Friday, 17 November 2017

Shop my closet!


Hi guys, I'm on a downsizing mission, and I've decided to sell a few of my clothes. Since our move to cowboy-land, my style has changed, and I don't wear some of the girlier items I own any more.

You can see the clothes in my brand new section Shop my closet on the top! I will add more stuff over time, so check back once in a while 😄

Happy Friday!

xo Miriam



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Wednesday, 15 November 2017

One year in our new home!



Today we've lived in our new home for exactly one year! To mark the occasion, I am going to take you on a nostalgic look back. Ready? Let's do this!

Fun fact: At the beginning of last year we had no idea that we would be living in a new place in a new town by the end of it. 
In May we had no clue, as evidenced by this post where I escaped into an elaborate daydream to escape my dreary reality. 
In June we still were blissfully unaware of the upcoming radical change in our life, because otherwise I would have never embarked upon this tedious kitchen renovation project.
But then, July rolled around, and with it a cryptic blog post. Don't you just hate those? So do I, which is why I revealed what was going on only 4 days later. 
In August we kicked our selling and buying adventure into high gear, and I documented it all

As anyone who has bought a house can attest, the process doesn't go by without some dramaconfusion, and near-fatal mistakes
But we survived, and on November 15, 2016, we officially moved into our new home!


So, what has happened since then?
A lot.

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Thursday, 9 November 2017

Things that are in places where they shouldn't be


The other morning I stepped outside - and found a deer head on my front stoop. Attached to it wasn't the body of a deer, but our dog Tom Snow, happily chewing on the deer's face.
I should have been more surprised, but I really wasn't. It's hunting season, and I assume that one of the hunters in the neighbourhood cleaned his dead deer and flung the head over the fence, where Tom Snow found it and brought it home, like the good gatherer he is (he's not a hunter, the sweet boy). 
Gives the expression "Don't lose your head" a whole new meaning, doesn't it?

The dogs took turns chewing on the head, but eventually we took it away from them. Raw deer makes for terrible farts.

Finding a deer head in front of my house made me think of all the weird things I have found in places where you'd least expect it.
I always hear from my friends with kids that kids are crazy inventive when it comes to putting stuff where it doesn't belong. An entire toilet paper roll stuffed into the toilet, lipstick in their face, marker on the walls, peas in their nose, batteries in their stomachs - that's all just a normal morning in a kid's life.
I don't have kids at home, but I have a husband and animals, and seriously, that might be worse.

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Monday, 6 November 2017

Cut the bullshit



Have you ever lain down in the grass on a warm summer night, look up at the sky, notice the trillions of stars (really notice them, as if seeing them for the first time), and had this deep, profound moment of realizing just how small you are? I hope you have. It's an oddly satisfying experience. 

It makes you appreciate the fact how tiny and insignificant you really are. And how tiny and insignificant your problems are in the big scheme of things. I mean, when you get a glimpse at the vastness of the universe, you can't help but see your seemingly larger-than-life worries from a new perspective. 

Like all of us, I get caught up in the tedious annoyances of daily life. He hasn't emptied the dishwasher; she never cleans up after herself; this person is so fucking annoying. Work sucks, my husband has the longest man cold mystery illness ever, why am I losing so much hair, dusting is the most pointless job in the world. The list of petty little grievances can quickly become a long one - if you let it. Looking at the stars helps with that. How can you worry about dust when dust is even smaller than you? When the entire world is made of dust? When it will all be gone in the blink of an eye?

Photo credit @itseriksen

But looking at the stars is not something you can do all the time. There are several prerequisites necessary: It has to be night; it has to be cloudless; you have to be in the right frame of mind. It's a wonderful occasional reminder, but it doesn't help in a pinch. 

You know what does? Pretending that you only have one year left to live. 

If you think that's a horribly depressing thought, and the last thing you want to do when you're already fed up with the world is thinking about death, hear me out.
I believe that being aware of your own mortality is an incredibly powerful tool that works for you. 
It's my secret weapon that I pull out when I feel scared, overwhelmed, or unsure which way to go. 

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Saturday, 4 November 2017

Where I want to be in June 2022



... still in bed with Tom Snow. The end.
That's the short version. If you want to know more, here comes the long one! 😉

Last night I went through the drafts folder of my blog. In case you don't know what I'm talking about, the draft folder is where blog posts go to die that are unfinished. I tend to write down titles or quick notes when I have an idea, and save it in the drafts folder, with the intention of getting back to it later. 
Well, good intentions are apparently not enough, because I've collected 110 unfinished posts in there. Yikes! 
Many were a lost cause (I only had a title and no clue what I meant to write down), but some might just see the light of day. This is one of them! I can't remember exactly why I settled on June of 2022, but I'm assuming that I planned on doing a 5-year-plan post back in June. You know, like the interview question about "where do you see yourself in 5 years?".

I looove making big plans for the future, writing them down, and then looking back on them a few years later. Almost exactly 3 years ago (it was Nov 18, 2014), I wrote a post describing my dream for the future. At the time, we had no idea when, how, or if we'd ever be able to turn that dream into reality. Three years later, a lot of my wishes have come true, which is freakishly awesome and reinforces my belief in manifesting your dreams.

Let's do another round, shall we?

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Wednesday, 1 November 2017

You are not responsible for other people's opinions


Words are powerful. They can heal, and they can destroy. They are a weapon that needs to be yielded carefully; because if it isn't, it will cause pain. 
Unfortunately, while everybody learns to speak, not everybody learns to speak with kindness.
Most people aren't mean on purpose, but careless; however, the result is still the same: we are getting hurt. 

The good news is that we can learn to shield ourselves. Instead of being helpless against barbed comments and sharp words, we can create an armour weaved out of even stronger words. The power of words goes both ways!
I'm one of those people who gets easily discouraged. When I was younger, I wanted nothing more than for people to like me. Fitting in and being accepted were my two most important goals in life. 
However, I also have this wild streak in me of wanting to be wild and free and not giving a damn about the naysayers of this world! How can I become this fearless woman I want to be when I'm also annoyingly oversensitive?

I'm currently reading Mark Manson's book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck (I highly recommend it!), which is all about learning what to give a fuck about. The opinion of other people is not amongst them.
On my path to self-empowerment and fierceness, I've been reading lots and lots of life advice from people much smarter than me. 
And it has dawned on me that I've been making lots of mistakes in the past. 

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Saturday, 28 October 2017

I'm getting myself a she shed!

source

The other day, there was a knock on the door. Lily, my corgi, was outside, and I assumed it was her wanting to come back in - she always knocks gently on the door when she does. (She's remarkably smart, obviously.)
But when I opened the door, my big, goofy dog Barney was standing there, smiling up at me.
You may remember that Barney was an unplanned dog. In his short life, he had been passed from one home to another, and ended up at our place, to be given to yet another new home. Rich, Barney and I fell in love with each other, and we decided to keep him. That was back in July, and he has been grateful to us ever since.

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Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Is happiness real?



I've been  pursuing happiness since I was a little girl. When grown-ups would indulgently ask me what I want to be when I grow up, I would shyly say: "I want to be happy."
Of course, this is not a revolutionary idea. On the contrary, it's the most common sentiment there is.

Everybody wants to be happy. We want that for ourselves, for our children, and for the people we love.
The wish is simple; to get it is trickier.

The thing about happiness is that it is misunderstood. We believe that it is a destination, and once we have reached it, we will be able to stay there without another want or need for the rest of our lives.
At least that's what I used to think. I had a few items on my list: love, a fulfilling job, great friends, a pack of dogs, finding my passion, a fit and slim body. Once I had found all the items on my list, I would be happy forever, right?

Wrong.

I started ticking off the items on my list one by one, and I noticed something unsettling.
While it was true that these items brought me great joy and happiness, they came with their own set of challenges. I had expected pure bliss and the end of all my problems, and this wasn't what I got.

The love of my life? Still frustrating sometimes.
The fulfilling job? Still annoying sometimes.
The great friends? Maintaining friendships requires work.
The pack of dogs? Smelly, dirty, oh-so-hairy, and barky.
Finding my passion? A whole lotta work, doubt, and frustration.
A fit and slim body? To get it and maintain it, it's a whole lotta work, dedication, and pain.


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Thursday, 19 October 2017

When comparison *brings* you joy



I’m sure you have heard the saying before: “Comparison is the thief of joy”. I have used it myself many times, when struggling with the envy that comes when you compare your life with the highlight reel you see on social media.

But you know what? You can actually turn it around and use comparison as a way to make yourself feel better.
Just this morning I read a confession from an author - let's call her Miranda - whom I equally admire and dislike. Admire, because she has achieved the dream – making a living by writing books – and dislike because I find her to be quite overbearing and obnoxious. Still, she is a great writer, and I keep reading her stuff and following her on Instagram, always curious what she will do next. This morning, she was characteristically honest – and uncharacteristically humble.

She said that making a living by marketing yourself and having to be interesting and innovative enough to have people pay money to hear you talk about yourself is incredibly exhausting.
Her advice to other storytellers is to not rely on earning your money solely by marketing yourself. Constantly sharing your vulnerabilities with the world will leave you raw and brittle. It will burn you out.
I always suspected that I would never be cut out to be one of those women who build their own companies. I get too scared. Too unsure of where I want to go. Hell, I’ve had this blog for over 4 years, and I still don’t know exactly where I’m going with it. I don't have a crystal-clear vision; I'm more of a vague-idea/let's-see-what-will-happen kinda girl.
The thing is: I like taking mental breaks. I need them for my sanity. And while I know that about myself, there are times where I look at other boss women and wish I could be more like them.  
Hearing Miranda share the downside of it all, and telling us that she is looking for a way out of it, is – well, it’s amazing. I’m so grateful for people who share the truth. And that’s why I continue to follow her, despite her loud personality. 


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Wednesday, 18 October 2017

A confession



Hi there! Remember me? It's been a hot minute since I've been here. I've been wanting to write every day, craving it, needing it, but then ... something happened. 

::dramatic pause::

I got lazy. BAM! Yup, that's it. Nothing bad happened. 

I've fallen into a terrible rabbit hole, and I've been desperately trying to crawl out of it. Every morning I'd wake up with the best intentions, promising myself that as soon as I was done with work, I'd go home, write, do yoga, and cook something healthy. 

And every day after work I plopped myself down in front of the TV, poured myself a big glass of wine, and fell into a Netflix stupor. 

Guys, it's been bad. And embarrassing. I really debated if I should share this on here, because I'm ashamed. I was on such a great path last year! And the year before!
Doing yoga every day, getting stronger, feeling in the best shape of my life mentally and physically. But I've fallen completely off the wagon. And once you're off it, gosh damn it is it ever hard to climb back on!
Instead of doing the things I love, I've become one of those lazy couch potatoes. And honestly, I barely recognize myself. I never thought I would end up here again, in a carb-filled, wine-soaked lazy-land. I was there before, and didn't care for it. And yet, here I am, like in a bad dream. 

The thing is, writing and yoga make you examine yourself closely. A little bit too close for comfort, apparently. And after reliving the last 17 years of my life for the book, I guess I needed a time out. No more looking at all my flaws, mistakes and quirks. No more feeling all.the.feelings all the time. I wanted to pause my brain, and I did it via the oldest trick in the book: good ol' booze and Television.

I've been trying to unpause my brain and rejoin my life for a few days, but you know how it is; once you've started a bad habit, it's really hard to break it. 

But then, today, I got three signs. You all know how I believe in the power of signs, don't you? I have asked for-and received them- all my life, and today was another powerful reminder of how magical the universe is. 

Old photo - but new ones are in the making once again!

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Friday, 6 October 2017

Thankful


It's Thanksgiving weekend in Canada, and I thought it appropriate to write out a list of everything I'm grateful for.
It's been a whirlwind of a year. Within the span of one year we sold our old property and moved to our dream place. I quit my job without knowing if and when I would find a new one; but I did, and it's better than I dared to hope.
Richard fulfilled his dream of owning cows.
We adopted another big, fluffy dog.
I wrote a book.

It's been a crazy, overwhelming, beautiful year, sometimes harder than expected, but mostly better than I could have ever imagined.

Here is my (hopelessly incomplete) list of things I'm thankful for:

I'm grateful for Richard being back home after being gone for 18 loooong days. I missed the old fart.


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Monday, 2 October 2017

Boss Women: Jenny



Happy Monday and welcome October! After a period of mourning for another summer gone too quickly, I'm now ready to embrace autumn with all its leaf-crunching, candle-burning, soup-cooking and scarf-wearing glory. I hope you are too!?
One of the best things about the colder months is that it gives you more time to spend on indoor projects. Fall and winter are the best months for creating, crafting, writing, drawing ... which brings me to this week's boss woman.

I 'met' Jenny several years ago through blogging. She used to run a lifestyle blog, and I was immediately drawn to her wonderful writing voice. Jenny is an avid reader, and wise beyond her years, and her writing reflects that. I always felt better after having read one of her posts, more prepared for what life may throw at me. She has a way of making sense of the world that I deeply admire. You will know what I mean once you start reading her interview!

How Jenny came up with the idea for her business Carrot Top Paper Shop is just wonderful - she is literally (pun intended!) doing something she was meant to do.
I let her tell you her story:

Q: How did you come up with the idea for your business?
A: My husband and I moved from Washington D.C. back to my home state of Oklahoma when I was eight weeks pregnant with our daughter (who is now two-and-a-half!). I knew I wanted to stay home with her, but I also knew I wanted to do something creative, that would hopefully allow me to contribute financially to our family. At the time, that felt like too much to hope for!
When preparing Violet’s nursery, I couldn’t get this idea out of my head to create a banner for her room with all my favorite literary heroines on it. I’ve always been a big reader, and my favorite book as a girl was Anne of Green Gables. When I found out we were having a girl, being able to share Anne with her was one of the things I was most excited about!

But I couldn’t find a heroine banner online, or anything close to what I wanted, so I made my own. It wasn’t long after that I realized I couldn’t be the only mom out there looking to inspire her young daughter with the role models she grew up with. Once I had the idea to start selling my literary heroine banners, it soon became something I knew I wouldn’t be able to shake, and I started selling my work on Etsy when my daughter was seven months old.


Q: Was it always your dream to have your own business?
A: Strangely, no. Ever since I was a kid, I knew I wanted to do something creative when I grew up, but my creative interests didn’t feel cohesive to me: I loved to read, so I “ran” a library out of my bedroom for my friends and family (I had a mini card catalog system), I loved to write and draw, so I wrote a magazine that I mailed out to my friends (I think at my peak, I had twelve subscribers), I loved Anne Shirley, and wrote a play based on the book, and coerced my sisters and friend to act in it with me (let’s just say I was much better at set design than acting).
A business owner, specifically, was never something I really considered. But looking back, I realize that’s because for me, the passion has to come first. Once I had a cohesive, creative idea involving something I loved, being a business owner was just something that came with the job. And now, I love it!


Q: What does a typical day look like?
A: The first two years of a child’s life are a roller coaster ride, to say the least. I’ve learned to be flexible in my goals and not set strict expectations for myself. Otherwise, I would just be constantly setting myself up for frustration.
But structure can still be flexible. Each night, I look at that week’s to-do list and decide what will be manageable the next day. I decide what can be done when Violet is awake, and what would be best to do while she is asleep. I find it is crucial for my productivity to know exactly what I will be doing first thing in the morning, ahead of time.

A typical day for me means waking up around 6:30, working out (briefly), and drinking coffee while tackling whatever I planned for my early morning hours. Violet wakes up around 8:00, and I’m all hers for the next couple of hours. We have breakfast and play for a little while before I do some work in the same vicinity (household chores, or answer emails while she plays). During her afternoon nap is when I pack orders and do as much of the behind-the-scenes work as I can.

Right now, my husband works from home most days, which is hugely helpful. We let Violet “help” us in whatever small ways we can (unloading the dishwasher even when it takes twice as long, or throwing away the trimmings from my heroine bookmarks. Don’t judge – she loves taking things to the trash can!). She definitely thinks the three of us are a team!
I rarely get through my entire to-do list for the day, but I love my flexible schedule, even if it does mean longer hours most days of the week. There’s something to be said for simply being content with doing your best for the day. I end each night with a good book, which is a must for me when it comes to recharging!


Q: How do you come up with your ideas/designs?
A: Inspiration comes from all different places, and often, when I least expect it. I write down half-baked ideas in between product lines, and create Pinterest boards to help me visualize a certain look I’m going for. Mostly though, my ideas evolve as I sit down to draw or paint. Rarely do I have the complete product in mind from the start. Although, actually, one of my favorite things in my upcoming collection came to me like a vision while I was washing my face one night. That never happens, and it was weird. But I’m not complaining! And, of course, most of my ideas are inspired by my favorite books, so I always have a book by my muse, L.M. Montgomery, on my nightstand.

Q: What is the best part? What is the worst?
A: The best part is the community that has formed over something I am so passionate about. I kind of can’t get over that there are so many wonderful people in the world who share this love of Lucy Maud Montgomery and her work, and just a love of reading in general. 
The worst part is that there are never enough hours in the day. Ever. Have I mentioned that?


Q: Did you take any business classes, or do you learn as you go along?
A: I read a quote from an entrepreneur recently that said something like, “Building a business is like jumping off a cliff and learning how to build a plane on the way down”. It can feel like that a
lot of times, but thankfully, I have an amazing business coach! I am technically learning as I go, but having a guide means I’m not winging it. Also, both of my parents have experience in owning their own businesses, so I think I grew up thinking it was possible for anyone. I’m grateful for the confidence they instilled in me that if you want something, you go out and make it happen.

Q: Do you do it alone, or do you have help?
A: Right now, I’m a one-woman show. But that doesn’t seem fair to say because my husband’s emotional support and willingness to run to the post office for me is not to be underestimated!



Q: Do you ever get self-doubts, or think you can't do it?
A: Yes and no. I have never had doubts that this is the job I am supposed to be doing. But do I have doubts that I am talented enough? Creative enough? That I can sustain what I have created? Yes, absolutely. You would think that if I believed I am supposed to do this job, I should also believe I am equipped for it. But somehow that one requires more faith.

Q: How do you balance being a mom/wife/and running your business?
A: I try to take one day at a time, and remember that I can’t see the future, as much as I like to imagine I can. You can do almost anything when you take it one day at a time! And as Anne Shirley says, “Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet”. I’m learning to be present in whatever I’m doing. I try not to think about work when I’m with my family, and I give myself permission to give 100% when it is time to work.

I’ve learned that creativity begets creativity, and sometimes it feels like I’ll never be able to do everything I want to do. But I also know that raising my daughter comes first, and I am perfectly okay with the fact that some of my ideas might take ten years to come to fruition.


Q: Any tips for others who want to start their own business?
A: If you don’t believe in your product, no one else is going to care either. Enthusiasm is contagious. Don’t underestimate your passion as an important part of your business plan.
But also, passion isn’t enough. Don’t guess. You don’t have to go to business school to run your own business, but you definitely need some sort of guide. Whether that is a business coach, online classes, or a stack of recommended books. Start with a plan, ask a lot of questions, and look for answers from people a few steps ahead of you. Also, read The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber!

Q: How did you come up with the name?
A: In the book, Anne of Green Gables, an overly-confident schoolmate tries to get Anne’s attention by making fun of her greatest insecurity: her red hair. He calls her “carrots” in front of the whole school, which is an unforgivable act in her book. Anne holds a grudge for years before she finally finds it in her heart to forgive him, and they become friends (and, spoiler alert, a love interest!). My shop name is a cheeky homage to one thing every reader around the world loves about Anne: her greatest insecurity. 

Thank you Jenny!

Check out her gorgeous designs at her
↠ Etsy shop and
↠ Instagram

Join her Kindred Spirit Club (e-newsletter) and get a free print by signing up to her

Or how about joining her Instagram Book Club? You can get Jenny's book recommendations and enter her book giveaways!

Comments are turned off, go and check out Jenny and her heroines!



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Thursday, 28 September 2017

Pockets of bliss in a sea of loneliness


I wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. Automatically, I reach up to put the toilet seat down - only to realize that it's down already. And my sleepy brain remembers that he's not here.

It's the smallest things that give you a painful reminder of your lover's absence. I used to be annoyed when he left the toilet seat up, and we had silly arguments about it. "WHY CAN'T YOU PUT THE SEAT DOWN?" I would yell.
He would shout back: "WHY CAN'T YOU PUT IT UP?" Touché.

But now I miss it. I miss all the stupid little things that I like to complain about: The little cutting board with the remnants of the apple he ate late at night, left on the coffee table. The half-finished cups of tea all over the house. The used teabags in the sink that used to annoy me so much. I miss them. 
It's too quiet in the house. I always think I will like finding the house exactly how I left it, but I don't.
I miss the welcome-hugs after coming home from work.
I miss having him there to tell him all about my day.
I miss being able to share good news with him. Do you know how hard it is when something good happens and you can't share it right away? IT'S AGONY.
I miss our midday phone calls when I'm at work. We always talk at least once, and I miss these talks so much.
I miss his assurances that "everything will be okay". When I get insecure, or worried about the future, or just have a bad day, he can talk me down the ledge like nobody else can.


He's been gone 12 days now. Another 6, and he will be back.
It worries me that I miss him so much. The little voice in my head never tires to remind me that some day? The separation may be permanent.

So I try to enjoy my time as "single" girl.
I binge-watch Netflix, eat junk food and drink wine.
I get a lot of work done; that's good.
I go to a wedding celebration and have a fantastic time. That night, I don't miss him at all!
I get a phone call from a friend, offering his help. The next day, he comes by, just to make sure I'm doing okay.
I go to the neighbourhood pub and have a nice time; everybody knows my name (just like in Cheers!), and a 67-year old man mildly hits on me. It's both awkward and strangely flattering at the same time.

My "single" girl days are okay. I'm fine. I have some great moments, where I feel strong and happy and proud of myself.
But mostly? I'm lonely.

I haven't been a single girl in 15 years. And I'm very happy about it. I have never been good at being alone; I love being in love. 
I know that you're supposed to be alone. Figure out who you are. Know that you can make it on your own.
I was alone for a couple years in my early twenties, and I was so miserable and lost, I think of those years as the bleakest and most depressing ones of my life. I did learn things about myself: That I'm stronger and braver than I think I am; that no matter how desperate things are, I never lose hope; that I can survive.


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Monday, 25 September 2017

Boss Women: Mariah



One of the best things in life is when you meet someone new and you connect right away. Something clicks, and you feel like you have known this person all your life. It's awesome.
That's how I felt when I first met Mariah.
For a few years before meeting her I had been wrestling with the question of whether or not to have kids. Deep down I knew that I didn't want to have my own children, but the surprising resistance of people around me rattled me. I felt alone and alien in my decision, because seemingly every single woman in my life was all about the babies, and made me think something about me must be wrong.

But then I found Mariah. Not only was I drawn to her wit, get-shit-done attitude and her openness, but she was a fellow 'child-free' woman! She provided a space on her previous blog to bring women like me together, and she managed to finally make me feel confident in my decision.

Together with another blog-friend we ran a link-up for several months, and have stayed in touch ever since. Oh, and we have never met IRL - she's one of those special people who can touch your life in the most positive way from behind a computer screen!
When she started her own business, I was ecstatic for her. In the 4 years I have known Mariah, she has been cheering me on consistently in all my small and big endeavours, and I knew that she had found her calling. Supporting other women turning their dreams into reality is what she is meant to do! Take it away, Mariah!


Q: Can you tell us about your business?
A: I run Bloom Hustle Grow where I help women bring their business dreams to life. If you have the desire and passion to share your special skill/talent with the world, you can make it your business. I love getting to be a part of that by helping you establish strategic direction, actionable steps, and build processes that allow you to hustle easier. You should be running your business, and not feel like it is running you. I don't want to see anyone give up on their dreams just because they can't figure out the business side or tech side of getting it all organized.
Q: How did you come up with the idea?
A: I really struggled with coming up with my “passion.” I always loved hearing people share their passions and was always inspired by other’s going after their thing but just felt like I was not going to find my thing. Until I realized my passion was helping other people follow their passion. My passion is the business of it all!
Q: How did you get started?
A: Well, I knew I wanted to have a business helping other business owners, but I wasn’t exactly sure what that looked like. I met with a few other business coaches who encouraged me to pursue that path. I have more of a strategic/processes focus than some coaches and waiver between the title of coach or strategist/consultant. But I’ve never been one to fit into a neat box anyway so why should my biz title be any different. Personally, I like the title of a get shit done coach but I’m not really edgy enough to give out cards that have shit in print, and it’s not great for SEO. 😂
I have a business background with an MBA and a B.S. in business. Most of my prior 9-5s were figuring it out project by project and building a business is not all that different. I’ve always been great at planning and seeing the big picture but also not missing out on the details which comes in handy with helping others focus and get a plan in place.



Q: You quit your job in order to start on your own. What gave you the final push to take such a big step?
A: I was unhappy with my job and wanted to do something that I really enjoyed and got to show my talents. While I would like to have an “I am woman hear me roar” kind of story, I would have taken a lot longer (maybe never) if my husband didn’t give me the push and encouragement to go for it.
No riveting story here. After months of my husband saying just quit and figure it out.  I gave notice, and then 3 days later we found out we were moving to California, so it kind of worked out anyway.
Q: Do you have help, or do you do it alone?
A: I’m a solopreneur so no assistants or anything at this time. But of course, there are all kinds of wonderful fellow bosses who have definitely helped me (and continue to help me) along the way in less of an official capacity.
Q: How do you find clients? Do you advertise/use social media/network?
A: Networking is a big part of getting coaching clients since it’s more of a one-on-one relationship. But certainly social media and doing guest posting, joint collaborations/webinars help to make those initial contacts.
Most of building an online business is establishing that like, know, trust factor, especially for service-based businesses. Any way that you can become and show you are a “real” person is going to help you, which is why connections/collaborations are so important. If someone invites you to do a collaboration (guest post, webinar, podcast, etc.) that shows a certain level of trust by that other party.


Q: What does a typical day look like?
A: I love a good routine, but not too much of a routine. 😉  No two days are the same since I work with clients and those happen on different days and times. Most days include some kind of call/meeting, social media time, content writing (whether blog posts, newsletters or other content like courses/webinars/social media postings), and email/administrative work.
Q: What’s the best part about being your own boss?
A: The freedom!! You don’t have to worry about dwindling vacation days or commuting/clocking-in.
Q: What's the worst?
A: The worst part is that you are basically on the clock all the time. It’s a bit all consuming at least for me. You have to learn to be very intentional with your time, and that includes self-care/down-time.
Q: Did you always want to own your own biz, or did you decide that more recently?
A: It’s something I’ve always thought about since being in college, but not necessarily a life long dream. I’ve always been a bit bossy, so I guess it comes naturally. 😉
Q: Who is your ideal client? Is it primarily catered to businesses selling something, or do you also help bloggers/writers?
A: I work mostly with female entrepreneurs selling their services or products (but primarily services). Many of my clients come to me because they are overwhelmed with #allthethings, can’t stick to a plan or build a plan, are tired of being stuck or feeling disorganized in their business. They know they want to do their thing (whatever their passion is), but they are just struggling to make progress in the day to day and need some guidance on how to run a business.
I don’t work with bloggers who are looking to make their primary income from affiliate or sponsorships mainly because I feel they would be better served by someone who has direct experience in that kind of marketing. Blogging as a business and blogging for your business does have a lot of overlap but the goals are quite different, and the marketing needs to be approached differently.
Now, if you are a “blogger” but decide you want to start for example offering design services, we might be a good match.

Q: What are your goals for the future?

A: Hmmm, goals for the future. I view becoming an entrepreneur as a journey that has lots of twists and turns. Essentially my goal is to be able to help as many women as I can build their biggest and best dreams into a business. How that grows from my little one woman shop into something bigger, I’m not really sure yet. My nearer future goal would be to hire a VA and maybe a copywriter so more of my time can be spent on more of my core business.



Thank you so much for your time, Mariah! 
To check out her services, take a look at Bloom Hustle Grow's 
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Wednesday, 20 September 2017

10 reasons why you should do THE SCARY THING


Life – if lived right – is a daring adventure. If we want to live it to the fullest, if we want to suck every last drop out of it and take advantage of new opportunities, we will be scared. 
lot 

Unfortunately, adventure doesn’t come without risk, and risk scares us. So do new things. And change. And putting ourselves out there. We are afraid of what other people may think. We are worried that we may fail. 
And we are scared that the change we are contemplating may be for the worse. That we are making a mistake. The list goes on! 
I’m sure you’re as familiar with fear as I am, because fear is part of human life. Everybody is scared. Many of us let fear rule our life, and don’t dare try the thing they dream of, because of all the reasons listed above.  
However, there are the people who go for it despite the fear. Who push through it, and find out that life beyond fear? It’s the best damn thing. 
  
I’ve tried a few things in my life that scared the shit out of me, and I noticed something interesting. 
There are two kinds of fear: The good kind and the bad kind. 
The good kind is when you have butterflies in your stomach, and when you feel queasy, but also excited. That sort of fear gives you energy, and makes you look forward to what’s coming. 
The bad kind is when the fear is so heavy, it pulls you down. You literally want to hide under your covers. That fear is a lead blanket, holding you down, paralyzing you.    



I’ve identified 10 signs that will tell you that you should absolutely continue doing THE SCARY THING despite the fear: 
1. Excitement is mixed into the fear. 
You are scared, sure. But there are also moments of pure bliss, where you have to pinch yourself to make sure you’re not dreaming. Because you’re doing it! You’re doing THE SCARY THING you have dreamed of and thought about and agonized over for so long! And in between feeling nauseous and wanting to puke, you’re damn proud of yourself. 


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