For the Love of Pattern

A New Beginning

Helpful TipsAbby Leigh EckerComment

Ok so lets face it, I'm new at this.

I'm a new blogger, starting a new career path and have a lot of new responsibilities. I don't always know what I am doing. I have a million things floating around in my head at any given time throughout the day. Sometimes I don't know how or where to start. Some days I think I've accomplished so much and other days, I feel as though I've accomplished nothing at all. I want to be open and honest about this process and document it along the way so I've decided blogging every so often about this topic is the perfect medium. 

I've realized I need a more detailed plan to start tackling all these new things. I've also been reaching out to find some answers. I think it's important to know at the beginning there are many decisions to make, things to figure out and different kinds of approaches to take. It is extremely easy to be overwhelmed at this time, which can cause a sort of creative block. What I've found is that I'm not alone. No one else knows what they are doing either, or at least not when they are starting out. Other people get overwhelmed too and have difficultly starting intimidating projects. It's been a kind of comforting relief to discover other entrepreneurs feeling this way and I'm glad to be reminded that I'm not alone in this type of journey. So today, I want to share some of the tools I've been using to stay motivated to keep going down this new path. 

Webinars

I recently joined The Modern Quilt Guild and as it turns out they have spectacular webinars available. As a member you can watch webinars from archives or sign up for live viewings. So far I've signed up for three. Two I've already watched, Starting your own Business and Awaking your Color Genius. The third one, Developing a Financial Plan, is coming up later this week. The two that I've seen so far have been very beneficial. They are engaging and delivered in different ways so it's easy to keep my interest and I look forward to signing up for more. I highly recommend finding a few webinars to view that relate to your field or demonstrate skills that you want to learn. They are a convenient way to continue learning about anything that interests you. BurdaStyle and Skillshare are also other great sites to explore for webinars.

Reading

I've been reading this new book written by Lee Anderson of Starkweather. It's called On Starting Somewhere: Entrepreneurship before success. Lee outlines her own moments of vulnerability throughout her journey. She reminds me that it is ok to be vulnerable, to not know exactly what I'm doing all the time and the importance of conversation during the beginning stages of starting something new. I'm reminded that one step at a time is really the best way to accomplish things instead of making an impossible list of things that I feel need to be done in a twenty-four hour period. I believe the different elements outlined in this book are extremely important to analyze about yourself to be able to work in the best way for you and your business. I was able to have a conversation with Lee about these elements: mornings, stance, routine, problem solving, people, regret/sacrifice and why. This has really helped me to analyze my routine and figure out what works and what doesn't for my business. I admire Lee's honesty at this point before success. It is not something easy to admit but once you do talk through these things, it's so much easier to move on towards your goals.

The book Blog Inc. by Joy Cho has also been a very helpful guide to starting a new blog. It has introduced me to bloggers different from my field of interest and explained the different types of blogging to a newbie like myself. I like the way she breaks down blogging into basics, finding your voice, powering your blog, etiquette, and then even further into business, monetizing and growth. Her book goes into more detail than I need at this point but I can tell it will always be a good resource to go back to when I'm ready to move on to the next step.

Blogs

I've also been looking to other bloggers for advice and came across this post by A Beautiful Mess. The article reinforces the importance of defining a few key things when starting a new blog. Choose a theme, make friends, experiment, don't do it all, and develop your style.

It often runs though my head that I'm not a writer and people will be wondering why I am even blogging. I admit that writing is not second nature for me, but I do feel it is an important part of my process. I came across a great article, written by Joshua Becker, that reminded me of why I should continue to blog. I'll become a better writer and thinker, meet new people and inspire others, develop an eye for more meaningful things and become more well rounded in my mindset. 

Podcasts

I can't express enough how extremely beneficial podcasts are. I like to fit them into my morning routine or afternoons in the studio and have found it's an easy thing to squeeze into my day. In fact, I look forward to them. Lately, I've been listening to After the Jump and Entrepreneurial thought Leaders. ATJ, is Design*Sponge founder Grace Bonney's podcast about art, design and the creative community. ETL, is Standford's podcast where innovative leaders from all different backgrounds share insights about entrepreneurship.

I'm really excited about how these podcasts are sharing information. It seems like there are two ways of thinking when it comes to being an entrepreneur. You can be extremely secretive or you can share information. Neither way is right or wrong but I personally believe sharing gets you farther when it comes to personal and professional growth. I'm glad to see more people connecting with others without the incentive for personal gain. It is important to remember and cherish the relationships you build; it's these relationships that can keep the foundation of your business alive.

I'll leave you with a few of the episodes that I found to be extremely inspiring: ATJ Productivity Tips, ATJ Hand-made Design, ETL Do what you love & ETL Creativity Inc.

A few words of advice: always be learning, stay curious and connect with others.

I welcome your thoughts and feedback