Kathleen here wishing you a Happy New Year! I for one love a fresh start, and there is no better time than the new year to harness that kind of “DO OVER!” energy to build the business and brand you want. So today, I wanted to share a few ideas that will help you take your brand and business to the next level in the new year.
If there is one thing you can control in your business, it’s how you consistently show up. Here are a few ways you can be more consistent in the new year:
It sounds counter-intuitive to make accruing rejections a goal, I know. And to be completely honest, rejection is one of my personal fears, which keeps me from putting myself out there in a bigger way. So a personal goal of mine is to embrace rejection by aiming to be told “no” at least 100 times in the new year. But, I trust that if I’m rejected 100 times I’ll get a few “yeses” that will open my business and brand up to a few unexpected opportunities. Here are a few ways you can open yourself up to rejection:
I was the kind of student that always hated group work. I thrived on creative control and liked working at my own pace. Plus, I could get stuff done better and faster if I just did it myself. While I still like having control and standards over what I’m putting out into the world, I’ve learned that ideas, projects, and relationships go so much deeper when you collaborate with other creatives. Sure, it might take longer, and there’s a risk for hiccups along the way, but the rewards can take you—personally and professionally—further than you ever imagined.
Here are a few ways you can connect and collaborate:
P.S. All of these goals are great things to track with The Chalkboard Method.
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Tara here. Ever since I started working for myself, I’ve gone back and forth on whether I want an office to go to everyday, or if I just need to stick with the good thing I have going on—working from home. But after five years of dreaming and talking about it, I finally found the happiest mix of both—and built my own backyard office that I call “the writing shed.”
The writing shed. “Going out to the shed,” means walking down a stone path that curves through my lawn to a ten-by-twelve foot little cottage built in the back of my garden. It has lots of windows that open to the breeze, with a desk, a small sitting area, and a sleeping loft above with a skylight that looks up into the trees.
The shed is where I write, creative direct and develop brands for entrepreneurs and businesses. It’s small, this little place I sometimes call The Shire (like my own Hobbit hole made just for me), but it feels big. It feels like a dream.
It took a little time for me to just “do it.” I had to save the money, and then make the mental commitment to start the building process with uncertainties still circling my head like: “Will I actually use my writing shed? Will it be practical or just become a novelty? Will the wifi work out here? Will I slowly start migrating back into the house to work? Will the shed turn into a neglected dusty catchall, like a long unused playhouse with spiders living in the floorboards and wasps living in the rafters?!”
But the vision outweighed the doubts and I hired a contractor/carpenter who took about two months from start to finish. I’ve been working in the shed every day since. No more nomadic room-to-room working for me. Shed working is exactly what I imagined it would be.
"No more nomadic room-to-room working for me. Shed working is exactly what I imagined it would be.”
It’s not a "she-shed," it’s my office. Just with personality and a little fantasy. I’m not out here having a tea party for one on a flowery chaise lounge. Though a lunchtime episode of Girls and a late afternoon glass of wine are a regular part of my shedworking life (so maybe the she-shed label applies part of the time!), but more than anything my office retreat is where I’ve gotten more calm, focus, and work done than I ever have before.
“My writing shed is where I’ve gotten more calm, focus & work done than I ever have before.”
When I was a teenager, my room was sacred. When I was in it, I was in my zone: reading, drawing, and creating elaborate extra credit homework projects, all while watching old reruns of my favorite eighties shows on my tiny TV, and occasionally shouting at my younger siblings in the hallway to get away from my locked door. Sometimes on rare occasions, I’d let them in.
Now that I have my own space again, it’s the same. But when I do let my two boys in the shed, they somehow seem quieter, more calm up in the loft reading, drawing, or more likely playing on the iPad, until they wander back out. They only wanted in for a little bit. Now I can let them in.---
It’s the personality plus the practicalities of the shed that have made it the center of my daily routine. Maybe you’ve been dreaming of a shed of your own, too. Here’s what has made shed working a working dream for me:
– One perfect place for my laptop to live. No more moving my stuff all the time. Sure I can hop over to a coffee shop if I want a change of pace, but I love, love, love having a designated spot for my computer, plus a second monitor so I can “spread” out my work on both screens.
– Less stuff. I just need one small shelf for mail, paperwork, and miscellaneous, I don’t need drawers and files full of paper in here. But I do love a place for hanging some of my more whimsical art and giving our "magical" client-attracting Braid chalkboard a worthy sport right by the door.
– Lots of windows. I think my carpenter thought I may be crazy putting such large windows in such a small shed. The last thing I wanted was to feel cooped up. My desk sits wrapped in windows so I feel like I’m working outside, and all the natural light is great for video meetings.
– Shade and a place for stuff to grow! Light is great, but it can get hot, so we shaded the front of the shed with a light-filtering arbor which is also great for vines, which I’m trying to coax to grow as quickly as possible, to get the whole Secret Garden vibe going on.
– Other details I’m glad I added to the shed:
- two skylights, just enough to see the trees above, my sister’s idea
- a sleeping loft, I think its white ladder may be my favorite feature
- a garden gnome to guard the door, he was a shed-warming gift for Mother’s Day
- a lucky horseshoe! also gold, above the door for good luck
- my Apple TV! I may love me a garden but I still need my shows!
- you can check out My Writing Shed board on Pinterest for your own shed inspiration
Some people ask if I’m going to writing a book back in the shed. Nope! Not yet, but never say never! What I am writing is visioning, positioning and more articulate brand messages paired with design for our Braid Creative clients. If you’re wondering about working with Braid 1:1 just contact us here and tell me your vision for where you’d like to take your brand next.
While you’re thinking about if we might be a fit for you, you can learn about our Braid ECourse, or how Being Boss in work and life is where it’s at, from my sister and Braid co-founder Kathleen across the street. Yep, she’s literally across the street, because we live on the same beautiful little block. But now I always unlock the door for her. Most of the time. – T.
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Kathleen here. Today's post is just a short and sweet reminder to myself that I wanted to share with you too.
I was in a Braid Method meeting when one of our branding clients (who happens to be a super talented executive leadership coach, author, and speaker) stopped me in my furious note-taking tracks when she said the words: How you do anything is how you do everything. I’m not sure if this sage advice is her own or if she heard it somewhere else, but it really got me thinking about how I live my day-to-day moments—and how those moments add up to become the sum of my whole life.
It’s all too easy to excuse a bad attitude on a “hard day” (and we know how relative that can be).
It’s easy to blame a lack of enthusiasm for life in general on weeks of tight deadlines and back-to-back meetings.
It’s easy to fall into a funk because the weather isn’t just right.
But how you do anything is how you do everything. Regardless of circumstance. Regardless of busy days and tight deadlines.
The person I want to be designs each and every project with careful craft and attention to detail.
The person I want to be gives anyone who has my attention, from my clients and coworkers to my husband and my son, my whole heart too.
The person I want to be shaves her legs more than once every other week.
The person I want to be dances in the kitchen while making dinner—especially if I’ve had a hard day.
The person I want to be coils up the hose after watering the flowerbeds instead of leaving it strewn across the lawn.
I need to be a little more mindful about the “anything” moments. With that, I want to move through life with awareness that these anything moments are the ingredients that yield my “everything” life. And I want my life to taste like a fresh chocolate chip cookie with a little salt on top.
How you do anything is how you do everything. I think I need to get this tattooed on my forehead.
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If you like this post you might like our DIY Coaching for Creatives Email Sessions. It’s 4 emails x 4 weeks (16 emails total) for just $40. Complete with worksheets, exercises, mantras, meditations, and to-dos for time management, decision-making, and strategies for living more of what you love—in work and life. You can learn more about what you’ll get and purchase anytime here.
Or check out our Braid Method Branding Ecourse if you're ready to move forward with your "anything" moments and put them into motion with your "everything" business.
The Braid Method Branding ECourse is for creative entrepreneurs who are ready to support themselves financially with their business, create a blog or consistent online presence, and finally turn the work they’re already doing into a digital product, package, or offering for dream customers. This branding ecourse comes with 7 learning modules in a 300+ page digital download, a workbook with 20+ branding exercises and scripts, a quarterly masterclass, and an exclusive Facebook group so you can connect with us and other students.
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