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Establishing Your Brand
Wednesday, May 16
6 - 7:30 pm

200 Yards

@ Moxi Salon
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May 5, 6-9pm

@ Rare Device
Submission Deadline
April 30th


"My meetings revolutionized my business because I allowed myself the time, under the guidance of Lightbox SF, to ask myself some really hard questions."

“They helped me so much when it came to pushing my ideas to a new level. They always came with examples to look at and people to talk to and really pushed me out of my comfort zone so I could do more and more. I highly recommend them!!!”

"I would recommend Genevieve for overall plan development and artist marketing to anyone that has a creative idea, the mind of an artist and loves the web.”

"They are always there for me with words of wisdom when I'm feeling a little lost or need help with the next step in my jewelry making company. They have been a huge help in my business!!"

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Entries in goals (13)


Creating Space - Say It Out Loud!

Letting some of your closest friends and family know about your plans for a new project or adventure can definitely help bring it forward into reality. Next time you have an idea that has been floating around in your head but is stalled by fear or doubt practice this technique by telling one of your closest friends or motivating co-worker. Not only might you find the support and extra boost of confidence you need, you might even find a partner in crime.

This is how Gen and I started Lightbox SF. I was trying to find out what the hell I wanted to do with my life and I couldn't shake the idea of starting a creative collective and studio of sorts. With no idea of how to make this happen and no one in mind to help me develop the idea, I asked my good friend and crafty night partner for advice. I could have never predicted her response but she loved the idea and was all aboard. Our ideas for Lightbox have developed over time but our end goal stayed true - to help promote community and success for creative small business owners. And we both love what we do.

Also the next time fear tries to stop you from doing something new and fantastic, close your eyes and tell it to shut up. I just signed up with some of my favorite people to do the Tahoe Tough Mudder in September. It's fascinating but as I discuss how petrified I am about certain obstacles on the course, I come to realize that everyone on my team is afraid of something different. Not only am I super excited about getting really fit, I look forward to helping each other overcome our fears. Everytime I think about the tunnels and start to panic I try to remember that someone will be there to pull me through. And I try to imagine it filled with amazing flowers and a good looking fireman at the end. Whatever helps!


Creating Space - Spring Ahead

image by maggie nessWe have been spending most of the winter months reflecting on our most inner wants and needs. We have discussed what we want to change, where we hope to see our work in 2012. Now is the time to make those changes happen. Spring is a beautiful time to tap into our natural desires for renewal and development. Hopefully you have been spending the last few months thinking about what you hope for the new year. Now let's make that happen!

There are a lot of new and exciting things happening at Lightbox SF. For the next few months, I will be guiding you through fun, new ways to organize you workspace and better utilize the hours in your day. I will be guest posting about time management at Handmade Success and about living more consciously and efficiently at Kanelstrand blog. Both of these sites are amazing and I am so happy to be part of their amazingly creative family. So many exciting things are happening here at Lightbox and now more than ever we hope you join along.

Yes to longer days, warm spring sunsets and big dreams!


Creating Space - Finding Your "Thing"

photo by jessica paigeI just started reading Twyla Tharp's book The Creative Habit: Learn It And Use It For Life and just the second chapter in and am already hooked. She believes, as do I, in creating a "rituals of preparation." I call it simply my "thing." Not really very witty or unique in title but it works for me.

In Tharp's case, every morning she wakes up at 5:30 am (gasp!) to exercise She gets dressed and then walks outside her NYC home and hails a cab to take her to the gym. Going to the gym is not the ritual but it is the task of hailing and getting into the cab. She focuses on creating a habit of something simple (hailing the cab) instead of focusing on the routine of something much more complicated and sometimes dreadful at that time in the morning. Developing good simple habits and attaching them to something much more involved can be really helpful in completing goals. The habit of getting into the cab in the morning can be much more nagging in the moment than the long term goal of having a healthy, strong body. Laying in bed with a nagging feeling that you are forgetting something? It is 5:35! You are supposed to be dressed and ready and in a cab meeting Ms. Tharp at the 91st gym.

I have met artists that cannot start working until they take their morning walk on the beach. Some writers I know must be wearing their favorite sweater and have their morning tea by their side before typing a word. I have to put my workout clothes on first thing in the morning and complete one or two easy tasks before really getting into work. By 1:00 pm it is hard to talk myself out of the trip to the gym when I am already dressed to go.

So what is your "thing?" If you haven't developed one yet give it a try for a few weeks and let me know what you think. A little tidbit of advice  - sometimes you need to change your ritual. If it isn't working anymore, if it doesn't motivate you then create a new one. The habit should be the easy part!



Creating Space - Believing In Yourself And Moving Forward

One of my favorite TED Talks - Caroline Casey


February Business Goals

by Snail Mail DesignWhile exploring the internet I read a post that lead me to Liz Kalloch and her website Athena Dreams. I read through a few posts and eventually landed on this one, where she lays out her business goals for the month of January and talks about a group of like minded business women who created The Meetup. On the 1st they each post their goals for the month on their own blogs. Liz's site works as a hub for all the posts with everyone posting a link to their goals in the comments. Of course mutial support, encouragement, and feedback is appreciated and encouraged.

So I've decided to join and post my goals for February. I love the idea of a new network of creative business owners to provide some accountability and feedback for me. I also thought it would interesting for all of you to see first hand the progession of Lightbox SF. So here goes:

Feburary Business Goals

Focus: Connecting and Networking

1) Send a survey out to both past and potential clients for feedback and marketing insights

2) Get 2-3 case studies up on the website

3) Expand social network by 100 people (mailing list, Facebook, and Twitter combined)

4) Begin working with 3 new clients

5) Secure one new guest post

I have all these written on a 3x5 notecard that lives above my desk along with a note card that lists my top goals for 2012. Each month I write out a new card with my focus, projects and goals for the month to help keep me on track. Posting them here makes them a bit more real and has the added power of sending them out into the world. You never know what could come back to you.

What are your top goals for the year or the month?


Is Your Focus In The Right Place?

image by Andy Goldsworthy found via elemenop.tumblr.comI often have a to do list a mile long. Most of the projects are those that I want to do in a perfect world, not necessarily things that need to get done. I suffer from idea overload on an almost daily basis and everything gets written down.

A couple weeks ago in my New Year’s planning and scheming mode, I sat down with my husband to look at all my projects and decide which ones deserved immediate attention and which ones could be shelved for some indeterminate future date. However our planning session ended up going in an entirely different direction.

Instead of letting me describe all of the projects I wanted to undertake and how they would help my business he asked me what my one biggest goal was. The answer was simple, more revenue. The he advised that instead of putting my energy toward building new, untested services, I focus on what's already working and look at how I can ramp that up.

His simple advice struck home in an unexpected way. I wanted to build more revenue, but instead of focusing on selling the services we already had I was imagining all the new offerings I could package. I was defaulting to the area of business where I’m most comfortable, the brainstorming, idea generation part. Not the execution to the end part.

I suspect many of us suffer from this, if we aren’t getting the results we want right off we look for new ideas instead of fully testing the ones already in play. We certainly hadn’t maxed out our potential client hours and we still had clients returning and new ones inquiring. However I wasn’t actively selling our services, instead I was looking to offer new services in the hopes the additional revenue would come from these.

More importantly than my lack of follow through he showed me that my projects weren't inline with my goals. To bring in more revenue we needed to sell what we had already tested and knew. Diverting my attention and resources to develop new things would distract me and wouldn't bring me any closer to my goal.

The New Year is a time of grand ideas, big dreams and getting it all out there. I encourage that wholeheartedly, but when it comes down to really getting to work look at what is really important to you and honestly assess if all your ideas are really in line with that result. If not it doesn't mean they're bad ideas or have no use, it just means that you might be putting your energy in the wrong place and sabotaging your ability to achieve what you really want.

I want you to ask yourself what's really important to you right now, then look at where you're putting your energy. Are these two things in line? Do your projects really support your goals? Does your to do list get you a little bit closer each day? Or are you distracting yourself with easy, comfortable work?

What can you do right now to get one step closer to what's most important to you?


Be A Turtle

photo by Elle MossHappy New Year!

I'm feeling that beginning of the year buzz. I've got a million ideas floating around in my head and I'm anxious to get started on them all. However I'm going to take a cue from the turtle and the hare and remind myself that slow and steady wins the race. I'm consciously holding back and going slow and I urge you to do the same.

It is often our tendency this time of year to hit the ground running once our vacations are over. We start eating healthier, add in an hour of exercise 3-5 days a week, focus our energy at work on building more revenue or launching that new product line, and then there's the promise to read more, knit more, cook more, start meditating, keep up with old friends... We've set ourselves up to fail. We can't make all those changes at once and expect them to stick. It's natural for us to resist change. Making new habits is hard and breaking old ones is even harder.

Instead of diving in head first, piling everything into your life at once, pick one or two goals to begin to work on each month. January can be about preparation, research, and generating concrete plans. It can be about laying the ground work - buying a new cookbook, getting the gym membership and new running shoes, sourcing new materials or tools. You are making progress, but you aren't burning yourself out. You're making changes that will stick. Then in February you learn more about production or selling or try a new exercise. You call one old friend a week.

You will see things are happening, you'll feel a momentum begin to take hold. We all want to be better, have success and happiness, but that doesn't come from changing your whole life in one day, it comes from incremental changes that support each other. Think of any major goal you've accomplished in your life, did it happen over night or did you struggle long and hard, planning, failing and go at it again differently? I suspect the later. So think of all the changes you want to make this year and start slow, give yourself the whole year or as much time as you can, and be gentle in your expectations.

Don't jump in and expect everything to fit perfectly. Build your new life with intention and compassion.

Share the goals/resolutions you've made for yourself below. We can't wait to hear about the journey.


We Get What We Focus On

found on Pinterest via EleanorSadieLast month I wrote about the importance of having a vision for both your business and your life, after all how can you get anywhere if you don't know where you're going? Then more recently I read this great little post on Paper n Stitch blog about the secret to accomplishing your dreams. It's a simple little trick that makes a huge difference. I'm going to cut to the chase and spoil the secret... you need to think about your dream, vision or goal each day to make it a reality.

You need to write down your dream and read it each day. You need to talk about it with friends and family. You need to put it out there whenever you can. When we focus on something it tends to happen for good or for bad, so why not focus on the good.

A few years ago I tried this trick myself. I wrote a description of the qualities I was looking for in a man and the type of relationship I wanted to have. I folded this piece of paper and slipped it under my mattress, right where I laid my head each night. Most nights I thought of the description when I went to sleep. Sometimes I reread the piece of paper to remind myself of everything I was looking for. I told my friends that I had written it down. I told my friends I was looking.

I have a feeling you know where this is going.

I did eventually forget about that piece of paper and was surprised to see it fall to the floor when I was moving out of my house and in with my boyfriend over a year ago. I read the paper again and showed it to him. My description had come to life almost word for word. I am now married to a man much like the one I described and we have the supportive, fun, loving relationship I described. I even wrote down the detail that I wanted to meet him in some way related to my work and I did indeed meet my husband at a Crafty Hour that Shelly and I were hosting.

I am writing this to tell you that if you put your dream out there and focus on the important details, they have a way of manifesting themselves. Write your goals and dreams down, put them somewhere where you will think of them daily, imagine how you'll feel when it's all a reality, share your vision whenever you can and before you know it you'll be living in that world.

I am also writing this to remind myself of the power dreaming and putting those dreams out into the world. I have a few dreams I need to write down and I'll be sharing them with you soon.


Creating Space - Priorities

Jen Hewett's post it note systemI am pretty sure that I am not alone in the fact that I can get pretty overwhelmed by all the million new ideas zipping around in my head along with all those nagging day to day tasks. These daily tasks are not naturally very exciting to me. This is my big struggle and this is exactly why I designed Creating Space. I love new things, new places and new ideas. I come up with a lot of good ideas but haven't always loved the follow through or the tedious day to day. By building Lightbox with Genevieve and building my own jewelry design business, I have learned new ways of staying focused in the now and developed an understanding of all the components of making things happen. My words of advice - know your long term goals, understand first things first and make decisions based on the greatest payoff.

We are into vision. We want to help you discover yours and teach you how to live a visionary life. Find that vision - draw it, write it, mind map it; however you wish. However, you decide to express it just make sure it is kept someplace that is easily accessible. Like Genevieve said earlier this week this is your pattern or your blueprint.

How do we deal with all of those annoying day to day tasks? I suggest setting up systems and schedule certain days to do these errands. Yes, you have to do the laundry and yes, you have to go to the store. Do your grocery shopping on Wednesday evening, make your list Tuesday night and only do the laundry twice a week. You won't be wasting time during your days figuring out when you will be getting everything done. Leave all that thinking for your creative time. Of course, things will come up and flexibility will be key. However, having these tasks scheduled will make it easier to just move them to another day and will leave a lot more time to create.

Now that you have more time for all your creative projects how do you decide which one to do first? Look at your visionary blueprint and design a question to ask yourself.  How will this effect my life or my business a year from now? Does this project give me the highest payoff? Break that project into individual tasks and set it at "high priority." These should be the assignments that speak to your long term goals and your life vision. When you are working within your vision you will naturally be happier and get more done. It's a simple equation that we often forget.




The Benefit of Having a Vision

Source: via Jenna on Pinterest

Do you have a vision for your business? It's one of the first things we ask our clients. Many can't really answer or we get a vague picture of landing a coveted retail account and getting rid of the day job. It's a start, but that's not a vision. A vision is the big picture that you are working towards.

And why do we think this is so important? Well, how can you get somewhere if you don't know where you're going? Taking the time to really ask yourself what you want your business to look like in one year, three years and even five years gives you not only something to work toward, but a guide for making the smaller choices that come up from month to month and even day to day.

Instead of working toward a vague notion of success you have a clear picture of what you're building. I've used the road map analogy before and I think it's a great illustration, but let's look at it another way. Think of your vision as a the photo on the cover of a sewing pattern. Each day you move forward in your business you're putting in a few stitches or cutting out a new piece and as it starts to come together you can hold it up to see if it looks anything like the photo on the cover. Your vision is a guide for whether the pieces are all fitting together the way you want them to.

Besides creating a vision for your business having a vision for your life in general provides the same guidance. How does your business fit into your life? Is there room for everything you think is important? Does your vision of your business in 3 years match with where you want your life to be in 3 years?

Take the time to imagine the big picture and the little pieces will begin to fall into place. We promise. What's your vision for the next 6 months?