Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Here is our logo for Buy Hand - please let me know what you think. I cant wait to show you sneak peaks of the website over the coming weeks!!

The blog will be getting a much needed face lift soon too - so stand by!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

ABN - Bank Account

Well it is all feeling a little real, and a little crazy! But in the best possible way.

The last few days I have been a busy little bee filling in forms, sign things, making phone calls, paying invoices and much more. But it is starting to come together now! And I feel more excited about Buy Hand each and every day. Well I have a few days where I think I must be mad and its all too hard but for the most part so far it has been a really positive experience. And we haven't even scratched the surface yet!!

My computer screen smashed last night as my precious MacBook hit the floor open and face down after falling a whole 35cm of the arm of the couch! Devastation!! Also my internet is slow - slow like in the good old days where we were sung a melody of WHIRRRR BEEP PING PONG PING PONG everytime we connected to the net. So I will be pretty much off line for the next few days. And then I will away! Noosa, Brisbane and Tamworth!

The trip will be family - friends - two weddings - two 21st and hopefully some time at the beach so I am looking forward to it. BUT at this stage in the game I cant afford two weeks away from Buy Hand so I am calling it a working holiday and will be blogging, planning, emailing etc as I go.

Do you take time off? Or does your work just move with you when the family takes time off?

Hope you are all having as good a week as we are (minus the computer debacle of course)!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Special Offer

So I have been appalling in the Blog Department this week - I have been slow answering emails - and my house looks like an extreme obstacle course!! And like so many other mums I have spoken to lately all of this can be put down to the very simple, very curl torture known as Sleep Deprivation!!

My 17month old amazing baby boy has decided the last month that 4am is time to get up! And despite my best efforts to be tough I fail and he ends up in my bed watching dvds and drinking milo just so mum can have her head on a pillow for ten more mins!

Week 1 - I was tired but who isnt!

Week 2 - Went to bed a little earlier each night - made it hard to get my To Do Lists done.

Week 3 - Hmm its not ideal but I think I am getting used to four hrs sleep a night

Week 4 - WALL! And boy did I hit it!!

So when emails go unanswered for days at a time and no sewing gets done I get sad. Buy Hand is getting the most love but still much less than it needs. So if anyone has any baby sleep tips I am all ears!

But given my big focus on Time management a week ago I have decided that I have to adjust my way of doing with so that I can still get stuff achieved.

Today was a great day - lots got achieved! I am on a bit of a high so I wanted to share with all my excitement for this project and a VERY offer!!

Part of the appeal of Buy Hand will be that I will look after all the listings etc - this will ensure a level of consistency across the site but will also take some pressure off members. BUT the web developers - who have given a 6-8 week time frame on the release date so we will be LIVE before Christmas - have said they will do a certain amount of this for me while designing the page.

Given this news I want to pass on the excitement to you - SO the first five people to email me at monkeyandme.tvl@gmail and register their interest will receive their first 12 months membership for only $75 (more than 30% off)!

Now I must get back to getting all the info together for the website!!

Update -

For those of you who do not follow the Facebook Page here is where the Business side of things is up to;

- The logo is being designed and I think it is going to FAB!
- The website is underway and should be live early November
- The fees to be involved in the website have been determined and are cheap as chips!
- I am quitting my day job YAY!!
- if you want to register interest in listing with us email me at monkeyandme.tvl@gmail.com


Monday, September 13, 2010

Late but here it is! Time Tip #5

This was meant to be the best of the time tip blogs and yet it never happened!

Friday night my little guy was very unhappy - and from bed time to 4 am he did much more crying than sleeping - so mum did much more nursing, administer panadol, watching toy story, walking around the house, rocking, bouncing, and sympathy crying than she did blogging!

Saturday we both played catch up in the sleep department, Sunday I worked at an event (which helps the bank balance) and was asleep by 8pm! So Three days late but here it is - I didnt want to just skip it because I think it is the most important.

This - scratch that now - LAST week I talked about "Writing Lists" "Keeping a Diary - and living by it""Managing you Online Time" and "Valuing your Time" now if you manage to do all these things, or at least bits of all of them your time will become much more efficient! But there are always YOU can be more efficient, or business can, or you just might want to try something new. So one thing you need to remember when organizing your time is to

Set Aside Time To PLAN!! Or to THINK!

Oh the thinks you can think up if only you try - Dr Suess

Make sure you make time in newly regimented, diary strict life to sometimes just sit and think. Or jog and think, or knit and think - work out what works best for you. Me I need to brainstorm and prefer to talk or write things down. I am also my most creative at night time but since Little Monkey was born and I am SO tired I find early in the mornings is my best time for the more strategic planning.

Where or when do you do your best thinking?

Hope you have got something out of these tips - I sure have and writing them down makes me realise how slack I am at some of them so today I am hoping to turn a new TIME LEAF!!

I'll be sure to keep you posted on how that is working out for me! Hope you do the same :-)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Time Tip #4 - Learn to Value your Time

It seems so simple but it is so hard to actually do. But it may just be the most important change you will make!

In a dollar sense it means that you are comfortable charging others for your lifetime of knowledge and experience. I know this one is very tough for me personally and lots of other WAHMs - we figure if we are sewing (or whatever clever thing you do) while the kids are sleeping or playing then we really couldn't be doing anything else so we shouldn't charge much for it. Well you could be doing lots of other things - SLEEPING too is the first one that comes to mind. So you need give yourself credit for what you are choosing to do with your time.

In a life sense it means you make the most of what you have chosen to do with each moment and don't allow yourself to get confused. Set work hours and work! (obviously if the kids are sick your be a nurse but then make time later on to make up the time) And on the same strict regime if you set family time don't check your emails. Life is short and you cant ever get your time back so make the most of it!!

And on that note I choose to go to sleep at 10;30 so night all. . .

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Time Tip #3 - I like this one

Manage your Online Time

If you are planning to sit at your computer make sure you do so with a definite purpose in mind. It is important to spread the word and of course answer emails but if you are anything like me it can zap time away from your real purpose before you know it!!

It can help to keep a notebook by your computer and always list your goals and to-do lists in it, all in once place. I know we talked about lists the other day too but this has really helped me curb my online procrastinating. It helps prevent you from aimlessly checking email or surfing the net and getting lost.

Know what you need to accomplish, write it down, do it, and move on to the next activity. I keep a small notepad there and it is separate to my daily to-do lists that way I have no excuse for taking it away from the computer.

While we are on the topic of online time management and an other area I have to be very mindful of is checking your email all day, instead just check it two or 3 times a day (at most) and answer all the emails at the same time. You can set an alarm to go off in your phone if you like so you restrict yourself. Soon it will become habit.

Do you get on do the task and get off? Or do dawdle your way around facebook, twitter and the like??

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Time Tip #2

Dont watch Rafters - oh but everyone needs a break!

Seriously though now that you have your diary and you can write down everything you need to remember you need to be smart about how you do that. Sit down and decide what are the milestones you hope to achieve - then break these down into smaller steps and if you can go smaller again.

This process will help you prioritize your tasks and ensure you are working towards the bigger picture in the most efficient way.

I have done this for both Monkey and Me and Buy Hand but given the week I have had and the changes I have made to my plans I really need to sit down and go over this again!

To start with I want the website up and running by the end of October and I would love to see at least 30 different sellers stocking their wares with us. So what are the steps I need to take achieve this?

Step one - meeting the web developer tomorrow so I can work out what budget I am up for.
Step two - go to work at my bread and butter job LOTS so I can get the extra cash together.
Step three - get stockist to commit and send product photos and info.

See just three steps and we are there - lol I think there are a few more really but you get the idea.

Do you know where you would like to be with your business in six months, or even one month from now?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Time Tip #1

Wow - how I am learning!! I thought 7 years at uni studying business, marketing, HR and the like I knew about time management and prioritizing but just researching these last few days I have read some great tips - oh and some terrible ones too but that is part of the charm and beauty of the internet.

Aside from all the reading I was lucky enough to have a cold glass of bubbly with two wonderful people who each run an Event Planning Business. They happen to be husband and wife and often combine efforts and work together but mostly they serve a slightly different market.

They each have kids from previous relationships - all of whom spend some time with the other parent, they have a dog, three chickens a cat and try and maintain some level of social life and exercise time. SO if any one knows time management it is these two!!

From our chat I took away a few things and one of those was to invest in a good quality dairy that you are going to use and carry with you. Live by that dairy! Don't even tell a friend you can meet them for coffee until you see what's in your dairy for that day. If you still want to have coffee thats great (one of the perks of working for yourself) But make sure you than find time to complete the task you have now abandoned for a caffeine date.

But if you take anything away from tonights blog it is simply to WRITE IT DOWN. Some of you have left comments about lists, business plans etc and thats great. Scraps of paper are ok too (they dont work for me cause I loose things far to easily). But the thing that stuck with me the most, talking to my friends on Sunday was;

"Once you write it down - somewhere safe that you can refer back to when you need it - you can forget about it."

How many of you lie in bed at night counting the list of things you should have done today or need to do tomorrow? Well this is a sad waste of time - and I am very guilty of it! If you do this I strongly suggest sitting at your desk or kitchen bench before you even brush your teeth and make your self a list for the following day. Then when you go to bed you can be clam and your brain can switch off.

This very simple step is a sure fire way to alleviate stress and I know we all make several lists a day in our heads but when we all carry phones with us everywhere, and now a dairy and a pen too - there is just no reason asking our brain to do things it doesn't have to - we have a enough to do already!

Tell me, do you make lists? Do you enjoy the satisfaction of crossing tasks off it?
What is the simplest or silliest list you have made?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Time management

How do you prioritize your time? Do you just know in your head what you need to do in the next few days, make lists, use work flow charts???

I can plan and scheme and think and even budget and market but I struggle to effectively manage my time! I get flustered too easy and I spend more time deciding what I should be doing with my next lot of free time than doing anything.

After today - I am ok with this because I am aware of it and am about it to put some serious measures in place to counter act this short coming of mine.

Stay tuned for detailed tips on how to better manage your time!!! I will blog you a new tip each day this week. Let me know which ones you use, or should use ;-)

As a quick little side note - A BIG Thank you needs to be said to Danielle from Hello Owl who let me post a guest blog on her beautiful site. She is away with her family this week so each day has a different guest blogger. Head over and have a read!

Hope you all had a wonderful Sunday. I certainly did (but it was far too short). Now however I have to admit defeat and go to bed - ah sleep I do so love you....Night xx

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Business Plan

Do you have a business plan for your crafty businesses? And I mean the kind that others can read because it is written on paper in some sort of legible format.

I have spent 7 yrs studying part time at uni and will be the first to tell you all - you will FAIL without a business plan, and probably a marketing plan too. I have helped people write these over the years and actually enjoy making them workable, living documents. My theory is if the document itself isn't dog-eared from the constant reading, it failed you.

So, have I written one for Monkey and Me?

Have I written one for Buy Hand?

I am ashamed to say the answer to both of these questions is NO!

I can live with the Buy Hand - as that is the purpose of this blog and our Facebook page. I am hoping some people get excited enough by the idea that a few of us can write it together (hmmm maybe we can all write it via the blog?).

But I need to get one written for Monkey and Me ASAP. And if you want my advice - you need to too!

Leave a comment below and tell us all;

- do you have a business plan,
- if not do you want advice on how to write one?
- if you do, do you use it?

Thanks for joining us - have a great day!