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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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Interviews with Creatives: Rachel Tucker, Founder of Pantote

Interviews with Creative Entrepreneur - Rachel Tucker from Pantote

I am so excited to introduce a new regular feature on the blog!  I want to highlight different creative entrepreneurs in various fields from the up-and-coming to the seasoned veteran business owners.  Often the unique challenges of being a creative in business can feel isolating.  The more I connect with entrepreneurs in fields even very different than mine I find how similar we truly are and I am encouraged and challenged in my own business growth.

Today I want to introduce you to Rachel Tucker, founder and designer at Pantote where she creates beautiful fine leather goods.  Her fall line launches today, and let me tell you, they are fine!   I’ve known Rachel for about 6 years and can say she’s just as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside!  Outside of being a designer and model, she’s also an accomplished musician and songwriter with her husband Mckendree Tucker where they make up the duo – August York.

Enjoy the interview and please, don’t judge her for the answer to my last question… there is still hope yet!!


Tell me about you and your business!  

I first started in the fashion industry as a model. I’ve been a model here in Nashville for 10 years now. Time flies! Because of being a model, I have been exposed to working with designers for years.
I have been working under the name “Pantote” for a little over a year now. All of my products thus far are leather goods, although I may introduce other things in the future.

What inspired you to start your business?


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

What is self care?  Stop surviving, start thriving

After blogging about my last few months of resting and recuperating following a procedure on my spine, I have been amazed by the feedback I have received.  It seems that this topic of self care is one that strikes a deep chord in many of us and goes much deeper than just remembering to take enough down time to recharge our physical batteries.  It’s about caring for our body, soul, and spirit.  At its core, self care is the commitment to value ourselves.

What does that look like as a creative entrepreneur?  If I look at the sphere of successful businesses around me, often it seems like being a driven workaholic is celebrated; sacrificing yourself, your family, and community are a given.  The mindset that if you are not working like a mad person from early to late you are not a ‘real’ entrepreneur.

For years I bought in to this mindset hook, line, and sinker.  Quality time with my husband looked like us working late into the night side by side on our laptops.  Dates revolved around business discussions.  Clients got used to emailing me at 9 pm at night, expecting a response… the same day.  I remember several days into vacation (I used that term loosely back then!)  I was sitting in my car sending files to the printer for a client before leaving on a cruise.  I believed my clients wouldn’t survive if I wasn’t constantly at their beck and call.  Consequently because I lived that way I shouldn’t have been surprised that they believed the same thing!  I survived on caffeine and felt constantly exhausted and wondered why I was overwhelmed as my business grew.

When I caught myself prepping my resume with the intent of getting a job working for someone else the week after logging my highest income generating month in business I knew that something was seriously wrong.  Shouldn’t I be excited that my hard work was paying off?  I was burning out…correction…I was burnt out.

What is Self Care?

Self care is:

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


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What is a Creative Entrepreneur?


Defining Our Terms…

I would define a creative entrepreneur as an individual in the creative sector who identifies an opportunity in the marketplace and uses business skills to turn their ideas into profits. 

You may be a creative entrepreneur if:

  • When someone asks you “what do you do?”, do you struggle to find a way to describe it in one paragraph?
  • Are you tempted to give a list?
  • Do you decide how to answer based on what you think is most pertinent to the person you’re talking too?
  • Do you find yourself resistant to labeling yourself with a job title?
  • Do you dream about crafting a thriving business around something you love so much that it’s the first thing you think about when you wake up in the morning, the subconscious thought throughout your day, and often the last thought as your head is hitting the pillow?
  • Do you feel that your career goals are too varied to choose just one to describe yourself with?
  • Do you dream of making your passion your career?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above you may be a creative entrepreneur! (more…)

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The creative entrepreneur's guide to marketing, design, branding, and business development