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Archive for the ‘Success’ Category

Focus on the Three S’s in Success

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017
You might know that I’m a word person. I love good writing, I worked as a journalist, and I love word games. I looked at the word “success” recently and thought about what the parts meant. Success has 3 S’s, and I decided that the keys to success are Self, Systems and Support.

How do you define success? Webster’s defines it as a favorable or desired outcome or the attainment of wealth, favor or eminence. The bottom line is that success relates to achieving goals. You set the goals and you determine whether or not you are successful. Here are some tips to help with your journey toward success.

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What’s Your Definition of Success?

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

 

I was recently chatting with a long-time client, Beth, about what success meant to her. She told me that her definition of success was quite unlike that of our mutual friend Priscilla. From the outside Priscilla had lots of “achievements” that we could see. For Beth, success looked more like a balance in her life and a feeling of contentment. Sure, she had achieved a great deal to those who looked, but that wasn’t how she measured success.

What does success look like to you? Webster’s defines it as a favorable or desired outcome or the attainment of wealth, favor or eminence. The bottom line is that success relates to goals. You set the goals and you determine whether or not you are successful.

Read more…

Get Off Your But!

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

getoffyourbut

Some time ago I read A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink. It’s a good read about why right-brainers will rule the future.

The future, really today, is the “conceptual age.” Pink discusses the “six senses” that one uses to build a whole new mind to thrive in this conceptual age: design, story, symphony, empathy, play and meaning. While I do not necessarily subscribe to his premise in total – I believe we need to engage both parts of our brain – he offers lots of great exercises to get your right brain working. And even though many artists are right-brained, you will find the exercises fun and expanding.

Onto ifs, ands & buts. In his discussion on meaning, one of Pink’s suggestions for creating more meaning in your life is to replace the word “but” with “and.” He says that “buts” can create roadblocks for creating more meaning in your life and suggests creating a list of what you are trying to accomplish and what is in your way.

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Leverage to grow your creative business

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016

leverage

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, 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.

Leveraging Time

Everyone has the same 24 hours in the day. You can’t create more or save it for another day. And, you have no clue how much time you actually have in the end. One of the keys to being able to leverage your time is to surround yourself with great people. Here are three ways to leverage time.

1. Learn to use other people’s time. This could be hiring people to lighten your load. It could be bartering tasks. It could be creating win-win opportunities with other partners.

2. Look for ways to serve more people at one time. You may already be doing this, only not thinking of it as leverage. If you teach classes, either online or offline, you are reaching more than one person at a time. If you create patterns, you create the pattern once and reach many people.

3. Create systems for tasks. When you have a task you do more than once, create a written procedure for it. This way someone else could do the task and you’ve gained the time. A great example of this is in the franchise business. The franchisor has created systems that are followed by all the franchisees. That’s why you can go into a McDonald’s anywhere in the world and get the same good tasting fries.

Leveraging Money

For some of us the money side of the triangle is particularly short when we start our businesses. I like to say I started mine on a quilting thread! For others with corporate or other full-time jobs, money may not be the short side of the triangle, and you may be able to leverage money to a greater extent.  Here are three ways to leverage money.

1. Reinvest what you make in your business. It’s about growing the size of your business and you will need money to do that. If you reinvest what you make rather than spending it all, you will grow at a faster rate and leverage more.

2. Borrow from family and friends. Many small business owners, especially those starting out, may not be able to get a bank loan. Look to borrow from your family or perhaps your friends. If you do this, be sure to draw up some type of agreement so that they get their money back with interest. As your business grows, so do both of your investments.

3. Look outside your close personal network for crowdsourcing. You may be most familiar with Kickstarter. Other options include Indiegogo, Smallknot, Peoplefund.it. A google search will yield others.

Leveraging Knowledge

The amount of knowledge available today is more than any one of us could ever take in and understand fully. With technology today, there’s literally no end in sight to the amount of knowledge you need or can gain. Your specific talents and passions also play into this part of the leverage triangle. It’s important to dedicate yourself to lifelong learning. Look for courses to take and books to read. Here are three more ways to leverage knowledge.

1. Look for mentors to shortcut your learning. Study what they have done and model them. Look for ways you can work with them one-on-one.

2. Build a team. You can’t possibly know it all, and the easiest way to supplement your knowledge is with a team of advisors, affiliates, and employees who support you.

3. Harness the power of the Internet. This might be through search engines or programs that let your own knowledge go further.

How are you leveraging your time, money, and knowledge? Maybe you have some ideas you would like to share, if so, I would enjoy hearing them. Would you share them below or on our 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/

 

 

Are You Waiting for “Enoughness?”

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

 

Are you waiting for enoughness_

 

Do you have some business or personal dreams that are putting off because you think you need to know more before you move forward? Maybe you think you need another art course, or maybe you need that extra marketing course. Or, your website could be better. Or, your design skills need to be better to enter that show. Or, you do not know as much as, or are as skilled as, someone else. Or, …

 

Recently, I caught up with a former coaching client and we chatted about what she was doing in her business. She was still talking about running the same online course. I asked what the problem was. She told me that she just did not know as much as some one else did on this topic. Meanwhile I have seen her share her expertise on countless online forums to great acclaim. It comes down to what I call “enoughness.” We think we are not enough, so we wait until we are. And, we keep waiting.

 

My client is not alone here. I have been there. I am someone who thrives on knowledge, and I am always searching to learn more. And, it is a good thing, except that it can put an obstacle in my path. It is easy to look for the next course to build my knowledge or skill level instead of taking action, albeit imperfect action. Here are some tips to move you forward:

 

1. Do not wait for everything to be perfect. It never will be. There will always be more to learn. The best time to start has already passed. The next best time is now.

2. Do not compare yourself with others. There will always be someone who is further along the path than you. And, remember there are others who not as far as you. You are only where you are and have to start from there. Any action you take at your current level moves you to the next level.

3. Commit and take a bold action. You have something to offer that no one else does. Others are waiting to start; do not follow that path.

 

This reminded me of a quote from Oliver Wendell Holmes:

 

Many people die with their music still in them. Why is this so? Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live. Before they know it, time runs out.

 

So what are you waiting for? You are definitely qualified to start. You are already enough!

Please share your thoughts below. I would love to hear them. You are also welcome to go to leave a comment 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/

Are you leaving money on the table?

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

moneyonthetable

We’re into the last six months of 2015. (Where did the first six months go?!) A couple of weeks ago, I suggested looking at your numbers for the first six months. What did you discover? Were you on track or were your results not quite what you were expecting?

 

I talked with one of my private clients recently about this and she said she needed a cash infusion. I think finding that cash infusion comes down to two items: ideas you didn’t take action on and things you didn’t follow-up on.

 

First are those items you didn’t take action on. One of my good friends has something she calls “the $5,000 notebook.” I bet you have a similar notebook full of cash and you don’t even know it.

 

Do you often make notes of the great ideas you had, the new pattern you wanted to create, the class you think should develop? And what happens to the idea? In many cases, mine included, it stays on the page in your notebook or journal or on those little yellow sticky notes. And, it stays there because you move onto the next idea and forget that last great idea.

 

If you are looking for a cash infusion in your business, go back and find that notebook, those slips of paper and look through them. Highlight those good ideas and then start to take action on one of them.

 

Next are the things you didn’t follow-up on. We all do this, and it can be a gold mine if we go back and look at where we forgot to follow-up. I’ve always heard that the fortune is in the follow-up, and that’s true.

 

Go back and make a list of people who’ve asked about your products or services in the past. It could even come from that stack of business cards you got at the last trade show that is still sitting on the corner of your desk. You could call them warm leads and then set aside time to connect with them again. Block a time in your calendar each week for follow-up and stick to it. If you aren’t sure what to say, create a script with bullet points.

 

Regardless of whether it’s the money in your $5000 notebook or the lack of followup, it’s what I call “leaving money on the table.” And we are all leaving money on the table.

 

This week I plan to go through the notebooks and highlight the ideas I had that could generate cash in my business and take action on one. I’m going to look and see where I should have some follow-up. How about you?

 

Please share how much money you left and then found on the table?

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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/

 

 

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. Lovespells

 

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/

 

 

Are You Just a?

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

Several weeks back I was at a gallery opening with some creative women, and they were each sharing what they did. After hearing one woman say she was a mixed media artist and another say she was a photograph, the third said, “I’m just a longarm quilter.”

 

Why did this person’s passion become a “just a?” I know those of us who grew up in the 60s with the women’s liberation movement remember hearing people saying “just a housewife,” and thinking I would never be know as “just a.” There is so much more to us.

 

And, I know she is not the only one who says “just a” and then has second thoughts about what she said.

 

When I started to reflect on what she said, I wondered where she placed her value. Did she value herself and her work to the same degree as the mixed media artist and the photographer? How did she value her work? If that is where you fit in this equation, take some time to go back and look at what your value is and why you might refer to your passion and profession as “just a.”

 

The other thought is that she was scared to think bigger. We have all been there. Stepping into something bigger is scary. We wonder if we can really do it, if we have what it takes. And, of course, the answer is yes.

 

So the next time you start to say you are just a, stop and think about what you are saying to yourself and leave out the “just.”

 

Maybe you had an aha moment when you realized you dropped the “just” and learned to confidently establish your title in the creative arts? I would love to hear how ICAP helped you in that area?

 

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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/
 

generating blog ideas

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

8604132817_f1de8475f3

To write or not to write.

One of the challenges my clients often have is blog writing, probably more specifically what to write about. I think it’s because more often than not, they feel more comfortable with the visual art than the written art. In fact, many of them do not want to blog at all. Today, though, blogging is important if we are to connect with our customers.

When faced with the blank blog page, many people don’t know where to start. I like to carry a small notebook or 3 x 5 card with me in case my muse strikes. How many times have you been out and about and something struck you, you thought you’d remember and, of course, you didn’t?

At home, I keep a 3 x 5 card on my desk for the same purpose. You might use Evernote or even a napkin at a restaurant, just something to catch that fleeting thought.

What exactly do I put on the note card? Here are some ideas that I use to get started:

Often it’s just a key phrase to remind myself of a topic. I might also overhear someone say something that strikes me. I might pick up a magazine at home or more often when I’m in a waiting room and some phrase strikes me. It might even be an article on a specific topic and that sets me in a direction. I’ve found ideas when I’ve been reading a novel. I’ve found ideas when I was caught up in Pinterest. I even got an idea during our ICAP Business Call this yesterday. Problem is, if I don’t take time to capture this idea, it’s gone, and I’m back at the beginning wondering what I’m going to write about.

Someone once asked me if was plagiarizing if I was using something I read somewhere else. I’m not stealing someone’s idea; I’m using it as a jumping off point for what I’m doing. I’m writing in my own voice and fitting the message to fit my brand.

The goal is to be inspired and inspiration is everywhere. If I’ve got this running of ideas and phrases, I’m never at a loss for inspiration.

Where do you get your blog inspiration?

photo credit: Blogger, after Vilhelm Hammershøi via photopin (license)

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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/

Do you have a rewards jar?

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

rewards jar

How often do you reward yourself for your work? If you are like many creative entrepreneurs I know, it’s not very often. Sure you accomplish the items on your to-do list, you make progress towards your goals, and you may feel proud about what you are doing. Then, it’s on to the next thing on the list, the next goal.

Many of my clients take part in what I call a Success and Strategies Summit on a weekly basis. I had been taking time to look at what I accomplished and plan ahead on a weekly basis for years. When I started working with private clients and ICAP members, I shared this more formal practice with them.

A big part of this Summit is celebrating our successes. Did I mention how we often are on to the next thing and don’t do this?

Since most of us work in isolated environments, i.e., not an outside workplace with lots of co-workers, it’s up to us to reward ourselves. I like the idea of putting a reward on a piece of paper, putting it in the jar and then picking something out for yourself when it’s time to celebrate.

As for what kind of reward you create, you need to think about what motivates you. We all have different motivators. A bike ride through the park may be just what you need. For someone else that bike ride is a painful reminder of exercise. And, not everyone enjoys a hot bubble bath or a massage. For you, maybe it’s a trip to a nice restaurant, a visit to a new gallery, a game of toss with your dog or a shopping spree for a new pair of shoes. This past week I celebrated with three bunches of beautiful tulips.

How to figure out what really motivates you? It’s often that activity that brings a smile to your face. Spend some time making a list of those activities, write them on individual pieces of paper and collect them in a jar or even a fabric bowl. As you look back over your successes this week, don’t forget to reward yourself.

Please share your what’s in your reward jar below.

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