Category Archives: Creative Business

Strategies for combining your creativity with income growth

Blog Favorite: WordDreams

NoelevatortosuccessBlog Favorite:  WordDreams

What I love about it:

Jacqui is not afraid of marketing her work.

So many writers and artists shy away from ‘selling’.  It’s reasonable to want to focus on your creative skills, yet especially in the 21st century, no book, art or photographs are going to make a difference to anyone if they’re stuffed away in your filing cabinet or doc folders.  Blogging, social media and understanding the market for your work are essential activities, whether you want to self publish or find a traditional publisher.  There’s so much more to becoming a published author than just getting your butt in the seat.  With her blogs and book sales she reaches thousands of people and has created a good income from her efforts, discipline and creativity.

Jacqui loves to write and research.

These are both valuable skills in this world of publishing, blogging and authoring.  If you love to write, these are also skills you can commit to develop. She has sculpted her talents into blogs over the last 5 years or so,while continuing to update her tech books, and write her fiction. This blog focuses on sharing tips and resources for writers ready to take their craft more seriously. Part of writing well is continuing to improve your skills, and you’ll find plenty of quality content she has curated and created to help beginning or more advanced writers get on the right track. Continue reading

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Life and Blogging are Like a Camera

life is like a cameraI came across this quote picture on Facebook, posted by a friend, but created by Jack Canfield. I do love social media, even though it can be a time quicksand.

So now I have all the acknowledgements taken care of, I find it has inspired me to revisit the purpose of this blog.

It started with an idea to attract people to our new software product, as well as the wellness products with my longtime Shaklee business (still gotta have a plug for the best natural products around). Then, as the software concept imploded and the desire to find our way back to our deepest dreams emerged, it became a way to recreate our financial and creative lives.

  • First, by inspiring us to recommit to our passion for writing and creativity.
  • Second by building this blog to support others like us who were ready to delve into their true talents and become financially independent entrepreneurs. Creative entrepreneurs, that is.

As often happens with life, both our lives and this blog developed into something I never imagined as we struggled to find a path beyond our start-up partnership. Now that that dream has disappeared, this new vision seems much more coherent and valid. It addresses our core dreams and talents. As well as the ongoing desire to help others live better, healthier and more congruent lives.

All this may sound too philosophical for some of you…like, where is the meat? Yet I know there are many who have already embraced the desire to put their talents to work, their dreams into action and their finances in their own hands. And many who are entering their ‘third trimester of life’ who are ready to recapture their true essence, while creating a new stream of income… a necessity for so many of us. Continue reading

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Blog Fave: Gone with the Wynns

Eastern SierrasBlog Favorite:  Gone with the Wynns

What if you could hit the road, go from one adventure to another AND create income?  If you love travel, don’t mind living in small places with occasional challenges, the Wynn’s have a great blog to inspire you while keeping it real and honest about what it will take to make the RV life work for you.

This blog is chock full of real stories and tips from the road, plus success stories about people with the dream of traveling who also took their creative talents and began building a freelancing style of career income.

Here’s a link to their Make Money and Travel page that showcases a variety of entrepreneurial strategies that fellow RV-ers have developed with some deep thought about their talents and how to use them effectively while still living their own lifestyle.

Hot Tip for Me:   Writers, photographers, web designers and graphic artists really have a lot of options for mobile creative businesses. In hindsight, they recommend starting at least a year before you want to hit the road. Brainstorm, honestly assess your talents and what you love to do, then get starting. It can take time, effort and money to learn what you need to make the most of your creative juices, then put them into action as you start tweaking your product.

Start by exploring yourself and your options for supporting yourself. Check into your skills, lifestyle dreams and what you’re willing to do to get them.  Then, get creative! 

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GT Book Review: A.P.E.: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur

GT Book ReviewYou’re creative, right?  And like most people these days, I bet you could use some extra cash to cushion the fall from budget grace.

If you’re a writer, you may have wondered as I did if it’s possible to become an author and earn income from your talent.  Today, that can be a real possibility if you’re willing to dive in and learn, take action and refine your strategies.

The impetus for Getting Traction is to share what I’m learning along the way about all the flexible, online strategies for creative people to earn income from…well… anywhere.

I’ve found plenty of blogs and other resources designed to help us navigate the wild new world of online income strategies and market our writing talents. Mediocre how-to books are abundant, so when you find one that’s indispensable it’s worth talking about. (check out the Toolkit section for a growing list of resources for creative entrepreneurs)

The new truth in publishing is that anyone can write and publish a book.  Translating that into a quality product that is entertaining, helpful or inspirational, then ensuring that it will sell is a whole ‘nother thing!  In order to do it right, we need to be voracious learners willing to take some risks and venture into uncharted territories.

I have two new favorite books that are more reference books than light reading, although both are written in a comfortable guide style that is enjoyable. They have become invaluable in helping me chart a course as a writer/author so that I know what questions to ask and where to find reliable answers.

My first is APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur-How to Publish a Book by Guy Kawasaki.  You may recognize the name from Apple history, or perhaps from some of his great T.E.D. talks.  If not, it would be worth listening in on some of those, just to see if his style and insights work for you.  He’s written some other valuable books on startups and one of my favorites, Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions.  Granted, he has a big advantage over new authors, with a million twitter followers and such.  Still the content is worth the price of the book and focusing some attention on the steps he outlines.

A.P.E. is a guide book to help you avoid the mistakes that will be inevitable if you attempt to traverse the e-publishing Himalayas without a guide. This is a fast changing terrain, and one of the advantages of e-books is that they are easily updated as conditions and the industry change.

And change they will…faster than many of us can adapt on our own.  Just imagine…before 2007 most of us had never heard of Facebook!  That’s less than 7 years that have changed the internet and our society forever.

A.P.E. covers everything, from deciding if you really should write a book, to how to finance, upload, price and market your book.  The publishing world is changing and writers have a new kind of freedom in this more democratic atmosphere to determine their own path without the gatekeepers of the past.

Baby Boomers to Millennials…we’re embracing entrepreneurship at rates never seen before.  Opportunities are out there, we can market to anywhere in the world and the internet has leveraged our reach to help us find our niche market.

Still…unless you have loads of money to pay a trusted partner to do it all, you need a guide to ensure you know the questions to ask, as well as when to find a consultant to help, and this is a great place to start!

I’d love to hear your comments about this or other books that help writers become authors and entrepreneurs.

Next review up:  Write. Publish. Repeat. (The No-Luck-Required Guide to Self-Publishing Success) by Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant.

For more on Creative Business and Entrepreneurship at Getting Traction:

Blog Favorites: Gone with the Wynns

Creative Business

 

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Ready to ‘Be All In’? 5 Action Steps to Get You Started

Involvement or commitment?What does ‘be all in’ mean to you?

In the dictionary “all in” refers to being drained, exhausted or done in for the day.

Not quite right!

In poker, it has a slightly different meaning…done for the night, or all your chips in on the last hand?

Closer?

I didn’t find a meaning that fit my idea until I came across a financial investor site.

Aha…

Definition from Investorwords.com:

“The process of putting everything or all of a specific item into something. Items that can literally or figuratively be put all in to something include time, money, energy, or other resources.”

This is what I’m talking about!

This is what I’m learning to do with my creativity, too.

My life as a creative person involved seeing my talents as hobbies for fun or gifting, or a skill to be used for other business needs. Writing, designing, researching can be incorporated into many aspects of business and that’s what I did for decades, while I wrote poetry that no one ever saw. Crafts… well, they made great decor and gift items.

About 15 years ago I began sharing my writing with a writing group I joined, then with my partner and finally in the last few years with family and friends.

Still…it was something I was good at, but couldn’t conceive I was good enough that people would actually BUY it.

It was only recently that I began to develop the confidence that I could create a business that would market these talents, instead of some other product.

When we perceive a talent or skill as a hobby (i.e. not valued by society as a source of income) we tend to relegate it to spare time rather than prime time.

We tend to put it at the bottom of the priority list. Not dedicate time to producing or developing our craft. Or we avoid it altogether by watching other people live their dreams on TV.

What stops us from committing our time, energy and money to focus on what we love? Perhaps even creating a lucrative career from them?

I don’t believe it’s really all the excuses we’ve come up with over the years. I believe it’s based on our FEARS.

FEAR of:

Not being good enough to…

Being ridiculed or ostracized by …

Failing at …

Wasting our time on…

Living on the streets like the poor artists/writers we’ve heard about!

The list goes on and yours is unique to you, but we all have one.

In order to ‘be all in’, we need to start by liberating ourselves from these limiting fears, then delving into what really gives us pleasure. We’ll explore the rest of the process soon, but first let’s deal with those hidden fears.

Action Steps:

  • 1. Write down 5 or more consequences you are afraid of if you focus on your creative talents.
  • 2. Examine each of them. Are they based on your experience, others’ experience or things you’ve learned from family, friends or society? Or perhaps they’re simply based on your own lack of confidence.
  • 3. Write down at least one strategy to help you overcome each fear. e.g. read a book or watch a movie that inspires you; research people who write, create music or art; take a class to help you develop your talents and asses your potential, etc.
  • 4. Set aside a segment of time each day/week to enjoy your talents without guilt and begin to create a plan for building on your talents and monetizing them. Turn off the TV, get up early or reserve part of your weekend for your own personal ‘artist’s day’.
  • 5. Find a mentor. It could be a fellow artist/writer/musician, a friend you trust, a teacher or family member. Confide your dream and ask for support and honest feedback. If you like social media, look for groups with similar interests. Google+ is a good place to start. If you like meeting in person, look for meetup.com groups in your area.

For some of us, this last step may be the hardest and you might not find the right person on the first try.

It’s an ongoing process, but the first step is to begin.

If you already have a mentor or artist tribe, it may seem like a no-brainer. Perhaps you are the ones who can reach out and support the budding artists in your community.

I didn’t find my writer tribe until I was in my 50’s…but that was mostly because I never had the courage to ask. Don’t be that person. There are so many people, both young and old, with dreams of a life focused on what they love to do. People like you, perhaps, who also need a mentor.

For fun, watch Eat that Frog to inspire you to get started.

Then, take a big gulp and join us, subscribe or comment to let us know your thoughts.

Next Post: Finding your passion, pleasure & peace

 

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