What's Mule Day you ask? Here is an excerpt directly from the Mule Day Website:
Mule Day is an annual celebration of all things related to mules and is held in Columbia, Tennessee, the “Mule Capital” of the world. Begun in 1840 as “Breeder’s Day”, a meeting for mule breeders, it now attracts over 200,000 people and takes place over seven days. In addition to mules, traditional Appalachian food, music, dancing, and crafts are featured.
Did you see that? Over 200,000 people! What? I (Frankie) had no idea about this when I moved to Columbia, TN in 2010. Columbia isn't a huge town and 200,000 is a whole lot of people. I get road rage on a regular Tuesday around here because I feel like there's too much traffic for such a small town. Can you imagine how I am when over 200,000 new people roll into town for seven days? It isn't pretty.
For a long time I just held my tongue about Mule Day. It's kind of an old tradition, 1840, and I thought maybe it brought some revenue to the town. I'm not so sure that's the case anymore. Maybe through the week some of our small, locally owned businesses do some extra sales, but I found out this year that on Friday, Saturday and Sunday of Mule Day week, most of those close. They have to. They can't get to work to open shop even if they wanted to. Most locals actually leave town that weekend. Some make sure to plan their vacations for the whole week so they don't have to deal with the crazy overcrowding of our town.
It's really not fair to those of us that live here year round. I'm sure the influx of people does help with our revenue on some level, but is it worth it? There are a ton of us that walk at our local park every day. The county made a walking trail just for us and we love it. Mule Day is held at the park. There are signs that designate where to park trailers and tell them not to have mules or horses on the walking trail. I went to walk the Thursday of Mule Day this year and I couldn't. Not only could I not find a parking spot, trailers were parked all across our trails and of course the whole walking trail was littered with crap…literally. It was awful. I missed four days walking because of it, and I know I'm not the only one.
You may think I'm just being a crybaby here, but I'm really not. I do have a point. Sometimes we think what we're doing for our work from home or brick and mortar business is a good thing. Maybe we keep doing things the way we've always done it because that's what has worked in the past. Maybe we start doing some new fangled crap because we think we need to get with the times and try some new ideas. All I'm saying is whatever you do; make sure it's actually good for your business and your clients. Adapt and evolve, but don't alienate. You can't make everyone happy all the time, but you can sure give it a try.
And don't bring in 200,000 new clients and expect your old clients to be happy.
Do you think holding onto traditions is a good or bad thing? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
In today's #We'reAllBusiness post, I'd like to talk about…wait for it…flexibility! I bet you guessed that already though, didn't you. I (Frankie) have been following a theme this week on being more flexible so it only makes sense for me to end the week with a post that stays consistent to that theme.
For some of us (I'm talking about myself here) flexibility and change is hard. I know I can get very rigid and stoic in my routines, schedules and ways of doing things. When you start changing things up it's extremely tough for me, but I realize that to grow and thrive as a person and as a business woman, I absolutely have to be more flexible.
I've recognized 3 ways I personally need to be more flexible in my work and home life and thought I'd share those with you today.
And of course, according to my sister, taking a yoga class couldn't hurt either.
We'd love to hear from you. Leave us a comment on your ideas on how to be more flexible in your business and personal life.
My husband says I (Frankie) can talk anyone into almost anything. I don't have special powers or know any big secret. I just believe in the power of bargaining. We are a people of bargaining, negotiating, trading; when did we forget that?
A few days ago my son and I visited one of my favorite retail stores. I love this store because I usually find some cool little one of a kind thing for a pretty reasonable price. This day I found this amazing side table. I immediately fell in love. I had to have this table to sit beside my desk and put my printer on. It was in the marked down section because it was damaged. The original price was $100. It was marked down to $45. I didn't want to pay $45 for it. I told my son we would come back in a few days and if they still had it I was going to try to talk them down. He laughed and we left.
I kept thinking about that piece all weekend. I REALLY wanted it. I knew I'd never pay $45 for it though. I went back the next week and it was still there. I decided I was having that table. I got a manager and just bargained the price down to $25 and walked out of there with that table for my printer. And doesn't it look perfect? Just a ding on the corner and the door doesn't close all the way, but that's part of the charm for me. That's part of what makes it mine.
The thing is, I didn't just settle. I didn't walk in a see a price and assume that's the only price they would take for it. I still believe that we are a people of bargaining and negotiation. I believe in the power of a good deal, both getting one and being on the receiving end of one.
And I take this belief with me everywhere in my life. In my work from home life, I bargain with clients and they bargain with me. In my personal life, I'm always bargaining with someone, whether it's my husband on where we are going to eat or my kids on what time and where we are going to meet. It's part of who I am and I'm pretty good at it. I bargain with the cable providers and phone service providers. I bargain with the guy that comes to spray for ants.
I am a bargainer.
So, don't settle, guys, because…
You can't always get what you want,
But if you try sometimes, well you just might find,
You get what you need
Keith Richards / Mick Jagger
Drop us a comment and let us know some deals you've gotten from bargaining.
I’m sure I’ve mentioned in other blogs that I (Andrea) do a lot of interviewing for one of my YGF clients. And I mean a lot. A few months ago I interviewed 49 potential candidates for a writer/editor position. (And that wasn’t even all of the applicants!) The most interesting thing I found in doing these interviews (along with all the others I’ve done over the past couple of years) is that people really have no idea what they’re worth.
So many of these candidates either were overvaluing themselves or completely undervaluing themselves. The average candidate was offering a 500 word blog for $50. Some were $5-$10 above or below that. But generally $50. Okay, great. We have our baseline.
But then, there are the people that are so far out there you just can’t help but wonder what they’re thinking about. On the very low end, someone offered up $6 for that 500 word blog. SIX DOLLARS. Now, I don’t know how long Frankie takes to write her blogs, but for me, it could take an hour or 90 minutes, depending on how my brain is working. That means I’m making $3-$6 per hour. Heck, I could go flip burgers or work at my local grocery store for $10! That candidate had no idea what she was getting herself into.
If you want to do a job, learn how to do it, know how long it takes to do it, and then price yourself accordingly.
On the high end, there was the person who said she charged $800 for a 500 word blog. EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLARS. Let me tell you, if I could get pay $800 for writing one short blog, I’d do it in a heartbeat. And so would everyone I know. Because now my 60-90 minute blog means I’m making $400-$800 per hour. Woo hoo! This person completely overvalued herself because she didn’t understand her market and her potential employer.
Do your research.
Let’s say you wanted to be a blogger, and you saw that a writing company was hiring. You need to analyze two things before applying and offering a price.
When you sell a product, it’s a bit easier to figure out its value based on the cost of the tangible items you are using along with the time it takes to make the product. But when you’re just selling yourself, you need to be keenly aware of your value.
Too little, and you won’t be taken seriously or you’ll be taken advantage. Too much, and you won’t be taken seriously.
Struggling with how to price yourself? We’d love to hear your comments.
It seems like everywhere I (Frankie) turn, someone is trying to sell me something. I know people have to make a living somehow, but has this gotten just a tad bit out of hand or is it just me?
I understand. Most people are selling something to make a living. I'm in the selling business so I really do get it, but come on guys. Where do you draw the line? Do you find people on social media to be friends with just so you can bombard their feed and inbox with sales pitches? Is that seriously the only reason you sent that friend request? I'm not picking on you because you're trying to sell your product; I'm just letting you know that it's probably not going to work out too well for you.
Like I said, I'm in the selling business, but I try to keep it and my personal relationships to a minimum. If I send you a friend request on social media, it's because I like you and want to be friends. It is definitely not because I want to try to sell you our work from home eBook or our Caffeinated Coaching Program. Why, you ask? Because, in most cases if I friend you just to sell you something you're going to realize it as soon as you accept my request and then promptly un-friend me without ever even looking at my product. And honestly, I don't blame you one bit.
Example: I had someone send me a friend request the other day. At first I didn't recognize them, but after doing some research I realized I did know this person and was pretty pleased to hear from them. I accepted. And immediately my newsfeed filled up with promotions from them for a product they are selling. Then my inbox started filling up with PMs and emails from this person trying to get me to buy their product. I got no, "Hi! How ya doing?" messages or anything even acknowledging me as a person. Wow! I un-friended, but not because they were trying to sell their product; I un-friended because that's all they wanted with me. I was just another number to them.
A little advice; if you're selling a product, that's awesome! I hope you sell your entire inventory, but I hope you do it the right way. I hope you realize that people aren't just customers for your business. Friends, family, and even strangers want to know you care more about them than just what numbers you can help them reach. Talk about your product and what it's done for you and let it sell itself. Let people know they are more than just a number to you. If your product is good, a little marketing goes a long way.
We'd love to get your opinion on this. Comment below and let us know what you think.
Frankie and Andrea take turns sharing stories. Just good talk over a cup of coffee.