business lessons

How to Get an Event Website

Q: How should I go about making a website for my event?

A: My favorite online tool for website design (hands down!) is Squarespace! Squarespace makes it easy to to build and manage a website. You are able to choose and pay for the domain and posting through Squarespace and the pricing is more cost effective than hiring a web designer. Most important, makes it easy to update information; blogging, pictures, event announcements, social media, you name it!! Anything you need to stay engaged with your attendees and drive ticket sales is very easy and seamless on this platform! It's also easy to add a ticket sales widget on the site! Eventbrite, TicketBud and Ticket Tailor are all compatible and easy to use with Squarespace. Just head over to squarespace.com.

If you are in need of further assistance, Events by Kirk offers event website design to help assist you with a successful event!! To move forward with event web design just send an email to brittany@eventsbykirk.com.

This post is one of the 31 Days of Event Advice. Throughout the month of January, Kirk will be answering questions that you have regarding your event. Comment below or contact me via any social media avenues with your questions, they will be answered throughout the month! #31daysofeventadvice

Buisness Lessons to be Learned from Pokemon Go

I know, that just from the title you're rolling your eyes right about now but stick with me, there are lessons to be learned from the genius' behind Pokémon. No, I am not a Pokemon Go player/addict but I not only appreciate the expert marketing, I will use them as an example for all future marketing campaigns.

 Like I said, I don't play but I have watched the brand progress and grow over the years through the eyes of my brother. He is 27, which means he was 7 years old in 1996 when Pokemon madness originally hit. I was with him while he watched back-to-back Pokemon Power Hours, when Pokemon wasn't on our tv he was collecting the cards and meeting up with his friends for Poke fights (or whatever you called it back then), there were Pokemon toys and Poke-balls everywhere in the house. They completely dominated the mid-late 90's not just in our household but in households across the WORLD! Movies, clothes, shoes, toys, halloween costumes... We should've purchased stock in Pokemon! Then finally in '98 they started releasing video games for Game Boy. I promise you, the only reason we got Game Boy Color was so Brian could play Pokémon (You're welcome Nintendo)! Then when Pokemon came out on Nintendo 64 it was over! Pokemon just continued to grow year over year becoming a staple in the lives of young millennials. If you were not apart of this generation or didn't have kids during this time, just know this has been a massive thing for 20 years strong.

What I like about Pokémon Go is that they took their current fan base, kept their entire concept or storyline and just incorporated the next level of technology; virtual reality! Companies and brands have been playing with virtual reality for the past 30 years. It has mostly involved glasses or purchasing large and expensive equipment. Pokémon Go made it easy; you use the phone you already carry in your hand all day! And the purpose of the show, movie, the card game and the video games is to "Catch 'em all". You catch the Pokémon, some are more difficult to find and they have different powers and they can battle each other. Pokémon Go just mirrors every storyline the brand currently had in place! The concept has never changed they just made the game more interactive in a very genius way!

If you are a business owner (most relates to brick and mortar and some mobile owners) stop turning your nose up at the Pokémon Go players, embrace them! Take down those "Pokémon are for paying customer's only" signs. These young people are scowering the cities and neighborhoods in tribes and for long periods of time. I know what you're thinking "They don't have any money!" "They will drive my customers away". Well, I say there's no room for agism when it comes to money! Even if in a group of 20 people 5 people purchase, that's 5 more purchases you had previously. PLUS, that's 20 people in your store taking pictures and checking in and promoting your business. It's a win/win for everyone! 

As a business owner you need to take advantage of new technology and trends. Even if Pokémon Go is a passing trend, take advantage of it while it's hot, the next trend will be along soon and you will be more adaptable to them as they come.

What can you do as a business? If you are a brick and mortar you can register your business as a Pokémon Gym and/or a PokeStop. Have specials for the Pokémon Go players, give discounts for those who are checking in and taking pictures of the Pokémon next to your product. Advertise your support of the game and even host a Pokémon Go meetup at your establishment! Working with the younger generation could lead to different opportunities in the future; hosting fundraising events and promotions, becoming a frequented coworking facility for entrepreneurs, hosting networking events and meetups, hiring an intern to assist with your social media presence, becoming a staple within the community and don't forget, these kids have parents! The point  is to think creatively about how to market your business and gain additional exposure and generate additional income.

Hate on the game all you want, you have to admit that this brand has cultivated a huge following. You should use the Pokémon brand as an example of how to not just have a brand but build a culture! Lesson's to take from Pokémon; consistency, stay true to your vision, and embrace the changes in times and technology.

Wordy Wednesday - Update on Events by Kirk

It has been 7 months since I left the day job to work on Events by Kirk full-time. Being an entrepreneur is everything that you read about; its hard, exhausting, discouraging, and takes an insane level of determination and sacrifice. I have begun to greet rejections and "no" with "thank you, do you have any feedback" and then immediatly moving on to the next. Building the life you want has alot to do with also working on yourself, your personal restraints and drawbacks. The areas that I am working on are stress management, focus, not to be as hard on myself and my relationship wih money. In my spare time I have been reading alot, journaling and I have added meditation to my morning routine.

One of the reoccuring pieces of advice in almost every article about success I've read and books on entrepreneurship is the importance of listing your accomplishments. In working towards anything, its so easy to get caught up what you want your end result to be that you forget to acknoledge the progress you have made. In training for a marathon the rookie mistake is to still think midway through your training "theres no way I will be able to run 26 miles, the marathon is right around the corner". What you often forget is to acknowledge that you used to get winded after 15 min of running and now you are able to run 10 miles! You haven't reached your goal but you are on the right path and if you were determined enough to make it this far you will be able to make it on the day of the marathon. Even I have forgotton this important piece of advice, so in honor of this key rule I am going to list my accomplishments of the past 7 months

  • Marketing plan complete
  • Website redesign
  • Business foundations in place
  • Event consultation packages
  • Significant Q4 income
  • Hired by 2 travel directing companies
  • Working at T-Mobile Arena for additional income
  • T-Mobile is flexible enough to not affect the progress of my business
  • Made entrepreneur friends
  • Attending 2 networking events per week
  • Improved networking skills
  • Becoming known locally
  • 4 contracts signed and paid
  • 2 partnerships
  • 1 modeling gig (weird but cool) 
  • 1 social media management

Now, admittedly, I am not yet where I want to be in my business but just listing my accomplishments tells me I am going in the right direction. 

Happy Wordy Wednesday everyone!! In the comment section below, let me know what your greatest accomplishments were this past month!

4 Things No One Tells You Before You Go Solo

Obviously I knew going into full-time entrepreneurship would be a challenge, that it would be hard and stressful. My new reality is rolling out of bed brewing coffee and immediately sitting down at the computer. Then working all day until I hit a mental block only to look around and realize it's 12 hours later. Then, exhausted I take the iPad to bed and fall asleep while catching up on social media. I was prepared to be stressed about income, I was prepared to question myself and my decisions, I was prepared to make the extreme sacrifices needed to push the business. I was never naive about this being an easy journey. After all, if it was easy everyone would be a successful business owner.... Right?? However, I was surprised by the mental challenges and the mental strength needed to push forward everyday with the same conviction. Really, failing to work on yourself is planning to fail in your business. 

Truth #1: You will feel like you are isolated on (what I like to call it) "The Island of Insanity"

 Being an entrepreneur, especially one in which you can run your business 100% online can (and WILL) be isolating. We tend to lock ourselves in the house and work for hours and hours on the computer with no human interaction. The drive and determination that you cultivate allows you to go for days without actually noticing you haven't seen another human in all that time. The only thing that causes you to return to the human population is that you ran out of caffeine. While I hope that your friends and family are understanding of your sudden disappearance, it will be an adjustment for both you and them.

Tip: Find other entrepreneurs and build a kind of support group. I met a neighbor who is a videographer and he stays up late editing. Its helpful just knowing I'm not the only one up working late in this form of masochism. Although, we are in different fields we can relate as solopreneurs. Keep in mind you are not alone and schedule time to step away from the computer and spend time with friends or family. Even try working from a coffee shop once a week!

Truth #2: You don't even know what flexibility is yet! - Even though I am a very structured person I thought I would easily be flexible when it came to my business. FALSE! During the startup phase you are in grind mode and your schedule can easily get out of your control. Client meetings, pitch meetings, phone calls, networking events and your ever growing to-do list. It will be a huge adjustment to be able to go with the flow and become flexible with your ever changing schedule. Flexibility is a huge adjustment no matter how flexible you think you are, continue to work on this. It will only become an asset to you as your business grows.

Tip: Make a weekly list of items that need to be completed to ensure your business moves forward and your goals are reached even when you have pop-up meetings and last minute schedule changes. Also, (this may be obvious) but always have your laptop or iPad with you so that you can work on the go. You can get work accomplished in between meetings for example.

Truth #3: Some days the doubt will take over - Most days I am at the computer by 7am, work all day, get some reading done, catch up on my industry news, attempt meditation (not really good at it.... work in progress), networking events twice a week. But some days I look at my bank account and wonder if I am making the right decision. It's hard to work with that same conviction while you are building your business. Thats exactly what you are doing building. You may not (and most likely WONT) be generating much money, you will get a ton of "no's" and ton's of resistance.

Tip: Remember why you started and take it one day at a time. Cliche, I know, but consistency is the key to success in your business. (Maybe its not necessarily cliche if its the truth!). When you are having your moments of self doubt remind yourself what your goal is and look back on the progress you have made. You are doing this for a reason, you cannot let negative self talk derail your success.

 Truth #5: You will want to do a million different things - From the beginning you will see all the things you eventually want for your business; marketing, growth opportunities, branding, different departments.... the list can go on forever! Between the freedom of owing your own business and your ambition it can easily spiral to the realm of crazy town. Trust me, I've been there several times! You can easily spend a whole day planning what you want your website and logo to look like even though you cannot afford a graphic designer and have a perfectly professional website. Without someone to hold you accountable to your goals and business plan you can easily become side tracked.

Tip: Make a list of your long term goals and short term goals. Once you come across something that is a future aspiration put it on the long term goal list and table it. Remember the short term goals and the tasks that you need to do now to accomplish your short term goals! It may also help to have an accountability partner. This can be a fellow entrepreneur, you both can talk to about what your goals are and who keep each other's head in the game.

Even though I have had (and still have) these struggles I feel so self aware and I know that every challenge I come across is making me a better person as a whole. I am still so excited that these are now my challenges and I feel stronger everyday when I face them. The things I am actively doing to 

 My current coping mechanisms are; my local support group of entrepreneurs, financial accountability meetings with one of my close friends, daily meditation, reading 1 inspirational book per month, daily gratitudes and constant cheerleading from my biggest fan (my dad!)

Hope this helped, whether you are starting a business or facing a new point in your life. What are your coping mechanisms. Let me know in the comments! 

Fear and Business Don't Mix

Photocred: Elite Daily

Photocred: Elite Daily

In launching a business there are several obstacles that present itself. One of the most damaging, I have found, are fears. The fear of success, the fear of failure, the fear to put yourself and your business out there, the fear of criticism.

This week I was inspired by Alex Beadon in reading her blog post “WHY Have I Been Afraid of Success” and I love to hear the reality of what other entrepreneurs are going through. When I look at how successful and how amazing a person she is its shocking/endearing to me that of all people she admits to fearing the circumstances that come along with success. This made me take a pause and be completely honest with myself; if this successful businesswoman has fears, I MUST have some that I am unwilling to admit. What is my fear about success and how is this fear holding me back from furthering the success of my business?

I feel as if I have these amazing spurts of productivity and there are a few minor goals per week that could significantly further the business that I am trying to grow, but what is it that blocks me mentally and prevents me from finishing these few items. What is it that makes me shove these goals to the bottom of my to-do list or makes me roll it over until the following week?

How can I work so hard and read about the steps to success and plan the future and visualize a successful business but still have hesitation or doubts?! After sitting down and brainstorming and being truly honest with myself its so clear what my holdbacks are. It is the instability and the unknown in taking the leap of working full time for myself. Frankly, I have a great job that I enjoy AND its in my industry, great benefits, a salary, stupid (good stupid!) paid vacation time, opportunity for growth. But I am working towards leaving the stability of all that to build my dream company. I fear my directors finding out my plans are not to continue with the company and them dismissing me before I have my goal savings, and I fear the initial 6 months when I finally leave the security of a steady and regular income to work full time for myself.

In the moment acknowledging these fears I felt such a sense of clarity and the determination to push forward and triumph over these fears. I know that all of these obstacles are what us entrepreneurs must go through to grow from good to great. For me, this is the path that I have chosen and I will not take anything less than vision I have for Events by Kirk.

I write all of this to say to my fellow entrepreneurs that you are not alone when it comes to having fears in starting your business. We will all be apprehensive or even fearful about one aspect of our company. The trick is not to let your fear become doubts in yourself or your vision. Take the time to recognize the fear that is holding you back and push to overcome that very obstacle.

What are your fears?? Leave a comment below sharing your fear. Put it out for the world to see! Take the control over yourself and your business.