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
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I've been burning my candle at both ends lately so I thought I would take 5, literally, and give you 5 quick tips for taking time for you. Taking a little time for yourself can be a challenge when you love your business and want it to grow, but if you don't give yourself some love, then you're likely to burn out. And burn out means your business is going to suffer, or worse, your creativity.

So, do as I say and not as I always do and follow these tips.

1. Take short breaks throughout the day to get up and move around or sit down and relax, depending on how you've been spending your time. Most often you hear people say you need to get up from your desk and walk around every 30 minutes or so, but what if your works has you standing and bending over a work table? This is when you should just do the opposite of what you've been doing for the last 30 minutes. Just changing things up will reinvigorate your brain and body and get things flowing.

2. Get plently of sleep. I know this can be a difficult one for lots of creatives especially if they are working a full-time job and getting their side hustle up to speed. You work a 8 to 10 hour day and come home to work some more. It's good for your business and for your entrepreneurial spirit, but it's terrible for your body and well-being. Get at least 6 hours of sleep and more if you can. You'll feel so much better and have more focus.

3. Get at least 30 minutes of exercise. Even if you have a rather physical job, you can find 30 minutes for some cardio and/or weight training exercises each day. It can be challenging at first, but soon you will find yourself in a rythm and it will become a habit. Don't be surprised if you feel like it becomes an addiction. Exercise releases endorphins and endorphins make you feel good. Who does like to feel good?! 

One of the best things about getting exercise, for me personally, is it is often time for me to be alone OR with friends depending on the activity and whether I am feeling intro/extroverted that day.

4. Do something you love each day that isn't part of your creative business. Do it for only 5 minutes if that's all the time you have, but make sure you do it. Maybe you love to cook or have a favorite TV show you like. Maybe you can do two of your activities to make time for you at the same time. I watch a TV show on Netflix while I am getting my cardio in. Sometimes I put it on when I am cooking. Doing something that you love to do that's outside of the work realm is refreshing and will make you happy.

5. The last tip for making time for you is to actually put it only calendar. If you take the time to plan out the next day at the end each day, then you can schedule in your YOU time. Just like an appointment! Making time for you is a challenge when you are working for yourself or toward that goal, but if you don't make time for you, nobody else will. Trust me on this. 

So what are you waiting for? Put your YOU time on your calendar right now!

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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Sometimes you have to change the environment in which you work. Sometimes it is because you want to. Sometimes it is because you have to.

Today was one of those have to's. I had to change my work environment because we are experiencing an ice storm in Knoxville, TN. It's meant that I have had to work in close proximity with my hubs. And the Maternal Unit. And the dog. And the bird. Yup, all of us are hanging out together. I am working on a TV tray and trying not to be distracted. It's been difficult. But I'm surviving, for the most part. It's been a little challenging sharing the bathroom all day since I'm used to working in my private office with my own bathroom. But the change has been good.

My creativity is flowing and I've been working on some website updates as well as a super fun blog post about my top five reasons you should be on Twitter that will be posted tomorrow. How does changing your environment affect your creativity and workflow? Let me know in the comments, I would love to know! This topic will probably spark a longer post in the near future.

Oftentimes, changing your environment can help spark your creativity. Other times it just means you have to wait in line to use the bathroom. Or tolerate hub's mountain biking videos all day. But you're creative. You'll adjust.

Check back next Monday for another post and don't forget multi-tasking is a myth!

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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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