When people ask me what I enjoy most about my job, the first thing that comes to mind is the community that’s sprung up around our Biz Ladies series. From the first women I met in Brooklyn who inspired me to create the series to the hundreds of women I met in person when we took the series across the country in 2008 to the many friends, colleagues and collaborators we’ve met through the online column, this area of the site has been one of the most rewarding of all. I’m always inspired by the people who share their stories with us and open up about what they’ve learned from good (and bad) moments in their careers. But I’m most excited by reading your reactions to posts and by hearing the personal stories you’ve all shared with us in comment sections and on social media through the years. So today I wanted to share the posts that have been the most popular over the last few years. These are the posts you’ve commented on the most, returned to and continue to share over time. I hope they’ll be inspiring or helpful to get some last-minute summer business planning going or set you off on the right path for a successful fall! xo, grace
Click through for all 10 posts after the jump!
10 Golden Rules for Getting Paid as a Creative: It’s no surprise that most of us are concerned with the best and most efficient ways to handle the financial end of our businesses. Without paid invoices, it’s tough to keep your company going. This post breaks down the 10 rules to follow to make sure you’re paid fairly and on-time.
Biz Ladies Profile of Anna Bond: Anna Bond of Rifle Paper Co. is an inspiring success story. She has grown her company to international success and she’s expanded to design not just stationery, but home goods like wallpaper and tabletop goods, too. Her interview in our Biz Ladies series was an open and honest look at how much time, work and trial and error go into creating a business like hers.
5 Systems Secrets that the Pros have Mastered: This post looks at the basics that most business pros have mastered that help them run their companies smoothly. From setting clear goals to developing realistic timelines, this post is a great primer on the major areas of your business that deserve time and attention.
Making a Career Transition: The fact that this post is in our top 10 of the past two years makes me so happy. Primarily because it was written by our own Biz Ladies editor, Stephanie Todaro. Stephanie is making her own transition into becoming a full-time photographer and designer and her story is not just inspiring, it’s full of useful tips, techniques and ideas that will help you make your own transition from one job to another (hopefully your dream job).
Staying Creative Without Colleagues: One of the hardest parts of running any business on your own is finding ways to stay inspired and keep growing when you don’t have regular interactions with other people. This post looks at all the ways you can stay inspired working on your own, from making time to take trips to avoiding your own creative ruts at home.
Saving for Major Life and Business Events: It can be scary to start a new business for a number of reasons, but one of the biggest is often having to sacrifice your savings to get things started. This post looks at the importance of still finding ways to save here and there so you’re protected for major life and work events (both good and bad).
Profile: Elsie and Emma of A Beautiful Mess: These talented DIY blogging partners were a recent interview on DS but were an instant hit with readers. They walked us through the birth of their site, work partnership and how they stay inspired and make sure their site continues to grow without losing the spirit and quality of their early days.
Profile: Libby VanderPloeg: Just like Stephanie’s post on transitioning to a new career, this post makes me smile because Libby is our go-to illustrator for a number of columns on Design*Sponge. Based in Greenpoint, Libby is a talented illustrator and artist who has contributed to a wide range of publications. Her back story was incredibly inspiring to not just me, but all of you, because she has always pushed herself to be the best version of herself and share the best possible version of her work. The comments from her parents in the article are so sweet and not to be missed.
Why Cheap Can Be Bad: One of the most challenging aspects of running any business is asking for the price/rate/amount you know you deserve and need to survive. This article breaks down why it is SO crucial to be paid the full amount you’re owed and why it’s bad to lower your prices in the long term. This is a MUST, must read for any new business owner.
Profile: Elizabeth Pape: I knew I loved Elizabeth when I read that she was also a devotee of Seth Godin. Her passion for her design work is matched by her passion for learning more about the business-end of her work and it has paid off when it comes to the success of her company. I found her story personally inspiring because she is someone who has learned as she’s gone and accepted the “sticky” parts of running a business. Elizabeth has managed to learn from those tough spots as much as the moments of great success.