Posted by in indie biz

How to Bust Your Business Ruts

I worry about my colleagues and fellow creative business owners in months like March. This season can be rough because business can slow down and the next batch of holiday sales are so far away. I know that I’m prone to business ruts and professional low-points around this time of year.

I had an especially hard time with slow sales periods at the start of my business. After the first six months of opening shop on Etsy, I thought I could ride the success I’d seen, and that was the first real mistake I made. It was an error to think that I could passively watch the Energy Shop grow. It’s a project that needs constant attention, feeding, and nourishment—and that requires active participation. When I dropped the ball on the Energy Shop, it started to deflate. The business and I both fizzled.

Here are a few tips I’ve learned to breathe new life into your creative business:

Whether you’ve stalled out or never fully started up, the first question to ask is: Do You LOVE It? I’m starting a video blog for my shop, and in an unscripted, trial shoot of my debut blog, my passion and excitement about my product amazed me! I truly love what I do, and though my dedication has wavered at time (in all fairness, I’ve also moved in and out of country), I am full-blown in love with the Energy Shop and what it represents. We’re here to stay.

The second question is, Will it evolve and grow with you? You’re born to grow. Even when your body physically stops growing, your soul wants to continually expand. People who don’t realize that truth leave this life unhappy and unfulfilled—don’t be one of them. Your business should be designed to grow and evolve as you will. When your skills improve, your prices should rise. When your product line expands, your shop should be better for it. Make sure you are always reaching higher for bigger and better dreams.

And finally: Does your business give you a sense of accomplishment? Does it FEEL GOOD or are you doing it for the money? And by the way, I don’t care if you’re doing it for the money, especially if the money is going to fuel what FEELS GOOD to you! A sense of accomplishment and measurable goals will keep your interest alive and your flame burning.

What do you need to get out of this rut?

What would make you feel good and excited about your shop again? I asked myself this question in January, and the answer was, “A new product line!” I set my intention, and I’ve since launched a line of crystal necklaces that I adore (and my customers seem pretty keen on them too ;) ).

Short-term goals are fantastic stall-busters, but they should also be applied to longer term goals. A stalled business leaves you plenty of time to ask yourself:

Where do I want to be in three months?

Create specific answers, such as this one: “I want to make 200 sales and increase my hourly wage by $5.00 by June 12, 2014.”

Where do I want this business to be in three years?

This one is even more important, because what I really want to know is: How do you plan for all of your hard work to pay you back? That’s the question I had to ask myself, because all work with little reward is the recipe for fizzle. Sometimes, you have to pull yourself out of the daily grind, and envision the bigger, brighter future to gain perspective.

Here’s to your rut-busting, sky-rocketing success!

marketing creativity (1)
Lisa Jacobs is creative biz wiz who teaches online sellers how to get more sales and professional recognition. She owns the Energy Shop on Etsy and writes the blog, Marketing Creativity.

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double exposure

March 7, 2014

diani double exposure app (1)

i’ve been having way too much fun with the new (to me) diani double exposure app (discovered via the darling tree). combine my love for photos, instagram and baby bear and we’ve got trouble!

with that, i’m signing off for the weekend! try not to waste all your time this weekend playing with double exposures. :) we’re hosting a spring training camp at our house for my husband’s cycling team, so i’ll be taking care of (i.e. cooking for) a bunch of boys this weekend. it’s always fun! see you back here on monday! love, bonnie

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Posted by in dinner ideas

plant based dinner ideas

oh, happy friday friends! we’ve been eating tons of seasonal root veggies and beans over here (though we cheated a little this week with some fresh tomatoes). i just got word from our local csa that they’ll be starting up again soon. i’m so looking forward to spring vegetables, but will try to soak up the last few weeks of winter roots as much as possible!

monday: tomato cobbler, made with my favorite biscuit recipe
tuesday: whole roasted and spiced cauliflower (sans the sauce)
wednesday: vegetarian ‘chicky’ parm (i subbed daiyga cheese and used a flax egg to make this vegan!)
thursday: chana masala with jasmine rice
friday: root vegetable hash – yum!

what was on your plate this week? any favorite recipes you’d like to share?

we follow a whole foods, plant based diet. the dinner ideas posts are a way for me to log our dinners, how we make eating this way easy, and hopefully inspire you to try some new things as well. they are always meat free, dairy free and often gluten free. you can follow the posts here, and i encourage you to share your favorite recipes with us as well!

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point and shoot 3.6.14

March 6, 2014

Posted by in point and shoot

a little bit of life lately. :)

bonnie christine | going home to roost (3)

loving the diani double exposure app!

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a few things from my ‘shop my closet’ sale over on instagram!

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a bouquet of basil from my sweetheart (my favorite!).

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quinoa crusted tempeh (i used a flax egg instead of a real egg).

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a few goodies and fun from the maker’s summit!

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bear baby turned 6 months old!! <3

love, bonnie

do you have a favorite photo from your life this week? post a link to it in the comment section so we can see!

this post was made possible by the lovely iphone app, instagram. you can follow me here or find me by searching for @goinghometoroost. all photos by yours truly. :)

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2014 master series

March 5, 2014

Posted by in roost tribe

2014 master series. get your learn on!

happy day, fellow roosters! i’m so excited to announce the line up for the 2014 master series for the roost tribe! each month, an incredibly talented maker will be joining us to share with the roost tribe about their expertise. as you can see below, 2014 is going to be an awe-inspiring year! i’m honored to have each of these lovely ladies join us. prepare to be inspired, educated and encouraged!

marchjena | jena coray
aprilallie marie smith | wonderfully made
maytara | tara gentile
junerachael taylor | make it design
julyerin godbeye | indie craft parade & maker’s summit
augustjessica | jessica swift
septemberjo klima | maps to herself, the darling tree & your darling blog
octobertba
novembertba
decembertba

join the roost tribe! >> goinghometoroost.com

psst. as you can see, there are still a few spots available at the end of the year. is there anyone you would especially like to hear from?

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march gift guide

March 4, 2014

Posted by in gift guide

march gift guide

product links: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12

a handmade gift guide for birthdays, anniversaries, holidays… or for no reason at all!

fun facts for march:

>> march is women’s history month
>> march 2nd is national reading day
>> march 14th is save a spider day
>>  march 18th is sun-earth day
>> march 22nd is world water day
>> march’s birthstones are aquamarine and bloodstone, which symbolize courage.
>> march’s birth flower is the daffodil.

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favorite green smoothie

March 4, 2014

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i pretty much drink a smoothie every day. with my favorite handheld blender, they’re so easy to make! i just pile my ingredients into a glass, hit it with the blender and slurp away. i can sip on one for most of an afternoon, in between hopping around with bear and trying to get some work done. each smoothie is usually a little different, but today i’m sharing with you my favorite green smoothie.

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kale & mango green smoothie

ingredients:

– 1 kale leaf
– 1/2 cup mango (frozen or fresh)
– 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla cultured coconut milk
– 2 tablespoons chia seeds
– 1/2 banana
– 1 cup almond milk (or just enough to slightly cover the ingredients)
– dash of cinnamon or cinnamon flax seed oil

directions: blend and be well!

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side note! speaking of so delicious, we also recently tried their new organic coconut milk fudge bars. they are OH-mazing! 80 calories a bar means i get to have one every night. :)

are you a smoothie drinker? what are you favorite ingredients?

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Posted by in free downloads

march desktop + iphone calendars march desktop + iphone calendars

goodbye february, hello march! if it’s too early to have an actual vase of flowers on your desk (like it is for me), i hope these illustrated vases will do until spring! enjoy your march, lovelies!

to download february’s backgrounds: click on the coordinating image above, then select your preferred size (most likely, ‘original’). right click and select ‘save as desktop background’ or download to your phone.

and just like last month, in addition to these digital backgrounds, i’ve also included a printable version!

to download: click on the image above to download the PDF calendar. print on heavy card stock (my favorite is premium presentation paper by epson). punch a whole at the top to hang or simply stack.

please note: all images, patterns and designs © bonnie christine | going home to roost. you may not reproduce, re-create or sell in any way, but please feel free to download for your own personal use. if you share on your own blog (i’d be delighted!) please direct your readers to this post to download the file. thank you!

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