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Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

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?



Read more…

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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Looking Back and Moving Forward

Wednesday, December 5th, 2018

The end of the year is often filled with planning activities. For many creative people. though, the thought of planning is beyond boring.

It can be black and white — after all it does involve looking at numbers. When you get right down to it, though, getting your big dreams and goals down on paper and figuring out how to accomplish them is creative. Especially when you get out those colored markers and pencils!

For more than ten years, I hosted an annual Planning Day, and we always start with looking back. Instead of jumping into what next year looks like, take time to clear out this year. Look at the good, the bad, and the lessons learned. This will let you celebrate what you accomplished and put you in a positive place to start the new year.

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Evening rituals complete your day

Wednesday, November 28th, 2018

Some time ago I wrote about the power of morning rituals, and how they set you up for success.  Evening rituals can be just as powerful to end your day. They add a sense of completion, build confidence, and set you up for the next day.

If you think about it, your evening rituals can have a significant impact on how your next day goes. A good evening can translate into a good morning. Unfortunately, a bad evening often leads to a not-so-good next day.

I think of rituals as mindful practices that you make that can be come habits. I have evening habits, or rituals, that make a difference. And, when I feel off one day, I can often trace the cause to the previous evening.

Here are some rituals to consider.

Review your day.

Take time to look back on the day and see what worked for you. At the end of his day, Benjamin Franklin asked himself “What good have I done today?” It was a follow up to his morning question of “What good shall I do this day?”

Consider what you learned. It’s not always something specific to a task, like a new way to use the software you just purchased or a shortcut to one of your art techniques. It could also be something that you learned about yourself.

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The Fortune Is In the Follow-up

Wednesday, November 7th, 2018

follow-up

 

How good are you at follow-up? You know, that is where the money is.

I was talking with a few of my clients who were heading back from Quilt Market with lots of follow-up items. Some were clearly immediate, such as filling orders, and those get processed right away.

The problem for my clients was that they came back with all these notes that weren’t really money related or where they couldn’t see the clear money connection or where they couldn’t remember the conversation. Plus they felt overwhelmed getting back in gear. And, the follow-up is in question.

What I have found through the years is that when I pay attention to following up on a consistent and timely basis, it lets me build better relationships, which is really my goal, and that means adding to my business bottom line.

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Leverage to grow your creative business

Wednesday, October 31st, 2018

 

You’ve probably heard people talk about leverage. And not the TV show of recent years. Leverage is about using a resource to its maximum advantage.

When I think of leverage in your business, I think of it as a triangle with Time, Money, and Knowledge + Talents + Passion as the three sides. When you start your business, you have all these elements in varying degrees. And likely some are limited.

         TIME (1)

As you grow your business, you begin to have more of each and can use each to its maximum advantage. And, you can leverage other people’s time, money and knowledge, too.

You invest in each of them because you want something back in your business. You have an expectation of a return on this investment.

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What’s Your ROR?

Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

 

You’ve heard of ROI – return on your investment. It’s where you figure out if the amount of money you invest comes back to you at a greater return, whether that is a profit or cost savings. Technically your ROI could be negative, which means you lost money.

You may have heard of ROTI – return on your time invested. You look at where you are investing your time and determining whether or not it produces a return.

I have a new one to share: ROR – Return on Relationships.

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