28 February 2011

Get to Know a Greenie: St. Patty's Day Edition

The Irish flag is green, white and orange. The green symbolizes the people of the south, and orange, the people of the north. White represents the peace that brings them together as a nation.

The first year St. Patrick's Day was publicly celebrated in this country was 1737 in Boston. In honor of St. Patty's Day, we're literally doing a "green" Get to Know a Greenie this month. To see more information on that pieces shown, just click on the image.

What green foods or drinks have you consumed on St Patty's?

ALICIA: Green bagels are really about it. If I had a chance too, I'd like to try green eggs and ham.

JACKY: I have partaken in more than my share of green beer and green cocktails that don't fair well thenext morning. Now a days as a professional home executive we make green pancakes and verde milkshakes.

What do you enjoy most about St. Patrick's day?

ALICIA: I love that everyone claims to be Irish on St. Patty's Day! I know that the U.S. is a big melting pot -- bet we are all a wee bit Irish somewhere in a family tree on March 17th! I recall kids pinching each other at school for not wearing green. I'm so glad to be an adult!

JACKY: I think it's great that so many people get together for one day just to celebrate. I love that my kids practice getting you if you're not wearing green all year long.


Jacky of HiFi Jewelry has been creating wearable art from recycled materials with a fun, funky, rock-n-roll edge since 2007.

Alicia of La Alicia is a Recycled Materials Artist continuosly giving a nod to Mother Earth.

26 February 2011

Saturday Search: Directions

Love this print from fellow Lab Rat Teamie, EvenAndy, on Etsy. Check out the rest of her cool prints here.

21 February 2011

Eco Monday: Dogwood Canyon Center at Cedar Hill to Open Soon!

On my last trip out to the Trinity River Audubon Center, I learned that there will be a center opening in the Cedar Hill area this Spring called the Dogwood Canyon Center. I hear that it's a more than 200 acre canyon. I'll do a blog post once it's open and I've made a visit. They'll be celebrating their grand opening May 21 & 22.

I'm told it's the only place in the world where you can see the black chinned humming bird nesting in the dogwood trees. That sounds like a must see -- can't wait to check it out!

19 February 2011

Saturday Search: Peacock

I love this peacock feather stamp from fellow Lab Rat Teamie, LemondeSun! Check out her other beautiful stamps here.

18 February 2011

Fall 2011 Colors are out!

Each season Pantone presents a new palette. I love these new colors. The are vibrant but soft. I'm so excited to start using these for my Fall 2011 adventures.

I don't know if I can pick a fave. Do you have a favorite?

11 February 2011

Valentine's Day Requires Your Own Cupid!

I found the cutest download on mypapercrane.com February 4th blogpost for this adorable cupid. I just had to cut him out and assemble him. He seemed to need wings and I was fresh outta feathers, so I personalized him by adding pale green wings out of netting! Squee!

Promise me you'll make you're own sweet cupid! xo

09 February 2011

Dreaming, Motivation, Celebration with Megan Monique

How do small business people get from here to their dream?

I think any good, solid creation starts with baby steps. I mean in a logical sense you can't get from here to there without first taking one step. It is a completion of those steps that equal the big picture. My advice it to write out your 'big picture' get a good idea of what it looks like, and then break it down into much smaller, bite size, baby steps. That way, when you wake up in the morning, you are excited about making that small stride and actually being able to accomplish it rather than being overwhelmed and stuck in the big picture. Get it? Got it? Good.

Also- if you are person who is terrible at getting organized and breaking things down. Look around you. If you don't know a fellow blogger or good friend who is great at this stuff then post something on Twitter. There are millions of us detail oriented people out there who are willing to help someone out. & if you can't find someone to do it for free, there are always people like me who do business strategy for a living!

What do you think is the one most important thing one should do to stay motivated while growing their business?

For me the greatest key to staying motivated is getting really clear about my intention behind my creation. When I am able to see what that it is, it is easy for me to stay motivated. I am sure some of you are thinking, 'my intention is to make money' and of course that is true, but really- why did you start your business?

Most likely it was because it is something you are truly passionate about. It is easy to lose sight of that passion when you have to deal with things like paying bills and finding clie
nts, etc. However, when you are able to stay completely present to that intention, that passion - the money will find you. Your energy will attract abundance.

What is the best way to set goals and hold yourself accountable to them? What is the most gratifying way to celebrate your success?

The best way for me to set goals is with numbers. Whether it is making a weekly to do list of 10 fun, easy, but necessary things or creating a goal for my eCourse registration I love playing with numbers. The most gratifying way to celebrate my success is to allow myself to get REALLY happy about my accomplishments. Dancing crazy in my office, jumping up and down, smiling from ear to ear and screaming if I feel like it. Just really allowing my spirit to come alive in the face of my accomplishments.

Anything else inspiring you want to share?

The sooner you stop telling yourself all the reasons you can't do something,and all the things that 'have' to be done before you can start your business the sooner your dreams have the ability to manifest. You are ALWAYS the only thing standing in your way of greatness, even if it is just your thoughts. You CAN
do this.

Be sure to check out her 4 week course, Desperately Seeking Passion!

Megan Monique is a daughter, a girlfriend, a best friend, lover, creator, writer, magnificent manifestor and life illuminator. Her life's purpose is showing people how to access love in every area of their life & helping others get clear on what that looks like.

02 February 2011

Negotiation for Small Business With Erin Engstrom

Negotiation, an anxiety riddled word for some of us. Negotiation seems daunting because we recognize it with stressful events such as the purchase of car or home, legal proceedings or business negotiations. Negotiation is a skill that can take years to develop, there are many theories and strategies to learn and apply. There are also styles of negotiation and of course the personality of the negotiator to contend with. With all that negotiation is and can be, many of us feel that we are not equipped or skilled enough to handle a negotiation when it occurs.

Believe it or not, you have been negotiating your whole life! Think back to when you were a child and you wanted a certain toy to play with that maybe wasn’t available or you didn’t have yet. What did you do to get it? Cry, take it, or beg for it? As a teenager you wanted your parents to let you take the car out on a Friday night. What did you do to get them to agree? Did you offer your chore services? Offer to do something out of the ordinary that benefited them? If you are a parent, you negotiate daily with your children. If they want something that isn’t good for them you provide them with alternatives. Even though we are all born with an ability to negotiate, we are not all effective negotiators.

Negotiation is a practice that takes skill. The most skilled negotiators are self-made. It takes self-awareness and intuition and the strength to accept that we have to lose some in order to win some.

As a small business owner we find ourselves involved in several negotiations daily or sometimes over a long period of time. We also may ask ourselves some of the following questions;

What are the best negotiating tips for small businesses?
The best negotiations are the ones that have been thought about and planned. The key is that you have to determine your alternatives to a negotiated agreement. In order to determine your alternatives you must take a self-assessment of your wants and needs and you must determine your reservation point, or rather, when you must walk away, even if there is no agreement. You must make an assessment of the other party and an assessment of the situation. Failure to assess the other party and the situation will result in an unfavorable result. Consider that you are scientist working on a breakthrough drug that will help malnutritioned children to absorb and maintain food nutrients for longer periods of time. You have found a farmer who sells a rare flower that holds the working ingredient for the drug. You approach the farmer, who already has a buy for the flower. You attempt to convince the farmer of the importance of the flower. He puts you in touch with the other buyer who needs to purchase the flower for their new anti-aging skin cream. You both bicker over the importance of the flower and your individual needs. While you both argue over the flower, the farmer sells to another party for much more money than either you or the skin cream manufacturer was willing to pay. What if after all was said and done, you learn that the skin-cream only needed the petals and you needed the stem? Assessing yourself, the other party and the situation may have resulted in a favorable result for both parties. Both could have purchased the flower, directly from the farmer with a combined offer or you could have bought the stems from your competitor. However, this would only have been possible had determined each other’s needs.

What are some basic mediation strategies that could be useful when dealing with upset customers?
Remain calm. Listen. Reframe their complaints into the positive and suggest solutions. Issuing an apology or merely saying that you understand and hear them can go a long way. I would also recommend taking a step back and consider that there may be something else fueling the distress. When negotiating, it is important to separate the person from the problem.

At what stage should a small biz owner get a professional mediator involved in a dispute?
I would recommend getting a professional mediator involved if the other party has becoming threatening or they are unwilling to negotiate directly with you, as in they obtained an attorney or filed a lawsuit. I would also suggest a mediator if there are outside people influencing you or the other party. You can obtain mediation or negotiation help from a mediator or contact SMU’s Center for Dispute Resolution in Plano, TX for a more formal proceeding.

What are three things you should never say in a negotiation?
Never accuse or place blame. Be willing to listen and reframe the other parties concerns so that they know you understand them.

What's the best frame of mind to be in when approaching a business negotiation?
Do not enter into a negotiation if you have hard feelings or are upset at the other party. I also recommend never entering into a negotiation unprepared or unknowledgeable about the party.

For more information on negotiation, I recommend “Getting to Yes” by Roger Fisher and William Ury.

Erin Engstrom holds a M.A. in Dispute Resolution from Southern Methodist University and is a certified Mediator and Insurance Arbitrator. She has over 10 years of experience in negotiating civil disputes.

01 February 2011

Get to Know Greenie: Valentine's Day Edition

We are two fellow Etsy community members that have a passion for creating environmentally friendly jewelry and wanted to get to know each other a tad better.

If you chose to be a VD candy, what kind would you be?

JACKY: Organic chocolate covered caramels! Chocolatey goodness on the outside with a sweet surprise of caramel on the inside.

ALICIA: I would be a fair trade organic 70% cocoa bar with toasted almonds and I would be delish!

What's your favorite Valentine's Day memory from childhood?

JACKY: Third grade was my favorite year because of my awesome teacher Mrs. Spivey. For our Valentine’s Day party she took us outside to read a story under a big tree then we decorated cookies in class. The best part was going from bag to bag delivering your valentines. I’m pretty sure mine were Wonder Woman that year.

ALICIA: When I was in grade school, I loved making and decorating the construction paper "envelopes" that we taped on the side of our desks to be used as our "mailbox" for valentines. They were so fun to dig through at the end of the day to see and read all the valentines.

What's your favorite quote about love?

JACKY: "You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams." -Dr. Seuss

ALICIA: "Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. Everything is, everything exists, only because I love." - Leo Tolstoy

Jacky of HiFi Jewelry has been creating wearable art from recycled materials with a fun, funky, rock-n-roll edge since 2007.

Alicia of La Alicia is a Recycled Materials Artist continuosly giving a nod to Mother Earth.

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