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An Ode to overwhelmed business by Kara Lambert

An Ode to Overwhelmed Business

Be gentle on yourself, she thought. The world has shifted access and you, my dear, are at it’s pivot.

Be kind to yourself, she thought. You might want to think you can do it all and you, my dear, can some days and others will be a struggle.

Be wise with yourself, she thought. You happily give out advice and treat those you meet with kindness and you, my dear, deserve the same.

Be true to yourself, she thought. You have spent so long coming to terms with who you are, my dear, and so now you need to be it.

This is uncertain times, she thought. You know you’ve made it through many others, my dear, you shall with this.

This is a time of change, she thought. You know that it’s the world changing, my dear, you only need to change with it and not against it.

This is a testing time, she thought. You know that you can stand the test, my dear, you have depths yet uncharted.

This is a coming of a new time, she thought. You know that it will bring new joy, my dear, you only need to look for it.

And I am asked to do so much, she thought. You know that it is not forever, my dear, it will teach as much as take from you.

And I am tired from it all, she thought. You do not have to rush, my dear, we will wait and you will make it to us.

And I am hurt by what I see, she thought. You are not alone, my dear, you do not have to hurt alone.

And I am worried for what’s to come, she thought. You are right to worry, my dear, for we are facing the unknown.

Kind people walk among us, she thought. You can be one, my dear, you just need to be kind to be one.

Kind thoughts evade us, she thought. You can start them, my dear, you just need to start with yourself.

Kind words heal us, she thought. You can say them, my dear, and sometimes the kindest thing is to listen.

Kind deeds are done between us, she thought. You can do them, my dear, you only need to smile.

 

 

quote ode to overwhelm and business Kara LambertI wrote this ode as I struggled to write a blog post for my business. It’s been a month since Covid-19 really took hold here in Australia. It’s been 3 weeks since I pulled my kids from physical schooling to do online learning. It all seems a lot longer.

The other day I did my grocery shopping and one of the shop assistants mentioned how she was overwhelmed. She was tired of it being all she heard of. She was tired of the uncertainty. She was tired of always being worried. She was tired. You see, I asked her how she was and her sigh told me that her “Ok” was far from actually being ok. I asked her if she was “sure” that she was ok and that’s when she told me she was overwhelmed. I’m glad I asked her and grateful I could listen.

You see, outside of my psychology degree, I spent 5 years processing worker’s compensation claims for the Australian Defence Forces. It was my job to listen to the stories the personnel told me. Over the years, I learnt to hear the subtle signs of fatigue quote an ode to overwhelm business by Kara Lambertand anguish that simmer under “ok”. I learnt that sometimes, just being heard (without fear or judgement) is all people really want and need to feel better. They didn’t need sympathy, placation, but did need to be heard. When we are heard, we know we are no longer alone.

 

I hope you don’t feel alone. x

 

What to do when you are lost for blog ideas.

I admit that some weeks, I am pulling blog ideas out of thin air at the eleventh hour. With two blogs for two distinct businesses, I have used a variety of prompts to help me blog consistently throughout the years.

Why I blog

I blog for my website’s benefit. I blog purely to keep my website fresh & the Google Algorithm happy. I blog to help me curate keywords for my SEO. I know it’s not the most tree-huggy answer, but it’s the truth. It’s why I recommend it to my clients. Let’s face it, it is keeping one of my clients in customers – and her blog is hidden!

How often I blog

I blog weekly for Write to Right and I blog monthly for my hair accessory business. Not too onerous, except when the weeks coincide! I admit that weekly blogging is about my limit and that I found it difficult at the start. It used to take me 3 days to draft, mark-up, and do the corresponding email; now I can get it all done in 5 hours. Oh and that’s for a thousand word blog.

What I don’t blog about

I am not a mommy blogger. It’s not me. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with it, it’s just not my style. I do not do paid endorsements. I rarely even do endorsements! When I have endorsed, it has been products I have used and happily put my name behind.

But what I will tell you are some of the ways I create blogs when I don’t have a topic. What I will say is that you need to direct your topic to your goals and to inspire your ideal client.

Q&A

Run a Q&A or FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) blog. This is a great way to help you with educating your clients. It is also a great way to develop business policy. It is also a resource that you can repurpose.

About
Write about yourself, what inspires you, what drove you to start your business. Open the doors to make connections with your customers and grow your relationships.

Product Review

Review your own products. Write up the features and benefits of the item. Start with your most popular products and build the library. Not only can you drive sales from the blog, you can add value to your sales pages. These are great blogs to repurpose across your social media presence.

Lookbook of tools

Create a curated post of links to your favourite tools or products and how and why you use them. Warning: let people know if you are using an affiliate link and you will get a kickback from their purchase.

Book of favourite FB posts

Facebook is a great way to test what your clients like. On my hair accessory business page I share a number of hairstyles, so one month I built a blog post with the favourite hairstyles I had done at home. This is also a great way to showcase relevant products or services and value add for your clients.

Use a magazine title from one of the niche’s fave mags

Magazines have tried and tested titles. Use their expertise and replace their subject with yours.

Counter a popular belief or stance

Countering a popular belief has been one of my most popular blogs. Provide a convincing argument, with counter-points to support your point of view. This isn’t for the faint-hearted. Promoting a counter-point to a popular opinion can give rise to an angry following, but if you have convincing arguments then you will be fine.

Do you have any other blog starters you use? Do you blog? Does your blog take on a particular style? What benefits do you gain from blogging? Do you re-purpose your blogs?

8 The glorification of ing & the power of being

The importance of being

I remarked to a friend that last week was quite strange. A number of fellow business owners were outwardly struggling with depression, anxiety, cyber-bullying, lack of sales, and generally just feeling funky. I have to admit, I was one of them. Now we couldn’t answer the world’s problems in our five minute walk from the car, if only! But it has stuck with me; perhaps it’s the psych grad in me wanting to know the ‘why’. I haven’t found a ‘why’, but I believe I have found a ‘what’.

I believe that we are stuck in the glorification of the ‘ing’. You know what I mean, we are all busy do-‘ing’. As business owners we are busy:

– chasing

– planning

– selling

– learning

– marketing

– making

– writing

– budgeting

– accounting

– worrying

I am certain there are others, as we each run different businesses and each in our own ways. We are projecting all of this energy out of us and into our business and customers. Then on top of that some of us have families.

As a wife and mother I have a whole other list of ‘ing’s and they seem to grow around Christmas. This time of year we add attending/organising Christmas functions, organising school holiday activities and chasing the right present (anyone who has had a child who has wanted this years’ must have present will know exactly what I mean).

Then when the list is made, we glorify it. Friends come and ask how we are, and we openly respond with “Tired”, “Rushed”, “Exhausted”, “Busy” and they nod in empathy, for they are the same. We talk about all the things we have to do, obligations we have, how we need xyz for the business, and how we are waiting to steal a few days of rest over Christmas (amongst the other ‘ings’ we have lined up).

It was another conversation that I had over the weekend, with a client, which pointed it all out. You see, she was establishing a new business, sorting out stock issues, and planning and growing her business; but she was too busy to enjoy it. With a wistful look in her  eye she said “I just wish I could create what I wanted to, I miss playing”. You see, in all of our ‘ing’ we miss out on some of the greats:

– playing

– loving

– sharing

– being

I like the last one as it can encapsulate the others. Watch this talk from TED to see how big business is encouraging creativity and profiting from the investment.

As a small business owner, I need to back away from the ‘ing’ and look to the creative. I took a month away from work and travelled with my family. In this time I had the space to be and in that I found clarity. This clarity has formed a new direction and untold benefit. Last week, I needed that time again, time to just ‘be’ and in that time I found strength to move forward.

So I wonder, maybe the ‘ing’ that we need to incorporate more into our business (and life) is being. Taking the time and being in a space where we are not bound by rules and expectations; a space where we can play, experiment, and tell stories. A place where there is no right or wrong. What the video was looking at was using the life of children to fuel our creativity. The thing about childhood is that most of us were left to be. We were told to go outside and play, to entertain ourselves; why as adults do we not give ourselves that space? We are too busy with and glorifying the ‘ing’ to go and just be.

So, in the comments below, where do you go to just be? How do you recharge and explore your creativity? There are no right or wrong answers, and you just might inspire someone.

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