I'm a big believer in saying yes to opportunities and seeing what shows up. And what has shown up involves small businesses that know they need a better sales system but don't have time to do it, or just don't want to do it.
These are businesses that are successful but have owners who know they need an upgrade. They also know that it takes time to research the different technologies, compare prices and features, pick the best program, learn how to set it up and implement it, launch it, train employees, and troubleshoot it, all while continuing to run their businesses.
And this is where Lightbox shines the light on that dark corner of business. Where we go into your basement, brush away the cobwebs, and say, "Oh shit, you have a dusty 3-ring binder and a moldy excel file back here. Let's clean that up."
It's not just a shiny new Shopify site (although you will LOVE your new Shopify site). It's a personal consultation about what your business needs. About what's holding you back from taking two weeks off, or wintering in Arizona, or opening a second location for your retail store. And then, a collaborative design process, complete with customization, app integration to suit your needs, and training for you and your employees so you aren't left in the dark once we go live.
Confession time. I'm a grammar nerd.
My favorite subject in school was English. Not just literature, but grammar.
The day I learned to diagram a sentence was a total game changer, and I probably judge you for incorrectly using "your" when you really meant "you're."
But when I started learning to write for business, I had to put my grammar elitism behind.
Sure, I still aim for perfection in spelling and grammar (notice I aim, but I also make mistakes. oopsie), but I've learned a few tricks for writing in business that do not exist in writing for academia.
If I wasn't in the store every day, what would I do? I have no children and I like to work, so not working wasn't an option. And I had this desire to help people and to empower other small business owners to understand how to make the business side of things work. And here we are.
But in Paris, the little stores reminded me of my own little store, and my heart missed Hattie. I daydreamed about the display upgrades I would put in, about expanding the blog, about our window displays and sandwich boards. And I knew that I wasn't done with Hattie. Nor was she done with me.
My mission is to try out different Instagram techniques to see which one(s) grow my following, then see if the increased following leads to increased sales. This is an ongoing task, as no Insta account is an overnight success (maybe), but I'll be sure to keep you updated on my progress. I'll try out all the tricks so you don't have to!
They say that employees who feel appreciated perform better than those that don't.
But maybe the reason they are appreciated is that they are performing better.
Which came first, the appreciation or the performance?
As an employer, can we still appreciate the efforts of our employees, even if they aren't performing to our expectations?
That's a trick question. And a rhetorical one.
If your employee isn't performing to your expectations, don't get mad. First, consider your role in the breakdown.
Were your expectations clear?
No, really. Were they crystal clear?
Yesterday I was part of a studio tour for a small group at Hattie Rex.
It was a group of 5, so we all had a chance to chat about business and art and the intersection of the two.
One member of the group told me about a piece of advice he heard in a leadership lecture once. A member of the audience asked, "How do we become great leaders?"
To which the presenter replied, "Have you seen the Wizard of Oz? To be a successful leader you need the same three things as the scarecrow, the tinman, and the lion. A brain. A heart. And courage."
I opened the first Etsy shop over 10 years ago, and between the two stores, we have made over 21,000 sales.
Two years ago, we started using this simple new trick.
We see people who are “overnight successes” or people who “made it big” with their careers. It seems like they just magically burst onto the scene without any prior effort. They got “lucky,” or they got “discovered.”
We believe in the prince charming effect. One day, you’re sitting around, minding your own business, and BAM! suddenly you are kissed by a prince and your rags are now evening gowns and you’ll never scrub another floor in your life.
Or, in a business sense, one day you’re sitting around, possessing this amazing talent or skill but not really spending much time on it, and BAM! someone calls you up and wants to pay you gobs of money to utilize your amazing talent or skill, and suddenly you’re rich and famous.
We do this with people who have great, amazing, envy-inducing artistic careers. But we don’t do this with athletes. We don’t look at LeBron or Serena and say “wow, what an overnight success!” because while we know they have amazing talent, we also know that they are training, and working, and putting their daily sweat into becoming the legends they are.