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Three Goals You Should Have This Fall

 

A new season can come and go without us even noticing, until all of a sudden, we are swapping out our tank tops for sweaters. It’s hard to look at a new season as anything but a new work week – but are there benefits to these new seasons? The answer is yes. With each new season comes a new playing field of what people want/need in their lives. As a business professional, its important you’re actively cheering people, and yourself, on to the new possibilities that come with the changing of the leaves. Here are three goals to set for yourself this Autumn.

 

1.     Build and maintain three new relationships. I’m sure you already have your “squad” – but when did a new member (or three) ever hurt? Bringing a fresh new face and personality to your life can add a whole new set of values for you to admire and adopt. Why three? Because the more people you invest in, the more you’ll have in return and the wider your network becomes. Also, who doesn’t want a new happy hour cohort?

 

2.     Work out (?) many times a week. Yes, the question mark was on purpose and not an accidental type-o that was missed during revisions. The amount of physical activity you want is completely up to you. Setting a goal too high will just discourage you. Setting a goal too low will just bore you. Look at your schedule and figure out when you can squeeze in a hot yoga class or a long walk around the neighborhood. It will clear your mind and leave your body refreshed for your next move!

 

3.     Treat yo’ self.  By that I mean, go shopping. Yes, I’m actually telling you to take a break from work in the name of new shoes. It’s important to switch up your wardrobe because it creates a fresh new look for your clients, but most importantly yourself. Look good, feel good is our mantra. Keep your individuality alive and start a new season as a fresh, new you. 

What I Learned from a Summer with CAP Communications Group  

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As the “new girl” on the CAP Communications Group team, I still have a lot to learn about what it means to work in the ever-changing field of Public Relations. Prior to being the personal assistant to boss babe, Callie Neatherlin, I had close to zero hands-on experience with PR, so jumping in to CAP working with Bud Light this summer rocked my world to say the least. I watched one of the most noteworthy events in ATX unfold from behind-the-scenes and learned a lot about myself as a business professional in the process. With that being said, here’s my advice to you if you’re like I was and are about to embark on your first professional adventure…

 

Trial and error is your closest confidant – Don’t let that discourage you, though. If your anything like me, you will probably send in your first assignment in a pink trendy font thinking it’s the most business-professional option (lesson learned). At the time, these small failures may seem discouraging but they are the most beneficial aspect to your growth. Every mistake opens a door for improvement!

 

If someone you trust trusts you, trust yourself – I know, what the heck does that even mean? In other words, if your boss gives you an opportunity to prove that you can do something on your own – take it. It’s nerve-racking writing up your first press release or contacting your first media professional, I get it. However, if someone is willing to entrust you with a task, it’s more times than not because they know you are capable of doing it, and doing it right.

 

Every opportunity is one worth taking – Say what you want about how cheesy that line is (I’m cringing myself) but I can’t stress it enough. Not only are you immersing yourself more in a professional atmosphere but your surrounding yourself with people who can motivate you to be better than you are. I get it, life picks up and it’s hard to take every opportunity sometimes. However, the more time you spend with successful, inspirational people the more you can envision yourself as one.

 

Thanks CAP Communications Group, and Callie, for the best summer of my life!

 

Cheers,

Anna 

Random Acts of Discipline  

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We’ve all heard the saying “random acts of kindness,” but just recently I learned from a fortune cookie that there are more renditions of “random acts of…” out there that we should really be investing in. In this case, random acts of discipline. At first, it was something I blew off (and went straight to the cookie) like we do with most cliché-sounding one liners found in desserts. Mid-cookie though, my brain had finally processed that what I just read was pure gold.

 

So, what does it even mean? Why is it worth reading a whole blog of blab over? To me, at least, it was a soft but necessary reminder that a large goal cannot be fulfilled without the completion of your small goals (and those small goals can’t be achieved without even smaller goals). In other words, you can’t make it to the big leagues without some serious practice – make sense? This little bit of wisdom is now something I carry with me every day and creeps up in the back of my mind every time I’m too lazy to make the bed, wash the dishes or even throw a gum in my purse versus throwing it away. These are random acts of discipline – things that don’t necessarily change the course of your day on surface level, but have a huge impact on your frame of mind.

 

In the long run these acts of discipline will create a more efficient life as you train your mind to want to accomplish things that better yourself, even if just in minimal ways. Think big leagues, remember? With that being said, find those moments you slack in and improve them because you get one life and you might as well work to improve it in every way possible. When you catch yourself putting something out of place, or taking the easy way out, back track and do it right.

 

How can you start now?

1.     Watch this video I saw this morning when I was too lazy to get out of bed (I’m now out of bed and 3 goals deep).

2.     Make your bed.

3.     Recognize negative thoughts you have daily and replace them with positive ones that drive you.

4.     Eat more fortune cookies (wink wink).

5.     If you left a sock on the floor, pick it up (before it becomes 20 socks on the floor).

 

These are just examples in my own life I work on, everyone’s are different. What are yours? It’s time to find out! 

Our August Obsessions

Every now and then it’s necessary to broaden your horizons whether it be your style, music, literature etc. - change is always refreshing. We decided to dive in to some new things this August as a tribute to the end of summer and the start to a new season of work. Here's what we've been dig'n this August…

 

Music

The album Blossom by Milky Chance is one we stumbled upon at Montreal, Canada music festival, Osheaga, and have been listening non-stop ever since. (check out a personal fav, Firebird)

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Style

Jumpsuits. We know, it's nothing new or up and coming, but it’s definitely something we've been throwing on a lot more than usual. It's a classic, easy and simple way to look good and still be comfortable. Here's one we've had my eyes on recently… 

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Movie

"Why Him?" Strictly for comic relief (which is always necessary). We came across this movie on a flight back to Texas and were in tears the whole way home. Probably not a family movie night choice, but definitely something to watch after a long day’s work with the girlfriends to stare at James Franco’s hotness. 

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Oh the places you will go...

Think back to your last vacation (if you can remember it) … what has kept you from taking another one? We don’t know about you but a work schedule alone keeps us jammed-packed and then when you add on motherhood, a social life and much needed “me-time,” a vacay almost seems impossible. Not only that, but a plane ticket isn't always the easiest financial decision either. Needless to say, traveling is a hassle - but it’s worth the hassle. So how do you live your "best life now" without making it complete chaos?

 

Pencil it in: Look at your schedule - do you have free time? No? Me either. Just because you don’t have two weeks to spare doesn’t mean you don’t have 2 days. We sometimes think our next vacation is meaningless unless it involves us sitting in a lounge chair in Italy drinking a glass of chianti. Yeah that would be great, but maybe not this year. However, there are places you can escape to for a few days that can still fuel your inner adventurer.

 

Sedona, Arizona - Known for its natural healing vortex's, what better place to go than Sedona? It’s an easy trip that’s worth the planning. Sedona alone offers plenty of activities (free of charge) to keep your schedule as occupied as you want to make it. Get your heart rate up on one of their many scenic hikes or swim in a natural watering hole - the opportunities are endless (and the plane tickets are cheap)!

 

Ashville, North Carolina - Speaking from personal experience… this place is worth it. Ashville gives you a variety of things to explore. If you’re looking for some spectacular views take a hike up the smoky mountains and there you have it! If you're not looking to break a sweat though the town itself is filled with charming bars, restaurants and bed and breakfasts to fuel your getaway needs. 

 

Montreal, Canada - Okay… let’s say America just isn't cutting it but France is a little out of reach. A ticket to the French-Canadian wonderland, Montreal, can be extremely affordable if bought in advance. The town is filled with art, culture and great people! Summer weather rarely goes above 75 degrees and there are enough sites, hikes and croissants to keep you happily occupied : ) 

 

No more excuses, people! Get out there and get exploring! 

The Power of Personalization

Let's face it, we all think we are pretty damn fantastic and what's better than someone making us feel like they think we are fantastic too? Personalization is a key ingredient to building positive, fruitful relationships because it makes us feel like more than just a drop in the ocean to someone in their large-network of humans they are constantly dealing with on a daily basis. By choosing to get to REALLY know someone, you are choosing to send each email and make each phone call with the mission of making someone feel special.

 

One great way to start the mission of "getting personal" is to always use someone's name (more than just at the hello). It's proven that people tend to engage better in conversation when they are personally addressed throughout it. That doesn’t just apply to emails either, you can practice this in emails and even in casual conversation with people you meet every day. Taking little opportunities to make people feel special always pays off and makes you stand out.

 

Another great way to get personal is to keep track of what people are up to and incorporate that in your conversations. Are you pitching to an influencer? Ask about their most recent vacation or their latest big success to make them feel like they aren't just one of many in a mass email blast. Make sure to follow the people in your network on social media(s) to keep up with their lives and events! By doing this it also influences those people to follow you back and build up to follow/follower ratio. Who doesn’t want that?! With the non-stop advances in technology, it's becoming more and more normal for things to feel less personal. It's up to us to keep the beauty of good conversation and genuine relationships alive by taking small steps towards personalization! 

Working With Life

We all go through different seasons in our life that are easier to balance than others. Sometimes it can be hard for us to take a step back and see the big picture when things start feeling out of control. Although these “seasons” seem never ending – this too shall pass. One great thing about struggles (no matter how big or small) is what we learn about ourselves and life as we go through them. It’s crucial we don’t let the dim parts of life take away from all the wonderful success’ we have waiting for us in the future. Here are a few things we’ve picked up over the years that help stay on top of life when the goin’ gets tough…

 

Gratitude Tracking – We all know gratitude it important but sometimes we forget how to practice it. One way that has recently showed itself to me is taking five minutes in the morning to jot down a few things you’re grateful for. This really helps you take a breather and realize life is so good! Each day challenge yourself to write new things and not be too repetitive.

 

Yoga –  I’m a firm believer that yoga is for EVERYONE, even the fast-paced people. You don’t have to be super flexible, zen or patient to be a yogi. I, personally, can never sit still and yet I still manage to reap the benefits of yoga. It helps you take a breath and get back in touch with yourself. It’s easy to get so caught up in all the roles we play in life that we forget to come back down to Earth – that’s why we have yoga.

 

Situation Relation and Conversation – Treat yourself to the joys of conversation and a good vent session. Most importantly though, find a person who can relate to your situation as close as possible. This helps you get the advice you need from someone who’s been there. Sometimes the answers don’t make themselves present to us when we are waiting for them to magically appear – go out and find them. Don’t be a waiter be a go-getter! 

Top Editing Apps To Make Your Photos Stand Out

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Let's face it, no one has time to invest in that $1,000 camera and then actually have the time to learn how to use it. However, with the world becoming more and more tech-savvy you need to find a way to turn those iPhone pictures in to professional ones (without having to go pro). Luckily for us there are countless apps out there designed specifically to do just that - it's just a matter of finding the perfect ones! After years of trial and error with different apps, it's safe to say we've found a few go-to's that will turn your pictures from drab to fab.

 

Afterlite - If you are just getting started in the social media world, Afterlite is the way to go! It's a free, easy way to brighten up your photos and has tons of different filters to help you find the perfect look. This was my go-to app for years and I have had nothing but great experiences with it.

 

ColorStory - Once you've gotten the hang of picture editing and are ready to really test your skills, ColorStory is the answer. Sadly, most of the best filters cost money but they are so worth it. This app has all the fixings of AfterLite plus a wider variety of filters and extra perks including light leaks and sun spots - they really add a natural yet professional touch to your photos.

 

Facetune - This app has been a real game changer for us lately. Like ColorStory, it’s a financial investment but the results are major! Facetune allows you to go in and fine-tune the little things to make your photos look more clear and higher resolution. You can enhance details, whiten teeth, and blur out backgrounds. I mean, who doesn’t want whiter teeth?!

 

VSCO - If you've got a niche for taking awesome photo's already and are looking for some more inspiration, VSCO is for you! It allows you to not only edit your photos, but create an archive of them that other people can have access to so they can get a taste of your work. You can also follow other photographers with similar style to yours to feed your creativity!