Blogging 101 is mostly about the blogging vocabulary. To understand blogs and all the intricate details, you need to know the terms blog, platform, domain, and web host.
Once you have mastered these key elements, you can enter any conversation about blogging with confidence. After you know what exactly a blog is, you will be on your way to passing the final exam of blogging 101.
So what is a BLOG?
Blog is short for weblog, which simply means a series of online posts presented in reverse chronological order. That’s all! Most blogs are text, but there are also photo blogs and video blogs.
The rest of blogging 101 has to do with the technical side of things.
The Technical Bits for Blogging
If you are setting up a blog, you will need a platform, a web host, and a domain. A blogging platform is a computer software program that allows you to write posts and to update your blog. Your platform is also what you use to design the look of your blog, from color scheme to font size.
What is a WEB HOST?
The web host is sort of like the virtual file cabinet where your blog is stored. Your computer communicates with the host when you upload or edit a post. The domain is the online address of your blog and usually ends in ‘dot com’. But there are so many other extensions for domain names from ‘dot net’ to ‘dot.co. If you read the article about domain names, you’ll understand.
So, When are YOU Starting YOUR Blog?
Ok, so now that you know what a blog is, what a platform is, and what domains and hosts are, congratulate yourself!
You have passed blogging 101. Yay!!
Start blogging on your website today. You’ll be glad you did!
Please let me know what you think in the comments below. If you need help with creating your blog or have any questions. feel free to contact me and I’d be happy to help.
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Connecting With Your People – Are you?
The people closest to you may not always be the most supportive. They might be too familiar with you to see what makes you special. Family and friends, who can be the greatest source of love and acceptance, can also be a great source of criticism and frustration.
Are you connecting with the right people?
With social media, you get the chance to connect with others based on your shared interests. People who ‘get’ you can do a great deal to lift your self-view and increase your confidence.
So, how do you connect with others and build your own supportive tribe?
Join Online Communities
Start by joining groups. Facebook has a group directory that you can browse. You can find groups based on hobbies, careers, or lifestyle. These are great sources to start connecting with the type of people you have something in common with or people you’d just like to meet.
Look for groups that have a few thousand members and are active with users regularly posting. Some group owners may have a form consisting of 2-3 questions that they’d like you to fill out. Answer as truthfully as possible. You don’t want to be deceptive and risk being removed from the group later.
Close your eyes and imagine an organization’s “community.” … You can define a community by the shared attributes of the people in it, and/or by the strength of the connections among them. When an organization is identifying communities of interest, the shared attribute is the most useful definition of a community.
Pay Attention to Privacy
Keep in mind that privacy settings can vary by group. On Facebook, an open group is one where anyone can see the posts, even people who aren’t members of the group. That means if you post in a discussion in an open group, your friends may be able to see it with a bit of digging.
But Facebook has another option called closed groups. Anyone on Facebook can see who the members are, but in order to see the discussions taking place, you have to join the group. This can be ideal if you want to participate in a group but you don’t want your posts seen by everyone on social media.
Respond to Posts
Once you’re approved to join a group, you can go ahead and dive in. Try to comment on three recent threads. Make your comments personal and don’t be afraid to share your unique perspective.
Aim to respond to a few threads throughout the next week or two. This lets the other members get to know you and learn more about your personality. Sounds simple right?
Once you’ve interacted on a few topics, it’s time to jump in. Start your own discussion by asking a question and seeking opinions. Don’t ask about something controversial just to get attention.
Instead, focus on asking a question that requires a complex answer. A simple yes-or-no question won’t allow you to start a deeper discussion. Instead, try to ask a “Why…?” or “How…?” question. These tend to invite more conversation and give you a chance to learn more about other members.
The great thing about online communities is that they expose you to perspectives from around the globe. This allows you to learn new things and broaden your own horizons by making new friends.
You can join our group on Facebook to connect with other likeminded Virtual Service Providers. Go ahead, we’d love to have you in our community.
Set social boundaries that let you shine—discover how when you download your bonus workbook.
If you’d like to discuss further, feel free to fill out the form below and someone will be in touch with you.
The Social Connection – The Unfair Comparisons
Hannah noticed her teenage daughter seemed sad one day. When she asked about it, her daughter shared that she’d been on social media. So, all of her friends were taking lavish spring break vacations and having plenty of fun while she was stuck at home.
And she was allowing it to get her down.
After listening, Hannah opened the Facebook app on her phone. She pulled up her best friend’s profile and handed the device to her daughter. “Look through her first ten photos and write down what you see on a notepad.”
Her daughter rolled her eyes but did as she was asked. When she was done, her short list read like this: Victoria is pretty, thin, has a cute boyfriend, and a good job. She’s a big fan of the Steelers and she loves rock climbing.
What she didn’t find out was:
Hannah tapped the list, “Victoria was homeless for a few months as a kid. In college, she was diagnosed with a serious digestive disease. She battled an addiction to painkillers following her last surgery. She just got out of rehab last year. But you can’t see all of that just by looking at her photos. On the outside, her life looks perfect.”
So, are YOU listening? Are YOU comparing yourself to others on Social Media?
so·cial me·di·a noun: noun: social media; plural noun: social media websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.
Looking Beyond the Selfie
It doesn’t matter how old you are. On Facebook, it’s tempting to think that what you see is the whole story. But it’s important to remember that most social users are presenting a curated look at their life.
It’s not that people on social media sites are trying to be deceptive. It’s just that many people document their happy moments. This includes things like vacations, pregnancy news, graduation ceremonies, and weddings.
Why Social Media Can Make You Feel Bad
The downside to all of this positivity is that it can leave you feeling like you’re lacking in some ways. You might look at a picture of someone else’s family where everyone is smiling and think that your friend has a wonderful life.
But what she won’t share are the unsupportive remarks her husband makes about her online business. She doesn’t post about her son’s struggle with a learning disability or talk about her daughter’s crippling depression.
How Social Media Affects You
Frequently comparing your life to the lives of others on Facebook can lead to anxiety and depression. You may find yourself asking questions like:
- What if I’m not as popular as her?
- What if no one likes my selfie?
- Does that mean I’m ugly?
- My life isn’t as awesome as hers!”
Ironically, spending more time on social media means you have fewer conversations in real life. This can worsen anxiety and depression, creating an unhealthy cycle that leaves you unhappy and isolated.
So, What Do YOU Do?
You don’t have to stay stuck in comparison mode. You can disconnect from social media when you notice that you’re feeling bad about yourself or your life.
The more you do this, the easier it will become to break social media’s effect on your outlook.
Maybe something you can add to your business is a mentor to help you work on this.
Can selfies be a bad thing? Find out when you download your free workbook!
Stay tuned for Part 2 of The Social Connection in my next blog post, Selfie Love and Over-Sharing.
Do YOU need help with your Social Media? Contact me for a 15-minute call to see how I can help you. Use my calendar link here: Discovery Call
Or, fill out the form below and I’ll be in touch.
Time Tracking for Your Clients
Casey was a virtual assistant who specialized in social media. She enjoyed working for clients but she was hired for a month or two and then let go time after time. After noticing this pattern, Casey reached out to a friend in the virtual assistant industry who had spent years serving clients. This article helps to explain time tracking for your clients. This is critical to your business’s success.
Dana, Casey’s friend, explained that often it’s hard for clients to understand exactly what their service provider is doing. “So, they paid you for ten hours of social media help but they don’t know what they purchased unless you tell them. At the end of the month, it’s hard to validate the money they’re paying since they aren’t sure what happened with it.”
Dana went on to recommend Casey do a few key things to improve her time tracking for clients.
Start with a Regular Report
Every week, send a brief email to your client and let them know what you did. Don’t say something vague like, “I spent three hours on your social media.” That doesn’t give the client an idea of what you were doing.
Instead, provide relevant details. You could say, “I spent one-hour uploading 15 posts to your social media scheduler. Then I researched popular Pinterest group boards. I followed the rules of each board then pinned your latest blog post so you can get more Pinterest traffic. I also updated the branding for your Facebook fan page with the new logo we discussed.”
After you share what you did, include any metrics that might be helpful. For example, you wrote a new blog post that resulted in two big sales for your client. Be sure to mention that in your week’s report.
Keep in mind that the results you measure should match the client’s goal. If the client’s goal is to become a social media influencer, then mention that their new video tweet got 103 RTs and 1.5K views on Instagram. If you’re not clear on what your client’s goal is, you need to talk with them. Figure out what it is they’re looking for and develop a strategy to help them achieve it.
Schedule a Review
As a service provider, you want to make sure that you’re spending your time on projects that matter to your client. It’s smart to request a 15-minute call every month. You and your client can use this time to review what you’ve been doing.
This monthly review ensures that you and your client are working toward the same goal. Your client might see what you’re working on and say, “Yes, do more of that please!” or she might say, “No, I want to change direction on this project.”
Tracking Your Time is Good
It’s not just clients who benefit from your time tracking—you do, too! Even if you’re doing an unpaid internship or bartering with someone, track your time.
Plotting how long it took you to complete a task can be helpful so you know how much time to budget for future projects. For example, tracking your time might reveal it takes you an hour to write a blog post but you always thought you could do it in 30 minutes. Now that you have this information, you can block off a full 60 minutes to write without feeling rushed or frazzled.
Casey took Dana’s advice. She started emailing her clients a weekly report and began getting more repeat jobs. This enabled her to spend less time marketing her business and more time doing what she loved—serving her clients.
Discover the best tools for tracking your time when you download your free workbook!
Need help? Check out my new Group Mentoring Program. It will help you in making decisions that will help you in your business.
The Best Tools for Time Tracking
Time tracking is a great way to ensure that projects stay on track while giving your clients peace of mind. But manually tracking it yourself can be difficult. It’s hard to remember to do it every time you start working on a project leading to inaccurate time estimates.
The solution is simple: stop tracking your time yourself. Instead, use a tool that monitors your time use for you. Then you can simply review it at the end of each day and make sure it’s accurate.
Here are a few of the best apps and software for your time tracking needs…
Account Sight allows you to track time for 5 clients and 5 projects. The great thing about this site is that it integrates with PayPal and QuickBooks. This means that you can easily track your time, invoice your clients, and update your earnings with just a few clicks. There’s both a free version and a paid upgrade that unlocks additional features that you may want to use.
Toggl makes it easy to see where your time is going at a glance. You can color code clients and projects, which turn into colorful charts and graphs. It also integrates with other productivity tools like Asana, Trello, Basecamp, and more.
Toggl has a free version that you can use for as long as you want. If you choose to upgrade, you’ll probably do it for access to the accounting features so you easily invoice clients and track your profits.
And a couple more:
Rescue Time is another app for your time tracking. It works differently than most tools. With Rescue Time, the program tracks what websites and apps you use throughout the day. It then gives you a productivity score each evening.
The cool thing about Rescue Time is that you can set specific activities to be categorized as “productive” or “distracting”. This can be helpful if you’re frequently on Facebook to update a client’s group or page. You can simply set Facebook to “productive” so your daily score is accurate. The app has both a free and a premium option if you want more in-depth tracking.
Trigger is an app that combines the power of time tracking with project management, resulting in robust software that lets you see at a glance what you need to do each day to stay on track with your projects.
Along with time sheets, you can use Trigger for online reports and automated invoices. It also integrates with Freshbooks, Zapier, Basecamp, Slack and more. You can get started with a free account but it’s limited to just 5 projects, so you may need to upgrade to a premium account later on.
Don’t get discouraged if the first app or software doesn’t seem to fit your needs. It can take a few weeks of testing out different apps until you find the one that works best for you and your business.
Find out how to track your time easily when you download your free workbook!
If you’re looking for help, just contact me using the form below:
5 Ways to Go Deeper
Now that you’ve learned how to rid yourself of the negative thoughts and build a positive outlook, you are ready to go deeper into the subconscious mind. Sounds a little like sci-fi doesn’t it?
The subconscious mind is the storehouse that holds your memories, past experiences, your deepest beliefs, and everything that has ever happened to you. It’s where automatic functions take place, like driving a car and carrying on a conversation at the same time.
You instinctively know how to drive so you can focus on your conversation.
The subconscious mind:
- Is much more powerful than your conscious mind. It makes everything you say and do a part of your self-concept. That’s why it’s important what goes into it.
- To change your outlook you have to go deeper than your conscious thoughts.
- The good news is that the subconscious mind learns through repetition. Just like learning your ABC’s when you were a child.
There are several ways you can go deeper into your subconscious.
Here are 5 different ways you can do this:
Repeat your new beliefs or thought patterns every day. Repeat inspiring words. Choose affirmations like, “I love and respect myself.” or “I attract good things into my life.” Feed your subconscious mind only with what you desire.
Meditate. Meditation allows you to go deeper into your consciousness, slowing the brain pattern down to release stress, anger, anxiety, and even alertness. With practice, you can become an observer of your thoughts. Simply allow your thoughts to flow, not reacting to any of them in any way.
Let your creative side loose. Get creative and take up some form of artistic expression like painting or drawing, sculpture or decorating. Nurturing your creativity helps you to become more authentic and tune in to your subconscious self.
Trust your instincts. Your intuition is your connection to your subconscious mind. This is your gut feeling. Positive people have a strong sense of intuition.
Reprogram your subconscious mind using hypnosis. Hypnosis is the process of relaxing your brain waves so you are open to suggestions or reprogramming. Hypnosis can help you release negative thoughts that may have been instilled into your subconscious by society, yourself or your upbringing.
Let ME get into your mind:
There are other ways to access your subconscious mind as well such as energy psychology and brainwave entrainment.
In the end, I hope you have come to the realization that despite your own efforts at changing your thoughts, you might need to access your subconscious mind and take steps to dig deeper into those negative thoughts holding you back.
So, what is holding YOU back? Are you ready to take action?
I’d be happy to help you figure out how you can stop the negativity that happens in your business so you can move forward.
Just fill out the form below and let’s set up a call so you can get off the roller coaster and move on.
How to Rid Yourself of Negative Thoughts
A positive attitude is one of the stepping-stones to success. Yes, everyone has a negative thought occasionally and you may be able to counteract it with a positive one. I use this concept all the time.
When a negative thought fills your mind, it may be time to change your mindset.
What is a Thought Process?
a thought process in which ideas (words or images) suggest other ideas in a sequence. construction, mental synthesis. the creation of a construct; the process of combining ideas into a congruous object of thought. abstract thought, logical thinking, reasoning. thinking that is coherent and logical.
But, how do you do change your negative thoughts?
Become aware of your thoughts. The trick is to take control of your thinking. Frequently ask yourself, “What am I thinking right now?” Learn to recognize your negative thinking patterns and replace them with realistic, positive alternatives.
When something negative enters your mind, immediately replace it with a positive one.
Here’s an example: “I can’t believe that jerk cut in front of me! Positive thought change: “I’m not rushed and in a hurry like that guy. He must be extremely stressed.”
Or this, negative example: “I can’t believe the poor service at this restaurant today!” “The waitress must be having a bad day because the service is usually great here.”
Read inspirational, positive quotes and articles. Read about the lives of successful and happy people.
Do the things you love. Try to do at least one thing every day that you enjoy doing.
Visualize your life, as you want it to be. Create a visual map. As negative thoughts intrude, look at your map to remind you of what you want.
Check out this fascinating article here.
In the end, everyone has a negative thought occasionally. The trick is to recognize and replace them with positive thoughts immediately so you don’t dwell on them.
Will you let me help to change your mindset? Contact me below and let’s set up a call. I’d love to help you figure out how you can change your thought process, from negative to positive.
Stop Your Negative Self-Talk
How often do you find yourself talking down or negatively to yourself? Are you even aware that you’re doing it? Many people aren’t even aware that the things they say to themselves mentally or the things they mutter under their breath are negative and actually sabotaging their progress and success. Yes, this really happens to most business owners, especially when they are first starting their business.
The first thing you need to do is to become aware that you are doing it and pay attention to when you are doing it. If you mutter things to yourself when something goes wrong, start listening to yourself. And please, don’t think your nuts just because you talk to yourself. EVERYBODY does!
It’s likely that you’re being negative. If you use phrases like, “Well, I knew that would happen,” or “Well, that’s how things go for me,” or “Why should I expect anything to be different,” or “That’s just my luck.” Then you are engaging in negative self-talk.
Things will go wrong. Of course, they will and you know they will.
Everything isn’t perfect. Well, nothing is perfect in this world, you just learn how to deal with it.
When these situations happen or arise it’s best to just move on and not even acknowledge them, especially if you can’t be positive about them. I know, it’s hard to be positive when everything seems to be going wrong. However, if you notice when one thing goes wrong, if you react negatively it will create a domino or snowball effect and the rest of the day will be the same.
If you just walk away, so to speak and not let it bother you, chances are things will start to go smoothly again.
More often than not, it’s one little minor instance that gets the ball rolling
When you mutter or think negatively about it you give power to the negative and it escalates. Instead, try having a positive thought.
Here are a couple things you can do:
- Think of something you’re grateful for. This will not only change your mood and outlook but it will change your vibration as well. When you get into a positive vibration it helps to repel the negative.
- Go for a walk, get out in nature and breathe some fresh air. This will clear your mind and help you to think better.
- Call a friend and just catch-up with their news. It will help you to forget about your problems and help you to focus on something else for a change.
Over time, negative self-talk can lead to low self-esteem, low quality of life, a bad outlook on life and everything else and can lead to health problems. It’s very rare that you see positive people suffer from the same maladies as negative people. Negative people tend to always have something wrong with them, even if it’s just minor things, and many of them spend a good deal of time going to the doctor to find out what’s wrong with them.
You hear them say things like, “Of course I’m getting a cold. I always get sick.” “There’s always something wrong with me.”
That’s not saying that positive people never get sick or have ailments, but they generally heal or recover faster, and often without going to a doctor for medication.
Start practicing positive affirmations
This won’t be easy in the beginning if you’ve been a negative thinker for any length of time, but you can start practicing when you are in a good mood. By doing this you will prepare yourself to use them when you start thinking negative or start talking down to yourself.
Pay attention to the things that make you think and feel negative. There’s often a pattern to these events. If you can start to catch these events and use your affirmations, you can ward off a full-blown negative melt-down. It may even feel unnatural at first, but once you start practicing this it will get easier.
Don’t be a Negative Nelly
You don’t have to go through life being negative. You can change this behavior. Just like any changes in behavior you make, this one will take time and can be very challenging. It is worth it in the long run.
Try it and see if you don’t start to feel better, see if people don’t respond to you better. No one wants to hang around a negative person.
If you want to be someone people consider friendly, start practicing having a better attitude and stop the negative self-talk.
Do you need help with your negative thought process? A good mentor could help you with that issue. Sign up for my Group Mentor Program and let me help you figure out how you can stop being a Negative Nelly.
Not interested in mentoring? I would still love to hear from you. Fill out the form below and I’ll be in touch.
Blogging in Your Business
I’ve heard so many people talk about writing a blog in their business. Are you doing this? If you are fantastic, if not, why aren’t you?
Don’t you know that it helps you to get your name out there online?
One of the things I love about blogging is that it allows me to write to the people I want to help the most. It’s not really hard, only if you make it so.
I bet if you try it for a few months and you’ll be hooked just like I am.
SO…with that being said…
Here are several good reasons to blog for business:
- Build Relationships– Yep and if you know anything about my business history and beliefs you’ll know that relationships are a HUGE part of my success. I have many friends in online business and I gained many of them through my blog. They started as readers, they commented and we got to know each other. One of my longest-term online friends started as a blog reader, turned into a customer and is now a dear friend who promotes my business and I promote hers.
- Build Trust– Look… if you write enough on a blog your true colors are going to shine through whether you like it or not. Your issues will show up in what you write and the energy you use to create it. Come on, don’t be scared! You’re a good person but you’re flawed. We ALL are flawed. A good blog doesn’t make you look PERFECT, it makes you look HUMAN and relatable and trustworthy. And when you are trying to sell stuff trust is good, trust is very, very good.
Here are a few more:
- Get Traffic– If you’re not using your blog to get into the search engines then you’ll miss out on people searching for you or specific things you talk about, especially if you have anything that’s any way unique. Try using Seo Books Keyword Tool. All you do is enter in a word like “business blogging” for example for this post and then incorporate some of the terms that people use to learn more about it in your post.
- Save Time– So you should also have an email list, right? If you do you’ll know that creating content for an email list AND a blog can be time-consuming. I use Mailerlite to create my email list and it’s free for up to 1,000 subscribers. It’s a great way to get your content out there.
- Creates Opportunity– Not everyone of influence who might want to partner with you is going to take the time to sign up for your list or buy your products BUT if you have a blog they can easily see what you’re about by reading through your public content. You just might start seeing a heck of a lot more offers for interviews, partnerships and more because of your blog. Definitely a win-win!
Blog writing is not dead.
And it has never been, never will be! Interested in blogging I recommend you go for it! Really!
Find out if you like it or hate it. You’ll only know for sure if you try it.
Need some help figuring it all out? Fill out this form because I can certainly help you make some decision on HOW, WHAT, and all the DETAILS!
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Come on it’s easy…
Focus On Your Strengths
Focus, say what??? So are you being pulled in 25 different directions? Forget about all of the different directions life is pulling you in. Today we’re just talking about the directions we’re pulled in as business owners.
We have to know the legal, business, social media, marketing, PR, accounting side of things, not to mention what we need to know about our own business. It gets really overwhelming. But when you’re doing “all of the things” are you going to focus on your strengths or the things that make you uncomfortable?
All the advice in the world
All the while, we’re getting advice like “you have to go LIVE on Facebook” or “host webinars!” or “you have to post on Instagram at least __x per day!” I see so many posts, webinars, and courses touting some definitive all-or-nothing approach to business.
Like if you don’t do this one exact thing, there’s no way you’ll succeed. Ha…is that what you want for YOUR business? It’s not what I want for mine!
Do you ever see something online — some statement or recommendation about the way you have to grow your business — and think “yuck! That really doesn’t speak to me.” Listen to your gut.
Maybe we don’t like Facebook or we’re not too thrilled about public speaking. Maybe we do much better with people in person than we do online, or vice versa.
But what if we focused on our strengths and exploited the crap out of them instead of forcing ourselves to do things in our business that don’t feel right? Don’t get me wrong here.
There’s plenty we have to do in business.
Not many people like legal or accounting — but we all know it’s a required part of being an entrepreneur (sorry!).
But I’m not talking about not liking some of the tougher areas of being an entrepreneur. I’m talking about instead of doing things that don’t feel right or good to you, playing up your strengths. Playing up your strengths when it comes to marketing and finding new clients, giving presentations, or hosting giveaways.
What to do
Not a super techie person? Either hire out someone to build out your sales page when you can or focus on in-person marketing until you get more comfortable.
You don’t need to force something just because “everyone else” is doing it. Trust me — plenty of people have no idea this “online business” world exists, and they’re doing just fine.
Definition of focus plural foci play \ˈfō-ˌsī also -ˌkī\ also focuses 1 a : a center of activity, attraction, or attention the focus of the meeting was drug abuse put immigration into focus as a hot topic for commentators b : a point of concentration 2 : directed attention : emphasis The focus is on helping the homeless. 3 a : direction 6c the team lost focus b : a state or condition permitting clear perception or understanding tried to bring the issues into focus c : adjustment for distinct vision; also : the area that may be seen distinctly or resolved into a clear image d : focal length
Starting out in business
When I started my business, I felt like I needed to fit a certain mold I saw online in order to be successful. Post tons of pictures on Instagram of my perfectly arranged food, work out all the time wearing the perfect clothes and have killer hair and makeup. Or I felt like I needed to use certain language to sound like I fit a niche that didn’t speak to me and my journey. And if I wasn’t doing those things, I felt like my ‘weaknesses’ were being exploited. So yes, I hear you!
But what was I doing to play up my own strengths?! What about all of the things I liked that made me confident and who I am?
Yes, the Corporate World!
I reminded myself that when I was no longer in the corporate world, that there was a reason why I started my own business. One of them being that I wanted to be truer to myself and help others. I’m not being true to myself OR helping anyone else if I’m not sharing the most authentic version of myself. Either people like me for me and need my services, or they don’t. And that’s OK! I’m not for everyone. You’re not for everyone. But you’re not appealing to everyone, you’re appealing to people who have or want the same vision as you do. Remember that!
What I felt like I should do and look like, wasn’t me. I choose comfort over style and I post pictures I want to post. Instead, my strengths are real and I love helping women take steps to grow their businesses.
So that’s the real me.
I try to write like I speak, share parts of my personality here and there, and prioritize my strengths by connecting with real people. Not “fake” people like those in our current world. I could tell you stories but…
How are you focusing on your strengths in your business? What can you do to focus more on those, and less on the things that just don’t speak to you?
Let me know in the comments below or email me anytime at email@example.com. I’d love to hear from you!