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Manage Your Mind

Inspired by this week’s episode of the Moms Making Six Figures Podcast with Brooke Paulin who believes in the practice of managing your mind and the small daily habits that lead to great success over time.

 In a world where we are inundated with more information and more access to it than ever before, we are faced with new challenges like ‘consumer fatigue’, information overwhelm and digital burnout.  The media and social media industries are designed to be addictive in nature, releasing dopamine or cortisol dependent on the nature of the content, that keeps us coming back for more and ultimately conditions our behavior.  Information, and the way in which we access it is not the enemy, instead it is our passive consumption of that content that can wreak havoc, particularly when we are bombarded with negativity, click-bait headlines, and divisive rhetoric.  Just as we fuel our bodies and health with nutrition and exercise, we must manage our mind and the information we choose to fill it with.

With nearly 69% of adults and 81% of teens in the US using social media, it is time for us to become active participants in managing our minds, our mental states, and our mental health.  Here are a few small changes you can make to be better prepared and intentional with the information and inputs you choose.

Reality Check

We would never let our children sit for hours on end, absent-mindedly in front of screens and we shouldn’t allow it for ourselves either.  While it may not seem like you’re spending that much time on devices outside of necessity, your Weekly Activity Report likely shows something different.

Start by taking an inventory of the current time you spend consuming content intentionally vs. out of habit or boredom.  Once you have begun to inventory your passive or active consumption tendencies, track for a day (or longer) every piece of information you digest with a “+” if it is beneficial to your personal life, work life, or overall well being, a ”–“ if it negatively impacted or took away from your personal life, work life, or overall well being, and an “=” for no impact other than time lost.

Seeing our habits in black and white allows us to see where our own struggles actually exist.  It takes five positive interactions to offset each negative interaction; is it any wonder we are more anxious, depressed, and lonely than ever before?

Schedule (and plan) Your Screen time

Self-monitoring and scheduling your consumption habits can change not only your perception of the information you digest, but also, your behaviors.  In 2018 the University of Pennsylvania conducted a study that observed the behaviors of 143 undergraduates.  One group was asked to limit all social media activity to only 10 minutes per platform, per day, while the second was allowed to use their social media as usual for three weeks.   The group that limited their scrolling “showed significant reductions in loneliness and depression during those three weeks over the group that continued using social media.”

As Brooke pointed out in this week’s podcast, “I don’t think that some of the top CEO’s, and, you know, multi-million dollar female business owners … I don’t think that they’re scrolling through social media that’s not feeding their mind. There’s no room for that.”  What would you be able to accomplish in a week of limiting your scrolling habits?

Empty the Junk Folder

Once you’ve taken inventory of the information and input you’re allowing in, and you’ve refined your mindless scrolling by replacing it with intentionally scheduled time for content consumption, get rid of anything that isn’t serving you, your mental health, your professional life, or your personal life.

Once you’ve emptied the Junk Folder, take note from some of the most successful people and follow suit by replacing what wasn’t serving you with content that does.  According to research, what makes highly successful people less stressed, happier, and more productive is scheduling their personal priorities before tending to other people’s priorities.  That goes for what you’re consuming too.  Instead of starting your day by checking email, dedicate an hour of your morning hour to be your Power Hour where you replenish your motivation with podcasts, books and curated content that supports your goals, challenges you, and leaves you feeling ready to tackle the day.  Ask your mentors what they listen to, what they read, and who they follow on social media to begin refining your palate.

In order to be successful in managing our mind, our mental state and our mental health, we must be intentional about what we consume and prepare our daily activity and schedules with discernment.  Just as nutrition is fundamental to achieving our health and wellness goals, so is the information we consume.  We avoid pitfalls of hunger by meal planning and preparation, and we can avoid the pitfalls of media and social media by planning and being thoughtful consumers.

“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” –Alexander Graham Bell

social media marketing

Entrepreneurship 101: The Value in Social Media Marketing

Have you noticed all the ads that pop up as you scroll through your social media these days? That’s because social media marketing is now big business.

Gone are the days of ads appearing solely on traditional media channels such as TV or radio. Now, social media marketing rules—and has opened up a valuable channel for reaching potential clients and customers.

To put it in perspective, let’s consider Facebook. According to Hubspot, there are 1.13 billion daily active users on Facebook. Now imagine if your social media marketing goal was to reach just 0.5% of that market—that’s 5.65 million people a day that would see your ad! And that’s just on Facebook alone.

But, how can you use social media interactions to inform your business decisions? And what type of social media marketing will help you reach your target audience and boost website traffic?

Check out my tips for leveraging social media marketing to your advantage!

Social Media Gives You Insight into Your Customers 

Every like, re-tweet, comment, and share on your social media accounts generates a wealth of real-time information about your customers—and your competitors.

Who your customers are, what they like, what they think about a particular product, and what they’re looking for in future products are just some of the data you can generate from social media interactions. Monitoring your competitors’ social media strategy also allows you to stay updated on what they’re doing and adjust accordingly.

Ultimately, the more you engage with your customers through social media, the more data you’ll generate to help guide your business decisions.

Social Media Lets You Target Your Customers

Time is money. The faster you share information with your target audience, the better.

Social media marketing allows you to run targeted ads that generate customer interest quickly.

You can filter your ad campaign by audience location, interests, age, gender, and other factors, ensuring that you get the most out of your advertising efforts. Instead of wasting time and money on widespread, broadly applicable advertising, you’ll be able to selectively target your customers and market directly to them.

Social media posts and ads will direct people right to your website, driving traffic and encouraging business. Plus, the more shares you receive on social media, the higher you’ll rank on all-important Google searches.

4 Tips to Make the Most of Your Social Media Marketing

1. Set Your Social Media Goals

Before starting your social media marketing efforts, identify what you’d like to accomplish with your campaign. Knowing what you want to achieve will help you choose the best social media platform for your needs and help you adjust accordingly if you aren’t getting the results you’d like.

Keep in mind that your social media marketing goals should be in line with your overall business objectives. This will ensure that your activity on social media is driving your business forward—not hindering it.

2. Create the Appropriate Social Media Accounts

Based on your goals, choose the best social media platform for your needs. Different platforms reach different target audiences, so make sure to do your research, identify the best platform for your customers, and focus your attention there.

If you already have existing social media accounts, put in the effort to constantly improve and update your pages to enhance customer experience. Don’t let the content on your account get stale or your audience may lose interest. And be sure to cross-promote across all your social media accounts in order to reach more potential customers!

3. Listen to Your Target Audience 

As I mentioned before, social media helps you get familiar with your target audience—who they are and what they want.

Engaging with your audience will often involve listening to what they have to say instead of forcing them to listen to your message. The more you listen to your customers through social media interactions, the better-equipped you’ll be to provide them with exactly what they need.

4. Specialize, Don’t Generalize

The world of social media is cluttered and busy, so don’t just contribute to the noise.

A focused social media strategy has a better chance of success than one that tries to appeal to everyone. Focus your efforts on building a strong brand identity that appeals to your target audience rather than having an average brand that appeals to the masses.

Social Media Marketing: It’s Here to Stay

When done right, social media marketing can help propel your business to success. The truth is, in today’s world, if you don’t have a social media presence, then you’re doing yourself and your business a serious disservice.

Effective social media marketing is not trivial—your content must be constantly updated and always engaging—but your efforts are likely to be rewarded with increased website traffic and business.

Social media marketing is here to stay, so use it to your advantage!


Raising Teenage Girls into Confident Young Women

Being a mom is one of the best and most challenging things I have ever done.

We all know the pressures of late night feeding and diapers changes, to safety locks on everything….. and trying to remember all the gear for our babies! When we’ve past the toddler stage we start looking at preschools, grade schools, homework, friends, sport/dance carpools. Our job is ever-evolving and the challenges that stretch us seem to never end.

Having a daughter can seem to bring its own special kinds of stressors. Just when you think you can exhale, your daughter can dress, feed herself, and can complete most of her homework with minimal intervention, there is another shift on the horizon that isn’t far off.

Your daughter is growing up.

She’s making many decisions for herself and you get to watch her grow into the beautiful young woman that will eventually leave your nest and venture out into the world. It is such an exciting and yet scary time!

Teens and tweens today are inundated with Instagram, Snapchats, and the Kardashians and the responsibility we have is to help her navigate these years with confidence and a sense of self-worth. The issues girls are faced with are so much harder than when we were their ages.

While this isn’t news, watching my own girls exposed to images of perfection, plastic surgery, crash diets, sex, and clothing styles that expose way too much skin is sometimes appalling.

The balancing act is to teach them right from wrong without sheltering them or giving them too much rope. Not easy!

The road for these somewhat turbulent years needs to have a long view. The goal at the end of the road (probably college) is for them to have a strong sense of who they are, a moral code, and be happy, contributing members of society. Here are 5 tips to help guide your young girls to become confident and proud of themselves:

1. Be ready for mistakes. And lots of them! Whether it’s their clothes and hair styles, or getting a bad grade on a test or paper, try to keep in mind they are experimenting. They will do things that will sometimes make us cringe, as long as it is within reason, let them learn from their mistakes. (We all have those photos of our teenage years “what was I wearing????”)

2. Be the calm in the storm. Teenagers sometimes remind me of when my daughters were toddlers. They think they know everything and want so much independence but they really need us. As they stretch the boundaries to see how far they can grow, we need to be there when they fall. They need a lot of hugs too.

3. Set Expectations and Rewards/Consequences: People of all ages want to know what is expected of them – teenage girls are no different. Setting a bar for them to reach toward will give them a clear goal at home, something to work for, and the confidence of knowing they’ve accomplished it. This can be applied to grades, a project at home, phone and computer use, etc. But once the expectation is set, stick to the the follow through, don’t cave in if the goal fell short. Reset expectations and have them try again!

4. Words of Affirmation: Girls need to hear positive feedback almost daily. Help focus them on their strengths by telling them what they are doing well. It is music to their ears even if they don’t show it!

5. Let Them Be Themselves: It’s funny how much we can project ourselves onto our kids without even being aware of it. We all have had ideas on what we think our kids will be like – play sports, theater, computers, book worms etc. Even if their interests are far off from your own it’s okay! They are giving you a chance to learn something too.

Confident girls have a sense of knowing that they can offer something to others. Confidence is walking into a classroom feeling prepared, when compete on the field they give it their all, and trying new things.

Helping them grow into that confidence is about teaching them to know what is expected, to shoot for that, get up after they fall, and that learning and growing is life-long.

And confidence also comes from knowing that at the end of the day mom is there for them 100%.