Your Inner Critic And How To Use It

Are you plagued by self-doubt in your business or personal life? Do you second-guess every decision, big or small? 

If so, you’re not alone. We all have an inner critic, that little voice inside our heads that is quick to point out our flaws and tell us we’re not good enough. 

But don’t worry – the good news is your inner critic can become your best friend. 

That’s right – if you learn to use it correctly, your inner critic can help you achieve your goals and reach your full potential wether in your business or your personal life.

In this article, we’re going to explore how to do just that. 

So if you’re ready to tame your inner critic once and for all, read on!

Why Do We Self-Criticize?

As human beings, we have a tendency to be our own worst critics. 

Whether we are self-conscious about our performance at work or feel frustrated with our shortcomings in other areas of life, we often find ourselves harshly criticizing our own actions and behaviors. 

There are a number of reasons why this phenomenon occurs, but perhaps the most significant is that self-criticism plays an important role in motivation and achievement. 

When we focus on our flaws and mistakes, it gives us the push we need to work harder and put more effort into improving ourselves. 

Additionally, self-criticism can provide valuable feedback about the things that matter most to us, helping us to prioritize what is truly important in life. 

Ultimately, then self-criticism may not always be pleasant, but it undoubtedly serves an important purpose as a driver of human progress.

What Usually Happens

While it’s true that a certain amount of self-criticism is essential for personal growth, too much of it can actually have negative effects. 

For instance, if we’re constantly telling ourselves that we’re not good enough, it can and will eventually stop us from taking any actions toward success. 

We may start to believe that we’re not capable of achieving our goals, and so we give up before we even try. 

Not only that, but self-criticism, in most cases, leads to feelings of low self-worth and inadequacy. 

Ultimately, self-criticism is important for self-growth, but you need to be careful that it doesn’t become detrimental. 

Otherwise, you risk holding yourself back from reaching your full potential. 

But don’t worry – there is a way to turn things around and use your inner critic as a tool for self-improvement.

Integrating The Inner Critic

The good news is that it is possible to change your relationship with your inner critic. 

First, it is important to understand that, in most cases, your inner critic is trying to help you. 

It may be coming from a place of fear or insecurity, but its intention is to motivate you to improve.

It’s natural to want to avoid pain and difficulty, but the fact is that growth seldom comes without some struggle. 

Your inner critic is simply trying to protect you from hurt and disappointment or failure in your business.

However, if you use what it says as fuel for motivation, it can be your inspiration to work harder and prove it wrong.

You can practice filtering out the good from the bad – essentially, you need to recognize where is the truth behind these thoughts. 

Of course, balance is of utmost importance here, don’t be quick to let self-doubt put you down.

Instead, reframe the critical voice as something that is actually helping you achieve your goals – get comfortable with being uncomfortable by challenging yourself.

Finally, be patient – if you keep working on yourself, with time, the words of your inner critic will become more constructive and less harmful.

So don’t be discouraged if you find yourself struggling at first – the road to self-growth is never a straight line.

Just keep working at it, and eventually, you’ll get there.

Final Thoughts

So, what’s the verdict? 

Is your inner critic really your enemy, or can you turn it into a tool for growth and success? 

The answer is – it depends. 

If you let your inner critic get the best of you and hold you back from taking risks and trying new things, then yes, it can be considered an enemy. 

The key is to not let yourself get bogged down by negative thoughts and instead channel that energy and use it as motivation to better yourself.

Only then will your inner critic become one of your biggest allies in reaching your goals. 

Ready to take on the challenge? Work with Cristie for your business goals and book an appt today! Blu Dragonfly is ready to help all of our client achieve their 2023 business goals.

https://bludragonfly.net

7 Tips for Promoting Your Small Business Locally

Starting a business at any point in life is a challenge. Like any challenge, it is completed by sheer force of will, patience, and knowledge. However, that’s only the beginning, as your little enterprise also needs to grow. To help it do so, you need to learn about promoting your small business locally and how it works in your favor.

What is local marketing?

Local marketing promotes your product or services to an audience in the vicinity of your business. Generally, the term local is relative; it may be a town, a part of a city, or a whole region. The size of the area around your store you will focus on for promotion depends on how convenient it is for your customers to reach you. And this is how you start, by focusing on your community and their needs. So, what does promoting your small business locally involve?

  • Join your local community online.
  • Organize giveaways and contests.
  • Promote vouchers and discounts.
  • Team up with other businesses in cross-promotion.
  • Donate to a local charity.
  • Place your company logo on vehicles.
  • Support a local team or sponsor an event.

7 Tips for Promoting Your Small Business Locally

Here are 7 tips for promoting your small business locally.

1. Become a member of a local group

Since the dawn of time, people have joined groups hoping for helpful advice and support. Your business needs them, too. Depending on the audience you’re catering to, you will find different groups in different online and offline locations. You may join a local business directory or a local group on social media. Either way, present yourself and your business to the members. Count on new partnerships and relationships with established local businesses with this kind of exposure.

2. Run a contest on social media

To make your business better known, you need to reach out to your community and give away a batch of your products or offer services free of charge. Although limited in amount and duration, giveaways and contests are perfect opportunities to present yourself, initiate word-of-mouth marketing, and get positive online feedback from satisfied consumers. Furthermore, it might even spur your local community to positive action, depending on the contest task you set.

7 Tips for Promoting Your Small Business Locally

3. Offer a local best-deal

Encourage your customers to shop with you or use your services simply by offering discounts. After all, who doesn’t want to save a little these days? It is a perfectly legit way to attract the attention of your local buyers and stimulate new ones to try your brand. How to make sure you attract local customers? Use a local hashtag or your city name in the ad to reach the intended audience. How to make sure you have enough customers? Consider commercial relocation within Dallas to a location with more traffic. An easy transfer to a new area combined with the right marketing strategy will do wonders for your small business.

4. Collaborate with other local businesses in cross-advertising

Many other small businesses in your area have the same problem as you: how to attract customers. If you apply the right cross-promotion strategy and join forces, the result is double exposure. Multiply that by the number of cross-marketing partners. The idea is to advertise your business on their premises, as long as they aren’t direct competitors and share your customer base. If you remember the piece of advice from the start, you will find your partners in local business listings or social media groups.

5. Support a local charity with your products or services

Instead of donating money, donate products or offer your services to a local charity you feel strongly about. This kind of support is doubly rewarding. Aside from the satisfaction of giving back to the community, it provides you with the opportunity to advertise your small business. Furthermore, a local charity might be happy to support you back with as little (or as much) as mentioning your business on their website or social media pages. If it doesn’t go against your beliefs, promote contribution to charity on your own media outlets.

7 Tips for Promoting Your Small Business Locally

6. Move around!

Placing your logo on your commercial vehicle is one thing; putting the logo on a public transport vehicle is another ball game. If you live in a large city, start promoting your small business locally by advertising on a vehicle that cruises your area. It is a foolproof way to expose your brand to locals and attract curious customers.

7. Sponsor a team or activity

Sponsoring a local team or funding and joining a local event will do wonders for the visibility of your small business. As a result, your logo or business name will find its place on t-shirts, websites, printed media, social media outlets, or local TV/radio stations. Sponsoring will not only promote your company but will reveal your beliefs and good intentions to your audience. Add to that new loyal customers from the ranks of those you supported.

A couple of bonus tips

Being a small business often implies that you can’t allocate a high budget for self-promotion. Although most of the above-mentioned tips do not require a significant investment, a few more cost-effective suggestions are worth mentioning. Consider partnering with another local business and showcasing your product and/or service on their premises. If you don’t have a physical store, being seen in a brick-and-mortar shop will get you closer to your customers. Your partner will benefit from more foot traffic in their store and added value you bring.

7 Tips for Promoting Your Small Business Locally

If you don’t have a website, create it. Web hosting is inexpensive to establish your online presence and improve on it through local SEO and simple yet effective marketing campaigns. Be the one who creates specialized content for your community and customers by making and posting local photos or videos. Above all, who knows better about your product or service and area than yourself? If you have a store, place a QR code to your homepage on the front so passersby can scan it, visit your website, and shop with you online, even if you’re closed.

After all, this being said, it seems clear that promoting your small business locally is just warming up for the big league.

6 Best Tips to Help You Develop a Diverse Team

Diversity and inclusion are top selling points of most organizations today. A diverse team is made up of people from different races, cultural backgrounds, nationalities, genders, sexual orientations, physical abilities, and even religious backgrounds. A team leader must also make sure that every team member feels included, has equal opportunities, and doesn’t face segregation in the workplace. Here are the best 6 tips to help you develop a diverse team.

6 Best Tips to Help You Develop a Diverse Team

To build a diverse team, you need to be willing to restructure several aspects of your company culture. The list below contains some of the changes organizations have made to promote diversity. 

1. Eliminate Bias During the Hiring Process

The first step to creating a diverse team is ensuring that there are no cultural or social biases in the hiring process. You should invite top talent from all backgrounds and grant employment based on merit rather than race or ethnicity.

Another way to eliminate bias during the hiring process is to reconsider what qualifications you require for a role. According to NCES, only 10 percent of bachelor’s degrees were awarded to Black students in 2019, compared to 62 percent that went to white students. 

This means that reconsidering what educational backgrounds you require can help open the door to underrepresented groups in various sectors. For example, if you are hiring an entry-level software engineer, applicants’ skills may be more important than educational qualifications. You might think about hiring coding bootcamp graduates instead of exclusively those with a computer science degree. 

2. Provide Equal Opportunities Across the Team 

You cannot say your team is diverse if you only allow a certain demographic of people to get to managerial positions in the workplace. Also, it isn’t enough to offer management jobs to one or two people from different demographics just to avoid backlash from the public. 

Make sure that promotions are granted when due and based on merit rather than gender, race, religious affiliations, or similar differences. You can ensure equal opportunities by implementing fair performance evaluation methods that rely on artificial intelligence or data science tools to limit unconscious bias. 

3. Eliminate Bias in Company Culture 

It is not enough to simply employ people from different backgrounds. You also have to train all the members of your team to accept and treat everyone the same. Racist, gender, and homophobic behaviors should not be promoted or tolerated in the workplace. Also, there should be inclusion in as many ways as possible.

For example, a company that provides a day off for a holiday like Christmas may also provide a day off for Muslim or Jewish holidays if they have staff members with these religious affiliations. You can create online courses to teach workers about the importance of diversity and inclusion.

4. Create Team Bonding Opportunities

What programs do you have in place to create team bonding moments outside the workplace? Do your team members only get to see each other and communicate when they have a task that they have to complete together? 

If you want your diverse team to last, you need to create bonding opportunities that allow all team members to interact and learn more about their cultural differences. Even if you are running a remote team, you can organize occasional physical meeting retreats and use technology tools to host frequent interactive events. 

5. Mind Your Language 

As a team leader, your unconscious bias may reflect in the language you use and the language you allow your team members to use. You must strive to ensure that only politically correct and culturally sensitive language is used in your workplace. 

One of the best ways to do this is to avoid the use of gendered language in your company. Replace certain words with gender-neutral language that takes gender diversity into consideration. You can hold seminars to educate your team on the proper language to use in a diverse workplace. 

6. Listen to Your Team Members 

One of the best ways to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace is to listen to what your team members are saying and implement changes accordingly. A team member who does not feel included is unlikely to remain in that team for long. 

You can get the information you need by asking directly, and encouraging your team to submit surveys anonymously. And providing a safe space where employees feel comfortable enough to express their displeasure without fear of being terminated. 

Conclusion 

Creating a diverse team and ensuring inclusion is an ongoing process that doesn’t ever end. As a team leader, you need to keep reevaluating your company’s culture. And best practices to ensure that they are not falling short. It is also important to note that promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace boosts productivity significantly.

How to Prepare for a Move While Starting a Business

You have a great new business idea. The problem is, your current home doesn’t have the space you need. But you really don’t want to wait until you find a new home to bring your company to life. It’s a conundrum. Or is it? Fortunately, there are ways you can juggle your home life by starting a new business and finding a place suitable for you and your family. The Dallas Ft Worth Veterans Chamber of Commerce shows you how.

How to Prepare for a Move While Starting a Business

Here is an ultimate guide on how to prepare for a move while starting a business in the Texas United States.

Analyze Your Current Living Situation

If you want to start a business, you have to look at your home. Is there room for you to work? Can you fit a functional home office in your current living space? Although you can manage a corner-of-the-room office or even a dinner table office for a while, a new business will require a lot more dedicated office space. It’s also important to look towards the future of your business. Will you need storage space for product? Will you want to meet with clients in your office? Your answers to these questions will help you to decide if you need to upsize. It’s important that your family will feel comfortable living their lives in the space while you also feel at ease working.

Once you decide on your next step, you must figure out how to make the move. If you have business obligations, hiring movers to help with packing and unloading makes sense. Look online for “moving services near me” and find one with good reviews. It’s important to think about the services you want included. For instance, do you want help packing or do you simply want them to load and unload your belongings? Look for reviews that address these specific services, and ask about them when you call to schedule an on site quote. Don’t accept a quote over the phone or you might be surprised with up charges once the movers see your belongings.

Give Your Business a Head Start

To start your business, write out a business plan. Your business plan is a blueprint that tells you how to run the company. It includes your executive statement, your plans to obtain funding, and why you think your business can succeed. If you are a veteran, look into incentives and programs to help get your business started. Be sure to add those funding or training options into your business plan.

Once you have a plan, you’ll need to choose a business structure. Your company is a legal entity that can own property, pay taxes and maintain bank accounts. LLCs, sole proprietorships, and general partnerships are three typical structures to choose from. Choosing a business structure requires considering the type of liability you want and the tax advantages you may want to take advantage of.

Once you have your business established, it’s time to market your product or services. You need an eye-catching website and social media profiles to drive as much traffic as possible to your site. A banner can be a helpful tool that you can apply across many digital marketing platforms. You can also design a Facebook ad using an easy and free online tool. Choose a template that fits your business and then personalize it with text, fonts, and your brand colors. Also, you can add animation and video.

Begin the House Hunt

Before you can determine where you want to live, check prices. When house hunting, crunch numbers often. Look at your revenue streams, investments, and other earnings. Once you know how much money comes in, calculate all of your expenses. Experts suggest you do not spend more than 28% of your income on living expenses.

As you look for houses, try to choose one that will not take a lot of work. You do not want to spend a lot of your downtime working on a house when you already have a business to take care of. You want a property in good condition that allows you to work during the day and relax with your family in the evening. If you need to meet with clients in your office, you might want a house with a second entrance.

If you’re a veteran, look into home buying programs specifically for service members. There are several ways that you can save money and simplify the home buying process.

When you have a great business idea, you simply have to act on it. You don’t have to wait for the perfect home, but you’ll want to start your house hunt soon so that you and your family don’t get frustrated balancing work and personal life in a small space. It may take a little juggling, but the effort will be worth it in the end.

The Dallas Ft Worth Veterans Chamber of Commerce supports our service members in many ways. If you are a veteran and now an entrepreneur, register your business through the Chamber for exposure and training opportunities. Visit our website to learn more.

All the best

Growing a Business With Technological Innovation

Regardless of your business size, if you operate in the digital space and want to remain competitive, it’s important to keep an eye on the latest movements in digital innovation, integrating tech into the running of your business, optimizing your processes, leveraging data, and more. Here are the top strategies on growing a business with technological innovation.

Digital Marketing

It’s difficult to overstate the importance of tech solutions within modern marketing practices. There are multitude of programs available affordably (or for free) that can help you to manage leads, draw insights, build customer profiles, or mastermind campaigns. The availability of this kind of software means that small or medium-sized companies can often compete with incumbent brands. If you’re looking to get an edge on the competition. Look out for software that can help you to build assets for a low price – an online logo maker, for example, can allow you to design an appealing and creative logo on your own. Simply choose a style and icon, then add any text, fonts, and colors.

Business Process Management

If you want to facilitate digital transformation across your workflows, it’s worth implementing digital process automation, otherwise known as Business Process Management (BPM). This is a strategy that aims to streamline and improve laborious business operations by automating menial tasks. When creating a BPM framework, companies usually monitor their effectiveness, then repeatedly check-in/act on this information to improve process and output.

Time Management

Small- to medium-sized businesses are often stretched for time, and, if you want to meet targets and hit deadlines, it’s important to invest in software that can help. There are plenty of programs designed to help you manage tasks, track working hours, and automate meetings. Calendar apps, for example, help you to coordinate with employees and offer transparency to save you time on organization.

Machine Learning

According to a recent survey by IBM, 29% of small businesses have reported that they are employing artificial intelligence or machine learning to some degree in their operations. Machine learning, in plain English, refers specifically to a form of AI that can work autonomously, using historical data to predict outcomes or formulate decisions moving forward. This form of AI has limitless potential and has applications in recruitment, HR, customer service, marketing, predictive analytics, and more.

Cloud Storage

The more we transition towards digital processes, the more the advantages of cloud storage seem to multiply. This is a solution that allows companies to store files, spreadsheets, documents, and other materials online. With access via any console that has internet capabilities. If you haven’t already, switching your systems to advanced cloud storage could save you money. Protect your assets more securely and remove the need for hard drives, external drives, and physical file systems.

Accountancy Software

Accountancy software removes the need for manual input or old-fashioned spreadsheets, allowing businesses to create/send invoices, track expenses, manage projects/clients, and view/share reports. The right program will boast cross-platform compatibility, allowing you to check or update your accounts on the move.

Whatever it is you’re selling, as a growing business in the modern era. It’s imperative that you welcome technology into your process. With the right tools at your disposal, there’s no limiting what you might achieve.

The DFW Veterans Chamber of Commerce enhances the professional lives of active duty, transitioning military. And Veterans through business, employment, and education. Learn more at: www.dfwveteranschamber.org

Tips and Resources to Help Veterans Thrive as Entrepreneurs

When it comes to entrepreneurship, veterans bring a lot to the table. Veterans are often skilled in strategic planning, organization, decision-making, and working around obstacles to reach their goals. The skills you developed while serving in the military put you in an excellent position to start your own business! Plus, veterans have access to all kinds of valuable resources to make business ownership a realistic and affordable venture regardless of experience or financial position. To help you get your business off the ground, check out the following tips and resources to help veterans thrive as entrepreneurs from The DFW Veterans Chamber of Commerce!

Consider Your Skills and Interests

If you already have a business idea in mind, great! But if not, take a look at your existing skills and experience to see if you can build a business idea based on your strengths. For example, Niche Pursuits suggests that veterans may enjoy teaching wilderness survival or disaster planning courses, running an automotive repair shop, opening a fitness center, or building a business to serve the needs of other veterans and military families. If you love being outside, look for business models that will enable you to work in the great outdoors, like offering adventure tours or hunting guide services.

If you want to run your business from home, look for remote freelancing opportunities. For example, you could work as a digital marketing director, bookkeeper, copywriter, social media manager, website designer, project manager, or cybersecurity expert. Once you have more work than you can handle, you can begin hiring help and building a full-fledged agency!

Use Digital Tools

Digital tools will make your life a lot easier as you build your new business. Even if you have zero entrepreneur experience, you can launch and run a business on your own with access to the right tools. Put together a custom software suite to meet the needs of your business. This might include accounting software, client management tools, project management software, and marketing apps, just to name a few.

Digital tools are particularly useful when it comes to client invoicing and financial management. For example, an invoice generator will allow you to choose a premade invoice template and customize it with your own text, photos, logo, and other important information. Look for a free invoice maker that offers different formatting options to ensure you can upload your invoice to your chosen accounting software.

Take Advantage of Veteran Entrepreneur Resources

As a veteran, you have access to several valuable resources that can offer education, training, mentoring, funding, hiring help, and other forms of assistance to get your business off the ground. Take advantage of these resources! Military-Transition.org lists several entrepreneur resources designed for veterans, including Bunker Labs, Patriot Boot Camp, Boots to Business, and VetToCeo.

Create a Startup Checklist

Starting a business can be overwhelming. There’s just so much to do! Create a startup checklist so you can keep your thoughts organized and avoid missing any important steps in the process. Here are some key tasks to include on your startup checklist:

  • Conduct market research.
  • Write a business plan.
  • Raise or borrow capital to fund your business.
  • Choose a formal business structure (sole proprietorship, LLC, corporation, etc.)
  • Pick a unique business name.
  • Register your business with your state.
  • Apply for the appropriate licenses and permits

There are countless online resources out there to walk you through each step in the startup process. Turn to Google whenever you’re feeling unsure of your next move. Of course, you can always hire professionals to help as well! Accounts, lawyers, business coaches, and marketing professionals can offer advice and tangible assistance as you prepare to launch your company.

Veterans make great entrepreneurs. If you’re looking for ways to make money after leaving the military, consider starting your own business! With the right resources and some good research skills, you’ll be up and running before you know it!

For more entrepreneur resources, join The DFW Veterans Chamber of Commerce! As a member, you’ll have access to networking opportunities, training programs, advertising opportunities, and more!

For more resources on hiring project managers click here.