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What is Your Business Kryptonite? 3 Ways to Overcome Your Biggest Weakness

creative-business-kryptonite

Last week we talked about your business superpowers.  Check it out here!

Today I want to talk to you about a subject that may not be quite as fun but is just as important!  Your strengths will help you attain success in business, but understanding and responding to your weaknesses is what will determine if you can maintain your success. (more…)

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You Are a Superhero: 3 Steps to Discover and Embrace Your Business Superpower!

creative-business-superhero

When I was little I used to imagine that I had superpowers.  I’d daydream that I could fly.  As I sat at a window seat on my airplane ride and watched my city grow smaller and smaller I was fascinated by how the streets were laid out and how simple everything looked when you could see the entire image at once.  While I’m not as excited about flying now as an adult, I still love the window seat on take-off to see what seems so big become so small.  I find it interesting that this perspective parallels my career – seeing the big picture and then breaking down the strategy into a creative, workable plan to help businesses and entrepreneurs get to their final destination. Recently I was watching a preview for a superhero show on TV and I started thinking: what would it be like if we could have a superhero power in our businesses?

What makes a Superhero?

From Spiderman to Batman, Superwomen to Elastigirl; what 2 things do superheroes have in common? (more…)

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What’s the Catch? 5 Things to Remember When Asking for Free Business Advice

5 things to remember when asking for free business advice

 

A few months ago an acquaintance contacted me and asked if I’d like to go out and have dinner with her and catch up.  I was excited to connect and even though I was in the middle of several big projects I cleared a spot in my schedule.  I looked forward to an evening of eating delicious food (that I didn’t have to cook or clean up after) and conversation with someone I enjoyed but rarely got to spend time with.

When she started our time together by saying “I know that your passion and expertise is in ____ area of business and I just wanted to get some business ideas from you…”  I have to admit, my heart sank a little.

She said: Let’s go have dinner and catch up
I heard: Let’s go have dinner and catch up
She meant: I want free business advice (more…)

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Boundaries in Business – Dealing with Pushback from Clients

Boundaries in Business - Dealing with Pushback from Clients

Last week’s post in the Self Care for Creative Entrepreneurs series introducing the Principle of Boundaries raised a great question: How do you deal with client reactions when you begin instituting boundaries?

Education Takes Place through Communication

If you have previously operated your business with no boundaries or less than ideal ones don’t be surprised if you get a little pushback initially.  Education happens through communication.  You are not in an adversarial relationship with the clients that feel like they are taking advantage of you.  Even if it feels like it!

If you have not clearly established a boundary then it is not fair to blame someone for crossing it.

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Self Care: The Principle of Boundaries – Part 3

Self Care for Entrepreneurs: The Principle of Boundaries

 

Establishing healthy boundaries is the second principle and third post in our Self-Care for Creative Entrepreneurs series.  If you’ve missed any of the first posts you can check them out here:

Self Care is not Selfish – Or Lessons I’ve Learned the Hard Way

What is Self Care?: Stop Surviving, Start Thriving – Part 1

Self Care: The Principle of Creating Space – Part 2

Have you ever heard the saying that goes something like: Your ‘yes’ doesn’t count if you can’t say ‘no’?  I started out in business saying ‘yes’ to every question clients asked:

Can you do this? Yes.
Can you do this for a ridiculously low budget? Yes.
Can you give up your weekend to finish my project because of my lack of planning?  Yes.
Can you do this project that you don’t want to do?  Yes. (more…)

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How to Handle Less Than Ideal Clients – Part 2

Less than ideal clients

Missed Part 1 – The Antithesis of Your Ideal Client?

Have you ever seen the children’s pegboard game where the objective is to match specifically shaped pegs to the holes in the pegboard?  Every heard of the old adage “a square peg in a round hole”?  The potential client standing in front of you is holding a pegboard with specific shapes cut in it.  You and your services are a clearly defined peg with a precise shape, size, and composition.  Your responsibility to yourself and your client is to determine if your peg fits the hole in their pegboard.

The best way to avoid a less than ideal client is to know what constitutes a good fit for you, and how to help them discover what a good fit is for them.  That need varies from personality to expectations, timetable, style, objectives, and budget.  I have found that the majority of the clients that have been problematic for me are because they don’t know what they want and I didn’t clearly express what I needed.

When the Unforeseeable Happens

The more clearly you spell out expectations on the part of both parties in your contract, the most space you give both of you to discover if you’re a good fit, modify terms, or spell out possibilities that may increase the time, cost, or change deliverables.  That is why I cannot stress enough the importance of having all agreements and expectations in writing.  No matter how carefully you assess a potential client and every foreseeable contributing factor, there will be times you find yourself working with someone who is not a good fit.  When this happens you have 3 options: complete the project as planned, modify the project, or cancel the project. (more…)

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Self Care: The Principle of Creating Space – Part 2

Self care principles for creative entrepreneurs

Missed the first post in the series on Self Care?  Check it out here:
What is Self Care?  Stop Surviving, Start Thriving – Part 1

I am jumping into this week feeling more rested than usual after a relaxing weekend camping with my husband and daughter.  For me there is nothing like getting out in nature to refresh my perspective on life!  While I thoroughly enjoyed our short time away, I returned with a new appreciation for air conditioning, comfy beds, and NOT sharing a small space sleeping with a wiggly toddler!

Before we dive into today’s topic, let’s review the definition of self care that was introduced in last week’s post:

  1. Recognizing that you have a need.
  2. Discovering what that need is.
  3. Taking responsibility for making sure that need is met.

The Principle of Creating Space is the place where you give yourself space to recognize a need and then discover what that need is and how to respond to it.  It sets the stage for the journey into what self care is to you in the present moment.  It’s the foundation that you will return to in the cycle of self care.  What constitutes self care in your life is an ever changing application depending on your current needs.  Before we delve more into ways of creating space, let’s explore the topic of needs.

definition of c (more…)

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5 Easy Steps to the Perfect Thank You Note (and the challenge that changed my life) – Part 2

thankyou2

In the first post of a 2 part series on thank you notes, I shared a personal story on how much a handwritten note impacted me as well as who to send thank you notes to in a professional setting, you can find it here: How a Handwritten Thank You Note Can Change Your Business

Today I want to talk about the 5 easy steps to writing the perfect thank you note and leave you with an inspiring challenge for the week!

The anatomy of a ‘Thank You’

  1. Be professional

Being professional is not just about the way you conduct business or the words that you choose but also the way you present your business in person and on paper.  It doesn’t cost much to have professionally designed and printed thank you notes made to match your business colors and style, I have mine printed in sets of a few dozen at a time to be more cost effective.  Contact me if you need help with this!

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How a Handwritten Thank You Note Can Change Your Business (and the one that almost brought me to tears) – Part 1

Using Handwritten Thank You Notes in Your Business

I make a practice of sending thank you notes to clients often; thank you notes for projects completed, referrals made, gifts received, and appreciation for their business.  I am continuously amazed by the reactions a handwritten thank you note elicits.  Recently I had a new client send me a thank you note in response to mine.  She was so surprised to receive one that she had to respond in kind.  My intention was to express genuine appreciation.  The benefit I received was a happy customer.  She not only received the best service I could possibly give, but the personal touch of knowing I appreciated her and her business.

When I was young I remember my parents requiring that I write thank you notes for everything.  We wrote notes for birthday and Christmas gifts even when it was a gift from a well-meaning relative that we really didn’t like.

The gift, not the relative that is… 😉

Looking back, I realize their intention in those handwritten notes was to teach us to approach life with gratitude and to verbalize our appreciation to those around us.  What a powerful and important tool to also apply to our businesses!

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