Why Easter is a great time of year for your business – hint, it’s not about the chocolate

The answer to the ill fated question - Why did the bunny cross the road?

The answer to the ill fated question – Why did the bunny cross the road?

Easter is about different things for different people.

Religion.  Chocolate.  Bunnies.  Chocolate Bunnies.

Mmmmm, chocolate bunnies….. Er, where was I?

For me, Easter is about renewal.  Starting over.  And I like to take this time of year to re-assess.  What I planned, where I’m at, where I want to go.

When a new year starts, we make all these huge, seemingly impossible goals, don’t we?  Oh, those New Years Resolutions.  Lose 20kg in a week.  Become the next Tim Holtz.  Climb every mountain and swim every sea.  No pressure.

3 months later we still haven’t gotten up off the couch or taken the wrapper of that new Yoga DVD we said we would do every day.  We’re still making lists and planning how to take on the crafting world without having actually DONE anything.  And we don’t really know what happened to all the other stuff.  It just kind of fell by the way side as every day life got in the way and that New Year enthusiasm gave way to our daily routine.  It’s okay to admit it – we’ve all done it.   Hands up – who does it every year?

I look at Easter as a gentler goal setting time.  A time to reflect on how we’ve done over the last 3 months.  How we are going with all those goals we set on the first of January.  What’s important.  What really matters.  And how the hell can I actually pull this off?

I’m checking in with you here.  Publicly sharing my plans and my progress.  And how it’s all traveling so far.

Make a sale in my Etsy store.  I thought this was a bit of an easy one when I set it.  That it wasn’t very ambitious.  It was more about reaching the milestone.  Until I went to an Etsy workshop where the speaker said it can take 6 months or a year to get your first sale.  You what?!  This is gonna be harder than I thought.  But I made my first sales to friends which was such a beautiful, gentle introduction.  And about 6 weeks after I opened my store, I made my first sale to a stranger.  I might need to rethink this goal now – since there are 8 more months in the year.  How about 1 sale a month?  Do-able without too much pressure, don’t you think?  Now, how to pull that off?

Design my own plate.  My first series of images were made with the help of designers.  I told them what I wanted and they did the ‘tech stuff’.  It was how I could see a way to start this big, wild, crazy dream of mine.  But it feels like the designs are someone else’s interpretation of what I wanted, not exact replicas of what I pictured.  And it feels like there is something missing.  A personal connection to the images.  The extra pride of being able to say they are completely my own.  It’s no secret that Photoshop and I are not friends which is why I used the designers.  I’ve managed to pick up a Photoshop for Dummies book at a book sale for $2 – bargain.  That’s a pretty cheap education.  And I’m determined to figure out enough to be able to turn some hand drawn images into the right format for the manufacturer all by myself.  Image sizes in pixels, vector images – it’s all blah blah blah to me at the moment.  I’ve started making some images for a plate and of course I have lots more scribbled down in my ideas journals, on post its and various pieces of paper.  Hmmm, maybe going through my pile of notes should get added to my to-do list.

Growing my Finding Firelight blog I had forgotten what it felt like when you did your first post on a new blog.  Even though I’ve been blogging here for almost 2 years, it’s still a whole new world with the new blog.  Finding your voice for a different blog.  How to write different posts to here at CWB.  Posts about how I made stuff without just saying – I did this.  Then I did this.  Then I did that.  The end.  But I’ve got some ideas on what to do to make this happen.  Especially after doing Blogging For Your Creative Business with April from Blacksburg Belle.

So I’m on track with some.  I’m re-jigging others.  And I’ve got stuff to figure out and to put out into the world.

What about you?  I’d love to hear what your New Year goals were.  And how you are going with them at the Easter check in point.

And how many chocolate bunnies you ate.

Coral.  xo

Posted in Business Design | Tagged | Leave a comment

The uninvited test

Ranger spray inks, The Crafters Workshop stencils, scrapbook paper and shipping tag.

Ranger spray inks, The Crafters Workshop stencils, scrapbook paper and shipping tag.

I faced a test this week.  Not a maths test – thank goodness for small mercies.  Not a personality test – that could reveal things none of us need to know.  Not a driving test – hooking it around my favourite corner would probably earn me an instant fail and a demand to be taken back to base from the tester. What do you mean, you don’t have a favourite corner?  I’m guessing you don’t have a favourite gear either?  Hmmm… We’ll talk about this later…

I got tested on the beliefs for my business.  I don’t want to give energy and space to what happened and it wasn’t anything bad in the scope of things.  The best way to describe it is that it presented me with a crossroads.  Two paths I could choose.  Two directions.

“How do I react to this?”, I thought – I’m good at instant pissed off.  Really good.  Just add water.  Not my best personality trait, but ’tis what it is.

What choice do I make?  Do I react full tilt, all guns a blazin’, bull at a gate style which was my instant thought when it happened.   To be honest, it’s usually my instant reaction to most things.   Do I just ignore it which is kind of hard when it keeps playing over and over in your head like that song you hate on the radio but can’t stop singing.

It made me question what I believe in. I hate that.

If anyone is going to be doing the questioning around here, it’s gonna be me.

Not someone else.  Not a stranger.

I felt forced into questioning what I believe in and what I want for my business.  Forced into justifying myself.  Hang on a minute. How the hell did that happen?  I’m just a girl trying to go after her big, wild, crazy dream.  A girl fighting off a mid life re-assessment (no crisis here).  And I’m sharing it publicly in the hope it might help someone else let their dream out into the world too.

I get up at 4am to make the time to turn this little idea into something big and real and true.  Most of the time I have no idea what I’m doing.  But I’m doing it anyway.  And that should count for something.  Not just for me, but for anyone with the courage to give it a damn good go.

It’s not for someone else to question.  Especially the way it was put to me.  And so, I had a think about it and what I came up with was this.

I believe everyone’s dream is different even if they look the same on the surface.

I believe everyone will take a different path to get there.

That what is the perfect fit for one person will feel like a wet over-sized jumper on someone else.

I believe we are all in this together.  I believe in encouraging anyone who wants to take on their big, wild, crazy dream and turn it into reality.

The questioning did lead me to something though.  More clarity.  Every time I think I’ve got a handle on this.  Every time I think I know what I’m doing (well, kinda sorta).  Every time I think I can say ‘look Mum, no hands’, I realize I’m not there yet.  There’s more learning to do.  More growing to do.  More depth to find.

So rather than do the pissed off thing, since I’ve had so much practice at that already – I chose the path of calm and strength.  I chose to act how I want my business to be and feel and represent.  I took what positives from it what I could.  I made some tweaks to my about page with more changes to come.  And I ignored what had led me to this post.  No reaction.  No comment.  No reply.  By responding, it felt like I was inviting that energy in.  And bad energy is not welcome here.

Yours in heartfelt encouragement – Coral. xo

PS – You know I’ve opened my Etsy Store, right?  You can check out what all this work has been about HERE.

Posted in Business Design | Tagged , | 4 Comments

I caught someone stealing on the weekend

Class with Finnabair - Rocking Horse Shadow Box

Class with Finnabair – Rocking Horse Shadow Box

I did two class with Finnbair on the weekend.  Oh so good.  To do something arty and creative after all the business learning.  And doing mixed media workshops as advanced as this is rare where I am.  It was so nice to be creative with other people and to just get painty.

I overheard some girls talking about classes they had been doing with one of the other girls that was there.  A class I have heard of even thought I didn’t know those girls.  Because she was teaching classes by one of my favourite artists.  Except the students didn’t know that.  They’d never heard of the famous artist.  They thought this girl was a mad genius and a brilliant teacher.  They didn’t know she was teaching a class they could buy online from the REAL artist.  And the girl teaching the classes was glowing with pride and bathing in the glory of all the compliments.  Ick.

How can you act like a rockstar because your classes are so good when they aren’t your classes?

You are ripping off someone elses stuff and passing it off as your own.

If I was doing that, I would be freaking out that it was being discussed in a room full of really arty girls who are probably big fans of the real artist.  What if someone over heard and called you out on it?  What if someone realized what you were doing?

But I guess that is the difference between her and I.  I would be worried about being caught stealing while she was basking in undeserved glory.

At the beginning of the classes with Finn, she gave a little speech about not teaching the same class to others.  Of not copying exactly what we were being taught, but giving permission to use the techniques with your own style.   She asked us not to post step by step instructions on our blog of what she was teaching.  She reminded us this is her living, her only source of income.  And if she couldn’t teach anymore, she would leave the internet, meaning everyone would miss out.

If creating a class was easy, every idiot would do it.

If you have a blog and are trying to build it into something, you know how hard you are working.   To build a profile.  To build a following.  To define your style.  These artists spend years building that.  And they spend hours developing a signature class.

For online classes they film hours of video.  They spend even more hours editing it.  Then there is the technical stuff to host it.  For in person classes there are all the kits to be made up, hiring venues and the travel.  How dare anyone just steal all that work to make a ‘name’ for themselves.  How dare they use it to make a quick buck without having done any of the hard work.

When I told my husband, he commented that I should have said something about “oh, you’re doing [artists] class” and pointed it out to this rip off merchants unsuspecting students.  But I didn’t really register what was going on until the moment had passed.  It’s always the way, isn’t it.

Had I realized at the time, I would have made a point.  A really strong point.  I would have told her students.  I would have confronted her.  I would have defended my favourite artists hard work.

Heaven help this girl if I come across her again….

Coral.  xo

Posted in What I know so far | Leave a comment

The 7 things I want to know about you.

Obsessed with shipping tags at the moment - this is another on to be added to the Tag Journal Project on www.findingfirelight.com

Obsessed with shipping tags at the moment – this is another on to be added to the Tag Journal Project on www.findingfirelight.com

I’ll admit – most people would say I have an abominable taste in music.  And there may or may not include some Miley Cyrus on my Ipod.  Which is cool if you’re 13.  Probably not quite so cool when you are 39.

You know her song, the 7 things I hate about you?

And at the end, it’s the 7 things I love about you.

Well I want to know 7 things about you.

I want to pretend we are just a couple of girlfriends hanging out having a coffee.  Well, you have the coffee.  I’ll have a hot chocolate.  Without marshmallows or cream.  (I’m a purist when it comes to my hot chocolate).  And I need it made on milk – I had some bozo make it with hot water once.  Eww!  Who makes hot chocolate with water, seriously?  So let’s sit down and have our hot beverage of choice and get to know each other.

#1 What sort of art do you do?   Jewellery, paint, paper, mixed media, sewing, knitting, crochet?  I’d love to see what you make.  Do you play with more than one?  How would you describe your art style?

I love art journaling and mixed media – using spray inks, stencils, acrylic paint and of course rubber stamps.  I’ve also done a metal etching/art jewellery class and assemblage/mixed media classes too.

#2  Who are your favourite artists? I’d love to know who you admire – both for their artwork and for their business.  Who is your art idol?  Who has the same dream business you want?

Anahata Katkin is one of my favourites.  Her artwork is stunning, but her philosophy around her business and her success is just as beautiful.  Kelly Rae Roberts is another beautiful artist who believes in creating a artful business with soul and meaning.  My other favourites are Christy Tomlinson, Donna Downey, Michelle Ward, Teesha Moore & Flora Bowley.  I could go on….

#3 Who do you love learning from?  Who have you done courses with? Which blogs do you read every week for your business and your art?

For me – April from Blacksburg Belle is fantastic for the business side of things.  Her weekly videos are short and to the point.  They have really easy to understand ideas and you can almost feel the light bulb light up as you watch them.  Ah, now I get it.  Of course.  Epiphany.

Kelly Rae Roberts Flying Lessons Ebook was one of the first courses I did on this adventure.  It explains the basics and is so encouraging that you can do this.  Confidence is such a gift to give to someone just starting their adventure.  I go back to this one when I feel stuck or like things just aren’t coming together.  Or on the days where I wonder what they hell I think I’m doing.  A great courage booster.

Donna Downey’s Inspiration Wednesday videos of an art journal page are another favourite (seems to be a thing with Wednesdays…)  Makes me feel fearless in my art.  There are days when I really need that.

#4 Where do you get your inspiration?  What magazines to you love?  What music do you listen to when you are doing your art?  How do you work best?

Stampington is my magazine company of choice.  Somerset Studio, Art Journalling and Where Women Create Business – oh joy.  I have over 10 years of Somerset Studio and the shelf they are on is severely bowed from the weight.  I’ve just started working on my first ever big canvas and it’s the first time I’ve really worked to music.  Still deciding if I like it…..  Shaking my booty to Beyonce while waving a paintbrush around… you can just imagine.

#5 What art books are in your book shelves?  Are they all on the one subject?  Or do you have lots of different art books?  Who are your favourite authors?  Which one is your absolute favourite (if you can choose just one, I can’t) and why do you love it so much?

Even though I don’t do much assemblage, I love both of Michael DeMeng’s books. Not just because they are great technique books, but because despite his slightly macabre artwork, he is incredibly funny.  And each artwork has a fantastic story behind it.  I also love my books by Claudine Hellmuth and Lynne Perrella.  And my set of 4 mini journals from Teesha Moore.  Oh, and my well worn copy of True Colours from Stampington.  All absolute go-to books.

#6  What artwork do you have on display?  Do you have artwork you’ve received from other people?  What is on your inspiration boards?  What’s on your bookshelves?  What pieces of your own artwork are your favourites?

I have a cork board of advanced artwork from other arty girls I’ve collected over the years from being in various online groups (don’t really do that these days).  I also have a board of art cards I’ve bought from Anahata Katkin and Teesha Moore and printables from people like Danielle LaPorte and The Maven Circle.  And I have a 3rd board that has things I want in my dream life.  My dream car (a Subaru WRX), my dream charity (sponsoring a Guide Dog) and motivating quotes (like the Apple ad torn from a magazine.  “I am _________ years old.  My dream is to _________”).  Yeah, there isn’t any more room on my walls – the other one is covered by a 6 foot book case overflowing with Somerset Studios magazines.

#7 What does your dream creative business look like?
What are you selling?  How are you selling it?  Are you teaching?  Are you speaking on stage?  How big are you dreaming?

I’m thinking I’ll do a whole post on this one – but I will say this.  I’m dreaming big.  Really big.  How about you?

I hope you’ll leave your answers in the comments or send me an email if you’re a bit shy.  I love sharing my adventure with you.  And I hope you’ll share your adventure with me too.

Coral.  xo

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What I learned from Kelly Rae Roberts this week

Another tag in The Tag Journal Project at www.FindingFirelight.com

Another tag in The Tag Journal Project at www.FindingFirelight.com

Kelly Rae was part of Jennifer Lee’s Right Brainers in Business video summit this week.  To be able to hear & see Kelly Rae in her interview was so wonderful.  Almost like meeting one of your SHeroes in person…  To hear and see her speaking was such a gift this week.  Sometimes when you are running out of petrol, you get a boost at just the right time to refuel you.  Kelly Rae’s interview was my fuel this week.

So what did I learn from Kelly Rae?

To listen.  To trust.

I know it sounds airy fairy, but stick with me.

To Listen – to your instincts.  To Trust – what your heart is telling you.  She said sometimes fear means it’s not right for you.  And sometimes it means you are heading in the right direction.  That you are on the edge of something big.

I’ve gone with what feels right for most of this adventure.  Sometimes that has flown in the face of conventional wisdom.  In the opposite direction to what the ‘experts’ say you are meant to do.  But if I fail, I want it to be because I thought it might work, not because I was doing what I was told by a complete stranger.  If I wanted to do what I was told, I would just stay in That Day Job.

Kelly Rae also talked about letting go.

Letting go of the things that don’t feel like the fit – even when they are incredibly successful.  Yep, even when they are working.  That was BIG.  To have the trust and faith that better things will come that will fit truly with what your soul mission is -that was really powerful for me.  That’s real courage.

When you are looking at success as something on the horizon you are running towards, to think of letting it go in the faith something better will come – that’s almost incomprehensible in this moment.  But I also think – what an amazing position to be in.  To have that strength and faith in what you are doing and what can come next if you let go.  Can you even imagine?  Just sit with that thought for a little while and you will see why it blew me away.

Letting go of  all your ideas and to do lists – so you can focus on the really important stuff.  On the things that really fit what you believe in.  Your why.  Yes, Kelly Rae is a big believer in your why too.  You know I love that.

If you are running out of fuel.  If it feels like nothing is happening, you’re not moving, your stuck.  If it feels like you should just give it all away and just settle for a day job (don’t you dare) –

Find your SHero.

Find an interview, a blog post, a piece of art.

Find your fuel.

And keep going….  (we’re nearly there)

Big hugs – Coral.  xo

Posted in Learning | Tagged | 2 Comments

What do an esky, a footstool and an empty box have in common?

An esky, a footstool and an empty box.  Put em together and what have you got?

An esky, a footstool and an empty box. Put em together and what have you got?

What do you do when you desperately want to film something but you don’t have a tripod?  You raid the garage and build your own.

When I filmed my first video, I used a footstool and a hot pink bendy tripod and I sat down on the grass in the back yard.

This time, I wanted to film at my new desk which is actually our old entertainment unit that my husband upcycled, recycled…. well, he cylced it.  I now have my own little spot to work with new speakers and a new printer for when I make my first sale on Etsy – c’mon first sale.  I also have second monitor so I can drag a window on my laptop playing TV across onto this bigger monitor.  It’s all very Abbey’s lab on NCIS or Garcia’s room on Criminal Minds.

I wanted to film a video for Finding Firelight – an art tutorial to put on YouTube.  I needed my camera to be up high, looking down on my desk – I wasn’t doing this on the floor!  So I had to make something that would be up high enough.  And the only thing I could find was an esky, a footstool and an empty box the new computer speakers came in.

And so, like a precarious game of Jenga, I built myself a tripod.

A heavy steady esky.  A footstool that was wider than the esky precariously balanced on top – it slipped to the side a couple of times, luckily without the camera sitting on it at the time.  Then the empty box was on top, nudged towards the edge of the footstool.  It was very light, so I was a little worried about it.  I then put the camera with the little pink tripod on top of that.  I had to tilt the camera and lower the front of the tripod so it would look down a little on my work space.  Which meant I had it weighted quite heavily close to the edge of the very light empty box.

“Please don’t fall off, please don’t fall off”.

Sometimes you just gotta cross your fingers and hope for the best.

I started filming and it went quite well.  I watched it back and realized there were too many photos on the memory, so the video had stopped recording part way through.  Damn you little point and shoot camera.  So I had to download all the photos off and start again.  Probably just as well – every time I picked something up to show the camera, I hadn’t held it quite low enough – so it only partly showed in the top of the screen.  Rookie mistake.

Take two

I was a little nervous – I had prepped some “here’s one I prepared earlier” elements and I only had one left.  (I had three backups, but only one more of the one I really wanted to use).  This one went much better, thank goodness.   I even held stuff in the middle of the shot so you could actually see it.   I’ll let you know when I’ve finished all the editing stuff and it’s ready for it’s premiere.

As I’ve said before – start where you are with what you have.

What I had was an esky, a footstool and an empty box.

Coral.  xo

Posted in Business Design | Tagged | 6 Comments

Damn you mid life crisis


My ‘mid life major re-assessment’ really got to me this week.

People paint this adventure as a beautiful thing.

And it is.

I have grown so much as a person which I wasn’t expecting when I started.  I just wanted to get where I wanted to go.  To get to the finish line.  Forget ‘the journey is the destination’ – I just wanted it all to happen.  But along the way, it’s opened up a whole new world to me that I never knew existed.  I’ve learned so much (and have discovered I still have so much to learn).  I’ve also stumbled upon some amazing people along the way.  And a few of them I consider friends on this adventure.

But there is also a lot of stuff that messes with your head.

People who have successful businesses that start by happy accidents.  At the moment, I’m hating those stories.  They are really rubbing my fur the wrong way.  On the wrong day, those stories make you feel crappy and angry and make you say those terrible words “it’s not fair”.

People who don’t have to work so they have all day to work on their business. Being able to dive in to courses whole heartedly instead of having to steal moments here and there for weeks.  Reading all those blogs you would love to check in with every day but just don’t have the time for.  Having a whole day to do your art and experiment without a thought about time and schedules and priorities and to-do lists.

Just having the time to figure all this stuff out.

Waaah, it’s not fair.  Hmmm, classy.

I know it’s bad, but sometimes I really resent those people.  I’m sure they have their own challenges.  And there is probably lots of tears and hard work and setbacks just like me.  It just doesn’t seem like it.  Not today.  It feels like other people have seredipty on their side.  And that I’m pushing sh*t up hill.

Thank goodness for Danielle LaPorte’s Credo For Making It Happen.  It’s next to my computer screen at That Day Job.  I look at it when I need a courage boost.

I needed it today.

Coral.  xo

Posted in Mindset, My story | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Stop learning. Start doing

Manilla shippng tag, modelling paste, The Crafters Workshop stencil and Ranger paints

Manilla shippng tag, modelling paste, The Crafters Workshop stencil and Ranger paints

I went to a workshop a few years ago and one of the speakers mentioned they had spoken at a few events and would often see the same people at each event.  Year after year. They were learning and learning.  Taking notes.  Asking questions.  Buying courses.

But they never did anything with what they learned.  They didn’t start a business.  They didn’t take the leap.  They didn’t try anything they learned.  They didn’t have the courage to at least give it a go and see what happened.

Given half a chance, I would sign up for so many more courses than I already have.  Oh, if I didn’t have That Day Job….  But alas, I have to limit what I’m doing.

I’m currently doing the Blogging For Your Creative Business with April from Blacksburg Belle which I am loving.  When I first decided I was going to go after this big, wild, crazy dream, I did a more technical blogging course which taught me how to set up hosting, file transfers from my computer, back ups and all that kind of stuff.  Both VERY different courses, even though they are both on blogging.

I’ve also got a course sitting there waiting for me from Jane Davenport on how to use my art suppliers called Supplies Me.  It’s a fun art one after all the business learning I’ve been doing for the last 18 months.  Mumma needs some fun! (Furry kids counts as being a Mumma, right?)   I’ll be going on to that once I finish April’s course in a few weeks.

I’ve also got an ebook from Mayi Carles waiting for me that I am about half wayf through.  It’s about writing an ebook and it is brilliant!  But I’ve had to put it to the side to focus on opening my Etsy store.  But I can’t wait to go back to it.  An ebook is definitely something I see myself doing further down the track.  The operative words being ‘further down the track’.

I’ve banned myself from buying any more ebooks, courses or classes until I finish the ones I already have.  I read somewhere recently that 20% of people who buy a course or ebook never open it.

When I did my first blogging course, it was all in video.  I would watch the video through the first time.  Then I would re-watch it, doing what they did as it played.  I worked through it day by day, week by week.  And in the end, I had a blog all set up.  I was quite chuffed with myself.  It was scary as hell, pressing all these buttons because someone told you to, not really knowing how it all worked and why.  But I did it.  And I got where I wanted to get to when I bought it.

If you decide to do a course or buy an ebook as part of going after your big, wild, crazy dream this year – promise me you’ll read it or watch it.  You’ll try what you learn.  You’ll have the courage to take a leap of faith.  To do something that is waaaay out of your comfort zone but could give you so much.

Pinky promise me, okay?

Coral.  xo

PS – I’ve started posting on my art blog www.findingfirelight.com.  My latest post is about starting my first ever year long project – The Tag Journal Project.

Posted in Learning | Tagged | 3 Comments

The difference between Pinterest and reality

A tag from my Tag Journal Project.

A tag from my Tag Journal Project.

You’ve seen them.  Those pictures on Pinterest of immaculate, uncluttered desks.   With a vase of fresh flowers.  Stunning furniture, the kind that actually matches.  Inspiration boards overflowing with typography and beautiful gifts from art friends and the most divine packaging kept.  Sunlight streaming in, with a beautiful view of a city skyline or park or your own immaculate garden that you groom to perfection.  That vase of flowers on the desk? You grew them yourself.  Ahhh……

I’ve talked about the movie Stand by Me before.  There is a scene where the legend of a vicious junkyard dog turns out to just be a regular dog.  The voice over says

“Chopper was my first lesson in the vast difference between myth and reality”.

My little blog helper

My little blog helper

The reality of how I blog – on the couch, with the TV going for company at 4am.  In the dark with just one light on to see what I am doing, leaving the rest of the house to sleep.  One of the cats – the white fluffy one, is usually wedged up against one of my legs.  She will often demand a cuddle or a chin rub before going back to her elaborate bathing regime.  This regime lasts about 5 minutes before she needs another chin rub which can stall the productivity a bit but I can’t say no.  I have my laptop on it’s special table and I sit with it resting on my crossed legs.  As I type, the cat will occasionally walk across my laptop table or my chest, shoving her tail up my nose as she goes to settle down on the other side of me to continue said bathing regime.  Again, a slight interruption to the flow of words.

You don’t need a luxury office.  My couch and laptop table let me do the job.  You don’t need a Mac book.  My little faithful Dell has stood me in good steed.  You don’t need an expensive camera and tripod set up.  My 4 year old point and shoot camera has a video function that is letting me do what I want to.  For my first video, I propped it up on a footstool and some stacked books, propped up with newspapers at one end to make it level.  Gl-gl-glamorous.

With my very un-pinterest set up, I’ve been able to start.  Of course I dream of Donna Downey video set ups and Kelly Rae Roberts studios. But if I waited until I had those, I’d still be waiting.  Don’t wait until everything is perfect.  Don’t let the interior designer photos fool you.

Start where you are, with what you have.

Coral.  xo

Posted in Business Design | Tagged | 3 Comments

Before you hire a coach or buy an online course – read this.

Modelling paste, Ranger paint dabbers and The Crafters Workshop stencils.

Modelling paste, Ranger paint dabbers and The Crafters Workshop stencils.

So this is it.  The year you make that big, wild, crazy dream happen.  Maybe you are just about to take the leap.  Maybe you are about to take the leap of making it more serious.  And you’ve decided to do that, you are going to throw yourself into a  a super duper online course or hire a fantabulous business coach.

I hired a business coach quite early in my adventure.  You can read about it HERE, HERE and HERE.  And I’ve done various courses the whole way along.  I love learning (most of the time) and I think it has helped so much.  But I have a few things to get off my chest.

I was talking to a friend the other day who has a creative business.  And I told her how much I hate the ‘Zero to Hero in 6 months” promise.

You know the one.  I started with $10 and a laptop and in 6 months I was running a million dollar business.  They somehow made lots of mistakes that you can learn from.  Really?  In 6 months?  And of course, they can let you in on the secrets so you don’t make the same mistakes.  Ugh – I think I need a shower to wash this off.

I worry that if you learn from the big promise people will have your heart broken.   And that it will be broken so badly, that you will never have the courage to try again.  It’s a cruel thing to take that away from someone.

And I so don’t want that for you.  Yes, there are people who go after their big wild crazy dream and things just fall in to place.  Things happen remarkably quickly.  They meet the right people to work with.  They make the right industry connections.   They try something that has a huge impact on their success.  By the time we decide we are going to do this thing, we are impatient to get there and so we fall for their promises.  For every person who did it overnight, hundreds of others did it the long way.  If you’ve listened to interviews on Blogcast FM, or if you look at the business people you admire – none of them did it overnight.  They may have had times where things  gave them a big step forward, but the whole adventure to where they are now?  It did not happen overnight.   Danielle LaPorte, Anahata Katkin, Marie Forleo, Tim Holtz (my favourites) – they have all been working their butt off for years to make this happen. You know it.  I know it.  So don’t fall for it.

The other thing I don’t like is a bit more delicate.

I’ve wanted to have a rant about this for a while because it really gets up my nose.  There are coaches out there who say they specialize in creative business coaching but they have never done anything creative in their life.

They don’t know the creative business world.  At all.  They haven’t opened an Etsy store.  They don’t know who you are talking about when you reference Kelly Rae Roberts or Anahata Katkin or [insert your favourite arty business person here].  They don’t know what it means to make something with their own two hands.  They don’t know what it’s like to have a creative block at the worst possible time.  Or the challenge of growing your creative ‘thing’ to the next level.

If you are going to hire a coach, find someone you feel really ‘gets it’.  Who get’s creative business and where you are with yours.  And please oh, please, find  someone you click with.  Don’t just choose someone because they are a ‘big name’ coach or because other people sing their praises.

Because if you don’t click with them, your coaching is gonna suck.

As I work through my Incredible Life Business Planner from Leonie Dawson, looking back at 2012, I’m surprised at just how far I’ve come.  And I can’t wait to see where I am at the end of 2013.  I hope your 2013 is going to be amazing.  And that choosing the right course or the right coach will make it even better than you can ever imagine.

Big hugs – Coral.  xo.

PS – I’ve changed the design on the Finding Firelight blog if you want to take a peak.

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