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Play your own game!

It’s football season!

That was reason to celebrate in my house. My husband is a football fan. He’s a fan of most sports. And our local team, The Washington Football Team, won.

It’s been interesting to watch is happening to sports in our time of COVID-19. We’ve seen stadiums and racing parks filled with cardboard cutouts of people. Fake crowd noise.

I live in a home where “Sports Center,” “Inside the NFL,” and similar shows are often on the television. I am sure some of you can relate. Most often they become “white noise” to me.

Sometime back I heard a conversation about a specific football player, whose name I don’t remember. One of the commentators said that this player needed to be more careful not to get caught up in the game around him.

Watch the comparisons

As I heard that, I thought about how easy it is to do that as creative arts entrepreneurs.

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Morning Rituals Are a Powerful Start to Your Day

Do you have a daily habits?

I am sure you have some. A habit starts as a decision that you make. Over time you stop making the decision to do this thing but continue to do it anyway. Like brushing your teeth or starting your car or putting the dishes away.

How about rituals?

I think of rituals as mindful practices that you make that can become habits. I am sure you have rituals.

For me, a morning ritual is about self-care and setting myself up for a successful day. When I find that if my routine is altered somewhat and my ritual upset, my day can seem off. I do not feel like I have the same level of success.

How do you create a ritual?

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Is it time for a new box of crayons?

For many years I hosted an annual End of Summer/Back to School party for my nieces complete with a selection of back-to-school supplies.

Do you remember how much you loved the smell of the new box of crayons?

When I would search for supplies for my nieces, I’d look for a new treasure for myself.

Of course, I’m convinced that I will find the perfect tool that will solve my organizational problems and instantly improve my time management issues.

It never happens for me. How about you?



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Reclaim Your Creative Energy

reclaim-creative-energy

I am really a very organized person. I know where to find what I need. I could say, “A place for everything, and everything in its place,” only that is not quite exactly true.

While I am organized and I know where everything is, I can become someone who is consumed by stacks of this and that. Yes, I know what is in the stacks, but all those stacks are robbing energy from me.

When the space is clearer, so is my mind. When my mind is clear, I will work better.

I know this to be true. I also know that once I start working in a clear, clean, clutter-free environment, new opportunities show up for creativity and for business.

Why would I — or you — not want this to happen?



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Getting to the Sale

Early in my career as quiltmaker, I sold my work.

I took commissions, I did juried craft shows, and I was the only quilter in a fine arts co-op with a storefront.

I saw my share of objections to sales. I still see them today. And, today, with the coronavirus changing our sales process, you might even see more objections.

The price is too high. I need to talk to my spouse first. I can’t make a decision today. I need to look at other items. I need to touch the fabric or see it in person. I’m not sure I have space in my house.

I’m sure you’ve heard some of those and others.

Here are some ideas on how to get past buyer objections so you can get to the sale.

Anticipate objections

Whatever the objection, you can think of it as an opportunity to educate your buyer.

Look at the most common objections you get and address them early in the sales process.

For example, if you are often asked how to hang your art, talk about that before it comes up. If your sales are wholesale, explain your terms. If someone wants to see if your art fits in their space, let them know if this is/is not possible. If someone wants a different color, are you amenable to reproducing your work? You may even have written material that answers some of these questions with the display of your work at a show or gallery.

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Set Your Business GPS!

biz-gps

Recently on my way to Maryland’s Eastern Shore, I got caught in a mass of slow traffic. Anyone from these parts knows we only have one way to reach the beach, and that’s using the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in Annapolis. Its two spans date to 1952 and 1973 and can’t handle today’s traffic. Slow-downs and waits are a normal occurrence, particularly during the summer, so I try to time my trip to avoid them. Despite my best efforts, I was stopped.

Because of the nature of the journey, my GPS isn’t of much use. It can’t re-route me across the water! As I edged along, I thought about the GPS you set for your business.

The beginning and end points

Your car’s GPS won’t work without a starting and ending point. It’s the same in your business. You need to know where you are now and where you want to go.

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Grow Your Business With a Business Journal

Business Journal

One of my favorite practices as a creative arts entrepreneur is to keep a business journal. As the leader of your business, you have so many hats to juggle that it helps to have a place to track those ideas. It also helps you make decisions about where to grow your business and yourself.

I know that my clients who keep a business journal, find it extremely valuable, a real difference-maker in their businesses. This is true regardless if journaling is done in a pretty book, on an iPad, or with our weekly Success and Strategy Summit tool.

Have you been putting off journaling for your business? Here are six reasons why you should start:

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The power of a pause

You’ve spent the past three months either staying close to home, sheltering in place, or some variation of that. You’ve given yourself to others during this time. Perhaps you were unexpectedly homeschooling. Or caregiving in your home for someone who was sick. Or sharing your workspace with your spouse. Or just worrying about keeping your life and business going. 

Add to that the racial and political turbulence that came to a head in the past couple of weeks. Perhaps you were one of the many who participated in peaceful protests over the weekend. Or maybe you simply paused social media on #blackouttuesday. 

If you kept up with any of what has been going on in our world, you can see that it’s noisy. Emails, blog posts, podcasts, traditional news outlets.

I recently read that the “typical” person receives 120 emails a day. That same person spends 11 hours a day connecting online with media. On a daily basis, you can read 1,331 newspapers, listen to more than 550,000 podcasts, and read more than 2,000,000 blog posts.

It’s enough to give you a headache or more if you try to keep up.



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Being woke

This past week has been a heavy one. I’m horrified by the actions I see. I’m sad for where our country is. I’m sad for the lives that are lost. Lots is broken. Lots needs to be fixed. 

And, I’m uncomfortable.

I don’t feel right sending out our regular ezine this week. I do not feel like business as usual.

As a white woman, I cannot grasp the black experience. We all filter everything through our own lens. And one of my lenses is the white woman lens.

Sure I have good friends and colleagues who are black, friends whom I respect. I’ve dined with them. I’ve chatted at book clubs with them. Prayed with them at church. Shared experiences with them. Had them as overnight guests in my home. Had real conversations. But I can never know their experience, their lens.



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Practice — and success — look different for everyone

In our current COVID-19 state, some things have opened; others have not.

Yesterday I went to an outdoor yoga class. It was at the local Y. The class was limited to nine participants. We were socially distanced, each of us having a parking place for our mat.

It was nice to participate in a “normal” activity. I came away relaxed and with a feeling of peace. Wonderful for our times.

I used to practice yoga on a regular basis. Today, I don’t practice as much as I’d like. No real reasons. I just don’t.

So what does this have to do with your creative arts business? Here are three lessons I took from the class.



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