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Fighting Distractions

Your Love Is Electrifying Print from Paper Angels Photography

We all have our favorite way to procrastinate, our favorite source of distraction. For some it is the television, phone calls to friends, Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. When practiced consciously and with some applied restrictions, all of the above can be healthy ways to keep in touch with people or to relax. Being aware of your habits is the first step.

There are a lot of ways you can gain control over your distractions. First ask yourself a few questions. How easily distracted are you? Rate yourself on a scale of 1-10. For a week or more, watch your patterns and take notes. When did you feel the biggest desire to procrastinate? Is there a certain time of day or a particular project? Think about others things you cannot control such as the weather, people, outside noise, etc. And when do you feel most motivated to work or what makes you feel the most excited? Sources of energy and inspiration are as equally important to know. Keep these notes in an easy to locate place.

The practice of awareness alone will help you gain control over the diversions. The next time you are feeling unmotivated check your notes and ask yourself if anything you wrote applies. Start to develop ways to counteract the things that are holding you back. Are the outside noises of your apartment particularly loud at a particular time of day? Maybe this would be a great time to hit the gym. Or maybe you live downtown and there is no pattern to the noise. Discover a new alternative place that you can easily access on super noisy days. Perhaps sometimes the distractions are needed as a way to recharge and regroup. That’s great. Set a timer or an alert on your phone allowing yourself a designated amount of time on Facebook or on the phone with a super motivating friend. Take charge of how long you allow for the distraction.

Once you start tracking your patterns and acknowledging the control you already have but are not already utilizing such as sleep patterns, diet and rest days, you will find yourself in less moments of stress and panic. This awareness helps develop trust in yourself and confidence. Less time will be spent thinking about what you have not finished or fussing about your lack of motivation. More time will be spent getting good things done!

Shelly Kerry — Lightbox SF

Shelly Kerry is the founder of the program Creating Space, Mindful Living – motivating and inspiring people to run their businesses more efficiently. She helps others look at their personal and professional lives and explore what is and isn’t working. As a jewelry designer she has spent many years testing and honing the skills and discipline needed to run your own creative business while still having time for friends, family and fun. She puts her wealth of experience to use in the Creating Space service – healthy living advice to help keep you motivated and make the most out of your already busy schedule. She will help you find both the physical and emotional space so you can pursue your dreams and she’ll always insist there’s time for yourself.

Shelly writes guest posts on living your best life on well-known blogs such as Kanelstrand, Handmade Success and Awfully Grand and is pursuing a Core Strengths coaching certificate through San Francisco State University.

You can find Creating Space on Facebook or contact Shelly at

Get Brave, Go!






The other night I was procrastinating on Facebook. I can’t remember what I was “supposed to” be doing, but I was tooling around on Facebook instead. I’d posted something on my personal page about how I’d gone to visit a couple of stores earlier that day to see if they might be a good fit for my work (specifically my rain boots) — I just moved to Portland, OR, and one of my missions is to get my work into some new local stores. I mean, could there be a better place to have a line of rain boots than Portland?!

So, this is what my Facebook post read: “So, I got brave today and started going in to some stores in Portland to try to get my work into some new shops, and it’s totally working! What was I so scared of??”

And it got some comments. And then it got some more comments. Things like: “OH! I’d love to hear more! I haven’t found my bravery yet…”and “I need to get that brave!” and “That’s because you are AMAZING! I often dream of being like you! And can’t wait until I have that kind of confidence!” Meanwhile, I didn’t feel like it was all that brave– it felt like more of a relief. It was something I was putting off because I was afraid, and I finally stopped letting the fear control me and just did it anyway. But everyone’s comments made me realize that we stop ourselves and make all kinds of excuses for why we should just wait until tomorrow, or until next week, or until we have the perfect website, etc, to contact so-and-so.

It got me thinking. What is it that’s so scary for so many of us creatives about putting ourselves out there and selling our own work? Why do we often procrastinate and make so many excuses?

I don’t know the answers to those questions, but I did come up with a way to counter the fear and grow some bravery in this arena: it’s called Get Brave, Go! I’m normally so brave in my business. I operate from a jump-in-and-figure-it-out-as-I-go mindset most of the time. But In a flash of insight, I realized that if I’m afraid, then other people are, too. We all are! And perhaps a community where we could support each other in our outreach efforts would be an amazing place to go when we’re feeling those fear-based procrastination/excuse thoughts about reaching out and marketing our work. I realized that if people were telling me they wished they could be as brave as me, when I really didn’t feel brave at ALL, that we could probably all help each other out a little!

So begins Get Brave, Go! It’s a Facebook group for artists, designers, and makers who want some support + encouragement + bravery around contacting shops and buyers to carry their work! It’s for people with creative businesses who want some support in contacting new potential clients, for people who want to contact bloggers about their work, for people who might feel afraid to talk about themselves at all. Basically, if you’re afraid to put yourself out there in your business, this group is for you. Let’s all get brave together!

Please come join us. We’ve got almost 200 people in the group already, and people are taking incredible action in their businesses/lives that they might not have otherwise! We’d love for you to join in the brave-licious fun. Just request to join the group and I’ll add you lickety split! No cliques, no judgment, no questions. If you want in, you’re in. 🙂

Here’s to getting brave and making our creative businesses soar!


Jessica Swift — Jessica Swift

Jessica Swift is a full-time artist and surface pattern designer (a one-woman show!) who believes that our childhood dreams and obsessions are the key to knowing the work we’re meant to do as adults.  She remembers creating posters as a kid, filling large bubble letters with vibrant, hand-drawn patterns and decorating every surface she could get her hands on.

Twenty some years later, Jessica’s childhood fascination with color and pattern continues. From licensed products to objects made in her own studio, Jessica’s eponymous brand of surface designs and vibrant gift/home products is centered around her daring use of color and quirky & fun pattern sense. Her aim? To elicit happiness, play, and light-heartedness in the world through her work.

Jessica grew up in Boulder, Colorado, earned a BFA from Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY, and currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and 2 cats. Her work can be seen on her website, in her Etsy shop, and on her blog.


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You Know Best For You: 4 Ways To Put Your Power Into Your Business!

Hello, I’m back! After a very busy few months getting my rain boots into production (they’re now available for pre-order on my website!), traveling to Chicago for the Renegade Craft Fair and Washington DC for Crafty Bastards, launching a brand new website, and working on what feels like a million other projects, I’m here with a new guest post!

hope, or let’s just be by Jessica Swift

And it’s a good one, I think, because it’s all about taking your power back and choosing to be in charge of your own business instead of listening to other outside voices and opinions. Sounds good, right?

For a long time in my business, I tried to do things the “right way”. I put that in quotes because I was trying to do things for my business that others wrote on their blogs I should be doing – people who were successful in my eyes and who seemingly had it all figured out. So all these bloggers’ opinions were swirling around in my head, telling me what I should and shouldn’t be doing, and I was listening. I allowed their views to be more important than my own, and it sucked my energy out of what I was doing. It wasn’t fun. Like, AT ALL. (more…)