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[57] How and Why to Take a Digital Sabbatical

Running a creative business requires you to be available to your customers and alert to opportunities. Used correctly online resources can take your business to new levels but it can also bury us in a time wasting and stress inducing cycle. This is where a digital sabbatical becomes super important!

Constantly being online, checking, looking and communicating can be unhealthy so it is important to recognise when it is time to take a break from the online world to give your mind space and rest. The hardest part of this is remembering that what you leave will still be there when you get back!

So, if you struggle at times to keep yourself in check, this episode can help you work out how and why to have a digital sabbatical.


Quotes and highlights from this Episode:

  • The purpose of a digital sabbatical is to switch off from the world for a period of time.
  • Checking email and social media can very quickly become addictive.
  • There is that feeling of ‘I’ll just take a look’ or ‘I’ll just check it quickly’.
  • The next step is when you start ‘checking’ but not dealing with those emails or communications.
  • This means you are constantly thinking about it.
  • It is so easy to have email and social media accounts open all the time and quite often is the last thing to be looked at before sleep.
  • ‘Stepping away from this cycle for a few days gave me space to breathe and relax.’ {Jess}
  • The book ‘Manage Your Day to Day‘ by 99u is a great resource for learning to get these habits into control.
  • One good point in this book is that multitasking is not going to help you. It is simply juggling tasks. You need to focus on one thing at a time in order to be more productive.
  • ‘Your’e in a constant state of alertness and it’s disrupting you all the time.’ {Jess}
  • A digital sabbatical is about breaking the habit by stopping it for a couple of days.
  • You can’t be afraid to take time off.
  • Just starting with a weekend so you feel comfortable is a great place to start.
  • If you are taking longer and you are concerned about this then just notify people in advance.
  • ‘Is it really worth your sanity to be constantly in this state of alertness and stress?.’ {Jess}
  • Sometimes a little extra work is required in the lead up to a sabbatical but it is worth it.
  • Remember that taking time out also helps us to appreciate how great it is to have these online resources!

Download or Listen to This Episode

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

[56] Are You In the Arena?

We all know the path we choose is not always the easiest but it is what we are passionate about. Striving for success through thick and thin is the only way to reach your goal.

If you are in the arena, fighting the obstacles that come your way and celebrating each obstacle that you overcome then you will have a rich and wholesome journey. If you fail at this you will succeed at something else.

So, if you need a little inspiration or a boost of confidence, this episode can help you.


Quotes and highlights from this Episode:

  • Are you in the arena?
  • Are you daring greatly?
  • Are you the one in there, blood sweat and tears working hard, trying even if you fail?
  • ‘Whether you succeed or fail is, in the long run, almost irrelevant.’ {Jess}
  • Remember that failing is OK as long as you keep striving.
  • It is only the people who are in the arena, the people who are striving, who are overcoming pain and obstacles who will succeed.
  • Don’t ever listen to naysayers.
  • ‘Whatever the obstacle you are dealing with, turn it into a monster and fight it.’ {Jess}
  • Be proud of every obstacle you overcome.

Download or Listen to This Episode

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

[55] 8 Places You Can Get Help with Your Handmade Business

When we start a business by ourselves we are limited. We only know what we know. As you grow, other people become increasingly important as a resource for your handmade business.

At first we think we think we can figure it all out on our own, but where can you turn when you need the mental, physical or emotional help of others?

Sometimes it’s as simple as finding someone who will tell us that we actually can do what we dream of.

In this episode I share where I get support and help with my businesses (and how much that help has impacted the success of my endeavours). I also outline 8 sources of support that you can turn to, which are fantastic for starting, growing or strengthening your support network.

So, if you’re not sure where you can turn to get help, I hope you find one or more ideas in this episode to help you.



Quotes and highlights from this Episode:

  • 1. Family
  • Family are usually the first port of call when we need help.
  • You are so blessed if you have family with the willingness, time and energy to help you.
  • Be thankful to them always if you have them because not everybody does!
  • If you don’t have this family support it is important that you find it elsewhere.
  • 2. Friends
  • Often our friends are our greatest cheerleaders.
  • There will always be those friends that aren’t supportive and usually this is because they simply do not understand.
  • Think about your friends skills and abilities as you may be able to source practical help from them.
  • It is common for some people to not see how your success is possible until you reach it.
  • Don’t hesitate to reach out to friends, after all that is what they are there for.
  • 3. Local Organisations
  • Finding a local organisation is a great thing to do.
  • Most cities have craft groups or guilds you can join.
  • Craft and business courses are a great way to find like minded people.
  • 4. Teams or Forums Online
  • Online there are so many teams or forums available that you can ask advice.
  • Etsy has teams and forums you can easily follow or join.
  • Keep in mind the downsides such as the fact that your posts are public. Competitors and customers can all see this.
  • If you need to rant then this is not the platform to do it as lashing out publicly is never a good idea.
  • You don’t know the people you will be talking to so remember to tread carefully. You don’t want to attract the negativity of the internet.
  • 5. Blogs and Podcasts
  • These are places where people share what has worked and what hasn’t.
  • Blogs and podcasts are full of lessons learnt.
  • Make a list of your favourite blogs or podcasts to follow.
  • ‘Make yourself a treasure trove of knowledge.’ {Jess}
  • Don’t forget to explore the archives as most advice is still very relevant.
  • You need to keep in mind that not all advice will apply to you and don’t fall into the procrastination trap.
  • ‘Make sure the doing gets done.’ {Jess}
  • 6. Staff
  • Sometimes it gets to the point when you can no longer do everything on your own.
  • You can either pull back or hire someone to help you.
  • Be honest with which tasks are vital but that you don’t enjoy doing.
  • Start small to see how it goes and take it from there.
  • Don’t let cost or perfectionism hold you back if growth is your goal.
  • ‘If you reach your upper limit you need to accept that.’ {Jess}
  • 7. Mentors and Coaches
  • Most successful people don’t have much time for mentoring.
  • ‘The best way to gain a mentor is to gain a friend.’ {Jess}
  • Mentorship is built on a relationship and trust.
  • If there isn’t someone in the position to be your mentor then consider a paid coach or advisor.
  • 8. Online Community
  • The beauty of online communities is that they are full of people on the same journey as you.
  • Most offer helpful content such as e-books and courses.
  • Get to know who runs the community. What is their approach? Do you like them? Who are others in the community? Do you trust them?
  • ‘Make sure you connect with the message and the mentor.’ {Jess}
  • My own membership community – The Thriver Circle – is currently open to new members – for 48 hours only! Head to for more information.


Download or Listen to This Episode

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

Get $1,275 Worth of Workshops for Just $15…


Hey Thriver,


Are you struggling with any of the following issues in your biz?

  • How to improve your SEO and get found on Etsy?
  • How to work out who your ideal customer is, and how to connect with them?
  • What prices you should set for your items?
  • How to get featured in blogs and magazines?
  • Managing your productivity – your time, energy and focus?
  • How to get started with email marketing?
  • Whether you should have a blog or not?


Guess what? I’ve got you covered.

All of these topics – and many more – are covered in the Workshops available inside the Thriver Circle right now.


Check out the currently available workshops (yes, you can access all of these immediately on becoming a member of the Circle!):


  • January 2015 – What’s your Why + Building YOUR Ideal Business
  • February 2015 – Selling Online: The Fundamentals
  • March 2015 – Instagram for Creative Business
  • April 2015 – Pricing with the Head + Heart
  • May 2015 – PR: How to Get Featured
  • June 2015 – Critique Yo’ Self
  • July 2015 – Who is your Ideal Customer, and Where Can you Find Them?
  • August 2015 – How to be More Productive by Managing your Time, Energy, and Focus
  • September 2015 – How to Create a Simple, Non-Scary Business Plan
  • October 2015 – Introduction to Email Marketing (Newsletters)
  • November 2015 – Handmade Biz Bookeeping Basics
  • December 2015 – Staying On-Track with the #Top3Priorities Method
  • January 2016 – An exclusive 21 day Handmade Biz Bootcamp.
  • February 2016 – The 4 P’s of Content Marketing & the Content Cycle
  • March 2016 – Getting Started with Facebook Advertising
  • April 2016 – How to Improve your Etsy SEO and Get Found
  • May 2016 – The Pros and Cons of Blogging for your Biz


Click here to join the Circle and get immediate access to these workshops.


So, that’s what’s already available. But the Workshops are just going to keep coming atcha!


Coming soon:

  • June 2016 – How to Create a Video to Show Off your Content and Processes
  • July 2016 – How to Use Pinterest to Market your Handmade Biz


Each of these workshops is between half an hour and an hour long, in video format. You can also download them in audio format, AND you get a pdf copy of the workshop slides, too.

(It’s basically like attending one of my talks at a live workshop or conference!)

If I was selling these workshops individually, they’d be priced at $75 each.


So if you sign up to the Circle now, you get $1,275 worth of value right there at your fingertips, straight away… for just $15.


And it’s just $15 per month to retain access to them, and every single workshop I release in future – one every month. 

By the way, these workshop are NOT for sale outside of the Circle – it’s the only place where you can access them.


Join the Circle and get access to the workshops now.


Here’s some feedback about the ‘Critique Yo’ Self’ workshop from Tanya Reeder:

“I have to say… I just did the June workshop “Critique Yo Self” and wow, Jess! What a gem!

This is what I’ve been struggling with for the past few months, I now realize. I have known what’s wrong all along but I just didn’t want to admit it to myself (though I was slowly getting there… maybe…).

I’m going to have to do some real revising here and bite the bullet. So many great suggestions. (… I took 7 pages of notes!) Thank you!

And for all of you who haven’t watched it yet… you now have my official recommendation.”


There are so many benefits to being part of the Circle… and for such an affordable price.


What’s the last investment that you made in your business? How much value did it truly provide?


You can join us here, or find out more.


Remember, I’ve only opened the doors for a short time. Membership closes midday Friday AEST.

Jess x


P.S. As always, just leave a comment if you have a question and I’ll get back to you personally.


[54] 5 Ways to Increase Your Profits

You could be eating away at your profits without even realising it. However, there are lots of ways you can make little tweaks to your handmade business in order to increase your profit margin.

I ran a week-long free course a few years back on this topic, and I thought it was time to bring these ideas to you in the podcast.

By following these five steps you will be able to cut out wasted time, reduce your expenses, and therefore increase your profit margin.

For more detail on each point, the links to the course lessons are in the show notes below.

If you have any other ideas for ways that we as makers can cut expenses and increase our profit margins – while still maintaining the integrity of our business – please share them below!



Quotes and highlights from this Episode:

  • 1. Streamline and organise
  • Disorganisation will eat into your profits.
  • Decrease the time spent to make the same amount of money by being streamlined in your work practices.
  • This includes organisation of your digital life.
  • Work out what you can do today to become more streamlined and organised.
  • Pinterest is a great resource for finding ideas to create a more organised space.
  • 2. Plan your packaging.
  • ‘Packaging can put a huge dent into your profits.’ {Jess}
  • You need to make sure you account for your packaging costs in the cost of your postage or the item itself.
  • Make sure you always have what you need on hand and try and buy in bulk.
  • Don’t forget to add in the time it takes to package the item.
  • 3. Do your calculations and price your work properly.
  • ‘You don’t want to be leaving money on the table.’ {Jess}
  • It is important to get realistic about how much it is costing you to make your products.
  • You need to cover the time you spend marketing and planning not just making.
  • 4. Can you make it reproducible?
  • This is especially important when selling work online.
  • Can you recreate your item?
  • If you can it will increase your production capacity saving time on each item.
  • These items can then become your bread and butter range.
  • Make sure you keep detailed notes so you can easily reproduce work.
  • Think about minimising materials used across your product range.
  • 5. Buy in wholesale or buy in bulk.
  • This will usually involve planning ahead.
  • Do your research, are there things you can cut out?
  • ‘We always have to place our creative and business integrity above our profit margins.’ {Jess}
  • Only you can decide where you can reduce expenses and save money.


Download or Listen to This Episode

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