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Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

Say No to Busy

Wednesday, September 5th, 2018

 

Have you ever been rushing around trying to get things done and at the end of the day realized you didn’t accomplish what you really needed to accomplish?

Yes, it felt great to check those things off your to-do list. Your studio was clean, you posted on Facebook and Instagram multiple times, and you felt like you got so much done. After all the list was full of check marks or crossed-off items. It was proof.

But did you really accomplish the important things that would move your business or your life forward?

In all likelihood the answer is no. You got caught up in “busy.” Working on things you think might make a difference.

The problem is when you get caught up in busy, it’s because you said yes to too much. You said yes without thinking.

Read more…

Set Your Business GPS!

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2018

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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Creating white space

Wednesday, August 15th, 2018

 

As artists, we understand the need for white space. White space is the space between design elements and also the space inside the design elements. Without white space, which truly doesn’t have to be “white,” everything would run together. Imagine if there was no white space in this type. It would all run together and be confusing, to say the least.

The amount of white space you include varies based on your design decisions. Your goal should be to balance design elements, organize the content for ease of use, and to allow a place for the eye to rest.

You also need white space in your life, space that allows you to rest and reconnect. Once you appreciate what it does in the art you create and the art you view, you can appreciate its value in your business and life.

Imagine if your life or business calendar was jam packed with no relief. You would end up overwhelmed, frustrated and stressed. You could become resentful about what tugs at your life.

If you go back to the goal of white space in design work and think about the concept in your life and business, it would balance your life, organize your days, and let you have rest.

Here are some ways you can create and use more white space in your life.

Schedule it

You can’t have more white space if you don’t allow for it purposefully. It’s so easy to fill your calendar with things to do that you don’t have any time left to rest or for yourself. Get out your calendar and block that space off. You need to make you a priority. If you don’t, chances are that you will find yourself overworked and overwhelmed.

An important note: you need to schedule your white space first rather then work it around your other commitments. Chances are if you try to fit it around everything else, it will fall by the wayside.

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Moving Past Stuckedness

Wednesday, August 8th, 2018

stuckedness

Have you ever had so much on your plate that you’re stuck with where to start? I know I have. Last week I started thinking about all the ideas I have to grow ICAP. There is the weekly blog/ezine, the monthly coaching and interview calls, and some content that is already planned to write. Then there is book in progress, the podcast in the works, and the work I want to have happen in our Facebook groups. Wait, I forgot about the webinar I am creating. I know I can look at the my projects and figure out which to pick first, so overwhelm is not the problem.

It really is about uncertainty and where to start or how to move forward on the one project. And, if you are like me, having so much to sort through can keep you stuck. You end up studying the issue to death, over-thinking it, over-revising it, and, yes, staying stuck. I think a good term for this in my case might be analysis-paralysis.

Does this sound familiar? What is the solution?

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Are You Juggling Too Many Balls?

Wednesday, August 1st, 2018

 

 

One of my clients recently commented that with all her responsibilities she felt like she was juggling a lot of balls in the air — managing the shop, its employees and its inventory, her charitable obligations and her responsibilities with two young kids at home plus her husband.

Can you picture yourself there?

I certainly can. At any given time I have content to write or deliver related to ICAP and our Members’ Studio, lectures and workshops to prepare for events where I am speaking, coaching calls with clients, planning for upcoming events or launches, not to mention the various balls I am juggling as a wife, sister, aunt, friend, and homeowner or any other volunteer position I might have. It truly could make you dizzy.

And, I know your life is not any different than mine or Beth, my client. How do I, and you, manage to juggle these responsibilities and not succumb to the falling balls? Here are some tips.

Outline your responsibilities

You have to get a handle on what you are responsible for in your life, so start writing. Create a list of your responsibilities and relationships.

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7 Ways to Get More Work Done This Summer

Wednesday, July 25th, 2018

 

We are about halfway through the summer. Are you doing anything special during your summer vacation? I fit in a mini-family reunion and spent time at our home on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. I also took a sketching and watercolor class.

Even with those fun elements, I still kept up a busy work schedule. One of the things I’ve tried to work on for the last few years is working smarter and using my time more efficiently. The key to that is knowing how I am working currently. Here are some tips I have been using to put the sizzle back in my creative arts business.

Track how you spend your time.

At the end of each day and at the end of each week compare the percentage of your time used toward fulfilling your mission and achieving your goals with time spent elsewhere. It is easy to get sidetracked and not pay attention to the task at hand. It is also easy to do the effortless work and not really tackle what you should be getting done.

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Should you be blogging?

Wednesday, July 18th, 2018

 

 

Do you have a blog? I have been blogging consistently since early 2007. First my blog posts were monthly with an occasional extra post. Within 18 months I went to twice a month, and then another 18 months later, I went to weekly posts. Occasionally, I’ve posted more than once a week, but in all that time I have not missed a week.

Blogging can be fun and creative. It can add to your business growth and lets you connect with your tribe. Blogging lets you be seen as an expert with a viable business. Blogging lets you create lasting relationships. And when people know, like, and trust you, they are more likely to become your customers.

Get intentional

Before you start blogging or if you want to take a look into building your existing blog, consider what your intention is for your blog. It doesn’t matter what it is, you just need to be clear about it. Perhaps you are looking for a way to share your art or you want to share your artistic journey. Maybe you want to teach others how to make art. Maybe you want to be a voice for a crafting lifestyle. Maybe you want to connect with like-minded creatives. Maybe you are hoping to drive sales.

Read more…

How Do You Treat Your Ideal Customer?

Wednesday, July 11th, 2018

 

One of my favorite shops to visit when I am at my home in St. Michaels, Md., is called Take Me Home. It’s in a charming old house and filled with the most wonderful items.

It is quite a challenge, and one I cannot meet, to leave without a little something.

Recently I picked up some cute cards for my sisters and myself. The cards had our dog breeds on them — a golden retriever, a greyhound, and a havanese. I also got the best napkins to use when I host my book club. They have a “wine stain,” and say “My book club can drink your book club under the table.” We are a serious discussion book club, and we do enjoy a glass of wine with our conversation. 

One of the joys of shopping here is the shopping experience.

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Can You Find Your Art Supplies?

Wednesday, June 27th, 2018

declutter

I have been in a “cleaning out” mode lately. We have talked about downsizing in the next few years. I always joke that I am on a five-year plan for decluttering and the time just keeps getting shorter.

Looking around at my studio, I realized that it could use a healthy cleaning. So I started sorting through books, fabrics and art supplies. Gosh, we quilters, sewists and artists certainly do accumulate a lot. I know I will appreciate the open space in which to create. Here are some tips if you are facing that increasing pile, or piles, of stuff:

Start With a Plan

Start with a plan. As I started thinking about the decluttering process, I realized I was really curating my space — selecting, organizing and presenting. The first questions you could ask is what do you want your space to say and how do you want it to function for you.

If you are a fan of Marie Kondo and her Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,

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Are you leaving money on the table?

Wednesday, June 20th, 2018

 

We’re into the last six months of the year. Just where did the first six months go?!

Our ICAP Members’ Studio peeps regularly look at their numbers. How about you?

Have you look at your numbers for the first six months? What did you discover? Were you on track or were your results not quite what you were expecting?

I talked with one of my private clients recently about this, and she said she needed a cash infusion. I think finding that cash infusion comes down to two items: ideas you didn’t take action on and things you didn’t follow-up on.

Ideas that you didn’t act on

First are those items you didn’t take action on. One of my good friends has something she calls “the $5,000 notebook.” I bet you have a similar notebook full of cash and you don’t even know it.

Do you often make notes of the great ideas you had? You know, the new pattern you wanted to create, the class you think you should develop, the cards to print based on your paintings, the new line of jewelry you want to work on.

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