Let's talk about money, y'all

 

Have you ever struggled with what to pay yourself?

This has been a constant battle for me since I started my business. I had heard all of the stories that most businesses weren't profitable in their first few months or even for a couple of years. So I didn't mind not taking a salary because I felt the tax benefits were LIKE getting paid and I invested every dollar I made into building my company.

HOWEVER, I recently began taking a harder look at what it would take for me to quit teaching and work for myself full-time. There's a lot of early mornings, late nights, and low energy days when it comes to my family and I want to fix that ASAP.

Here's a couple of problems with this approach that I wished I had fixed sooner:

1. My pay should have been included in my expenses. Period.

2. My pricing should include my pay. Period.

There are a couple of books that address this, and one that I recommend is Profit First. But because I sell a variety of items at a variety of price points, it was...

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If Albert Einstein had an Instagram Account

Can you imagine the emojis and the perfect picture to go with this caption:

"It is strange to be known so universally and yet to be so lonely." - Albert Einstein

I wrote about feeling lonely on Friday on my Instagram page, and I thought you might like to read my thoughts here if you missed it. I am 100% confident that you might feel the same way.

Loneliness as you innovate and build something new is not a new phenomenon. (See Al's quote above!)

Do you ever feel lonely?

Not because of the virus - and not because you are PHYSICALLY alone. But because you feel like no one understands why you work so hard for so little. And maybe sometimes you wonder the same thing, if it’s all worth it?

I know that feeling. And if your work, your side hustle, your labor of love brings you tremendous joy and hope, then I want to encourage you to keep going.

How? Well, try these 3 actions I took that made all of the difference in the world to help me push through the times I felt stuck:

1. Find your...

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The four content filters you need for developing content

Hi there, my friend! I think about you all of the time - and it's mainly because I think we have a lot in common. I'm constantly considering new ideas and testing strategies that I then think, wow, you could probably benefit from this, too!

Here's what I've got for you today: I dropped a sign off yesterday to my friend Andi, a realtor, and I asked her how her social media was going. I offered to help - and she laughed and said she could use all the help she could get because she didn't know what to post.

I think you and I are a few steps ahead of Andi if you've downloaded my branded captions worksheet - and familiarized yourself with the concept of "content categories" or "content buckets" I explained that concept to her and then I realized, there are also four "CONTENT FILTERS" that you can use to determine what to post.

The four filters are: Like, Know, Trust, and Sell.

Here's the brief breakdown:

1. Like

Whatever content category you are focusing on...

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Beating loneliness as a business owner

In the beginning years of my business, I was afraid to reach out to other business owners, particularly in my niche. Mainly because I was afraid there weren't enough customers for both of us or my competitor would steal my ideas.

I had felt this feeling of fear and distrust before - when I started coaching high school volleyball. I assumed that every time my team stepped on the court, we would be united against the common enemy: whoever we were playing.

It didn't take long for me to realize that the enemy lived among us (infighting, jealousy, parental interference, etc.) and there was always one other person in the gym who knew exactly what I was facing: the opposing team's coach.

I was so fortunate that a veteran coach took me under her wing and became a friend. And she was the first of many. I looked forward to coach meetings more and more every year because they became my support system. And even though I don't coach anymore, I apply these concepts to business.

...

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ICYMI: This is our MOMENT

If you don't follow me on Instagram, I wanted to make sure I shared this message of hope and purpose with you:

When this is all over, what do you want to say about yourself? How will you lead your family, your company, and your mind through these challenges?

Consider this: whether or not you have fear of any kind doesn’t change the fact that we are all being afforded a little extra time to allow our ingenuities to reveal themselves.

For instance: did you hear about the guys in Italy that created life saving medical parts? Of course, their $2-$3 replacements of the $10,000 part could now make them the target of a lawsuit but wow, what a way to make the news!!!

Maybe you’re not going to create a life-saving medical part replacement BUT there are innovations within your business awaiting discovery by you.

Most entrepreneurs, by nature, are problem-solvers. That’s how most of us stay in business.

So tell me: what’s your business and what problem(s) do...

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How to Let Your Intuition Guide You in Business

What role does intuition, the formal name for "gut instinct," play in your business?

Although I do not believe I should be driven ONLY by my feelings, I do believe that following my gut instinct is a solid strategy. Why? Because to be successful in business requires one main skill: the ability to figure out solutions and solve problems. We must innovate and build upon our ideas.

As we develop a solution for our clients, and proactively continue to do so, more opportunities to do the same will offer themselves up to us. In the book, "Big Magic," Elizabeth Gilbert talks about the gift of inspiration - and the dangers of ignoring it, as that inspiration might move on to inspire someone else.

I will give you a quick illustration from my own experience: when I started making collages, I purchased the letters from a local craft store. It wasn't long before I thought, wouldn't it be great if I could make these myself? And then I could make ANYTHING - and sell it to others, too! Any...

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How Often Should I Post on Social Media?

I think this is question we have all asked ourselves. I'd like to share why I choose to post only Monday-Friday on Facebook and Instagram.

When I first started posting on social media, I posted pictures of my collages three times a day. It was a fairly effective strategy but it was STRESSFUL and I made myself feel bad when I didn't post as much. 

About a year ago, I joined a social media group that helped me understand how to connect better on a personal level. I started posting 1x/day, 7 days a week.

That, too, was stressful and took me away from the main part of my business: making collages. 

After partnering up with an acquaintance from my social media group, we tracked our "analytics" (aka profile visits, very simple) from IG for a few weeks. What I found: traffic dropped drastically on the weekend.

What I decided: if everyone else is out living their best life on the weekend, I should be, too!!

My branded captions strategy has played a big role in WHAT I post on...

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Two Reasons to Raise Your Prices Immediately

I'm a teacher first, not a business person. I'm also more into language arts than math but even I could tell something was wrong with my bank account.

My sales continued to double. My revenues were up like crazy on every platform I sell - but my bank account remained the same. It's like the money was dissolving into the digital universe!

What I realized felt like a punch in the gut: I was not profitable. Every sale that came in barely covered the expense to make the item and ship it. I had been working essentially for free since, well - the beginning of my business.

To put it even more bluntly, at my current prices, I could sell ZERO wooden cutouts in 2020 and possible show a greater profit at the end of the year. OUCH!!!

Just thinking about it makes me cringe. It was a finally a no-brainer to raise my prices.

So, because i love sharing my failures and my successes with you, I want to share the TWO revelations I've had when it comes to raising prices.

The first sign:

You get so busy...

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What if YOU are the Shiny Object?

If you are anything like me, you live in a constant state of consumption. Podcasts, webinars, Instagram. 

There are lots of good ideas out there.

But I want to remind you of another person with GREAT ideas: YOU.

Yes, you, friend. YOU created your business. YOU nurture it and the clients you serve. YOU have everything inside of you to build your dream to its fullest potential.

I'd love to know what you do. And why it helps other people!

So tell me all about the shiny object you have built, friend. It's time to double down on what you've created!

Have an awesome week!
Crystal

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Shipping Tips for Etsy Sellers

Before we get started, one bonus PRO TIP: When you begin shipping items online, make sure you doublecheck your platform for shipping options. PayPal, Etsy, and Amazon all offer bulk rates if you use their platform.
 

Here are 5 shipping tips for Etsy sellers to help you understand how to sell on Etsy and how to start an Etsy shop that is ready to start shipping!

 

1. How big is the item I’m shipping?

This is important to know because when you purchase a shipping box, you’ll usually want at least an inch on each side to keep your items safe. UPS recommends up to 2 inches around your item. I step 2, you’ll determine what packing items you need to keep the item safe, and packaging materials can add up quickly - due to both materials and higher costs associated with “dimensional weight”! Don’t pay extra to ship AIR or unneeded shipping materials!
If your item is large, over 15 inches in length, width, or depth, consider using Fed...
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