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


REFLECT:

  • Review your goals for the year. (Or if you didn’t write any in January...now 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?

ACT:

  • 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,

Ashley

 
WORD OF THE YEAR [Makers Monday Motivation 1.1.18]
 
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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,

Ashley

 
IT'S YOUR RACE [Makers Monday Motivation 12.11.17]
 
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My husband, David, is long distance runner and has completed two full-marathons. He has explained to me that aside from the training preparation, there are two things that impact his success on race day: his self-confidence and his pace.

He says, when you step up to the start line, it is critical to believe you are capable of running 26.2 miles. If you psych yourself out with negative thinking or worry, you’ll use up a lot of mental energy that will weigh you down and impact your ability to finish. Regarding pace, he says, the moment the race starts, the runners you’re shoulder to shoulder with will take off at all different speeds. Everybody is different: some will be going really fast, while others much slower. If you pay too much attention to the other runners, instead of setting your own pace, it’s easy to start off running too fast and end up gassed before you get to the finish line, or, alternatively, too slow and have difficulty making up the time. Ultimately, he says, they call marathons a race but the reality is, no one’s really racing anybody but themselves. You’re ultimately setting out to accomplish your own personal goals.

My role at his long-distance races is simply to show up at at various points along the route to cheer him on, yet, when I think about my work as the owner of a creative business, it’s fair to say I’m running my own type of marathon. With that, these same “race day” lessons hold true to my success and that of any small business owner:

  1. You must have the confidence to believe you can do it
  2. It’s critical to chose the pace that’s right for you and focus on running your race

As we get near the final miles of the marathon that was 2017, this week’s Monday Motivation Challenge will help you take some time to think about what type of race you have been running this past year and how to start strong in the next.


Take some time this week to reflect on the following questions. Journal your answers.

  • How are you currently setting the pace for your business? (For example: What benchmarks are you using for your own productivity and success?)
    • Are you looking externally and trying to hard to keep up with others?
    • Are you not pushing yourself enough and might benefit if you “picked up the pace”?
    • Who are your current pace-setters?
  • What does “a good pace” look like for your business?
  • Are you putting in enough time training and preparing along the way so you feel confident when big things come up for your business?
  • What is something you can you do at the start to 2018 to insure you have enough energy to meet your goals and finish strong next year?

David, like many others who run marathons, always joins a running group and gets a good pre-race guide, because the reality is, it’s hard to keep up the motivation and insure you are preparing effectively when you are going it alone. Those of us running creative businesses can benefit from this same strategy as well!

If you want to make 2018 a great year, I’d love to work together to help set a strong pace for your business so that you reach your goals, and to provide you encouragement and support so you stay motivated as you work to achieve them. If you book a one-on-one coaching session before 12/31/17, you can 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!

We’re in this together,

Ashley

 
MAKE A PLAN [Maker Monday Motivation 11.6.17]
 
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Last Tuesday, after a long day, I came home and realized the fridge was empty. My husband and I have been trying to eat out less and cook more meals at home, so with the best intentions I decided to head to the grocery store and see what I could pull together.

This is when I ran into trouble.

Have you ever gone to the grocery store hungry?

As I roamed the aisles, everything sounded good...including those crazy-expensive, frozen, organic pizzas that I impulsively decide we needed three of - you know, just in case! As I went through the checkout I was startled by how much the bill was, but I was too hungry to do anything about it. Worse yet, when I got home and finally got some food in my stomach, I realized that amid my impulse purchases I didn’t even get the basic things we actually needed for meals in the week ahead.

Lesson learned, don’t go to the grocery store hungry and without a plan.

I share this story because this same lesson can be applied to our creative lives. So often we are hungry to get sales or to solve a problem and so we rush into action. We may have the best intentions, but when we don’t take the time to plan ahead, determine what our real needs are, and create a budget first, it can be a costly mistake.

For example, I recently worked with a maker who was so eager to launch her business and sell her products that she ambitiously rushed into spending a significant amount of money on getting a fancy website built. The problem was, she made this investment before she even knew who her customer was or what branding made the most sense for her business. A few months later she realized that opening an Etsy shop would have been a smarter first step, but since she’d already sunk so much money into the custom website she was desperate to make it work and continued to spend money inefficiently.

These types of mistakes happen to all of us at one point or another, but my hope for you is that you will be a creative with a game plan.

This week’s Monday Motivation Challenge is all about identifying the most important needs for your creative endeavors so you can prioritize how to use your resources over the next month with intention, in a way that moves your closer to your goals. The more we plan, the less likely we are to make costly mistakes.  


MAKE A PLAN

TRY IT: What is the most important task you can work on this month to move your business forward? (If this was the only thing you accomplished in the next four weeks you would be happy and your business or creative project would be in a better place)

1.__________________________________________________________

What are your secondary tasks of importance for your business?: (If you accomplish these things in the next four weeks, that would be really great!)

2.___________________________________________________________

3.___________________________________________________________

4.___________________________________________________________

What are some additional tasks you would like to get done for your business this next month?

5.___________________________________________________________

6.___________________________________________________________

7.___________________________________________________________

8.___________________________________________________________

Once your list is complete, put it somewhere you will see each day. As new challenges or ideas arise, make sure to review your list and insure you are taking actions that don’t derail you from hitting your #1 priority for the month.


When we set intention around our actions we are able to make steps that are purposeful and get us closer to where we are trying to go. As the old saying goes, “People who don’t plan, plan to fail.” Let’s not be those people!

I hope this week's exercise helps you have a productive month. If you run into any roadblocks, or need help strategizing a plan for what you should be prioritizing, don’t hesitate to reach out. I’d love to help!

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,

Ashley

 
JUST START [Maker Monday Motivation 10.23.17]
 
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I hadn’t exercised in well over a year. For one reason or another, I’d fallen off my routine and just never got back on. Even with the best intentions of starting, I couldn’t muster up the motivation to put on my shoes and hit the pavement. Then I saw an article in the NYTimes about the 7-minute workout that included scientific proof that you could get just as much benefit out of this short workout then a longer run.

Seven minutes?  

I realized I had just spent about 7-minutes scrolling through my Instagram feed, so there is no excuse that would be able to successfully argue that I didn’t have at the time to at least try it out.

And so I did...in the middle of my day, I moved the furniture in my living room aside and I launched the app that included a timer and step-by-step guide and I worked-out for seven minutes. After the timer went off, I felt sweaty, slightly winded, and like I’d accomplished something.

So I did it again the next day, and the next day, and pretty soon I’d done the 7-minute workout for a full week and was ready to try doing it twice in one day, pushing my 7-minute workout to a full 14-minutes.

This little routine got me back into shape and into running again. It worked.

What I realized is I needed a smaller first step. Going on a run felt bigger than what I was ready for so every time I’d consider putting on my running shoes, I’d sike myself out and make excuses.

The same is true for our creative ideas. We may tell ourselves we don’t have the time, or we don’t have the energy, or we will start tomorrow.

My friends, the most important part is simply that we start.

Are you stuck because it feels like there is a mountain ahead of you?

Does your creative dream feel simply too big, and you just don’t have the time?

I want to help you get a jump start today toward growing a profitable creative business.  

This week I challenge you to try my 7-Minute Maker Challenge. It's only 7-minutes...YOU CAN DO IT!


Here is my 7-Minute Maker Challenge for you:

  1. Get out a notebook and a pen.  

  2. Select ONE of the following challenges:

    1. Social Media - brainstorm as many ideas for post content as you can before the timer runs out. For example can you think of image ideas, copy ideas, contest ideas, product shots you could take that relate to an upcoming holiday or event, etc.

    2. Product Creation - brainstorm as many ideas as you can for new products you would like to create. Is there an upcoming holiday that you could develop a product for? Are there new materials you’ve wanted to explore using? Could you repurpose a product into a gift-box option?

    3. Marketing - brainstorm as many ideas for ways you could engage your customer through marketing. For example, could you send out a newsletter, run a contest, partnering with another business, design new postcards, etc.?

    4. Organizing - brainstorm as many ideas as you can for ways you could get your business more organized so you can be more productive. For example, could you organize your shipping supplies so you’re ready to go when online orders come in, could you import your email lists from the recent craft fair to a spreadsheet so you are ready for promotional mailings?

  3. Set a timer on your phone for 7 minutes.

  4. Press Start.

  5. Complete the challenge you selected, writing out as many ideas as you possibly can before the timer goes off.


Great work! How did that feel? Did it get your gears turning toward some smaller steps you could take to start moving forward?

I know you can grow a profitable creative business, it just takes making that first step.

JUST START!

If this challenge was helpful, make sure you get on my mailing list so you get a Maker Monday Motivation email sent your inbox every week, CLICK HERE

Together we MAKE MORE,

Ashley