LESSON 6


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 PHOTOGRAPH BY MANDI NELSON

PHOTOGRAPH BY MANDI NELSON

Despite the temptation of burn out, I knew wanted to be a professional artist, and I wanted to do whatever it took to make that happen. I took a leap of faith and signed up for Shanna's first Blueprint retreat back in 2014- and I'm so glad I did! Shanna taught me how to look deep into my business and figure out how to make it sustainable and profitable for the long haul. It was never in my wildest dreams I'd be able to make this into a long term career- but now, 6.5 years in and a baby on the way, I'm more confident than ever that we can make this thing last. 

Shanna taught me the fundamentals:
-How to price for profit- all the time
-How to be a good steward of my finances (intentionally planning- instead of wondering where it all went)
-How to not emotionally price and stand up for the value of my work
-How to create systems and routines so it wasn't so chaotic all the time
How to make a business plan
-How to make and stick to goals in all areas of my life
-How to think long term about my business and plan ahead for slow seasons
And so much more...

Your best Gift this Season:
Shanna is giving away 2 hours of FREE online video training plus printable worksheets in her mini workshop #BRINGINGBASICSBACK, prior to opening doors to her once a year coaching program, The Blueprint Model.

My takeaway:
Sign up now for this free online workshop that starts on the 26th. There's a lot of education on the market today, and we're so lucky for all of these great resources! But for me, Shanna's teachings have truly made the difference in my business, and I know they will for you too. If you're struggling to make ends meet, to make money doing what you love, to actually build something that will last the long haul- then join me for this free mini workshop! I do it every year-  You've got nothing to lose! 


 Merry Christmas!
See you on the 26th with our next newsletter! 

Want to learn more about avoiding burn out and sticking it out for the long haul?


The following books have encouraged me in one way or another to push through and be that 20% that makes it past 5 years- I hope they do for you too!


Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
Gumption by Nick Offerman
Yes Please by Amy Poehler

LESSON 5


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HIRING PROFESSIONAL SERVICES AND EMPLOYEES WAS A LITERAL LIFE CHANGER FOR BOTH MY BUSINESS AND PERSONAL LIFE.

Just look how happy I am with them!
Sejal Bhima (left) : Sales Manager, Copywriter, Customer Service, and all around amazing momma who truly makes BBT run bts. 
Morgan Blake Beatton (right) : Art Director, Photographer, and Studio Manager- also my BFF since middle school!
Not pictured- but all of the other amazing people/services that have changed my business for the better: Business Coach, Bookeeper, Accountant, Graphic Designer, Lawyer, Photographer, Installer, Florists, Delivery services, and Seasonal Part Time Help. 

I know, it can be scary to take the plunge into hiring employees.
Where do you even start? 

Shanna shared with me a great hiring exercise called the 4Quad Hiring Chart. This chart determines where I should and shouldn't be spending my time : the "gold" areas vs the "mundane" tasks that need to get done but aren't the best use of my time. Once you figure these out- you'll be well on your way to writing up your first job description! 

My takeaway for you:
1. MAKE A LIST of everything you do to make your business run. 
(I promise a notepad like this makes lists more fun!)
2. Tick off the items you can delegate to someone else
3. Find out what your strengths are and figure out how you can train someone else to cover your weaknesses.
Can you free up just 3 hours a week of your time by hiring part time help with these tasks so you can spend more time creating? I think it's worth it!


Do you like the idea of hiring help but are you terrified of how you'll pay them? My business coach Shanna put together a FREE MINI WORKSHOP "Bringing Basics Back" where she'll teach you all about the money and how to plan for finances (and the 4Quad Chart in more detail). It's all online, includes 2 hours of Training, printable work sheets, and did I mention FREE? Register here!

 See you tomorrow for lesson #6! 

  Want to learn more about how to find your strengths?   The following books have helped me determine my strengths and weaknesses as a business owner revealing what kind of duties/qualities I need to hire for. I hope they're helpful for you!   Strengthfinders by Tim Roth : Take the test, read the book- make everyone in your life do it. It's fascinating and so fun!!! There's a new book out, Strengths Based Leadership  about applying Strengthfinders info to Leadership and Teams- haven't read but I'm adding to my list!   The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self Discovery : This is on my must read for Christmas break, but even a simple online Enneagram test has been so helpful for me and my team!

Want to learn more about how to find your strengths?

The following books have helped me determine my strengths and weaknesses as a business owner revealing what kind of duties/qualities I need to hire for. I hope they're helpful for you!

Strengthfinders by Tim Roth: Take the test, read the book- make everyone in your life do it. It's fascinating and so fun!!! There's a new book out,Strengths Based Leadership about applying Strengthfinders info to Leadership and Teams- haven't read but I'm adding to my list!

The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self Discovery: This is on my must read for Christmas break, but even a simple online Enneagram test has been so helpful for me and my team!

LESSON 4

LESSON 4 : WHAT I WISH I KNEW ABOUT : BALANCE

* How to keep your sanity as both an entrepreneur and a human being *


PT 1. WORK VS HOME
It's not easy building a business from scratch while all your friends and family are working regular 9-5s. I still struggle with feeling like I'm sacrificing time with my friends, community commitments, and QT with my husband for the sake of the business- and my baby isn't even here yet! My friend Shanna told me once "There is always something more you could be doing as an entrepreneur."
There will literally always be something else to work on.
I remember those first few years, how impossible it was to turn off my business brain. I learned, in order to enjoy this life and dream I was creating- I couldn't sacrifice healthy and present relationships along the way. Creating boundaries were in order. 

PT 2. CREATIVE WORK VS BACK END WORK
A LOT of you had questions about balancing creative time vs back end work (aka: planning, logistics, emails, marketing, branding, building/sustaining systems, paying bills, etc. etc).
In my opinion, this is THE HARDEST aspect of owning your own business. 
We are to wear so many different hats as entrepreneurs. A friend once said to me "It's hard to work on your business while you're working in your business." This is so true! I've  learned over time, that in the same vain as work/life balance, creative/business balance requires firm boundaries. 

 Photograph by Kathryn McCrary

Photograph by Kathryn McCrary

During year 3 of my business, I was the farthest thing from balanced- I was tired of burning the candle at all ends and not feeling like this dream was very dreamy- then, my friend and business coach, Shanna Skidmore told me about her theory of the TIME BANKTM. Here's how it works:

For Work/Life Balance:
1. Establish work hours.
2. Clock in and Out (I used my google calendar or a planner to track this!)
3. Stick to it. 

For Creative/Business Balance:
1. Establish Creative hours and "business" hours. Be realistic!
2. Clock in and out for each!!
3. Stick to it. 

Why this works: 
Establishing work hours will give you:
-the confidence to stop working when it's time to clock out (give yourself permission to rest!)
- allow you to communicate these hours to friends and family (no more guilty "I wish I coulds" or saying yes when you really shouldn't)
-create a viable schedule so you don't get burnt out!
-Ensure you have time to create AND do all the back end work without feeling like your sacrificing one over the other!

My takeaway for you:
GET A CUTE NEW PLANNER AND START DOING THIS TODAY!


If you haven't already heard, Shanna put together a FREE MINI WORKSHOP "Bringing Basics Back" where she'll take you through the Time Bank exercise in more detail. It's all online, and did I mention FREE? Register here!

Want some supplemental support on Balance?

The following books have taught me to choose healthy boundaries when it comes to balance and gleaned productivity tips that have helped streamline my business.

The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss: Tim spills the beans on automation, efficiency, and productivity to help you live your dream.

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield: Such a great read and a must for every artist. I just searched for a quote and couldn't even make up my mind because the entire book is so good. Basically Pressfield urges us to SHOW UP. No matter what. Show up, and sit down at the easel to make the work. It's good guys, I promise!

Steal like an Artist by Austin Kleon. I love the chapter on Analog vs. Digital- check it out!

Present over Perfect by Shauna Niequist: The title says it all. Let's choose to be present with our friends and family in 2018! I did the guided versionwith my small group this year!

Essentialism by Greg Mckeown: as mentioned yesterday "it's where it's at"- take me to the essentials baby!