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.

When is it time to grow your team?

The time is now!

By hiring somebody, if only for a couple of hours a week, is an investment in the growth of your business. Even though you are handling everything fine on your own right now, at one point you may want to grow or take vacation without bringing your work with you.

In all honesty, it is impossible to be great at everything in your business.

Also, I’m sure there are few things you don’t enjoy doing anyway.

Those are the things you can start getting help with!

The stuff you constantly dread doing and wish somebody else could do for you…

Yep, that is the stuff you don’t need to do, instead you can have somebody help you with it.

If you’re reading this and saying, “I can’t hire somebody right now!”, I hear you.

You don’t need to hire somebody full time, or even part time. There are plenty of people who would love to just get a few hours here and there, maybe they have multiple clients they are working a few hours for.

In other words, hiring somebody as soon as possible for just 2 hours a week, to do the little things you don’t love will relieve an incredible amount off your plate.

The “I can do it better myself” mentality will only take you so far. Even if it takes more time to teach them how to do it, remembering that hiring is an investment in your future, as well as your business, and the long-term success of both.

It is also good to train your mind not to think about everything you need to do on your own, as that can create a lot of stress and later build up to spreading yourself too thin. Rather, remembering to hand off tasks because things become too much will set you up for success.

Does hiring someone have to be costly?

Hiring somebody for just two hours doesn’t have to be expensive either. There are plenty of options and tools out there to help you find people either locally, domestically, or internationally.

By getting help with the stuff you don’t love for two hours a day or week means you will get two more hours to focus on the stuff you enjoy and are good at. 

Slowly but surely, you are working towards focusing on the stuff you do the best while letting others do what they are good at.

What are the things you dislike doing?

The Value of Attitude + Perspective

I just came back from a trip to Ivory Coast, West Africa.

The whole trip was fantastic in so many ways. I truly believe it is a gift to experience other cultures as it challenges you to look at things from a different perspective. 

I mean, who says what you are doing is the right way of doing things?

Just because you have always done something one way does not mean you need to keep doing it that way.

A new perspective can bring a lot of gratitude to surface, especially when visiting a developing country.

If you stay in your “world”, oftentimes known as your comfort zone or bubble, you will limit your challenge of thinking differently.

However, you don’t need to travel across the world to alter your perspective, to challenge your comfortable way of thinking.

Let’s think about it, when is the last time you joined a group of people who are vastly different from you?

Or when was the last time you decided to give something new a chance?

For me, I felt majorly challenged in Ivory Coast.

In addition to a culture that was vastly different from mine (a combination of living in Sweden and the United States), the challenges expanded far beyond cultural differences.

I was immediately challenged by the terrible infrastructure issues, found myself eating foods that I would not normally consider eating (and probably wouldn’t have, if I knew what I was eating) in ways I would not choose how to eat the food.

I felt sad by the non-existent waste system and lack of cleanliness, stressed by the non-existing traffic rules and awful about the obvious signs of corruption, and felt feelings of guilt as I watched children play soccer on a dirt field without shoes.

I felt remorse as I watched so many people with very little opportunity live in poor conditions, and it was difficult to communicate with others whose culture and language I do not understand, all while being consistently sticky from mosquito spray.

Despite these challenges, my experience was absolutely incredible!

Because really, at the root of all experiences is your attitude.

Your attitude is formed by your willingness to accepting a challenge and how you decide to act.

It’s no secret we had issues, saw sadness, and ran into problems every single day, but if instead of looking at these obstacles as barriers, viewing these experiences as opportunities to learn, help, and grow allows the uncomfortable to become comfortable.

Just because something is difficult does not mean there is not beauty in it.

It was fascinating to see how people used their creativity to make money and how they moved through traffic with the unspoken rules of honk and go as you please. Rather than questioning these unorganized traffic rules, I learned this was their way of working together to get through life.

Although many things in life are out of our control, how we choose to see and interact with the world, our perspective and attitude, are the largest impacts on how we experience life.

I met amazing, warm, and hard-working people, saw incredibly beautiful nature, was blown away by colors and designs, ate fantastic food, became excellent at maneuvering in a chaotic city, and developed a newfound patience and appreciation for rules and opportunities.

Most importantly, Africa reminded me of the value of perspective and attitude.

You Can Do Hard Things

I have a few sticky notes on my desktop, one saying “You can do hard things!”.

Silly? Maybe, but whatever helps you push through challenges. A little reminder like that works for me and maybe it would for you too!

Whatever you must do to tackle the uncomfortable stuff.

I don’t know about you, but there has been a lot of uncomfortable stuff in my life lately, like a lot… to the point where I’m wondering, what’s going on?

But then I’m reminded that life’s hurdles come and goes in waves. I’m not sure if that is scientifically proven or not, but if not, I’m sure it could be!

As the true optimist that I am, that can only mean one thing, that soon there will be a wave of goodness coming my way! 😉

But let’s be real, what’s hard?

We set up these imaginary boundaries in our heads, yep, they are “homemade” imaginary boundaries.

Like:

  • “I can’t jump from a high rock because I’m afraid of heights.”
  • “I can’t public speak because people might think what I say is irrelevant.”
  • “I can’t make that phone call because they might tell me no.”
  • “I can’t charge more because who am I to charge that much?”
  • “I can’t grow my business because I just don’t know how.”

Well, I’m here to tell you (and me) this a bunch of BS! You can do hard things!

You made up those boundaries, so you can also throw them out the window and make new ones.  It’s actually a simple choice. 

Instead of doubting yourself and making excuses, try this:

  • Take one more step and you will be jumping.
  • Find another audience who resonate with you.
  • Push one more button and wait until they pick up.
  • Increase your prices.
  • Reach out to somebody who has grown a business before.

One of my favorite things to watch and support is when people around me do really hard things. I know they can do it and all that is needed is a bit of encouragement and a reminder that they can do hard things. That reminder can be anything from a sticky note, mentor, friend, or family member who knows your homemade boundaries are simply that, homemade. 

On the other side of those boundaries are beautiful achievements:

A sense of accomplishment, growth, and the realization that these boundaries were all made up in your head.

Now imagine what else you can do!

So, today, I simply want to remind you (and me) that you can do hard things!

Not only can you, but you should.