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Live your life by choice not by chance.

I’ve been thinking a lot about intention lately. 

With our stay-at-home order still in effect in Maryland, I have had a lot of time for reflection. Reflection about what is important in my life, what I want to do in my business, how I want to spend my days.

For years, I had a note on my bathroom mirror. It reminded me every day to think about what my intention was. 

What is your intention/choice for today?



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Boost your business with video conferencing

We’ve been in our current sheltering mode for nearly two months. Regardless of when we exit this, our ways of doing business will be forever different.

One of the most significant changes will be around technology. More people will continue working from home. More people will continue using the Internet than ever before for learning.

If you haven’t quite yet embraced this, it’s time to jump on that bandwagon.

On our Members’ Studio coaching call this week, we focused on using zoom, one of the video conferencing platforms. As an early adopter of zoom, I’ve seen its power in connecting people as well in teaching and presenting content.

Here’s a bit of what we shared on our call and thoughts on how I use the platform.



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The Secret of the $5,000 Notebook

We’re at the start of a new month. Did you take a look at your numbers for the first four months? Are you where you want to be revenue wise?

If you aren’t, I’m not surprised. We are in the midst of a pandemic, and all bets are off.

Most people I’ve talked with are not experiencing growth for the month. They are, instead, looking for ways to increase revenue going forward.

I have a friend who she shared her secret of the $5,000 notebook sometime back. I bet you have a similar notebook full of cash and you don’t even know it.



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Are You Juggling Too Many Balls?

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

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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Selling: It’s About Service

selling-is-service

I’ve had several different conversations with clients about selling in the midst of the coronavirus.

Is it ok to keep selling? Do I need to cut my prices because of the struggle people are having?

It really boils down to not feeling comfortable selling and knowing your value.

So I ask you, does selling feel uncomfortable or even scary to you? Particularly now?



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10 Minutes To More Creativity

Only 10 minutes to more creativity? That sounds doable, right? It is, and it’s as simple as sitting quietly and focusing on your breath.

For the past several years I have been recommending meditation to my private clients. It has been significant to most. 

At our Creative Arts Business Summit, I would lead a guided meditation. For some of my clients, this was a powerful exercise.

Today in our times of stress with the coronavirus, meditation can have a profound effect on us.

I also have my own meditation practice that is part of my morning ritual. I was around meditation for a long time before I started to practice. My sister has taught mindfulness meditation for more than 15 years after many more years of a personal practice, and my husband has also had a long-time practice.

Despite their encouragement, I could not think of myself as someone who meditated. After all, I couldn’t possibly sit still that long. The first time I tried, I stopped and looked at the clock and barely two minutes had passed. And, I could not shake the long-held idea that meditation somehow was for hippies or new-age types.

I somehow got over that.

Read, I stopped self-sabotaging myself.  And, I began a meditation practice. I have found that it has a positive impact on my life. I can see this in my everyday activities and in my own creativity.

Especially in today’s uncertain times, I find it grounding.

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Is your inner control freak freaking out?

Are you feeling less in control these days?

Who isn’t?

Like many of you, we are under a “stay-at-home” order. Even if you are not under an order, you are likely practicing “social distancing.”

Along with being “stuck at home” comes feelings of not being in control. It is acutely aware to all of us.

The truth is that we have very little control over things all the time. We just don’t dwell on it on a regular basis. Our brain is focused elsewhere the majority of the time. Right now, our brains tend to go to the lack of control.

And we worry about this lack of control. And we can get carried away with this.

What can you do?



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COVID-19 got you down: 7 actions you can take now

Last week I wrote about “Business as Unusual.”

We are in uncharted waters. More of us are now under self-quarantine or shelter-in-place rules. Those of you who aren’t, you likely will be at some point. This is serious times.

Artists tend to look for ways they can help. As a quilter, I’ve seen the masses of textile folks make masks for hospitals and healthcare workers. You can find numerous resources online, particularly on YouTube. One resource I’ve found a good place to start is the page put together by artist, photographer, and writer Gloria Hansen. In addition to Covid information, she has links to sewing masks.

A second resource is specifically geared to teaching artists. It came from a webinar put on by the Teaching Artists Guild. Here’s a link.

Yesterday I held a coaching call with my Members’ Studio tribe to talk about the Coronavirus and how it was impacting our businesses and what we could do about it. Here are some of the tips based on the call.



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Business as Unusual

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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