Showing posts with label work at home. Show all posts
Showing posts with label work at home. Show all posts

Friday, March 13, 2020




By: Kel Amstutz
Friday, March 13, 2020

We live in a world that is noisier and busier than ever, right now.  Social media, a nearly constant stream of notifications from our phones... the 24-hour news cycle (which right now is all about COVID-19), instant access to everyone through text messaging and messenger apps. 

Recent studies are showing that, on average, Americans check their phones every 12 minutes (that is nearly 100 times per day!), and we are spending more than three hours each day staring at those tiny screens...

This sounds crazy, right?  But, it's facts people. I have triple check those numbers, which are growing daily.

So, what does this mean? 

Well, it means that it is harder than it has ever been to turn off your mind and just be still... be quiet. 

But, without that much needed down time, it is absolutely impossible for you to be at your very best.

If you find yourself longing for a more peaceful and meaningful life... it you have a desire to unlock your maximum potential, but you just can't seem to figure out how to get to where you want to be... the answer might lie in that stillness. 

In our media-rich, always-on, over-stimulated, over-scheduled, often-lonely society, it's harder than ever not to be exhausted - emotionally, spiritually, physically and mentally.  And, doing those great things you want to do... you feel like you need to do... well, there rare when you are just down right exhausted! 

So... What can you do about it?

A few year ago, I discovered a disciplined practice, in one form or another, derived from all the greatest, wisest creatives, thinkers, and religious philosophers in our history - from the Stoics to the Buddhists, from Confucianism to Christianity. 

It's an ancient art... of slowing things down and quieting the mind, so you can be still... and, in that stillness, "see" clearly...

Stillness is the practice of simply being. 

The idea is rather simple, but it takes great discipline to achieve it.

I have found that the practice of Stillness come from routine and rituals.  To dig deeper, you must fight temptations... and strengthen your soul from such temptations.  This is the key to being about to be better at whatever and anything you do.

Think about it. Too often being still is confused with being idle or ambivalent. But, I've found that  being still is actually a key skill on the path of self-mastery, discipline, and focus. Being still helps you stay on the path. 

Stillness is what fuels creativity and inspires new and fresh ideas.  It is the foundation for becoming the master of one's own life.  Stillness makes space for presence and gratitude.  It allows you to succeed at your main thing. It is... the key. 

The key to being better... a better writer... a better human... a better parent... a better artist and helps unlock your full, true potential. 

I am a little hesitate to "tell" you how to practice Stillness.  It is something that I am still learning. It is the practice of just be yourself.  But, perhaps that is the value I can bring to you... as someone on the same journey of learning to find Stillness, to find the focus to be present... to find clarity. 

The techniques that I have found and use to practice my 20 minutes of Stillness each day come from tips and tricks I have read about, even blogged about previously in my posts. They are to: 
  • Set a Time Each Day. Schedule this time. I put my Stillness time on my calendar as an appointment to ensure that nothing else can invade that time slot.  My time for Stillness is previous to me, it is a time that I schedule before I go to sleep at night, to quiet my soul and set my intentions, finding my clarity to ensure that I am able to keep the main thing... the main thing. 
I end my day with my Stillness, after I have completed my habits... my journaling, my creative writing... my stretching. 

I very briefly quiet my mind and find a few moments of Stillness before I lay my head on my pillow.  Then, I am able to end my day with peace.  

  • Find a Place to Connect Your Mind, Body, and Spirit.  To be truly still, you must be physically still, your mind must be quiet, and you must feel at ease with yourself and the world.
For me, that is the easiest to achieve when I am getting ready for bed. I simply get comfortable. I connect with my surroundings by using my Himalayan salt lamp, my calm oil simmering, surrounded by nothing but quiet. This allows my mind to become quiet just before I end my day. This has the wonderful effect of connecting my energy with the energy of the sleep that I am about to embark upon. This is my quiet spot that has the right vibe that I am seeking. The main thing for me is to be in a place where I am not interrupted. 

For your Stillness practice, you just need to find a spot where you won't be interrupted, at a time when you can really focus and connect with yourself. 

  • Set a Time. At this point, some advocate setting aside 15 minutes a day. Early in my practice, I didn't have an extra 15 minutes, especially when my kids were younger.  I started with just five minute stretches. That was enough to get me in my zone. Now a-days, I have some extra free time before I go to sleep, with my girls being a bit older and less needy and I can be still for 20 minutes. That is a good fit for me at this point in my life, but what is right for you will undoubtedly be different. 
One factor to keep in mind... it is surprising how the perception of this time can change from day to day. Some days 20 minutes seems like forever, but on other days, it goes by almost too quickly. 

I set a time to make sure I spend the intended amount of time in Stillness... and to make sure I don't get lost in being still and end up missing my bedtime altogether. 
  • Relax Your Body. As I noted above, I prefer to sit in my bedroom, closing my eyes, I have even incorporated crystals to help myself have a physical connect to Earth.  You might prefer to sit in nature, or in a soft, comfortable chair with your eyes closed. To each their own.  The most important thing is to be in a place where you can truly relax. 
Relax your body deliberately.  Pay attention to your muscle tension and it's release.  Then, become physically and mentally quiet.  If being still is difficult at first, try to engage in any mindless physical activity, like rocking in a chair or watching something in its natural motion- like a fire or perhaps running water. 

To assist with the physical relaxation and mental quiet, I have used a recording of the ocean.  Listening to the natural sounds has helped to aid in finding mental Stillness in me.  Try falling rain, a thunderstorm... whatever helps you attain a state of relaxation. 
  • Quiet Your Mind.  This will likely be the biggest of your challenges.  It was for me. It is very common for me to achieve a moment of mental Stillness and then I have some random thought (or several...) and get off track.  Don't worry about it when this happens.  Just recognize it and then return to your Stillness.  The more that you practice... the longer you will be able to hold your mind in a place of Stillness.
  • Be Present.  I don't mean just physically present. When I say, "Be Present," I mean be aware, mindful, in the moment.  Don't think about the past regrets you might have. Don't think about your hopes and dreams in the future. Instead, collect your thoughts and be present - in the current moment. It is the most important time that you have. In fact, it is the only time you have.
  • Learn to Focus You Mind and Feel the Moments (to Return).  This might be the most helpful component of being still.  What I am talking about here is learning to recall a "place or time of peace." To recall a mental picture of experience where you achieved a particularly vivid experience of peace and stillness.
For me, I go back to the time I spent lying on the beach in Oahu and being in a perfect state of Stillness as the sun beat down on me, warming my soul and the sound of the ocean surrounded my whole being.  

These profound moments give you a way to bring peace and calm forward, during your Stillness practice, or at any time you need to, really.

I resisted Stillness for the longest time, sticking to my belief that being Still was just a waste of time.  I was so wrong. 

The busier, noisier, more hectic my life became, the most I realized how important it is that you make the time to just be still.  It will help you rest better. It will help you stave off that dreadful burnout. It will help you focus on the things you want to achieve and help you put your best effort into whatever you are doing at any given moment. 

Even if you can only start off with five minutes a day - DO IT! 

You will soon see the difference it will make on your life and you will be so glad that you did.

With a Stillness practice, it will not matter how tough yesterday was, or how difficult today is looking to be. When you are at peace, full peace with yourself, you will find focus, clarity, and the meaning behind the tasks before you. And, everything you do will be that much easier, that much better, that much more joyful... because of it!

Monday, March 2, 2020


Discover Four Ways to Use Your Local Library to Support and Grow Your Online Business. This Old-School Resource Offers a lot of Modern-Day Unexpected Benefits!

Using Local Libraries to Build Your Online Business

By: Kel Amstutz  

March 02, 2020

You are probably overlooking this card in YOUR wallet. No, I'm not taking about that fancy credit card that gives you money BACK each month when you use it. This card is so much more valuable. And, it's a vital asset for building your freelance web-writing business.

The card I'm talking about is the local library membership card that you probably signed when you were in grade school.  Local libraries are still alive and kicking, even flourishing in many cases... despite many people writing them off as irrelevant.

Yes... they're as relevant as ever.  Maybe more so.

As a web writer, we thrive on words. They're our hobby, our living... our passion.  And, what better institution to help hone our skills than the venerable repository of so many great words, past and present.

Truth be told, I've been a card-carrying member of my local library since I was in Kindergarten. It's been exciting to watch its evolution as it strives to keep up with the times. The Oregon Public Library has expanded its offering - and its edifice - to keep up the pace and remain viable in this digital world in which we live and work.

The public library can be a great boon to your freelance business.  Many freelancers forget that a library can be a valuable business-building tool.

I'd like to take you on a virtual tour of my local library and what it offers the freelance web writer. If your library doesn't offer some of these options, take notes and see if they might add them.

They'll be sure to appreciate the interest you show, and I'm sure they'll try to help where they can.

The first suggestion, however, may surprise you.

A fortress of solitude.

I know, I know... you are probably thinking... like Superman?  Why, yes. He had a fortress of solitude.

It was a place where he could go relax, gather his thoughts. Sometimes, he just needed to get away from it all and spend a little "me" time.

The same goes for the freelance web writer.

I have an area within my home that holds my office. It's a nice area, fitting my business needs.  I decorated this area with things that make me happy, make me feel at ease.

But, sometimes I still just need to get away, to collect my thoughts, to give creativity a chance to strike.  And sometimes, I just need a change of scenery!

I've written in restaurants over breakfast. I even wrote an article in my car while I was waiting for an appointment.

Almost everywhere you go nowadays, Wi-Fi is readily available.  These days, I don't recommend restaurants for their food... it's the internet connection that inspires my praise and adoration.

But, then there are times when I need to get away from the responsibilities of daily life. To remove myself from the equation of the busy surroundings of people having conversations or dishes clanking in the background.


So, it's off to the library I go. Surrounded by books and magazines... and words, I find inspiration just sitting there in the quietness. And, of course, they also have great Wi-Fi.

Our library has a lot of windows. Sometimes I'll sit quietly, laptop at the ready, gazing down out at the street and the trees around the building. Watching the silent activity all around, and suddenly, inspiration hits me.

And off I go... writing like a madwoman!

But, wait... there's more.

The digital face of evolutionary libraries... or I suppose I can say, revolutionary libraries.

To stay in hip with the ever changing technology, our library has a digital wing. I can access various sections of the library from the comfort of my home office.

Or anywhere I have internet access... like on my phone sitting in my car waiting for my appointment.

Of course, digital magazines and eBooks are standard offerings in most online libraries. And, the selections offered might surprise you.

Business-building books abound, both traditional and, well, not so traditional. I've read books from business guru Seth Godin through our library's digital services.

And yes, they do come with a two-week checkout time limit. But, you can check them out multiple times.

In our online business reference section, you'll find:
  • Business ProQuest, for real world business research
  • Investment data from Morningstar
  • Reference USA, my personal favorite, where you find a database and guide to local and not so local cities, towns, and businesses.
Both online and offline access to magazines and other periodicals means you can do QUALITY RESEARCH, even if you don't have a subscription to them.

Online classrooms, open 24-7.

Our library hosts various kinds of offline workshops on a wide range of topics. Everything from basket weaving to writing a novel.

Free access to many tutorials from, a trusted learning resource that's been around for some time.

To gain entry, you log into their site through a portal on the library's website. All you need is a library card number, you PIN... and a willingness to learn!

In fact, that's how you access a lot of the digital content from the library. It's quick, convenient and handy.  And through collaborations and joint agreements, the world wide web of information and learning keeps expanding.

I almost forgot one of the MOST IMPORTANT freelance-writing resources of all.

Books. Physical, paper-and-ink books.

Not just books on business or copywriting or marketing.

Nope. Works of fiction and nonfiction from authors, both past and present. If you want to write "good"... read good books. Or is that, write "well"?

Either way, there's no better tutor for spinning words than books that have already been spun.

I was reminded of this when working through my AWAI course, reading about A-list copywriter, Bob Bly, who stated his preference for books, movies and music. I thought about this and my preference for books right now seems to stem from copywriting, business building and marketing.  Bob Bly was quoted saying:

"You really need to read books on other topics. You need some history, some biography, and even some good fiction. Your writing, even you copywriting, will improve immensely."

Great advice from one of the best in Copywriting.

A final word on libraries...

I hope you've seen that a local library offers MANY resources to help you build your freelance business. Many are ramping up their services to keep pace and remain relevant.

But, some of you might be thinking, "Kel, there isn't a library near me. At least not one that offers these programs and services."

I get that. Research the opportunities local libraries in your state might offer. You may find out there's some resources that you can take advantage of, like access to their online resources for a small, annual registration fee.

I will close with this...

Research the opportunities your local library offers for building your business. You may find there's more out there than you ever thought available.

I wish you all the VERY BEST of web-writing success!!!

Monday, July 3, 2017

The 3 S’s To Making Stuff Happen for YOUR Business & for YOU

By: Kel Amstutz

The 3 S’s to Making STUFF Happen for YOUR Business & for YOU

Do YOU have BIG DREAMS for your business...but you hear yourself saying...

"How can I make this happen?" 

You are not alone in this thinking. Everyone gets stuck sometimes, but the thing about making what you want to happen in your business is that you NEED to be strategic about it. 

Here are 3 things that you have got to do when you are planning a new income goal or creating your money mindset


You should already be asking yourself questions about what your goals are. 
Now, it's time to GET SPECIFIC with your goal(s).  
Do not do anything else other than get specific, and I mean really specific

Allow yourself to DREAM BIG and be 100% honest with what you want to make happen

Don't just say 'I want to make a sale this month' or 'I want to have more money.'  
Say, 'I want to make 5 sales this month', 'I want to make $5,000 from my business this month', 'I want to work 25 hours a week 5 days a week'.  

This is how specific you need to be in order to get if you are going to make your BIG BUSINESS goals happen


Well, you need that level of clarity to know what you are working towards, to help you figure out what steps to take next, AND the universe needs that clarity, it needs to know that it needs to send you 5 clients this month. 

The second part of getting specific with your goals, is figuring out why it is important to you.

Your why is your driving factor and without it, you won't be able to gain the momentum or proper motivation in order to make this all happen.  

Once you have specific goals determined and know your WHY, 
you have got to now how you will stay focused on these goals. 


Being focused and staying focused on the end result that you are working towards is extremely important when it comes to making your income goals happen.  Of course, it is important to take time for yourself, have fun, and feel abundant, but you have to create a practice for yourself that keeps you focused on increasing your income.  There are going to be road blocks that will distract you with the newest fads or trends but you need to remain focused on your goals within your business.  

Remind yourself:
  • What can bring you money now?
  • What it feels like to make money today?
  • What it feels like to reach your income goal?
  • What can you do next to get a sale? 



Sometimes, starting something new, something that perhaps we don't know anything about, we can get discouraged and overwhelmed

Our mindset gets cloudy and we think "I can't make this happen" and fall into a state of inaction because you are unsure of things.  

So, how do you combat this overwhelming feeling?  

It's pretty simple, you educate yourself! 
  • Write down your questions and start googling.  
  • Don't ignore all the resources that are around you. 

Make a list of what scares you, or what you feel you don't know and then start researching, start reading. When it comes to the game of entrepreneurship, you need to be willing to put in the work and make things happen

So, what is your new income goal?  


Thursday, August 18, 2016

Are You Spinning Your Wheels, And Not Happy?

Lifestyle, Struggle
By: Kel Amstutz

I've always been to mature for my age. 

In some areas of my life, I have had to grow up fast or learn quick. (learning was not my strong suite)

I always tried to help others, even when I just couldn't.  
I tried so hard to fix some in my life, or change them. 

Then this thing called hindsight would hit me and I would realize that that just wasn't right. 

I had this voice, this inner knowing that was getting louder and louder, until I finally had to take a step back. 

I had to think about:
  • my life 
  • my goals 
  • my wants
  • my dreams



I grew into someone who started to think about the big picture when everyone around me was still just to day...without that same ambitions. 

Spinning your wheels is like forcing something

Putting forth extreme and restless effort...but the outcome just is not right for you or the situation

One day things might break down. 
One day it might all stop and you will NEED to turn around. 

You see, once we grasp that we hold the compass in our lives, and we navigate our own ship, life changes. Really changes.

Nope! I can't wait to be done with school in two weeks and then off to my dream job! Haters approval not needed! I have found something I love to do! It makes me happy to see I'm such an inspiration to all my haters :):
If you found this post interesting, I bet you’ll love checking out my other most popular posts:


 Here is my most popular eBook! 

I strongly recommend my eBook, The Social Media Manager Kit by Kel (w/ bonus) in order to get you started. It will include templates for emailing potential clients or those you landed a completed job with, it will allow you to focus and challenge you to keep moving forward. 

This life, working at home, being financial free and with my family, is something that I used to dream about

  • I am living it. 
  • I am loving it. 
  • I am making it my life! 

Need More Help?  

Check out my eBook, Make your Dream a Reality in 30 Days or Less! - a jump start guide with templates to get you ready, set and ROCKING this Social Media Manager gig! 

Friday, August 12, 2016

How To Make Your Blog Go Viral

Blogging, Lessons on working, Stay at Home Moms

by: Kel Amstutz

Last year, I posted a blog post that went viral. (much to MY surprise!)  

Today, I still see traffic in the thousands (on a daily basis) and from that one article! 

Since then, I have had a few more blog posts that are getting shared in the thousands.  The internet is filled with different niches that cater to different interests.  In today's internet landscape, it is a MUST as a blogger, that you formulate a strategy that CAN make your posts go VIRAL. 

Why is vitality or contagious content important today?  

Social media has become a staple in the attitude of online users. What this means is that with more shares and likes, more people can get to see your blog and be exposed to your brand. 

So how do you go about doing this? 

Know your Niche if You Want to to VIRAL

One of the best ways to turn a blog post viral is to know your audience, know their interests and their likes. You may even go the extra mile and create a really curious headline or talk about hated topics to get your audience to click through, out of curiosity. 

Research Contagious & Mass Appeal Topics

What are the things that let's say, many Moms want to know or read? Do they find it difficult to balance their time with work schedules? See, there are a lot of topics that can suddenly get a readers attention and it all depends on current lifestyles and circumstances, which fall within your niche.

Be Unique With Your Presentation

Can you be satirical with some of your comments when making a point? Do you have numbers that back up claims you have made on info-graphic style pieces?  These are different approaches on how you can get the attention of your readers. 

In fact, if you are simply following a generic line of thought, it is hard to be remembered especially now, where there are like, millions of bloggers who are throwing similar content to readers alike. 

Utilize Different Internet Marketing Strategies

Are you like most people and have multiple social media accounts? 

These are some of the best ways to promote your posts to an audience. Remember to always honor the platform that you are using. The same message won't work on EVERY social media site. You need to build a solid social media marketing strategy in order to increase your traffic exponentially to your blog. 

Find Your Voice

The right voice is important for ANY TYPE OF BLOG. Without a good voice, it is possible that you are NOT going to connect with your niche the way that you desire.  Though it takes practice, it is a skill that can be readily honed. It will NOT happen overnight, but with enough writing YOU WILL GET THERE! 

Be Consistent

Last, but certainly NOT least, you need to keep the content coming. You want to make it a habit for your readers to look at your posts and GET EXCITED

That can not happen without your commitment and consistency. 

 Here is my most popular eBook! 

I strongly recommend my eBook, The Social Media Manager Kit by Kel (w/ bonus) in order to get you started. It will include templates for emailing potential clients or those you landed a completed job with, it will allow you to focus and challenge you to keep moving forward. 

This life, working at home, being financial free and with my family, is something that I used to dream about


  • I am living it. 
  • I am loving it. 
  • I am making it my life! 

Need More Help?  

Check out my eBook, Make your Dream a Reality in 30 Days or Less! - a jump start guide with templates to get you ready, set and ROCKING this Social Media Manager gig! 


Monday, March 7, 2016

How to ROCK this Social Media Manager Gig

Friday, February 19, 2016

How to ROCK this Social Media Manager Gig

Hi all!  

As many of you have read, I have recently completed my eBook for The Social Media Manager Kit by Kel (yours truly) and wanted to make sure that Sweet Tea & Business focuses on making the Social Media Manager Gig you get ROCK! 

Social Media Management is one of the most in-demand freelance skills today

It may go by the name (alias) - community manager, social media content writer, brand manager, social media strategist - but many of the tasks, training and personality traits are the same a crossed the board.  This field has a low barrier to entry and is often requires "on the job" training due to the diversity within the jobs.

If you have what it takes, can provide a broad skill set, and a positive, can-do attitude with willingness to learn- well MOVE over because you are likely to ROCK this Social Media Manager gig with more work than you can possibly handle.

The SCOOP- What does it take to be a Social Media Manager?

First, you need to understand that you are the voice behind the social profile in many cases. You interact with the followers for the company you represent and are sharing information that gains interest. You keep tabs on the lastest news within the industry and it is your job to pass this information along to the audience to get them talking and engaging in the companies stance.

It is important for you to set realistic goals for yourself and the company. It is vital that you understand that responses to customers via email needs to be completed almost instantaneously

We, as a society, do not like to wait!  

We want our questions and/or concerns addressed ASAP. This causes us to turn to the social media channels to get our voices heard.  

As a Social Media Manager, you need to keep an eye out for issues that are happening directly or indirectly. 

(directly= @company) 
 (indirectly= mentions on blog/social media/ or not directly addressing company or you personally)

Please note that this is not always the BAD mentions either, you need to acknowledge the GOOD ones also!

Within this role, you need to be aggressive in order to keep growing and getting the client's name out into the public. This is where those trending topics, hashtags, and news can get your client ahead. 

It is your job to grow the community constantly!

Also, things change, almost constantly, right! Keep eyes peeled and ears opened for new platforms that might be of interest, privacy changes, ad policies and/or how competitors are connecting with their following, in order to stay ahead of the game.

 Going Above & Beyond- What does it take to ROCK this Social Media Manager Gig?

In order to stand out within this industry and really rock your business, you need to be able to bring new ideas to the table. This is definitely the challenging part of your position, addressing what you are doing that is just NOT working in front of your client, but it needs to be addressed, bottom line. 

If you find a tactic that you know will increase engagement or conversations, it is your duty to bring it up.

Learn how to report to your client. 

This position is a results-driven job.

Analytic's are a great way to track, and are available for almost every platform out there. It is vital to know where to find this information in order to provide it onto your client. 

This is something that I recommend doing "on paper" in order to dig further into what changes can be made and what is working based on facts!

It is also important to always be professional and consistent within this role.  Followers should never know that someone outside of the client's company is behind the social media reins.  And it is also important to be accountable. If things get flawed, own up to it and find a way to learn and grow from the experience.

Tools of the Trade (a few of my favs to get the JOB done and ROCK it!)
 For scheduling and staying on top of comments and mentions, I use Sprout Social. The reporting is amazing also.

In order to know what you are posting and when it is important to have an Editorial Calendar. This will save you time in the long run, allowing you a plan of action and giving you the expected results.

Images are everything in social marketing. I love the free tools at PicMonkey or Canva to help me with my photos and editing. 

Your first "job" is going to be marketing and branding yourself. This is your first "on the job training" exercise. You can be more aggressive on your own accounts and experiment with new strategies

Where do you get the Clients?

Well, I know this might be a shock of sorts, but Social Media is a great outlet to find potential clients. You can see who needs help, they will see how you work as well.  You will be up to date on best practices from your own experimentation. 

I recommend joining a few Facebook Groups that focus on Social Media Managers and ideal clients. 

When you start seeing results, you can see that word spreads fast. You will see your business growing. Don't be afraid to ask for testimonials or referrals as well. 

And a great way to get clients is to build a simple website. You can add the URL to your business cards and have a place to show off testimonials and your profiles.

I think that as a disclaimer, it needs to be said that this field is not for everyone. It has a set of challenges that can vary per job. You need to be accountable and willing to take risks. You need to be confident in your skill set and what you can offer. 

I strongly recommend my eBook, The Social Media Manager Kit by Kel (w/ bonus) in order to get you started. It will include templates for emailing potential clients or those you landed a completed job with, it will allow you to focus and challenge you to keep moving forward. 

This life, working at home, being financial free and with my family, is something that I used to dream about

  • I am living it. 
  • I am loving it. 
  • I am making it my life! 

Need More Help?  

Check out my eBook, Make your Dream a Reality in 30 Days or Less! - a jump start guide with templates to get you ready, set and ROCKING this Social Media Manager gig!

Originally Posted on by Kel Amstutz


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How To Make Your Blog Go Viral

Blogging, Lessons on working, Stay at Home Moms by: Kel Amstutz Last year, I posted a blog post that went viral . (much to MY surp...