My Story

Hello ladies.

This week’s blog post wasn’t a planned one. It happened a little by accident.

I am taking part in a visibility challenge this week with a coach that I follow. I’m part of her group that the challenge is taking place in and today’s challenge- day 1, is to write down ‘your story’ then share part of that in the group and on your FB page.

As I started writing my post in her group, I couldn’t stop and it turned into a blog post – so here we go, I thought I’d share here too, so you guys can get to know me a little better. It’s quite a vulnerable post for me and really got me thinking about where I am in my journey.

My Story

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I started my entrepreneurial journey young- my first business was at aged 18. I think I had always known this was the route for me and I loved it. I sold the business after 3 years and went into employment but toyed with coming back to self-employment constantly.

After a holiday, my now husband and I started another business- a guest house. After 5 years, 2 difficult pregnancies and 100’s of guests, the guest house life became too much and we sold up.

At this stage, we knew I would continue to run my own business, but didn’t know what. After much research, I decided that I’d start a Shabby Chic & Vintage Home & Gift online business and my ‘3rd baby’ was born.

This was started from our kitchen worktop, where I did everything by myself and grew the business using social media. The stock was small at first and was stored in my children’s wardrobe. Each day, I’d have 2 1/4 hours whilst the little ones were at pre-school to pack and post any orders that I’d received and work on growing the business.

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I had a phenomenal first Christmas thanks to a product that sold like hot-cakes and not many people were selling at the time and the business was really taking off. We moved to a bigger house- predominantly so I had more room to house the now growing stock and I had a large office and a stock room followed by staff. I moved twice more to a business unit, then another, double the size as the business continued to grow at a fast rate.

I started another side to the business- literally, overnight- a monthly box subscription that took off in month 1 and was going amazingly well. I won a ‘Mumpreneur’ business award and went on a business trip to China to start importing products direct, rather than through UK wholesalers and had an office in China, where they represented me and dealt directly with the manufacturers on my behalf.

So what happened?

So, it looked like the business was going great guns. But I wasn’t. Something had changed in me. To this day, I don’t know exactly what, but I felt like I’d ‘lost my mojo’.
This had been my baby for almost 5 years, that I’d literally ‘ate, breathed and slept’ and all of a sudden I wasn’t in love with it anymore.

This was a difficult thing to accept as I have always had that fear of failure niggling at the back of my head. I kept quiet for a while but could feel the stress building. The business started getting a little bit quieter- and that also made me feel extremely stressed. Looking back, I can see that it was predominantly my mindset that was affecting the business, but at the time I couldn’t see the wood for the trees. It was a downward spiral. I was completely overwhelmed, trying to do it all myself and not spending enough time On my business, but too much in the business. I wasn’t growing.

When I (finally) opened up to my husband – he was amazing. I had so many fears that he wouldn’t understand and would feel that I’d not involved him sooner in the way I was feeling. But he literally told me ‘just walk if it’s making you feel like this, it’s not good for you and we’ll deal with the consequences together’. I think it was knowing that I had that support that fired up something in me that hadn’t shown up for a while (the fighting spirit) and I decided that, hold on, I had a bloody viable business that I could sell- not walk away from! This was turning over multi six-figures and had an amazing following and good profit- I wasn’t walking anywhere!

The next step

So, I listed it on a business for sale site (still among feelings of failure, that nobody would be interested etc) and had around 40 enquiries in total. Those first few days I had 2 people come down and both wanted to make an offer. The first offer came the next day, I accepted and I pushed for a sale within a month!

It was one of the hardest months of my life but we did it. The business was all in my head, I didn’t have processes and systems written down, so all that had to be done, but after the month, I’d moved out of my premises and the new owner had hers. I worked closely with her for months making sure the handover went smoothly and spent the six weeks holidays just being ‘mum’!

Failure?

It took me the best part of a year to realise that actually, I hadn’t failed. I had started and sold a business for a profit.

Being in that position made me think that I couldn’t be the only woman struggling with it all- the kids, the house, the business. I couldn’t be the only women trying to be the best at it all, but not actually believing in herself enough and what skills she could offer. I decided I wanted to help other women who were feeling that overwhelm, the pressure, the doubt, the lack of skills. So, I started another business as a VA.

As the year progressed I started thinking that maybe I could mentor women, but the doubt stopped me from doing too much about that. I love working as a VA and as I became more confident in the skills I could offer (and put my pricing up), I started to really attract my tribe. I changed my website to be a reflection of me- I’m girlie and wanted it to show that. I started being really strict with who I was working with. Female entrepreneurs only. As time went on, I started to naturally attract a few coaches. This is such a positive place to be – full of inspiration and motivation- I spend much of my days being surrounded by amazing, like-minded, kicking-ass women!

This made me realise that I can do this, I have plenty of experience and skills that women could learn from. I know I’m now on the right path, I feel it deeply and am so looking forward to the coming months and years. Continuing to grow as a person and continuing to help many women reach that same satisfied place.

Interested in working with me? Find out more here >>>

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Success?

I know success means different things to different people.

Let’s be clear, I am money driven.

But it’s more than that. This past year I have run a viable business that I love, doing something that makes me happy, helping female entrepreneurs, all whilst taking my kids to school every day, picking them up every day, never missing a school concert or event. I’ve travelled 6 times these past 8 months and managed my work around that. I’ve certainly drank more wine than I should have and eaten amazing food (hence the additional stone I’m carrying ;)).

I’m happy and loving life. And to me that is being successful and I know I have so much more to give. If you’d like to get clarity on your business, learn how to use certain tools and systems to grow your business and feel amazing about yourself, take a look at my package here >>>

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I hope you enjoyed reading a bit more about me. I know I love reading other people’s stories, so hopefully, mine can inspire one or two of you too.

Watch my video here >>

Thank you for reading! Katie x

 

8 Instagram Updates

Hey beautiful ladies.

Have you noticed the latest Instagram updates? Keeping true to form for 2017, they have continued with the regular updates of late.

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I haven’t done an IG updates post for a while. Read the last one here >>>

 

 Here are the latest IG updates:

  1. IG Poll

I love this feature. To access it go to your IG stories and add/take a pic as normal, then go to stickers. If you aren’t sure, this is the square smiley face in the top right hand corner when you have taken or added a photo.

Once you’ve clicked on stickers, you’ll see the option of POLL. Click here and you can add a space for a question and a choice of 2 answers, such as yes and no. Then click done. As your followers answer your question, you’ll receive the answers to your poll. So when you look, you’ll see the current score and who has answered.

2. New IG Stickers

We all know IG stories always have a good selection of stickers- such as location, temperature, day, time etc, but have you seen the new Halloween and Autumn selection? We’ve got pumpkins, eyeballs, devil horns and hands to name a few. The autumn selection include a cup of tea, leaves, acorns, a bobble hat and logs.

3. IG Stories Filters

Love the new Halloween style face filters. We have a blood dripping zombie, beat-up zombie, pitch black with light up face, alien style and foggy. As always my description of these face filters no doubt are completely wrong, but you get my drift!

4. Shared Lives on Instagram Stories

This is a biggy. You now have the ability to add someone to your live video- great for chatting and interviewing others. It gives you a split screen for you and a freind to love stream! I don’t have this feature just yet, but it’s being rolled out.

The ability to access IG Stories on your desktop too is also being rolled out!

Looking for help with Instagram? Take a look here >>>

 

5. Creative Tools for Stories

Insta have launched a new alignment tool so you can line up your elements. When you add stickers, text etc you’ll see some blue lines pop up. They are there to help you centre text and other elements and let you know if any of the elements will be covered when people are watching your stories.

 

6. Improved Comment Controls

IG launched this a few months ago, but have improved the tools when people comment on your posts. For instance if they comment using bad language you have the ability to block them. You can choose which comments to allow.

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7. Shopify Integration

This is by far the biggest update and is huge for those using Shopify. It allows Shopify users to basically use Ig as another selling platform. It currently uses Facebook shopping items and pulls them over to IG (easily set up with a few clicks). Then you can tag any items in IG with a product contained in your catalogue. This allows people to click on the picture and purchase immediately. You’ll be able to tell if a picture is ‘shoppable’ by a small white shopping bag icon in the top right hand corner of the screen. Tap to see ‘tap to view products’ then they’ll see the information. Click again to be able to purchase. All from Instagram! That is amazing and a really big deal.

8. Threaded Comments

This feature has been out for a little while now, but I thought I’d include it as it’s pretty cool!

Previously, IG would show all comments in a linear format. Now however, if you reply to somebody, it’ll show directly under their comment, (like FB) allowing an easier and more streamlined conversation to encourage engagement from your followers!

Local to South Wales? Come to our Business Workshop For Beginners! >>>

 

 

 

How To Make Pinterest Board Covers

I’ve recently made some Pinterest Board Covers for a couple of clients of mine and am now in the process of finally getting around to making them for my own Pinterest account too, so thought I’d put a simple ‘how-to’ together for anyone else wondering how to do this for their Pinterest account.

Without Pinterest board covers

Without covers for your Pinterest boards, they can look cluttered and all over the place with no real consistency. I personally have always kept a colour theme in mine so that they were fairly cohesive, but not quite what I wanted. Since creating covers for two of my clients this past month, I thought it was time I did mine too. Here is a screenshot of before adding board covers.

 

Why do we need Pinterest board covers?

Branding! You have your website looking awesome, all your branding in place but what about Pinterest? To create an aesthetic and cohesive brand you need to cover all bases and ensure all your social media channels look inline with your brand and vibe. Making these covers is a quick and easy way to make sure your Pinterest account looks fantastic, professional and streamlined.

My Katie Colella Social board covers now show a pretty feminine vibe in my brand colours.

Pinterest recommend using a square image 800×800 pixels.

I’m using Canva to create my board covers.

Here’s how I did it.

In my Canva account, I selected the square 800x800pixel size template. I looked at the templates available and went with a stripe design.

I choose 3 of my brand colours over the 3 stripes. Then in the centre box, I added the board name in a brand font. I added my website at the bottom so that when someone clicks on the pin, they’ll see my website.

When you select the pin as a board cover, Pinterest will select the centre, so make sure any text is centralised.

Save your image and go to your Pinterest account.

Here’s mine if you fancy following me!

 

Once logged in go to the board that we are adding a cover to and copy the URL of this board. Then in the top right-hand corner select the + button and upload image.

 

Here upload your image and paste the URL for the board that you just copied.

This ensures that when someone clicks on your pin it’ll take them to your Pinterest board.

Select the right board for the cover and then click on the pencil/edit icon.

 

Click on the Change cover button. This will be the most recently added pin and I have noticed that it doesn’t always show when you select it. So even if the pin isn’t showing, it is the latest one there.Add a fab description whilst you are there too! Then click save.

Voila! When you go back to your boards you’ll now see the board cover in all its glory!

Note– you usually have to refresh your account once or twice to see the cover in place.

Looking for help with your Pinterest account?

Pinterest Board Covers

Here is a screenshot of how my account looks with covers in place. What a huge difference and you’d be surprised at how few people actually take the time to add covers, so by doing this simple task that you can get within a few hours, your Pinterest will look amazing and streets ahead of many other people’s accounts. Reflecting you and your business style and attracting more followers and subsequently more repins and web traffic-yay!

 

Have you updated your board covers? I’d love to see how yours look!

In need of more clarity and direction for your business? Feeling overwhelmed and stressed and like you can’t juggle it all? Take a look at my mentoring package here >>>

 

 

 

 

My Top 11 Business Tools That I Use Daily

 

We all have our favourite tools that we use daily in our business, so I thought I’d list my current most used tools for you.

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  1. Canva

I love Canva.. To the extent that I don’t know how I managed before it. This is constantly open on my desktop and I use it, without fail every day.

I use it for myself and for my client work. I create simple but gorgeous graphics for use on my website, on my social media, any presentations I need to put together and any freebies that I need to create. The selection of free or low-cost images is fantastic.

Top Tip- set up the branding options for yourself and any other brands that you manage to make it much easier. All the colours, fonts and logos will then be stored for you.

Watch my Canva video- how to make simple yet stunning graphics >>>

 

  1.  Asana

I put off using management systems for quite a while. For no real reason. Then it was the Trello Vs Asana debate. Now, I use both with various clients and I still don’t have a huge preference over the other. However, I’m currently using Asana more to keep in contact with clients. It’s a great tool when you are working as part of a team on a project, so you can all see what has been done or is yet to be done. I find it helps in mapping out your goals and plans, so you can see them at a glance and break them down into more manageable chunks.

 

  1.  Leadpages

Again, for a long while, I put off using Leadpages as I thought it was unnecessary. However, now I have it, I use it all the time. I’m certainly going to get my money’s worth, so I’m always thinking of new ways to set up landing pages and making them look pretty. I also have access to a few client’s leadpages accounts and enjoy creating amazing landing pages for them. Leadpages is easy to use and offers a great selection of templates to get you started.

 

  1.  WordSwag

I adore wordswag. This is actually an app on my phone, but it’s so handy. If you love Instagram, then this is a fantastic app for you to use. If you are a fan of the odd inspirational quote or text on an image, then this really is perfect for creating a graphic in a matter of minutes. If you are ever at a situation where you don’t have your social media posts scheduled and want to create something quick- this is the one. Great backgrounds, colours and fonts, with an amazing selection of quotes to get you started if you aren’t up to thinking of one yourself.

 

  1.  Dropbox

Dropbox has been around a long time but still one of my favourites. I’ve upgraded to the business version so I have extra storage and ask clients to share all large file with me here. This saves me using space on my desktop. I also use it to store all my stock photos, fonts etc.

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  1.  Buffer

I have over the years used Hootsuite, Post Planner and Buffer, but for now Buffer is winning for me. I use this to schedule my own social media and client’s social media, so I don’t have to wing it on the go! I also use Later for client’s IG accounts.

 

  1.  Paypal

I use Paypal for client payments and for receiving payments for all digital guides etc that I sell.

I’ve been using Paypal for years with previous businesses, so it’s a tool that I trust.

I find it easy to add payment buttons or links to websites and landing pages and when I want to withdraw the money, it’s usually in my bank immediately.

 

  1. Mailchimp

MailChimp, for me is a great easy to use email marketing tool. I’m a fan of sales funnels, and this integrates with leadpages making it easy to feed any sign ups into my lists so I can send out automated email sequences, save me having to remember to email any new sign-ups manually.

 

  1.  Wave

Wave is a free accounting software. I’m pretty sure, I don’t use nearly enough of it’s tools, but I couldn’t be without it. I use this to send branded, professional looking invoices to clients, set up automated reminders, send receipts once paid and keep on top of all my incomings and outgoings. If used correctly, this will also make your accounting much easier!

 

  1. WordPress

I built my WordPress site from scratch, so what I know is self – taught. WordPress is a little marmite- people tend to love or hate it. Personally, I find it really easy to use, I love how many plugins are available and how good you can make a site look.

 

  1. Hello sign

I haven’t long actually come across Hello Sign, as it was recommended to me not long ago. But it’s a clever tool- perfect for clients digitally signing your contracts- which I’ll be using from now on!

What’s your favourite business tool that you use daily?

How To Be Productive Whilst working From Home

 This weeks blog post is a guest post from the amazing Alicia Grace

 

As creative entrepreneurs, most of us work from home, which is absolutely brilliant – yay for not having to commute! – but it can also be really dangerous for productivity. One of the biggest hazards is that there are lots of distractions, from Netflix to unexpected visitors.

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So, what are my top tips on being productive while working from home? Read on to find out.

Wake up early

Just because you don’t need to commute to work doesn’t mean that you should wake up 10 minutes before. Studies show that your brain takes a full two hours to wake up. Be sure to wake up at a decent time each morning (a bit earlier than noon please).

 

You don’t have to jump right into work the moment you wake up, unless you really want to. Instead, use the time to prepare a healthy breakfast, get your blood pumping with a workout, or even catch up on the news. Your brain has been asleep for the best part of eight hours, and it needs some time to warm up (and caffeine!).

Create a solid routine

One of the good things about working in an office is that you have quite a set routine. When you start working from home, however, that’s all suddenly thrown up in the air.

 

That’s why you have to take control of your day and set your routine straight. Plan out the times when you want to work, what you’re going to focus on during those periods (email? brainstorming), and what time you’re going to take lunch.

 

Having a routine in place means that you’ll be able to resist temptations to do things you really shouldn’t be doing throughout the workday, so this is a really important step.

Set working hours

When you’re working from home, it’s so easy for your personal life to spill into work, but the opposite is also true. Set working hours for yourself, and check out of work outside of those hours.

 

This is something that I’m working on myself. Especially when you’re working on your own hustle, it can feel like you’re connected to work 24/7, and that’s why it’s even more important to set boundaries.

Remember to shower!

Not having to see people (who actually care if you smell) every week day is no excuse to let your personal hygiene slip. Dressing up for work, whether at home or in an office, is important psychologically because it sends a signal to your brain that you’re serious.

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Create a specific workspace

Make sure that this is separate from your places of relaxation, like your bedroom. Set up a desk somewhere with good lighting where you can concentrate on your work. If you don’t have space in your home, get creative, and think about whether you can get out and go to a public library or coffee shop around the corner. The goal is to have a specific space where work is your main focus, and distractions are kept down to a minimum.

Use a different browser for work

This is a method I devised several years ago. Using a different browser can completely shift your mindset – similar to having a separate workspace. Make sure that you don’t use social media on this browser, and that you don’t have personal bookmarks or links here.

 

I like using Google Chrome, where I can sign in with different accounts, and always have one window logged into my personal account, and another for work.

Plan out what you’re going to do

The thing about working in an office is that you always have someone reminding you about what you have to do, whether it’s sending you an email, or adding something to your calendar. When you’re on your own though, that’s all up to you. Write down your schedule and your tasks the day before so that you always know what you have on your plate.

 

  1. My Productive Life Kit has everything that you need to organise your workday!

Alicia is the founder of Alicia Grace Co, where she designs printable planners that enable women to achieve their goals with productivity, planning, and time management tools. She has a Law degree from the University of Cambridge and enjoys engaging with goal-getters, especially creative entrepreneurs. In her free time, she is either digging into a good book, food hunting, or snuggling with her very fluffy puppy.

Links

Website: http://aliciagraceco.com

 

Instagram: http://instagram.com/aliciagraceco

Facebook: http://facebook.com/aliciagraceco

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/aliciagraceco

How to make simple yet stunning graphics with Canva

This week is a video recording for you for Canva.

I’m sure lots of you are familiar with Canva already but for those who aren’t I’ve recorded a quick tutorial of the basics to get you started.

I must admit, I use Canva most days for myself and clients, so I am a huge fan. I often wondered what I did before Canva existed. You can create simple graphics, quickly and easily using various colours, logos, images and fonts. They offer 1000’s of free images and templates helping you get started.

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If you are looking for amazing quality images to use take a look at Creative Market, they also offer 6 freebies each week on a Monday. These can be images, templates, fonts etc.

I also have a short video showing you how to create a simple logo with transparent background in Canva

If you have any questions, let me know! I hope you find it helpful.

katie colella social, katie colella, social media, canva, creating graphics, making graphics, designing graphics, creating social media graphics

 

Amusement Park Entrepreneurship

This week’s blog post is written by the wonderful Melissa Fragomeni.

Are we crazy for chasing our dreams? I mean, what were we thinking when we started our own business? Who in their right mind would subject themselves to discomfort, bizarre mental games, and a plethora of unknowns more than once per day?

katie colella social, social media, va, virtual assistant, online business manager, entrepreneurship, entrepreneur

 

You are constantly asking yourself, at least multiple times daily, without fail: Is entrepreneurship at all for me? Am I even qualified? All the scary investments and draining bank account horror stories, not to mention the no-end-in-sight view when it comes to decisions that you need to make and haunting criticisms coming from unexpected sources, can make you really think twice about the leap you really want to take.

 

Imagine entrepreneurship as a real-life amusement park. It will be filled with thrilling rides and terrifying ones that leave you feeling nauseous. It can be unpredictable most of the time, no matter how much mental preparation you have done. Or it can be tame and easy for a short amount of time before you are back on your toes, alert and ready for action.

 

I have to be honest with you. There will be rides we sometimes don’t want to take. And that is fine. We will often be pushed out of our comfort zones. But there will be moments when the rides are just not for us. Not because we are afraid, but because we know it is not the right fit for us where we are right now.

 

There will be temptations, those sweet cotton candies and aromatic buttery foods. In the early stages, chasing the shiny objects and doing all the things will burn you out and create heaps of accumulated doubts, fears, and frustration. But, pretty soon, you learn to discern when to say no, and when to get a taste of something. But you never go overboard because you know it will do you more harm than good. You have learned to be smart and know your limits.

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Just like amusement park themes, entrepreneurship has its seasons of flow, of ups and downs, of growth, of focus. Depending on what you desire for each season, your business will reflect that. Sometimes you need growth so there is a season of making more connections than usual and penciled-in podcast opportunities. Other seasons you need to let go and focus on your zone of genius, so in order to do that you seek support through VAs and team members. The year-round rides that never close represent moral and loving support you always need, such as family, friends, business besties, and perhaps, coaches. Hold on tight to those.

 

At the end of the day, it has been a fun ride. But is it worth it all? If you have read this all the way through and felt more excited than nauseous, I’d say are in it for the long haul. Successful business owners have shared the same challenges and come out on top. Sure, it requires a whole lot of faith and some confidence. Even one tiny drop of each is enough, especially because you will eventually learn and grow every step of the way, and you will build up all the good qualities you need to succeed, too. There is no doubt in my mind about that, no matter how silly or unqualified or unprepared you feel. Because truth is, we are all three when we start.

 

So, yes, to answer the most asked question, entrepreneurship is pretty much worth the roller coaster adventure. Our dreams are worth it. So strap yourself in and let the journey unfold.

 

 

Confidence and Empowerment Coach

 

Website: Melissamaria.com (undergoing updates)

FB group: http://bit.ly/WholisticQueenTribe

Instagram: @melissamariacoaching

This is how you can save time and stress in your business

I’ve sat down a few times to write this post but never seem to get past a few lines; it is something I really wanted to share with you all though so I kept at it. Ladies, I know how it feels to be struggling to juggle your business with your personal life and I have found the solution.

In the past, I had tried to do it all but over the past 15 years as an entrepreneur, I have developed strategies that I am ready to share with you today. I realised where exhausted business owners were going wrong, they weren’t spending enough time ON their business and were instead stuck IN it. As a result of applying these strategies myself, my business has been super charged and I’ve become a more balanced person, I feel the happiest I’ve ever been.

If you haven’t got the time to read the entire blog post (I know you ladies are busy), you can get your hands on my free guide today and learn right now how to spend more time ON your business, creating a more balanced and profitable life- click below.

katie colella social, social media, virtual assistant, va

I had always wanted to work for myself. I’m very ambitious and wanted more than an ‘average’ life. It came as no surprise to my family that at 18 I bought a sandwich bar. I was barely an adult and yet I was already a business owner.

Owning your own business is liberating but parts of the journey are tough. I tried to do everything myself, I didn’t want to let go of control and I was afraid to delegate in case other people got it all wrong but I was burning myself out.

I remember wishing that there was a better way and that I had more time. I lost loads of weight, I wasn’t eating properly, I was stressed, unfocused and bitterly unhappy. My business started to suffer and I felt a complete failure.  

A few years later my husband and I decided that we would start a guesthouse. We had an offer accepted and by now, I was also 4 months pregnant. Life went from busy to hopelessly hectic; we were both working, I was pregnant and we had a whole house renovation and a business to build from scratch. The idyllic dream we had of running a guesthouse alongside our growing family, became a nightmare.

This experience may have been hard but looking back it was a gift. I learnt so much along the way and juggling life as a business owner with children was just the beginning. Just like in my last business though, I longed to be able to do more of the things I loved to do in the business but I felt trapped by the mundane.

5 years later, it all became too much and we sold up and I moved into an online eCommerce business. I still had to work crazy hours as I was building my new business from scratch but I was determined to make a success out of it. Business was booming, so much so, I had to move to larger units three times in two years. The lessons I had learnt in previous businesses were paying off but one thing I couldn’t let go of; control!  

I worked loads of hours and literally ate, breathed and slept my business. I struggled to let anyone in. It was my baby; my business and I wanted to do it all. Deep down, I knew that in order to grow, I needed help but I found it so hard to hand over.

I had slipped into the familiar routine of working too much IN my business, rather than ON my business, and trying to do it all myself! I was desperately trying to create to that work/life balance but failing miserably.

In the spring of 2016, I had an incredible epiphany when I realised what I was doing wrong; I had been so focused on doing everything in my business that I had forgotten to enjoy the bits I loved doing.

Being an entrepreneur is a unique experience and one that requires a significant amount of self-motivation. Wealth had always been main my motivator and although growth will always be important to me, I suddenly realised that I wasn’t giving myself or my business the real opportunity to expand because I had been constantly close to burn out. Yes, I may have made progress but without the ability to stay motivated, in the face of exhaustion, I had been setting myself up to fail.

I decided to sell the business. It was a scary when I felt hugely out of my comfort zone but also a huge opportunity for reflection after such a hectic 4 years. Once I got over the shock, I felt proud to consider how I had started this business from scratch and built it up to a multiple 6 figure business.

After 15 years as an entrepreneur I had learnt one very important lesson; taking care of myself was paramount to the success of my business and my well-being. If I could go back to my 18-year-old self I would tell her to take a breath but I can’t do that.

So instead, I am focused finally on doing what I love! I have built the entire of my new business around what gives me joy and if there is an aspect of running the business I don’t like I outsource it. Letting go of complete control has given me incredible freedom and enabled me to focus on what I love. This has allowed my business to actually grow and at an even faster rate than before.

After everything I have learnt I am now passionate about helping other women in business in that same position I used to be. I want to support those suffering from that same overwhelm that I remember so well. I want to help these women work ON their business instead of IN it.

This is where the growth is. This is where the happiness is.

katie colella social, social media, virtual assistant, va

 

A 25 hour day

I know, it’s the dream right?! When you are a fierce female entrepreneur there never seem to be
enough hours in the day, the amount of times in the past I have wished for just one more hour! I used to think that if I had this hour, everything would be OK, I would get everything done and the world would be at peace.
Of course, I was wrong. Time was never the problem.

Einstein said it himself, it is all relative. The problem wasn’t that I didn’t have enough time but that I wasn’t using it properly. Understanding this was the first step, then came the hardest part; finding the time or organise my time!
This pattern was going to repeat forever unless I took action and stopped using time as an excuse. The action I took when I set up my new business is outlined in my free guide and it is written with love, with you in mind, so you can put into practice today what took me years to learn.

katie colella social, social media, virtual assistant, va

 

The Secret to Doing It All

When you own your own business, it’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to do it all. This is especially difficult if you are also trying to take care of your family and your home at the same time. Trying to be all things to all people just leaves you with an unavoidable feeling of failure.
Trying to do it all myself was a mistake that forced me to rock bottom, on my way back up I
discovered the secret to doing it all was actually letting go of the constant need to control and micro-manage everything.
You will have areas of your life and business that you are amazing at and you love and in equal
measure, there will be things you don’t! Take this opportunity to reflect on what makes you feel alive and reminds you that you are contributing to the world, this what you should be focusing on and in my guide I will tell you what to do with the rest!

katie colella social, social media, virtual assistant, va

 

Find Balance Today

Women of the world seem to spend their entire life looking for this elusive ‘balance,’ but what does it actually mean? When my life was unbalanced I felt as if I was being pulled in different directions and never seemed to do fulfil any of my many roles properly. An unbalanced life is exhausting, physically and mentally and inevitably leads to burn out. To live a balanced life means that you feel in control, calm, grounded, inspired and motivated.
I know what it feels like to be unbalanced, I’ve been there and got the t-shirt but when I set up my new business I knew that to find balance in life you had to create it. I couldn’t leave it to chance or to anyone else. It had to be a conscious decision and involved the implementation of specific strategies, applied with consistency. To be in control I had to take control and you too can do this today.

 

ready, katie colella social, va, virtual assistant, save time, save stress, work on your business

 

Want to get results in your business too?

As a result of finding my way in my business, I feel happier, more balanced and I’m enjoying time for me and with my family more than ever. I have more time and less stress- finally after all these years on my own business journey.
I want to help other women who are feeling stressed, overwhelmed and close to burnout. If you never have enough hours in your day and try to do it all, take a look at my free guide.

katie colella social, social media, virtual assistant, va

 

 The Tactics You Need To Change To Make Your Brand Stand Out

This week’s blog post was written by guest poster Hannah Kennefick of Beautifully Forever WordPress.

Thanks to the internet its never been easier to move your business brand into the public eye.

Even better, if done with the right amount of finesse, you can practically market yourself for free, (give or take the occasional monthly subscription for content scheduling apps such as Buffer, Hootsuite or Facebook ads).

The world is literally accessible by the click of a button on our phones.  We can reach our target clientele/customers in a way that business generations of days gone by could have only dreamed of.

katie colella social, vip package, social media, va, virtual assistant, business support specialist, branding, brand, be you, authenticity

We have the chance to put our businesses anywhere we want.. wherever we want.

Yet, so many of us find it hard to be seen amongst the masses of brands on the world wide web. Why is that?

Speaking from personal experience as a network marketer  I feel I have a fairly good indication of what’s going on and it isn’t pretty.

The majority of people working their business on the internet have no authenticity. None at all and as a result, they’ve faded into the background only to be seen now and again when customers type the brand name into the search bar as an afterthought to see if the company is still in business.

Because they don’t stand out from the rest of their business niche. They’ve blended into the crowd and that’s the worst thing that can happen within an industry that is only going to grow, no doubt by billions in the next few years.

What makes me think that?

People are finally finding ways to create a life and income on their own terms from the comfort of home. No long commuting, no more late days thanks to traffic jams, no official warnings for too many sick days. No sensations of feeling trapped within those four office walls. Freedom to work how and when we want is the fast approaching future. I’ve  seen people ” working” from their phones while enjoying a large glass of wine by the pool on holiday ( thanks to video calling technology).

Parents can now be with and work around their family commitments rather than move their children around work commitments.

Who in their right mind would not want that?

Although it’s certainly NOT the case for everyone before we jump on the latest ‘let’s bash Hanzi with angry comments’ bandwagon.

I’m speaking from personal experience. Lessons lived and learned. I’ve been there and done it.  I’ve won and dressed in my “most unauthentic brand t-shirt”  shorts and even the hat to hide my face under.

So please hear me out when I  say I come with love and good intentions. I’m here to help YOU by sharing my mistakes.

I’m going to come at this from a network marketing perspective because that’s where my experience lies. However, it’s a genuine rule of thumb whatever your industry.

Spamming.

Your business is new and exciting, you want to scream from the rooftops about it. You want to tell everyone you’ve ever met every  tiny little detail about what you represent and how your business is better than anyone else’s in your niche. I hear you, and you definitely should tell people about what you’re doing! Genuine excitement is contagious and addictive. Human beings are inquisitive by nature and let’s face it, we hate to be left out of the loop.

But here’s the thing…..there’s an incredibly fine line between getting people’s attention,  creating excitement and curiosity before you become a spamtastic robot!

You know what I mean right?

You’ve seen businesses pop up on your news feed, it is really intriguing, it draws you in, this might be something you want to know more about in the future. So you like the business/blog page with the intentions of going back to it later and browsing the content of the page. (I love looking at new pages).

However when you open up the social app later that day your newsfeed is absolutely FLOODED with post after post after post from the page you followed, you’re literally scrolling for thirty minutes trying to find other content. The same thing happens when you return later.

What do you end up doing? If you’re anything like me, I hit the unlike button. Seeing nothing but adverts begging me to buy products gets stagnant rather quickly and lets be honest it can be very annoying too!

Only from it happening to me did I quickly realise I was one of those people! I was a spammer!

katie colella social, vip package, social media, va, virtual assistant, business support specialist, branding, brand, be you, authenticity

So if you’re going to post frequently on social media shake things up a little, add a pinch of spice, a spoonful of variety, a bucketful of fun!

Limit your advertising content to three/four posts a day, spread out at various times and share other people’s content in-between. Sharing is caring after all!

If you’re not sure when you should/shouldn’t post content,  I found the perfect social media posting guide here.

 

Putting your needs first

I’ve been there.  Boy have I been there, even if I don’t want to admit it, I was pretty self-serving when I first started networking. I just saw my own end game and the things I wanted. A new team member. X amount of sales.

When I first started my networking business I went maniacally through my entire Facebook and Instagram friends list, which thankfully at the time wasn’t any larger than ninety people per account. I messaged everyone.

Now, this isn’t a bad thing parse if you do it the correct way. Which is exactly what I didn’t do.

I attacked that list with gusto.  Over two hundred messages sent overall in a single day…. without landing in Facebook jail …Happy dance!

All I had to do now was just sit back and wait for my inbox to go crazy with all the sales I was going to be inundated with.

I could practically see the money signs dancing in my eyes. The clothes I was going to buy myself after I paid the bills with this outstanding amount of income I effortlessly created.  But I didn’t get any sales, I didn’t make a single sale, not a single one!

Why?

Well, again I was spamming people.

But the main reason was that everyone could see straight through my intentions.

Every single person who opened that message instantly recognised that the only reason I even bothered to message them was that I wanted something from them.

Nothing else. I wanted them to buy something from me and I wasn’t subtle about it.

I sent the exact SAME message over and over again and my intentions were easy to read.  I might as well have said, I don’t care what you buy, I just want you to give me your money to help my business succeed because that was what my message was saying to every person who read it. I don’t care about your needs, I don’t want to help solve any problems for you. I just want your money.

I was serving myself and that was selfish. So in the love of all things business brand related I beg of you, reach out to that friend list! But do so with the intention to help each person with their problems. That’s when they will come to you.

At least say hello and ask how the person is before you try to pitch a sale.

Which brings me to my next point…

Being impersonal in your brand

When doesn’t someone even make the effort to put a hello Hanzi how are you?  At the beginning of a message, I tend to skip past it and ignore.

If you’re not willing to take the time to even say hello before you tell me how fantastic your service is then I have reason to be drawn in, I want to buy from a human being who I can relate to, someone who will listen to my needs and be willing to work with me and find the best solution to my problem. Not just send a generic answer void of any human emotion.

I want to know that the products or services this person is extending to me are being recommended from a place of understanding. The human being behind the business is what draws people in, in order to do that you need to be willing to get personal and connect with people. Genuinely connect.

  • Write the person’s name
  • Say Hello, ask how they are
  • Create a human connection by being you.

 

There are many ways we can be authentic when creating our business brand. Nothing represents you or your business better than showing your true human self. Bring out your personality, be willing to be you, and connect with the people you reach out to, show them you care, that you genuinely want to help, be warm and welcoming and I guarantee that it won’t be long before your brand is standing tall amongst the  growing crowds

 

Love and Blessings to you

until next time

Hanzi

xoxo

With thanks to this week’s blog post writer – Hannah Kennefick of Beautifully Forever WordPress. Hannah is in love with the vintage era fashion and slowly becoming beauty obsessed! She’s an accidental paleo diet loving plus sized women with a side of pagan spirituality! She is a professional network marketer and goal chasing mompreneur.

If you would like to add some tactics of maintaining true to your brand and growing your business with authenticity, please comment below.

Read Related Blog Post: Why I’ll Forever Be Normal

What could you do with an extra 10 hrs a week?

Possibly the most used phrases ever, 

“I don’t have time’,

‘ I’m too busy’

‘I didn’t get chance’

‘In a minute’

The list goes on, but let’s face it, most of us are rushed off our feet, trying to fit as much into our busy schedules as we can. We run businesses, manage our houses, look after children, constantly juggling a million and one things.

10 glorious hours a week

Have you ever stopped and thought what 10 hours a week would mean to you. 2 hours a day extra in your life. What would you do? What could you do? 40 glorious hours a month Mon-Fri for your business.

Would this free you up to contact more clients and receive more work?

Would this give you back the time that you so desperately crave? 

Would you spend it with your family? 

Would you use it to do that training course you’ve been putting off? 

There are so many ways that you could grow YOU and your business if you allowed yourself 10 extra hours a week.

Yes! I’d love an extra 10hours/week

Tell me how!

But, how would that work I hear you ask? I still have so many things I need to do, if I took 10 hours for the things I really want to do, then how would I fit it all in?

This is the reason I’ve introduced my VIP Package. It’s a package just for you, the lady who knows what they want and how they’d use those 10 extra hours a week. The lady that knows her worth and value and knows that in order to grow they need another pair of hands. This could be to do the tasks you don’t enjoy or the tasks that you aren’t great at, or it could be the tasks that simply take too long. I give you extra time and help take some of the stress away from you too.

katie colella social, vip package, va, virtual assistant,

How can I help?

Would you love somebody to schedule all your social media for you? Or someone to help with your FB group? Someone to send regular emails to your clients or customers? Someone to reply to comments and messages on your social media channels, someone to upload those blog posts, someone to speak to your clients on your behalf. Whatever it is, that you’d like to not have to do, get in touch and let’s see if I can help.

 

The VIP package is for the lady who wants that little bit more- the 1:1 service, the instant messenger access and the knowledge that I’ll never work with more than 3 VIP clients at any time.

I need to be a VIP client!

Do you have a top service, package or product? Would you love to be able to sell more of those? How many extra sales do you think you could make with an extra 2 hours a day? 

 

I have the experience of having owned numerous businesses, so I understand the pressures that are on us, especially those we put on ourselves!

katie colella social, va, virtual assistant, social media assistant

If you value YOUR WORTH and would love to have me there to help you and your business grow, get in touch now and we’ll arrange a Skype or Zoom chat to see how I can help you!

I want to be a VIP!