So, maybe you've been wondering where I've been since January. Or maybe not. If you're not wondering, it's probably because you know me and you know I've been busy working on all sorts of awesome things that just haven't directly involved blogging over here at Pink Spark Creative. If you don't know me and have been wondering, well, sit back and let me get you up to speed.

First of all, if you've read the blog you know that I hate excuses. I mean, really what is an excuse anyway. It's usually pretty lame and doesn't even come anywhere near close to explaining why something didn't get done or turn out how it was supposed to or whatever. So I have no excuse for not blogging for the last 8 months. I do have five draft posts that I have started... <EXCUSE! Ha!

Since I am coming clean about my lack of focus with this blog, is there something you'd call your "it's been awhile"? I bet it was that vegetable garden you thought was an awesome idea in February. Is it a weedy mess of overripe tomatoes and hidden squash? I'll give you a pass. Make an excuse! Who has time for all that weeding and watering and picking and eating of the vegetables? Nobody. Seriously. Or maybe your, let's just call it "IBA" is that Etsy shop you opened 6 months ago but haven't listed anything. Or could it be the workshop you want to teach but you haven't even created an outline. I get it. We don't get to everything. And we make excuses. But the excuses just make us feel worse.

Excuses make you feel like a failure. Am I alone here? When I would make an excuse it would just make me feel worse than I already did, so why did I do it. Because it's easier than being honest. I mean, let's be honest here. If I don't answer an email right away or get a quote back to a potential client in like 5 minutes, I might say "Sorry I took so long to respond, but I've been weeding my overgrown vegetable garden all day". What I should say is "I don't care enough about having you as a potential client, so I am going to make an excuse so you feel sorry for me and I can go back to my weeding." What? Yeah, that's what excuses really sound like. What about being honest?

Start first with being honest to yourself. Don't make excuses to yourself. Hungry? Ate a cookie. Don't say to yourself it was only 100 calories. Say, I ate a freaking cookie. End of story. No excuse. Own it. Try it. Go eat a cookie. I'll wait here.

Now incorporate the honesty into everything you do. Here's a personal example. Yes, it involves riding a mountain bike. #SorryNotSorry I was riding with two of my lady friends and couldn't get over an obstacle. I tried three times. It wasn't working. Rather than make an excuse - I'm tired, it's hot, it's hard, I'm weak. I simply said, "I'm not trying hard enough". Not an excuse, but an honest statement. Let me tell you how that made me feel. Fantastic! That's how I felt. I was honest to myself. I was honest to my riding partners. And I have complete control over changing the result when I attempt that obstacle again. It wasn't a defeating statement like "I'm weak" would be. 

Next, practice turning an excuse into an honest statement. When you feel yourself starting to make an excuse...STOP...and turn it into an honest statement. It will probably feel really weird and people might think there is something wrong with you, especially if you stop talking mid-sentence, but hear me out. Here's an example. You're late to a meeting. Simple. Happens all the time. To other people. Right? Anyway, this time it happens to you. You know why you are late. You were lollygagging around on Facebook and checking out Instagram when you should have been putting on your pants, so you left the house 15 minutes late. Instead of stating the obvious, "I'm late" or making a lame excuse, "Traffic was backed up to Idaho", be honest and say "I have crappy time management skills and love looking at photos of strangers cats more than I love this wonderful job". Maybe not that honest. But you get the point.

Lastly, take some time to figure out why you are making excuses. If you make a lot of them, this is very important. If you are an occasional excuse maker there is probably something wrong with you and you'll never figure it out. But seriously. Seriously. Look for patterns in your behavior. Analyze why you repeatedly make the same excuses, like tardiness or time management. When you identify the cause you can work on a solution. It can take some time. And it will take some effort, but you can do it if you don't make any excuses.

No excuses. Be honest. Figure out the root cause of the excuse making. That's your assignment, if you choose to accept it. If you don't, then make a good excuse and email it to me at lisa@pinksparkcreative.com. I'll be sure to respond in a week or two with some lame excuse about being too busy riding my bicycle to respond to your email. Or I'm weeding my neighbors vegetable garden. I haven't seen her in a month.

While you're here, pop over to the Success Series page and download the super awesome exercises to get you on track for success in your creative business!

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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One of my core principles is to not make excuses. 

It's a tough one to stick to because life happens and sometimes you really just need to make an excuse, so it's definitely a challenge. It was especially challenging this past August when my mom unexpectedly passed away. She had been living with my husband and I for the last few years when her ability to live alone had become a challenge and she enjoyed having us around to keep her company. 

When it rains, it pours.

We're all familiar with this quote and you've probably used it when one thing after another goes wrong. I know I sure do. And boy did I in July and August. In July my mom ended up in the hospital and had to have her appendix removed. It should have been a short stay type of thing, but she wasn't doing really well, and eventually ended up being transferred to a short-term care facility much like a nursing home. This was right before my husband and I were to take a two week vacation out to Colorado to visit my brother, sister-in-law and two nieces and do lots of mountain biking. My mom had been insisting, before she ended up in the hospital, that she would stay home alone (the neighbor and some friends of mine were going to pop in and check on her) and care for the cats, dog and bird. So, just to make this brief, here is a list of all the things that went wrong from right before we went out of town until about three weeks after we returned.

  • Mom ends up in hospital and has surgery
  • Mom gets transferred to care facility just days before we leave
  • We have to find a house/pet sitter
  • Some of the electricity quits working in the basement
  • The air conditioner quits
  • The hot water heater quit
  • I get piriformis (Google it) and can't sit, stand or lie down comfortably (but I could ride my bike!)
  • My business coaching gig at the University of Tennessee begins for the fall semester
  • I have meetings to attend as co-chair for Fantasy of Trees (a huge fundraiser for East Tennessee Children's Hospital)
  • We have photography jobs
  • My mom passes away
  • We have a bunch more photography jobs
  • I have more Fantasy of Trees meetings
  • I lead the meet-up for the local Etsy team

and there are many more things...

The point of the list is not to show you how busy I am, but to point out that I didn't make an excuse because terrible things happened. I'm accountable to my obligations. I'll be honest and say that sometimes I flake out on fun activities with friends, but if it is work-related or has to do with a an activity I have an obligation to, I am committed. This is probably why I get annoyed when I hear people give lame excuses about why they haven't gotten their Etsy shop up and running or their social media accounts set up. The passing of a parent is certainly good cause for excuses, but I couldn't not show up for the events I was being counted on to attend to.

These setbacks helped me grow. I had to shift the way I was thinking and change my attitudes in order to keep my businesses moving forward and handle all of the challenges. It was not easy!

My challenge to you as creative entrepreneurs is to think long and hard before giving an excuse when you are faced with a setback. Is it a valid excuse? Is it a valid setback? What are the repercussions of making the excuse? Will this setback potentially (or definitely) cost me money or customers? Will I be letting someone down who really needs me or my help? If you can't come up with solid, valid reasoning, then think about what the real reason is you are making an excuse. Is the setback real and justified? Is it just something you don't want to do? Does it not bring you joy or make you happy? Those are things you can fix by just not doing them any more. Is that coffee meet-up not engaging you with the right people? Quit going! Is that client demanding too much time that they won't pay for? Fire them!

Stop making excuses and focusing on the setbacks and start living the life you want to live. Just remember, it is totally OK to take a few days to yourself if you do lose a parent or loved one. I really was glad I had so many distractions at the time of my mom's passing, but if I hadn't I would have taken a few days off. Please don't think I want you to be like me. Because that's just plan crazy. Let me know what your thoughts are on making excuses and dealing with setbacks. I'm curious if I'm alone in my feelings on the subject. And I do realize I got a little off-track with the whole excuse thing, but it's such a common problem I see creatives making. I should also point out that one of my other core principles is not to complain and I'm obviously still working hard on that one!

On another note, it's a new year and I'm getting back on track with Pink Spark Creative's blogging and newsletter. You can also expect to start seeing some Periscopes and podcasts soon. No excuses! I'm trying to add one new thing to the mix each month so I don't go overboard, so be patient. Oh, and email me if you have any topics you'd like me to cover on Periscope or in a podcast.


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