Makers Megaphone Coaching


WHAT'S TRENDING [Makers Monday Motivation 4.30.18]

When I was in 4th grade, one of the cool girls in my elementary school, brought her new Caboodle to class, filled with her colorful and well organized school supplies. Me and my nine-year-old classmates were in awe. (Children of the 80’s do you remember the Caboodle?!) I spent days after that longing for a blue, sparkly, plastic organizer of my own and couldn’t wait till my birthday when I could put it on my list. Sure enough, within a few months, girls throughout the school could be seen carrying their own pastel-colored Caboodle. 

The Caboodle was clearly one of the many 80’s trend items that came and went, but while it was hot, you couldn’t get your hands on one fast enough. 

As makers and creators, trends can really impact your business’s bottom line. Colors, materials, images, and styles that shoppers look for often changes from year to year. What is hot one season can look very stale the next….have you heard pineapples were SO last season! That is why in order to stay fresh, it is important, even if you create a product with a more “timeless” nature, to consider how you can incorporate trending elements into your products that your customers will be looking. 

Are you making products that are aligned with what customers currently want to buy? For this weeks Maker’s Monday Motivation, I challenge you to take a look at what’s going on around you in the marketplace and consider the ways trends play a role in your product development and business. 


  • ow do you stay aware of current trends? 
  • Are you considering current trends when you start to develop new products? 
  • Do you consider yourself a trend-setter? A trend-follower? Trend-oblivious?
  • Have there been experiences in your business where trends have impacted your sales? 


  • o to Pinterest and see what items are being most reshared/repinned
  • Search for trending keywords on search engines, such as Google
  • Go to the library or bookstore and comb through fashion, lifestyle, and design magazines to see what products they are talking about. 
  • Read blogs and pay attention to businesses who’s whole job is to watch and aggregate trends, such as TrendWatching
  • Search Editor’s Picks sections on e-commerce sites such as Etsy.
  • Get out of your studio and pay attention to what’s happening in the world, with your friends, in your community, the economy, etc.  

Trends can really impact your business, so you want to make sure you are on the right side of the trend and able to benefit from the current zeitgeist. I hope this week gave you some ideas to insure your work continues to feel fresh and not dated. Want to do a deep dive into you product line and talk about how your offerings are measuring up? Let’s schedule a Power Hour to hash through and brainstorm ways you can be sure to stay ahead next season. Monday Motivation subscribers get 15% off through Memorial Day with code (FRIEND15).

We’re in this together!


PEOPLE IMPACT [Makers Monday Motivation 4.23.18]

At some point during my years working at Etsy, I attended a learning lecture on productivity led by our then CEO, Chad Dickerson. I anticipated that the lecture would focus on what software he used, or calendar management system worked best for our work culture. Instead, I walked away with one of the most valuable life tips I’ve ever learned. 

Chad said, the #1 most important factor that will influence your productivity is your relationships. 

He spoke about how the people we surround ourselves with will either inspire, support, and motivate us, or they will weigh us down, distract us, drain us of our energy, and ultimately create roadblocks to our progress and kill our productivity. 


Chad dropped a major truth bomb on me that day. 

Productivity isn’t as simple as an online tool or a calendar system to manage your workload. It involves a holistic approach to how you live your life both personally and professionally. 

I’m confident that regardless if your creative business is primarily a solo-venture or you work with a team, you have relationships, partners, co-workers, vendors, clients, customers and friends that influence what your days look like. For this week’s Makers Monday Motivation, I encourage you to take a few moments to honestly consider how the relationships in your life are currently impacting your creative productivity. 


  • Identify the 2-5 people you spend the most time with. How do these individuals impact your productivity? 
  • Do you have any relationships in your life that weigh you down, distract you, drain you of your energy, and ultimately create roadblocks to your creative progress? If so, is there anything you can do to shift the influence of these individuals?


  • Are you currently involved or working with any peer or professional groups? If not, can you make it a priority to research and find some peers you can connect with on a regularly basis? 
  • Set up a coffee with someone you are inspired by or respect and see if you can share about your business and hear their feedback. 
  • Make the space in your schedule to spend time each week (either in person or over the phone) connecting with someone who builds you up and motivates you. 

bviously some relationships in life we don’t get to choose, they are there because of a common association such as a job, a neighborhood, a family, etc. That said, we each have the ability to take ownership of where we want to get our influence and seek out relationships that build us up. IMO, having a business coach is a solid way to insure you always have a teammate on your side that will help you stay motivated and moving forward toward your dreams and goals. If you’d like a supportive partner on your team, I’d love to come beside you. Schedule a free 30 min intro coaching phone-session today

 We’re in this together!


GET INSPIRED [Makers Monday Motivation 4.16.18]

Let’s be honest, even the most creative among us runs into days - or even whole seasons - when we just run dry. You know, those times when you can’t come up with new ideas, when you open up a new blank page in a sketchbook and just stare at it unsure where to start, or when you find excuses to do anything but go to the studio and get to work. 

As the owner of a business that is currently a team of one, I can’t really afford too many of these uninspired and unproductive periods. So, to get ahead of future inspiration droughts, I created what I’m calling the “Creative’s First Aid Kit.” My “kit” includes a list of ideas and go to activities to have on hand for whenever I hit an inspiration dryspell and need some help getting over the hump. In my experience, Advil's never worked to cure a bout of writer's block! 

Today, instead of a sharing a Makers Monday Motivation challenge for the week, I’m simply passing along to you some of the ideas I’ve put in my Creative’s First Aid Kit, to hopefully serve as a resource for you the next time you encounter the creative blahs. This list is just the beginning, and I’d encourage you to make this list your own, by adding any activities you enjoy and know fill you with inspiration. 


Possibly treatments for the creative blahs: 

  • try to connect with people, see if there are any interesting events or meetups happening locally you could attend
  • go to a museum or see a new exhibition
  • get physically active
  • read a book
  • go to a bookstore or library and just poke around to see what seems interesting
  • find a neighborhood, or part of town you’ve never been to before (or spent much time in) and go just explore. 
  • go to a new coffee shop and people watch for a while
  • call a friend to catch up
  • take a walk and let your mind wander
  • mentally and physically step away from your work
  • do something completely different than your normal routine
  • cook a meal you’ve never made before
  • clean the house
  • watch a travel or nature documentary 

Things to avoid at all cost: 

  • scrolling mindlessly through social media
  • staying near your sketchbook, screen, studio whatever the source of your creative block is. 
  • accepting defeat 
  • beating yourself up
  • think you might as well just quit 
  • get on a shame spiral
  • doing mindless and unproductive, time wasting activities

Hopefully you have a week full of inspiration, but if not, don’t worry….it truly happens to all of us! In my perspective, the problem isn’t having the dry spell, it’s what you do once it hits you. Having a coach on your team is a great way to stay motivated and work through challenging seasons. If you’re feeling stuck, I’d love to support you. Schedule a free 30 min intro coaching phone-session today. 

We’re in this together!




TAX TIME [Makers Monday Motivation 4.9.18]

“Yeah, it’s tax time!” - said no creative ever

The start of April inevitably means it’s time to do your taxes. Love them or hate them (I’ve yet to meet a maker who really enjoys this annual ritual), taxes are critical to keeping any small creative business running successfully, so for this week’s Maker Monday Motivation I wanted to pass along some words of encouragement and simple tips, to help you as you take on the accounting tasks in your week ahead.

Tips to turn your tax time into an empowering (and possibly even enjoyable) part of running your creative business:

Shift your mindset:

  • Look at tax time as an opportunity to really see how your creative venture preformed.
  • Consider doing your taxes as a great chance to get organized.
  • Be grateful you’ve chosen a creative pursuit instead of crunching numbers all day ;)!
  • Is your studio in your home? Running your own creative biz allows you to write off a portion of your bills such as your rent, utilities, internet...that’s pretty cool!
  • Make your tax prep hours more enjoyable with this Spotify playlist by Billboard.

Prepare throughout the year:

  • Track the miles you drive for business purposes with the MileIQ app.
  • Set up an accounting software to track your income and expenses year round. (I’m a big fan of Freshbooks)
  • Save receipts! Your creative business (even as a side-hustle) allows you to deduct many of the things you spend money on each day (ie: that coffee date where you talked about your products; your design magazine subscriptions; visiting museums for “research”). The Shoeboxed app is a great way to insure you never lose a receipt.

Get help:

  • Taxes stress you out? Hire an accountant and let someone else do the number crunching and tax preparation for you.

Need some help getting organized so tax time isn't so stressful in the future? I’d love to support you. Schedule a free 30 min intro coaching phone-session.

We’re in this together,


1ST QUARTER CHECK-IN [Makers Monday Motivation 4.2.18]

And just like that, we’re a quarter of the way through 2018…

This is a perfect week to take a few moments to check in with yourself and see how you are doing so far this year. 

Remember those goals you set back in January? 

How are they going?

If you are anything like me, “life” happened over the last three months and things you didn’t anticipate have come up causing some of your goals to be put on the back-burner, others to be forgotten all together, and new ones suddenly become top of mind. 

That’s why it’s so good to do quarterly check-ins so you can remember what you wanted to accomplish, re-calibrate where plans have changed, and get back on track to make this a year where you truly move your goals and dreams forward. 

As the April showers begin and the spring flowers start to push their way up through the dead leaves of winter, this week’s Monday Motivation is simply a reminder to help you tend to your dreams and give them the extra care they need so they bloom in the months ahead.


  • Review your goals for the year. (Or if you didn’t write any in is a great time to start!)
  • How are you doing on your goals? Have you made progress on any of them? Have you completed any?
  • Has anything happened in the last three months that has caused your priorities and goals for the year to shift?
  • How are you feeling about your productivity so far this year?


  • Update your goals to reflect any changes you may have now that the first quarter is complete.
  • Prioritize your goals and start working on the one that is the most important to you.
  • Take action and start! If your goals feel too overwhelming, try breaking them down into smaller tasks and schedule the time to work on those activities.
  • Find a friend to share your goals with and ask them to help keep you accountable.

You’re goals and dreams are too important to not act on and I’m so excited to see you bring them to life in the months ahead. If you’re needing some help prioritizing where to start, or not sure how to break down your goals into actionable steps, I’d love to work with you, schedule a free 30 min intro coaching phone-session.

We’re in this together,


CHECK THE TECH [Makers Monday Motivation 3.26.18]

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about my relationship with technology. Particularly my attachment to my smartphone. Despite my best efforts, I’m really struggling to set and keep realistic boundaries when it comes to how many hours of my day I spend looking at a tiny screen. 

Can you relate?

As a small business owner, I’m incredibly grateful for the ways technology enables me to run my business efficiently with low-overhead, and from anywhere. That said, if I’m honest with myself, I know that as a business coach, if one of my clients had an employee that they were as dependent upon, or wasted as much time chatting with as I do with my cell-phone, I’d wave a red flag and advise them on steps to change this!

I can no longer ignore this gnawing feeling that my smart phone is slowly starting to manage meinstead of me managing it.

Inspired by an article I read, my husband and I decided to use our recent vacation as a chance to truly see if we could disconnect from our phones for a week. We made a commitment to each other that we would be truly present for the duration of our vacation, instead of checked-out staring at our screens or sharing each experience on social media with people miles away. We even went so far as to give our parents the number of the hotel we were staying and advising them that if there was an emergency the front desk would be the best way to get in touch.

The result: it was incredibly refreshing and good for our relationship, but it was also incredibly hard. 

What we quickly realized was just how accustom we’ve gotten to using apps to navigate the day-to-day activities in our lives and how much of the modern way of existing is dependent on our phones.

So, being rational folks, from time-to-time we allowed some exceptions: we used Google Maps to find our way to destinations, we used Yelp to help select a restaurant, we used Lyft to get car rides, we used Postmates to order food to our hotel for lunch, and we electronically checked-in for our flight. 

These uses were innocent enough, however the real challenge was once the phone was open and our use of the particular app over...there is a strong impulse to go look at other things on the phone, which inevitably gets you sucked into time wasting screen-staring. 

Smartphones are addicting, and honoring boundaries takes incredible self-discipline. 

We tried our best and yet still we sometimes stumbled.

Since being home, I’ve been considering ways I could realistically stop having my phone be the single tool I use to operate so much of my life: I could get a newspaper subscription, an alarm clock, a landline, carry a camera, find paper maps, use the yellow pages, an address book….you know, like how we did before smart phones.

Is this the right solution? Is it at all realistic? 

I’m not sure. I’m still grappling with it.

That said, I do know I don’t want to spend so many hours of my life staring at a screen. I want more space to think creatively and more time spent actually in the present. It is a priority for me to create more balance and become less dependant on a single device. 

So, for this weeks Monday Motivation Challenge, I’d like to encourage you to consider your relationship with your smartphone and brainstorm together with me ways to create more balance. I believe this effort will inevitably help move your creative ventures forward and allow more space for making.


  • How do you feel about your relationship with your devices?
  • Write a list of the ways your phone has made your life better/more productive and also what ways you think it has had a negative impact.
  • Consider what steps could you take to create more balance or set greater boundaries with your devices?


  • Install the Moment app to track how much time you actually spend on your phone
  • Create some attainable boundaries for your devices (no phones in the bedroom, no screens after 8pm, only look at certain sites on your desktop)
  • Delete time-wasting apps
  • Try to not fill down-time with screens (try just wait in a line, or the elevator, or for the train without looking at your phone)

I’m yet to come up with the perfect solution for how to manage my smart phone use, so if you come up with any great ideas in this weeks brainstorm or that you have found work in your own life, please share them with me! In the meantime, if you want to connect one-one-one with someone in real life to talk about how to start crushing your goals for your creative business, schedule a free 30 min intro coaching phone-session.

We’re in this together,


BE THE BEST BOSS [Makers Monday Motivation 3.19.18]

Prior to launching my own business I spent many years working as an employee for other managers and bosses. Some of these people were amazing mentors and leaders, while others made my life miserable. So miserable that I’ll even credit an experience of working for one of the worst bosses I ever had as a key motivator for me to launch my own business.

Like most people, when I dreamed about launching my own business I was motivated by the desire to no longer report to someone else, to make my own rules, and to have the autonomy to create the ideal life and work environment I wanted and knew I could thrive in. 

I took the leap to work for myself because I desired the freedom that comes with self-employment.

Today, over four years into this adventure I believe this freedom is possible. That said, in my work as a coach, working with hundreds of folks who have taken the brave leap to go out on their own, I will say this freedom isn’t simply a give-in. You have to be intentional to create the lifestyle you desire.

To much dismay, I’ve watched so many passionate, creative people end up creating unbearable work conditions for themselves, working insane hours, never taking breaks, not creating clear expectations and goals for themselves, and in the end ultimately become their own worst boss. 

My question for you this week is...would you want to work for you? Or, in your pursuit for success in self-employment have you become your own worst boss?

Do you never let yourself disconnect? Has your work become your whole life? Are you demanding and unforgiving? Do you create unrealistic expectations for what you will accomplish? If you currently run your creative business as a side-hustle, how are you as a manager of your part-time job?

For this week’s Monday Motivation Challenge I want you to step back and reflect on what type of boss you are, or want type of boss you would like to become for your own business.


  • What qualities do you look for in a dream boss?
  • If you were looking for a new job with a new employer, what criteria would you look for in the work culture and the leadership?
  • How many of those qualities do you believe you currently have or implement in your own creative business?
  • From the outside looking in, would you want to work for you? Be honest!


  • Take some time to reflect and give yourself a 360’ review. 
    • What things are you doing really well as a manager of your own business? 
    • What area(s) is there room for improvements?
    • Can you make a plan to start creating your dream workplace?

Let’s face it, if you are going to be your own boss, you might as well be the best darn boss you ever had. You do have freedom in self-employment, that means it is entirely up to you to determine how you are going to treat yourself. ant some support getting there? I’d love to work with you. Schedule a free 30 min intro coaching phone-session.

We’re in this together,



TRY A NEW WAY [Makers Monday Motivation 3.12.18]

You wouldn’t know it by looking at him, but my husband is a constant snacker. It’s not uncommon to find him looking in the pantry for a snack less than 10 minutes after we finish a meal. I swear he has hollow legs.

Last weekend we spent Saturday at home and I told him there were no snacks around and we needed to make a trip to the grocery store at some point. Despite what I had told him, moments later he still looked in the fridge hoping to find something to eat only to come up empty handed. Over the course of the day, I think it’s safe to say I saw him open the fridge trying to find a snack no less than ten times. Each time getting the same unsatisfying result. 

Have you ever heard the quote: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result”? 

I tell this story, not to poke fun at my husband’s snack habit or infer he is insane, but because I see creative business owners do this same type of thing all the time when it comes to trying to make more money. They keep trying the same thing over and over again and get frustrated when their efforts are not getting them what they want. 

Admittedly, there is a fine line between being persistent (which can pay off) and being insane (which is futile) and I believe I’ve been both during my entrepreneurial journey. But, when it comes to creating real change and breakthrough for your business, you ultimately have to be willing to recognize when what you are doing isn’t working and be open to trying something new. 

Spring is a great time for new beginnings and starting over. For this week’s Monday Motivation Challenge I want to encourage you to consider if there are things you keep trying that just aren’t getting you any results. Could this be the week you are ready to try something new?!


Is there something you’ve been trying over and over again in an attempt to get something you want for your creative business (such as sales, press, customers), but you are getting frustrated that you are not seeing the outcomes you wanted? 


  • Write a list of what you have tried.
  • Brainstorm a list of all the possible alternative approaches you could take - but haven’t yet.
  • Commit to trying one of the alternative approaches.

Tying something new can be hard, but I’m confident it will be worth your effort! New information can only help you grow. That said, I know from my own experience that sometimes we do the same thing over and over because we really don’t know what else to do. If you are finding that you are stuck and unsure what you should try next, I’d love to work with you to help you find a breakthrough. Schedule a free 30 min intro coaching phone-session.

We’re in this together,


EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED [Makers Monday Motivation 3.5.18]

Of all the life lessons I learned by living in New York City for fourteen years, there is one that I think has been particularly useful to running a creative business:

Anything can ready for it.

Let me explain.

NYC is a place where quite literally anything can and does happen. From the moment I would step out my apartment door in the morning, the only thing I could predict about my commute to work was that it would be unpredictable.

On any given morning, I could cross paths with an entire group of 2nd graders on the way to a field trip, encounter a full mariachi band looking to make some money on my crowded subway car, experience unexpected “police activity” that resulted in the entire train being held underground between stations for an unknown amount of time, or have a pleasant run-in with an old friend and chat the whole ride. This spontaneity is what makes urban places dynamic and exciting. It is also why I always tried to allow extra time, made sure to have good reading material, and brought snacks, some Advil and water (at the very least) with me when I left home, “just in case.

Alternatively, I could always spot the folks who weren’t prepared and really struggled with this NYC “expect the unexpected” reality. They’d pace back and forth huffing and puffing waiting for a train to come that was late, or appear totally shocked and disgruntled when the subway was re-routed due to track repairs.

For sure, it is frustrating to not have things go as you had planned, but if we are blind to the possibility that stuff just happens, we end up letting these road-bumps overly affect us.

Now that I’m living in the much calmer midwest and running Makers Megaphone Coaching full-time, some days my commute is simply walking across my apartment to my desk. Yet, I can now speak with confidence when saying, the mindset of expecting the unexpected is not just a good practice for stressed New Yorkers, it’s also so important for anyone who is self-employed or runs their own venture. 

On any given day, the things I hope to accomplish, or the revenue I anticipate coming in, can change on a dime. Even in the last few months, I’ve had projects I thought were going to happen fall through the cracks, clients cancel last minute, or new opportunities that were better than I could have planned come up from unlikely sources. The unexpected is just the nature of self-employment and small business life. This is why for this week’s Monday Motivation Challenge, I’m encouraging all creatives to consider ways to be prepared for whatever may happen.

Consider ways you can be more prepared for the unexpected in your creative practice:

  • Is there a way you can diversify your revenue stream in case one source drys up? (wholesale, retail, online shop, manufacture, etc)
  • What can you do to keep a pipeline of new orders or future projects in the works? (marketing, newsletters, events)
  • Do you use contracts when working with others? If not, could you start?
  • Can you keep some space in your schedule and not overbook, in order to allow for the unexpected?
  • What safeguards can you put in place to give your business a bit of a buffer in the event unexpected things happen? (time, money, support, etc.)

No matter where you live or what you spend your days doing, you will likely have days where things don’t go as planned. I hope with a little foresight, these events will be merely hiccups instead of throwing you totally off course. 

We're in this together,


GUARD YOUR TIME [Makers Monday Motivation

If I were to ask you what you did with your last 24 hours, would you be able to tell me?

Or to take it a step further, would you be able to tell me how many hours in the last week you spent on activities that will bring you income or move your dreams forward? 

If not, you are not alone. 

Most of us spend our days with constant activity, but we are pretty unaware of just where our time is going. However, for the creative small business owner or folks who aspire to start a business, this lack of self-awareness can be a key factor that prevents you from success. 

This is because our time is so valuable. 

If you think about it, time is the one thing in our lives that no matter how rich, poor, smart, driven, or lazy we are...we each only get 24 hours in a day. Many of those hours will be filled with responsibilities that have nothing to do with our creative ventures. Which is why I believe, the ability to make productive use of time is one of the biggest skills that separate those creators who build thriving businesses from those who struggle. 

In an age of being endlessly busy, we often spend our time constantly “doing” but if we are honest with ourselves, we might be “doing” things that are not getting us anywhere near our goals, or even worse doing things that are merely a waste of our precious time.

But I’m here to share that I believe there is hope for the most time challenged among us. Time management is something we all can learn to get better at! One of the first steps is to get self-aware and learn where your time is actually going. By getting more self aware, you can gain a clear picture of how to prioritize the activities that will move you toward doing work that will make you money or move your dreams forward.

For this weeks Monday Motivation Challenge, I’m sharing a simple exercise you can try to help get more clarity on where you time is going so you can make better use of it in the months ahead.


Step 1: Spend a week tracking where your time actually goes.

Step 2: For maximum effectiveness, it is important to track all of your time, from that 20 minutes you spent in line getting a coffee to the 30 minutes you spent scrolling through social media before bed. The key to getting self aware is to be honest and make sure you capture everything.

Step 3: I’ve created a chart you can use to keep track of your days activities the low-tech way by carrying around a pen and paper for a week DOWNLOAD HERE, or you can try a digital method by finding an app that helps track your time.

Step 4: After a week, review your chart and see if there are any ways you can make better use of your time to prioritize activites that matter most to you.

Time management may seem like a simple secret to creative success, but the sooner you start getting control of your time, the sooner you will start making more money with your creative business.

We’re in this together,


CLEAR THE CLUTTER [Makers Monday Motivation 2.19.17]

I don’t know about you, but because of winter I’ve spent a lot more time indoors at my home over the last month. This has made me exponentially aware of just how much clutter I have lying around my house. I by no means aspire to be a minimalist, but I’ve definitely tried to Mari Kando on numerous occasions and consider our home to be a relatively clean and simple space.

Yet, regardless of my best efforts, clutter just happens. More stuff always seems to come in the house then goes out. We acquire stuff every day: junk mail, free t-shirts from events, magazines, random gifts, hand-me-downs, that thing you hold on to for an unplanned future “potential” use, and so on...

It can feel like a never ending battle.

But recently I’ve become aware that the clutter you have to watch out for isn’t only the kind that happens to our physical spaces. We can just as quickly collect clutter in our minds, and this “stuff” that we fill our heads with can really start to weigh us down and impact our creativity and productivity. For example, a little mindless blog reading here, some unproductive gossip there, worries, fears, too much news and all takes up space and starts to make the mind messy.

To keep creative, we need to consider regularly purging and decluttering both our physical and mental spaces!

In my opinion, it’s never too early for spring cleaning, so for this week’s Monday Motivation Challenge, instead of sinking into that mid-February stir-crazy mood, I recommend you do some decluttering - of your home and your mind. To help, I’ve included some prompts below to get you started.  

Spring cleaning checklist:

  • What does your workspace look like today?
    • Assess your desk...
    • Are there things taking up space you can get rid out or donate? (Post-its, bills, random papers, junk…)
    • Can you clear out and/or organize the “stuff”?
    • What can you do to make your space less stressful and more inspiring?
  • What do your digital desktops look like today?
    • How many unread/junk emails do you have in your inbox?
    • How many old/unneeded files do you have?
    • Do you have photos/apps/contacts you can delete?
    • Is there something you can do to declutter your digital life?
  • How is your mental space today?
    • Do you have any thoughts that you could get rid of?
    • Are there things you regularly consume that just add “junk” to your mind?
    • Can you take some of your mental clutter and better organize it by putting things into a calendar or task management system?

I hope a little early spring cleaning leaves you feeling lighter and re-energized. If you could use help doing an even deeper clean to get clarity and focus around where your time and energy would be best spent for your creative business, I would love to work with you. Schedule a free 30 min intro coaching phone-session

We’re in this together,


WORDS IMPACT [Makers Monday Motivation 2.12.18]

You know that old saying, “sticks and stone will break my bones but words will never hurt me.”

Well, I think it’s flat out not true.

Words are one of the most powerful things we have.

They can motivate and inspire us to accomplish our dreams and overcome great hurdles or they can hold us back, weigh us down and limit what we believe to be possible. They can create stress and fear or even eliminate it and improve our health.

No doubt, the words that others say can have a profound impact on our self-esteem. However, in my opinion, the words we tell ourselves are even more important and have an even more powerful effect on our wellbeing. The good news is, these words we tell ourself are ones we actually can control.

So often I hear creative folks say things like, “I love to make ______, but I don’t think I could ever really make money selling it….” or “I make ______, but no one would buy it so I just keep it as a hobby.” Or, “I’m so busy, I don’t think I could ever find the time to grow a business.

These might not be blatantly self-defeating, but these subtle stories we tell ourselves become our reality.

If you don’t think you could ever make money selling your probably won’t.

If you don’t think anyone would ever want to buy what you make...they probably won’t.

If you don’t think you have enough time to grow a business, you won’t make the time to make it happen.

Yet, if you turn those statements around and say: “I’m going to make money selling my products.” or “I know there are people out there who would love to have what I create.” “I’m going to commit the time to launch a business this year.”

You start to create a vision for your future that is filled with accomplishment.

Think of how a path gets made in the woods...over time the same path gets walked on, matting down the brush and making that one route an easy way to walk through. The same is true with our habits of thinking. If we are used to thinking a certain way, our minds will naturally go down that same path and keep thinking the same way. But, with effort, we can start telling ourselves a different story and train our minds to go down a different path. 

You can make a new way!

For this week’s Monday Motivation Challenge, consider the way you talk to yourself. Your words are powerful - they are also free, take some time to think about if you are using them to your benefit or disadvantage.

Consider the following:

  • What things do you tell yourself that are holding you back?
  • Do you speak to yourself with words of empowerment and possibility or limited beliefs?
  • What is one story you keep telling yourself that you could really benefit from shifting the narrative?

For many of us, the paths of thought we’ve created in our minds are well worn and have been made over many years of defeating thinking. Regardless, it is still entirely possible to create a new story for yourself. I hope this week you start to tell yourself some new, empowering, motivating, live-giving words.

As always, if you could use some support to help you realize what is possible and help craft a better story, I would love to work with you. Coaching is one of the most powerful ways to make big changes to launch, build and grow your creative business. Schedule a free 30 min intro coaching phone-session.

We’re in this together,


FOCUS ON VALUE [Makers Monday Motivation 2.5.18]

I’ll admit it, I spent over $10 on a 70 gram chocolate bar at the grocery store last week.

Yes, there were multiple less-expensive options available, but I was buying this chocolate as a gift to bring to a friend who was hosting me for dinner, so I opted for the fancy (aka expensive) option. Call me a sucker for fancy packaging and branding. The truth is, the chocolate really didn’t taste any better than the $3 kind that was right next to it in the aisle, and I realize I could have gotten three of the other bars for less money than the single bar I purchased, but I was motivated by the perception that I was getting something “nicer” “more luxurious” and so I forked over $10 for a single, thin bar.

The thing is, we all do this all the time. We make choices on how we spend our money based more on the perceived value or what we believe the thing we are buying will give us (esteem, recognition, lifestyle) then the actual material cost or quality of that thing.

Do you think it really costs over $100 for Nike to make those running shoes? Nevertheless, would you even consider buying the half-as-expensive, but yet likely as effective, off-brand shoe?

We need to keep this in mind when we price the product that we sell.

For many makers and creators, putting a price on our products can be an area that causes a lot of stress and anxiety.

We worry, “Am I charging too much? Will anyone buy it?” “But it only cost me $X to make it, how can I sell it for more?

We mistakenly focus entirely too much on the ‘price’ first and our own material costs instead of considering the actual value of our products and the impact they will have on our customers lives.

What you need to understand is that people buy things because they believe their purchase will solve a problem in their life. We don’t buy things just to buy things. For example, your product may make your customer feel beautiful, simplify their life, make their boring home more colorful, or help them give a unique gift to someone they love. These reasons are what influences decision making and helps us determine if the value of having this problem solved is worth whatever amount you have set as the price.

Focus on the value you provide before you set your prices. Charge what you are worth not simply what your products cost you to make!

This month, as you start restocking your inventory and preparing for the upcoming spring shows, consider how you are pricing your products. For this week’s Monday Motivation Challenge, I’m sharing some questions to help you get started in evaluating if you are charging what your products really are worth.

Consider the following:

  • Are you including all your costs (materials, time, overhead) so that you at the very least break even?
  • Are you including your time spent working as a cost?
  • What value does your product provide your customer?
  • What problems are you solving for your customer?
  • How are you making your customer’s life better?
  • Are your prices accurately aligned with this value?
  • Could you charge more?
  • What would you have to do to justify charging more? Can you deliver more value through your packaging, customer service, brand? 

I’m well aware that when we sell something we have made, it can feel so personal, which in turn can make us uncomfortable with assigning a price. But the reality is we don’t run non-profits (at least I don’t!), and you have worked hard to create the products you sell. Don’t undervalue yourself and your work.

If setting your prices is something you’ve struggled with, or you aren’t getting the profit you would like from your sales, let’s talk. Schedule a free 30 min intro coaching phone-session and see how one-on-one coaching is a great next step to help make your business profitable.

We’re in this together,


TIME TO INVEST [Makers Monday Motivation 1.29.18]

Sometimes wisdom comes to us in unexpected places.

A few years ago, while living in New York City, I was waiting in line behind a man at a corner bodega who was buying over $20 worth of lotto tickets. As the man finished his purchase, he turned around, looked me right in the eyes, smiled and said,

“It takes money to make money.”

I chuckled and gave him a smile back.

Years later, this interaction has stuck with me and I realize there was actually a lot of truth to this stranger's comment.

I don’t mean that buying lotto tickets is the best way to get money, but after running my own business for the last four years, I’d agree that it does take doing something - making an investment - taking a gamble, to make your creative dream profitable.

In an ideal world, we could simply be rewarded for having a creative idea and that alone allow us to earn money. Yet, the reality for the majority of us makers is that in order to have a profitable creative life, we have to take the risk and invest our resources, be it our time, emotion, sweat equity, or capital.

“It takes “something” to make money.”

Working toward profitability comes with trade-offs. We don’t live in a world of unlimited resources of any kind. If you put investment into your business (again this could be time, energy, or money), you won’t have that resource to put somewhere else. Investing in your creative dream is a choice.

This week we enter the second month of the year. Which means, it’s time for rubber to hit the road. It’s time to decide if you are ready to do the work needed to make your goals for the year happen. For this weeks Monday Motivation Challenge, I’ve compiled a few questions to help you reflect on where you are ready to invest, in order to grow your creative business.

Consider the following:

  • What resources (time, money, emotion, space) are you willing to allocate to make your goals and dreams happen this year?
  • Can you identify what area of your business would benefit the most from additional investment and really allow you to grow?
  • Is there something you’ve known you should invest in to take your business to the next level but you’ve been putting it off, or are to scared to take the jump?
    • If you still aren’t ready, can you make a plan and start taking smaller steps to get there?
  • Finish this sentence for yourself, “It will take ___________ to make money.”

Just like saving for retirement, even if you are not ready to make a major investment in your creative business today, the best thing you can do is to simply start putting the resources you can toward it. Overtime this investment will build on itself and start giving you returns.

If you don’t know where would be the best area for you to invest, or if you feel like you’ve invested and not yet seen results, let’s talk. Schedule a free 30 min intro coaching phone-session and see how investing in one-on-one coaching can help make your business profitable.

If you live in the Kansas City area and are able to invest 2 hours of your time this week, I’m hosting a FREE workshop, "Make Your Creative Biz Goals a Reality in 2018", on Wednesday, January 31 and I'd love to see you there. For more info and to RSVP visit here.

We’re in this together!





EMBRACE WINTER [Makers Monday Motivation 1.22.17]

Oh the joy of winter. It’s that magical time of year when you can’t leave the house without arming yourself with multiple layers to ensure no skin is exposed, the car and floors of your home are filthy with salt residue, local businesses temporarily close because of frozen pipes, sniffles abound, and it gets dark so early it feels like time for bed - before you even get home from working. The joy!

Yet, despite the many obvious reasons I find myself complaining about these months of cold, I want to share 5 reasons I believe creatives need winter and why I think we can each benefit from embracing the remaining chilly months.

1. Hibernating is good. 

Our lives are perpetually busy. Activities, meetings, social events, etc. While it is good to be active, taking some time to stay in, relax and rest is actually healthy. This past month at our house, we’ve been going to bed early and letting ourselves stay in bed a bit longer each morning. We felt guilty at first, but decided we were tired because our bodies actually needed the extra sleep. Hibernating a bit in the winter isn’t lazy, it can be renewing.

2. Deep winter freeze is critical for abundant new life come spring. 

Ask any farmer and they will tell you, the fields need a cold winter. An annual deep freeze kills off bugs and allows perennials to store up enough energy to grow more abundant in the warmer months. This cycle is also true for ourselves. We likely have a project, a relationship, or a habit that would serve us well if we let it “die off.” By letting something go, we make the space for something new to come.  

3. Connect with intention. 

When it’s too cold to bounce around to various social events or spend much time walking outside, we are less likely to randomly run into friends and acquaintances. Yet, no matter how cold it is out, we still need connection. For that reason, the winter forces us to reach out and connect to people with intention. It’s a great time of year to invite friends over for dinner, pick up the phone and call to catch up, or schedule a coffee meet-up with other makers who’ve been stuck in their studios and could use a good in-person chat.  

4. More time indoors means more time to create. 

The extra time on evenings and weekends spent inside doesn’t simply mean you should let yourself binge watch NetFlix. This is a great time to work on a creative project you’ve put off, or do some writing after dinner, or finally read that business book your friend recommended, or brainstorm new project ideas and get a jump-start on making before spring market season is here. The possibilities are endless.  

5. Gives us something to look forward to. 

I’ve always wondered if I lived in LA, if I’d appreciate the summer as much as I do in my current four-seasons life. For me, there is something about having the harshness of winter that makes me look forward to and truly value the spring once it arrives. I’ve heard that enjoying the anticipation of something exciting to come can be just as valuable as actually experiencing the thing itself. (Which is why it’s smart to plan a vacation months ahead so you can stretch out the experience!) This is also valuable for our creative businesses. It’s good to always have something on the horizon that you are looking forward to such as a future goal, event, or project that you can’t wait to start and get excited and motivated simply thinking about.

The comforting news is, no season lasts forever. Winter will be gone before we know it. With that, this week’s Monday Maker Motivation Challenge includes a few suggestions for ways you can try and embrace the remaining frigid days, so that you not only survive the cold, but thrive in it.

Tips for embracing winter:

  • Use this time staying indoors to work on a creative project you’ve had on the backburner
  • Invite friends over for dinner
  • Put in some extra hours working so you have more time to play when it’s nice out
  • Read books (both the professional and entertaining kind)
  • Get the extra rest your body has needed the last 9 months
  • Call a friend and catch up
  • Get inspired: go to a museum, or a movie
  • Consider, is there something that needs to “die” in your life before spring gets here?

The forecast looks like snow here in the Midwest today, so it is a great week to put these tips into practice. 

Make sure you get on my mailing list so you get a Maker Monday Motivation email sent your inbox every week, CLICK HERE!

We’re in this together,


ROUTINES MATTER [Makers Monday Motivation 1.15.18]

No matter how tired I am, or how busy a day I have, or how early I have to get up, or even if I’m traveling and it’s a weekend, there is one thing I do every morning without question....

I make my bed.

Surprisingly, this ritual was not something ingrained in me as a child as a chore, rather, something I chose to start on my own in my first year of college, and I’ve continued to do it every day since.

In a profound way, accomplishing this simple daily morning routine makes my days better. Making my bed makes me feel like there is at least some order in my life, gives me confidence to take on bigger tasks throughout my day, and provides me some reassurance that no matter what the world throws at me once I walk out my door, when I get home I will have a made bed to return to.

When the world around us seem crazy and so much of what we experience in life out of our control, our routines - no matter how simple - can keep us grounded and sane.

This is why I’m a firm believer that our morning routines matter.

For creatives, the idea of a routine may seem rigid and boring. However, I know for my own creativity, having some basic structure in place frees up my mental space from thinking about basic tasks and in turn allows me more energy for making.

The start of a new year is a great time to try to implement new habits that will set you up to reach your goals and live a more productive creative life. This week’s Maker Monday Motivation challenge includes a few questions to help you identify what you can do to insure you start your day strong!

Consider the following:

  • Do you have any daily routines?
    • Are there currently any morning rituals that you do that help set you up for a successful day?
    • Are there any habits in your life currently that get in the way of your productivity?
  • Identify one action/task that you can try to do each morning that can help start your day on a positive note.
    • Commit to trying this activity each morning for at least two weeks. Make note of any changes you notice.

Changing up our routines can be challenging, but sometimes little changes can make a big impact on our lives. If this week your reflection time leads you to realize that you have fallen into unproductive habits and routines that are preventing your business from growing, please reach out! I’d love to work with you to implement new daily rhythms that will support a thriving creative life and profitable business.

We’re in this together,


STOP COMPARING [Makers Monday Motivation 1.8.18]

It’s that fun time of year when lots of people catch colds or get the flu. Fortunately, as miserable as it is to get sick, for most of us with a little rest and some good self-care we recover within a short period of time.

However, this season, I’ve noticed a much more powerful bug going around my creative circles. Unlike the flu, this bug seems to linger for months on end and results in much more unfortunate, and unwanted side-effects.

Maybe you’ve noticed it too?

I’m calling it the COMPARISON EPIDEMIC.

Most people who have caught this condition can walk around for weeks on end unaware of what’s happening to them...then one day they wake up and are completely infected. That’s because comparison’s debilitating impact is sneaky and often does it’s damage to our spirit and minds in subtle ways, lowering our individual drive and enthusiasm and making us more susceptible to discouragement and creative paralysis.

I believe this is an urgent matter for creators and one not enough of us are talking about.

I see comparison’s toxic influence spreading and infecting more and more people each day.

In fact, it is completely possible that you are unknowingly currently suffering!

Here is a list of some initial symptoms I’ve recognized:

  • You no longer find your colorful social media feed inspiring & encouraging, instead seeing other creative folks growing successful businesses and living thriving creative lives leaves you feeling discouraged, unmotivated and even resentful.
  • Despite the many things you’ve accomplished and personal progress you are making, when you look at where others are at, you feel like a failure that doesn’t add up.
  • You were once really excited about a creative idea you had for a new business, or product. Yet, you decided it wasn’t worth moving forward on the idea because you found someone else was already making something similar.
  • You find yourself looking externally for ideas instead of internally, and as a result, your once unique style and creative perspective is starting to look more and more similar to others.
  • You worry that people will find out that your real life running a business looks a lot different than what you project on your social-media life.

As a creator, contracting comparison can be crippling. I’m well aware that there have been months, even years of my life when I have suffered from the comparison condition. Once you get it, it’s hard to shake.

That is why this year I’m working hard to inoculate myself early on. For this week’s Monday Maker Motivation challenge I’m sharing with you the most effective self-reflection questions I’ve found that can help you stay immunized so you avoid catching the comparison epidemic in the year ahead.  

TRY IT: Comparison Vaccine Exercise

Before starting, do a temperature check by taking a moment to honestly ask yourself: “Is comparing yourself to others currently hurting your progress, or holding you back from realizing your dreams?”

Consider the following questions:

  • Why do you create/ what drives you to make?
  • What are your strengths and the things that you do really well?
  • What do others tell you you do really well or compliment you on?
  • What makes you and/or your products unique?
  • What is something you’ve accomplished that you are really proud of?
  • What personal challenges have you overcome and goals achieved to get where you are today?
  • What does creative success mean to you?
  • Are there any distorted things you tell yourself that hold you back? Can you reframe these into more realistic/positive statements?
  • Are there any activities you participate in or people you spend time around that deflate your creative drive and motivation? Can you make changes to lower the impact of these things?
  • How would you rate your self-confidence? Is there anything you can do to improve this?

In our socially connected culture, comparison is hard to avoid, but I believe, if we spend more time working on ourselves and acknowledging the unique contributions we can make to the world, instead of how we measure up to others, it is possible to build creative businesses that thrive.

I’m confident that you have creative ideas and I trust there are customers out there that would love to purchase your products. This year, let’s be intentional about guarding ourselves against the contagious comparison epidemic and instead focus our energy on our own growth. I think it will bear fruitful results.

Make sure you get on my mailing list so you get a Maker Monday Motivation email sent your inbox every week, CLICK HERE!

We’re in this together,


WORD OF THE YEAR [Makers Monday Motivation 1.1.18]

YEAH it’s 2018!! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Today is my favorite day of the year.

Week one. Day one.

A clean slate.

A fresh start.

A time for renewal and rebirth.

A moment teaming with potential and hope.

It is also the day when I do one of my favorite annual traditions, picking my ‘Word of The Year’!

Ten years ago I decided to ditch writing New Year’s Resolutions and instead started the practice of selecting a single word at the start of each year to serve as a guiding theme for my life in the year ahead. The word I select is intended to represent a mindset, attitude, and overall focus that I want to embrace and have influence across many areas of my life.

For example, my 2017 word was ‘abundance.’ This word helped me approach the year reminding myself not to think out of scarcity, instead with the belief that I have more than enough. This word directly influenced me to take more risks personally for my own business, make more time for friends, our family stretching our monthly charitable giving, and taking the leap on a move cross-country.

It may seem simplistic, but I’ve found having a word of the year to be one of the most effective ways to make transformational change across many areas ones my life. I’m way more likely to keep my word of the year than my long list of resolutions. Maybe it will be effective for you also! Today, the first day of the new year, my Maker Motivation Challenge is to encourage you to try and pick a word for your year.

TRY IT: Pick a Word of The Year!

  1. Make a list. Get out a piece of paper and write down your hopes and dreams for what you would like to see happen in your life in 2018. Ask yourself questions like, “I will feel this year is a success if ______ happens”, or, “I will be happier tomorrow if I change _____ today.”
  2. Review your list. Is there a theme there? Is there a particular area of your life that if you did something different, it could really be a game changer for your business or overall well being?
  3. Pick your word. What single word reflects the action or outlook you feel most embodies what you want to accomplish this next year?
  4. Get to know your word. Look up your word in the dictionary. Find quotes about this word. Try to really understand what this word means for you and how you want it to become a part of your life. Is there someone you know who embodies this word or who is doing this word really well you could use as inspiration or a mentor?
  5. Set up reminders. Do whatever it takes to not forget this word. Write it on your fridge, put a note next to your desk at work, find a photo with this word on it to put on your wall. Immerse yourself in your word in every way you can think of.
  6. Find accountability. Tell those people closest to you your word. Have them be apart of your goals and dreams for the next year. Good friends will hold you accountable and help you achieve your goals, especially when it is so simple to remember.

Today I have a ten hour car ride home from Kentucky, so I plan to use this time on the road to pick my word. I’m sure you’ll be hearing about it in a Monday email in the future :) In the meantime, I’d love to hear what word you’ve chosen for 2018 or help you if you need any support don’t hesitate to reach out as you refine what your goals are for the year ahead.

Make sure you get on my mailing list so you get a Maker Monday Motivation email sent your inbox every week, CLICK HERE!

I hope you have a wonderful Holiday!

We’re in this together,


YEAR IN REVIEW [Makers Monday Motivation 12.25.17]

Merry Merry Christmas!

I don’t know about you, but I’m eager to turn the page on 2017 and start looking ahead to what is to come. But, before I do, I believe it is important to take a moment at the end of the year to reflect back on all that was accomplished, experienced, and learned: the good, the bad and the painfully un-instagram worthy.

For me, 2017 proved to be an unexpectedly momentous year with lots of major life change. A few of these changes included a cross country move out of Brooklyn, NY to Kansas City, MO, leaving my job and creative community at Etsy after two good years, and going back to running my own business, Makers Megaphone Coaching, full-time. There were moments of great joy and celebration and times of real challenge and uncertainty. Regardless of my personal feelings on the year’s events, objectively, all of it had to happen for me to be exactly where I am today and both the ups and downs have taught me something that can help inform the years to come.

With that, here are my top 5 lessons from 2017:

  1. If you aren’t happy or something isn’t working as you hoped, the best way improve your situation is to be flexible and open to new opportunities.
  2. Don’t lose hope while waiting, there is often a reason the thing you really want is taking a long time to be realized. If it’s meant to be, it will happen in time.  
  3. Taking care of your mental and physical health is the best thing you can do for your family, friends and business. Make it a priority.
  4. Being a doer and self-starter is lifetime job security. Be a doer.
  5. The only thing you can completely control is your attitude.

For this week’s Maker Motivation Challenge, I’m sharing an annual exercise that I do at the end of the year to reflect and recap how it all went. It’s my version of the ‘Year in Review’. If you have some downtime this week between holidays, I’d encourage you to take some time to look back before you look ahead.

This week, try to take a moment to reflect on your year by answering the following: 

  • What books did you read?
  • What places did you visit?
  • Were there any particularly meaningful moments?
  • What things went really well (personally and professionally)?
  • What things were really hard (personally and professionally)?
  • What were the biggest surprises (personally and professionally)?
  • What were your biggest upsets (personally and professionally)?
  • How did you grow this year (personally and professionally)?
  • What did you learn this year?
  • How can what happened and what you learned in 2017, impact your goals for 2018?

I hope your last week of 2017 is beautiful. I have a feeling 2018 is going to be a great one, and I would love to work with you to help next year be a year of great growth for you and your business. There is one week left to book a one-on-one coaching session before 12/31/17, and get 15% off your first session by using code ‘DEC15’ when booking.

Make sure you get on my mailing list so you get a Maker Monday Motivation email sent your inbox every week, CLICK HERE!

I hope you have a wonderful Holiday!

We’re in this together,


TIME TO RECHARGE [Makers Monday Motivation 12.18.17]

I will humbly admit, this past week was one of those unproductive weeks. No matter how hard I tried, I struggled to get focused. Simple tasks I usually enjoy doing took me hours and I found myself continually checking my phone or finding things to do around the office to distract myself from my actual work. After months of pushing hard, my mind and body made it clear, I was in need of a break.

If we are honest with ourselves, no matter how much we love our work, or how motivated we are, we simply are not made to work all the time and at some point we run out of gas. Weekends exist for a reason. Our mind needs time to recover, our eyes need time away from screens, and our soul needs time connecting with friends. If we put this off for too long, continuing to push ourselves to do more, we end up unproductive and making careless mistakes, producing less-creative work, and possibly getting burned out - even from work that we really enjoy to do.

So today, I’m here to remind you and myself, that we aren’t meant to always have our foot on the peddle. If this week you find yourself feeling worn down, or catch yourself losing steam for the work you love, the best thing you can do for your business is to give yourself permission to unplug and let yourself recharge.

Gratefully, we’re in the last weeks of the year and the holidays present a perfect time to step away from our work. To help get you started, this week’s Maker Motivation Challenge includes a list of ideas to help you recharge.

Take a few minutes to review this list and try to commit to doing one or more of these recharging activities over your holiday:

  • Put up an away message on your email and commit to not checking it till you return.
  • Go screen free for at least 24 hours (all screens!)
  • Make plans with friends and family.
  • Take an actual vacation.
  • Take a staycation, and commit to not going in your studio or office.
  • Do something active, like taking a hike, riding a bike, or going on a long walk in a place you’ve not been.
  • Read a whole book - preferably a story you can get lost in.
  • Spend an afternoon baking or cooking.
  • Play a board game or cards.
  • Go to see a play or visit a museum.
  • Make something: music, art, craft.
  • Do something completely out of your routine.
  • Volunteer and spend some time using your energy for others.

I’m excited to share that writing this email inspired me to take my own advice, and I will be taking a break the week between Christmas and New Years to step away from my computer, recharge and connect with friends and family. With that, I plan to return energized and ready to dive back into work in the new year and I would love to work with you to help your 2018 be your best year yet. Today is a great time to sign up for one-on-one coaching, book before 12/31/17, and get 15% off your first session by using code ‘DEC15’.

Make sure you get on my mailing list so you get a Maker Monday Motivation email sent your inbox every week, CLICK HERE!

I hope you have a wonderful Holiday!

We’re in this together,