THE STANDPOINT: a blog about business and branding

HOW TO GO FROM SIDE HUSTLE TO FULL-TIME IN 90 DAYS

When I started The Stylish Standout in 2013, it was a side hustle. I was a Dallas-based corporate trainer with aspirations of being a fashion journalist. But I needed a creative outlet. And this platform scratched that itch.

But it’s clear the brand has evolved a lot since. And this business has gone from my side hustle to a legit full-time gig. There have been some bumps along the ride, but there’s nothing more fulfilling than helping my clients fine-tune their focus, find their brand’s voice and tell irresistible stories.

Raise your hand if you’re currently where I once was, investing your free time in a night-and-weekend passion project with hopes it eventually becomes your nine-to-five.

Before we go on, I’ve got a message: You can do it!

But I know you’ve probably got questions that are holding you back. And they deserve answers. So click through for a 90-day blueprint, complete with five steps to get you on the path to full-time entrepreneurship in three months (or sooner!).

Let’s make it happen, shall we?!

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THE EVERYTHING-YOU-EVER-WANTED-TO-KNOW GUIDE TO PERSONAL BRANDING

When people ask me what branding means, my response is simple. I tell them a brand is nothing more than “what people say or think about you when you’re not around.” The purpose of branding is to provoke a favorable perception and create a memorable experience for the people your brand needs in its corner to thrive.

Another definition of branding—and one I often use with my clients—is “the process of strategically telling your story to earn trust from decision makers to help you achieve one big goal.” That goal could be to generate revenue, increase your social following, earn a promotion or negotiate a more competitive raise. Whatever the end game is, a well-crafted brand is an indispensable tool you shouldn’t be without.

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WORK SMART, NOT HARD: 5 HIGH-IMPACT PRODUCTIVITY TIPS

Pop quiz! Which is more important: Your relationship with {A} time or {B} money?

This may seem like a trick question. And you’re likely thinking, Both are important! And you’d be right.

Because, in my mind, they’re intertwined. Time, in fact, is money. And vice versa. One can’t exist without the other.

Let me put it more practical terms.

If you earn an hourly wage, you get paid for the time you work. And if you’re a salaried employee, chances are your experience (a.k.a. time you’ve spent in the field) played a role in your annual sum.

Even your benefits package revolves around time and money. Paid time off, sick days, performance bonuses—they’re all measured against time.

It’s why we pursue higher education. The prospect of a lucrative career in exchange for a four- to ten-year investment seems worth it.

But when you think about it, you rarely receive a monetary payoff upfront. You usually have to give time to get money. So it’s not off the mark to argue how you manage your time impacts how much money you make.

Too bad I didn’t realize this when I transitioned from fashion media to running a business.

I set my sights straight on money. It’s what would keep the lights on, allow me to build a team and pay myself a comfortable salary, I convinced myself.

But my obsession with money prevented me from showing time the love it deserved.

My productivity was piss-poor to say the least. I woke up early and stayed up late. I missed social outings and my weekends felt like two more weekdays because I always had work to do. And the worst part: I was losing money, not making it.

Something had to give. So I test-drove a few strategies to redesign my relationship with time. The good news is I’m bringing in more revenue now than I have in the past six months. Even better, these tips will increase your productivity, no matter your job title or function.

Click through to discover six of my very own time-saving, results-generating productivity tips. Read More

29 LIFE-CHANGING, CAREER-BOOSTING BOOKS TO READ RIGHT NOW (I’M NOT KIDDING)

I love a good piece of fiction. But if you were to scan my bookcase (well, “book pile” since I recently moved and haven’t shelved them yet), you’d see an overwhelming majority of titles on writing, branding, and productivity.

The obsession dates back to adolescence. I realized early on that 1) if I sharpened my natural writing skills, I could make a career out of it; 2) if I told my story my way, it would be harder for others to push me even further outside the margins; 3) if I found ways to save time here and there, it would make meeting deadlines less stressful.

And while I’m always adding to my collection, there are a handful of books that have earned the distinction of recommended reading. I’ve rounded them up below and organized them into three categories: Writing/Editing, Productivity/Leadership, and Business/Branding.

Some are oldies but goodies, others have only been around a couple of months, but all of them have made me a better writer, marketer, businessman, and professional. I’m certain they’ll do the same for you too. Read More

DO YOURSELF A FAVOR: MAKE SURE THESE 5 PEOPLE ARE IN YOUR BUSINESS NETWORK

 

You’re only as strong as the people with whom you surround yourself. And while that’s the case for your off-the-clock life, it’s the bona-fide truth when it comes to your career. Sadly though, speakers at development workshops and the authors of self-help books are quick to tout the importance of a professional network, but often stop short of who to include in it.

Well, I’ve picked up where they’ve left off with the five need-to-have peeps you need to reach your goals, plus advice on how to maximize the relationship. As you navigate your career, you’ll probably outgrow some and invest more time into others, and that’s natural. But this well-rounded cast of characters serves as a foundation to make sure you’re not going at it alone because, in case you’ve forgotten, there’s strength in numbers.

Click through to start cultivating your community right now. Read More

SHOULD YOU INVEST MORE TIME INTO YOUR SIDE HUSTLE?

Let’s play a game! Raise your hand if you’re working a job in a field that doesn’t match the one your degree is in. Now raise your hand if you have a blog or business that aligns with your passion and/or education, in addition to your day gig? If both hands are up, you’re not alone. When I started The Stylish Standout, I was working in finance as corporate trainer — nothing like the fashion-editor life I lead now — even though I studied journalism and knew I wanted to work in magazines since high school.

Life is full of detours and few of us are able to immediately walk off the graduation stage doing what we dreamed of. The good news is that for a lot of us — myself included! — there’s success waiting to be realized within these second jobs or hobbies — aka “side hustles” — and who knows: It may be time for you to pour more resources into it.

But before you throw away time you can’t get back and money better spent elsewhere, click through for a list of five considerations to marinate, along with a few tips if the idea of owning a small business isn’t for you. Read More

PUBLIC SPEAKING FOR INTROVERTS: HOW TO CONQUER YOUR FEAR OF THE SPOTLIGHT

It may be a new year, but if you identify as an introvert, those persistent pangs of shyness and reticence followed you right into 2016. That’s well and good on the weekends when you’re able to shut off and live life on your own terms. But what about at the office where your days are full of meetings, presentations and post-work events that require public-speaking prowess?

Instead of succumbing to the nerves, channel that energy in a positive way that earns the results you know you’re deserving of. And we’re here to let you in on a secret: You don’t have to change who you are to get what you want.

Click through to reference the cheat sheet below and watch your confidence grow right before your eyes. Read More

HOW TO “MANAGE UP” WHEN YOU HAVE A NEW BOSS

Part of owning your career and standing out for the right reasons includes building meaningful relationships that can positively impact your life in both the short and long terms. And let’s face it: There are fewer people who can affect the trajectory more than your manager, so savvy workers make it a priority to cultivate a genuinely congenial connection with their higher-up. But what if you’re having to start fresh with a new supervisor? Whether you adored or abhorred your previous boss, below are a series of tips for the Stylish Standout who realizes the importance of smooth employee-manager dynamic. Read More

THE OFFICE BOUNCE-BACK: WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU SCREW UP AT WORK

For tons of twentysomethings, the stakes are higher than ever in their offices. Deadlines are tighter, tensions are soaring and sometimes, well, sh*t happens. But it’s not the actual mistake that’s fatal to your quest for professional success, it’s not learning from it. So we’ve identified five dreadful slip-ups–from posting too much of your business on the Interwebs to losing your cool during a meeting–and offered savvy guidance on how to bounce back and prevent them from happening again. Read More