Posts tagged ‘goals’

December 9, 2010

Create an account, then raise it like a baby.

by Kate W. Hall

I met with a new client today that I’m really excited about working with–she’s a second-generation business owner in a traditionally male-dominated field, and with a fun and feisty personality I know we’ll get along swimmingly as we help build her brand with the mom-set in Richmond.

When the topic of social media came up, shock came over her. “Can we just set up an account and tweet once a week or so?” she asked.

I answered resoundingly “No.”

It’s just not enough to create a Twitter, Facebook, Linked In or other social media account and barely update/build/share. It’s practically not worth having at all. With determination and the fire that most entrepreneurs or marketers have in their bellies, integrating social media into the entire strategy is the only way to achieve success. On the other hand, it doesn’t mean sitting at a screen and reading tweets all day, either. Overall, as I’ve stated in a past blog post engagement in social media is the key.

Creating these accounts is a new outlet into a new world of connectivity, branding, and learning that is much like birthing a baby. You can’t just leave the hospital and expect it to raise itself, right?

November 15, 2010

Set a goal, reach it, then double it.

by Kate W. Hall

Today will reach nearly 10,000 visits. This was my monthly goal when I launched into entrepreneurship.

Today’s the 15th of the month.

I wondered at first how it would ever happen:

Would we provide content Richmond moms and families would seek?

How would we showcase Richmond events & information differently?

Could we possibly provide enough content, contests, meat to bring readers to us consistently?

Yes, yes, and yes.

Through collaboration, thought diversity and good old-fashioned elbow grease we’ve grown the site.

Hiring friend and creative Kate Semp was one of the best moves I ever made. Redesigning the site was another smart decision (a bit premature as it goes live 12/01/10 but I gotta good feeling about this one).

Inviting guest bloggers was another: more voices are always more to chew on.

We’ll continue to improve the site by listening to our readers–intently–and taking action. Then we’ll set higher goals.

November 1, 2010

Speaking to 400 women was like a cocktail party. Really.

by Kate W. Hall

When I was invited to speak at the first-ever HCA Virginia Spirit of Women Girls Day Out on Friday, October 29, 2010 it was a bit overwhelming: why did they ask me? Was no one else available? Would I be able to entertain/inspire? It was such a compliment to be asked, yet still a daunting task.

I assembled some thoughts from the heart and the gut, invited my closest friends and family, and showed up in my prettiest dress. And it ended up being just like a cocktail party in my livingroom. Truly.

One of my dearest friends, Allison, suggested I tell a silly joke to start off, and it got everyone laughing. . from there on out, it was how/why/what was and how did I get here from there.

To be more specific:

There: a mom-of-three standing in November 2008 holding a pink slip.

Here: a mom-of-three who owns a business, with a site readership of of 112,000 since then, who is able to earn a living as an entrepreneur.

Key lessons if you missed it:

1) tons of support.

2) finding a team–for me, it was my running team.

3) having fun & reminding yourself that every day’s work counts

4) treating yourself: for me it’s with this guy: 

on television, of course. and occasionally while getting a massage.

5) do what no one says you can do. I wanted to write and publish Richmond Rocks within the same year. Some said it couldn’t be done. Why not?

6) give credit where credit is due: for me, it’s largely to my mom, who raised four of us single-handedly. We applauded her. We cried. It was the best gift I could ever give her, and I meant it.

7) laugh at yourself. Even when being bitten by a dog while on your morning run, roll with it. What else can ya do?

Bottom line: We are infinitely able to do far more than we can imagine. The women who came up and spoke with me personally mirrored this sentiment. I  knew they knew it about themselves, they just needed a little reminder. What do you want to do? I’d love to hear.

October 2, 2010

Don’t listen to dream-killers

by Kate W. Hall

When I first set out to launch, a very dear friend of mine said something to me that stopped me in my tracks. Surely it was meant in kindness not wanting me to put my heart into this new venture without knowing all the facts. “I think that’s been done before,” she said. “And it’s going to be a LOT of hard work for a long time, with very little pay.”

At first I was hurt. The hurt turned to indignation, which fueled my passion even more.

This thought alone kept me going: No one will do it like I will.

That thought alone has kept me going many days.

9 out of 10 businesses fail, and many of them fail within the first two years. Maybe I’ll be one of them. But this fact alone can’t prevent anyone from setting out to do what they are truly passionate about.

When I set out to publish a children’s book a few months later, I was met with similar doubt. Most folks that I encountered said, “Wow! That’s great. But it’ll surely take you over a year to get it done.”

I didn’t have a year. I had three children to help feed, we were in the process of moving, and all the puzzle pieces had to come together before the holiday season, so I set a goal of having the book in-hand by December 1, 2010. Richmond Rocks arrived in a palette chock full of boxes November 20, 2009. We were on our way.

How do we do it? Simple: set a goal, make a plan, work the plan. Project management taught me that setting specific goals, then creating a plan to achieve them was the best way to ensure success.  A laser-like focus is another ingredient that helps streamline it all.

And one thing’s for sure: no one was going to kill the dream. Nor should anyone do the same to yours.

September 29, 2010

Unplugging is the hardest part

by Kate W. Hall

Since I’ve become a business owner (officially January 2009, when I started living from what I made advertising at the number one challenge I’ve had is: not working.

It’s not uncommon for entrepreneurs to spend most of their waking hours cranking out ideas and projects and dreaming of how to expand their business, nudge the existing to go one more wrung up the excellence ladder, help one more client. I’d be up until 3 am doing site updates then networking meetings at 7:30 am then straight through all day with no breaks until I couldn’t go on.

But it’s not healthy.

My husband was constantly asking me to slow down last year, but having been used to the corporate world (and a corporate paycheck for that matter) it was difficult for me to slow the pace when I wasn’t making any money. And, by the way, I didn’t really make any money the first year I was in business.

It wasn’t just a paycheck I was seeking, but some reward for the hours and hours of work I was putting into building relationships, making clients happy, building my site readership, giving my audience what they want to see.

What I found is, that for many of us small business owners it’s tough to stop and relish in the big wins because there’s always one. . .up. . .ahead. . .yes I’m sure there is. . .if I just keep pushing.  . . you get the picture. And social media, Twitter, Facebook and other tools are always right within my reach, so it’s even more difficult to put them away.

So after 18 months of SOLID (and I mean solid) back-breaking hours, I do allow myself some breaks from the smart phone, laptop, iPad, rat race. I’ve started to read books again, for pleasure. I take more time playing with my kids. Sometimes I have to literally put my phone out of sight to do so, but I do it.

And I think I’m a better business owner, and person, because of it. At least I hope so.

September 23, 2010

What will we do with our 86,000 seconds today?

by Kate W. Hall

This morning I had the pleasure of hearing Heidi Androl speak at the Greater Richmond Chamber’s Extraordinary Women’s Exchange. I didn’t know much about Heidi but had read her profile, and just the fact that her soon-to-be-released book is called “In the Men’s Room” was cause to raise my eyebrow.

Heidi Androl spoke about being a woman in what is a traditionally a man’s working world–first in aeronautic sales, then to her transition as a sportscaster on Fox. This woman is a sportscaster for the Los Angeles Kings Hockey team, for goodness’ sake! She is no wallflower.

This confident, absolutely gorgeous woman gave us several take-aways that I’ll use, but here are the meatiest that will stick with me:

-Don’t think you can’t do something because you don’t have skills. She had never imagined herself, or been trained in–the fields she’s worked in. She just had desire and willingness to learn.

-Don’t say that you know things when you don’t. It’s ok to ask for help. Trying to act confident all the time will only hurt/embarrass us in the long-run.

-Don’t use the “woman card” and act like you can’t do things, either. You are smart, confident, and you can set your mind to do whatever you want. She admitted that she doesn’t have an MBA and competed on The Apprentice with folks that did and beat them out many times, on pure desire, focus, and determination.

-Don’t give Too Much Information (TMI). I thought this was quirky and fun and TRUE and so few people will tell you this. Say what you need to say, then hush up.

-DO use the assets you’ve got–whether it’s an MBA, a fun personality or quick wit, sports knowledge, you name it–you’ve got what you’ve got, you can acquire more, but use all that you have to maximize your potential.

-DO use your 86,000 seconds today doing exactly what you set out to do. Once the day is gone, those seconds are gone, and you’ll never get them back again.

Heidi encouraged us to use the “72 Hour Challenge”–a time you set to accomplish a BIG goal you’ve been wanting to, and focusing that time on the goal. She has done it several times and says the focus is incredible–remove excuses, dedicate, just do it. I’ll be chewing on what this small-town gal, who was raised by a single mom in a modest household shared with us. She’s quickly crossing off items on her Bucket List big and small and making things happen (one was owning a lemon tree on her balcony, one was taking her mom on a trip out of the country).

I’m going to use my 86,000 seconds wisely, and hope that you will, too.


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