Category Archives: business

5 Ways to Stay Motivated Daylight Savings Time

5 Ways to Stay Motivated (With Daylight Savings Time)

As we move into the days of late winter, the nights are overwhelmingly long. If you’re anything like me, I frequently look outside and all I long to do is sleep. Last night my motivation was looking at the window and longing for my bed at 7:30, thinking it was far later than the actual time. With shrouding darkness at 4:00 due to surrounding snow capped mountains, it’s easy to feel pushed and feeling that more should be done. (This means in our world all shoots must be completed by 3pm.) How do we stay motivated and stay awake with the surrounding darkness?

Keep reading for our 5 Ways to Stay Motivated after the jump!

1.  Replace coffee with another experience of warmth for a boost.

While it’s all too tempting to grab a second cup of joe during the afternoon slump or while preparing dinner for the night, make a point to grab a cup of tea or warm water. If carbonation is your thing, pick up a sparkling water. (Our favorite is the cranberry orange liter bottles from Trader Joe’s.)

2. Skip a nap and head to the gym.

Believe or not, your body might be feeling tired because it’s been somewhat sedentary during the day. If you’re like me, a desk job keeps you to a desk for majority of the day. Prep ahead, by packing a gym bag, and head to the gym right after work. We love doing this! Another option is scheduling time to go to the gym when you find you’re entering your afternoon slump or choosing to gym during your lunch break.

3. Shut off Netflix and choose another option.

By simply choosing to shut off Netflix and pour into your hobbies, you’ll be amazed at the time that is freed up. Pursue creativity, enjoy a good book, and find fresh forms of inspiration. (Find 10 Things to Do Tonight Other than Watching Netflix post here.) Discover the beauty of cooking a new recipe at home for yourself, going for a walk in the rain, and pairing together fresh looks in your closet. Do a bit of spring and deep cleaning, get organized, or refresh your space. Dive into your reading list. Spend your time with purpose and meaning rather than a Netflix binge.

4. Know your goals.

Don’t take on projects and work solely for the sake of being busy. Take on projects that have life, bring a bit of joy to your world, and move you forward. Whether this is a side hustle, moments to find creative freedom, or just going after wellness, get specific, measurable and have check-in points, either weekly or monthly for moments of accountability. (Find previous posts on Intentionality, Crushing Goals, and Dreaming Again here.)

5. Have a tending list or bullet journal.

Where do you have long-term goals set before you? With a simple bullet system or paper planner, find a way to have goals and ideas of what you’re currently working on. This helps me develop true priorities and a knowing of what I need to respond to in a given time. There’s loads of articles on bullet journaling and it isn’t something I’ve completely adopted yet. (I’m not one to take the time to make a journal quite so quite and deliberate; however, this sweet episode by Refinery29, shows you great first steps to get started.)

How are you staying motivated during the long gray days of winter?

Let us know! We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

5 Ways to Love A Paper Planner

5 Ways to Love A Paper Planner (With Your Tech)

When it comes to a paper planner, it’s easy to believe that carrying one makes you obsolete. However, I’ve found it couldn’t be further from the truth. Whether I’m giving presentations, ideating, or intaking information for a client, I’ve adapted easy systems that partnered with a great planner keep things organized and far less chaotic than life otherwise.

1. Once something is written out you remember it. 

There’s emails, meeting invites, and Google calendar reminders. While we utilize Google just like you might, there’s beauty and implicit hierarchy of information when using a paper planner. By spending time on the Sunday prior to the week, you can remain fully aware of a to-do list for the week ahead of time and have clear priorities.

2. Planners keep your core values and long-term goals in mind.

Google Cal doesn’t know me. Quite simply it knows my schedule. However, when it comes to my professional and personal core values, my planner lets me soar, seeing the priorities and goals I want to run after for a given year.

3. With tending lists in front of me, I can clearly see what it is I long to do and where I’m heading quickly in sight.

By using paper for long-term goals and the vision to see further than daily operations and tasks of my business. My planner sits at my desk and allows for flexibility and creativity serving as benchmarks to reach throughout the month.

Here are some practical tips to use in a planner and create a format that works for you. (You can also use these tips for bullet journaling as well.)

  • Water droplets at the top of the daily column serve as the glasses of water I’ve consumed. (8 a day baby!)
  • A human symbol means I did one active thing for the day. (With two desk jobs, this is a big deal for fun and staying fit, typically placed beside the drops of water at the top.)
  • Top 3: Placing three large tasks at the top of the daily column allows me to know what must be accomplished. This goes right underneath the wellness symbols. (Statistically, most of us don’t get more than 3 items done on a given day.)
  •  BP: This is simply where I place the blog post for the day. Under that I have the appropriate abbreviations for clients’ editorial calendars. This is placed spaced toward the bottom and written in far before daily tasks are filled in.
  • Washi tape monthly editorial calendar: When scheduling out a quarter of blog posts at a time, I plan shoots and meetings with two colors of thing washi tape. This keeps the process tactile and interactive as I plan the month and bring on the necessary team for content needed. (In the past, I’ve also used cut down post-it notes.)
  • In the top right corner, I place in green the sales to date for the quarter knowing the financial goals I have for the year.
  • Schedule dates with yourself at a coffee shop to get organized, schedule things out, and find ways for tech, apps, and your planner to work together. We typically do our big dreaming seasons, goal sessions, and chores (like finances, invoicing, and contract drafting) on coffee dates with self. It makes it a bit more inspired than solely bookkeeping.
  • G for Gratitude. Listing 5 things in a sweet loose cursive at the bottom.
  • Book. I’m reading through the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs over the next 5 months. By reading 3 chapters a day, I know I’m right on track. Underneath the gratitude section, I write “book” once the reading is completed.

4. Develop systems to partner tech and paper organizational tools. Every tool has a proper place.

Tudoist.com is my favorite to-do list app. My desk planner and Moleskine serve as the analog forms of this app function. If I’m in a rush and don’t want to rewrite something, I simply take a screenshot of the paper planner page. If there are printables I love that I’ve found, I simply recreate them as a template in Evernote or an interactive pdf. This allows for mobile access and creative freedom when a planner can’t come in tow with me.

For drafting content, if it needs to feel vulnerable and a slightly heavy post, I’ll write my first draft in a Moleskine. It feels like a journal and allows for more creative freedom. There’s something about writing outside of a publishing platform that breathes life and a different ease than one where a publish button lingers in the distance. For annotating in meetings (personal), I use Evernote with a variety of templates I’ve developed for my needs. With a simple duplication of a note, I save time formatting. Here is where blog brainstorming and a rough editorial calendar comes together for each quarter, providing a solid timeline and tending list for developing the blog.

planner-2_for-your-year

5. Find the tools that work with your tech.

This year I opted to make an investment in a planner that could do a bit more heavy lifting for my life and my business. Golden Coil is a custom planner and stationary company that simply syncs with your Calendar and Contacts prior to printing your calendar, printing important dates on your calendar and allowing you to select items even down to the category of quote note paper, cover, and each interior layout up to 242 pages. Our layout includes social media posts, project management and ideation pages, business finances, and meal planning. These served as benchmarks and goals for my year.

If you’re looking for a minimal paper planner geared toward the creative entrepreneur I can’t recommend the Get to Work Book enough. It provides a flexibility and simplicity that is perfect for the self-made creative, knowing the necessary freedom that comes with the job. With inspirational typography posters and tabs, monthly goals setting sheets, and project management pages, they provide a framework that works. (The interior layout of this planner is somewhat intuitive allowing for the freedom to flux between a schedule and to-do list as needed.) Another item we have loved from Get to Workbook is the project management notepad. Once a client has been fully onboarded with contracts signed and deposits paid this is our first stop. For large projects and launches, event planning, and campaign strategy these sheets are an absolute lifesaver. By categorizing projects down into production departments and subsequent to-dos, launches are manageable and while remain hard work, have a strong tending list at the forefront. If you’re a creative and want to invest in your business this year, run, and go buy these sheets.

Tip: If you’re still hesitant about investing with a planner, we suggest starting with the perpetual calendar and the project management sheets. At the low cost of under $30, it’s worth it!! It’s time to start investing yourself, getting out of overwhelm, and moving forward to be you best self.

How do you use a planner? Have you ditched tech? Are you using both and loving it? Let us know any tips and tricks you might have?

We’d love to hear from you! Let us know in the comments below.

 

 

how i killed comparison

How I Killed Comparison

Podcasts. Shops. E-courses. Affiliate links. Sponsored posts. Physical products.

As a blogger it’s easy to get caught up, to look around, and compare yourself to others in the game. Whether it’s followers and engagement on Instagram, the latest product someone else is offering, or feeling caught up in a rat race of catching up, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed or super behind just by glancing on a feed. I must be honest in saying that I’ve been there. I see the articles that pop up on my feeds, “How I Got 30K in the first three months” or “How I made 6-figures in my first year of blogging,” and think I must be doing something absolutely wrong.

With comparison, the questions can become endless. For me, it starts out simple and innocent enough. I scroll through my feeds and find inspiration in the content that fills my screen. I take a screenshot and place it in an inspiration file. Later on I find myself referring to my inspiration folder and then the fillings begin to rise. Thoughts of how I could shoot things differently, how I need to schedule posts, how I should blog more inspirational/viral content, needing to return to the gym, or add more makeup for a stronger style post. I see the sponsored posts and thinking this little labor of love while fun, isn’t all it shouldn’t be, because well my numbers aren’t there. Here’s the thing about comparision. We compare our real life to someone’s highlight reel of content or see their launch and not all the work that goes into their feeds.

So how do you kill comparison? What are practical steps to avoid overwhelm, rediscover the joy of creating, and not feeling the need to top your personal best as a creative?

Over the years, I’ve found a few tips that are vital to killing comparison (as a girlboss) and here are a few of my favorites.

1. Begin telling yourself you are enough.

For me this dialogue happens through prayer. I have moments of quiet and solace throughout my day. I look to the eyes of love and remind myself that I am enough, that I am loved with every moment of my imperfections, due to amazing grace. I keep on telling myself that “I am enough” until I believe it. Here’s the funny thing about it. It’s really easy to forget.

2. Stop the mindless scroll.

Have you ever find yourself coming home from a long day exhausted and spent? Much like operating on auto-pilot, you plop on the couch and turn on the TV. Then no longer fully focused on a show, you open your laptop, and begin scrolling through feeds. A few minutes later, you pop out your phone looking at the Instagram posts you might have missed throughout the day. Instead of decompressing and resting, it’s easy to fill your mind with endless streams of content. Intentionally gauge the time you spend on social media. Honestly engage (more than a liked post) or contribute to the platform. But stop the mindless scroll and embrace rest.

3. Find times to go analog (and drive to where there’s no service.)

There are times where you just need to disconnect from a screen. There are some professions that value rest and a sabbatical. For others, we call it vacation. Take time to schedule times where you are outside in nature and on an adventure, no longer worrying about ways to capture your outing for the world, but instead experiencing. For those folks who love to get ahold of you at all times, simply state, “I’m so sorry I was out of service.” It works every time.

4. Stay true to your why.

There are phenomenal girl bosses to look up to out there. But here’s the truth, you can’t do it all. Adopting someone else’s method or prescribed recipe for engagement, likes, traffic, etc, may not be your thing. Ask yourself why you’re creating what you’re creating. If you’re solely writing and creating content for engagement or profit, something has lost it’s creative heartbeat along the way. Grant yourself space to ask questions and bounce it off of other creatives and entrepreneurs along the way. Rediscover the joy of sustainable creation even if it means a hiatus for a bit.

5. Be mindful.

I don’t keep catalogues in my house and have unsubscribed to majority of the email lists I once was on. Why? I simply don’t want to engage in content that makes me question my contentment. My life won’t be better once I have more stuff, a better outfit, or the next thing. Choose contentment, happiness, and optimism now. It truly is a choice.

How have you killed comparison?

We’d love to hear from you. Let us know in the comments below.

 

Glisten & Grace Our Systems

Glisten & Grace: Our Systems

Student. Intern. Lifestyle blogger. Graphic Designer. Educator. Branding Expert.

Everyday I wake up and have multiple hats to wear. Systems, they’re something that are vital to a thriving business. If you don’t have systems, you’re probably operating in the land of dysfunction. With a few simple tweaks and a bit of discipline, your life can be freed from the hours behind your screen, the headaches that can come with walking aimlessly throughout your business. While systems aren’t sexy, if your systems suck, you’ll know and will be feeling the pain for years. Hey there fellow entrepreneur, what do you think about getting on top of the pain points in your business and developing systems that work? Today we’re making things super practical, as we pull back the curtain and let you in on our systems. Grab a cup of coffee, you have 10 minute read ahead, it’s one of our favorite posts to date.

Glisten & Grace: Our Systems

1. We swear by The Chalkboard method.

We came across this method a few years ago and as a visual person, it keeps our long term goals in mind. (You can listen to the full concept on Being Boss podcast here.) While we don’t have a full wall to dedicate to a chalkboard, we’ve opted to place ours on a smaller bulletin board with pieces of cardstock instead. We have a long-term goals listed, as well as short term goals, and weekly to-do lists. This keeps our quarter’s goals in front of us. Our categories include 10 Collaborations or Sponsored Posts, 10 Affiliates to add, 10 Clients, and quarter sales increase to date. By having blanks in front of our workspace, it keeps us looking forward to grow as a company.

2. When the credit card bill comes in, we fill in our spreadsheets. 

For most entrepreneurs, there’s a massive groan when it comes to all things finances and taxes. It’s easy in the midst of the daily grind to ignore items and have a massive headache when tax season comes around. When your credit card bill arrives in the mail, take an hour and make sure to transpose expenses on an Excel sheet. (We always prefer something on our hard drive for our business finances.)

3. We dedicate 1 Hour a Week to Writing for Instagram.

Instagram is our favorite platform and over the summer, we’ve been tweaking our methods. With a few launches coming up this quarter, we can’t wait to see how this platform continues to grow. Honest engagement and great content are our jam. For most folks, Instagram can feel like a chore. With a content-focus to our Instagram, we spend an hour to write for Instagram a week. This allows us to space to develop our content a week ahead, revise the copy, and shoot accordingly. We do the same for our social media clients, seeking their approval for copy, prior to posts going live. This gives your social media a strong presence and strategy as content rolls out.

4. Have an automated system for onboarding clients.

When we receive an email, we have four e-mails drafted that typically meet the needs of any client. If a client requests a meeting we send a form via Google Forms, to have a better idea of what they’re looking for if the meeting is a cold call. Any client meeting is restricted to one hour before shifting to a consultant meeting. Our contracts are fill in the blank proposals. They take less than 30 minutes to modify for each client. Within each proposal is a hyperlink to sign the Contract via SignNow and another link to Pay a deposit via Paypal. It’s simple, fast, and keeps back and forth communication to a minimum. Once clients sign contracts, they receive moodboard instructions, a branding questionnaire, and pre production deadlines for their project via Google Calendar (particularly for dates that require their approval).

5. Personal life hack: Do 2 loads of laundry and dry cleaning, while cleaning the house.

In two hours we are able to get all of our chores done for the week. We begin by starting with dry cleaning in the dryer, then place whites in the washer. We then follow with darks, the load that has the most hanging items to dry. We combine our whites and darks in the dryer, while most  of our denim we line dry. (Usually it gets dry within a day due to the Redding heat.) This reduces our energy bills by only using the dryer for dry cleaning and one load of laundry a week.

6. Spend Sunday evening prepping for the week.

Whether it’s meals or scheduling, if we wait until Mondays to write out to do lists, schedules, or be prepared for meetings, we’re already behind. Instead of investing this energy on Monday mornings, do this on Sunday evening to be prepared and hit the ground running Monday morning.

7. Have an admin day once a quarter.

We firmly believe that if it doesn’t exist in Google Calendar it doesn’t happen. Here’s how we keep our calendars organized. For work, here are our calendars: blog posting content, photoshoots, work deadlines, and meetings. For the rest of our life: we have home, birthdays, bills due, and  This keeps everything on appropriate calendars and makes our color coding hearts delighted.

8. Develop templates in Evernote. 

Ever feel like your notes from client meetings get lost in your stack of Moleskines? We’ve been there. Rather than trying to keep everything on paper, we’ve gone digital.  We developed a few templates that we swear by. We have one for Client Intake meetings, one for a Project Brief, and one for a Creative Business Plan. How do we use them? In your Evernote dashboard, duplicate the template and retitle the note for the specific client or project, modifying the content below each prompt.

9. Track increased income/sales and to invoice in the same Excel sheet.

Every quarter this year, we’ve exceeded our sales goals, which is a big, big deal for our company. We track every invoice and payment received in excel. Once a client receives an invoice, their payment is marked in yellow. Once payment is received and cleared in our account the line goes back to no fill. We have a separate tab titled, “To Invoice” for clients on retainer where we’re working on multiple projects at a time, this allows us a simple time tracking system. We’re fully aware that this can be done through Bonsai or Honeybook, but have opted to keep our expenses streamlined, investing in less subscription services and digital products, keeping our overhead low. At some point we may switch over to an online platform, but for now our clients on retainer are familiar with our systems and it works.

10. Automation is your friend.

There are seasons where we’ve subcontracted, had personal assistants, and hired other creatives we respect in our field. There are other times where flying solo has been the name of the game. Sometimes you need to delegate to an accountant or a web developer (we do both of these) and other times it’s as simple as stopping by Trader’s to pick up a favorite salad and apple on the go. Coming in under $5, it remains less expensive than eating out and is far, far better for you. Other times you just need to hire someone to clean your house, do sourcing for shoots, or handle laundry. There are loads of tools out there that can help you automate your business. ( One of our most popular posts about that right here.)

What are some of your best systems in your business? What are the rhythms and season of your year? How does the seasonal calendar guide your systems?

We’d love to hear from you! Let us know in the comments below.

 

 

day in the life glisten and grace

Glisten and Grace: A Day in the Life

Over the years, there’s a question that I receive over and over again. It’s simple, “What does your day look like? How do you fit it all in?” Today we’re peeling back the curtain and letting you behind the scenes. Here’s what a day in the life looks like at Glisten and Grace.

Keep reading for the full post after the jump!

IMG_4962 6:00 AM While our heads are still resting on our pillow, we’re still working. We recently made the shift back to having posts and social media go live for the blog at 6:00 PST. Our reasoning was simple. Originally being from the east coast, we hoped that our readership would migrate to looking at the blog on their lunch hour, 9:00 AM PST. This didn’t happen. In hopes of regaining some ground, we’re making strides to post everyday at 6:00 AM by automating our posts and using Hootsuite to schedule our Facebook and Twitter posts. The good news? It’s been working! Welcome back, our dear friends from the east coast.

7:00 AM Rolling out of bed and head to the gym. I try to get a good half hour to hour workout in before the day starts. This gets my heartbeat going and reduces my coffee intake. Often times I’ll listen to a podcast, catch reruns on HGTV, or listen to an audiobook to past time and keep me entertained at the gym. (I get bored super easily on cardio machines at the gym, to be super honest.)

IMG_4422

8:00 AM Shower and get dressed for the day. I’ve shifted to a somewhat minimal wardrobe that always contains black either on the top, bottom, or both. While it’s a uniform of sorts it always looks nice, elevated, and can span errands, client meetings, or simply a day’s work.

8:30 AM Finish getting ready and head downstairs for breakfast. Breakfast is pretty quick with a bowl of scrambled egg whites (3 to be exact) and some diced chicken sausage. It’s delicious, healthy, and packs in the protein, giving me plenty of energy for the day. At this point, I’ll decide if I want to work from home for the day or work from a coffee shop. Every day is different and it keeps a bit of variety in my routine.

day in the life

9:00 AM: Social media content for clients goes live. We use scheduling options, but post for Instagram in real time. At 9:00 AM, we also post Instagram content for the blog.The rest of the morning is spent responding to client emails, completing revisions, and working in batches for existing clients. Our mind is most alert at the morning and late at night, so we find this gives us the ability to work in blocks of time. It’s hard to gain ground on any project without a 3-hour block of time. We schedule our days to have 3, 3 hour blocks of time with a few active breaks between.

Noon: Time for a lunch break! Today’s lunch consisted of a quick run to Chipotle. We saved the other half for dinner, with a side of chips it’s perfect and cost effective.

1:00 PM: Depending on our energy level, we take a 30 minute nap after lunch or plow through our list of errands. Most of our high level tasks are completed by the end of the morning. Our afternoon block of time is intended to keep us moving, when we’re starting to feel a bit more tired. (This is also when eye strain or a food coma is quicking in.) Today, we’re working on styling a few tabletops, sourcing food, foraging floral, and working on a few project launches. We’re plowing through the list of tasks this week, preparing for a full fall and winter season!


4:00 PM: Finish any deadlines for the day and respond to last minute emails. We turn off our email throughout the day, keeping focus on the task at hand. Opening our email at the end of the work day, allows us to tie up any loose ends for clients and set our task list for the next day.

Golden hour: It’s shooting time. With sunrise around 5:45 in the morning, we make sure to hit golden hour during the evening. It’s a great way to finish the day. Today we’re working on shooting some styled stock photos for an upcoming launch! We can’t wait to show you these collections because they’re absolutely stunning. (Imagine the kind of stock photography you would want as a creative, blogger, and entrepreneur. We’re creating the kind of stuff we wish was on the web, but seems to be absent.)


8:00 PM: Dinner and a walk. With long days of production under our belt, we love to take a break and sit down to a delicious meal or go for a walk with a friend. It’s a great way to be social with others, finding a bit of connection, and getting away from the desk. (It can get a bit lonely working from home or remotely on a team.)

9:00 PM: As much as we hate to admit it, we absolutely work best under pressure. We spend our last few hours of the evening, making sure blog posts and content are ready to go live the next morning, and any final deadlines are submitted for the night.

10:00 PM: Say goodbye to bluelight and screens. We spend our evening with a good book, roommates, and a bit of quiet to wind down. Setting the phone on the opposite side of the room, we give our eyes a break rather than scrolling through mind numbing feeds.

Thanks for joining us behind the scenes and spending the day with us.

How do you spend your days?

We’d love to hear from you! Let us know in the comments below.