Business 101 Blog

Are You Letting The Virus Define Your Business? Growing Your Creative Business in Challenging Times

When the going gets tough, the tough get going!

Joseph P. Kennedy

How Is the Lock Down Shaping Our Business’?

Tawn Holstra Auston
Tawn Holstra Auston

I wonder, years from now, whether we will look at these six months and recall them as a “before the virus” and “after the virus” experience.    This unprecedented, global challenge removing all political POV’s, has changed us at a very fundamental level.   

For one, it has brought us closer as it forced us apart.  It has made us much more aware that our actions (masks, no masks), and our community’s (only 1 per customer) need to share its resources to ensure that we are all taken care of.   We are watching commercials about looking out for our neighbors and we are watching celebrities share their homes and self-done make-up and hair (and lack of haircuts!).   As huge face-to-face events are cancelled and postponed, others have been invented, like the Country Music events held on-line from all different locations and American Idol still doing “live” shows that include the audience while being in separate locations spread all over the United States.    This may never have happened without the virus – or at least, without the quarantine!

Secondly, our small businesses, especially creative businesses, are still striving to make an impact for their clients and community, all without the ability to do any face-to-face networking.  Which means, dialing the phone and learning to share their work in new creative ways.   Creatives are much more prepared pivot and thus able to serve their clients through technology or ‘no touch” services that allow the micro economy to keep going and even thrive while the Stay at Home order is in place.   

Why Are Some Small Businesses Still Growing?

People still have needs, and some are new needs caused by the quarantine.   People still have wants, dreams, and issues that were present before the virus and still need services that they may have gone out for before and now need to do at home.  Many have new needs that did not exist before the quarantine.  

Creatives are prepared to be creative!  Creative Businesses are designed to be responsive to their customer’s requests.   They may even be inspired by the challenge to reinvent their business, expand their business model, or pivot their offers to serve the new needs of their communities and existing customers.   

Twist and Shout Your Way to Growth

Finding new opportunities and creating a new offers that serve your clients current needs, which have recently become urgent — like finding toilet paper — is all about building bridges between your client/potential client and the things they want and need. For example, if you can take your cleaning company truck and find toilet paper, you can create a delivery service. If you are a chef, you can create amazing meals and partner with a delivery service; use your email list to make your offer and get to work fulfilling.

To find these opportunities, try this exercise we use in our marketing program, Market With Heart. The questions are, “What does my ideal customer/existing client need right now?” and then, “How can our business deliver that tomorrow morning?” Work on this until you have 10 -50 answers and then pick your best one and get started!

Can You Start Your Creative Business Now?

Due to our massive unemployment, hundreds, possibly thousands of people are starting their businesses during the quarantine and, in some ways, it may be the best thing that could have happened to them.    They are starting when they have all the odds against them and are succeeding!   Imagine the growth without the quarantine!  If you can succeed when it is challenging, you can certainly succeed when it isn’t.     So the answer to, “can I start my business now?”, is YES!, 100% Yes.

Thank You for Your Creative Courage

If you are one of the determined, passionate, and dedicated creatives in business, THANK YOU for all that you are doing during this challenge.  Your courage and stamina are inspiring and your service is noticed.   

 If you need anything to support you, jump on an absolutely free coaching call with me by using this link or join us for our monthly Small Business Trouble Shooting Call on Tuesday May 5th – open to everyone interested in moving forward now, during the quarantine, and once we re-open, when the flood of returning business will likely overwhelm our capacity to fulfill customer needs.  

Your creative energy is needed now more than ever.  You are not alone… come get your restorative support; we are here for you!

If You Want to Read More on Success on Your Terms read: Where Has All My Passion Gone? The #1 Way We Undermine Our Own Success

FREE FOR YOU!

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.  Of course, I am so grateful for all the support I did get while I was getting started. Yet more than anything I wished I had some business support, some mentoring or guidance.    I want you to know that I know 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!”

  • 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

Shut the Back Door! How Your Plan B is Swallowing Your Plan A

One foot in sea and one on shore,. To one thing constant never.

William Shakespeare

In this world of over achievement, and celebrating multi-tasking as if it were a best practice, having a Plan B is smart.   However, it is also a direct shot across the bow of your Plan A.    

There is a striking difference between divesting and undermining.   The question is, how can you tell what is really going on.  

One way is by reviewing what you are accomplishing your goals in Plan A.   If you are making progress, achieving your milestones, and building momentum – while you are investing energy in a back-up, or long term plan.  Great!  All good here. 

Contrarily, if you are not accomplishing your goals for Plan A and find yourself regularly procrastinating what “should get done” to what can get done, then you are in a red zone.   Another way to see it is if you find yourself focusing on Plan B more than (or even as much as) your primary business goals as a way to avoid confronting those aspects of business that are uncomfortable or take concentrated effort and lots of learning. 

Example:  

If you are a writer of any sort, and you have “writer’s block” your job is to stare at the blank page/screen until you start writing.   It will get uncomfortable, until you start writing.   If you get up and start working on the other things on your life plan, you will not get through your block for a long time.      

Having a Plan B is a great idea on one level, just keep your eye on that level.  

Shut the Back Door! 

Results take a certain kind of commitment, the kind that is total; devoted; unwavering; did I say total? If and when we are not certain, we get unclear results. It is especially true when bringing something into existence that has not happened yet, like your new business. It takes all of your heart and focus to make that happen. Having one foot on sea and one on shore is a sure way to get wet!

Focus on what your “dream” business goals are and attack them with all you’ve got.   Knowing that you have an alternative, a back door, weakens your resolve to get through the tough, scary, stressful rough spots.    Get help if you need it.   Get a Buddy to talk to each day, or a Results Team©, to help you stay focused and innovate more quickly.  

If You Want to Read More on Success on Your Terms read: Where Has All My Passion Gone? The #1 Way We Undermine Our Own Success

FREE FOR YOU!

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.  Of course, I am so grateful for all the support I did get while I was getting started. Yet 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!”

  • 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

Introducing Business 101 for Creative Entrepreneurs: We Teach Success!

Welcome to the World of Success!     

First of all, Business 101 for Creative Entrepreneurs began with love. Entirely designed to even the playing field for micro and small business start-ups with limited funds (don’t we all have limited funds?). Ideally, to reduce or eliminate common mistakes and offer support while they are learning all the techniques, processes, and tech that is takes to launch successfully in 2020 and make a living.   

Furthermore, when I started my second business, a clothing design company, Live in Art, I was selling out before I could get back to the studio.   I simply could not keep production up with sales.  Generally this would be a great problem, one a coach could have solved.    However, every coach I spoke with wanted $400 an hour which was completely out of the questions for where I was at the time.    As a result, after several months of trying different methods of production and failing, I ended up closing a successful launch.  Obviously, disappointed and angry that I could not transition it to manufacturing, I vowed not let it happen to another small entrepreneur who needs help to get past normal business hurdles.   

Now we have been in business for 10 years!

Our Proudest Accomplishments:  

  • Business 101 has been in business for 10 full years!  
  • Launch Like a Pro! From Vision to First Customers in 100 Days, is an approved provider of SEAP for WA and we will be in 4 more states in 2020 and all 12 by 2021
  • Our program has an 80% continuity rate, with clients growing consistently and actually have businesses, most without a side hustle.  
  • In the process of applying for B Corporation Status (so excited!)
  • 2019 was our biggest impact yet and we anticipate 2020 reaching 1000 entrepreneurs!

Who we are:   An Affordable Option for Really Reliable Business Coaching for Creatives

We offer small business/entrepreneurial training that is extremely reliable to produce successful results, like baking a cake… follow the recipe and you will get the result. 

 Success is not a mystery!    Consequently, you need methods, not miracles, and we are clear that anyone, (including you!) can learn to serve a tribe and earn a living!!  

Our start-up program:  Launch Like a Pro! is available several times a year, followed-up by Market With Heart, Close More Sales, Breaking Through: Mastering Revenue Generation, and Develop Your Power, each available once a year.   Our programs are available for individuals for only $597 each, or include all for $127 a month, all billed automatically .

We Aim For Long Term Impact

One of our underlying missions is to impact poverty by teaching business to those who need it the most. Hence, we offer Launch Like a Pro! to after school programs in low income areas, such as the Boys & Girls Clubs and Youth Achievement Centers, for free!   All with the intent of providing genuine options to minimum wage jobs after high school.  Launch Like a Pro! provides training to 15 – 18 year olds and their parents, if they would like to participate.     

To fund our free programs, we have a 16 month calendar project, our fundraising arm, which is available for pre-order in June, 2020. The calendar features art from our clients, board members, community advocates, and any and all involved with Business 101 for Creative Entrepreneurs mission. 

A Winning Culture Creates Winners!

Business 101 hosts a rich culture of support and inclusion. A winning culture dramatically tips the scales for success and makes working alone in your house way more effective.   Utilizing our Structures for Success ©, evidence shows that those participants who use all the tools start and grow their business at a remarkable rate.    We have several clients that have gone from business license to supporting themselves in a year or less!  

As a result, we encourage peer-to-peer support, with Accountability Buddies,  facilitated small Results Teams, and weekly coaching calls, all done live.   There is also a treasure of videos on the platform for tutorials and how to’s, plus educational and support videos. We are always improving to provide everything you need to be successful, and have the most effective launch you could have. 

Not Your Ordinary Coaching Program

Our primary focus is creatives!  So, all artists, hair cutters, architects, designers, contractors, massage therapists, landscape designers, chefs, Kombucha brewers, community leaders; any and all entrepreneurs who work from their passion for life, and are up to something in their lives. Really, anyone who would not normally afford or engage a business coach.   Furthermore, creatives think and learn differently. Business 101 completely focuses on non-linear learning, to bring the magic, “success factor”, powerfully to each participant.

Community Impact and Development

Statistically, small business growth directly impacts almost every area of small town and city economics. Thus, we offer community training to associations, chambers, and Economic Development Centers’. Really, any organizations working to expand employment, cash circulation, workforce retention, and strategic growth. This makes it possible for each micro business to thrive and contribute to the big picture.   We also offer programs for cities and rural communities, to invigorate their small business development offerings. The end result is a powerful unified strategy for long term financial independence and stability.

Business 101 for Creative Entrepreneurs sole purpose is to serve communities and entrepreneurs. We help small businesses grow and thrive. Many creatives are isolated, disenfranchised, or even in fringe communities. It is time they find their voice within their/our communities. Embracing the Arts makes communities stronger and more connected. Micro businesses contribute to the financial strength of their communities. It is important to nurture them and recognize their contribution to our life together.  

How to Connect and Participate

Come play! 

  •  Like us on Facebook
  • For more information on community development, reach out to community@business101forcreativeentrepreneurs.com.
  •   Send your questions, or, if you requests to participate with sponsoring the calendar or volunteering in some way – send us an email at info@business101forcreativeentrepreneurs.com
  • And finally, for entrepreneurs,  please arrange an absolutely free coaching call, to help get you started, or moved forward.  

 

 If You Want to Read More on Blogging Your Way to Business read: Is It Too Late to Start a Blog and Why Would I Bother?

FREE For YOU!

I speak from experience!

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.  Of course, I am so grateful for all the support I did get while I was getting started. Yet 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!”

  • 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

Three Common Denominators of Small Business Failure! (Originally posted on Forbes, by Brianna Wiest)

Tawn Holstra Auston

In our Launch Like a Pro! From Vision to First Customers in 100 Days, we are intense about some things… your big vision, creating an amazing offer, and creating structures that really allow you to grow your business (and not get trapped in it), and engaging real potential customers (market research).

We use all sorts of resources, The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber, Profit First , The Surrender Experiment by Michael Singer, Owning Our Future by Marjorie Kelly, and others because no one builds a business in a vacuum.

Every once in a while, our message is said so perfectly that it is a powerful reinforcement that there are some parts of building a business that take consistent work. They are not a one and done item, but a blooming from a bud to a blossom and each stage is perfect in its own way.

Building a business is not a predictable path, but a journey into the bright blue yonder and it is all created by you and your vision! We teach success, and it is not a mystery —

Brianna Wiest wrote a blog recently, Small Businesses that Fail in the First Year Always Have These 3 Things in Common and it is well worth sharing!

If You Want to Read More on starting your own business read: Three Ways to Know It is Time To Start Your Own Business

FREE FOR YOU

Pick up your free copy of The 9 Costliest Mistakes Creatives Make in Business!   

I speak from experience!

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!”

  • 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

Are you Working in an OLD Business Model?

Tawn Holstra Auston

There is a new model of business emerging…   

In the traditional model of business it would look something like this:  The ambitious entrepreneur has a dream, a vision of their future and they want to make it real.   So they make a business plan,  get a lease, buy inventory or licenses, do a build out, get all the brochures printed, website done, flyers, etc. 

They will then get a banner for the front, schedule their Grand Opening, and start large!   Then they wait.  And wait, and wait… customers will come in and they feel good… when it is quiet (as a morgue) they clean, keep busy making the place look amazing, and wait some more.  

After a few months of this, they will think they should advertise.  That will fix the issue. Only it doesn’t and it is very expensive.    

In this model, all the risk is on the entrepreneur, and it is considerable.  

The New Emergent Model: 

Starts with a dream!   The entrepreneur’s dreams and passion are the driving force of the new model.   A simple website with a blog allows them to share their passion and start to attract people who really enjoy their content.     It can be as narrow as Dog Clothes… you might love dressing dogs and your new business is doggie wardrobe!    The blog would be about all things doggie related.   Yes, clothes, but more important than that are the adventures, the happenings with dogs…  after a few months of this, your little list will grow and your people will start commenting on your pictures and other content…

As they get to know you, they send questions and challenges to you – they ask you things they want to know. 

Feedback Loops:

The comments your people make are a form of feedback.   If you listen closely, they start to give you what they like, what they don’t like,  What they LOVE, and what they hate… and all this feedback is invaluable to the your next move.     

Making Offers:  

With educated guess work, you will start to make offers to your dog lovers for dog clothes that you love, and dog clothes that your people have said they liked!     From their comments and from watching the analytics on what they share and talk about the most, you start to compile profiles for your most engaged followers and pick items that they are most likely to buy…  

Love ‘em up! 

When not making offers they appreciate, you send them love — little notes with tips on how to personalize their dog collars, or how to fluff Fido’s mane for great pictures — or visit an event and  send them behind the scenes pictures of their favorite breeds!      You are starting to really understand your customer and they are leaning in —    It’s a beautiful thing.   

Why This Works: 

Look, the fact that you start with your dream and passion, then figure in it costs almost nothing. Plus, you start at a pace you can actually manage —   but the cherry on top is that your fan base already loves you when you start send them your offers.    It might take a year, and it would be worth it.   

Why it works is because you are building a relationship with them beyond “getting a customer”.   You are building your tribe from nothing.  You are also building your tribe while you are figuring out your message, building our brand, and designing your offers!     By the time you are ready, so are your followers.    

Other Crazy Benefits of the New Model:  

At the end of the year, if you have had been blogging weekly, you will have 52 installments towards a book, with a built in audience who already appreciates your work!    

You can work from anywhere, and start at any time!   You can have a job and start slow or go full out and blog every day for a year to go faster —  the real benefit is that you have all the power. 

As you grow your readership, you can find (or they will find you) sponsors that want to pay you to review products!    What?!  That’s right!   When you have a niche readership that loves what you do other businesses that serve that customer will want access to them.    The best way to do that is by cherry-picking the products you test and honestly review them.   Your honesty builds more trust and your customers will share!  

The real investment is your time, your thoughts and passion, and your heart…  you can build at your own pace (as long as you are consistent) and it will work.    You are never at risk of losing everything or making a fatal error —   

If You Want to Read More on Blogging Your Way to Business read: Is It Too Late to Start a Blog and Why Would I Bother?

FREE For You!

I speak from experience!

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.  Of course, I am so grateful for all the support I did get while I was getting started. Yet 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!”

  • 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

Is Poverty Heal-able ?

Consider that poverty, or being poor, is a state of being.   As a state of being we can alter it at any time.  

Tawn Holstra Auston

                                                  Tawn Holstra Auston

Is poverty healable?   

Why wouldn’t it be?    Is being poorer than your neighbors, or living in “those” neighborhoods so horrible that you think it is part of who you are?    Does not having the newest dress, or the newest electronic toy have such a negative impact on you that you think less of yourself or your parents, or your friends, or your children?  

Why are we so confused about money that we think how much money we have makes us less than others?  

It is true that money makes life easier, less stressful, and can make it more enjoyable.   It is equally true that there are many wealthy people who are not happy or fulfilled by their life.   It simply does not add up that having a Gameboy means that you are a better person, or not having one means that you are not a good person, worthy of trust, love, opportunity, or value.     

“We’re not poor, we just don’t have any money!” was my mother’s constant response to poverty shamers…

Is poverty healable?   Yes, in all ways.  Why?  Because it is not about you at all.    Not having money, means you don’t have money and that is completely fixable!     Not having as much money as someone else will likely always be the case.   There will, almost certainly,  be someone in the world that has more than you, on the Forbes Wealthiest List, for example, no matter how much you make.    So having more than anyone else is not the game;  Not having enough to “do what you “want” when you want it”;  that is also not likely to make the feeling go away.  Why, because it is not about the money!!  

How you feel about your life and what’s possible for you, it is not about money!

No really, how you feel about you and your life, what’s possible for you and your family, who you can be in the world, the contribution you can make…  how you feel about these things is not about money.   It is entirely about how you “be” about money;  money is a tool, like a hammer.     

Money is one of the things you will likely have to acquire to accomplish your dreams, but that is true about every entrepreneur that has ever walked the earth…   The gap between “I have a great idea!”  or “ I have a dream to go to _(fill in the blank)____”  is the same gap that Sir Richard Branson had when he started his first record store.   It is the same gap that most folks have to deal with as they build a bridge from where they are now to where they want to be.     

So, What’s the Difference Between You and a Successful Entrepreneur?

What’s the real difference between you and a successful entrepreneur (and I use entrepreneur since these are the people who consistently dream and then tackle making their dreams real), and you is that they are consciously recognizing the self-limiting thoughts that are dictating your future.    

So, is poverty healable?    Completely and totally heal-able… without question, yes…  

Now what?   

If You Want to Read More on Healing Poverty and Moving Ahead read : Lessons From My Mother: Entrepreneurship Starts at Home

I speak from experience…

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 Your 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

Uncovering Your Subtle Self Sabotage & How to Intervene

Tawn Holstra Auston

In the Tarot, there is a card called the Tower of Destruction.   For many it is a scary card, predicting a huge disruption in our future.   What most people don’t see in the more subtle aspects of the card is that the disruption is caused… we are at the heart of it.   The card is saying it is time for us to shake things up… change old crusty behaviors that no longer serve us.      According to the Tarot Handbook, by Ariel Angeles, the card is about “healing and restoration, but first, it is a symbol of the change and awakening that is required to dismantle that which is artificial, false, or conditioned.”

Our focus is all about our unconscious habits that are undermining our growth, both business and personal.    

Definitions:         Unconscious:  What we are unaware of

Habits:  Those thoughts and actions we do over and over, and over, whether they are  good for us or not.  

So how do we find and eliminate our own unconscious habits? 

Especially, those behaviors that we don’t discover until after we have started our new business and we are up to our ass in alligators?   Are you laying the track to your own train wreck with your unconscious behaviors or bad habits?

How to break bad habits is one of the tougher tasks of being an entrepreneur.  Mostly because we don’t always see them until we have been doing them for a while.   

First, a few important and ground breaking insights into habits as they relate to being human! 

  •  Habits are whole system phenomena    — they do not occur in a vacuum, so there is more than one aspect to most habits.   They include thoughts, activities, timing, moods, and sometimes sounds or smells.   Plus, habits wear grooves in our software AND our hardware.  

Even new violins produce better sound and become better instruments by being played by an expert, a virtuoso – they get accustomed to the extraordinary vibration and the vibration changes the cellular structure of the wood.     Amazing right?!! 

  • Habits are not all bad… we love habits and having things become second nature to us.   Typing is a behavior we are trained to; language, driving, all are really great habits we have taken years to build.   Any mastery you have is a habit you have intentionally developed.    Congratulations!   
  • Habits are a type of hypnosis we cast on ourselves.    At first the habits work and we love having them, but if you find yourself trying to change a behavior that does not serve you anymore, than you have a bad habit.   No one makes us smoke, or bite our nails, or give up on our dreams.    We do all of that through the choices we make yet we act as if it was happening to us through some outside power.    Huh?  
  • Not all habits are obvious.   Some are, nail biting, being late, leaving cabinet doors open, clutter, etc.   Some are much more subtle.   Things like, being over busy or over committing, putting things off with a great justification, not doing complete work, doing work that does not make the most mission critical work your fledgling company needs done… 
  • Human behavior is extremely malleable throughout our whole life.    What?!   Yup, that’s right!  We can change anything at any time… like Dorothy in Munchkin Land, we just have to be ready for the responsibility of being in charge of our own future.     

Ok, so if this is all true, how do we break our unwanted behaviors?   

How to break bad habits is one of the tougher tasks of being an entrepreneur.  Mostly because we don’t always see them until we have been doing them for a while.   

A super common and hugely impactful habit that I had for many years was to put off tasks that emerged during the day until I had more time. 

In the moment,  I did not think I should stop what I was doing and deal with whatever just popped up because it would take me off what I was already doing… What I learned was sometimes you need to re-evaluate the issue that popped up and at least put it in a schedule for WHEN it WILL get done, or it never gets done.    

Why this is subtle habit is because I really thought that I would get to it later.  I also thought  that being overly busy would end one day when I had more success, or had sold my business, or retired… it was always a someday thing that I dangled in front of my own face – my dream life did not include working like a mad woman, but there I was, every day.    

Waking up to the fact that I had put things off until later a thousand+ times before and it always produced the same results, I saw it was time to recognize that more time is never coming!    The bad habit was pretending I would have more time one day.   I accepted that I was lying to myself and it was ruining my peace of mind.  That unconscious behavior was the path to running around like a chicken with its head cut off, which I did for years and just thought that was how it was supposed to look when you are super effective entrepreneur.   Busy, busy, busy.  

So every time I decided to put something off, I would remember I was choosing to be insane and overwhelmed  in a couple of weeks and I was painting myself into a corner for more things to “need” to be put off then too.  

So how did I change that behavior?  Make a New One!!

I made a new one…obviously, issues still came up, something would happen during the day, the phone would ring and it would be something that needed to be done.  The new habit I started was taking the time to schedule it, right then.    I keep a calendar on my desk so that I could check it immediately.    It took an extra 2 minutes, but it also kept my days to normal work lengths and I had the confidence that everything was going to get done in a timely manner and nothing would get neglected or forgotten.    

How Can You Get Started

I would suggest you journal your behaviors… write every day for at least 10 minutes for a couple of months and see what behaviors you have every day… places to look:

  • Morning routines
  • Lunch routines
  • Dinner routines
  • How do you handle your money?  Habits of shopping, saving, investing, or gift giving
  • When do you work? 
  • Your most creative time of day is____________
  • When do you exercise?  
  • When and how do you create meal plans?  
  • When and how do you do your research?   Dig deeper into what you are working on?  
  • When do you read?  
  • How do you keep track of ideas?    Notes you take?   Things you want and/or dream about?

All of these areas have many repetitive activities that may or may not serve you or fulfill your dream life goals.    So consider taking them on, one at a time — start slow, the cravings, the unconsciousness will surface loud and proud, so taking on more than one at a time will likely set you up for failure.    Start with one important habit that will give you a new level of mastery over power to accomplish your goals.  

For more reading on Causing Breakthroughs read: Dealing With Frustration and Despair

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!” Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t!!

What You Can Use Your Call to Accomplish:

  • 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

For any help, comments, or questions reach us at info@business101forcreativeentrepreneurs.com

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Lessons From My Mother – Entrepreneurship Starts at Home

Lessons From My Mother –  Entrepreneurial Training Begins at Home

My mother had me when she was 17.   She used to say, we grew up together, and at times it was very much like that.   As most mom’s do, she gave me so much more than I can ever thank her for, and there are some lessons that completely shaped who I am today and the kind of person I try to always be. 

We were very poor when I was a kid.  I did not realize that until much later in my life.  It was not until I was in middle school that I noticed a big divide between what other kids had and what I had.   I never noticed people treating me differently until I was about 7 when I was not invited to parties at school, or when I could not go on field trips because they cost money.    Ten years later, she was a world class Casting Director in Los Angeles, ultimately, being awarded an Emmy and Golden Globe for her work on Thirty Something and the Band Played On, respectively.

There are so many lessons in being effective; how to treat people; and never giving up; that if I shared them all this article would be a book.   So I will share with you the ones that I use most. 

Here goes!   

Lesson #1:  Never Listen to Anyone!

My Amazing Mom

What it takes to make your way in the world as a creative entrepreneur takes enormous courage and grit.   It is not hard but it can be intense.   To make it worse, everyone has an opinion and when you are working your butt off and eating potatoes and tuna fish twice a day, it can be very tempting to cave and listen to those boohoo’ers who say you should give up and get a job!   Don’t Do It!!  People always have opinions and always will.  About what?  Everything!   About what you should be doing, what is good work, what is too hard… from everything and anything.  People have their ideas about what is too risky and too threatening.   

What they are really telling you, from their profound love of you, is what is too scary, too risky, too threatening for them!    Don’t listen to anyone because they cannot walk in your shoes or speak from your lips.  And most certainly, they don’t see your vision.   Only you can make those choices and you are sometimes going to be wrong, and you will get through it.     

It means doing your own homework to find out what works and what doesn’t.  It means making choices that are not always comfortable and being out on the skinny branches more than most.   Let me remind you that that is where the fruit is! 

When I started opening businesses, (I opened my first business when I was 6 and it was an art gallery in a fifth floor walk-up in NY), I found that people had lots of ideas about how I should do business.   

The benefit of this incredibly critical lesson has been that I trust my instincts and do my own homework to learn what works and what doesn’t.   Other people’s fears are not going to get in my way and I truly hope they don’t get in yours either.   If they do, go to lesson #2!  

 

Lesson #2:  You Can Do Anything You Set Your Mind To! 

I was privileged to grow up with a super young (17 when I was born), super smart, artistic mom who read a lot.   Edgar Cayce was one of her favorites and she said a lot of things to me like, Mind Over Matter, and Make It Happen! 

I took this to heart at a very young age by learning to include my strong emotions and physical sensations that frequently accompany big adventures (like starting a dream business) and new activities, like speaking in public or travelling alone.   This took a lot of practice and still does.   Not having my fears overwhelm my other commitments took so much at times that I would feel faint, or not be able to stop crying.   You know what I did?   I cried through my introduction in front of the room.   I learned to have my emotions and bring them along with me, but not stop me.   At times they were not light, and with practice they travel more lightly now, but at times still get me.  

The benefit has been growing through what would have been crippling shyness to be a speaker and leader in my field.   When I first started leading programs and doing talks, I always had another leader in the back of the room, just in case I really did die in front of the room (as my imagination told me I would)!   I used to tell people, because it was true, that there was a time I could not lead 3 people in silent prayer.   Within a few years I was leading programs for hundreds of people at a time.    This was a dream and it only happened because of these 2 lessons…

Lesson #3   Respect:  Treat Others As You Would Like to Be Treated (my add on – As You Would Treat Your Best Friend’s Mom)

This is a more complex lesson, mostly because it unfolds in many ways.   

One, I learned to be kind to other living things and let them be the way they are.   Cats should not go in bathtubs full of water and sisters may need more hugs than I do.   Learning to respect others’ space and their natural ways allows me to be patient with other people’s learning and to be patient with myself as I make mistakes and clean them up.     We are all human and all life matters.   I strive to treat everyone like family.    

Two, I learned that relationships take time and attention.   I learned to take a beat before rushing up to a dog to say hello.  Dogs are not all friendly and meeting them takes real attention.    As a young child, I also connected this to people.   You cannot rush across the playground and just barge in to others kids who are playing.  You have to meet them, get invited, and play well with others.  I learned to take it a little slower than my heart desired.    

Three, respect everyone, not just adults or authority.   I used to think that respect is a two way street.   And it is in one way, but the big discovery was that I was being foolish to withhold respect until someone respected me first.  This was particularly noticeable in my teenage years when I so wanted to be more grown up than I was and wanted to be listened to by adults.  Same goes for small children.  I listen to them as if what they have to say is important (because it is!).  If you ever try this you will be amazed at how crystal clear they can be.    As the mom of 5, I can confidently say that almost all tantrums are from children who do not feel heard.   They just want to communicate what they want or what happened.  Sometimes they just want to share something with you.   (They might still cry when you say no after listening, but the fury can be diffused).   Adults are not much different.    When not listened to, or misunderstood, conflicts and hurt feelings get in the way of getting your goals achieved.  

The benefit of learning to respect others entirely,  has been being trusted.   Earning trust is not to be taken for granted and it takes being trustworthy with other’s identities, their things, their trust, and their concerns.    People say it takes a lifetime to build trust but only 1 moment to destroy it.  

This may seem entirely contradictory to Lesson #1, but not really.   When I say don’t listen to anyone, I mean don’t believe everything you hear.    Just because someone has said something does not make it real or true, or real or true for you and your future.  

You can listen and disagree, go your own way, and carve out your future.   Building a life of your dreams, living where you want, with who you want, doing the kind of work that really inspires you and turns you into the super hero in your dream…. This takes focused attention and a lot of personal development.   

Leaders are built from the heart out.

************************************************************

For more reading on Causing Breakthroughs read: Dealing With Frustration and Despair

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
Read More

Develop Your Resourcefulness to Thrive in 2020

Tawn Holstra Auston

Thomas Jefferson said it the best, when he said, “I am a true believer in luck.   I notice that the harder I work, the luckier I get!”     

Striking on all cylinders takes a combination of things, but most notably, preparedness for the opportunity and timing.    

We say there are 5 traits that all, truly successful, entrepreneurs have.   Resourcefulness; being coachable; learning from their mistakes; being a “bad-ass” about keeping their word; and never giving up.   

Each of these aspects of success are in some way present in all successful entrepreneurs and most of us have at least 1 to 2 that are more prominent than others.    For example,  I had a client who was just starting out and his business idea is very involved and the start-up includes a huge amount of moving parts.   With every week that passed there was some new story about why things were not working and that they were “regrouping again”.     This is a failure of resourcefulness.    If the parable, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again”, was meant for anyone, it is for this situation.    When a branch falls on our path, we can easily move it, when a tree falls we have to get more resourceful about it.  Ask yourself, “what should we/I do next to keep moving forward?”.    No one’s success path is straight or narrow, and rarely are they unobstructed.   You are walking through the jungle and you are the one in charge.  

If you see your path clearly laid out in front of you, consider, it may not be your path, David Whyte

So let’s talk about being resourceful.    What does that mean?    If I had to boil it down to one concept it would be being unstoppable.   In other words, not letting barriers that fall across your path stop you, at least not for long.   As a Successful Entrepreneur you MUST figure those things out.   A determined person who has few resources would go to the library, free workshops, watch a webinar, or try their Chamber of Commerce or EDC for help.    That is where I started about 13 years ago.  I did free everything and learned as much as possible that way.    A person with a bit more would ask for help and may have to pay a bit, but then there are ways to keep those costs down too. 

Being resourceful is rewarding in many ways beyond that you keep moving forward.  Each time you are tested by the Universe (something drops onto your path you were not expecting or inviting), and you get past the barrier, you are building resolve, confidence, and belief in your own leadership and abilities to be Successful.   Others notice it too.  

Here are some Practices to Develop being resourceful:  

  • Make big promises that kind of scare you and will blow your mind when you accomplish them.  
  • Do problem solving mastermind sessions with other business owners or a friend (who has a business).
  • Get an accountability buddy to talk to everyday; 
  • Read books on your subject and use leads and ideas to move yourself along your path.  

It is my firm belief that most people completely underestimate themselves and have little idea what they are truly capable of…  If you have the idea that you were made for something more than the life you are living, then this might be you!  

As Eleanor Roosevelt said so beautifully to women in her era, which still stands today…  If you are going to doubt anything, doubt your limits!     

 Like all people, you are brilliant in some ways and less brilliant in others.   It means nothing unless you let it stop you, and that is entirely a choice you make every day.   Keep going or stop.    All you have to do it take the next step forward and you are on your way past the barrier.   

It is always up to you.   

************************************************************************For more reading on Developing Your 5 Traits read: Demystify Failure and Frustration

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
Read More

Why Masterminds Don’t Work and How You Can Learn Anything Forever

What is Non-Linear Learning:  The More Natural Way To Learn?

To truly understand non-linear learning we first have to talk a little bit about linear learning.

For the most part we are all familiar with linear learning.  It is the kind of learning we have done in school, where you study something, you learn it, and then you apply it.   And this is a very effective way to learn a lot of things.  For example, medicine.  If I was looking for a doctor, or a surgeon, I would definitely want someone who has studied, learned , and then applied their education.  I would certainly NOT be looking for a surgeon who was looking to have a breakthrough (at least not during my surgery!)

So, there are many areas of life where linear learning works well and is the preferred method of learning.  However, it is not the most effective way to learn everything.  For instance, how do I stay in passionate love with my spouse after 20 years; or how come, no matter what company I work for or which manager I work with I still find myself at the same plateau, or the same income level;  Or maybe it is about your health —  you start out well intended, but something happens and you cannot quite see what it is, you lose weight and then put it back on;  Or maybe it about your relationships, you are dating and no matter how many different people you go out with you find yourself in the same basic situation.

If any of that sounds familiar, then you have also probably tried some linear learning to attempt to change it.  You have read books, followed all the right rules,  or tried to dominate yourself into submission.   Yet, you still cannot really get out of the rut you are in.

Areas of Life Where Non-Linear Learning Is More Effective

These are areas of life where non-linear learning would be more effective.  These are areas of life where you cannot really see what is shaping the results you are getting.  You know there is something there, but you cannot quite see it.  It is like trying to see the back of your own eyes, we all have blind spots in some areas of our life.

What Is Non-Linear Learning?

So what is non-linear learning?  Non-linear learning is when an all of a sudden phenomenon occurs.  Some would call it an aha moment, or a light bulb goes off…a sudden shift in perspective that allows you to take new actions and opens up new points of view for you.

We have all learned this way, learning to walk, learning to talk, learning to play an instrument, or learning to type, learning to swim.  These are all learning in a non-linear way.   The best example I have found is learning to ride a bike, mostly because for the most part we are all old enough to remember it.

When you learn to ride a bike, you get on the bike and you pedal and then you fall.  You do it again, pedal and fall, pedal and fall, pedal and fall.  And then at some point, you pedal and pedal and then you pedal and pedal and pedal and you are riding the bike!    Right there, there is a moment when you go from trying to ride a bike to being a bike rider!   It is just a moment when everything shifts.

There Are a Few Important Things to Note About Non-Linear Learning.

First, it never goes away.   Once you learn something in a non linear way it is yours forever… literally.   You might not ride a bike for 25 years, but if you got it out of the garage and dusted it off, you would be able to ride it.  And you know that! Same with learning to swim.  Once you know how to swim, you might not swim for years, but you don’t wonder if you still can… you absolutely know you know how to swim.

#2.  No one can explain it to you.   You could read books by Lance Armstrong about riding a bike, but it would not get you any closer to being a bike rider.  Non- linear learning is something you have to do for yourself.

#3.  It is natural.  We have all done it and it is not even hard.

However, for the most part we don’t know how to focus that kind of learning on areas of life that are important to us.

Why Masterminds Don’t Work

Masterminds can be great for general support, and can put a structure together that has some accountability.  What they don’t tend to provide is anything beyond what you can already see.   Having a group of people who recognize when you are bullshitting yourself or doing more of the same, instead of causing a breakthrough you need and want.  A mastermind is a tool for rapid growth, but will not necessarily provide that breakthrough from a plateau, or have you become the leader you envision yourself to be — a coach with deep roots in non-linear education is essential to that kind of growth.

For more reading on Causing Breakthroughs read: Dealing With Frustration and Despair

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
Read More

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