Happy Monday everyone!
For those of you that are regular InPower readers you probably have read many times how much I enjoy getting emails from Kristen Brown, the owner of The Happy Hour Effect. She is a Work/Life Strategist, Bestselling Author and a strong Public Speaker. She provides an extensive amount of motivation and education on how to do everything from boost your happiness to making effective to do lists. Kristen has just announced she has created a second business, Brandivorous, “It’s a think tank for entrepreneurs and brands to generate fresh ideas and create solid strategies for business growth. If you need that kind of help, head over and give the new Facebook and Twitter pages a little love – and share with any entrepreneurs you know.” …She’s great.
Well, I was lucky enough to get a telephone interview with her! I cannot tell you how grateful I was that she opened some of her valuable time to answer some of my questions. I hope you learn some insight to being proactive of your own health like I did.
What made you decide to start a business?
Well, when I was widowed 7 years ago while having a 10-month old baby and a boss, that I loved, tell me he was leaving, I was stressed out personally and professionally. I realized within the demands & pressures in corporate America I was doing okay, but I wasn’t thriving. I was trying to fit so much in and I with this new life and juggling things with my daughter; it was too much. So, I started journaling which became my first book, The Best Worst Thing. The idea for Happy Hour Effect came afterwards in 2008 and officially launched in Fall 2009.
Advice for those who just started their own business or wanting to?
There are a couple of things I wish I knew in beginning and I suggest:
One, immerse yourself in every type of learning opportunity about business. It requires a lot of work and skill set. Learning how to do it all well is critical. I’ve always liked learning, so I did it naturally, but now looking back, I realized how important it was. Blogging, business, etc. are critical to become differentiated from others. There are many entrepreneurs out there. Read, listen to podcasts, do everything you can to learn about owning a business.
Two, Make sure have right support around you. I didn’t know that there were networking groups for entrepreneurs. So find the people that get what you do and get the lifestyle you’re living to get ideas and bounce ideas off of.
Financing and Budgeting advice for young entrepreneurs?
I, admittedly, am an over spender and so for years I invested in many conferences, ads, etc. These are important, but it is better to set up a schedule to review what money you’ve spent and what kind of impact that money has had on your business. Example: if you bought a book on social media, did you read the book? Look at impact on what you purchased. Are you putting into action what you invested in?
Second one; keep very copious detailed records of everything. I was audited last fall by the IRS, and it took me forever to get it all organized to the IRS. I passed the audit, but it was very time-consuming in 3 weeks. Keep notes and be very organized!
What do you schedule first & prioritize?
The first things that go on my schedule are my big business appointments. I have a big whiteboard and write-on calendar on my wall, those days are “X”-ed out in red so I know not to schedule anything. Also, being a mom, my daughter’s activities go on my schedule as well.
Every day I prioritize things that could hire me; things that could directly bring me income. You should be thinking strategically, ‘If I do this it will get me this.’
Do you have a daily routine?
No, I wouldn’t say I have one. It’s a little different every day. There are things I have to have every day. I love to make a smoothie in the morning, with fruits & the good stuff to fuel me. I like a cup of green tea after my daughter is dropped off at school and as I transition into the work day. Also, if I am tired I will occasionally take a nap. Sleep is important.
What does your work environment look like?
My office usually looks like a tornado has gone through it. It’s like organized chaos. I have a lot of quotes, pictures, my big whiteboard with a to-do list, and a whiteboard event calendar. I have a mix of stuff that keeps me smiling and on task. The office only has stuff I use regularly, and my garage has extra stuff I don’t use. This is so I don’t feel as cluttered in office.
Do you have a mentor?
There are a lot of people I haven’t met, but follow online a lot. I’ve used several business lifestyle coaches throughout the years but I am finding the most benefit with my accountability partner. We say what we will do every week and check in. I‘ve learned so much more when I’ve helped someone else do something. And when I explain to them what I do, it solidifies in my mind what I need to be doing. So, I encourage young entrepreneurs to get mentors and an accountability partner.
Advice for those seeking health and happiness?
The number one thing that people are doing that hurt their health & happiness is cluttering up their life with stuff they don’t want to be doing. Committing to plan a shower, volunteering for an organization, that they don’t want to do actually drains them but they do it because of guilt. We are causing our own drama by saying yes to things that don’t make us happy.
Another thing people can do is get off your phone and focus on things that are happening around you. Phones are not a bad thing, but if you look the way our bodies are changing because of cell phones…the human body will look completely different in 100 years b/c of these. You look at relationship with parents that are on their phones more than interacting with their kids. The kids then think they are less important. OSOMBOX is a cute leather box with a hole in box that you put your phone in when you’re with your family, at happy hour, in a meeting, etc. It’s such a cool, simple thing we can do to occasionally disconnect.
Lastly, what is the goofiest thing you have done in last week?
I have an 8-year-old daughter that is goofy so she makes me goofy. My daughter actually keeps me young and on the pulse what’s happening in the world. Sunday afternoon we went to the park and sat on the spinners. She kept falling off and so did I. It was perfect.
Thanks for all your great tips, Kristen!