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Monday Viewing: Neil Gaiman – Keynote Address 2012

Neil Gaiman Addresses the University of the Arts Class of 2012 from The University of the Arts (Phl) on Vimeo.


If you’ve never seen this video, you’ve definitely seen quotes from it floating around the internet. It’s become something of a legend in creative circles. You might have heard it called the ‘Make Good Art’ speech.

Here’s one of my favourite parts, which I think will probably ring true to anyone making a go at actually making money via their creativity:

“The first problem of any kind of even limited success is the unshakable conviction that you are getting away with something, and that any moment now they will discover you. It’s Imposter Syndrome, something my wife Amanda christened the Fraud Police.

In my case, I was convinced that there would be a knock on the door, and a man with a clipboard (I don’t know why he carried a clipboard, in my head, but he did) would be there, to tell me it was all over, and they had caught up with me, and now I would have to go and get a real job, one that didn’t consist of making things up and writing them down, and reading books I wanted to read. And then I would go away quietly and get the kind of job where you don’t have to make things up any more.”

And another:

“People keep working, in a freelance world, and more and more of today’s world is freelance, because their work is good, and because they are easy to get along with, and because they deliver the work on time. And you don’t even need all three. Two out of three is fine. People will tolerate how unpleasant you are if your work is good and you deliver it on time. They’ll forgive the lateness of the work if it’s good, and if they like you. And you don’t have to be as good as the others if you’re on time and it’s always a pleasure to hear from you.”

This whole speech is littered with gems to ponder. Watch and listen carefully…

~ Jess

C&T Recommended Reads – Week 30, 2014

From Megan:

From Jess:

Taking Time Out: Just Do It! Your Business Will Thank You





The title of this post is really advice I try to give to myself.

Intellectually I understand that it’s critical to take time out, time off. That’s how our creative batteries get recharged, and counter-intuitively, how we stay on track.

There are diminishing returns in productivity and creativity by doing, doing, doing all the time. {click to tweet}

But it’s so hard!

There is always stuff that needs to be done. When you’re a one woman creative business, stopping can feel dangerous, like everything will come to a grinding halt.

I’ve noticed a funny thing though; there is a perverse kind of momentum in stopping and letting go.

This past weekend I was at a wellness hotel with a few girlfriends. I logged out and shut down. I came back to a mini sales boom! Could it be the universe was telling me something?

I have also been experimenting with logging off and no screen time from Friday evening to Saturday evening.

When I actually do it I’m amazed by how ‘time rich’ I feel. When resisting the  impulse to check Pinterest, or email or fulfill an order I see that there is time to leisurely read a book, take my time to cook a nice meal, or just do nothing at all.

Taking time off helps me realize that I have more time than I think.{click to tweet}

My goal is to one day go totally Euro and take the entirety of August off. I haven’t been able to do it yet, but I know when I do it will be glorious!


Do you struggle with taking time out from your business? How do you manage it?


Image Source: Death To The Stock Photo


Why You Should Start NOW (and Grow Your Business Organically)






I was asked a question recently by reader Jenni-Ann, relating to the ‘right time’ to start building a website for her business. I said ‘yes, the right time is RIGHT NOW’.

I realised that the same can be said for your business in general.

So many people hang back from starting their new venture because they’re waiting for the ‘right time’.

Waiting for when they feel like they’re ready.

Waiting until they know everything they need to.

Waiting for their next holiday, when they’ll have more free time.

Waiting for their kids to be born/grow up/leave home.

Waiting until their spouse gets that promotion.

Waiting, waiting. Always waiting.

And they wait for their entire lives, and their dream never moves from their minds into the outside world.

I know every single person reading this has a dream that they want to make tangible reality.

There is truth in the adage that ‘you can do anything, but not everything’.

However, don’t get tripped up by the idea that to start something – to start a creative business – you need to be at a certain ‘level’.

You don’t.

All you need is an idea. Then, you need to put it out into the world, in whatever form it’s in right now, and let it grow.

It’s just like planting a seed. You don’t plant an acorn and expect it to be an oak when you wake up tomorrow, do you?

Of course not.

Your business is just like that.

You have an idea – a seed – but until you plant it, it will never grow.

You can keep it safe – your seed idea – in a jar in the back of your cupboard. Sure, it will stay there, and it will stay viable. But so long as you keep it in the jar, it will never have the chance to bloom into what it could be.


Plant it and let it grow.


Let it stretch and branch and form organically into what it can be. There is no ‘right’ way for branches to form on a tree. They form according to the conditions that they grow in.

Your business will grow according to the conditions it encounters.

A tree is never finished growing.  Neither is a business.

It will never be done or finished.

Therefore, it is impossible for your business to be ‘perfect’ – ever.

If you’re waiting until your business is perfect in conception before you test it against reality, you will never launch it. {click to tweet}

No tree is ever perfect. Neither is any business.

A business is not a static thing. It is alive. It is always growing, changing, evolving, bending, breaking, healing.

You will never know everything you need to know to make your business successful. But you can always learn. You can always experiment. You can always apologise. You can always try again. You can always move in a new direction.

You can – and will – always grow.


Monday Viewing – Harish Manwani: Profit’s Not Always the Point

Harish Manwani – Profit’s Not Always the Point from TED

This TED talk really drives how that the purpose of your business is SO much bigger than you think. Harish is the COO of Unilever, but you’ll soon learn that the purpose of Unilever is not to make astromical profits from soap. Rather, they mean to save millions of lives and empower women the world over. After watching this talk, I spent a good hour thinking about what the bigger purpose of my business is all about.

So now I want to know: What is the purpose of your business?

~ Megan

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