Author: Bonnie Harris

Like a lot of little girls, I was absolutely horse crazy starting at about the age of 6. I took horseback riding lessons, I loved burying my face in the nape of their neck and I even didn't mind mucking out the stalls.  My father was a doctor and so we had some means -  I begged him for a horse. He promised me when I turned 16, he would buy me a horse. That's the danger of a promise. People might remember that you made it.

If you run small business or you're a consultant or salesperson, you've had "that client". You know, the one that turns your stomach into knots when you see their name pop up on your phone screen. The last two years have been tough for many small businesses, and mine has been no exception. I've taken on smaller pieces of work, gone outside my wheelhouse and even put up with some abuse in order to keep Wax Marketing going and to preserve the indepedent lifestyle I have built for myself.  A couple months ago I had to take a stand however with a couple of my clients. I told them I wasn't sure their business was good for my business. And we parted ways.

The number of posts on Beth's blog this week convinced me that finding inspiration and promoting creativity in our work is something we're all interested in. How many times do have my editorial guidelines beautifully laid out, clever themes to follow and great photos but then I sit down and BLANK - there's nothing flowing. I've been fortunate to work with many writers who simply don't have time for writer's block - one MPR reporter comes to mind - who have taught me some great ways to keep moving when you have to write on a deadline. Here are my favorite ways to get back in the writing saddle:

Whether you’re a writer or not, finding the time to sit down and write is hard, especially if you're running your own business.  Finding  inspiration for writing can be even harder. If you aren’t a writer by trade, you do have the opportunity to decide exactly when and where you want to write for your blog – but there are some things that can help you prime the pump.

There are about as many interviewing techniques as there are people who conduct interviews. Everyone is different, so that provides opportunities for us to learn from one another. I hope to offer a few ideas of my own for your consideration. Some of these ideas might seem a bit odd. That’s okay, because it’s the odd stuff that gets us thinking, and if it works to our benefit, then it quickly becomes perfectly normal. So, let’s look at what some might consider odd interviewing techniques. As odd as they may seem, they can help us make a nice match between our enterprise and the candidates who make themselves available to fill positions we have to offer. Better yet, perhaps these techniques will help you find someone who can make their own position within your firm, even if you don’t have an opening. Does that seem odd? Yes? Okay, then let’s discuss that as our first of many interviewing techniques.

 Ayushman Jain is a 20-something IBM engineer and writer from Bangalore.  No idea why he agreed to write for the Wax blog but we appreciate his insider info on SEO and other propeller-head stuff So you've laid the foundations of a social business successfully by creating a neat, slick website? What next? You'll probably want to make sure your website looks like a  rush hour street in downtown Manhattan (read traffic). Most people know that search engine optimization (SEO) techniques help in achieving just that. But not many know that their techniques are quite dumb and actually pulling their website down on the rankings. Read on to find out just how you could be killing your website's chances of being a search engine's chum:

By Beth Graddon-Hodgson Although the Google Panda update has been responsible for the decline in ranking success for many sites – in some cases,  for justified reasons – it has helped reinforce a number of important concepts that apply to blogging. What Google has been so kind to reinforce is  a number of concepts that we’ve discussed before on this blog. But considering there’s now more demand to put the related strategies for use, it is worth revisiting. Whether you’re just starting a blog or already have one setup, there are some things you should implement now.  Panda reminds us of the power of these simple strategies:

Occasionally I’ve gone outside the boundaries of this blog and talked about management, not just pr and marketing. Since those posts always seem to get a ton of attention, I’ve decided to take the liberty of tossing in a few more for a  “management monday” post here and there. After last week’s jobs report it may seen odd to start with interviewing tips. But despite the report, many of my small business clients ARE hiring again (and I think we’ll see that reflected in the numbers later this summer). So if you’re rusty on interviewing after a couple years of working just to keep the ship afloat, small business blogger Clair Schwan offers up some great advice! By Clair Schwan Let’s look at some useful tips on interviewing prospective employees. More specifically, let’s look at how to make the best use of your time before interviews even start. Interviewing potential employees is time-consuming, and picking good employees is essential, so we need to make effective use of our time to ensure best results from this important effort. If we screen our prospects, we’re likely to make better decisions in less time. And, the time we save can be invested in the finalists we choose to interview.