giving yourself permission

Can you build a business?

By Sarah Jensen

“Yes. You. Can.”

You absolutely CAN build a business that brings you freedom, creativity, joy, passion and purpose, and the way to do it; is just to do it.

Start before you’re ready. Do one thing at a time. Focus on doing things well and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it.

Let things evolve.

Business (like everything in life) should be a beautiful evolution, a case of loving trial and error.

If you make a mistake, so what? Treat it as a chance to learn something.

If a problem comes up remember, it’s just that; a problem with a solution. It’s not a reflection of you or your capabilities and it doesn’t make you a useless or inadequate person. You don’t know what you don’t know, so give yourself a break.

Figure out where you’re at and start there. Then, one step at a time, start moving closer to where you want to be. It won’t happen overnight or all at once, it will happen gradually and that’s ok.

Sure there’ll be times when you’ll make big leaps forward, but there’ll also be times you feel stuck or like you’re going backwards. That’s all part of the process.

In those times, when it feels hard or you want to quit, take a day off, have a break and do something fun. Relax and recharge, then come back and reconnect with your why.

Remind yourself why you’re doing this.

Why do you want a business?

What will it create for you in your life? Freedom, money, joy, confidence, purpose, choice? Come back to that, and let it reignite your passion.

Always put plenty of YOU into your business. Be yourself and let your personality shine through. Don’t worry what everyone else is doing and don’t try to be like anyone else. Your uniqueness is what makes you special, it’s what sets you apart and makes you stand out.

You are the difference in your business.

Your beautiful brand of You-ness is what people will connect with. How they relate to you and how you make them feel is what will make them your clients and have them coming back for more, so don’t compromise your own personality, creativity, vision or dream by trying to copy someone you think is successful.

And when it comes to those business crushes of yours; the people you THINK are super confident, crazy successful and raking in the cash, remember that appearances can be deceiving.

Just because it looks like they’re super confident, always calm and killing it in their business, doesn’t mean that’s the reality of it. It’s quite likely they suffer from self-doubt, overwhelm, frustration and fear just like you. I know I do!

So please, when you have those days where it feels scary; when you think you can’t - don’t quit.

Think back to other times in your life when you were afraid; when you thought you couldn’t but you did it anyway. Remember how amazing it felt when you pushed through the fear, kicked it in the pants and you succeeded. Tap into that, get excited, feel the fear and do it anyway.

You can absolutely, positively create the business and life of your dreams. Believe in yourself and know you’ve got this.

Sarah Jensen is a life/business coach and writer who will help you take charge, build confidence and create the freedom and fulfillment you crave in life. Her focus is on helping you get unstuck and making practical, sustainable change so you can make your dream life your real life.

Sarah loves getting lost in a good book, exploring the world and laughing loudly and often. She’s a passionate advocate for honesty, connection and real world change.

Connect with Sarah on her website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest

Photo credit: Unsplash

How to slow it all down

By Katie Tymms

Slowing down sounds so simple doesn't it? But it doesn't always sound possible with us all leading such busy lives – business, blogging, family, kids, jobs, study, friends, Facebook! - it can be really challenging to even find moments to ourselves amongst it all! 

But sometimes, despite our busy and full lives - slowing down is necessary. Sustaining a busy lifestyle and managing so many things at once can really affect our health and well-being. From feelings of overwhelm, to feeling stressed, anxious, trouble sleeping, headaches, constant fatigue. And even "burn out" or adrenal fatigue. We just can't keep up the busy pace forever. And if we’re a creative person – feeling stressed doesn’t help us at all with our writing ‘flow’.  

We all need some ‘switch off’ and "me" time.

I've felt a little this way recently - feeling that I'm doing too much and placing too much pressure on myself to keep myself accountable and to achieve so many things. And I've realised that over the last 3 months, I really haven't had a lot of ‘switch off’ time. The last time was probably over Christmas in the holiday break. And I remember that feeling of relaxation, freedom and peace. I think it's time for a little more of that now.  

Self care and taking time to slow down is sometimes truly needed. And there are a few things we can do to encourage our bodies and minds to switch off and rest. To allow time to nurture and nourish ourselves and allow our bodies and minds to unwind.  

There are a few things I love to do to slow down, switch off and nurture myself - and a weekend is often the best time to do so. To create a weekend with no plans (or no ‘extra' plans than needed), to find time for "you", for rest and relaxation. 

Sleep – too often we underestimate the health benefits and importance of sleep.  A huge part of self care is getting 7 to 8 hours sleep a night and this is something I'm truly mindful of doing. There are a few things we can do to relax our bodies for sleep - switching of the computer and other devices (mobile phones, iPads) by 8:30pm, turning off the television an hour before bed time, dimming the lights in the house, having a warm bath, writing thoughts down before bed or journaling, reading a favourite book to unwind, and being mindful of going to bed by 10pm. And allowing yourself to sleep in if you can on a weekend, or have a lazy afternoon, allowing yourself to rest and catch up on extra sleep if you need to. When we feel tired and exhausted, sleep is rejuvenating and so necessary.  

Meditation - I was never someone who felt I could meditate. I was always someone who would sit there, get bored and because it wasn't working - I'd get up and get on with the rest of my day. Since doing a meditation course and finding the perfect meditation techniques which are right for me, I loved it and I feel the benefits, in many ways. It helps reduce stress, anxiety, tension, pain, and really does help to ‘switch off’ and aid relaxation. A daily practice of meditation has been well known to improve well-being and I feel such benefits from doing so. 

Booking in for a massage, Reiki or a spa treatment - it sounds indulgent, but it's something to embrace with self care and slowing down. Just allowing yourself time for "you" and to enjoy a therapeutic treatment that helps you to unwind, feel calm, grounded and more balanced.  

Eating healthy foods - this is a huge part of self care - nurturing ourselves with warming, grounding, healthy and nutritious foods. Cooking a big pot of soup, roasted vegetables, casseroles and stews.  Adding more vegetables and plant based foods and being mindful of clean eating - organic foods and/or foods free from preservatives and additives. These foods will nurture and nourish our bodies and give us all the nutrients we need to re-energise for our health and wellness. 

Reading for pleasure - it seems such a simple thing, but often forgotten when we're so busy and focused in our lives. We might read many things, but when's the last time you picked up a book or a magazine, just for pleasure and to ‘switch off?  To find myself immersed in a great book, with no other focus but for pleasure - this can be such simple relaxation, rest and enjoyment time.

Surrounding ourselves in nature - there’s nothing like nature to lift our spirits, but also to create grounding, balance and peace. Whether it’s the beach, a forest or the park – sand or grass between our toes – and wind on our face – it’s rejuvenating, refreshing and re-energising. 

Self care sometimes means simply slowing down...

Nurturing and nourishing ourselves with time to ‘switch off’, and devote time for "you".  It's never a selfish thing to do - it's always beneficial. For us and those around us - as the more peaceful and calm we feel within ourselves, the more we have to give to others and the more quality time we have to share.

If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, more tired than usual - it might be time to mindfully create some self -care and 'slowing down' time. Time for “you”. These things I’ve mentioned might help, along with your own self care and relaxation practices.

Katie is a coach and heart-felt mentor to those who are ready and want to make empowering and exciting changes to their life. As a Wellness & Life Coach, Nutritionist and Naturopath, she loves connecting with her clients at whatever stage they are at, and truly adore what she does. With a wealth of life experience and an enormous sense of pride at how far she’s personally come in her own life, sometimes those “light bulb” moments come from asking the tough questions, ‘digging deep’, and looking at ideas and situations from another perspective. You can find her at katietymms.com

Link Love // The Friday Files

Friday Files

I started this week feeling a bit sluggish, coming down from an incredibly blissful trip to Tasmania and struggling to get back into my daily routine and the new cooler turn in the weather.

It wasn’t until we launched our new April #bloglovefest initiative mid-week did I really began to feel settled, peaceful and calm. I have completely taken the message of self-care to heart. I needed it and have gladly given over to surrender – and it’s felt wonderful. So forgive me if I owe you an email (I will be grabbing a chai tea and tackling the inbox this weekend) however this week was all about sleeping in a bit longer, enjoying a night out and just being still.

If you’re in the need of a bit of self-care this month I hope you’ll join me and I’d love to know how you slow down and treat yourself to a bit of me time. For now I’m looking forward to a restful weekend – enjoy the link love below!

  • Dreaming of this house – and wishing Emily could come decorate it for me!
  • Shameless Instagram plug – are you following us for inspiring eye candy & adventures?
  • Love these tips from top female entrepreneurs
  • Megan’s words have a way of knocking me over – this was no exception
  • How to use short video clips on Facebook
  • The Blogger Edition of Adore Magazine is out  - and won’t disappoint.
  • Definitely whipping up this recipe for our next girls night out

Blog Biz // Give Yourself Permission

hudson+daughter

By Rebecca Pitts

I'd love to talk to the Blog Society tribe about something that I've struggled with for almost a decade now...

I always wanted to do something creative and to run my own small business and brand, but I never really thought that I could just go ahead and do it.  Sure, there were (and are) lots of other people that  are putting their voice out there, running a blog, making things, or selling their wares and art. And here's what I thought: those people are simply more talented, more qualified and plain luckier than I am. 

I don't have permission to do that kind of work and live a creative life.

I'm happy to say that I'm speaking from the other side now and have finally pushed through the noise to launch my creative business and brand, Hudson + Daughterin early 2014. It's not perfect, and it's a work-in-progress, but I've had some surprising and thrilling successes, including a recent nomination as a Martha Stewart American Made finalist and a Country Living Magazine press mention.

Today, I'd love to talk with you about my creative struggle, and what finally lit the fire under me to put myself out there and launch my business... 

The untruths I had on repeat I was very, very busy for years--busy telling myself all of the reasons why I couldn't possibly start my own creative business. (So busy, that I wasn't doing the actual work.) Here are the three big un-truths that had me stuck in creative paralysis:

* Untruth #1: Am I really allowed to design, make, and sell things I make when I didn't go to art school? Truth: Well, actually yes. You are. And this is actually true of most fields, apart from the industries that require professional certification. The commercially successful illustrator and artist Lisa Congdon (and author of recently published Art, Inc.) never went to art school. She didn't even launch her art career until she was well into her thirties. And think what you will about Sheryl Sandberg and Leaning In, but the stats don't lie—men are more likely to apply (and therefore get) jobs that they are not exactly qualified for. Equally qualified women are more likely to talk themselves out of applying in the first place. 

* Untruth #2: Fear. What will people think? What if people don't like what I'm making or saying? Truth: Actually, most people aren't thinking about you at all. Ouchright?! But really, it's true. It may feel like such a big deal to send that email to your address book telling them what you're up to, and sure, you may have a judgmental relative to deal with at Christmas dinner. But most people will likely smile at your good news and be on their merry way. Here's an added bonus to getting over your fear of what people think: it will become immediately clear who's on your cheerleading team. Sure, you knew your best friend from forever ago would be your number one fan, but you might be pleasantly surprised at some of people who emerge as champions in your corner.

* Untruth #3: The people who are making their creative businesses work have more time, more money, more talent, and more connections than I do. Truth: Yep, they do. But so what. There will always be people who seem to have it all. Maybe it's not attractive to admit, but I get jealous really easily. I'm jealous of Anna Bond for her singular style and the immediately recognizable, alluring, and whimsical look of her work and brand that happens to have stretched into every adorable boutique across the nation. I'm jealous of Ina Garten for the life she has created for herselfplunging head first into a catering business (from a government desk job) and transforming that business into a cooking and entertaining media empire. Plus, she's got an awesome kitchen. Instead of internalizing that jealousy, and making it all about what I'm not, I pay attention to the feeling and ask myself what exactly is it about that person or her body of work or her lifestyle that I'm really after? I write it down. I make it a long term goal. Once you're clear about what it is that you're after, you're much more likely to make it happen for yourself.

What finally pushed me to move beyond these untruths and launch my creative business:

* Becoming a mom and losing all of that "me" time. John Lee Dumas calls it the baby effect. I've had less time then I've ever had in my entire life, and I've never been so productive. I've got one hour to design this piece or write this blog post or it's never, ever going to happen. Now's the time to seize that hour. Use the small amount of time you have. By committing to doing even one small thing each day, the days and weeks add up, and you've got a body of work and a business that is chugging along. 

* Putting myself out there and sharing my work. I'll be honest, some days it feels downright uncomfortable. And yes, sometimes I still cringe when I push the send or publish button if I'm pitching to a magazine or promoting a product. But here's a little secret: just keep on doing it. Notice what happens when the sales are lower than you had hoped for, or if you get a 'thanks but no thanks' reply: the world doesn't end. Surprisingly, I've taken these rejections far less personally than I would have ever imagined. And, not surprisingly, putting myself out there has led to the good stuffthe successes (the press features, the sales). This is the stuff that keeps fueling the creative fire.

* Connecting with a creative community, off-line. If you are lucky enough to have someone in your life who is like-minded and is also working on a creative project, talk things out with them. Meet for regular coffee dates. It's not necessary that you're working in similar disciplinesit's far more important to connect with a person who is open-minded, encouraging, and curious about her work (and yours). If it's proving difficult to find that person or group, try looking online for a group that meets in your area, or start your own.

* Wising up and getting older. This may be the most elusive one of all, and perhaps is the most important. At some point, the collective experiences of your lifeyour professional experiences, your studies, your personal growth, even the stuff that just happens to you and to the world that is out of your controlall of this meshes together and pushes you to evolve as a person. Meanwhile, the time is flying and the years are passing. Fast. Notice this. Does this scare the hell out of you? Good. Use this fear. Seize it. No one hands you the permission to go out and do the thing you're meant to do. You have to go ahead and take it.

Now, I'd love to ask you: what has held you back in the past? What was your turning point—when did you finally go ahead and give yourself permission? What happened? I'm so curious to hear!

Rebecca Pitt founded Hudson + Daughter in 2014 as a way to share the things she makes, open a shop, and to connect with readers, writers, artists, and makers.  She has a soft spot for indie comics, collage, beautifully illustrated children's books, Ernest Hemingway's first and third wives, modern architecture, the 5 o'clock spritz, first folios, Wes Anderson movies, rare book rooms, Lorrie Moore short stories, and flaky, buttery croissants (preferably paired with the perfect cup of dark roast coffee). She has lived in Connecticut, Italy, Boston, New York City, and is happy to call the lower Hudson Valley home. You can find her on her blog or on Instagram @hudsonanddaugher.

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All images by Rebecca Pitt

A special thank you and shout out to our Blog Society partners this month who proudly support us: Babe ScrubFarm & PrettyMartine Gallery and Bloggers Bazaar