Pure Photoshop Actions!

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!

One thing that makes my workflow (for both myself and others) go smoothly are actions.  Whether they were created by myself or someone else, they make the things you do with every image simple and quickly done.

There are so many free ones out there that are great (Pioneer Woman for example!) but there are also some great paid ones too.  Pure Photoshop Actions has some of the most, forgive the pun….pure actions out there.  The best ones are those that enhance an already great image, not overpower it.

They just received 10,000 fans on their Facebook page and because of that, they have a great freebie and have an amazing giveaway on their blog!

OH yeah, did I forget to mention?  I am giving away a couple free hours of my services to the winner of this first giveaway!

You definitely need to check them out and enter to win!

 

 

Tuesday Tip :: When Disaster Strikes

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So, it’s still Tuesday here, even though it’s almost not for you East Coasters….but that’s okay.

My tip is for dealing when disaster strikes.  Because it does.  Whether it’s a Tsunami or Earthquake, family member health emergency or one of many other things, disaster will come at one point or another.

You should have backups of things off site, in case of fire, flood, famine, act of God.  The important stuff.  I love using Google Docs (I know, you are shocked!) to keep track of things that aren’t too personal (i.e. no bank account information or social security numbers or anything…) but I have used the docs to keep track of things like my husband’s disability tracking information and time trackers and the like.

Keep copies of important documents in a safe deposit box.  Important information in multiple safe areas.

I love having a smart phone (I have the Motorola Droid X and LOOOOVE it even more than the iPhone I had before….) and it is my lifeline.  Being able to chat and access my email is a life saver.  Especially when a webinar is going on that you helped plan and people haven’t gotten invites and you are trying to organize things while at the hospital where your dad is at the ER.

That was just randomly pulled from no where.  *cough*

Seriously though, think about what your backup plans are for when disaster strikes.  Are you covered?  Do you have insurance – renters/homeowners, business, health?  Do you know what you would do if you were to have a natural disaster?  No one likes to think about it….but it’s important.  Prepare for the worst but hope for the best!

Until next time!

Just Ask!

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“Man, I wish I could work with *so-and-so*!”

What’s stopping you?  What are you afraid of?

Start a conversation with them!  On their blog, in their store or their Facebook page.  Talk with them.  Be polite.  Invite them to coffee or a lunch.  Treat it kind of like you would dating (without the romantic portion).

You are amazing.  Don’t forget how awesome you are but don’t your ego get in the way.

Who knows?  They may be just as interested in meeting with you!

Tuesday Tip :: Google Forms

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I know I’m just starting out the blogging thing on here, but something you will very soon discover is my love for Google and their products. Their business model, goals and things they produce are just amazing and I don’t know where I would be without them. Plus, they are free which is the best price!

Google Docs has been around for a long time.  I’ve been using them to keep track of my finances (both personal and business), time tracking for clients, Christmas lists (to send out to family members) and so much more!  They’ve just come out with Forms and the possibilities have grown exponentially!

The biggest thing I’ve started using them is for questionnaires.  Not only is it an easy way to create a streamlined and beautiful questionnaire, but it also has a wonderful tracking and summary viewing area.  The best part is that it is web based, so if you have internet you can access it!

They are so simple to create too!

First, you have to go to the Google Docs area.  Create New, and then choose Form.

Yay!  You have a new Form!  It starts with a blank title and includes two questions already created.  To edit, you just click the pencil in the square on the right and viola!  It becomes editable!


There are several different types of answers that people can give.  Text, Paragraph Text, Multiple Choice, Checkboxes, Choose From a List, Scale and Grid.  So many different ways to customize the question!


When you’ve finished your questions, you save it and then you can either email the form directly or embed it in your website directly!


Embedding it in your website is so easy!  Copy and paste the HTML and you got it!


Then, when your results start rolling in, you’ll be able to see them all in one place.  You can even see it in a summary view, if you just want an overall answer.


Now!  Go forth!  Make surveys!  Questionnaires! The world is your oyster!

Networking

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One of the biggest reasons I was so excited to go to WPPI was to network.  Now, I don’t think I was the annoying person, running around and throwing my card at everyone I talked to….instead, I liked to talk with people.  Get to know them, what they did and what they loved to do.

And now that I’m back home, I haven’t stopped my networking!

I love blogs.  I love the little peaks into other people’s minds.  The inspiration and motivation can be just amazing.

It also is a great chance to network and just meet people.  My first Virtual Assistant job came from a blog.  Leah of Go{4}Pro had a mean person make a comment about her spelling and grammar.  There are some harsh people in the world, but this one ended up being an inspiration.  After that post, I emailed Leah asking her if she wanted me to edit her blog posts for her.  What started out as simple emails sent back and forth with edits has blossomed into so much more.  I love the friendships I’ve gained from doing this as well as the knowledge and information from doing this.

I love my job!

Tuesday Tip :: Outsourcing

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One thing that was constantly repeated in every single one of the classes I went to while at WPPI was outsourcing.  Jose Villa, Tamara Lackey, Suzette Allen, Elizabeth Messina, Mike Larson — every one mentioned it at least once.

As a small business owner when you are just starting out, you may think that you have to do everything for everyone.  And it’s possible that you may still be thinking that.  The truth is, that you CAN’T do and be everything for everyone.  It’s a sheer impossibility.

Your company is a piece of you.  Your life though, is all of you.  In order to be successful in both, you need to be realistic.  You need to be able to let go of things that you may not need to have every piece of your fingers in.

The hardest part for most people is the physical ability to be the one to let go.  You have to be able to take a look at your life and workload and hand something off to someone that may or may not be able to do it the way you think it should be done.  But being able to release something you hate or may not be as good at and handing it over to someone who enjoys or is great at it can be an amazing relief.

It doesn’t even have to be big!

Something as small as hiring someone to come in once a week to clean toilets, wash windows and scrub bathtubs can take an immense weight off your shoulders.  If you have children, trading a day of daycare with a neighbor or friend who also stays at home/works from home can give you more hours to be productive.

Overall, you have to be able to take a look at what you are doing and how you can be more effective by placing tasks in other peoples hands.  The really important thing once you do outsource something though, is to utilize those extra hours productively.  Work smarter, not harder.

Otherwise, you can fill it with more meaningless stuff and not get a return on your investment!

WPPI

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I just got back from four amazingly inspiring days in Las Vegas.  If you ever have the chance to go, no matter where you are in your journey, you will learn so much.

There are so many different things I have to share!  So many time management and efficiency tips and tricks ready to make my life and yours easier!

To those I met in lines, in classes, in hallways: you made my experience so amazing.  I cannot wait until next year!

Tip :: Email Addresses

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One of the things I can do for people is help organize their giveaways.  Something that I’ve noticed during the most recent one is how many people don’t have their email name set up properly.

It’s a simple process that has a major impact in every interaction you can have.

Just make sure your settings have the owner’s name how you would like your name to show up.  This allows for your name to show up in the receivers mail box in the title.

Think how much easier it is to find your name again if it’s right there, in bold, and easy to find.

Awesomesauce

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I just helped someone set up their Webinar for the first time.  I love it when software programs do what you want them to do and especially when I can help make it do that.

If only everything was as simple….

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