The Internet Home Business Magazine for Moms & Dads

Do You Color Outside the Lines (of Your Business)?


Susan PaytonAs I sat down to color with my three-year-old (I actually find this quite therapeutic), he was impressed with my ability to color in the lines. He’s getting there, but he still produces a more overall effect, regardless of boundaries on the page. For some reason, I thought about my business (imagine that; thinking about work after hours), and thought about how sometimes I was a little messy with it.

Do you always color in the lines when it comes to your business? Is your color box full of jumbled, broken crayons, or is it organized by color? Are you well-organized and have everything together? Or are you physically and mentally scribbled all over the place?

This time of year, we’re trying to get fresh starts. I cleaned my desk last week (you can’t tell now, but I really did!) and have been getting things in order for 2008. But there are times (more than I like to admit) that I’m sloppy, and sometimes that costs money. I’m sure that my competitors often color in the lines better, and therefore I’ve probably lost some business due to my carelessness.

So how can we be better color-ers?

  • Be deliberate. It’s not about coloring the picture or finishing a project quickly, it’s about getting it done right the first time.
  • Double check yourself. I pride myself on being an excellent writer with few errors, and I have to force myself to re-read my material. But when I find that occasional error that would have made me look unprofessional, I’m glad I took the time to review it.
  • Seek to constantly improve. Working for yourself, you really don’t have anyone to tell you when your work is getting stagnant. Always take a fresh look at your processes and find new ways to innovate them.
  • Organize. Your thoughts, your desk, your crayons.
  • Find what works for you. I used to hate Outlook Calendar, but now find it useful. However, I also back up appointments on a paper desk calendar. Just because everyone else has a PDA doesn’t mean that’s what you need. Find a system and stick to it.

Susan Payton is Managing Partner of Egg Marketing & Public Relations, an Orlando marketing firm, and is the blogger behind The Marketing Eggspert. She helps businesses put together their marketing strategy and execute it. From press releases to email blasts, Susan and Egg can help promote your company. For free advice on marketing in today’s Web 2.0 world, visit The Marketing Eggspert Blog.

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    On January 15th, 2008 at 3:47 pm, Alan Johnson said:

    Indeed, there is no room for being sloppy and just doing something for the sake of it. As an online or offline entrepreneur, you always have to strive to be the best, and getting there by doing a sloppy job or looking for shortcuts simply isn’t possible.

    Alan Johnson

    On January 15th, 2008 at 4:27 pm, Jill at said:

    I am one who uses several types of calendars in conjunction with each other.

    1. PDA (palm) this I can carry with me when I travel and run around the world and to schedule daily appointments.

    2. Daytimer desk size 2 page per day, which I can use as a backup calendar, detailed to do list and log of my daily activities

    3. A 3-month at a time dry erase wall calendar so I can see the next 90 days at a glance. This is great for knowing the big picture at any given time.

    I could not imagine doing without any one tool, but for me they all work great as a package. You would think it is overwhelming, but it actually helps me keep my head on straight.

    I am making a YouTube video for how I work them together and post it on my blog.

    Live Your Dreams,


    On January 16th, 2008 at 12:09 pm, swirlingnotions said:

    Great post! Funny too . . . I just put every to-do aside yesterday and rearranged my office. I felt like I just couldn’t move forward until I had a tidied up space and the clutter from last year was banished at last. As my daughter would say after taking a long swig of milk . . . “ahhhhh.”


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