It’s been an interesting two weeks in the life of my company. The highlight (ok low point but viewed in an optimistic way) was when I took down my own website for about 12 hours last week.
Apparently, I am tech savvy (but I guess in this case, more tech un-afraid) enough to do semi-powerful things, like take my site down. Please note clients reading this: I would never do this kind ofexperimental behavioron your sites.
With a few frantic phone calls and text messages to people smarter than me, all eventually became right in the world. But these two weeks, I feel like not only have I had enough power to do some damage but to actually make some real headway in a few directions. Here’s what else has been going on:
I planned and executed my first solo workshop for Downeast Learning.
My friend Matt and I are on month three of our monthly technology workshops, which we’re branding as Downeast Learning. Matt is on vacation so I thought for the first solo workshop, I’d tackle Facebook for Business. This is a topic I’m pretty comfortable with, or so I thought as I started planning the slides.
It’s funny when you have to teach something how much more about it you have to learn. Those times where you have to do something ‘just good enough’ and think ‘I’ll look it up later’. And it was finally time to try all the ideas I’ve wanted to do on my own Facebook business page, or at the very least think about step by step how I would do them.
Eleven people came and I think most everyone was pretty happy about how things went. I know I had a really fun time doing it. Based on feedback we’ve gotten, the next workshop will either be about Business Blogging or Google Analytics. If you want to sign up for email alerts when we have these sort of events, go to www.downeastlearning.com.
I wrote my second largest proposal.
It’s always interesting to get an RFP from a potential client, especially a larger business or organization. So much potential yet so many ways you can mess it up if you don’t know their bottom line, who is looking at your proposal, or some other detail that could give you a bit of an edge.
This bid I worked on is something I wouldn’t have had the confidence to do last year. Whether I get it or not, it felt good to know I was capable of outlining a large project and explaining the reasons for my recommendations to a non-technical audience.
I created a document for someone really skeptical about social media.
A leader of a local SCORE office has been a bit skeptical about the validity of social media in business. I’ve met with him a few times. Since SCORE counsels a lot of business owners and potential business owners, I know this will be a valuable connection to make and is worth investing time in.
I created a document of small business social media ‘case studies’ to show how and why businesses in my area are using the internet for promotional purposes. I hope if I come at this from enough angles (or better yet, SCORE members can see the benefits themselves) that eventually this can be understood. Because if I can’t explain how and why someone could use my services, I am in the wrong business.
I added my family business as a client.
Some of you know that I come from a family that owns a small business, specifically a hardware and building supply store in northern Maine. My family is aware of what I do for work and while I’ve suggested I could help a couple times, I haven’t pushed it very hard. I didn’t want anyone to feel pressured to hire me because of some kind of obligation. Like anyone else, I wanted to be brought on because my services are needed and because I’m good at what I do. Anyone else would have been followed up with four times (my rule, after that, I drop it and move on). But in this case, I think I might have said it once or twice casually over dinner during the last year.
When my brother-in-law contacted me about doing some website and email marketing work for them, I was super-excited (probably more than I let on). Not only is my family personally supporting me owning my own business but, as owners of a 75 year old business with a reputation, they are willing to invest in me professionally.
I started revising my business plan.
I’ve added an ‘advisory council’ of people I want to help me make my business decisions. My internet business plan book recommends it but I haven’t read far enough to see when/how to use my group of advisors. In any case, it’s nice to formalize a list of people I trust.
I also rewrote my three year goals to reflect my first year of experience, including pushing back the hiring of a second person to help me out and adding paid workshops (instead of or in addition to a once monthly unpaid speaking gig to a local business group) to reflect my new revenue stream… well, more accurately expected revenue stream.
It felt good to see, while I was completely off base about some things, I was right on about others.
Have you felt powerful in any way this week? Made some important headway? Please brag so I can give you a little golf clap (maybe even a ‘yee-haw’) for a job well done…