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No Facepalms Here: How to Survive - and Thrive - Through a Sloooow Season

Well-meaning people in your life will tell you that the first year in business gets you no profit and that slow seasons are inevitable. And if you've been in business for any length of time, you've probably started to notice that certain times of the year are at least a little slower for your industry than others. For retail shops, December might be booming; for swimming pool installers, it might be the near-kiss of death unless they prepare well. But do you have to just accept it as fate that you will lose money during those times? How can you prepare for these seasons and not just scrape through but actually make a profit?

FACE It: Why Your Business Needs a Super-Charged Social Media Presence

When you wanted to find out about a business in the 80s and early 90s, you looked them up in the phone book. By the mid-90s when the internet started becoming more prevalent, you might have started trying that. In the mid-2000s, Google revolutionized marketing with search and one-click ads and became a go-to standard giant because of it. And, in this day in age, if you don't also have a solid, meaningful presence on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc., you're dead to the world. Or at least to many of your best-paying potential customers. You see, it's not enough anymore to have just a website... 

Why Doing It Yourself Doesn't Save You Money

It is common for entrepreneurs to be nervous to spend money, especially in the beginning. You’ve had it ingrained in your mind that it takes money to make money, so you keep holding off on your marketing needs - or you a) try your own hand at it or b) get it cheaply done by so-and-so’s novice friend to try and save some cash. You might assume that all design is about the same or maybe not that crucial, but it’s just not so. The problem with subpar marketing and branding is that it will only allow your business to squeak by. The old adage that you get what you pay for is right on the - ahem - money in this case...

3-Step Guide: How to Be a Confident Entrepreneur

As an entrepreneur and mom (a "mompreneur"), I am well aware of the daily hits confidence can take. Motherhood and entrepreneurship bring you face-to-face with every insecurity you never knew you had. Each make you wonder if you're good enough even though you love it. Each will bring out aliveness, fears, passions, emotions, stresses, wonderment, highs, and lows. Try doing both at the same time like I am (with a toddler, no less!), and you're probably gonna struggle with low confidence sometimes and question if you're cut out for either one and why the hell you ever thought you could do a good job. A business is like another child, and both require a great deal of nurturing and responsibility. Sometimes it all gets a little overwhelming...

A Love Letter to My Business on Our Status

Dear Business,

You and I were destined to end up together. Entrepreneurship runs in my blood on both sides of my family. So sometimes it feels a bit like a prearranged marriage. When our eyes finally locked across the proverbial dance floor, I knew you would be right for me in some form or another. Yet, I was hesitant. For years, we just dated, and I was scared to make a commitment. I dabbled with you here and there, always wondering if I was good enough for you to take our relationship further. Well, the day job I was cheating on you with kicked me out in the form of a layoff and plopped me on your doorstep. Forced me to really start facing my fears and allow myself to fall in love with you...

Handout for Athena's Warehouse Career Day 2013.

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