Tag Archives: lifestyle

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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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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How to Start a Blog with Purpose – 8 Questions

Blogging is the thing to do these days.  Everyone either has one or more, wants one, reads some or wonders if they should have one.

What about you? Have you thought about it and maybe wondered if you could really make money with a blog?  I have !

This is my 4th attempt at blogging.  I’ve created some good content on two of them, then let myself get distracted and ended up abandoning them in infancy…bad ‘blog mama’!

I’ve enjoyed creating them, but never found the magic formula for getting traffic and creating a call to action that generates income. Until now!

This is a topic I will be covering in depth in future posts, but for now I’d like to offer some suggestions to help you decide if blogging could be a way for you to create an income stream with time and lifestyle flexibility… that’s always been one of my top priorities!

I’ve found that 2 of the groups  who aspire to creating income with flexibility and leverage are new parents and  ‘old’ baby boomers.

Why?

New parents want time to be with their kids, attend their events and participate in every precious moment of their childhood, yet provide the income needed to support their family’s dreams.

Old baby boomers?  Well… most of us did not anticipate the turn of events that have shrunk our portfolios and 401K’s.  And we never conceived that we would be working into our 70’s and beyond, or that our productive  years could be cut short by accidents or disease before we achieved financial security.

Let’s face it… we tend to be optimistic to a fault, expecting that good stuff will keep happening and bad stuff happens to someone else.  Not true, it turns out.

Although the economy has not been kind to many of us the last few years, there IS some good news!

This is becoming the golden age for writers!  Just a few years ago, all my writer friends were bemoaning the demise of bookstores, publishing opportunities, lack of editing and marketing even if you did find an agent and myriad other discouraging indicators that writers couldn’t expect to make a decent income doing what they loved.

Now, the landscape has been transformed, beginning with free blog platforms and social media we all have the opportunity to expose ourselves and gather a flock of ‘friends’.   Amazon, kindle apps and myriad books and coaches ready to teach you the basics and a whole new world of opportunity has opened up for good writers willing to commit to learn and take action.

So here’s  a list of questions to help you decide if this is the right direction for you:

1.   Do you love to write?

2.  Why do you want to have a blog?

3.  What do you want to talk about?  What is your field of expertise or topics you are passionate about?

4.  Are you willing to learn new skills?

5.  How much time can you commit consistently?

6.  How much income would you like to create?

7.  Are you self-disciplined and perserverant enough to tough it out through the slow growth and detours?

8.  Do you enjoy solving problems, collaborating with people and thinking outside the box?

I’d suggest that you consider these questions before you invest your valuable time and money into your blog, then begin creating a realistic plan based on your time, resources and current skills.  A successful blog will take time to mature, then develop traffic and revenue.  Patience and consistency will be essential!

According to recent statistics from jeffbullas.com there are over 31 million bloggers in the U.S. alone.  To be realistic, only 15% make more than $100/year.  However, 2% earn over $150K working from exotic parts of the world.  Now that’s what I’m talking about.

I want to be one of the 2%!

In addition, there are the 17% who make a decent income with 4-6 hours a day working on their blog.  My goal is to continue to discover and share the details, strategies and tools to help you who are committed, create the income you want on your own terms.

There’s a lot to learn!  But, if you love it, you will know pretty quickly.

I’m attending a conference next week that I hope will add to my growing knowledge base, so I can pass that on to my readers.  In the meantime, check out my infographic on ‘Blogging on Purpose’ below.

I hope you’ll join me.  Start dreaming, set some goals and then take the action steps to turn dreams into reality…this is a great time to be a writer, so let’s do it!

Blogging on Purpose

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Increase your Creative Power with Journaling – Part 2


DragonRed2Last week we covered some good reasons to journal. Now maybe you’re wondering… How to start journaling?

 It might seem like a simple thing…just start writing!  But every new habit requires time to develop, a commitment to consistency and motivation to continue even when life (kids, husbands, work, chores, etc. etc) gets in the way. 

28 days…the cycle of the moon, strangely... is what is generally considered the minimum habit forming time-span.  Anything you really want to change, start with that commitment…just 28 days, then allow yourself the chance to re-evaluate.

That being said, here are a few tips I’ve learned from my journaling gurus that will make developing that habit easier, more fun and productive:

        Keep a notebook with you at all times – I like Moles (those little Hemingway-esque notebooks that slide easily in a pocket or bag.  I also have a beautiful red, leather-bound, Civil War style notebook I got at the Smithsonian. I love to touch it, look at it and write special things in it, but don’t want to mess it up…you need something you won’t mind messing up and even throwing away. Ordinary spiral notebooks work just fine!

Get a great pen – it doesn’t have to be expensive. Just find one that flows and you love to write or doodle with.  Fountain pen, gel pen, fat or thin…find the one that says ‘you’.  Choose your favorite color or have several colors depending on your mood or topic.

Find ‘your place’ – this should be a place you can go everyday.  You can always write in special places as you’re out and about, but one place needs to be your ‘everyday’ place.  I like my downstairs desk or the patio in Summer.  No TV…turn off your cell phone…close the door.

Find ‘your time’ – I’m a night owl, but I am getting used to early mornings now that my partner is working at 7 a.m.  At first I hated it, but it is so peaceful before 9 that I’m beginning to love it. Find your time when you are inspired and have some peace and quiet…sometimes this is the biggest challenge to consistency!

‘Genius moment’ system – Every once in a while, a great idea for a poem, story or blog post might arise out of the venting.  Or you might find the solutions to a business or family problem as you ramble on. When that happens, you need a system.  It could be highlighter pens, index cards or a section in the back of your journal where you write down ‘action items’. Or maybe just a dog eared page with an asterisk next to your inspiration.  Whatever it is, be prepared for it, because once you start journaling it’s only a matter of time before something wonderful appears on the page!

Read some books, blogs or join a group of writers – One of the best things I ever did for my writing inspiration was to begin the search for my ‘writer tribe’.  After 15 years, I can say these are some of my best friends, the ones I can trust to be honest and kind, supportive and tolerant.  The best kind of friends whether online or in person. Make it a priority to find some kindred spirits and start believing in yourself as a writer, problem solver and difference maker.

I welcome your comment, suggestions or books to help us enhance our writing and creativity.

If you missed it, see Part 1 – Why Journal?

Coming every Sunday – Tips for your creative self.  Subscribe to Getting Traction to be sure you don’t miss them!

 

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