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Posts Tagged ‘goals’

Let’s celebrate + stretch

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

July. We are midway through the year. Have you taken time to review where you are with accomplishing your goals at this half-way point?

This week is the perfect time to look back at what you have accomplished so far this year and adjust your goals for the year. Why now? Other than it is half-way through the year, this is the week of July 4, Independence Day here in the United States. It is a day meant for celebration — picnics, fireworks and gratitude. I like celebrating where I started and where I am. I like celebrating that I am able to work both independently as an entrepreneur and interdependently with so many wonderful people. I’m sure you have some of those same celebrations.

Read more…

What’s in Your Rewards Jar?

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017

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. It made a difference in how much I was accomplishing and the confidence level I had. When I started working with private clients and ICAP members, I shared this more formal practice with them. They began to see how important this review was in their own lives and businesses.

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

Read more…

Kick-up Your Summer Revenue

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

summer-cash

This is the unofficial first week of the summer. For many people, this is the time to kick back and take it easy. You know the lazy, crazy days of summer! And, sure people do take vacations, but not all of them are gone every day all summer. So, you shouldn’t be either.

If you are trying to grow your business, taking it easy really isn’t an option. And, if you take advantage of the time many people do take it easy, your business will be ahead of the game.

Here are some ideas to kick-up your revenues this summer.

Read more…

5 Steps to Getting Your Work Done

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

5 Strategies to Get Your Work Done

Have you ever found yourself procrastinating, overwhelmed or just plain stuck when it comes to getting your work done. Last week I did a free webinar called “From To Do to Ta Da Done!” about how to get more — and the right — work done. I think of it as a simple five-step process. Of course, simple does not always make it easy.

Step one is all about clarity. Are you clear on the big picture?

Read more…

6 Tips to Get More Work Done in the Summer

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

 

Working by the sea

 

Summer is winding down for the year. Did you do anything special for your summer vacation? I spent time at our home on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. I also took a sketching and watercolor class. I still kept up a busy work schedule. One of the things I’ve tried to work on for the last few years is working smarter and using my time more efficiently. The key to that is knowing how I am working currently. Here are some tips I have been using:

 

1. Track how you spend your time. At the end of each day and at the end of each week compare the percentage of your time used toward fulfilling your mission and achieving your goals with time spent elsewhere. It is easy to get sidetracked and not pay attention to the task at hand. It is also easy to do the effortless work and not really tackle what you should be getting done.

 

2. Set your priorities for each day. Select your three top goals for the day and work to complete those goals. If you are clear about what you want to accomplish, it is easier to say no to something that comes up that does not fit into your schedule. Having the priorities, aka your to-do list, keeps you more focused on the end result.

 

3. Keep a copy of your mission and goals where you can see them. If you keep the end in mind, it is easier to keep distractions at bay. And, when you do get distracted, I think it is easier to get back on track.

 

4. Learn to say “no” more often. If you have problems with this one, here’s a link to a blog post I wrote on this topic. For me, it is remembering that the person who asked is just looking for an answer. If I say no, she moves onto the next person on her list.

 

5. Use Caller ID and/or let your answering machine take a message. Today it seems most of the calls that come in are from telemarketers. You can allot a certain amount of time at the end of the day to return any calls that require your attention.

 

6. Limit time on social networking sites. Connecting through these sites is important for the growth of your business, but they can be big time vampires. Set aside 30 minutes each day for Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Linked In, etc., and then stay off the sites the rest of the day. I actually like to save Pinterest for after work because it is so easy to get lost in it.

 

Do you have a few tips on how to work smarter? Please share them below. I would love to hear them. You are also welcome to go to leave a comment on the ICAP Facebook or Google+ pages.

 

– – – – – – – – – –

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/

 


Where’s the Clarity?

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

 

This past week I had met with a group of dynamic, creative women in our Creative Passion to Profit Mastermind. For all of us, me included, we talked about focus and business growth. I think clarity is the key. Once we have clarity we are able to move forward; otherwise we are mired in all the “what ifs” and lots of fuzzy thinking. Have you ever been there?

 

What do you need clarity on? When I work with some clients, that is our first step. Clarity is really the foundation of success both in your business and your personal life. You cannot market on an authentic level if you are not clear.

 

You need to be clear on the direction you are going. What is your end goal? If you don’t know where you are going, how will you know when you get there?

 

You need to be clear on who your client is. We can’t be everything to all people, though I do know people who try. In one class I taught, I had a student who wanted to turn every quilter into an appliqué artist. While that was an admirable goal, her time would have been exhausted trying to accomplish this. She would have been more effective targeting beginning quilters to get them started.

 

You need to be clear on the financial realities of your business. Where does your income come from? What are your expenses? How much do you need to earn to provide support for yourself?

 

Those are just a few of the many areas that require clarity. I am sure you can find other areas where you are searching for clarity. It could be something big, like what my coaches call your “Big Why,” or it could be something smaller, like the name of your new pattern.

 

It is easy to figure out what you need to be clear on – you hear the muddled voices. How do you find clarity? Here are a few approaches to tune into the right little voice inside so you can listen.

 

  • Create a vision board. The easy approach is to go through magazines and find things that resonate with you. It could be colors, words, pictures of places you want to visit, quilts you want to make or techniques you want to learn. Glue them onto a piece of poster board and leave it in a place where you will see it. I find that just searching for the items to put on my vision board helps me get clearer.

 

  1. Keep a journal. Note your day’s activities, how you felt about what happened, any insights you might have. You might even ask a question and brainstorm on ideas or let the answer just come to you. Go back and read your earlier entries. The more you journal about something, the clearer it becomes.

 

  1. Be grateful. If you are grateful every day, you can start to replace confusion with clarity. I keep a gratitude journal.

 

  1. Spend time alone in nature. You may feel most at peace in a certain type of setting. For me it’s the water. So when I need to gain clarity, I will often sit by the water. On our retreat this week, we are in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains by the Potomac River. It is a great setting for walking and reflecting. Clarity often comes just “being,” and this environment lets me “be.”

 

  1. Let go of the question. Sometimes by no longer putting your attention on something the answer will just come to you.

 

Here is a quote on clarity from Scottish writer Richard Holloway that I like:

 

Simplicity, clarity, singleness: These are the attributes that give our lives power
and vividness and joy as they are also the marks of great art.

 

How do you find clarity? I would love to hear your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.

 

– – – – – – – – – –

 

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.

 

 

Book Review: Your Best Year Yet!

Sunday, January 1st, 2012

Best Year Get

Your Best Year Yet!

Jenny Ditzler

Grand Central Publishing; $13.95

 

One of my favorite planning resources is Your Best Year Yet! by Jinny S. Ditzler. I’ve been using this little book for years and recommend it widely. It offers a framework to define your personal values, identify the various roles you play and create goals for those roles. Here are some of Jinny’s questions plus a couple of my own:

1.    What did I accomplish?

2.    What were my biggest disappointments?

3.    What did I learn?

4.    How do I limit myself and how can I stop?

5.    What are my goals for next year?

6.    Where do I need to find education or support to get there?

7.    How can I make sure I achieve my top goals?

 

I find one of the most empowering aspects of Jinny’s system is the look at the successes of the year. It let’s you focus on your successes and not get weighed down by what didn’t work. It also lets you get off the treadmill of working on your business to see if you really are on course.

Here’s a quote from the book I particularly like: “We must prepare our soil before we’re ready to plant the seeds we want to grow in the new year.”

Want to Play a Bigger Game in 2012?

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

I went on a personal retreat last week. In addition to all the museum visiting, one of the things I did on my retreat was to reflect on all the changes in my business in 2011 and the big plans I have for 2012. I guess you’ve heard about the Creative Arts Business Summit! That would be my big plan. Do you have big plans for 2012? Why not set a plan to play bigger in 2012? Here are some ways to help you.

1. Set a stretch goal.

I’ve often heard of this as a breakthrough goal. The idea is that once you achieve such a goal, you break through to a new level in your business. Look back to a really big goal you set and how you felt when you achieved it. Could you really go back to how you felt before? Look for a goal that would make a really big difference in your business and focus a little each day until you achieve it. It could be writing that book you keep thinking about or getting your portfolio together and actually contacting galleries to show your work or submitting your teaching proposal to a national show.

2. Take action.

Achieving any goal is all about taking action, whether that’s giant steps or baby steps. Both will get you there. Decide today to take some action each day toward your stretch goal. Write down what you plan to do each day.

3. Track your results and make necessary adjustments.

Every day take time to look at what you accomplished that day. I also like to do a weekly review. When you do this and see yourself moving toward your goal, you’ll build your confidence and keep going.

4. Get support.

Support comes in many varieties. It can be a coach (that’s one of my favorite support systems) or mentor. It can be business friends also growing, and you’ll network and encourage each other. It can be a class environment where you learn something to build your business. And, it can be family members if they understand that you are trying to grow. Be sure the people on your support team are people like you, truly invested in their own success and who want you to succeed as well.

5. Watch your mindset.

This one stops a lot of us. “What we think, we become.” said the Buddha. Take action to eliminate negativity and small thinking from your life. Read or listen to uplifting books, leave affirmations where you’ll see them and start a gratitude journal. These seem like simple steps, and they are. They can have a profound effect on your goals.

Lastly, I want to share my favorite resource for planning my year, Your Best Year Yet! by Jinny Ditzler. It’s the book I took on my personal retreat. I’ve recommended it before and everyone who uses this process finds it valuable. I’ve reprinted the review from last year below.

Please share your thoughts below.

What’s Clarity Got to Do With It?

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

Despite the title of this piece sounding rather Tina Turnerish to me, I’ve been thinking a great deal lately about what I want in a variety of areas. In other words, I’ve been looking for clarity. It’s so easy to get bogged down with all the what ifs and fuzzy thinking. Ever been there?

What do you need clarity on? When I work with some clients, that’s our first step. Clarity is really the foundation of success both in your business and your personal life.

You need to be clear on the direction you are going. What is your end goal? If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you get there?

You need to be clear on who your client is. We can’t be everything to all people, though I do know people who try. In one class I taught, I had a student who wanted to turn every quilter into an appliqué artist. While that was an admirable goal, her time would have been exhausted trying to accomplish this. She would have been more effective targeting beginning quilters to get them started.

You need to be clear on the financial realities of your business. Where does your income come from? What are your expenses? How much do you need to earn to provide support for yourself?

Those are just a few of the many areas that require clarity. I’m sure you can find other areas where you are searching for clarity. It could be something big, like what my coaches call your “Big Why,” or it could be something smaller, like the name of your new pattern.

It’s easy to figure out what you need to be clear on – you hear the muddled voices. How do you find clarity? Here are a few approaches to tune into the right little voice inside so you can listen.

1. Create a vision board. The easy approach is to go through magazines and find things that resonate with you. It could be colors, words, pictures of places you want to visit, quilts you want to make or techniques you want to learn. Glue them onto a piece of poster board and leave it in a place where you’ll see it. I find that just searching for the items to put on my vision board helps me get clearer.

2. Keep a journal. Note your day’s activities, how you felt about what happened, any insights you might have. You might even ask a question and brainstorm on ideas or let the answer just come to you. Go back and read your earlier entries. The more you journal about something, the clearer it becomes.

3. Be grateful. If you are grateful every day, you can start to replace confusion with clarity. I keep a gratitude journal.

4. Spend time alone in nature. You may feel most at peace in a certain type of setting. For me it’s the water. So when I need to gain clarity, I will often sit by the water. Clarity often comes just “being,” and this environment lets me “be.”

5. Let go of the question. Sometimes by no longer putting your attention on something the answer will just come to you.

And, finally remember when I started looking at the letters in the word “success”? For me, the first C is for clarity.

Here’s a quote on clarity from Scottish writer Richard Holloway that I like:

Simplicity, clarity, singleness: These are the attributes that give our lives power and vividness and joy as they are also the marks of great art.

Please share your thoughts on clarity below.

Are You Using Testimonials to Build Your Business?

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

Testimonials are a terrific way to help market your quilt or creative arts business. It’s word-of-mouth advertising, only you get to decide who hears it and what is heard. While you may get unsolicited testimonials, it’s a good idea for you to actually ask for a response. In some cases you might want to offer a thank you gift for the comment. Here are some ideas to try:

1. For the fiber artist or longarm quilter who has finished a commission, include a self-addressed stamped reply postcard with the work. Ask for comments that will help you in the future. You might try: Was the communication between quilter and customer adequate? Was the project completed in an appropriate time frame? Encourage the buyer to send you a photo of the quilt in use and ask for any other comments. If you want to thank the person giving you the testimonial, perhaps a small discount on a future order is possible.

2. For the teacher, include an additional comments line on your evaluation form. You’ll not only get ideas to improve your classes, but you’ll also get wonderful and heartfelt comments to use as testimonials.

3. Any book author can tell you how valuable the testimonial blurbs are on the back cover of their book. You will need to ask someone if he or she would be willing to write a blurb and then provide a galley copy of your book for reading. A published book might be a nice thank you for the testimonial.

4. If you sell a product to the general public, you can include a comment card in your packaging. You can request that someone leave a comment on your website or return the comment card via regular mail. Another idea would be to encourage feedback from the user. All products include some written material. You can add a couple sentences about how excited you’ll be to hear back from the user about their experiences with the product. You’ll be surprised at the response you’ll get. I think this would be quite effective for pattern designers.

5. For shop owners it’s easy to get testimonials either with a return card with a purchase or a comment card box somewhere in the store.

After you start receiving these comments, don’t forget to pat yourself on the back. You are delivering a great product and building an ongoing relationship with your customers.

What do you do with the testimonials as you get them? Be sure to include them in all your advertising. Here are some specific ideas:

1. Create a page for testimonials on your website. We have one we call Success Stories. You could also intersperse them throughout your site.

2. Include testimonials in your catalog. For example, a pattern designer might include a testimonial about how easy to follow her instructions are.

3. Include testimonials in your tri-fold brochure if you are are teacher or do commission work. It lets potential customers know the value of your work.

4. Include testimonials in any of your print ads. Study ads in magazines to see how testimonials are used.

5. Include testimonials on your product packaging, if space permits. It might be limited to just a few lines, but it could make a difference in someone buying the product.

Lastly, remember you don’t have to use the whole testimonial. You can use an excerpt, just be sure to keep it in context.

How do you gather and use testimonials in your business? Please leave a reply and share your experiences.

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