2015girl

Yup, this is all about how to catch a lucky break, how to find short cuts and hit that grand slam – whether it be in business, relationships, or personal achievements. It’s from my personal experience, so adjust at will to fit your life! I’m gonna lay it out step-by-step for you to make it easy!

The truth is, EVERYONE will have their own lucky break or short cut at some point in the game of life. Some people get it early, some people years down the road. But no matter what point that it hits, you have to put in the work to keep it. Everyone gets their turn in the spotlight, so the more you plan on what to do with your time, the better!

AND the more you work in the direction of your specific goal, the more you will come across those breaks and short cuts, they seem to manifest organically. I’ve never been one to rely on these or wait for them. They are like the little surprise coins that pop up in video games as you make your way through each level. Grab them and keep going!

Here is my list for what has worked for me, I hope it helps you too!

1. A SPECIFIC PASSION!

I’ve found that the real magic comes from having passion and letting it SHINE in ALL you do. Make it clear. Weave it in to everything you do and all that you are about. I never think about trends or fame or competition – but strictly about what makes me feel good and how it can help the greater good. It helps me to pinpoint my sense of purpose. As for you, maybe it is to make people happy through your words or your art or your voice, etc. Maybe it is to educate or enlighten people. Identify your passion, and celebrate it and tell yourself that you want to have a career in just that, believe that you can, and identify the steps to get there and follow through.

2. SET GOALS LIKE A BOSS.

I pretend like I run Oprah’s company and have to provide a strategic plan for the year. Except it is my company, and it is just as important and vital and valuable as Oprah’s! Every year, I think “What are the top three areas I want to grow?” Think of each one as a flower pot. Last year for me it was writing, illustration/licensing and lifestyle blogging. I watered and nurtured each one until they grew branches and flowers!

3. STRATEGIZE AN ACTION PLAN.

For each goal, I make a list of things I need to do to make that goal happen – like a set of directions for a craft tutorial, right? Strategize. It helps to find role models and see what they are doing and see how you can draw inspiration to apply to your own signature style. Research, educate yourself. If you want to build followers on Vine, research the different types of populars Viners, see what they do and find your own way to do that too. If you want more engagement in your social media, research the specific platforms on how to do that. If you want to get better at drawing noses, look up videos on YouTube. In other words, you will never reach your goals unless you take tangible action. MAKE SURE EVERY MOVE BACKS UP YOUR GOAL!

4. NO DILLYDALLYING (SELF-SABOTAGE).

That’s a word my dad always used. OK, if you plan to reorganize your office, don’t go shopping for furniture or paint until you’ve cleaned out the space first. Stop productive procrastination. Get in there to your action list and get the job done, even if it is a bit a day to keep it moving. Stop making excuses, stop being lazy, sacrifice some lazy time and bust it out already, you will feel so good afterwards!

kathy-imac

All this just to sit down and write out my book outline. Really?

 

Here is some real talk about how I am FAR from perfect. After I came back from Mexico recently, I had a breakthrough with my novel. A new, fantastic storyline. I came home ready to write. BUT…I needed a new desktop computer, but before I could buy that, I needed a new desk. I bought a desk but it was too big so I had to rearrange my studio, which led to having to totally deep clean my studio. Then I set up the desk, and went and bought the new computer. I came home, set it up, but the desk was too high so I needed a new chair that could lift higher. Off to Staples I went in search of the perfect adjustable height seat so I could complete my awesome book outline.

roma-chair-sealy

Somehow I talked myself into buying this $300 Sealy Roma chair. I deserved it! I excitedly lugged it home and showed it off. Inside, the guilt of all the money I’d spent was nagging at me. Not to mention the fact that I hadn’t written a word of my book. Yes, I needed the desk and the computer, but the chair was a silly, frivolous purchase. For the next few days, my neck and legs kept throbbing. I realized (fat girl problem) the armrests on the chair where too narrow for my hips and they were making my legs numb. It’s like my guilt for the chair manifested physically into my chubby thighs! And I still hadn’t written anything of my book! Finally, I broke down and confessed to the family. They didn’t care about the chair, they just wanted me to feel better – and to feel better that meant to get writing!  We returned the chair, got a refund (and someone bought the chair within minutes, LOL!).

Hello? That is dillydallying! The chair experience was an eyeopener for me to stop farting around and finish polishing up my book outline so I could send it to my agent. Otherwise it was just self-sabotage, me preventing myself from completing my dream/goal/action plan! Don’t let this happen to you!

5. BE GRATEFUL, HUMBLE & KIND.

If you receive an opportunity that maybe isn’t to your liking, still be grateful and see how you can pay it forward, or at least be kind. Skip the diva attitude. Here in the blogging world, we get lots of pitches for campaigns. Some pay, some don’t. I actually had one professional invite me to a big paying, high profile campaign because she said I was nice to her when she was an intern for a smaller non-paying campaign by writing about a product she pitched. That made my whole day! A simple interaction via email, phone or real life can really make a difference in someone’s life! Remember, everything revolves around people working with people and everyone deserves respect. Sometimes the representatives are doing their best with what they have to work with, and who knows, they could eventually move up the ranks to help you down the road!

6. BE CONSISTENT, FOLLOW THROUGH!

Finish what you start, live up to your word. One tip – instead of saying, “Here is a new weekly series I’m doing!” just say, “Here is a new series I’m doing!” Remove the weekly commitment so it doesn’t look bad if you skip a week. And so you don’t feel like a loser. The main thing is to keep it going. I always tell my kids – the secret to success is following through. To me, there is nothing more annoying than starting something and not finishing. I have a good friend who wanted to learn to crochet. I kept getting frustrated with her because she kept pulling out her work if she didn’t like it. She didn’t think it was good enough. She’d work at it and then look at it and shake her head and unravel the stitches! I know there is a life metaphor there, right? After all her hard work, she had NOTHING to show. It bummed her out and lessened her confidence. I told her not to pull out her stitches – push through and finish one crochet project so she could get better as she worked and she could see her improvement. To have that sense of accomplishment! It’s so easy to give up when things get difficult or they don’t turn out as well as we visualized. Well, perfection does not happen on first tries. You have to WORK to get there. You have to have wonky crochet stitches in life to finally produce the pretty ones.

7. BE YOUR OWN FAIRY GODMOTHER.

I rely on no one, I always have the mindset that I’m in this alone unless I hire help. I don’t wait for someone to come along and save me. My advice to you is stop waiting for a shout out or a revine or a referral or a mentor or a teacher or a class, or a sign, etc… Pretend those things do not exist. Work as if you have to do it all on your own, on your own budget, on your own timeline. Tell yourself, it ain’t gonna happen unless YOU follow through. Then when those things do happen, and they will, it will be the most awesome surprise!

8. CONTRIBUTE GOOD ENERGY.

I recently unfollowed some folks (none of whom I even know, honestly!) on social media because their posts were either griping, lecturing or bragging. The eye rolls started adding up. I cleaned house for 2015! For Facebook, you don’t have to defriend, you can always unfollow their feed. It’s a great way to take control of the energy you bring into your world. And it helped keep me in check to not be like that. side note: Every so often it is good to review your social media feeds from a ‘big picture’ stand point. It’s a good way to see if you need to engage more with others, pull back on the whining, etc., or even toot your own horn more.

9. HAVE CONFIDENCE IN YOURSELF AND DON’T FORCE SHORT CUTS.

Be genuine with your passion and mission. If you truly believe in what you are doing, and are putting the strategy, time and effort and love into it, good things will come, I promise. It kills me when I see otherwise nice people take unprofessional short cuts, stretch the truth or even buy followers to make themselves look bigger. Those things don’t last and have no substance. So know what you want, and work towards it – but be creative! If everyone is going about it one way, find other ways to get there that are still valid, but not as common. Get crafty in the mind!

10. BE OPEN TO NEW TEACHERS.

Be open to learning from unexpected teachers. Don’t think you can only learn XYZ from XYZ people. Many times you can learn ABC from XYZ people or vice versa, you just have to open your mind and not let age, genre, looks, style get in the way. Don’t judge where the inspiration or lesson comes from – take it and then teach it too! I LOVE watching Restaurant Start Up on CNBC for branding tips, and movies on Hallmark for uplifting themes to weave into my work. Inspiration is free and can come from anywhere!

11. TRY NEW LANES.

We all find comfort in driving in our lane. But you know what? Venturing out is a good thing. If you drive in the same lane as last year, you’ll repeat most of what happened. So mix it up – try new conferences, new classes, learn new skills, blog about new topics, add new themes to your art – again bringing them all back around to support your main goal. Wear gloves and a sexy long scarf that blows in the wind. See what it feels like to do something different. One of my biggest lessons in this area was when my husband and I took off 10 days of the busiest time of our art season…to take a vacation! We went to San Miguel de Allende for a week and it was the BEST adventure ever. It allowed me to not be a workaholic, to stop and be in control of my time and happiness. I was filled with so much inspiration! It was worth leaving our routine to do something big and better!

12. BE A MAGNET FOR ABUNDANCE.

Close your eyes and imagine yourself as a magnet. What do you want to stick to you? Abundance is a good thing because it allows us choices and freedom. STOP calling yourself a starving artist or saying that you are forever single or always broke. Change the phrases in your mind to be positive. This is the year you’ll level up in your art career, this is the year you are going to meet new and wonderful people, this is the year you are going to bring more income in your life. Imagine happily paying your bills without stress or getting hired for an awesome assignment that will show off your work and brand. Set it up in your mind to attract these things! It can’t hurt, right? Again, taking the steps to follow through.

13. DO YOU, BOO-BOO, JUST DO YOU.


Block the haters, ignore the annoying people and situations, the things you can’t fix, spare the judgement. Why waste your time on them? How will it fix anything for you to dwell on that topic? Take your laser beam pointer off of those moments and point it at what matters – YOUR PASSION! Focus on being the best you so you can breed artfulness and awareness.

14. DITCH THE SCORECARD, GIVE WITHOUT EXPECTATION.

No explanation needed!

I hope these tips help you have a fabulous 2015! What tips do you have to share,please leave them in the comments below!

Love & light,

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