Weekly Finds

Weekly Finds for the Solopreneur

Weekly Finds for the solopreneur

Welcome to One Woman Shop Weekly Finds – where we scour the web to bring you a curated list of posts, links, and resources that we think will help your business — and maybe even your life!

Fact: “Women are 27% more likely than men to say they have no retirement savings.” That’s why resources like Ubiquity’s Retirement + Savings’ Single(k) is crucial for one woman shops. (And…two thumbs up for their hashtag: #FinancialFeminism)

What can you accomplish in five days? A whole lot when it comes to building a solid foundation of self-care. Whether you want to live and work more mindfully, establish healthy boundaries, or crush your goals, get a free, 5-day email course from Kerstin Auer over at tools for better.

“Ugh.” <-- The standard response from most solopreneurs + creative biz owners when they think about the legal side of things. Luckily, we have amazing resources like Christina Scalera to turn to. We're digging her latest "happy hour" post on what to do once you’ve nailed the legal basics.

It seems like every solopreneur and their mother has a VA (sometimes their VA is their mother…which is totally cool!). Of course, there’s a reason for that. Despite the upfront time investment of integrating a VA into your biz, the benefits are vast — but Indigo Colton shares with us the one benefit that’s often overlooked over on Heather Crabtree’s blog.

Changing your web host is never a fun (nor an easy) task. So when it came time for us to do it this fall as we outgrew our shared plan on Bluehost, we were super grateful to find this resource on the best web hosting on reviews.com — beautifully broken down into language even we can understand. (Spoiler alert: We’re now on inMotion.)

Coworking. Whether in-person or virtually, it’s one of the biggest solutions to overcoming the potential loneliness of solopreneurship. Geraldine Bedell reports on the worldwide coworking culture over on Digg, highlighting one of many things we appreciate about coworking: “A study by Harvard Business Review found that coworkers believe their work has more meaning.” Yes, please.

We love chatting about Tools We Love — so what better way to end this edition of Weekly Finds than by sharing the latest: Coach. Coach combines software that helps you build, engage, and convert your online audience (think: invoicing, scheduling, and content, all in one system) with expert coaching to help you set and achieve your goals along the way.

Weekly Finds

Weekly Finds for the Solopreneur

Weekly Finds for the solopreneur

Welcome to One Woman Shop Weekly Finds – where we scour the web to bring you a curated list of posts, links, and resources that we think will help your business — and maybe even your life!

“I am not your girlboss.” If that statement takes you off guard (after all, #girlboss is pretty much everywhere these days), read this insightful piece from Katie Levans of Charlotte Agenda. Her points are real, fellow bosses.

Hey, moms — we know you’re busy. But that doesn’t mean you can’t start and run a successful business. Monica of Redefining Mom has done it — and shares how to define the type of business you want to start, how to tackle taxes and financial systems, and how to find the time to build it all while working and taking care of your family in her free 7-day email course. Grab it here!

One of our favorite things about affiliate marketing here at OWS is that it gives us the opportunity to share products + services we believe in, in areas that we aren’t necessarily experts in — saving you the time of scouring the internet. Tad, from Marketing for Hippies, agrees with that benefit — but also points out the potential negatives of affiliate marketing, and how he’s chosen to go about it, moving forward. #likeminded

Stuck wondering what you should blog about in your business? You’re not alone. Ashley Brooks of Brooks Editorial has the answer to that — and more — in her new, 64-page workbook, Blogging for Business. And it’s only $15. (For real!)

Choice. It’s a good thing to have, right? To a certain extent — yes. But what happens when it paralyzes us? Barry Schwartz explores the paradox of choice in this 20-minute, classic Ted Talk that we recently rediscovered and couldn’t help but share in our ever-ending quest for solopreneur sanity.

We all know the airplane rule: In case of an emergency, put your own oxygen mask on before you help others. Selfish? Not quite. Caroline from Made Vibrant invites us to “begin dismantling this idea of what it means to be selfish and reassemble it with the understanding that focusing on one’s self can actually be a very positive thing” in this important letter.

If your shelves are feeling a little lonely lately, you’ll want to dig into this: Bookcelerator ranks the top books that “will make you smarter” by compiling upvotes from Product Hunt, reviews from Amazon and GoodReads, and reading time. Check out collections curated by fellow entrepreneurs, find the shortest business books that you can devour in under two hours, and more.

Weekly Finds

Weekly Finds for the Solopreneur

Weekly Finds for the solopreneur

Welcome to One Woman Shop Weekly Finds – where we scour the web to bring you a curated list of posts, links, and resources that we think will help your business — and maybe even your life!

Being a solopreneur takes tenacity, organization, and lot of heart. Being a mompreneur? It takes all of that…and more. That’s why Monica of Redefining Mom built Busy Moms Building Online Businesses — a free 7-day email course that teaches you how to define the type of business you want to start, tackle taxes and financial systems, and find the time to build it all while working and taking care of your family.

Cultivating more public relations opportunities isn’t necessarily at the top of every solopreneur’s to-do list — but that’s not to say it shouldn’t be. PR pro Emma Lawrence gives us 7 surefire signs you need to up your PR efforts. (Personally, we’re big fans of #7. #stretchyourself)

Telling your brand story needs more than just words — it needs design that heightens those words. That’s what Holly Meyer is all about — injecting new life into your brand with the perfect visual design and coaching that lights your fire and sharpens your roar. See her work at Holly Meyer Design, and sign up for her free video series that helps you strengthen your voice.

Service-based business owners: Sick of working with clients that just don’t seem to fit you? It’s about time to make a change. Fortunately, RM Harrison has outlined a process for cloning your favorite client — so that you can do the work you love with the people and companies you love.

Let’s talk about why the stuff you’ve tried so far hasn’t quite worked yet. There are a lot of tips, tricks and strategies out there, but they only really work when you have clarity on your brand message, know what you do, and why people should care about it. This summer you can finally figure it out with Hey Shenee’s Summer of Clarity. Refreshed already? Us, too.

Speaking of fixing what’s not working — how about getting a pro’s eyes on your website? And not just any online pro, but the one-and-only Sarah Von Bargen (who we lovingly refer to as SVB). Here’s how to borrow her 12,000 daily readers + 7 years of blogging experience and come away with actionable tips that help you rock the internet starting right meow. (She is a cat lover, after all.)

A common question amongst solopreneurs: Do I really need a blog? Valid inquiry, friends. Well, Lacy Boggs — who’s blog is her best sales tool — helps you figure out the ROI of each blog post with this step-by-step formula, so that next time you’re wondering if you really should be blogging as you’re sloughing through that draft, you know the answer.

Weekly Finds

Weekly Finds for the Solopreneur

Weekly Finds for the solopreneur

Welcome to One Woman Shop Weekly Finds – where we scour the web to bring you a curated list of posts, links, and resources that we think will help your business — and maybe even your life!

Who said techies don’t have personality? (Not us, that’s for sure.) To debunk that myth, we turn to Cameron from Skillcrush who breaks down 16 Beginner Freelance Projects to Fit Your Personality Type (based on Myers-Briggs outcomes).

Graphic design should be more than just pretty. That’s the principle designer Christie Montague follows when working with business go-getters to create kick-ass designs that meet their business goals. (Speaking of kick ass, check out her hand-written notes from this year’s High Five Conference.)

The never-ending struggle for focus is…never ending. 99 Smart Ideas curated tips on focus from 37 experts for those days when shiny object syndrome sets in.

It takes more than being organized to begin a VA biz. Fret not; OWS member Julienne created Launch Now, the digital e-course that’ll show you everything you need to get started building your VA business, today. (And she’s giving OWS readers 30% off with the code ows30!)

What’s the “gig economy?” Do you need to file a tax return for your biz? How do you go about it? So. Many. Questions. (And they aren’t usually the fun ones.) Check out the mini-guide the fellas at FormSwift put out to get primed: The Freelancer’s Essential Guide to Business & Taxes.

Facebook loves changing things up — sometimes frustrating; sometimes awesome. Here’s one of the latter: Facebook business stories, the easy (+ free) tool that lets you create 16-second intro videos for any Business page you manage.

Shannon Mattern knows that you deserve to spend your precious time and energy doing what you love, not stressing out about your website. That’s why she created WP+BFF’s free, 5-Day Website Challenge to teach you how!

Weekly Finds

Weekly Finds for the Solopreneur

Welcome to One Woman Shop Weekly Finds – where we members of the community scour the web to bring you a curated list of posts, links, and resources that we they think will help your business—and maybe even your life! This week’s curator: Jennifer Wenzel, audio recording consultant and voice narration coach, helping solopreneurs who are ready to get their voice heard.

Everyone knows that the list is where the riches are. But how to build your list? Explore nine different types of offers to give away in exchange for your ideal client’s email address in this insightful article from Boost Blog Traffic.

You don’t need to be a coach to utilize these 101 insightful questions from The School of Coaching Mastery. Sometimes self-coaching and focused reflection on questions like “What’s the benefit of this problem?” will help you see beyond your current frame of reference.

SEO can be overwhelming and costly, but not with a free tool called Seed Keywords. If you’re wondering what search terms people might use to find your product or service, simply ask. Create a ‘search scenario’, and query your business peers and potential clients—post to Facebook group members, LinkedIn groups, create a Twitter post, or send in your email newsletter.  

Eleanore Strong has a detailed three-month blueprint to build an audience from scratch, utilizing technical tools and old-fashioned sleuthing. She also has a free webinar that walks you through the blueprint all the way from research to content creation to audience engagement.

Wondering about how the way you spend your time affects your bottom line? James Clear lays out a thoughtful approach to answering that question with a post called “The Value of Time.”

One way I maximize my spare time is reading insightful business books. While I’m a bit over the age range that this article is targeted toward, I highly agree with the recommendations of Business Insider’s “33 Business Books Every Professional Should Read Before Turning 30”.

I’m a strong believer in the power of the voice in business. The easiest way to record audio is on a free conference call service. Free Conference USA has no advertising, accommodates up to 250 participants, allows unlimited recording, saves your recordings as .mp3s for immediate download, and doesn’t require you to reserve a conference line. To record your own audio without another participant, dial in and start your conference call, then dial in from another phone and put it on mute. (Don’t forget to hit the record function!)

Weekly Finds

Weekly Finds for the Solopreneur

Welcome to One Woman Shop Weekly Finds – where we scour the web to bring you a curated list of posts, links, and resources that we think will help your business — and maybe even your life!

If you’re rocking a serious case of wanderlust and wondering if the risk is worth the reward, we urge you to read one of the latest posts from Chris Guillebeau: Adventure Is Worthwhile In Itself.

New year, new you — right? Make it for real this time, and let the tools for better workbooks from OWS member Kerstin Auer help you. Learn more — and grab her badass coloring pages while you’re at it!

Talking about the new year, the lovely ladies at Braid Creative came up with a new approach to resolutions called “Reflect and Resolve.” It’s not about setting goals, but rather intentions for the new year.

We thought we knew how to use Gmail — then we read this. From tips using Boomerang and IFTTT to having your email automatically recognize receipts and import them into a spreadsheet, Alli Worthington covers it all in her post on How to Use Gmail and Make it Work For You.

I (Sara) just scored a standing desk — and am loving it — but I still loved reading this article with 4 Easy Yoga Poses To Practice at Your Desk from Mind Body Green. Stretch, breathe, repeat — and you don’t even have to get up.

You can say no to a potential client — before that “client regret” kicks in — if you feel it isn’t right for you. Olyvia explains the 9 warning signs to avoid bad clients.

Do you want to make money online? (Ahem… maybe the better questions is “who doesn’t…?”) Here’s a refreshing guide from Viperchill. Hint: It probably isn’t what you expect.

Weekly Finds

Weekly Finds for the Solopreneur

Welcome to One Woman Shop Weekly Finds – where we members of the community scour the web to bring you a curated list of posts, links, and resources that we they think will help your business—and maybe even your life! This week’s curator: Julienne DesJardins, virtual assistant for solopreneurs who are ready for major growth in their business.

Have you ever wondered what your readers think of your site when they visit? Then you need to try Peek! Enter your website and you’ll be emailed a 5-minute video where you can listen to one of the Peek testers check out your site. (My tester even opted-in to my list during the video!)

When I found Coolors recently, I was over the moon. This awesome tool will help you choose a color scheme by generating new options for you with a simple click of your space bar. You can even lock in a particular color, or add one by Hex Code, and Coolors will build around that!

If you’re like me, you’re always on the lookout for really great stock photos that are copyright-free and safe to use on your site and posts. Well, you’re going to love these (and these!) super feminine, styled images from Ashley Ella Design that are free to download!

When you launch your own business, you learn a ton of new skills, right? In my experience, some of those new skills came more easily than others. Learning how to talk about myself has not been a walk in the park, and Melissa Cassera’s free Write a Better Bio challenge has been a great help!

I love working with ambient noise on in the background. I’ve found that it really helps my focus. Defonic is a great tool for this because you can customize your sound for a particular work session! You’re able to turn on and combine the different tracks, like lightning, coffee shop or moving train.

If your opt-in hasn’t been converting, or you’re stuck on what to offer at all, Helene Scott’s free BOP your OPT-IN training is a great resource for you. These worksheets helped me break through and start offering an opt-in that was of real value to my audience.

OmmWriter is an amazing writing tool that I use it all the time. (I used it while writing this post for you!) You can customize the look and sounds for a distraction-free, writing experience. Best part: it’s pay-what-you-can (although, the minimum price of $5.11).

Weekly Finds

Weekly Finds for the Solopreneur

Welcome to One Woman Shop Weekly Finds – where we scour the web to bring you a curated list of posts, links, and resources that we think will help your business — and maybe even your life!

OWS member Shannon Mattern believes that you CAN become confident in your ability to build your business an online home. That’s why she created WP+BFF’s 5 Day Website Challenge to teach you how.

Hate using big vertical images in each blog post, but know how valuable they are for Pinterest? We hear you. That’s why we’re loving this little Pinterest secret that Natalie Franke has for us. It helps create hidden images within your blog posts to optimize your content for Pinterest.

Be known: One Woman Shop member Tiffany Silverberg shares DIY PR tips from her own experience in journalism and as a PR rep for lifestyle brands and driven entrepreneurs.

Don’t make room in your mind for thoughts that don’t serve you. The amazing Paul Jarvis talks about Mental Minimalism and MVP (Minimal Viable Progress), which means taking one tiny step after another, not worrying about anything else.

Dreams don’t happen. They’re made. This is a great reminder from Tara and Kathleen at Braid Creative. They explain how getting specific will help make work & life a little more dreamy.

How to Write an Alluring ‘About Me’ Page is a gorgeous guide written by OWS member Jehane Sharah that makes telling your story easier (and more affordable) than ever. This ‘done for you’ toolkit will help you write a high-converting ‘about me’ page in just a few hours.

Your clients are not the most important part of your business, you are. Erin E Flynn talks about the pitfalls of losing focus on yourself when working as solopreneur.

Weekly Finds

Weekly Finds for the Solopreneur

Welcome to One Woman Shop Weekly Finds – where we members of the community scour the web to bring you a curated list of posts, links, and resources that we they think will help your business—and maybe even your life! This week’s curator: Danielle Ziegler, business coach and content marketer for wellness-minded entrepreneurs.

There’s so much buzz out there about newsletters and growing your mailing list. It can be a little overwhelming. But this post from Rekita Nicole Designs includes 5 simple, no-nonsense steps that will help keep your next email campaign crisp, clean, and organized.

As a solopreneur who juggles multiple roles in my business, I’m always looking for ways to maintain productivity and stay on task. “How to Set Yourself Up for a SUPER Productive Week” from Jessica Says details a great way to organize your weekly calendar without making you feel boxed in.

If anyone else is in the process of actively growing your business or website, you may know the crippling doubt that sometimes accompanies these plans and dreams. Dr. Danielle Dowling inspired me to push past this doubt in her inspirational post, “What If It All Worked Out?

I’m guilty of a couple things on this list by The Muse—“7 Super Common Habits That Productive People Ditch.” I’m especially guilty of constantly checking my email, so I’ll be working on improvement in the coming weeks!

Recently, I read “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less” by Greg McKeown, and this quote speaks to my soul: “What if we stopped celebrating being busy as a measurement of importance? What if instead we celebrated how much time we had spent listening, pondering, meditating, and enjoying time with the most important people in our lives?” (Editor’s note: this is our December read for our #OWSBookClub — it’s highly recommended!)

So much has been said about the health benefits of gratitude, but this post from Katie of Wellness Mama is really relatable and includes several reputable sources for deeper reading.

When you’re a solopreneur, taking a sabbatical can sound like a pipe dream! Betty Means Business explains why sometimes we need something more than a day or two of time off, and her post is a great kicking-off point if you’re thinking of stepping away for some much-need “me time.”

Weekly Finds

Weekly Finds for the Solopreneur

Welcome to One Woman Shop Weekly Finds – where we members of the community scour the web to bring you a curated list of posts, links, and resources that we they think will help your business—and maybe even your life! This week’s curator: Christie Montague, a graphic designer/marketing generalist with a business background, so she does more than make things pretty.

Curator’s note: I’m a fairly new solopreneur – officially launching my graphic design business in January 2016, although it’s been my side gig for four years. As January quickly approaches I’ve been looking for resources on productivity and organization. Here are a few I’ve found!

As someone new to the solopreneur life, I found this article by Trunked Creative super helpful. She details what she did and what she learned in the first year, along with some resources for getting it all done.

With the “work-from-home-life” also comes the “coffee-shop-office-life.” For schlepping work stuff around to and from coffee shops, I’m obsessed with Baggu bags. I highly recommend the flat zips. The large flat zip is perfect for me to throw my laptop, notebook and planner in and I use the smaller sizes for pens and post its and other stuff.

I’m in the process of reading “Do Breathe,” a book from the Do Lectures (a super inspiring organization) with the tagline, “Calm your mind. Find focus. Get stuff done.” It’s great because it’s a quick read with lots of bullet points and callouts, and it includes little tricks you can incorporate into your daily life to be more productive and efficient.

Oh So Beautiful Paper (which is an awesome site for paper lovers) has some great tips for being productive when working from home! The article gives nice detailed advice that I can actually put into practice.

This article by InVision details ways in which you can improve your web/product copy by building enthusiasm, and provides examples of companies doing it well.

Okay, I know it’s probably easy enough to get distracted on the internet without meaning to, but if your brain needs a break, check out iwastesomuchmoney.com. I’m a big fan of eccentric products, and this site has all of them.

Looking for a laugh instead? Head over to its sister site iwastesomuchtime.com to get a feed of random internet things that are pretty great.

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