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Kathleen here. Today’s blog post is borrowed from a recent Letters for Creatives – our newsletter with exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox. I always invite the Letters recipients to respond directly to me, and after I sent out this email letter in particular, I got so many replies from creative entrepreneurs saying how it resonated big time with them – so I thought I would repost it here. If you would like to receive our newsletter sign up here. I only send out about 3 letters a month – in other words, I promise not to take advantage of being invited in your inbox. 

Earlier this week I posted on the Braid Blog about how to feel like a creative expert. At the same time I was writing that post my 9 month old baby started growing teeth (which is apparently incredibly painful – there’s a reason why you don’t remember growing teeth) and came down with a virus that left the both of us covered in snot and puke more than once. Gross, I know. So after giving my sad, sick baby a tight squeeze and a good bath I got mad. I got mad at my own mom for never telling me how hard it was going to be to be a mom. I mean, she made it look so easy. And then I realized that’s because she was (and still is) a really great mom – it was part of her job description as “best mom ever” to make it look easy. 

On the Braid blog I listed out a few different ways to feel like a creative expert: remaining neutral to criticism and praise, taking a pause to gather more information before you respond, trusting yourself in the moment, recognizing patterns, establishing clear boundaries, saying no, charging more, and having enough confidence to share your point-of-view. But after this week of tending to a sick baby, juggling work and life, and thinking about my own mom – who is obviously an expert at motherhood – I need to add this to the list: 

Experts make it look easy. 
Experts don’t have to prove their worth by telling you how hard they worked on your project or how long they’ve been in the game. Experts never displace blame or require validation. Experts just do what they do what they do best – whether that’s snapping a photo, writing a book, developing an ECourse, designing your logo, or consulting you through next steps – with grace. Experts make you feel safe and reassured through the process. And they make it look so easy that you almost consider that you could do it yourself. And that’s how they know they’ve done a good job. 

Are you still having a hard time identifying or embracing your expertise? Consider this: 
  • What comes easy to you that seems to impress the people around you? The answer to this question might be your expertise. 
  • What isn’t so easy but is something you want to be really good at? This could be your expertise if you start working on it today (and tomorrow… and the day after.)

Our Braid ECourse Dream Customer Catching: Embrace Your Expertise and Attrack What You Track is now open for registration. So if you’re a writer, designer, photographer, consultant, or creative who is wanting to bring more of your personality and passion to your profession this ECourse is for you. This ECourse will be in-session from December 12-21 – you can take it for $50 using the discount code BRAIDECOURSE50 when you check out. 

Or if you’re needing more work / life guidance check out the DIY Coaching for Creatives Email Sessions – it’s just $40 and you can sign up and get this content straight to your inbox anytime!  

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03-Sep-2014

Have you heard about the Law of Attraction? The idea, as I’ve come to understand it, is that if you can visualize what you want, it is yours – that your emotions, thoughts, and feelings set into motion what comes your way. So if you’re negative, you will probably attract even more negativity into your life. And on the flip-side if you focus on the positive more good things will come your way. I believe this to be true on a universal “woo-woo” level – that when you get clear, set intentions, and “put it out there” you begin to attract what you want without a whole lot of effort. 

Kathleen here. I see the Law of Attraction show up in my life on a daily basis. I have noticed that whatever I’m interested in personally, is what I seem to attract professionally. For example, when I really started diving into my yoga practice I started attracting a bunch of yogis as clients. When I got pregnant I found that we were being hired by more and more doulas, midwives, and postpartum health coaches. When I get fired up about food I start attracting foodies – from Paleo cookbook authors and experts to juice cleanse coaches and raw food fanatics and everything in-between. Even my more rational business partner and co-workers will tell you that there is a little bit of mojo at play when it comes to attracting these dream customers. But you don’t have to be a magician to make the Law of Attraction work for you too. 

If you’re skeptical about the Law of Attraction here is a more practical breakdown of how to make it work for you: 



STEP 1: GET CLEAR ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT 
The first step to attracting the good stuff is to get clear about what it is you want. What do you want in your business? If it’s new clients what do you want those clients to be like? Is it more money? If so, write down exactly how much you want to make this year. Is it a beautiful home or a badass wardrobe? Maybe start a Pinterest moodboard so you can visualize what that looks like. 

STEP 2: PUT IT OUT THERE 
Start writing about, talking about, and thinking about the stuff you want. Make it a priority to share the stuff you like – personally and professionally – at home, at work, over coffee, while you’re networking. The more you can have other people thinking about your goals the more likely it is someone will think of you when the opportunity to fulfill those wishes presents itself. 

STEP 3: TAKE NOTE WHEN IT BECOMES REAL 
The most important part of making the Law of Attraction work for you is to take note when you wishes come true. Perspective is everything – your thoughts make your reality. I recently read that the only difference between lucky people and unlucky people is mindset. Oops! I’m starting to get even a little more woo-woo-meets-business here. Okay, so for example – when Tara and I started Braid Creative I said “I want to work with someone famous and I want to make $X amount of money.” Well, just a year in we landed Brené Brown as a client (a personal hero of mine who found us when I did a book review of Daring Greatly and shared it with her via Twitter – that’s an example what “putting it out there” looks like) and three years in we just now hit a big money goal. If I had not set those goals in the first place I might see these events as one-time flukes or quickly go on to raise the bar without properly acknowledging these accomplishments. 

AN EXERCISE
Try this: write down a list of 5 things you want to attract. Get as specific as you can about these desires. (So don’t write “I want to attract money.” Instead write down “I want to make $1,000 in one week.” Or whatever your money goal is.) Put these five goals or desires on a post-it note that lives on your mirror or computer so you can see it everyday. Take note when these goals become a reality (and they will). 

Our new ECourse Dream Customer Catching: Embrace Your Expertise and Attract What You Track is now open for registration. We share more secrets for attracting dream customers by getting narrow with what you offer. This ECourse will be in-session from September 19-29. Learn more and see if it’s a fit here. 

And if you like a good mix of woo-woo meets practical steps for living the dream – in work and life – you might like my DIY Coaching for Creatives Email Sessions. It’s just $40 for four weeks of guidance. You can sign up here to receive these emails straight to your inbox anytime. 


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17-Jun-2014

Two money posts in a row, I know. Kathleen here and I'm positive the majority of you creatives and aspiring entrepreneurs and freelancers are craving a conversation about cold hard cash. I know this because every time I get some face time with you all we end up talking about money. How to find it, make it, sustain it, and grow it. Last week I shared four bits of money advice on the blog and this week I have one more important tidbit to share with you and it is this:

Be a farmer. (Not a hunter.) 

Yup, you heard me: be a farmer. This is actually a money mantra Tara and I used a lot when we first started Braid Creative together. We adopted it from Blair Enns, a new-business coach whose specialty is helping creative agencies sell themselves. Meanwhile, we were leaving the agency world and starting over on our own. We were three months in, and had been tirelessly building our business from scratch – from the branding, to the website, to the endless administrative stuff like setting up our LLC and accounting systems. Once the flurry of setting up shop settled we were discouraged to hear crickets chirping as we waited for clients. Even though the silence was discouraging, an even more demoralizing prospect was going out and selling ourselves “cold” (i.e. knocking on doors, making calls, or sending unsolicited emails). So we started farming. 

BE A FARMER 
Farmers wake up early and do the work. They get their hands dirty and plant seeds. They protect and nurture their land for months until they're able to harvest their crops. They look at the big picture and they cultivate patience. Obviously, I'm not telling you to literally go out and become a farmer (that's another fantasy for another day), but do start treating your business like a farm. Wake up early, do the work, build your brand, read blogs and books, write a post, hit publish, launch, build relationships, build your list, have conversations, and share your gifts of knowledge... that's farming. In other words, if you want to grow your business, your brand, and your bottom line, first you have to plant it. 

DON'T BE A HUNTER 
Hunting for the quick kill sounds appealing until you come home empty handed, hungry, and desperate. Hunting in business is what will make you feel like a used car salesman rather than the creative expert you are. Hunting is exhausting.  

HOW THE MANTRA WORKS
The mantra “be a farmer, not a hunter” works by getting you in the headspace to plant seeds that may not produce fruit (that would be cash money) for months... years even.  Our commitment to being "farmers" kept us productive even when we didn't have clients. So if you're feeling discouraged start farming. 

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Our Braid ECourse Dream Customer Catching: Embracing Your Expertise and Attracting What You Track will be in-session starting this Friday, June 20. If you are a writer, designer, coach, or creative who understands the importance of narrowing in on your niche for building your business but don't quite know where to begin this ECourse is for you. Learn more and enroll here.  But you have to register by Thursday! 

Or check out our DIY Coaching for Creatives email series. It’s insight delivered straight to your inbox over the course of 4 weeks.

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