Category Archives: Entrepreneurship

Information about developing an entrepreneurial strategy

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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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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How to Master Multi-tasking for Creative Entrepreneurs

When I first became a working mother, then later a mom-preneur workingbaby and working mom from home, I discovered the need for multitasking… BIG TIME!  Today, it seems to be a necessity. However, there are those who are telling us our brains just don’t work that way.

So how is it possible that everyone all around us is doing IT?

I’ve noticed as I get older, the multitasking genius is fading and it’s often more difficult to track two similar activities, like talking on the phone and scanning a web article. My brain goes into rebellion. Other factors seem to affect my abilities too. i.e. some days are better than others. Do you know what I mean?

So, I decided to do a little research on the art of multitasking.  Here’s what I found:

  • Our brains can’t multi-task (sorry, but it seems to be true!)
  • It’s more stressful when we try to make it multi-task (most of us have experienced this!)
  • Multi-tasking is really switching the brain’s attention from one task or awareness to another. (‘Command center, pay attention to THIS now!’)
  • As we age, get too caffeinated, fatigued or stressed our brains ability to switch focus effectively can deteriorate.
  • We can train our brains to be more effective at switching focus by practicing!

I find the creative tasks are the ones that demand my full attention. If I’m sitting here thinking about why my phone is beeping softly, whether my laundry is dry, and how much time I’ll need to make the soup I promised everyone for dinner… well, things just won’t gel like I want, which will result in a lot more time to get it right.

Multi-tasking…bah humbug!

Here’s the quandary:

How can something that is functionally impossible, seemingly destructive and potentially non-productive be so darn essential for success in the 21st century?? (That’s a lot of adverbs in one sentence, but I think you can see the necessity!)

So, here’s my Mastering Multi-tasking for the Creative/Mobile Entrepreneur Checklist, in spite of it all:

  • Remember that you are not thinking 2+ things at the same time; you are simply switching back and forth, so practice becoming quicker at it by using your brainpower without getting stressed
  • Develop your list of habitual skills with practice. Make a list if that helps. The more time you spend practicing an activity, the less focus it takes for your brain, then the easier (and less stressful!) it is to switch focus while continuing your habitual activity.
  • Try multitasking between habitual activities and brain-intense activities (like washing dishes + talking on the phone, or walking + listening to an audio seminar)
  • When something is really important or demanding of your full creative talents, remove distractions, set a timer and give it 100% focus for the allotted time.
  • Get up and move every 1-2 hours! Make a couple of quick phone calls while walking around the block. Today, I started the dishwasher, laundry and cooking the soup at 10 a.m… Once set up they don’t require my attention, but technically I am the ultimate multitasker. When I take my mini-break, I give myself 10-15 minutes to put the laundry in the dryer, empty the dishwasher and stir the soup (on timer so I don’t need to worry until it beeps). Then back to work, fully focused and refreshed.
  • Find tools that work for you to make you more effective. I always liked lists because once I make the list I don’t have to keep trying to remember what else I need to do. Very distracting! I also love Evernote to keep all my research results handy at the click of a button. This one tool has saved me incredible time, stress and paper piles.
  • Take a brain break! You know, stand up, stretch, deep breathe and don’t try to do anything for 5 minutes except just BE in the moment.
  • Even better, take a ‘screen break’. Study, read, think, talk with real people… anything without a screen, touchpad or earpiece. Shop even…woohoo…in a real store, I mean. This one we’re talking one hour+.
  • Reward yourself when an important task is complete… is that a power nap, a coffee with a friend or just curling up with your favorite magazine with a cup of tea? Your brain will love you and perform better for it.

Below you’ll find a few articles I came across while researching this article. I’d also love to hear how you handle multiple task challenges, so please share your ideas.

Make it a focused, productive, low stress day by going out there and employing your creative talents, one at a time.

Further research suggestions:

How Multitasking Hurts Your Brain (and Your Effectiveness at Work) 

Secrets of Multitasking: Slow Down to Speed Up 

How to Multitask Without Losing Your Mind

Think You’re Multitasking? Think Again

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Creativity for a Cause – Elephant Parade Thoughts

What moves people to take action?

  • For some it’s a cause they believe in or a way to change the world.
  • For others it’s a creative spark, whether art, music or a compelling story.
  • For many, it’s an opportunity to create income either for themselves or a non-profit with a compelling mission.

For me, the Elephant Parade is a great blend of all these. It started with the elephantparade 004story of a baby elephant who loses one of her legs to a landmine in Thailand. That inspired a social enterprise that is a unique combination of art, business and conservation, with the goal of preserving the last of the wild Asian elephants in Asia, as well as caring for Mosha, that baby elephant who needs constantly changing prosthetics.

Thousands of people have been enjoying the elephants in Dana Point for the last few weeks, at their first appearance in the U.S.  I go there on my ‘artist’s days’, and find others who are moved and fascinated by this movement that inspires creativity for a cause.  The cause inspires me, as do all the beautiful creative versions of painted elephants.

elephant paradeIn addition, this project encourages local artists to create their own version of elephant art, even students.  It also offers ways for each of us to participate by enjoying the artistic talents from around the world, as well as purchasing our a mini-elephant or even painting our own.

Here’s a few ideas of how you can take your creative talents and contribute to something you believe in:

  • Find a non-profit that you want to support – offer your talents.
  • Writer?  Write an article for local media, offer to help with their newsletter or communication efforts, or write blog articles
  • Photographer?  Take photos of their events, edit and post on their website or social media
  • Love social media or research?  Find great posts related to their mission.
  • Video or musical talents?  Help them set up a YouTube account or create some slide shows telling the story of their mission
  • Musician?  Offer to play for one of their events
  • Artist?  Maybe they need a new logo, graphic art help, posters for an event or t-shirts designed for staff and volunteers
  • Web design expertise?  Offer to help with their blog, website or event promotion
  • Fashionista?  Help unemployed women put together outfits for job interviews
  • Fill in the blank… this is just a start!

By offering your talents, you’ll get not only that warm fuzzy feeling from making a positive difference, but you will also gain visibility, a network, experience for a resume or portfolio and connections with people who know people who just might want to hire you.

The best part… You don’t have to be a professional yet, but this will give you experience and an idea if perfecting and monetizing your talents could be an opportunity for you to choose the path of a creative entrepreneur.

It could change your life!

elephant parade

 

More about the Elephant Parade:

Elephant Parade was created by father and son Marc and Mike Spits in 2006. A year later, the first exhibition was held in Rotterdam. Marc was inspired to create the Elephant Parade after meeting Soraida Salwala whilst on holiday in Thailand. Soraida is the founder and Secretary General of Friends of the Asian Elephant and founder of the FAE Elephant Hospital, the first elephant hospital in the world in Lampang, near Chiang Mai. Here, Marc met a baby elephant named Mosha, who had lost her leg after stepping on a landmine. Mosha inspired Marc to create Elephant Parade.

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