NEW ENERGY

Meredith C Bullock New Energy Painting A new year brings this new energy, an energy I love and look forward to every year. Unlike most years, this year I didn't write a list of resolutions. Instead, I wanted to give myself the time and space to really dig deep and find out what I really wanted. I didn't want to jump ahead and start jotting down goals, I really wanted to be patient and listen to what my heart was saying.

Several things have been helping me through this self-discovery process, like meditating, writing 3-pages of anything everyday and a book called The Artist's Guide. This book describes a process in which the author took herself through in order to live the life of her dreams as an artist.

When I read the introduction I was immediately hooked and could hear myself through her words. A woman who spent years building up a successful business while putting her painting career to the side. At a certain point she couldn't let the painting be her second priority anymore, and she paved a path to her success.

In this book she describes this path and guides the reader through each step. I'm not quite sure how many steps there are, but already at step 3/4 I know what I want.

Before I started to read this book I knew things were shifting, I knew that what I envisioned for my business and my everyday was different than it was before–even just a few months ago.

The shift, unknown to me at the time, began when I started painting again for my #FridayPaintday challenge. After a few months of getting back to painting, having a collection of new paintings grow and having inquiries about custom artwork come in, it hit me: I want to do this for a living.

I've had this feeling before, but never with so much confidence. Yes the fears flooded in after I admitted this to myself and to my husband, but I know this is right and I've learned I've got to push through those fears if I want to achieve my dreams. One of those fears was admitting this discovery to you.

So today I'm sharing with you that a change is coming and you will slowly see it start to unfold here. I still want to work with creatives to help them achieve their dreams, I still love designing websites and brands, I still want to teach, coach and lead retreats. But I also want to focus on building a career as a painter.

A few changes that have already occurred is that I started taking commissions and my instagram is almost all about my exploration of painting. I ordered sample prints for my artwork, so soon you'll see a bunch of prints available in my shop. I'm also working a new series of paintings for an exhibit this year.

A few things I want to have happen this year:

  • Exhibit my artwork in 1-3 galleries
  • Create 1-3 commission pieces per month
  • Sell my original artwork and prints
  • Have representation from a gallery
  • Be know as an artist and painter in Nashville and beyond

How about you, any changes or goals this new energy/new year has brought to you?

FROM FEAR TO COURAGE

From Fear to Courage - how to be more daring, creative and successfull What if you could be more courageous and positive about everything in your life? Would you notice a difference? Would you accomplish your goals? Would you be happier and more successful?

I believe so. I believe that if you turn your fears into courage and your negatives into positives, you'll find endless joy, success, kindness, purpose and fulfillment.

Back when I was a kid I remember learning how to ride a bike. First I had a tricycle, then a bicycle with training wheels, then eventually - even though I still didn't know how - my parents removed the training wheels. I'd position myself close enough to our house to hold myself up with one hand, get my feet ready, then push-off. I'd last about 5 seconds then fall. I was young and wanted so badly to ride bikes like my older sisters. I'd get back up, lean against the house, get my feet ready and push-off again. Over and over again I'd fall but each time I got up and tried again because I knew eventually I'd get it.

For some reason, as you get older, we lose this determination and courage to get back up and try again even though you know it's likely you'll fail. What if you could be more like you were when you were a child? Perhaps you'd be more courageous, fearless, creative, daring and successful?

Today you're going to reclaim your childhood courage with a very simple exercise, developed Michael Michalko the author of Thinkertoys,  that helps you to identify your fears, substitute them with positive thinking then guides you to carve out your path to success with affirmations. It might sound a little heady, but I promise you it works. Print out the free exercise worksheet here

Change your thoughts and change your world - Norman Vincent Peale

Once you've filled out the worksheet I challenge you to affirm your beliefs; to make a positive statement that something is already so. It can be general or specific - the point is to actually write it out as if it's a fact.Take a look at your "Tock" column and jot down some affirmations. For example "I am successful and happy because I do what I love".

Once you have a few affirmations, remind yourself of them. I like to cut little square cards and write affirmations on them and stick them in my purse, on my mirror, in my desk, or in my notebook. They're nice reminders and the more you affirm your beliefs, the more they become reality.

Take it one step further and jot down all of the things you like about and have accomplished for yourself and your business. The more you practice remembering your successes and forgetting your failures, the more you'll experience success and happiness.

Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance. - Eckhart Tolle

Today's blog entry is lesson borrowed from the Unlock Your Creativity Ecourse in session right now. To learn more about our Ecourses and to register for the next session, go here.

I AM NOT SPECIAL

i-am-not-special I am not special. Yes of course, my mom, my family and my husband (I hope) think so. But really, I'm not. I'm just like you. I have fears, dream, goals, aspirations, victories, failures, good days and bad days.

When I read other people's stories - on how they got started and what got them to where they are today - I get inspired and feel like it's truly possible to achieve that same greatness. So today, I thought I share with you my story on how I got to where I am today. And that you too can achieve the same success.

Growing up, art was always what I favored - well, that and music. I remember getting a pair of large headphones and locking myself in my room to bliss out to music and draw or paint. This was my happy place.

When it came time to decide what I wanted to do before graduating high school I considered arts. Maybe graphic design or communication arts (whatever that means) - but really those jobs sounded terrible back then. The idea of sitting in front of a computer all day was not glamorous or dreamy at all. I also considered becoming an art teacher. But the idea of so many years of school killed me - I hated school (for reals guys, the only class I liked in school was art).

Because I couldn't decide what I wanted to do and the idea of going into debt to study something I didn't even know I liked, was not an option.

So I chose Cosmetology school. A left field decision, yes. But I great decision for sure. I grew up with two aunts that were both self-employed hairstylists. The idea of being able to make people feel beautiful and working for myself sounded very desirable. That's when I really knew I wanted to work for myself.

For thirteen years I worked as a hairstylist and for ten of those years I was extremely happy doing it. Then I started pursuing art in my free time, moved to a more cultural, art-supportive town and found myself exhibiting art at local restaurants, shops and galleries. I was always drawing, sketching or painting in my free time and finally did something about it. I was creating because I knew I wanted a change, I knew I didn't want to do hair forever. 

After a few exhibits and opening my first Etsy shop, I began to experience what it felt like to make money doing what I loved. It was pennies but a huge boost and confirmation that I could do this.

A few months later I got engaged and decided to design my own wedding invitations. I picked up a set of nibs and calligraphy tools I had from years ago and created our wedding announcements and stamps. I posted them on my Etsy shop just for fun and immediately I was being emailed by many for custom work.

I went with it. I started creating more calligraphy designs, receiving custom orders and posting more products. After my first month I was making more than just pennies.

After our wedding in August of 2011, I opened my second Etsy shop Hazel Wonderland. By April 2012 I was interviewed for the Etsy Featured Seller (for those of you who don't know, being asked to be an Etsy Featured Seller is a huge deal. The interview is opted on the Etsy homepage and viewed by millions).

A few months later, I quit my day job. 

Things were great. Better than great, I was on cloud nine. I was scheming ideas, daydreaming of what the future could look like, I was unstoppable.

Then a few months into designing wedding invitations and working with a couple that challenged me, I realized I was not doing what I was called to do. Yes, I was creating art and yes I was extremely grateful to have clients, to be making money and to be self-employed. But I was not passionate about working with wedding clients. Working with couples was fun and always beautiful to see how each project unfolded, but I was not happy, I was stressed. I still felt like there was more and this was not it.

I spent some time soul-searching and digging deep. Listening to the heart and imaging those moments when I felt the most alive, the most true to myself. I discovered I felt the most alive and heartfelt during conversations with other creatives, artists or friends. Conversations about how unhappy they were at their current job or position, how they dreamed of being more, accomplishing more but had no idea how to get there. They had a passion, a calling, a God-given talent, but no clue how to monetize it.

And that's when I knew what I really wanted to do, what I was called to do. I wanted to help others discover and grow their talents, personality and skills so they could make money and bring value to the world doing what they love, helping us find ultimate fulfillment. 

That meant working with people like me. Artists, musicians, woodworkers, designers, illustrators, photographers, printers, instructors, teachers... that wanted to leave their day job to make money doing what they really love.

When I realized I had to make the switch to start working with creatives and stop working with weddings, I came up with a plan. A plan to slowly phase out of weddings and into business coaching, branding and designing. This process took about eight months.

On October 15, 2013, I launched this blog (yep, the one your reading right now) and started talking more about what I was doing, why I was doing it and who I wanted to work with.

Fast forward to present day and here I am living my dream. I'm working with my dream clients, creating work I love and influencing others like I hoped I could. I create brands that tell others stories, I plan out strategies to help people get to where they want to go, I coach to help others find clarity and brainstorm new ideas, and most recently I teach to help inspire others to imagine, start and grow their business, expertise and craft.

I was put on this earth to help creatives like you. To help you imagine, create, find happiness and find ultimate fulfillment. What do you feel you were put on this earth to do?

("I am not special" was inspired by the talented illustrator Molly Jaques and her Instagram post here

WHAT IS A CREATIVE COACH?

what-is-creative-coaching When people ask me what I do and I respond with I'm an artist, designer and creative coach. Without fail, the followup question is what is a creative coach? I'm happy to answer a creative coach is an expert/teacher/mentor that helps guide creatives, artists and musicians to achieve their goals. 

Think back to all of the teachers that have taught you something. In my experience, there are two types of teachers; one that guides you through each step, and the one that does the work for you.

Back when I was a teenager attending cosmetology school, there were two classrooms (each with their own teacher) that us students were divided into. One teacher that was rumored to be sweet, nice and easy and the other teacher was rumored to be a hard ass. I had the latter and I wouldn't change it for the world.

Because although at the time it seemed harder to be with this particular teacher and way scary to mess up a haircut, my teacher never leaned in and finished my work just to make things easier. She would stand next to me, guide me through the task, remind me of my knowledge, give me confidence to complete it. Eventually her style of teaching allowed me to feel confident enough to teach a few cosmetology classes while I was still a student. As for the students in the other classroom, lets just say most of them never went on to cut hair professionally.

So when I say I am a creative coach, I mean I am your rock standing next to you, supporting your ideas, reminding you of your courage, helping you over hurdles, empowering you with confidence and equipping you with the tools to successfully accomplish your goals.

Whether you need a single session to get over a creative hurdle, or a 6 week session to prepare you for your big business launch or brand overhaul, I am here for you. Email me today  meredithcbullock@gmail.com to find out how we can work together to accomplish your goals and start 2014 on the right foot!

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4 WAYS TO ACCOMPLISH YOUR NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION

4-ways-to-accomplish-your-new-years-resolution Writing a resolution is like a contract to myself that I will live my dream and accomplish everything I set my heart to. So when the end of the year approaches I get all giddy about writing my next year of goals.

Sometimes the hardest part of writing a resolution is actually identifying your goals and writing them out. But to me the hardest part is following through with them.

So to prep for the New Year here are 4 tips on how to write a killer resolution for 2014 so you can reach your goals, grow, make more money, find balance and live your dream.

1. WRITE IT DOWN

Probably the most important step of all is to write your goals down. If you don't write it down, it'll never get done. It will swim around in your head with all of the other ideas you have until you inevitably forget about it. For the past 5 or so years, I have a dedicated journal where I write out my resolutions, That way every year I can look back and see what I've accomplished. Get some more tips and download a goal-setting worksheet here. 

2. SET S.M.A.R.T. GOALS

Set Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound goals.

Specific: Be as detailed and precise as possible. If you're looking to grow your expertise, how do you plan to do that? Sign up for a ecourse or read for 30" a day? Whatever the goal, be specific.

Measurable: If you can't measure it, you'll never know if you've reached it. For example, when you set a goal to write a book, include the amount of pages you want to write, how long you want to write per day and so on.

Attainable: Our goals come from our daydreams, brainstorms and ideas and sometimes they can be lofty. In order to reach your goals, they must be attainable. For example, if you want to blog 4 times per week, but really only have time for 3 days a week, set a goal that's more realistic for you.  You can always over achieve your goal.

Relevant: Always make sure your goals are aligned with your vision. If you're accepting new wedding clients, but your goals is to work with creative entrepreneurs then you find yourself off course, bitter and burnt out because you're doing work irrelevant to your vision.

Time-bound: I religiously use google calendar, iCal, my iPhone and my notebook to track all of my goals with their specific dates. Over and over again, if I add a goal to my list without a deadline, it never gets done. So when you write a goal down, give it a date of completion and try to stick with it.

3. PLAN IT OUT

Starting with your last goal of 2014, work your way backward. Imagine you have accomplished all of your goals for 2014, ask yourself how did I get here? Begin by writing down your last goal of 2014, then asking what did I do just before this, and what did I do just before that and so on. Continue to work your way backward all the way to the present. Here's an example:

5. Become a best-selling author (last goal for 2014)

4. Tour the US promoting my book

3. Publish my book

2. Write my book

1. Create outline and gather ideas for my book

Once you have those steps in place, you can fill in even more steps in between each one, like:

3. Publish my book

  • submit draft to editor
  • identify my readers
  • research how to publish a book

2. Write my book

4. SHARE IT WITH OTHERS

Being held accountable by others is powerful. Several studies like this one proves that when you share your goals with others, you're more likely to follow through with them. So talk about what you want to do in 2014, share it with you friends and family, on your blog, email, newsletter or social media. Maybe once a month or every other month you want to share your goals and how you've accomplished them. Whatever makes sense to you, share wherever you can. That way when you're feeling doubtful, fearful, unsure or uninspired you have your tribe to hold you accountable.

I have just a few slots left for the 4 week Creative Coaching Package for $275, normal price is $550. Treat yourself to this 4 week plan that helps you get organized and plan out your resolutions, create a strategy for success and hold you accountable so you can make more money and start reaching your goals. Learn more about the package here  and email me for more information and to reserve your spot. Price is good till January 1, 2014.

What do you want to accomplish in 2014? Writing a book (if you couldn't tell) is one of my goals.

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THE WINNER OF THE CREATIVE COACHING PACKAGE

It's always hard choosing just one winner for a giveaway. Especially after reading each one of your comments and learning about your business, your ambitions, your goals and your dreams. I just can't imagine learning about what you do and where you want to go and not helping you get there.

So like the last giveaway, everybody has won something.

If you entered this giveaway and didn't win the grand prize, I am offering each of you the 4 Week Creative Coaching Package for only $275 (normally priced at $550). We meet for 1 hour each week, for 4 weeks (via Skype). Each session, I provide my undivided attention, guiding you through exercises and equipping you with tools that allow you to daydream, achieve your goals and clarify where you want to go. Helping you grow and achieve success with your business.

This offer is valid for those who entered the drawing and lasts till January 1st, 2014. To learn more and reserve your spot, email me meredithcbullock@gmail.com.

If you're interested in learning more about what it would look and feel like to work with me and how we can work together to grow your business, let me know and we can schedule a free consultation via Skype.

Thank you to all of you who entered and shared your goals for 2014, you inspire me!

LIVE YOUR DREAM | CREATIVE COACHING GIVEAWAY

Live-your-dream-creative-coaching-giveaway As my favorite time of year approaches, so do new resolutions, ideas, goals, and ambitions. Starting 2014 with a clean slate, renewed energy and a whole new set of goals inspires and motivates me to get all of those things I've been meaning to do, done.

So today, I am giving away a 4 week Creative Coaching Package that will help you get organized, clarify your vision, make more money and achieve your creative goals.

What is Creative Coaching? We all know or at least have an idea of what life coaching is, right? Well imagine that, but instead of focusing on your life, we focus on your creative work. Another words, Creative Coaching helps you move forward and grow in the direction you desire with your creative work. So if you have a goal to make 120K in 2014, we work together to help get you there. Or maybe your goal is to start a new business or maybe even tour with your band for 6 months - whatever the goal - big and small - we work together to make it happen.

Who is Creative Coaching for? Creative Coaching is for artist, musicians, designers, photographers, writers, bloggers, entrepreneurs, freelancers and creatives looking to grow their expertise, build an incredible career, connect with their dream clients, make more money and reach their goals.

What exactly will we be doing for 4 weeks? Beginning in January, we will meet for 1 hour each week, for 4 weeks (via Skype). Each session, I will give you my complete attention, guiding you through exercises and equipping you with tools that allow you to daydream, achieve your goals and clarify where you want to go.

How do I enter the giveaway? In order to enter, follow these 2 steps:

  1. Like my Facebook page (if you already like it, go to my Instagram and follow me there)
  2. In the comments below, share your business name and 1 goal you have for your creative work in 2014.

The winner will be drawn at random and announced on Monday 12/16/13. Good luck!

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