Investing

Investing Mistakes You Can Avoid

Investing in the stock market is a meandering path to money growth, not a quick sprint to a bag of cash at the finish line. Before you dip your toes into the stock market ocean, here are some investing mistakes to avoid:

  1. Jumping in before doing your homework. Plain and simple, look before you leap. While you shouldn’t expect to become an overnight expert, it’s vital that you learn the basics of investing before you begin. Instead of buying the first stocks that catch your eye, pick up a few books and learn the ins and outs of investing before your first dollar goes into the stock market.
  2. Playing without rules. Once you know the basics, make you investment plan. Set rules and limits for yourself so you know if and when the time comes to cut your losses. While you don’t want to invest more than you can afford to lose, setting rules before you begin allows you to invest with more confidence because you know there’s a specific number that will tell you when to exit a specific investment.
  3. Trying to get rich quick. Contrary to popular belief, the stock market will not make you a millionaire overnight. If something looks too good to be true, it probably is. Make one, five and ten year plans and try to project where you want your portfolio growth to be when each plan ends.
  4. Not knowing your risk profile. Be honest with yourself, and decide what type of investor you are in regards to taking risks. If you tend to lose sleep worrying about your stock fluctuations, choose less volatile investments. If you don’t break out in a sweat every time the market bounces you may be ready to invest more aggressively.
  5. Ignoring your portfolio. Don’t expect to invest and forget. Once you purchase your portfolio of stocks, check it at least once a quarter and fine tune your investments. While you may decide not to make any changes, you’ll begin to see cycles and long-term growth or loss of each stock you own.
  6. Failure to diversify. Don’t put all your eggs into one basket. No matter how good a certain stock looks, the key to money growth in stocks is to diversify. Let’s face it, get-rich stocks like Apple are few and far between. Instead of investing heavily in one stock, reevaluate it periodically and reinvest your gains if you feel the growth potential is strong.
  7. Giving into media hysteria. We’ve all seen it: stocks plummet due to a news event, and the media goes into a feeding frenzy of doom and gloom. Take a deep breath and remember, you’re in for the long haul. Instead of giving into market hysteria, sit back and analyze what’s happening and how it might effect your portfolio in terms of years, not days.
  8. Acting on stock tips. If you mention starting a stock portfolio, everyone with a toe in the market becomes an expert. It’s okay to listen to what the other guy is doing with his money, just remember to do your own research instead of acting on tips or impulses. If you can’t resist a hot tip, set aside a certain amount in your portfolio for impulse buys so you don’t lose more than you can afford.
  9. Selling too soon. Stocks fluctuate. Be prepared to ride out the lows, rather than selling as soon as a stock begins to dip. This is where your investment plan comes in handy: refer to the rules you set initially, and don’t panic and sell too soon. Remember, your stock portfolio is an investment of years, not weeks or months.
  10. Denying defeat. Ah, the other side to the evil coin…know when it’s time to fold. If a stock is tanking, the company has begun bankruptcy proceedings, and the CEO has departed for places unknown. Knowing when to cut your losses and walk may be the most important lesson every investor needs to learn.
Inspirational Quote

Being Smart With Your Side Business

All businesses, big or small, on the side or full-time, come with expenses. They could be startup costs, or you might need to account for ongoing or reoccurring expenses. Either way, the money you need to spend to keep your side business running has to come from somewhere.

Even if you’re pretty thrifty and savvy with your personal finances…after all, you probably started a business on the side to earn some extra money to further your financial goals, right? It can be too easy to mindlessly spend on anything you can write off as a work expense.

Saying, “it’s for my work” or “it’s for my side business” can evolve into an excuse that allows you to buy or spend more than you really need. But consider changing your mindset. Ask yourself, how much more cash in your pocket would you have if you made an effort to start bootstrapping your side business?

What Does Bootstrapping Mean?

When it comes to your work costs, when you say you’re bootstrapping your business it means that you’re highly selective with how you spend your resources (financial or otherwise).

You don’t have much of either at your disposal, so you choose what you spend with care. If there’s a way to do something with less materials or for a lower cost – or for free – that’s the option you’ll take.

Although, this may add up to more labour or work on your end, it does keep more of your profits in your own pocket. You’ll have more money from your side business to use for your financial goals like savings, investing, or making a big purchase.

How Can You Start Bootstrapping Your Side Business?

If you’d rather save more for your hard earned money than spend it, consider these ideas for bootstrapping your side business:

Be willing to learn new things. If you’re bootstrapping it, you probably wear many hats for the work you do. You may be the contractor, the PR person, the webmaster, the bookkeeper, and more. To keep your business budget low, you should always be willing to continue to learn new things so you can add to your hats if you need to.

Of course, everyone has a limit and you can’t do everything all the time. At some point, you’ll need to outsource. But if you’ve been receptive to learning things as you’ve gone along, you have more options to choose from when you do bring on someone to help you. You can do so much, you’re not forced into finding something for X, Y, or Z because you don’t know anything about it.

Barter services. If you do need something you just can’t do yourself, before you pay someone else to do it, consider bartering for it. For example, if your side business provides SEO services and you need a graphic designer to create a new logo, you can offer a graphic designer an SEO package in exchange for that logo.

Need new tech? Try apps. If you need a piece of technology or a program, check to see if there’s a free app for it first. Developers are constantly coming up with new and innovated products, and apps are increasingly being offered for free.

Go digital. If you’re not already utilizing digital everything, get on it! Office supplies cost money, and more and more people of all ages are comfortable working with virtual copies of everything. Even if your side business caters to older generations, don’t be afraid to start going paperless.

Want less. The best way to bootstrap a side business? Don’t get caught up in chasing after things you really don’t need. Just like the fastest way to wealth is wanting less in your personal life, the fastest way to a cash surplus in the work you’re doing in your free time is to cut the wants and focus only on what you need.

Heart Flowers

Thank You Dad For All The Things I Didn’t Know About

Family First

Thank you for never being afraid of letting me see you for you. The moments I watched you cry, laugh, and love will always be cherished.

I could start by Thanking You for the easy things…

My bed, my clothes and the food that you put on the table when I was young.

For doing my hair, helping me with my homework and for the vacations pulled together on a shoestring budget.

The patience, love and understanding that you showed me in accepting me as I was…and not trying to push me into being someone I wasn’t.

But somehow that feels like I’ve barely scratched the surface.

What I really want to Thank You for is all of the small decisions that you made on a daily basis that I will never know about.

I want to Thank You for the times that I cried as a baby, and you got up out of bed to hold me because you wanted to let Mom sleep.

I want to Thank You for all the bedtime stories that you read to me, even on those days you’d put in extra hours at work.

I want to Thank You for how you handled the rough patches in your life, as you turned further into the love of your family when you could have just as easily closed off to us.

I want to Thank You for stopping old habits that weren’t serving you in favour of being a better role model.

I want to Thank You for all of the times that you carried me on your shoulders, even when I was getting too big to be up there.

I want to Thank You for having and resolving disagreements with my Mother in front of me as a child, so I could grow up to know that conflict in relationships is not only inevitable, but something to be embraced and seen as an opportunity to further grow together.

I want to Thank You for every time you kissed, hugged, or complimented Mom, my Siblings, and I even before my brain was storing memories…for every single one of those moments is locked in my mind and heart forever.

I want to Thank You for being the best possible role model I could have hoped for. And for all of the moment to moment tiny decisions that you made, that I will never know about, that forged you into the man, and the Father, that you became.

I love you, Dad, Forever and For Always.

Ice Cream Cone

Take Care Of Yourself

I recently attended a meetup along side some stellar creative women entrepreneurs. We were going around answering the question, “What are you working on right now?” Of course, most of us rattled off all of the projects that we’ve had in our head, our lofty dreams and schemes for our businesses. But one woman answered the question a bit differently: “Honestly, she said, “I’m just focusing on making my bed every morning.”

I loved this answer because, for me at least, it provided some much needed perspective on how out-of whack my priorities can be sometimes. If you’re anything like me, then you know how easy it is to dismiss the simple needs of life by getting caught up in the thrill of pursuing your passions. In fact, some of us might even hold a certain romance for the idea of creative chaos. Messy desks, sleepless nights, skipped meals…in many ways we regard these types of stress as badges of honour.

But while disorder and stress are certainly an indicator of busyness, they’re also the fastest tract to total creative burnout. The reality is this: to create something worthwhile, you have to start by creating a sustainable life for yourself. In other words, those who make the biggest impact in this world are those who commit themselves to practicing self-care and reducing stress.

We all go through seasons of life where our basic needs seem to fall by the wayside. Still, no matter how busy, stressed, or successful you are, there is always room to give yourself the attention you deserve.

Start here:

Develop Morning/Nightly Routines.

If you have kids, you know what an epic event bedtime can be. It involves a specific order of operation: take bath, put on pajamas, brush hair, brush teeth, get in bed, tuck in, read story, big kiss, lights out. We provide this routine for kids because it gives them a sense of structure, making them feel safe. And the same is true for bigger kids (i.e. adults). Especially for those whose lives are on the unpredictable side, we need daily habits that we can depend on. Think about what you do when you wake up and what you do before you fall asleep. Are these structured events or do they regularly change? Find a routine that works for you, and commit to sticking to it.

Don’t Skimp On Sleep.

Have you ever left a computer running for way too long to the point where it just crashes? Well, despite some obvious physical differences, it’s important to remember that we are all basically computers. Without rest, we break down. If you are cutting corners in your sleep cycle, you aren’t doing yourself or your business any favours.

Keep Necessities Stocked. 

Shampoo, coffee, granola, eye cream – whatever you need to feel like a human being, make sure you have it on hand. It sounds simple enough, but in the midst of a busy season, there is nothing worse than being without the essentials. I mean, hello, you subscribe to podcasts and newsletters; maybe it’s time to subscribe to your preferred brand of toilet paper.

Be Kind To Your Body.

When life is hectic, we tend to make decisions based on convenience. For many of us, this leads to fast food dinners and missed workouts. But in times of stress, your body needs the good stuff more than ever. Be deliberate about getting those fruits, veggies, and protein into your system.

Declutter.

Your office, your studio, your garage, your email inbox…whatever space in your life is causing you stress, now is the time clear it out. These mess-riddled areas are basically physical metaphors for your frazzled brain, so trust me, you will feel so much better once they are organized.

Have An Outlet.

If you are building a business, you are in the fortunate position of getting to do the thing you love. All. The. Time. Yay! But sometimes this can be a challenging, especially if the thing you love was once your go-to hobby. Now your hobby is work and work is your hobby and it’s all very confusing. That being said, find something that helps you decompress, something totally separate from your daily grind. For me, I love to go on walks/runs and explore new places in my neighbourhood.

Macro-Dream, Mirco-Accomplish.

Your ambitions should be big, so big that they scare you a little. But your small daily accomplishments, things like making your bed, completing a workout, clearing out your inbox, cooking yourself dinner – these are the things that will help you tackle your dreams with confidence. Take care of yourself by remembering that the little things you do today are just as vital as the big things you will do tomorrow.

Girl Boss

Why A Business Partner Is A Good Idea

Your business is your baby. You brought it to life, you’ve taken care of it, and you take tons of pride in watching it grow. That being said, as an entrepreneur, it’s natural to be protective of your business. It may be difficult, perhaps even frightening to imagine handing it off to someone else.

But sometimes that’s exactly what needs to happen in order for your business to grow. If you are a solopreneur, perhaps you know the feeling of being a bit stuck creatively or having way too much on your plate. If that’s the case, you may want to consider enlisting a business partner, someone who can share your ambitions and help you reach your full potential. Sure, it can be a vulnerable experience to invite someone into what you are doing, but it can also be totally worth it.

Here are a few reasons why:

ACCOUNTABILITY

There is a huge difference between having a goal and sharing a goal. As a solo entrepreneur, it can be easy to fall into the habit of letting things slide. After, all, when you’re working alone, the only person you are able to disappoint is yourself. But when you bring someone else into the equation, suddenly there is a heightened sense of responsibility. Having a partner lights a fire under your butt, which makes you far less likely to give up on your goals.

A SOUNDING BOARD

Do you ever have an idea that makes you really excited at first, but suddenly you find yourself wondering, wait, is this crazy? When it comes to developing a business, it can be difficult to assess which ideas are strokes of genius and which are total dead ends. In partnerships, however, you get the unique opportunity to ask the is-this-crazy question to a real, live human being instead of just inside your own head. And if you’ve selected a good partner, then chances are they will be honest with you. If your idea is a stinker, they’re going to tell you. But if it’s solid, then great! Now you’ve got someone there to help you develop it.

SOMEONE TO PICK UP THE SLACK

Look, you’re great. Really, you are good at so.many.things. But you know that one thing you kind of struggle with? Well, wouldn’t it be nice if you had someone by your side who could help you out with that? Cue your business partner. Good partnerships are often made up of individuals with complementary skills – diverse talents that when combined create an explosion of creativity and productivity. Perhaps you are a big picture visionary, but you struggle with the small details. Or maybe you write incredible copy, but your photography skills are a bit lacking. Whatever the case, complementary partnerships help to level out any weaknesses you might have (and don’t worry, everyone has weaknesses).

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT

Let’s get real here: sometimes being an entrepreneur is rough. I mean, when things are going well, building a business is like a dream (Hooray! I get to do the things I love…For a living!). But when you’re struggling…when things don’t pan out the way you thought they would or when you take a significant financial hit – it can be discouraging. However, when you have a partner, it not only alleviates some of the pressure that occurs during the low points of business, but it also means that you have someone who knows exactly what it is that you’re going through. Whether you’re bummed, frustrated, or totally elated, your partner will be right there with you.

INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY

Here’s the big DUH moment you have been waiting for: working with someone else means that you can get twice as much done. While that may seem obvious, really think about what that means. Think about every time your to-do list has reached epic proportions. Think of all of the times you’ve delayed your goals because you just had too much going on. When you collaborate with a partner, suddenly all of those tasks that you had on the backburner can be delegated to someone else. Your productivity will double, and you’ll have someone by your side to celebrate with when you make the big time.

Google SEO

Using Google Analytics Report To Grow Your Blog Traffic

“Search Engine Optimization.” The reason you may not have viewed it, is because you need to “enable Webmaster tools” to gain access to it.

Want to know why the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) reports will become your new BFF? Ever wonder the exact terms people search for when they discover your site? Wishing more people would click over from search engines?

1.FIRST THINGS FIRST, YOU’LL NEED TO ENABLE THE FUNCTION

Once you login to your Google Analytics account, navigate yourself to Acquisition>>Search Engine Optimization>>Queries. 

Click “Set up Webmaster Tools date sharing” and follow the steps to complete the set up. The steps are simple and should only take a couple minutes. Once you’re finished, you should now gain access to the “Search Engine Optimization” pages.

2.DISSECTING THE QUERIES PAGE

On the left, your Google Analytics Queries page will list your top keywords in order of impressions. They are the exact terms that people are using to find particular posts on your site. They can be ordered by the following variables:

Impressions: Impressions are the number of views your post received on a search engine results page. For example, if someone Googled “Entrepreneur Books” and you have a popular post called, “My Favourite Books for Entrepreneurs,” then your post may show up on the search engine page for that term. Therefore, the number of “impressions” isn’t the number of people who clicked over to read your post. It’s just the number of times your blog’s post appeared in the list of other posts on a search engine result page.

Clicks: This refers to the number of times someone actually clicked your post (from the search engine result page) in order to read it.

Average Position: This is a fun one. It refers to the exact ranking that your post has on Google when someone searches for a particular keyword. Ideally, you want this number to be as close to “1” as possible, especially for keywords that are particularly important to your blog or business. “1” means that your post is the very first result.

Don’t worry if your numbers are looking a bit higher (or even a lot higher) than the mystical “1”. Firstly, search engine optimization (SEO) takes time to organically build up. If you just published a post that you think has great potential, you will still likely need several months before it gets strong notice from search engines. Secondly, in this post I’m going to share ways to increase this search engine ranking.

CTR: Lastly, CTR stands for Click Through Rate, or the rate in which users click over to read your post from search engines results. The exact formula Google shares is “Clicks/Impressions x 100 = CTR.” A fantastic CTR is in the ball-park of 50%. However, that can be difficult to achieve, especially with popular keywords. Instead, you’ll ideally want a CTR of 15-20% for your most popular keywords, especially if they directly relate to your website (even that is ambitious!).

3.USING THE “QUERIES” PAGE TO FIND YOUR MOST POPULAR + RELEVANT KEYWORDS

Now that we’ve defined all of the data and terms, it’s time to actually put it to use in a way that will help you grow your website’s traffic. Essentially, we’re going to uncover the following things:

  • How to rank even higher for keywords that are relevant to your brand.
  • Which posts are showing up the most in search engine results.
  • How to improve your CTR so that once you do rank more highly in search engines, people actually feel inclined to click over and read your post.

First of all, you might see that your top keywords are ones that aren’t very relevant to your site’s main focus. As an example, some of my top keywords are posts about “halloween lights”. Those are old posts that I wrote when I first started this blog, but which are no longer relevant to my audience.

Instead, go through the list of “queries” to find ones that are relevant to your blog or business. (Note: you can view more queries by clicking the “show rows” button at the bottom of the page). Some of them might surprise you and many of them will likely belong to posts you wrote months or years ago, like I mentioned, SEO takes time, so older posts tend to rank higher than brand new ones. Record any queries with a CTR of less than 10% on a piece of paper.

Next, record the other information for these keywords, impressions, clicks, average position, and CTR. This will help you to see which keywords are hustlin’ and which ones are falling flat.

4.ADDING THE “LANDING PAGES” DATA

Finally, if you click Acquisition>>Search Engine Optimization>>Landing Pages, then you’ll see a page very similar to your queries page. The only difference is that instead of showing a list of your most popular keywords, it will show a list of the most popular posts and pages on your website. Likely, your most popular posts will directly relate to your most popular keywords. For example, if one of your popular keywords is “Vanilla Cake,” then it’s probable that your “Best Vanilla Cake” post will be one of your most popular posts within your “Landing Pages” data.

Using a piece of paper, record the popular posts next to their related keyword. You can do this for as many posts and keywords as you’d like, but I’d work on the most popular and relevant ones first.

5.PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER TO GROW YOUR BLOG OR WEBSITE’S TRAFFIC

Now that we’ve recorded data from your Queries and Landing Pages section, it’s time to analyze it and find ways for you to improve. Looking at your completed list, you should be able to see which keywords/landing pages have the lowest click through rates (CTR). Time to work some magic!

If you have CTRs that are less than 10%, then it’s likely because of one of these problems:

  • Your post title is not catchy or interesting enough.
  • Your meta description (the few sentences that appear below your post title in search engine results) is not catchy or interesting enough.

To fix these, just edit them! You can easily edit your post titles. To edit your meta description, you can use a WordPress plugin like Yoast. Think about a title that is descriptive, uses your keyword, and would make someone want to click your post. For the record, posts that begin with phrases like “How to… or 5 Ways…” tend to receive more clicks.

Similarly, if you want to show up more in search engine results for a particular term, then try these tips:

  • Add your keyword (organically) throughout the related “landing pages” more often. Simply edit the text to add your keywords in a few more places.
  • Make sure your keyword is used in the title, meta description, text of the post, and URL (if possible).
  • Write more posts about that keyword/query topic and link them within your posts.
  • Lengthen your popular “landing page” posts to include even more valuable information. Google rewards posts that are in-depth.
  • Share these posts on social media in the hopes that others will repost them on their own social media or mention them in a blog post on their site. When other sites link to your site, it boosts your SEO.

6.LASTLY, FIGURE OUT WHICH KEYWORDS YOU WANT TO RANK FOR IN SEARCH ENGINES

You’ll want to select keywords that are relevant to your brand and will likely bring you traffic and sales. You can search for these keywords on the Queries page to see if you’re already getting traffic from them and then use the steps above to improve the number of clicks and amount of traffic you receive for a particular term.

This process may sound complicated if you’re reading through this for the first time, but following the steps above is actually pretty simple and quick. It should show you which keywords are bringing you the most traffic and which ones could bring you a lot of traffic if you tweak certain posts on your site.

Recruiting

Dear Recruiters

Dear Recruiters,

The candidates you want are on LinkedIn. They are getting your messages. And they want you to please stop doing these three things:

1. Not including the company name of the job requisition. I used to work for a staffing firm. I understand why recruiters do this – to avoid a competitor stealing your req. I also understand that recruiters have almost zero time to focus on stealing other staffing firm open job reqs. The odds of a competitor stealing your open job req (and filling it before you) is not worth the risk of having the right candidate ignore your vague message. If you really have the right candidate for the job, give them all the necessary information up front (company name, salary range, location, job title, culture) so they can do the process of elimination. That way, when you do get them on the phone…you know they’re interested.

2. Sending job offers for lower level positions than our current one. It’s insulting. You obviously didn’t read my resume. Slow down a little. Stop sending mass email blasts of a copy and pasted message to everyone who pops up on your buillion search.

3. Not including information about you or your company. Do you recruit for an IT staffing firm that only hires consultants for 6-12 months? Do you do permanent placement? Are you local? Are you an Executive recruiter? Do you recruit for startups? Including this information is important and will drastically improve your response rate from potential candidates.

Girl Boss Desk

Why You Should Be Using Webinars

Webinars used to terrify me. An hour before my first webinar, I literally threw up because I was so sleep deprived and nervous.

When someone is starting their business and feeling pangs of overwhelm, trying to go 15 routes at once – I encourage them to shove everything else aside and just start doing webinars.

It’s also why I encourage seasoned businesses that are already earning money to get into doing webinars, too. There’s always room for growth.

No matter where you’re at, webinars can help you quickly grow your revenue and audience.

Why Should You Do Webinars?

1.They breed connection with your audience.

There is nothing more personal than seeing someone live – whether it’s in person or online, live interactions are inherently more intimate than, say, reading a blog post or scrolling through someone’s Instagram.

And if you’re doing business online, there can be a bit of disconnection between you and your audience, simply because they aren’t getting  the full impact of who you are.

The solution? Webinars!

Webinars allow you to share a live video with your audience, which humanizes your brand and gives your tribe a chance to get to know you.

Think about it, if you saw someone on a live webinar and they had a great, relatable personality, wouldn’t you be rooting for them even more than if you had just been reading their blog?

There’s only so much of your personality that you can infuse into text or even a podcast. Webinars give your audience a more complete story on who you are.

So, if you wish you had a more engaged tribe, webinars are the perfect place to breed engagement and connection with your people.

2.They help you stand out as an authority + expert in your niche or industry.  

It takes work to create a webinar.

It’s one thing to write a stellar blog post about a topic, but it’s even more impressive if you can then turn that blog post into a 30-45 minute live online workshop. Webinars also tend to have more visibility than blog posts because they are an “event.”

Think of it this way: What would be more memorable? If your favourite author gave you a copy of their book? Or if your favourite author held a private reading for you and a few friends where they read excerpts of their book and told some off-the-cuff stories, too? To me, this is the difference between writing a blog post or an email vs. setting up a live webinar.

Plus, as you’ll learn, you can do webinars to other people’s audiences – not just your own. This further adds to your credibility because other people have essentially said that they trust your knowledge and want to share it with their audience. It’s like a mini endorsement, in a way.

Again, this all adds to your authority online.

BTW do you need to be an “expert” to start doing webinars?

Absolutely not!

3.Bottom line: you.will.grow.your.revenue.

There’s just no doubt about it: If you use webinars consistently, you will make sales and grow your revenue. You obviously need to add a bit of strategy to your webinars to make lots of sales, but once you have the right framework, there’s really no ceiling.

I truly believe that anyone, regardless of niche or industry – should do webinars or live videos to their audience. There’s nothing like them in terms of connection, authority, and income.

How Can You Get Started With Webinars?

There are a few types of webinars you can do, and plenty of ways to get started (even if the thought of doing a webinar totally freaks you out).

1.Start with Facebook Live or Periscope.

This a great way to dip your toes into the live video world because both Facebook Live and Periscope allow you to broadcast a live, streaming video to your audience.

They are much less “formal” than a standard webinar because people don’t need to register to attend your FB Live or Periscope and generally, you are not sharing a slideshow presentation (it’s often just you talking).

How can you get started with FB Live or Periscope?

Try teaching one tip or strategy in your first few sessions. You can keep it relatively short, too – like 5-10 minutes.

As you start to feel more comfortable, you can extend the length of your sessions. This will get you comfortable speaking on live video.

But how do I get people to show up?!

On Periscope, your followers will get a notification when you go live. Your broadcast will also be shared with your Twitter followers.

A couple other ways you can increase your Periscope attendance is to tell your email list about your Periscope session in advance (like a couple days notice). Since your broadcast will be shared on Twitter, you can also use hashtags in your presentation title to attract more Twitter users to your session.

As for Facebook Live, I believe your followers get a notification if you go live, too, but my understanding is that this only happens if they are already on FB at the time. I’ve turned off notifications for pretty much everything, so I’m not 100% sure.

If you plan on doing a FB Live, aim to tell your FB Page or FB Group audience about it 24 hours in advance, regardless.

2.Hosting Your First Solo Webinar.

Now that you’ve got some FB Live or Periscope sessions under your belt, it’s time to get crackin’ on your initial webinar presentation.

Typically, webinars utilize slideshow presentations for most of the webinars (though you could do a slideshow the entire time if you prefer to not be on camera). You can use PowerPoint or Keynote to do this.

When coming up with a topic for your webinar, try to think about the first 2-3 steps that someone would need to take to achieve a specific goal. Basically, get them started. Give them some momentum to keep going.

Whether or not you pitch a product at the end of this webinar is totally up to you, but it’s not necessary if you’re just trying to grow your list, or get some practice in.

3.Host a Joint Venture/Partner Webinar.

A Joint Webinar (or JV) webinar is a great way to grow your list, collaborate with influencers in your niche, and make sales of your product without tiring out your list. There are a couple ways to do this:

The first way is by you teaching a webinar to someone else’s audience.

If you go this route, then you will be creating the webinar presentation and your partner will simply invite their audience to join the webinar.

In this case, you will create a webinar registration page, give it to your partner, and they will share that opt-in page with their audience. Therefore, anyone who signs up for the webinar from their list will end up on your list.

Do you see how this can quickly help you grow your email list?

Not only that, but if you have a product to sell, you can pitch your products on this webinar and give a commission to your partner. Typical commission rate for partner webinars are 50%.

This means that you can get in front of entirely new audiences to pitch your product to. It also means that if you have just one webinar presentation, you can teach your webinar to a new person’s audience each week and make consistent sales of your product.

I recommend first reaching out to your potential webinar partner on social media. Leave comments on their Instagram. Share some posts from their blog. Basically, begin building a relationship.

That will get you on their radar and show that you are in this to help them, too.

Then, you can shoot them an email to see if they’d be interested in having you do a webinar to their audience. Make it clear what’s in it for them.

JV webinars are a fabulous strategy, especially if you’re looking to grow your email list and make more sales on a consistent basis.

The second way to do JV webinars is to invite someone to teach one to your audience.

In this instance, you can reach out to others in your niche who are doing webinars and ask them if they’d like to do a webinar to your audience.

If they agree, then they will create a registration page and give it to you. You can then share that registration page with your audience to encourage them to sign up for the workshop.

If your partner has a product that they’ll be pitching, then it’s standard for you to receive 50% commission on any sales made on the webinar since you will be inviting your audience.

This can be a very worthwhile monetization strategy because the only thing you really need to do is share the webinar registration with your people and then show up to the live webinar.

Overall, webinars can easily become your secret weapon for making sales, humanizing your brand, growing your list, and elevating your business to new heights.

Vietnam

Find Your True Self By Exploring Different Cultures

By the time I finally had to go away from home, I was a perfectly restrained, introverted, overly careful individual. Even away from the protective grip of the family, my life still consisted of repeating the cycle of acts that were familiar to me and which gave me the feeling of safety and security.

The Shock

That all changed when I traveled to Vietnam for the first time. My previous trips abroad, well-planned and short-lived as they were, took place well within a cultural standard which was still known to me. The architecture, food, clothing style and expected behaviour were largely the same as the ones I was accustomed to. As such, traveling had no major impact on me at first.

Culture shock finally caught up with me as soon as I landed in Vietnam. Without sounding unnecessarily poetic, the world had a different colour there. Or better put multiple colours. The very environment was essentially different and foreign to me. For the first time, I gained real perspective, becoming aware of my individuality and size on this planet.

From hand gestures to clothes and greetings, everything was different. Without realizing, at first I mostly glared at my new surroundings and the people populating it. Interaction seemed wildly inappropriate. Culture shock had overwhelmed me with silence.

The Accommodation

After the initial shock, my plan all side tried to compensate the novel surroundings by behaving as it usually did. The street was covered in colour and diversity. Speaking to the peculiar strangers made me realize, despite our differences, how much we had in common. Instead of sightseeing, I let the city take me wherever it wanted. Going off the beaten track led me to meet different people. Their world was dramatically different than mine, with values and goals that barely even occurred to me. Interacting with them reminded me of something that I already knew..that the world is vast and that my safety zone is but a speck of dust in it.

My own outfit became rich in colours and surrounded by my new friends-slash-guides, I discovered the feeling of being part of a community. This is something that I experienced in other places as well. Living side by side with starkly different people from across the globe, even for a limited amount of time, taught me acceptances and friendship.

The Experience And The Lesson

Since my first trip to Vietnam, I traveled as much as I could and I had always wanted to see Europe. After all, what better multicultural country to start than one which has 4 official languages? Switzerland was absolutely mesmerizing and Annecy proved to be as breathtaking as my Vietnamese experience. I felt my wanderlust blossoming as flowers do in spring. My path carried me from the French Alps to the border of the Atacama Desert, from the Panama Canal to the high slopes of Tibet. With each travel, I discovered another piece of my true self and got to know myself bit by bit.

The entire experience I got from traveling and exploring different cultures was not that it changed who I was, but that it primarily allowed me to discover parts of me that I did not previously know.

I discovered that I could live in the present without having to nervously plan my every waking moment. My true self, a psychological concept that is cross-culturally stable, was not that of a frightened introvert, but of a charming and outgoing person that could befriend total strangers in a few minutes.

At the same time, I found that I could deal with large periods of being on my own. Alone and often confused, I had to face every situation by counting on my ability to pull through no matter. If confident is not the way in which I would have described myself before, traveling revealed to me a strength and an ability to adapt that I never thought I had.

Perhaps the most important lesson I got from traveling and exploring different cultures is that the best journey is within ourselves. No matter where, when and with whom we are at any given point in our lives, we can make the most of it and live life to its fullest by being our true selves. The best way to discover that part of us, of course, is by exploring different cultures.