tag: business

from busy to happy

June 27, 2014

Posted by in indie biz

from busy to happy

it’s impossible to not fall in love with these girls. april bowles-olin and mayi carles from connecting the gaps are two of the most fun loving, inspirational and energetic super heros i’ve met in a long time. (ok, ever). and, they’re launching a new e-course that i think you might just love. and need!

from busy to happy is a 21 day productivity mission, 1 mission a day for 21 days to help creative entrepreneurs (that’s you!) transition from hurry hurry hurry ku-ra-zyyyy busy all the time to dancing under the stars & LOVING their lives.

from busy to happy

above is a little nutshell version of the curriculum. during the e-course, you’ll receive workbooks on how to clarify your vision, a time tracker, step by step daily challenges, four live calls, beautifully designed printable and worksheets, and more! head on over the the e-course page to learn (so much) more about this course. yay for productivity!

p.s. the course starts july 1st, so hurry hurry! the last day to join will be this sunday, june 30th. 

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turn your hobby into a business course

next monday, i’m thrilled to be joining four other business experts in teaching turn you hobby into a business. in this four day class, you’ll learn how to turn your hobby into a bisuness as we share with you the paths we’ve taken in building the businesses that we love. learn how to create a business that sets you apart from competitors, attracts your ideal customers and empowers you to grow the business of your dreams. create a brand that inspires you and expresses the best of yourself and what you do.

in my part of the course, i’ll be sharing the 5 most important steps i’ve taken to building my blog, brand and business. i can’t wait to chat with you all about it!

the course will run february 24-27 from 1:00-2:00pm est. (it will also be recorded for on-demand access as well.)

the course is $150. *special discount for going home to roost readers! enroll by february 18th and join the class for just $99. use code ‘LAUNCHIT’ during checkout.

Enroll here!

schedule:

SESSION ONE: FINDING AN IDEA AND CREATING YOUR PLAN
arianne segerman is a freelance editor and the founder of award-winning blog, mabel + riv. learn with arianne how starting your own business doesn’t have to mean spending thousands of dollars on setup costs before you even open your doors.

what you will learn:

identify your strengths and weaknesses and learn how to use that information to monetize your existing skills. how to vet ideas and know if your business will work before you launch create a business plan from scratch. we will show you how to set achievable goals for your business that lead to steady growth.

SESSION TWO: BUILD A PRODUCT FROM THE GROUND UP
maggie whitley took her sewing hobby and built a nationally recognized online shop. maggie will discuss the process of going from idea to product, and share all of the lessons she learned along the way. you can start small with just one thing. it can be a product or a service. it can be something that saves time or creates fun. think of your one thing. this session will show you how to turn a great idea into a new product.

what you will learn:

how to price your products effectively. the secret to knowing when to expand your offerings. create multiple revenue streams in a way that minimizes risks and maximizes your income.

SESSION THREE: POSITIONING YOUR BRAND FOR SUCCESS
abby kerr is the founder of the voice bureau, a boutique branding agency serving micro-businesses with an online presence. she works hand-in-hand with online businesses to develop a voice that stands out from the rest.

you can make sales just learning how to switch from the language of a hobbyist to the language of an entrepreneur. an entrepreneur isn’t something with a lot of money and a huge business. it’s someone who has an idea for what people might want to buy. this session will help you talk about yourself in a way that allows you to see yourself how you want to be. then others will see you that way, too.

what you will learn:

learn how to look outside of yourself to develop a unique selling proposition. position your brand in a way that aligns with your values and attracts the perfect clients. create a brand voice that allows you to stand out from your competitors and show the value you bring.

SESSION FOUR: MARKETING FOR CREATIVE ENTREPRENEURS
with bonnie forkner (that’s me!) & cassie boorn

it costs nothing to start a business online. and it costs nothing to build a community of people who are interested in what you are doing. learn effective marketing by being true to yourself. that’s the way the best businesses grow.

cassie spent her career building national marketing campaigns for fortune 500 companies, while building her personal brand from scratch. she launched her blog in 2009, which has been featured across national media outlets including the new york times.

what you will learn:

how to create a marketing plan from scratch. the secret behind landing press coverage for your business. learn the path to getting your business in front of the customers that matter.

SESSION FIVE: PRODUCTIVITY AND BALANCE AS YOUR BUSINESS STARTS -AND GROWS
over the last year kyla roma has put balance, ease, health, connection and fun at the center of her life, and wrapped her work around them. the result has been energizing, transformative, and exciting. she’s working less, earning more, making new friends, and enjoying the kind of life she used to think wasn’t possible.

what you will learn:

how to build a business around the life you want to live. tools for seamlessly integrating productivity into your daily routine. a plan for managing the growth of your business without losing your mind.

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3 Easy Steps to Turn Your Dreams into Reality

It happens every New Year: at some point, we start to feel more stuck in the mud than motivated about our goals.

I’m facing the energy lull in my own business right now. The excitement of a new project has worn off, and it now requires dedicated effort. When I say effort, I mean I am trudging through the uncomfortable stages, fighting off procrastination, and using determined force to keep the momentum going on this thing. It’s not easy!

Good old resistance is rearing her ugly head, and I have no choice but to face her. In fact, having the courage to persevere when the going gets tough is what builds long-lasting success.

Today, I have a three-step formula that you can follow to achieve all that you desire:

Step 1: Act as if. Act as if you are already where you want to be. Imagine your biggest dream came true last week: all that you’ve been wishing on is now yours! Does that change anything about your day? Would you be wearing what you have on? Would you be doing what you had planned? Would your mood be the same?

To change your present attitude and act as if you already have what you want, think of the positive role models in your life, the people whom you admire. When you find yourself in a funk or you’re struggling to get a project completed, ask yourself:

  • What would my role model do if faced with a similar obstacle?
  • How would my role model be dressed today?
  • How would my role model manage the project I’m working on?
  • Would I be proud to show my role model this project/space/idea and the progress I’ve made toward building it?

Acting as if you’re already the success you wish to achieve will change your mindset and propel you toward becoming it.

Step 2: Create a Plan B and be stoked about it. I am working on a life-changing Plan A this year. I want Plan A so badly I can taste it! I visualize how it will unfold. I get carried away in daydreams, and I practice my reaction to Plan A coming true in the mirror. I love Plan A.

So that my desire for Plan A doesn’t turn into desperation, I have carefully drafted a second place prize: Plan B. In Plan B, I still achieve the feelings I desire, I just have to practice more patience to reach the ultimate goal (Plan A).

For example, let’s say you want to learn to speak French. You go and buy a course that will teach you the language, and then you set a rewarding Plan A. “If I get to third level French by the end of the year, I will travel to my dream destination of Paris, France for one week. I will become affluent in the French language using the week to practice speaking with Parisians.”

That’s a pretty lofty goal, but just imagine it! Picture yourself on the streets of Paris in the springtime speaking French. Allow daydreams galore in which Plan A unfolds in all its glory.

As you envision Plan A, you might realize some obstacles. It’s an expensive vacation and a long flight. How will you save the money and take that much time off work? Maybe you’ve never traveled so far, and the idea of leaving for Europe begins to overwhelm you.

So that Plan A doesn’t become desperate or hopeless, you need a hearty Plan B. In Plan B, you still learn French; that life-long goal still comes true. In case Plan A falls through (Paris for the week), you could go to Quebec for the weekend. You still get to practice French with native speakers, and it’s still a pretty romantic vacation. In fact, following through with Plan B will get you closer to Plan A. You’ll practice leaving the country, finding your way in a foreign city, and using the French language. I’d bet that once you conquer the Quebec trip, Paris will feel more doable than ever before!

Step 3: Keep your vision front and center. The things I’m working toward (new deck, family car for travel, tickets to Wicked the Musical, etc.) are plastered all over my office walls and Pinterest boards. Remembering what I’m working so hard for keeps me grounded and focused on my tasks.

I’m grateful for every luxury and reward that my creative business adds to my life, and I try to surround myself with reminders of the comforts it brings. Create a vision board for yourself to collect these desires and reflections. Appreciating them will only bring more of what you want into your life.

Best of luck in making your dreams a reality!

Photo by: lovefromginger.com

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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hello, lovelies! i’m really thrilled to announce that lisa jacobs will be joining us each month to share some creative business advice with us! lisa is one of the most knowledgeable and talented creative gals in the business. she’s an absolute marketing guru and i can’t wait for you to get to know her better. i’m already taking advice from her post today!

marketing creativity (2)

image via love from ginger altered by lisa jacobs

Have you ever had a highly productive Monday? The kind of day that makes you think, “Look at all I’ve done! I’m going to knock it out of the ballpark this week!” Only to wake up on Tuesday and find yourself mentally and physically spent; so much so that it’s virtually impossible to get anything done?
That happens because each of us has a reserve of willpower, and when it’s spent, so are you.  It’s why most people quit the gym after January, and it’s also why the bakery is the last area of the grocery store (after you’ve used all your willpower to make good decisions in the fruit and vegetable section).

Moreover, an empty willpower tank is the black hole of productivity.

Since it’s the New Year and many of us are in planning mode, it’s a great time to talk about making the most of your working hours so that you can go the distance. This involves spending your time wisely, refilling your willpower tank more quickly, and expanding that reserve so it can hold more of your sacred energy.

How to Train Your Focus Muscle

Because focus is just that, a mental muscle that can be strengthened. Think of building your focus like you would train for long distance running. In order to improve, to go farther at a faster pace, you would gradually (and regularly) push yourself just past your personal breaking point. If I can comfortably run 2 miles in 20 minutes today, tomorrow I will have to run 2.25 miles in 22 minutes to build up my strength and endurance.

The same goes for your personal reserves of willpower. Your focus muscle needs to be trained for increased strength and endurance. First thing’s first …

Set a timer. As I write this, I have a free app called Alinof Timer counting down my 50-minute interval of pure focus. This helps me stay on track.

The level of energy or resistance I have for a task determines how long the timer will be set between breaks. Here is my guide:

  • Difficult tasks and grudge work: 15 minutes
  • Work I’m resisting, but perfectly capable of doing: 25 minutes
  • Work I enjoy: 50 minutes

The results from a laser-focused, timed work session are truly amazing. Try it out for one week to see how much you’re able to accomplish.

Identify your bad habits. True story: When I finished the first draft of this post, I opened a new browser window and went internet-clicking before I caught myself in the act. Mindlessly clicking around the internet is my favorite method of “checking out” during the day, and it’s my absolute best way to waste time.

What’s worse is, my internet clicking doesn’t look like a waste of time. It still looks like production. I answered an email and updated a social media status. That’s part of my job, and it’s a pleasure to connect with other creative business owners throughout the day.

The problem with that is: it’s taken me off the most important task at hand, which is writing this article for Going Home to Roost. Will that social work get done outside of my laser-focused production hours? Yes, it will happen no matter what, but my task (finishing this post) will not get done if I don’t push through the less fun (editing) stages and stay focused.

In order to honor your to-do list, you have to bring awareness to your favorite method of wasting time and avoid those bad habits.

Understand your personal energy cycles. There’s a natural order to things: A new idea comes with a giant burst of productive energy. It’s exciting! It’s fresh! It could attract loads of fame and fortune if it all works out. So naturally, you get right to work.

Then somewhere towards the middle of the project, the energy slows down and the idea requires effort. You meet resistance, and your shiny new project suddenly doesn’t seem so fun anymore.

I feel quite confident that many of you in creative business can relate to this resistance. What I want to propose today is that you can overcome it, and each time you do, you strengthen your focus muscle far beyond your wildest dreams. Every time you push a project into completion, you enlarge your willpower reserve. When you bring awareness to your energy cycles, you are more likely to overcome resistance and feed the momentum your business so desperately needs.

Here’s wishing you all the best in love, life and business in 2014!

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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Would You Like to Build a Better Creative Business?

Hello, Roosters! I’m Lisa Jacobs (of Marketing Creativity), and I’m here to talk to all of you creative artists and makers about something special I’ve co-created with Timothy Adam (of Handmadeology). It’s called the Build a Better Creative Business course.

Earlier this year, Tim and I put our heads together to figure out what we could do to tackle the underlying frustration we feel just below the surface in the handmade community. People desperately want to build a successful online storefront, thriving business, or popular blog, but they’re just not sure how it’s done. We deeply know and understand that frustration. We’ve been in the business for several years, and we’ve both simply refused to accept ceilings or plateaus. In order to grow and expand, we’ve had to do a great deal of research. Through trial and error, we’ve learned what works and what doesn’t.

To make things easier on you, Tim and I created a learning curve.

The Build a Better Creative Business course is for makers and artists who are all in and ready to turn their passion into profit. We’ve collected lessons from experienced creative business owners who have all paved the way in one form or another. Inside our course, you’re going to learn how to create the results you want, and you’re going to enjoy a supportive group, a personal coach, and experienced mentors along the way.

How it works:

The course is run on a password-protected website, most classes are led in text format (written out as an in-depth article), and participants have three months’ access to the material. Enrollment is open for the current session now through September 30, 2013 (though it will close early if the course sells out before then).

There are sixteen classes inside the course, nine of those are led by either myself or Tim. The rest of the classes are taught by an extraordinary line-up of expert contributors.

In addition, you will receive six weeks’ worth of unlimited, private coaching from me! My coaching packages don’t come cheap, but consider me booked for six weeks. There are also *THREE*  live mastermind sessions hosted by both Tim and myself. If you’re not familiar with mastermind sessions, think private group coaching + brainstorming session + solution-generating magic.

Inside the course, experts in the field unleash an abundance of insight, next actions, downloadable tools, resources, and specific how-to information. The classes are broadcast 2 times per week throughout the first eight weeks of enrollment. After those first eight weeks, the course remains open to the participants so that you may revisit any lessons, gather all of the downloads, go at your own pace, ask any further questions, etc.

What you’ll get:

The Build a Better Creative Business Course includes:

- 9 Private lessons led by either Tim or Lisa.
- 7 Bonus lessons from our selected group of masters: we called in the big guns of our industry, and you’re going to be blown away by the people you meet inside this course.
- 24/7 Email access to Lisa and unlimited coaching for six weeks: Ask me anything and everything, day or night. I’m at your service.
- 3 LIVE mastermind meetings with both Lisa and Tim present and catered toward your needs
- Private networking and support among like-minded creative business owners
- Tools and resources for your creative business: we’re throwing it all in–worksheets, planners, checklists, marketing calendar, media contacts, and more.

What you’ll learn:

This section is immeasurable, but here’s a sample of the information you’ll walk away with:

- How to organize your business and create your own success
- How to improve your product and blog photography
- How and where to advertise your online storefront or blog
- How to create and support a professional network
- How to build a team of affiliates
- How to improve your website’s cohesion and make a killer first impression
- How to optimize your keywords
- How to improve your website’s SEO
- How to collaborate with other artists
- How to brand your business
- How to convert visitors into paying customers
- How to write effective listings and descriptions
- How to attract an audience and engage your fans
- How to find and gain media exposure
- How to get your product in front of celebrities
- How to license your designs
- How to turn your art into your own creative empire
- How to avoid burn-out and boost your productivity
- Plus tips on financial budgeting, bookkeeping, pricing, better business planning, and merchandising

What it costs:

$149. The cost of this material will never be this low again, and the benefits and value this knowledge will provide are priceless. You won’t find anything else like it.

If you’re ready to invest in your business, if you’re fed up and want to make it happen already, if you’re tired of uncertainty and frustration, you have Timothy Adam, Lisa Jacobs, and an amazing team of experts standing by. Get access to the course now by clicking here to sign up, read the testimonials, or look over the FAQ’s. Thank you so much for your consideration!

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a giveaway from MOO

December 10, 2012

Posted by in giveaway

giveaway from MOO!

hello friends! i’m sure many (if not all of you) are familiar with MOO, the digital printing company. particularly popular in the handmade community, they make stunning business cards, greeting cards, stickers and accessories! from personal experience, my favorites are the MOO MiniCards (but you know that, because i told you in 2009!). they are half the size of regular business cards, which make them unique and super memorable.

today i am beyond excited that MOO has offered a giveaway for not one, but three lucky winners! thanks, MOO!

about the cards:

MOO MiniCards: MiniCards are half the size of business cards but ‘twice as nice’! upload your own images or personalize their designs. use up to 100 different designs in each pack, with a different image on each card. show off your portfolio, your products, your business or yourself. plus, when it comes to the jolliest season, they make great gift tags and place holders too!

MOO holiday cards: send a festive greeting this season, it’ll impress clients of course, but to friends or family it’ll mean a lot more. easily upload your own photos or designs, or personalize with a selection from MOO. customize with a logo and message to create individual cards or even have a different image on each card!

giveaway

deadline: giveaway will end friday, december 14th at 10am, eastern standard time. the winners will be drawn using a random number generator and announced on this post shortly after.

to enter: head on over to MOO, and check out their MiniCards and holiday cards. then come back here and leave a comment letting us know how you would use your cards.

additional ways to enter:

>> like both going home to roost and MOO on facebook, and leave another comment here letting us know you did so.

>> share on twitter and use handles @gohometoroost and @overheardatmoo then come back here and leave another comment letting us know you did so.

>> share on pinterest and include hashtags #moo & #goinghometoroost. come back here and leave another comment with the url of your pin.

MOO elsewhere: site | blog | facebook | twitter good luck!

THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED. the winners are: MON5

congratulations hollie, heidi and reyna!

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DIY business card holder: tutorial & giveaway! (4)

hello lovelies! i’m attending fall quilt market this weekend (eeee!) and decided to make a little business card holder for the event. i made one for myself and another one for one of you as well! they are really simple to make, and only take a few minutes. each of these are made with some custom fabric i designed and ordered from spoonflower, but you can use any cotton fabric. read on for the tutorial and giveaway details!

DIY bussiness card holder: tutorial & giveaway!

supplies:

- 2 pieces of fabric measuring 4.5″ x 6″
- 2 pieces of fusible web (i use lite steam-a-seam 2) measuring 4.5″ x 6″
- an iron
- pinking shears
- sewing machine

step 1:
apply each piece of fusible web to the wrong side of each of your pieces of fabric and iron into place (follow package directions).

step 2:
peel off the paper liner of your fusible web and fold each piece of fabric in half, making each piece 4.5″ x 3″. iron to fuse together.

step 3:
cut around all 4 sides of each piece of fabric with your pinking shears, making one piece 3/4″ shorter than the other to make a place for your cards to ‘peek out’.

step 4:
lay one piece of fabric on top of the other and pin into place. using your sewing machine, straight stitch on top all the way around using a 1/4″ seam allowance. DIY bussiness card holder: tutorial & giveaway!

finally, i’m so happy to be giving the one pictured above away to one of you!

giveaway

deadline: giveaway will end wednesday, october 31st at midnight, pst.  the winner will be drawn at random and announced here on thursday, november 1st.

to enter: leave a comment below sharing why you’d like to win this business card holder. (attending an event? just need to have one handy?)

additional ways to enter:

>> like going home to roost on facebook, and leave another comment here letting us know you did so.

>> tweet the following, and leave another comment here letting us know you did so:

Giveaway! Enter to win this handmade business card holder on @gohometoroost! http://bit.ly/VkdTcE (Ends 10/31).

DIY business card holder: tutorial & giveaway! (1)

**giveaway is now closed. congratulations yuri (#6), you won!

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**UPDATE: psst.. this workbook, video and ebook are now included in the welcome packet when you sign up for the roost tribe!

today i am so excited to share with you a project that has been long in the works. we all know that it’s important to accurately describe the items we sell online, but did you know that it’s also important to tell a story through your product descriptions? it engages your customers, draws them in and helps them connect with both you and your product. here to help us write killer product descriptions that support our brand story is brittany campbell.

if you happen to recall the interview i did with etsy a while back on how to pitch to bloggers, you might remember that i talked a lot about how much i admired brittany campbell’s ability to write amazing product descriptions for her shop, the home ground.

i”m so happy that brittany agreed to come share with us about how to write amazing product descriptions through this engaging interview, printable and thought provoking workbook. to begin, check out the interview above (it’s about 25 minutes) to get an in depth look at why it’s important to engage with your customers, how to tell a story through your products and how to go about getting started.

video & printable: making product descriptions part of your brand story (1)

to accompany this interview, we’ve also put together a little checklist for you! just click on the image above to download the pdf. it’s the perfect size to keep at your workspace and will serve as a great reminder as you sit down to write your descriptions.

want to learn even more?

video & printable: making product descriptions part of your brand story (2)

finally, for those of you who’d like a more in depth look at this topic, i’m thrilled to be offering this 14 page interactive e-book to the roost tribe! it takes an in depth look at how to write engaging product descriptions and provides a 10 step fail-proof process to mastering the art of telling your brand story through your descriptions. with writing prompts and a place to jot down your ideas and thoughts, it’s a must have for any seller, regardless of whether it’s on etsy, big cartel or an independent website.

this e-book will be sent out this friday, october 26th to the roost tribe. you can find out more information and learn how to join here!

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