Wayfaren has officially launched! A few months ago I had the pleasure to work closely with husband and wife team, Wayfaren, on their branding and business direction. I helped guide them to dig deep, uncover the perfect business name, create a new brand and logo, tame their ideas and get clear on their mission. Working with these two was been a dream, and their beautiful creations are amazing. Go here to see more >>>
I started reading The Desire Map thanks to my friend Mary Crimminsrecommendation. Instead of thinking about how much money I want to make, what things I want, and all of the goals I want to accomplish, The Desire Map encourages you to think about how you want to feel first. For example; if I want to feel healthy, what can I do in order to achieve that? Or if I want to feel more loved and secure, how can I achieve that? It's been a huge mind shift in the nest way possible.
Last month I got together with our community of creative woman for Gathering No.3 and watched ladies share their story. As usual, we shared wine, chatted and snacked on a bunch of amazing food. But this time we tried something a little different; before the Gathering I chose 3 ladies to do a little show & tell. At the Gathering these 3 ladies opened their hearts and shared their story, their struggles, their passions, their beautiful work and themselves. It was incredibly inspiring and I look forward to next weeks Gathering. Pictured is the talented duo, Hey Wanderer. See their beautiful work here >>>
It's been over 6 months since I started teaching and let me tell you guys, I love to teach.
I love that I get to share with others what I know and to see how much it helps them grow. I love to build community and see each student interact with each other. I love the relationships that lasts after the class - I've made so many friends and clients from teaching!
One of my favorite things lately, that I love about teaching, it how the small little things like fresh home-made basil lemonade, chocolate cake and flowers from my garden can welcome and celebrate the students and the class. It celebrates their commitment to learning and growing. Making it feel more like a gathering, an event, a celebration.
If you're thinking about teaching your own class, check out these 10 easy steps.
The cake I made was simple and so delicious - it was also gluten, dairy and sugar-free. The basil lemonade was so fresh and summery.
Sugar-Free Chocolate Cake
1 1/2 cup of almond meal
1/2 cup of cocoa powder
1/2 ts of baking soda
1 1/2 cup of pitted dates
1/2 cup of water
2 Tb of coconut oil
2 ts of vanilla
Preheat oven to 325.
Mix together all dry ingredients (almond meal, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt) in a bowl and set aside.
Place the dates and water in a food processor or strong blender and blend until it forms a smooth paste.
Mix the date paste with the wet ingredients (eggs, coconut oil, vanilla), and mix until smooth.
Add the wet to the dry ingredients and stir until smooth.
Grease an 8" round cake pan and pour in batter.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for at least 10-15 minutes before serving so that it has time to set.
Strawberries & Chocolate Glaze
1/2 cup of cocoa powder
4 Tb of coconut oil, melted
4 Tb of maple syrup
Slice strawberries thin and cover the entire top of the cake.
Mix the first 3 ingredients well in blender.
Drizzle over cake. Let cool in fridge for more a hardened chocolate glaze.
8-10 cups of filtered, cold water
agave or maple syrup
hand full (8-10 sprigs) of fresh basil leaves
Roll each lemon to release the juice.
Cut lemons in half and squeeze into pitcher.
Fill pitcher with water till it tastes slightly tangy. You can always add more water afterwords.
Add sweetener to taste. I usually add 1/4-1/2 cup of agave sweetener.
Are you thinking about teaching a class in your community and want to know how to get organized and prepared to do it? Say no more.
Teaching has helped me promote my business and build confidence in what I do.
This January I taught my first calligraphy class. I had a little experience teaching - a few years back I taught some art classes to children and a few hair cutting/styling classes when I was in cosmetology school. But this felt different.
I had to come up with a description to sell the class so people knew what to expect, I had to create a step-by-step process to follow so my class had a good flow, I also had to source and order the materials in order for each student to participate. Basically, I was on my own to teach this class and that's what made it different.
I was excited to teach, especially to adults who were really passionate about learning, but a little nervous because this was a big step for me.
I don't know if I would've known to prepare for the class without the help from The Skillery, a co-working community of classes and workshops for and taught by creative entrepreneurs. They helped me organize my ideas, create a class/workshop page online, organize a space to teach in, and promote and sell tickets to the class. Because I am new to Nashville, I am certain that I would've been teaching to an empty room if I didn't have the contacts and promotional help from them.
I'm now going onto my 5th class - DIY Brush Lettering - and want to share with you 10 easy steps on how to teach a class yourself.
Step 1. Identify what you want to teach, who you want to teach it to and why. Consider your skills and what you know how to do really well. What are those things? Maybe you're a photographer and you want to teach beginners how to use their first DSLR or maybe you're a songwriter and you want to teach how to write a song to children. Whatever it is you want to teach, consider who you want to teach it to and why you want to teach it. As Stephanie mentions in this article,
the best courses weave together four distinct areas -core skills or information, a strong sense of purpose, the creative process or philosophy of the instructor, and a great finished product or end result – to create a one of a kind course that is truly distinctive
Step 2. Write a brief description of the class. In 3 paragraphs or less, write out what your students can expect, how long the class will be, what they will be given (worksheets, materials) and what they will leave with. Think about the materials that will be used and if they get to take them home or if they are theirs to use during the class only. Students will want to know what they're paying for. So try to be as specific as you can but keeping it simple so they can imagine themselves at your class, enjoying it, loving it and finding value in it.
Step 3. Decide if you'll be teaching it alone or through an organization. If you're just starting out, I recommend teaching your first or several classes through an organization. The reason why is because these organizations/businesses makes money through your class so naturally they want you to succeed. They will help guide you through each step and will also help you sell the tickets. If you're going to teach it alone, know what you're doing, how you plan to sell the tickets and be prepared. The upside to teaching alone is you get to keep all of the ticket sales.
Step 4. Name your price. Consider your time, how long it takes to not only teach the class, but to organize the class, set up and break down the class. Price out the materials you will need for yourself and for your students. Now combine your hourly rate with the material costs and divide into how many students you want to attend. For example, if you're hourly rate is $75 and the class is 2 hours long, that equals $150. Add 2 hours of class prep, promotion, organizing, etc that equals $300. Now add materials costs - let's say $200, that equals $500 in total costs. Now divide that price into how many students you want so in this case lets say 10 students. That would be a ticket price of $50. Now don't forget that when you work through an organization, they will take a cut of that or charge you a fee. Let's say they take 50% - this would mean my total profit would be $250. So again the ticket price would be $50, total profit would be $250.
Step 5. Nail down a date and place. When choosing a space to teach in, consider your audience and what they might like, think about logistics (is there enough space for me to walk around in), ask if they have equipment essential to class (do they have a blackboard to use, projector screen, etc), think about lighting (is there enough lighting for people to see what they're doing), pick a time of day that's best for your students, and so on. When considering a date, do some research. Check out what days other successful classes are being taught and do the same. For example, The Skillery suggests I teach on Tuesday or Thursdays because they have the best turnouts those days.
Step 6. Order materials. You've already done a rough estimate of what materials will be needed in Step 4. Now order/buy those materials making sure to give yourself enough time to have them shipped to you in time or to pick them up from the local store.
Step 7. Promote the class. Create a Facebook event, talk about it on your blog, tweet it, whatever you can, announce your class and all of the details that make the class great. Be sure to not sound too salesy, you want your potential students to find value in this class. So mention what they'll get if they come, why you love this class so much, how long you've been doing it, etc.
Step 8. Create a syllabus and checklist. Now that you've launched your class and people are buying tickets, create a step-by-step outline of exactly what you'll be teaching so that when your class comes and you're standing there you don't blank. For example, the first thing I do when I start a class is introduce myself and share why I teach, why I am passionate about teaching and how long I've been doing it for. Once you have your class plan down, create a checklist of things to remember to bring with you. For example, if you're teaching a painting class, you not only need paint brushes, paper and paint, you also need cups, water and rage to wash their brushes. Try to really envision the class from start to finish and jot down everything you need to remember to say and bring.
Step 9. Show up and crush it. Now all you need to do is show up. Keep in mind you might need to show up a half hour or 45-minutes early to set up. And a tip from The Skillery Teacher's Handbook is to surpass your students with something. So every class I come up with some way to surprise them. My last class, I surprised the students with a blank envelope with a stamp on it, challenging them to write a hand-written note to someone they know. Other times I've shared cookies or cheese and crackers with them.
Step 10. Build relationships. One of the most important things I like do when I teach is share my story, how I got to where I am today and then ask the students the same. Some are a bit shy at first, but once a few people break the ice, most join and share what they do, why they do it, how they heard about time and my class, and more. I do this not only because I selfishly want to learn all about them, but
I also do it to help build a community. I want these students to be friends with each other.
My last class, I jotted down any websites or blogs that the students had onto the chalkboard for everyone to check out. I encouraged them to stay in touch the other students and to email me anytime. I also put my social platform info on the chalkboard for them to share any photos they may have taken during class. This step was a gift that I was not expecting and is now one of the major reasons why I love to teach.
What's your experience teaching a class? Do you have any steps or tips to share for us? Have any classes you want to share? Wanna take a class with me but not sure if I teach it or will travel to where you are? Email me to see firstname.lastname@example.org
And if you're in Nashville, I'll be teaching a Brush Lettering Workshop in the coming weeks. This workshop will help you learn how to paint your name for your own DIY logo. These classes sell out quick so stay tuned by signing up for my newsletter.
I'm excited to embark on my new Storytelling series that interviews creatives, individuals and entrepreneurs doing remarkable things, creating amazing art and inspiring ideas and movements all over the world.
To kick off the series is the talented Sarah Rosborg, owner and charity guru of Castle Designbased in Australia. A few years back I met Sarah Rosborg via email while working with a client on branding - Sarah was working on the clients web design while I was branding the clients business. We immediately hit it off and exchanged ideas and passions about charities and how we could collaborate to create something amazing together. Nothing has surfaced yet (my bad) but in the meantime, you guys should get to know graphic designer, business owner, mom, wife, philanthropist and creative Sarah Rosborg.
What are you doing today or what have you done in the past to successfully grow your business?
I did a lot of free work for charities when I started my business and from there I started getting more work through word of mouth. I treat my customers as I wish to be treated and I think I do a good job with their design work :)
Tell me a little more about your work with charities and your philanthropic roots. How did you get started working with them? What was your first charity and what did you give? How did you know you wanted to work for charities and give your time to others in need?
I do a lot of work with many charities around the world. I would only do this if I could afford to! but alas we all have to pay our bills. I started working with them when I first went to Kenya in 2005. 1 week after Ieft Kenya I was involved in a horrific car accident. I was pretty much bed bound for 9-12 months.. i taught myself web design and other items involved and set up a charity in Australia for Mission in Action who was who I had visited in Kenya. I havent looked back. I have always had a thing for Africa.. My mother says I have spoken of it my whole life.. so I guess I always knew!
What's one of your greatest accomplishments?
I think my greatest accomplishment is starting my own company which allows me to work from anywhere in the world doing what I love whilst still having a wonderful family life. I have also set it up so I can continue to help charities who are in need. I couldn’t love my job anymore and have met many wonderful people on the way.
What's one short-term and one long-term goal of yours?
Current short-term goal is to get a new a new charity I am starting in Australia registered and approved! It’s a lot of work to get a charity registered so I am able to fundraise in Australia but once that is done I am hoping to start a sponsorship program for the girls at Rafiki Mwema in Kenya.
My long-term goal would be to hire a web designer to help me with my workload. I would love to have a great team of people working for Castle Design.. I would manage the company and work and be able to focus on my charity design work more while other staff are taking care of all of my other clients..
What's one challenge you've encountered as an artist and what did you do to overcome it?
The only challenge I have faced since starting Castle Design is the lack of confidence that I am not good enough to be charging people or to have my own company. I would look at others and be envious of their wonderful websites and amazing skills.. Since I have stopped looking at others and focused on my own work and clients things have been much better.. There is enough work for all of us in the world and I believe if I do a good job and treat my customers well I will continue to have enough work.
What kind of advice would you give to aspiring philanthropists looking to donate their time or work to charities and others in need?
Money is not always what is needed. Skills and support is so needed.. There are so many people out there working in the field but they have no idea about the marketing , website, social media side.. this side of a charity is so necessary. Make sure you know who you are working for and if you can, visit the project. It will inspire you more than you can ever imagine.
Any words of advice for other creatives and artists looking to start and grow their expertise and business?
As I keep saying.. Treat others as you wish to be treated. Do free work for people in need. Give more than people expect to receive. Love your job and if you don’t love it STOP!
Download this free quote as an 8.5x11" print here.
What's the first and the last thing you did today?
First thing I did was wake up to my daughter early this morning. I tried to convince her that it would be a good idea to come into Mummy's bed for a cuddle so I could keep my eyes closed for 5 more minutes but she wasn't as keen as I was. The day is not over yet and it is only mid morning and I am about to get a strong coffee!
As a business owner, mother and wife, what's your secret to balancing life and work and how do you stay inspired?
I am always inspired. There is no problem of that lacking.. my problem is knowing when to stop work. If someone can give me some advice on how to stop working and relax I would like to hear it.
And just for fun:
What's the last music you listened to?
Sia - Breathe me
What’s the last book you read?
It has been so long since I have read a book.. If I am not looking after my daughter my head is in my computer.. but I think it was a book on the band TOOL. Maynard Keenan fascinates me.
What's your favorite dessert?
I don’t have a sweet tooth so would have to say a packet of corn chips! or wine. Wine is delicious.
Coffee or tea?
Strong coffee. I am married to a Swede. strong is the only option!
Click the image below to download yourself a free 8.5x11" print of Sarah's quote, I think this would make a great addition to my wall. How about you?
Storytelling is a series that interviews creatives, individuals and entrepreneurs doing remarkable things, creating amazing art and inspiring ideas and movements all over the world. Are you one? I want to hear from you, email me today.
As I prepare for my Hand-Lettering Workshop at the Dish Conference this Saturday - like how I prepared for my calligraphy class - I gather ideas of how I'll approach the lesson.
The funny thing about teaching is you not only do you have to know how to do what you're teaching really well, you also need to know how to break the class curriculum down into easy steps that beginners can understand.
When I think of hand-lettering I think geez, this will be an easy class. Everybody knows how to write letters by hand.
But in reality people are so far removed from writing much with our hands that hand-lettering is something that we barely do.
We're constantly being pulled into the latest technology and digital world that hands-on is something we barely do. I love the idea of teaching hand-lettering, calligraphy, cursive and hands-on workshops because it gets us to use our hands again. It calls us away from the computer and into a place of boundless creativity.
The texture of paper, getting paint on my hands, using a pencil and eraser to shape my ideas rather than a digital screen is a feeling I revel in.
So as I gather these ideas and write out my Hand-Lettering Workshop ideas, I consider the basics.
Put away the computer/phone.
Take out a sheet of paper.
Write a word, phrase or quote.
Build it into an illustration.
Color it in.
What hands-on workshops or crafts are you taking or working on? Wanna attend one of mine? Go here. Check out more amazing hand-lettering and calligraphy work here.
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)
Lately, I've been working with creatives to identify their mission, discover their dream clients, and create a brand that reflects their personal style. Like this brand design for Sarah Elizabeth Dunn.
Sarah and I dug deep searching for things like what her ideal scene would look like, what sets her apart from others, what stories she wants to tell and why she does what she does. This part, the digging deep, is my favorite part of the process.
We developed a brand to reflect her vision mixing pale, subtle colors with hand-painted watercolor lettering and botanical illustrations. What we came up with is a soft, organic and romantic brand that's clean and sophisticated.
Do you have a logo that needs refreshing or you simply need a brand overhaul? Email me to see how we can work together to create a brand your proud of and a brand that reflects your personal style: email@example.com
I was catching up with a friend the other night and she asked me how business was, more specifically, what I was currently working on. So, I answered.
I started off with the one project that I thought was most exciting and notable. Then I continued with another project that was also very exciting, then I started to share the next project and again, equally a very exciting project. At that very moment, I realized something. I realized that all of the projects I was currently working on were all equally notable, exciting and exactly what I wanted to be doing. I was working with my dream clients (other creatives and entrepreneurs) on projects that fill my mission, heart and soul.
After we said our goodbyes I felt like I was on top of the world - my world. I was doing what I love and loving every moment of it. Later that night when I shared this realization with my husband, I reflected on the conversation my friend and I shared and found and an abundant amount of gratitude, contentment, accomplishment and most importantly I felt like I was exactly where I was supposed to be. Yep, I was proud of myself and ok with admitting it.
I enjoyed that moment so much, that I had to share what I learned with you. So, my challenge to you is to write your accomplishments down in your notebook, journal, blog or even here in the comments below…anywhere. Just make sure you write them down and give yourself some credit for all of the amazing victories you've tackled.
Tell me, what accomplishments you've had lately? What projects are you working on that excite you? What goals have you reached?
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Ever since I was a teenager, I wanted to travel the West Coast. I recall several films that captured breathtaking views of the land feeding my desire to go see it for myself. It wasn't until this summer that I finally saw it in person. My husband and I took 2 weeks to explore and drive up the entire West Coast to fulfill this dream of mine. We started in San Diego and drove all the way to Seattle, WA. One of those days we camped just off the beach near Big Sur, California where this picture was taken. Moments after I snapped this image, we saw a whale pass by.
As I begin to hash out and mold my vision for my blog, a million ideas of what to write about and how it should look and feel come to mind. Like how I want to talk about the music industry, living as a full-time artist, learning how to find balance with work and life, my creative hurdles, the best brainstorming session ever, films and artwork that inspire me, how to stay focused, and how I don't know if I love my logo yet … etc, etc.
But you see, my mission for this blog was not only to find clarity within my own journey, my mission is to also connect with you and help in anyway I can to solve problems, share and grow. That's right, this blog is here for you too.
I want to hear from you, hear about what you're doing, what struggles you're facing or what victories you're accomplishing.
So, I ask you this: How may I help you?
Here are just a few ideas:
What have you accomplished lately that you want to share?
What struggles are you facing that you need direction and clarity around?
What topics would you like to see here on my blog?
I dream about traveling the world. I imagine my husband and I with backpacks, hopping trains, shaking hands with natives, eating food, wandering streets, experiencing culture and a beauty that we've never seen before.
Not only do I imagine traveling the world, I also imagine changing the world. Like a TOMS's-Shoes-kind of change the world - a one-for-one. I want to give my time and efforts to those who need it. I want to provide for my family while providing for others too. I imagine meeting people from across the United States to all over the world. I imagine getting my hands dirty and experiencing tough realities. I imagine laughing, loving and crying. Most of all, I imagine my heart happy.
For so long I've imagined this dream but never took any serious steps to make it happen. When I have a dream or idea for my business, I write it down.
SO... I'm writing it down and setting some goals. I'm announcing to you today that this is my calling and that I believe I was put on this earth to help others find beauty and strength within themselves and to help guide them to the life of their dreams.
Now that I've shared my big dream, what's yours? Do you have any trips planned? I am a novice to traveling abroad, any tips, recommendations or ideas?
Do you have a blog and find yourself scrambling for a topic, content or images the day of your post? This was me up until just a few months ago. The ideas were there, but when it came time to write them down and create a blog article that was clear, effective and captured my style - I was failing.
Then somewhere I read about a blog or editorial calendar. At first I had never heard of this concept - so I searched around blogs here and here and found some really incredible tips, free downloads and more.
Planning everything out beforehand has been such a positive monumental shift for me and my blog. I now feel prepared, focused and accomplished.
In the incubation stage of blogging, before I start writing, I consider the following:
Who: Will I be writing solo or will the blog feature work or writing from other artists or creatives? Will I be interviewing anyone for this blog post? If I plan to feature anyone's work, words or ideas, do I have the proper credit, permission and criteria? Have I emailed the creative yet to get their take on the subject?
What: What exactly do I want to write about? What kind of images, artwork or typography will I use to capture the essence of my story? What do I want to say? [Side note: A majority of my blog ideas come to me while I'm in shower, meditating, in nature or when I'm running. It makes sense, these locations are quiet, independent and therapeutic - allowing me to relax, listen and imagine. For a long time I thought I would just recall these ideas the moment I sat down at my computer to blog, but quite the opposite was happening. So now when an idea comes up, I try to write it down asap or make a very serious mental note.]
Why: This is sometimes a question I forget to ask myself, but have found when I remind myself of 'why' I am sharing this on my blog, I find clarity in the direction of my writing. So why I am writing this?
When: When do you want to share your topic? Take it or leave it, but I once read that Tuesdays and Thursdays tend to be the days that people are more likely going to read blogs. What time of day do you want to blog? My sweet spot (after my morning routine and just before I dive into work) is between 11am and 1pm. In the future I'd like to have my blog posts pre-written the night before, so all I have to do is press "publish" in the morning. Baby steps.
Now that I have the ideas, I need to write them down. I have attached a 2 page editorial/blog calendar that I created that has been helpful at organizing what I want to say and when I want to say it. You can download if for free by clicking HERE and HERE.
The calendar has 2 parts:
The Ideas (Step 1/Page 1): Here you will be asked to define the title, overview and style/images. I have found these are the most important things for me to focus on when I am jotting down my ideas. I recommend printing off several of these guys. Once I get brainstorming, I find filling out 3 pages is easy smeazy. [Note: when I say style/images - I mean what images, artwork, lettering, typography, photo filters, etc are you going to use that's unique to your style and brand and that capture your story the best.]
The Dates (Step 2/Page 2): This page is a basic calendar template that you can fill out the month and date yourself. That way when you have all of your ideas written down on the fist page, you can start plugging in which ideas fit best on which date.
Ok, now that you have your blog or editorial calendar, what are you going to write about today? Because I am new at this whole 'planning my blog' thing, what tips or tools have you found that are helpful for you?
I like my alone time. And lately I found myself depleted, forgetting how important it is to make time for myself.
It energizes me, gives me strength and inspires creative thought. My husband heard that introverts find contentment and inspiration when alone and extroverts find the same but when they're socializing. I don't like to label myself as an introvert, but I do love to be home and find relevancy in that statement.
I remember when I was younger my family used to call me the "cellar dweller" because my bedroom was in the basement of our house and I spent most of time there.
The past few weeks have been full of long work days preparing for this blog to go live (yay, it's finally live!) and working on completing several projects with other creatives. Seriously, I had 3 or 4 projects all finishing up at the same time as my blog launch. It was crazy and a bit insane, but wow what awesome work we created!
With both my husband and I being self-employed and working from home - I find it hard to easily find time alone. Staying home (when he goes out) is sometimes the only "alone time" I get. Often I choose to stay home but in reality, by the time he leaves the house, it's 8 or 9pm at night and I am too tired to be creative or read.
So today I'm taking the day off from work and making it an official "alone time day". I automatically feel 10lbs lighter and full of wonder - daydreaming about what my perfect alone time day would look like. It would definitely include drinking lots of tea, reading, spending time outside, writing, drawing, brainstorming and sending letters of gratitude. Maybe even donating blood, roasting veggies, making herbal tinctures, reading the local paper, going to the library...the list goes on.
What are you doing for yourself today? What does your perfect alone time day look like?
Today my website is officially live! Building my blog by hand was challenging yet a fruitful experience - learning how to code, build and design a website will come in handy.
There are some minor edits here and there that need to be made, but for now on this is where I will write and share my story. What do you think?
Many of us have dreams or ideas of accomplishing big things, creating amazing art, speaking or performing in front of thousands of people, making loads of money, traveling across the world – better yet changing the world – but we have no idea how to make it happen. “A goal is a dream with a deadline” Napoleon Hill once said - meaning until we put our dreams onto paper, well, they’re just dreams.
So let’s talk about dreams for a moment. When I say dream, I mean a daydream – “a short-term detachment from one’s immediate surroundings, during which a person’s contact with reality is blurred and partially substituted by a visionary fantasy, especially one of happy, pleasant thoughts, hopes or ambitions, imagined as coming to pass, and experienced while awake” as Wikipedia defines it.
Here are a few goal-setting tips that have dramatically helped me:
Write it down - Before you begin your day write down your daily goals. I like to break mine up into home and work goals (shown below)
Estimate - Take a guess as to how long each goal will take, then jot it down. Bonus: Once I do this, then I total my home goals and my work goals together, that way I know how long I’ll be working and what time I will be done with work.
Prioritize - After each goal os written down with the duration of how long it will take, I then prioritize each one with theABCDE Method.
Accomplish – One by one, I cross off each goal as I accomplish it. This is so satisfying that I make sure to write downeverything I have to accomplish just so I can have that satisfaction of crossing it off. My ideal day is when I accomplish everything on my list and have time to spare – which I’m working on goal by goal, day by day.
The ABCDE Method: Check out the picture of one of my goal sheets filled in (below). You will notice each goal is prioritized with a letter and a small number beside it. This method is called the ABCDE Method, an amazing and helpful method I learned from the book Focal Point by Brian Tracy. This method prioritizes your goals with letters than numbers.
An “A” task is something that is important and you must do no matter what. The number after the letter signifies which important task you must complete first. For example, when I wake up the very first thing I do is eat breakfast. Therefore this is my first priority or “A1″.
A “B” task is something you should do. There are consequences if you do not get this task done, but they are not as important as “A” tasks.
A “C” task is something you would like to do, but there are no consequences if you can’t get to it today.
Whether you’re looking to organize your thoughts and goals, launch a new business or grow your current business, it all starts with a dream. So enjoy the daydreaming process – it’s a beautiful thing, but once you’re done write those dreams and ideas down, prioritize them, estimate the duration then accomplish them. Click here to download this free goal-sheet to help you organize your dreams and make them into goals.
My latest big goal is to launch my new business next week, what goals have you been reaching for lately?