Hi Sydney,

Welcome to the first issue of The Simple Edge, my monthly newsletter for female solopreneurs and small business owners.

I know what it's like to be bombarded with a lot of emails from a lot of different people... all of the time.

However, I'm also pretty good at finding and sharing creative solutions to business and personal challenges. My favorite ones are those that are either free or very low cost because, well, that's just how I roll!

So, while I reserve the right to send out targeted emails on specific topics or upcoming events as I find out about them (especially those that are time-sensitive), I decided to create a monthly newsletter so I can bring together lots of juicy content and resources I'm creating or finding and share them with you each month.

By now you may be thinking what's with the name? Well, "simple" is one of my core values... "elegantly simple" to be precise, but adding that to a newsletter title didn't seem so elegant, so I kept it simple (LOL). The Collins Dictionary defines having an edge as an "advantage that makes them stronger or more likely to be successful than another thing or person."

That's my commitment to the women I engage with (and to myself) in a nutshell.  My mission is to find and share strategies, tools, and resources that will save you time, money, and stress by keeping things  simple, authentic, and efficient, which will allow you to focus on what's really important, in  business and in life.

Each monthly issue will include a feature article, links to valuable tips and resources (many of which I use personally), and upcoming events and programs.

If you find my newsletters useful, or you just enjoy my quirky writing style, please forward them to other women you know who might also find them useful or entertaining. There's a link at the bottom they can use to sign-up for my newsletter list so they can start getting their own copy each month moving forward.

Feature Article: The Gift of Imperfection

As I sat down to write this first article, I realized that I had no idea what I wanted to say. So, while I was waiting for inspiration I started reading a book that's been sitting on my shelf for a while that I suddenly felt compelled to start reading.

Before I finished the introduction, I knew what this article would be about...


It's a strange Japanese word for a beautiful concept. Associated most often with aesthetics, the term usually refers to a way of seeing, acknowledging, and honoring beauty in everything around us, just as it is, imperfections and all. 

Deepal Kanti Das explained the term this way in a post on LinkedIn“Wabi denotes simplicity, minimalism, rustic beauty, solitude, frugality; while Sabi is about finding beauty and characters in objects that show marks of age and experience – like the withered tree in the park or the cracked spine of a library book, or parched shape on the wall or the moss between the cracks in the paving stone.”

I’ve come to realize that the Wabi-Sabi concept isn’t limited to physical objects, but also offers a compelling perspective for the business world, particularly for solopreneurs and small business owners who have the opportunity to decide how we want to view the marketplace and how they want to show up in it.

Each day I’m bombarded with social media messages, unsolicited emails, and worst of all are the video ads that interrupt me in the middle of listening to meditation videos on YouTube. Every one of them is advertising some “expert’s” product or service to show me their fool-proof way to quickly become a 6-figure business in an insanely short period of time. The amusing (and sad) thing is that even though the solutions are all different, all insist that their solution is the absolute best. How is that even possible? It’s not.

It's taken me a while to get here, but I’m finally completely clear on how I want to show up for my clients, colleagues, and others who may be neither but who find me somehow. 

I don’t have the perfect marketing and promotion strategy (or budget). I don’t have the perfect face for video. I don’t have the perfect plan to create a multi-million-dollar business by the end of the year. I don’t have the perfect solution to every problem.

But that's OK, because what I DO have is a sincere desire to show up authentically every day, with every person I meet, imperfections and all.

I DO have the intention of managing my business as simply and efficiently as possible, focusing on the things that truly matter and letting go of the rest, even if others think I'm dooming myself to failure because I'm doing it the way my faith and my inner wisdom guide me.

I DO have a vision of empowering women to find the courage to reject the impossible ideal of striving for perfection and to simply be the best they can be at any given moment, with what they have at that moment, and then strive to be a little bit better every day. 

The question I ask myself each morning is not “How can I make more money today?” It’s “Who can I serve today?”

How does the idea of exploring a Wabi-Sabi lifestyle in both your business and personal life resonate with you?  Shoot me an email and share your thoughts.

Tips & Resources

Every month I'll be sharing tips and/or resources, most of which I use personally, to help you create less stress and more joy in your business. If you've got tips and/or resources you'd like for me to explore and possibly share in a future issue, please let me know.

(NOTE:  In the spirit of full disclosure, some of the resources I share will be with companies that I have an affiliate relationship with. This simply means that if you follow the link I provide and end up purchasing the product, I'll receive a small commission. Rest assured that any commissions I receive come from the company's marketing and promotions budget, and are never passed on to you.)

  • The Savvy Solopreneur - a curated digital e-zine. I'm excited to invite you to check out a digital e-zine of articles chosen specifically for female solopreneurs and small business owners. I sift through dozens of new articles each day and only publish those that seem both timely and relevant. I do the searching for valuable content so you don't have to. Be sure to bookmark The Savvy Solopreneur and check back often for new articles.

  • Riipen - Virtual college student interns to help you with your business. This is currently my #1 resource to share. I think of Riipen as an online dating service that matches employers of all sizes (including solopreneurs and start-ups) with undergrad and graduate students from colleges and universities in the US and Canada to provide virtual internship opportunities to benefit both. Employers benefit from getting enthusiastic students (under the leadership of their professors) to conduct a wide variety of projects (think research, social media strategy, graphics, business plans, and much more!) The students gain real-world experience that also fulfills a course requirement for them. It's the ultimate win-win, and most importantly for you as the employer, nearly all of the internships are unpaid, which means you're getting an incredible resource AT NO COST TO YOU! Sign up for Riipen here, and after you do, reach out to my contact CJ Gurman at cj.gurman@riipen.com and he'll be happy to give you a demo of the platform and help you set up your first project scope. Be sure to tell him that Sydney sent you! :)

  • AbeBooks - The best online used bookstore. I miss the days of walking into a dusty old used-book store and coming out with all sorts of treasures. Those days are probably long gone, but AbeBooks is the next best thing. It's been my go-to bookstore for years. The search feature if you're exploring new topics is not as comprehensive as Amazon's, so unless I know exactly what I'm looking for, I search on Amazon first and then search for specific titles at AbeBooks. I've never been disappointed when I notice how much cheaper the same gently used book is at AbeBooks. Of course the downside is that AbeBooks doesn't have lightning fast delivery like Amazon usually does, but I'm almost always able to find the book I want with free shipping, which usually takes 8-10 business days, but it's worth the wait. I don't typically buy fiction so I can't speak to how they stack up on novels, but I'm almost always able to find a non-fiction book I want for research or personal interest. Be sure to bookmark AbeBooks!

  • Foreceipt - An easier way to prepare for tax time. It's probably too late for this resource to be of much use for filing your 2021 taxes, but now is the perfect time to start using it so that it'll save you hours of time and anxiety as you prepare to file your 2022 taxes this time next year. Foreceipt is an awesome tool that I've been using for the past few years to manage my receipts for business expenses. When I get a printed receipt, I can scan it with the app on my phone and it sends it to my account. If I receive a receipt by email, I can simply forward the email to my account. When I access my account online, I then categorize the transactions. Foreceipt stores all of the transactions, including an image of the scanned or emailed receipt for later reference and I can export the transactions to an Excel spreadsheet that I maintain with all of my end-of-year tax documents. Try Foreceipt for FREE and if you sign up, we both get one month free! ($3.99/mo or $39/yr for the individual plan).

Upcoming Events & Programs

  • Wounds to Wings Summit: Activate the Sovereign Woman Within (March 7-9)My awesome coach and dear friend, Blanca Vergara, is hosting a powerful 3-day virtual summit for women next month. Her passion is helping women heal from what she calls "generational female trauma" and she's put together a line-up of 10 women (including herself) to share their insights on some powerful themes to help women overcome a lot of challenges that uniquely impact us as entrepreneurs. It'll prove to be a transformative experience and it's TOTALLY FREE! Click here to learn more and to register.

  • Calm the Chaos. I'm extremely excited about two new coaching programs that I'm preparing to launch. There will be a 3-month jump start and a 6-month deep dive program, both of which focus on some major, but often overlooked, root causes of much of the overwhelm, exhaustion, and stress that women trying to do it all face every day. Stay tuned for more information. I can't wait to share these new programs with you!

How to connect

Have questions or want to share feedback or suggestions for future issues? I'd love to hear from you:

Website: www.sydneytylerthomas.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/coachsydney
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/sydneytylerthomas/
Email: coachsydney@retirementdivas.com

Want to discuss ways we might work together? Schedule a virtual coffee chat with me

P.S. Please feel free to forward this newsletter to others you know who may find it useful.

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