Change and such

So here’s what’s up. I’ve been a little MIA. And no, I did not die. Thanks for your concern though. 😉

For three months, I blogged EVERY day. Now I’m lucky if I blog once every couple weeks. The reason? I’m moving on. I reevaluated how I am approaching this whole ‘running your own business” thing. I feel like I’m breaking up with MD… I guess I kinda am.

“Sorry, Motivated Decor,” (like it’s a person) “you’re just not what I’m looking for in a business. I need a little bit more passion in my relationships – and your just not doing it for me.”

A little dramatic? Yes. Cheesy? Definitely. But I came to realize that the posts I love doing the most are family related. I don’t blog about design and fashion and home decor. I blog about life. I blog about my family. I like to associate with blogs that do the same. I tried really hard not to fall into the “Mommy blogger” category – but that’s what I am. And that’s what I love. So, I’m changing some things. Here’s why:

1. The stuff I write about would not be what most people would expect when they go to what they think is a home decor blog. My business/blog name is holding me back from reaching out to all the awesome women out there.

2. I don’t really have a target market. When asked “What kind of readers/customers do you have?” I cannot answer that question. I don’t know anything about the people that read this blog. I don’t have relationships with my customers. Mainly because I don’t have a general point of interest with most of them.

3. When I try to market my products, it feels forced. Like I’m a creepy salesman. I don’t use my products. I just design them and expect people to buy them. How can I sell things I don’t use? It’s impractical. And stupid. Don’t forget stupid.

4. My passion is my family. When I’m at work, I don’t fantasize about home decor and design. I wish I was home, playing with my little and cleaning my ridiculously messy house.

Motivated Decor was founded with good intentions, but not with passion. Passion drives all things. MD does not have passion. That’s why after 3 months of it, I started making some changes. “So then what the heck are you going to do, Amanda?” Good question! I’m still designing things. But not home decor. I’m designing things like meal planners, budget forms, blog planners, home management binders, to do lists, organization logs and shopping lists! These are all stuff I use! Stuff I can make changes to and adjust as I get feedback. Stuff other moms use. I’m really excited about it. So excited that I wanted to keep it a surprise. I’ve been working on this since December 2013. I’m getting all my products ready so my shop is stocked once I open it. I’m getting my blog designed so it looks good from the get go. I’m doing everything differently than how I did MD. I’ve learned some things. 🙂 So hang in there, I’ll make an announcement (with links and such) on my new stuff as soon as I’m ready.

Just know that I didn’t die.

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New posting Schedule for Motivated Decor

For the last 3 months, I have been waking up at 3 am every day to update my blog and run my business. Then go to my day job from 7 am to 4 pm. I even work on more of my business stuff on my lunch break too.  After 3 months of it, I am starting to burn my self out. I’ve been so tired when I get home from work that I don’t want to do anything. At all. I would so much rather just sit and watch TV with some fast food. That’s lame and honestly pathetic.

I started this business and blog because I want to inspire people to GET OFF THE COUCH and DO SOMETHING with their lives. How can I provide motivation in the “physical” area of life if I’m sitting on my butt eating Pizza every night? Gross Amanda, you can’t. Same goes with all the other areas of life. I feel like the only area that I’m strong in right now is career. I need to focus more on my family and my health. I need to read more and spend more time with friends.

Overall, I need to feel more balance. My blog posts are only half way done. My house is a MESS. I keep forgetting to pay bills (even though we budgeted for them. DOH!). My cute family needs more attention and my social life sucks because we are in bed by 8pm (sometimes 7:30!) every night. So I’m gonna fix this mess!

I told you that I’m reevaluating the way I run things. Here is my new schedule for 2014.

–    Blog posts will take place on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. This will ensure that my posts are higher quality. This will also allow me time to prepare my subject  matter appropriately (instead of just winging it when I start a post). I will still try to cover the 7 areas of life in each post, but it won’t be a strict schedule like it was in the past.

–   Instead of taking all my energy trying to come up with a blog post every day, I will be making a new design everyday. So every post, you will see two new products. If you follow me on Facebook and on my Etsy page, you can see my new products before they are posted on my blog.

–   Every month, I am going to offer 2 free product downloads. You can expect these on the last Friday of every month. I will make a tab on my menu bar so you can access them any time you like.

–   Every three months, I am going to participate in a give-a-way with another blog or business. I might even try to host one. 🙂

–   I will add tutorials once a month so you can see how I do different crafts and designs.

 

I have a feeling that I will love what I’m doing so much more with this new approach. I hope to regain my energy, determination and spit fire personality.

Thanks for reading! See you Friday!

-Amanda

Leaps and bounds.

Have you ever felt like you hit a wall? Some times, if your not paying attention, you might just run right into one. I feel like I did that this week.

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I know what you are saying: “Amanda, what are you talking about? Your Etsy sales keep coming, your blog readership keeps going up and you just got a booth at Quilted Bear. You are far from any wall”

Well when you put it like that, maybe I didn’t hit a wall. But it sure felt like it.

I started Motivated Decor on October 1st, 2013. The whole month of October, I was focused on getting my Etsy store out there. Then the whole month of November I was prepping for Quilted Bear. So December comes and I feel like I have nothing to shoot for. I moved into Quilted Bear and all of a sudden I’m not as busy because there are not as many things on my to do list. Plus, because I was so busy the last month, I felt that I  only put half the effort into my blog. I kept getting writers block. In my opinion, I hit a wall.

Then last night, my dear friend Patricia posted on Facebook that she has started her own blog. Her motivation? Me.

How inspiring! THAT is what I started Motivated Decor for! Not just to sell things, but to inspire and encourage people to get out and DO SOMETHING with their life. Make little improvements to become a better, happier YOU. I’m so proud of her. And I owe her a THANK YOU! I seriously felt that I was at a stopping point. I’m used to being so busy that when life calms down for a second, it puts me in a funk. She helped me realize that just because I’m not running around crazy, I am still making a difference. Even if it is just one life. One cute little mom out there that feels she is in a rut. I motivated her to start her own blog and DO SOMETHING with her life. That little blog she just started is her start to her journey. She has ambitions to start a business. I hope to be a mentor to her and help her design some things just for her. I hope to give her guidance and optimism as she learns what she wants to do.

That is no wall my friends. That means the world to me. If some one inspires you to do something, tell them. Tell the world! I promise it will be a honorable experience for your motivator. They will love hearing about it.

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Leap over your wall. Set new goals.

DO SOMETHING!

Thanks for visiting.

-Amanda

Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.

YAY! I made it through week number one as a consistent blogger!! 🙂 Happy day! Last week we talked about finding your passions. Did you dig deep? Have you figured out what it is you want to do with your life? What goal did you set? Did you follow through with it?

My goal was to get week number one as a blogger under my belt. And I did it! I want to take a second to congratulate you on accomplishing your goal too! GOOD JOB!

Maybe some of you came a little shy of that goal. No worries. Keep working on it! Tomorrow is a brand new day. Just keep your head up, stay focused and put your heart and soul into what you are doing.

Today, I want to talk about schedules. As I made it through my first week of blogging, I decided that I NEED a schedule! If I don’t stick to it, I will burn my self out! My husband has to be to work at 4am. So I wake up with him at 2:30-3ish every morning. I also get so into blogging and social media and product design that I have been staying up till 11 or 12 at night. You do the math. That is seriously 3 hours of sleep. What am I doing to my self? By day three, I was falling asleep on my desk at work. NOT OK! So after my 10 minute accidental power nap, I said “No more!” I put my self on a schedule and the last 3 or 4 days have went pretty smoothly. Here’s my schedule:

2:30 am – Shower and get ready

3:30 am – get bags packed so Chelae and I are ready to head out the door at 6:35 am.

4:00 am – Blog. Only Blog. No email checking, no social media, just compose a blog.

4:30 am – Product design for the next day.

5:00 am – Social Media – post, share, tweet, pin. Make my self visible.

5:15 am – Maintain the ins and outs of Motivated Decor. This hour can include accounting, marketing, maintaining the website, or preparing products so they are ready for orders. I assign the task before the day begins and I devote that hour to just that task. Today, I will be preparing my products to show to Quilted Bear. I’m going to try to get a booth within their store! 🙂 Wish me luck!

6:15 am – Start closing down the computer and saving any files that I am working on. It often helps to set an alarm for this so I don’t push the limit. I was late to work a couple times last week. NOT OK!

6:20 am – take bags down to the car, get Chelae changed, bottle made, and bundled up.

6:35 am – out the door. Drop Chelae off at day care.

7:00 am to 4:00 pm – Day job. I often work on Motivated Decor related projects on my lunch break. I use this time to check emails, social media and stats of my posts. Or lunch is when I let my self relax and I squeeze in some quality reading time. I get an hour lunch.

4:00 pm to 7:00 pm – Family time. Play, Dinner, Clean

7:00 pm check stats, emails and social media.

7:30 pm Bath time routine.

8:00 pm Bed time. For our entire house. We all wake up early. We all go to bed early.

I have several reasons why I like to operate on a schedule.

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1. My family was suffering. Chelae was not getting the attention she deserved, our house was a mess and I didn’t feel like my husband and I were getting the time that we needed to catch up on things and keep that important marital bond. It’s good to be busy, but I started this with the intention to be able to one day quit my day job and give my family the attention the deserve. That was my driving force for it. Family comes first. Always.

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2. My work (at my day job) was suffering. Coming in late, social media alerts on my phone distracted me (my phone is on silent between the hours of 7am-4pm now) and falling asleep at work. How is that a valuable employee?! It’s not. It only took me one day of this behavior to realize that I should not let MY dream come in between my work. I’m not being paid by my day job to work on my dream job. I felt like I was stealing from my employer. They are paying me to help get things done. Not piddle around and sleep. I’d be pissed if one of my employees pulled that crap. I’m not going to be doing that. PERIOD!

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3. I was getting burnt out. I had to talk my self into doing the stuff that I loved. I was so tired that I just didn’t care. I really didn’t. I had to motivate my self to do something, including eat! I forgot to eat. One day I got really dizzy at work. My friend and co-worker (who I have kept up to date on Motivated Decor) was concerned. She asked if I  needed to eat something. I realized it had been almost 48 hours since I had a real meal. That is dangerous. I didn’t even realize it. Being a wife, mom, a full time employee, a blogger, business owner, designer and house keeper is a lot of work. But you need to take care of yourself! You have to set a schedule and stick to it or you will burn your self out.

Please don’t burn your self out! Be smart with your time. Enjoy your family. Enjoy your life. You only get one to live.

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Get this digital file here.

 

Thanks for visiting! Join me tomorrow for Thrifty Thursdays!

 

-Amanda