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Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

Do You Suffer From Smorgasbord Syndrome?

Wednesday, March 6th, 2019

Someone recently shared in our Members’ Studio that she was trying to tackle too many tasks in one day. She added that she tended to overestimate her available time. That meant she was moving uncompleted tasks from one day into the next day’s list. The end result was making new lists and wasting time and energy. She was not alone with this confession, confusion, and remorse.

I refer to this as the “Smorgasbord Syndrome.”

As a child, I can remember my parents saying that my eyes were bigger than my stomach when we had big family celebrations. I didn’t want to miss out on anything that might be good. And, of course, even though I probably left little room for dessert, I didn’t want to miss out on any of those, so I added more to my plate when dessert rolled around. You can guess that I probably had my share of stomach aches.

It’s easy to see how this approach translates into your life and business.

You think you have more time to accomplish what needs to be accomplished. You keep saying, “yes, pile more on my plate.” Whether you say that to someone who asks you to do something or just to yourself, the end result is the same. Your life and/or business plate is overflowing.

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Once it’s created, it’s copyrighted

Wednesday, February 27th, 2019

Last week a post popped up in my Facebook feed that dealt with copyright.

A textile artist discovered that her original work had “inspired” someone to create a nearly identical piece of art. The copier thought that if she gave credit to the art’s originator at some point, it was okay. She did credit the original artist in a blog post. She also thought it was okay to enter her work into a contest. Well it’s not okay in either instance.

Late last year one of my pattern design clients shared that someone had created a nearly identical quilt to hers and was selling patterns. Again, the copier was inspired and didn’t see the harm in what she was doing.

In both these cases, the copiers infringed on copyright. They didn’t have the rights to make a copy. In neither case did the infringer even ask permission.

Unfortunately this topic comes up on a regular basis.



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Biz lessons from the dentist

Wednesday, February 6th, 2019

I had a dental visit last week. I have one every six months, like many people. I don’t actually mind these because  — knock on wood — I’ve been blessed with healthy teeth.

I was thinking about what I could learn and share about business as Julie, the hygienist, was cleaning my teeth. After all, you can’t exactly carry on your end of a conversation while this is going on.

Create relationships

Julie has been a dental hygienist in this small practice for nearly 40 years, and I’ve been going for at least half that time.

While she started her job because she loved cleaning teeth, Julie told me that for her it had not been about cleaning teeth for a long time.

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Focus on MGAs First

Wednesday, January 30th, 2019

As a creative entrepreneur, you probably struggle with a never ending to-do list. I know I do. Even as your business grows and you have assistance, it can still seem overwhelming to get everything done in the allotted time you have.

The goal of your business is to make money. Otherwise, you have a hobby.

The key is to put money generating activities (MGAs) at the top of that list.

If you look at the last five things you did in your business, how many were related to sales or marketing in your business?

You need to prioritize those activities if you are going to bring income into your business. Remember that money flows where your attention goes.

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Get Off Your But!

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019

getoffyourbut

Some time ago I read A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink. It’s a good read about why right-brainers will rule the future.

The future, really today, is the “conceptual age.” Pink discusses the “six senses” that one uses to build a whole new mind to thrive in this conceptual age: design, story, symphony, empathy, play and meaning. While I do not necessarily subscribe to his premise in total – I believe we need to engage both parts of our brain – he offers lots of great exercises to get your right brain working. And even though many artists are right-brained, you will find the exercises fun and expanding.

Onto ifs, ands, & buts. In his discussion on meaning, one of Pink’s suggestions for creating more meaning in your life is to replace the word “but” with “and.”

He says that “buts” can create roadblocks for creating more meaning in your life and suggests creating a list of what you are trying to accomplish and what is in your way.

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2018: A Year of Lessons

Wednesday, January 16th, 2019

At the end of a year I like to take a look back at the year and see what I accomplished, what changed in my life, what lessons I learned. I usually do this in a journal. This year I decided to share some of it with you. I’d love to hear what your lessons were.

Don’t be afraid to stop a successful event

In 2010 I stepped out on a limb and decided to create the Creative Arts Business Summit.

I had been to events, knew what supported me, knew what didn’t, and I wanted to create something that would serve creatives to build a successful, sustainable business.

And by successful, I meant what was successful to you. I’d been to events where someone else decided what my success looked like. I didn’t want that.

That first event, known to those who come as CABS, was held in March of 2011. In the ensuing years, 100s of creatives have joined our tribe, shared their stories, and left transformed. They have found a home where they could share from the heart and not be judged. They felt supported, and changed their business and lives.

People who came to CABS left motivated. More importantly, they left with a plan to follow and a support team to back them up.

And, they kept coming back.

I absolutely LOVE CABS. Why would I want to stop doing it?



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Start with email

Wednesday, January 9th, 2019

 

Is growing your email list on your list for the New Year?

“What email list?” you ask. “I’ve got loads of followers on Facebook and Instagram. Who needs a list?”

You do!

Without a list, your business will not produce profits on a consistent enough basis to sustain and grow your business. You might really just have a hobby and enjoy social media connecting. And that’s fine if that’s what you want.

If what you want instead is to build equity in your business, you need to look at building your list. Building a list is a way for people to get to know, like and trust you enough to spend money with you.

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Start with Intention

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2019

It’s the start of a New Year. Maybe you spent time creating goals. Maybe you didn’t. Maybe you selected a word of the year or theme to guide you. Maybe you didn’t.

Setting goals and choosing a word to provide focus matter. But what matters even more is that you start each day with intention.

If you look at Webster’s, you can find six definitions for intention. A popular one would be “what one intends to do or bring about.” I prefer the definition that says “a determination to act in a certain way” or “resolve.”

You might even think of intention as the bridge between your words (your goals or theme) and your actions.



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Discover the power of a word!

Wednesday, December 19th, 2018


What’s in a word?

Many people choose a “word” as a focus tool for the year. I have been doing this since probably 2005 when Kathy, the owner of the yoga studio where I practiced, passed around a basket with words.

I chose “openness.” At the time I asked if I could pick a different word. After all, the woman next to me chose love, which seemed like a much better word. I remember Kathy telling me that I was stuck with openness because the word had chosen me.

I went home, taped the word onto my computer, and let it be an anchor as I went through the year. Looking back, I know that this made a tremendous difference in my year.

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Reframe, Reflect + Reap the Rewards

Wednesday, December 12th, 2018

rrr-planning2

December is often the month to look back at your year and plan ahead for the next one. In a recent blog, I discussed starting to plan by taking a look back at the good, the bad, and what you learned during the year.

This is the perfect time to evaluate what you learned and look for ways to reframe the challenges that you faced.

Reframing

What exactly is reframing? It’s a technique to help you look at a belief,  situation, person, or even a relationship to change its meaning in your mind. This shift in perspective can make a difference in your interpretation of a situation or belief.

Since we are artists, it’s easy to understand reframing in art terms. Any time we chose a new frame or a border for our work, it changes the look. It’s the same way with our minds.

Questions to ask yourself are:

What are the rules that you believe?

How could you change them to serve you better?

For example, if you believe that artists are not good with money, then it’s likely you won’t be good with money. If you try to create a rule that empowers or serves you better, you’ll see the results. In this example, you might reframe your rule as, “I’m smart enough to easily learn what I need to about money so that I can pursue my art and make a profit.” This puts you in charge of your results.

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