Angela Proffitt Brian Worley

Business Tips

09 Feb
2022

Stop Doing This If You Don’t Want To Be Hacked

Do you use the same password for everything? Owning a small business means owning data. You’re constantly acquiring new information related to your clients, your financial details, and all the vendors with whom you work. One lucky hack, and you’ve just exposed your business to a hacker. I don’t know how I would sleep at night; losing the trust from my clients. So protecting your company from data theft should be a top priority and it’s the responsible thing to do. It comes down to one simple choice you make: passwords.

Are you guilty of using the same password for everything?

“It took not once, not twice, but three times before I realized how dumb I was for using the same password for just about everything. The third time, my entire identity was stolen. Now that only took once. How stupid could I be? After spending thousands of dollars to get my life and business back on track, I still don’t think my credit is 100% fixed. It was a MESS.” I get it, passwords are hard to remember, however, it’s SO easy to use an app that will encrypt your passwords for you. If you want to avoid weak passwords start by steering clear of the following list. Read on for passwords you should NEVER ever use. So take a little time to be proactive in securing your future.

Password

Arguably, this is the number-one and most common bad choice. Also prevalent are variations such as P@ssword and P@55w0rd!. These might be easy to remember, but they’re also among the first options hackers will try.

Repetitive keystrokes

Easy-to-guess passwords often take root because they’re simple to remember. That’s the story with this hacker-friendly option constructed from the sequence of letters at the top left of the typical computer keyboard.

Numbers

Really, using 12345 Or, 98765. Or, 4567. You get the picture— stay away from using consecutive numbers (and the same goes for sequential letter combinations). You can only count on passwords such as these to expose your business to digital theft.

Business Name

If your business is called GSD Creative, don’t set your password to be GSDcreative1. That would be an early choice for hackers looking to break into your valuable data.

Addresses

Skip it entirely, when it comes to passwords. Also avoid trying to mash together similar details, such as your street name and street number.

Date of Birth

Thanks to the Internet, it doesn’t take much effort to find a person’s DOB. Birthdays, years of birth— all of them make for readily attainable passwords and are poor choices for your company.

Simple Words

Especially if they’re related to your business, don’t use them. No flowers, drapery, lighting, photos, videos, you get the picture.

So, with all that to say, what should you do when it comes to picking a password? Use a safe encryption app service that keep your passwords safe and encrypted. Or you can have a strategy that you can remember for each website, however, the safest way is to rely on the APP to take care of this for you.

Next Steps: Give 1Password a try. It’s what we personally use in house and we have been loving it for many years!

02 Feb
2022

Overcoming Disorganization and Distraction

As a business leader, you know that running a business is a challenge. One of the things you must face is the chaos that results from your own disorganization and distraction. It’s hard, but you can do it. How do I know this? Because I’ve actually done it from the ground up for two decades.

Based on my own experiences, here are some things you can do to manage your chaos:

You must realize that you cannot do this alone. You must grow a team. Doing it all by yourself can be overwhelming and chaotic. Find the right people by using a psychology tool like a personality test to prequalify and understand people before you hire. You can also start an intern program. Whatever you do, do not hire your friends!

You should also consider putting processes into place that are paperless. This will increase your ability to stay organized. Organize your ideas by getting them out of your head and into the cloud quickly. Create an internal process and communication plan for your team. Consider an external process that you and your team can use with your clients. Make a process and stick to it, learn from it, and make it better.

Productivity tools can help you create processes that are worth investing in. Start small and smart by finding the right productivity tools to keep your team accountable, establish deadlines, and effectively communicate. If you don’t know what tools are right for you, hire a consultant or find a mentor with experience.

Perhaps the most important thing to keep track of is your profit. You must understand your numbers. Understand your overhead, how much you need to run your business, how much you need to live, and how much you need to save. Evaluate this annually as you grow.

Finally, stay focused on your vision, not only your vision for your company, but also your vision for yourself as a leader. If a new shiny object comes along, but it doesn’t align with your vision, then the answer is no. Create boundaries: you do not need to say yes to everything and everyone. Overall, lead with passion. The money will follow.

26 Jan
2022

How To Be More Productive In Your Business Now

I know this is not a sexy or FUN topic to address.  It is something that can improve your life if you actually set a few small goals. 

Let me ask you something; do you have a smartphone, like an iPhone? And I am sure you even take it to the bathroom with you; am I right? Well if that is the case, then ask yourself are you really being as productive as you could be? Most small business owners agree – there just isn’t enough time to get it all done.  

One thing we all have in common in the world is we all get 24 hours in a day and 365 days in a year. While I can’t give you more hours in a day, I can give you tips to make the hours you do have more productive and get more shit done:

Schedule Everything, Even Sleep

Always work from a schedule so you know exactly what you should be doing and when. This way you don’t waste precious time wondering what to do next, or get distracted wondering if you should be doing something else. It will also show you how you are spending your time, with clients, with family, etc. And will help you evaluate is this how you want to be spending your time?

Automate To Save Time on Repetitive Tasks

Some necessary tasks in life must get done regularly, though they don’t improve productivity, they just have to get done. Use a planning tool to schedule these activities far into the future is so helpful. I am not talking about writing them down in a day planner (what if it were stolen!). This cuts down completion time for these non-productive tasks, giving you “extra” time to work on activities that could help you produce more. I use so many softwares to automate these days. One thing that can’t be automated though, is you and how you value your time.

Skip Unnecessary Activities to Simplify Your Life

Stop spending time on tasks and activities that impede your efficiency and effectiveness. In the events industry, there is a networking meeting every single night it seems like. If I wanted to eat and drink for free 7 nights a week, I probably could. It’s not about that. It’s about the value that you are providing and what you are getting out out of these networking meetings. 

Delegate Some Tasks To Focus on Those YOU Must Do

Make a list of things you have to do, things you like to do, and what you don’t want to do or you are not good at it and outsource those tasks. I promise you there is someone out there that loves doing the things you hate doing. Some activities can’t be automated or skipped, but they could get completed by someone else. Delegate them to a team member (or at home, another family member). This gives you time to focus on productive tasks only you can do. We use Wunderlist (it’s a FREE app that you can share with team members)

Batch Tasks to Boost Efficiency

If you have a busy family and a business, try batching to boost productivity. Statistics and reports show that completing similar tasks in “batches” improves productivity. You’re more efficient when focusing on just one repeated task for a few hours, rather than dealing with multiple distracting activities and ideas. I know, I know, I don’t feel productive until I am doing 19 things at once, but after forcing myself to focus, I achieve SO much more!

Scale Up Activities to Save Time Through Replication

Scalability refers to carrying out a task once, then replicating as much of it as possible for future repeated use. Scaling up activities may improve the productivity of administrative responsibilities, production operations, and even the services provided to your customers. Sharing templates with event clients is my favorite example; by sharing dropbox and google drive we reduced our emails around 300 per day!

Use Apps Across Devices to Keep Organized

Apps provide more than using your phone for fun and music. You won’t find much of that on my phone; rather apps that actually help improve efficiency and productivity in my personal and professional life. My only caution is to ensure that your phone, computer and iPad are syncing correctly; if not, you could lose everything. 

Want to know more about How to Be a More Productive Small Business Owner? Visit TheGSDacademy.com

19 Jan
2022

Watch Out For Energy Vampires

Sometimes the most overwhelming part of running a business has nothing to do with your actual work. Rather, it’s all the distractions throughout the day that hook your attention, making it difficult to be productive and GSD (I call that Get Shit Done!)

The biggest threats to your productivity won’t surprise you. You know they’re there, yet you may find them hard to avoid. The first step toward regaining control of your time and being more productive is to recognize these productivity vampires so you can meet them head on.

Email

Block time on your schedule to check email and for heavens sake turn those notifications OFF! How many different email accounts do you manage? In addition to your business account and personal email address, you may also manage a customer service inbox, supplier inbox, or other accounts. Pull all of these email addresses into one area; for example if you are an Apple use, use MacMail to have all addresses coming to one area. Stop responding to emails right when they come in.  Unless you are outsourcing this to a customer service rep and that is their job.  This gets you into email jail and consumes your work day. 

Social Media

Similar to email, social media can limit productivity because you likely have several business accounts to manage and inquiries to respond to, not to mention keeping up with your personal feeds. Tools like Hootsuite can help you synchronize content across different platforms from a business perspective.  Again, block the time on your calendar and turn the notifications OFF!

Delegate Tasks

The final productivity vampire to watch out for is all of the administrative “housekeeping” you think YOU need to do for your business. This includes basically anything that does not directly drive revenue or help you build your business.

In many cases, this kind of work can be easily delegated to another team member or outsourced. You might not want to let go of some of these tasks because you fear losing control or think you can do them better than anyone else, but letting others take on some of your tasks will give you more time to focus on the things that matter most to you... and your business.

12 Jan
2022

The Types of People to Surround Yourself With

Success doesn’t occur on its own. In reality, there are a number of factors that lead to the success of an individual or a business. Hard work and drive are always necessary for  success, but your personal improvement leading up to your success can be greatly driven by other people.

The people we choose to surround ourselves with impacts the way we think, act and feel on a day-to-day basis. For example a young gymnast is going to succeed if they surround themselves with people who push them to become better, not people who distract them from their potential.

We are responsible for ourselves. Surrounding yourself with the right type of people can help success come more naturally to you than being around those who might hold you back. Here are some people you should keep close throughout your pursuits.

Relentless workers

You probably know somebody who is a relentless worker, or perhaps you are one yourself. These types of workers push us to work harder each and every day. While measuring personal success against the success of another is like comparing apples and oranges, we can measure our drive with the drive of other relentless workers. True passion and commitment will breed a success.

Positive attitudes

People tend to be better at what they’re doing if they’re happy. Negative attitudes can drag down work ethic and they don’t offer any inspiration for success or innovation. Surrounding yourself with negative people can bog down your creativity and drive and it could ultimately be the downfall of your successes. People with positive attitudes can actually have the opposite effect, facilitating your leap towards success more effectively.

People who ask questions

Albert Einstein once said “the important thing is to not stop questioning.” We should constantly be asking questions about ourselves and our goals. However, no single person will think of every important question. People who ask questions may provide a different angle on an issue or an idea, and these questions could ultimately lead to an important breakthrough. Perspective is everything.

Dreamers

It is important to understand that setting goals and working hard will help with achieve what many consider to be unachievable. To keep this drive going, we should always be surrounding ourselves with people who have similar goals in mind. The important thing is that you keep close people with big plans for themselves. Seeing other people’s drive will keep you hungry to reach your goals.

You are a product of who you spend your time with. Make sure that you are directly involved with people who lift you, inspire you, and motivate you to do and be more. As you grow, this might mean changing friends and colleagues, and that’s part of life. Just trust that hard work, positivity, and keeping your sights high are things you can’t risk deviating from if you want the life you dream of.

23 Nov
2021

Psychology of Brand Colors

If you are getting ready to start a new business venture, or getting ready to give your brand a face lift. One of the most important things to consider, is how you want your brand colors to make your perfect client feel. The psychology behind your brand colors says a lot about who you want to attract. 

16 Nov
2021

Psychology of Brand Colors: Green

If you are getting ready to start a new business venture, or getting ready to give your brand a face lift. One of the most important things to consider, is how you want your brand colors to make your perfect client feel. The psychology behind your brand colors says a lot about who you want to attract. 

Given that I went to school for psychology and worked in mental health, it's an understatement to say that I geek out about this stuff. So rather than making choices blindly, let's add some rhyme and reason to your decision.

The choices of colors in your company logo, website design, and marketing materials can have an impact on the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. With my background in psychology, we structure everything around this.

Here is the psychology behind how colors affect people’s perception of your brand below:

Green: When you think of green, what do you think of? For me, John Deere, Starbucks, Whole Foods, Spotify, Sprite, Fiverr, BP, and WhatsApp. Below are a few words that describe how these brands want you to feel when you are interacting with their brand. 

  • Health
  • Loyalty
  • Nature
  • Prosperity
  • Harmony
  • Luck
  • Safety

I first think of John Deere which was a major brand where I grew up in the country, and if you had a John Deere tractor you have made it!!! Now BP was a big deal when I was growing up too, because all the kids got a BP gas card. I don't know if that's the way for my parents to be generous or they just want to keep track of us. I'll never forget the day I put premium gas in my car by accident and I never heard the end of it!! Growing up we did not have all of the other brands, but I heavily on them today as a business owner. Starbucks helped me start my business by meeting clients there before I got a real office. And although I don't drink coffee, everyone seems to love it. Whole Foods has introduced a whole new way of healthy eating habits. Spotify streams our podcast: Business Unveiled. I've met a lot of amazing people around the world using Fiverr to help service our clients, and WhatsApp is a game changer for communication worldwide. Now Sprite was around when I was growing up but my mother never bought soda unless we were really sick, which came along with Campbell soup with Saltine crackers and a thermometer. So how do you think today as an adult I identify with Sprite? You guessed it, when I feel like shit! And for some reason, McDonalds has the best Sprite too. 

Visit here again next week for the full blog of my Psychology of Colors Series.

10 Nov
2021

How To Be More Productive

Imagine if you were productive and the impact you can have on someone. Not just your business, but the impact you can have on someone's life.  It’s powerful. 

Once you put processes in place it really is incredible what will start to happen around you. People start to respect you. Your time.  And your process as a leader.  People will find you and people come to you instead of you having to chase them. People ask for you. That is the power of putting a process in place which results in being more productive.

One of my favorite stories to share is also one of the saddest. Back in 2010 my hometown flooded in Nashville, TN. I will never forget it. It was like God put me in a nightmare. We had eight displaced weddings and events all downtown where the water gushed through the streets and towered over the buildings. Many of our vendors lost everything. I mean everything! Cars, filing cabinets, client books, furniture; it all rapidly floated away. The worst part. They did not have flood insurance. Many filed bankruptcy and had to rebuild. This time they knew they needed to have a paperless process. One where all of their client files were backed up in the cloud. Something I had been preaching for years. Yet it took a tragedy to happen before acting on a change. 

Don’t be that person. That person that says, “oh that will never happen to me.”  Because you'll never know. 

I had seen first hand working in healthcare how powerful EMR was (electronic medical records) and how quickly files could be transferred over the cloud. 

If you are saying to yourself...

I can’t take on this client

Not one more thing on my plate

Am I ever going to get to bed

Gosh, I am stressed

I don’t have enough time to get it all done

The struggle is real for entrepreneurs.

Let’s recap.  The first P is People.  The second P is Processes; internal and external. You need paperless processes to grow your business.  

The first process to consider is time blocking and using colors to see how your calendar looks each week. The color coding can provide an overview snapshot for you. I had every excuse in the book as to why this would not work for me. But shifting your mindset and commitment to your business and well being will be life changing.

The second process to consider is to your email.  Do you ever feel like you are in email jail? That is what I used to call it because I would spend hours entertaining non sense. There were two FREE tools we implemented in the business that decreased our email by 300+ a day.  Do you know how much flipping time that saved!!

In my next article, I will share with you some of my tools that I mentioned above.  Just know that there are so many ways to automate and so many options on the market, especially now. 

Remember, Money follows Processes. And if you do this right, follow the processes. You will be able to get clear on being  present in your everyday life. 

09 Nov
2021

Psychology of Brand Colors: Yellow

If you are getting ready to start a new business venture, or getting ready to give your brand a face lift. One of the most important things to consider, is how you want your brand colors to make your perfect client feel. The psychology behind your brand colors says a lot about who you want to attract.

Given that I went to school for psychology and worked in mental health, it's an understatement to say that I geek out about this stuff. So rather than making choices blindly, let's add some rhyme and reason to your decision.

The choices of colors in your company logo, website design, and marketing materials can have an impact on the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. With my background in psychology, we structure everything around this.

Here is the psychology behind how colors affect people’s perception of your brand below:

Yellow: When you think of yellow, what do you think of? For me, I think of McDonalds, UPS, IMDb, Subway, Denny's, Bumble, Snapchat, and Cheetos. Below are a few words that describe how these brands want you to feel when you are interacting with their brand.

03 Nov
2021

The #1 Reason Businesses Fail

The number one reason businesses fail is because the leader does not have the right people in place. There is so much noise and hustling that it seems too difficult so you never take action to create the lifestyle you want. You opened your business to be able to make money and have control of your time and life, right. If you are reading this article, you know that means that you want to get control of your time and be more productive. And the reason you haven’t started yet, is because you don’t know where to start.

Angela here, I want to share a story with you...

One year I worked with over 250 clients and didn’t make a profit. Yep, not one penny. Talk about hurtful. The day I sat in my accountants office and he told me how many clients I had simple worked for for free I was speechless. Over the next two years I tracked my time and really cracked down on pre qualifying clients and only saying yes to the right clients. In a two year timeframe we worked our clients down to 30 full service clients.  And the outcome was incredible.  We were finally profitable and by providing full service, our clients had a better experience and outcome. 

One of my favorite business leaders, Tim Ferris said it best, “focus on being productive NOT busy.”

So let’s talk about my favorite Ps:

The first P is People and learning their personalities. Understanding how to communicate the message the way people need to hear it is the key to success. Most people don’t spend the time to find the right people to surround themselves with.  Most people hire people they like instead of based on psychology. Well you have massive blind spots when you do that. And most businesses will fail or struggle long term without all the personalities in place. Until you get clear on your blind spots and the people you need, then you won’t be able to really run a business.

To grow, you must take time working on the business rather than in the business.

I want you to ask yourself these two things:

Do you have the right people around you?
Is there a communication plan in place to deliver the messages the way they need to hear it?

Stay tuned! In my next article I will talk more about the essential P.