Guys! I'm so excited to have my friend, Samantha Lane, sharing with us today about her business called Origami Day!
Check out her time management tips below AND do the following to enter to win an Origami Day 2019 planner! The winner will be announced on Monday, November 26!
1. Follow @rebecca.dotson and @myorigamiday on Instagram.
2. Head over to the home page and subscribe to be a Do The Thing Movement Insider!
If anyone knows a busy life, it’s an entrepreneur! Starting, and running, a business provides a world of to-do’s that can barely be dreamt about before embarking on such a journey. There is always something to do, so the trick of it becomes knowing what to do first and finding a way to get it done. Not to mention, many entrepreneurs spend a fair amount of time juggling side-hustles until their dream gig becomes their only gig, adding to the strain of managing time.
So how on earth do you manage your time to find work-life balance?!
For starters, you have to know what really matters. There are a lot of things we do each day that don’t have any impact on the most important parts of our lives and jobs. To avoid any waste of time, we need to know what is actually important. If you could only do one thing today for your business, what would that be? If today was your last day on earth, where would you spend your time? Define your most important things, personally and professionally, and let those drive you through the chaos.
Once you have a clear goal, its time to make a plan. I mean an actual written plan. Writing things down helps us remember more. Crossing things off helps us accomplish more. Write down your plan. In detail. On paper. For an entire week, if you can. Once your plan is on paper, it’s really easy to see if it’s a good one or trouble shoot things in advance. Make sure important appointments, tasks or deadlines are included and that the items detailed for each day can actually happen in the allotted time. Also, put personal and professional items on the same plan so you are only managing one information hub. If you aren’t sure what tool to use for this, I strongly recommend Origami Day Weekly Planning Sheets.
Once your plan is in place, protect it. It is ok to say no to things that aren’t on your plan, especially if they have nothing to do with those important items you defined. A lot of what makes a busy season stressful is taking on more than we really need to. The reality is: saying yes to something is really saying no to something else. Remember that when there is a demand for your time, and ask what you may be saying no to in order say yes.
Again, it’s ok to say no.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with all there is to do in life, especially when running a business.
Thankfully, small steps can add up to big rewards when it comes to managing your time. Remember three simple steps to time management as an entrepreneur: know what’s important, make a plan, and say no.
Samantha Lane is a reformed workaholic and the owner of Origami Day. She now uses her passion for efficiency to help others shape their time for work-life balance.
1. How did you choose the name Origami Day?
The business was originally called Organizational Origami because that was what I
called the weekly planning sheets. When I completed a program with the local
entrepreneur center I was lucky enough to work with some really talented people who
helped me refine my brand very early on. I knew I wanted the word Origami in the name
for a few reasons. One was because the product that started it all is a folding piece of
paper and origami is the Japanese art of folding paper. Also, my grandmother is
from Japan and I am part Japanese so it seemed like the best way to pay respect to my
heritage and family.
2. What has been the biggest obstacle for you in starting a business?
The most challenging things for me has been the reality of finite resources. When I started Origami Day, I did not have the luxury of quitting everything else to
generate revenue for the business. To this day, I cobble together side hustles to keep
my bills paid until Origami Day can sustain me as a full-time employee. There is always
a battle of having time or money, but rarely both. I’m very transparent about that
because I think it’s one of the biggest challenges for many small businesses, not just
3. What is the most exciting success story that you've heard from a customer who uses
I have been so lucky to date because I have countless success stories! It has been my
favorite part of running this business. Some of my favorites are:
them live their lives with more balance!
Prayer for the entrepreneur:
Jesus, thank you for time. I'm amazed that you created it and You're not bound by it. You are the beginning and the end. However, I need your help to discern, prioritize and organize my life in such a way that I most effectively can reflect YOU to the world around me. Help me do that today.
In Your name,
I'm excited to have my friend Alex Alvarez share on the blog today about event planning! No matter what type of work you do in your business, nonprofit or ministry - there's a good chance event planning is part of it! Check out her advice as she shares 5 things she has learned while planning events!
Events, either big or small, have a lot of moving parts. No event is the same, yet each one takes creativity, organization and patience to have your vision come to life and for attendees to walk away with a wonderful memory that will last them a lifetime. As a career event planner, in both the private and non-profit sector, I’ve successfully created, planned and executed hundreds of events. I’ll be honest, some have been stellar and give me all the warm and fuzzy feelings when I remember them and some, well, they were downright terrible. In this article, I let you in on the “5 Things I Have Learned While Planning Events.” So, whether you’ve been planning events for years or you’re just starting out, these 5 tips are for you!
1. There is no such thing as too much info: When you are planning an event, you will learn a billion different little details. There will be "large and in charge" details and there will be "little and hard to remember" details. What’s important is every single detail may affect a guest’s overall experience and you (and maybe your team) will be the only ones to know those specific details on the day of the event. So, how do you share the knowledge?
SOLUTION: You inform your guests ahead of time and remember that there’s no such thing as too much info. Make sure your main communication channels have every detail that may affect a guest’s experience. Don’t forget to also have these details sent to registered participants in an email, so that they can quickly access it on-the-go.
Examples of items to include could be:
2. There is no shame in asking for help: Even if your event has 20 people, it’s impossible for you to create, plan and execute an event ALONE. On the day of the event, there could be random things that pop up that you will need to take care of or VIP’s you need to speak with.
SOLUTION: Having help is crucial. A suggestion would be to recruit a couple of people to know more intricate details of the event, so they can quickly solve problems or answer questions without having to find you. Then, it’s important to have day-of help, who can assist with parking, greeting, registration and doing little tasks that may arise.
3. There is no harm in trying: Don’t ever feel like your event has to be exactly what you saw someone else do or what you read online. Each event should have its own unique feel and personality, that reflects the company, organization or person who is hosting it.
SOLUTION: Try the idea you have and don’t take it personally if it doesn’t work out. While planning the event, you will have a gut feeling that you should add more color to the decorations, have a dance party or even add some jokes in your main presentation. Something will tell you that you should just stick to the basics and not do something out of the ordinary. Shut that voice down and DO IT. Your audience wants to feel connected, they want authenticity and YOU want your event to be set apart from others and remembered.
4. There is usually another avenue to market your event: When thinking about how to get people to know about your event and respond, explore outside the box options for marketing and promotions. Of course, you will do your due diligence and have the event on your website, social media and through email. However, it’s important to remember that people need to see or hear something multiple times before they take action.
SOLUTION: Don’t leave any communication stone unturned. Remember who your audience is and put yourself in their position. How would you get your information?
Examples of communication channels may be:
SOLUTION: Have a way for guests to evaluate throughout the event and express to them – periodically – how much you value their experience. The more you express that these reviews are taken seriously and how it will help determine whether or not you keep or change an element of the event, the more reviews you’ll get. It also doesn’t hurt to have someone collecting them at the exit – if it’s a paper evaluation – or sending notifications on their phone- if it’s through an app.
Prayer for the entrepreneur:
Jesus, You are a God of intentionality. The sun, moon, stars and all the earth was created by Your hands and creativity. Help me have Your mind as I plan events, that I might create an exceptional experience for each attendee. May they leave changed because I left no detail unnoticed.
In Your name,
I'm so thrilled to have a guest blogger and my good friend (prayer warrior, confidant, secret-keeper and mentor) Gina Rouse on the blog this week talking about a sometimes-dreaded but ever-important topic to our walk with Christ...waiting. I met Gina about 3 years ago while training for my first marathon. She loves Jesus, her husband and three kids something fierce. She's one of the most compassionate and kind women of God that I know. And let me tell you, something special happens when she laces up her tennis shoes and starts running. She's won the Knoxville marathon the last 3 consecutive years and has qualified to race the marathon in the Olympic trails in 2020. I'm blessed (alongside many others) to call her "friend" and I'm just going to let her take it away - enjoy!
Waiting. Ugh! Do you know anyone that enjoys waiting? Like, I mean actually likes standing
in line waiting at the grocery store, waiting for your coffee, waiting for the wifi to
connect, waiting for Christmas to come, the traffic to move, the pay check to arrive,
the diagnosis, the phone call, the next season in life, your passion to come alive.
Waiting. It’s so not easy and it’s so not natural for any of us, especially in America.
Everything is so fast paced and immediate. We live 90 miles an hour and on 3 cups
of coffee a day don’t we?
What if I told you strength actually rises when we wait upon the Lord as the song
goes? What if in the waiting, you’re actually becoming who you’re meant to be?
If you hurried and were at "the place" you wanted to be at, you wouldn’t be fully
prepared, equipped, or brave enough to do the thing you’re called to do.
Think about an oak tree. Did you know it takes over 100 years for the trunk of an oak tree to fully develop? 100 years!
What about Abraham and Sarah?
They received their “calling” or promise of a child from the Lord SEVENTY FIVE years before he actually was born! No wonder they are included in the “hall of faith” in Hebrews! “Abraham
believed God and He credited it to him as righteousness. (Genesis 15:6)” Is it
possible for you and me to have that kind of faith in Abraham’s God? To be willing to
wait and let patience and perseverance have its perfect work in us (James
My husband, children and I are in a season of waiting. I need to confess I am more
like a stubborn mule than sweet little lamb when it comes to patience. I imagine the
Lord having to put a spiritual leash and collar on me at times because I want to run
ahead so fast and just get to “the getting” without counting the cost, thinking twice,
or fully evaluating the situation. I bet you can guess I’m married to a hunk of guy
who happens to be the complete opposite.
He always counts the cost and takes everything into full account. That’s why he’s awesome at what he does. You can imagine the struggle though of what a season of waiting might bring to our daily conversations, prayers, and action steps when two different people are trying to
wait under the same roof! (Please laugh out loud with me here!) There’s this constant
tension of hurrying up to "do the thing" and the pulling back to "let the thing unfold".
There’s Matt trying to walk in faith and obedience and hear the Lord show us the
way forward with bravery and courage. Then there’s me trying (albeit imperfectly)
to trust and wait quietly (submissively) that if God’s got my husband’s heart, he will
choose the right path and eventually we will get there.
To be more specific, Matt and I made a commitment at our wedding ceremony (a
decade ago) to be “on mission” with Him, whatever that looked like or wherever
that might take us. We’ve had 3 kids and 3 moves since then and a lot of life has
happened. This current season of waiting is preparing us for the next step of being
on mission. We think we have a pretty good idea of what that looks like, but what
I’m realizing is we’re never gonna get the cart before the horse. Finding and
following God’s will is so much more about just living every day seeking Him, praying, reading your Bible and allowing the circumstances to unfold.
If He’s really King of it all, He’s King of it all, all the time.
Even on days when it’s raining, and the mail you expected doesn’t come, the appointment you really needed to happen is postponed, and the sermon you were hoping would give you the clear direction still seems somewhat fuzzy like a camera lens out of focus. Day by day and moment by moment you begin to see the trajectory of what God is up to. You see His big picture coming to life. It literally is one step in front of the other, just like the marathon. And
if you’ve ever run a marathon, it’s never over fast.
Here are some waiting lessons I’ve learned so far:
1. Do the next thing. Faithfully do what you can while trusting Him to do what you can't.
2. Put your yes on the table. Make sure you’ve committed to “the call” and do it
again, and again. Saying "yes" in the small things allows God to move and orchestrate the details. He doesn’t need our permission but I think it frees us up because it puts the control in
the rightful place (God is on the throne of our hearts).
3. Focus on His promises. Remember that He did not spare His own Son to pay for
our deepest need (forgiveness of sin) so He will not spare any good thing for you.
He who began a good work, will be faithful to complete it. (Philippians 2)
Prayer for the entrepreneur:
Jesus, every good and perfect thing comes from You. You are not the author of confusion, doubt or anxiety. Help me cast my worries and cares about the future onto You and trust in Your perfect time and provision. Give me strength as I pursue my next logical step of obedience.
In Your name,