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As a former professional photographer, I spent thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours in classes, at workshops, and at conferences perfecting my craft. When I stepped out of photography to pursue other entrepreneurial dreams, I knew that educating myself well was one of the best things I could do to set myself up for success, avoid some pitfalls by learning from others, and be the best steward of my money as possible.
I cannot even tell you how much money I have wasted on bad classes, poor designers, and ill-equipped leaders who over promised and under delivered. Dale is the real deal, and holds nothing back by sharing all of his tips and tricks and lessons learned. It has taken me a decade of owning a business, and learning the hard way, to discover some of the things he lays out in this program, and those things barely scratch the surface on what this program offers. I have had so many aha moments going through this curriculum finally figuring out the missing links to why certain things have succeeded and certain things haven’t.
In 2015 alone, I invested thousands of dollars into about 5 programs similar to this. Some were for business owners, some bloggers, some platform builders, some social media/passive income funneling, and some writers. After going through all of them, I can hands down say that Startup Camp is the best Entrepreneurial program out there. It has the most solid information that is actually presented in easy to digest, practical steps that you can immediately implement. I can’t recommend it enough. For someone starting out in business, this is a GOLD MINE of information that will save you SO much money and frustration in the long haul. If you are seasoned in business, like I am, this course was just what I needed to identify missing links in my companies and push our businesses into the six-figures.
I promise, you will NOT be disappointed. Find out more HERE!
As a creative, anything administrative, or financial, makes my head cramp. As crazy as this sounds, this stuff actually doesn’t even process correctly in my head. It’s not that I just hate doing it, it’s that I honestly feel like I wasn’t designed to even know how to handle it. Whenever I look at, or even think about a spreadsheet, my mind gets fuzzy. I feel my heart race, and anxiety increases, and it’s just a bad situation. Anyone feel me?
With that said, we can all agree, that having a proper handle on our finances, taxes and bookkeeping is of HUGE importance when running a small business. We literally can’t operate a business without having systems for these things. If you’re like me, you’ve tried doing this on your own for years. You have a shoe box, or drawer, or bottom of your purse that collects receipts and you throw a tantrum on your bedroom floor for two weeks in January as you try to make sense of it all for taxes. Oh.. that’s just me? Okay. Ignore that last part then.
We have always hired a professional CPA to do our taxes, but our bookkeeping was something that I dreaded. And I usually rewarded myself with a cheeseburger and chocolate cake when it was all done for the year. Even though I got it done, the pressure of keeping up with it throughout the year was taking a toll on my health, my marriage, my sanity, and the other business projects that I could be doing with that time.
You see, I wasn’t designed to be good at this task, so I didn’t do it very well, and it usually took ten times as long for me to finish it than it would for someone who was created to process these things. I knew we needed help. I knew I wanted someone trustworthy, someone that could access all of my stuff digitally so I wouldn’t have to print out and highlight a bunch of papers, someone affordable.
Enter Bench.co … my 2015 Miracle. No joke, all of my stresses and frustrations about the financial part of owning a business were quieted within a 48 hour period after discovering Bench. We had tried several other planners and bookkeepers over the years only to be met with frustration and lengthy sessions of paperwork. After a fairly painless phone call, and some e-chats back and forth, our team at Bench had completely set up our entire financial chain, and created systems for an easy, pain free way of organizing and reconciling our 3 bank accounts, 2 paypal accounts and 1 credit card account. We were floored. It was all so simple. And the fact that it was only costing us a few hundred dollars a month was blowing my mind. With the amount of time I saved NOT having to manage the finances each month, I could easily make back that cost and more by using my time to grow our business. Godsend.
If this sounds like a breath of fresh air to you, you can Get a FREE Month of Bookkeeping HERE! Absolutely no risk or contract.. so there’s nothing to lose!
The internet is amazing.. even though I can remember a time without it, I can’t really imagine what life would be like without it anymore. All of that to say, it’s kinda because a bittersweet connection. Our generation relies on the internet nearly every minute of every day. America is increasingly becoming more engaged online and less present in person. It’s a devastating epidemic.
Aside from the growing reliance on virtual connections, children can now access weapons, porn, drugs, and other harmful sites without even meaning to in a matter of a few simple clicks. Monitoring our families internet usage, and creating safe-nets to protect our young ones has never been more crucial than it is today.
So you can imagine my enthusiasm when a friend told me about the new Circle unit by Disney. A home wifi monitering system that connects with your wifi and basically enables all sorts of amazing parental controls.
For example.. if Naomi spends too much time on Facebook, we can limit her access to one hour a day and Circle will monitor that time across all Naomi’s devices. Circle offers preset filters to refuse access to certain parts of the web based on a child’s age. It can also block ads for specific family members, which is a great bonus for all of those targeted ads. You can even set bed times which will automatically turn off your child’s device at a certain time. YAY! No more nagging mommy.. the Circle does it for me!
The control panel for all this filtering happens via an iOS app called Circle Home where you can set individual profile settings, and filter apps by name, category, or device platform. There’s also the incredible ability of manually cutting off Internet access for a certain device, person, or the entire household, which is AMAZING for meal times, homework hour, or getting ready for school. I just wish it worked on the data plans too!
If your family has been like mine, struggling with internet overuse, and the screen syndrome that sometimes takes over the living room, the Circle could be a huge blessing to your family. It has been so successful at setting boundaries and helping focus more on each other, and being present, than getting lost in our devises for hours.
Sounds amazing right!?!? I know! Check out Circle and change your family’s legacy HERE!
OH. MY. WORD. I could gush all day about this amazing company. ABSOLUTE GOD SEND.
Last year I ran into a really difficult situation where I trusted, and then hired, a personal friend to take on the role of my assistant. Sadly, this ended up being one of the worst business decisions that I have made to date. I beg of you. Unless you are actually a super hero with no feelings, do not, I repeat, do not, hire someone virtually who was your friend first. Friends first works great for in-person help, but I thoroughly believe that the friend first virtual setup, is a recipe for disaster and broken hearts. There is too little accountability, and to much room for assumption and taking advantage. In my case, this person ended up taking severe advantage of our relationship, demanding that I didn’t have the right to check in on her progress, going on to harm my relationships with fellow business owners, and community members from short, snarky responses, and lack of follow through. Our time management software continually captured Netflix on the computer while they reported to be emailing people or working on projects. It was terrible. When we finally parted ways, thank God, my company had been put through the ringer from her constant bad choices. I had disappointed clients, and our friendship was non-existent. It was a sad, sad, story.
The saddest part of this story, is I have a feeling that I am not alone. I can almost bet that there are others, maybe hundreds, or thousands, of other people who have been taken advantage of, and used, by an assistant or sub-contractor. Isn’t that tragic? No wonder people have a hard time delegating! It’s nearly impossible in today’s perfectly edited society to find someone that is honest, true, hard working, loyal, and dedicated. Someone who won’t just use you up for your contacts, steal information, or watch Downton Abbey when checking your email. Right? Finding people to hire is hard. And honestly, it just sucks. What makes it worse is the thought of possibly having to do it again when this new person inevitably uses you, or leaves.
This was the sad, lonely, and overwhelming cycle I was in for months after parting ways with my last assistant. I knew I needed to hire someone, but I couldn’t bare the thought of putting so much work into someone, just to have them leave again, or be forced to leave after finding out their true colors. I began to take on too much again, and everything started to crumble. I wasn’t made to be the admin gal, I was created to create, and I needed someone to help balance me out, and support me with their skills that I lacked. I HAD to find a new assistant.
Then one of my friends told me about EA Help. I was intrigued, yet a little gun-shy. How do I know I can trust these people? What if they leave too? Who are they anyway? Like I said, hiring an assistant, someone who is going to know your whole world inside out is a terrifying process. But as soon as I reached out to them with my first email, all of those questions vanished. I have seriously never been treated so kindly, professionally, and attentively in my life. The team at EA Help is exactly that, a team. They spend time interviewing you, getting to know your loves, and passions, and lifestyle. They figure out your personality types, communication styles, and what makes you tick. Then, after all of that, they start to ask you about your dream assistant, and the tasks you are hoping they can help you with. When all of that is done, THEY start to hire your assistant. They match your answers to a pool of several hundred of their qualified and trained assistants. THEY find several that would be a good match, and then THEY interview them on your behalf!!! Can you hear the angels singing? I DID! Within about 2 weeks, they set you up with a intro skype and introduce you to your new assistant. It’s basically like watching a business miracle unfold before your eyes. Seriously. And the best part, if anything ever happens to your assistant. They want to move on, or they get sick, or have a baby, you aren’t up a creek again. THEY take on finding you a new assistant, and then your old assistant helps train your new one and get them up to speed. So you likely never have to go through this training process again! Can you tell I’m in love?
I wish I could express to you all the good things about EA Help, but I think you’ll just have to witness it for yourself. I have been over the moon pleased with Sara, my new assistant, and she is kind, attentive, serving, and an excellent communicator. She even sent me a Christmas card from her and her hubby. Sweetest right? So here’s my advice to you. If you feel like you’ve been drowning in so many mundane, daily tasks that you can’t advance your business, you NEED an assistant. Because once you aren’t weighed down with all of the tiny yet necessary tasks, you can concentrate on bigger and better things to make your business stronger. I can almost guarantee you that if you use that time saved wisely, you’ll make more than enough to cover your assistant costs and then some!
Find out about getting your own Assistant HERE! | Find out about hiring a Social Media Manager HERE
Get Access to all 24 speakers with a Digital Pass to our Fall Conference! That’s almost 20 hours of amazing education for a special price of just $59 ( limited availability) then it goes to $159!
Now that we’ve chatted a bunch about what worked really well in 2015, I wanted to share with you what didn’t.
Last year I was too busy. Too rushed. I had too many to do’s (until I got Bench & EAHelp) and I was drowning in my obligations. With 3 kids, a hubby, a ministry, several businesses, writing a book, and a small farm, I just couldn’t do it all, and I started to slip silently into depression under all of the weight. I’ve determined that I am going to slow it down in 2016. That I’m going to take more time for what matters, and finally get that book written that’s been on my heart. Next year is THE year.
If you’ve been feeling the tug to slow down, or have a book on your heart to write, I would SO love for you to join me. I’ve decided to create some exclusive little clubs to help encourage others in Intentionality and Writing. Would love to have you! You can sign up below if you are interested.