Just Pick A Thing

Just Pick A Thing

 Happy Creative Thursday! Sit down, relax, make yourself comfy, grab a beverage this is a long one.


Just Pick A Thing ~  spoiler alert from last week's episode; you can't balance it all, don't even try, just focus on one thing ~ hard earned advice from today's Creative Thursday guest Emily McDowell (and if I may second that advice, I wholeheartedly agree)


Season 2, Episode 3 is here! and I'm excited to introduce you to

another creative extraordinaire, writer, illustrator, aka feelings translator, Emily McDowell, living in Portland Oregon.


This episode is ALSO SOOO GOOOD!


Can we keep it REAL for a moment.


Creating, editing, launching this episode has been a BEAST.


Before I dive into this part of the email that I am writing for the second time today (as my 2 hour draft from earlier did not save) let me preface this message by saying: I'm coming to you from what is now the epicenter of our global pandemic, endlessly thankful for so much, especially good health and the opportunity to share this with you~ and forever sending you good thoughts for continued wellness with you and your loved ones) ~ In the scheme of things this is no big deal...


and now I would simultaneously like to shout that running a (CREATIVE) BUSINESS is HARD some days.


There's a perception that people like me, aka Artists with a "pretty" brand, voice/face on the internet are only showing you the shiny, edited view of our worlds.


As I've shared since day 1 of starting my blog back in 2006, without justification, or apology, I most definitely only you show you the edited version.


Trust me, you don't want it any other way (I say as I just yelled in my studio, because hours of work on top of hours of work was lost again) You don't need an up close and personal view of those moments...


I am however also known for transparency, and pull back the curtains on the challenges we all face as Creative Business Owners, as is Emily and why I know you're going to love her episode too. We want to save you the same struggle (pro-tip copy and paste any writing you do in another program in a word document or notes)


This episode has been the hardest to shoot, edit, and it lost the most files during my devastating hard drive mishap ~ (which is the main reason this series was delayed and why this episode is sparse on the video, especially the single shot of Emily. )

And it has continued to give me technical issues right up until the very last minute with unexpected audio problems and now a delay yet again with an entire email gone missing, by my email service provider. 


Initial episodes we filmed at our guests' home studio which is a) inconveniencing their home + personal space and b) can be difficult to get the 3 camera angles we want to get.


On this day of filming we discovered our cat of 19 years, Garbo Girl, was ill and declining. I sobbed before I arrived to film at Emily's house, also forgot extra batteries for one of the 4 devices we use to create these episodes. Filming a conversation was the last thing I felt like doing. (silver lining - I did get my hair professionally styled that day)


Emily had just learned that she would be spending an entire weekend fixing an issue created in part by a company that she had also recently realized was the wrong partner and later shared with me off the record that she never should've licensed her business to them. (She did end up leaving that partnership and entered into a new one, a much better fit)


But we showed up that day and created this episode for you. Because that's what you do as a Creative Business Owner.


Keeping commitments matter, to you, to the promise to share a part of Emily's story, to my Kickstarter Backers.


So thank you in advance for your understanding that this episode isn't as refined as I hoped it would be. (I just found some tiny glitches I'll be fixing in a moment after my tequila shot...but the episode is now LIVE!)


Challenges like these are the reason I will never take on a monster project by myself like this again and they are also the same reason why I will do all I can to bring you conversations like this one with Emily.


It might make your journey easier and leave with you more inspiration and motivation to keep going, especially on days like today.


Because I say, and I know Emily would agree, all the challenges are worth it for the opportunity to fully live the Creative Entrepreneur Life.


In 2012 Emily started making cards because she saw a hole in the stationery market. 

She couldn't find any cards that reflected her reality: one that included messy relationships, dysfunctional families and her personal experience going through cancer and getting your traditional "get well" card which lead to her create her "viral hit" line of Empathy Cards, and follow up book "There is No Good Card for This". 

If you've wondered how an Illustrator could grow a single card line into a company that is carried by over 2,000 retailers, in this conversation Emily takes you through each step of building her business from the very beginning. 


An episode filled with hard-earned knowledge and guidance, Emily shares invaluable wisdom gained through the rewarding but also very real truths of what it takes to grow a successful stationery business. Since the recording of this episode, near burnout, Emily chose to make some big shifts both personally and professionally, leading to profound transformations that she now also shares on more personal @emilyonlife account on Instagram.


You can find all things Emily McDowell at EmilyMcDowell.com and @emilymcdowell_ on Instagram.


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