Lessons Learned Through Entrepreneurship

I’ve spent the last 9 months as part of the Love Over Metrics mastermind led by Jadah Sellner. At our closing circle, she asked us to write down what we’ve learned during our time together and inspiration just started flowing out of me.

It was like all the wisdom and truth I’ve gained over the last 10+ years of entrepreneurship presented itself perfectly in 9 simple steps.

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And I wanna share them with you because we’re tight like that.

(Also, let’s be real - this list applies to life in general - not just business.)


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What would you add to this list? Comment below!! These are what came to me during my 5 minutes of reflection, and I’d love for this to be a list that keeps growing and changing as inspiration strikes and additional lessons are learned.

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CALLING ALL PORTLAND-BASED FEMALE FOUNDERS

I’m heading your way and have spots for TWO brand shoots on August 3rd and August 4th and I think you’re just the kind of woman I love working with. Let’s make some magic together and you walk away with a collection of custom images to pull from over the next several MONTHS. Photos that create connection, trust, sales and scale. Contact me for more info and to hop on a quick Brand Strategy Call.

How to Prep for a Brand Shoot

Whether you’re taking pics yourself or working with a pro, you want to get the most out of your brand shoot. Have no fear!! Go through these 4 quick steps for a more intentional and successful photo shoot, even if it’s 15 minutes with your iPhone.

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STEP 1: Create a Pinterest board (or Google Doc) and start pinning all the images that stand out to you (without over-thinking or judging them!!). Now take a step back and ask yourself: what colors keep repeating themselves? Are most of the images bright + airy or dark + moody? Take note and brainstorm how you can implement these colors and photography style into your shoot. If you’re working with a professional photographer, it’s CRUCIAL that you communicate your vision or you could end up with photos that aren’t a true representation of you or your brand.

STEP 2: What things are unique to you? No really, what are they? Maybe it’s your love of expensive coffee, hot yoga or those flashy red heels you wear whenever you wanna feel like a BOSS. What do people see and think of you? Now, how can you incorporate some of those things into your photos? Think outside the box - for me, it would be doing a photoshoot inside Target with my 4 kids because everyone who knows me well knows that’s our home away from home!!

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STEP 3: I’m gonna be honest. This one requires some deeper thinking, but I promise if you take the time to really ponder on it, the payoff is HUGE. Take a deep breath and ask yourself: How do you want people to FEEL when they see your photos? A few common words my clients have come up with are: warm, welcoming, happy, confident, knowledgable. Write down those words and move on to Step 4 to put them into action!

STEP 4: Gather your favorite items from Step 2 and clothes that embody the look and feel of the Pinterest board you created in Step 1 - but more importantly, clothes that you feel GREAT and COMFORTABLE in. Wear a little more make-up than normal, but don’t go overboard. Someone should be able to recognize you walking down the street in your yoga pants after seeing your photos. Now that you’re all ready to go, find some beautiful light and repeat the list of words you put together in Step 3 before and during your photo shoot because (hint: this is the real magic sauce of photo shoot success right here):

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How you FEEL is how you’ll LOOK. And girl, you were meant to SHINE.

I’m gonna keep it real with you: I’ve asked a LOT of women about the photo shoots they’ve loved the most and the #1 answer I get is: it all comes down to the photographer. It REALLY MATTERS who is on the other side of the camera and how they make you feel, so be choosy when booking a photographer for your brand shoot!! It’s an investment and if you’re putting in the time and energy to make the most of it, you want equal effort coming from the other side.

If you need some help going through this list and defining your visual brand, you should totally book a Free Brand Strategy Call with me. You don’t need to live local and there’s no cost - just my gift to you! It’s quick, simple and fun. Let’s chat.

3 Tips to Make the Most Out of Podcast Education

You're probably already well aware of this, but I'm obsessed with podcasts.  As a (I won't say the word "busy" because I banned it from my vocabulary a while ago) mom and business owner with a lot on her plate, podcasts are my FAVORITE because I'm able to consume information when I'd otherwise not be able to.

Think: folding laundry, working out, washing dishes, making dinner.. you name it!

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I listen to quite a few different podcasts (in fact, I put together a list of my Top 10 Podcasts for Female Entrepreneurs which you can snag HERE), but most of them tend to be business/entrepreneurial based or self-help/mindset podcasts.

As an experienced podcast consumer, I noticed 3 simple yet impactful things that have helped me get the most out of podcast education - to really absorb the information I'm taking in and most importantly, how to implement that information into my daily life and business.

#1: WRITE IT DOWN  I really believe in the power of putting pen to paper.  However, like I already mentioned - I'm usually not in a position where I can write things down.  So when I hear something that really hits me, I pause and rewind the podcast and then type out the quote into the notes app in my phone so I can go back to it later.  If I'm really on my game, I'll actually write it down in my business notebook - a place where I keep all my notes, goals, scribbled inspirations, and so on.

However you choose to do it, write it down. 

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#2:  FORM AN ACTION PLAN  When I hear something really powerful, I love to pause the podcast and actually recite the line or phrase out loud or in my head a few times to really allow it to sink in.  In fact, one I just heard at the gym this morning and loved and recited was: YOUR UNIQUENESS IS NOT A WEAKNESS.  Sooo good, right?? 

Now that you've found a piece of valuable information, the next step is to write down HOW you can actually implement what you heard into your life.

For example:  Say I'm listening to a podcast about outsourcing and I hear this line, "It's only when we can let go of what we're holding onto so tightly that we can find and get the help we need."  Ahhhh.  Yes.

Now my action might be: I'm going to log my time for an entire week and take inventory of what things are good uses of my time and evaluate the things I could potentially outsource to someone else.

Take what you hear ---> Form and actionable plan
 

#3:  SHARE WHAT YOU LEARN  Now that you're actually implementing all this awesome info into your own life, the last step is to share what you've learned with whoever will listen!  There's a quote that goes something like:

"People learn best when teaching others"  
 

In fact, I've experienced this first hand through homeschooling my kids!  Often I question whether I ever learned something in school because I don't remember it.  But now that I'm teaching it, I'm absorbing the information in a completely different way!!  

It's a lot like the concept of reading comprehension we learn in school - being able to tell the gist of a story in your own words - and what I think is really key is not only repeating back the message, but having the ability to see how it can apply to a particular situation or problem, whether it be ours or someone else's.  That's where the real magic comes in.   

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Now friends.  Keep in mind, I most certainly do NOT do this process with every single podcast I listen to!  Just those that I can easily see the connection to my own life or business or those that really resonate for me in the moment.    

One last thing - repetition is the key to mastery.  If there's something you are really passionate about or want to learn more about, listen to an episode a few times.  It's amazing the different bits of info that will catch your attention each time.

Now that you know what to do, grab your ear buds and listen in to the audio version, my podcast interview on The Business Bites Podcast with Rachel Brenke.  I think you'll love it.

Stay amazing.


If YOU are ready to:

STAND OUT ONLINE

LOOK MORE PROFESSIONAL

TELL YOUR STORY

…then you definitely need to book your FREE BRAND STRATEGY CALL today where I’ll help you clarify your visual brand and go over how I can help you take your business to the next level!!!

What's your WHY?

I threw the whole stack out the window as I buried my head into my hands and sobbed uncontrollably. I was so overwhelmed with emotion I could hardly function…

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Looking back now, I feel horrible for my poor mom who handled the situation with so much grace. I was a senior in high school and senior pictures were EVERYTHING. I had showed up for my session with several outfits, I had done my hair, my make-up, all the things. While we were taking the pictures, I remember feeling uncomfortable, but I couldn’t have imagined what would happen when we came back to see the proofs…

I literally HATED every. single. one. of them. Have you ever seen a picture of yourself and been so shocked that it was YOU (NOT in a good way)? Well, that’s how I felt about every single image the photographer had taken. I’ve been insecure about my looks since I can remember. I’ll never forget a boy in 2nd grade making fun of my teeth, and the feeling of shame and sadness that quickly rose up inside me. I’m sure sadly, many of us have similar memories. Being completely comfortable and confident in my skin is something I’m still working on and one that has been debilitating at times. And it was in this moment of looking through my senior portraits that brought all of those insecurities to the surface.

My mom was so patient and kind as I worked through the pain of visually experiencing so many personal insecurities at one time. She talked with the photographer who charged her for another session (oh my gosh - thank you mom!!) and I ended up with one image I didn’t completely hate. I need to find a copy of it to show you because… my HAIR. You gotta see it to believe it.

ANYWAYS. Fast forward a few years and a somewhat better hair style... I had always had a passion for photography, especially after my first child was born, but what I realized more than anything - was that I loved creating POSITIVE experiences for my clients. It brought me so much joy to create an experience where they could feel relaxed, confident and beautiful - because I quickly discovered that however someone is FEELING while having their picture taken, is exactly how they will LOOK. Which totally explains why I looked so unhappy and insecure in my senior portraits.

Women in particular are SO HARD on themselves. The comments I hear when women are looking through their images make my heart hurt - probably because they’re familiar lines I speak them to myself.

My mission is to help the women I work with FEEL the way I see them, which is:

  • EMPOWERED

  • STRONG

  • CONFIDENT

  • FULL OF LIGHT

  • BEAUTIFUL

  • PASSIONATE

  • WISE

That’s my WHY. That’s the fire inside that continues to push me forward in my work - because I believe in it’s importance and I believe that the BIGGER part of my job is the EXPERIENCE I create for my clients, not just finding the right angle and snapping the shutter.

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Remember WHY you started this whole business thing in the first place? I’m guessing that WHY is the same thing that continues to drive you day after day to show UP and do the work.

Are you sharing THAT story with your audience? If not, they’re totally missing OUT and so are you friend. In fact, I’m so serious about this that I want you STOP whatever you’re doing, pause and reflect for a moment on your journey up to this point and the story behind your business. And before you try to tell me it’s not exciting or inspiring, read on.

Here’s an excerpt from the book that inspired me to share MY story today… IF YOU READ NOTHING ELSE, READ THIS:

“Can we resist the fear-based tendency to make our work abstract or overly complex and instead trust that our lived experiences, insights, and natural ideas are enough to bring to the table? Often THAT kind of authenticity and vulnerability is what is needed to move hearts and create change. Quite often, that is also what will cause us to be noticed, to be respected, and to receive the opportunities we desire.”

- Tara Mohr, Playing Big

As I’ve taken the time to ponder on my own story, I realized how motivating and deep rooted it is for me… so deep that I had almost forgotten. And what a shame that would have been.

TELL YOUR STORY.

And if you want help doing it in a beautifully visual way, I’d love to help you out.

How setting GOALS can blow your MIND

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Not that we didn’t ever set any goals, but for the first 10 years of our marriage, we just kind of let life take us along. And everything was fine... life was good.

Until a little over 2 years ago in Mexico. It was the first time EVER away from our four kids for more than 48 hours. I was inspired by something I was reading and basically forced Josh to help me WRITE DOWN OUR GOALS. They were super specific, measurable, and time-bound and included all the different areas of our life - financial, personal, family, etc. And they were BIG goals you guys. BIG.

Fast-forward a couple months and we realized we had ALREADY accomplished several of the HUGE goals we had set, and were on track to surpass others. 

Say whaaaaaaaaa?! 🤯

Not only that, but having a CLEAR picture of where we wanted to go made making allllll the little decisions that much easier. Is this bringing us closer or further away from our goals? Boom. Done. Easy. 

Fast-forward to today. I look back on a relatively short period of time and what we’ve accomplished is CRAZY TOWN.  Student loans are totally paid off.  We’ve spent more time together as a couple and as a family.  I started a new business venture.  We purchased property.  We feel healthier.  The list goes on...

And the real crazy thing is that this has ALWAYS been available to us.  Setting goals, writing them down and then GOING AFTER THEM is available to everyone - and I truly believe that you’re holding yourself back if you’re not setting any. 

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So let's talk about GOALS yo - and how you can BLOW YOUR OWN MIND, shall we?

Here's a simple 5-step method to setting and REACHING your biggest goals:


1.  CATEGORIZE

Break your life up into your most important aspects and roles.  For my husband and I that first time in Mexico, we wrote down: marriage, kids, health, spiritual, financial, and professional/business.  Doing this allowed us to focus on each individual category and get real serious about what we wanted to accomplish, and what would have the biggest impact.  I love Michael Hyatt's S.M.A.R.T.E.R goal acronym:

SPECIFIC: Goals must be well defined, clear and unambiguous.

MEASURABLE:  Can you quantify your progress so you can track it? How will you know when you've reached your goals? 

ACTIONABLE:  Begin your goals with a verb. What is the associated action word that describes what you need to do to achieve it?

RISKY:  Your goals should scare you a little bit!  It will make them more interesting and demanding.

TIME-KEYED:  Goals must have a clearly defined time frame including a starting date and a target end date.

EXCITING:  Love this one!!  You should absolutely be excited about your goals - otherwise, what's the point?

RELEVANT:  Your goals should be in alignment with the season of your life and your values. Is your goal relevant to your life purpose?

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2.  KNOW YOUR WHY

This is crucial.  WHY is this goal important to you?  It's important that your WHY is bigger than your FEAR - for an amazing podcast episode about this, and to help you identify your "why" - head over to the Do It Scared Podcast with Ruth Soukup - it's a good one.  Keep in mind superficial reasons won't cut it, so try to dig deep on this one.  Why do you want to lose those last 10 pounds?  Looking good in a bikini is great and all, but feeling confident and having more energy to play with your kids - THAT is real motivation.  

3.  WRITE IT DOWN

Now that you've categorized your goals and made sure they are SMARTER, write them down!!  There is so much power in putting pen to paper.  I heard somewhere that the difference between a dream and a goal is simply writing it down.  It forces you to gain clarity about what you want and what is most important.  

4.  STRATEGY

Now that you have a clear picture of what you want to accomplish, how do you get from point A to point B??  It's highly affective to print out your goals along with their SMARTER details and hang them where you'll see them every. single. day.  Every time a situation or decision arises, ask yourself: is this bringing me closer or further away from my goal?  Another question I love to ask myself: what would the version of me who has already accomplished this goal do in this situation? #likewhoa  Work backwards - decide what you need to do this YEAR, this MONTH, this WEEK and now this DAY to accomplish your goal and make it happen.

5.  KEEP MOMENTUM

Set aside a time each month to look back and take inventory of what you have and haven't accomplished (yet) and to get super clear about the upcoming month.  And GIVE YOURSELF PROPS for every single win, big and small - this helps keep momentum and is something to fall back on when you feel like you're moving slower than you'd like.


I have been blown away by the progress my husband and I have made and even more importantly, by the CLARITY we now have in our lives.  It's amazing how powerful it is.  See for yourself.

Happy goal setting babes!


Want to spend more time with the people and things that really matter (like crushing your goals)?? 

Personal brand images that accurately tell your story and speak to your ideal client have the potential to reach your followers like NOTHING else, make you more money and free up more time for what matters.  Let's make some magic together. 

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