Blog has moved

November 18, 2009

Hi everyone. I have moved my blog to a new location on a new website. Come visit me here:

http://www.bettersmarterricher.com

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Hello Orlando Attendees

September 19, 2009

Thanks to all of you who attended the Orlando Session on 10 Steps to Business Success for Creative Entrepreneurs! It was great.
I will have more info posted on the web site soon. Tune in!

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Branding Yourself

September 11, 2009

I was thinking today about how creatives tend to be so focused on their art that they forget how they are perceived by their potential customers.

What comes to mind is a client who is a very talented pianist who also teaches. I heard her introduce herself in one of my classes as a piano teacher. I really got after her! We worked on her unique value proposition until she could easily say: ” I am a concert pianist who plays classical music the way the composers meant it to be played- with energy and spirit!”

What we say about ourselves really matters. Remember the old saying, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. That is the way it is with how you introduce yourself and what you do. Consider every interaction an opportunity to let the whole world know how great and special you are.

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Speaking Engagements

September 11, 2009

Four exciting speaking engagements are coming up.
I will be in Orlando Sept. 14-17 to speak at the national conference of the Association of Small Business Development Centers. I will be presenting on “Ten Secrets of Business Success for Creative Entrepreneurs” to SBDC business advisers from all over the country! I am excited.

On September 25, I will be delivering the same talk to the SBDC advisers From across Oregon at our annual training meeting in Corvallis.

On November 15 I will be speaking at Working Artists Network event on Money- watch for announcements.

On November 19 I will be speaking at the Self Employed Creative Professionals Meeting on cash flow and pricing.

Hope you can catch one of them.

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Artists need a business mind set

August 21, 2009

I was working last week with a jewelry designer last week who was consulting with me about how to get her business working for her. First of all , I liked the question. I totally believe that the reason we have a business at all is so that it will accomplish something for us. Then we talked about the business of designing and selling jewelry. We talked about how to gather costs of production- both labor and material and how to use those costs as the basis for setting prices. What she has to keep in mind is how she will distribute her jewelry. She can sell directly to the end user/consumer and she can also sell through stores and other outlets.

In either case, she needs to set the right price. So, she needs to work against her ultimate retail price. She wants to make sure that when she sells direct to the consumer she sells at or near the same price as the stores that carry her line will sell. So to set her prices she must both know her costs and the retail prices her pieces will command. Then she can plan production based on estimates of how many pieces she can sell at wholesale and at retail and plan her production and her financial commitments accordingly.

Costing and pricing and planning are all part of the business mind set that successful artists and artisans cultivate. Know the cost, know your end market and plan your production to meet financial goals. Read the rest of this entry »

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Distractions

August 4, 2009

Since my long trip I have had to work hard to get my mind back “in the groove” and get to work on my book.  It has made me think about how easy it is to get distracted when we have the mind set of sitting down and getting to work.

Finally I thought really hard about what was stopping me from moving forward and it was silly things; my computer was not in the right spot so it was handy to work on when I was mentally ready (I set it up a different space.)  I would sit down to write and my mind went blank! (I made a list with dates on what I would write about so I can get right to work when I sit down at the computer).  I needed to get my computer fixed (I called a repair person.

You get it – we all go though this.  How to you overcome the distractions that stop you from doing your work?

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Important tools for creatives

August 1, 2009

I met with a new client last week.  She is working as the development director for a new school.  She is very talented at what she does.  But, it turns out, she is really a writer. She wrote a book about her  life experiences and how she broke through abuse and fear to become her own person and therfore a powerful woman.  She certainly took her power.  She self published her book and sold 45,000 copies about 10 years ago.   But she ran out of money and energy and finally took a “real job”  But now, with the power of the internet, blogs, web sites, pod casts, and teleconferences, she is excited about her book again. The message of the book  is timeless so it will still be relevant today.  What is different is that  the tools  to market have changed.  Now she can “sell to the whole world” because of the electronic tools available to her. She is once again excited by the prospect of being able to focus on what she loves most.  She is going to quit her job and once more devote her time and energy to her passion:  marketing her book.

This is an important lesson for all of us creatives.  Today, like never before, we have an entirely new arsenal of marketing tools at hand.  We can be specialists and  still find a broad enough market for our work because we can ” sell to the whole world”.

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I have been traveling

August 1, 2009

Hello everyone.  My husband and I have been away on an extended vacation.  We traveled over 7000 miles and saw lots of beautiful country.  I got time to think and plan and renew my energy- just like you also need to renew your creative juices from time to time.   I have lots of new energy for this blog and for working to help creative entrepreneurs become financially successful.  After all, it is creative energy that will renew our economy and our country; together we are creating a new economy and it is not easy to make something that has never existed before.

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Food By Hand Seminars

May 23, 2009

For those of you whose passion for creativity shows up in food, check out the Food by Hand Seminars.  Next seminar is June 10-13 in Portland, Oregon.  Focus is Becoming a Cheesemonger.  I will be presenting on business planning for Cheese Retailers on June 11.

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Presentation at Oregon Film Office Event

May 23, 2009

On May 21 I got to make a presentaton to media entrepreneurs at on Oregon Film Office Event.  Many attendees are interested in how to start a successful creative business and how to grow the ones they already have.  Creative entrepreneurs have so many opportunities it is hard to choose a cours of action.  I always suggest they focus on only one product or service that they are good at, passionate about and it has a good market or future.

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