tools of the trade

What Tools Are In Your Toolbox?

One of my most favorite times of the year is fall, especially the month of November.

 

It’s a month of remembrance and gratitude.

A month of reflection and appreciation.

A time to let those around you know how much they mean to you.

A time to reflect on the past year, and new year to come.

November, for an entrepreneur, is a busy time. Depending on what phase you are in your business, the weeks are filled with planning, launching, and creating. It’s also why I love this season – new ideas and a flurry of creativity abounds everywhere. I love being armed with my pencil and sketchbook in hand, diving into a world where new ideas flourish. It’s the best!

Another favorite is making life easier for my clients by sharing ways to save time and money.

Recently, I was suggesting to a client that although LeadPages has its benefits, I prefer Thrive Landing Pages, as it’s more cost effective and easier to customize (by far).

She answered my suggestion with a resounding affirmation, saying ‘I love how you always seem to give me advice that saves me money!‘; to which I replied, ‘I love hearing how much you appreciate my advice (and always seem to take it!).’ Ah, words of affirmation truly are my language of appreciation.

Sharing ‘tools of the trade‘ is one of my most favorite ways of helping people. After all, if you can’t share your toys on the playground, why bring them in the first place?

You can't do it alone. So don't pretend you can. @SimonSinek Click To Tweet

A few weeks ago, I (along with 52 other entrepreneurs) was able to share a few of my favorite tools with a colleague, Alistair Gill (SEO genius, by the way 😉 ). What I loved about this article was, not only was I able to share my tools of choice, but, others did too, allowing me to learn new ways I could improve my own systems. (See how sharing on the playground can rock?)

It’s a shame, really, that the giving spirit isn’t at the forefront of every day of every year.

Reflecting on my past year, I sat down and thought about a few more insights I could share with you, expanding on the tools I mentioned in Alistair’s article. I mean, why not give a gift that keeps on giving (even if it is simply thoughts and advice, eh?)

As I thought about the resources I love and the software I use, I came to realize that there are actually three things I most need in my business, and they aren’t the ‘standard’ tools one would expect. But, each of them I use daily.

The first is my network of professional partners and colleagues.

This world of solopreneurship can be super lonely… hermit-like, even. Over the past few years, I’ve cultivated a network of people who I lean on and seek council from and share contacts and connections with. People who, at times, I work with on projects and at times, mentor and receive mentorship from.

What I love most about my inner group of professional collaborators is that there is no ego or selfishness in our midst. Each are successful entrepreneurs seeking to simply do great work and each and every one of them is supportive and caring. They are the ones you seek out on the playground because they are having the most fun. They are professional, honest, hard-working individuals and I am so grateful to know each of them.

We achieve more when we chase the dream instead of the competition. @SimonSinek Click To Tweet

The second is a book called ‘Together is Better‘ by Simon Sinek.

It’s a quick, simple read chalked full of the exact vision I have for my ideal business and company culture. Being that the title expressed my exact philosophy, this gem is on my desk and every day, I read a page, randomly, to keep me inspired and focused. I love all of Simon’s books and feel each should be instruction manuals for every working individual on the planet, but, ‘Together is Better‘ is special. It could be because there’s a scented page inside that is infused with optimism or it could be because every page is inspirational. Regardless, it’s become one of my business must-haves, as it daily fills me with hope, inspiration and a drive to work better, every day.

My third must-have tool is… Netflix.

Now, I know what you’re probably thinking… since it’s Netflix, it must have something to do with self-care, right? Time for myself?

Nope.

Netflix is my late-night project partner. When I have to work through a deadline, Netflix is there to help carry me through. I load up episodes of Friends, Gilmore Girls, The Office – whatever the mood requires – and it helps push me to complete my tasks into the wee hours.

Now – of course, this isn’t an everyday occurrence and I certainly enjoy Netflix during my down times as well, but, it is definitely a must-have tool when I am tired and want to quit, but have to follow through. It saves my sanity and feels like I have coworkers in the next cubical named Lorelai, Michael, and Ross.

And there you have it! Three must-haves that make my business flow and thrive and help keep me sane.

What are your must-haves in your business? Do you reflect during this time of year? What are you most grateful for? Share in the comments below!