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Posts Tagged ‘commitment’

Are you waiting to be qualified?

Wednesday, January 10th, 2018


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, and you need to know how to do it. Or, your portfolio need to be better to enter that show. Or, you need to up your photography skills so you can take better shots of your work. Or, you don’t know as much as or are as skilled as someone else. Or…

Does that sound like you? I’ve been there. I’m someone who thrives on knowledge, and I’m always searching to learn more. And, it’s a good thing, except that it can put an obstacle in your path. It’s easy to look for the next course to build your knowledge or skill level instead of taking action, albeit imperfect action.

If you are waiting to feel qualified, stop. You are already qualified, and you just need to take the leap. Here are some tips to move you forward.

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Discover the power of a word!

Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

What’s In a Word?

Many people choose a “word” as a focus tool for the year. I have been doing this since probably 2005 when Kathy, the owner of the yoga studio where I practiced, passed around a basket with words. I chose “openness.” At the time I asked if I could pick a different word. After all, the woman next to me chose love, which seemed like a much better word. I remember Kathy telling me that I was stuck with openness because the word had chosen me.

I went home, taped the word onto my computer, and let it be an anchor as I went through the year. Looking back, I know that this made a tremendous difference in my year.

What it did was allow me to focus on being a person who was more open to opportunities, more open to challenges, and more open to other people. It required me to “be” or work on “becoming” a certain person.

That is what I like about choosing a theme, whether that’s one word, two words or a short phrase. It is not about resolving to do something. It is about becoming – becoming the person you want to be. You know those New Years resolutions you make every year? Lose weight, get organized, exercise more, the list goes on and on. The reason they don’t work is that you are still “being” the same person. You need to choose to “be” a different person. It’s the focus on being that makes a difference.

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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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Where Are You Setting Boundaries?

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015



A couple of weeks back, I had a conversation with Katie, a long-time client. We talked about boundaries, something that we have talked about over the years. She had, again, agreed to take on the program chair position at her local guild. The guild was in a real bind since the current chair was having surgery with a long rehab period, and they really needed her, she said. That was on top of Katie’s picking up the slack for one of the moms with snacks at the kids’ soccer games. And, she also lamented a call the day before from a long-time friend who needed someone to talk with. The problem was that the friend was always in a crisis mode and she picked Katie as the go-to person on many occasions.


During our conversation, Katie admitted she was exhausted and felt like her needs, both personal and professional, were taking second place. That was true. She may have had good boundaries, but she was not guarding them. She was giving away her time and energy. What we discussed was a test for Katie to make some changes in her life.


I will admit right up front I could be a better boundary setter. Well maybe not a setter, but rather a keeper. I can set those boundaries; I just do not always stick to them. How about you?


What boundaries might be the first part of the discussion. If we own property, we understand the concept of boundaries. This is where my property begins and what I am responsible for. It is the same with personal boundaries. It is where you begin and your sense of responsibility begins. Your business will have boundaries, too. Here are some guidelines for setting boundaries:


  1. Become self-aware. When you get into particular situations, what happens to you? Do you become anxious, lose energy, feel unsure, flee, fight, etc. Being aware of how you respond is the first step to learning to set boundaries that work for you.



  1. Start with simple boundaries or limits. This could take the form of setting your work hours, saying no to extra commitments (or even learning how to say no), placing limits on taking rush orders, only taking personal calls at night, etc.



  1. Once you set your boundaries, you do not need to defend your position. It just is. If someone questions you on it, you just repeat your position.



  1. Stay committed to your course. If you give in this once, you will find yourself giving in again and again. You end up feeling guilty if you don’t. (I think that is a woman people-pleasing guilt issue.) People will start to ignore your needs. And, you end up back in those feelings I outlined in number 1 above.



You know I like to talk about creating systems in your business. Systems support the business and let you get more done. If you think about it, boundaries are really just systems that help you live your life the best way. They put you in charge of your life. They also help you manage your business the best way for you.


If you want to read more on boundaries, I read a wonderful little book. It is called Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No To Take Control of Your Life by Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend.


If you are not a boundary setter, make a commitment to start this week. Set some standards or boundaries for yourself. Just one boundary and build on that. It will make a big difference.


Please share your experiences with boundaries and what you did about them below. Or, feel free to jump over to our ICAP Facebook or Google+ pages and leave a comment there.


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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


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