December 29, 2019
Barbara Evans - Killing Imposter Syndrome (For Good)

Barbara is a graphic designer and brand champion who works with small businesses that want to make a difference - who are ready for what’s next and don’t want to DIY their brand assets any longer. In this episode, Barbara tal...


Barbara is a graphic designer and brand champion who works with small businesses that want to make a difference - who are ready for what’s next and don’t want to DIY their brand assets any longer. 

In this episode, Barbara talks about her move from working in a corporate position to embracing her creativity and going back to school to become a designer. This change has created fulfillment that she never had when working in a job, and has enabled her to create a life that she loves, with balance and boundaries galore!

One of the biggest challenges she has faced was overcoming imposter syndrome, and she tells us how she intentionally and deliberately worked to learn how to trust herself, and the impact this has had on her business (and bottom line!).

Find Barbara at www.wildblackberrystudio.com

Full episode details at: https://realbusiness.stephaniehayes.biz/episode-14

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Transcript
Speaker 1:

Welcome to the real people real business show where we are talking with business owners who are in the trenches everyday, people who are working hard and have relevant and inspiring stories that you can relate to. Everyone we speak to is actively building and growing their businesses and is here to share their experience, lessons, wisdom and guidance so you can be inspired to take action towards your own goals today. I am so excited to welcome Barbara Evans. Barbara is a graphic and web designer and owns wild blackberries studio. I just love that name. She's a brand champion for small businesses that want to make a difference in the world and she has had tremendous year of growth but in her business as well as as a business owner and I can't wait for her to share your journey with you. So welcome to the show Barbara, and thanks so much for taking the time to share your story today.

Speaker 2:

Hi, thanks. I'm excited to be here.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, me , I'm, I'm so happy that you're here and this is our last episode before the holidays. And so you are coming in this very festive time to talk about your very festive year. You've had business here too. I love Barbara has festive stars. You were watching the video, you can see it in her back. Um, so I am, I am, I want to dive into your , your story because I am intimately familiar with having worked with you all this year and I'm so, so proud of you for everything that you've done and I just want to hear all about it. So why don't you just get started? Tell me where, like how did you get into this business? What was that sort of big trigger for you getting started in your business?

Speaker 2:

Um, well so, so I actually officially started my business in January of 2013 so that's like it'd be seven years next month, right? That's math. Right. Um, so prior to that , um, for a couple of years I'd been working for a long time as an executive and managed care. And then , um, recession kind of thing had hit and I got laid off and um, I had been involved in marketing and those kind of projects at the, at the , um, managed care company and found myself like full of all these ideas but frustrated at having to hand them off to someone else to execute. So I was like, you know what, I've got some time here while in collecting on employment , I'm going to go back to school for this art stuff. And I've always been kind of um, creative and involved in art and kind of doing art on the side. So I went to , um, design , it's like a two year program to do , um, to get the software skill sets and some of the design fundamentals. And um, when I finished that program, kinda hung out my shingle and had my first, my first client who are still with me by the way. Um, and, and slowly have been kind of evolving what I do and how I do it, especially the last year especially.

Speaker 1:

That's right. And I love your story because you came from a very kind of non-creative. Now here's the thing is I think everybody is creative. I think every role is creative. If you're proud of solving problems, if you are doing anything or creative, but you went from this very non, like traditionally creative role into this very creative role and you kind of followed your dreams and that , that has to been like a bit of a scary decision for you.

Speaker 2:

Well, you know, it, it wasn't, it wasn't because , um, I had a safety net, you know, like I had have a part time job with a small boutique healthcare company , um, and they do really amazing work.

Speaker 3:

I'm kind of at the ,

Speaker 2:

uh , front edge of what's happening in healthcare and I do design and marketing and all that stuff for them and they give me a paycheck and they provide me with benefits. So like I've got that security, which made it really so much easier to stick my neck out and be like, hi, I'm a designer. You know?

Speaker 1:

I think that's Testament too to something that's like quite real for people that um , going out and , and you know, Sally-Ann talked about this too in our episode, but going out and just doing the work and that first, that first gig where someone has actually hired you as this thing you are now, I mean that's a huge mental jump, right? That's a huge psychological piece of getting started as your own business owner. Right?

Speaker 2:

[inaudible] it is [inaudible] and I think

Speaker 3:

one of the [inaudible]

Speaker 2:

beams around that that's been coming up for me all year is this idea of trust and not just having other people trust you, but you trusting yourself. And sometimes that trust is something that happens over time. You do things, you have success, you're like, Oh, I can do this. And sometimes trust is just a giant leap of like, I'm going to do this. And then you go and then you do it.

Speaker 1:

We've had a lot of conversations about trusting yourself

Speaker 3:

[inaudible]

Speaker 1:

personally, but also in the group, right. In the group that we are part of. And that, that's a huge theme with business owners that are, that are even the ones who have been in business for a little while, is learning to trust yourself and learning to be okay with taking a bit of a leap because what's the worst that's gonna happen, right?

Speaker 2:

Yeah. The worst that's going to happen as you get some good information, you know that a thing's not for you . You know, and the best that happens is you get some more good information and you're like, yeah, this is the thing for me. I'm excited about this or this worked or, you know, I did it.

Speaker 1:

And did you have that? Did you have that kind of big aha moment when you did your first gig? Was it like, Oh, okay, I think I can make this work, but

Speaker 2:

yeah. No, I think for, for a lot of years, early on in my business, I was , um, tentative and , um, dealing with a lot of imposter syndrome. Like, gosh, I'm not a designer. Who am I kidding? You know, I can't do this. And, and, but kind of plowing through that anyway, like, well, someone's given me money so I might as well keep doing it. Um, but, but no, I , I, I think , um, I wasn't sure I was doing the right thing for awhile . I enjoyed it. I enjoyed the work, especially , um , certain kinds of work. Um, but I wasn't necessarily tuned in like I am now to the kind of projects that I like and what I, what I don't want to do. I think it early on I wasn't clear on what I didn't want to do, so I was kind of taking a kitchen sink approach, you know, and I think a lot of people do that. They , um, they're like, gosh, someone's gonna give me money for this. I've got to throw in all these other things and I've got to do everything and I've gotta be good at everything. And the , you know, the social media and this and this graphics and the writing. And no, you can be good at, like, you can pick a lane and focus there. And I think it's one of the things you talk about is, is , um, like when you're doing the right thing that you like, there's not friction, you know? And when you're doing, like when I was doing some of my early web projects, have me also doing content, hated it. So much procrastination, you know? And so I was kinda like, stop doing it then, you know, like there will be other people who pay him money to do things that you like to do. So.

Speaker 1:

And do you think, I mean that mindset is a really, is a really important one . And I think, you know, I, I try to counsel my clients to get to that place where they give themselves permission to , um, to just do the thing that they really want to do. But there's a lot of scarcity in there and there's a lot of like self judgment . So what helped you get to that place where you were like, you know what, I don't need to do all this stuff.

Speaker 2:

I think, you know, if the risk of giving you a shameless plug, it's being in your six month accelerator program. And the mindset work that we did and, and really kind of , um, dig a , you know, like getting clear about who our ideal customers are and , um, how do we want to work and what kind of life do I want when I have and what mental blocks are in the way and do I trust myself to make the right decisions for me and my business. And we did all that, you know, and so that was, you know, it was six months of, Oh, okay, I get it now. So that, that really helped.

Speaker 1:

Well , so we, you did the six month program earlier this year, but you've continued to have this amazing year of growth and maturity. So what are some of the big things that's happened that have happened for you this year?

Speaker 2:

Mmm , I'm thinking through like, it's, it's such a catalog of , of things like my, my business and mean now compared to this time 12 months ago is so radically different. Um, you know, like I was and thinking about this time, I was just getting ready to start your course and I was like, Oh, I should probably update my websites that I'm ready to do things and, and um, so tentative and so afraid of being seen, you know, cause people might actually want me to do something for them or they might hire me if they see me gas , you know, so , um, so big things that happened this year , um, I have taken on some of the biggest projects that I've taken on to date. Um, I have significantly increased my pricing. Um, and that was, that's always, I think, a little bit of a challenge, you know, cause you're like, Oh my gosh, people aren't gonna if I charge too much, people aren't going to hire me. It's not true. You know, like you're sending a message with your pricing. Um, it filters in the right people. Um, all these things that everyone here listening already knows. Um, but, but it was, I think that's a particular challenge for me because know there's also personal work that goes along with that. That's like, here's the business work and I need to charge more, but here's the personal work about how am I valuing my time and my worth, you know, and my ability. So like those things go together. So in addition to the business work , I've been doing a lot of personal work too . Um, I made some great connections. Um, you know, and some of those people are bringing really amazing projects and we must have the same kind of ideal client cause everyone she's brought me, I'm like I love this project and these people, you know. So that's been really exciting. I'm getting lots of work that I actually am excited about, you know, not that I wasn't excited before but like really energizing kind of things.

Speaker 1:

And you did a lot of work on really defining like what that, what that work is and who you want to work with. And I think you also did a lot of personal work too . Like I saw you really make a huge transformation as a business owner. And that's part of what I mean, talking about the program, that's part of what I want everybody to do is learn business . Business is actually a skill that you learn, right? It's not, you don't just learn the tactics. You learn how to be a business owner. And I want everyone to come out of this program being a mower , mature business owner, not just having a whole bunch of tactics in their back pocket. So I'm curious because one of the things that I think you did really well was you, you totally learned how to be marble visible and how to make connections with people in different ways than you'd been doing before. And that had a big impact on your business because you had a financial growth this year too, right?

Speaker 2:

Very much so. Like , um , my ,

Speaker 4:

uh,

Speaker 2:

I don't know what the right term is. My rep, my overall revenue, my gross revenue before I take out tax, all that stuff. Um, compared to last year, more than double.

Speaker 5:

Hmm .

Speaker 2:

Um, which is a big deal. You know, I , um , in terms of timing and my personal life, I have sort of this little window of time when I need to sort of make my business support me and I'm, I did it two years ahead of schedule, you know, so I'm feeling pretty good about that. Um, um, what was your original question?

Speaker 1:

So the question was, so the question was you, you started showing up in a really different yeah . Really different way in a more consistent way. You started making connections in places that you hadn't before. So I think that's a , I think that's a really valuable piece that people can learn from you. What did you start doing that you weren't doing before?

Speaker 2:

Um, I think a couple of things. Um, really like really surprisingly simple things. It's just networking. You know, like for me, most of my clients are, you know, word of mouth and personal connections . So kind of nurturing those connections, reaching out to people on a regular basis. And then, you know, cultivating the ones that are with people that, that I, that are like parallel to my business and that I really jive with. You know, that like we have the same mindset about the way we work and the way we want to treat our clients. And um, you know, those are the sources of really great new opportunities for me. I also, you know, have been

Speaker 5:

okay

Speaker 2:

trying to be disciplined about showcasing my work. And so I'm putting more things out regularly on my website. When I finish a project, I've actually got a process in place for that. I'm sharing that on social media. Um, I decided to get a little bit more active on LinkedIn and um, you know, and, and then I'm involved in some other , um , Facebook groups that are kind of my right people too and just, I'm trying to be visible and of service in those places so I don't have to come in there being like, Hey, he's car sales gal here. I'm just kind of like, Hey, I think I can help with that. You know, which is totally different

Speaker 1:

and you've grown in a really sustainable way. So I want to , I want to ask you a little bit about your growth. So what it like, what does growth mean to you? Because a lot of people will equate growth with financial growth and you've had financial growth. I mean you more than doubled your revenue this year, which is amazing, but there's so much more to your growth than just the money.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. Um , so I think hand-in-hand with that visibility is um , cultivating some self confidence in my ability to deliver what people want and that , um, you know, that I have, I created an experience for my clients. It's not just kind of like, Hey, we talk about a thing, I go away, there's radio silence and then I come back and deliver the thing. It's actually a very collaborative, interactive process and I think that's just right for my ideal client. They want to be involved. Um, so kind of trusting that that was the right process for me and kind of creating offer offers and , and services around that. Um, and kind of doing a lot of work on the imposter syndrome stuff, you know? Um, cause I know that's out there for so many people, you know, no matter what you're doing, you always have these moments of like, it's really neat doing this. Is this okay? You know, am I okay? You know? And, and I'm bringing out, but yeah, like the way I have, I have good things to offer my clients and interesting ideas and they're hiring me because they want to work with me. And so I have , um, I've shifted from, you know, when someone asks me to do a thing being like, Oh shit, I can't do this. To be like, Hm , I wonder how I would solve that problem, you know, which is really a lot more comfortable place to be, you know? Um,

Speaker 1:

so let's dig into that for a second. This is a huge issue for 98% of business owners out there that I know and I work with. How have you worked through imposter syndrome? Because it's not just a matter of saying, Oh well, have some good self-talk and [inaudible] herself . You're, you know, you're good at what you do. There are some really specific strategies that I think you and I would love to hear your experience on those.

Speaker 2:

Okay. Um, I think what I started with at first was , um, gathering feedback.

Speaker 5:

Hmm .

Speaker 2:

Um, so talking to clients about, you know, what did you like about the experience? What could I have done better? Um, and then when I get positive feedback, accepting that as true, you know, like not second guessing it. Um, uh, I also see a therapist regularly. Um, you know, it's, it's uh, cause it's personal, right? Like it's not just a business thing, it's , uh , it's really kind of fundamental to a whole bunch of the ways or life experiences and the way we talk to ourselves. So kind of digging into that. Um, and then , um, being intentional about noticing successes and talking about successes. And, you know, when I'm completing something saying this is what I think was good about that, this is what I think went well. Um, and, and also , um, um, being mindful about that. I know we have said about the self-talk, you know, like how am I, how am I thinking about this project? Am I being afraid or am I being curious? Um, and interrupting kind of the negative things. Um, but it took time, you know, like it wasn't something that happened overnight. It's, it's been an ongoing process all year. You know,

Speaker 1:

I think that's what I was going to just point out as like the, the thing to remember about imposter syndrome is that everybody has it and everybody's going to experience it at some point in time. And it's a very natural thing for us to encounter. But getting past it is not something that happens right away. Right? You don't just decide you're not going to have imposter syndrome. Right . This is a long and intentional process. This is why the six month program is six months long. This is why we develop habits and we focus on developing habits. And the celebration habit is one of those things because it is working towards breaking down that impostor syndrome. So just like anything else that we do in business, breaking down those sh those negative thoughts and those limiting beliefs and all of the things that we, we pile upon ourselves is a L is a long and intentional process. It is something that you have to do intentionally is not something that you just kind of have hanging out in the back of your mind and you've done a really great job of being very intentional about that and, and shifting the original thoughts that you were having and it's, it's made a huge difference to your business and a huge difference to your outcome . So I keep telling people like getting getting to financial success is actually not that much about your, your pricing or your offers or you know, we want to get those in line and but that alignment is a huge piece and then your mental state is a huge piece of that too. So all of these things have to be dealt with at the same time. Right.

Speaker 2:

I think there was, there was one key thing that you said to me during the program when we were, when I was sort of deepen the, where's my imposter syndrome kind of coming from, what's it about? And you know, I, I was still at that point very often seeking outside validation. Like is this work okay? What do you think about this guys? Here's what I'm thinking. And, and you had suggested that at some point I need to cut myself off from that crutch. You know, cause you can rely on that forever and then you're not, you're not getting anywhere, you know, like you're constantly seeking that external validation at some point. And we're back to the idea of trust again. At some point you have to trust that you know what's good and that you can deliver good work

Speaker 1:

and trust and trusting that your energy is going to, and I'm not a woo person by trusting that your energy is going to bring the right people to you and it's okay if not everybody says yes.

Speaker 2:

And that's it too . Like, like not every, I even remember from design school, like sometimes the idea is just like, Oh my gosh, this is going to be amazing. And sometimes it's a grind. You have to kind of grind through some terrible ideas to get to something. Okay . You know, and, and, and I sort of realized at the end of it, like if I had a client that hated what I did, I could just give them their money back. You know, like, that's the worst possible outcome. That's not terrible. You know, I , luckily that hasn't happened yet. So, you know,

Speaker 1:

I wrote a post the other day , um, about one of the most impactful statements someone has made to me in the past. And, you know, it was, it was working. Um, it was working in a consulting capacity at the time. And someone said to me, you know what, Stephanie, we're not saving lives. I'm like, God, you're right. We're not saving lives. Nobody's [inaudible] your office or your car, you know? Totally. So nobody's going to die if this thing doesn't happen. Exactly what I planned it to happen or when I had planned it to happen. So that's not an excuse to, you know, sit back and just know whatever . Sure . Care. But it's also, it, it, it takes the pressure off, right. And it takes the pressure off of having to get things done and on a certain timeline . Now you are really good at this. You are really good at balancing your, your work in your personal life. You're really good at taking care of yourself and making sure that that part kind of stays in your life. So can you tell me a little bit about how you ensure that all of the things, you're a runner, you're , you know, you have other practices, all these other things need to stay boundaried in your business.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. Um,

Speaker 2:

so I think I realized that one of the other things that had been going on in my business for a long time was that I only ever worked just working, working, working, working, and I realized that I was exhausted at the end of every day, you know, and it's not how I want to be. At the end of every day, you know, so, so I realized that I needed to , um, get up from my desk sometimes. Um, and, and I started,

Speaker 3:

Mmm .

Speaker 2:

Scheduling and time to do things. You know, like I love running mid morning best, that's what I'm going to do it. So I schedule it in there. Um, and um, you know, I work with an awesome trainer and she gets me workouts that I can fit in in my day, you know, and you know, or corrective stretching that I can get up and do and just kind of get the blood flowing and clear my mind. Um, you know, sometimes if I'm really feeling frustrated with the project, I'll get up and just play on the piano for 15 minutes. And don't let that sound like I know how to play the piano. I can play like three things only, but I get up and do it cause it's a totally different part of the brain and it's , it's a complete reset , um, and meditate almost every day.

Speaker 3:

Mmm .

Speaker 2:

And that's,

Speaker 3:

Mmm .

Speaker 2:

And it's super important to me. It's a way to , to kind of, I won't say clear my head cause that's not really what meditation is about, but it's kind of like brings me back down to earth. You know, like if I'm, if my head's racing about business stuff, I'm like, okay, now I'm going to just going to kind of recenter , um, and eating gotta remember to eat. Yeah . First lunch and dinner, snacks, whatever.

Speaker 1:

Weird how our bodies need that. Right?

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So one of the things that happened when I first started , um, getting more intentional about scheduling my work to make sure I got everything done and was managing that time. I scheduled the whole day, like a whole day was work. It's not a bathroom break and not a pause, not a meal, not or like nothing. And I was like, this is a terrible idea.

Speaker 1:

You know , I love that. Right. And one of the modules in my program that we've done is all about work scheduling and like, here are the, here's the thing, I want to put the control back in your hands if you don't have time for something, that's your fault, right? Yeah. You have done that, you have created that circumstance. And the good news is that that means you can change it, right? Yeah . Nobody is taking your time, you own your time. And I think it's a , it's a mindset shift that a lot of business owners have to get into that they get to decide and that there is nobody sort of sitting over their shoulder and saying, what did you do today? What did you work on today? What does your schedule look like today? I mean, it took me probably a few years before I was like, well, if I want to work out at one 30 every day, I just have to put that in my calendar.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. But I think a lot of us who come from , um , corporate world struggle with that a little bit because we're used to that bizarre nine to five regimen of like only do all this thing all day and you may get a half hour to eat lunch at your desk because nowhere is close enough for you to leave and go eat, you know? So, so , um, you kind of get into that, it's sort of a culturally accepted thing, right? Yep . And so then we , we maybe, I know at first when I used to go for runs in the morning would feel a little bit guilty and I'm like, why? I'm still getting my work done for my clients and if I work better after 6:00 PM on certain kinds of things, that's the best time for me to work on that. You know?

Speaker 1:

And , and that's a funny thing because even in the corporate world, I used to have a whole blog about like the way that we work right? Way back in the day. And the thing in the corporate world is that it's, we're still, they're still time punching, right? There's still equating value to the amount of hours that you sit at your desk. But even in the corporate world, there's been a push for a long time to get to what's called , um, you know, outcome based compensation or outcome based, whatever management management by objective is really what it's called. And that's where the concept is. Like, what do you have to deliver? What kind of value are you adding to the company? Are you actually doing that? Great. Do I care when you do that? Nope . Why would you want to spend all this time working people into these weird schedules? And he used to run a business that was , um , focused on caregivers, so unpaid on professional caregivers that were, you know, and there's a, there's a huge impact on their ability to, because they have family members or friends or what we have, just have stuff in our lives affect us being able to show up nine to five in an office if I can still deliver that work, who cares when I'm doing it? And now that you have a whole bunch of clients that all they care about is that you're doing what you promised you would do for them. Now that means you can design your life. You really can. So yes, I teach business, but I'm also teaching like life design. This is how you get what you actually want in your life. And I don't care who you are or what constraints you have. And you're a great example of that. You can have what you want. Right.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. And , and it's not like it's perfect all the time. You know, like I'm, I'm , uh , I've probably overbooked myself a little bit right now, but that's, you know, like that's on me to deal with. And so I, I'm , I'm being really careful about making sure and keeping up with everything and squeezing and little bits of self care, you know, and, and, and with the understanding that I'm going to ideally not do this to myself again, you know , um , um, that, that it's, you know, I've, it was an important information for me and I, you know, in general, don't want to be working this intensely, so I'm gonna make sure I don't land here again.

Speaker 1:

Great. And it's okay. Right? It's all going to be okay as long as you're conscious of it. And we have these cycles in our business. I'm in launch mode right now. We are launching the group program again for January, and it's crazy, right? This is not how I want to live, but I know it's temporary. Right. I know it's like going away soon. Not that soon, but soon enough. Ish finish . Yeah. And , and like, it's okay . So I think a lot of people get really worked up if they've had the experience where life has been okay . And then they have these sort of periods of business, look, it's fine. It's fine because you're conscious of it, you're aware of it. It's gonna change. So I think I like, I like that you've kind of rolled with it and that you are understanding that this is your, this is your best case scenario, but this is how, you know, we're going to get back to what I want. Yeah. You're a little out right now. So let's, let's talk a little bit more about the work that you do. So tell me how you work with your clients. What's your signature offer? How do you, who do you work with?

Speaker 6:

[inaudible]

Speaker 2:

um, the questions , um, what kind of work do I do? So, so it , how do I explain it? So I have a couple of , um, what I think of as my anchor clients. I have folks that have me on a retainer and I'm basically their in house designer. I do everything designed for them. Um, so it's hard. And then I think for , for the other clients where I'm doing project package based kind of work, it's usually pretty custom. Um, because that's just how I like to work. I like to talk to the client, find out what they're really looking for and then kind of create something around that. But more and more when I'm finding that , um , people are needing from me are , um, if they've got an existing business, they need some definition around their brand. Um, and so more and more I'm taking them through this kind of visual process where we're identifying via the components they want to include around their logo , um , and then creating a brand guide for them and giving them some rules so that they can go out into the world and have their brand look gorgeous and consistent. Um, so increasingly I'm doing a lot of that kind of work. Um, I'm also finding that although I do , um, you know, we're pressed web stuff myself, I'm doing more and more , um , consulting around the design and then working with the developer to make that happen. Which is so much more fun by the way. Um, not that I don't like doing WordPress, it's kind of fun, but , um, I so much rather work with a developer who's got all that stuff dialed in and I'm just like, look, this is how it's going to be pretty, you know. Um, so, so I'm doing a lot of that kind of stuff. Um, got the chance to work on some really cool logo projects this year, which I love. Um , there , I don't like to do too many of those at once. I like to kind of do those one at a time because they require a lot of thought and I don't like different company concepts because they tend to bleed together, you know, when I'm doing a creative process. So I want to make sure I'm kind of doing those one at a time. So like having those peppered in along with the brand definition stuff. Um, you know, and then , and then a lot of times out of those projects we start working on , um, you know, do they need , uh, layouts for content? Like, sometimes it's a PowerPoint master, sometimes it's a white paper template that I'm plugging stuff , but I'm creating plugging stuff into you , you know what I mean? So it's, it's what comes next for their business that I can help them with.

Speaker 1:

Oh, I like that. So that's, that's the definition of kind of where you fly in is, is those guys who are, who are at that point where they've kind of gotten to the place and they're like, okay, what's next for my business? Right. As a creative professional and I work with a bunch of creative professionals. They all, you guys all have the same, this scene challenge, right? How do you want to work? Because it's not like you just sit down and you're like, Oh, I'm going to be creative right now and it's just going to come. I'm going to do it in an hour. Right? So, so, and I think what's interesting in what I've been curious about , um, you know, that a lot of the work that I do is around building , uh , building a work schedule that works for people individually. And you , you creatives are particularly challenging because that is not like, I can't just sit down for an hour and be creative. Right. So you're each a little different and that has to do with your personalities. But what do you think are , um, the key, what are the, what's the key , uh, what's the key thing that you've learned about being able to be a creative professional and be productive?

Speaker 2:

Hmm . Um , I think if some of it is understanding what I need to happen in my creative process. So , um, I know for me there's almost like this visual data gathering process. The beginning, I've got to look at things, I've got to research. It's almost like cutting stuff out of magazines and, you know, looking in saying what other people have done in this space and kind of gathering a whole bunch of visual impressions and then giving that time to kind of whatever it does in there, you know, and then, and then , um, I , I usually have kind of a , depending on what it is I'm designing, like, like a warmup activity that I do. Um, and it could be um,

Speaker 7:

[inaudible]

Speaker 2:

something really simple like taking a picture and putting in an illustrator and tracing it. And I know that seems really simple, but it gets those right parts of the brain firing. And then from there I can start carrying that over into what's the next step that I need to be doing for this design? Or it could be, you know, looking at all their assets so far and trying to identify what I think they have in common and then working with those commonalities.

Speaker 1:

That is super interesting to me because that is the, that is the key to being able to build a business around a creative skillset is finding a way to process size . Like I just made up a word there. Make a process out of being creative and that it's like that's the gold in the Hills. And I'm not sure that a lot of people have figured it out, but what's kind of cool about what you're doing is you're like, okay, I know what works for me. Yes, the creative process is just inherently open-ended, but I know the things that are going to trigger me to be able to get to that place faster. And that is really interesting to me. Um, I work with a lot of writers. I work with a lot of copywriters. I work with a lot of designers. I work with a lot of people who have that, that, that like constant friction between, I have a deadline but I wasn't meeting . It's a creative deadline. So what the heck? Those are like , that's a juxtaposition. I love that you have created this way of being able to stimulate that process. And sometimes I'm guessing it doesn't come as fast and sometimes it's, it's much more quick. But you know that that immersion at the initial part of your creative process is super interesting to me. Yeah .

Speaker 2:

And sometimes it's, it , sometimes it really is weird. Like I've been processing , I've been processing the information and I'll be in the shower or I'll wake up in the middle of the night or be at the grocery store and be like this idea and I'm sending myself a text and don't forget this idea because I want to actually work it through later. You know? And, and I don't always remember.

Speaker 1:

I like the ones that come from the middle of the night and you're like, what the heck did this?

Speaker 2:

What was that? Yeah, like some and some of those, when I finally sit down to work them out, I'm like, this is a terrible idea. But sometimes you have to work through the terrible idea to get to the good idea. I find that part of the process too. I feel like if I'm really stumped, I'll get up my sketchpad and just make myself draw as many ideas as possible for like five minutes and not spend more than 30 seconds on a thing and just draw them and they're stick figures and words and arrows and it doesn't make any sense, but it gets things going. And then I pick a couple to work through digitally.

Speaker 1:

Yeah . So one of the other things that you guys, you creative struggle with a lot now. Now this is not just creative by the way, is perfectionism, right? This is like the big, the big anchor that a lot of people have in their businesses. So much so that I went and wrote a article on an inbuilt , a whole tool to try and I have a whole process for people who are struggling with perfectionism to try and get through it. However, what is your perspective on perfectionism is in the creative world? I imagine it's even more amplified.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. I mean I think

Speaker 3:

Mmm .

Speaker 2:

I find that with creative stuff I get to a point where like, you know what , I'm ready to be done with this. This is, this is ready. And, and ,

Speaker 3:

um ,

Speaker 2:

depends on where I am in the process. If it's an , if it's a first draft for client, it just has to be good enough. It doesn't have to be perfect because it's going to change. And if I waste time making it perfect, I'm wasting time. You know? Um, I think as I get closer to a final thing , um, you know, then I'll try and get it polished or sometimes depending on like if it's content or something that I'm laying out, I have a colleague that I'll send it to for proofing because I'm, I know that I'm terrible at that, so I'd rather pay someone to do it. Well, you know , um, then spend my time on it. Um, as far as perfectionism goes,

Speaker 3:

Mmm .

Speaker 2:

It can really, it can get in the way if you're trying to make something too perfect too soon

Speaker 1:

and what is perfect. Really. Yeah. It's subjective. Yeah. Perfection is all perfectionism is all based on fear anyway. Right? Like , or fear of judgment or fear of success or fear of, there's like seven or eight different fears. I'll put a link in the show notes to all of this, to this tool I've created around perfectionism. But it's like one of these things that I think is amplified in the creative world because there is so much subjectivity, right. It is not an objective. It's not like either you got a gender, you didn't get it done. It's like you got it done, but was it right? You know, and there's, there is no, there's no yardstick on with which to measure a creative effort. Right . It's all in the eye of the Boulder . Right. So you've been doing this for a while . I want to ask you, how has this industry changed for you in the last decade?

Speaker 2:

Um, it's a great question. I, I think about how I'm going to answer that cause I don't know that I really was in the industry for the first couple of years in my business, if that makes sense. Like I was so small and quiet, like I wasn't engaged with other designers or other people in business. I was just kind of like, somebody want to hire, you know, in my quietest voice. So, so , um , I think what I'm seeing now, like with , there's this explosion of technology in places where you can be visible on it's all digital and , um, significant shift away from print, although there's still tons of print and I love print and paper and gorgeous things like that. Um, but it's increasingly, you know, what do you look like online and that's everything online. Um, and making those things consistent. And , um, and that there's so many really great self-serve tools for people in business that like you, you don't necessarily need a designer to do all those things as long as you have the right framework, if that makes sense. You know, so like if you're a solo business owner and you've got a really good brand definition, like I can help you with, then you can take that and go do your social media using those roles and go do your, you know,

Speaker 5:

[inaudible]

Speaker 2:

your other things, whatever they are.

Speaker 1:

So there's a lot more accessible legacy accessible tools and accessible frameworks for people. And so by nature of that fact, this must be distilling the work that you're doing down to like some things that really require that craft

Speaker 2:

[inaudible] yeah. I mean like if you, I'm for people who really want something,

Speaker 3:

Mmm .

Speaker 2:

That really tells their story, right? Like something's totally custom .

Speaker 3:

Mmm .

Speaker 2:

Because you can go out there and through, you know, whatever dark alleys at the internet, you go down find a logo for $25 if that's okay with you and it might be fine, you know, but it might not really tell your story either, you know?

Speaker 1:

Do you think that's a trend then? I th I think this is a bit of a trend in , um, in our, our sort of online business world is that more and more people are able to do sort of the base level things themselves, whether it's a logo, whether it's something creative or whether it's something totally else. Like , um, a lot of the stuff I teach people can take a run at that themselves to begin with. But when you start to go to service providers, it's when you're at that point where you're like, okay, now this needs to be leveled up, this, the, I need to mature in this regard. And so you're going to service providers to get that more custom work done, right. And to have somebody wrap their around your stuff and say, okay, now we're going to, we're going to do something that you don't have necessarily have the skills to do. Which I think is great because when we were trying to sort of cover the gamut and teach people everything from start to finish or provide those services from start to finish, it didn't allow us to really work towards what's personally great for us. Right. Yeah. And I think I've , I see that evolution in your business as well. So now you're this very specific service provider who is helping people in very specific ways, as you know, doing broad brush strokes across all different pieces of the industry. And I think that's actually a good thing, right? Yeah . You'll might see that as taking away work, but I think it's actually a good thing to getting us to businesses we actually really love, which is what I want everybody to have. Right? Yeah. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

And I think, you know, as I've gotten clear about my work, the more work I've had, the more I've been able to refine what it is that I'm doing. And , um, I'm delivering consistent results that way and I'm getting more and more of the people who want that kind of work and experience.

Speaker 1:

Yeah . Yeah. Awesome. So you've had this tremendous growth and you have had this great learning. What's been the most pivotal moment in your business?

Speaker 4:

[inaudible]

Speaker 2:

Mmm . I don't know if it's the most pivotable but this , this moment comes to mind and it's, it's around , um , a bit. I put out for a web design project and it was at the time, like I was throwing up at the price I was asking for. I was like, Oh my God, they're never gonna accept this. I am out of my mind. Um, and they , um, declined the job and I found out later that they hired someone who bid higher than I did. So I was kinda like, that's some really essential information for me to process, you know, because I was sure that I had lost the business because I had been too high and that wasn't the case at all.

Speaker 1:

What did you take out of that experience? Um, one

Speaker 2:

the , for a lot of other reasons that was not the right client for me and it was a really great thing. I didn't get that job. Um, and too that my pricing isn't crazy or vomit inducing in the least.

Speaker 1:

Well, we've had a conversation about vomit pricing, right? Yeah. Um , okay. I have a question that I ask everybody that I, you know, is near and dear to me. Um, this is a show about being real. I, you know, these are not celebrities. This is not like some crazy, like people are out here doing some really good stuff. Right? And so I want to know what is, what do you think is the biggest gap between what we hear out there and what we learn and, and what we, you know, form opinions around and what's actually real and business. What's the biggest gap?

Speaker 2:

Gosh, I feel like I'm going to be repeating some things that some of your other guests have said, but there's this , um, this idea, there's this sort of like, glamorous, you've got all the things and you're making, you know, $10,000 a day and, and if you're not, you're failing and you've got to have this offer and this launch and you've got to be doing all the things to be successful. And , um, that's bullshit. You know, like your , your success is defined by you and are you happy doing the work? Is it sustaining your life? Um, you know, like, I don't, I don't have, I don't have launches. I don't need to have launches, you know, like, that's not the way I work. I don't have a book. I don't have , you know what I mean? Like I , there's just stuff that I don't need to be doing, you know what I mean? And, and it's very easy. And I , I know, I certainly was , um, when I was kind of casting around looking for like, how am I going to get myself and my business to the next level? I, it's, there's a lot of noise out there about what you should be doing in your business and you know , um, and it's not also, it's not going to happen overnight. Right. Like it's, it's gonna take time and effort and consistency and learning you have . Yeah . Yeah. Like you're not going to take a course and blast through it and all of a sudden you're going to be making six figures. That's just not how it works. No, I know. Super disappointed when I found that out, but um, but I actually liked this way better.

Speaker 1:

We'll do, most people do. Yeah . No , I talk about slow business. That is my thing. And the number one, the top feedback I have gotten from people who have been through this program is that they liked the pace. Right? Finally there , they realize they're not deficient because they're not bringing in six figures in six weeks. That's a bunch of crap, right? Yeah . It doesn't happen. It doesn't work. And if it, if it happens to work for you, it's going to fall down in a big crumbling mess. Very short . So these, you know, most people who are making the big money, they've spent years, years working at it, right. Years trying and they're relentless. Triers

Speaker 2:

yeah , that's the , yeah, that's the other part I think you see people that are kind of like visible cause they're at the peak of their success and what you're not seeing are the years and years and years of effort and, and not being there yet. You know, you're only saying this little sliver of perfection right now.

Speaker 1:

Right. Okay. So you've had a tremendous year. Congratulations. What is next for you?

Speaker 4:

[inaudible]

Speaker 2:

um, I would like to repeat what I've done this year. You know, I want to have , um, more awesome clients doing projects that I love , um, you know, hit some financial goals, but without giving myself an ulcer in the process.

Speaker 1:

And what's it going to take for you to get there? What kind of support do you need?

Speaker 2:

No , it's funny, I feel like I'm already on track for that. Is that weird to say? Like I have so many great relationships. Um, you know, so like if in terms of support, like there are people in parallel spaces to me and we can team up and help each other. ACEs, I love doing that kind of thing. Um,

Speaker 1:

so it's that easy. Yeah, totally. And like this, this question is really just meant to help you ask for what you want, right? Because there's a whole community of amazing people that are listening in right now that are, you know, we are all in this to help each other and that's what I'm trying to create here is this community of people who are all supporting each other. Yeah . So that's your opportunity to, to ask for what you want. Right. And that's, that's what we learn over time is that asking for what we want and creating that kind of alignment in our business is what's going to get us further ahead. I mean , whatever timeline works for us, right?

Speaker 2:

Yup . People are sending, connecting, you know, reach out and let's have a conversation.

Speaker 1:

Awesome. Yeah. Awesome. Okay, we're getting to the end of our time. Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me today. Can you tell our listeners where to find you?

Speaker 2:

Yes, I am at wild blackberries, studio.com. And I also have a Facebook page. Same thing while blocker studio . I'm on LinkedIn. Yeah, you're pretty active on LinkedIn. Yeah, yeah, I got a lot of nice connections on there.

Speaker 1:

Great. Okay. And you mentioned that you had a free offer to share with our listeners, so tell us a little bit more about where we can find that. And of course we'll put all of the links for everything in the show notes as well.

Speaker 2:

Yeah . So , um, I have a, it's just a free me , um, it's my, how to get killer headshots guide. I went through a really fun process of getting head shots for the first time for my business this year and it was so much fun. I tried to capture those ideas for people who may be wanting to, like, if you're , if you are your brand, then you want some pictures that help tell that story. So it's a little bit of a, of a guide for getting to that and it's just for fun. So that's helpful. Yeah. And that's, that's on my website. It's a secret link. So when people look at the links at the bottom, there'll be in the show notes. Thanks

Speaker 1:

that in there for sure. And those, you know what I can, I attest to is that I'm getting the brand photos that you want has a lot to do with your designer being involved in the process and giving guidance to the photographer. I know my designer, she put together really, really amazing guide for my photographer and we got exactly what we wanted so that, that's an amazing gift. Thank you so much Barbara for this. What an awesome, awesome freebie for everybody. We'll put that in the show notes and so we're going to wrap up, but this has been an awesome conversation. I'm so proud of you for everything you have achieved this year and I can't wait to see what you do in 2020 so make sure and go out , go out and check out. Um, Barbara and her incredible offer for you guys and thank you so much for tuning in today to hear this story. The episodes that you're listening to are all featuring members of my free private Facebook group called the real deal business coaching group where we have daily prompts to help you focus on building your business and sharing your everyday challenges. Biweekly virtual coffee chats, open coaching once a month, and members apart from this incredible community. And if you'd like to join our community, or if you like to be featured on this show, I'd love for you to come and hang out with us in this group. The links in the show notes or search up real deal business coaching in a Facebook defined us. So thank you again for being here. And if you've enjoyed today's content, I'd love for you to give us a review on whatever platform you're on. This helps us share these stories with an even bigger audience. So until next time, keep building, keep dreaming, and keep being real.