General SOAR! INFO

Launching Ali Anderson to SOAR!

ALI!!!  Her name makes me smile and want to shout because this crazy girl has a laugh and sense of humor that is contagious and makes your day–every time!

I know that many of you miss “Thursdays with Ali” on the SOAR! blog.  Her writing had us in tears and laughter every week.  Can you believe she didn’t see herself as a writer before SOAR!?  I remember asking her over lunch if she thought her writing would continue to go forward…I tossed out the idea of her maybe writing a novel about a woman and her comical, authentic journey in developing her photography passion.  I know I am one of many who would get in line to read that book!  I guess time will tell with Ali; she is FULL of surprises!

In fact, when Ali submitted her video to apply for SOAR!, I was like “Brian, is that the same Ali that was in the DC CONFIDENCE Workshop?…She was so QUIET all weekend!  Nahh, that can’t be the same gal.”

This was Ali’s video application;

Her video application touched all our hearts.  I told our panel of judges that this video was strong evidence of how hard Ali would work, and how “above and beyond the call” she would probably go.  In the end, the SOAR! Scholarship Program would richly benefit her because you get out of this program as much as you put in to it.  Ali was clearly going to put everything into it.

Below are a few thoughts Ali wanted to share with you…

Since writing my final post on Me Ra Koh’s SOAR! blog, I’ve often been asked, “What are you going to do now that SOAR! is over?”  In my head I respond with an enthusiastic, “I’m going to Disneyland!,” (just before Me Ra dumps one of those big orange coolers of Gatorade over my head and ruins a perfectly good hair day). In reality, the answer is less glamorous: We’ll see.

Normally, that kind of answer would sound weak, indecisive, and lazy to me. After all, as part of winning the SOAR! Scholarship, I’ve spent the past year developing relationships and learning from some of the most talented business coaches, photographers, vendors and colleagues in the field. I burned the candle at both ends all year long; putting every ounce of my vulnerability, insecurity and creative juice into each exercise, blog post and image I made. And I’d do it all over again.

I don’t feel the pressure to have it all figured out, which is why snuggling up with some warm and fuzzy ambiguity might just be the best gift I received this year.

SOAR! was never about getting a clear and predictable path laid out for a career in photography. For me, SOAR! was all about becoming confident with risk. I risked applying for SOAR and rediscovered a long lost artist. I risked my thoughts on the blog every week and rediscovered my love of writing. I risked starting a photography business. My biggest take away: Risk opens doors.

I have my goals, big and small, for sure. And I’ll share all that on my blog this year as I continue to grow my business. I will continue to write. I will continue to put beautiful images into the world. I will continue to risk. As I see myself now, I hope my path will continue to change, all the while inviting me into the ambiguously beautiful blur of the future.


Thanks to all of you who followed my journey. I am humbled by your supportive comments all year long and deeply grateful for your support.

~Ali

Those two sentences; For me, SOAR! was all about becoming confident with risk. I risked applying for SOAR and rediscovered a long, lost artist.

Wow.  Powerful.

Whenever we go after building a dream, we must subscribe to the weekly, even daily, activity of taking risks.  Risk taking can be terrifying and often hold many of us back because there isn’t any guarantee of what waits on the other side.  Ali is a wonderful example of someone who risked over and over again to be pleasantly surprised by what she rediscovered.  And not only did Ali’s rediscovery of her long lost artist-writer-photographer–all the above–bless her, but it blessed all of us who followed her journey.  This rippling effect of risk taking is what moves me the most.  You think that you are setting out on a selfish journey to find yourself, your creative self, and the truth is that you end up not only giving to yourself but all those who follow along.

Ali, your SOAR! year will always be a testament to the beauty that is waiting to be discovered when we choose to risk.  You will continue to be a champion for so many women who followed you all year.  Thank you for putting everything you had into the SOAR! year.  I think we all feel like we soared a little higher in day-to-day dream building because of the journey shared every week.

On behalf of all the SOAR! Partners and this wonderful community, we proudly launch Ali Anderson to SOAR with her photography (AND writing) dreams!  I can’t wait to see how the future continues to unfold for you!  Check out her new website, and be sure to keep following her blog posts!

Ali, we love you.  I cherish you, your sense of humor and your wonderful husband and kids.

We celebrate you today!

Your Cheerleaders Forever!

Me Ra, Brian, Wendy and this awesome community!

*I invite all of you to leave a comment of encouragement, love, celebration, wisdom…or all the above, in celebration of Ali today!

Launching Charisse Rhodes to SOAR!

Charisse…where do I start with Charisse?  So many memories come to mind.  The first time I saw Charisse’s beautiful smile was when she applied for the SOAR! Scholarship in 2009.  She did not win that year, but she didn’t give up.  Months later, she attended our San Fransisco CONFIDENCE Workshop.  I still remember her raising her hand and asking how it was possible to pursue your own dreams without taking from your family’s needs.  What a beautiful, authentic, heartfelt question.  Charisse is a kindred homeschooling mom.  With how much time homeschool and regular family life takes, it’s easy to wonder how more time can be carved out for other pursuits…especially your own dream building pursuits. But when the second year of SOAR! started, Charisse applied again.

This was her submission video.

Fast forward to September 2011.  I’m in Sacramento for our CONFIDENCE Workshop, and I invite Charisse to second shoot my Minis the day before.  She has been working hard every week at the SOAR! Scholarship Program for nine months.  She has faced some of her deepest fears in the business coaching calls.  And she has dared to look beyond her assumed limitations.  Charisse has done the “heavy lifting” work of building a dream all year long.  I’m eager to sit face to face with her and ask where she finds herself.

What she said brought me to tears.  She told me, with firm conviction in her eyes, that she now believes she can build her dreams…she really believes it.  Her dreams are hers for the taking.  She knows she has what it takes and this doesn’t take from her family, it gives to her family.  When mama follows her dreams, everyone learns how to dream along with her.  Spending the year following her dreams, working hard at it every week, has not only transformed her but the whole family.  wow…

What Charisse said is the heart of SOAR!.  Whether our SOAR! Recipients have a photography business in ten years is not the issue.  My vision was that SOAR! would empower women to know they were capable and worthy of all they desire.  When a woman knows she is worthy of her dreams and takes action, not only is she lifted up but also the world around her.  Charisse is a living testimony of this.

Here are a few words from Charisse…

Whew, what a year. It is hard to believe that it is already over. It has been a full one at that! A year ago, Linda Baylis & Genie Ohashi were walking up to my doorstep with a pink box and a video camera. What a surprise it was. I have met so amazing people during this year. I have made and fulfilled many goals. I have learned a lot about myself that I had not realized before. And yes, during this process, I have also fallen short of my mark on occasion. However, this year was not about perfection, but about growth. Growth as a person, growth as a business woman, growth in my artistic pursuits and growth in my role of a mom who can also pursue her dreams without fear. Okay…maybe not without fear, but definitely having a better vehicle with which to circumvent those fears and not let them get in my way.

Along the way, my creative eye has grown along with new desires of accomplishments yet to be made and challenges still to be taken on. However, during the process of this last year, I have participated in some art shows, hung my images in a public venue and got paid for my work along the way. While this fantastic year with the SOAR! Scholarship has come to a close, many new doors are opening as we speak. The biggest door that has opened is the door to my personal dreams. I want to thank SOAR for not only enhancing my photographic toolbox, but for helping this homeschool mama see that it’s okay to color outside the lines again.

If there is anything that I would encourage you to do after having this year with SOAR, it would be to set your own expectations and strive to meet only that. Others will often have an opinion of who you are, where you should be in your business, or what you are capable of. In reality, only you really know. Live and dream authentically. Stay true to yourself and give generously. It will come back to you in more ways than you know. I hope we meet again either in the SOAR forum, Soarority on Facebook or on my blog. It has been a pleasure taking this journey with you all.

Dream it … Own it.

Charisse

With incredible pride and joy, on behalf of all the SOAR! Partners and community, I launch Charisse Rhodes to SOAR! with her dreams!

Check out Charrise’s new website and blog!  Leave her some love!

Charisse, it is a honor to call you friend and be a witness to your inspiring journey.  We celebrate you today!

Your Cheerleaders Forever!

Me Ra, Brian, Wendy and this awesome community!

*I invite all of you to leave a comment of encouragement, love, celebration, wisdom…or all the above, in celebration of Charisse today!

Launching Rachel Abelson to SOAR!

This week is a special week for our community.  Together, we get to celebrate and launch our SOAR! Recipients to SOAR!  The SOAR! Scholarship is a program that Brian and I founded over two years ago.  With the generous help of SOAR! Partners like SONY, Adobe, The Wisdom Connection, Fastline Media, Smug Mug, Shoot Dot Edit, Pixel 2 Canvas, Jille and more, we spend a year equipping three ladies with all they need to soar with their photography dreams.  This week we want to celebrate ALL their hard work from last year and their new websites (thank you Fastline Media!)!

For those of you who followed the weekly blogs of these ladies, Rachel, Charisse and Ali, you share my pride in them.  You know how hard they worked.  And wow, I’m THRILLED at where they find themselves now.

Let’s start today with Rachel Abelson!  Going backward in time, this was her submission video for the SOAR! Scholarship.

I will never forget Rachel sitting in our AZ CONFIDENCE Workshop.  She introduced herself as the “Face of Auto”.  Between the three recipients, Rachel was the most green with photography.  But in her introduction she went on to say that even though she may rate herself as a level one (beginner) in photography, she was a level FIVE in confidence and determination.  Rachel showed this all year long!

As a military wife, she had unique challenges to her SOAR! year.  In the middle of the year, her family was uprooted from the East Coast and transferred to the West Coast.  And not only did she do a huge move, but she has two precious babies that keep her hands full.  In the midst of all this, she still did her SOAR! exercises and got her blog post up every Tuesday.  She also found beautiful ways to meet a personal goal of giving to the military community.  And I know that we have all watched her photography skills transform–I mean amazing!  Check out Rachel’s new website (and definitely leave her a comment on her new blog–you know how good those feel! :) ).

Below are some final words that Rachel wanted to share with all of you…

As I sat down to write this post, I had another wave of shock come over me. A year ago at this time I was wondering who had won the SOAR! Scholarship and why nothing had been posted about it. I brushed it off and thought, “I’m excited to see who won, but I should figure out what I’m going to do now.” Lo and behold, just a few days later I get the knock at the door. You know, the one where I’m in running clothes, haven’t showered and definitely do not look my best! The one where Wendy (SOAR! Coordinator) told me the news and then I screamed so loud that I scared my 5 month old (check it out here). Yeah, that’s the day. It will forever be in the top 10 days of my life.

The past year has been such a whirlwind of excitement, stress, laughter, but most of all accomplishment. I honestly never once thought I’d grow up to own my own business-big or small. Now that I do, it is an awesome feeling.  I’ve had two really, really awesome things happen to me this year. When I moved last summer I was able to start introducing myself as a photographer. But even more than that…..Pete and I went to a guest dude ranch in Dec for 4 days (coolest vacation ever!). When we got home he told his mom that he had told people “my wife’s a photographer” and that he was really proud to be able to say that. Him not knowing that I was within earshot, me hearing him say that was such an amazing feeling.

This last year has taught me so many lessons;

-Figuring out a style is not easy.

-Finding a brand is even harder.

-There is always room to learn.

-People will support you even if they don’t know you.

Most of all…even if you never imagined them, great things can and will happen.

I am in tears right now (good tears) thinking about all that I have been gifted the past year. Amazing mentors, a business of my own, being able to capture special moments for people, and the gift of all the SOAR! women-who I admire in more ways than I can list.

You women have given me so much knowledge, feedback, inspiration and support. I can not thank you enough. Now I have one thing to ask of you-never stop believing in yourself, no matter what.

Thank you for a fabulous SOAR! year! I send each of you a big hug!!!

World, here is Rachel Abelson Photography-watch out!!!!!!!

Now, Go for it!!!

Rachel

On behalf of all the SOAR! Partners and this wonderful community, we proudly launch Rachel Abelson to SOAR with her photography dreams!  I have full confidence that there nothing this woman can’t accomplish!

Rachel, we love you, I love you, and super proud of you.  We celebrate you today!

Your Cheerleaders Forever!

Me Ra, Brian, Wendy and this awesome community!

*I invite all of you to leave a comment of encouragement, love, celebration, wisdom…or all the above, in celebration of Rachel today!

American Bounty

Jefferson Memorial

 

 

Washington Memorial

 

 

The Breadline, FDR Memorial

 

Happy Thanksgiving,

~Ali

Thankful Life

Insomnia

I had been tossing and turning beneath the snuggly comfort of my toasty warm covers for two endless hours in the middle of a winter night trying to figure out why I was so uncharacteristically restless. It wasn’t because my beloved had been sawing logs beside me like a woolly mammoth with a head cold. It wasn’t because I was stressed over how I was probably setting my kids up for a lifetime of failure because I let them watch back-to-back-to-back episodes of Dora the Explorer and eat their dinner in front of the television twice that week (gasp!). Then, in one of those cheesy made-for-tv moments, I surprised even myself when I suddenly sat bolt upright in bed (who does that?!). A calmness I’ll never forget wrapped itself around my shoulders and I breathed a sigh of relief, then said out loud to Brian, “I have to do something tomorrow.” He didn’t hear me. It didn’t matter. I knew.

I submitted my SOAR! application video two weeks later.

Thirty-six blog posts, seven video blogs, one hundred twenty-six images, ninety-seven slices of cheese pizza, forty-five glasses of wine (not all in a row) and nearly 365 days later, I am utterly and blissfully exhausted (yep, a whole lot of pizza and a glass of wine gets many a blog post written, my friends).

I imagine it’s the mental version of exhausted that a marathoner feels as she approaches the finish line. We’ve established my three criteria for running, right? (If you need a refresher, click here). Even if Robert Downey, Jr. was waiting at the finish line for me with a plate of cupcakes and a foot rub, I still wouldn’t run 26.2 miles to get a long-lasting congratulatory smooch from the guy. Sorry, love.

All the hours spent training, the blisters, chafing and tendinitis aside though, I get it. I get why marathoners do it. They do it for the same reason I applied for SOAR: I knew I could do it. Thankfully I don’t have the black toenails to show for it, but I’ve been steadily logging mile after mile, week after week, heading in the direction of a start line disguised as a finish line.

I’ve seen so many of you along the side of the road, enthusiastically waving your signs and shouting words of much-needed encouragement in your blog comments to me. We’ve shared dinners and drinks, Skyped, Facebooked, messaged and even shot together along the way. I’ve even gotten the pleasure of meeting some of you in person (truly a highlight for me) in a few of Me Ra’s CONFIDENCE workshops this past year. You all can’t possibly know how much I treasure these unexpected gifts from my year as a SOAR Recipient.

No one has cheered more loudly, pushed me harder, or believed in me more than the voice you heard in the outtakes of all those video blogs. I can write volumes about this guy, but really, this just about says it all: Brian, my love, I will always pick up the cat puke spray on the way back home to you.

www.xkcd.com/ photo of ali and brian courtesy of jenn johnston at the 2011 DC workshop

I didn’t buy a camera to take pictures of my kids. I bought a camera because I lacked a piano. Since entering Smotherhood, I desperately needed to reconnect with the creative person inside of me and it was easier to store a camera in my closet than a piano. Everyone has to start somewhere, but when I think about where I started, I get a little embarrassed of things like sun spots on people’s heads, shooting with the wrong white balance, and funky skin tones:

In reality though, failures like those gave birth to images like these over the past year:

 

 

I know (and even hope) I will continue to make mistakes, although less frequently. It’s probably the most effective way I know of to improve.

As I approach the start line disguised as a finish line, I don’t know exactly where I’m headed. Does anyone really? With my list of What Ifs in hand, I know that I will put beautiful images into the world. I know that I will continue to tell the stories that surround them. Most of all, I know that when you wake up in the middle of the night and you hear the voice that says, “take this risk,” you should always, always listen.

From the bottom of my heart, thanks for SOARing alongside me this year.

~Ali

New Beginnings…

Chose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. ~Confucius

This was always one of my favorite quotes growing up. Maybe I am a dreamer, but I believed this. As each year passes, I realize the true importance of living life to it’s fullest. That means waking up every day, if at all possible, doing what you love.

This past year, as a SOAR recipient, I was able to more fully explore what that looked like for me. I knew that I loved taking care of my family yet I loved capturing images, freezing the evidence of “that moment” into artwork, and longed to allow that creative process that I was subduing to be free. Me Ra, through SOAR, and it’s amazing partnerships helped me to bridge that divide this year.

AZ Confidence Workshop (before color correction class)

In someways, it seems like it was just yesterday that I prayed and opened myself up to whatever next step I was to make at this time in my life. I honestly wasn’t sure what would happen when I hit “send” on that video submission. I just knew that I was supposed to ask, seek, & knock on doors and the right one would open. So I find myself a year later writing this, my final post on this blog, and I am at a loss for words. How do I adequately express how blessed I have been? My goal this year when I began this journey was to “live out loud”. In other words, I wanted to finally live that quote at the top of this post in a manner that encompassed the other passions that I had, outside of mothering, in a way that would be fulfilling for me. I knew how to use my camera but I had forgotten how to get off the sidelines and cheer for myself as loudly as I did for others. I did not know how to run a business or even if I wanted to. To be able to find these answers in a community of supporters as loving as this group of women are was a blessing. Add to that the unbelievable gift of being able to do this with two amazing women, Rachel & Ali, who I know were sent to not only be friends but blessings in my life and maybe you can understand why I am at a loss for words.

Jackpot

While at the time I may have been squirming, I am so grateful to our business coaches at the Wisdom Connection. Karen asked the hard questions that I sometimes struggled to answer and Genie who was always able to offer me another prospective to consider. I love the glasses that you to look through. Thanks for helping me to clean mine. I now not only know how to use my camera, but I am also better prepared to handle the steps that must be taken to keep moving forward in the direction that I want to go. My fear of the unknown has been wrangled. It is never to late to move in the direction of your dreams. I hope that through photography, I can help other women not be afraid to let their “roar” out. I also hope to encourage young men & women moving into the different stages of their lives, to dare to be different and don’t stop believing in their dreams.

New Beginnings

I love the camera, both sides of it. It’s amazing that something so little can have so much power. I love photography. I love freezing moments. I love seeing people feel & look beautiful. I love that I can now do what I love and truly never work a day in my life. Confucius seemed to know a thing or two.

I thank you all for riding with us on this journey. You all really kept us encouraged during some of the tougher weeks. I would love to hear what nugget you all grabbed from this year. Please let me know in the comments or over on the forum.

Dream it & Own It!
~Charisse

A year in review

It seems the time has come for another season of change. Two thousand eleven is almost gone as quickly as it arrived. Fortunately, it is not leaving without a lot of growth and some wonderful changes in my life for sure as well as many others. It seems like yesterday Genie was knocking on my door with this amazing gift from SOAR and Me Ra Koh to be one of this past years recipients. And now it is time for this little bird to leave the nest. The beauty of this is I am leaving with a set of wings that have been nurtured and nudged, ruffled and brushed, and prepared to take this flight. Not surprisingly, I felt this post of Karen’s was so fitting for our last business coaching exercise going into the next year. So without further delay, here is my assessment of my journey this year. It was somewhat like pregnancy with all of it’s amazingness, beauty, aches & pains to spring forth new life.

There were several goals that were important to me this year. Coming into this as a mom, like many, who had stumbled into my passion of creating images through photography as well as finding a new sense of self, I was not quite sure how to bridge the gap between the old way of doing things and the new “photography business” way. It was important for me to figure out how to merge these two worlds which up until then, only appeared to be colliding. Of course, making some additional income that I generated with this baby was also a definite goal. I also wanted to push myself to become more visible as a “photographer” and get my images hanging somewhere public. As of today, I can say that I have done those things. I am also extremely proud of myself now that when life throws me curve balls, as this year has done several times already, my method for handling them has changed. I have learned to “flow”. I am happy about meeting my financial goal for sure, but the life & business lessons have proven to be things that I can and do use daily regardless of what follows next. It will also be helpful if I could get a handle on using social media more effectively along with being more consistent blogging on my own blog.

The milestone for me was taking myself out of my self imposed box and setting my own expectations. In other words, keeping with the integrity of shooting what I love because I love it and for no other reason, trusting that from that, everything else will flow. It was a big moment for me hearing people inquire about me doing sessions for them simply because they appreciated my work that they had seen. It felt nice and right, kinda like your favorite pair of nicely worn leather shoes.

It doesn’t seem that long ago that taking my memory cards out of my camera and putting them into my computer would be prefaced with tons of praying, a piece of chocolate, a glass of wine, some finger crossing and a great deal of hope only to be pleasantly surprised with the results. Doing this time and time again really aided my confidence in being able to capture what I had set out to do. Did I mention that I loved business coaching? The insight of these women was amazing. It was definitely what I needed.

The change that I made this year was to focus on who I was in relation to this business and what I wanted it to be in relationship to me. I learned to put things into order without guilt. I also learned that my lens and my business are simply an extension of me. Because of that, I am the only one who can dictate what that looks like or the timelines that I choose to set for future goals.

As for my biggest, boldest dream for 2012, I want to continue to create images that I am proud of and others love which reflect the beauty of life in all is imperfect moments. I plan to continue to grow this business that I have begun to be wildly successful. Maybe my children might want to be a part of it one day. This will take time, but it’s a part of the dream. I want to encourage young people to dream and look for the intricacies in life. I would love to have a show in a gallery. There are a few issues that are dear to my heart and I hope to create a few personal projects that are worthy of a showing. After this year, the road only goes one way…forward. Follow me on my blog to see where this journey leads me.

The Verdict is in.

The gavel bangs. The court is silenced and the judge speaks to the jury. “Mr. Foreman, have we reached a verdict?” he asks. “We have Your Honor.” “What have you?” says the Judge. The Foreman proceeds.” On the count of calling the defendant lazy for the inability to create as one desired, guilty. On the count of wasting energy being frustrated for not being a rockstar overnight sensation, guilty. Count three unexpected U-turns from which we unwittingly sabotage our progressive success, guilty.” This went on for count after count. Guilty….guilty…guilty. However, of all these crimes, the biggest and most devastating was the lack of compassion for the wounded blocked artist whose “inner child” sat in helpless in the defendants chair. Likewise, that I was my own judge and jury, which could never result in a fair trial. Not until reading the Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron did I, her caretaker, realize that only with love, compassion and nurturing could this beautiful child blossom into the amazing artist that God had intended her to be. According to Mrs. Cameron, it is fear that blocks an artist and it is love that cures the fear.

Ahh…now the purpose of the Artist’s dates are really starting to make sense. She says, “…being an artist requires enthusiasm more than discipline.Enthusiasm is not an emotional state. It is a spiritual commitment, a loving surrender to our creative process, a loving recognition of all the creativity around us.” “Enthusiasm is grounded in play, not work.”

As we approach the end of this year, it seems that not one of the chapters in this book has left any stones unturned. With the rediscovery of our inner artist, and the process of restoring love to that child through self assessment, admittance, discovery, nurturing, strength and now compassion we are better positioned for success in whatever artistic endeavor that we seek. As we approach the things we do with joy, realizing that fear may come along for the ride, we will continue to move forward even when u-turns occur, and they will, we will not be broken by them but use them as a footstep for empowerment. For me, I realize that fear may be my constant companion. However, the way I harness it will catapult me much further along in my journey than if I allow it to overtake me. Ultimately if we enjoy the journey, stay on course, and show ourselves compassion along the way we will get to the fulfillment of our goals.

This year has brought much awareness to the many creative U-Turns I have experienced. The fears are still near by. Life is …life and things will always be there to steal my attention away from moving towards my dreams. Some of these things have been holdbacks even recently. Questions remain. Doubts arise. Challenges beckon. Family awaits. As my portfolio building comes to a close and some the SOAR Support hands are letting go others have grown in their place. Relationships like the beautiful community of SOAR sisters who have created a network from which to strengthen, empower, educate and virtually uplift one another through a common goal. It is time to move into the next phase of building. Sometimes we just have to jump!

Adrenaline overtakes fear everytime.

And before you know it, the view is breathtaking.

Dream it … Own it.

The Client Express…

Imagine being in one of those old western movies where the train is pulling out of the station as you roll in and before you can get to the car that your assigned seat was in it starts to pick up momentum. You stop and scream hoping that the conductor hears you because if he does, surely he is going to stop the train so you can board settle into your seat and roll off into the sunset. Instead, the wheels keep rolling all the while you notice them going faster and faster. At that moment you must make a decision to turn and walk away sighing in defeat or run like you’re being chased by pitbull and jump into the closet car you can land in hoping to do so on your feet but willing to get in by whatever means necessary. This run feels like you are running for your life. But little do you know, you land up in the dinner car where there is an empty seat with a glass of wine with a hot meal waiting just for you to sip and inhale the reward of your persistence.

This is what I equate this weeks business coaching topic by Karen Buckley to. Karen shares with us tips on Finding, Securing and Maintaining Clients in this post and boy is it chock full o nuts. For may of us, the creative process is the easy part. The “shameless pimping & self promotion” well that is a different animal. When teaching my kids I always talk about the basics. Karen reminds us of the very same thing. As I continue to grab hold of the fact that there is no shame in “self promotion” talking up my business will just continue to get easier and easier.

“Use a rating continuum: Ready, Almost Ready, Someday, and Not Likely. Focus 80% of your attention on the Ready and Almost Ready.” Karen Buckley. This was great easy, simple and to the point. I can do that. Don’t make “no” into a never and use social media. Check, check & check. Marketing ramp up in full force. Move…move…move because action creates reaction and stillness results in stagnancy or death of any business. During this process however, as I have recently found, know matter how much you plan sometimes unplanned things in life arise and you simply must give yourself the freedom to re access, refocus, and regroup. Finally, seeking wise council can never hurt in any planning an implementation process.

So I have an idea of the direction that I want to go. As I proceed fine tuning and seeking my ideal target market, a bit of overspray can’t hurt. Along with the marketing ideas I am currently working on after reading this article I am challenging myself to fill my book with ideas, set some dates and implement them at a reqular schedule that feels uncomfortable. Yes, I did say uncomfortable. I have been sitting in “perceived comfort” way to long.

Finally I will try to always make it a point to use “the power of Ask” as my kids call it. Who knows, the responses may surprise me. Here are a few images from past sessions because a photoblog just wouldn’t be right without some photos.

Click on over to the forum and chat with us. How are you doing with this step?