Tools

Your Weekly Brew

It’s been one of those weeks for us — full of important discussions, big business decisions, a lot of excitement (coupled with a good dose of anxiety), the long-awaited (yet somewhat frustrating) conclusion to our bathroom renovation, and rumblings from our children about why our Christmas tree still isn’t up and can’t they pul-eeeaze make gingerbread houses yet??

Ever have one of those weeks?

Sometimes we just have to laugh at our chaotic unconventional life. As my darling husband reminded me this afternoon, we have chosen to live this uncommon life, for all of the beautiful and bizarre, the quirky and quotidian, the awesome and annoying of it.

And with that observation, I give you some resources to hopefully perk up the end of your week. May you find joy in the journey and peace in the imperfect. And may Ryan be finished with the gingerbread house making by the time I get home from the coffee shop. 😉

Read::

5 Tips for Mastering Google’s New Inbox @ Huffington Post

I’m terrible for not really taking the time to understand how new features work and what they mean for me. If you’re anything like me, you might want to brush up a little on how the Google inbox changes affect you and can be used to your advantage.

How Persuasion Really Works: The Big Secret Behind Two Remarkable Ads @ Social Triggers

I love the contrast between these two ads. The lesson is just so obvious, and really helps to explain why marketing to our specific target audience in the right way matters so much.

The Brain’s Fast Mode @ Zen Habits

I’ve never thought of my work in terms of being in “fast mode” and “slow mode” but reading Leo’s description, I absolutely know that I struggle with it. It’s soooo easy to get into fast mode and then lack the discipline and focus to get real, intense, important work accomplished (and vice versa, get into slow mode and struggle to do tasks that require quick decision making). I’m contemplating this and how to use this information about how my brain works to adjust the way that I approach my tasks over the course of a day or week.

How the Pros Stay Productive Over the Holidays @ Jim Woods

I don’t particularly agree with every suggestion in this article, but I think there’s some good food for thought. How will you tackle the holidays, as far as business productivity goes? Do you have a plan?

Listen::

How to Hire Your First Project Manager @ Amy Porterfield

I listened to this last week after a discussion in a mastermind group about the difference between a VA and a project manager. Truthfully, I really had no idea and was absolutely intrigued to understand what a project manager really was (in comparison to a virtual assistant),  what they do, and to consider why a project manager might actually be a valuable for many entrepreneurs.

The ShipIt Journal @ Seth Godin’s Startup School

One of the hardest parts of launching any new product, be it digital or physical, is knowing when to go ahead and “ship it” or say it’s done. Seth has some really excellent (and challenging) things to say for anyone struggling with the difference between perfect and good enough.

Use::

10 Tools We Built Our Business On @ Fizzle

Just when you think you’ve heard of every software or app out there, it’s fun to stumble on new ones that sound pretty awesome. The two that jumped out at me most in this post were Asana and Geckoboard.

And on that note, the one on their list that Ryan and I use and would very highly recommend is:

1Password

We keep a joint vault, with all of our family and business login information. It’s extremely secure, allows us to use complex and secure passwords without worrying about how to store them, and can be accessed from anywhere. We just add it to our browser of choice so that we can be logged in and then use it to autofill our credentials when we need to log in to a website. It’s also handy for us to be able to access each other’s passwords, in case the other person is out or somehow can’t get to what they need, and we can do it for them.

Buy::

Not sure what to buy for the entrepreneur in your life? Here’s our list of 40 gift ideas, in case you missed it.

Watch::

All About That Paste

This has absolutely nothing to do with business. It’s a spoof on the hit “All About That Bass” that a friend shared with me last week and I confess, I got a kick out of it (if you’ve ever been to the Middle East or are a hummus connoisseur, you might find it particularly humorous– best line? “Black bean avocado white people hummus”)

What caught your attention this week?

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Need a gift for the entrepreneur in your life? Look no further. Created by a husband and wife, we share 40 gift ideas for the entrepreneur in your life.

40 Gift Ideas for the Entrepreneur in Your Life

Looking for a gift for the entrepreneur in your life?

It’s funny, but both Ryan and I feel like the other person is the hardest person to buy for in the world, and yet we both feel like we’re soooo simple and easy to please. Ironic, isn’t it?

We created this list separately, but together. We each made our own lists without looking at each other’s list, then combined them. When you look through the list and notice which ones are Stephanie’s Picks and Ryan’s Picks, you’ll probably laugh.

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Your Weekly Brew (and an exciting announcement)

I’ve been mentioning a lot the past few weeks how tired I am, how behind I feel, how unproductive my work times have been and I think it’s finally time to let you in on a little secret…

We’re growing our EntreFamily!

Langford #5 is on the way, set to join us in June. All is going well ,and baby and I are both healthy at the 12 week mark. I’ll confess, though, that when we planned the launch of this site and podcast for this fall, I never expected to be doing it while slogging through 1st trimester! 🙂

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Your Weekly Brew

Apparently I’ve got lots of reading for you this week, because that’s what inspired me and that’s about all I have the energy for.

Sick this week, I struggled with productivity and felt like I was just hanging on by a toenail, trying desperately to keep up with work deadlines and the bare essentials.

Days and weeks like these are hard, because I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself. I’m not likely to give myself a “sick day”. Since when do entrepreneurs get those? Instead I poke and prod and cajole myself to keep going, prop my eyelids open with toothpicks (or coffee), and do everything I can to keep producing, even when the most productive thing I could probably do is rest.

Do you relate? How do you handle times of sickness or unproductivity? How do you cut yourself some slack without abdicating all responsibility to keep your business running?

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Your Weekly Brew

It’s been a rare, sunny week for November here on the West Coast (normally it would be a mix of rain and gray, gray and rain). We did get a wind storm blowing in from Alaska, so we felt as though we suddenly dipped into late-January freeze-our-buns-off territory, but at least the sun was shining, right? We’ll take what we can get!

In other news around our home, we’ve almost settled on some plans for this coming winter/spring, which is very exciting. We haven’t quite booked our flights yet, but the plan is to head over across the Big Pond to Europe sometime in January (this is what we’re still deliberating – whether we go before or after our next big DIY bundle at the end of January).

The idea is that in Jan-Feb we’ll mostly stick close to “home”, renting a house in a small town or city in southern France most likely, where we’ll hunker down to work and do school and life in general.

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