[145] Erin Dollar of Cotton & Flax

 

My guest today is the inspirational Erin Dollar.

Erin is a textile and surface pattern designer who specialises in minimalist designs with an eco-friendly focus.

She creates boldly patterned home decor for Cotton & Flax, which she founded in 2012.

In this episode, we have an in-depth chat about her business journey, her thoughts on social media, time management, business direction, and much more.

BONUS: Erin is going to be joining me and the Thriver Circle community for a live chat on Tuesday the 24th of April at 10am, AEST (the time in Brisbane, Australia). If you’d like to join us for that, make sure you’re a member of the Circle, and look for the event in the Circle FB group.

 

 

 


Love the show? You can show your support by:

  • Leaving a review on the C&T FB page.
  • Leaving a review on iTunes.
  • Donating a few dollars towards the costs of producing the pod.
  • Joining the Thriver Circle – without the members of the Circle, this podcast would not be possible.

 

 

Quotes and Highlights in this episode:

  • The focus of Erin’s business has evolved over the years.
  • “There is something really interesting in looking at the micro-level of your business and making a plan to shift and pivot to follow what is successful.” {Erin}
  • Moving into design allows for artworks to become more accessible at a lower price point and can open up avenue for collaboration.
  • Your business focus will ebb and flow over the years with periods of higher and lower creativity.
  • “It’s okay to have seasons of fluctuation.” {Jess}
  • As your business grows moderation is important to avoid burnout.
  • Setting clear boundaries and maintaining a work/life balance create a sustainable business.
  • “Build some boundaries into your workflow where you can early in the process.” {Erin}
  • Social media can be a powerful business tool but be wary of comparing yourself to others.
  • Create authentic connections and build a community for the long haul.
  • “Your website and your mailing list are the two tools you can really control.” {Jess}
  • “Don’t rush. There is going to be time for all the amazing things you want to put out into the world.” {Erin}

 

 


 

[140] Goal Setting Do’s and Don’ts for your Business (Member-Exclusive Episode)

 

In this member-exclusive podcast episode, I outline a whole bunch of do’s and don’ts for goal setting.

I hope this helps you think about the process of setting goals for your business, so that you can set goals that are actionable, achieveable, and realistic.

 

>>Become a member of the Thriver Circle and listen to the full episode right now.<<

 

Listen to the Intro:

 

[127] Self-Leadership with Karen Gunton

Do you ever struggle with the fact that the buck stops with YOU in your business?

Sometimes, especially if we’re not used to being the boss, we can struggle with making decisions. But when you have a business, you need to step up, step into your power, and be a leader – even if you’re only leading yourself.

In this episode, my friend Karen Gunton and I explore this idea of self-leadership, and discuss ways to overcome the challenges we may face along the way.

 

Love the show? You can show your support by:

  • Leaving a review on the C&T FB page.
  • Leaving a review on iTunes.
  • Donating a few dollars towards the costs of producing the pod.
  • Joining the Thriver Circle – without the members of the Circle, this podcast would not be possible.

 

Quotes and highlights from this episode:

  • Self-leadership promotes internal validation and following your own path.
  • Take ownership of your own creative business journey.
  • “You have to be your own white knight, your own super woman… It’s up to us to make those decisions” {Jess}
  • Be prepared to learn skills and lessons time and again.
  • “The very things that we think that we have figured out on the journey comes back again and again and again” {Karen}
  • Self-leadership focuses upon the how. How will I do it? What will be my strategy?
  • “If we don’t have strategies in our tool box for those things (challenges) it is really, really hard to make what we’re doing a success” {Karen}
  • Grow self-leadership through:
    • Building awareness. Determine a big challenge you need to strengthen.
    • Establishing how. Ascertain what concrete steps to you need to take.
    • Observing and evaluating. Reflect on what happens as you instigate a change plan.
  • Pick and choose techniques to help you on your self-leadership journey.
  • There is a time and place to ask for assistance and guidance – cultivate a number of trusted advisors.
  • Take the time to reflect on yourself and what makes you tick.
  • Jess and Karen both recommend Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies habit framework.
  • Clarifying your why is self-leadership. You decide your path and progress.
  • Karen and Jess discuss different paths to understanding your why.
  • “If you have a longing for something more… the only person who is going to get you there is you” {Karen}
  • You don’t need to have all the steps sorted out – just start.
  • “It’s not a tattoo… you can change, tweak, adapt and grow” {Karen}
  • Karen Gunton | Book: Lighthouse Revolution

Download or listen to this episode.

You can also subscribe to the podcast and listen to this episode on iTunes + Stitcher)

[122] How to be a Misfit Entrepreneur with Kate Toon

Do you ever feel like you’re not a ‘real entrepreneur’?

Yeah, me too. And so does my guest this week, Kate Toon – who happens to be the author of How to be a Misfit Entrepreneur.

I met Kate at the Artful Business Conference this year, and promptly invited her to come on the show, because I loved the way she approached ‘being an entrepreneur’.

We have a lot of laughs, and chat about what it means to grow a business YOUR way – and how to own that and be proud of it, rather than feel like you’re somehow not doing it right.

 

Love the show? You can show your support by:

  • Leaving a review on the C&T FB page.
  • Leaving a review on iTunes.
  • Donating a few dollars towards the costs of producing the pod.
  • Joining the Thriver Circle – without the members of the Circle, this podcast would not be possible. (Membership is open on September 27th!)

 

 

Quotes and highlights from this episode:

  • Most of us don’t fit the myth of the yacht owning, hammock lazing, one-hour workday entrepreneur.
  • Develop your own style of entrepreneurship to fit the lifestyle you want to lead.
  • Business growth for the sake of growth is not mandatory.
  • It’s okay to align your goals to personal wants rather than business outcomes.
  • “We can keep doing what we’re doing and it is okay. We don’t always have to be doing something new or different or exciting to be happy.” {Jess}
  • Keep expectations of your business growth realistic, avoid comparisons and get on with your own journey.
  • “Nobody is immune to the feeling of an imposter or not being good enough. Even if from the outside if they look super successful.” {Jess}
  • There will always be someone doing things better than you – stop focusing on others and focus on building your business.
  • “Stop consuming and start creating.” {Kate}
  • Looking for inspiration? Don’t go to your competitors go to your customers.
  • Criticism and difficult customers are part of the entrepreneurship journey.
  • Take the high road but you do not have to cave to an unreasonable customer.
  • Kate recommends The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson.
  • Develop your business direction with your core values in mind. These will change and grow as you do.
  • Chase interesting ideas and stray from your path. Some ideas will work and some will crash and burn. Let these ones go.
  • “The whole point of having a business is getting some satisfaction and enjoyment out of it – not just money and customers.” {Kate}
  • Time management and organisation is essential – structure your day, keep motivation high, track time and establish tasks.
  • Kate recommends the Pomodoro technique for time management.
  • Find out more about Kate and buy her book here.

 

 

Download or listen to this episode.

You can also subscribe to the podcast and listen to this episode on iTunes + Stitcher)

[118] The Only Race is With Yourself

 

Do you feel ‘left behind’ when you look at other handmade businesses?

Do you worry that you aren’t doing enough? That your business isn’t growing fast enough? That you should be where that person is?

I’m here to tell you that this is a super-common feeling. AND that you need to stop looking at and comparing yourself to those other businesses out there.

You can only do what YOU can do. You cannot compare your insides to someone else’s outsides.

That is: maybe you have a job, and children, and elderly parents, and a partner, and hobbies… etc etc. In other words – your life only leaves you with a certain amount of time free to work on your business.

Your free time may be vastly different to that person’s free time.

Stop acting like you’re in a race with other people. The only race is with yourself.

 

 

Quotes and highlights from this episode:

  • Many fledgling creative entrepreneurs struggle with finding what they think is enough time, energy, and resources.
  • There are times when establishing a business will feel onerous and times when it will feel easy.
  • What really matters is that you enjoy the majority of the journey. Otherwise a time will come when it all becomes too hard.
  • “You are not in competition with someone else. You’re not racing someone else. You’re simply racing against yourself.” {Jess}
  • In the words of Mary Schmich “the race is long and in the end it is only with yourself.”
  • It is okay for your craft to remain a hobby rather than a business. (Jess shares an anecdote from a Thriver Circle member who made the decision to close her business and instead pursue her craft as a pastime).
  • Establishing a business is more than just creating your saleable project. You will be spending a large proportion of time learning about marketing, administration, finances, connecting with people.
  • Factor in your time, energy and resources when making goals.
  • “We get frustrated from the disparity between our reality and our imagined reality.” {Jess}
  • Create a toolkit of time management and planning strategies.
  • Building a business takes times, patience and long-term dedication.
  • “Every little step is progress forward. No matter how small it is. It is always a step forward and it is always something to be proud of.” {Jess}

 

Download or listen to this episode.

You can also subscribe to the podcast and listen to this episode on iTunes + Stitcher)

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