Category Archives: biz

What Would You Like for Valentine’s Day?

Image by mozzercork via Flickr

Buying gifts for the various holidays and birthdays just isn’t very big in our house.  Even when I do ask for a gift, it’s typically something housewares-y or domestic (which is hear is all wrong).  I’m planning on creating a shopping guide  (you have no idea how much I adore checking out shopping guides) just for this Valentine’s day for my site and our newsletter.

So I ask for your input…what would you like for Valentine’s Day? Chocolate, jewelry, perfume, a new lipstick, a special book, what?  I’m open to any and all suggestions.

What the Hell, it’s February Already?

The longest
Image by dhammza via Flickr

Where did January go?  Maybe it would seem a bit more like February if we actually had had some cooler January temperatures.  Seriously, 80 degrees in January?!?!  There’s just something seriously wrong with that.  Especially when the rest of the country is dealing with crazy cold temperatures, snow and ice.

Well, I guess I just need to suck it up and welcome dear February.  The good thing about new months, is that it gives you permission to try something new.

Thanks to my bloggie friend and fellow Masterminder, Sarah (otherwise known as  Mar Vista Mom),  I have decided that for the entire month of February (give or take a day or two) I’ll be spending all my time and energy working on my website…not my personal blog, not my business blog or consulting clients, but on my community, its blog and the various ongoing contests.

This is big for me.  For the first time in a long time I feel more in control of things.  For so long now I’d been feeling like I was being pulled in too many different directions and I was never sure what I should be focusing on.  Sarah suggested that I allot a certain amount of time (be it days or weeks, or a particular day of the week, or week of the month, or whatever) and focus exclusively on one thing at a time.  If something pops up – and I’m sure it will since I’ll be doing my best to ignore whatever I’m not working on – I’ll write it down and get to it later.

This is perfect for me.  Why couldn’t I see this myself and figure it out?  Probably because I was too caught up in what seemed to be massive feelings of overwhelm (with possibly a hint of fear thrown in for good avoidance).  This my friends is why you need a good network of friends!

Of course, it means I’ll need to still created at least 4 posts for my business blog since I don’t want that to sit dormant for too long.  But I can do that.  In fact, my goal for today is to address the specific things that aren’t related to the site such as our taxes, phone calls, and those previously mentioned blog posts.

Here’s hoping it all works out the way I’m hoping for.  Wish me luck!

So what have you been avoiding that you could spend some time focusing on this month?

What It Can Be Like to Admin a Community Forum

Incandescent light bulb
Image via Wikipedia

A friend sent this to me and well, it’s so spot on, I just had to share.  If you’ve ever participated in a forum about anything, this is how the drama (and I do mean DRAMA) unfolds…

How Many People Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb in a Community Forum?

1 to change the light bulb and to post that the light bulb has been changed

14 to share similar experiences of changing light bulbs and how the light bulb could have been changed differently

1 to move it to the Lighting section after 2 have argued to move it to the Electricals section

7 to point out spelling/grammar errors in posts about changing light bulbs

5 to flame the spell checkers

6 to argue over whether it’s “lightbulb” or “light bulb” … another 6 to condemn those 6 as stupid

2 industry professionals to inform the group that the proper term is “lamp”

15 know-it-alls who claim they were in the industry, and that “light bulb” is perfectly correct

19 to post that this forum is not about light bulbs and to please take this discussion to a lightbulb forum

11 to defend the posting to this forum saying that we all use light bulbs and therefore the posts are relevant to this forum

36 to debate which method of changing light bulbs is superior, where to buy the best light bulbs, what supermarkets are offering discounts on brands of light bulbs, and what customer service they expect in a lightbulb shop

4 to say that they’ve been disappointed in Lightbulb Live for the last 4 years

12 to ask why those 4 keep going to Lightbulb Live only to complain about it

1 to break the news about the new limited release light bulb

1 to post that the news was already broken in another thread and start a poll about reading entire threads

12 to post that they shouldn’t mention limited releases because someone might buy them to resell
1 to insist he has every right to buy and sell lightbulbs

1 to obsessively insist that no-one should make profit from lightbulbs on this forum

5 to post that they’ve collected 11 of the limited edition lightbulbs already so might as well get the whole set.

32 to not bother posting because there’s no post count showing anymore

8 to say that their electric company sent them 4 free lightbulbs, when quite clearly they would have preferred the moon on a stick.

6 to post thinly veiled criticisms of forum staff’s management of lightbulbs

15 to post that forum staff can do exactly as they want with their own lightbulbs

6 to pretend they were just asking innocent questions about lightbulb management and didn’t do anything wrong

1 to ask that forum staff backup all mention of lightbulbs so they can write a book about their really interesting life with lightbulbs

11 to reply that it’s not a personal lightbulb anecdote storage facility

7 to post URL’s where one can see examples of different light bulbs

4 to post that the URL’s were posted incorrectly and then post the corrected URL’s

13 to link all posts to date, quote them in their entirety including pictures, and add “Me too”

5 to post to the group that they will no longer post because they cannot handle the light bulb controversy

4 to say “didn’t we go through this already a short time ago?”

13 to say “do a Google search on light bulbs before posting questions about light bulbs”

1 forum lurker to respond to the original post 6 months from now and start it all over again.

These are my favorite two:

6 to pretend they were just asking innocent questions about lightbulb management and didn’t do anything wrong


1 forum lurker to respond to the original post 6 months from now and start it all over again.

So do I miss running a forum?  You just read the list…what do you think?

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I Love My Network

On the other side of the sea...
Image by Tonyç via Flickr

I have the greatest bunch of friends.  More importantly, I have a great bunch of friends that are also solopreneurs and run businesses of their own.  This means that if I ever need to bounce business ideas or challenges off someone, I have a great team to do that with.

I’m so thankful for the fact that I know, without a doubt that I’m never alone.  This is something that I wish for anyone, whether you own  a business or what.  May you always have a team to support you in whatever you do.

Today I met one of my friends for lunch.  There was a lot of catching up since it had been nearly two months since we’d last talked (brief emails and text messages on NYE don’t count).  I loved hearing where she was in her business and what she was focusing on for this year.

It was great to be able to share in her successes and support her when she needed it. I think she’s going to do some amazing things this year and I can’t wait to share that with her as well.

I also really enjoyed being able to share what I’m going through right now (this feeling of being pulled in different directions and not knowing what to focus on) and getting her input.  I think, through her insight, I finally get it.

I really feel like I know what I need to do now.  I can finally stop avoiding setting some goals and gaining some focus.  Sadly, I seem to be so quick to play the part of the ostrich and stick my head in the sand waiting for something to come to me.  And to top it all off, I’m excited again.  This is most definitely a good thing.

So if you’ve got something that’s been bugging you, take a moment and ask your friends for their input.  Ask for help if you need to.  Stop fighting it and just open yourself up to receive.  You never know what might come of it.

So what’s been bugging you or keeping you up at night?  What would you like to share?

Today Seems to Be the Day for Computer Issues

I woke up this morning, checked my email and found out that there’s an ad running on my website that’s not behaving nicely.  It seems to be slowing things down for folks due to their flash or whatever.  I forwarded it along to the ad agency and I’m sure they’ll handle it.

Not five minutes after waking up this morning my best friend calls.  Seems her website is down and in its place, a GoDaddy place holder.  Luckily the hubs was still home so I send him to investigate.  Turns out when it auto-renewed GoDaddy changed the server locations and had everything pointing to their servers, not our servers. Nice.  Of course it’s now fixed.

So now I sit here and I can’t seem to help but wonder what’s next?  Don’t these sorts of things usually happen in threes or something?  Nah, I won’t worry about that.  I’m all about being positive and I know I’ve got too much going on to worry ’bout something so silly and easily fixable.

If I was going to worry about anything it would be the bookkeeping.  I keep forgetting that even though the personal taxes aren’t due until April, we can’t do our taxes without the business taxes which are due in March.  So basically, that cuts a month off of our my prep time.  And well, I’m a little behind.  I think I have to input from October – December still.  Guess I know what else I’ll be working on this week 😉

And on to a totally unrelated sidenote: Does anyone know someone who knows something about tea?  I’d like to interview them for my site.  Also, does anyone know someone in the eco-friendly bag department (RuMe, Envirosax, etc.).  I’d like to do an interview and giveaway with them as well.

I’m Calling Today a Productive Day

You know, without the obligation of posting daily, I can sometimes go for days without blogging.  Mind you, I can’t go days without Twittering, but what can I say.

I may not be able to account for all of my time today (seems like I may have zoned out or over-focused a time or two), but boy howdy have I been productive — see, I’m so productive today, I even found an image to accompany my post about productivty.  Go me!

No really.  I woke up and started working on redesigning my client packages (it’s a work trade with a fellow-LWLer).  From there I took a moment to answer a LinkedIn blogging question.  I liked my answer enough that I added to it and turned it into a blog post.  Then I added to that and decided to turn it into an article.  Woohoo!!

I also got booked for a speaking engagement, cleaned out my LWL inbox, responded to some LWL emails, caught up with a few friends after talking business, did the laundry, had a coffee break (needed it to survive the laundromat), cleaned up my end table a bit (rediscovering a missing e-book in the process), pre-wrote some blog posts, wrote tomorrow’s blog post for CC, twittered, went to the bank, bought cat food, threw a bunch of crap into the recylcing bin (stupid holiday catalogs every other day!), paid the bills, finished next week’s CC contest stuff, started on the remainder of the contest stuff, contacted winners, send out the newsletter opt-ins to the folks that provided product up ’til now, and well, hell, some more errandy, mind-numbing other tasks.  But yeah, productive dammit!

Now I just need to 1) find folks that can provide content for the CC blog, 2) finish all the contest stuff so I can focus on other projects and 3) record at least one MP3 to get on my site.  Oh yeah, and find something to wear to next week’s holiday parties (but that’s an entirely different post).

So what about you?  Have you done any holiday shopping?  Wrapping?  Shipping?  Cleaning?  Are you decorations up yet?  Me…none of the above, but it’s on the schedule 😉

PS-I’m planning to do a “Pimp My Friends” holiday shopping suggestion post on Monday.  So if you sell soemthing and would like to be considered, please shoot me an email (info*labloggergal*com) with any discount code you might currently be running and I’ll work it in the piece.

Calling All Those Creative Types

In typical LA Blogger Gal fashion, I decided spur of the moment that it would be cool, if not FUN to create an ad banner to put on other blogs advertising the 50 Days of Giving ConstantChatter contests. You’ve been registering for those daily prizes, right?  The 18″ pearls go live on Friday.

What was I thinking?!?! Thing is, while I know in theory what needs to be done…my creative juices just don’t seem to run that way. I open Photoshop, set the 150×200 parameters and well, I just go blank.  And then the frustration sets in.

So I ask of all those creative, DIY gals that I know are out there…1) can you point me in the direction of a good, and let’s be honest, simple tutorial that can explain how this creating-a-banner-thing works.  And 2) any chance you can offer up your expertise, no matter how you package it – tips, suggestions, idea, fonts, backgrounds, images…hell if I know.

I know it can’t be all that difficult.  I mean hundreds of thousands of kids create MySpace pages and avatars.  If they can do it, I can create a simple ad banner, right?   Anyone?  Please.

Sending Out My Very First Press Release

Okay, we’re in the final stages now.  The giveaway schedule is set.  The first 21 days worth of are personalized for each giveawy.  The weekly blog posts are written up for those first 21 days.  First thing tomorrow I send out the press release.  My very first.

Thankfully, I have a friend that’s quite good at writing them up, so she took all the info and put it in the right format.  Now I just have to send it out.  I read on HARO about an agency called PR for $25 where you can put your press release in front of a folks for $25.  Sounds like it might be just the thing.

All that leaves now if for me to upload all the contest info so it’s ready to go live.  And from there, c’est fine! I might actually have a few days to chill out before the trip.  Which will be great for my jaw considering just how much I’ve been clenching lately.

Let me just say *whew*


Press Release: Constant Chatter announces their biggest contest ever: 50 Days of Giving


UPDATE 11/4/08:  I decided to stick with the list of 20+ Free Press Release sites from  It’s an old list and not completely up to date, some are defunct, others are no longer free.  But it works.

Let the Countdown Begin!

Holy cow, where have these past two weeks gone?!?  I can’t believe that we’re leaving for Ireland in less than two weeks!!!  I totally don’t feel ready yet.  I mean here we are going to a different country and outside of booking our lodging, I have no idea what we’ll actually be doing (um…besides drinking and taking pictures, that is!)

Let me just say, it was awfully ambitious of me to think that I could 1) run a month’s worth of breast cancer survivor stories over at ConstantChatter, 2) run a two-month long, giveaway-a-day extravaganza again over at ConstantChatter, and 3) shop, plan and pack for a 10-day international trip.  What the hell was I smoking?!?!?! And of course, every other day the hubs thinks of yet another thing I need to take care of before we leave.

I haven’t read a blog in about three weeks now.  I’ve yet to post anything in my biz blog for over a week now (so bad, so bad).  I haven’t written a biz newsletter (I blame the hubs for this one since he has to finish my “design” using the new HTML-based provider).  I haven’t washed clothes for two (going on three) weeks.  I haven’t vaccumed in probably just as long.  Luckily, I have cooked some pretty good meals and done the dishes.

But lordy, even our weekends have been busy with plans.  This Sunday we’ll be at the Kodak for BB King’s Monk Institute thing (rumor has it Edge & Bono will be hanging with BB and doing “When Love Comes to Town” – can’t wait!).  I’m really looking forward to the party afterwards, even if I probably won’t get to meet or even see BB, Bono or Edge.  I never saw Sting at Herbie’s Monk Institute thing last year.  I’ll be sure to bring my camera along though just in case.

Okay enough time wasting here.  I still have to get the first 21 days worth of contests pre-published and launched by Wednesday of next week.  If I take on 5 a day, I’ll be done by Monday…here’s hoping.  That will leave me a couple more days to pre-publish some blog posts (for my biz and the ConstantChatter blog) and to pack.  It could happen.

Yikes, I Feel Like I’ve Disappeared Here

It’s not true though, I assure you.  I’ve just been a little busy with business stuff.  I was invited to a brainstorming session for a friend’s upcoming business on Sunday.  I had another brainstorming dinner for another friend’s business challenges on Tuesday.  And had a power business lunch today which including still more brainstorming.  Gotta love it!

OMG, even in the middle of writing this, only four sentences in and it’s an hour later and I’ve managed to do 3 other things.  Insane!

Okay, back to the point at hand…I might not be around all that much in the upcoming weeks.  Or more accurately, I’ll be around, though it will more than likely be sporadic and filled with random thoughts (yeah, not all that different, I know, I know).

I’ve got a lot going on with coordinating the upcoming giveaways for my site and the corresponding product.  Not to mention the correspondence itself.  I want this to go well for so many reasons and I think I can make some great connections.  Five packages came today already!  Oh and lesson learned…get dressed ASAP now since it’s no fun having to get the “attack” dog away from the FedEx guy whilst in a robe and my hair in a towel!

In the meantime, I’m also working on my business and working on getting a lot of writing completed.  I might even start my book proposal before the year is out (depending on how much time the giveaway-palooza goes).  I also have some interviews I’d like to get done sooner rather than later.

I’ve also decided that now is the perfect time to start doing speaking engagements!  Yeah, what the hell have I been smoking?  I wonder that myself.  Let’s just chalk it all up to forward movement and great attracting and leave it at that 😉

And lastly, we have the amazing Ireland trip to look forward to.  At least with this distraction you’re bound to get some amazing, photos, right?

On that note, I must get started on dinner.  The hubs should be home shortly.