Category Archives for Step It Up
Have you ever just sat down and dreamt a little? Forgotten about all of the social norms, what’s expected of you, and DREAM? It’s really fun and has truly been inspiring me lately. One thing I have all of my clients do is tell me their ideal client. It helps me know a lot about how to create their visuals and who to aim for when I’m designing. If their ideal client is a hippie/chique woman, the visuals will be totally different than if their ideal client was a coffee drinking bearded man. It says a lot about your business and can really give you some great direction. Your ideals effect everything!
To help you achieve your ideals, I came up with three fun dreams for you to dream! But there’s a catch- they are followed by things you need to do. As much as I wish I could perform magic, dreams can’t be created without doing something about them.
So Dream- then DO! And your dreams will come true… (oooh rhyming and truth.. so good right?? )
Here it goes!!
- Figure out who your ideal client is // Then FIND them! If your business works with individuals, who are they? What industry do they work in, who do they jam out to on their ipod, where do they live? Once you know this- go out and FIND them! Where are these people hanging out? Are they reading a certain blog? Then YOU need to be reading that blog. Are they at a particular networking event? Then YOU need to go to that event and meet them all! Your clients are out there- you just need to know where and get to know them.
- Dream up your ideal business situation // Then take ONE step towards it. Do you have employees? Do you have a set schedule? Make your own schedule? How much money are you making? Where is your office located? If your dream is to work with a team- ask around and see if someone you could see yourself working with would be up for collaborating on a project. See if a local college student would like to come along with you on that engagement shoot you’re doing this weekend. Doing these things will give you experience in working with others, allow you to network and move towards your goal of working with others in your business. It’s ONE step closer to your dream! Whatever it is you dream up for your business, see if you can take just one step towards it. Wether that be learning about it, starting a savings account towards it, or even DOING it if you can. If you can’t- what do you need to do to get there? Then do that.
- Dream up the coolest project ever // And DO it. Personal projects are one thing I miss about college so much. Doing work without any clients telling you how to do it. Ah, a dream for any creative person! Guess what? You have a business. Create something for that! Be your own client and make some RAD stuff without anyone holding you back! Have you always wanted to do a photo shoot in a certain place styled a certain way? Grab some attractive friends and make it happen. No one is stopping you. It will be an amazing portfolio piece and guess what- you’ll probably attract people who like what you did which means… more awesome work similar to what you would do with no one telling you what to do. BAM. Your portfolio builds and now you have your niche. And you had a blast creating it!
Easy, right? Just three simple ways you can dream up your business and then get practical and make it happen.
Notice how there’s quite a lot of talk about “DOING” in this post? In order to make things happen you have to do things. They may not be easy or fun, but to achieve your goals, they are necessary. It’s so much fun to dream, but what’s even more fun is to see those dreams come into reality. And that takes DOING. So dream a little dream! Then DO something about it! You won’t ever regret the work you put into making your dreams a reality.
Happy Tuesday friends!!…
I’m back on the blogging game and ready for action. I finally feel refreshed and that new year hustle that so often comes to us this time of year.
It’s been awhile since I’ve done a “Step It Up” on here, so I thought being that it’s the new year, now would be a great time for one. This Step It Up is more of a resolution I’m setting for myself, a challenge to my body and brain, knowing that it will help me in all areas of life, including work!
So here it is friends, the goal I have to challenge myself this year is to run a half marathon. Yeah, I said it. Ok, I’m SO not a runner, (I’ve always been more of a jazzercise kind of gal) but this is something that I truly believe I (and everyone) needs. A mental and physical challenge. 2012 was probably the least active year of my life, being a newly wed and freelancing made me want to spend every spare second I had cuddling with my husband while watching a Netflix series. But now that I’ve gotten that out of my system and have learned that having a balanced life really does help you in SO many different areas, I’m more motivated than ever to do this. My husband is also training for a full marathon (crazy guy) so we’re in this together, which makes it even more awesome. I’ve been training since the beginning of the month and today I ran 2 (slow) miles without stopping for a walk! It may seem small, but for someone who hasn’t worked out very hard in a year, I feel pretty accomplished. I even got myself some crazy colorful new running shoes to inspire me to get out there!
I think everyone at one time in their life has had a resolution to eat healthier, so I know I’m totally falling into the pack when I say this, but I do resolve to step it up by eating healthier. I think of it as an overall getting balanced thing. I’ve recently discovered some great healthy eating sites such as SkinnyTaste.com, Kris Carr, and the awesome recipe pinning site Punchfork (they were actually just bought by Pinterest). I made this soup last night and it was delish!
Working from home and freelancing can seriously take over your life if you let it. Anyone out there feel me?? If so, you should sign up for a half marathon and train with me. Get out of your normal day to day world and challenge yourself apart from work. It’s great to set goals for work, but I truly believe that setting goals like this will help you be smarter and more productive in everything you do. It will be fun! (kinda) A lot of work, but a challenge to your body and your brain.
Take the challenge with me, do a halfsy. Get yourself some cute running outfits and do it! We can do it together!! Leave a message in the comments if you’re down and I can send you my training sched.
Happy Monday and 2013 everyone!
I know I normally post to Design Journey here on Tuesdays, but this Tuesday I decided to do something a little different. I mentioned before that the opportunity to attend the Identity Conference was given to me last weekend. I had an amazing time listening to speakers like Promise Tangeman, Dale Partridge, and Rick Warren.
Talk about loads of inspiration from some incredibly inspiring people! There was so much good information, hard to retain it all in one sitting, so I took a ton of notes and wanted to share a few highlights with you guys. I’ll be separating this into a few different posts, but I’m starting with some MAJOR good info about innovation in your business, shared by Rick Warren. For those of you who don’t know, Rick wrote “The Purpose Driven Life” and is the pastor at Saddleback Church in Orange County. He has an insane ability to take relevant information and present it in a simple manner, easy for anyone to understand. Everything stated below I take no credit for, it’s all from my notes from Rick’s presentation.
Innovation is a matter of asking the right questions. Questions about your business, your market, and yourself. Your success will depend on you asking the right questions. This leads us to the core of Rick’s talk: “The Eight ‘Nations’ of Innovation.” Rick simply listed out these 8 things that will help you thrive in your business, ministry, or anything else you are working on. These can be applied in so many different areas.
So here you have it! Rick Warren’s “Eight ‘Nations’ of Innovation”
1 // Termination: What do I need to STOP doing?
You can’t do too many things. If you want your life to have any sort of impact you must have focus! Knowing what you’re not going to do is key. The more focused you are, the more powerful your life will be. So ask yourself, what are you not going to do?
2 // Combination: What could we mix together to create something new?
Just like sweet and sour pork, mixing two opposite things can create an magical feast of innovation. Think of two completely separate things, put them together, and see what happens! You’d be surprised at the cool ideas you come up with.
3 // Elimination: What part can we take out to make it simpler?
Ask yourself, “What can we remove to make it more accessible and easier, while still growing? Complexity is just too… complex! Simplify simplify simplify.
4 // Reincarnation: How can we bring something that’s dead back to life in a new form?
Think about successful people of the past and how they went about things. Add some technology, social media and software, and voila! You haven’t spent time reinventing the wheel, you’ve just made it more “2013″
5 // Coordination: How can we do it faster, larger, cheaper with a team?
It’s amazing what can be done with a team. Rick talked about how his church was able to feed every homeless person in Orange County with an awesome team of volunteers. It wasn’t easy, but with their team of thousands, they were able to do it. That could never have been done without a strong team who was willing to give their time and efforts!
6 // Rejuvenation: How can we change the purpose or motivation for doing it?
Make sure you have the right intentions for doing what you are doing. Doing the right thing with the wrong heart isn’t a good thing. Examine yourself. The heart can be easily strayed.
7 // Illumination: How can we look at this in a new light?
Get opinions from people who are looking from the outside in. How do they perceive what you are doing? It’s easy to get a skewed view when you are working on something from the back end. You know what your intentions are, you know what you are going for. But getting opinions from others with fresh eyes can really broaden your view and give you a different perspective. How do you look to the outside world?
8 // Fascination: How do we make it more interesting, appealing, memorizing?
Take what you are already doing and put a spin on it! Make it more fascinating. Everyone loves new and fresh, even in the simplest ways. You don’t have to invent anything new, simply add a new twist to what you already have, and see what happens!
Eight simply stated ways that you can be innovative in your business. It’s all about asking the right questions. So good, right??
Hey hey there friends! Today on “Step it up” I’m talking about getting things done. Nike had it right with their “just do it” slogan. Sometimes, ya just gotta do it!
You know what I’m talking about. When thinking abou something you have to do makes you cringe inside, all you want to do is run to Facebook or Twitter. Good ‘ol social media is a wonderful tool and a great distraction. Sometimes, you gotta pull out that old discipline stick and do the opposite. Tell yourself, “the sooner you get it done the sooner you won’t have to think about it.” There’s nothing worse than having something you don’t want to do lingering over your head all day. Here are a few ways I handle my “I just want to stalk people on Facebook” days.
1 // Have a to-do list and stick to it. I don’t know about you guys, but in working for myself, to-do lists are life-savers. They act as my boss throughout the day. In the morning I arrange my tasks in order of priority. Once I finish one thing, I go to my list to see what’s next for me to do. It saves me time and mental stress to know that my list knows what’s up. It’s constantly growing and changing throughout the day. If I get an email asking for logo revisions, I have to stop what I’m doing and put that new task onto my list. Right then and there. Or else I forget and that task never gets done! (Check out Tuex Duex it’s what I use and I love it!)
2 // Set timers. Tell yourself that for the next hour (or whatever time period you desire) you won’t wander away from the task at hand. Set a timer on your phone so you don’t have to keep looking at the clock. Work hard on what you need to do for that time period, then take a 10 minute “wander” break. A wander break is where you give yourself 10 minutes to send out a tweet, check out the latest Travel Zoo deals, or update your Facebook status. (I just made that name up, and I think I like it!) Set a timer for this as well. After that 10 minutes is up, get back to the project you were working on before, or move onto something else. Giving yourself time constraints can do a ton of good for your day to day productivity. That way you are able to focus on the task at hand, knowing there’s a “wander break” coming up!
3 // Suck it up (saying that in the nicest way possible!) There’s always going to be that one thing you don’t want to do. Take dishes for example. You just got done with a late dinner, you’re exhausted from the day, and after an episode of Parks and Rec, your comfy bed is screaming your name. But there’s one thing you forgot to do – dishes. Noooo! So you ignore those dishes and go straight to bed. Morning comes, you wake up to emails / children / work / more chores AND dishes from last night. Putting things off just makes for more work later. Ignoring things doesn’t make them go away. Sometimes you just have to suck it up and do it, even when everything in you tells you not to.
These are things I’ve found help me get things done and “just do it” throughout my day. If you guys have any tips or have found something that helps you get things done throughout the day, leave it in the comments! We’re all here to help each other out and I’m sure someone will benefit from it
Happy Thursday friends!…
There’s no substitute for hard work, they always say.
And it is so true! But do you ever feel like you’re working extremely hard and not seeing any benefit or reward from it? You may be placing your efforts into the wrong place.
When I was a little girl, I remember learning how to put my seatbelt on by myself, and getting super frustrated with that thing. It would get stuck when I was trying to pull it, so I would pull harder, then it would get stuck once again! I would pull and yell, then it would somehow scratch my face and the whole thing would turn into one big mess. I remember one time in particular when this occurred and my dad patiently came over to help me out. I couldn’t have been more than five years old, but I still remember the words he told me. “Joanna, work smarter, not harder.” Simple statement most of you have probably heard before. But as a five year old child, this was the first time I had ever that said. And it blew my mind! I remember realizing that pulling the seatbelt harder wasn’t going to do any good. I had to slow down, let it go, then slowly pull it over and around to the buckle. I’ve had seatbelt success ever since!
My point in writing all of this is to remind you to put your hard work and efforts into places where they will be used to the best interest of you and others. When pulling doesn’t work, just pulling harder doesn’t do any better. If you are working really hard at something that just doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, it may be time to re-examine some things. Now the question – ok, that’s cool, but how do we do this? Well lucky for you (and me!) I’ve written down some tips on ways you can start working smarter, instead of burning yourself out and working oh so much harder.
1 // Examine your day. How do you spend the precious 24 hours you are given? Are you spending hours and hours on achieving the perfect text effect in Photoshop? There’s definitely nothing wrong with that. But have you tried Googling shortcuts or tutorials on how you can achieve the same effect in half the time? I just discovered a shortcut in Illustrator (an Adobe program) the other day that will save me tons of time in the future. I was spending lots of time working to create this effect, not knowing there was a button I could press that does it for me! A perfect example of working smarter. Google is your bff.
2 // Slow down and think. Take a break. Even if it’s just for 10 minutes, to think about your day. What do you need to get done, and how are you going to achieve that? Figuring this out was huge for me. I used to say to myself, “I can’t take a break, there’s too much to get done, I don’t have 10 minutes to stop and plan!” But in all reality, those 10 minutes you take to do some planning and thinking will save you tons of time and help you get things done much faster! You may be slowing down for a minute, but in the long run, you’re saving so much of your precious time!
3 // If something isn’t working, change it up! Einstein said that doing the same thing over and over expecting different results is insanity. Not saying anyone reading this is insane, but if what you’re doing each day isn’t getting you the results you need, it’s time for change! Change isn’t easy, especially when you’ve set yourself into a pattern. But change is vital for growth. Do you have a business but are having a hard time getting the kind of clients you want? Maybe you need to start attending events where your ideal clients are hanging out and get to know them. Reach out to your favorite blogger whose audience is similar to the clients you want, and see if they will feature your work! Do you have a ton of traffic coming in to your site but no one is buying what you’re selling? Maybe you need to re-examine your product and how your site is set up. (Good design is key!) Examine what isn’t working, and think about how you can change that. Also examine what is working, and how you can make it work better! Change is good my friends, and you won’t be able to grow in whatever you are doing without it.
4 // Learn from the mistakes around you. There are tons of people who have ventured out and done similar things to what you are doing now. Take a look at them. Did they succeed? How did they do that? Did they fail? What mistakes did they make that you can avoid? Mistakes are made everyday and if examined, you can figure out how to not waste your time making the same ones. There’s no need to re-invent the wheel and start from scratch with something that has already been figured out. Learn from mistakes. Yours and others. It will save you time and stress in the future!
5 // Take advantage of technology. There are so many softwares and apps that are created to help you do things better. Everything from keeping a calendar, to bulk editing those weddings you shoot every weekend. Don’t slave over things that can be done quicker. Use your resources, and if you don’t know how to find them, ask around. (Hello Google!) Follow tech blogs. There’s so much out there to help you save time and do what you do better. Take advantage!
These are things I’m currently learning as I continue on my journey as a small business owner. As I write these things I’m really talking to myself! I hope this can help you in some way in your journey, whatever that may be!
Happy Thursday friends! The weekend is almost here! AH! So much to do!
As I wrote to you all yesterday, I had an amazingly inspiring time in Palm Springs this past weekend.
Being surrounded by such talented and driven women (and feeling SO blessed to be hanging with them) really convicted me to push myself to the next level. To step it up with my design work, my client interactions, with my personal brand, and my blog content.
If you’ve been reading my blog at all this past year, you know I love to blog inspiration, thoughts and my graphics work from time to time. Now I’m thinking it’s time to be more focused. Not that I won’t blog any of those things anymore, I started blogging to journal my thoughts and that won’t change. I will continue to show my work and inspirations. But I’m ready to step it up.
Now I’m wondering to myself, what does it take? I’m sure you have felt the need to step things up in some regards. It may be with your job, your relationships, or business. We all feel it, as we should!
But how does one go about doing that? Just because I WANT to step it up doesn’t mean I know HOW!
So, I’m taking the big picture things I’ve seen from successful people and compiling them into 5 basic points. These are general statements, each I could talk about for a long time, but since we’re in the day and age of quick info, I’m going to be separating these into separate blog posts.
Here’s the first one! Get ready to step it up with me, friends. We’re in this together.
1 // Get organized.
I’m not just talking about getting organized with your receipts and paperwork… (though that is a good thing!) I’m talking about getting organized with your thoughts, goals and vision. Don’t just have them jumbled up in your head, changing day to day and week to week. Write them down and stick to them! Your long term goals, short term and present day. Keep them short and to the point. Having organized goals will allow you to live them out.
2 // Focus.
What is it you want? If you don’t know where you’re headed you will never get there. When learning how to draw I learned that when you create a line you need to know where it ends, or your drawing will be off. It is the same with life. If you don’t know where you are headed and what you want you won’t make it there. It’s ok (and good!) to be flexible. It’s ok to take opportunity as it comes. But having an end goal can really give you motivation and drive. When you know the purpose behind what you’re doing it will help you get there.
3 // Hard Work.
Don’t you despise the people who always look effortlessly amazing? Let me tell you a secret… it’s not effortless. It takes hard work and discipline. Do you think celebrities are born looking like that? No, they work hard for what they have. All good things come with some sort of hard work.
Working hard means going against what you feel. Feelings will lead you astray. Just because you feel like sleeping in, doesn’t mean you should. You must go against what your body is telling you and get out of that bed. It’s the same with anything. As much as you love what you do, you’re not always going to feel like doing it. You must learn to be disciplined and work hard. Want to step it up? Ya gotta work it!
4 // Reach Out!
I think so many of us try and do really difficult things all on our own. I know I do! But there are 7.043 billion other people in the world with talents and disciplines different than yours. Reach out to them and ask for help! You’d be surprised at who will lend you their advice and expertise. And if not, you’re in the exact same place as you started – no harm done If you really want to run your own business but aren’t sure how to run your finances, ask other small business owners how they do things. Let down your pride. It’s the best way to learn!
5 // Confidence.
Here’s where I struggle. I’m a HUGE people pleaser and do what I can to keep people from feeling any sort of uneasiness. But one thing I’ve learned is you must trust yourself. If you take the time to dig within you, you will find that you already know the truth, you know what you should be doing and the answers to your questions. The only thing that stops us from living that out is our fear. We must have the confidence to do what’s right, despite what others think. This is honestly one of the hardest things for me to do. It’s what holds me back the most. I have a fear of succeeding and what it will do to me. What other people will think, who will criticize me. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m always going to have fear, I just have to continue to act even with that lingering feeling. Stepping it up can’t happen without confidence. Something I’m learning everyday!!
I hope these inspire you on how you can step it up in whatever it is you’re doing. Since I’m planning on doing more focused blog posts with better content, I’ve decided I won’t be posting every single day. If you follow me on Twitter or like my Facebook page, you’ll be able to see when I post a blog. Find me over there! Let’s chat it up!
Happy Tuesday friends! Hope it’s a good one!…