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Your Golden Hours Matter

“Your creative work is your baby. If anything you’re its baby”

– Elizabeth Gilbert

I work a day job. I’m out of the door by exactly 5:29 am during the week. It sounds appalling to most folks. I’d be lying if if I said that I wasn’t appalled myself at first, especially in the winter. It’s dark and chilly outside while my bed is oh so cozy.

But I’ve been on this positive thinking kick lately. And as I walked to the train earlier this week, in the zero degree weather, I told myself:

These are your golden hours!

It was this celebratory declaration. I’m at my creative peak in the morning. Words and ideas pour out of me with ease. And I get to be up every single morning to enjoy that extra boost! What a blessing!

For months, my train ride was spent trying to fall back asleep. But now that very same morning commute is a daily creative retreat. I’m better for it.

I know I’ve talked before about scheduling your day around you. As I begin to live it out again, I see that it bears repeating. I challenge you to discover and exploit your golden hours in these next few weeks.

Your time likely isn’t the early morning hours, so take note of when you have energy and when you’re most productive. Then plan your day accordingly.

I know you’ll have stories to share! Send them along by replying to this email or with #creativesworthcelebrating .

Be jubilant,

Taylor

This post was first published in Party Favors. Subscribe to be the first to get content from Jubilant.

 

Entrepreneurs

Owning Your Entrepreneurial Story

“Today is the oldest you’ve ever been, and the youngest you’ll ever be again.”

— Eleanor Roosevelt

Writing these posts is one of my favorite parts of the job.It’s no-holds-barred, this-is-where-I’m-at, real talk.

Let me say that the last two weeks have been a doozy. I’ve felt an exhaustion like I haven’t known in a while. I almost skipped out on writing this but I knew that the process would be beneficial to both you and me.

Life right now is like me being the voice inside Google Maps, constantly reminding myself, “You are here.”

When I started Jubilant,  there were a lot of things that I thought I had to be… older, a full-time entrepreneur, a lover of Twitter. All those perceptions of what I should be made it hard for me to get raw with you, some of my favorite people on the internet.

The whole tension made me feel hypocritical. How could I tell clients to own their brand when I was only doing so half-heartedly?

Today’s newsletter represents a change for me. I’m owning my story so that you can own yours.

Allow me to reintroduce myself.

I’m Taylor, the owner of Jubilant, my side hustle. I’m a recent Vanderbilt University graduate who works full-time in a corporate job. Like many of you, my long term (three year) plan is to work for myself.

I want to do a lot more of documenting the ins and outs of having a side hustle and my journey to full-time.

This was part of my story that I needed to own. Your story might be different.

Where are you in life? Are you authentically owning it? Share your thoughts with me by sending me an email at hello@wearejubilant.com.

Be jubilant,

Taylor

This post was first published in Party Favors. Subscribe to be the first to get content from Jubilant.

 

Entrepreneurs

Simplifying Your Social Media Strategy

“Whatever is worth doing at all, is worth doing well”

— Lord Stanhope

Social media is a sneaky little time waster. If you’re like me, you’ll log on to complete a task. Next thing you know, it’s an hour and a half later– and you still didn’t do what you meant to do.

I know that struggle, and I’ve pieced together a social media system that works for me. It’s easy. All you need to do is keep it simple, silly.

social media strategy for small business owners and creative entrepreneurs
Pick two
Pick two social media outlets that you are going to do, and do well. For me, it’s Instagram and Periscope. Focus your allotted social media time on growing these outlets.

This step has one caveat. I think everyone should be on Google+. The SEO value is worth it. I don’t create specialized content for Google+. Instead, I use automation to make sure that content from my other outlets is posted there.

Define your why
I recently met with a small business consultant (Liz Griffin, she’s great y’all), and the most valuable thing I learned was something that I already knew: define your why for your social media outlets.

Too many people waste their energy by posting and creating content that doesn’t matter. Defining your why saves you time and energy.

So think about it: Do you want to encourage people to sign up for your newsletter? Do you want to position yourself as an expert? Are you looking to show off your design aesthetic?

Define what your why is and only use content that meets your end goals.

Batch it up
I develop most of my social media content in big batches. It takes hours to research, create, and schedule the content, but then I’m basically done for two months.

Batch processing frees me up to take advantage of the true purpose of social media–interaction. I’m no longer worried about what to post, so I can spend my time engaging with my audience.

Automate, automate, automate
This one is closely related to batch processing. I use a combination of many services such as Latergram, Buffer, IFTTT, and Zapier to let my social media run itself.

Again, this isn’t a hands off approach. Automation actually helps me stay more engaged. My time on social media is spent interacting instead of juggling the management of multiple outlets.

Maintenance
In my first point, I talked about picking the two social media outlets where you expend most of your energy. Most is the operative word.

I still spend time on other outlets. However, it’s in more of a maintenance capacity.  Take Pinterest: I pin my recent blog posts and re-pin content that I think will be beneficial to others.

In essence, it’s more simplification. I do what is necessary to reap some of the benefits of a given social media outlet, but I don’t stress out about the results. My goals and analysis are tied to my two primary outlets.

This post was first published in Party Favors. Subscribe to be the first to get content from Jubilant.

 

Entrepreneurs

The magic words that will help you grow your…

 

thank you to brand guests

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about the words “thank you.” It seems like businesses are really good at saying please. (Please buy this. Please sign up for this. Please share this.) However, they are not as good at saying thank you.

You can easily differentiate your brand by taking the time to say thank you… and meaning it. I thought I’d offer you a few ideas for showing your brand’s guests that they are truly appreciated.

Send a thank you note
I remember being a kid and doing everything I could to avoid having to write thank you notes. Now, it’s something I enjoy doing in both my personal and professional life. There’s nothing like that feeling of getting a handwritten note in the mail, so incorporate it into your brand experience.

Give a discount
Another easy way to say thank you is to offer a discount for return customers. For example, clients who choose to keep meeting with me after completing The Party Starter get a discount on continued sessions. It’s just an easy way for me to say, “Thanks for sticking with me, friend!”

Show them some love
This can mean a lot of things. Give them a shout out on Instagram. Highlight them on your blog. Show them that you are thankful for them through the gift of exposure.

Surprise them with a gift
This is one of my favorites! You can gift a resource that is relevant to the work that you do. You can add a little something-something to their order just because. But a gift doesn’t have to be a physical product. You can give a gift of knowledge. Record a video showing ways that they can improve their brand. Create a personalized tutorial. Unexpected value goes a long way in showing that you appreciate their business.

I’d love to hear your favorite ways to say thank you to your customers.

Be jubilant,

Taylor

P.S. I have a few coaching spots left for July. I’d love to work with you to create a brand worth celebrating!

This post was first published in Party Favors. Subscribe to be the first to get content from Jubilant.

Entrepreneurs

Networking doesn’t have to be a dirty word

“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” — Jane Howard

Maybe it’s the introvert in me, but networking feels like a dirty word sometimes. I have to tell random people what I do? Do I have to always be selling my brand?I took some time to reflect on my own hangups with networking, and I came to the conclusion that most of my issues stem from one of three areas. You may be able to relate to one or many of these.

Lack of self-confidence
Jubilant just turned three months old. My client base is small. I’m fairly young in the world of entrepreneurship.It’s hard to shake the voices telling me, “Taylor, you’re not experienced enough. Jubilant isn’t established enough. Don’t put yourself out there.”Maybe you have voices of your own saying similar things. Well, those voices are liars! And little by little, I’m overcoming them.There’s no silver bullet or magic potion, just daily speaking truth to myself until the truth is louder than the voices.

Lack of self-awareness
Social media makes comparison all too easy. I find myself thinking that I need to do XYZ because so-and-so is doing it.But what works for them won’t necessarily work for me. I’m an introvert who thrives in one-on-one and small group situations.Instead of fighting my personality, I build it into my business. My service offerings, my systems, and how I go about building my network all stem from my personality.I encourage you to do a bit of self-reflection. Come up with three ways to leverage your personality and preferences in the way that you network.

Lack of community mindset
The word network immediately brings the image of a fishing net to mind. I think of each little piece being interwoven into a strong net that can catch huge fish.That’s what a network is. It’s not about collecting business cards, followers, or clients. A network is about supporting and being supported.As you emphasize community in your networking, you’ll find the idea of networking more appealing.

Want a few more ways to network? Keep reading.

Connect with Jubilant on Periscope @wearejubilant
Connect with Jubilant on Periscope @wearejubilant
Explore
Jubilant’s Facebook group is still growing. Connect with other entrepreneurs who believe in creating brands worth celebrating.

[fruitful_btn link=”http:/facebook.com/groups/thejubilantentrepreneur”] Join the party! [/fruitful_btn]

Entrepreneurs

Mid-year Goal Setting for the Creative Entrepreneur

Where has 2015 gone? We’re nearly six months in already, which means that there are six months left to achieve our business goals.

I just finished The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. One quote in particular stuck with me, and by stuck with me, I mean that I quote it to myself daily.

The days are long, but the years are short.

We can plug away at each day’s to-do list, eat, sleep, and repeat, and lose sight of the “why” behind it all. We forget to challenge ourselves. We forget to celebrate. We forget to savor.

That’s why I’m lovingly reminding you to take a second look at your goals. Ask yourself hard questions. Celebrate your wins lavishly. (This doesn’t mean you need to spend a lot of money, but celebrate yourself the way you would celebrate a loved one who accomplished something amazing.) You may need to scrap your goals and start from scratch. Maybe you just need to tweak your goals.

The important thing is that you do it! Live out  each day in pursuit of your goals so that the cumulative effect is a year that is worth celebrating. It’s tiring, but the results are oh so fulfilling.

I made you a worksheet to get you started on your mid-year goal setting.

THE JUBILANT BRAND PLANNER (1)

 

Be jubilant,

 

Taylor

Uncategorized

Just say no

As I decided on a topic for this week’s post, the phrase “Just Say No” came to mind. That phrase brought back memories of elementary school classrooms and a local police officer teaching me to avoid drugs and alcohol. Anyone else remember D.A.R.E.?

The thing about D.A.R.E. is that it tells kids to say no to things that are obviously bad for them. Then we grow up, become creative entrepreneurs, and the line between what is good or bad for us gets harder to define.

In my own life, I want to say yes to success but no to stress. Yes to inspiration but no to sleepless nights. Yes to new relationships online and offline but no to hyper- connectivity.

I’m the kind of person who wants to say yes to every shiny new opportunity that is placed in front of me. Sometimes yes is the right answer. Sometimes it isn’t.

I challenge you to find a way to say yes this week by saying no to something else. Here’s what I’m doing:

wishing a P1

What will so say no to this week? Here’s a blank image for you to fill out. Post it at your desk. Hang it on your mirror. You can even share it on Instagram!

wishing a

And, as always, I’d love to hear what you’re saying no to. Just comment on this post or email me at hello@wearejubilant.com.

We can hold each other accountable.

Otherwise, I’ll be back in your inbox with more Party Favors in two weeks.

Be jubilant,

Taylor

P.S. Don’t miss #CreativesWorthCelebrating today, featuring Irene Farrimond of Magnoliahouse Creative

Entrepreneurs

Self-Care for Entrepreneurs

Self care for creative entrepreneurs

We entrepreneurs are busy people. If you’re anything like me, you spend your days trying to tackle an endless to-do list. My needs are pushed further and further down until I find myself fatigued and fighting sickness.

You are your business’ greatest asset. Treat yourself as if you are. I developed 31 Days of Self-Care for Entrepreneurs to encourage you to do just that.  Join me in caring for your business by caring for yourself during the month of May.

 

 

Entrepreneurs

For love or money?

For LOVE

Some version of the following question seems to be continuously popping up among clients and fellow entrepreneurs: “I really don’t like doing [insert the bane of your entrepreneurial existence here], but I need to pay the bills.”

I’m a true believer in creating a business that you’re both passionate and proud of. However, I also know that passion isn’t an accepted currency in the United States. What’s the balance between love and money?

I don’t claim to have all of the answers. But here are few ways you can pay the bills without compromising your brand.

JUST SAY NO

This is the most extreme reaction to the situation. Quit the piece of your business that you don’t like cold turkey. This could mean not accepting a certain kind of design work or being pickier about your clientele.

Dig deeper: Make sure you’ve clearly defined what you want–for your business, from your clients, and for yourself. Cutting out a part of your business may be exactly what the doctor ordered, but without the “why”, you’ll find yourself back where you started before you know it.

KEEP IT ON THE DL

It may not be feasible for you to stop taking certain types of work at this point in your career. But you still know that these clients or jobs are not where your business is headed.

Accept that work as it comes in, but don’t include it in your portfolio. Continue to market yourself as someone who does [insert that thing that gets your blood pumping here]. Make that what you’re known for. After a while, you’ll be in a place where you can say no to the clients or the work that doesn’t fall into that category because people will be hiring you to do the work that you love.

FIND A HAPPY MEDIUM

Sometimes the reason that you don’t like something runs deeper than you think. Break down the why behind the type of client or task that you dislike. Is there a way for you to bypass the elements that you don’t like? Can you say yes to a subset of the task without feeling like you’re compromising? Maybe the situation isn’t as bad as you originally thought.

MAKE AN ESCAPE PLAN

Set a stop date and create a game plan for reaching that goal. Write down everything that needs to happen for you to be prepared to steer your business in the direction that you want it to go in. Making a plan can be really empowering and give you a feeling of control in the situation.

Any other tips for balancing love and money? Share them in the comments below or on social media with #WeAreJubilant.

Entrepreneurs

The Best Instagram Apps for Entrepreneurs

Many people–entrepreneurs and consumers alike– cite Instagram as their favorite social media platform. I couldn’t agree more. An endless stream of pretty pictures? Yes, please.

As entrepreneurs, we get to add to that gorgeous content. I’ve chosen to have separate business and personal Instagram accounts. That means I’m constantly going back and forth. There’s no way I could manage it without these apps. If your favorite app isn’t here, tell me about the apps that have helped you step up your Instagram game.

Instagram Apps for Entrepreneurs

VSCO Cam

You’ve probably seen #VSCOcam floating around Instagram. I use app this to edit all of my photos. The filters themselves look amazing, but there are also infinite ways to edit each photo. Every picture I edit in VSCO ends up looking like a piece of art.

If your Instagram is photo heavy, this is one app you need to download.

Instagrab

This is a lifesaver. A friend told me about it, and I’ve been hooked ever since. Instagrab allows you to be logged into multiple accounts. This in itself is so valuable. I don’t have to keep logging in and out of  my  Instagram accounts to view each feed!

But Instagrab has even more capabilities. You can search by hashtag(s) and location through the app. This helps you grow your Instagram following through targeted liking and following.

Finally, Instagrab allows you to download photos from Instagram. Instead of using a repost app and having their watermark on your photo, you can just upload the photo yourself. (Don’t forget to credit the original poster!)

The one downside of Instagram is that you can’t upload photos to Instagram through their app. This isn’t Instagrab’s fault, however, Instagram requires that all photos are posted through their app.

Dropbox

Most of us are familiar with Dropbox. I have a Jubilant Instagram folder within my Dropbox so that I can easily transfer images from my computer to my phone.

I have noticed that Dropbox can alter the colors of some images, so be sure to double check before you upload. If the colors have been altered, I generally use iMessage the image from my laptop to my phone.

Bonus: Latergramme

This is an app that I keep meaning to use. Latergramme allows you to schedule Instagram posts. When the time comes to post, you can upload it in Instagram with just a couple of clicks.

It’s great for things like the #CreativesWorthCelebrating series, which requires me to post multiple pictures in a day.  You could also use it to schedule your post if you’re participating in a loop giveaway and need to post a picture at a certain time.

These apps should help you manage and grow your Instagram accounts. And if you’d like to develop an Instagram strategy, contact me to set up a strategy session.