Business and Career

FINDING YOUR INNER POWER

Life is a complete roller coaster. You have your mornings where the coffee tastes perfect, your hair is doing exactly what you wanted it to do, and there’s sunlight streaming in through the window. It’s going to be a good day, you think to yourself. Then there are days where you feel exhausted, defeated, and nothing is going right for you. Why do things have to be so complicated? Humans are complicated creatures with constant overwhelming emotions and impulses. That’s a known fact. Here’s a little tale of how I lost myself, and found myself. I’m 23 years old. Last May I graduated college with a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications with a concentration in Journalism. I was excited and a little nervous for this big, new step in my life. I figured I would find something soon enough ...

BURNING OUT, THEN RISING LIKE A PHOENIX FROM THE ASHES

For my entire career I have worked with clients in crisis, first as an advocate, then as a teacher, and finally as a therapist. My clients were domestic violence survivors, children struggling to overcome being many years behind in school- academically, socially, and emotionally- and adolescents involved in juvenile justice. I have met people on the worst days of their lives, the morning after their partner attacked them violently, on the day they received an autism spectrum diagnosis for their toddler, or on the day they were locked up and taken from their family for months. I loved the work I did. I got to actually see people benefit from working with me. I saw them be able to make changes in their own lives that allowed them to never need to see me again. But I kept encountering major s...

ALYSON’S STORY: LIFE AS A CRISIS COUNSELOR

Alyson kept glancing up at the clock every few minutes, as most of us are prone to do on a Friday afternoon. It was 4 o’clock, and she was finishing up some paperwork at her desk before heading out for the weekend. Looking out her office window, Alyson saw a police car pull into the parking lot and a young girl hop out of the passenger seat. A few moments later a timid head peaked into the front door of Wild Iris. Alyson met the girl at the door and ushered her in. The girl, who could barely pass for eighteen, introduced herself as Lynn and immediately began to cry – as it was obvious from her puffy eyes she had been doing all afternoon. Lynn handed Alyson a massive stack of papers in exchange for a tissue. “Can you help me fill this out?” Lynn asked between sniffles. “The policeman told m...

HOW TO LET SOMEONE DOWN GENTLY WHEN YOU DON’T WANT TO WORK WITH THEM

I know, I know – it sounds harsh. But this is something most business owners will have to face when they get to the point in their business where they don’t have to book every client that inquires with them. When I first launched my business, I was ready and willing to work with anyone who wanted to work with me. Feeling like any client would be better than no clients (and some money would be better than no money), I picked up a handful of clients and worked my butt off to get where I am today. Fast forward to today – just as much as a client wants to make sure I am a fit for them, I want to make sure they are a fit for me. Don’t get me wrong, we all have to start somewhere, and I was so grateful to get to work with my first few clients. But as I grew in my career and experience, I began t...

HOW TO NAIL YOUR NEXT CLIENT CONSULTATION

I know what you’re thinking. NO ONE likes the sell. That awkward dance, where you’re trying desperately to convince someone to hire you, all the while trying to act as if you’re not “trying”. It can be exhausting, and discouraging to say the least. I’ve been there. It took years of walking that line to develop a formula for myself, and my team of 10+ wedding planners, that would work consistently. And, I’m so excited to share my formula in hopes of helping others nail their next client consultation. LOVE WHAT YOU’RE SELLING. The most important part of the sell is your devotion to what you’re reppin’. If you don’t believe in your service, brand or product, you can stop reading here. CREAT AN EMMOTIONAL CONNECTION. Before you dive i...

ON TAKING THE LEAP

There’s a long backstory, but the bottom line is that the last 2 years of my life were what I thought I really wanted. I was living in Chicago, working the same 3 freelance sound design gigs pretty regularly, I had a steady job in retail management, and one of my gigs had the potential to become a career for me. But then I just kept waiting for it to happen. And while I waited, I lost sight of my priorities and goals. Did I want to quit freelance designing and pursue a career in retail? Or was I just afraid I couldn’t make a living off my art? Would a salaried job snap me out of this intense ennui? It took a major panic attack, a trip to Iceland, and a notebook full of pro/con lists to realize I needed major change. As Sophia Amoruso says, “A #GIRLBOSS is never bored!” So I quit my job, I ...

YOU’LL BE A CEO SOMEDAY

When I was younger my mother would often say, “You’re going to be the CEO of a major corporation”. It wasn’t a question nor a demand, just a statement, starting when I was about ten years old. At the time I was aspiring to be something more along the lines of a “slashey”: actress/lawyer/singer. But her refrain would nonetheless make me smile and think, “sure, why not, whatever you say, mom.” I never felt like I would be perceived as a failure in her eyes if I didn’t actually end up as a c-level at a large company, so it was easy enough to brush off & just nod in assent when she said it. As I got older my desires to act and sing quickly fell by the wayside and my long –simmering interest in food more aggressively bubbled to the surface of my consciousness. I finished my under graduate s...

FINDING THE COURAGE TO START MY BUSINESS

Hello, fellow bloggers, entrepreneurs, designers, DIY-ers, and everyone inbetween! My name is Kathryn Wheeler and I’m the owner of The Paper Studio, an online business for all your printable, décor, and design needs. I’m brand-new to blogging and even less experienced in running my own business. That being said, I know I’m not the only one. I hope that sharing my process of opening a business will be beneficial for other burgeoning entrepreneurs. I’ve had this dream for quite some time, so making it this far is a huge step for me. My biggest obstacle (so far) has been finding the courage to start. Learning what you want to do comes from knowing what makes you happy. Figure Out What Makes You Happy I’m sure that everyone says something along the lines of, “if you told me two years ago that ...

10 TACTICS FOR SURVIVING ON ODD JOBS

Sometimes a new year means a new career, and sometimes it just means it’s time to make some money, and fast, because holy smokes life is expensive! Perhaps you have been looking for work, but nothing has panned out and you need to start making money before a human resources manager makes a decision. Or maybe you are in transition and it’s just isn’t the right time to tie yourself down at a company, but there are still bills to pay. Or, even if you are working full-time, a little extra money could be a big help, and that’s where odd jobs can fill in the gaps. When I was in the entry-level part of my career, I was having trouble justifying working 40 hours a week for $24,000 a year, or some other pittance amount of pay, not to mention it was during the apocalyptic aftermath of the tanked eco...

THE BALANCING ACT OF AN ENTREPRENEUR

I asked myself this question EVERYDAY before beginning my entrepreneur journey: How can I successfully balance my already chaotic life with being an active, engaged, hands-on entrepreneur? I set aside time for a serious brainstorming session and one key word continued to swarm my mind: ORGANIZATION. In order for one to become organized, you have to start somewhere and usually it’s when everything is ALREADY in complete disarray. Terrible right? Not exactly! Sometimes being in the midst of the “storm” creates a burning desire to find a solution to the problem. This creates a situation where you are almost forced to make a decision. Now is it wise to wait until it gets to this point? No, but it is never too late to START. Just start why don’t you! So this brings me to my first point: 1...

ADVICE FROM A RECRUITER: 3 TIPS TO MAKE A GREAT IMPRESSION IN A JOB INTERVIEW

It is said that these days, the average employee will have anywhere from three to five different careers before they retire. This is a far cry from our parents’ generation where you stayed at one company and left with a gold watch when you retired. While our parents’ advice is genuine and well-intentioned, it is not always adapted to our current reality. One thing is for sure: no matter what you want to do, having strong interviewing skills will serve you well. They can give you the possibility to seize an opportunity if you are headhunted on LinkedIn or the flexibility to leave a company if you find yourself stagnating. Who am I to be telling you this? I was a recruiter for the past 10 years. I began my career at an agency then transitioned onto corporate Human Resources where...

DEVELOPING THIS ONE SKILL GOT ME OUT OF THE PROJECTS AND MADE ME A DESIGNERLEBRITY™

Before I explain what designerlebrity is, I love it when I have to explain where I came from. You see people have a hard time believing I was born and raised in one of the most volatile public housing projects in Brooklyn. In fact, Marcy Projects was made famous by the notorious rapper and business mogul, Jay Z aka, Beyoncé’s husband, also aka, Shawn Carter as I knew him instead of just being my neighbor. Marcy was an unique environment that taught you things and forced you to develop certain skills at a very young age. Not to repeat what Jay Z may have said on Oprah’s Master Class, but Marcy did teach us how to survive. It instilled in us toughness and the values of integrity, honesty and even an unwavering sense of paranoia. As insane as it may sound, it was a brilliant upbringing that h...

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