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TIME TO RECHARGE [Makers Monday Motivation 12.18.17]
 
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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,

Ashley

 
IT STARTS WITH US [Makers Monday Motivation 11.27.17]
 
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Imagine a Black Friday where folks skipped the big-box corporate retailers and instead there were lines out the door at your local holiday markets. Imagine a holiday where people tried to give meaningful, high-quality gifts instead of stressed about the quantity of items under the tree. Imagine a December where you and all the local makers and creators and mom and pop store owners you know hit your sales goals.

I think a holiday season like this is possible, and it starts with us.   

As makers and creators, we are also consumers and gift givers. No matter the size of our pocketbook, the decisions we make on where and how we spend our money over the holidays matters. By choosing to shop for gifts from other local makers at a craft market or small business, instead of a chain retailer this year, you will directly make an impact on your local economy and community. When you buy from a maker, your money doesn’t go to some executive on Wall Street or anonymous entity oversees, it goes to your neighbor or to a hard working creative small-business owner like you.

Together, we can further the handmade economy, empower creative individuals, and set an example for our friends and family by giving meaningful gifts purchased direct from an artisan, instead of a corporation.

This week’s Monday Motivation Challenge is simply this, commit to buying at least one holiday gift from another maker this year. If you prefer to shop online, there are a number of great places to buy handmade goods directly from individuals. Here is a great list to get you started.:

What if this holiday shopper chose quality over quantity, craft over convenience, and one-of-a-kind over mass produced? What if you had a record month of sales?! I don’t know about you, but this really get’s me in the holiday spirit! It starts with us, let’s help make it happen!

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

 
BREATHE MORE [Makers Monday Motivation 11.20.17]
 
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This week is the official start to the holiday season, or, as it could also be called, the “more-of-everything” season. Think about it, between Thanksgiving and New Years, our lives become supersized. We typically spend more money, eat more sweets, drink more wine, travel more than normal, do more celebrating, and we likely see more of our friends and family than almost any other time of the year. It’s both a wonderful and crazy time.

On top of all this “more-of-everything,” for those who run creative businesses, the holidays also mean there are markets to prepare for, weekends devoted entirely to selling at fairs, the excitement of more sales made and the pressure to package and ship last minute gift orders out the door to your customers.

All that said, the one thing there isn’t more of during this more-of-everything-season, are hours in the day. We still only get twenty-four of them. In turn, the holidays often lead us to feel more stressed and worn-out than usual, at a time when we would ideally like to be our most productive and social-selves.

If we aren’t careful, the joy and excitement of the holiday season can quickly be hijacked by more-of-everything-induced-stress - but we don’t have to let this happen. For this week’s Monday Motivation Challenge I didn’t want to add anything to your plate, rather, I wanted to share a very simple exercise you can do regularly over the next month to help you stay calm, creative and hopefully more sane this holiday.


TRY IT: Just Breathe

  1. Find the ‘Reminders App’ on your smartphone.

  2. Create a new reminder that simply says: Breathe

  3. Set the reminder to go off daily at a certain time of the day that makes the most sense for you. (I like to make 3-5 different  “Breathe” reminders and schedule them to go off at different peak-stress times throughout my day.)  

  4. When the notification comes up on your phone reminding you to breathe at the scheduled time you’ve set, stop and take a moment to check in with yourself and recognize how you are feeling (frazzled, tired, etc.), take one (or more) big, deep, belly-filling, healing breaths in through your nose and a relaxing, audible, releasing breath out through your mouth. (If your reminder goes off and you are around other people, such as in a meeting, or out with friends, you can still take the time to check in with yourself and breathe. No one will even notice ;) .)

  5. That’s it. Just remember to breathe more.

[If you need some tips on how to do a good relaxing breath check here.]


It may seem silly to encourage you to remember to breathe, but the busier and more stressed we get the more shallow our breathing can become, and this contributes to an overall sense of feeling on-edge. No one wants that!

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving this week. Know that I’m grateful to consider you a part of the Makers Megaphone community and wish you a holiday season full of sales and celebration.

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