These past few weeks have been cold! With the exception of a few bright days, having outdoor temperatures below 40 degrees, nice and hearty meals are comforting. The go-to meal on a cold day is chili, however without the essentials, I was left scratching my head and short on time.
Rather than panic, I innovated, creating a dish that became an instant hit. Let’s call this Mom’s Chicken Mex Soup. Dinner was done in less than 30 minutes. I’m sharing my super easy quick and hearty meal for your next chilly night.
Start with chopping and sauteing a small onion in olive oil (I used a heavy bottom pot) on medium heat for a couple minutes, then stir in the diced chicken followed by the vegetables (be sure to drain the liquids from the cans before adding).
Pour in the chicken broth and up to a cup of water, season to taste (salt, pepper, garlic powder, etc), then simmer 15 minutes. Serve with oven toasted tortillas.
Have you ever had a number of ideas for business opportunities swirling through your head and not know how to pull one down and focus on it?
What have you envisioned as a dream job or career move yet unsure which way to move toward making a change?
The first step in setting a goal is to get real with yourself. For some, self check is so easy we don’t need an internet article to help us focus. The rest of us, need all the little nudges we can bear.
What do you want to do?
I know, you want to finance a better future for you and your family. You want to pursue your passion and help others. You would love to sell that thing your friends always ask your for. Sounds great. But you’re going to have to be more specific. The premise of a goal is the result. That’s right…a result. So, let’s try answering this way:
If I had a choice of only one income producing activity that I could wake up and do tomorrow?
What would that answer be? The question requires a more direct answer. You can take it further and assign a time limit, an income requirement, a level of training or additional education needed to obtain that one income producing activity.
Easy enough? A goal can be anything you can imagine as long as there is a result. The key in how you can create and stick to that one stretch goal is to have the result in mind.
Let’s pretend the income producing activity you’ve selected is to become a Life Coach. Now you know what you are aiming for. Then you can chart the steps you need to reach there – research, training, certification, networking, business development, branding – and how much time you need to commit to each step. This way you have achievements to check off along the way and your one big stretch goal becomes a little less daunting.
Each year companies project earnings and loss. Many make difficult decisions based on those numbers. When retail stores announce closings, how does that impact you, your family and your business?
Convenience. We are creatures of habit and convenience. When we can easily locate the product or service we need in a familiar location near our home or office, it makes our lives better. When a retail store we frequent closes, we have to find an alternative, which could require a different path.
Choice. Discretionary income, and life in general is fueled by our choice. In retail, there are a number of options for similar goods and services, and our choice predicates survival. Two ways to unpack this thought. One, where and how we decide to shop, and two, who we shop with. (See convenience).
Creativity. The close of a retail store does not indicate a decline in shopping. There are other statistics that indicate economic trends. A store closing signals more on the operation of that business, which has a number of factors. However there is a lining of opportunity that exists for small businesses that operate in the retail space, or provide a service shopping for others. Small retail businesses have the creative flexibility to reach consumers in fun ways to encourage purchases. Personal shoppers and concierge services can support the convenience and choice of consumers not willing to travel or are in need of assistance seeking the alternative shop.
We are all very excited about our new ideas and goals being created to have our “best year yet”. Something about the new calendar year and a fresh start. The euphoria of a ‘no-compromise’ mindset that follows a few ‘must achieve’ goals is indeed enlightening.
Own the moment, make small steps towards your goal every day, and celebrate your achievements along the way. Most importantly remember the new year may be a fresh start for the calendar, but you can begin fresh any day.
This may be more of a random musing. Visiting my grandmother and family over the holidays has me reminiscent. Plus its the first of the year, and everyone’s gushing over #goals and habits to “let go”, I began to think about how I was schooled on decision making.
I used to loathe hearing lectures from my grandmother when we did something wrong. She didn’t reach for the paddle. She gave lessons. She always started by saying, “Choices. No one can make you do anything. You are in control of your emotions, and it begins with how you choose to react.” And she always pointed her finger up, never in your face.
As much as I couldn’t stand sitting to hear it, her mantra lives in me today.
Her words I now share with my children. If my daughter bursts into angry tears when she can’t find a toy, I ask her to stop, take a deep breath, and sit still a minute to think about where it could have been last. The lesson there that tears block your eyes from being able to see where the toy could be. When she stops to use her mind muscle, it’s strength can help her find it.
Once we understand that making a sound decision begins with the emotion, our follow on will have more definitive resolve. We help ourselves and our family reduce a bit of the stress we cause ourselves.
How does this relate to decision making in the new year? More ways than I will count.
It is so easy to resolve to exercise, eat better, make self care a priority, etc, etc. I am going to make an intentional play to wake up each day deciding to take ownership of my emotions and choose to do one thing each day to make me and my family better.
The end of the year is fast approaching and it is the holiday season. You, your clients and consumers as a whole are bombarded with sales, discounts, and offers for last minute holiday shopping. It can be tough to break through the holiday sales promotions and gain the visibility you need to boost your business.
In another post, we will delve into the building blocks of creating an annual marketing strategy. Here, our focus is uncovering where you can find potential customers. We will start with reviewing the stats. Staying abreast of trends in your industry and the marketplace are key to the success and longevity of your business.
This article from MarketingProfs reveals a telling analysis of consumer behavior and holiday shopping trends. Outside of being surprised that most people buy the same type of gifts year after year, the article features an infographic of the study findings that is easy to follow. Essentially, the study reveals people are making simple purchases that accentuate the person or satisfy their electronic craving, and making less major purchases with retail apparel purchases declining and purchasing books as gifts at the bottom at the list.
What does this mean for your business marketing strategy or advertising plan?
This means you can follow overall consumer behavior patterns and think through a brief promotional strategy that can help you find those last minute shoppers and make them your new customers.
If you have a marketing strategy intact, sprinkling in a short term promotion should be relatively easy. Here are a few ideas to consider for product based business advertising during the holiday season:
Use the power of suggestion through placing digital ads on social media. Holiday gift giving can be a chore for some and fun for many. Help your potential customer make the decision to purchase your product.
Highlight the benefits you offer. Whether it is a gift certificate (are those still a thing?), rewards program, or discount, hype up the benefits of shopping with your business.
Think outside the box. If your primary product is a leather glove and you want to reach that purchaser of a beautiful bracelet, perhaps y
our strategy is to partner with a jewelry maker and promote a campaign that shows the beauty of the bracelet inside and outside of your glove.
Hopefully these ideas will spark some thought on how you can effectively position your business to be found by potential customers and generate a few new sales this holiday season. Hurry while you still have time!
I’ll start by saying this is a promotional post. But not because I am being paid for the use of any products.
I am an almost middle aged woman with two children and nearly blemish free skin. As much as I want to claim familial genetic code, I must give some credit to the use of a few products and choosy eating habits when it comes to giving tips to keep smooth, glowing skin in cold winter months.
Once the weather dips consistently to cooler temperatures, if you are like me and want keep your skin from chapping, it is time to switch up the skincare and diet regimen.
The first and most important tip is to balance your water intake. It is much easier to consume water in the summer to keep cool, but I find that drinking room temperature water in the winter keeps your body and skin hydrated just as well, if not more. The cool winter air sucks the moisture from skin and lips before you can even think of going from the door to the car!
Next, to moisturize skin and hydrate lips, I’ve found a few of grandma’s solutions work well when balanced with products of today. I swear by a drop of castor oil on my lips and finger tips on the way to bed. Straight out of the shower I reach for a whipped shea or cocoa butter and smooth all over. When I want to add a hint of scent, I opt for a natural body butter or oil from Jones and Rose.
For the face, I’ve found a cleansing balm by Beauticounter and Vitamin C Super Serum with Ageless Moisturizer by Apple Rose Beauty.
When in the kitchen, I’ve learned to mask butternut squash with carrots in a sweet souffle so the kids will get the benefit of that lovely immune building fall “fruit”, while I enjoy the bone building potassium, fiber and vitamin B6. Same for baked sweet potato wedges. The leafy greens become a little harder since they are out of season, but I love kale when I can get it.
So where can you find these skin loving essentials? Outside of the grocery store or farmer’s market for the butternut squash, water and kale, a few of my good friends offer the skin products: