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Business

A New Spin on Networking for Creative Entrepreneurs

We were about a year into Idealust and we had some BHAGs (Big Hairy Audacious Goals), thank you Jim Collins for this fun acronym. (If you haven’t read it yet, check out Built to Last.)

One of those goals had a lot to do with teaching what we knew, in person. Hanging out with awesome creatives, in person. Speaking at conferences, in person. Having real conversations with, laughing with, sometimes crying with (you know how it goes!), empowering and being inspired by our industry peers, in person.

(I’m so grateful our work has paid off and we’ve been a part of incredible events that we believe in, like Creative at Heart, The Yellow Conference, The Together Experience… AND, probably even more importantly, we’ve built some incredible friendships because of it.)

In order for that to happen, we had to get out there and do some “networking.”

Bleh. Networking. You feel me?!

That word still rubs me the wrong way. All I can think of is corporate 9-5ers congregating on a hotel patio, standing there at belly bar tables in their suits and pencil skirts (I actually really like pencil skirts, don’t get me wrong!), twirling drink straws, reciting their resumés and sliding business cards across the table. It’s like it just doesn’t fit in our industry.

So, early on, Jesse and I decided we needed a new spin on networking for creative entrepreneurs. We needed to think of it differently.

Not ditch it completely. (Introverts! Did you hear me?! Don’t ditch it completely!!)

Networking is a must whether you’re working on booking speaking engagements or hoping to book your calendar full of incredible clients.

Without it, you’re leaving incredible friendships, business opportunities, money, freedom and fulfillment on the table. I’m guessing you’re not okay leaving those things on the table 😉

I’ve done a lot of networking in my 9 years as a creative entrepreneur, and I’ve definitely felt all of these things along the way:


  • Awkward (Like, seriously awkward!!)
  • “Why the heck am I here?!”
  • Not good enough

But now, NOW!, when I network I feel:

  • Empowered
  • Confident
  • Still a tiny bit nervous sometimes, but an excited nervous instead of a “I think I’m going to hide in the bathroom” nervous

I feel these things not because we’re business coaches for creatives and have all the answers (we don’t have all the answers) but because we take a different approach than a lot of other people in the room.

Networking for creative entrepreneurs isn’t about:

  • Handing out as many business cards as possible…
  • Talking about yourself…
  • Bragging…
  • Name dropping…
  • Trying to prove yourself, your business or your worth to anyone…

Yikes. No wonder networking makes so many people nervous. When you look at it like the above list, you’re really putting the pressure on!

So, how do you make all those potentially awkward introductions and conversations feel easy and natural? I’ve found the best way to feel comfortable and confident is to make someone else feel comfortable and confident!

Networking tips for creative entrepreneurs

  • Seek out anyone gravitating toward the corner; make her smile! (This might be a genuine compliment about how you love her bright blue coat or an opening one-liner about how these sort of events sometimes make you want to hide in the bathroom.)
  • Focus on making 1-2 solid connections per event you attend
  • Start real conversations beyond small talk
  • Ask for their business cards and/or Instagram handle. (I usually pull out my phone and follow them on IG right away and go back later to engage more with their recent posts.)
  • Follow up with your new connections right away
  • Not every conversation needs to be about business. In fact, I’ve found the best networking has come from talking to my new friends about things new friends talk about
  • If you do talk about business, find out what they’re excited about! What they’re working on! Is there anything you can do for them? Introduce them to a copywriter if they need a copywriter?
  • Keep your eye out for new people you can refer work to (whether a non-ideal client inquires with you or you’re booked out.)
  • If you’re a planner and need to feel super prepared, see who’s going to the event ahead of time and do a little scouting of attendees you’d like to get to know. Do some engaging on social media before the event so when you meet, you sort of already know each other

Moral of the story: Be a nice person. Forget about business and money and work experience and even yourself for a second. Instead, think about how you can make someone else shine.

When you take this new spin on networking for creative entrepreneurs, it works because you:

  • Build genuine friendships and business partnerships
  • Gain a reputation for being helpful
  • Make people feel comfortable and people don’t remember what you say, they remember how you made them feel
  • Are revealing authenticity and building credibility as someone who’s not just out to get theirs
  • Will stay on people’s minds because of all of the above and therefore, eventually, book more business because of it all. Because, in the end, as Marie Forleo always says, people do business with people they know like and trust.

    [blockquote cite=”Maya Angelou” type=”center”]“I’ve learned people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”[/blockquote]
Categories
Business Personal

How to decide when to make a big leap, move or transition in your creative business

People ask us all the time…

 

“Do you still shoot?”

 

For years, years, that’s how people knew us…Mr. + Mrs. Limelife. Cameras in hand. Ninjas at weddings. Self-proclaimed comedians at portrait sessions (maybe that was just me), making everyone feel comfortable in front of the camera. Aww, it makes my heart happy thinking back to laughing with bridal parties, photographing grandpas bear-hugging their grand-daughters on the dance floor.

 

Just the other day, I was cleaning out old boxes and folders and shelves, in one of those Monica (yeah, you’re thinking of the right one…Geller) moments. I’ve been having lots of those lately as we prepare for our babe to come home from China. Anyway, I found so many old notebooks of ideas and strategies for our first born, Limelife Photography.

 

It made me smile. But, it didn’t make me regret not shooting weddings anymore.

 

I still shoot a handful of lifestyle family sessions. I always will. But, we stopped taking weddings almost two years ago now, and here’s why…

 

It was the right time. For us.

 

This is what happened…

 

We dreamed up this beautiful idea of helping creative entrepreneurs take action on the lives they were daydreaming about. As we had more and more conversations about what our purpose and greatest contribution was and what our future held, our hopes for a family, the dream lifestyle we wanted in 10 years, we leaned into the idea of Limelife-ing less and Idealust-ing more.

 

We created a 5-year plan. On paper, the transition was beautiful! Gradual. Tidy. We were proud! We looked at the transition of percentages of our income from one business to the other. We felt grown up. Oh, look at us and our perfect financial pie chart!

 

Then, the flood hit. The flood of my tears, that is.

 

We found ourselves in the middle of a crazy busy wedding season and building a brand new business.

 

We were putting in way more hours than we thought we would be at that point of Idealust, doing business coaching for creatives. But doors were opening. I mean, swinging wide open! Things were happening. It was fast and furious and I was ugly crying all over the place.

 

Turns out, we were totally prepared for everything we thought would happen and totally unprepared for everything we had no idea would happen.

 

I was overwhelmed. (Even though we knew this craziness was only a temporary season.)

 

It was too much. (For us. Mostly me.)

 

So much time and energy, divided in different directions. (I give so much credit to you 9-5ers.)

 

And so, after a lot of big conversations, we threw our plan out the window. (Yep. Adios, pretty pie chart.)

 

We still had some weddings on the books but decided from here on out, we wouldn’t be taking more. We decided to use the momentum we had with Idealust, focus on that, and give it our all.

 

Jesse and I have made a lot of big changes and “risky” decisions over the years (sometimes by choice, sometimes by circumstance), from moving to Africa to starting two businesses, to throwing our 5-year Limelife-Idealust swap plan out the window. We’re pretty sure this will be a recurring theme for us, the life God has for us. 😉

 

And, every time we feel ourselves getting closer and closer to toeing that line of a life-changing transition, we ask ourselves some big questions before we take the plunge into whatever it is that’s next.

 

If you’re in that middle limbo, or desiring what’s on the horizon, or sweating from the pressure of trying to make a decision, this is for you.

 

How to decide when to make a big leap, move or transition in your creative business… 

  • Are you making the move to avoid something else that you really need to address or deal with in your life/business?
  • Is your spouse or significant other on board?
  • If everything goes south, are you okay with the worst case scenario?
  • What is the worst case scenario?
  • Do you have a backup plan?
  • Do you have a gut feeling or intuition that this is the right next move?
  • Is staying in your current situation draining your time, relationships, energy or money?
  • Have you slept on this? Given it time for the honeymoon phase of the idea to wear off and time to see what the reality of this looks like for your life?
  • What happens if you don’t make this transition or move forward? Can you live life as is, staying put where you’re at?
  • What’s the upside? What could potentially (but realistically!) happen if you move forward with this?
  • Is this what you really want or a quick fix to make you feel better?
  • Is the best case scenario what you really want? If not, is it worth it in the first place?
  • Why do you want to make this move? Is it because you feel like it’s where you’re supposed to be or is it because you’re feeling pressure from outside influences or social media or other people’s opinions?
  • How long have you been thinking about this? Has the idea of this faded or gotten stronger?
  • Do you believe you can do this?

 

Plans are good. Sticking to them is important. But, I also believe that being open to and flexible with the unexpected is just as important. There are no guarantees in business. You know your heart and brain and gifts and desires better than anyone. And, you just never know when one step forward in the right direction will unlock something wonderful, something you never could have dreamed up yourself. The beautiful place you’re meant to be.

Categories
Business Personal

5 musts for keeping your business afloat when life knocks you down

I was consumed by one thing and only one thing: we probably weren’t going to be able to conceive a baby. I had already been grieving this for years, since we’d been trying with zero positive pregnancy tests. But, the second surgery proved it to be an even truer reality than I had imagined it to be in my mind.

And now, Jesse and I were faced with some soul searching and big decisions about where we were going to go from here, but we also had to run our business. Well, we weren’t just running a business, we were right smack dab in the middle of a busy wedding season, shooting almost every weekend as Limelife Photography and pouring every ounce of our spare energy into building Idealust. In the middle of that craziness, I was trying to figure out how to be okay with whatever God had in mind for our future family.

Can I get super honest with you? Good.

There were days when I felt so disconnected to all we had built as entrepreneurs, because I so desperately wanted the details of this other part of our life to fall into place. There were days when I just couldn’t get myself to sit at my desk and be the photographer or a business coach that everyone knew me to be. There were days when I just needed nothingness inside my brain because there was too much happening inside my heart.There were days when I just couldn’t get myself to sit at my desk and be the photographer or a business coach that everyone knew me to be. There were days when I just needed nothingness inside my brain because there was too much happening inside my heart.

And that’s okay.

Maybe you’ve felt that way before, too? Because of something hard or unexpected? Maybe a relationship went downhill or someone you love got a not-so-promising call from the doctor? We’ve all been there and the truth is…we’ll be there again, at some point. It’s part of life. But, what the heck do you do with it all when you’re a creative entrepreneur? When your clients are depending on you? When your family is depending on the paycheck?

I’m so incredibly blessed that I work with my husband. When things feel a little too wild in our personal life, and if my energy is shifted in that direction, he fills in the gaps. We are able to ebb and flow and take charge when one of our (wo)men is down. But, even still, there have been plenty of times when both of us needed to put business on the backburner to take care of ourselves and our people.

I believe entrepreneurship is such a gift for so many reasons. One of the coolest things is that we can turn things up fast and furious, momentum burning like a roaring fire. Or, when needed or wanted, we can slow things down. Pause the extras. Maintain the essentials.

That said, when life throws us curve balls (all of this can also totally be applied to planned life events that take us away from our businesses), there are ways to make it work. And not just work, but work well for us and those we serve. There are ways to make the most of all the effort we’ve put in, without backsliding in business and, at the same time, doing what we need to do to take care of ourselves, our circumstances and our people.

Here are our 5 musts for keeping your business afloat when life knocks you down. Learned from plenty of personal experience over the last 8 years 😉

  1. Give yourself grace. Ease off on the expectations for a bit. You don’t always need 15 super challenging monthly goals. Maybe you only have 3 this month and one of them is to get yourself to a yoga class twice a week. Success isn’t just about money and clients and Instagram engagement. Success is living a life full of giving and loving others. Remind yourself that it’s essential to spend time loving your people, including yourself and it’s more than okay not to spend that time in your business.
  2. Go into maintenance mode. Figure out what you need to do to keep things running smoothly, without piling on any extra commitments or ideas. This isn’t the time to pick up speed, but we don’t want to fall backwards either. Focus on the essentials like getting back to new inquiries quickly and taking care of our current clients. Give yourself permission to put the rest aside, for now.
  3. Take care of your clients. If you’re taking some time away from work, communicate any new, temporary expectations, like your response time. Your clients don’t need to know all the details, but they do need to know they’ll still be getting everything you promised them. If your workflows and systems are in place (high-five!!!), you will still be able to over-deliver without the extra strain.
  4. Have a backup plan. Depending on the circumstances, depending how long you’ll be in maintenance mode and depending on what exactly you do, it’s a good idea to have a backup plan. That might mean having a list of second shooters you can call and ask for help. That might mean handing off a little more responsibility to your VA for the next couple weeks. That might mean referring new leads to industry friends.
  5. Create more space. We have to expect the unexpected. I’ve found that the more consistent I am with my morning routine and the more time I spend with Jesus, the better I handle all this hard stuff. I react less and calmly address circumstances. I don’t beat myself up for not going 90mph all the time. The only way I get good at this stuff is by creating the space to practice self-care and by building in plenty of room for my priorities, outside of our businesses.  

We’ve coached and had conversations with hundreds of incredible creative entrepreneurs. Almost every single one of them has shared that this, entrepreneurship, is the dream because of the freedom it allows them. Most of the time, that means fun stuff like travel, doing what they love and getting to work from home. Sometimes, that means freedom, space and opportunity to take a step back from your business to take care of yourself.

Categories
Business

How implementing a morning routine transforms our business + marriage

I have a tendency to want to be seen and rewarded for my efforts. I struggle with comparison and thinking I need recognition. When I’m busy striving for greatness, I forget where my worth comes from. (Whoa! No easing into this post!) Theses tendencies come out when I’m not implementing a morning routine.

Jesse has a tendency to work too much. He struggles with FOMO and that jeopardizes boundaries we’ve set for our life. We both have a tendency to want to be right. We have strong personalities and sometimes lack patience and grace.

YIKES! We’re a mess. True story.

And, it gets soooo much messier when we let these things fester and dictate our days and rule our life. When left to their own devices, these flaws have the potential to wreak havoc in our business and marriage. We’ve been there and done that and have no desire to go back.

That’s why we have a morning routine. That’s why, even though for years Jesse was a self-proclaimed night owl, he decided to read The Miracle Morning and give it a whirl. Guys, my husband used to lay in bed until 9:30am, now he wakes up before 6am!

But, it’s not about being a morning person. It’s about how being a morning person, how taking charge of your mindset before the sun comes up and filling every ounce of your being with truth instead of lies, it’s about how that sets you up for gratefully and peacefully watching the beautiful sunset at the day’s end.

“By implementing a morning routine, you’re choosing to set the tone for your day. You’re making a decision about how you will respond, think, speak, act, work, love, etc. You are no longer reacting to the world but intentionally living out who you want to be as an entrepreneur, a spouse, a friend.”

We all know that being an entrepreneur can be a tough gig. Same goes for being married. (If you’re reading this and you’re not married, no biggie, this totally applies to having any kind of relationship with another human being!)

A couple years ago, I made a quick video talking about the morning routine that will change your life. But, today, I want to share with you how having a morning routine transforms our business + marriage and, if you’re up for the challenge, how we know it can transform your business, marriage, ___________ (whatever you’d like to improve), too.

This is what our life (business + marriage included!) looks like…

When we don’t start the day with our morning routine:

  • We are quick to argue, because we both feel entitled to being right.
  • We feel like ships passing in the night…like roommates who work in the same house.
  • We are impatient with each other and easily irritable because we’re busy with our own projects.
  • We are easily distracted and our productivity suffers.
  • We feel rushed to accomplish tasks and stressed out that there’s so much to do.
  • We feel disconnected and overwhelmed.
  • We complain, feel jealous and are easily angered.
  • We lack purpose and clarity.
  • We are quick to react and judge.

When we do start the day with our morning routine:

  • We feel closer to Jesus, like we are seeking him and his will for our life.
  • We are on the same page with each other.
  • We support each other.
  • We are more focused and determined.
  • We persevere more easily and react less emotionally.
  • We are confident in our business decisions.
  • We mind our own business, paying attention to our next move, not everyone else’s.
  • We feel inspired in our work.
  • We feel inspired to do nice things for each other.
  • We listen to each other.
  • We make things happen quickly and smoothly with our business.

The difference is night and day. It’s like, “Duh! Do your morning routine, guys!”

Curious what these morning routines look like? We got most of this from the book The Miracle Morning

This is what our morning routines look like…

Jesse’s morning routine:

  • 5 minutes of prayer/meditation
  • 5 minutes of affirmations/visualization (includes reading his monthly goals)
  • 20 minutes of reading (usually a business book or the Bible)
  • 15 minutes of journaling (writing out thoughts and little pieces that could someday be compiled into a more substantial piece)

My morning routine:

  • 5 minutes of prayer/meditation
  • 5 minutes of affirmations/visualization (includes reading my monthly goals)
  • 20 minutes of reading (currently reading + LOVING Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst)
  • One hour of writing (working on my book)

Our morning routine, together:

  • Make + eat breakfast. Jesse usually makes the eggs. I usually “make” the coffee (aka: Pulling the handle down on the Keurig and adding lots of creamer to the mug.)
  • Read the Bible + pray together.
  • Talk about what we’re grateful for.
  • Exercise (usually later in the day as a work break)

Do we do all of this every single day? Nope. Is it glaringly obvious when we skip our morning routines? Yep! More than anything, for us, our morning routine is a guideline for helping us be the best we can be for our clients, for our audience, for each other, for our families, for our friends, for everything we do.

And, when we’re operating as close to 100% as humanly possible, in all these categories, we know that’s when we are living out who God has created us to be. That’s when we become increasingly aware of all he is and is doing in our lives.

It’s easy to let our icky tendencies take over. It’s easy to make excuses and say, “Ah, well, that’s just me.” It takes effort and discipline to wake up every morning and choose to be the best you. But, life, business, marriage, all of it, is so much more rewarding when you do.

Do you have a morning routine? Can you tell a difference in the days you implement it and when you don’t? Let us know in the comments below if you’re ready to give a morning routine a whirl and/or if it’s time to dust it off and bring it back to life and serve it up strong with your morning coffee.

Categories
Business

5 Ways Creative Entrepreneurs Can Get Fast Referrals

More, more, more! Everyone wants more! More clients! More reach! More likes + comments! More followers! More money for more vacations! I get that. I often find myself in that same spot, thinking…

How can we improve our business? How can we refine our processes to influence even more creative entrepreneurs? How can we increase our numbers so we can build that savings account and retirement fund even faster?

I want you to STOP for a second. I want us to stop for a second.

We have everything we need, right now.

Sometimes, it doesn’t feel like it. But, there are incredible opportunities at our fingertips. Referrals, relationships, inquiries…there, waiting for us!

So, how do experience all the goodness that’s waiting for us? Well, we want to share with you 5 ways creative entrepreneurs can get fast referrals…

  1. Take a look at your inbox…what relationships are sitting in there, waiting to be nurtured? Who can you encourage? What action can you take to help someone who needs it? Who can you send a genuine referral to? Who can you connect with someone else you know?
  2. Take a look at your current clients (whether that’s 2 or 20)…who can you reach out to to show you care? How can you over-deliver on your promises + contract? How can you answer their questions before they have to ask so they feel super taken care of? How can you treat your client more like you’d treat your friend?
  3. Take a look at the networking event you’re going to this month…who’s going to be there that you’ve been wanting to connect with? How can you offer value to someone you look up to? What can you do to make their life easier or better? Who can you start engaging with on social media before your next event?
  4. Take a look at your Instagram comments…who’s been cheering you on? How can you return the favor? Who have you met in the last couple of weeks that you can go encourage on Instagram? How many supportive comments and genuine connections can you make in one day?!
  5. Take a look in the mirror…have you been giving your all to everything you already have? The opportunities? The relationships? The clients? The hours you put in working? Are you scrolling Facebook when you should be working? Are you feeling sluggish and need to go for a run before getting back to work? What do you need to do to function at your best?

More is out there, waiting for you. There are people looking for YOU! And, I know it’s tempting to go and try to find them all at once! I mean, there are so many rad marketing strategies waiting for you, like using Instagram stories, using video for your business in other ways, getting super smart with your social media posts, starting a newsletter, building life-giving relationships with your fellow creative entrepreneurs, giving Facebook ads a whirl…SO MANY awesome ways to show the world who you are and what you stand for and how you can make your ideal client’s life better!!! BUT…

Yes, there’s a BUT…

So often, we jump the gun and go there first. ALL of those strategies will help you grow your creative business, but, we believe it’s vital to take care of what we’ve been given, all along the way, no matter what stage of business you’re in or how much money you make.

We believe the easiest advertising you can do, the fastest way to get referrals, well, it’s at your fingertips. It’s giving your all to everything you’ve been given.

Make the most of it + I guarantee more will come your way!

Categories
Business

My 5 wisest words of advice for creative entrepreneurs

In the last 8 years, Jesse and I have created two businesses. The whole point of this entrepreneur adventure, for us, is to share all we have with the world and hopefully by doing this, we’ve made someone’s life better. Oh, and we definitely dig mid-day bike rides and soaking up sunshine on the coast (which certainly has something to do with us living and loving this gig, too).

Since a quarter of my life has now been spent in entrepreneurship, and I’ve had approximately 97 meltdowns along the way, I figured I’d share with you what I do know. My lessons learned over the years. My 5 wisest words of advice for creative entrepreneurs…

Grace
Take it easy on yourself. No matter what you do or don’t do; no matter if you meet your expectations for yourself or not, give yourself some grace. We are our own worst enemies. Think of the respect, grace and understanding you offer your best friend when times are tough. Are you that kind to yourself? I know I’m not, a lot of the time, because perfectionism wiggles its way into my mind and I can be really hard on myself. But the more intentionally I work on grace, the less disappointed I am. I am happier, freer and actually more productive and successful.

Boundaries
There are two ways I’ve learned to use boundaries to my advantage. The first is probably the most obvious: establish boundaries for work/life balance. Shut the office door at night. Put fun, social, personal things on the calendar first each week, so you don’t run yourself into the ground. Create office hours. STICK TO THE OFFICE HOURS.

The second way is this: Guard your heart. Not everyone is going to understand, be interested in or possibly even support your ideas and decisions in entrepreneurship. That’s okay. Keep those relationships about something else. Don’t pour out your heart about your business dreams to these people if you know their response will disappoint you. There are so many people who DO get it (umm, hello, we’re right HERE!!!).

Strategy
The fastest way to get to where you want to be is by having a strategy. This comes in all shapes and sizes, for all sorts of things like networking, how you spend your time working on your business and in your business, social media advertising, marketing . . . you name it, you need to have a strategy for it!

Ask yourself: What is my purpose? What can I do with this partnership, Instagram post or conference I’m going to that will better my business and take me to the next level? How can I make this a win-win situation for everyone involved? If strategy isn’t your strength (yet), write one of these questions on a Post-it and put it on your computer as a reminder to guide your business in that direction.

Persistence
Those who make it to the top of the mountain have had plenty of crummy days in the valley. But the reason they “made it”? Persistence. You will doubt your dreams. You will want to give up, for good. Don’t do that! Instead, cry it out. Do some yoga. Just breathe, and maybe get yourself a brownie, too. And then, tweak your plan and try again. Repeat after me:

“Fear, pride, comparison, naysayers, self-doubt and failure will not stop me from living to my fullest potential.”

Use those challenges and setbacks to grow and position yourself as a leader whose ways are tried and true.

Gratitude
Gratitude is a cure-all. It makes you feel warm and fuzzy and experience true joy. And it’s the absolute BEST way to start your day. Even in the crappiest of situations, there’s something to be grateful for. Nothing is too little to go unnoticed either! Wake up each day and set the tone for all that’s to come. Make it a new habit to inject gratitude into your day.

Soon, this new habit will shape your new sunshiny perspective. This is HUGE when you’re a business owner because there will always be ups and downs. The more successful you become, the more potential there is for complicated challenges. Gratitude is one vital piece of the puzzle when it comes to a solid mindset.

No matter what situation I’m in or challenge I’m facing, one of these words is usually the answer. Try them out. Let me know what words have taught you the most and help you be and do everything you’ve dreamed up for your business!

Categories
Business

I’m So Over Instagram

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Don’t get me wrong; it’s my favorite social media platform. We normally rave about it. We even have a course teaching you how to use Instagram + Facebook ads. We know how powerful a tool it is to build relationships + make money. Buuuuut…

It’s causing people we know + love unneeded stress.
It’s stealing time from other profit-producing activities.
It’s making people feel like they’re not good enough or cool enough (including me, at times!)

Instagram is all the rage right now. We totally get it! It can help you do incredible things in your business. But I wanted to check in with you and ask you a few things I ask myself every now and then…

  1. Is the time you’re spending on Instagram taking away from other important parts of your business?
  2. Are you taking all this community and encouragement OFFLINE (partnerships, coffee dates, sending referrals to these new Insta-friends)?
  3. Do you feel life So-and-So’s success is making you jealous?
  4. Are you connecting with people on Insta that make sense for YOU and YOUR business to connect with?
  5. Are you missing out on real life relationships because you’re on Instagram or looking for an Insta-worthy moment?

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in exciting movements + #hashtags. I just wanted to shoot it to you straight today…

Remember who you are, what your strengths are and why you started this business in the first place. Use Instagram to connect, encourage and be real with your people. Just don’t let it steal your confidence, joy + too many hours of your life! Create a content plan and posting schedule. Get in and get out and get on with sharing your beauty + creativity with the rest of the world!

Go get ’em (on + offline)!

Categories
Business

7 Things We Stand For

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Maybe you’ve been around for a while and you have a good idea of what we’re all about. Or, maybe you’re new to Idealust, new to us, and you’re thinking to yourself…

“Hmm. Becky + Jesse seem alright, but I’m just not quite sure yet.” That’s cool! We get it! There are LOTS of posts darting around out there in cyber space! But here’s the thing, we don’t want to be another random business that emails you about business coaching for creatives. We want to know what’s going on in your world (so we know how to best help you!) and we also want to be super transparent about who we are.

Sooooo…

In case you aren’t sure if you know what we’re all about or what we stand for, we figured we’d come right out and tell you 🙂

  1. We believe morning routines + date nights are sacred.
  2. We believe in getting outside of our comfort zones, in all areas of our life. Sometimes (okay, a lot of the time) that feels awkward and uncomfortable. But, that’s the point. We know firsthand that’s where all the good stuff happens. What does this actually look like? Good question…
    • Going to CrossFit when we aren’t thrilled about the work out.
    • Getting in the same room with and building relationships with those who we admire.
    • Being frustrated that something isn’t working (even though we’ve tried a handful of times) in our business and not giving up. Tweaking our efforts and trying, YET AGAIN.
    • Adopting a baby!
  3. We believe that we discover our best ideas after soaking up copious amounts of sunshine and riding our beach cruisers or playing in the waves or hiking up mountains or taking road trips. Fresh air is, quite literally, one of our business partners. 😉
  4. We believe in doing what we were designed to do…and I don’t mean only with Idealust, I mean making the most out of absolutely everything we’ve been given (opportunities, skills, passions, etc.) and that’s why we feel so ALIVE!
  5. We believe we all have the freedom + capability to create the lives we want for ourselves.
  6. We believe that kindness + gratitude are key ingredients to being a successful entrepreneur.
  7. We believe that not everyone was created to be an entrepreneur, but those who are, well, it’s undeniable. Those dreams + ideas don’t fade away. You can’t sweep them under the rug. We believe there’s only one way to see if they’ll make it, and that’s to offer those dreams a chance. And we want to help you. That’s why we’re here. That’s why we started Idealust 🙂

I feel like maybe we can be friends now?

Categories
Business

How to prevent entrepreneur overwhelm

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What we have for you here, is a little roundup checklist of years of experience: How to prevent entrepreneur overwhelm! Yes, you really can prevent it! And, it’s glorious when you do! These are the things we do so that hairy beast of a bad place doesn’t get to us in the first place.

Don’t wait until you feel like you’re going to crack, cave or cry. Be proactive! Start checking these things off the list and we promise your business will run smoother. You’ll feel happier and lighter.

Start a morning routine and stick with it!
☐Set realistic + SPECIFIC goals, that are still challenging.
☐Do ONE THING at a time. Multi-tasking is a myth.
☐Know what you want and be confident in going for it!
☐Get organized! Plan out your weeks.
☐Schedule YOU things (exercise, coffee dates, long lunch breaks) first, every week, every day.
☐Get your work to 90% and then move on. Done is better than perfect. Boycotting perfectionism is not being sloppy.
☐Do not go on social media until after 11am!
☐Read before you go to sleep, instead of scrolling through Instagram.
☐Know your ideal client so you can make fast marketing decisions that are valuable to her! Fast decisions = less time beating yourself up trying to figure it out = less overwhelm.
☐Tidy up your workspace. Shave your legs if you have to 😉
Stop procrastinating!
☐Read Essentialism and implement ASAP.
☐Surround yourself with like-minded people who just get it.

Adios, overwhelm!

Categories
Business

7 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Breeze Through Setbacks

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We all do it. No matter how far we’ve come or how successful we are, we all do it every now and then. We FREAK OUT!!! PANIC!!! We feel like life is over because of a setback or failure that feels like a dagger through the heart. The intensity of how much we feel these setbacks is valid, considering the amount of effort and soul we pour into our work and businesses.

But I’m here to tell you that failing is fabulous! Because guess what, you’re likely in this place because you put yourself out there, tried something new and got outside of your comfort zone and that, no matter what the outcome, deserves something so much greater than what we have the tendency to reward ourselves with. And even though you feel like throwing in the towel, you have an opportunity to take this setback and turn the bus around!

So, when you’re in freak out mode because something didn’t go as well as you’d hoped and you’re panicking about the state of your business and the state of your perseverance, here are 7 ways entrepreneurs can breeze through setbacks and get back to your go-getting, confident, money-making self in no time.

1. Get it all out.
I’m a firm believer in purging yourself of all limiting beliefs, negativity, self-doubt, fear, disappointment, frustrations, etc. as soon as possible. Vent. Cry. Be upset. But give yourself a time limit for all of this, because you have some really important steps to take next. Whatever you do, don’t stop here.

2. Focus on what you already have.
This is a great time for gratitude. Think about how far you have already come! Think about all the people who have worked with you and raved about you, your products or services. Go ahead, read all your incredible reviews. Also, take inventory of your current clients’ satisfaction level. Is there anything you can do to improve their experience? Go do that.

3. Shift your mindset.
A big part of why that setback sent you reeling is likely because you haven’t been strengthening your mindset enough as you should be. Have you been sticking to your morning routine? Check out The Miracle Morning. Page through Think & Grow Rich. Get off social media for a few days; no need to compare yourself to others in this fragile state. Instead, work on getting your confidence back ASAP.

4. Create a game plan.
Think back to what got you through your last setback. What worked for you? Do those things! What didn’t? Don’t do those things! If you’ve veered from your strengths, get back to them! Do what you’re good at and confident in to gain traction and momentum.

5. Add value for others.
It’s so easy to be self-absorbed when things aren’t going our way. When all you can think about is how you wish you could just catch a break, go be that break for someone else. Get outside of yourself and see what you can do to help someone else succeed. I promise this will make you feel better AND by providing value for others, down the road, they will provide value for you.

6. Seek advice from the wise.
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. A lot of times, the answer to your problem is simple and just requires you to do a little tweaking. Get advice from your coach, mentor or other successful entrepreneurs in your life. Learn from their challenges, setbacks, and failures. Model after their perseverance and strategies.

7. Trust in the process.
You’ve likely been here before. I have. I have been in that place numerous times over my 7 years as an entrepreneur, and you know what, it always works itself out. So, trust in the process. Know that you will have another chance to accomplish what you hoped to do the first time around. Use this setback to make version 2.0 that much better! And then, get back to work.

You got this!