This week has been a strange one with only a 4-day work week. (Of course, I love a holiday as much as the next girl. And, I really LOVE celebrating the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces. A sincere appreciation there.) Yet, my to-do lists - business and personal - have been almost untouched. Not from a lack of trying, though! Just not enough hours in the day. (I know you never feel that way!)
So…like most entrepreneurs who cater to women, I “market” myself on Pinterest. I had to use quotation marks there because I am sure any professional in marketing would (adamantly!) correct me by saying, “That ain’t marketing...what you do on Pinterest.”
I would gasp and reply, “What? I pin at least 1 of my own Pins a week and re-pin about 3 items a week. What is wrong with that?!”
So…when I say that I have been doing Pinterest, now you know to the extent of my skills and dedication. I honestly try!
I have determined, though, that any social media is difficult for me. If I focus on Instagram, then I am probably not pinning anything. If I pin a few items each day, then I probably am not posting any shots on Instagram. I am hoping with more time and practice, I can do 2 social media platforms at once. Bless my heart, until then.
Each week, I get an email from Pinterest with the subject line, “ Your most popular Pin! Drumroll, please…” And each week, I fall for it and open it excitedly.
This week I was greeted with (drumroll, please)…
People love your Pins! This Pin got 1 save last week.
When I write, I started laughing out loud, that doesn’t account for the tears rolling down my cheeks and the immediate need I felt to show my husband. When you have one of those uncontrollable laughing fits, it is even better when someone else joins in. So, I was anxious to make it a group experience!
After several minutes of cry-laughing together, my husband and I were able to calmly analyze why this email was so hilarious. We believe it is in the opening line, “People love your Pins!” Your mind automatically asks--oh, I wonder how many people love my pins!
Then, it takes less than a second for your eyes to scan right and see…1. 1 people likes my Pin?! Huh?! I thought maybe more, based on the wording of the email.
Pinterest, please have pity on me. Next week, if I only have 1 of my Pins re-pinned you can simply skip the email. (Even my own sister suggests this! She, unlike you, Pinterest, feels pity for me.) Or, Pinterest, you can change the opening line to say, “A person loves your Pin.” That way I am let down gently from the very start.
I know the blame is mine. I must put more effort into Pinterest. And I plan to! Who knows, with a very focused effort, I may get an email next week that says, “People love your Pins. This Pin got (drumroll please)...2 saves last week.”
Remember, you have a choice—to laugh or to cry. In this whole entrepreneurial thing, most situations (and I mean, almost all) should earn your tears of laughter…not your tears of sadness. Laughter keeps you moving forward, viewing tough spots as only bumps in the road…not dead ends.
Well, I did it. I actually did it.
I created and printed business cards this week.
I technically have been Inspire to Engage for over 3 months. But, I just made business cards. I may be a few weeks late on this project. Yet, I know the courage it requires to hand out cards…to announce to the world that you are officially in business. I didn’t have that kind of courage when I first started so having business cards then would have been pointless.
Originally, I started at Staples.com to create my business cards. I found options at the Custom Cards section of the site just a little too bland (since I know so much about graphics design…wink, wink.). Thus, I returned to my favorite graphics program – Canva.com.
At Canva.com, you can create a FREE account and make graphics for Facebook, your website, and your business cards. Once I created my card there, I then uploaded it to Staples.com for printing.
Because I am frugal (and, honestly, dreaming of having my ideas branded by a true professional one day), I opted to purchase only 250 cards. (At my rate of handing out cards, that amount will last me about 17,520 days or a mere 48 years.)
Also due to frugality, I only printed on the front of the cards. Yet, I splurged and got the one-sided cards in glossy. (I know. I am crazy.)
Seriously, though, I am happy to have “business cards” off the ole to-do list!
Haters Gonna Hate and Wise Counsel Gonna Love
Once again this week I was reminded how important it is to keep yourself surrounded by people who move you forward…in a positive direction. Too many times, we let the comments of people who don’t love us or who don’t understand our goals to completely destroy us.
I was blessed to attend the Mompreneur Lunch at the Catalyst Center this week. The topics of mom guilt and cruel comments took front and center of our discussion. One hard-working momma had received a particularly cruel comment on Facebook, questioning her ability and desire to be a loving wife and mother. As you can imagine, she was crushed. She has worked hard to grow her business. But, the pain from such a thoughtless (and probably jealous) remark had caused her to question herself.
Several women encouraged her (and simply loved on her with their wise words). Below I listed two of the most powerful suggestions. They have played over in my head many times. Who knows, you may need to hear them as well.
1.) “You are allowing her to steal from you. She [the cruel commenter] is robbing you of your joy. And only you allow that.”
2.) “When I get criticized, I use this 3-part criticism test. a.) Who is the source? Someone I respect or not? b.) Does my criticized action align with my values? c.) Does my action align with my faith?
Let’s face it…this entrepreneurial thing causes you to question so much about yourself. You can easily lose confidence and start to doubt your motives. Am I being a good mother? A good wife? Should I continue? Will anyone be interested in doing business with me?
From what I have gathered in my reading and in my own experiences, these feelings are a natural part of creating something new...on your own.
You are going to doubt yourself at times, and others will question you as well. Surround yourself with wise counsel. Pray for discernment between wise counsel and those people simply making thoughtless, mean remarks. (Hint: The criticism test above may be just what you need to do this.)
Prayerfully moving forward,
Timesheet - Weekly Summary
Research - 1 hour & 45 minutes (not including running time with audiobooks)
Content/Product - 7 hours & 30 minutes
With Clients - 0 hours...but maybe soon :)
Marketing - 2 hours & 45 minutes
Total Time: 12 hours
Takeaway: I was very consistent with Instagram this week, posting mostly between 11:00-2:00 each day. I did gain a few followers this week and got a lot of Likes (at least for me).
Detailed Timesheet for the Week
Monday - began writing Fringe Hours post (Content/Product) for 1 hour; made a post on IG (Marketing) for 15 minutes total = 1 hour & 15 minutes
Tuesday - continued writing on Fringe Hours post (Content/Product) for 1 hours; made an IG post (Marketing) for 15 minutes total = 1 hour & 15 minutes
Wednesday - finished Fringe Hours post (Content/Product) in 1 hour and 30 minutes; made an IG post (Marketing) for 15 minutes total = 1 hour & 45 minutes
Thursday - went to Mompreneur Lunch (Research) for 1 hour & 15 minutes; wrote a post on IG (Marketing) for 15 minutes total = 1 hour & 30 minutes
Friday - began reading It's Your Turn by Seth Godin (Research) for 30 minutes; revised and proofread Fringe Hours (Content/Product) for 1 hour; posted on IG (Marketing) for 15 minutes; wrote bio for an upcoming meeting that I will be presenting at (Marketing) for 30 minutes total = 2 hours & 15 minutes
Saturday - posted on IG (Marketing) for 15 minutes total = 15 minutes
Sunday - wrote, revised, and proofread end-of-week journal entry (Content/Product) for 3 hours; created Pin for Pinterest of the journal entry and pinned it (Marketing) for 45 minutes total = 3 hours & 45 minutes
Total = 12 hours