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A chat with Headbands of Hope Founder Jess Ekstrom

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During a trip to DisneyWorld, Headbands for Hope Founder Jess Ekstrom noticed that a lot of children were there wearing headbands as a result of losing their hair due to chemotherapy. With the mission to help make these kids feel beautiful, Jess created “Headbands for Hope,’ in her junior year of College. I talk to Jess about her journey and how Headbands for Hope is now stocked in many stores around the world and celebrity endorsed.

 

Show Notes:

Connect with Headbands ofHope:

Hang out with her on Instagram @HeadbandsofHope

Read the blog

Become a Headband Hero

Hey Everyone! My name is Katee Blizzard and I am the owner and lead strategist behind Social Greatness. I have a passion for helping purpose-driven entrepreneurs achieve the success they deserve through strategic planning, social media management, and impact-driven outreach. I’m a firm believer in you get what you give and I know that together we will leave a great impact on this world.

7 Ways to Find Motivation

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Okay, we’re a few months into 2018 (but, doesn’t it feel like the year should be over already sometimes?!) It’s time for tips and a pep talk.

Think back to a few months ago. Eager to be going into the new year, you set some goals. What were they? Are you still working on them? Did you hit a wall and give up? Did you surpass them and are well your way to more greatness?

Whatever the status of your goals and your progress, now is the perfect time to recenter your intentions and make sure that you are on track. Taking the time to recenter on your goals and analyze the reasons you may have fallen off track can help recharge your motivation as you launch into the month.

Let’s start of with breaking down the goals you set for 2018 and pinpointing what roadblocks you hit that may have caused you to fall off. Take a minute down to think about it.

Think: 3 . . . . . . 2 . . . . . . 1 . . . . . . .

Great! Now that you have your 2018 goals at the forefront of your mind, let’s talk about some simple steps to get back on track. The goals and roadblocks you thought about above were most likely the large, higher level goals you set out for the whole year. What about the smaller goals that build up to those larger goals? What are some of the steps you need to take to get to that goal? Take another minute now to think about them.

Think: 3 . . . . . . 2 . . . . . . 1 . . . . . . .

Fantastic. You know exactly what steps you need to take to reach your 2018 goals. Here are some tips to get going on these steps and reach your goals!

1 | If it can be done in 5 minutes, do it now.
Having more things on your to-do list causes more stress, more anxiety, and more distraction. If you are looking over your to-do list for the day and a task can be accomplished in less than 5 minutes (i.e. sending an email or scheduling a social media post), do it now. Scratching that item off your list will make you feel better for getting something done and prevents distractions as you work on the harder and more time intensive tasks.

2 | Trick your brain into productivity.
It is proven that if you stop yourself from slouching or slap on a smile when you may be frustrated, you can trick your mind into a stronger focus. Fake it ‘til ya make it! By adjusting and remaining at least slightly cognizant of your physiology, you can make a big difference on your psychology.

3 | Plan, Plan, Plan.
By planning your day out the night before, you can go to bed with your intentions for the day clear. When you wake up in the morning, you will instantly be more motivated and calm for what’s ahead because you have strategically set up your day prior to your alarm going off. This will also help you to get better sleep, because you can get all your thoughts out onto paper and organized in a constructive way for a good night’s rest. If you want more information on the impact of nightly planning and intentional morning, read The Miracle Morning by Hal Elron – it’ll change your life.

4 | ROCK ON.
Playing music that you enjoy will help you focus and will also lift your spirits. When focusing on your work while energizing yourself with stimulating music, you can synergize your work and even take a dance party break when you mentally need to relax, which leads to our next step . . .

5 | Don’t Force It!
Motivation doesn’t last for ever. If you expect it to, burnout will happen. Overworking yourself will not lead to your best work and will delay you from reaching your goals. Work hard, rest hard. It’s important to give your mind some moments of rest in order to recharge and get back on the motivation train. At the very least, take 10 minutes to do a short meditation and let your brain unwind so that you can really focus on the next big task ahead.

6 | Rethink your systems.
Is there one place where you find yourself continuously discouraged or stumped in your working process? If so, it would be ideal to take some time and re-strategize how you tackle that task or restructuring your system overall so that you stop degrading your motivation.

7 | CELEBRATE!
There are big wins and small wins, but all wins should be celebrated! When you take a moment to really appreciate your work no matter how big or small the accomplishment, you will be motivated to accomplish more! There needs to be more celebration in this world for all the things that people do. Be that change for yourself and your work!

Which of these tips are you most interested in trying? Are you going to implement them this week or month? Share below!

If you need a little extra help getting started, managing your stress, and getting focused, definitely check out my Manage Your Stress workbook here.

Corporate Social Responsibility Ideas for Small Businesses

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As millennials become the largest audience in the consumer market, their buying decisions have almost all of the purchasing power and guide corporations to make very specific strategic decisions. Millennials care more about purpose, ethics, and making a difference than they do about the price of a product. Most of the time they’ll spend more on a product when a company has clearly shown how the purchase of that product makes a difference in the greater world.

Being aligned in your purpose as a business and effectively messaging that purpose along with a powerful story around making an impact draws millennials toward your brand. Here are some corporate social responsibility ideas that are easy to implement within a small-scale business model all-the-while allowing for growth.

Buy One, Give One

With a physical product, a “Buy One, Give One” model has the potential to align well. Take for example TOMS. This is a company that saw a social issue and wanted to utilize their product to solve it. TOMS tend to be a bit more expensive, but when a pair of TOMS is purchased, a pair is also sent to a child in need.

Overall, TOMS has made volunteering and community impact a huge part of its mission and corporate lifestyle. Every employee is encouraged to volunteer in their local community, while they are also given the opportunity to go on one of their trips to deliver shoes to different communities.

There are other companies that have implemented a model like this as well. Check out Warby Parker, SoapBox, Out of Print, and Smile Squared.

Some of the above examples are large corporations, but some of them are much smaller meaning the business model they have is more transferrable over to a smaller business. However, keep in mind that the giants like Warby Parker and TOMS were once upon a time small businesses, too!

Percentage of Proceeds
If there is a cause that you feel deeply passionate about and it in some way relates to your business/brand, this would be a great thing to link up to your messaging and support through your business.

A few examples of companies already doing this: Elephant Pants, Bravelets, and Sand Cloud.

These companies have identified an issue that they want their brand to support and then a percentage of each sale that is made is donated in support of that cause. These companies have each supported their causes with thousands of dollars of donations. They’ve utilized this powerful tool to resonate with a group of people eager to support a cause, which makes them feel good and makes their consumer feel good!

Gift Wrapping for Charity

There are many companies that offer gift wrapping services to their customers. This is a great way to entice people to buy and they make sure that the presentation of their chosen gift is impeccable. One option to consider is adding a gift wrapping option that benefits a charity.

This is a great thing to do if you have a charity that you are really passionate about, but it may not necessarily align well with your overall brand or product. When prompted to add on a gift wrapping service, the messaging can include information about to proceeds of the gift wrapping going to support that chose charity.

Information on how to start a gift wrapping service can be found here.

Environmental Consciousness
With the scientifically proven environmental changes that have taken place in recent years due to global warming, there is a movement happening around environmental support. Verifying that the production of a product leaves the smallest environmental impact can help message a brand.

The millennial generation is becoming more cognizant of their impact on the environment or even makes purchases that help the environment. As a company analyzes their impact on the environment provides an opportunity to utilize their product production process in their sales messaging to engage this new movement and help the environment as they change or start out.

An example of a company that is promoting their environmental consciousness is Wanderer Bracelets.

Know any brands implementing these strategies that aren’t mentioned here? Share them with us!

Which of these strategies are you most excited to implement?

Flip Flops making an Impact with Lila Stewart of Hari Mari

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On the latest episode of “The Social Greatness Podcast,” I had the opportunity to speak with Lila Stewart from the Flip Flop Company, Hari Mari. For me this was an exciting interview as I spend almost everyday in Flip Flops. Hari Mari has comfortable and beautiful flip flops designs and after learning that pediatric cancer is the most fatal disease among American children – Hari Mari set out to help by committing to get 1% of sales of every flip flop purchase to support kids battling cancer. We talk about Lila’s journey from Indonesia back to the US and what inspired her husband and her to start this business.

 

Show Notes:

Connect with Lila Stewart:

Hang out with her on Instagram @harimari

Buy The Flip Flops for a Cause!

Hey Everyone! My name is Katee Blizzard and I am the owner and lead strategist behind Social Greatness. I have a passion for helping purpose-driven entrepreneurs achieve the success they deserve through strategic planning, social media management, and impact-driven outreach. I’m a firm believer in you get what you give and I know that together we will leave a great impact on this world.

Email Lists: Why they matter and How to build one

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It seems that every effort is about how you can get your consumer’s attention and for how long can you maintain it on your brand. However, while there is importance in building a social presence, at the end of the day, social media is “rented space.” This means that at any moment the algorithm can change or you could lose all your followers, which means that you will lose the ability to talk to the entire audience you’ve worked so hard to cultivate.

Email is a space that you own. Your email list is a sacred list of people who have grown to love you and have invited you into their inboxes. They cherish what you have to say and if they don’t, they unsubscribe. This means that your unsubscribe rate isn’t necessarily a bad thing as long as your message is aligned with your goals. If your message is aligned with your business and your overall goals, then the unsubscribe rate just means your list of people you are speaking with is also aligning more with your goals.

So, how do you get people to even sign up and give you their precious email?

Create something they can’t say no to! Create a freebie that makes them jump with joy and say “gimme gimme!” Something that aligns with your business like the 27 Free Content Ideas we created just for YOU! This is a kickass lead magnet that will get those emails rolling in!

Well, what should you create?

  • I’m a business with a physical product; proving a freebie won’t work for me!

WRONG! When are you launching your next product? Want to get your consumers pumped about it? Add a pop-up or a page teasing about it and have them enter their email address to be the first to know when it’s released.

  • I’m a service based business but I can’t give away my work for free or else I’ll make no money!

WRONG AGAIN! The thing about offering a freebie is that it shows your potential consumer the kind of work you do, the thought process you take, and makes them want to read the emails you send full of helpful info!

  • My business is a non-profit; I quite literally have nothing to offer for free.

NOPE! Let’s get creative here . . .You’re most likely looking to reach potential volunteers and definitely potential donors. That means you have a number of great options:

  • Offer them a freebie that explains the tax benefits of donating to a non-profit
  • Categorize the different types of volunteering you offer and have them put in their email for updates on when those events are happening
  • Reel them in with a gritty, yet beautiful success story that your non-profit has and then tell them they can enter their email for more inspiring stories just like the one you just shared with them

Building your email list is SO. VERY. IMPORTANT. We send our emails out and share our landing pages through ConvertKit. They offer some really great benefits and really grow with your business.

So, what’s stopping you from starting your email list right now?

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