Although I would love to go back to college and be a lifelong learner, there just isn’t enough time (or money) in the day. So I’ve turned to business books to keep the learning going. They’re easy to read on planes, during a spare tech free hour in the evenings, or in a waiting room. I’ve read my fair share over the past year, but there are a few that have really changed my perspective on how I approach my business.
This is the book that really changed things for me. It talks about building an operating system for small businesses and how to hold yourself accountable. It gives you actionable steps on how to develop goals and long term plans. Without this book, I doubt we’d have a team of seven employees or be looking for our first retail location. It put everything into perspective and really made me think about what I want for my business. It’s meaty and filled with information, but it’s one I’ve gone back to every few months since reading it nearly a year ago.
I just recently finished this book and love how it turns logical thinking on its head. It talks a lot about how logical ideas are not always the solution to business problems. It’s important to think outside the box, try something new, and be open to failure in the pursuit of magical outcomes. I’m really not doing it justice. It’s brilliant. Definitely read it.
This book popped onto my radar at the perfect time in my life. Owning your own business comes with a lot of obstacles, challenges, and letdowns. This book teaches you how to embrace those obstacles and see them as opportunities to improve, challenge yourself, and grow. These teachings have gotten me through situations I would have otherwise froze in. I’m much more open to risk and diving head first into challenges thanks to this book.
There are SO many great business books out there that have helped me in one way or another. These three have left the biggest impact on me and continue to shape my thinking and approach to my business. What are some of your favorite business/self help books?
What I eat in a day posts weirdly fascinate me. Am I the only one? I couldn’t possibly be since they pop up on YouTube and in blogs quite often, right? Well I thought it time that I threw myself into the mix…until I realized I eat like a five year old. I almost didn’t post, but then I thought, “nah….let’s keep it real here.” So this is a realistic look at what I eat in a day. Now it’s not EVERY day, but this day in particular looked something like this…
It started with a bowl of Trix cereal. I’ve been kinda obsessed ever since they brought the shapes back. I mean come on. A rainbow explosion first thing in the morning? Who could say no?
I had a busy day of errands so I popped over to Starbucks for lunch. I hadn’t given their grilled cheese a go and it’s honestly quite delicious. Iced chai tea lattes are my lifeblood lately. I feel like I’m officially an adult, running on caffeine and not much else.
I said I was going to keep it real with this post. For dinner I had another bowl of cereal. In my defense, it was a different type of cereal. I could have easily faked it and said we had one of our Hello Fresh or HomeChef meals, but let’s be honest…I couldn’t be bothered to make one. Not all days exclude any actual meals, but this particular day definitely wasn’t my shiny moment in nutrition. So another bowl of cereal and a couple of hours of Stardew Co-Op with my friend Lauren and I called it a night.
How’s that for honesty lol…
Where all my introverts at?! *raises hand eagerly* I love a good night in rather than going through all of the effort to get ready and go out with friends. Plus the mid-westerner in me loves saving money. So gather your gal pals because these 10 girls night in activities are far superior to anything outside of the house.
1. Planner play date. Ughhhh what I wouldn’t give to throw all of my planner supplies in a bag, head over to my friend’s house and sit down for a good planner session. It’s so relaxing to get your planning done (which you have to do anyway) next to someone else. Plus you can share supplies and gush over adorable stickers you’ve been hording.
2. 80’s RomCom marathon. 80s John Cusack is a serious dreamboat. Set up a pillow filled viewing room and turn on Say Anything or any of the amazing movies that came out of the 80’s. Make it a double or a triple feature!
3. Video games aren’t just for the boys. Gather some gals and break out the Switch to play Overcooked or a racing game. I’ve done this a few times and it always ends in serious laughter. And it’s always interesting to see how chill girls are on a team compared to a mixed team or just guys.
4. Wine and cheese pairing party. But seriously…meetup where we bring a wine and cheese pairing? Can that become a thing. Have your friends bring a cheese and a wine to go with it. You’ll feel super fancy tasting wine and cheese together.
5. Cookie swaps don’t have to just happen around the holidays. Each of your friends makes a few dozen of their favorite recipe, get together, and swap. Keep the fun going and have milk with your cookies and catch up.
6. Follow a Bob Ross video. Unless you’re some talented painter, this will end in horrible paintings and a ton of laughs. Wine’s also a must.
7. Watch the Bachelor even if you’re not into it. I go over to a friend’s house every once in a while to watch the show and love it even though I don’t know who is who. The drama is so over the top you can’t help but love it. Plus there are so many commercials you can spend that time catching up.
8. Board games. Ah board games. My favorite way to get a group together. With so many amazing games out there I could go on for post after post, but I’ve always been a fan of cooperative games. Check out Escape the Temple if you’re looking for a good one to play next.
9. Netflix movie pajama party. Netflix is starting to rival the Hallmark channel for cheesy love stories. Throw on your pajamas (even if it’s in the middle of the day) and have your pals over for popcorn and love puns. Has anyone watching Falling INN love yet?!
10. Potluck meal. Have each one of your friends bring a different course to a meal over. Someone brings an appetizer, a salad, a main course, a side, a dessert, etc. You can pick a theme or have people bring their favorites in that category!
This month’s Oh, Hello Box
inspired this blog post! This month’s theme is girls night in and if you need a jump start to your evening it’s the perfect thing. Order yours
before the end of September!
As the summer winds down and my brain evilly reminds me that ‘winter is coming,’ I thought it a good time to test drive some new creative habits to keep me busy during the colder months. Sure you could just pop over to the store and strike up a new creative habit, but I find taking these few steps as the best way to start (and stick with) something new.
First and foremost, do your research. Whether you want to take up kitting or baking, watch some YouTube videos about your interest first. That way you aren’t diving into something that you’ll quickly jump back out of. When I started baking, I read a lot of blogs to see what recipes were the easiest to follow. That way I could have some creative successes under my belt right out of the gate rather than burning a bunch of cookies and losing hope.
Accountability is key when starting any new habit or hobby, so tell people about it! It’s something new in your life so share it with your friends and family. Plus they’ll likely ask you a few months down the road how it’s going. Don’t disappoint and stick with it!
Give yourself a timeline of how long you’re going to try out the new habit before moving on to something else. If you find you just aren’t cut out for hand lettering, move on to something else. But make sure you’re giving yourself a few weeks to a solid month to try it before switching.
One of the easiest ways to start a new creative habit is to schedule it in your planner. That way it becomes a priority and not just something you talk about doing but never get around to it. I like to bake on Saturday mornings, that way I won’t go months without creating something new and delicious. Find a day during the week or a two week schedule so you can actually do this new habit.
Don’t forget to start slow. If you’re like me you’ll want to jump right in and buy everything under the sun for this new hobby. I can’t tell you how many bins are in my basement full of hobbies I thought I would stick with. For real…I couldn’t tell you…start small and work your way up if you find you enjoy the new habit. Start with a simple hand lettering set and expand your collection if it’s something you actually enjoy. That way you aren’t throwing away money you could be saving for a hobby you want to do in the future.
So whether it’s baking, writing, painting, or whatever, pull out your planner and carve out some time. I always feel so calm and focused after I bake something and it ultimately helps me throughout my work week (plus I get delicious snacks!). A creative habit is a powerful tool!
What creative habit are you trying to start?
One thing I mention but rarely go into detail about on this blog is our second company, Oh, Hello Promo
. I thought it time to finally give you a look into the world of our other business, share the origin story, and some cool products we’ve worked on recently.
Now my husband Alex didn’t plan on starting another business, but through our expansion of Oh, Hello Stationery, he learned a ton about manufacturing products. We added mugs, home goods, and other items to our store with our designs and soon companies wanted their logos on the same products. Oh, Hello Promo popped out of the need to have a place to send businesses that wasn’t a stationery website.
That was about two years ago now and Promo is going stronger than ever. Alex runs the business full time while I run the stationery side of things. He has three employees and earns more than stationery does annually. He’s truly found what he’s meant to do. Alex cares about people, and it comes out in how he runs his business.
We’ve done so many cool projects over the past two years of Promo! These photos are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what we’ve created with various companies.
I’m a proud wife and business partner seeing everything that Alex has accomplished with his business. One successful small business seems like a fluke, but two? I think it’s something we’re both meant to be doing.
If you’re interested in seeing more about the world of Oh, Hello Promo
, just let me know! I’d be more than happy to share what we are getting up to!