In case you got too busy to check in this week, here is a quick review of what you missed on the Shoeboxed Blog:
1. When you first decide to get organized, the mental clutter surrounding your potential project can overwhelm even the most impassioned taskmaster. Instead of looking at the big picture, try and see The Forest for the Trees.
Chances are your small business has a website, blog, Facebook page, or some sort of Internet presence by which you interact with current and potential customers. Right? Of course right. As students and teachers head back to school this fall, your small business can cash in on that contagious learning vibe sweeping the nation. People want to learn stuff. They want to know things, and they want to know how to do things. But raw knowledge in itself isn’t enough. The data, service, or help you provide as a would-be teacher must meet your customer’s ultimate life goals: financial stability, personal security, happiness. You know, the big stuff.
So how can your sole proprietorship or small business get organized in a way that helps your customers learn? Simple. This month, organize your own blog, website or social media platform into a teacher-student forum, with you as the instructor.
“But I’m not a teacher! What would I talk about? Where would I start?”
Calm yourself, Iago. (Comment below if you get that reference). You are a teacher, my friend. You’re a small business owner! You can choose to teach your customers insider tips and tricks from your industry, or you can choose to help them get organized enough to start their own small business. If, for example, you run a beauty shop or a salon, you could create a series of ten video lessons showing clients how to perfect that ever-elusive perfect up-do. Or, you could share your personal story about how you opened your salon, how you applied for a small business loan, the mistakes you’ve made along the way, and the things you feel people should avoid. You may not feel like you know much, especially if you’re just starting out. But to the person who has no clue where to start, let alone how to get organized enough to get started, you’re a stone cold genius.
Incorporate your lessons – whether written or video – into as many platforms as possible. Post your new videos on your Facebook page, with a link to your website to unlock the rest of the series. Better yet, create a gated Facebook page that only allows users who’ve Liked you to access your awesomeness. Promise new followers a free lesson, just for following you on Twitter, and make sure to follow them back and let them know each time you post a new lecture.
If you’re in doubt about which direction to take, try this tip to get organized: write down your two favorite teaching options on two separate pieces of paper, or in two separate Word documents. You might write something like “Teach clients how to save money on pet supplies” or “Teach clients how to start their own dog walking business.” Crumple up the pieces of paper and throw them on the floor. (This option is not recommended if you chose to use your computer instead of paper). Pick up one piece of paper, and that becomes your curriculum for the entire teaching series.
“But wait! I don’t want to do the one I picked up. I want to do the other one!”
Ah ha! Well, well, well, now you know! Once you get organized, it’s a cinch to help others do so. Remember, your lessons don’t need to cater to experts when your first starting out as a teacher in your given field. Write your blogs or create your videos for an audience of beginners. When you do, you’ll start to realize how much you actually know!
As the start of the academic year rolls around every September, it’s the perfect opportunity for parents everywhere to remind their children to get organized before classes begin. From ensuring that backpacks are filled with the proper materials to reviewing and finalizing class schedules, the month of September has always marked the end of the lazy days of summer and a return to a more structured lifestyle of classes, extracurriculars and homework.
While this time of year is normally when parents are harping on their sons and daughters to get organized before the class bell rings on the first day, in many cases these very same parental directives prove to be timeless pieces of advice that apply to everyone in the family, not just those of us heading back into the world of academia.
Because no one is particularly good at taking their own advice, here are a few back to school messages that all of us would benefit from hearing a few times this September:
Go to bed earlier
The best way to start any day is after a full nights sleep. It’s much easier to enforce this rule than it is to follow yourself, but if you can get into the habit of getting at least eight hours of sleep every night you will be a happier, healthier person. Challenge yourself to getting at least one more hour of sleep every night and these habits will translate into a more productive and efficient fall season.
Finish summer projects
Whether it was a book report on The Great Gatsby or a few projects you’d been meaning to finish around the house, September is the month to wrap up anything you set out to accomplish over the summer. Don’t start your fall on the wrong foot; get organized by checking those last few things off your to-do list now.
Revaluate your goals
Even though many of us are no longer working towards getting into the college of our dreams, setting short term and long-term goals to work towards is vital for people of all ages. Take some time to assess your career and life goals this September and then make this reevaluation an annual occurrence.
Organize your calendar
By far the quickest and easiest way to get organized is to keep a clean and up-to-date calendar. No matter how hard we try to stay on top of them, inevitably our calendars get away from all of us at some point during the year. Use the purchase of your son or daughter’s new assignment notebook as an excuse to splurge on a nice, new calendar for yourself.
Reconnect with old friends
One of the best things about returning to school in the fall is getting to see your friends again. But a return to school shouldn’t be the only reason to reconnect with friends you haven’t seen in several months. Enjoy the remaining days of summer by hosting a cookout or pool party for anyone you haven’t seen in some time. There’s no better way to spend September evenings than with close friends you haven’t seen in a while!
What other pieces of advice are you giving your son or daughter this back to school season that we could all use to get organized this fall?