Friday, September 28, 2012

Opportunity knocks- this time its for you!

If you've been hanging out here for a while, you know what type of whirlwind year 2012 has been for me. Summed up- it's been pretty flippin' amazing. I keep coming back to 1 pivotal moment. Applying for the Spark Retreat Scholarship... but if you look a little deeper - that was the moment I set my fears aside and truly opened myself up to opportunity.

The people who are successful are not always the ones with the best ideas.  It’s the people who actually did something. Who moved beyond thinking about it, to doing it. If you're in need of a swift kick in the pants- read on. 

Everyone has a dream project or idea they need to bring to the world. The reason most people never make this idea a reality is because they don’t know where to start, they lack the motivation, the know how or the support to just take that first step.

Here are 2 questions I want you to ask yourself:
1. What exactly are you afraid of?
2. If you were guaranteed to succeed, what would you do next?

A few tips that might help you along the way-
  • Hob knob with successful people. They don’t even have to be doing what you want to do.  But it is amazing the energy you can get from just hanging out with other people who are working their “mojo”. It will help you find yours.
  • Build a support team.  This is a small group of people who believe in you and will help propel you forward.
  • Everyday, before you go to bed, take the time to write down everything you accomplished that day towards your goals.  Anything and Everything.  Feelings of accomplishment are powerful motivational tools to keep you moving forward.
As the founder of Suitcase Entrepreneur,  Natalie Sisson knows these fears first hand, as well. That’s why when she was recently handed $100 at the World Domination Summit and `told to have fun with it, surprise someone or start something special‘, she decided she needed to do much more than that.
She believed that this $100 change could potentially change lives. So she set about starting a movement that not only gives you a blueprint for creating change, but a framework of motivation, mentoring and a community to get it done. $100 Change is a program empowering you to start your dream project or business in 100 days for $100.

Natalie has pulled together 100 change makers from around the world, to share and impart their wisdom and advice over 100 days for $100. You will hear from Chris Guillebeau, Danielle LaPorte, Janet Hanson, Chris Brogan, Michael Stelzner, Cameron Herold, Steve Kamb, Laura Roeder, Jonathan Fields, Clay Collins, Pamela Slim, Amy Porterfield, Corbett Barr, Lewis Howes, Pat Flynn, Julien Smith, Nathalie Lussier, Christine Kloser, Adam Baker, Johnny B Truant, Pam Brossman, Derek Halpern, Alexis Neely and a host of amazing change makers from the world over (including myself!)

But $100 Change is so much more than a program designed to get you to take action and start something special.

It is also is a not-for-profit initiative that is driven by you, me and a community of people who want to create change and turn their dreams into reality.

The really unique part of this initiative, is that virtually all the money received from people who buy the $100 Change program (minus associated costs in putting it together) during the 100 program will be redistributed back into ten scholarships. So you spend $100 and you have a chance to receive it back tenfold.

Opportunity is knocking and I urge you to open that door. Tell me in the comments below- What would you start with your $100 Change Revolution? Do you know someone else who might benefit from the $100 Change initiative? Be sure to pass it along!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Are you consumed by your business or passion?

circlelinestudio on etsy
I've said it before, balance is bs. But what happens when your business takes over your life and your harmony gets out of sync? I have been utterly consumed with my business. Whether it’s thinking about new designs, pitching outlets, the app, new blog post, networking, product ideas, developing a team, planning events, plotting tutorials, collaborations, shop stats, branding, shipping, sewing, sourcing. I’m completely consumed. I’m obsessed. I think about it all day long. I even dream about it.

Realizing I needed to slow down, came by way of my 6 year old and a smart-alack comment to the tune of, "all you ever do is work on TrashN2Tees" Ouch. Topped with "I'm going to hide your sewing machine!" and a hand drawn picture of a sewing machine with a red x note slipped under my door. Double ouch. Have I been neglecting my family? Later that same evening, consumed with guilt and a glass of wine I sat down and revisited my super conditions. What does a successful biz/home life look like to me? When I'm in my zone- My business consumes me, but so does my family. They feed off of each other. It was time to re-adjust.

My family always comes first. They inspire everything I do. I am able nurture their curiosity, forage adventures, and provide for them because of my business. My vision and determination to change the way we consume and create, is for their future. The difference is simple: doing things for them is not the same as doing things with them.

Corbett Barr reassures me. He says,
If you’re absolutely, completely and fully committed to making your dream happen, you need to... Let yourself become consumed. Don’t feel bad about thinking about your dream every hour of every day. It takes that kind of focus to make big things happen.
The thing is, can you be consumed by 2 passions at once? I believe so, as long as you can stay balanced. As your business grows, your family grows- your system must be evolutionized. Tell me: Are you consumed by your business or other passion right now? Do you feel like it drives your success or suffocates you in other areas of your life?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

What's next you ask?

lisaweedn on etsy

This week I actually gave myself permission to relax. I've been non stop master mind planning, hustling, making, and doing. After the Create Change App Kickstarter was unsuccessfully funded- I automatically went into this warped damage control mode. I knew- I wasn't about to give up... but felt like I needed to have a calculated response when asked, "What's next?"

Were people really wanting a direct plan of action or just the satisfaction knowing that I wasn't prepared to give in so easily? I'm going to guess the latter. I received so much positive feedback, notes of encouragement, and support through out the campaign and especially afterwards- it was (and still is) in-cred-ible. Thank you!

My focus shifted from developing the app directly to hosting the Create Change Pledge Event on November 15th. This is a call to action for people all around the globe to take a virtual pledge and reuse 1 item for 1 day- realizing the impact we have on the environment. I will be inviting amazing eco bloggers and DIY'ers to join in and share a fantastic upcycled idea. Please feel free to recommend someone who might want to join the movement (yourself included!)

I wanted to have a sample prototype app together in time for our November event- and then once again try our hand at raising the funds for development. I met with Sean, from MM Tech Designs (the development/designer I've been working with), to hash out the details last Friday. Here's how the conversation played out.

Me:  Here's what I think we need to do to successfully raise the funds to develop the app. (Divulged lengthy detailed plan) 
Sean: I don't think we need to do that.
Me: Uhm? What do you mean... no moolah no app. 
Sean: My business partner and I discussed it and we're going to cover the costs.
Me: (speechless)  
Sean: You still there?

So there you have it- my crazy ginormously exciting news. The Create Change App, is funded! Like holy wow right? It's been hard letting it sink in, hard for me to accept such generosity. To have someone(s) willing to sacrifice their time, money, genius and join me in the ultimate goal of creating change in the world is entirely humbling. Never give up, no matter what- only seems appropriate right?

It's easy to get discouraged and disappointed, to walk away. But to really succeed you must keep trying- has there ever been a time in your life when it would've been easier to give up than go on? I would love to hear about it & how the experience helped you grow- share in the comments below.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Competition of Creative Business

Tonight- I'm nosing around on Etsy, when really I should be cleaning out old tags & updating my descriptions. Just then I receive a nice convo from a fellow seller- she starts out by complimenting my shop & goes on to say that she too- designs appliques using reclaimed materials. She wants to know if I use reclaimed tees and mentions that shes not sure how to price her items. Has this ever happened to you? How do you handle it? 

Anyone who knows me personally, knows without a doubt that I am extremely competitive. It's hardwired into my system through years of conditioning and competing in sports ever since I was a wee bit. Can you see me running up the steps in Philly with my Ginghers in hand re-enacting the scene from Rocky? *running with scissors is unsafe and should not be attempted

This convo came from someone I should deem 'competition.' It is one of many I've received and responded to. Yes siree, I wrote back answered her questions (not about pricing) and shared the whole TN2T kit & kaboodle. When it boils down to certain business aspects, for me at least- there is no us vs. them.

A great example, Lauren's gem of comment last month on my Create Change App feature at Sustainablog.
We share the same end goal. We're playing for the same team. There is enough to go around, and heck, if I could get my way I would want MORE people out there sharing the message, selling eco friendly designs, and taking action to make a difference in the world.

Every woman who becomes rich by competition throws down behind her the ladder by which she rises, and keeps others down; but every woman who gets rich by creation opens a way for thousands to follow her, and inspires them to do so. - Wallace D. Wattles

I never realized this about myself, but I suppose I'm some type of a romantic (or nincompoop!) I want to support others in their creative dreams and passions. In my mind it could be a matter of a mom getting the opportunity to stay at home with her young children. That's exactly why I write about how to get found, the importance of making connections, and why I'm about to spill my guts on failing big- that's an upcoming post. The lessons I learn, I choose to share- so others aren't making the same mistakes.  I'm successful because I focus on what I bring to the table, the unique experience and services I can provide. The focus should always be your customers, not the competition. 

Post a comment below and share your thoughts about creativity & competition. Have you been faced with a similar situation or a copy cat? Would you handle it a different way?

Fresh Off the Scissors

Trendy Cheeseburger Applique Boys Tshirt by TrashN2Tees 12-18m
Dinosaur Tshirt Boys Long Sleeve 6y by TrashN2Tees
Textured Tee Corn Harvest Fall 4y by TrashN2Tees   
Werewold Womans Raglan Small by TrashN2Tees

Happy National Sewing Month!

I'm tickled to be a part of the National Sewing Month festivities over on The Sewing Loft. Heather has put together a month long celebration of our favorite-must-have craft tools, and simple tutorials to use them! Drop by & get crafty! I summed up my love for the rotary cutter in ode form and shared this upcycled tshirt gift wrapping tutorial just in time for you adorn your packages this holiday season!

Super fun & easy way to rock out your holiday packaging- and the best part is it's reusable! I like to include pin backs to my finished bow topper that make great brooches or add a little something something to your head band (or bracelet!) Here's an idea of how I reuse mine: 


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