Failure is a Gift

Failure :  The most important lesson I learned is about failure. This lesson I learned in my early 20’s,  19 actually. I was in college and working part time. I got a call from my father’s neighbor, my father was in the hospital and was very sick with lung cancer ( my parents divorced when I was young and we moved to Florida so I had little contact with my father). He needed someone to care for him as he had alienated everyone in his life. I left school and moved to Ohio and cared for him until he died. My biggest failure was not being able to heal him. I failed big, but I lived through it. I came away knowing how not to sweat the small stuff and live each day praying for grace and to live to my highest potential. Failure is a gift.

The Simplest Way to Take Control of Your Life 


“99% of all failures come from people who have a habit of making excuses” George Washington Carver 

The simplest way to take control of your life is to take responsibility for everything that happens to you. 

If you find yourself saying things along the lines of “Bob is always getting the good projects at work and my boss never gives them to me.” You are making excuses for your own behavior. Turn your language around. “What can I do to show my boss I deserve the best projects, how can I earn his respect…” 

The reality is no one is doing anything to you . This is only your own perception. Take control of your life. I would challenge you to change Any statement you make to blame someone else to blaming yourself. 

I can’t loose weight because my wife brings home junk food from the store. (Excuse and blame)

I am doing the grocery shopping at least once a month and buying healthy snacks.  (Taking ownership and responsibility)

Wasn’t that simple? I can tell you simple is not always easy. Practice practice practice the language you use. Stop yourself and make the correction on the spot. 

3 Keys to a Basic Online Presence For Creatives

online presence

As a creative, an artist or a designer building an online presence can be overwhelming. I am really big on just taking things as baby steps, breaking it down into to bite size pieces and making realistic goals on a real time line, at the same time practicing forgiveness of self.

Working for myself I have bootstrapped everything in my small businesses I have built over the years. If you are starting out trying to build a business around your hobby or passion, craft, writing, building, designing, any small business venture, you will need to learn to do everything yourself. Just take it one step at a time and everything will work out great.

According to Google, 97% of consumers use the web to search for what they need online which me then you should be there in force.  If you dont have a marketing plan yet, make this at the top of your to do list.

Online presence builds your brand and your reputation. Over the years I have heard that people need to see you 7-10 times before they will actually buy from you. WE experienced this with the pottery and wholesale and I do now with the design.

People  stumble upon you, or having been refereed will research you, so need an up to date website and other outlets to let everyone know who you are. I would like to mention from my experience that you need to be in several places, not just a website, because everyone consumes information differently. They all have their favorites so they all will end up being your favorites.

beneftis and risks

These days they say you need to create an online presence everywhere. I agree with them wholeheartedly. They being the marketing and tech gurus of this modern technology age. Lucky for us all you need is a smart phone to make it happen. If you have the dough I suggest getting the largest screen out there simply because its just that much easier to deal with. Its a mini computer and you need to think of it that way, not as a phone.

Platforms are the online spaces that you will have your information. Your options are having a website, a blog, video channel, instagram, facebook, snapchat, twitter, pinterest or any of the other social media outlets you choose. These are the ones I use. The others I have a smaller presence on are Linked In and Google Plus. I’m sure there are more, but I really want to keep it simple sharing with you what has worked for me to be able to gross the numbers we pull a year.

First you should have a website. You DO NOT have to hire anyone to do this with you unless you cant even turn on a computer. If you  are finding this, I think you are perfectly capable of building one yourself. I use Netfirms as the host, I am able to get my website names, they host it, and I can build it all in one place. Also they have a super easy program to build with, Weebly. Its a drag and drop program where you click on an element you want on your site and drop it where you want it. I am not one to want to learn html or code, so this suits me to a T.

Next work on your social media, spend half a day creating accounts, if you dont already have them, on facebook and instagram. These 2 you can have a business pages which I highly recommend. Snapchat is fun as well and that’s the point, try to keep it fun. Also sign up on twitter and create a Linked In Profile. The beauty of having this group is you can connect facebook twitter and insta. You simply set up you want to share in the options. I post once on insta and it goes to FB and twitter. To keep it simple focus on what work you are doing, the process and simply post about that. You can certainly do that once a day. Once you get more serious about what you want people to know about what you do, then you can create a content calendar. But for now, starting out just get used to the platforms and post consistently.

Engagement is the final key for now. When you are posting, or people are emailing you, you need to respond. Not only are you building trust, you are building alga rhythms that google loves. Don’t just like a comment, answer them back.

There is a lot more to all of this, but just take it in baby steps and do what you can you. Most importantly DO IT!!!

You can’t hit a target you can’t see: 3 steps to set a goal

disney

Just the other day my son was in the East Coast NSSA Championships. He is a good little surfer, competing is a whole other ball game though. These kids come from everywhere and they are amazing. Kai really wanted to do well. One thing we tell him as part of his training schedule for soccer and surfing is to follow these 3 steps. It is a process that everyone who has accomplished  a tom in their lives has practiced.

Visualize. See what you want in your mind. Use your imagination to define what you want in great detail. When Disney World opened here in Florida, Walt Disney’s wife was there for the ribbon cutting. someone leaned in and said, “it’s  a shame Walt couldn’t be here to see this.” And Lillian Disney replied, “”he’s already seen it, … or it wouldn’t be here.” The power of imagination is the key.

Write. Write down the detail you imagine in what you want to see come to fruition. writing has a way of sealing the deal with the universe and God. It means you mean business.

Repeat. Yep, keep it going, keep seeing in your minds eye what you want to achieve, the steps you need to take will start to come to you and you will see a way to make it happen.

My Son is Reading “Undaunted”… And I’m Shocked, But So Happy. 

I am totally unbelievably shocked. He’s reading this on the Kindle and we share a Kindle. So each morning when I wake up instead of watching news I do some reading. And every morning I open up the Kindle and it’s on the last page that he’s read the night before. This morning I woke up to find this excerpt:

“The exceptional will always face criticism from the unexceptional. Have courage  to push through it, courage alone will not sustain you. But, in order to continuously succeed, you must have passion, resiliency, optimism, and above all else people skills. I challenge you to be exceptional for your family, your self, your community, and your country.” By Christopher Heben.  

This man has had more than a few trials in his life. But his words are priceless. I am happy he is reading rhetoric that is similar to mine. The more voices he here’s it from the deeper it sinks into his mental paradigm from which he will work and make decisions his entire life. 

Focal Point: A Proven System to Simplify Your Life, Double Your Productivity, and Achieve All Your Goals

Amazon says,” The true secret of high achievers is that they know how to find their “”focal point”” — the one thing they should do, at any given moment, to get the best possible results in each area of their lives…”

I am most of the way through this one. Pretty good, but more or less restating what he has in other books. He is great at putting into real actions how to create goals for all the facets  of your life. Its a good easy read for sure and reaffirming to continue on the path you are on.