Today I’m excited to share a few of the top investments I made in myself and my business last year. Some big, some small but all played an integral role to my happiness and success. Thanks to Erica of Luv in a bubble for inviting me to share!
I’ll be the first to admit I was a skeptic. How could something that was almost cult-like in popularity be the real deal??? Well guess what folks – I’m hooked. From the inquisitive prompts, the big picture, the challenges and good things – down to the action plan & starting steps – it’s helped me to hone in on what is really important. I’m working on my 2017 planner now. Are you guys Powersheets converts like me?
My 2016 word of the year: THRIVE
My 2017 word of the year: GROWTH
It costs a small fortune ($89 a month here in Denver) but ClassPass has really made a positive impact in my life. Since I no longer have the epic hills of San Francisco out my front door, I needed a consistent way to exercise where I wouldn’t be bored. Truth be told if I’m left to my defenses at the gym – I’ll be taking selfies and checking my email. So having a variety of class types keeps me engaged.
While I don’t get to do it nearly enough, I did take a few trips last year that made positive impacts … First, speaking at The Savvy Experience was so much fun! It was the best conference I’ve attended because just about every topic and speaker applied to my
business. Plus, I made a ton of new friends! Soon after, my husband and I took our first solo trip sans the kids – and spent several days in Seattle. It was so refreshing to indulge in long days & nights doing whatever we wanted!
This may seem a bit indulgent, but investing in my own website is probably the best thing I did for my business last year. Creatively, it was so enjoyable to dive deep into research and break out of my usual boho style. Creating an all-new responsive website, creating new copy, and completely up-ending my portfolio is no small task, and took a solid 6 months to complete. Knowing I couldn’t do it alone, I brought in my trusty team from coding, copywriting, and design.
Curious to know what 15 other bloggers & small biz ladies bought last year? Me too – check out this killer list below…then let me know in the comments what were YOUR top picks of 2016!
I’ve got a little secret. I love the Golden Globes. I love the unattainable fashion, the bubble gum red carpet banter, and the long-winded acceptance speeches. Usually I’ve only seen a handful of the nominees, but every year I still watch. This year I paid special attention – see, I’m seeking out other ways to absorb and expand my creativity – be it actually GOING to the movie theater, taking a printmaking class or dabbling with paint. I suspect many of you may be looking to do the same, so here’s 4 takeaways from I gleamed from Sunday night’s show.
1. TAKE A CHANCE
Damien Chazelle, director of La La Land is the youngest person (31) to ever take home a Best Director win at the Golden Globes. He said it was a huge risk for the studios to take on a modern day musical – a big, colorful, splashy, epic – and took 6 years to get made. In this era of remakes and “mixed martial art films” (love you Meryl) it’s SO refreshing to see innovation and perseverance pay off. It reminded me to get off the proverbial couch and take the damn risk already!
“I think that hope and creativity are two of the most important things in the world, and that’s what this movie is about.” ~ Damien Chazelle
2. SPEAK OUT
I’m no stranger to speaking my mind – particularly about politics. So it’s no surprise that Meryl Streep’s acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement award really resonated with me. Looking beyond the obvious reference to the incoming administration, she highlighted the role actors play in shaping the conversation in popular culture.
“An actor’s only job is to enter the lives of people who are different from us and let you feel what that feels like.” ~ Meryl Streep
I found this statement to be true for ALL artists. Ultimately we get into our respective creative fields to be heard, to make the world a brighter space to live in, and to contribute in some way to society. One way to do that is with activism. While you may not have a platform as large as Meryl’s, we can – in our own ways – share our art to highlight injustice and promote empathy. Or as the late Carrie Fischer said…
“Take your broken heart, make it into art” ~ Carrie Fisher
3. KEEP PRACTICING YOUR CRAFT
Viola Davis – man, what a powerhouse. Her body of work is powerful and poignant, and it’s clear she would be an actor even if she never made a dime. Why? PASSION. Between her own acceptance speech and her ode to Meryl Streep, it reminded me to keep exploring – personally and professionally – for in that exploration is where true creative growth lies. Ask questions, take the road less traveled, try new things…it will all come back to enrich your craft.
“If you ask me as an artist what I came into this world to do, I as an artist would say, I came to live out loud.” ~ Émile Zola
4. THE LITTLE GUYS CAN WIN BIG
What struck me most about some of the nominees and winners of last night was that the “little guy” won big. Beyond the seasoned veterans like Julia and Denzel it was refreshing to see films like “Moonlight” – with one of my favorite actors, Mahershala Ali win for Best Drama and renaissance man Donald Glover win multiple awards for “Atlanta, or Issa Rae for “Insecure” and the comeback queen Winona Ryder for “Stranger Things”.
This shows that work outside of what is considered mainstream can win, and win big!
What did you guys think of this year’s awards? Any favorite takeaways?
I’ve been excited to share my experience attending The Savvy Experience and have been waiting for just the right moment. And by “just right” I mean – when not overwhelmed with deadlines or travel or kids or (fill in the blank). The Savvy Experience is a conference for female entrepreneurs who are looking to connect with like-minded business owners. Heather Crabtree gathered 65 women from across the country, and a few from across the pond – to learn, support and grow from each other. Held at the colorful Saguaro Hotel in Scottsdale, it was the perfect environment to not only learn, but relax. Honestly it felt more like a retreat…what with all the swag, yummy treats, and eye candy – as the pictures below will attest. I was so grateful to be chosen as a speaker (I’ll be sharing more about my presentation in another post!)
I’ve attended a few creative conferences now – all were great in their own way – but Savvy is different. This was the first one I’d attended that actually felt pertinent in every way to MY business. Not my client’s business or my blog. There were SO many memorable moments – too many to list in one blog post – but here are my top 5 takeaways:
1. S.W.E.E.T Your Client Experience
My girl Monique Melton broke it all down – Make your client experience Simple, Worth it, Effective, Enjoyable, Thoughtful. It highlighted where I need to step up my game and communicate to my clients just how much I appreciate them, as well as fully document our process.
2. Marketing Your Services
I hope this doesn’t come across as braggadocious – but I’ve been almost entirely referral based for over 6 years now. Meaning I do zero paid advertising, rarely “go after” jobs – they usually come via referral or google searching. It’s a good place to be and I’m grateful. However it also breeds complacency, taking jobs for the $ and not always going after the DREAM clients (note: my client list is pretty dreamy now, but it could always been more so). Amber Housley spoke about sales funnels, metrics and understanding and cultivating your customer journey. To be honest I was kind of embarrassed at how little of it I was doing!
3. Diversify Your Cash Flow
This has been on my mind for years, YEARS! people. Because let’s face it…I can’t, nor do I want, to be a client-facing shop forever. Product-tizing my services is high on my list for 2017 (and really 2016 too). Eliana Baucicault shared the ways her diversification support her business and not be in competition with her core services.
4. Get On Financial Track
Kristin Kaplan and Mary Beth Storjohann each spoke about financial well being. From charging what you’re worth (and then some) to creating specific and measurable goals for your financial future. It was a sobering fact that I often let fear hold me back. I’ve made a commitment to Finance Fridays and getting serious about my financial goals.
5. Connect Face to Face
Getting out from behind the computer and actually connecting with other creative entrepreneurs, internet buddies and friends is crucial! It’s easy to feel like you’re the only one going thru the struggles of juggling business and personal life. We shared so many laughs, hugs, tears and high-fives over those 3 days. I’m grateful to have made so many new friends and am excited to learn from and collaborate with them.
I could go on and on, but we’ve got work to do, right? So, what are your remaining goals for 2016?
and first dibs on upcoming e-courses and products!
First off…guys, I’ve missed you! I realize it’s been quite awhile since I’ve blogged. Sorry about that. After the site launch I just dove back into with client work and have put more time into our instagram and pinterest accounts (hint hint). Coupled with some attempts at a summer vacation, and well…here we are.
BUT I’M BACK BABY!
To kick things off, I am thrilled to announce that next week I’ll be speaking at The Savvy Experience – a business conference in Scottsdale, presented by my friend and colleague Heather Crabtree. If you’re a fellow lady entrepreneur, and you’re not already in Heather’s facebook group – The Savvy Business Owner – get on that. It’s filled with smart women, running creative businesses and busy lives who encourage, advise, and support each other. I’ve made new friends and even secured an amazing client through the group (more on that soon).
While I’ve spoken at a few conferences now, I’m probably most excited about the Savvy Experience. Why? It’s an intimate gathering of 75 women, all running creative businesses, looking for concrete information to make immediate and impactful changes in their business. I’ll be sharing ways to quickly and easily elevate your digital brand.
I do hope you’ll follow me along in Scottsdale – I’ll be sharing snippets of the experience on instagram and maybe, just maybe Instagram Stories (or facebook live). Stay tuned!
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I can’t believe this day has finally come.
About 6 months ago I decided it was time to redesign the Spitfiregirl website. It had after all, been 4 years almost to the day since the last one launched. So much has changed…in my business and in the digital landscape. And as many designers can attest, we are often the last to get the shiny new website, because we are busy creating them for our clients. Fast forward to right now…
I am thrilled to be sharing my new website with you!
From a totally responsive design, to all new client work – searchable by client type and with pin-friendly portfolios, we hope there is plenty to keep you inspired! We have 2 new service offerings that I am excited to formally share with you (we’ve quietly been doing them for awhile now)…
With our Brand & SEO Audits we evaluate your branding, website functionality and search engine optimization. We help you determine what your top goals are and provide an action list with tangible ways to improve your branding, SEO, and overall customer experience. These tips can be shared with your graphic designer, web developer or implemented yourself! Our goal is to empower you to make smart decisions and help you focus on the bottom line. Interested? you can learn more, or book one for your business here
Additionally, I’m accepting a small number of monthly One-on-One Consulting clients, for entrepreneurs looking for guidance or advice. From design and branding questions, identifying and attracting your niche, pricing, business systems and workflow, to hiring interns and freelancers…I provide a course of action that brings clarity, confidence, and paying clients.
In the past two years I’ve ramped up my Speaking Engagements – which I totally love. See where I’ve been and where I’m going next. Interested in having me speak at your retreat, summit or event? Let me know!
Last but certainly not least, I need to highlight my killer team. An extra, extra special thank you goes to my coding wizard Otis, who has been on my team for almost eleven years now. I could seriously not have done all this without him. The fresh copy? Courtesy of our resident copywriter Jessica Willingham. Those Pinterest-worthy portfolios? My rockstar design team of Drea and Ally. The bright photography? Taken by my favorite colorado photographer, Sara Hasstedt, with hair & makeup by my girl Elizabeth Link. Add in some sweet SEO strategy from Micah, and finally a big high-five to my accountability partner Kathryn and Lara Casey’s PowerSheets for keeping me on track. Thanks everyone for all your hard work and dedication!
SO! I’d love to hear what you think of the site! We’ll have some fun new additions coming online later this month, as well as frequent updates to the blog and portfolio, so do stay in touch. Should you find any bugs, do let us know. We’d love to have you join our mailing list for free design and business tips, inspiration and first access to upcoming webinars and maybe even a course!
All in all it’s been quite a journey – these past four years and these past 6 months. Thanks for being along for the ride!
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