RBBiz Day 10: S.A.R.K. and Farewell

Creative Business

It was a jam-packed two weeks and it certainly flew by!

We had over 200 people watching live as SARK donned her Love Glasses and Owl Hat of Wisdom to give us our right brain booster of the day!

We had over 200 people watching live as SARK donned her Love Glasses and Owl Hat of Wisdom to give us our right brain booster of the day!

Friday’s interview was with S.A.R.K. who is kind of a legend in creativity/live-your-dream circles. I’ve known about her work for a couple decades but hearing her story (even in an abbreviated form) directly from her really puts a lot in perspective. And, once again, I was happily surprised at how down to earth her core message was (just like with Dr. Maisel on Thursday) when you could easily expect airy, ethereal, head-in-the-clouds capital-w Woo. It really was a treat to listen to her speak.

Because her work has been around for a while and has disseminated throughout various nooks and crannies of the Internet, I was familiar with (and practice many of) her methods, even if I didn’t know they were “hers.” Things like acknowledging negative feelings and giving them their due? Yup. When I feel low or get a case of the “mean reds” I give myself permission to be in that mood, to wallow in it if necessary, and you know what happens? It’s over a helluva lot quicker than if I’d spend time denying or fighting it or, worse, lashing out at others and making bad decisions because I wasn’t in tune with what was really going on. That’s super-similar to SARK’s “inner feelings-care” practice.

Her talk about the Inner Wise Self and how to activate it daily and always instead of just in the Big Moments where we think we need extra reinforcements is a good lesson in trusting our guts, intuition, or Higher Self—all the same thing, just different names and approaches. And her “inner critic-care” reminds us that our inner critic (or inner editor, for the writer types) is just trying to keep us safe and protect us, and it’s our job to recognize that and learn to use that and work with the roots of those insecurities and views, but not to be hampered or hindered by them.

One of the last things she said was, I think, really important. It’s not about feeling good all the time, it’s about feeling good more often and spending less time in the negative spots. (close paraphrase) That’s the kind of down-to-earth bits I mean, the recognition that no matter what, it’s not all going to be sunshine and rainbows and puppies. There will be lows, there will be suckiness, and to expect otherwise is detrimental to our overall well-being. But if we can work with and around those lows, take them for what they are, our expectations won’t be shattered every time we have a bad day (week, month, year).

I don’t know about you, but I find that incredibly reassuring!

And, of course, today being the last day of the Summit and still possibly the last day the the last Summit of all time, it was bittersweet. But because I upgraded to the Premium Pass, it wasn’t really over. We still have 2 coaching calls to go (we had one this week already and it was fabulous!) and access to Jenn and her Licensed Facilitators in the private Facebook group through April. Not to mention the bonus goodies that are also part of the Premium Pass upgrade. But the end of the “active” Summit, we’ll call it, means I now have time to process all the great information taken in at otherwise top speed. That I get my lunch hours back to read a book for fun or work on something or go run errands. (Yes, I could have done this these last 2 weeks and just watched the replays, but I really do enjoy the live-chat as part of the experience, even if I only catch maybe a third of what’s going on–that’s what the transcripts are for, right?)

*One last affiliate link ahead*

So, if you’ve been reading through this or even just seeing my instagram photos from each day, and you’re thinking, man, I really wish I’d signed up for this and now it’s over–hold up there just a second 🙂 It may be too late for the live options, but if you head over to RightBrainersInBusiness.com and click the upgrade button, you’ll still be able to sign up for the Booster or Premium upgrades. The Booster gives you forever access to the videos, plus downloadable audio files of the interviews, illustrated learning maps, chat transcripts, and left-brain checklists of action steps taken from the sessions. With Premium you get all that plus full transcripts, the private Facebook group, the live coaching calls (plus their recordings), and a bunch more. PLUS! If you upgrade through Tuesday, March 24 (2015, of course), you still get the early bird rate of $67 for the Booster or $137 for the Premium (compared to $97 and $197 respectively).

What are you waiting for?

What are you waiting for?

Well, I’ve got a business plan to work on (my challenge this weekend in the financial projection for the store, and the FB group is holding me accountable to get it worked on, which is so very helpful)!

RBBiz Day 8: Dr. Eric Maisel

Creative Business

Oooh, lots of good stuff on Thursday’s Summit session.


While Dr. Maisel said a lot of really thought-provoking things, he expressed himself very matter-of-factly, was very realistic, cut and dried, and down to earth but–and this is the big thing–without coming off as condescending or judgmental. So much so that I really enjoyed listening to what he had to say and have added several of his books (Why Smart People Hurt, Life Purpose Boot Camp, and others) to my reading list because I suspect there’s a lot of smart things to learn there about making our worlds into what we want.

I recognized some of the things I already practice in some of what he said (the cognitive therapy of assessing and correcting thoughts that serve no positive purpose, for instance) but, like previous presenters, the way he was able to encapsulate it was brilliant. As you would hope from someone who’s spend a lot of time working on these themes!

I know a lot of people in the chat recognized habits when he compared creativity to the ups and downs of bipolar disorder (not trivializing bipolar, just that we share common traits when we’re in the thick of a new project). He was also very clear to point out that the work is hard–doesn’t matter what work it is–but that if we decide the work has meaning (very big on the conscious choices of designating meaning and purpose to our lives) then even the hard/low/frustrating/maddening parts aren’t near as bad as if we decided the pursuit was meaningless.

Let that sink in a moment.

Only one more day to go on the 5th (and still possibly final, at least in this form) Right Brainers in Business Summit. And it sounds like it’s going to be pretty epic with SARK as the guest!

RBBiz Day 8: Kate Northrup

Creative Business

Kate’s talk on Wednesday was all about the money!


Having a money expert chime in during the Right Brainers in Business Summit is a regular part of the program and always interesting because Creatives, in general, seem to have a lot of anxiety and stress around discussing money, selling, budgeting, and the whole money numbers block that a lot of folks have. Even though I’m pretty good with numbers, I can safely say that I’ve had some other baggage around money matters in the past and I’m actively working to improve them.

If you recall, I wrote about how I redesigned the monthly budget worksheets for the Creative Days planner, this year, and one of the features I added was a more robust debt tracking system. It’s very cool to be able to put down arrows on more lines than up arrows, indicating the overall shift in my balances. Slow going, since I’m working off some spending born of impatience and whatnot, but it’s going in the right direction.

One of the lessons I try to remember each month as I fill out my budget and schedule all my bills to be paid (oh, thank goodness for online bill payment systems!), is to be grateful that I have the means to pay the bills. That while I might not always like the chore of paying bills, I’m able to do it (usually) without stress and that’s worth a lot. I think that one came from one of the first two years of the RBBiz Summit, but it’s stuck with me.


These posts are getting shorter as the second week goes by. Chances are no one really minds, judging by my stats, but I will say it has less to do with the Summit (the guests are awesome day after day) and more the fact that I’ve been sleeping horribly the last few nights and I’m not entirely sure why. Makes for a very sleepy Scraps and a sleepy Scraps is not a talkative (type-ative?) Scraps. Anyway, two more days of Summit to go and then we’ll be back to our usually scheduled food, house, and craft fun.

Also, Happy Birthday to Todd!!! He’s not actually big on having his birthday celebrated, so we keep things low-key by request, but I am incredibly grateful that he was born 🙂

RBBiz Day 7: Tad Hargrave

Creative Business

Sometimes it’s nice to know that you’re on the right path. Tuesday’s interview on “Marketing for Hippies” put into words a lot of things I’ve learned about what feels most comfortable about selling my book (I talked about that a bit in yesterday’s post, too). Things like “slow marketing” and mantras like “if there’s no fit, there’s no failure” put it far more succinctly than I could have done, prior, so that level of validation boosts my confidence in my own business prowess.


As far as visuals go, I was rather taken with the idea that “marketing is a filtering process.” This goes back to one of the sessions last week about Skunk Medicine, and how it’s okay to repel your wrong people just as much as you attract your right people.

RBBiz Day 6: Sara Avant Stover

Creative Business

I’ve noticed that sometimes what I take away from the daily Summit interviews is less about the notes I take and sometimes way more of a tangential rabbit trail that leads to the barest related thread of an ‘aha!’ moment. Like today, as Sara Avant Stover talked about cycles and seasons, I wandered my way down to the realization that I’m good for a max of 5 years on any one big project before I really, desperately need something else to focus on. The most recent example being What to Feed Your Raiding Party.

I started work on the book in 2010, released it June, 2012, and have spent the last 3 years focusing most of my side-hustle time slots promoting the cookbook. Every time I try to work on something new, something for the cookbook comes up: another convention, an online order, or just the nagging reminder that I haven’t finished the blasted substitutions supplement that I’ve been fiddling with for the last couple of years.

Not that I mind the work that the book requires to promote–not at all! When I’m at conventions I’m having the time of my life, and not because I’m out partying or anything, because I have the chance to talk to people about the book. I enjoy being a salesperson when it’s something I’m so deeply committed to (something I never thought I’d say!).

But I made a kinda big choice at the end of last year not to schedule any conventions until the next book was done. Now that The Crafty Branch is in the mix, it’s likely I won’t be back on the convention circuit for a while, and I’ve started thinking up other ways to promote the book. But today, as Sara spoke about cycles and recognizing when it’s time to walk away, I realized I need to free myself up to be able to walk away from the Raiding Party world as my main focus and do so without feeling guilty.

That last part being the hard one, of course.

While one of last week’s sessions included the gem “completion is overrated,” I’ve made promises to people about the supplement and what’s next. So to make sure I’m not letting them or myself down, I’ll finish the supplement (need to set a date on this, haven’t yet, but soon!), reformat the original book to include the supplemental info to make a good eBook version of it, put that out there, and feel free to focus elsewhere.

I still want to write more cookbooks–there’s a deep well to draw from, there–but it doesn’t have to be now. I need a change of pace or I’ll start to resent it. And that would be worse for all considered.

Does that mean that The Crafty Branch will only hold my attention for 5 years? Not necessarily. When I stopped writing for eHow, I started writing my book. I also started blogging more. I didn’t stop writing, I just changed focus. And I kept doing other things, too, they just weren’t the Main Thing. The Crafty Branch will be a focus-shift, but in five years I would certainly hope that it’d be well enough established and with a competent staff on board that I could trust to handle the day to day so I can pursue whatever’s next.


Each interview usually starts with the speaker offering either a Left Brain Chill Pill or a Right Brain Booster. Sara offered the former, with her practice of checking in with her inner child each day, nurturing that part of herself on a regular basis, and thereby feeding her muse. She also urged us to really personify our inner child, so I (of course) drew mine in my notes:


I can also report progress on the business plan for The Crafty Branch. Over the weekend I finished my big vision collage as well as puzzled through the potential market size numbers (after spendign quite some time flipping between census.gov records). Still a ways to go, but the potential market numbers were a big hurdle to clear!