Monday, March 16, 2015

"Learnings" from Week One Right-Brainers in Business Summit 2015

Last week I joined in on the 5th Annual Right-Brainers in Business Summit hosted by author an Artizen Coach Jennifer Lee (March 9-20th). The summit features several successful and soulful creative entrepreneurs. Each weekday, Jennifer shares live and pre-recorded interviews, answers Q & A, and announces prize giveaways. I am so happy to report that I won a fabulous prize by Mari Pfeiffer - a workbook to help write amazing web content ($37 value). Creative friend Bill Cearbaugh won Jennifer's book the day before. I think I was even more thrilled for him, since I invited him and fellow group members to the summit.

Prizes aside, every day I look forward to learning from professionals who are making an impact in the creative world. Every day, Jennifer encourages us to tweet or share our learnings and take-aways on Twitter and other social media. My Documentation Journal is FULL of notes from last week, and I often watch the replay at night for anything I may have missed while chatting or multi-tasking!

The very first quote that resonated with me was from Lisa Congdon. She said quite simply to:

Build and Sail Your Own Boat

I immediately grabbed a Jelly Roll pen, and added the quote above the Sailboat on the front cover of my documentation journal. It was meant  to be there, as I move "Beyond This Place" towards new experiences and moving into uncharted waters.
Build and Sail Your Own Boat  Lisa Congdon Creative Currents Mixed Media Blog

Winter has been a real transition time for us. We had this inkling that we were supposed to move, but it wasn't clear exactly where. This past weekend we received the answer, and now we are preparing to move out of state and start a new life. It's scary and challenging for both myself and my husband, but in a way it's a good kind of fear. Lisa also shared that even as an introverted artist, she spends every day trying to Live Outside Her Comfort Zone. I felt courage that I can be brave, too, as we move to a new place and make new friends. I am excited about new possibilities. 

The RBBIZ summit is interesting, as it brings together people with different spiritual beliefs and values. One of the speakers on Day Two, Amethyst Wyldfire, spoke about Coming Out of Your Spiritual Closet. Jennifer thanked her for that advice, as it gives us permission to be our authentic spiritual selves even in the marketplace. 

Can I share a confession with you? The past year I've struggled very hard to come out of my Christian bubble of like-minded believers and interact with the art community at large. While I am mature in my beliefs and values, I was conscious of the fact that I separated myself from others in a kind of spiritual ghetto. My breakthrough came through joining several art groups and workshops online, and participating in swaps and art challenges which allowed me to spread the love and rub shoulders with peace-loving creative souls. 

I've written a great deal more on this mixed media blog in the past year than my website which houses my musings on art and faith. During New Year reflections, I realized that I need to work towards integrating my blog about creative process with the spiritual truths that I hold dear. I am letting go of fear that I will offend others who may judge me for being a Christian, as that term carries a lot of baggage. I've never been ashamed of following Christ, but I think I was compartmentalizing a little bit too much and hiding who I truly am at times. Does that make sense? I could write loads more about this shift in perspective, but that will wait for the new website!

Corbett Barr of Fizzle, an online learning library for entrepreneurs, shared last Wednesday. Since then, I've listened to a few of the hilarious hipster-style podcasts by Corbett and his cohorts in "Portlandia." He shared so many practical nuggets, but the one that stand out is figuring out your Minimum Viable Product (MVP). This is basically working intensely for a short-term launch of your product or service before it's reached the pinnacle of perfection. It's about not waiting until every bug is worked out or every piece perfectly in place. It's releasing the product/service and allowing your first round of customers to help you make the needed changes. Since it is a trial, you may give a discount since they are providing helpful feedback. I believe this advice may be helpful if I launch any learning modules or e-courses in the future. 

I also loved that he tries to choose business partners that have an opposite style. He's an introvert right-brainer, so he may partner with an extroverted left-brain. In fact, that's exactly what he did when he chose his first business partner for Fizzle. Corbett loves the synergy that happens with this kind of "odd couple" partnership (my analogy). 

I had a moment of synchronicity on Day 4, when Jennifer interviewed Sam Bennett, author of Get It Done: From Procrastination to Creative Genius in 15 Minutes a Day. Wednesday night, I was reading over all the great notes from the summit and thinking about my goals. I also watched an entertaining lecture by Lisa Congdon on YouTube (yes, Lisa from Day One) called Small Things Organized Neatly. Later that night, during a bout of insomnia, I felt like getting a dose of inspiration before working on my goals again. I knew I really needed tips for organization, not the typical left-brain advice I've read so many times - but advice geared toward right-brain creatives. I googled "Organized Artist", and this is what popped up! Here's the screenshot I took:

Now, first I was thrilled that such a company existed, but I also was struck by the thumbnail images below (part of the Google Image search feature). Lisa used the same images in her lecture I had watched just minutes before in a talk given to graphic designers in San Francisco. Most of these are from the Tumblr blog, Things Arranged Neatly

I checked out Sam's site and watched a few of her YouTube videos, too. I kept nodding my head in agreement and tickled pink at Sam's warmth in her delivery style (she has a background in acting). So when Day Four rolled around, I couldn't believe that she was the guest speaker. Remember, I didn't go Googling her from the guest list, but just had that searching in my heart. 

She shared oodles of good things, but towards the end, she spoke about "search terms". Paraphrasing, she said we need a good website to showcase what we do because "there are people searching for YOU."  She used the vision of someone walking down a dark corridor tiptoeing with a candle, searching, searching for something. And sometimes that something is YOU. There were ladies in the chat crying when she shared that. And it didn't really hit me until I wrote this blog that I was searching, too. And lo and behold, God used his GPS (God's Positioning System) to direct me to Sam to answer some of those questions in my heart. 

I have some nuggets to share from Andreea Ayers (yes, two e's), but I seem to have misplaced my notes. Sorry! 

This weekend I was having RBBIZ withdrawals. In fact, I forgot it was Saturday and had my notebook ready and tried to log on to Livestream! You can still get a "free ticket" and join us. Remember, the summit continues through Friday, March 20th. Be sure to look for me in the chat, CreativeCurrents. Send me a tweet @Sandra_L_Martin with your favorite learnings, or share in comments below. 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Coming out of Your Shell ~ A little Inspiration for Sunday