Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Hustle Book for the OCD in me

Only an author like Jon Acuff could have over 12,000 people calling themselves hustlers

While the majority of my business comes from my online shop at Etsy I also rely on the large amount of sales I make at a series of craft shows during the holiday season. 

Last summer I made a huge mistake of being the playful grasshopper and not getting any work done over the summer and winter came I didn't have anything to sell and thus hardly made any money.


This is definitely not how I'm going to reach my ultimate goal of quitting my day job and sewing full-time I have got to buckle down and get the work done

Early in the spring I read the book Quitter by Jon Acuff. Being very inspired by this book I downloaded the next book and also started following him on social media. This summer Jon started a promotion to go along with his latest book that involves taking 25 hours of work time and breaking it down to 15 minute time blocks. This summer challenge led me to the 30 days of hustle group, it's only been two days and already I am eager to get my hustle on. 

As requested by the group I would like to share my hustle book:

I found small binders at Staples along with the graph paper, bookmark dividers and page protector accessories, because lets face it, a girl needs her accessories!
 
Because I'm a neurotic tracker not only do I have my 15 minute time blocks clipped to on the front, I have the 30 day calendar on the inside cover to watch my entire month of progress 

The very first page reminds me of my goals both immediate and ultimate. I love sticky notes and always have them ready at hand. I'm that person who has my goals and mantra's written and notes stuck on the inside of the medicine cabinet, so I read them every morning and every night.  The more I believe my goal to be fact, the more likely its going to happen!

My ultimate goal would to be to have 10 of each animal I offer available at the beginning of the craft show season. This is a big goal but I like to see my overall intent. Even if I only get halfway there, being a checklist junkie I clear the list at the end of each year and start with a blank slate. As you can see.... my hustle has been lacking so far this year, I've got to get on it!

Other Notes to keep with me like my current orders and their statuses (being an accounting major, I love graph paper, to me it is essential to an organized checklist)

My shopping lists

And of course all of my extra sheets of the do summer challenge because I want to complete at least four by the end of the summer. That is 100 hours dedicated to my craft. 100 hours of work done long before the holiday season sneaks up on me.

So there it is fellow hustlers, my super simple (but adorably organized) kick in the rear to get it into gear.

My Etsy Store
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Monday, June 8, 2015

This hustle interruption is brought to you by...

 Why is it every time I sit down to work with every intention to get so much done my phone sends me an alert with a very inviting way to waste my hustle    
Is there such thing as candy crushers anonymous? Why is wasting time on these mindless games the one thing I struggle the most with? Is my dream not bigger than these games?

As I talked about yesterday, I've been reading and following Jon Acuff, today, after I wasted a good hour and a half mindlessly playing facebook games on my phone (and then on my kindle after I had used up all of my lives) while watching a movie on netflix that I've seen a hundred times, and totally ignoring the fact that I have work to do, and every minute I spend wasting time, is another minute later I get to bed tonight.... and that alarm is going to go off at 5:30 tomorrow morning no matter what time I go to bed. 

Jon introduced a summer challenge to go along with his latest book. I'm taking it! It's got an organized grid sheet and everything, and if you know me at all, you know that I love organized grid sheets! 

So I've printed it off, and I am set to do this! I WILL complete 25 hours of work toward my holiday stock this year. Every 15 minutes I spend today, is 15 minutes of early bedtime in October when I'm in the final rush to the first Christmas Craft Show.

Do this with me! Who's in? 

Let's reach our dreams together, find me on instagram @bynichole, let's link up and own our dreams this summer!!
#dosummer2015 with Jon Acuff!



Sunday, June 7, 2015

Dream Big or Go Home

When I was in kindergarten, and was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, it only took a second for me to say an artist.  I quickly learned that neither drawing nor painting was a talent that I possessed. 

I dabbled around in crochet, decoupage, and scrap booking, but never really found my true talent until I started to run my sewing machine.

Five and a half years ago I was laid off from my job. With two children and a husband who worked for minimum wage in a restaurant, the 50% unemployment benefits just weren't going to get the bill paid and food on the table. So I explored the Etsy website that a friend had recommended to me. It was small and simple and not many people had heard of it.  So I made a few things and thought it wouldn't hurt to give it a shot.

Within a week I was getting sales. The first six months of my shop opening flew by with much excitement.  Now, 5 years later, I've had over 1,000 sales on Etsy and hundreds of sales in local markets. Yet I have not reached the true potential of becoming the artist I've dreamed of becoming for the last 26 years of my life.  I still get up every morning and go to work at my day job, it isn't my dream, but it is what I have to do for now.

I read the book Quitter, by Jon Acuff. This book was very inspiring to me. It served as an amazing reminder that you can't just cash in all the chips on your dream, especially when I'm not holding very  many chips to start with.  For all of you dreamers out there, I recommend this book as your jumping off point.

I'm currently ready Start:Punch Fear in the Face, also by Jon. I'll let you know how I feel at the end of that.

For now, I want to chronicle my journey of the second half of my ten year goal. Because I think it is important to stop every few milestones and look back on what I've done to get to that point so far, and how much easier it makes the future look.

Here's to moving onward and upward.

GOAL:  By January of 2020 I will get up in the morning, get the kids ready for school, and then go to work... in my studio, at home. Within the next five years my dream will support my family all on its own.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

100 Days

Every day for the last 100 days I have written a letter to God. I started this project 100 days ago, because one morning I woke up and God told me to buy a journal and talk to Him. So on my lunch hour that day I bought a journal and sat in the parking lot and started writing. 

In the last 100 days I have learned that I've gained a great amount of peace from taking a bit of time each day alone with no tv or music or kids to just spend talking to my God. In those quiet times I learned that even on my worst days of have something to be thankful for and on my best days I have someone else to pray for. 

I am proud of myself for finishing the 100 days without missing one. I've taken it on a road trip to Seattle and even a week long business trip to San Francisco. I've written when I first wake up in the morning, mid way through the day, in bed before I go to sleep, whenever I feel like I need a minute to talk to my God I do.

I tend to get myself into the habit of saving up my prayers for the before bedtime routine; getting into the habit of writing at different times of the day has also put me in the habit of talking top God whenever I feel like I need to. 

In my writing I've asked for guidance, I've asked for patience, I've asked for clear signs. I have prayed for help with car trouble, a friend's health, my son's strength. I have praised my gifts, my family, my love. There is just something about putting pen to paper and writing about these things that make them all so real. Being the tangible person I am, that journal makes my relationship with my Lord a physical, breathing, love.

My troubles are real, and I have Jesus to help me with them. I don't have to be afraid, or ashamed to ask for help. My fears are not insignificant, but they are nothing that my God cannot handle.  The love for my friends runs with real passion, and when I pray for her, I know she can feel Gods love. It's all real, and it lives on my nightstand, and in my purse, and it travels with me wherever I go. 

It didn't take 100 days for me to realize my relationship with Jesus is real, but in 100 days I learned how to make that relationship truly speak to me. 100 days down, the rest of them to go.

Sunday, May 24, 2015


I've been spending all of my studio time filling orders, I've hardly had the time to work on anything new!  So finally this weekend I made a cute little french bulldog 
https://www.etsy.com/listing/234581177/french-bull-dog?ref=shop_home_active_1

and a couple of patriotic puppies!
https://www.etsy.com/listing/234580439/patriotic-stars-dog-plush-toy?ref=listing-shop-header-1

I'm always working away, follow along with what I'm doing in the studio on Instagram!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

I know that I'm suppose to say something


I just don't know what or how or where.  What I do know is that a year ago, God told me that I had something to share. My personality isn't one to platform myself and talk to people about my opinions. I've been terrified that God is going to ask me to talk in front of people and nothing terrifies me more than the idea of talking in front of people. Back in high school I burst into tears during my first speech in speech class. I've always dealt with high anxiety.

89 days ago I woke up an hour before my alarm went off. I woke up wide awake and ready to take the day. One thing was different. I had a pressing feeling that I needed to buy a new journal. Even tho I had just started a brand new journal a few months before.  This feeling pushed on my heart all morning and by my lunch break I had just one thing on my mind.

I drove from work straight to Wal-Mart and bought a brand new journal and a blue pen. I went to my car and opened it up to the front page and wrote a letter to God.  It went something along the lines of: I have no idea what you want me to write in this journal. But for the next 100 days I will write to you. At the end of 100 days I will know what I need to do to fulfill your plan.

Today I wrote letter 89. As I wrote that letter the phrase "write with the intent to speak" came right out of my pen and into that journal. Do you remember that I said I am terrified speak?!  In fact I've prayed Lord, let me do your will, as long as I don't have to openly talk to people. That sounds ridiculous,I know, but those of you out there with anxiety will understand where that comes from.

Today after church, I spoke with one of my very closest friends. She said something to me that gave me that boost of confidence. She said
The amazing thing about doing the things that are outside of our comfort zone is that we have no choice but to lean on God. If you always stay inside your comfort zone, you know that you can handle it, so you don't need to call God for help. But when we are forced to lean on him, amazing things can happen.

So with those words, I am going to move forward.

Lord, use me for your will, in whatever form that may be




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