I am old enough to remember the 1990/91 Gulf War. 14 years of age and living in a small country town in Queensland, it was the first time I felt the world on my doorstep; it was the first time I felt real fear.
Fast forward 15-ish years and a decade of post school life, my eldest wasn't a year old when we started hearing the term 'GFC' (Global Financial Crisis). I was self employed and the $10K of work sitting on my whiteboard before Christmas 2007, turned into a paltry $1,000 by April 2008; goodbye self-employment, hello job to support my family. It was during the GFC and another beautiful addition to our family that I truly appreciated my bottom-up work philosophy and diversified skillset. When a choice between staff had to be made, sadly there are no prizes for guessing who kept their job; it's all that got my infant family through.
Today we have COVID-19, but this time it's not a financial crisis, it's a human one, and we are all in it together. Yes, we've seen panic buying, yes, people have behaved with an immaturity most of us can't fathom, and yes, unfortunately people have been aggressive, but hopefully it has also shone a light on possibility and opportunity. Possibility? Opportunity? Allow me to plant a seed.
Are you really happy? Are you truly fulfilled? Are you living passionately? Or are you just going through the motions? It's events like this that create an opportunity for us to live honestly with ourselves, dare to dream of following the passion in our heart and wake up every morning invigorated to grab the day and run with it. The possibilities... they are endless. If you read my post, see the light and rush into decisions... you will most likely fail, especially if you have a family. This post is not suggesting you race out and start a business or quit your relationship, upheave your family or make drastic changes. It's suggesting you reflect and work twoards making positive change.
Reflection and a healthy (but not obsessive) 'what if' internal conversation (external conversations are also important) is a huge part of my life. Small steps often in the right direction rather than huge all-or-nothing leaps has allowed me to edge carefully into unknown waters, self-correct, take a step back to reflect a little more, but most importantly to create a life that truly makes me happy.
'Well bully for you', has been projected at me. But you know what, I've had rugs ripped out from underneath me, I've been side swiped and had to scramble to keep my footing, keep myself afloat and make everything ok for those I love. Today, #ImLivingProof that #PositiveFocusChangesLives. I had no choice, but I'm so grateful for it. Those swished rugs lead to study that makes me feel invigorated rather than slogging because 'I needed the money'. It ignites and fans the passion in my heart rather than the 'one foot in front of the other' existence that befell me. I was fortunate to have an experience of asking my mentor, "When are you going to see the Universe is pushing you in a different direction? When are you going to stop forcing what the Universe clearly doesn't want you to be?". I was also fortunate to ask my best friend of 20 years a similar question mere months after he barely survived an infection; he is now my husband and stands arms crossed squarely in front of my self-questioning and self-doubt.
Even though many of my successes have came out of ashes, thank you Universe.
#TrueStrength with #MandaOsborne @ #EverythingByDesign
Image: Chen, JX 2016, 'Migration is magic', Behance, 20 September,
Image source: Osborne, AF 2019, Image of #EverythingIT story in a box, author's own collection, unpublished.
Write a blog they say, get yourself “out there”, they tell me. I take a deep breath, center my energy, have absolute belief in myself that I can do this; I breath out… and Google.
F@ck me! A tsunami of do’s, don’ts, but rules are meant to be broken and most of all have fun… spew over you like a virgin drunk.
According to Neilsen (UniSA 2019) you have 10 seconds to capture the interest and imagination of your audience or lose them.
While my grandmother’s words echo in my mind, “Don’t get too far ahead of yourself”, I internally acknowledge, I am an interesting and funny person, with insights worthy of sharing, closely followed with a zero care-factor of whether I’m successful or not. To me, having no expectations of success, is half the battle won; so, relax!
SEO Specialists will dazzle you with analytics and keywords, hashtags and handles. At this point, just be yourself! Much like financial analysts, don’t chase the market for returns… be in the market. Yes, come up with interesting hashtags and a simple handle such as, #ImLivingProof that #ProductiveFocusChangesLives and #EveryMomentCounts every day; this is #TrueStrength @EverythingITByDesign. Be consistent with your hashtags and handle(s), keep a list near your workspace and, I believe, CapitalizingEachWordHelpsYourAudience.
Osborne, A 2019, Image of SEO Optimisation, Author's own collection, unpublished.
Creatures of Habit
Like a gentle Summers breeze, a listless autumn leaf, the warmth of a wood fire and jumping into Spring, we take comfort in routine and rhythm. Finding a balance in how often posts are made is not only important for building your audience, continuity of your voice, but demonstrating reliability and breathing familiarity into the whiz and rush of your audiences’ everyday life (Roshelle 2018).
KISs & Keep it Simple
It’s all too easy to plunge into sophisticated and intellectual prose with romantic notions of astounding others. But… the reality is, if you keep your words simple, to the point with a touch of ‘you’, your audience will love you for it. Whether your style is dark and brooding, light and funny or a cosmic twist of fate, talking with your voice is your voice brand. #CheckOut ‘Should Your Brand Voice Stay the Same Across Social Channels?’ for more insights.
Osborne, A 2019, Image of Your Own Voice, Author's own collection, unpublished.
Does Length Matter?
Ok. You’re pumped with attitude, you’ve got sass to burn, or perhaps you’ve embraced a bottle of Red, let’s tackle how long a post should be. Simply, it will depend on which platform you use. Hootsuite is a treasure trove of up-to-date social media ‘How To’ across the abundance of platforms available to you. It’s definitely a website worth bookmarking.
Tips for Getting Started
Ready, set… let’s go! “The journey of a thousand miles, begins with a single step”, Lao Tzu. You’ve nothing to lose, and a whole new lifestyle to gain. Once your headspace is right and your workspace is breathing, relax your mind and tap out your thoughts. Aubre Andrus’ post, while aimed at small businesses, is an excellent no-nonsense launch pad for any Digital Creator looking for a start.
Last but Never Least… Images!
The very life breath of your digital existence is images, images, images! Did I mention images?
If you’re a serious blogger, then investing time and, if necessary, money into software to make your images the best, most dynamic and downright interesting pictures imaginable, is completely worth it. If you are only just starting out, Canva is a free to use, graphic design drag-and-drop-format web-based program, filled with free, or very cheap templates to ignite your image-ination.
Taking your own images…? Then tapping into Moms with a Camera is an absolute must! as they guide you through a wealth of information around photography everyone understands.
Wrap It Up
Like a sweet bow tied firmly, don’t forget to wrap up your point. In our case, getting your voice, your thoughts, your essence shared with the wider world. Expect your blogger life to start slowly, but if you treat it like a diary, and a personal part of yourself you are willing to share, with amazing images, catchy hashtags, a constant handle and a willingness to review, reflect and improve your craft, then over time you may find your blog grow into a social media mover and shaker.
Please note: I do not encourage excessive use, or abuse, of alcohol or substances. If you have a problem, please contact LifeLine for support.
Liz sat across from me, barely a metre away, for three days... coughing, sniffling, blowing her nose, looking paler than Snow White and worse than Death warmed up. By the third afternoon, and fearing my immune system was being given a run for its money, I asked why she hadn't stayed home until she was better? She didn't want to use her holiday leave! As the newest member in the 20+ people strong office, I pointed out I didn't have any sick leave accrued yet and if I got sick, I wouldn't get paid.
Sickness in the office has been a focus for me ever since.
In this very moment, our small team is on the tail end of a cold that, for me, has been akin to the Hulk slamming Loki; I'd just start to feel okay... and bang! There was nothing I could do but OD on vitamin C, drink water water water, have sun baths, multiple steamy showers a day and sleep. Yet four days on I was still very ill. A doctor visit later, I had a prescription for antibiotics; sometimes you just can't do it organically.
Kofi Outlaw 2017, Image of Hulk Slamming Loki, Comicbook, 9 November, viewed 20 May 2019, <https://comicbook.com/marvel/2017/11/02/thor-ragnarok-avengers-1-2-easter-eggs-jokes/#2>.
Work from home
Whether working from home or an office, all too often we are bound by deadlines; work, study, family. No matter how much we try to slog through, the path of least resistance (at least with a cold or flu) is rest. We owe it to ourselves, colleagues, fellow commuters and clients to be at our best to avoid oversights that cost time, money and embarrassment with our clients (or losing them!) and / or accidents that end in people getting hurt.
Get ahead this cold & flu season by knowing the symptoms and boost your immune system.
Information sourced from: Health Direct 2018, Colds and flus symptoms, Australian Government, updated May, viewed 20 May 2019, <https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/colds-and-flu-symptoms>.
So what happened?
This flu... when I was too ill to sit, I laid on the couch and watched a lot of movies, thinking about filming techniques, and instead of stressing about assignments, I allowed ideas to come to me while I rested my mind.
What happened with Liz...?
She took Thursday and Friday off, but it was too late. I was sick Friday and over the weekend.
Need more information?
Health Direct is an Australian Government initiative with an A-Z of health topics, medicines, symptom checker and service finder. Click https://www.healthdirect.gov.au to find more information.
As our business emerges on social media, I make this promise, right here and right now. We will never engage in such scurrilous workmanship. We may not be qualified journalists, but it does not stop us from having integrity in our multicast contributions, empowering everyone and striving for positive change in the global world around us.
#ImLivingProof that #ProductiveFocusChangesLives and #EveryMomentCounts everyday; this is #TrueStrength.
As many people know, I'm studying a Bachelor of Digital Media with the intention of expanding our business, #EverythingIT. As of mid June, I will officially be half way through the degree. While this blog has started as a requirement in 'Writing for Digital Media', I am actively looking for experience, and have begun offering my growing skills to family, friends and not for profits.
Over the coming weeks, I'll be sharing interesting information and great sites you can access, some how-to videos for creating really cool images, and the importance of acknowledging the work of others, #StayTuned!
#ImLivingProof that #ProductiveFocusChangesLives and #EveryMomentCounts everyday; this is #TrueStrength.
Everything By Design is a grassroots design practice helping grassroots organisations.
Amanda has 25 years experience working across charities, administration, financial planning, and running small businesses.
In recent years, the opportunity to delve into creative pursuits presented, and so began #EverythingByDesign.