Hola gorgeous Goddesses!
Welcome to ze epic final conclusion to our Biz & Blog Goddess 101 workshop series!!!
Today I’ve got an epic Q&A for you… of all the goddess’ questions I’ve received about becoming business goddesses!!!
This would have to be one of the biggest blog posts I’ve ever done… it’s filled with questions on selling & blogging & time management & marketing & how-to & art & even marriage!
I so hope these are all helpful and magnificent for you…
Let the magic begin!
Would love to know how you find time for your business while caring for your beautiful babe!
Hee! Love this question… it’s something I think about a LOT.
I realise that I’m in a very fortunate position at the moment – my love & I made the decision to simplify our lifestyles & move to a place with much lower living expenses so that we could both stay at home & raise our baby daughter together. I know not everyone gets that luxury.
Having said that, I still have to practice a lot of discipline and relationship-management and time-management to get my stuff done and be a mama.What works for us right now is that I nurse my daughter to sleep for her once-daily nap whenever she’s ready. (We’re not on any kind of schedule. I’m just not a schedules kinda girl. Sometimes I wonder if I should, but I just don’t, really. She’s happy and settled, and so are we. All good!)
Once she’s asleep, I kiss her cute lil forehead, pull some clothes on (you know… the kind you can be seen in public in), toss my laptop & everything I need in my Mobile Office (my canvas rucksack) & head across the back lot into town. We live only one street away from the centre of our little town, and I have a couple of different places I usually go to get work done: the top of an ancient fig tree in a little park (it could be like Swiss Family Robinson up there! Oh my goshness, so dreamy!), or the town library, or one of the little cafes for a cupcake or hot chocolate. I’m writing this in our car in the parking lot of our library. It’s pouring with monsoonal rain, but I kinda feel like being outside anyways. The car facing the library’s tropical gardens is a nice in-between.
Then I have two hours to create my next product or e-course or write blog posts or guest posts. I don’t have internet access and this is el fantastico for productivity. No distractions… only the white page & wild donkeys to ride.
Then when two hours is up, I head home again, and hang out with my daughter while my love studies. We make art & eat & play with the dogs and nestle up on a mattress on the floor. I usually have a couple of loose projects we can “work on” together (this week we are making & painting Thank You cards, doing a big painting & making a video together for a mini-workshop). And I make sure we rest as much as possible. I’ve only got a limited amount of energy per day, and if I run around like a headless chook, I soon lose the rest of me too.
Once she’s asleep at night, I jump on my laptop and do another couple of hours of work – this time with internet access. Weee! This is when I publish blog posts, answer emails, hang out in the Goddess Circle to answer questions, and post stuff to Facebook & Twitter.
Having said all that… whilst I’m grateful my love is at home, I’ve also done this business while taking care of Ostara on my own. I had six weeks of maternity leave, then dove back into my work schedule whilst being a full time mama. Up until she was five months old, I was at home by myself without any helpers.
Oh and I did it with Ostara in my arms. I always held her when she napped, she wasn’t put down for a nap on her own, and I always went to bed at 6pm with her during this time. (Kinda bonkerdoodles now I think about it, but that’s cool, that’s just where I was at.)
So, babe in arms. Still running a massively busy business.
I have no idea. I just did it.
One of the keys to it was this: my love gave me an iPod Touch when Ostara was a week old. I protested at first. I said “But! I’m supposed to be looking in her eyes 24/7! Even when she’s got them closed! Even when we’re breastfeeding 15 hours a day! It’s supposed to be ALL NATURAL, honey!”
And he said “I’m cool with you being all natural, but you’ve gotta stay sane too ya know. A bit of entertainment is a good thing for a mama.”
Damn he’s hot. I mean wise. I mean hot.
Anywaysies, that lil iPod Touch became my Business Workstation for all those months. I wrote 1100 word blog posts with one finger as I breastfed my daughter to sleep, and as she slept for hours on me. It was what I had to do, so I just did it. In a world that had become suddenly so ensconced with mamahood, to keep writing and doing this beautiful business of mine was my outlet and my joy and my sense of normal.
Here’s the things I’ve learned about getting stuff done as a mama
- I do *not* stay up at night to get more done. I’ve experimented, and 9:30 is my conk-out time. If I go to bed any later, I am exhausted the next day, it’s harder to write (and function), and I crash and burn a lot more.
- I don’t try & do work on the laptop while she’s awake. I could while she was a little button, but not now she’s super active. She now knows the art of pressing keys on the laptop, and it’s totally adorable and everything, but doesn’t result in much work being done. Unless you count my brain saying “ark! arch! productivity! make stuff happen! but not happening!” It’s SO much better if I just accept the hours I have with my daughter as being just that: hang out time with her. Stuff can get done when her eyelids are closed.
- I don’t spend as much time anymore on stuff that doesn’t make much impact. I’ve got a big vision of what I want to do. I’ve got big goals. And I try to only concentrate on stuff that’s going to get me there.
- For me now, getting time out everyday serves two purposes: I get my work done. And it’s my happy time. My sane time. When I don’t get it, my anxiety returns from its happy cave where I wish it would stay. I feel like getting time to myself everyday is pretty much essential to my mental health. I used to think I would be 24/7 attachment mama, but for this particular constellation of cells, I work best when I have time to integrate on my own each day. And I will move mountains to make sure that happens. A happy mama is as important as a happy baby.
- What will happen if Chris goes back to work? I’ll work it out. We’ll work it out. I’d get someone in my family to help with regular babysitting. Work will get done in naps. I’ll get better (again) at doing things even faster. I’ll use a Virtual Assistant a lot more.
How on earth do I charge for my stuff?
Go read this post on Sacred Pricing I wrote a couple of years ago sweetness. It remains one of my most popular to date.
What if I don’t know what I want to do when I grow up?
Career Counselling Goddess to ze rescuuuuueeee!!!
I remember making this video bonkeradoodles ago in our Canberra backyard… long before Lil Mermaid was even dreamed of!!!
And yet, it all still sings utterly true!
How do you make your videos and post them ? What kind of camera do you use ?
I make most of my videos on my Mac laptop using iMovie & the inbuilt camera.
I can’t recommend Macs enough for doing creative work.
They are magnificent and perfect and beautiful. I’m so in love with them I can’t stand it.
The Mac laptop I have is this one.
I also bought a digital video camera to use for new e-courses when Ostara was four days old because I was hormonal and tearfully told Chris that I needed to record her face because her blinks were changing as she grew up and I needed to record them and remember them foreverrrrrrr. He said yes, because what else do you tell a new mama, and also, because he is hot.
Anywaysies, I have a blue Panasonic SDR-S50. I’ll let you know how it goes once I get to recording something other than my daughter’s blinks. Hee!
How do you create your art and how do you post them ? What is the process from creating to posting?
I make these using a waterproof black ink pen. The waterproof part is the most important!!!
I use these pens – Uni-Ball eye fine. I draw and write it all first. And then I use watered down acrylics like they are a watercolour… I find it gives me a much brighter colour. And I like bright! Yay! Vibrant! Yay!
The acrylics I use are the cheapest I can find… I buy tubes for $2 at hardware stores and cheap stores… wherever I see them pretty much! hee hee hee!
I create them on watercolour paper. I buy them in A4 pads, and usually use cheaper ones like these ones by Reeves.
Once they are dry, I scan them in. I’ve got a cheap multifunction printer/scanner – an Epson CX5900. It’s a couple of years old so I don’t think you can buy the same one, but I’m sure the current range is pretty much the same. I scan them in and make sure that Photoshop scans it like it is a reflective image – it means it makes the background pretty much white instead of grey-ish and textured.
Then I white out and crop and make sure it looks sparkling, and wa-la! It’s up on da web!
And my Goddess in You artworks like this:
They go through a slightly different process.
I create these on stretched canvas, usually on 50×50 cm ones.
I buy them wherever I can get them cheaply – at el cheapo stores or when art stores have sales I stock up like a wild woman.
Which reminds me… check out this picture of my old studio when I was in full paint mode… projects EVERYWHERE! hee! Cracks me up! I love!
Back to the story!
So I start on those by pencilling out the face. Then I paint it up using the same el cheapo acrylic paints watered down. Then I collage and embellish with glitter paint, bindis, metallic 3d paint, sequins, crystals, feathers. I use PVA glue, and for heavier objects a hot glue gun to adhere it all.
And right at the end, I use a black permanent marker to draw the outline of the face.
Once she’s finished I bless her & pour love & reiki energy all over her!
To create a digital image of her, I take a photo outside in the shade, making sure I’m parallel to the painting so it’s all beautiful and straight.
Then I import into Photoshop, crop and colour-alter if I need to.
WA-LA! Beautiful Goddess art!
How do I get my creative doodles into a ebook or an ecourse?
As you know, all my ebooks are hand-drawn… they have my handwriting & illustrations… they are rainbow and inky, just the way I like them. I feel like it gives a really gorgeous energy & spirit to them… plus it makes me happy to create them.
So! The how-to!
I hand-write them using the same process as the Soul Story Messages artworks above – a waterproof pen and watered down acrylics or watercolours. I tend to just use plain photocopy paper for ebooks though – not watercolour paper. Then I scan in each page, crop and correct using Photoshop and save as an image. I usually save the name of the image as the page number it will be – eg 13.jpg.
Then once I’ve scanned in all the pages, I use either Microsoft Word or OpenOffice or Adobe InDesign (it depends on what software I’m in the mood for… I go through software-adoration phases!) to create a document, and on each page, I insert an image of the scanned page. Once all the pages are in, I then save or export it as a PDF.
Pages from my 2011 Goddess workbook
Word of warning – when you make an ebook using hand drawn images, it’s gunna be much, much bigger than a normal text document. Make sure when you save the images that you don’t save them as a high res, or as a huge image. I tend to make each about 1000px wide, but you’ll need to find a way that works for you.
But yus! WA-LA!
Utterly beautiful & unique & exquisite hand-drawn ebook! We like that!
How do you work out if something is profitable for you or not ?
Here’s the questions I ask myself:
1. Does it make me happy or do I feel drained or angry while I’m making it?
2. I have a clear idea of how much money I need to make per month. And if I do the figures and realise that I can’t possibly make the money I need to with the time I put in to a project, then I don’t do it.
I have fun side-projects to work on when I have the time. But when I need to make the money, I go where the money is.
For me right now, what is profitable is creating e-courses & meditation kits & workbooks that I can help as many people as possible with. They are to a big extent passive income – as in, I don’t have to recreate each one whenever anyone has to buy it.
Being a new mama, I don’t have much time – that’s the thing that is in major deficit for me. So I only do a very very limited amount of custom artwork & coaching now. And I’m not currently planning any live events until Ostara is a wee bit older.
My aim is to help as many goddesses as possible, so creating e-products is a great fit for that.
And as to what will be profitable?
The tribe of goddesses decides on that. I create things based on what I get asked for a lot, or what I’m getting a soul-nudging to create.
And I try to put the same amount of marketing in as I can with each.
But always some products will ring the bell, others won’t as much. That’s okay. You can always create more.
Some of my e-courses are always more popular than others. My Divine Dreaming meditation kit has been bought over 500 times… but my Chakra Healing Goddess meditation kit has been bought maybe 40 times?
So… in summing up…
I just go where the money & energy flows, really. I like to make my money easily and happily.
And having my membership program the Goddess Circle seems to be working perfectly for that, so that’s what I’m doing.
What is your writing process – how often do you write – when do you decide that what you write is good enough to post – when do you decide that what you wrote is ready to post?
I just try to pour out whatever is inside me.
And I let it sit on my desktop for a couple of days.
I know if it’s good enough to post whether it brings me to tears or makes me get goosebumps when I read it again.
How do you decipher what to post on your blog – what areas of your life do you keep private ?
I just go with where my gut tells me.
It hasn’t failed me yet.
I’m totally okay with telling the world I’m six weeks pregnant. I’m totally okay with crying on video because of a miscarriage scare. I’m totally okay with sharing (semi-nekkid) birth photos & our birth story.
I’m okay with those things because it lit me up and I knew it was the right thing to do.
There are many other things that I don’t share simply because my gut says not to. And that’s cool with me.
And my love (who is very hot) is much more private than me, so I usually ask his permission before I write something about him or post too many photos of him. Because oh my goshness, it would be a 24/7 tsunami of Chris hotness if I didn’t.
How long is the goddess circle open for? I would LOVE to sign up, but haven’t had the money yet. When is the closing date?
No closing date!
(None that I can see anyhowsies!)
It’s a beautiful, thriving community that lights me up inside.
The part*y payments are also going to be around for the foreseeable future too – I get too many emails each week thanking me for this option, so I’ll suck up the extra admin work, and keep on carrying them on! YAY!
How do I know what I can offer my readers that they would buy from me? How do I figure out what that is?
1. What do they ask you about a lot?
2. What are you feeling called to making?
3. Why don’t you just TRY IT OUT and SEE?
How do I get more blog traffic?
Go back one post & read ze 7 Ways To Get 20 000 Readers post…
Also, can you share what other books or blogs inspired you?
When I decided I needed to grow my business muscles, I flung myself into business books & blogs with wild abandon.
On the business websites front, check out:
Websites really helped with the practical parts… the how-tos. But the whole shifting of my brain thing?
What REALLY got me working my business muscles was reading bundles of finance and business books. Some were meh. Some made no sense. Some bored me senseless.
But the ones that worked? They lit me up and inspired me and revolutionised the way I thought about business and life and possibilities.
How do I send out automatic emails when someone purchases an ebook or ecourse?
I use e-junkie – you can use them for both free and paid products. They are pretty cheap ($5 a month I think?) and they integrate perfectly with Paypal. I heart e-junkie forever. Also! They have the added benefit of being able to set up an affiliate program for your goodies too!
How do I deal with people’s criticism?
Ignore anyone’s advice/criticism/judgements unless they are genuinely happier than you.
I haven’t been in a circumstance yet when someone criticising me is actually happier than me.
SO I WIN. YAY!
That’s my two second answer.
Want my forever long story that has a bit of swearing in it?
I got judged & bullied when I was a kid. When I was 15, I got so fed up with being bullied for being me, I informed my parents that I was either going to send myself to boarding school or go and be an exchange student. I ended up choosing to go to a wonderful little country boarding school where I very happily spent the next two years swimming in quiet waters. Yay! No bullying!
But here’s the thing I learned.
It’s a very special motto:
If you say it quickly enough, you’ll hear my sacred saying.
The thing is…
I really bloody LOVE being Leonie. I make me happy. I like my quirks and my silliness and who I am. I dig that my brain doesn’t work like many other people’s.
And I don’t want to be like anyone else. Especially boring people who judge me.
I LOVE my little life.
And I have a blatant disregard for anyone who doesn’t love me. I think “ummm… well aren’t you a bit daft then! I’m awesome! Okay then! I’m off to keep dancing!”
If people don’t get it, it’s cool by me. Because what I am and what I do makes me totally happpppy.
And I get to hang out with people who DO get it and get me (nearly most of the time) and they are the kind of peeps I want to hang out with.
(Also, as an aside… you know what happens quite often when you think someone doesn’t get it or doesn’t love you? They often come to their senses much later. Like I’ve had a number of people I lost contact with who I thought just didn’t adore me anymore… and they’ve found me later on and said “Leonie, I really need to tell you how much a blessing you were in my life… thank you for everything… even when I didn’t get it….”)
And I totally believe that all of life is like that. We all see each other’s beauty eventually. Just give it time.
And in the meantime, carry on having a freaking amazing time being you.
Because you are magnificent and beautiful and incredible and filled with the good stuff. The magic stuff.
How do I cope with the fear of putting my stuff out there?
Read this post. From when I felt exactly the same way.
Also are there any resources you recommend on the technical aspects of offering e-courses and ebooks? I do have fear about the technical bits and then I freeze up.
I’m trying to pour as much wisdom & technical know-how about ebooks & ecourses into ze Business Goddess e-course, so hopefully this should help!
I have a question – how did you and your husband meet? and are you renewing your vows or getting married for real – and how did you KNOW he was the one?
You can read our Love Story here 🙂
I met him approximately 300 metres from where I’m currently sitting writing this right now… just down the street in an office!
Ten years and four moves to other towns later, we are back here… where we began. Still in love!
On May 21 we are heading back to the beach ten years to the day where we first held hands beneath the sky, and marrying. Barefoot mermaid bride & her merman love. And their shining little mermaid daughter.
We’ve been in love for ten years. We’ve lived together since a month after our first date. We’ve owned two houses together. We’ve got one daughter. We’ve always been intensely & fiercely committed to each other.
We always knew we’d get married. We’d always knew we wanted to have children.
We thought it would be in that order.
We got engaged 2.5 years ago in September. And we started thinking about when we would get married. We thought we’d be engaged for about 18 months before we arranged the wedding.
And then around June, we suddenly both knew that there was a new little soul wanting to come into the world. And we looked at each other with tears in our eyes, and we said *yes* to it.
That wasn’t the moment we fell pregnant. But it was just this incredibly profound moment that I’ll always remember of being in Chris’ arms, and us making this monumental decision to say yes.
And I told Chris that we had about a month to get married otherwise we’d be pregnant & would wait until after babe was born. And he said:
Wouldn’t it be beautiful to share the day with our child?
And I had this stunningly beautiful vision in my head of marrying my love with a daughter in my arms. And it felt so good and so right.
A month or two later, we were pregnant.
And now the time is finally right… the moons have aligned… and we’ll finally do what our souls have been all along… be married.
It’s going to be a magical, magical day wedding my love by the sea, beneath the mountain where the eagles fly. I have happy glowing shivers everytime I think of it!
Conway Beach… the sacred place we are getting married…
My spiritual mentor Ellanita is our celebrant. Our doula Rachel is our photographer. I’m wearing a simple white flowing dress from Etsy, and a flower wreath on my head (called a halo! weeeooo!) My love still hasn’t worked out what he’s wearing yet, but it will be hot because he’s in it. Ostara’s wearing a tie dye rainbow dress and one of these beautiful rainbow silk wreaths.
The most important parts for me is creating a sacred, joyful ceremony… I’m still brewing to see what wants to emerge!
I can’t wait to share the photos & stories with you all!
I would like to know about your Dreamtime Elders and how you open yourself up to inspiration from them. Many of the people who asked questions here, I believe, would benefit from just that~ opening up to the possibility/PROBABILITY of getting that perfect, inspired idea!
So, how do you set it up? Do you pray/talk with them before you sleep, or before you meditate, or is it just a general expectation thing for you, where you expect that they’ll be talking to you?
For me, I’m just happy to receive whatever comes.
There’s a few things I need to do to get better & clearer dreams:
1.) Get enough sleep.
When I don’t, my body is too tired to let my soul go wandering! I don’t think I dreamed at all for the first six months after Ostara was born.
2.) Make sure what I’m eating is A-OK for dreaming.
I get crazy weird dreams after eating tomato-based foods (like spaghetti) for dinner. From my super-extensive scientific research, my love & my friends do too.
So I tend to only eat that sort of stuff for lunch.
Also, for me, eating beef makes my dreams anxious and nightmarish. So I don’t eat much beef.
(I used to be vegetarian, but I’m much more flexitarian now. A balanced approach is working best for me right now. I thought I would be a vegetarian forever and it was utterly perfect for my journey when I was – but now what I need is different, and being a flexitarian is what is right for me.)
3.) I give myself a white light shower when I go to sleep. When I remember to.
All I imagine is myself standing under a waterfall made out of white light.
And just feel it wash all the way over me. It feels gooooood.
Also, some goddesses also find they get better dream insight using my Divine Dreaming meditation kit.
Sometimes it happens.
Sometimes it doesn’t.
And when it does, I listen.
For example, last week, I told Chris that I could remember I had a dream where I got told that he should be having a certain flower from the Australian Bushflower Essences range, and that I could remember very clearly what the flower looked like. I had a look online, and found the flower and knew instantly it was the one from the dream. I showed it to Chris, and he was happy to try it out, so we ordered it, and he’s taking it.
All from a dream.
I try to listen. I don’t disregard anything. It all makes sense to me.
You seem to close comments for a lot of your posts & I was just curious to know your reasoning. I have literally just started blogging and am a bit undecided on the whole comments thing.
I thought about comments & closing them for a LONG time.
And have gone backwards & forwards between having them open & closing them so many times.
There’s no right or wrong answer…
just whatever is right for you right now.
My decision to currently close comments is because:
- I don’t tend to get a huge number of comments on my blogs. Not because I’m not awesome, but more because my tribe like to listen. I am super cool with that. I also know that often the measure of a blog’s success is how many comments a blog generates, and I didn’t want my blog to be reduced to that.
- I would rather goddesses share the blog post along on Facebook or Twitter if it is something that’s really helped them or touched them. Spreading the word is wonderful & so powerful & helpful!
- Less admin time for me to manage comments. I’ve only got a tiny bit of time to create big miracles… I’d rather be creating and helping as many goddesses as I can than managing spam or counting comments.
So that’s what works for me right now.
We made it!
That was HUGE. And glorious. And wonderful!
I so, so, so hope it was helpful to you dearest, and answered any questions you might have had!
Doing the Biz & Blogging Goddess Workshop 101 was SUCH a precious experience… I so hope it has given you power and wisdom and magic for you to spread your wings & share your story & gifts with the world.
If you want to go back over & check all the gloriousness out again, there’s:
- 7 Ways to get 20 000 blog readers
- How to sell & market your art
- How to make a free website for your business
- How to have a 1 million dollar idea
- The Art of being a Business Goddess video
I’m wishing you the biggest of big dreams-come-true.
I know it’s coming for you, dearest.