Truth: you don’t need a job

    Tattoo girlChances are that when you were little, someone asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up.


    You might have responded with a gymnast, a champion horse back rider, a veterinarian, or even the President of the United States. (Among others, don’t judge!)


    As you got older those answers may have morped into an artist, a photographer, a journalist, a stylist. Something indicative of your passion for creative freedom and that cute photography teacher you had in high school.


    What you likely did not respond with was a garment folder, a copy maker, or a human voicemail machine, (unless you did…which in that case, party on with your bad self) but in essence those seem to have made an appearance in your day to day routine, and you’re not quite sure how the heck they got there?!


    Not only have you noticed the appearance of these less than even remotely creative tasks, assignments, and roles, but you also have struggled with what they mean in regards to your identity. I mean, c’mon people understand that those sweaters don’t fold themselves,right? And that I have to re-fold it every time you muss it up. Yeah. Look, don’t touch.


    Instead of being able to keep them separate, we creatives tend to mix the idea of work with the idea of purpose.


    The struggle exists with how to wrap our minds around how these everyday tasks and roles offer fulfillment. And when you realize they don’t in any way aid to your sense of purpose, you feel lost, dissapointed, even de-railed. What’s more, you resort to never folding another sweater while not at work ever again, sweaters on hangers at my house thank you very much.


    In an effort to gain some clarity you’ve shared your frustrations with your friends and family and although they do likely have your best interests at heart, they just don’t get it.


    “But how will you ever make enough money doing that?”

    “Would anyone even pay you for that?”

    “I know you like X, Y, Z, but are you sure that it’s sustainable?”

    “You should just be glad that you have a job in this economy, maybe you should hold out a bit longer”


    Although extremely dissuading, it’s ok. It’s not their fault. The desire to do work that truly resonates with you is not something you can easily put into words that will make sense to someone else. Especially when that someone else believes that working a job for the security of a paycheck is just the right thing to do.


    They’ve drunk the kool-aid, my friend.


    Mainstream corporate America has done a good job of convincing the humble flock that they need the security of a paycheck, employment benefits, and the promise of a sparkling retirement package.


    Low and behold that sparkly message full of hope and promise, is turning out to be full of hot air instead.


    Gone is job security. Benefits? (Say what? I’ve never had a job that has offered benefits) 401k match? retirement? pension? Those terms are fading fast.


    hat girl


    You’re tired of working a job merely for a paycheck… you’re ready to feel inspired, fulfilled, and happy. Connected to some sort of purpose that makes all of the struggle, all of the searching, all of the J-O-Bs you’ve ever worked in the past, totally worth it.


    So, what the heck do you do? Where are you supposed to find that?

    Quick answer: You don’t find it. You create it.


    And it won’t be easy, nothing that is worth it ever is. You will have moments of uncertainty, moments of doubt, moments of frustration (ok hard truth, ‘moments’ may be a bit of an understatement). But you will also be fully in control of what you are creating.


    It will be hard work. Anyone telling you any different is lying. But if you do it right…


    Gone will be the days when you switch on auto-pilot just to survive

    You will be able to dictate your own priorities

    You will be living in tune with your values and feeding your creative soul


    In addition to the above, you my friend, will know the REAL meaning of job security…


    Always being in a position to pivot your offerings to appeal to what your customers want AND need, ensuring you always have buyers

    Being directly responsible for your earnings based on how hard YOU work, not what someone else thinks you deserve

    No more permission seeking behavior-need a day off, take one. Want to plan your vacation during tax season, do it.


    So, take a moment today to get one step closer to realizing what it is that you want to create. Start a blog, set up an Etsy store, join a networking group. Each step you take will provide clarity for the next.


    Don’t allow yours or anyone elses fear to stand in your way.


    Start now, share in the comments below what your first step will be.


    No step is too small, make the decision, take the step, and allow yourself the ability to achieve what you’ve only dared to daydream about whilst stuck at your day job. Make it real, no more daydreaming. You don’t need a job, you need to create your own ‘opportunity of a lifetime’.






    5 Quotes to remind you why ‘waiting ’till your ready’ is the worst advice ever


    You have scoured over books, articles, Facebook pages, and blog posts.


    You’ve opted in for every e-course, workbook, and bootcamp series.


    You’ve collected an impressive amount of Twitter handles, business cards, and community invites.


    But, you have yet to move forward. You are constantly spinning in circles, willing to learn just one more skill, one more technique, read up on one more product….


    Time’s up. I’m calling you out.


    Why do I get to call you out? Cuz I myself have stayed stuck in the analysis paralysis hamster wheel for far too long. I myself have sought knowledge like a salivating poodle waiting for a treat. I myself have allowed my own progress to take a backseat to my obsession with learning more, more, more. It’s dizzying, it’s tiresome, and eventually it’s just not cute anymore. No one is interested in watching you fast track your way to nowhere.


    You crave clarity to feel like you are on the right path, making the right decisions, going about things the “right way”. Sound familiar?


    Well, newslfash: there is no right way! This hard, cold, factoid is not meant to scare you, it’s meant to empower you. As a matter of fact, I have an inkling that discarding the status quo is one of the main reasons you want to build this heart-centered, passionate business of yours in the first place. So, why then are you willing to stay stuck at the start line while life passes you by.


    Oh, yeah, you’re ‘not ready yet’. Well, allow me to rub some salt in the wound and offer you 5 reasons (in qoute form, cuz duh, everyone loves quotes!) that reiterate how unacceptable it is to wait even one moment longer to start building your dream.


    1. If you don’t build your dreams, someone will hire you to help build theirs – Tony Gaskin


    2. If we wait until we’re ready we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives – Lemony Snicket


    3. Growth is painful, change is painful, but nothing is more painful than staying stuck somewhere you don’t belong – Mandy Hale


    4. It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things – Leonardo da Vinci


    5. The trick is to enjoy life. Don’t wish away your days, waiting for better ones ahead. – Marjorie Pay Hinckley



    Inspired and ready to kick some action into high gear? That’s more like it!





    Friday Finds: How to find and take that step in the right direction

    Funky Grafiti

    Have you ever noticed that the days of the week seem to drag along by,


    sometimes excruuuuuuttttttiaaatinnnnglyyyyy sloooooowly,


    and the weekends are done and gone before you can blink?



    What about all of those things you had on your to-do list, did they get done? Did you gain any traction on them? Or, did you spend your weekend watching marathons of Law & Order SVU and checking up on Facebook? (Been there, done that)


    I am not pointing fingers, rather I am acknowledging a very real pain. One that leaves you dreading Monday morning and unhappy with yourself for your lack of progress. Cue the television binge watching and Facebook checking all over again.


    So, in an effort to combat the weekend warrior cycle/rut I am doing things a litle differently this Friday.


    Today, I am highlighting some helpful finds around the web to empower you to take that next step. What does that mean?


    Well, depending on where you are, that could mean a lot of things….


    Maybe you have been wanting to reach out to someone who has inspired you to get some guidance. No better time than the present to bribe someone with the promise of a yummy Starbucks Pumpkin Latte, right?


    Maybe you need to finally post those packages and services on your site that you have been working so hard on and never feel like they are ‘quite right’ (ahem, I could be pointing fingers at myself on this one) Afterall, your not going to gain any more clarity on them by allowing them to gather dust on your desktop.

    Or, maybe you need to join that wordpress DIY meetup so that you can finally gain some clarity about just how exactly a fabulous, creative, bootstrapping entrepreneur like yourself can get a fully functioning website off the ground anyway. Oh, and maybe while your at it, to update those headshots, cuz the one with your boyfriend’s face cropped off and a floating arm over your shoulders doesn’t exactly scream hire me.


    So, here’s your homework (yes there is homework, no you are not allowed to whine about it): let’s kick that to-do list in high gear this weekend and really rev the tires on your dream!


    It’s about time you started feeling like your passionate daydreams are a journey in the making rather than just a desired destination.


    Get out a notebook, open up a new word doc, whatever you need to do to catch the inspiration somewhere you can see, oragnize, and take action on. Now, check out the following links that have helped me personally get grounded and start taking steps in the right direction toward fulfilling my own dreams.


    God speed and good luck, I know you can do this. And deep down inside you know it too.


    Learn how to say no graciously, so that you can focus on saying yes to the right opportunities for you.

    Why you will never find your passion (Plus, my favorite tweetable of all time!)

    Don’t ever settle!

    “If it feels uncomfortable, then you’re doing something right”

    How to find and do work you love, a must watch!

    The benefits of being a beginner

    Inspirational stories of passionate entrepreneurs and their steps to success: Grown Up Gigs, oh yeah!

    Frustrated you can’t catch a break? No one giving you a shot? Think you need experience?


    What did you think? Were any of the above helpful? Tell me, tell me!


    Did you like this edition of Friday Finds?






    A ‘can’t mess it up checklist’ for your first bridal expo

    Green Finch Florals booth design via AmyNicolePhoto.com

    Green Finch Florals booth design via AmyNicolePhoto.com


    Congratulations! You’ve gotten clear on your business offerings, set some serious goals for yourself, and have determined that you. are. ready.


    Ready to book that expo space, baby!


    Read More: Need help on getting clear on whether a bridal expo is right for your biz?

    Now that you have committed is when the fun stuff happens: Designing your booth! Pimping your promo materials! Perfecting your pitch! The laundry list of to-do’s goes on and on…..and on….and on. Before going into panic mode check out the following ‘can’t mess it up checklist’ for your first bridal expo. It’s chock full of helpful hints, tried and true techniques, and some hard won lessons along my journey of booking brides.



    Your bridal expo must haves….


    • A pre show promotion strategy.

      • Set goals for your booths outcome.
        • # of email signups, # of tentative bookings, # of social media channel follows
      • Spread the word via social media, website, word of mouth, printed invitations, newsletter high-lights, etc. Seek to build targeted awareness for even better turn out at your booth.
      • Inquire about advertising opportunities with the expo directors for additional visibility.
        • Promote on the expo’s social media channels, website, promo booklets, door prizes, swag bags
      • Pay attention to what other vendors will be present at the show and make a plan of action to connect with any complimentary businesses prior to the show, or if time permits, during setup or breakdown of the show.


    Booth at Unveiled Bridal Expo

    Booth at Unveiled Bridal Expo


    • A creative and brand-on-point booth display.

      • Beautiful signage must be apparent, easily visible, and attract attention. Prospects should not have to hunt for your business name on your booth.
      • Design a warm, welcoming, and professional booth.
        • Look, dress, and act professionally
        • Smile! Say hello! Be polite and conversational, thank people for stopping at your booth
        • Complimentary decor – stand out in a way that makes sense to your brand
        • If using electricity, make sure to confirm this with show directors in advance and provide for safe and aesthetically pleasing stashing of cords. No one should be tripping coming into your booth!
        • Nor should they be second guessing your organizational abilities with messy cords, tape all over the place, or piled up boxes they need to step over. Key: create a visually appealing booth.
      • Interactive Product/Service displays that draw in prospects
        • Create levels within your display, catching visitors eyes and increasing visual interest
        • Interactive display (cake tasting, mirrors for jewelry try-ons, live models modeling your gowns)
        • Create an engaging, memorable experience. No clutter, no trash, no half-eaten sandwiches instead offer beautiful albums to peruse, confetti poppers to fill, a beautiful flower for their hair, use your imagination! What would make you say, “oh wow, that was awesome! I have to book them!”, then do that:)
        • Don’t include items that take away from or confuse prospective clients. For example, don’t offer prospects multiple types of cupcake favors if your there to showcase your jewelry. Make it relevant!


    • Perfect a clear and concise non-pitchy pitch.

      • Seek to be more than a robot. Interact with your prospective clients, ask them questions, draw them in
      • Sell who you are not just what you do. Project your passion for why you do what you do and how you can help your prospects to achieve stellar results.
      • Be aware of your body language, no one wants to talk to you with a grumpy look on your face while slumped in your chair checking your phone. If this is you, you have no business being there anyway! Your phone can wait until after the expo.
      • Perfect some opening lines that facilitate easy interaction with prospects, asking what can I help you with? might deter a conversation, whereas asking when is your wedding date? might be more likely to open a dialogue you can steer toward gaining information about them and their wedding, giving you a prime opportunity to pitch. You savvy marketer, you!
      • Get clear on your business messaging and be able to deliver it confidently and concisely to those engaging with your booth. No ummmmm’s allowed!
      • Don’t get discouraged if people don’t book right away. The whole point of the show is to expose your biz and make a stellar first impression, that way when they are ready to book you are the first one that comes to mind


    Alt Summit Biz cards from Dandee-Designs.com

    Alt Summit Biz cards from Dandee-Designs.com


    • Develop branded and easily digestible promo materials and takeaways.

      • Make sure prospects leave your booth with an engaging and beautiful piece of marketing material. How else are they going to find your website/book your services/call you up if you don’t give them that information?
      • Really think about what the best piece of promotional takeaway material might be. If you are printing your logo and info on a wrapper for a yummy cookie, what happens if they throw that wrapper away? Make sure your marketing dollars and efforts aren’t going down the drain.


    • Implement a lead capture system.

      • Offer an email signup/social media follow/information gathering incentive to prospects. You can offer a discount, free product, a consult, a trip, whatever you think would be of great value to your clients. Whatever it is make it desirable so prospects WANT to sign up/follow/leave their information with you.
      • Make it easy! Don’t ask them for every piece of information you can think of, ask for the basics in an easy format. You can follow up for any additional clarification at a later time. Oh, and have lots of working pens at the ready!
      • Make your intentions with their information clear to your prospects. Plan to email them once a week with updates, tips and tricks, and possible booking incentives? Tell them! Let them know that you are going to act responsibly with the information they are giving you, give them no reason to mistrust your use of it.
    Example of a great opt in offer from ChalkBirdStudio.com

    Example of a great opt in offer from ChalkBirdStudio.com


    • Have a strong post-show follow up strategy.

      • Re-evaluate your goals pre-show to see how everything panned out. Was your opt in offer desirable and you had lots of sign-ups? Or, do you need to evaluate and course correct for next time?
      • Follow up with your prospects and thank them for stopping by your booth. Remind them (in case they threw that cookie wrapper away) where to go for more information about you, your products/services/ and how to work with you.
      • Follow up with any vendors you met at the show. Let them know you enjoyed meeting them and look forward to networking with them in the future. You never know where a good referral can come from or how a referral you make can come back to reward you.
      • Continue to follow up. Now that you are in front of your prospects continue to create value and position yourself as a valuable contact by keeping them informed of what’s going on with your business, tips and tricks, incentives, and ultimately just reminding them that you care and look forward to helping them.




    Well, there you have it. Your ‘can’t mess it up checklist’ for your first bridal expo. Let me know in the comments what item(s) you might be struggling with and how I can help.


    Once you’ve completed your first show, come back and let me know what worked for you and what needed improvement. You never know how much your insights might help out someone else struggling with the exact same thing.


    Wishing you much success! Now go out there and rock that expo!