Week 27 – All business, no pleasure…or maybe a little pleasure!!

Being a hard worker is a truly admirable quality! But is that really enough to succeed? I don’t think so. Hard work is without a doubt a key ingredient but the recipe for success requires much more. In addition to hard work, I think curiosity and the desire to learn are just as important. Every year, as a gift to yourself, you should set a few new objectives. My main objective this year consists of improving my public speaking skills. That right there, is easier said then done..

A few months ago, I attended an Ottawa Young Professionals Toastmasters meeting and ended up joining the group shortly after! Last week, I presented for the first time and was I ever nervous! I spent the entire day overthinking, worrying and ultimately regretting putting myself in this situation! The funny thing is, the fact that I felt so uneasy about presenting is exactly why I had too! It’s called: practise, practise, practise….

While networking at this event, I discovered a practical business secret! One tool most savy professionals appear to have are….

Business Cards!

Why didn’t I think of that? I decided right there and then that I should look into designing my own!

Week #27 Challenge – Part 1: Design and order Vistaprint Business Cards!

Vistaprint is an online store where you can design a multitude of products. They specialize in affordable business cards but allow you to customize all types of business and promotional items including: shirts, bottles, bags, etc. 

Here are the steps I followed to design my business card:

1) Determine if you want a logo or not: I researched logos for a while and discovered the Logo Garden site. There for under $15 I designed and purchased the rights to my very own logo in a matter of minutes:

 

2) Select the card design: Vistaprint offers different business card grades from standard paper quality ($16.00 and up) to a thicker paper quality ($40.00 and up). They have all kinds of promotions, which means the cards can cost a lot less. Vistaprint offers a wide range of pre-designed card templates or, if you prefer, you can design your card entirely. I spent hours trying to play with the design.. Take your time modifying the images, text, logos, colours and get a feel for what you like!

3) Choose which information to display on the card: You can add as much or as little information on your card as you like! Typical information to include would be:

– Business Name

– Logo

– Slogan

– Name

– Address

– Website

– e-mail address

– Telephone/Fax number

I opted to keep my card design very simple! The main focus being the blog objective and website link.

4) Select extras: You can choose to add all kinds of interesting elements to your card such as finishes, greyscale, back print, etc. These come at an additional fee but they may be worth it! I opted for a metallic finish to highlight the gold colour on my card.

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5) A few promotional products perhaps? Now that your card design is complete, don’t forget to have a look at other fun products that you can customize. The website will even make recommendations based on the current style of your business card. I designed a few additional matching products and I am quite curious to see how they will turn out!

Have design questions? Vistaprint offers design support both online and on the phone. I had to contact them a few times and they were pretty helpful. One thing I found particularly challenging was matching colours from the Logo Garden site to those of the Vistaprint site since they used different colour coding systems. I resorted to an online colour converter to establish which codes to use in the end!

Now it’s a waiting game.. I plan on making an unboxing video of my purchases once I receive them! I am excited but a little worried they won’t look like I envisioned.

With all that hard work, I decided to do something that my inner child has been dying to try! I grabbed my outdoor blanket, a water bottle, my work phone (I was on call that night) and headed to the park at dawn! But why?

Week #27 Challenge – Part 2: Watch a movie in the park!

My neighbourhood counsel was hosting an outdoor viewing of the French movie entitled: “Le petit Prince”! As I arrived, I couldn’t help but giggle. There you have a 28 year old woman about to watch an animated movie surrounded amongst families and many children. I didn’t mind at all, aside from the vicious mosquito war, sitting outside in the cool breeze and watching a fantastic movie was a memorable and relaxing experience!

Important Note: If you plan on watching a movie outside, bring bug spray! I hadn’t considered this and was getting EATEN ALIVE!! Luckily, a sweet mother sitting next to me offered to cover me in bug spray she had brought! I would never have survived the movie without it, I woke up the next morning with over 30 mosquito bites.. they are terrible!

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