The Boss Babe Blog
Build your career without sacrificing your life.
It’s a beautiful thing…seeing a child holding a book. It’s an even more beautiful thing to see that a child is interested in writing a book. We’re living in a world where technology is taking precedent against paper-bound books. That’s not necessarily a bad thing…human advancement is something incredible that should certainly be celebrated and encouraged. However, real, honest, diverse, traditional, literature is a culture that binds people from all corners of the world together…and it is slowly dying. Every day, more and more children are born that will not be forced to read “Tom Sawyer”, “Bernice Bobs Her Hair”, or “Goodman Brown” in English literature class on a standard paperback novel. Each day, we are seeing more and more young people raise a questioning eyebrow to their peers that faun over the distinct smell of a bookstore and a coffee shop. So, I’ve decided to go on the hunt for young people around the world that understand and appreciate these simple pleasures. Not only that, I’m looking for young people who celebrate this traditional literature culture! Young readers, young authors, and young book club members…I’ll be featuring them here. I’ll let their stories do the inspiring and their own words do the teaching.
Today, I want to feature a young (15-year-old) girl named Zuni Chopra. Zuni is a young author living in Mumbai, India. She has written 2 books of poetry, and she is in the process of publishing her first novel. She has a passion for fantasy and literature of all kinds. She gives her Twitter followers a small bit of advice to battle writer’s block: “If you care about it enough, it will get finished”. She is the picture-perfect example of perseverance and unpredictability. “I don’t know what I’m going to have for breakfast tomorrow morning, so I don’t know if I’m going to keep writing”, she states. This is a unique bit of wisdom, unusual to find in someone so young. No one truly knows when they will lose their desire to write, or if they ever will. By knowing this, and embracing the fact that you’re unsure what tomorrow will bring, you’re more motivated to complete your tasks today.
Zuni has become an author at only 15 by publishing the novel “The House That Spoke”. Readers seem to have no complaints regarding the teenager’s talent. “Reading Zuni’s book was like experiencing all the seasons of Kashmir in my own home” – Masood Hussein. She’s certainly a girl with her head screwed on straight. “Keep in mind, not everything you write will be of value, and not everything you have of value will be written.”, is another piece of useful advice she has for all of the aspiring young authors and readers of the world. Benjamin Franklin once said: “Write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”, Zuni has followed this advice, leading one of her readers to say “Just finished this wonderful book by 15-year old Zuni Chopra. The House that Spoke: 232 pages of sheer delight.”!
Follow Zuni Chopra on Twitter for more literature inspiration.
The world we live in is becoming more fast-paced every single day. Constantly, we look for ways to make our daily activities quicker and simpler, so we can have more time to rest or work. Aside from scheduling, we look for mobility. The average person doesn’t stay home on a daily basis. With more transportation options than ever before, it seems as though we’re always on the go. Due to this change of pace, we look for ways to take care of our households while we’re not even in them. While we may mop the kitchen floors while sitting in the grocery store parking lot, we can monitor the home to be certain that everything is safe and secure. We can connect cameras to watch particular rooms or doorways, and we can even press a button and operate certain electronics within the home. Today, I want to share a new service with my readers that will bring them an entire other level of convenience.
BuzzMeHome is a cloud-based service that allows you to control your apartment building buzzer or intercom remotely through the use of access codes and the ability to connect to multiple phones. When you sign up, you will be given a personal BuzzMeHome number that you need to provide to your building manager – simple as that. Now your intercom is managed by the BuzzMeHome system. Log in to your dashboard to setup forwarding to any cell phone or landline and create access codes.
If you’re curious about whether or not this system will work for you, you’ll be happy to know that the system operates in all of the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States. Unfortunately, hardwired buzzer systems cannot yet be connected to the BuzzMeHome service. However, the company is working on that little flaw and should have it fixed very soon. If you’re interested in being contacted when the hardwire systems are allowed, you can contact them through their website, and they will be more than happy to help you out. Still not sure whether this service will be compatible with your building’s buzzer system? Well, a simple way to figure out is by looking into whether or not your buzzer system can be forwarded to a mobile phone. If the answer is “yes”, then you’re good to go!
What is the coolest part of this service? You don’t need any devices. You don’t need to crowd up your phone with any additional apps. You don’t have to purchase any software or equipment, no will you have to set any up. The service is 100% cloud-based! Is it safe? Well, you’ve probably heard quite a bit of hype regarding cloud based services, but this service pays extra attention to safety. All data communication is transmitted through encrypted channels. Login information is encrypted. Your BuzzMeHome phone number will only accept calls coming from your apartment buzzer, and all other calls will be rejected. BuzzMeHome will send you a text message every time somebody enters a correct or incorrect access code at your apartment buzzer. So, you don’t have to worry about someone hacking into your service. You can keep an eye on your home from a distance, while feeling secure that you’re the only individual watching.
We’re over halfway through the month of January, so you may already be 200 pages deep in your latest read, but if you haven’t picked up a good book yet this month, I highly suggest that you find one. If you don’t have anything in mind, or you’re just too busy to head to the local library to pick one out, you’re in luck, because we have a great series of books to share with you that just might last you well into the Spring. If you do love these books so much that you just fly right on through them, we’ll be publishing further suggestions in the coming months.
Wondering why we’re so profusely encouraging you to get lost in a novel, when there are so many other things you could be doing, such as starting up your work-from-home career, spending time with your children, or taking a little vacation for yourself? Well, let’s be honest. We all need a little mental stimulation and bodily relaxation once in a while. Work is stressful, children are a handful (or two), and vacations are expensive and time-consuming. Reading a good book is a better way to chill. Reading before you shut off the lights for the night can help you get a better night of rest. Reading before you head to work in the morning can “wake up” your brain and get you ready to tackle the challenges of the upcoming hours! Reading improves your communication skills, and even boosts your moral! With that in mind…what exactly should you be reading?
Our suggestion for January is a fantasy book. Let your mind wander for the new year. There are over 300 days of possibilities ahead of you, so a little inspiration may be just what you need right now! Brandon Mull captures that spirit perfectly in the children’s fantasy series “Fablehaven”. A children’s book may not be your idea of a great read, but you also might be missing out. Children’s books and young adult books often make better reads, because while the story still stimulates your brain and your critical thinking process, the words are easier for many people to read, and usually more fun and relaxing.
The summary for book #1 is as follows:
For centuries, mystical creatures of all description were gathered to a hidden refuge called Fablehaven to prevent their extinction. The sanctuary survives today as one of the last strongholds of true magic in a cynical world. Enchanting? Absolutely! Exciting? You bet. Safe? Well, actually, quite the opposite . . .
Kendra and her brother Seth have no idea that their grandfather is the current caretaker of Fablehaven. Inside the gated woods, ancient laws give relative order among greedy trolls, mischevious satyrs, plotting witches, spiteful imps, and jealous fairies. However, when the rules get broken, an arcane evil is unleashed, forcing Kendra and Seth to face the greatest challenge of their lives. To save her family, Fablehaven, and perhaps the world, Kendra must find the courage to do what she fears most.
The most exciting part of this series isn’t even the series itself…(although, that IS pretty exciting). The best part is the sequel series is set to be released on March 7, 2017! This sequel series will follow the same main characters as the original series…just with even more exciting adventures! So, if you start reading now, you’ve only got less than two months to finish Fablehaven before the next series of books hits the shelves! There are 5 major books in the original series, 7 if you count the Caretakers Guide and Book of Imagination, although neither are essential to the understanding of the storyline.
Personally, I’ve read the entire Fablehaven series, and I am looking forward to the new upcoming books. In fact, I believe I might read this series again…just to refresh myself on the wonderfully magical world that Brandon Mull has so delicately designed. I hope you’ll join me in this new adventure for the new year!
As any home business owner knows, working at home can be both a curse and a blessing. Today, since it is motivation Monday, I’ve chosen to focus on the latter. This morning I asked myself: How has working from your bedroom been a blessing in the past year or two? I almost shocked myself, as I came up with more than five answers in under two minutes. It wasn’t difficult to make a list at all! However, the blessing that I’ve chosen to spotlight today is my long-distance relationship.
In this age of technology, we’ve probably all had a love affair of some form with someone that we’ve never got to meet, or are just waiting for their plane to arrive. Many of us find ourselves in long-distance relationships. Whether these relationships span the small distance of a couple of states, or the longer distance of half-way-across-the-world, love knows no boundaries. As you might imagine, long-distance relationships are hard…like, really hard. In fact, they are so difficult that some people believe they are actually impossible to maintain long-term. If you were to step outside today and announce that you’ve just entered a long-distance relationship, you’d most likely hear at least one person say “It isn’t going to last!”.
Luckily enough for all of you long distance love birds out there, love can survive distance, and I’m living proof of that. “Love makes the heart grow fonder”, is a phrase that I firmly believe in, as I live each day happily in my own L.D.R. of nearly 6 months. Though it isn’t always sunshine and daisies, as it never will be, I can truthfully say that both my partner and I are happy, and looking forward to our first face-to-face visit this summer! The biggest issue we’ve faced together so far is scheduling. Thankfully (this is where work comes into play) I have a job that I can mend and mold to make time for him.
Working from home gives me the flexibility that my partner lacks. While he has to work a 9-5 shift, or a 12-8 shift, or a 6-2 shift, I can work any hour of the day that is convenient for the both of us. For the sake of both our nerves, we make a point to communicate every single day, with absolutely no exceptions. I could share with you our secret of how to avoid running out of things to talk about, but that’s a different blog post entirely. Whether he wants to ring me up at midnight to give me his “Goodnight Darling, I love You”, kissy faces, or video chat me as soon as he wakes up so I can be the first thing he sees, I can always be available.
Another positive aspect of working from home is the fact that I can mix work and hoe without much consequence, as long as I stay organized. This has been a huge plus in my long-distance relationship. I work solely online, so I’m not calling or meeting up with clients. I communicate through social media, instant messaging and email. This way, my man can actually see some of my work in progress! I have written rough drafts for speech, designed posters, and edited photos all while on the phone with him. Granted, I have to double-check y work for any oopsie-I-know-better mistakes I might have made while I was laughing at his latest joke, but any good freelancer or solopreneur will double-check themselves regardless of the distractions in the room. The freedom to let him be a part of my work is priceless. It’s not a matter of him needing to “check up on me”, but a matter of involving him in my day-to-day activities. If I can ask him “does this look better, or that?”, without a supervisor breathing down my neck and getting hostile because I’ on my mobile, he can feel more connected to me by feeling like he has contributed to my day.
Yes, it’s true what they all say: Long distance isn’t easy by any means. I’ve wanted to pull my hair out more than once over some simple miscommunications, and it hasn’t even been a full year yet, but when you love someone, you’re willing to give up a bit of your sanity to be with them…even if it is completely virtual. Communication is more important than ever when that’s all you have of each other, and working from home has opened my lines of communication in ways I would have never imagined. It has also improved my communication skills…yes, it takes skills to deal with clients day in and day out while remaining calm, cool, and collected. So, I feel like becoming a freelance writer has not only boosted my career, but saved my relationship. If I were trying to match up a 9-5 schedule with my partner’s hectic schedule, there’d be no hope for us.
Working from home has been a real blessing for me. If you’re in a long-distance relationship, you’re a single parent looking to stay home with your child, or a parent looking to become a homemaker…or any other individual that has decided you’d like to try your hand at the work-from-home game, I’ve got some articles that should help you get started. You never know, hitting the laptop instead of the timeclock every morning might save your relationship, your marriage, or even your sanity!
The word on the street last year was that content marketing is dead. Slapping an abundance of keywords into a short article no longer yields results…that is certainly true. However, just because content hacking is dead, doesn’t mean content marketing is dead. The content you add to your website, blog, or portfolio still has as much significance as it did in the early days of the internet. Rest assured: If you’re starting up your first attempt at a blog in this new year, you haven’t arrived too late to the party…you’ve just got to reinvent your method of entrance.
Have you noticed that Hollywood seems to be releasing more remakes than ever in 2017? Have you ever thought about why that’s the case? In my opinion, they’ve run out of unique, interesting storylines. Every time they release something “new”, critics want to deem it “predictable” and “boring”. Every storyline seems to have been filmed over and over again. Hollywood is hoping that the young generation will bring in new issues to enhance, new stories to create, and new characters to make the nation fall in love with…but until that happens, they’re stuck working with what they already have. Bloggers are facing many of the same problems. Readers are just average people…and the average person is busier than ever before. They don’t have time to browse blogs just for the sake of browsing blogs. They have questions, concerns, and curiosities, that they need answered quickly and completely, as to not disturb their busy, daily schedules. If your blog doesn’t offer something new, fresh, and thought-provoking…you’ve got no chance at making it in the marketing world.
The good news is, as I said at the beginning of this article, content marketing isn’t dead…you just have to be ready and equipped to use your imagination a bit more than your blogging ancestors. Luckily for you, I’m here to help you figure out how to inspire that creative brain you’ve kept under lock and key for so long.
First of all, you need to stop looking at stories from the “common-folk” perspective. “Beauty and the Beast” is a classic princess tale that has been retold time and time again…but nearly always from the perspective of the beauty or the beast. How would the story be different if it were told from the perspective of Chip, the little teacup that so admired the princess? Would he have heard her innermost wishes and dreams that she dared not tell in her version of the tale? Would he have been angry at his master, the beast, for the treatment that the princess received, or would he have felt sympathy for the beast, because the beast had confided in him the level of pain and loneliness that the curse had cast upon him? The reader, no doubt, knows the story of the Beauty and the Beast, but casting a new perspective on the age-old tale could be exactly what is needed to attract a larger audience to the tale.
Another way to spruce up your writing is to pay attention to your own life. This may seem like an obvious statement, but the issues you face in daily life are quite similar to the issues your readers are facing. So, if you wouldn’t Google a question…don’t write about it. If you do Google a question, pay attention to the answer and critique it. If there is something you would add or take away from the answer you find, there is no shame in rewriting the article. Of course, make sure it is in your own words…plagiarism is a big no-no, but the idea is definitely a good place to draw inspiration. So, for example, if you run a cooking blog, you already know that there are thousands of online recipes for butterfly-cut chicken. However, butterflying a whole chicken in a cast-iron skillet in less than an hour is something not many people know how to do. Although, it could be turned into a very useful article, because nowadays, everyone is looking for a time-saving tip, especially when it comes to cooking.
The third piece of advice I must give you is this: Don’t be afraid to be controversial. In today’s world, everyone is walking on eggshells to be politically correct, and while it isn’t a good idea to walk around deliberately insulting every person you meet (remember, connections are still everything), it could be beneficial to business if you decide to disagree with the crowd, every once in a while. Take a glimpse at Kanye West. His career as never boomed as much as it has in the past couple of years. Surprisingly, he can’t say his success was from marrying a Kardashian, his success was actually from calling out Taylor Swift on an award show stage. Did this move piss off her fans? Of-course. Have his rants been controversial in the music industry, all around? Yes, they have. However, his little fits onstage have earned him extra stage time at recent award shows (+1 for publicity), an abundance of mentions in social media (+2 for publicity), and even some talk-show conversations focus…(+3 for publicity!). Controversial marketing has built the image of Kanye West that we all know and love (or hate), today. He is living proof that in a country founded on freedom of speech, you should never be afraid to give your opinion. It could save your brand.
The bottom line is: Offer a fresh perspective, get a little controversial, and solve the problems in your own life…follow this formula and you’re going to have readers coming back to your blog day in and day out looking for your latest article. Content marketing isn’t dead, and it probably never truly will be, you just need to stop playing it safe and start actually playing the marketing game. Your brand, and possibly even you’re career, depends on it.