Discover Your Passion Workshop

HI!! Excited to tell you about the new workshop I launched over on atly.com!

I call it a workshop since it is self paced and fast. There are 3 parts, lots of videos and activities and the cost is $38. Don’t let fast fool you, the activities in the workshop can take months to master and they are exciting. Who doesn’t want to know what makes them tick? I want you to unearth what your passion is or if you happen to have TOO many passions and ideas,  you will  be able to narrow them down and get started!

Tune into today’s video as I explain a bit more! Click here to find out more and to sign up!

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What does it mean to have passion, a passion or to live with passion?

It is when you are applying your energy towards something that puts you at ease and pushes you to grow at the same time. The  word PASSION is certainly thrown around a lot and I think there is a misconception that once you get the golden fairy dust of passion in your life that suddenly all doubt and complication will be whisked away BUT that’s not REAL life. (Read this post to see what I mean!) I give lots of tips on spotting pitfalls that are so important!! We want nothing to get in your way (including yourself) so we take on that inner critic and put exercises in place that will help you build your instinct muscle! It’s time to start living a life of passion today, the choice is up to you!

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Tom’s course Marketing 101 launched today too! We will both be back Monday to tell you all about it!

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On being human

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I recently experienced a situation that left me feeling unprepared which then led to me feeling flawed and humbled.

The eternal optimist inside me has a “can do” attitude and usually thinks of every scenario so I am fully prepared for what may be coming my way.  I generally don’t like to be blindsided. What I realized is that I can’t be prepared for every scenario. This time I flat didn’t know what I was doing and it left me feeling exposed. Ouch, I thought I had done the research!

I headed to NYC Friday to have a meeting that I had pinned a lot of hopes on.  Even though I had thought things through, I still knew deep down that there where some missing puzzles pieces to what I was attempting to do.

What I did not realize was that I was missing was big gigantic, big picture part of the puzzle.  Oops! As I sat a bit shocked in my meeting, what happened next was a mix of God’s grace and my humanity.

The man I was meeting with did not seem remotely affected by my gaff as he patiently took his time to explain to me what I needed to know. As I apologized, he said he in his broken English, “No, I teach you.”  Gracious. 

When I walked out my brain was mush. I was second guessing myself. I was embarrassed and frustrated. My “soft type A” personality  wanted to crawl into a corner and lick my wounds. How could I have been so naive?

Fortunately, I was meeting some friends who took me to Serendipity to eat some ice cream! A girl might as well lick her wounds with some sugar! And no, I did not eat this alone!

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My mind was spinning, was what I was setting out to do was simply too complicated? I am a BIG vision person and when the details bite me in the butt, it stops me dead in my tracks. I asked myself if I should press forward or leave this idea on the table. Questioning one part of my  “passion plan” made me question the rest of what I was doing…let’s just say I was about to jump into the rabbit hole of sadness!

Once I got back home, I felt a sense of peace at the comedy of it all.   I again realized just how human life can make you feel, that along with all the good human emotions, love, joy, excitement that you get to experience there is no escaping the raw ones of embarrassment, frustration, sorrow, vulnerability. 

When I understand that I am human with an array of inescapable emotions is when I experience God the most. That’s where the peace and comedy come in (I live in a space where God not only loves me, we laugh a lot too!) I realize that it is His grace and mercy that have gotten me this far.

I am reminded that following passions,  dreams, goals whatever you call them, is not going to be without some human drama or what we often consider “bad” emotions. You know, the emotions that leave us asking, “Why did that just happen?” I remember that they are not bad emotions, they are simply  emotions and part of being alive. 

This glimpse at my humanity forces me to wonder if I am as patient and gracious to the people I meet with as I need to be. It reminds  me of the many times that God has seen me through other situations. 

It leaves me in awe instead of crushed as I lean on Him.

Embracing my entire human experience makes me less afraid and less vulnerable. It makes me feel alive in an honest way. It begs me to respond to myself with love because that is how God is continuously responding to me.

Have you been reminded of your own humanity lately? My guess is that if you are breathing you have been! Tell me what you think and how you picked yourself up!

 

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Abby Kiefer from Red Clay Design

Today’s interview is with Abigail Kiefer from the start up Red Clay Design. Red Clay Design reached out and said they watched the show and wanted to get together. I started researching Red Clay and this is what they have to say about their business, “Our platform simplifies product design, connecting freelance designers with iconic brands and providing tools to manage the process.” Cool!

Then I saw the word “crowd sourcing” (insert screeching halt) It’s a hot button topic for me and one I generally keep to myself.

So I got on Skype with Abby and started grilling her (in a Monica sort of way!) Abby and her team have built a high end design resource for manufacturers and they are trying their very best to respect all parties involved. Not an easy task but they are working at it with passion.  The Red Clay platform marries companies and designers AND is paying designers (starting small but hoping for it to grow) for work even if the design is not ultimately chosen!

I ask a lot of questions as skeptical novice and an unspoken defender of creatives getting paid their worth. Listen in as she explains the process and the thoughts behind what they are trying to accomplish by bringing good design to the marketplace in a more efficient manner.

Abby explains all the ideas and motivations behind this matchmaking platform. She did not shy away from any of my novice (and somewhat skeptical questions!)  Abby stepped up to bat and is tackling life and her business head on.  I so appreciate her coming on and having a discussion about manufacturing, design, freelancing, retail and how it is morphing and Red Clay Design wants to play a part in it. Watch or listen in and tell me what you think!!

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Anahata Katkin for Papaya!

Girl crush time! I have Anahata Katkin from Papaya with me today and you are going to love her and all her creative business wisdom! Anahata started Papaya with her mother out of their home and grew this business so smartly, knowing just when to expand and just when to hold steady. I REALLY appreciate what she shares in the interview and I know you will too!! You will LOVE hearing what she has to say about her own creativity, copycats and the gift industry! She is a woman who has found her audience and remained true to her aesthetic while allowing her self to grow and change as an artist.  Awesome artist, awesome person, smart cookie!

Tweet this!!  “Never chase money, chase passion!” -Aanahata @PAPAYAart on @SmartCreativeW

You don’t want to miss this one!

You can find out more about Anahata as an artist on her personal website  (LOVE her home!) If you happen to be at the  Atlanta Gift Show right now  they are in the temporary booths 34-401-stop by and tell them HELLO!
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Papaya and Anahata both have FUN instagram accounts to follow! I just followed them BOTH! HERE and HERE!

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Is there a difference between waiting and patience?

I just had to pop in and say HELLO today! I am in the process of moving forward on a BIG project after having to be really patient while waiting for the puzzle pieces to come together. So today I want to talk about the “in between time!” Oh man, sometimes trying to find answers to questions is HARD! You ask, “What do I do next? How do I show up as my best self? Can I do this? SHOULD I do this?” I get it! Boy, do I get it! Today I want to offer some thoughts (and encouragement) on what I think is the difference between waiting which can be a static and having patience, which I believe, is active. Patience involves listening and TRUSTING, it might involve seasons of education and even some silent seeking. You don’t give up when you are being patience, you have faith that your answers will come!

Tune in and see what I mean! Have you had seasons in your life that involved patience? Let me know in the comments!

patience

pa·tience
noun.
  1. the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, without getting angry or upset.
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Would Walt Disney have survived the Shark Tank?

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My family recently took a trip to Walt Disney World. With 2 teenagers in tow, one disgruntled and one thrilled. off we went the magical land of Disney. I had a myriad of emotions that passed through my brain on our week long sojourn that included 5 days seeing all the parks, shows, fireworks and a shocking amount of food. 

It struck me that Walt had a real gift for incorporating technology with the ideas that flooded his brain. I have always been a bit fascinated with Walt Disney, the man himself and all he accomplished in his relatively sort lifetime. This led me to ask, if Walt needed funding (which he did often in his career) would he survive the Shark Tank?

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Would he be able to stand before a set of wealthy venture capitalists and convey his vision(s) and secure money? 

Walt was quoted as saying “Biggest problem? Well, I’d say it’s been my biggest problem all my life. MONEY. It takes a lot of money to make these dreams come true. From the very start it was a problem.”

I could just picture them grilling him with questions and making judgements about how he was handling his business, especially in the early stages when it  really just a mouse and some new technology.

They would ask:

What exactly was propriety in this deal, a mouse?

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 Is it patentable? Did you create this technology or are you just applying  ideas? (Walt did hold the patent for a multi-plane camera although Walt did not invent the camera himself.)

You did WHAT with the rights? (Walt lost the rights to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit in an early deal with Charles Mintz.)

You are living on canned beans!? (insert Mark Cuban’s large grin and chuckle)

So what? So now someone can watch a cartoons with synchronized sound? (Silly Symphonies) Who cares? (Can’t you just hear Kevin O’Leary aka Mr. Wonderful saying that?)

What do you mean you had a contract for exclusive Technicolor use, that’s the real deal here, you botched it! I’m out! (Walt was approached by Hebert Kalmus to use a new 3 color animating process and he jumped on the opportunity signing a 5 year contact to exclusive use which was later shortened under pressure from major studios stuck using a one color process)

Nobody in their right mind is going to want to watch a FULL length cartoon that is taking you 3 years to make! (Even Walt’s wife warned him that audiences would not sit through a full length animated film. Walt borrowed largely to create Snow White, his first full length feature, that had an eyebrow raising $1.5 million to make)

Even after success the responses might look like this:

You mortgaged EVERYTHING including your home, stock holdings, life insurance and even your furniture to build a THEME PARK? I don’ want to invest in someone who is at risk of losing everything!! (Disneyland costs $17 million dollars to open, big money in 1955. Yes, Walt did mortgage everything.)

Would the Sharks see through all the common complaints they have for people looking for investors and seen Walt as the visionary he was?

Would someone (most likely Barbara Corcoran or Lori Greiner) say, “I think you are crazy but I like who you are and I think you’ve got something!” 

I think in the end the Sharks would see Walt’s spark, his innovation and his extraordinary vision and entrepreneurship and that they would help fund him and his magical and seemingly far out dreams. 

The real question is, would Walt Elias Disney have given up a percentage of his little mouse to get the deal?

I would love to hear your thoughts!

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My favorite Walt Disney quotes:

“When you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to do. And one thing it takes to accomplish something is courage.”

“Somehow I can’t believe there are any heights that can’t be scaled by a man who knows the secret of making dreams come true. This special secret, it seems to me, can be summarized in four C’s. They are Curiosity, Confidence, Courage, and Constancy and the greatest of these is Confidence. When you believe a thing, believe it all the way, implicitly and unquestionably.”

“I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse.”

Don’t Dream Small!!

 

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Here is  a little something modern Mickey has been up to via artist Damien Hirst (in collaboration with Disney, of course.)

Did you know Walt Disney holds the record for the most nominations (59) AND them most wins (22) for an individual in Academy Award History?

I ended up doing  fair amount of research on Walt while waiting in lines at Disney World (gotta love a smartphone!) This was an interesting look at overlooked innovations of Walt Disney. 

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Who and What I am into this Week: A heartfelt transformation

This is a repost from Heatherlee Chan over at Lady Poppins Art. When I read this post I actually cried, when I put the style course together, I asked myself “What do people need?” While how-to’s in marketing and branding are good and paramount when you own your own business, it all comes together based on what we know about ourselves. I asked Heather if I could share her post because truthfully, I don’t think I can market the course any better than how she does in this heartfelt post! Thank YOU, Heather for writing this!  Smart Creative Style is coming up in August! Get on the list so you don’t miss out because “there is no one else like you!”

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What I learned from taking the Smart Creative Style Course by Monica Lee

Monica didn’t mean to change my life.

But she did.

I was browsing Pinterest and came across a cute illustration. I followed the link and it led me to Smart Creative Women. MIND BLOWN.

I perused. I bookmarked. I came back the next day. And the next. And soon it became an addiction. 

I cleaned dishes, folded laundry, and painted while I listened to Monica interview some of the most awesome and creative women. 

After I finished listening to all the interviews I wanted to hear more about her. So I listened to her pep talks and read the blog posts. 

In this blog post she encouraged her readers to try a technique she was using in her Smart Creative Style course. You make a Pinterest board and pin only the images that speak to your heart, the ones you must always be able to find because they are so special. And when you are all done you take a step back, minimize your screen, and analyze. 

So I tried this exercise and discovered that I like light blue the most, not turquoise. I loved the images of feminine and sweet 20s girls, not the 50s girls. How could this be? My house has turquoise everywhere! I loved it before it was cool. I love Doris Day and her fashion in her movies. But this is what I pinned, and this is what I felt was part of me. 

This SIMPLE exercise was enlightening. So then Monica announced that the next round of Smart Creative Style Course was enrollingand that there would be two opportunities to win a scholarship. I knew I MUST take this course!! I didn’t know how it would happen, but I felt like I belonged in this class. I prayed. And I hoped. 
And I lost. 

Sarah Jane Studios (the cutest and sweetest children’s illustrator) gave away the first scholarship and I lost. But alas, there was one more!

Jeanean Morrison, the darling, friendly, fabulous fabric designer and artist, was giving away a scholarship. So I entered.  AND I WON!!!!!

 Holy moly, it was amazing. I received a notification on my phone that an email just came in. The title said “You Won!” I knew exactly what it was! I screamed, I danced with my 3 year old daughter for ten minutes around our house, I called my husband with a voice that sounded as if we had won the lottery. 

But really, I had. 
Because this was the catalyst for change. 

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I still don’t even know what is going to happen because of this opportunity, but I know deep down in my soul that God blessed me with this with His perfect timing. After YEARS of thinking I was mediocre with nothing new to bring to the world (so why bother trying?) I was beginning to see that what I loved and what I could put on paper had not been done before. And then we began the class.

Monica sent each of us the cutest journal that she had made especially for us. I filled every single page. 

I have taken one other online course and that was in college for Educational Technology. Now THAT was a snoozefest. But Monica’s intro video had music, a dance, and sparkles (I am NOT kidding—she wore sequins, which made me love her even more)! 

There was a video from Monica for each lesson (two times a week). In addition, she had amazing, knowledgeable, and famous guest teachers, links to relevant articles, PDF downloads, and knowledge that took her years of acquiring summed up and shared with us in ONE course. 

Amazing! 

 So I first off, I learned. 

I was such a good student. I read everything and did all the assignments. 

But what makes Monica a talented teacher is how she posed questions and really made us reflect on our answers. Oh and this gal has a way with words! We would make Pinterest boards on a particular topic (i.e., nature, art, fashion, etc) and then post a link on the private Facebook page. Everyone would click through, look at it, and then comment on the things they saw and felt. While most of us would come up with a line or two of analysis, she would see things that no one else saw and relay it in such an encouraging and in depth manner. I would always have to go look at the board again so I could recognize what she had pointed out. 

Because we were encouraged to comment and post questions, there were even friendships that were formed. The Facebook group that is created for each class remains open forever so that any time we feel like posting something there are our classmates ready to respond.

So now the class is over. The dust is finally settling. I had a crazy breakthrough. I was in the shower and I realized my perspective was heavily influenced on my LOVE of literature. Dare I say obsession? A child that plays Librarian? That was me. 

This is what I realized was true for me: we are all heroines in our story. 

My view of the world is skewed and is seen through the eyes of written words where time doesn’t exist. You can spend pages describing ten seconds. The heroines are your friends, yet they are also you. You can go wherever within the confines of your bed or backyard. 

This is ONE aspect of the many things I learned about myself. 

I could go on and on. 

But most importantly, I learned that there is no one else like me. Yet, there are so many others that feel the same. And maybe, just maybe, my art will speak to them. Maybe I don’t create exact replicas of still life setups (and I could if I worked hard at it—but do I find it enjoyable? No.). But I do paint things from that corner of my mind. 

That place where imaginary is real. 

 I like that I KNOW what I like and I know WHY I like it. I can see new images, feel excited by them, and I can also trace it back linearly to the reason. 

For example, looking at pins of brides in nature in their white dresses enchants me. Why? Because I like femininityàromanceà1910sàsimplicityàthe solitude before change

But MY thinking will not match ANYONE else’s. We might be similar, but yours is going to come from a completely different place, thus a different order, and a few different words that completely change the outcome. 

Monica has given me the tools to discover what I love (and I can do this continually!). She is the ultimate cheerleader, the mentor, and the friend. I have never met her, nor have I even spoken to her on the phone, but I know that I adore her. She is completely transparent, honest, and authentic. I know that who she is in her videos is who she is while at Target, cooking dinner, and at a party. She creates an online classroom that is full of love, encouragement, and self-discovery. This class is truly priceless. 

 I don’t care who you are, you need to take this class. Even if you think you completely know yourself (which I thought I did!!) you will walk away surprised and left thinking about it for months, but touched forever. The addition of all the practical and helpful business advice blends in beautifully and will enhance any creative person and business. 

 And so I close with a heartfelt thank you to Jenean Morrison for being my fairy godmother. Your generosity has changed me and inspired me. And thank you to Monica Lee for blessing people with your talents as a teacher and artist

 Thank you will never be enough. 

You can see some of  Heather’s boards and more of her art here. 
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