Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Tips on Tuesday - Creating Orginal Content

I like to create my own content.  I mean from the ground up.  This isn't easy, it takes up most of my time and efforts.  You know, this social media numbers thing, can be a drag!  I mean, we can't help but compare, even if we try to make others believe we don't.  So, as you read this post, keep in mind that some people do have "help" - a team, even.  No one can "do it all" even if we think they are.  

I did see a rather popular local social media food guru buying several rotisserie chickens from the deli.  I didn't think anything of it, until I started seeing all the pictures of meals on their site.  This person is a chef...I thought they roasted their own chickens?  It doesn't matter really, I don't care, it's just I was a bit suprised.   I think sometimes when we see the success of others, we assume they "do it all."  I mean, not to sound snotty, but we ordered chicks, raised them, butchered them, baked them, cooked down their carcass for stock and I share all of this on my sites.....get what I'm saying here - "ground up" kinda thing.  

However, I don't have no where near the followers this person has....even with my knowing how to do "it all" - tehee!  I'm just joking, but I do know people see my content, because the tell me.  Even people I don't know.  I'm sure the same is true of you.  What I try to do is sort my way out from the herd.  One can only see that perfectly staged, professionally taken stock photo so many times to know it might not be as original as you think.   

I say all of that to give you some of my "Tips on Tuesday - Original Content"

1.  I said it above, "sort your way out from the herd" - no matter what you are a herd of:  artists, furniture painter, home decor, spiritual, inspirational - whatever, find a way to do something different in your area of exertise.  I tend to come up with catchy sayings for my sales:  "Manic Monday, Wacky Wednesday, Friends on Friday" it's the extra little something that draws attention to your content.

2.  Think about what you are good at and stick to it.  You can only create original content as an expert or guru on things you actually do and know how to do.  Yes, share it, even if other's end up copying, share it anyway.  People may copy you, but they aren't you.

3.  Post all the steps or stages to something.  A series of posts to keep followers looking.  I do this all the time.  I did a whole series on my blog about "How I Learned to Turn it Over to Jesus" a detailed account of our daughter's cancer story.  I also did a series of "Lessons from Mama Hen."   Find a topic, you know about and do this.  People will be interested in seeing or reading from beginning to end.

4.  Be honest in what you do or share.  Even if you make a mistake the "how not to do this" is just as important.   The vulnerablity of these types of posts are orginal content.  Readers like to know that they are not alone in a feeling a certain way or making a mistake.  Don't discard these types of posts as "fails."  Sharing these, may just be what draws a new follower.  I do this thing on my personal facebook page called "More from that moment when..." and I share a funny little story about something I did or said.  It almost always makes me look "bad" but, those are the posts that get the most LIKES and comments.  I enjoy laughing at myself and figured others would too.  (smile).

5.  Whatever you are doing during the day, think about how to make a post about it.  Make sure to take some pictures even if you don't use them.  You will regret not taking pictures if later you think of a way you could create a post about it.  I do this all the time.  At the end of the week or month I look at my photos and delete those I didn't use.  Orginal content might be as simple as "view from my kitchen window" which I've done.  Trust me, no one else will have that view.  One time I took a picture of a cup of cocoa with whip topping, sprinkles in an adorable antique mug and shared it on Instagram.  My daughter messages me and says..."that must be for a blog post!"  Oh, she knows me well!   It's this, the everyday "boring" things that not only creates orginal content, but YOUR orginal content.

Oh I could probably ramble on some more here...however, I'll save it for another post.  (wink, wink).  I would LOVE to hear how you create orginal content on your sites.  Please share your tips with us.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.   

Monday, April 22, 2019

Motivational Monday - Back to Work ReCharged

Spring Break is over....

Good Morning.  I had a fun-filled week of recharging.  Post from last week: 

When you are excited to return to something you needed a break from...it's a good thing.

I am blessed (and cursed at times) to be self-employed.  I wasn't able to quit my 9-5 on a whim, although I wish I would have earlier.  I've said it 100 times, "I can make or break me."  I knew last week that I was on a "breaking me" point and needed to take a break.  So, with that said, on to a new week.  I don't really know how this is motivational for others, but my advice in last week's post helped me, because I followed it.  I will share how I'm moving forward in this post, using (...tips...) from last week.  

I'm going on a little "business trip" part of this week.  My friend Renee and I will be treasure hunting in parts of WI, IL and IA.  Our destination is Junk Jubilee:
  https://www.facebook.com/junkjubilee/  We've been to this event before, it's fun.  (Be Inspired)

I mentioned that I was doing some give aways on my business facebook page.  I have to tell you, this week's Pyrex, has inspired a future blog post.  I think I'm on to something here....I'll share more about it in that post.  (Change gears)

I set some dates for "Under the Tents Sales" on Tuesday evenings in June - here at the farm.  I have to clean out my shop/studio for an event here called "Cup & Coop Pop Up" on June 21 & 22.  So, instead of shuffling it to another building (what I tend to do...) I'm setting up 2 tent type sales, whatever I haul out and set up on that day, will be what I offer for sale that evening.  (Exercise your Strengths)

I have buildings full of inventory, it's shameful actually.  I will focus on me and mine in June.  I won't get to "all" of it, but I set a goal for one of my buildings.  I've also made arrangements for other estate sales - after I do mine.  (Be Mindful) 

As I (Reflect) on last week and move forward to this one, I can't help to be motivated.  We finished Nicholas Sparks, "Every Breath" - good one!  We went to Green Bay for the day and concert at Cup O Joy - uplifting!  We had a productive weekend working around the farm.   My heart was full with family time here for Easter dinner.  Yep, I'm ReCharged!  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Facebook Organic Advertising

I just wanted to share.  I have been doing weekly giveaways on my business facebook page.  All 0f my links are in the top header above, however here it is:

I have been in business for over 25 years, however there wasn't social media back then.  And....we all know....no one ever did "anything" .... before they could share it on facebook, instagram, youtube .... right!?!  I'm just playing catch up!

So, I'm on week 13 of my business giveaways.  I try to do something vintage, creative or handmade.  This week it's Flamingo Pink Pyrex, 8" baking dish #222 and a handmade, embroidered, pink gingham apron.  If you would like to join in, go over and see what you need to do.  I will ship too.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Easter Egg Bath Bombs - 4H Project

I will post the recipe I found on pinterest, but if I'm being honest, I have no idea if it is what the kid's mixed up...somewhere between 1 T and 3 T (wink, wink)....get the picture.   I did mix this up 2 times at my house and both were "fails" - so, whatever and however they mixed it....it worked!  We did 8 batches, 2 of each color, we made at least 32 eggs.  I think each batch made between 4-5 eggs.  The citric acid was the hardest thing to find other than that, most items were purchased from Dollar General or I had at home.  

Mix dry ingredients together in a metal bowl.  Stir well!

1/2 C baking soda
1/4 C citric acid
1/4 C corn starch
1/4 C Epsom salts

In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients until thick.

2 T oil (I used almond - you could use olive)
1 T water
A few drops of essential oil (or could leave unscented)
A few drops of food coloring
plastic eggs (for the mold)

SLOWLY stream the wet into the dry, whisk the whole time so not to active the "fizzy" .... you'll see when you do it.  

We did a batch of each color.   Press mixture into the eggs, make sure they are tightly pressed and then snap top to bottom and let dry overnight.  You may have to use the tip of a knife to separate dry bath bomb from the egg.  

The club enjoyed making these.  I now, plan to make some for my "Cup & Coop - Vintage Pop Up" only in chicken (farm) shapes.   Have fun.

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Monday, April 15, 2019

Motivational Monday - 5 Ways to ReCharge

I'm coming off a pretty active week.  One filled with teaching needle felting, cleaning and marking booth inventory, "Good Samaritan ConSOUL Ministry Bible study, working at Theme (we had a snow storm!) and food, favor and game prep for a very special bride-to-be in my life.   Whew....

Now, I'm not saying all this to hear..."wow, you're so busy" - yep, I know I am - but, I like it that way.  Everyone is busy, it's just seems I do more, because I'm trying to create original content.  To do that and be "seen" you kinda have to be in "your face" with it all.   I spend plenty of time on the recliner netflixing - trust me!  Too much - but, soon I'll be in the garden.  

O.k. #truth be told.... #selfemployment has many ups and downs, really!  For the past month or so, Shannon (my helper) and I have put a tremendous amount of effort into Town Hall Trinkets, LLC - working on painting, re purposing, digging for, cleaning and marking inventory.   Not to mention that I have been on multiple appointments for estate consulting and taught several needle felting classes.  As rewarding as it is to teach and clean out a stack of tubs in my shed the "ups" of it,  for the most part, the rest was a "down."

If you are just starting in this "picking" game of resell, brace yourself for "hmmm, I'm not sure I want to sell that," or "well, I'll think about it," or even "O.k.....but, I want $1,000!"  Not that I heard any of that this week, but you get the picture.  American Picker's picks are staged....it's not like that when you actually "hit the ground running."  I've been doing this my whole life - as a business for almost 30 years - it's the good picks that string you along through all that!  


.... or this)....my girls always ReCharge me.  I was able to spend time with them together this weekend and I loved it! 

O.k. with that said, on to motivating....because, most of that wasn't.  I am at the "I want a Spring Break Week" (I told Shannon) I need to ReCharge.   First, do you say or do this?  If so, what measures or tricks do you do to accomplish your ReCharge?  Here are mine.  

Dicky Bird's 5 Ways to ReCharge:

1. Be Inspired:  I love the bloggers and vloggers I follow.  When I want to be inspired, I search out my favorites and binge watch.  I read many blogs daily.  I also seek Godly counsel in my inspiration - prayer and Bible reading.  When I'm feeling a bit underwhelmed...I know, I've lacked in this area.  2 Timothy 3:16 "All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness."
2.  Change Gears:  So, the past 2 weeks or more, I've focused my energy on my resell business without much return.  I know I have several events coming up that I need to get inventory ready for, however, not this week.  This week, I'm switching gears.  Anyone can schlep around some junk, not everyone can create something with it.

3.  Exercise:  Not just physical, however we all know the benefits of that.  Rather, exercise your strengths.  What are you good at?  Where or what haven't I focused my strengths on.  Once you exercise your strengths, the weakness of spirit, mind and body will be ReCharged.

4.  Be Mindful:  Make plans, but set realistic goals.  Trust me I have a "mind full" of ideals - but, experience has made me "mindful" of realistic goal setting.  For me, nothing is more defeating than to over estimate my ability to complete my plans.  So, I try not to.  

5.  Reflect:  Yes, take time to go back and look at and think about some of your successful moments.  How did that happen?  What did I do differently or better to make that be successful for me?  Spend time looking at yourself and where and how you represent you and your business.

Today, as I sit here writing this post; more snow on the ground, a balmy 15 degrees outside, icy path to the barn, a defeating weekend of sales and some obligations ahead of me, I will take what part of this week I can to ReCharge.  

I would encourage you, if you are at the point of "I want a Spring break or even a break"  Take some time to ReCharge.  If you do, I'd love to hear about how you did it.  Let me know your ideals.  Thanks.

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

What Is It You Actually Do?

I was recently asked to take a personality test. I would have to say the evaluation of this, was very true. N0t only for me, but the other 5 individuals that took it along with me.
I've been blessed over the past several weeks with teaching classes and I've met people from various walks of life. In doing so, I've had many questions about my "work" and "how" I do it and even "how" do I get it done. Staying on task, my qualifications and even accountablity kinda thing. Don't do that....I may smile and look cute but I bite! Tehee...
This is what the test said of my type of work personality:
"You enjoy project work because it has a definite beginning and end. However, your dislike of routine tasks makes several types of jobs and projects undesirable for you. You are service-oriented and a natural leader, but don’t necessarily like to lead other people. These contradictions mean that you may work at several different careers throughout your lifetime. Others may see you as without direction, but this just isn’t true. You are consistent with work, as long as it remains true to your values."
Career suggestions for my type are: artist (check), entrepreneur (check), writer (check), consultant (yep, I'm going say...check - I get weekly calls..."can I bounce this off you?) and psychologist (nope....well, wait...I do council families in letting go...o.k. that's a stretch).
I just found all this interesting and wanted to share. The part that sticks out to me in light of this post is: "Others may see you without direction, but this just isn't true. You are consistent with work, as long as it remains true to your values."
I would have to say that is "me," in a nut shell. The set of values I choose to live my life by, aren't often understood by others either. My core values, I feel, make me the perfect candidate for EVERY job I pursue. In fact, my personality type is called: "The Campaigner" "The Creative Idealist" "Advocate" "The Inspirer" and "The Hero." I often hear, "you are so busy" or "you do so many different things." Well....now, I at least understand why...(wink,wink).
If you would like to learn what makes you "tick" - here is the link to take the test: https://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test
(The many "faces" of my personality)

So, one last thing, at a meeting I attended this past week, I had someone say..."well, you don't work".... I quickly responded..."NO, I do work, follow me around for a day and you'll see just how much work I actually do." Of course, then I heard..."I'd LOVE to! You seem to have so much fun." LOL "Hey, I thought I didn't work!" Then I said, "work can be fun....dirty, hard, heavy lifting, falling, back breaking - fun! If you're not enjoying what you do....don't do it."
Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Motivational Monday - 30 Day Challenge in Spring Cleaning Notes

Good Monday, April 1 morning!  I am starting a 30 day personal challenge.  The challenge is with myself - because, it is with self one mostly struggles.  

I was inspired, yet again, by my little calendar.  This old fashioned paper, flip, daily calendar has been blessing me on the days I need it most.

I just love this!   It ran in the lines with what I had been thinking on about myself and spring cleaning - soul searching kinda thing.  I am not going to list all the things I am challenging myself with.  You know, that is a trap many get into.   I know, accountability....but, not everyone NEEDS to know EVERYTHING you want to hold yourself accountable for.  I think in our social media driven world, everyone knows too much about each other as it is.  The key to accountability is being able to hold yourself accountable with out TELLING the whole world about it.  Call me old fashioned...just don't call me old.  Haha...no, I'm really o.k. with being called old. 

First, I will say, I'm happy with all I accomplished personally in the 1st quarter of 2019.  I challenged myself in teaching, speaking, creating and from those experiences I was empowered.  

It is officially spring!  I'm sticking to my "Spring Cleaning Notes" above to challenge myself.  With that said, as part of my 30 day challenge, here goes:

1. "Oil some dreams...."

On Friday, April 5 from 2-8 pm at District 3 Antiques in Wittenberg, we are c0-hosting a Spring Into Fiber Arts Clinic with Applewood Lane Alpacas.  The clinic will host demonstrations and offer some make & takes.  A time of fellowship and sharing our passion for all things fiber arts with the public.

On Saturday, April 6, at 10 am at Emma Kait's Coffeehaus in Birnamwood, I will offer a class to make this lamb.  I still have 3 openings.  

2. "Polish my heart....."

April also will bring more "Where There's WOOL, There's a WAY" home parties.  So, I plan to be working with wool in April.  However, that's not a challenge for me, as I love it. 

3. "Clean out basement....." 

Now on to this challenge - it will take more than 30 days!  However, I've begun..... I have had to make some realistic adjustments to my business calendar to accommodate 2 estate sales that I knew were coming this year.  Both contacted me late last year and we set out plans on "how can we do this?"  I say that, as each of these sales involve buildings, a storage unit and homes FULL of stuff.  We plan to do these 2 and my own "clean out" sale, all before September.  I haven't mentioned much of this to anyone yet, as I wasn't even sure until this weekend after meeting with each of  these clients, "how" we were going to do it...and truthfully, I don't even know if I can!  It's going to be multiple sales at each.  Al came on my initial appointment at this sale back in the fall, he liked this old truck and they accepted his offer.  As soon as the snow melts and ground dries out,  we will move it here to our farm.     

4. "Mend complaining..."

These estate sales, the ones I've chosen to do this summer aren't just selling some "stuff."  As an estate consultant, my services are to help these families navigate their way to letting go.  If you are not a hoarder like myself, you might not understand or have the empathy needed to see beyond the "stuff."  As I met with each of these clients, I shared with them about my own personal struggles.  I told them I have to clean out one of my buildings and am doing my own sale in June.  You see, it's not just a barn full of old things - to one of my clients it's a multi generational accumulation of "treasures" on a family homestead.  To another, it's not just a storage unit of stuff, it's boxes full of projects never finished.  Or, a collection of "treasures" never displayed.  As these sale progress I will share more on this, but for now, we all move forward.  

5. "Tighten hinge of self control....."  

30 days of....water, tracking, "moving" and smarter choices.

6. "Wash the window....."

I hardly have self control for 30 minutes, much less 30 days.  It's really going to be a challenge for me to stick to the things I am holding myself accountable for.  However, I want to remind myself of this post when I feel weak.  

Maybe this has your thinking about a 30 day challenge for yourself.  Whatever it is, take heart in those "Spring Cleaning Notes" to guide you to your personal success!  Good luck!

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.