small business

How my story helped create purpose

I want to encourage you with this today, and encourage you to give yourself permission to tap into your intuition and to let your intuition and let your business really kind of fill into the space of your purpose. Remember that you purpose can change with you as you grow and change as a person. I am a different person now than I was in my twenties. I’ve evolved, I’ve changed, I’ve grown as a human, as a woman, and my life experiences have helped to shape my journey. You will grow and change, and your purpose may change a bit as time goes on, but remember that those experiences just aid you in your journey. Checking in with yourself and evaluating where your purpose is and where your focus should be helps to keep that cognitive dissonance from welling up inside of you. 

What you resist persists

A few months ago I was getting into a really great diet routine, I was working out regularly and just feeling really good. This change and effort was coming from a place aligned with my identity, (where we always create lasting change).

I was so excited, and then I got sick, and not just me, our whole family. My 12 month old son was up in the middle of the night throwing up and it was just terrible. We were all really weak, sick, and tired. The sad thing is that we didn’t only get sick the one time. We got sick the first time, got a little break just in time to have my son’s birthday party. We made the mistake of having 18 people stay with us and then we were sick all over again.

While I was in the process of getting over my stomach bug the second time, I found myself getting discouraged. I was discouraged because I was thinking about all of the things that I was excited for in my health, and my business. As I was laying in bed recovering, trying so hard not to throw up the cracker that I just ate, I thought of something interesting. What you resist persists.

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How do we resist?

What I mean by that is the more we hold things at arm’s length and try to hold things off, the more those things persist in our lives. Now what we may not be thinking of is the fact that when we resist things we’re avoiding them. We are doing our best to keep them away from us. There are things in our lives that we hold at bay, whether it is some kind of outcome, social situation, money situation, or really anything.

What we do not realize is that we are using a whole lot of effort to hold that thing off. So, for example let's say that we want to hold off debt in our lives. What are we actually focusing on? We are focused on the debt itself. We do not focus on the abundance in our life right now. Right?

What I found in my season of illness and our household getting sick over and over again is that the more I thought about how sick I was and that I didn’t have time for this, the longer that sickness persisted. I kept thinking to myself how awful this season of life was that we were going through, I became frustrated because I wasn’t feeling better as quickly as I thought I should. The more I focused on that, the longer the sickness went on. I am not saying that it went on only because I was focused on that, but just keep in mind the reality that what we resist persists.

What resisting looks like

These are a few examples of things that I used to do in regards to resisting. In another business of mine I spent a year where I was focused on getting reviews for that business. I saw another business owner doing it and I felt like I needed to get really good reviews also. But I also thought I can’t get any bad reviews and I inwardly begged that nobody would leave me a bad review. I kept focusing on creating this resistance, like I was holding the door closed on someone who is trying to get in. That is what resistance feels like.

During that year I was so focused on not getting any bad reviews, which created resistance. I was trying so hard to hold off the bad reviews on our 6-7 year old business. As I look back, can you guess which year we did get one bad review? Your right! It was the year that I placed all my energy and focus on the very thing that I didn’t want.

Resistance can also feel like driving a car. You have a foot on the gas, but you also have your emergency brake on. You can still drive your car with the emergency brake on, but it is really difficult and will eventually severely damage your car.

Take a look at yourself

I want to encourage you to take a look at your life and see if there is something that you can easily identify that you are avoiding. Something that you are kind of trying to keep out by holding the door closed as it tries to push its way in. Like an annoying little brother who would be trying to get into a room and I would be fighting and holding the door closed because he was annoying me. If you have something like that in your life, it isn’t necessarily bad news for you, but you should know that it is really just going to keep coming up for you.

Putting all of that time and effort into focusing on holding the door closed means that all of your strength and energy is invested into the very thing that you do not want. This means that you are probably going to still end up getting the result that you don’t really want.

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You may be asking now, how do we change that? Here are a few quick tips for you that can help:

Tip Number 1

Start visualizing what you do want instead of what you do not want.

Stay focused on what you want, and do not allow yourself to get distracted by the things that you don’t want.

Tip Number 2

Check on your support system.

Do you have a support system? Does your support system understand how lonely entrepreneurship can be? Does your support system see how sometimes you are sitting in a room all by yourself? How your doing things against all the obstacles that come up, how you are taking risks, and how money can be scary and you may not know when your paycheck is going to come in, or even how it is going to come in? Do they get it? If they don’t, look for a support system that specifically understands the unique and difficult challenges of entrepreneurship.

Tip Number 3

Get out your journal.

You may be thinking, “Oh my word, another journaling person.” No, journaling scientifically does things in our brains that moves out beliefs from one portion of our brain to the other and then out. This is not a one and done situation, you have to be regularly writing out your thoughts. Our limiting beliefs, and our negative thoughts don’t have to just stay inside of our brains. We can take action and move them out by writing.

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Rewiring for success

I often take my clients through a four week process where we spend time rewiring our brains for success. Because the reality of all of this is that our brains are designed to keep us safe, and to keep us away from danger. Being entrepreneurs is hard on our brains because most of the things that we need to act on to succeed are way outside of our brains comfort zone.

We have so many responsibilities, we are the ones who work out our taxes and our business expenses. We are the ones who have to constantly be innovating. If we don’t innovate, no one else will, if we don’t innovate no one disapproves. But most importantly, if we do not innovate, our business dies.

All of that brings me to the point that I am really trying to focus on. You need to shift some things in order to stop all of the resisting in your life. My point is that what you resist persists, so if we stop resisting all of the things in our lives, then we naturally have to create a state of allowing. This is the place that caused me to feel a little uncomfortable. For me it was simply that I was sick and I would stay that way for a little while, until both I and my body as a whole was feeling better.

Instead of holding off, or feeling depressed or angry, what if we just sat with our feelings for a little while? What would that ultimately change? What space would that blow open inside of your heart? What creativity might start flowing? This conversation is so important to have with yourself.

For me this conversation looks a little like this. Yes I am sick. But instead of resisting that because it keeps persisting, I am going to accept it and allow it and recognize that I am still okay if nothing changes as quickly as I would like.

I am seeing alot of people right now focusing on change and strategy in their businesses. I am seeing articles like - Three quick tips that you do to market your business , or Three ways that you can create passive income. But you know the reality is that none of those things matter. If your brain is hardwired for failure, if it is hardwired to keep you limited and safe, you are going to be failing. All of those skills and strategies are like putting a bandaid on a wound that requires surgery. Does that method make any sense? No. What first needs to happen is you need to rewrite your beliefs, and rewire your brains.

Our brains filtration system

Our brains have something inside them called the Reticular Activating System. This is essentially our filter system. The world around causes us to receive way too much data into our brain at any one time, so our brains are made with a filter system. How our brains filter that data is based on what we believe. Our brains will look at what we believe - which is thought plus emotion repeated over and over and over again. Then our brains will take that and say, “I’ll just automate that belief and I’ll bring in everything that lines up with that belief and I will filter out anything that doesn’t.”

We spend so much of our time using our brains in their default setting, when our brains are meant to be our operating system that we program with our specifications, what we need. I believe that God has given us these beautiful brains and we don’t even invest any time in learning how to use them. All too often we let the outside circumstances dictate how we feel. However we need to remember that we create change from the inside out, like we are the thermostat. We set the temperature and it stays at that temperature no matter what the temperature is outside. We should be like a thermostat, not going up or down depending on the temperature that is around us. We set the temperature because we are working from the inside out.

Two important things to remember as you are developing your mindset in our business, or even if you are going through something in your life. What you resist persists, and Set the temperature for your own success. Don’t forget what can happen if you simply sit in the moment with your circumstances and embrace where you are at. You will not be disappointed with the results.

3 Ways to Prepare Your Business For the New Year Now! | Business coaching for creatives, Madison, WI

I know, I know. It’s November. Isn’t it kinda early to start planning for next year? I used to wait until January to have my annual business retreat and make all my big plans for the year.

But now I don’t do that anymore. Now I kick into gear in the fall and I’m so glad I do!

Why you should start your annual business plan now:

You get your brainstorming wheels turning

Once you begin brainstorming for next year, you’re bound to keep thinking of ideas to test out. It’s just how your mind is made to work. You’ll start noticing something a competitor is doing that you really like. You’ll see an ad on TV or hear somethign on the radio that inspires you.
If you’ve started the process in the fall, you’ll have plenty of time to sprinkle in your fun ideas in the coming months.

January is an ideal time to SELL not PLAN to sell

If you’re hoping to begin planning in January, you’re missing out on trying new ideas during one of the heaviest booking months of the year. Having a plan already in place for January means you’re building natural buzz and momentum around your business and your new offers.

So, how do I prep for my new year? Here are 3 simple ways to prepare your business for the new year NOW:

3 ways to prepare your business for the new year now

Grab yourself a dry-erase friendly 12-month wall calendar and a white board, and get creative! Here’s what goes on my calendar first:


Plan your booked work

The first…and most obvious thing I get on a calendar right away is any work I’ve already got booked. I want to see what I’ve already got going on for next year so I can plan around that and factor in any lead time for client work.

Plan your marketing

Next I plan my marketing. This has been a fun addition to my yearly planning and I can’t get over how much it has made me feel like the Wizard of Oz in my own business. I used to be scared of marketing. I used to think that selling was “sleezy.”

But making a yearly marketing plan has helped me let go of those MAJOR limiting beliefs and instead, have tons of fun trying new things in my business.

Why? Because I know I was put here for a reason. I know there are people I am here to help, love, and serve. So, learning how to get my business in front of those people is so so important. And it is for you too, beautiful friend.

I’m hosting a LIVE online workshop to help YOU master your marketing plan for next year. Reserve your seat for this live online workshop now and get direct time with me to brainstorm, map out your marketing plan, and learn how to create an offer that will sell.

Plan your goals

One of my FAVORITE things to do is to plan my goals for next year. This part is probably great for your whiteboard. For now, schedule time to make your goals-whatever you really want from next year, write that out. I’ll share more on my goal-setting approach in a future post, but here’s the big thing I want you to think through:


How do you want to feel a year from now? What does success really look like to you?

Get in touch with that and then make your goals that will get you from where you are now to that feeling a year from now. Think through what you’d like to accomplish in your business, your personal life, your health, and your spiritual life.

And ask yourself-do I want this or do I think I’m supposed to do this? Often we get a little tangled up thinking that there’s a formula we’re “supposed” to follow in life and business. This is the perfect time to do a check in and see if you’re doing what YOU want to do, or if you’re doing what SOMEONE ELSE does thinking you’ll get their results.

(OH, heads up, you won’t.)

So as you prepare for your coming year, let’s jumpstart your year together! Join my Master Your Marketing workshop today!


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My three secrets to getting a lot of stuff done

Chances are, you're your own boss (even if this is a side gig). You're the engine that grinds this whole business thing forward and you're where the buck stops. I've gotta be real with you-sometimes that terrifies me. Anyone else feel that pressure sometimes? It used to look like these thoughts swarming around in my mind: 

  • "What if I have an off day?" 
  • "What if I'm sick?"
  • "What if what I'm doing doesn't work and I have NO clue?"

So, for a while, I wouldn't do ANYTHING. Obviously, that didn't get me too far...at least not FORWARD! It took me a year of mindset work and creating routines and habits to see how to create a week filled with intention and success. 

Here’s my secret sauce that create a work week that allows for coffee with a friend, taking care of my baby,  and still driving profits to my business.


Secret #1: Create your morning and evening routines

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Think of a garden-if you're planting vegetables, you first make the container or bed to plant your vegetables in. Your morning and evening routines are your containers! Now, what you put inside them is where you'll start seeing some magic! Because once you have the container, you can plant seeds and see growth!

 When you've got a killer morning and evening routine, all that mindset and energy work you're doing will start to take hold in your life. 

While I'm a mama and my morning and evening routines are flexible right now, here's what I'm doing for my growth:

My morning routine

I get up before my son's first morning feeding (he's sleeping through the night now) and go for a walk. During this time, I listen to nature, focus on breathing, and begin practicing gratitude.

When I get back, I make or enjoy my coffee and read for a few minutes. Honestly, my reading time is pretty brief right now-I don't have a ton of stamina here but reading stamina is like muscle-you can increase it over time. Right now, I'm happy if I stay awake to read for 5 minutes, but I look forward to when it's 6 minutes...then 7...you get it!

After reading, I take time for prayer and meditation and follow up with journaling. And of course, journaling leads to brainstorming, which is when I have my best ideas!

My Evening Routine

Why make an evening routine? Your subconscious mind controls 95% of your actions...WHOA. And it's most active while you sleep. So...if you want to shift your subconscious thinking, the best time to do it is right before it's most active! Give it some fuel! During this time, I do some specific reading, affirmations, and meditation. Then, as Stephen and I fall asleep, we share what we're grateful for.


Secret #2: Make space for your best ideas

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Even if I only do this on Monday mornings (which totally happens), I take time to journal. I write prayers, get burdens and stressors off my chest, make mind maps, lists, and write out dreams. Then I breathe for a minute. 
I know I’ve talked about journaling...like so much forever but what about the breath before the journaling? 
That’s the magic!
During that time, ideas flood my brain. Why? (tell me you already know why!) Because there's ROOM for them now!! Making SPACE is seriously when the magic happens. I've drafted numerous course outlines, coaching content ideas, and marketing plans during this deeply powerful time! That's some mega brainstorming!


Secret #3: Focus on your top 2-3 goals for the week and day

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I ask this in our private facebook group often because I ask myself every monday: "If I only got 2-3 things done this week, what are my big goals?" I focus on tasks that first serve my core purpose, second connect me to the people who need my message, and third that drive my bottom line. 

You can get a million tiny tasks done, but what if you could do 2-3 BIG things that resonated with your tribe and really shifted your business? Wouldn’t you rather have that?

How about you? What's the secret sauce to creating your intentional week?

How to Brainstorm Your Way to Original Content

How to Brainstorm Your Way to Original Content

When you have great content, it attracts in new leads, it establishes your expertise, it helps qualify potential clients, and it increases your perceived value. Here are my 4 favorite ways to create fresh, original content!

4 Business Investments I Made In 2017 That Totally Paid Off!

I run a seasonal business and we’re headed into our slow season. Sometimes slow season can bring on the financial scaries. It used to make me want to hibernate until busy season again and keep all that money I have stored up to make it through.

I used to struggle a lot with a very scarcity-driven mindset surrounding my slow season income. You feel me, don’t you? I mean, sometimes it’s hard to see the forest through the trees! All I know is that giving up this money in front of me means I have to shortchange something else, right?

WRONG! I learned this huge lesson over the past year about money in business:

There’s a difference between spending and investing!

When I spend, the money leaves. When I invest, I should see myself get paid back somehow. So, I made some of my biggest investments yet, and I got to see firsthand how they paid off in big ways! Let’s take a look at them and see just how big the payoff was!

(head's up, if you're unfamiliar with the term ROI, it means "return on investment.")

My biggest business investments in 2017 and their ROI

Seeing a counselor

January brought me the painful loss of my second baby. Add in some additional trauma a month later and I quickly realized I was struggling with depression (more like my caring husband realized it and encouraged me to seek help). I probably owe this dear woman about 17 boxes of tissues...but with her help, I began healing and finding hope again. If you take nothing else away from this, I just want you to know this: Sometimes life is hard. Get help when you need it. We were never meant to do life alone. 

My ROI: hope, realigned priorities, healthy relationship with God, community in my church

Finding the right accountant

This one was a massive ROI for me. My previous arrangement caused me to suffer some severe fiscal losses, so you can imagine my relief when I immediately saw an ROI on this investment and change!

My ROI: 10x my investment. I cried in my accountant’s office. So grateful!

Hiring a business coach

Want to know which investment I spent the most on? And which one KEEPS paying off in dividends? It's business coaching-easily my strongest investment of my year. I was so embarrassed and terrified to hire a coach-I didn’t want ANYONE to know I needed help! But I quickly realized that we ALL need help! 

I had some intense mindset issues to work through. But I worked hard and quickly started seeing breakthroughs. Within 2 months of the end of my coaching, I had created 2 new businesses (Stephanie Booth Photography and The Successful Creative), monetized both, and repaid my coaching investment...but check out that ROI!

My ROI: 3x my coaching investment in two months, generated from completely new avenues. Think about that. I spent the MOST money here. Which means seeing money come into my life at that rate means...I welcomed a lot of money into my life after letting a lot go!  In addition, the most powerful ROI I gained was the strength of mindset to recognize and own my strengths and build out a diversified business. How much would those returns be worth to you? What's the pricetag? 

Hiring an assistant 

After months of struggling to find time to send out client gifts, it made sense to hire someone to assemble my client print boxes and send them out. It was a test idea-while at first I was hung up on letting go of money for something I could technically do, paying her (and paying her well!) allowed me to make 6x that amount during the time she worked for me. Ummmm...What the heck took me so long?

My ROI: 6x-because someone was doing this valuable work for me, I made time to meet with a potential freelance client and they booked me on the spot

How will you invest into your business in 2018?

It’s the time of year where a lot of people start thinking about their education for the coming year. What will you invest into that will bring you lasting value? And how much is that return worth to you? If you knew now that you could get a return of 4-10 times your money, what would you invest into? If I could give you one tip it's this: consider business coaching. You won't regret it!

Want to pick my brain about any of these investments? Let's set up a free 30 min call and chat!

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How To Become A More Decisive Person| 5 Techniques to Help You Stop Overthinking Everything

Let's face it, if you're running a business, you make a lot of decisions. And because you have so many daily decisions to make, it can be really debilitating to feel stuck!

At the beginning of this year, I noticed that, as I began choosing to take risks in our business, diversify, and try new things, I was faced with decisions that had higher stakes. And as I began taking on bigger decisions, I started becoming paralyzed with simple everyday decisions.

Raise your hand if you've ever deliberated wayyyyy too long on something small like whether you should have a breakfast burrito or a cinnamon roll. Red or white? Pants or no pants? Sometimes it feels like we have to make so many decisions that when the big ones come, we've got nothing left.

Here's how to stop overthinking EVERY. SINGLE. DECISION.. And...for the record. It's always "no pants."

5 techniques to help you become more decisive

Remember that "done is better than perfect"

If you have a habit of over analyzing, there's a chance you have gifts people need and are praying for but don't get to be blessed by. You probably have a cue of work that needs to see the light of day but you're just one step away from it being "perfect." 

If this is you, you're your own worst enemy. There are millions of people who could use your unique gifts. Just choose to do instead of perfect (Sheryl Sandber). Remember, done IS better than perfect. You can always iterate. But getting things perfect is a lie holding you immobile. It's time to break free and start running toward your gifts. People need you.

Remove unnecessary daily decisions from your life 

Things like choosing your meals, picking outfits, shoes, and determining your schedule create huge decision fatigue. Never do these things in the morning if you're struggling with indecisiveness. Instead, plan your meals and outfits at the beginning of a week or the night before. Automate the behaviors that don't matter so you are not starting your day expending decision energy on personal things.

Practice rapidfire decision making

Get a long list of either/or questions (this list is great). Set a timer for 30-60 seconds and have someone ask you as many of them as possible. Your goal is to spit out answers without overthinking. If you're really experiencing a block, you may feel like choosing between chocolate or vanilla is a life-altering decision reflecting on  your personal brand. Stop it. Turn off your thoughts, and just pick one. And note that you need to figure out how to deal with your block.

Take 10 minutes off your grocery shopping time

Seriously-the next time you do your grocery list, plan for about 10-15 minutes less than you know you need. For instance. I can do about 2 weeks of shopping in 45 minutes. I create a list for that, and then give myself 30 minutes to get the shopping done.

If you’re working on decisiveness, you’ll be amazed at how many times you hear voices in your mind creating indecision. “Do I get jasmine or basmati rice?” “a bag of apples or pick each one?” “cheddar or barbecue chips?” Your mind will start panicking and make each choice an epic decision, so know your list and route, and get things into that cart that are supposed to be there.

Eliminate “Maybe” from your vocabulary

When asked to make a decision, “maybe,” or “I’m not sure,” need to go bye-bye. Instead, your answers are “yes,” “no,” or “give me one minute to check and confirm.” And don’t be afraid to say no. It can be deeply powerful.

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.” ~Warren Buffet, famed investor

My dear friend, I hope this empowers you to invest your precious energy into the things that are worthy of it. You are doing great things and serving others generously. Don't let your mind hold you back from the important things you are doing. 

Want more help being a decisive person? Sign up for my email list here, get the cheat sheet "How to be a more decisive person" and you're in for some behind the scenes content only available to my subscribers. Join the fun here!

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3 Lessons I Learned From My Most Difficult Clients

Every business owner has a nightmare client-the kind that makes you wonder why you left your stable job to work with these people.  I've had a handful in the past few years, but quitting was never a more serious consideration than in two particular cases. Both times left me with sleepless nights, a bitter taste in my mouth and a feeling of hopelessness. I felt like the only light at the end of the tunnel was closing the doors and going back to substitute teaching.

The two clients that made me want to quit

I attracted two clients into our business that made me want to quit. Both were ugly scenarios-low pay, high work, degrading treatment, and ultimately left me asking if owning a business was really worth it. Both clients left me asking “why did this happen? I genuinely cared for these people and wanted to serve them!” While I can’t change another person, the reality is, when I took a step back, I could see ways I could take responsibility even before they booked with us.

The one mistake I made to attract my worst clients

While I may have tweaked our sales call format, and finessed our client care process since then, the reality is that the single misstep I made was this:

I was desperate.

And because I was desperate, I wasn’t confident in my value. I wasn’t comfortable with each of these clients walking away from us and felt like my business depended on them booking us. We felt like we NEEDED them to hire us...even though it was a bad fit.

3 lessons I learned from my worst clients

Lesson #1: Trust your gut

I recently read about a study done on a group of women who were well versed in the luxury handbag market. They shopped for, owned, and resold luxury handbags regularly and, in this study, they were shown two identical looking bags-a designer and a knock off. They were divided into groups and given two chunks of time to identify the real designer bag. The first group was given 5 seconds to identify the designer handbag and the second group was given 30 seconds. The 5 second group identified the designer bag with startling accuracy while the 30 second group always struggled to choose the correct bag.

Moral of the story: when you’re well-versed in something, trusting your gut will prove more accurate than spending time contemplating all the options. When you're experienced, more time to choose a plan usually leads you to overthink things. If you have the experience to back you, trust your gut reaction.

Lesson #2: Be the expert guide

Because I was learning and growing, I didn’t know how to guide my clients. I went through adolescent phases of trying to do so-eagerly agreeing with them and letting them feel like I was their enthusiastic cheerleader, trying to be aloof toward clients until they worshipped me (isn’t that like, super luxury??), but ultimately, the best approach for me was to be an expert guide.

This means that I’m fully confident in my value and expertise, but I guide my clients with recommendations and experience. I use helpful words like “recommend” and “suggest” instead of “should” and “only.” This allows me to share my knowledge when it’s wanted, but still gives my clients full decision making liberty.

And ultimately, I’m not God-things could go far differently than I thought-there are always precedent-setting circumstances in my line of work. I don’t want to have pressured my clients into something and then have it come back on me afterward if something goes poorly. I want my clients to have the best information to make the decisions that make them happiest.

And when I started applying this approach, my clients trusted me even more as a vast wealth of knowledge and a trusted resource they could rely on.

Lesson #3: Believe in your value

Believing in my value ultimately came down to needing to change my mindset. Instead of a scarcity-driven belief that the client in front of me was my golden ticket to my next paycheck, I began adopting the belief that the clients I wanted were already out there for me and they’d find me in the right time. There was plenty for everyone and I’d have enough (clients, pay, work, publicity, etc). Just this shift in my thinking created a much more relaxed, positive, and confident approach.

Now our meetings have become much more like a great date. By the end, I’m willing to leave without a kiss goodnight and they are only leaving if we have a second date scheduled. Ideal, right?

You'd better believe that these lessons created massive shifts in our business! Drop a comment below-have you been burned by a client before? What have you learned from it?

The 6 Characteristics of a Fixed Mindset

I got called a perfectionist every so often while growing up. I thought it was a badge of honor, to own, but inside I knew it didn't truly describe me.

Perfectionists have an internal drive to be great at everything. They put pressure on themselves even if no one saw their work and they made sure their work was it’s best from start to finish.

I on the other hand only cared about what people saw. I hid an impressive stack of incompletes, rarely got a “clean desk award,” and often got in trouble for my messy bedroom.

I only did my best work at the beginning and then, when it felt like no one would see it, I’d stop trying. While I was called a perfectionist, I was more frequently called “lazy.” I felt like I was both a perfectionist AND lazy, but couldn’t figure out why.  

Now I know that I was neither lazy nor a perfectionist. What I actually had was a fixed mindset.

I’ve already received an influx of messages and comments from people identifying with my story and wondering what to do about their fixed mindset, so let’s break down the pieces: how do you actually spot a fixed mindset?  Here are some of the key traits-all of which describe who I was perfectly. Is this you?

Are you a perfectionist? Or just struggle with a fixed mindset like me? Comment below if this resonates with you—I’d love to hear your experience!

1. A fixed mindset believes their talent and traits are fixed assets

The real rub comes when these fixed assets are challenged. When you believe you’re permanently “good” at something and then you experience failure, it’s personally devastating. For instance, that time I sang in public and my voice cracked? I had a personal meltdown. I had a crisis because if I thought I was good at music and still failed, was I really just a self-deluded washup? Often people with fixed mindsets experience mid-life crises and other feelings of worthlessness and self doubt after failure.

2. A fixed mindset is risk averse

This person avoids challenges, especially if there’s no guarantee they’ll be successful. My literal worst nightmare was team sports. How could anyone want to play team sports? Even if you’re “good at sports,” you may still lose. Losing is failure. Failure only happens when you’re bad at something.

3. A fixed mindset believes effort is for those not smart enough

You'll likely never catch someone with a fixed mindset studying for tests, prepping for lessons, presentations, or other public performances. Though they appear careless as they brush off studying, etc. the fixed mindset person carries around continual anxiety and inadequacy. Going into a test, knowing you didn’t study is your ultimate personal challenge. But the stakes are high and you can’t be sure you won’t fail. And failure can look like anything less than an A, perfect review, or glowing feedback from your new idea.

4. A fixed mindset covers their flaws and is defensive if they’re pointed out

Flaws may be human, but to the person with a fixed mindset, they are fatal and must be hidden at all times. Often, pointing out flaws in any way to a person with a fixed mindset will result in a diversionary tactic, an over reaction, or even a vicious response, depending on the threat level.

5. A fixed mindset views feedback as a personal attack

This person will sweat more over their reviews than the actual reason they’re being reviewed. In my case, I would be sick to my stomach knowing I had a teacher review of my teaching demonstration, even though I hadn’t been terribly nervous to teach.

I also held a job requiring that I garner feedback every other year from the people I managed. Each year, I  would start knowing “this is review year.” It would loom over my entire year, causing me anxiety, and shading everything I did. I would have been scheduled to administer and review these 100 feedback forms twice while in this position and my superiors forgot each time. Each time it was forgotten, I’d be so relieved that I’d celebrate. For a while afterward, I counted it one of my biggest accomplishments in that job that I got through 3 years without the bi-annual feedback forms.

6. A fixed mindset is threatened by the success of others

Since your traits and talents are fixed, you tend to believe that your success is also fixed. If someone else finds themselves experiencing exponential growth, success of any kind, or just happiness apart from their success, you feel both threatened and completely confused. What is their magic sauce and why don't YOU have it?? 

Isn't this a tiring way to live? If this is you, you feel like your life is a constant game of showcasing strengths and desperately covering weaknesses. You may not have all of these traits, but the ones you do seem debilitating, manifesting themselves in the form of anxiety, headaches, stomach issues, jaw problems, social issues, etc. 

It’s hard to be a business owner with a shoulder full of constant doubt and anxiety. In fact, it’s common for people with a fixed mindset to burn out in business ownership after they experience their first difficult form of opposition. So, if you’re a small business owner and need help shifting your mindset, know this: it’s possible! As Marie Forleo often says “everything is figure-outable.”

If you’d like personal help shifting your mindset, I'll be sharing some of my favorite tools for change next. But one of the single most powerful agents of change is having someone walk that journey with you. If you'd like help breaking your fixed mindset, let’s chat! I’d love to walk with you on a journey diving into your mindset, finding and shifting core beliefs about yourself and your business. It has been life changing for me and I know it will be for you too.

Do you need support letting go of your fixed mindset so your business can grow? Here are the most popular ways you can work with me:

Stephanie’s affirmation cards

The Inspired Business Mastermind

Stephanie’s Private Mindset Coaching 

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Welcome to the Successful Creative!

Welcome to The Successful Creative, a place where we can walk the journey together of monetizing your creative passion, learning to strengthen our mindsets, and think and dream bigger.

My story learning to be a successful creative

Hi! My name is Stephanie and I'm so glad you're here! I am launching this blog as a result of five years of hard work, learning curves, and growth as a wedding photographer. I'm at a point in my journey where I recognize that my love of teaching coupled with my experience running a business could encourage and serve others on their journeys. Here's a bit about my story:

Matching my natural skills with a job description

I grew up with a penchant for teaching. I would collect all the kids in my neighborhood and lead them on wild expeditions, I would “play teacher” and I would “teach gymnastics classes.” (I can't even do a cartwheel...I don't know how I got my friends to attend gymnastics classes!!) Whatever I learned, I wanted to share with the kids in the neighborhood...even if I wasn't an expert. Becoming an elementary teacher seemed like a natural progression of my life’s narrative, right?

After college, I had two interesting jobs: I was a crisis and trauma counselor for college aged girls for several years and then I taught elementary school. Each job ignited my desire to connect with others, encourage them, and teach them.

Pretty soon, however my natural intuition for connecting with people, drawing out their best assets, and then teaching them, was crowded out by paperwork, school politics, test results, and scripted, unimaginative plans (hey, my ideal reading lessons involved building trees in my classroom. Worksheets? notsomuch) I felt suffocated and wondered if I’d ever actually do the thing I loved: teaching.

Jumping into small business ownership

During this time, I met my now husband, Stephen. By the time we got married, he had trained me well and added me to his photography business. So as a newlywed, I jumped headfirst into helping someone with their business. I was thrilled to encourage him, believe in him and troubleshoot HIS business for a few months until I realized he viewed it as OUR business. As soon as I had skin in the game, I began backpedaling REAL quick. I was filled with intense fear, self-doubt, hurts, and a scarcity driven mindset leaving me feeling desperate with each new business hurdle.

Over the next few years, I had to work through some major mindset issues, anxieties, and recalibrate my view of myself, my purpose, and my life’s calling. Along the way, I found that there were elements to running a business that I was naturally adept at. There were elements that tapped into my desire to connect with others as well as my penchant for being a bit of a pipe dreamer. But no matter how big I dreamed, my fears and mindset issues were like concrete blocks around my feet. I couldn't actually go anywhere!

But, God knew where I was and as I prayed for change, He sent me on a journey of change that I look forward to sharing with you soon.

Running a business through roadblocks

One of my first roadblocks was a really simple one-dealing with opposition. I think the first thing that appealed to me about wedding photography was the affirmation! I mean, I picked up a camera and people were praising me and throwing money at me. Wow, it felt kind of addicting! I think I may not be the only one who began her journey with the addiction to affirmation!

But reality quickly set in when we experienced our first bit of opposition-someone questioning our value instead of throwing money at us, someone stating that they weren’t happy with the experience we provided instead of just gleefully praising my skills. All of a sudden, things got really real and I had to determine if I was going to continue to live for affirmation or if I was going to build a business that rose above opposition to achieve greatness. 

What is a successful creative?

Chances are that you’re here because you like the idea of being a successful creative. You want to be successful and you yearn to create new things. But you may feel like you have one or the other right now. You may even be in the place of experiencing your first bit of opposition in a journey that’s been filled with affirmation. If that’s you, I want you to know that you’re not alone. What you’re going through is one of your biggest tests to determine how serious you are about being a successful creative. I believe you have what it takes. And where you feel weak, I have you covered. 

With each growing pain I experienced, I wrote about it, asked myself “what tools do I wish I had while going through this?” and then I created them for you! So you can expect this to be a place where you can find resources to help you on your journey to building a profitable business.

I plan to serve you really great, honest content on this blog and via email because I believe that the journey I’ve been on has taught me deep and powerful lessons about how to run a profitable creative business and I want to share that with you.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing more of my story and I’d love to know about yours. Comment below and let us know what do you do and what are you proud of in your business? Brag on yourself and let us cheer you on!