How Felicity Finds Her Voice!

Since i started blogging i've always been a little hit and miss with my content, do i blog about what i do and how i do it, or do i blog about running a small business and being a mummy.  There are so many blogs out there, so what makes me different, why would you want to read my blog over someone else's.  Truth is i have no idea...

So I have to just go with my gut and hope to god you find some value/interest/amusement in my blogs.  I'm gonna concentrate on my journey over the next year as i build my business back up,  I'm sure there are a lot of things some of you can relate to:

  • running a business from home
  • being a parentpreneur/mumpreneur/dadpreneur
  • juggling a day job with a small business and childcare

and some things maybe not so, but those i'll go into as i blog.  Don't want to scare you just yet, might scare you off ;-)

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This is something i've secretly always known but haven't had the confidence to go for 100%.  I've always felt that i'm expected to have a 'real' job or that what i do isn't much more than a hobby.  I'm not quite sure what happened at 40, but i suddenly thought, f**k it, i'm worth it, what i do is good enough and why shouldn't i aim to do what i love for a living!

I had to give it a little time till my youngest was old enough not to be 'on top of me' while i crafted (although if you see my latest Instagram, you'll see occasionally 'stuff' still happens LOL).  But since the end of last year i've started to view my business as just that, a business! Not a hobby, not something i like playing at, but a real bonafide business!  It's not easy, especially as a lot of people around don't quite understand/and or expect you to be an overnight success; but i do have some amazing support especially from my family, my friends and my boys.  Without whom really there would be no point.

I've worked really hard on my brand identity, developed my photography to fit my brand identity, built a whole new website and generally put myself out there, and this is where my issues start...

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Does anyone else struggle to stand up and be counted?!

I was bullied badly at primary school and then again in the workplace so i've spent a lot of time saying what i think people want to hear, not what my gut is telling me.  I've wanted to blend in (despite my outgoing persona), so I think this quote says it all, it really does take courage and that's what i was lacking massively.

But do you know what, i'm a grown women, i'm the mother to 3 boys, i work 4 days a week, keep a home and run a growing business from home; if i haven't got the courage to stand up and speak for myself now then i never will!

So it is my goal for the here and now to really just speak from my gut, say how i feel, use my positivity and really help myself and others around me.  It's even as simple as leaving a comment of a FB post with my honest opinion, rather than reading all the previous comments and making sure my views match with majority! Seriously i did that!!!! A lot!!!!!

I recognise the strength in everyone and i'm so determined about making sure i never make anyone feel the way i was made to, that they realise their worth; just a shame it's not as easy to do with myself.  But i'm one thing, i'm bloody determined!!! So if i'm there for you when you need me, might you be there for me? #letsdoit #together

Fay x

 


Working with Wordpress!

Okay so who's bright idea was it?!

Who decided to move over to wordpress, it'll be easy?!

Who decided it would be a good idea to start their website from scratch again?!

I need to have a serious word with myself LOL.  It wasn't easy (domain name issues, re-pointing servers, email issues, working out how to use wordpress itself) but do you know what... it's gonna be worth it!

I picked my theme and started building, i've spent a lot of time watching You Tube videos and starting discussions in groups, but I'm really beginning to understand exactly how to use my new site to it's best.

Now just to populate it...

 

in the words of Richard Branson 'Say yes - then learn how to do it later', that's definitely what i'm doing! This week is finishing my home page and adding my products. Wish me luck and would love to know what you think so far.

So who else here uses Wordpress, how have you found using it? What theme did you go with and what would be your 1 piece of advice for anyone starting out on a new site...

 


How Felicity Finds Managing Time...

I think this will sound familiar to a lot of working mothers / mumpreneurs (and dadpreneurs too!) but I've really begun struggling with time and my best use of it! A nice problem to have, when your business starts to take off but you still have other commitments (kids, day job, life LOL), but still a problem none the less.

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After a long break while my youngest grew up, I felt 2016 was time to recommit to my business.  A decision made in 2015 on the advice of a good friend to find an alternative to my day job unfortunately just proved to be even more hard work than the day job.  Whilst if that was all I was looking for I would have pursued harder, it wasn't, it was meant as a different day job to give me time to focus on Henry, Fred and Felicity (HFF).  I was taking valuable time that should have been spent crafting and building my business and spending it on building another.  What I have learnt in the last year though has been invaluable in terms of confidence and networking skills, and I know that was required for me to be able to take HFF to the level of business rather than hobby.

Over the past two months I've spent a lot of time building my business, developing my brand identity and networking to increase my visibility, it's worked and this is where in lies the problem (I don't deny it's a good problem!)...

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I've so much to do now that I simply can't seem to fit it in; between rebuilding a new website (Move over to wordpress they said, it'll be easy they said...), rebuilding my Etsy Shop (tags, titles and images, need i say more), customer orders (the best bit), social media (is it possible to do without becoming totally distracted?!) and developing new lines; i'm really struggling to give any decent time to anything.  I find myself distracted by Facebook, or to busy finishing an order and then nothing seems to get done. So I've decided I need to get strict!

My time is valuable and i need to ensure i use it wisely, and I know that you guys want to too! So what do we do, well here are the Top 3 Tips from Nicola Laurie a.k.a MsTidy Owl:

  1. Always plan your work ahead on a Sunday, and always WRITE IT DOWN! Do not do it in your head.  You will feel more in control if you plan and it will add time to your day.
  2. Make daily tasks part of your routine.  For example, log your expenses and/or mileage just before you check your social media or emails. Make it a habit and soon it will become an automatic action you don;t even think about.
  3. Don't waste time by doing things that aren't a priority.  If you have limited time make sure you block time out in your day and focus on the tasks that will add value and results to your business.

and believe me she knows exactly what she is talking about.  Nicola trains people on how to structure, measure and utilise their business information for profit and growth. Want helpful advice and tips on time management, then following her is a must!

As multi-taskers we need to be clever with our time and if any of you are like me then we need to swallow our pride and realise we can't do it all and that accepting help isn't a sign of weakness but actually downright common sense and strength.  So I for one have spent the last half hour (okay 2 hours including children) planning out my weeks going forward.  This will keep me on track and ensure that everything important gets done timely, rather than achieving nothing quickly.

 

I hope this makes you realise you are not alone, we all have struggles and there are people out there who want to help and not always at a cost.  So come on, in the words of a famous brand #letsdothis

Do you have any particular struggles or stresses, let me know and let's see if between us all we can't find a solution...

Fay x

 


How Felicity Finds it as Easy As 1 2 3?

So my first blog post on my new site! Lots has gone on since I opened back up my Etsy Shop and started producing my canvases full time again.  It's been too long, but my littlest was too little for me to be able to give it my full attention and I didn't want to miss out.

I haven't been completely without painting, but until the end of last year I made sure it was for my family and friends.  My boys finally got their canvases they'd been promised.  I finally got to do the London Tube Map wall in their playroom and it was enjoyable taking my time!

At the end of last year i knew the time was right, that it was now or never and I needed to stop 'playing' and give my business the time and passion it deserved.  It's been a roller-coaster, re-branding, building a new website (which as you can see is still in progress) and re-awakening my Etsy Store from it's slumber.

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Luckily my social media was kept alive by my continued personal projects and my incessant ramblings, so along with a very valued band of followers and also a good few groups on my side (Etsy ResolutionCraft Sellers Cafe, Business Visibility and Smart, Savvy and Switched On) giving invaluable advice and support, I've made good progress!

But is it as 'easy as 1, 2, 3...' Well not quite but it does help to break things down into manageable sections, especially when you have other distractions such as the 'day job' and/or little people!

So I initially broke down what my priorities were:

  1. My brand
  2. My Etsy Shop
  3. My website

I always felt I had a pretty good brand identity, but I wanted to freshen it up a little and actually wanted to really target my branding.  I'd always been a little wishy washy on who my target customer was, as didn't have the confidence I suppose to be specific.  However with the help of others I really looked at this and narrowed down, allowing me to really identify with my target customer, even to the point of being able to choose a brand colour palette to work within.  Much as i thought it would be scary and limiting, I actually found it to be a very valuable and freeing exercise and has made an immeasurable difference in how i go about my social media posting and advertising; which having doubled my followers on Facebook in just over 3 months and gaining well on all other social media sites means I really am heading in the right direction.

Next was my Etsy Shop up until then it was just a little outlet to share my canvases.  I hadn't filled out any policies, I knew not what Treasuries were, so there was a lot of work to do.  I updated everything, got all my policies in place, I worked on my tags, titles and descriptions with a little help from the Crafty Mentor, uploaded all my new branding; but all that showed was just how outdated my images were...

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My first ever image  - 5 years ago            My latest image - this afternoon

I'm not saying i'm there but i'm certainly on the right track!  And all created from my boys bedroom...

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And this created...                                 this funky web banner!   IMG_8063-small                    Homepage-banner-new

Yep I'm getting there with my images, so now i can move on to the website and get it back up and running again too, all with my new and improved brand identity.  I just wanna say thanks to you all for helping me on my journey, it's an exciting time!

Now it's time to set my next 1, 2, 3...

Fay x