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I have a Burt’s Bees soap box in my second desk drawer. It’s my God Box. When I find myself angsting over an issue, something seemingly unresolvable, I write the subject (or person’s name) on a slip of paper and insert it into my God Box. I can’t do anything further with it, so I give it up to Divine Intervention.
Yesterday, my younger daughter was describing some challenges going on at her new job. After she listed a few I asked, “Can I show you something?” I brought her into my office and took out my God Box. “Let’s see what’s in here.” I couldn’t remember the last time I added an entry, so I was as intrigued at the prospect of opening Pandora’s box as she was.
We both ended up laughing as slip after slip said the same thing: Filling my Arts Forum slots (my first Mastermind Group back in 2005), filling Arts Forum II, filling my Spring Mastermind Group, filling my Summer Retreat not to mention the names of various people who had paid too little or too much attention to me. The groups filled or didn’t fill. The relationships grew or ended. It all passed by, and I’m still thriving, which is why we laughed so hard. What I was left with was, “And I thought that was so important!”
What I love about my God Box is that it’s a place to go when my own best thinking dries up. Somewhere to dump the stuff I can’t do anything about. I’ll market like crazy, pick up the phone, send out “early bird” messages and “last chance” ones and stuff will happen or not. I do believe that what works is what’s meant to be. I do the footwork and let go of the results. So far, it’s been working just fine.
Anything you need to let go of today?
I rode in on the train to NYC last Saturday with my good friend and colleague, Nancy Moon. We gabbed the whole way in and covered the gamut of subjects from our lives, families, and health to our finances, businesses and plans for the future.
Ultimately we landed on technology. I find that to be true very often these days. There’s so much to share and learn. We got on the subject of Twitter which neither of us knew much about other than we need to know more. With that, Nancy produced from her handbag a 50+ page printout from Twitter’s site. She brought it with her to study it on the train ride home.
This left me with my jaw hanging open. I know this sounds really dumb, but I’ll say it anyway for everyone else out there who, like me, doesn’t fully have the concept of how this stuff works. Nancy had printed out a manual for operating Twitter by downloading everything on their website.
My way? I’d go to one page, see the links, connect, forget where I was or what I still needed to know and give up. I was so impressed and incredulous at simply seeing someone else’s approach. I’m sure I knew that it was all available, but had never seen what it could look like. I’m a new woman!
This morning I printed out multiple pages from several websites that hold interest for me and tucked them into my rip ‘n read folder for later.
Every day I make choices, some of them more impactful than others. This past weekend I chose to attend two events in NYC rather that go to the Westport Creative Arts Festival. It’s the first time in 30 years that I’ve missed it, but it wasn’t as strong a priority this year.
Other than seeing Nikki Bates again (the goldsmith I visited at the Loft Artists Open House) and supporting a friend from my gym who was on the organizing committee, there wasn’t a compelling enough reason to go. My market has moved away from mostly craft artists to include writers, professional organizers, spiritual leaders, real estate agents, coaches and more. Networking at a crafts fair is lower on my agenda than it once was.
Instead, I chose to attend the Louise Hay You Can Heal Your Life conference at the Javits Center. I did enjoy hearing the 82 year old Hay declare this to be the best decade of her life. She announced that she owes much of her happiness to being wheat and dairy free. I’ve chosen to eliminate those foods from my diet and feel fantastic as well.
To be honest, I left that event at 10:30am after hearing only Louise’s 15-minute introduction and the first speaker’s talk. I realize that my life is in really good shape. I’d had my fill.
I left and went to a conference sponsored by a fellowship I’m in. I immediately felt at home, surrounded by like-minded men and women who are actively seeking and sharing spiritual ways to increase abundance and prosperity in their lives.
We are constantly at choice in our lives. I’ve often heard the wisdom that we are where we are today as a result of all the choices we’ve made up until this point. I agree. I am fully responsible and accountable for exactly where I am. Are you?
I got several comments on my recent post about saying “no”. Seems like it struck a chord, particularly among women who are so used to giving, giving, giving.
This got me thinking about something else that is difficult for us women to talk about: sharing what’s great in your life. Men, chime in if this topic resonates for you, too.
When I created an organization called the Artsy Girls (more on that another time), I made bragging a keystone of our events. In addition to introducing herself, each member attending has to share an accomplishment she is proud of. It’s inspirational to everyone there and a way to ground our successes. Otherwise, careers can have a way of leap-frogging from success to success with no sense of joy, simply a feeling of “Next!”
Understand that my tagline for this group is Celebrating and Supporting Nationally Recognized Creative Women, so brags about getting published in magazines, book deals and television appearances are standard fare. However, I know for a fact that a few women bowed out of the group because they didn’t feel worthy. I knew they were, but they simply didn’t see themselves as powerfully as I saw them.
So it is with a touch of self-consciousness, due to the current economic environment, that I tell you that I’m enjoying four days at Canyon Ranch in the Berkshires. I rewarded myself, the business owner, for all the hard work I did these last few months.
I also want to serve as a power of example for self-care. Please! Treat yourselves well, especially now, in whatever way will nourish you.
I feel restored, energized and enthusiastic to get back to my office, my clients and my plans for 2009. What are you doing to take care of and nurture your most important employee?
I had the opportunity to speak for WBDC Thursday night, November 13. My daughter Laura joined me and took photos (as seen here). My talk consisted of lessons learned during my 30+ years as an entrepreneur mostly the difficult way, by failing first and doing it differently. I also closely watched those who I deemed more successful than I and imitated their model.
As the audience listened to me they realized that the road to success is not sequential, smooth or pre-paved. Each of us business owners trailblaze our own path. My stories have a lot of humor, humility, judgment (usually wrong, then amended) and aha’s.
The first question asked after my presentation was about the economy and what to do in the current situation. “Forge ahead!” is my mantra these days. “Do whatever it takes.”
The most important thing is to use your gifts. Many colleagues and I have been able to keep our calendars booked and bank accounts steady with clients and orders and also fit in occasional pro bono bookings, like this talk. Others may offer special, limited-time discounts as my energy healer has for any clients who book before Thanksgiving. I recommend offering sample sessions or donating your goods or services to keep you and your business in action mode.
When you’re in the act of creation, whatever is happening in the economy will have less of an impact on you than if you’re only focusing on the fear of what’s next. Do something!
I loved talking to this group. I’m always energized by sharing what I know. See!
I received the following letter last week. It’s a perfect example of how to begin manifesting what you really want in your life. Michelle, who heard me speak when I was touring the US with Staples, the Office Superstore, wrote to share her vision. Notice how specific and detailed it is. If anyone reading this can help, all the better.
Here is a message I am sharing with some of my friends…people who i value keeping connections with.
I have had a detailed vision of running a Spa Retreat for about 15-20 years. Since it seemed such a far reach from my current reality, I haven’t shared my ideas much. However, recently I have been guided to start sharing my dream with more people.
Briefly, this Retreat by the Sea is a place that peole can visit for a day, 3 days or a week and delight in various revitalizing therapies and experiences.
Its grounds border a beach somewhere tropical. So far the countries Mexico, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica and Panama have presented themselves as possibilities.
If you have any leads for me to create a Miracle from apparently nothing, I am open to receive. Thankfully I have alredy received tips, offers for introductions, offers to participate and the desire to be notified when it becomes reality to be pampered and inspired.
I request that you please keep this in your thoughts and prayers and send some magical energy my way.
Last but not least, thank you so much for your love and friendship.
I just received a marketing letter from colleague Bea Schriver of Bea Schriver Florals. It was hand-addressed on her elegant, water-marked, cream-colored letterhead. It was personalized, had a call to action and a beautifully printed enclosure. Bea had reproduced a 4-page article entitled Fauxliage Tour in full color on high-quality glossy stock.
On the WOW factor scale it was a 10. I sat in the parking lot of my post office caressing the paper as I drooled over the images. Visiting her website just now got my mind actively thinking about purchasing an arrangement for my office, like the one in the image here.
Bea’s mailing made the whole process look effortless, but notice the number of accomplishments that had to be lined up to give this appearance:
- updated website
- a collection of work to be photographed
- jpegs of images
- identity kit
- a database to send marketing pieces to
- brochure quality press piece
- the momentum to make it all happen
Direct mail is having a greater impact these days than the much abused email marketing. I highly recommend it to my audiences, clients and self. Try it!
I had the privilege of visiting two open houses this past weekend. Successful Mastermind Group clients invited me to their events, both of which were beautifully mounted and exciting to witness.
Carrie Wittenstein, at right with her sons, came to my group with an idea to create products with a philosophy of passing along kindness. She envisioned developing postcards and t-shirts with her message. Take a look at Carrie’s Woudn’t It Be Nice? site to see how she expanded the idea, the b-nice projects she’s created and order some cool stuff while you’re there. Part of Carrie’s vision is to give back, which is exactly what she does when you purchase a Wouldn’t It Be Nice t-shirt or sweatshirt. A donation of $5 is given to her favorite charitable organization when you do.
Carrie’s event was Friday evening. On Saturday I had the privilege of visiting the Loft Artists Association in Stamford, CT where my client Nikki Bates–goldsmith extraordinaire–participated in their open studio weekend.
You’ll have to go to Nikki’s site to see how truly exquisite her jewelry is. When I walked into her studio, a goal she established during one of our sessions, it took my breath away. There stood Nikki looking every inch the successful artist and businesswoman surrounded by her immaculate studio (she swears she cleaned up for company!).
Her showcase was filled to the brim with magnificent gems mounted with style and craftsmanship that is unique to Nikki. In addition, she was being assisted by her mother and mother-in-law. How lucky is she to have two loving women who believe in her so much they lend their time and energy in support!
I came away from these two visits feeling reinforced in my mission to lead remarkable women to their own definitions of success.
In the 10 minutes before my Mastermind Group session started a few weeks ago, my clients were chatting among themselves. The conversation was about me and what happens when others ask them about “working with Jane”.
I was all ears.
There was a lot of energy in the room as they compared notes. I heard that at a recent EWN event someone said to my Mastermind Group participant, “I hear she’s really expensive.”
My client: “Yes, but she’s worth it. This is what I’ve done since I began working with her…It’s changed my life.”
EWN Networker: “I hear she really pushes you.”
My client: “She does, and that’s why I’ve gotten to where I want to be.”
“It’s only pushing if you’re resisting.”
Then I got an email from a past workshop attendee and Mastermind Group client, Jamie Cat Callan, who further captured the experience:
I’ve been writing and publishing since 1978. But I was always the “ARTISTE.” I never publicized or thought about the business aspect of things. I didn’t care about making a living. I was all yin energy.
And then your workshop gave me a big dose of yang! Seriously, you made me understand (and the mastermind group of women) that it’s just plain foolish and unproductive to only take care of the art and neglect the business.
So I do believe that in a roundabout way, I’m on Page Six of The New York Post because you gave me that much-needed little boot in the pants!