50 ways to earn money from a side hustle: online and offline business ideas!

Possums,

I’m talking about all things money this month before my new e-course Money, Manifesting and Multiple Streams of Income begins.

And I thought it would be fun to create a menu of ideas for ways to create money. Abundance really is everywhere, and the possibilities are magical. Here’s a list of ways you could create a bit of extra cash, have a side hustle or create a booming business.

50 Magical Money Making Possibilities!

  1. Design and sell tshirts on TeeSpring.
  2. Sell your expertise on Clarity.fm.
  3. Become an expert on JustAnswer.
  4. Private label products and dropship on Amazon. (For example: you buy wedding ornaments, then sell on Amazon. Amazon houses and ships for you!)
  5. Host international students and be paid (using services like OzHomeStay or Student Accomodation Services Australia).
  6. Become a Virtual Assistant.
  7. Rent out your room, house or tent on Airbnb.
  8. Let people camp in your backyard (or land) using Gamping, Youcamp or Hipcamp.
  9. Give people lifts using Uber or Lyft or Shebah.
  10. Do errands for people on Airtasker or TaskRabbit (I’ve hired people on here for random stuff and it’s the best!)
  11. Do online jobs through Fiverr – from social media, graphic design, illustration, voice overs, translation, programming and more. I adore Fiverr – I’ve hired people to create podcast music, give me intuitive readings and astrology readings, fix random stuff on my website, draw my husband like he’s a Simpsons character, research my family name – the possibilities are endless!)
  12. Postmates deliver stuff for peeps.
  13. Do food deliveries using services like UberEats, DoorDash or Deliveroo.
  14. Sell your art as prints and products at RedBubble, Zazzle or Society6.
  15. Take online surveys through SurveyJunkie.
  16. Teach courses on Udemy.
  17. Promote books, courses and software to earn cash with affiliate marketing.
  18. User testing with websites like Analysia, StartUpLift, and User Testing.
  19. Offer cleaning services locally.
  20. Tutor with Tutorfinder.
  21. Share a product that you love – from Thermomix to essential oils to makeup to clothes and build a network marketing business.
  22. Open a high interest savings account.
  23. Do freelance jobs through Smart Crowd, Clickworker and Upwork.
  24. Sell thrift store/op shop finds on eBay.
  25. Offer ironing services locally.
  26. Sell handmade arts + crafts on Etsy (you can also sell craft supplies on there!)
  27. Offer gardening services locally.
  28. Do online transcription at Rev.com.
  29. Use microinvesting sites like Acorns, Fundrise and StashInvest.
  30. Offer petsitting through Rover.
  31. Teach ESL online through Qkids, Dada ABC or Teachaway.
  32. Manage social media for businesses.
  33. Start a podcast (and then either sell advertising on it, or sell your own shit!)
  34. House and farm sitting.
  35. Licence your photos on Stocksy, Getty, Shutterstock or 123rf.
  36. Licence your artwork through Shutterstock or Dreamstime.
  37. Run a Kickstarter to fund a creative or entrepreneurial project.
  38. Be a designer on 99Designs.
  39. Offer babysitting services locally.
  40. Don’t forget that saving money is making money too – do regular expense reviews and see where you can cull!
  41. Call companies you currently have a subscription with and ask for a price reduction.
  42. Call your credit card company and bank and ask for fee reductions (say you’re considering moving elsewhere!)
  43. Sell art, prints or digital downloads on DeviantArt.
  44. Start a Youtube or Twitch channel.
  45. Do tasks on Mechanical Turk.
  46. Do email marketing with a niche newsletter (selling advertising, affiliate marketing or your own shit).
  47. Sell your old smartphone or older tech.
  48. Sell off extra shit around your house
  49. Write a book + self-publish using Kindle Direct Publishing
  50. Tutor, mentor or create a course on things you know.

Hope this has got you dreaming new ideas into life.

I love how many possibilities keep opening up to us.

The time has never been better to create more abundance!

And if you want to do a deep dive into building money, manifesting + multiple streams of income, make sure you jump in before August 1.

With love and abundance,

Day In The Life

Possums,

Want to know what I do each day?

SURE.

LET’S DO THAT.

8am: I wake up. It’s school holidays currently, so I am LIVING IT UPPPP! I stayed up until midnight last night reading which is the cause of all my sleep-ins. Chris has been up since 6am with the kids. He is an early riser and so are they. NOT I! MAMA HAS BEEN UP READING AGAIN!

Make a cup of chai tea, sit on the couch by the window so I can bask in a sunbeam. Talk to Chris while my brain wakes up.

9am: We decide to drive into town to grab a few supplies. We are on a couple of acres about 8 minutes out of town which is pretty bonza. We haven’t spent much time at the closest town centre yet – we usually do groceries and run errands at a larger shops near my kid’s school. We thought we’d live it up this time and walk around the closest town centre to get our bearings. Discovered an awesome art supply store/newsagency, and I bought some paint and glue. Grabbed some anti-histamines from the chemist for my kid who currently gets allergic welts from anything and everything. The chemist was selling lucky dips to raise money for a rad disability support organisation, so I bought two for the kids.

9:45am: Youngest kid gets a blood nose as we drive home. The poor kitten has had a few of them now, and is super calm as she blots it up with tissues. For a moment though, I look at the blood and want to vomit. I’m usually fine with blood, but not in this moment.

10am: Back home. WOO! Home really is my favourite place in the world. Clean up Beth a bit more (nose is fine now). Eat brioche and try to calm myself after my blood(y) anxiety (HA! PUN!)

10:30am: The kids are playing outside when I hear wailing. The kind of wailing that makes you run. My eldest kid has fallen off her bike onto concrete, and has skinned knees and hands. She wails as me and Chris fluster over her, disagreeing with what course of treatment we should take. I realise my flustering and disagreeing isn’t helping shit, so I bow out and let Chris take over caretaking. I bobble off and clean the house a bit. Within 10 minutes, Chris has Ostara calm and patched up, and is gently tending to her. LOOK AT ME! I DON’T HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING! I CAN STOP BEING OVERCOMPETENT!

Also: parenting really is managing a series of mini-crises.

11am: Realise I’m a bit crotchety because I want to do some painting. I haven’t had as much quiet time with myself as I’ve needed lately, and I get a bit grumpy if I don’t. I take myself outside, grab a folding privacy screen thing I bought years ago and try some abstract painting on it.

11:10am: The kids have discovered I’ve left the house, so they’ve come outside to sit with me as I paint. That’s fine… at least I’m painting!

11:45am: Finish off painting one side of the privacy screen. I LOVE how it’s turned out! I potter about the house to do a bit of tidying and (more) unpacking. I think this is the slowest we’ve ever unpacked. We’ve probably had just a biiiiiit too much packing/unpacking over the years. Ha!

12pm: Chris is on the phone to Motherfucking Telstra again. Isn’t it every Australian’s most hated hobby? He’s trying to get some internet issues fixed with them, and isn’t having much luck because #Telstra. I think about continuing to clean, but I decide I hate the idea of it, and I could just read instead. So I curled up on the couch with a book while the kids play.

1pm: Chris starts making lunch while he’s still on the phone with Motherfucking Telstra. I keep reading.

1:15pm: Lunch is ready! Chris is still on the phone with MFT, so I finish prep and give the kids their lunch. I make up a platter for myself – baby capsicums, a handful of pistachio nuts, some leftover steamed broccoli from last night with balsamic vinegar and a Japanese red bean mochi bun. I sit outside to eat with them.

1:30pm: Chris is finished with MFT at last, and joins us for lunch outside.

1:45pm: I decide to continue painting the other side of the privacy screen – I’m enjoying it so much! I figure for the second side I can get even MORE experimental with my abstract painting, and I get even messier. It THRILLS me! The kids roll about on their bicycles, visiting their own artist’s studio that they set up at the back of our garage. Chris disappears again to call the Telecommunications Ombudsman because Telstra, as I have already discussed, are indeed Motherfuckers.

2:45pm: Painting is finished! I AM SO IN LOVE! YAY! I poke my head into Chris’ office window to tell him I am TOTALLY FEELING MYSELF RIGHT NOW. He smiles sweetly and nods and looks out at the screen and tells me it looks great.

3pm: The kids head in to go play Minecraft in Daddy’s office with him. They’ve got a whole world built together. It’s the cutest.

I head into my office to work for a couple of hours.

  • I email Chris my to do list for the day – it helps me be more accountable with my productivity because I’m an Obliger tendency.
  • I build out a webinar in Kajabi (fuck I love this software!)
  • I release the webinar publicly.
  • I email my mailing list (again with Kajabi – it’s now the central cog for my business)
  • I answer social media and emails from readers (I make sure I don’t let this take up all my time though – it’s too easy to fall down the social media slope!)
  • I watch an educational business video – I try to do this every day to learn something new.

5pm: My husband and kids knock on my door. Work time over… more family time!

6pm: I only go out at night about once a month (or less). Usually, you’ll find me cosy on the couch with my family. Tonight’s the red letter night though! Going to eat Italian with my mate Brigit.

10pm: Can guarantee I’ll be home and in bed by then. I AM A PARTY ANIMAL! HA!

My days change from day to day, but they always centre around three important things: my family, creativity and being gentle. Oh… and books. Obviously!

Big hugs,

New Free Training: 10 Essential Abundance Habits

Possums!

As I’ve been creating my new Money, Manifesting + Multiple Streams of Income course… I looked back over my financial life story and thought about the new things I started doing with my money that made the most impact. I started doing them just over 15 years ago… and continue to do them today. I call them my own personal 10 Abundance Habits.

I think financial literacy is really fucking important. We, as creatives and spiritual women need to talk about money more. Let go of the shame or fear of it, and become excellent money custodians. When we do, more abundance flows to us… and we can use that money in excellent, sustainable, life-changing ways for ourselves, our families, our communities and our world at large.

I thought it was too important not to share them publicly, so I’m going to do a free live training for anyone who is called. I’m delighted to share everything I know. May it serve you and help you proser too.

Just head on over here to get it free!

Please feel free to share along with anyone who you think might need this.

To your shining abundance,

I will rain my love on you

cloudsraining

Sick again.

Roasting with fevers, my bed becoming a pool of sweat.

“How much can one person get sick?” my husband asks.

I shake my head.

I do not know.

I go to the doctor.

She frowns, orders tests and x-rays.

I gulp back tears.

I thought she would maybe tell me I was overreacting, that it was nothing but a bad year for colds.

She does not.

It might be nothing, it might be something. We need to rule it all out.

I stumble around the corner to the blood test lab.

I wish I’d brought my husband for this.

Just want to turn him over in my hand like a smooth, constant river rock.

She has a head scarf covered in flowers and gentle eyes.

As she prepares the vials and needles, I sit on the grey throne.

I begin to fixate on all that could be wrong.

Then, I raise my eyes.

There, on the other wall, is posters upon posters of natural miracles: lightning, sand dunes, sunrises.

Some capture my eye: clouds dousing rain across vistas.

And suddenly, I am enthralled by this realisation:

Even if I go

that is what I will do.

I will be a cloud.

I will roam the earth

pouring my love across all that I meet.

I smile. This makes me very happy.

Yes, that is what I will do.

I will watch you all and listen to your stories and I will love you.

Men and women and children, animals and ocean and earth.

I will love you and want only for your best.

I will believe in you.

I will love you. I will shower you with love.

*

It doesn’t matter what these tests (either now or later) will say.

It doesn’t matter if this is just a speedbump or a collision.

It doesn’t matter if the journey like this, as a Leonie, is long or short. I’ve already lived longer than my brother, than my dad’s brother, than my friend’s children. It’s never about the length of time of life for love to make an impact.

Each day is an endless facing of mortality, whether we know or not.

What’s important is this:

I remember what I am now.

I remember what I was born to do.

I’ll just keep doing the very same thing.

I’ll be a cloud.

loveleoniehandwriting


Note: I wrote this piece three years ago, but did not publish it at the time. It felt too raw, too precious, too vulnerable. I’ve kept it in my drafts this whole time, and thought of that feeling often, and felt it was time to share it publicly, to keep on record. I didn’t kark it from that patch of ill health. But one day I will die. As we all will. And I want to remember my wish to be a cloud.


Should I charge higher or lower prices? Which is better?

Possums!

Let’s talk about pricing – I know it’s something that can cause a lot of angst for business owners.

Specifically – should you charge low or high prices for your offering? And what’s the pros, cons and reasons for both?

Most important thing about pricing though is:

There is no “better” way to do pricing. There is no right answer here. Higher or lower pricing doesn’t mean you are greedier, selfish, more pious, or any other ridiculous judgment.

Pricing is simply a function of your business model. You get to try out what works for you and your target market. And that may change over time.

Your pricing is also not necessarily an indication of your self worth, how you value yourself or your services, or your money blocks. (It can be, of course, if you’re not aware of them and actively working on them!)

I remember a great pricing conversation I had with an entrepreneur friend a few years ago. We’ve both built 7 figure companies mostly by teaching courses online. She loved being able to charge a really high amount and only having to find and serve a few customers. I, on the other hand, tend to charge lower prices for my courses because I prefer reaching more people. Both worked as business models in the exact same industry, both had rabid fans as customers and both were financially successfully. Pricing was based purely off our personal wishes, and that is perfect!

What are the pros + cons of pricing lower?

Pros:

  • It is more affordable to a larger range of people
  • You can work less hard to make the sale (you still need to work though!)

Cons:

  • It can be a smaller profit margin
  • If you’re ONLY competing on price, a competitor can always take your customers
  • Can sometimes be seen as lower quality
  • Lower-cost customers can in some industries be more difficult (for example: in the wedding photography industry, couples looking for the cheapest photographers are often the most work).

What are the pros + cons of pricing higher?

Pros:

  • Increased profit margins
  • You can sell to and look after less people
  • Your customers are choosing you for your unique offering, not because they are price-shopping
  • Can sometimes be seen as higher quality

Cons:

  • You will need to upgrade your sales and marketing to ensure you address pain points, benefits and results
  • You will need to upgrade your branding to attract your more affluent target market.

Who is your target market?

In all our talk of pros and cons about pricing structure, try to think about your target market as well. Your target market can change over time… but think about the people you help right now. Do they tend to invest in lower or higher priced offerings? Think about the people you want to help in the future. Lower or higher priced?

Are you trying to sell Lexus cars to a Toyota family? Are you trying to sell Toyotas to a Lexus couple?

Feeling energetically aligned with your price

I think the most important thing when it comes to pricing is how YOU feel about your prices.

  • Do you feel like a fraud and you are charging too much?
  • Do you feel like you are charging too little and are resentful?
  • Do you feel great and confident about them?

If you’re not aligned with your price, it can result in less sales. I know I have to feel great about my pricing to be able to confidently talk about my offerings.

Some great peeps who help with price alignment are Kerry Rowett + Denise Duffield-Thomas.

Another way to decide on your pricing

Maybe thinking about your target market, and pricing structure pros and cons isn’t working for you. Here’s a different method for working out your pricing.

Work out your overall goal for income (this could be for the month or year).

Then start playing with how you could reach that income.

For example:

Say your goal for the year is to make $100,000.

You can brainstorm different pricing options for your offering, and see how much you would need to sell at each price to make that amount.

Fascinating, right?

So many ways to make money at all different amounts!

Create one for your offerings and your goal.

Then see which one feels more doable to you… then do it!

How I choose pricing for my business

For me, I’ve experimented with high and low end pricing.

At the lower end, my digital editions of my yearly goals workbooks are only around $10.

At the higher end of the pricing spectrum, I’ve also charged up to $8,000 for 1:1 coaching packages in the past.

Both are totally fine, and perfect for me at different times.

On average though, my e-courses tend to sit around the lower price range (just under $100).

I’ve experimented and explored, and for me, lower price range is a happy, easy fit for me. I prefer selling courses to 1,000 people at a lower price, instead of less people at a higher price. I want to be an affordable option for people, so that if they do want to learn from me, it’s within their buying capacity.

This doesn’t mean I’m a better person than someone who charges higher prices, nor does it mean someone with higher prices teaches more than I do. It’s just a matter of what *I* like to do with my business.

I have bunches of friends who charge 20x what I do for courses… and I love them and love their offerings!

Again – there’s no wrong way… just what is right for YOU.

Final pricing thoughts from me…

  • You can always test your prices and see what works better.
  • Try not to compete to be the lowest price possible… lower is fine, but lowest means you may lose out when a newer, cheaper competitor appears.
  • Make sure you keep an eye on your profit margins… profit is the reigning queen!
  • You can change your mind later!
  • Just fucking do the thing, and stop worrying too much about pricing!

Big love,


Begins 1 August!

Random Life Blurts + What I’m Thinking Of

Blossoms,

Let’s catch up yeah… with all the things I’m thinking about.

School vs homeschool… unpacking and sustainable decluttering… social exhaustion (STORY OF MY LIFFFFE!)… blogs vs social media (AGAIN!) and how I’ve sped up my creating!

School vs homeschool

It’s school holidays. Three blessed weeks of no school runs. We are staying at home… and staying at home… and occasionally popping out to a cafe and walk along the river. Then back to more staying at home.

It’s also six months of my kid having returned to school after a couple years of homeschooling. It’s worked out thrillingly well. She adores it, her teachers adore her, and we adore the school. I was so worried beforehand for some reason… but I see all that worry was all in vain. Note to self: worry less, and just see what happens.

I do miss a lot of the freedoms of homeschooling – having so many family adventures, being able to stay home and read all day if it was raining and being so social with other homeschooling families. There were moments of total euphoria with homeschooling, and I am SO GRATEFUL we had the experience.

However, this current schooling setup is better for a few reasons – my kid is thriving, and my mental health isn’t as fragile as it was. In retrospect, the stress of taking on the responsibility, organising and executing my kids’ education along with the lack of quiet, solo downtime was too taxing for my nervous system.

Unpacking + Sustainable Decluttering

My house still has unpacked boxes in every corner. This is our eighth house in nine years, and I’m feeeeeeling it guys. A little too much boxey and unboxey has happened for me to be able to get shit unpacked ASAP. So, I’ll just keep chipping away at it, living life around the boxes.

I’ve also discovered we have (gasp!) way too much shit after having had a larger house in the past. But I am NOT going to chuck it all away… I worry about how much the Konmari effect creates landfill. Instead I’m selling some things and rehoming others. We had some friends over today, and they bought some stuff and also took a stack of other books and homeschooling resources that we don’t need anymore. And it ended up being super lovely – an opportunity to hang out and eat lemon cake. I need more lemon cake!

On Social Exhaustion

Related: I’ve had a bunch of social stuff on this week. And even though I fucking LOVE social time… I adore hanging out with mates, and think it’s essential for my whole being… I also notice the effects it has on my sweet Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)/Aspie self. Because my brain has to work a lot harder at conversation and social cues AND at the same time is taking in quite a lot of information, it gets overloaded and starts churning.

Once I’m alone again, I become really tired (aka social exhaustion) and my brain slows right down. The best cures I’ve found for it are: time. Quiet showers in the dark (it’s less visual stimulation). Weighted blankets, electric blanket or both. And sleep. Sleep is when the brain can sift through the day and decide what to keep for storage and discard the rest. It helps relieve the pressure in my brain so beautifully.

Last night I was pretty zonked out, and Chris gently prodded me:

Hon, why don’t you just go to bed early?

But it’s only 7:30! I protested.

Still, you look like you need it.

And he was right. It felt like grace to ease my way into bed. Of course, when my brain is stimulated like that, it does take a long while for me to fall asleep. The day starts playing over and over in my head – like it is inspecting it for details and patterns and if there’s anything I should know. I wonder if being HSP/ASD is like having a brain that sees everything in HD, so it takes a while longer to process it than normal.

I’ll build in a bit more downtime as well this week to make up for the extra social stimulations.

I’ve been thinking about blogs lately.

I mean – let’s face it – when am I not thinking about blogs vs social media?

And I was thinking about how the format of blogs is usually longer – an opportunity to write expressively, with space around it. And how you could deep dive and binge watch a blog. Like there was a certain thrill to finding a writer that resonated… knowing there was a whole blog to feast on.

And I was thinking about how I don’t seem to consume in the same ways on social media. How there isn’t the space for thoughtful, beautifully written pieces that have the potential to change your brain chemistry or give you goosebumps. It becomes a factory of fast food, instead of a platter of fine dining.

And how I used to be able to curate a RSS reader of all the blogs and authors I loved, knowing I would be notified every single time one of them posted. Reading their blogs was the highlight of my day, and such an inspiration that made me itchy to get creative with my day. And I don’t feel that same way at all with social media. I don’t get to see most of what the people I like are doing, and the rest just feels like… dross.

So I’m getting back into the habit of either subscribing directly to the mailing lists of people I love or using Bloglovin to read their blogs. I still rue the day Google Reader went extinct. But still… onwards we prevail! Crafting our lives as we go!

On the speed of creating

Last Friday night, I couldn’t sleep + had the idea for a new course. It came to me fully formed, with all the content it would cover and its name.

Over the weekend I pottered, and did errands, and unpacked, and hung out with my family, and in quiet moments created the sales page for Money, Manifesting + Multiple Streams of Income.

On Monday I spent a few hours finishing it and putting together the e-commerce/course software component (fucking adore how quickly I can do it with Kajabi! #techboner) Then it was out in the world, and I had 100 enrolments within 24 hours (!!!)

It’s slightly less than a full week later… this time last week I had no idea that an idea was just about to fall on me… and I end the week with having created it, launched it and now enrolled over 500 students (!!!!!!!!!!!)

It’s still another 3 weeks before we begin, so there will likely be a stack more enrolments… but I’m just thrilled!

The thing I’m most delighted by is that I have my speed of creating back. When I had a large team, to pull off this same project would likely have taken at least 1-2 months and cost a shit tonne to pull off. That’s the thing when you have a large team – shit takes way longer and costs way more. AND as the CEO – you often work harder when you have a larger team… because it takes more time to manage. #barf It works for some people, but as I’ve shared before, it didn’t work for my personality type or my lifestyle goals at all.

I love doing all the things! I love running with creative ideas! I love staying in closer contact with my customers! I love my quiet creative life with occasional wild donkey riding!

(I still have a part time VA that does almost all of my emails for me, because otherwise I’d die from social exposure.)

So yeah… I am fucking THRILLED to bits to be wild donkey riding with ideas again. It feels DEEEEELICIOUS.

Righto party peeps…

may your days be divine… and if not divine… may they be furnished with a cup of tea and a caramel wafer.

Big love,


Begins 1 August!

31 Portraits in 3 Weeks: How I Did It + Other Creative Details

Dearests,

In the last three weeks I’ve completed over 30 custom artworks. I thought I’d share some behind the scenes of why and how that happened!

At the start of the month I announced that I was taking on a limited run of commissions for Soul Story Messages Art – the art series I started my business with years ago. It’s been over a decade since I’d offered them again, and I felt called to doing it again.

I got the idea for it because we’ve moved into our new acreage home which has a bar/games room that I want to use as my studio… but it needs some windows and doors because it currently is one sad, dank, dark box.

I always like to create abundance for projects instead of dipping into savings.

And even though there was lots of ideas for how to fund the renovation, and most of those ideas were less time intensive, I really adored the idea of literally painting my new artist studio into reality.

I released the offering to my mailing list (you can see the (fairly basic) sales page here) and social media accounts.

I’ve recently simplifed my business and am using Kajabi for my mailing list, e-commerce and teaching courses. I fucking adore how simple it is… it’s cheaper than all the other software I was using AND it’s all interconnected. I can’t believe it’s taken this long to find something like Kajabi… for me, as I simplify and amplify my business, it’s a dream come true.

So in the case of these paintings, I used Kajabi to:

  • email my mailing list about it
  • sell the product online (it links to Paypal and Stripe for payments)
  • automatically get everyone who bought to fill out an online questionnaire including a photo for the custom artwork to be created from.

The artworks sold out in about a day and a half which was so dang lovely.

It was really beautiful seeing the names pouring in for them.

Many of them have been long-term customers who remember the custom artworks from over a decade ago and regretted not getting one then! It felt like seeing old friends pop up… I really feel so freaking lucky to have readers who have been around for so long.

One of the commissions was from someone I’ve known online for over 16 years from a message board – before I even began blogging! Another was from a gorgeous soul I met on a bus in Singapore 12 years ago. She was sitting in front of me and Chris, and I thought her energy was just beautiful, so I tapped her on the shoulder and we’ve been friends ever since. It’s amazing how many friends I’ve made on buses. I’m DEFINITELY one of those people who talks to strangers on public transport. How else will we become friends if I don’t?

Once we sold out, I gathered all the supplies I needed for the artworks.

Materials:

  • Pens: I’ve been using the same brand for about 15 years. I use Uni-ball Eye Fine rollerball markers. They are waterproof so it means I can draw then paint over with watercolour and it won’t run or smudge.
  • Paper: I haven’t bought watercolour paper for commissions for years, so I needed to find and test for the right one again. I needed heavy textured paper suitable for watercolour use. I didn’t want to order online… you really need to look at it first to make sure it’s the right weight and texture and look. I went into Oxlades at Noosa and they recommended Arttec Como Sketch Pad. That ended up being the winner out of the different brands I tested.
  • Watercolours: I used my trusty Winsor and Newton Cotman studio set. A few years ago I splurged and bought the biggest set, but I also have my tiny travel-sized set and use that just as much. The colours are just freakin’ delicious and vivid in this set.

    Pro Tip: for white skin colour I mix “Trump Orange” with white and water both down a lot. I KID I KID, it is NOT called Trump Orange, but you totally know what orange I’m talking about now though right?

Packaging Materials:

  • Address labels: I order mine from Vistaprint. I always just use their designs and find something cute.
  • Thank you cards: Again, I order them from Vistaprint. I design them myself by making a digital collage of my art and lettering, and buy them in packs of 100. I use them for sending with orders, and I also like sending surprise cards to customers and readers who’ve sent me a lovely letter in the mail.
  • Envelopes: These rigid cardboard envelopes from Officeworks are fucking TICKETYBOO for sending prints and thin artworks (they also come in A5 and A3 sizes). I did also spy them at Big W, but they aren’t always in stock.

How I did the painting:

I printed out all the questionnaires and photos from Kajabi.

Then I did what I always do: batched the creation process.

I do all the drawing and writing in quiet undisturbed office time. I can’t actively listen to anything when I’m doing this part. From a sacred level, this is where I feel like I’m tuning in and scribing a person’s essence.

Once the drawing and writing is done, I move onto colouring/painting in. I work on at least six at a time, and usually listen to podcasts (either Chat 10 Looks 3 or This American Life) or e-courses or sit next to Mr D while he is watching TV.

For each artwork, I paint as much as I can and leave it to dry before I paint adjoining areas (to stop colour seepage). Then I move to working on the next one. If I only painted one at a time, it would take freaking forever while waiting for things to dry! Some peeps use hairdryers to speed the drying time, but I hate the sound of them.

I have no idea on how long each artwork takes me – it’s never something I work from start to finish in one go on.

Then after that, I package, write cards to pop in with them, and send off! Some peeps find Sendle to be a better postage option. I’ve never managed to get organised enough to do it, so I just pop into a Aus Post Office instead. Plus, I do love Post Offices – it’s another great way to make friends with people! Ha! #overlyexcitable

So there we go!

31 artworks in 3 weeks!

Not bad considering it’s been three weeks that included getting my wisdom teeth out, recovering from that, having a sick kid and getting sick myself with a dastardly cold.

The best part about doing this was getting to connect with people’s energy 1:1 and getting to spend time loving them up. It heals a part of me to just pour love out onto others. And of course, the gift of being able to spend concentrated time just on art as well was a joy. It feels lovely to come back full circle to the artwork that began this journey with me.

Will I be doing any more soon?

Not in the near future… I sense more ideas wanting to come through. However spirit wants to create, I will follow.

Hope this has been useful or interesting for you. May you create with joy.

With love and ink-stained fingers,

P.S. Just for fun as wellthis is what happened when my kid decided to collaborate on one of my discarded artworks!

Links Roundup!

Treasures,

Remember the days when we used to read blogs to find interesting things around the internet?

And then we kind of just… gave up on the internet and started reading social media instead. Which stridently forces you to stay in social media land and not venture out to independently published sites.

Fuck dat I say.

So here’s some goodies I’ve found from around the web… let’s make the web wondrous again!

  • On the 20th anniversary of the bloglet’s bring back the self-published internet. AMEN.
  • SBSK is hands down my favourite Youtube channel.
    Chris is a special education teacher who interviews people with different abilities. They are incredibly profound. My brother was born with cerebral palsy + he and his friends were some of the best teachers of my childhood.
  • I’m also addicted to Squirmy and Grubs.
    They were interviewed on SBSK as an interabled couple, and now I can’t get enough of them. Funny as fuck + educational too! I HEART!
  • This weekend, I’m listening to The Waifs on repeat.
    Me and Chris used to listen to them when we were childfree and sitting in the sunlight, reading on weekends. We’ve been doing the same this weekend, just with children sprawled around us, and it feels beautifully full circle.
  • Tonic recipe to increase immunity.
    My naturopath mate Sarah shared some solid tips on warding off colds and flus. I made her tonic recipe today. And, of course, if you’re an essential oil lover like me – OnGuard blend is your friend.
  • Five teens who changed the world.
    Brave young visionairies, may you continue to show us the way. Thank you for your courage and truth-telling. I’m following.
  • If you want to read more about someone else who downsized…
    Risk + Resilience by Lisa Messenger is brilliant. I read it in one sitting in the bathtub. She shares her own story of having to close down her popular magazine and pivot.

Having said that… I also wish these Instagrammers had blogs and I’m really grateful for what they do share!

Hope these bring you joy!

Big hugs,

Art Collab With My Kid

Possums,

I’ve been immersed in creating art commissions this month – 31 in a month!

I didn’t like one I finished, so I redid it and popped the old one in the bin. My kids fished it out and my eldest sat under my desk while I painted, editing it to make it truly a collab.

This makes me cackle a LOT.

Fuck I like these kids… exactly as they are.

Hope this gives you the gigglesnorts too.

Big love and POOP!

WAS FIRING STAFF ACTUALLY FUN FOR EVERYONE?

Hi lovelies,

I recently wrote a short post about my experience in rightsizing my business, and how firing my team was one of the best things I’ve ever done.

I had a reader ask about whether it caused pain for others.

And I wanted to address this. I didn’t go into detail on my previous post, and I thought it was an important point. My post was too short to be able to adequately convey the timeline + complexity of it all.

Firing staff was absolutely one of the most heart-wrenching and painful times in my life. It was not joyful at the time for me or for anyone involved. The joy + lightness came much later.

It wasn’t my original intention to reduce my team so drastically. I wasn’t all: YEEEW! I’M FIRING EVERYONE TODAY! HOW FUN LOLZ!

I also didn’t do it for profit reasons – that was a side effect that was realised down the track. I did it because my business was no longer what it was supposed to be and was veering terribly off course. I made some awful hiring decisions that created a toxic working environment in many ways. It felt like despite my best intentions, and feeling like I was going above and beyond as an employer, I wasn’t supported in the ways I needed to be.

I tried my hardest over a number of years to try and make it better. I got coaching, healing and therapy (often with staff members!) My health, marriage, and kids were suffering under all the stress. My business was no longer a place of joy for me or my staff. It was so apparent that we couldn’t continue down the same path we were on. I considered closing it all down, or even selling off parts of my business.

I was faced with a difficult decision – do I keep everyone’s jobs, knowing that it would mean I would have to close down the business in due course? Bear in mind – if I closed down the business, it meant I could no longer support not just my family, but all the philanthropic partners we supported and the clients we looked after. It was a no-win situation.

In the end, I didn’t fire my staff all at once. 85% of my team resigned over the space of a couple of years to take on other jobs. I didn’t replace them when they did leave. I won’t go into details on staff that I did fire for privacy and ethical reasons. I only fired in extreme circumstances where it was needed, I’d given many chances, had communicated boundaries clearly and was above and beyond generous. I took no pleasure in it, and cried a FUCKTONNE over it.

It was devastating personally and professionally. It’s the reason why I took more than a year away from creating and doing anything public-facing with my business.

Did I retain friendships with any of my employees? Yes, with the ones where it felt healthy and good to do that. One of my dearest friends is someone who has worked with me on and off for five years in three of my businesses, and we’re still in partnership in a business today. There are many I didn’t however because I am committed to only having healthy relationships in my life. Relationships take two people willing to have open conversations and are willing to do the personal work.

Sometimes I dream of my past employees. I see them at a distance, and I see their hearts, and I wish deeply for love, ease and abundance to surround them. That period of transformation was difficult for everyone involved. I so hope they have found their own right, true path now. Hiro Boga says: “Sometimes, a No to them is a Yes to their soul.” And I dearly hope that is right. I hope by stopping something which wasn’t functional or healthy, they were free to find something which was.

I have friends who have scaled and have large teams and they are thriving and adoring it. I’m so happy for them, in awe of them, and know deeply that it absolutely is not in my zone of genius.

Was rightsizing my business absolutely the right thing to do?
100%. It was that, or it needed to close. Was it painful at the time? Yes, profoundly. For all involved. It just was not the right fit on any level.

I rightsized my business. It was excruciating AND it was the right thing to do. The joy, the space, the ease and the purpose came later.

A wildfire tore through my life some years ago. It scorched the earth. It took time, but the trees regrew and the wildflowers returned. And when I step into the sacred space of my business, it is alight again with the energy of what it always was, and always was meant to be.

I dearly hope this makes sense.

I’m sending each of you love, right where you are.