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Evening rituals complete your day

August 9th, 2017 by Morna

Some time ago I wrote about the power of morning rituals, and how they set you up for success.  Evening rituals can be just as powerful to end your day. They add a sense of completion, build confidence, and set you up for the next day. If you think about it, your evening rituals can have a significant impact on how your next day goes. A good evening can translate into a good morning. Unfortunately, a bad evening often leads to a not-so-good next day.

I think of rituals as mindful practices that you make that can be come habits. I have evening habits, or rituals, that make a difference. And, when I feel off one day, I can often trace the cause to the previous evening.

Here are some rituals to consider.

Review your day.

Take time to look back on the day and see what worked for you. At the end of his day, Benjamin Franklin asked himself “What good have I done today?” It was a follow up to his morning question of “What good shall I do this day?”

Consider what you learned. It’s not always something specific to a task, like a new way to use the software you just purchased or a shortcut to one of your art techniques. It could also be something that you learned about yourself.

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Eliminating energy zappers

August 2nd, 2017 by Morna

 

The topic of tolerations seems to come up every once in a while with my clients. Tolerations could really be called “energy zappers.” They are those situations, problems or things that are really solvable, but that you let stay unattended. Those tolerations bug you on occasion, and you think they are just a nuisance.

What happens when you ignore them? Sure, you can put up with a few items, but most of us let the list grow. And, you start to compromise on those items. You know, maybe that stack of old magazines on the floor is not really that bad. The problem is that you start to desensitize yourself to all the good around you. And your energy gets zapped.

Admit your tolerations

So, how do you get control on those tolerations? First, admit you do actually have some! For starters, make a list of what you are tolerating. It shouldn’t be hard to come up with 20, perhaps more if you get started listing them. So set aside 15 minutes and start your list. You might even do this walking through your house or office. It might be the dead plant that you think will suddenly grow shoots. It might be the clutter you live with. It might be your kids’ socks that never seem to leave the family room floor. It might be the stack of library books you have got in the car you are meaning to take back. It might be something your spouse always says that you that you live with rather than create waves. It might be the dishes in the sink. Look at all areas of your life: your business, your home, your car, your environment, your habits and behavior, and the habits and behavior of those you interact with.

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Finding mentors all around you

July 26th, 2017 by Morna

In the last week, I’ve seen several examples of mentorship in action. It got me thinking about how important it is to find role models in our lives.

A local newscaster

On Friday, Jim Vance, a long-time local newscaster in Washington, DC, died. Vance, as he was always called, was the anchor on the evening news for 45 years; yes, 45 years. In a town filled with so many transients, he was a constant. Along with his broadcast partner of 28 years, Doreen Gentzler, their NBC-affiliate newscast held the number one spot for decades. As I watched the tributes come in, I was struck by how many people he had mentored.

What was it about Vance that moved so many people? I think it was his ability to connect on a genuine level with people.

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Getting to the Sale

July 19th, 2017 by Morna

Early in my career as quiltmaker, I sold my work. I took commissions, I did juried craft shows, and I was the only quilter in a fine arts co-op with a storefront. I saw my share of objections to sales. I still see them today. The price is too high. I need to talk to my spouse first. I can’t make a decision today. I need to look at other items. I’m not sure I have space in my house. I’m sure you’ve heard some of those and others. Here are some ideas on how to get past buyer objections so you can get to the sale.

Anticipate objections

Whatever the objection, you can think of it as an opportunity to educate your buyer. Look at the most common objections you get and address them early in the sales process. For example, if you are often asked how to hang your art, talk about that before it comes up. If your sales are wholesale, explain your terms. If someone wants to see if your art fits in their space, let them know if this is/is not possible. If someone wants a different color, are you amenable to reproducing your work. You may even have written material that answers some of these questions with the display of your work at a show or gallery.

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Escape to creativity!

July 12th, 2017 by Morna

What are you doing on your summer vacation? Yes, I know that as creative entrepreneurs you don’t really take a summer vacation. You are probably working in/on your business 24/7/365 and can’t possibly take time off.

Or maybe you do fit in some time because your spouse has a two-week vacation. Or maybe you still have a day job with vacation time and you don’t want to lose it all. According to Market Watch, the average American worker takes just over half his/her vacation time.

This summer try something different. Take time off and use it as an opportunity to open your mind, spice up your creativity, and see the world in a new way. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Get out your coloring books

We all know that coloring is still on trend, so grab your crayons or colored markers and get to work. You can find coloring books anywhere today. Or you can draw your own design — something easy for quilters — and start there. Studies show that coloring has therapeutic results.

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Let’s celebrate + stretch

July 5th, 2017 by Morna

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.

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What are your “pinch-me” moments?

June 28th, 2017 by Morna

Last week I was honored to be a special presenter at the Handi Quilter Retailer Academy. The first day I gave a talk on Capturing the Creative Customer and on Social Media. The second day I offered individual coaching sessions on a first come, first served basis to those who were interested. I met some fabulous retailers from around the world and reconnected with a few I already knew. I also had a lot of fun.

During the final banquet, Handi Quilter presented four of us with a special gift — the biggest pair of scissors I’ve ever seen. In fact they were so big, and of course sharp, that they wouldn’t meet the carry-on requirements of the airline. Mine should be arriving in the mail, and I’ve picked out a wonderful spot to hang them.

One of the recipients said earlier that speaking at the Academy was a “pinch-me” moment for her. I agree. It also reminded me of an article I read sometime back by Connie Schultz, a columnist with the Cleveland Plains Dealer, about how her mom lived a “pinch me” life.

I love this attitude. It’s about being in the moment and grateful for everything. It doesn’t matter if you are experiencing something for the first time or the tenth time.

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Craft a powerful tagline

June 21st, 2017 by Morna

What’s in a tagline? The purpose of a tagline is to express your brand differentiation. It’s to say who you are compared to your competition.  It’s to get people to want to know more about your company and how you can help them. The best taglines have an emotional component.

Do you recognize these taglines?

Make Creativity Happen
Made to Create
Designed by a Quilter, for Quilters
For People Who Love to Sew
Make More Art, Spend Less Money

They belong to companies in the arts fields. I’m guessing that you knew most of them.

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Are your “real” priorities in your calendar?

June 14th, 2017 by Morna

 

Do you ever struggle with aligning your priorities with your actions? Beth, one of my clients, was recently struggling with this. She told me that her family was her priority, yet she was barely fitting them in around her business, rather than the other way around. She was taking on more commissions and at the same time increasing her output for exhibitions at galleries.

In reality, your priorities are defined by how and where you spend your time. By that definition, family was not Beth’s number one priority.

To get clearer on your priorities, during the next few weeks develop a list of your needs, wants, and values. “What’s the difference?” you ask.

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Slay the Social Media Dragon

June 7th, 2017 by Morna

Do you ever get overwhelmed with social media? So many different platforms to choose from. And, regardless of the platform, they each seems to change all the time. And, when you are on social media, it seems like other people are posting all the time. And, you get frustrated trying to keep up with all this. It’s enough to feel like social media is a fire-breathing dragon.

If you want your business to grow and reach more people, you need to be on social media. That’s a given. However, it’s easy to slay that dragon if you follow some simple steps.

Step One – Consider your audience

The number of social media platforms seems to grow, only you do not need to be active on all of them. Your first step is to figure out where your peeps are hanging out. In all likelihood, they are on the platform you enjoy. So pick a platform, take time to learn how it works, and follow the remaining steps. Once you’ve got the first platform down, you may want to add a second. Remember you don’t need to be on all forms of social media to be successful. You do need to be on at least one.

Step Two – Create categories

If you look at what you post already, you’ll probably find that you could break that content into categories. Consider what you’ve been posting as well as what you want to post in the future.

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