The One Thing | NJ Business Mentor

Have you heard? I lead a business book club in New Jersey called Lady Boss Book Club. We started last year and we meet every 6-8 weeks at Words Bookstore in Maplewood for discussion. We also have a private Facebook group to share insights, questions, a-has and prompts. It's a fun and friendly place for women in business or not, who are dedicated to learning and reading books. 

Our first book for this year was  The One Thing by Gary Keller of Keller-Williams. It's a great read to jumpstart 2017 because it's all about productivity and self improvement. How to find your single focus in business and in life? I find many entrepreneurs, including myself, multi-passionate and often spinning in all sorts of directions. This book provides strategy and tools on how to focus on doing the one thing that matters most. Because when we focus on the ONE THING, then every thing else falls into place. The question we should be asking ourselves often is : 

This focusing question will help you have less clutter, distractions and stress, and more focus, energy and success. And in our world of distractions and noise, this laser focus is not always easy. But the key is to stay deeply focused, prioritize and take intentional action.

12631287_10153917057786079_8854555037499788053_n.jpg

We invited Lucy, a Keller-Williams associate, who practices the principles of The One Thing in her own business and mentors others as well, to moderate our meeting. Our book club had a lively discussion and here are a few of our takeaways. 

Donna, Business Coach : You can’t do everything well. Focus on one thing, it will impact everything else that you want to accomplish.

Chitra, Personal Trainer :  It’s not about being organized, it’s about being more efficient. Less is more.

Ipshita, Aangaan Academy : You come into your being when you find that one thing that lights you up.

Evelyn - Art Adventures/Toy Tamer : You cannot do two things at once because then you do two things poorly. Focus on one thing to completely de-stress.

Lisa, Parent Educator/Coach: You must tap into your passion vs the transactional part of business. Connect to your passion first and you'll find your focus.

Joy, Personal Stylist : First discover your why. When you are clear on your why, you can inspire others.

Mallika, Brand Photographer : Dream big but do the action. Be intentional with your time and tasks to get closer to the big goal; and don’t let the distractions get in the way.

Beth, Attorney : The One thing is about making your life easier, gaining more flexibility and more freedom. Get to the heart of what’s important to you. Expect the chaos/disorder from this...there will be changes when focusing on one thing.

Linda, Grad Student Parsons : Determine what is the right question first so you can find the right solution. 

Swapna, Stella Dot Stylist : Focus on the one thing vs being spread too thing. Start saying no!

If you are having a hard time staying on track with your business or life, this is the book for you. It's filled with valuable nuggets, stories as case studies and easy to apply tools to get you closer to your big goals.

Want to join us for our next book club meeting? We are reading The Pumpkin Plan by Mike Michalowicz and will be meeting sometime in April. Join us in our Facebook group HERE. Until then, happy reading!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hooked on a Feeling | NJ Brand Photographer

The palm trees and sand get me every time. As soon as I come out of the airport and feel that salty breeze on my face, I can immediately exhale. Sure, it might all be a result of vacation mode but there is something about the island life that makes me finally feel like ME. The ME that I wish I could be all the time.

I feel calm, peaceful. I can release all the tension that come with schedules, snow days and busy to-do lists. I am happy, cheerful and optimistic. The music of the crashing waves help me move slower. I feel more present. The beauty of the lush green scenery around me fills my senses. I feel awake and inspired. My heart feels pleasantly full. 

How can I bottle this feeling and take it back home with me? I know I am soaking and snapping the images of Antigua into my memory bank. These feelings of simplicity, peacefulness and quiet will be much needed when I return to reality. 

Today's #mondaymotivation is to visualize the place that makes you FEEL your best. Close your eyes for a moment. Think about the sights and sounds and smells of your #happyplace. Visit it in your mind and breathe. Maybe it's the beach or the ski lift or a warm bath? Let this mind trip ground you for your busy Monday. I hope it puts a spring in your step and a smile to your face.

Happy Monday from the islands!

 

 

 

3 Content Ideas to Post on Instagram | NJ Brand Mentor

Instagram is the place to share your images, photos and graphics to tell your brand story. It is a powerful tool to connect with your audience in a fun, visual way. It offers a personal glimpse into your life and offers a more intimate connection with your viewers.

But sometimes, we can get stuck on what to post. Especially if we are trying to be consistent and share an image everyday. It can be hard to think outside of the box, be creative, be on brand and be different then the thousands of other images clogging up the feed. 

Here are 3 Content Ideas to consider when posting on Instagram: 

1. Educate. Position yourself as the expert in your field by offering a tip, a case study, a before and after, a statistic, a how-to....anything that will teach your audience something new. Give them useful, valuable information that will help their business or lifestyle. Pair it with a photo of you, the end result, the work in progress. It could even be only text using the apps Wordswag or Over. Don't get overwhelmed by the photo...just try to take or use an image that goes well with the content that you are sharing.

For example, if you are a personal stylist, you can photograph a sweater and then offer advice on how to style that same sweater for both day and night. Bonus points if you offer a tip one day a week on a regular basis. I do a #phototip Tuesday every week and this schedule helps not only keep me on track, but continue to position myself as an expert.

2. Inspiration. Motivate your audience with a quote or words of wisdom. Share your values, your mission and you passion. This will help connect them to you and humanize your brand. You can photograph an excerpt from your favorite book, handwrite a quote in a journal or snap an inspiring postcard or art print. You can even showcase a person who you admire. 

3. Behind the Scenes. Everybody likes to see what goes on behind the scenes of your business. They want you to pull the curtain and share the journey. This allows your audience to feel part of the process and can also answer many questions on how you work. Definitely photograph the process, the workspace, the to do lists, the work in progress. 

For example, if you are a health coach and advise your clients on healthy cooking, show your kitchen and the ingredients that you use to make your meals. Bring out the cutting boards, your knives, pots and pans and let your audience in on the magic that happens.

I hope these ideas inspire you! Next week, I will share three more content ideas for Instagram. And honestly, these themes can be used on all your social media and blogs. It is all about sharing useful information and not always selling. Good luck!

Miki Spotlight | NJ Branding Photographer

businessmentor

MIKI SPOTLIGHT : 

Sarah Walton

I am excited to launch a new series called Miki Spotlight where I feature some of my photography clients and share more about their businesses. I work with so many interesting and dynamic women entrepreneurs that I wanted to spotlight their stories along with the images that were captured during their branding photo shoots. I hope this series inspires and introduces you to some new and interesting people.

Meet Sarah Walton, a speaker, teacher, author and entrepreneur. Her job is to help clear the path to your passion and happiness so all you have to do is walk forward. She offers a ”When I Grow Up” one-on-one consulting session and the Money Mindset Course, which will be offered as an online course and workbook Spring, 2017. She wrote her first book, Redefining Success and travels with the Redefining Success Event, which are events hosted around the country. She speaks with panelists of successful women who tell the truth about what it really takes to succeed and how important it is that we define success for ourselves. 

She is committed to helping women feel empowered and excited about life. She inspires them to set hard goals and to work towards them, all while feeling smart, capable and confident.

WHAT IS THE WHY BEHIND YOUR WORK?

My purpose is to free women up from feeling trapped by work, by money or by any outside obligations. I want to remind them to redefine success for themselves often and finally, make sure they have all the tools necessary to "save the world" as the Dalai Lama predicted.

WHO ARE THE CLIENTS THAT YOU LOVE TO WORK WITH?

My favorite clients are women aged 35 to 50. They're generous, smart, and thoughtful. They know what they want, but they aren't sure how to get it. They're not "miserable" but they know something is off, and they're ready and willing to do what it takes to get the results they want.

WHAT PROBLEM IF YOUR CLIENT STRUGGLING WITH?

They feel trapped and frustrated about the direction of life. Many feel like they've lost themselves inside a career they no longer love (or never did), to their marriage or to their kids. It's about helping them feel truly fulfilled in their work and lives so they are "full" enough to proactively take care of those they love.

WHAT DO YOU DELIVER TO YOUR CLIENTS AFTER WORKING WITH YOU? 

I want them to feel excited, inspired and like they can take on the world. They're not afraid of hard work, but they're ready to love the work they do. They also leave with an understanding that life isn't going to be "perfect" now, but they'll have a process they can go through at any time when they're feeling lost.

DESCRIBE YOUR BRAND IN FIVE WORDS.

Powerful, inspirational, playful, substantial, caring.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE TO DO OUTSIDE OF WORK?

I love to take seminars, read, cook, hang with the kids and eat amazing food. :-) I love to travel, create experiences for my kids and me and if there's a dance party anywhere around, I'd love to be invited! LOL

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 5-10 YEARS?

I see myself speaking on larger and larger stages, traveling wherever I'm needed. I see a regular TV spot where I speak about the latest in women's issues and lead panel discussions. My Money Mindset Course will evolve into a self-study program that sells out without me having to do anything. I'll still have a few one-on-one clients, but the majority of my income will be generated by speaking, book sales, online courses and my Redefining Success events.

HOW CAN PEOPLE REACH OUT TO LEARN MORE? 

My website is www.sarahwalton.com and my new Money Mindset online course will be launching soon at www.themoneymindsetcourse.com. You can find me on FACEBOOK and INSTAGRAM. I also sell a skincare line called LOVE by Sarah Walton. 

I loved working with Sarah. She lights up the room with her energy, passion and intelligence. She is a leader on the rise and has her hand in so many wonderful things helping women. Keep an eye out for her Money Mindset Course and her Redefining Success Event coming to NJ on May 17th. 

If you are interested in branding photos of your own, I would love to help you tap into your story and share your message with confidence. Let's chat and see if any of my branding packages are a good fit for your business. 

Monday Motivation | NJ Brand Photographer

MONDAY MOTIVATION

Monday's are tough! We're still in weekend mode but our list is long with things to do. Let's help each other make the transition a little bit easier. On Mondays, I will share a tip or trick I use to help me ease into the week. Hope it inspires you to take action and jumpstart into your day. 

DARING GREATLY

It's as good as they all say. If you haven't read it, read it. Bree Brown writes about vulnerability and acceptance and courage and belonging. Her words and stories will have you thinking, feeling, remembering, reflecting maybe even feeling a bit emotional.

She writes, "We must walk into the arena, whatever it may be - a new relationship, an important meeting, our creative process, or a difficult family conversation - with courage and a willingness to engage. Rather than sitting in the sideline hurling judgement and advice, we must dare to show up and let ourselves be seen. This is vulnerability. This is daring greatly."

 It's a wonderful message and perfect for today's #mondaymotivation. Be seen. Be heard. Be bold. Share your story and watch how it inspires others to do the same. 

The Truth About Your Headshot | NJ Business Photographer

Have you been on Linkedin lately?

I have been noticing a lot of headshots that honestly have my head spinning. Many photos are blurry and dark. Some pics are obviously selfies. And then a little bit of this...

  • Babies and dogs. I like cute faces too but I definitely don't want to see them in your professional business photo. Really not appropriate for a work related photo.
  • Artwork. I am a huge fan of creativity but I really don't think your headshot should be a sketch of you (for real!). Let's use real photos!
  • Empty heads. If you are showing up with nothing for your photo, then I am questioning if you are legit. Looks suspicious and/or lazy!
  • All about the location. I love a grassy field and a graffiti style backdrop, but your headshot is not the place for it. It should be clean and not distracting. I want to see your face up close and personal.

Now I could have taken some screen shots to show you these photo faux-pas but that's not my style :) Instead let me share what I think headshots should look like and what they should do for your business. 

Your headshot is your first impression. It's your way to communicate that you are a professional.

Your headshot is an opportunity for you to get noticed and connect with your audience and customers. 

Your headshot is a tool to share a quick taste of your personality, style and vibe. 

Your headshot is the gateway for someone to take the step to get to know you better. A good photo can be the encouragement a prospect needs to click on to your website or pick up the phone to book you. 

Don't take your headshot for granted and use a random photo that doesn't support your brand. Your headshot is so important and is literally the face of your business. If you're a realtor, coach, author, doctor, finance analyst, actor, photographer, event planner, teacher, baker, designer....it doesn't matter what field or industry or role you have, you need a headshot to introduce yourself as a professional. In today's online virtual world, a good photo is a necessity for business. It's just as important as your website, logo and business card. 

If you feel like one of the above scenarios speaks too close to home (no judgment!), I am hosting my popular Get Gorgeous headshot event on March 28 at Blow In Blow Out - Summit, NJ. We take care of your hair, makeup, styling and photography so that you all you have to do is show up and shine. My dream team of experts have been working with me for almost 4 years and we have serviced close to 300 women. It's my favorite photography event!

Only a few spots are left to join and we would love to have you. Sign up and more information can be found HERE.  

 

Celebrating NINE | NJ Brand Photographer

Pop the champagne! I am celebrating N-I-N-E years in business. It's hard to believe I have had my MikiFoto business for this many years. But when I think about how far I have come then it all makes sense. 

For those who might not know my story, I first discovered my passion for photography when my family moved to the West Coast in 2008. I had two young toddlers at the time so it wasn’t easy to travel across three time zones to visit family. I found myself feeling quite lonely and disconnected and it was heartbreaking that my relatives didn’t know my sons’ personalities. So that’s when I picked up a camera and started snapping away. There is something so special about the California light! I wanted to capture every moment from milestones to the simple everyday moments in between. Photography helped me feel connected again. 

I started reading books, taking photography workshops and finding different ways to learn the craft. I was hooked. I began photographing pre-school events and friends and family and everything in between. Next thing I knew, MikiFoto was born! I was in the photography business specializing in children and family.

For years, I focused on children and family. But in 2015, now living in New Jersey, I found myself itching to do something more. I had joined a women's networking organization called BIG and took a leadership role. I loved being around women in business and learning about their work, their challenges and their dreams. I loved brainstorming on how to help them stand out through marketing and branding. I wanted to do more strategic, business building work. So I decided to expand my business to offer headshots and brand photography. 

I also make the decision to teach, to step out from behind the camera to in front of the room and become an educator. A whole new skill set which required content creation and confidence. In the last two years, I have taught almost twenty workshops from Instagram, Social Media, Vision Boarding and Photo Styling. I learned that I LOVE sharing what I know about business with my community, especially in a live event format. So much inspiration, impact and magic can happen in a room full of passion and purpose driven women. 

Dream Bigger Workshop

Dream Bigger Workshop

Style Snap Share Workshop

Style Snap Share Workshop

And now fast forward to 2017. Today I no longer specialize child and family but have shifted to focus on Brand Photography and Brand Mentorship. I work with women in business to help them share their message with confidence through photography, branding and live workshops. I use my strategic know how and creative eye to create visual stories with impact. I help my clients up level their brands and emerge as leaders in their industries.

My mission is to inspire women to tap into their unique story, unleash their creativity and boldly share their message. I have started to educate on the importance of brand photography on a bigger scale through podcasts, guest posts, joint ventures. I want to help women entrepreneurs everywhere, not just in my area of NJ. It is an amazing feeling to find your purpose! I just LOVE what I do. 

So what's next for MikiFoto + Co?

To start, I am celebrating my ninth business birthday with a REFRESH to my website. I am so excited to fully position myself as a brand photography expert. I worked with Branding Addicts to redesign my online home and recently had new branding photos taken by Laura Lee Creative. I hired wordsmith genius Ashley Beaudin to communicate my mission and message. It all came together beautifully. I would love for you to click over to check it out. Let me know what you think!

Other projects that I have planned for the year are :

  • New masterclass called MikiMojo which is all about finding your point of difference and creating a brand strategy around that sweet spot.
  • More educating on Brand Photography through podcasts and speaking opportunities.
  • New BOOK/GUIDE in the works!
  • More creative workshops like Style, Snap and Share
  • More brand photography shoots with private clients. Maybe even travel to other parts of the country?

Who knows what else may unfold! The past 9 years have been a rollercoaster ride of growth and change. I have learned so much being a mompreneur and am forever grateful for the creative journey. I never would have thought 9 years ago, I would be doing what I do today especially while raising three boys at home. But that is the beauty of being an entrepreneur. Cheers to the next chapter!

Monday Motivation | NJ Brand Photographer

Monday's are tough! We're still in weekend mode but our list is long with things to do. Let's help each other make the transition a little bit easier. On Mondays, I will share a tip or trick I use to help me ease into the week. Hope it inspires you to take action and jumpstart into your day. 

I_am_not_at_the_vineyard_and_my_name_is_not_Martha__._I_am_though_in_my_backyard__up_early__enjoying_my_sacred_quiet_time_with_this_magazine_gem._For_my_creative_folks__you_must_check_out__uppercasemag._Beautifully_designed_with_interesting_content_f.jpg

Let's talk about morning rituals. How do you start your day? Today's #mondaymotivation is to encourage you to keep your phones away and your eyes off the computer screen. Start your day with a moment of peace and grounding. Carve out some time for yourself to reflect, explore and think. Maybe it's a mediation, reading a book (this is what I do) or writing in your journal. Try to connect with yourself first before you start connecting with others. I know you are BUSY but you always will be. Even if it is only a short 10 minutes at first. Shift your mindset, find the time and create the space. This practice will help your focus, your productivity and your outlook.

I swear by this! Every morning, I wake up at 530 AM, pour my coffee and read for 20 minutes uninterrupted. I even put on a timer. I read business books, fiction, magazines. I LOVE this me-time of the day and it fills my tank. Once it's done, I am ready to take on the day.

What do you do to get yourself ready for YOUR day? Share and inspire us.