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Create & Thrive Podcast: Episode 2 – This is What’s Holding You Back

We all face challenges when starting a business or even further along the track when we are attempting to grow and change.

I know I still get a little bit of fear when I launch a new product, publish a post or start a new project.

What’s the key to knowing what’s holding you back?

There are four main elements which may make you feel like you can’t get started or that you are unable to take the next step:

  1. Knowledge: You can’t possibly know all there is to know about owning a business and the truth is, often you don’t even know what knowledge you might need.
  2. Time: We all have the same 24 hours in every day but we also have different circumstances.
  3. Money: Not everyone has a bunch of money to invest into a business but others may have significant capital right from the start.
  4. Fear: This is the most significant hurdle in achieving your goals, whether it be the fear of failure or the fear of success.

What changes can we make in our lives which can overcome these problems? How can we be kinder to ourselves to ensure we feel confident enough to realise our dreams?

There will be failures and there will probably be a few of them but that doesn’t mean ‘we’ are a failure. Just like learning to ride a bike, you fall off a few times before you get the hang of it and each time you fall, you dust yourself off and get back on and try again.

Similarly, there will be successes! Own them and be proud of yourself and feel deserving of those wins. You can be a huge success whilst still staying humble and thankful.

Accept that you are in total control of your own life and your creative biz and you can make the changes necessary to be successful.

Quotes and highlights from this episode:

  • ‘There were times when I thought, I’m never going to figure anything out’
  • Having people to talk to – like a mentor or group – is the best place to learn.
  • The info is out there, it’s really about having a filter.
  • You CAN break out of the lifestyle you have created for yourself and you can create something different.
  • There are a lot of time-wasting things we do. Figure out what they are, stop wasting them and let yourself be goal-centered on how you spend those pockets of time.
  • It’s never been easier than it is now to make money from your creativity.
  • You need to spend one or the other – you need to spend time or money. You need to decide what you have more of to spend.
  • The most important thing that holds you back is fear.
  • Are you being positive or are you telling yourself negative thoughts?
  • “You can be confident and humble at the same time.”
  • “You will fail and you will fail a lot and you’ll do it over and over and that is OK.”
  • Don’t be scared of doing things because you think you won’t be doing it right.
  • “Just Start”
  • Whenever you put anything out into the world, it’s scary because you’re putting a little piece of yourself out there for the world to judge.
  • “Feel the fear and do it anyway”
  • Focus on the small wins, the little steps you can take to overcoming these things everyday.


Download this Episode

(You can also subscribe to the podcast and listen to this episode on iTunes + Stitcher – just search ‘Create and Thrive’)

5 Tips for Building a Powerful Personal Brand




From consultants and coaches, to artists, makers and designers, more and more entrepreneurs and business owners are seeing the value of a strong personal brand. 

Whether you have a business with a name of its own or you use your name for your brand, anyone who uses an online presence, social media or networking to help grow their business has a personal brand of some description.

This is a valuable and powerful thing, because people like doing business with people more than with other businesses.

So how do you build and protect a powerful personal brand? Here are five tips for you.

Admit you are a brand.

We all have some form of a personal brand so it’s time for you to admit this to yourself and get comfortable with that idea. Admitting that this is a reality  allows you to take control of cultivating a personal profile you are proud of and that can work to helping you achieve your goals.

Even if you keep your life private, if you share online and market your products under a business name, your customers and potential customers do business with you and they want to know the person behind the business. Sharing parts of yourself and your story helps build relationships and trust with your audience.

You don’t need to compromise privacy or share any more than you are comfortable with to have an effective personal brand, but you do have to admit that you have one.

Define your YOU Brand

Decide what you want to be known for and what things you want people to associate with you and your name.

This might be a topic or a subject matter you want to be an expert, or thought leader in. It might be a specific art form, industry or skill set you want to be known for.

Also think about the values you want to have connected to your brand and what ethics and standards you want people to associate with you.

How do you want to be seen by the world?

Be in it for the long game

Consider your personal brand as a long term investment and be sure to keep in mind your life long, 10 year and 5 year goals as well as your immediate plans.

If you hope to move from what you are doing into teaching or writing or whatever it may be, consider the long game as you set up your brand.

The business you run now may close, get sold on or simply morph into new and different areas, but if you have a strong, positive personal brand people will follow you from one project to the next.

And that means starting something new never has to be starting from scratch.

Let people see YOU

People connect better with people they know and can visualise, so be sure to let people see the face behind the business.

Share the odd photo (or a video if you are brave) to let your customers and potential customers meet you. This will allow them to feel a stronger connection to you and your business and they will be more likely to do business with you.

Get some professional headshots done for your website, share a selfie on your social media and remind people there is a person behind the brand.

If you feel shy about this, simply share a picture of your feet, letting people see part of your day or show your hands hard at work creating your art. Any image with a person in it (even a hand or a foot) is more engaging and relatable than one without.

Be yourself and share your personality

Use the language you use in everyday life. Share aspects of your day to day you are comfortable sharing. Let people see your sense of humour and share your unique personality.

This doesn’t mean you can’t edit your public image.

For example, in my everyday life I swear more than most people I know, but I choose not to use excessive language when I share online, or when I am networking with acquaintances.

Even on my personal accounts I don’t find it valuable to use many profanities (the odd one gets in let me assure you). I simply feel for me using the F-BOMB doesn’t add value to my brand while other very successfully build their bad language into being a defining and positive part of their personal branding.

Think about whether you are a uniquely enthusiastic person, or are you quiet and reserved? Are you witty and sarcastic? Perhaps you love reading? Or do you have a secret obsession with Nashville?

Think about the things that make you unique and what characteristics about your personality your friends and family love most about you – can you share these in some way with your audience?


Have fun with this process to define your personal brand.

You need to take it seriously and be smart and strategic about it to get the best results, but don’t over think it.

Be authentic, be kind and be useful to your audience and you can’t go too far wrong with it all.

C&T Podcast Episode 1 – How Anna Anagno Grew Her Jewellery Biz Into Her Full-Time Occupation


How do you go about the transition from working for someone else to running your own business full-time?

It’s not something that happens overnight and it’s the result of a lot of hard work and patience.

Patience is a huge part of business ownership and we often become obsessed with the idea of knowing and doing it all now.

However, the path to success is not just a waiting game; it requires dedication and commitment along with hours of work in many areas of discipline.

Anna Anagno chats to me in this episode about her journey from worker to maker and how she made the change over time and with a lot of thought and organisation.


One Happy Leaf also grew from Anna’s strong feeling of connection to nature and the environment and her business name reflects this. Her feeling that her  business was a more authentic reflection of herself than her corporate job was made her feel comfortable in her shift to business owner, as she was very bonded to her art.

“I would go on these really cool walks and I felt more ‘me’ rather than the corporate ‘me’ that was working 9-5.” {Anna}

In a world where everything is online, fast-paced and energetic, it’s important to continue to stay true to your vision and yourself when running your own creative business.


Quotes and highlights from this episode

  • Be your authentic self and it will shine through in your business.
  • Trust your instincts with your own business and follow a path that you believe in.
  • Patience is the key to going full-time with your business – it won’t happen overnight.
  • “Successes don’t happen overnight and I realised that I couldn’t have it all right now.” {Anna}
  • Googling can help you answer a lot of your questions in the beginning, especially if you have time on your side.
  • Be prepared to learn more.
  • If you feel like you’re in the ‘deep end’ with any part of your biz, ask for help.
  • Knowing when to spend money or seek help can definitely be a trial and error exercise.
  • Work hard so you can play hard later but make sure you do get some downtime.
  • “You’re in that real development stage where you want to push your business forward and you’re at a stage where it’s OK to do that and really harness the passion and the energy while you’ve got it. But it’s also really important to take time out… I see it as a really dynamic flux” {Jess}
  • Setting annual goals which you view daily is important to keeping you on track and focussed on your game plan.
  • Photography and SEO are super important for any business.
  • “Screw it, let’s do it!” {Anna quoting Richard Branson}



Download This Episode

(You can also subscribe to the podcast and listen to this episode on iTunes + Stitcher – just search ‘Create and Thrive’)


Links from the Episode

Create & Thrive Podcast: Episode 0 – Jess’ Story

Welcome to the Create & Thrive Podcast!

In this pre-episode, I share my story – how I went from studying science, and being super un-crafty, to today,  where I run my successful handmade business – Epheriell – as well as teaching here at Create & Thrive.

It was quite an accidental journey, really – and the turning point happened on a Fijian Island in 2008. Before then, I wasn’t at all ‘crafty’ – I was a teacher and an academic (I have 3 Bachelors Degrees that I earnt over 6 years… because I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my life!) and while I liked my job well enough, I always felt like there was something else I’d rather be doing.

Fast-forward to today, where I’m lucky enough to be doing exactly what I want to be doing – and living a life of immense freedom and satisfaction – and doing good work that I enjoy and am proud of that helps people and makes the world a little bit shinier.

So, how did I get from nerdy science kid to creative businesswoman?

Download This Episode

(You can also subscribe to the podcast and listen to this episode on iTunes + Stitcher – just search ‘Create and Thrive’)

Getting My Day Organised – End of Workday Routine Critique



I knew that an End of Workday Routine was exactly what I needed to round out my new organisational tasks which I have added to my day over the last four weeks.It seemed like a no-brainer and it truly was something I had obviously been needing to switch my brain off ‘work mode’ and into ‘relaxation mode’.

You know how I realised that all this stuff was working? I started crocheting again. Just for pleasure and to wind down at the end of the day. I haven’t done that in over a year!

I make candles and soaps in my business and I now really love that aspect of my biz. I used to crochet before I started my jewellery business back in 2010 and then I just started to do less and less of it once I was ‘creating’ as my business. I now am a crochet teacher too and I really enjoy showing others these skills.

I owned a retail store where I stocked 150 artisans but also made my own stock (jewellery then candles and soaps) and when I would get home from work, I sat on the computer fixing the website, replying to emails, adding stock to my online store, organising my social media etc. And when I was finished there, in a daze I would go to bed and get up and do it again the next day.

My retail business was a success but I completely worked myself into a state of anxiety and lethargy – what a terrible combination!

If I had thought to sit down for a few days and really think about my organisational strategy, I feel like things could have been easier and I would have been a little less stressed. If I had my Morning Dump Sheet to wake up with and then a Daily Schedule to get all my jobs done, I might not have needed to come home and work for so long.

Adding the Marketing Calendar would have meant that I wasn’t scrambling to order my Mother’s Day stock a month before the event.

Then the End of Workday Routine would have meant I could switch off, get out my crochet and enjoy the evening.

Guess what. It’s not too late for me to do that now! I don’t have the retail store anymore (which is due to needing the flexibility to travel with my husband’s job) but I can implement these techniques into my candles and soaps business and avoid falling into the same trap for the future.

I am really thankful to have had the opportunity to work through these organisational tools and add them to my work day. Writing through my experience has also been wonderful and has helped me to figure out what’s right for me.

Here’s a copy of my own End of Workday routine again which you can either print out and use or use as inspiration to make you own.

I highly recommend trying out any of the above techniques in your own business! Let me know if you have used any of these and if they’ve worked for you below.

Kath xx

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