unleash-creativity

Top Story – Ways To Improve Your Creativity

Certain companies drive on creativity and inherently, that is the main element that makes them successful such as advertising agencies. With this said however, there are many other companies that should incorporate a certain amount of creativity into their business, their product and offering. Creativity can be as tiring as any other element in a business, and sometimes we lack the creativity needed and hit a wall. In this interesting and informative article, we look at some fundamental ways to improve creativity in both a creative and normal business environment.  

How to improve and boost creativity

The power of music

Music is one of the most creative outputs in the world, and many people are both touched and inspired by music. Certain music has been proven to boost creativity so if you are feeling drained and out of ideas, put on your favorite music, song or artist and improve our creativity by letting the juices flow and also feeling happier and relaxed.

Brainstorming

A word often heard in advertising, brainstorming can be a valuable way to improve creativity in any business or for an aspiring entrepreneur. Brainstorming will not only get the creative juices flowing but will help you come up with ideas great or bad, because no idea is bad, as it always is inspiration for the next groundbreaking one. There are many ways to brainstorm; alone or in a group, one just needs to find which method works the best for them.

Always have a pen and piece of paper on you

One of the most innovative ways to boost creativity that really works is to make sure to always have a pen and piece of paper on you as creative ideas come up at the most random of times. Many people say that ideas come first thing in the morning or just before falling asleep when your mind is clear. Have that pen and piece of paper on you and whenever inspiration strikes; be sure to document it on paper.    

Dictionary inspiration

This is a unique way to generate ideas, get thinking and immensely improve creativity; grab a dictionary, randomly select a word and formulate a concept incorporating that word. You may generate an idea and if not, it will definitely improve your creativity and get you moving towards the next idea.

Change of atmosphere

If are totally stuck for ideas and are lacking creativity, it’s good to get out of a stagnant space and move somewhere else. You can’t imagine how this can improve creativity. Move to a fresh, new space or even go for a walk and take a break. You can’t keep pushing at the wall, you sometimes need to go around it and get some new perspective.  

Author Byline: Jemma Scott is a business freelance writer that provides advice and information on an array of things from how to find Office Space Liverpool to how to boost creativity. 

 

Big_The_Etsy_Logo

Are People Making Worthwhile Money From Etsy?

There is a new trend these days with upcycling and crafting not just as a hobby anymore but as a means for just about anybody to make a little extra money. Sites like Etsy and Indie Handmade offer the crafter the ultimate platform and an opportunity to set up shop and reach consumers on the internet world wide. These sites are saturated with clothing and jewelry, cards and cool décor for the home, pretty much anything that you can imagine, you can now find and purchase online.

The coolest thing about these new trendy web markets is that you get to help support artists all over the world, and when you buy from them, you are helping to make it possible for them to continue doing what they love. A great deal of time and effort and money for supplies goes into creating each piece you find, so the question lies, do people actually make a worthwhile amount of money on these sites? Is it really worth the effort?

YES

Every bit of feedback and discussion I can find on the subject suggests that yes, you can make a great deal of money selling your items on these sites, IF you know what you are doing and you are smart about it. I read a post from a man that said he was able to pay his rent each month with the money he made by selling on Etsy. There were plenty of others who posted saying that they made “a lot of money” or enough to be considered a part time job at a regular wage. When you consider the fact that you are able to stay home and create, possibly be with your family all day, if you have one, it seems worth it to me.

Be Wise

There was one common thread among these successful artist, and that was that they said when selling on sites like these, you have to be smart and work wisely in order to turn and keep a profit. Etsy for example, is free to set up a shop, and then it costs a dollar to post your first 10 items. If you start by only posting those first 10, then the cost of starting up your business is a dollar. Then you leave yourself some time to adapt your prices to what is selling from your shop and where you think you need to set them in order to not only sell but to turn a profit as well.

Pricing Matters

There is a epidemic on these sites of artists undervaluing their work and taking prices way below where they would normally be if the items were sold in a boutique simply to gain customers. One artist argues that while lowering the price of an item may help you to gain the sale this time, by doing so, you cause other artists to have to lower their prices as well in order to stay competitive. It is a vicious cycle and the result of it all will be that these sites will become simply a place to gain exposure by getting your pieces out there, and no one will be able to make any profit from selling anymore.

Do your research on the average price that items like yours are going for and choose a similar price point to start with. If you feel like your items are worth a certain amount, price them there and give it time.

Advertise

Many of the artists advise commenting on the available forums within the site and using other forms of social media like Reddit and Facebook to generate knowledge of your products and traffic to your shop. Creating a buzz is always a good thing when you have a product to sell. No one can buy what you have if they don’t know it exists. Post daily pictures of your products on Facebook so they show up in the news feed and encourage your friends to share them.

Stay in the Black

When you are running a business, it is very important to keep a tight handle on the finances, this is the case for these shops especially. It may be easy at first to take the little bit that you are making in the beginning and turn around and spend it all up on more supplies. This is a trap that the successful sellers say you have to avoid. Create a separate account for your shop money and make sure you are not spending more than you make. This should be rule number 1, unless of course you are doing it simply just for fun.

Author Byline: Jennifer Ricci works for Cedar Education Lending consulting for student loan consolidation help. She is also a contributor to a handful of financial blogs and publications.

Black Music Month Spotlight: Tyrand

Name:

Tyrand

Why is celebrating Black music important to you?

It has so much soul.  No matter what type of music it is; jazz, R&B, or gospel they all have stories to tell. This is music I’ve listened to since I was born.  

What do you think of the current state of the music industry?

The music industry has changed a lot. It’s more digital now which isn’t a bad thing.  For artists, it’s actually easier.  Now you can reach fans through online media.  It’s also easier to be more independent.

What is your favorite song currently?

Right now my favorite song is Adele “One and Only”.  I really like that song.

What do you love almost as much as music?

I love film production.  A lot of people don’t know that I actually directed and edited a few of my own music videos, which I also do for other artists as well.

Who influences you most?

Most of my influences come from older artists. Teddy Pendergrass was a big influence. He was one of the first artists that I remember listening to as a child.

A world without music is…?

That’s hard to even imagine lol! But it would be a world without a lot of emotion. I think music brings emotion, like when you wake up in the morning you can listen to a certain song and it can change your mood for that whole day.

Website and social media links:

Alaia

Women’s History Month Spotlight: Alaia Williams

Name and occupation:

Alaia Williams, Business Organizer, Networking Group Founder, and Dot Connector

What do you love most about being a woman?

Though challenges still remain and improvements in our culture would be welcomed,  I feel like this is the best time to be a woman. I didn’t grow up during a time when I was regularly told or treated like I was less than a man or had to be subservient to one. Also, as a woman in business, I feel like I have additional opportunities and resources that have definitely made a positive impact on my life. While the group I run is open to men and women, I have joined organizations for women business owners in the past, or attended events geared toward business women. Those of us who are active, at least here in Los Angeles, are rapidly building connections, and in many cases, strong friendships. Most of the female friends I have made after leaving college are other women business owners.

Have you had to deal with much sexism in your industry?

Fortunately, no. At least not that I have been aware of.  When I started my first business back in 2006, I was a Professional Organizer specializing in residential projects. Most people in the industry were (and possibly still are) women. In terms of the networking group, I think most people are concerned about it being an active groups with interesting people to meet and less concerned with my sex.

Do you belong to any organizations catered to women business owners?

 I’ve belonged to several women-only organizations in the past, but my preference is for organizations that are open to both men and women. I also run a networking group and it has been open to men and women since day one. I do, however, have a mastermind group that only has women in it, and I try at least once a month to have a dinner or social gathering with some of my closest female entrepreneur pals.

Who or what inspires you most?

People who have overcome great odds to achieve great things. Everyone has different capabilities and what not, but when I look at people who achieve amazing things because they worked really hard, stayed positive and didn’t back down, I can’t help but realize that I don’t have any excuses for not making my dreams come true.

Something about you that would surprise us:

If eating bacon three times a day wouldn’t kill me, I’d do it in a heartbeat.

Advice for women entrepreneurs:  

Ask for what you want. You don’t know what you’ll get if you don’t. Ask for what you’re worth. You’ll be bitter and resentful if you settle for less.

Website and social media links:

  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Sandi Webster (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Katerina Y. Taylor (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Mag Retelewski (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Claudia A. Hoexter (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Cindy Clemens (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Peggy McHale (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Womens History Month Spotlight: Vee Carson (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Erika Lyremark (dangerouslee.biz)
Claudia

Women’s History Month Spotlight: Claudia A. Hoexter

Name and occupation:

Claudia A. Hoexter, Founder and CEO of Alexa Brands, LLC

Inventor of the Beauty Spoon®, the innovative new beauty tool that helps you spoon out all the remaining liquids located in your product bottles and containers.

What do you love most about being a woman?

Everything! I love fashion, beauty, and design. I also love the hidden power we possess when we are confident, composed and in control.

Have you had to deal with much sexism in your industry?

No, inventing, product development and manufacturing in general is definitely male dominated but I believe if a woman educates herself on all aspects of those things, people both male and female will take notice and listen.

Do you belong to any organizations catered to women business owners?

I am currently researching the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council as a possible organization to join.

Who or what inspires you most?

All women in power inspire me, Oprah Winfrey in particular. It is amazing how she came from such humble beginnings to the success she has achieved today. I believe women can do everything a man can in business if we put our minds to it.

Something about you that would surprise us:

I am the 7th child born out of 8 children total. I credit my birth rank to any success I achieve, as I have had to be independent, resourceful, and outspoken since I was a little girl.

Advice for women entrepreneurs:

Believe in yourself and you can accomplish anything. The world is ours for the taking, but only if you are willing to work hard. Appreciate the little accomplishments along the way because the joy comes not from what we ultimately achieve, but from the process of getting there.

Website and social media links:

Mag

Women’s History Month Spotlight: Mag Retelewski

Name and occupation:

Mag Retelewski, President and Founer of Clarteza

What do you love most about being a woman?

Emotional intelligence.

Have you had to deal with much sexism in your industry?

To a certain degree yes but I also experienced bias since I was born in Poland.

Do you belong to any organizations catered to women business owners?

Yes, I created my own organization and hire mostly women (not by design, but somehow it happens this way).

Who or what inspires you most?

I believe that Passion Persuades and this is the biggest source of my inspiration.

Something about you that would surprise us:

I am a violinist (with formal schooling!) and speak more than one language.

Advice for women entrepreneurs:

Follow your passion and question a status quo.

Website and social media links:

  • Irish-American Heritrage Month Spotlight: Belinda Blakley (dangerouslee.biz)
DrKaRae

Women’s History Month Spotlight: Ka Rae’ N. Carey

Name and occupation:

My name is Ka Rae’ N. Carey. My occupations are wife, daughter, friend, stepmother, licensed professional counselor and clinical addictions specialist

What do you love most about being a woman?

I love the flexibility and freedom being a woman affords me to be creative on a daily basis with my appearance. I can choose long pants, short pants, long skirts, short skirts, make up, no make up, and the hair possibilities are endless!

Have you had to deal with much sexism in your industry?

The helping profession is female  dominated so there is not much sexism to encounter in the profession.

Do you belong to any organizations catered to women business owners?

I am a member of the National Association of Professional Women, and the Women’s Business Center in Durham, NC.

Who or what inspires you most?

I am inspired most by my mother and husband. My mother inspires me with her  remarkable ability to make miracles with minimal resources, and never ending confidence in me. My husband inspires me with his awesome gift of calm in any storm, and the ability to help people see the positive side in the most dire of circumstances.

Something about you that would surprise us:

At Work: In my clinical practice I have three “co-therapists”, two turtles and a hamster! They do a great job in helping my younger clients talk about “tough stuff”.

When I am not at Work: I have endless energy when I am dancing. I am an avid dancer with talent in many varying styles including Latin, ballroom, and urban styles. 

Advice for women entrepreneurs:  

I would advise them to not be afraid to follow their dreams and to surround themselves with people who will support their dreams.

Website and social media links:

 

Michelle

Women’s History Month Spotlight: Michelle Panzironi

Name and occupation:

Michelle Panzironi – COO and Co-Founder of Phrase Media, LLC and hypetree.com

What do you love most about being a woman?

I love that no matter what job I’m at, I’ll always have the unique perspective that being a woman in business affords me.  When I was younger I trained in martial arts and I used to languish at being the only girl on my level, worrying that I was being left out or unfairly scrutinized.  But that experience taught me that being the odd-girl-out gives you the unique opportunity to shine apart from the others and distinguish yourself – as long as you see it as an opportunity and not a handicap.  When you’re a woman in a man’s sport, you stand out and everyone pays closer attention to what you do.  But when you succeed at your goals, everyone takes notice and, most of the time, your male counterparts are just glad to have you on their team.

I find that being in this position helps me relate better to the women I work with.  There’s a solidarity that’s involved in bucking your gender role and striving to be recognized for your individual achievements, rather than just be a support-beam for the men around you.

Have you had to deal with much sexism in your industry?

In the internet, haven’t really had any major encounters with sexism since I got involved back in 2009.  My first job was at a website with two female founders and, as I’ve extended my résumé and personal network from there, I’ve found that most of the men I work with seem to be part of the newer generation in their thinking about gender.  Most of the guys have close female friends and just see you as another co-worker.  I’ve since worked under a number of female founders and executives and I’ve taken that experience with me to hypetree.com.  My two male co-founders and I have several talented females working for us, whom we consider both valued resources and good friends.

Who or what inspires you most?

My parents and my family history inspire me to push everyday at what I’m doing.  My parents worked so hard throughout my childhood to provide for me so I could do anything that I wanted to in life.  My mother comes from a long line of business-owners and entrepreneurs and my father comes from carpenters and artists.  I consider it my path to continue their legacy of enterprise and creativity.   I strive to bring new ideas to fruition so that I can create opportunities for others, as they did for me.

Something about you that would surprise us:

I’m only 21 years old and I’ve already worked in the marketing departments of 4 different websites.  Also, as I mentioned before, I trained in martial arts and have earned my 3rd Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do.  For reference, I’m 4’11”.

Advice for women entrepreneurs:

As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”  There may be people who try to put you down or make you feel less-than because of your gender.  But you have to remember that the only person who can stop you from reaching your goals is you.  Respect yourself and you will get respect from others.

Also, don’t wait for a man to stand up for you when you’re being ignored.  Being on the other side of the gender divide, they often fail to notice.  Always be standing up on your own two feet.

Website and social media links:

  • Womens History Month Spotlight: Vee Carson (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Shobha Tummala (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Cindy Clemens (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Sandi Webster (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Peggy McHale (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Andrea Nugent (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Erika Lyremark (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Nikki L. Dancy (dangerouslee.biz)
Caird Photo

Women’s History Month Spotlight: Caird Urquhart

Name and occupation:

Caird Urquhart, President of Newroad Coaching, Life Coach and Author

What do you love most about being a woman?

I love that I have the freedom to wear whatever I want; one day pants, the next day a dress. In the same vein I like the fact that I can battle it out in the boardroom and still have my chair pulled out for me.

Have you had to deal with much sexism in your industry?

In my industry being a woman can actually work in my favor.  Many of my clients are men. The world they walk in is full of locker room bravado. It is hard for them to be honest with their male counterparts about their fears and anxieties. Having a female coach in their back pocket gives them an outlet to express themselves without feeling judged. I can also give them a female’s perspective when needed.

Do you belong to any organizations catered to women business owners?

Canadian Association of Women Entrepreneurs and Executives

http://www.cawee.net/about.html

Company of Women

http://www.companyofwomen.ca/

Women in Film and Television

http://wift.com/

Who or what inspires you most?

I am inspired the most by my 10 nieces and nephews.  They keep me current and remind me of all the fun parts of life. They also have a way of getting me to do things I might otherwise be afraid to do.

I must add that I am also inspired by nature. The simplest gestures like a bird’s morning song or the annual blooming of a flower never cease to amaze me.  Witnessing nature’s perfection makes me want to be a better human being.

Something about you that would surprise us:

By choice, I have never been married and I don’t have any children.

Advice for women entrepreneurs:

Don’t forget that men were built to provide and problem solve. It’s in their DNA. So let them.  I believe to be successful in business as women we need to have some good men on our team or at least advocating for us.  Sometimes I feel that women believe that winning in business means beating the men. Not true. To win in business means surrounding yourself with the best people, male and female who can help you achieve your goal.

Website and social media links:

  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Shobha Tummala (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Erika Lyremark (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Cindy Clemens (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Peggy McHale (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Sandi Webster (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Womens History Month Spotlight: Vee Carson (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Katerina Y. Taylor (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Nikki L. Dancy (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Andrea Nugent (dangerouslee.biz)
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