Welcome to my Work Space!

I love seeing where someone spends their creative time, so after a recent revamping of my own creation destination, I decided to share mine! The pictures were taken pretty quickly, without a lot of time for playing with settings or composition. I wanted to keep this real & authentic, so I didn’t move things, or neaten up. I should have closed the blinds so the lighting would be a bit better, but here it is! You can see the weights under the desk, and the pictures that hadn’t been hung up yet, and the frame that was drying.

It was a long day! We were switching my daughter’s room with my office, so we had to work quickly or they wouldn’t have had a room to sleep in that night.

Drop me a line & tell me what you think!

3 Ideas For Recapturing Your Creative Mojo

Playing can release your creativity!

This time of year can do major damage to your creativity. The kids are getting out of school soon, which means graduations, proms, etc. In addition to that, it’s summer vacation season. All of this spells major changes to your normal schedule, which can put a kink in your creative flow. Here’s a few ways to get the magic back.

Be a kid again!

Play with play clay, finger paint, watch cartoons, color with crayons, read silly books…whatever you enjoyed doing as a kid, or whatever your kids enjoy doing…revel in it! Take it all in…the smell of the clay, the feeling of the paint…be inspired by it all. You may get ideas for a new medium, or it might just relax you enough for inspiration to come back.

Take a day for you!

Maybe you need a spa day – nails, massage, hot tub. Maybe your idea of relaxing is a day at home – good book, hot bubble bath, glass of wine. Maybe you want to get out in nature – camping, gardening, or hiking. Whatever your preferred mode of relaxation is, take the whole day off. Don’t think about your work…don’t look for inspiration…just soak in the day & enjoy yourself.

Give up!

If  nothing is working, just stop trying….at least temporarily. Take the week off, or go on your summer vacation, but leave your cares behind. Don’t seek creativity, let it find you. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the to-do lists, schedules, sick kids, meal-planning, that it’s hard to even think about being creative. Our brains & our souls need a break from the madness.

 

If any of these methods worked for you, I’d love to hear about it. What is your go-to method for releasing tension, and getting back in the swing of things?

Photo credit: makelessnoise / Foter.com / CC BY

Story Time: Why I’m Fascinated By Health & Fitness

Amanda-USAF

Last week, I wrote about the importance of storytelling. This week, I’ll lead by example.

May is National Military Appreciation Month. It’s also National Physical Fitness & Sports Month. Interestingly enough, these 2 interests already coincide for me. How? Well I wasn’t always so interested in fitness….sure I was interested in being healthy, and I worked out, but I didn’t comb through the Internet looking for new ways to work out, and I didn’t really care what I ate.

In 2007, out of desperation at the lack of good paying jobs in my local area, I joined the United States Air Force. I wanted to be in airplane mechanics, or photojournalism, or meteorology. However, as anyone who’s joined the military knows, you don’t always get to pick where you go. Much to my dismay, I was put into a career field called “Services”. Services includes food, recreation, lodging, and mortuary. When I went to my first station, I was placed in the fitness center, and became a fitness instructor. Suddenly, I had to care about fitness. In the military, fitness is key to your survival.

My military career was cut short by some undiagnosed health issues, but rather than stall my interest, it kicked it into high gear. Now I didn’t just want to know about military fitness, I wanted to know how I could keep working out through the health issues, or how to workout when I’m pregnant. I became interested in clean(er) eating, better hydration, etc. Since leaving the military, I’ve helped create a regimen for my husband to improve for his PT test (when he was still active duty), I’ve helped friends find workouts to suit their needs, and I’m having the healthiest pregnancy I’ve ever had.

Now I use that knowledge to help create balance in the lives my friends, family, clients, and myself. Just like in the military, being healthy is key to your survival! Good habits can make the difference on how many sick days you have, or how tired you feel at work, or even how inspired you feel.

Tell me a story! What led to your interests or career path?

How Telling Your Story Can Bring You Clients

Just some of the tools for telling a story.
Just some of the tools for telling a story.

April 27th is Tell A Story Day. Storytelling is a time honored tradition for passing down heritage, culture, values, etc. It’s how fairy tales, legends, and family history have been handed to the next generation. It’s also an amazing way to boost your business. How can you use a story for your business success? The possibilities are endless, but let me give you some ideas.

  • It Can Be Your About Page

Mayi Carles has one of my all time favorite about pages. I know some people say about pages should be in 3rd person. Some people say they should be kept brief, but her about page breaks both of those rules & it’s awesome. She explains who she is, how she got started, and throws some adorable photos throughout it. From her story, you instantly know how you’ll feel about the rest of the site, and who she is.

  • Your Story Tells Why Your Customers Should Pick You

On my about page I let my geek flag fly. Why? Because I don’t just want to work with creatives. I want to work with creatives who are nerdy, or geeky in some way! Maybe you were a band geek. Maybe you read the dictionary for fun as a child. Maybe you’d rather settle in with a good book, than attend the most amazing party in town. Maybe you’re a gamer, or a sci-fi fiend, or a techie. Whatever shape your geekiness takes, if you’re a creative entrepreneur I want to work with you!

  • It Also Gives Backbone to Causes You Hold Dear

Erin Giles saw a powerful documentary about sex trafficking, and her life was changed forever. Because of it, she was driven to start End Sex Trafficking Day so that she could make a difference in the world. Her story separates her, because she’s no longer just another person talking, she’s doing something about it.

  • It Creates Your Brand

Your story shapes everything about who you are. It defines your likes, your dislikes. It directs who you want to work with. It’s the deciding line on how & why you do things the way you do. (Click to tweet that!) Melissa Bolton & Catherine Haugland teamed up to create Revolutionary Branding based on the principle of story-based branding. This allows them to create completely unique concepts for each of their clients, because it’s based on the client’s own story.

  • It Can Give Inspiration For Products

Have you ever had someone use your towel, without your permission? Gross, right? That happened to Sarah Burns, and because of that she was inspired to create Tag A Towel, a system to help the family keep their cooties to themselves.

 

So there you have some inspiration for writing your story! As a creative soul, it doesn’t have to stop there. You could sing your story, or paint it, or represent it through sculpture…the only limitation is your imagination. So please, leave me a comment and let me know how you’ll put this into practice!!!

Don’t Let the Fear of What Might Happen, Keep You From What Could Be

What if?

Have you ever been good at something, but you didn’t want to let that light shine? I get stuck in that territory all the time. It’s been drilled into our heads for so long, that we should be humble. And somehow, humility has been translated as “pretending you’re really not any good at something, even if you’re amazing.” Somehow we’ve embraced the idea that if you know you’re good at something, you’re just being cocky.

This makes things really hard on us, when we get ready to create new business, or launch a new product. All the what-ifs run through our head…what if no one likes it? What if I’m really not as good at this as I think I am? What if they didn’t really mean it when they said I was good at it? What if I put all of myself out there, and I just get hurt?

The problem is, this train of thought hurts more than it helps. Start thinking about all the amazing things out there, and ask yourself “what if this had never happened?” What if chocolate had never been invented? (perish the thought!) What if architecture never progressed beyond thatched roofs? What if medicine was still stuck in the Dark Ages?

Van Gogh's Starry Night
Van Gogh’s “Starry Night”

It’s not that people who do great things do it because someone said they were amazing. Van Gogh was so unappreciated in his time, that he suffered immense depression…it got so bad that he committed suicide at the age of 37. Anne Frank never set out to be famous. She simply wrote. The painters & composers that we love so much now, simply did what was in them to do. They didn’t consult friends & family to see if it would be a winning idea. There was a passion in them that could not be stopped.

You might not be the next Mozart. You might not be the next Shakespeare. But you have something special in you, that only you can give! When you let the what-ifs drag you down, the world around you misses out on something amazing. Maybe you make cards, and one of those cards will cheer someone up on the worst day of their life. Maybe you’ll write an inspirational article that will bring light on a worthy cause. You may not change the whole world, but you can change your world. (Click to tweet that!)

I leave you with this quote. Apologies..it has minor language, but I felt it was worth it. “When in doubt, make a fool of yourself. There is a microscopically thin line between being brilliantly creative and acting like the most gigantic idiot on earth. So what the hell, leap.” – Cynthia Heimel

I love hearing from you! Leave me a comment, and let me know: What have the what ifs been keeping you from achieving? How do you plan stop them for good?

 

“What If?” Photo credit: Marco Bellucci / Foter.com / CC BY

“Starry Night” Photo credit: Christopher S. Penn / Foter.com / CC BY

10 Ways Being an Entrepreneur Is Like Being Pregnant

Pregnant Amanda Sue Okay so after reading the title, you may be wondering…what on earth do the 2 have to do with each other? Or if you’ve been pregnant, you may be nodding your head & trying to guess that the 10 are. This one’s a quick one, so after you’re done reading I’d love to know what you would have added to the list!!!

  1. No one really understands it, unless they’ve been there themselves.
  2. It’s exhausting, and some days you’re just ready for it to be done.
  3. You have to take time just for you, or you’ll get super burned out.
  4. You’ll get a lot of advice..some of it’s great, some of it’s really not.
  5. Quite a bit of the advice will be totally unasked for, and unwanted.
  6. Some of those opinions will come from people who have never experienced the process themselves.
  7. Even if you’ve done it before, there will still be surprises the 2nd & 3rd times around.
  8. Even when the final product is driving you crazy, you’re still fiercely protective of it, and will defend it against what anyone else says, because it’s yours & you love it dearly.
  9. It can give you that wonderful excited glow, or it can make you look (and feel) like crap. And there doesn’t seem to be a happy medium to that. (Click to tweet that!)
  10. Down the road, you won’t really remember the pain, tears, or sweat…you’ll know they were there, but it won’t be the defining moment. You’ll look at your accomplishment with pride, and the knowledge that your hard work made that happen.