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Blog Your Way To A New Lifestyle

Hello blog friends!

I hope you’ve had a happy holiday season. I’ve been allowing myself to take it easy for many months now, with no blog schedule, business or social media planning. It’s been quiet around here because I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want for 2015 and how it relates to this blog.

LTieu-Simply-Happy

Going back to the root of it all, blogging is about sharing through my life and experiences – a sort of celebration of what drives me and makes me happy at the end of the day. I know everyone blogs for different reasons, but for me, it has to make me feel good at the end of the day. That’s has to be the core of it.

Of course, we all know that many of us in the blogosphere use our blogs as a tool to creating a new lifestyle. It’s about cultivating our interests and seeing where it can take us… perhaps to a whole new career and way of life. There will always be the naysayers who insult and feel that blogs should be non-commercial and are sick of people trying to turn their ideas into businesses. But I don’t see why we can’t have the best of both worlds. I think the world will be a much better place if our work had a good intersection with our true passions and interests. Don’t you think?

The Beginning

I started blogging because it seemed like a fun things to do back when it was this cool new web thing. Somewhat like an online diary of sorts. But soon I tried to focus on particular interests and my blog did lead me to open an Etsy shop and pursue various business ideas.

LTieu_Journals

However, nothing lasts forever. I created digital designs for sale in the scrapbooking industry, but in the recent years, shops kept closing down and it was such a pain to keep moving from shop to shop. I also created handmade leather journals for sale and they sold well, but in ramping up the production I realized that I didn’t want to be a bookbinding machine. My hands literally couldn’t take it, so eventually I just stopped that as well. I still have my digital designs and zines available online, but everything has just been on a standstill for the past year.

Change

Taking on the role of mom has definitely changed my life in so many ways. I suddenly found myself unable to operate as I previously had done and I certainly went through a period of depression and crisis. It was as if I was so close to finding my place, but then motherhood threw a wrench in it all and now I’m starting all over again. I was frustrated for a very long time, then I sort of gave up and gave in to exhaustion. But slowly, I realized that I just need time away to regroup.

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The greatest journey of our lives is that of finding one’s own passions and ultimately loving oneself. Only now do I realize it’s a lifelong journey… you don’t just get to the answer and live in a stage of knowing it all! We are constantly changing and the world is changing. We will be evolving with the times – that is just a fact of life.

It’s obvious that big life changes means that every aspect will be touched, from career to hobby to dreams and passions. I’m still freelancing in web and design work and that is the only thing I’ve been able to hold onto. But now that my baby is going to nursery school, I feel like I can finally explore and expand again.

Begin Again

So here I am again, blogging my thoughts, planning for the new year with excitement and slowly building up the courage to chase my dreams. New dreams and new passions!

A big thanks and hug to all my blog friends who have stuck with me through this transitional stage of my life. I look forward to 2015 and wish you the most amazing year yet :)


Getting Serious With Art Licensing

For years I have toyed around with the idea of licensing my artwork. For a variety of different reasons, I resisted taking the plunge and have only toyed around and half gone through the motions… losing leads and allowing connections to wither into the air because I lost track and lost sign of the possibilities. Sigh.

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Enough playing around – I’ve had enough! Now it’s time to get serious. I took Lilla Roger’s  MATS courses and now I’ve signed up for Artlicensingshow.com and Tara Reed’s Art Licensing Academy. There’s no going back.

Sometimes you have to put your money where your mouth is. I feel like now is the time as well, it is the right time… otherwise, I wouldn’t have been able to convince myself to INVEST in myself. Funny how everything falls into place.

I’m very excited for Tara’s course because I know she is a down to earth, practical, get it done – kind of person. I like that aspect because I’m not looking for creative lovey doveyness. It’s the focus, business side of things that I need help with. I’ve always looked up to Tara and have learned a lot from artlicensinginfo.com and her various products in the past… so I have no doubt that the academy course will push me further.

I’ll actually be back in the States the second half of June – there’s so much going on – but I’m pumped, excited and feel good about it all. I think that is a good indicator of things to come. Wish me luck!


Creative Business 101 Round-Up

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Looking for some business know-how geared towards creatives like you and me?

Here’s a round-up of my most helpful creative business 101 posts, sharing lots of actionable steps to life your entrepreneurial spirit and get your work out there.

I’ve learned so much from those before me, so I’m always happy to help others who are just starting their journey!


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The new Gmail helps you prioritize

If you are a Gmail user have you enabled the new  tabs feature? There’s a lot of talk over the changes and it’s going to invariably affect marketing for all creative businesses. There’s good and bad, but generally I really like the new Gmail as a long-time user.

Basically, the new Gmail gives you the option to turn on tabs and organize your emails into 1 to 5 tab categories – Primary, Social, Promotion, Updates, and Forums. You get to choose which tabs to use if you want to use them at all. After using the new setup for a few days, I quickly realized how much time I was wasting previously with distracting email.

gmail tabs

I always hear about people battling their inboxes and not being able to keep up. Try using tabs and you’ll soon realize how much time you might have been wasting sorting and deleting all the social media, promotions and forums type emails. How many hundreds of Facebook emails do you get in a day?

Even if you want to follow those avenues in your email inbox, the new tab organization forces you to deal with the direct emails first. In a way, you get this automated priority to work through. Obviously it’s not perfect for everyone, but I find that the new Gmail is helping me prioritize.

Also, if you star or move an email into the primary tab, Gmail will remember that preference. Nice! From a Gmail user perspective, I’m loving the change!

From a creative business owner perspective, I realize that email marketing has been affected by this change… there are so many Gmail users out there! It’s even more important to keep in touch with your subscribers, asking them to star your email into the primary tab and obviously to create great content that people will want to read instead of delete!

My tortagialla subscribers – please remember to star the next [tortagialla] newsletter email from me or to drag it into your primary tab! That will ensure that you get my emails – pretty please! I’m going to be sending out something special this Friday as a thank you :P


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