Crissy Says

  • Developing Systems To Help You Manage Procrastination

    manage-procrastination

    Sometimes, procrastination is caused because your business isn’t organized. You put off starting a task because you can’t find the materials you need or you aren’t sure when that appointment was scheduled or when your next invoice is due to be sent.

    As a solopreneur and small business owner, you may struggle to be organized. You spend the day spent bouncing from task to task with no billable hours completed. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can get organized with your projects so you spend more time growing your business and serving your community. Here are four quick tips to help cull the chaos and create systems that help you manage procrastination:

    Store Your Ideas

    You had an idea for your next Kindle book or discovered a topic you were fired up to share with your community. The only problem is you lost your note because you didn’t have a way to store it and easily find it again.

    One option is to create a simple system with Evernote folders; one for Now, one for Next and one for Someday Maybe.

    You could also create a board in Trello and create cards for Now, Next, and Someday Maybe, then move the project cards around as you move forward with your ideas.

    Seeing it visually may help you choose what you need to focus on right now. It also gives you an easy way to find your ideas again when it’s time to implement something new in your business…

    Make It Easy to Book Appointments

    If you offer services for clients, then you need a simple way to book appointments. Otherwise, you’ll spend a lot of time going back and forth over email or chat, trying to find a time that works for both your client and you.

    Instead, create a calendar with free time periods on it through a service like SimplyBook.me. Clients can look at your schedule and see what appointment times that they’d like to book. You’ll get an email sent to you when anyone books time with you, so you don’t have to worry about missing important client meetings.

    Opt for a Project Management System

    Project management systems can be useful if you’re collaborating on a product with another solopreneur. You may also want to use one if you provide services for your clients. Use Trello or Asana to set up deadlines, assign tasks, check in on your project status, and share files as needed.

    Don’t Miss Follow Up Opportunities

    Not following up with an affiliate or business partner can cause you to lose out on valuable opportunities. If you’d like to approach another solopreneur about creating a joint venture in a few months, go ahead and put a reminder on your calendar.

    You can do the same with clients that you’d like to work with again. Simply put their name on your calendar so you remember to reach out to them again. If possible, have a digital reminder sent to your email so you know when it’s time to follow up.

    Pay attention to the tasks that you tend to procrastinate on. Then look for apps and websites that can complete the task for you quickly and easily.

    Kiss procrastination goodbye when you download your free workbook & journal filled with productivity tips and ideas!

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  • Beat Procrastination By Finding An Accountability Partner

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    Solopreneurs and small business owners are unique in that they don’t have to answer to anyone for their time except the occasional hourly client. This gives you plenty of freedom and allows you to live your life on your own schedule. If you want to take a day off in the middle of the week, you can. If you want to spend a few hours at your favorite store, like Target or only work half a day so you can take your child to the dentist, you don’t have to ask anyone’s permission. You can simply go.

    While this type of work freedom is exciting and enjoyable, it has a down side, too. It can be easier to procrastinate because no one’s looking over your shoulder, making sure you’re still on track with your projects.

    If you’re prone to procrastination and you work as a solopreneur, you may need an accountability partner. By working together, you can keep each other focused and productive. Plus, an accountability partner will understand what it’s like to run an online business so you also have a business advisor you can turn to. But you shouldn’t just pick just anyone to be your accountability partner. There are certain things you want in a partner that you should keep in mind.

    Work with someone that feels like a friend.

    If you don’t like the other person, you’re not likely to make your partnership last very long. You need someone that you could be friends with. Maybe you’re both work at home mothers. Maybe you’re both committed to leveling up your businesses in the next year. Maybe you both have the same wacky sense of humor or the same taste in fabulous shoes. It doesn’t matter what bonds you. It just matters that you enjoy hanging out with your accountability partner.

    Pick someone positive.

    Your attitude affects every area of your life, including your business. If you choose accountability partner that always focuses on the negative, your own attitude will become negative, too. As a result, you’ll embrace a mindset that will prevent you from reaching the success you want.

    When you’ve finished a conversation with one of your accountability partners, you should feel uplifted and encouraged. Obviously, not everyone can be positive all the time. But if you notice that more than 20% of your conversations are negative, then you may want to bring this up during your next meeting. If your accountability partner isn’t willing to stop the negativity, you may want to keep an eye out for someone more uplifting.

    Choose someone you trust.

    A big part of being accountability partners is sharing your hopes and dreams. That’s why you want to find someone that you trust and that believes in you. You don’t want to discover that your accountability partner has been talking about your business behind your back or find out she’s decided to use that awesome idea you shared in confidence.

    Follow up regularly.

    An accountability partnership will only help you if you commit to it. You and your partner should be following up with each other every week or every other week. It doesn’t matter if you opt to meet on Skype or if you have coffee together in person. The important thing is that you and your partner are intentional about meeting up.

    Keep in mind that a partnership goes both ways. While you want to find someone that will support you, you also need to choose a partner that you believe in and are willing to support, even in the tough stuff.

    Want To Learn More?
    I’ve Put Together A FREE Workbook & Journal To Help You Stop Procrastinating & Start Getting Stuff Done!

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  • Failing Forward

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    Have you ever wondered why everyone faces failure but some people let it stop them in their tracks and others let it propel them forward?  It’s all about mindset and how each individual thinks and reacts to failure that makes all the difference. Here are three tips for surviving failure and learning to fail forward.

    1. Learn from mistakes.

    Human nature makes us want to hide in embarrassment if we mess up and make mistakes. Instead of doing that, view mistakes a stepping stone. There’s always growth to be made from a mistake(s)!

    For example, let’s say you’re an online business owner and have just released a new information product. You thought the sales would come in quicker and that there would be more than there were.  You made the mistake of not setting up a sales page and instead just wrote a quick blog post about it with a buy now button.  So you know what the mistake was, it’s a matter of fixing that and learning that it’s a good idea to always have a sales page for every product you create.  It’s all about testing and tweaking!

    Let’s look at another example: say you’re a service provider and have taken on too much work. You’ve made a mistake and missed a deadline. Instead of being embarrassed and ashamed about the mistake, learn from it. You now know you can’t take too much on because you’re only one person and there are only so many hours in the day. This mistake can also be a great teacher of integrity and responsibility – you need to do the right thing, fess up and be honest with the client you missed the deadline with.

    The best things about mistakes, aside from them being an opportunity for growth, is that once you’ve done it once you know what not to do again 😉

    2. Letting go of what didn’t work.

    Face it, not everything you try is going to work. That’s okay! It doesn’t have to be a stumbling block. Instead you have to learn to just let it go and move on. It’s not always easy to do this but once you learn how to do it and practice doing it regularly, it’ll be easier and more natural for you. There’s a lot more that can be said about this, but we’ll keep it simple and leave it at this.

    3. Not beating yourself up.

    The negative self-talk doesn’t do you any good. What’s the point of continuously feeding quarters to the butt kicking machine so you can keep beating yourself up? Is it helping you move on from the failure or disappointment? No. Instead, you’re spending valuable energy and time focusing on the failure and now you’ve probably escalated it into ‘oh well I’m a failure at everything’ or ‘I can’t do anything right’.  Stop! You know as well as I do that’s not true. You’ve had your pity party now it’s time to stop beating yourself up and move along!  Instead of beating yourself up, look at the positives of the situation – what you learned, the mistake(s) you don’t have to make again because it’s out of the way now, etc.

    Just remember – failure is something that is going to happen, it can’t be avoided. But it’s up to you to choose how you respond – give up or keep going. These three tips can help you keep your momentum going and not let failure or disappointment stop you in your tracks, but instead help you fail forward!

    And now I’ll leave you with this quote to think about:

    “Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” – Denis Waitley

     

    Want More Help? Download The Checklist On How To Deal With Failure – PLUS 12 Inspirational Coloring Pages. 

    This Will Help You De-Stress & Create A Better, Positive Attitude!
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  • Are You Too Attached To The Outcome?

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    There’s a popular quote that’s been floating around for a long time:

    “Never get too attached to someone, because attachments lead to expectations and expectations lead to disappointments.” –author unknown

    In this case, let’s replace the word someone with something or the outcome. The point is that being too attached is only going to lead to disappointment.

    For example, let’s say you’re a coach and have just brought on a new coaching client. Someone who is full of potential, has amazing ideas, is a go getter and you can’t wait to help them move their business forward and to the next level. You know she will succeed with your coaching, guidance and step-by-step action plan.

    Instead she ends up sabotaging herself. She finds excuse after excuse why she can’t follow the action plan you’ve not only suggested, but proven over and over from testimonials of other clients that it works. She ended up letting her business stay stagnant and wasn’t willing to step out of her comfort zone to move to the next level.

    What happened? Did you end up taking it personally that she didn’t succeed? Did you end up feeling like a failure as a coach? More than likely the answer is yes and that’s because you were too attached to the outcome.

    In order to get through failure and disappointment it’s essential that we learn how to not be too attached to an outcome. It’s not easy. But it can be achieved. The question is how? Here are some things you can do to work on not becoming too attached to something or an outcome:

    Acceptance – accepting that things are okay the way they are is a great place to start. Learn to accept the way a situation turned out is how it was meant to turn out and forget how you thought things should go.

    Be present – don’t dwell in the past or think about the future, instead focus on being present and enjoying the moment. Make the most of what you’re doing. When you dwell on what you could have done in the past or what you could do in the future to change something, you’re still too attached to that outcome. By practicing being present in the moment and making the most of it, you’re practicing detachment from an outcome.

    Gratitude – practice being grateful of everything around you, even if something isn’t going as you had planned. For example, who likes getting bills in the mail? Nobody. But instead of focusing on how if you had gotten that dream job you interviewed for (too attached to the outcome) paying the bills would be a breeze, instead be grateful that you have a job and can pay those bills.

    Question yourself – this one is an important tip. When you find that you’re attached to an outcome question yourself why. For example, have you fell into believing an illusion that if you had gotten that dream job life would be easier and you would finally be happy? Dig deep and figure out why you’re thinking the way you are.

    Life is short; don’t spend it wasting your precious energy on something you probably have no control over anyway – the outcome of something. Sure, sometimes you can control it but most of the time you can’t. Keep practicing and eventually you’ll be able to let go of attachment to outcomes and find yourself being content, experiencing less disappointments and feeling happier.

     

    Want More Help? Download The Checklist On How To Deal With Failure – PLUS 12 Inspirational Coloring Pages. 

    This Will Help You De-Stress & Create A Better, Positive Attitude!
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  • How To Reframe Negative Situations

    negative-situations

    Self talk – it’s the inner sound track of your mind.  Sadly, a majority of people have a negative self talk track that plays over and over in their head. And interestingly, what most of those people say to themselves they would never dream of saying to someone else! Negative self talk is so harmful and useless!

    Consider the following 7 situations and see how negative self talk compares to positive self talk.

    1. It’s the afternoon, your mind isn’t moving as fast and it’s harder to focus:

    *Negative self talk: here come my afternoon blahs. I’m not going to get anything done now.
    *Positive self talk: I feel the afternoon drowsies coming, time to take a break and clear my head.

    1. A client emails you with corrections for a project you turned in the day before:

    *Negative self talk: oh no – she must think I’m an idiot.
    *Positive self talk: Great, I can fix these up and get them back to her in no time.

    1. You realize you forgot to put clothes in the dryer last night:

    *Negative self talk: what is the matter with me? Why can’t I do anything right? I have nothing to wear!
    *Positive self talk: oh well. Now I have an excuse to wear a nice dress to run my errands.

    1. Your mother gives you a back handed compliment on your new hairdo with her usual criticism chaser:

    *Negative self talk: nothing is ever good enough for her – I’m such a disappointment, why bother anymore?
    *Positive self talk: as usual, mom can’t be pleased – oh well – I like it!

    1. You find out a group of friends got together for coffee and you weren’t invited:

    *Negative self talk: they must not like me. I wonder what I did to make them made at me?
    *Positive self talk: bet they had a nice visit. I’m going to remind them to call me up next time.

    1. You have worked really hard exercising regularly and eating healthy daily. You weigh in only to find the scale shows a gain:

    *Negative self talk: what’s the point, why do I even bother exercising and eating healthy? Clearly it’s not working because I gained instead of lost.
    *Positive self talk: the scale might not show a loss but I feel great, my clothes are getting looser, I have more energy, and like being active and all the nutritious healthy food I’m feeding my body.

    1. You spent hours & lots of time & energy creating and putting together a new product for your market. The launch is a flop and you only sold one.

    *Negative self talk: I knew it – I’m a failure at this. Nothing I do is working. I might as well throw in the towel.
    *Positive self talk: hey, I put a product together and released it. I did it. I stepped out of my comfort zone and did it. So what only one person bought it so far? That just means I need to market it more and get some people to help me promote it.

    Now that you’ve looked at these 7 examples, what did the negative self talk do? Did it make you feel worse and down and just blah? That’s what happens. Negativity breeds negativity. But when you looked at the positive self talk for each situation, didn’t it make you feel empowered, happy and better about yourself?

    That’s the point! It’s crucial to our health (and sanity!) that we begin to practice a positive self talk track and replace the negative one. It’s not always easy to do but every time you catch yourself playing the negative track, stop and switch to a positive one instead.

    Want More Help? Download The Checklist On How To Deal With Failure – PLUS 12 Inspirational Coloring Pages. 

    This Will Help You De-Stress & Create A Better, Positive Attitude!
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  • WordPress Security Part Two: Keep Themes & Plugins Updated

     

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    When it comes to WordPress security, themes and plugins play an important role. If you forget to update them, then you’ll have outdated code sitting on your server. Hackers spend their time looking for websites with vulnerabilities like old coding. Once they find a website that’s not current, all it takes is a little bit of time for this weakness to be exploited.

    You don’t have to be a victim to the next hacker that eyes your site. Taking a few simple security cautions like the ones listed below can keep your site safe:

    Updating Your Plugins & Themes

    Start by keeping your plugins and themes updated. If you’ve downloaded your plugins through the WordPress directory, then login to your site and click on the plugins menu on the left side of your dashboard.

    Once you’ve done that, select all of your plugins and click on the ‘Bulk Actions’ dropdown menu. Click ‘Update’ then the ‘Apply’ button. If everything is up to date then nothing will happen. But if your plugins are in need of updates, WordPress will start downloading them.

    Next, click the ‘Appearance’ link on the left side of your dashboard. This will show you all of the themes you have installed. If you notice any themes with an update banner, then click on them so WordPress can download the latest version of your theme.

    Cleaning Out Themes & Plugins

    After you’ve finished updating your themes, look through them. Are there any themes you’re no longer using that can be deleted? If you find an old theme you heavily customized, you can download a copy of it through your web host’s cPanel or through an FTP program like Filezilla.

    Now that you’ve removed unnecessary themes, it’s time to tackle your plugins. If there are plugins you’ve deactivated and haven’t used in 6 months, delete them from your site.

    You should also check if you have two or more plugins doing the same job. For example, WordFence protects against brute force hacks. But if you’ve also installed Brute Force Login Protection then you have two plugins serving the same function. You should pick one of these plugins to keep and one to delete.

    Following up with Security

    Once you’ve updated your plugins and themes, follow WordPress blogs that cover security so you’re always knowledgeable about the latest threats. Start by following the official WordPress blog so you’ll know when new bug fixes are released.

    The WordFence Blog is filled with helpful information on how to protect your site. They regularly share which themes and plugins contain vulnerabilities. The Sucuri Blog also offers security tips for all websites and has a special WordPress security category.

    Themes and plugins have a lot to offer WordPress users. You can change the look and feel of your website and add special functions with the click of a few buttons. But that doesn’t mean that these tools are always safe. It’s important you do your own research before you download and install anything on your website.

    Learn how to keep your website safe when you download your free checklists.

    Just enter your name & email!

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  • WordPress Security Part One: Upgrades, Security Plugins/Monitoring Services, Hiring Someone

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    WordPress Security Part One: Upgrades, Security Plugins/Monitoring Services, Hiring Someone

    Many websites today are built using WordPress. This content management system (CMS) makes it easy for you to blog, sell digital or tangible products, update your website, and so much more. But like every other type of software, WordPress can be vulnerable to attack if you aren’t paying attention to your website security.

    Don’t Ignore Upgrades

    One of the simplest ways to keep your WordPress website running smoothly is to upgrade the software. When WordPress is ready for an upgrade, you’ll see the word ‘updates’ and a number, like this: update (1). You’ll see this on left side of your dashboard or at the top of your admin bar.

    Click on the updates button and WordPress will guide you through what to do next. But before you upgrade, you should pause to make sure you have a recent backup of your website. This ensures that if anything breaks during the upgrade process, you can easily fix it.

    Don’t wait too long between upgrades. Not only can this cause your website to break, it can leave you vulnerable. After every update, WordPress releases a list of bugs fixed. Some of these bugs are vulnerabilities that a hacker could exploit. That’s why you should always update as soon as you can.

    Install Security Plugins

    You don’t have to tackle WordPress security on your own. There are plenty of security plugins that can help you. WordFence is the most popular option and it continually scans your website looking for vulnerabilities. If it does encounter a security lapse, you’ll get an email so you know the moment it happens. The plugin is free but you can upgrade if you decide you need more support.

    Another security plugin that’s popular is Bulletproof Security. It will notify the admin user if any infections within your website are detected. It also caches the pages of your website so they load faster for your visitors. There’s an auto update feature with this plugin so you don’t have to worry about updating to the latest version. Bulletproof Security is free but you can upgrade if you want to extra support.

    Hiring a Security Expert

    Your website is the heart of your business. If you want to keep it healthy, hiring a WordPress security expert is the way to go. When you hire your expert, ask who’s responsible for back-ups. If you’ll be the one backing the site up, ask for step by step instructions to ensure you’re doing it correctly.

    Another option is to hire a security team like Sucuri. Sucuri is a trusted name in the computer security industry and they offer website malware removal for an annual fee. In the event your website is attacked by a hacker, you’ll have a team cleaning it in less than twenty-four hours.

    The worst thing you can do for your website security is to stick your head in the sand like an ostrich. Ignoring security problems won’t make them disappear. But with the right tools, you can tackle any threat that comes your website’s way.

    Learn how to keep your website safe when you download your free checklists.

    Just enter your name & email!

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  • Website Security: Your Passwords, Password Management Software, Smart Sharing with Service Providers

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    There are times in your business when you need to share a password. You might want your VA to schedule some social media updates for you or you might have your web designer upload your customized WordPress theme to your website.

    Since you trust these people, you could give them your password. After they’ve finished the tasks, you can manually change the password to your account. The problem is that you have to do this every single time a provider completes a task for you, which can be difficult to implement.

    Fortunately, there’s a better way to share passwords that doesn’t leave you vulnerable or stuck updating your passwords every week.  Sites like CommonKey and TeamPassword were designed to help teams manage passwords.

    You enter your login credentials and choose which team members to share them with. Your team has access to the services you’ve selected but they never see your real password. You can also revoke a team member’s access at any time you choose.

    Protect Your Devices

    All of the security tips and password generators in the world won’t help you if your device is compromised by malware. Some types of malware come bundled with key loggers. These key loggers track your passwords then send them back to the original hacker.

    To prevent malware, install a virus scanner like Malwarebytes or McAFEE on all of your devices, including your smartphone and tablet. Make sure your scanner runs at least once a week and keep it up to date so you won’t be vulnerable to new threats.

    Passwords are easy to overlook but it only takes a few minutes to update old passwords and sign up for a password management service. Remember, keeping your website secure is in the details.

    Learn how to keep your website safe when you download your free checklists.

    Just enter your name & email!

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  • Website Security: Content, Payments, And Upgrades

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    Most solopreneurs and small business owners are running multiple types of software on their websites. That means keeping your website updated doesn’t end up with making sure you’re running the current version of WordPress and checking for new plugin updates.

    Software Upgrades

    It’s your responsibility to make sure all of your tools are updated. Keep in mind that software purchases often have to be renewed annually so you can continue getting the latest updates.

    You build a membership site or a shopping cart through aMember. Your purchase gives you six months of free updates. After that, you’ll need to renew your license to continue getting these updates. This is not an area of your security you want to ignore. Doing so could leave you and your customers vulnerable.

    Payment Security

    Making a purchase is an act of trust for a customer. They’re trusting that you’ll protect their financial information and provide them with the product or service you promised to deliver. You can keep customer’s financial information secure by using a trusted third-party like PayPal to handle your business transactions.

    But don’t stop there. As a precaution, you should also have a second payment system like Google Wallet or Skrill. This gives you the ability to keep your business running and protect new customers if you suspect your PayPal account has been compromised.

    Securing Your Content

    Another thing you should consider when you’re thinking about your website security is branding your content. Branding your content means that when you and your fans share your blog posts and images on social media, you’ll be recognized as the creator.

    An example of this type of branding is posting an image to your blog that has your domain name on it. Whenever this photo is shared on social media, you’ll get the credit and this will drive more people back to your website.

    If you’re worried about your content being stolen, you can use a WordPress plugin like WP Copy Protect. Once you’ve installed it, this plugin prevents users from copying and pasting your content. This doesn’t mean your content will never be taken without your permission, but it does add an extra step for any would-be thief.

    Don’t just set up a few security measures once and never give another thought to your website’s safety. The technology you’re using to power your online business is constantly changing and evolving. The smartest thing you can do is stay up to date on these changes, then you’ll be armed with the knowledge you need to protect your business.

    Learn how to keep your website safe when you download your free checklists.

    Just enter your name & email!

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