Renee, Chief Redhead & Blogger

I write about blogging with WordPress & everything that goes with that. If you hang out here for any length of time you'll discover my passion for testing out new apps & techniques. I've been working online for 9 years providing services to small business owners. Now I share tools, tips & resources to help you create a blog & business that fits your dreams.

A Few of the Books I Read in 2016

I had so much fun writing last week’s post about a few of the things I found and loved this year, I thought I would be just as much fun to share some of the books I’ve read and found made an impact on me in 2016. A little story before I share my book choices from 2016 Before I dive into the books I wanted to share about my reading process.  Seems a little off the cuff to share about my reading process but I thought it worth a share.  By default, I prefer to read the actual physical copy of a book but that’s not always practical since I’d very quickly run out of space in my place and I’m trying to keep things lean in terms of stuff. Also, as much as I love the library, I really do love owning the book I’m reading.  So while I will check out books on occasion from the library to check it out and see if it’s something I should by, I tend either purchase them or download an electronic version. For quite awhile I was reading books on my phone, I had one of the first versions of the Samsung Note and it worked well enough.  I then got a Samsung tablet and thought that would be what I would use to read books, but it wasn’t until I purchased a Kindle again that my reading really ramped …

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Staying Small. It’s not what you think.

The title might have you thinking I’m going to be talking about how staying small can hinder growth, when in fact it’s just the opposite. For months, dare I say years, I’ve been thinking something hasn’t been quite right with my business and where I wanted to go next. You see earlier this year I completed a program (I got a certificate & everything) but the business model they encouraged in that program was to go bigger.  Charge big rates, work with corporations or the types of businesses that will pay those rates.  I was excited (initially) thinking about all of the dollar signs and how much I was going to be able to hand over to my team as I grew and then…. My heart sank and a heavy feeling washed over me It all just felt wrong.  Not at all what I wanted. Now don’t get me wrong, that program was worth it’s weight in gold for two reasons.  I experienced exactly how to deliver a product or service with class, this program excelled beyond any of my expectations and I learned what wasn’t right for me. Using this spreadsheet, I really got clear on how I can create a business that I’m still in love with, doing the things I truly enjoy and be profitable all without breaking my neck or giving up on my purpose or ideals. There’s still work to be done, but I’m staying small …

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My Favorite (Biz) Things 2016

Last year I wrote a post about a few of my favorite things and I had so much fun sharing what I loved that I wanted to do it again this year.  The 2016 list though is going to be a bit more extensive.  You see the last few weeks I’ve been making notes of all the things I love using in my business. Now some of them, I’ve stopped using but that’s usually because I’ve outgrown the purpose of the product or service, not because I don’t like it.  Some of these products will be affiliate links, so that simply means I’ll get a bit of bonus from the company for referring you if you decide to purchase.  I’ll also indicate which items are free to use and which may have a fee or price attached to them. Ready? Let’s get to it! Planners I have a confession to make.  I love technology, I love trying new products and new services to see how they can work for me, or how it might benefit my clients. Yet, I absolutely love paper!  It’s my prefered way to track my tasks and projects and because I work mostly on my own, using a paper planner works wonders for me.  Here’s a few of my favorites. Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map Planner If you don’t know Danielle Laporte, you’ll want to check her out.  For a few years now she’s been offering the …

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What I’m loving right now…

Looks like we’re swinging right into the holiday season and the in America the malls will be jam packed with folks hoping to get that great deal for a Christmas present.  Now while I’m not a fan of the crazy shennaigans that happen in the malls across America I do like to save as much as the next guy.  So rather than hit the malls and if you’re not in the US, you’ll still have a chance to save. I thought I’d share about the few things that I’m loving in my business right now and some of them will even have a limited time coupon for a chance to save! Yahoo! So if you see something on this list that you need in your business right now, then I’d love if it you used my links and save.  Do purchase something though just because you think it “might” be a good thing.  I’d much rather you save your money and use it on something you really need, k? Here’s a few of my favorite things… Headway Themes This is my GOTO theme and really it so much more than a theme, it gives you flexibility to create a custom look to each page or blog post if you wanted to really go crazy. I use it in all of my development projects with clients, and I also use it for my own site.  You can learn more about Headway …

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Using WordPress To Grow A Successful Business

Do you know much about WordPress? Maybe you have heard of WordPress, maybe you haven’t. You may be forgiven for thinking that WordPress is mostly a “technical” software application that mostly excites code-programming techies and geeks such as website developers and website designers. I understand why you may feel this way. Maybe you believe that, as a small business owner, your focus should be on your business and not on technical things like websites. That’s why businesses hire web developers, website designers and web masters to build and manage their sites, isn’t it? In the Digital Economy, business owners can no longer think in terms of “looking after a business” and “owning a website” as being two separate things. A digital presence is now an integral part of your business whether you care to admit this or not, and managing your business online, is just as important as managing your business offline. Consider the following: Don’t Ignore Competition No matter what business you are in, you have global competition for new customers even at the local business level. You may not be targeting customers in your local area online, but your competitors most certainly are. You need a web presence that allows you to remain competitive in today’s digital economy. Can You Get By With Only A “Static” Website? Businesses can’t afford not to have a digital presence. Your web presence needs to be “dynamic” not static. You have to …

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I’m so busy and other lame excuses

I’m so busy and other lame excuses I was going to write this just to my awesome email posse, but it’s really a bigger issue that needs to be shared with everyone. It’s something I’ve been seeing too much of lately (myself included). What’s your excuse? Admit it, we have all used an excuse to get out of doing something. Whether it be helping out with something at work, or in our personal lives. We say we’re too busy, or I have a sick kid at home. I don’t have time, I just can’t do it. I don’t know how…. All excuses I hear it from my clients, especially new clients that come to me because they’re stuck. The “don’t” know how to do something, they’ve given up because they can’t figure it out. If I could get a buck for every time I’ve heard from new and potential clients… My website has been the same since 2008 because I “don’t have the time” to figure out something new. Truth time… It’s not important enough. (Ouch!) If it was you wouldn’t have an excuse, you’d just get it done.

Truth Time: What to do when it doesn’t feel right.

As a solopreneur, it sometimes can be hard to keep things moving and trust that what you are doing is the right thing for you and your business. Some folks will say that it’s resistance you’re feeling, keep moving forward just push through. Just push through…… Nope, it’s not resistance I’m feeling. It’s what I now realize is that I’m not sticking to what’s right for me.  Keep reading to learn what’s been happening and where things are going… Here’s the thing, it’s not that things are bad, far from it. I so MANY  ideas for great content, challenges, giveaways and so much more flowing like crazy, but the ONE big thing that’s been sitting there for a long time, I’d say about 18 months or so is the idea of that “Signature” Product.  You know that one program that trumps them all, it’s the one you drive traffic to and all roads lead to this fabulous product. Well, this idea keeps calling my name but in truth it’s just not sitting right because…and here’s the kicker…. I KNOW deep inside that the idea of one of THOSE signature programs that cost an arm and a leg, are only offered once year maybe twice a year is WHAT I SHOULD be doing. Bleh – it just doesn’t sit right with me. You see I want to HELP you, help you with your technical tidbits and get your small business working …

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Trello Productivity Hack: How I’m using Trello to Keep Me on Track in 2015

Wow! We’re half way through the first month of 2015, doesn’t matter what you’re doing time is just going to fly so since it’s going to do that might as well make the best of this. Yesterday, I created this video about how I’m using Trello to keep me on track in 2015.  I’m using Trello in the traditional way, to manage my projects and tasks, but I’m also stretching it a bit and using it in a way – I think – that might help a few of you.   The video is about 23 minutes long, so kick back take a break and enjoy.  Oh and let me know what you think in the comments, k? Want to try trello? Join the Awesome Business Community: Check out the 30 Day Build Your List Challenge: Bullet Journal:

How the Bullet Journal cured Idea Overload Syndrome

Last week I shared with members of my list that I suffer from Idea Overload Syndrome or as I like to call it IOS and I promised I’d share a few ideas on how I handle IOS. Let’s dive in! I’m an entrepreneur, and there’s never a shortage of ideas, projects or new software I’d love to try out in my business, but for all of those ideas I don’t have the time to get it all done.  sure I could outsource and manage many of the ideas, but it’s not how I want to spend my time either. So how do I handle IOS?  I have a six step process to help me get in control of the IOS, I’ll share the first three today and then later this week I’ll save the rest. If you are suffering from IOS, your first step is to recognize it for what it is, a lot of great ideas that need an opportunity to flourish.  Now some of these great ideas, will just sit and percolate but that’s as far as they go and that’s okay. Others will sit there, drawing you in wanting you to do something fabulous with them and that’s okay too, but you need a way to harness them in and manage them. Here’s what I do…. Create a catch-all: The way to a clear and focused mind that wants to spend it’s time on doing great things …

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9 Free Tools & Software to Streamline Your Business

People love quoting that nothing in life is free, but when it comes to awesome software and tools that you can put into use for your business right now, nothing could be further from the truth. There is great free software and tools available that can help you run your entire business. Open Office This is a fully-fledged open source office suite with all the functionality and bells and whistles you’re used to having with MS Office. It has word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, 3D illustrator, database, and a mathematical equation editor. It’s everything you need in an office productivity suite. Check out Open Office Operating Systems You can use a free operating system to get your computer up and going too. One of the best is Ubuntu Linux. It’s easy to install and use. You can find tons of free software and tools to install on it that works better on it too. It’s very similar to Apple’s operating system. If you don’t want to spend big bucks to upgrade to Windows 8, and you don’t want to buy a Mac, consider having a computer built with Linux. They get fewer viruses too. Ubuntu Linux Microsoft Security Essentials If you still use a Microsoft operating system then you want to start using their own Microsoft Security Essentials virus software. It works very well keeping the computer safe and working well without viruses, malware or worms. If you’re currently paying for …

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