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Posts Tagged ‘Jinny S. Ditzler’

5 Tips to Start the New Year

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

The New Year is two days away. I’m excited about some of the things I have planned. I have some exciting new business programs to announce in the next few months, and I’ve started a coaching program for creative entrepreneurs.

As I look ahead, I can see that I have a lot to accomplish, and I need to stay focused to do that. A lot of you know that one of my favorite planning resources is Your Best Year Yet by Jinny Ditzler, and following her process helps me focus. See the review below.

I wanted to share five tips to keep in mind as you start 2011:

1. Set time for yourself in your calendar. The older I get, the more important I realize that this is. And, I’m sure I’m not the only one who doesn’t take enough time for her or himself. It’s important to find a little time here and there to care for ourselves. We’ll feel happier and stronger inside and this will in turn make us happier and stronger business people. For me, the best way to do this is to make an appointment for self-care in my calendar. One good reference on self-care is The Art of Extreme Self Care by Cheryl Richardson.

2. Set time in your calendar to grow your business. Many of us are solopreuneurs and tend to spend much of our time working in our business when we should be working on our business. Again, the calendar is a great tool. A quarterly business retreat is an option, so is working with a coach. I’ve set time aside to meet on the phone with a Mastermind group.

3. Allow adequate time for marketing. For many, the production is the fun part and the marketing takes a back seat. I’ve had more than one person tell me that she spends two to four times as many hours marketing herself and her product as she does producing the product. Marketing is an ongoing process; you are always marketing. I love this quote from actress Carrie Fisher, “There is no point at which you can say, ‘Well, I’m successful now. I might as well take a nap.'” This keeps me focused on marketing my product.

4. Keep on top of your financials. I know, most people do not enjoy bookkeeping, and if you can hire someone to take it over, that’s great. But watch your numbers. You need to know what’s coming in and what’s going out. What is your ROI (return on investment) for your activities? Your business can’t grow if you aren’t aware of the financials. The Winter issue of The Professional Quilter will include an article on common mistakes small business owners make with their accounting. Watch for it.

5. Remember why you got into business. For many of us, it was our love of quilting or fiber arts and wanting to share our gifts with other quilters. Sure, we work hard at it, and we are rewarded. When times get tough, step back and remember what got you in the business. Maybe use some of that self-care time to make something for yourself. Another quote I like is from Thomas A. Edison. “I never did a day’s work in my life. It was all fun.”

Hope these tips get you off to a positive start. Feel free to share your ideas with others here on the blog.

The International Association of Professional Quilters offers resources and networking opportunities for you to create a success from your quilting business. Learn about all the benefits of IAPQ membership and join here.

3.5 Tips to Start the New Year

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

We are about to start a New Year. I’m excited about some of the things I have planned. I’m working with a coach to expand the business, and I have some new business programs planned for later in the year. As I look ahead, I can see that I have a lot to accomplish, and I need to stay focused to do that. A lot of you know one of my favorite planning resources is Your Best Year Yet by Jinny Ditzler, and following her process helps me focus. You can read some of the questions she asks on a previous blog post.

I wanted to share three and a half tips to keep in mind as you start the New Year.

1. Set time for yourself in your calendar. I’m sure I’m not the only one who doesn’t take enough time for her or himself. This fall I had knee surgery and was sidelined from my yoga class. I plan to get back in class this winter. And, I want to also set aside time each afternoon for a little self care. It’s important to find a little time here and there to care for ourselves. We’ll feel happier and stronger inside and this will in turn make us happier and stronger business people. One good reference on self care is The Art of Extreme Self Care by Cheryl Richardson.

2. Remember to allow adequate time for marketing. For many, the production is the fun part and the marketing takes a back seat. I’ve had more than one person tell me that she spends two to four times as many hours marketing herself and her product as she does producing the product. Marketing is an ongoing process; you are always marketing. I love this quote from actress Carrie Fisher, “There is no point at which you can say, “Well, I’m successful now. I might as well take a nap.” This keeps me focused on marketing my product.

3. Keep on top of your financials. I know, most people do not enjoy bookkeeping, and if you can hire someone to take it over, that’s great. But watch your numbers. You need to know what’s coming in and what’s going out. What is your ROI (return on investment) for your activities? Your business can’t grow if you aren’t aware of the financials.

3.5 Remember why you got into business. For many of us, it was our love of quilting or fiber arts and wanting to share our gifts with other quilters. Sure, we work hard at it, and we are rewarded. When times get tough, step back and remember what got you in the business. Maybe use some of that self-care time to make something for yourself. Another quote I like is from Thomas A. Edison. “I never did a day’s work in my life. It was all fun.”

The International Association of Professional Quilters offers resources and networking opportunities for you to create a success from your quilting business. Learn about all the benefits of IAPQ membership here.

To Go Forward, Look Back

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

I got back on Sunday evening from Las Vegas where I attended Ali Brown‘s SHINE conference. I went with specific goals in mind and certainly made headway on them.

One of my goals was to start to create a plan for 2010. Before I can do that, though, I need to take a look at where I am now and how I got there. One of my favorite resources for this is Your Best Year Yet by Jinny S. Ditzler.  I’ve been using this little book for years. 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 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 my successes not get weighed down by what didn’t work. It also lets you get off the treadmill of working on my business to see if you really are on course.

So take some time this week to start planning for 2010 by looking back at 2009. Ask and answer these questions. Let me know how this system works for you.

“We must prepare our soil before we’re ready to plant the seeds we want to grow in the new year.”
Jinny S. Ditzler

The International Association of Professional Quilters offers resources and networking opportunities for you to create a success from your quilting business. Learn about all the benefits of IAPQ membership here.

It’s Time to Plan Your Year – Now!

Friday, January 9th, 2009

A few weeks ago I noted that I wanted to get a head start on business planning for 2009. I’ll mention again the resource I like to use, a small book called Your Best Year Yet by Jinny S. Ditzler. It offers an easy framework to define your personal values, identify the various roles you play and create goals for those roles. I particularly like the emphasis on evaluating all the good things before you look at setting new goals. I always get a number of comments from readers about how helpful the book is. Here’s a link to Amazon if you are interested in learning more about the book.

Here are six more ideas to consider as you plan for next year:

  1. Start with a feeling of gratitude. I think this does more for you than just about anything to bring a sense of joy to your life. Why not start or end each day with a list of just three things that you are grateful for? You’ll be surprised by the change. Here’s a wonderful quote on gratitude from Sarah Ban Breathnach’s book Simple Abundance:

    “You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given you.”

  2. Invest in your own well-being. Go on a retreat. Eat healthfully. Get exercise. Take a yoga class. Get a massage. Relax in a bubble bath. It’s easy to get bogged down in our everyday lives and commitments and neglect our own self-care.
  3. Set aside time each quarter for a personal business retreat. Review your goals, celebrate your successes and make necessary adjustments.
  4. Set aside time each day for centering, daily creative time, a mini-mini-retreat, whatever you want to call it. This is time just for you, when you can step out of your life and find calm. It’s wonderful for renewing your energy and spirit. For me this can take the form of an artist date, lunch with an old friend, a cup of tea and a good book, drawing in my journal or personal sewing.
  5. Join or start a MasterMind group. This is different from a large networking group. It’s usually two to six people all of whom have your best interest in mind. Set up expectations for yourselves and commit to personal and professional development. Give more than you get. Together you will catapult your businesses.
  6. Create a vision board to represent the life, both business and personal, that you want. Start with a large sheet of poster board and add pictures and words that express what you want your life to be. You can use magazines to find photos or use your computer to create words/slogans. This gives power and energy to your dreams.
And, of course, a subscription to The Professional Quilter should be on your list for 2009. If your subscription is not current and you need to renew, or you want to start a new subscription, here’s a link to our order page.

Year End Planning

Monday, December 22nd, 2008
December is always a busy month for me. I have business obligations, including getting the Winter issue of The Professional Quilter off to the printer; family commitments; volunteer activities, plus a few fun things scheduled just for me.

I also plan to get a head start on business planning for the next year. A particular resource I like is a small book called Your Best Year Yet by Jinny S. Ditzler. It offers an easy framework to define your personal values, identify the various roles you play and create goals for those roles. I particularly like the emphasis on evaluating all the good things before you look at setting new goals. Here’s a link to Amazon if you are interested in learning more about the book.

Here are six ideas to consider as you plan for next year.

  1. Join or start a networking group. And if you are already in a group, volunteer to run the program one meeting. You’ll not only share but probably learn something you didn’t already know.
  2.  

  3. Set a schedule to back up your financial, and other, data on a regular basis.  It’s easy to let this slide, and then disaster strikes, and you have to input a lot of data again. If you work on your financial data every day, then you should back up every day. To be on the safe side, keep two backups. You could back up the even days on one disk, and the odd days on another. Watch for an article on backing up from Gloria Hansen in the Winter 2009 issue of The Professional Quilter.
  4.  

  5. Spend an hour each day learning something new that will have a positive impact on your business. This could be reading business books, studying accounting on the Internet, learning a new computer program. One hour per day equals 365 hours per year. The average college course is 35 classroom hours. That would be 10 college courses a year. Over time, one hour a day will make you an expert at any subject and the real expert at what makes your business better.
  6.  

  7. Get a head start organizing your accounting and books for the new year. Setting up some kind of system, whether it’s daily, weekly or monthly depending on your business size, is the key to staying organized. And, if you are a shoebox filer, resolve to set up a better system. You can’t really get a handle on how your business operates without being able to look at the numbers throughout the year.
  8.  

  9. Set some goals to grow your business and develop a marketing plan to follow through on them. For teachers, it could be sending out additional brochures to show managers or developing a new class. For longarm quilters, it might be sending a thank you note to all your 2008 customers with a coupon for a discount on their first job of 2009. For art quilters, it could be to make one new contact a month for gallery representation.
  10.  

  11. Participate in some charitable activity. This will not only make you feel good, but the exposure can lead to new quilting business.

I’ll offer six more ideas at the end of the month. And, if you have some ideas to share, let me know.

If your subscription to The Professional Quilter is not current and you need to renew, or you want to start a new subscription, here’s a link to our order page.

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