Categories
Blog Business

How is 2016 Going? Let’s Review

As we enter the second half of 2016, it’s a perfect time to do a halftime review and make sure our game plan is working out.

Let’s start by going over the goals we set at the beginning of the year, the progress we’ve made, or didn’t make, and tuning up our game plan to make the rest of 2016 kick ass

Step One: Get clear on your goal

[Tweet “To move the needle on your business, you need to devote consistent focus.”]
Did you set a goal for 2016? Did you set a bunch of different half-baked goals? Did your goal evolve as the year progressed?  Dig out your list of resolutions. If you did set a concrete goal for 2016, have you been focusing your actions to make this goal a success? If you have a more casual list of resolutions, is that working out for you? Chances are, if you are juggling several ideas, your focus may be too divided.

Check out this webinar replay by Tara Gentile to help you determine your top goal. 

 

Having a goal is just the first step. Knowing what actions to take to turn your intentions into reality requires that you break down the big hairy goal into smaller, bite sized tasks. You should be able to put three things on your to-do list each day that are specifically designed to move you forward. Your goal needs a plan. If you need a little assist with goal planning, please check out my awesome system. It’s vital to keeping me on track and productive. If you don’t like mine, there are literally hundreds of other planners systems out there in the world. Use one.

 

Step Two: What are your numbers?

Your “numbers” are the money you spend running your business, the money your business brings in, and most importantly, the difference between the two. This is officially referred to as a profit & loss statement. The scariest question an entrepreneur must ask themselves is “What are my actual numbers?”

One thing that I’ve learned, in life not just business, is that ignoring scary stuff doesn’t make it go away. In fact, it usually makes it scarier, because it’s an unknown. It’s always less scary when you know stuff. And you can’t grow if you don’t know. I didn’t even try to rhyme there, so, bonus.

[Tweet “Do you know your numbers? If so, good for you! Knowing them puts you in control.”]

If you don’t know your numbers and need some help figuring it all out, here are some resources:

Figuring out your numbers is about as fun as filing your taxes, but it’s a vital step in growing your business, so, sorry but you’re going to have suck it up and get started. Good news, you only have to set it up once. You may be pleasantly surprised to know that you are doing okay, maybe even better than ok. If you crunch the numbers only realize that you’re not doing so well, at least take solace in the fact that with this information, you can start correcting your course to success.

 

Step Three: How did you get this far?

“You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” Have you heard that one before? It makes perfect sense. How do you know if you’re making progress if you’re not keeping track of what’s happening? How do you know how you got where you are if you don’t know what efforts are paying off and which ones are just a waste of your time?

 

After you get your numbers straightened out, check out your key performance indicators to figure out what is working and what is not. Entrepreneurs these days feel like they need to do everything and be everywhere on social media, but the fact of the matter is you only need to do what works. So, although it may take a little effort to figure out what is working and what is not, in the long run, you’ll save time by not doing things that aren’t moving you forward.

 

If you aren’t tracking your KPIs, it’s time to get started. If you sell on Etsy, you probably know that it keeps track of your stats. Did you also know Etsy has some amazing articles to help you grow your business? Google analytics is another amazing tool, and they have a free Analytics Academy to help you get the most out of it. If you have a WordPress blog, you can install plugins to track your analytics. Nathalie Lussier’s “30 Day List Building Challenge” explains how to build your list by using analytics, and she even walks you through the steps to set them up for your WP site.

 

You might be surprised how things ‘magically’ start to grow when you make the effort to measure their progress. Here is a list of resources to help you better understand what KPIs are and how to build your business. 

 

Step Four: Why we do what we do

Running your own business is hard, and sometimes you can get so discouraged you might wonder what you were thinking by starting this in the first place.

Red Scorpio creates bold unique statement jewelry. 100% Handmade by richelle shadoan. Beaded bracelets and necklaces make perfect gifts for the woman in your life who has everything. How to be awesome. Step out of your comfort zone. Live an artful life. Dare to be awesome.

 

I began making bamboo tile jewelry back in 2009. I was looking for an easy & fun project to teach in workshops at Party Arty!, the art studio my sister & I owned at the time. I fell in love with everything about these magnificent bracelets and necklaces, and spent many hours perfecting my process until it was no longer a craft project, but an art. I got lots compliments, and then requests for custom orders, so of course I took the next step and turned my jewelry making into a business. In 2012, I quit my job to work on it full-time. I was so sure that I would soon be making a living doing what I love, but here we are, almost three years later, and I am still struggling to make consistent sales. If not for my husband’s “real” job, I would have had to ditch this dream a long time ago. I’ve never worked this hard in my life, and for so little money. But I just have to believe that this work is going to pay off someday. I joke about getting famous, but all I really want is to be able to make a decent living.

I believe that my jewelry is beautiful; that it helps the wearer express themselves and tell their story; that it is a way to be connected. My “why” is my commitment to self expression, quality small batch goods, and creating a meaningful alternative to hyper-consumerism. And so, I keep on. Every day, my goal is just to move forward.    

Simon Sinek gave an amazing TEDtalk on the subject. My friend Kris wrote this beautiful piece on her “why” and how it drives her. Take a moment to remember your “why” and get your goals realigned with that “why”. Create a “motivational poster” using PicMonkey and hang it in your workspace to inspire you when things get tough.

why graphic

 

Step Five: Finish 2016 like a boss

After looking back at the last six months, how are you doing? If you’re seeing measurable progress, awesome! This is the perfect time to refine your focus. You figured out what doesn’t work, so cut that out right now. Devote that time into ramping up the things that are working for you, or testing out (and measuring) a couple of new things.

If you’re not growing the way you’d hoped, don’t panic. Figure out what you might need to start paying attention to so you can finish the year strong. 2016 is only halfway over, so there is still plenty of time to correct your course to success.

 

Take all of this information and develop an action plan. Download my free “Big Project Planner” here. It’s a super awesome tool that helps you reverse engineer a big goal by breaking it down into small steps.

 

Here are some additional resources to get you going. And remember, every tiny step forward is progress!

 

Categories
Blog

How to Prepare for CreativeLive

So, I’m getting ready to take off in just a few days for Megan Auman’s CreativeLive boot camp, How to Make a Living Selling What You Make, and I’m pretty excited. As usual, I feel under prepared. This week, I’m going to be sharing all of the things I’m doing to get ready for my trip. This course is a little different from the courses I’ve previously been a part of because there will be some critiquing of my actual products, and I am simultaneously so looking forward to it and scared to death. I mean, Megan Auman is going to be giving me advice about my jewelry. Yikes. And also, awesome. Imposter syndrome is kicking in hardcore.

 

This journey started way back in May when I began planning this project using my “Big Project Planner”. Besides creating some amazing pieces to showcase on the broadcast, I also needed to get my website and Etsy shop in tip-top shape, which meant reworking my sales pages, my about page, and all my product photos and descriptions. I wanted to be sure that, since there would be a bunch of new visitors to my site & shop (hopefully), my site and shop would be on point.

 

planner 07062015 - 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yesterday, for whatever reason, I decided to start making a beaded snake. It was Sunday, so I felt it was ok to take a day off from work & just goof around doing something I love.

 

IMG_3183

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today, I spent the morning photographing new products for my shop, including some awesome earrings that I’ve been procrastinating getting in my shop. Listing new products on Etsy is the worst, but it has to be done. Maybe later I’ll get some snake beading in.

 

 

 

 

Tomorrow, I’ll be making a special landing page for the opt-in that I will be talking about on CreativeLive. Also, I really should list these new earrings on Etsy. 

 

Please join me for the live broadcast of the first day of Megan Auman’s How to Make a Living Selling What You Make, Monday July 11th at 9am PST!

Categories
Blog

Halftime Tune-Up: What’s working and what isn’t

Day 3: How did you get this far?

“You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” Have you heard that one before? It makes perfect sense. How do you know if you’re making progress if you’re not keeping track of what’s happening? How do you know how you got where you are if you don’t know what efforts are paying off and which ones are just a waste of your time?

 

After you get your numbers straightened out, check out your key performance indicators to figure out what is working and what is not. Entrepreneurs these days feel like they need to do everything and be everywhere on social media, but the fact of the matter is you only need to do what works. So, although it may take a little effort to figure out what is working and what is not, in the long run, you’ll save time by not doing things that aren’t moving you forward.

 

If you aren’t tracking your KPIs, it’s time to get started. If you sell on Etsy, you probably know that it keeps track of your stats. Did you also know Etsy has some amazing articles to help you grow your business? Google analytics is another amazing tool, and they have a free Analytics Academy to help you get the most out of it. If you have a WordPress blog, you can install plugins to track your analytics. Nathalie Lussier’s “30 Day List Building Challenge” explains how to build your list by using analytics, and she even walks you through the steps to set them up for your WP site.

 

You might be surprised how things ‘magically’ start to grow when you make the effort to measure their progress. Here is a list of resources to help you better understand what KPIs are and how to build your business. Please share your experiences in the comments!

 

 

Categories
Blog

Halftime Tune-Up Series

Day 1: Get clear on your goal

[Tweet “To move the needle on your business, you need to devote consistent focus.”]
Did you set a goal for 2015? Did you set a bunch of different half-baked goals? Did your goal evolve as the year progressed?  Dig out your list of resolutions. If you did set a concrete goal for 2015, have you been focusing your actions to make this goal a success? If you have a more casual list of resolutions, is that working out for you? Chances are, if you are juggling several ideas, your focus may be too divided.

Check out this webinar replay by Tara Gentile to help you determine your top goal. 

 

Having a goal is just the first step. Knowing what actions to take to turn your intentions into reality requires that you break down the big hairy goal into smaller, bite sized tasks. You should be able to put three things on your to-do list each day that are specifically designed to move you forward. Your goal needs a plan. If you need a little assist with goal planning, please check out my awesome system. It’s what has kept me on track and helped me hit my mile markers this year. Here’s my list of New Years’ resolutions, and so far I’m on track to have a successful 2015. Will I get everything on that list done? Maybe not every single thing, but I know I will make significant progress toward my (fairly ambitious) objective of world domination.

 

How are your 2015 goals coming along? Sign up to be a Red Scorpio Insider, and get a free downloadable “Big Project Planner”, plus 15% off your first purchase.

 

Day 2: What are your numbers?

Do you know what I’m talking about? Your “numbers” are the money you spend running your business, the money your business brings in, and most importantly, the difference between the two. This is officially referred to as a profit & loss statement. The scariest question an entrepreneur must ask themselves is “What are my actual numbers?”

One thing that I’ve learned, in life not just business, is that ignoring scary stuff doesn’t make it go away. In fact, it usually makes it scarier, because it’s an unknown. It’s always less scary when you know stuff. And you can’t grow if you don’t know. I didn’t even try to rhyme there, so, bonus.

[Tweet “Do you know your numbers? If so, good for you! Knowing them puts you in control.”] If you don’t know them and need some help figuring it all out, here are some resources:

Figuring out your numbers is about as fun as filing your taxes, but it’s a vital step in growing your business, so, sorry but you’re going to have suck it up and get started. Good news, you only have to set it up once. You may be pleasantly surprised to know that you are doing okay, maybe even better than ok. If you crunch the numbers only realize that you’re not doing so well, at least take solace in the fact that with this information, you can start correcting your course to success.

 

Day 3: How did you get this far?

“You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” Have you heard that one before? It makes perfect sense. How do you know if you’re making progress if you’re not keeping track of what’s happening? How do you know how you got where you are if you don’t know what efforts are paying off and which ones are just a waste of your time?

 

After you get your numbers straightened out, check out your key performance indicators to figure out what is working and what is not. Entrepreneurs these days feel like they need to do everything and be everywhere on social media, but the fact of the matter is you only need to do what works. So, although it may take a little effort to figure out what is working and what is not, in the long run, you’ll save time by not doing things that aren’t moving you forward.

 

If you aren’t tracking your KPIs, it’s time to get started. If you sell on Etsy, you probably know that it keeps track of your stats. Did you also know Etsy has some amazing articles to help you grow your business? Google analytics is another amazing tool, and they have a free Analytics Academy to help you get the most out of it. If you have a WordPress blog, you can install plugins to track your analytics. Nathalie Lussier’s “30 Day List Building Challenge” explains how to build your list by using analytics, and she even walks you through the steps to set them up for your WP site.

 

You might be surprised how things ‘magically’ start to grow when you make the effort to measure their progress. Here is a list of resources to help you better understand what KPIs are and how to build your business. Please share your experiences in the comments!

 

 

Day 4: Why we do what we do

Over the past few days, we’ve been looking back on the first half of the year and taking stock of the situation. Maybe you’ve been tracking these metrics since day one and already knew what was going on in your business. I suspect that most of us weren’t crystal clear on all of the details, myself included. Some of us might be pleasantly surprised with the findings. Others may be looking at our KPIs and wonder what the heck is going on. Running your own business is hard, and sometimes you can get so discouraged you might wonder what you were thinking by starting this in the first place.

Red Scorpio creates bold unique statement jewelry. 100% Handmade by richelle shadoan. Beaded bracelets and necklaces make perfect gifts for the woman in your life who has everything. How to be awesome. Step out of your comfort zone. Live an artful life. Dare to be awesome.

 

I began making bamboo tile jewelry back in 2009. I was looking for an easy & fun project to teach in workshops at Party Arty!, the art studio my sister & I owned at the time. I fell in love with everything about these magnificent bracelets and necklaces, and spent many hours perfecting my process until it was no longer a craft project, but an art. I got lots compliments, and then requests for custom orders, so of course I took the next step and turned my jewelry making into a business. In 2012, I quit my job to work on it full-time. I was so sure that I would soon be making a living doing what I love, but here we are, almost three years later, and I am still struggling to make consistent sales. If not for my husband’s “real” job, I would have had to ditch this dream a long time ago. I’ve never worked this hard in my life, and for so little money. But I just have to believe that this work is going to pay off someday. I joke about getting famous, but all I really want is to be able to make a decent living.

I believe that my jewelry is beautiful, that it helps the wearer express themselves and tell their story, that it is a way to be connected. My “why” is my commitment to self expression, quality small batch goods, and creating an alternative to hyper-consumerism. And so, I keep on. Every day, my goal is just to move forward.    

Simon Sinek gave an amazing TEDtalk on the subject. My friend Kris wrote this beautiful piece on her “why” and how it drives her. Take a moment to remember your “why” and get your goals realigned with that “why”. I’d love for you to share yours in the comments.

 

Day 5: Finish 2015 like a boss

After looking back at the last six months, how are you doing? If you’re seeing measurable progress, awesome! This is the perfect time to refine your focus. You figured out what doesn’t work, so cut that out right now. Devote that time into ramping up the things that are working for you, or testing out (and measuring) a couple of new things.

If you’re not growing the way you’d hoped, go over this checklist. Figure out what you might need to start paying attention to so you can finish the year strong. 2015 is only halfway over, so there is still plenty of time to correct your course to success.

 

Take all of this information and develop an action plan. Download my free “Big Project Planner” here. It’s a super awesome tool that helps you reverse engineer a big goal by breaking it down into small steps.

 

Here are some additional resources to get you going. And remember, every tiny step forward is progress!

 

Categories
Blog

Is “Crafter” a Dirty Word?

[Tweet “Crafter, maker, artist, artisan… what do you call yourself?”]
 

Red Scorpio creates bold unique statement jewelry. 100% Handmade by richelle shadoan. Beaded bracelets and necklaces make perfect gifts for the woman in your life who has everything. How to be awesome. Step out of your comfort zone. Live an artful life. Dare to be awesome.

 

All things being equal, I would prefer to call myself a crafter, because I craft things. As in, I take raw materials and I make stuff with my two hands. But when my sister recently referred to me as a crafter on Facebook, I cringed. I don’t call myself a crafter, and many other crafters eschew that term. Why is that? I guess because when I think of “crafter” it’s more a gender neutral way of saying craftsman, but when most people hear “crafter” they tend to think of someone who uses hot glue and pompons. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

 

Red Scorpio creates bold unique statement jewelry. 100% Handmade by richelle shadoan. Beaded bracelets and necklaces make perfect gifts for the woman in your life who has everything. How to be awesome. Step out of your comfort zone. Live an artful life. Dare to be awesome.

 

 

I tried out “artisan” for a while, because that seems respectable and a little easier to say with confidence than “artist” which, having no formal art education, can kind of stick in my throat. It just seems to confuse people though. “Maker” is the term a lot of people use because it’s versatile and carries the same esteem as “artisan”, but it’s a little more 21st century. When people ask what I do, I tell them I’m a maker. It seems to be the most fitting description. Aside from crafter.

 

 

Categories
Blog Business

How To Reframe Failure

This weekend I participated in a local arts festival. It was something I had been looking forward to for a few weeks. I haven’t done many fairs or festivals. Jewelry is historically the section that fills up the quickest, so I’ve been rejected a bunch of times, and the one farmers’ market I was able to get into was not very lucrative. But I’ve been looking for a new way to get my super cool rock star jewelry in front of a new audience, so I applied to sell at this local fest.

 

Red Scorpio creates bold unique statement jewelry. 100% Handmade by richelle shadoan. Beaded bracelets and necklaces make perfect gifts for the woman in your life who has everything. How to be awesome. Step out of your comfort zone. Live an artful life. Dare to be awesome.

 

And, instead of waiting until the last day to register like I usually do, I turned my app in right away and lo and behold, it was accepted. Yay!

 

Lesson 1: Act early.

 

 

Unfortunately, the organizer forgot to notify me that I had been accepted. I was bummed, assuming that I had been rejected once again, but I decided to follow up just to be sure and to ask if perhaps there was a wait list. That is how I found out, five weeks before the event, that I had in fact been accepted.

Lesson 2: Follow up.

 

My expectations were high. I’d heard legends about makers who didn’t bring enough product and sold completely out halfway through a fair. Another more realistic statistic I’d heard somewhere said that most vendors sell about 30% of their stock on hand. So I set two goals for myself: One, to design three new products I could make quickly and sell at a lower price point; and two, make 100 of these new pieces. That’s a lot of pieces. And if you know anything about me, you know I am all about quality. I wasn’t going to slap something together and put my name on it. Hell no. So I tweaked my process slightly to make it a little quicker but still high quality, and I designed a necklace that could be made much faster than stringing strands of beads or labor intensive cuff bracelets, and this is what I created.

 

Red Scorpio creates bold unique statement jewelry. 100% Handmade by richelle shadoan. Beaded bracelets and necklaces make perfect gifts for the woman in your life who has everything. How to be awesome. Step out of your comfort zone. Live an artful life. Dare to be awesome.

 

I then used my “Big Project Planner” to reverse engineer my goal. I set a schedule for making the jewelry, designing and creating the display and the packaging, developing a marketing strategy, and planning the logistics. Boom. Mission accomplished.

Lesson 3: Have a detailed plan of action and work it.

 

Red Scorpio creates bold unique statement jewelry. 100% Handmade by richelle shadoan. Beaded bracelets and necklaces make perfect gifts for the woman in your life who has everything. How to be awesome. Step out of your comfort zone. Live an artful life. Dare to be awesome.
so, just go down this alley…

 

Unfortunately, the festival was not financially successful. I sold nowhere near 30% of my pieces. Closer to 3% if we’re keeping it real. It wasn’t just me, but the other sellers I spoke to also had pitiful sales. My neighbor, who was selling gorgeous handbags and accessories, told me that the previous two times she had participated in the market, the hand-made marketplace was on the main drag with the food vendors and music stages. This time, we were off in an adjacent alley that didn’t get as much foot traffic. Also, we were literally across from the trash cans, and homeless people kept coming by and rooting through the bins for recyclables. On top of that, in my opinion, the publicity for the festival focused mainly on the Craft Beer Block & selling tickets to that versus the handmade marketplace.

 

Red Scorpio creates bold unique statement jewelry. 100% Handmade by richelle shadoan. Beaded bracelets and necklaces make perfect gifts for the woman in your life who has everything. How to be awesome. Step out of your comfort zone. Live an artful life. Dare to be awesome.
Cool mural, not so cool trash cans…

 

Lesson 4: You can control some things, but not everything.

Friday night, I was super pumped. I set a goal and totally rocked it. Saturday, I was devastated. I had high hopes and they were crushed. Sunday, I woke up feeling invigorated to put everything I learned the previous day into an action plan. Besides the lessons highlighted above, I learned some pretty major stuff. I have a much deeper insight into my ideal customers’ perspective. I also learned that many women prefer to wear shorter necklaces, would probably buy earrings, and are most likely to spend $5-$10 at a festival like this one. I also realized I was offering way too many choices, creating overwhelm for shoppers.

 

Red Scorpio creates bold unique statement jewelry. 100% Handmade by richelle shadoan. Beaded bracelets and necklaces make perfect gifts for the woman in your life who has everything. How to be awesome. Step out of your comfort zone. Live an artful life. Dare to be awesome.
My vision, brought to life

 

Lesson 5: There is always a lesson to be learned.

Although I would have very much loved to have sold out of jewelry, or even sold 30% of the pieces on hand, I don’t consider my experience a failure. I am still proud of reaching my production goal. I am super happy that the display I imagined turned out so well in real life. I connected with some really cool makers, and I am taking away a wealth of knowledge that I can use to make my next experience better and more successful.

 

 

 

 

Categories
Blog

Top 3 Time Management Tips For Creative Businesses

I’m participating in the Startup In 60 Blog Party! Startup In 60 is a time management course for busy women for are ready to finally start their own businesses whether they’ve got 60 days, 60 minutes, or 60 seconds. Click here to join the program. 

 

Back in the day, when I had a “real” job, I was incredibly productive. Now that I run my own business, I sometimes feel like I am chasing my tail all day. Why is that? For starters, when you work for someone else, you usually are just contributing a piece to a larger picture, and generally your job is something that plays to your strengths. For example, I wouldn’t apply for the job of managing a company’s website because that’s not really my forté, but in my own small business I totally do manage my website. And do the accounting, marketing, production, customer service and pretty much every single aspect of the business.

 

 

Another thing that entrepreneurs forget is that even though at a “real” job we’re clocked in for 8 hours a day, we aren’t non-stop working for all 8 hours. If you’ve ever had an office job, you probably don’t wait until the very last second to go to the bathroom and then rush right back to your desk to continue to toil away. You might check your self out in the mirror for a minute and fix your hair or stop by you office buddy’s desk for a quick chit-chat or whatever before heading back to your own desk and picking up where you left off. Back when I had a “real” job, I thought it was ridiculous that people forgot to eat. I didn’t even know how that was a thing. But when I first started working from home, I forgot to eat on a regular basis. Or worse, I would remember that I was starving, go look in the kitchen for something to eat and deem everything too much trouble and just head back to my desk, tummy grumbling. Which leads me to…

 

Tip #1: Have a plan.

I cannot survive without my planner. I am an introvert which means that I don’t do well when things are sprung on me. I need to have a little notice. So every night, I write down in my super rad planner what needs to be done the next day, and not all vague and mysterious. Specific tasks that need to be done and the smaller steps that will get them accomplished.

It’s not good to go hungry all day, so  I make sure that I have food in the house. Stuff that is super fast for me to make and eat, so I don’t skip it because it’s just too much trouble. Which is funny because if you were coming over for dinner, I would pull out all the stops to make you a fabulous meal, but if it’s just me, then I’m mostly likely going to scarf down a peanut butter sandwich at my desk. Not even PBJ.

You should you definitely plan what needs to get done, but also plan what you do in between tasks. Because, like I said, it is unreasonable to feel like you need to be working sun up to sun down with no breaks just because you’re running your own business. That’s the fast track to burn out. schedule breaks. I not only schedule times for breaks but activities for said breaks so I don’t get sucked into endless Facebook as a default. And I set a timer.

Bonus: Consistently keeping a planner will also help you figure out what works and what doesn’t (see tip #3).

Red Scorpio creates bold unique statement jewelry. 100% Handmade by richelle shadoan. Beaded bracelets and necklaces make perfect gifts for the woman in your life who has everything. How to be awesome. Step out of your comfort zone. Live an artful life.
Plan Your Day

 

Tip #2: Make it efficient.

Plans are important, but efficient systems are even more so. Figure out what you need to do this month, then figure out what that means you’ll need to do this week, then break it down into daily tasks that you can batch together for maximum efficiency. For example, I have a big art fair coming up and want to have lots & lots of beautiful pieces in my booth so that the art fair is a success for me. So I used my project planner to help figure out my big goal, and then broke down the steps & batched the work. Last week I did a ton of designing, this week I’m doing a lot of making, and next week I will be packaging and working on the display. Batching is usually more efficient than working one piece from start to finish.

similarly, when I know I am going to have some busy days, I will make a big batch of stew that we can eat for dinner a few days in a row, or make a big batch of meatballs that be can used a bunch of different ways.

 

Red Scorpio creates bold unique statement jewelry. 100% Handmade by richelle shadoan. Beaded bracelets and necklaces make perfect gifts for the woman in your life who has everything. How to be awesome. Step out of your comfort zone. Live an artful life.
Batch work is more efficient

 

Tip #3: Make it effective.

One of the best ways to manage your time is to not waste it. I’m not talking about checking out what your friends are posting on Facebook, or taking the “What Full House Character Are You” quiz or watching cute cat videos when you are supposed to be working (see above tip on planning). Don’t waste time on Facebook, or Twitter, or Pinterest, or whatever for your business if it doesn’t bring your business results. If at the end of the day, you feel like you didn’t get anything done, well maybe you just didn’t get the right stuff done. Keeping a planner will help you figure out what is effective and what is tail-chasing.

Stick to the List!
Stick to the List!

 

By the way, the title of this post is “Top 3 Time Management Tips For Creative Businesses”, but you may have figured out that these are just three great tips for any business. Heck, for running your life in general. But creatives, including myself, like to play the “artist” card and act like they just can’t stick to a plan or a schedule because they are a special snowflake. And I like to say that yes, you are a special snowflake, but that doesn’t mean you are a flake. It won’t kill your creativity to give yourself boundaries, in fact it’s way more likely that boundaries will improve your workflow.

Check out Sage’s awesome 60 second video which explains her new program, “Startup In 60”.

Share your time management tips in the comments. And please sign up for the Red Scorpio newsletter for more tips on productivity, simple tutorials and encouraging words.

Categories
Blog Business

Life Lessons Learned From Chickens?

Can we really learn lessons from chickens? I mean, they’re pretty stupid, right? They don’t even know not to poop in their own water. But hanging out with my birds yesterday, I observed some behaviors that help make them a successful species. They thrive everywhere, and they can teach us a couple of tricks.

 

TGIF!

 

Chickens do things that are easy.

Sounds like a no-brainer, but I bet if you looked at all of the things you do every day, you will see how hard you make things sometimes. My birds go for easy first. A little bit about how birds eat: they don’t have teeth and they don’t have hands. The easiest thing is to eat out of my hand, tearing off bite sized chunks. If they bite off a piece that they can’t easily swallow, they will drop it on the ground and try again.

A real life example from my own experience is how I began drinking more water. It is a fact that the easier you make good habits, the more likely you are to stick to them. It’s just human nature to do the easy thing. I put my water jug and a glass at my desk and now drinking water is effortless. Almost. I still don’t like the way it tastes, but at least it’s easy.

Another example is my garden. It’s not much of a garden, admittedly, but we do grow a few tomatoes every year and that is ok for right now. I am a busy person who has lots of stuff to do, and I also have a list of dream projects a mile long, one being a vegetable garden. Unfortunately, I habitually forget to water my garden and then it dies and I am sad. But I never forget to water my pets, so I put my garden where I fill the chicken waterer and bam, plants get watered. So easy.

 

Red Scorpio creates bold unique statement jewelry. 100% Handmade by richelle shadoan. Beaded bracelets and necklaces make perfect gifts for the woman in your life who has everything. How to be awesome. Step out of your comfort zone. Live an artful life. Dare to be awesome.
My container garden

 

Chickens are efficient. They start with eating the easiest food first, from my hand, then they quickly eat up the bite sized pieces that fall on the ground, avoiding the ones that are too large. They will also peck food right out of their flock mates’ beaks. Very efficient.

My gardening system is also efficient. I am doing two tasks at once. Normally multitasking is very inefficient because in most cases, you really can’t do more than one thing at a time and do them very well. But for my garden/pet watering, it is perfect.

Another example of efficiency is batch processing tasks. If I am going to make a bracelet, I might as well make 5 bracelets. It takes a tiny bit longer per step, but the total time spent is way less than making 5 bracelets, one at a time.

Making!
Making!

 

Chickens are NOT effective. They fail on this third “E”, for reasons that are unclear to me. If a chicken wants to eat a piece of food that is too big to swallow, its only option is to peck at it and shake its head around until a bite sized chunk tears off. I find this very frustrating. Why don’t they just stand on the food in question and tear bits off? I haven’t been able to train my birds to do this, so I just watch and wonder. Even my dogs know to step on their food dish to hold it into place, making it easy and effective.

Red Scorpio creates bold unique statement jewelry. 100% Handmade by richelle shadoan. Beaded bracelets and necklaces make perfect gifts for the woman in your life who has everything. How to be awesome. Step out of your comfort zone. Live an artful life. Dare to be awesome.
They aren’t geniuses, but they’re fun to watch and they make these for me.

 

My garden is effective because I never forget to water my plants and therefore they grow. Imagine that! I think I am going to ramp the garden up a little bit this year and actually put in a raised bed using this “3E” system. Because results.

 

If you are experiencing productivity issues, maybe run your process through this “Triple E” check. Maybe you can make a couple tweaks to improve ease, efficiency & effectiveness of your process. If you have any tips you’d like to share, please post in the comments below!!

 

 

 

Categories
Blog Blog Business

Different is Better. Stand Out.

You guys, I am so tired. I had an amazing and thoroughly exhausting experience last week participating in Tara Gentile’s “Build a Stand-Out Business” bootcamp at CreativeLive. And I spent the three weeks before that getting ready to be on a worldwide stage. Website overhaul, email marketing tune-up, social media planning, the whole nine. Plus I wrote a book about handmade gifts that’s set to launch April 3rd. I need a nap.

 

Red Scorpio creates bold unique statement jewelry. 100% Handmade by richelle shadoan. Beaded bracelets and necklaces make perfect gifts for the woman in your life who has everything. How to be awesome. Step out of your comfort zone. Live an artful life. Dare to be awesome.
And so it begins!

 

I was so honored to be chosen to be in the studio for this incredible opportunity to learn how to make my business stand out in a pretty crowded marketplace. Did you know everyone makes jewelry? Maybe not quite everyone, but it sure feels that way sometimes. And that is ok. I prefer to operate with a mindset of abundance. Thanks to this course, I now have a system for getting my message out to the people who are waiting to hear it, so that’s pretty cool. There were more than a couple “Aha!” moments. In fact, I watched today’s module three times and gleaned something new each time.

 

Red Scorpio creates bold unique statement jewelry. 100% Handmade by richelle shadoan. Beaded bracelets and necklaces make perfect gifts for the woman in your life who has everything. How to be awesome. Step out of your comfort zone. Live an artful life. Dare to be awesome.

 

I met an outstanding group of women. Many of us work from home, so connecting with like-minded individuals facing the same day-to-day challenges is quite lovely.

Red Scorpio creates bold unique statement jewelry. 100% Handmade by richelle shadoan. Beaded bracelets and necklaces make perfect gifts for the woman in your life who has everything. How to be awesome. Step out of your comfort zone. Live an artful life. Dare to be awesome.
After class brainstorm session

 

And one of my favorite parts was just being in San Francisco. There is such a pervasive creative vibe, it’s impossible for me not to be energized. Plus the weather was so perfect, I got to wear my hair down the whole time! That hardly ever happens at home!

 

Red Scorpio creates bold unique statement jewelry. 100% Handmade by richelle shadoan. Beaded bracelets and necklaces make perfect gifts for the woman in your life who has everything. How to be awesome. Step out of your comfort zone. Live an artful life. Dare to be awesome.
Love you, SF!

 

If you haven’t RSVPd for Tara’s bootcamp, it’s not too late. You can still catch Sessions 2-5. Check it out!

Red Scorpio creates bold unique statement jewelry. 100% Handmade by richelle shadoan. Beaded bracelets and necklaces make perfect gifts for the woman in your life who has everything. How to be awesome. Step out of your comfort zone. Live an artful life. Dare to be awesome.
the Maestro

Are you watching Tara’s bootcamp? Share your “Aha!” moments in the comments!

And if you like awesome handmade stuff and winning super cool prizes, get in on the giveaway I’m hosting to celebrate the release of my book, Handmade Gifts That Don’t Suck. 

 

 

Categories
Blog

When The Shine of the New Year’s Eve Ball Fades…

That is the official name BTW. The “New Year’s Eve Ball”. That seems sort of underwhelming. But I digress. It’s February and Puxatawny Phil has predicted 6 more weeks of Winter. How do you stay on point when your spirit starts flagging? Pull out all the stops.

 

 

 

Wood Burning
Wood Burning

 

Do something fun

Last week I finally felt like I was hitting that wall. I had maintained my momentum pretty well, but then I started to drag. I was working more and getting less done because I was burning out. Administrative work is an undeniable component to owning your own business. It’s like pretty much all of it to be honest. And then there are those days when you get to do something creative. Thankfully, that day came for me last week. In fact, it was several days in a row of nothing but making stuff. It was amazing.

 

 

 

I made a basket
I made a basket

 

Try something different

So, I have a super secret project going on. It involves a lot of making. And, lucky for me, it involves learning some new skills. When you feel tired of doing the same old thing, a tiny shake up can do a world of good. I tried a new craft. Maybe you could try a new restaurant. Or take a different route to and from work. Anything to make it seem like you are not in a rut.

 

 

IMG_0373

 

Go outside

My go to when I am feeling wrung out is a trip to nature. I was seriously frazzled last weekend, working non-stop to meet a deadline. Saturday, Greg and I took a day trip to the mountains. I brought my planner, so I was still working, it’s true, but I do some of my best planning at picnic benches.

 

 

Or go drinking. Who am I to judge?
Or go drinking. Who am I to judge?

 

Have a pity party

If all else fails, throw a tantrum and move on. Indulge in an ugly cry, pig out on something horrible, sleep in, and reset. But don’t fall into a pattern. The next day, go back to hitting it hard.

 

I am pumped, you guys. I am excited to be working on something new and I can’t wait to share it with you very soon.

 

What is your favorite way to bounce back from

burn-out? Share in the comments!