Maximize Your Website Content With These 4 Strategies

It’s well-understood that beautiful website design is a must-have for businesses operating in the digital space—which is virtually every business today. With a single visit to your website, you want customers to be able to make purchases or book appointments with ease, as well as clearly view your branding.

While having an attractive website with great usability is certainly a necessity, many businesses fail to take advantage of website content to further enhance their digital relevance. That’s unfortunate because the content has the power to draw in and retain new customers.

Not all content has that power, though. There’s more to it than slapping together a 500-word article and posting it on your site. Content that can achieve your customer acquisition and retention goals does so through a combination of SEO practices, branding and a concerted effort to help those customers. Here are four ways to maximize your website content so it can reach its audience-engaging potential:

1. Know Your Mission
What are the words you want people to associate with your brand? Content can help you mold the way your brand is viewed by the public. Customers can read blog posts and long-form content to familiarize themselves with your brand and make their own judgments.

Keywords, or the words you select to represent your brand, can be sprinkled throughout the content you produce. That way, when internet users enter those terms and phrases into Google, your brand will pop up.

Building your brand through SEO-inspired content is much easier when you have a mission that you can share with your customers. Take The North Face, for example. The company sells outdoor clothing and gear, but they also integrate their mission to protect the environment into their brand. On the company’s website, you can find content related to their sustainability efforts and what you can do to support the cause.

The North Face uses specific keywords to target consumers who share a similar mission. Sustainability, recycling and “responsibly sourced” are some examples of terms this brand uses to connect with its image through content.

2. Keep It Organized
After a few months of creating and posting, you will have a lot of content for customers to sift through. An article you shared six months ago might be of great value to a customer today, but only if they can find it. This is why it’s imperative for your content to be organized and easy to locate.

Start by looking at the UX of your website. A search bar makes it easy for browsers to find content that’s interesting or relevant to them. Tagging each blog post with keywords will make searches more accurate and easier to select at a glance.

The content itself should be well-organized, too. A stream-of-consciousness blog post is difficult to read and reflects poorly on your business. Use proper headings throughout your articles to break up information. The answer to a reader’s pressing question could be found in one section, and it saves them a lot of time not having to skim through a wall of text to find it.

3. Make It Valuable
When it comes to website content, more isn’t always better. It can be tempting to try to fill your content calendar with loads of daily content, but this is definitely a case where quality beats quantity. You want your customers to find the content you’re posting each week worth their while.

As you develop your onsite blog content, make sure you’re thinking about the value you are providing your customers. Does an article you’re writing answer a frequently asked question or offer a new point of view regarding the use of one of your products? Content that’s confusing, irrelevant or lacks direction will be a flop.

Have you seen the movie The Miracle on 34th Street? There’s a scene in which Kris Kringle is so motivated to help a customer that he refers her to Gimbels, his employer’s biggest competitor, because that store had the toy she wanted in stock. The customer he assisted told him that he had earned Macy’s a customer for life because of his honest desire to help.

Now, you don’t need to refer all your customers to your competitors in order to implement this strategy. Just lean into that helping mindset when developing your content. Enabling your customers to meet their needs should be your No. 1 priority.

4. Spot the Trends
Search intent is a vital component of content marketing. You want your content to be found, and that means targeting the searches you believe your target audience is making at any given moment. The tough part about this is that search intent often changes, so you have to get good at monitoring and capitalizing on trends.

Uncovering search trends isn’t as hard as it might seem. You can discover a lot just by scrolling through social media or watching the news. Additionally, there are online resources such as Google Trends that give you numerical insight into what types of searches people are conducting.

You can also scope out your competitors’ blogs and content pages to see what they’re up to. Don’t copy what they’re doing, but use it as a way to stay on top of what consumers are looking for. That will allow you to find ways to differentiate your brand from the rest.

Content is such a powerful tool for modern-day businesses. The more intentional effort you put into your content strategy, the greater the returns for your business.

What About The Dog? Getting Your Team Back To The Office Is Getting Complicated

Over the last two weeks, Atomic Object Co-CEOs Michael Marsiglia and Shawn Crowley have logged nearly twenty hours on a listening tour. During these sessions, they meet in small groups with every employee at the custom software consultancy about the future of flexible work at their three offices in Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, and Chicago. One surprising theme has come up across many listening tour sessions: dogs.

“It’s been brought up more than we expected,” says Marsiglia. “After last year, more of our team members have dogs, and their dogs are used to having them at home. It’s a real concern for people. That’s what these listening tours are for: discussing what’s working, what’s not, and getting feedback for the future.”

Of course, it’s not just about the dogs — it’s much more than that. Team members have expressed their thoughts on everything from familial anxiety as Covid bubbles start to break apart, to their love-hate relationships with the daily commute. Conducted in person, the listening sessions are held with small, diverse groups of employees, which has given team members the chance to hear about their colleagues’ lived experiences through the pandemic.

“Common themes have surfaced, but people did have different experiences,” says Marsiglia. “It’s been good for the team to learn more about the advantages and disadvantages their colleagues have experienced. I believe it has helped create shared empathy for each other.”

But if there’s one sentiment all leaders can relate to right now, it’s that things are constantly changing. Just a few months ago, Crowley and Marsiglia had drawn a clear line in the sand: despite the wave of tech companies shifting to a remote-first model, Atomic Object wouldn’t be one of them. Crowley and Marsiglia believe that, as the world shifts back to safely working in the ways they know to be effective, technology consultancies that have formally shifted to all-remote work will be at a competitive disadvantage.

Atomic Object focuses on the early phases of software product design and development, and they believe that collaborative design and engineering will always benefit from being done in person. The nature of product innovation is driven by collaboration, and Crowley believes that a future model of flexibility should be designed around keeping co-location intact.

“We’ve been in business for twenty years and have a goal to be a 100-year-old company,” says Crowley. “Thinking in that timescale, eighteen months of remote work due to the pandemic doesn’t change the nature of cross-disciplined, collaborative, and creative work. Digital tools have reduced friction in doing this type of work remotely, but in-person is still the ideal work modality.”

Marsiglia agrees. “Ultimately, we decided co-location is more effective and efficient. It’s also more of a differentiator than offering all-remote. Purpose is vital to our success, as is creating a sense of place and togetherness. In order to position Atomic competitively for the future, we must favor culture over short-term cost savings.”

Crowley and Marsiglia went to work on a comprehensive plan that offered the team a high level trajectory of ‘Crawl/Walk/Run’ phases, long-term milestones, details for each phase, and commonly asked questions around behaviors and compliance with state guidelines — along with the caveat of Covid-19 and the unpredictability of the virus. Atomic’s plans to return to the office are already in motion across its three offices, moving into its “walk” phase that brings more people into the office for collaboration and coworking as needed.

Although they prioritize co-location, Atomic Object has always had a historically flexible work model. Employees can work remotely when necessary, whether it’s for a doctor appointment or a more disruptive life event, like a sick relative. They certainly never called it a hybrid work model, but the pandemic has fast-tracked the need for open conversations around work modalities.

The more Crowley and Marsiglia talked to the team about their intention to slowly phase everyone back into the office full-time — with plans to discuss a more flexible, hybrid approach in 2022 — it became clear that those conversations needed to happen sooner.

“We’ve all endured enough uncertainty,” says Marsiglia. “As we reestablished our co-located model in our offices, people started to wonder about the future of flexibility at Atomic. That’s why we started conducting listening tours to understand where they’re at and gather feedback. The desire for flexibility and the challenges of remote work is something we’ve consistently heard from our team — it’s an evolutionary process.”

Slowly but surely, Atomic’s offices are returning to the vibrancy of pre-pandemic days. As they move forward with a future model for flexible work, Crowley and Marsiglia are committed to being flexible themselves. They are putting together a loose model for the team to react to, built on and formalizing Atomic’s historical flexibility. They are also adding in dials for enhanced flexibility, such as recurring remote days or even remote weeks, and a core set of working hours for teams.

“When you consider flexibility, you can think both about the time the work is done and the place,” says Marsiglia. “The dials help to create flexibility across both axes, while trying to balance the very real value of collaboration that is optimal in a synchronous, shared space.”

As they move forward with the plan and ask team members to opt in, Crowley is encouraging everyone to to consider the balance between individualism and collectivism.

“Will you give up some aspects of flexibility for the greater good?” says Crowley. “For instance, our ‘core hours’ dial can help strike a balance. One of our senior developers shared that he likes remote work because he can start dinner at 5 o’clock. I appreciate that on so many levels. I also asked him to consider the people on his team and what they can get from him when he’s physically present. We have people with varying degrees of career experience on our team — what would that mean to our more junior team members?”

As their plans continue to evolve, Crowley and Marsiglia are taking it in stride. The return to work plan they presented to the team earlier this year has changed, and their latest approach may very well change, too — all because they’ve chosen to listen to their employees before embarking on a plan.

Guided by Atomic’s core purpose, values, and most of all, their people, Crowley and Marsiglia are working together with the team to reflect on a few key questions: What’s best for the organization? What’s best for their projects and clients? What’s best for the communities they work in? And, not to be overlooked, what’s best for all of their dogs?

“Honestly, I don’t know where we’ll land,” says Marsiglia. “But we’re here to make all boats rise. We believe we do that best together. We should all be getting more than just transactional takeaways like pay from our work — we should be gaining knowledge, skills, and a sense of belonging.”

Why Women Are Leaving The Workforce After The Pandemic—And How To Win Them Back

The pressures on women during the COVID-19 pandemic are coming from various directions. New research from Deloitte Global indicates that the pandemic has seen a confluence of events for many women—namely an increase in their workloads at work and at home. Many are at a breaking point, leaving the workforce in record numbers. But there is a ray of light amid the gloom: Employers that give women the culture and support to enable them to succeed have a more productive and motivated workforce and are likely to report greater retention, the research found.

Gender inequities were holding women back in the workplace well before the pandemic began in early 2020, with women globally earning 81 cents for every dollar that men earned.[i] Over a year later, the pandemic has likely served to increase this gender gap, having significantly impacted women’s mental well-being, careers and ambitions.

A Perfect Storm

According to Deloitte Global’s new report, Women @ Work: A Global Outlook, which reported the findings of a survey of 5,000 women across 10 countries, nearly 80% of women say their workloads have increased because of the pandemic, while 66% of women report having more responsibilities at home. The research also showed that the pandemic has created even greater challenges for LGBT+ women and women of color, who are more likely to report lower levels of mental well-being and work-life balance.

“Women are facing the ‘perfect storm’ with heavier workloads and greater responsibilities at home increasingly blurring boundaries between the two. They are also continuing to experience noninclusive behaviors in a work context, with many not reporting this to their employer despite the understandably negative impact it may have on the recipient” says Emma Codd, Deloitte Global Inclusion Leader.

When combined with respondents’ perception that employers have not been supportive when it comes to balancing work and personal life during the pandemic, these inequities have pushed many women to make tough decisions about whether to remain in their jobs—or leave the workforce altogether. According to Deloitte Global’s report, fewer than half of women are satisfied with their current jobs and 51% are less optimistic about their career prospects than before the pandemic. In fact, 23% are considering leaving the workforce.

The top reason women are considering leaving their current employers? A lack of work-life balance. Only one in five women surveyed believe that their employers have helped them to create clear boundaries between work time and personal time during the pandemic. This is also reflected in the top reason that women are considering dropping out of the workplace entirely: increased workload.

Even when women take action to alleviate their situation, many view the impact as negative, with nearly half of the surveyed women (and two-thirds of surveyed sole parents) who have had to adjust their working hours because of increased caregiving responsibilities saying they believe this has negatively affected their relationship with their employer.

A Stark Reality

In addition to facing added responsibilities and pressures at home due to COVID-19, women continue to face noninclusive behaviors at work. Even in the remote and hybrid workplaces of the pandemic era, a majority of women surveyed say they’ve experienced noninclusive behaviors in work situations over the past year—everything from unwanted physical contact and disparaging remarks about their gender to questions about their judgment.

In fact, for 34% of women surveyed, the reported frequency of such noninclusive behaviors has increased since the pandemic began.

“This reveals a stark reality: Noninclusive behaviors permeate beyond the traditional ‘four walls,’” says Codd. “Ultimately, these behaviors stem from cultures where noninclusive behaviors are allowed to persist unchecked and where women do not feel comfortable to safely and confidently report them, whether they occur in-person or via a computer screen.”

The situation is more stark for LGBT+ women and women of color. According to Deloitte Global’s report, women of color were three times more likely to experience comments about their communication styles during the pandemic, while LGBT+ women were nearly four times more likely than other women to experience jokes of a sexual nature.

“The pandemic has laid bare the long-standing cultures where many women within these groups not only suffer from noninclusive behaviors, but also feel unable to do anything about them without concern of career penalty,” says Codd.

Winning Back Women

The good news is that it’s still possible for employers to reverse these discouraging trends and make sustained and meaningful progress on gender equality at work. Deloitte Global’s report shows that women who work for companies that provide an inclusive work culture—where women are more confident about reporting noninclusive behaviors, feel supported by their employers on work-life balance and believe their careers are progressing as fast as they would like—report better mental well-being, motivation and productivity, and are more loyal to their employers. Notably, they are far more likely to stay with their current employers for longer than two years.

This is a critical moment for employers to understand what women need—and to start working to restore gender equity within their organizations.

The research enabled Deloitte to identify a number of actions that employers can take to make meaningful progress when it comes to gender equality. These include embedding a truly inclusive culture, enabling a better work-life balance by going beyond policies, demonstrating a visible and measurable leadership commitment and providing meaningful development opportunities.

“Meaningful and sustained change will only come when women experience ‘everyday’ inclusive workplaces—whether virtual or in-person—where statements on the importance of gender equality are backed up by meaningful actions, and where goals are set and progress is measured,” Codd says.

Action Is Key But Culture Is Critical

“This inclusive ‘everyday’ culture is critical for organizations to make meaningful progress. It will not only help enable women to feel able to raise concerns should they experience noninclusive behaviors—and to do so without fear of career penalty—but also to take advantage of flexible working options without believing that it will adversely impact them,” she says.

Now is the time to act.

“Our research has served to highlight the adverse impact of the pandemic on women at work. But it has also shown us the steps that organizations can take to address this impact – critically at a time where we are starting to rebuild the workplace of the future. Now is the time to rebuild with gender equality in mind.” Codd says.

Five Tips To Grow Your Email List In 2021

While current marketing trends seem to be hyper-focused on social media, research shows that good old-fashioned email is still considerably more effective at capturing online leads than popular platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

Compared to other channels, email marketing has one of the highest returns on investment out there with an average of $42 for every $1 spent.

So if you’re serious about expanding your business, building a robust, healthy email list needs to be a top priority. When used wisely, it can have an immeasurable impact on your marketing campaigns, as well as your traffic and sales.

To help set your business up for long-term success, I’ve put together a few handy list-building tactics so you can grow your email list in no time.

What we’ll cover:
• Why grow your email list?

• Creating targeted email lists

• Converting important content into gated content

• Personalizing for optimal results

• Making your opt-in form prominent

• Offering an incentive

Let’s get started!

Why Grow Your Email List?

Before we delve into the specifics of how to grow your email list, let’s cover some of the basics first.

An email list consists of a group of subscribers, either site visitors or customers. This list allows an organization to share its content with people who have opted to receive information, updates, announcements, discounts and other details about the business directly through their email inbox.

Without an email list, you could miss out on reaching potential customers. In fact, it’s one of the best ways to connect with leads, as you’re 40 times more likely to acquire new customers through email than through Facebook or Twitter.

Plus, your email list is entirely in your hands. You control how much you communicate with your target audience — no social algorithms to compete with.

And last but not least, sending emails is a key way to build trust between you and your customers. When people read an email, it’s done in the privacy of their inbox. Because your message is not displayed publically on an ad or social media timeline, recipients are more comfortable engaging with you and more likely to become a paying customer.

Tip #1 — Create Targeted Email Lists

Growing your email subscriber list involves getting to know more about the subscribers you already have.

Who are they? Where do they live? What are their interests? What are their pain points?

Once you’ve gathered this information, you can start segmenting your audience into buckets. That way, your readers won’t all receive the same messages — only what’s most relevant to them.

For example, some fashion retailers offer subscribers the opportunity to choose which email lists they’re most interested in. And they have the option to choose as many or as few as they want.

Tip #2 — Convert Important Content Into Gated Content

From white papers to ebooks, chances are you have plenty of high-quality content that you’re giving away for free.

If you really want to grow your email list and skyrocket engagement, try restricting your best content so that it can’t be accessed unless a user enters their name and email address.

Gated content needs to be both well-written and informative in order to give the reader the expected payoff. Remember, you’re exchanging value for value.

A strong example of gated content is Klood’s ebook “The Beginner’s Guide to WordPress.” Users only get permission to view it when they sign up.

Tip #3 — Personalize For Optimal Results

It’s been shown that personalized emails have transaction rates six times higher than those for non-personalized emails.

Instinctually, any hint of personalization makes us feel special, with more than 70% of consumers saying that a personalized experience is more likely to influence their decision to open and read brand emails.

And email personalization doesn’t just mean just including the recipient’s name in the subject line.

One way OpenTable encourages engagement is by sending emails with personalized subject lines asking how the customers’ most recent meal was that they booked through the platform.

Tip #4 — Make Your Opt-In Form Prominent

When it comes to how to grow your email list, opt-in forms are critical for boosting conversion rates.

Studies show that 55% of visitors spend only 15 seconds or less on your website, which means you need to capture their attention right from the get-go.

While the copy should be concise and the design should be visually appealing, the primary goal is to make your form stand out from the rest of the elements on your page.

Whether you’re using an exit-intent form, a slide-in form or a notification bar, the pop-up needs to be prominent.

Tip #5 — Offer An Incentive

If you want visitors to subscribe to your email list, you need to offer them something in exchange. In other words, give them a reason to want to hear from you.

Incentives can often be the extra push that helps persuade visitors who would otherwise leave your site to take action and sign up.

Common incentives include limited-time offers, free shipping and access to exclusive content. Discounts, in particular, encourage 67% of consumers to make a purchase they weren’t originally planning to make, according to a recent survey from RetailMeNot.

Wrapping Up

Whether you’re planning to implement all five of these hacks or even just a few, just remember growing your email subscriber list is an ongoing practice. As consumer interests and needs continue to evolve, your email list should accurately reflect those changes.

It’s critical that you make an effort to routinely analyze your contact list and leverage your findings to refine your campaigns and build a positive online reputation.

So, if you’re ready to see an increase in communication, loyalty, brand awareness, revenue and customer retention, start leveraging these tips and you’ll grow your email list like wildfire.

16 Ways For Struggling Professionals To Regain Their Motivation At Work

No matter what position you hold or what industry you work in, lagging motivation can put a serious dent in your overall productivity and negatively affect your career. Unmotivated professionals may find it difficult to focus on the task at hand, see assignments through to completion or even attend to their daily responsibilities.

From a fear of failing to a lack of clear expectations, there are many possible causes behind a decrease in motivation. Whatever the reason, getting back on track before the problem spirals out of control is essential.

Below, 16 members of Forbes Coaches Council share their best advice on how to identify the root causes when motivation starts to lag, resolve them and avoid such pitfalls in the future.

1. Clarify Your Vision And Take Action

First, start by clarifying your vision and goals. Most people lack motivation because they aren’t clear on where they are headed. Then, move to take immediate action of nearly any form. You may think you have to be motivated to act, but motivation actually comes after action. Think about the last time you did something tough or scary. Immediately afterward, you likely felt motivated to do more. – Zander Fryer, High Impact Coaching

2. Reflect On Career Accomplishments Daily

Lack of confidence is one of the biggest barriers impacting motivation. Increasing your self-confidence can greatly improve your motivation. Consider implementing a daily practice of reflecting on and writing down your career accomplishments. This single habit can dramatically bolster your career confidence and help you regain your motivation. – Kyle Elliott, MPA, CHES,

3. Remain Optimistic And Focus On Success

Motivation and success are often directly related. I find my clients’ motivation is higher as they become more successful (as defined by them and their goals). However, before you reach your goals, if you remain optimistic and focused, things will usually get better. – Donald Hatter, Donald Hatter Inc.

4. Manage Time Better And Find Ways To Add Joy

Motivation slumps are related to time management and joy. First, spending too much time is draining. Whether it’s the same project that never ends or something that takes up all of your waking hours, the result is the same. Second, if the work isn’t connected to your personal energizers, then it’s like a slow leak. Interestingly, the solution is not about subtracting scope, it’s about adding back what you love. – Marita Decker, FutureCourse Education

5. Find Meaningful, Purposeful Work

The contributing factor I notice most with clients who are struggling with motivation is a lack of passion for the work they are doing. This often is a result of a job mismatch or unclear expectations from their boss. You can typically fix this problem by finding a role that allows you to perform meaningful and purposeful work and ultimately helps you become the best version of yourself. – Kaleth Wright, Air Force Aid Society

6. Get Into The Career Role You Desire

In his best-selling success book Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill suggests that desire is the starting point for success. I would ask my client if they like their current job or position in their company. My priority for clients who are unhappy or lack motivation in their current position is to get them into the desired career role. – Mika Hunter, Female Defender

7. Consider What Is Blocking You And Go Around It

Lack of motivation to achieve something is often accompanied by distraction and an unwillingness to be present. Two actions are helpful to address this. First, face the here and now and consider what is blocking you. Second, choose to move around it. While that may sound easier said than done, take one step forward. Then another, and repeat. Seventy percent ready is good enough to go. – David Yudis, Potential Selves

8. Unblock The Subconscious By Asking Why

Lack of motivation is usually caused by a subconscious block, fear or a negative belief system. Getting to the root of the issue that is creating the block will reveal how to move forward. Asking why and really leaning in to reflect can create positive insight and renewed motivation. – Melanie Towey, Melanie Anne, LLC

9. Reframe Goals And Reassess Priorities

Burnout can be a contributing factor to a lack of motivation, causing dysfunctional habits and even a work-life imbalance. It may help to reframe the goal or take a step back in order to reassess the priorities at hand and ensure that you are still the right person for the task at hand. Management or peer support can offer a safe psychological space to rethink the next steps. – Claudine Reid, PJ’s Community Service

10. Make Sure Your Values Align With The Work

A common cause for lack of motivation is a misalignment between your work and your values. I see this often with midlife clients. It seems that as we get to a certain age, it becomes increasingly important that our work either positively impacts the world or, at the very least, does no harm. When you find yourself out of alignment in this area it can be difficult to muster up the motivation to move forward. – Cheryl Czach, Cheryl Czach Coaching and Consulting, LLC

11. Connect To A Deeper Sense Of Purpose

You have lost the connection to the deeper purpose that is driving you. When you are connected to your deeper “why,” every moment at work feels meaningful. However, sometimes you get so overwhelmed with the demands of the business, so wrapped up in fears and worries about the future, that everything becomes doom and gloom. This is when you need to reconnect with the purpose that drives you. – Rajeev Shroff, Cupela Consulting

12. Address Strained Co-Worker And Client Relationships

Sometimes, coaching clients lack motivation due to their co-workers or the client from hell. To get your mojo back, have a team meeting and have an honest conversation about what it would take to make this a dream team. Agree on the execution and check-ins to monitor progress. To solve the client-from-hell problem, it’s best to have a discussion with the leadership team so that they can talk to the client about needed changes. – Kevin Kan, Break Out Consulting Asia

13. ‘Gamify’ Challenging Tasks To Make Them More Fun

Lack of motivation usually comes about when there is boredom. To avoid boredom, you need to be clear about what it is that you need to be doing. Make the task fun; “gamify” it. It needs to be challenging enough to excite but not so challenging as to force one to give up. Ensuring variety is key. – Rakish Rana, The Clear Coach

14. Take Action To Make Progress And Enhance Your Mood

Negative emotions about the task contribute to a lack of motivation. When you have negative feelings that you want to avoid, you may procrastinate to eliminate the feelings in the short term. That’s why it’s useful to uncover what you feel about those tasks when you say, “I don’t feel like it,” and then take action to make progress on the task and enhance your mood. – Sheila Goldgrab, Goldgrab Leadership Coaching

15. Assess Underlying Internal Conflict And Apply Self-Care

When a client struggles, there is usually underlying internal conflict. The person may be working on something that doesn’t align with who they really are or what they believe in, or there may be exhaustion and burnout that reflect an imbalance in the person’s life and lifestyle. In either circumstance, resolution comes from evaluation, assessment and the application of self-care to take new action. – Lisa Marie Platske, Upside Thinking, Inc.

16. View Mistakes As Critical Learning Experiences

Fear paralyzes. Low motivation often comes from a fear of failing. To combat this roadblock, you can learn to reframe your view of mistakes. Instead of viewing them as bad, view them as critical experiences for learning and growth. I encourage clients to get in the mindset of experimentation, not perfection. “Experimenting” brings about a playful freedom to fail and iterate as you go. – Glenn Taylor, Skybound Coaching & Training

If This Is The Worst That Happens…

The other day, right before the Fourth of July weekend, the ice maker in our refrigerator died. The weather was hot, and the gin and tonics were ill-suited to warmth.

Later that evening, I quipped on Twitter, asking if anyone had seen that kid Red Grange delivering ice lately. Of course, football fans will know that this was how the great running back of the University of Illinois (and later the Chicago Bears) kept himself in shape nearly a century ago, delivering great blocks of ice to houses in his hometown.

Days later I called a repair service, noting lightheartedly that not having an icemaker was hardly a big deal. The service rep lowered her voice, saying that I would be surprised at how many people regard having a broken icemaker as a catastrophe. “If not having an icemaker is the worst thing to happen to me this year,” I quipped, “then it will be a good year.” The service rep laughed in agreement.

Too often, we get distracted, annoyed even when things, little things, don’t go our way. It’s easy to become frustrated, and in doing so, we forget just how fortunate we are. A flight delay. A missed dinner. A dying appliance. These annoy us, but in the grand scheme of life, they are trivial. In years to come, such inconveniences are not likely to be remembered.

Gain perspective

We must put life into perspective. Easy to say. Our irritation blinds us to reality.

We have endured a year and a half of disappointment and delusion—as well as exclusion and isolation. And we’re still here. The pandemic persists, but we are coming back slowly to a different form of life. Not the same, but different. In some ways, it is richer because of what we have experienced.

We have been tested, and we have survived. Not everyone did. More than 600,000 Americans died. Millions lost their jobs. Three million women exited the workforce. Those are tragedies. They are benchmarks of actual loss. Annoyances come and go. Losses live as scars in our memories.

A novel lesson

The novelist J.R.R. Tolkien wrote in The Hobbit, “So comes snow after fire, and even dragons have their endings.” For him, this statement was true. Tolkien was a young officer in what his generation of Britons called The Great War. He fought at the Battle of the Somme. After the war, Tolkien returned taught medieval literature at Oxford. He also raised a family and told his sons stories that would become great novels of fantasy in time. Fires and dragons do die out, leaving in their wake the possibility of renewal.

So, take a deep breath.

Exhale slowly.

Remind yourself of your blessings

Take another deep breath.

Exhale slowly.

Smile in gratitude.


The repair person finally arrived. With a quick look inside the fridge, he shook his head knowingly. The icemaker was genuinely dead. Good news, a replacement would cost only $75, plus another service fee, of course. So, again, if this is the worst thing to happen to me this year, sign me up now.

The Best Deals To Shop This Weekend, Including 48% Off A La Mer Set

While there aren’t any major holiday sales happening at the moment, this weekend is still a great time to shop discounts all across the internet—you just have to know where to look. To simplify your shopping experience, we’ve sifted through the hundreds of available markdowns from fashion, tech, beauty, home and other retailers to narrow down the best deals to shop now through July 25.

Whether you’ve been on the hunt for a wet/dry vacuum with great reviews or you’ve been looking for some noise-cancelling headphones to help you focus while working from home, you’re almost guaranteed to find what you want at a discount this weekend. Below, find eight of the best deals online at the moment. And if you want to shop and save some more, head over to our list of the best online sales happening now.

Made from the same buttery soft material as Lululemon’s best-selling Align leggings, these bike shorts are so comfortable, you’ll forget you’re even wearing them. At six-inches-long, they’re the perfect length to prevent chafing, too.

Basically a vacuum and a mop in one, this Tineco machine will have your floors looking cleaner than ever before. The FloorOne S3 has built-in sensors that detect dirt and debris and automatically adjust its suction and water flow based on the area you’re cleaning. Plus, this wet/dry vacuum cordless, so you can maneuver it around the house with ease.

This limited-edition set contains $182-worth of some of La Mer’s most popular skincare products, but it’s on sale for $95 during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. In other words, now’s the perfect time to try some of the brand’s cult-favorite products without spending some serious cash. One thing to note? This deal is only available to Nordstrom cardholders until the sale opens to the general public on July 28.

If you’re partial to at-home workouts, this Echelon smart mirror is worth checking out. It allows you to stream hundreds of on-demand classes in a variety of different categories like yoga, Pilates, cardio, strength and boxing, and also lets you access live one-on-one training sessions. Right now, the device is on sale for $500 off at Best Buy.

GreenPan’s pots and pans are some of the best nonstick cookware money can buy, so we can hardly believe this set is currently on sale for more than half off (we’re not complaining, though). According to reviewers, this set is also durable, easy-to-clean and heats evenly every time.

Read a handful of the almost 6,000 five-star reviews of these headphones, and it’s clear that wearers absolutely love them. Customers say they’re comfortable to wear, have great sound quality and offer an impressively long battery life.

Nike sneakers rarely sell for under $80, so the fact that this pair is on sale for only $45 is pretty mind blowing. These sneakers are designed to be lightweight and offer stability as you move, making them great for running and working out. They do run a bit small, though, so you may want to consider sizing up.

As long as you’re ok with having the 2019 version of Casper’s Wave Mattress, you can get it for 50% off its original price. The Wave mattress features a combination of gel pods and foam to keep you feeling supported and cool all night long. The only downside to this deal? It’s final sale, so if you’re not a fan of the mattress you’ll have to resell it (or put it in the guest room).

Why Email Marketing Is Crucial For Businesses

Email marketing is still relevant in 2021, and it will likely continue to be in the years to come. Why? Because you can monetize your list of contacts.

With email marketing, in contrast to Facebook Custom Audiences or Google Ads targeting, you don’t have to build your business on rented land. Maybe Facebook will turn off the Custom Audiences feature tomorrow, or Google will restrict targeting options. If you build your business exclusively on third-party systems, you run the risk of losing revenue sources.

That’s why your email list is a treasure. The contacts are your contacts, and you can contact them whenever you want (until they unsubscribe) — for free.

Drawing on my own experience with email marketing, here’s my advice on who it is for, what tools you can use and how to get started.

Who Is Email Marketing For?

Email marketing makes sense for most businesses, whether you have a Shopify store or are a local dentist. Why? Because it is an easy and cheap way to get in contact with your customers and leads.

Consider these two cases in more detail:

• A Shopify store: Let’s say you have a small range of baby products and have generated many sales in the last few years. Now you have a new collection of baby shoes in different colors and sizes. You already have a lot of customers who are happy with your products. They are exactly the right audience. Leverage your previous sales by sending out a few emails to the people who’ve already purchased from you. You will likely get sales without spending anything on advertising.

• A local dentist: If you collect email addresses from your customers, you can get in touch and boost your sales dramatically. Maybe you offer a new bleaching service and want to make it public. The best way to do so is to email clients who already trust you.

As you can see, email marketing can work for just about any kind of business. It can be effective for B2B marketing too.

The Connection Between Your Audience and Your Business

In my experience, no advertising method is as effective as an email in your customer’s inbox. You can build trust by sharing valuable content, generate engagement by sharing insights from your company, or sell more by sending great offers.

One of the many significant benefits is that the audience already has a connection with you. Your contacts already gave you their email addresses — maybe during the purchasing process or in exchange for a white paper or another goodie.

Trust can be the key to boosting sales. If customers were happy with their previous purchases, why shouldn’t they buy another product from you?

Let’s jump back to the Shopify store with the baby products. Maybe a young mother purchased a bathtub for infants in January. It makes sense to show her your collection of infant rompers in February and shoes six months later.

With this logical understanding of your audience, you can turn your email list into money.

Email Marketing Software

There are a lot of email marketing tools out there. There are fantastic free tools and also complex and expensive tools.

I’ll be completely honest: If you are a consulting business and have 50 clients, you likely don’t need email marketing software. It may be enough to manage your contacts in Outlook or Gmail and send out messages from your personal inbox. You can use the BCC field to send emails to your crowd without letting them know who else is getting the email.

If you have a large contact list or need additional features, I recommend using tools like Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign or HubSpot.

To choose the right email marketing software for your business, make sure you have the end in sight. What’s your main goal for your list? What would you like to accomplish in two to three years? Perhaps you would like to automate your lead generation and send out many emails in a special order to your contacts or automate birthday and Christmas wishes for your clients. No matter what ideas you have to boost your business, there is a tool for you.

The Best Time to Start Email Marketing

Do you already have a thousand ideas on how you can boost your sales, push your customer engagement and leverage your business with email marketing?

The best moment to start is right now. The sooner you start, the faster you will see results.

Maybe the automation stuff above sounds overwhelming to you. Do not let that distract you. Start small. Just collect email addresses, and send out your first message after collecting 100 or 500. Get familiar with the tools and your crowd.

Email marketing is a process that never ends. And the best moment to start this process is right now.

Have A Question?
Ready For Answers?
Call Us 1-949-954-7769
eMail us at:

Have A Question?
Ready For Answers?
Call Us 1-949-954-7769
eMail us at: