How Are You Doing on Your 2022 Goals?

New years goals review

It’s January 1st!

I thought I would just check in to see how are you doing on your goal(s) this year?

I can’t believe it but we are already in the second half of the year… the minutes just have to be shorter by the year, I see no other explanation 😉

Or… might it be that we cram in so much stuff in life that we barely have time to sit down and just be….I’m thinking that is probably it.

Well either way, blink and here we are, it’s mid-August. 

I have always been a competitor, so if somebody challenges me, I’m basically always game.

Setting up goals is fun, setting actionable steps to make it happen is exciting… but sometimes taking action is not as fun, it can be scary, challenging, tough and hard.

This year, I had a few different goals, one big one I have accomplished. Completing and selling a course (Mind blown! I had no idea it would be sooo much work but – check, done.) 

I had and still have another big goaI, to be seen more. That to me means stepping out on social media more, networking more, looking for opportunities to speak and share my message of: Simplify, Organize and Prettify Business and Life…you know those important things 😉 

Well, I do it to make people Feel, Be and Do Better. That stuff is important. I can’t think of anything more exciting than people thriving (maybe designing things… but luckily they go together for me!)

But either way… it’s August, almost September! I haven’t done very well on it… nope. 

Luckily, I can and still am working at it.

How are you doing on your goals? Hit some? Struggling with some?

Were you excited to do something… but then lost steam?

It can be “January 1st” today, if you want it too.

You know what? It doesn’t need to be January 1 to start a goal. I know, crazy thoughts huh.

Today is really a fabulous day to start executing, to choose to do hard things, to achieve or accomplish things you barely think are possible. Because as you know… taking small little actionable steps towards it will have you there before you know it. 

So today, I’m simply here to cheer both you and I on!  Motivation doesn’t just show up, it comes from action. Get to work on your goals whether you feel like it or not, like it’s “January 1”, every day and the motivation will come.

If you slip, get into a slump, there is a new “January 1” tomorrow.

Let’s get the hard things done!

Business Highlight: HessConnect

HessConnect marketing agency
How often do we as business owners think we have all our ducks in a row and then realize we forgot one MAJOR step.


Yeah for some of us, it strikes fear into our hearts, simply because there is a lot to it. Once upon a time, it was a newspaper ad, questioning if we wanted full-page or half in that magazine…or if we should splurge for the radio advertisement. Now, we question: is TikTok our demographic? Or would we be better suited to hit Facebook, Instagram…or should I stay in my business lane in LinkedIn? It gets to be a lot.

Luckily, there are beautiful, magnificent minded souls attuned to marketing and all those big decisions. One of those is my great friend behind HessConnect, Viveca Hess. 

Some may think branding and marketing are one and the same…but they are not. Branding builds the foundation, which allows folks like Viveca to do the marketing, they do go hand-in-hand. 

Viveca Hess is a fellow Swedish American, she worked in a law firm as a lawyer but found herself managing the marketing and communications for them and thoroughly enjoying it. So, in 2009, she rerouted herself and started HessConnect. Today, HessConnect has created inspirational online content for lawyers.

HessConnect stays so much in the loop that people are able to learn from Viveca in numerous ways from podcasts, blogs, to seminars and teachings. The goodness is spread wide! 

What I adore about HessConnect comes down to the ease and straight-forwardness from Viveca. Of course, her dashes of silliness definitely brighten marketing up for me! All the success factors I consistently preach about are utilized. HessConnect knows who their ideal clients are, what they are offering and tells the viewer exactly what they want them to do. It’s hard to beat a business with this much clarity! 

Additionally, I love the use of brand colors HessConnect uses. The bold, statement red truly exhibits the power, strength and determination that the company will put into marketing any business. 

Another thing HessConnect understands for themselves where their potential clients are hanging out, and so the brand does not stretch itself thin being in places that won’t gain traction. This is clear through her specialization with LinkedIn, and that is where she hangs out and posts. We don’t see a ton of posts on Instagram, where her ideal clients (lawyers) are not.

Simply put, you don’t hang out in a crossfit gym when you are a gymnast.

To me, this shows a brand identity clarity that multiple brands struggle with.

I felt the need to highlight HessConnect because I do often find myself going to Viveca for a helpful tidbit or two, and even better, following her on LinkedIn gives you all that and more! 

So, if you are looking for help in the marketing realm, especially in LinkedIn give HessConnect a follow today!

Most Important Factors When Building a Website

key things to build a website

You might think, that is having a logo, the latest technology or the best wordsmith of copy…

But nope, if you don’t know this one thing…it really doesn’t matter if you have the most thought out logo, flashy site or that it’s optimized for search engines….

The most important factor is knowing the intention with your website.

Breaking it down you need to know: 

Exactly what you are selling (you know, how you are offering your service, what your process is, the cost etc).

To who (your favorite client, the ones that give you no headaches, pay you, know your worth and scream your name at the top of their lungs to the rest of the world).

And how you want them to take action (sign up for a free consultation, fill out a prospect form, buy something etc.).

Having this crystal clear will not only transform your website, it will set you up for any success you are looking for!

Do Your Own Brand Audit

Do Your Own Brand Audit

Let’s take a look at your website today to make sure it’s doing what you want it to do!

I’m going to go over the main things I take a look at when I do a website + brand audit.

If I know you correctly, you most likely want to jump right into learning the best tricks to setting up your website so it converts better and you get more clients. I get that.

But let me slow you down just a little bit, we need to dive a little deeper before fixing those things, to make sure we do them right.

You need to have a little clarity on your foundational pieces:

  • Who is it for?

  • What problem are you solving?

  • What do you know or do that is unique?

  • What is the benefit of working with you?

This is what we went over last week in part 1, so head to that article first if you haven’t had a chance to read it yet.

Then for the website, what is the main thing we want the user to do? The number one Call To Action (CTA)?

It could be something like this:

  • Call you/Schedule an appointment

  • Sign up to receive your content

  • Buy something

When we have those clear (or sort of clear as I know it can take a little time to be fully clear on them), we can get going on making that audit! 

I’m going to go over the top 7 things to look for, to be sure your site is set-up to convert the right clients:

  • Home page – without scrolling: does the user know if it’s for them, how you can help them and can they take action (in other words click a button and schedule a call, sign up to receive your content or buy something)?

  • Are you using a set color palette throughout or might your site look like a circus? I suggest having 1-2 main colors ,1-3 accent colors and 1-2 neutral colors. I would go with less rather than more so if you pick one for each category you are all good. Then stick with them throughout your marketing material and touch points.

  • Do you have enough negative white space to let the user easily digest your content?You don’t want your website to feel like you just stepped into a hoarders home! Yikes. Leaving plenty of space around your content and buttons might feel counterintuitive because it will make the user scroll a bit more, but it actually helps the user to take in the content easier even if they might need to scroll a little extra. 

  • I know you might sell multiple things but try to have one main CTA (Call To Action) and sprinkle it throughout to help the user to easily click that button and convert into a client. That is for example schedule a call, sign up to get your content or buy something

  • Are you being too wordy and not very clear on what you are trying to communicate? It’s much harder to say what you want to say with fewer words. I would recommend going through paragraph by paragraph and see if you can cross stuff out that doesn’t bring any extra goodness. Less confusion, more clarity – yes please!

  • Do you have original images or really good stock images that reflect who you are and what you stand for? The type of images will make a huge impact on your website.  Humans are visual creatures and even if you are analytical you actually take in way more with just looking vs reading. In fact, website users only read on average 28% of the words on a page.  Furthermore, 90% of the information processed by the brain is visual.

  • A little SEO goodness, have you named your images properly along with alt tags and descriptions?  There is tons of stuff you can do to optimize your website for search engines. This one is fairly simple, and does bring a lot of juice.  Instead of naming your images, tophomepage.jpg  name it KHD-Website-Brand-Audit-Clinet-Karin.jpg then all those words are searchable by the search engines simply by using keywords and putting a dash in between each.  Then also include a sentence in the alt tag describing what you see on the image and a bit more details in the description.

Alright if you look through all these you should be able to clean up your website to make more conversions.

If you want my help, we have a great offer where you get to chat with me over Zoom for almost an hour, we look over your site together to make sure it presents you properly and converts. When we are done with our call you get an action filled list from me, to update as well as I will check in a week or two later to make sure you made it happen.

You can sign up here to get that scheduled!

Other than that, I highly recommend you do 1 of these each week and before you know it your site will be performing better.

The Foundation to a Brand Audit

Foundation to a Brand Audit

Looks and first impressions are shallow.

Only, if they don’t have a strong foundation and a reason for being there.

We do make an impression on anyone and anything within seconds, so to tell someone to not judge the book by its cover is sort of hypocritical, it’s just how our human minds work.

My philosophy is to make sure you have a cover that reflects you and then let people judge away.

Which just made me think of a little incident a while back…

I was with a group of friends and acquaintances who like to dress very differently from me, glitter in the face, interesting headpieces, wild patterns, etc. not my jam but that doesn’t defer me from hanging out and loving them for expressing themselves. 

I was dressed in a way that reflects who I am and how I feel good, which typically means I’m in clothing that is more minimalistic, classic with clean lines and something with a touch of an edge.

Because there were more of “them” than me, I was standing out. One of them came up to me and said, in a slightly condescending way:  “You look very Swedish.”

I said: “Thank you!”

He was spot on. I am proudly Swedish. 😉

Knowing who you are and what jives with you is the first step in a brand audit. And even the first step in life. It’s something that can take some time to develop so don’t fret, go with your best guess until it feels right.

Keep being curious and questioning yourself.

 It helps to refine what really feels like you and how you want to present yourself, who you like to work with, what type of work you thrive on etc.

So now to make it apply to business…

Often when people think of brands, they think of a logo, but the logo is just one piece of the puzzle. The whole experience working with you/your company is part of your brand.

To make the puzzle, you need to know the foundation. Sort of like collecting your ingredients before you cook your meal.

So let’s collect some good ingredients by answering these questions:

  • Besides, the occupation you are in, how do you want to be presented? (For example, Swedish, kind, funny, bold etc)
  • Who can you help the most? Who do you understand? Who do you thrive on from working with? (Ex, new business owners, mid-career doctors, french-americans, stay at home dads…)
  • Which problem are you uniquely solving for those folks? (Ex, step-by-step guidance on how to gain financial freedom, the ____ framework to build a closet that has you ready to take on casual to dressy) 

Now make sure that is communicated on all touchpoints from email signature, social media platforms to website.

That might be easier said than done, so I’d like to invite you all to follow along as this is a 2 part article. I will be giving you all my tips + tricks for a website plus brand audit in the next one!

Business Highlight: Oculto 477

Forgive me Father for I have sinned….

Believe it or not that line can get you into the hippest speakeasy in San Diego that is Oculto 477. 

Where does Oculto 477 come from? Why it is the brain-child of its home! Right next to the second oldest cemetery in San Diego, with you guessed it–477 graves! 

Located within Tahona, Oculto 477’s entry is still a secret within the walls of the restaurant (and that’s part of the fun) and reservations are required. 

Entering Oculto, you are submersed into an intimate and ambient room where mixologists cater to your every tasting desire. Despite its location, Oculto sways away from Tahona’s mezcal love towards Prohibition-inspired cocktails giving choices from low-proof sippers to famous cocktails with a twist.

The website opens with a short video curated to entice viewers into the world of Oculto 477, from the cemetery to cocktail creation shots, you get a small taste of the experience. 

The whole look and feel of the site/brand creates a secretive and ghost-like aura while still maintaining the class and elegance of a lounge. Let’s be honest though the highlight is the cool, flippable menu, that KHD created. I know I love to look at bar offerings before my experience because it is so exciting!  I feel like putting this on the site for a speakeasy is incredible and daunting as these things are often kept secret. But I like it!

Finally, they offer a spot to make reservations which is important since that’s likely what you are there for! 😉

Now, for social media, recently the grid has been following a pattern with black + white photos down the center. I love to see that because these photos are often from the Prohibition era which Oculto is deeply influenced by. 

Other colored photos are a fantastical cocktail pictures that beg for you to take a taste. Or a quiet nook awaiting for you and a partner to sit in. 

The quality photos make all the difference, on the site and the social media platforms. I heavily encourage anyone building a website to get great photos precisely because a picture is worth a thousand words and you can use those words in numerous ways! 

If you find yourself in need of a rather nice “juice joint” (word for bar during Prohibition) then I highly recommend you make yourself a reservation for Oculto 477, and prepare yourself to confess a sin. 

My “WHY” in My Career

Do you feel like everyone talks about finding your “why” or that you have to figure out your purpose and in all honesty it feels like you don’t know, and it’s sort of stressful to not be clear on that?

I knew, it could't just be me.

See, for me it has just in recent years become clear.

And I want you to know, whoever has their why and/or passion clear, at one point didn’t.  

It’s part of the process. The fact that you are hearing the conversation means you are starting to open up to it or maybe you are open but, still not really sure what it is or why you need it.

I, for example, went the back-way around it. When I started my business, I didn’t know you could work doing something you loved, actually enjoy your work, and get paid for it. My business was a side gig and I definitely did not have a “why.”

Design, was and is one of my big passions, there is just something about putting things in the “right” place to create a certain feeling, it’s pure heaven to me, it makes me excited and gives me peace all at once.

So, there I was with a design degree, and a computer starting a business on the side, because I had to get a “real” job and nobody had told me (nor had I looked it up) that you could actually do design (my passion) for a living.

Instead, I was out there in the wild looking for a j-o-b.

Until I did so much designing “on the side” it took over the looking for a job part, which led to pursuing my work full-time.  However, it took me quite a while to really own that I was a business owner, doing what I love and actually that I wasn’t looking for a j-o-b.  It just seemed so surreal to do work I truly enjoyed. Wasn’t work supposed to be something you dread come Monday morning? Um nope, instead I landed perfectly in the world of being passionate about your work. And I could not have landed a better job. Thank you!

Who knew? All I did was listen to my gut, (get a few no’s) and it kept pushing me back to focus on my own firm.

It took me years to define my “why”, which is;  support clients to define their unique skills, thrive and make a greater impact with their business. I had to evolve, really hone in what makes sense to me, figure out who I enjoy working with and immerse myself in books, podcasts, networking, anything I could think of to learn more of what to really do.  

In addition, a few years ago I added a layer to my “why” after taking a course that really changed how I looked at business, it opened my eyes to giving back. The course explained how you could build in giving back into your service, it was like angels came down from the heavens and sang to me. Holy cow, I can do that now?! So I did.

It changed how I approached business and beyond getting to work with my passion, supporting a team and paying my bills, I got to make a greater impact… I couldn’t and can’t think of anything more beautiful.

My hope is that my story inspires you to find what really makes you tick or if you already found that, to perhaps look at what you can give back.

Greatness is not what you have but what you give.

Ps. If you are still freaking out about the idea of finding a “why”, start by going towards something that you are curious about, it just might lead you there.

Business Highlight: Classy

Classy is a software company that does good.

Okay, so what does that mean? 

Classy has developed software for online fundraising for nonprofit organizations. The entire idea started after the founder’s (Scot Chisholm) mother had breast cancer. A few of his friends had similar experiences so they organized a charity pub crawl for the American Cancer Society that raised $1000. 

They went on to organize a few more events like this but grew frustrated at the process. Chisholm concocted a mix of Evite, Myspace and Paypal to bring fundraising to digital life. However, the platforms could not handle it, so he sought help and built a custom application for the plan. 

Today, it is Classy, recently acquired by GoFundMe, so it’s the real deal!

They have over 2,500 clients including Shriners Hospitals, Teach For America, National Geographic, and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. 

As if that wasn’t cool enough! 

We have to talk, branding! 

The entire idea of the name “Classy” came from Anchorman, yes the movie. And that hit line, “Stay Classy, San Diego.” 

I love the simplicity of their site. Everything is straightforward. From the clear distinct font, to formatting. You can find everything within seconds. If you are searching for a way to be a fundraiser, or decide you would rather donate, easy scroll and you have numerous choices. 

This is a company that is making a greater impact in everything they do. They are making life easier for fundraisers and donors!

I am inspired by them!

I encourage you to take a look at their site and potentially do a little good yourself all at the click of a button!

11 Things to Help You Do Anything

When asked what I would have done differently if I were to get to do life, business again…

My first thought is, I’m not sure I would.

I thoroughly believe we are where we are supposed to be.  We have lessons to learn and things to figure out. Some things may take a bit longer than, perhaps, they should have, but really says who? If we are not ready to learn or even ready to look for the right answers, well, then we are not.  I do however, believe, it’s important to always look for solutions. And I’m thinking that’s why you are even reading this little tidbit. So I’m hoping I can hand you some support today.

First, if you didn't know. I want you to know, you can do anything.

It might not look exactly how you were thinking it would, or it might not be exactly the route you were planning to take, but it can be done.

If you have a big (or small for that matter) vision,  I have rounded up some thoughts that I believe are great tools to make it happen.


Connect with entrepreneurs, they are another breed in comparison to 9-5ers. Let me clarify that absolutely nothing is wrong with 9-5ers, it’s just a very different way of thinking. Sometimes it can be lonely in the entrepreneur world where friends and family might not get at all what you are doing and why you are doing it. Other entrepreneurs will, and they will challenge you in a good way.


Being ok in the uncomfortable is something that might not sound fun, but when you have done the uncomfortable just a few times, you begin to get used to it in order to take leaps in the direction you want to go.


Create habits to be organized from the get go. As your business grows, so does the disorganization and it makes it so much harder to catch up, vs if you develop tools to be organized from the start.  It saves you from a whole lot of unnecessary stress.


Be ok to be seen, I’m still working on this one, so this is a reminder for myself as much as it is for you.  You have knowledge to share, let the people who need it know. You are doing a disservice if you are not.


Ask questions and be curious, instead of looking at people in awe of how they live and do things, ask questions and listen to what they have done to get there and most importantly how they are thinking.


Be excited for change, we are born to change, for some reason change is often looked at as a bad word… it’s only a bad word if you don’t want to put the effort into creating something extraordinary.


Be hungry for knowledge, read more. If something is holding you back from something else, research it and learn about it. If you think of yourself as a non-reader, it’s time to remove that non part. It will be your best gift to yourself.


Your health. It is more important than anything you’ve got. If you don’t have health, you have nothing… Move every day, improve your cardio, strengthen your muscles and eat what fuels you, not just what tastes or looks good. [Oh and dance! 😉 ] 


Be with and listen to yourself. Your inner wisdom knows way more than you think.  If you think you know better, it will let you know with subtle to loud hints. If you listen, life somehow just flows.


Have a diverse group of friends and travel often. You will not expand your mind unless you expand your circle of friends and the people you meet.  There are people out there with a completely opposite way of thinking than you and believe it’s the most normal thing in the world. It’s wild, when you are challenged by that, like it blows your mind kind of wild. Yet, they want the same thing you want; to be understood, to be respected and loved.   


Which brings me to my last one.


Always, always be respectful and listen to the other person. Even if they are not respectful to you. This one is not easy, but by being the bigger person you are helping evolve humankind. A couple of reminders, if a person is upset with you, it most likely has absolutely nothing to do with you. If they don’t make sense, remember we have so many different experiences that guide us, cultural perspectives and connections to things, that  99.9% of the time, it comes down to communication and listening to each other. You want to be understood, so do they.

I hope this inspires you!

I would love to hear what you are working on or which one you liked the most.

Business Highlight: Wormwood

Emily in Paris has built a love for Parisian culture among viewers everywhere. With that rise, enters Wormwood, a French Bohme restaurant located in the middle of University Heights.

Specializing in serving the much-gossiped about Green Fairy (absinthe), Wormwood aims to educate while nourishing the minds of the San Diego with the area’s first absinthe bar.

Eating at Wormwood is a transitional experience, you truly feel as if you are sitting in a French café. Couple in a tasting of one of their exceptional absinthe choices with their insanely fabulous food and you are in Belle Époque Paris!  

I love design and interior design is no different. I had my party in the Secret Garden, a parking lot restored to a wonderful serene setting. Now, I can talk about the wonderful setting and experience that dining at Wormwood is all day, but of course I need to touch on their branding + website as well 😉!

 Wormwood’s branding is on point. From the small green fairy logo, that is extended into their menu. I adore their soft pieces, and the first photo on the website is perfect. I love how they use different flatware, textures and colors to bring a sweet, french, caring sentiment. However, what I find the most exciting about Wormwood is their efforts to educate its consumers, from absinthe classes to tarot reading classes. They are offering experiences surrounding their identity, which is electrifying.

Taking a small trip to and you find a site filled with beautiful professional photographs. There are little snippets of what to expect in “Le jardin secret”, absinthe options and a quaint absinthe carafe display. You will feel FOMO without even realizing that after one view of these photos!

Wormwood has a fabulous social media presence. This beautifully combines everything they worked to portray in person and online into the social media world. A soft, airy grid allows you to view happy customer’s testimonials, gorgeous drink options and delicious eats. Even better you get to meet the Wormwood genius’ on staff which helps give off a homey, known-you forever feel.