Wednesday, September 24, 2008

growing a dream: I am a conscious business owner and savvy marketing queen.

Dears, I'll begin by letting you know that I make things & teach yoga because I absolutely love it and not because I have dreams of being super-rich-and-famous. In fact, I would {and do, volunteer work is good for my soul} continue these callings for absolutely free. Let's face it: if I felt like my purpose in life was to rack up a bunch of cash working at a law firm for the rest of my days, it could have been a done deal. You and I both know that this is not the case. Bottom line: my mission on earth is to be present, share beauty and assist others in returning to the amazingness that is themselves-this universe-consciousness where I'm needed. That being said, BK and I are not ascetics begging for food and living in other peoples' homes; we have a mortgage and student loans, and we like to drink yummy wine and take vacations to beautiful places. Thus, money becomes necessary.

Turning now to the title of this post: I am a conscious business owner and savvy marketing queen. This affirmation is a goal of mine that I transformed into a positive affirmation to keep me motivated this quarter. The nerdy side of my brain is truly fascinated with the more abstract concepts of the tax code and legal concepts like "piercing the corporate veil" that will likely never apply to my little business. That being said, I need to step up my game with respect to marketing and getting serious about my business finances. Last year, I actually brought a box of receipts with me to H&R Block when I had my taxes done. {You can laugh. I did!}

Lucky for me, there is a wealth of information available on ye olde internet to help the business-neophyte get up to speed on finance and marketing. And even luckier for me, many of these resources are conscious of values that are important to me: respecting the privacy and time of others; donating a portion of proceeds to causes I feel passionately about; keeping the independent business thriving in an ever-globalizing market. Cool.

Here are a few of the resources I'm consulting in my quest for biz-savviness:

Modish Marketing: The entire series is ace, but I'm really honing in on this week's edition on approaching blogs and getting them to write about you. {I've been a bit skittish about self-promotion. It's time to get over it.}

Nubby Twiglet on Business & Marketing: Nubby gives wonderful advice on all topics related to style, design and business. Here she writes about building a press kit. Another fabulous post is on time & money management for freelancers.

Design for Mankind's Roadmaps: Erin dishes up advice on growing your business from the little seed of an idea to choosing the appropriate business association and beyond. Right now, I'm focusing on topics in intellectual property. I must admit that these are times when it is helpful to be a lawyer having done copyright and patent work.

By this point, it may be clear that my hurdle isn't necessarily a knowledge deficit, but an organizational problem. I need a system in place to record costs, receipts, payments and the like. I think they call this "book-keeping." And I need someone to tell me where I send my sales tax on local sales. {I'm not joking.}

Right now, I "use" the following: the Etsy seller's spreadsheet [EDIT: this spreadsheet is available for download in this article], quickbooks and a box for receipts. The Etsy spreadsheet is fabulous. I just don't use it consistently and I sell at places other than Etsy, so something tells me I should have everything in one place. Quickbooks couldn't be less friendly for me to use if it tried. The box of receipts works great: it's easy to use and remember, I know where everything is, and it appeals to the pack-rat sensibilities I've stifled since marrying a wonderfully neat person. That being said, it probably won't work as my business continues to grow. Here are a few resources I found on Etsy that I'm interested in checking out:

The BOMB: All Business, Marketing, Selling, Additional Tools and Universal Raw Material Manager Bundle from JJMFinance. This sounds powerful.

Profit & Sales Tax Manager from Simple Solutions. This sounds exactly like something that could help me.

In all honesty, I might need someone to walk me through this to say things like "after you finish making a painting, record blah-blah here," and the like. Serendipitously, I picked up a fun business card at our neighborhood coffee house a few weeks ago for a small business consultant who specializes in "artisan and trade-based businesses." Universe, if that's not a sign, I don't know what is.

Darlings, that is where I am right now. My action items for the next week are as follows:

1. sketch homepage design for my website,;

2. order new yoga business cards from overnight prints;

3. read all of the links above;

4. figure out my sales tax question;

5. write one email to a blog promoting myself.

I'll check back in with you next week to let you know what's what.


  1. Hello!

    I just thought I'd pop in and extend my assistance! I am the owner of Simple Solutions, and would be happy to chat with you and discuss your needs with financial tracking. I specialize in making the complex simple, so hopefully we can work something out! Feel free to send me a conversation via Etsy, and I will gladly help you out however I can.

  2. you are so, so awesome. thank you for all these links! i love having affirmations-- one that i like that i borrewed from a friend is "success comes effortlessly to me." affirmations make everything more fun and exciting! :)

  3. wow! You are leading a path here... I'm sure success will happen somewhere along the way... Thanks for the read.

  4. Kelly, you are an amazing human being! I love your insight. Thanks for all the links :)

  5. Thanks for the amazing links and information. I love your bottom line statement - wish everyone could live that way!

  6. hope you don't mind if I borrow your affirmation..thanks dear friend...I am saving this post as a valuable resource.

  7. oh and how do you get to the "etsy spreadsheet?"

  8. excellent, kelly! thanks for sharing your resources with us!

  9. Oh Kelly--- I'm so inspired by you--- thanks for posting Roadmaps; I need to get on the ball with another post! :)

  10. Thank you all for the wonderful comments! This post was such fun for me to write, and I hope to share some fun updates with you all next week!


Much LOVE & Gratitude for reading! I'd love to hear what *you* think. {p.s. I'm now moderating all comments because we have had too many spammers dropping porn-bombs on us. booooo!}