TaKenya Hampton https://takenyahampton.com/ A safe space to grow... Wed, 07 Dec 2022 15:46:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=6.1.1 https://takenyahampton.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/TaKenya-Hampton-Square-Logo-1-150x150.png TaKenya Hampton https://takenyahampton.com/ 32 32 How Automation Can Help Your Small Business Grow https://takenyahampton.com/how-automation-can-help-your-small-business-grow/ https://takenyahampton.com/how-automation-can-help-your-small-business-grow/#respond Thu, 09 Jun 2022 00:32:47 +0000 https://takenyahampton.com/?p=6216 If you’re looking to grow your small business and start seeing more results, it’s time to consider automating certain aspects of your company’s operations with these tips on how automation can help your small business grow.
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Businesses of all sizes have realized the advantages of automation and are taking advantage of it to improve their workflow, save money, and increase productivity. Whether you run a one-person startup or manage an entire Fortune 500 company, these benefits are universal. 

Automation has become a big deal in recent years, with many business owners looking to maximize efficiency to save time and money and make room for more growth. However, some businesses are still not using this technology, or if they are using it, they are not using it to its full potential. 

Why Use Automation In Business

One of the best things about automation is that it eliminates needless tasks, which frees up your time and attention to work on more meaningful tasks. In addition, automation reduces errors, increases consistency, and allows you to create value for your customers all day, every day. So, if you’re looking for ways to boost productivity in your small business, consider investing in some automation tools.

Knowing What Your Business Needs Before You Automate

Before you automate your business, make sure you’re actually aware of what you need. Just because a system or tool can solve a problem for you doesn’t mean it will efficiently solve that problem. In many cases, automating inefficient workflows and processes will only worsen them. 

When looking to leverage automation in your business, ask yourself: does a task really need to be automated? If so, what exactly does it need to accomplish?

It’s important to know what your business needs before automating processes.  So it’s not all bad if you have done everything manually in your business up until now.   Because, most likely,  you’ve learned a lot about how your business works, there is a good chance that you will be able to automate specific tasks easily.

The manual work gives you insights into what is taking up too much time, what you don’t have time for, and even what you flat out just don’t want to do anymore.

What Automating Can Do For Your Business

The benefits of automation are substantial. It allows you to get more done in less time, but it also can give your customers access to fast and efficient service, which will make them more likely to come back. And by freeing up your valuable time, automation can help you dedicate it to tasks that require your full attention.   

Additionally, automating specific processes allows you to use data to predict when something is going wrong before it becomes a problem. This means fewer surprises and greater customer satisfaction!

How can automation help your business grow?

The first thing most people do when starting a business is get to work. While that’s undoubtedly true, there are several tasks that you might not have time for (or experience with) that you should delegate. 

For example, if your business needs an accountant, hire one rather than trying to do all of your company’s finances yourself. The same applies to many other jobs and tasks – from graphic design and marketing to shipping and warehousing.

You hire people who have the expertise and knowledge in what you need to get done.

Automation is not the opposite of hiring out. Instead, it is a compliment to it.

Automation can be done as a first step to getting the help you need in your business.

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The Difference Between Hiring Out And Automating

Which is better for your business? 

It might surprise you, but outsourcing versus automation isn’t a one or the other decision; you can use both to grow your small business. But be aware that some tasks aren’t suitable for an outsourced/automated approach and will require in-house staff (and vice versa). 

For instance, computer repairs are probably something you should outsource, but your client’s checkout/payment process most likely requires automation.

If you’re on a tight budget and wonder how to save money, automating certain tasks may be your best bet. Automating can allow you to get the work of 2-3 people done with just you.

How To Begin With Automation For Your Small Business

There are many tools on the market today that can help you automate your small business with relative ease. Automation can make running your business more manageable, from scheduling to team communication to invoicing. 

Automation won’t do all of your work for you, but starting with simple tasks will save you time to focus on growing your business without getting caught up in simple daily tasks or projects.

4 Steps to Getting Started With Automation

Audit your workflows, systems, and processes

It’s impossible to automate something you can’t define. So before moving forward, it’s essential to understand what tasks will make up your automated business processes and any dependencies that might exist between those processes.

You’ll also want to consider which technologies will be needed to build your automated processes. For example, if you plan to use a chatbot for customer service, you’ll need a tool like Intercom or Drift. Likewise, if you plan to use a tool like Zapier to automate tasks between different tools, you’ll need those tools before building out any automation.

An audit of your processes will help you determine the tools that could help get your automation started.

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Determine how much time and effort you want to put into this project

One of the biggest things that get in the way of getting started with automation is having the time to step away from doing the work to set up a way to get it done more efficiently.

While you may be ready to get started, you may not have the time it takes to get it done.

You can look at your schedule and see when you have free time to dedicate to the project and plan for it.  Or you can outsource it and invest in a professional that can get things up and running for you.  Lucky for you, you are here with one right now.  Hello!

Either way, you have to find the time to do what needs to be done correctly, so it doesn’t cost you more time and money down the line.

Select what platforms will work best for your specific business needs.

There are so many tools designed to make running a business easier. But, as with all things, there will be pros and cons.  And there is no one size fits all.

Finding the tool that works best for you and matches your preferences is essential.

Look at the results from your audit and determine The things you must have and what is non-negotiable.  Then select the tool that meets your requirements accordingly.

Get started with simple tasks

Start with tasks that involve a lot of back-and-forth. For example, suppose you create and send quotes to customers. In that case, the process most likely consists in sending an estimate to a customer (who will often reply with changes or clarifications), then calculating those changes and sending them back. Implementing the usage of a Client Management Tool such as Dubsado or Honeybook can make these things more manageable.

Scheduling is another big one for service providers.  Instead of emailing back and forth or writing things in your planner manually, some tools will sync with your personal and business calendars and let clients book their own appointments.

Only you know what you need

Although several software tools can undoubtedly automate different aspects of your business, you don’t have to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on these tools. Instead, you might only need something simple.  Book a discovery call so we can discuss what might work best for getting started with automation in your business.

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What Does a Copywriter Do? Why You Need a Copywriter on Your New Website https://takenyahampton.com/worthing-with-a-copywriter-on-a-new-website-what-does-a-copywriter-do/ https://takenyahampton.com/worthing-with-a-copywriter-on-a-new-website-what-does-a-copywriter-do/#comments Fri, 13 May 2022 17:15:13 +0000 https://takenyahampton.com/?p=5900 A website may be aesthetically pleasing and easy to navigate, but is it effective at persuading customers to convert? No matter how great your website looks, if it’s not persuasive, you’re losing sales. The solution? You need a copywriter! Whether you’re redesigning your current site or creating one from scratch, a copywriter can help you drive leads and gain new customers. Here’s what a copywriter does and why they’re so important to your business success.
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Web design vs. Web writing

Good web design and good web writing are not mutually exclusive; in fact, they’re actually complementary. Good web writing is just as important as good website design— you almost can’t have one without the other. 

What I have come to find as a common theme is that business owners are ready to start or even rebrand their website, but have not considered the copy for their site.  A times it may not even be that you need a new website (coming from the person who makes money creating web spaces), but that you need new copy.  Yea I said it.

Good web design  is all about making your site easy to use and visually appealing. But it’s also about getting your visitor from “I want that” to “I want it now!” as quickly and efficiently as possible.  And the “that” I mention can be a product or the service that you offer.

This is where good copywriting comes in.

Good copywriting makes you stand out from your competition, gets you more traffic, and helps you convert more of those visitors and readers of your amazing content into customers.

Web content can be hard to write

Even a person with the best ideas and information can lack the ability to keep readers and customers on the page if it is presented in a less than interesting way.

It is also worth noting that the personality of the person providing the information is sometimes the difference between what content, services, etc. that people choose.  So your personality coming through in your business is sooooo important.

Even the largest corporations hire someone to write their website copy, email marketing, and social content to match their brand voice and attract their ideal clients.

If you are going to use content marketing to sell products or services online, it is important that you work with someone who understands how words affect your customers. A copywriter understands how to position products and services in ways that engage your customers and draw them in.

And it is important to note that not everyone who writes can write web content. 

The difference between writing for paper and writing for screens is mainly about knowing how to handle words in new ways—and learning new vocabularies. 

What does a copywriter do

A web copywriter (also known as a web content writer) works to craft engaging, compelling content that gives your readers and potential clients the information they need in an easy-to-understand way, all while keeping the interests of your business in mind with their writing style and tone. 

Whether you’re just starting to build your website or it needs an overhaul, finding a copywriter who has experience working with businesses like yours is absolutely essential. If you do find a good copywriter, they’ll work with you to craft engaging headlines, compelling meta and product/service descriptions and promotional content.

4 Things a Good Copywriter Will do for You

Copywriters have quite an important job—they’re in charge of not only writing content for your website but also of making sure that it reads well and sounds professional, by your standards. 

Here are four things you can expect from a good copywriter:

  1. Write compelling copy that accurately reflects your brand voice and values. 
  2. Deliver content for the different areas of your website keeping in mind how it all flows and works together.
  3. Provide content that has been proofread and edited. 
  4. Communicate effectively with you throughout the entire process.

How to Choose the Right Copywriter

Finding a good copywriter takes time, especially if you’re working with them for your website. 

When choosing a copywriter, look at their portfolio and client list to see what types of businesses they work with. If you’re an expert in one industry, find someone who works in that field if possible. This will save you both time and money because your web content will be tailored specifically to your niche audience.

There is a chance that you find a person who has not worked in your industry, but they get you, your business and most importantly – your voice and values.

A good copywriter will work with you to design website copy that fits your budget and aesthetic, rather than trying to cram your business into their pre-existing mold. 

Always be clear about YOUR goals for your website, whether it’s building brand awareness or selling products. A copywriter that works with you to find solutions tailored specifically to your business will help give you more value for your money.

Finding your brand voice 

When you’re starting from scratch, it can take some time to find your brand voice. Be patient with yourself! 

Think about how other brands that speak to your ideal  and use that to adapt to that tone of voice as you write copy for your website. Not in a “copy what they say” kind of way, but in a “put it into your own words and with your own flavor” kind of way.

A good copywriter will also be able to help with finding your brand voice.

To find your brand voice, ask yourself 

  • How do I want my customers to feel when they visit my website? 
  • What do I want them to remember about me after they leave? 
  • And how can I speak to them in a way that’s consistent with my business goals and values?

If you need help finding your brand voice, try posting some different words or phrases on sticky notes around your home or office. Then take note of which ones make you smile or feel excited. 

Those are likely good candidates for working into your brand voice.

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5 Tips to Get the Most Out of Working With a Copywriter

Since creating an effective website for your business is likely one of your top priorities, it can be tempting to take on every task, including writing content. However,  hiring a copywriter to handle some or all of your site’s content will help you get more done in less time and with better results. 

Here are five tips for getting more out of working with a copywriter:

  1. Ask friends and colleagues for referrals. Be sure to interview several candidates to find one who’s compatible with your style and objectives.
  2. To make sure you get your money’s worth, it’s important to be very detailed in your initial conversations.  Ask how your copywriter would handle difficult situations, such as deadlines, budgets and sudden changes. If he or she seems unprepared to answer, consider hiring someone else.
  3. Once you find a great fit, be sure to stay in contact during all phases of your project, from writing to proofreading.
  4. When working with your copywriter, ask for samples of previous work that demonstrate his or her style and ability to meet your needs.  Ask for references. Find out how satisfied clients were with your copywriter’s services, and ask about how well your copywriter was able to meet deadlines and budgets.
  5. If you aren’t happy with your copywriter’s work, don’t hesitate to ask for changes.

Working together is important in helping you and your copywriter define who you are as a brand, which will improve the effectiveness of all your content. 

When You Should Start Working With A Copywriter

When you are starting out it may be hard to choose what things to spring for when making investments to get going.  A good copywriter may be costly, but at some point it is a great investment to make.

If you are just getting started and money is tight, you could start by hiring a copywriter for only some of the pages that are most important for converting.  

Also you can start by writing your own copy and then having a copy audit done that shares with you how to improve it or redirect your copy to achieve your goals.

The best time to work with a copywriter is when you can afford to do so.   

If you have just started and have no money, then it’s better to focus on other things like building your business and getting sales. Speak with potential or existing customers to understand why they considered working with you, this will help you understand and speak to their pain points, what is catching their attention, and also how you can improve your copy to capture more people from that feedback.

Although there are certainly other things you can do to find a good copywriter for your website, these steps outline how to get started. With a little effort and patience, you’ll be working with an experienced writer in no time. Just remember that finding the perfect copywriter may be difficult; however, it will be worth it in the end!

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Top 3 Client Management Tools for Coaches https://takenyahampton.com/top-3-client-management-tools-for-coaches/ https://takenyahampton.com/top-3-client-management-tools-for-coaches/#comments Mon, 11 Apr 2022 11:11:00 +0000 https://takenyahampton.com/?p=5521 Coaching can be an incredibly rewarding career, but one of the biggest challenges coaches face as they grow their business is keeping track of their clients and their client’s progress. The good news is there are several online tools available to coaches that will make it easier to manage their client’s progress and keep everyone on track toward meeting their goals. 
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These three tools are my top picks for Coaches. Read on to learn more about them and why they have become essential parts of any coach’s arsenal!

Client Management Can Be Overwhelming

Most coaches have to keep track of their clients’ needs and schedules in addition to their own, which can become incredibly overwhelming. Fortunately, there are many tools available that make client management easy, so you can focus on what really matters—helping your clients to achieve their goals. 

Which tools should you use? 

How do you get them to work together? 

How do you keep everything organized and accessible? 

It’s a confusing world out there, but it doesn’t have to be that way. 

Here, we’ll talk about the top three client management tools for coaches, as well as how each one can help improve your life and your business as a whole.

Why You Need A Client Management Tool

As a coach, you’re in a profession with infinite opportunities and options, but you don’t have an infinite amount of time. 

As much as you want to focus on yourself and doing your best work, you also have to spend time ensuring your client relationship stays strong—and that means keeping up with communications. Luckily, there are tools that can help. These tools make it easy to keep track of what is going on in both your business and personal life so you can effectively manage your clients.

5 Ways That Client Management Tools Can Simply Your Life

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Managing your schedule

Clients are often an entrepreneur’s most valuable asset, but they can also be their biggest headache. If you don’t have solid client management tools in place, you could get overwhelmed by scheduling and communication issues. Don’t let your lack of having the proper systems in place stress you out—set up systems that make it easy to keep your life in order! 

Contracts

Do you have your clients sign contracts? If not, you need to start!

But just like everything else listed here, it can be hard to keep track of.

A good client management tool is going to not only make it easier to issue and keep track of signatures but also make it easier for clients to digitally sign your contracts.

Invoicing/Payments

After you have clients sign a contract, payment needs to be made.

The last thing you want to be worrying about is whether or not a client paid you for their session. Be sure to use a system that automatically tracks payments and reminds clients when they’re due.

Client Portal

Having a client portal makes it easy for you and your clients to access your uploads, notes, past appointment details, payments, and invoicing.

It also adds an added bonus of professionalism to have this to offer to your clients.

Automation

Once you find your normal workflow, being able to automate things helps you to be able to scale your business.   

For example, if you have clients that want a custom package for their session and want to know about pricing options before scheduling an appointment with you, it can be hard to keep track of all of these details in your head. Automating some of these processes by using a client management tool can help alleviate some stress and make it easier on you (and your clients too)!

Paperbell

Paperbell is a new software platform that is geared specifically at coaches.  It manages the “business side” of your online coaching business. 

The user interface is straightforward, sleek, and simplistic. Whether you primarily use it on desktop or mobile it will operate beautifully. 

It also integrates with some of your favorite tools, including but not limited to:

  • PayPal
  • Stripe
  • Zoom
  • Google Calendar
  • Google Meet
  • Zapier

It allows you to get started with a free trial where you can add one client and try things out before subscribing completely.

It is priced at 50 dollars a month, or $480 dollars if you pay for the year upfront.

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Honeybook

Honeybook is a project management software that can be used by a lot of different types of professionals.  It has robust features and a mobile app which nowadays is a huge bonus.

HoneyBook provides a one-stop-shop for every task you’ll need to handle. Get paper, spreadsheets, and a ridiculous amount of apps out of your workflow. One login, unlimited peace of mind.

It allows you to:

  • Keep track of your projects
  • House documents and contracts
  • Streamline communication
  • Manage payments
  • Synchronize scheduling

Honeybook offers a 7-day full-featured free trial and has 3 reasonably priced plans – $9/month Starter plan, $39/month Unlimited plan, and $390/year Unlimited plan.

Using my link gets you 50% off for one year.

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Dubsado

Dubsado is similar to Honeybook and is a project management tool that allows you to easily keep track of clients and client interactions.

Of the three it has the greatest learning curve.  But once you figure it out it has lots of amazing features including but not limited to:

  • fully brandable content
  • customized URL
  • client proposals
  • migration from other tools with a paid account
  • ability to schedule a demo
  • ability to test it out as if you were a client

Dubsado allows you an almost fully featured free trial up to your first three clients.  It does not allow the embedding of lead capture forms on trial accounts to minimize going over the 3 clients.  After that plans start at $20/month and vary based on the number of teammates, brands managed under the account, or if you pay monthly or annually.

Using my link gets you 20% off your first month or year.

[lasso ref=”dubsado” id=”4975″ link_id=”737″]

Which Tool Is The Best Out Of The 3

Each of these tools comes with its own set of pros and cons.

It will depend on the needs of your business and your workflows.  I have tried each of them and loved them all for different reasons.

I would suggest doing a trial and eval of each tool.  Alternatively, you can book a consultation to discuss your needs and to get help determining which tool would work best for you.

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Tips on Self-Care for Busy Women Who Overdo It and How to Give Yourself a Break https://takenyahampton.com/self-care-for-busy-women-who-overdo-it-and-how-to-give-yourself-a-break/ https://takenyahampton.com/self-care-for-busy-women-who-overdo-it-and-how-to-give-yourself-a-break/#respond Tue, 22 Mar 2022 11:11:00 +0000 https://takenyahampton.com/?p=4806&preview=true&preview_id=4806 Whether you work a high-pressure job, you have children to look after, or some combination of both, we’ve all been there when we’re trying to do too much and we’re so tired that we just don’t know what to do with ourselves anymore. But self-care is essential.
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As someone who spends the majority of their time working and then some more at home taking care of their responsibilities, it’s easy to see how self-care can fall to the bottom of the totem pole. However, taking care of yourself is vital to your mental and physical health, as well as your relationships with friends and family, and even your career success! This blog will provide you with tips on self-care for busy women that you can incorporate into your routine so that you don’t burn out before you even have time to enjoy life!

Self-care doesn’t have to mean spending hours in the bathtub, although it certainly can if that’s what works for you.  Because that is exactly one of the things that work for me.  But although self-care may sound like a foreign concept to you if you’re one of the many busy women who overdo it.  But learning how to better care for yourself could be the key to getting your work and life balance on track.

If you’re a woman, you probably have no shortage of things to do, places to go, people to see, and things to get done in the next 24 hours. And if you don’t, it’s likely that you feel that way often enough that this article resonates with you. I know from experience—I’m on the same hamster wheel as many of you are, always trying to keep my head above water and feeling like I’m drowning in everything there is to do and not enough time in which to do it all!

Are you overworked?

If you’re pushing yourself too hard, it’s not just bad for your health—it also may be impacting your work performance.

According to a recent report from Staples Advantage, more than 50 percent of workers said they are too busy at work to eat lunch. And two in five people said they’re so stressed that they’ve done nothing but work all weekend. When pushed to such extremes, there is always stress, fatigue, and frustration that can lower one’s productivity.

Things to look out for to determine if you are overworked include time management issues, trouble concentrating, or lack of motivation because these are all symptoms indicating burnout.

What is burnout?

Most people have heard of it but not everyone understands it.

Burnout is when you’re exhausted from prolonged stress.

While most of us know what burnout feels like, we often don’t realize that we are experiencing burnout until several signs become apparent. In fact, many times these symptoms creep up slowly until one day we wake up completely overwhelmed.

If you experience any of these symptoms (many overlap with depression), it may be time to take some time off:

  • One or more of your usual activities suddenly start making you feel tired, drained or stressed out?
  • You stop going out as much as before or cutting back in ways that surprise even you.
  • You need caffeine, sugar or a change in plans just to make it through your day?
  • Your sleep pattern has changed so that getting seven hours seems impossible anymore even though 10 years ago seven hours seemed plenty?
  • You catch yourself trying to do multiple things at once and get nothing done at all?
woman in white top holding a smartphone with head down on table

How to know if you overdoing it and on your way to burnout

Although it may seem like you’re superhuman, as humans we all have our limits.

You can overdo it at work or you can overdo it in your personal life, but it’s easy to see yourself when you need to take a step back.

These are some of the signs that can show if you’re pushing yourself too hard:

  • You start skipping lunch or breakfast in order to get more done.
  • Your social calendar is empty—and while you once enjoyed going out with friends, now you just don’t have time.
  • You stay late at work to finish a project so others don’t have to pick up your slack—because it seems worth sacrificing extra hours sleeping in.

However, if these things describe your day-to-day routine, then chances are you might be getting burned out. If so, take some time off (even a day or two) to spend doing what brings you joy.

Let’s talk about some ways to give yourself a literal and figurative break.

7 Tips on Self-Care For Busy Women Who Overdo It

Take a Off Day

We all need them from time to time, especially when we’re stressed or overwhelmed. Don’t feel guilty about taking some downtime every once in a while—even if you take it unannounced!

If your co-workers are annoyed that you disappeared, let them get over it. If they wonder where you were, just say I needed some personal time; I was at my therapist’s office or in yoga class or visiting with family.

Whatever self-care routine works best for you is fine as long as it helps you recharge during an otherwise busy week.

Schedule Me Time

If you’re anything like me, you spend your workweek (and many weekend hours) completely immersed in your career and personal life. But if you don’t carve out time for yourself, you could end up burning out, or worse, get sick. 

Most women are notoriously hard on themselves, setting extremely high standards that they’re inevitably unable to reach. The end result? Underperformance or burnout. The problem is that we simply don’t allow ourselves time off; we run our bodies into exhaustion and make stress an unavoidable part of our lives. However, your mental health is just as important as your physical health, so it’s important to schedule in some me time now and then—it doesn’t have to be fancy!

Start by scheduling one hour every week that is only dedicated to self-care. Maybe that looks like taking a long bath or reading (or even listening to) an engaging book; whatever it is that relaxes you and energizes your mind to be more productive next week—do it!

While I am all for personal development reading, sometimes you just need to get lost in a good story.  For me, that can be a fiction read or an autobiography.  Something that is purely for my enjoyment.

white apple iphone on wooden table

Put Your Phone Down!

If you have a problem with self-care, chances are your smartphone is part of it.

Social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Pinterest and TikTok aren’t just fun ways to connect with people—they’re also dopamine triggers that can keep us reaching for our phones even when we don’t really want to use them.

These same apps can make it especially hard to get focused work done. But there are simple steps you can take to set yourself up for success:

  • Put your phone out of sight or in another room (or turn off notifications).
  • Close those social media tabs and any others that tempt you away from doing what needs doing.

You might be surprised at how much more effectively you do focus if you manage distraction beforehand instead of allowing yourself to get distracted by technology.

Treat Yo’Self

Stress releases hormones that in excess can slow your metabolism down, leading to weight gain. A quick way to get stress out of your system is through self-care.

Take time each day to do something you enjoy, whether it’s indulging in a cupcake or calling your sister back home. When we take time out of our busy schedules to reward ourselves, we tend not only to feel better but also perform better at work and are more productive overall.

See Also:  Treat Yourself | 12 Ways To Do Just That WITHOUT Involving Food

Don’t Try To Do Everything

Too often, we think that in order to be productive, we have to do it all. 

Not true! 

The truth is that multitasking can actually be a source of inefficiency and can cause us to take twice as long to complete something because we’re switching between tasks so much. 

To keep from getting burned out, try doing one thing at a time without distraction or pressure. That way you’ll find it easier to tune into your needs and priorities (and save some time).

But beyond that, maybe there are things that you have taken on as yours, that is actually not yours at all.    Stop picking up other people’s responsibilities, worries, needs, and stresses.  Give it back, hand it off.

Don’t try to do everything yourself.

Take it easy, you deserve it

Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in your daily grind—but that doesn’t mean you have to be a slave to your job (or your family too for that matter). So, why not make an effort every day to give yourself time off?

We believe that we should never stop playing hard and working hard, but just because you play hard doesn’t mean you shouldn’t also let yourself enjoy some downtime.

Set Limits And Boundaries

Sometimes we over-commit because we feel pressured by other people. If your friend asks you to head up her foundation for next year’s fundraiser, ask yourself why you’re saying yes. Are you taking on too much responsibility for other people? If so, it might be time to reevaluate your priorities—and say no. Saying no is hard and won’t necessarily make you popular, but learning how to do it is essential if you want to take care of yourself and achieve happiness in your own life.

Boundaries, similarly, are about respecting your own needs. If you want to leave work at 5 pm, that’s something you need to make clear with everyone around you. There are some social norms around working late (or at least not leaving early), so it might be easier to just stay put and deal with it. But by setting boundaries and advocating for yourself, you can take care of your own needs—which will help reduce your own overall stress levels.

Don’t Forget You Are Not Perfect {and you don’t need to be}

Perfectionism can be tough to shed, but it is crucial to recognize that it’s an unhealthy way of thinking. Perfectionists are rarely happy, and they always feel like they could do better. Remember that you don’t need to be perfect; in fact, striving for perfection only leads to feeling stressed out.

The next time you’re feeling like you could be doing more, ask yourself: 

  • What are my priorities right now? 
  • What are my goals and can I get closer to them by pushing myself to be perfect? 
  • Am I happy with how I’m spending my time right now? 

If you answered no to any of these questions, it might be time for you to take a break. As much as it might feel like taking a break would mean letting go of your goals, it is actually essential to being able to achieve them in the long run.

photo of women sitting on orange sofa

Surround Yourself With Supportive People

The support you surround yourself with is an important factor to consider. Find people who are going to make you laugh and lift your spirits, but also be around those who will pull you back from exhaustion, anger, or burnout. 

Your tribe is a group of people who are like-minded, who can empathize with your struggles, and understand your process. They will be there to offer you support, critique you constructively, and walk beside you as you work toward your goals. Look for people who have gone through similar challenges as you. They may be able to help put things into perspective or offer valuable insight into your situation.

They may be able to offer up the encouragement you need in your most challenging times.

Get Some Sleep

Getting enough sleep is imperative to keeping up with daily life, but it’s much easier said than done. It can be difficult to find time to slow down, especially when you have so many obligations. 

As adults, we know that sleep is crucial for our bodies and minds to recover from stressful situations and stay alert in less hectic times. But many of us have trouble practicing what we preach when it comes to prioritizing our sleep over other things. We often convince ourselves that we can make up for it later in terms of rest.  But what actually happens is that we end up feeling exhausted and run down. 

This leads to getting sick more often, having trouble concentrating at work or school, and poor overall health. 

Awareness is key.

Now that you’re aware of how much rest can impact your day-to-day life, why not start prioritizing sleep right now? Like, go take a nap right now?

Plan

The best way to make sure you don’t overcommit is by planning ahead.

Be realistic with your schedule, and figure out which events, tasks, or appointments are truly essential. Put all of your nonessential obligations in a different color so you can easily spot them. That way, when you get swamped by incoming emails or requests from friends who need help with something, you can review your calendar quickly—and say no if it’s not part of your plan for that day.

Find Things To Be Grateful For

A lot of people find that gratitude can be a great practice for keeping stress in check. While it’s not an instant cure, studies show practicing appreciation can help you sleep better, lower your blood pressure and boost your immune system. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, spend some time journaling or meditating—or even just taking a short walk outside—to come up with things to be grateful for. 

The book, The Magic by Rhonda Byrne is a great book for working in a gratitude practice and making it a normal part of your daily routine.

But a great start is to write down all of your accomplishments daily or weekly, no matter how small they may seem to you, and keep them somewhere you can see them. Focus on them. Especially in times when you are being hard on yourself.

self care isn t selfish signage

It’s Time To Give Yourself a Break

Giving yourself a break is an important part of self-care. Taking a vacation or getting out of your everyday routine will help you relax, which leads to better health—mental and physical. If you don’t have time, even small breaks are beneficial. Turn off your phone when going out with friends, have an indoor picnic, or try something new such as ziplining or reading one book every month that has nothing to do with work.

Self-care is not selfish, it is essential. But if you’re too busy to do it, give yourself time off. Taking time off doesn’t mean quitting, it means knowing when to stop pushing and recognizing that your body can only go so far before you break down. By giving yourself a break, you will see your output rise and productivity increase as well as enjoy an overall sense of calm in your daily life. 

When you’re managing yourself and your own schedule, it can be hard to make time for self-care.  But what we often forget is that when you don’t take care of yourself, your output suffers and so does your productivity—not to mention overall happiness and fulfillment.

Taking time off isn’t easy, especially if you work in an industry that doesn’t allow it. Yet when you make sure to look after yourself, you come back refreshed—and better able to give your best at work. In fact, being able to stay calm in stressful situations can lead to better performance reviews or even promotions. Always take care of yourself first!

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22 Mission Statement Examples To Inspire You To Create Your Own Small Business Mission Statement https://takenyahampton.com/mission-statement-examples-for-small-businesses-getting-started-and-in-need-of-inspiration/ https://takenyahampton.com/mission-statement-examples-for-small-businesses-getting-started-and-in-need-of-inspiration/#comments Sat, 19 Mar 2022 10:45:00 +0000 https://takenyahampton.com/?p=5970 Mission statement examples from some of your favorite brands that will help you craft the perfect mission statement for your own business.  Allowing you to define what you do, why you do it, and who you do it for.
close up photography of woman sitting beside table while using macbook
Photo by Andrew Neel on Pexels.com

Whether your business is just getting started or in the middle of a brand update, your company mission statement is important.

A mission statement shares your company’s who, what, and why in a few simple sentences. It focuses your leadership team, inspires employees, and communicates your core values to the larger world.

I have compiled 22 of the best company mission statement examples to help get your creative juices flowing.

If you are looking to craft your company’s mission statement and want to see what some of your favorite brands have come up with, here you go!

22 Mission Statement Examples To Help You Craft Your Small Business Mission Statement

Amazon

We strive to offer our customers the lowest possible prices, the best available selection, and the utmost convenience.

Etsy

To reimagine commerce in ways that build a more fulfilling and lasting world. We are building a human, authentic and community-centric global and local marketplace.

Apple

To bring the best user experience to its customers through its innovative hardware, software, and services.

Starbucks

To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.

Facebook

To give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.

Twitter

To give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers.

Disney

To entertain, inform and inspire people around the globe through the power of unparalleled storytelling, reflecting the iconic brands, creative minds, and innovative technologies that make ours the world’s premier entertainment company.

netflix on an imac
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Netflix

To promise our customers stellar service, our suppliers a valuable partner, our investors the prospects of sustained profitable growth, and our employees the allure of huge impact.

Hulu

To help people find and enjoy the world’s premium video content when, where and how they want it.

Target

To help all families discover the joy of everyday life.

Walmart

To save people money so they can live better.

blue and white logo guessing game
Photo by Brett Jordan on Pexels.com

PayPal

To build the Web’s most convenient, secure, cost-effective payment solution.

Uber

Uber is evolving the way the world moves. By seamlessly connecting riders to drivers through our apps, we make cities more accessible, opening up more possibilities for riders and more business for drivers.

Google

To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

Microsoft

To enable people and businesses throughout the world to realize their full potential.

Southwest Airlines

To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline.

Delta Airlines

To be the World’s Most Trusted Airline

Toyota

To attract and attain customers with high-valued products and services and the most satisfying ownership experience in America.

photo of parked red honda
Photo by Javon Swaby on Pexels.com

Honda

Maintaining a global viewpoint, we are dedicated to supplying products of the highest quality, yet at a reasonable price for worldwide customer satisfaction.

Progressive Insurance

Become consumers’ number one choice and destination for auto and other insurance.

Hyatt

To provide authentic hospitality by making a difference in the lives of the people we touch every day

Hilton

To fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality.

Craft your Mission Statement and Put It to Work

If you have not drafted your mission statement for your small business just yet, here is a guide to help you get started.

Once you’ve crafted your business’s mission statement, you’ll want to put it to work.

Besides having mission statements to communicate who they are and what they do, many successful small businesses also have vision statements to describe their most significant achievements. Once you have the mission statement covered, you can work on crafting your vision statement.

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How You Can Use A Growth Mindset To Achieve Your Goals https://takenyahampton.com/how-you-can-use-a-growth-mindset-to-achieve-your-goals/ https://takenyahampton.com/how-you-can-use-a-growth-mindset-to-achieve-your-goals/#respond Wed, 16 Mar 2022 17:47:00 +0000 https://takenyahampton.com/?p=4598 Have you ever noticed that the people who are most successful at whatever they set their minds to tend to have one thing in common? They all have a growth mindset. 
woman covering her eye with a sunflower

A growth mindset focuses on being able to achieve your goals, versus a fixed mindset which believes you’re either great at something or terrible at it, and there’s nothing you can do about it.  

One of the most important factors in determining your success in any endeavor is your mindset or the way you think about what you’re doing and how successful you are at it.

What is a Growth Mindset?

To have a growth mindset means that we more often than not, see challenges as opportunities to grow, learn and improve ourselves. It’s about always asking how we can improve ourselves in any given situation. 

A strong growth mindset comes from believing that: 

  • Any problem has many possible solutions.  
  • Our past success doesn’t predict our future success.
  • It’s okay if I make mistakes 
  • I am capable of improving myself
  • Effort is more important than ability

A key aspect of having a growth mindset is being comfortable with not knowing everything and being open-minded to new possibilities.

Benefits Of Having A Growth Mindset

A growth mindset is crucial to reaching your full potential. People with growth mindsets don’t see failures as setbacks, but rather just one step closer towards success. When you’re driven by passion and hard work, instead of fear of failure, it’s easy to overcome challenges and develop key skills needed for advancement in any area of your life.

Developing a growth mindset will set you up for success in whatever part of your life you are looking to improve.  

People with growth mindsets are more likely to face challenges head on, rather than run away from them in fear. Those who understand that setbacks are inevitable will work hard to overcome them and walk away feeling proud of their accomplishments.

Having a growth mindset gives people confidence and determination to conquer anything they set their minds to. Whether it’s starting an online business, writing an e-book, having meaningful relationships, or going back to school for an advanced degree. When you have a growth mindset, any goal is achievable!

Growth Mindset Example

People with a growth mindset see failure as an opportunity. 

What does that mean?

They know that in order to get better, they have to push themselves out of their comfort zone and experiment, which inevitably means sometimes failing at something. 

Instead of being afraid of failure or thinking it’s bad, people with a growth mindset embrace mistakes as part of learning and improving. In fact, they love having obstacles thrown in their way because it challenges them!

People with a fixed mindset see failures as proof that they are inadequate. They believe that if they fail at something, it’s because they lack talent or skills. This is often why people don’t pursue things they want even if they have an innate talent or skillset for it. 

puzzled woman with pen studying in room

Fixed mindset versus growth mindset example

A person who is a natural writer writes a book and shops it for publishing.  After being met with several closed doors, she thinks “maybe I am just not meant to be a writer”.  She then gives up on her dream of being a published author.

A person who loves to write decides to start writing a book.  They go through the process of learning how to self-publish.  Publish the book.  Only sell 100 copies when the goal was to sell 500.

The writer​​ then goes on to figure out how to turn the book into an audiobook and eBook.  Lists it for sale in the two new formats and sells thousands of copies.

The person in the second example didn’t attach the outcome to their abilities.  They may have done some research and realized that people don’t buy and read handheld books as much anymore in their genre.  They may have surveyed their audience and got feedback that suggested they would have enjoyed it more if it was in another more accessible format.

At any rate, they did not stop.  They did not hang on to the outcome and look at it as a failure.  They put it in the gas tank and used it for fuel to keep going.  Leading them to not only reach their goal but to exceed it.

How To Have A Growth Mindset

A growth mindset is a belief that our abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—as opposed to a fixed mindset, which says that intelligence is fixed from birth. 

Understanding how to adopt a growth mindset will have far-reaching implications for your career, your relationships, and basically every area of life. 

Here are some tips for adopting a growth mindset

A key part of having a growth mindset is seeking out challenges and opportunities for stretching yourself. When an opportunity comes along, ask yourself: What’s exciting about it? What are my skills and what do I know? What will I learn in doing it? Will it grow my skills or help me develop something new? If an opportunity doesn’t have those elements, don’t pursue it. 

Avoid comparing yourself to others.  Use the successes of others as motivation instead of being discouraged by them.

Surround yourself with growth seekers.   If all of your friends are interested in being average, it might be hard for you to adopt a growth mindset. Look for people who want to stretch themselves and challenge themselves. It’s also important to develop mentors who will support you as you grow.

Many people feel that they are not intelligent enough or don’t have what it takes to succeed. But if they could only realize their potential through practice and perseverance then there is no way that they couldn’t succeed!

Common Myths About Growth Mindsets

A lot of people think that having a growth mindset means thinking positive, always believing in yourself, and never challenging yourself. 

In reality, it’s more about setting and meeting realistic expectations for success. The best way to go about developing a growth-oriented mentality is by keeping these five myths in mind:

Myth #1: You need to see yourself as successful before you can be successful. 

In reality, people with growth mindsets succeed because they’re always challenging themselves. If someone has an unconditional belief in their own ability, it’s unlikely that they’ll work hard or persevere through challenges because there’s no failure. 

Instead, these people acknowledge challenges and view them as opportunities for improvement.

Myth #2: You need to think positively all of the time. 

When it comes to thinking about our abilities, we don’t just fall into one category or another. In reality, what’s important is how we respond to challenges and setbacks. Do we see them as evidence that we aren’t capable, or do we view them as opportunities for improvement? Those with growth mindsets have more positive thoughts, but they also have negative ones.  They just don’t fixate on the negative.

Myth #3: People with certain personalities can’t have growth mindsets. 

Our personality traits are relatively stable over time, but even if we’re extroverted or introverted, for example, we can still work toward changing and improving ourselves. When it comes to developing a growth-oriented mentality, actually believing that you are capable of change is more important than personality type.

Myth #4: You shouldn’t challenge yourself if you have a fixed mindset. 

In reality, it’s important to push yourself in order to improve and master new skills. Even if you have a fixed mindset and believe that there are limits on what you can do, pushing past them is still useful because it will give you valuable experience, boost your confidence and maybe even cross you over into a growth state of mind.

Myth #5: You shouldn’t be open to negative feedback if you have a growth mindset. 

Not everyone is going to understand or support your journey toward self-improvement, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worthwhile. In fact, being able to reflect on challenges and setbacks is an important part of success for anyone who wants to see real change in their lives. Growth mindsets don’t come from avoiding criticism; they come from accepting it as useful feedback for improvement and discerning what can be applied and what can be discarded..

Endless Possibilities With a Growth Mindset

Creating a positive mindset is instrumental in staying on track. You will be more motivated, you will be able to take criticisms with grace and understanding, and you won’t be so worried about failing that you don’t try at all. 

It’s true that it takes work – hard work – but if you have what it takes to learn new skills, think outside of yourself, develop yourself into an expert of what matters to you, then nothing is impossible. Your possibilities are endless when you have a growth mindset.

No matter what challenges you face, with a growth mindset there’s nothing you can’t accomplish. 

Find some time today to reflect on what skills need work and where your confidence needs an extra boost. This is one of those small steps that will result in big changes down the road.

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The Beginner’s Guide to Personal Development https://takenyahampton.com/the-beginners-guide-to-personal-development/ https://takenyahampton.com/the-beginners-guide-to-personal-development/#respond Tue, 08 Mar 2022 12:11:00 +0000 https://takenyahampton.com/?p=4600 Personal development is important, as it lets you take control of your life and focus on being the best person you can be. Whether you’re trying to help your career, relationships, or well-being, personal development gives you the tools and ideas to improve yourself in those areas and so much more. 
a bored woman with her hand on chin

Follow this beginner’s guide to getting started with your own journey toward becoming the best version of yourself.

What Is Self-Development?

Self-development is about taking responsibility for your actions in order to realize your goals. It’s about harnessing your unique set of skills and energy as you navigate life’s challenges.

By learning how to take care of yourself and put your needs first, you can avoid burnout and develop an inner confidence that allows you to assert your voice. 

By taking care of yourself and developing your skills, you’ll be better equipped to deal with life’s challenges and help others in need. Ultimately, self-development empowers you to set goals and achieve them.

How Does Self-Development Differ From Self-Help?

Many people confuse self-development with self-help, but they are two very different concepts. Self-development is a lifelong process that focuses on improving your mental health, finding and achieving your goals, learning how to manage stress more effectively, and more. 

Self-help is more of a one-time solution; you read an e-book, listen to an audio program, or attend a seminar and then you’re done. Self-help is more focused on having the tools to help yourself.

While self-development focuses on lifelong progress, self-help focuses on a specific problem and (often) promises immediate outcomes.

Self-help tools and books can be useful in personal development.

On their own, self-help techniques aren’t enough for a sustainable personal development plan. You need more than just tools and techniques. You need actual goals, positive habits, and a strategy for how you’ll achieve those goals and habits. 

How Can I Start With Self-Development?

There are several ways to get started with personal development. 

Self-development is an ongoing process.

A great place to start is with reflection and identifying the parts of your life you want to change and uplevel.   This can include relationships, health, finances, career, hobbies, or anything else that is important to you. Then set goals to improve in these areas over time.

Maybe you start with a self-help tool to overcome a problem, obstacle, or situation in your life.  As a result of that, you discover something about yourself – a dream, a talent, a characteristic that you want to develop. 

Once you’ve decided on a goal or two – whether it’s learning how to ask for a raise at work or saving more money – take time each day to reflect on how well you are doing towards achieving it and make adjustments accordingly.

unhappy ethnic woman puffing cheeks with hands

What if I have failed in the past?

Failure doesn’t matter. In fact, it is part of the process.

What matters is that you learn from your mistakes and move on. Every single human being on Earth has experienced failure, yet very few of us are willing to talk about it openly. Why? Because we feel ashamed by our failures and don’t want people to judge us for them. 

The truth is, though, that every time you fail at something there is an important lesson waiting for you in its ashes… if only you’re brave enough to seek it out!

What are my risks if I fail?

If you fail now, what does that mean? Well, it could mean that you need a different direction. It might mean that you’ve reached your end goal and aren’t moving forward because your interests have changed. And yes, it could very well mean that there are other factors at play here and maybe you need to address what they are.

Whatever those factors are, there’s only one way to find out: through hard work and perseverance. 

If you fail now, then you get up again. 

You readjust your path and move forward toward success. That’s really all there is to it! 

But if you don’t address these things now, you might not even have a chance in future endeavors because these problems could rear their ugly heads at any point along your way.

How do I make sure my motivation lasts?

Motivation alone is not enough. While it’s good to have a clear picture of your future, you should also have a plan on how you will get there. Without a plan, motivation is easily lost and can be hard to reclaim. With a solid plan in place, motivation will come more naturally—and even if it doesn’t, you’ll at least know what steps you need to take next and why.

How To Create A Personal Development Plan?

There are several options – you can work with a personal development coach, mentor, or join together with other growth-minded individuals to do that work together.

If you are going to do it on your own, you’ll need a clear goal that is within your reach, and a means for measuring your progress. You can check in every day, week, or month. You can use pen and paper or build tools into your life like habit trackers or apps that motivate you and help you keep focused on your goals.

How Will I Know When I Have Completed My Personal Development?

Personal development is a lifelong exercise to improve yourself on all levels—intellectually, emotionally, socially, and spiritually. Simply put, if you are not growing as a person then you are actually regressing in some aspects of your life.

Your personal development journey will never end.  It will continually be refined to allow you to reach your next level, goal, or aspiration. 

If you are constantly evolving and improving yourself then you are on your path of personal development. It’s not a set plan with a beginning and an end, but a continual series of steps along your life’s journey.

Personal Development is a Journey Without a Final Destination

While personal development doesn’t immediately start when we are born and we all enter our journeys at different points, once you start, it doesn’t, or shouldn’t, end.

There is no right or wrong to your personal development journey.  It will have twists and turns and ups and downs.  The goal is to keep moving forward and toward your highest self.

You now have an idea of what personal development is, it’s time to get started. Start with baby steps and focus on one thing at a time until you get into a regular routine. You will be surprised how quickly your mindset shifts. Before you know it, you will be on your way toward new opportunities and experiences. 

It won’t happen overnight. As long as you keep going, there is no limit on where your journey will take you.

You May Also Love:

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The Importance of Friendship and the Danger of Toxic Relationships https://takenyahampton.com/the-importance-of-friendship-and-the-danger-of-toxic-friendship-and-relationships/ https://takenyahampton.com/the-importance-of-friendship-and-the-danger-of-toxic-friendship-and-relationships/#respond Sat, 05 Mar 2022 00:06:13 +0000 https://takenyahampton.com/?p=3729 The term toxic friendship has become so universal that many have learned to recognize it as something negative, but many people are still unsure of what exactly constitutes a toxic friendship or relationship, and how they can spot the signs of one early on.
young women posing close together

Here are some ways to identify toxic friendships or relationships so you can cut them out of your life before they have a chance to tear you down.

What Is a Toxic Friendship

Toxic friendships occur when one or both people in a relationship aren’t acting reasonably. When we become friends with someone, we should be able to trust them and rely on them for support. If our friend is doing something that could hurt us (whether intentionally or not), it might lead to a point where we need to end that relationship. When a relationship is affecting you negatively, it should happen as soon as possible.

Toxic friendships and relationships cause emotional strain and often lead to other complexities. They can also negatively impact other relationships you have with family members, co-workers, spouses, etc.

It’s good to have a few close friends you can trust—people who support you when times are tough, who don’t judge you when your life is messy, and whom you can count on.

At its best, friendship can be one of life’s greatest joys, but at its worst, it can be toxic. The more healthy friends we have in our lives, the happier we tend to be. One study found a direct correlation between having quality friendships and whether or not we experience depressive symptoms. So how do you know if your friendships are healthy?

5 Warning Signs You Have a Toxic Friendship

If you have a toxic friend, your life is going to be negatively impacted in some way. You’ll feel bad about yourself or guilty for some reason, become more stressed out, anxious or overall unhappy.

Learning how to spot toxic traits early on can save you a lot of time and energy.

Friends shouldn’t make you feel bad about yourself, shouldn’t require too much from you, or constantly disappoint you. (Keyword is constantly. No one will NEVER disappoint you)

Having a close circle of supportive friends is key to fostering healthy relationships with others.

Here are five warning signs that can help you determine if someone’s not toxic.

The only times a friend wants to hang out with you are when he or she needs something from you

Whether it’s a shoulder to cry on, cash, or a ride somewhere. It’s easy for people who aren’t used to having support in their lives to take advantage of others who value friendship more than anything else. In contrast, good friends will check in even when they don’t need anything but care about how things are going with you personally and professionally.

They’re always negative

If you’re friends with someone who only wants to hang out when they feel like it and complains about their life all of the time, they may not be friends you want to keep around. Friendships should enrich your life, not bring you down.

Friends should be supportive during hard times and good times—and there’s a big difference between venting, which is healthy for relationships, versus complaining, which isn’t.

It’s also worth noting, that not everyone has a happy-go-lucky personality by nature. It is possible that sometimes people are grumpy from day one, but they can still make great friends.

Knowing the difference takes time and really getting to know someone.

They care more about what you do for them than what you do for yourself

The top trait most toxic friendships share is a friend who prioritizes his or her needs above yours on a regular basis.

Good friends don’t put pressure on others to skip family vacations or blow off work because he or she doesn’t have plans unless it’s an emergency.

They also don’t expect you to cover for them all of the time.

It takes effort to maintain close friendships, so if you find yourself constantly giving without getting much back, take some time away from that person until he or she learns how to treat others better.

They never let anything go.

There are things best left unsaid—whether it’s an insult about your clothing choice at age five or a comment made years ago that has no relevance today.

Toxic people will use old gripes as leverage against their friends. Even worse, they may bring up issues that happened way before you ever met just to get under your skin.

You shouldn’t have to pretend everything is hunky-dory every time you see a friend, but harping on issues from long ago isn’t helpful either.

They try to control your life decisions

Whether it’s career choices or dating preferences.

You might love spending Saturday nights binge watching Netflix with a group of friends instead of going clubbing downtown, but if someone else tries to tell you otherwise every week then it could be a sign that he or she feels threatened by your independence and identity outside of friendship itself.

Best friends in summer on the beach opposite of toxic friendhip

What Is a Healthy Friendship

A healthy friendship is a relationship where both people feel a sense of trust, comfort, openness, honesty, respect, loyalty, and genuine affection.

Healthy friendships allow for you to be yourself without feeling that you have to hold back or change anything about yourself because your friend doesn’t accept you as you are.

If one or more aspects aren’t present in your relationship with someone else then it might be classified as a toxic friendship. There are different types of toxic relationships but what they all share in common is a negative effect on you either emotionally or physically.

Toxic relationships can also cause problems in other parts of your life such as work, school, and family relationships. You should try to avoid having any contact with those in your life who cause toxic relationships.

The goal is to build positive interactions and relationships to bring more happiness and fulfillment in your life.

You May Also Love:

Healing After a Friendship Break Up [Podcast]

Intentionally and Fearlessly Finding Your Forever Friends With Siobhan Sudberry [Podcast]

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How To Set Boundaries At Work Without Being A Jerk https://takenyahampton.com/setting-boundaries-at-work-for-work-life-balance/ https://takenyahampton.com/setting-boundaries-at-work-for-work-life-balance/#respond Thu, 03 Mar 2022 20:10:57 +0000 https://takenyahampton.com/?p=5015 Setting boundaries at work can be a tricky thing to get right. There’s certainly no one-size-fits-all solution, but there are ways to go about this so that you get what you need and your colleagues can see the lines you draw in the sand, the parking lot and even your office door.
woman in gray sweater working as a call center agent

Some may shy away from setting boundaries at work for fear that it comes off as being rude or curt.

Setting boundaries is simply asking your coworkers to give you some space at the office. Here are some tips on how to set boundaries at work without being a jerk.

A few years ago I worked at a startup type company which let me take down my normal “work guards” I put in place.  I had my email and slack(a workplace messaging app) on my personal phone.  Which meant that even on my days off, I may see work correspondence, even if I was out of the office and not going to act on it.

My husband and I were out looking at houses and having a good weekend when I got a slack message on a Saturday from my boss about an issue on social media.  My personal social media.

I entertained that conversation.  I didn’t fold on the issue itself, but I did let it take time out of my weekend and shift the energy I had.

My only regret about how I handled the situation was that I should have responded by saying something like, “I see your message and will address it when I am back on the clock.”

I can guarantee you that if that situation were to ever present itself again, it would definitely be handled differently.  Starting with not having the access on my personal phone that the job does not pay for.

Setting boundaries in your personal life can be hard enough, but doing it at work can be even more complicated. You don’t want to seem difficult or uncooperative, but you also want to make sure you don’t get taken advantage of and put too much of your own time and energy into something that doesn’t benefit you or make you happy; and I am really heavy on the make you happy part. 

Setting boundaries in the workplace is as simple as stating your limits with clarity and respect.

What Are Boundaries?

Everyone has different needs and values. What’s important for your co-worker might not be important for you, and vice versa. 

And the reality is these differences can create conflict in the workplace, especially if your coworker feels entitled to do things that are problematic for you and impedes on your personal space and/or time.  

We have all seen it.  Or at least heard of it.  Or Possibly had to deal with it.

The key is understanding what constitutes a boundary—and respecting others’ as well as your own—when it comes to working relationships.

The easiest way to think about personal boundaries is that they are invisible lines you draw around yourself. The purpose of these lines are to tell others where you begin and end.  Which affords you an opportunity to define who you are and what matters most in your life.

The most important boundary in your life is between yourself and other people. You’re responsible for getting clear on what you value, what you feel, and what’s important to you. This can be difficult because it involves setting limits with other people.  Something many of us are taught not to do as children. But that is a whole other topic for another day.

Additionally, it means learning how to prioritize your needs and wants over those of others.

Why You Need Boundaries At Work

Setting boundaries is important, not only for your physical and mental health, but also for your career. 

A lot of us have jobs where we are required to be on call or accessible during what once would have been off times, mostly due to technology and accessibility. 

Whether it’s responding to emails at odd hours or working in an environment that constantly requires our presence, many of us spend half our lives working outside of standard business hours. It’s easy to let that go on indefinitely if no one tells you otherwise.  

But it’s time for a wake-up call.

Hello!  I am on the line to wake yo behind up.  Pick up the phone.

Establishing boundaries is vital to your well-being, but it’s also essential for your performance. The most successful people know how important it is to be able to separate their personal and professional lives, so they protect themselves from distractions by creating firm rules around when they do or don’t answer emails or phone calls.

When I say separate I am solely speaking on the time commitment we give to work.  

How much of your personal life you share with your work coworkers and friends is something that has to be addressed on a personal level.  And I will not minimize the fact that there are reasons that some groups feel they have no choice but to keep the two completely separate.  While others are completely open about their personal life at work.

But particularly when we speak about the time spent working, when we allow work to extend beyond its limits, we sacrifice somewhere.  For a lot of us, we have gotten used to not getting the amount of sleep we actually need to still feel like a whole person.

Opting to not get sleep is not only good for your physical health.  As that is the time your body uses to repair and replenish itself.  It is also not good for your productivity to be sleep deprived. In fact, not getting enough sleep makes you irritable and more prone to burnout—exactly what you don’t want if you’re trying to impress your bosses with hard work.

Now that you know why it’s so important to protect your health while working long hours, let’s discuss how you can set some reasonable boundaries.

How can I enjoy this job if I have no time for myself?

That’s an excellent question. And if you are asking it, it sounds like you’re suffering from job stress, which is common.  But not something that you should let get out of hand. 

Instead of sacrificing your health and wellbeing in pursuit of success at work, take some time for yourself each day. What does time for yourself look like? 

If you need relaxation time every morning, don’t skip it just because there are only so many hours in a day.

Don’t skip lunch because you have a deadline to meet.

Do not cancel your plans you made with friends after work because someone didn’t come in for the day and that left you feeling like you didn’t get everything done.

Even in a job you love, resentment can come up if you are not allowing yourself the time and space you need from working.

I’m worried people will think I’m rude.

Understand that you’re not setting these boundaries for other people.  You’re setting boundaries for yourself. 

If people think you’re rude, that has nothing to do with it. Ultimately, all that matters is your well-being, and anything else is outside of your control.

You don’t have to be rude; you just need to be clear and firm.   It won’t be easy in the beginning.  In fact, it may feel uncomfortable or unnatural at first.  But that only means it’s worth doing. 

It is just like when you start hitting the gym for the first time or the first time in a long time.  Those muscles have to warm up to what you are doing.  And it only gets easier and better the more you do it.

What if they don’t like me?

We’ve all experienced that awful, sinking feeling of getting an email or text back from someone we really want to impress, only for it to be… less than what we’d hoped. 

But rejection is part of life, and some folks react better than others. While you can’t predict exactly how another person will respond, there are ways you can approach difficult conversations that help others feel heard while also respecting your own needs.  

And whether someone likes (or doesn’t like) you really is none of your business.

I want my boss to like me. If he sees me as lazy or difficult, I won’t get promoted.

It’s not easy, but there are ways you can politely tell your boss no when she asks you to stay late or work on a weekend.

For me personally, there have been two key components to setting boundaries at work with my boss.:

Being clear and honest about my values and priorities when I am job searching and communicating that when interviewing.  By being upfront about it, you set expectations before a job offer is made.  There is a saying that boundaries are to protect you and others.  Sof for the job that is perfectly for you, it will all work out.  I know this to be true because it has been the case for my last two jobs I interviewed for and really wanted.

Working hard during actual working hours.  I do whatever is asked of me (within reason) during work hours. I work hard and do a good job on what I set out to do. But I don’t bring work home (and I work from home).  But that allows me to be much more effective during normal working hours. 

Have you ever noticed when you are tired and worn out by day’s end all your productivity just seems to go away? It doesn’t have anything to do with what you need to get done or how motivated you are.  It’s because you need a break.  Shoot, we even need a break from having fun.  We certainly need, and deserve, a break from work.

people having a meeting

No Doesn’t Have To Mean Never When Setting Boundaries At Work

No doesn’t have to mean never in some cases. Learn how you can avoid feeling bad about saying no by trying one of these four phrases that say not right now (or then) rather than no: 

  1. I don’t think I can make that happen, but here are three other ways we can get what we need. 
  2. No, I cannot do that right now.
  3. I’d love to help you out, but I need Friday afternoon free for errands and personal time. Could we move it up an hour? 
  4.  No, I’m not free on Thursday. Is Friday afternoon good for you?

Providing an alternative makes it so you are not setting hard lines in the sand, and also shows that you are willing to compromise.  But you also require being accommodated.

Relationships are not one sided, not even working relationships and both (all) parties should be treated as if they matter.

Why You Should Not Feel Guilty About Setting Boundaries At Work

Taking care of yourself should not ever make you feel guilty.  The setting of boundaries for yourself is not an action you are taking against anyone else.  It is something you are doing FOR yourself.  

Setting boundaries at work helps you to be more productive, focused and overall happy at work.   With fewer distractions your attention will be on your main task of getting things done. When you are a happier person around others you become more magnetic.   

People want to be around you when they see how happy and content with yourself you are. You’ll also come across as trustworthy! Your boss will see that he/she can trust you when he/she sees that your priorities lie within yourself before anyone else. No one likes an employee who is unreliable because they let everyone else’s problems cloud their judgment or bring them down emotionally.

Take Care Of Yourself.  Your Success Depends On It

In order to be successful in your career, you must first take care of yourself. 

This means that setting limits and establishing clear expectations for what is and isn’t acceptable behavior are essential components of both self-care and professional development. 

While it may be uncomfortable at first, allowing others a say in what constitutes workplace etiquette is essential if you want your own needs considered as well.

The more comfortable you are with setting limits, expressing your needs and creating appropriate boundaries, the happier you’ll be both professionally and personally. 

Take care of yourself first in order to better serve and be of service to others.

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Values To Live By | The Importance of Defining Your Values To Live a Life You Love https://takenyahampton.com/values-to-live-by-the-importance-of-defining-your-values-to-live-a-life-you-love/ https://takenyahampton.com/values-to-live-by-the-importance-of-defining-your-values-to-live-a-life-you-love/#respond Mon, 14 Feb 2022 12:11:00 +0000 https://takenyahampton.com/?p=4897&preview=true&preview_id=4897 What’s the difference between having a great life and being truly happy? It’s often the values you live by. If you don’t have your own core values set in place, life can leave you feeling stuck at times, making it difficult to forge ahead with any sense of purpose or passion. 

If you’ve defined your values, then you can easily stay on course and live in alignment with what really matters to you, no matter what outside influences are trying to distract you from it.

Are you unhappy with your life? Do you wake up every morning and do things that you’re not passionate about? 

It may be that the root of your unhappiness is that you don’t know what’s important to you and what you value in life. You should spend some time thinking about your values, which are the most important aspects of your life so that you can live in line with them every day.

The most important thing you can do each day is to decide how you want to live your life and start living that way. 

It’s easy to get bogged down by work, family, and other responsibilities – it’s hard to stick to your values sometimes when things get tough – but living by your values will make you happier and more successful in all areas of your life.

black woman with dog near window defining her values and how she spends her time

What Are Values?

Your values are the principles you choose to follow in your life – the principles that are most important to you, the principles that guide your actions, and the principles that determine the goals you pursue and how well you achieve them.   

A common misconception is that values have something to do with religion; however, it doesn’t matter what faith or belief system you subscribe to—values aren’t about religious preference or theology. They’re about ethics and morality; they’re about what’s right and wrong according to your personal moral compass.

If your goal is to live life on your own terms, it’s critical that you define and communicate your values to yourself and others. 

Why? 

Because in order to effectively establish how you want to live, what you want to do, who you want to be, and where you want to go – you need clarity on what matters most.

Why We Should Define Our Values

Living your life based on someone else’s values is unlikely to lead to happiness. What’s more, if you don’t define your own values and goals, others will fill in that gap for you; but it may not be in your best interest. 

For example, we are all taught about healthy eating habits from an early age, but we may find ourselves consuming unhealthy foods anyway because we lack self-control or have different value systems than our parents or peers.

thoughtful woman on bed putting on shoes thinking about defining values

How Do You Define Your Own Values?

When it comes to your life, you’re not just deciding where to eat dinner or what shirt to wear—you’re making decisions that shape who you are as a person. This means you need to know your values and work towards achieving them every day. But how do you do that? Start by getting out your journal or notebook and jotting down three or four words that sum up how you want to live your life.

Additional Reading: Discovering Your Personal Set of Values Leads To Increased Self Awareness

Once you’ve defined your own values, how do you start living according to them? 

Ask yourself two important questions: 

  • What kind of things would I do if I was already living according to my values? 
  • What kind of things am I doing now that doesn’t match up with my values and need to change? 

Keep these questions in mind as you go about your daily life. 

Are there any choices or decisions that cause you to pause because they conflict with your goals?

Tips on how to apply it in everyday life

  1. Write your top 10 values down on paper in bullet points 
  2. Ask yourself what are you doing right now to live out those values? 
  3. What could you be doing differently to live out your values more? 
  4. Be honest with yourself about what’s lacking in terms of living out your values and use them as a guide for how to spend your time differently tomorrow.
  5. Don’t beat yourself up when you don’t live out your values – just use it as an opportunity to try again tomorrow.

The Connection Between Your Values And Your Happiness

An essential part of living a life you love is having values that support that happiness. 

In other words, it’s not enough to simply live your dreams; your actions must be in line with what truly makes you happy. 

For example, if you value spending time with family but work too much to see them often, chances are good that your unhappiness will end up affecting both your family relationships and productivity at work—not to mention your mental health!

While it’s not always easy to identify your core values, you can usually spot clues if you take some time to think about what really matters to you in life.

Additional Reading: How to Make Sure Your Goals and Values Align

What You Value is What Drives Your Decisions

When it comes to living life, there are few things more important than defining your values. What you value is often what drives your decisions; by identifying and believing in your core values, you can begin to live a life you love—from start to finish.

The process for determining your values may take some time, but in the end, it’s worth it. By defining what you value and how you want to live your life, you can live a happier and more fulfilling life—and find greater happiness in your career too. Ultimately, aligning your work with what you value is more rewarding than just finding any job; when work is aligned with who you are, every day becomes easier and more rewarding.

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