Welcome back! It’s another year, we survived 2016, and it’s time to get things in order. The holidays went by in a blink of an eye and for the first time in a long time, I was ready for them to be over. January is promising to have a lot of opportunities. We’re expanding our business to start offering new services, being a lot more hands on with our clients to help ensure success for their businesses, and working on offering new creative services. One thing I really focused on in 2016 was developing the Sevenality side which left Studio 404 on the back burner. Today, I want to talk about what goals I have for my personal brand in 2017, the intentions behind them, and how I’m trying different things to get them done.
Develop Studio 404 Paper
I opened the shop in 2014 and have really gone back and forth between what I want the products to look like. In year one, I was really focused on being consistent with scheduling launches, trying to understand the market, and narrowing down the actual products. By year two, I was overwhelmed but excited about the possibilities of continuing to make paper products. In year three, I could have not been any more stuck. What I really want to do is stop treating this like a hobby and develop it into a business which means learning about the e-commerce space, just not the stationery and gift space. I’ve already begun this process by taking time back to learn what goes into selling products in 2017 and here are a few things that I’ve learned thus far:
- Develop a brand that has a story. There are thousands of other people who do what you do. What you’re selling to the customer is not only a quality product but a brand that resonates with them personality. Why are people rooting for you? Why do people enjoy your product?
- Stay relevant and consistent. By treating the shop as a hobby, I really have enjoyed being able to be super flexible about releasing products and doing things the way I want them. Unfortunately, that’s also how to waste a ton of time and not make an money. Staying relevant and consistent sets expectations for customers. They want to be sure you’re as invested in what you’re doing as they are.
- Social media is king. I am not the biggest fan of this truth but it’s the way things are. If you’re not using social media in the best way, staying current, posting regularly, your brand will die. There is power in having customers who believe in what you’re doing and social media is how you lower the barrier to entry. I really need to work on this part for the shop and will keep you updated.
Some resources that I’ve really been enjoying, that have lit the fire under my butt, and have encouraged me to work harder have been the following:
- Make Art That Sells by Lila Rodgers – I have been following this blog and community online for about two years ago. There is so much talent that comes out of what Lila is doing. I really need to bite the bullet and invest in the self-paced course so I can really understand more about the space I’m in.
- Tradeshow Bootcamp: Paper Camp – I’ve been wanting to attend Paper Camp for years! I wouldn’t recommend a single other event for stationers and I’ve never attended. I am, however, signed up so I can join in on the next Paper Camp E-Course.
- Brand, Build, + Launch with Arsha Jones – This Facebook group is a must-join for anyone who wants to sell products online. Every hour there is something more to learn and I’m really learning a lot! I know quite a bit about e-commerce but there is always so much more to learn and this group is for the person who is ready to make money from their products.
My intention for this goal is to sell products I love without becoming someone who I don’t like in the process. I’ve always had the fear of becoming a different person once I began to sell products. That’s not true! There are so many people who I admire who make a living off of selling great things and I really aspire to do that for myself. Accepting there is nothing wrong in creating the life you want to live by being proactive should not be a challenge.
Create The Life I Want to Live
Bless the imaginary work-life balance that we talk about over and over again. I did a lot of things in 2016 for the sake of getting them done. Trying to stay afloat, raise a toddler, prioritize fitness, and develop meaningful relationships. I wouldn’t redo anything but I definitely want to do less this year. I really need to reign in a lot of my energy and focus on my personal development. As creatives, we spend a lot of time pouring energy into the universe hoping people understand our art. As a mother and friend, I thrive from nurturing others which allows for me to do nothing for myself. It results in burn out and being completely burned out at the end of the year is not fun. Some steps I’m taking which may help other INFJs stay afloat in the new year are:
- Yoga, yoga, yoga, yoga, yoga. I really enjoyed getting to push my body in ways I didn’t know was possibly last year. I’ve talked about it before but the postpartum body is its own thing. I learned about cardio and strength training in a way I didn’t before. I’ve started weight training which is fantastic but I need a daily practice. For the sake of my mind and body, returning to the mat for a regular practice is a priority.
- Check in often. Without having time for self-reflection on my mat, I really kept going 100% every day only to crash every night. It’s a priority that I take time every day to check in and see where I am. I really believe knowing where I am will allow for better direction and decision making instead of just pushing myself for the sake of the hustle.
- Go where the heart desires. One thing I did love in 2016 was traveling with our tiny family. I really enjoyed visiting new places, learning about myself, and teaching our daughter through experiences. I want to continue this in 2017 with a focus on places that I really would enjoy being.
Some resources that I’m using to help me build the life I want are:
- Revolution: 31 Days of Yoga with Adrienne – The nearest yoga studio is about a 20 minute drive with traffic from me so I really need to work on practicing at home. Kicking off 2017 with a yoga challenge is the best way to get me to commit to the mat.
- The Awakened Introvert by Arnie Kozak – This book is on my must-read in 2017. We talked about it with Cat Rose on our podcast and I really do believe in the power of tracking your energy as an introvert.
- Girls LOVE Travel – Another thing I found in late 2016, I’ve become obsessed with this Facebook group. GLT is a pretty awesome resource that allows insight into real women traveling the world and talking about their real perspectives.
- NomadTogether – Being a digital nomad, which we technically are right now, is something I really want to continue to look into. Whether it be the life we decide to live or not, I really have been enjoying learning more and more about living with less and doing more.
I really want to embrace Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu as a mantra and life intention in 2017. May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.
Encourage and Educate
The cool thing about 2016 is that I learned that I really loved teaching others how to do things to help them build their businesses and blogs. After six speaking gigs last year, I learned what I enjoyed doing versus what I didn’t. I really worked to develop a style of teaching that was relatable, easy to understand, and effective. Having over a decade of experience in design, development, and blogging means I should be doing things to give back to the community. I should be sharing what I’ve learned while still learning from others. This year, I want to take time to create opportunities to do this consistently and effectively while still having fun.
- Hello workshops! While these have been in development for a while, it’s no secret that I will be hosting live workshops in 2017. I’m still pulling together details and will be sure to let you know ASAP! I want to prioritize quality, content, and experience while still keeping it small and informative.
- Being involved. I traveled so much that I didn’t have the opportunity to really being involved locally as much as I could. I had the opportunity to be an instructor for our first Girls Who Code classes during the summer which I absolutely adored. I plan to do a little more local events this year to help balance out the travel.
- Connect with entrepreneur friends. Through the podcast, I really have been able to have great conversations with people I’ve always admired. Our schedule in 2017 thus far is no different. I want to make sure I’m reaching out for Skype dates or coffee dates to really chat with ladies who are doing great things. I want to able to support more women in 2017 in any way I can.