Just at the word “networking” I can hear my fellow introverts running for the hills full of blankets to hide under. Trust me, I get it. Nothing sounds less fun than going into a room full of people you don’t know to meet a ton of them back to back. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past year that’s changed my business mindset, it’s networking.
At first I thought it was just one of those buzzwords people used before the internet. Like business cards, I thought it was probably dying out. Nope. So wrong. Most (read: all) of our promotional clients (more on this second business later) have come from networking events. Every time I talk about our traveler’s notebooks people haven’t a clue, but decide they definitely need one in their life.
Networking is magical. Us introverts need to suck it up and do it. For business sake.
Through our local chamber of commerce and promotional client base, we’ve had the opportunity to go to quite a few events over the past year. I convinced myself to go with Alex to the first few ones over the promise of free food, but continue to go because there is so much value in them. Of course they’re still not easy for me and I often crash as soon as we get home from all the social interaction, but there’s value in using up my outward energy on networking.
And it’s not sleazy like the word sometimes feels. More often than not, it’s just shaking the hand of someone, asking what they do for a living, telling them what I do, and then us both trying to figure out if the other has something that can help us. It’s when you go to networking events trying to get everything out of it while giving nothing, that you have a rotten time and just leave with a few drinks.
If you find yourself with a networking event on the books and the introvert in you flares up and eggs you on to cancel, take a beat. Then invite someone to go with you. Alex is the main reason I’ve grown to love these events. We get to be a power team, using each other’s strengths to meet new people, close deals, and spread the word to non-planner people about planners. So bring an extrovert with you to help get you warmed up with the first few interactions. Or baby step into networking by going to an event by someone you know. Nothing makes the process easier than having someone do warm introductions for you.
Our promotional business wouldn’t have gotten off the ground without networking. Our stationery business continues to grow and expand because of it. So take the time, save up some extra “social” energy, and get out there.
Now you definitely don’t have to do this. Go crazy. Shower yourself in gorgeous stickers that planning dreams are made of and live your best life. But if clutter and just TOO. MUCH. STUFF. stresses you out like it does me, this one’s for you. In all honesty though, I don’t find it hard at all to keep my sticker stash to a healthy minimum. I follow these few steps pretty much subconsciously and never feel the overwhelming sticker chaos that’s been known to happen to planner addicts from time to time.
1. Avoid bored browsing on Etsy
Since my livelihood depends on you shopping online, I’m definitely not going to say don’t do it. But buying a couple things from a new launch vs. browsing Etsy while bored are two different things. I only go on Etsy when I know one of my favorite shops is releasing something in particular I’m interested in. It’s like going into Target without a list. You’re sure to leave with a whole new bedroom set you don’t need. Only shop for stickers with a purpose. It’s the whole ignorance is bliss thing. What you don’t know you “need”, you don’t need.
2. Have a couple destash friends
If you do happen to find yourself with too many stickers, it’s best to have a friend (or five) you can destash your stickers to. They’re likely to have a few other friends and so on until those stickers find a home where they’ll be used and loved the most.
3. Sort your stickers to get used up
More often than not, your stash is bulky because there are a ton of sheets with just a few stickers left on them. I like to organize my stickers so my almost used up sheets are at the front so I see them more. Every week I make sure to flip through that stack when I’m decorating.
4. Buy weekly kits by the sheet rather than the full kit
Although weekly kits are cheaper to purchase as the full kit, it’s actually more cost effective to just buy the sheets of stickers you know you’ll actually use. Plus, weekly kits usually have more stickers than you’ll ever need for one week’s spread. Leftover stickers clutter your collection and often don’t get used. Skip the full kit and go a la carte.
Keeping collections manageable doesn’t mean denying yourself things that make you happy, but following these few tips can make sure you aren’t holding on to things you really don’t need. Planning shouldn’t overwhelm you, but inspire you!
This post is sponsored by Basic Invite, but all the gushy feels are my own!
We Bendas like to throw a good party. Every year we host an annual 4th of July party, a Friendsgiving feast in November, and a few themed parties along the way. Plus I’m a firm believer that mailed invitations should never die. So I’m constantly on the hunt for good invitation sites to make my life easier, build the hype for my upcoming event, while still still being affordable. Basic Invite ticks all the boxes.
What I love most about Basic Invite is how absurdly easy it is to use the platform. So many other customizable invitation sites are clunky, hard to navigate, and difficult to use the built-in-design features. Basic Invite is what other sites should try to be like.
Beyond just being super easy to use, you can choose from over 40 different envelope colors and add foil to so many different invite options. Plus there are over 150 different color options to make sure the invite is perfect. But my favorite feature is the option to order a sample. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve ordered invites just to have them be nothing like I hoped or riddled with spelling errors (this girl cannot spell!) And it’s not going to cost an arm and a leg to get a sample either.
Basic Invite has invitations for practically every occasion, even ones I hadn’t even thought of. Browsing through the categories has given me a ton of ideas for some future parties! With graduation season right around the corner, it’s a great option for orderinggraduation cardsandgraduation thank you cardsin gorgeous styles and layouts that aren’t outdated or overly done.
Want to send paper invitations but don’t know where to start? Basic Invite also has an address capturing service that gives you a link to share on Facebook and other social media to request friends’ and family’s addresses. The addresses are stored in your account and can be selected during the design process.
So it’s time to plan that party you’ve been talking about. And right now Basic Invite is offering 15% off with coupon code: 15FF51. Now to start designing my invitations for our 4th of July party!
Who doesn’t love a good planner sticker?! Search on Etsy and you’ll find literally hundreds of thousands of them, most of which are sized to fit the always popular Erin Condren Life Planners. It can be frustrating not knowing whether or not standard sized stickers will work in your planner, so I’ve rounded up a few non-EC planners that the stickers still fit perfectly in.
First up is the Get to Work Book. I’ve written a full detailed review about this typography-filled beast a few months ago so definitely go check that out for more information, but the monthly view and weekly views both fit stickers perfectly. I even did a full sticker spread one week.
The Plum Paper Planner is another, more affordable option to the Erin Condren if you still want to get your sticker on. There’s a full review on the blog as well.
The Limelife Planner is also another option! Their vertical spreads are the same width as Erin Condren boxes. Limelife and Plum Paper remind me a lot of each other, so definitely shop both sites to get the best deal.
Although the Rifle Paper Co Agendas have a very different layout style, the monthly spread of the largest size also fits standard boxes. So you can deck out the monthly view with stickers will keeping the weekly to do lists clutter free.
Do you know of any other planners out there that fit EC sized stickers? Pop your recommendations in the comments!
Now this took a lot of convincing on my part to get my husband Alex to let us take a peek into his planner. Since I’ve met him, he’s been a hardcore Google Calendar user. He never forgot events, but he constantly forget to do list items and deadlines on projects. Enter the Oh, Hello Stationery Traveler’s Notebook. He’s finally found a system that works for him that makes sure he isn’t missing deadlines or important to do items.
In today’s video he’s showing you his entire setup, plus giving you a huge inside look into all of the inserts we’re designing to compliment our notebooks. I always find it so fascinating seeing other people’s planner setups and getting a look into a man’s setup is even more interesting.
So grab a snack and settle in. Alex is putting it all out on the table.