#LBCWantsToKnow >> May 2018: Productivity

Lucky Break - Productivity

Lucky Break - Productivity

 

A few months ago, I kicked off a new initiative designed to spark conversations and share resources within the Lucky Break Community.  Each month, I’m asking Lucky Break clients and social media followers to weigh in on a series of questions that revolve around a specific theme. In the month of May, we chatted about productivity.

 

Ever feel like you’re spinning 7,318 plates and there aren’t rough hours in the day? US, TOO, FRIEND! Read on to discover how to make we’re staying organized and aking the most of each day.!

 

What’s your best tip for keeping your inbox manageable?

The Lucky Break Community said:

standardwax: This is one of my favorite subjects in the whole wide world. I hope you’re ready for a novel because a clean inbox has lowered my anxiety by about 700%.

1. I don’t let anything sit in my inbox for more than a couple of days.

2. I strive for inbox zero at least once a week.

3. I delete or unsubscribe from crap I don’t even read IMMEDIATELY.

4. This one is the most important: when you’re going through your inbox (I do this first thing in the AM and then try to ignore email for the rest of the day, unless something urgent comes in): Every single message should either be responded to, added to a to-do list, deleted (if it’s marketing and you’ve already read/responded) or saved.

The added to my to-do list and saved are my favorites, because these are the things that tend to sit at the bottom of the email list and stress me out. Typically something will sit in your inbox because you don’t have the time to deal with it yet, or because you’re saving it to reference later. For the first, a to-do list is your friend (I love Wunderlist).

For the second, I love saving a PDF of the email and filing it where it belongs on my computer. For example “Retailer XX fulfillment instructions” doesn’t need to sit in my inbox so that I can see it easily. It can go into a folder on my computer for Retailer XX. I could go on and on but now I just want to sit down and deal with my inbox 👌🏽

Another game changer is a CRM of some kind. For sales-related emails that are stacking up in your inbox so you can remember to follow up with them – archive them and then enter them into a CRM (we use @pipedrivecrm) that will automatically remind you to follow up 👏🏼

 

kbshimmer: This is a subject I would love to read about. I am an email hoarder. I have 50,000+ emails in my inbox, even with some auto sorted into folders. Right now my phone shows 22,000+. Getting that down to a reasonable number seems daunting.

 

stellachroma: I loathe having notifications on my phone. That little red circle bothers the hell out of me. So I’ve gotten into the habit of sorting through emails every morning as soon as I get up. I have a lot of folders that I sort everything into (because it helps keep my brain organized) and can move them around later if need be. It’s just one of those stopping blocks – not even stumbling – that interferes with my day.

 

burlystone: I set up filters. All my stockists get a tag, all my e-courses get a tag, my personal contacts get a tag, etc. it breaks my mailbox up so it’s not one giant wall of spam, and makes it easier to process them. Oh, I still suck at keeping it clean, but it helps

 

zhibathandbody: I took on a policy similar to puff-puff-pass. 😆 I check – check – delete. My patience can no longer take having thousands of emails so I check email twice a day delete the junk on the second check every day. I limit myself to checking twice so that I no longer waste time checking email several times as I used too.

 

jupiterjonespinup: FOLDERS!!!! And auto labels. Taking time to set up filters is the best investment ever.

 

osmiaorganics: I use an app called Astro for iPhone and my Mac desktop. It keeps important emails in one folder and others in a different one. You can snooze messages, Star them, archive them, etc. It asks you once a month if you’d like to archive everything older than 30 days, and I always say YES! You can still search the archived messages, but they’re out of your inbox. It’s a nice interface that works well for my scattered brain!

 

What strategies or tools do you use to plan your day + keep it on track?

The Lucky Break Community said:

naturallymeandyou: I have a planner and it’s been a life saver. I use post it notes when my calendar gets full on my planner.

 

makermountainfabrics: My @golden.coil planner is a life-and-sanity saver! I have to use pen and paper to stop my brain from spinning. Then a combo of @plannthat and Buffer for my social media. Oh, and a wall calendar for the out of the ordinary activities that always come up.

 

urbanessencesalonspa I’m a Google girl! I use the calendar,, google tasks and Google keep for note taking and evernote.

 

modernmommydoc I feel like I switch it up all the time! Currently have a Google calendar with my appointments, and a hand-written to-do list for my tasks 🙂

 

Whew! I’m feeling inspired to tackle those to-do lists and implement some systems. How about you? Be sure to stop by the Lucky Break Instagram account, where this month we’ll be chatting about wholesale holiday outreach. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Search the #LBCWantstToKnow hashtag to weigh in!

The Lucky Break Calendar – June 2018

June2018

Oh hey there, June. It’s hard to believe, but we’re only thirty days away from the official halfway mark of 2018. And while the sun may be shining + the beach may be calling your name, I need something else to be calling your name too, sugar. The holidays.

 

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not asking you to plan your holiday feast or to get a head start on shopping (but high five to you if you do). June is the perfect month to plan your wholesale holiday outreach. Store buyers will begin buying their holiday inventory this summer and it’s important you have an outreach strategy planned out and ready to go. Have a question or two on that? Join me for a free Facebook Live training, where I’ll share my best tips and tricks.

 

Whatever you’re working on, I’m cheering you on!

June2018

Event Recap: The 2018 HSCG Conference

Event Recap: The 2018 HSCG Conference

Event Recap: The 2018 HSCG Conference

 

 

GREETINGS FROM ATLANTA!

 

Hello friends! It’s Angie here from the Lucky Break Team and I’m coming atcha on the heels of the annual Handcrafted Soap and Cosmetic Guild Conference, better known to most as HSCG. While Lela and the Lucky Break Team are HSCG veterans, this was my first time attending. For those unfamiliar, HSCG is a not-for-profit trade association representing, supporting, and defending the handcrafted soap and cosmetic industry. Members enjoy a wide variety of resources and benefits including this annual event, which draws 500+ artisan makers together for four days of learning.

 

This year, the conference was hosted at the Westin Peachtree Hotel in beautiful downtown Atlanta, GA-  home of the best pulled-pork nachos I’ve had east of the Mississippi (I may or may not have come home 6lbs heavier…and I was only gone for six days). Being that HSCG was going to be a big event for Lela, we decided to bring the team out to support her, say “hello” to lots and lots of LBC clients, and to meet some new friends, too. This included Melissa (operations manager) from Massachusetts, Helen (our tech guru) from Oregon, and myself (client concierge) from California. Our very own Shannon Miller stayed behind to man the fort while the rest of us were braved show duty.

 

Event Recap: The 2018 HSCG Conference

 

 

 

WERK WERK WERK WERK

 

As much fun as it is to come to Atlanta and have a great time socializing with our clients, the attendees, and with each other, it truly takes a dedicated team, many working hours, and a lot of strategic planning to prepare for this event. While Lela was hunkered down in the hotel room refining her talks for her presentations, the LBC team was setting up the booth, running around town in an Uber too small to be carrying oversized balloons that spelled out “LUCKY,” organizing onsite events, and educating attendees on our services and offerings.

 

Event Recap: The 2018 HSCG Conference

 

Event Recap: The 2018 HSCG Conference

 

 

On the eve of the event, Lela joined an expert panel of heavy hitters in the soap industry, sitting alongside LBC client extraordinaire Gates Councilor of Burly Stone, Former HSCG President Marie Gale, current HSCG President Charlene Simon, and Networking and Strategy Coach Lori Saitz. No topic was off the table, and it was incredibly insightful to see the breadth of questions answered across this esteemed panel of experts

 

To kick off the conference, there was a triple threat Keynote featuring Lela, Gates Councilor, and Charlene Simon. The topic du jour? Focus, Drive, Charisma, and Power- something we could all use a little of in our businesses. Shameless plug here- I got to hand letter the cover for the notebooks that were passed out to all the attendees!

 

Event Recap: The 2018 HSCG Conference

 

Heading into the conference, Lela gave her talk on pricing and educated a sea of conference goers on the logistics and value of strategic pricing. I’ve personally seen and heard her do this talk several times now, and every time I watch her, I glean something new and pick up bits of wisdom from her. I love looking out at the attendees and getting the chance to witness those “ah-ha!” moment on conference goer’s faces as she goes through her presentation.

 

On the last day of the conference, after a week of promises from Lela of half-naked men and alluring displays of eye candy in her final talk (she was really trying to sell this thing!) she went and delivered her pièce de ré·sis·tance- The Secrets to Seducing Store Buyers.

 

Between you and me, I’ve never seen Lela work so hard on a presentation deck. Let’s just say that she had a very interesting Google Search history once she was done “researching” for this presentation. But kudos to her because the whole gang joined us! I’m talking about Denzel, Hugh Jackman, Ryan Reynolds, Ryan Gosling, and my personal favorite; Dwayne the Rock Johnson (shhhaaaoowww!)

 

 

Event Recap: The 2018 HSCG Conference

 

 

A SEA OF SMILES + PROUD HEARTS

 

Since many LBC clients hail from the soap and apothecary industry, we hosted a cocktail party for our LBU and BHB alumni. This has become an annual event and one that the entire team looks forward to.  We gathered at the Sundial bar, which offers a 360-degree view of Atlanta from the 75th floor atop the Westin. Attendees were treated to an open bar, hummus and crudités, baked brie with apricot chutney, a live jazz trio, and lots and lots of hugs.

 

It’s our version of a high school reunion, where clients enjoy an opportunity to drink and nosh with each other, putting names and business to faces, and just enjoying the company of other small business owners who have graduated from LBC mentorships. I always joke that I’m a “long time stalker-turned client-turned employee of Lela” and I’ll never forget the first time I got to meet her in person. Lela has a magnetic personality, and you could feel the electricity in the room as people had the opportunity to hug and thank Lela for all that she’s done for their businesses.  I felt privileged to watch everyone gleam with excitement, and it reminds me of the first time I met her and how incredible a person she’s been for me, not just in my own business, but as a friend (Hi Lela! I Luh You!).

 

 

Event Recap: The 2018 HSCG Conference

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

 

It was another successful event for Team Lucky Break, and we can’t wait to work with all the new faces and brands that came across our booth over the last week. After being surrounded by our clients, seeing familiar faces, and listening to the different speakers, it’s hard not to come back re-energized and excited to get back to work.

 

Is there a conference that you’d like to see Team Lucky Break benevolently invade? Drop a line in the comments and let us know which shows and conferences you attend… perhaps we can make it to your city!

 

The Lucky Break Calendar – May 2018

May2018

Am I the only one who had to do a double take when I flipped the calendar and it said May? 2018 is rolling along and it’s already time to begin thinking about holidays for the wholesale market. Time – and the holidays – wait for no one my friend.

 

This month the LBC team is busy attending The HSCG Soap Conference where we can’t wait to give hugs and mingle with our favorite alumni. Will I see you there? Be sure to stop by the booth to say hello to me and the team and pick up some Lucky Break swag while you’re at it.

 

Whatever you’re up to this month, know that I’m cheering you on!May2018

Where are they now? Iyanla of MasterPeace

IV Headshot 2018

GEMMMIAS MP_GRADIENT logo_FINAL

 

Are you wondering what happens to my Brick House Branding alumni post-graduation? What they do with the momentum and new-found knowledge? Curious about where they take their businesses in the year following all that hard work?

 

I’m back with another installment in my “Where Are They Now?” blog series and I’m doing-cartwheels-excited to show you the serious waves my BHB graduates are making!

 

 

IV Headshot 2018

 

SAY HELLO TO IYANLA OF MASTERPEACE.

I’m wrapping up this BHB Case Study series with the amazing Iyanla Vanzant of MasterPeace. You may recognize Iyanla from her frequent appearances on the Oprah Winfrey Show, her own show on the OWN network, or from one of her best-selling books. It was a special honor to work alongside Iyanla. We collaborated on several fronts: Iyanlya is a BHB graduate, we’ve worked through several private strategy sessions together, and I had the honor of writing much of the copy from her new website. And I can share that she is every bit as warm-hearted and lovely in person as she is on TV!

 

LBC: Why and when did you originally launch your company?

Iyanla: I originally launched MasterPeace in 2006 to continue my daughter’s legacy.  A master aromatherapist, she passed away in 2003. She started the line in 2001 after creating her own hair care products. Gemmia wholeheartedly believed that essential oils and herbs were vital in creating and shifting energy on and around the body.

 

 

LBC: At what point did you know it was time for a rebrand?

Iyanla: I was invited to pitch my products to QVC in 2014 after one of the buyers attended a workshop that I facilitated.  She purchased and loved the products.  I attended the pitch meeting, and while they loved the product they felt that the packaging was “too rustic” for the QVC customer.  I laughed because I loved the rustic look but also realized that in order to appeal to the mass market, I would need to consider the feedback seriously.

 

 

MasterPeace packaging and logo, BEFORE Brick House Branding and a rebrand

MasterPeace packaging and logo, BEFORE Brick House Branding and a rebrand

 

LBC: Please share a significant realization about the brand development process that you discovered while in Brick House Branding.

Iyanla: Module 2, Developing Brand Personality and Emotional Resonance did it for me. I knew the name of the line was perfect.  I knew that the product features and benefits of African Black Soap were on point.  But when I began to examine the psychological benefits, I knew that I had to up my game.  I knew that I could win the hearts and minds of my customers because of the name recognition, but I didn’t want to be hanging out in the minds of people when they were in the shower!  I want my customer to want my product and love my product because they believed in it, and because it holds a benefit to them personally.

 

 

LBC: What professionals did you tag in to help with the process, and what pieces of the branding puzzle did you DIY?

Iyanla: I handmade the products for the first 10 years.  However, after my visit to QVC I realized that it was not feasible for me to attempt to produce the products on my own if I wanted to grow into the mass consumer market.  Because I was concerned about the integrity of the products, I searched long and hard for a manufacturer who was willing to follow a strict protocol in the making of the products.  That company is LiquidTek, a small semi-organic manufacturer in Chino, CA.

 

I then hired a 5th Avenue advertising firm to re-design my packaging.  That almost broke the bank.  I eventually asked my long-time graphic artist if she could duplicate some of the ideas they offered in a more economical way.  When it came time to re-design my website, I leaned on the support and recommendations of my masterful teacher, Lela Barker.  She directed me to a web designer and a photographer.  Here is my secret: For the first 8 or 9 years of producing the product by hand, whatever money I made that I did not spend on supplies, I saved. That is why I had a few coins to invest in the re-design and re-branding of the product line.  Because of my schedule, I knew that I needed help.

 

MasterPeace packaging and logo, BEFORE Brick House Branding and a rebrand

MasterPeace packaging and logo, BEFORE Brick House Branding and a rebrand

 

LBC: What was the biggest obstacle you encountered during the rebranding process?

Iyanla: My two biggest obstacles were letting go of the old ideas and being willing to invest time and money into the process.  I am a Virgo personality and I resist change because . . . no one can do it as well as I can.  I had to be willing to invite and welcome in the process of up-leveling my brand.  I had to become willing to do things in a new way for the good of the line.  I had to become willing to let some things go and embrace the ideas and concepts of others. And finally, I had to be willing to spend money without knowing (although believing that in the long run) I will have a magnificent and abundant return on my investment.  As a “home grown” product maker, it was hard for me to let go.

 

 

LBC: How has your own perception of your brand evolved since graduating from Brick House Branding?  

Iyanla: Module 3, the Brand Manifesto helped me to see my products in a totally new light.  Before Brick House Branding, I was making soap. By the time I reached Module 3, I was the owner of a branded product line, a brand that I believed in and wanted to share with the world.  I no longer make soap.  I am the owner of a collection of Body Therapy products that offer a solution to a national problem, specifically for women: how to manage stress, while building a better relationship with your body. Somebody slap me!  Where in the world did that come from?  Brick House Branding!  That’s where.  My concept of the products has evolved.  The language I use to describe the products has evolved. And, the image I hold and project for and about the products has evolved.

 

MasterPeace packaging and logo, AFTER Brick House Branding and a rebrand

MasterPeace packaging and logo, AFTER Brick House Branding and a rebrand

 

LBC: Are your products are being received differently by others since the rebrand? How has their reaction evolved?

Iyanla: I have an army of family and friends that I call my product lab rats.  While a few of them are still stuck on the rustic look and feel, most of the others simply love the packaging. In fact, they haven’t noticed if the products have changed.  They say that they look like they will make you feel better.  I won’t know until May if the general public feels the same way.

 

 

LBC: Can you share a recent win that you’ve realized because of the rebrand? 

Iyanla: My products have been accepted and will be presented on HSN beginning in May 2018!

 

MasterPeace packaging and logo, AFTER Brick House Branding and a rebrand

MasterPeace packaging and logo, AFTER Brick House Branding and a rebrand

 

LBC: How did Brick House Branding experience help shape your branding process?

Iyanla: Clarity.  Focus.  Intention.  Brick House Branding helped me get clear about my own thoughts and feeling about my products.  Was I invested in my products or not?  Did I believe in my products or not?  Did I want to sell my products or not? Did I really believe that I could be successful selling my products or not?  In this regard, that MVP assignment, although it kicked my butt was worth the entire fee for the course.  As I mentioned Modules 2 and 3 helped me focus in on what really matters when you have a product line and how to present what you feel about the line to the consumer. This is how I developed my intention for the product line. I also think the Expert Interview videos of the other brand owners helped me to put many things into a broader, wider, higher perspective.

 

MasterPeace packaging and logo, AFTER Brick House Branding and a rebrand

MasterPeace packaging and logo, AFTER Brick House Branding and a rebrand

 

LBC: What do you wish you had known at the beginning of the brand development process? What advice would you give to someone who’s getting ready to start the brand development process?

Iyanla: What I wish I had known was that branding is serious business.  Not only is it serious business, it is a business you must take seriously. I never even thought of my products as a brand. I made them because I liked them, and I wanted to continue my daughter’s work. I sold them because I spent too much money on supplies to give them away for free. That is how I felt about the “soap” I was making. Brick House Branding moved me into a brand consciousness which I now believe you must begin with. A brand is a living, breathing entity that needs care, nurturing and focused attention if you want it to grow.

 

I would advise anyone who is ready to start a brand to get clear about what the brand is, what it does, why it does that and why your brand does it better than any other brand. I would also encourage a new brand owner or those re-branding to have a clear intention about what they want to achieve with, for, and as a brand.  Finally, I would say, drop the word “product” from your vocabulary until you are clear about the energy and direction of the brand.

 

Thanks for catching up with us, Iyanla. The Lucky Break team will be watching (with cocktails and popcorn in-hand) as you make your big debut on HSN next month!

 

If you’d like to build a stronger, smart brand in 2018, then I also hope that you’ll consider joining me in the spring semester of Brick House Branding. This 9-week brand development mentorship dissects awesome brands and then helps you build your own, brick by brick, with me working right alongside you to cheer you on and ensure that you’re on the right track. Enrollment is now open, but we’re closing things up tight on April 27!