Branding Our Life

Month: April 2017

Wedding Planning Course

Online Wedding Planning Course

Have you considered starting your own wedding planning business, but aren’t sure where to get started? You’re in the right place!

I’m incredibly excited to announce the upcoming launch of my latest e-course “Starting a Wedding Planning Business.” In it, I share the exact steps I used to start my budding bridal business. In just one year, I went from working full time and planning weddings on the side to being able to quit my 8 to 5 and run my business from home!

About the Course

There are two main units. The first unit is all about starting a small business. From choosing a legal structure to building a website, I’ve got you covered. Plus, I have lessons about branding, marketing, and blogging just to sweeten the deal.

The second unit is all about wedding planning specifically. I share the tips and tricks I’ve picked up along the way. Every lesson is packed with really practical and actionable advice.

How it all Started

The course originally started as training material for my college interns. I wanted to truly equip and prepare them to go out and start their own businesses after graduation. Soon I realized I could only help a few people per semester this way. Don’t get me wrong, I love my one-on-one training sessions with my interns, but I wanted to be able to help even more people!

Since I’d already taken the time to outline what students needed to know to get going, it only made sense to flesh out the material and create an online course. That way anyone could have access to the information. While it has taken several months to pull together, the launch date is just around the corner!

Because I’m so incredibly passionate about entrepreneurship and making education attainable, I’ve kept the cost low. Really low. Just $347! Yes. Just $347. Awesome, right?!

To stay up to date on the course launch, or to learn more about upcoming courses, sign up for our newsletter.

Seven Essentials for Working from Home

Essentials for Your Home Office

More and more people are switching to working from home. I’m so glad I did! Between the blog and a bustling wedding business, there’s never a dull moment around our house. If you’re looking to make the switch to telecommuting or running a home-based business, you’ll need a few essentials.

Here are my must-haves for working from home.

Computer

A computer, laptop, tablet, whatever you have that connects with the internet and runs the programs or apps you need. Your clients will need to hear from you, your website will need updating, and you’ll need to post to social, so a computer of some sort is an absolute necessity!

Whole-Home Wi-Fi

If you’re anything like me, you’ll need the ability to reply to client messages at a moment’s notice. It’s not convenient to run to the home office every time you get an email.

TP Link Deco M5We live in the country. Getting internet was a feat in itself. Getting reliable Wi-Fi that worked throughout the entire house? Impossible. That is until we got the TP-Link Deco M5 Whole-Home Wi-Fi System. Now I can work from any room, any time of day. I can even work from my porch. It’s awesome! No more running to my desktop just to answer an email.

One of my favorite features has to be  the incredibly easy set up with the TP-Link Deco app. I’m not the most technically savvy, so easy-to-use is critical for me. We were up and running within minutes! My husband and I can both be working and streaming music at the same time now, and it’s wonderful.

Schedule

When switching from an 8 to 5 to working from home, you need a game plan for your day. You won’t have the built-in structure you had at the office, so building a framework for your day is vital to staying on track.

I recommend time blocking. It’s exactly like it sounds, setting aside blocks of your day to do particular tasks. If you’re most energetic in the mornings, you may set those aside for communicating with clients and creative projects and block out afternoons for clerical (less-energetic) tasks. For more productivity hacks, check out this post.

Notebook & Pens

Yes, in a mostly digital world, it’s still good to have a few analog tools handy. You never know when inspiration is going to strike. It’s important to write those things down. Actually write them. Don’t believe me? This study actually shows a correlation between writing things down longhand and remembering them.

Working Space

There are distractions aplenty when working from home. By designating a space- no matter how small- helps to stay focused. If you don’t have a spare room to devote to office space, choose a wall, a corner, or just someplace quiet where you can set up a workstation. Of course, you can work from anywhere in the house. The key is just to avoid interruptions while working on projects.

Calendar & Task Management System

You need to know what you have to do and when it’s due by. My Google Calendar and Asana app definitely get a workout! If paper calendars and to-do lists is your thing, go for it! Just make sure you’re consistent with whatever system you choose.

Storage

Both digital and physical storage is necessary. Whether you use a cloud-based storage system or an external hard drive, it’s important to back up your important files. While most of what we do as entrepreneurs these days is online, we still have items like cameras, cords, tablets, and notebooks that need a home. I have a handy little shelf that stores my tangible tools.

 

The Time-Tested Productivity Hack You Need to Try

After leaving my 8 to 5 job to run my business from home, it didn’t take long to discover I needed to boost my daily productivity. There was so much to do! It was overwhelming. My daily task lists were at least 20 to 30 items long. I was overrun with work, and needed a simpler method to stay on track. That’s when I discovered the Ivy Lee Method.

The Backstory

Apparently, sometime in 1918, the wealthy Charles M. Schwab sought the services of productivity consultant Ivy Lee. Even though Schwab was already very successful, he wanted to get even more done. Lee took on the task and came up with a simple (and still effective) five-step productivity hack.

The Method

Are you ready? It’s pretty elegant in its simplicity.

  1. At the end of each day, write down the six most important things you need to get done the next day. Do not write down more than six.
  2. Prioritize items in order of importance.
  3. Each morning, focus on the first task. Work until the first item is completed before moving to the second task.
  4. Approach the rest of the list the same way. Continue moving unfinished tasks to the next day’s list.
  5. Repeat daily.

The Takeaway

I know, I know. Some of you are saying, “I literally have 85 things to do every day.” I get it. Being a small business owner, or a blogger, or a parent, means you wear a lot of different hats. But this method really does work. Has been working for nearly a hundred years.

Why is it so effective? It helps you:

  • prioritize
  • focus
  • critically think about your tasks
  • cut out extraneous items from your day
  • have a ready-made structure for the next morning.

Plus, just because you’re focusing on six top items, doesn’t mean that you won’t have extra time in your day to take on even more. Once you’ve crossed off your “top six” by all means, keep going! But at the very least, you know the most crucial to-do items are getting done.

I designed this printable with the Ivy Lee Method in mind to keep myself focused. It’s simple and easy to use!  It has helped me immensely, and I hope it helps you too.