school and the desire to just be out camping or even sipping drinks with friends on a patio. Even though summer can be great fun, it’s important to set your limits and turn off the distractions as needed.

Here are 10 tips for you on how to focus better on your business this summer…

Work HoursSet your work hours: It’s business organization skills 101, but it’s an important aspect to staying focused. If you set your work hours, not only will you know what’s expected from you, but so will your friends and family. Take out the calendar and figure out what will work for you from week to week, so there is no confusion for anyone, including yourself.

Reduce your work hours: If you work 5 days a week the rest of the year, you might consider whittling down to 3 or 4 in summer. Even if we have the best intentions, we’ll always find ourselves looking out at the beautiful sunshine, thinking about how we’re like to be out there too. Give yourself a break and just don’t work so much. You can achieve this by cutting down your schedule, (for example, we’re doing less blogging this summer), doing a lot of work ahead of time or hiring some help.

Plan your work week, in detail: Now, don’t overload yourself with tasks, but make a list of items that absolutely need to get done and put them on your schedule. If you know what you need to do each time, you can motor through those items each day and perhaps you can even knock off early if you complete your list quickly.

Plan your vacations: Just like you should plan your work hours, plan those vacations ahead of time. Knowing when you’ll be in town and out of town, will help you plan your work better and get all the necessary tasks done before you leave.

VacationTry multiple short trips away from home: While there shouldn’t be anything stopping you from taking an extended vacation, if it does cause you stress or you don’t have the help you need while you’re gone, try a few short trips. A few days away here and there can be a whole lot of fun and can reduce the overwhelm when you return to your computer.

Limit social media to down time: While I see the value of social media for business, I think most of us waste a heck of a lot of time on Facebook. I’d challenge you to keep your social media usage outside of your work hours and leave it for any downtime you have. Perhaps, while you’re relaxing on the couch in the evening or just soaking up some sun by the pool. Reserve your work time for…well…work.

If you have kids, get them busy: There’s no reason kids shouldn’t have fun all summer long. Get them involved in summer activities in your local area. Whether it’s summer camp or activities at the local library, there’s always plenty to do. And for goodness sakes, send them OUTSIDE to play often. If your kids are young and need supervision, consider organized activities or swapping babysitting favors with your neighbor.

Again, if you have kids, get them involved in the business or their own business: If you can’t always get the kids to entertain themselves, get them busy working with you or on their own business. There are plenty of business tasks that children can handle and what they do will certainly depend on their age and abilities. We’ll be talking more about summer business ideas for kids in a future post too.

Phone OffTurn the phone off: If you don’t have to answer calls from clients or customers, turn your phone off while you’re working. That means no text messages or personal emails too. If you do have a business line that you need to answer, don’t give that number to your friend who keeps trying to get you to head to the beach or a patio to sip margaritas.

We highly recommend getting a toll-free phone service like RingCentral so that you can set your hours when you’ll accept calls.

Outsource more: It’s been mentioned before and I’ll have plenty more tips in future posts, but you’ve got to help for your business. It doesn’t mean you have to hire employees or people need to come to your house, but running everything yourself means being chained to your business all the time. At minimum, you should have a virtual assistant that can help you with administrative tasks, keep you organized and can handle most of your business communication.

Companies such as oDesk are great resources to find help for short-term projects to long-term assignments. We’ve been very pleased with the people we’ve hired through oDesk and recommend it highly.

Keep the fun in summer, but don’t sacrifice fun for productivity. If you’re organized and focused, you can most certainly have both. Now, I admit, being focused can’t come without a whole lot of motivation and that’s why in the next few posts, I’ll share more tips and tricks to learn how to focus better.


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