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Archive for the ‘Success’ Category

Are you confident?

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

 

When someone asks you about how confident you are about something, do you cringe and second-guess or question your abilities? And then self-doubt starts to set in. You feel stuck or paralyzed about taking action. You may be even one of those people who end up in a downward spiral to the point of giving up.

I feel confident about a lot of my creative skills. This Thanksgiving, I decided I wanted to make and decorate a cheesecake for dessert with our meal. The impetus came from a friend who made his living in the wedding industry. He had recently retired and shared a recipe. This recipe was good. So good, in fact, it paid his mortgage payment each month. And this cheesecake had a buttercream icing that was piped beautifully. Do I have those skills? Absolutely not. Did I feel a bit intimidated by the task? Definitely. Did self-doubt set in? Of course.

This is a just small situation, but it can play out every day in larger ways. Giving a speech to a large group for the first time or the 10th time. Entering your art in a show. Sharing a portion of your book in public. How did you get from feeling doubt to taking action to building confidence?  Here are some ideas.

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Hello Imperfection!

Wednesday, October 25th, 2017

The other day I read this quote from Zen Monk Shunryu Suzuki: “You are perfect just as you are, and you could use a little improvement.” I hesitate to say that the quote struck me as “perfect.” Some of us spend too much time worrying about getting it perfect that we don’t get it done. I’m putting myself in this category as a recovering perfectionist. How about you?

The problem with perfectionism

At first glance, you may think that everything needs to be perfect, that you need to be perfect. And if it’s not perfect, you may put off releasing that new pattern, offering the new program, publishing your website, showing your art. This list goes on and on. And, you get so caught up in this spiral of trying to make everything perfect that nothing gets done. That’s the problem with perfectionism — it doesn’t work.

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Play your own game!

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017

It’s football season. I live in a home where “Sports Center,” “Inside the NFL,” and similar shows are often on the television. I am sure some of you can relate. Most often they become “white noise” to me. Recently I happened to hear a conversation about a specific football player, whose name I don’t remember. One of the commentators said that this player needed to be more careful not to get caught up in the game around him.

Watch the comparisons

As I heard that, I thought about how easy it is to do that as creative arts entrepreneurs. You look around at what others are doing. How do you compare to them? Is their art stronger? Are they more successful? It is so easy to do that and not pay attention to where you are.

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Are you ready to step into your power?

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

 

Do you toot your own horn? Or are you like many women – yes, it’s mostly women – who are reluctant to talk about their successes and talents? You probably don’t have any problem talking about the success of your loved ones. Why is it that we have that problem with ourselves?

This has come up over the years and again last week with one of my clients. Sophie was reluctant about sharing her successes with her work on social media. She felt she was bragging and didn’t want to be thought of in “those” terms. I told her she was not alone. Many people, maybe you, feel uncomfortable about promoting themselves, whether that’s in person, on the blog, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. It’s okay to talk about others and share their successes, but we downplay our own. Why? I think it is because you are not ready to step into your own power.

You have gifts that others don’t have. And, I know that you want to share those gifts. That is why you started your creative arts business. You need to share your successes so others can learn about you so that you are able to serve them. It is really about providing a service to your customers, and you cannot do that if you hide your talents.

How do you get beyond this? Here are a few ideas.

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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.

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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/

 

 

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