Tuesday, November 18, 2014

It's All in the Details

In addition to this blog, I post on LinkedIn. Today I started writing a post for LinkedIn and in the process realized that the meme that I had taken off of Instagram was incorrect. 

The meme reads "We were together. I forget the rest." And is attributed to Walt Whitman. As I started writing, I decided to find the year that these words were published, only to find that this quote is in fact of paraphrase. The true wording is highlighted below.

This detail causes me angst because we are surrounded my misinformation. Furthermore, it means I have to look up everything I post. The rabbit hole of Alice in Wonderland doesn't do the internets justice. (Internets is the part of the web that is full of half truths. It sucks you in and steals your time without any lasting consequence or knowledge.)

Mostly I am upset that I was almost duped into putting false credit on a paraphrased quote. Almost, but the details saved me this time.

Once I Pass'd Through a Populous City
by Walt Whitman

Once I pass'd through a populous city imprinting my brain for future
use with its shows, architecture, customs, traditions,
Yet now of all that city I remember only a woman I casually met
there who detain'd me for love of me,
Day by day and night by night we were together—all else has long
been forgotten by me,
I remember I say only that woman who passionately clung to me,
Again we wander, we love, we separate again,
Again she holds me by the hand, I must not go,
I see her close beside me with silent lips sad and tremulous.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The G Part Two

Anyone with a website will tell you that getting to know Google, aka The G, is imperative to internet business. The G is tricky and I still agonize over certain aspects of my account. 
Even Lisa Simpson Knows the Power of The G
In fact, I have given up on knowing all there is to know about The G, but continue to forage onward to understand as much as possible. 

Here's what I know:

  1. Google changes. The names for services changes, what you are allowed to see changes, what it does changes, and how useful it is changes.
  2. Data can be incomplete depending on what you are trying to do and what information the bots can find. My data says people are going to my site from a foreign country, but not staying so my data is pretty meaningless at this point. I still haven't figured out how the bots can find my sitemap so my data will continue to be incomplete until I can figure it out.
  3. Google help only helps people with a firm knowledge of certain computer language codes. I don't possess such knowledge so I might as well read the instructions in Greek for as much as it helps.
  4. The G continues to reign supreme because it's algorithm is remarkable. Oh, hail to the king.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Focus on Possibilities

Lift Up Your Thinking
Some of you may have noticed that I have dreadlocks in my hair. I have had them for a number of years. They can be quite the conversation starter, but the hairstyle goes much deeper than my vanity.

The thing I didn't know before having dreadlocks was the idea of lifting up your thoughts. True Rastafarians will not speak certain words because the very act of speaking gives the word power. Instead of "I", "eye and eye" is used to show the connection between all people. "Understand" becomes "overstand" because one should not think of anything as lesser than anything else. 

Change of language is vital to any cultural movement. That is why the quote on the meme is so important for me to remember and activate in my thinking. It is the idea that your thoughts bring your life and circumstances. If I wake up every morning thinking of possibilities, but go to bed every evening thinking of how little I accomplished (like I admitted in my last post), then I am focusing on problems instead of solutions. This will never lead me to opportunity. So I must lift up my thinking.

Monday, July 28, 2014

"Working" from Home

Woah! Time flies when you are home and you can think of a half a million things to do besides working. Every morning I wake up and think I have all these things on my to-do list for my business. Every night I go to bed thinking, I did nothing or very little on my list. 

It's frustrating and I'm not sure how to stop the cycle of procrastination and distraction. Some people say, act like you're going to work and wake up, dress, and work like you would for someone else. Yeah, when I work for someone else, there is a lot more than just getting up and dressing. I have the commute, the co-workers, and the office. All these things add up to doing work for the company. 

JK in the glorious sunlight
Client work is different. Whenever I write for a client, then my turnaround is quick and efficient. This leads me to believe that I need a better idea of my job duties or a clearer description of goals. This, of course, rests on my shoulders to figure out. Delegating work to myself doesn't seem to be my strong point. I have to figure this out otherwise it will be the death to my business.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Writing for Real

A few months ago, I decided to take the advice of a friend and start my writing business. I went through the business procedures, put up a website, and a blog. Now, the realization of being a writer is shaping itself more concretely in my mind.

I have taken on a new persona, at least in name. And gained a new client. But, it still seems weird to me to introduce myself as a writer. I still awkwardly answer questions and think it's funny how some people think I'm creative based on my occupation.

This writing journey is like sunrise. What will the day become?
Life is a learning process. So I continue to learn. Anais Nin wrote, "The role of the writer is not to say what we can all say, but what we are unable to say." 

My next challenge is figuring out what people mean to say when they use words that often don't tell the whole story.

Friday, June 6, 2014

When is Going "The Extra Mile" Too Much?

Recently, I met with a prospective client. She asked me for my credentials and I verbally went over them and later sent her some links to sample writing. This was not enough to convince her to do business with me. So she asked me to write a sample for her based on information about her product.

I am trying to build my business and do not have very many clients, therefore I obliged. She sent me some links and some ideas she wanted in the writing and I sent her my sample. It took me about an hour to write the sample; every word has to be just right. 

Starting a business is tricky in this regard. Everyone tells you that you have to build a solid reputation and follow through, but what about working for free? Potentially, I will get this job and then I will be paid to complete the rest of the work, but as of now, I'm not visiting the bank. 

What things have you done to gain or keep a client?
Taking a break after working for free 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Business Networking International

Through my mentor, I was introduced to BNI Santana Row. Last week I attended my first meeting and met some fellow entrepreneurs. As soon as I walked in, I was handed a huge stack of member's business cards and encouraged to leave a stack of my own business cards for members to have themselves. Who likes a networking event where you gain contact information without actual contact? Me. Me.

The group has a family feel and the premise of the organization is to get to genuinely know people in the group so you can refer them to clients and friends. In turn, you gain referrals from other members. There are some quirky sayings like, "givers gain" and slips to show that you have been meeting face to face with members and making referrals. Overall, I thought it is pretty organized.

I'm not sure I will be joining this particular group because they have someone that has a similar business to mine already in the group. To preserve the integrity of the group, only one person in each field can join. I was assured that another group probably has room for me.

The community has been nice in the virtual world as well. My LinkedIn has blown up with added contacts. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The G

What Google analytics looks like when you first set up and no one loves you...
Unless you live under a rock, you know that to be anything on the web, you have to kiss The G, caress The G, and send him your first child. Who's The G? None other than Google.

Google has requirements to gain Search Engine Optimization (SEO) on the mighty search page. Lots and lots of complicated requirements. You have to figure out how to cut and paste code and place them on your website so Google can find it, but no one else can see. You have to figure out if you want to track the visitors to your site (I opted out). You have to figure out a plethora of other things as well.

Does The G know I exist? Hardly. One day I will figure out the algorithm and share it with you. In the meantime, don't hold your breathe :)

Monday, May 5, 2014

Visionary Circles

Since my first networking event, I have been matched up with a mentor through Promote Her Business. My mentor is another "creative" and works with me to build my business. 

This group is focused on helping women be more successful in their entrepreneurial quests and hosts monthly meetings where VIP mentors give advice on various topics. I attended my first event last week. As a newbie, I filled out a worksheet and was given business pointers and suggestions. 

Lynnea Hagen speaks about business goals
I'm pretty much failing at articulating my difference and my vision. Hooray! At least I'm starting to understand this complex world a little more.

The important thing is that I am learning. That always makes life worth living.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Startup Grind: Chrys Bader-Wechseler

Last night was my first Startup Grind in Redwood City. I networked with a handful of people before the speaker, Chrys Bader-Wechseler came on. Networking is still awkward, especially in a crowd of techies. Chrys spoke of his new social media site, Secret. It's only available on iPhone right now so it was a bit of a let down to hear about something I couldn't use immediately. They are working on the android app.
Derek Andersen and Chrys Bader-Wechseler at Nest GSV
My favorite quote from Chrys is:
"I like to make things simple--distill them down so you can just pick it up."

This is my goal in my writing business. In a world of endless choices, people just want to pick something up and know what to do with it.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Social Media, Oh My

For months I have been collecting infographics to publish on my social media walls. This is part of my branding process to further establish my field knowledge. 

Last week I thought I had added a bunch of pictures to my Google+ page and even referred to the page in business conversations. Imagine my dismay when I realized that none of the postings were actually on my page.

Needless to say, Google+ and I made friends this morning as I searched the help section to figure out how to make the page do what I wanted. Feh. Click below to view the page:

JKommunications Google+ Page

Now I need to work on my Facebook and Twitter pages. Social media does not stop, therefore you must always be thinking of topics to introduce. One of the best ways, besides strong content writing, to increase your SEO (Search Engine Optimization (higher rank on Google, et al)) is to link social media accounts to your website.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Networking and Confidence

Whenever I go to a networking event, I have a mantra that I say, "People come here to meet people." This gentle reminder helps me to come alive a little more. Knowing that everyone feels a bit awkward about going up to a stranger, talking for a few minutes, and handing them a card with your business information is somewhat reassuring as well.

The card itself is a bit of a conversation starter. The printer notice the embossing, the English major notice the witty use of "wordsmith", and the engineer liked the use of my initials in my company name. It was all great fun.

I even met some people who were actually interested in my business and some potential clients. This boost to my ego was worth the minutes of uneasiness when transitioning between new people. It also gave me ideas as to what I needed to be better at articulating about my business and services. 

Business Paperwork

Feds, State, and City All Up in my Business

Today I received my state paperwork for the LLC. In it, they conveniently placed my $800 tax bill. Yay! As if the form filing and publication fees weren't enough. Nothing like spending money to make money. 

The amazing thing about all this is that since it's so complex, there is no good resource for all the information needed to open your own business. You send off paperwork and hope for the best. Well, at least that's what I'm doing. The idea of faking it before making it just took on new meaning. 

Tomorrow is my first networking event representing my company and brand. I'm curious to how it will be received and what kind of questions will be asked. I'll keep you in the loop.

Starting a Home Based Business

Good Grief

A few months ago I brilliantly decided to open my own business. I know lots of people who have their own business and I arrogantly thought it would not be difficult to get my licenses, website, social media, business cards, invoices, tax id number, ad nauseum. Well like everything in life, it is a struggle. The struggle sometimes lies in the internet itself, or gaining control of my computer from other family members (note: my), or household duties which seem to drive one crazy when sitting amongst them daily, or any of a plethora of other things. Sometimes I'm actually able to put all these shiny objects aside and work on the business. Its plan, its details, its life.

Right now is one of those times, but here I am writing unknown persons about my "struggle". I am trying to figure out what exactly motivates me to work when I have a job. It's not the pay for sure. It's not my boss or my high yearning for success. But, when I work for others, I get up early, get ready, get out the door, get to work and work, pretty much for forty hours a week. No qualms. No naps. Why doesn't this translate to my job here at home. When I have client work, I am motivated to complete it as soon as possible, but when it's something for my business, it lingers. And lingers. Does this make me a bad person? Am I not putting forth enough effort? Do I care?

The idea of this blog is to take you, the reader, through the ups and downs of starting and owning a business. For now, I continue to wait on the state to send my license, so I can apply for more licenses.