Thursday, May 9, 2013

Birthday Sale!

All Instant Download Graphics are on sale :) Perfect for creating your own branding, creating invites & stationery.

Why? Cuz my birthday is next week and I loves you... that's why!

If you're looking for premade logo designs or custom work, I've moved my custom branding shop to Kelly Jane Creative.


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Moving on...

Onwards & Upwards

You're invited to stop by my new website!  It's still under construction but I thought you might enjoy watching it grow. The blog is moved over there, along with a new Inspiration section for days when you need a kick in the pants.

Stop by and take a look around. You'll find some blank pages, and the portfolio gallery is yet to be completed, but I hope you like what you see so far :)

While you're there, make sure to sign up for my FREE 6 Week eCourse which will be launching soon. This is a free 6 week adrenaline boost for your business. Sign up and I'll let you know the details & when you can expect a daily shot of business mojo.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

3 Tips to Get More Done in Less Time

I've been busy. So busy. Insanely busy. Too busy!

Sound familiar?

The month of December found me spending 16 hours a day in front of my computer.

No time for decorating or baking cookies. No time for taking a drive in the snow. No time for pictures or holiday movies.

No time for cooking. No time for laundry. No time for basic hygiene. ew.

Looking back, what holiday memories did I create so far this year? Just one. One of a grubby mom slaving in front of her computer and ignoring the family.

So what can I do differently?

Get More Done In Less Time

You can't get more time in the day. Time is finite and can't be replaced. When it's gone, it's gone.  But there are things you can do to train yourself to effectively use the time you have.

Focus - One thing at a time. That's it. Give that one idea or project your very best! Don't skimp on your work. You, your clients, your family, and your business deserve better.

Avoid Distractions - Believe it or not, you do not need to check facebook, your email, or twitter every 5 minutes. Set a time every day to check social media, take and return phone calls, and respond to emails.

Stick to a Schedule - Make a schedule, plaster it on the wall above your work space, and stick to it! Yes, I know it's hard. Yes, you'll forget and stray from your schedule. But keep trying. It's YOUR schedule. Alter it. Make it fit your life, then make it a habit. Create your schedule each night and review it in the morning. Set a timer if you have to! I have one set on my computer that reminds me every hour to get up and drink some water. Sometimes I ignore it, but I'm trying.

Take a little time to plan your day and you'll end up getting more done in less time. That means more time for your family. More time for yourself!  More time to create some memories.

Now... I'm going to go bake some cookies! If you have any questions, leave a comment.

Want more info on planning for your business, creating schedules that really work, and setting goals that are reachable? Just enter your email address below and hit the subscribe button for free updates!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Inspiration is Everywhere - Look For It

The past 7 days have been packed with inspiration for my business. You know what that means, right? Tons Of Ideas! Frankly, too many ideas for my little designer brain to handle at the moment.

One of the things I know that I need to do for my business is to make a video, and that terrifies me. Me, my face, my voice, on a video? Cha, right! I will come up with a million excuses why I can't.

Sound familiar? Do you make excuses for things that you KNOW would help your business grow?

Breakdown the Feeble List of Excuses

Here's my list:
1. I don't like my hair.
2. I don't know how to make a video.
3. I can't pick a topic.
4. I don't have a nice background.
5. I don't have time.
6. My Minnesotan accent... blah!

I have more ridiculous excuses but I think you get the idea. Of course, you know just as well as I do that those excuses are all a huge load of crap.

I'm self-sabotaging. Do you do this too?

Rip Off The Band-aid

The other day I was in a FB group and mentioned that I'm a huge chicken when it comes to making a vlog post or video for my business. Sensing my wish-washy-ness, I was challenged by Brandee Sweesy to make a video. Immediately.


Fortunately, I can't turn down a challenge. That's part of my personality. Reverse psychology also works very well on me. My family abuses that one quite a bit.

Still... it's tempting to blow it off.  In my head, I'm already arguing with myself. "You don't need to do this."  "Wait until next weekend and get your hair done."  "You can't do this outside, you look like Where's Waldo in your hat." And the one that attacks me the most is "You have nothing to offer that isn't already out there."

BUT, everywhere I look I'm suddenly seeing motivation and inspiration. It's all over the place and I don't just mean those motivational quotes people throw out on facebook. I mean yesterday I saw a clip of my favorite author of all time, Neil Gaiman, give the best advice ever!

Even after that, the little voice in my head is trying to shut me down. Until last night.

The Butt-Kicker

Get ready for me to talk about my kid.

My daughter started going to a small private school 5 years ago. She was in the 4th grade. When the Christmas Concert rolled around, she was terrified.  I watched my baby shuffle up on stage with her class, trying to make herself as small as possible. Her eyes were huge in her little paper white face and her lips barely moved. We thought she was going to faint! Being in front of a crowd is something she has always struggled with.

Fast forward 5 years. Last night was the Christmas Concert. My girl is in 9th grade now and sings with the Sr. High class. As I was reading the song list, I saw that there would be a song sung by a small group of the Sr. High girls, and about fell off my chair when I saw my daughter walk up and sing with just a few other people. We. Were. Amazed.

To me, that was more inspiring than any random quotes or even my man Neil on a video clip. If my daughter can face her fear and sing in front of a crowd of people, I should be able to sit for a few minutes in front of a video camera.

So look for it next week. Me and my hat, in the snow, stuttering. It's gonna be good!

My Challenge to You

What is it that you KNOW you should be doing to further your business? I want to know. Tell me in the comments what it is that you are making lame excuses for and list the excuses.

Let's see if we can obliterate those bullsh*t reasons together!
{Please excuse my swearing but that's exactly what they are.}

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Be the Expert - How To Make Yourself Known As The BEST In The Biz

I'm going to tell you a secret.
My secret cookie recipe.

Probably not what you were expecting to read about on a business blog but give me a chance to explain. You see, 'round these parts, I'm known for my Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies. I'm asked to make them for bake sales, events, and birthdays. Everyone LOVES my cookies. Last spring, one dozen of my cookies went for $50 at a silent auction.

And now I'm going to share with you my super secret recipe.

The Secret Recipe

Are you ready?
Do you have a pen?
Okay, you need to go to the store and buy a bag of Hershey's Milk Chocolate Chips, the recipe is on the back. Oh and grab a bag of semi-sweet chips too. I use those instead of the peanut butter chips in the recipe. That's the only change I make. {the real secret revealed later in this post}

So how did I get "famous" for my Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies when anyone can make them?  And why are we talking about cookies and not business? I'll answer both those questions and hopefully you'll see the why.

How I Got Famous

I got famous for my cookies because I TOLD people that I make the best Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies and my family backed me up. They believed us. And when they tried my cookies, they told their friends how wonderful they are. Word spread. It's that simple.

I don't make any other cookies for people. Just the one kind. Of course around the house, I make other cookies but for events and such, nope. One kind, the kind I'm known for. If I were in the cookie business, I could expand. People would assume that all my cookies would be just as delicious as the first one they tried. They would be right, of course.

Cookies and Business, Really?

As entrepreneurs, we always have great ideas. There are so many things we want to do that we can't focus. Everything becomes a struggle. Should I make this? Should I change that? Where should I start? Then we just shut down. Too many choices and we can't make a decision.

Here's what to do:
1. Start with one thing. Focus on the one thing you are really good at. Just do that.
2. Tell everyone you are the best.
3. Now back it up with the BEST.
4. Continue to tell everyone you are the best, and back it up with testimonials.
5. Rock on!

That is obviously a bit simplified but the point is, focus on one thing first. Focus!

But What About The Competition?

Don't worry about people who make something similar. They aren't you. Yours is different. YOU are different. You do something to your product that sets it apart and that's what makes it the best. It's your "secret recipe"... everyone might have access to the recipe, but it's what you do to it that makes it special.

In the beginning, focus on just that one thing, and when you become known as the best in the biz, then you can add something different to the mix. Because if you're an expert at one thing, people will assume you're an expert at the next thing you make. Then it's up to you to make sure they are right.

Example: I'm good friends with the folks at Northland Woolens. The make mittens from recycled sweaters. Not just any sweater mittens... the BEST sweater mittens.

You all know that there are sweater mitten patterns out there. Sure, you probably even know someone who makes them. But Maria at Northland Woolens makes special mittens. She hand dyes buttons to match the mittens. She dyes wool to make special cuffs for the mittens. She uses the best quality materials, all from right here in the USA. She inspects each mitten before it's shipped out. They have mittens all over the world!  I have 5 pair, they're like candy. They really are the best sweater mittens I've ever seen.

The Real Secret

It's you that makes your product the best. It's what YOU add to it.

Would you like to know what I do that makes my cookies so good?

The secret is...  never over bake them.  Now don't you go rolling your eyes at me! It's true. If there's a bit of brown on the cookie, it's over-done. I bake mine for 11 minutes, take them out and let them sit on the stone sheet for another 5. Then move them to a cooling rack. Perfect, every time!

I hope you enjoyed this post :) Want more? Just enter your email address below and hit the subscribe button for free updates!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Take Action: Making Your Business Daydreams Happen

Why Wait? Take Action Now!

As I write this, the old year is coming to a close and the New Year is waiting for us to make big changes and resolutions - and achieve great success. But something you need to realize is that EVERY DAY is waiting for big changes. Every moment is the moment you can achieve great success. It can be overwhelming, yet it can also be exciting. Here are a few tips to help you get motivated for the New Year or next week or this afternoon.

1. Reflect

Take a good look back at all of the things you've accomplished. Make a list of your achievements and don't hesitate to list even the smallest accomplishment. See how much you are capable of? Just think how much more you can accomplish when you set your new goals.

2. Dream

Find a quiet spot and daydream. Take some time to close your eyes and visualize your future. For example, if you want to publish a book, then imagine how your life will be as a published author. Visualize as if you've already published the book. Once you have the daydream solidly formed in your imagination, write it down. Do this exercise for all of your big goals. Visualization is a powerful motivator. You could also create boards on Pinterest that reflect each goal.

3. Plan 

Yes, you need to plan. No groaning!
"A goal without a plan is just a wish." Antoine de Saint-Exupery 
So open that calendar and start creating goals and the plans to achieve them. Establish deadlines to make the goals more realistic and part of your daily life.

Start taking action on those goals right away. Don’t wait for the end of the year to begin taking action. If you have the motivation, there's no time like the present. Do it now, or you will lose that drive and this goal will just remain a dream and become forgotten.

4. Brainstorm the Possibilities

"Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!"  Dr. Seuss Mind maps are a great way to grow a plan. Beginning with your goal in the center of the page, you create spokes that link to your central idea. Each spoke can be an action that needs to be accomplished in order too reach your goal. Add more spokes to those spokes. Break each goal down into small steps that can easily be managed. Then add each step to your calendar and don't forget those deadlines!

Sometimes looking at your goal can be overwhelming. By breaking the steps down into small bites, you can focus on what needs to be done one step at a time.

5. Celebrate

Finally, take some time to celebrate the fact that you are taking action. Look at your goals, mind maps, and calendar. Put them up where you can see them every day. Enjoy all that you've already accomplished and all the amazing things that you will continue to accomplish. Sometimes remembering who you are and what you’re about is motivation enough to continue down your path.

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Sunday, December 2, 2012

The week ahead...

It's only December 2nd
and it feels like the New Year is tomorrow!
I have so many plans...
so many things I want to accomplish
and I want it all done now!

So this month I decided to blog every day.
My goal is to fill up my blog with some great content for you and I really hope you enjoy it. I'll be taking Sundays off and just posting about what is coming up in the week ahead. Tomorrow I'm going to start a short series about motivation and goals. See you then!