3 Tips To Calm Your Monkey Mind

3 Tips To Calm Your Monkey Mind

Let’s talk about how to calm your MONKEY MIND!

You know what I mean, right? It’s like when your thoughts are swirling around so fast that you don’t know whether you’re coming or going. You forget things, you make mistakes, you are short-tempered with your family and/or co-workers, you lay in bed at night and the monkey decides to become even more active… yeah, you know what I’m talking about.

Sometimes you feel like this crazy monkey won’t every shut up! I feel you. My mind can get the best of me sometimes, too, and I have learned, over time, that I have to practice quieting myself down. You are the one in control… not the monkey!

via GIPHY

HAHAHA – I love GIFS and this one cracks me up!

Back to taming this monkey mind… 

With my goal of creating an epic 2020, one of the changes I have made is I am committing to my daily practices that are going to facilitate and attract this epic year . 

Practices, some say rituals, are “things” you do each day that will inevitably create change in your life, then become a habit. Habits are just things you have done so many times that you don’t even have to think about them anymore. When you first start to change a practice or habit, it’s going to be tough because you are so used to doing things a certain way. Your subconscious mind is where those habits are stored… and the feelings & emotions connected to those habits, so it’s imperative that you continue to practice what you want to change.

So what are my habits? My practices? Here are three big ones!

Calming the Monkey Mind

Meditation

Even if it’s only for 5 minutes. Sit quietly and focus on something that is of no real resistance… like your breath, a fan, an analog clock (if you still have one of those on your wall! ?), or you can count. The idea isn’t to banish all thoughts, it’s to appreciate the quiet and not give attention to the thoughts that come. Acknowledge them and bring your focus back to one of the things above. I like to focus on my breath and count 5 in and 5 out.

Journaling

is something that I have relied on many times throughout my spiritual growth and personal journey over the past few years. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time, but if you can sit for a few minutes in the morning and get stuff out of your head, it will help. Trust me on this one. ?Write whatever comes to mind. Be positive and allow yourself to enjoy the space of writing without judgement. If all you do is complain when you are writing, you are working against how this is going to help you. This free guide below will certainly help you if you’re wondering how to even start journaling. 

Free gift alert: Download a free guide to getting started on journaling. 

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Walking

is a practice that I never thought I would enjoy as much as I do. I have not been as regular the past month or so (cue cold weather which I do not like at all!) but have committed to making it a regular part of my day again. The special ingredient to my walking is that I listen to something uplifting – a podcast, meditation music or an audio book. Sometimes I won’t listen to anything. Please, do not take this time to call someone, or do any kind of “work”. Everything about my walks lifts my spirits, puts everything into perspective and allows me to focus on me – and my health. I walk anywhere between 25 minutes to an hour. Here’s a YouTube channel I listen to a lot on walks, or even when I am working or taking a quiet moment to refocus.

There are my three tips to calming that monkey mind on yours! It’s a process, especially meditation. if you have not meditated before, it will take some time before that monkey mind quiets down…. KEEP GOING. There’s a reason this practice has been around for so long.

I’d love to hear if you do any of these already and what your experience is. Take a moment and comment below.

Lastly, if you are ready to step towards the life you desire in 2020, check out this post I wrote on how you can do that! Make 2020 YOUR YEAR!!

Shared Hosting vs Dedicated Hosting: What’s the Difference?

Shared Hosting vs Dedicated Hosting: What’s the Difference?

So, what is the difference between a shared hosting plan vs. a dedicated hosting plan?

Top 2 Differences of Shared Hosting vs. Dedicated Hosting

Cost

On a shared hosting plan, the server’s resources are shared among several users – so operating costs are divided up among the users. This makes being on a shared server more affordable. Because a dedicated server is dedicated solely to one user, it costs more. However – there can be great benefits to a dedicated server!

Security

One a dedicated hosting, since your website is the only user, there are fewer chances to acquire viruses, malware and spyware because of poor neighbors and misconfigured security. While it seems counter intuitive, there is actually a higher risk of attack vectors being exploited through shared servers. As the adage goes: “Good fences make good neighbors,” and your own dedicated server is the ultimate “fence.”

To have a website, you need the “land” that it sits on – which is your hosting provider. It’s important to know what you are getting. I only host sites that I design due to the fact that in designing them, I know what is going on with the structure and content of the site and what has been done. I am extremely vigilant in making sure everything is working correctly with my clients’ websites.

No matter where your website is hosted, it’s important you know how to protect yourself and get the best out of your website.  Security and maintenance are extremely important.

First, before we dive too deep into shared vs. dedicated hosting, let’s take a look at what hosting really is.

What exactly is hosting? 

Like I mentioned above, think of hosting as the piece of land that a house is built on. Without the land, the house would have no foundation. Hosting is the foundation of your website. In order to publish your website online, your business website requires a web hosting service. There are two types of hosting that I want to discuss here. But before we dive in, let’s talk for a minute about hosting companies.

Web Hosting Companies

When you get a web hosting plan, you are borrowing a bit of one of the company’s computers (or a whole one, sometimes). This lets you put the files and software needed to run your website somewhere that it can easily be accessed by anyone who wants to view it.

To make this easier for you, they also provide tools for managing your piece of the computer and for building and running your website.

When you use a web hosting company for your website, your website isn’t in a cloud somewhere or floating in an alternate dimension. It is a collection of real, actual computer files sitting on a real actual computer somewhere, in a real building.

Take for example, Squarespace. They provide the hosting for you and when you build your website (i.e. your house), Squarespace takes care of all the maintenance, updates, security, backups, storage of your actual site, the bandwidth – meaning how much traffic can your website handle at one time. This usually isn’t an issue for the small business entrepreneur, however it is something to consider. Squarespace, and other platforms like this, such as Wix and Showit (which is pretty popular these days), they are all considered shared hosting, and that’s one reason why the cost can remain fairly low.

What is Shared Hosting?

With shared hosting, several web hosting customers (i.e you) share the same computer. All of the websites of all the different accounts are stored in the same drive, processed by the same CPU, and delivered by the same web server.

The upside is that it is significantly less than other hosting plans – usually between $3-$5 a month if you are in need of your own hosting provider, and slightly more if you go with a platform like Squarespace. Yes, it doesn’t cost much at all, but there are costly issues that could be potentially dangerous for your website.

The downside: Your website is on a shared platform, which means that you share your “land” with other websites and you are all competing for the same resources. You are also subject to “bad neighbors” in that if someone else’s website is compromised, yours could be too.

No matter how careful you are in securing your web applications, other people might leave their software vulnerable to attack and provide an entry point for attacks that affect your site as well.

Also, you share the same IP address with other sites on the same server. If one of them is using their account to send spam email, or is engaging in other bad behavior, you may find your sites being blocked by email filters and content firewalls.

So, for example, when you use WordPress to build your website, you are responsible for finding your own hosting provider and maintaining your own site. There’s different ways to go about it and the cost is a factor, but in the end, your hosting provider will take care of some things and you are taking care of all the rest, like updating themes and plugins and maintaining your site’s health and wellness. Yes, your website needs to be taken care of and treated with love, or you will find yourself disgruntled and frustrated by issues that arise.

If you choose a shared server through your hosting company, you could potentially run into problems down the road, and you are ultimately responsible for issues that on your website. Do you want all that technical stuff messing with your time and energy?

What is a Dedicated Hosting?

A dedicated server is essentially a rented computer that is available to one customer alone. And yep, that would be you! You have your own piece of land and while you are responsible for the upkeep and security of your land,  with the right hosting company, this can prove to be very beneficial and take a lot of the frustration and burden of your plate as a small business entrepreneur.

Dedicated servers can be an expensive solution (relatively speaking), but it also gives you peace of mind that your website is secure and has the ability to grow with you. Dedicated plans can run anywhere from $70-$80 a month up to $200+ a month. Whoa! Say what! Most small-business, creative entrepreneurs will stay away from these types of plans because of the cost. It is quite a hefty monthly expense when you are a one-woman show (or small team) and operating your business on a responsible budget.

And this is exactly why I have partnered with a wonderful company called FlyWheel to provide Managed Dedicated Hosting to my web design clients for under $50 a month. My Essentials Plan has the security and maintenance that you need for your WordPress website and a personal troubleshooter – ME! ? 

Access A Free Guide

The price you pay for managed hosting is 100% worth it compared to bottom-of-the-barrel shared hosting solutions! I’m sharing five reasons why managed hosting is the way to go!

Benefits of JoLi Design Solutions’ Monthly Care Plans

  1. Dedicated servers for a faster, more reliable website 
  2. 100% Uptime Guarantees: Dedicated FlyWheel staff monitor your website 24/7 to immediately fix any issues causing downtime and alert me of any potential issues.
  3. A dedicated person you can contact for immediate assistance with your website. Special email and quick turnaround time for VIP Clients
  4. Security features like SSL certificates and hardware firewalls to protect your website from hackers
  5. Detailed logging of threats and security actions
  6. Managed databases for peak performance and speed
  7. Complete backup and storage solutions, including disaster recovery

Do you maintain your own website? Do you have questions about hosting and what how to know if your websiet is secure? Share in the comments. This is a big deal for most small business entrepreneurs and not knowing what you can get for your money is doing a disservice to you. Let’s get your website healthy!

3 Low-Cost Time-Saving Tools For Entrepreneurs

3 Low-Cost Time-Saving Tools For Entrepreneurs

There are so many low-cost time-saving tools that can be used by entrepreneurs, but which ones do YOU choose? Over the past few years, I have used many. Goodness, I have wasted money in some instances because I wasn’t really sure what I would use the tool for, but someone else was using a particular tool and it worked soooo good for them, I was sure it would work for me. Usually this was not the case. Have you have had this experience, too.

You are so excited that THIS will be the tool that will bring it home… it’s free or low-cost and will save you time. Only after you begin to use it, it’s not at all what you thought and you are back to square one with a tool that is going towork for you.

I’ve done so many trials I can’t even count! Email marketing, websites, social media scheduling, graphic creation, financials, invoicing, organization.

While I could list every tool I use, or have used, I decided to narrow it down to the three tools I currently use that are low-cost AND save me time.

Who doesn’t want that?

So, here we go… the 3 tools I currently use that are low-cost AND time-saving!

 

Dubsado

The most comprehensive tool I use in my business is Dubsado. Seriously… this saves me so much time and energy it’s unbelievable. If you are running a business where you schedule appointments, create proposals, send contracts, send invoices, have monthly subscriptions (not memberships though), and would like to automatically send emails, this is for you!

I am able to automate much of my business using Dubsado through the use of workflows. Before Dubsado, I was using about 4 different “systems” to make my business work and would spend tons of time getting all the pieces in order before I even began work with a client.

Dubsado is the only software that can manage all your tedious business tasks while you spend your time maximizing your profits. I love automation and anything that can do this for me is a winner in my book! Dubsado does it all! No kidding! Let’s take a look…

 

1. SEND CONTRACTS WITHOUT ANY HASSLE

Thanks to Dubsado – the contract signing and management has become a lot easier. You can easily create a new contract proposal (or choose one from the available templates) and send the link over to the client for signing it digitally.

Dubsado will save the contract in your client’s record, and you’ll receive a notification as soon as the contract is signed. And… when the contract is signed, you can set up an email in your workflow to automatically send the invoice. When the invoice is signed, what else needs to happen? Dubsado can do that, too! (See #5 below)

2. LEAD TRACKING – NEED I SAY MORE?

Even if your client’s bucket list is full at the moment, you’ll want your connections active with the prospective clients for when the need arises in the future. Having leads in the sales funnel is essential, PERIOD.

All you have to do is to create your lead form on Dubsado and share the link. There are many applications that you can embed with Dubsado for this purpose, and the process is as simple as 1 2 3!

The lead management process on Dubsado can be entirely automated by using workflows. Whatever information or selection your potential lead makes on your lead form, Dubsado automatically sends the relevant emails and forms accordingly.

Boom! Done! I love it! 

 3. RECURRING INVOICES? OH YES!

Dubsado allows you automate recurring invoices. All you have to do is to set up the payment details on Dubsado, and it will take care of the rest. On the selected date, your client will receive an invoice, along with a payment button. You can set up the payment schedules for as many numbers of months or years as you want, and when the need arises discontinue them with a single click.

It’s not only you who benefit from the Dubsado automation, but your clients are equally on the receiving end. This software can be connected with PayPal, Square, and Stripe.

 

4. EVERYTHING IS IN ONE SPOT

Instead of your contract being on one system, your proposal in an email, your invoice in quickbooks, your questionnaire on google docs, everything is now housed under one roof.

Even if this is all Dubsado did, it would be worth it.

The headache of going back and forth between systems, and forgetting or losing stuff are now in the past. Dubsado allows me to literally keep 90% of everything I need for my client filed away (and organized amazingly) in my client project. That other 10% are my design files, etc.

5. CAN YOU SAY AUTOMATION?

Implementing Dubsado doesn’t cost much, but the benefits are manifolds. It’s just like hiring another employee to do the jobs for you, and that too without even making any mistakes. You can create workflows and automate almost everything using this tool – name the task, and you’ll find the solution in Dubsado. FOR REAL!

Sending the contract for signing; sending the payment invoices; setting up the automatic reminders and sending an appropriate message and/or email along; you’ve got it all covered in Dubsado.

This is the only CRM tool that allows maximum automation so that you can spend your precious time in the tasks that matter the most.

Your Investment is FREE for up to 3 clients, then it is $35/month. Totally worth it to check it out. You can use my affiliate link and get 20% off your first month.

Trello

My new (but old) favorite organizational tool. I say, old, because I had been using Trello for a while, and then got sidetracked by ClickUp (shiny object syndrome!). Not that I don’t like ClickUp, but it was a bit complicated and way more than I needed and I got “lost” in all the features.

Trello is quite a badass and I love that I can organize by entire business on one platform. Three main things I am using Trello for now are:

1. CRM

CRM stands for Client Relationship Management. I have a board for each client (that I make a copy from a template I have), I keep track of strategy sessions, project timelines, account information, calls. I also keep ongoing client information on this board, like links, hours, and other information I need to access regularly.

2. Business Operations & Systems

Everything about my business is on this board – or it is slowly getting there. I’m still working on getting this board going, but I can already see how useful it’s going to be. No more searching for systems, service details, images and content that pertain to JoLi Design Solutions, free opt ins I have going on, important email sequences for Mailerlite, my email marketing platform… it’s all under one “roof” and I am in love!

3. Blog Hub

This is an area of business that I am focusing on more. I have seriously been obsessed with writing valuable content and using Pinterest to grow my following/website traffic. I am keeping track of everything I write, and want to write on this board. Images, links, checklists… basically anything to do with my blog is housed here.

Examples of two of my boards: My Bsuiness Binder and Blog Hub

Trello is FREE to use forever! You can really do a lot with it, too. I have the lowest subscription and it does so much! There are a ton of resources and if you search Pinterest for help, you will definitely find it.

TŪL

This one you may or may not be familiar with, but let me tell you, it’s the best thing since sliced bread! I was introduced to this note-taking system a few years ago and loved the idea of being able to customize my notes in a way that made sense to me. I’m able to categorize written copy, and now, as I begin 2020, I have turned my notebook into a planner!

Yes! All the talk I hear about planners has me on the search every year…. Maybe this will be the year I find one that works… and I have searched high and low for one that makes sense to me.

Well folks, this is the year. I have my neat, clean, uncluttered planner, PLUS can insert line, graph, plain, dotted paper to use for writing. It’s phenomenal. Now, I am just starting to use this, however, it’s already made my life easier. One place for planning and a birds eye view of my day, week, month and year.

I will transfer tasks and ideas to Trello but this is the place where it all starts.

Other Tools I Use

  • WordPress
  • Mailerlite (totally in love and it’s FREE)
  • Evernote
  • Google – all things Google!
  • Zoom
  • PicMonkey

That’s pretty much it. Going back to numero uno… Dubsado… it takes care of SO MANY tasks that I don’t have a need for many that other entrepreneurs use.

I have my domain and professional email with Google and am completely happy. 

So many people get burnt out with the ins and outs of their business that they don’t find joy in it anymore. But I will say when you have a smart systems working for you, you can get back to truly enjoying your business.

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