A warm greeting to each of you in our online neighbourhood of kind business owners, healers, helpers, and makers.
And. . .deep breath.
It is March 15, 2020. Things are crazy out there. I know there is a lot of anxiety and uncertainty floating around at the moment, and we are all being required to adapt from minute to minute.
A lot of what we have been hearing in the news is about what we “can’t” or “shouldn’t” do. Which is important.
And. . . there is so much we CAN do at this time, as human beings, as small…
Some of the most successful solo-entrepreneur-run businesses I know of are hairstylists, house cleaners, plumbers, day home providers, or IT trouble shooters.
It may not sound glamorous, it may sound like hard physical work that is definitely not sprinkled in fairy dust, but these folks are making an ‘enough’ living that is providing for their families. Sometimes a ‘beyond enough’ living. While many of the self-identified healer helper types I know are struggling, or relying on another family member’s income, because theirs is very much part-time.
My hairstylist is so booked on the days that she chooses to work —…
(A Work in Progress)
A few months ago, I wrote a post about the coded violence of marketing: how we can reclaim ‘Marketing’ from Big Capitalism and the linguistic territory of the adversarial, paramilitary abstract, to renew it as something more tangible, immediate, and kind.
I may have buried the lead on that story.
That piece ended with a vision, one that has been guiding me for these last two years, since I became the caretaker of School of Kind Business and started to dig deep into my imagining of these things.
What follows here might seem idealistic or even…
Recently, in the search for ‘the business case for kindness’, and with my English Lit Geek Hat on, I did a shallow dive into some of the words we use to talk about spreading the word and connecting with potential customers.
Preliminary conclusion: it’s no wonder kind folks like us cringe at the idea of ‘Marketing’ or ‘Sales’. Everything that makes us uncomfortable about it is coded right into the language.
There might be a lot of reasons communicating about your service feels hard: technology, the intensity of creative tasks, the discomfort of reaching out, the amount of work it…
I grew up in a home where both parents were employed in stable professional careers in education and education administration, the kind where you get a job and stay there until you retire into a more-than-living-wage pension. For years, a good portion of the money earned from those steady jobs went into paying the mortgage, and then upgrading and renovating the home that they moved into when I was 2 years old: the place where my dad, now in his 70’s, still lives.
By the end of my undergraduate degree, I was on track and fairly convinced that I too…
I’m sure you’ve heard a lot of budding entrepreneurs and their business coaches talking about the ‘side hustle,’ i.e. the job(s) that they do to pay the bills while they get their businesses going.
Personally, I don’t love the idea of the side hustle.
But that probably doesn’t mean what you might think it means.
It used to be popular wisdom among coaches and motivational new age speakers to suggest some version of: quit your evil corporate job, live on your savings, and earn that mythical 6 figures by following your passion.
(Side note: which of course you do by…
Entrepreneurs, healers, helpers, artists, lovers of this world: if you’ve ever been hard on yourself about how you spend your time, wonder if you put in enough time on your work, harangue yourself for wasting time, lament there isn’t enough time in the day. . .this one’s for you.
Consider me the Time Fairy, here to absolve you.
I’m not here to grant you a 26-hour day, or to teach you how to step outside of linear time (although I’m working on that one, stay tuned).
But I am here to say, that unless you’re among the oh-let’s-imagine-5% of people…
Healing-Helping-Creative folks: how often have you been asked to work ‘for free,’ ‘for an honorarium,’ ‘for a percentage of the proceeds — which could be X% of 0’ or ‘for exposure’?
(I’d like to hear your experiences, even before you read on.)
For me personally, it’s a rhetorical question. I’ve done it all, and probably asked other people to work for all of those models of ‘compensation’ at one time or another. Sometimes I feel it’s been justified, and sometimes not.
But how do you know when it’s a good idea, and when to run the other way?
My background is in voice and communication, so I’m always curiously observing my conversations with clients, vendors, customer service providers, social media followers, and co-creators. There are so many play books ands even scripts written for how to build relationships and get things done in business, but I personally find it simpler to chunk up to bigger concepts that I adapt and apply to each situation. Here are a few that have helped me. Please let me know how you apply these or other favourite communication strategies.
1) Pause, so that I can actually manage (2) & (3) below
If you are a kind business owner who has hopped onto one, or many, social media platforms to help grow your business, you’ve probably read lots of articles telling you how to post, what to post, when to post, how to respond to people responding to your posts, etc.
As solo-entrepreneurs, I think most of understand that we can’t just throw up an Event or an Offer now and then. We actually need to Engage.
But one of the places I see many people misunderstanding engagement — and the one that is a particular bee in my bonnet as someone…
Speaker, Writer, Editor, Singer, Teacher. Business Planning~ Marketing~Communications for regular, un-salesy solo entrepreneurs who desire a rewarding living