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Your February To Do List

IMG_0005What are you working on this month? What do you need to do to get it done by the end of February? We are discussing self-care this month on the blog and part of that is taking the steps you need to hit your goals. I am co-hosting this retreat at the end of the month and have a lot to get done to be prepared for it properly. I printed out one of the new To Do lists (I created the heart ones to match The Etsy Business Planner) I have in my Etsy Shop and have written down everything I need to do for this retreat. It is a long but exciting list!

I want you to grab a to do list or pick up one of mine, choose one goal to dedicate the whole list to (maybe write it at the top) and start writing all of the to dos that need to get done to reach that goal. If you have an accountability partner maybe you can let them know that you are shooting to hit this goal by the end of the month. Any extra accountability or encouragement is helpful!

If you want, share your goal in the comments below and I will follow up with you at the end of the month! Now let’s go be productive!

How to take care of yourself & your business to help you grow

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Who hasn’t been told: you need to take some time off, you work too hard, you really need to put your feet up and relax, do something for yourself….? Yes, that would be nice, wouldn’t it? But how do you do that? First, we need to find the time in our busy life. Usually our “free” time is used to grow our business, such as working on our blog, keeping up to date with our emails, sending newsletters, selling at craft fairs…. So really how can we take a break from what we love doing?

The real first step is to consider “taking a break” as part of your work. Being self-employed doesn’t mean not deserving to stop for a while. You don’t need a long break, you just need a useful break. You need to “break” your routine to go back to your work invigorated. Ok, you got the point, so now what? What is a useful break for craftsellers and small business owners?

Here are 3 things I recommend could help you :
  • Take a walk in the countryside or in the forest to reconnect with nature. Breathing pure air will help you to “let it go.” Make sure to pay attention to all details around you, use all your senses: try to see what can’t be seen at first sight, listen to every little noise, touch and pick up wild flowers or branches to bring home so you can remember this “wild” we miss when we work online. Go out in the rain even! That would make your home feel cosier when you return. I recommend you to visit this very floral and inspired blog to encourage following her path and find your own: http://frokenskicklig.blogspot.fr
  • Enroll for a course or sign in for a conference: creative people need to be “fed.” We love discovering new subjects, exploring new paths, getting new skills, meeting new people. That doesn’t happen like that unless you choose to. Finally take that e-class or that online workshop you have been dreaming about (even ask them if they accept multiple payments so you know how to finance it more easily). Or alternatively, take part in a retreat, I would love to go abroad by myself and sit on the seaside, just looking…. Check out this hut, who would not like taking a break there, just for a day (or 2 !): http://www.littlebeachhutofdreams.com
  • Be grateful: choose a notebook for 2015, in which you’ll write down 3 sentences every night before going to bed. The exercise is easy: choose 3 positive things which happened to you during the day, even the most little simple thing, it doesn’t have to be big, it just has to be true. From a nice cup of tea, or the smile of your baby when you go to his/her bedroom to wake him/her up in the morning (before he/she burst in tears!), to a nice thank you email from a client, write all that made you happy. You will then be able to go to bed “lighter” knowing that your day was good. Leave that diary on your bedside table with a dedicated pen to be sure to do it every night! Mine is shown above in the picture I took of it to inspire you.

With those 3 simple and affordable ideas, you should be able to take care of yourself for real and start now! So what would you chose first ?

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Sophie Chapman — Ma Petite Valisette

Sophie Chapman lives in Normandy and has graduated 10 years ago from business school. As a mother of 3 franco-english kids (8y, 6y & 2 months old) and with a husband that travels a lot, Sophie decided to work from home by launching her online business. She worked at a famous Parisian ad agency before she became a professional trainer.

She now offers online courses for female entrepreneurs and craft sellers. You can find different downloads in her shop and you can also subscribe for online trainings and online entrepreneurship workshops. Most recently she also co-published a business book for french craft sellers. It was the first book in the french market that covered this topic.

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Spread The Love Online

spreadtheloveIt’s February, the month of love, and I want us to spread it around like crazy! The theme for this month is self-love/self-care. You will be seeing posts related to ways you can take care of yourself and your business to help you grow. If you have something to share, please consider writing a guest post!

In addition to taking care of ourselves and our businesses, I want you to pay attention to how you take of other creatives and their businesses online. Last week, I went on twitter and came across some people being quite rude about something another creative had shared. They linked to it and then proceeded to poke fun and laugh. To be honest, it made my stomach turn. Just writing about it is having the same effect. I always worry about people not taking care of themselves or comparing themselves too often to others. I honestly didn’t think I had to worry about people trying to make other people feel bad about something they created or shared. I debated jumping in the tweets to say something but thought better of it. Instead, I want to make something positive come out of something negative.

I want you to take the time to be positive and loving towards other creatives and their businesses online this month. I do realize that this is what we are probably all doing all of the time but let’s really make a point of it this month and forever after that.

Here are some ways you are already spreading the love online: retweeting a tweet, sharing a Facebook post, commenting on an Instagram photo and pinning a blog post on Pinterest. Let’s amp this up a bit by making a point of saying something positive or kind when you spread the love. Let’s use the hashtag #spreadtheloveonline so we can check in on all of the goodness being shared.

Want somewhere to start? Please share your latest blog post, product, Etsy shop or anything related to your business in the comments below. Then, go through and pick something you like from someone else to share. I will be doing the same. No comments yet? Consider sharing this post to spread the word!

I have always wanted Handmade Success to be a place where creatives are supported and celebrated. I believe that we have a responsibility to build each other up and not tear each other down. No matter where you are on your journey, I want you to know that I think you are amazing, strong and creative. Let’s start making a point of letting others know that we feel that way about them too!

I can’t wait to see what everyone shares! XOXO!

Movers & Makers Summit: Detailed Itinerary!

large-circle1I know some of you are still considering coming to the Movers & Makers Summit in Charleston, SC at the end of this month and I am happy to share with you the detailed itinerary for the weekend! There are only a few spots left and I hope you will join us!

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The Movers & Makers Summit is an east coast intensive for a small, intimate group of twenty women and it takes place in a luxurious and comfortable oceanfront home. You’re invited to come away with us to escape the hustle, reset your focus and breathe new life into your career plans.

Here’s a deeper glance at the presentations for the weekend:

Lisa JacobsShattering the Glass Ceiling. What would you do this year if you knew you could not fail? Forget the ever-elusive “big break,” and learn how to create your own career breakthroughs.

Bonnie ChristinePursuing your Creative Dream: Living your creative dream is fulfilling, exciting and POSSIBLE. Learn how to stay focused on your dream, expand your audience and increase your profits!

The Ins and Outs of Surface Pattern Design: The world of surface pattern design is filled with wonder and excitement. Join me as we discuss how to get started, get noticed and begin your career as a surface pattern designer!

Kerry BurkiSlowing Down To Move Forward: Is your mind is filled with ideas and you don’t know where to start? Do you feel like you are hurtling yourself forward with no real direction? Let’s take some time to slow down, figure out what doesn’t work, what you enjoy and profit from and make a plan for the future. 

April BowlesCreating Your Own Success: I’m sharing the five biggest lessons I’ve learned while building my business, giving tips and advice along the way. I’m pulling back the curtains to reveal what it really takes to build a successful, creative business on your own terms including marketing so that it feels good and not scammy, building habits that make things easier and going pro once and for all.

Paige French iPhone Photography + providing professional headshots for everyone who attends to take home with them and use in their business.

Plus, yoga on the beach!

I am just so excited about this retreat! I know that everyone involved is going to leave feeling refreshed, confident, focused, connected and ready to make a positive change in their business and in the world!

Click here to purchase your ticket and to learn more about the event. Please get in touch with me if you have any questions! XO!

 

Re-Defining Success Using the Third Metric

 

crusoeWhen starting a business, no matter how large or small it is, it often starts with a detailed business plan. That business plan outlines your short-term goals, long-term goals and the overall growth of the business. It is plan to gauge the success of your business. A business plan is then followed by a series of goals, whether it is monthly, quarterly or yearly, a series of checkpoints that are often financially driven.

Meeting or surpassing those financial checkpoints can create a major boost, both personally and professionally. But what happens when you don’t meet those goals, does that mean your business is not a success? And because it is your own business that you are creating literally from the ground up, that you are not a success either?

Arianna Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post, created the Third Metric to complement the traditional metrics of success, power and money. It is a concept that she outlines in detail in her book, Thrive. The Third Metric defines success by a life filled with well-being, wisdom and wonder. I discovered the Third Metric earlier this month, as I was outlining my own goals, both business and personal, as part of the beginning of a new year as well as reflecting on the previous year. Much of my time is spent on how I can grow my jewelry business, when will the next collection launch, what store will I open next, etc. All of these activities feed into measuring the first two areas of success, power and money, but I failed to evaluate the Third Metric.

With the launch of my own business, many areas of my life have blossomed more than I ever expected. Crusoe Jewelry is created often in collaboration with my boyfriend, who has a strong design background. Also, my studio shares space with his wood-working shop. Working together in a creative capacity has created a new level in our relationship. The flexible schedule has allowed for me to deepen my yoga practice, taking as many as three classes a week. I control my time, so sometimes I work all weekend so I can spend the next weekend with my friends or family. I have explored new activities, including joining a book club that led me to exploring The Third Metric, as well as new friends and lots of laughs. Using The Third Metric, I am successful beyond my wildest dreams. It is a measuring system that I implore all to use to re-evaluate their own success.

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Maya Ahluwalia – Crusoe Jewelry

Maya Ahluwalia is the designer behind Crusoe Jewelry, a fashion jewelry line inspired by nautical motifs, but interpreted into stylish designs. Crusoe Jewelry is created for the fashion-forward consumer with an appreciation for quality with an artisanal approach. Each design is hand-crafted in her Brooklyn-based studio.

In addition to creating Crusoe Jewelry, Maya is a marketing consultant with expertise in jewelry, fashion and luxury. Clients include Michael Aram Jewelry, Shawn Ames Fine Jewelry, Wells House Bed & Breakfast, and the LOU Lookbook