Cobblers Collective Accountability Partnership

Every Thursday morning at 8:15 a group of small business owners gather for a unique meeting at Work Nimbly.  The Cobblers’ Collective is a weekly round table meeting of independent business folks and freelancers.  It's a support group of sorts; a safe place where entrepreneurs and business owners can troubleshoot problems and help each other grow. 

Annually the group sets goals for the upcoming year, and then checks back in once a quarter to hold each other accountable.  If you don’t want to share a goal publicly, the group will give you a codeword and still follow up.  This year the Boss Ladies of Work Nimbly (Jenn Haynes and Gretchen Bedell) have teamed up with local business and life coach, Rebecca Reimers Cristol to expand the accountability partnership.

During two consecutive weekly meetings (December 7 & December 14) Rebecca will help members to map out their 2018 business goals. In the first conversation, attendees will evaluate the various aspects of their business and outline a plan for next year.

After establishing 2018 goals, the second discussion will look at the steps necessary to attain those goals , the likely obstacles that will impede progress and then develop strategies to get around those roadblocks.

“It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day activities of running a business and lose sight of what you want your business to accomplish.  Striking a balance between your business workload and personal life is critical to prevent burn out and to manage stress levels. Everyone deserves to feela sense of accomplishment and happiness  regularly in their lives. Cobblers’ Collective has been effective for its members because it provides a place for small business owners to discuss these issues..” says Rebecca.

The Cobblers’ Collective is free and open to any small business owner if they follow a few rules.  1) What happens at Cobblers stays at Cobblers.  It’s a safe space and members often share very personal challenges with their businesses.  2) Be kind.  Everyone in the room is used to running their own show and being the boss, but when offering advice be kind.

“I like attending events like Cobbler’s Collective at Work Nimbly because it promotes (without forcing) healthy business practices with a group of colleagues (in different industries) without having to be a part of a “big business” model. Cobbler’s Collective makes it easy for a small business owner to not feel like they are by themselves.”  says Valerie Horner, of V. Horner Accounting.

 

Gnorman's Little Free Library of Distinction

Many folks have been by to see Gnorman's Little Free Library and there will be even more now that the Library has been awarded a Certificate of Distinction!

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The certificate is "Due to its unique design, creative outreach to friends and neighbors and the enthusiasm of its stewards and patrons." according to Todd Bol the Executive Director of Little Free Library, a nonprofit organization that inspires a love of reading, builds community, and sparks creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world.

The “Boss Ladies,” Jenn Haynes and Gretchen Bedell, commissioned a local boat builder to help them design the mushroom-shaped library, and build a shelf for a golden Gnorman to sit on. Most of the library was built with salvaged, repurposed, or second-hand materials, keeping in line with Work Nimbly's mission of sustainability.

A Little Free Library is a “take a book, return a book” free book exchange. They come in many shapes and sizes, and anyone may take a book or bring a book to share.

Little Free Library book exchanges have a unique, personal touch. There is an understanding that real people are sharing their favorite books with their community; Little Libraries have been called “mini-town squares.”

The mushroom shape was inspired by Work Nimbly's mascot, Gnorman Rockwell, a small teal gnome. Gnorman travels all around the area, visits local businesses, and has grand adventures. When the Boss Ladies wanted to build a Little Free Library "we knew it had to be a place Gnorman would feel happy!" says Gretchen Bedell

"Its been a big hit in the neighborhood and among the local businesses. It's so much fun to see the books that come and go in and out of the library!" says Jenn Haynes

There are other free libraries in Williamsburg and they can be found in the Little Free Library map: https://littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap/

Work Nimbly’s Library can be found at 201 Penniman Road. For more information, go to worknimbly.com or email theGnome@WorkNimbly.com

Work Nimbly 2.0: Bigger, Better and in the City!

Work Nimbly started as a shared workspace in 2014, but has grown to be so much more. It’s a hub for entrepreneurs to problem solve together, a pop-up art gallery and a hive of activity for people trying to push Williamsburg into the future.

Fall of 2017 begins the next chapter for Work Nimbly, a much larger space on Penniman Road in the city of Williamsburg.

“We have so much more room now!  We really hit capacity at our former place.  Now we have room for workshops, classes, conferences, and, of course, more coworkers!”  Gretchen Bedell, co-owner and Dutchess of Design for Work Nimbly is excited about the new building.

“One of the challenges of the new space was to make sure we still had the productive, yet communal, vibe we had in the Teacherage Building.  With imput from our community members we’ve brought over all the things everyone liked in the old space, and then added more!”  says Jenn Haynes, Work Nimbly’s other co-owner and the Numbers Ninja.

The location of the new Work Nimbly offers outdoor space, including picnic tables and a shared bike to take a quick jaunt during lunch. The more than 3,000 square foot building offers more conference space as well as room for events such as yoga or the popular weekly Cobblers’ Collective small business support group.

“We finally have room for everyone at the Unread Bookclub.” Gretchen talks about the monthly bookclub where “It’s the only bookclub where you don’t have to read the book!  We serve a free vegetarian lunch and two members from the club present on two different business books.”

And the Boss Ladies (Jenn and Gretchen) moved Gnorman’s Little Free Business Library too.  Anyone in the community is welcome to take or leave a business book anytime they like.

“I absolutely look forward to coming to my office at Work Nimbly – it’s where I do my most productive work, where I get advice when I’m stuck on a client project and where we get new ideas for our businesses,” said Natalie Miller-Moore, a longtime member who’s been enjoying her new office since the soft open in July.

There are several membership options, some with 24/7 access, all with rocket fast wifi, great comeraderie, and 95% less baristas.

“We’ve grown so much in the past three years, I’m excited to see what our small business community comes up with next,” says Jenn Haynes.

Work Nimbly can be found at 201 Penniman Road. 

Best Practices for Your Business

One of our Cobblers had a list of some basic best practices for running a business.  We edited it a bit (to make it less industry specific and add the Work Nimbly twist.  We also added a few things that come up during the Cobblers’ Collective.  

So, what do you think of this list?  What would you add?  What makes you feel like you’re running your business as a business?

Basic Practices

  • Do you have an organized database of your clients and their contact info?
  • Do you have a regular time scheduled in your calendar to communicate with past-clients/leads/friends who might have a job for you?
  • Do you have a weekly appointment in your calendar to plan activities for the week?
  • Do you meet with your clients once a year to review their projects/system/etc?
  • Do you talk with your current clients regularly?
  • Do you have a schedule that is balanced and helps you be your best?
  • Are you generating content for web based leads, client retention, feeding the Google Monster, etc.?

Clients

  • Do you have a client interview sheet/system/checklist available?
  • What about one for projects?
  • Have you written out your process for working with clients?
  • Do you know where your business comes from specifically?

Branding

  • Do you know what clearly differentiates you from your competition?  Can you articulate it quickly?
  • Do you know what your value proposition is?

Planning

  • Do you have a written business plan or strategic growth plan?
  • Do you have written goals for your business and are you tracking them?

Self

  • Is your life balanced/integrated so that you are functioning your best?
  • Have you articulated your life goals separate from your business?

Cobblers' Collective: Planing for 2017

"September is the new January."

Fall always makes us want start fresh with new pencils and notebooks.  It has a clean slate feeling.  The crazy, hectic, hot summer is over and now it is time for schedules, order, and getting some work done!  We are not alone in this; the phrase “September is the new January” is being bantered around more and more often. 

So, where do you start planning for next year? 

Here’s what the Cobblers said:

  1. Set aside some time to sit down and plan.  Yes, this can seem silly if you are a solopreneur, but even if having a meeting with yourself is too formal for you, there is a lot to be gained from carving out the time to work on your business.  So, pick a time, put it on your calendar, and yes, you must give it the weight you would a client meeting.
     
  2. Start with the calendar.  Put in the big events for 2017.  Think about the changes you want to make.  Will you add to your product line?  Will you hire additional employees?  What about changing some systems?  If you get these things on the calendar they are much more likely to happen.  (Put some vacation time in there too while you are at it.  Work/life balance people, it’s a thing.)
     
  3. Go to the numbers.  Are you hitting the sales and/or revenue marks you want to this year?  If not what can you change for next year?  Is it time to adjust your pricing?  Do you need to cut your expenses?  And, even if you are making the numbers, you can’t rest on your laurels. Forecasting is critical to smooth cash flow.

    Also, consider if you have any large expenses that you should squeeze in this year or if you should wait till next year.  This is an excellent time to talk to your tax professional, they’re less busy now than in January.
     
  4. Review your processes.  Can anything be streamlined or outsourced?  Have you gotten bogged down in with something you could foist off onto someone else while freeing up more of your time for revenue making?  Is your client pipeline working the way it should or do you need to change some part of that to make it flow more smoothly?
     
  5. Archive.  Really.  If you are planning for 2017 and you still have 2015 at hand put it away.  Clean out your files, both the physical and the digital ones.  If you don’t have a long-term storage plan, now is a great time to create one, and then use it!
     
  6. Set your goals and theme/intention for the next year.  You’re wrapping up your previous year, and this is a great time to address what you want to tackle next.  Frame the goals, write them in your planner, tattoo them on your forehead so you see them every day.  Find an accountability partner who will ask you about them (Pro tip: we do this at Cobbler’s, ask us about it). 

    The theme/intention is a little different than a goal.  It’s something you want to focus on as a general idea, typically it’s a word or two.  One of
    Cobblers said their focus for 2016 was “Community,” so they joined Cobblers this year!  We think that’s lovely!

Remember, if you need help or guidance.  The Cobblers are here! 

Cheers to an amazing 2017!

Cobblers' Collective: Spreading the Word about Your Event

Last Thursday with the Work Nimbly 2nd Anniversary party looming on the horizon and some other Cobblers having some upcoming events we talked about how to promote your event. 

First of all, make the event info as easy to find and the RSVP process as simple as possible. 

Figure out how you want folks to RSVP and include a link or simple instructions on all your marketing materials and social platforms.  You can set up a Facebook event or maybe an Eventbrite event to gather all that info and keep all your details easy to find.

Press releases are a good way of getting the word out but you have to be careful to get them to the right people in a timely fashion – even then they still aren’t a sure bet.  Sometimes your release won’t get picked up. 

Buying advertising is, of course, a more surefire way of getting the info in front of people.  Some of the Cobblers have had good luck with the Tide radio station’s Save 30 store promotion.  You could also just pitch an idea to a local magazine about a you or an aspect of your business and see if they are interested, everyone is looking for content, you might get lucky.

Don’t forget to simply ask people to come. 

Send an email to your customer or business friend list (you have been collecting all those emails from networking events for something right?) or hand out/mail a physical invitation to people, mention it on your Facebook wall. 

And remember a personal note, or email from you to one person, can convince people to join you.

Just be careful that you don’t become that person who shouts at their actual friends all the time about their business.  Facebook is for silly memes and cat videos, don’t make too much noise about your business on your personal page or people will just unfollow you!

What do you think has been the best way of marketing your event?  Let us know in the comments!

Onboarding - and a pirate metaphor!

One of the metaphors used in Cobblers when talking about freelancing/entrepreneurship, is the pirate life.  All the freedom of the open sea, good songs, lots of rum, your mates about deck.  But also no security, you’re at the mercy of the wind, and always scrambling for the next gig.  It’s feast or famine – or to continue the metaphor, lots of booty or absolutely booty at all.  Welcome to Ship Entrepreneur!

When onboarding clients or employees is discussed in Forbes or some business book we picture 1950’s flight attendants gently leading folks in nice suits onto the well-appointed plane, handing them a very organized book with everything the client or employee needs to know in it.  They politely sit down and crack that book open and read it. 

When it happens on the Ship Entrepreneur we imagine more swords, yelling, chaos, energy. 

So often we’re wrapped up in getting the gig, we don’t think through the details.  We don’t think about how to tell the customer what is expected of them.  We’re so tangled in our own nets of work, we don’t take the time to bring on an employee with a training schedule.  We just toss them a sword, shove them on to the deck, and tell them to defend the bow! 

So how do we fix this?  Well, we can always steal ideas from the corporate world. 

For customers: 
1. Have a contract with a time line.  Go over it with them so they understand exactly what you can/will do, how much input you need from them, and how delays in that input will affect the time line. 

2.  New client questionnaires!  One of our Cobbler’s has a questionnaire that helps outline the specific scope of work for each new client.  Since she is a bookkeeper these questions mainly deal with things like how many bank accounts and credit cards you have, but think back on your past few clients and about what you wish you had known upfront.  Use that to create a standard set of questions.  Pro tip: Ask how they heard about you so you can figure out what is working in your marketing!

For employees:
1.  You need a job description and training schedule.  We know!  So much work, but it’s worth it to have a well-trained employee who can actually help out.

2.  Employees need mentors.  Have them shadow someone so they know how to really do the job, even if that someone is you.  Have regularly scheduled check-ins to give and receive feedback or questions. 

This is an ongoing problem, but with a bit of attention we can fix Ship Entrepreneur and hit the high-seas again!

Cobbler's Collective: Taking the Leap...

This week we talked about when to take the “jump” for your business.

This was an interesting topic for this particular group of Cobblers because there were folks from all stages of the business life cycle.  We had some who were pre-jump, some just jumped, and some more established businesses that were jumping (or not jumping) to the next level. 

Photo via Sabrina's Stash on flickr

Photo via Sabrina's Stash on flickr

What makes someone decide to quit their job or come out of retirement/sabbatical/child rearing pause to start their own business?

What makes an established business decide to build a building or add a product line or employees? 

Everyone’s reason is a bit different but the overarching theme was once you reach a tipping point you suddenly get brave because you can’t wait any longer. 

There are people who reach a tipping point but are too scared to take the plunge.  That seems to be the difference between the entrepreneur and the frustrated employee.  Some folks are risk adverse (some of them are even entrepreneurs in our group) but they still found a way.  Some of them bought an established business or found a partner or made a savings account that could sustain them for a period of time in case the clients didn’t show. 

You have to find your pattern of action, which takes some self-awareness, and figure out what you need to make sure your psyche can take the leap.  Establish the line, in your mind, of what is most important to you and make sure that is not in more jeopardy than you can stand. 

To establish this some folks need a plan (or 12) but some folks need to feed on the frantic energy that comes from not having a plan.  One Cobbler talked about his plan actually being a map.  Rather than an Excel spreadsheet, he has an idea of where he wants to be and can pivot on the ideas till he gets there. 

But everyone agreed whether it is a plan or map you need to consider how this will affect the others in your world, your family, your partner, the people who count on you. 

So, in conclusion, find the edge of your personal cliff, notify your tribe of your intentions, set up the safety ropes if you need them, and jump.  You are never going to fly if you don’t leave the ground.

Cobblers' Collective: The Mistakes Jar

So today we broke out the mistake jar! 

You may remember in July we decided to empty our mistakes jar into the fire during the goal burning.  It was exceptionally cathartic; however the jar was empty!  So today we added new ones and started working on them. 

That’s the great thing about mistakes, it’s easy to make more! 

The way the Mistakes Jar works, is everyone gets 3 slips of paper to write out some businessey mistakes, anonymously, and throws them in the cookie jar.  Then we pull out a few, read them, and come up with some solutions.

Mistake one: Taking on too many tasks & stressing rather than calling in help
Mistake two: Taking on too many projects that don’t align with my goals or objectives

We all take on too much.  Taking on too much is a super common problem for entrepreneurs regardless of their industry.  I think that is one of the most fascinating things about the Cobbler’s Collective, we are all in different industries but have so many commonalities in our problems.

So some solutions:
Pre plan.  This is really the answer but it takes on a couple of forms.

Pre plan A: Have a stable of subcontractors or freelancers you can outsource to when you get overwhelmed.  Sometimes that could be outsourcing your actual work and sometimes that could be outsourcing some life stuff (like housekeeping or childcare) so you can buckle down & do the work.

Pre plan B:  Limit the number of clients or projects or boards or whatever it is you can quantify.  Know your capacity and stick to your guns about those numbers.

Pre plan C:  Know when you should give yourself more lead time & build that into the client expectations.  For instance, tell everyone you’re coming back from vacation later than you are.  Build in some time to empty your inbox and prep for client work without clients breathing down your neck.

Pre plan D: Have a phrase at the ready to use when some asks you to help out or take on something else.  Like “I have to check with my office manager before I commit to anything, let me get back to you.”  No one has to know your office manager is your cat! 

Pre plan E:  Know the values & goals of your business.  They are probably similar to your own but, I would bed they’re slightly different.  You personally might want to go work for that political campaign or that religious organization, but does your business?  Maybe, maybe not.  But that decision is not one to make in the heat of the moment, it’s something you should consider a head of time.

Mistake three:  I hired the wrong employee and don’t know how/want to fire them

Ah, employees.  Everyone wants them, till they get them. 

The big answer is you just have to do it if it needs to be done.  You are not doing anyone any favors by keeping them in a job they aren’t suited to.  The long term answer is to set up a good onboarding process where the employee knows from the beginning what the expectations are, how they will be evaluated, and what happens when the expectations are met or not met. 

There should be a LOT of feedback in the first 90-180 days.  And that feedback should go both ways. 

We also got some great topics to talk about in future Cobblers' Collectives.  Including another session practicing saying "No."  We'll see you next Thursday at 8:15 for another meeting!

Keeping your cool, Cobblers' style

Today’s topic: Keeping your cool, what to do when a client upsets you.  

This one brought out lots of great advice.  Starting with, if it is heated and in person, walk away before it gets out of control.  

Yes, if you’re angry, you should walk away.

If it is via email, write a response, then take 24 hours to cool off. Then go back to rework with more perspective.  We all know not to hit the send button in the heat of the moment, but sometimes drafting an email response can keep you from “stirring the pot” for the next several hours while you’re waiting to calm down.

What do you do if your clients constantly upset you?  If you find this is an ongoing issue with clients, create a decision tree and use it to stick to your plan.  Try to understand why you may be having a problem.  Were you clear?  Is your client feeling a time pressure?  Is it just a misunderstanding?  

If you get caught in a heated moment, and someone is yelling at you, trip L.E.A.P.S. (Listen, Emphasize, Acknowledge, Paraphrase & Summarize).  It’s a police and salesperson trick to de-escalate a situation.

One Cobbler really recommends Verbal Judo by Dr. George J. Thompson.  This book can show you how to listen and speak more effectively, engage others through empathy, avoid the most common conversational disasters, and use proven strategies to successfully express your point of view.  Exactly what you need in a heated conversation.

Last but not least, try to avoid the conflict altogether by creating best practices.  One example was sending a client a note after a certain phase of work has been completed.  In the note, let them know how it went with a reminder of the agreed upon work completion date.

Helpful Tips from the Cobblers

The Cobbler’s have been meeting Thursday mornings for quite sometime.  In the past two years we’ve come up with a few helpful tips that we wanted to share.

Finding New Work

When considering a new client, spend an hour with them discussing what you do and their needs, so that you can filter out clients that aren’t a right fit and kept from wasting your valuable time.  

When looking for new work, get back in touch with a prior client to see if they have new projects they need help with.

When presenting a proposal, don’t give it all away in the meeting.  Give a teaser and leave them wanting more.  Be sure to put a deadline, such as a month, on the proposal as well.  This helps filter out prospective clients who don’t know what they want. Know who your client is and other businesses in your network sphere, to help give clarity to how to market yourself.  

Marketing

Some things to think about when marketing yourself.  Get a new headshot at least every 3 years.  If your looks change dramatically, update it sooner.  Your headshot should look like you do now.  

Make sure your business cards reflect you and your business.  Don’t put everything on your cards and keep in mind your photo on business cards is more for people in sales, so clients remember their face.  

When you go to a networking event or met with a potential client, have a clear vision of how you are going to market yourself.  Give them the basics of what you do and you can expand on this as the relationship grows.  

If you've got any life lessons you've picked up come to Cobblers' Collective on Thursday morning at 8:15 a.m. and share them!  Or post to social media and tag it with #cobblerscollective.

Victories!

The topic for discussion for last week's meeting was victory celebrations!  We had a variety of victories to celebrate.  One cobbler was able to influence their spouse to sign up for SWaM (Small business, Women & Minorities), which opened up new opportunities to bid on projects that match up with his small business offerings.  (SWaM provides certification and in Virginia can provide money to small businesses both state or local.  You can find more information at eva.virginia.gov)

One victory was a successful meeting with a new client, where there may be potential to grow.  A different Cobbler helped a client move on, so they could take the next step on their own.   Next, a commitment to create new packages for more effective marketing.  Another Cobbler duked it out with a government agency over an issue with a client and won.

We want to hear all your small business victories, so shout out your victories and tag it #CobblersCollective.

How do you define your workday/week?

As always we kicked off today’s meeting with a random question.  Todays' was what everyone had for breakfast ...it seems a common theme that breakfast, for the most part, isn’t the most important meal of the day for Cobblers.  

Then we threw some questions to the floor to help us define our work day or week. This sparked a diverse discussion of how we as small business owners stay on task and get our work done.  

  • How do we break up our work, is it by hour or project?  
  • How do we know if we are accomplishing what we need to?  
  • Is it important to determining a work routine?  
  • Do you set yourself up for the win at the end of the day?
  • Do you take time to review your achievements?

We agree the strongest thing to do, and the hardest, is to "Know thy self."  Use your strengths and best practices to tweak what works for you.  Everyone needs to embrace the way that works with their personality type.  

Some tools suggested for getting you there were setting up your own Advisory council. Find people who you can bounce ideas off of and can play devil’s advocate on what is not working for you, those who are invested in achieving success for each other. If you find the right people, their feedback can help you get over barriers you may have been experiencing.  

Utilize support groups, like our Cobblers.  Use Toggle for time management issues.  Parking lot things that you get hung up on and give yourself some time to think before revisiting the project.  Use a checklist to keep yourself on track and make sure everything gets done.  

How do you define your work day? Let us know!

NOTE: Work Nimbly is celebrating it’s 2 year anniversary in September ..stay tuned for what’s coming for our fun celebration and plan on being there.  We want to make sure everyone who is a part of success joins in on the merryment!


 

Summer Fun

Last week at the Cobbler’s Collective we discussed making summer fun for you, your clients and your employees.

This idea came about, as one Cobbler’s client set up some hefty goals to achieve, but also decided that they would incorporate weekly fun as well.   A sort of "you're working hard, so let's play hard too." thing.

This sparked lots of variety in our discussion.  We started with fun ideas. One local business provided a personal training session for their employees, had a Froyo outing and provided lunch.  Another delivered fun packages for others.  (#sparklefriday) We'd even heard that one a business in which the employees did a beer swap.  They would bring in cases and then swap out different beers to create a variety pack.  This allowed them to try new beers they may not of otherwise.

What about a bring your dog to work policy?  It seems there could be a lot of pros and cons with this sort of activity.  What about employees who are allergic?  What do you do with ill behaved dogs?  

And then we started to ask, is this a way to define company culture?  Can you set up rules that allow this to happen without killing the fun?  How do you discover what your employees want and how can you engage them?

Post in the comments below your ideas of how to bring fun to the workplace and motivate your teams.  

This week we will be following up on the personal goals we discussed back in January.  Can’t wait to hear where everyone is excelling, what needs to be tweaked, and what we're just trashing!  If you don't have goals from January, no fear, there is no time like the present to establish goals!

Cobblers' Victories!

Today we got together and discussed our proudest moments.  And they were pretty spectacular! 

 
 

Two of us have picked up certifications this year. One Cobbler tested so well in her certification that they asked her to create a video to share with future test takers.

Several of us are negotiating big contracts, some of us have taken calculated risks and finally pulled the trigger on big projects, we’ve pivoted our businesses, and some of us had insanely good 4th quarters! 

Not that Work Nimby (Williamsburg’s most awesome creative Coworking space) can take credit, but y’all did attribute some of your victories to Work Nimbly and the Cobblers’ Collective. 

So how about you?  If you didn’t make it to the meeting, chime in with your first quarter victory here or on our facebook page.  Work Nimbly – Cowork Williamsburg

Cobblers' its GOALS TIME!

 
 

Last week the Cobblers met to discuss the goals we set back in January.  We all made progress, but some of us not as much as we’d like.

The goals went as such:

One Cobbler, met her goals, but will continue to pursue the same ones.  She’s hoping to continue to have more story pitches both in her industry and out.

Another Cobbler noticed that her goals were too vague.  So her new goal for the quarter is to make her old goal more specific.

Some of us are going to write our goals out and put them somewhere we can see them more.  Great plan, right?

A few of us are looking for project management software.  We got some recommendations and one Cobbler will be testing out both Wrike and Teamwork.  He’ll get back to us with updates.

There are some Cobblers who need to work on SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures -  the documented processes that a company has in place to ensure services and/or products are delivered consistently every time.)  We’ll be following up with them as well.

Finally, one Cobbler is looking for someone who can do optometry work and is looking to work in the Richmond and/or VA Beach area.  She’s hoping to move more of her client base to Williamsburg but has an active practice both north and south of us.  If you know of someone in that field who’s wants to work in or wants to purchase a thriving optometric practice in those areas, let us know!

It was a great conversation, and it’s good to know that someone will notice if you put off your goals.  Accountability is one of the great gifts of the Cobblers’ Collective!

In the course of our discussion, we also discovered that some of our goals no longer fit with what we want and that we need to let those goals go.  It’s hard to ever be critical of what we do, but when we do notice that a something no longer applies to us, we need to eliminate it. 

We do keep a list of individuals and their goals, if you’ve got one you’d like us to hold you accountable for, shoot the gnome (thegnome@worknimbly.com) an email with the subject line “Goals” and we’ll track it for you.

 

 

 

Cobblers' to the Rescue!

The Cobblers’ Collective was really interesting this morning.  Our Cobbler, Madeline need help dry running her upcoming presentation about the role of a Public Relations Officer.  It was super informative, and it sparked some really interesting comments.

 

This is one of the fantastic thing about the Cobblers’ Collective, that we can all gather and support each other in our business adventures.  It is such an amazing community.

And speaking of support, next week we’re going to be discussing our goals that we set back at the beginning of the year.  Some of the goals were to make more money, or not work weekends by the end of the quarter, or learn a new language (or bits of it anyway.) A few of them were even personal, so we created a code word: “WATERMELON!”

We’ll be sending out reminder emails to everyone who asked us to help them be accountable.  If you’d like to add your goal(s) to the accountability sheet, email the Gnome (thegnome@worknimbly.com) with them and when they need to be done by, and we’ll add them to the list. We’ll then check in with you and see how it’s going.

Technology, Cobblers' Style

Today we talked about technology.  What gadgets and apps have helped you do your thing?

 

Cobblers mentioned Evernote (Jenn is a super fan) and Toggl (Gretchen loves this one.)  Universal "yeas” for Dropbox.

Jack mentioned that at a conference he went to the speaker said you should limit yourself to 10 technologies.  (Suites, like Microsoft Office or Adobe, would count as 1 technology.)  It seems that after 10 you're spending more time working on the tech and less time being served by the tech.

This turned the conversation to kicking it old school and using using paper.

We've all mentioned the paper calendars, and the fans of Work Nimbly have all tried one sort or another (check out the Spark Notebook or the Passion Planner (it's not that kind of passion.))  Joe promised to bring his paper calendar/workbook the week after next so we can all geek at that.

Do you journal?  Are you team digital calendar or paper calendar?

Let us know.


Next week we're going on a field trip to talk with the lovely people from Primm about Google AdWords.

You can RSVP here, by March 4th please.  

Morrison (Gretchen's trusty Van) will be making the trip for anyone that wants to carpool.  Just make sure to let her know, and be at Work Nimbly by 8:15 a.m. next Thursday.

Marching on...

Work Nimbly is seeing some changes this month.

Goodbye Libby

Our favorite ornithologist is leaving Williamsburg for Colorado.  Libby is not just a coworker she’s been a real friend to Work Nimbly.  (You can thank her for the great idea of moving the printer outta the big room.) She’s been there for yoga, Frosty Thursdays, and our art parties.  We’re going to miss her fiercely and hope that Colorado is super nice to a wickedly wonderful lady and her family.

 
 

Not quite a goodbye…

One of the Nimbly partners Natalie has decided to step away from her leadership position at Work Nimbly.  “I’ve got to shift my overall commitments, and sadly, I have to give up being a Boss Lady at Work Nimbly - but I’ll still be a very enthusiastic coworker,” she said.   

But, she’s not leaving!  She’s keeping her Moore than Words office at Work Nimbly and will be part of our funny, funky, and productive community small business owners, coworkers, and awesome makers.  She’ll still be around to tell you how to spell zeitgeist, hanging with the Cobblers at the Cobbler’s Collective, and bending with Ben in our Friday yoga classes.

Work Nimbly will continue to operate as is has been, but if you have an operational question, you’ll have to hit up Jenn or Gretchen about it.

 
 

Last Month with Kelly’s Art

Kelly Seeber’s art will be coming down at the end of the month.  If you haven’t been in to see it, now’s your moment.  We’re also running a raffle for a print from Kelly.  All the details are here.  We’re eagerly looking forward to our April show (shhh… it’s a secret for now) but we’ve adored being surrounded by Kelly’s artwork.  She’s a gifted artist and we’re so fortunate we get to have her in Williamsburg.

Future Events

It’s gonna be an interesting March!