5 Things I Learned at Stationery Academy

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Date: August 8, 2012 Categories: Uncategorized Comments: 2 Comments Share:

I admit I am a conference-junkie. I love to learn. I love to be inspired. I love notebooks full of goals and processes. And when I can get it, I love me some swag.

Last weekend at Stationery Academy did NOT disappoint. Hosted by Whitney English and Natalie Chang,  it was a 2 day intensive workshop designed to educated, inspire and empower ‘paper-preneurs’. 22 gals showed up in Pensacola, Florida ready to learn how to take their creative businesses to the next level. I can confidently say we all walked away fired up!

 

5 Things I learned:

1. Know your “WHY?” – Seems like a simple concept, but so much of your business can be defined by answering such a simple question….but answering that question isn’t so simple. We spent alot of time identifying fears, dreams and values. I know my why now.

2. Identify your brand – I confess, I pride myself on identifying and clarifying my client’s brands. But when it comes to me, I am all over the place, I can’t commit. A brand is more than a logo, and for me this weekend it was more about identifying my style. Emily McCarthy did a great job walking us through some fun exercises that helped us do just that. As designers, we can typically design for just about any style, but knowing what our own style is can get difficult to navigate. We all want our work to sell, but sometimes we end up creating things that aren’t “us”. This year I want to become confident in my style and infuse that unapologetically into my work.

3. Choose a business model – One goal that I went into the weekend with was figuring out “what next?” Where do I take my business from here? We had an amazing show at NSS, but I knew we couldn’t just ride that wave and sit on our bootays. I think alot of people think the world of a creative is so glamorous, but there is such anxiety from coming up with our next “great idea” “something new and different. My mission this weekend was to identify what I was going to do and how to do it. Wholesale vs Custom vs Retail vs GiveUp…..where to go? Although I have an etsy shop already, thanks to Rachel Shingleton of Pencil Shavings Studio, I now have more confidence in having more of an online presence instead.

4. Ready to teach, educate and encourage – The reason I love conferences is because of how I feel when I leave. THis is why I have launched The {well} Summit – a community of women entrepreneurs who love the Lord and desire to do work, do life and do love well, not perfectly, but {well}. I want to create that inspired community for others. I am excited to get started on developing our curriculum and topics for our Fall 2013 Summit and the telesummits we want to do between now and then. I am so inspired. So thankful to have met Amber Housley whose goal last year at SA was to speak and she was here this year sharing her tips on creating a great client experience. Whitney is such an inspiration – she is a crazy reader and I am challenged to dust off all those books on my shelf and get to work. Stay tuned for some possible collaboration with Amber & Whitney!!!

5. I am not alone- I am so thankful for the girlfriends I made. Its incredibly awesome to be in a room full of talent and inspiration in an industry that could create a level of competition that would make it impossible to be open and share. But everyone was awesome. We all shared and helped each other work through our individual challenges in our businesses. We are continuing to encourage and hold each other accountable through our private facebook group – its awesome!

So stay tuned for some greatness just in time for Christmas!

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