3 Simple Ways to Show Gratitude In Your Life

Going out of your way to show you’re grateful for others leaves a positive, lasting impression. Whether it’s your co-workers or friends, it’s important to find little ways to let people know you appreciate their help. Here are a few ways that take little effort but make a big impact.

  1. Thank you cards
    I’ve said it before, and I’ll continue to say it again: thank you notes are extremely valuable and underrated in the business world. This is a secret weapon when it comes to professional networking or just making someone’s day in general. When someone does something kind or helpful, it’s important to always reach out and take the extra step to show your appreciation -  bonus points if it’s handwritten.
  2. Random acts of kindness
    At A. Victoria MAE, we’re all about sunflowers. Any chance you get to make someone’s day – make it happen. Spread positive vibes in little ways like words of affirmation, holding the door open for someone, giving compliments, and just asking yourself, “how can I make this person’s day better?”
  3. Don’t complain for 24 hours
    This may seem difficult once you first start, but you will really be surprised when you realize the difference it makes. Not only do negative thoughts have an impact on your attitude, but when you share them aloud it brings others down, too. Avoid negativity for 24 hours and instead vocalize what you’re grateful for!

It’s not always easy or going to be the first thing that comes to mind, but showing gratitude spreads more positivity than you think. Even if it seems like no one else is doing it, be the person to make someone else’s day! If there’s one positive attribute to be remembered by, let it be the one who is grateful.

Cheers!
Ashleigh

Why College Students & Young Pros Need More Than Just a Resume

Each new internship and job-hunting season is a learning experience for both sides of the table. The potential employer is learning what the current trends for resumes and cover letters are, as well as what is being taught to students. The students are learning to first dip their toes into the world of being a professional.

I’ve seen a fair share of resumes, portfolio pieces, cover letters – you name it! Each lands on various parts of the spectrum. If there’s one thing that sticks out to me when looking for a potential new hire, it’s a student with a business card!

Most students may not think they need a business card until later in their careers, but this is an important tool when looking to network and show off your professional side. It helps establish your brand as well as credibility.

"Once you’re in the professional world, you sort of make the assumption that people have a card--if you want to play in that world, you have to have the tools,” says Lindsey Pollak, career expert and author From College to Career: 90 Things to Do Before You Join the Real World.

You may be asking yourself, “But what should my business card look like?”

Here are a few tips:
1. Keep it simple.
Include your basic contact information such as name, phone number, and email (recommended to use a personal email address not school-related one). Don’t go over-the-top by trying to squeeze your whole resume and qualifications on here.

2. Stand out.
This is an opportunity to show your creative side – if you want. Business cards range from plain to flashy. Find what works best for you and make it unique!

3. Make it count.
Take the time to create something you’re proud to distribute.

“Experts agree there is nothing more undesirable than a flimsy business card with ink that smears. There are many deals that offer business cards for free or at a highly-discounted price, but cheap cards make students look unprofessional,” according to Fox Business.

When you’ve created a business card to match your professional personality, use it confidently, and get ready to “wow” the next potential employer (or client) you encounter!

Cheers!

A. Victoria MAE Chief Growth Officer & Founder Accepted into inGAGE Master Class

The Inforum program works with women entrepreneurs to help them grow their businesses

Congratulations to A. Victoria MAE’s Chief Growth Officer & Founder, Ashleigh Laabs, as she has been accepted into Inforum’s inGAGE Master Class. The inGAGE Master Class is a program created for women entrepreneurs who are looking to grow and develop their businesses. This program will not only help Laabs to learn about the best practices and growth strategies, it will also allow her to discuss and engage with other women entrepreneurs.

Formulating specialized strategies to create new opportunities is what the inGAGE Master Class is all about. The program brings together participants who are in the same area, business-wise, so they can work collaboratively to assess their businesses. The entrepreneurs will learn about operations, management, finances, and personnel. The goal is to help women entrepreneurs find the strengths and challenges in their businesses.

“This program will allow me to create a solid growth plan for A. Victoria MAE and will help me brainstorm and share thoughts and ideas in a safe space while receiving real feedback from peers. I love Inforum. This organization brings together wonderful women who I can network and learn from. Not only am I excited to learn how to grow my business, but I am excited to help others do the same,” said Laabs.

Along with admittance into this prestigious program, Laabs also secured a $1,500 scholarship. This scholarship covers the entire cost of participation in the program for Laabs. Laabs intends to utilize the program to help her create a financial growth strategy for A. Victoria MAE.

Since the beginning of the inGAGE Master Class in August 2012, it has helped 89 women entrepreneurs, created 304 jobs, gained $41.3 million in new capital, and much more. The master class is led by Patti Glaza, one of Michigan’s foremost venture capital experts.

The program lasts from March 2018 to August 2018, with, on average, one meeting each month. When admitted into the program, attendees receive other benefits, such as an Inforum membership, a personal leadership assessment, and one-on-one coaching.

The power of gratitude: Shout Out to Young Professionals

Picture this: You just left the best interview you’ve ever had with your dream company. You spent hours perfecting your resume, practicing your best smile, and crafting all the right answers to their questions. You are certain you’ve got this job offer in the bag, and all you have to do is wait for that phone call, right? Wrong!

All too often, job seekers leave the conversation without a follow up and wonder why they didn’t hear back. This is because sending a thank you is the final, and most crucial, step in a successful interview.

Saying thank you for someone's time is important; it shows you are a person who has empathy, emotion, and appreciation. This is incredibly valuable to a future employer.

At a bare minimum, send an email thank you. It takes little time and energy.  If you really want to set yourself apart from your competition, hand-written notes are the way to go. This shows that you care enough to put in those extra few minutes of your time to show appreciation and genuine interest in the company you’re interviewing for.

"The best timeframe to send a thank you email is within 24 hours after your interview," says Whitney Purcell, associate director of Career Development at Susquehanna University.

A hand-written thank you note shouts passion to me.

Remember:

  • Send within 24 hours of the interview.
  • Be genuine.
  • Take advantage of this time to make yourself stand out.
  • Wow them!

A good thank you can go a long way. This is your time to shine!

Cheers!

Are You Hitting Your Target?

You have a business because of an idea. You want to see the idea continue to grow, so who are you directing your business strategies towards?

Knowing your target market is the difference between huge success within your business and a good idea without direction. If business owners cannot describe how their ideal consumer thinks, acts, looks, decides, eats, sleeps, and breathes, they have not done their homework and aren’t maximizing their potential success.

It may seem like a lot of work, but no one can afford to target everyone, so learning to target the right people at the right time is critical. As Inc. notes, “Targeting a specific market does not mean that you are excluding people who do not fit your criteria. Rather, target marketing allows you to focus your marketing dollars and brand message on a specific market that is more likely to buy from you than other markets.”

So, how exactly do you go about defining and delivering to your target market? Here are some helpful hints:

Do some internal reflection.

What are some things your business is doing really well at right now? Who seems to be engaging with the company and providing feedback? Are there areas where you feel need a little more attention? Knowing where you are versus where you want to be is a great first step in catalyzing change.

See what else is out there.

Checking out the competition, or just similar businesses, is a very effective way to compare and contrast. This allows you to evaluate your strengths compared to others, as well as brainstorm possible things to improve on or add to your business.

Define your unique characteristics.

What products or services do you offer? Try making a list of what your business specifically does. Then, think about who or what kind of person would need or want these services.

Making a list of specific demographics and psychographics that align with your business’ services makes it much easier to simplify your search for a target market. Some demographic factors include:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Education
  • Occupation
  • Income level

While some psychographic factors could be:

  • Interests/hobbies
  • Personality
  • Values
  • Lifestyle

The important piece to think about is understanding how your customers think. If you can do that, you will then understand how to successfully reach them to keep them coming back for more.

Reflect.

After you’ve gathered a well-thought out list of your target market, ask yourself if it’s realistic. Do you have a substantial number of people who are a good fit? Will they benefit from my services? Do I truly understand how to reach them?

Reach out!

Re-evaluating a huge part of your business such as the target market can seem a bit overwhelming and maybe even complicated. It’s not something to be done overnight – it takes time and strategy.

A. Victoria MAE specializes in business growth strategies such as marketing and public relations. We make it easy to help you define your sunshine and make your ideas happen. For more information and ways to define your target market, contact A. Victoria MAE today! #MakeIdeasHappen

Cheers!