11.21.2014

Happy Friday + Weekly Links

This week flew by! I got our Christmas decorations up + we are headed out for date night tomorrow (didn’t get to go last week due to sickness. blah!). I also interviewed a new babysitter, and I think she may be the one. Yay! Lots of things to cross off my November goals list.

And on to this week’s links…

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Have you heard of the Conquer Summit before? Natalie from She Takes on the World hosts this 9-week online course and right now it’s FREE. Like 100% totally free. It’s been running since the beginning of October, but if you sign up today you can get access to all of the past sessions.

“You’re never going to lose business by giving away things for free.” A great podcast episode with Allie and David, the master minds behind Death to Stock Photo.

Thinking about rebranding but scared to death of how to handle the tech side of things? That Super Girl (aka Nikole) has got you covered! She breaks down the most common questions clients have about rebranding into DFY (done-for-you) and DIY (do-it-yourself) options.

Have some PITA clients who won’t pay their invoice? First, Just Tell Julie. She’ll handle it for you. Then, drop them once you get them to pay and note why they aren’t your ideal customer so you can spot the red flag next time.

A yummy idea for client holiday gifts. I know I would LOVE to get this in the mail (hint, hint).

Some fun ideas for client holiday gifts: for the lettering lover, the yogithe happy-go-lucky fashionista + the idea maker (<< love this one). All wrapped up in a pretty package and delivered right to their door. A sweet biz friend was nice enough to gift us with a Sesame gift for little Logan and it was so much fun just opening!

Oh, and you could buy anything off of this site for your clients and they would love it. Warning: this site is bad for productivity and you will lose hours upon hours searching through all the cute products.

And last, but not least. Somebody please make this and send it to me. Pretty please. There is seriously nothing better than hot soup on these super cold days.

I hope you have an awesome weekend + stay warm!

Oh, and before I forget – I am now booking new clients for full rebrands starting in January. If you’re ready for a new look to support those big 2015 goals you have, let’s connect.

Happy Friday,

POSTED IN: Weekly Links
11.18.2014

Review : 17hats

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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.

PROS:

  1. Everything in one place – Invoices, estimates, contracts, client details and client projects all in one spot can be really useful.
  2. Price – Much cheaper than the combo of my other software (Freshbooks, Echosign, Basecamp, Bidsketch, Outright).
  3. Timely – They are super quick to respond to support questions.
  4. In beta + constantly thinking about what to add next – They seem to be very on top of adding new features and getting feedback from current users. I was able to provide feedback and suggestions for their new time tracking app.

CONS:

  1. No ability to assign to-do’s – This one should be an obvious and easy fix.
  2. No client access – One of the main reasons I pay for Basecamp is so that my clients can login to their projects and see all outstanding to-do’s, view files and discuss revisions. If I can’t give my clients access to their project in 17hats, then it’s pretty much useless for project management.
  3. No ability to have discussions within projects or share files – Since you can’t add any additional users or your clients, the ability to have discussions within projects doesn’t exist. This is one of the biggest uses of Basecamp for me, to keep all discussions within a client’s project, rather than in my inbox, especially when discussing a particular file – like a design mockup.
  4. No ability to add custom colors or backgrounds – As a designer, it looks a little amateur sending clients to a invoice, contract or questionnaire with an off-brand background color.
  5. 17hats branding on all paid plans – I think that if I’m paying a yearly subscription for something that I should have the option to remove their branding. And if I choose to keep their branding, I should get some sort of referral credit when people sign up from my link.
  6. The script font – I hate the Jenna Sue font. It’s overused + it looks cheap. They just need to get rid of it and go with a premium font. I know, silly con, but that alone would make me not want to log in everyday. #fontsnob
  7. Glitches – I was creating a contract within a client’s project, clicked “save as template” and once I had saved everything I couldn’t find the contract template, which meant I had to recreate from the beginning. The text editor is also very glitchy – you’ll notice that certain lines disappear until you scroll down, and small things like that.

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!

Photo from Shay Cochrane

POSTED IN: Reviews
11.14.2014

Happy Friday + Weekly Links

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Happy… umm, November? No, that can’t be right. Let me check my calendar. Yep, 2 weeks into November already!

I’m pretty sure I say this each week, but seriously… where has the time gone? How are we already half way through November? There are exactly 40 more sleeps till Christmas. Scary! But that also means I’m not totally looney tunes for putting the tree up the other day. Don’t worry… I haven’t even put the ornaments on yet. Baby steps.

Oh, and I’ll admit that I did watch a couple Christmas movies this week, but you can blame that on HBO for airing them. I’m weak.

And you’re probably wondering what happened to last week’s links. Yea, about that.

Well… I got really sick, thought I had the flu, freaked out because Logan hasn’t had his flu shot yet, went to immediate care so I could wear a horrid face mask and they could stick a cotton swab up my nose only to tell me that I don’t have the flu, and then spent the next 5 days in bed with a fever of 102, chills like nobody’s business and hot flashes that made me feel like I was going through menopause at the ripe age of 25. Not. Fun.

In other news, my in-law’s are headed into town this weekend so the hubby and I can enjoy a date night. Seriously so thankful for them, because we desperately need date nights these days. That alone lights a fire under my ass to finally find a babysitter in this area.

But enough about that, let’s get to the good stuff…

Looking for a new 2015 planner? The Day Designer and The Simplified Planner are at the top of my list this year. I used The Day Designer last year, but now that I’m on a weird schedule I find myself not using the daily pages as much, and that seems like a waste. So instead, I’m thinking about either trying out the Mini Day Designer (because it’s undated, so I can use when I want without feeling like I’m left with a lot of unused space at the end of the year) or the Weekly Simplified Planner (because I don’t need the large daily pages the regular Day Designer offers with this funky schedule I’ve got going, so the smaller daily sections on two pages will be sufficient to fit all my tasks in). But… this limited edition collab cover design is melting me. So, I might just end up with the full planner again. Design does matter, friends.

I canceled my ScheduleOnce account and signed up for a Calendly account. My top three favorite features, you ask? Here you go: 1) It’s got a clean interface (meaning it’s really pretty), 2) you can remove the Calendly branding (meaning it looks even more pro and 3) It’s only $8/mo. when you pay annually ($11/mo. cheaper than what I was paying for something that practically does the same thing). It’s everything you need if you’re looking for an easy and efficient (and pretty) way to schedule calls with clients.

I’ve been devouring all of Tiffany’s podcast episodes lately. I resonated a lot with this one where she talks with Caroline about how much one evolves in their business, and how you need to just let it happen.

One of my long-time clients and friends, Kate from Betty Means Business, just launched her brand new shiny website this week. It’s been over 5 months in the making and we’re not even done yet! More coming soon, but in the meantime, go check it out :)

Looking for a sweet Christmas gift for a new mom? These necklaces are adorable, and super affordable with the GMA deal. I just ordered one for myself and added on a birthstone charm.

For my fellow web designers and developers : this should waste 30 minutes of your life. Can you relate?

Okay, something useful : Ready to finally host that webinar you’ve been putting off (no, of course I’m not talking to myselffff)? Val’s got 3 tips to make sure you’re delivering excellent customer service before, during + after the webinar.

I hope you guys have an awesome weekend (and may it not be snowing where you are, because it most certainly will be here!).

To finishing Friday strong and then curling up with some hot chocolate to catch up on #htgawm,

Amanda

PS. I’ve got 1 spot open for a new In-House Designer client in January. Time to stop fighting with Photoshop and hand off those design tasks to someone who can create something you’re proud to show off. Get in touch to snag the last spot.

POSTED IN: Weekly Links
11.05.2014

November 2014 Goals

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GOALS ARE BACK!

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.

NOVEMBER GOALS

BUSINESS

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!!

Launch Mentor Mini Sessions (and complete first group of them). Sign up here if you want to be on the list that gets first dibs at the limited spots each month.

Sign on 2 new In-House Designer retainer clients for January 2015 (anybody looking for someone to help with ongoing design work? Shoot me an email!)

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!)

PERSONAL

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?

Got a special goal you’re working on this month? Tell me in the comments so we can cheer each other on!

Photo above is from Shay Cochrane. Sign up to her newsletter and you’ll get a free monthly photo. 

Cheers,

POSTED IN: Monthly Goals
10.31.2014

Happy (Halloween) Friday + Weekly Links

Friday’s here! Halloween’s here! So much to celebrate – the weekend AND candy. Two of my favorite things.

We’re doing a fun theme this year now that there are three humans in the family (I’m still trying to figure out how to work the dog into this theme). Make sure you’re following me on Instagram if you want to see what we end up doing.

Okay, on to today’s fun finds around the internet. There were so many good ones, so I didn’t even limit myself. Happy perusing!

Two of my favorite kid brands have joined forces to create some freaking adorable clothes. Sadly, they don’t have any baby clothes, but I think I might stock up on some toddler clothes.

Finally, a “polite” popup that can help you multiply your email list in no time. I’ve loved everything Nathalie Lussier has created, so it was a no-brainer when I found out she had created an email list popup tool. Is it me or are all the other options out there just really unattractive? I’m trying it out now, and you can see it in play right below this post and in the sidebar. The real winner for me was the ability to easily use my own custom fonts.

Please tell me I’m not the only one who didn’t know software to organize your fonts and sync them across all your devices existed. Life. Saver. I’m testing out Suitcase Fusion’s free 30-day trial now.

These are currently my favorite candles (besides the ever-so-popular Bath and Body Works candles). The Vanilla Maple and Salted Caramel ones smell amaaaazing. I just try their mini masons so I can always be switching out the scents around our house.

A few of my favorite lady biz owners have teamed up to give you a bunch of Halloween treats for your business. And they’re all FREE (both calories and dollar bills)!

Let’s hope this little trick actually works, because I’m always down for a deeper sleep.

You know how you spend all this time writing an awesome blog post, only to feel like maybe five people have seen it (including your mom)?? Yea, that’s no good. This is the best breakdown I’ve seen on how to share your blog post with the world. I’ll definitely be adding this to my own blog post sharing process, stat!

Do you ever feel guilty about not always loving your business? Here’s a post that will make you feel a little more human about the fact that you won’t always be “doing what you love.”

 

Hope everyone has an awesome Halloween + weekend.

POSTED IN: Weekly Links
10.29.2014

3 scripts for dealing with past clients

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Photo source :: I’ve been eyeing this mug for a while.

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.

Amy asked:

One issue I struggle with is how to say ‘no’ to people whose requests don’t fit with what I do. Some of them might even be past clients. For example, I struggle with whether I should do their cheap spring break trip (I tend to focus more on destinations more far afield, such as Europe, South America, Australia) just because I’ve previously planned their custom 10 year anniversary trip to Italy. It feels mean, or like I’m not taking care of my past clients…. Suggestions?

I’ve put together 3 different situations where you may need to say ‘no’, and what to say in each situation.

Script #1 :: To past clients asking for a service you no longer offer:

Hi (name),

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!

(your signature)

Script #2 :: To past clients asking for a service at a price you no longer offer:

Hi (name),

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.

Talk soon,

(your signature)

Script #3 :: To past clients you no longer wish to work with (for various reasons):

Hi (name),

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.

Talk soon,

(your signature)

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.

TELL ME

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.

POSTED IN: Business, Clients
10.24.2014

Happy Friday + Weekly Links

Ah Friday, we meet again! There’s nothing like the feeling of a Friday, the beginning of a weekend and a little time off. Hopefully you’ve got something fun planned. My Dad and family are headed here for a visit and I’m hoping to make it to the apple orchard for the last time this season to stock up on cider donuts and hot apple cider. Yum!

Next week, our little guy is 3 months old. Craziness! I have no idea where the past 3 months have gone, but I’m really excited. He’s started to resemble more of a little human lately. You know… being able to hold his head up and all. It makes a huge difference! Oh, and did I mention the sleep? He’s been a champ in that arena lately, and we’re hoping it keeps up (although, we are NOT looking forward to the 4-month sleep regression we hear so much about). Oh, babies…

And on to a few fun things I found around the internet this week!

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Creating a capsule wardrobe completely terrifies me and makes me excited, all at once. The idea of walking into my closet and not feeling overwhelmed with what to wear (especially with my post-baby body and a ton of clothes that don’t quite fit right anymore) makes my heart so happy. But getting rid of something that maybe I’ll wear eventually… freaks me out. Not gonna lie. Listen to Jess Lively talk with Caroline about creating a capsule wardrobe.

Solly Baby is hosting an awesome giveaway. This was one of our best baby purchases to-date, and the thought of traveling around the world with my man and my baby using these wraps makes my heart happy. You can enter the giveaway here (but if you win, you have to promise to send me a little souvenir from your trip).

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Shaylyn Nelson finally opened her watercolor print shop and I’m wanting… oh, just about all of them! I want this one for our bathroom and this one for our bedroom and this one for Logan’s room and this one for my office.

I mentioned on Facebook that I was going to be testing out 17Hats. Guys… it’s awesome so far. I didn’t realize all of the different things you can do with it — estimate, invoicing, send contracts, send questionnaires. Even pull in emails from your regular inbox to specific projects, with a specific email address. It simplifies the entire customer experience and keeps everything in one place. I took the plunge and purchased the full year subscription. It’s only $149/year, and when you total up all of the costs for the other software you’re using (Freshbook, Echosign, Basecamp, etc), it’s totally worth it. I’m not 100% yet if it will replace Basecamp, but my hope is that it will!

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I’m dying to make these soon. I think I’ll pick up a gallon of apple cider at the apple orchard this weekend and make them on Sunday. :)

If you’re just getting started in the design or freelance field, this webinar might help. It’s next Tuesday!

Happy Friday, friends! Have an awesome weekend!

POSTED IN: Weekly Links
10.21.2014

My typical day with a business + a baby

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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!!

Have any tips you’d like to share with new moms (Ahem… me!) on how you manage your business and a baby? Let’s start a convo in the comments. xx
10.17.2014

Turning over a new leaf

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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 

POSTED IN: Blogging, Life
09.23.2014

Creative Crush : Amber McCue

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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!

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PS. Amber, along with Alison, will also be a featured guest expert in my upcoming program, CrushWorthy. Get excited!!

1. Tell us about yourself.

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.

2. When + how did you start your business?

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.

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3. What was one role you had in the past that prepared you for what you do now?

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.

4. I’m nosy… what does a “typical” day look like for you? How do you manage your time each week?

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!

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5. What’s the scariest thing you’ve done in your business, so far, that has paid off?

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.

6. Any failures that you’ve learned from?

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.

7. What have been (or still are) your biggest fears and challenges, and how do you overcome them?

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:

  1. I owned my role of business partner to CEOs of growing businesses and stepped into a great leadership role for my clients and in my business.
  2. I started focusing on the results of my community.

The focus shifted from “my” business to “your” business.

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8. What 3 pieces of advice would you offer to fellow creative entrepreneurs?

  1. Pick one idea and implemented it now. If you don’t put it out there and get the feedback, you’ll never know!
  2. Focus on what you are good at – Don’t water down your best parts!
  3. Find people to help you do what you aren’t so good at – legal, finance, team building, development, project management. Whatever it is. Let someone else take care of the things that fall outside of your zone of genius.

9. And just for fun — what have you been working on that we should keep an eye out for?

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!