Monday, April 30, 2012

Inspirational Quote of the Week

"If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step,
 you know it's not your path.
 Your own path you make with every step you take. 
That's why it's your path."

--Joseph Campbell

Friday, April 27, 2012

Tell My Mother Told Me...Tale 9 "Being Present"

Welcome to Tales My Mother Told Me...

Tale 9 : "Being Present"

"Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, 
concentrate the mind on the present moment".
                                                          - Buddha

This tale came about when I was at a dinner party and it was one of those great dinner parties where you have the opportunity to reconnect with some old friends that you haven't seen for a while.  However, there was one aspect of the party I was quite disappointed at. So I decided to tell mum about it.

"Mum, I have this friend that I find really annoying and others agree too. I have to say he is not a close friend as such but we do meet up from time to time" I said with frustration.

"So what was it that he did that you find annoying?" asked my mum.

"Well, last night I was at a dinner party and  I was chatting with him and he asked me a question and  as I was trying to respond to his question he totally ignored my response and turned his head and started to chat with the other person sitting next to him. It was quite embarrassing and annoying as at the same time the other people at the table also noticed what was going on. One of my friends looked at me and rolled his eyes and said "He does it all the time, when he is not interested in a conversation". The most annoying part was when he decided to resume our conversation he did not bother to apologise and totally ignored the whole thing. Why does he bother asking me if he wasn’t interested?" I asked Mum.

Mum smiled and said "Sometimes people live with an absent mind and they are not present even when they are there with you but their minds have drifted to another place. Many people live their whole lives lost in thoughts of the yesterday and the tomorrow, the true meaning is we should live in the present moment everyday, this is where everything happens. Yesterday was the past, tomorrow is only a promise, today is when you can do something about it in order to have a brighter future. So, take action and be present and live in the present moment".

So you ask, what does being present have to do with running your business?

In fact, it has everything to do with it. Being present means being fully conscious of what's going on around you so you are able to participate in the opportunities that are presented to you. If you are not being present in what you do, you are not focused or clear with what you are attempting to achieve.

Sometimes, we are not present because we're not in it. We keep thinking of the past, what we should have done and so forth... or dreaming about future, like dreamers do. We put ourselves to believe that tomorrow's the day when we'll shine, be richer, be healthier and in a great loving relationship. All these are only wishes, all these will only come true if we  take  accountability and take action today. Today is the key to change, not yesterday nor tomorrow.

Being present takes lots of focus and practice. To do this you need to be engaged in that moment at that point in time and also by  really listening to your surroundings. If you are engaged in a conversation with someone, you need to be focused and be present and listening to what they saying. This is particularly hard when you are not present, your mind will fall in a trend of thoughts about other things such as what to wear for a special dinner or all the tasks you have yet to finish.

Does this sound familiar to you?

Are the thoughts that are running through your mind distract you and create a distance from the present situation? I have to say, guilty as charged!  What I am now trying to do is to be more aware so that I can be more “present” in each and every moment. Remember being present will take sometime to master, however, if there is a will then there is always a way!

Below are some tips to help you in being present in your business:
  • Be the observer and look outside of your world. Invest in business books and read them to stimulate your mind and get inspired with new ideas.
  • Listen to business audios, chat with like minded business owners, join business network groups to exchange ideas and build connections.
  • Open your mind to the universe, let your thoughts flow and be less judgmental and this is how you can find inspirational sparks and great ideas.
  • Taking time out of your business will do wonders. It will give you a fresh perspective to life and business. People who adopt this are much more focused and present in their business.
  • "Me time" and "Refresh" are the best ways to relax your mind and rejuvenate your soul. Take time out for the gym, participate in yoga and meditation sessions will also help you in being present. Do whatever you feel will calm your mind and relax your body. We are all different so find an activity that will relax you and help find the inner peace in you.
  • Cleanse your mind to gain new ideas that allow you and your creative business to grow  and for you to be present and engaged in your business.
  • If you are present, you are constantly focusing on your sales and marketing leads and       continually developing new products, services and innovation ideas to growth your business
  • When you find your mind distracted and puts you in the future or the past mode, just refocus your awareness back to the present. Really experience how you feel and what's happening around you, without judgment. If we can treasure each moment, your life will be abundant, no matter what you have accomplished.
Being present and achieving results in your business is so rewarding, not just financially but for your soul as well 
So are you present in your business?

Tune in for next week tale Ten...  "Chicken Scratches for What it gets "

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Willing to wait?- By Marie-nicole

Three and a half years ago we purchased two olive trees. They were only small and we knew at the time that they would not fruit for at least another 3 years. We shifted them around the garden trying to find the perfect spot for them to grow and strengthen, watered them diligently but not too much, repotted them when they started to grow too big for their pots. Then came our tree change, there was no way we were going to leave our precious olive trees behind. So we secured them onto a trailer and carted them along freeways, motorways & highways for the 4 hour drive. All the while mindful of the fact that without care we could loose the opportunity to reap the fruit from these trees that we have been caring for, awaiting the arrival of the day that they would finally bare fruit. When we got them to our new home, again we sought the perfect spot, a north facing wall protected from the strong winds... and again we waited. Just this month (15 months after our tree change) we were very excited to discover one of them had produced it’s first fruit!

I believe caring for a business or career is much like caring for these olive trees. Sometimes you need to shelter yourself from strong winds that could potentially knock you over, feed your business diligently but not too much, in order to build a solid foundation so that when the fruit does start to produce on your branches you can sustain the weight. But most of all you need to put in the planning and preparation that will enable such growth to take place, as well as have the willingness to wait, to eventually reap the rewards of all your tending, nurturing and foundation building.

When I first started this business I was adamant about making sure I had my financial record keeping structured in a way that prepared me for a time when I would be reliant on well structured record keeping. I was the same with marketing. Marketing is so much more than just promotions, so setting up a solid, consistent brand means that once you start to get more exposure your image as a business portrays a professional persona rather than one in need of branding. Then there’s pricing. Structuring pricing from the start in a way that allowed me to draw an income for my work as well inject funds back into the business, rather than waiting for a day that I could pay myself or invest in items necessary for my business to grow. I did not want to let these things just evolve.

Growing a business organically can mean you don’t see immediate results from the efforts you put in at first, but forming healthy business habits from the start will enable you to grow with confidence.

Putting into practice behaviours that you think you will need when you reach a certain point in your business before it happens, will mean once it does you will not be overwhelmed by the change. Preparing for growth can also present you with opportunities when you least expect them and you can attract work you may not have expected to attract. Planning and preparing for growth (not hoping) I believe is the key to reaching your goals and reaping rewards. Both a willingness to wait and creating a solid foundation are important to enable growth to take place.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

In remembrance of Anzac Day!

   “Let us celebrate the Spirit
           of Courage on Anzac Day & Always”

Monday, April 23, 2012

Inspirational Quote of the Week

Slow down & enjoy life. It's not only the scenery you miss by going too fast; 
you also miss the sense of where you are going ... 
-Eddie Cantor

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Artists Wanted For Exhibit Your Art On Times Square Billboards!

Artists Wanted

 For  Exhibit Your Art On Times Square Billboards!

Dear Friends,

Picture this, your art is larger than life, and showcased in the largest, brightest, and 
most dramatic on the planet.


On Times Square, NEW YORK

You are invited to join “Art Takes Times Square”, a search for inspired works by artist, designers, photographers and all creative talents from across the globe to identify one visionary whose artworks will transform the most visited attraction in the world into brilliant, spectacular exhibition

International Publicity | This Summer's Most Immense Exhibition | $16,000 in Grants 

Click Here to Participate 

Your Standard Entry Deadline:

 April 30, 2012 11:59pm EST
(All this can be yours & participation is free.)


Source & Image are courtesy from 3rdward

3rdward Newsletter  April 17, 2012

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Are You Addicted to Your Business and feeling burnt out?

Are you addicted to your business and you just can't turn it off!

Feeling overwhelmed or burnt out in your Art & Design practice?

If you know you are, you are not alone. There are so many people like you out there, and the key is to acknowledge that you are. It's great that you love what you do; we just want to make you aware that your business could consume you, and you just don't know when to stop.

It's not just the number of hours you spent creating, but also the non stop hours in dealing with too many tasks at the same time. This is particularly true if you are a solopreneur.

Do you feel that even though you are multi tasking you still feel like there's not enough time to do everything?

Do you feel wherever you go, your tasks follow you like a shadow, and you feel like you have to do it all the time? Such as answering emails during a phone call and you may even write one or two emails while on the phone call too. Sound familiar?

How about sending SMS’s while you are driving, even when knowing it’s illegal to do so! Or, even better, having an intimate dinner with your partner and you are busy updating your Facebook & twitter. This is definitely a No No if you still want to keep your partner around.

The truth is that what you are demonstrating are not productive activities and let me explain to you why. In fact, you have spaced your attention to too many tasks at the one time, which means you are only partially engaged in those tasks. It could mean that you are not giving those tasks the attention they deserve, what we call "the rush jobs" so you will end up with poor execution to those tasks. 

Can you remember a time when you were so overwhelmed with your work and you actually forgot what the real reason as to why you started your business in the first place. This has happened to a lot of business owners because they switched away from a primary task to do something else that is easy and less challenging or focused on urgent tasks instead of the important one. That's also the reason why you will never achieve what you set out to do because of all the distractions around you.  Another reason is you lack clarity and priority in your Art & Design practice.

If you choose to fall into this constant pattern of always doing something else like the urgent stuff rather the important tasks, you are relentlessly burning down your energy over a period of time and that means you will have less energy to spend on the important tasks that you have been trying to achieve.

From experience, if you have a plan and prioritise them in order of importance with a timeline helps. You will get two to three times as much work done, and this is because you stay focused on those tasks one at a time without interruptions. Remember to celebrate once you achieved those tasks like a pat on the shoulder, or have "Me time" breaks  so you can re-energise and resume work full of positive energy and inspiration.

Below are a few tips to help you reduce the ‘non stop’ syndrome in your Art & Design business:

1. Work on your 90 days plan: plan your activities and lock in all your important dates and tasks that you need to get done. Be disciplined and stick to it. Think of activities you need to undertake, and then stay focused on those mini tasks over the days, weeks, and months of your plan. Make a habit of reviewing and revisiting your goals regularly each week. Get as clear as you can about what you really want. Establish a vision for your passion and commit to what you want to achieve. Believe it and most importantly… Take action!

2. To do list: Do the most important tasks first. Set a time frame for each task and do those tasks without any interruption. Focus on the task and resist every impulse distraction .The more absorbed you can get, the more productive you'll be. When you're done, take at least a few minutes to refresh.

3. I want it now syndrome: Don't expect an instant response at every moment of the day. What are you rushing for? This behaviour forces you into a reactive mode, lose your focus and makes it hard for you to concentrate on your priorities. A good start is to check your email 3 times a day such as in the morning, midday and before you finish for the day. By doing this you won't get distracted by an email bombardment. To tell you the truth, if people really need you, they will call you.

4. Me Time: Give yourself at least a short break during the day. Get out of your studio and go for a walk, do yoga or a workout at the gym. This will do you a world of good and you can resume your work with renewed energy after your ‘Me Time’.

5. Allocate time for work IN, On and ABOVE  your business: Schedule times to think more long term. If you don't, you'll constantly be trapped on the treadmill of urgency. Find a different space to plan your strategies, preferably somewhere you can  get lots of inspiration, and  you can draw ideas from.

6. Refresh: means time out of your business, go on a holiday several times a year if possible, The breaks don't have to big and long it can be a short one of only two or three days and linked  to a weekend.  Taking regular breaks will give you a healthy mindset, increase overall productivity and a positive Art & Design practices.

Would you like to learn your business model the ArtSHINE way?

It’s as simple as 1... 2... 3...

2. Send an e-mail to this ArtSHINE : info

3. Contact Vinh for a no cost, no obligation coaching 


Image via

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

REFRESH NOW And Be More Productive!

As a creative business owner, for most of the time you are so focused on your Art & Design business that you tend to forget to look after number one!

So who is that you ask?

It's YOU! You are number one. You are the creator of your business. You are the one who makes the difference to your Art & Design business.

SO why is it that you don't look after yourself?

If you are doing what you love you should nurture that passion within you. Whether it's "me time", a "mini break" or a "long vacation" you must take some time out so that you can rejuvenate and return to your business with new ideas, renewed enthusiasm and inspiration.

If you want to increase your productivity in your Art & Design business, taking a break regularly is critical for your passion and your business. You will be amazed how these breaks can make a great impact to your thinking and in how you view and grow your business.

At ArtSHINE we address these breaks as "REFRESH".

We are human beings. We are unique individuals that are not robots or computers. Unlike computers or machines we don't have the capacity to perform at high speed nonstop for a long period of time. Even machines and computers need a tune up or be serviced in order to function well. We are no different.

So give yourself a break. You totally deserve it. If you are unable to take a long break then some short breaks throughout the year or during the day are good too if they allow you to be refreshed. If you have a team of people in your business you should encourage them to have regular breaks which will do them the world of good too. Have a group outing and get them to play games or participate in activities out of the work place will improve working relationships and team spirit. You should also make sure that when your team is in working mode that they are fully engaged and when they get their chance to refresh you need to make sure that they are totally renewed and rejuvenated. And that means for you too. You are the leader and you need to lead by example and empower your team to do the same.

Would you like to learn Refresh the ArtSHINE way?

It’s as simple as 1... 2... 3...

2. Send an e-mail to this ArtSHINE : info

3. Contact Vinh for a no cost, no obligation coaching 


Monday, April 16, 2012

Inspirational Quote of the Week

"Persistent people begin their success 
where others end in failure." 
- Edward Eggleston

Friday, April 13, 2012

Tales My Mother Told Me... Tale 8: Confidence & Competence

Welcome to Tales my Mother told me...

Tale 8: Confidence & Competence

"When you have high level of competence in what you do 
and the confidence to act on your ability...
you can succeed in any area you choose in your life"

This tale started when I was in year nine at high school. Our school introduced public speaking as part of the English curriculum.  At school, I was a shy student; I recall hardly ever putting my hand up even if I knew the answer to questions. Or if I did, my heart was pounding like I was going to have a heart attack, and my hands would also shake.

I also remember my very first public speaking assignment in my English class...We all had to pick a topic and be prepared to stand up the front of the class and speak for at least five minutes. After I got the assignment, I was so worried about how I was going to do the public speaking.

So I went home with such a look of stress on my face and told Mum about the public speaking assignment that I had to deliver in a weeks time
"What should I do mum, I am no good with public speaking. All my friends will see how nervous I am going to be and it will be so embarrassing" - I said quite distressed.

"Relax my little one, do you have a topic in mind that you want to present next week? Mum asked

“Yes I do, but I 'm so scared that my nervousness will kill my speech Mum" I said

"Public speaking is quite a challenge and the key to success is to know your topic well with lots of practice” Mum said.

"I will learn my script but I don't think my nerves will ever go away. I really wish I could do something about this" I said.

"Nervousness is part of us and there is nothing wrong being nervous. The reason you feel nervous is because you really care about what you’re going to present. You will feel those butterflies in your tummy and at times you will feel their movement stronger than at other times. The key is to keep them calm and comfortable so you can focus on your speech instead of your nerves. Remember your performance on the stage at the school show" Mum said with encouragement.

"Mum I was in kindergarten! I was a kid and I did not care what people think of me then, and I do now and this is a problem"

 "You were so confident on the stage and wearing a cute little tie that your Dad & I bought especially for the show." Mum said proudly.

"Yes I was and it was fun to be on the stage. I wonder why I wasn't nervous then.... Why mum?" I was puzzled.

"You were confident because you know that song back to front. And remember how you loved that song? You used to just sing it day and night because you loved it so much... In anything we do, first we need to be competent and learn the work in order to give us the confidence to deliver the result." said Mum.

"Confidence & Competence... what a pair"

"That's right my little one. Your nerves can be put behind you. This will come with experience. And to do well you need to do practice regularly and you need to know your stuff" Mum said with a big smile.

Needless to say, she was right, practice, practice, practice was my strategy for that first speech of mine. Of course I was nervous, but by focusing on what I knew, I was able to deliver without a stumble, and without a hitch.

So, in life and in business, Confidence & Competence play a major part in what we do. To do well and to be happy with what we do, we need to acknowledge and accept who we are. To celebrate our strengths and acknowledge our weaknesses.  After all, we’re all truly unique individuals.

Success in your Art & Design practices have everything do with you; how you feel, how you act, and how you embrace who you really are. 

At ArtSHINE we talk with our clients about “Confidence and Competence”.

Here’s why...

As creative individuals we all have dreams and desires. And we set goals that relate to those dreams and desires. Perhaps it’s to become a successful artist or designer recognised in your particular field. One thing’s for sure; all creative people have one very common goal; to be successful in our own right and to be doing what it is that we love.

From our coaching experience we see two essential characteristics required in order to achieve our goals:

1 CONFIDENCE: our heartfelt belief in our ability to do a task, and

2 COMPETENCE: all our abilities, all our skills, experiences and knowledge that means we are capable to do a task.

In our work we have found creative professionals generally fall into one of three groups when it comes to competence and confidence...

Confident but lacks competence: - Confident and talented with a clear focus on art and design, but not fully competent in all the aspects of the design practice.

Competent but lacks confidence: - Uniquely talented with a passion for Art and Design with an understanding, ability, and appreciation of the multiple facets of a successful design practice. But lacking the self confidence to move beyond current experiences. Sometimes reliant on others to confirm talents. Has the ability yet lacks the confidence to take action. Therefore remains stuck and seldom achieve goals and dreams.

While successful creative professionals fall into this third category...

Confident and competent: - This is where we want you to be... Positive in your approach to your Art & Design practices. Confident in your ability to achieve what you want, and actively working towards your goals. Understanding of what it takes to be good at what you do, and grateful for both your strengths and weaknesses. Constantly challenging yourself, learning new skills to get better within yourself, and in your Business LifeStyle.

So, to achieve our goals and be successful, the first step it to achieve competence. Build the necessary skills and knowledge you need in your Art & Design practice. And that’s not just about the Art and Design... It’s about your ability to "deliver the whole package".

Just as critical is your belief and having the confidence in yourself to take action. To have the confidence to do everything that’s necessary, to do what you know, to use your talent and your skills to the best of your ability.

The really good news is that both confidence and competence can be developed over time through learning, experiencing and gaining knowledge.

When you have a high level of competence in your particular area and you have the confidence to act on your ability... you can succeed in any area you choose in your life.

Pure Leverage

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