Tools for staying inspired & productive

*Balenciaga Fall “13 via vogue.com

Hi there! This has been a busy week here at Pattern Observer…registration opened for The Sellable Sketch, as well as The Ultimate Guide to Repeat Self-Study course, and today my family and I are heading up to Wintergrass, where Ken’s band, Wayward Vessel is performing. This is their first big festival gig, so we are all super excited!

Last week I wrote about the positive effect that systems can have on your business when life gets busy. I love, love, love systems, but you also can’t ignore the power of inspiration! So today, I wanted to fill you in on a few resources that I have been using to improve my business and stay inspired.

One resource has been Jennifer Lee’s FREE Right-Brainers in Business Video Summit which started February 25th and runs through March 8th. Each morning at 10 am PST, Jennifer has a guest speaker who shares tips on improving productivity, increasing your online visibility and staying passionate about your business, just to name a few. I am currently reading Daniel Pink’s book, To Sell is Human, and was delighted to listen to his interview on Monday where he shared some key insights into staying productive (don’t sit around and wait for inspiration to hit you over the head, take action NOW!) I am also looking forward to hearing interviews with Charlie Gilkey, founder of Productive Flourishing, and Corwin Hiebert, author of Living the Dream: Putting Your Creativity to Work [and Getting Paid].  If you want to join me for the next week of sessions, you can sign up here.

I can’t wait to “see” you there!

*Balenciaga Fall “13 via vogue.com

I also started Tara Reed’s new program Time Management for Artists, which is a really interesting time tracking tool. I am a diehard lister (I create lists for everything and they help me stay motivated and productive), but I am realizing that there is no streamlined way to compare lists to revenue (basically, if what I am spending my time on is really working to grow my business).

In The Sellable Sketch I share tips to easily research trends, and the key is to do a little each and every day. This consistency leads to a deeper understanding of how trends come in and out of our market and is much more insightful than trying to cram 6 months of trends and print visuals into one day. With this tool, you could verify that yes, you are spending that 30 minutes a day on trend research or an hour on marketing and then see how that affected your income. Did you see a rise in sales when you consistently spent an hour on marketing? Maybe you need to increase or decrease that time? Not all actions have such a direct effect on revenue, but it would still be interesting to use this tool and monitor any growth.

“This is a way to track how you are spending your time.  This ISN’T a way to decide how to spend your time or prioritize your activities and When used regularly, this system will tell you what your priorities are and it will let you know if you are on track – or maybe why you aren’t as on track as you’d like to be – towards reaching your goals.” Pretty cool, right? Read more about the program here.

“Till tomorrow! Lots of love, Michelle

2 Comments on “Tools for staying inspired & productive

  1. Your blog is such an amazing resource Michelle! Thank you for all of your offerings and consideration for the potentially straying artists out there.
    Lot o’ love to you! And enjoy the bluegrass.

  2. AWWWW. thanks Sarah! We need to get you on here, maybe an interview? I am sure you have lots of tips to share as well!

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At Pattern Observer we strive to help you grow your textile design business through our informative articles, interviews, tutorials, workshops and private design community, The Textile Design Lab.