How I Made $1,000 from 1 Instagram Photo and the Strategies You can use to Repeat My Success

How I Made $1000 from 1 Instagram Photo & the Strategies You Can Use to Repeat My Success!

How I Made $1,000 from 1 Instagram Photo and the Strategies You can use to Repeat My Success

I get asked all the time, “Alexis, is it possible to make money from Instagram?” The answer is YES! Today I want to share with you a few strategies for how to monetize your Instagram account and tell you about a strategy that I use to regularly earn hundreds of dollars for each promotional image I place. Now, before I begin, I do want to be clear, that these strategies are not about earning hard money from each and every photo you post on Instagram, in fact, these strategies rely on the fact that you will be posting more than just promotional images onto your Instagram feed in order to build your following. These strategies are also not a one and done deal, meaning they are most effective when you execute them regularly as part of a defined marketing plan for your Instagram account. As always with me and my strategies, it’s about finding a strategy that works for your brand and business and then consistently executing it and growing your results over time. Let’s get started!

First things first, growing your following!

Before I talk about the strategies for earning income from Instagram, we need to talk about the fact that you first need to have a following on Instagram for any of these to work. How big the following needs to be honestly depends on your brand and the market you are selling to, but I do believe that even a small following of 300, as long as it contains a few dozen active followers, will yield results. Obviously, the more followers you have, the more income you can earn! In the meantime, just understand that more followers usually mean more sales (usually because you can’t try to sell something that doesn’t relate to your audience and expect sales) so your personal results will vary, but I have used one of these strategies in particular to earn over $1,000 in 24 hours! Yes, it happens people. It’s not a daily occurrence but when you start integrating these strategies consistently, it is possible to have days where you make big bucks from one single image!

Strategy #1: Affiliate Links & Income

The first strategy for earning an income from your Instagram account is to feature affiliate products and use affiliate links to help people purchase items in your image. If you aren’t familiar with the term affiliate, what this means is that you are promoting the products or services of others and earning a commission from your referral. There are many affiliate programs you can join to help promote the products of other businesses, and the way you use this strategy is to take a nice styled photo of the product in question and then share a link to where people can purchase it in the description. To help with this, I tend to create short links via bit.ly which makes it easier to direct people to the product. Take a look at the image and description for Strategy #1 and see how I have used this strategy in the past!

How to use Affiliate Links to Earn Income from Instagram

Strategy #2: Sponsored Posts

The second strategy for earning an income from your Instagram account is to make sponsored posts, which means that a company or business is paying you to share an image of their product in your Instagram feed. More and more this has become a common practice, however, this route does tend to have two drawbacks. First is that when you get paid to sponsor an IG post, usually the amount isn’t a large sum of money. Maybe $20-$100, so you would have to find numerous sponsors or alternate income streams for your IG account in order to make serious money from this strategy. Second, finding sponsors for Instagram is very much dependent on you having a large following in the thousands at the very least. So you do need to have a larger following for this strategy to apply to you, but I have seen some instances of smaller businesses working with niche IG accounts. For me personally, I haven’t engaged in sponsored Instagram posts for a long time, because since starting my own business, I don’t need to get sponsors elsewhere, but check out the image and description for Strategy #2 for an example of how I have executed a sponsored Instagram post in the past.

How to use Sponsored Posts to Earn Income from Instagram

Strategy #3: (THIS IS THE BIG ONE!) Product Promotion

The third and final strategy for earning an income from your Instagram account is to promote your own products or services via your account! This is the strategy that I have used time and time again to earn hundreds of dollars per post. In this strategy all you need to do is share nice styled photographs of your products and, ideally, run some sort of short term sale or promotion to encourage people to purchase your product as soon as possible! That’s it! I know that sounds pretty simple, and it’s because it is. The hard part is growing your following to the level where you can share one picture and a sale here and there and it yields you incredible results. So, let’s go ahead and take a look at the example for this strategy, that $1,000 photo and description I used to get quick sales in one single day!

How to Use Product Promotion to Earn Income from Instagram

Now that you know the strategies for earning income from Instagram, go forth and execute! Of course, I have one more little tip, or resource really that I’d highly recommend you check out if you are serious about growing an income on Instagram. My new FREE Webinar ENTREPRENEURSHIP IS THE NEW BLACK is coming soon and it is filled with key information and strategies you will NEED to build a cohesive online business strategy around instagram! Sign up TODAY for this FREE offer and you’ll be well on your way to Instagram success!

xoxo,

Alexis-Signature

This article was originally posted on StrangeCharmed.com on February 8th 2016 and is being reposted for the new members of my community who may have missed it!

5 Stress Free Steps to Grow Your Instagram Following!

5 Stress Free Steps to Growing Your Instagram Following

5 Stress Free Steps to Grow Your Instagram Following!

As you may already know, the other week I hit 20k followers on Instagram, which I was super thrilled about! My growth on Instagram has been a great testament to the fact that you don’t have to do a lot of work or feel overwhelmed hustling to grow your following. Once you find your niche, you can easily integrate slow, steady, sustainable growth for your account, even if you are like me and only want to post about one picture a day. You don’t need to overdo it on Instagram to make an impact, and your Instagram growth definitely shouldn’t be a source of stress for you and your brand. These 5 simple steps will help get you started!

Step 1: Choose the Theme for Your Account

In order to create an Instagram Account that grows consistently, you need to have a clear vision for the theme of your account. What will you be sharing, what types of photos or things you will show on your account, and what will people come to expect to see from you? You need to understand these key items in order to create a consistent theme for your account that is attracting a specific follower that shares your specific interests.

Step 2: Develop a Consistent Posting Schedule

Whether you want to share once a week or multiple times a day, it’s important to define this frequency and stick to it as much as possible. Consistency in your posting will help develop trust between yourself and your followers will ultimately help you gain more followers to your account.

Step 3: Share Great Posts

Remember, your Instagram post consists of two parts, your image and your description. Make sure you are using great photographs first and foremost, but also make sure to take time to craft eloquent descriptions. Although a picture says a thousand words, the message you choose to leave in the description of your post will go a lot further into developing your themes and your relationship with your followers. People love to feel connected to others online, make sure you use your images and descriptions to connect!

Step 4: Use Relevant Hashtags

Hashtags are the search engine of Instagram. If you want to be discovered by new followers and grow your audience, you are going to need to use hashtags to help you get it done! When it comes to hashtags you have a few rules you need to understand. First, you need to use relevant hashtags, meaning, the hashtags people would be using to find your image that make logical sense. If you aren’t sure what these tags would be, just do some research in Instagram and see what existing hashtags have a lot of pictures and if those pictures are similar to yours. Another thing you need to understand about hashtags is that, in my opinion, you should use as many relevant tags as possible. When I was in serious growth mode for my account, I was using around 20-30 hashtags and I think that is reasonable. Instagram does cut you off if you use to many so keep that in mind.

Step 5: Interact with Others!

The final step to growing your Instagram account is to make sure you are interacting with others in the app. Make sure you are replying to comments left on your posts, reach out to other creators on Instagram that are within your market or niche and collaborate, and of course, make sure you support the accounts of your best followers as well by liking and commenting on their posts as well. Remember, Instagram is social media, and the point of it is to be social. You’re not going to grow by posting a picture and walking away from your account, you need to interact in order to gain followers!

Don’t forget to sign up for my new FREE Webinar ENTREPRENEURSHIP IS THE NEW BLACK! This webinar is going to be jam packed with information and strategy for you to make the most of your online platforms, including Instagram, to support the development of your blog or business online!

xoxo,

Alexis-Signature

This article was originally posted on StrangeCharmed.com on February 9th 2016 and is being reposted for the new members of my community who may have missed it!

3 Instagram Tips All Business Owners Should Know!

3 Instagram Tips All Business Owners Should Know!

We all know that Instagram is currently the fastest growing social media platform, so now more than ever, business owners— especially online entrepreneurs— should be using the application to the best of their ability in order to drive more traffic to their site and ultimately make more sales via the application. Unfortunately, Instagram doesn’t make it especially easy for businesses to drive leads and make sales, but a savvy business owner knows that there are ways out of this jam! So, today, I wanted to share with you three simple and easy to implement tips that you can use right now on Instagram to help you make the most of the platform and gain new followers and well deserved sales!

1. Take Styled Product Shots

Take Styled Product Shots for Instagram

The first thing that every business owner should be doing on Instagram is taking styled product shots. I wrote a whole post about how I take mine so check that out if you want more tips on this specifically, but obviously nothing is going to get you further on Instagram than great photos. If you sell physical or even digital products, you should be styling those items into shots to share. Above are a few examples of styled product shots for my digital/virtual products to give you some ideas. If you sell services, you too need to be styling shoots, but instead of showing a product you need to convey a message that aligns with your service. A home organizer may want to share styled shots of organized pantries and linen closets, a dog walker may want to share pictures of happy pets, whatever your speciality, get creative and start shooting some images that show your work in action!

2. Use Custom Bit.ly links

Use custom Bit.ly Links In Instagram

When I said that Instagram doesn’t make it especially easy for businesses to drive leads and sales, this has to do with the fact that the application only gives you one single location for utilizing clickable links. For an online business, direct links to products, email lists or other online platforms is crucial to gaining more of a following and achieving more sales. To work around this issue, I highly suggest using a free resource called Bit.ly which allows you to take long URLs and turn them into custom short links. I then use these links in my Instagram feed by listing them as my location so that the link is clearly visible. Now, the link still isn’t clickable, but the idea is that a unique short link is easier for people to remember and if they are curious they can quickly type it into their browser and get immediate access to whatever you are promoting! Because I run an online business, I make sure that my location services are turned off on my phone before doing this so that the link doesn’t become a live location link for me, but if you run a brick and mortar or do want to mark your geographic location, feel free to skip this step!

3. Host a Photo Challenge

Host an Instagram Photo Challenge

We’ve all see and perhaps even participated in a photo challenge hosted on Instagram, but have you utilized this great community building activity for your own business yet? If not, it’s a very simple promotion to set up. First, start off with a simple graphic of daily prompts related to your industry or the type of challenge you want to host. Above is an example of a graphic from a recent photo challenge I hosted which brought me thousands of new subscribers in just one month! Next, you will notice I gave my photo challenge a simple yet custom hashtag that is unique to me that people could use to tag their images. This is an important step you want to make sure not to miss because you want people to use that hashtag and that hashtag needs to lead them straight to you, so get clever with the tag but also try to keep it short and simple! Finally, you are going to want to set the time frame for your challenge and promote it through your Instagram and other social media platforms. I’d also suggest getting some friends or loyal customers on board with helping promote and share the image so that it gets around to as many people as possible. Once the challenge begins, feel free to take part in it yourself if you’d like, or simply spend some time each day going through the custom hashtag, liking and commenting on the photos from your participants. The more interaction you provide, the more followers you will garner for yourself!

BONUS TIP #4: Use Instagram as Part of a Cohesive Online Business Strategy

Instagram is a wonderfully powerful platform that is constantly evolving, but in order to get the most out of it for your business it should be used as part of a cohesive online business strategy. Now, if you are struggling to develop your strategy for your business, I have a wonderful FREE Webinar on the topic coming up soon called ENTREPRENEURSHIP IS THE NEW BLACK. I’d highly recommend signing up for the webinar and joining me live for some valuable Q&A time to get my direct feedback on your strategy moving forward. I only do these sorts of live webinars a few times a year, so make sure to sign up asap and plan to attend a live session to get the most out of the experience!

Those are my three tips for business owners to make the most of Instagram! Like I said, these are all simple enough to achieve and implement immediately, so I highly suggest spending a few minutes today (or scheduling some time coming up on your calendar) brainstorming some styled shots, and working on a photo challenge to promote your brand! Make sure you sign up for a free bit.ly account and start using those custom links asap, you can even go back and edit some old images with relevant links if need be! Let me know if this post helped you and if it did, I would love if you would share it in social media. Leave a link to this post in your Facebook feed or Tweet a link to it out! That’s a quick and easy way to share my content and I sure do appreciate it! Oh, also make sure you are following me on Instagram @MissTrenchcoat!

xoxo,

Alexis-Signature

This post originally appeared on Strange & Charmed on May 14th, 2015 and is being reposted for any new members of my community who may have missed it! 

How to Balance a #SIDEHUSTLE with Your 9 to 5

How to Balance a #SIDEHUSTLE with Your 9 to 5

How to Balance a #SIDEHUSTLE with Your 9-5

I spent 6 years working on my business as a side hustle before I ever dreamed of taking my business full time! If you aren’t familiar with the term, a side hustle is when you have a 9-5 job (or equivalent) and then you have a project you are working on in your free time that is your own. Usually, when we talk side hustles, we mean a business we are running on the side as though it were a second job that may one day become our full time gig, but not always. It can also refer to a volunteer project or cause you are passionate about that you never intend to make any money from but just enjoy doing in your spare time. Whatever your side hustle may be, in order to give that project our full attention and really get the most out of it so that it can one day become more if we wish it to, I have a few tips to impart upon you as someone who has been there, done that and built a full time business from it! This is not the story of how I left my full time job for my side hustle, if you want to read that you can here. This post covers the important things you need to know and focus on to successfully balance your 9-5 job and your side hustle so that you can do both effectively!

Get Clear on Your Business Vision

The first thing you really need to understand when trying to balance a full time job with a side hustle is the vision for your side hustle. Is this something you want to make money doing? Is this something you want to become your full time job? What exactly are you trying to accomplish with your side hustle? What key activities do you need to accomplish to make your side hustle happen? You may not have a 5 or 10 year plan laid out for this yet, but having a well rounded sense of what you are doing and why is important!

Set goals

Once you understand your vision, you need to set some goals for your side hustle! Goals in terms of your output and the activities you will perform on a weekly basis, as well as goals for input in terms of results you are seeking. For example, when I started my side hustle, it was just a blog in the beginning that didn’t have much direction or any goals, but once I set the goal to blog three times a week, my blog really started to take off because I was putting in consistent effort. Simultaneously, I had set goals for my blog in terms of monthly page views, at first I set those goals low, 1,000 page views a month, and once I hit that goal, I raised it to 5,000, then 10,000 etc! Setting goals for output as well as input are important to help you keep an eye on your results to ensure you are moving your side hustle along!

Make a simple project plan

When you have a full time job and a side hustle time can get very tight, so I think it’s always best to keep your side projects as simple as possible. Don’t put too much on your plate at one time or else you will get overwhelmed and one or both of your jobs will be negatively affected. For example, if you want to start an Etsy shop, keep your products as simple as possible. Don’t bite off more than you can chew by adding dozens and dozens of different items to your shop. Focus on producing a few items perfectly and promoting them regularly on the social media platform of your choice instead of spending all your time creating new items and leaving yourself no time for promotion.

Block out time to work on your side hustle

Time management is an essential skill you must master if you want to successfully pull off a 9-5 and a side hustle, and I am often asked how I was able to balance my full time job with all my social media promotion, blogging and YouTube video production before I went full time. The answer is that I blocked out time in my schedule to complete my activities. I spent some time a few evenings a week and usually one weekend day to get done my essential activities. Again, because I kept my projects simple and set goals, I knew what needed to be done and set aside the time to do it. If you are setting aside time for your side hustle but find that you aren’t accomplishing much, you may need to simplify your projects so that you have less on your plate.

Track your results

Now, the final thing you need to do to ensure your side hustle is successful is to track the results of the goals you set. You first need to make sure you are doing all the output that you said you would do because action is the only way you will move your business forward. Once you have tracked that you are completing the necessary output activities, you need to check the effectiveness of those activities against your input goals or results. Are you moving the needle week by week and month by month? You can’t expect huge amounts of growth overnight, but as long as you see growth from your actions, you know you are on the right path! But, if you go week after week with little to no growth, you may need to reevaluate your project plan and your output goals to ensure you are actually performing the right activities that will get you the results you are looking for.

Remember, it’s not easy balancing a 9-5 with a side hustle, it takes a lot of determination and clear expectation to manage both and most importantly, to make progress with your side hustle! It took me over 6 years to turn my side hustle into a full time career, mostly because it took me that long to learn all the strategies of online business and marketing that would eventually help me to create the business I wanted to run! If you are still on the hunt for strategies that will help you master online marketing for yourself, I welcome you to sign up for my upcoming Free Webinar Training ENTREPRENEURSHIP IS THE NEW BLACK!

Sign up to get more details, access to the Live event, as well as to the event replay! Hope to see you there!

xoxo,

Alexis-Signature

The Essential Skills of a #GIRLBOSS

Do you have what it takes to be a #GIRLBOSS?

The Essential Skills of a #GIRLBOSS

So, you really want to start your own business and claim the title of #GIRLBOSS for yourself, but you aren’t sure you have the required skill set. While starting your own online business doesn’t require a specific resume, I’ve found that their are a few essential skills that tend to separate the successful from the average. Here are the skills I have found to be the most crucial as I run my own business.

Communication

Great communication skills are a very valuable asset for any #GIRLBOSS, but especially for one that deals with online business. In the real world, having strong speaking and writing skills are a necessity but online, they can mean life or death for your business. It’s so hard to communication online. Yes, it’s easy to send a tweet or leave a comment, but it’s hard to get your messaging across on noisy social platforms and through the hustle and bustle of ads and other constant interruptions on websites. You either need to have great public speaking skills so you can kill it on video platforms OR you need to have impeccable writing skills if you want to carve a name for yourself via a blog. If you have the complete package, you are golden, but if not, don’t fret because you can always improve either!

How to Improve Your Communication Skills: If you need to work on either of these critical communication skills, I have some recommendations for you. To improve your writing, I love the book On Writing Well. It’s a simple guide that can help anyone at any writing level clean up their written communication and start crafting better messages. If you need to improve your oral communication skills, I would suggest joining Toastmasters, which is an international organization that helps people improve their public speaking.

Graphic Design

Design skills are another complete must for a #GIRLBOSS with an online hustle because everything online is driven by design. Your website, your content, and even your products need to have a great design to them in order to turn heads online. Yes, you can always hire out a designer to do this sort of work for you, but if you don’t have the basics down, you are leaving the design, and really the direction of your business, in the hands of a stranger.

How to Improve Graphic Design Skills: When it comes to improving your design skills there are a few things you can do. First, you can get a sense of what your ascetic is by searching through other websites, magazines, and through sites like Pinterest to understand what you like and what you don’t like. Next, I would put together collages via Pinterest to see how different images and design elements work together to create on cohesive vision. If you have a specific project you are working on, like a website redesign or you’re trying to research design for an upcoming project, you can make a board on Pinterest for the project and drop all your inspiration there. Be careful of what you curate because much of understanding good design is knowing that less is more and that a good designer knows how to build a great design with the fewest possible pieces.

Photography

Photography is another skill that is invaluable for a #GIRLBOSS to have in order to run a successful online business. Images are so much of what compels us to connect and purchase products and services online and so any serious #GIRLBOSS should be comfortable behind the camera. Styled photography is a key element of branding that is necessary for a variety of platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, not to mention how crucial it is for your website or online shop!

How to Improve Photography Skills: If you need to up your photography game, I would highly recommend my Digital Styling Lightroom Course. It’s a video based course with 5 modules designed to teach you how to shoot, style and edit great photography for your brand. Definitely check it out if you need to up your photography skills!

Sales

I know the average #GIRLBOSS hates thinking of herself as a salesperson, but you do need to have a basic understand of how “sales” works, in order to close the deal with your customers. The thing you need to know as a salesperson, however, is that sales isn’t really about selling your product. Rather, it’s about selling yourself. A good sales person can sell any product to anyone, they don’t really need to know much about a product, they just need to have confidence in themselves and a charismatic personality.

How to Improve Sales Skills: I know it’s probably not the first book that would pop up if you did a search for tools to help you become a better salesperson, but I’d recommend the book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. The book is super old, but stands the test of time, even in the modern online marketplace because it isn’t about the products you are selling, its about the basic principles of selling yourself to another human being.

Personal Development

The final thing a #GIRLBOSS needs to be successful is a desire for personal development. A smart #GIRLBOSS knows that she doesn’t know everything and although she may have achieved much already, she has so much more to become and achieve. I find that the desire for personal development is absolutely necessary if you want to be a good problem solver and leader.

How to Improve Personal Development Skills: This one is simple- say YES to as many learning opportunities as you can manage! Keep up with current news, read the highly acclaimed best sellers, follow other successful #GIRLBOSSES online and of course, engage with as many free business resources as possible. One great personal and business development resource I have for any current or aspiring #GIRLBOSS is a new FREE Webinar ENTREPRENEURSHIP IS THE NEW BLACK where I will be sharing my secrets to creating an online business that defies trends and makes a lasting impact for your life! Feel free to sign up for more information today!

I’m sure their are other skills here and there that would benefit and savvy #GIRLBOSS, but these five are the crucial ones you need to have under your belt in order to really have what it takes to stand out in business, especially online business. If you’re lacking in a skill, definitely prioritize honing it because all of these skills are learnable!

xoxo,

Alexis-Signature

Looking for My Awesome Online Business Resources?

Online Business Resource Guide

Looking for My Awesome Online Business Resources?

Getting started with your online business can be overwhelming to put it mildly. There is so much research that goes into starting a business, plus information you should know, key strategies to execute and a multitude of possible tools you could use to help make your vision a reality. So, to make this process a bit easier for you as a current or aspiring business owner, I have started a very special Online Business Resource Guide! Filled with the best content, advice, strategy and yes, tools upon tools that I personally use in my successful online business- you are going to want to get your hands on this resource and start digging into the material asap!

So, to make this resource guide as tech friendly and shareable as possible, I have gone ahead and turned it into its own Pinterest Board! Click here to access the Online Business Resource Guide Pinterest Board and make sure to follow board so that you can see all the new resources and content I add to it regularly. I want this to be a living, breathing resource guide that is continually updated with new information as I get it, and I thought a Pinterest Board would be the best method of delivery.

Of course, what’s the good of resources without some guidance? So, I’d also love for you to join me for an upcoming FREE Online Business Webinar ENTREPRENEURSHIP IS THE NEW BLACK that begins on February 21st, 2017! I’ll be hosting the webinar a few times and of course, you’ll have access to a replay, so if you are interested in learning more about getting started with online business, sign up for more information!

I do hope you enjoy the resource guide, and I can’t wait for you to dig into the content I have there for you to explore and learn as much about running a successful online business as possible- no matter what stage your business is currently in!

xoxo,

Alexis-Signature

ENTREPRENEURSHIP IS THE NEW BLACK

Entrepreneurship is the New Black

ENTREPRENEURSHIP IS THE NEW BLACK

Hello Charmed Ones! I’ve got an announcement for you today that I hope you are as excited about as I am.

I’ve been working on a new FREE Online Business Webinar for you called ENTREPRENEURSHIP IS THE NEW BLACK and it is officially open for registration today!

I feel incredibly blessed to run my own online business and live the entrepreneur lifestyle that affords me a variety of luxuries. I’m not talking free swag bags or expensive clothing and accessories- those things are great, don’t get me wrong, but they aren’t the reason I love being an entrepreneur and they certainly aren’t the reason I spent years hustling to make my business happen. The most important luxury that my business affords me, and the reason I put so much into my work, is the ultimate luxury that everyone wants more of but many don’t seem to have enough ofTIME!

Yes, TIME! Running my own online business gives me ultimate flexibility over my schedule and lifestyle that I would never get working for someone else. To me, what makes being an entrepreneur, and specifically an online entrepreneur, the best job in the world is the freedom I get from being my own boss, setting my own hours and intentionally designing a business that is tailor made to fit my goals.

If you spend just a few minutes browsing the web, you will find that this point of view on business and entrepreneurship is certainly not unique- in fact entrepreneurship has become something of a major trend especially online. The idea of making money working from home or anywhere really is the tremendous opportunity that our digital age provides, but the fact remains that the low barrier to entry into the online business world means many will make an attempt to start their own business but most will fail. Most, but not all!

There is something special, something very important that successful online businesses have in common that keep them thriving and outlasting the string of trendy businesses that are constantly appearing and disappearing through the seasons. So to give you the best foundation possible for a successful online business I want to share the insights I’ve learned over the past 8 years that have set my business apart, against all odds!

Join me for this FREE Webinar event that begins Tuesday February 21st, 2017 and will run through March 7th! By registering below you’ll get access to the webinar, which I will be hosting numerous times within this two week period, as well as special offers, downloads, and of course, the webinar replay!

If you’re ready to live the Entrepreneur Lifestyle and achieve the ultimate luxury of time, CLICK HERE to sign up for ENTREPRENEURSHIP IS THE NEW BLACK and learn what it takes to build an online business that fits your style!

xoxo,

 

Entrepreneurial: Starting is the Hardest Part

Entrepreneurial: Getting Started is the Hardest Part

One month down, eleven more to go, the new year has officially started! I almost feel like it’s useless to count the months down because they just keep recycling anyway to no end, but one point of significance I would like to point out is that this post represents a completion of a full year of Entrepreneurial posts and the start of round two. A full year has passed since my first installment of this monthly public entrepreneurship journal and I’m very pleased that time and time again, you within my community comment on how much you enjoy these posts. So, I guess I’ll just have to keep doing them! After I wrote the outline for this post, I actually went back into my archives and reread last January’s post, and it’s so interesting to me that some of the things I was struggling with last year came back up with this installment. Namely a sense of introspection and solitary reflection. As I will go on to explain in this post, I do think this is just par for the course for me and January. It can be a challenging month for various reasons and I do hope that if any of you felt the same way, this post provides you will a sense of comfort that it isn’t just you who is struggling to get into their groove and workout a sense of uncertainty and unease. So, let’s jump into my review of the month.

What I Did

1. Put myself first: Without a doubt my focus for the month of January was me. This wasn’t the original intention of the month, but pretty early on into the New Year I realized that I was going through something mentally and emotionally that needed time to play itself out. So, I chose to be graceful with myself and loosened my expectations for what I would get done and work on this month. It definitely helped me make progress with myself, even if I wasn’t giving my full attention to my other priorities.

2. A lot of Soul Searching: Because of aforementioned struggle, I ended up doing a lot of soul searching. I spent a lot of time with myself thinking, practicing self-care and putting my attention on matters that concerned my immediate wellbeing and mental health.

3. Participated in an Online Summit: I said no to a lot this month, both to myself and others, but one thing I did say YES to was participating in an online summit called the Go For It Summit. It’s organized by one of my Empire Building Alums and although I was being very careful with what I agreed to do this month, I felt like my participation in this event was so in line with my overall goals for 2017 that I had to say yes! I gave a great video interview and the summit, which is going live in early February, is open for registration if you are interested- it’s FREE. Click here if you’d like to sign up!

What I Didn’t Do

1. Make any videos for YouTube: This was probably one of the biggest shocks for me this month. I knew I was going to take a week or two off at the start of the year because that is what I usually do, but ending the month with no videos was unplanned. It wasn’t that I didn’t try to film- I did a few times, but for one reason or another, I was displeased with the footage or in one case, the footage was corrupted. I just didn’t end up having the mental energy to force myself to create a video against the flow, so I just let it be what it was going to be.

2. Use my planner much: Back in December I was so excited to start using my planner for the New Year, but once January came, I barely touched it. In fact, I had to force myself to use it at time to outline work I needed to do. Again, this all has to do with my own personal struggle with the month, and I know I will be back in my planner soon, but with no clear direction for how I was spending my time this month, it wasn’t necessary.

3. Finish any projects: I’m not sure if I regret this or if I’ve just accepted it, but I didn’t finish any projects this month. Now, I didn’t have any that were due, but it was weird for me not to complete something in a month.

What I Learned

1. January is a tough month: I think as the years go by, I am beginning to see that January is a tough month for me, and I bet others as well. I think after the high of the holidays in Q4, once the new year hits, I fall into a lull. I’ve always said that productivity is like a wave, it ebbs and flows, and for me, Janauary is just a low energy, low productivity month. It makes sense if you think about it- the start of anything is always the hardest part, why would the start of a year be any different?

2. I don’t want to keep doing what I’ve been doing: After all the soul searching I did this month, I think the biggest thing I realized is that I don’t want to keep doing what I’ve been doing with my life and business. I think after so many years of hustling to make my business work and pushing myself, I am seeing that I’ve built a pretty self-sustaining business. Despite doing very little public facing work this month, I still ended up earning a very good passive income, and that’s the point right? I built this business so that I would make money without having to do much. This month has proven to me that I can pull the reigns on the pace I’ve been keeping and focus on projects that will continue to support the ongoing growth of my passive income streams.

3. Uncertainty is normal: As a type A personality, I struggle with accepting uncertainty. I like to know what is going on and where I stand, but this month was a sort of limbo for me. It really upset me early on in the month, but once I realized that the uncertainty was a struggle I had to face by allowing it to just be, I just accepted it. There is still a lot of uncertainty clouding my mind right now, but I can’t let it upset me because it will end up wasting more of my time.

Again, I hope you have found this post insightful and if anything in particular stood out to you, feel free to tell me about it in the comments. I’d so love to know how your month has progressed, so feel free to share some details as well!

xoxo,

February FREEBIES: Dashboard, Monthly To Do List & Wallpapers

NEW January Planner Printables You Won’t want to Miss

February FREEBIES: Dashboard, Monthly To Do List & Wallpapers

Let’s get our February planning started with some free printable planner inserts and new calendar tech wallpapers, shall we?

Of course, I love to see pictures of your planner inserts and wallpapers at home on your planners and tech gadgets! If you share a picture, please use #CharmedGTD so the whole community can see your setups and of course tag me @MissTrenchcoat as well in your pictures on Twitter & Instagram!

Happy February Planning!

xoxo,

My Morning and Evening Routines (PLUS My Routine Essentials!)

My Morning & Evening Routines PLUS My Routine Essentials!

My Morning and Evening Routines (PLUS My Routine Essentials!)

Since I shared some ideas on developing your own Morning and Evening Routines yesterday, I thought it would be nice to share my personal routines with you, including some essential items that play an important role in keeping me in line on a daily basis. If you recall from yesterday, I believe it’s important for you to define a routine that works for you personally, and I hope yesterday’s post has given you some clarity. It always helps, however, to see examples from others, which is what I intend to do for you today. Without further ado, here are my routines!

Morning Routine

{7:30 am} Wake Up and Stretch: I normally wake up without an alarm at around 7:30 am as my husband is getting ready for work. When I wake up, I like to stretch a bit before I get out of bed and may reach for my phone to check messages and the news as well.

{7:40 am} Drink Water: I keep a tumbler of water next to my bed and will start sipping on it when I wake up, usually before I even get out of bed. I am always thirsty and so getting hydrated immediately is a big priority for me.

{7:45 am} Turn on Meditation or Sound machine App: As I get out of bed in the morning, I like to put on either a guided meditation or sound machine app to help me wake up my mind and start the day on a positive, inspired note.

{8:00 am} Make Bed: Once I’ve got my meditation on or once it’s complete (depending on how I feel that day), I will get out of bed and make it.

{8:05 am} Dress: Once my bed is made, I like to change out of my pj’s and into my outfit for the day. My daily uniform is usually comfortable leggings and a utility blouse, tunic or light sweater. I’ll also pop on a pair of house shoes or slippers because my home office has hard wood floors and I don’t like when my feet are cold!

{8:15 am} Morning Hygiene: Once I’m dressed I start my morning hygiene washing my face, brushing my teeth etc. On some days this is pretty quick and on others I will take more time to put on makeup and do my hair.

Evening Routine

{11:00 pm} Refill Water Tumbler: The first thing I do when I am getting ready for bed is to refill my water tumbler and bring it upstairs to my bedroom. Usually I head upstairs to end my evening and prep for bed between 10:30 – 11pm depending on what I’ve done that evening. On weekends, however, this can vary.

{11:05 pm} Evening Hygiene: Once I’m upstairs, I will start my evening hygiene practice which includes taking a shower or bath, removing my makeup, and cleansing. I take my showers at night so I can relax, get into bed nice and clean, and fall asleep faster.

{11:30 pm} Self Care: Once I’m clean and in my robe, I like to do some sort of self-care activity before bed. This could be a home facial treatment, listening to a podcast or book on tape, or giving myself a face and neck massage.  (mask, cream, haircare)

{11:45 pm} Pajamas & Hair Prep: Once I’m done my self-care (or after a little while if I’ve turned on a book or podcast) I switch into my pajamas and prep my hair for bed. Since I have very long hair, I must either braid it or put it into a high bun on the top of my head to keep it tidy while I’m sleeping. If not, it makes it uncomfortable for me to sleep because my hair goes all the way down my back and makes it hard for me to move around and get comfortable.

{11:50 pm} Essential Oils & Crystals: Right before I get into bed I will turn on my essential oil diffuser and arrange some crystals on my bedside table. They are always on the side table, however, I like to make sure that everything is tidy and that the crystals aren’t being covered so I get the optimal affect of having them by my side as I sleep!

{12:00 am} ASMR Video & Eye Mask: I like to be in bed ready to sleep by no later than midnight. Once my oils are on and I’m in bed, I will put on a night mask to help me sleep as I am very sensitive to light, and if I need it (which I do most nights) I will turn on an ASMR video with my earbuds on to help me drift asleep.

Morning Routine Essentials

Evening Routine Essentials

In order to make this post a maximum benefit to others, I would love if you would share your morning or evening routine in the comments so we can see some more examples that could possibly help others in the community develop their own routines. I hope you won’t hesitate to leave us your thoughts and actions below!

xoxo,

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