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April 2016

Small Business Tip: Sometimes You Have To Say 'No'

Originally published at Pulp Sushi January 2015, UPDATED


Whether you are running a small business or freelance working for a few clients, it can be hard to turn down a gig or custom order especially if a nice chunk of change can be made. Just like we shouldn't price our items for less to make a quick a buck, the same applies to potential work. 

One time, I got an Etsy convo at Pulp Sushi where someone asked if I can do 20 (that's TWENTY) of a particular necklace in my shop. While I'm good with bulk chains and general jewelry supplies, charms are a different story and the charms I like to use come from a specific shop that presses them here, not "Made In China". Naturally, this costs a little more which also means I can only purchase so many at once. 

I was never in the position where my items were flying out of the shop so I constantly needed to restock.  Asking for 20 of anything from me is a tall order.   It can be done, but with some time and a deposit.  So I asked for $500 with a $150 deposit.  I don't think this is unreasonable especially if this is to be done in the next couple of weeks.  

Instead I get a response saying that they had "another seller who can guarantee a quick delivery...".  They didn't exactly turn me down, but they didn't say "ok" either.  I had a bad feeling this would turn into back and forth bullshit so I had to end this quick and tell them to go with the other person.  

It can be frustrating having to justify why we should be paid what we are worth. There's a misunderstanding that working independently means that we're willing to take any amount of money any chance we can get - no. You work hard, and you deserve to be compensated appropriately for it.  

How much money? It's hard to say, it varies for everyone but it requires some soul-searching on your part. Think about what you do, what you need to do what you do, how much time the work will take, and how much you will need to get by.  Maybe not just get by, think about THAT amount, and then add a little more to it. 

I have a problem saying "No" to work. I think I can do it all and have time for everything - yeah! Sure! No problem!  There was an instance where I almost had a mental breakdown because I was suddenly feeling so overwhelmed with what was asked of me.  I was on the phone with a client and they had an idea about something and without giving it any thought I just came out and said "I don't think we should do that."<---that was my gut talking because when she said it, I immediately felt a sense a dread come over me. I had to turn it down, I had reached my limit.  Thankfully, she was totally cool with it and respected me setting up some sort of boundaries.  I felt so much better afterward. 

Have you experienced a similar situation where you had to turn down work because it just seemed unreasonable? 

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It's OK To Work For Someone Else


Be your own boss, become an entrepreneur, work your own hours, make your own rules!

Sure this all sounds lovely at first but what is not advertised as much is the amount of WORK that goes into it. Can you imagine if EVERYONE worked for themselves? What work would there be left to do?  

While I work from home, I am not my own boss. I don't consider Pulp Sushi a part-time job anymore since I have moved on from it.  I still work for Typepad and I work with A Little Beacon Blog and Rogue Social as my clients - even though I feel like a part of their teams 100%, I don't feel like I'm working for myself.  But you know what? I'm okay with all of this and where I am right now.

You're not a failure if you have no desire to run your own business.  It's cool if you want to keep your Etsy shop as a hobby! I tried it and I was just meh. I like being in a supportive role.  Whether it's working in a big office or a small startup, one of my strengths is that I am SUPER organized to the point where I am annoying, but hey, some people need that!   Why do you think so many "Virtual Assistants" are popping up?  

Many people are venturing out with a business on their own (that's awesome!) but there comes a time where they realize that they can't DO IT ALL on their own.  It could be accounting, social media, updating blogs, managing a newsletter, or wherever else they drop the ball with, there's always going to be a need for extra help.  If this is what you feel drawn to doing, then walk, no, stomp down that path and own it!

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Use Gmail For Your Business Email

Previously published at Pulp Sushi, April 2015

Today I want to share a friendly tip that some of you may not know about which could come in handy...


You may be wondering if it's okay to use a Gmail address for your business or should you set up a "" email.  

I don't have a problem with either one but some experts say that if you want a professional presence, it's better to have your domain name email so you look legit.  Here is how to manage your domain email through your Gmail account. 

I get it, checking different inboxes can be a pain in the neck.  If you have a Gmail account, not only can you forward the email to your Gmail, but you can respond (in Gmail) using your Domain email, here's a screenshot from my Gmail: 

Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 12.30.38 PM is hosted by GoDaddy and that includes a few email addresses, I think five but I've been with them for a very long time so that may have changed.  I like to streamline everything as much as possible. I can't be signing in to GoDaddy to check emails because I forget and it will sit there forever.  So it all goes to my Gmail inbox. 

In Gmail, go to Settings > Accounts and Imports, this is how my Settings appear:

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 10.15.45 AM

As you can see, my default email is actually "", not even my Gmail address. Not only can you add email addresses, but you can have Gmail check your other email addresses, that is how the emails are forwarded to your account. 

When I get an email to, I have the option to respond using the same email address or switch to my Gmail account (see above).  There is a drop down arrow next to the "From" field in the email window where you can select which return email address to use.

Sometimes I switch to my Gmail because some inboxes are weird with domain emails. I have a friend who if I email them using the address, they won't get it but they will get my Gmail email.  Some inboxes have their filters set up differently so it's nice to have that option and not get lost in someone's spam folder.  There you have it, easy-peasy! 

Do you keep a separate inbox for business and personal? Any email management tricks you have?

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A Quickie Guide To Google Analytics

Previously published at Pulp Sushi in July 2015

Oooh I love quickies! (What??) I mean quick and easy tutorials especially to something as complex as Google Analytics.

GAOne of the things I do for Typepad is I help out with their blog, Everything Typepad.  Every month I share a tutorial for our bloggers.   I once posted a tutorial about using Google Analytics.  

Since using Google Analytics is not limited to just Typepad bloggers, I wanted to give it a plug here as there are tips and pointers which could come in handy for many folks who are interested in learning more about who is visiting their blog.  It's good to see how your blog is working in attracting visitors, whether it's through your keywords and tags, your social media plugs, or other bloggers sharing your links.  

I've been using Google Analytics for a few years and I have barely scratched the surface.  There is just SO much data you can gather.

In my Typepad piece, I focus on the features I refer to my personal blog which you can read in full here

Do you use Google Analytics? How do you keep track of your blog visitors? 

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