What's Your Thing?

Photo by Erik Bell

photo by Erik Bell

Eric Branner

What’s your thing?

What helped you stay afloat during adolescence, through a difficult career change, or health issue?

Is your thing still your thing now?

Gymnastics, piano, yoga, concerts, poetry, calculus, Bach, bluegrass, Capoeira, soccer, literature, meditation, friends?

Want to understand and engage someone new? Call them by their first name, and ask about their thing.

People light up when discussing their interests.

My thing is guitar.

I moved to a rural area in middle school. It was a tough time.

I locked myself in my room and practiced guitar.

I got pretty good, performed in talent shows, made friends, and played in some awesome bands.

I am ever grateful to have found my thing.

It wasn’t just finding an inclination or passion. I found a tool for survival and a means to success.

My first guitar teacher was Michael Rhodes.

My grandfather was his music teacher.

He taught in the corner of a car-battery warehouse. I remember waiting next to pallets of plastic-wrapped batteries and forklifts.

I learned “Sweet Home Alabama” and worked through Hal Leonard Method Book One.

I’ve had forty-nine music teachers since, and it all started with him.

Who was your first teacher?

Who introduced you to your “thing”?

A Compassionate Strategy For Getting Paid On Time

Eric Branner

We’ve all had clients that don’t pay on time. We streamline our billing process, automate payments, & add late fees, yet there will always be stragglers. Late payments hurt our bottom lines, increase our admin tasks, and create tension in our customer relationships.

“I’m going to let this client go.”

“I know they can afford it, they’re both doctors!”

We get it… it’s frustrating.

I’ll offer up a compassionate and business-minded solution.

Begin with empathy.

I’ve experienced not having money to pay for my children’s activities. I felt embarrassed and ashamed. I certainly didn’t want to admit my situation. I’d rather seem too busy, having not gotten around to paying. Can you remember feeling this way? Pride is a powerful emotion.

If payment is late, make a phone call.

“Hey there, it’s Eric… I see that you haven’t set up your payment information yet. I want to make sure everything’s okay. If there’s a money issue, please let me know. I value you, I enjoy teaching your family, and trust me… I’ve been there before.”

Compassionate action. Here’s what you’ll find.

94% of clients will apologize profusely, insist there isn’t an issue, and enter payment right away. You won’t have this issue again.(because you’re on autopay! If you’re not, get Fons)

3% will open up to you about a hardship, and you will offer to work with them.(you charge a high enough rate that you can afford this, if you don’t, let’s chat)

2% of the time your client will apologize profusely, insist there isn’t an issue, and your intuition will tell you there is… Offer to make it easier for them if you know they are struggling. You’ll sleep better.

1% it’s time to move on. Your client would be best suited by moving to another provider.

Care about your clients, treat them with kindness,(even if you feel disrespect) and I assure you that late payments will go away.

Eric Branner

Have ideas you’d like to share? Please let us know!

Eric Branner is CEO/Co-Founder of Fons. He’s also a music teacher, father, guitarist, and mama’s boy. He lives in Seattle with his wife Alyson, two awesome children Edie & Huck, & his dog Happy.

Follow Eric on Twitter

Introducing Fons Marketplace!

Go to the profile of Eric Branner

Eric Branner

Here’s the logo for Marketplace!
Here’s the logo for Marketplace!

We are thrilled to announce that Fons Marketplace will be released May 1st! Marketplace will connect you with new customers via a web search.

Here’s the story…

Fons acquired a website called Learning Musician last year. Their founder, Michael Connelly is a bright light in the Seattle music scene as well as a friend. He attracted a fantastic community within Learning Musician. The site was a community forum, a marketplace, & had incredible SEO.(Search Engine Optimization)ie. If you were to type “banjo lessons in Little Rock Arkansas,” chances are pretty high that a Learning Musician profile would show up on the first page of search results.

We’ve parlayed that fantastic web visibility with an updated & modern profile. Each active Fons account can opt-in for no additional charge. All you need to do is add a bio, an image, your location, & keywords of your offerings. New customers will find you with a simple web search. We want you to be found!

Visibility is one more piece the puzzle as we relentlessly strive to serve our Fons community. Our continuing mission is to build the ultimate tool for running & growing your appointment-based business.

Fons users will now experience increased visibility in their communities around the world. Academic tutors, personal trainers, music teachers, wellness professionals, and coaches have a new way to be discovered.

Please let me know if you have any questions, concerns, or ideas for this new chapter for Fons. Awesome.

Side-Hustling the Southern ‘60s

My Dad was side-hustling before side-hustling was a thing! I’m the baby.

Eric Branner

My dad is a serial entrepreneur. I grew up watching him start & operate many businesses. We had a swimming pool, so naturally, he started a pool business. He owned a software company when computers were bigger than my bedroom. He started a moving company. He always had at least two jobs and inspired me to work for myself.

One of his most memorable side gigs occurred in Madison, Alabama during the ’60s. Bill was working as an engineer on the first Apollo missions. He also owned a beer store in the local shopping center. He observed how the Baptist, conservative, church-going folks loved to drink, yet didn’t want to be seen buying booze. They preferred to drive to the next county so they wouldn’t be seen! He identified an opportunity and advertised a new service.

He would use a copy of your car key & deliver beer to your trunk while you shopped at the local grocery store. You’d unload your liquid treasure at night, away from the judging eyes of the local church congregation.

Nancy the church organist could go to the grocery store, park her car, and go shopping. While inside, Bill would deliver alcohol to her trunk. Nancy could finally drink like a fish without fear or social stigma.

Bill filled a need while quelling embarrassment & shame. This story always sticks with and inspires me. Know your environment & whom you’re serving. Watch, listen, & provide. Do what other people will not and charge a premium.

Eric Branner is CEO/Co-Founder of Fons. He’s also a music teacher, father, guitarist, and mama’s boy. He lives in Seattle with his wife Alyson, two awesome children Edie & Huck, & his dog Happy.

Follow Eric on Twitter

What To Do With Referred Clients

Go to the profile of Kosta Miachin | Vikasa Yoga

Kosta Miachin | Vikasa Yoga

Gaining clients as a freelancer or contractor is no easy feat. While there are platforms like Upwork that can help connect you with clients, the best way to move up in the world is to receive referrals from past or present clients.

In many cases, a referral happens without your knowledge. In some instances, you can ask your clients to refer you, but these are less common. Let’s say you’ve received a new client based on a referral. What are you supposed to do? Read on to find out more from first-hand experience!

You Just Received a Referral: Now What?

If you want to receive referrals, you need to astound and impress your current clients. This will inspire them to mention you to others and even recommend your services. As an example, I have a client who I’ve worked with for years and consistently produced excellent results.

As a result, this client passed my name along to one of their co-workers who owns a website. This person then reached out to me and asked if I would like to work with them as well and write an article for the site. This kind of instant connection and mutual trust would not have been possible without my client’s recommendation.

In any case, it would have been highly unlikely for me to come into contact with a high profile client like this one. This event led to another referral because my name was mentioned to an even higher profile client.

I was excited, but I was also nervous. There was a lot of pressure here to perform well. Here’s how I handled the situation to ensure it would all go over smoothly. I recommend this method to anyone who receives a referral.

Step One: Thank the Person Who Referred You

The first thing I did, and the first thing you should do, is thank the person who referred you. You want to embrace this new opportunity while also maintaining the business relationship that brought you to this pedestal.

If you want more referrals, you should show gratitude and appreciation to your top clients. Once you’ve thanked them, you can move forward with this new venture. If you’re asking for a referral, focus on the clients who are most likely to recommend people you want to work with.

Step Two: Give the New Client a Great First Impression

The next step I took was also very important. I made sure to set aside enough time to deliver an excellent first article. I wanted the client to be truly impressed with my work. While this can put you behind on your other projects, it’s worth it to make a great first impression.

In my case, I was also unfamiliar with the subject matter, so it’s only natural that I would need more time to turn in a great product. As time goes on, you’ll get better and faster, but this first impression is key to starting a great business relationship.

Step Three: Strike a Balance

The final step is a simple, but crucial one. You must balance your workload going forward. If you leap onto this referral opportunity and fail to keep your original client happy, then you’ve missed the point of having a referral.

You’ll need to continue working with your client, while also satisfying the needs of this new one. In some cases, this new client could be a difficult one. In cases like this, it’s best to try and improve the situation through better communication and prevention of issues.

It’s a careful balance, but an important one that you should focus on for your continued success.

Final Thoughts

Referrals are a great way to progress your career as a contractor or freelance worker. Once you’ve received these referrals, it’s important to handle the process properly so you set yourself up for future referrals in the future.

How do you handle referrals? Let us know in the comments!

Valuable Lessons From Academic Coach, Beth Peterson

Go to the profile of Fons

Fons

We asked her a few questions about how and why she’s such a great tutor and why her business is thriving so much.

What makes you & your coaching business uniquely perfect for your students?

I work with students from 5th grade into college helping them navigate the complexities of school. Many of my clients are pretty smart but just don’t “get” how to effectively manage their time and materials, prioritize their tasks, monitor and check their work and “to do” lists. Sometimes they need more help with building memory skills, taking tests, sustaining attention and focus or writing papers.

We all can use a tune up with our executive function skills. These are important life skills that can be a better predictor of school/life success than your traditional IQ score. I know a lot of students who aren’t the smartest in their class, but they know how to “do school”, so they get decent grades.

Describe your favorite kind of coaching client!

I’ve always been drawn to the students who think outside of the box or don’t really conform to the system. I think they are the future leaders of the world. I cringe when I see their personalities shift due to chronic anxiety because they don’t quite conform to the demands of school.

It’s my goal to help teach them solid executive function skills that will help decrease their stress levels, build confidence and find joy in their day. I feel that our purpose in this world is to figure out how to optimize ourselves so we can make this world a better place.

How did you get started as an academic coach?

I was a classroom teacher for over 17 years. I tried hard to make every student feel special and help them realize that they have special strengths. I believed in every one of them. I loved seeing their confidence grow once that had figured “it” out. The “it”, however, is different for everyone and it can be such a mystery.

Coaching is like being a detective. I try to figure out what the breakdowns are and determine what tools/skills will help each student get through the roadblocks they encounter.

I decided to leave full time teaching when I went on a quest looking for a coach for my own son but I couldn’t find one. I went to workshops in New England where they have abundant EF/ADHD coaches and I have taken a variety of classes and seminars over the years to refine my skills.

I not only coach students now, but I also train former teachers to become coaches and I consult with schools and parents.

As a business owner, what’s your favorite part about using Fons?

Fons lets me do what I do best… and that’s NOT handling money. They have a great team of experts! I’ve been able to grow my coaching business because I have more time to dedicate to my expertise. If I had to continue invoicing clients and fumbling with so many spreadsheets, I wouldn’t be able to progress like I have.

Isn’t Beth Peterson great!? We need more academic coaches like her in the world!

Now, you can see why she’s this month’s featured Fons Family Member! We wanted to show her some love.

Stay tuned for more about Beth and her coaching business!

How to Incorporate Games into Your Business

Go to the profile of Kosta Miachin | Vikasa Yoga

Kosta Miachin | Vikasa Yoga

In just a few decades, video games have gone from a hobby, to a massive billion dollar industry. Major electronics manufacturers like Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo have entire segments of their business devoted to gaming.

Whether your business is directly associated with gaming or not, there are several ways you can incorporate games into your business to enhance your strategy, boost morale, and attract customers.

3 Exciting Ways to Bring Gaming into Your Business

Games are all about providing a reward to the player for their efforts. Take Foursquare for example. People started using that app to check-in at locations and receive badges or attain “mayor” status.

These rewards didn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, but they did provide incentive to keep using the app. What if you could capture something similar for your business? Here are three ways gaming can be incorporated into your company:

1. Enhance Your Strategy

If you can somehow incorporate games into your business model, you’ll find that your strategy becomes infinitely more engaging for everyone involved. It doesn’t need to be a traditional game, but it can embrace concepts like these:

● Levels — give your customers rewards for milestones with your company. A perfect example are rewards programs with certain retailers.

● Titles or Status — Reward your customers with a new status like VIP for repeat or loyal customers.

● Set Time Limits — Like many video games, your time is not unlimited. Give certain promotions and offers a limited time before they expire to drive urgency.

● Tell a Story — Get your customers involved by telling them a story where they are the hero, like most modern video games.

2. Boost Morale

Games make people happy. They take our minds off of stressful things and force us to focus on and engage with something else. Consider adding some sort of leisure activity to your office or daily routine.

Your employees will feel heightened and refreshed if they can enjoy a few minutes of relaxation throughout their day. Even something as simple as a game console in the break room can go a long way towards boosting morale.

3. Attract Customers

Gamification is a major topic right now in business. How can companies apply the concepts of gaming to bring in more customers. One example would be experiential marketing. Events where businesses have some sort of activity related to their company allow customers to engage with the brand and earn rewards.

A very simplistic example, are the windy cash machines often seen at retailers or car lots. People stand in a wind tube and try to grab as much money as they can swirling around them. Whatever they catch, they keep.

More creative ideas will be needed to make the game line up with your business. You want the game to connect to your brand in a meaningful way, otherwise you’re distracting customers from the thing you want to sell them.

Over to You

Gaming is a great way to spice up any and every aspect of your business. It can add fun to otherwise boring things, keep people engaged, and boost morale with your employees. How do you incorporate gaming into your business? Let us know in the comments!

How To Set Good Goals and Stick With Them

Good goal setting is about more than just creating SMART (smart, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-sensitive) goals. In this post, we dive into why you should be creating goals that are rooted in what truly matter to you, break down your big goals into actionable steps, and reveal how accountability is humbling and rewarding.

Go to the profile of Sarah Skraban

Sarah Skraban

photo credit: [Ivory Mix](https://ivorymix.com/)
photo credit: Ivory Mix

There is something exciting about a New Year.

A new beginning.

A fresh start.

The chance to make right what did not go as planned last year.

But yet so many New Year’s Resolutions and goals don’t ever see completion.

Why do you think that is?

The pain of staying the same is never greater than the pain of change.

So, maybe your goal was not deeply rooted in what REALLY matters to you.

You never fully revealed your weakness and shared your goals with others who would hold you accountable.

All of these things could make a good goal go wrong.

Below we will dive into HOW to set good goals and actually stick with them this year.

Visualization

The first step to setting GOOD goals is visualizing what success looks like to you.

Visualizing where you want to be in one year and your perfect day gives you something to work towards. It allows you to recognize what you want when you see it.

“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.”- Yogi Berra

Without goals, we lack clarity and can get stuck going through the motions without purpose.

Visualization reveals your BIG goals. It allows you to dig deep and understand WHY your goals are important to you.

A goal is useless unless you understand WHY you want to achieve it.

For example, perhaps your perfect day includes a full client schedule during the day, the ability to be home with your family in the evening, and a steady revenue stream. You currently leave the house at 6am and don’t get home until after 7pm. Your paycheck pays the bills and you constantly feel stressed about where your next client will come from and are frustrated with constant cancellations.

There will be little goals and small steps along the way, but they are all important to you because of your family.

Get clear on why you want your goals to happen and connect them to what really matters to you.

Write it down

A written goal is a powerful reminder that can keep you on track when you feel like quitting. Research has proven that writing your thoughts and goals on paper is more effective than typing. It flips a switch in our brains, so to speak, and we begin to problem-solve and make decisions.

Write your goals down in more than one place… Write them in your planner or on your calendar so you see them every day. There is power in repetition.

Break down big goals into small goals and first steps

Focusing on the big, important things in your business allows you to eliminate busy work and do things that actually move you closer to your goal.

Big big goals can feel overwhelming. And having a goal that you want to accomplish by the end of the year allows you to procrastinate.

In order to make your goals happen well, you have to take small steps forward every day.

Break each of your big goals down into three smaller, attainable goals that can be reached in the first quarter of the year.

And then decide the FIRST step you will take to reach those goals.

Let’s take the previous example.

Your goal is to have a full client schedule, end your work day by 4pm, and set up a group program to generate more money so you’re not chasing one-on-one clients all day.

Your three smaller goals are:

1. Participate in one public networking event a month to meet more people.

First step: Research local small biz groups, Facebook groups, and the Chamber of Commerce.

2. Create and launch a group program (doesn’t have to be perfect to be done!)

First step: Start writing the program content.

3. Be more active on Facebook to grow your online community and show your authority.

First step: Do a FB Live to teach my community something every week.

Focus on progress not perfection

This is such an important one.

The path to a goal can be messy. And there will be set backs.

No one is perfect and no one has the perfect plan. Let go of perfection and get comfortable with imperfection.

Focusing on progress not perfection allows you to give yourself grace and see the big picture.

Good things grow through the dirt.

Accountability

Accountability is hard because it means we have to let others in and show our weaknesses. But it is also so rewarding!

Accountability allows us to bring our gifts into the open and share them with others.

Below are four places to find accountability — and the more ways you can make these happen, the more likely you will be successful in reaching your goals.

1. A buddy — Partner with someone in a similar place as you and hold each other accountable.

2. A group — Join a group of like-minded individuals (ex: a mastermind, a support group, a membership group, etc.)

3. A coach — Hire a business coach, personal trainer, teacher, etc.

4. Your home support system — Sharing your goals with your family and close friends is powerful because they truly care about your success and will check in on you when you least expect it!

In conclusion

Setting goals that truly matter to you — and letting go of ones that don’t — allows you to find clarity, stay focused, and make things happen well. Writing your goals down and finding ways to hold yourself accountable has an unbelievably powerful impact on your success. And taking small steps forward everyday is where the magic truly happens. Let go of perfection and enjoy the journey.

Looking for a way to stay focused and get BIG things done in your business in 2018? The Business Finance Tracker and Yearly Success Planner for Goals, Content, and Marketing are done-for-you worksheets that help entrepreneurs save time, organize finances and content, and create a plan for the year.

Sarah is a personal trainer, Fitness Director at a private club, mother, entrepreneur, and writer behind The Fit Niche. She helps fitness and wellness entrepreneurs work smarter, not longer. You can find Sarah in her free Facebook Group, Fitness Biz + Blog Mastermind Community, and on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

Most Influential People of the Year

Go to the profile of Kosta Miachin | Vikasa Yoga

Kosta Miachin | Vikasa Yoga

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash

The year that was 2017 is coming to a close. Like any year, it was full of events that will be talked about long after the year fades into history. Among the billions of people on Earth in 2017, a select few have stood out as the most influential. These people made major shifts in the world of business, technology, and much more.

Looking back on 2017, these people will be remembered for what they did in this year, and the years to come.

5 of the Most Influential People of 2017

There were countless people who shook the foundations of politics, business, and entertainment in 2017, but these are five people that truly made their mark on the world. The lesson for us, is to learn how we can better value and our time and work, so we can be as influential as people like them.

There’s a key takeaway from each of these people’s actions. Even if you’re not working at a global level, you can easily apply some of their principles to your own business.

Kenneth Frazier ([Image source](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenneth_Frazier))
Kenneth Frazier (Image source)

1. Ken Frazier: Standing Up For Your Beliefs

As the CEO of Merck, Ken Frazier widened the company’s lead over other competitors. For example, its cancer drug, Keytruda, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to be taken in combination with chemotherapy in previously untreated cases of advanced lung cancer.

Frazier also took a public stance when President Trump failed to condemn white supremacists. He went on record saying: “As CEO of Merck, and as a matter of personal conscience, I feel a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism.”

Ken’s stance shows that business leaders have a right and a responsibility to stand by their ethics and beliefs, while still prospering as a business.

Bobby Kotick ([Image source](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bobby_Kotick#/media/File:Bobby_Kotick_photo.jpg))
Bobby Kotick (Image source)

2. Bobby Kotick: The Lightbulb Moment

The concept of esports, or professional competitive gaming, is something that has only recently found success and proliferation. A large part of that is due to the efforts of Bobby Kotick, who is CEO of one of the largest publishers in gaming.

In March of 2017, Kotick pitched his idea to Kraft and other executives, to create a league in which professional gamers play in front of a live audience. The inaugural Overwatch League was formed, featuring teams from New York, London, and Seoul. Owners include Comcast, and Los Angeles Rams owner Stanley Kroenke.

Despite his original pitches failing to gain traction, Bobby Kotick surrounded himself with the right people who had knowledge of sports management. When he came back and pitched his idea in 2017, he found huge success.

Our takeaway here is simple: you should support your business concepts with the right resources. If you have an idea that you know has potential, you need to surround yourself with the kind of people who can help you bring it to fruition. Even if the concept doesn’t pan out, it can easily lead to something bigger and better for your business.

Geoffrey Hinton ([Image source](http://www.cs.toronto.edu/~hinton/geoff6.jpg))
Geoffrey Hinton (Image source)

3. Geoffrey Hinton: The Quiet Innovator Working With Big Brands

In the field of artificial intelligence, Hinton is leading the charge in Canada with Toronto’s $180 million artificial intelligence research center. Known as the Vector Institute, Hinton’s goal is to mix academic research with commercial pursuits.

His influence in 2017 helped companies like Google and Facebook open offices in Edmonton and Montreal. He also released two papers in October detailing “capsule networks” that offer enhanced machine vision test results and better recognition of handwriting and everyday objects.

Critics have often said that Canada’s investment into neural networks is coming at a time when the technology is reaching its limits and exists in a bubble that will inevitably pop. Hinton remains steadfast in his opinion that the technology has a long-term viability.

The takeaway here is something that everyone in the field of technology should understand. Throughout history, some of the biggest innovations in technology came from concepts that everyone wrote off as a bubble that would burst.

Innovation will always be valuable. Hinton shows us that getting these ideas into the right hands can bring the support of massive brands and influencers to the table.

Mohammed Bin Salman ([Image source](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohammad_bin_Salman#/media/File:Crown_Prince_Mohammad_bin_Salman_Al_Saud_-_2017.jpg))
Mohammed Bin Salman (Image source)

4. Mohammed Bin Salman — Breaking Down Walls

The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia made some huge changes to his country in 2017. While his ultimate goals remains unclear, he has shown interest in selling a stake of the Saudi Arabian Oil Co., which could be one of the largest IPOs in history.

He also pushed for women to have the right to drive. This would add an estimated $90 billion to the economy by 2030, and represents a major step forward for women’s rights in this part of the world.

The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia is showing the rest of the world that traditions aren’t always set in stone, nor are they right. In business, we often follow specific traditions because we believe they are the only way to success.

What we need to remember, is that there are many pathways to success. Breaking down walls can sometimes lead to even better results.

Millie Bobby Brown (I[mage source](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8d/Millie_Bobby_Brown_by_Gage_Skidmore_2.jpg))
Millie Bobby Brown (Image source)

5. Millie Bobby Brown — Age is Irrelevant

For many of us, we assume that success is tied to both experience and age. Too often, we forget that success does not discriminate based on age. Whether you’re a business owner or someone looking to start a business, your age and experience does not necessarily translate to your level of success.

Millie Bobby Brown, one of Time Magazine’s most influential teens of 2017, is a 13-year-old actress who received an Emmy nomination for her role in Netflix’s series Stranger Things. According to her, the secret to success is not overthinking her role. For her, the character of Eleven is a piece of her.

This instinctual approach is easily something that we can apply to business. It’s best not to overthink things like age or experience. Focus on what your instincts tell you, and stick to your guns. Those are the secrets to success more than anything else.

Final Thoughts

These major players made waves in world politics, gaming, and technology respectively, but they are joined by numerous others who help influence the major industries in our modern world. Which people do you believe were the most influential in 2017? Let us know in the comments!

A Year In Review: The Best Advice For Small Business Owners To Take Forward

It’s not an easy task, but here are the best Fons Amplify posts from 2017.

Go to the profile of Gemma Church

Gemma Church

Dec 30, 2017

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash

OK, this is a tough post to write. Working as the editor on Fons Amplify this year has been a huge privilege. I’ve worked with some fantastic business owners who write kick-ass copy. Choosing my favourite posts from the year is a little like picking your favourite child…Well, not really. But here goes:

How to Attract Premium Clients

Rob Hampton’s post on attracting wealthy clients quite literally had me laughing out loud (that’s LOLing in today’s language, I believe) when I started to read it.

What followed was an informative piece that taught me to “Offer the Moon, at a Sky-High Price”. It also made me want to reach for a Bud Light. Read the full post here.

How To Get Paid For Every Minute

Getting paid for every minute sounds like an unattainable goal, right? Well, this post from Emily Ann Peterson taught me how to be lazy and uber-productive.

It may sound counter-intuitive but it is possible. Read the full post here.

Sink or Swim: Here’s How You’ll Know When It’s Time To Jump Into Self-Employment

This post from Dana Little really struck a chord with me. I struggled with the decision to quit my “real” job and become a freelance writer for months.

If only I’d had this advice available to me at the time! A great piece that really puts the decision making process in perspective.

Click here to read the full post.

15 Yoga Poses to Make Your Day and Career More Sustainable

Working 24/7 to build your business is exhilarating and exhausting. This post from yogi Kosta Miachin shares some simple poses you can incorporate into your daily regime to help you stay fit and recharge your batteries. Click here to read the full post.

How to Properly Manage Stress During Your Most Chaotic Work Days

If you’re struggling to keep your head above water, this is the post for you.

Kosta Miachin shares tips to identify and manage your stressors so you can more effectively run your business.

Click here to read the post.

How to Market Your Business on Facebook Without Coming Across Sales-y

I don’t know about you, but I’m not a natural salesperson so this post was a breath of fresh air compared to the often overly aggressive marketing advice you receive as a small business owner.

Sarah Skraban shares five ways to market your business on Facebook while remaining true to yourself and your work. Click here to read the full post.

Reciprocal Advantages: Asking For Help From Your Community

In a world where it can feel like we’re moving further apart, this post from Andrew Vait is a stark reminder of the importance of community to enrich your business. Click here to read the full post.

Planning for the “Unplanned”: How Improvisation Will Benefit Your Business

As the New Year looms, you may be making extravagant travel plans or a whole new direction in your business. This post from Hilary Scott Gennaro embraces the benefit of spontaneity to you and your business.

Click here to read the full post.