How Learning A New Skill Can Skyrocket You To Success

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The Beginning of Successful Changes

When I first started dating my husband, we went white water rafting with a group of coworkers from my corporate job. The very first day, our very buff, young guide asked if anyone wanted to float down the not so rapid, rapids, literally on their back like a leaf.

Before my new date and future husband knew what was happening, I had raised my hand and jumped in with both feet!

To give you an idea of what he is like, let me just tell you that I have since nicknamed him "Mr. Safety"! So, needless to say, he was mortified.

I like to try new things. 

It comes in handy when you have a business, but not everyone is ready to jump in with both feet. Buuuuuuut, even this risk taker can be hesitant to buy new equipment, a new e-course, and even invest in a conference that will sharpen her skills and introduce her to new, like-minded women.

In fact, I just did all of those things in a period of a few months and I couldn't be happier!

What did I do, you ask?

Well, I bought a Canon T-6 in March! It is my first "real" camera and I took it to my first "real" creative conference in April and I think I am in love! It has helped me out of my comfort zone. It will also save me money on the monthly styled stock subscriptions that I had invested in before I had a camera! 

When I was at the Bloom Bash Carmel, which I highly recommend for photographers, event and wedding planners, graphic designers, and floral designers, I finally didn't feel alone. Michaela Beel and Ashely Slater are the sweetest! 

Working from home and raising a family can be an isolating experience, right?

Well, connecting with like-minded women breathed life into my little creative soul. It was quite an emotional experience for me! 

The best part happened when we had our styled wedding photoshoot. We went around Holman Ranch, Carmel, in groups of three, taking pictures of stunning, hand painted cakes, tablescapes and beautiful brides and grooms.

Somehow I found myself alone with our models and my camera. I literally had unpacked my new camera, fresh from Amazon.com, the day before and hadn't really used it. I was shaking inside as I pretended to know how to pose them!

To get over my jitters, I introduced myself and asked them their names. I found out they were Nicole and Bob. Nicole owns a Yoga studio and Bob owns a car wash! I immediately felt comfortable with them and was ready to start taking pictures! I just kept saying what I had heard from heaven knows where, which was: "Great! Perfect! Good job! Beautiful!" as I snapped them against the breathtaking Carmel landscape. I asked them where they would like to go for some pictures and they said the ceremony stage, so away we went! The sun was coming down strong, as it was the middle of the day, but that was where they wanted to go, so I didn't say no! I didn't even think, where the heck did all the people go! 

Here are a few from that beautiful day!

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 Venue: Holman Ranch /  @holmanranch  Florals: Ponderosa & Thyme /  @ponderosa_and_thyme  Invitation Suite & Signage: Graceline /  @jenny_Sanders_  Wedding Dress: Kinsley James Couture Bridal /  @kinsleyjamescouturebridal  Rings: Susie Saltzman /  @susiesaltzman  Models: Bob Stoik + Nicole Duke /  @nicyogi  Rentals: One True Love Vintage Rentals / otlvintage Cake: Just Bakecause /  @justbakecause  Hair & Makeup: The Hair + Makeup Company /  @thehairandmakeupco  Event Concept + Design: Michaela Noelle Designs & Ashley Slater Photography /  @michaelanoelledesigns  @ashleyslaterphotography  of  @bloomtheworkshop

Venue: Holman Ranch / @holmanranch
Florals: Ponderosa & Thyme / @ponderosa_and_thyme
Invitation Suite & Signage: Graceline / @jenny_Sanders_
Wedding Dress: Kinsley James Couture Bridal / @kinsleyjamescouturebridal
Rings: Susie Saltzman / @susiesaltzman
Models: Bob Stoik + Nicole Duke / @nicyogi
Rentals: One True Love Vintage Rentals / otlvintage
Cake: Just Bakecause / @justbakecause
Hair & Makeup: The Hair + Makeup Company / @thehairandmakeupco
Event Concept + Design: Michaela Noelle Designs & Ashley Slater Photography / @michaelanoelledesigns@ashleyslaterphotography of @bloomtheworkshop

Professional Development For the Win!

I have intentionally put myself on the road that would take a freelance graphic designer like me, to creative entrepreneur. Are you ready to put yourself on that path? If you are in the same boat, that means that you need to invest in education that will help you grow professionally. Money and mental hang-ups are the top two things that hold online business owners back.

I know they were mine.

Think about what is holding you back. Is it that you really don't have any money to invest in your business? I was there for 15 years! I took every paying client out of the need to help support my family and I took every free class and used every free app!

Eventually you hit the FREE ceiling and realize to go farther, you have to pay to play. 

OR, maybe you have the money for a course, but don't know which one to take.

How + Where to Start

  1. Choose the best place to start. What one change can you make that would help your business right now? You have heard the saying "Eat the Alien", but I am saying to tackle the easiest thing that could help you now, while you are learning the next skill.
  2. The best thing to set up, as an automated and productive placeholder, is a landing page that will help solve your perfect client's problem, while collecting their email addresses. I wrote a post about that not too long ago. You can read it here.
  3. Are you on Social Media? Even if you are, your Facebook cover photo needs to pull double duty. After setting up your landing page, go to Canva.com and create a Facebook cover photo that features a prompt that tells your audience to do something. You can use this valuable, free real estate to provide solutions to problems, which encourages your audience to give you their email address for help in the future.
  4. Use a photo that gets an emotional response from you. Choose a styled stock photo or take your own photos. 

Next Steps

  1. Write down what you want to learn. Is it Instagram? Follow Jasmine Star, Tyler McCall, Hilary Rushford + Rosemary Watson. For apps, check out Preview App, Planoly, + grum.co.
  2. Want to learn photography with your phone? Head over to PinkPot.
  3. How about some creative workshops or conferences? Of course I am a fan of Bloom the Workshop and they have them all over the U.S. up to 5 times a year. If you know of any others that we should check into, tell us in the comments below!
  4. E-courses for creative entrepreneurs are a great way to learn and for this my go-to's are James Wedmore, Heather Crabtree, Lauren Hooker of Elle and Company + Think Creative Collective. I have experience with all of these and don't think I would be where I am at without the guidance and tough love of these awesome people!

Remember, if you don't have the cash to invest in a course just yet, consume the free options from those that I list in number 4. James Wedmore for example, has a you tube channel full of targeted info to help you answer specific questions. After you feel like you have hit YOUR FREE CEILING, purchase from the one or ones that resonated with you the most. If you are ready to change and grow, this path is definitely for you!

Jean Coelho