Posts Tagged ‘advice’
It’s not always easy to start a business, build a blog readership, or quit your desk job to pursue your hand sewn line of women’s clothing full-time. In fact, it’s almost always quite challenging at times. So, I started a series that tells it like it is…the good, the bad, and the completely ‘Girl, I can’t believe you went there.” Secrets to success that have been learned along the way. This is where we left off last week…
Sometimes we get so wound up in what other people will think of what we do, or if this piece will sell more than that one, or be retweeted 100+ times, that we stop trusting our own voice and start relying on other people’s opinions for the answers. This is not the secret to success.
Let me start with a quick story… A while back, I made something that I was really pleased with. The photos were exactly what I imagined; the styling was just what I pictured. Everything. I posted it, super excited – thinking that readers would love it and it would get shared a lot. But to my surprise, the response was basically crickets. Just a few comments and a (tiny) sprinkling of shares – no cheering crowd, no pat on the back.
I was pretty bummed about it, actually. And a little confused too.
But the next day, after a good night’s sleep, I was reminded of something. I didn’t need someone else’s approval to decide that what I had been working on was ‘worthy’ or ‘good’.
I could decide that on my own. And so I did.
Even if no one was looking, reading, or responding, I would still be making things, stock-piling washi tape, and buying scissors ‘because they look cool in photos’ as opposed to just cutting really well.
I don’t need other people to give me a pat on the back to be deemed ‘a success’. And neither do you. Which brings me to success rule #3…
Don’t wait for someone else to dictate your future. This is your journey. You lead the way.
If you’re still not convinced, watch this talk from Jonathan Adler about being true to your vision and keeping other people’s opinions out of your creative process (found via Grace Bonney). His message is one that you might need to hear today.
*image by Sean Sutherland (similar print by Sean here)
It’s not always easy to start a business, build a blog readership, or quit your desk job to pursue your hand sewn line of women’s clothing full-time. In fact, it’s almost always quite challenging at times. So, I started a series that tells it like it is…the good, the bad, and the completely ‘Girl, I can’t believe you went there.” Secrets to success that have been learned along the way. Today, Tiffany will pick up where we left off last week…
This contributor post was written by Tiffany (Moore) Han.
Have you ever looked at someone’s life through the lens of facebook or a blog and thought, “Ooh, look how much fun she is having. If only I was a (mixed media artist/life coach/writer/jewelry designer), my life might be that amazing too.”
I’ve been there, been that person. I started reading blogs back when I had my day job and was convinced that if only I could become a food blogger (thanks, Smitten Kitchen!),I would have a dream life. Never mind that I’d never taken a serious photograph in my life – food blogging was the path for me.
Until I started following Kendi Everyday and realized that I should be a fashion blogger. Never mind that I’m a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl, and that my collection of solid-colored cardigans would likely not cut in in the scope of fashion bloggers. So I kept looking.
But I knew that there was something, something out there for me that didn’t involve sitting at a desk at some office every day, doing work that wasn’t self-directed. I knew that I was destined for something else, something bigger than what I could comprehend. And I knew that it involved creativity of some sort – being creative was what made me come alive.
So I started blogging. And took a risk and left my day job (with a healthy savings account) to work retail and figure out what I wanted for myself. At first, I blogged about anything and everything: clothes, furniture, style, inspiration, cooking. I included my terrible photographs. I wrote things that were silly and things that were thoughtful. And I kept showing up on the blog, writing about what interested me in the moment.
As time went on, I refined my writing. I started painting and making stationery. I opened an art studio. I went through training and certification to become a life coach. The refinement continued throughout. I stopped making cards and focused on my coaching.
Throughout all of the experimentation, something else happened: I found my voice. And I found the work that makes me feel most alive…at least, for now.
This is a secret that most people don’t realize: when you’re starting out, you don’t need to know the specific outcome that you’re working towards. You only need to know what the very next step will be. Yes, a vision is helpful. A picture of what you want your life to look like doesn’t hurt. But being attached to a specific outcome can become a limitation.
Secrets to Success Rule #2:
Find the kind of work that resonates with you and do more of it. Let joy dictate how you spend your time, and if the idea of doing something leaves you paralyzed with fear, maybe it’s not the right thing for you. Just be sure that you don’t stop looking. You will get there – trust that.
New to this series? Read Secrets to Success Rule #1 right here.
*image by Ian Coyle
It’s not always easy to start a business, build a blog readership, or quit your desk job to pursue your hand sewn line of women’s clothing full-time. In fact, it’s almost always quite challenging at times. So, if you’re up for it, I’m starting a series that tells it like it is…the good, the bad, and the completely ‘Girl, I can’t believe you went there.” Secrets to success that have been learned along the way…
Do you ever end your day feeling like you couldn’t possibly do ________ , whatever _____ may be (reach 10,000 followers, get paid for your writing, reach 2,000 sales by the end of your first year in business, quit your desk job to pursue your passion, etc)?
I’m here to tell you that I’ve been there too. And one thing I’ve learned is this..if you simply give it a try anyway, sometimes you’ll surprise yourself. You might just realize that you actually can do that thing that you didn’t think was possible. BUT there’s a catch: it will take time, some trial and error, and a whole lot of drive.
I’ll be completely honest with you – I don’t always know what the next ‘right’ step is and there is a lot of ‘making it up as I go’. But you know what? I’m willing to bet that a fair portion of your favorite bloggers are exactly the same way. We just decide we want something and go after it, whether we know exactly how we are going to get there or not.
Over the last four and half years that I’ve been running papernstitch, I’ve spoken with a whole lot of successful bloggers and business owners through email and skype and in person and on the phone. And I can promise you that this is true for a heck of a lot of people.
So what happens when your favorite blogger or the shop owner you most admire doesn’t know what to do next or where to go from here? They hop on the phone or shoot out an email to their peers, who may be able to help. And if that doesn’t result in an answer, those colleagues and friends recommend someone else to try or a podcast to listen to. And if that doesn’t help, the tinkering and troubleshooting, and ‘making it up as we go’ comes into play. Those successful ladies that you dream of one day being, work their butts off until they figure it out. Whatever it takes.
And that drive and motivation to keep going, not knowing what’s on the other side, is what will separate the success stories from those that throw up their hands, toss in the towel, and never find out what they could have been.
Secrets to Success Rule #1:
Move beyond the fear of failure and give it your best shot, with all that you have to give. You might not win the game, but one thing is certain: You’ll never win the game that you don’t play.
“Nothing could be worse than the fear that one had given up too soon, and left one unexpended effort that might have saved the world.” -Jane Addams
Will you challenge yourself to give it all that you have to give?
image: I can’t do this but…
This contributor post was written by Tiffany Moore.
Let’s face it: rejection sucks.
No matter how you slice it, getting turned down never feels good. While the adage, “Never take it personally” is good advice, it’s never quite that easy to walk away unscathed.
Here are a few tips on how to handle rejection the next time it comes up in your life.
1. Consider the Source
Is the rejection coming from someone whose opinion you value? If not, don’t give it another thought!
2. Find the Truth
Instead of just writing the rejection off as someone being mean or wrong, ask yourself if there’s any truth behind the rejection. Did you submit photos to a magazine but then got feedback that they weren’t in the right style?
The feedback you receive with a rejection from a trusted source can often be the most valuable feedback you’ll ever receive. If you don’t receive feedback, ASK FOR IT. Feedback (from the right person) is one of the most worthwhile tools you’ll ever have in your business.
3. Be Sad…But then move on
Rejection is no fun. Ever. Unless you get comfortable with the discomfort it presents.
Sure, it doesn’t feel good. Sure, it feels personal. Sure, you wish you could please everyone. You’re not alone in these feelings. The key is to not let them stand in your way as you try to advance your business and your life. It’s okay to feel bad. For a little while, not forever.
4. Learn, Improve, and Try Again
This is the most important step of them all: figure out what you can learn from the rejection. Maybe you need to write a stronger pitch letter, maybe you need to get some help with your photographs, maybe that one blogger you reached out too is not the right person to write about your work.
Whatever the reason is, don’t forget to apply what you’ve learned, and then keep moving forward.
Once you’re able to deal with the emotions behind the rejection, you’ll be able to move beyond the fear of it. It’s time to say hello to new opportunities and goodbye to your fear holding you back.
The ‘not trying hard’ part is what leads me to that restless feeling in my work.
Not the other way around.
But this kind of thing happens to all of us every now and then, especially if you run a small business. You creative entrepreneurs know what I am talking about, right? Maybe you feel antsy, tired, or even a little apathetic every once in a blue moon. And that’s okay. In fact it’s completely natural. Everybody gets into a rut at some point in their career. No matter how much they love what they do.
So the next time you are feeling unfulfilled in your work or just plain ‘muh’, think about how you got there in the first place.
Try to reverse engineer the problem.
Maybe you’re like me, and you just need to ‘try hard every day‘ to loosen up/dislodge that unsatisfied feeling that bubbles in the pit of your stomach when something isn’t working.
Or maybe it’s deeper than that and you need to take extra steps to figure this bad boy out. If that’s the case, than here’s what you do…
1. Write it down.
Write down everything you do for a week (or two) involving your work. At the end of each day, right down how you feel. Were you happy or sad? Exhausted or energized? Restless or fulfilled? Excited or bored?
Don’t think about it or over-analyze things during the days you are writing your activities down. Just write.
2. Read it over.
At the end of the week, read over all of your writing and spend some time thinking about those tasks that you completed or worked on during the days that you were happy and satisfied with.
Next examine those less than perfect days. The days that you felt unsatisfied or stuck. What did your work day look like on those days? What did you do differently on the “bad days” than on the days you felt good? The problem may lie with the number of tasks that you are completing on those days (too many tasks can make anyone feel overwhelmed) or the specific tasks themselves (maybe you hate non-creative busy work that doesn’t help you grow).
Then ask yourself the most important question: How can you fix it? What can you do right now to make those days that you feel stuck or restless better?
5. Ask for help.
If you have your own business, the answer may be getting rid of the busy work entirely and hiring someone to do the small stuff that doesn’t fulfill you.
If your work load seems to be the culprit, then its time to cut down the number of daily tasks that you complete. If you get burnt out, you will no longer be an asset to moving your business forward. So, its better to slow down now than have to come to a crashing halt later.
And if you don‘t know the answer to your problem, it is time to phone a friend. Seek advice from like-minded business professionals if you really don’t know how to fix the problem. You can use the comments below to troubleshoot as well. I’ll be reading through each and everyone and if I have a suggestion for you, I’ll be sure to respond asap.
image credit focus