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Archive for the ‘Planning’ Category

Align Your Priorities

Wednesday, January 8th, 2020

When was the last time you took a vacation?

I know it can sometimes be hard for those of us who are entrepreneurs to let go. After all, will your business run without you? Can you trust being partially or totally unplugged? When can you possibly find the time to go on vacation with all you have to do?

Truthfully, you need time to relax and recharge. If you don’t allow time for that, I believe in the end, you are not as effective at our businesses, and it is ultimately detrimental to your overall health and well-being.

For me, the best way to insure a vacation is to schedule it. Calendarize it, even pay for it ahead of time, so it becomes a non-negotiable.

While any getaway to recharge and refocus should be a priority, you have lots of other priorities in your life that don’t always get on the calendar.



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Old Year Lessons

Wednesday, December 11th, 2019

In three weeks you’ll turn the calendar page to 2020.

Each year the years seem to fly by. And this year was no exception.

While three weeks isn’t a lot of time, you do have time to take some positive actions to end your year on a high note and get a head start on 2020.

Here are some tips that I’m taking to heart.

Don’t wait until Dec. 31 to check your financials.

I’ve been working on my financials the past week or so. As someone who is self-employed, I need to make estimated tax payments. While they aren’t due until Jan. 15, 2020, I like to get my settled before the end of the year.

Some questions you might consider:

• Do you need to follow up on any late invoices if you want the income to be in 2019?
• Do you need to defer the income until 2020?
• Do you need to make any expenditures by year-end?
• What tax consequences should you be aware of?

On my list is a quick call or email with my accountant. This will answer any last minute questions and allow me to make any adjustments I might need to minimize any taxes I owe.



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Let’s take 15!

Wednesday, November 6th, 2019

Do you ever look at what others have accomplished and think you can’t possibly do that? We all have that comparison gremlin to contend with. Do you then fall back on your standard excuse? I just don’t have time!

I’m going to challenge you on that.

I’ve written about “you management” as opposed to “time management” in the past. Today I want to share a simple concept that might make a difference in your day.

Let’s call it Take 15.



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The Fortune Is In the Follow-up

Wednesday, October 30th, 2019
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. Here are some ideas to help you with follow-up.



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What’s your next business move?

Wednesday, September 25th, 2019

Are you like so many other creatives? You have lots of ideas about where to go with your business. Maybe you should start teaching your art. Or do a local craft show or open an Etsy shop. Perhaps start a podcast. Maybe a blog is calling your name. Or do you see a fabric line or licensing of your art as the next step? Or create patterns, or ?…

Whoa! You have so many options, and they all sound good. The problem is you don’t know where to start. And perhaps you get stuck in analysis paralysis trying to figure out which idea is the best one. Here’s a path to help you decide.

Write down all the ideas.

Just get out a piece of paper and list them. As you do this, you’ll probably come up with more options. None are set in stone. You are just getting them all out of your head. You may even save some for future use.



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Only 120 days left until 2020

Wednesday, September 4th, 2019

A few years back, I remember being in a water aerobics class over Labor Day weekend. The instructor noted 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 2020 for 120 days. Plenty of time to make a difference in your business this year and be ready to accomplish even more in 2020. (It’s hard to believe I’m already saying 2020!)

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 2020 calendars in your local office supply store or online. No time like the present to start to think about 2020 as well as how you can make the next 120 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. It could be your faith. It could be your health. It’s what makes your life work and has meaning for you. Your goal is to know what is most important to you and be sure it gets the attention it deserves.



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Reinventing Everyday

Wednesday, August 14th, 2019
reinventingeveryday-3Rs

Are you practicing the 3 R’s?  

What are the 3 R’s, you ask?

Recycle, reuse, repurpose – all part of reinventing your business everyday.

How much of what you create just needs to be spiffed up or re-slanted to make it new?

We see it all the time in other markets.

Disney is a prime example. They put movies in a seven-year “vault” and then re-released some of them each year. They recreate the excitement, find additional audiences, and make more sales.

How can you do this as a creative arts professional? Here are some ideas:



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Can You Find Your Art Supplies?

Wednesday, July 10th, 2019
declutter

I have been in a “cleaning out” mode lately.

We have talked about downsizing in the next year or so. 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, you can use that as a guide.



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Are You Whelmed?

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019

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8 creative biz lessons I learned from basketball

Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

As I watched the Final Four Tournament on Saturday, I was thinking about what basketball and the professional creative arts have something in common. Is it any surprise my mind would go to art when I’m watching sports?

Passion

This is the obvious. These kids love basketball, and for them it is their art. What you pay attention to grows.

Just as the college athletes pay attention to basketball and their skills and love of the game increase, your skill level in your art increases with increased attention. Your knowledge and love of the art grows as you look at more art, go to more galleries, take more classes. And, your skill level at marketing, and your passion at marketing, also increases proportionately to the effort you put into it.

How much effort are you putting into growing your business?

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