What lies beneath your creativity?



Even in the midst of leading a creative life we often get waylaid with details that are inconsequential. 

We are often thrilled that we get to explore and lead a creative business and life, that we miss what matters and why. 

What is the point of exploring and producing creativity? Is it just for income? Is it just for your sole expression? Is it to draw out emotions in others?

After meeting so many creatives, I believe we share a common and often hidden purpose. I think deep within every person that has chosen to embrace their creativity is an inward journey. 

We have an inner drive to get to know ourselves better. While this sentence might appear to be a selfish act, it is a noble and divine pursuit. We push ourselves and challenge our abilities and notions about who we are and why were created they way we are. 

When we get away from that inner drive is when we get wrapped up in details that weigh us down. We then start to feel that the journey has become too challenging. We begin to question our path and our right to be on it.

Right when we are on the cusp of breakthroughs and purpose is when we get consumed with doubt and think that the “grass is greener” somewhere else. 

This is when we sink into the comparison game. We think it would be safer to show up in life mimicking someone else’s plan of instead of bravely showing up as our original selves, with our own voices, our own points of view and our own ways of seeing. 

You were made for more and the only way to get to the “more” part of life with purpose, creativity with meaning is to stay in a state of discovery. 

1)  You need to trust that you were created uniquely so that you can accomplish your purpose. 

2) You need to trust your innate talents.

3) You need to trust that your life experiences have led you to create in a way that only YOU can create.

While I do believe you can acquire particular techniques, apply business skills that can move your journey along more rapidly, I also believe that there is simply no substitute for getting to understand yourself better.  There is no fast track for peeling back the layers and exploring your essence. 

 I believe you need to stay in a constant state of growth to fully contribute what you are meant to contribute. You were meant to shine and sometimes that means you have to get out the polish cloth out to buff away any areas that might try to tarnish. 

I know that being in a constant state of growth can make you feel exposed and vulnerable but I also know that  the feeling of exhilaration when unlocking something within you is priceless. That is when you are able to apply it, share it, touch people and yes, even earn a living from it.

The exhilaration of growth is worth the discomfort of growing.  Have you ever been excited and uncomfortable at the same time?

Don’t forget Smart Creative Style starts Aug 25th. Enrollment is open now!  Join us on the journey!




Be creative and compassionate: Help Khali halt MS

Please tune in to today’s video’s!! You may have heard me mention that I was going to be making this run of the Smart Creative Style Course a fund raiser. You mave have watched some of Khali Whatley’s videos.  She is a branding expert who instructs inside the Smart Creative Style Course.  She is simply one of the most lovely women I know. In the relatively short time I have known her, she has been in and out of the hospital for symptoms that have come with a Multiple Sclerosis  diagnosis which has forced to quit her job and has hampered her ability to be the parent she wants to be (I have never heard her complain!) Tune in to this video to hear her story and find out why I am committing 50% of the course enrollments to Khali’s Go Fund Me campaign. Then scroll down and tune into the next video as we explain the curriculum she teaches within the course.

If you are taking the course or someone who has been enjoying the insights and  interviews at Smart Creative Women, I would ask that you contribute to her campaign with any donation that you can.Thank you very very much!

Donate here: Go Fund Me: Help Khali Halt MS (Update: The Go Fund Me Campaign is now working!!)

I would also ask that you would share her campaign via your favorite social media avenues!

Tweet this: “I believe as women we can and should really around each other with compassionate hearts.” @SmartCreativeW

Tweet this: Be creative and compassionate, Help Khali halt MS @SmartCreativeW


Watch this video as Khali talks about branding your creative business

In this video get a glimpse of Khali’s knowledge on the subject of branding and what she covers in the course! She is SO AWESOME and jumps right in to answer question the private Facebook group that is associated with the course! You can find out more about the course and enroll at Smart Creative Style.  khalistylesmall


Don’t miss the forest for the trees! Smart Creative Style is open!

Being a creative business owner, make that ANY TYPE of business owner requires vision and a lot of it.

You have to have a lot of pieces in play to run a successful small business and it can be daunting. You know I am your constant cheerleader but I am also a practical cheerleader and I  want solutions! How do you gain that vision and get yourself to a place where your passion assists the tenacity you need to grow your creative business?

I want to you to succeed, I want to you to ask yourself the hard questions and be able to do math and to tackle marketing and to make sure your product is unique to the market place.

How do you make it unique to the market place? By tapping into what makes YOU unique!

What I see happening again and again is that our inner critic can trip us up. We get so consumed with being “good enough” that we fail to launch or when we do launch we are still waiting to “be discovered” instead of taking a common sense approach to marketing what we do. I have come across SO MANY people that don’t have time to do any social media or blogging to drive traffic to the sites for sales. Hey, I have  come across people who make it practically impossible to buy from them!? What???

I land on peoples websites and ask, “Who are they? What do they do? What are they selling?” I  often see SO MUCH work (way too much to wade through) that tells a very confusing story about the creator. I also see businesses that seem to lack commitment to themselves. They cautiously model themselves after who they think is doing “it right” and end up with a business devoid of any real personality.

THIS IS NOT YOU!  I want you to be successful! There is no shame in missing the forest for the tress, Lord knows I have been in quite a few forests myself! Let’s get you out of the forest and on a clear path.

This was the really motivation behind Smart Creative Style, it is really a Creative Business 101 course. First and foremost, we want you to tap into your own personal aesthetic! It is the foundation of the course.  Early in the first few weeks we do a thoughtful and look at who are you really selling to and I am not simply talking about your ideal customer, I am also talking about basic business structure! Tom comes in and addresses marketing in a way that is EASY to understand and approachable. Khali and I really get detailed on how bigger brands operate and what you can learn from them.

I have interview a lot of women (and bring quite a few into the course!) and here are some consistent things that I see from ALL of them:

1) They know who they are, they understand their aesthetic. They have a unique style that suits THEM and they do NOT wrestle with it. They are not carbon copies of anyone else. They use their unique style to show up to be  their very best.

2) They are able to use this unique personal style in all aspects of their business even if they change their products offerings.

3) They don’t WAIT to be picked. They daily choose themselves.

4) They don’t shy away from  the hard stuff that comes along with being a creative business owner.

I want this to be you! If you feel like you are missing some components of this list then this is course for you.  If  you have 2 out of the 4 on this list, maybe you need an injection of  life into your business because it is feeling stale, then this course is for you as well!

Let’s tackle this together in Smart Creative Style! Watch both the videos for more info! I’ll be back this week with more information and the fund raising project that happening along with this class run.

Update! The August 2014 class has begun! Get on the list for future class dates!
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Lorena Siminovich from Petit Collage

If you are not familiar with the name Lorena Siminovich then I am sure you are familiar with the fun and sophisticated style of Petit Collage. Argentinian born artist, author and designer, Lorena Siminovich is full of creative energy and good business sense. Petit Collage’s sustainable and chic children’s products are a fixture in stylish kid’s rooms everywhere.

In this interview you will hear how when she moved to NYC she got off a plane from South America, waited for Kate’s Paperie to open to buy a portfolio case and went straight to an interview. (I used to fly that trip-exhausting! It is an 11 hour flight through the night!!) She has not only creative, she has guts too!

Fast forward years later and she has grown her own company into an industry leading children’s brand. For this interview she tells us the real version of her story, don’t you just love that? I loved everything about this interview!
This is a must see if you want to build a business and a brand with your original touch!

Lorena  talks about her organic beginnings, how hard she has worked and how she has embraced strategic planning! I was completely inspired! Tell me how it inspired you!

  You can follow Petit Collage on Instagram @petitcollage

petitcollage_3  You can order her craft book here and check out her other picture books on her personal website.





It’s time to market yourself and your business!

People  can get stalled when it comes to marketing their businesses and themselves and I don’t want that to be you! Today I am going to introduce (or re-introduce) you to Tom Henell, my better half!

In this video he is giving out tips as well as explaining what you can expect in his Marketing 101 class on atly.com.

His course has 5 parts. While he teaches some of the same principals in the Smart Creative Style course, this is an expanded look that focuses on the principles you need to market your creative business. He feels strongly, like I do, that your business is unique and it is up to you how to apply these principals but understanding them is crucial to your success! We both believe that  adjusting the way you think about marketing can go a long way into developing an ease when promoting your business. Let’s get to a place of ease around this subject!

You can take the class here on atly.com



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!


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!


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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