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Achieving your goals without excuses

Achieving your goals without excuses

You want to achieve big things, or you wouldn’t be reading this article. Right?

If you’re like most people, me included, you’ve set yourself big goals but something always gets in the way of you achieving them.

When I was in my early 20’s, I started a degree… but I didn’t finish it. Fast forward to my early 30’s, I set countless big goals for myself in my business… but I didn’t ever quite finish them. Something always got in the way and I’d always feel like a little part of me died along with that incomplete goal. It wasn’t until I had a major ah-ha moment that I started completing the goals I set for myself.

I’m going to share that ah-ha moment with you now so that you can start achieving your goals too.

Especially if you’re thinking of doing an online course such as eComm Ignitor, this is the one thing you need to do to get the most out of the investment you’re making in yourself, your business and your success.

Sound good?

Ok let’s go!

Step 1: Write down all your reasons

Firstly, I want you to articulate the reasons why you haven’t achieved what you want to achieve in your business so far.

We all have different reasons – it could be lack of time, money or knowledge or something completely different.

Whatever it is I want you to write down the reasons why you haven’t achieved what you want to achieve so far.

Get real and be totally honest with yourself here.

Step 2: Acknowledge the reasons that hold you back

Now have a look at those reasons and acknowledge that they are real…

And now acknowledge that they are going to be the same excuses that pop up again and again to hold you back.

See, as humans we are really good at staying in our comfort zone. Our ego is here to keep us safe and it does that by keeping us in our comfort zone. So by calling out your excuses before they show up, you will be able to recognize when your ego is trying to keep you playing small, and you will be able to grow past it.

Step 3: Develop a game plan

Not only do I want you to call out your excuses, I also want you to develop a game plan as to how you are going to overcome those excuses right now. If not having enough time because you need to look after the kids is one of the reasons, ask yourself what can you do to give yourself more time?

Can you get up an hour earlier each day to get this done before the rest of the house gets up? What do you need to put in place to make that happen? Do you need to ask your partner for some extra help? Do you need to set an alarm? Do you need to sacrifice some TV time and go to bed earlier?

We have a saying at Unstoppable eComm – you can make money or you can make excuses, but you can’t make both.

Once I learnt to call out my excuses and had a game plan in place to overcome them when they did pop up, I took away their power and now I am able to achieve the goals I set for myself. And it feels amazing!

Written by Megan Winter

Megan is an award-winning marketer and has worked with some of the fastest-growing eCommerce brands in the world.

Megan loves helping ethically-produced, heart-centred, soul-driven online store owners to make more income and achieve more impact. 

5 ways to reduce your environmental impact

5 ways to reduce your environmental impact

Whether you’re a solo eCommerce entrepreneur or have a large team, you need to think about the environmental impact your business is making.

Considering the environment is good for the planet and good for business. Here’s why: 

  • Obviously, the environmental impact
  • You may be legally required to
  • It increases affinity with your customers
  • Customers are increasingly environmentally conscious and will align with brands who are too

5 things you can do to reduce your environmental impact: 

1. Be mindful about the packaging you’re using

It’s estimated that 5.45 million tonnes of packaging was made available to the end-consumer (including business users) in Australia in 2017-18. That’s a lot of packaging! Get stats and tips about eco-friendly packaging here.

Verde Store recycles and reuses all the bubble wrap, plastic wrap, paper wrap and cornstarch pack bubbles & lots of our cardboard boxes that come to us.  They haven’t purchased any of these for over 10 years!

2. Install solar panels at the office or offset your carbon

Look at getting solar panels installed. And if that’s not an option, check if your electricity provider offers a carbon offset program. Most providers offer one. 

3. Use coffee pods / reusable coffee cups 

Coffee. We’re not going to tell you to stop drinking it. We’re no fools! There are plenty of waste-free options to get your caffeine fix. 

Stock up on reusable coffee takeaway cups. Don’t just have one. You’ll forget it and you’ll end up getting a disposable one then you’ll feel bad and we don’t want that! 3 is a good number for me. 1 for the car, 1 for the drawer and 1 for the dishwasher.

If you have a coffee machine in your office, choose reusable coffee pods such as these from Podstar (we love ours!).

Or you could drink plunger coffee.

Also, think about where you source your coffee from. Can you get your beans from a local roaster to reduce packaging and miles travelled? 

And don’t forget to put the grounds in the compost. 

    4. Compost your scraps

    Have a bin in the office and take it home once a week to pop in your home compost. Hot tip: line the bin with newspaper so it doesn’t get all gross. 

    Investigate local compost collection schemes. Search “compost collection near me”.

    Or set up a compost bin in your office garden, if you can. The Composta (pictured below) looks like it’d be perfect for an office balcony or small space.

     

    5. Batch your trips to the post office

    Batching is great for time management, but also fewer trips to the post office mean fewer emissions produced.

    Final word

    Being environmentally friendly is good for the planet and good for business. And every little bit helps.

    Written by Megan Winter

    Megan is an award-winning marketer and has worked with some of the fastest-growing eCommerce brands in the world.

    Megan loves helping ethically-produced, heart-centred, soul-driven online store owners to make more income and achieve more impact. 

    5 time management tips to get the most done

    5 time management tips to get the most done

    One of the biggest challenges people face when doing anything is actually finding the time to do it!

    And here’s the thing. We are never taught how to work efficiently. We are taught how to do our jobs, but we are never taught how to manage our time.

    So in this article I’m going to share with you 5 really important tips that you can implement to manage your time, so it doesn’t manage you.

    Tip 1: If it isn’t scheduled it isn’t real

    When people join eComm Ignitor we get them to really acknowledge that they are participating in a doing program and this will take time. Every program is different. In eComm Ignitor most people find they need 3-5 solid hours a week. But this time doesn’t just appear out of thin air. You need to carve out some time for you to consume the content, take action, participate in the community and take care of you. So we tell people to schedule this time in your calendar – now. Same goes for any project you are taking on.

    Tip 2: Get the support you need

    If you need support from your partner, friends or family to be able to give yourself the gift of time to be able to commit to a project, program or activity you’re doing make sure they know how they can help you and why it’s important for you to have this time. Have this conversation early and be as open and honest as you can be.

    Tip 3: Manage your email – or it will manage you

    I try to think of my inbox like a physical letterbox. I don’t sit there all day waiting for something to be delivered. I check it once a day. I sort through it and throw out the junk and open and action the rest.

    Well, I treat my email inbox the same way. Here are my email rules:

    • Check it once or twice a day.
    • Delete (and unsubscribe) from the junk.
    • Action anything that will take 5 minutes or less.
    • Schedule time into your calendar to action anything that requires more of your time and attention.
    • Turn OFF your email notifications from your phone and desktop.
    • Close your email program after you’ve checked it.

    Tip 4: Treat social media like a serious business tool – because it is

    Just like email, if you don’t manage our social media it will manage you. So allocate a couple of times a day to check your social inboxes and notifications. Turn off all notifications and close the apps when are not in use. We use kill newsfeed, a chrome extension that kills your Facebook newsfeed on your desktop. You can still check your messages and notifications, post status updates, and do everything you could do before. You just won’t get distracting news feed posts.

    Tip 5: Kill all distractions

    Now… in case you haven’t noticed I want you to turn off all pop-ups and notifications. Disruptions are the worst productivity killer of all time. Every time you see a popup or notification or whatever, your brain turns its attention to that and your concentration on the task at hand is broken.

    Final word

    So just to recap the 5 tips to manage your time so it doesn’t manage you:

    1. Schedule your time
    2. Get the support you need
    3. Manage your email or it will manage you
    4. Treat social media like a serious business tool
    5. Turn off all notifications and distractions

    Remember… you only get out what you put in.

    Written by Megan Winter

    Megan is an award-winning marketer and has worked with some of the fastest-growing eCommerce brands in the world.

    Megan loves helping ethically-produced, heart-centred, soul-driven online store owners to make more income and achieve more impact. 

    Tools to successfully run your business from anywhere

    Tools to successfully run your business from anywhere

    Xero recently published a report on how businesses will operate in the ‘brave new world beyond lockdown’, Rebuilding Australia; The role of small business

    As part of the report, Xero featured us – Unstoppable eCommerce founders, Karyn & Megan – and how we work together 2,500km apart. The aim of the feature was to give those in lockdown a glimpse into what successfully working from home looks like. 

    Although some of us are out of lockdown (hooray!) the tools and tech we use can be implemented into your business so you can run your business successfully from anywhere. 

    Curious to know what tech and tools we use and recommend? Read on to find out…

    Tools to make running your online store easy:

    Shopify

    We recommend Shopify as the platform to set up your online store because it’s eCommerce centric, user friendly, integrates with marketing platforms and will scale with you.

    Klayvio

    For email marketing for your online store, we recommend Klayvio.

    Xero

    Xero is an easy-to-use accounting software that allows you to sync with third-party apps for inventory, point of sale and more. It allows you, and your accountant, to check cash flow and the health of your business – from anywhere.

    Profit First for eCommerce

    We also highly recommend the Profit First system of bookkeeping. You can buy the book here.

     

    Keeping our business running:

    Google G Suite

    We use Google G Suite for our document, email and calendar management. This allows us to have multiple people working on the same document simultaneously and the changes are reflected in real-time.

    Zoom

    We use Zoom for our Monday check-in and Friday check-out, as well as for any midweek catch ups we may need. We also run our student coaching calls and client meetings on Zoom.

    Facebook Messenger

    For day-to-day chat we use Facebook Messenger. We use this for what would normally be office banter. We keep important and actionable information to email.

    Email

    Emails are the death of productivity. We hardly use cc at all and we try to be direct, short and sweet in emails. For example, I am responsible for our client management, so I am their port of call. There is no point in cc’ing Karyn in on all the back and forth I have with them. If something needs her attention or action I will email her directly. I only check my emails once or twice a day and I feel no obligation to respond immediately to an email.

    We use prefixes in our subject lines too. Currently, our most used are Action Required and Response Required, and occasionally I’ll use Important & Urgent This just helps to filter to what’s important and kind of acts like a triage system.

    Asana

    We use Asana for our task management tool… lightly. It has way more capabilities than what we use, but we do use it.

    Facebook Groups

    We use Facebook Groups for our student support and we also have a private free Facebook Group we use to share our knowledge to help online store owners grow. Feel free to join.

    Xero

    We use Xero to send invoices and manage our bookkeeping, payroll and accounting. We do all our bookkeeping inhouse and have an external accountant. Xero makes it super simple and easy to do.

    Thrive, Samcart & Stripe

    We use these tools to automate and collect payments for our student enrolments and payment plans. Honestly, Karyn takes care of this so if you want more info, ask her. Haha.

    Active Campaign

    We use this as our Client Relationship Management and communication tool. We have some epic segmentation and flows set up thanks to Karyn. The backend is complex, but the front end is super smooth and it makes sure the right people get the right emails. I use this to send our broadcasts… or bunches of flowers, as we refer to them.

    WordPress

    Although we recommend Shopify for eCommerce websites, we use WordPress with the AccessAlly plugin to host our training. This allows our students to have a super-sexy learning experience when accessing our training.

    Final word

    If you have any questions around the tools and tech we use and recommend for running a successful online store from home please comment and let us know.

    Written by Megan Winter

    Megan is an award-winning marketer and has worked with some of the fastest-growing eCommerce brands in the world.

    Megan loves helping ethically-produced, heart-centred, soul-driven online store owners to make more income and achieve more impact. 

    Simple Wisdom from Decjuba’s Owner & CEO, Tania Austin

    Simple Wisdom from Decjuba’s Owner & CEO, Tania Austin

    I recently had the privilege of sitting down with Tania Austin, Owner and CEO of Decjuba at a fireside chat hosted by Emma Isaacs as part of the Business Chicks Business Club.

    Tania is a truly remarkable woman and I loved spending time with her. I got so much out of our chat and I’m sure you will too.  

    A little more about Tania… after exiting the Cotton On Group as co-owner, Tania purchased Decjuba in 2008. At the time she was a single mum with three kids under the age of six. In the 12 years since Tania bought the business, she’s grown it from 5 stores to 140 stores and created two new brands under the Decjuba banner – D-LUXE Basics and DECJUBA Kids. Tania is also a committed philanthropist and under her leadership, Decjuba has raised more than $1.5 million for The Hunger Project. 

    One overarching theme of the conversation with Tania’s was simplicity. There is such a beautiful elegance in keeping things simple so let me get straight into sharing the who, what, when, where, why and how of Tania’s simple wisdom.

    Why does the business exist…

    When Tania was asked about how she transformed the Decjuba brand she explained that when she exited Cotton On she felt the need to prove herself and she felt that her next move needed to reflect this. But she quickly (thankfully) realised that she really didn’t need to prove anything to anyone and she based her decisions around what she wanted and what makes her happy.

    She didn’t care what people thought and just did what she loved and wanted. And the irony is that she “proved herself” by not needing to prove herself.

    I think this is such a good lesson in simplifying the reason why we are doing things.

    We can all take a moment to get really clear on why our businesses exist.

    What is your brand promise…

    A brand is a promise. When you put a brand out there you are promising something to your customers.

    Decjuba’s vision is to deliver amazing at every touchpoint.

    It’s that simple.

    And she reminded us that simple is best and perfection is unattainable. When you have a really clear, simple vision, delivering on the brand promise becomes much more doable.

    And I love the concept of striving for progress rather than perfection. Perfection is impossible and a really sneaky way of keeping us stuck and small.

    How you operate your business… 

    A lot of businesses over complicate things. 

    I think the reason that we business owners tend to complicate things is to prove that we are smart and talented and capable, however, there is such a beautiful elegance in simplicity. Something I think we need to remind ourselves of often. 

    She did joke and say that if her logistics team heard her say how “simple” things are they’d die. And I think this is such a beautiful reminder that the vision coming from the company’s leadership has to be simple. As does the user-experience. However, the execution can have a lot of moving parts, of course. But even this should be kept as simple as possible.

    Who else is in your space…

    I’ve always been baffled by huge competitor analysis reports. I’ve stayed in my lane and run my own race. 

    Tania absolutely confirmed this and said that every minute we spend thinking about what our competitors are doing, it’s a minute less your focus on our own business and delivering your own brand promise. 

    Once you have a clear brand vision, run at it as hard and fast as you can. If you’re worried about what others are doing then you’re not focusing on yourself.

    When to let go…

    When you bring out a new product your customers will tell you if they love it or now. 

    Tania tells her team that you can love your product so hard, and you can justify its existence until the cows come home, but at the end of the day your customer will tell you what they love. And they’ll do this with their dollar by what they buy. If your customers don’t love something, let it go.

    Where your products are displayed…

    We constantly tell our students to keep their website needs to be simple so their products can shine. When you walk into a Decjuba store, or visit their website, you are always greeted with a clean, simple and functional layout. Yes to this! 

    Final word…

    I kinda feel like this blog is like a photo of the sunset… you can never really appreciate the truly wonderful nature of it unless you were there. But hopefully, you’ve got a little taste of Tania’s wisdom from my words. If you have any questions about my chat with Tania please comment and let me know. Thank you to Business Chicks Business Club for organising this chat. 

    Written by Megan Winter

    Megan is an award-winning marketer and has worked with some of the fastest-growing eCommerce brands in the world.

    Megan loves helping ethically-produced, heart-centred, soul-driven online store owners to make more income and achieve more impact.