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  • Father
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  • SMB Advocate
  • Roadie/Soundguy for Wife's Band

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It's not Cheap... It's Frugal...

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Before a scandal derailed him as a TV chef and cookbook author, I really loved Jeff Smith's show and line of books under his "Frugal Gourmet" title.

I always loved the oxymoronic title... How could a "gourmet" be "frugal?" Mind, blown!

I come not to remember a foodie, but to address some concerns raised by my internet friend Laura Click in a recent blog post.

I mention Jeff Smith because Laura goes after "cheap" social media marketing agencies.
I work with start ups and small businesses and see how troublesome marketing dollars are for them in general and specifically when we get into the wild west of social media.

I want small business owners to get into a frugal mindset... if you REALLY don't have the money for a marketing budget, especially as a startup, then you need to think FRUGALLY.

1. Find someone who will give you the tips and tricks without the cost. There are plenty of people who will take a look a your business and give you a quickie consult that could be worth plenty of time and money for you.
 2. Look at what your competitors are doing... try it. Small at first. Figure out if it is worth your time. Experiment in their sandbox and innovate with other ideas.
3. Use the cheap tools: hootsuite, bufferapp, Gmail as a CRM. All basic ideas that won't cost you a dime to experiment with online marketing efforts.
4. Try the paid advertising online! Google, Bing, Yahoo, Facebook all offer free credits towards their service. To make it worth your while might take some coaching, but see tip #1.
5. Take Laura's list and do it... don't hire for help. Bring in a consult if need be, but don't become attached to one agency, person etc. (this avoids the going of business problem).

If you are Frugal and thinking along a DIY way... you might be able to make it work, if nothing else, you will know more about what you need to focus on when you do need to hire outside help.

Remember just because you do something frugally doesn't mean it's cheap and doesn't mean it isn't worth doing.

Thank you, Mr. Hively

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I had never heard of John Hively before.
But I was looking for a quote about aging and found this:

Wow... I'd not heard this one bit of my psyche put so succinctly before- but thank you Mr. Hively.

I turned 40 last year. That sentence does not cause me any great emotions except to wonder the same thing I have told folks for pretty much the last twenty years.

"I can't believe that the world has allowed me to enter the adult workspace..."

From the moment I felt the freedom of not living under parental control and being loose in the world, I have hardly felt a day like I belonged it.

This isn't to say I have not learned your rules and adapted to how to "be an adult." I never felt like Peter Pan and wanted to stay young, but I always felt like I had pulled something over on the rest of the world. Like a kid who stayed up too late for the first time. That realization that I could, still wondered "why?"

I guess it seems slightly irrational. Is it any less so than the fact that I look at my nine-year old year old daughter and still see the baby girl? I KNOW she is nine and quickly approaching 30, but I will always see that little baby face. As proud of  the little person my nine-year old daughter is becoming, it is hard to forget where she came from. Thankfully, she seems to have inherited this little part of my psyche that says growing old is ok, just don't grow up.

So as my body is clearly beginning to tell me that I have grown up, I sometimes have to remind myself that I'm still a stranger in this strange land of being an adult. Thankfully, I do have a little reminder and a great partner who are getting older, but haven't grown up.