Archives for posts with tag: Craft MBA

July was a bit light on reading for me. Doesn’t mean I didn’t read,  instead I sat around reading Harry Potter. I didn’t get nearly as far into the series as I had hoped, but it was nice to just read a book for fun instead of reading articles and articles for blogging. Needless to say, I enjoy reading all of the articles that I do not just for sharing purposes, but also for myself.  As you have probably noticed,  I only share the articles that deeply resonate with me and my business at the time, which is why some months this posting has a lot of articles and like this month has not so much.  Articles are below. Enjoy!

BUSINESS:

I really enjoyed this brief and to-the-point posting in today’s (7/12/11) e-blast. http://dailyworth.com/posts/809-CEO-101-for-Business-Owners. I call myself CEO of S2 Stationery and Design because I am. I am the one that makes decisions and makes things happen, but at the same time I’ve learned to use printers, ask friends for help with writing web content and to develop my website. It’s empowering not just for them, but also for myself because I am learning to delegate and to inspire people with the work they are doing – which is the real work in being a leader.

This posting comes from the Mogul Mom blog and it’s great! I think the steps she suggests are important and worth doing for every small business owner. Good luck!  http://www.themogulmom.com/2011/07/grow-your-business/

DESIGN:

This is amazing and genius and awesome all at the same time! I love Kyle and I hope that I get to take lessons from her truck! I also love letterpress and have been dying to learn it so needless to say this has me excited!  http://www.fastcodesign.com/1664559/moveable-type-offers-letterpress-classes-out-of-a-truck

MONEY:

Mogul Mom strikes again! This article about pricing mistakes really hit home for me because when I started S2 Stationery and Design, I offered so many discounts. Actually, they weren’t discounts per se because the client didn’t know about them, but I knew about them. I figured that since I was new to the game, I had to start out cheap and increase my prices as I continued on. Boy was I wrong. I’m so much better off where I am now – a place that doesn’t budge on pricing one bit. It’s a great feeling to finally acknowledge my worth and the worth of my product. Read here: the http://www.themogulmom.com/2011/07/dont-discount-your-services/

Another great article from Mogul Mom’s blog, this time about superwoman having help with her children. Now, I don’t have children, but I know that I have suffered from thinking that I have to do everything. I have since learned that I can ask for help and that the help can be awesome and help me get perspective on where I want to go with designs and business plans. I highly recommend, whether you are, or aren’t a mom to consider asking for help; you never know where it will help get  http://www.themogulmom.com/2011/07/hire-help-with-kids

SUCCESS:

I think that I should have a section called “leadership”, but for now, I’m including this review of a book about leadership under success. I’ve been having a lot of conversations about leadership and what it takes to be a leader. It is my opinion that leaders are born and then developed over time.  Few people are leaders. Yes, they may be able to manage, but they are not leaders. It’s frustrating to those seeking a leader and for those that are leaders, but are stifled by the people who aren’t.  I don’t mean to be so negative. I also believe that people can learn to be better managers and adopt, with patience and practice, select skills that leaders innately have.  With that said, read the review of “The Leader’s Checklist” by John Baldoni and then check out the book. I am!  http://smartblogs.com/leadership/2011/07/18/review-the-leader%E2%80%99s-checklist-15-mission-critical-principles/

Here comes Megan! Of course my list of reading wouldn’t be complete without an article by Megan Auman of Craft MBA. Her article this time is about bare minimum and what it says about your business. Now, I am a minimalist. Or I think I am. Actually, that’s not true. I completely believe in deconstructing my life and rising from the ashes that this leaves. Much like the phoenix, I like to see where I can go after I remove odds, ends, scraps and pieces of my past life that hold no value.  With that said, if you’re a minimalist and it shows as part of your business mission and goal, then go for it, don’t overstate when it isn’t needed. Really, you should be true to yourself and your goal for your business – if that means you minimize then, your customer(s) will get that. If you’re only minimizing because of cost, you need to reevaluate and see what it can be doing to your brand, product and overall business. http://www.craftmba.com/2011/07/18/bare-minimu/

Michelle Ward is amazing! This article was written back in May and I just read it in early July, but it holds true for every individual looking to follow their dreams. http://www.prettyyoungprofessional.com/advance/5-ways-to-pursue-an-unconventional-career.html?utm_source=When+I+Grow+Up%3A+The+Newsletter&utm_campaign=f526af58fb-5_ways_6_29_2011&utm_medium=email

Stay tuned for August’s list of articles. Should be good!  Hope you all had an awesome month of July!

“My dad’s advice was very helpful: Be good at something. Add value to that. Don’t get distracted.” – Scott Malkin, Forbes Magazine.

This past month, I read a lot. I wish I could say I read more personal interest books, but I did not. Instead, I read both the May 23rd issue of Forbes Magazine and the June issue of Inc. Magazine from cover to cover and a ton of blog postings (see below).  Under the Success category, I discuss the article in Forbes that roped me in: ” Like Father, Like Child: Is Entrepreneurial Success Inherited.” As I continued to read the magazine I became more and more enthralled with families of entrepreneurs and I discovered that my streak comes from my dad. I think. It makes sense. He opened his own trucking company and was successful until he got ill.

I followed that read up with Inc’s June issue which boldly states, “How To Be An Extraordinary Leader.” I recommend that you read the entire issue if you can get your hands on it. If you can’t, you can read the articles online. I highly recommend the cover article:  “Core Values of the Top Small Company Workplaces.”  I know as I start to develop my long-term business plans, the first thing is the core values of S2 Stationery and Design. After all, the values that I’ve kept to myself so far, are the reasons behind me moving in the direction I have followed and continue to follow.

With that, I leave you with the rest of my suggested reads for June.  Enjoy!

YOU:

I really should just have a section that is dedicated to Chris’s articles because I post at least two every month. Here is the first one. He’s talking about his World Domination Summit that I chose NOT to attend because I thought I was going to Japan (oh Universe, how unfair you can be sometimes!), but I’m excited to see how it goes for him and everyone else who attends and maybe I can go next year? We’ll see. Maybe I should schedule it now. Alas, my favorite part is his comment at the end: “Whatever your own venture / adventure is, don’t hold back! Don’t wait until you’re completely certain. It usually works out in the end.” That’s exactly how I feel!
http://chrisguillebeau.com/3×5/preview-of-world-domination-summit/?awt_l=8ByzZ&awt_m=1fmi.yxmgsnt7W

Now, read Sherry’s take on the event. I love that she wrote her favorite statements down. That’s something I’d do, too. Also, most of them are great. So great, I printed a copy of the article to have in my journal/planner. http://www.ottsworld.com/blogs/finding-inspiration-in-others/

EVERYONE NEEDS TO READ THIS ARTICLE! I know I’ve fallen into this trap in my younger days, but not anymore. Now I can accept when I should step out of the trap and I do so happily. I know so many people who could benefit from doing the same thing. http://zenhabits.net/trap/

CREATIVE:

THIS is an argument I’ve heard a lot about in the crafting community. I’ll write a posting about it another day, but for now, I think it’s really important to think about copying and theft of art and what it means for the art world and the artist. http://www.scoutiegirl.com/2011/06/bad-artists-copy-great-artists-steal.html

TRAVEL:

I mentioned Sherry Ott two months ago, I believe, and she’s back on this month’s list thanks to a SPECTACULAR article about your personal tipping point. I read it and completely understood where she was coming from and appreciated her experience and how it will inspire my experience. Good stuff! http://www.ottsworld.com/blogs/the-career-break-tipping-point/

SUCCESS:

I finished my Forbes Magazine dated May 23rd and loved it! There is this great article about entrepreneurial success highlighting Ralph Lauren and Dylan Lauren called, “Like Father, Like Child: Is Entrepreneurial Success Inherited,” but then continues in sharing father/son and father/daughter accounts of entrepreneurship. It’s a great read! It also made me wonder about my own entrepreneurship. My Dad started his own company after years of working as a dispatcher for a trucking company and this was years after working as a bus and truck driver. He drove constantly and to the point of unhealthiness, but he did not like working for anyone, listening to anyone’s rules and restrictions, and thrived on being his own boss. Years later, I find myself in the same shoes. So maybe entrepreneurship is genetic after all? Or maybe it’s just learned behavior, but we learn to take and enjoy the risks, from the people who create our foundation, after all. Makes total sense.

I ask for feedback. I rarely ever ask for validation. This is an important article to read if you always feel the need to ask for other’s opinions about things. Yes, it’s a good idea to see how other people can help, but it’s always more important to follow with your own feelings and thoughts. It is your life after all. http://chrisguillebeau.com/3×5/an-important-thing-no-one-will-tell-you/?awt_l=8ByzZ&awt_m=1bO25YlBksnt7W

I hate having too many choices. Ms. Megan sums it up quite nicely here on what it takes to be a successful sales person and offer choices. http://www.craftmba.com/2011/06/09/the-paradox-of-choice-and-the-powers-of-mind-control/

This article can also fit below in Business Development, but I’ve chosen Success instead, because collaboration is key especially when you’re building yourself and your company.  http://mashable.com/2011/06/23/small-business-collaboration-economy/

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT:

I’m so glad Megan wrote this article! Here I am expanding and creating lines with all of these questions in my mind. I realize I’m a bit different as I’ve never had collections to expand upon before, but it was nice to read that I was headed in the right direction after all. http://www.craftmba.com/2011/06/08/5-questions-to-ask-when-expanding-your-product-line/

This is a long article, but I had a conversation on this topic last night. At the end, I was told by a fellow documentary loving woman, “stay idealistic.” Lets hope I do. I hope you make the right choice for your business, too! http://www.jonathanfields.com/blog/build-company-sell/

CRAFTING FUN:

If you’re ever on the market for rubber stamps and what to do with them, check out this list courtesy of Paper Source. Some great ideas here! http://www.paper-source.com/cgi-bin/paper/howto/rubber-stamping-recipes.html

SOCIAL MEDIA:

Very good article about using Twitter, which I recently signed up to use and am loving! http://www.openforum.com/articles/6-ways-to-monitor-your-brand-on-twitter?utm_source=The+Mogul+Mom+Subscribers&utm_campaign=f6ce762634-6_Ways_To_Monitor_Your_Brand_On_Twitter6_20_2011&utm_medium=email

 

Another amazing article from Ms. Tara Gentile from Scoutie Girl about the whys behind using social media. It’s a good read and one I encourage everyone who spends time and effort developing and cultivating a social media presence and plan to look into.  http://www.themogulmom.com/2011/06/why-are-you-using-social-media/?utm_source=The+Mogul+Mom+Subscribers&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=13570fef9d-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN

PASSION:

I most definitely found my passion, when I wasn’t expecting it. Which I think is how things tend to happen, but in the case that you are trying to find it, you may want to read this article. http://zenhabits.net/the-short-but-powerful-guide-to-finding-your-passion/?utm_source=The+Mogul+Mom+Subscribers&utm_campaign=c31e38442d-Cash_In_On_Yo_Passion6_10_2011&utm_medium=email

Not a recent grad, but this article rings true for anyone of any age seeking for their next steps. http://www.openforum.com/articles/for-recent-graduates-many-paths-to-a-career?extlink=sm-openforum-tw

I am putting this under passion because I think what Sherry is getting at is the pros and cons to following your passion and dreams. Yes, there are success stories, but as a good friend told me the other day, it takes a truly special person to really follow your dreams and make things happen. I also add this posting in this section because I really believe that Sherry hits upon areas that sum up how I feel as well. http://www.ottsworld.com/blogs/blogging-i-love-it-and-hate-it/

Following the same thread as above, here’s an article about what to do once you’ve found YOUR passion: http://zenhabits.net/passionguide/?utm_source=The+Mogul+Mom+Subscribers&utm_campaign=c31e38442d-Cash_In_On_Yo_Passion6_10_2011&utm_medium=email

That’s all for June. See you in July! Oh and have a happy and safe Independence Day weekend!

 

 

 

 

 

Hi Readers!

This post was meant to go out yesterday, but in the flurry of, “WHAT?! It’s already May 31st?!” and my cousin graduating high school, I got a bit behind. Regardless, May was a doozy and you’ll soon find out! I can honestly say that all the printing, cutting (I don’t have cuts on my hands to show how much I’ve been cutting, but I did grow tired of the cutting machine soon after beginning), I am seeing the fruit of my labor.

Between Sunday and Monday morning/afternoon/evenings I found myself wrapping some stationery product in the wrappers I’ve created and sealing with my new labels. All I can say is that it was/is one of the most gratifying and exciting feelings EVER! Well, one of them.  See, I often feel this way after completing a customized stationery order. The difference here is that these products haven’t been tested. I’m taking a risk and accepting my love for them and hoping that people, especially people who attend the concerts at Celebrate Brooklyn!, will love them, too, or at the very least like them a bit more than just like and a little less under love (I think that’s a happy medium!), to buy them.

Anyhow, in the mix that was, and still is Celebrate Brooklyn! production and completion (I have less than a week! Eeps!), I have done some great reading and the links are all below. There should be more, but I’m running a bit behind on my reading schedule and so c’est la vie, until I change that. Until then, enjoy the following. Oh and happy June!

FUN

I LOVE to knit! I’m currently knitting right now. I think this is a great idea for anyone who knits and loves to throw parties. Fun, fun! http://www.designspongeonline.com/2011/03/hunt-gather-and-host-a-knitting-party.html

I LOVE this idea! What if I made you a recycled newspaper scarf (there goes that knitting again!)? http://greenupgrader.com/2138/handspun-recycled-newspaper-yarn/

SUCCESS:

Funny isn’t it how when you’re feeling a certain way things have a knack for finding you. Or better yet, the way you feel brings you the things you need the most? This section is all about dealing with what I experienced earlier this month. I didn’t feel like a failure as much as things aren’t happening as fast as I want them. Alas, I got things under control and reigned in my emotions, but the day I decided to man up, I read these articles and was wowed at how timely they were.

I don’t know that I suffer from these three obstacles, but I can see how anyone can and it’s important to know that there are out there and that you can stop them. http://handmadesuccess.com/2011/05/the-three-obstacles-in-your-way-to-success/

I need to print this and carry it around with me always. Some great tips! http://zenhabits.net/small-scale/

ANY article that starts off with, “Ignorance and arrogance are the artist and entrepreneur’s indispensable allies. She must be clueless enough to have no idea how difficult her enterprise is going to be—and cocky enough to believe she can pull it off anyway.” has my vote from the beginning. My other favorite, “Fear saps passion.” Don’t let it sap yours! Keep reading!  http://the99percent.com/tips/7017/Overcome-Resistance-and-Get-Out-of-Your-Own-Way

I am a loyalist to Chris’s thoughts and philosophies. Maybe because they are like mine. Either way, this article is for everyone struggling like me to get out of bed and do a job that you’re not so passionate about. http://chrisguillebeau.com/3×5/the-good-job/?awt_l=8ByzZ&awt_m=1gDDRXsrPsnt7W

This article is SO SPOT ON! READ IT! http://chrisguillebeau.com/3×5/redefining-risk/?awt_l=8ByzZ&awt_m=1gFN.uLhPsnt7W

Practice, Practice, Practice and wake up loving it! http://chrisguillebeau.com/3×5/rain-running/?awt_l=8ByzZ&awt_m=1fnpF3zDjsnt7W

This one goes under success because it’s about how we place value on what we’re selling. Very important. http://www.craftmba.com/2011/05/25/what-are-you-really-selling/#comment-28538

Megan is just spot on. Really, I just just make my monthly favorite’s a dedicated spot for Megan because I post a lot of her articles. This one is just as true as the above. As someone who is in the “stationery/paper” industry, I know how easy it is to do what other people are doing, which is why I try not to. I know it’s not just my industry either, I know it happens in jewelry and clothes. So ask why and then stay focused on that way. I know that’s what I’m doing! http://www.craftmba.com/2011/05/17/standing-out-by-starting-with-why/

LANGUAGE:

Oh, Irony. Do you know how to use it? http://www.prdaily.com/writingandediting/Articles/8206.aspx

YOU:

I definitely over think. It’s not good. However, I also know that without overthinking about somethings, I would not have grown as exponentially as I have in the last year. It’s a give/take. Some things definitely need to be overthought, most does not. The question is how do you figure out which do and don’t and how do you stop it from taking over? This is powerful! http://www.happiness-project.com/happiness_project/2011/05/do-you-fall-into-the-trap-of-overthinking.html

I have always been 100% behind being Sara. Always. I hate being grouped. I hate being asked what where I come from. I really dislike when people label me in general. Which is why I’m adding this article by Chris Guillbeau, of course, to the list this month. When you’re an entrepreneur, you are different and it is a good idea to come to terms and accept that you’re not going to fit into any one particular box. http://chrisguillebeau.com/3×5/hello-my-name-is/?awt_l=8ByzZ&awt_m=1dQ9gJL1Msnt7W

And just when I wanted to go out and buy something pricey, I read this and remembered why I love, and have always loved, that full-of-himself man named Thoreau. http://www.dumblittleman.com/2011/05/thoreaus-guide-to-living-more-by.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+DumbLittleMan+%28Dumb+Little+Man+-+tips+for+life%29&utm_content=Google+International

BUSINESS:

I didn’t graduate from Syracuse, or in May of 2011, but I swear he was talking to me! http://mashable.com/2011/05/16/dennis-crowley-syracuse-graduation/

I tell myself “Sara, YOU are an artist” almost every day. It’s worth it and it reminds me why I love doing what I do. http://www.artbizblog.com/2011/03/art-has-value.html

I’m always thinking about sustainability and business and how S2 is going to be a sustainable business. I love articles that show how you can keep being sustainable, doing good and make profits. THIS is the area all businesses should REALLY be looking into. http://boss.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/20/how-many-business-models-can-one-company-have/

This posting is so good! I am a knitter by hobby, which means I enjoy the entire creative process involved and end up making blankets and scarves and the like for friends and loved ones, but more than just enjoying knitting, I love how Tammy writes about the lessons behind knitting. As I read this posting, I definitely agreed with what she has learned and realized that I’ve never truly explored all then ways and things you can learn from knitting. Often times, I talk about lessons I’ve learned from running, etc, but there are lessons to behold in everything we spend our time exploring.  http://rowdykittens.com/2011/04/knitting/

This one is GOOD! So good! When I read it early in the month, I was struck at how timely Megan is with the two ceilings that an entrepreneur can hit. The question is how will I tackle this? Working on a strategy! http://www.craftmba.com/2011/05/04/growth-ceilings-and-scalability/

Do you sell on Etsy? Are you curious about finding certain data in your analytics? READ THIS! http://www.etsy.com/storque/seller-handbook/web-analytics-whos-found-you-through-the-taste-test-12747/#comment-507008

I wrote a blog last week about scarcity and the implications of it and then Ms. Megan went and wrote about making one-of-a-kind products. Go figure! She’s right, though! http://www.craftmba.com/2011/05/18/turn-your-liability-into-an-asset-or-how-to-wholesale-limited-edition-products/

To trade show or not? I’m not nearly trade show ready, BUT I really enjoyed reading Megan’s (yes, another article by her) take on this and I also really loved her comment, “Despite all our reliance on technology and social media, we still crave physical connections with people and objects. ” Read the full article and watch the video response: http://www.craftmba.com/2011/05/20/icff-innovation-and-the-future-of-trade-shows/

MONEY:

Yeah, what does it mean to have money? I’ve never really had money, just enough to keep paying debt. But what about when I do (because I will!)? What then? Tara Gentile, gives a great thought about this on Daily Worth. http://dailyworth.com/posts/756-What-Does-It-Mean-to-Have-Money-#articlejump

SOCIAL INTERNET:

I came across this article on The Atlantic on May 12th and understood it immediately. I have used Groupon and I’ve definitely overspent in the case of restaurant coupons, but I’ve often wondered how exactly do both parties benefit from the program. I’ve also noticed that the deal that roped me in is not the same caliber of deals that are being offered currently and so I end up deleting the emails and paying less and less attention to the whole online discount coupon programs that seem to be popping up every way you turn. Needless to say, I think this is a great way to begin really looking in-depth at the cases of these programs, especially for small and new business owners.  http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/05/why-does-groupon-work/238706/

Following the article above, I present this article, which you can find in the above article. This is a first hand account of a business owner who used Groupon last year and lost big time. Sometimes it’s important to hear about experiences especially when they are open and honest. It’s also a great way to learn that somethings are not always what they seem. I’m curious to know how many other businesses have stories like this and if they’d be willing to share them. http://posiescafe.com/wp/?p=316

Just 29 days until the next list of articles!

Hi readers!

It is the end of the month. Holy crap, I can’t believe it! I have been scratching my head the past four days trying to figure out where January and February went.  Time IS flying by.  The good news is that I at least know that ups and downs aside, I have had fun. Hooray!

Now, the end of the month has come to mean that my last posting of the month is dedicated to my favorite reads from said month. The articles are all over the place: social media, entrepreneurship, time management, crafting, artistry and more.  I’ve tried to separate them based on their topic, but they all kind of blend together after a while. (BTW, please let me know if you find this topic separation helpful. I will really appreciate the feedback!) Here goes…

Business, Social Media, Entrepreneurship and Tools:

“Then I realized over the years that it’s actually more about right time than real-time. In fact, when information comes through, it doesn’t necessarily mean that that’s the right time to engage, capture it, and share it. I’m more successful now creating a list of information, relevant information, and then repackaging, repurposing, and broadcasting that information at the right time.” -Brian Solis, author of Engage

  • The quote above is one of my favorite that I’ve read this month! I believe wholeheartedly in timing, even though I also believe in moments and living in the moment (real-time).  However, what is most important between the two is knowing when the timing is right.  (Sara, you impatient, spontaneous, woman you, pay attention to your own words here for everything.)  In social media, it’s even more important to know your timing, especially when writing and editing  your own content vs. sharing the content of others. Read the wise words about the importance of curation and creation in this article courtesy of Mashable: http://mashable.com/2011/03/17/curation-importance/
  • Has social media hit a plateau? Good food for thought! This article on Mashable asks the question and follows up with some insight: http://mashable.com/2011/03/16/social-media-innovation-plateau/
  • I am so anti-twitter, but so many love it. I am also trying to balance my social media presence (or lack there of) with real tangible contact and connection. This worksheet is a must for those of you like me, trying to figure out which social media routes to take to help build a better, stronger, and more tangible communication platform. Thanks Mashable, again: http://mashable.com/2011/03/11/social-media-marketing-chart/
  • Last one from Mashable, I promise.  This gem is about brand consistency. For new entrepreneurs (myself, included) this article is a must read. You want to make sure you’re brand is strong and sings, yet rolls with the punches. Here’s some great tips: http://mashable.com/2011/03/22/brand-consistency-social-media/
  • Ah, Chris Guillebeau. You shouldn’t be surprised to see an article about him because I’ve written about him before. Either way, this article is fantastic! Not only does he offer tips on business planning and development, customer service, communication, but most importantly, shares a moment he had with someone he connected with randomly and made a huge impression.  Enough for Chris to promote his business. Articles like this, I appreciate when ruminating on my business. Maybe you will to:  http://chrisguillebeau.com/3×5/business-secrets-from-a-cambodian-tuk-tuk/?awt_l=8ByzZ&awt_m=1ewVoV.mvsnt7W
  • What is enchantment? What can enchantment mean to you, your business, your clients? Well, Guy Kawasaki kind of has it figured out. And I’m kind of in love with Guy Kawasaki because of this interview. Now, I want to read his book.  Check out this well done interview and let me know if you have, plan to or don’t want to read his book: http://www.bazaarvoice.com/blog/2011/03/17/interview-guy-kawasaki-on-reciprocity-influencers-ecosystems-and-the-art-of-enchantment/
  • This one is a bit tough because I think it can go under the money topic as well, but what it really gets to is pricing. I know I need help with pricing. Always. If you’re like me  (I’m sure you are), you’ll want to check it out: http://www.artsyshark.com/2011/03/26/are-your-prices-unrealistic/
  • Finding your niche is something people desperately look for. I know I’ve been wondering about myself and in discovering what my niche and who my target is, I’ve restructured and tweaked my branding quite a bit. This article by Ms. Megan Auman for Craft MBA is definitely worth the read:  http://www.craftmba.com/2011/03/22/niche-products/
  • Last, but not least in his category is another article from Ms. Auman that talks about our creative vs. business brains. This is a GREAT read, especially for crafters who make things and think they all have to be favorites and sell:  http://www.craftmba.com/2011/03/28/balancing-the-creative-brain-with-the-business-brain/

Time Management, Self Development:

Money:

You:

  • My dear friend, Jolie Guillebeau, is still a new friend, but I love her art, passion, talent and most importantly how sincere and heartfelt she is as a human being. I had the pleasure of meeting her several months ago and I knew that I liked her immediately.  I signed up to receive her newsletters shortly after our meeting and I love reading her words and seeing her work.  Earlier this month, she wrote a wonderful intro to go with a painting that she  recently worked on and it really resonated. She’s right–I’m tired of hearing people make excuses for how they think they’re perceived. Whether we are “beautiful” or not, we all have something to offer and the least important part of it is our looks. I suggest you check out Jolie’s work and read the blog posting called “Forty-seventh. Tired.” from March 17th: http://artbyjolie.com/stories/
  • Ah, the age-old question of should you quit your job before you’re ready? I don’t know that this article answers the question completely, but being that I’ve been debating this myself, I thought I’d share it with all the others in the same shoes: http://www.womeninbusiness.com.au/_blog/Style_and_Substance/post/Should_you_quit_your_job/
  • This article should be listed under “business,” but you know, I read it and wondered about losing my interest in my craft, not my business. I know that many people may have experienced this, or may be on the cusp of experiencing it, which is why I am listing it under “you”. As a crafter, you have to remember what you love about what you’re doing before you wonder about building a business empire. The minute that the flicker of light is gone, you’re in trouble: http://www.thebusinessofbeingcreative.com/2011/03/22/beginners-enthusiasm/

That’s all, friends-happy reading!  I hope you all find these as useful as I did/do. Please feel free to share any articles you love with me. I’m always looking for new perspectives.

Oh and happy last day of March!

As I weave my way into the whole online business world and dunk myself further into the world of Etsy, I’ve managed to find some great websites/blogs of other Etsy sellers, crafters and a few self-made business people that provide not just positive energy and thoughts, but advice on being an online-vendor, crafter, business person.  I have  say, I have found many of these articles helpful, but I’d say 75% of the time I agree. The other 25% of the time, I spend scratching my head. I know everyone is different.

Either way, I’m sharing my favorite articles of 2010. This isn’t complete and I know I’m missing a few, but here they are:

Etsy – Etsy has a newsletter that publishes GREAT articles about quitting your day job, being an entrepreneur, etc. I have been a subscriber for a while now and I’ve been very pleased by what they dish out. They scour the web looking for interesting blogs that will help inspire their sellers and community. I find the range very helpful. Here are a few that have stood out in the many…

http://www.etsy.com/storque/craftivism/random-acts-of-kindness-kind-over-matters-pursuit-of-positiv-11048/

http://www.imaginativebloom.com/2010/11/24/how-to-identify-your-ideal-customer-by-april/

http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2010/11/where-do-ideas-come-from.html

http://www.fastcompany.com/1691558/5-takeaways-marketers-could-learn-from-mr-rogers

http://www.copyblogger.com/creativity-killers/

http://www.jonathanfields.com/blog/the-moment-you-speak-to-the-world-you-speak-to-no-one/

http://www.longerdays.com/blog/2010/09/3-step-process-for-quickly-overcoming-burnout/

http://www.thebusinessofbeingcreative.com/2010/09/07/the-4-ps/

http://www.jonathanfields.com/blog/55-quotes-creativity-innovation-action/

Craft MBA – Megan Augman

http://www.craftmba.com/2010/12/06/etsy-community-commerce/

Women In Business – I think everyone should have this on their wall!

http://www.womeninbusiness.com.au/_blog/Style_and_Substance/post/manifesto/

Duct Tape Marketing -

http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog/2010/12/10/accentuate-the-negative/

Whitehot Truth -

http://whitehottruth.com/business-wealth-articles/ode-to-the-entrepreneurial-spirit-an-apology-to-9-to-5rs-everywhere/

Heartmade Blog –  I recently stumbled on this site and it was because of this newsletter posting that I keep returning (although I still don’t know what to make of the blog or whether I will be a loyal reader); Don’t get me wrong, I do like Mayi a lot and respect her for being out there doing her thing. Whether I remain as a reader or don’t, here’s what inspired me…

http://www.heartmadeblog.com/

You Don’t Need Magic to Run a Successful Shop

Believe it or not, successful online shops don’t happen overnight. I know, I know, we would all like to think otherwise, that a Fairy God Mother can suddenly appear + fix all our problems + transform our shop’s into a hit. That would be pretty sweet, but since that probably ain’t happening anytime soon (or in our lifetime), let me share with you a pretty awesome plan B that will seriously impact your shop’s success fast!

Now, come closer. Just a little closer please. I’m about to reveal my top 5 tips to running a successful shop, right here on this newsletter. Call it my secret weapons if you will. These tactics have really worked for me + I’m confident they can work for you too. Plus, I just love success stories, especially from hard working + passionate creative folks like yourselves.

I don’t want to keep you waiting so let’s get right to it, shall we? Drum roll please!

My top business success secrets disclosed:

  1. Listen to the little voice inside your heart. Yeap, I typed that correctly. I didn’t mean head, but heart. Be aware about your feelings + ask yourselves the hard existential questions “Am I happy, really happy doing what I’m doing?”, “Am I doing what I was destined to do?. The rush of the everyday tends to dilute our emotions. Tip: Don’t be an android + don’t be afraid to feel + listen to your heart. I promise it will take you far when you embrace it.
  2. Be a real person. Doing business online can sometimes feel a little cold, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Allow your customers to “see you”. Put a picture of you in your profile + write a heartfelt about page + tell your story. Allow your customers to easily identify with you, the person, not the shop, but actually I real skin + bones + heart pumping human being. Tip: The more your customers can identify with you, the more likely they will buy from you.
  3. Brand + brand + brand. It must be the communications major in me or all that marketing jargon I learned in college, but the point is I’m a strong believer in the power of branding. Everything you do must support your brand + big idea + story: your logo + business cards + blog + boutique + craft booths + tags + note cards + packaging + bags + anything + everything that your potential customers see must be branded. Your clients should be able to see + feel + smell + hear your brand from a mile away. Tip: branding is very very powerful. Use it! It will be your biggest ally!
  4. Take yourself seriously. Get yourself an office space + buy the best supplies you can + hire a professional to help you do what you can’t + seek help + open an online shop. Don’t wait for your big break. Don’t wait for anyone to approve of your less than common career path. Don’t wait until Oprah invites you on her show to take yourself seriously. Give it all you’ve got! Turn off the “I’ll do that when I’m rich” mentality. Tip: take yourself seriously + have the gut to make the important decisions your business needs to grow.
  5. Surround yourself with love + support. I’m not good at asking people for help. Luckily, I’ve been extremely fortunate to have a loving family + boyfriend + friends around me to take care of me even when I didn’t even know I needed to be taken care of. I really couldn’t have gone this far without having loving people around me. Tip: Surround yourself with loving + positive + inspiring people. They will be your fortress when you are weak + your cheerleaders when your triumph.

These are just simple things you can do for your business that can really REALLY make a difference + no bibbidi bobbidi booo magic is actually involved.

xo,
Mayi Carles

The Mogul Mom – I am NOT a mom, well there’s a child I adopted in Ecuador, but I’m not really a mom. However, that doesn’t mean that this blog doesn’t ring true for us non-moms. She’s smart and with a few businesses under her belt, I’ll take her word for it any day!

http://www.themogulmom.com/2010/10/strong-brand-image/

AND finally, drum roll please…..

The Art of Non-Conformity – anything on this site really, but I discovered Chris Guillebeau earlier this year and he’s been one of the greatest forces in my life…

http://chrisguillebeau.com/3×5/how-to-get-paid-for-what-you-love/

http://chrisguillebeau.com/3×5/if-you-love-something-you-have-to-protect-it/

http://chrisguillebeau.com/3×5/transitions/

http://chrisguillebeau.com/3×5/get-excited-and-change-things/

http://chrisguillebeau.com/3×5/the-four-burners-theory/

There are  A LOT of writers that I’m leaving out and there are a lot of articles that I’ve read this year and marked or saved because they just rang true with my thoughts and my wants, but I don’t have them at hand. The articles above have all made a mark and I suggest you check them out.  I think moving forward I’m going to work on doing a monthly list of articles that I’ve enjoyed so that maybe you will enjoy them as well. What a plan!

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