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Starting a business is hard enough but then marketing it can be harder if you don’t have someone to produce beautiful Social Graphics for you. Don’t worry if you can’t afford a graphic designer just yet; there are some great free tools you can use to create amazing graphics for your social channels and business. Here are our top picks

 

 

1.Canva

Canva is a fantastic Social Graphic tool, they offer a range of preset dimensions, for social graphics, website, infographics, Instagram posts and much more. They also allow you to customise existing templates, so you can adjust the colours, font and change the setup. You can also import images from elsewhere and then add text and icons to it. Canva is what we use and we love it. You can pay for this if you wish to upgrade to unlock more features.

Image of canva and the image examples made on it

 

2. Stencil

Is a great tool for creating marketing promotions and content. Stencil is a bit more limited than Canva, you can not make the most of free access and will have to pay for it if you wish to make more than 10 images a month. However, it has a very extensive range of icons, images and templates for you to use making sure you never run out of options or inspiration. If you visit this site you can get a discount code: 10%

image of stencil tool

 

3. Piktochart

Picktochart is your go-to tool for infographic creation. You have seen infographics before I am sure? They perform so well in displaying complex information or an idea to your audience. If you got numbers and stats you want to share then use this tool to build a fantastic infographic for your business.

image of infographic

 

4. Snappa

A Social Graphic tool that you can use to make beautiful graphics. It has an extensive library of assets for you to use but you need to pay monthly to download more than 5 images a month and to have more than 1 user. You can publish directly to social media accounts which could be handy. Give this platform a trial you might love it so much you are fine with paying $10 a month for unlimited downloads. I mean $10 isn’t much if you end up downloading a considerable amount of graphics.

image of platform

 

 

It’s National Nutrition and Hydration week. So we thought what would be better than sharing some of the best 5 nutritional breakfast recipes we can find. Here are 5 nutritional Instagrammers you need to check out. These recipes are an Instagrammers dream- taking food porn to a whole new level. If you want to up your Nutritional Breakfast game then check these out.

1. Scrambled Egg Toast with Roasted Asparagus by Well Plated

Instagram: @Wellplated

Asparagus on toast with Eggs

Look at this Yummy breakfast. And So instagramable but also easy! None of this fumbling around with 10 ingredients that you need to buy at some super health store that is going to cost you as much as your weekly shop. Simple and cheerful and nutritional.  If you cook eggs for breakfast anyway then this is just taking it a little step further and making it even greater on the Nutritional Breakfast scale. A great way to get you on your way to your 5 a day. Recipe here.

 

 

 

2. Blueberry Coconut Protein Smoothie by Natural Chow

Instagram: @NaturalChowBeautiful picture of a berry smoothie

For those of you that want a liquid breakfast and are all about that early morning protein hit this nutritional breakfast option is for you.  A very simple recipe you can whizz up in no time and still have enough time to Instagram it before you leave the house. Recipe here.

 

3. Simple Breakfast Burritos for Two by Edible Perspective

Instagram: @edible_perspective

Open burrito picture

 

Who says burritos are just for lunch and dinner! Check out this fab recipe for a breakfast burrito. This recipe is for two so if you’re feeling extra nice you can make your partner or housemate one. If not just pack it up and stick in the fridge for another morning. A Nutritional Breakfast with beans and eggs. Recipe here.

 

4. Peanut Butter Cookie Energy Bars by Get Inspired Everyday

Instagram: @get.inspired.everyday

Stack of protein breakfast bars

Some people are all about that sweet hit early in the morning, myself included. If things really are hectic in the morning and you want to eat breakfast but once you’ve left the house then these will do just fine. Full of sweet flavours but naturally sourced from fruit and peanuts, this will certainly give you a breakfast boost on the move. A great Nutrional Breakfast alternative.Recipe here.

 

5. 5 Sweet Spins on Yoghurt Bowls by the Food Network

Instagram:@foodnetwork

Yogurt Bowls

 

At number 5 we have 5 sweet spins on yoghurt bowls. Not that this list is in order of greatness. They are all fab- Great to have variety in your diet. So Yoghurt bowls- don’t really need a recipe for this as it’s just yoghurt with toppings. However, what you may be looking for is inspirations on how you can jazz up your yoghurt bowl so you are not having granola and blueberries every day. Inspiration here.

These are 10 fantastic Female Entrepreneurs and founders you should know. These women have been influential in founding their companies and making them the success they are today. Take a look and see how many of these inspirational women you know.

 

Whitney Wolfe-  Founder Bumble

Photo from: Racked

Whitney Wolfe founded Bumble the US’s fastest growing dating app with a difference- Women initiate the conversation first. She was also the Co-founder of Tinder, however, her negative experience at Tinder inspired her to create Bumble. Bumble focuses on women’s experience within the mobile app dating game and is now a fierce competitor to Tinder.

 

Sheryl Sandberg – COO Facebook and Founder Lean In foundation

Photo from: Forbes

Sheryl Sandberg played a crucial role in the success of Facebook as their Chief Operating Office. She is also the first woman to serve on Facebook’s board.  Her successful career includes working as the vice president of global online sales and operations for Google. On top of all this, she also founded Lean in Foundation which supports women by giving them a supportive inspiration environment to seek advice and motivation to help achieve their goals. She is an admired within the world of business for being one of the great Female Entrepreneur that paved the way.

Payal Kadakia Founder ClassPass

Photo from: Verve

Payal Kadakia if the founder of the successful fitness class booking company- ClassPass. ClassPass provides users with access to hundreds of classes in their city for a flat monthly fee. This was the perfect fitness motivation and solution for people who simply want to join the gym for the classes rather than using the gym equipment, or who wanted to try something different.

 

Kathryn Minshew – CEO and Co-Founder The Muse

Photo from: Inc

Kathryn is the CEO and co-founder The Muse, an online career website which offers people the chance and opportunity to progress in their career. They offer job listings, company reviews, Skill building resources and coaching services. Kathryn Minshew has been recognised for her work and as a result, was given the title of Forbes 30 under 30 recognition in 2011. Then in 2016 was named New York 50 award winner by SmartCEO magazine.

 

Katie Beauchamp and Hayley Barna Founders of Birchbox

Photo from: Fortune

Katie Beauchamp and Hayley Barna founded the beauty subscription service called Birchbox in 2010 and within 5 years had over 1 million subscribers. Consumers sign up for a monthly subscription plan to receive a sample selection of beauty products. Due to consumers desiring to test out the products of various high-end beauty brands before committing to buy them this made their venture very successful.

 

Jessica Alba Co-Founder of the Honest Company

Photo from pymnts

Jessica Alba the well-known actress from Fantastic Four founded The Honest Company in 2012. The Honest company sells baby, personal and household products to consumers that don’t contain any unnecessary chemicals. Therefore you can see why they strive for renewability with ingredients that are plant sourced and to have sustainable packaging. An actress and part of our wonderful Female Entrepreneurs.

 

Holly Tucker and Sophie Cornish – Founders of Not on the Highstreet 

Photo from BBC

Holly and Sophie started the online marketplace where small businesses and entrepreneurs are able to sell their carefully crafted products to a global audience. The core of their idea is that they wanted to supply people with unique and wonderful products that could not be found on the high street. This website offers a lifeline of opportunity to small creative businesses and gives consumers something truly original and personal. These are two fantastic Female Entrepreneurs you should watch.

 

Michelle You Co-Founder of Songkick

Photo from: Business Insider

Michelle You is the co-founder as well the chief product officer of Songkick. If you’re a music lover then this online site where you can find tickets for the latest gigs and concerts. The company has grown massively over the years and now rivals Ticketmaster for concert information and tickets.

Struggling to keep your eyes open at work? Been super moany and snappy at friends and family? Maybe things are just too hectic right now and it’s really impacting your sleep and ultimately your life.  Those who are stressed often end up having less sleep. If you’re an entrepreneur or a side hustler you will likely have a great deal of stress as you try and make your dreams become a reality. Then poor sleeping habits simply become a bad routine.  63.1% of people in the UK surveyed by Dreams were not happy with their quality of sleep.

So what can you do about it? I am not here to remind you that you are not having a great nights sleep. You know that. What I can tell you is what you can do to improve your sleep and hopefully reduce your stress. Now I am not a sleep dr but I get a good night’s sleep so maybe I am an experienced sleeper. All the advice below has been taken from a number of sources which you can read more about. Read below on how to have a Good Night’s Sleep.

 

Stick To A Sleep Schedule

At the moment you may only be going to sleep when you can- after that presentation you have to write, or when the coffee buzz has finally left your system.

Your body clock is what helps you sleep and sticking to your sleeping schedule will in turn help that. So, this might mean going to bed at 11pm every night. Now of course life will mean that you want to go out some nights and are not getting home till 2am or maybe you’ve got to travel somewhere and need to be up at 5am. But generally speaking try and stick to this schedule even on weekends. I found going to bed at a very similar time and getting up at a similar time on weekends made that Monday morning so much easier.

If you are currently going to bed at a crazy hour like 1am and you want to bring that bedtime to something more reasonable then start adjusting slowly, like you would if you were adjusting your body clock for a new time zone before you go on holiday to avoid jet lag (bit dramatic but you get what I’m saying). Try it for a good night’s sleep.

Read more on sleep scheduling here

 

 

Get A Bedtime Routine Together

Now some people relax in different ways. I personally choose to have a bath about 1-2 hours before bed to start relaxing me for bedtime. A routine I started as a child and continue to do today…. It hasn’t failed me yet. Others like watching a chilled out tv show, some like to read; whatever you find relaxing start doing that before you go to sleep.  Research has shown that adult’s bedtime routines for calming them before bed are just as important as children’s ones.

Some tips for you:

  • Avoid watching that thriller or tense drama before bed on Netflix as you will likely be thinking about that as you try and get to sleep.
  • A lot of people and articles I have read recommend not having caffeine before bed. ( I personally, find this doesn’t affect me and will always have a cup of tea after dinner- find what works for you ).
  • Start to reduce the light around you- switch off the glaring lights and turn on a couple of lamps.

Read more here

Photo by: Jacek Dylag

Exercise And Eating For A Good Night’s Sleep

It’s not the first time you have heard that exercise helps your life! Move the coffee table back and start doing some home workouts tonight. Physical exercise increases the time spent in deep sleep, which as you may be aware helps boost your immune system, cardiac health and control stress and anxiety (The sleep doctor).  This could be simply a home workout or a regular team sport you play after work. Try it for a month and see if you notice an improvement.

Now eating habits? There are mixed opinions on this. However, you should try and eat a few hours before bed to avoid sleeping on a very full stomach. Your body will be fast at work digesting your food and won’t be able to focus on your immune system . However there is conflicting evidence, so feel free to read more here.

Photo Andrew Tanglao

Cover Photo: Jay Wennington

 

Happy World book day! This was an occasion I loved at school when we were given a £1 token to buy a book. However, being the adults that we are, we don’t get a lot for free.  So what are the books you should be reading? If you have ever spoken to a successful entrepreneur or side hustler, I bet you a lot of them would have said they read a lot. I guarantee you there is one book they would all recommend as it had an impact on them.  In this list below, we cover our favourite books as well the well-recommended titles. These suggestions should inspire, educate or help any side hustler to take their next steps. Here are the books you should read!

1. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

This is a team favourite. Kahneman looks at the cognitive process of system 1 and system 2 in our brain and the way we make decisions. It covers three phases of the Nobel Prize-winning author’s career working on cognitive biases, prospect theory and happiness. It’s very dense in its knowledge and there is a lot of information to process. It’s a great read and probably one to come back too if you have read it before. This should be high on your list of books you should read this year.

 

2. ‘Crushing it’ by Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary V as you may know him is an internet sensation. He is a personality and inspiration in the world of entrepreneurs. In this book, Gary discusses the importance of a brand personality and discusses stories of other entrepreneurs successful ventures. One important area he focuses on is social media. While you may be thinking yeah I know social media, I have facebook, I use Twitter; His insight and guidance demonstrate how a business can harness it and leverage to grow it’s personality further through connecting with its audience.

 

3. One + One = Three by Dave Trott

 

This is a fantastic book to read for pleasure and for business. I had a great time reading this. It’s full of fantastic advice for business and approach to things such as creativity, problems and life which are all told through other people’s real stories.  You can read two very good stories for free on Amazon by clicking look inside. This will give you a great taste of the book. It’s packed with moving stories that are so influential and with funny stories, each bringing a moral lesson or piece of advice. A lot of business books are very hard to read as they are full of detailed knowledge and fully explained concepts. This book differs from the rest, it’s great for those with a short attention span like myself, giving you the gist of what it’s saying over a couple of pages.  A very very enjoyable read that may have you laughing out loud on the train.

 

4. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

 

Habit? A familiar word in every businesswoman/man’s vocabulary.  We know the importance of habit but do we really understand the science behind it and what needs to be done to change habit?  In this best selling and highly recommended book by Charles he explores the power of habit and the impact it has on our lives. If you read this book you are likely going to do two things; break bad habits and start new ones. You will likely experience a higher chance of succeeding in this as you will now understand more about this behaviour and how it affects you. Get into the habit of reading and start with this one.

 

5. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

This book is the New York Times no.1 Bestseller. It’s a book by the incredibly talented and pioneering psychologist Angela Duckworth who looks into the real backbone supporting people’s achievements.  As you can tell from the title of the book it’s all about grit and the common trait among the most successful people in the world is there power to push themselves and persist despite the challenges they face. Duckworth has studied the mindset and behaviour of many successful people from a range of careers, chefs, entrepreneurs, athletes, and workers alike to find the thing that drives them all and share that with you in her book. Read this fantastic article to find out more about her and her journey.

 

6. Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferris

 

From the man that brought you the ‘Four Hour Work Week’ which is arguably one of the most famous business books out there. This book is big, it’s a monster book of advice and tips from the very best mentors an entrepreneur could wish for. This book is full of extraordinary advice to help fuel your career, business and life. If you want to hear Tim talk about it then check out the podcast video of when Gary V interviewed him

 

7. The Lean Startup: How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries

A great book if you are about to start a business or in the early stages of one. A startup is an environment that is constantly changing. This is the exact mindset you need to have and will have, once you have read this book. Eric takes us through his thoughts and advice on how you always need to be willing to adapt to change. This may because of the market, trends or behaviours and sights. A strong believer that you shouldn’t develop a product completely before taking it to market and you should always be prepared to change and adapt to a constantly changing environment. If you get your heart set on one idea and are reluctant to change then this book could be the one to teach you a whole new level of perspective on your ideas and how they will succeed.

 

 8.  When to Jump by Mike Lewis

How many times have you thought I don’t like this job but it’s ok I will keep doing this.  This book helps give you the confidence to start pursuing the career of your dreams. There are many questions people face when thinking of a career change or thinking of taking a riskier but happier career choice. Mike helps you answer those questions by relaying stories of people who had made the jump and the sort of questions that went through their mind and how they choose to act on those thoughts. Is this your time to make the jump? order this book today!

 

9. Rise and Grind by Daymond John

Daymond John released a book called ‘Power of Broke’ in 2016. This book looked at how you can start a business from the ground up when you have virtually nothing.  ‘Rise and Grind’ follows on from that, as it looks at what it takes to succeed once you have a business.  Taking note of other entrepreneurs habits and stories he also draws upon his own career. John looks to give you the needed insight into the mindset and behaviours of a successful businessman. This book equips you with the knowledge and confidence to start practising what it takes to be successful even if you aren’t yet running your own empire.

 

10.  Steve Jobs by Walter Issacson

The man transformed our world. Everywhere you look you see something which resembles his apple empire, from phones, tech, and identity.  This book is so well written and carries rich lessons and insights from the man behind two of the world’s most successful companies ( Apple and Pixar).  These brands transformed their industries- so why not learn about the man behind it all. The book was written based on over 40 interviews conducted with Jobs as well an impressive 100 interviews ( or at least 100) conducted with family and friends of this incredible entrepreneur.

 

11.Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull

Ed Catmull the Co-founder of Pixar has written this book which looks at business through a very creative lens. Pixar is an incredible company and the man behind it has shared his insights for understanding the strive for creativity and originality in pursuing new twists on ideas.  The book looks at how to build a creative culture which is so important in generating new and wonderful ideas that make a company so successful. As a creative man and a storyteller himself, this book reads like a storybook and is the perfect companion for your nighttime reading. Then dream sweet dreams- sweet dreams of creativity and Pixar. One of the books you should read this year.

 

12.  The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle

You may have heard of ‘The Talent Code’? well if you have this is the same guy who wrote that book. This one is about culture- you guessed it! What makes groups and organizations so successful? Is it the culture? Well if you think about it – culture directly affects your work. If you are in a supportive environment you are likely to feel more motivated and happy.  Daniel Coyle looks what makes the world’s most successful organization click. Exploring the Navy seals, looking at how such diverse group of people and talent work together with a single mind to succeed.  The culture code really ignites the reader with a passion to change and take control of their culture through the actions and behaviour they partake in.

 

13. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

 

This is a highly recommended book, especially among female entrepreneurs.  Unfortunately, women face increased challenges in business on top of the issues that everyone else has to struggle through.  Sheryl Sandberg examines the issues women face in business and the problems of progressing past them. She then gives the readers stories and advice on overcoming those issues.  After reading this you should feel empowered. Go fulfill your career ambitions and desires despite the many barriers that you may be faced with. A motivational read.

 

14. How Brands Grow: What Marketers Don’t Know by Byron Sharp

 

This is a book that is very popular among creative agencies and people within the strategery career. A thought-provoking book looking at evidenced based answers to the questions that marketers are asking.  Advertising is a very important part of any business. Sharp delves deeper into how and why it’s important to understand your audience. You will discover how crucial the consumer insight is in creating your marketing/advertising campaign. Pop this book on your reading list. Go on do it now.

 

15. Hegarty on Creativity: There Are No Rules by John Hegarty

 

This is the last book on our list but by no means the least important.  A really fun book that will give you a few giggles whilst being very influential.  You could probably read this book in a day if you wanted. It’s full of short one or two-page anecdotes for approaching creativity and should be read by everyone. It might not be your typical entrepreneur book but your approach to creativity is important for any business to succeed.

Laptops and business laptops are so important, in your life. I know we like to pretend that we don’t rely so heavily on tech, but we do.  Laptops are so important for your personal use but if you’re a side hustler you’re likely using them as a business tool as well! My laptop screen is faulty so I have found myself looking into the best laptop’s out there. As a side hustler, you will want a strong performing laptop but also one that is portable and not going to cut into your pocket too much. You will want to spend a fair amount, as this could mean the tool for your source of income (teaching online). However,  at the same time if you’re running a business on the side you will have other costs you need to consider.  So hear our top picks of business laptops for the side hustler for under £1000.

 

1.Microsoft Surface Laptop available from Very (£799)

Covered in: Telegraph

CNET

Techadvisor

Image of Surface laptop

I am sure you have heard of this one, it’s had a large marketing spend behind it, so I’d be surprised if you missed it. If you did, well here it is. A top contender for business laptops. This laptop has a slim design and is ultra lightweight at only 1.25KG. This certainly won’t break your back carrying it to and from work or when you’re out and about.  It boasts a long battery life and a lovely touch to its keyboard. The screen is touch – giving you the feeling of the tablet. The downside is that it only has 4GB of RAM for the price point it’s positioning itself at. What this means is that the computer has to work longer/harder to transfer data. Most modern laptops now have 8GB of RAM. This computer will be fast enough for most functions but if you want a high performing laptop that operates quickly then I would choose a laptop with higher RAM.

 

2. Lenovo IdeaPad 720s available from John Lewis (£829.95)

Covered in: Telegraph

Techadvisor

Lenovo Ideapad 720s image

This laptop is very aesthetically pleasing. It offers twice the RAM as the Microsoft Surface Pro only weighing a little more at 1.6KG. It is not touchscreen, which is not necessarily a bad thing at all.  The screen rotates 180 degrees, if you ever find that useful. It has a long battery life of 14 hours which is great if you left your charger at the office or at home and find yourself working somewhere else.  The webcam that is included in the laptop is 720p at 30fps which is all you need unless you are streaming yourself on your laptop while skiing downhill. Which would be highly impressed but unlikely to happen. The downside is that it’s only 14 inch which means you don’t get the same large displays of the standard 15.6-inch laptops. Maybe this isn’t important to you as you might prioritize transportability. It’s one the best business laptops and one that should be heavily considered for the side hustler.

3. Lenovo Yoga Book available from Currys (£429.99)

Covered in: Telegraph

Another laptop from Lenovo. This laptop is a bit more affordable than its competitors but I guess it’s more of a tablet than a laptop. So, with that in mind, I would say this is a great laptop for those that want something closer to a tablet. For those that want something much closer to a laptop, this one is not for you. positives – It has a great build quality to it and is only 10.1 inches big so they weren’t kidding when they called it a book. The RealPen which comes with the book acts as a fantastic stylus but alsoooo- wait for it: as a pen. No really, I mean you can add a ballpoint nib onto the head meaning you can write on the flat keyboard as though you were actually writing. Great for the artist and designers out there.  But yes I did say flat keyboard, which is odd and not for me as I quite like to feel the keys go down and hear that click. However, saying that it means it can be more versatile. Great book/laptop but the keyboard might take some getting used too.

4. Acer Swift 3 available from Tesco Direct (£599.00)

Covered in: Techadvisor

If portability isn’t everything, then this has almost everything else and is at a great price.  It has an all metal body which is probably what makes it a bit heavier but it’s different. The screen is full HD and the battery life is 10 hours – not as good as the Lenovo IdeaPad 720s but good enough.  It also boasts 8GB RAM giving it a strong performance.  The touchpad on the keyboard has very high reviews of recommendation on this laptop because of its smooth feel and light but defined click. What is fun about this, is a fingerprint reader which feels more normal now as most phones have that function and entry point. A good midrange option for our business laptops list.

 

5. Asus Chromebook flip C302CA available from John Lewis (£499.95)

Covered in: Laptop Mag 

Another laptop which is kind on the eyes. The screen bends all the way back so it folds back onto the keyboard which is handy if you want to use it as a laptop. This one is great for meetings as you focus on the display and use the touchscreen to change anything rather than use the mouse. Also great if you’re traveling on the train or relaxing at home and want to watch something without the keyboard getting in the way. It weighs less than 1.2KG making it fantastic and portable. The screen size is only 12.5 inches which is one reason it’s so light.  The biggest flaw for me is it has no USB Type A ports which are the usually USB port you would find on a laptop. However, this is a great contender if you are on the move a lot.

 

6. Dell Inspiron 13 7000 available from Currys (£809)

Covered in: T3

 

This entry from Dell is a good quality laptop with a speedy yet powerful performance. On the small side of 13.3-inch screen. However, this one has the needed ports making it functioninal for your personal and work life including an HDMI connection port.  You can also log into this with your face – that’s where we are at these days.  This is a 2 in 1 machine operating as a tablet with a keyboard that folds all the way back. The battery life could be better only running at about 5 and half hours, well below its competitors. The RAM is decent at 8GB.

 

7. HP 250 G5 available from ebuyer (£449.99)

Covered in: Techadvisor

This is one the most affordable business laptops that you will find. It has an impressive 8GB of RAM considering the price point. This laptop has no DVD drive, however, most people are streaming through Netflix these days then putting on a DVD they got for Christmas.  This is the heaviest option in our list at 2.14 KG but it has a 15.6-inch display, so it’s a given. While it may not suit the side hustler who is often on the move, it will serve as a strong machine to set up your workstation at home or at work with. While this device is not the best, it’s the best for the price range of under £500. We thought we would include a lower cost model as not everyone can fork out the money for a higher performing portable laptop just yet.

 

It’s Wednesday and you’re already fed up with your working week. Are you ready for a change? It’s time to start your own business. Have you been thinking about it, but still not sure you’re there yet? We, think you might be ready to take the plunge if you’re showing the signs below. Read below to see if you might be ready.

1.You’ve calculated the risk

You’ve already tested the water – you know what works. You may have even started your side hustle or maybe you’re making a few sales on your blog. Perhaps a number of people have said you need to take this passion of yours full-time. Start up’s are a risky business. Which is why researching your market, audience, challenges and potential rewards are key before you get started. You may already have expertise in the area you are going into or experience from an existing profession. This will lower your odds of failing as you’re more aware of your industry and market. You know it’s riskier than staying in your current job but where’s the fun in that?

2. You’re done with being a cog in a not so well oiled machine

Time and time again you hear of people who are not happy in their job. They feel like a cog in a machine, simply churning over the same work day in and day out.  Large companies who are unwilling to change for fear of disrupting their processes are not going to progress at the rate you are.  Start your own business and be your own boss- it can be so rewarding. Take control of the decisions you make, test out new ideas knowing that if it doesn’t work it’s ok- just go back to the drawing board. Your career is in your hands. You control how far you progress. You’re only limited by your own drive to succeed.

3. You want to love Monday mornings

You won’t be hitting that snooze button when you’re running your own company. Monday mornings will actually feel empowering as you can get back to working on what you love and start making progress. Think about it – you work for an average of 50 years of your life and spend about 40 hours a week working. So, why not love and enjoy that time and look back on your life thinking you lived it well, rather than counting the clock till you can go home each day. Make money from something you love.

4. You want to learn

If you start your own business it’s a constant learning curve as you discover all the things you don’t know (but need to figure out) in order to go forward. If you’re keen to start teaching yourself the tools you need to progress in your venture, then you’re ready. There are loads of great resources to follow that will teach you snippets of expertise to fill in the gaps that you currently have. To name a few, entrepreneur Tim Ferris and Hubspot are great to look into.

5. You’ve accepted failing is part of the journey

There is a difference between failing and being a failure. Failing is inevitable, it’s part of the path to learning. Your company fails when you have failed to acknowledge failing is something that needs addressing. Opportunities can arise when certain parts of your business may fail as you can assess areas you may have previously overlooked. In the words of Winston Churchill who, if he had given up when he hit failure, it would have resulted in us living in a very different world today – “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” Start your own business.

Start your own business. Women holds a mug which read's 'Like A Boss'

‘Business’ and ‘inspiration’ are often not words that people would expect to see together. Oh, how wrong they are. It takes a lot to build something from scratch and develop it to the point where you’re not only living, but living comfortably while doing something you love. Below, you’ll find a list of resources which we think could help you to build your business into something truly special.

XOSarah

Sarah’s blog is specifically aimed at people who want to make money out of their blogs. It might seem like the lessons don’t apply to people with a very different business idea. However, blogs are a great thing to have for pretty much any business, so Sarah’s super-informative site is a great place to start. We especially love this post about how best to handle a really busy day.

Two Scots Abroad

While Two Scots abroad is a travel blog, we came across this post and we love it. It gives some great info that works for people who are just starting out, or for those who want to step up their game. Fine, you might not be promoting your own travel blog, but if you’re trying to sell anything online the tips they offer would be a great way to start.

Adore Creative Studio

Chloe is a freelance designer. She runs a beautiful website, as you would expect from a designer. However, we want to talk about her blog. It’s a fantastic example of how a business can use a blog to showcase their work, as well as creating a ton of business-related content which people will want to share. If people share your content, they spread the word about you. This post gives some great ideas for what to post on social media when you get stuck. And you will get stuck eventually. It happens to us all.

Living For Naptime

Living for Naptime is designed for mums who want to start a blog in their free time. But if you’re starting a business while dealing with something else that takes up a lot of time and attention (ie. that full time job you want to get rid of some day) we think there’s a lot to be learned from the brilliant time-saving tips on there. We particularly love this post about growing your Instagram. Give it a try!

Snap Creativity

Tauni Everett has an amazing ‘Blogging + Entrepreneur Tips’ section on her website, which is packed full of information which is really useful whatever your business. For those looking to increase their social media following, we particularly love this post about organically upping your Facebook likes. But, really, the whole blog is a treasure trove.

Nesha Woolery

Once you’ve got yourself set up and your website looking great, you’re on the right track. But it’s not enough to just sit there and wait for your clients to roll in. This post on Nesha’s blog is especially great. It provides a run-down of loads of ways you can go about attracting clients. It’s all about putting yourself out there, and that post will show you how.

Now. Real talk time. Did we miss any amazing sources of business inpiration that you think we should know about? Where do you turn when you need a kick up the backside? If you take away one tip from all of this, what will it be?

 

So, you have your class up and running, and it’s looking great. But how can you get the word out and start to increase your booking numbers?

Add a Call to Action button on Facebook

If you have a Facebook page, you have everything you need to add a Call to Action button. This is a way to send people directly to your classes. You have the option of seven different CTAs (that’s right, we’re abbreviating) and one of them is, conveniently, ‘Book Now’. All you have to do is enter the link for your class and you’re away! Additionally, since you have your Facebook page set up and looking awesome, you could also consider paid ads or promoted posts on Facebook too. They’re a great way to increase the numbers of people seeing your content.

Get Tweeting

If you have Twitter, start tweeting about your classes. The key to remember with Twitter is that you can’t just do it once. There’s an average of just under 10,000 tweets published every second, so you’ve got a lot of competition. Once your tweet has been out there for 18 minutes, the likelihood is that its been buried on everybody’s newsfeed. What that means is you really need to be tweeting about your classes at least once a day. Now, that sounds like a lot, but don’t panic – there are awesome sites like Buffer, Tweetdeck, and Sprout that allow you to schedule your tweets. Just line ’em up, and these services will send ’em out. There’s also the option of promoted tweets, but if you’re a paid advertising virgin you might prefer to do that on Facebook – it’s much easier to pick the right audience.

Add a link to your site

If you have your own website, add a linked image to your sidebar to say ‘hey, I teach online classes’. That way, whatever page a potential student is on, they’ll always see the option to book. If your site gets a lot of traffic from people who aren’t local to your in-person classes, this is a great way to increase bookings from that audience. In fact, feel free to use the embed codes below for a stylish way of linking your website visitors to your classes.

For a navy blue background:

<a href=http://learnhownow.com><img src=http://imgur.com/ttg7zrWtitle=”Learn With Me on HowNow” width=”270″ height=”290″ /></a>

For a white background:

<a href=http://learnhownow.com><img src=http://imgur.com/4dNCkzRtitle=”Learn With Me on HowNow” width=”270″ height=”290″ /></a>
These can be pasted anywhere on your site. Don’t forget to change the URL in the code to the URL of your class, and get in touch if you have any issues!

Tell your mailing list

Do you have a list of customer emails? Let them know about your classes! If you want to increase the quality of the emails you send you could try using a service like Mailchimp to make them look super-slick. You can even add a button to your email which takes a user straight to your class booking page. After all, you want to make the process as quick and easy as possible. You could also try sending out promotional codes to get the ball rolling with your bookings. We send them out in the newsletter all the time, or we could always help you by

Use word of mouth

Got a student who’s mentioned going away or moving? Remind them that they can keep up their classes with you!

Mention your classes in other professional profiles

Do you write a column in a newspaper? Speak at events? Make TV appearances? If you have to provide a profile about yourself, mention that you teach on HowNow. If your work is being seen you might well be attracting people who are interested in learning from you. Letting them know that they can find you on HowNow is a great way to capitalise on interest, especially if the geography won’t work.

Extra special bonus suggestion!

If you’re looking to increase your mailing list or your social media following, a giveaway is a great way to do it. There are great applications like Gleam or Rafflecopter which make it super-easy to set up a prize draw where a user gives their email address or follows you on social media in order to be entered into a draw. An online class is a great option for a prize because it doesn’t depend on location and there’s no financial outlay for you. You’d just need to contact the winner afterwards to give them a prize code (contact us if you ever need this) and voila! You’ve run a competition!

Please note that we do not advise waving your profits around willy-nilly, no matter how much this stylish photo may suggest otherwise.

Don’t forget, if you do need any more advice, it’s always worth getting in touch to ask – we might just be able to help.

January 16th is Blue Monday. For the uninitiated, that means it’s the most miserable day of the year. And even if you weren’t already aware that it had a name, you might well have felt its effects. The holidays are over, it’s getting dark early, the weather is terrible… I could go on, but it’s just really bloody depressing. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. It’s easy to bypass the Blue Monday feels, and we have a few ideas for how to do just that:

Plan a trip

What’s the best thing to do when it’s miserable, and dark, and everybody’s in a bad mood? Get away from it all! Whether you set off on a month-long European odyssey, or just spend a day exploring a nearby city, a change of scene can be just the thing to give you a new perspective. Even just booking a trip and getting yourself prepared ahead of time can blow away the Blue Monday blues.

Relax

Another thing that makes Blue Monday the beast that it is is the fact that you’re probably still catching up on work. Things pile up over the Christmas break and it’s almost enough to make you wish you’d never been away. But no more thinking like that, please. Take some time out, practice some breathing, even try some meditation. Even twenty minutes can be enough to remind you that there’s life beyond your overloaded in tray.

Get moving

Exercise has loads of benefits, one of the main ones being the ability to make you feel happier. You gotta love those endorphins. Make sure you get your fix on Blue Monday and you’ll sail through the day. The good news is you don’t even have to drag yourself to the gym if it’s cold out. Try anything from yoga to belly dance right from the comfort of your own home.

Express yourself

There’s nothing to be gained by keeping your feelings bottled up. It’ll just make you more likely to want to punch someone in the back of the head when they’re walking too slowly in front of you on the way home and- Ahem. OK, maybe that’s my personal issue. But the point still stands. It’s easy to let your emotions get the better of you if you don’t find a way to release them. So we recommend doing that.

Do something creative

As well as being a way to express yourself, getting creative can help you let go of Blue Monday by making you feel productive. Because, let’s be honest, there’s nothing in the world better than feeling productive. You might choose to learn to draw, or to sew, or any number of other creative pursuits, but whatever you choose it’ll help you to forget about feeling stressed.

Take action

At the heart of all of this Blue Monday talk is one question. Why is it so depressing? If it’s more than just the weather, and you’ve found yourself surrounded by work you no longer care about, maybe it’s time to do something drastic. How about starting your own business? Even becoming your own boss full time? It’s a way to bring back the passion to your life which should, in turn, help to banish the blues.

Sharp-eyed readers will notice that we’ve covered the Monday blues before, but Blue Monday is like a regular Monday on speed. How will you be showing the demons who’s boss on January 16th?