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Can’t Choose Between Thai and Italian for dinner?

February 15th, 2017 by Morna

 

Last week one of my clients was talking about how worn out she was from making decisions. The decisions themselves might seem small to you. Cathy had to decide between frames for her latest pieces of art, choose a brand of paints to use with a new project, find a photographer to shoot headshots for her website, set a time for an appointment for a potential gallery showing, and consider whether or not to book time for an art retreat. Now it was time to choose an outfit for her gallery opening.

Cathy had made lots of decisions and wasn’t ready to make another. She told me she was opting for an old outfit from the back of her closet. It didn’t fit that well and didn’t showcase her artistic brand in its best light. She said that she just didn’t have the energy to go the store and get something special to wear.

Seems kind of silly on the surface. She had made what we might think of as everyday decisions for her business. The final decision about her outfit was an important decision in her ongoing quest to build a brand, yet she was stuck. I told her she was likely suffering from decision fatigue.

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What’s in Your Rewards Jar?

February 8th, 2017 by Morna

How often do you reward yourself for your work? If you are like many creative entrepreneurs I know, it’s not very often. Sure you accomplish the items on your to-do list, you make progress towards your goals, and you may feel proud about what you are doing. Then, it’s on to the next thing on the list, the next goal.

Many of my clients take part in what I call a Success and Strategies Summit on a weekly basis. I had been taking time to look at what I accomplished and plan ahead on a weekly basis for years. It made a difference in how much I was accomplishing and the confidence level I had. When I started working with private clients and ICAP members, I shared this more formal practice with them. They began to see how important this review was in their own lives and businesses.

A big part of this Summit is celebrating your successes. Did I mention how often we are on to the next thing and don’t do this?

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Are You Working In Your Brilliance?

February 1st, 2017 by Morna

 

This week ICAP had its monthly book discussion, and we chatted about the book Essentialism. Part of the conversation was around what you should be doing as opposed to having someone else do it. Many people have massive to-do lists and don’t stop to think about whether they should be the one doing everything. And, you cannot do it all, as much as you might like to think you can. The problem is, if you are, for example, a pattern designer and are busy doing things like shipping and answering emails, you are not working in your brilliance. What happens is that you become frustrated and your business suffers as a result.

Not delegating for some is really about giving up control. It is hard when you know how to do everything correctly. (Do you really?)

And, you think that by the time you show someone how to do it, you could have done it yourself. Yes, it does take time initially. The end result is worth it.

For others it is not knowing where to start — what to delegate, who to delegate to, and where to find this person you will delegate to.

Here is a system that has worked for me and my clients.

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Do You Suffer From Smorgasbord Syndrome?

January 25th, 2017 by Morna

Someone recently shared in one of our ICAP Facebook groups that she was trying to tackle too many tasks in one day. She added that she tended to overestimate her available time. That meant she was moving uncompleted tasks from one day into the next day’s list. The end result was making new lists and wasting time and energy. She was not alone with this confession, confusion, and remorse.

I refer to this as the “Smorgasbord Syndrome.” As a child, I can remember my parents saying that my eyes were bigger than my stomach when we had big family celebrations. I didn’t want to miss out on anything that might be good. And, of course, even though I probably left little room for dessert, I didn’t want to miss out on any of those, so I added more to my plate when dessert rolled around. You can guess that I probably had my share of stomach aches.

It’s easy to see how this approach translates into your life and business. You think you have more time to accomplish what needs to be accomplished. You keep saying, “yes, pile more on my plate.” Whether you say that to someone who asks you to do something or just to yourself, the end result is the same. Your life and/or business plate is overflowing.

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Be Like Seinfeld!

January 18th, 2017 by Morna

This Monday was Blue Monday, the third Monday in January. It goes back to a campaign created by Sky Travel in 2005. It’s the day you realize that you need to take action. It is a pseudo-scientific calculation that considers weather conditions, debt level (the difference between debt accumulated and our ability to pay), time since Christmas, time since failing your New Year’s resolutions, low motivational levels and feeling of a need to take action.

We all know the science of Blue Monday is dubious. Yet early in the year many lose their motivation with New Years’ goals. If you are in that space, wondering how to get back on track with the goals you set, creating habits may be the answer. Often people set goals without really looking at what is required to achieve them. (Anyone start a diet on January 1?)

I’ve read that as many as 25 percent of people give up their resolutions by the first week in January. Habits or rituals can be the answer to reach those goals. Habits can be negative, such as smoking, or positive, such as getting adequate exercise.

Some specific ideas on creating habits that can lead to success, plus a couple of easy examples that you might try to follow, can be found as you read on.

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Focus on MGAs First

January 11th, 2017 by Morna

As a creative entrepreneur you probably struggle with a never ending to-do list. I know I do. Even as your business grows and you have assistance, it can still seem overwhelming to get everything done in the allotted time you have. The goal of your business is to make money. Otherwise you have a hobby.

The key is to put money generating activities (MGAs) at the top of the list.

If you look at the last five things you did in your business, how many were related to sales or marketing in your business? You need to prioritize those activities if you are going to bring income into your business. Remember that money flows where your attention goes. Here are some tips to do that.

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Do You Have a Don’t-Do List?

January 4th, 2017 by Morna

It’s January. A New Year. Open to lots of possibilities.

I know you are as excited as I am about those possibilities and all that you are going to create this year. If your list is like mine or my clients, it’s lengthy. And you are excited about tackling all of it — right now. You want the rewards and the feeling of accomplishment. To do that you probably have lists of all the action steps and milestones for each goal. And you are ready to dive in.

Stop. Ask yourself what is standing in your way to accomplishing those goals in the time you want. I know we all sabotage ourselves with our mindset. I’m talking about more concrete, every day ways that stop us. Here are some examples. Checking Instagram about 10 times a day rather than sticking to your time block for your next design. Snacking on sugary treats when you get bored. Checking email every 15 minutes, or even more often. Not making time for self-care, including exercise, so you have energy when you need it. Can you imagine what you would accomplish if you didn’t have your smart phone sitting right next to your desk?

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Lose the New Year’s Resolutions!

December 28th, 2016 by Morna

What’s In a Word?

Many people choose a “word” as a focus tool for the year. I have been doing this since probably 2005 when Kathy, the owner of the yoga studio where I practiced, passed around a basket with words. I chose “openness.” At the time I asked if I could pick a different word. After all, the woman next to me chose love, which seemed like a much better word. I remember Kathy telling me that I was stuck with openness because the word had chosen me.

I went home, taped the word onto my computer, and let it be an anchor as I went through the year. Looking back, I know that this made a tremendous difference in my year.

What it did was allow me to focus on being a person who was more open to opportunities, more open to challenges, and more open to other people. It required me to “be” or work on “becoming” a certain person.

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Small Steps Lead to Big Wins

December 21st, 2016 by Morna

Reviewing your previous successes and failures laid the groundwork for setting SMART goals. Setting compelling goals is one thing; getting the goals accomplished is another.

When you craft big goals, it can often seem overwhelming when you think about how to accomplish them. In reality, you won’t know all the “how.” And, you don’t need to know the how. When you are ready for that knowledge, it will show up.

Here are some tips I find that are helpful when striving to reach your goals.

Keep your why at the forefront. You probably have a big why for what you want to achieve in your life or business. A handy tool here is to print it out and keep it where you can reflect on it daily.

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Set Compelling Goals

December 14th, 2016 by Morna

It’s really important to have an effective goal setting plan in place if you want to create the life and business of your dreams. Part of the process is having written goals, and most people don’t commit their goals to writing.

Research shows that those who write their goals rather than not are more likely to achieve them. Even more than that, those who developed action plans and shared their goals, action commitments and weekly progress reports with a supportive friend made even more progress.

What constitutes a good goal? I think using the SMART acronym is a terrific guide. SMART puts a structure to your goal and gives you focus. Here are the SMART criteria.

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