Be All In

The Awesomest of 2013

“Work is love made visible.”

Khalil Gibran


Be All In

Here is the audio version of this post. Thank you so much for listening. Enjoy.

So here we are, the last couple days of 2013, a year that may have been your awesomest or not-so-awesomest. Which gets me to thinking about how we determine awesome. Is it based on numbers, milestones, happiness, bank balances, relationships, resolutions kept, or broken?

For me, awesomeness is how I helped empower the people who I love. How I showed up for my family, friends and community. But what is important to remember is we all define it differently.

To be able to attain awesomeness, it requires courage, commitment and consistency. A great example of that is this blog. Blogging is new to me, I wrote my first blog in March of 2012 and have blogged either every day, week or month since.

It took courage to put myself out there, not being concerned about haters, but being driven by the value I was hoping to deliver, it took commitment to be “all-in”, no matter what was happening in my life, I made a commitment and stuck with it. And lastly, it took consistency, which is one of the greatest opportunities I see for so many small businesses.

Many of us get an idea, and start strong, then over time, for whatever reason, begin to fade. Consistency is what is gonna keep us in the game. I had the courage to make a commitment to be consistent, that is how I have built Passion Squared to be the awesome business it is today.

With that, I will share with you the Awesomest Blog Posts of 2013, awesomest defined, in this case, by the most unique views.

1. Gary Vee Cares

Gary Vee Cares

2. So Much Education, So Little Change

So Much Education, So Little Change

3. I Can See You

I Can See You

4. 8 Ways To Create Awesome On Your Website

8 Ways To Create Awesome On Your Website

5. 5 Steps To Increase Engagement on Facebook

5 Steps To Increase Engagement On FacebookMany of these are my faves, which tells me that what I am creating is adding value and resonating with you. And that my friends, is the awesomest of all and I am so grateful to be able to serve you.

As we move into 2014, I want you to begin asking yourself what awesomeness means to you, your customers and your business. If it is not crystal clear in your mind, take a moment to get quiet and think. We move towards what we focus on, and my wish for you is to continue to move towards your awesomeness, however you define it.

(shared with LOVE from Nina)

Choice and Change

Choice & Change

“Change almost never fails because it’s too early. It almost always fails because it’s too late.”

Seth Godin


Choice and Change
Here is the audio version of this post. Background music (snoring) compliments of Zen Louis Kovner. Thanks so much for listening.

I work with small business owners every day, myself included, and one of the themes that runs through nearly all I work with is the challenge of making the choice to make a change. Whether it be a change in systems, strategy, people, resources, planning, whatever. Sounds like a simple theory, but not so simple to commit to and ultimately execute.

One of my favorite Seth Godin quotes is… “You don’t run a punch press or haul iron ore. Your job is to make decisions.”

As a small business, whether it be one person or 10, in order to create awesome and achieve our dreams, we have to get really comfortable with making decisions. And that begins with a choice to do so in order to get the change we are seeking.

We are so good at over complicating things. But it really is as simple as making a choice. If we want to change the outcome of our efforts, we have to look objectively at what choices we are making, every single day.

There is so much freedom that comes when we accept the fact that we have a choice. It also totally freaks people out because when we accept that, all the responsibility for the outcome comes back to us. Ugh!

Here are a few examples I experience on a daily basis, do any of these sound familiar?

  1. You want to increase referrals and you are a service business? Create a referral program and embrace referral platforms such as YELP.

  2. You want to increase holiday traffic and reservations, try an inbox marketing campaign like my buddy Benjamin Jay did at the Hair Loft ltd (check out our Facebook chat about it from November 11th)

  3. You want to have a happy, healthy culture? Get rid of the bullies and tantrum throwers.

  4. You want to get out from the day-to-day and begin to work on your business vs. in your business? Begin making the decisions today that will allow you to transition from worker to leader.

  5. You want to build relevant social platforms? Wake up a half hour earlier, stay up a half hour later, or find someone in your world who is passionate about it and create meaningful content, and share it.

  6. You want more time to do the things you love? Make time. It’s a choice.

So I could go on and on, but I think you get the point. We all have the power to make choices. The key is in making the decision to choose the action that will ultimately get us to the result and change. I see it every day. It’s not easy, but it can completely change the way you lead and manage your business, and in the end, help you create more awesome.

(shared with LOVE from Nina)


Image Is “Almost” Everything

“Branding is about everything.”

Tom Peters



Here is the audio recording of this weeks post. Thank you for listening.

In the world of beauty, we strive to help make people feel and look beautiful both inside and out. But how much time and attention are we putting towards our own brand image online?

In today’s social + digital world, we have an opportunity to extend our offline experience into the online world, and that includes how we look in the eyes of current and future clients. As they say, we only have once chance to make a great first impression. What impression is your online presence making?

Here is a list of ways you can create awesome in your online image…

1. Your Website
Passion Squared website

Always be sure your logo is clear, sized right and prominent.

Choose a font family, or ask a designer for their suggestions, make a decision and stick with it.

Be sure images are hi-resolution and sized correctly, a designer can help.

One of the most overlooked things on a website but it’s the little things. What is a favicon? It’s the little image in the left hand side of the browser tab. A web designer can help, or if you are using a self-serve template, there are places where the favicon can be added. This is what it looks like…Passion Squared favicon

Color Scheme
Pick a color scheme for your brand and stick with it. Both online and off. Try to keep it clean and easy to look at. By all means get creative, but once you decide, consistency is key.

2. Your Social Pages
Passion Squared Facebook

Place your logo where the profile picture is if you have a business page. Unless of course, you are the business. Most all social platforms, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. use the same sizing for profile pics. Ask a designer to make one for you. I mean, it’s your logo for goodness sakes. It matters.

Cover Image
Invest the time, money and energy in creating an awesome cover image that fits. Again, a designer can help.

Be sure you are posting quality images on your pages. Most phones these days capture amazing images. If you are finding images on Google or such, just be sure they look awesome before posting and are sized right.

3. Your E-Newsletter/Confirmation E-Mails
Passion Squared e newsletter

Need I say more?

Color Scheme
Enough said.

Do your best to use your brand font family. If the email platform you use does not have your font, either choose one that is super close to yours or invest in a designer to design artwork for your newsletters.

Enough said. Again.

4. Your E-Newsletter Sign Up Forms
Passion Squared sign up form


OK, I know, but so often overlooked. Keep it awesome Passionistas.

Color Scheme
Consistency again is the name of the game. Try signing up for your own newsletter, what do you see? Is it awesome and consistent, cool, if not, change it.

Yep, again, if you can be consistent, awesome, if your font is not available, choose one closest to your own.

5. Mobile
Passion Squared mobile


The world is going mobile. If you have a mobile or responsive site (responsive means the site knows which device it’s being accessed from and acts accordingly) or mobile app, be sure to visit your site from your devices from time to time to see what the experience looks and feels like. If you have not yet gone mobile, it’s still an awesome idea to see what your platforms and pages look like via mobile devices.

Can your image make or break your business? Maybe. Of course, there is also living up to that image, you know, your promise, purpose, why and delivering a kick ass experience, every single time.

(shared with LOVE from Nina)


Get Started

“you can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.”

Stephen King


Here is the audio version of this post. Snoring compliments of Zen Louis Kovner. Thank you so much for listening.

The beginning of creating awesome or anything really worthwhile is scary, in life and in business. But it can also be empowering and thrilling.

What is the real difference between someone who is living their passion and one who is not? The first one simply got started. Can it really be that simple? Yes. Is it easy? No.

Turn Your Fears Into Fuel
The main reason many never get started is fear. Fear of failure. Fear of uncertainty. Fear of money. Fear of judgement. As one who lives with anxiety on a daily basis, I can tell you this, the fears in our head are far less powerful than the passion in our heart. We just have to make a decision to turn our fears into fuel. Empowerment and awesomeness come when we kick fears in the face. Each step we take towards living our passion fuels the fire within. But we must take the all important first step and get started.

What Are You Waiting For?
If you are waiting for the stars to align and there to be no chaos in your life to get started you never will. You see, life is not designed for perfection. Life is perfectly imperfect, and so are each of us. Life is beautifully messy. There is so much freedom and empowerment that comes we accept this fact.

My buddies Randy & Gerard at Hairbrained did not wait. Neither did my beautiful girls Erin & Carrie of The Hair Nerds. Matt Beck did not wait to create Gratitude Education. Douglas McCoy did not wait to create the incredible House of POp. The beautiful Suzy Tryall did not wait to create Systems of Sage. So I ask, what are you waiting for?

Today is the best day to get started. Yesterday was even better. Tomorrow is third best, but never guaranteed.

(shared with LOVE from Nina)


The Blame Game

“Stop pointing fingers and placing blame on others. Your life can only change to the degree that you accept responsibility for it.”

Steve Maraboli


Blame(image via Google)

Here is the audio version of this post. Thank you so much for listening. Enjoy.

Many of us are guilty at one time or another of pointing the finger. I know I have.

The same energy that goes into blaming the world for our problems can also be used to take responsibility, make different choices and make a difference. Yes, I know, it seems a little tough love ish and it is.

As the awesome Jim Rohn famously said, “If you don’t like how things are, change it. You are not a tree.”

When we blame others, we give up our power. When we take responsibility & action, we become empowered.

If you do not have the clients you wish you had, instead of blaming the owner, the location, the manager, or the economy, use that energy to learn, build and grow.

If you are not happy with the performance of your team; educate them, inspire them, coach them, love them or remove them.

If you are not as profitable as you want to be, take the time to look at your P & L, your biz model, your marketing plan and your culture. Blaming the salon down the street, or even worse, the industry as a whole, is a waste of time and energy.

Blaming an industry, a company or a generation for your problems is not going to get you any closer to your dreams. Just as blaming your boss for your unhappiness or lack of clients is not going to bring you more clients or make you happier.

As the dreamy Don Draper (of Mad Men) said, “If you don’t like what’s being said, change the conversation.” Life becomes so much more awesome when we realize that we have the power to choose our realities.

We can choose to point the finger or create awesome. The best news of all, it’s a choice.

(shared with LOVE from Nina)