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Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

Are You Juggling Too Many Balls?

Wednesday, April 29th, 2020

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.

And this was before the challenge of COVID that we are living in today. Now she added home-schooling for her kids.

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. I’ve added mask maker and more cooking to my list at this time. 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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Let chaos become your opportunity

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020

These are crazy, chaotic times we are in. You have lots of unknowns.

Are you bringing in business — and income — today? If you are, that’s great.

Can you maintain a positive cash flow? And for how long?

Do you have a rainy day fund? How long will it last?

How long can you stay the course before making changes? And what changes can you make?

Even if you are in a positive cash flow position, you need to think about what will happen in the future. Right now.

While you do have unknowns, one fact remains. You are in control when it comes to your business.

Part of getting through the chaos is making sure you’re in a better position once you get to the other side. Here are some ideas to help shift your business as we move forward.



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Business as Unusual

Wednesday, March 18th, 2020

We are in the midst of unprecedented times. You’re watching the news for the latest information from the CDC and from local and national authorities about COVID-19.

I really am at a loss for good words. We are not going about our daily lives in the same manner. Some of you are quarantined. Schools, stores, and churches are closed. Restaurants and gathering places are closed. We aren’t really sure when they will open.

All of us who can are practicing social distancing. A new concept.

I’m trying to be more grateful than usual. Grateful that I’m safe and healthy. Grateful my family is, too. And, I’m exceedingly grateful to healthcare workers and the people who are working in grocery stores. Just grateful.

Restrictions, while essential and necessary, are having a definite impact on the art industry. Here is a resource for free-lance artists that you may find helpful.



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Here a Chunk, There a Chunk

Wednesday, March 11th, 2020

What does your to-do list look like?

I just added a book to mine. Admittedly, I did not just add it; it has been there a while. I just cannot get to it. More realistically, I don’t make the time to get to it.

Let’s get real honest.

My list includes lots of other things of varying import from ziplining to a trip in June to Ireland to working on my latest social media campaign to polishing my Photoshop skills to making a quilt for my niece who graduates from high school in May to …. Lots of business and personal goals.

How about yours?

If your list looks as lengthy and varied as mine, where do you start? Here are some ideas.



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Is Your In-Box Running Your Life?

Wednesday, March 4th, 2020
InboxJail

Do you ever wonder if you can actually have zero emails in your in-box?

I do know some people who have empty inboxes. I will admit I never have. I fully expect my inbox, virtual and not virtual, to be full when I die.

If you are trying to move in the direction of a less full inbox, here are eight tips, plus a bonus reflection, that might just help.

Send less email

Doesn’t that seem obvious? If you send less, you will get less.

Consider whether you need to start an email chain or if a simple phone call might answer your questions.



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5 strategies to get your work done

Wednesday, February 26th, 2020

Have you ever found yourself procrastinating, overwhelmed, or just plain stuck when it comes to getting your work done?

Recently I did a webinar called “From To Do to Ta Da Done!” about how to get more — and the right — work done.

I think of it as a simple five-step process. Of course, simple does not always make it easy.

Step 1 — Clarity

Are you clear on the big picture?

If you do not know where you are going or why, you are going to stay stuck.



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Valentine’s Dinner Thoughts

Wednesday, February 19th, 2020

Did you enjoy your Valentine’s Day?

My husband and I went to a fabulous dinner at Volt in historic Frederick, Maryland. Volt is housed in a 19th Century brownstone mansion. It is the creation of Brian Voltaggio. Reality show fans will recognize him as a finalist on Top Chef Season 6 and Top Chef Masters Season 5. 

As I was watching the staff handle the evening’s activities, I was reminded about how our businesses are like a restaurant.

When you own a successful restaurant, it’s divided into two areas: front of the house and back of the house.

Front is what the public sees, i.e., the host/hostess, the waiters, the dining room, the meal.

And the back of the house is where the work takes place.



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Happy Valentine’s to you and your business

Wednesday, February 12th, 2020

Traditionally Valentine’s Day is about relationship love.

We often think in terms of someone that we love — a partner, a child, a parent — when we think of relationships.

I think our most important love relationship is with ourselves.

When you love and take care of yourselves, it shows up in a positive way in both your lives and your work.

So, why don’t you prioritize your relationship with yourself?

I think it comes down to a belief that if you take time for yourself, you are somehow taking something away from the others in your life or even the growth of your business.



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Everyday lessons

Wednesday, February 5th, 2020

I recently got back from two weeks in Aruba.

I had a lovely time. Sun and sand, good meals, good books, new friends.

Just as each day at home, I was open to any lesson that was waiting for me. Here are four.

Start where you are

One of the things I love about the resort where we stay is its focus on making wellness available. I can choose from 3-4 exercise classes every day. I usually workout in the gym, take a mile walk along the beach and then go to a yoga or stretch class.

The second day I was there I went to a stretch class with Alex. He is a mixed martial artist, and I had taken his class a couple of years earlier.

In fact, I’d been to his very first class.

When I told him this, he said to me, “I’m so much better now.”

That was such a good reminder that you have to start where you are. Don’t compare yourself to others. You will get better or more knowledgeable in good time.



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Start doing!

Wednesday, January 29th, 2020

Take a look around your studio or home office.

How much fabric and paint are lining your studio shelves? Or packed away because you ran out of room?

How many books do you see? Do you house even more on your Kindle?

How much more do you think you need before you can start to create what your heart is calling you to create?

I know all about hunting and gathering all the information you can.

You think if you learn more, you will know more, and what you create will be even better.

You think you are missing that one fabric that will make the difference in what you create, when all along what you need is right in front of you.

If you take one more class, then you will have enough to really master that painting technique.

And on, and on.

Problem is you don’t need all that.

What you need is already right under your nose.

The answers to your questions, the missing fabric, the skills, the knowledge. It’s all right there for the taking.

You just need to put aside the desire for more and take advantage of what is right in front of you.

How do I know this?

Easy. I have been there. I would order a book thinking it might have something I needed, or more appropriately, some bit of knowledge I lacked. Or I put off starting a project because I needed that perfect color fabric or shade of paint. Obviously the exploding shelves weren’t enough.

I got in this mode last week when I was working on revamping one of our signature programs. Funny thing is I didn’t need anything. I just needed to make the decision to start.

Today

Stop the hunting and gathering.

Have a little bit of faith.

Sit down and start to create.

It’s your turn!

What is it you need to start doing? What’s stopping you?

 

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