Branding myself : Blending who I am with what I do

I have been on a self-discovery trail of attempting to figure out what exactly it is that I have to offer the world, and in turn, attempting to decide how exactly the discoveries can package themselves into a neat little bundle of something that can, in turn, make me some money.

I don’t have any plans to return to a typical paying job any time in the near future, but I feel like I can harness my energy and turn that into something profitable, that allows me to be available to my children and fulfills my need to give back, motivate others and ultimately change my little corner of the world.

I recently took the PERSONAL BRANDING: Blending Who You Are With What You Do from the ladies at Braid Creative.  During the self-guided (but time limited) course, I was struck by the ridiculous number of pages I was filling with notes, but on repeat. Page after page after page. I haven’t been that religious about fast and furious note-taking since … well, I can’t remember when.

Braid_Naomi Hattaway

I journal like Karen Walrond (where everything goes into one notebook – the grocery lists, the journaling, the note-taking, the daydreaming, the receipt capturing, etc.) and that process is TOTALLY fine and dandy until Tara and Kathleen blow up your space with the need for more and more pages to fill up with their goodness.

I’ve found that generally, one moleskin or other “like” notebook lasts me for about 6 months. SOOOoooo not the case when taking a course from Braid. I filled up half of that puppy in a week’s time and had to dig through my cabinets to find a replacement so I wasn’t left hanging.

Blending who I am with what I do. It seemed like such an odd concept before the course, but even now as I peruse through my notes, it all makes perfect sense.

Some of my key takeaways from the course:

  • How can YOU bring more of your authentic personality into your creative career? Instead of lumping in the things you’re learning from other people, allow your true self to shine through and create an offering for your readers and clients.
  • Have any of your passion projects transformed or inspired paid offerings? Looking back on the life that you’ve lived, which things that you have done have turned into something bigger? Capitalize on those things! What things do you do that people say “I love when you _________” — sell that!
  • How do you strive to maintain a work / life balance?  Ooooof. Such a big question, but I loved the answer that Tara and Kathleen gave during the course. Balance isn’t all that profound and issue, but they tackled it head on and dissected it in a way that tamed the beast.

Take a look at the video for the course:

Braid ECourse: Defining Your Personal Brand from Braid Creative on Vimeo.

I have to admit that I’m still in the middle of my journey to discovering what it is that I can offer. I have an arsenal of experiences and lessons that is a part of who I am. It’s just a matter of melding that magically with “what I do” that I’m still pondering. The Personal Branding course definitely helped and I think … if I’m honest with myself … now it’s just a matter of being gutsy enough to put it all into practice!

The next Personal Branding course is set to begin May 16th … if you want a $25 discount from the sisters at Braid, use the code BRAIDECOURSE50

(psst. I have a fun interview coming up from Kathleen (one half of the Braid team)  … stay tuned!

 

 

Top 7 Entrepreneur Motivators on Twitter

Are you an entrepreneur? Have a business in mind, but need a kick in the pants?

Do you need some entrepreneur motivators, no shame and simply pure encouragement?

Entrepreneur_Twitter

 

My top SEVEN suggestions for you to follow on Twitter (in no particular order):

Melissa Cassera ~This chick doesn’t mess around. She offers ballsy tips on how to self-promote without the ick

Alli Worthington ~ Alli is like having a best friend by your side (that you’ve never met in real life) to offer honest, vulnerable feedback and encouragement

Janet Hanson ~ Offering a wealth of experience and knowledge, with a true desire to see rockstar women succeed

Return on Relationship ~ Relationships ARE where it’s at and if you believe that, this account is one to follow for daily affirmations and motivation

Katherine Keller ~ Relatable, funny and such a truth-teller

Michelle Ward ~ She is a connector of people, available in a real-time kind of way and so ridiculously down to earth

Brianna Borten ~ the girl behind the bangs is fierce and passionate … and infectious

The best part of these lists is that they aren’t capped at just seven. Who do you follow that gives you the encouragement and teaches lessons you need to hear? Leave them in the comments! I’d love to add to my list.

Since we’re discussing Twitter, am I following you? I’d love to … follow me and then shout out with your Twitter handle in the comments and let’s connect!  I’m @naomi_hattaway — see you over there!

Blog Buddy

BlogBuddy

I’m a huge fan of anything that means I’m better organized. You might remember that I gave a valiant effort at creating MyVOP last year in an effort to become more “all in one place” organized, and while I loved it for my personal and family life, it did nothing for me in terms of keeping everything organized for the business/blog side of things.

Enter the Blog Buddy, which I’ve been using mine for awhile now. It’s touted as the Business Planner for Bloggers and I would have to agree. I was one of the Kickstarter backers for this bad boy (totally believed in it from the get-go!) and I have enjoyed putting it to work for me.

Each page has been thoughtfully created from a bloggers’ standpoint in terms of what is needed for tracking, record-keeping and goal setting.

Post Completion Checklist

My favorite parts?

  • It is produced 100% in the USA
  • The checkboxes for water consumption and the spot to write in what’s for dinner
  • The revenue and expenses sheets are simple, and even include a balance sheet with estimated tax payments (presto!)
  • The “Post Completion Checklist” pages are super thorough and allow you to easily walk yourself through the process without sticky notes or scribbles left all over the place
  • The calendar options include both a month-at-a-glance (with enough room for daily happenings) as well as an in-depth weekly calendar view
  • the whole kit and caboodle LAYS FLAT but has a sturdy cover (ring binding) so that even with frequent movement in and out of my bag, it’s all going to stay put together
  • The digital files you will receive are worth the price of the planner alone (Important Contacts Manager, Financial Tracker and the Social Media Manager)

OTHER IMPORTANT KEY FEATURES :

A FULL 24 Month Calendar! (January 2014-December 2015)
Guided To-Do Lists and Blank Notes pages
Reviews & Giveaway Tracker
Guest Blogging Opportunity Tracker (track posts pitched, written, published, etc)
Potential Advertiser Tracker (track contact and follow up dates easily)
Current Advertiser Tracker (track rates and renewal dates)
Blog Statistics (compare a year at a glance for all statistics you want to track)
Zippered pocket in back for any receipts or loose papers

Not convinced yet? Watch this video for a bit more information :

 

For the Blog Buddy Giveaway, you have several different options to enter. I’m participating in a little giveaway party, so the entries are pooled together, BUT if the interest is high enough, maybe I’ll sponsor another one just for you guys!

Updated : Congrats to Jodi Monroy, the winner of the giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Use the code SHIPMEFREE for $10 off (which means shipping is on the folks at Blog Buddy).

 

 

Because everyone says you’re supposed to do this silly disclosure bit, here it is. I am an affiliate partner for Blog Buddy, but I only liaise with products and companies I believe in and love (plus I love an opportunity to use the word liaise!).

Balance is for the birds

Balance is the ultimate goal, we hear it over and over.

Women, working from home or working from an office, all hope to achieve balance.

Do you know what balance means to me?

Balance

image credit : Unsplash
 

It means achieving the “feels right” appropriation of energy to varied moments, responsibilities and tasks … but in equally varied degrees of importance.

What does that mean, exactly?

It means that I have achieved balance when:

  • I fix my children a four course meal, with all of the veggies and food groups that they need for the day, but also have failed to get any laundry folded or put away.
  • I have written seven blog posts for scheduling over the next couple of weeks, but forgot to vacuum up all of the dog hair.
  • I have purged the house of junk and things we’ve outgrown, but am feeding the kids microwave burgers and frozen french fries.
  • I have coached two clients through to a new way of living their life, but have completely forgotten to drink my needed glasses of water and totally missed my daily run.
  •  It means I have saved a TON of money at the thrift shop instead of overspending at Kohls but forgot to make a credit card payment, and the savings becomes a wash.

I think that balance is …. for the birds. It’s a myth, an unattainable goal and I think it truly stresses too many of us to a point of exhaustion.

Balance is a word that should simply be used for whether your tires are operating in sync, walking the line if you’ve had too much to drink and whether your rocking chair stays upright.

What if we, instead of reaching for balance, we instead strive for a different way to measure our success. What if we simply set out to do our very best … in one aspect or element of our life, and leave the rest for tomorrow.

Or what if … we use the word balance to only measure our life decisions against once we’re on our death bed. Whether over the course of our years, we achieved a happy mix of all of the things. Instead of using the word balance to measure our DAYS, we use it to simply measure our years?

Would that tilt be so bad?