Hey everyone! As I write this on December 27, 2019, I’m starting to see the famous Top 9 photos on social floating around. I used to do this too, but figured, why not do something different!

In 2018, business was becoming so tough and I almost gave up because I simply wasn’t making enough money. I had a pity party for about a week, but then I got my head out of the sand and started thinking about my business in a different way. I started profiting more, selling more, having more in my bank account. It felt good to see dramatic change and reflect on why my business was sucking and what actually worked. HINT – it was my mindset. I want to share the things I learned in 2019 about business to inspire you AND kick your butt a little bit, especially if you’re needing it.

1. Start bringing value to the table. Want to charge what everyone else charges for similar work that you do? Do things like they do it, then. Be just like them. Want to start making MORE money? Do things differently, add special touches, create items that are so rare in your area. Combine quality, uniqueness, BEAUTY, and value for your efforts, and you will be able to charge more for your work because it’s so dang divine they can’t even handle it.

2. Stop saying “I can’t afford that!” – If you think that way it will be the truth. My husband and I have completely eliminated the phrase and we call each other out if we say something in that regard. We also cringe now when we hear people say it. We now say “maybe not now, but maybe soon” – in our experience, soon usually comes sooner than expected. This has changed our lives and my business dramatically. I think it’s also made our families happy to not hear us say this annoying phrase.

I used to assume that because we thought that way, everyone who was a potential customer thought that way too, which is so far from the truth. There are always going to be people who can’t afford your work (or say they can’t and not believe that they CAN at one point, have one too), and people who don’t bat an eyelash and see the value in what you do. It’s an energetic money exchange of happiness, hard work, creativity, beauty, and functional art. If it’s meant to be yours, no amount of money will get in the way. I’m speaking of my painted furniture here. If you’re scared to charge what you’re worth, you will not make money or a real business out of your creativity. Things will not change and get better. If you’re always on a hamster wheel worrying about money, you’re not going to be your best self. CHARGE WHAT YOU’RE WORTH peeps!

3. Remove your limiting beliefs as to what you can achieve. The sky is the limit as to what your dreams and goals are for your business/life. My husband and I have put some pretty crazy goals on vision boards only to come back and look and see that they have come true. It’s amazing at how good things can come your way if you get your negative mindset out of the way. The only thing is you really have to believe in yourself when everyone (or even your own self sabotaging mind) is doubting you. Work towards your goals and don’t give up. Persistence is the key to success!

4. Want to get some real work done? Turn off your notifications so no binging on your phone will tempt you. Put your phone in a different room if need be, too. Instagram is insanely fun, and addictive. NO – you are not getting paid to creep on Kylie Jenner or other creatives’ work, or answering alllll the DM’s as they come in one by one. This is taking away your precious time and keeping you from your real goals. Do your work first you set out for the day, then you can do the fun stuff!

5. It’s okay to reinvent yourself – actually, it’s very welcomed! Keep reinventing yourself and experiment with different styles, while remaining true to yourself and your brand. It’s okay and in my opinion – awesome if you start doing things differently than you were before. Want a real life example? I used to do only french provincial items and buffets/sideboards. This is around the time I was starting to panic about my business’ health. I stopped and took a really good look and noticed that they just weren’t selling well for me anymore. I listened to what the masses wanted – they wanted more modern styles. I had to find a way to love them as much as I did the other styles, so I put my own Dani charming spin on them and I had a passion for them, I was authentic. I loved the heck out of them, and it showed. I know a lot of people have more modern homes (I’m one of them) so sleek, straight lined items look great in their homes and antique/french items may look a bit out of place. I started introducing traditional/straight lined, modern, mid century modern items to my menu along with the other items, and my business soared! I told my husband that I was nervous to totally change up my style and that people are probably going to be confused about all the styles I do. He made it clear and simple and said “You make pretty furniture”. That’s all that needed to be said. DUNNNN…

6. Consider mistakes as welcomed opportunities. Make allll the mistakes – with people, decisions, furniture (or creative) catastrophies, and consider them as valuable lessons learned in the pursuit of getting better at your craft – trust me – you won’t make that mistake ever again! The biggest gains to propel me further in business have come from the most brutal mistakes. Most people will freak out when bad things happen in business. I welcome them and expect them to happen with all of my projects. When something goes totally right, I’m like uhhhh what?!

7. Take a break. Most of us are workaholics, am I right?! I’m a busy body, ADD, can’t sit still, must be doing something valuable with my time or else I feel useless. If I’m sitting watching a movie at home, most times that’s all I can do until I go a bit stir crazy and need to do something. If you’re like me, I’m sure you’re either always in beast mode or burnout mode. When you’re in beast mode, you feel unstoppable. Until you’re stopped dead in your tracks from burnout – and have 0 energy or f**cks to give – lol! At my most burnt out state, I gave my all, got burnt out and was aware of it, went on a weeklong vacation, and came back better than ever! If a vacation isn’t in the cards for you right now, get out of the house. Go to a movie with your phone in the car. It feels so good to shut your brain off and tune into what’s around you in that moment. Need a day off? Take it. Sit on the couch and watch Netflix or whatever makes you feel happy. It’s okay to sit down and enjoy yourself – that’s what life is all about. It’s seriously difficult for people like us though. Do your very best to take care of your mental state.

8. Stop. Comparing. Yourself. To. Others. I know I touched on this a bit above, but what Sally down the street is doing in her business does not matter to you. You do you, boo. What they’re doing in their life or in their business has nothing to do with you.

9. There’s no such thing as “Competition”. Stop it. Stop right there. I hear this all the time “there’s so many people in the area doing it” blah blah blah blah blah. Call the WAH-mbulance. There’s no such thing as being “in competition” with others. Focus on yourself and your own business. We all are unique in our own way – just showcase that and be YOU. Be an original. Let them copy you – it’s seriously the best compliment. It means you’re just THAT good. Be in competition with yourself. Be better than your yesterday’s self. Do one thing different the next day that’s going to change you and bring you closer to your goal.

Hope you loved this sassy, swift kick in the ass! Ready to start charging more for your items and making your painted furniture SHINE the way you intended it? Check out my latest online e-course “How to Stage, Photograph and Edit Your Creative Work Like a PRO”I promise it’s just as sassy as this blog post.

Cheers darlings to a fabulous 2020 with a fresh perspective and a booming business!

Dani