As part of building the presentation team for this years A Day To Sparkle I came across local author Samantha Towle. Sam's story really inspired me, a local girl who had seen amazing sales of her books. It was great to have Sam as part of our day and to hear more of her story. As part of this process I started to read her contemporary romance books and I am one on many eagerly awaiting her next book.
I am pleased to be able to share the cover of her next book River Wild due out in January 14th 2019.
There has been quite a storm in the craft world recently where a stamp designer has become public villain No1 when it was revealed that some of her stamp designs are rather too closely related to some images that belong to other designs. She has had to take time out having been branded a liar and a thief. He main mistake was possibly claiming she hand drew her stamps, I think there is probably more to this story than we are hearing at the moment but a witch hunt has seen her name plastered every where with critics condemning her in quite a nasty tone. I won’t be going in to detail here as I do not know enough. I mention it only because it serves as a timely reminder about use of images.
As the owner of Oak House Studio, I was confident about the images I used as created most of them myself. I too have been caught out though sometimes when I have trusted other people’s images especially people on my design team. I had someone submit a sample using another companies stamp as if I wouldn’t notice! So that one didn’t catch me out.
I was caught out when under pressure to produce something new for a magazine, I was inspired by a design of a card someone had made for me, I asked their permission and created a card quite close to the one they had made. Months later I found their card was a direct lift from someone else’s card which made mine too close to that card for comfort. I was very embarrassed. It did not result in legal action but I do know of people who have been in trouble for using images without the correct permissions.
If you use images supplied to you by someone else please take the time to check those images through something like Google image search which is simple to use.
It doesn’t matter how well you know the person or how much you trust them. If you are involved in using the image as a social media manager, a website designer, a PA or VA, a laser cutter or stamp maker, if you are selling the image or distributing it online. If you produce your own images or design something like I did look out for people stealing your images. The stamp world is full of ripped off stamp images and I am sure other will be to. Please check!
As a designer I would ask you to respect artists and the work they produce. There should be no need to steal from these people.
So please use reverse image search to protect yourself and the hard working creators of images that people continue to steal from.
When we go shopping some times we are on a mission to get one thing from a specific shop. We maybe the stick to the list type shopper who only buys what is on our list. A few people are like this every time they go shopping, others only when they need to to.
Shopping can much more fun and less stressful when we take time out to go window shopping, we are not actually in the market to buy anything, we might not have any money left at the end of the month or we may be out spending time with a friend, getting a coffee and having a good chat. When we go window shopping we have time to compare two or three shops all selling similar items, we can ask questions of the salesperson and consider which features are the ones we personally will benefit from most. We have time to ask our friends what they think and we can look online for more information to help us make our decision.
All this is especially true when we are make a big buy, something expensive that is a big commitment for us.
The beauty of this is when we are ready to buy it is a whole lot easier because we know more about what we want and who is the best person for us personally to buy that product from. This sort of shopping is something I much prefer to knowing I need something now, but I don’t know who to buy from, not knowing all the options available & who local to me is the best person to buy from.
As someone who spent many years behind a shop counter I know the frustration of the tyre kickers who just want to see how low they can get your price, but there are also those genuine window shoppers who are not going to buy today, but they make be thinking of a friend who needs what you sell or they may be thinking of their future needs. Try to see not the person in front of you but all the people that person knows.
This is what networking can be like. You might not want to buying a copywriter at this point in your business life, but isn’t better that when that moment comes, you know someone, someone you like and trust. Some one you know you could work with. This is someone who could really help you grow your business, you want someone who really understands who you are and what you stand for. All that networking will pay dividends in the long term. You will make more confident choices and may have had some great conversations and even eaten some cake!
Join us at an event soon so have some great conversations sign up HERE to stay in touch
There seems to be so many groups springing up just as I am expanding my network offering and I have seen people post which are the good networking groups? And here is my advice on that subject.
Look in the mirror
Seriously, what I find great about one group might be something you personally hate, the business world is like the rest of the world it is full people a huge variety of people. Some like precise structure and order, some like no structure. Some people spring out of bed at 4 am ready to conquer the world some people are not worth talking to before 11 am. Are you getting the picture?
There are many factors to consider
Where, when and how often does the group meet.
Where: The right venue for you in terms of distance and ease of journey and not to mention how easy it is to park or get there via public transport
When: If you teach Yoga on a Monday night it does not matter how good The Sparkling Business Club is you probably are not going to make it.
How often: groups could be weekly, fortnightly or monthly… How does this fit in to the rest of your work cycle?
What commitment does the group expect?
Do you have to commit to attending all meetings or sending a substitute? And if so how often are the meetings. Or can you just attend meeting as and when you wish?
What are the financial implications of joining this group do you have to pay up front? For a year or 3 months? Do you just pay for what you attend?
How is the group structured?
Is every meeting the same? Does it have a strong structure? A formal agenda?
Is there a group that attracts your target audience?
Selling rubber stamps to craft shops I was very unlikely to meet a craft shop owner at a local networking event so at that time in my career there was little point in trying to find a local business network with people I could sell to. Selling Offices Supplies just about any meeting was full of potential clients. For The Sparkling Business ClubI would be looking for groups that had a high proportion of women.
Look for a group with “Like Minded” people in.
When you think about it this is probably the KEY thing to do. IF you find the right group of people they will have already chosen a time and venue that also suits you. They will be running a meeting that suits you and it will probably have a price point that suits you too. So having created a long list of things to look for maybe just maybe all you need to do is find the right people to join! So Look in The Mirror then look for people like yourself.
So as I set about the task of finding someone to inspire and inform the ladies at my Big Day at Cave Castle in September 2018. I was looking working through a list of suggestions on Linked in when my husband says " Sue has a daughter in law who writes books, I think they are romance"
Something set me off looking for her. With the beauty of the internet with in a couple of hours I had found her website , bought a book and retired to read. 10 books later I am intrigued by her story and want to know more.
SAMANTHA TOWLE is a native of Hull and a graduate of Salford University, she lives in East Yorkshire with her husband Craig and their family. She began her first novel in 2008 while on maternity leave. She completed the manuscript five months later and hasn’t stopped writing since. She is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author.
She is the author of contemporary romances, The Storm Series and The Revved Series, and stand-alones, Trouble, When I Was Yours, The Ending I Want, Unsuitable, Wardrobe Malfunction, Breaking Hollywood, Under Her, Ruin and Sacking the Quarterback, which was written with James Patterson. She has also written paranormal romances, The Bringer and The Alexandra Jones Series. All of her books are penned to the tunes of The Killers, Kings of Leon, Adele, The Doors, Oasis, Fleetwood Mac, Lana Del Rey, and more of her favorite musicians.
I am waiting for the release of her next book and have it on order. Today sees the release of the cover design for the new book and I am delighted to be able to share that with you today. The book itself is released on August 7th 2017.
RUSH has a special pre-order price of £0.99 (this is the only time it will be on sale). Price will rise to £2.99 on release day.
“With the first pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, the New York Giants select…”
It’s been three years since quarterback Ares Kincaid’s NFL dream came true, and he’s living the high life. The days of cleaning up after his drunk of a father are long gone, and he has no intention of going back.
A car crash and DUI charge meant a lengthy stint in rehab for Arianna Petrelli, and her dream of being a professional artist slips further away when she’s sacked from her position at a gallery. Her need for a job stronger even than her dislike of football, Ari goes to work for her father, the head coach of the New York Giants.
Ares hates alcoholics, which is fine with Ari because she thinks he’s a brainless jock. Yet when Ares rescues Ari from a situation with her ex-boyfriend, an unlikely friendship begins – one that quickly becomes more.
But messing around with the coach’s daughter can only lead to one thing…trouble.
I was watching Rene Redzepi on Saturday Kitchen, possible because he said he was going to make his own Marmite but that is another blog post! My ears pricked up again when I heard him discussing how he used the seasons in his restaurant. This is a topic I bang on about a fair amount of time, but to hear someone else talking on the same topic, I had to find out more about Rene.
"Our menu will have three distinct seasons that we feel really fit our part of the world. In the cold months, like right now, we look towards the waters and serve only seafood, then when we go into the growing season, which typically starts in Scandinavia around June, we'll have a vegetable menu and everything will change, even the ceramics we serve the food on. Then from early autumn to January it's the game and forest season - the only time when meat will play a starring role."
You can read the whole article here https://www.gourmettraveller.com.au/news/restaurant-news/a-tour-of-the-new-noma-with-rene-redzepi-4080
So what about you? How to do you integrate the seasons into your planning? Do up you pump up the marketing or do you use the quiet times to recharge and plan? Tell me what the seasons mean to you ?
Once upon a time I live in the People Republic of South Yorkshire. I lived and work there for nine years. Being a young person living alone there was never enough money for me to have a nice car! So I took a second job. I had worked in bars before so when I saw an advert for bar staff at a night club near by called " Charlies" I went along to try it. The Charlie is question was the much-loved local comedian Charlie Williams. Life there was fun, always someone new on the stage and I met many famous faces. We worked are a team, but more about that another day. The bar was run by Charlie's daughter who had the most amazing eye for style of anyone I ever met. I went on to work for them even when they moved pubs.
I also learnt a lot more about business.
1. Keep it simple. Any offer that is too complicated for the buyers or the staff to understand will only cause problems and will not promote buying. Simple pricing is also important.
2. Give them time to buy. We had many of Charlies friends did comedy slots at the club. However there were people he wouldn't want there. Much as he thought Ken Dodd was a great bloke and very funny his was well-known for his act running over time. 45 minutes Charlie said was long enough. They need to have time to buy a drink or two. Remember to work in buying time to your workshops/events
3. Smile. Most of our customers were lovely people, but as in any bar we had some challenging ones. Charlie had the most amazing smile, it made me smile. It also disarmed the worst of customers. Being behind a counter most of my early life smiles and being polite to customers come naturally to me. It like a switch in my brain.
We can learn lessons from many different people in your life. Most people who come into your life will teach you at least one thing. I hope that I can teach you many things to help you sparkle in your business.
I would love to hear about lessons you have learned for someone outside your family, so use the comments to share that.
When the letter landed to telling me I had finally come to the top of the list for a minor operation I had been waiting for I was pleased.
1st of February, great I thought, I cleared my diary for February as I was told I may not be able to drive for 4 weeks, although I could be lucky and it just be 3 or 5 days.
I thought of all those online courses I have stacked up, I thought of all the family history had planned. I filled the freezer with simple meals for the family to re heat. ORGANISED! I was so ready for this.
Yep you guessed it, there was so many things I hadn't thought about, it wasn't just not being able to drive! I can't write and eating those meals in the freezer isn't that easy too.
Add in how much extra effort it is to get dresses or how hard it is to butter a slice of toast for myself!
Yep six days and in and I feeling frustrated at how little I can do to keep my business ticking over. "I will do lots of lives" I thought, but having issues washing and styling my hair and restricted what I can wear has meant no lives yet. Using my voice has made it easier to send texts, write emails, or even post on Facebook. I will do more of that even when my hand is better.
This is not a post for your sympathy, this is a post to say can you business survive if you are suddenly out of the equation?
Do you have a plan for if you laptop breaks down?
Can you carry on without your phone?
Be prepared my friends.
Do what you enjoy, Enjoy what you do!
all images are copyright Lynnda Worsnop 2012- 2018