Artisan Blog

Digital Spring Cleaning

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Digital Spring Cleaning

Happy Spring! Today is the first day of spring, the vernal equinox when the sun’s rays shine directly on the equator, and our days begin to get longer.

Spring cleaning is in the air, and this year we are focusing not only on de-cluttering our home offices and work stations but also focusing on our digital clutter and noise!

Multi-version files, copies from years ago, duplicate images, a multitude of apps, and incessant notifications lead to not only a cluttered digital space, but also to a cluttered mind leading to distraction and reduced productivity.

Below are several tips to help you with your digital spring cleaning:

Managing your smartphone

Moving all apps into a folder, alphabetizing and deleting those no longer in use is scary, yet liberating. In his article Beautilty, Jason Stirman describes the step by step to do this task.

Duplicate Files

If you aren’t already using proper naming conventions, start now. It’s too easy to get bogged down with multiple file versions with slightly different names. Choose a file naming convention process and stick with it. Whether you start with the name or date, stay true to it and implement it across your team or department.

If things have gotten out of hand, manual intervention may not be possible. In this case, duplicate file management apps like Gemini or a variety of version control options such as Git, SVN, and others will solve your problem. If you are a creative, use Adobe Bridge or DAM to manage those assets on an ongoing basis.

Backup and Delete

Once your files are organized, then back them up to the cloud, or to a drive. Back it up and have the peace of mind that you can always find that one elusive file. Delete all non-current files as well.

Say Goodbye

Turning off notifications, and unsubscribing from emails and newsletters that are overflowing your inbox will give some breathing space. Whether you change the frequency of newsletters or divert them to their own folder, change this flow of digital noise to something that is both manageable and realistic for you. You can use Unroll.me to batch unsubscribe and remove email subscriptions you no longer need.

Inbox Zero

It’s hard to start, however, once you achieve inbox zero, you’ll never want to go back. A few easy steps can get you organized and help build a workflow so you can get to inbox zero. Tools like Sanebox help manage all those LinkedIn invites, or Basecamp notifications.

 

We hope you've enjoyed our 513th a.blog.  Please connect if you are looking to hire your dream team, or looking for your next job opportunity.


Daniel's Ice Cream Adventure

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Daniel's Ice Cream Adventure

You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream. But few people are willing to give up a high-profile career in digital marketing in search of the perfect pint. But Daniel did just that, ending his travels working at an ice cream shop in rural Maine. Now he’s back in Los Angeles, looking for work, armed with the knowledge of the power of pursuing your passions above all else. 

What prompted your 50-state adventure in search of the world’s best ice cream?

It was the perfect storm, really. I had the dream, a little money saved up, no mortgage, no kids, no debt. I’ve always been able to eat a lot without gaining weight. I loved my job, but I got a yen to travel and experience some soul fulfillment. Part of me just wanted to see if I could do it without quitting.

What was the best part of your journey?

The people, without question. I knew what to expect in terms of geography and even ice cream. But my interactions with people blew me away. I met amazing people with fascinating life stories. It’s not an understatement to say that this journey restored my faith in humanity. I forged new, lifelong friendships. I would never have had the opportunity to do that if I had just stayed in my comfort zone.

How did your professional skill-set help you along the way?

Three aspects of my career helped me along my journey: content creation, analytics, and social media management. While traveling, I updated my personal blog, The King of Ice Cream, talking about fun ice cream flavors and whatnot. I also curated a little following on Instagram (@_kingoficecream). These had the unintended consequence of ice cream businesses reaching out to me and requesting I stop by when I was in town to try their ice creams. With a little bit of traffic analysis from my following, I managed to create proposals for sponsored content, and the funds from said content helped prolong my journey even further. I was now able to try more ice creams and travel to more places than what I initially had planned in the outset.

Why ice cream?

Ice cream has always had a special place in my heart. From ages 4 to 14 I probably ate ice cream every single day of my life, rain or shine. All throughout and after college, during national ice cream month (July), I made it my mission to try a different flavor of ice cream during every single day of the month. Over the years, my ice creams flavors became more daring and intense, until one year, I ended National Ice Cream Month in an Ice Cream Cleanse -- a three-day dietary cleanse where you eat no solid foods aside from five pints of ice cream each day for three days straight. It was a special vegan ice cream found in Venice, CA, and the whole experience was more difficult than I'd thought. At that point, people started sending me recommendations of other crazy ice cream challenges all around the country that seemed pretty interesting, and ones that I hoped to attempt one day.

What motivated you to take such a big chance?

While I'd like to say it was purely love of dessert, if I'm being honest, there's a part of me that says it was definitely out of fear too. Fear of regret later on in life if I didn't go out and do this. All the what if's and what could've been moments were terrifying to me. Even more so than playing it safe and staying within my comfort zone. And as I said before, a quick metabolism will only last for so long, so it was best to do this in my youth as opposed to in my retirement.

Can you share some info on your book?

It's still in the works, but I do have the title picked out already. It'll be called The Cream of the Couch, and it’s about the people I met during my journey. These people were complete strangers to me, and we only met through happenstance. But they willingly let me sleep on their couches, free of charge while I tried ice cream in their city, and I learned a lot about myself and other ways of living through these strange encounters.

What advice would you share with anyone thinking of taking a sabbatical or pursuing a life-long dream?

It's hard for me to tell others what to do when I don't know their circumstances or goals. If you have medical bills, loan debts, or other responsibilities, it would be pretty foolish for me to say drop all of that to pursue a passing desire.

However, what I can say for me though is that I have no regrets. Even as my bank accounts have dropped, or I now am back on the grind to look for steady employment again, I'm still extremely glad I went. There's a special kind of pride and peace of mind that comes from not only accomplishing what I set out to do but from growing in new ways I hadn't conceived of before. Leaving is a feeling that can hardly be put into so few words.

At Artisan Creative we work with some amazing creatives, artists and creators. We love featuring their stories when we can and hope you’ve enjoyed our 512th a.blog and Daniel’s Ice Cream Adventure.


International Women's Day 2019

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

International Women's Day 2019

It is an important time in our history to do everything possible to help forge a more gender-balanced world. Women have come a long way, yet there's still much more to be achieved.

Many larger corporations, as well as local government agencies have diversity programs to work with women-owned companies in order to foster this balance. Some may require a Women Business Enterprise (WBE) certification in order to apply for certain diversity programs.

At Artisan Creative, we decided to apply and be recognized as a certified Women Business Enterprise a few years ago. I was fortunate that a friend and fellow member from the Entrepreneurs' Organization had recently gone through the process and shared her wisdom with me.

In celebration of International Women's Day 2019 on March 8th, I wanted to share some of the steps we took to de-mystify this process.

In order to qualify as WBE, a company must be a majority women-owned enterprise with at least a 51% ownership. As the female owner you must be the majority owner and you must also hold the highest role in the organization, set the strategic direction of the organization and be active in the company’s daily management, and be a US citizen.

As part of the certification process, ensure you have the proven documentation needed to establish ownership, and the decision making power such as having signatory responsibilities as well as hiring and terminating staff. Having these key documents ready will help facilitate the process.You can apply for WBE certification after 6 months of being in business.

Even if you decide not to go through the certification process, it is a best practice to have your incorporation papers, licenses, leases, resumes, stocks etc. in order and easy to access. It’s also a good idea to have all your information in one place, and make copies for future needs.

The certification process is lengthy and requires time and energy to complete. Most business owners are too busy running their business to be able to devote the time needed to gather all the necessary information, and complete the application process so it’s a good idea to rely on a trusted team member or accountant to help with the procedure.

If you are a solopreneur or a small company without any available internal support you can hire an outside consultant to guide you.

The National Women Business Owner's Council has created a certification kit, to serve as a step-by-step tool for the application process.

The Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), also provides a list of required documentation.

If you work with national and/or the federal government, your needs will differ from someone who works with local municipalities, or provides localized services. For example, the Los Angeles World Airports, and the Metropolitan Water District have their own criteria to abide by. Many cities and municipalities also have quotas for working with minority, disabled, veteran- or women-owned businesses, so having a local certification may be beneficial if your company is focused on working with the local government.

National certifications such as WBENC are great for those who work primarily with the private sector, or as sub-contractors for the larger entities who work with government entities.

It’s important to note that having a certification or being women-owned is not a guarantee for winning more business. As a firm, you must excel in your field, and have stellar products and services.

Once you’ve completed the application process and paid the necessary submission fees, you will be contacted within 90 days for an interview and an office visit.

Ideally it’s up to you whether or not to seek certification, or what kind is best for you. The services you provide, and who your ideal client is will help you determine what kind of certification you need.

At Artisan Creative, we have found this certification to be valuable. Please connect if we can be of any help.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the 511th issue of our a.blog.



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