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Episode #09: The Secret of Designing for a Time Period or Style


Creating a theme or design based on a time period or specific style is not as easy as it seems. Unfortunately, it’s pretty easy (and very common) to go overboard and end up looking cheezy. Cathy shares her secrets on how to she designs Funnel Drops month after month with a mixture of the past, the future, and her signature style to create an incredible design that gets people talking.

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Full Transcript:

Hello everyone, this is Cathy Olson and welcome to the secrets of gorgeous design podcasts. I am so thrilled to share with you today because this topic is something that I don’t know that I knew people were struggling with, but I just thought Kinda, I was struggling in silence on this thing and it’s something that might not happen super often to you, but it is happening really often to me now that I’m designing constantly and month after month, uh, for, for these funnel drops. And this topic today is how to design for a specific time period or slash style. This is pretty difficult actually. It’s are probably harder than it looks, I think that people think, oh yeah, you just, it just come up with like a theme, but it’s a fine line between themey and you know, just over the top and cheesy. It’s a real fine line and it’s, well the hard part is, it’s not coming up with the ideas, but it’s coming up with the ideas, making them current, kind of bring him in the current era and making a really sophisticated and professional that is the hardest part.

It’s that balance of the two. So that is what I’m going to dive into today until you exactly how I do this, how I break down this process, tell you the tips that I can give you to making this process easier and pain as pain free as possible. So let’s jump into this episode.

My name is Cathy Olson. I’m part of a group of entrepreneurs who are the founders and creative directors of their businesses who have a discerning eye and a ton of heart. If you ask those get rich quick types, they would say that pretty design isn’t functional and doesn’t sell yet. We are proving everyday that beautiful and thoughtful details do sell and in fact attract unstoppable beauty and wealth. We believe that we can have it all and that sales can be gorgeous. These are the secrets of gorgeous design and we are here to make creativity, lucrative, build gorgeous brands and sales funnels, and to make the world of business a gorgeous place to be.

So funny story today guys. Uh, yesterday I just finally finished up the design for funnel new our, which is our may drop, which is literally dropping in a week, a week from today. And Gosh, you guys, holy cow, I seriously have, I don’t know that I’ve ever had as hard of a time as designing a funnel drop as I did this one mostly because I put it off till the last possible second today was the drop dead due date that I could find like that I could, as long as I could basically take until we have to start coding, we need to at least a week just start coding and testing and all that good stuff. But I waited til the last possible minute, not only because I’m super busy, may has been insanely busy, but really I just was having the worst block on this guy. And so it was super hard for me.

It’s not because I didn’t grasp the concept well, kind of it kind of a little bit. Um, but because there was just so there’s so much I could do with this, right? So fall in the wire does as a little bit of behind the scenes. When Julie and I pick these names, we don’t really have an idea exactly on what they are going to look like. And it’s so funny when you know, we had in the marketer’s hard group, we had you guys vote on which one you wanted us to come out with next for May. And you guys all like overwhelmingly said funnel in the war and it’s like, I don’t even know what you guys think funnel in the wire is, you know? So it’s kind of a funny part about it. It’s like what are they expecting versus what I thought it was versus what Julie thinks it is.

You know? So it’s so up for interpretation. But when originally Joel and I were talking about it, we were talking about film new are like the black and white films and that style. And so I tried to keep pretty closely to that style. But even when you’re thinking about the vintage and kind of retro style, oh my gosh, like there’s so many different ways to go vintage. There’s so many different time periods. I mean there’s, there’s like subcategories of this stuff and it’s actually a lot deeper than I even, I think anticipated. When I first thought about this theme, I thought, Oh, that’s pretty easy theme to totally like wrap my head around. But when I, once I actually started designing it and creating something, I realized it was a lot deeper than I thought. And even when I was starting to design it, even after I had come up with an idea, after I started designing it, I kept it kept going back and forth, back and forth between, you know, something like really like kind of sexy 50 shades, you know, like masquerade.

And then it was getting like really? So then I would kind of distress it and then it would get really distressed and kind of dingy and dirty. And then a lot of times it was just getting really dark and kind of depressing. So it was a, it was a strange theme to tackle, but eventually I got a cool, um, you know, kind of balance that I liked. And the other thing is too with these specifically and with these photo drops is that people love themes, but we got to use this in the real life, right? And we already use this on our clients or ourselves or whatever. So even though people love a good theme, it really has to fit within real life and realistic funnels and what actually people would use, right? It’s like not just, it’s not fun to just collect a bunch and not actually use them.

So there’s also a level of usability that we have to actually, this head needs to be created for actual companies, you know. So it’s a very interesting thing. And I guess I’ll say that creating templates for people is probably like can be a whole other episode, but this episode or really wants to talk about what I was struggling with when I went through designing for a theme and kind of what I learned about it. Um, I do some of these things inherently and I don’t really think about it when I’m doing. Um, and then, um, a lot of people in the group and some other people are talking to her asking how do you design for themes like this? And so that’s why I was kind of inspired this episode and I just want to tell you guys like how you could actually now knowing what I did to, um, yesterday and the struggle, I mean, I spent all day designing it, I want to say at least probably eight hours worth of work designing that thing.

Um, if not longer. I don’t know. I don’t really count. It was just Kinda, I would work and then take a break and then we’re gonna take a break where like pretty much all day from the time the sun came up to the time the Senate went down. So definitely hours and hours and hours spent on that guy. But now that I am, like on the other side of it, I can see a sort of thinking through what I could’ve done better. Uh, what I did that was, that actually worked really well and how I can, you know, give that to you guys. And I really think it’s, it’s a bigger conversation about mashing up styles and I think, uh, you know, there’s definitely things that you can take from developing a fee, you know, looking at a time period and seeing what they used to design back then, but also like reinterpreting it for now.

I think when people are actually asking for a theme, they’re not really asking for it to look like it was created back then. They’re looking like for you to create something that’s in the spirit of that, but you’re still wanting to look at it and design it from, you know, a 20, 19 Lens. Right? We still want it to be an updated modern version of it. So that’s what I want to go through today is really the three way, three things that you can do to really like update it and kind of mash it with, you know, new stuff, what to grab, what to get rid of. Um, and also like how to make it feel like yours. Cause I, that’s the other thing too is I, I do pride myself on being able to design almost anything. I’ll say almost anything, cause I’m sure there’s something out there that I just don’t, can’t do.

Um, but I do love challenging myself and it’s one of the PR, one of the reasons I love doing these fall jobs as walls cause I really get to challenge myself every single month and it stretched my creative muscle so to speak. Um, and I think I get better and stronger at it as well. But yeah, I think it’s really about creating something that still feels like you. Even though I love being this kind of chameleon for my clients and for these as well, I want it to still have like a little bit of a signature signature Cathy on it so that if when you see it you’re like, I get it. Like it’s within the style, but I still see her in this and that’s what I want for you. So the first thing that I will say that you can do to really nail a time period when you get this is really to just study the time period with kind of no biases a first.

So the first step I always take when I’m doing these phone drops, as I create a Pinterest board, I go on to Pinterest credit pictures born and I start pinning things. Um, I kind of, I say this like lightly because sometimes people can overdo it on Pinterest and just start copying a bunch of stuff. I can use Pinterest, you know, pretty responsively. So understand your own limitations there. If you’re going to have, you know, issues with copying and you just really can’t think of anything. Um, I would say try to use it pretty loosely to get some ideas, start sketching and then never look at Pinterest again. If you have, if you have a tendency for that to kind of hinder you. For me, it just really gets me more inspired so I don’t have an issue with it. So I will say that, just a little disclaimer there, but I will always create a type of Pinterest board.

I, we’ll just pin all the things, like all the related things. If you guys have ever done my brand room exercise, you see how I pin things and how I use Pinterest to my advantage and how I actually pin other things that are related to it. And I just keep going and going and going. But they create this whole brand board kind of thing for each funnel drop. And I just start just going crazy and just pinning all the things I can possibly think of. I do it pretty quickly. I would say that this step probably takes me maybe 30 minutes, maybe an hour. I’m not really, never really timed it. Um, but I just kind of get it all out until I feel like there’s nothing left to pin kind of in a way. Um, and then they go back through. Sometimes I actually don’t really, I don’t really use this step.

Sometimes I go through and actually delete some that don’t fit, but for the most part I can kind of tell what goes and what doesn’t fit. And I start to kind of see like things, I start to study it. So I start to see, um, what, what things are similar. So that is the second step that I would do if, um, if I was doing this, you know, if I was you and I was doing this again is really I this second step, it’s a skim over the board and identify elements that are the same. So then now that that’s kind of how I’m studying this time period, this could be a style as well too. So I’ll, I’ll use that kind of interchangeably here. Time periods slash style, right? This is how to recreate it. Um, I look over the board, I try to identify those elements that look the same like fonts, right?

I tried to say what kind of fonts are they using? Are they mostly Sarah’s, are they sand? Sarah’s, um, are they display fonts or the handwritten fonts? Like what am I seeing? And I might see a variety, right? I might see some sand Sarah’s and some Sarah, but where am I seeing them? Am I seeing a lot of sensors in headlines and my seeing him and subheadlines, am I seeing them in Italics? Like where are they using these different things? And I started to basically take notes on what I’ve pinned and start to see these commonalities and start to take notes in the commonalities. So I might write, um, you know, big Chunky Sarah fee had headlines or something like that. Right. So, and that’s just one piece of it that just looking at fonts I might look at like how do they make dividers? Like what, what uh, does this time period, what did, what dividers did they use?

What kind of systems did they use to divide their content? I might look at, you know, is it, is they, are things very asymmetrical? Are things very symmetrical? What side do they go on? What is the relationship between images and text? Is text really big or are the images really big? Like I’m just looking for relationships right there and kind of how did they lay things out? How did they take information and relay it? Right. Um, are there any special treatments they have on anything? Are there drop shadows or backgrounds or um, outlines, like just kind of what, what kind of treatments did they use? What are the photos look like? Like, are they really moody? Is it really high end photography? Is it, um, you know, kind of Grungy, dirty photography? Like usually if it’s vintage, obviously you know, you can kind of see what a vintage photos look like.

Do they have the rounded corners there? Are they distressed? Right. Just kind of really looking through. Um, and seeing that in a lot of times I tried to actually go with the original as must as possible. So I try to actually, so like for example, if I was doing something, um, from the fifties I would actually try to pin things that were actually advertisements in the 50s right? Not like a reinterpretation of the 50s but the actual thing so that I can really get kind of a puritan version or pure version of that design. So usually I’m kind of doing that kind of thing because I can reinterpret it in a modern way and that’s fine. You know, I, I can do that myself if you don’t know how to return. But it in Wa feel, feel free to pin things that are modern as well, but you’ll be able to tell the things that are truly from the period and the things that are recreation’s.

But again, you can kind of be looking at what are the similars, the similarities between things that were the rent, original vintage versions and the actual tie like that. The reinterpreted versions like what did they reinterpret, what looks different and be noticing those things as well. So that’s a third thing would be I want to look at which trends I can disregard or which things I can marry with like a new modern idea. So maybe they used to do something that’s just totally out of style now and how can I update it and modernize it to this era to what actually fits now. So how can I make it, you know, maybe cleaner, easier to read. Um, or if it’s, yeah, like so like something less than it’s fonts. I mean fonts are just so all over the place. Like we have every kind of font that, you know, now we have access to everything, right?

We have access to every holds old font that are kind of ever was. And there’s just, so there’s like no shortage of fonts. So fonts are usually like we have access to everything, but can we get images so look like that. Or do we get like a new image and just kind of, does it have to be like crappy looking cause you don’t like for example, you look at um, old photography and there’s, there’s some issues there. Like there maybe things were blown out or they’re not developed the right way. Well we don’t need to make things worse, right? We don’t need to back them up and actually make them worse. Maybe we can make them look a little bit like there were older but still pretty clear and still great photography for example, something like that. Um, or if it’s like, you know, some kind of a cartoon or I don’t know, something that you see on the advertisement is it can, can we do like a cool cooler version of that?

That would be like more 20, 19. So I, I’m not trying to just make it exactly, exactly, exactly look like it came from that time period. That’s not my goal here. The goal is to get the spirit and the love and the idea and the feeling in the kind of nostalgia, right? That’s really what we’re doing here is when we’re, when we’re designing within a time period, we’re getting getting that nostalgic feeling, but speaking to people today and we’re not because we’re not selling to people then. So we cared about different things then. Right? So from a a marketing standpoint, we’re really talking to people today. So we do want to take the marketing approach from now, right? So what do people care about now? But how can we pull in some nostalgia for these older and cooler, you know, time periods. And it really is a Mashup of the two styles.

So again, I was saying earlier, you know, how do you design the style without it becoming cheesy? That’s, that’s it. You modernize it, right? You take, um, stock of which trends that you can disregard, which ones you can marry with new ideas that actually speak to 20, 19 people, right? Or already in Bonn beyond. And then, uh, lastly, just mashing it up with your own signature style. So was your take on this. So, okay, they designed it in this way. I love that they did it this way. They shaped it like this. But what’s my thing like what’s, what, what makes me unique and all and even in inspired pro in my signature course and inspired pro, we, I teach about signature style and actually how to create your signature style. And one of the things is like, what is the thing that I’m known for that I always do?

It’s Kinda like my, my signature, right? It’s like that’s that one thing. It’s like painters would do like the a couple things differently and then you would know it was them. That’s how people kind of know. It’s the same idea. So how do I take this trend? How do I take modern trends and how do I take my signature style and mash up those three? And that is how you really, really come up with something incredible that’s unique, different has that feeling of the time period, but it still feels really timeless and really you. So those are the three things that you can start doing today to really design and make sure you nail a time period. Number one, study the period. Create a Pinterest board, you know, make, make a whole board of, of original as much as possible designs you can mostly advertising if you want number to skim over the board, identify elements that are the same, what fonts would, dividers, the photos, all those things that they’re using.

Three, which trends can you disregard or Mary with modern ideas and add your signature style. Couple things I wanna let you guys know Inspired Pro, I mentioned it just a few minutes ago, but inspired pros actually going away. Oh my gosh, it’s so sad. I know I’m going to reinterpret it in some way, shape or form in the future. Not right now because I have the inner circle running, but inspired pro. If you guys want to grab it and make sure you do so before May 25th before it’s actually going into its own lovers in of the vaults. Go to TheInspiredPro.com/go in order to grab that for the last, I’m the way it looks today at least.

The other thing is if you guys want to catch one on the war, it’s coming out next week, next Monday, the 27 so May 27th funnel nor drops and it will only be open for five days, nine slash 96 hours.
Make sure you guys grab that. That’s just FunnelGorgeous.com so thanks guys. I hope that was helpful and I appreciate you so much. And of course if you thought this podcast was super helpful and you want more and more this, please share, please share, share, share and make sure you go review it on iTunes. I would appreciate it so much and it gives me that like excitement to do more. I guys see on the next one.

Are you ready to join in the fight against ugly design? Yeah. Then head over to GorgeousDesignSecrets.com. There you will find high end design resources inside or designer tips and an amazing tribe of others just like you.

Episode #08: How to Hire a Business Nanny: Real Design Life Series


Today, Cathy’s excited to share a bit of her REAL DESIGN LIFE. Cathy made a big shift almost 2 years ago, and it changed everything and is one of the biggest contributors to her exponential growth… when she hired a Business Nanny. In this episode, she gives you her exact tips in order to hire the perfect person, and how to afford it. This is How to Hire a Business Nanny: Real Design Life Series.

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Full Transcript:

Hey everyone, it’s Cathy Olson here at a welcome to the secrets of gorgeous design podcast. Oh my goodness. It’s been just a little, it’s been some time since I’ve been on this podcast and I’ve had several of you guys asking me what are you going to do is more of a podcast, wouldn’t need to do more podcasts. Such is the life of a full time entrepreneur, right? We always do this, we get really, really excited about something and we go and do lots and lots of it and then life happens, right? It’s kind of one of those things, but I’m excited to get back in the saddle and um, I actually had a really cool idea the other day about this episode and I, it’s actually a little bit of a departure from my other episodes really. I just wanted to talk a little bit about, have a few episodes where I talk about the real life behind being a designer, being a creative, being a marketer, uh, being, uh, Gosh, mentor, all the things, being a mom, being a wife, right?

Like what does it really look like to live this life? So I wanted to talk about this thing that I actually created or for myself as saying that I do that not a lot of people do. And I’m excited to dive into this today because whenever I tell people this in real life and we’re kind of talking about what goes behind creating this thing for yourself, people are like, wait, what? Like this. It’s like, it’s kind of like that record stop or like erm, you know? Um, but today I’m going to teach you how to hire a business nanny. And I know it sounds crazy and this is a concept that the name of it I came up with just last week, but I’m gonna go through this and tell you some of my best tips and tricks. I’ve told this to countless people and it’s changed lives already for the people that I’ve told it to.

So I am excited to share this with you today and pull back the curtain on this real life entrepreneurial journey that we’re on. So let’s jump into this episode.

My name is Cathy Olson. I’m part of a group of entrepreneurs who are the founders and creative directors of their businesses who have a discerning eye and a ton of heart. If you ask those that get rich quick types, they would say that pretty design isn’t functional and doesn’t sell yet. We are proving everyday that beautiful and thoughtful details do sell and in fact attract unstoppable beauty and wealth. We believe that we can have it all and that sales can be gorgeous. These are the secrets of gorgeous design and we are here to make creativity, lucrative, build gorgeous brands and sales funnels and to make the world of business a gorgeous place to be. Okay, so I know you’re thinking a calf, what on earth is a business nanny?

I am. It’s probably not the best idea or or title that I’ve ever come up with. It’s not like one of my better ones, but it kind of makes sense and it’s kind of like when people say, oh, it’s like the Uber of this or the of that. It’s like the nanny of businesses, right? So many of you know my assistant Lexie, she is so awesome. She’s with me for almost two years. And it’s so funny because she, I originally hired her on as a personal assistant. I still call her assistant. She gets kind of mad at me when I call her assistant because she’s so much more than that. But, um, at first she was my assistant, so I actually hired a personal assistant. So what happened was a friend of mine, I was at a retreat in Nashville outside of Nashville at inspired retreat.

My friend Amber Housley puts on every year. And we were talking about one night, like in our PJ’s, I’m one of the other speakers. And I were talking about how do we, you know, how do we run our businesses and who did we hire and what kind of help did we get? So one of the, also the other speakers told me that she had a personal assistant and I thought, oh my gosh, like what would, what kind of lifestyle, what I need to, to lead in order to actually have a personal assistant. And she told me all the things that this personal assistant did, that she did the laundry. You know, she straightened up the house, she picked up the kids from school when they needed to. Not like everyday, but just sometimes ran, you know, Aaron’s uh, anytime you gotta return random things, right? Like just, just really like a mother’s helper, right?

Just, but really not even having to do with the kids. I just kind of like everything else, all those things that were expected to do. That’s a whole other podcast episode. Right? Um, but those are all those other things that we are expected to have somehow fit into our lives when we are running our businesses. Right? So they kept thinking that, gosh, that would be so nice. Gosh, that would be so nice. And I just thought, well, how on earth would I ever afford that? Right? So that was really, if you’re thinking that right now, understand that was me too. And I just thought, gosh, what we’re going to have a bougie person, what I need to be to have a personal assistant. So I started, I don’t know why. It just got more and more in my head. And I kept thinking about it, kept thinking about it, caffeine about it.

I thought, well, how can I really make this work? How, how could this become realistic for me? And it’s one of those things that I’ve been doing in my life really, that it’s like I see things and I’m like, well, is that possible for me? And then what would that look like? And just kind of crunching numbers, right? So initially I came up with the idea of just bringing on someone part time because I thought even part time would be so helpful, you know, to come out, um, to come, you know, I be say say in air quotes home, right? Because I have my office, but I’m always at home. But, um, you know, to come out of my office, basically come home from a day’s work and not have a whole bunch of work to do, right. With the house and dinner and cleaning and the kids and all that stuff.

Right? So I thought, what would that feel like? And I was having an increasingly a hard time with my husband as well, like this was becoming an area of contingent in our marriage because it’s like we would both be exhausted by the end of the day and it was Kinda like, well, who’s doing this? Like, Oh, am I just supposed to do it because I’m the wife? You know? It’s like, oh, am I supposed to do it? Cause I work from home. Like I, I’m, I run, you know, a really successful business. Like I shouldn’t be treated like someone that’s freelancing on the side or whatever. Right? So it was kind of becoming an area of contention in our marriage. It’s like, whose job is this? So that’s when I was like, Gosh, I feel like we would be happier in our marriage if I just looked into this.

So that’s kind of the genesis of, of where this, this came to be. Um, and it totally changed my life. There’s no way on earth I would be where I am today without, um, Lexie, right. Without my assistant. So it’s morphed into something totally different. And that’s kind of where I wanted, that’s where one’s explained to you, the genesis of it because that’s kind of where I suggest people start. But know that it looks completely different now. And so it’s funny, fast forward two years later, almost two years later, I’m actually hiring another business nanny. So Lexi has actually kind of officially transitioned out of being my assistant to being my junior designer and funnel builder. So she’s like actually grown and changed and morphed into something totally different. Um, as our, as our business has grown. So this is why I wanted to share with you, because I’m going through this all over again.

I’m going through this process again of hiring another business and basically to take over for her for what she used to do that I’m going through this all over again and I’m like, oh my gosh. Like I need to kind of explain to people what this is like cause I’m here again. Right. I’m Kinda like back to back to square one, I guess. Not Really Square one. But um, so like I said, Lexi started with me a little less than two years ago and I both to basically post it on care.com and it was for a personal assistant position, which now it looks like now that I’m reposting and I’m actually changing the job out that it looks like they kind of don’t have that position anymore specifically. So I don’t know exactly, I just like re posted it. So you’re going to have to do some research and on where you want to post it.

Like what category? Cause it used to be its own category, it’s not really anymore, but you can still kind of look for like in home care, like kind of nannyish position. Right? Cause I think that those type of people, they’re just caregivers and they just love to help. So I think that there are still around the same type of people that she would want to help you. And a lot of times are just like some younger people in there that really just want to help. Right. And they just love running errands or you know, doing little tasks for people. Just really simple stuff that just kinda easy. So I started out, you know, part time, super part time, I want to say she started about like 20 hours or so, you know, just a few days a week. Or actually maybe she came in every day and it was just a couple of hours.

But her, her hours are pretty flexible because it didn’t really matter to me when the things were getting done, which on her side it’s like oh my gosh, dream job. Right? Flexible hours. You just kind of come in and chill out and do some stuff and drive around. It was like such a cool job for her on her side. Right. So my first tip for you, if you are looking to hire a business nanny is to number one out the tasks that are not making you money that you don’t have to do. So during the day I was losing a lot of time, like going to target or something and returning, you know, little, I don’t know, whatever I bought that like needed to be returned. And actually more likely I wasn’t returning them. So then I was just losing money, which is like basically throwing money down the toilet because I would never go to return something I didn’t need and then it would just sit there and gain, you know, collect dust and it was just horrible.

So little things like that was taking so much time out of my day that I could have been doing like these high revenue generating activities, right. Because I was had to go to target to buy like supplies for school or I had to go return this or go to the post office for that or grab this or grab that. It was just killing my day. Even like grocery shopping. Just little, little simple things I had to do during the day because when I take my kids shopping, it is like a nightmare. So I tried to do any shopping that I have to do or returning or whatever. Uh, when they are not around when they’re in school. So that was like the first thing was I’m just trying to figure out exactly what the tax, that we’re not making me money that I didn’t have to do.

So laundry, nobody’s paying me to do laundry, you know, cleaning up. No one’s paying me to do that. Cooking, nobody was paying like all those things. Um, and then also like things that I really just, that would have improved my life, but I was never getting too. So I also had a list of things. Um, I called it my sh, you know, what t lists because it was just all of the things that were on this list that I just was never in my life ever going to get to. Cause I was always too busy. So I had this whole list of things to get done, like organize the closet, right. Just stuff like that. So I had this whole list of stuff and so all of these things that I knew that would improve my life, but I just never got around to. So that is the first step to figure out what, what the task or that are not making you any money that you don’t have to do and or things that are on your, you know, kind of bucket list, right.

Um, to get done that you don’t really like think you’ll ever get to. The second thing that I did was I actually figured out what quick money makers were that I could train people to do. So initially I didn’t do this. So this is why I’m telling you like now to do this, to do this initially because this would have saved me a lot of time and energy. But originally I just thought she was just going to free up some of my time so that I could make more money during my work time. But really after a while I thought, gosh, it would be great if she knows she’s an employee of low inspired. Like she can actually make me money, like let alone like me spending money, she can actually return on her investment or do we turn my investment in here in her right.

So that’s when I did like identified some quick moneymakers and I had her designing, we have this thing called brand designer for a day and then we have a done for you service. Basically you buy these templates for $27 and then for $97 upgrade we will like actually customize the template for you. So for basically $97 we can customize a template. So I had her doing those for the clients that we’re upgrading. And so every time she designs she created one. She was actually earning, basically, it’s at $97 and so she did a few of these a week and it was like totally paying for her. It was like such a no brainer of so smart on my part. I should’ve done it sooner, but as soon as I figured out I thought, oh my gosh, that is so smart. And all she had to do honestly was take my course.

All she had to do is actually take the brand designer for a day course and it showed her exactly how to do it and then she just practice and practice and practice. And I would give her some tips and pointers, you know, every once in a while. And she got better and better at it. And it got to the point where I just went straight through to her and she was basically making her own money. So it was pretty awesome. So that’s my second tip is to try to figure out if there’s a quick moneymaker that you can train them to do, like when they’re working on your business. So for me, originally she was working, Gosh, I would say probably about 80% on house stuff and 20% business stuff. And then like I said, over the years it’s shifted into, now she’s doing like 5% health stuff and 95% business stuff.

But it’s gotten to the point where she’s gotten so overloaded on the business side that now it’s like we’re growing enough. We need another person. So now she’s going to be 100% business stuff because she’s awesome. And I’ve trained her like for, you know, two years straight. Um, and we’re going to get another person. But either way, you know, just depending on the person, you’re going to have a different percentage too. And then the third tip I have for you is to actually go to, you know, to do it what I did really, um, and, and just go for a personal assistant position, right. And in house. And what I did is I went onto care.com again, I said it’s a little bit different now than when I originally went, but I’m still, I just posted yesterday looking for this new person and um, I’ve already gotten tons of hits.

So you’re looking for someone who will be a personal juicy can call it a personal assistant, can call whatever you want. Obviously a business nannies sounds a little weird. So probably want to go with personal assistant because the idea is that you want them to be eager to help and, and that’s why I kinda call it a nanny cause they, Andy’s have that like they want to take care of your kids, right? They’re like really sweet. They have a certain disposition of just like being helpers and like that’s what they want to do. On this planet is help people, right? So really like, it’s like a business nanny. It’s like helping you. Um, I guess, I guess you could say it’s a mommy nanny too in a way, but really they’re just there to help you, um, get whatever you can’t get done right. They’re just kind of a, another you, another arm, another extension of you.

And so in my care.com ad I basically said, you know, hey, like we’re a fun family of four. Um, I have two daughters, I have a lot of stuff to get done today. I wear, I’m a graphic designer, I work, work from home during the day. I have a lot of things that are, you know, kind of fallen through the cracks and I just need help. Right? I just was like, it was super honest about it. I said, you know, this position would include, um, some, some doing sort of doing some errands, dropping some stuff off, some light cleaning, some laundry, organizing and maybe even some business stuff. Right. When I said, you know, emails and answering clients and stuff like that. Um, so I said, you know, communication, strong communication is a must, a computer. And I forgot what I said, personal skills or something, a good attitude, self, self-starter, don’t need to be micromanaged.

Those kinds of things, which I say all those things because that is the way that I work. I can’t stand like micromanaging people. I’m like, you’re, you’re a grownup. You know, here’s what I like to get done. You go do that. You Go, you go do Ubu and I’m going to be over here doing my business, right? Like I don’t want to like stand over anybody. So I also wanted people that wanted that autonomy, that like wanting to take on a job and like just own it. Right? And just go and go and do it. Go, go out there and conquer. Right. Um, so those are the kinds of things that I put in my ads. So those are the things I suggested to put into yours. But again, it’s going to look totally different for you. If you feel super weird about bringing someone in your home, I totally get that.

And you don’t have to have them in your home if you want them just like running errands and just kind of like in and out and just kind of doing things for you. That’s totally fine if you want them to work from home. I’m doing emails and stuff. I will say the in-person aspect has made every, all of the difference for me. So I have had virtual assistants in the past and so this whole time you might be thinking, well, can I just have a virtual assistant? But I want to tell you that it makes all of the difference having someone in person. And maybe that’s just my personality, I don’t know. But I’m telling you that she and I get more done in a day than I’ve ever gotten done in my business, you know, in 11 years. So it’s, I don’t know what it is about being in person with the both of us in the dynamic of like me being able to walk out there and say, hey, what’s going on?

How’s this working out? Versus just sending an email to somebody. I Dunno what it is, but we just literally like what, what I would get done with a virtual assistant at the same amount of hours. It’s like tripled, quadrupled. Guajira bold our productivity. So I would just say if you’re thinking, oh, I just couldn’t get a virtual assistant for that, just try this. Right. Just try having this part time person come in and help you in person. I’m telling you, it’s game-changing. It’s life-changing. It’s totally different than what you’re used to. Um, but it’s so awesome. I mean, it’s gotta be someone you obviously trust. You know, at first, I didn’t, she didn’t have a house key or any of that stuff. And then as she, as she went, you know, she gained my trust. Um, but with the cool thing is, I wanted to tell you guys is that now how fun is this?

Now that we are hiring this second business nanny and Lexi’s taking on a bigger role, she’s actually going to be the person that they report to. So I’m having her do all of the interviewing, all of the like phone calls, like actually talking to like, cause she’s the one, she’s basic. They’re basically her assistant at this point and they’re going to report to her directly. So I don’t have to deal with any of that. Oh my gosh. How Fun. I’m so excited about it. Um, and she’s super excited to have like that kind of power, right. Um, to feel like she’s a big being a big part of it. So I just wanted to give all these tips you today to just really encourage you to give you an idea of something if you’re not like there yet. That’s totally cool. Like I said, I started off super duper part-time, um, very like kind of low hourly rate, just basically, you know, just as simple.

I think it was a little bit more than minimum wage. And she, she slowly worked her way up and not really even slowly actually I kept giving her raises cause she was awesome. Um, but you know, then, then we went to full time and then now, you know, she’s, she’s taken on this new position, um, with a much bigger race. So it’s pretty exciting. Pretty amazing. Our business could not have gone anywhere near was like, this is one of my secrets. Like I’m telling you the truth. This is one of my biggest secrets of what has changed my business so much in the last two years is this. So it’s a big deal, right? It’s a big deal for me to tell you this, but it’s also a big deal for me to show you exactly how I did it. So I hope you guys appreciate it and that you actually started thinking about it even if you’re not totally ready today, start mapping it out. You know, do what I said though, like one through three, start mapping out these things and start getting ready to change and shift your life. So thanks so much guys. I appreciate you so much. I hope this was helpful and I will see you on the next one.

Are you ready to join in the fight against ugly design? Yeah. Then head over to http://gorgeousdesignsecrets.com. There you will find high end design resources inside or designer tips and an amazing tribe of others just like you.

3 Secrets to Booking High End Services

It’s time to make some money in your business. Get my secrets to booking high end services! Grab the worksheet: http://lovins.co/heworksheet

In today’s video I want to walk you through what you need to do to finally book those high end clients that are going to help you grow your business. Getting clients isn’t always the easiest thing to do in your business and to get good clients its important to have high ticket services they actually want.

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Hey there, Cathy Olson here, of Love Inspired, Love-inspired.com and today I’m gonna share with you the secret to booking high-end services. High-end services tend to be one of those things that’s kind of like the unicorn or the magical pony that no one can seem to figure out how to charge more for their services. And of course, if you’re starting at a lower rate it’s gonna be not too crazy to just kind of book a little bit higher and higher and higher, but there becomes a point in every industry where there’s kind of a ceiling, and people don’t think they can get past it. But it’s not true and I want to break down today three things that you can do if you feel like you’ve reached that ceiling of what you can charge for your services or services in general. I want to share with you three things that you can do right now to make this happen.

Today I want to share the three things that you can do in your business to kind of shatter that ceiling and to get to the next level. And everything I’m talking about today really comes down to value, because it’s all subjective. Value, cost, price, all that good stuff, it all comes down to people’s perception and also what they get from it. If you are providing enough value there’s really no cost ceiling to that because if it’s important enough and you do a great job, the cost kind of becomes irrelevant at that point. The very first thing that you can do to create more value is actually to add additional services to what you offer. And in choosing this you really want to provide services, extra services on top of what you do that really move the needle for them. You can be thinking about things that they’ll need before they hire you or things they’ll need after they hire you or things that they might need during, while they’re hiring you, to make it much easier and to just move that needle faster. If they’re looking to make more money, or you’re looking to grow their business or something like that, what can you offer that’s additional that you can add to that. Something that you can add that creates more value to them, because you’re giving them more, right, you’re moving the needle faster. Just be thinking about that. And actually I have a free cheat sheet for you if you want to download that there’s a link below that will help you identify what these things are in your business. That’s the first things you can do, you can provide those extra services that move the needle.

And number two, the second thing that you can do, is to get better at selling. This is one of those things where you pretty much can’t sell high-end services or things that are on a higher-end side, that are more expensive, if you aren’t good at selling. I think that what people really need to realize is that selling does not have to be sleazy or skeazy, or used-car salesman, none of that, right? Really all selling is, is to show what you offer in a different way so that you kind of breaking through whatever their objections are to get them to that place, so that you can help them. That’s really all that sales is. It’s really the only thing that sales needs to be, is just breaking through objections so that people don’t stop themselves from purchasing the thing that will get them to what, they result they want. If you think about sales in that way it doesn’t feel quite as sleazy and skeazy because it’s really just connecting people with what they really want. That’s a simple sales process. Is just identifying who this is for, what this does, and what I can do for you. And so just make sure you’ve not selling things as basically features, you’re not kind of telling people what’s included in the package, but you’re actually explaining to them who this is for and what this does for them so that people can connect those dots a little bit better. That’s the basic level of sales. You just want to focus being better at sales and then you can close more high-end deals.

And the third thing that you can do to book more high-end services is kind of obvious, but maybe not so obvious, but to become the best at what you do. I swear this is not as hard as it sounds. You just need to become a better version of yourself, whatever that looks like. I’m not saying that you need to be the best in the entire world at what you do, but you need to be better at what you do. Because when you become a better version of yourself you do a better job, obviously, but you become confident in your services and you become confident in what you do and you’re able to look people in the eye and tell them straight, I know I can help you and I know that I’m the person to do this. And once you have that inner confidence to do it and you know you can do an amazing job for them that makes all of the difference. I want you to become just a better version of you so you have to become better at your services in order to sell them for more. I’m not a fan of just charging more for something without giving extra value, being better at what you do and I’m just not a fan of teaching people how to charge more unless they really are doing a better job. I mean really, it’s kind of simple. I will say if you’re missing any of these things, if you’re not providing extra value, if you’re not selling it very well and if you don’t have the confidence and you’re not doing a very good job, none of this is going to work. These three things are really important and you need all these three.

And I don’t want to leave you hanging high and dry, just say, okay, Cathy, but how do I do this? I want to walk you through the next step. Make sure you grab that download, and we can walk through this together and I can help you with it. They’re gonna get you to that place where you can book more high-end services. Thanks, guys.

Get my secrets to booking high end services! Grab the worksheet here >>

future-proofing your {small} business

Us small businesses have to worry about sustainability – especially when WE are the cornerstones of our businesses.

Watch the scope above for explanations on these 3 tips on how to future-proof your business:

  1. Start getting OUT of your own biz (it’s not what you think)
  2. Offer next-level (or pre-level) products & services
  3. Create passive profit income streams


future-proofing your {small} business
Her success is not your failure.

Sweet friend, please tell me I’m not the only one feeling this.

That every time you see someone similar (either in your same industry, your same age bracket, or who started their business when you did) SUCCEED in a big way, it feels like a jab to your gut.

You hear that voice: “Look at ALL that she’s accomplished, and here you are. Still in the same place. Still haven’t MADE it. Wasting your life, your talent, your money.”

I heard these voices this morning. “What has she done differently that made her SUCCEED and you FAIL?”

These are total LIES friends. We all have a part to play and we all are WHERE we are for a reason.

Let me prove it to you. I did a Periscope on it this morning, and would like to share it with you.


Today I did an impromptu Periscope about the saying currently circulating:

“Her success is not your failure”

– and an amazing verse that coincides with this topic and has a big lesson for us.


Her success is not your failure.


How passive income fits with an established business

When the success of your business is RELATIVE to the hours YOU put into it, you can quickly get burnt out.

But maybe you LOVE what you do, and can’t IMAGINE stopping.

But what if you could take on LESS clients, WORK less, maybe have TIME OFF and STILL make more money?

The secret is Passive Income. Setting up a system of income that takes your hours spent, and grows your reach AND your money.

I’m teaching a FREE training tomorrow, Wednesday March 30th at 12pm PST / 3pm EST. Sign up here to grab a spot. We will be giving away free stuff to the live viewers only, so make sure you join us live!

In my Periscope above, I talk about the 3 ways that creating a passive income stream HELPS your current business. Watch the video above or read the notes below.

You will be able to have seasons of slow (and be JUST fine).

Your business should serve your life. You can run a thriving business AND live your life. Life is too short to miss all the beauty. Having a passive income stream will help you to be able to take breaks, whether it’s for pleasure or for life’s disasters. I created my first passive income stream because of a medical emergency in which I knew I’d need to be out of the office. It was the best decision I’ve ever made for my business. Not only can I take breaks and take time off, it’s also helped grow my business in other ways, like:

You can demonstrate your expertise.

Passive income streams can help demonstrate your expertise. You can choose to sell your products TO your current customers, or people who serve your current customers. You will grow your clout and be known as an expert.

You can build an amazing community.

Because you are no longer working one-to-one, instead you’re working one-to-many. That means you’re able to help more people in less time, and GROW your audience. You can now help people who then tell other people, and your influence exponentially grows. My community has grown to international friendships because of my passive income streams. I’ve had in-person opportunities as well as online opportunities because of connections I made, that wouldn’t be possible if I was helping one-to-one.

Passive income does not have to be your full-time gig. It can be your side thing – that helps grow your business and it’s potential, and helps you live the life you deserve.


Join us TOMORROW, March 30th for a FREE training on Passive Income for Creative Businesses. This is a one-time lesson, and we are giving away prizes to live viewers. Grab a spot so that you don’t miss it!

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myth busting: I’m not ____ enough to teach

In Create Passive Profits, we are going to start the course by pushing past the fears that have stopped us in the past. I’d like to dispel some fears here, to encourage you to start those things you’ve been dreaming about, including teaching an e-course (watch my Periscope above).

Myth busting: I’m not {blank} enough

We really seem to psyche ourselves OUT of the good ideas, don’t we? There are lots of excuses we give ourselves about why we aren’t enough to pursue our idea. I’d love to debunk some of these now.

  • I’m not EDUCATED enough

Why is it that we all think we need degrees in anything we do? Maybe it’s the old school way of doing things. It’s never been easier in history to learn how to do something. Hey, I even have a couple degrees in graphic design – but I know a LOT of my colleagues don’t. Since I worked very hard for it, I’m proud of it. But guess what? On the web – no one really cares. I don’t think people hire me because I have a degree – they hire me because they like what I produce, and they know that I can help them. No one cares about your background – they only care if and how you can help them. It’s really, really true.

  • I’m not OLD enough, or YOUNG enough

This can be added on to the above – the web is the great equalizer, and nobody cares how old you are. The web is completely merit-based. Age just doesn’t matter anymore. And if for some reason, your ideal clients are looking for age – they are going to be your same age. So even if that is a factor (which it’s probably not) then there will be an audience and market just like you. Maybe that’s part of your niche – and that’s okay too! It’s just a selling point instead, and no reason to be afraid.

  • I’m not TECHY enough

Simple software solutions are constantly being built for those who aren’t as technically inclined – as well learning programs for those who want to learn how. You can learn just about ANYTHING on the web these days. And even for free if you’re willing to dig. There’s no excuse any more – they are breaking down the tech barriers as we speak.

  • I’m not RICH enough

I have some REALLY great news for you. Remember how I said it’s never been easier in history to learn something? Well it’s also never been cheaper to sell something. Informational products especially are DIRT cheap to produce – and the profit margins are close to 100%. You can get a site started with everything you need for less than $100 these days. You absolutely do not need a lot of money to start your idea. Even crowd-sourcing sites make it easy to gain funding if your project does need it.

So have I convinced you that you are enough? Well, of course you are. You are amazing and ONE of a kind!


Join us on March 30th for a FREE training on Passive Income for Creative Businesses. This is a one-time lesson, and we are giving away prizes to live viewers. Grab a spot so that you don’t miss it!

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myth busting: I'm not ____ enough to teach
Are you TIME-Poor? Living hour-to-hour?

Sometimes instead of being money-poor, we are time-poor. Living check-to-check is eclipsed by living hour-to-hour.

We never have enough time to do what we love, to be there for the people we love, because we are so busy trading hours for dollars. Creating passive income is a real way to create more balance in our lives, work less for more money, and develop a business that supports our lifestyle, rather than the other way around.

If you’re like I was, you may think:

“I’m busy (aka my business is thriving). Why would I need to develop a system for passive income?”

I’ve thought this over and over – and figured the whole “passive income craze” had no relevance in my service-based, client-based, CUSTOM, built-from-scratch, one-of-a-kind business. But I was totally wrong. It is relevant – to ANY business, but especially creative ones, and here’s why:

  • Invest your time instead of just spending it

The biggest case for creating a passive revenue stream in your business is it’s an amazing INVESTMENT. Not investment of money in the traditional sense, though. As your business grows, you’ll realize your most precious asset is time. You may think time is time and goes by no matter what – but it’s not really true. There’s a way to invest your time – and it’s in developing a passive income system. You spend the time ONCE and it keeps working for you – without you spending the time over and over again. Your time is exponentially MORE valuable when spending it creating a passive income system. It can potentially grow and grow, unlike how you’re spending time now. Time is finite in the trade-hours-for-money scenario.

  • Easiest time in history for passive incomes

Right now is the easiest and most fertile planting ground for developing a passive income system. It’s a bit ridiculous how easy it is to start. The cost is super low, and you can start it RIGHT NOW. You don’t need a degree, or even a specialty. You just need a passion – ANY passion. If you know anything about anything – there’s a profit to be made on it. There are people out there who want to know what you know, or want to buy what you make. And connecting those clients with you and your offering is the easiest it’s EVER been. NOW is the time to start. It truly is the future, and the entrance gates are unlocked and are wide open right now. Why NOT start now?

  • Business “insurance” plan

As women, building a business can be particularly scary. We have an extra set of worries when it comes to starting a family. There is such an uncertainty. If you already have children, you already know how big of a change happened in your life. If you don’t already have kids, you can only imagine how your life would change. For all of us though, when a business depends on only us – we get worried something could happen to us and render us temporarily unable to work. Developing a passive income system is a way to serve as a backup plan – or an insurance type business for us. It reduces our client dependency for our business to thrive. And who doesn’t want a little extra security right?

  • Helping other people isn’t limited

The businesses that do the best, are those that HELP people. It is fulfilling as a business owner, and a as person, to be able to help people. As it currently stands though, you can only help so many people, because you’re just one person. When you develop a system, it can grow and grow and help many more people than you could ever handle on your own. Your reach is spread to the sky – and you can truly feel amazing about that! It is worth it!



So now that we’re in agreement – you may be wondering where to start? How do you develop a passive income stream in YOUR businesses? I can help you navigate WHAT to sell and HOW to sell it in my course, Create Passive Profits. You may be on information overload and have NO clue where to start. I’ve worked hard to devour all the information, speak to those currently doing it, and clean it up in an easy to understand and customizable way for CREATIVE businesses. There’s a lot of junk information out there, car salesman type techniques and just generally outdated information. I created a course that I wish was out there. This course will help you to develop the idea and hit the ground running with it. This is my 3rd time running the course, but I’m doing it differently this time with keeping the class small, and adding in the group coaching element. I’m opening registration VERY SOON, so make sure you’re signed up to be first to know when registration opens, so you can be guaranteed a spot and can get started on creating that revenue stream ASAP.

Cheers to a bright future – filled with passive incomes, fulfilling work, and being with the ones you love!

Are You Time Poor?
when community over competition goes wrong

Yesterday I did an impromptu Periscope that got a lot of views and a lot of people buzzing.

Community over competition movement has been a positive shift, but it can (and is already) going wrong a bit.

Before you totally freak out, please hear me out. This comes from a place of love. Hugs. Take a quick breath, and let me ‘splain.

Rising tides lift all ships. But only if the water is being added to, not only drawn from.

The idea of rising tides means the body of water is being added to. Those who continually take and take, without adding, are going to find that the community will quickly get tired. And those in said community will stop sharing. Thus, without the proper balance, Community over Competition will crumble. In order to ensure this doesn’t happen, make sure you are ADDING more value than you are taking. 80/20 it if you need to. 80% value adding, 20% value taking.

TRUE communities support each other. And sometimes that means spending money.

I’m not saying that you have to spend all of your money to support community. But sometimes the BEST way to support someone is to get out your wallet. (Tough love time, ladies). If you truly believe in someone, HIRE THEM. There truly is no greater form of respect. Don’t just take all the free info they give out and never actually support them financially. Shop within your community, instead of looking outward. Keep each other in business, friends!

Community over competition can be used as a veil to take advantage of competition. Remember to REMEMBER the people who helped you get to where you are.

This is one of the biggest problems I see happening right now. A way to combat this is to REMEMBER the people who helped you, and to call them out and THANK THEM. There is nothing worse than helping someone in need, and them forgetting to thank you for it. It hurts, and it makes others not want to help ever again. Take time to thank your community and mentors for all they have done for you.

Only share what you are comfortable with.

Just because people are sharing more than ever before, doesn’t mean you have to “tell all” or share everything. You can politely send them to a resource in which they can gain more information on their own (like sending them to a business coach or online course). Or, you can be honest at say you aren’t comfortable with sharing proprietary business information with them. You DO NOT have to let them pick your brain for free. Offer a consulting call for a fee, and if they truly need help, they will support you.

Have a lovely week friends!

cathy-signature when community over competition goes wrong
Well-Designed Life Series interview

Recently I was interviewed by Whitney English and Mary Verett of the Day Designer®. See the original post here, and below for the interview!


This week’s #WellDesignedLife interview is with the incredible Cathy Olson! We just adore this hardworking (and super sweet) lady! Whitney has not only had the privilege of getting to personally know Cathy over the past year, but also worked with her to start a community project called Go Inspire Love!

Cathy will introduce herself a little further down, but we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to express our admiration for all the ways she helps others and manages to get.stuff.done. We love her and know you will, too!

What accomplishment are you most proud of in life so far?

My family, hands down. I love them more than there are stars in the sky, and they make life worth living. Nothing I do in my business life will ever compare to building and raising human beings. But, in my business, I am proud of getting the opportunity to really connect and help others through my art and experience.

Tell me about your big dreams. Where do you want to go and what do you want to do and why?

I learned early on that you really can’t over plan your life TOO much. It’s imperative to have goals, and to work towards them, but it’s necessary to be flexible and to be able to roll with the punches of life. So I don’t plan too far ahead anymore. But I can say in my immediate future, I’d like to grow my team a little more (I’m actually hiring right now for a position), and I’d like to be open to growing my reach and helping more people.

Actually I think that can be my long-standing goal/big dream. To help others exponentially with whatever I have than can help. I want to leave a legacy and make a mark – even if it’s just one person.


Do you face any struggles in achieving your dreams? What’s the scariest thing about them?

Of course I do! I struggle with a lot. I struggle with not being enough, not doing enough, not helping enough. I’m in a constant state of wondering if everything is ENOUGH. I have to remind myself that there is nothing to prove, only people to help. I remember that helping just ONE other person is enough.

As far as dreaming – it’s scary because I am a huge dreamer AND doer. So when something comes in to my mind, I put an enormous amount of pressure on myself to get it done and make it perfect. It is SO fun and exciting but can be exhausting if I’m listening too much to the negative voices.

What three daily things can you not live without?

Jesus, Hubby, my kids Aven and Maizen, and my computer with dual Mac screens. Sorry that’s five things. :)

How do you design intention into your life?

Being present 100% wherever I am. No regrets, no time splitting.

BUT… forgiving myself when I make a mistake or fail at it.

How do you create balance in your life?

I actually teach a course on it! So I have a complete system but the basics are – Customizing your schedule to you, and leaving room to be flexible.

What does your daily routine look like?

Morning with kids, alone time to work or run errands, then kids + family again.

What checklist(s) do you live by?

I use my monthly and weekly calendars, and do a fresh to-do-list every day (in my Day Designer).

What do you wish you had more of in life?

I guess I could always use more free time. I’m still working full time hours. Maybe in the future I can work part-time. We will see!!

What do you wish you had less of in life?

Negativity, perfectionism, doubt.

Are you willing to share a story with us about a time in your life things felt out of control? How did you get things back on course?

I would love to – but it’s long. The story of my crazy tumor is a long read, but I PROMISE you won’t feel the same about LIFE after you read it.

Thanks again to the lovely ladies who make the amazing Day Designer®! If you don’t have one, make sure you get on their mailing list to be updated when they go on sale!

Have a lovely day friends!

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