Crissy Says

  • What would your teenage self think of you today?

    I was recently asked a very interesting question during an interview… I was asked, as a little girl, what did I want to be when I grew up? (by the way, it was the  PNN.com Podcast “Cereals,” and you can listen by clicking here).

    It just so happens that I had been thinking about that in the days before the interview. I had just completed my site redesign. For inspiration, I had been watching old episodes of  My So-Called Life. Whenever I need a creativity boost, or  if I have a problem that I’m trying to figure out, I always go back to that show.

    I was a senior in high school when that show originally aired, and when I watch that show I am immediately transported back to the early to mid-ninties. There’s something special about those years – back when I thought I knew everything, when I was so sure of the world and my place in it.

    Watching that show helps me remember who I really am at my core. And of course, who I wanted to grow up to be.

    Let me tell you – if you ever have a doubt about anything in your life, think about yourself as a fifteen year old and what they would have thought of your choices today. Would your younger self be pleased with you? Or would they roll their eyes in disgust and think you grew up to be totally out of it?

    So I guess that brings us back to the question of what I wanted to be when I grew up…

    Well, I remember watching reruns of Bewitched back before I was in school, and thinking that Darren had a really cool gig. I mean, he just thought up advertising and commercials. I could do that! And then when I got to school, I thought it would be really neat to be a teacher. I loved reading. I loved learning. If I were a teacher, I could be in school forever!

    But then, when I was 8 something else happened… Oprah went national, and I thought “WOW!”  She got paid to talk to people! How cool was that?

    And then, when I was a teenager, I came up with my idea for a television network. Yep, that’s right. My own television network. I dreamed big. And why not? You should be dreaming big when you are sixteen years old!

    So flash forward to the present. I don’t have a tv network, but my website is pretty similar. And the internet has pretty much taken over what tv used to be, so I’m right on track with that. I may not be employed by an ad firm like Darren was, but I’m still all about the marketing and advertising. And I’m definitely a teacher of sorts. Don’t forget that I made my talk show dreams come true in the form of my podcast…

    When I look back, I think it’s pretty crazy that I have managed to take all the things I wanted to do and melt them into one career….

    If my 15 year old self saw what my life would look like as a 31 year old, I think she would think I was pretty freakin’ cool. And that makes me feel like I’m doing something right!

  • Admit It, Vlogging Is Cool….

    In case you didn’t get the memo, there is a new way to blog… It’s called “Vlogging,” and it translates to “video blogging.” I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Adding video and audio to your site / blog is a GOOD thing to do. It adds interest and keeps people coming back to your site.

    Vlogging allows your readers to see another side of you. And that can be a very cool thing.

    Like all things blogging, it is important to remember that your vlog content needs to be kept in line with your blog’s topic. If you have a food blog, you can make cool videos of yourself preparing a recipe. If you have a crafty blog, you can record yourself making a project.

    As many of you know, I lived in Alaska for quite a few years. I made a few short videos last year, to kind of show off my town to friends and family who couldn’t make it out to Alaska. (if you want to view them, they’re located here).

    I’ve since moved back to Michigan, so having those little videos is neat.  I’ll always be able to show people what driving around my little Alaska town was like.

    You can start vlogging pretty easily. I made the above videos with a Flip Video Camcorder. They’re very easy to use and make easy work of getting your videos online.

    Just try it! (and if you do, leave a comment with the link to your vlog. I want to see what you come up with!)

  • What a difference a week makes….

    Last week at just about this exact moment, I was sick to my stomach and ready to burst into tears… My computer had just crashed. To some, that may sound like I was being a tad bit dramatic, but those people must not know me very well. I work from home, online. And I love what I do.  Without my computer, I felt like a big  part of ME was missing!

    Fast forward to the present. I just brought my computer home from the “hospital” — aka the repair shop today. I am SO ready to get back to work!

    In the back of my mind, I knew that I would experience a computer crash one day…. and that is why I use an external hard drive to keep a back-up of my work, and anything else that is important (photos, music, etc). I suggest you do the same. You’ll save yourself TONS of grief.

  • New Year, New Opportunities

    There are a few times each year when things feel “fresh” and “new.” For me, these times of year include my birthday, the start of a new school year (which are actually side-by-side on the calendar, so it really counts as one), and the New Year, of course.

    If you haven’t been very happy with your business, this is a great time to make changes. Everyone starts fresh in the New Year. It doesn’t matter what happened before – if you want to do better, get to work, and start doing the things that will help you become better.

    And if you are waiting for the “right time,” well, all I gotta’ say is “GET OVER IT!” There’s never going to be a “right time.” For example, if you have been thinking about sending a press release, but you want to wait because your website isn’t perfect, or if you have been thinking about starting a blog but have been waiting because you aren’t sure what color to make the background, this is the time to TAKE ACTION.

    That’s right – TAKE ACTION on something… TODAY. Don’t wait. Do something you’ve been putting off, and do it today!

    It doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s never going to be perfect! As I write this, I’m finishing up work on a site re-design, myself. And I know that I’m going to continue to tweak things and keep putting in little changes here and there.  The same will hold true for your business.

    So no more waiting. Do something today. And try to do a little something every day – and you’ll be surprised by what you can accomplish over 2009!

  • I Love The New Media

    Have you ever heard the term “new media?” It refers to things such as blogs, websites, podcasts, internet radio shows, web shows, webisodes, etc, etc. More and more people are turning to these new forms of news and entertainment each day. It’s no secret that many once-popular newspapers, magazines, television networks,  etc, are losing readers, viewers, ratings, and money!

    I love the new media… It opens everything up. Growing up in the Midwest, I thought that if I ever wanted to be a writer or host my own show I would have to live in New York City or Hollywood.  (yes – even as an 8 year old, I  wanted to be a writer or the next Oprah or something like that)

    Well, thanks to technology, I can do those things from anywhere in the world…

    And I can do it myself. I don’t have to wait for some contract to fall in my lap…

    What’s your favorite form of “new media?” Do you have a podcast or a web show that you can’t live without? Is there a blog out there that you have to read every day?

    And most importantly – do you have any dreams of starting your own “new media?” I want to hear about it!

  • What’s Your Resolution?

    It’s that time of year again…. The New Year. It’s time to reflect on the past year and make Resolutions for the coming year… Time to think about what you would like to change and what you would like to make happen. Some people cannot take the pressure and don’t bother setting any Resolutions at all.

    Others, however, thrive on this type of activity and make a large list of Resolutions. Unfortunately, many of those are long forgotten by Valentine’s Day. Sometimes, a lot of gusto can wear off and leave a person exhausted…

    Personally, I’m all for setting Resolutions. And I’m setting a few myself…. But I’m not going to get carried away. I think that trying to make too many changes at once can throw you off course.

    I think that making a few changes – and creating a plan of action to achieve them – is the way to go.

    Here is  my main business Resolution:

    Plan Ahead – I have to admit, I usually only plan things out a couple months in advance. That’s changing this year – I’ve already made a “rough draft” plan for my business in 2009. I created a planner that fits my needs (a standard planner doesn’t really fit the bill) and have written out the main topics I want to touch on for the entire year. This will help keep me focused as I write articles, blog posts, hold classes, and so forth.

    I already feel a huge difference. Knowing that I have a plan is a huge sense of relief and I know that I won’t be suffering any “writer’s block.” Seeing that list of topics has given me lots of article ideas.

    Hand in hand with that, I’d like to become more organized. I’m already half-way there with the planner I created. I’m also going to go into my email accounts and clean out old messages, etc, etc.

    I’m also going to be unveiling a new site design soon – and I’m very excited about that!

    So what are your business Resolutions? And what are you going to do to accomplish them?