You know when you Google something?
And you get a result and it’s from like, 1977 or something?
And it takes you 14 searches to remember you can use search tools to filter by date?
But by then you’re exhausted and you just want to give up work for the day and read Amish romance novels in the bath?
Is that just me?
Anyway, for your reading pleasure, here is a collection of articles written very recently by business-y types talking about what they’re working on right now.
Ultra-Custom Branding – Lauren Hooker from Elle & Company
I’m a huge fan of Lauren Hooker from Elle & Company – I find her approach to branding to be a tremendous source of inspiration. (I actually just signed up for her Illustrator course, which you are allowed to find hilarious. I acknowledge that perhaps visuals have not always, ahem, been my strong suit. But I’m working on it!)
Lauren recently put out a really in-depth series on custom branding – custom custom, like adults do. Like, making well-reasoned, independent branding decisions without looking at other people’s stuff and getting jealous and side-tracked. If Elle & Company is talking about branding, it’s a good idea to pay attention. (The link is to post #4 in the series. Scroll down to the bottom and you can go back to 1, 2 and 3.)
Twitter Automation – Krista Dickson from Blog Beautifully
I’ve tried social media automation for a combined hour and a half over the past 10 years. It just doesn’t work for me. (In fact, I tried this weekend in a fit of mojo resulting in an embarrassing situation on Facebook and an immediate taking down of the post. Turns out? Still not for me.)
But, this just in… not everybody is the same, and those of us spouting advice on the internet would do well to remember that.
That’s what I really liked about Krista's take on Twitter automation. She’s so transparent about her less than affectionate relationship with Twitter, and her decision to automate the process and free up her time to focus on what she does like. If you’re in the automation camp, it’s definitely validating.
Stepping Out and Stepping Back – Erika Madden from Olyvia.co
I really like Erika. I know, I know – the minute I publicly say I like somebody, they end up in a weird viral video with Prince Harry and the Will It Blend Guy, so I’ve probably ruined her life now.
But seriously? She’s so REASONABLE. She says the most sensible, common sense things. (I try to do that but I always end up sounding like a bitch. I have her new tagline. Olyvia: Like IttyBiz, But Nice.)
Her post, How To Be More Productive In Your Biz (And Happier, Too!) is Erika giving her classic behind-the-scenes glimpses of what it’s really like, telling it like it really is, and she doesn’t sound mean even once.
(And her Tumblr video made me spit. I’m not going to lie. We’re all friends here.)
Timing, Targeting and Testing – Marya Jan
It must be said that Marya has the work ethic of a team of oxen. More than that. (What’s bigger than a team? A league? She has the work ethic of a LEAGUE of oxen.) If Marya tells you something is true, it is because she has put 47,937 hours into testing it. I’m in Facebook Groups with her and sometimes it hurts my head.
In this very accessible post, she talks about timing, targeting and testing Facebook ads. She’s referring specifically to webinars, but you can extrapolate. You’re smart like that.
Next Level Project Management – Nesha Woolery
I’m not going to lie. Project management scares the crap out of me. Even the WORDS “project management” scare the crap out of me. But what terrifies you is probably your greatest opportunity for growth, and finding people who [gasp!] actually LIKE the kind of things that scare you is an excellent path to self-actualization.
Nesha likes project management, and I like that. She wrote a nice, enthusiastic piece on how she’s rocking Asana, and it gave me hope that maybe one day I can figure all that stuff out, too.
Thinking Bigger… WAY Bigger – Tara Gentile
OK, I’m going to say it. Retiring a husband is WEIRD. It shouldn’t be weird, but it is.
When I started IttyBiz, all I wanted to do was make enough money that my then-husband could quit his day job. That was my big desire. $30,000 a year… Canadian, which is like nine bucks in USD.
I did it in 2007 and it was totally awesome for about four days. But…
I had absolutely no idea what to do next AND MY LIFE WENT TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET.
When I came by this post from Tara discussing that very issue, I didn’t feel quite so crazy anymore. She makes a strong case for rapidly up-leveling your visioning capacity. Amen, Tara.
Managing Energy Leaks (esp. Social Media) for Introverts – xo Sarah
In all the hoopla of the past decade about how social media is the bomb, or social media is necessary, or social media takes soooooo muuuuuuuch tiiiiiiiiiiime, one factor has been largely undiscussed. Energy. To engage in social media requires ENERGY. That’s the new normal.
A lot of people have taken a lot of “digital sabbaticals” over the years, and that does provide an interim solution. But to be in the world, you have to be in the world, and some solutions that don’t involve simply leaving (guilty!) would be in order.
Sarah takes on the topic of energy leaks and social media presence, and what she’s doing to protect herself without just taking her toys and going home. As an INFJ, I really appreciated her perspective. (I liked this post so much I broke out of my introverted little shell and commented on it, which I’m pretty sure I haven’t done since 2009.)
Facebook Groups – Caitlin Bacher
I took a Caitlin Bacher course last year when she was doing a get it or regret it promo, and I didn’t regret it one bit. I liked her simplicity and her energy. She didn’t spend 9500 words telling me theory – she just told me what to do, and I liked it.
I’m guessing she’s coming out with a Facebook Groups course, and I look forward to seeing what it’s about. In the meantime, she’s putting out some nice little launch content on the topic, so if you’re into that sort of thing, check it out.
(If you took List Explosion last year and were thinking of the London Blitz strategy, Caitlin talks about this a lot.)
The Year Of Self-Development – Melyssa Griffin
Melyssa’s made a habit of ultra-transparency both in terms of incoming money AND outgoing expenses. For all of us who grew up in an era where everybody said what they made and nobody said what they spent, that’s refreshing. This year’s goals and priorities post is no different, and she’s keeping up the open-book policy she’s been known for.
This year, though, she’s putting extra focus on self-development. (Hint: It tends to slide when you’re up to your earlobes in business 25 hours a day for most of your 20s. Ask me how I know.) I particularly liked that she’s giving herself a self-development stipend. We could all learn from her example on this front.
Getting Inspired About Inspiration – Kathie Wiehanne from Bluchic
For many ittybiz owners, this is a year of serious transformation. Transformation is great. It’s also a year of serious internal pressure. Internal pressure is not as great. The day-to-day always-on requirements are only going up, and to be so present in so many places requires some serious inspiration.
I find it impossible to imagine that anybody as cool as Kathie from Bluchic could ever be uninspired, but I read it on the internet, so it has to be true. Suspending disbelief on that for a moment, she wrote a cool post with REAL LIVE LINKS about the places she goes when she needs to get inspired.
(Seriously, though. It must be a guest post. Kathie is inspiration CENTRAL.)
Going Seriously Multimedia – Regina Anaejionu from By Regina
One of the things I really like about Regina is her driving motivation to push people past the limits of their comfort zones. Nobody stays their boring ol’ self around Regina for long. There’s something about her that makes you really believe her when she say’s you’re epic.
In this post, she talks about going super multimedia with your online offerings.
When we see a list like that, it's easy to go into a sort of nodding haze and not really think about what she's suggesting and how it applies to you. Maybe don't do that here. Maybe see her say, I don't know, “slide share” or something and say to yourself, “Hmm, self. How could I use slide shares?”
Just an idea.
Now. Go read something.
It’ll give you something to do while you’re running the bath.