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A day in the life of… Hero Brown, Founder and Editor of online media brand Muddy Stilettos

 Hero BrownPlease explain your task: What do you do?

I’’ m creator and editorial director at Muddy Stilettos, the UK’’ s most significant site for ladies aged 30 to 55 outside London, and any company owner will inform you the task never ever ends! I communicate with 25 county editors on their specific Muddy Stilettos websites ensuring they have the expert line on what’’ s occurring in their county, I produce material that runs nationally throughout all, and invest a great deal of time believing up brand-new items to delight our readers and worry my group!

.How has your common day been affected in the short-term by the pandemic?

The huge modification has actually been everybody working from another location, however I believe that impacted us less than a lot of, as we’’ ve constantly promoted flexi-working –– the majority of us are mums, and I have 3 kids myself, so the culture on Muddy has actually constantly had to do with not fretting where you get the job done, however that it’’ s done to due date and well.

Personally I think I work a bit longer than in the past and more extremely –– I put on’’ t need to commute so that time is invested working now, and I’’ m investing a substantial quantity of time in front of my computer system since of video calls. I fantasise about fulfilling a customer for lunch or taking the group out for a night!

.What are your preferred tools and methods to assist you get your work done at the minute?

I wouldn’’ t state it ’ s a preferred precisely, however Zoom is definitely main to my company now. Monday group catch ups, customer conferences, describing and sharing screens for concepts – — I’’ m on zoom a minimum of a couple of hours every day. In regards to getting work done, I am so extremely hectic with brand-new item launches and business growing that I have actually ended up being better at handing over.

I utilized to keep whatever close, believing that just I might do it, however that’’ s a completely incorrect economy and likewise not real! The other method I’’ m striving to best is not defaulting to the things I like (composing, modifying, and more composing) to the hinderance of the things that requires to be done (hiring, financial resources, networking). I produce a concerns list every early morning and force myself to stick to it.

.What recommendations would you offer a online marketer today?

Only 13% of the UK reside in London, and 87% are outside the M25 –– with more individuals vacating to the countryside, online marketers require to comprehend that customer needs are moving. 80% of expense is invested within 10 miles of where you live so being too London centric is a fools option.

Think nationwide however act regional is more vital than ever and a digital brand name like Muddy can assist you use this upscale, hard-to-reach market much better than anybody else. Simply stating!

.Which business have impressed you throughout the pandemic?

The small companies that have actually needed to dig deep, be brave, attempt something brand-new and choose to break on through the pandemic not understanding where the future lies are so motivating –– I’’ ve seen them in their thousands on Muddy due to the fact that we deal with numerous of them on the website. It’’ s been remarkable to see the number of brand-new organizations have actually begun doing this too, individuals ready to try and follow their dreams.

.What modifications are you making to assist your brand name get in touch with how individuals are experiencing the pandemic and feeling?

The entire principles of Muddy has to do with us assisting readers to have the best time possible in their city –– we direct our readers to the cool, distinct, unmissable and wacky things going on, which by meaning implies we’’ re likewise supporting and promoting the very best regional services.

Muddy is everything about enjoyable and happiness and positive times, and I believe that has actually chimed with a great deal of readers at this bleak time. In the early days of the pandemic I required to doing a vlog where I’’d do a ‘ broadcast ’ of which organizations were still running and how readers might support them and we likewise did a lot more content about psychological health, house education, and streaming services! We’’ ve seen our readership skyrocket so I believe we got it right, and I’’ m continuing with those topics even because we emerged from overall lockdown.

.What patterns have you seen in the last couple of weeks in your sector?

A great deal of publishers are attempting to enter into memberships as standard marketing income subsides and ends up being more unforeseeable, however there has actually been some panic proceeds that front, and I’’ m in no rush to join them. I absolutely wish to do a subscription service, however I feel mid next year will be a much better time and I desire it to be incredible.

.What does long term preparation and method appear like now at your brand name?

Just as the nation is adjusting to the effect of the pandemic so are we. It’’ s clear that our readers lives and requirements are altering, with much more concentrate on working from house, staycationing, online shopping, not to point out the continuous disturbance to free time, eating in restaurants and kids’’ s education. To assist, we chose to pivot, and in the summer season began introducing brand-new digital items to provide readers beneficial, educated and amusing insights into their brand-new interest locations, starting with The leading 200 Best Places to Live 2020 and more just recently Weekend Escapes staycation guide. These are 2 great examples of on pattern and up to the minute directory sites with relied on and quality evaluations.

Our forward strategy is to keep innovating, adjusting to satisfy readers requirements, and in so doing offer marketers contextually appropriate marketing and brand name collaboration chances to reach this crucial and growing audience beyond London.

The post A day in the life of… … Hero Brown, Founder and Editor of online media brand name Muddy Stilettos appeared initially on Econsultancy .

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7 Work-from-Home Upgrades That Boost Productivity

To be honest, my first couple months of working from home didn’t go well. I wasn’t focused, wasted too much time, and felt trapped in my house. But nine months later, I’ve come to love my home office and will most likely have trouble transitioning back. To help you upgrade your own work space, here are my suggestions for gear that will get you cruising into (and well past) the new year.

The Mind Journal Jotter ($40)

home-office-upgrades-journal_h.jpg(Photo: Jakob Schiller) 

I’ve always had a notebook for my to-do lists, but I upgraded to this journal because it takes my weekly planning routine up a notch. I still use it to make lists, but an included checklist asks me to think about how I’m feeling each week and then prompts me to write down some larger projects I’d like to tackle, plus a few things I’m grateful for. Those three extra activities take just five minutes but have a larger cumulative effect that leaves me feeling more grounded and organized. 

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U-Turn Audio Orbit Plus with Preamp ($379)

home-office-upgrades-u-turn_h.jpg(Photo: Jakob Schiller) 

This piece of gear has single-handedly transformed my work space. Most important, it’s become the metronome for my day, forcing me to stand up and flip or change the record every 20 minutes or so. Those little breaks are good for my body and my concentration. It also does a good job of setting the mood. I invested in some classic jazz records and love exploring a whole musical genre while I get work done. This model from U-Turn is my go-to because it doesn’t need an amp—it plugs right into your speakers instead—and because it offers great sound for the money.

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Yeti Rambler 18-Ounce Bottle with Chug Top ($30)

home-office-upgrades-yeti-rambler_h.jpg(Photo: Jakob Schiller) 

I wasn’t drinking enough water the first few months I was at home. I’d get to the end of the day and have a headache. Now, however, this bottle stays on my kitchen table (a.k.a. my work space) at all times. When it’s sitting there in front of me, I remember to drink and feel much better come five o’clock. I like the Chug top’s small opening, which is easy and satisfying to drink from. I’m also a fan of the Rambler, because when it’s not getting me through my day, it’s also super functional for outdoor adventures.

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J.L. Lawson and Co. Event Horizon Spin Coin ($34)

home-office-upgrades-spinner_h.jpg(Photo: Jakob Schiller) 

We all need small breaks throughout the day. In addition to changing my records, I’ve also started using this top to take a quick mental pause. Constructed from nearly pure iron, with a ceramic ball as the contact point, it spins for a surprisingly long time and makes for a nice distraction when you’re tired of staring at a computer screen. Two minutes of top spinning leaves me feeling much better than the ten minutes of Instagram scrolling that used to occupy my writing breaks.

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Modern Sprout Coastal Fan Palm Hydro Grow Kit ($19)

home-office-upgrades-modern-sprout_h.jpg(Photo: Jakob Schiller) 

Plants make any work environment more pleasant. But instead of buying ones that were already established, I wanted the challenge of growing something from seeds. Modern Sprout makes it easy by sending you everything you need, from the seeds to the pot to detailed instructions. I chose the fan palm, because after a few years and some attention, it will grow into a fairly large indoor plant. 

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Taylor Stitch the Hardtack Sweater ($248)

home-office-upgrades-taylor-stitch_h.jpg(Photo: Jakob Schiller) 

This is my Mr. Rogers sweater. When I put it on every morning, it signifies my transition to work. Made from Yak wool, which is almost as soft as cashmere but significantly more durable, it’s immediately cozy and keeps me warm on cold days when I don’t feel like running the heater. Its thinner weave means it layers well: I wear it under a coat when I walk the dog and will use it as my midlayer while backcountry-skiing this winter. The Hardtack isn’t cheap, but the price has paid for itself, as it’s easily one of my most-used pieces of clothing.

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Haflinger GZ Slippers ($125)

home-office-upgrades-slippers_h.jpg(Photo: Jakob Schiller) 

I’m a big fan of gear that serves multiple purposes. These slippers fall into that category: they’re great house shoes that I can also wear outside. The boiled wool keeps my feet comfortable with or without socks, while the rubber soles are thick enough for walking the dog or quick trips to the store. And with medium-high arches, my feet are supported at all times. Style-wise, they’re a mix between slippers and clogs, so they go with pajamas and jeans alike.

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Read more: outsideonline.com

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Key Subjects of Study for Entrepreneurs

When you’re building your own business, it’s easy to get caught up in all the day-to-day activities involved in entrepreneurship, from everyday sales and customer service tasks through to product design, admin and more.

However, you shouldn’t forget to keep learning, too. The top business leaders around the world are those with a growth mindset and belief in the power of continual learning. There are many topics that can help you be the best entrepreneur possible. Read on for some of the subjects you should consider studying, either at university or via short courses, to expand your knowledge and skill set today.

Finance and Accounting

When you have your own business, one of the most important things to do to keep it thriving is ensure cash flow stays under control. As such, all entrepreneurs need to have a good understanding of finance and accounting. You must be able to set and stick to a budget, keep track of expenses, prepare and read key reports, make realistic sales and profit projections, see where to cut costs and most efficiently spend money and so on.

You should study finance and accounting, so you can learn about how to get access to capital to start and grow your business. Knowledge in this area will also help you work with different currencies and trade overseas as required. It’s helpful to understand how the effects of micro and macro-economic decisions made by local and overseas governments can impact you, too.

Most business owners plan to outsource their finance and accounting tasks to third-party accountants, advisors or in-house team members. However, even if you do this, you must still have your head wrapped around key elements, so you can make effective decisions for your organization — and avoid being taken advantage of by anyone you pay to handle these sorts of tasks for you.

The Mind

Next, consider that many elements of business success come down to having a good understanding of human nature and how the brain works. If you want to become the best entrepreneur you can be, then it pays to learn about the mind. Whether you take some basic psychology classes or enroll in an entire online social work degree or similar, it’s worth it to ensure you get an idea of the different drives, inspirations, desires, fears and various complexities that drive us.

Once you’ve studied how the human mind operates, you will be better equipped to motivate yourself, deal with challenges and emotions and become more productive. It will prepare you to inspire and lead your staff members and to design or select products or services that your target customers will want to buy.

Understanding psychology will also help you better create your business brand and to market your wares effectively. Plus, it will be very beneficial when you’re trying to convert leads into more sales. Having a good idea about human nature will also assist you when it comes time to choose the right employees and to generate interest in your business from investors and lenders.

Computer Science

Lastly, in this technology-focused world, it’s more important than ever for entrepreneurs to have at least a basic understanding of computer science and related information technology topics. More and more aspects of business are becoming computerized and digitized, so owners and managers must be able to keep up.

For starters, having skills in this area will make it possible for you to create the best website for your venture and to utilize software programs to run your business productively. In addition, you’ll be able to take advantage of Big Data and analytics programs to do things like cut costs, streamline processes, observe trends, train your team well, hire the best new employees, create personalized offers for customers and more.

On a bigger-picture level, having knowledge of computer science might also be what helps you imagine a new product or service idea that disrupts a whole industry and launches your business into the stratosphere. For inspiration, just look at the founders and CTOs of some of the biggest tech firms in the world these days, like Snapchat, Facebook, Amazon, Angry Birds, Google, Basecamp and Evernote. It was their training and interest in the field of computer science led them to develop apps, games and other programs which created billion-dollar businesses and changed the way many people work, live and play today.

The post Key Subjects of Study for Entrepreneurs appeared first on Personal Branding Blog – Stand Out In Your Career.

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Microsoft’s new Windows Package Manager is already better than the Windows Store

Microsoft surprised Windows users with a new package manager yesterday. It’s a command line tool that allows developers, power users, and really any Windows user to install their favorite apps from a simple command. If you’ve ever had to wipe a Windows machine clean or set up a new device, you’ll know the pain of having to reinstall apps, find download links, and get a PC ready again.

Windows Package Manager aims to solve that, and it’s relatively simple to create a script to have your favorite apps installed from a command prompt. The Windows Store should be the central location for all Windows apps, but Microsoft’s initial Universal Windows Platform (UWP) push meant traditional and useful win32 desktop apps were never listed in the…

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Read more: theverge.com