Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Repost: 15 things you should give up to be happy!

 This is such a great post that I had to share it.  It's found on this blog: http://www.purposefairy.com/

Friday, April 13, 2012

Artisans: A trick to overcome fear and doubt

 How do you deal with fear in your business?  How do you push yourself when doubts creep in about you as an artist, an entrepreneur? This was such a useful post and a tool that I've used myself through the years, that I had to share it!  The author succinctly grasped an idea that I have occasionally used, but never consciously.  Now, I will consciously deal with my fear in small opportunities, moments that build up my confidence.  Read on.....


 Today’s guest contributor is writer, coach, violinist, filmmaker, law school graduate, and web designer, Emilie Wapnick, who works with multipotentialites to help them build lives and businesses around ALL their interests. She’s the author of Renaissance Business and the troublemaker behind Puttylike.com.
“How do you like your Macbook case?” I asked the attractive stranger at the neighboring table.
“What’s that?” he replied.
“Oh, I like it. It actually saved me the other night, when my roommate spilled his drink all over the place.”
We kept chatting. His name was Stephen and he played the cello.
Contrary to what you might be thinking, I was not trying to pick him up. I wasn’t even all that interested in his computer case.
Starting conversations with strangers is a practice that I’ve adopted to help me overcome fear and doubt in my work.
Yes, you heard me right. This was about productivity.
I learned this trick a while back, when I was in an entrepreneurial competition and had to give a terrifying presentation to some big name CEOs. Like many people, I’d always despised public speaking. But this talk was important.

I decided to prepare by shoring up my confidence beforehand. My logic was that if I was going to be expected to step onto The Stage — a place of supreme uncertainty — then I would practice feeling nervous first, by embracing uncertainty in small ways throughout the day. I dubbed these “mini-risks.”

When it was finally time to deliver my speech that afternoon, I felt far more confident than I would have, had I passively gone about my day, waiting for the big moment to descend on me. It felt as though I had created my day. I’d taken charge, just like I was about to do in that speech…!

I repeated this experiment several times, and continually found that on the days when I took a number of mini-risks, I was far more productive. I was able to focus on my work, and not get as distracted by fear or self-doubt.

Here’s what’s involved, and how the practice works:
Mini-risks can involve making eye contact and smiling at people on the street, asking your waiter a question about their life, or even standing in the center of a room at a party, where people might actually look at you(!) The degree of risk involved varies from person to person. What makes a really shy person nervous may seem like no big deal for someone who’s more extroverted. That person will have to take “bigger” mini-risks.

The key is to take actions that make you a little queasy, but are still doable, and aren’t truly harmful in any physical, or long term sense. Gauge where your current comfort levels are, and push yourself just a bit further than what feels safe. Start small, even if it means simply making eye contact with a stranger on the street.

An easy way to begin implementing this practice is to go about your day, and whenever you notice an opportunity where you could be assertive, take the lead, speak, or move, do it. From spreading out on a couch, to complimenting a friend’s shirt, to illustrating a point by diving into a personal story and opening up emotionally, there are a million tiny moments throughout the day when you have the choice between taking action or remaining passive. Start noticing these moments and begin choosing action.

See each mini-risk that you take as a win, regardless of how other people react. This is important. The practice must be action-based, not results-based. You take the risk, you win. Period.
Most importantly, stack those wins. Congratulate yourself each time you take a small assertive action. See each risk as an accomplishment in and of itself, and then stack each win on top of the next, building up your confidence.

Taking mini-risks reminds you that you indeed have control over your performance and the amount of output you generate in the world. It reestablishes a sense of trust in your own ability. You demonstrate to yourself that you can handle whatever is thrown your way– that while you may not have all the answers now (you may even be a complete beginner), you’ll find a way to make it work.

Angela's Artistic Designs

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

How to handle shop envy (Or stop comparing yourself to other shops!)

I used to look at other shops making button bouquets and see the number of sales they had and be....slightly depressed.

They had more sales - way more sales!  And my bouquets were just as colorful or creative!  Their prices were lower or higher.  I began to wonder about every decision I was making.  Maybe I should increase my prices or decrease my prices or make bigger bouquets or fancier button bouquets.  Were their photos better?  Well, some had professional photos done so yes, their photos were better.

How did they do it?  How did they increase sales and have a waiting list for bouquets? What is the secret of their success?  (Or rather, my perception of their success!)  I even emailed a few of them to ask for tips!

I still don't know the secret to the success of other shops. But I began focusing on myself, my shop and what I could do to increase my sales.

I  learned a few things about marketing my own shop, honing my photos, creating lovely bouquets and getting my name out there.

I learned as much as I could about listing and marketing and photographing my product and I continue to learn everyday.

 And I learned that when I keep the focus on me, I don't have time to fret about anyone else's shop!  And guess what?  My sales this year have been up and I've almost hit 100 sales!  Yay me! 

Angela's Artistic Designs

Accumulation Art

I am learning about accumulation art in my 3-D art class;  I am noticing accumulation art everywhere!  What accumulation art is: Start with an everyday item, begin a pattern, repeat several hundred times.  Try layering rubber bands or gluing 500 styrofoam cups together!

I found some great samples of artists who've used accumulation art to create everyday items while cruising through this great blog http://www.liveinart.org/2012/01/top-ten-diy-eco-friendly-projects

This blogpost by Alison, the artist, follows her progress through the process of creating this soda can tab light! http://the3rsblog.wordpress.com/2011/10/17/soda-can-tab-small-pendant-light/