Making this year different; encouragement and more

Sometimes the best way for me to focus on goals, no matter what time of year, is to recap what I’ve already accomplished. I’m doing just that with this post. My goal is to encourage others during career changes, starting a side business, full time business, or simply in day to day life…sharing my experience and ‘two cents’ with others to encourage and inspire.

As I mentioned, I’m not the ideal resolution maker, but the New Year is a great excuse to reflect on the past months and focus on goals for the upcoming months. I appreciate the feedback I have received this past year so very much! THANK YOU for reading and following my blog. Thank you for contacting me, sharing your support and tips; I appreciate you all! You are all certainly helping me focus and I hope I can return that inspiration! Here’s to a New Year, new energy, great health, organized focus and goal success.

If you are interested in starting your own business or side job please read through my posts for ideas, marketing tips, and more! I’ve recapped my BIPs (Business Idea Prompts) below. I will be adding more very soon! What is a BIP? Visit my intro page here

The first BIP – Love canning (as in food canning)? Want to make it a side job/extra income opportunity? You can! Click on the BIP link to see how!

Teach your talent – Most likely someone else wants to learn about a skill or talent you have; knitting, painting, paper making, welding art, gardening, gift basket arrangement, dancing, writing, foreign language, computer program training, poetry writing, jewelry making, etc. there is a countless number of talents needing to be shared in the world! So, why not teach yours?

Love finding a bargain and reselling it? Purchase and sell bargain items as a ‘yard/garage sale professional’. Items to sell can be found by attending auctions, sales, and consignment or thrift stores then reselling the items for a profit, but instead of just a one-time summer event, it can be done every weekend or a few times a month.

Enjoy events, having fun, and have a talent for entertaining? There is a growing demand for entertainment at children’s parties, family gatherings, and other events. Party planning can be costly and time consuming to start up, but focusing on entertaining alone, can be a very profitable business and fun.

Have a talent for organizing, love to run errands, or are you detailed oriented? Side jobs and full or part time businesses rely on finding customers willing to pay for their service(s). A major need, any time of year, is finding time for errands, chores, and other time demanding tasks while still balancing a regular life routine.

If you don’t find any of those BIPs an option and you are open to learning a new skill or enhancing an existing hobby/skill check out tutorial ideas and suggested learning here

Thank you again for reading and let me know if you have any questions, tips or ideas to share!

Have a great week!!!!

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A new year…a new reason

I’m not one to make resolutions; I constantly want to improve all year through. I get distracted though, even lazy at times. Staying focused and motivated can be difficult can’t it?

I appreciate each new year and the opportunities it brings with it. Months pass quickly, but each year’s end is a new reason to focus. Something I acknowledge as a daily battle. I have so many interests, so many ideas, so many bucket list items…And they use to be just that….list items. Sometimes the lists would stay the same; nothing would be marked off. I lacked focus. After seeing year end lists that looked similar or even the same as the past year, I decided to focus on doing, not just dreaming or listing.

I personally think in categories. It’s easier for me to categorize my thoughts, my goals, my lists. Below is a sample of how I focus more and actually complete goals. I encourage you to achieve more this year, use this year ending and a new beginning as a reason to focus, a reason to conquer at least one goal you have moved from one list to another, and a reason to enhance the already amazing soul you are.

Please share your tips for staying focused below or email me! successencourager@gmail.com

  • Be real. In the past I have set goals such as read 100 books this year…. Realistically, 52 would be a better personal goal. Boundaries are meant to be pushed, but in a realistic way!
  • Set your pace. I have to limit my goal setting or I get overwhelmed. Whether setting one goal or 10 or even 100, know your own pace and what you can truly focus on
  • Say it out loud. Simple as that…say it…share it…Write it down
  • What is your passion? You need to be interested and excited about your goal
  • Define your category. Are your goals health focused, relationship focused, career focused, self-improvement focused, etc.? Do you have a goal for each category?
  • Find your tools. What tools or resources do you need to set your goal(s) in  motion?
  • Time. Do you need time daily, weekly, monthly or need to set a new schedule?
  • Milestones. Can you break the goal into smaller goals and celebrate each milestone?
  • Alone or with a tribe? Can you do this alone, with a friend or need an entire group for support?
  • Don’t be discouraged. Even baby steps toward a goal are accomplishments!

There are the basics. And here is an example of how I put those to work when goal setting.

  • My goal – As typical as it may sound, I want to lose a few pounds. A goal that has been put aside due to surgery and lack of motivation. By summer I want to lose 25 pounds. There I shared it! I will write it down and keep it on my vision board to see daily.
  • I’m being real, I have a few other goals to accomplish, but this is for my health and number one. Accomplishing this goal will allow me to accomplish others.
  • I’m passionate about feeling better and losing weight so I can do more with my young nephew, my family and of course my husband.
  • I have access to a small gym. My husband and I are focusing on diet changes as well.
  • I need to set a goal of at least 3 to 5 days a week for 30 minutes a day. I’ll start with walking and maybe the stationary bicycle
  • I will track my milestones and celebrate them!
  • My tribe is my husband who is focusing on his health as well.
  • I will not be discouraged. I can do this…

What opportunity will this new year provide you?

Happy New Year! Happy new goal setting…Happy new reason for improving you. 🙂

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Entrepreneurship -for individuals

Hello! I hope you have been enjoying the BIP posts. I have more prompts to come, but I wanted to share my experience and opinions about entrepreneurship for individuals; it’s not just tech start-ups or needing investors to get started. I truly believe in dreaming big and encouraging everyone to do the same. I believe in starting with the skills, experience and resources you already have and growing from there! A friend and I have a saying, “I may not feel 100% or have it figured out 100%, but I’m certainly not 0%!” I encourage everyone to start…simply start. Make time to dream and plan….period.

First, let’s define entrepreneurship. Wikipedia defines it as “has traditionally been defined as the process of designing, launching and running a new business, which typically begins as a small business, such as a start-up company, offering a product, process or service for sale or hire.” So even if you are offering computer repair, house cleaning, landscaping, child care, writing services, web design, handmade items at local farmer’s markets, car maintenance, or any of a number of other services or products you are an entrepreneur!

I believe anyone focused on sharing their skills and talents, full-time, part-time, or whenever they have time, is an entrepreneur! This title begins with thought. Whether you are thinking of starting your own full or part time business, expanding an existing business, interested in side gigs, or advancing from your current position at a particular organization or company you have an entrepreneur spirit it starts with a single thought.

So, what is the basic process to turn thought into action? Once you have focus and define what you want to do (some were born knowing, others like me, have several interests and need to narrow it down or some find it difficult to even know where to begin) you start to take action. I recently wrote about focusing on your interests; defining possible side gig opportunities that fit your interests. You can read that here.

Something that always works for me is to write down my focus. Once I see it in writing it helps me work through the steps needed to accomplish it or adjust the idea, etc.  I sometimes get ahead of myself and writing it out keeps me focused and grounded. It helps me realize whatever venture I’m exploring has huge potential, but I need to start with step 1, not 100! For example if I want to expand my photography hobby and offer small event and senior photos as a side gig on the weekends there are obvious first steps that need completed before I go rent a huge studio space, contact a publisher for a coffee table book deal, or buy thousands of dollars worth of equipment. I need a plan first…I need a focus…I need clients!

I made my list and actually had a very successful part time photography business for about a year until I found a more time demanding job and decided to stop. I photographed families, high school students, corporate golf events, pet photos, a local small band, and even a few shoots for dating profile photos. I decided on photography, because of my love for taking nature photographs. When I started brainstorming about side gigs I decided to focus on what I had to help me define my focus. I already had a nice digital camera, I enjoyed photography, I love being around people, etc. Next step was my action list, which I’ve shared a general recap below:

  • Create a web page (I used the free service through Shutterfly to display samples of my photography and create online galleries for clients)
  • Come up with a business email (another free action item, I used gmail)
  • Advertise and find business/clients; business cards, flyers, I reached out to companies for corporate events, word of mouth, browsed ‘want ads’ online, posted cards and flyers at laundry mats, libraries, community boards, online, etc.
  • Set fees and define what is included (I researched the average hourly rate and cut it almost in half because I was not a professional full time photographer and I wanted to use this opportunity to enhance my photography skills as well as provide an affordable alternative.)
  • Research tips for family and senior photos and offer those on my site and when discussing details with clients (I read a lot about family and corporate photography to enhance my knowledge and help clients decide not only on settings and poses, but also on package options, professional photography terms {to ensure clients I was at least semi-professional}. I also practiced shots with lighting, angles etc. to gain skills and experience.)
  • Set up a payment method. I accepted checks, cash and PayPal payments
  • File system and organize jobs. I had a ledger with names, packages, dates, costs, and notes to help me track everything. I also kept electronic files for tax purposes, keeping record of payments received and mileage with other items I needed for taxes
  • Offer incentives. I offered all clients incentives for repeat business or referring friends, either a discount on their next purchase/photo shoot or a gift card if they didn’t have any other photography needs (a $5 to $10 Starbucks or other gift card)

That was my general list and action items. It was low investment, I didn’t get rich, but I made extra money and had a blast doing it! And I kept an open mind about expanding. For example the pet photography came about due to a request. I had never even thought of pet photography. That is something I’d enjoy starting up again! I even kept making time for photography trees, skylines, etc. and made photo cards as gifts out of those and through word of mouth I was able to sell some for a small profit!

Are you an entrepreneur? Do you have an entrepreneur spirit? Do you have tips to share or questions? Please comment below or email me at successencourager@gmail.com

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Self-Empowerment

Empowerment simply means to enable or permit. Recognizing and developing your skill-set (both personally and professionally) is self-empowerment; permitting yourself to acknowledge your hard work. This will allow you to set more realistic goals, build confidence and focus. This also requires some change.

Change? Yes, change. Change is good and exciting (and a bit scary, right?). Empowering yourself might require you to change your thought process, think about your future goals, and to focus on your strengths and weaknesses and thinking more positively about them. As fast paced as personal and professional lives can be, it’s important to take a moment to breath once in a while, clear your mind and focus; allow yourself to create goals.

Sure…clear my mind…you say…no problem! So, it’s easier said than done, right? Let’s work together and break it down as most of us can be overwhelmed with work or trying to find a job, changing careers, starting a business, taking care of a family, friends, coworkers, dealing with health problems, or any other one hundred and one stresses that life can toss your way (separately or all at once!).

  • First and foremost find the time. You have to find the time to define your focus; whether it’s 30 minutes, an hour, a day, a weekend.
  • Focus and define. Get a pen and paper or note-taking app (whatever you prefer and have access to frequently to update, etc.) and start writing/typing out your focus. Do you want to focus on your career, business, family, relationships, writing, finishing a degree or starting classes, health? Maybe you want to focus on all of these…but for now choose the top one to three areas that you most want to focus on today. Don’t get overwhelmed, it’s not a test, it’s a start to your empowerment!
  • Next to your goal(s) write a once sentence mission type statement. Sum up why the list is important to you right now and a simple plan to make it/them a priority. Ask yourself how this goal(s) will lead to you accomplishing others and/or the larger picture goals? Examples – will starting a business allow you to have more time with your family? Would focusing on your health allow you to focus more on your education and attend courses? Can you combine goals? For example – If you want to focus on meditating daily this could help your health and lower stress levels, help you focus better at work, etc. to accomplish this you could get up 30 minutes earlier, use part of a lunch hour or pick a time before bed.
  • Keep your written goals visible, look at them periodically, update them, use a calendar to write notes and track your progress. Don’t get discouraged if you realize another goal is priority, simply shift to that goal and start the process of focusing on that new goal; write your mission statement, etc. Create a vision board or journal if this helps you focus. Only you know what works for you personally.
  • Create a realistic timeline/schedule. Don’t stress on timelines, but set a general time-frame goal. If setting a certain time daily works for you, then schedule it. Is this part of a year plan, five year plan, etc.? Do you want this to be part of your lifestyle forever or just until you accomplish said goal or is it assisting you with another goal?
  • Use this exercise to self-guide yourself; focus and expand your knowledge in the areas of your goals. Mainly, realize what it is that you want and put thoughts into actions and empower yourself to accomplish what is most important to you!

Self-guiding is the most personal way for you to focus on your particular goals. You can research information related to you and your path, personalizing your plan. This creates a higher success rate and allows you to be in complete control. It is fine to balance general guidelines with your own process. Explore what works best for you. There are webinars, books, community courses, mentors, videos, and other resources available for free through libraries, online, educational institutions, conferences, local groups, and more that can help you learn more about your main focus. Of course there are traditional course studies as well. Again, it’s just about finding your balance and what works for YOU.

Remember, you can balance personal and professional empowerment with the tips listed above. It’s time to focus on you, your goals and empowering yourself to recognize and complete steps needed for your amazing future!

Have additional tips? Share them! Have questions? Ask them!

Thank you so much for reading!

SetAndReachGoals