Archives for Events
Coffee at Kickstand
Tuesday, January 30 from 2:00 – 3:30 pm
Kickstand Cafe, 594 Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington Center
General Admission: $10.00 *($5.00 on or before January 23!)
AE Premium Members: Free!
*Early bird pricing – make your reservation on or before Wednesday, January 23 for special pricing of $5.00 for general admission!
It’s been a tough January. We’re always a bit exhausted after the over-indulgences of the holidays. Add to that a flu-like something that’s been going around, mind-numbing cold spells, a record-breaking snow storm, impending flooding and you’ve got a weary group of entrepreneurs.
Let’s break the hex and get together for a January coffee break. We’ll be talking about the new year and any resolutions you made for your business. Arlington Entrepreneurs has some resolutions, too, including a visit to the business development experts at CWE (the Center for Women and Enterprise). We’ll tell you more about that at Kickstand.
Come out of the cold, or the wet, or just the plain old overworked. Enjoy some company beyond your four walls and share a beverage and snack. Then, kick back and do a little networking, a little chatting and a lot of relaxing!
See you later this month. RSVP early to take advantage of early-bird pricing!
By all indications, this year is going to be a great one for holiday sales. Perhaps you joined the Black Friday crowds at the nearest mall already, or have blown a paycheck or two on amazon.com. There’s another option, though, one that Arlington really wants you to know about:
That option? Shop right here, in Arlington!
Arlington is fortunate to have scads of great, local shops, theaters and restaurants. All three business districts are going to be hosting a holiday extravaganza this Saturday, December 2, with store discounts and other offers, raffles, snacks and more. Join the fun this Saturday – every business district in Arlington will have something great to offer you.
Want more information? Check out what local businesses in Arlington will have on-hand. But first, be sure to stop by the Whittemore Robbins House in Arlington Center for the Town’s annual First Lights Tree Lighting on Thursday evening, November 30, from 6 – 8 pm.
Then, go to town – literally!
In Arlington Center:
Or, would you prefer East Arlington? No worries! Have a look below:
Live in the Heights and it’s just too far? Fear not, we have you covered!
With thanks to productivity expert Marina Darlow. A simple reminder, but one we often forget:
When we procrastinate, sometimes the hardest thing is to start.
A good friend and an ADHD Coach Jennie Friedman teaches this fun and useful strategy. It’s called:
Just touch it!
You had to pay bills three weeks ago, but the dishes, the new article, that microscopic spot on your nose felt way more urgent? Just touch it! “It” being your favorite Bill Pay app, or the top of that stack of paperwork, shooting you resentful looks from the coffee table. Paying an Everest of bills is understandably scary. Touching the top envelop? Do-able.
Packing your entire house for a move? – God-awful. Can you touch that a flat cardboard box for me? Of course you can. And just like that you fold and tape it. And then put a few books in it. See how you get into flow?
This Just-touch-It hack is no less effective for work-related tasks.
Making outreach calls can be paralyzing. But if you just touch. your. phone – your brain will slide more naturally into making that first call. And then maybe the second.
Writing a book? Forget it. Even writing a chapter is daunting. But just-touching a mouse, double-clicking and writing a few characters of abracadabra is… silly. Way to gain momentum!
I could get into a lengthy scientific explanation why “Just Touch It” works, but it’s beautiful outside, so here’s the TL;DR version: When you touch something, you crush the barrier to start telling your brain “I’m in the middle of this task, catch up!” And your brain dutifully begins working at solving the problem at hand.
(If you want more detailed information on the topic – here’s a good book)
That’s it for today
Let me know what helps you start a big, daunting task!
Thanks, Marina! We’ll see you on May 17 at our upcoming AE Networking Seminar!
Reposted from Marina Darlow of Vision-Framework email, May 2017.
Here’s some great advice about our tendency to try to do everything ourselves. Marina has this to say:
Let’s talk for a sec about a particular kind of shame. The “I should be able to do it myself!” feeling. It can keep you stuck for ages – you should be able to do it yourself, but you don’t. And you won’t outsource or delegate, because you should be able to do it yourself. Welcome to a vicious circle.
I should be able to make scrambled eggs without burning the skillet.
I should be able to update my website without crashing it half the time.
I should be able to know how much I made last month.
No, you shouldn’t.
We aren’t in the Dark Ages anymore.
You don’t have to chop wood to heat your house. You won’t stay an old maid if you can’t cook. You don’t even have to be good at math, whatever they said in grade school.
Same is true for a business owner who cannot do her social media, or keep his books, or organize her schedule. You don’t have to be able to do all-the-things, all by yourself.
For some reason (natural harmony? universal justice?) people with brilliant strengths, those with some unusual genius, tend to lack “basic skills”. And very often they are ashamed to admit it. Ashamed that their handwriting in school was so illegible, they were never given an A. Ashamed they can’t add seven and six and conclude to 13. Ashamed they avoid phone calls to service providers (the person in the last example one of the most successful people I’m friends with).
It’s a destructive and paralyzing kind of shame (wait, is there another kind? I’m trying to think up a action-spurring kind of shame. Help me out here, I’m coming up empty).
Well, as you can imagine, I call B.S. Let me illuminate my viewpoint with a few examples of true, recognized geniuses that are known for lacking some “really basic” skills:
J.K. Rowling admits she’s bad at math
Bruce Willis was stuttering(!) for the first twenty years of his life
Napoleon Hill couldn’t work in an office
Sir Richard Branson is famously dyslexic. Do you really think he did the proof-reading for Student magazine he started at 16?
What’s NOT destructive and paralyzing?
Zero on a skill that you are really good at. Maybe you’re an incredible saleswoman (Hi Jennifer!). Maybe you create inspiring content at a breakneck pace, leaving the rest of us jealous and amazed. Maybe your coaching skills are so rare, they are life-changing.
Once you shine a light on your genius, it’s much easier to admit you are a sorry proof-reader. And then – let go.
Automate, delegate, or outsource.
Focus on the stuff that makes you feel powerful. The stuff that makes you happy. The very thing that made you start your own venture.
That’s it for today.
Go do amazing things!
Thanks, Marina! Now, all of you get out there and do amazing things. Actually, you’re already doing amazing things – bravo!
So much to organize; so little time! The tasks mount up and glare at you from your paper-strewn desk. You absolutely promise to yourself that you’ll create the best budgeting plan known to humankind but, frankly, it’s the last thing you feel like doing.
Running a business, while managing a household and having a life, is not easy. We may love what we do, but sometimes our own bad habits get in the way. Efficiency expert and AE member Marina Darlow has some advice to offer. Here’s an introduction to her approach, starting with the absolute basics – planning.
Marina will be talking about this, plus introducing some great software tools to make this set of tasks easier to manage. Our May Networking Seminar will feature a presentation by Marina, along with the chance to network and enjoy a few munchies while you’re doing it. Reserve your spot today!
And now, Marina’s advice for getting the ball rolling:
My last few weeks were a whirlwind of activity on the client front. A few of my favorite people are all going through an intense launch phase, and a couple others are starting mega-exciting projects. All this work inspired me to write about Long-term Planning. It sounds like a pretty boring subject, so to make it juicier, let’s talk about
The glaring mistakes you (might) make when planning Long-Term
1. You stick your plans in a forgotten drawer
You never do this! No! It’s not like you made a really nice well thought-through plan, let’s say it takes five pages and… that’s it. Three months later you find it when you’re cleaning your desk.
All the planning workshops and sessions in the world are powerless against this strategy.
2. You confuse Goal-setting with Long-term Planning
Goal-setting: I want to quit my day job, so I’d sell an online class making $50K. (For the advanced goal-setters – imagine sign-up emails in your inbox, rave reviews, thankful notes from people you’ve guided through an incredible transformation).
Long-term planning: I’m going to do research (2 weeks), then to pilot my class (4 weeks), then collect feedback (2 weeks), then decide on tweaks (1 week), then write the class (1 week? No, that’s way too optimistic. 3 weeks, I know myself, I’ll agonize over the smallest details). THEN, I’m going to market and launch it (4 weeks), then open the cart.
Where does this timeline brings us? Let’s do some quick math: 2+4+2+1+3+4= 16 weeks, a.k.a about 4 months. Great. Now let’s think pricing, conversion rates, etc…
Many people tend to confuse long-term planning with goal-setting . Goals-setting is essential – you won’t get anywhere without a clear goal. But it’s not enough. Long-term planning is the next step –
the not-too-detailed (that’s important!) roadmap to the goal you’ve set.
Here are the key differences:
A Goal describes a finished outcome that relates to a specific point in time. It may even be a dream come true. We often set goals guided by our deepest emotions and desires – seeking independence, influence, connection.
A Long-term Plan is first and foremost a sequence of events we need to happen to get to the goal. First we do A, then we do B, and these will lead us to C. Each event has an approximate duration, and someone who’s responsible to make it happen – even if we don’t know at the beginning who that person will be. For example – if you plan to design a web page two months from today, you know you’d need a web designer, even you don’t have a specific name for the page in mind yet.
Here is another way to look at it, if the words “sequence” or “logical chain” make you squirm:
A plan is a story. It’s a Narrative, where something happens and it leads to something else. The Ring of Sauron has to be destroyed (the Goal), so Frodo takes it upon himself to throw it into Mount Doom. The heroes plan the path: to cross the Misty Mountains, through the Redhorn Pass, across the flank of Caradhras. Elrond and Gandalf form a Fellowship of the Ring to help the hobbit overcome the dangers of the journey.
3. You don’t plan the money ins and outs
If you have planned how much do you aspire to make, you’re already ahead of the majority. However, have you planned how much you’ll need to spend? Where would the money go? How much would you invest in the Facebook ads? How many VA/designer/tech hours would your plans require? If you sell a physical product, did you plan material costs?
In addition to the obvious “let’s see what my budget allows” insight, long-term money plans have a curious side-effect – motivating us to act. When you see the investments you need to make, your plans feel more tangible and real. And most of us won’t get off our collective butt unless real and tangible things need our real and tangible action.
The spending plan doesn’t have to be exact or even too detailed – it’s enough to say “$5000 for coaching, $1000 for software, $10000 for taxes”.
4. You stop at long-term, never planning the middle-term
This point may actually be the hardest to implement – breaking down big chunks into smaller tasks, executing the small tasks, weaving them into daily routines. This requires discipline, focus, motivation, and, surprisingly, a healthy dose of creativity.
If this last sentence resonates – know you’re not alone.
There are methods and systems to make it easier (in other words, to make it actually, you know, happen). But that’s a story for another time.
Come to Arlington Entrepreneurs’s May Networking Seminar: “The Essential Tech Tools to Run Your Business.” Come away with new contacts and some great ways to make your business easier to manage!
Wednesday, May 17 from 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Workbar Arlington, 1167 Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington
Parking and refreshments available
Fee: $20.00 per person. $10.00 per person for AE Premium members.
Event co-hosted by Arlington Entrepreneurs and Workbar Arlington
Join us in May for Arlington Entrepreneurs’s first Networking Seminar of 2017! Do some networking, nibble on some appetizers and then get ready for a presentation by AE member and productivity expert Marina Darlow.
Marina will help take your business into the stratosphere with the latest and greatest tech. Learn how to choose the right tools for managing your business: time management, communications, information management, and sales.
Have a question about a tool, or a general productivity challenge? Send us an email beforehand (margy AT arlingtonentrepreneurs DOT org) and we’ll address it in this seminar.
Marina Darlow is the founder of Vision Framework. She helps heart-centered entrepreneurs clear the chaos in their business and life, by putting systems in place for managing money, time, people and information. The results allow her clients to get 10-20 more productive hours a week, along with bigger paychecks and fewer stress-fueled breakdowns. Visit her website and connect with her on Arlington Entrepreneurs. You’ll be glad you did