women in business

Are you holding back from self-promotion?

By Kate James

Have you ever noticed that some of the most clever, creative women are the ones we don’t see enough of?

In business, they often hold themselves back from self-promotion and they’re too humble to tell you how good they are for fear of overstating it. They’re the same women who are brilliant at what they do but they have a tendency to be super hard on themselves.

If you’re someone who holds herself back, you’re probably also aware that at the heart of the issue is self-judgement. We judge ourselves harshly because we don’t want to appear full of ourselves and we definitely don’t want to come across as too pushy.

Reign in your self-criticism and build your confidence by working through the following six steps.

1. Tune in to your self-talk

This takes a bit of practise so it often helps to start by writing down your thoughts. Over the next few days, try doing this for fifteen minutes when you first wake up or just before you go to bed. Your thoughts are likely to go something like this: “There are so many great designers / coaches / makers out there. How am I ever going to stand out from the crowd?” “Other women are so confident. I wish I could be as articulate as them.” “I wish I was prettier/ taller /thinner /smarter /funnier/ more interesting.”

2. Make peace with your flaws

Don’t feel that you need to force those negative thoughts away – it’s almost impossible anyway – but rather, adopt an open, curious mindset as you observe them.

Start to be interested in the validity of different thoughts. Some of your self-criticisms may be accurate but it helps to remove the judgement. For example, it would be true for me to say to myself, “I’m overly sensitive at times.” I know this is part of who I am. But instead of making this a harsh judgement, said in a tone of criticism, I can choose to say, “I’m a sensitive person” in a kinder way. Then I can start to think about how I want to manage that sensitivity in practical ways.

If we use this technique with any of our flaws, we create an enormous amount of compassion for ourselves. What if it were true that you are not as witty or as confident as others? What if it’s true that you’re ageing and carrying a few extra kilos? All of us are imperfect, but those imperfections won’t stop us from getting out in the world and doing what we love.

3. Balance the negative self-talk by actively engaging in positive self-talk

For many people, this is difficult. Because the negative bias of the brain, you’ll find yourself drawn back to self-critical thoughts time and again. However, with practise, it gets easier to create some balance. Write a list of positive statements about yourself that feel believable (this is really important so that you’re not going to immediately negate them). If you find it difficult, ask a few friends what they believe are your strengths (or take this strengths test if you’re not comfortable to do that). For example: “I’m a great listener.” “I have a good eye for colour.” “I’m intuitive.”

Set a reminder in your calendar to look at your list. This may sound contrived but remember it’s going to take this kind of repetitive practise to balance the way you think. Repeat at least three of the positive statements during your day.

4. Learn to be your own best friend

Most of us rely on external feedback to boost our self-esteem and to feel good about ourselves, but we need to learn to do this for ourselves. Next time you find yourself in negative self-talk, replace criticism with kindness and instead say whatever you’d say to a good friend who was struggling: “You did ok, even if it wasn’t perfect.” “You might not be your ideal weight but you still look great in that dress.” “You may not be the wittiest person in the room but you’re generous and kind.” Or maybe most importantly, “You’re not perfect and that’s ok.”

5. Take baby steps outside your comfort zone

Changing our thinking is one thing but even more important is that you start to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Remind yourself that there are people out there who need what you have to offer. Your job is to let them know you’re here – and how you can help.

Create a simple plan for self-promotion (regardless of those niggling doubts) and make it happen this week. Submit a guest post to one of your favourite blogs, share a win on social media or reach out to other women who share your audience and talk to them about collaborating.

6. Embrace other women

Take the time to learn from the women who are confident with marketing themselves. Seek out common ground and celebrate their successes so you see them as new friends rather than competitors.

Enjoy being in the presence of amazing women and recognise that you’re one of them, rather than feeling that you don’t belong. 

Kate James is an author, coach and mindfulness teacher who helps her clients discover authentic, creative and purposeful lives. Kate draws on 14 years experience with clients in her latest offering, the Life Purpose Programs.

You’ll find Kate’s books, Believe in Yourself & Do What You Love and Be Mindful & Simplify Your Life and info about her services at totalbalance.com.au. Join Kate’s community on Instagram and Facebook or drop her a line on email.

5 Money Lessons For Creative Entrepreneurs

By Lauren at Becoming Wellthy

Being a creative entrepreneur can be an incredibly time consuming undertaking. We spend many hours creating a product or service and building a brand, all so we can get paid and work for ourselves. Sometimes we get so overwhelmed with the process, we sweep something as simple as money under the rug. Are you guilty of this?

I recently watched "Make More Money and Discover Your Worth" on Creative Live. If you have a chance to purchase this lesson or catch it when it is on air for free, I highly recommend it. Amazing glamour portrait photographer Sue Bryce and money guru Tiffany Angeles teach you about money blocks, and how to give and receive money in your life. I guarantee you have a block or two, and you don't even know it.

Below are five money lessons that I think are important as creative professionals. 


Budget - As a creative entrepreneur, it is so important to have a realistic budget. You don't have a recurring paycheck to pay bills, so you have to learn to live within your means. One month you can be rolling in the dough, and the next there isn't anything come in. 

I have been using the "budget to zero" plan, and it has been perfect. Budgeting to zero means you give every dollar a job. Every last penny. Even if that job is "carryover to next month" you assign every dollar to do something. A great program for this is You Need A Budget (YNAB, for short). YNAB is amazing. First, they start you off with a 34 day trial. This gives you plenty of time to truly get familiar with the software and try it out. After that, its $5 a month. That's one latte, people. It's worth it.  

This has been so great, because once I have spent the money in my budget for each item, I'm done. Oh no, you spent $20 out of your $20 budget on coffee this month? Looks like you are making your own until next month!

Make sure you are realistic. Enter all your monthly bills first, and assign your dollars to them. Then if there is something leftover, give it a job. Your dollars are dying for a job! If it's spoken for, you won't use it carelessly.


Don't Chase Money - When you chase money, it runs away. You can decide, "OK, this month I just need $2000 to cover my bills" and think that's enough. It's not! You need to factor in what YOU are actually going to pay yourself. They say that realistically you end up with 20% of whatever your business makes. 20% people! But, it makes sense. There is the tax man (more on that below), the bill people, the business expenses, the things you need to pay for yourself since you don't have an employer to do this for you (health insurance, retirement accounts, etc.) If you choose to chase an amount of money, you are going to push it away. Decide what you want to make that month. Then, decide what you are worth and calculate how many clients it will take to get to that number. It's less daunting to say "I need 10 clients this month" than to say "I need $10,000."


Don't Avoid Money (or your responsibilities) - Do not avoid money, or it will bite you in the end. If you owe money for expenses, you need to pay your bills. If you are making money, then you need to pay taxes. And it's simple. Once you get paid, calculate your tax that would be taken and move that money aside. It's not your money, so move it immediately. The IRS is not going away anytime soon, so get to them before they get to you. Otherwise when it’s time to pay your taxes, and all you have left in your savings is enough to pay your tax bill you are going to be standing there saying "Well, where is my money?"

And at the same time, don't avoid asking for money! You did a service, or provided a product - you deserve to get paid. There is no shame in asking for money when it is owed to you. Don't block yourself from something you are entitled to.


Money Honesty - Find someone to be honest with about money. Because people lie about money. Trust me, in the past I was a huge liar about my money. I covered it up, and made excuses and never had an honest conversation with anyone about my money issues. I needed to have that honest conversation with someone and say hey - I am making some good money, but I have nothing at the end of the day. Where is it going? What am I doing wrong?

These days I am filled with joy managing my money. I get a slight thrill seeing money come in, money going out and money staying put. I have chosen not to lie, I now post my income online every month. You guys are my accountability. You get to see my trials and tribulations. When you put it out there with someone, you are more likely to make the right decisions. 


Get Creative - "You are a creative. Get creative with income." Diversify it. As a self-employed person, you need to think about having a few income streams. Some people offer a service, why not thing of a product to go along with it? Some people offer products, think about maybe investing some of your income as well? And speaking of investment, after you have paid the bills, and set aside money for savings don't be afraid to take some of your leftover money and invest in you. Invest in your business. Educate yourself even more about your trade or niche, because most services are constantly growing. 

I am sure there are so many more lessons we can learn about being a creative entrepreneur but this is a good easy start! Don't forget, value yourself and your service or product. Own it, and show people that you believe in what you do or sell. And watch the dollars come rolling in! And don't forget, Creative Live has a TON of great classes to watch for all kinds of creative niches. Go check them out!

Link Love // The Friday Files

Friday Files

For anyone that has ever launched an ecourse or product you understand the madness that exists the week before you hit 'go'. Well that has been my life this week. A flurry of last minute interviews, podcasts, emails with my web developer, late nights writing emails, gut checks with my mastermind group and the emotional butterflies that come with anything tied to vulnerability.

This Monday I open the doors to our 5th round of Digital Bravery and more than ever I'm excited to welcome our next class into the family of hundreds of past students that have graduated my course. I pour all my marketing know-how and guidance into this course and I can't wait for you guys to join me.

If launch chaos wasn't enough I decided to throw an exciting new job into the mix that I'll be sure to tell you about next week. For now I'm wrapping up some final to-do list items and then hitting the road for a weekend camping trip down the coast and some much needed time away from the screen (for now) - as it's pretty much the calm before the storm until next week hits. Bring it on! Enjoy the link love....x Jaclyn

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Top 5 Reasons I Decided To Host A Telesummit

By Sarah Schwab

About 9 months ago, I was trying to figure out what to do next to build my business. I looked at many options, but decided that I wanted to go big! Do something that would make a clear, significant difference in my business. Something that could help achieve my vision and spread my message to a lot of people. 

I decided to host a telesummit.

Have you attended a telesummit before? Ever thought about hosting one? My event is called the Create, Connect and Convert online summit, and you can check it out here. But first, let me explain a little more. 

What is a telesummit?
A telesummit is like an online conference. There is a theme for the summit so it’s clear who it is for and what they will get from it. (Mine is all about creating content that you can use to market your business.) There are a number of speakers who participate in the summit (mine has 20 - one of which is Blog Society founder, Jaclyn Carlson!) who all bring their own expertise to the topic.

Typically a summit will last between 3-10 days, with 1-5 speakers each day. I am just about to launch my summit, and it’s a huge undertaking. So why did I choose to do this?

Here are my top 5 reasons…

1. Reaches A LOT More People Than Anything Else
How many platforms do you know where you can reach over 100,000 people who are warm leads? I was tired of reaching a few hundred or even a few thousand people at a time. Hosting a telesummit allowed me to create a bigger audience than I could have imagined because of the cumulative reach of the speakers involved.

Plus, unlike running ads to a cold audience, people would be hearing from someone they already trust and have a relationship with.  That’s a powerful combination!

2. Creates A Ton Of Value
There is a lot of information in a summit. Each speaker provides tips and ideas that the listeners can implement. They share stories to inspire people and offer resources to help them out.

As a Content Creation Coach, I believe in the power of sharing valuable content. It is how we attract people, build relationships with them, and gain their trust. Hosting a summit is like content creation on steroids! In the end I will have over 12 hours of powerful content. We will share it with a lot of people during the event. Plus it becomes an asset in my business that I can repurpose and use in other ways down the line.

3. Builds Your List
Having a large list of potential customers is important for any business, especially those of us who work online. I’ve been growing my list for a while now, and the truth is that I had built a decent following by many standards. But I felt stuck. It was going too slow, and I wasn’t able to break through to the next level. Can you relate? I didn’t want to add a few people to my list, or even a few hundred. I wanted to quickly add thousands of quality leads to my list. Is that a pipe dream? A well-produced telesummit is designed to do exactly that. It has the potential to add thousands of people to your list in a relatively short period of time. Notice that I said “quickly” not “easily!”  It definitely requires a lot of work, but so do other list-building techniques. I decided I was willing to give it a shot.

4. Connects You To Like-Minded People
The main thing a telesummit can do is bring people together. It’s all about connecting with people on both sides of the screen. First, I get to connect with other speakers who share my passion, and bring their own expertise to it. It’s a very collaborative experience, and creates relationships and partnerships that I plan to carry into the future. Plus, everyone who signs up to attend the summit becomes part of the event community. There is a great energy when people come together around a common idea. I believe that truly connecting with people not only grows your business, but it enriches your I get to be in the spotlight.

5. I get to be at the center of all the excitement. 
It’s not about getting attention (okay, maybe it’s a little bit about that). It’s more about positioning myself as a leader in my field. Truly becoming a go-to person, and a respected expert. Hosting a telesummit is big undertaking, but it’s a great way to create connections, build your reputation, and grow your business. Speaking on summits is another great way to get in front of new people and collaborate with others.

What do you think? Is hosting or participating in a telesummit in your future? Interested in checking one out to see what it’s all about? The Create, Connect and Convert Telesummit is starting on April 13th. Our goal is to inspire you to create content, because that is how we spread our message, reach more people, and make a bigger difference. I have a fantastic group of successful entrepreneurs (again, including your own Jaclyn Carlson!) who will share their expertise about creating different types of content, and how they have used it to grow their business. 

Sarah Schwab is the Founder and President of Content Creation Coach. She helps small businesses and entrepreneurs create consistent, compelling content they need to market their business online. She believes in the power of self-expression and creativity to transform her clients’ businesses and lives. Sarah works with clients one-on-one and through online programs. She has created hundreds of blog articles, produced videos, teleseminars, webinars, e-books, and more. Find out more about her approach to online marketing and content creation, including free resources, at www.contentcreationcoach.com

Self-Care For Entrepreneurs // Retreat Yourself

By Kate Williams

As many of you know, my word for 2016 is 'nourish' and I wholeheartedly believe that taking care of yourself is a sure bet for entrepreneurial success. When you are stressed, exhausted, overwhelmed, overworked and stretched too thin, your body, mind and biz will suffer. So while it's not always possible to book a holiday or escape to the spa, this new business is just the solution you need. When I first heard about Kate's business, Retreat Yourself, I immediately knew I had to share with my Blog Society family....enjoy below and make sure to check out our giveaway to one lucky reader! (I've been lucky enough to see this box first hand and can say without a doubt it was jam packed with the most exquisite goodies I've ever seen!) x Jaclyn

Hi everyone, I'm so happy to be sharing my own story with you guys as there is no better time to talk about self-care than at the start of a new month and while the seasons are changing and I'm so happy tell you a little about my journey launching my brand new business (yes it's been a roller coaster!) The Retreat Yourself Box is Australia’s first seasonal health & wellness subscription box. It’s taken a spin off the usual subscription boxes we see on the market and created an entire experience, to really help you get the most out of your health and life. 

When you subscribe to Retreat Yourself, you receive a retreat on your doorstep at the start of each season (4 boxes per year) to help you get grounded, healthy & ready to transition to the season ahead.

The box is packed full of 10-15 sample and full sized health and wellness products worth well over $100. It also contains the RY Wellness Guide, which is a magazine style booklet containing loads of healthy recipes, stretches and yoga poses, lifestyle articles and beauty tips and tricks from health gurus across the globe. The box is all tied together with the exclusive Retreat Yourself day plan, which explains how to create your own health retreat at home, using the products and guide featured within the box. It’s essentially a health retreat in a box!

Having launched this Summer and selling out of the Summer Box twice, the Retreat Yourself Box has hit the ground running.

So why Retreat Yourself? And where did this idea begin?
Retreat Yourself was born just under a year ago. I was living in Melbourne at the time and had my heart set on starting an online coaching program for women which involved all areas of health – mind, body and soul, and learning to love #1. I was in the middle of doing an online business course called B-School, had just finished my personal training certificate, had enrolled at Beautiful You coaching academy to become a qualified life coach, and was going to combine them with my certificate in Holistic Nutrition that I’d gained a couple of years prior. I’d started my website and Instagram page, and was (and still am) a part of many different small business groups for female entrepreneurs who were starting or working in heart-centred business. I found that even though I was surrounded by so much support, I kept coming up against dead ends. 

Starting an online coaching program just wasn’t flowing for me, and I really wanted to reach people on a much BIGGER scale. Not only did I want to help women who were seeking my services, but also women who would never have ever considered hiring a coach to help them with their health and happiness. I was actually seeing a life coach at the time and I’d often have people say to me “but why Kate? You’re good at life!”. People just didn’t get it. The stigma that only people who were struggling with life should have a coach was surrounding me, and I felt as though it was holding me back and keeping me dead in my tracks. 

A few years ago I had a friend who had been receiving Bella Box. I thought it was such a great idea! Starting a health food box was then stuck in my head, but I was about to head off traveling again and was unsure whether I’d return. The idea sat dormant at the back of my mind for the next few years. In March last year whilst I was sitting at my desk doing B-School work on how to grow my coaching business, my mind started to wander. What if I could create a subscription style box that included the type of information that you’d get from a coach? That included products that ANY health conscious person would be interested in, and also encouraged self-care and looking after whole health? I literally sat there that day and the whole idea just came surging out. I knew what it was going to look like, smell like, I knew the name. I knew exactly what it was. It all made sense! And the best part? That I would be able to reach SO many people with this idea. It was a no-brainer. So that day I created a business plan, I started searching for a designer and I got planning. I haven’t stopped since! 

Helping women with their health wasn’t the only reason I started the Retreat Yourself Box. There are MANY angles as to why it began. I’ve never been a big believer in societies prescribed plan - having left New Zealand to explore new places when I was 20 years old; I studied the world instead of going to university. I didn’t believe in spending my youth studying something I may never use. I knew from a very young age that I wanted to help people, but wasn’t sure how this looked. All I knew was that the more I explored and discovered the world, others and myself, the more I’d learn where I wanted to be.

During the last 10 years of travel I have experienced some weird and wonderful things. I’ve spent time volunteering in Nepal, Zambia and Melbourne. I’ve done 7 ski seasons. I’ve backpacked through India, Mexico, America, Sri Lanka, South East Asia. I’ve lived in multiple cities and towns across Australia and Canada, and have spent some time living in Japan. My life has been anything BUT stationary. Even as the beginning stages of Retreat Yourself were implemented, I backpacked across Thailand and Vietnam, having email conversations with my designer as I trotted between different locations. People would often say to me, “I wish I had a life like yours”, and my answer was always – you can! The only thing between you and living your best life is YOU.

One thing that lingered over my head during many years of travel was the thought of “am I doing what I ‘should’ be doing?” “What if I don’t ‘succeed’ at life?” “What if I become a ‘nobody’?”. This pressure loomed over me like a dark cloud for many years during my mid 20’s, which lead me to Melbourne where I was going to get a ‘proper’ job. I somehow landed upon a good role in the corporate world as a Contractor Manager, where I was managing around 200-300 corporate contractors across 18 companies. My strengths certainly lay in the relationship building side of things, with coffee drinking and lunching becoming the usual. Besides the fact that it was great to escape the office, I really liked getting to know about my contractors lives – both at work, and at home. What I learnt during this time is that SO many people aren’t doing what they want to be doing in life. So many people are stuck in their usual comforts and are so paralysed by fear of the unknown that they stay stuck in something that may not be serving their highest good. When I’d chat to my contractors and delve a little deeper than the usual chit chat, they’d tell me that they wished they could start their own businesses, or spend their time creating things, or traveling, or doing what the loved. So why weren’t they doing these things? I’d often ponder to myself. It made me realise how difficult it can be for some people to follow their dreams. Lack of confidence and just general fear would keep them at a stand-still. This to me, was absolutely absurd. So when Retreat Yourself came up, I thought YES! This is how I can help those people who have taken the plunge to start their own small businesses to get their product out into the world and into the hand of potential customers. A HUGE focus of the Retreat Yourself Box is on small Australian brands and people who align with the ethics of Retreat Yourself. It makes my heart sing to know that I can be helping people from all angles.

I really do pour my heart and soul into this baby. I have a vision of impacting the lives of women across Australia, and hopefully one day – across the world. My vision for Retreat Yourself is huge and I will continue to work on it until women learn how to love themselves and put their health and happiness first. Why? Because at the end of the day, YOU are the only obstacle in the way of living your most fabulous life. When you learn to love and care for yourself, the world is yours.

Kate and I are proud to team up and be giving a way to Retreat Yourself box to one lucky and deserving winner. To enter all you need to do is tell is leave us a quick comment below and share your favourite means of self-care (ie. travel, massage, exercise, mediation - get creative!). PLEASE make sure you leave your contact email so we can get in touch with you! One winner will be drawn at random and announced via social media on Saturday 9 April. Entries close 7 April at midnight (EST). Good luck!

Kate Williams, Retreat Yourself  (*You can find Kate on Facebook, Instagram)