The Lesson in the Acorn

Sunday mornings I have been having the fun of blowing off the side walk in front the lobby at church. The last few weeks the walk has been covered with acorns from a near-by tree. The first Sunday the acorns were scattered around, and as I was blowing them off Holy Spirit was speaking to me about the potential in every single acorn. Every acorn has the potential to be a strong oak tree. I was reminded that every person I meet in life has the same potential in them. Every person has the potential to be a Billy Graham or George Washington. EVERY. SINGLE. PERSON. This was sobering to me. I was reminded to see the potential in the persons that I meet. Even those persons that aren't living anywhere near their potential, still have that God given potential in them and I want to see that when I see the person. I want to treat every person I meet as tho they were fully living their potential. I never know what impact honoring and respecting someone may have on their life.

A Sunday or two later as I was blowing off the walks again I noticed that many of the acorns were crushed and ground into the side walk. I though about all the feet that had trod the acorns underfoot. The broken and trodden acorns were a casualty caused by feet doing a good work. We even crushed some as we unloaded the trailer that morning and sat up for another amazing church service. I had to think "How many times did I crush someone or trod them under in my pursuit to do something good?" "Am I responsible for influencing any casualties around me?" "Have I in some way crushed the potential in someone that I have come in contact with, because I wasn't being aware of the influence my words or actions were having?" It really made me stop and think about how I do influence every person that I come in contact with. I want to be the person that others are encouraged and blessed for having rubbed shoulders with me. I don't want to knowingly or unknowingly leave destruction in my wake like a hurricane. I really believe that often times the damage we may cause is done unintentionally. I share my thoughts around the acorns as a reminder to us all to be conscious of the effect our actions and words have on those around us.

COWORKING Q & A

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to work at a coworking space, keep reading. Today I’m answering your FAQs with the help of some other women who call INSPIRE Business Community their office away from home. INSPIRE is located at 226 North Arch Street in downtown Lancaster, Pa, and I’ve been renting an office here for the past six months. To say that a coworking space has been a huge benefit to my business would be an understatement… It’s allowed me to connect with amazing women, it gives me the flexibility I need to get my work done on my time, and it’s allowed me to spend more time with my four month old baby boy, who’s been napping in my office since he was about 4 weeks old.

1. So, what IS a coworking space exactly? It’s a large open space with tables, desks and quiet sitting areas to work – like a coffee shop without having to pay for coffee. That’s right… the coffee here is free! INSPIRE features a handful of private offices surrounding a large coworking space, a full kitchen where you can keep your lunch or enjoy complimentary coffee and tea, along with a conference room that’s available to reserve. INSPIRE is on the second floor of a historic brick building in downtown Lancaster and features a variety of architectural features and décor that make it perfect for photoshoots and events as well.

2. What does it cost to work at INSPIRE? Prices vary based on your needs. Are you looking to rent an office of your own where you can meet with clients and decorate as you choose? Or would you prefer to purchase a punch card that allows you to come 5 or 10 times per month as you please to use the coworking room? A single day coworking pass starts at $15 and there are a variety of other options you can browse here. Each option includes access to free wifi, printers and coffee.

3. What kind of business owners work at the coworking space? INSPIRE is the only coworking space in downtown Lancaster that’s for women only. So the businesses represented here are female owned, but you will find they span a variety of industries. From realtors and creatives, to coaches and photographers, the space offers beautiful natural light and an inspiring atmosphere. Whether you own a business or simply need a quiet space to think, meditate, or create your family’s weekly meal plan, INSPIRE has a space for you.

4. Can I work there on evenings or weekends? If you rent an office here you are welcome to come in at any time, evenings or weekends. The coworking space has regular operating hours, Monday through Friday, 9 am – 5 pm.

5. I’m breastfeeding so I need to bring my baby… Is that okay? Yes mama! INSPIRE has a quiet room that’s got diapers and wipes in case you forget. It is definitely a baby friendly space. I bring my 4 month old baby boy every Monday and Wednesday and I know that he is totally welcome here.

6. How do you rent the space for a party, bridal shower or event? If you’re interested in renting the large common space for a party or event, click here to view pricing and options. There are also conference room rental options and if you’d like to see the space first you can request a tour. In the six months I’ve worked here, I’ve seen the space used for a variety of events, from bridal showers and styled shoots, to corporate parties and evening workshops. With a full kitchen there are many ways to host a beautiful event here.

7. What is your favorite thing about working at INSPIRE? "While I love just working at INSPIRE, my favorite moments come from serendipitous one-on-one conversations with other entrepreneurs. I give INSPIRE an A+ for 'introvert friendliness!’" - Layla Pomper, Process Strategist at ProcessDriven.co

"The co-workers here are so much more than professional motivators; they are deeply rich in compassion and encouragement. When you are a part of this co-working group, you are cared for on all levels. INSPIRE is the most peaceful co-working space I have ever been to. Oftentimes, when I go to co-working spaces, they are so big that it's often uncomfortable to walk up to someone new and truly get to know them. Here, it is unusual if you do not do so. The space is small enough to embody the essence of what co-working actually is. As if that weren't enough, the space is aesthetically gorgeous and serene. It is abundant in stress-free focus and belonging." - Mary Barba, Owner at barbadigital.com

My personal favorite thing about working at INSPIRE? I love the atmosphere, and I love that I get to bring my son so I can continue breastfeeding while working away from home. I enjoy the conversations I have with the other women at the coworking space each week, and I love meeting new faces and making female business connections. I’ve been able to collaborate with some of these women on projects and it’s great having a friendly face to bounce ideas around with when I’m feeling stuck. The space is beautiful and when I’m there, I can be far more productive than when I’m at home, or at a coffee shop. Not to mention, at INSPIRE the coffee is free.

-Rachel Kline

The Secret to Sleaze-Free Self-Promotion

Who here DESPISES self-promotion??? 🙋‍♀️🙋‍♀️🙋‍♀️


Let me tell you about an encounter I recently had with Chick-fil-A. 

(Whether you eat at or agree with Chick-fil-A or not, every business woman struggling with marketing can learn from this company… and no, I don’t work for CFA or make any money from them, although they make a ton from me! 😂) 

Several weeks in a row I have received an email with a free 4-count Chick-n-Minis. 😋

It’s only good for that particular week, and even though I KNOW what Chick-fil-A is doing (the blessing and curse of being a marketer), I still give in to it Every. Single. Time. because it’s GENIUS. 

See, they know I love Chick-n-Minis (my Chick-fil-A app tells them so). 

They know if I come get my free Chick-n-Minis, I am also going to get a large vanilla iced coffee and granola yogurt parfait, and possibly a couple of chicken biscuits if I have kids with me (again, thanks to my Chick-fil-A app).

So what do they do? 

They give me what I love and what I want, knowing I will inevitably spend more money than what they’re giving away. 😍😍😍

You’re an intelligent woman so I know you understand this, but let’s turn this around and take it a level deeper to where the gross, shameful feelings of self-promotion REALLY come from...

Does this experience make me feel “used” or “taken advantage of” by Chick-fil-A? 

Absolutely not! 

It makes me feel happy because they care enough about me to give me something I actually want and that benefits me (after all, I’m gonna spend my money on food regardless, so at least I get some free Chicken minis out of the deal!). 🙏❤️

Now get this: The only time I got upset was when one week I DIDN’T get an email. 🤷‍♀️


So what is the point of this story??? 

Too many people get worried and worked up about marketing and selling, afraid that they are going to annoy, bombard, and turn people off. 🙈🙊🙉


But here’s the thing: 

It’s only annoying when you push stuff on people that they don’t want or need. 

(i.e. when you put the priority of getting a paycheck before serving the person.)

☝️☝️☝️This is the wrong way to do marketing, btw. Don’t be like that. 🙅‍♀️


Self-Promotion - when done RIGHT - is actually really simple: 

🤟 Give your audience what they want and what is in their benefit, and they will LOVE YOU for it. 🤟

And 9 times out of 10, they will give back more, because they’re grateful that you cared enough about them to give them something they actually value, appreciate, and want.

You don’t have to be pushy, salesy, or manipulative to sell stuff. 🤑🤑🤑


Be like Chick-fil-A. 

  • Care about your people. 😘

  • Help them and give them what they want and need. 🤩

  • Focus more on giving than on receiving, and the receiving will always take care of itself. 🤗


Not only will you make more money and be more successful in your biz, but you’ll also go to sleep at night feeling good that you’re making people’s lives better and being a positive force in the world of marketing. 💚🌎💚🌎

Love, Peace, and Chicken-minis, 

Carissa

Carissa Magras is an online marketing expert who, for the last decade, has helped authors and impact-driven entrepreneurs increase their customers by an average of 8x, while reducing their stress and time spent marketing by 80%, so they can make a greater impact doing what they love.


Effective Delegating- The Way to Leadership

In order to become an effective leader you need to focus on the things only you can do, and delegate tasks to others whom can do them well. This may even start with delegating things at home that take up time and energy that you could be using in a more effective way.

A few easy things to delegate at home are:

CLEANING- hire a cleaning lady/service to do your weekly cleaning

  • if you aren't ready to hire someone weekly start with monthly, then twice a month then weekly

  • watch how your energy increases now that you don't have the mental stress of having to clean your house, or the stress of the dirty house you haven't gotten around to cleaning

  • Suggested Cleaning Service: Be Green Clean- owned by our Mastermind Gal- Rebecca Burkholder www.begreencleaning.com. *tell her INSPIRE sent you to get 20% off your first cleaning :)

MEAL PREP- teach your kids to cook, or purchase meals that are mostly prepared

  • choose to grill often, do lots of salads, etc that are easy to prepare

  • Suggested Meal Prep Service: Fresh Habits owned by our friends Justin and Holly Mann- www.freshhabits.net. Email them at: orders@freshhabits.net and use code INSPIRE20 to get 20% off your first order. *This code is good for all orders placed by Thursday, August 22 at 12 pm EST for meal delivery to the INSPIRE Business Community on Monday, August 26. :)

  • Costco also has lots of easy pop-in meals and meats to grill

YARD WORK- hire someone once a month to trim shrubs, weed-whack and spray weeds

  • if you're able to hire weekly for lawn mowing or weeding weekly that's so helpful ▪ Email us: helloinspirebc@gmail.com for a few lawn assistant suggestions- we have a few private contacts for this

LAUNDRY- hire your kids to help with laundry. Show them exactly what to do and pay them to help. It's less expensive that hiring a laundry service and is fun for them to have a little job.

  • If your kids are too young to do laundry and you're drowning in laundry consider hiring a laundry service. There are pick up, wash/fold and deliver services.

CHILDCARE AND HOUSEWORK: If your kids are young and you're running a business and being a mamma consider hiring a Mother's Helper. Many of our Mastermind women and office renters at INSPIRE hire Mother's Helpers a few days a week. This allows them to work away at INSPIRE or a coffee shop while their kids are well taken care of and their house work is getting done. When they come home their kids are happy, they are happy because they got work done and they are able to focus on being with the kids without feeling pressure and guilt for not working or visa versa.

ORGANIZING- if you struggle to stay organized and things are cluttered and out of place consider hiring someone to come in and help you de-clutter and put together ways to organize. This will save you time, energy and money since you'll be able to find things, and your head will feel clear and focused.

CLOTHES SHOPPING- if you hate shopping or buy things you still end up not wearing because they don't fit right, you need to try a professional stylist. This will change your life!

A few things to delegate in your business are:

BOOKKEEPING- unless you're really good with numbers and love keeping track of your books, preparing for taxes etc. consider hiring someone else to do your books. It will make you feel empowered knowing your numbers and you'll be surprised how much time it saves you not having to worry about that as well as having things organized and done right for tax time.

  • Suggestion for Bookkeeping Service: Kingdom Finances owned by our Mastermind Gal, Jo Martin www.kingdomfinances.co *tell her INSPIRE sent you to get $20 off your first month membership package.

SYSTEMS AND WORKFLOW- If you find yourself doing the same things over and over yet struggle coming up with a system that works consider hiring someone to sit down and help you get out of your head. Having someone else ask you good questions and give you input and suggestions on how to work smarter not harder will save you time and money over and over again.

  • Suggestion for Systems and Workflow Service: Process Driven Co owned by our Mastermind Gal, Layla Pomper www.processdriven.co *Mention INSPIRE to get an “in person” consult or client session on a Wednesday at INSPIRE rather than virtual session.

SOCIAL MEDIA AND MARKETING- if you're struggling to keep up with your social media content and don't have a marketing plan this is something you can hire help for. There are women who will ask you good questions to get your thoughts and voice on paper to use for your marketing.

These are only a few of the many resources and business/personal services out there to make your life and business easier. Take time to think about what's taking most of your energy and brain space. Delegate those things. It's not hard. Just start with one thing and keep working up until you've give away all the things you can. Work on only what you can and your life and business will blossom and thrive!