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Archive for the ‘Success’ Category

Small Steps to Success

Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018


It’s the start of a New Year. If you’re like most people, you are gung-ho to accomplish something this year.

If you’re like most people, that gung-ho-ness starts to wane. That’s why gym memberships sell out at the holidays, the gyms are packed in January, and then the regulars heave a sigh of relief when all the resolution-setters give up. Life sets in and you don’t have a plan to stay on track.

Resolution realities

According to the Marist Poll, of those who make a resolution for 2017, 68% said they kept at least part of their promise. And 44% of Americans are likely to make promises to themselves again for 2018. If you are a resolution maker, you want to keep up the tradition, it seems.

Last year, being a better person (16%) was followed by losing weight and exercising more (both at 10%). Seven percent resolved to spend less money, improve their health, or eat healthier. Forty-three percent mentioned another resolution.

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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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Are You Just a?

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

Several weeks back I was at a gallery opening with some creative women, and they were each sharing what they did. After hearing one woman say she was a mixed media artist and another say she was a photograph, the third said, “I’m just a longarm quilter.”


Why did this person’s passion become a “just a?” I know those of us who grew up in the 60s with the women’s liberation movement remember hearing people saying “just a housewife,” and thinking I would never be know as “just a.” There is so much more to us.


And, I know she is not the only one who says “just a” and then has second thoughts about what she said.


When I started to reflect on what she said, I wondered where she placed her value. Did she value herself and her work to the same degree as the mixed media artist and the photographer? How did she value her work? If that is where you fit in this equation, take some time to go back and look at what your value is and why you might refer to your passion and profession as “just a.”


The other thought is that she was scared to think bigger. We have all been there. Stepping into something bigger is scary. We wonder if we can really do it, if we have what it takes. And, of course, the answer is yes.


So the next time you start to say you are just a, stop and think about what you are saying to yourself and leave out the “just.”


Maybe you had an aha moment when you realized you dropped the “just” and learned to confidently establish your title in the creative arts? I would love to hear how ICAP helped you in that area?


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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


See the ICAP blog at

generating blog ideas

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015


To write or not to write.

One of the challenges my clients often have is blog writing, probably more specifically what to write about. I think it’s because more often than not, they feel more comfortable with the visual art than the written art. In fact, many of them do not want to blog at all. Today, though, blogging is important if we are to connect with our customers.

When faced with the blank blog page, many people don’t know where to start. I like to carry a small notebook or 3 x 5 card with me in case my muse strikes. How many times have you been out and about and something struck you, you thought you’d remember and, of course, you didn’t?

At home, I keep a 3 x 5 card on my desk for the same purpose. You might use Evernote or even a napkin at a restaurant, just something to catch that fleeting thought.

What exactly do I put on the note card? Here are some ideas that I use to get started:

Often it’s just a key phrase to remind myself of a topic. I might also overhear someone say something that strikes me. I might pick up a magazine at home or more often when I’m in a waiting room and some phrase strikes me. It might even be an article on a specific topic and that sets me in a direction. I’ve found ideas when I’ve been reading a novel. I’ve found ideas when I was caught up in Pinterest. I even got an idea during our ICAP Business Call this yesterday. Problem is, if I don’t take time to capture this idea, it’s gone, and I’m back at the beginning wondering what I’m going to write about.

Someone once asked me if was plagiarizing if I was using something I read somewhere else. I’m not stealing someone’s idea; I’m using it as a jumping off point for what I’m doing. I’m writing in my own voice and fitting the message to fit my brand.

The goal is to be inspired and inspiration is everywhere. If I’ve got this running of ideas and phrases, I’m never at a loss for inspiration.

Where do you get your blog inspiration?

photo credit: Blogger, after Vilhelm Hammershøi via photopin (license)

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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


See the ICAP blog at

Do you have a rewards jar?

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

rewards jar

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. When I started working with private clients and ICAP members, I shared this more formal practice with them.

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

Since most of us work in isolated environments, i.e., not an outside workplace with lots of co-workers, it’s up to us to reward ourselves. I like the idea of putting a reward on a piece of paper, putting it in the jar and then picking something out for yourself when it’s time to celebrate.

As for what kind of reward you create, you need to think about what motivates you. We all have different motivators. A bike ride through the park may be just what you need. For someone else that bike ride is a painful reminder of exercise. And, not everyone enjoys a hot bubble bath or a massage. For you, maybe it’s a trip to a nice restaurant, a visit to a new gallery, a game of toss with your dog or a shopping spree for a new pair of shoes. This past week I celebrated with three bunches of beautiful tulips.

How to figure out what really motivates you? It’s often that activity that brings a smile to your face. Spend some time making a list of those activities, write them on individual pieces of paper and collect them in a jar or even a fabric bowl. As you look back over your successes this week, don’t forget to reward yourself.

Please share your what’s in your reward jar below.

Where Are You Using Testimonials

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

Testimonial reworkedLast Wednesday I discussed different ways of asking for testimonials for your business. Of course, now that you have them, what do you do with them? Here are some specific ideas. Be sure to share how you use testimonials on the blog.

1. Create a page for testimonials on your website. We have one called Success Stories. I’ve seen them called Testimonials, Kudos and Praise. You could also intersperse them throughout your site. Look for ways that you can refer potential customers to see your testimonials.

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 brochure if you are a teacher, do longarm or commission work. It lets potential customers know the value of your work.

4. Include testimonials in any of your print ads. This will be very effective. Study ads in magazines to see how testimonials are used and what appeals to you.

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

6. Add a testimonial after your email signature.

Lastly, remember that 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. Please share your ideas in the comments section below.


Do You Pay Yourself?

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

MP900403063I know we always hear we should do this; yet, how many really do? I know I hear people say, “Wait, I’ll take extra out at the end of the month.” This is particularly true for those who are just starting their business and who aren’t relying on their business to support the household. The thought is to wait until you get some experience and cash flowing in.

What’s the problem? You get to the end of the month, the next month starts, and you promise to do it then. And on, and on. Maybe once in a while you do take money out as a “salary.” Maybe at the end of the year, you look and decide to take some money out. And maybe you don’t.

So what’s wrong with leaving all the money in your business checking account to build the business? I think it says you don’t value yourself or your business the way you should. If you stick with that approach, it’s also easy to get to burnout. Again, I think it’s related to not truly valuing yourself as a business person. It’s so easy to decide you don’t need to pay yourself.

What should you do? Set aside a certain amount each month to pay yourself. It doesn’t matter how much. Perhaps you decide to pay yourself 10%. If you make $100, then you pay yourself $10; if you make $1,000; you pay yourself $100; if you make $10,000, you pay yourself, $1,000. It really doesn’t matter if you pick 10% or $100. It just matters that you do.

Make it easy on yourself and set up a savings account attached to your checking account and have the funds automatically transferred once a month. I think you’ll be surprised that you’ll always be able to pay yourself.

My question is, do you pay yourself first?

Please share your thoughts on support systems below.

How Supportive is Your Support System?

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

Over the past few years I’ve talked with several clients about a lack of support or encouragement from their friends and even family members. Actually, it’s more that their friends don’t really understand why they want to have a business when they can just quilt or make art. Or, why they should expect to make a living from something others can share. Or, why they don’t just enjoy retirement instead of starting up that new business.

It’s a difficult place to be. We want our friends and family to support us. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. I read a quote from the late motivational speaker Jim Rohn: “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” If the five people we spend the most time with are those that don’t support us, what does that do to our business? It certainly doesn’t help us grow our business easily.

What can you do to change the situation? First, identify who is not in your camp, support-wise. Then make a decision that you need to remove them from your life or limit the time you spend with them. I get that this is not always easy, particularly if it’s a family member. Hopefully, some of these people will get on board when they experience your passion at what you are doing. Next, look for people you can add to your circle that will be supportive. Of course, you may first need to identify what you actually need from people. Look for ways that you can be around these supportive people.

If we really are the average of those five people, don’t you want to be average with people who support you?

Here’s another quote to remember if you struggle with this,

If you hang out with chickens, you’re going to cluck; and if you hang out with eagles, you’re going to fly.
Steve Maraboli

Please share your thoughts on support systems below.

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