I promised you a review of 17hats, so here we go!
I started testing out 17hats around the middle of October. I went ahead and took the plunge and signed up for the full year subscription so I could really dive in and use it for all it’s worth.
Their features looked promising, and I was really expecting a lot out of this system that claimed to be an all-in-one solution.
After using the software for a couple weeks, I came to a final verdict and wanted to share my thoughts with you.
PRICE: $19/month if you sign up for the annual plan. They were running a special to get an entire year’s subscription for $137. Keep an eye out for another deal like this.
THE FINAL VERDICT:
Personally, 17Hats is a NO for me at the moment. They are missing some vital features in order for me to replace them with my current systems. Once they add the time tracking, ability to add clients to their projects and have discussions, they could be a serious contender for me.
If you’re not as particular about custom colors and don’t need to give your clients access to their projects, then this might be a good option for you. The fact that invoices, estimates, contracts + questionnaires are all in one spot is AWESOME.
I ended up requesting a refund, because they just aren’t quite where I need them to be yet. Once they get the time tracking feature added, they could start by replacing my Freshbooks and EchoSign account. I’ll be waiting patiently.
If you’re looking for more reviews on 17hats and a comparison review to a similar piece of software, check out Morgan’s review of 17hats and the Motiv App. She listed some really great points.
Have you tried 17hats yet? Have any additional pros or cons to add to the list for everyone considering using it? Tell me in the comments below!
And for good reason – I need the accountability. With not as much time to get things done and a good dose of “baby brain” (I swear it’s even worse than “pregnancy brain”), I’m all over the place and things have been hanging on my to-do list for quite a while now.
My goal lists are a nice mix of personal and business, because that’s just how my life is. A nice blend that I don’t want to separate at the moment.
But before we jump in, I wanted to let you guys know that I’m working with Laura from Paper & Honey on a new handwritten logo for the site. I’ve been eyeing her work for a while and finally reached out and asked if she could help a girl out. It should be debuting this month, and I can’t wait to show you the final design.
Okay, let’s get into the good stuff.
Start writing CrushWorthy so you guys can finally get your hands on it (My original plan was to launch it this month, but that’s obviously not going to happen. New plan = launch by March 2015. Ha!)
Edit Work With Me page to reflect new services This happened earlier today!!
Finish writing my Resources page and publish for ya’ll to benefit from (yes, I just said “ya’ll” and yes, I do live in the midwest)
Clean out Dropbox and organize folders (seriously, this is a disaster at the moment)
Update my blog editorial calendar
Batch write 2 weeks worth of posts and keep up with it (this one is SO hard for me. I’m a “write in the moment” kind of gal, but I need to get better at getting some things done ahead of time)
Start brainstorming a month-long challenge I’d like to host on the blog in the new year
Design 1 Brand Kit for the new design shop I’m opening in the new year (more info on this coming soon!)
Finish hanging the curtains in our living room
Decorate for Christmas (yes, you heard that right)
Figure out our daycare/nanny situation
Paint 1 room in the house
Order & send holiday cards (we get our holiday pics taken this weekend. eeek!)
Get the majority of Christmas shopping done (I know… reeaaallll specific, Amanda. I’m just not sure what to expect for my first holiday shopping season with a baby on board!)
Okay, I think that’s enough to conquer in one month, don’t you?
Photo above is from Shay Cochrane. Sign up to her newsletter and you’ll get a free monthly photo.
First, let’s talk about the importance of saying ‘no’.
When you’re first starting your business, I believe that saying ‘yes’ is how you build your business. However, once you get to a certain point — maybe you’re booked solid, you’re reaching your income goals each month, or whatever it may be that makes you feel like your business is killing it — you get the choice of saying ‘no’ to some clients or projects that don’t get you super excited.[Tweet “Every time you say ‘no’ to an uninspiring project, you’re making room for a ‘hell yes’ project.”]
If you fill your client roster with a bunch of clients you aren’t really excited to work with or aren’t paying you well, you’re not leaving any room for those clients and projects that make you love what you do AND pay you top dollar for it.
But then, you start to struggle with whether or not you should say ‘no’ and how to say it without burning any bridges. I know… the struggle is real, folks.
This question landed in my inbox from Amy F., a new email subscriber, so I figured I’d answer it for everyone. Just in case you’re going through the same thing right now.
I’ve put together 3 different situations where you may need to say ‘no’, and what to say in each situation.
It’s so great to hear from you again. Hope you’re doing well.
Unfortunately, I’m no longer offering (insert service they’re asking for).
I absolutely loved working with you, though, and would love to work with you again. Here’s how I can help you in the future:
Insert list of things you do now
Let me know if you need my help with any of the above. I’d love to whip up a quote for you.
Hope to hear from you soon!
It’s so great to hear from you again. Hope you’re doing well.
I would absolutely love to work with you again. Just so we’re both on the same page, I wanted to make sure you knew my updated rates. Attached is a 1 page pdf describing my services and new rates.
I absolutely loved working with you and hope we can work together again.
Let me know if you have any questions.
It’s so great to hear from you again. Hope you’re doing well.
Thanks for reaching back out to me to work together. Unfortunately, I’ve got a packed client roster at the moment, with no wiggle room for new clients.
I don’t want to leave you stranded, so I’ve rounded up 3 potential people that I know and love that may be able to help.
Person 1 (with link to their site/portfolio)
Person 2 (with link to their site/portfolio)
Person 3 (with link to their site/portfolio)
I hope you can find someone out of those 3 that can help.
Let me know if you have any questions.
Well, there you have it.
3 ways to say NO to past clients for a few reasons. Whatever the reason may be, just remember that you DON’T have to work with a client just because you have in the past. If they’re asking for something you don’t offer, not wanting to pay your new rates, or were a PITA client in the client before, politely decline their request and offer something in return.
What’s a sticky situation you’ve been in (or are in) and you weren’t sure how to respond? Or got another question for me? Send me an email or leave a comment below. These make the best blog posts.
Life these days is anything but typical, but I thought I’d share with you what a random day looks like for me. I’ve always found this really helpful when others shared, especially as you’re entering a new phase of life (i.e. with a new baby, with a new job, with a new business, etc), so I thought I’d share just in case it helps any of you.
I still try my hardest not to work on nights or weekends, but with very limited time during the day, it has to happen sometimes. This, however, is what a “typical” weekday looks like for me — juggling a business and a baby.
7:00 AM The little one usually wakes up around this time. I feed him and we venture out to the kitchen where my husband is getting ready to leave for work. I eat breakfast, have a cup of coffee and cuddle with Logan until he’s ready for his nap.
8:30 AM I feed him a little bit more and lay him down for a nap. Oh, the glorious morning nap! He usually sleeps anywhere from 2.5 – 4 hours. This is my biggest opportunity to get as much work done as possible. It’s a race against the clock, but it’s amazing how much you can accomplish when you have a set amount of time to get it all done. I try to make my weekly brain dump and daily to-do list at the beginning of the week so I know what I need to work on as soon as he falls asleep.
12:00 PM He usually wakes up around this time, so I feed him and we do a few activities around the house (tummy time, activity mat… you know, the usual ;)). I also take my shower during this stretch of awake time, or it’s likely I won’t get a shower that day until my husband comes home (the life, right?). For the first couple of months I was taking my shower during his morning nap until I realized how much precious time I was wasting on something that could just as easily be accomplished while he was awake. Just pop him in the bouncer and set him in the bathroom with me. Done deal. Next up is trying to squeeze my workout into this tiny frame of time.
2:00 PM He’ll usually go down for his next nap about 2-3 hours after he wakes up but this one isn’t consistent and doesn’t last nearly as long as the morning nap. I don’t plan on getting much done during this nap, because it’s so unpredictable. I finish up whatever is on my to-do list and clean up the house a bit.
3:30 PM Once he’s up from his afternoon nap, the work day is usually done for me. I feed him, and we wait patiently for daddy to get home at 5:30.
6:30 PM Once 6:30 hits, it’s a mad dash of chaos. Also know as – bedtime routine. Steven puts him to bed while I get dinner started. (I can’t even imagine what this looks like with two kids).
7:00 PM He is usually asleep anytime between 7 – 7:30. Dinner time for us while we catch up on awesome fall tv shows (Have you SEEN How to get away with murder?!?! Amazing! Also — Modern Family, New Girl, Scandal and DWTS).
9:00 PM We’re usually headed to bed around this time, stocking up on sleep for our middle-of-the-night wakeup call, aka – the night feeding.
And the day starts all over again.
Even with only a solid 4 hours total per day to work, I feel like I get just as much done on any given day as I did before. It’s exhausting
some most days, but I wouldn’t trade it for any other life.
The biggest problem I’ve faced so far is how to schedule calls with clients and consults. We haven’t found a babysitter yet, and haven’t decided if daycare is the route we want to take, so I’m kind of left relying on nap time to take these calls. With babies being so unpredictable, this scares me to rely so heavily on naps. So, if you’ve got any pointers, I’m all ears!!
There’s such a weird feeling when you’re writing to the people of the internet. You’re so influenced by what you think you’re supposed to be writing about (business, marketing, design, etc), but it’s your blog and you feel like you should be able to write about whatever you want. And that last part is what I struggle with.
Since we’ve introduced our little one into the world, I’ve felt this urge to share more about ME and my life, rather than just business tips and advice. I want to let you in behind the scenes and share more of what inspires me. I want to talk about everyday things I love. I want to talk more about the real life things and let you inside of my little world.
There are so many ‘business experts’ out there, and I feel that we need a new perspective in this circle of online creative women. Because if there’s one important thing I’ve learned over the past 3 years of running this business, it’s that people are inspired by other people. And the more they get to know that person, the more chances they have to feel inspired by them. I would absolutely LOVE to inspire you.
In the past, I feel that I may have tried to fit the mold of knowing what’s going on, but the truth is that I don’t (especially now that my world has flipped on it’s head with a baby on board). What I want you to know is that I’m still figuring everything out, just like you are. Once I figure out something that works for my business, I write blog posts and ebooks and online programs. I share it with you hoping that it might be able to help you, too. That’s how my business works. I’m walking the walk, right beside you, and sharing my lessons.
As I return from my amazing maternity leave (have you seen how cute this kid is??), expect to see more of a twist in postings. I’m not entirely sure how that will look, yet, so I don’t want to make any promises. I do know, however, that it’ll be a nice mix of life & business, just the way it should be.
So, that’s my rambling of feelings. And remember – we’re all in this together ❤
Today’s Creative Crush interview is with one of my favorite online ladies, Amber McCue.
I first talked to Amber last year when a mutual biz friend introduced us, we jumped on a mini mastermind sesh and the rest is history. Since then, I’ve hired her, she’s hired me and the circle of business just keeps going round and round.
Amber has been a vital part of my growth over the last year, thanks in huge part to the awesome person she is. Super caring and always up for a quick chat.
Alright, let’s jump in!
PS. Amber, along with Alison, will also be a featured guest expert in my upcoming program, CrushWorthy. Get excited!!
I’m a lover of business. Even more specifically, I love partnering with people who are doing business to help them be successful. I’m looking at you business owners and CEOs on the rise.
I’m a mother of three girls. I always knew I’d be a mom and I’ve actually been a mom for 15 years, but it took the third baby this fall to really make it real for me. I am a mom.
I didn’t realize it until I moved out East, but apparently mid-westerners have a reputation for working hard and being nice. I fit the bill on hard worker (sometimes teetering workaholic) and I work my darndest to take the high road and do all things the Nice way.
Three Boudoir, my first successful business, started 6 or 7 years ago as a part-time thing. I realized when I was building that business how much I actually loved the business side of things. About 3 years ago I started working with clients on how they could streamline and be more efficient in their business through my program How to Clone Yourself.
Hands down, the six years I spent at a management consulting firm set the stage. It was a large organization and I played in a small niche. It was an entrepreneurial role and I was able to have a lot of impact, I worked with great people who were smart and focused.
Wake up – Hang out with my girls. Enjoy breakfast and a little time outside.
Nanny arrives – Hand off girls, get ready, and get to work in my office. Typically with the door locked so they can’t sneak in. ;) I do come out for lunch, water, and bathroom breaks.
Problem solving clients – One of my favorite things to do is serve and support my clients. I love problem solving with them and I spend a good bit of every day engaging with my clients to make sure their businesses are moving forward too.
Create – I also create something most days — Something I am writing, an idea I am working through, a client project I am delivering on, whatever.
Wrap up at 4pm – I’m testing something new this year. I’m wrapping up my work days at 4pm on Tuesday and Thursday. There’s something called the Pareto Principal that says you’ll use as much time as you have to get something done. I’m going to see if I can get just as much done in less time.
Then it’s back to family time – Playing at the park or working on a project around the house. After the kids go to sleep, my husband and I might sneak a movie in or we might do a little work or read independently. We are pretty flexible on how the rest of the night goes down. Unless it is the weekend – my husband likes to stay up late and I’m not against going to bed early. Even if it is the weekend!
One of my clients instituted a Fearless Friday activity in our program Freshly Implemented. I don’t let my clients face their fears alone so I joined in the Fearless Friday fun. I was on the hunt for a new mentor at the time and had my eye on the author of a book I read. I reached out to him as a part of this Fearless Friday challenge and we are now connected. Boy has it paid off! Just one conversation in and I had so many ah-has.
Are there ever! One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is to get out there and test things faster. Implement faster so I can put “it” out there and get a reaction! Even if the reaction is “crickets.” That’s something! If I put something out there, listen to the market reaction, and hear crickets, I now know I need to reset. Without that feedback, it is all a hypothesis.
My fears evolve and change as I grow as a person and as a business owner. For a while, I was nervous about sounding like a used car salesman. I love and respect what used car salesman do – I’d actually like to try it myself some day! So it was less about the used car salesman and more about the stereotypes – I didn’t want to come across as sleazy, pushy, or aggressive.
When I turned that statement around and got clarity around what I did and who I serve, everything changed. Instead of my limiting “I am a used car salesman” story, I started telling myself a true story:
I am a small business and entrepreneurial consultant who partners with small business CEOs who are on the rise so that they can build a successful, results oriented, and more profitable business.
Two things happened when I did this:
The focus shifted from “my” business to “your” business.
A new round of Freshly Implemented – very fun!! Freshly Implemented is an online mastermind experience that turns the program model on it’s side. Part one-on-one, part training, part mastermind, part gift service — kidding on the gift service. But we do give out Nice Swag to all of our mastermind members every month if they rock their goals! The program is all about growing, streamlining, and getting efficient in your business. It’s highly personal.
We have a video workshop series up at www.freshlyimplemented.com where you can test your CEO mindset, assess where you need to focus in your business to streamline and get efficient, and where you can discover how to get as much done in a day as you do in a week!
Hope you enjoyed that interview. If you want to connect with her, head over to Twitter and say HI!