how to stop procrastinating

I work with this amazing woman, we'll call her Melissa, who says she's a horrible procrastinator. 
The story she tells herself about herself is that she's someone who puts things off until the last minute. She says she succumbs to every little distraction, and that she wastes time on things that don't really need doing (like organizing her desk for the thousandth time) to avoid doing the important things (like finishing her latest work project).
I know many of you can relate because you've shared that you also put off doing your work by…
Taking personal calls in the middle of your working hours.
Deciding you're too tired and just need to nap.
Scrolling social media for hours on end.
Deciding the house really needs to be cleaned before you can do anything else.
Then the end of the day comes or your deadline arrives and you realize you haven't completed the work you set out to do. 
You know procrastinating is a problem – and like Melissa, you may be looking for a way to solve it so it doesn't affect your work and productivity so much. That's why I'm going to share the simplest solution I have in my toolbox today: You need to stop calling yourself a procrastinator. 
Because the biggest issue you have is that you believe you're a procrastinator. And because you believe it, you allow yourself to do things that prove that label true again and again and again. You procrastinate, and then think well, that's just me being me so you never break the pattern.
Don't worry. You can do something about this – and it doesn't require 7 steps or excessive willpower either. Instead, you need to flip the switch and find a new belief to focus on when you find yourself going down the path of procrastination.
Call it a mantra, call it a new thought to think. What you're looking for is a simple statement that gets you thinking and acting like you're the kind of person who gets work done, not the kind of person who procrastinates doing the work. 
Here are a few options that could work for you…
I don't procrastinate. 
I don't get distracted.
I get shit done.
I do things today, not tomorrow.
I'm choosing to take action, not delay it.
Adopt one of these statements, or create your own. Then once you've found a belief that resonates, use it. Say it out loud when you catch yourself indulging in procrastination. Put it on a sticky note and post it on your computer monitor as a subtle reminder. Write it on your bathroom mirror where you'll see it every day. 
If you can do this, you'll slowly start to believe that you're the kind of person who gets stuff done, not the kind of person who procrastinates. And as you take the actions that prove your new thought to be true, your trust in it – and belief that you're a person who has overcome the tendency to procrastinate – will grow stronger.
With love,

don't think you have anything to say?

I don't have anything to say.
Whether you're trying to write your first newsletter or are struggling to create a caption for an Instagram post, THIS is one of the biggest beliefs holding you back from creating content for your business. 
I don't have anything to say might seem like a pretty innocent thought but it can limit you in big ways. That's because it's hard to create content from a place of self-criticism or doubt. And honestly, if you don't think you have anything to say, you'll struggle to find anything to say at all
So how do you get past this belief when you feel absolutely certain it's true?
The solution is at once simple and complex. It's simple because you just need to do one thing. It's complex because that one thing requires a willingness to question your own beliefs, and that isn'talways easy. 
The thing you need to do is find a way to believe that the opposite is true. You need to find a way to believe that you DO have something to say.
I know that feels impossible right now but hang with me for a moment because I'm going to help you get there.
Here's how: we're going to use the power of a great question to move you toward the new belief. In this situation, my favorite question to ask yourself is what would I write about if I WAS the kind of person who had something to say? 
This might seem too easy but this process works because your brain is primed to answer questions. So when you ask it this particular question, it will get you thinking like someone who has something to say – and give you at least a few hints (if not an outright answer) as to what that something could be.
In the very least, you'll have some loose ideas to build on, which is better than the blank page you had before. In the best case scenario, you'll know exactly what you want and need to say in the next piece of content you create.
With love,
P.S. Earlier this week, I shared a new way to get my support that's getting people great results in their business: a single 90-minute Strategy Session. (Here's the announcement if you missed it.) If you want to claim a session for yourself and get my support solving your biggest challenges in your business right now, send me an email at

the ONE thing you need to do to reach your goals this month

If you’re like most creatives and entrepreneurs, the start of a new month means it’s time to set new goals. So you turn over a fresh page in your planner and write down a goal you’d like to focus on this month.

Then you go about business as usual. Maybe you occasionally think about that goal or set aside a few minutes to work toward it. But it’s not necessarily top of mind, which is why you don’t always achieve it.

I want you to experience something different this month. I want you to reach your goal. So let’s start here: name your goal. Put it in your planner. Write it on your white board or chalkboard or plop it into your project manager.

Then ask yourself this question: what’s one action I could take this month to make achieving my goal inevitable?

The action will be different for everyone but it should be something you can repeat daily or weekly that will virtually guarantee your success. If you need a little guidance, here are a few examples of goals and actions someone might take to make achieving their goal a sure thing.


Goal: Get a guest blog published on a popular platform.

Repeated Action: Pitch 8 guest blog posts to different platforms this month.


Goal: Finish my web site.

Repeated Action: Work on my site for 1 hour each day.


Goal: Get 3 new clients this month.

Repeated Action: Talk with 4 new people who might be potential clients or a good source of client referrals each week.


Now that you have the details nailed down, you need to decide if you are really willing to commit to taking that action day in and day out (or week in and week out). Because you have to commit for this process to work.

If you’re committed, you’re ready . So go ahead and calendar the repeated action you’re going to take this month and get started right away.

Much love,


my secrets to simplifying your social media

At least once a week, someone asks me how they can make the whole social media thing less stressful and more manageable – and boy, do I get it. Between the Facebook posts and the pins and the tweets and the Instagram stories, it's easy to feel like you're stretched too thin as you try to keep up with it all. 
I also hear you when you say that your content strategy on social media feels chaotic at worst and haphazard at best because most of the time you're just throwing up posts at the last minute and hoping they engage the right people. 
Now I'll be honest: I'm not a social media expert. So if you're expecting me to talk about algorithms or creating Instagram pods, you're going to be disappointed. 
But if you want to simplify your social media strategy so it doesn't take up so much of your time and brain space each day, I'm your gal. 
In fact, today I'm going to share three specific strategies I use in my business to make social media more manageable. Here they are, in no particular order:
1. Focus on two platforms.
You do not have to be everywhere. In fact, at the start, it's probably better if you're not. I believe focusing on just two platforms – and doing them really well – is far better than doing a mediocre job posting and engaging on all the platforms. So go ahead and pick your two favorite platforms, ideally the ones that allow you to use your talents (i.e. if you're a great photographer, choose Instagram and if you're amazing on video, go live on Facebook). Then take the time to master those two platforms before you ever consider adding a third.
2. Give your content a little framework.
Coming up with original, inspiring posts and images every day of the week is a truly hard task – especially when you're starting with a blank slate. The solution: create a loose framework for your content so you don't have to start over from scratch each day but can still exercise your creativity. What do I mean by framework? One example is that you could assign a content category to each day of the week but allow yourself freedom to share different messages about that content category on any given day. You could also decide ahead of time what type of posts you put up each day. So you might always share a quote on Mondays and introduce yourself every Friday but do it in a different way each week.
3. Pick a tool – and stick with it.
There are so many tools that can help you with social media from project management sites like Asana and Trello to design sites like Canva to scheduling tools like Buffer and Meet Edgar. None of them will be the perfect solution for all your needs so your best bet is to pick one and stick with it. That way you won't waste time bouncing around from solution to solution trying to find the perfect fit. 
Last but not least, cut yourself a little slack. Remember that you don't have to be perfect, and neither does your social strategy. If you post something that doesn't engage people like you'd hoped it would or forget to post entirely or need to do a social media detox for the weekend, that's ok too. 
With love,

what simplifying your business really means

I talk a lot about simplifying your business. About how simplifying is the thing you can do to make your business work. About how it can lead to more growth. About how it can lessen your overwhelm. And about how it can create more freedom for you in your business, and your life.

But you might be thinking that’s nice, but what does simplifying your business actually mean? So today, I wanted to share 5 things you can do to simplify your business right now.


Focus on just a few projects.

It’s hard to make progress on your projects if you’re trying to tackle dozens of them at once. So instead of trying to do it all, try focusing on just one or two projects at a time; do them really well and to completion before you add anything else to your plate.


Keep your blinders on.

New strategies to help you grow your business pop up every day, and you could easily spend your working hours trying to learn and execute ALL of them. But that would spread you pretty thin and slow your progress too. Instead, you should weigh your options and pick a strategy or two that feel like a good fit for you. Then give yourself permission to focus solely on them and ignore the rest.


Start relying on systems.

Systems aren’t the sexiest thing to talk about but they can make a world of difference in your business. If you aren’t using systems yet, you should first take the time to figure out what kind of systems you need. Once you pinpoint your needs, you can set the systems up and start using them to create more flow and ease in your business and life.


Get support.

Simplifying your business often means doing less better so you may need to find someone to pick up the slack and tackle the tasks you don’t have time for anymore. For example, you might bring on someone to help with administrative work or start outsourcing certain tasks like graphic design or copywriting. Whatever you choose, getting support will give you the freedom to focus on the most important things in your business – the things that will help it grow.


Recognize what’s important.

Most creatives and entrepreneurs are juggling a lot of to-dos in their business, which can lead to overwhelm. The important thing to recognize here is that you probably don’t have to get to all those to-dos; you just need to handle the important ones. Simplifying your business means learning to prioritize those important tasks and letting any seemingly urgent busywork go.  


These are a few of my favorite strategies for simplifying your business but I know plenty more exist. If you have a tip or tool to share, hit reply and let me know how you’re simplifying your business right now.

With love,



P.S. The tips above are great for simplifying your overall approach to growing your business. But I also love getting more specific with you by helping you simplify key elements of entrepreneurship, like your visibility game.

If ‘get featured’ is on your goal list and the whole process of pitching is feeling overwhelming and unmanageable right now, I invite you to check out The Pitch Partner. In this new 1:1 coaching partnership, you’ll learn how to simplify the pitching process so you can get featured and get visible with more confidence and greater ease.

Click here to learn more and see if The Pitch Partner is a good fit for you.

4 mistakes people make when pitching (and how you can avoid them)

Whether you joined the All Eyes On You Challenge last week or not, I've heard from enough of you to know that getting featured is something you very much want to make happen this year. I also know that you realize you need to learn how to pitch if you're going to make that goal a reality.

I'd like to help you with that. So let's start by talking about the most common mistakes people make with pitching - and what you should do instead.

Mistake #1: They don’t do their research. 
It’s a huge mistake to write and send a pitch without ever researching the place or publication you want to get featured in because it decreases your likelihood of getting a yes. Skipping the research step might save you time up front but this approach won’t give you great results – if it gets you anywhere at all.

What to do instead: After you decide who you’re pitching, take the time to research the platform. You don’t need to go overboard though; if you’re pitching a podcast, listen to a few episodes to make sure it’s a good fit and get a sense for the host’s style. If you’re pitching a magazine, read a few issues and learn what kind of content they publish, and don’t. Knowing these kinds of details ahead of time will help you send better pitches and make a great first impression with the people on the receiving end of your pitch.

Mistake #2: They don’t sing their own praises.
Look, I get it. It’s uncomfortable to talk about yourself – especially when it feels like you’re bragging about your accomplishments. But if you want the people you’re pitching to understand why you or your products or services are worth featuring, you have to highlight what sets you apart. If you leave that piece out of your pitch, you’ll just blend in with everyone else.
What to do instead: Before you hit send on a pitch, pause to read it and ask yourself: have I taken the time to share what makes me valuable here? If not, add in a line or two to highlight your accomplishments so people know exactly why you’re someone worth featuring.

Mistake #3: They don’t factor their business goals into their pitching plans.
It’s easy to convince yourself that you want to get featured in the same places everyone else does, which are likely the biggest, brightest opportunities around. Those places might be a match for you too but you’ll never know that for sure if you don’t take the time to ask yourself if they’re a good fit for you and your current business goals.
What to do instead: Before you jump on the bandwagon and start pitching the places everyone else is pitching, think about the results you want to achieve in your business right now. Then ask yourself if getting featured in the publications you’re thinking of pitching would actually help you achieve those goals. If it would, pitch away. If not, it’s time to think of alternative places to pitch so you can get visible in a way that supports your goals. 

Mistake #4: They wait too long to pitch.
This last mistake isn’t actually one you make when you pitch – it happens when you decide to skip pitching all together because you don’t think you’re ready or professional enough or a big enough deal to get featured. The truth is that there are opportunities for people in all stages of business to get featured. If you take yourself out of the game, you’ll miss out on every one.
What to do instead: The first step is to get your messaging, website, and social media profiles ready. (Don't worry: it's not as complicated as it sounds.) After that, give yourself permission to just start – and you don’t have to start at the top either. You can start by pitching smaller publications or by appearing on friends' podcasts or by writing for lesser known blogs. But whatever you do, stop waiting. It's time to take action now.

With love,


what to do when fear gets in the way

Of all the things standing in your way of getting visible, fear is the one I hear about the most. 
I’m talking about a fear of being seen. I’m talking about a fear of being found out and called a fraud. I’m talking about the fears we have that our work isn’t good enough and about the fears that tell us we don’t have anything unique to say. 
I’m talking about the fear that we might start getting visible and fail, and the fear that we’ll be so good at visibility that we won’t be able to manage that level of success. (Yes, people actually fear success too.)

Like it or not, I think we can all agree that we have fears around visibility. It’s what you decide to do to manage them that matters. 
If you’re ready to start managing those fears so you can reach your visibility goals with more confidence and ease, I’m going to suggest doing a Fear Dump.
I learned about this exercise from my friend Sonia Ruyts, who is a talented creative, a yarn shop owner, a blogger and a podcast host; she learned about it from her mentor Megan Flatt. (I say this all to give credit where credit is due here – though I’ve tweaked the exercise just slightly to simplify it for you.) 
Here’s how you use it:

Set a timer for 5 minutes.

Grab a journal or sheet of paper and write down all your fears and uncertainties around getting visible. Don’t hold back or edit your thoughts – let them all out.

At the end of the 5 minutes, go through the list and, as you look at each fear, ask yourself: Why is this NOT true? 

The beautiful thing about this exercise is that it gets all your fears around visibility out of your head and onto paper where you can observe them. Even better? When you take the time to ask yourself why each thought is NOT true, you invite your curious, creative brain to come up with evidence that pokes holes in your reasoning. 

You create some doubt about your fears and start to see them for what they really are: beliefs, not facts.
Now I’d love to hear from you. What’s one fear you have around visibility? Hit reply to share yours and get my support coming up with reasons it’s NOT true. I answer every email personally, and really do want to hear from you and see how this exercise plays out.

With love,


an interview on growing a business while doing social good with Julie Sullivan of Ground Up

Julie Sullivan grew up in Oregon and, after graduating college, spent two years working for a social enterprise in Northern Uganda. When she returned home, she continued to explore ways to volunteer and give back, eventually creating plans to launch a social enterprise company.

Today Julie runs Ground Up with her business partner, Carolyn Cesario; together, these two women are spreading good with a line of nut butters that tastes delicious and promotes social change too.


What did your path to launching Ground Up look like?

At 13, my eyes were completely opened during a service trip to the streets of San Francisco. From then on, I spent all of my energy finding ways to create opportunity for women in need of help. This ultimately led me to Uganda, where I oversaw operations for a social enterprise with a team of 160 women facing extreme poverty.

I will always remember Stella. She helped me to see firsthand the power of opportunity, as she walked through our gate with very little financially and low self-esteem. Two years later, she left the organization to confidently run her own small business. It was amazing the impact we had. She was able to save money from this job and, through the educational training, she was able to provide for her children’s education, believe in herself and know that no one in the family was going to bed hungry. It was a powerful example of the ripple effect of giving one woman an opportunity.

I saw how an employment training program worked and thought – why isn’t anyone doing this back home? So I returned to my hometown of Portland, Oregon and set out to use my experiences abroad to create a similar program here at home. 

Through local, hands-on research with non-profit organizations, I saw that there is a gap in employment for impoverished women. They have the motivation to work but may lack the skills, experience or confidence to be hired by an employer, so that’s where Ground Up comes in.

The only problem was I didn’t have a product at first. I believe that business can be a powerful tool for social change and I was set on creating a business that could sustain itself. That’s when my business partner Carolyn came into the picture.

What did Carolyn bring to the table?

Several years ago, she experienced a lot of health issues, which launched her on a journey to healing. She discovered that food truly could be medicine. It can be healing and powerful and can fuel you in a way that makes you feel great. Throughout the various doctor-mandated diets she went on, nut butter quickly become one of her favorite healthy and nutritious treats. It fueled her, tasted delicious and made her feel good.

But when a scoop of nut butter is your “guilty pleasure”, you want it to taste absolutely delicious! And that wasn’t the case for many nut butters she found on the market so she started making her own. After much experimenting, she discovered that a unique almond-cashew base provided the most creamy consistency. She played around with flavors, infusing them with cardamom, lavender and even smoked honey – combinations she wasn’t finding anywhere else on the market. 

When I met Carolyn, she had no intention of starting a nut butter business. I went to her house one day to learn how to make it, not at all with the intention of business but mostly for my own selfish desire to learn how to make nut butter. (I am also a huge nut butter fan!) 

During that time, we talked about my employment training program vision and why I hadn’t pursued it further. When the missing piece was a product, Carolyn was intrigued to hop on board. We started by making each small batch in a small food processor two jars an hour and hosted a tasting where we got great feedback from friends and family.  Before we knew it we had orders coming in and Ground Up PDX was born.


What drew you to entrepreneurship over going a more traditional path?

There are a number of factors. After moving home from Uganda, I found myself not fulfilled or challenged in the work I was doing. By choosing the path of entrepreneurship, every day is new and different and each day there is a new problem to solve. I also was drawn to the piece that I would get to use all of my skillsets to build and create something.

I think there is a misconception that entrepreneurship equals flexibility in your schedule.  It is true to an extent but when you are doing something you love you end up putting many un-clocked hours in to see it succeed!


Why did you decide to make a social impact with your for-profit company, and how did you decide which cause was the right fit for you?

I believe that business can be a powerful tool for social change and every business has the opportunity to do good and create a social impact. I could not have seen starting this business any other way. The business was birthed more from seeing the need and creating the social impact model before the product came into play. 

Through local, hands on research, I saw that there is a gap in employment for impoverished women. They have the motivation to work but may lack the skills, experience or confidence to be hired by an employer. So that’s where the vision for a 6 to 9 month employment training program came into play. Through part-time work, these women will find the skills, confidence and understanding they need to transition into sustainable full-time employment.


What does a day in your working life look like? And are you full time in your business or is it a side-hustle for you?

No day looks the same! It involves everything from nut butter production to labeling product to get ready to hit the shelf to email communication to working at farmer’s markets and other events where we sample our product. Other days, I’m driving around dropping off samples and meeting with potential new wholesale accounts. Or meeting with potential partners and working with our interns as we pilot the employment training program. I’m full-time in the business but have a number of different side hustles too.


In the early days of your business, what were your biggest challenges, real or self-imposed?

Our biggest challenges were maintaining cash flow and figuring out how to make the shift from our small food processors to a more efficient production system. As well, we struggled to figure out where to pour our energy. We had a lot of ideas for sales channels to pursue, promoting our brand, etc. but we had to figure out how to narrow down where our energy was going. There are only so many hours in a day!


How have you worked to overcome your challenges?

We have secured a couple sales channels that bring us more consistent cash flow. We received money to purchase a larger food processor and move into a commercial kitchen. (We now make 30 jars an hour!) I think we are still continuing to learn how to narrow down our focus of where to spend our energy. Something that has been super helpful is having yearly, quarterly and monthly goals, and then each week set specific tasks that will help you reach your monthly goals and to-do lists. This has helped us when we have bigger ideas we want to pursue to see where they best fit in the timeline.


How have you learned to simplify your business and find focus when – as you so accurately described it – entrepreneurship can feel like you’re operating in a pinball machine?

Sometimes we still feel like we are operating a pinball machine. The biggest thing we have learned to simplify our business and find focus is to come back to our “why” as well as utilize our skillsets best. Carolyn and I both have different strengths that compliment each other, so really letting the person own the areas of the business where they have the skills is key. And then within those areas really setting quarterly and monthly and even weekly goals helps to keep on focus. 


What drives you to continue giving your time and energy to Ground Up, even when it’s hard?

It’s the vision for the impact that can be had in women’s lives here in Portland. We have had two interns from a local teen shelter work with us and they are truly what motivates me to get up each day. The reminder that we can play a part in giving someone an opportunity and helping them believe in themselves, gain confidence and discover their strengths to ultimately lead them into sustainable job opportunities. The vision for this training program is big and we have already seen huge strides in the lives of the couple girls we have worked with. I know that there is more to do and we cannot grow our employment training program without growing our sales channels, so I stay motivated. 


Let’s talk about failure. How have you learned to deal with failure in your life as an entrepreneur?

I’ve definitely learned to deal with failure as an entrepreneur by focusing each day and week on something positive that has happened or on a positive stride that was made. I continue to deal with failure as well, by believing that in order to succeed, failure is just a part of the game – that often failure in one way can lead to opportunity for other doors of success to open.

I don’t like to use the word failure in a negative connotation because I believe that every time there is failure, there is an opportunity to learnand grow and build strength for what’s to come ahead.


You mentioned you love sales. How have you made the sales process easier or more successful for you?

Yes, I view sales as a game that constantly challenges me and sometimes I win! When I lose, I try to figure out why and then I play again. I’ve also made the sales process easier and more successful by trying to focus on building relationships. This may make the process more of a long game before you sign a deal, but there is something refreshing about focusing on building a relationship and then the sales come. People are more inclined to support and buy from you if they trust and connect to you as a person. It’s worth the long game sometimes and then likely those will be longer standing sales channels.


What’s the best investment you’ve made in your business or self-development so far?

The best investment has been purchasing a grinder to increase the efficiency around our production. Secondly, seeking out mentors to guide our decisions. Thirdly, creating space to dream and create an actionable quarterly and yearly execution plan.


What is your long-term vision for Ground Up?

Our long-term vision is that we will be selling our product on a national level and become a reputable employment training program in the Portland community, where businesses looking to support and employ our graduates will feel confident in the skillsets the women have gained from our program to transition into full-time employment at their workplaces.


What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received?

There are a few things. First, don’t take “no” for an answer. “No” is an opportunity for other doors to open. I’ve also been told that those who succeed in the food industry (especially in the early stages) are those that persevere through the challenges. Few persevere through all the challenges, but if this is something you truly believe in and stand behind you can make it through. Also, it’s important to make the shift from “me” to “we”, from a founder brand to a mission brand. And to understand who is on the bus and put the right people in the right seats. You may even end up having to kick a few people off because you need to bring on the right talent or team for the jobs you need done.


What book has made the biggest impression on you?

Start with Why by Simon Sinek. The concept in this book to figure out your why has been crucial in our business to stay focused and motivated.


What are you listening to right now that’s influencing your work?

The NPR How I Built This podcast has been a great way to stay motivated and learn from successful entrepreneurs who faced similar challenges in their early stages of business. Another podcast I’ve been listening to is Girlboss.


Is there anything else you’d like to share with readers or any requests you have of them?

I would say to readers who are in the early stages of starting a dream and have a vision not to give up. There are many days when it feels like it would be easier to just quit and get a job but I encourage you to persevere and surround yourself with others who can encourage and support you and help you to see how far you’ve come. It can become exhausting to have people telling you that you’re crazy and it’d be easier to just get a job.  But stay strong and think about who you want to share the ups and downs of starting a business with.

We’d also love for readers to try out our nut butters – and if they like it #spreadgood by spreading the good word to their friends.


Where can we connect with you online, and learn more about your nut butters too?

Our web site is and we’re on Instagram and Facebook too.

no, you do not have to blog

Back when I was a freelance writer, blogging was very much in its heyday. Everyone and anyone had one because the rapidly growing platform allowed you to build an audience and – in the biggest success stories – parlay that popularity right into a book deal or lucrative writing gig.

So you can imagine that I got a lot of raised eyebrows back then when I told people I was a writer and no, I didn’t have a blog.

Sure, I understood the appeal of blogging and even saw the potential with the platform. But after trying to blog for a hot minute, I decided that, ultimately, it wasn’t the right fit for my particular business.

I know it's not always that easy to decide whether or not to blog. In fact, many of my clients are struggling to figure out whether or not they should blog and, if so, what it should look like. They frequently ask me questions like…


Should I have a blog?

Do I need a blog?

Do I have to write a blog?

Is it the right time to start a blog?


My answer is almost always it depends because I don’t believe blogging is for everyone or that every business can benefit from having a blog. That’s why it’s important to weigh the decision before you jump right in. (The same can be said for those of you who already have a blog; if you’re not too keen on it or lack consistency with it, it pays to pause and make sure it’s still the right thing for you to keep doing.)

Here’s how I view it: Having a blog makes sense when there’s a purpose behind it and when it provides an opportunity to make progress toward your goals. If, for example, you want to grow your audience or showcase your products or provide free content to start building credibility online, blogging could help you.

But it isn’t the only way you can create and share content so you also need to determine if blogging feels like a good fit for you. Do you enjoy writing? Do you have content you’re dying to share? Does the idea of blogging feel exciting or fill you with dread?

If you can honestly say there’s a purpose behind your blog and that you also enjoy the process, then blogging is likely a good fit for you. (This is why I decided to blog in my current business; it made sense with my goals and it suited my interests and strengths as a writer and coach.)

That said, if you’re just blogging because you think you should, take a page from the playbook I used in my first business and forget about blogging. Then give yourself permission to find a better platform to share your amazing content with the world.

With love,


How to make time for your long-term goals

Recently I was digging through some boxes of old work stuff and discovered an old notebook that I used to write down my goals in my first business. (Technology is great but when it comes to goal setting, I’ve always been a pen and paper gal.)

Back then, I would set aside a few minutes at the start of each month to create a new goal sheet for the weeks ahead. As I flipped through the pages of that book, I realized why this practice was so effective in helping me grow my business; each month, it encouraged me to make a monthly contract with myself to stay focused on the most important tasks in my business.

And it reminded me that if I wanted to achieve my goals – the very goals, I wrote down in that book each month – I had to let a lot of the seemingly urgent day-to-day tasks go.

I wanted to share this story with you today because it can help you solve a problem that many creatives and entrepreneurs struggle with.

Nearly every day, I hear women say they just can’t find time to get to the growth-oriented tasks in their business because they’re stuck handling the daily to-dos. They tell me they put off opportunities because they think they need to answer all their emails first. They say "that would be so great for my business" but never get around to doing that thing because they have a pile of administrative tasks to tend to. They tell me they have amazing ideas but zero time to act on them.

But here’s the truth: if you really want to grow your business, you have to learn to focus on what's important instead of always tending to what feels urgent. The trick is learning how to tell the difference because those urgent tasks will feel really, well, urgent. Here’s how I’ve learned to tell which is which:

Important tasks are the ones that contribute to your long-term visions and goals. They’re the ones that will propel your business forward and include things like creating new content for your community, starting to write your book proposal or putting together that presentation you want to do.

Urgent tasks are the ones that feel like you need to do them ASAP but won’t actually put you on the fast track toward your long-term goals. They include things like cleaning out your email inbox or scrolling social media to stay engaged and in the know.

I’m confident that the reason I achieved big goals in my first business (things like getting published in O magazine, reaching my financial goals and landing two book deals) is because I had a goal setting practice that helped me focus on what’s important.

That’s why I continue to use this goal-setting approach in my coaching practice each month. It’s also why I’m inviting you to try this method for the month of May.

To get you started, I’d love to know: what’s one important goal you’d like to focus on in your business this month? And what seemingly urgent task do you need to stop doing to give yourself the time and space you need to make it happen?

Drop your thoughts in the comments below.

With love,


P.S. I know what you’re thinking: if you prioritize what’s important, when will you cross those urgent tasks off your to-do list? I talked about this very challenge in my free Facebook community, The Simplified Entrepreneur, this week. If you aren't yet a member, you can request an invitation to join and watch the replay here.

how to stop being a "yes girl"

When I first started my coaching business, I have to admit: I was a “yes girl”.

I said yes to every opportunity.

I said yes to joining every free training or challenge or webinar or networking group that crossed my path.

I said yes to every person who wanted to connect or collaborate.

And on and on.

As you might imagine, I quickly found myself feeling like I didn’t have enough time to do anything but the day to day tasks in my business.

But I did have the time. The problem was I was giving it away to all those commitments I was making. And if I wanted to grow, I knew I needed more time to dedicate to things that would propel my business forward not just help me hold steady where I was.

That’s when I realized that every time I said yes to an opportunity or training or person who wanted to connect, I was essentially saying no to myself. Because the time I’d spend on that opportunity prevented me from getting to the things I really needed to be doing to help my business grow.

So I learned to say no.

Sometimes I quantify my no to help someone understand the reasoning behind it. Sometimes I’ll say “no for now” when the timing just isn’t right. And sometimes “no” stands as a complete sentence because I’ve given myself permission to use it without explanation and without defending myself.

I’m clear that I’m saying no to give me more time for the important things in my business, and sometimes that’s reason enough.

That said, I didn’t go from being a “yes girl” to saying no with ease overnight – and I certainly don’t expect you to adopt this strategy right away. It’s a bit more nuanced than that, which is why I also want to give you a stepping stone to lean on as you start learning how and when to say no.

I talked about this stepping stone in my Facebook community, The Simplified Entrepreneur, on a Facebook Live this week. If you're already a member, you can catch the replay here.

If you aren’t yet a member, I'd love to invite you to join. Just click here to request an invitation so you can access the replay - and so much more.

With love,


an interview with content coach and strategist Abby Herman


Abby Herman is a content strategist and content coach for small business owners, which means she helps them figure out how to get their message out to their audience in their voice and on their terms.

Abby and I talked about how she transitioned from working as an elementary school teacher to running her own business, Write Solutions, full time and about how she helps business owners move past their fears and create strategic content that makes a big impact online.

Read on to learn more about Abby and discover her best business-building tips.

When did you decide to become an entrepreneur?

I honestly don’t think I “decided” to become an entrepreneur, as much as it found me. But the decision to quit my day job and grow my business came about after being completely disenchanted with public education, where I had worked for 13 years.

I was actually doing contract writing projects on the side because my salary as a teacher didn’t really pay the bills. One day, I just got fed up with all the politics involved in teaching and quit. (I gave my notice to finish out the school year, of course.) I had decided that I could have more control over my income and my life as a business owner. It was very scary and it took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get to where I could make ends meet, but it was completely worth it.


What drew you to entrepreneurship over going the more traditional path of working for someone else?

Whether you’re in your own business, in the corporate world or working as a public servant (and I’ve done all three), we can see how things work and don’t work in the grand scheme of things. And when you’re tied up in the bureaucracy of corporate or public service, there’s not a lot you can do to affect change. I love the fact that I can teach others about great content and marketing strategies while helping them to grow their businesses. I love that I can inspire others to follow their dreams. I absolutely think you can do that while working for someone else, but that just wasn’t the right path for me.


How would you describe the work you do?

I support other business owners in getting their marketing messages online. A blank computer screen seems to paralyze so many people, mostly because they think back to all those “rules” they learned in their sophomore year English class. As a coach, I help business owners move past those rules and unlearn some of them because, let’s face it, no one wants to read a five-paragraph essay on your website! As a content strategist, I help business owners decide what content they need to pour out to their audience—and where it needs to go online for the biggest impact.


What does a day in your working life look like?

Really, my day isn’t too exciting! I get up at 4 a.m. almost every morning (yes, even on the weekends). I get up, stretch a bit and then get dressed for my morning run. Depending on what time I’m running (I typically let my running buddy decide), I’ll usually sit down and read a business book for a bit. After my run, I shower, cook myself breakfast (yes, I cook every morning too), then sit down at my computer before 7 a.m. A bit later, I’ll take my daughter to school (an almost hour-long drive round-trip) and then plow into meetings, client work and my own business work—depending on what’s on the agenda. In the afternoon, my daughter usually has quite a bit of homework so I always have extra time to work when she gets home from school.

On the days when my daughter is at her dad’s house (one to two days a week), I end up working way too many hours. So basically, my work life involves a lot of work. I have trouble turning it off, which is something I’m always working on.


What makes you uniquely suited to do the work you do?

I think that being a writer requires a certain amount of introversion. I enjoy quiet time and reflection—in the comfort of my own home (and my pajamas). I love a well-written book that teaches me something or makes me think in a different way. I’m really good at reading people, which helps when I sit down to try to write something from a client’s perspective. I can grasp their voice and their words and make them flow onto paper in just the right way.


What support do you currently have in your business – and what has seeking that support taught you?

As far as “hired help,” I have a virtual assistant who helps me with posting my blogs and we’re moving into having her do some social media posting and guest blog management.

For non-paid help, I rely on several business friends quite a bit. I’ve met so many wonderful women in Facebook groups who have become real-life friends too. One even lives just a few miles from me, so we get together for breakfast on the weekends and have mini work retreats too.


In those early days of your business, what were your biggest challenges, real or self-imposed?

My biggest challenges were and continue to be money and mindset (and money mindset). When I first went full time, I didn’t have the funds to hire anything out or even figure out how to do things the “right” way and I really struggled with imposter syndrome. I didn’t know there was a better, more efficient to do, well, anything and everything in my business.

As a single parent, money mindset is always a challenge for me. I have a fear of scarcity and that one day all my clients will pack up and leave. It’s a completely unrealistic fear, but it still sits in the back of my mind.  


How did you overcome those challenges to find your version of success?

I still struggle with these challenges in my business, but I’ve found ways to manage the mindset issues. When business was slow, I used to panic and then feel sorry for myself. Now, if I have a slow week, I use it to my advantage by spending time working on my business.

It’s also a lot easier now to remind myself that there are hills and valleys in business and in life. While I may run into a slow period, it always picks back up again. And my marketing efforts are a direct reflection on how busy and slow my business is.

What drives you to continue giving your time and energy to your business, even when it’s hard?

First and foremost, my daughter motivates me. She’s essentially self-sufficient now, but I think it’s the perfect time to be home with her. The teen years are challenging, and being home to support her as much as possible is a blessing to me.

Other business owners are a big motivation for me too. First, I’ve seen too many nice people have terrible experiences with other business owners. Promises they can’t keep, shoddy work, contractors disappearing. It’s a terrible way to run a business and it’s unfortunate for the good people who get wrapped up in that kind of situation. I want be able to educate and empower other business owners to grow a business they love. While I only handle the copy end, I have connections with other great resources and people I like to send my audience to when they need it.


Let’s talk about failure. How have you learned to deal with failure in your life as an entrepreneur?

If we don’t fail, we’re not learning. I take failure with a grain of salt. Does it hurt? Of course! But every time something doesn’t go the way I imagined—in life or in business—there’s always a takeaway or 10. I know how to shift the next launch so it’s more successful, I know how to better respond to that client, I know how to remember my boundaries, I know how to manage that relationship in a more positive way. It’s all a learning process. But if we get caught up in our mistakes and obsess about them, it holds us back from moving forward in our business.


What’s the best investment you’ve made in your business or self-development so far? What’s the next investment you want to make?

I’ve made two big investments in my business. One was a financial investment and one was a time investment. Coaching is, by far, the best financial investment I’ve made in my business. I’ve done both one-to-one coaching and joined paid mastermind groups. The individual coaching has been great for moving me forward in very specific areas like figuring out pricing, working on mindset, etc. And the mastermind groups have helped me build amazing relationships and communities with other business owners.

The other investment I’ve made has been time. Taking the time to connect with other business owners through masterminds, accountability groups and virtual coffee chats has done amazing things for my business and for my ability to reach out and ask for help. This is a huge piece of my success.

Moving forward, I’d like to invest in a true retreat—either with a group of business friends or solo. How amazing would it be to set up shop for a week in some tropical location? Talk about motivation!


What’s your long-term vision for your business?

One of the best things about my business is that it can completely be location-independent. By the time my daughter graduates from high school in 2020, I’d like my business to be able to support having a home base while I work on the road. I’ve done so little traveling in my life and I’m not ready to be an empty nester. So traveling it is!

As far as the workings of the business itself, I never see myself developing into an agency-style model. But I love to teach and would love to be the go-to source for writing development for business owners. I actually have some things in the works for this!


What advice do you have for women who are just getting started and are worried their business won’t amount to anything?

I think we all go through this phase in our businesses, and probably more than once or twice. Running a successful, profitable business is hard work and it’s so easy to look at what others are doing in their businesses and get discouraged. The truth is, you never know what it took someone to get to where they are. You don’t know what resources they have available to them.

I’m sure that some people have immediate success in their businesses, but that’s not the reality for the majority of us. Often, you have to do a lot of grunt work to get the experience and portfolio development that helps you get that next, bigger client. My first client paid me $9 an hour until about five years ago, when I got a raise. For someone who was the only income in her household and trying to feed a growing child, that’s below poverty level. But I gained so much experience from that one client, and I worked for that company for about eight years. It was tough at times, but the owner was willing to work around my then-full time job and give me an abundance of opportunities to learn and grow. It was worth it, and I’m forever grateful to her for the experience I gained.


What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received?

I was absolutely obsessing about my website before I re-launched in back in the early days of running my business full time. My coach challenged me to just get it the heck out there and told me, “Done is better than perfect.” Now I tell everyone that. If we wait for something to be perfect, we’d never get anything accomplished!

What one word best describes how you work?

Real. I am me, and I can’t pretend to be someone I’m not. That’s how I live my life and how I run my business.


What book has made the biggest impression on you?

I’ve read so many books about business and mindset that this is a tough one. A book that really hit home for me recently is Essentialism by Greg McKeown. There’s a mindset today about doing it all, and I completely fall into this trap so much more than I’d like to admit. We want to do it all, have it all, experience it all. This book really puts it all in perspective and makes it okay to release some of the things and people who don’t fit into your life or business.


What are you listening to right now that’s influencing your work?

I am loving the Copywriter Club podcast. The hosts are Kira Hug and Rob Marsh, two big names who are relatively new to the copywriter scene. I’ve learned so much about my writing processes, working with clients and how to price my work from this podcast—and it just went live in January. I love the community they’re building for copywriters because the people I learn the most from are the people who others would call my “competition.” I don’t see it that way. We all have something different to bring to the table and we can bring the best if we work together.


What is one influential quote that guides you in your business?

This is a hard question because there are so many great quotes out there. One I’ve had on my wall for years, and one that I think resonates in both my personal life and in my business is this one from Calvin & Hobbes:

“We’re so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of us that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are.”


Thanks so much Abby for having this great conversation. Where can people connect with you online and learn more about your work?

My web site is, and you can go there to learn more about my business, services and programs. I’m also on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest if you want to connect on those platforms as well.

Photo credit: Crystal Hollman

Your creative career is totally legit


Have you ever thought that the work you do isn’t a “real” job?
I hear this often from creatives and entrepreneurs in my community. They’ll tell me about their business and then, in the same breath, admit that it feels less serious than the traditional jobs their partners and peers have. They’ll say they’re not as legit as the people they know who have “real” professions with regular paychecks. 
What they don’t see is that this way of thinking is doing their business a disservice. Because the truth is that if you don’t think your work is real or important, you will always treat it like a hobby.
And I don’t think you’re in this to run a hobby business that just provides you with an outlet for your passions and a tiny bit of profit. I think you want to do work that fulfills you and make money that helps pay for more than your daily latte habit.
So let’s start treating your work like a real business by letting go of the beliefs that are holding you back.
In order to let your limiting beliefs go, you first need to clear them out of your head. I recommend writing down all the limiting thoughts you have about your work. (Here’s a few I’ve heard recently, for example: Artists can’t make a good living. I don’t have a real job. Creatives aren’t professionals. I’m just running a hobby business.) Don’t judge yourself for thinking any of these thoughts – just get them down on paper so you can look at them more objectively.   
Then, read each thought and ask yourself Is this thought really true? (And by true what I really mean is this: is the thought a fact you could prove in a court of law?)
Roughly 99 percent of the time, your thoughts aren’t going to be true – even if they feel true to you. That might seem confusing and frustrating at first but this is good news because it means you have a choice: you can keep buying into your limiting thoughts or you can let them go.
If you decide to keep believing that you don’t have a real job, that your work is just a hobby or that it’s somehow less legitimate or important than other careers, you’ll continue to hold yourself back.
But if you can let those limiting beliefs go, you’ll remove obstacles and start creating space to entertain some new thoughts – thoughts that will help you treat your business like a real job. Thoughts that will help you acknowledge the importance of your work. Thoughts that will make you feel like a real boss, and get serious about building your business too. 
The question you’re probably asking right now is how do I let those beliefs go? My honest answer is that it’s hard work because trying to argue against your own deep-rooted beliefs about your work is like trying to reason with an indignant toddler. In other words, it’s very hard to win the battle between you and your own beliefs. 
That’s why support is crucial here.
So know if you want to go at it alone, it's hard but doable with a lot of effort and time. But if you want support in this area, I’d love to connect with you and walk you through the process I use with my clients to help them let their limiting beliefs go. 
If you're ready to connect, just click here to pick a time for your call.

With love,


There are a million ways to get visible BUT you just need one to start

When it comes to getting visible as a creative or entrepreneur, you have infinite options. You can blog. You can vlog. You can tweet. You can start a podcast or be a guest on someone else’s show. You can speak at a conference or join a telesummit or host a live workshop…and the list goes on and on

On one hand, it’s great to have so many choices to help you reach, serve and sell to your audience.

But that long list of options can also make the goal of “getting visible” feel like too much work. And, it can keep you from realizing a secret that successful entrepreneurs know about visibility, which is this: even though there are a million ways to get visible, you just need ONE to get started.

That Means it's Time To simplify, which Happens to be My Thing.

As a coach for creatives and entrepreneurs, I help women grow their business by simplifying their planning, goal setting, content and visibility. When it comes to the visibility game, I teach clients how to stop doing everything so they can move out of overwhelm and into action by focusing on a single goal.

Here’s how you can find a focus for your own visibility goals today: get out a piece of paper and write down all of your visibility goals from your simplest idea to your biggest dream. When you’re done, you’ll have a list of all the ways you could get visible.

This is the point where you probably get stuck in overwhelm or go into analysis paralysis. It’s the point where you might decide that getting visible is too hard or too complicated a goal. It’s the moment you might set your visibility goals aside for a “better time”.

But getting visible doesn’t have to be so complicated. All you have to do is simplify your approach by picking a single idea on your list and giving yourself permission to focus on it to the exclusion of everything else.

As you make your list, you might notice an obvious place to start. If, however, you’re looking at your list and thinking you don’t know which idea to pick (or are afraid you’ll pick the wrong one), here are three questions to help you find your focus.


Ask yourself:

  1. Which opportunity excites me the most?
  2. Which opportunity am I truly curious about?
  3. Which opportunity has the potential to deliver real results for my business?


Then use your answers to these questions to determine which idea is the best one for you right now.

Just please remember that there isn’t really a right or wrong way to get visible. A lot of it is trial and error, and starting somewhere is so much better than letting overwhelm or analysis paralysis stop you from doing anything at all.

When in doubt, simplify - and just start.

With love,


P.S. If you want more help getting visiblE, you can download my FREE guide From Stuck to Standing Out: 5 Steps to Get Visible with More Confidence and Greater Ease.

The secret to setting "just right" goals

When it comes to goal setting, there’s a real art to picking goals that are the right fit for the place you’re at in your business right now.

If your goals are too small, you’ll probably achieve them, which is obviously a good thing. BUT, you’ll also sell yourself short by taking the easier road in your business, and you won’t experience the growth you could. (On the flipside, if you set goals that are too big and unrealistic for your available time and resources, you’ll get stuck in overwhelm.)

The secret to avoiding either extreme is to set a stretch goal. A stretch goal is a goal that pushes you to do a little more and stretch yourself beyond your comfort zone. But – and this is the important part of how I view a stretch goal – it’s still within the realm of possibility for you to achieve.

It’s a goal that is just right for the place you’re at in your business right now.

And it’s the kind of goal you need to set to propel your business forward this quarter. Just ask my client – we’ll call her Stephanie – who used a stretch goal to streamline her focus and more than double her income goal in her service-based business last month.

At the beginning of March, Stephanie told me that she’d run the numbers and just needed to make $500 a month to make her part-time business a viable option for her. But I knew she had the time and resources – not to mention the talents, skills and market demand – to easily achieve that goal. So I asked her why are you picking that small number for you monthly income goal?

Then I asked her how it would feel to set a stretch goal for her income that month – something that felt a little harder to achieve but that was still plausible. After a conversation about her business (and her fears around setting a bigger goal), we determined that $1,000 was a good stretch goal for the place she was at in her business and life right now.

Here’s the best part: Stephanie emailed me a week later to say she’d blown her goal out of the water. She’d already topped the $1,000 mark – and we weren’t even halfway through the month.

Setting a stretch goal helped Stephanie think bigger, work a little harder and show up differently in her business. When she was just trying to make $500 a month, she didn’t feel as much urgency to do things like promote her business or convert new leads. When she decided she was ready to make $1000 a month, both her mindset and her actions shifted to align with her new goal. She stopped playing small and started taking actions to reach that goal that very month.

The stretch goal approach also worked for Stephanie because it forced her to simplify, which is the best strategy I know of to grow your business. That’s why I’ve made simplicity my focus as a coach for creatives and entrepreneurs; whether we’re talking planning, goal setting, content or visibility, I help women learn how to grow their business by simplifying what they do and how they do it.

Goal setting is a great place to start. So this month, I encourage you to look at the goals you’ve set for your business. Then ask yourself am I playing it safe by picking small, easily achievable goals?

If you are, let’s set up a time to chat on a free discovery call to see how you could use stretch goals to create the results you really want to achieve.

With love,


P.S. If you'd like to talk more about setting goals in your business - and uncover better ways to achieve them - I'd love to connect on a free discovery call. To set up your 45-minute session, just click HERE.

an interview with floral designer, shop owner and retreat host Lesley Frascogna

Lesley Frascogna is a floral designer, the owner of the Flora, Mississippi-based shop Tulip Floral + Goods, a retreat founder and the multi-passionate woman entrepreneur I’m featuring in my interview series this month.

Lesley and I talked about establishing yourself as an entrepreneur at a young age, about balancing motherhood and business and about how her desire to have a more established, like-minded creative community led her to launch the Nourish retreat this year.

 on to learn more about Lesley and her path to owning a successful business that provides her the money and lifestyle she desires.


How did you become an entrepreneur?

I have always been the type of person to just figure things out on my own. I didn’t have any experience before I entered into the world of flowers at 22. I started cleaning buckets and taking orders at a local shop and, a year later, an opportunity came up to purchase a shop. I always knew I wanted my own store at some point – I just didn’t know it would be a flower shop.

At 23, I borrowed the money from my boyfriend’s mother [to finance] a portion of it and convinced the owners to finance the rest. The next thing I knew, I was a shop owner. They taught me how to run the books, how to place flower orders and what type of plants sold the best in the shop. I learned a ton on my own that first few months and the shop was thriving. I was actually good at this thing! 

A couple years later, I met my husband and, a year after that, we got married and he moved us to Mississippi, where he was from. I held on to the shop for another year before I was able to sell it. I had hopes of running it from afar and returning one day, but things played out differently for us. 

We still reside in Mississippi where Tulip was born in 2008 as a means to support us through my husband’s law school. We are still thriving almost 9 years later and have recently expanded into a new brick and mortar shop. So to really answer the question, I never really had much of a professional background, just an intense desire to create, succeed and be my own boss, which led me down the path of becoming a creative entrepreneur.   


What drew you to entrepreneurship over a more traditional career?

I have never done well with authority, even when I was a young girl. I always knew that I could never work for anyone else.

What’s your official job title?

Floral designer, shop owner, purchaser of unique items, mother, part-time therapist, lunch maker and maid. I don’t know if I have an “official” job title, but this pretty much sums it up.


What does a day in your working life look like?

I honestly spend a lot of time in the car these days. From driving to market, to clients homes, to the shop and carpool line – yep, it’s pretty much where I live. We have a sitter on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 to 3pm, sometime 5pm. Those are my days dedicated to off-site floral work and the shop. That can mean arranging flowers in someone’s home, meeting with clients, picking up what we need from market, running shop errands and popping in to the shop to make a mess before running out the door. Tuesday and Thursday, my older son is in school and my two-year-old goes to a program from 9am to noon. On these days, I work from home usually getting bills paid or proposals done. If I’m lucky, I can squeeze in a shower and actually dry my hair. After I pick Birdie up at noon, my day is pretty much being a mom. Then unless we have a wedding scheduled, I try not to work at all on the weekends so I can spend time with my family.


What are your greatest strengths as an entrepreneur, and how do they make you uniquely suited for your career?

I work really well under pressure, which also means that I am a procrastinator. It’s a double-edged sword I guess, but also one of my greatest strengths. In my line of work with florals and events, one must work extremely well under pressure. 


In the early days of your business, what were your biggest challenges, real or self-imposed?

Managing money has always a struggle. I still struggle with this sometimes. Does anyone else wonder where the hell the money goes all the time? I swear – it’s a disappearing act. One second there is a lot of it and the next second you are keeping your fingers crossed that your receivables come in before that check clears. Every year, I have plans to bring a financial advisor in. Maybe this is the year!

The other thing that has been a huge struggle is comparing myself to others in my field. This has gotten better with age and experience, but with social media so being relevant in my field, it makes it harder. 


How did you overcome those challenges to find your version of success?

For me, it really boiled down to growing up, realizing who I was and finding some real self-confidence. There are, of course, still times that I struggle with these things, but it has gotten much easier the older I have gotten. 


What drives you to continue giving your time and energy to your business, even when it’s hard?

To be totally honest, money is a huge motivator for me. I like to make money and I’m just lucky I found something that I enjoy doing that can help support my family and afford us the lifestyle we like to live. Making clients happy is a bonus for me.

What does success in your business look like and feel like to you?

Drinking a full cup of coffee without having to reheat it six times – now that is success. Ha! But for real, thankfully my perception on this has changed so much over the past few years. I used to define success by how much industry recognition I received – how many magazine or blog features I could get, how many social media followers I had, how many people “liked” my post. This was SO mentally exhausting. 

I was chasing things that didn’t actually matter to my business, things that mattered more to my ego. But that nowhere near defines success. If my clients are happy, if I’m making enough money, if my kids are happy and healthy, if my marriage is in a good place and if my dogs get a walk every now and then, that is success!


Let’s talk about failure. What has being an entrepreneur taught you about failure?

For me, failure is not an option in the sense that I will never give up. If I fail at something, which is inevitable as a creative entrepreneur, I will figure out another way to do it.


What advice do you have for women who are in the early stages of business and worried they’re going to fail?

Don’t be afraid of failing and don’t let it stop you. It is part of being an entrepreneur.  If you fail, get back up and try again. You will learn so much along the way. 


What has being an entrepreneur made possible for you?

It has allowed me to be in control, have a creative outlet and help support my family. 


What’s your long-term vision for your business?

I’m really looking toward simplifying things in the upcoming year or two. I am not really sure what that means for me quite yet as I do want to continue to grow as well. I have so many moving pieces to my business right now – sometimes it just feels like too much. Maybe simplifying means eliminating some of our services. I would love to update you next year as I’m hoping to find the answers soon.

This year, you’re tackling a new challenge: retreats. Why did you decide to start hosting retreats and what can you tell us about your upcoming retreat in April?

After having two kids and running a creative business, I found it difficult to connect with other like-minded women in the same field. I wanted to create a community of creative business owners who understood the difficult dynamic of motherhood and business owner. In early 2016, I decided I was going to cultivate and host a retreat for these hardworking mamas.

Nourish is an all-inclusive restful retreat for busy “mamapreneurs” who are trying to find a work-life balance and connect with other industry mamas. The retreat is taking place this April 23rd to 26th in Watercolor, Florida. For more information you can visit


What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received?

The best advice I have ever received was to remember that my work is unique to me and to remain authentic. Basically, you do you! This goes back to comparing ourselves to others. In a world with Instagram and Pinterest in the forefront of our industry, it is so important to remember this. Comparing your work to others can be paralyzing and overwhelming. I believe it is a huge reason why creative entrepreneurs give up or maybe never even get started to begin with.      


What one word best describes how you work?



What is one influential quote that guides you in your business?

“It’s not life or death…it’s just flowers.”  That’s me.


Is there anything else you’d like to share with readers or any requests you have of them?

Take time for yourself and try not to let your business control you.

Also, if you are a creative business owner and mother who needs to retreat to the beach for a few days, please join us at NOURISH this April – we still have a few seats available!

Also, shop small and local when you can. We rely on supportive communities!


Where can my readers find you and connect with you online?

You can visit both of our businesses online at and, and shop online on TULIP as well. You can find us on Instagram for daily inspiration and a peek into both my personal and professional world. Our handles are @tulipfloral and @nourishtheretreat. The best way to reach out to me directly is through email at

Photo credits: Lauren Kinsey and Tec Peteja

why done is better than perfect

On Friday, I spent an hour volunteering in my daughter’s kindergarten classroom where, every morning, her teacher assigns the students three tasks to complete independently. My daughter often struggles to get through task one – but not because she lacks the smarts, knowledge, skills or talent to complete the assignment.

Rather she gets stuck on task one because she spends all her time trying to perfect her work – especially the aesthetic details. And in using so much time trying to do her best work, she sacrifices progress (ahem, just like her mama used to do).

As a driven entrepreneurial woman, I bet you can relate. Because if there’s one thing I know about women like us, it’s that our tendency toward perfectionism can prevent us from getting things done.

In the past few months, for example, I have seen clients wait to finish their web site because they couldn’t find the perfect font to use. I have heard creatives say they waited weeks to launch their podcast because they couldn’t decide on their intro music. I’ve talked with women who are waiting to record live videos for their audience because they don’t have the perfect backdrop or lighting. And I have chatted with women who admitted they aren’t going to networking meetings because they don’t have their elevator pitch 100 percent nailed down.

In the moment, these kinds of things can feel so very important. To be fair, they are because you should care about the quality, look and feel of your work. It represents you, after all.

That said, there’s a difference between doing good quality work and chasing perfection. So today I’m asking you to consider if a tendency toward perfectionism is holding you back in any area of your business. If it is, I want you to go deeper and ask yourself:

What’s the cost of continuing to put perfection on a pedestal and wait to do things in my business until they feel perfect?

The truth is the cost of perfection is almost always progress. When you wait for something to feel, look or sound perfect, you miss opportunities to share your work. You pass up the chance to grow your audience or make more money or move your business forward.

If perfection is worth that cost to you, keep chasing it. But if it’s not, consider this: done is often better than perfect.

And remember that no one is saying you can’t tweak or improve upon your work down the road. For example, you can launch your web site now and update the font when you find the right fit. You can start doing live videostreams from pretty much anywhere and hang your value on the content you provide, not the lighting, until you can afford a studio space. You can start attending networking events and talk about your business using a rough elevator pitch that you refine as you go along.

You get the idea.

Now I’d love to hear from you: where are you chasing perfection in your business at the cost of making progress?

Share your thoughts in the comments below so I can reply with some personalized advice to help you free yourself from perfectionism in the name of progress.

With love,


I think it's time for a pep talk

I see you there putting in the heart and hustle to build your brand. I see you listening to all the podcasts and reading all the business books and taking all the online courses as you search for the secret to success. I see you asking yourself if it’s worth it to put so much time and energy into your business.

And I see you in those scary moments when you wonder if this thing you’re building is actually going to help you make the money and have the time freedom you desire in your life.

I’d say it’s time for a pep talk. Because when you’re hustling with all your heart and facing fear and self-doubt, this is what you need to know:

You didn’t make a mistake when you decided to become self-employed.

You will not always feel stuck. You will find your niche, your people, your core message, your flow.

Your business is worth the time and energy you put into it because the work you do matters.

You are not failing – you are a work in progress.

It’s ok if you aren’t an overnight success. (Few people can say they were.)

You’re not a bad businesswoman – and you can learn everything you need to know to run a profitable business, even if you’re a right-brained creative.

You do have what it takes.

Finally, I want you to know that you are closer than you think you are to reaching your business goals – even if they feel impossible to you.

In fact, it’s likely that you just need to change a few things to make more money in your business and experience more time freedom in your life.

So if you feel stuck or alone or are full of doubt, know that I’m here waiting to lend you a hand. After all, I get everything you’re feeling and everything you’re going through because I’ve been right where you are. So if you want to talk, let’s find a time.

After all, a pep talk is nice but it’s no substitute for the deep conversation full of actionable advice that I would love to offer you.

With love,



The Two Things You Need to Know About Your Target Market

You've heard all about creating an ideal client avatar, right? 
If not, I'll fill you in quickly. The ideal client (or customer avatar) exercise is all about creating a fictional character that represents your ideal prospect. Many coaches and entrepreneurs say you should create an avatar so you know who you're for (and who you're not for), which helps with everything from content creation to marketing. 
But I've never been totally sold that creating a fictional character will get you the results you want – and I know you might be wondering the same thing.
Yes, there's value in doing the ideal client exercise because it gets you thinking like your potential client. But I also see people get too focused on the minute details of this exercise. The thing I always wonder is this: will knowing things like how old your client is or what they like to eat for breakfast really help you sell to them?
Sometimes, the answer is yes. But often, you really only need to know two things about your prospective clients to communicate why they'd want to buy your products or services. You just need to know this:
What's their problem – and how do you solve it? 
When I work with my clients on their content, messaging, positioning and marketing, we focus on answering these questions first. Because whether you're laying the foundation for a new business or are pivoting in a more established one, the answers to these questions will help you communicate with potential clients in a way that converts. 
That's because your ideal client cares more about the results you can get them than they care about anything else.
So you don't actually need to know that your ideal client loves to travel or that they drive a Mini Cooper. You need to know what their problem is and show them how you can help solve that problem.
As you think about this, I want to invite you to pause for a moment. Take a break from your inbox or from crossing items off your to-do list to spend some time working through these two questions.
They really do matter – and I'd love to hear what you come up so please share what you discover in the comments below.

With love,


What if You Only Needed to Focus on ONE Thing to Grow Your Business?

Raise your hand if you tried to do all the things possible to grow your business last month. (I’m talking about posting on social media, asking for referrals, adding a new revenue stream, seeking out collaborations, engaging in Facebook groups, pitching guest blog posts, attending networking events or some combination of all of the above.)

Now raise your hand if you know which one of those strategies worked best to get results.

If you don’t know which strategy is working best for you, you aren’t alone. Many busy creatives and entrepreneurs get caught up in trying all the latest strategies and never pause to determine which ones get them the best results.

Nor do they give themselves permission to stop doing all the things and instead focus solely on the actions that will truly help them grow their business.

I’m giving you permission to do just that today because you’re doing yourself and your business a disservice if you’re trying out too many strategies at once. After all, doing a mediocre job at many things is rarely as effective as focusing on one growth-oriented action at a time.

What I’m telling you here is that the secret to growth in your business is not to do more. It's Simplifying Your Strategy - Which Happens to Be My Thing as a Coach for Creatives and Entrepreneurs.

To get to a place where you can simplify, however, you first need to know what activities you should focus on. So today, take 10 minutes and look at the results you got last month. (Results to you may mean income, clients, traffic, sales, exposure…you get the idea.) Then consider all the actions you took to get those results and ask yourself which one converted best.

That one thing is what you should spend the majority of your time and energy doing this month.

To make this a little more tangible for you, let me give you an example. Let’s say Lauren, a certified yoga instructor, is doing this exercise. To grow her private practice last month, Lauren led 2 workshops at a neighborhood studio, ran an ad in a local magazine and posted daily on Instagram. She got 4 new 1:1 clients during that time, and when she looked at her results she realized that 3 of those clients came through her workshops.

To repeat her success this month – and accelerate her growth – Lauren doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel. She just needs to keep doing what’s already working for her by engaging with potential 1:1 clients in group settings.

That means Lauren could focus on doing more workshops or on presenting the same workshop in new spaces. She could teach more group classes or try offering an in-office class for a local business during their lunch hour. Her goal is to spend as much face-to-face time with people as possible because that strategy converts better for her than any social media or advertising does.

Can you uncover a successful growth strategy in your business? If you can’t figure out what’s working best for you, let’s set up a time to talk on a free discovery call. Together, we will uncover which efforts lead to the biggest impact for you so you can simply your growth strategy and have even more success this month.

With love,