Two Takes: Getting Dressed in the Morning

One woman made waves on LinkedIn Today awhile back when she encouraged women working from home to "never, ever wear your slippers!" When it comes to the question of whether getting dressed in the morning matters, everyone seems to have a different opinion- so we took to the streets social media to find out what you all thought.

We asked: "Some women strongly believe that getting dressed every morning is critical for productivity and business success, while others say they do just fine working in their pajamas. What’s your preferred morning outfit?"

Not surprisingly, we got a variety of responses on both sides- all of which we think contain valid arguments. Without further ado, we present you with:

two takes getting dressed in the morning

I work from home and I am also a Learning Coach for my kids who home school. In the morning, we have to dig into our work right away, so I brush my teeth and wash my face, but that is about it. I wear whatever I had on the night before, whether that be sleepwear or regular clothes. Once we are done with school and work in the mid-afternoon, I will get ready. As much as I would love to have time in the morning to get ready, I am much more productive when I get right to work. Getting ready in the morning is just an unwelcome distraction that makes me discombobulated and unfocused. It also makes me feel behind on my work, as my clients are in a time zone 2 hours ahead of me. Spending less time on getting ready is one of the things that I love most about being self-employed and working from home.

I know that to run a successful business, especially from home, one needs the correct frame of mind. Every successful entrepreneur faces the day with the feeling of conquering the world- one simply cannot conquer the world in pajamas.

I started my journey of working from home a few years back. I worked online, which meant I didn't even need to shower to go to work. One day I read an article about working from home professionally. This meant setting a schedule, having a home office and to my horror, getting dressed for business. But, for the first time, I felt like a real business women working from home. There was something about the whole act of being clean and presentable that changed my attitude toward working.

Getting up, getting ready and following a routine every day sets the stage for entrepreneur victory. Routine is key to success in any venture, especially business. And part of a successful routine is preparing yourself for your work day. Getting ready, "commuting" to your home office, and checking your schedule and task list is all part of prepping. So should getting out of your PJs. Be presentable and ready to meet with anyone online or off even if you never do.

-Allie, Ramblings of a WAHM

What do you think? Weigh in in the comments!

How To: Make Your Facebook Photos Bigger

Welcome to our How Tos, where we provide you with specific step-by-step instructions for common business questions. 

You're scrolling through your Facebook feed and you see a small thumbnail -- and then you scroll further and see a big, bold photo that grabs your attention -- which are you more likely to click on? If you're like us, the big photo will naturally draw your eye. So, as a small business owner working to spread the word about your brand, why would you stick to using small thumbnails that people will likely pass over in their newsfeed when you can be using stronger, bigger visuals that actually capture attention?

Here's how to leave those thumbnails in the dust and replace them with attention-grabbing images!

  1. First, find or create an image (ideally 403px by 403px) that you would like to include in your Facebook status and save it to your computer
  2. On your Facebook page, insert your desired link under “Status." Facebook will automatically pull in a thumbnail from the link, like this:

how to make facebook photos pop

Yikes! Do not post yet- we've got to fix this biz up. Click the x in the upper righthand corner of the box that contains your new link:

how to make facebook photos bigger

Click “Photo/Video” then “Upload Photos/Video” like this:

make facebook photos bigger

Find the photo on your computer that you would like to upload to the Facebook post and select it.

increase size of facebook photo on timneline

Click “Post” then voila! A big, pretty image, like this:

example of a big facebook photo on timeline

Much better, huh? If you liked this trick, spread the word by clicking to tweet below:

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Two Women Shop: Clarity on Fire

Welcome to Two Women Shop, an interview series that gives a little love to our friends who may not be One Woman Shops- but are awesome nonetheless. Join us as we chat with sisters, best friends, and business partners who are going it together as Two Women Shops!

two women shop clarity on fire

Tell me about yourselves and your business!

Clarity on Fire (formerly Project 20-Something) is a life, career, and relationship coaching company for women in their 20s and 30s who are looking for clarity, direction, and an action plan for creating a life they love.

We're Rachel East and Kristen Walker, two twenty-somethings with a burning passion for changing lives. So, long story short: We became coaches because we were both incredibly, mind-numbingly tired of "the way things were." Desk jobs. “Meh” relationships. Dull routines. They were tired, boring, and exhausting. And they were also, most importantly, unconscious. So, we got conscious. We realized that life doesn't have to be "the way it is." There's no joy in adhering to what society, or anyone else, thinks you "should" be doing. As our self-awareness grew, we felt called to help other women build consciousness and make bold changes, too.

What prompted you to go into business together? Was it a natural decision, was there an aha moment, did it take a lot of thought?

For us it was a natural decision. Since college, we’ve known that we both were passionate about helping women raise their awareness and become empowered to change their lives. Our business ideas have taken a lot of forms over the past few years (writing, therapy, and finally coaching), but there was never a question of starting the business together. It helps that we’re also best friends.

What do you wish you had known about when starting a business?

It takes longer than you think! There are a lot of logistical steps of starting a business – legal and financial, mostly – that people without business degrees might not necessarily understand or be inclined to jump into. If someone had told us to consult with a CPA before we started our business, instead of afterward, it would have saved us a lot of time and confusion!

What do you wish you had known about starting a business with your best friend?

We would have gotten a lot more done from the get go if we had separated our tasks according to our strengths and interests, instead of just splitting them in half. We realized that splitting things down the middle might be “fair,” but it wasn’t balanced. The balance occurred when we learned to completely give responsibility to one person or the other in any given area of our business. Kristen really enjoys networking and blogging and Google Analytics, so she's “in charge” of those things. Rachel loves to negotiate and speak in public, so she manages our partner relationships and writes all of our audio content. We learned that as long as both of us were feeling exhilarated and excited about our roles, then we were on the right track.

Do you have rules to keep your relationship healthy and sane? Do you have any kind of written contract/rules between the two of you?

We don’t have any written contract as of yet, though that’s on our “to do” list, eventually. It helps that we’re in the life coaching business, because conflict isn’t something that’s going to happen very often between two trained coaches. We know how to be direct, honest and intentional in how we communicate with each other, without pushing the other person’s buttons or creating any misinterpretations. I think one of the most important things in any business partnership, especially one between close friends, is to always be direct and open. There’s no room for passive-aggression or misinterpretation in a two-woman business.

What are the greatest rewards and challenges of running a business together?

The greatest reward is having a friend who gets to share in the excitement of running a business that you’re both passionate about. It’s very cool to get to share part of your “life purpose” with someone who gets it as well as you do.

The greatest challenge is probably the compromises you sometimes have to make. When you’re a sole business owner, every decision is your own. With a partner who is as equally invested as you are, you have to reach a certain harmony about most everything prior to taking action. We’ve compromised on a number of things (creative, logistical, etc.) that we probably would have done differently if either of us had been flying solo.

Any words of advice for best friends or sisters going into business together?

Don’t go into business with just any old friend or family member. There are certain people who you’re going to have a lovely relationship with … so long as it’s kept personal, and maybe at a distance. Being business partners with a friend or relative means you’re going to see a whole lot of them, talk to them often, and have to make decisions with them about things that you could very well disagree about. So make sure you can have healthy disagreements with your future business partner, and that you’re comfortable adding business into an otherwise personal relationship. They often don’t mix, and one of them (the relationship or business) could implode as a result.

In our business, I think we have an understanding that we’ll always be friends first, business partners second. We’ve openly acknowledged that there may come a time when we choose to go our separate ways as business partners, but we’ll always be each other’s friend.

rachel east and kristen walker

P.S. If you loved this interview, show Kristen and Rachel some Twitter love!

Motivation Monday: Do Less List

Join us every Monday morning for Motivation Monday, where we share a helpful “homework” assignment that gives your business a creative boost and gets you thinking (and moving) outside the box each week.

Our days are consumed by more, more, more. More productivity, more progress, more...stuff. But sometimes we need to do less...less incessantly checking our site stats, less seeing how many people signed up for our MailChimp email list, less checking our Twitter mentions throughout the day.

Today, make a "Do Less" List- write down the little things you do throughout your work day that aren't productive or useful. Think: checking Facebook too often, checking your email over and over, or peering into the fridge mindlessly.

Then make a note each time you do the activity. The simple act of writing it down will remind you to think twice before doing it, which means less time spent doing unproductive activities and more time spent growing your business.

Want a simple template to use? We made one just for you 🙂

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Shop Talk: Social Media

Welcome to Shop Talk, where we chat about everything from the business processes and procedures you swear by to how you handle tough situations (like letting go of a client) to what gets you up on Monday morning. Give us a sneak peek into your business and let yourself inspire (and be inspired by!) our community.

Some people will tell you that social media is an absolute must in this digital age. That your company can't possibly thrive without it. Others disagree, pointing out that businesses succeeded for decades before the dawn of Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. Based on your personal business experiences, what do you think- is social media a necessity, an added bonus, or a fad that will inevitably fade away?

 

Call for Responses: Two Takes Business Debates

Do you have strong opinions when it comes to certain elements of solopreneurship? Then you'll want to keep reading! We are looking for smart, savvy business women to share their opinions on specific business debates. And don't worry, this isn't a big time commitment- we'll just need your bio, headshot, and 1-2 paragraphs expressing your viewpoint and providing concrete examples to back it up.

Intrigued? Here are some of the issues we're looking to cover on the site:

    • Some say good things come to those who wait and others say "Ask and you shall receive." Which philosophy do you adhere to?
    • Some freelancers think you have to fight for a client, while others think that clients who are the right fit won't take convincing. What do you think?
    • Some say "Done is better than perfect," while others think that perfection (or near perfection), especially when working with clients and customers, is essential. Where do you land on this?
    • Many business women feel that they should be completely themselves in business, even if it's a bit over-the-top or crazy. Others think professionalism trumps everything and that your personality belongs in your private life. Do you feel strongly either way?
    • Some women strongly believe that getting dressed every morning is critical for productivity and business success, while others say they do just fine working in their pajamas. What's your preferred morning outfit?
    • Many business women think that picking a niche and sticking with it is the key to success, while others prefer to let things flow more naturally. Do you have a target market or do you take whatever client sounds interesting?
    • Some say that striving for work/life balance is important, while others don't believe in this philosophy  or aim for work/life integration. How do you think about this?
    • Many freelancers think they should be at the beck and call of their clients to show that they are responsive and reliable, while others prioritize their own time and schedule first. How do you manage your time when it comes to clients?
    • Some solopreneurs think that focusing on branding and marketing is a waste of time and distracts from time spent actually working, while others think that a strong brand and online presence are crucial for success in today's world. Where do you fall on this debate?
    • Some women swear by charging by the hour, while others use a flat fee model and still others think a retainer is the way to go. How do you bill your clients?

Ready? Just email us the topic you're interested in debating, which viewpoint you have, and a  specific example (or several!) to back it up.

Know any  business women with opinion and stories to share? Tell them about our call for responses!

Welcome!

Welcome to One Woman Shop- part resource, part community, all heart. If you're a solopreneur or freelancer who is starting or expanding her own business, you've found your home here.

You may be wondering how One Woman Shop came about. We'll give you all the nitty gritty details in our upcoming behind-the-scenes webinar but here's the gist: we know tons of awesome, spirited, proactive female One Woman Shops who aren't afraid to go it alone- but we noticed that many of them mentioned that they felt isolated, especially when working from home day in and day out. We figured, "Why not create a site where these women can learn, ask questions, and build relationships?" And so One Woman Shop was born!

For more information on what you can expect from the site, visit our What to Expect page!

A huge, huge thank you goes out to the awesome women (and a few men!) who made One Woman Shop possible: BluChic, for making such awesome WordPress templates, Christie Montague for her great eye and fantastic design work, Rachel Lowe for her amazing photography, Amy Chick, Melissa Bolton, and Jessica Remitz for their way with words, and of course, our incredible team of dedicated ambassadors and contributors, whose work you'll see throughout the site!

Itching to interact with One Woman Shop?

  • Peruse the site, especially AboutFAQs, and Upgrade!
  • Take a look at all of our posts 
  • Sign up for our email list
  • Send out a quick tweet or Facebook post to your network about One Woman Shop (and engage with us on social media by using the hashtag #onewomanshop)
  • Add One Woman Shop to your feed reader (not sure what that is? Don't worry, we'll provide a tutorial soon!)
  • Grab a One Woman Shop badge and display it proudly on your blog or website
  • Email us about posts you'd like to see, questions you'd like to ask the One Woman Shop community, or anything else that floats your boat!

A Website Theme for Female Entrepreneurs & Bloggers

We've said it once a bunch and we'll say it again -- we love each and every WordPress theme that BluChic, a maker of fantastic website themes for female entrepreneurs, creates.

Chamomile -- which comes with responsive layout, theme documentation, and Photoshop files, like BluChic's other WordPress themes -- is designed with individuals like event planners, photographers, and wedding professionals in mind.

wordpress theme for female entrepreneurs

Some of our favorite features:

    • The Featured Slider on the homepage
    • The prominent social media buttons on the menu bar
    • The muted, girly colors (which can edited with CSS if you prefer brighter colors!)
    • The cute built-in blog template with small patterned details
    • The option to buy an all-in-one bundle, complete with WordPress theme, social media design, newsletter design, and business card design, for $109

website themes for female entrepreneurs

Disclosure: We are part of BluChic’s affiliate program and may receive a commission on sales bought through the links above. However, we are huge fans of BluChic and use their products all the time (including on this site), so all opinions are our own!

A Feminine Emerald and Pink WordPress Theme

If you're a blogger, small business owner, or a freelancer in need of a website, consider Emerald, a BluChic WordPress theme. For an awesome example of a site that uses a customized version of the Emerald theme, check out Tiggy Johnson Floral Design.

feminine wordpress theme
Some of our favorite features:
    • The location of the navigation menu (on the left sidebar instead of at the top of the homepage)
    • The feminine cursive fonts throughout the site
    • The combination of emerald (Pantone's 2013 color of the year!) and pink
    • The option to buy an all-in-one bundle, complete with WordPress theme, social media design, newsletter design, and business card design, for $109

emerald feminine wordpress theme

P.S. Planning to buy a WordPress theme from BluChic but need some help customizing it? Email CMR Strategies!

Disclosure: We are part of BluChic’s affiliate program and will receive a commission on sales bought through the links above. However, we are huge fans of BluChic and use their products all the time (including on this site and on CMR Strategies), so all opinions are our own!