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Archive for the ‘ICAP’ Category

Move the Needle in Your Creative Arts Business

Wednesday, April 25th, 2018

For many of us, moving the needle may have different connotations, especially since so many who read this blog sew. Today I want to talk about moving the needle forward in your business. All of us get stuck. Sometimes it’s just a simple tweak that can get the machine moving again. Sometimes it is something bigger that you need to do to move your business to the next level. Here are nine ways that will help get you moving and bring in cash to your business:

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Who Packs Your Parachute?

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

Women with open arms ready to jump with parachute, on mountain

Do you know the story of Captain Charlie Plumb? A U.S. Naval Academy grad, Charlie was a jet pilot in Vietnam and completed 74 successful combat missions over North Vietnam. On his next mission, just days before the end of his tour, his plane was shot down over Hanoi. He parachuted into enemy hands and spent the next 2,103 days as a Prisoner of War.

 

Some years later by chance, Charlie met the man who had packed his parachute. At first speechless at the meeting, Charlie became full of gratitude and explained that he had said many prayers of thanks and didn’t expect to ever be able to express his gratitude in person. Charlie asked the parachute packer if he kept track of all the parachutes he packed. The man responded, “No, it’s enough gratification for me to just know I served.”

 

Today Charlie travels around the country lecturing and asking, “Who packs your parachute?”

 

After I read this story, I started thinking about parachute packing and who packs mine. Who are the people who really make my life, both personally and professionally, work? Who are the people who support me when it doesn’t. Once I started making a list, it just continued to grow. Of course, my family is on the list — my sisters, my husband, my aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins — who are always there for me. And, I have some close friends I can always count on. Those people were easy to add.

 

Who packs your parachute?

 

As I continued to think about this idea, I thought about Sandy, my hairdresser who keeps my looking good and Flor, my lovely cleaning lady. And, depending on the season, I have people who work in my yard who allow me to do the work I cherish. Kathy, my first yoga instructor, and Heather, my current instructor, are on my list. Sandy, my trainer, is on the list. I have wonderful neighbors and my walking and book club friends are on the list.

 

My clients, the people who come to CABS, and my mastermind group are my parachute packers. My team at ICAP are all parachute packers. I can think of many mentors through out school years and into my corporate jobs. The list really is endless.

 

I would not be where I am today without the packers. So, if you are one of the people packing my parachute (and if you reading this, likely you are), thank you.

 

So, my question to you is, Who packs your parachute? I would love to hear your response below or on the ICAP Facebook or Google+ pages.

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WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE?
Please do! Just use it in its entirety and be sure to include the blurb below:

Morna McEver is the founder and CEO of the International Association of Creative Arts Professionals where creative arts entrepreneurs craft business success. Her weekly e-zine offers tips, techniques and inspiration to help you craft business success from your creative arts passion. You can sign up for a FREE subscription at http://www.creativeartsprofessional.com.

 

WANT TO SEE MORE ARTICLE LIKE THIS?

See the ICAP blog at http://www.creativeartsprofessionals.com/weblog/

 

 

Why Change is So Hard

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

Decision Choose Change or  Same Old StreetYou have seen that we have made our latest change here at the International Association of Creative Arts Professionals with our new magazine name and look. And, while some might think of it as a small change, it was not easy to give up on The Professional Quilter name. It has a history going back to 1983 and was well loved by tens of thousands of people through that period. Only times change and people change. As our audience grew and expanded, and as our own industry’s definition of the professional quilter changed, we knew it was time to change the name. First a thanks to my informal focus group and my Creative Passion to Profit Mastermind group for brainstorming with me. We are excited about the growth we see with the Create Inc. name, though it was not an easy process.

 

Small change or big change —why is change so hard?

You can find a few reasons for this. Here are some I see the most often.

  1. We like safety, and the status quo is usually safe. You know, why rock the boat if you do not have to. When change happens, whether by choice or not, our known existence becomes unknown and this can bring up all kinds of fears. What if it fails? What if I won’t know how to handle the change? What if …?

 

  1. Our peeps often reinforce the status quo. Even when we know we need to make changes, our friends and family reinforce that safety of where we are. Not only do they want us to stay safe, they are concerned that a change might affect their status quo, too. I see this in my clients whose families are concerned that by their focusing on a new career in the arts, the family gets shortchanged.

 

  1. Our brains are actually “wired” to reinforce this comfort feeling, so again why change if we don’t have to. This can lead to negative self-talk, why it won’t work. Our brain is helping us to stay in the “safe” position by giving us outs.

 

  1. We become discouraged by past failures. Not every change we make is successful. Instead of being discouraged, try to look at the past failures as learning experiences. Where did the process break down and how can you make an adjustment if it looks like it will happen again? If we have a guidepost to follow as we change, it helps to keep us in a safe space.

 

Since change is so hard, what else can we do to deal with it?

Here are some more tips:

  1. Accept the emotions that come up, whether that is fear, sadness, or anger. Emotions are just emotions; they are not good or bad. Just acknowledging them helps you move forward.

 

  1. Mourn first. Particularly unwanted change brings a sense of loss. Take time to appreciate what was before you move on.

 

  1. Accept that the change will not be perfect, and that little missteps, or little failures, will occur as you are making a big change. Remember to be flexible.

 

  1. Look for a support team. This might be someone you share the change with who will hold you accountable for making the change. This might be a group of people who have the “how” for your change. This might be someone who has already made the change you need to make.

 

  1. Remember to align your change with your mission or purpose, which should be connected to your values. Unless you see a good reason for the change, business or personal, it is not likely you will be successful. If you get discouraged or off-track, go back and reconnect with your values and principles.

 

Here are some favorite quotes on change:

 

“And the day came when risk to remain tight in a bu was more painful that the risk it too to blossom.”
Anais Nin

“The only way to make sense of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”
Alan W. Watts

I hope you celebrate with me the changes that ICAP has made. Perhaps you have gone through some changes. I would love to hear your thoughts about them and how you manage adjusting to change below or on or Facebook ICAP Fan Club page.

 

 

 

What’s Your Gratitude Practice?

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

small__4786965539Over the weekend I was working on the content for our Creative Arts Business Summit and thinking about the 36 women and men who are joining me this year. A wave of gratitude came over me, and I reflected how fortunate I am that they are trusting me to guide them for three days. They are all blessings in my life.

When was the last time you sat and reflected on your blessings? When you take the time to focus on what you are grateful for, you will find more happiness in your life. You’ll also begin to see more of what you are grateful for show up in your life. You will find yourself more resilient and even less stressful. Positivity all around!

Here are four tips for adding a gratitude practice to your life:

  1. Keep a gratitude journal. At the end of each day write down three things that you were grateful for during the day. They do not have to be big. They can be as simple as watching the sunrise or the extra cookie someone left for you or the laugh from watching your kitten chase the ball of yarn. Periodically go back and read what you have written.
  2. Set aside a few minutes every morning to hold a silent gratitude session. Think about what you are grateful for. Think about those people you are grateful for.
  3. As you go through your day, look for times you can say, “Thank You,” and do so. These can be little gestures. It makes a difference to you and the other person.
  4. If you think of someone and the difference they have made in your life, take time to call or write and let them know.

Here’s one of my favorite quotes about gratitude:

If the only prayer you say in your life is ‘thank you,’ that would suffice
Meister Eckhart

Do you have a gratitude practice? Please share.

photo credit: shannonkringen via photopin cc

Find Your CEO Hat

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

How many hats do you wear in your business? I know most of us wear more than one, particularly if it is a relatively new business. We have not had time to put the necessary systems and teams in place, so we are everything from the creative head to the shipping department. While that is how most of us start out, at some point we need to look to shed some of those hats. If we want to create a successful business, it is important to take an honest look at our skills and look at where someone else could do the job, i.e., take some of the hats from you.

In the past couple of weeks I have had conversations with several clients about their plans for 2014, and some have centered around the CEO hat. When you wear the CEO hat, you need to take “yourself” out of your business. That can be hard for many of us. I think it is because what we create is so personal. We don’t want our feelings hurt if someone does not like our art, and it can stop us from getting the information we need to make decisions about our business. We have got to remember we are making business not personal decisions. Yet it is critical to put on that CEO hat if we expect to grow our business.

As you take time to look at where you are in your business in 2013 and make plans for 2014, try to take yourself personally out of the business, put on your CEO hat, and consider what the right decision is to grow your business. Look for those places where someone else can handle the tasks and allow you put your energy where it belongs: having the big vision for your business, selling your business ideas and energizing those on your team.
  

Thank you!

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving here in the United States. Since it’s a holiday, we are not sending out our regular e-zine this week.

 

This is one of my favorite holidays, and not just because it could be termed our National Day of Eating! I will be celebrating the holiday with my husband and two of my sisters here at our home in Maryland and then heading out for a long weekend on the Eastern Shore for some relaxation.

 

Since Thanksgiving is often a time for reflection, I did want to take this opportunity to let you know how sincerely grateful I am for everyone who reads this e-zine, takes time to comment on our blog, has joined the International Association of Creative Arts Professionals, follows me and comments on Facebook and other forms of social media, has taken our classes, attended or is planning to attend our annual Creative Arts Business Summit or works with me on a private basis. I am truly honored that you have allowed me to contribute in some small way to your business growth. It is so rewarding for me that I can make a difference. Thank you!

 

Hanukkah also starts tonight, so if that is your tradition, blessings for your celebration.

 

If you are celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow, I hope your day is filled with traditions and gratitude, as mine will be. Do you have a favorite tradition? I remember so many, from my grandmother’s favorite sausage and apple stuffing, which must cook in the bird, to the dining room antics, which stay at the dining room table (à la Las Vegas). What traditions do you have?

 

As I have done in the past, I wanted to share a couple of my favorite quotes about gratitude:

 

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”
Marcel Proust
“Feeling grateful or appreciative of someone or something in your life actually attracts more of the things that you appreciate and value into your life.

 

Christiane Northrup

Do you have a favorite quote about gratitude? If so, please share it below.

A Response to Ditch the Excuse! Take the Leap!

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

This week’s article is a letter written by Kat Tucker, a quilter from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. She was taken with the article last week and wanted to respond.

“I was sorry to read about those that feel that they are not where they think they should be. Oh boy, can I ever relate to that.

For me it has been a meandering journey. From the time I sold my quilt store with a five year clause of only being able to Internet sell, to losing my husband and having to go back full time, instead of staying part time, in our business, to closing the doors and semi-retiring, to procrastinating during the five years, to OMG the five years are finished and now what do I do? Oh, I know, sign on as Treasurer to the Canadian Quilters Association and use that as an excuse not to work hard, if at all, on my quilting business.

Well, the working not hard became taking course after course about learning about myself, my business, other peoples’ businesses and how they got there, and repeat, especially learning about myself. It got so comfortable taking these courses that the procrastination and the ‘fear of success’ lasted five years plus one more year.

Then one day, don’t ask me when, I decided to go to Quilt Market. Why? I finally got tired of saying, and I’m certain that my quilting friends also got tired of hearing me say, ‘I’m working on my business.’ So now, I’m walking the walk instead of talking the walk.

I go to market. It all seemed too easy to get there and be there. I wasn’t nervous or anything. In fact, I said to the universe, if I get one order I’ll be a success. Well! I got one order. LOL. Thinking back, perhaps I should have asked for more orders. On top of that order, I made lots of contacts and my friends introduced me to contacts with possibilities. One of which has been successful and is a step in the door.

During this journey I’ve always had in the back of my head that this is what I want to do. The journey to get to this point may have taken longer that it should have, not because I didn’t know my business or what had to be done, but because I was standing in my way. ‘Get out of your white man’s head,’ as a friend of mine keeps reminding me.

All that being said, today, I’m a person that has and still continues to trim garbage out of my life. I’ve finally seen that I cannot do exactly what another person did in their journey to become successful and then get upset because it didn’t work for me. That is their journey and this is my journey. Best of all, my journey will probably still meander but it can also be tweaked as it moves down the path.”

“You are where you are suppose to be at this moment in time.”
Kat Tucker
About Kat: Kat Tucker is a former shop owner from Calgary, Alberta. Her love of geometric shapes and sewing began as a pre teen when she was designing house plans with dominos and making clothes. The two interests meshed in the late 70’s, but was short lived as quilting was mostly done by hand. Twenty years later, she rediscovered quilting after a visit to the quilt shop.
Kat opened a quilt shop in early 2000’s because first, she wanted something more to do than run an international trucking company and second, to test the local market with her quilt designs. Looking back those were not very good reasons to become a shop owner but, at the end it was the best thing she did. Today, after many life events, Kat continues to concentrate on designing and working on her business

Please share your thoughts on this blog below. . .

Ditch the Excuse! Take the Leap!

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

I was so honored by the response I got to our recent Creative Passion to Profit Speaker Series. So many of you told me you gained valuable knowledge that you would put to use to grow your business. You took lots of notes and were looking forward to taking your business to the next level. That was my goal, for you to find value and grow.

However, I was saddened by some of the emails I got from those who were not ready or willing to invest in their business, whether that was with me, someone else, or even their own pursuits. One person said that she just didn’t know enough and that is what her big takeaway from the calls was. She was discouraged and wanted to stop working on her art because the road to success was too long. She just had too much to learn. Another person wrote that she was just a beginner and was not ready to invest in her own growth. Someone else lamented the fact that others were so much further along and did not think she could catch up.

Whatever your reasons or excuses – they really are the same thing – at some point you have to take that chance – that leap – to grow your business. If you have faith that you’re following the right dream, that net will appear and catch you as you grow.

What I wanted to say to those who were discouraged about their path and wanted to wait to know more or to be better is:

  1. Don’t put off your dreams. The time to start is now. You will never be further along the path by waiting.
  2. Don’t consider others in the equation. Each of us is on our own journey, moving along the path at our own pace. Those people you are watching started just where you are at one time.
  3. Take time to invest in your own growth, whether that is taking business classes, working with a coach, joining ICAP or creating your own networking group. You need support of some type.

Regardless, you need to take some action to build your business and to realize your dreams. The action will build confidence and you will be surprised how far you will go. When I think about putting off the growth, I think of this old Chinese proverb. It’s humorous, yet true.

“Man who waits for roast duck to fly into mouth must wait
very, very long time.” ~ Chinese proverb

 

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