What I Am Working On: The Money Mindset Course

The Money Mindset Course

It’s exciting when I client website launches! There’s no way around it. I’m happy the client is happy and happy that they are on the next step in their journey. This week, Sarah Walton released her project The Money Mindset Course to the world.

My favorite teaching from Sarah… “Money is the most powerful tool we have access to today, but chances are, you weren’t taught how to think about it, or how to use it to further your purpose, your dreams and your voice.”

I love diving into the different industries that my client’s work in and being exposed to their smarts.

This project kept Sarah and I working together since January. Not only creating a full website, sign up for Sarah’s Free Money Class to access the course info page, but also a companion, printed workbook chock full of exercises, goal setting, and more.

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Video Conferencing? You Need This…

Chat Light comparison

If online video, recording or conferencing, is part of your business then you need this gadget… The Chat Light.

Its the perfect, pint-sized lighting companion to a laptop video set up. Since it is adjustable, it shines just the right amount of light onto your face to even out the shadows that appear with using natural lighting. Check out my photo to see how it fills in those dark areas of my face to create an overall pleasing lighting situation for online interactions.

The Chat Light easily mounts to a laptop, ipad, or even a phone (I haven’t tried this one yet though so don’t know how easy it is to use on the go.) I bought the light to mainly use for my laptop Zoom meetings. My photographer days keep me cringing at bad lighting situations, so this inexpensive fix makes me happy and keeps me in full view of my conversations.

Virtual coffee, yes please. Client meeting across the country, no problem if its dark and stormy here.

Here is one more image that is a testament to this mighty lights power. Here I am sitting in front of window on a bright, sunny day:

Although the bright white background is distracting, the fact that the camera renders my face fully with so much light behind me is awesome.

Sharing this small yet effective product because I love it, no affiliate links associated.

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The Importance of Saying “No”

Uh... No Mug

 

I’ve had two conversations recently about the same topic, people noticing your strength in something and then hurling a responsibility at you. As if just because you are good at a task you want to be in charge of it from here on out.

In one of these conversations I told the story of when I left my fast-paced, world traveling fashion industry job. I was done with the industry on a whole and took a job at a nice little Italian cafe in New York’s East Village to live day to day. Here I would serve espresso and croissants and give patrons the correct change without worry of reclaim, and be so happy in my little world. Two weeks into the job they came to me. We love you Sandra, here are the keys to the place, please start opening at 6am each day. Wha Wha What??? The girl who trained me even said, “I didn’t get the keys for two years…” So there I was, 2 weeks into my ‘cafe sabbatical’ and running the morning shift. I stink of responsibility. Everywhere I go, it happens. But at that time I didn’t say “No, that’s not what I am here for.”

One place I have grown stronger over the years is in my ability to say No. I have made a concerted effort to reflect what won’t work for me and to ask for what I need in working relationships. These No’s are part of a negation of sorts. I practice this concept working with my clients when they ask for items out of my wheelhouse – sometimes its nice to stretch yourself, sometimes these tasks are just not what I want to be doing. Or when clients ask for things that are beyond the scope of our current program. It’s easy for needs to expand while working on a project, but keeping clear boundaries allows for me to pace myself, to plan, and to have my work be valued. I’ve come to know that clients don’t even realize that they are going out of scope and when I speak up for myself, they are receptive to the adjusted project.

A lack of No can come from different places for each of us. For me, I’m a pleaser. I don’t want to say No because I want you to be happy, even if it makes me miserable. Just this week I practiced saying No when a project came with such a short timeframe. I already had a full plate and taking this new project on would have meant my attention to other work would be shelved. I grappled with saying No. I even wrote an email saying Yes, then really pushed myself to think about the stress of the timeframe and the added work. Being a pleaser is a trait that’s embedded deep…

This whole concept of No becomes a fine line of being assertive for ourselves. Whether it happens with a boss or a client, you are still accountable to yourself. I think saying No, although in the moment may feel dicey, in the long run makes you stronger!

When people recognize your skills they want to work with you. Its flattering, as you know you could do a stellar job, but be sure you weigh the options. Will taking on the companies social media really help YOU in the long run. Or will it eat up your time and creativity all because you wanted to be a “team player”.

 

All great achievements require time.
– Maya Angelou

Your great achievement, whatever it is you want to do, requires YOUR time!

It’s important to practice saying No to someday master saying No.

Quick tips for deflection:

  • Do not make excuses or offer up explanations. A simple “No, I can’t take that on right now” will suffice.

  • For social engagements, RSVP early. Make the decision and give your reply. Wallowing in indecision will only lead to a guilted “Yes”

  • Be productive in the time you are claiming as your own – whether it is completing a task or exercising – making good use of your time feeds the feeling to continue being productive.

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Your Time Is Up AOL

black alarm clock

I have thought about this over the years and to me, AOL is dead. But people still have their trusty ‘ol email accounts there and get some news from the front page log-in.

I finally decided to write about this today because I’m working with a client who uses aol and we have encountered a problem with the Gravity Forms that I put on his site. I get the forms, in testing, his other gmail account, it gets the forms, but his aol account does not receive the forms.

Let me back a minute and explain Gravity Forms. They are a great tool used to create custom forms on your website. You can use them as contact forms and add extra fields with questions that are particular to your business. You can add them to your site as ways to for customers to register for your store programs. You can use them as client in-take forms to ask specific questions from prospects before you set up a consult call. The other thing that Gravity Forms can do is integrate with your list software. It integrates with MailChimp and offers Add-Ons for Dropbox, Trello, PayPal, Freshbooks and more. One less step to get your info to its destination! Gravity Forms are great and since they are totally customizable I love introducing the idea of them to my web design clients.

Back to aol… To me, aol is so old that new technology doesn’t want to keep up with it. For it to seamlessly deliver with Gravity Forms, you’ve got to set up an extra plug-in. FYI: I like to keep my plug-ins to a minimum on site designs and save their use for some cool stuff, not just to make sure I get a form!  Part of this is probably due to spam filters that are part of aol’s set up.  This is also rumored to happen with Hotmail too, another email provider from the 90’s. As a tech provider, if you don’t keep up with the tech times, make it so your software can work with other platforms, you are sure to be considered ‘not breathing’. And doing your customers a disservice.

There is always another option and that is to update your email to a current provider, Gmail or G-Suite. G-Suite allows you to use your domain name and for a branded address (hello@yourbrand.com) without having to get into the issues of forwarding webmail, another rabbit hole. And for your business this presents a branded, professional image building immediate trust with customers. It’s also a mindset thing. Whenever I see an aol email being used I think “Whoa, they are old.” (Coming from someone who is kind of old too). As a business we always want to put our best foot forward. Being up with the times, this century at this point, is part of that. We’ve heard it before Like, Know, Trust. Get some good email!

 

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I’m Recommitting

Sandra Scaiano Web Designer

I’m recommitting to writing! Not for list building, not for SEO, not for me, but really for you. It sounds so cliche, I know… As I was on a run this morning and listening to the Creative Empire Podcast, it hit me. Everyday I am working with clients, hammering out their tech problems, things that others must run into all the time as well. I thought, why am I not sharing this info as I discover/solve each? Some people get their best ideas in the shower. I get mine while in motion. So the rest of the run I mapped it out, loosely, very loosely. I’m going to recommit. Recommit to writing, to sharing, to doing all of the things that I tell my clients to do. It’s not going to be pretty or edited, but you’ll get the gist and most importantly the info and ideas that will help you move your business #forward.

For the past two years I have been saying “I’m the shoemakers kids have no shoes…”. There was so much wrong with what I have been doing on my website, no opt-in, no list building, no blogging, no site updates, no products, a crappy Services page, etc. But I’ve come to understand, that was really just what I was doing. What I was doing for others was something else. I’m not mad at it. I know the way. And for me “the way” is to feel it. I knew but didn’t feel it up until now.

Behind the scenes I have been forging #forward and have a new website and new product offering coming out this year. But I thought we could take this journey together, so I’m starting now with imperfection and a crappy Services page. I promise to share my insights on all these years of client wins, solutions to pesky problems, of re-design, and product innovation. The things that are spinning in my world now. So be ready to hear from me more on the regular.

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