Business 101 Blog

Dealing With Despair and Frustration:  My Amy Porterfield Story (podcast included)

There are so many folks working really hard to make a difference, bringing their heart and souls to the market place and, at times, the pace of growth can make us seriously doubt and even wonder if we are doing the right thing by building a business.

Tawn Holstra Auston

I know when I started six years ago; I was so enthusiastic that I could hardly sit still.   All I wanted to do was reach out to potential clients and say “Here I am with your solution!” Which I did, but getting organized for real success took so much longer than I ever anticipated.    There were real times when I sat at my desk and cried.   I would sit there thinking “How much longer should I keep trying?”, “Maybe I should give up?”.   Then I would remember my clients.    Then, I would think about the people who would not get help if I quit.  In other words, I would think about you.

It turns out, You are My Inspiration

The work that you do and the people that you help and will help. The people you encourage, support,  be their angel, I am moved to my core by your courage and strength and I have no heart for quitting on you or on them.    I remember that you might be sitting at your desk crying and thinking you aren’t so sure anymore.   You might be sitting at your desk doubting your power to deal with the obstacles in your path.

When in Doubt Think of your Tribe

It always works for me.  Spend some time in your day to make the folks you want to serve real for you.   If you work to end homelessness, go to a shelter and do something that reminds you of your purpose.    If you work to save our environment then watch something that inspires you, like Blue Planet; If you work for human rights, talk to someone at risk or challenged by biases.

Part of Our Job is to Stay Inspired

One of our responsibilities as leaders is to stay inspired and I know, from personal experience, that it is not always easy.    Remember you are not alone and that your tribe is counting on you, even if they don’t know you yet!

What Would Bill Gates Do?

This is a story from my imagination, but tell me what you think.   When Bill Gates was a kid and quit college to move home and tinker in his parents’ garage for a year, do you think his mom and/or dad would open the door and say “Hey Bill what are you doing in here all day?,  Go get a job!,  Go back to school!” ?   I think, “What would life be like if he had listened to their doubts and gave up?”

So do what you have to do to stay connected to your mission.   Call a friend, call your coach, watch inspiring movies, volunteer… just don’t give up too soon…

 Introducing Amy Porterfield’s Amazing Podcast

One of my mentors, Amy Porterfield recorded this wonderful podcast just for those moments!   I thought it well worth sharing.  Give it a listen

#203: How To Get Noticed Online When You’re Just Starting Out

For more reading on Inspiration read:  Where Has All My Passion Gone?

FREE GIFTS:

I started my first Creative Business when I was a single mom with four tiny children.   That was 25 years ago and I started Business 101 for Creative Entrepreneurs to give back.  I am so grateful for all the support did get while I was getting started, but more than anything I wished I had some business support, some mentoring or guidance.    I want you to know that I get how hard, confusing, and challenging it can be to be alone and have real questions with no one to ask.

Please accept this FREE 30 Minute Creative Business Consult as my way of saying “You Can Do It!”

What you can use the call for:

  • Ask anything you need to know!
  • Get important, reliable resources for whatever you need
  • You can design a Next Actions plan for building the life of your dreams!
  • Create Learning Plan so you can begin powerfully
  • Feel supported

 

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Is It Too Late to Start a Blog and Why Would You Bother?

Is it Too Late to Start a Blog?

Tawn Holstra Auston

“Is it too late?”, is a constant question I get when I suggest someone start a blog.   Even with all the content out there, many people simply misunderstand what a blog is.

A simple definition is, a blog is a regular modality (article, video, podcast, artwork, music, or poetry) that expresses art/ work out into the world through the internet.

Blogging is an emergent way artists and creatives can publish their journey and find readers, of like mind, to share it with  – generally for free.

The concerns about “being too late” seem to come from the amount of content already out on the internet and yes, there are a lot of blogs.  What is forgotten is that there is only one you!    What you have to say may be aligned with or even similar to a topic of another blogger, yet your future services and/or products may not at all be related to other bloggers’ and, much more importantly, how you deliver your message will be entirely unique to you.   

How You Deliver Your Message Is As Important As What You Say

Ultimately, how your message is delivered is as important as what you have to say.    Your people, your tribe, the people out in the world that are specifically looking for someone they resonate with, will be attracted to your voice above others.   If you do not ever put your voice out into the world, your tribe cannot hear it, thus will never find you.

Blogging is All About Building Trust With Your Reader

Customers are looking for folks who they can trust to consistently deliver valuable content in an area of life that matters to them.    Each person has a different threshold of trust with a different level of interest in the subject.  If you are consistent and, most of the time, give them something interesting to read, listen to, or watch, they will continue to follow your blog.    It is that simple.

I say “most of the time” to be clear that you do not have to be perfect.  Blogging is an expression – not a science, and, just like any expression, some pieces will get more attention than others.   That is part of the learning for the creator, and it is also what keeps it honest.  If you take a left turn, or start to get inconsistent, or just sloppy or lazy, even after building a great readership, they will unsubscribe eventually – or just stop opening it.   Your tribe will become a certain kind of North Star and you will get better at your craft due to their feedback.

As we said earlier, there are a lot of blogs out there so what separates them from each other?

There are two real differences in blogs that are on the same or similar subjects:

One:  The consistency of the quality of the information.    Are you doing the depth of research to make sure your posts are current and relevant to your ideal readers?   And are you taking the time to craft a quality post?

Quality is imperative to the success of your blog, so to take care of your tribe take every opportunity to deliver the best work you can.

Second:  Your Voice!    Your voice is unique to you and your take on your topic is equally unique.   How you create your posts, your style is unique to you.    The folks that follow your blog will stick with you the more they get to know you.

This is a unique time in the world where anyone who has access to the internet, can start a blog and connect with a tribe.    If you are passionate about your subject and will invest time and energy in making it great, then you will find a tribe that resonates with your message.

The best part is that you do not need to pretend to be some academic, scientific person – if you are not.

You do not need to be assertive if you are shy, or sit back and coast if you are an activist.

You do not have to put on any airs at all.   You get to create posts that express your passion the way you want to express it; you get to express your passion for your subject and give the world the best of what you love about your subject.  Share your passion with the world and the more you do that the more your tribe will lean in.   The best part is the more you are you the more your tribe can find you!

So, is it too late to start a blog?  Absolutely not!   It is the perfect time to get started.

As to why you would bother?  

There are many reasons to start a blog, to educate the world about something you love; or to educate a particular community – such as living with autism; or after stroke;  or as a vegan.

You might start a blog to transition your skills into an educational format so you can retire or travel the world or simply get out of the office more.

You could start a blog to share your art if you are a painter, photographer, singer, musician,  or write poetry.

You might start a blog if you are an expert at something, like civil engineering or biomimicry or forcing bulbs and want to share your discoveries with other people besides those in your office.

Any and all of those reasons are a good reason to start a blog.    You might start a blog simply because you want to journal your journey through something – think Julia and Julia.    These types of blogs have endless possibilities, including travel, health journeys, being engaged, having a baby, dealing with aging parents, or empty nesting.

The reasons to start a blog are as unique as the blog!

If you ever want to have a business of your own and you are not sure how to get started , the first thing to do is create a blog….

Why?

It takes time to build a tribe.   I know there are people who say you can do it in 30 days… and there may be people out there that have done it that fast.   The average person will take about a year to build a tribe of any strength PLUS, the tribe you will build over a year will be much richer and more engaged than a tribe you build in 30 or 90 days.

Another great reason to start now (or soon) is that you have time to really get a handle on what your message is about.   A blog can start in one direction and then do a deep dive into a subject that becomes the real heart of the blog.    For example, a blog about finding the love of your life might do a deep dive to explore long term intimacy and keeping love alive for 20+ years.

The beauty is that there are so many subjects that are not being blogged about and there are so many people that are not reading blogs yet because they have not found a blog that matters to them.    Yours may be the exact blog that will change their world, as well as yours.

Lastly, Blogging is a Win-Win-Win

If you consistently put out a quality blog you will find readers.   You get to express yourself and really love what you are doing, you get to help people; they get to be helped; and the world gets to heal and grow through a collaborative, grassroots connection of its people.

So what will your blog be about?   I cannot wait to hear your voice!

Click this link for more reading on Building a Creative Business

FREE GIFTS:

I started my first Creative Business when I was a single mom with four tiny children.   That was 25 years ago and I started Business 101 for Creative Entrepreneurs to give back.  I am so grateful for all the support did get while I was getting started, but more than anything I wished I had some business support, some mentoring or guidance.    I want you to know that I get how hard, confusing, and challenging it can be to be alone and have real questions with no one to ask.

Please accept this FREE 30 Minute Creative Business Consult as my way of saying “You Can Do It!”

What you can use the call for:

  • Ask anything you need to know!
  • Get important, reliable resources for whatever you need
  • You can design a Next Actions plan for building the life of your dreams!
  • Create Learning Plan so you can begin powerfully
  • Feel supported

 

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3 Painful Misunderstandings New Entrepreneurs Have About Business Models that Kill Their Dreams & Leaves Them Frustrated, Scared, and Broke

How Come So Many Great Ideas Struggle to Get Traction or Any Real Success?

As Steve Jobs stated in an interview with Fast Company, “Design is not just about what it looks like.  It is also about

Tawn Holstra Auston

how it works”.  Designing a powerful business model is about what works!

I coach a lot of new entrepreneurs.  Frankly, that is my bread and butter.  So I take their success very personally.   I am in the business of figuring out what really works to get started in 2018 and it is also my business to keep on top of the constant innovations occurring in our field.

There are some very predictable mistakes that new entrepreneurs make, in their enthusiasm to bring their dreams to life, that undermine their efforts from the beginning.  One of them is not taking the time to design a business model that supports their long term goals.  So they spin their story to launch and do a decent job, yet limp along due to the business model they have chosen that does not allow them to thrive, getting frustrated, thwarted, and stressed about money, otherwise knows as broke.

Whenever I speak to an entrepreneur who is struggling to make ends meet, works 80 hours a week just to make enough to keep the lights on, and their idea sounds like a great idea… the first 2 things we will look at is the Offer, and the Structure for Fulfillment.  How are you making and delivering your offer in the market?

What is a Business Model?

A business model is a structure that allows for the profitable delivery of product or services to the end user.

Simple…

So, what are the 3 Painful Misunderstandings that Most Creatives Have About Business Models?

Let’s get right to it:

Misunderstanding #3:   Confuse a Business Model with a Business Structure  

Comment from new entrepreneur:   I’m an LLC (or whatever).

It is important to understand that a business model is different than a business structure.   When I first get this comment, I immediately understand that the new entrepreneur is thinking about S-corps, or LLC’s.   Sole proprietor vs C corp  and think that they are the business models.

It is true that certain business models can only be operated inside of certain business structures, but that does not make the structure a business model.

Best Practice is to choose your business model before you choose your business structure.   At the same time, all things are changeable, some much more complicated than others and by complicated I really mean expensive to change.  So better to choose the model first and then choose the appropriate business structure to scale the model.

Misunderstanding #2. It doesn’t make that much difference  

Comment from new creative entrepreneur:  I will choose that later.

This could not be further from the truth.   The business model can change everything.   The right business model can make life easier, harder, or even impossible to succeed.   A better way of understanding this is that the wrong business model can make it impossible to grow or scale your business.

Misunderstanding #1.   Completely unaware what a business model is  

Comment:  what’s a business model?

This is the #1 reason people choose the wrong business model because they don’t even know there is such a thing.    Most folks pick their business model by default.   They have a product or service they want to sell and thus they sell it however they do and a model is born.

So what is a business model and how do they impact your growth? 

 A business model is a simple flow plan (structure) for moving a unit (product or service unit) from design/creation to end user, profitably.    It is much more of a flow chart or a work flow chart.  It will answer the question, how do we make money and how much money do we need to get it profitable?  It will also answer How many people do we need to make this work?

A few basic principles about business models:

  1. There is not one that is better than another.  A business model creates the mode by which you do business.

For example, when I started Business 101 for Creative Entrepreneurs I was used to my consulting business model.  Private coaching and teaching classes for other companies and that worked for a while until I realized, as most consultants and coaches eventually do, that there is still a cap on how much work you can do and thus a cap on your income.

The pros were high fees and fewer clients, the cons were I was limited to those that could afford my fees and I was always going to be limited by my capacity to coach (time).

Cons were I was answering the same questions constantly and not experiencing any creativity in my ability to give more.  Plus,  I was missing a lot of people who really needed my services and were more of the clientele I was hungry to serve.

So I redesigned the business model to reflect a gym membership type of model.   Where members would pay a smaller monthly fee and make use of the on-line videos (equipment and pool)  and live weekly classes (think group classes, like yoga or Zumba) as they felt the need.    All the work was recorded so it was also more useful to those that had unique hours or were in different time zones.    From time to time, as private coaching (think hiring a trainer) was needed they could schedule for a reasonable rate.

One call or training session could have a lot of impact that way.

If I had tried to serve the clients I most wanted to support, those creatives that are passionate and want to help make the world a better place for all of us, I would have suffered by being broke or not reached them at all and suffered for not following my heart.

Another example is a brick and mortar store front that sells garden supplies.   

This model is usually designed to put out all the money up front.  The entrepreneur has to rent or buy the space, do all the work of making it attractive and organized and an example of what’s possible (for folks to get ideas) and inviting.   Then advertise and hope that folks come in.     It takes the most money and has the most risk of any of the models.

If you are already in this model, it can be enhanced (and most saavy store owners have implemented this already) by collecting email addresses and offering discounts to returning customers through loyalty programs.

It can further be enhanced by offering education, free or for a small fee, to bring in new potential customers —  like how to bring bees and butterflies back into your yard

 A third example of a business model is of a professional who wants to prepare to retire and wants to create passive income that he/she can count on once they quite going to the office   

The traditional model would be for the person to do all the work to write a book and hopefully have a best seller.    What most people do not realize is that writing a book is a huge undertaking and 98% will never sell more than 100 books, and those will be to their friends and family.

A more relevant model is to start by writing a blog, creating really good content regularly while they do not need the income (before they retire).   With good design and good marketing folks can make a real living within a year or two depending on how much work they are able to devote to it.

As the blog content accumulates, the book starts to be revealed, AND there is already a following that has been built during that year, who would want to buy the book.

 For more ideas about Finding Your Tribe read 3 Most Important Activities for Starting A Creative Business  

When I got started as a single mom with 4 kids and no money I was desperate for a coach, but never dreamed I could afford one.   That is what compelled me to start Business 101 for Creative Entrepreneurs to begin with… I wanted to give back and support folks who were working for what they loved.  Our basic program is $37 a month and covers all the basics, with a learn-at-your-own-pace system.

I invite you to accept the free gifts below.   I want nothing but for you to have enough faith in yourself to give try.  The world needs your love and creativity, now more than ever.

Be the spark and remember we are at your service!

Pick up your free copy of The 8 Costliest Mistakes Creatives Make in Business!   

Click the link for a FREE 30 Minute Consultation for your Creative Business (even if you don’t have one yet)!

  • What Your Will Get!
    • You can design a Next Actions plan for building the life of your dreams!
    • Ask anything that you need to know
    • Create Learning Plan so you can begin powerfully
    • Ask for Resources you can Trust
    • Feel supported
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3 Ways to Build Your Creative Business to Weather Whatever Algorithm, Hurricane, or Flood May Come

Tawn Holstra Auston

Build Your Creative Business to Weather the Storm of Sudden Change

It has become increasingly obvious that any  creative business that relies on social media traffic or walk-in traffic has a certain level of vulnerability, NO MATTER HOW SUCCESSFUL THEY ARE!

Why?  Because if something sudden changes, like the town decides to take a year to replace all the sewage pipes on your street and detours all traffic away from your doors for the year; or Facebook changes their mysterious algorithms and your fan base loses contact; or a hurricane or flood or extreme storm sweeps through and causes such chaos that it takes a month to recover —  your income is likely to be dramatically impacted immediately.    In some instances, these impacts can make it impossible to recover.

So How Can You Bullet-Proof Your Creative Business From Feeling the Pain of These Sudden Changes?

Recognizing your one and only true asset —  your customers.

As creative business owners, our customers are our bread and butter and being able to communicate with them, no matter what, is critical to recovering after sudden changes.   However, if the traditional mode of communication is what gets interrupted, then you are sunk.  And that is exactly what just happened to thousands of successful entrepreneurs who relied on their huge “friends list” or “followers” when Facebook shifted gears.

So, what to do?

From the beginning of e-commerce to today, there is only one totally reliable way to connect with your customer and that is by email.    Your email lists are an asset that should be guarded and nurtured as gold was in 1929.

Which Creative Business Owners should be building email lists?   Hairdressers; dentists; doctors; lawyers; builders; landscapers; store owners; stylists; designers; aestheticians; restaurant owners; coaches; teachers; therapists; grocery stores; literally every creative business owner.  Why?

During normal times, to nurture your loyal customers.   During breakdowns caused by sudden change, to provide support and/or access to support.

If your contacts are heavily weighted in social media you should seriously consider mobilizing an effort to gain email addresses.

3 Easy Ways to Reach Out to Loyal Customers

3. Create a free event to acknowledge them –

Depending on your business, you can offer them something free to Thank Them for their business, support, and loyalty.  Every day customers have more and more choices for where the shop, especially on-line.    Free gifts and fun events, especially ones where they can bring others (who maybe don’t know your business yet!!)

2. Create a Loyalty Program for all customers, loyal or new —

Most of us are familiar with Frequent Flyer Programs that have become normal business for many businesses  Movie theaters, restaurants, book stores, bagel places, coffee stands, even inside  of larger companies there are departments that offer programs now, such as soup cards for the deli in a large grocery store.    To design an effective program be sure to look first at what kinds of real value you can offer.    These programs can also produce resentment if they are only for data gathering so please be conscious and transparent, if this is your choice.

1. Create an Educational event or gift for Loyal Customers —

Almost all businesses can add some kind of educational aspect to their existing business and creative businesses are no exception.  Adding and educational aspect can/will build enormous customer retention and appreciation.

Create a monthly newsletter that goes into depth about some aspect of your creative business that your customers would appreciate.  It will create a bond with your customers beyond their purchases and even allows them to share your business  with their friends and colleagues.    Providing Tips, Professional Knowledge, Crazy Secrets that Work —  bring an entirely new reason to do business with you and a way for new customers to find you.

It is also possible to just ask them.   With certain businesses,  especially creative businesses which generally have a more personal self expression designed in, small local co-operatives, pre-schools, etc, it is very possible to just let your customers know that you are wanting to provide continuity of service and convenience to their customer experience.

For more reading on Building a Creative Business

I started my first Creative Business when I was a single mom with four tiny children.   That was 25 years ago and I started Business 101 for Creative Entrepreneurs to give back.  I am so grateful for all who supported my while I was started, but more than anything I wished I had some business support, some mentoring or guidance.    I want you to know that I get how hard, confusing, and challenging it can be to be alone and have real questions with no one to ask.

Please take this FREE 30 Minute Creative Business Consult as my way of saying “You Can Do It!”

What you can use the call for:

  • Ask anything you need to know!
  • Get important, reliable resources for whatever you need
  • You can design a Next Actions plan for building the life of your dreams!
  • Create Learning Plan so you can begin powerfully
  • Feel supported

 

 

Read More

5 Ways to Use Outrageous Actions to Kick Start Your Business Growth

What Does It Take to Produce a Breakthrough?

There is a method to it and, I promise, throughout the series we will continue to unfold it.  For those who are in a hurry, there are also ways you can speed it up.

The simple and most potent access to breakthrough level growth is bold, or even outrageous, actions.

I like to think of it like a warning label – Bold Action will likely be required.  The question is, bold to whom?  outrageous to whom?   Is it outrageous for a fireman to run into a burning house?   Although it is heroic, it is also what they signed up for. They practice and prepare for it.  It would be outrageous for anyone who is NOT a fireman to do it and maybe even stupid.  Maybe, bold and outrageous actions are bold or outrageous only from our particular point of view.  They are big moves for us because they generally take courage.  They are outside our comfort zone, or things we never thought we were capable of.    They are so far out of our ordinary/normal way of being, we would not normally even think of them.

Being Ordinary vs. Living Extraordinary

Let’s be clear, it is not possible to stay, “business as usual” while producing a breakthrough.   The very nature of causing a breakthrough will pull you from your normal.  It will pull you (opposed to push you) to take actions that are outside what you are comfortable with and that is enough to get the ball rolling.

Go for the “No!”  

When I was just starting out as a trainer, I got the opportunity to submit an application to teach for a big platform that reached millions of people.   I was scared to death to do it and thoughts like, “I am not ready”, “they will never accept me”, “who am I to compete against experts?”, flooded my head every time I thought about it.  I would have sweaty palms and feel like I had 4 cups of espresso when I was working on the application.    I finally saw that I was afraid I was, somehow, going to blow some big opportunity that I would never get back.  Now I know, this is a beginner’s fear.

When you are moving toward your breakthrough there will likely be opportunities to step up in a way that your vision/future Self would  and you will either take that opportunity or not. The Breakthrough will be you taking it. Normal would be for you to not take it.  The super- important thing to remember is you have won by taking the action!   

The result will be whatever it may be, and your breakthrough is when you take the action!  With each small action you take, you are changing who you think you are in the world by engaging in conversations beyond your little self’s (your small, safe self’s) capacity to exist.

You will get a lot more no’s when you start making outrageous requests.  You even want to get them,  but remember the requests you are making are only outrageous to you, and the No’s will reinforce your breakthrough when you are making a lot more requests.

Every Time You Take Action Consistent with Your Vision/Future Self, You Are Reinforcing the Breakthrough, or Driving a Stake Through It’s Heart!

 Every author I have ever coached has thought that all they needed to do was get to Oprah and their lives would be forever changed.   When I said, “then call her”…. they all think I am kidding.   And that is the dissonance.   If you know what to do and don’t do it, that lack of action can be very dis-empowering.   Making huge requests (huge to you) is the fast, simple way to get things started.   It is like jet fuel for your goals.

5 Outrageous Actions to Kick Start Explosive Business Growth

1.  Make a list of milestones that would completely flip your project. 

  • Examples:
    • Author = sell 1000 books in a day or 10,000 in 30 days
    • Coach = 10 new clients in a month (or a week)
    • Workshop Leaders = 1 Sold Out Program
    • Inventor = a million dollar licensing agreement or a spot of QVC

 Criteria for breakthrough milestones are:

  • It has to seem impossible from where you are now
  • You cannot do it alone
  • It is thrilling and terrifying at the same time
  • It completely flips your game –

2. Make a list of people who can make that goal happen with a yes!

  • Examples:
    • Oprah
    • The head of a large organization
    • The buyer of a bookstore
    • The producer of a QVC segment

 3. Share your Outrageous Milestone with 10 people

  • 4 of whom you hardly know or just met;
  • This will require you to start conversations with folks you do not know and share what you are up to

 4. Make Requests Until You Get 3 No’s – (not sales)

  • Ask for what you want or need- (but not to sell )
    • Types of Requests you can make
      • A meeting
      • A commitment
      • To do a talk for their organization
      • A donation
      • Something that would support you –
        • Referral Partner
        • Airplane Ticket
        • Design Help
  1. For added Speed (and intensity)
    • Add “by when” — a shorter time frame vs. no time frame
    • Double your game (share with 20 people!)

Causing Breakthroughs is Fun!!

These simple actions will kick start your breakthrough and then some.   I have done this exercise many times and it never ceases to amaze me how much fun it is.   I meet new people who are also excited about what I am doing and want to help or participate in some way.   It brings me to new connections I would never have made and leads me to new discoveries as well.

Little Choices are Huge Levers

Each time you have an opportunity to share your project and what you are working on you are faced with a choice.  Talking about what we are working on can be challenging and it can take practice, but the heart of the matter is will you?  Will you ask?  Will you share?  These are the little choices you will constantly face when moving toward your breakthrough.   You will constantly be asked to be the Vision Self (you created) and you will, likely, be scared or uncertain.  When you do it anyway and cause a breakthrough for yourself it changes everything.  As stated earlier,  EVERY TIME YOU TAKE ACTION CONSISTENT WITH YOUR VISION SELF YOU ARE REINFORCING YOUR BREAKTHROUGH.    That is your breakthrough becoming the new normal and on your way to mastery.

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Where Has All My Passion Gone? The #1 Way We Undermine Our Own Success

I had a client today lose sight of why she was starting a business.   Two months ago she was enthusiastic, empowered, and totally clear about her purpose and why she was investing in her future.   Today she was half assed about whether we should even have a coaching call.

What happened?    This is an important topic because at some point,  it happens to everyone who puts their ass on the line for something that matters to them!   So what happened is simple:  she broke some of the commitments she made to herself, what looked like little things at the time.  “No big deal”, she would do them another time or even would do them next day – or not.    She started to slip on some of what she said she wanted to accomplish and THEN started to numb her experience to that.

Even when the promises are to ourselves, we will act out our numbing behavior to avoid feeling bad about falling short of our commitment.

How did she numb herself?  Isolating herself (hiding), eating more sugar, doing things that make her feel good in the moment but bad later, sleeping more,  or watching TV.   Whatever the numbing behavior is,  the question is:   What are you avoiding by eating that cookie?   What are you trying not to feel by having that drink?   By not going to the gym when you said you would how are you explaining it away?  “ I need a break”,  is a red flag for what?

The bad news is – it is considered completely normal to break promises to yourself,  it is how we stay living an average life.   If you share with someone else that you were too tired to do everything you said you were going to do today – they will “understand” which makes it even worse!

Being extraordinary is an unreasonable way to live and it takes something out of the ordinary to live that way…

I am taking my own coaching today:

  • Making a list of incomplete items and then putting them in a calendar to get them complete.
  • Taking a stand for living an extraordinary life that I designed
  • Doing at least 1 thing TODAY that makes me really uncomfortable (to anchor this insight and move it towards a breakthrough).

Announcement: 

This only happens once a year and once it is full, it is closed automatically.

Business 101 for Creative Entrepreneurs is about to have its annual GRATITUDE Registration which means you can get 8 coaching calls a month, 100 hours of videos on every aspect of starting and launching a business available 24/7, and enormous support for your new venture for only $25 a month and NO Set up fee!    Strictly Limited to 200 people

 

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Is It Time You Finally Started That Creative Business You Dream About?

Tawn Holstra Auston

Everyone has Dreams of Starting a Creative Business That They Love.

Being our own boss, having control over our income, making decisions that can change our life or our community, and have a real joy in our work is the dream of every creative entrepreneur. Really! The benefits of starting a Creative Business sound great! We might even have a great idea, a supportive partner (spouse, best friend, sister/brother) who is as excited as we are, yet, we are unsure if we should.

Just beyond the excitement is a veil of doubts and questions

Do we have what it takes? Can we handle all these different areas of activity which we have not done before? Will we make the transition from job to business owner? What if we fail? What if our idea sucks? How will we recover? What is there to lose?

These are all really good questions and are best looked at at some point, really soon if you already started. However, the answers to these questions are not the way you choose to start a business. No matter when you start, you will be incompetent at somethings and fantastic at others, bad at and good at; ready and not ready; … so then how do you know when it is time you start a business?

How Do You Know When It is Time to Start a Creative Business of Your Dreams?

As we consider our options there are generally two that it all boils down to;  Staying where we are or grow into who we want to be.   Starting a creative business takes courage, actually starting any business takes courage.  The fact that it is a creative business that brings more of our personal passion and heart into it, makes it much more raw and thus takes more courage.

Some questions that may help you choose:

1. Are you possessed/burning/driven with the desire to offer something to the world?

Is there some area of the world that you cannot stop thinking about?   You read books, volunteer, make donations, follow stories about others who are doing what you are inspired by.   When you consider working in this area, you heart sings.  This is an strong indication that you would thrive working in this area.

2. Are you always coming up with better ways to do what is already being done?

This may relate to the area in #3.   You are great at finding creative solutions to problems and know they would work.  You take time to design solutions that you do not do anything with. For example, I had volumes of sketch books filled with house designs decades before I became a builder.

3. Are you WILLING to Take a Chance on Yourself and Your Dream?

If you are, almost everything you will come up against after that can be handled while you are starting your creative business.  If you are willing to create something and keep moving forward you can start.  You will learn along the way, and that is the nature of all business now.

Suggestion: Stop waiting

There is always some aspect of creating that dream, creative business that will be scary simply because there will always be new areas to learn.   Is it worth the stress of being uncertain to have a business that includes your heart, head, and passion?   Only you can choose that.  I  can share that I chose about 25 years ago and I have had some hard times, but never, not ever have I regretted my choice.   There are always challenges, it makes it easier to get through them when the result is so palpable and important as the quality of your life.

Once You Decide

Ralph Waldo Emerson

What to Do Next to Start Your Creative Business

Learning what is next will get more important as you invest more of yourself and more of your funds.    Making the right choices is imperative to being a successful, creative entrepreneur.

Check your Chamber of Commerce for free entrepreneurs classes and ask others in your area is one way.

When I got started as a single mom with 4 kids and no money I was desperate for a coach, but never dreamed I could afford one.   That is what compelled me to start Business 101 for Creative Entrepreneurs to begin with… I wanted to give back and support folks who were working for what they loved.  Our basic program is $37 a month and covers all the basics, with a learn at your own pace system.

I invite you to accept the free gifts below.   I want nothing but for you to have enough faith in yourself to give try.  The world needs your love and creativity, now more than ever.

Be the spark and remember we are at your service!

Pick up your free copy of The 8 Costliest Mistakes Creatives Make in Business!   

Click the link for a FREE 30 Minute Consultation for your Creative Business (even if you don’t have one yet)!

  • What Your Will Get!
    • You can design a Next Actions plan for building the life of your dreams!
    • Ask anything that you need to know
    • Create Learning Plan so you can begin powerfully
    • Ask for Resources you can Trust
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Why Design Matters

When it comes to making your dreams come true, design is the first critical step to reaching them.

Your choices, even (and maybe especially) the little ones, can change your life, the lives of those around you, and even the world.    Every day we are faced with choices that shape the future, whether it’s tomorrow, next week, or years from now, our choices right now are impacting our readiness for the opportunities we dream about in our future and whether we will be able to take advantage of them.

Good or bad, how we will experience our life 1, 5, 10, 30 years from now has something to do with the choices we make now.

If that’s so, the standards, values, and practices that we mark our choices against will either be by default or by design.    Another way of saying that is without design, you are already using your default standards and values to make your choices and thus, for the most part, those choices are valued against immediate wants and not a designed future.

Taking the time to dream and design your life in detail;  business, eating habits,  how you relate to money, who you hang out with, education, where you live, how you live, body love; all sets you up to accomplish what you dream about now.

If you do not design your standards and values at least 10 years out, you are likely without a rudder for reaching distant shores.

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Creative Fusion: 5 Steps to Build a Bridge Between Opposing Ideas

As a Libra I find that I am always, always, and constantly looking at both sides of any situation. I thought that I was doomed to weigh all my options forever, sometimes until the opportunity passed me by. As an entrepreneur, I frequently find myself in that same place, having to choose between 2 apparently opposite directions or having to make 2 people align who appear to be on opposite sides of the table.

When the consequences of being wrong are too high to risk a mistake, or it just does not feel right, look at blending the benefits and minimizing the downside. Either way, ultimately, as the boss, you have to make things work.

My strategy at these times is to build a bridge…I take the time to look at what works about both options. I explore in what way I could use the best of both options to create a third, unique, and sometimes very original direction that the either/or choice would not have produced.

Here are 5 steps to connect opposing ideas with Creative Fusion:

1. Let go: Sometimes leaders and teams are so attached to what they think their business, marketing plan, speed of delivery, and/or results should look like, that they lose sight of the fact that they created them in the first place. Let go of the picture and look newly. Stop “shoulding” on your team and/or business. Remember, there is not one way anything and whenever it “should” be a certain way we are closing off our ability to create dramatically.

2. Mashup: List the best benefits and features of both/all choices and prioritize them. There are likely great benefits to both options and pitfalls or weaknesses to both. You may see real similarities or overlaps, there may be holes in each that the blend fills.

3. Common Ground: What are the unifying aspects of both options? What do we lose if we give up _____? How do we soften or even remove the downside? Does it serve our customer as well as each of the original choices? Why (or why not)?

4. Pick it Apart: With a light heart and joy, have a team meeting and invite everyone there to tell you why it won’t work. Look at the product itself, but also look at how your customer base will embrace it. Is it fun enough? Effective enough? Did you compromise on anything? Where are you selling out? Let them be very frank… because your customers will be!

5. Taste Test: Get feedback from customers (or users outside the company) by either beta testing or seed launching. Track results, upgrade, and repeat as needed.

If this exercise is needed to work with people who are not aligning, do steps 1 and 2 and 3. If it is a deep-seated issue skip #4 and go straight to #5 only have the feedback loop inside the company with the relevant team members they work with.

Building a bridge is about making things work. Ultimately being a successful entrepreneur comes down to how you get through your stopping blocks. Every successful business owner has had many opportunities to give up. Literally every single one. It is not whether you will get stopped but when and more importantly, how long you linger there!

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3 Ways to Make Your Rebellious Nature Pay Off!

Being Creative and Different is a True Gift to the World!

Call it what you like, rule breaker, trouble maker, disruptive, rebel, teenager, maverick, head strong, or entrepreneur, you see the world differently than the average Jane or Joe.

Most of the creative people I know (including myself) feel as though they are slightly (or totally) outside the norm. We don’t really fit in with the 9 to 5 crowd, or, at least, feel misunderstood. And that is not surprising, given that we think a little differently, or see the world through eyes that see colors, or we are busy spatially reorganizing it. We hear a problem and 10 solutions start spinning in our minds some of which are actually pretty good ideas. To top it all off, we tend to feel energy and lean toward empathic.

So how do you take all of that and make it worth something people will pay you for? Make Your Art!

How to get started — the short list:

#1 Take Your Art Seriously

Too many creatives think they are just a little weird… and that is true we are. However, to make your way of pushing the edge of the envelope pay off you are the first one who has to recognize it as a contribution in the world. If you do not take yourself seriously, no one else will either! Guaranteed!

This is especially important because for most of our young lives people have been pointing to the very way you are unique and asking you to tone it down or be more normal! Of course, you do need to get along and communicate well with others in this world… but that does not mean you have to give up your art!

‘Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.’ Albert Einstein —

#2: Distinguish what is unique about you!

If you want to make money doing what you love, the first thing you will have to do is figure out what is unique about your way of thinking. What is different about how you view the world? If you always have an idea that would make things easier for everyone, that is a place to start. Here are some other questions to get you started.

Q. Do you always see things a little differently? How is it different? Write it down!
Q. If you ran the place where you work, what would you do differently? Write it down!
Q. If you could create a world (town, state) how would people live there? How would they make a living? Write it down!
Q. If you could redesign the economics of our society (how money flows) what would you do? Write it down!
Q. If you could redesign our educational system, what would all kids learn that is currently missing (or being done badly)? Write it down!

Now that you have answered these questions, look for the common themes throughout your answers.
Do you come up with collaborative solutions (where everyone works together)? Do you redesign the systems? Maybe there is a tool that would make things work better, something no one else realizes! Maybe you see the best of two unrelated systems and think to blend them to create something new. Or you think of a way to apply an existing system to an area that it was not created for…you see connections that others don’t see.

This is your unique way of viewing the world. It may take years to fully distinguish your view… it is an inquiry. There is no right answer! If you are inspired by it and you know it will make a difference, then you are on to something!

#3. Start a business

You cannot make your rebellious nature pay off if you don’t have something to offer people. So take the theme you distinguished and look for an area of the world that inspires you. If you love education, then design something in that area. If you love art, than art! If you love working on teams, then figure out a way to help folks work on teams (which is challenging for many people).

Creative businesses tend to be in the design area or education based. For example, a systems designer, a city planner, a Montessori teacher; landscape design. You may need to get further education in an area you are passionate about but now that you take yourself seriously, you can go for it.

The biggest missing in our society and world right now are creative solutions to world problems. As Einstein said so beautifully, ‘We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them’. We need your thinking in the world! Get busy!

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