The Key to Managing a Work/Life Balance

Lately, I have had a lot of conversations around work life balance. Is it even such a thing? I’m not sure…

As an entrepreneur, life is business. If you choose wisely, it overlaps with life and you might not even know if you are working or just life-ing.

That is something you get to do, it’s a glorious place to be.

Yet, I truly believe fully disconnecting from bill-paying-things, is essential to be able to come back with fresh energy, perspective and creativity.

When I first started my business, I remember my mom (who is one of my biggest supporters) always reminded me to take time off. I worked a lot. However, in the beginning of entrepreneurship, it might be the only way to get off the ground and find your way.  I genuinely love business, figuring it all out and getting to support my clients…so it can be a lot of work later too. 

But she is right, there needs to be breaks even if you are passionate and love what you do.

I started to schedule a Creative/Active Day every week, where I am only able to work with my hands (not on a computer) and do physical activities (which is my other love in life). Having it on the schedule helped me be sure to take the day off from work.

Now,  I blend it into my everyday life, so I don’t have to work but get to work. I take a break to do something else if I want to. It is a much more peaceful place to be, it’s enjoying business life in a different way.

That might sound a little fluffy, but I still have a fairly structured schedule, because I do believe freedom comes with structure.

Now, I have taken on my mothers role, to remind others that life is not about things you have to do. I would say the only reason to fill the day with get-stuff-done’s, is if you are working towards something specific and hopefully towards changing that.

Life is beyond precious.

I believe work should be enjoyable and fun and it should not be everything, because then you miss out on life, so choose wisely what fills your life and how you blend it all together.

Trust me. you won't regret figuring that out now.

Using the Present to Boost Productivity

Be present to boost production

This morning I woke up and just laid and looked out the window at the clouds moving by.

Sometimes life feels like you blink, and it just happened.

I hope you find time somewhere in there to just watch the world go by and listen to your thoughts.

This mind-space is such a delightful place to be able to just slow down, with no distractions or notifications. 

Today, I’m grateful for the slow down. There are so many have-to’s, so much stress and anxiety filling our days… a consistent competition wherever you go, to make more, to save more, to look this way or that way, to be in places and really all we have is here and now.

Heck, let’s you and I take just one minute or so to breathe together. And after I’ll meet you back here.

Grab your phone, I know it’s right next to you. Set a timer for 1 to 3 minutes.

Turn off all notifications, start your timer and close your eyes.

Still reading?… Come on, try it… just take a deep breath and feel whatever you are feeling, wiggle your fingers, your toes, feel how your belly goes in and out with each breath…let the thoughts come and go and just be in it.

 

How did it feel?

Were you able to not think of your to do list? I know it can be hard to turn that hustler off sometimes, but when you are able to, it is such a peaceful place.

I love to think about what I want to do with my business, life or what I’m working on physically. This technique takes me to a place to fantasize about my dreams and when the same things continue to come up it becomes clear what I want to materialize.

Make space for being still, it’s transformative.

Have a beautiful day!

How Are You Doing on Your 2022 Goals?

New years goals review

It’s January 1st!

I thought I would just check in to see how are you doing on your goal(s) this year?

I can’t believe it but we are already in the second half of the year… the minutes just have to be shorter by the year, I see no other explanation 😉

Or… might it be that we cram in so much stuff in life that we barely have time to sit down and just be….I’m thinking that is probably it.

Well either way, blink and here we are, it’s mid-August. 

I have always been a competitor, so if somebody challenges me, I’m basically always game.

Setting up goals is fun, setting actionable steps to make it happen is exciting… but sometimes taking action is not as fun, it can be scary, challenging, tough and hard.

This year, I had a few different goals, one big one I have accomplished. Completing and selling a course (Mind blown! I had no idea it would be sooo much work but – check, done.) 

I had and still have another big goaI, to be seen more. That to me means stepping out on social media more, networking more, looking for opportunities to speak and share my message of: Simplify, Organize and Prettify Business and Life…you know those important things 😉 

Well, I do it to make people Feel, Be and Do Better. That stuff is important. I can’t think of anything more exciting than people thriving (maybe designing things… but luckily they go together for me!)

But either way… it’s August, almost September! I haven’t done very well on it… nope. 

Luckily, I can and still am working at it.

How are you doing on your goals? Hit some? Struggling with some?

Were you excited to do something… but then lost steam?

It can be “January 1st” today, if you want it too.

You know what? It doesn’t need to be January 1 to start a goal. I know, crazy thoughts huh.

Today is really a fabulous day to start executing, to choose to do hard things, to achieve or accomplish things you barely think are possible. Because as you know… taking small little actionable steps towards it will have you there before you know it. 

So today, I’m simply here to cheer both you and I on!  Motivation doesn’t just show up, it comes from action. Get to work on your goals whether you feel like it or not, like it’s “January 1”, every day and the motivation will come.

If you slip, get into a slump, there is a new “January 1” tomorrow.

Let’s get the hard things done!

11 Things to Help You Do Anything

When asked what I would have done differently if I were to get to do life, business again…

My first thought is, I’m not sure I would.

I thoroughly believe we are where we are supposed to be.  We have lessons to learn and things to figure out. Some things may take a bit longer than, perhaps, they should have, but really says who? If we are not ready to learn or even ready to look for the right answers, well, then we are not.  I do however, believe, it’s important to always look for solutions. And I’m thinking that’s why you are even reading this little tidbit. So I’m hoping I can hand you some support today.

First, if you didn't know. I want you to know, you can do anything.

It might not look exactly how you were thinking it would, or it might not be exactly the route you were planning to take, but it can be done.

If you have a big (or small for that matter) vision,  I have rounded up some thoughts that I believe are great tools to make it happen.

 

Connect with entrepreneurs, they are another breed in comparison to 9-5ers. Let me clarify that absolutely nothing is wrong with 9-5ers, it’s just a very different way of thinking. Sometimes it can be lonely in the entrepreneur world where friends and family might not get at all what you are doing and why you are doing it. Other entrepreneurs will, and they will challenge you in a good way.

 

Being ok in the uncomfortable is something that might not sound fun, but when you have done the uncomfortable just a few times, you begin to get used to it in order to take leaps in the direction you want to go.

 

Create habits to be organized from the get go. As your business grows, so does the disorganization and it makes it so much harder to catch up, vs if you develop tools to be organized from the start.  It saves you from a whole lot of unnecessary stress.

 

Be ok to be seen, I’m still working on this one, so this is a reminder for myself as much as it is for you.  You have knowledge to share, let the people who need it know. You are doing a disservice if you are not.

 

Ask questions and be curious, instead of looking at people in awe of how they live and do things, ask questions and listen to what they have done to get there and most importantly how they are thinking.

 

Be excited for change, we are born to change, for some reason change is often looked at as a bad word… it’s only a bad word if you don’t want to put the effort into creating something extraordinary.

 

Be hungry for knowledge, read more. If something is holding you back from something else, research it and learn about it. If you think of yourself as a non-reader, it’s time to remove that non part. It will be your best gift to yourself.

 

Your health. It is more important than anything you’ve got. If you don’t have health, you have nothing… Move every day, improve your cardio, strengthen your muscles and eat what fuels you, not just what tastes or looks good. [Oh and dance! 😉 ] 

 

Be with and listen to yourself. Your inner wisdom knows way more than you think.  If you think you know better, it will let you know with subtle to loud hints. If you listen, life somehow just flows.

 

Have a diverse group of friends and travel often. You will not expand your mind unless you expand your circle of friends and the people you meet.  There are people out there with a completely opposite way of thinking than you and believe it’s the most normal thing in the world. It’s wild, when you are challenged by that, like it blows your mind kind of wild. Yet, they want the same thing you want; to be understood, to be respected and loved.   

 

Which brings me to my last one.

 

Always, always be respectful and listen to the other person. Even if they are not respectful to you. This one is not easy, but by being the bigger person you are helping evolve humankind. A couple of reminders, if a person is upset with you, it most likely has absolutely nothing to do with you. If they don’t make sense, remember we have so many different experiences that guide us, cultural perspectives and connections to things, that  99.9% of the time, it comes down to communication and listening to each other. You want to be understood, so do they.

I hope this inspires you!

I would love to hear what you are working on or which one you liked the most.

Minor Changes To Change The World

Kindness. That’s it.

I believe if we all chose kindness, the world would be vastly different.

Some scenarios to inspire you to choose kindness:

Next time somebody gets upset with you in traffic or otherwise, send him/her good vibes. I’m sure they’ve had a rougher day than you. Give them grace, you might need it next time.

 

When somebody gets triggered and raises their voice to you, it actually has nothing to do with you. Ask what can be done differently next time. We all need support at times, and more often than not, we don’t know when that time is.

 

If someone is requesting a lot more of you than what’s agreed upon according to you, most likely all that is needed is clearer boundaries/ expectations or perhaps the someone has had a previously bad experience and is projecting that on you. Firm kindness is a thing.

 

If someone is not performing, ask yourself if you have set the right expectations and/or ask what possible changes will make a difference or maybe if they are just not clear on what the expectations are.

 

People with vastly different ideas or opinions; listen, it might be an opportunity for either of you to grow and evolve. We can be kind to one another, even if we don’t believe the same thing is true.

 

You can respectively decide to not surround yourself with people who you don’t share values with. Kindness would be to let them know what that reason is and maybe, just maybe you will find you have more in common than you think.

Kindness puts smiles in people’s hearts, it works like a ripple effect and that is one thing that should always keep rippling.

Let's Go!

Being Social

That has an entirely new meaning this past decade.

And with that statement, I suddenly felt a bit old.

To me “being social” has always meant that you are physically in a group of people interacting. Now, being social is most often referencing online interaction.

Social Media is an amazing tool that has evolved over the years but, (yeah there is always a but) I truly believe we as humans need physical touch and the ability  to see one another in the flesh.

Not only to make sure we understand each other but research shows that 

55% of conversation is nonverbal

38% is vocal

with only 7% as words!

Let that sink in…

I mean, thank goodness for emojicons! 🤪

No but seriously, 55% is what we see; body language, style, colors, shapes, placement, etc. as a Brand Designer that is beyond fascinating (might be even if you are not 😉 ).

What does that mean though? It means it is essential to show up online in a way that represents you while creating an experience your people want. If you meet in person the same thing holds true, but you have a larger chance of understanding and being understood by whomever you are communicating with.

Communicating on the interwebs is an excellent tool, however, being social in real life may be easier despite sometimes being uncomfortable and potentially even scary to walk up to someone.

Whether you connect online or in person it all works the same way; relate, be interested/curious, listen and engage.

Person: “What do you do?”

Me: “I’m a designer.”

 OR

 Person: “What do you do?”

Me: “I support service-based businesses to feel more confident in connecting with their audience and growing their business to make a greater impact.”  

Person: “Oh how do you do that?”

Me: “We build brands and websites to get their services and processes organized, so they don’t feel overwhelmed, but rather put together (and slightly braggadocious), have clarity, and can easily focus their precious time on what they like to do and what they do best.”

As an entrepreneur it’s even more important to be social, you have solutions that people need and want to know about. If you take that perspective to networking and connecting it might actually be exciting (unless you already are excited to network, then just keep sharing all your goodness) to be social. And all it comes down to is being present and looking for opportunities to do better.

 

Side note:

For the day when we are allowed to be more social in person, here is another “fact”, probably more of a sweet saying I like, how essential it is to meet people in person:

4 hugs a day for survival

8 hugs to sustain

12 hugs for growth

To hugs and connections,

Get Yourself Out of The Rut

Before you start reading further, I’m just going to give you the answer, dance!

Yes, sometimes you need to let go of all your needs to be in control, learn to be okay with not being put-together or looking a certain way… it can be extremely uncomfortable, but in that space is exactly where things happen and shift.

Or if you love to dance, like me, it is one of the most magical places to release some stress-anxiety and twirl around to your heart’s content.

You want to know the question? Oh okay, we are doing it the normal way, ok…;)

What to do when you feel stagnant in your career and life?  What are some moves you can take to get off that plateau?

First, maybe you are content? There is nothing wrong with being content, and enjoying the place you are in. It’s okay to not have a desire to constantly push.  Our society is so often focused on having more and better. I believe it’s pertinent to not get swept away with what the surrounding is doing. Take some time, sit down and really ponder, if maybe you are content right now (doesn’t mean it has to be forever).   That space right there is a great time to get caught up with systems and processes and can be an incredible way to prepare and set you up for tremendous growth.

 If you have done that and you are ready, but can’t get off your butt, then you are most likely stagnant or at a plateau.

The answer? Dance!

I’m serious! Physical activity is a proven way to enhance creativity.  Also as I mentioned above, if you are at a plateau or feel stuck, it’s important to get out of your comfort zone and change things up. 

 You know the saying, “what got you here, will not get you there”, not sure who coined that brilliant line of words but annoyingly accurate.

 Some moves you can take:

 

Reset your mind.  

What’s the amount of money you want to make a month?

Add a 0 to the end of that number.

For example, if you want to take home 10K/month, which now turns into 100K/month. What would you need to do differently? What would you offer? Who would you need to be?

 You are an entrepreneur, you make your own rules and offerings, anything is possible.

Really, don’t just look past this question, what, actually, would you have to do?

 

Sometimes we are just stuck in our mind on how we look at things, and all we need to do is turn it around a bit. Change the perspective.

 

Change your routine. Being in a rut literally means: “In a settled or established habit or course of action, especially a boring one.”  Try one of these:

  • Start journaling first thing in the morning
  • Sign up to learn something new
  • Give yourself 15 mins. to yourself a day doing what you like to do, anything from knitting, painting, breathing, running and do that every day for a month…and see if you don’t end up with a scarf, a painting or find a space to expand your mind.
  • Set the alarm 45 mins. earlier (and go to bed 45 mins. earlier)
  • Limit social media or TV intake.

 

Get a coach. If you can’t look at your own work from a different perspective a coach certainly can.  There is nothing wrong to ask for help–really you should if you want to grow in life or business. 

PRO TIP – make sure to get a coach that has walked the path ahead of you, someone who knows your struggles and has succeeded in what you want to succeed with. There are a lot of coaches out there nowadays, so make sure you connect with one that is right for you.

 

Whatever you decide to do to change things up, do it even on the days when you don’t feel like it.

I would love to hear where you are, content or stagnant?

Let’s go,

Is it time to go out on your own?

You have had this desire to start your OWN business.

It has probably been a thought that has lived in your head rent-free for quite some time, maybe even years!

What an exciting thought too—getting to do business exactly how you want to, be the boss you’ve always wanted, and modernizing running things! Plus, the freedom of making your own hours, working from wherever you want…The list is endless…But the steps between dreaming about it and doing it, might not be as exciting. Truth is, it’s overwhelming! How does one get all the things together and what are even all the things needed?! Today, I’m giving you the cornerstones of starting and growing your business. The only reason it feels overwhelming is because it is a lot, but it doesn’t have to be.

If you have a road map, taking you from start to finish, you can make it happen. One thing at a time and before you know it, you will have a running business.

Ready?

These are the things you need to start your business:

Foundation + Clarity

Before even starting to build your business, website and all of that other stuff.  You need the most powerful tool to success, CLARITY. 
If you start with the end-goal in mind and open to enjoying the process, whoa you are in for a treat! 

It’s important to ask yourself:

  • What is your end goal?
  • Why are you wanting to run a business online?
  • How can you make a greater impact?

The last one, may sound like “extra credit,” like this is something people do when they already have a successful business. Here is a little secret – this is how you create a successful business. It’s the true reason you run your business.  Beyond handling your day-to-day business, you get to make a greater impact on your clients, team and community. Every business starts small, and so will yours – but that’s not where it has to stay. Think about that! 



Offer + Pricing

You might have a few different ideas on how you want to offer your service, or heck even multiple ideas of what type of service you want to offer. Deciding on what that is and how much to charge is crucial! It needs to fit with your target audience but what you might not have thought about is, that it also needs to fit your way of living or how you want to live.

To figure that out you can use multiple different tactics, you can look at how other similar service providers set up their offerings and see how you can make it your own OR go back to those thoughts on how you would run your business if you had your own. For pricing, one of my favorite ways to look at this challenge, is to reverse-engineer it from how much you need or want to make a month!



Values + Brand Creation.

When you are just starting out it can be tempting to work with everyone. I get it, and right as you start you should, it will show you who you want to work with, but more importantly, who you do not want to work with.  In the beginning (or honestly at any time), it can be easy to forget that we are in charge, we get to make the rules and that’s one of the big joys of running your own show. This corner stone is very important. More important than you might think right now,  because the clearer you are on how and with whom you do business, the easier e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g will be.



Website + Online Presence

Probably one of the first things you think about when you start your business is that you need a website and online presence.  Yep, that is the today’s truth. Having the previous bullets clear first will make this process a lot easier. First step with an online presence—get your domain! Then simplify all your thoughts to the least necessary.  The website should not be an obstacle to get going, it should be a ticket to learn about and grow your business!



Marketing + Content

This is the one most of us don’t want to think about… because you are starting your business to offer your expertise and service, yep I know. But the kicker is if you have no customers or clients, you have no business. Sorry to be harsh, but you need to learn to sell your services and let the world know about them.  Selling can be fun if you do it the right way. There is a plethora of ways to market, so research different methods and then focus on the one you actually like.  (Just make sure your ideal client likes to receive content that way).



Tools + Optimization

Once your business is up and running, there are many different tools that can help you simplify life, to make it user-friendly for your clients (yeah, you can finally be truly tech forward). My favorite time-saving trick is noticing the patterns and tasks I repeat and turning them into templates and SOPs! Once you have a rhythm with your business, you will find this saves a lot of time!

 

Who am I kidding, it is all still a lot!

 

You want a little extra help to get it nailed down?
Well, I’m glad you asked! The thing is, I’m launching a program January (perfect start to the new year), where I dive into the details of all this, and guide you through each corner-stone.

So, if you have been wanting to make your business and website happen, but aren’t sure where to start or need some support to actually follow through. You are in luck! You, me, and a community of like-minded individuals will jump into this together and get you up and running.

If you know of a friend who has been talking about starting a business forever, to the point that it is annoying. Do them (and you) a favor and forward this note to them, it will be the best support you can offer them! 

Are you ready?

Let’s go,

Building & Maintaining a Strong Reputation

Do great work. Have integrity. Genuinely care about your clients.

If you ask me, that is the recipe for building and maintaining a strong reputation.

How did I get to this?

I believe it’s a combination of a few things.

For starters, I work with my innate gift of communication and design, my upbringing teaching me to follow through on my word, and lastly, recognizing how the incredibly lucky amount of support from my family and friends has encouraged me to want to pay that support forward.

I am a people person and have a deep fascination of human behavior, which is pertinent in branding and user experience, but also within the service industry and working with directly people. I have developed active listening skills and the ability to pinpoint peoples extraordinarily qualities, which is a serious magic trick.

building a strong reputation doesn’t happen overnight, that’s for sure.

I moved to California in the end of 2008 and started my business 2009 as a side gig. I didn’t have much of a plan, I just knew I liked design and the computer was a grand tool to experiment with it.

By 2014, my side gig turned into a side hustle that had me working 24/7 and I wasn’t living a healthy work-life balance. So, I did what any sane person would do; I gave my two weeks’ notice at my “real” job with no plan.

I remember asking myself, “Um, what do I do if the clients don’t keep coming like they have…?”

Then 2017 came and new life circumstances gave me a fresh start. These experiences were extremely challenging and were filled with frustration, tears, and a lot of time searching, listening, reading, and thinking.

During the very slow and long process of building up my company, I had built a reputation with my clientele of doing branding + websites differently, and my audience stood out in a saturated market. I gave everything I could to my clients (and a bit more) and I genuinely cared about how they did.  

I still do this today, but with a much clearer process, improved work, and even more care and enthusiasm of how I can be supportive to my clients and their growth. 

When you do great work, have integrity, and genuinely care about your clients you also build the most important element of relationships: trust.

My clients know they can trust my company, our work, and what we can do for them.

With clarity and intention this can be done faster, but this was my long journey to realizing what really matters. 

Do great work + do what you say you are going to do + genuinely care about it

This is the recipe to doing what you love for a very long time!

It’s such a gift and when work is a fun – whoa, life is good!

The importance of a mentor

I don’t know about you but, I tend to think I can do everything myself.

My logical mind knows that’s not true and now I am way better at looking and asking for help. 

Building my business as an independent graphic designer who didn’t (well, couldn’t really) think further than the next month to now running a team of five has been a life changing and major shift in how I look at almost everything business related.

And nope, I have for sure not done that all by myself. I have mentors to thank.

Mentors that I talk directly to and mentors I “spy” on.

Both types of mentors have been valuable to my growth, personally and professionally.

As you might know, I have always been an athlete which means I have always had a trainer or a coach guiding me. This was an instrumental part of realizing I needed one for business too. Why on earth would I try to figure everything out on my own when there are so many that have so much insight to offer?

Then the big question, how do you find a mentor?

Yes, sure there are lots of coaches out there, but which one should you connect with? I didn’t want a certified business coach, I wanted someone who has done what I want to do. I wanted to be guided by someone who knows my field and the struggles that come along with it but has figured out a way to make it happen.

Here’s what I did:

I took a step back and thought about the type of people I like to be around, those who I could learn from, and made a conscious decision to surround myself with those who are adding value to my life.

But where to begin when finding a mentor at this point in my career?

Look no further than my favorite professional tool, LinkedIn. I looked up a few different people in my field who had extensive experience and reached out to a few individuals asking if I could meet up for a coffee chat. To my surprise, one said yes!

I joined communities with like-minded folks.

I researched podcasts that would be beneficial and started listening as much as I could, when I was walking, training, cleaning the house, anywhere, anytime.

My greatest mentor, my father, has been the biggest bonus in my business journey. He is an entrepreneur enthusiast, has been a businessman his whole life, and worked in a field like mine. Growing up, I thought of him as dad flying around the world for work but didn’t really know the gift I had right in front of me. Then when I was on the hunt for people to learn from it hit me like a ton of bricks, and what an eye-opening experience that was!  

Not only do I get a gold mine of knowledge and objective opinion a call away at any time, but I also got closer to my sweet dad which probably is the best gift I could have ever asked for. I know I’m extremely fortunate but perhaps you have somebody around you that you haven’t seen in that way before.

When you start opening up to the knowledge that is already out there, get ready for some big shifts.