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Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

Can you handle it?

Wednesday, December 6th, 2017
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Several weeks back I had a conversation with a colleague about her distress over a poor review of her book on Amazon. “But I want everyone to love the book,” she said, really meaning, “I want everyone to love me.” She believed that if someone did not like the book, they did not like her.

I think we can all fall into that trap, wanting to be liked. I can remember exactly when I decided I didn’t care if everyone liked me. I was working in the offices of an ad agency, and one of the men in the office told me he didn’t like me. Well, how could that be? I am truly likable. Then I thought about it and realized that I did not really like him. He had poor work habits, always sloughing his work onto someone else, and I generally did not like being around him. Why did I think I cared anyhow?

It is just not possible to avoid criticism, especially in our social media world. And, hey, it does hurt sometimes. And, you can learn to handle it.

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Hello Imperfection!

Wednesday, October 25th, 2017

The other day I read this quote from Zen Monk Shunryu Suzuki: “You are perfect just as you are, and you could use a little improvement.” I hesitate to say that the quote struck me as “perfect.” Some of us spend too much time worrying about getting it perfect that we don’t get it done. I’m putting myself in this category as a recovering perfectionist. How about you?

The problem with perfectionism

At first glance, you may think that everything needs to be perfect, that you need to be perfect. And if it’s not perfect, you may put off releasing that new pattern, offering the new program, publishing your website, showing your art. This list goes on and on. And, you get so caught up in this spiral of trying to make everything perfect that nothing gets done. That’s the problem with perfectionism — it doesn’t work.

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Are you waiting to be rescued?

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017

Do you remember the hit “Rescue Me?” I was listening to it on YouTube the other day. Depending on how old you are, the tune was recorded by Fontella Bass, Madonna, or Daughtry. While the lyrics are different, the theme is the same. The subject of the song is in need of rescue, rescue by someone else.

While you are not looking for a someone to save you in the terms of the song, do you have other instances where you are looking for a rescue? I will give you a few examples. Are you looking for someone to take over your books and then tell you what to do with your business? Are you delegating  some of your work and then not following up or keeping track of the work? Did you fall behind preparing for the next show and are scrambling for someone to get you out of the jam? When something doesn’t always work the way you want, do you look for someone to blame? If only she had ….

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Finding Your Social Media Platform

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

Do you get the feeling that you need to be everywhere on social media? And then you worry that if you are, you’ll never get anything else accomplished?

You are not alone with that thought. It does at times seem that everyone is everywhere. Just because it seems that way, it’s not really true. And, you’re right, you won’t get anything done if you are always on social media.

The good news is that you can have a presence on social media and have it work for you. Here are five tips for finding the social media platform that works for you, lets you connect, and helps you build a social media following.

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Lessons From Uncontainable

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

Have you ever been in The Container Store? One is located about 15 miles from my home, so I’m familiar with the store. I was a bit overwhelmed with the first trip. So many storage choices. I had no clue.

I wasn’t, however, familiar with its history. That’s where Uncontainable: How Passion, Commitment, and Conscious Capitalism Built a Business Where Everyone Thrives comes in. It’s written by the Chairman and CEO, Kip Tindell, along with Paul Keegan and Casey Shilling. It’s not just the story of The Container Store. It’s the story of Kip’s life and and how that showed up in his business. It also focuses on his commitment to what is know as the Conscious Capitalism movement. Interesting to learn that John Mackey, co-founder of the Conscious Capitalism Movement was Tindell’s roommate in college.

The book was the reading for our ICAP Members’ Studio Book Club in October. I originally selected it for two reasons. I liked his discussion of the corporate culture and the seven Foundation Principles of his company. And, his most trusted business advisors are women.

I’m not sure how many small artisans, particularly those who work from home and by themselves, take the time to think about what their guiding principles are.

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Play your own game!

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017

It’s football season. 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. Recently I happened to hear 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. You look around at what others are doing. How do you compare to them? Is their art stronger? Are they more successful? It is so easy to do that and not pay attention to where you are.

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Are you ready to step into your power?

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

 

Do you toot your own horn? Or are you like many women – yes, it’s mostly women – who are reluctant to talk about their successes and talents? You probably don’t have any problem talking about the success of your loved ones. Why is it that we have that problem with ourselves?

This has come up over the years and again last week with one of my clients. Sophie was reluctant about sharing her successes with her work on social media. She felt she was bragging and didn’t want to be thought of in “those” terms. I told her she was not alone. Many people, maybe you, feel uncomfortable about promoting themselves, whether that’s in person, on the blog, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. It’s okay to talk about others and share their successes, but we downplay our own. Why? I think it is because you are not ready to step into your own power.

You have gifts that others don’t have. And, I know that you want to share those gifts. That is why you started your creative arts business. You need to share your successes so others can learn about you so that you are able to serve them. It is really about providing a service to your customers, and you cannot do that if you hide your talents.

How do you get beyond this? Here are a few ideas.

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It’s the perfect time for a retreat!

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

 

We are almost mid-way through September. Before you know it, you will be involved in fall shows and your holiday production season will be in full force. Your focus will be on the “doing” part of your business. You’ll be working “in” rather than “on” your business.

When was the last time that you took time to work on your business? I like to set aside time to do this on a regular basis. Now is the perfect time to do this before you get heavily involved in the fall work. Get out your calendar and schedule a retreat for yourself to do this. It doesn’t have to be several days. It could be one full day, two half days or even a couple of hours a few times this week.

Why take a business retreat?

  • All of us find it really easy to work in our businesses but do you work “on” our businesses?

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Only 117 days left until 2018

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

A few years back, I remember being in a water aerobics class over Labor Day weekend. The instructor noted about how much time we had left that year to get and stay in shape. If you look at this year’s calendar, we don’t turn the page to 2018 for 117 days. Plenty of time to make a difference in your business this year and be ready to accomplish even more in 2018. (It’s hard to believe I’m already saying 2018!)

In addition to Labor Day weekend, for many kids it’s the official end to summer and back to school. And, you’ll find plenty of 2018 calendars in your local office supply store or online. No time like the present to start to think about 2018 as well as how you can make the next 117 days the best.

Rocks, pebbles, sand

I like the rock, pebbles, sand approach. I’m sure you’ve heard of this before. It was popularized by Stephen Covey of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. The big rocks stand for what is most important in your life. This could be the book you want to write. It could be your family.

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Are you a bit distracted?

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

Last week when I was clearing my studio space for my niece to work on her quilt to take to college, I seemed to get so distracted. I saw fabrics I thought would work nicely in a future project. I realized I needed to find a place for the notions that had already found a not-so-good spot. And, I found some book reviews I had clipped that seemed to be perfect for selections for our ICAP Book Club.

I had the same problem as many of my clients: the inability to stay focused and get done what needs to be done. It can be because you are distracted by other options, whether that’s the other stuff in the room or another great idea that is beckoning.

Yes, you, too, are infected with Bright Shiny Object Syndrome. As you can see, I have been there. Sometimes in my office I get totally distracted by the projects I want to make or the books/tools that just arrived or the idea I have for a new product or all the blogs that call me to tour them. How do you get past this? Here are a few ideas:

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