Mental Post-Its

Thoughts, Notes and General Mental Mayhem


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Business Boutique: Notes & Quotes

fullsizerender-14I totally forgot to post about this event after attending in November. Maybe that’s because I feel like I sat with it so long, which is a good thing. One of the facets that I really liked about this event was that the notebook also served as a workbook. So, I’ve had it sitting out since coming back from Nashville just waiting to finish my homework. I’d intentionally set it aside for this year’s personal retreat (more on that soon!), so really, I think my conference experience just ended.

Christy Wright’s Business Boutique is a conference aimed for Christian women entrepreneurs. She started as a Dave Ramsey coach and speaker, and has now moved into this niche, which I believe will thrive. Business Boutique is extremely practical, which I appreciated most of all. And one of the most interesting pieces of the event to me was that it’s aimed at dreamers, starters and builders. The “dreamers” were the people I found most fascinating. I’d never seen a conference aimed at people who had no idea what they want to do! I talked to several of these ladies, and they confirmed that they either had a super vague idea (“I want to sell something online.”) to no idea (“I am open to anything. I just want a change.”) There were also a wide variety of women there from young moms looking for a career or something to contribute to their family, to new or established business owners, to retirees looking to begin again. It was kinda fun to hear the range of stories, backgrounds and ideas.

Outside of this two-day annual event in Nashville, she also has a really good podcast and a series of one-day events around the U.S. during 2017. Her events are extremely affordable, and a lot of fun. I’d definitely recommend this conference to other Christian women entrepreneurs!

But for now, here are just a few of my take-aways:

Christy Wright:

  • Your dream should be so big that if God’s not in it, you’ll fail.
  • If you set your goals before the why, dreams, vision, and mission statement, your goals have no soul.
  • You’ll be the most successful when you stay in your strengths.
  • Stay true to yourself by building your business around your personal values.
  • When talking about your business, focus on the benefit to the customer, not the features of the business. Start with why.
  • If you don’t believe in the goodness of business and making money, you’ll never have a good business or make money.
  • Turning your hobby into a business requires a mind-set shift. Its no longer a part of you. The business is its own thing.
  • You teach others how to value you. If you don’t value your work, no one else will.
  • Faith and fear require you to believe in something that hasn’t happened yet.
  • Fear doesn’t mean you’re doing something bad. It means your doing something bold.
  • Anything that tears you down is not from God.
  • Creating balance in your life comes down to what you spend your time on.
  • Stress and anxiety are caused when there is a disconnect between our values and our behavior.
  • Life balance is simply living from your values.
  • Jesus wasn’t focused on the need. He was focused on the assignment.

Dave Ramsey:

  • Goals must be specific.
  • Goals must be measurable.
  • Goals must have a time limit.
  • Goals must be yours.
  • Goals must be in writing.

Rachel Cruz:

  • Quite the comparisons.
  • Steer clear of debt.
  • Make a plan for your money.
  • Think before you spend
  • Save like you mean it.
  • Give a little…until you can give a lot.
  • Talk about money, even when its hard.

Christine Caine:

  • Impossible is where God starts.
  • You can’t change your past, but you can change your future.
  • Just be willing.
  • God has a plan, purpose and destiny for your life.
  • God always uses unlikely people.
  • It’s the job of the people of God to carry the message of God to their generation.
  • You’ve got to make a decision that what God did for you is bigger than what someone else did to you.
  • A word you’ll never find in the Bible is retirement.
  • Leave a gap in your business that only God can fill.
  • You’re going to have to take a step of faith to step into your God-given gifts.
  • Do not say no when God says go!

Hillary Scott:

  • One door closing is not all of them closing. Resilience and perseverance are required.
  • Have wise counsel and mentors.
  • Be humble enough to ask questions.
  • Remember you’re defined not by others, but by Who created you.
  • “Comparison is the thief of joy.” – CS Lewis

Amy Porterfield:

  • Social media works when you know your ideal customer identity.
  • Social media works when you create original content that serves your ideal customer.
  • Your content should be aligned with, but separate from, your product.
  • Social media works when you ignite action.
  • What does your ideal audience need to experience, be aware of, or believe in in order to want or need your product/service?

Nicole Walters:

  • Sales is not about pushing; it’s about influencing.
  • Sales comes from confidence and confidence is like a muscle; the more you use it, the stronger it becomes.
  • Be kind, but firm. Be specific.
  • It’s your God-given duty to share your gifts with the world.

Donald Miller:

  • Demonstrate empathy and authority.
  • Solve internal and external problems.
  • Give customers a plan.
  • Make your call to action clear.
  • Define how you will improve people’s lives.


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The Plywood Business Retreat

retreat-lake-house

After attending their conference the past few years, I finally had the privilege of attending the Plywood Retreat last week. This intimate event is limited to about a dozen attendees, and helps entrepreneurs pursue business dreams in very practical ways. Due to the size, we are able to stay at a lake house and enjoy the natural surroundings most of us don’t get to see very often, rather than be in a typical conference room or in-town auditorium.

There were many things I appreciated about the event, but in particular, I love how they try to create a tailor-made experience. Before arriving, we had to fill out an application and go through an interview to make sure we were a right fit for the retreat, which is aimed at mostly social enterprises who want to do positive things in the world, on both the for- and non-profit sides. We were all also in the early stages of business—less than two years, I think. Then we had a phone interview with the founder, Jeff Shinabarger, and he took a bit of time to get to know us as individuals and our thoughts/needs/wants for our business. But, this way, we weren’t walking into the retreat having to introduce ourselves and our goals. The staff already had a good understanding of us, and we could hit the ground running.

These things add up to a couple of other very important customizations. First, they choose the speakers based on us. I think some of them overlap from retreat to retreat, but they also like to bring in folks who can lend unique perspective to our particular areas. So, we had speakers not only on finance, goals, marketing and branding, which most everyone could learn from, but also had one, for example, on donor expectations and insight for those in the non-profit sector or who need to raise capital.

One of the highlights, and the most individual-centered aspect, was the mentor dinner. We went off-site to a restaurant and sat at a table with someone they chose specifically for us. I had a fantastic meal with Jennifer Schuchmann, a local author who also has a background in other forms of writing. She was awesome. She was able to answer very high-level and very practical questions I had, as well as work through a few things I couldn’t quite put my finger on, but knew I needed to clarify in my work. This was really special, and I think everyone felt the same.

So, overall, a very cool experience. And did I mention we had a personal chef? Jason from Homespun was amazing! It was very sad to wake up to my own cooking the next day. 😉

If you feel like you’re part of the target audience for this retreat, I’d definitely tell you to consider it. Or maybe come to the conference as a start. They have even launched an online curriculum now as well. Yes, any and all of them are quite the investment, especially for someone like me who is only in month three of my business. But I am really glad I kicked things off this way. I know it will help me going forward. In fact, I’ll get a follow-up in a few weeks because we all had 30-day action steps to take. Gotta get moving…

But before I go, I wanted to introduce you to my fellow retreaters. They are doing some really wonderful things you should know about.


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Yellow Conference Notes & Quotes

IMG_1555.JPGLast week I had the privilege of attending the Yellow Conference in Los Angeles for the first time. If you aren’t familiar with it, the event is for creative and entrepreneurial women who want to do good things in the world. This is only the third year of the event, and there were about 500 of us present. It was a lot of fun, a great time for learning, an opportunity to make new friends…and perhaps even land a few new clients.

You can see their photos here, and read their event recap.

And below you’ll find many of my highlights. I hope to be there next year, and see you there too!

Jess Eckstrom, Headbands of Hope

  • Because I know I can ___, next I’m going to . . .
  • Achieving a dream isn’t a finish line. It’s crossing a border into a new territory.
  • Gamble on a possibility of “yes” rather than buckle into the safety of “no.”
  • The fear of failure versus the feeling of regret.
  • Passion must outweigh your fears to move forward.
  • Just because something is not your job doesn’t mean it can’t be your responsibility. Inspire a solution.
  • It’s not about what we do when we dream. it’s about what we do when we wake up.
  • Every expert was once a beginner.
  • A bucket list is a dream so vivid that it inspires action.
  • Life’s most defining moment is when you discover what you want and what you do about it.

CJ Casciotta, Creative Director in Nashville

  • Hosts “Like a Movement” podcast
  • Movements are started by weird people with audacity.
  • 1. Find the weird. 2. Write the story. 3. Gather the weirdos. 4. Hack the normals.
  • Movements are “me too” machines.
  • Weird ideas explode when they case to be the authors and start becoming the readers.

Kirsten Dickerson, founder of Raven + Lily

  • Live SLOW, and thoughtful.
  • Check out her mini house tour outside of Austin!
  • S – Simplify
  • L – Live in the moment. We all still have to avoid the tyranny of the moment. Don’t check email for a while after waking up. Leave space in your life to respond to the needs of others.
  • O – get Outside.
  • W – be Willing to ask the who, what and where of everyday choices.

Jedediah Jenkins, travel writer

  • Your dream for your life is the thing you were meant to do.
  • Your goal is a version of your dream, but not the big thing.
  • What do you want to spend 10,000 hours doing so you can be the best at it? (Gladwell’s Outliers principle)

Elle Luna, #ChooseMust

  • The crossroads of should and must.
  • Make less art. Become art.
  • “Should” comes with a lot of expectations. Should is from the outside in.
  • “Must” is the truth of who you area.
  • “Should” is a “must” in training.
  • The first thing a prisoner needs to understand is that they are in prison. 🙂
  • Fill your canvas. Choose your story.
  • TED Talk – job vs career vs calling
  • Find your “must.”

Krysta Masciale (krysta @ bigdealbranding.com)

  • You can kick butt from a gentle place!
  • There is nothing more powerful than a brand who owns it.
  • When were you last functioning in your sweet spot?
  • Don’t choose to be a replica. Choose to be yourself.
  • Intersection of values and talents, and where the market exists = that’s where each of us needs to be.
  • No one buys the knock-off without wishing they could afford the real thing.
  • Identify your top five values. The people with those same values will find you.
  • Is the thing you want for the world also the same thing you want for yourself?

Tim Harris, Tim’s Place

  • Live an awesome life.
  • 1. Love people.
  • 2. Work hard.
  • 3. Believe in yourself.
  • 4. Believe in others.
  • 5. Think happy and show it.
  • 6. Use your super powers.
  • 7. Don’t complain about the darkness. Be the light.

Alexis Jones, I Am That Girl

  • Passion is the audacity to get back up.
  • Insecurity will destroy you.
  • When were we as women convinced that we were competing against each other?
  • Surround yourself with people who are crazy enough to believe in and share your dream.
  • Con you sit in discomfort? Comfort will drain creativity.
  • Connect your dots. What got you to this place?
  • It’s your job to teach people how to treat you. You are the only common denominator in your relationships.

Julia Woods, Beautiful Outcome

  • You have to learn to value yourself first.
  • Your impact is valued by those closest to you. Impact those closest to you first, then go bigger.
  • You need to make the biz side of your biz your friend, not your enemy.
  • Friends are fun. Find time for them. You understand each other. You need each other.
  • Find time: education. Weekly investment. Set aside dedicated time.
  • Understand each other. Love without judgement. Scarcity/abundance principle.
  • Social media is the running conversation around your brand.
  • Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.
  • Understand each other. Be a generous listener. What do you need? What does it need?
  • If you can’t do what you do profitably in 40 hours per week, it’s not a practical business. But you can also give it a year or so to get there.
  • Make sure you have an accurate representation of what goes into creating and delivering your service. Cost of sales includes what it would cost you to replace you.
  • Taking care of each other’s needs:
    • How do I know what to charge per client?
      • Desired salary x 2.5 = gross sales
      • Desired hours worked / average time per job = job production
      • Job production /  sales = average number of jobs needed
      • Dived “desired hours” by 1/3 due to 1/3 admin and 1/3 marketing
      • Include 11 months instead of 12 for vacation/holidays
    • How do I price per product?
      • Total cost x 4 = price needed

Wilkinson Mazzeo Law

  • Work with a lot of creatives, entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, startups, causes etc.
  • Offer one free hour of legal advice for women business owners.
  • Based in San Diego, but work all over.
  • Why have a Creative Services Agreement?
    • Professionalism, clarity, guidance, ownership and exit
    • If you have clients under a previous CSA and then revise it, you must use language that the old one is void with new CSA.
  • Copyright 101
    • Necessary for copyright protection:
      • Fixed in a tangible medium (written, recorded, etc)
      • Original (originated with the author)
      • Minimal creativity (low threshold)
    • Automatically applies:
      • No registration necessary, unless you want to bring a lawsuit.
      • Takes 6-8 months to obtain.
  • Trademark 101
    • Rights are created through first use, not registration.
    • Must act as a “source identifier” for your goods/services.
    • For registration:
      • Must be distinctive.
      • Must be likely to cause consumer confusion.
      • TM for unregistered and circle R for registered.
  • Ownership
    • Work for hire (They own it.)
    • License (They use but you own.)
  • Exit
    • Includes what happens if you reach an impasse with your client and can no longer work together.
      • Kill fee or 30 days, etc. Includes options for both sides.
      • Also include right/option to use for other things.
  • CSA should include
    • Payment
    • Timeline(s)
    • Point of contact
    • Rounds of revisions (usually two, then fee)
    • Ownership of work product
    • Satisfaction clause
    • Indemnity
    • Expense reimbursement
    • Severability and non-waiver
    • Termination
  • Resources on their website

Meg Long, KnowYourMoneyHoney.com

  • Why money stuff matters:
    • You won’t know when to celebrate win.
    • You’ll be paralyzed by decisions.
    • You won’t know how to solve business problems.
    • You’ll have a scarcity mindset.
    • Your creativity suffers.
    • You’ll default to anxiety.
  • Managing your money is part of good self-care.
  • Deep down, money is really about identity.
  • Money is inherently tied to emotion.
  • Find a friend you can be real about money with.

Lindsey Witmer Collins, Create Your Compass

  • Track your cash.
  • Track your time.
  • Track your agreements.
    • Do what you say you’re going to do.
  • Honor yourself.
    • Listen to your body.
    • Trust yourself.
    • Listen to your body.
  • Honor your process.
    • Be cool with the ups and downs.
  • Be someone with a solutions mindset.
    • Be helpful.
    • Opportunity for learning and leadership
  • Get community.
    • Invest in it.