Tuesday, December 9, 2008

myHandmadeRegistry.com - Not Just Another Networking Site

What I think sets apart successes from failures are those that find adversities and ADVERTISE them and those that find adversities and look for ways to make them ASSETS!

After half of a year dedicated to the idea that people really
are interested in the artisan community and then researching, promoting and marketing my jewelry shoppes from various online retailing sites, I came to an enlightening conclusion that I had heard over and over again...

"These sites are really just SELLERS selling to SELLERS!"

After all, before
I learned about them from another seller, and joined to sell, I had never heard of them either!

And so I started researching about how I could get
BUYERS to find MY STORE of handmade goods and I stumbled across a couple of interesting blog posts...

"I wish I could register for my wedding at Etsy.com!"

"Oh, I'd LOVE it if everyone would get me Etsy.com stuff for my baby shower!"

After searching for several days, I found ONE online registry where registrants could add Etsy.com
item numbers to their wish list of goods along with the likes of Macy's, Bloomingdales, ToysRUs, etc.

I thought,
"Hey! I CAN DO THIS!" : a Handmade Registry - a place where everyone can create a personal page with a list of their favorite items from only HANDMADE RETAILERS!

Won't be able to find Macy's HERE!

Then the daunting task of figuring out HOW TO DO THIS! With neither the desire to wait what must surely take months to create, nor the funds to support it, I remembered a site that I was introduced to where members could customize their pages to create their own social networking site! And myHandmadeRegistry.com was born!

It's still in its infancy, but I believe it can grow into a powerhouse tool!

It is NOT just another Networking Group - our platform happens to be BUILT as one, but this is my vision...

Imagine the now millions of artisan shoppe owners that flood the gates of the
Handmade Community. Now imagine how many times just this past week each one of those members have been asked, "What do you want for Christmas? Hanukkah? Birthday? Anniversary?"

myHandmadeRegistry.com is designed for these shoppe owners to share their
Wishlist with their families and friends - especially those that have such a hard time shopping for them! Imagine the incredible relief husbands and boyfriends will feel knowing that there's a place where she has pictures of everything her heart desires and all they have to do is CLICK ON IT and it takes them right to the check out counter! (no offense guys - I KNOW there are many of you that are godsends! but let's face it - this is the promise land for most of you!)

This registry now opens up the artisan marketplace to so many more people!

But lets take this another step further...

I've created GROUPS within the community that I plan to market for
OUTSIDE OF THE ARTISAN COMMUNITY - for expectant parents, a house-warming group to share decorating tips on a budget and find that special accent piece, and my favorite :

my $5000 Handmade Wedding!

These days the Platinum Weddings we see on WE are becoming more and more of a fantasy to most of us...

But lately, I've been finding myself watching those shows and saying... "I can do THAT" and "oh! I saw something like that in the forums last week for 1/100th the cost!

My vision in this group is to link these dreaming brides with Handmade Retailers who can make those pictures come to life in quality and affordability!

Members of this group can create BLOG posts on their pages with images of the various ideas for their fantasy wedding with tags relating to the items such as "dress", "invitations", "jewelry", "favors", etc. Vendors who can provide those products or services can then find and leave comments on their BLOG where they can also attach images, sketches, estimates...

How wonderful will it be to have such an incredible resource at your fingertips - remembering first and foremost that the most priceless resource in any network is building relationships - someone will always know someone who can help you fulfill your dreams!

...A place where brides can take those black and white fantasies and turn them into vibrant rainbows of possibilities while keeping as much green in their pockets!

I look forward to a million more endless possibilities with this project and welcome any new ideas, suggestions, questions... but PLEASE COME JOIN US and share what an amazing community of artisans and talented business supporters we have among us!

siempre - dorana

Monday, November 3, 2008

Time Management - Can You Achieve Work/Life Balance?

I sat in a convention a couple of years ago and watched a gray haired man with thin rimmed glasses, a bright yellow Hawaiian shirt with red flowers and a bright green blazer nearing his eighties jump in front of the room and claim that every morning by 10AM, that he had done more in his business and made his family smile more than most of us in the room would accomplish by 6PM. I remember sitting there mesmerized by his energy and drive, and determination. He had reached success and fortune a million times over and had no sights of letting up on his life's work and unlike some other rich and successful men and women I have met, was still full of life and genuinely happy.

My grandmother calls me sometimes during the day knowing that I'll be immersed in my work and say, "There are 24 hours in a day, Dori. Eight for sleeping, eight for working, eight for friends and family..."

Bob reiterated those sentiments at that convention when he started talking about the key to his success. It wasn't a genius marketing idea or the best computer software program, it wasn't flashy brochures or business cards or the best graphic designs... it was his daily schedule.

Every night before he went to bed he would detail the following day first broken down into six hour increments and then to three, then to two, then to one hour and then into fifteen minute blocks. His jolly face looked up at us in the room so quiet that you could hear a pin drop! And then it lit up unexpectedly with his jolly laughter as he tauntingly said "first my dears, start with the SIX HOUR BLOCKS!"

We all giggled and listened as he explained how managing a detailed schedule and following it created a life of balance and expectations for both his business and his family. When he was working, he was working and wasn't feeling guilty about not being with his family and when he was with his family, he wasn't worried about work. There was a time for everything and everything had it's time.

He then detailed every hour for us to try to explain how much time we truly have each day. He described his first 6 hour block of time beginning at 6AM with his morning routine, how he first takes time for himself every morning - for his body and mind.

How often we go through the day neglecting how important the health of our body and minds are!

His hour on the treadmill while he listened to his favorite classical melodies or read a favorite book; the luxurious shower and the joy he took making his children breakfast in the morning and hearing about the schedule of their lives each morning!

The next four hours until lunch were impeccably detailed: calls, meetings, reports, call and wish the wife a good morning and wonderful day! Imagine scheduling daily calls to tell someone you love them! What could possibly be a better use of your time!?

I remember sitting there as he painted a ticking clock portrait of his day and how each task brought him closer to that final "tock" at 6PM where he shifted from work to home and family and friends!


If that wasn't impressive enough, there was a detailed weekly account of chores and shopping, family activities, dates with friends and extended family... Every aspect of his life, business and family was given importance.

He had a lifetime of joy because he gave everything and everyone the importance of his time. His wife and children expected him to be working when he was at work and home when he was at home.

In building his business of course there were disappointments and not everything always went as planned but there WAS A PLAN!

I know that in my perfect fantasy world, there is this magical place where my business and personal life somehow create a wonderful balance.

Could we all find this mystical place and that infectious joy I witnessed in that man by merely planning out the details of each of our days? Planning the time for our walks to the park with our favorite four-legged friend, making lunch dates with our children once a week at their schools, a date with our spouse where we dress up in our "first date finest" and anticipate that long kiss at the end of the night - all while climbing that business ladder of success??

I hope you take out that day planner - seriously I know everyone has one that's collecting dust somewhere - and
"first my dears, start with the SIX HOUR BLOCKS!"

Sunday, October 26, 2008


I hope you are all sharing in this gorgeous fall day and that it is filled with sunshine and smiles! I'd like to take some time today to thank everyone for all of their wonderful feedback and support of my new blog! I've had some truly great convos, emails, and comments and I am very appreciative!

I would love to take all the credit, but I definitely could not have created such a uniquely me space without the patiently talented Kristen at wildmagic.etsy.com. Please take a second to check out her shoppe and wonderful graphics and designs!

I had the images and the vision of what I was hoping it would look like, but without Kristen's help it would have taken me weeks of playing with HTML code and let's face it - I'm a writer and an artist - I do not need to be a master of all trades! (I'm still convincing myself of this...)

I am a financial wellness and wealth coach by day and I constantly find myself at my client's kitchen tables coaching them not to engage in tasks that will not net them their hourly rate of desired pay!

In business, you need to spend 90% of your time in productive activities that will create either more productivity or increase your income. It is my nature to obsess over "details". If I had committed myself to creating my new blog or recreating my mySpace page to the exact specifications that I wanted myself, I would have obsessed about it for weeks not days - and even when I would have achieved the desired look, I know that I would have continued to play having had reset my work schedule to include HTML coding!

Don't get me wrong - I did start playing with it on my own for about two hours that day, but I was able to snap out of it once I realized that half my work morning had flown by and I had accomplished nothing. One of my favorite business quotes, "Are you busy or productive?"

At the end of the day feeling drained by hours of tasking only to find that I really hadn't accomplished anything I set out to do, I decided to stop the insanity!

So I quickly logged out of mySpace and blogspot and contacted Kristen and sent her the images I was interested in using, the overall feel I was hoping for, got a quote, and set to work on the projects with someone who knew what she was doing! It was economical, productive and the net effect was a week of marketing and creating that I wouldn't have had had I done it on my own!

What it cost me to hire someone to do it was a mere fraction of MY cost per hour of my own production time! In simpler terms, I was able to produce and create in that time MORE than what it cost me for someone else to do the task...

As I write this I remember that I learned this years ago! When I started college, I was a full-time student and worked full-time in a restaurant but still lived at home. I would get home at 2am from work sometimes completely exhausted to my mother's fussing at me for forgetting to do the dishes or not cleaning the bathroom or leaving laundry in the washer...

After about a week of the ridiculousness - regardless how much I wanted to yell, "Are you kidding me?! I'm never home," I picked up the classifieds and hired a wonderful woman named Terry for $50.00/week to dust, sweep, mop, clean the bathrooms, scrub the kitchen... It was worth it to me to spend half a night's income to pacify my mother at home and give me peace the little time I was home...

Just because you're in business for yourself doesn't mean that you have to do every part of the business.

  • Figure out what you're good at, the activities that bring you the best results and then STICK TO THAT PLAN for at least 4-6 weeks! You're not going to be able to measure the results of an activity if you change it every time you hear something new! Pick a few projects to start off with and go from there.
  • Set a SCHEDULE and stick to it!
  • Hire out your weakness and/or get help with administrative tasks

Working for yourself is the most rewarding job you can have, but you'll never work harder! I have learned a lot about entrepreneurship... anyone that works hard at anything for ten years will be successful in it - just make sure you're doing something you love - because it will still be work ten years from now if it isn't.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Don't put off for tomorrow...

...What you could get done today. When I was in high school I used to wake up before dawn to get my hair done like the "other girls;" with naturally wild curly hair and incredible volume, I of course wanted my hair straight! I remember sitting in front of the mirror with my arms extended painfully out to my farthest wing span blow drying and then ironically using the curling iron to ummmm... curl it again! Then I would sit with a notebook and pen in hand to start scribbling my daily list of "things to do." I was 14 when these lists began - my "day of details". I remember the frustration even then as I scribbled my almost minute by minute schedule of the projected events of the day. Even then I was an obsessive neurotic overachiever!

My mother found my stack of lists one day, each item painstakingly numbered by order of importance and then perfectly struck through in a thin black ink line - only black - never blue - all of my completed daily achievements.
(Now I use yellow highlighter to recognize my completed tasks 'cause I'm also a recognition whore.) She snatched them from me and yelled to remind me in case I had forgotten, "You're just a child! You don't have lists of things to do, or places you have to be, or cures for cancer you have to discover! Can't you just learn to just BE!"

I thought about this morning ritual I had half a lifetime ago as I awoke this morning to begin scribbling into my "List of things to do NOTEBOOK"... Not a lot has changed, well except for the yellow highlighter and the fact that you probably could not pay me to wake up early in the morning to do my hair, except that the list keeps getting longer no matter how many things I manage to highlight done.

Launching this business has become another infinite list of "daily details." Where should I post my designs? Should I learn that software program, create that other account? What do I do this morning that will net me the best results tomorrow?

Time management... The ultimate daily affirmation for the self-employed:

I use my time wisely and only do the most productive thing every minute of the day!

Don't put off for tomorrow what you can do today... but what if there is never a tomorrow? Would I have chosen to do the same things today?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I Must Assimilate!

After much internal conflict, I have succumbed to the pressures of creating a blogspot account and blogging! ☺

But when you're a type-A obsessive compulsive, control freak this opens up a brand new can of worms of decisions. Hair pulling debates on will this just be a business blog - and isn't my business a
PEOPLE business - I mean isn't one of the main reasons I am successful in business is because it's personal to me and therefor how can I draw the line between a personal blog and a business blog?

Will I be using this as a "dear vagina, why so blue?" journal or will I be using it like many of my very productive friends and teammates and fellow shoppe owners who feature one another, maybe a favorite recipe, a really cool product they came across...

And now with the ultimate assimilation to the world of blogging comes a whole NEW set of issues to battle in my already over cycling brain - will I now go back to mySpace and regurgitate my daily escapades for the enjoyment of post pubescent boys everywhere? And what for this Facebook? Will I now also rewind my years of climbing up the corporate ladder and join my executive almost-husband and schmooze with the likes of those closet "I hate my jobbers" in Linked In?

I "twit" but don't know what the hell to do with it after days of communicating with the twitting helpdesk, had quite the digs in mySpace until interstate authorities had to issue restraining orders to stalkers, was quite the IM master until honeycyberbots started taking over the airways...

But with the ever cheerful, positive, "I can do and succeed at everything I pursue" attitude, I will move forward with this new blogging venture ever eager to see what lies ahead and which path it will lead to... oh and by the way, that pic up there - my favorite design featured in my shoppe at dorana.etsy.com - that's just in case tomorrow I wake up and decide this
is a business blog!

siempre - dorana