Moment of truth: I had no clue what content marketing was when I started working at Rough Draft Solutions (RDS).Thankfully, after a year of working at RDS, I’ve got an idea of what content creation strategies businesses should be using.

The amount of advertisements we see each day is excessive. Businesses are striving to show off their brands and attract potential customers, but if they are strictly relying on self-promoting ads, they are missing the mark. If companies want to make a meaningful impact on their customers and extend their reach, they need to produce value-focused, authentic, and hard-hitting content.

Staying on task isn’t exactly every business owners’ strong suit. You may have started your workday with the best of intentions, only to find that by the end of it, you didn’t accomplish anything on your list. And while it’s easy to blame outside distractions for the inability to focus, more times than not, a lack of a solid plan is the number one reason we fail to be productive.

The truth is, the secret to maximizing productivity isn’t complicated. It simply requires that you take a few simple steps to get organized and plan your day effectively.

Thinking about all we have to be thankful for is a good way to do a reality check and inspire us to tackle the end of the year deadlines with smiles on our faces. This year has been one for the books, and I am humbled by all the wonderful things that have happened. My team has grown from one to three, we have surpassed our strategic goals, and most importantly, we have had the privilege of working with more than 30 talented businesses. In honor of Thanksgiving, we wanted to take a moment to share what we are most thankful for.

Words matter. The way we talk about our business matters. The way we write about our business matters. The way we communicate with our customers matters. While people may not remember exactly what we say, it is a well-known fact that they will remember how we make them feel. Here are a few important questions to ask yourself as you consider how you make your customers feel with the way you communicate with them about your business. 

  • Do you try to make your customers feel like a valued part of your business community? Do they know you care about their opinions? Do they hear from you consistently enough to feel remembered? 

Thanksgiving is less than a week from now. The last few days I have been consumed with thoughts of gratefulness and happiness about owning my own business. I can't explain the value of the freedom that it brings to my life. I wanted to share a few of these little bits of happiness with you. What are you most thankful for professionally? 

8 things I am thankful for (in no particular order): 

  1. The ability to own a business and the creative opportunities available to me. Working with such a variety of small businesses and helping them share their stories is so rewarding. One of my favorite parts is sitting down with a customer and hearing their story and helping them articulate it in a way that will engage their customers. 


Happy Friday! It has been raining all morning and all I want to do is go sit in front of the fire with a hot cup of coffee. Ah, coffee. I haven’t had any in two and a half weeks! (If you know me well, you know I used to drink at least 3 cups a day.) I won’t get into it but I have been on an awesome detox directed by Back to Basics Healthy Living and no caffeine is allowed (amongst many other things). It is quite a feat considering all we have accomplished here at Rough Draft Solutions without any coffee involved! Despite over extending my will power during this detox, I am feeling better than ever. -- All joking aside, this weekend we are headed out of state and it is threatening to snow. Way. Too. Early. If it snows, I am definitely going to give in and have a nice hot cup of jo.

Anyhow, how was your week? What was your biggest accomplishment so far? Around here we have been having fun finishing up some great projects.


How are you doing on this fine Friday afternoon? I hope it finds you doing well and enjoying the beautiful weather we are having here in Michigan. What are you up to this weekend? I have family coming into town and we are going to spend as much of it outside as possible! Whatever you are up to, I hope you get the perfect balance of relaxation and adventure.

To switch gears completely... I must apologize for something. The mistake I have made is something I advise my clients against and that I always thought I understood. 

Happy Friday!

How has your week been? It is hard to believe that we are halfway through August! The project list has been pretty full over here at Rough Draft Solutions – but that is a wonderful thing! In the time that I have been a business owner I have learned one thing for sure - there is an ebb and flow to the number of projects that come to fruition. It seems the art of business success is in managing those ups and downs and establishing systems to help create a balance between actual project work and the effort to find work for the future.

Today marks the first day of August. As many of you probably can relate, I feel like the summer is just speeding by. July was filled with meeting a lot of great business owners and starting some new and exciting projects. August looks very promising in terms of taking on challenging projects, building strong relationships and taking this business to the next level. Throughout the past few weeks I have become more aware of how thankful I am to be a business owner. There is so much creative freedom and fulfilling responsibility that comes with owning a business. I'd like to start the month by creating a list of a few things that I am thankful for in terms of this company. What are you thankful for in your job?

Happy Fourth of July Weekend!

What a great time of year to remember how privileged we are to live in such a great country. I hope your weekends are filled with your favorite things and your loved ones. Take advantage of the opportunity to show your American Pride and wear a little red, white and blue. I have a feeling that Instagram, Facebook and Twitter will be taken over by pictures of American flags, burgers, brats, beaches, campfires and fireworks.

I hope you all have a wonderful long weekend!

AuthorAmanda Washburn

As a way to commemorate the launch of Rough Draft Solutions, I thought it would be appropriate to post about new beginnings. Rough Draft Solutions is built on the principle that the best time to start improving is now. When I was deliberating about starting this company I came across the following quotation by Hugh Laurie.

"It's a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you're ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. And you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any." 

What a profound thought that is - that today is better than tomorrow and today, we can do more than we didn't do yesterday. There may never be "the perfect time" and so we should stop procrastinating and just get going.