Making the Move 

Yesterday,  I shared a few things on my todo list and today I’m attempting to make the move to a self hosted WordPress site. 

A few challenges and snags: 

  • I was ready to pay for a guided switch. 
  • Paid siteground upfront 
  • Learned majority of WordPress.com team would be away 😒

After spending about an hour with a happiness engineer I decided maybe my hosting site would have something set up. And I was right. 

I’m publishing early today in case I need some tutorials for later. 

I’ve written out my landing page and even had someone edit for me. 

This weekend I’ll be working on flushing out the content. 

Stay tuned to the new updates !!!!

Goal Setting, Tasks, Time Blocks (Pt 1)

Today’s lesson was about lead magnets. Basically, something you give away to your subscribers for signing up for your list and it gives them more information to let them know what’s to come. Earlier this week, we touched on goal setting – making time blocks to achieve what it is we are looking to accomplish.

I am certainly someone who has a problem saying no. I like to over compensate and over achieve – and who am I in competition with? No one other than myself.

One of the main points to achieve our goal after making an outline is to work on something that excites you. At the moment, what excites me is moving my blog to a self hosted wordpress account.

So far I’ve done a bit of research – my biggest fear is breaking something. However, there are plenty of online tutorials. And I’ve scheduled Saturday as the day to tinker and move things around.

I’ve already gotten my outline completed, and I need to expand on the content.

I need to design the cover of my lead magnet and thanks to Nathan Barry for sharing some online resources like:

  • envato market place
  • the noun project
  • and psd covers
  • canva

II’ll be using site ground for my hosting – they are a bit more expensive but I’ve heard nothing but great reviews from them.

I’ve shared my outline and will have a few people review it in hopes that they have actual questions for me.

Another really great tip that I got was to schedule out the week I’d like to have – all 24 hours of a each day – for a week. As a visual person it helps to see what I’m doing with my time. It’s also something I did in college.

As of right now,  about 12.5 hours is spent on my commute to and from work. Add 7 hours of sleep and I’m left with 4.5 hours to work out, meet with other people and most of all work on my side project.

If there’s anything I’ve learned, you need to believe in your product before anyone else will.

 

Accountability Partners

Every first Wednesday of the month I have a meet-up to attend with one of my accountability partners. We meet at a specific location where we get to interact with both new and familiar faces.

I first learned about accountability partners from the seanwes community. In today’s lesson of the ConvertKit Product Creation Master Class (pcm) we were encouraged to form or join a mastermind group or create one. While I’d love to connect with more people, I know I’ve stretched myself as far as I can without breaking. I need to continue to focus my efforts to get results.

How or where to find an accountability partner?

Well I can tell you where I found mine – but I have a few. One from college – we meet biweekly, one from an online coach (mastermind group- this was for a season), another from the seanwes community – we meet weekly, and another where we check in monthly from the same community.

When searching for an accountability partner, you want to ensure that the person you are working with values your time, effort and growth. Here are a few things you might want to consider:

  • Values must be in line.
  • recognize the differences between each person.
  • remember there are levels to this. They should be (1-2 levels) ahead of you if in the same pursuit.

Writing a bukket list

What goes down in an accountability meeting:

A meeting is conducted like this:
Mutually beneficial ( a mentor is one way, be ready to compensate financially)
begin with the last meetings minuets
it has to be regular (preferably daily- mine is weekly-, approximately an hour).
it has to be scheduled
it has to be structured
be sure to take physical notes
be friendly and be human
don’t waste time

Be sure to cover:

what are you struggling with right now
what are you working on by the next time we talk
write down commitments (vise versa)

What happens if I don’t meet my goals?

Well, we’re human and we aren’t perfect. Simply reset if commitments aren’t met
Think: what will I do differently next time?
Remember to be realistic with the goals. (I tend to over compensate with time and say yes more often than not).
Have fun! (It doesn’t have to be business all the time).
I use google docs (and unfortunately there’s a virus going around) and dropbox to share files. I also keep a physical journal or moleskine to take physical notes. It’s always a pleasure to sit and talk with my accountability partner. We are real about our current situations, and what we are trying to build.
Where did you find your accountability partner and how often do you meet? Is it formal or informal?

The case for professionalism

If and when you decide to hire a professional, you are choosing to trust that they know everything important about what you are paying them for. 
How do you know when you are a professional? I used to think that you were a professional when you were getting paid for the work that you are doing. I now realize that this is not the case. 

you are a professional when you can decide if a client is best to work with. you are a professional when you can come to a final result the meets your clients needs. 

its important to seek only the best work and not settle for mediocre work. it is the design professionals’ responsibility to have in place the right systems to gain the right clients. 

Need to learn more? Visit design professionalsim (dot)com 

The Mystery Mango

I absolutely love mangos.

They are by far my favorite fruit. I purchased a hand full not too long ago and slowly let them ripen and enjoy them in the form of a smoothie, or as a snack.

Have you ever had your heart set out on consuming a snack or a meal that you saved for a later time – only to find out someone else indulged in it for you?

Well, earlier this week my mom saw the last mango and claimed it.

She sent me a text message saying, “I’m taking the last Mango”, I said ok.

Monday I saw it still on the table and I began to wonder if she still wanted it or not.

I didn’t think much of it and kept it moving.

Today as I write this – it’s Wednesday – and mom really wanted her mango.

I kept telling her it wasn’t me.

She began speculating, my sister, my cousin, the nurse aides?

Honestly – I have no clue who took the last mango just that I need to purchase more and enough so that each person can have at least two.

And no we never found out who took the mango.

Hey ma, teach me to sew?

My mom has been making me clothes since I can remember. 

I believe that I was her live mannequin. She’s got more than 40 years experience sewing. 

When I was younger she tried to teach me how to sew. The furthest I got was learning to make a pillow. 😲

When I was younger I didn’t want to learn. Not sure why but now I’m curious. My mom gave me a sewing machine a few years ago, and now I’m ready to put it to use for small projects. I’ll share my progress as we go along. 

My mom has the skill to look at something and recreate it. I’d prefer to draw something and have her bring it to life. 

Instead we shall compromise. Let’s see where this goes. 

On A Mission

Sooooo I really wanted to do a big campaign and have a few things ready before telling you but… I have big news! I’m going to Haiti!!!

My mom migrated to the states nearly 30 plus years ago. And she has yet to return. Growing up my grandmother tried to convince us to go. However, I was terrified. She’d tell us Crazy stories and my not being there to experience it first hand made my imagination go wild.

This July I’ll be going on my first mission trip out of the states. I’m not sure what to expect. But I’d like to share my experience, and do more digging in regards to the history, culture and tradition.

I have to raise a modest amount and cover expenses for specific equipment during my trip.

My stay will be just under two weeks and I can’t lie I was hoping my first visit would be for vacationing. I have another trip planned on December to see more of the historical parts of the country.

Not many people get to see their “mother land” and I’ll be updating you with ways that you can help support me through this journey.

Stay tuned!!!

Are You Trying To Be A Writer?

I firmly believe that we all have a story to tell. 

That our stories are in alignment with a greater story being told, that we are all interconnected in some way shape or form.

Am I looking to become a writer?

 No. A story teller, maybe. I have heard time and time again that designers and artists lack verbal eloquence in public speaking and writing about their work or giving presentations.

I’ve mentioned before that I am part of an online design community. Once a year we gather in person and talk about what we are doing and experiencing. Ultimately its a place of like minded individuals hoping to help one another.
For the most part we all have this common struggle – not being able to do what we love, something that during the past few years I’ve heard over and over again. “Just do what you love and the money will come”.

This is horrid advice by the way. 

If no one knows who you are, if you aren’t sharing the work – you wont make money – ever.
In my professional design experience, the design manager speaks for the designer. the designer may get two words in maybe a sentence if your lucky. However, we don’t get to speak directly to the client. We go through the pipeline of sales managers marketing and design managers before we get to the root problem.
It’s like playing telephone. How often does the message get clearly across multiple people? Especially when people with different experiences and backgrounds think and understand information differently?

Anyway, I wanted to use writing to document my journey from here – my current design life and situation to there, where I (think) I’d like to be and what I (think)I’d like to be doing. What does that entail? A series of things: working for myself, collaborating with others- on projects larger than me, working for IDEO, all while sharing the process. 
In between all that I’m simply living life, asking questions and doing what I can with what I have. So no, I’m not trying to be known as a writer. And if showing up everyday for a year has put in your mind that I am a writer – then sure I’m a writer – amongst a list of other things. 
I am certain my English professors would cringe at some of the things I’ve posted without fully editing and rewriting. But I am ok with that. 

The goal (for now) is to simply show up everyday and write. 

Intentional Rest

This is from an old writing piece from my business blog – check it out. 

The older I get the more I see just how important self care is. It’s so easy to tell someone else to take a break and rest but we don’t even take our own advice.

I’m sure you can easily think if all the other things that need to be done. The laundry, and dry cleaning, grocery shopping, cleaning the car – one thing I can promise you, that list will never end only get longer in time. 

 I’m going to share some ideas one what you can do to take better care of you. 

A relaxing go bath/shower. 

Book and some wine. 

Hand lettering and some wine. 

We must learn to make rest intentional. While you may have a set routine and not want to stray away from it, not doing so will allow room for burnout to easily creep in. In the similar way you make time to hand letter, it’s also important to make time to rest. Think of it as a treat for all your hard work. 

For myself it’s hard to feel that I deserve to rest. There’s always something that needs to be done, an errand that needs to be run, or someone that needs help. Often times I choose to deny myself the rest needed and put myself out there to help someone else.

The importance of rest:

As humans we undeniably need it. We are limited beings who need the recharge. Resting helps in rejuvinating your mind and you body. It helps to regulate your mood and is linked to learning and memory function. We need those memory functions when practicing lettering. On the other hand, not getting enough rest can negatively affectyour mood, immune system, memory, and stress level. A lack of sleep and rest can not only dull and mute some of our more positive traits and tendencies, but handicap them entirely. 
Know that the rest is needed so that you can better perform; even in hand lettering. It’s good for clearing out your thoughts and 

to reset. Think about it, typically we work five to six days a week. Here in America, many people work 9-5 monday through Friday and rest on the weekends. Usually that weekend time is used for whatever you didn’t accomplish during the week.

How to be intentional with your rest

Similarily with a workout routine, there’s always a rest day. You need to give your body and muscles time to heal. Here’s what you can do: 

* schedule it in your calendar: Just like a doctors appointment, car check ups and anything else you find of high importance you put it in your calendar. Schedule a rest day in your calendar. 

* Follow a routine. Rather than waking up and immediately jumping into the day at high-speed, or vice-versawhen going to bed, follow a routine that allows you time to transition from one part of the day into the next.For example, consider waking up 10 minutes earlier and before checking in on your cellphone for social media updates, take the time to do some simple stretches.

* Give your mind a break. Resting and relaxation isn’t only about resting your body—resting your mind is just as important.If you struggle with constantly worrying or stressing about certain concerns, write it down, and put the list away. It helps in clearing the relentless thoughts. Sometimes when we give our mind a break from certain thoughts, we returnwith greater clarity. Consider participating in an activity that requires your full attention, such as playingan intramural team sport. This type of activity can give you a mental break by requiring you to be fully ‘in themoment’ both physically and mentally—leaving little time to think about your unending to-do list.

I want to challenge you to be intentional in your rest. Even if it’s for a day. 

What to do when you rest: 

A relaxing bath/shower. 

Read a book and some wine. 

Paint something.

Sleep/Daydream 

Absolutely nothing. Maybe some sleep. 

Without the proper rest we are unable to be our best in our work. 

I want to know what other ways do you choose to rest? What technique should I try?

Podcast Notes: being your own client 

These are notes from a really good podcast I listen to. It’s to help motivate creatives – now onto Being your own client:

Think about the Content 

the colors 

what it should feel like 

what you wouldn’t mind seeing everyday. 

You have to be your own audience 

Have your own taste in it.

What’s different about this project? I open this book and I think: 

What will blow my mind in this project.

Self aware not self conscious 

Embrace all of your guilty pleasures. 

How your experiences have defined who you are.

Elevate a simple dish and bring it to the next level what hits me on a visceral level. Collect things that impact you on a visceral level.

The authenticity is what makes you who you are. Many people will think it’s uncool. Take the critical mind and think what makes it an elevated dish.

People pleasing: 

If you please everyone no one will like it. If some people hate it, some people will love it.
Instead of running away dig deep. 

Where are the places in trying to please other people and it’s not working.
Don’t put your valued stuff next to your junky stuff. Don’t let your junks make your valuables look less than.
Don’t forget the heart of what your doing. Thinking or feeling. The emotional art, or the clever art. Don’t forget the reason you started. Art spoke to you at one point. Don’t forget the heart of what it was about. Don’t forget why you are making these things.
Do it your way. Not how you think it should be done. Don’t think what do they want from me. If they come to you they want what you do, your perspective.
What would I be excited about putting on the page? Don’t worry about what someone else doesn’t like it don’t worry about it. If you create something that someone doesn’t like then It’s not someone you want to work with.
If you offend others those are not the people you want to work with.
If I put something on a page and I’m stoked about it and other people don’t like it then I’m not interested in working with you.
The good stuff happens when they come to you for what you do well.
Taste your own work and be satisfied. Write what you know. Not what you don’t know.

Worry about what you want to see what you want it to look like.

Are you stoked about it? Do you love it? What do you want to see on it?

Often when an idea hits you it seems so simple at first.

Don’t be self conscious. Don’t disconnect yourself from critical thinking all together.

Sometimes you can experiment but you don’t need to share it. Otherwise you won’t be pushing yourself.

If your not sure if it’s good it’s probably not. 

Your perspective is the only one you have. It’s the only real criticism you can work through.

The best test is whether it does something for you.

To be creatively fulfilled what are the things that distract me from making the work I think it good.

Get back to the heart of the work. Revisit the things that get you excited about the work you enjoy making.

For more on this check out Creative pep talk episode 75.