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Now and then, we try to showcase our customers and the great work they have done with their businesses. Recently, I was lucky enough to go on the road to catch up with 3 of them in Sydney. Together with cameraman and editor extraordinaire Andrew (better known as ‘AB’), we got to film interviews with 3 customers that embody our ‘Love Your Work’ mantra. It was both an inspiring and interesting experience, to get a firsthand account of their passion and struggles managing their businesses. First up was Fiona Jefferies. She runs Diva Works, which creates and manages displays and exhibitions for all types of businesses. Fiona wears many hats being the creative director, designer and project manager. For her financials, she uses FirstEdge to keep things in check. Fiona loves her Mac (being a designer and all) so she loved the fact that MYOB develops Mac-specific software that is so easy to use, especially for invoicing and compliance obligations.
The Hobbit With thousands of visitors streaming into Wellington for this week’s premiere of ‘The Hobbit’, all eyes will be on New Zealand as it’s transformed into Middle Earth again. While I’m sure the film’s media coverage will wear thin over the next few months, it’s important to remember how much of a boost New Zealand gets with J.R.R. Tolkien’s imaginary worlds and how lucky we are to be living and doing business in Middle Earth. 1) It’s a much needed shot in the arm for tourism. After the success of the Lord of the Rings films, tourism to New Zealand surged by 40%. Tourism New Zealand right called the trilogy films “the best unpaid advertisement that New Zealand has ever had.” With tourism numbers down over the last few years due to the global economic downturn, a powerful advertisement for New Zealand tourism is just what we need. The spill over effects can be immense. It’s not just the businesses that are directly associated with “Tolkien Tourism” that will benefit, but thousands of other businesses big and small can capitalise if the new film entices more tourists to visit and enjoy New Zealand.
For me, one of the most unexpected benefits of working from home is that you can style your office the way you want it to look. When I started as a marketing strategist I decided to make my home office a place which was beautiful as well as functional, and that showed off my eclectic side instead instead of a bland corporate persona. Here is how you can do it, too, without spending a fortune. Get Inspired I looked through lots of websites to get some inspiration before I bought anything. Pinterest is great place to start looking for ideas and trying to picture your office. I also spent some time wandering around my local second hand furniture stores looking for pieces that made me feel inspired. These places are filing cabinet graveyards. There is no point buying one brand new. The more banged-up the better, as far as I am concerned, and the cabinet I chose looks like it could tell a few stories if only it could talk. I spend a lot of time in my office so I need it to inspire me, and this sort of piece does exactly that. If you have time for a weekend project, you can also refurbish an old filing cabinet. Check out 10 ways to Refurbish a Filing Cabinet as a starting point for ideas.
One of the good things about running a business from home is the 30 second commute, which is as long as it takes me to get from the breakfast table to my desk and computer. It sure beats the 40 minutes each way in traffic that I used to face every working day. There are other good things, such as the lower overheads from not having to own or rent separate business premises. And flexible working hours. Also, there is no question in my mind that developments like cloud technology (http://myob.com.au/blog/the-benefits-of-cloud-technology/) have enhanced the attractiveness of running a business from home. But there are challenges too. They include especially: a sense of isolation interruptions by family and friends the risk of stress, ill-health and strained family relationships
I’m a big fan of continuous improvement – in both business and personal life. But some advocates of this discipline are beyond me. Take, for instance, Émile Coué’s conscious autosuggestion: Every day, in every way, I'm getting better and better. This exhortation is so demanding, I can’t keep up with the damn thing!
Sore throat. Headache. Exhaustion. A business to run. It’s an all too familiar tale in winter and right now, I’m like many other small business owners – struggling to keep on top of things while grappling illness. When you own your own business, it’s not often as simple as taking a few days off to rest and recuperate – especially if your team is also hit by symptoms. How do you get through it? Here are my tips: Reprioritise – do a very quick assessment of your To Do list. Identify anything urgent or unchangeable (In my case, running an event in another city). Delegate or if you have no team, ask someone for help – family, friends or even consider getting a temp. Seek medical advice if need be. Drink lots of (non-alcoholic) fluids. Rest. This one is really important. Do snippits of work if you really have to. Laptop in the bedroom next to lemon and honey drink? Not a problem - these days no one need know where you are working from. As you recover, continue reprioritising and getting adequate rest. If you are really clever, continue doing both – you may just discover more of a work life balance... Do you have any tips to add? Melina Schamroth | Social Entrepreneur | m.a.d.woman
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