For a limited time I am offering FREE 30-minute strategy calls to work through your number one burning issue and give you an action plan to give your creative business an instant spark! This is a great opportunity for us to chat and see if we'd be a fabulous fit to work together. Schedule your strategy call today! I can't wait to ignite your spark!

Email Pink Spark Creative
Call us @ 865.406.3870
Follow us on Twitter
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Commitment.
Almost everyone has commitment issues. But if you are having commitment issues with the goals you made on January 1 this could signal a big problem, so I am sharing 5 easy ways to stick to your goals.

1. Manage your time
Sure, this sounds easy, but time management takes practice and the proper tools. As I mentioned in the post on Monday about productivity, having a good planner or calendar system can help you identify how you are using your time and help you find the best times to get different types of work done and block out time to work on your goal tasks.

2. Work in time blocks
Whether your goal is to create more or blog more, you will accomplish more if you schedule blocks of time to focus on your goal tasks. Many creatives make the goal of blogging every week, but they get caught up in their work creating and listing and shipping, and suddenly four weeks have gone by since the last blog post. Blocking out time each week or month to focus on writing blog posts and scheduling them, will ensure you meet this goal.

3. Make sure your goals are SMART
One reason folks don't stay committed to their goals is because the goals are not Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Reasonable and Time-Bound. If your goals are not SMART, then you may find yourself off-track and lost. Stay focused and committed by making your goals SMART.

4. Cut yourself some slack
If you have made sure our goals are SMART, be sure to cut yourself some slack if you miss your deadline by one day or your don't get exactly 100 new subscribers to your list. Being flexible with your goals will increase your level of commitment and often give you the extra boost you need to actually reach the goal. Remember, your goal must be reasonable!

5. Reward yourself
A reward doesn't have to be monetary! When you reach a goal, be sure to reward yourself with something meaningful to you. Maybe it's an afternoon off to go mountain biking. Perhaps you will close the lid on your laptop early on Friday to have cocktails with a friend. Whatever the reward, be sure it is something that excites you. My favorite rewards are to go to the thrift store and spend $5 or take a bicycle ride with my husband!

Let me know how you stay committed to your goals! Leave a comment with your suggestions!

For a limited time I am offering FREE 30-minute strategy calls to work through your number one burning issue and give you an action plan to give your creative business an instant spark! This is a great opportunity for us to chat and see if we'd be a fabulous fit to work together. Schedule your strategy call today! I can't wait to ignite your spark!

Email Pink Spark Creative
Call us @ 865.406.3870
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So, how is it? Is your productivity level where you want it? If it isn't, maybe it is time to focus on one task at a time rather than trying to multi-task your way through your day. Not having any focus to your day means you don't have a plan for what you need to and want to accomplish. Some days may be filled with appointments. Some may be filled with creating the handmade items you sell. Some days may be spent running errands. And some days you might just want to have a little downtime to read a book. 

For the last four months I have been using the Day Designer planner to help me be more productive and use my time wisely. For the months of October through December, I used the planner page you can download from the website and then when my 2015 planner arrived, I started using it. Blocking out my time has really helped me get more done in a day AND allow for time for the things I want to do, like working out and spending time with my husband and friends. There is a section at the top of the planner page for the three most important tasks you want to accomplish and this in itself has been amazing at keeping me on task. I can use the section with each hour broken down to plan work blocks and the section on the right is where I make my to do list. Everyone uses their Day Designer a little differently, but the design will work for almost everyone, no matter how they use it.

This is the planner cover I chose! It's called Carrie Floral and it features my two current fave colors- pink and teal!
Below you will see the Day Designer planner page that you can download for free on the Day Designer website. The planner that you can purchase features the same page, but with the date (unless you buy an undated version) and an inspirational quote for each day. Using the planner pages for a few months before purchasing my 2015 planner helped me determine how I was going to use the planner.
Another reason I wanted to share about my productivity solution is because I spent countless hours designing my own planner only to realize it was going to cost quite a bit to print it and the Day Designer was pretty darned close to what I designed.

The other tool/system I swear by is a blogging editorial calendar and I will share about that in next week's Multi-Tasking Monday post.

Just a reminder that multi-tasking really doesn't work and maybe time blocking won't work for you, but don't get discouraged. Keep trying different methods of getting things done until you find the one that works for you!

I would love to know what tools or resources you use to stay productive! Share yours in the comments!

For a limited time I am offering FREE 30-minute strategy calls to work through your number one burning issue and give you an action plan to give your creative business an instant spark! This is a great opportunity for us to chat and see if we'd be a fabulous fit to work together. Schedule your strategy call today! I can't wait to ignite your spark!

Email Pink Spark Creative
Call us @ 865.406.3870
Follow us on Twitter
Find us on Facebook
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As a creative business owner, you are probably constantly thinking about how you can grow your business. I know I am! You wonder if this activity will bring more customers, or if this blog post (yes, this one!) will be the one that speaks to someone and they pick up the phone to hire you or buy your work of art. You spend a lot of time wondering. And probably worrying too. You aren't alone.

Here are five tips to help you grow your business. Do all five, or just pick the ones that make the most sense to you. But just remember to always be doing something to move yourself forward and grow your business.

Tip 1. Get in front of your right people

If you've never heard the term "right people" before you might think I don't like lefties! You'd be wrong because it just so happens, I'm a leftie. Your right people are the people you want as your customer or client. They are the person that you envision walking into your shop or clicking the 'add to cart' button on Etsy. They are the person you want to get your product in front of and deliver your marketing message to as well.

In order to get in front of your right people, you will need to determine who they are. Take a few moments and envision your ideal customer walking into your brick and mortar store, perusing your Etsy shop or looking at your portfolio. What do they look like? Are they male or female? How old are they? Write down as many characteristics of this ideal customer as you can. Now think about where you will find them both in person and online. How will you reach them? What do you want them to do once you are interacting with them? Put a lot of thought into this because if you don't know who your ideal customer is you will waste valuable time and energy on the wrong folks.

Tip 2.  Get on social media

Do you pine for a private moment to peruse Pinterest? Do you take to Twitter during your favorite TV show? Is Facebook your favorite free time indulgence? Is inspiration abound after bouncing through the blogosphere?

We all have our favorite social media platforms for personal interaction, but where should you be hanging out to build your business? If you did the exercise in Tip 1 to identify your ideal customer, you should have a pretty good idea of where you will find these people online. If you sell jewelry, you will want to use the social media platform that will not only allow you to showcase your jewelry at its best, but also showcase it to your right people. You might find that Pinterest is the best place to share your jewelry. If you set up a business account on Pinterest you will be able to use the available analytics to see how many people are viewing your pins and determine if they are, in fact, your right people. 

Marketing your goods and services on social media is an ongoing activity and it take a little time to get serious results. It will also be a bit of trial and error as you determine which platforms will get you in front of your right people. Give yourself a goal of at least six months and create a plan of action to ensure success!

Tip 3.  Do some networking

One of the best ways to grow your business is to network with not only the people you would love to have as clients and customers, but also your peers. Some of you may be wondering how networking with your peers could help your business grow, but bear with me! Imagine you are a graphic designer and you really love creating logos and branding packages, but you really don't dig designing wedding invitations. When you were first starting your business you probably took every job you could get your hands on, but as time goes on, sometimes it makes complete sense to only take the work that not only puts money in your pocket, but also fuels your passion to design. So, if you regularly network with your peers you might just find that Mary loves to design wedding invitations but doesn't get excited about creating logos. Maybe you can mutually refer clients with one another, thereby giving you both work and creating synergy in your creative community.

Of course, the networking activities you should focus on, are the ones that will get your closer to your ideal client or customer. So get out there and start some conversations, pass out some business cards and get some more work!

Tip 4.  Plan for success

Especially when business is a little slow, you should take time to reevaluate how your business is doing and adjust anywhere you feel you need to in order to maintain a path to success. Sometimes you might need to sit down and create an actual plan for success. This plan can start as a brain dump of all of the ideas you have to grow your business, become more successful, make more money, develop new products, and so on. Once you have all of your ideas and dreams out in front of you, create an action plan. Create SMART goals full of intention and most importantly, with realistic deadlines. Revisit your plan every month to keep you on track.

Tip 5.  Recharge your batteries

Many times when we need out business to grow we're too exhausted to think about getting any busier or having to expand. This is the perfect time to take a day or two off from the daily grind of creative entrepreneurship and recharge your batteries. Sometimes all you need, is a little downtime to do something fun or creative that isn't your creative business. For me it's getting on my bicycle and riding the greenway or on a mountain bike trail for a few hours. While I'm on my bike I can't do anything else but think about where I am going (especially in the woods on the mountain bike trails) and what I am seeing. Disconnecting myself from the distractions of work, even for a few hours, gets me recharged for creativity. Give a try the next time you are ready for some changes in your business!

I would love to hear your own tips for growing your business! Please leave me a comment with your tips or share mine if you like them. 

For a limited time I am offering FREE 30-minute strategy calls to work through your number one burning issue and give you an action plan to give your creative business an instant spark! This is a great opportunity for us to chat and see if we'd be a fabulous fit to work together. Schedule your strategy call today! I can't wait to ignite your spark!

Email Pink Spark Creative
Call us @ 865.406.3870
Follow us on Twitter
Find us on Facebook
View us on Instagram
 
 
I know what you're thinking... multi-tasking is not possible. And you're right. Focusing on one task at a time is the best way to be your most productive but, as creative entrepreneurs, do we always do that? No. Of course not. Because we're creative. And our brains just work differently. For example, right now I am watching/listening to 'Build a Successful Creative Blog with April Bowles-Olin' on CreativeLive and writing this post. Oh and I just finished doodling the graphic above. So, you know, just a little bit of multi-tasking.

The point of all this is to let you know while multi-tasking isn't always the best way to be productive, it is often necessary. Each Monday I am going to post a little about me and my multi-tasking and I want to know about your multi-tasking. The good, the bad and the ugly. Share it with me and I promise I will not multi-task while I read your comments!

Until next week, here are some tips for focusing and here are some fabulous printables to keep you focused and productive.

For a limited time I am offering FREE 30-minute strategy calls to work through your number one burning issue and give you an action plan to give your creative business an instant spark! This is a great opportunity for us to chat and see if we'd be a fabulous fit to work together. Schedule your strategy call today! I can't wait to ignite your spark!

Email Pink Spark Creative
Call us @ 865.406.3870
Follow us on Twitter
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Beginning next week, I'll be sharing 5 tips, ideas or solutions on different topics every couple of days to help the creative business entrepreneur achieve success. You will find tips on everything from how to grow your business to things to do for fun that will help you become more successful. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to stay in the loop!

Here's a quick five to tide you over until next week!

Five ways to give your creative business a spark:
1. Follow this blog!
2. Work with me either in person on via the Interwebz!
3. Sign up for the newsletter and be the first to know about workshops and resources!
4. Follow this board of mine on Pinterest!
5. Give the Pink Spark Creative Facebook page some love!

For a limited time I am offering FREE 30-minute strategy calls to work through your number one burning issue and give you an action plan to give your creative business an instant spark! This is a great opportunity for us to chat and see if we'd be a fabulous fit to work together. Schedule your strategy call today! I can't wait to ignite your spark!

Email Pink Spark Creative
Call us @ 865.406.3870
Follow us on Twitter
Find us on Facebook
View us on Instagram
 
 
So, 2015 is officially here and many of you may be finding yourself back at work after some much needed time off. How does 2015 fell to you so far? Overwhelming? The same old, same old? Boring? Exciting?

If you said exciting, then you are my kind of people! Not only do I get really excited at the start of a new year, I get excited at the start of every new day. Really excited. Why? Because I love working with creative entrepreneurs. I love helping them find their creative spark. I love working with them to find the solution to their problem. I love being a part of their success. I love the excitement and challenge of being a creative entrepreneur myself. If you want to wake up every morning really jazzed about the day ahead, I want to hear from you! Tell me what gets you really excited about being a creative entrepreneur.

More excitement!
I'm kicking off 2015 with what I am calling the #spark2015 movement. Movement might be a bit strong description for what I am actually trying to accomplish, but I want to encourage you to actually move. Move your body. Move your mind. Move out of your comfort zone. Move your business to the next level. Move your passion to be what you have always dreamed. Move your brain. Move your mouth to shout from the rooftops. Just move and be a part of the #spark2015 movement!

If you are ready to move, in any of the ways I mention above, or in your own way and you need some help, some guidance, perhaps a spark, then let's work together and make it happen. My own #spark2015 is to grow Pink Spark Creative into what I have been dreaming about for several years, to overcome my fears of becoming successful and to get out of my comfort zone and do something new and challenging every day.
How will you #spark2015?!

For a limited time I am offering FREE 30-minute strategy calls to work through your number one burning issue and give you an action plan to give your creative business an instant spark! This is a great opportunity for us to chat and see if we'd be a fabulous fit to work together. Schedule your strategy call today! I can't wait to ignite your spark!

Email Pink Spark Creative
Call us @ 865.406.3870
Follow us on Twitter
Find us on Facebook
View us on Instagram
 
 
Fresh starts. New beginnings. Big dreams. Goals.

A new year always seems to be a great time to get your ducks in a row, review the previous year, see what worked and what didn't, and plan to make the coming year even better than the last. I've been working on a lot of goals and plans for Pink Spark Creative as well as my other businesses and my personal world. Trying to make all of the pieces of my life's puzzle fit together has given me a lot of insight into how to create goals and plans that will work and how to use my time wisely so I can accomplish everything I want to and have to each day, week, and month.

As creative entrepreneurs we do so much more than create- we run our own businesses, have families, volunteer, enjoy being with friends and enjoy hobbies. It can be very overwhelming to keep up with just one of those activities, but figuring out how to make all of them fit into a 24 hour day (don't forget to leave time for sleeping!), can be difficult. Start your year off on the right foot by learning how to set SMART goals, manage your time, create a work/life balance that works for you, and how to focus your time and energy on your business building tasks.

Check out the Success Series to help you achieve your own success at any time!

For a limited time I am offering FREE 30-minute strategy calls to work through your number one burning issue and give you an action plan to give your creative business an instant spark! This is a great opportunity for us to chat and see if we'd be a fabulous fit to work together. Schedule your strategy call today! I can't wait to ignite your spark!

Email Pink Spark Creative
Call us @ 865.406.3870
Follow us on Twitter
Find us on Facebook
View us on Instagram