The Bond Between Writers & Editors 

Let me say, first and foremost, I feel more comfortable saying I’m an editor. Perhaps because I feel judged (even by myself) when I say I’m a writer. It’s an “artsy-fartsy” career– no one makes money writing, right?

 In my heart, I’m a writer; in my head, I’m an editor.

As editor and contributor to Modern Agriculture Magazine, I was asked to speak before the Professional Writers Association of Canada (Fraser Valley chapter) about the relationship between editor and writer. I tried to provide perspective from both sides of the desk, even though they are two very different jobs.

Since 2010, I’ve worked as a freelance writer and editor, and social media manager. I came across an ad for a proofreader for Modern Agriculture Magazine in 2014 and, despite my complete lack of experience in farming or  growing anything other than mould, I applied and got the gig.

Getting a Magazine to Print

I love the grass roots way in which Modern Agriculture Magazine began. In 2013 a small group of students in the agriculture department at the University of the Fraser Valley shared the same view about agriculture publications as one of their teachers: not enough hyper-local interest stories or communication about all the exciting new tech and innovation in the ag sector that they were learning about in class. It was suggested  they start their own publication, and so they surged ahead with that raw courage of youth.

Over the past few years, it has been submissions from writers and suggestions and feedback from readers that has directed the layout and content of Modern Ag Mag. The magazine was created with the farming community in mind, but we now want producers, retailers, distributors and consumers to feel they are gaining valuable, relevant information about food and the ag industry.

The magazine produces four issues a year focusing on local farming stories as well as global innovations in agriculture. Though submissions come in from around the world, the publishers have always preferred to use the talents of local writers with expertise in agriculture and horticulture.

My role with the magazine slowly morphed and grew, and now I might perform the roles of structural editor, line editor, managing editor, writer and proofreader. Traditional publishing houses or larger magazines have distinct titles with specific tasks attached to those titles. Smaller publications have less positions but the same tasks, so the lines between tasks are necessarily blurred.

Titles like Managing Editor, Feature Editor, Editor-in-Chief, Substantive Editor, Publisher, Manager, Director, and departments within the publication: Publishing, Design, Acquisitions, Sales, and Editorial can be an overwhelming hierarchy, but with our little magazine we have a small staff and eventually writers and advertisers get to know our whole team.

If a writer submits work to a larger magazine publisher, they might be working with several editors at different stages and might never work with the proofreaders—the last people to see the work before going to print.

It’s truly a team effort to get an issue of Modern Agriculture published. We are each other’s sounding board, support system, and will step into each role as required without stepping on toes—and that in itself is the key to a successful issue. Respect and politeness go a long way when you’re working with a small team and tight deadlines.

Gurtaj Sandhu was one of the original publishers of the magazine, so he has had input in all departments, but now can focus his energy on advertising as Sales Manager. He also coordinates meetings and our attendance at industry events as the publisher’s representative.

Amanda Thind is our Manager or Managing Editor and she oversees each issue and is the go between for writers, me (the Editor), and our Creative Director. She handles the accounts payable/receivable, the publication schedule, the final proof and the quality of the print. She also is in communication with most of our regular contributors and in touch with all levels of the ag community and resources for stories.

Our Creative Director, Karin Nelson, worked with the original publishing team on the design of the magazine and often shares her opinion on the content and direction we are going. Her artistic, creative mind allows for a different perspective and she contributes to the tone of the magazine.

The Role of an Editor

For me, the self-judgement that goes on sometimes when I write is non-existent when I have on my editor’s hat. As writers, we all know we can be our own worse critics. I think that’s why I have a delicate touch when it comes to editing the work of others, because I truly understand how personal it can feel when your creation comes under scrutiny.

Editors are analytical rather than artistic. As the editor and proofreader for the magazine, I am able to be critical without being cruel, and encouraging without being emotional.

As an editor,  I have to be efficient and focus on correct copy. I need a certain confidence, stubbornness and a critical eye. Sometimes a writer and I will enthusiastically disagree with a change to the work—but that’s rare. We are all working together with one goal which is to produce a quality magazine and educate and inform readers.

But with any disagreement, if the piece is needed and there’s a deadline looming, it’s time to get real. For me, it’s a balance between considering the feelings of others, the reasons the article has to be altered, and will the end result justify the battle over word choice or a punctuation mark. The relationship I’m building with a writer is more important than what I view as a “perfect article”. The writer’s name is on the work, after all.

Disagreeing with an Editor

If you really believe your work has suffered due to a change, bring the issue up with the editor. The best way to approach your editor is to say, “I’d really like to understand the reason behind the change in case it’s something that comes up in the future.” If the editor can make a case for the edits, then you have learned something. If not, then the editor might decide the change wasn’t really necessary. Now, you’re working as a team, and future issues, hopefully, will be easier to address.

That being said, writers (myself included) have to remember that editors are not there to be mean or unreasonable. They are doing an important job and might even be able to offer an unbiased view of your work that will make you a better writer, or at the very least be more open to criticism.

It might be that you realize you hate this person and just cannot work with them anymore. This is also helpful. If an editor isn’t supportive, open to suggestions, willing to listen and respectful of the work, time to move on.

Get Paid for Writing

If you submit work to a publication on spec, hoping to be hired for future work, I suggest you send your rate with the submission with the understanding that you will be paid. It is your job as a writer to make this clear, because if a magazine can get your work for free, they will! It’s not illegal, as far as I know, not to pay a writer who sends in unsolicited work.

State that you have submitted the work for consideration and ask who you send your invoice to should your work be chosen. Contracts are not used with our magazine, and there hasn’t been a problem so far, but if you’re new to a publication I suggest you at least ask about contracts or have one ready to send if you feel you need that assurance.

Editors should be open to receiving queries from writers. IF they’re not, then that’s just surprising . . . and odd, because after all, the content supply needs to keep flowing.

I always welcome questions, story suggestions and submissions. We might not always use them, or even get back to you. This is just because of the volume we sometimes get or our busy schedules. It’s not a rebuff, and please don’t take it personally. I would invite you to send another email or message me, or even phone me. Then I can apologize profusely for my scatter brain and it might result in me asking you to write an article cos I feel so guilty.

Can Writers Submit to More Than One Publication?

Writers own their work and they have copyright and it’s their intellectual property, but editors have control over how the work is presented in its final form. Though you own the work, it is – of course – best practice to have your work paid for and printed in one published medium at a time. Many editors don’t accept previously published work – unique and fresh is preferred, and magazines don’t want to get embroiled in conflicts over articles.

We will accept older work if it is still relevant and can be altered enough not to be recognized by readers. Sometimes magazines will ask a writer to sign a contract, promising not to publish their work in any other medium for a year or so after printing. This means NOT in print, online, in an anthology, or on your website. This is just good practice. You want to build a reputation as a writer, and loyalty to each publication is paramount.

How to Build on Your Writer-Editor Relationship

It’s important to have an original voice, a perspective when you write, and though it’s good to be able to write on any subject, it helps to focus on what interests you as a writer and become the expert in that field. You become the go-to person for that subject when an editor is looking for a writer for a topic.

We DO appreciate when writers share their articles or snippets of the article leading back to our website on their social media channels and help spread the word about our free subscription – the more subscribers, the more ads we can attract, and the more writers we can hire.

We include bylines with our articles, a contributors page with short bios about the writers and links to websites so we can help promote you as a writer. Just don’t start charging us more when you become famous!

Of course, the most important way to build trust with an editor, is:

  • Send them a bottle of wine — just kidding, really it’s…
  • Meet deadlines no matter what!

Deadlines are terrifying to editors and managing editors. The expected article doesn’t arrive . . . and the magazine layout is affected as the editor, managing editor, publisher, and designer scramble to choose a suitable article in the files, or have to contact another writer to whip something together just in case, or the editor now has to drop everything to write something to fit. Pages might need rearranging, new images sourced, the contents page and contributor pages and cover are affected — and the last weeks or days before files go to print are stressful enough without that added burden.

What Happens After Submitting an Article?

When we receive an article, we expect it to be as close to perfect as possible. We want it to be one hundred percent original, have been thoroughly researched, fact-checked and contain accurate quotes. If you don’t already record your interviews, I would suggest you start. Digital recorders are inexpensive and you can store digital files of interviews if sources or quotes need to be checked. Biggest tip – extra batteries! Those suckers burn through batteries.

If material is referenced, we would appreciate tables, graphs and charts to back it up and use with permission. Images are so important, and if a writer can ask the person they are interviewing for photos to include in the article – that is stellar! It means we don’t have to try and find images to represent the article, or bother interviewees ourselves, but have access to approved images from the source.

Basically, any sources or information you have to help support what you’ve written should be submitted along with the article. Editors try to fact check, but we don’t have access to your recordings or online research you did, so make sure everything is accurate and if you think it would be helpful, include links to websites or publications used as references.

After an article reaches me and it’s ready for insertion into the magazine, I proofread it. I generally won’t get back to the writer once I have the article . . . I will only make small edits for spelling, verb tense, or grammar etc. if necessary, on which the writer need not be consulted.

If the writer requests that I send edited copy to them, I will . . . but not for debate. If there are significant changes required, I would let the writer know and send a revised copy for their approval. Reasons for big changes usually have to do with space, but there have been times when a lot of structural editing was required, and I want to share that with the writer so they have the changes for future reference. They may want to submit a tweaked version to another publication down the road, and any corrections I make might help them with that submission.

It may just have been that we made a list of points into bullets for easier reading, or shortened sentences or added subheadings to break up a longer piece. Sometimes headings are added or changed to create a hook. I tend to be a sucker for alliteration or a pun – cheesy but fun!

Timeline of a magazine from planning to print

We gather the team together up to a year prior to plan a few issues ahead, consider each season, make educated guesses as to what will be in vogue, review past issues and what topics need to be revisited, sketch out a rough list of articles and potential writers. We plan the cover—to suit the season, but also leave room for developing stories or advertisers that want to pay for a cover.

The printing house needs at least five weeks heads up that we are sending print files, and they need to receive print files about roughly 2-3 weeks before expected print date.

We asked writers to submit articles for the January issue by mid November at the latest. That gave us a month to coordinate articles, edit, do layout, source images and finalize cover and proofread a few times before print files went to the printer. So we started handing out article assignments in September for the January issue.

We like to try and give our writers a month or two to conduct research and interviews, and write the articles. We like a bit of a cushion because we are all part-time freelancers and we need to work the magazine schedule in with our other jobs and responsibilities. Every issue can be a little different, but those deadlines, once set, have to be kept – the health and sanity of our Creative Director hangs upon it.

Queries, Questions & Quick Tips

It really is best for freelancers to research reputable publications, or submit to ones recommended by a fellow writer, and if you’re hired for a series of articles, make sure you’re paid immediately for the first before submitting any more—or get signatures on a contract.

You can request a style guide or submission guidelines from a publication, and these can often be found on the publication’s website. This can be a good way to make that first introduction as a writer. And if you are a regular contributor, following a style guide saves some time for the editor.

Though, I find it’s just easier for me to make any necessary style changes to freelance work as I go, as some writers are submitting work to several places, and it isn’t feasible to try and match different style requirements as each magazine will follow their own.

How do Writers & Editors Connect?

Places I’ve connected with potential contributors:

  • Writing and editing association meetings or events
  • The Pacific Ag Show or Horticulture Shows
  • Industry events and media gatherings – news releases
  • The BC Tech Summit
  • SRCTec open houses
  • I receive queries through my editor@modernag email, my business website, LinkedIn, or other social channels

We’ve also found writers on:

  •  UPwork Freelancer, or PWAC or similar freelance sites
  • Online: If you have a strong online presence with sample works on your website and links to articles online, you’re much more likely to be contacted for your services.
  • 100 Best Websites for Writers 2017 (from The Write Life)

If you are looking to write for a particular magazine, I suggest stalking them. Research their style, the subjects they cover, attend events they might attend, share what they publish, be visible and ready to introduce yourself and talk about what you’ve written (and where you are published).

Don’t be shy—I always hold back as a writer. You won’t get anywhere if you don’t take that first step—advice I still struggle with.

So, I wish you all good luck with your writing, and I want to invite your questions below or you can email me.

Ep. 5: Cathy Finley, Ethical Farmer and Agri-preneur

My goal with POD Sisters is to share stories, inspirational lessons, life affirmations, advice on balancing family, friends and business. So many women manage it all so well, and they have valuable information which can help and motivate others. The sisterhood we all belong to is incredibly powerful, truthful, honest and supportive.

I want to celebrate different women, and the myriad of roles, jobs, dreams, life paths and journeys.

SUBSCRIBE on iTunes — don’t miss another episode!

On Episode 5 of POD Sisters, Cathy Finley of Laurica Farms shares her family’s weird and wonderful journey from the suburbs to a hobby farm turned agri-tourism destination.

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Cathy Finley of Laurica Farm

Cathy and her husband Ian are “ethical farmers”, farming organically and rearing pasture-raised animals. How were they able to make such a success of it, despite the myriad of challenges along the way–including a devastating fire?

Cathy shares their story and offers advice to those with romantic dreams of growing their own food and living off the land. Education plays a huge part in it all, and Cathy doesn’t shy away from teaching others and telling it like it is!

LISTEN HERE >>

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Connect with Cathy Finley on her Facebook Page, Website, Instagram, and Twitter!

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After a day’s hard slog, there’s nothing like a soak and bevvy!

I look forward to seeing the growth of her farm, the construction progress on her new home, and what this award-winning entrepreneurial farmer will do next!

I welcome comments and questions!!

What Burns Below: Feeling the Fires of Prejudice

I have had to examine my own heart and thoughts around the subject of prejudice lately, think about things I might have said in jest or how I might have laughed at a racist joke, and how I should have spoken up more when I heard others’ hateful words. Negative thoughts about other races and religions have flashed through my mind on occasion, but tolerance and acceptance usually prevailed. Love and deeper understanding even crept in once in a while. I know one thing for sure—I admire those who exhibit love for their fellow human beings and despise those who spew hatred like lighter fluid on hot coals.

This is the only good thing I see about the recent horrors that are happening—the hate-filled rants and uneducated people exhibiting the worst parts of humanity. The only good thing is that we are forced to think more deeply about the prejudice that seeps into every person, tribe, nation, culture, religion.

No matter how much people want to believe that the media or one man’s words have the strength to ignite a nation, the truth is that the fire was there all along, smouldering away. Misguided people waited and watched from behind their shuttered windows for the right moment to fan the bonfire of prejudice. Once their incendiary breath laced with vicious, thoughtless words blew on the coals, the blaze quickly spread. It singed those who had never spoken out before and they screamed out in fear and anger, adding to the insanity.

The waves of heat from the fire also woke others up, made them turn their heads and ogle at the orange pyre. Some covered their heads and ran from the sparks flying around them; others began a bucket brigade, trying to douse the fire; and then there were those who saw an opportunity—they had always stood too close to this fire, felt its heat, and wanted the fire mongers to know that they had been waiting too. They had spoken out before, tried to be proactive, spoken in whispers that fell on deaf ears—sometimes shouting out loud, but they only managed to stamp out a few small fires. Most of them knew there was an inferno, smouldering underfoot. They hoped the nation would be ready if it got out of control.

The inferno is burning fiercely now and will leave dark, burned out hollows that swallow up a nation’s pride. The flames will continue to burn charred lines through neighborhoods and cities, and will cross borders. The fire will reach further than anyone imagined it would, the light from the fire casting distorted shadows in the halls of democracy.

But there is always a brighter light than that thrown by the fires of prejudice . . . and that is the light of hope and reason. We need to accept that there are hot spots, cinders glowing hotly under the ground, waiting for the earth to crumble a little and leave an opening. But we don’t have to accept that this is always how it will be, or how it should be.

if we say we have no prejudices, we have lost,
and prejudice has us bound.
if we admit our prejudices, name them, look at them with naked eyes and resolve, then we’re making headway….
prejudice in the end is humanity failing to be human!
being human is a 24 hour a day,7 days a week job!

poem by Eric Cockrell

Each of us carries an ember from that fire within us and we can choose to acknowledge it or ignore it. . . either way, this is a problem that can turn into an opportunity. We start by talking, openly and honestly, about our feelings and our fears. We examine how our histories and heritage bear the scorch marks of prejudice, and how we feed or starve that fire with every choice we make.

We accept our part in the problem, shoulder the responsibility, and move on with forgiveness and healing. We can refuse to listen to inflammatory phrasing in news, jokes, stories and song. We can turn away from the voices that chant  to keep the fire burning. We can stand with those who are targeted and create a fireproof wall of understanding. If we are targeted, we ask for help, trust in the good in others, and continue to fight fire, not with fire but with truth, love, and peace. We can educate, illuminate, and extinguish hate one match at a time.

Ep. 4: Katt Stearns, Social Media Strategist

Katt Stearns Shares Her 3 SECRETS to SUCCESS!

My goal with POD Sisters is to share stories, inspirational lessons, life affirmations, advice on balancing family, friends and business. So many women manage it all so well, and they have valuable information which can help and motivate others. The sisterhood we all belong to is incredibly powerful, truthful, honest and supportive.

I want to celebrate different women, and the myriad of roles, jobs, dreams, life paths and journeys.

Ep. 4 Katt Stearns: Social Media Strategist

Katt Stearns of Katt Stearns Consulting shares her secrets to success
Katt Stearns of Katt Stearns Consulting shares her secrets to success

On EPISODE 4, I chat with Katt Stearns, owner of Katt Stearns Consulting and one of the team behind We Make Stuff Happen.

Katt was nominated for the BC Small Business Emerging Entrepreneur in 2014, and winner of the Digital Marketer of the Year in 2015. She held positions in corporate and government, and left those worlds behind to pursue her dream of owning her own business.

Katt shares how she started out in the music business, learning as she went. She has some fantastic advice for any business person or entrepreneur, and lets us in on her 3 SECRETS TO SUCCESS!

Check out Katt’s SOCIAL MEDIA 101 page

Social media marketing can be a powerful tool to help any business grow their sales, increase brand exposure and build relationships with customers. What many businesses don’t realize is that just opening up a Facebook account and posting random links on your page once a week won’t help your business grow. Social media should be incorporated into your other marketing strategies, customer relations, PR and day-to-day operations. So to help you get started we’ve provided you with some helpful resources.

Stay tuned until the end of the podcast, and please subscribe on iTunes so you can get news of the latest episodes. Feel free to comment, contact me or FOLLOW ME and KATT on Facebook.

LISTEN HERE –– THANK YOU!

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Does Your Business Have a PULSE?

When visitors land on your website or Facebook page, would they get the sense that there is a living, breathing person running things? Is your website bland or lacking in personality? Would your potential customers connect with your blog and social media content?

Breathe LIFE back into your online presence…Perform CPR (Content  Powered Rejuvenation) and bring your social media back from the dead.

Welcoming Websites

Think about your website as your store or home . . .  you want people to feel welcome and spend time there . . .You want them to leave comments, ask questions, go on a bit of a journey, visit other areas of your store.

Take a critical look at your website and the content. IS it relevant? Does it provide solutions and answer questions your potential clients might have? If you don’t ADORE your own site and enjoy scrolling through it and rereading posts . . . then no one else will either!

Sociable Media

Do your posts reflect who you are, what your values are, and what you do? Is the content entertaining? You need to draw people in, attract followers and make people feel welcome and let them know you are there to solve problems for them and share your insights.

HOW do you do this? Yep, it’s a skill, but you can learn! I’m all about teaching and empowering others to do their own social media, but I do manage platforms and ghost write blogs for businesses if time is an issue.

FACT: Over 75% of people on the internet are using social media, and many turn to their favourite platforms to investigate a business. If they check out your website, is it doing a good job representing you and your products and services?

AND most importantly: Does your web presence answer the following questions RIGHT AWAY?

  • Are you OPEN? . . . Surprising how many businesses do NOT post their hours or have recent info to show they are active and still in business.
  • WHERE are you?…Are you brick and mortar, or online only?
  • WHY should I TRUST you? Are you coming off as amateur, or professional. BE the expert.
  • WHO are you? And WHO is talking about you?
  • WHAT services do you offer, and WHICH problems can you solve for me?

If you have any questions, post below or message me on FB.

Interested in a FREE 30 minute consultation? CONTACT ME.

Episode 3: Wendy McClelland, Marketing Maven & Life Coach!

wendy
Wendy McClelland, coach extraordinaire!

On Episode 3 of Pod Sisters, I interview Wendy McClelland. Wendy is a business coach, successful entrepreneur and author . . . she has a lot to teach us and I am so happy to be able to share her story with you.

Wendy has referred to herself as a lifelong entrepreneur… and continues to share her knowledge with generosity and grace. She is a pioneer and motivator for others in business and in life in general, and her story is one of courage, determination and creativity.

Wendy is a Certified Guerrilla Marketing Coach and focuses on helping business owners achieve their goals. She had her own daily radio show in the mid 1990s and the first website that she developed was chosen by the New York Times as “one of the best biz sites on the net” – the same day they chose Microsoft!

61gu7dituslShe recently wrote her story in “27 Steps to Freedom: What learning to Walk Again Taught Me about Success in Business and Life” This inspirational memoir recounts her struggle to regain her strength and pursue her dreams after a devastating illness. Wendy has come through the difficulties in life with a warm smile, a spirit that never gives in, drawing on her inner energy to keep taking those steps — She is a business woman, author, visionary, friend, mom, daughter and sister…welcome, Wendy to Pod Sisters!

JOIN US!

Click to LISTEN

or PLEASE SUBSCRIBE on iTunes!

POD Sisters Episode 2: Pregnancy & Publishing with “It’s Really 10 Months”

In this 3rd episode, we meet the creative and funny geniuses behind the two books entitled, “It’s Really 10 Months: Delivering the Truth About the Glow of Pregnancy and Other Blatant Lies” and  “It’s Really 10 Months Special Delivery: A Collection of Stories from Girth to Birth.” (links are to Amazon.ca — find them also on Amazon.com)

Meet Kim Schenkelberg, Celeste Snodgrass, and Natalie Guenther (in THAT order in the image below).  I was honoured to be one of the chosen contributors to Special Delivery and it was a wonderful experience working with this talented team.

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The books have won awards and media praise: Mom’s Choice Award Winner, and named one of the Best Books to Read When You’re Expecting by Pregnant Chicken, and a Next Generation Indie Book Awards-finalist for best cover design.

This episode is to celebrate all things labour (or labor for you south-of-the-border fans) and pregnancy . . . AND self-publishing . . . these ladies are experts in all these things.

If any of you out there are expecting, or know someone who is, please enjoy this podcast – it’s especially for you . . . share it with others who are expecting . . . and anyone you know who might be on the self-publish journey. I’ll ask the ladies about their successes and publishing pitfalls, so we can learn from them.

JOIN US!

Click to LISTEN >> http://podsisters.libsyn.com/episode-2-pod-sisters-pregnancy-and-publishing-its-really-10-months

>> and PLEASE SUBSCRIBE! on iTunes <<

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The BEST gift for moms and dads-to-be!

The perfect gifts for baby showers, mothers and fathers to be, Mothers Day/Fathers Day, Christmas. There are so many practical stories and relatable moments that will make you shout, “THAT’S SOOO ME!”

 

Go to the website, It’s Really 10 Months.com to read their hilarious and sometimes disturbing blog posts, or join in the nuttiness on the FB Page!

The Reclusive Solopreneur

Don’t treat yourself like a BOSS…treat yourself like a valued EMPLOYEE.

Let’s face it…most work-from-home solopreneurs slog away at a ridiculous pace, working god awful hours and forgetting to eat.

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You are the Employee of the Month!

If you treat yourself like a star team member, you will not ignore your basic rights to breaks, a hot lunch once in a while and conversations with other human beings. You also need to schedule time to learn new things and grow your network, and focus on your business marketing.

PLUS you need to get out once in a while, otherwise your social skills will wither away and you will convince yourself that wearing the same pajamas and not showering for four days qualifies you as a “green” business.

Launching a Business

After completing my education in editing, and trying to start my own business, I found it very hard to get up the courage to seek out others with similar goals and interests. It took quite a while to gather a group of supportive associates to share the work with and celebrate the successes.

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Meet new mentors!

I had to force myself to get out of the yoga pants and actually attend groups and meetings with other business owners and find events that were of benefit to me and my business. It takes time…no doubt about it. But you have to do it! There is no growth where there is no effort — I heard that somewhere, and it’s true.

Collaborating with Peers

Alphabetizing  business cards you received last year does NOT count as networking.

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Just to see if you’re paying attention!

For home-based business owners, it can be difficult to actually leave the house. I get it! But it ALWAYS pays off. It is important to hunt down business meetup groups and like-minded individuals who can inspire you and lead to possible business collaborations.

Find classes and lectures about the things you are weak on: social media, marketing, blogging, public speaking, bookkeeping and organizing.

There is something for everyone out there.

Breaks and Lunches

Staring at the wall, contemplating what to make for dinner does NOT constitute a break; chowing down on the candy you hid from your kids is NOT a healthy lunch.

It’s important to remember to feed yourself healthy foods throughout the day. I’m sure you’re like me: when I am focused on work and in the zone, I tend to forget to eat and then snack on the quickest food I can find (which is usually cheese strings and chips).

Set a timer or alarm if necessary. Treat yourself to a trip to a deli or bakery once in a while. Take a break and grab a coffee with a friend or business associate. You would do this if you worked in an office, so you need to take the time for a time-out.

Get CONNECTED

smartphone-1445489_960_720Search Facebook and LinkedIn to find pages, groups and events with a similar business focus and introduce yourself and your company.

Check out these Ultimate Networking Apps 

Here are some links to help you GET OUT OF THE HOUSE:

And of course LinkedIn groups and Facebook groups are great ways to network online and connect with people in your area.  FB Live Video seminars contain valuable information and give you an opportunity to interact in real time (just follow your favourite peeps and be on alert for those streaming vids)…or contact me on FB or LinkedIn and we can count it as a business meeting!

SHARE your favourite groups, organizations or ways to connect!

Top Blogging Tips for Business

“If you have something to sell, you’d better have a story to tell.”

I have been so lucky . . . as I built my business I had a lot of support from family, friends and colleagues . . . most of them women like me who began a new entrepreneurial career after raising a family or working for someone else.

GET YOURSELF A MENTOR is my biggest tip, or commune with other “like” people and businesses to see what they are doing. Attending seminars and meetup groups are so helpful – and you can learn A TON about marketing.

The best tips come from these mentors who have already done it . . . and learned how to market their business from other successful entrepreneurs. One of the biggest marketing tools they use is A BLOG! (SCROLL DOWN FOR INTERVIEW!) Continue reading Top Blogging Tips for Business

Will Pink Shirt Day Really Change Anything?

KINDNESS is one size fits all

Pink shirts, or the wearing of them during anti-bullying campaigns, won’t stop bullying until we accept that bullying doesn’t just happen on the playground —  It’s EVERYWHERE, ALL THE TIME!

Each and every one of us is both a bully and a victim of bullying — or we have been at one time or another. No one is exempt. If you claim you’ve never been tyrannized…I say, “You’re in denial.” And contrariwise, if you claim to be innocent of brutish behaviour, I say “Bull!”
Bullying is part of our nature…we can’t help taking on roles of domination and submission. Survival of the fittest got us this far, and we are taught from an early age that strength guarantees survival.

But strength is not just physical or vocal. Strength is peaceful determination, commitment to truth and intolerance of injustice.

Though we are animals, creatures of instinct and ruled by our genes, this does not mean we shouldn’t strive to manage our bullish natures and approach every situation with a wise mind and positive action rather than with emotional reaction. Our actions and words are models for others.

When a mother wants her child to take a bite of a new food, or a father wants his son to try out for a sport the child does not enjoy…they might lose patience and start demanding obedience…this is bullying. It may be done with the best of intentions and from a place of love, but in both instances the parent is bullying the younger, weaker person. I’m guilty of doing this on many occasions. I did not apologize for bullying at the time, but I am aware that I was forcing someone to do something they did not want to do. I have since apologized for some of my past behaviour, but it was the way I knew how to achieve things at the time. I am learning…and will continue to learn how to negotiate rather than brow beat and accept rather than try to direct. But I do find it easier to bully people into acting or behaving in a way I want them to…it’s hard to be patient and find a kinder way to do things.

Manipulating, pressuring, cajoling, teasing, spurning, profiling, quarrelling, fighting, arguing, intimidating, domineering, coercing, wheedling, begging, harassing, belittling, embarrassing… the list of gerunds that recounts the many ways we bully is long! Our culture has many words to describe bad behaviour.

An interesting fact: The word “Bully” used to mean “Sweetheart” — perhaps that was during the 16th century, but wouldn’t it be nice if the human race never found reason to change the word’s meaning. “He’s such a bully!” would be a compliment!

I like that the PINK SHIRT DAY motto is “Kindness is One Size Fits All”, and some of the shirts say “I commit to a bully-free life!” If we think about kindness when we see a pink shirt, we will be less likely to point fingers, and more likely to turn our energy inward.

So, on this PINK SHIRT DAY, hopefully more people will consider their own actions rather than judge the actions of others.  We can forgive ourselves and others for being a bully, and we can continue to stand up for family, friends, and strangers who are being bullied!

I will try not to think about bullying and hate when I see pink, but think about kindness and love.